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Neoliberal corruption bulletin, 2018

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[Dec 29, 2018] Why western neoliberal hape neolinel Putin: they want the return to the looting that took place under the Empire's anointed, Boris Yeltsin.

Dec 29, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Montreal , Dec 27, 2018 2:01:23 PM | link

bevin , Dec 27, 2018 10:21:32 AM | link

" ....The oligarchs have been destroyed in the early 00s: Gusinsky (the media oligarch), Berezovsky (the political broker oligarch), Khodorkovsky (the oil oligarch). These people were real oligarchs, i.e. they were using their wealth to control political processes through black media propaganda, having their own MPs/Ministers/Governors, etc..." @85

I'm inclined to agree. And this is why there is so much anger against Putin, in particular, in the 'west': the Russian oligarchs wield enormous power through the media which is at the service of anyone with money. Bill Browder being a prime example.
The oligarchs were the tools that the City of London and Wall St employed to plunder Russia's socialised wealth and resources.
The hate campaign against Putin, who is in many ways a very conservative economist pursuing the sort of neo-liberal policies that capitalist financiers approve of, is inexplicable unless we understand that the end game is a return to the looting that took place under the Empire's anointed, Boris Yeltsin.

I don't understand the people here who write that VVPutin is in thrall to the Zionists, the Oligarchs, or that he's lining his own pocket etc etc. IMHO his strategy has always been clear and direct, since the beginning. He values first of all stability - time for Russia to rebuild herself. Secondly, he performs a clever balancing act between the competing centres of power in Russia.

His mistake, however, when he became president, was to believe quite sincerely that the West - and particularly Washington (the important one) - shared a desire for peaceful partnership with Russia. Doubts emerged in 2011 - he realised that he was being played - and the doubts became certainties in 2014, since when some fairly radical reorganisations has been taking place. Russia is - again, IMHO - now ready to take its real place in the international order.

I take great pleasure in reading and listening to his - and Sergei Lavrov's - words, at the same time regretting the low standard of our own representatives.

Many thanks to b and all of you who continue always to inform me and sometimes enchant me.

[Dec 17, 2018] 'Unregistered foreign agent' Clinton Foundation oversight panel hears explosive testimony

Notable quotes:
"... early in its life and throughout its existence ..."
"... The foundation began acting as an agent of foreign governments early in its life and continued doing so throughout its existence, as such, the foundation should have registered under FARA. ..."
"... good foundation for truth and transparency ..."
"... "These are not our facts. They are not your facts. They are the facts of the Clinton Foundation," ..."
"... misuse of donated public funds ..."
"... falsely attested that it received funds and used them for charitable purposes which was, in fact, not the case. Rather the foundation pursued in an array of activities both domestically and abroad ..."
"... properly characterized as profit-oriented and taxable undertakings of private enterprise, again failing the operational tests of philanthropy referenced above ..."
"... it was hard to tell where the Clinton State Department ended and the Clinton Foundation began ..."
"... Alice in Wonderland ..."
"... We have a ruling saying there is sufficient grounds to go forward with a criminal investigation of the Trump Foundation, not the Clinton Foundation ..."
Dec 15, 2018 | www.rt.com
Fraud investigators have exposed the Clinton Foundation's alleged misdeeds in a Congressional hearing, describing it as a de facto "foreign agent" devoted not to charity but to "advancing the personal interests of its principals." The Clinton Foundation acted as an agent of foreign governments " early in its life and throughout its existence ," according to testimony by former government forensic investigator John Moynihan, which, if true, would not only render it in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act but also would violate its nonprofit charter, putting it on the hook for a massive quantity of unpaid taxes.

The foundation began acting as an agent of foreign governments early in its life and continued doing so throughout its existence, as such, the foundation should have registered under FARA.

https://www.c-span.org/video/standalone/?455872-1/hearing-clinton-foundation

Moynihan and fellow ex-government investigator Lawrence Doyle shared 6,000 pages of evidence with the IRS over 18 months ago, only to be met with silence. They shared them with the FBI multiple times – ditto. Yet when the pair testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, they refused to turn over the documents, stating they did not want to interfere with any ongoing investigations.

Read more A Uranium One milling facility in Utah © George Frey FBI documents detail Clinton and Mueller's own 'Russiagate' – but they're classified

The committee chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said witnesses' reluctance to share all the documents was hardly a " good foundation for truth and transparency ," while Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) said he felt the duo was " using " the panel for their own benefit.

"These are not our facts. They are not your facts. They are the facts of the Clinton Foundation," said Moynihan, maintaining his interest in the case is purely financial – not political.

Testifying on their findings, Doyle highlighted the Foundation's alleged " misuse of donated public funds ," explaining that it " falsely attested that it received funds and used them for charitable purposes which was, in fact, not the case. Rather the foundation pursued in an array of activities both domestically and abroad ," which included activities " properly characterized as profit-oriented and taxable undertakings of private enterprise, again failing the operational tests of philanthropy referenced above ," referring to the equally non-charitable pursuit of funding the Clinton Presidential Library.

John Huber, appointed by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the Clinton Foundation after Sessions recused himself from doing so, was conspicuously absent from the hearing, even though his job is to probe Clinton's approval of the sale of US uranium assets to Russia.

Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton also gave testimony, outlining how " it was hard to tell where the Clinton State Department ended and the Clinton Foundation began " – so much so that the King of Bahrain, unable to meet with Clinton as Secretary of State, secured a meeting with the Foundation instead.

Also on rt.com FBI raids home of whistleblower who had 'dirt' on Clinton Foundation, Mueller

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) likened the testimony to " Alice in Wonderland ," claiming yet another investigation of the Clintons was an attempt to distract from the ongoing investigations of Trump. " We have a ruling saying there is sufficient grounds to go forward with a criminal investigation of the Trump Foundation, not the Clinton Foundation ," he said, adding that the committee had an informant in the Uranium One deal-making process who was unable to present any evidence of wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, the FBI has missed a deadline to turn over information on why they raided the home of another Clinton Foundation whistleblower, Nathan Cain, earlier this week. Cain's lawyer says his client – who reportedly gave the Justice Department documents showing federal officials failed to investigate criminal activity related to the Uranium One deal – was accused of possessing stolen federal property.

[Dec 17, 2018] The Clintons' Neoliberal Dystopian Ties to Russia's Billionaires

Dec 17, 2018 | observer.com

13 minutes ago The Clintons' Neoliberal Dystopian Ties to Russia's Billionaires

https://observer.com/2017/03/bill-hillary-clinton-ties-russia-billionaires-corporations/

[Dec 08, 2018] Owning the lawmakers doesn't make banksters not criminals, it just makes them criminals that are above the law

Dec 08, 2018 | www.alternet.org

Guest • 6 years ago

[Dec 08, 2018] In office, both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama rarely fought for progressive principles -- and routinely undermined them."

Dec 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Dec 5, 2018 4:54:14 PM | link

"The last two Democratic presidencies largely involved talking progressive while serving Wall Street and the military-industrial complex. The obvious differences in personalities and behavior of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama diverted attention from their underlying political similarities. In office, both men rarely fought for progressive principles -- and routinely undermined them."

Article from Truthdig: https://www.truthdig.com/articles/what-it-means-that-hillary-clinton-might-run-for-president-in-2020/

[Dec 06, 2018] Understanding Society Is corruption a social thing by Daniel Little

Dec 06, 2018 | understandingsociety.blogspot.com

Is corruption a social thing? When we discuss the ontology of various aspects of the social world, we are often thinking of such things as institutions, organizations, social networks, value systems, and the like. These examples pick out features of the world that are relatively stable and functional. Where does an imperfection or dysfunction of social life like corruption fit into our social ontology?

We might say that "corruption" is a descriptive category that is aimed at capturing a particular range of behavior, like stealing, gossiping, or asceticism. This makes corruption a kind of individual behavior, or even a characteristic of some individuals. "Mayor X is corrupt."

This initial effort does not seem satisfactory, however. The idea of corruption is tied to institutions, roles, and rules in a very direct way, and therefore we cannot really present the concept accurately without articulating these institutional features of the concept of corruption. Corruption might be paraphrased in these terms:

Corruption, then, involves actions taken by officials that deviate from the rules governing their role, in order to receive private benefits from the subjects of those actions. Absent the rules and role, corruption cannot exist. So corruption is a feature that presupposes certain social facts about institutions. (Perhaps there is a link to Searle's social ontology here; link .)

We might consider that corruption is analogous to friction in physical systems. Friction is a factor that affects the performance of virtually all mechanical systems, but that is a second-order factor within classical mechanics. And it is possible to give mechanical explanations of the ubiquity of friction, in terms of the geometry of adjoining physical surfaces, the strength of inter-molecular attractions, and the like. Analogously, we can offer theories of the frequency with which corruption occurs in organizations, public and private, in terms of the interests and decision-making frameworks of variously situated actors (e.g. real estate developers, land value assessors, tax assessors, zoning authorities ). Developers have a business interest in favorable rulings from assessors and zoning authorities; some officials have an interest in accepting gifts and favors to increase personal income and wealth; each makes an estimate of the likelihood of detection and punishment; and a certain rate of corrupt exchanges is the result.

This line of thought once again makes corruption a feature of the actors and their calculations. But it is important to note that organizations themselves have features that make corrupt exchanges either more likely or less likely ( link , link ). Some organizations are corruption-resistant in ways in which others are corruption-neutral or corruption-enhancing. These features include internal accounting and auditing procedures; whistle-blowing practices; executive and supervisor vigilance; and other organizational features. Further, governments and systems of law can make arrangements that discourage corruption; the incidence of corruption is influenced by public policy. For example, legal requirements on transparency in financial practices by firms, investment in investigatory resources in oversight agencies, and weighty penalties to companies found guilty of corrupt practices can affect the incidence of corruption. (Robert Klitgaard's treatment of corruption is relevant here; he provides careful analysis of some of the institutional and governmental measures that can be taken that discourage corrupt practices; link , link . And there are cross-country indices of corruption (e.g. Transparency International ) that demonstrate the causal effectiveness of anti-corruption measures at the state level. Finland, Norway, and Switzerland rank well on the Transparency International index.)

So -- is corruption a thing? Does corruption need to be included in a social ontology? Does a realist ontology of government and business organization have a place for corruption? Yes, yes, and yes. Corruption is a real property of individual actors' behavior, observable in social life. It is a consequence of strategic rationality by various actors. Corruption is a social practice with its own supporting or inhibiting culture. Some organizations effectively espouse a core set of values of honesty and correct performance that make corruption less frequent. And corruption is a feature of the design of an organization or bureau, analogous to "mean-time-between-failure" as a feature of a mechanical design. Organizations can adopt institutional protections and cultural commitments that minimize corrupt behavior, while other organizations fail to do so and thereby encourage corrupt behavior. So "corruption-vulnerability" is a real feature of organizations and corruption has a social reality.

[Nov 27, 2018] The political fraud of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal"

Highly recommended!
After Democratic party was co-opted by neoliberals there is no way back. And since Obama the trend of Democratic Party is toward strengthening the wing of CIA-democratic notthe wing of the party friendly to workers. Bought by Wall Street leadership is uncable of intruting any change that undermine thier current neoliberal platform. that's why they criminally derailed Sanders.
Notable quotes:
"... When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism. ..."
"... To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!" ..."
"... "Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad." ..."
"... "It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party." ..."
"... "And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats ..."
"... It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class. ..."
"... First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious! ..."
"... from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/... ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Raymond Colison4 days ago

they literally ripped this out of the 2016 Green Party platform. Jill Stein spoke repeatedly about the same exact kind of Green New Deal, a full-employment, transition-to-100%-renewables program that would supposedly solve all the world's problems.

When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism.

In 2016, when the Greens made this their central economic policy proposal, the Democrats responded by calling that platform irresponsible and dangerous ("even if it's a good idea, you can't actually vote for a non-two-party candidate!"). Why would they suddenly find a green new deal appealing now except for its true purpose: left cover for the very system destroying the planet.

To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!"

Greg4 days ago
"Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad."

Their political position not only lacks seriousness, unserious is their political position.

"It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party."

For subjective-idealists, what you want to believe, think and feel is just so much more convincing than objective reality. Especially when it covers over single-minded class interests at play.

"And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats

Penny Smith4 days ago
It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class.
Jim Bergren4 days ago
First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious!

Only an International Socialist program led by Workers can truly lead a "green revolution" by expropriating the billionaire oil barons of their capital and redirecting that wealth into the socialist reconstruction of the entire economy.

Master Oroko4 days ago
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal" is a nice laugh. Really, it sure is funny hearing these lies given any credence at all. This showmanship belongs in a fantasy book, not in real life. The Democratic Party as a force for good social change Now that's a laugh!
Vivek Jain4 days ago
from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/...
лидия5 days ago
"Greenwashing" of capitalism (and also of Zionist apartheid colony in Palestine) is but one of dirty tricks by Dems and their "left" backers.
Kalen5 days ago
Lies, empty promises, meaningless tautologies and morality plays, qualified and conditional declarations to be backpedalled pending appropriate political expediencies, devoid any practical content that is what AOC, card carrying member of DSA, and in fact young energetic political apparatchik of calcified political body of Dems establishment, duty engulfs. And working for socialist revolution is no one of them.

What kind of socialist would reject socialist revolution, class struggle and class emancipation and choose, as a suppose socialist path, accommodation with oligarchic ruling elite via political, not revolutionary process that would have necessarily overthrown ruling elite.

What socialist would acquiesce to legalized exploitation of people for profit, legalized greed and inequality and would negotiate away fundamental principle of egalitarianism and working people self rule?

Only National Socialist would; and that is exactly what AOC campaign turned out to be all about.

National Socialism with imperial flavor is her affiliation and what her praises for Pelosi, wife of a billionaire and dead warmonger McCain proved.

Now she is peddling magical thinking about global change and plunge herself into falacy of entrepreneurship, Market solution to the very problem that the market solutions were designed to create and aggravate namely horrific inequality that is robbing people from their own opportunities to mitigate devastating effects of global change.

The insidiousness of phony socialists expresses itself in the fact that they lie that any social problem can be fixed by current of future technical means, namely via so called technological revolution instead by socialist revolution they deem unnecessary or detrimental.

Me at home Kalen4 days ago
The technical means for achieving socialism has existed since the late 19th century, with the telegraph, the coal-powered factory, and modern fertilizer. The improvements since then have only made socialism even more streamlined and efficient, if such technologies could only be liberated from capital! The idea that "we need a new technological revolution just to achieve socialism" reflects the indoctrination in capitalism by many "socialist" theorists because it is only in capitalism where "technological growth" is essential simply to maintain the system. It is only in capitalism (especially America, the most advanced capitalist nation, and thus, the one where capitalism is actually closest towards total crisis) where the dogma of a technological savior is most entrenched because America cannot offer any other kind of palliative to the more literate and productive sections of its population. Religion will not convince most and any attempt at a sociological or economic understanding would inevitably prove the truth of socialism.

[Nov 23, 2018] Kunstler Exposes The Core Truth Of The 2016 Russia Collusion Story

Notable quotes:
"... For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth. ..."
"... For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth. ..."
Nov 23, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kunstler Exposes "The Core Truth" Of The 2016 Russia Collusion Story

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/23/2018 - 15:25 23 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com, Holiday Doings And Undoings

Somehow I doubt that this Christmas will win the Bing Crosby star of approval. Rather, we see the financial markets breaking under the strain of sustained institutionalized fraud, and the social fabric tearing from persistent systemic political dishonesty. It adds up to a nation that can't navigate through reality, a nation too dependent on sure things, safe spaces, and happy outcomes. Every few decades a message comes from the Universe that faking it is not good enough.

The main message from the financials is that the global debt barge has run aground, and with it, the global economy. That mighty engine has been chugging along on promises-to-pay and now the faith that sustained those promises is dissolving. China, Euroland, and the USA can't possibly meet their tangled obligations, and are running out of tricks for rigging, gaming, and jacking the bond markets, where all those promises are vested. It boils down to a whole lot of people not getting paid, one way or the other -- and it's really bad for business.

Our President has taken full credit for the bubblicious markets, of course, and will be Hooverized as they gurgle around the drain. Given his chimerical personality, he may try to put on an FDR mask -- perhaps even sit in a wheelchair -- and try a few grand-scale policy tricks to escape the vortex. But the net effect will surely be to make matters worse -- for instance, if he can hector the Federal Reserve to buy every bond that isn't nailed to some deadly derivative booby-trap. But then he'll only succeed in crashing the dollar. Remember, there are two main ways you can go broke: You can run out of money; or you can have plenty of worthless money.

On the social and political scene, I sense that some things have run their course. Is a critical mass of supposedly educated people not fatigued and nauseated by the regime of "social justice" good-think, and the massive mendacity it stands for , starting with the idea that "diversity and inclusion" require the shut-down of free speech. The obvious hypocrisies and violations of reason emanating from the campuses -- a lot, but not all of it, in response to the Golden Golem of Greatness -- have made enough smart people stupid to endanger the country's political future. A lot of these formerly-non-stupid people work in the news media. It's not too late for some institutions like The New York Times and CNN to change out their editors and producers, and go back to reporting the reality-du-jour instead of functioning as agit-prop mills for every unsound idea ginned through the Yale humanities departments.

Shoehorned into the festivity of the season is the lame-duck session in congress, and one of the main events it portends is the end of Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. The Sphinx-like Mueller has maintained supernatural silence about his tendings and intentions. But if he'd uncovered anything substantial in the way of "collusion" between Mr. Trump and Russia, the public would know by now, since it would represent a signal threat to national security. So it's hard not to conclude that he has nothing except a few Mickey Mouse "process" convictions for lying to the FBI. On the other hand, it's quite impossible to imagine him ignoring the well-documented evidence trail of Hillary Clinton colluding with Russians to influence the 2016 contest against Mr. Trump -- and to defame him after he won. There's also the Hieronymus Bosch panorama of criminal mischief around the racketeering scheme known as the Clinton Foundation to consider. Do these venal characters get a pass on all that?

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) has announced plans to call Federal Attorney John Huber (Utah District) to testify about his assignment to look into these Clinton matters. It's a little hard to see how that might produce any enlightenment, since prosecutors are bound by law to not blab about currently open cases. The committee has also subpoenaed former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey, and others who have some serious 'splainin' to do. But if both Huber and Mueller come up empty-handed on the Clintons it will be one of the epic marvels of official bad faith in US history.

There is a core truth to the 2016 Russia collusion story, and the Clintons are at the heart of it. Failure to even look will have very dark consequences for the public interest.


XWeatherman , 40 seconds ago link

It ought to be obvious to just about everyone who is paying attention and not a Corporate-Whore Democrat that the "The Russians Did It" delusion and the accompanying Mueller "investigation" is only a distraction to draw attention away from the obvious and numerous crimeS of H. Clinton, including running an electronic drop-box for U.S. state secrets using a server in her basement, charity fraud, pay-to-play bribe-taking, the uranium to Russia case, etc. And, that's not counting the inexcusable Unprovoked War of Aggression WAR CRIME against Libya. (Of course, she had an excuse: "Destroy a country in order to save a few "protesters".

Mueller is the Deep State (Corporations [especially Military Industrial Complex Death-Merchants, who direct the politicians and foreign policy actions (continual War-For-Humongous-Profits that has taken and takes multiple trillions of dollars away from potential domestic programs & Wall Street bankster-fraudsters who bankrupted the country with the lead-up to and aftermath of the 2008-2009 financial fiasco and who sent U.S. industrial production jobs to other countries] and Oligarchs who reap the profits of such crimes and their results) operative who apparently was brought in the head the FBI to fail to prevent and to coverup the real actors and actions that occurred in association with the downing of buildings at the New York City World Trade center on 9/11.

Hapa , 5 minutes ago link

Sorry, nobodies going to jail and all will be swept under the rug. We will have war to cover their tracks along with all the other frauds. The political buddy buddy system at the upper levels is set up to protect the guilty, and nobody has to pay the price lest the whole thing crumble. It's built that way.

Our only way out is a crash and a reset, with no guarantee what happens on the other side.

I used to be optimistic, but the level of lies, double speak and university factories pumping out marxist leftists portends a bleak future. How anyone thinks we can reason our way out of this situation is fooling themselves about human nature.

SantaClaws , 6 minutes ago link

Nice to see Kunstler focusing on some serious issues like the Uranium One scandal for a change. He seems to be on the concluding end of a cold-turkey or other rehab from some long-term unholy influence. As a result, he has been producing increasingly readable articles for the past several months. Congratulations are due him but with the warning that recovery is always one day at a time.

VWAndy , 7 minutes ago link

Did the Clintons go on a world tour like some kinda rockstars selling us all out?

An nobody said ****!

He–Mene Mox Mox , 14 minutes ago link

" Remember, there are two main ways you can go broke: You can run out of money; or you can have plenty of worthless money". Both pretty much sums up America's predicament. Americans are deep in debt, and their money is worthless.

MarsInScorpio , 1 minute ago link

OK.let's try this for speculative prediction:

Mueller isn't going to touch the Clintons - they have way too much criminal dirt on him. And Huber is an unknown lightweight with no Malicious Seditious Media support.

Sooooo . . . there is only one thing to do once the new Congress takes its oath: Trump gets DOJ Acting AG to appoint the long-awaited Special Prosecutor.

There are more than enough recognized felonies to go after - unlike the Mueller fishing expedition. That will put the Democrat investigation on ice - mainly because lots of Demo chairs and members will be part of the investigation.

"Yes Virginia, Hillary is going to prison . . .:"

navy62802 , 34 minutes ago link

Any serious investigation of the Clinton Foundation would reveal that "Russian Collusion" has everything to do with distraction from the crimes of the Clinton family. The fact that Bill and Hillary have escaped accountability for their heinous crimes is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in US history. It is truly quite frightening.

The Merovingian , 34 minutes ago link

There is a reason why the DOJ, Congress (both parties), MSM, the MIC, the Deep State don't want ANYONE to look into corruption ... because they are ALL ******* guilty as sin and buried neck deep in ****. Its long past time for the whole ******* thing to come down. We're all fucked.

Jim in MN , 13 minutes ago link

Weiner laptop For The Win. Give us that hard drive, Mr. President! We'll have it all analyzed in one weekend.

Meanwhile, Seth Rich awaits Mueller's OH SO DILIGENT investigation.

Can you believe that the 'core' of Mueller's 'case' ends up being about WIKILEAKS?

What the serious ****.

If he's done zero serious looks at Seth Rich all Mueller's work will just be thrown out of court anyway.

Ham sandwich my fat turkey-enriched ***.

For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth.

chippers , 40 minutes ago link

This guy is dreaming if he thinks anything is going to happen to the clintons, the MSM/DOJ is protected those 2 scumbags with the line that if they are investigated trump is going after his political opponents, just like a banana republic. But truthfully nothing reaks more of banana repubicism more then letting the high and mighty of on crimes.

chunga , 12 minutes ago link

I'd like to give a shout out to the "opposition" red team that has sat by and done nothing for more than 30 years.

And for you dopes in Rio Linda, that doesn't mean I'd rather have Honest Hill'rey, for crying out loud.

Bricker , 41 minutes ago link

Theres only one truth...Hillary and Co (CIA) colluded to bring down Trump and Trump kicked the **** out of her.

If we had a true republic, Hillary, Holder, Lynch, Obama, Clapper, Brennan, Lerner would all be under indictment. I mean the ******* list is long

pissonmefico , 19 minutes ago link

If they weren't all on the same side, that of the international bankster cabal, Trump would order his justice department to prosecute those people you mentioned.

The purpose of the Russia investigation is to fool you into thinking there are two sides, and to demonized Russia to create public opinion in favor of attacking Russia because it is not on board with the jwo totalitarian world government. WTFU.

navy62802 , 28 minutes ago link

For decades, it has been rumored that the Clintons have FBI files on most members of Congress and use these files for blackmail purposes. Given the events of the past few years, I actually believe this rumor to be grounded in truth.

Teamtc321 , 24 minutes ago link

Mueller long ago gave up the fruitless hunt for Russian collusion involving President Trump and is now desperately seeking overdue library books or unpaid parking tickets on anyone remotely connected to President Trump to justify his mooching taxpayer dollars.

[Nov 22, 2018] House GOP 'Working With Whistleblowers' In Clinton Foundation Probe

Nov 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

House Republicans will hear testimony on December 5 from the prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation, according to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).

Meadows - chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on Government Operations, told The Hill that it's time to "circle back" to former Utah Attorney General John Huber's probe with the Justice Department into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in improper activities, reports The Hill .

"Mr. [John] Huber with the Department of Justice and the FBI has been having an investigation – at least part of his task was to look at the Clinton Foundation and what may or may not have happened as it relates to improper activity with that charitable foundation , so we've set a hearing date for December the 5th.," Meadows told Hill.TV on Wednesday.

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

Meadows says the questions will include whether any tax-exempt proceeds were used for personal gain and whether the Foundation adhered to IRS laws.

Sessions appointed Huber last year to work in tandem with the Justice Department to look into conservative claims of misconduct at the FBI and review several issues surrounding the Clintons. This includes Hillary Clinton 's ties to a Russian nuclear agency and concerns about the Clinton Foundation.

Huber's work has remained shrouded in mystery . The White House has released little information about Huber's assignment other than Session's address to Congress saying his appointed should address concerns raised by Republicans. - The Hill

According to a report by the Dallas Observer last November, the Clinton Foundation has been under investigation by the IRS since July, 2016.

Meadows says that it's time for Huber to update Congress concerning his findings, and "expects him to be one of the witnesses at the hearing," per The Hill . Additionally Meadows said that his committee is trying to secure testimonies from whistleblowers who can provide more information about potential wrongdoing surrounding the Clinton Foundation .

" We're just now starting to work with a couple of whistleblowers that would indicate that there is a great probability, of significant improper activity that's happening in and around the Clinton Foundation ," he added.

The Clinton Foundation - also under FBI investigation out of the Arkansas field office, has denied any wrongdoing.

Launched in January, the Arkansas FBI probe, is focused on pay-for-play schemes and tax code violations , according to The Hill at the time, citing law enforcement officials and a witness who wishes to remain anonymous.

The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes .

The probe may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the Foundation complied with applicable tax laws , the officials said. - The Hill

The witness who was interviewed by Little Rock FBI agents said that questions focused on "government decisions and discussions of donations to Clinton entities during the time Hillary Clinton led President Obama's State Department," and that the agents were "extremely professional and unquestionably thorough."

[Nov 21, 2018] Is Ivanka really that stupid

Notable quotes:
"... The content of the email is irrelevant to me. It's the appearance of the same disregard for rules that the rest of the swamp displays ..."
Nov 21, 2018 | the-fringe.com

The content of the email is irrelevant to me. It's the appearance of the same disregard for rules that the rest of the swamp displays . Of course she wasn't sending special access info, setting up her own server or trying to bypass FOIA. It's unprofessional and unnecessary. Nothing good can come from it.

RE: Is Ivanka really that stupid? (Posted: Yesterday, 02:59 PM) (This post was last modified: Yesterday, 03:02 PM by Dr Evil .)
(Yesterday, 01:47 PM)Яudis Wrote: I got this feeling She Is BAITING the Dems!

And I bet the Content of these Emails is Exceeding Low Security!

I Mean its NOT like She Bought a BlackBerry CellPhone/Email Server and 26 Blackberry Phones!
For her self and all her aids, So Send Top Security Government SECRETS!
To AVOID Using Gov Devices and Servers! Then Used BleachBit to SCRUB THe DRIVES!
Then Started SMASHING Laptops and Phones With Sledge Hammers!

I don't SEE Ivanka Murdering over 30 People to Cover a Career In CRIME and Corruption!

She is definitely baiting them. This is the statement from her spokesman:
Quote: Later today Ivanka's spokesman, Peter Mirijanian, released a blistering statement to the liberal anti-Trump press.

"Like most people, before entering into government service, Ms. Trump used a private email. When she entered the government, she was given a government email account for official use. While transitioning into government, until the White House provided her the same guidance they had to others who started before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her private account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family.

To address misinformation being peddled about Ms. Trump's personal email, she did not create a private server in her house or office, there was never classified information transmitted, the account was never transferred or housed at Trump Organization, no emails were ever deleted, and the emails have been retained in the official account in conformity with records preservation laws and rules.

When concerns were raised in the press 14 months ago, Ms. Trump reviewed and verified her email use with White House Counsel and explained the issue to congressional leaders. "

Note how that statement carefully mentions all the major crimes Killary committed in relation to her server. That's not an accident.

They're going to let the idiot media go on and on and on about this. Then sometime within the recent memory of the sheeple one of the Senate committees will release all the material on Killary's server and the sheeple will believe it since it comes from govt sources and they will wait expectantly for their beloved MSM to cover it as extensively as they covered Ivanka and they will witness nothing of the sort and millions of them will finally realise they've been being played like idiots by the media and because people hate that they will become very angry and that anger will drive them to review in their minds everything the media's been telling them since Trump was elected and when it's all over the Great Awakening will have a few million more converts. You need about 10% of the people to get on board with something before it becomes an avalanche because that's approximately the threshold where enough people in the office know the same things you do that you feel safe voicing your opinions at the water cooler without fear of ridicule.

That seems to be the plan and it'd be very interesting to know who leaked this to whom in the media because clearly this was a leak because otherwise why haven't the media previously covered it? Nothing is more vigorously defended than a vested interest disguised as an intellectual conviction.

[Nov 07, 2018] Watch final episodes of Al Jazeera film on US Israeli ashkanazim lobby issue

Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

simple simon , Nov 7, 2018 11:12:27 AM | link

Watch final episodes of Al Jazeera film on US Israeli ashkanazim lobby issue


https://electronicintifada.net/content/watch-final-episodes-al-jazeera-film-us-israel-lobby/25896?utm_source=EI+readers&utm_campaign=c3d1a51557-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e802a7602d-c3d1a51557-299210457

[Nov 06, 2018] 'Somebody' made fradulent promises and put people in danger to acheive some political goal. Sounds like Clintons or Soros.

Notable quotes:
"... "a group called CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project" a group that has received funding from Soros, to Pueblo Sin Fronteras through a person named 'Alex Mensing' who works both for CARA and as "an on-the ground coordinator in Mexico for the Pueblo Sin Fronteras". ..."
"... ..A vital part of that expansion has involved money: major donations from some of the nation's wealthiest liberal foundations, including the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Open Society Foundations of the financier George Soros, and the Atlantic Philanthropies. Over the past decade those donors have invested more than $300 million in immigrant organizations, including many fighting for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally.... ..."
"... US based groups or cutouts are the organizers of the caravan. ..."
"... The list of Democratic Party-connected organizations that might have originated the idea of a caravan from Central America is small. I surmise Clinton Global Initiative because they would have the requisite connections and blaming Soros seems to easy and convenient. But Soros is also rumored to be behind support for European migrants so it's certainly possible. ..."
Nov 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 2:28:56 PM | link

How did this group of thousands come together to walk to US were Trump has vowed to keep illegals out. People like this would naturally come together if they were catching a ship, or at some sort of aid post refugee camp ect.

After a search on caravan starting point, I found this at the Guardian.

"Who organized the caravan?
In interviews, Honduran members of the group said that they learned about the caravan from Facebook posts, and a report on the local HCH television station, which erroneously suggested that a former congressman and radio host would cover the costs of the journey.
After that, rumours spread quickly, including the mistaken promise that any member would be given asylum in the US. Darwin Ramos, 30, said he was desperate to flee threats from a local drug gang, and when news of the caravan reached his neighbourhood, he seized on it as his best chance to escape."
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/24/caravan-migrants-what-is-it-where-from-guatemala-honduras-immigrants-mexico


Uh huh. 'Somebody' made mistaken promises.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 4:06:27 PM | link

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pueblo_Sin_Fronteras
"Pueblo Sin Fronteras (en: People without Borders) is an immigration rights group known for organizing several high profile migrant caravans in Mexico and Central America. The organization's efforts to facilitate immigration and calls for open borders attracted considerable amounts of coverage in the Mexican and American media."

Pueblo Sin Fronteras website. Zero information there other than the have bases or offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tijuana in Mexico.
https://www.pueblosinfronteras.org/commitees.html
No information on who they are or who funds them. Very much a political organization.
On two caravans like this have occurred, both organized by this shadowy group.
Slow moving lots of press coverage that can last for weeks so long as the peasant suckers stay suckers and don't pull out. Very much an anti Trump political show put on by whoever funds and controls this Pueblo Sin Fronteras organisation.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 4:34:48 PM | link
Centro Sin Fronteras is the parent group to Pueblo Sin Fronteras.
https://www.influencewatch.org/non-profit/centro-sin-fronteras/
"Elvira Arellano, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, former fugitive from U.S. immigration authorities, and activist for illegal immigrants in the U.S., formed the activist group La Familia Latina Unida ("The United Latin Family") as an expansion of the Centro Sin Fronteras. [7] La Familia Latina Unida runs Pueblo Sin Fronteras ("People Without Borders"), a group that organizes "migrant caravans" from Mexico and Latin America to cross the U.S. border illegally"

CSF website here https://fluenglish.wordpress.com/about/
Again nothing on who finances them.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 4:41:49 PM | link
The majority of people in the caravan may be leaving their own countries due to violence poverty ect, but the caravan itself is a manufactured political event. left to their own devices, some may have moved towards the US in small groups, others would have been deterred due to Trumps immigration policy, but they have joined this so called caravan on false promises made by the organisers. Nothing better than kids, women and oldies doing it tough or better yet dying for political media coverage.
dh-mtl , Nov 5, 2018 5:26:11 PM | link
Peter AU 1 | Nov 5, 2018 4:34:48 PM | 73 says:

"Again nothing on who finances them. (Pueblo Sin Fronteras)"


This article, published the last time that Pueblo Sin Fronteras was in the headlines, ( https://joeforamerica.com/2018/04/whos-really-behind-the-illegal-immigrants-the-migrant-caravan-and-pueblo-sin-fronteras/) links "a group called CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project" a group that has received funding from Soros, to Pueblo Sin Fronteras through a person named 'Alex Mensing' who works both for CARA and as "an on-the ground coordinator in Mexico for the Pueblo Sin Fronteras".

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 5:41:08 PM | link
Sleepy "If they request asylum, their entry is legal"

If they get into the US, immediately present themselves to authorities and request asylum, then their entry is deemed legal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_Relating_to_the_Status_of_Refugees
US has signed up to the 1967 protocol but not the 1951 convention.

As for the politically organized caravan, the peasants have officially been offered a home in Mexico, but the organizers prefer them to go on to the US. As they have been offered a place in mexico, they are now economic migrants wanting greener pastures in the US rather than refugees.

The peasants themselves, I think are mostly genuine though organizers are mixed through the group. The peasants are no more than consumables in a political action.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 6:16:23 PM | link
The money.

. ..A vital part of that expansion has involved money: major donations from some of the nation's wealthiest liberal foundations, including the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Open Society Foundations of the financier George Soros, and the Atlantic Philanthropies. Over the past decade those donors have invested more than $300 million in immigrant organizations, including many fighting for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally....
https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/15/us/obama-immigration-policy-changes.html

Pft , Nov 5, 2018 6:36:34 PM | link
How can people not see this caravan march as the obvious false flag it is to influence the election. The actors are being paid and busses have been mobilized and paid for to move them forward. The right says Soros money might be behind it and they may be right. Surprised the left has not blamed Putin. Which proves my point that the left is actively conspiring with the right the keep them in power. Why wouldnt they care?. As Caitlin Johnstone says, after I said it, they get paid the same no matter what. As part of a 2 party monopoly,with 2 parties the minimum to serve the illusion of a representative Democracy,the oiligarchs will continue to throw money to the loser.

This has been scripted well in advance. Republicans need to maintain both houses for the 2nd stage of Trumps destruction of America (credibility and finance), especially its government and middle class as the elite will be protected from the damage. Democrats are standing on the sidelines rambling about Russia Gate or Khashoggi Gate or mobilizing their forces to support gay marriages and transgender access to bathrooms. And to boot they bring out Hillary and Obama at the last moment to bash Trump to galvanize the rights voters even more. No other purpose for doing so.

To be sure, a Democratic win means nothing except perhaps as a poor proxy for a lack of support for Trump. 40% of their candidates come from the military or intelligence services. They are owned by the oligarchs as much as tbe Republicans. The only difference in the parties is the costumes they wear and the rhetoric the speak

Or perhaps its as simple as not wanting to share responsibility for what is to come as their best shot to win in 2020

Frankly the best outcome would be the decimation of the Democrat Party and its subsequent dissolution. Lets end the farce of a Democracy. One party for all. Hail Trump or whomever he appoints as his successor, or just let the elites vote and announce who they voted for every 4 years. Thats pretty much what the constitution meant for us to be doing anyways. The idea of a Direct vote by all citizens for President and Senate would have horrified them. Seeing the results of elections these past 40 years I have concluded they are right.


Jackrabbit , Nov 5, 2018 6:42:21 PM | link
b, RJPJR, Jay, Yeah Right, et al

Invaders or Dupes? Have the caravan migrants been misled?

While it's true that anyone can request asylum, the caravan migrants appear to be under the impression that they have a legitimate claim to asylum in USA because they are fleeing gang violence in their home country. That is very likely to be untrue.

Such a claim MIGHT be valid in countries that have signed the Cartagena Declaration and ratified it into law - but the US has not. The Declaration expands the definition of refugees to include:

"persons who have fled their country because their lives, security or freedom have been threatened by generalized violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights or other circumstances which have seriously disturbed public order".

The Brazil Declaration is an effort to expand the Cartegena Declaration . The USA is also not involved in this effort either, though I believe that they have "observer" status.

FYI
The 1951 UN Convention as amended defines a refugee as someone with a "well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion" . The caravan stories I have heard are unlikely to qualify under this definition.

Some countries that have loads of asylum seekers have set up camps to hold them. Some, like Australia, even have camps in foreign countries. Trump's talk of setting up tents implies that USA will also establish such camps. Life in these camps is likely to be uncomfortable and unproductive. Only those will genuine asylum claims would tough it out.

Grieved , Nov 5, 2018 7:40:05 PM | link
How telling it is that when we disagree on the nature of the Caravan, we fall into an either-or choice between 2 absolutes. Either it is a complete hoax from the ground up, or it's a completely authentic grass-roots happening.

But we have seen enough color revolutions to understand that there is always an authentic component to each one. I have commented several times on how delicately the CIA and other organizers of color revolutions symbiotically fuse with good and authentic people who have a noble cause. How these bad people can merge with such good people is a wonder to me.

But this itself is the fact that must demolish the partisan thinking of "one side or the other". It's clear that the people who run things and their henchmen who arrange things are marvelously nuanced when it comes to good and evil. They'll be good when it suits them and evil for the same reason, and treat people well and badly, all depending on the exigencies of the mission.

In simple words, there undoubtedly is a core heart to the population of the caravan that is good, hopeful, enterprising and industrious, and that hopes to receive just one little break from the world, and a sliver of social justice. This radiating core of goodness and humanity, which would break open the hearts of ordinary people like you and me, to the organizers and their fixers is simply the perfect place to hide, concealed by superb protective coloration.

Take a look at the Maidan in Ukraine, and see how many good people thought they were fighting to create a wonderful new world, until the snipers fired on both sides and brought off the color revolution with superb skill and complete amoral ruthlessness - all as a result of long planning and preparation, not to mention the cash to hire mercenaries and provide the best logistics.

So I personally will stand by my thought that we will see what this is when the shooters begin to provoke the violence. And if that happens, then sadly, it will be the innocents who again, as always, are massacred.

But if the US handles it well, and permits controlled entry under the supervision of the border authorities, and there are no shooters and no provocations coming either from the Caravan people - or from some other force off to the side that doesn't seem to belong to anyone, but which seems to be the cause of death to both sides - then this will all fizzle out as another political skirmish of short duration, and the Democrats and Republicans will move on to their next diversions.

RJPJR , Nov 5, 2018 7:47:23 PM | link
Posted by: Grieved | Nov 5, 2018 7:40:05 PM | 97

You wrote: "Either it is a complete hoax from the ground up, or it's a completely authentic grass-roots happening."

I am inclined to believe that it is both, to wit an authentic grass-roots happening that has been hijacked (like so many others) by interested parties for their own ends.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 5, 2018 6:59:25 PM | 95

Thanks for the link!

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 7:53:13 PM | link
Grieved 97
That's the way I'm seeing it. "But we have seen enough color revolutions to understand that there is always an authentic component to each one. I have commented several times on how delicately the CIA and other organizers of color revolutions symbiotically fuse with good and authentic people who have a noble cause. How these bad people can merge with such good people is a wonder to me."

Well put, not only the above paragragh but the whole comment. Not much most of us can do to help the naive perhaps desperate people sucked in to the US political caravan but we should at least be exposing those who are exploiting and furthingf their misery for political purposes.

Jackrabbit , Nov 5, 2018 8:27:50 PM | link
RJPJR:
I am inclined to believe that it is both, to wit an authentic grass-roots happening that has been hijacked ...

I think it is fake as per info @93.

The caravan people are real and hopeful of a better life but they have been duped into believing that they could get asylum.

Pft , Nov 5, 2018 8:40:05 PM | link
Nemesiscalling@94

Requirement for any President or political leader is to be a good actor. I believe they simply follow a script prepared by the real rulers operating in the shadows. Maybe I am wrong. Its like fake wrestling as Caitlin Johnstone pointed out. You have to be a good actor and pretend to care while actually making sure you qlose if the script calls for it

Jackrabbit@100

Its true they have been duped but the point is that desparate and poor people rarely work together spontaneously in an organized fashion and a caravan such as this must be organized and paid for. Someone is feeding them. The timing is too good to be true. Obviously they have been promised something, asylum, money or whatever and assured of their safety. To determine who is behind it you simply need to look at who benefits.

Jackrabbit , Nov 5, 2018 9:35:42 PM | link
Pft

@91 you wrote: The actors are being paid ...

When discussing this caravan "false flag", many people will dismiss "conspiracy theories" that involve paid actors.

RJPJR @98 thought the caravan an an "authentic grass-roots happening that has been hi-jacked" . But that theory is also unsatisfying. As you point out (Pft), it is strange that ordinary people organize themselves to make a march like the caravan.

The best explanation is that people were organized to make the march by local groups [connected to Clinton Global Initiative?] which got PAID to do so. These trusted local groups then told the marchers that: 1) they would get support along the way, and 2) that they have a good/great chance of actually getting asylum.

Organizers would not want a member of the caravan to tell a reporter that the march was fake, or that they are paid. But it has been reported that "well wishers" have given the marchers food and money. And the press has not questioned that support. And the marchers seem to have a genuine belief that they qualify for asylum. Such a belief would be easy to instill in poor, uneducated people who can be easily duped into believing that an international treaty like the Cartegena Declaration applies to all countries.

Peter AU 1 , Nov 5, 2018 9:55:29 PM | link
Jackrabbit, in my post @67 I linked the Pueblo Sin Fronteras website. When I found out about this group I looked for their website which I was able to access, and although information was sparse on this shadowy group, they proudly advertised their work on this caravan.
Since posting a link here I am now censored from that website - security exceptions blah blah.
Not local globalist groups but US based groups or cutouts are the organizers of the caravan.
Jackrabbit , Nov 5, 2018 10:24:10 PM | link
Peter AU1

Good detective work!

But my hunch is that the trail ends with a one or more local groups that are known to people in the area. These poor people basically had to be sold a 'bill of goods'. That's difficult unless you are known/trusted (have a "brand" like Coca-Cola).

There would be several intermediary groups. Maybe a large in-country charity with US connections? And one or more groups outside the country (US, Mexico, even EU) that are connected to / get funding and direction from a major US group.

Let's face it, whoever was behind this would not want the caravan to be connected to back to group with US political connections. And it's probably unlikely that we will find any 'smoking gun' that does that.

The list of Democratic Party-connected organizations that might have originated the idea of a caravan from Central America is small. I surmise Clinton Global Initiative because they would have the requisite connections and blaming Soros seems to easy and convenient. But Soros is also rumored to be behind support for European migrants so it's certainly possible.

It really the same reasoning that led b to suspect that it was CIA/MI6 that foiled assassination plot in Denmark, not Mossad.

[Nov 05, 2018] Scum vs. Scum by Chris Hedge

Hell is empty and all the devils are here. ~William Shakespeare
Notable quotes:
"... Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother? ..."
"... One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats. ..."
"... "In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs. ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

There is perhaps no better illustration of the deep decay of the American political system than the Senate race in New Jersey. Sen. Bob Menendez, running for re-election, was censured by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting bribes from the Florida businessman Salomon Melgen, who was convicted in 2017 of defrauding Medicare of $73 million. The senator had flown to the Dominican Republic with Melgen on the physician's private jet and stayed in his private villa, where the men cavorted with young Dominican women who allegedly were prostitutes. Menendez performed numerous political favors for Melgen, including helping some of the Dominican women acquire visas to the United States. Menendez was indicted in a federal corruption trial but escaped sentencing because of a hung jury.

Menendez has a voting record as sordid as most Democrats'. He supported the $716 billion military spending bill, along with 85 percent of his fellow Senate Democrats. He signed a letter , along with other Democratic leaders, calling for steps to extradite Julian Assange to stand trial in the United States. The senator, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is owned by the lobby for Israel -- a country that routinely and massively interferes in our elections -- and supported moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He helped cause the 2008 global financial crisis by voting to revoke Glass-Steagall , the Depression-era law enacted to create a firewall between commercial and investment banks.

His Republican rival in the Senate race that will be decided Tuesday is Bob Hugin , whose reported net worth is at least $84 million. With Hugin as its CEO, the pharmaceutical firm Celgene made $200 million by conspiring to keep generic cancer drugs off the market, according to its critics. Celgene, a model of everything that is wrong with our for-profit health care system, paid $280 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who accused the firm of improperly marketing two drugs to treat several forms of cancer without getting Federal Drug Administration approval, thereby defrauding Medicare. Celgene, over seven years, also doubled the price of the cancer drug Revlimid to some $20,000 for a supply of 28 pills.

The Senate campaign in New Jersey has seen no discussion of substantive issues. It is dominated by both candidates' nonstop personal attacks and negative ads, part of the typical burlesque of American politics.

Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother?

One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats.

The securities and finance industry has backed Democratic congressional candidates 63 percent to 37 percent over Republicans, according to data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics . Democratic candidates and political action committees have received $56.8 million, compared with Republicans' $33.4 million, the center reported. The broader sector of finance, insurance and real estate, it found, has given $174 million to Democratic candidates, against $157 million to Republicans. And Michael Bloomberg , weighing his own presidential run, has pledged $100 million to elect a Democratic Congress.

"In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs.

Our system of legalized bribery is an equal-opportunity employer.

Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for it.

Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.

The Democrats, who refuse to address the social inequality they helped orchestrate and that has given rise to Trump, are the party of racial and ethnic inclusivity, identity politics, Wall Street and the military. Their core battle cry is: We are not Trump! This is ultimately a losing formula. It was adopted by Hillary Clinton, who is apparently weighing another run for the presidency after we thought we had thrust a stake through her political heart. It is the agenda of the well-heeled East Coast and West Coast elites who want to instill corporate fascism with a friendly face.

... ... ...

[Nov 03, 2018] Kunstler The Midterm Endgame Democrats' Perpetual Hysteria

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic Party split into a four-headed monster comprised of Wall Street patrons seeking favors, war hawks and their corporate allies looking for new global rumbles, the permanent bureaucracy looking to always expand itself, and the various ethnic and sexual minorities whose needs and grievances are serviced by that bureaucracy. It's the last group that has become the party's most public face while the party's other activities – many of them sinister -- remain at least partially concealed. ..."
"... the Republicans are being forced to engage on some real issues, such as the need for a coherent and effective immigration policy and the need to redefine formal trade relations. (Other issues like the insane system of medical racketeering and the deadly racket of the college loan industry just skate along on thin ice. And then, of course, there's the national debt and all its grotesque outgrowths.) ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has become the party of bad ideas and bad faith, starting with the position that "diversity and inclusion" means shutting down free speech, an unforgivable transgression against common sense and common decency. It's a party that lies even more systematically than Mr. Trump, and does so knowingly (as when Google execs say they "Do no Evil"). Its dirty secret is that it relishes coercion, it likes pushing people around, telling them what to think and how to act. Its idea of "social justice" is a campus kangaroo court, where due process of law is suspended. And it is deeply corrupt, with good old-fashioned grift, new-fashioned gross political misconduct in federal law enforcement, and utter intellectual depravity in higher education. ..."
"... I hope that the party is shoved into an existential crisis and is forced to confront its astounding dishonesty. I hope that the process prompts them to purge their leadership across the board. ..."
Nov 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kunstler: The Midterm Endgame & Democrats' "Perpetual Hysteria"

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/02/2018 - 17:05 44 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Back in the last century, when this was a different country, the Democrats were the "smart" party and the Republicans were the "stupid" party.

How did that work?

Well, back then the Democrats represented a broad middle class, with a base of factory workers, many of them unionized, and the party had to be smart, especially in the courts, to overcome the natural advantages of the owner class.

In contrast, the Republicans looked like a claque of country club drunks who staggered home at night to sleep on their moneybags. Bad optics, as we say nowadays.

The Democrats also occupied the moral high ground as the champion of the little guy. If not for the Dems, factory workers would be laboring twelve hours a day and children would still be maimed in the machinery. Once the relationship between business and labor was settled in the 1950s, the party moved on to a new crusade on even loftier moral high ground: civil rights, aiming to correct arrant and long-lived injustices against downtrodden black Americans. That was a natural move, considering America's self-proclaimed post-war status as the world's Beacon of Liberty. It had to be done and a political consensus that included Republicans got it done. Consensus was still possible.

The Dems built their fortress on that high ground and fifty years later they find themselves prisoners in it. The factory jobs all vamoosed overseas. The middle class has been pounded into penury and addiction.

The Democratic Party split into a four-headed monster comprised of Wall Street patrons seeking favors, war hawks and their corporate allies looking for new global rumbles, the permanent bureaucracy looking to always expand itself, and the various ethnic and sexual minorities whose needs and grievances are serviced by that bureaucracy. It's the last group that has become the party's most public face while the party's other activities – many of them sinister -- remain at least partially concealed.

The Republican Party has, at least, sobered up some after getting blindsided by Trump and Trumpism. Like a drunk out of rehab, it's attempting to get a life. Two years in, the party marvels at Mr. Trump's audacity, despite his obvious lack of savoir faire. And despite a longstanding lack of political will to face the country's problems, the Republicans are being forced to engage on some real issues, such as the need for a coherent and effective immigration policy and the need to redefine formal trade relations. (Other issues like the insane system of medical racketeering and the deadly racket of the college loan industry just skate along on thin ice. And then, of course, there's the national debt and all its grotesque outgrowths.)

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has become the party of bad ideas and bad faith, starting with the position that "diversity and inclusion" means shutting down free speech, an unforgivable transgression against common sense and common decency. It's a party that lies even more systematically than Mr. Trump, and does so knowingly (as when Google execs say they "Do no Evil"). Its dirty secret is that it relishes coercion, it likes pushing people around, telling them what to think and how to act. Its idea of "social justice" is a campus kangaroo court, where due process of law is suspended. And it is deeply corrupt, with good old-fashioned grift, new-fashioned gross political misconduct in federal law enforcement, and utter intellectual depravity in higher education.

I hope that Democrats lose as many congressional and senate seats as possible. I hope that the party is shoved into an existential crisis and is forced to confront its astounding dishonesty. I hope that the process prompts them to purge their leadership across the board. If there is anything to salvage in this organization, I hope it discovers aims and principles that are unrecognizable from its current agenda of perpetual hysteria. But if the party actually blows up and disappears, as the Whigs did a hundred and fifty years ago, I will be content. Out of the terrible turbulence, maybe something better will be born.

Or, there's the possibility that the dregs of a defeated Democratic Party will just go batshit crazy and use the last of its mojo to incite actual sedition. Of course, there's also a distinct possibility that the Dems will take over congress, in which case they'll ramp up an even more horrific three-ring-circus of political hysteria and persecution that will make the Spanish Inquisition look like a backyard barbeque. That will happen as the US enters the most punishing financial train wreck in our history, an interesting recipe for epic political upheaval.

[Oct 27, 2018] The Legal Battle Behind the Trump Tower Meeting by Ken Dilanian

We say Browder, but we mean MI6. He was a part of larger plan concocted by US intelligence agencies to decimate Russia after the dissolution of the USSR. Of which Harvard mafia played even more important role. The fact that he gave up his U.S. citizenship in 1997 points to his association with MI6.
The level of distortions the US neoliberal MSM operated with in case of Magnitsky (starting with the widely repeated and factually incorrect claim that he was a lawyers, in create a sympathy; their effort to portrait shady accountant involved in tax fraud for Browder, as a fighter for justice should be described in a separate chapter on any modem book on the power of propaganda; this is simply classic ) is compatible with lies and distortions of Skripal affair and point of strong interest ion intelligence services in both.
Browder and Magnistsky affair really demonstrate that as for foreign events we already live "Matrix environment" of artificial reality created by MSM and controlled by intelligence agencies and foreign policy establishment; and that ordinary people are forced into artificial reality with little or no chance to escape.
Notable quotes:
"... Prevezon's American legal team alleged that Browder's story was full of holes -- and that the U.S. and other governments had relied on Browder's version without checking it. ..."
"... The chief American investigator, Todd Hyman of the Department of Homeland Security, testified in a deposition that much of the evidence in the government's complaint came from Browder and his associates. He also said the government had been unable to independently investigate some of Browder's claims. ..."
"... In court documents, Prevezon's lawyers alleged that Magnitsky was jailed not because he was a truth-seeker -- but because he was helping Browder's companies in tax evasion. ..."
"... The Prevezon attorneys charged that Browder "lied," and "manipulated" evidence to cover up his own tax fraud. ..."
"... The story was "contrived and skillfully sold by William F. Browder to politicians here and abroad to thwart his arrest for a tax fraud conviction in Russia," says a 2015 federal court filing by one of Prevezon's lawyers, Mark Cymrot of BakerHostetler. ..."
"... A Russian-born filmmaker named Andrei Nekrasov made a similar set of arguments in a docudrama released last year. Neither Prevezon nor the Russian government had a role in funding or making the film, both parties say, though Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin helped promote it. ..."
Jul 24, 2017 | www.nbcnews.com

As Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya tells it, she met with Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump aides in New York last summer to press her case against a widely accepted account of Russian malfeasance, one that underpins a set of sanctions against Russians.

It's a cause Veselnitskaya has been pursuing for years. So, too, has Rinat Akhmetshin, the colorful Russian-born American lobbyist she brought with her to Trump Tower.

Trump Jr., who agreed to the June 2016 meeting at the request of a Russian business associate with a promise of dirt on Hillary Clinton , has said he didn't find much to interest him in the presentation. And little wonder: The subject is a dense and tangled web, hinging on a complex case that led Congress to pass what is known as the Magnitsky Act. The law imposed sanctions on individual Russians accused of human rights violations. It has nothing to do with Clinton.

The Trump Tower meeting has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia's election interference . The topic of the meeting, many observers have said, is almost beside the point.

But the substance of what the pair of Russian advocates say they came to discuss has a fascinating backstory.

It's an epic international dispute -- one that has pitted the grandson of a former American Communist who made a fortune as a capitalist in Russia against a Russian leader who pines for the glory days of his country's Communist past.

In a cinematic twist, one person on the side advocated by Vladimir Putin, Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin is a former American newspaper reporter turned investigator named Glenn Simpson. He is the same Glenn Simpson whose firm, Fusion GPS, helped craft the controversial dossier alleging that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian intelligence .

That dossier, published by Buzzfeed , made other, more salacious allegations about Trump, and FBI Director James Comey briefed the Republican about it before he took office. The dossier is not favorable to Putin and the Russian government.

Simpson's role on both sides of the Putin divide is set to be explored in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday examining the Justice Department's requirements for foreign lobbying disclosures.

Due to testify at the hearing is Simpson's longtime opponent in the Magnitsky dispute, William Browder, an American-born hedge-fund investor who made millions investing in post-Soviet Russia and gave up his U.S. citizenship in 1997.

Simpson's lawyer said he would defy a subpoena to appear Wednesday because he was on vacation, and that he would decline to answer questions anyway, citing his right against self-incrimination.

Browder, whose grandfather Earl led the American Communist Party, accuses Simpson of peddling falsehoods as an agent of the Russian government. The law firm Simpson worked with on the case accused Browder in court papers of perpetrating a web of lies. Both men dispute the allegations.

The Death of Sergei Magnitsky

The story begins with the November 2009 death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax accountant who was working for Browder, and who later died in prison .

Browder's account of Magnitsky's death triggered international outrage. According to Browder, Magnitsky was a lawyer who had been investigating a theft of $230 million in tax rebates paid to Browder's companies in Russia. Browder says his companies had been taken over illegally and without his knowledge by corrupt Russian officials.

Browder says Magnitsky was arrested as a reprisal by those same corrupt officials, and then was tortured and beaten to death. Browder presented documents suggesting that some officials who benefited from the alleged fraud purchased property abroad.

That account led Congress to pass the so-called Magnitsky Act in 2012, imposing sanctions on the Russian officials who were alleged to have violated Magnitsky's human rights.

The Russian government soon imposed a ban on American adoptions of Russian children, ostensibly for other reasons but done in response, many experts say, to the Magnitsky sanctions.

Forty-four Russians are currently on the Magnitsky sanctions list maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department, meaning their U.S. assets are frozen and they are not allowed to travel to the U.S.

Once a Putin supporter, Browder became one of the Russian leader's most ardent foes, spearheading a campaign to draw international attention to the Magnitsky case. He and his employees at Hermitage Capital Management presented information to governments, international bodies and major news organizations.

Browder's advocacy marks a shift from 2004, when, as one of Russia's leading foreign investors, he praised Putin so vigorously that he was labeled Putin's "chief cheerleader" by an analyst in a Washington Post article. Browder has said that Magnitsky's death spurred him to reexamine his view of Putin.

The State Department, lawmakers of both parties and the Western news media have described the Magnitsky case in a way that tracks closely with Browder's account. Browder's assertions are consistent with the West's understanding of the Putin government -- an authoritarian regime that has been widely and credibly accused of murdering journalists and political opponents.

In 2013, the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office sued a Russian company, accusing it of laundering some of the proceeds of the fraud Magnitsky allegedly uncovered. The complaint incorporated Browder's account about what happened to Magnitsky.

That lawsuit set in motion a process through which that version of events would come under challenge.

The defendant, a company called Prevezon, is owned by Denis Katsyv, who became wealthy while his father was vice governor and transport minister for the Moscow region, according to published reports. The father, Pyotr Katsyv, is now vice president of the state-run Russian Railways. Veselnitskaya has long represented the family.

Prevezon hired a law firm, BakerHostetler, and a team that included a longtime New York prosecutor, John Moscow. Also working on Prevezon's behalf were Simpson, Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin.

Simpson, a former investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal, declined to comment.

Simpson also worked with former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele in the creation of the dossier that asserts Trump collusion with Russian election interference. A source close to him said his work on the dossier was kept confidential from his other clients.

The federal civil lawsuit by the Manhattan U.S. attorney against Prevezon was the first opportunity for the U.S. government to publicly present whatever evidence it had to support its legal assertions regarding Magnitsky. It was also an opportunity for the defendants to conduct their own investigation.

Prevezon's American legal team alleged that Browder's story was full of holes -- and that the U.S. and other governments had relied on Browder's version without checking it. Browder and the U.S. government disagreed.

The chief American investigator, Todd Hyman of the Department of Homeland Security, testified in a deposition that much of the evidence in the government's complaint came from Browder and his associates. He also said the government had been unable to independently investigate some of Browder's claims.

In court documents, Prevezon's lawyers alleged that Magnitsky was jailed not because he was a truth-seeker -- but because he was helping Browder's companies in tax evasion.

The Prevezon attorneys charged that Browder "lied," and "manipulated" evidence to cover up his own tax fraud.

The story was "contrived and skillfully sold by William F. Browder to politicians here and abroad to thwart his arrest for a tax fraud conviction in Russia," says a 2015 federal court filing by one of Prevezon's lawyers, Mark Cymrot of BakerHostetler.

A Russian-born filmmaker named Andrei Nekrasov made a similar set of arguments in a docudrama released last year. Neither Prevezon nor the Russian government had a role in funding or making the film, both parties say, though Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin helped promote it.

[Oct 12, 2018] Why the U.S. Military is Woefully Unprepared for a Major Conventional Conflict

Oct 12, 2018 | southfront.org

Institutional Corruption

If one had to identify the main reason behind the utter failure of the U.S. political establishment and military leadership, both civilian and in uniform, to identify and prioritize weapons programs and procurement that was truly in line with the national defense needs of the country, it would be the institutional corruption of the U.S. military industrial complex. This is not a fault of one party, but is the inevitable outcome of a thoroughly corrupted system that both generates and wastes great wealth at the expense of the many for the benefit of the few.

Massive defense budgets do not lead to powerful military forces nor sound national defense strategy. The United States is the most glaring example of how a nation's treasure can be wasted, its citizens robbed for generations, and its political processes undermined by an industry bent on maximizing profitability by encouraging and exacerbating conflict. At this point it is questionable that the United States' could remain economically viable without war, so much of its GDP is connected in some way to the pursuit of conflict.

There is no doubt that the War Department was renamed the Department of Defense in an Orwellian sleight of hand in 1947, just a few years after end of World War II. The military industrial complex grew into a monolith during the war, and the only way to justify the expansion of the complex, was by finding a new enemy to justify the new reality of a massive standing military, something that the U.S. Constitution expressly forbids. This unlawful state of affairs has persisted and expanded into a rotten, bloated edifice of waste. Wasted effort, wasted wealth and the wasted lives of millions of people spanning every corner of the planet. Tens of thousands of brave men and women in uniform, and millions of civilians of so many nations, have been tossed into the blades of this immoral meat grinder for generations.

President Donald Trump was very proud to announce the largest U.S. military budget in the nation's history last year. The United States spent (or more accurately, borrowed from generations yet to come) no less than $874.4 billion USD. The declared base budget for 2017 was $523.2 billion USD, yet there are also the Overseas Contingency Operations and Support budgets that have to be considered in determining the total cost. The total DOD annual costs have doubled from 2003 to the present. Yet, what has the DOD really accomplished with so much money and effort? Very little of benefit to the U.S. tax payer for sure, and paradoxically the exorbitant waste of the past fifteen years have left every branch of the U.S. military weaker.

The U.S. Congress has the duty and responsibility of reigning in the military adventurism of the executive branch. They have the sole authority to declare war, but more importantly, the sole authority to approve the budget requests of the military. It is laughable to think that the U.S. Congress will do anything to reign in military spending. The Congress and the Senate are as equally guilty as the Executive in promoting and benefitting from the military industrial complex. Envisioned as a bulwark against executive power, the U.S. Congress has become an integral component of that complex. No Senator or Representative would dare to go against the industry that employs so many constituents within their state, or pass up on the benefits afforded them through the legalized insider-trading exclusive to them, or the lucrative jobs that await them in the defense industry and the many think tanks that promote continued prosecution of war.

[Oct 05, 2018] How the Russia Spin Got So Much Torque by Norman Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... Shattered ..."
"... Yet last year, notably without success, the Clinton campaign devoted plenty of its messaging to the Trump-Russia theme. As the "Shattered" book notes, "Hillary would raise the issue herself repeatedly in debates" with Trump. For example, in one of those debates she said: "We have seventeen – seventeen ..."
"... In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summed up the post-election approach neatly in a Washington Post ..."
"... The inability of top Clinton operatives to identify with the non-wealthy is so tenacious that they still want to assume "the public will be with us" the more they talk about Russia Russia Russia. Imagine sitting at a kitchen table with average-income voters who are worried sick about their financial futures – and explaining to them that the biggest threat they face is from the Kremlin rather than from US government policies that benefit the rich and corporate America at their expense ..."
"... One of the most promising progressives to arrive in Congress this year, Rep. Jamie Raskin from the Maryland suburbs of D.C., promptly drank what might be called the "Klinton Kremlin Kool-Aid." His official website features an article about a town-hall meeting that quotes him describing Trump as a "hoax perpetrated by the Russians on the United States of America. ..."
"... Like hundreds of other Democrats on Capitol Hill, Raskin is on message with talking points from the party leadership. That came across in an email that he recently sent to supporters for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser. It said: "We pull the curtain back further each day on the Russian Connection, forcing National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to resign, Attorney General Sessions to recuse, and America to reflect on who's calling the shots in Washington. ..."
A new book about Hillary Clinton's last campaign for president – Shattered , by journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes – has gotten a lot of publicity since it appeared two weeks ago. But major media have ignored a revealing passage near the end of the book.

Soon after Clinton's defeat, top strategists decided where to place the blame. "Within 24 hours of her concession speech," the authors report, campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chair John Podesta "assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

Six months later, that centerpiece of the argument is rampant – with claims often lurching from unsubstantiated overreach to outright demagoguery.

A lavishly-funded example is the "Moscow Project," a mega-spin effort that surfaced in midwinter as a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It's led by Neera Tanden, a self-described "loyal soldier" for Clinton who also runs the Center for American Progress (where she succeeded Podesta as president). The Center's board includes several billionaires.

The "Moscow Project" is expressly inclined to go over the top, aiming to help normalize ultra-partisan conjectures as supposedly factual. And so, the homepage of the "Moscow Project" prominently declares: "Given Trump's obedience to Vladimir Putin and the deep ties between his advisers and the Kremlin, Russia's actions are a significant and ongoing cause for concern."

Let's freeze-frame how that sentence begins: "Given Trump's obedience to Vladimir Putin." It's a jaw-dropping claim; a preposterous smear.

Echoes of such tactics can be heard from many Democrats in Congress and from allied media. Along the way, no outlet has been more in sync than MSNBC, and no one on the network has been more promotional of the Russia-runs-Trump meme than Rachel Maddow, tirelessly promoting the line and sometimes connecting dots in Glenn Beck fashion to the point of journalistic malpractice.

Yet last year, notably without success, the Clinton campaign devoted plenty of its messaging to the Trump-Russia theme. As the "Shattered" book notes, "Hillary would raise the issue herself repeatedly in debates" with Trump. For example, in one of those debates she said: "We have seventeen – seventeen – intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election ."

After Trump's election triumph, the top tier of Clinton strategists quickly moved to seize as much of the narrative as they could, surely mindful of what George Orwell observed: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." After all, they hardly wanted the public discourse to dwell on Clinton's lack of voter appeal because of her deep ties to Wall Street. Political recriminations would be much better focused on the Russian government.

In early spring, the former communications director of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, Jennifer Palmieri, summed up the post-election approach neatly in a Washington Post opinion article : "If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they'll be with us."

The inability of top Clinton operatives to identify with the non-wealthy is so tenacious that they still want to assume "the public will be with us" the more they talk about Russia Russia Russia. Imagine sitting at a kitchen table with average-income voters who are worried sick about their financial futures – and explaining to them that the biggest threat they face is from the Kremlin rather than from US government policies that benefit the rich and corporate America at their expense.

Tone deaf hardly describes the severe political impairment of those who insist that denouncing Russia will be key to the Democratic Party's political fortunes in 2018 and 2020. But the top-down pressure for conformity among elected Democrats is enormous and effective.

One of the most promising progressives to arrive in Congress this year, Rep. Jamie Raskin from the Maryland suburbs of D.C., promptly drank what might be called the "Klinton Kremlin Kool-Aid." His official website features an article about a town-hall meeting that quotes him describing Trump as a "hoax perpetrated by the Russians on the United States of America. "

Like hundreds of other Democrats on Capitol Hill, Raskin is on message with talking points from the party leadership. That came across in an email that he recently sent to supporters for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser. It said: "We pull the curtain back further each day on the Russian Connection, forcing National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to resign, Attorney General Sessions to recuse, and America to reflect on who's calling the shots in Washington. "

You might think that Wall Street, big banks, hugely funded lobbyists, fat-check campaign contributors, the fossil fuel industry, insurance companies, military contractors and the like are calling the shots in Washington. Maybe you didn't get the memo.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy . His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death .

[Oct 02, 2018] I m puzzled why CIA is so against Kavanaugh?

Highly recommended!
An interesting hypothesis. CIA definitly became a powerful political force in the USA -- a rogue political force which starting from JFK assasination tries to control who is elected to important offices. But in truth Cavanaugh is a pro-CIA candidate so to speak. So why CIA would try to derail him.
Notable quotes:
"... I think I've figured out why they had to go to couples counseling about an outside door and why she came up with claim that she needed an outside bedroom door because she'd been assaulted 37 years ago. The Palo Alto building codes for single family homes were created to make sure single family homes remained single family and weren't chopped up into apartments. ..."
"... An outside door into a master bedroom with attached bathroom is a red flag that it's intended for an illegal what's called in law apartment ..."
"... So she wants the door. Husband says waste of money and trouble. Contractor says call me when you're ready. So they go to counseling Husband explains why the door's unreasonable. Therapist asks wife why she " really deep down" needs the door. Wife makes up the story about attempted rape 35 years ago flashbacks If only there were 2 doors in that imaginary bedroom she could have escaped. ..."
"... Kacanaugh was nominated. CIA searched for sex problems in his working life. Found nothing Searched law school and college found nothing. In desperation searched high school found nothing. Searched CIA personnel records which go back to grade school and found one of their own employees was about Kavanaugh's age and attended a high school near his and the students socialized. ..."
"... She's 3rd generation CIA. grandfather assistant director. Father CIA contractor who managed CIA unofficial band accounts. And she runs a CIA recruitment office. ..."
Oct 02, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anon [257] Disclaimer says: September 29, 2018 at 8:28 am GMT 400 Words

I think I've figured out why they had to go to couples counseling about an outside door and why she came up with claim that she needed an outside bedroom door because she'd been assaulted 37 years ago. The Palo Alto building codes for single family homes were created to make sure single family homes remained single family and weren't chopped up into apartments.

Outside doors enter public areas kitchen sunroom living rooms not bedrooms. An outside door into a master bedroom with attached bathroom is a red flag that it's intended for an illegal what's called in law apartment

There's a unit It's a stove 2 ft counter space and sink. The stoves electric and plugs into an ordinary household electricity. It's backed against the bathroom wall. Break through the wall, connect the pipes running water for the sink. Add an outside door and it's a small apartment.

Assume they didn't want to make it an apartment just a master bedroom. Usually the contractor pulls the permits routinely. But an outside bedroom door is complicated. The permits will cost more. It might require an exemption and a hearing They night need a lawyer. And they might not get the permit.

So she wants the door. Husband says waste of money and trouble. Contractor says call me when you're ready. So they go to counseling Husband explains why the door's unreasonable. Therapist asks wife why she " really deep down" needs the door. Wife makes up the story about attempted rape 35 years ago flashbacks If only there were 2 doors in that imaginary bedroom she could have escaped.

Kacanaugh was nominated. CIA searched for sex problems in his working life. Found nothing Searched law school and college found nothing. In desperation searched high school found nothing. Searched CIA personnel records which go back to grade school and found one of their own employees was about Kavanaugh's age and attended a high school near his and the students socialized.

She's 3rd generation CIA. grandfather assistant director. Father CIA contractor who managed CIA unofficial band accounts. And she runs a CIA recruitment office.

I'm puzzled why CIA is so against Kavanaugh?

[Oct 02, 2018] Kavanaugh vs Bill Clinton

Looks like Neoliberal Democrats have zero problem with rapists as long as they are democrats.
Oct 02, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Jean , September 28, 2018 at 11:58 pm

BS

I Believe Juanita

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/opinion/juanita-broaddrick-bill-clinton.html

What About Bil

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/us/politics/bill-clinton-sexual-misconduct-debate.amp.html

What Hillary Knew
Hillary Clinton once tweeted that "every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported." What about Juanita Broaddrick?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/546170/

The Clinton Double Standard

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/10/bill-clinton-harvey-weinstein-sexual-assault

rife kimler , September 29, 2018 at 6:18 am

So Clinton did not fly around with Jeffery Epstein?

jean , September 29, 2018 at 7:43 pm

https://www.salon.com/2017/10/16/hillary-clinton-weinstein-bbc-trump-bill/

You'd Better Put Some Ice On That: How I Survived Being Raped by Bill Clinton

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37797819-you-d-better-put-some-ice-on-that

[Sep 23, 2018] Menendez in Jeopardy as Senate Challenger Makes Push RealClearPolitics

Notable quotes:
"... Friday morning, in response to Murphy offering praise to Menendez, Hugin released a statement saying, "If Bob Menendez were a Republican, and had been indicted for bribery and found to have violated federal law by the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee, would Governor Murphy be singing the same tune? Of course not." ..."
"... Adele Malpass is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She was formerly chairwoman of the Manhattan Republican Party and money politics reporter for CNBC. ..."
Sep 23, 2018 | www.realclearpolitics.com

By Adele Malpass
RCP Staff
September 21, 2018 Menendez in Jeopardy as Senate Challenger Makes Push Menendez in Jeopardy as Senate Challenger Makes Push Ed Murray/The Star-Ledger via AP X Story Stream recent articles

The New Jersey Senate race was supposed to be a done deal with incumbent Bob Menendez easily cruising to re-election. It's rated solid or likely to remain Democratic by most election watchers, and the Democrats were certainly putting it in their win column as they mapped out plans to retake the Senate.

But someone forgot to tell New Jersey voters that this race was uncompetitive. The polls show it to be tight -- Menendez simply has not shaken Republican challenger Bob Hugin in a state Hillary Clinton carried by 14 points over Donald Trump two years ago.

Part of the reason seems to be that despite his acquittal in court on federal corruption charges, Menendez has not escaped the taint that came with his 2015 trial. Another is that Hugin, the wealthy former CEO of a biopharmaceutical company, had already spent nearly $16 million in the race. Throw into this mix a state with the worst affordability index in the country and an expected increase in the gasoline tax on Oct. 1 -- on top of significant increases in state taxes enacted this spring. It seems a combustible mix in which an attractive and well-funded outsider with a sterling resume can give the political establishment heartburn.

Meanwhile, Menendez has a lot of baggage to defend. In 2015, he was indicted on federal corruption charges pursued by his fellow Democrats -- the first U.S. senator to be indicted by the administration of his own party in 30 years. He was accused of doing favors for Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, who is now serving 17 years in prison for Medicare fraud. Prosecutors presented evidence of 19 free private plane trips and campaign donations, which they asserted came in exchange for political favors. According to prosecutors, one such trip to the Dominican Republic supposedly involved underage prostitutes. Menendez strongly denied those allegations, but in the #MeToo era, any lingering suspicion is unhelpful for a politician. And though he was not found guilty by the jury, Menendez was rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee.

While he may have survived his legal battles, New Jersey voters have apparently not forgotten. In a June primary, an unknown Democratic opponent who raised less than $5,000 got 38 percent of the vote against Menendez. That challenger, Lisa McCormick, didn't have enough money to run ads reminding the electorate of Menendez's legal troubles. But Bob Hugin did. Hugin's campaign began running hard-hitting television spots against the incumbent in February. Menendez was pounded by ads titled "Guilty," "Screwed" and "Dead Last." By July, Menendez was leading Hugin by two percentage points, and in an August poll he was up by only six.

The damage had been done. In an August Quinnipiac poll, only 29 percent of the voters had a favorable opinion of Menendez and 49 percent of the voters believed he was involved with serious wrongdoing, compared to 16 percent who did not. While Menendez only spent $800,000 through June, he's now playing catch-up and recently started both positive and negative television ads.

The economic climate in New Jersey is not necessarily conducive to incumbents. Since 2015, the Tax Foundation has rated New Jersey as having the worst tax climate for business and the highest property taxes in the country. For some homeowners in the state, it's possible to pay 15 percent of their income toward property taxes. This spring, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy raised corporate and personal income taxes amid the already high tax environment. "The affordability crisis in our state continues to get worse," said Hugin. "We're losing millennials at the highest rate in the nation and Trenton politicians just made things worse by raising taxes another $1.6 billion."

Friday morning, in response to Murphy offering praise to Menendez, Hugin released a statement saying, "If Bob Menendez were a Republican, and had been indicted for bribery and found to have violated federal law by the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee, would Governor Murphy be singing the same tune? Of course not."

Though Hugin allowed that the governor is "by all accounts a good man," he added that "[h]is loyalty to his party over his principles when it comes to Senator Menendez is embarrassing. Sadly, it's a testament to how toxic and divided our politics are today."

As the polls have started to look positive for the challenger, he's been able to capitalize on this environment by getting endorsements from four local Democratic officials. In 2015, the New Jersey Star-Ledger, the largest paper in the state, called for Menendez to resign amid the corruption charges, even though the paper had endorsed him in the past. "Menendez is hurting other down-ballot candidates, especially in competitive congressional races," said Hugin's spokesman, Nick Iacovella.

With Donald Trump's approval rating in the mid-30s in New Jersey, Menendez has made criticizing the president his top priority and accuses Hugin of being a Trump Republican. In a state where Democrats out-register Republicans, Menendez is hoping that an anti-Trump sentiment and a large Democratic turnout will still lead him to victory. Hugin, however, is hardly a Trump clone. A Princeton grad who earned a master's degree in business at the University of Virginia, he has supported the president's tax cuts and most economic policies. But he's also described himself as pro-choice on abortion, favors a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and has opposed the administration's policy of separating families at the border.

In a session with the media in late spring, Hugin complained that the administration's plans to cut Hurricane Sandy relief were "ridiculous."

"I think my philosophy is very clear: New Jersey first," he said that day . "I support President Trump in every way when he does something that's good for New Jersey. And I'll fight anybody who's not doing good things for New Jersey."

Adele Malpass is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She was formerly chairwoman of the Manhattan Republican Party and money politics reporter for CNBC.

[Sep 22, 2018] Perhaps consider the idea that within Russia in the 1990s that was systematically sold off to US interests, facilitated by Russian government officials, the Russian social immune system kicked in and gave rise to Vladimir Putin to protect his homeland's interests.

Sep 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stumpy , Sep 22, 2018 6:38:58 PM | link

Posted by: craigsummers | Sep 22, 2018 5:17:51 PM | 22

Well, as long as you support the #METOO-ish school of legal doctrine, i.e. whereupon a simple charging is sufficient to establish culpability, you will surely enjoy the following article, on The Nation, The Harvard Boys Do Russia, May, 1998, which you can search for and fact-check with your own tools of choice.

Perhaps consider the idea that within Russia in the 1990s that was systematically sold off to US interests, facilitated by Russian government officials, the Russian social immune system kicked in and gave rise to Vladimir Putin to protect his homeland's interests. Consider further that Trump is dealing with a horde of malignant backstabbing little bitches that are doing their best to rape their own homeland. Maybe the US social immune system is working better than you think, despite attempts to deflect blame towards Trump and Putin, and actual, indictable charges against Clintonian operatives cannot be suppressed much longer.

The DNC is broke. What does that tell you?

[Sep 16, 2018] Has the Supreme Court Legalized Public Corruption? by Matt Ford

Notable quotes:
"... McDonnell v. United States ..."
"... McConnell v. FEC ..."
"... Citizens United v. FEC ..."
"... McCutcheon v. FEC ..."
Oct 19, 2017 | www.theatlantic.com
During a hearing last week, Judge William Walls seemed to signal that argument was dead on arrival by citing a recent Supreme Court ruling that has vexed public-corruption investigators across the country. "I frankly don't think McDonnell will allow that," Walls told prosecutors, referring to the decision in McDonnell v. United States that fundamentally changed the standard for bribery.

Walls eventually decided to let the case proceed, declining to throw out most of Menendez's charges. But the close call underscores the continuing fallout from McDonnell last year. That ruling, like a series of others from the Court in recent years, recast actions once eschewed in politics as reasonable behavior for elected officials. The justices have portrayed these rulings as necessary on First Amendment grounds. But the long-term effects could imperil the public's faith in democratic institutions.

"There's a way in which a lot of the Supreme Court decisions have been ever narrowing what corruption means," Tara Malloy, a staff lawyer at the Campaign Legal Center, told me. "And McDonnell is one further example of it."

The case narrowed what could be defined as an "official act" under federal corruption statutes -- the quo of a quid pro quo, so to speak. Since McDonnell , it only applies to direct exercises of a government official's power, like voting for legislation or signing an order. More seemingly mundane activities, like urging other officials to intervene in someone's favor or setting up meetings for donors, do not qualify.

Before the decision, federal prosecutors brought cases against Democrats and Republicans alike by arguing that "official act" applied to all sorts of actions taken by public officials. Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a Republican, was convicted in 2015 after taking more than $175,000 in luxury gifts, personal loans, and more from Johnnie Williams, a Virginia businessman who received favors from the governor. On appeal, McDonnell argued his actions were part of being an elected official and fell beyond what federal bribery laws could prohibit.

The Supreme Court agreed. Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the Court's opinion, appeared to anticipate a public backlash. "There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that," he wrote. "But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the government's boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute." All eight justices sided with McDonnell, with the ninth seat vacant after Antonin Scalia's death in February.

"The concern of the Court was that the prosecution not define 'official act' -- which is what the statute there required -- too broadly," Malloy said. "They thought that 'official act,' according to the prosecution, was basically anything a public official did by reason of their position or through the resources of their position. And the Court said, 'No, no, no.'"

At the same time, Roberts also took an exceedingly generous view of McDonnell's activities. Where the Justice Department saw an elected official providing special perks for a lucrative donor, the chief justice saw the risk that "conscientious public officials" could be hauled in by prosecutorial zealots. "Officials might wonder whether they could respond to even the most commonplace requests for assistance, and citizens with legitimate concerns might shrink from participating in democratic discourse," he mused, as if to suggest judges and juries would not be able to tell the difference.

Randall Eliason, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor, described McDonnell to me as "a lawyerly opinion in the worst sense of the word." By focusing on just one aspect of the statutory definition of "official act," he said, the Court missed the broader issues with the relationship between McDonnell and an influential donor who showered him, and his wife, with lavish gifts. He offered a jarring hypothetical that illustrates how officials could leverage their power in a post- McDonnell world:

Currently, I could set up a system where I'm a governor and I tell everybody who might want to meet with someone in my cabinet to make a pitch, or try to get a contract, or advocate for some program. I could say, "Okay, I'll set up a meeting for you. The cost is $10,000." And that just goes in my pocket. That's not a campaign contribution; it's not going to be reported to the public anywhere. That's just going to be a gift for me, and I'll set up the meeting. I'm not going to tell anybody what to do, I'm not going to tell them what to decide, I'll just get you in the room. And if you don't pay me, no meeting.

Eliason and other legal observers had thought McDonnell could prevail in his appeal, but the scale of the ruling came as a surprise. "I mean, access is valuable, right?" Eliason told me. "And you can just pay for access as long as the official doesn't actually agree to decide something for you, but can get you in the room with the other movers and shakers who are going to do it. Now that's not considered corruption."

Three months after the ruling, the Justice Department abandoned its efforts to prosecute McDonnell and his wife. "After carefully considering the Supreme Court's recent decision and the principles of federal prosecution, we have made the decision not to pursue the case further," it said in a terse press release. McDonnell celebrated the outcome, telling reporters his "wrongful" conviction was "based on a false narrative and incorrect law."

If it hasn't already, McDonnell could affect how prosecutors build corruption cases and limit the range of behaviors for which they'll pursue charges. Those watching the Menendez case in New Jersey could be even more motivated to do so. But Malloy also warned that McDonnell fits into a broader pattern of how the Roberts Court approaches corruption in politics, and what it could do in future cases.

"We're not simply talking about these criminal prosecutions. We're talking about the full range of laws that attempt to protect the integrity of government," she said, citing statutes on ethics, political transparency, and campaign finance the justices have taken a narrower view of. Malloy attributed the shift to the departure of Sandra Day O'Connor in 2005.

"Once upon a time, for instance, a campaign-finance law could be justified if there was a concern that money could provide influence or access to officials," she explained. "The Supreme Court in recent years has said, 'No, no, no, we don't really care if your campaign contribution gets you access or ingratiation or a whole bunch of favors. We think corruption is much more like quid pro quo and maybe even just cash for votes.'"

In the 2003 case McConnell v. FEC , for example, O'Connor voted with the majority to uphold most of the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance-reform law. Seven years later, a five-justice majority -- including Samuel Alito, O'Connor's replacement -- overturned McConnell in Citizens United v. FEC to allow unlimited independent expenditures in political campaigns. And in 2014, the Court struck down aggregate limits on campaign donations in McCutcheon v. FEC .

Following the justices' decision last year, McDonnell 's impact quickly reverberated through other public-corruption cases, including two high-profile prosecutions in New York. In July, a three-judge panel in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals tossed out the conviction of Sheldon Silver, once the powerful state-assembly speaker. The judges ruled that the jury instructions had conformed to the pre- McDonnell standard of "official acts" and couldn't be reconciled with the Supreme Court's ruling. Three months later, in September, the Second Circuit also overturned the conviction of Dean Skelos, the state senate's former majority leader, on similar grounds.

Silver had been convicted of extortion, fraud, and money laundering in 2015. Prosecutors said he helped funnel state funds to a Columbia University cancer researcher in exchange for millions of dollars; they also connected him to favorable-treatment deals for two real-estate development firms. Skelos was found guilty of eight corruption-related charges the same year for allegedly using his influence to secure jobs and payments for his son. Federal prosecutors plan to seek retrials for both Silver and Skelos, who were known as power brokers in the state.

McDonnell also came down as federal prosecutors were preparing to go to trial against Menendez, a senator since 2006. At the crux of the case is his friendship with Salomon Melgen, a wealthy Florida ophthalmologist and frequent campaign donor. Prosecutors have depicted Menendez as a personal legislator of sorts to Melgen. He allegedly used his political influence to help obtain visas for Melgen's girlfriends, secure contracts for him in the Dominican Republic, and intervene in a Medicare billing dispute with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Menendez has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyers argue the favors don't rise to the newly heightened standard of official acts. Federal prosecutors, for their part, argue that the stream of benefits that flowed from Melgen to Menendez meet the threshold under federal law without linking specific quids to specific quos. Even though Walls declined to dismiss the charges against the lawmaker, he could still dismiss some of them later in the trial if the prosecution fails to present enough evidence. And like McDonnell himself, Menendez could also challenge any convictions under the stream-of-benefits theory on appeal.

Behind these legal doctrines and prosecutorial theories are questions about the popular legitimacy of the republican system -- about voters being able to trust that the officials they elect aren't the puppets of the country's richest patrons. What McDonnell and other recent public-corruption rulings risk are institutions where cash and favors flow freely, where consequences are exceptional, and where public vice is made indistinguishable from civic virtue. No Americans expect a government of saints, but they expect their government to be able to root out the sinners in its midst.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

Matt Ford is a former associate editor at The Atlantic .

[Sep 16, 2018] Perils of Ineptitude by Andrew Levin

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is less shame in being undone by a "master of deceit." When J. Edgar Hoover coined that description, he had Communists in mind. Back then, though, "Ruskies" and "Commies" – it was all the same. Americans were conditioned to live in fear that the Russians were coming. ..."
"... That nonsense should have ended when Communism more or less officially expired in 1989, followed two years later by the demise of the Soviet Union itself. For a long time, it seemed that it had. At first, the reaction in Western, especially American, political and media circles was triumphalist. The war was over and our side won. Beneath the surface, however, there was mourning in America. ..."
"... With the Cold War, the death merchants, the masters of war, the neocons, and a host of others had had a good thing going. Having been born into it, the political class was comfortable with the status quo too; and generations of Americans had grown up imbibing Russophobia in their mother's milk (or infant formula). ..."
"... Before long, it became clear that our economic and political masters had nothing to worry about, that Cold War anti-Communism was more robust than Communism itself. ..."
"... That suited Bill Clinton and his First Lady, the former Goldwater Girl. Boris Yeltsin, Russia's leader, was their man. He was a godsend, a Trump-like cartoon character and a drunkard to boot – with an economy in tatters, and no rightwing base egging him on. ..."
"... The time was therefore right for a return of the repressed -- for full-blooded, fifties-style, anti-Communist (= anti-Russian) hysteria, or, since that still seemed far-fetched, for anti-Communist (= anti-Chinese) hysteria. ..."
"... Exactly what "Putin," the shorthand name for all that is Russian and nefarious, did, or is still doing, remains unclear. But this does not seem to bother purveyors of the conventional wisdom. Neither is ostensibly informed public opinion fazed by the fact that the evidence supporting the consensus view comes mainly from American intelligence services and from their counterparts in the UK and other allied nations. ..."
"... How ironic therefore that nowadays it is mainly bamboozled Trump supporters in the Fox News demographic -- people who could care less about peace or, for that matter, about truth -- who are wary of the CIA and skeptical of the FBI's claims! ..."
"... They do not even seem to notice that what they allege, vague as it is, is trifling compared to the massive and very open meddling of American plutocrats, Republican vote suppressers and gerrymanderers, and the governments of supposedly friendly nations – like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and Israel ..."
"... Cold War revivalists can therefore rest easy, confident that their propagandists will have at least a few facts with which they can work to restore the perils of their vanished youth. ..."
"... Even so, the level of their hypocrisy is appalling. Russia, along with former Soviet republics and former members of the Warsaw Pact, has been bearing the brunt of far worse American meddling for far longer than anything sanctimonious defenders of so-called American "democracy" can plausibly allege. ..."
"... Hypocrisy reigns here too. It was the Obama administration – run through with neocons, liberal imperialists, and other holdovers from Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State – that did all it could to exacerbate longstanding tensions between that country's Ukrainian and Russian speaking populations, the better to complete NATO's encirclement of the Russian federation. And it was American meddling that led to the empowerment of virulently anti-Russian, fascisant Ukrainian politicians, much to the detriment of Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east. ..."
"... The Cold War that began after World War II involved a clash of rival political economic systems. The Cold War that reignited a few years ago involves a clash of rival imperialist centers. Its world more nearly resembles the one that existed before World War I than the one that emerged after World War II. ..."
"... However, the difference may be more superficial than it seems. The ease with which Cold War revivalists have been able to get the Cold War up and running again, even without Communism, suggests what a few observers have long maintained -- that the Cold War, on Russia's part, had little, if anything, to do with spreading Communism around the world, and everything to do with maintaining a cordon sanitaire around Russia's borders in order to protect against a demonstrably aggressive "free world." ..."
"... That part of Brzezinski's plan was at least a partial success. But inasmuch as Bush's "they" are still there, still spreading murder and mayhem throughout the Greater Middle East, America and the world has been paying a high price for the benefits, such as they were, that ensued. ..."
"... The never-ending wars set in motion by the "pivot" towards radical Islamism decades ago never quite succeeded in producing an enemy as serviceable as the USSR. But now that Putin's Russia has been pressed into service, that problem is potentially "solved." ..."
"... Efforts to recycle Bush's "they hate our freedom" nonsense ought to be non-starters. But this is the best Cold War revivalists have come up with so far. The Russians, they say, simply cannot deal with the fact that we Americans are so damned free. ..."
"... From a geopolitical point of view, Russia does have an interest in doing all it can to ward off Western aggression. It also has an interest in undermining strategic alliances aimed at blocking anything and everything that challenges American supremacy. And, until sanity prevails in Washington and other Western capitals, it arguably also has an interest in aiding and abetting rightwing nationalists in order to exacerbate tensions within Western societies. ..."
"... Clinton is bad, but Trump is worse -- not just by most measures but by all. Her fondness for war and preparations for war was alarming; she was bellicosity personified. But it was plain even before the election that Trump, a mentally unhinged narcissist, would be even more likely than she to bring on massive devastation. A vote for Trump was and still is a vote for catastrophe. ..."
"... For now, though, the hard and very relevant fact is that Trump has done nothing to help, and quite a few things to harm, Russia. ..."
"... It isn't just ordinary Russians who have been made worse off. Trump has been at least as hard on oligarchs close to Putin as Clinton would have been. ..."
"... If those damned Russians were half as smart as they are made out to be, they would have realized long ago that, for getting anything done that bucks the tide, Trump is too inept to be of any use at all; and that anything he sets out to do is likely to turn out badly not just for America and its allies but for Russia too. ..."
Aug 03, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

There is less shame in being undone by a "master of deceit." When J. Edgar Hoover coined that description, he had Communists in mind. Back then, though, "Ruskies" and "Commies" – it was all the same. Americans were conditioned to live in fear that the Russians were coming.

That nonsense should have ended when Communism more or less officially expired in 1989, followed two years later by the demise of the Soviet Union itself. For a long time, it seemed that it had. At first, the reaction in Western, especially American, political and media circles was triumphalist. The war was over and our side won. Beneath the surface, however, there was mourning in America.

With the Cold War, the death merchants, the masters of war, the neocons, and a host of others had had a good thing going. Having been born into it, the political class was comfortable with the status quo too; and generations of Americans had grown up imbibing Russophobia in their mother's milk (or infant formula).

It turned out, though, that American triumphalism was only a phase. Before long, it became clear that our economic and political masters had nothing to worry about, that Cold War anti-Communism was more robust than Communism itself.

However, in the final days of Bush 41 and then at the dawn of the Clinton era, nobody knew that. Nobody gave America's propaganda system the credit it deserved.

Also, nobody quite realized how devastating Russia's regression to capitalism would be, and nobody quite grasped the savagery of the kleptocrats who had taken charge of what remained of the Russian state.

For more than a decade, the situation in that late great superpower was too dire to sustain the old fears and animosities. Capitalism had made Russia wretched again.

That suited Bill Clinton and his First Lady, the former Goldwater Girl. Boris Yeltsin, Russia's leader, was their man. He was a godsend, a Trump-like cartoon character and a drunkard to boot – with an economy in tatters, and no rightwing base egging him on.

But anti-Communism (without Communism) and its close cousin, Russophobia, could not remain in remission forever. The need for them was too great.

In the Age of Obama, the Global War on Terror, with or without that ludicrous Bush 43-era name, wasn't cutting it anymore. It was, and still is, good for keeping America's perpetual war regime going and for undoing civil liberties, but there had never been much glory in it, only endless misery for all. Also it was getting old and increasingly easy to see through.

The time was therefore right for a return of the repressed -- for full-blooded, fifties-style, anti-Communist (= anti-Russian) hysteria, or, since that still seemed far-fetched, for anti-Communist (= anti-Chinese) hysteria.

This was not the only factor behind the Obama administration's "pivot towards Asia," its largely failed attempt to take China down a notch or two, but it was an important part of the story.

However, by the time Obama and his team decided to pivot, China had become too important to the United States economically to make a good Cold War enemy. Worse still, it had for too long been an object of pity and contempt, not fear.

When the Soviet Union was an enemy, China was an enemy too, most glaringly during the Korean War. It remained an enemy even after the Sino-Soviet split became too obvious to deny. However, unlike post-1917 Russia, it had never quite become an historical foe.

Moreover, as Russia began to recover from the Yeltsin era, the Russian political class, and many of the oligarchs behind them, sensing the popular mood, decided that the time was ripe "to make Russia great again." Putin is not so much a cause as he is a symptom – and symbol – of this aspiration.

And so, there it was: the longed for new Cold War would be much like the one that seemed over a quarter century ago.

***

As everyone who has seen, heard or read anything about the 2016 election "knows," Russian intelligence services (= Putin) meddled. Everyone also "knows" that, with midterm elections looming, they are at it again.

This, according to the mainstream consensus view, is a bona fide casus belli , a justification for war. To be sure, what they want is a war that remains cold; ending life on earth, as we know it, is not on their agenda.

But inasmuch as cold wars can easily turn hot, this hardly mitigates the recklessness of their machinations. Humankind was extraordinarily lucky last time; there is no guarantee that all that luck will hold.

Exactly what "Putin," the shorthand name for all that is Russian and nefarious, did, or is still doing, remains unclear. But this does not seem to bother purveyors of the conventional wisdom. Neither is ostensibly informed public opinion fazed by the fact that the evidence supporting the consensus view comes mainly from American intelligence services and from their counterparts in the UK and other allied nations.

Time was when anyone with any sense understood that these intelligence services, the American ones especially, are second to none in meddling in the affairs of other nations, and that the American national security state – essentially our political police -- is comprised, by design, of liars and deceivers.

How ironic therefore that nowadays it is mainly bamboozled Trump supporters in the Fox News demographic -- people who could care less about peace or, for that matter, about truth -- who are wary of the CIA and skeptical of the FBI's claims!

Try as they might, the manufacturers and guardians of conventional wisdom have so far been unable to concoct a plausible story in which Russian meddling affected the outcome of the 2016 election in any serious way. The idea that the Russians defeated Hillary, not Hillary herself, is, to borrow a phrase from Jeremy Bentham, "nonsense on stilts." Leading Democrats and their media flacks don't seem to mind that either.

They do not even seem to notice that what they allege, vague as it is, is trifling compared to the massive and very open meddling of American plutocrats, Republican vote suppressers and gerrymanderers, and the governments of supposedly friendly nations – like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and Israel.

Nevertheless, it probably is true that the Russians meddled. Cold War revivalists can therefore rest easy, confident that their propagandists will have at least a few facts with which they can work to restore the perils of their vanished youth.

Even so, the level of their hypocrisy is appalling. Russia, along with former Soviet republics and former members of the Warsaw Pact, has been bearing the brunt of far worse American meddling for far longer than anything sanctimonious defenders of so-called American "democracy" can plausibly allege.

Moreover, it should go without saying that the democracy they purport to care so much about has almost nothing to do with "the rule of the demos." It doesn't even have much to do with free and fair competitive elections – unless "free and fair" means that anything goes, so long as the principals and perpetrators are homegrown or citizens of favored nations.

Self-righteous posturing aside, Putin's real sin in the eyes of the American power elite is that, in his own small way, he has been defying America's "right" to run the world as it sees fit.

When Clinton was president, Serbia did that, and lived to regret it. Cuba has been suffering for nearly six decades for the same reason, and now Venezuela is paying its dues. The empire is merciless towards nations that rebel.

With Soviet support and then with sheer determination and grit, Cuba has been able to withstand the onslaught to some extent from Day One. Venezuela may not be so lucky – especially now that Republicans and Democrats feel threatened by the growing number of "democratic socialists" in their midst. Already, the propaganda system is targeting Venezuelan "socialism," blaming it for that country's woes, and warning that if our newly minted, homegrown socialists prevail, a similar fate will be in store for us.

This is ludicrous, of course – American hostility and the vagaries of the global oil market deserve the lion's share of the blame. But the on-going propaganda blitz could nevertheless pave the way for horrors ahead, should Trump decide to start a war America could actually win.

Inconsequential Russian meddling is a big deal on the "liberal" cable networks, on NPR, and in the "quality" press. Democrats and a few Republicans love to bleat on about it. But it is Ukraine that made Russia our "adversary" and its president Public Enemy Number One.

Hypocrisy reigns here too. It was the Obama administration – run through with neocons, liberal imperialists, and other holdovers from Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State – that did all it could to exacerbate longstanding tensions between that country's Ukrainian and Russian speaking populations, the better to complete NATO's encirclement of the Russian federation. And it was American meddling that led to the empowerment of virulently anti-Russian, fascisant Ukrainian politicians, much to the detriment of Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east.

But never mind: Putin – that is, the Russia government – violated international law by sending troops briefly into beleaguered Russian-speaking parts of the country. That they were generally welcomed by the people living there is of no importance.

Worst of all, Russia annexed Crimea – a territory integral to the Russian empire since the eighteenth century. Since long before the Russian Revolution, Crimea has been home to a huge naval base vital to Russia's strategic defense.

The story line back in the day was that anything that could be described as Russian aggression outside the Soviet Union's agreed upon sphere of influence had to do with spreading Communism. In fact, the Soviets did everything they could to keep Communist and other insurgencies from upending the status quo. The mainstream narrative was wrong.

Now Communism is gone and nothing has taken its place. Even so, the idea that Russia has designs on its neighbors for ideological reasons is hard to shake – in part because it is actively promoted by propagandists who have suddenly and uncharacteristically become defenders of international law.

Meanwhile, of course, the hypocrisies keep piling on. It is practically a tenet of the American civil religion that international law applies to others, not to the United States. This is why, when it suits some perceived purpose, America flaunts its violations shamelessly.

Thus nothing the Russians did or are ever likely to do comes close to the shenanigans Bill Clinton displayed – successfully, for the most part – in his efforts to tear Kosovo away from Serbia. Clinton even went so far as to bomb Belgrade; Putin never bombed Kiev.

The Cold War that began after World War II involved a clash of rival political economic systems. The Cold War that reignited a few years ago involves a clash of rival imperialist centers. Its world more nearly resembles the one that existed before World War I than the one that emerged after World War II.

However, the difference may be more superficial than it seems. The ease with which Cold War revivalists have been able to get the Cold War up and running again, even without Communism, suggests what a few observers have long maintained -- that the Cold War, on Russia's part, had little, if anything, to do with spreading Communism around the world, and everything to do with maintaining a cordon sanitaire around Russia's borders in order to protect against a demonstrably aggressive "free world."

George W. Bush claimed that 9/11 happened because "they hate our freedom." "They" would be radical Islamists of the kind stirred into action in Afghanistan by Zbigniew Brzezinski and his co-thinkers in the Carter administration. Their objective was to undermine the Soviet Union by getting it bogged down in a quagmire like the one that did so much harm to the United States in Vietnam.

That part of Brzezinski's plan was at least a partial success. But inasmuch as Bush's "they" are still there, still spreading murder and mayhem throughout the Greater Middle East, America and the world has been paying a high price for the benefits, such as they were, that ensued.

The never-ending wars set in motion by the "pivot" towards radical Islamism decades ago never quite succeeded in producing an enemy as serviceable as the USSR. But now that Putin's Russia has been pressed into service, that problem is potentially "solved."

However, the American public is not as naïve as it used to be, and it is impossible to say, at this point, how well this new story line will work.

Efforts to recycle Bush's "they hate our freedom" nonsense ought to be non-starters. But this is the best Cold War revivalists have come up with so far. The Russians, they say, simply cannot deal with the fact that we Americans are so damned free.

It is hard to believe, but there are people who are actually buying this but, with a lot of corporate media assistance, there are. No matter how clear it is that they are not worth being taken seriously, Cold War mythologies just won't die.

However, it is worth pondering why today's Russia would do what it is alleged to have done; and why, as is also alleged, it is still doing it.

From a geopolitical point of view, Russia does have an interest in doing all it can to ward off Western aggression. It also has an interest in undermining strategic alliances aimed at blocking anything and everything that challenges American supremacy. And, until sanity prevails in Washington and other Western capitals, it arguably also has an interest in aiding and abetting rightwing nationalists in order to exacerbate tensions within Western societies.

However, in view of prevailing power relations, these are interests it cannot do much to advance. Acting as if this were not the case only puts Russia in a bad light -- not for meddling, but for meddling stupidly.

No doubt, for reasons both fair and foul, Putin wanted Hillary to lose the election two years ago. So, but for one little problem, would anyone whose head is screwed on right. That problem's name is Donald Trump.

Clinton is bad, but Trump is worse -- not just by most measures but by all. Her fondness for war and preparations for war was alarming; she was bellicosity personified. But it was plain even before the election that Trump, a mentally unhinged narcissist, would be even more likely than she to bring on massive devastation. A vote for Trump was and still is a vote for catastrophe.

Putin's enemy was Trump's enemy, and it is axiomatic that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" -- except sometimes it isn't. Sometimes, my enemy's enemy is an enemy far worse.

For reasons that remain obscure, Putin and Trump seem to have a "thing" going on between them. Some day perhaps we will know what that is all about. For now, though, the hard and very relevant fact is that Trump has done nothing to help, and quite a few things to harm, Russia.

It isn't just ordinary Russians who have been made worse off. Trump has been at least as hard on oligarchs close to Putin as Clinton would have been.

If those damned Russians were half as smart as they are made out to be, they would have realized long ago that, for getting anything done that bucks the tide, Trump is too inept to be of any use at all; and that anything he sets out to do is likely to turn out badly not just for America and its allies but for Russia too.

Therefore, if there really was Russian meddling, as there probably was, Putin should be ashamed – not so much for the DNC reasons laid out 24/7 on MSNBC and CNN, but for overestimating Trump's abilities and for underestimating the extent to which what started out as a maneuver of Hillary Clinton's, concocted to excuse her incompetence, would take a perilously "viral" turn, becoming a major threat to peace in a political culture that never quite got beyond the lunacy of the First Cold War.

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).

[Sep 15, 2018] In view of neoliberal MSM witch hunt, the book Journalists for Hire by Udo Ufkotte is now even more important that at the time of its publication

Notable quotes:
"... Robinson talks like he has given up on impeachment by what he calls a powerless and spineless Congress. Maybe he's thinking of something quicker and cleaner than a coup, something that could be carried out by a small group of conspirators within an agency trained in removing uncooperative heads of state? ..."
"... Since deep state conspirators routinely smear all those who demand evidence as "Russian agents," maybe non-conspirators should use the same tactic on them, e.g.: Is Robinson on the CIA payroll? Because anyone who agrees with anything the CIA says is obviously working for the CIA, right? ..."
Aug 24, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

alley cat, August 16, 2018 at 1:58 pm

From the WaPo op-ed "God Bless the Deep State," by Eugene Robinson:

Democrats in Congress are powerless; the Republican leadership, spineless. Experienced government officials know that their job is to serve the president. But what if the president does not serve the best interests of the nation?

In this emergency [emphasis mine], the loyal and honorable deep state has a higher duty. It's called patriotism.

Is Robinson really suggesting a military coup? That would take a lot of planning and organization and would be almost impossible to keep secret. Some honest military officer might find out and put the kibosh on it, like Kirk Douglas did in Frankenheimers's classic political thriller, Seven Days in May .

Robinson talks like he has given up on impeachment by what he calls a powerless and spineless Congress. Maybe he's thinking of something quicker and cleaner than a coup, something that could be carried out by a small group of conspirators within an agency trained in removing uncooperative heads of state?

Since deep state conspirators routinely smear all those who demand evidence as "Russian agents," maybe non-conspirators should use the same tactic on them, e.g.: Is Robinson on the CIA payroll? Because anyone who agrees with anything the CIA says is obviously working for the CIA, right?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

I'm still looking for an English copy of Journalists for Hire by Udo Ufkotte.

Frederike , August 17, 2018 at 6:34 pm

There is only one article that is translated into English: "The world upside down" 2006, http://www.ulfkotte.de/18.html
Journalists for Hire is available in German only. (I was able to buy a copy last year.)

Frederike , August 17, 2018 at 6:47 pm

http://it-book.org/pdf/journalists-for-hire You can download the ebook in English

[Sep 14, 2018] European media writing pro-US stories under CIA pressure - German journo

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD - Operation Mockingbird was (IS) a secret campaign by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media. Begun in the 1950s, it was initially organized by Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles, and was later led by Frank Wisner after Dulles became the head of the CIA. The organization recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA's views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities by other operating units of the CIA. In addition to earlier exposιs of CIA activities in foreign affairs, in 1966 Ramparts magazine published an article revealing that the National Student Association was funded by the CIA. The United States Congress investigated, and published its report in 1976. Other accounts were also published. The media operation was first called Mockingbird in Deborah Davis's 1979 book, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and her Washington Post Empire. ..."
"... the secret societies, the banks, the oil families and other super rich powerful groups of people all call the shots in secret, doesn't matter who the "elected" president is, they are going to do what they want to do, unless, people know the truth... ..."
"... It wouldn't surprise me if this also applied on Swedish media. For decades our journalism was very neutral showing two sides of the story, but nowdays, last 7-8 years, things have changed. Swedish media has to a high degree become incredible one-sided in the writing of world politics... I started to notice the change some 7-8 years ago. Of course I find expectations like the municipal Television station SVT that still seems two-sided, but most written press in Sweden have become rotten, very rotten. ..."
"... The US's MIC has to find other ways to make money. This MIC could spend money on developing outer space programs, go the depths of the oceans, and study the fauna and flora on the earth. This nonsense of creating and making enemies on earth has to stop. The world is too small for this NONSENSE. ..."
"... Who has built the first concentration camp? It was the British Empire during the war against the Boers. The British put women, children and old people in these camps to make the Boers surrender. ..."
Oct 18, 2014 | www.youtube.com

German journalist and editor Udo Ulfkotte says he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that noncompliance ran the risk of being fired. Ulfkotte made the revelations during interviews with RT and Russia Insider.


Abel Danger , 3 years ago

OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD - Operation Mockingbird was (IS) a secret campaign by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to influence media. Begun in the 1950s, it was initially organized by Cord Meyer and Allen W. Dulles, and was later led by Frank Wisner after Dulles became the head of the CIA. The organization recruited leading American journalists into a network to help present the CIA's views, and funded some student and cultural organizations, and magazines as fronts. As it developed, it also worked to influence foreign media and political campaigns, in addition to activities by other operating units of the CIA. In addition to earlier exposιs of CIA activities in foreign affairs, in 1966 Ramparts magazine published an article revealing that the National Student Association was funded by the CIA. The United States Congress investigated, and published its report in 1976. Other accounts were also published. The media operation was first called Mockingbird in Deborah Davis's 1979 book, Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and her Washington Post Empire.

2dogarage , 1 year ago

Dead at 56... RIP brave man

Aljo , 2 years ago

the secret societies, the banks, the oil families and other super rich powerful groups of people all call the shots in secret, doesn't matter who the "elected" president is, they are going to do what they want to do, unless, people know the truth...

John Zook , 2 years ago

Being of German decent my sympathies are with the people of Germany. Not to say that the Russian people haven't had a bad deal, of course they have under the Bolshevik Jews who nearly destroyed Russia for the sake of Zionist ideology.

The people of Germany deserve better than this. They need to overthrow American control of their government and their media and replace it with pro German people who will serve the interests of Germany, not that of the vicious prostitute Washington and their pimps. Not that of the corrupt child molesting swine in Belgium who control the E.U.

They need to do something about it now and decisively take back control of their own country. Germany must stop being a puppet controlled by the worst criminal element in the world.... the CIA. Freedom for Germany!

Владимир Порфирьевич , 3 years ago

The EU pawns are ruled by the US lords! and The EU has Imposed the sanctions on Russia and thanks to that destroys the European economies because it is good for the US economy!

The US has weaken the EU companies so the Americans have weak competitors in Europe and on the agreement between the European Union and the United States the American companies and economy will gain but European companies and farms will lost and many Europeans will lost their jobs for the sake of US welfare!

The US manufacturers will earning and developing but the Europeans will go bankrupt and lost their jobs!

Christian Christensen , 2 years ago

It wouldn't surprise me if this also applied on Swedish media. For decades our journalism was very neutral showing two sides of the story, but nowdays, last 7-8 years, things have changed. Swedish media has to a high degree become incredible one-sided in the writing of world politics... I started to notice the change some 7-8 years ago. Of course I find expectations like the municipal Television station SVT that still seems two-sided, but most written press in Sweden have become rotten, very rotten.

Olav Larsen , 3 years ago (edited)

Good for you, coming clean about Germany's role in all this. Germany pretending to be innocent since WW2 but they're just as involved as any of the other usual suspects. And when I say Germany, I don't mean ordinary citizens but the intelligence media and political establishment.

colin porter , 2 years ago

I wouldn't mind if America was controlling the world if they had any moral integrity. The country was born through the genocide of the natives and the re population of the country with slaves. Covertly funding and supporting dictators tyrants and terrorists since the end of the second world war as part of their foreign policy. Training illiterate Afghan farmers in terrorist tactics to fight the Russians in a proxy war encouraging Jihad to get more Muslims to fight the Russians creating what we call today modern radical extremism. Funny how it became immoral when American blood was shed. Funny how all of Saddam's transgressions were ignored while he was at war with Iran and how stopping the war with Iran suddenly made these actions unacceptable to America(how did Saddam gain power again?).

The really astounding thing to me is how the American public seem to have this idea of being the bastion of freedom and democracy. But then Again everyone in my country seems to be similarly ignorant about our own foreign policy and atrocities committed in the name of Empire.

We killed more than Hitler did and were a lot worse. Just most of our victims were brown or black so don't seem to matter. You are only really evil if you commit Genocide against white European Jews. Non whites don't seem to matter.

Ro Nom , 3 years ago (edited)

Brave man. Corporate news is what we get in the western world. I did not know Europe did not have a free press also. Russia has government news, which is more free than our military industrial complex and corporate news. The big military industries want wars and endless wars. Our government is a puppet on their strings. I would rather have a government in control rather than a government under the control of military industries which creates endless wars to feed this military corporate monster.

This is a small planet. We are all inter connected. This nonsense of creating and making enemies on this little planet has to stop. We have to learn to get all along.

The US's MIC has to find other ways to make money. This MIC could spend money on developing outer space programs, go the depths of the oceans, and study the fauna and flora on the earth. This nonsense of creating and making enemies on earth has to stop. The world is too small for this NONSENSE.

Qrayon , 2 years ago

Herr Ulfkotte is a man of courage, but when he says that the BND was formed by the CIA, he doesn't mention that the CIA has roots in the Gehlen Spy network of the 3rd Reich after WW2.

Justus v. Blutacker , 3 years ago

Who has built the first concentration camp? It was the British Empire during the war against the Boers. The British put women, children and old people in these camps to make the Boers surrender.

The same is true for the Americans in WW2 in regard to German and Japanese civilians. (Just two examples of many!) These f*** Anglo-Saxons killed millions of people just for the heck of it -- in Dresden, Hiroshima, many smaller places all around the world... -- and they keep doing it in several Arabian countries these days. Of course, other empires, like the Russian, or the German, did evil deeds in their history but they took the responsibility. I hope that the Anglo-Saxons once will have their own 'Nuremberg'.

[Sep 14, 2018] English Translation of Udo Ulfkotte s Bought Journalists Suppressed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... My guess is that this book is just too dangerous to allow it to become part of the debate on "fake news" and "Russiagate." Of course now the CIA doesn't even have to exclusively – "own"- journalists as fronts when ex-CIA heads are being hired outright by MSM as pundits. I just wish someone with access would post an English language PDF version online. It would be a real contribution to free thought and free speech to do so. ..."
"... Western elites realize what they could have, what they could do and what they could get away with, but only if they reinvent the political system Hitler created. If they defeat every enemy abroad who might stop them, next they'll do to their own people what the Nazis did to those they didn't want alive ..."
"... Journos have long been pliant enablers for Intel agencies. It's strange how Dr. Ulfkotte's revelations have been taken as some signifier of further Western moral decay/decadence. ..."
"... The real story here, which the media pretends not to notice, is that if Intelligence services and corporations did not finance newspapers they would cease to exist. The old business model whereby newspapers covered their costs by selling advertising and paid circulation is finished. Under that model there were, to an extent, incentives for the publisher to preserve a modicum of credibility in order to keep readership, as well as reasons to publish sensational stories to beat competition. ..."
"... The days that Ulfkotte recalled were times when it took lots of money and careful preparation to put spooks into the newsroom, nowadays the papers are only too happy to publish the CIA's PR and very grateful if the government pays their journalists' salaries. ..."
"... To understand how journalism is bought, go analyze the output of the Uk's Daily Telegraph. They literally sell space to lobbyists and for several years outraged BTL comment would tear the articles to shreds. The whole UK Press prostitutes itself whenever there is a US war on i.e. all the time. It really is about time the CIA were unmasked – they do not serve our interests, they serve only their own . ..."
Sep 14, 2018 | off-guardian.org

intergenerationaltrauma says February 11, 2018

The rather obvious suppression of the English version of what was a "best seller" in Germany suggests that the Western system of thought manipulation and consent manufacture sees itself as weaker and more vulnerable than one might at first imagine.

We can see from a year+ of "Russiagate" that Western media is a clown-show, much of so called "alternative media" included.

My guess is that this book is just too dangerous to allow it to become part of the debate on "fake news" and "Russiagate." Of course now the CIA doesn't even have to exclusively – "own"- journalists as fronts when ex-CIA heads are being hired outright by MSM as pundits. I just wish someone with access would post an English language PDF version online. It would be a real contribution to free thought and free speech to do so.

Google Talpiot Program says January 30, 2018
Just like "200 years together" by Solzhenitsyn which was never officially published in English despite Andrei having authored many works which were big sellers. Just an example of other private business and corporations are often fully responsible for pro-establishment censorship.
Harry Stotle says January 15, 2018
The treatment of the book aroused suspicion because of its content – ie supine news outlets forever dancing to the tune of western military imperatives.

Ongoing support for illegal wars tell us that the MSM has hardly been at the forefront of informing readers why war criminals like Hilary and Obama keep getting away with it. In fact Obama, just like Kissinger was awarded a peace prize – so obviously something has gone very wrong somewhere.

It may be, although it seems unlikely that the mis-handling of an important theme like this is simply due to oversight by the publisher (as Matt claims) but neither is it beyond the realms of possibility that somebody has had a word with someone in the publishing world, perhaps because they are not overly keen on the fact Udo Ulfkotte has deviated from the media's mono-narrative about why it is necessary for the US to destabilise countries and kill so many of their citizens.

Lets face it – it would be harder for the pattern to be maintained if the MSM was not so afraid of telling the truth, or at least be more willing to hold to account politicians as the consequences of their disastrous policies unfold for all to see.

Maybe you want to have a go at answering the obvious question begged by such self evident truths – why are the MSM usually lying?

Marcus says January 20, 2018
The book was never published in English. It was advertised, and then withdrawn. That is suppression...
Michael McNulty says January 14, 2018
Somebody said banning books is the modern form of book burning, and like Heinrich Heine said two centuries ago, "Where they burn books, in the end, they start burning people."

Western elites realize what they could have, what they could do and what they could get away with, but only if they reinvent the political system Hitler created. If they defeat every enemy abroad who might stop them, next they'll do to their own people what the Nazis did to those they didn't want alive. If enough water sources are lost to fracking, and enough food sources lost through poisoned seas and forest fires, many people will go to their camps as refuge but few will survive them. This ecological destruction is for future population reduction.

In the US they use newspeak to say what the Nazis described with more honesty. Their master race became the indispensable nation, their world domination became full spectrum dominance, and Totalerkrieg became the global war on terror. There will be others.

jones says January 12, 2018
Farzad Basoft anyone ? Journos have long been pliant enablers for Intel agencies. It's strange how Dr. Ulfkotte's revelations have been taken as some signifier of further Western moral decay/decadence.
summitflyer says January 15, 2018
Maybe I am taking what you wrote out of context but I don't find it strange at all .It is just that someone, Udo, on the inside has become a whistle blower , and confirmed what most suspected .The establishment can't have that.

See John Swinton on the independence of the press at http://constitution.org/pub/swinton_press.htm

Connect says January 12, 2018
As the economy growth has this so-called invisible hand, journalism also has an 'invisible pen'. One of the questions that need an answer: how come feminists are so anti-Putin and anti-Russia? Easy to connect to dots?
bevin says January 11, 2018
The real story here, which the media pretends not to notice, is that if Intelligence services and corporations did not finance newspapers they would cease to exist. The old business model whereby newspapers covered their costs by selling advertising and paid circulation is finished. Under that model there were, to an extent, incentives for the publisher to preserve a modicum of credibility in order to keep readership, as well as reasons to publish sensational stories to beat competition.

Those days are gone: none of the newspapers make financial profits, they now exist because they have patrons. They always did, of course, but now they have nothing else- the advertisers have left and circulation is diminishing rapidly.

The days that Ulfkotte recalled were times when it took lots of money and careful preparation to put spooks into the newsroom, nowadays the papers are only too happy to publish the CIA's PR and very grateful if the government pays their journalists' salaries.

As to competition that is restricted to publishers competing to demonstrate their loyalty to the government and their ingenuity in candy coating its propaganda.

Anyone doubt that Luke Harding will be in the running for a Pulitzer? Or perhaps even the Nobel Prize for Literature?

Serge Lubomudrov says January 11, 2018
For those whose German is not good enough (like me, unfortunately), but know Russian, there's a Russian translation: https://www.litres.ru/udo-ulfkotte/prodazhnye-zhurnalisty-lubaya-pravda-za-vashi-dengi/
vexarb says January 9, 2018
For what it's worth, I skimmed through this very long link by Matt, and could find no mention of poison gas -- certainly no denunciation -- just horrific conventional arms : Der Spiegel 1984: http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13508659.html

Also for what it's worth, the German publisher's blurb which I got Google to translate above, says there is much more to the book than old Soddem: the author names names and points to organizations.

Now, without any evidence, based only on my faulty memory and highly biased interpretation of events strung together on a timeline, here is my conspiracy story about a very nice country called Iraq and a very nasty Iraqi called Saddam who came to a very nasty end at the hands of his much more nasty friends, who first gave him a boost and then put in the boot.

George Cornell says January 9, 2018
That is more than plausible. Unfortunately. Hard not to sympathize with the Iraqis and feel shame for what has been done in the name of the US and UK. Rotten to the core, and sanctimonious to boot.
rtj1211 says January 9, 2018
To understand how journalism is bought, go analyze the output of the Uk's Daily Telegraph. They literally sell space to lobbyists and for several years outraged BTL comment would tear the articles to shreds. The whole UK Press prostitutes itself whenever there is a US war on i.e. all the time. It really is about time the CIA were unmasked – they do not serve our interests, they serve only their own .
Carrie says January 9, 2018
The Guardian sells space to lobbyists too. Not ad space – article space. It's literally hiring itself out to whomever wants to buy the right to publish an article under its name.
Brian Steere says January 8, 2018
Well one things stands out in bold and that is the fear that such a revelation is associated with. 'Broad spectrum dominance' of a central intelligent agency is a reversal of the wholeness of being expressing through all its parts.

Fake intelligence is basically made up to serve a believed goal. The terrorism of fear generates the goal of a self-protection that sells true relationship to 'save itself'.

This goes deep into what we take to be our mind. The mind that thinks it is in control by controlling what it thinks.

If I can observe this in myself at will, is it any surprise I can see it in our world?

What is the fear that most deeply motivates or drives the human agenda?
I do not ask this of our superficial thinking, but of a core self-honesty that cannot be 'killed' but only covered over with a thinking-complex.

And is it insane or unreal to be moved by love?

We are creatures of choice and beneath all masking, we are also the creator of choice.
But the true creative is not framed into a choosing between, but feeling one call as the movement of it.

When the 'intelligence' of a masking narrative no longer serves, be the willingness for what you no longer claim to have, and open to being moved from within.

candideschmyles says January 8, 2018
I am so tired of the simmering fury that lives inside me. This bubbling cauldron brim full of egregious truths, images and accounts accumulated over nearly 40 years of looking behind the headlines. I disagree that the usurpation of journalists and media organisations is in any way a recent phenomena. It certainly predates my emergent mind. And even the most lauded of anti-establishment hacks and film makers self-censored to some degree. True, the blatant in your face propaganda and thought control agenda has accelerated, but it was always there. I do not believe Chomsky, Oliver Stone, Pilger and their like could have done much more than they have, that is to guide us in a direction counter to the official narrative. And to insinuate they are gatekeepers, when our heads never stretch above the parapet, is really just a reflection of our own frustration that despite their work the only change remains for the worse.
Yet I fear worse is to come. Our safe bitching in glorious anonymity has been all that we have had as solace to the angst that pervades us, the other 1%. But the the thumbscrew is tightening. We may be as little as months away from any dissent being entirely removed from the internet by AI algorithms. I have already been receiving warnings on several sites anyone here would call legitimate that have had their security certificates removed and the statement that the site may contain malicious code etc. How prepared are we for blackout?
Serge Lubomudrov says January 8, 2018
The publisher even removed the 2 year old news announcement about the book! Though the twit is still there. Probably, overlooked.

https://twitter.com/saumacus/status/950468330086858757

summitflyer says January 8, 2018
A foundation should be set up in remembrance of Udo and sponsored by all true journalists and truth seekers. Maybe some day there will be a Udo Ulfkotte award to the bravest journalist of the year .Wouldn't that be something .Udo's work would not have been in vain . That would throw a monkey wrench into orgs like the Guardian and their ilk .Just dreaming out loud maybe , but with good intentions.
Alun Thomas says January 8, 2018
Original German version can be found here: http://gen.lib.rus.ec/book/index.php?md5=ABA05365ABE35FD446D6F83B149A32A2
Unfortunately no english version, but other controversial texts have sometimes been crowd-translated, maybe something like this may happen
Chris G says January 8, 2018
Thank you Alun for the link to the German edition, which I have managed to download (naughty me!) I think the suggestion of retranslating important sections and dressing these in some commentary for (presumably legitimate) publication on e.g. Off-G would be a good idea. I'm quite fluent in German and would be glad to help.
Mods: do you see any legal pitfalls?
Admin says January 8, 2018
That depends on who holds the rights to the English language version and the original and whether they would want to take issue. If it's Ulfkotte's family they may be happy to see his work get some sort of airing in English. If it's his publishers we can imagine they will see things differently – as indeed would whoever it is that seems to want the book buried.
Martin Read says January 8, 2018
Tried to get to that site and was told that I couldn't via my Virgin provider because of a High Court order. Somebody moved a bit quickly.
Carrie says January 8, 2018
Me too! My Broadband provider is blocking access due to a High Court injunction.

@ChrisG & @Alun Thomas – can you guys still get there? It might be a country or region thing.

Alun Thomas says January 8, 2018
I heard it is blocked in many western countries, as the site is well known for its disregard for copyright. Fortunately not the case where I am (NZ). If you're technically inclined, a VPN or anonymising application may help, although a VPN that 'exits' in a western area won't get you any further ahead.
George Cornell says January 8, 2018
I had no problem, but provider in Canada
Arrby says January 11, 2018
One hopes. I also hold out hope for F. William Engdahl's "Geheimakte NGOs." Here's a Dissident Voice article in which Engdahl discusses the role of NGOs in aiding and abetting the US regime change program:

https://dissidentvoice.org/2017/07/the-us-empire-the-cia-and-the-ngos/

I also recommend, highly, Stephen Gowans's article about social networking in the service of the US regime change program:

"Overthrow Inc.: Peter Ackerman's quest to do what the CIA used to do, and make it seem progressive" by Stephen Gowans
https://gowans.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/overthrow-inc-peter-ackerman%E2%80%99s-quest-to-do-what-the-cia-used-to-so-and-make-it-seem-progressive/

Frank says January 8, 2018
Yes, it has also been interesting to note that in 2015 the Guardian published a review of Richard Sakwa's book 'Frontline Ukraine' in which the author was critical of both NATO and the EU, in fomenting this crisis. The 2014 'coup' which was carried out in February 2014 was, according to the independent geopolitical publication, Strator, 'the most blatant in history.' The appraisal which was carried out by Guardian journalist Jonathon Steele was generally favourably disposed to Sakwa's record of events; however, Mr Steele now rarely publishes anything in the Guardian. Read into this what you like.

As to Sakwa's latest book,'' Russia Against the Rest'', – nothing, not a peep, it doesn't exist, it never existed, it never will exist. It would appear to be the case that the Guardian is now fully integrated into the military/surveillance/media-propaganda apparatus. The liberal gatekeeper as to what is and what isn't acceptable. Its function is pure to serve the interests of the powerful, in much the same way as the church did in the middle ages. The media doesn't just serve the interests power it is also part of the same structure of dominance, albeit the liberal wing of the ruling coalition.

During the British war against the Boers in South Africa, at the turn of the 19/20 century, the then Manchester Guardian took a brave and critical stand against the UK government. This lead to its offices in Manchester being attacked by jingoistic mobs, as was the home of the then editor C.P.Scott, whose family needed police protection. In those days 'Facts were Sacred', unlike the present where opposing views are increasingly ignored or suppressed.

Hugh O'Neill says January 8, 2018
Having just watched the documentary film tribute to I.F. Stone, "All Governments Lie", I was struck by the fact that no-one mentioned Michael Hastings, the Rolling Stone journalist (who outed General McChrystal, but whose Mercedes went mysteriously out of control, hit a tree and exploded, throwing the engine 200 yards clear of the wreck ). Here was a film about control and self-censorship, yet no-one even breathed the acronyms C.I.A. or FBI. Matt Taibbi referred to a silent coup, but none dared to mention the assassinations of JFK, MLK and RFK. These doyens of Truth included the thoroughly dodgy Noam Chomsky. Finally, the Spartacus website suggests that the saintly I.F. Stone was in the pay of the CIA. Other terms unspoken were CIA Operation Mockingbird or Operation Northwoods. There was a clip of 9/11, but zero attempt to join up all the dots.
RIP Udo Ulfkotte. CIA long ago developed a dart to induce all the signs of a heart attack, so one is naturally somewhat suspicious. Lies and assassinations are two sides of the same coin.
Harry Stotle says January 8, 2018
The only thing harder to find than Udo Ulfkotte's book is a Guardian review of it.

I daresay any mention of this book, BTL, would immediately be moderated (i.e censored) followed by a yellow or red card for the cheeky commentator.
The level of pretence on this forum has now reached epic proportions, and seems to cuts both ways, ie. commentators pretending that there are not several subjects which are virtually impossible to discuss in any depth (such as media censorship), and moderators pretending that 'community standards' is not simply a crude device to control conversational discourse, especially when a commentators point of view stray beyond narrow, Guardian approved borders.

Books, such as 'Bought Journalists' (which expose the corruption at the heart of western media) are especially inconvenient for the risible 'fake news' agenda currently being rammed down the readerships throat – some of these people at the Guardian have either absolutely no insight, or no shame.

Harry Stotle says January 8, 2018
This piece put me in mind of Daniele Gansers seminal book, 'NATOs secret armies' Of course Off-G picked up on it but I can't find any commentary from the Guardian
https://off-guardian.org/2015/07/17/natos-secret-armies-gladio-in-western-europe/

Ulfkotte and Ganser in their ways are both telling a similar story – NATO, i.e an arm of the US military industrial complex are mass murderers and sufficiently intimidating to have most western journalists singing from the same hymn sheet.

Since the Guardian follows the party line it is only possible to send coded or cryptic messages (BTL) should commentators wish to deviate from the approved narrative.
For example, I was 'pre-moderated' for having doubts about the veracity of the so called 'Parsons Green tube bomb', especially the nature of the injuries inflicted on a young model who looked like she was suffering from toothache.
https://www.thenational.ae/image/policy:1.628812:1505494262/wo16-web-parsons-green.JPG?f=16Χ9&w=1024&$p$f$w=e135eda

My guess is NATO's secret army are still in full swing but there is no chance the Guardian will pick up on it – they're too busy whipping up antipathy towards Iran.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/05/west-ignores-iranian-people-power-peril#comments

George Cornell says January 8, 2018
Been there, done that. What ordinarily happens if the submission is proper and cannot be censored on the basis of impropriety or foulmouthedness or any other good reason, but exposes a Guardian sacred cow in an embarrassing light, is that it is said to be off topic. Now this is really unaccountable, and truly subjective.

The community in community standards is "them" and has close ties to the 1%, if I hazard a guess.

[Sep 14, 2018] Russian translation of the book

Sep 14, 2018 | www.litmir.me

ЛитМир - Электронная Библиотека > Ульфкотте Удо > Продажные журналисты. Любая правда за ваши деньги

[Sep 14, 2018] The book Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News Dr. Udo Ulfkotte was "privished"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Anyone who claims there are no conspiracies, that there are no behind-the-scenes efforts by powerful people to suppress information that would expose their efforts at global domination, is full of crap. ..."
"... How many CIA-paid journalists do you have on staff at the Washington Post? ..."
"... The author who was a deputy editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine and worked there for 17 years turns whistleblower and spills the beans on the corruption of German media by US lobby agencies which have CIA backing. ..."
"... The news is always given a pro American slant and journalists can look forward to rewards for their efforts. Should they not collude then their career is over. Corrupted German journalists are named and shamed. The EU is also revealed to be equally corrupt . ..."
"... German journalists assigned to EU reporting have to sign a document stating that they will never write anything negative about the EU. The level of manipulation by the EU is also frightening. ..."
"... This situation reeks of Stasi or Asian plutocratic realms. We want our freedom back! What are you people (including colluding Amazon) trying to cover up? Shame on you! ..."
"... The collussion of corporate media and Western intelligence is a taboo subject one must surmise. It suggests that our power structure realizes it has a rather fragile hold on the popular mind when the CIA morphs into the former KGB to simply suppress and disappear unacceptable reporting. ..."
"... I would suggest that the absolute silence by MSM about this book and its censorship validates the authors contentions that much of MSM reporting is right out of the Western intelligence agencies and has nothing whatsoever to do with reality on the ground. ..."
Sep 14, 2018 | www.amazon.com

Steven Yates 5.0 out of 5 stars August 7, 2017 Format: Hardcover

This book was "privished"

No, I haven't read the book, because it is priced completely out of my reach. I am giving it five stars anyway because of what I've read *about* it, as I've followed its author's saga -- the blackout by German media of the original German edition Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalists) for a couple of years now, raids by German police on the author's house, his noting how he feared for his life, and his finally being found dead on January 13 of this year "from a heart attack" (he was only 56, and because it is possible to kill someone in ways that look like a heart attack, some people believe he was murdered).

The fate of a whistleblower against one of the world's most powerful organizations in a controlled society being passed off as a democracy?

Two things are abundantly clear:

(1) The English translation of this book has been "privished." There are a couple of good recent discussions of what it means to "privish" a book, but Amazon will not allow me to link to them. So let's just say: the purpose of "privishing" is make a book with an unwanted message disappear without a trace by limiting information about it, destroying its marketability by printing too few copies, and refusing reprint rights, so that the copies available are too expensive for readers of ordinary means (which is nearly all of us).

(2) Anyone who claims there are no conspiracies, that there are no behind-the-scenes efforts by powerful people to suppress information that would expose their efforts at global domination, is full of crap.

XXX, September 30, 2017 Format: Paperback
Sell this book so we can buy it!

Amazon, you are a tool of the State. This book is available in English at a market competitive price. Why do you refuse to make it available to your customers?

How many CIA-paid journalists do you have on staff at the Washington Post? To the reviewer who asked how much money the author will see from the exhorbotant price of the book, he won't see any because he is dead.

He died of hearth issues shortly after the publication of the book. He did have a history of heart ailments so I am not implying a sinister act. You can find an good interview with him on YouTube if they haven't removed it.

XXX, November 11, 2017 Format: Paperback
Dynamite

Have read this book in German but as far as I know it is no longer available in bookshops in Germany either. The author who was a deputy editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine and worked there for 17 years turns whistleblower and spills the beans on the corruption of German media by US lobby agencies which have CIA backing.

The news is always given a pro American slant and journalists can look forward to rewards for their efforts. Should they not collude then their career is over. Corrupted German journalists are named and shamed. The EU is also revealed to be equally corrupt .

German journalists assigned to EU reporting have to sign a document stating that they will never write anything negative about the EU. The level of manipulation by the EU is also frightening. The author himself was part of the set up and even received a prestigious reward for his pro America efforts but eventually became disgusted by the system and his collusion in it.

I pre ordered the book last year in English on Amazon as my son wanted to read it but I kept receiving emails from Amazon changing publication dates and eventually they informed me that they were unable to access the book. There is no doubt that the book is dynamite and has been suppressed because of this.

XXX, July 31, 2017 Format: Hardcover
Tyranny in America Writ Large In A Super-Large Price

Somebody has set the price of this book -- available in English though it is -- so high as to make it unavailable. I wonder, if some rich or extremely extravagant person were to bye this book at the $1300 price it's offered at, would the author ever see a dime of that?

This situation reeks of Stasi or Asian plutocratic realms. We want our freedom back! What are you people (including colluding Amazon) trying to cover up? Shame on you!

XXX, August 16, 2017 Format: Paperback
Second book I've wanted that's been banned

Second book I've wanted that's been banned by Amazon. Shame on you, Mr. Bezos. Unfortunately for you, more people are waking up to this. The cracks are starting to show.

bossaboy on November 19, 2017
The suppression of the English language version of this book is censorship of the most Orwellian kind.

I have been awaiting the English version of this book for several years now, watching with interest while the publishing date was delayed multiple times. As a best seller in Germany one had to wonder why it would take years to translate the book to English unless there were forces working against publication. Well, low and behold it is finally set to publish in May 2017 when it again doesn't and finally disappears from sight. The obvious suppression of this book is censorship of the press and of course speaks volumes about Western "freedom of the press" as a fantasy.

The collussion of corporate media and Western intelligence is a taboo subject one must surmise. It suggests that our power structure realizes it has a rather fragile hold on the popular mind when the CIA morphs into the former KGB to simply suppress and disappear unacceptable reporting.

I would suggest that the absolute silence by MSM about this book and its censorship validates the authors contentions that much of MSM reporting is right out of the Western intelligence agencies and has nothing whatsoever to do with reality on the ground.

Somewhere in the great beyond Orwell is smiling and thinking "I told you so."

[Sep 12, 2018] If You Read This Book, It'll Make You a Radical A Conversation with Thomas Frank by John Siman

Notable quotes:
"... "Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps ..."
"... And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory. ..."
Sep 11, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thomas Frank's new collection of essays: Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society (Metropolitan Books 2018) and Listen, Liberal; or,Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? (ibid. 2016)

To hang out with Thomas Frank for a couple of hours is to be reminded that, going back to 1607, say, or to 1620, for a period of about three hundred and fifty years, the most archetypal of American characters was, arguably, the hard-working, earnest, self-controlled, dependable white Protestant guy, last presented without irony a generation or two -- or three -- ago in the television personas of men like Ward Cleaver and Mister Rogers.

Thomas Frank, who grew up in Kansas and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, who at age 53 has the vibe of a happy eager college nerd, not only glows with authentic Midwestern Nice (and sometimes his face turns red when he laughs, which is often), he actually lives in suburbia, just outside of D.C., in Bethesda, where, he told me, he takes pleasure in mowing the lawn and doing some auto repair and fixing dinner for his wife and two children. (Until I met him, I had always assumed it was impossible for a serious intellectual to live in suburbia and stay sane, but Thomas Frank has proven me quite wrong on this.)

Frank is sincerely worried about the possibility of offending friends and acquaintances by the topics he chooses to write about. He told me that he was a B oy Scout back in Kansas, but didn't make Eagle. He told me that he was perhaps a little too harsh on Hillary Clinton in his brilliantly perspicacious "Liberal Gilt [ sic ]" chapter at the end of Listen, Liberal . His piercing insight into and fascination with the moral rot and the hypocrisy that lies in the American soul brings, well, Nathaniel Hawthorne to mind, yet he refuses to say anything (and I tried so hard to bait him!) mean about anyone, no matter how culpable he or she is in the ongoing dissolving and crumbling and sinking -- all his metaphors -- of our society. And with such metaphors Frank describes the "one essential story" he is telling in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "This is what a society looks like when the glue that holds it together starts to dissolve. This is the way ordinary citizens react when they learn that the structure beneath them is crumbling. And this is the thrill that pulses through the veins of the well-to-do when they discover that there is no longer any limit on their power to accumulate" ( Thomas Frank in NYC on book tour https://youtu.be/DBNthCKtc1Y ).

And I believe that Frank's self-restraint, his refusal to indulge in bitter satire even as he parses our every national lie, makes him unique as social critic. "You will notice," he writes in the introduction to Rendezvous with Oblivion, "that I describe [these disasters] with a certain amount of levity. I do that because that's the only way to confront the issues of our time without sinking into debilitating gloom" (p. 8). And so rather than succumbing to an existential nausea, Frank descends into the abyss with a dependable flashlight and a ca. 1956 sitcom-dad chuckle.

"Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps " (p. 178).

And it is his analysis of this "Creative Class" -- he usually refers to it as the "Liberal Class" and sometimes as the "Meritocratic Class" in Listen, Liberal (while Barbara Ehrenreich uses the term " Professional Managerial Class ,"and Matthew Stewart recently published an article entitled "The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy" in the Atlantic ) -- that makes it clear that Frank's work is a continuation of the profound sociological critique that goes back to Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) and, more recently, to Christopher Lasch's The Revolt of the Elites (1994).

Unlike Veblen and Lasch, however, Frank is able to deliver the harshest news without any hauteur or irascibility, but rather with a deftness and tranquillity of mind, for he is both in and of the Creative Class; he abides among those afflicted by the epidemic which he diagnoses: "Today we live in a world of predatory bankers, predatory educators, even predatory health care providers, all of them out for themselves . Liberalism itself has changed to accommodate its new constituents' technocratic views. Today, liberalism is the philosophy not of the sons of toil but of the 'knowledge economy' and, specifically, of the knowledge economy's winners: the Silicon Valley chieftains, the big university systems, and the Wall Street titans who gave so much to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign . They are a 'learning class' that truly gets the power of education. They are a 'creative class' that naturally rebels against fakeness and conformity. They are an ' innovation class ' that just can't stop coming up with awesome new stuff" ( Listen, Liberal , pp. 27-29).

And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory.

The class that now runs the so-called Party of the People is impoverishing the people; the genius value-creators at Amazon and Google and Uber are Robber Barons, although, one must grant, hipper, cooler, and oh so much more innovative than their historical predecessors. "In reality," Frank writes in Listen, Liberal ,

.there is little new about this stuff except the software, the convenience, and the spying. Each of the innovations I have mentioned merely updates or digitizes some business strategy that Americans learned long ago to be wary of. Amazon updates the practices of Wal-Mart, for example, while Google has dusted off corporate behavior from the days of the Robber Barons. What Uber does has been compared to the every-man-for-himself hiring procedures of the pre-union shipping docks . Together, as Robert Reich has written, all these developments are 'the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.' This is atavism, not innovation . And if we keep going in this direction, it will one day reduce all of us to day laborers, standing around like the guys outside the local hardware store, hoping for work. (p. 215).

And who gets this message? The YouTube patriot/comedian Jimmy Dore, Chicago-born, ex-Catholic, son of a cop, does for one. "If you read this b ook, " Dore said while interviewing Frank back in January of 2017, "it'll make y ou a radical" (Frank Interview Part 4 https://youtu.be/JONbGkQaq8Q ).

But to what extent, on the other hand, is Frank being actively excluded from our elite media outlets? He's certainly not on TV or radio or in print as much as he used to be. So is he a prophet without honor in his own country? Frank, of course, is too self-restrained to speculate about the motives of these Creative Class decision-makers and influencers. "But it is ironic and worth mentioning," he told me, "that most of my writing for the last few years has been in a British publication, The Guardian and (in translation) in Le Monde Diplomatique . The way to put it, I think, is to describe me as an ex-pundit."

Frank was, nevertheless, happy to tell me in vivid detail about how his most fundamental observation about America, viz. that the Party of the People has become hostile to the people , was for years effectively discredited in the Creative Class media -- among the bien-pensants , that is -- and about what he learned from their denialism.

JS: Going all the way back to your 2004 book What's the Matter with Kansas? -- I just looked at Larry Bartels's attack on it, "What's the Matter with What's the Matter with Kansas?" -- and I saw that his first objection to your book was, Well, Thomas Frank says the working class is alienated from the Democrats, but I have the math to show that that's false. How out of touch does that sound now?

TCF: [laughs merrily] I know.

JS: I remember at the time that was considered a serious objection to your thesis.

TCF: Yeah. Well, he was a professor at Princeton. And he had numbers. So it looked real. And I actually wrote a response to that in which I pointed out that there were other statistical ways of looking at it, and he had chosen the one that makes his point.

JS: Well, what did Mark Twain say?

TCF: Mark Twain?

JS: There are lies, damned lies --

TCF: [laughs merrily] -- and statistics! Yeah. Well, anyhow, Bartels's take became the common sense of the highly educated -- there needs to be a term for these people by the way, in France they're called the bien-pensants -- the "right-thinking," the people who read The Atlantic, The New York Times op-ed page, The Washington Post op-ed page, and who all agree with each other on everything -- there's this tight little circle of unanimity. And they all agreed that Bartels was right about that, and that was a costly mistake. For example, Paul Krugman, a guy whom I admire in a lot of ways, he referenced this four or five times. He agreed with it . No, the Democrats are not losing the white working class outside the South -- they were not going over to the Republicans. The suggestion was that there is nothing to worry about. Yes. And there were people saying this right up to the 2016 election. But it was a mistake.

JS: I remember being perplexed at the time. I had thought you had written this brilliant book, and you weren't being taken seriously -- because somebody at Princeton had run some software -- as if that had proven you wrong.

TCF: Yeah, that's correct . That was a very widespread take on it. And Bartels was incorrect, and I am right, and [laughs merrily] that's that.

JS: So do you think Russiagate is a way of saying, Oh no no no no, Hillary didn't really lose?

TCF: Well, she did win the popular vote -- but there's a whole set of pathologies out there right now that all stem from Hillary Denialism. And I don't want to say that Russiagate is one of them, because we don't know the answer to that yet.

JS: Um, ok.

TCF: Well, there are all kinds of questionable reactions to 2016 out there, and what they all have in common is the faith that Democrats did nothing wrong. For example, this same circle of the bien-pensants have decided that the only acceptable explanation for Trump's victory is the racism of his supporters. Racism can be the only explanation for the behavior of Trump voters. But that just seems odd to me because, while it's true of course that there's lots of racism in this country, and while Trump is clearly a bigot and clearly won the bigot vote, racism is just one of several factors that went into what happened in 2016. Those who focus on this as the only possible answer are implying that all Trump voters are irredeemable, lost forever.

And it comes back to the same point that was made by all those people who denied what was happening with the white working class, which is: The Democratic Party needs to do nothing differently . All the post-election arguments come back to this same point. So a couple years ago they were saying about the white working class -- we don't have to worry about them -- they're not leaving the Democratic Party, they're totally loyal, especially in the northern states, or whatever the hell it was. And now they say, well, Those people are racists, and therefore they're lost to us forever. What is the common theme of these two arguments? It's always that there's nothing the Democratic Party needs to do differently. First, you haven't lost them; now you have lost them and they're irretrievable: Either way -- you see what I'm getting at? -- you don't have to do anything differently to win them.

JS: Yes, I do.

TCF: The argument in What's the Matter with Kansas? was that this is a long-term process, the movement of the white working class away from the Democratic Party. This has been going on for a long time. It begins in the '60s, and the response of the Democrats by and large has been to mock those people, deride those people, and to move away from organized labor, to move away from class issues -- working class issues -- and so their response has been to make this situation worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse! And there's really no excuse for them not seeing it. But they say, believe, rationalize, you know, come up with anything that gets then off the hook for this, that allows them to ignore this change. Anything. They will say or believe whatever it takes.

JS: Yes.

TCF: By the way, these are the smartest people! These are tenured professors at Ivy League institutions, these are people with Nobel Prizes, people with foundation grants, people with, you know, chairs at prestigious universities, people who work at our most prestigious media outlets -- that's who's wrong about all this stuff.

JS: [quoting the title of David Halberstam's 1972 book, an excerpt from which Frank uses as an epigraph for Listen, Liberal ] The best and the brightest!

TCF: [laughing merrily] Exactly. Isn't it fascinating?

JS: But this gets to the irony of the thing. [locates highlighted passage in book] I'm going to ask you one of the questions you ask in Rendezvous with Oblivion: "Why are worshippers of competence so often incompetent?" (p. 165). That's a huge question.

TCF: That's one of the big mysteries. Look. Take a step back. I had met Barack Obama. He was a professor at the University of Chicago, and I'd been a student there. And he was super smart. Anyhow, I met him and was really impressed by him. All the liberals in Hyde Park -- that's the neighborhood we lived in -- loved him, and I was one of them, and I loved him too. And I was so happy when he got elected.

Anyhow, I knew one thing he would do for sure, and that is he would end the reign of cronyism and incompetence that marked the Bush administration and before them the Reagan administration. These were administrations that actively promoted incompetent people. And I knew Obama wouldn't do that, and I knew Obama would bring in the smartest people, and he'd get the best economists. Remember, when he got elected we were in the pit of the crisis -- we were at this terrible moment -- and here comes exactly the right man to solve the problem. He did exactly what I just described: He brought in [pause] Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard, considered the greatest economist of his generation -- and, you know, go down the list: He had Nobel Prize winners, he had people who'd won genius grants, he had The Best and the Brightest . And they didn't really deal with the problem. They let the Wall Street perpetrators off the hook -- in a catastrophic way, I would argue. They come up with a health care system that was half-baked. Anyhow, the question becomes -- after watching the great disappointments of the Obama years -- the question becomes: Why did government-by-expert fail?

JS: So how did this happen? Why?

TCF: The answer is understanding experts not as individual geniuses but as members of a class . This is the great missing link in all of our talk about expertise. Experts aren't just experts: They are members of a class. And they act like a class. They have loyalty to one another; they have a disdain for others, people who aren't like them, who they perceive as being lower than them, and there's this whole hierarchy of status that they are at the pinnacle of.

And once you understand this, then everything falls into place! So why did they let the Wall Street bankers off the hook? Because these people were them. These people are their peers. Why did they refuse to do what obviously needed to be done with the health care system? Because they didn't want to do that to their friends in Big Pharma. Why didn't Obama get tough with Google and Facebook? They obviously have this kind of scary monopoly power that we haven't seen in a long time. Instead, he brought them into the White House, he identified with them. Again, it's the same thing. Once you understand this, you say: Wait a minute -- so the Democratic Party is a vehicle of this particular social class! It all makes sense. And all of a sudden all of these screw-ups make sense. And, you know, all of their rhetoric makes sense. And the way they treat working class people makes sense. And they way they treat so many other demographic groups makes sense -- all of the old-time elements of the Democratic Party: unions, minorities, et cetera. They all get to ride in back. It's the professionals -- you know, the professional class -- that sits up front and has its hands on the steering wheel.

* * *

It is, given Frank's persona, not surprising that he is able to conclude Listen, Liberal with a certain hopefulness, and so let me end by quoting some of his final words:

What I saw in Kansas eleven years ago is now everywhere . It is time to face the obvious: that the direction the Democrats have chosen to follow for the last few decades has been a failure for both the nation and for their own partisan health . The Democrats posture as the 'party of the people' even as they dedicate themselves ever more resolutely to serving and glorifying the professional class. Worse: they combine self-righteousness and class privilege in a way that Americans find stomach-turning . The Democrats have no interest in reforming themselves in a more egalitarian way . What we can do is strip away the Democrats' precious sense of their own moral probity -- to make liberals live without the comforting knowledge that righteousness is always on their side . Once that smooth, seamless sense of liberal virtue has been cracked, anything becomes possible. (pp. 256-257).

[Sep 08, 2018] Washington ensured relection of Boris Yeltsin's in 1996 using combination of legitimate and illegitimate methods by Gordon M. Hahn

Notable quotes:
"... Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | gordonhahn.com

In the post-Soviet period, in addition to the color revolutions supported by the West outside Russia, the West has been involved inside Russia as well. Washington was also involved in helping Boris Yeltsin resist the August 1991 and October 1993 coups. Washington was indirectly involved in Boris Yeltsin's 1996 re-election campaign. As I have mentioned several times, a VERY reliable source confided to me that the xerox copying paper box filled with half a million dollars being transported for later use by Yeltsin's pro-democracy camp but intercepted by Yeltsin's hardline operatives consisted of U.S. funds. For a less revealng inkling of the kind of involvement see Time magazine's July 1996 article "Saving Boris"( http://content.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19960715,00.html or https://offgraun.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/201612201405.pdf ). McFaul noted that the three American consultants to Russian President Boris Yeltsin's 1996 re-election campaign -- George Gorton, Joe Shumate, and Richard Dresner -- contracted by Oleg Soskovets, a former first deputy prime minister whom Yeltsin named head of his campaign, were "breaking Russia's law against foreigners' working directly in campaigns" ( www.weeklystandard.com/yanks-brag-press-bites/article/8538 ). In addition, the IMF released a several billion dollar tranche of economic assistance on the election's eve to buttress Yeltsin further. Yeltsin's government was infested with US advisors, some of whom engaged in corrupt practices of insider trading on the Russian stock market as part of their 'democracy-promotion' efforts.

The U.S. government's Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty , among other government organs, carried out propaganda defending post-Soviet Russia's jihadi separatists for years (see https://gordonhahn.com/2015/02/18/caucasus-jihadism-through-western-eyes-the-failure-of-american-rusology-to-understand-the-north-caucasus-mujahedin/ and https://gordonhahn.com/2017/11/04/whos-been-interfering-in-whose-politics/ ). One 'small' example among very many was noted in a paper I published seven years ago: "Less than three weeks after CE (Caucasus Emirate or 'Imarat Kavkaz') amir Umarov sent a suicide bomber to attack Moscow's Domodedovo Airport killing 37 and wounding more than 200, RFERL 's 'chief Caucasus correspondent' Liz Fuller praised him as a 'father' who restrains the mujahideen: "If these young men [the CE's younger mujahideen] have not become the callous brutes Khasbulatov anticipated, much of the credit must surely lie with the older commanders who were fathers before they became ghters, and have since assumed the role of father gures to the younger generation of insurgents: the natural-born pedagogue Abdullayev; Tarhan; Mansur; and even Umarov, seen receiving a lial embrace from Hadji-Murat at the very end of this clip" [Liz Fuller, "Chechnya's Youngest Insurgents," RFERL , February 14, 2011, www.rferl.org/content/blog/2308952.html , last accessed on 28 February 2018 and cited in Gordon M. Hahn, Getting the Caucasus Emirate Right (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, August 2011), p. 14, fn 14]. Again, the 'Umarov' RFERL 's Liz Fuller, whose salary was paid from your taxes, was the amir of the Caucasus Emirate while it carried out nearly 60 suicide bombings and several thousand other terrorist attacks in Russia from 2007-2013, after which the bulk of its 'Chechen national resistance' fighters (most not frm Chechnya but from Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria and elsewehere in Russia as well as from abroad) ensconced to Syria and Iraq to 'fight for Chechen independence' while those back home officially joined the Islamic State (ISIS). For a similar Fuller article hailing the 'work' of the small Islamo-ultranationalist Chechen, non-CE terrorist cell, see "Remembering Mansur," RFERL , March 17, 2011, http://www.rferl.org/content/caucasus_re- port_remembering_mansur/2341725.html.

The main reason for Russia's restrictions on NGO activity inside the country is that the very same Western government-tied organizations that funded color revolutionary activity in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere -- USAID, NED, DNI, RNI, and so on -- were funding indirectly Russian political opposition-oriented organizations. The reason media are now included under these restrictive regime lies in the West's massive propaganda, disinformation, and strategic communications infrastructure – typified in its output by articles such as the one supporting jihadi and Islamo-nationalist terrorists in Russia – in comparison with which Russia's is a weak imitation ( https://gordonhahn.com/2018/01/22/russian-propaganda-machine-much-ado-about-little-as-compared-with-western-stratcomm-update/ ).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, San Jose, California, www.cetisresearch.org .

Dr. Hahn is the author of Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the 'New Cold War (McFarland Publishers, 2017) and three previously and well-received books: Russia's Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction Publishers, 2002); Russia's Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007); and The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia's North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014).He has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media and has served as a consultant and provided expert testimony to the U.S. government.

Dr. Hahn also has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia. He has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Kennan Institute in Washington DC as well as the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

[Sep 07, 2018] In Eastern Europe And Russia, Reminders Of Communist Horrors Are Everywhere

This professor looks like a typical neoliberal professor of economics, as usually such people are in the US Universities. His level of understanding the history of Russia and Baltic countries suggests that he is a mixture of n ignorant jerk with a propagandist. Russia was royally raped by the West in 1991-2000. The damage was probably comparable with the damage from communism. Trillions were looted.
"Americans cannot fathom what it is like to have entire cities destroyed or badly-damaged by bombs and artillery and have ruthless armies fight each other over their territories" how about Dresden, Nagasaki, North Korea, Fallujah, Aleppo to name a few. Noam Chomsky has observed: "If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged."
Notable quotes:
"... Americans cannot fathom what it is like to have entire cities destroyed or badly-damaged by bombs and artillery and have ruthless armies fight each other over their territories. Nor can we imagine having governments carry out massive executions of people whose only "crime" was not being what the government leadership wanted them to be. We cannot imagine the starvation, the disease, and watching family and friends be shipped off to places like Siberia where they surely would die terrible deaths. ..."
"... Bill Anderson travels, but sometimes he sees what he wants to see. ..."
"... Seeing the splinter in other men eyes. Not the tree in own. After the USSR birth, a U.S, with friends, invaded Russia. From that moment to now history is full of conflicted horrors. Standing out WW 2, and many more like Korea and Vietnam. Scars can be seeing all over the planet except the U.S. The writer of article must be a exceptional person. ..."
"... Their best weapon is "weaponized credit" which sheep see but don't understand ..."
"... The [neoliberal] deep state is about impoverishing the masses so that they keep their mouths shut, they don't give a rats ass if your liberal or conservative, black or white, yellow or orange, just keep your mouth shut about them. ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

So, we drove onto St. Petersburg mostly on a two-lane road cut through the boreal forest of the northern latitudes. It was here that I witnessed something that amazed all of us – how vehicle drivers cooperated to turn two lanes into de facto four lanes of traffic.

As faster drivers moved to pass slower vehicles, the slower vehicles would move onto the asphalt shoulder and even as our bus moved over the center line, the oncoming traffic would shift to the right, too. It all was spontaneously coordinated and everyone on the road was in on the scheme.

Entering St. Petersburg was an experience in itself. With five million people spread over a number of islands, we saw new high-rises standing alongside the old Soviet-era apartment buildings. No one, however, comes to St. Petersburg to see the relics of the U.S.S.R. Instead, they come to see the czarist palaces and the stunning 18thand 19th century architecture that dominates the city. It may be the birthplace of the Bolshevik Revolution, but people come to pay homage to the way of life the Bolsheviks wanted to destroy and to Czar Nicholas II and his family, infamously and brutally murdered on Lenin's orders in 1918.

A century later, the bones of the last royal family of Russia lie safely in St. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Despite more than 70 years of communist rule, and despite all of the blood spilled to keep the likes of Lenin, Stalin, and the others in power, and despite the massive propaganda that ordinary people in the U.S.S.R. had to endure, St. Petersburg is the city of the czars, not the Bolsheviks.

Parts of St. Petersburg are run down – as nearly the entire city was during the days of communism – but other parts of it absolutely are amazing to see. Likewise, I enjoyed interacting with the locals and especially the young people that made up most of the workforce of our hotel, from running the desks to cleaning our rooms. The legendary dour Soviet worker was replaced by a competent employee who patiently answered our questions and took care of whatever we needed. For all of the talk in the USA that Russia is a dictatorship under the iron thumb of Vladimir Putin, Russia did not seem like a dictatorship. Our Russian tour guide often would take a swipe at Putin (including likening his face to a painting of dogs at the Hermitage) and life itself there seemed to have the kind of normalcy that could not have been possible when people were compelled to inform on one another.

The St. Petersburg we visited was not the Leningrad that Logan Robinson described in his humorous 1982 book An American in Leningrad , which described life as a post-graduate student living among Russian students and developing friendships with local writers, artists, and musicians, people who often harassed, persecuted, and arrested by local authorities. That city was an armed camp full of soldiers and had been relegated to being a backwater by Joseph Stalin and his successors who made Moscow the Soviet "showplace," leaving the city founded by Peter the Great to succumb to the northerly elements.

... ... ...

Americans cannot fathom what it is like to have entire cities destroyed or badly-damaged by bombs and artillery and have ruthless armies fight each other over their territories. Nor can we imagine having governments carry out massive executions of people whose only "crime" was not being what the government leadership wanted them to be. We cannot imagine the starvation, the disease, and watching family and friends be shipped off to places like Siberia where they surely would die terrible deaths.


spooz ,

This article is red-baiting propaganda, aren't we getting enough of that from the Democratic party Everybody with a brain realizes that there are differences between communism and the democratic socialism that is becoming popular in the US, but some the Mises misers like to dupe the ignorant into conflating the two.

Democratic Socialism:

In very simplistic terms, paraphrasing from A. J. Elwood, Democratic Socialism:

  • Work together to ensure social equality and to improve one another's lives.
  • Reject the exploitation of all peoples and uphold the principles of equality.
  • Value the environment and use our natural resources in a sustainable manner.
  • Ensure free and open elections, where each citizen has a voice and a vested interest in his or her government.
  • Provide free education to all to ensure equal opportunity and the free flow of ideas, opinions, and information.
  • Protect and assist the disadvantaged using surplus from both public and privately owned enterprise.
  • Deliver quality health care to all citizens, regardless of their needs or socio-economic status

https://www.myenglishteacher.eu/blog/difference-between-socialism-and-democratic-socialism/

The US has let the excesses of Capitalism control our country, with wealthy owning our legislature and receiving bail outs and tax cuts to preserve their wealth, while a growing percentage of the formerly middle class is thrown under the bus, with no savings and no way to make a living wage. Those millennials don't see any way of achieving what used to be the American Dream and are looking for some help with their struggle.

Most modern countries have a mix of socialism and capitalism.

"The United Nations World Happiness Report 2013 shows that the happiest nations are concentrated in Northern Europe, where the Nordic model of social democracy is employed, with Denmark topping the list." (wikipedia)

moon_unit ,

Bill Anderson travels, but sometimes he sees what he wants to see.

Let's take some points:

-He saw a "*small* railroad boxcar". Very romantic but - Soviet boxcars were fricken' huge, the rail gauge is massive. Pics with a person next to it, or it didn't happen. IF it was very small, it was more likely a technical wagon for railway engineers, not for "cargo" of any kind. Plus, anyone alive bitching about it clearly had parents , most likely that never left to go anywhere , you know what I'm saying here?

-He went to Jurmala sea resort and misunderstood it, thought it was "all Soviet", all built for "nomenklatura". This is not unusual to think so, but he was wrong - it was largely built as a Spa town in the 1850s during the Russian Empire times by the majority wealthy *German* ethnic group in Riga. In fact German was the main language in the city up to 1891. Most of those large spa town wooden houses were built for German traders - who traded with the locals outside Riga, Brits and Russians. The city had a British Mayor George Armitstead from 1901 - 1912 during the Russian Empire - a civil engineer and the city's most popular mayor ever, who built the first tram lines, hospitals, covered markets and so on.

The Balts kicked those German traders out starting from around 1880 or so. If you check out cemeteries you will see a sudden transition from elegant old German noble script to badly-spelled early variant local language with German styles and lettering. Of course that improved as they created formalised spellings for words in the local languages.

The author fails to mention all the other occupants that he doesn't want you to know about - briefly-
-German Crusaders (Knights of the Livonian Order / Teutonic Knights)- Holy Roman Empire - 12thC
-Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 16thC
-Swedes 1621-1710
-Russian Tsarist Empire 1710 - 1918 -trading with German Riga / Brits and Russian language only imposed officially in 1891

-Local people perpetrators - no kidding, Herberts Cukurs, Viktors Arajs?

Photos of people in mass graves - sure you didn't "make a mistake"? - if you mean at Skede beach, Rumbuli and Bikernieki forests, and Salapspils, those were killed by everyones "special Germans* (and of course the local militia commanders Cukurs and Arajs) in everyone's "special German 3-year era" from 1942-44. Oddly, no-one seems interested in the hundreds of years of genuine Geman noble culture and trading in what was essentially a German Empire freeport ...

Certainly there was a book about some Soviet killing mass graves elsewhere but it turns out the book about that was funded and printed by a certain Josef Goebbels? No doubt it was true, but aren't people a little embarrassed at carrying that book, perhaps a different author at least, maybe a historian would be less shameful to carry around?

-Freer wealthier - oh sure, if you put aside mass emigration, houses without heat or water or sewerage, destitute pensioners walking in the streets in winter with supermarket bags on their legs to try to avoid frostbite - not always successfully , by the way.

-"The citizens of the Baltic countries were not the only ones suffering under communism. No other city in the U.S.S.R. underwent the horror of a 900-day siege by German armies during World War II" - that's hardly their fault, now is it?

-"as I sat in the Old Town section of Riga eating and drinking and listening to live music, I strained to imagine the place as a battle zone with death and destruction all around where now I sat" - yeah, like when the Russians and Brits were trying to keep out Napoleon's armies? Hmmm?

-"I imagined the stores that now are full of goods and restaurants with food and drink being empty or stocked with subpar merchandise in the aftermath of the war as the Soviets imposed their primitive communist system and oppressed the people in the name of "liberating" them for many decades until they finally left in the early 1990s"- you have a great imagination. You should write film scripts for Hollywood. Some of those people are still walking around, try telling them they are primitives.


-"No, I cannot see people in our cities having experienced anything like what the people of the Baltics and St. Petersburg had to tolerate for decades." - tolerate things like electronics factories, car and van production, science institutes, shipbuilding and repair, ladies who aren't afraid of math or computers, that kind of thing? But sure, they couldn't get debt, mass prostitution, Hasselhoff and blue jeans, consumer junk or type II diabetes, that is a total provocation, right you are .

LA_Goldbug ,

I also smell a lot of BS in this article. I visited Eastern Europe before and know exactly what is being mentioned. Elites IN ALL COUNTRIES have their favorite hideaways. That is a norm in the West, East and anywhere else.

Boxcars at train stations are nothing new. Latvia is poor and probably has lots of them from way way back because THAT WAS THE STANDARD design for a multi-purpose wagon in Eastern Europe. Why throw away something that does the job ?? But to say it was "the one" used to transport people to camps is a huge stretch. Hell I could point to Boeings and say "That is the one sending people to Guantanamo".

demoses ,

As an eastern European I can tell you that I do not get triggered by old monuments / words / city names. I guess that is a "no real problems" American problem... where you lack other problems and have a hard time looking around what could trigger you... "oh no! A company called MANpower!!! MAN???" and maybe "country called MonteNEGRO? How dare they?" ;)

Nexus789 ,

These Mises wankers write as if they have found utopia and the US is some kind of 'market' paradise They are foot soldiers for the one percent.

LA_Goldbug ,

Here is how Utopia looks lest the Eu readers think otherwise.

https://idsb.tmgrup.com.tr/2015/07/23/HaberDetay/1437603968944.jpg

Atalanta ,

Seeing the splinter in other men eyes. Not the tree in own. After the USSR birth, a U.S, with friends, invaded Russia. From that moment to now history is full of conflicted horrors. Standing out WW 2, and many more like Korea and Vietnam. Scars can be seeing all over the planet except the U.S. The writer of article must be a exceptional person.

LA_Goldbug ,

Their best weapon is "weaponized credit" which sheep see but don't understand.

CaptainObvious ,

"Americans cannot fathom what it is like to have entire cities destroyed or badly-damaged by bombs and artillery and have ruthless armies fight each other over their territories."

Sure we can. Look at Detroit. Look at Baltimore. Look at Chicago. Those look pretty warn-torn to me. But I guess the "War on Poverty" and the "War on Drugs" don't count, eh? And I guess drive-by shootings and purposefully-fomented riots and civil asset forfeiture and excessive taxation aren't weapons of mass destruction either.

"Nor can we imagine having governments carry out massive executions of people whose only "crime" was not being what the government leadership wanted them to be."

Yeah, we tax mules are pretty familiar with the bowel-crippling fear that any envelope marked "IRS" causes. Men have certainly been introduced to the economic execution of being stripped of all their assets because they knocked some slut up. People of all ages and colors have been locked away in jail for 50 years for having a baggy of green stuff in their pocket. And, the horror!, it's now a crime punishable by jail time to call someone by the wrong gender pronouns in the People's Republic of Kalifornia. But yeah, economic execution and unjustified imprisonment don't happen here in the Land of the Free ™ , so it's all good.

"We cannot imagine the starvation, the disease, and watching family and friends be shipped off to places like Siberia where they surely would die terrible deaths."

Oh, sure we can. We see starving people every day on the streets, made homeless by a drug addiction that was introduced to them by a licensed physician. We watch family and friends shipped off to Bankruptcy court because some fucktarded jury awarded a scam artist seven figures for manufacturing a slip-and-fall in the Mom & Pop Pizza Palace. We watch our loved ones die every day from medical malpractice and toxic prescriptions.

No equivalency, you say? Well, to that I say balls. Russia was never free. After they abolished serfdom in the nineteenth century, the system was still in place that the aristocracy held most of the land and the peasants farmed that land for a pittance. In America, the laws abolished slavery and sweatshops, but the system is still in place that the tycoons own most of the assets and the peasants sweat their best years away in a cubicle, or behind a cash register, or under someone else's machinery, for a pittance.

Am I advocating for communism? Hell, no! I'm advocating for an end to the corporatocracy and small-business-killing legislation. Most ordinary Americans who become wealthy do so because they had the gumption to start their own business. But they can't do that if all laws favor the already-established, and they can't do that if they're required to burn half a lifetime's worth of cash for an official piece of paper from a gubmint-subsidized center of indoctrination, and they can't do that if they're supposed to be licensed and bonded to do something simple like trim the hair of another human.

OverTheHedge ,

Hyperbole to make your point is fine, but the reality is that fat, soft seppos have absolutely no idea.

And then there is the good guys' work:

Actually, that last one proves me wrong - there are SOME Americans who know precisely what a destroyed city looks like - they have been doing the destroying for the last 20 years, and at fully up to speed with what it entails. The question will be: who will they be destroying for, should it ever come home to roost?

ddiduck ,

The [neoliberal] deep state is about impoverishing the masses so that they keep their mouths shut, they don't give a rats ass if your liberal or conservative, black or white, yellow or orange, just keep your mouth shut about them.

Best is if you fight amongst yourselves and play make believe. Do you feel prosperous now? They like it when you you really get violent toward each other, great scam huhhh? It is called misdirection, want to toast some asses start with Soros, Rothschilds nad Rockefeller, greatest criminals against humanity! By the way, these mother fk'rs are satanic and bleed children out regularly! Now take pause and consider this when deciding who the real villain in your unfair world is!

louie1,

Like all Zionist globalist neocon revolutions they are bloody, indiscriminate and sociopathic. The same gang are running the USA now. And the world central banking system.

[Sep 03, 2018] Yeltsin, Deripaska and the Oligarchs we could "work with"

Notable quotes:
"... From before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. has been cultivating a commercial and political elite abroad that we could "work with." As in most of the developing world during the Cold War, that meant that post-communist Russia was an oligarchy kept in money and power by IMF loans, graft, private militias and death squads. ..."
Sep 03, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

leveymg on Sun, 09/02/2018 - 4:13pm

We helped put the Oligarchs into business, Putin reigned them in so he has to go

From before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. has been cultivating a commercial and political elite abroad that we could "work with." As in most of the developing world during the Cold War, that meant that post-communist Russia was an oligarchy kept in money and power by IMF loans, graft, private militias and death squads.

Such was the case during the Boris Yeltsin's government that presided over the Russian Federation, a self-contained trading bloc shorn of half of its richest territories. The result of loss of most military spending and trade resulted in an average 50% loss in real living standards for the typical Russian in the depths of the Depression during the early 1990s. What grew out of the rubble was the New Russia controlled by the Oligarchs, run by returning members of Russian ethnic organized crime families once scattered around the world and remnants of the KGB, party bosses, and former Soviet military who couldn't move enough their assets out of the country while the door was still open. For Deripaska, that door closed the other way in 2006, when he lost his US B-1 visa, which meant that he had to make a deal with the FBI's McCabe and other US intelligence handlers to reenter the U.S. to access his stash deposited in Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

Is Oleg really Putin's "closest oligarch", as is again repeated here in the Times?

The arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the owner of Yukos Oil Co., one of the world's major oil suppliers on October fifth, 2003 was a signal that things would never be the same for the oligarchs. By the time he took his third term as Russian President in 2012, Putin had put highly concentrated large industries increasingly under state supervision, curtailing the effective power and range of operation of many oligarchs, restricting the movement of private wealth out of the country, including that of Oleg Deripaska, whom he publicly humiliated in 2009, as seen in this video.

[Sep 02, 2018] In dealing with Russia after dissolution of the USSR the USA elite pursued the doctrine called Full spectrum domination

Bill Clinton and his merry gang (which included Rubin and Summers) was of course a gang of short-sighted amoral bottom feeders in dealing with Russia, but he was just a puppet of the neoliberal elite, which has a clear strategy -- decimating Russia
Notable quotes:
"... Surely, this conforms to the Outlaw US Empire's Imperialism via which its goal is the Full Spectrum Domination (FSD) of the planet and its people. ..."
"... Some would consider that as Totalitarianism -- the doctrine of total control. During its drive to attain FSD, certain aspects must be masked from the Empire's public since relatively unfettered freedom is featured as one of its alleged values, which is why the many undemocratic aspects of various "trade" agreements are never discussed and negotiated in secret, for example. ..."
Sep 02, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Sep 1, 2018 7:26:22 PM | 137
the testimony before the Outlaw US Empire's Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Wess Mitchell:

"Russia and China are serious competitors that are building up the material and ideological wherewithal to contest U.S. primacy and leadership in the 21st Century. It continues to be among the foremost national security interests of the United States to prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by hostile powers. The central aim of the administration's foreign policy is to prepare our nation to confront this challenge by systematically strengthening the military, economic and political fundaments of American power."

Mitchell mentions a document I wasn't able to locate, the "Russia Integrated Strategy," but I was able to find what appears to be its predecessor , "Russia Project Strategy, 2014-2017."

Surely, this conforms to the Outlaw US Empire's Imperialism via which its goal is the Full Spectrum Domination (FSD) of the planet and its people.

Some would consider that as Totalitarianism -- the doctrine of total control. During its drive to attain FSD, certain aspects must be masked from the Empire's public since relatively unfettered freedom is featured as one of its alleged values, which is why the many undemocratic aspects of various "trade" agreements are never discussed and negotiated in secret, for example. What do we call a government that directly lies to its populous? What sort of ism is in play?

Mitchell's testimony was done in public so it didn't remain secret very long, was written about in Russian, then the analysis was translated into English .

Hopefully barflies and others will read these documents and shudder, although I'm sure a few will say "So, what's new?" Well, this goes far beyond the millennia long, ongoing Class War, and confirms what I've been saying for awhile now -- We're already within a Hybrid Third World War being waged by people who want everything or nothing.

What sort of ism's that? In my book, it's the worst form of Authoritarianism anyone might imagine.

[Sep 02, 2018] Bill Browder (of Magnitsky fame) broke all these rules while pillaging Russia.

Highly recommended!
Browder was able to breqak those rule only becuase he was supported by MI6, CIA or both. Pillaging of Russia was the plan.
Notable quotes:
"... @Alligator Ed ..."
Sep 02, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

CB on Sun, 09/02/2018 - 11:12pm

Putin demanded several more caveats

@Alligator Ed
in addition to staying out of politics:

1) You pay your taxes
2) You pay your employees
3) There will be no asset stripping

Bill Browder (of Magnitsky fame) broke all these rules while pillaging Russia. From 1995–2006 his company, Hermitage Capital Management, siphoned untold billions of dollars out of Russia into offshore accounts while paying no taxes and cheating workers of wages and pensions.

Putin put an end to US and UK backed shysters stealing Russia blind. Is it any wonder the western oligarchs hate him with such a passion?

[Aug 29, 2018] The Real Russian Interference in US Politics by Diana Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... The evidence is clear, Biden and Obama got the Magnitsky Act passed, and one of those two is not 'white', which is not the issue, anyway -- the issue is money, power and control. ..."
caucus99percent.com

If Russia were trying to interfere in U.S. domestic politics, it wouldn't be attempting to change the US system but to prevent it from trying to change Russia's, argues Diana Johnstone.


Sojourner Truth , August 28, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Some perspective on Khordokovsky, et al can be found here:

http://spitfirelist.com/for-the-record/ftr-531-interview-with-lucy-komisar-about-offshore/

Jessika , August 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm

A rather vague statement, Dick Vain, but it appears you support the 'unipolar hegemony'? Hard to tell what you intend by use of 'privilege'. Diana Johnstone's article documents the activities of Khodorkovsky, Browder, Gessen, who continue to agitate against Putin. There are others. So what's your point, and what's the b.s.?

The evidence is clear, Biden and Obama got the Magnitsky Act passed, and one of those two is not 'white', which is not the issue, anyway -- the issue is money, power and control.

Jerry Alatalo , August 28, 2018 at 1:26 pm

Diana Johnstone's immeasurably important, timely, extraordinary exposition of true facts – truth rarely, if ever, acknowledged in the United States Congress and/or Western media – represents what can most certainly be described as "historic gamechanger".

Dick Vain , August 28, 2018 at 12:59 pm

How much privilege does it take to write these words:

"Russian interference in American politics is totally welcome so long as it helps turn public opinion against "multipolar" Putin, glorifies American democracy, serves U.S. interests, including the military industries, helps break down national borders (except those of the United States and Israel) and puts money in appropriate pockets in the halls of Congress."

By estimate it doesn't matter as long as it's white

Trading in one devil for another

People who support this bullshit upside down line of thinking are welcome to jump off a cliff really.

Walter , August 28, 2018 at 12:07 pm

About the Secret State or Power Elite Thierry Meyssan wrote about a new and signal event http://www.voltairenet.org/article202622.html

The Power Elite are facing an abyss, of real war and defeat, or simply defeat as "assets" are prepared in Syria for a showdown, with dozens of warships and so forth Meantime they drivel about trivial stuff in "news" from the fascist press, and the Germans prepare to make nice with Ivan (the satrapies are switching sides, alas!)

" The Western powers are moving inexorably towards Internet censorship, thereby facilitating the dissemination of propaganda and war indoctrination in their countries. In this context, an extremely violent tension is tearing apart the international scene. Aware of the increasing risk of general confrontation, Moscow is attempting to find credible interlocutors in the UNO and the United States. What is happening at the moment has seen no equivalent since 1938, and could degenerate in the same way.,,,"

and (darkly) : "From Moscow's point of view, the war of aggression – by the intervention of jihadist proxies – against Syria must cease, and the unilateral sanctions by the US, Canada and the European Union against Russia must be lifted. The problem that we must all now face is not the defence [sic] of democracy, but the danger of war.

Void of any legitimacy, a parallel hierarchy in New York and Washington intends to plunge the world into a generalised [sic] conflict."

robjira , August 28, 2018 at 11:35 pm

Outstanding article by Meyssan; thanks for linking.

anastasia , August 28, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Really good elucidation of the double standard in American politics as it concerns Russian interference.

modern99angel , August 28, 2018 at 11:46 am

"The greatest tool at the disposal of globalists is the use of false paradigms to manipulate public perception and thus public action. The masses are led to believe that at the highest levels of geopolitical and financial power there is such a thing as "sides." This is utter nonsense when we examine the facts at hand.

We are told the-powers-that-be are divided by "Left" and "Right" politics, yet both sides actually support the same exact policy actions when it comes to the most important issues of the day and only seem to differ in terms of rhetoric, which is meaningless and cosmetic anyway. That is to say, it's nothing but Kabuki theater.

The abuses of one "side" are being used to push us into the arms of the other side, which is just as abusive.

In terms of geopolitics, we are told that national powers stand "at cross-purposes;" that they have different interests and different goals, which has led to things like "trade wars" and sometimes shooting wars. Yet, when we look at the people actually pulling the strings in most of these countries, we find the same names and institutions. Whether you are in America, Russia China, the EU, etc., globalist think tanks and international banks are everywhere, and the leaders in all of these countries call for MORE power for such institutions, not less.

These wars, no matter what form they take, are a circus for the public. They are engineered to create controlled chaos and manageable fear. They are a means to influence us towards a particular end, and that end, in most cases, is more social and economic influence in the hands of a select few. In each instance, people are being convinced to believe that the world is being divided when it is actually being centralized."

http://www.alt-market.com/articles/3504-in-the-new-qmultipolar-worldq-the-globalists-still-control-all-the-players

Lee Anderson , August 28, 2018 at 12:15 pm

Angel, you are on point. What you describe about the two sides is the Hegelian Dialectic in action. This is why the shadow rulers are desperate to maintain two-party duopoly.

Very enlightening article, by the way. Well done.

Walter , August 28, 2018 at 11:37 am

Russia does have an evident Policy to demonstrate and illuminate the "fissures in our tapestry [of lies]".

This tapestry itself is US Policy, as incoming CIA boss Casey said: ""We'll Know Our Disinformation Program Is Complete When Everything the American Public Believes Is False." (look it up). RT and other Russian source keep showing the Americans and the rest of the world that the "tapestry" is infested. This is a iconoclastic Policy burning the false gods of myth.

It would not work if American propaganda told the truth but it happens that they must lie – it's Policy set by the secret state, the "power elite" as C. Wright Mills termed it. And it is a signal of proximate disaster read MacBeth "Hang those who speak of fear" on the cusp of Banquo's defeat of poor old Mac .

The Quakers say "Tell the truth and shame the devil" – that's about what the Ruskies are doing shaming the devil by exposing his lies.

Jessika , August 28, 2018 at 11:37 am

An overlooked meddler is George Soros, who was also a player in the takedown of Russia and has been kicked out by Putin and the Duma, his NGOs are not allowed to operate in Russia. Orban has had him banned in Hungary. There are constant neoliberal apologists for Soros, but his hidden hand working behind the scenes has been well documented. Russia, especially Putin, is Soros' "white whale", as Alex Christoforou states in "Leaked Memo Exposes George Soros' plan to overthrow Putin", 7/19/18: . "how the billionaire uses his vast wealth to create global chaos in a neverending push to deliver his neoliberal euphoria to the peasant classes". Alex Christoforou, sovereignnations.com, originally published on The Duran.

Larry Gates , August 28, 2018 at 10:45 am

Brilliant, insightful, lucid, full of interesting details. It is articles like this that keep me coming back to Consortioum News.

phillip sawicki , August 28, 2018 at 2:32 pm

I agree. We'd be much more ignorant of the facts without Johnstone.

Herman , August 28, 2018 at 10:27 am

"Needless to say, Khodorkovsky's Corbiere Trust lobbied hard to get Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act. This type of "Russian interference intended to influence policy" goes unnoticed while U.S. authorities scour cyberspace for evidence of trolls."

America has the gall to accuse Russia of doing something we do openly and to a far greater extent.

Great article. Not sure about the mechanics of how a select few stole Russia's wealth. Somewhere I read the thieves did not have to put up their own money, but performed the conversion through Russian loans. The purchase prices were so low compared to the real value of the assets that they became overnight billionaires. Don't now if they repaid the loans.

Someone may have a different understanding of how it was done.

Great article.

Bob Van Noy , August 28, 2018 at 9:12 am

Thanks to all. It is crucial at this point to keep the so called Russiagate story in context beyond the pages and discussion here at CN. To that extent I will offer an excellent article from off Guardian by Eric Zuesse including some excellent links especially one leading to an interview of Anne Williamson about her book on the subject. I will link the off Guardian piece but I encourage those inclined to carefully follow all the links and video's so that we can offer a clear counter to what happened in Russia and why

https://off-guardian.org/2018/02/02/a-scandal-of-the-wests-news-suppression-to-justify-u-s-v-russia-war/#comments

Jessika , August 28, 2018 at 8:45 am

The political theater dubbed "Russiagate" (aren't we getting "gated" to death?) is looking more and more like cover for the dirty deeds of Clinton, throwing more and more pooh at the already-fatigued American public, trying to make Trump look like the bad guy so nobody notices what really went on in Clinton world.

Tobey , August 28, 2018 at 8:28 am

Hermitage Capital Management can you correct that typo ?

mike k , August 28, 2018 at 8:07 am

Trying to predict what the crazy greedy power hungry bastards leading the human world to it's extinction will do next, is the maddening game we are forced to play by their suicidal games. No one can guess exactly how they will blunder into destroying us all, but their moves in this direction are apparent,

backwardsevolution , August 28, 2018 at 6:31 am

This is a really good article entitled "Fixers":

"If there's one thing that is exposed in the sorry not-so-fairy tale of former Trump aides Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, it's that Washington is a city run by fixers. Who often make substantial amounts of money. Many though by no means all, start out as lawyers and figure out that let's say 'the edges of what's legal' can be quite profitable.

And it helps to know when one steps across that edge, so having attended law school is a bonus. Not so much to stop when stepping across the edge, but to raise one's fees. There's a lot of dough waiting at the edge of the law. None of this should surprise any thinking person. Manafort and Cohen are people who think in millions, with an easy few hundred grand thrown in here and there. [ ]

Lanny Davis is a lawyer, special counsel even, for the Clintons. Has been for years. Which makes it kind of curious that Michael Cohen would pick him to become his legal representation. But that's not all Davis is involved in. Like any true fixer, he has his hands in more cookie jars than fit in the average kitchen. [ ]

And now Davis, the Clinton fixer, is Michael Cohen's lawyer. The fixer defending a fixer. So who pays the bill? Well, ostensibly no-one, because Davis started a Go Fund Me campaign where people can donate so Cohen "can tell people the truth about Trump". The goal is $500,000. Which goes to .. Lanny Davis. [ ]

In the end, I can draw only one conclusion: there are so many sharks and squids swimming in the swamp that either it should be expanded or the existing one should be cleaned up and depopulated. So bring it: investigate the FBI, the Clintons, and fixers like Lanny Davis and Michael Avenatti, the same way the Trump camp has been.

Because if you don't do that, you can only possibly end up in an even bigger mess. You can't drain half a swamp."

https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2018/08/fixers/

Lanny Davis proceeds to go on a whole bunch of talk shows, claiming the sky is falling, and then in the next couple of days walks all of it back.

Another tactic of a psychopath: lie, lie and lie. Get the lie(s) out there any way you can, create lots of damage. Then when you're called on what you've said, you just say something like, "Yeah, I guess I had that wrong." The "walking back" is never covered as much as the original lie.

Michael , August 28, 2018 at 8:20 am

The number of Establishment politicians and their lawyers protecting their turf (Ukraine and Russia) seems to be multiplying. When Mueller did not arrest the Podesta Group and Greg Craig, it was clear that his investigation was a partisan "get Trump" witch hunt; Mueller destroyed his own credibility by not removing all the bad apples, just the Trump-brand ones.

backwardsevolution , August 28, 2018 at 5:57 am

You can't even keep up with the actors and players in Russiagate's Theatre of the Absurd. The Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC hire Perkins Coie, a law firm, in order to hide the fact that they're doing opposition research with campaign funds. Perkins Coie hires Fusion GPS, a research firm, and Fusion GPS hires Christopher Steele, a former MI6 British agent to come up with some dirt on Trump. Then there's all of the DOJ, FBI and CIA actors who were in on setting up Trump. Add the media into the mix and you've got quite a story of lies and corruption.

Tomorrow Bruce Ohr (a lawyer and former number four official at the DOJ) gives testimony before the House Intelligence Committee to explain his 70+ interactions with Christopher Steele. His wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Glen Simpson at Fusion GPS, and apparently Bruce Ohr accidentally failed to mention that his wife was working for Fusion GPS on his DOJ disclosure form.

Nellie Ohr, Harvard graduate in Russian history/literature and fluent in Russian, suddenly decides to get her HAM radio licence in May of 2016. Could she have gotten this to get around being tracked? Who knows.

http://thefederalist.com/2018/03/02/fusion-gpss-anti-trump-researcher-avoid-surveillance-ham-radio-license/

Good article, Diana Johnstone.

Realist , August 28, 2018 at 4:46 am

This article makes the precipitous decline of America's middle class a bit clearer in retrospect. The lawless free-for-all that was unleashed on America's economy after all the rules and regulations were stricken from the books during the Clinton years was already being put into effect in Russia–which theretofore had no need for laws to regulate rampant capitalism which had completely disappeared from the country 70 years earlier. The elite insiders in America saw how quickly and effectively a country could be picked clean in the absence of restraints. By the time our own safeguards were erased during the 90's whilst Russia was being pillaged, the transnational oligarchs were all set to pick America clean during the Bush years, which they did using the MIC and the Wall Street financial institutions against a background of deliberate war, fear and societal confusion.

By the time Candyman Obama took office, Main Street America was on the verge of economic collapse, just like Russia. People were losing their jobs, their homes, their health, their families, their self-respect and their hope. Obviously, the job the Obama administration was chosen to do was to stabilise, but not cure the patient. Money stolen from future generations of taxpayers through government borrowing was used to prop up the financial institutions on the verge of collapse just as surely as Yeltsin's Russia stole from the collective to create its oligarchs. But little to nothing was done to help the middle class so their economic death spiral continues (any help for them would represent that demonic force called "socialism!"), as it will until the vampire capitalists have extracted whatever life force remains, whereupon they shall simply move on to their next targets–one of the "developing countries" or "emerging economies" they are struggling mightily to control by whatever means necessary, as if it is totally natural and permissible to preclude trade between all of Central Asia and its neighbors in China or Russia, to say nothing of monopolizing all relations with the America's, Europe, Africa, India and probably Mars. Nothing is to be permitted unless Jeff Bezos says so.

This business of collecting NATO allies across the globe is simply setting them up for future economic exploitation. And when sometime past mid-century after the resources have all played out and ruined economies litter the landscape, I suppose the "masters of the universe" orchestrating all of this will ultimately have to unleash their final solution for "down-sizing" the population to fit the economic realities, be it a war, a plague, or simply mass starvation. I don't think psychopaths will be burdened too much by guilt, besides there won't be too many people left to cast blame on them. With all the computational resources of the world at their disposal, I'm sure a million scenarios have been run on the supercomputers in some bunker under a mountain near Davos looking for the tidiest fix. Not that WE would know, but they may already be implementing some scheme drawn up by HAL9000, who by now probably walks around in a flawless fembot body. (Ooops. Didn't realise I was plagiarizing Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" with that last bit.)

Dave P. , August 28, 2018 at 7:48 pm

What an accurate sketch! Along with the future scenario planned for the humanity on the planet. As always, your comments are closest to reality as one can get. Your comments are valued very much.

backwardsevolution , August 28, 2018 at 12:03 am

"In 2016, Winer received the highest award granted by the Secretary of State, for 'extraordinary service to the U.S. government' in avoiding the massacre of over 3,000 members of an Iranian dissident group in Iraq, and for leading U.S. policy in Libya 'from a major foreign policy embarrassment to a fragile but democratic, internationally recognized government.'"

http://www.mei.edu/profile/jonathan-m-winer

OMG, high-fives and booyahs! Just look at what you get for failing!

Eduardo Cohen , August 27, 2018 at 11:54 pm

Excellent article. Very informative. I'm just surprised that in the listing of nations from which people are welcome to seek
the interference of U.S. power to settle old scores or overthrow their government (Iraq, Libya, Iran, Russian, Cuba) the very current examples of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Syria are not mentioned. But still a great article.

Joe Tedesky , August 27, 2018 at 10:44 pm

At the rate the U.S. Hegemony Project is going America will be a leader with no followers.

https://journal-neo.org/2018/08/27/playing-sanction-ism-backfires-the-us-to-isolation/

Joe Tedesky , August 28, 2018 at 8:08 am

Here's more to read .

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/28/sanctions-backfire-us-is-being-left-behind/

David G , August 27, 2018 at 10:32 pm

This Diana Johnstone piece actually dovetails really well with the recent CN article by Caitlin Johnstone, "How to Beat a Manipulator". https://consortiumnews.com/2018/08/17/how-to-beat-a-manipulator/#comments

CJ wrote:
"Manipulators particularly use projection as a tactic to hide what they're doing to you in plain sight. A manipulator can have you chasing your tail by simply suggesting that you or others are doing what you are seeing them doing with your own eyes. DNC caught rigging the election? Oh no, it was actually Russia who rigged the election by catching the DNC rigging the election. See what I did there? It's so dumb, but it works."

Here DJ clues us in on another of the same sort of con, or more precisely, another aspect of the same big con.

David G , August 27, 2018 at 9:46 pm

"One may question the selectivity of Bill Clinton's concern for international law enforcement, which certainly did not cover violating international law by bombing defenseless countries."

or catching international fugitives like Marc Rich.

Tom Kath , August 27, 2018 at 8:52 pm

We cannot jump to conclusions regarding Putin's MULTIpolar vision. At this stage BIpolar would seem a more accurate description. – Still, a step in the right direction from UNIpolar hegemony.

Gary Weglarz , August 27, 2018 at 10:15 pm

Tom Kath – and your reason for describing Russia as supporting a "Bipolar" rather than multi-polar world would be the some 21 Russian military bases versus the U.S. having almost 900 such bases? Perhaps you're referring to Russia's recent invasions and/or attempted destabilizations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Iran – oh, wait, that's the U.S. list. Help me out here – what am I missing Tom? Do I need to tune into to Rachel for a few days to get up to snuff?

Gary Weglarz , August 27, 2018 at 8:17 pm

Excellent post. The anti-Russian absurdist psycho-carnival taking place for two years now in U.S. mainstream media should be enough (in a sane society) to topple this house of cards – along with its fantasy goal of "full spectrum dominance" – yet it soldiers on. Perhaps only a self-inflicted nuclear winter can stop this mad machine and the assorted array of absolute dolts at the helm. Oddly they would seem to vastly prefer this option to accepting a multi-polar world – which of course speaks volumes regarding what passes for "sanity" in U.S. ruling circles these days.

Jeff Harrison , August 27, 2018 at 8:13 pm

I vote for Vladimir Putin's multipolar vision of the world and against the US's vision of a new Roman Empire.

[Aug 25, 2018] How to interfere in a foreign election by Stephen Kinzer

Notable quotes:
"... "I guess we've just got to pull up our socks and back ol' Boris again," Clinton told an aide. "I know the Russian people have to pick a president, and I know that means we've got to stop short of giving a nominating speech for the guy. But we've got to go all the way in helping in every other respect." Later Clinton was even more categorical: "I want this guy to win so bad it hurts." With that, the public and private resources of the United States were thrown behind a Russian presidential candidate. ..."
"... Four months before the election, Clinton arranged for the International Monetary Fund to give Russia a $10.2 billion injection of cash. Yeltsin used some of it to pay for election-year raises and bonuses, but much quickly disappeared into the foreign bank accounts of Russian oligarchs. The message was clear: Yeltsin knows how to shake the Western money tree. In case anyone missed it, Clinton came to Moscow a few weeks later to celebrate with his Russian partner. Oligarchs flocked to Yeltsin's side. American diplomats persuaded one of his rivals to drop out of the presidential race in order to improve his chances. ..."
"... Yeltsin won the election with a reported 54 percent of the vote. The count was suspicious and Yeltsin had wildly violated campaign spending limits, but American groups, some funded in part by Washington, rushed to pronounce the election fair. The New York Times called it "a victory for Russia." In fact, it was the opposite: a victory by a foreign power that wanted to place its candidate in the Russian presidency. ..."
"... American interference in the 1996 Russian election was hardly secret. On the contrary, the press reveled in our ability to shape the politics of a country we once feared. When Clinton maneuvered the IMF into giving Yeltsin and his cronies $10.2 billion, the Washington Post approved: "Now this is the right way to serve Western interests. . . It's to use the politically bland but powerful instrument of the International Monetary Fund." After Yeltsin won, Time put him on the cover -- holding an American flag. Its story was headlined, "Yanks to the Rescue: The Secret Story of How American Advisors Helped Yeltsin Win." The story was later made into a movie called "Spinning Boris." ..."
"... This was the first direct interference in a presidential election in the history of US-Russia relations. It produced bad results. Yeltsin opened his country's assets to looting on a mass scale. ..."
"... It is a delightful irony that shows how unwise it can be to interfere in another country's politics. If the United States had not crashed into a presidential election in Russia 22 years ago, we almost certainly would not be dealing with Putin today. ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | www.bostonglobe.com

FOR ONE OF THE world's major powers to interfere systematically in the presidential politics of another country is an act of brazen aggression. Yet it happened. Sitting in a distant capital, political leaders set out to assure that their favored candidate won an election against rivals who scared them. They succeeded. Voters were maneuvered into electing a president who served the interest of the intervening power. This was a well-coordinated, government-sponsored project to subvert the will of voters in another country -- a supremely successful piece of political vandalism on a global scale.

The year was 1996. Russia was electing a president to succeed Boris Yeltsin, whose disastrous presidency, marked by the post-Soviet social collapse and a savage war in Chechnya, had brought his approval rating down to the single digits. President Bill Clinton decided that American interests would be best served by finding a way to re-elect Yeltsin despite his deep unpopularity. Yeltsin was ill, chronically alcoholic, and seen in Washington as easy to control. Clinton bonded with him. He was our "Manchurian Candidate."

"I guess we've just got to pull up our socks and back ol' Boris again," Clinton told an aide. "I know the Russian people have to pick a president, and I know that means we've got to stop short of giving a nominating speech for the guy. But we've got to go all the way in helping in every other respect." Later Clinton was even more categorical: "I want this guy to win so bad it hurts." With that, the public and private resources of the United States were thrown behind a Russian presidential candidate.

Part of the American plan was public. Clinton began praising Yeltsin as a world-class statesman . He defended Yeltsin's scorched-earth tactics in Chechnya, comparing him to Abraham Lincoln for his dedication to keeping a nation together. As for Yeltsin's bombardment of the Russian Parliament in 1993, which cost 187 lives, Clinton insisted that his friend had "bent over backwards" to avoid it. He stopped mentioning his plan to extend NATO toward Russia's borders, and never uttered a word about the ravaging of Russia's formerly state-owned economy by kleptocrats connected to Yeltsin. Instead he gave them a spectacular gift.

Four months before the election, Clinton arranged for the International Monetary Fund to give Russia a $10.2 billion injection of cash. Yeltsin used some of it to pay for election-year raises and bonuses, but much quickly disappeared into the foreign bank accounts of Russian oligarchs. The message was clear: Yeltsin knows how to shake the Western money tree. In case anyone missed it, Clinton came to Moscow a few weeks later to celebrate with his Russian partner. Oligarchs flocked to Yeltsin's side. American diplomats persuaded one of his rivals to drop out of the presidential race in order to improve his chances.

RELATED

Four American political consultants moved to Moscow to help direct Yeltsin's campaign. The campaign paid them $250,000 per month for advice on "sophisticated methods of polling, voter contact and campaign organization." They organized focus groups and designed advertising messages aimed at stoking voters' fears of civil unrest. When they saw a CNN report from Moscow saying that voters were gravitating toward Yeltsin because they feared unrest, one of the consultants shouted in triumph: "It worked! The whole strategy worked. They're scared to death!"

Yeltsin won the election with a reported 54 percent of the vote. The count was suspicious and Yeltsin had wildly violated campaign spending limits, but American groups, some funded in part by Washington, rushed to pronounce the election fair. The New York Times called it "a victory for Russia." In fact, it was the opposite: a victory by a foreign power that wanted to place its candidate in the Russian presidency.

American interference in the 1996 Russian election was hardly secret. On the contrary, the press reveled in our ability to shape the politics of a country we once feared. When Clinton maneuvered the IMF into giving Yeltsin and his cronies $10.2 billion, the Washington Post approved: "Now this is the right way to serve Western interests. . . It's to use the politically bland but powerful instrument of the International Monetary Fund." After Yeltsin won, Time put him on the cover -- holding an American flag. Its story was headlined, "Yanks to the Rescue: The Secret Story of How American Advisors Helped Yeltsin Win." The story was later made into a movie called "Spinning Boris."

This was the first direct interference in a presidential election in the history of US-Russia relations. It produced bad results. Yeltsin opened his country's assets to looting on a mass scale. He turned the Chechen capital, Grozny, into a wasteland. Standards of living in Russia fell dramatically. Then, at the end of 1999, plagued by health problems, he shocked his country and the world by resigning. As his final act, he named his successor: a little-known intelligence officer named Vladimir Putin. It is a delightful irony that shows how unwise it can be to interfere in another country's politics. If the United States had not crashed into a presidential election in Russia 22 years ago, we almost certainly would not be dealing with Putin today.

[Aug 24, 2018] The Real Russian Interference in US Politics by diana johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... The Magnitsky Act also condemns legal prosecution of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Browder, on a much smaller scale, also made a fortune ripping off Russians during the Yeltsin years, and later got into trouble with Russian tax collectors. Since Browder had given up his US citizenship in order to avoid paying US taxes, he had reason to fear Russian efforts to extradite him for tax evasion and other financial misdeeds. ..."
"... Russian authorities are still trying to pursue their case against Browder. In his press conference following the Helsinki meeting with Trump, Vladimir Putin suggested allowing US authorities to question the Russians named in the Mueller indictment in exchange for allowing Russian officials to question individuals involved in the Browder case, including Winer and former US ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul. Putin observed that such an exchange was possible under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty signed between the two countries in 1999, back in the Yeltsin days when America was posing as Russia's best friend. ..."
"... In a July 15, 2016, complaint to the Justice Department, Browder's Heritage Capital Management accused both American and Russian opponents of the Magnitsky Act of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA; adopted in 19938 with Nazis in mind). Among the "lobbyists" cited was the late Ron Dellums (falsely identified in the complaint as a "former Republican congressman"). ..."
"... The basic ideological conflict here is between Unipolar America and Multipolar Russia. Russia's position, as Vladimir Putin made clear in his historic speech at the 2007 Munich security conference, is to allow countries to enjoy national sovereignty and develop in their own way. The current Russian government is against interference in other countries' politics on principle. It would naturally prefer an American government willing to allow this. ..."
"... The United States, in contrast, is in favor of interference in other countries on principle: because it seeks a Unipolar world, with a single "democratic" system, and considers itself the final authority as to which regime a country should have and how it should run its affairs ..."
Aug 24, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was ostensibly a conflict between two ideologies, two socio-economic systems.

All that seems to be over. The day of a new socialism may dawn unexpectedly, but today capitalism rules the world. Now the United States and Russia are engaged in a no-holds-barred fight between capitalists. At first glance, it may seem to be a classic clash between rival capitalists. And yet, once again an ideological conflict is emerging, one which divides capitalists themselves, even in Russia and in the United States itself. It is the conflict between globalists and sovereignists, between a unipolar and a multipolar world. The conflict will not be confined to the two main nuclear powers.

The defeat of communism was brutally announced in a certain "capitalist manifesto" dating from the early 1990s that proclaimed: "Our guiding light is Profit, acquired in a strictly legal way. Our Lord is His Majesty, Money, for it is only He who can lead us to wealth as the norm in life."

The authors of this bold tract were Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who went on to become the richest man in Russia, before spending ten years in a Russian jail, and his business partner at the time, Leonid Nevzlin, who has since retired comfortably to Israel.

Loans For Shares

Those were the good old days in the 1990s when the Clinton administration was propping up Yeltsin as he let Russia be ripped off by the joint efforts of such ambitious well-placed Russians and their Western sponsors, notably using the "loans for shares" trick.

In a 2012 Vanity Fair article on her hero, Khodorkovsky, the vehemently anti-Putin journalist Masha Gessen frankly summed up how this worked:

The new oligarchs -- a dozen men who had begun to exercise the power that money brought -- concocted a scheme. They would lend the government money, which it badly needed, and in return the government would put up as collateral blocks of stock amounting to a controlling interest in the major state-owned companies. When the government defaulted, as both the oligarchs and the government knew it would, the oligarchs would take them over. By this maneuver the Yeltsin administration privatized oil, gas, minerals, and other enterprises without parliamentary approval.
This worked so well that from his position in the Communist youth organization, Khodorkovsky used his connections to get control of Russia's petroleum company Yukos and become the richest oligarch in Russia, worth some $15 billion, of which he still controls a chunk despite his years in jail (2003-2013). His arrest made him a hero of democracy in the United States, where he had many friends, especially those business partners who were helping him sell pieces of Yukos to Chevron and Exxon. Khodorkovsky, a charming and generous young man, easily convinced his American partners that he was Russia's number one champion of democracy and the rule of law, especially of those laws which allow domestic capital to flee to foreign banks and foreign capital to take control of Russian resources.

Vladimir Putin didn't see it that way. Without restoring socialism, he dispossessed Khodorkovsky of Yukos and essentially transformed the oil and gas industry from the "open society" model tolerated by Yeltsin to a national capitalist industry. Khodorkovsky and his partner Platon Lebedev were accused of having stolen all the oil that Yukos had produced in the years 1998 to 2003, tried, convicted and sentenced to 14 years of prison each. This shift ruined US plans, already underway, to "balkanize" Russia between its many provinces, thereby allowing Western capital to pursue its capture of the Russian economy.

The dispossession of Khodorkovsky was certainly a major milestone in the conflict between President Putin and Washington. On November 18, 2005, the Senate unanimously adopted resolution 322 introduced by Joe Biden denouncing the treatment of the Khodorkovsky and Lebedev as politically motivated.

Who Influences Whom?

Now let's take a look at the history of Russian influence in the United States. It is obvious that a Russian who can get the Senate to adopt a resolution in his favor has a certain influence. But when the "deep state" growls about Russian influence, it isn't talking about Khodorkovsky. It's talking about a joking response Trump made to a reporter's snide question during the presidential campaign. In a variation of the classic "when did you stop beating your wife?" the reporter asked if he would call on Russian President Vladimir Putin to "stay out" of the election.

Since a stupid question does not deserve a serious answer, Trump said he had "nothing to do with Putin" before adding, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

Aha! Went the Trump haters. This proves it! Irony is almost as unwelcome in American politics as honesty.

When President Trump revoked his security clearance earlier this month, former CIA chef John Brennan got his chance to spew out his hatred in the complacent pages of the New York Times.

Someone supposed to be smart enough to head an intelligence agency actually took Trump's joking invitation as a genuine request. "By issuing such a statement," Brennan wrote, "Mr. Trump was not only encouraging a foreign nation to collect intelligence against a United States citizen, but also openly authorizing his followers to work with our primary global adversary against his political opponent."

The Russians, Brennan declared, "troll political, business, and cultural waters in search of gullible or unprincipled individuals who become pliant in the hands of their Russian puppet masters."

Which Russians do that? And who are those "individuals"?

'The Fixer in Chief'

To understand the way Washington works, nothing is more instructive than to examine the career of lawyer Jonathan M. Winer, who proudly repeats that in early 2017, the head of the Carnegie Endowment Bill Burns introduced him as "the Fixer in Chief". Winer has long been unknown to the general public, but this may soon change.

Let's see what the fixer has fixed.

Under the presidency of fellow Yalie Bill Clinton, Winer served as the State Department's first Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Law Enforcement, from 1994-1999. One may question the selectivity of Bill Clinton's concern for international law enforcement, which certainly did not cover violating international law by bombing defenseless countries. In any case, in 1999, Winer was awarded for "virtually unprecedented achievements". Later we shall examine one of those important achievements.

At the end of the Clinton administration, from 2008 to 2013, the Fixer in Chief worked as high up consultant at one of the world's most powerful PR and lobbying firms, APCO Worldwide. This is how the Washington revolving door functions: after a few years in government finding out how things work, one then goes into highly paid "consultancy" to sell this insider information and influential contacts to private clients.

APCO got off to a big start some thirty years ago lobbying for Philip Morris and the tobacco industry in general.

In 2002, APCO launched something called the "Friends of Science" to promote skepticism concerning the harmful effects of smoking. In 1993, the campaign described its goals and objectives "encouraging the public to question – from the grassroots up – the validity of scientific studies."

While Winer was at APCO, one of its major activities was hyping the Clinton Global Initiative, an international networking platform promoting the Clinton Foundation. APCO president and CEO Margery Kraus explained that the consultancy was there to "help other CGI members garner interest for the causes they are addressing, demonstrate their success and highlight the wide-ranging achievements of CGI as a whole." Considering that only five percent of Clinton Foundation turnover went to donations, they needed all the PR they could get.

Significantly, donations to the Clinton Global Initiative have dried up since Hillary lost the presidential election. According to the Observer : "Foreign governments began pulling out of annual donations, signaling the organization's clout was predicated on donor access to the Clintons, rather than its philanthropic work."

This helps explain Hillary Clinton's panic when she lost in 2016. How in the world can she ever reward her multi-million-dollar donors with the favors they expected?

As well as the tobacco industry and the Clinton Foundation, APCO also works for Khodorkovsky. To be precise, according to public listings, the fourth biggest of APCO's many clients is the Corbiere Trust, owned by Khodorkovsky and registered in Guernsey. The trust tends and distributes some of the billions that the oligarch got out of Russia before he was jailed. Corbiere money was spent to lobby both for Resolution 322 (supporting Khodorkovky after his arrest in Russia) and for the Magnitsky Act (more later). Margery Kraus, APCO's president and CEO, is a member of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's son Pavel's Institute of Modern Russia, devoted to "promoting democratic values" – in other words, to building political opposition to Vladimir Putin.

In 2009 Jonathan Winer went back to the State Department where he was given a distinguished service award for having somehow rescued thousands of stranded members of the Muhahedin-e Khalq from their bases in Iraq they were trying to overthrow the Iranian government. The MeK, once officially recognized as a terrorist organization by the State Department, has become a pet instrument in US and Israeli regime change operations directed at Iran.

However, it was Winer's extracurricular activities at State that finally brought him into the public spotlight early this year – or rather, the spotlight of the House Intelligence Committee, whose chairman Devin Nunes (R-Cal) named him as one of a network promoting the notorious "Steele Dossier" which accused Trump of illicit financial dealing and compromising sexual activities in Russia. By Winer's own account , he had been friends with former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele since his days at APCO. Back at State, he regularly channeled Steele reports, ostensibly drawn from contacts with friendly Russian intelligence agents, to Victoria Nuland, in charge of Russian affairs, and top Russian experts. These included the infamous "Steele dossier". In September 2016, Winer's old friend Sidney Blumenthal – a particularly close advisor to Hillary Clinton – gave him notes written by a more mysterious Clinton insider named Cody Shearer, repeating the salacious attacks.

All this dirt was spread through government agencies and mainstream media before being revealed publicly just before Trump's inauguration, used to stimulate the "Russiagate" investigation by Robert Mueller. The dossier has been discredited but the investigation goes on and on.

So, it is all right to take seriously information allegedly obtained from "Russian agents" and spread it around, so long as it can damage Trump. As with so much else in Washington, double standards are the rule.

Jonathan Winer and the Magnitsky Act

Jonathan Winer played a major role in Congressional adoption of the "Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012" (the Magnitsky Act), a measure that effectively ended post-Cold War hopes for normal relations between Washington and Moscow. This act was based on a highly contentious version of the November 16, 2009 death in prison of accountant Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky, as told to Congress by hedge fund manager Bill Browder (grandson of Earl Browder, head of the Communist Party USA 1934-1945). According to Browder, Magnitsky was a lawyer beaten to death in prison as a result of his crusade for human rights.

However, as convincingly established by dissident Russian film-maker Andrei Nekrasov's (banned) investigative documentary, the unfortunate Magnitsky was neither a human rights crusader, nor a lawyer, nor beaten to death. He was an accountant jailed for his role in Browder's business dealings, who died of natural causes as a result of inadequate medical treatment. The case was hyped up as a major human rights drama by Browder in order to discredit Russian charges against himself.

In any case, by adopting a law punishing Magnitsky's alleged persecutors, the US Congress acted as a supreme court judging internal Russian legal issues.

The Magnitsky Act also condemns legal prosecution of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Browder, on a much smaller scale, also made a fortune ripping off Russians during the Yeltsin years, and later got into trouble with Russian tax collectors. Since Browder had given up his US citizenship in order to avoid paying US taxes, he had reason to fear Russian efforts to extradite him for tax evasion and other financial misdeeds.

It was Jonathan Winer who found a solution to Browder's predicament.

As Winer tells it :

When Browder consulted me, [ ] I suggested creating a new law to impose economic and travel sanctions on human-rights violators involved in grand corruption. Browder decided this could secure a measure of justice for Magnitsky. He initiated a campaign that led to the enactment of the Magnitsky Act. Soon other countries enacted their own Magnitsky Acts, including Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and most recently, the United Kingdom.
Russian authorities are still trying to pursue their case against Browder. In his press conference following the Helsinki meeting with Trump, Vladimir Putin suggested allowing US authorities to question the Russians named in the Mueller indictment in exchange for allowing Russian officials to question individuals involved in the Browder case, including Winer and former US ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul. Putin observed that such an exchange was possible under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty signed between the two countries in 1999, back in the Yeltsin days when America was posing as Russia's best friend.

But the naοve Russians did not measure the craftiness of American lawyers.

As Winer wrote:

"Under that treaty, Russia's procurator general can ask the US attorney general to arrange for Americans to be ordered to testify to assist in a criminal case. But there is a fundamental exception: The attorney general can provide no such assistance in a politically motivated case ." (My emphasis.)
"I know this", he wrote, "because I was among those who helped put it there. Back in 1999, when we were negotiating the agreement with Russia, I was the senior State Department official managing US-Russia law-enforcement relations."

So, the Fixer in Chief could have said to the worried Browder, "No problem. All that we need to do is make your case a politically motivated case. Then they can't touch you."

Winer's clever treaty is a perfect Catch-22. The treaty doesn't apply to a case if it is politically motivated, and if it is Russian, it must be politically motivated.

In a July 15, 2016, complaint to the Justice Department, Browder's Heritage Capital Management accused both American and Russian opponents of the Magnitsky Act of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA; adopted in 19938 with Nazis in mind). Among the "lobbyists" cited was the late Ron Dellums (falsely identified in the complaint as a "former Republican congressman").

The Heritage Capital Management brief declared that: "While lawyers representing foreign principals are exempt from filing under FARA, this is only true if the attorney does not try to influence policy at the behest of his client." However, by disseminating anti-Magnitsky material to Congress, any Russian lawyer was "clearly trying to influence policy" was therefore in violation of FARA filing requirements."

Catch-22 all over again.

Needless to say, Khodorkovsky's Corbiere Trust lobbied heavily to get Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act, which also repeated its defense of Khodorkovsky himself. This type of "Russian interference intended to influence policy" is not even noticed, while US authorities scour cyberspace for evidence of trolls.

Conclusion

The basic ideological conflict here is between Unipolar America and Multipolar Russia. Russia's position, as Vladimir Putin made clear in his historic speech at the 2007 Munich security conference, is to allow countries to enjoy national sovereignty and develop in their own way. The current Russian government is against interference in other countries' politics on principle. It would naturally prefer an American government willing to allow this.

The United States, in contrast, is in favor of interference in other countries on principle: because it seeks a Unipolar world, with a single "democratic" system, and considers itself the final authority as to which regime a country should have and how it should run its affairs .

So, if Russians were trying to interfere in US domestic politics, they would not be trying to change the US system but to prevent it from trying to change their own. Russian leaders clearly are sufficiently cultivated to realize that historic processes do not depend on some childish trick played on somebody's computer.

US policy-makers practice interference every day. And they are perfectly willing to allow Russians to interfere in American politics – so long as those Russians are "unipolar" like themselves, like Khodorkovsky, who aspire to precisely the same unipolar world sought by the State Department and George Soros. Indeed, the American empire depends on such interference from Iraqis, Libyans, Iranians, Russians, Cubans – all those who come to Washington to try to get US power to settle old scores or overthrow the government in the country they came from. All those are perfectly welcome to lobby for a world ruled by America.

Russian interference in American politics is totally welcome so long as it helps turn public opinion against "multipolar" Putin, glorifies American democracy, serves US interests including the military-industrial complex, helps break down national borders (except those of the United States and Israel) and puts money in appropriate pockets in the halls of Congress.

[Aug 23, 2018] About that 'Russian Menace'

Notable quotes:
"... @Dr. John Carpenter ..."
"... [The difference between] what the average American knows about Russia and reality is frightening.] ..."
"... Bushworld didn't just deregulate mining and resource extraction in Russia, it deregulated everything, the abuse of labor, the destruction of education, the corruption of everything previously socialist and plunged Russia into an organized crime free fire zone. ..."
"... The standard of living fell to pieces and huge fortunes were made by U.S., British, and other western speculators. ..."
"... Putin has apparently moved to the left of that nightmare, and for that we are supposed to fear him, for insisting speculators pay their taxes and pay living wages and support social systems like education and healthcare as well as public infrastructure. ..."
Aug 23, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Linda Wood on Thu, 08/23/2018 - 12:16pm

The gap between

@Dr. John Carpenter

[The difference between] what the average American knows about Russia and reality is frightening.]

What happened with Putin is that he went to the left of Yeltsin, our boy, our Bushworld plaything, poster boy of "unfettered" capitalism, the raping of Russia.

Bushworld didn't just deregulate mining and resource extraction in Russia, it deregulated everything, the abuse of labor, the destruction of education, the corruption of everything previously socialist and plunged Russia into an organized crime free fire zone.

The standard of living fell to pieces and huge fortunes were made by U.S., British, and other western speculators.

Putin has apparently moved to the left of that nightmare, and for that we are supposed to fear him, for insisting speculators pay their taxes and pay living wages and support social systems like education and healthcare as well as public infrastructure.

For that we are supposed to go to war and contribute the destruction of huge parts of the United States in a nuclear war so Assholes like Albright and her followers can live the lives of potentates.

[Aug 22, 2018] The investigation of Clinton Foundation mysteriously ended after US Justice Dept staffer James Comey took it over in 2005. He was assisted by Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Rod Rosenstein, and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Notable quotes:
"... Also while Hillary was Secretary of State, her friend James Comey moved from the US Justice Dept to Lockheed Martin, earning millions himself, with 17 no-bid contracts for Lockheed Martin with Hillary's State Dept. ..."
"... When the Benghazi investigations uncovered the Hillary e-mail offences and placement of Top Secret information on her private servers, the investigation was in the hands of James Comey, who had returned to gov service as FBI Director, where he 'could not find' any crimes regarding Hillary. ..."
"... Lisa Barsoomian is a lawyer who, over time, worked in many cases representing James Comey, Robert Mueller, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the FBI and the CIA. ..."
Aug 22, 2018 | www.unz.com

Brabantian (Website) August 22, 2018 at 10:46Hh am GMT

From the web the other side of the rabbit hole, key items in the utterly corruption-tainted profile of the Robert Mueller – Hillary Clinton etc team jabbing at Trump

From 2001 to 2005 the US gov had an ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation. Governments from around the world had donated to the 'Charity', yet many of those donations were illegally undeclared.

The investigation mysteriously ended after US Justice Dept staffer James Comey took it over in 2005. He was assisted by Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Rod Rosenstein, and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

James Comey's brother works for DLA Piper that handles the Clinton Foundation.

When Hillary Clinton was Obama's US Secretary of State, she supported a decision to sell 20% of US Uranium to Russia. Bill Clinton went to Moscow, was paid US $500,000 for a one-hour speech, and met with Vladimir Putin at his home. Entities connected to the Uranium One deal then donated US $145 million to the Clinton Foundation

FBI Director Robert Mueller oversaw the Russian 'deal' Rod Rosenstein was placed under gag order not to speak of it.

Also while Hillary was Secretary of State, her friend James Comey moved from the US Justice Dept to Lockheed Martin, earning millions himself, with 17 no-bid contracts for Lockheed Martin with Hillary's State Dept.

When the Benghazi investigations uncovered the Hillary e-mail offences and placement of Top Secret information on her private servers, the investigation was in the hands of James Comey, who had returned to gov service as FBI Director, where he 'could not find' any crimes regarding Hillary.

Lisa Barsoomian is a lawyer who, over time, worked in many cases representing James Comey, Robert Mueller, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, the FBI and the CIA.

Lisa Barsoomian is the wife of US Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller to his current job.

[Aug 22, 2018] Russians hold as much as 1trillion in USD assets outside Russia that were stolen from Russia in the 90's and number far greater if including all of the FSU. The stimulus to the global and US economy was enormous and created asset bubbles until the great collapse in 2008

Great insight: "Browder who helped facilitate the looting before he was kicked out of Russia and the Magnitsky Act are all part of the efforts to seize or at least contain as much of the loot as possible and keep it from Russia"
Notable quotes:
"... Russians hold as much as one trillion in USD assets outside Russia that were stolen from Russia in the 90's and number far greater if including all of the FSU. The stimulus to the global and US economy was enormous and created asset bubbles until the great collapse in 2008. The current bubble was due to quantitative easing of central banks as the flows from Russia and FSU dried up. ..."
"... Much of this was held in tax havens and then moved to the US after cleaning via shelf companies. Trumps empire was rebuilt with Russian oligarchs/mafia money as real estate was a favorite investment for money launderers ..."
"... Browder who helped facilitate the looting before he was kicked out of Russia and the Magnitsky Act are all part of the efforts to seize or at least contain as much of the loot as possible and keep it from Russia ..."
Aug 22, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Pft | Aug 21, 2018 4:17:31 PM | 28

Russians hold as much as one trillion in USD assets outside Russia that were stolen from Russia in the 90's and number far greater if including all of the FSU. The stimulus to the global and US economy was enormous and created asset bubbles until the great collapse in 2008. The current bubble was due to quantitative easing of central banks as the flows from Russia and FSU dried up.

Much of this was held in tax havens and then moved to the US after cleaning via shelf companies. Trumps empire was rebuilt with Russian oligarchs/mafia money as real estate was a favorite investment for money launderers

During the Ukrainian conflict Putin began an amnesty program asking oligarchs to repatriate these assets by waiving penalties and taxes. He restarted it at the end of last year, hence the need to expand the list of assets to be seized before they fly the coop.

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/putin-tries-to-get-oligarchs-to-send-1-trillion-home-to-russia-as-threat-of-sanctions-looms

Trump may know where a lot of these assets are parked. Perhaps he had been a good informant of the FBI/CIA like his partner Felix Sater

Browder who helped facilitate the looting before he was kicked out of Russia and the Magnitsky Act are all part of the efforts to seize or at least contain as much of the loot as possible and keep it from Russia

[Aug 17, 2018] Jim Kunstler Exposes The Democratic Party s Three-Headed Monster

Notable quotes:
"... The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself: Mr. Brennan, Mr. Clapper, Mr. Comey, Mr. Strzok, Mr. McCabe, Mr. Ohr, Ms. Yates. Ms. Page, et. al. who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Deep State can't stop running its mouth -- The New York Times , CNN, WashPo , et al -- in an evermore hysterical reaction to the truth of the matter: the Deep State itself colluded with Russia (and perhaps hates itself for it, a sure recipe for mental illness). ..."
"... The second head of this monster is a matrix of sinister interests seeking to incite conflict with Russia in order to support arms manufacturers, black box "security" companies, congressmen-on-the-take, and an army of obscenely-rewarded Washington lobbyists in concert with the military and a rabid neocon intellectual think-tank camp wishing to replay the cold war and perhaps even turn up the temperature with some nuclear fire. ..."
"... This second head functions by way of a displacement-projection dynamic. We hold war games on the Russian border and accuse them of "aggression." ..."
"... The third head of this monster is the one aflame with identity politics. It arises from a crypto-gnostic wish to change human nature to escape the woes and sorrows of the human condition -- for example, the terrible tensions of sexuality. Hence, the multiplication of new sexual categories as a work-around for the fundamental terrors of human reproduction as represented by the differences between men and women. ..."
"... "We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. " ..."
"... And this shit has been going on since the Soviet Union broke up and the "Harvard Boys" helped turn Russia into a corrupt Oligarchy, something the Left was first to identify. ..."
"... The rising of the Populist parties in the UK, Germany, especially Italy and now Sweden, portends an interesting trend, not just nationally, but world wide... ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Jim Kunstler Exposes The Democratic Party's "Three-Headed Monster"

by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:35 132 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The faction that used to be the Democratic party can be described with some precision these days as a three-headed monster driving the nation toward danger, darkness, and incoherence.

Anyone interested in defending what remains of the sane center of American politics take heed:

The first head is the one infected with the toxic shock of losing the 2016 election. The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the "intel community" -- especially the leadership of the FBI -- to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented. The "doctors" of this Deep State diagnosed the condition as "Russian collusion." An overdue second opinion by doctors outside the Deep State adduced later that the malady was actually an auto-immune disease.

The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself: Mr. Brennan, Mr. Clapper, Mr. Comey, Mr. Strzok, Mr. McCabe, Mr. Ohr, Ms. Yates. Ms. Page, et. al. who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible.

With the disease now revealed by hard evidence, the chief surgeon called into the case, Robert Mueller, is left looking ridiculous -- and perhaps subject to malpractice charges -- for trying to remove an appendix-like organ called the Manifort from the body politic instead of attending to the cancerous mess all around him. Meanwhile, the Deep State can't stop running its mouth -- The New York Times , CNN, WashPo , et al -- in an evermore hysterical reaction to the truth of the matter: the Deep State itself colluded with Russia (and perhaps hates itself for it, a sure recipe for mental illness).

The second head of this monster is a matrix of sinister interests seeking to incite conflict with Russia in order to support arms manufacturers, black box "security" companies, congressmen-on-the-take, and an army of obscenely-rewarded Washington lobbyists in concert with the military and a rabid neocon intellectual think-tank camp wishing to replay the cold war and perhaps even turn up the temperature with some nuclear fire. They are apparently in deep confab with the first head and its Russia collusion storyline. Note all the current talk about Russia already meddling in the 2018 midterm election, a full-fledged pathogenic hallucination.

This second head functions by way of a displacement-projection dynamic. We hold war games on the Russian border and accuse them of "aggression." We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. The sane center never would have stood for this arrant recklessness. The world community is not fooled, though. More and more, they recognize the USA as a national borderline personality, capable of any monstrous act.

The third head of this monster is the one aflame with identity politics. It arises from a crypto-gnostic wish to change human nature to escape the woes and sorrows of the human condition -- for example, the terrible tensions of sexuality. Hence, the multiplication of new sexual categories as a work-around for the fundamental terrors of human reproduction as represented by the differences between men and women. Those differences must be abolished, and replaced with chimeras that enable a childish game of pretend, men pretending to be women and vice-versa in one way or another: LBGTQetc. Anything BUT the dreaded "cis-hetero" purgatory of men and women acting like men and women. The horror .

Its companion is the race hustle and its multicultural operating system. The objective has become transparent over the past year, with rising calls to punish white people for the supposed "privilege" of being Caucasian and pay "reparations" in one way or another to underprivileged "people of color." This comes partly from the infantile refusal to understand that life is difficult for everybody, and that the woes and sorrows of being in this world require fortitude and intelligence to get through -- with the final reward being absolutely the same for everybody.


Creative_Destruct -> Got The Wrong No Fri, 08/17/2018 - 16:30 Permalink

"We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. "

And this shit has been going on since the Soviet Union broke up and the "Harvard Boys" helped turn Russia into a corrupt Oligarchy, something the Left was first to identify.

Chad Thunderfist -> venturen Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:56 Permalink

...[MSM] owners:

https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/contributors?id=N00000019

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Sussman
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_Pritzker
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Harris_Simons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_Saban
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dustin_Moskovitz
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Rosenstein
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._Daniel_Abraham

STP -> edotabin Fri, 08/17/2018 - 17:36 Permalink

I was talking to someone, who knows a lot about the 'inner workings' and we were discussing, not only the US, but Europe's situation as well.

The rising of the Populist parties in the UK, Germany, especially Italy and now Sweden, portends an interesting trend, not just nationally, but world wide...

[Aug 13, 2018] The Founding Fathers would have impeached corrupt Trump in a New York minute

Aug 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

fbazzrea Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

please forgive me but had to share this OT article. it's MSM/DS propaganda in full bloom. slow thread so...

UPDATE: The Founding Fathers would have impeached corrupt Trump in a New York minute

Today 11:05 AM ET (MarketWatch) Print

By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

The Founding Fathers had someone just like Donald Trump in mind when they banned any and all emoluments to the president from any foreign or state governments

Conservatives, we are constantly told, believe in strict adherence to the Constitution based primarily on the text and secondarily on the views of the Founding Fathers, who wrote and breathed life into our founding document. If conservatives really were "originalists," they would be the first to say that Donald Trump is exactly the kind of president who ought to be impeached.

Unique among presidents, Trump has divided loyalties ( https://www.citizensforethics.org/profitingfromthepresidency/ ). He has entangled his business interests with his official duties, ( http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/399541-senate-dem-hints-trump-hotel- ) creating the impression, if not the reality, that his own financial interest -- not his duty as president -- guides his thoughts and actions.

The Founding Fathers, savvy students of history and human nature, were highly attuned to the risks of public corruption -- actual or perceived -- and inserted language into the Articles of Confederation and later into the Constitution to guard against such human frailties. They wanted to make sure that anyone who held a public office would serve only one master: the American people.

A farewell to kings

For the Founders, public corruption wasn't just a theoretical danger. They viewed it as the primary threat to their independence. Living in a small, fledgling country, the Americans feared that the European powers would seize control of the American democracy by flattering and bribing our officials.

The kings and princes of Europe were masters of the art. The British king had corrupted Parliament by providing titles and sinecures, a major contributor to the split between the colonies and Britain. The true history of the 1670 Treaty of Dover had just been published, which revealed that King Louis XIV of France had bribed Charles II of England with a secret pension, a beautiful and beloved French mistress, and a promise of protection. In exchange, Charles had agreed to convert to Catholicism and to join Louis in his costly and fruitless war against the Dutch, his former ally.

During the Constitutional Convention ( http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/debcont.asp ), Gouverneur Morris (who is regarded as the chief architect of the presidency) argued that receiving such emoluments would justify impeachment of the president: Because the president would not have a lifetime office or income, Morris said, "he may be bribed by a greater interest to betray his trust; and no one would say that we ought to expose ourselves to the danger of seeing the first Magistrate in foreign pay, without being able to guard against it by displacing him."

It seems the Founding Fathers had Donald Trump (or someone very like him) in mind when they wrote those clauses into the Constitution. They were concerned about our government officials being corrupted by foreign or domestic powers. Alexander Hamilton argued in Federalist Paper #73 ( https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers ) that the domestic emoluments clause was designed to keep the president independent and incorruptible.

'Appealing to his avarice'

"In the main," Hamilton argued, "it will be found that a power over a man's support is power over his will."

With the emolument ban in place, "they can neither weaken his fortitude by operating on his necessities, nor corrupt his integrity by appealing to his avarice," Hamilton wrote.

The key passage in the Constitution is Article I, Section 9: ( https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript#toc-sect -) "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

The point of this clause is to prevent any foreign power from gaining influence over the U.S. government by providing gifts, titles, jobs or other benefits to its officials.

No exceptions

Article II, Section 1 ( https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript#toc-sect ) specifically limits the president and does not allow Congress to approve exceptions: "The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them."

The point of this clause is to prevent the Congress or any of the states from gaining undue influence over the president by lining his pockets.

Note that these prohibitions don't require a legal finding of bribery. The Constitution doesn't say payments are OK as long as there's no quid pro quo. Such "emoluments" are unconstitutional, full stop.

Trump is sued

Trump has been hit with lawsuits alleging that he is violating ( http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/06/t )those two constitutional provisions. One of the lawsuits is moving forward, bad news for this utterly corrupt administration.

The facts of the case are clear: Foreign and state officials do patronize his businesses with the express purpose of currying his favor ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/2016/11/18/9da9 known as "stay to play"). Trump is soliciting business from foreign officials and U.S. politicians. The emoluments he receives from them is significant and important to his business ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/at-president-trumps-hotel-in-ne ). Congress has not been asked for its consent, nor has it been granted. State government officials have also patronized his hotel ( http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/348558-government-watchdogs- ). The federal government has also granted Trump an "advantage" by approving the continuation of the lease ( http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/348558-government-watchdogs- )for his hotel at the Old Post Office despite the clear wording in the lease that "no elected official" shall benefit from it.

The only real point of dispute between Trump's defenders and his critics is over the meaning of the word "emolument." Trump's lawyers say ( http://oag.dc.gov/sites/default/files/2018-03/Defendants-Motion-to-Dism )"emolument" means only the money that is earned for holding an office (and not for renting a room or granting a lease). His critics say "emolument" means any profit, advantage, gain or benefit.

'Originalist' approach

Recently, Federal District Judge Peter J. Messitte sided with Trump's critics ( http://oag.dc.gov/sites/default/files/2018-07/2018_07_25_Emoluments_Opi )as to the legal meaning of "emoluments," and ruled that a lawsuit alleging violations of the emolument clauses could proceed. ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal-judge-allows-emoluments )

It's interesting that Messitte's ruling relies heavily (but not exclusively) on an "originalist" approach. He notes in his opinion that the preponderance of the evidence shows that the common meaning in 1787 of the word "emolument" was any "profit," "gain" or "advantage." Nearly all dictionaries of the day followed this definition, and many authors and politicians at that time also used that definition. Trump's alternative definition has almost no contemporaneous support, the judge ruled.

Messitte's ruling may be overturned, of course. There is considerable pressure on Republican office holders, as well as conservative jurists, to ignore the stench of corruption stemming from Trump's ownership of a large and complex business that does business with governments near and far.

The Founding Fathers could well imagine that a foreign or domestic power would try to corrupt the president. But they could not imagine that the constitutional system they created would ever permit the president to corrupt the Congress or the courts. Let's hope they weren't wrong about us.

'Guard against corruption'

Edmund Randolph, governor of Virginia, delegate to the Philadelphia convention and first attorney general of the United States, said during the ratification debate that the president "is restrained from receiving any present or emolument whatever. It is impossible to guard better against corruption."

And if the president does so, "he may be impeached," Randolph declared with no reservations.

The Founding Fathers, in other words, would have impeached Trump in a New York minute.

-Rex Nutting; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

RELATED: To drain the swamp of corruption, Congress must require Trump to divest his businesses ( http://www.marketwatch.com/story/to-drain-the-swamp-of-corruption-congr )

RELATED: Donald Trump builds the best swamps ( http://www.marketwatch.com/story/donald-trump-builds-the-best-swamps-an )

RELATED: The EPA's Pruitt is finally gone, but there's plenty of rot left ( http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-time-for-the-republican-congress-t )

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 13, 2018 11:05 ET (15:05 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

[Aug 12, 2018] Clinton Democrats as Wall Street "bagmen" -- "a person who on behalf of another collects or distributes illicitly gained money; an intermediary in an illicit or unethical transaction."

Notable quotes:
"... hominis bulgae, ..."
Aug 11, 2018 | truthout.org
William Rivers Pitt

The word "bagman" has fallen out of common usage over the years, which is a damned shame. It's a perfect word for the era: According to Merriam-Webster, a "bagman" is defined as "a person who on behalf of another collects or distributes illicitly gained money; an intermediary in an illicit or unethical transaction."

Sound like anyone you've seen in the news lately?

So long as corruption has existed in the human hive, there have been bagmen to do the dirty work and move the money. If you were a contractor in ancient Rome looking to get a piece of the action on that new Coliseum deal, some version for the age -- a hominis bulgae, if you will –would grease the skids to the doorstep of an influential senator on the take.

Juicy historical parallels are, to me, better than a cold peach on a hot day. This one is especially sweet and twice as timely. Back in the wildly corrupt 19 th -century days of Tammany Hall , dirty money was often carried from person to person in actual bags, hence the name. Tammany's top bagman was a chair-maker named James H. Ingersoll, who was business partners with the Hall's most notorious leader, William "Boss" Tweed.

Ingersoll helped Tweed and his Tammany cohorts steal millions of dollars for the purposes of bribery and personal enrichment, often siphoning the cash through shady real estate deals and properties that did not actually exist. The money would find its way into Ingersoll's account, whereupon it was disbursed in various bags to various swells in various parts of the city.

The New York Times and Harper's Weekly eventually blew the lid off the Tammany machine, and James Ingersoll's lucrative bagman career was over. He was convicted on two counts of forgery in 1872 and spent two and a half years in jail. He was pardoned in 1875 on the condition that he testify for the state in the second corruption trial of Tweed; the first had ended in a hung jury. Ingersoll did exactly that, and "Boss" Tweed ultimately died of pneumonia in the Ludlow Street Jail in 1878.

We don't say "bagman" anymore; the papers today would call James Ingersoll an "embezzler," a "fixer" or a "money-launderer." Ingersoll was all those things, but language has a tendency to drift over time, especially in matters of the law. "Graft" becomes "corruption," "grifter" becomes "politician,"

[Aug 11, 2018] Major color revolutions sponsor is in decline, but still show his teeth and his methods did not become less dangerius for Eastern Europe, xUSSR space and developing countries

It is not only George Soros is losing. Neoliberalism is losing some of its fights too, despite recent revenge in sev eral Latin American countries. Deep state was always an alliance of Wall Street sharks with intelligence agencies and Soros is a true representative of this breed. He is connected and acted in sync with them in xUSSR space. In this sense he can be viewed as a part of Harvard Mafia which economically raped Russia in 1990th...
Malaysia's prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, correctly called Soros and other speculators "unscrupulous profiteers" whose immoral work served no social value. That actually aptly characterize all members of Harvard mafia not just George Soros.
BTW, if Victoria Nuland (of EuroMaydan putch fame) praises a particular person, you can be sure that his person serves US imperial interests...
Notable quotes:
"... ...In the 1990s, he was portrayed by the far left as an agent of American imperialism, helping to foist the so-called neoliberal agenda (mass privatization, for example) on Eastern Europe. For some critics, Soros's Wall Street background has always been a mark against him. ..."
"... In one campaign rally in Budapest, Orban referred to Soros as "Uncle George," telling tens of thousands of supporters that "we are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the world." ..."
"... I always thought George Soros was a dangerous [neo]liberal but after reading this article and seeing the damage he has created around the world it has been confirmed. ..."
"... Mr. Soros fights for all the [neo]liberal causes no matter the consequences. ..."
"... I am glad that the conservatives and others are finally seeing his true colors and are trying to subdue him the best they can. He must be called out on this negative behavior before it is too late. It is reassuring that many of the European nations are implementing policies that are favorable to their countries and looking out for their people. Europeans must be protected and George Soros stopped. I am glad they see him for what he truly is which is frightening. ..."
"... As Mr. Soros said of himself, "I am a confirmed egoist." He has used his money to make the world as he thinks is best. But having money does not give you a better moral view of how the world should be governed nor make you a god to decide for the rest of us. ..."
"... I think this kind of undue influence (money in politics) is what is driving some of the back-lash against [neo]liberal democracy. So many of the "[neo]liberal" proponents of an open society, like George Soros and Bill Gates, seem to have an inordinate power to effect political outcomes because of their money. ..."
"... Soros is an enemy of the middle and working classes in America. ..."
"... Now, more than ever, American politics is defined by money, so it's important to understand how it is used in that context by those who have it. ..."
"... What about the devastating effects that free trade and globalization have had on the spread of inequality throughout the world... Huge corporations consistently use "free trade" or globalization as an excuse to offer the lowest possible wages, and move manufacturing to places with the least environmental protections and human rights. ..."
"... Soros didn't bet on Democracy, he bet on his version of it which he tried to buy through individual politicians on the take and the Democratic Party. Better he quit manipulating pols and gave his money to charity. ..."
"... Soros is a criminal by any other name. He hedged against the UK Pound 20 years ago, and earned $1B. He earned billions by manipulating the market. With his profits he wanted to create his own society where his money could be used to buy politicians and pass legislation according to his one man agenda. He's selfish, an egomaniac, and dangerous. ..."
"... George Soros is the epitome of corruption – penetration and distortion of political process by obscene wealth. It does not matter what his true intentions are – he can say whatever he wants but we will never know for sure. And stop calling that "philanthropy". ..."
"... What Soros is doing is imposing his personal political beliefs and ideas on everybody by buying political influence with his money - that is called "corruption" pure and simple. ..."
"... What he does is not democracy promotion - it is the exact opposite – democracy destruction. It is good to know that he is failing in that effort. ..."
"... Neoliberalism has failed to improve democratic governance and reduced distribution of wealth ..."
"... What pharaonic globalist plutocrats like him mean by "Liberal Democracy" encompasses a sinister set of objectives. Prominent among which are these two: ..."
"... Full support for neocon/neoliberal destabilization, confrontation, and military interventionism. ..."
"... The destruction of borders, nations, and cultures -- particularly Western Culture here and in Europe. ..."
"... Soros and his peers want unhindered unlimited access to cheap Third World labor as well as to have complete control over the entire global economy. To his class nationalism and culture are speed bumps on the way to those self-serving goals. ..."
Aug 11, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Yet the political realm is where Soros has made his most audacious wager. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989, he poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the former Soviet-bloc countries to promote civil society and [neo]liberal democracy. It was a one-man Marshall Plan for Eastern Europe, a private initiative without historical precedent. It was also a gamble that a part of the world that had mostly known tyranny would embrace ideas like government accountability and ethnic tolerance. In London in the 1950s, Soros was a student of the expatriated Austrian philosopher Karl Popper, who championed the notion of an "open society," in which individual liberty, pluralism and free inquiry prevailed. Popper's concept became Soros's cause.

... ... ...

...In the 1990s, he was portrayed by the far left as an agent of American imperialism, helping to foist the so-called neoliberal agenda (mass privatization, for example) on Eastern Europe. For some critics, Soros's Wall Street background has always been a mark against him.

Last autumn, he signaled that same sense of defiance when he announced that he was in the process of transferring the bulk of his remaining wealth, $18 billion in total at the time, to the O.S.F. That will potentially make it the second-largest philanthropic organization in the United States, in assets, after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is already a sprawling entity, with some 1,800 employees in 35 countries, a global advisory board, eight regional boards and 17 issue-oriented boards. Its annual budget of around $1 billion finances projects in education, public health, independent media, immigration and criminal-justice reform and other areas

... ... ...

He decided that his goal would be opening closed societies. He created a philanthropic organization, then called the Open Society Fund, in 1979 and began sponsoring college scholarships for black South African students. But he soon turned his attention to Eastern Europe, where he started financing dissident groups. He funneled money to the Solidarity strikers in Poland in 1981 and to Charter 77 in Czechoslovakia. In one especially ingenious move, he sent hundreds of Xerox copiers to Hungary to make it easier for underground publications to disseminate their newsletters. In the late 1980s, he provided dozens of Eastern European students with scholarships to study in the West, with the aim of fostering a generation of [neo]liberal democratic leaders. One of those students was Viktor Orban, who studied civil society at Oxford. From his Manhattan trading desk, Soros became a strange sort of expat anticommunist revolutionary.

... ... ...

In one campaign rally in Budapest, Orban referred to Soros as "Uncle George," telling tens of thousands of supporters that "we are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the world." Along with the fiery speeches, there were the billboards, which featured a picture of a smiling Soros and the message, "Let's not let George Soros have the last laugh."

... ... ...

Orban's coalition won 49 percent of the vote, enough to give it a supermajority in Parliament. But the anti-Soros campaign didn't end with the election. Days after the vote, a magazine owned by a pro-Orban businesswoman published the names of more than 200 people in Hungary that it claimed were Soros "mercenaries."

... ... ...

There have been mistakes; by his own admission, Soros erred in championing Mikheil Saakashvili, the mercurial former president of Georgia, and also became too directly involved in the country's politics in the early 2000s. He clearly misjudged Orban. But as Victoria Nuland, a former American diplomat who worked for both Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton, put it when I spoke to her recently, "George is a freedom fighter."


alexander hamilton new york July 17

"Billionaire philanthropist?" Really? Does that make the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelstein "philanthropists" too, or does that label apply only to left-leaning individuals seeking political leverage many times that of the average citizen?

One citizen, 1 vote. ALL citizens should be limited to $100 contributions for their senators, representatives and the President. NO citizen should be able to contribute to a campaign in a state where he/she is not a full-time permanent resident.

And NO citizen should be able to contribute more than $100 to his/her own campaign. We don't need more Kennedys, Clintons, Bloombergs, Trumps, Perots or Forbes buying (or trying to buy) their way into public office, using their millions.

Of the people, by the people, for the people. That's the model, folks. Depart from it at your peril.

Conservative Democrat WV July 17

For a man that purportedly promotes democracy, Mr. Soros conveniently overlooked public opinion when it came to promoting open borders.

In its essence, democracy is all about the wisdom and will of those governed, and not about what a billionaire thinks is best for them.

Maqroll North Florida July 17 Times Pick

Soros--a "European at heart." Must have brought some much-needed smiles to the UK following the recent Trump Tour of Destruction. How soon we forget--in the 90s, Soros broke the pound as the Brits were trying to unify European currencies--with unfortunate conditions that weakened the effort and Soros smartly exploited.

Who can blame a globalist from crashing a poorly devised govt scheme and walking away with a cool $1B--back when a billion dollars was a lot of money? I am not the person to say whether Soros may qualify as an honest proponent of democracy, but I strongly suspect that he is a poster boy of the ultra-nationalists as they battle globalization.

In a way, Soros epitomizes the failure of globalization, which may or may not benefit the classic, labor-intensive industries of manufacturing, agriculture, construction, and mining, but always benefits, sometimes wildly, the financial "industry."

As far as I'm concerned, Soros is merely making reparations. And, sorry to say, George, it's prob too little, too late.

WPLMMT New York City July 17 Times Pick

I always thought George Soros was a dangerous [neo]liberal but after reading this article and seeing the damage he has created around the world it has been confirmed. Nigel Farage, the British politician, recently said on television that Mr. Soros is out to destroy the world. It certainly appears to be the case when you see what he did to the British and Thai economies. He was so concerned with helping immigrants and refugees that he had little regard for the citizens that actually lived in those countries that are being affected. People lost their livelihoods but that did not matter to him.

Mr. Soros fights for all the [neo]liberal causes no matter the consequences. He ... does not care who he hurts as long as he promotes his progressive agenda. He wants to allow as many immigrants to enter a nation as possible even if it adversely affects that country while he lives in luxury and is not inconvenienced by this invasion. He has billions and will probably never be touched by massive immigration.

I am glad that the conservatives and others are finally seeing his true colors and are trying to subdue him the best they can. He must be called out on this negative behavior before it is too late. It is reassuring that many of the European nations are implementing policies that are favorable to their countries and looking out for their people. Europeans must be protected and George Soros stopped. I am glad they see him for what he truly is which is frightening.

gpickard Luxembourg July 17 Times Pick

As Mr. Soros said of himself, "I am a confirmed egoist." He has used his money to make the world as he thinks is best. But having money does not give you a better moral view of how the world should be governed nor make you a god to decide for the rest of us.

I think this kind of undue influence (money in politics) is what is driving some of the back-lash against [neo]liberal democracy. So many of the "[neo]liberal" proponents of an open society, like George Soros and Bill Gates, seem to have an inordinate power to effect political outcomes because of their money.

The making of such huge amounts of money is not done with any charitable purpose. Only later, does charity come to mind.

c smith Pittsburgh July 17

Soros is an enemy of the middle and working classes in America. Yes, a billion people around the world are better off because of the forces of "globalization" (this total most definitely includes Soros himself), but millions of Americans have suffered economically as a result. GATT, NAFTA and the entire alphabet soup of trade deals have lined the pockets of the globalists, while grinding the fortunes of U.S. working and middle class laborers into dust.

Karekin USA July 17

Great article. Now, more than ever, American politics is defined by money, so it's important to understand how it is used in that context by those who have it. At this juncture, I think the American people deserve to see an expose of all those millionaires and billionaires who have and continue to support Trump. It's only fair, to lay the money trail on the table, on all sides, for everyone to see.

Tim DC area July 17 Times Pick

What about the devastating effects that free trade and globalization have had on the spread of inequality throughout the world... Huge corporations consistently use "free trade" or globalization as an excuse to offer the lowest possible wages, and move manufacturing to places with the least environmental protections and human rights.

Immigration policies are also sometimes used in ways to suppress wages, and even more worse, enacted with very little thought given to assimilation. Most of the poorer areas, or ghettoes surrounding Paris for example are populated with huge numbers of Muslim immigrants that face extremely daunting odds of fully assimilating into French culture.

While the wealthier (sometimes elite [neo]liberals) Parisians almost certainly live in gated or posh neighborhoods with hardly any immigrants as their neighbors. Despite the generous financial support Soros (and some other elites) gives to human rights causes, he rarely outright discusses some of these problems associated with free trade, globalization and mass immigration. These seeming hypocrisies and inconsistencies then become much easier fodder for those of Orban's ilk to manipulate and ultimately consolidate power.

Samuel Spade Huntsville, al July 17

Soros didn't bet on Democracy, he bet on his version of it which he tried to buy through individual politicians on the take and the Democratic Party. Better he quit manipulating pols and gave his money to charity.

Ivory Tower Colorado July 17

First, Hungary is not xenophobic, they merely want to protect their culture. Second, George Soros wants plenty of wealth for him and his family, yet he wants those of us in the middle class to dive up our meager assets with the world's poorest. Third, his personal wealth has often been generated by destroying currencies and the middle class who owns those currencies. Fourth, he promotes open borders without consulting the citizenry of said borders as to their opinion regarding their own national sovereignty. Our world would be a much better place without George Soros.

Concerned EU Resident Germany July 17

Soros is a criminal by any other name. He hedged against the UK Pound 20 years ago, and earned $1B. He earned billions by manipulating the market. With his profits he wanted to create his own society where his money could be used to buy politicians and pass legislation according to his one man agenda. He's selfish, an egomaniac, and dangerous.

geezer117 Tennessee July 17

Soros employs his vast wealth to create the society he dreams of, regardless of what the rest of us want. When the democratic process veers away from his vision, he uses the power of his wealth to steer it back.

So he's just another wealthy and powerful elite trying to remake the world as he prefers it. Such arrogance!

Rose Philadelphia July 17

Sucking money out of the world's economies so that he can direct it as HE sees fit does not make a man great. Rather, I would argue that such actions contributed to the rise of both Brexiteers and Trumpsters.

If Soros really wants to contribute to society, he would lobby for financial industry reform - less favorable tax treatment for hedge funds (what value do they really provide to society) and a transaction tax on trades to reduce speculation. Then fight for minimum wage increases.

Jonas Seattle July 17

This is a horrifying interview and does not improve the image of George Soros. "My ideology is nonideological," he says while spending billions on politics, which he defines as "In politics, you are spinning the truth, not discovering it." He describes Obama as his greatest disappointment because Obama "closed the door on me," as in he expected Obama should work with him and take his advice. Soros uses his billions to fund politicians and meddle in elections... this is a man who enjoys influencing and manipulating politics and becomes frustrated when his efforts backfire or are not successful.

Peter Albany. NY July 17

This man is the absolute worst! His no borders policy has done more to hurt Europe then Russia ever could. The Soros gang has zero respect and tolerance for nation-state sovereignty and local governance. Talk about a global elite! He and his gang epitomize that arrogance.

Marian Maryland July 17

George Soros bet big on open borders,one world governance and destroying the working class through unfair trade agreements. Yes he appears to be losing. Thank God for small favors.

Al Nino Hyde Park NY July 17

It cracks me up to read these type of article in the NYT and then read another story in the NYT about how if you can pay the money you can have yourself a private waiting area in a major airport to separate yourself from the chaos of the masses in the public waiting areas. Maybe democracy wouldn't be in trouble around the world if it worked as well for the "slobs" in the public waiting areas as it did for those in the exclusive waiting rooms. This is globalization in a nutshell. It works great for the rich, not so well for the rest of us slobs. This is a government of the rich people, by the rich people, for the rich people. The slobs realise their government doesn't really care that their jobs are disapearing and their standard of living is going down.

Charles Becker Sonoma State University July 17

I am not interested in windfall investing profits. Soros is *not* my hero: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-george-soros-broke-the-bank-of-thaila... . Wretched.

John Medina Holt July 17

To say that George Soros is funding [neo]liberal democracy is a misnomer. What Soros is funding is open borders. Where national interests are set aside, global interests prevail. This is precisely what George Soros is advocating. Tired of having to face multitude regulatory systems in his effort to build a global financial empire, Soros is quite right in discerning that a borderless, global regulatory system would increase his financial power exponentially. Nations are right to resist the encroachment of Soros because global interests, by definition, are not local interests. Nationalism, so loathed by Soros and his open border lackeys, serves as a check and balance on men like Soros who would be god and would dictate to the world from some point of central governance what their truth and value should be. George Soros and his globalist kin should be resisted. The true threat to global interests is not nationalism, it is globalism.

Richard L. Wilson Moscow, Russia July 17

Soros, and American [neo]liberalism, economic and social [neo]liberalism championed by Soros and the NYT, is in its death throes. Call us fascists, totalitarians, racists--- understand clearly: we do not care. Europe is waking up. [neo]liberalism is close to being dead. No spectres or phantoms are haunting Europe. Blood is standing up and answering our ancestors.We are not commodoties, consumers, meat for your wars. You have attacked us, belittled us, turned our queen of continents into latrines of filth. You, American [neo]liberalism, have destroyed us.Now, we take our nations back.

elizabeth renant new mexico July 17

It's amusing to read phrases like "nationalism and tribalism are resurgent". It never does to underestimate tribalism; as long as groups feel safe they are tolerant. But when groups feel threatened, tribalism rears up in what is not so much a resurgence but more like an awakening from a nap.

The older cultures of Europe are waking up from a nap and realizing that unless they reassess a few long-held assumptions, they will eventually be ethnically diminished and culturally pressured.

Denmark has banned the burka and legislated some of the harshest migration, immigration, asylum, and naturalization laws in Europe. It is implementing laws to ensure integration, including stopping benefits to families whose children are not integrating. Do the author and Mr. Soros think that Denmark exercising control over its future demographics and preserving its culture are malign?

The Danes some years ago elected the Danish People's Party to significant power; the DPP is often referred to as a far right party, but is a typical left-wing party in everything except pushing Denmark toward "multiculturalism".

Sweden's centre-left government, on the other hand, brought in hundreds of thousands of Third World immigrants and then refused even to admit, let alone discuss, the glaring problems with integration within its immigrant community.

Result: the Sweden Democrats, a bona fide neo-Nazi party, are set to do extremely and alarmingly well in Sweden's September elections.

Yes - in Sweden.

Larry Left Chicago's High Taxes July 17

This super-rich elitist from Hungary is trying to buy American democracy and reshape it in his image regardless of what We The People want. And the Democrats are on his payroll and totally owned by this foreign agent!

Burton Austin, Texas July 17

Soros' flaw is that he only tolerates centralized socialist democracy. He cannot stand the idea of democracy in the form of a federal republic with a weak central government. Interestingly, he made his billions as a predatory capitalist now he turns on capitalism. He also exhibits a particularly vicious elitism: No one should be allowed to own guns except his private security guards. He knows that umarmed men are always someone's slaves.

Ned Flarbus Berkeley July 17

Soros is a hypocrite who did one thing and is now out to create a legacy. All is shows is he is driven by both greed and ego. His blatant hypocrisy probably did more harm than good - common denominator, it's always about him. Hey Soros, don't do us plebes any more favors, ok?

Philly Expat July 17

Democracy is alive and well, regardless of what Soros thinks. He does not represent democracy, he was never been elected to any public office. He represents open borders mass migration, as the name of one of his NGOs implies, Open Society Foundation. Brexit voters, and other voters across the west are increasingly voting against his philosophy. Voters in the US, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Slovenia, etc, have democratically chosen as their leaders conservative controlled borders leaders, and to underscore, all were elected via the democratic process.

Open Borders and globalism that Soros is pushing is increasingly being rejected in voting booths in the EU and the US.

It is hardly undemocratic to increasingly vote against what Soros is selling – chaotic mass migration made possible by open borders.

He represents [neo]liberal democracy, and voters increasingly favor conservative democracy.

David Brisbane July 17

George Soros is the epitome of corruption – penetration and distortion of political process by obscene wealth. It does not matter what his true intentions are – he can say whatever he wants but we will never know for sure. And stop calling that "philanthropy".

Red Cross and Salvation Army is philanthropy. What Soros is doing is imposing his personal political beliefs and ideas on everybody by buying political influence with his money - that is called "corruption" pure and simple.

Sure, he is not the only one doing that, but he is the one doing that most overtly and blatantly. He seems to relish being the face of the elitist disregard for the masses. What he does is not democracy promotion - it is the exact opposite – democracy destruction. It is good to know that he is failing in that effort.

idimalink usa July 17

Neoliberalism has failed to improve democratic governance and reduced distribution of wealth, just as leftists predicted. Soros benefitted financially, which has increased his privilege to participate in governance voters cannot achieve. Despite Soros' wealth, successfully manipulating currency markets does not easily transfer to manipulating electorates. Even if Soros believes his projects would produce good governance, he lacks the ability to convince voters what is in their best interests.

Jose Pardinas Collegeville, PA July 18

I am elated to hear that George Soros might be losing.

What pharaonic globalist plutocrats like him mean by "Liberal Democracy" encompasses a sinister set of objectives. Prominent among which are these two:

1). Full support for neocon/neoliberal destabilization, confrontation, and military interventionism.
2). The destruction of borders, nations, and cultures -- particularly Western Culture here and in Europe.

Soros and his peers want unhindered unlimited access to cheap Third World labor as well as to have complete control over the entire global economy. To his class nationalism and culture are speed bumps on the way to those self-serving goals.

[Aug 08, 2018] Bill Clinton's Rules of Engagement on the already identified Enemies of the People

Notable quotes:
"... please recall Bill Clinton's rules of engagement as applied to the Serbs in 1999, wherein he decided that the political leaders, bureaucratic support structure, media infrastructure and intellectual underpinnings of his enemies' war effort were legitimate targets of war. ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [207] Disclaimer , Next New Comment August 8, 2018 at 7:08 am GMT

After observing Skynet's coordinated attack on Alex Jone's Infowars yesterday, we can hardly wait to implement Bill Clinton's Rules of Engagement on the already identified Enemies of the People, and eagerly await the God-Emperor's word.

Second, please recall Bill Clinton's rules of engagement as applied to the Serbs in 1999, wherein he decided that the political leaders, bureaucratic support structure, media infrastructure and intellectual underpinnings of his enemies' war effort were legitimate targets of war.

No one else may have been paying attention to the unintended consequences of that, but many folks on our side of the present divide were. Food for thought. A reminder about the shape of the battlefield (legal and otherwise) and Bill Clinton's Rules of Engagement.

http://sipseystreetirregulars.blogspot.com/2010/03/man-bites-dog-dogs-get-pissed-off.html

[Aug 04, 2018] The Strangulation of the Russian Economy in the 1990s Was a Deliberate IMF policy

Notable quotes:
"... The activities of the organization are gussied up in sanctimonious prose about aiding the poor and raising the living standards of the third world. Don't be fooled. These bailouts are really about protecting interests of Chase Manhattan, J.P. Morgan, and Fidelity Investments ..."
"... for inexplicable reasons, ..."
"... harshly worded ..."
"... To be sure, there were unsettling reports of shady dealings during the takeovers, but most observers explained them away as inevitable side effects of such a far-reaching transformation. ..."
"... for the best of reasons ..."
"... Americans, who thought their money was helping a stricken land, have been dishonored; and the Russian people who trusted us are now in debt twice what they were in 1991 and rightly feel themselves betrayed. ..."
Aug 04, 2018 | russia-insider.com

Within four weeks they bought $6.5 billion and transferred most of it to foreign banks. [8] Most of the rest of IMF loan was a stealth bailout for western financial institutions which had some $200 billion worth of loans and investments in Russia. The banks feared the prospect of Russian default which would leave them with crippling losses. These risks became even more acute in the aftermath of the 1997 East Asian financial crisis that would engulf Russia in 1998.

In a testimony before the U.S. Congress, veteran investor Jim Rogers characterized IMF's assistance to Russia as follows: " The activities of the organization are gussied up in sanctimonious prose about aiding the poor and raising the living standards of the third world. Don't be fooled. These bailouts are really about protecting interests of Chase Manhattan, J.P. Morgan, and Fidelity Investments ." [9]

In addition to loading Russia up with unproductive debt, IMF also engineered Russia's hyperinflation and liquidity crisis. After eliminating price controls, IMF obliged Russia to maintain the ruble as the common currency for all Soviet Union successor states, giving each of the 15 new countries the incentive to issue ruble credits for their own benefit while fueling inflation for all others. Sachs reported that he strenuously argued with the IMF against this measure but " for inexplicable reasons, " he was consistently rebuked.

The result was a one-year delay in the introduction of national currencies for the former Soviet republics, pushing Russia into hyperinflation and needlessly prolonging its economic depression. At this same time, the IMF engineered Russia's staggering liquidity crisis that made it almost impossible for enterprises to pay their suppliers and workers. Under IMF's dictate, Russian economy struggled along on less than one sixth of the currency required to operate an economy of its size.

The extent of IMF's iron-fisted control over Russian economy was exemplified in a letter from the IMF's representative Yusuke Horaguchi to Russia's central bank chairman Sergei Dubinin . The letter specified the precise schedule of Russia's ruble supply along with " harshly worded " instructions regarding bank credits, the state budget, energy policy, price levels, trade tariffs and agricultural policies. Horaguchi's letter even included a warning that any acts of the parliament contravening the IMF mandates would be vetoed by president Yeltsin. [10]

It is clear that shock "therapy" was little more than a relentless, cruel strangulation of Russia's economy to facilitate looting of her vast industrial and resource wealth . Nonetheless, most Western-published analyses of this episode tended to treat it as failure of good intentions. While lamenting the outcomes and certain questionable practices, most analysts essentially attribute the failure of Russian transition to honest errors, Russia's endemic corruption, and perhaps inexperience in many of the drama's protagonists.

Goldman Marshall of Harvard and the Council of Foreign Relations wrote: " To be sure, there were unsettling reports of shady dealings during the takeovers, but most observers explained them away as inevitable side effects of such a far-reaching transformation. "

Naturally, Marshall fails to detail how or where he polled these "most observers," but his message to the readers is unmistakable: move along folks, there's nothing to see here – especially pay no attention to the fact that many of those thousands of Westerners who came to Russia " for the best of reasons ," including Bill Browder , Andrei Schleifer and Jonathan Hay , [12] returned from Russia as multi-millionaires. Financial reporter Anne Willamson , who covered Russia for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal rightly remarked in her Congressional testimony that, " Americans, who thought their money was helping a stricken land, have been dishonored; and the Russian people who trusted us are now in debt twice what they were in 1991 and rightly feel themselves betrayed. "

[12] During his time managing the HIID's Moscow operation, Andrei Schleifer and Jonathan Hay took advantage of their position and relationships to make personal investments in Russia. An investigation by the FBI and U.S. Justice Department found evidence of fraud and money laundering by Harvard's consultants. In 2004, Schleifer was found guilty of fraud and he agreed to pay a $31 million fine to settle the case. Not only did Harvard University persist in defending Schleifer over the 8 years of investigations and trials, it paid the bulk of Schileifer's fine and kept him on university's faculty.

[Aug 03, 2018] Menendez and Melgen, Florida Eye Doctor, Have a Long History - First Draft. Political News, Now by by Alan Rappeport

Mar 06, 2015 | www.nytimes.com
Photo
The F.B.I. raided the offices of Dr. Salomon E. Melgen in West Palm Beach, Fla., in 2013. Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, is expected to face federal corruption charges related to his relationship with Dr. Salomon E. Melgen , a Florida eye doctor who has been his longtime political benefactor.

The Times dug into their relationship in 2013 after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the doctor's offices, drawing scrutiny to his relationship with the senator.

According to that article, Dr. Melgen delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit Mr. Menendez and the Democratic Party, flying him around on a private jet for lavish vacations and rushing to the senator's side when his mother died. After Mr. Menendez's failure to report the trips as gifts surfaced, he later sent Dr. Melgen a check to reimburse him for the costs.

Dr. Melgen also received favors.

In 2011, he bought a stake in a company that had a long-dormant contract with the Dominican Republic to provide port security. Mr. Menendez used his influence to urge officials in the State and Commerce Departments to intervene so the contract would be enforced, at an estimated value of $500 million.

The Times also reported at the time that Floridians looking for federal appointments requiring Mr. Menendez's approval needed to first get Dr. Melgen's backing.

Dr. Melgen faced scrutiny again last year when The Times reported that he had received $21 million in Medicare reimbursements in 2012 alone. According to the article : "Mr. Menendez's aides acknowledged that the senator called the Medicare director at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2009 and brought it up at a meeting with the acting administrator in 2012. Now both Dr. Melgen and Mr. Menendez find themselves under federal scrutiny."

Dr. Melgen and Mr. Menendez became friends in the 1990s, when Mr. Menendez, who entered the House of Representatives in 1993, made regular visits to the Dominican Republic.

Asked about the relationship in 2013, Mr. Menendez's office said in a statement: "Dr. Melgen has been a friend and political supporter of Senator Menendez for many years."

The expected charges against Mr. Menendez were first reported by CNN.

Senator Has Long Ties to Donor Under Scrutiny Senator Has Long Ties to Donor Under Scrutiny

By RAYMOND HERNANDEZ and FRANCES ROBLES

Senator Robert Menendez has been helpful to Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, a friend and contributor, in ways that could be lucrative for the doctor, according to records and interviews.

[Aug 03, 2018] The Little Known Black Hole in the Pentagon Budget by By Ross Marchand

Aug 01, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

In February, the Pentagon announced a $950 million no-bid contract to REAN Cloud, LLC for the migration of legacy systems to the cloud. As an Amazon Web Services consulting partner and reseller, REAN Cloud was likely favored due to Amazon's recent $600 million cloud project for the Central Intelligence Agency. Creating an unusually large contract with little oversight or competition led to ample criticism of the Pentagon, as lawmakers demanded an explanation from DoD. In response to the brouhaha, the Pentagon announced in early March that the maximum value of the contract would be reduced from $950 million to $65 million.

As it turned out, though, even the Pentagon wasn't exactly sure how to apply the murky requirements of OTA. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) ruled in May that the REAN contract did not accord with federal law, in that REAN was granted an award without even really considering going through a competitive bidding process. "Vague and attenuated" statements from the Pentagon to potential bidders in the beginning of the process ensured that the process would not be an open one. After the cancellation of the REAN deal, the Pentagon finally seems open to competitive bidding for cloud migration.

Unfortunately, OTA is still alive and well across the DoD procurement process. In June, the Defense Information Systems Agency joined the growing list of agencies dabbling in OTA, noting that "many of the companies we're dealing with are small start-ups." But as the REAN Cloud case shows, many companies appear "small" but have far larger partners. According to statistics in the Federal News Radio report , "Only $7.4 billion of the nearly $21 billion went to nontraditional companies." The problem is created in part by the use of consortiums, which are comprised of multiple companies, which vary in size. The consortium can decide how money is allocated for an award, allowing larger businesses to benefit disproportionately out of sight of the DoD and taxpayers.

Congress has finally started to demand more accountability for OTAs. The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress requires more data reporting and analysis by acquisition officials. But far more work remains.

Lawmakers should set stricter limits on when it's okay to eschew competitive bidding, and lower the threshold for requiring congressional notification (currently set at $500 million). Allowing tens of billions of dollars to be spent behind the backs of taxpayers without a bidding process cannot continue.

Ross Marchand is the director of policy for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

[Aug 02, 2018] Menendez Is Denied Reprieve From Corruption Trial to Cast Senate Votes - The New York Times

Aug 02, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

The jury selection comes more than two years after Mr. Menendez was indicted on eight bribery counts , the result of a federal investigation into Mr. Menendez's relationship and dealings with Dr. Melgen.

Mr. Menendez is charged with receiving luxury hotel rooms, flights on Mr. Melgen's private jet and donations to a Democratic super PAC in exchange for political advocacy, lobbying and favors, such as intervening to help obtain visas for Mr. Melgen's college-age girlfriends from Brazil, Ukraine and the Dominican Republic.

Mr. Menendez is also accused of lobbying the Obama administration to change the Medicare reimbursement policy, which would have brought a financial windfall for Mr. Melgen.

[Aug 02, 2018] Corruption Case Against Senator Menendez Ends in Mistrial -

Nov 16, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

NEWARK -- The federal corruption trial of Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey ended in a mistrial on Thursday after jurors said they were unable to reach a verdict, leaving Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, free to return to Congress but injecting uncertainty as he faces re-election next year and his party faces a difficult battle to retake the Senate.

After interviewing jurors individually in his chambers, Judge William H. Walls emerged to tell the court that, after nine weeks of testimony, the jury was deadlocked and that, as a result, "there is no alternative but to declare a mistrial."

One juror told reporters that 10 of the 12 jurors supported finding Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, not guilty, saying that prosecutors had not made the case that the favors and gifts exchanged between the senator and a wealthy eye doctor went beyond what good friends do for each other.

Following the ruling, Mr. Menendez seemed both relieved and defiant, denouncing prosecutors who pursued criminal charges against him. "The way this case started was wrong, the way it was investigated was wrong, the way it was prosecuted was wrong, and the way it was tried was wrong as well," he said.

[Aug 02, 2018] How Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption case could change the way members of Congress do business - The Washington Post

Aug 02, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com

How Sen. Bob Menendez's corruption case could change the way members of Congress do business - The Washington Post In April 2015, federal prosecutors dropped a bomb on one of Senate Democrats' leading foreign policy voices. They accused Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) of doling out political favors for one of his longtime friends in exchange for luxurious trips, lavish gifts and campaign cash.

Menendez, who was reelected to his second full term in 2012 and was the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations committee at the time, has pleaded not guilty and said he has done nothing wrong.

His lawyers have spent the past year battling the FBI and Justice Department over whether federal prosecutors can actually investigate Menendez in the first place -- a debate centered on a centuries-old constitutional clause that has the potential to redefine how the executive branch can look into the legislative branch. On Monday, Menendez's lawyers are asking a federal three-judge panel in Philadelphia to throw out some or all of the dozen or so bribery and corruption charges facing Menendez on the basis of a 1780s constitutional clause that they argue prevents scrutiny of lawmakers' official legislative activities.

What the judges decide later this year could have major ripple effects for how secure -- or not -- members of Congress feel in their day-to-day jobs from federal prosecution. Adding to the drama: The whole case has the potential to reach the Supreme Court. Here's what you need to know about this latest turn in a complicated corruption case, in three questions:

Remind me again of the case's details? Sen. Menendez indicted on corruption charges Skip (Reuters) Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was indicted on Wednesday on federal corruption charges. (Reuters)

This past spring, Menendez became just one of 12 U.S. senators indicted while in office. Proving corruption is a high bar in the U.S judicial system. In Menendez's case, prosecutors are trying to prove that Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor, specifically received political favors from Menendez in exchange for giving Menendez something.

They are trying to show that Menendez intervened on behalf of Melgen twice -- once to try to solve his friend's Medicare billings problem with the government and another trying to grease the wheels for Melgen's port cargo contract in the Dominican Republic. In exchange, prosecutors argue, Menendez accepted a series of trips and gifts over the years from his friend, including free private-jet flights, stays at resorts in Paris, trips to the Dominican Republic and more than $750,000 in campaign contributions.

"No ordinary constituent from New Jersey received the same treatment," the Justice Department said in an August filing. (In a sign of just how tough it is to prove bribery charges, in September, a federal judge threw out four bribery charges , saying Melgen's contributions to Menendez's legal defense fund didn't contain any explicit agreement of quid pro quo.)

Menendez has said his friend's trips and gifts were a natural result of his friendship and that he never inappropriately intervened on behalf of his friend. In what's become a nasty back and forth, lawyers have accused prosecutors of trying to dig up dirt on him -- even his sex life. The investigation started after an anonymous tipster told the FBI and media outlets that Menendez was patronizing underage prostitutes in one of his trips to the Dominican Republic. Those allegations appear to be fabricated, wrote The Post's Carol Leonnig in August , but they've given the defense leverage with which to argue that the Justice Department will "stop at nothing" to try to put Menendez behind bars.

So what's going on Monday? Menendez in March 2015: 'I'm not going anywhere' Skip (Reuters) During a news conference, March 6, 2015, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said he had no intention of resigning during the trial phase of the corruption investigation against him. (Reuters)

Three federal appellate court judges will be hearing arguments from both sides about something much broader than the two friends' alleged quid pro quo. The judges will be considering whether the executive branch, in the form of the Justice Department, overstepped its constitutional bounds by investigating and charging Menendez in the first place.

Menendez's lawyers are arguing that the senator was doing official legislative business in advancing his constituent's interests in Washington, and the Constitution's "speech or debate" clause prevents lawmakers' legislative acts from being scrutinized by the other two branches of government -- except for "Treason, Felony and Breach of Peace." Menendez was engaged in none of that, they say, and they're asking the judges to throw out at least some of the dozen or so counts of bribery and corruption on the claim that federal prosecutors unconstitutionally investigated Menendez.

Federal prosecutors argue that the "speech or debate" clause doesn't apply if lawmakers are trying to influence the other branches of government, and they say they can prove in court that Menendez was trying to do just that.

What the judges decide later this year could go to trial, possibly right around the time of the November presidential elections. Depending on how the judges rule later this year, the case and its applications to the "speech or debate" clause could also end up at the Supreme Court.

What happens next?

That's an open-ended question. Over the years, courts have expanded the protections lawmakers have from investigation to go beyond what they say or do on the House or Senate floor, reports the Associated Press's David Porter . But Lee Vartan, a former assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey, told Porter that a case as specific as this is "uncharted territory."

And that's what makes this case and its potential legal ramifications so appealing to analyze. It is a high-profile case litigating a not-widely-known constitutional clause. What the judges decide could set the precedent for how protected -- or not -- lawmakers feel they are from investigation in the future.

[Aug 02, 2018] Supreme Court refuses to dismiss Menendez corruption charges by JOHN BRESNAHAN

Mar 20, 2017 | www.politico.com

The Supreme Court has rejected Sen. Bob Menendez's attempt to throw out the bribery and corruption charges against him, setting the stage for a trial for the New Jersey Democrat this fall.

With Monday's announcement, Menendez can no longer block the proceedings against him from moving forward, a major setback for his efforts to avoid criminal trial.

Abbe Lowell, Menendez's lead defense attorney, said the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the appeal was "disappointing," but still said Menendez will be "vindicated when all the facts are heard at trial."

"It's disappointing that the Supreme Court did not take this opportunity to set a clear, bright line of the separation of powers to ensure that Congress remains an independent and co-equal branch of government, free of interference and retribution from the executive as the Framers intended," Lowell said in a statement. "While the senator always understood it is rare that the Supreme Court hears any case before trial, given the gravity of the Constitutional issues raised, he believed it was important to try."

Lowell added: "As the senator has been saying for more than four years since the government began chasing these wild allegations, he has always acted in accordance with the law. Sen. Menendez remains confident that he will be vindicated when all the facts are heard at trial." Menendez's defense team had filed an appeal to the Supreme Court in December, seeking a hearing on its argument that the Justice Department violated the senator's constitutional privilege under the Speech or Debate Clause, which shields lawmakers and aides from legal action for legitimate legislative activities. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled against Menendez.

After a long-running criminal probe, Menendez was indicted by the Justice Department in April 2015 on 14 felony counts related to favors allegedly done in exchange for gifts and political contributions made by Dr. Salomon Melgen, a longtime friend and campaign donor.

Federal prosecutors claim Menendez or his staff intervened with federal agencies on Melgen's behalf to resolve a multi-million dollar billing dispute over Medicare charges, to maintain a $500 million port security contract with the Dominican Republic and to obtain U.S. visas for Melgen's girlfriends. Melgen has also been indicted in this matter.

Menendez pled not guilty in the case and has argued that his actions were routine constituent services or did not directly involve Melgen. Menendez's attorneys have also argued that the New Jersey Democrat never mentioned Melgen's name during an August 2012 meeting with then-Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Marilyn Tavenner, then the acting head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Sebelius and Tavenner were summoned to Capitol Hill for a private meeting with Menendez in the office of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who at that time was the Senate majority leader. According to Sebelius, the topic of the meeting was a dispute between CMS and Melgen. CMS claimed Melgen had overbilled the government for millions of dollars, which Melgen fought.

[Aug 02, 2018] Supreme Court overturns Bob McDonnell's corruption convictions by JOSH GERSTEIN

Jun 27, 2016 | www.politico.com

A unanimous Supreme Court has overturned the corruption convictions of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, ruling that federal prosecutors relied on a "boundless" definition of the kinds of acts that could lead politicians to face criminal charges.

The decision from the eight-justice court could make it tougher for prosecutors to prove corruption cases against politicians in cases where there is no proof of an explicit agreement linking a campaign donation or gift to a contract, grant or vote.

Story Continued Below

The court's opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, rejected the government's position that simply agreeing to meet with someone on account of such largesse could be enough to constitute an official act that could trigger a corruption conviction.

"There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the Government's boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute," Roberts wrote. "A more limited interpretation of the term 'official act' leaves ample room for prosecuting corruption, while comporting with the text of the statute and the precedent of this Court."

The justices set forth a straightforward rule: "Setting up a meeting, calling another public official, or hosting an event does not, standing alone, qualify as an 'official act.'"

In addition, the chief justice warned that accepting the government's stance in the case could chill all sorts of routine interactions between politicians and their supporters.

"Conscientious public officials arrange meetings for constituents, contact other officials on their behalf, and include them in events all the time. The basic compact underlying representative government assumes that public officials will hear from their constituents and act appropriately on their concerns -- whether it is the union official worried about a plant closing or the homeowners who wonder why it took five days to restore power to their neighborhood after a storm," Roberts wrote.

"The Government's position could cast a pall of potential prosecution over these relationships if the union had given a campaign contribution in the past or the homeowners invited the official to join them on their annual outing to the ballgame. Officials might wonder whether they could respond to even the most commonplace requests for assistance, and citizens with legitimate concerns might shrink from participating in democratic discourse," the chief justice added.

A jury convicted McDonnell on 11 corruption-related felony counts in 2014, including "honest services" fraud, extortion and conspiracy.

The trial triggered public outrage as evidence showed the Virginia Republican and his wife accepted over $175,000-worth of loans and gifts, such as vacations, designer clothes and a Rolex watch, from a businessman seeking the state's help in promoting a tobacco-based dietary supplement. McDonnell also borrowed a Ferrari from the businessman, Johnnie Williams, who turned state's evidence and was not prosecuted.

In the court's opinion, Roberts seemed eager to head off criticism that the justices were blessing politicians' brazen attempts to improve their own financial condition through use of their official positions.

However, the chief justice emphasized that there were also risks in allowing prosecutors to decide for themselves what kinds of conduct crossed the line.

"None of this, of course, is to suggest that the facts of this case typify normal political interaction between public officials and their constituents. Far from it. But the Government's legal interpretation is not confined to cases involving extravagant gifts or large sums of money and we cannot construe a criminal statute on the assumption that the Government will 'use it responsibly,'" Roberts wrote.

McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison, but never began serving the time after the Supreme Court put his sentence on hold last year.

In a statement, McDonnell thanked his legal team and repeatedly invoked his religious faith.

"From the outset, I strongly asserted my innocence before God and under the law. I have not, and would not, betray the sacred trust the people of Virginia bestowed upon me during 22 years in elected office," the former governor said. "It is my hope that this matter will soon be over and that my family and I can begin to rebuild our lives."

In an interview Monday, a lawyer for McDonnell hailed the court's unanimous decision as a blunt rebuke of the prosecution.

"The court squarely rejected the entire theory this prosecution was based on from the beginning and embraced the theory we've been articulating literally from day one on this case," said Noel Francisco, the attorney who argued for McDonnell at the Supreme court. "We think it's a vindication for the governor."

McDonnell's wife, Maureen, was also convicted for conspiracy by the same jury and sentenced to a year and a day in prison. She was free pending appeal. Her attorney, William Burck, expressed confidence Monday that her conviction will also be overturned.

"This decision applies no less to our client Maureen McDonnell and requires that her conviction immediately be tossed out as well, which we are confident the prosecutors must agree with," Burck said in a statement. "Mrs. McDonnell, like her husband, was wrongfully convicted. We thank the Supreme Court for unanimously bringing justice back into the picture for the McDonnells."

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana Boente, whose office prosecuted the McDonnells, issued a terse statement about the high court's ruling.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office is reviewing the Supreme Court's decision in the McDonnell matter and does not have any further comment at this time," Boente said.

Despite the public outcry over the McDonnells' actions, his challenge to his convictions received a groundswell of support from public officials, ex-prosecutors and former legal advisers to presidents of both major parties.

In a series of amicus briefs filed with the high court, the former officials warned that giving anti-corruption laws the sweeping breadth urged by the Justice Department would have dramatically constrained the normal operation of government.

The Supreme Court noted those briefs in its opinion Monday -- the final one delivered before the typical summer break. The ruling also allowed the shorthanded court, through the voice of its chief, to emphasize agreement at the end of a term where the justice deadlocked in a series of cases.

[Aug 02, 2018] Top Trump Donor Agreed To Pay Cohen $10 Million For Help With Funding WSJ

Notable quotes:
"... In May it was revealed that AT&T paid Cohen up to $600,000 for his "insights" - asking him to specifically look into the proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner Inc. He also took money from Swiss healthcare giant Novartis, Korea Aerospace Industries and Russian businessman Victor Vekselberg. In total, Cohen has been paid a total of $1.8 million since Trump took office for his "insights," according to the companies, which would have been better off tossing their money in a fireplace. ..."
"... In other words, Cohen - who Trump has severed ties with, was either a terrible unregistered lobbyist or ran a bait and switch operation. ..."
"... Authorities are investigating whether Mr. Cohen engaged in unregistered lobbying in connection with his consulting work for corporate clients after Mr. Trump went to the White House, according to people familiar with the probe ..."
"... Investigators are also examining potential campaign-finance violations and bank fraud surrounding, among other deals, Mr. Cohen's October 2016 payment to Stephanie Clifford , the former adult-film star called Stormy Daniels, to keep her from discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the probe. Mr. Trump denies any encounter took place. - WSJ ..."
Aug 02, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Right before the feds raided former Trump attorney Michael Cohen in early April, a top Trump donor offered to pay Cohen $10 million plus a retainer fee in exchange for help securing funding for a nuclear-power project - including a $5 billion loan from the US Government, claims the Wall Street Journal , citing people familiar with the matter.

Under the contract, Mr. Haney agreed to pay Mr. Cohen a monthly retainer in addition to the $10 million success fee if he could help obtain the funding, including approval of the full amount of the project's application under a U.S. Department of Energy loan program, the people familiar with the deal said. - WSJ

Before we get too far down the rabbit hole, it should be noted that Cohen never actually entered into the deal according to the donor's attorney, while application with the Department of Energy (DOE) is still pending. The Journal also provides no evidence of the contract, only anonymous sources, and there is also no suggestion that President Trump knew about the alleged offer from the donor - who contributed $1 million to Trump's inaugural fund, yet primarily backed Democrats before the Cohen arrangement.

The donor, Franklin L. Haney , gave the contract to Trump attorney Michael Cohen in early April to assist his efforts to complete a pair of unfinished nuclear reactors in Alabama, known as the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant, these people said.

Had he been paid the success fee, Mr. Cohen's deal with Mr. Haney could have been among the most lucrative of the known consulting agreements he secured after Mr. Trump's election by emphasizing his personal relationship with the president, according to people familiar with his pitches. - WSJ

According to the DOE, Cohen hasn't communicated with Energy Secretary Rick Perry about the project, however he did make "several calls to officials at the Energy Department in the spring" to inquire about the process for securing the loan - including what could be done to speed it up, according to the Journal.

Had Cohen accepted the deal, it would mark yet another corporate interest which lined his pockets, yet received nothing in return.

In May it was revealed that AT&T paid Cohen up to $600,000 for his "insights" - asking him to specifically look into the proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner Inc. He also took money from Swiss healthcare giant Novartis, Korea Aerospace Industries and Russian businessman Victor Vekselberg. In total, Cohen has been paid a total of $1.8 million since Trump took office for his "insights," according to the companies, which would have been better off tossing their money in a fireplace.

In other words, Cohen - who Trump has severed ties with, was either a terrible unregistered lobbyist or ran a bait and switch operation.

Authorities are investigating whether Mr. Cohen engaged in unregistered lobbying in connection with his consulting work for corporate clients after Mr. Trump went to the White House, according to people familiar with the probe.

Investigators are also examining potential campaign-finance violations and bank fraud surrounding, among other deals, Mr. Cohen's October 2016 payment to Stephanie Clifford , the former adult-film star called Stormy Daniels, to keep her from discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the probe. Mr. Trump denies any encounter took place. - WSJ

"Neither Mr. Haney nor Nuclear Development LLC ever entered into a contract with Michael Cohen or his affiliate for lobbying services related to the Bellefonte project," said Haney's attorney, Larry Blust, referring to the name of the Company Haney is using for the project.

Haney's company, Nuclear Development, agreed to pay $111 million in a November 2016 contract to purchase the unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant from the Tennessee Valley Authority. He has until this November to close on the deal.

One month after the November agreement, Haney donated $1 million to the Trump inaugural fund via a corporate entity, according to FEC records. He had previously backed Democrats. As part of their arrangement - perhaps to take him for a test drive, Cohen reportedly participated in an April 5 meeting in Miami with Haney to pitch his project to the vice chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed al-Thani, the Journal reported in May , citing yet more anonymous people familiar with the matter.

The meeting took place near Miami Beach, where a Qatari delegation had come to promote business ties with the U.S. Mr. Cohen spent a night on Mr. Haney's yacht during the trip, one of those people has said.

There is no indication that the Qataris have decided to invest with Mr. Haney. A Qatar spokesman in Washington has confirmed the meeting. A representative of the Qatari sovereign-wealth fund didn't respond to a request for comment. - WSJ

A professor of government at American University, James Thuber, told the WSJ that such fees are "outside the ethical norms" among Washington lobbyists are frowned upon.

Century-old court rulings deemed fees contingent on lobbyists obtaining public funds or killing legislation unenforceable and counter to public policy, saying they encouraged corruption, he said. Several lobbyists contacted by the Journal said $10 million was an unheard-of sum to pay a consultant for government-related work. - WSJ

That said, there is no blanket federal ban on success fees for Washington lobbyists, while Cohen has never worked for the Trump administration - something former chief strategist Steve Bannon ensured early on in the campaign.

Following the money...

Meanwhile, five Republican Congressmen urged the Trump administration in a May 14 letter to finish reviewing Nuclear Development's loan application , describing the project as an "engine for economic development."

According to the Journal , the DOE's Loan Programs Office COO Dong Kim wrote back saying that the agency would address the application "as quickly as possible, while still performing the necessary due diligence to protect taxpayer interests."

Nothing swampy here...

[Aug 02, 2018] Oldest member of corrupt Baltimore police unit gets 18 years

Jun 22, 2018 | www.wthr.com

The most veteran member of a deeply corrupt Baltimore police unit has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake handed down the punishment Friday to former Gun Trace Task Force member Daniel Hersl. The 48-year-old ex-detective was the oldest member of the disbanded unit and the sixth to get sentenced.

Wearing a red jail jumpsuit, Hersl shrugged in resignation as he was led out of the courtroom in front of a gallery holding about a dozen relatives.

Federal prosecutor Leo Wise said Hersl "abused his power" as a city law enforcer for years.

A jury had found the disgraced officer guilty of racketeering and robbery earlier this year.

Hersl sought a new trial early Friday, but Blake rejected the request.

[Aug 02, 2018] Supreme Court overturns Bob McDonnell's corruption convictions

Aug 02, 2018 | www.politico.com

By JOSH GERSTEIN

06/27/2016 10:33 AM EDT

Updated 06/27/2016 02:37 PM EDT

2016-06-27T02:37-0400 Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

A unanimous Supreme Court has overturned the corruption convictions of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, ruling that federal prosecutors relied on a "boundless" definition of the kinds of acts that could lead politicians to face criminal charges.

The decision from the eight-justice court could make it tougher for prosecutors to prove corruption cases against politicians in cases where there is no proof of an explicit agreement linking a campaign donation or gift to a contract, grant or vote.

Story Continued Below

The court's opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, rejected the government's position that simply agreeing to meet with someone on account of such largesse could be enough to constitute an official act that could trigger a corruption conviction.

"There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the Government's boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute," Roberts wrote. "A more limited interpretation of the term 'official act' leaves ample room for prosecuting corruption, while comporting with the text of the statute and the precedent of this Court."

The justices set forth a straightforward rule: "Setting up a meeting, calling another public official, or hosting an event does not, standing alone, qualify as an 'official act.'"

In addition, the chief justice warned that accepting the government's stance in the case could chill all sorts of routine interactions between politicians and their supporters.

"Conscientious public officials arrange meetings for constituents, contact other officials on their behalf, and include them in events all the time. The basic compact underlying representative government assumes that public officials will hear from their constituents and act appropriately on their concerns -- whether it is the union official worried about a plant closing or the homeowners who wonder why it took five days to restore power to their neighborhood after a storm," Roberts wrote.

"The Government's position could cast a pall of potential prosecution over these relationships if the union had given a campaign contribution in the past or the homeowners invited the official to join them on their annual outing to the ballgame. Officials might wonder whether they could respond to even the most commonplace requests for assistance, and citizens with legitimate concerns might shrink from participating in democratic discourse," the chief justice added.

A jury convicted McDonnell on 11 corruption-related felony counts in 2014, including "honest services" fraud, extortion and conspiracy.

The trial triggered public outrage as evidence showed the Virginia Republican and his wife accepted over $175,000-worth of loans and gifts, such as vacations, designer clothes and a Rolex watch, from a businessman seeking the state's help in promoting a tobacco-based dietary supplement. McDonnell also borrowed a Ferrari from the businessman, Johnnie Williams, who turned state's evidence and was not prosecuted.

In the court's opinion, Roberts seemed eager to head off criticism that the justices were blessing politicians' brazen attempts to improve their own financial condition through use of their official positions.

However, the chief justice emphasized that there were also risks in allowing prosecutors to decide for themselves what kinds of conduct crossed the line.

"None of this, of course, is to suggest that the facts of this case typify normal political interaction between public officials and their constituents. Far from it. But the Government's legal interpretation is not confined to cases involving extravagant gifts or large sums of money and we cannot construe a criminal statute on the assumption that the Government will 'use it responsibly,'" Roberts wrote.

McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison, but never began serving the time after the Supreme Court put his sentence on hold last year.

In a statement, McDonnell thanked his legal team and repeatedly invoked his religious faith.

"From the outset, I strongly asserted my innocence before God and under the law. I have not, and would not, betray the sacred trust the people of Virginia bestowed upon me during 22 years in elected office," the former governor said. "It is my hope that this matter will soon be over and that my family and I can begin to rebuild our lives."

In an interview Monday, a lawyer for McDonnell hailed the court's unanimous decision as a blunt rebuke of the prosecution.

"The court squarely rejected the entire theory this prosecution was based on from the beginning and embraced the theory we've been articulating literally from day one on this case," said Noel Francisco, the attorney who argued for McDonnell at the Supreme court. "We think it's a vindication for the governor."

McDonnell's wife, Maureen, was also convicted for conspiracy by the same jury and sentenced to a year and a day in prison. She was free pending appeal. Her attorney, William Burck, expressed confidence Monday that her conviction will also be overturned.

"This decision applies no less to our client Maureen McDonnell and requires that her conviction immediately be tossed out as well, which we are confident the prosecutors must agree with," Burck said in a statement. "Mrs. McDonnell, like her husband, was wrongfully convicted. We thank the Supreme Court for unanimously bringing justice back into the picture for the McDonnells."

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Dana Boente, whose office prosecuted the McDonnells, issued a terse statement about the high court's ruling.

"The U.S. Attorney's Office is reviewing the Supreme Court's decision in the McDonnell matter and does not have any further comment at this time," Boente said.

Despite the public outcry over the McDonnells' actions, his challenge to his convictions received a groundswell of support from public officials, ex-prosecutors and former legal advisers to presidents of both major parties.

In a series of amicus briefs filed with the high court, the former officials warned that giving anti-corruption laws the sweeping breadth urged by the Justice Department would have dramatically constrained the normal operation of government.

The Supreme Court noted those briefs in its opinion Monday -- the final one delivered before the typical summer break. The ruling also allowed the shorthanded court, through the voice of its chief, to emphasize agreement at the end of a term where the justice deadlocked in a series of cases.

[Jul 24, 2018] Browder is one of those nine Russian oligarchs who stole hundreds of billions from Russia, helped by the drunken buffoon Yeltsin and a battery of Wall Street financial sharpies who also filled their pockets.

Notable quotes:
"... So Mother Russia was raped, and by Bill Clinton, of all people. Where is the outrage? #MeToo ..."
Jul 24, 2018 | www.unz.com

Greg Bacon , Website July 24, 2018 at 7:43 am GMT

" American politicians like Senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Ben Cardin and ex-Senator Joe Lieberman "

American? I beg to differ. All of those turncoats serve their Master Israel and kiss the nether regions of those TBTF Wall Street Casinos.

Browder is one of those nine Russian oligarchs -- eight of whom are Jews -- who stole hundreds of billions from Russia when it was decompressing from being the USSR, helped by the drunken buffoon Yeltsin and a battery of Wall Street financial sharpies who also filled their pockets.

Watch the tough guy Browder run like a scared bunny rabbit in NYC from a process server.

Browder needs to be arrested by Interpol, tried, convicted and spend the rest of his sorry life in a Super Max prison for his thefts, frauds and helping to poison the relationship between the USA & Russia, in an effort to save his sorry ass from prosecution.

The Alarmist , July 24, 2018 at 10:37 am GMT

"Yeltsin had won a fraudulent election in 1996 supported by the oligarch-controlled media and by President Bill Clinton, who secured a $20.2 billion IMF loan that enabled him to buy support. Today we would refer to Clinton's action as "interference in the 1996 election," but at that time a helpless and bankrupt Russia was not well placed to object to what was being done to it."

[emphasis mine]

So Mother Russia was raped, and by Bill Clinton, of all people. Where is the outrage? #MeToo

geokat62 , July 24, 2018 at 11:18 am GMT
@Greg Bacon

Browder needs to be arrested by Interpol

Although I posted this comment under another thread, I think it bears repeating here (especially relevant to your point is the bolded part):

I think debunking the vulture capitalist Bill Browder's false claim of being, of all things, a human rights advocate is the key to unraveling the Russia-gate hoax. I also think the following information goes a long way in doing that:

1. Nekrasov's documentary, The Magnitsky Act: Behind The Scenes, now available for viewing

2. Alex Krainer's The Killing of William Browder, now available online; and

3. Bill Browder's Previzon deposition in which he claims "I can't remember" at least 50 times and answers "I don't know" fully 211 times.

Notwithstanding these facts, it appears Mr. Browder is an untouchable. The Russians have issued a Red Notice at least six times and he has managed to walk away scot free on each occasion.

The zinger was when the Senate Judiciary Committee invited him to testify as an expert witness against Fusion GPS, arguing that it should have registered under FARA because it was working on behalf of a foreign government, in this case the Russian. The irony of this scene was incredible. The hallowed chamber in which this inquiry took place is completely bought and paid for by The Lobby but not a peep about having it register under FARA. Totally surreal!

Anonymous lurker , July 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm GMT
An interesting thing about this that has gone almost completely unreported is that HSBC quietly held a series of closed-door meetings with Russian authorities earlier this year regarding the tax fraud charges leveled at Browder and his businesses (HSBC jointly managed Hermitage) and decided to pay up some of the cash he illegally siphoned out of the country (22 million dollars I believe, so a drop in the ocean given the scale of his endeavors, but it's something.)

"Bill Browder declined to comment" according to one of the few articles on the matter.

Isn't all of that more or less tantamount to an admission of guilt?

Anonymous [128] Disclaimer , July 24, 2018 at 12:11 pm GMT
Questions I have:

(1) Why is he so protected?

(2) How does a respectable congress pass a law based solely on the testimony of someone convicted of a crime by another country? No jury in the world would reach a verdict based solely on the word of a convict, without it being substantiated by numerous pieces of other circumstantial and direct evidence.

(3) Even if he paid everyone oodles of money and brought a thousand lawsuits, why would gazillionaire corporations cave in to his demands to ban books, movies, organizations, etc.?

There is something more powerful about Bill Browder than just his pile of money.

Johnny Smoggins , July 24, 2018 at 1:04 pm GMT
You'd think that a man who gave up his US citizenship to dodge his tax bill would be seen as a villain, not defended by presidents and congressmen.
Andrei Martyanov , Website July 24, 2018 at 1:24 pm GMT
@Anonymous

How does a respectable congress pass a law based solely on the testimony of someone convicted of a crime by another country?

US Congress has an approval rating slightly above that of Al Qaeda and Ted Bundy.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/207579/public-approval-rating-of-the-us-congress/

In fact, most (not all) US lawmakers long ago became a euphemism for incompetence, corruption and lies. So, no -- modern US Congress is not respectable by people and numbers reflect that. Hopefully, sometime in the future, some honorable and loyal to their country people will make it there.

Anatoly Karlin , Website July 24, 2018 at 1:28 pm GMT
Couple of other standard narrative-critical articles on the Magnitsky Affair:

* kovane: Sergei Magnitsky, Bill Browder, Hermitage Capital Management and Wondrous Metamorphoses

* Lucy Komisar: The Man Behind the Magnitsky Act Did Bill Browder's Tax Troubles in Russia Color Push for Sanctions?

John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan , July 24, 2018 at 2:30 pm GMT
Can someone help me remember the names of those 9 oligarchs?

These are the ones I remember:

1) Anatoly Chubais
2) Browder
3) Boris Berezovsky
4) Mikhail Khodorkovsky
5) Vladimir Gusinsky

Who were the others? Thanks.

Of these 5, Chubais remained in Russia but the others fled. Chubais was the one who was instrumental in starting the loans-for-shares scheme. My understanding is that those who fled are real scum, since Putin offered all oligarchs the chance to keep their money so long as they avoided politics. Most vulture capitalists agreed to this arrangement, but the worst of the Jewish oligarchs were too greedy and lustful to give in. So I have heard, anyway.

[Jul 24, 2018] Bernie Sanders embraces the anti-Russia campaign by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders's support for the anti-Russia and anti-Wikileaks campaign is all the more telling because he was himself the victim of efforts by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party leadership to block his 2016 campaign. In June and July 2016, Wikileaks published internal Democratic emails in which officials ridiculed the Sanders campaign, forcing the DNC to issue a public apology: "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email." ..."
"... In the aftermath of his election campaign, Sanders was elevated into a top-level position in the Democratic Party caucus in the US Senate. His first response to the inauguration of Trump was to declare his willingness to "work with" the president, closely tracking remarks of Obama that the election of Trump was part of an "intramural scrimmage" in which all sides were on the same team. As the campaign of the military-intelligence agencies intensifies, however, Sanders is toeing the line. ..."
"... The Sanders campaign did not push the Democrats to the left, but rather the state apparatus of the ruling class brought Sanders in to give a "left" veneer to a thoroughly right-wing party. ..."
"... There is no contradiction between the influx of military-intelligence candidates into the Democratic Party and the Democrats' making use of the services of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to give the party a "left" cover. Both the CIA Democrats and their pseudo-left "comrades" agree on the most important questions: the defense of the global interests of American imperialism and a more aggressive intervention in the Syrian civil war and other areas where Washington and Moscow are in conflict. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appeared on the CBS interview program "Face the Nation" Sunday and fully embraced the anti-Russia campaign of the US military-intelligence apparatus, backed by the Democratic Party and much of the media.

In response to a question from CBS host Margaret Brennan, Sanders unleashed a torrent of denunciations of Trump's meeting and press conference in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A preliminary transcript reads:

SANDERS: "I will tell you that I was absolutely outraged by his behavior in Helsinki, where he really sold the American people out. And it makes me think that either Trump doesn't understand what Russia has done, not only to our elections, but through cyber attacks against all parts of our infrastructure, either he doesn't understand it, or perhaps he is being blackmailed by Russia, because they may have compromising information about him.

"Or perhaps also you have a president who really does have strong authoritarian tendencies. And maybe he admires the kind of government that Putin is running in Russia. And I think all of that is a disgrace and a disservice to the American people. And we have got to make sure that Russia does not interfere, not only in our elections, but in other aspects of our lives."

These comments, which echo remarks he gave at a rally in Kansas late last week, signal Sanders' full embrace of the right-wing campaign launched by the Democrats and backed by dominant sections of the military-intelligence apparatus. Their opposition to Trump is centered on issues of foreign policy, based on the concern that Trump, due to his own "America First" brand of imperialist strategy, has run afoul of geostrategic imperatives that are considered inviolable -- in particular, the conflict with Russia.

Sanders did not use his time on a national television program to condemn Trump's persecution of immigrants and the separation of children from their parents, or to denounce his naming of ultra-right jurist Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, or to attack the White House declaration last week that the "war on poverty" had ended victoriously -- in order to justify the destruction of social programs for impoverished working people. Nor did he seek to advance his supposedly left-wing program on domestic issues like health care, jobs and education.

Sanders' embrace of the anti-Russia campaign is not surprising, but it is instructive. This is, after all, an individual who presented himself as "left-wing," even a "socialist." During the 2016 election campaign, he won the support of millions of people attracted to his call for a "political revolution" against the "billionaire class." For Sanders, who has a long history of opportunist and pro-imperialist politics in the orbit of the Democratic Party, the aim of the campaign was always to direct social discontent into establishment channels, culminating in his endorsement of the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Sanders's support for the anti-Russia and anti-Wikileaks campaign is all the more telling because he was himself the victim of efforts by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party leadership to block his 2016 campaign. In June and July 2016, Wikileaks published internal Democratic emails in which officials ridiculed the Sanders campaign, forcing the DNC to issue a public apology: "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email."

In the aftermath of his election campaign, Sanders was elevated into a top-level position in the Democratic Party caucus in the US Senate. His first response to the inauguration of Trump was to declare his willingness to "work with" the president, closely tracking remarks of Obama that the election of Trump was part of an "intramural scrimmage" in which all sides were on the same team. As the campaign of the military-intelligence agencies intensifies, however, Sanders is toeing the line.

The experience is instructive not only in relation to Sanders, but to an entire social milieu and the political perspective with which it is associated. This is what it means to work within the Democratic Party. The Sanders campaign did not push the Democrats to the left, but rather the state apparatus of the ruling class brought Sanders in to give a "left" veneer to a thoroughly right-wing party.

New political figures, many associated with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are being brought in for the same purpose. As Sanders gave his anti-Russia rant, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sat next to him nodding her agreement. The 28-year-old member of the DSA last month won the Democratic nomination in New York's 14th Congressional District, unseating the Democratic incumbent, Joseph Crowley, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives.

Since then, Ocasio-Cortez has been given massive and largely uncritical publicity by the corporate media, summed up in an editorial puff piece by the New York Times that described her as "a bright light in the Democratic Party who has brought desperately needed energy back to New York politics "

Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders were jointly interviewed from Kansas, where the two appeared Friday at a campaign rally for James Thompson, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the US House of Representatives from the Fourth Congressional District, based in Wichita, in an August 7 primary election.

Thompson might appear to be an unusual ally for the "socialist" Sanders and the DSA member Ocasio-Cortez. His campaign celebrates his role as an Army veteran, and his website opens under the slogan "Join the Thompson Army," followed by pledges that the candidate will "Fight for America." In an interview with the Associated Press, Thompson indicated that despite his support for Sanders' call for "Medicare for all," and his own endorsement by the DSA, he was wary of any association with socialism. "I don't like the term socialist, because people do associate that with bad things in history," he said.

Such anticommunism fits right in with the anti-Russian campaign, which is the principal theme of the Democratic Party in the 2018 elections. As the World Socialist Web Site has pointed out for many months, the real thrust of the Democratic Party campaign is demonstrated by its recruitment as congressional candidates of dozens of former CIA and military intelligence agents, combat commanders from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and war planners from the Pentagon, State Department and White House.

There is no contradiction between the influx of military-intelligence candidates into the Democratic Party and the Democrats' making use of the services of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to give the party a "left" cover. Both the CIA Democrats and their pseudo-left "comrades" agree on the most important questions: the defense of the global interests of American imperialism and a more aggressive intervention in the Syrian civil war and other areas where Washington and Moscow are in conflict.

[Jul 23, 2018] The Democratic Party's Pitch to Billionaires by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... The wing of the Democratic Party that looks for the dollars instead of the votes is called "The Third Way" and it presents itself as representing the supposedly vast political center, nothing "extremist" or "marginal." But didn't liberal Republicanism go out when Nelson Rockefeller did? Conservative Democrats are like liberal Republicans -- they attract flies and billionaires, but not many votes. And didn't the Rockefeller drug laws fill our prisons with millions of pathetic drug-users and small drug-dealers but not with the kingpins in either the narcotics business or the bankster rackets (such as had crashed the economy in 2008 -- and the Third Way Democrat who had been the exceptional politician and liar that was so slick he actually did attract many votes, President Barack Obama, told the banksters privately, on 27 March 2009, "I'm not out there to go after you. I'm protecting you." And, he did keep his promise to them, though not to his voters .) ..."
"... They want another Barack Obama. There aren't any more of those (unless, perhaps, Michelle Obama enters the contest). But, even if there were: How many Democrats would fall for that scam, yet again -- after the disaster of 2016? ..."
"... Maybe the Third Way is right, and there's a sucker born every minute. But if that's what the Democratic Party is going to rely upon, then America's stunningly low voter-participation rate is set to plunge even lower, because even more voters than before will either be leaving the Presidential line blank, or even perhaps voting for the Republican candidate (as some felt driven to do in 2016). ..."
"... 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 . He is a frequent contributor to Global Research. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

The wing of the Democratic Party that looks for the dollars instead of the votes is called "The Third Way" and it presents itself as representing the supposedly vast political center, nothing "extremist" or "marginal." But didn't liberal Republicanism go out when Nelson Rockefeller did? Conservative Democrats are like liberal Republicans -- they attract flies and billionaires, but not many votes. And didn't the Rockefeller drug laws fill our prisons with millions of pathetic drug-users and small drug-dealers but not with the kingpins in either the narcotics business or the bankster rackets (such as had crashed the economy in 2008 -- and the Third Way Democrat who had been the exceptional politician and liar that was so slick he actually did attract many votes, President Barack Obama, told the banksters privately, on 27 March 2009, "I'm not out there to go after you. I'm protecting you." And, he did keep his promise to them, though not to his voters .)

They're at it, yet again. On July 22nd, NBC News's Alex Seitz-Wald headlined "Sanders' wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems. Here's how they plan to stop it." And he described what was publicly available from the 3-day private meeting in Columbus Ohio of The Third Way, July 18-20, the planning conference between the Party's chiefs and its billionaires. Evidently, they hate Bernie Sanders and are already scheming and spending in order to block him, now a second time, from obtaining the Party's Presidential nomination. "Anxiety has largely been kept to a whisper among the party's moderates and big donors, with some of the major fundraisers pressing operatives on what can be done to stop the Vermonter if he runs for the White House again." This passage in Seitz-Wald's article was especially striking to me:

The gathering here was an effort to offer an attractive alternative to the rising Sanders-style populist left in the upcoming presidential race. Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump.

The fact that a billionaire real estate developer, Winston Fisher, cohosted the event and addressed attendees twice, underscored that this group is not interested in the class warfare vilifying the "millionaires and billionaires" found in Sanders' stump speech.

"You're not going to make me hate somebody just because they're rich. I want to be rich!" Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, a potential presidential candidate, said Friday to laughs.

I would reply to congressman Ryan's remark: If you want to be rich, then get the hell out of politics! Don't run for President! I don't want you there! And that's no joke!

Anyone who doesn't recognize that an inevitable trade-off exists between serving the public and serving oneself, is a libertarian -- an Ayn Rander, in fact -- and there aren't many of those in the Democratic Party, but plenty of them are in the Republican Party.

Just as a clergyman in some faiths is supposed to take a vow of chastity, and in some faiths also to take a vow of poverty, in order to serve "the calling" instead of oneself, anyone who enters 'public service' and who aspires to "be rich" is inevitably inviting corruption -- not prepared to do war against it . That kind of politician is a Manchurian candidate, like Obama perhaps, but certainly not what this or any country needs, in any case. Voters like that can be won only by means of deceit, which is the way that politicians like that do win.

No decent political leader enters or stays in politics in order to "be rich," because no political leader can be decent who isn't in it as a calling, to public service, and as a repudiation, of any self-service in politics.

Republican Party voters invite corrupt government, because their Party's ideology is committed to it ("Freedom [for the rich]!"); but the only Democratic Party voters who at all tolerate corrupt politicians (such as Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York State) are actually Republican Democrats -- people who are confused enough so as not really to care much about what they believe; whatever their garbage happens to be, they believe in it and don't want to know differently than it.

The Third Way is hoping that there are enough of such 'Democrats' so that they can, yet again, end up with a Third Way Democrat being offered to that Party's voters in 2020, just like happened in 2016. They want another Barack Obama. There aren't any more of those (unless, perhaps, Michelle Obama enters the contest). But, even if there were: How many Democrats would fall for that scam, yet again -- after the disaster of 2016?

Maybe the Third Way is right, and there's a sucker born every minute. But if that's what the Democratic Party is going to rely upon, then America's stunningly low voter-participation rate is set to plunge even lower, because even more voters than before will either be leaving the Presidential line blank, or even perhaps voting for the Republican candidate (as some felt driven to do in 2016).

The Third Way is the way to the death of democracy, if it's not already dead . It is no answer to anything, except to the desires of billionaires -- both Republican and Democratic.

The center of American politics isn't the center of America's aristocracy. The goal of groups such as The Third Way is to fool the American public to equate the two. The result of such groups is the contempt that America's public have for America's Government . But, pushed too far, mass disillusionment becomes revolution. Is that what America's billionaires are willing to risk? They might get it.

*

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 . He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

[Jul 18, 2018] Remember, the [neoliberal] Left was all OVER how we manipulated Russia into an Oligarchy:

Jul 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Creative_Destruct -> King of Ruperts Land Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:23 Permalink

" The US fabricated evidence to start the Vietnam war and the US fabricated WMD talk on the second war in Iraq. US intelligence had no idea the Berlin Wall was about to fall. The US meddled in Russia supporting a drunk named Yeltsin because we erroneously thought we could control him."

YUP! AMEN.

It's amusing to me that the Leftist's NOW have a blind-faith trust in government, whereas during the Vietnam war, and at the start of the Iraq war the opposite was (justifiably) the case.

And remember, the [neoliberal] Left was all OVER how we manipulated Russia into an Oligarchy:

https://www.thenation.com/article/harvard-boys-do-russia/

[Jul 17, 2018] I think there is much more to the comment made by Putin regarding Bill Browder and his money flows into the DNC and Clinton campaign. That would explain why the DNC didn t hand the servers over to the FBI after being hacked.

Highly recommended!
Jul 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

NumNutt -> 847328_3527 Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:41 Permalink

I think there is much more to the comment made by Putin regarding Bill Browder and his money flows into the DNC and Clinton campaign. That would explain why the DNC didn't hand the servers over to the FBI after being hacked. If you follow the money a lot of what happened during the election and afterwards in regards to Russia and Trump start to make sense. Could it be that we are finally witnessing the removal the last layers of the center of the onion?

[Jul 16, 2018] The West Is Past

Notable quotes:
"... Two U.S. 'realists', Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, had always warned that the 'west' must keep China and Russia apart if it wants to keep its leading global position. Nixon went to China to achieve that. ..."
"... Years later the U.S. fell for the myth that it had 'won' the Cold War. It felt invincible, the 'sole superpower' and sought to 'rule them all'. It woke up from that dream after it invaded Iraq. The mighty U.S. military was beaten to pulp by the 'sand niggers' it despised. A few years later U.S. financial markets were in shambles. ..."
"... Crude attempts to further encircle Russia led to the Chinese-Russian alliance that now leads the SCO and soon, one might argue, the world. There will be no photo like the above from the SCO summit. The Chinese President Xi calls Russia's President Putin 'my best friend'. ..."
"... Agreed! But what will the US psychopaths do to maintain their grip when they realize they are really losing it? Nuclear war? ..."
"... Watching the two meetings play out has really been interesting, that the West is dead is not in question. And once it started it seems to be gaining momentum. I don't know how many readers here watch CGTN but it is amazing. My IQ goes up every time I watch. Astonishing how much more valuable information you get from a "heavily censored" Chinese news compared to MSM. The website is a little slow at times but it is well worth the wait. ..."
Jun 10, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

G-7 summits are supposed to symbolize "the west", its unity and its power. The summits pretended to set policy directions for the world. We are happy to see that they are dead.

Trump was obviously not inclined to compromise.

Before attending the summit Trump trolled his colleagues by inviting Russia to rejoin the G-7/G-8 format without conditions. Russia had been kicked out after Crimea voted to join its motherland. Merkel, who had negotiated the Minsk agreement with Russia, was furious. She wants to use such an invitation as an element of future negotiations. (It is stupid talk. Russia is not interested in rejoining the G-7/G-8 format.)

There are now many fields where the U.S. and its allies disagree: climate change, the Iran deal, trade are only the major ones.

Before leaving the summit Trump again used Mafia language against everyone else:

As he prepared to depart early from the G-7 summit in Charlevoix, Canada, to head to Singapore ahead of his planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump delivered an ultimatum to foreign leaders, demanding that their countries reduce trade barriers for the U.S. or risk losing market access to the world's largest economy.

"They have no choice. I'll be honest with you, they have no choice," Trump told reporters at a news conference, adding that companies and jobs had left the U.S. to escape trade barriers abroad. "We're going to fix that situation. And if it's not fixed, then we're not going to deal with these countries. "

The row at the G-7 meeting was in stark contrast to the more important other meeting that happened today, the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Qingdao, China:

Dazzling against the city skyline of Qingdao, fireworks lit up the faces of guests who traveled across the vast Eurasian continent to the coast of the Yellow Sea for the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, on Saturday night.

It is the first such summit since the organization's expansion in June 2017 when India and Pakistan joined as full members.

...

The Shanghai Spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and pursuit of common development , was stated in the Charter of the SCO, a comprehensive regional organization founded in 2001 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and later expanded to eight member states.

This weekend Xi will chair the summit for the first time as Chinese president, which is attended by leaders of other SCO member states and four observer states, as well as chiefs of various international organizations.

...

The SCO has grown to be an organization covering over 60 percent of the Eurasian landmass, nearly half the world's population and over 20 percent of global GDP.

Two U.S. 'realists', Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, had always warned that the 'west' must keep China and Russia apart if it wants to keep its leading global position. Nixon went to China to achieve that.

Years later the U.S. fell for the myth that it had 'won' the Cold War. It felt invincible, the 'sole superpower' and sought to 'rule them all'. It woke up from that dream after it invaded Iraq. The mighty U.S. military was beaten to pulp by the 'sand niggers' it despised. A few years later U.S. financial markets were in shambles.

Crude attempts to further encircle Russia led to the Chinese-Russian alliance that now leads the SCO and soon, one might argue, the world. There will be no photo like the above from the SCO summit. The Chinese President Xi calls Russia's President Putin 'my best friend'.

The 'west' has lost in Eurasia.

The U.S. is reduced to a schoolyard bully who beats up his gang members because their former victims have grown too big. Trump is off to Singapore to meet Kim Yong-un. Unlike Trump North Korea's supreme leader will be well prepared. It is likely that he will run rings around Trump during the negotiations. If Trump tries to bully him like he bullies his 'allies', Kim will pack up and leave. Unlike the U.S. 'allies' he has no need to bow to Trump. China and Russia have his back. They are now the powers that can lead the world.

The 'west' is past. The future is in the east.

Posted by b on June 9, 2018 at 03:14 PM | Permalink


Kelli , Jun 9, 2018 3:37:22 PM | 1

Agreed! But what will the US psychopaths do to maintain their grip when they realize they are really losing it? Nuclear war?
Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 3:44:17 PM | 2
Yeah, I was just thinking that. Trump is running full-speed into isolation. It's an ancient policy, which recalls the 1920s. What does America need of the outside world? Good question.

I would think we will hear in the not too distant future of a European replacement of the US exchange systems, such as VISA. The Americans have become too unreliable. Obviously the Russians and Chinese do have their own systems, but that won't do for the EU.

Independence is going to be forced, and the consequences will be permanent.

Babyl-on , Jun 9, 2018 3:53:27 PM | 5

Watching the two meetings play out has really been interesting, that the West is dead is not in question. And once it started it seems to be gaining momentum. I don't know how many readers here watch CGTN but it is amazing. My IQ goes up every time I watch. Astonishing how much more valuable information you get from a "heavily censored" Chinese news compared to MSM. The website is a little slow at times but it is well worth the wait.

Last year during the border standoff with India they had on strident Indian voices arguing the Indian position every day. Imagine if CNN had on Mexican reps regarding the wall - never happen.

Harry Law , Jun 9, 2018 3:59:37 PM | 6
Because Iran was under sanctions levied by the United Nations earlier, it was blocked from admission as a new member of the Shanghai Cooperation Council [SCO]. The SCO stated that any country under UN sanctions could not be admitted. After the UN sanctions were lifted, Chinese president Xi Jinping announced its support for Iran's full membership in SCO during a state visit to Iran in January 2016.Iran must join the SCO ASAP it is also a military alliance and should prepare itself for a big effort at regime change by the US and lackeys. The moral of the story unless they hang together, the US will hang them separately.
ashley albanese , Jun 9, 2018 4:01:15 PM | 7
Well, China as the text books say was always ' half the human story' - only eclipsed by Western connivance in the 1860's .I remember my father argueing with high ranking Australian government and commercial figures in 1970.

My father argued Australia needed to find its own voice with China and Chinese policy . They replied sneeringly '' Ralph , their just red communists and will never amount to anything ' . Shortly thereafter Nixon flew to Beijing and my father sat back in his living room with a sardonic look on his face !

Scotch Bingeington , Jun 9, 2018 4:05:14 PM | 8
Interesting picture! Judging by his posture, Japan's Prime Minister Abe seems to back Trump's position.

By the way, Mr. Abe doesn't look Japanese to me, he rather has a striking resemblance to a certain Bavarian actor - one Max Griesser .

Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 4:13:18 PM | 9
You may like Freedland's article yesterday, which unusually I agreed with, that in fact Trump is a poor negotiator, and gives away tricks he doesn't have to. Why no concession from Israel, over the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem? Why give away the honour to NK of a one-to-one with the US president? I'd be surprised if NK surrenders, when they know what will happen if they do.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/08/trump-master-negotiator-meeting-kim-jong-un-art-of-deal

Madderhatter67 , Jun 9, 2018 4:18:15 PM | 10
They did win the Cold War. That's how they became the'sole superpower'.
Red Ryder , Jun 9, 2018 4:25:57 PM | 11
"President Putin is the leader of a great country who is influential around the world," Xi said. "He is my best, most intimate friend." Xi promised Russia and China would increase their coordination in the international arena.

Putin expressed his thanks for the honor and said he saw it as an "evaluation" of his nation's efforts to strengthen its relationship with its southern neighbor.

"This is an indication of the special attention and respect on which our mutual national interests are based, the interests of our peoples and, of course, our personal friendship," Putin said.

http://www.newsweek.com/putin-my-best-most-intimate-friend-chinese-president-xi-says-967531

This is not going missed by the West.

But it is unstoppable. The range of integrating projects the Chinese and Russians are working on is more than strategic.

They are forcing a massive shift in economics that is impossible for the US and EU to maintain as competitors.

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201806091065269583-putin-xi-summit-takeaways/

The Double Helix is ascending.

Peter AU 1 , Jun 9, 2018 4:34:45 PM | 12
Interesting that Trump has said Russia should be invited back into the west's G7/G8 at this time. In cold war 1.0, Soviet Union was the main enemy of the US and China was split away from the Soviet Union. In this war, Trump sees China's economy as the main threat to the US and is trying but failing to pull Russia away from China.
Lea , Jun 9, 2018 4:45:07 PM | 13
Posted by: Madderhatter67 | Jun 9, 2018 4:18:15 PM | 10
They did win the Cold War. That's how they became the'sole superpower'.

If winning the Cold War is about vanquishing communism, they flat out lost. Because, while they were concentrating on the end of the USSR and celebrating, China was going up and up and up. They never saw her coming, yet to this day and for the foreseeable future, China is a socialist, Marxist country.

So the new, desperate Western spin is to try to argue that China has "succumbed" to capitalism. Yeah, right, a country where all the private companies have to have members of the CPC on their board and hand over enough shares to the state to grant it veto powers, not to mention the Central bank and all its major companies are state-owned... Lol.

les7 , Jun 9, 2018 4:49:57 PM | 14
"The 'west' is past. The future is in the east."

Wow... such grandiose conclusions...

After the collapse of the USSR the consensus - even of the alt-media (what little of it existed) was that a new American century was on the way and the whole world would be better off for it. A decade later in 2003 the consensus (post 'shock & awe' Gulf War 2) was that America had the ability to re-structure the Asian /African world and that it would all be for good.

15 years later we are all sick of the fruit of that delusion. So we look to another power to save us... Do we understand nothing?

Without the accountability of multi-polarity, Western supreme power all became security-obsessed privilege, self-aggrandizement, blatant plunder and total disregard for moral value and life. Power corrupts - it knows no exceptions.

If the West is truly dead, the East will be no different.

Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 4:55:53 PM | 15
re 12
Interesting that Trump has said Russia should be invited back into the west's G7/G8 at this time.
Thought of a moment to annoy the Europeans. It is obvious that Trump was pissed off about having to attend, and left at the earliest opportunity. The Europeans heard that, and will draw the inevitable conclusions.
Quentin , Jun 9, 2018 4:57:21 PM | 16
Lea @ 13 Socialist, Marxist, Capitalist, what does it matter: it seems to work for China, at least for the time being. It's success makes me think that a bit more government control of corporations might not be such a bad thing.
Grieved , Jun 9, 2018 5:00:44 PM | 17
The summit with Kim will be fascinating to observe. In my view, NK has finessed the US and the Trump administration to a degree I would not have thought possible, even from native US insiders. To do it long range from the other side of the world speaks to me a lot about the power of Asia, and the clarity of view from there.

I agree with Laguerre @9 that Trump is a terrible negotiator (forgive that I didn't read the Guardian piece). I would take this much further and say that all the US institutions themselves are culturally crippled in terms of understanding what's happening in the ascendancy of Asia. All of their negotiation is feeble, because their grasp on their own true position is based on yesterday's view of their power. You cannot go into negotiation without knowing what you hold.

Every day, I become more confident in the ability of the elder nations to put the young western empires to rest without their being triggered into death spasms.

Red Ryder @11 - I see China's full-on drive for the one Road as its way of waging total war, its strategic masterstroke to render the enemy powerless without the enemy's realizing that it is being attacked. Russia as the other half of the Double Helix mesmerizes the west with weaponry while China undercuts the ground. Both countries are fully at war, and winning, while unseeing commenters complain that it's time for them to "do something." How superb the silk rope drawn so softly around the throat.

It's a beautiful play. I very much hope - and truly expect - that we can all survive to be able to sit back and admire it as the years unfold.

psychohistorian , Jun 9, 2018 5:05:30 PM | 18
I have a small quibble with b's wording but thank him for following and reporting on our evolving world.

b's words:"

The U.S. is reduced to a schoolyard bully who beats up his gang members because their former victims have grown too big.

"

My rewording:

The global elite have their US puppet acting like a schoolyard bully who beat up his gang members because their former victims have grown too big.

The West is trying to consolidate power and control while they still have some ghost of a chance. How they hold countries after this global divorce will be interesting.

At his time the West has little to offer humanistically except its vice grip on most economic interaction and the tools including banking underpinning the "system". The elite have deluded the public in the West for centuries about private finance behind the scenes of all/most conflict......pointing to other religions but never their own.

It sure is getting interesting. IMO, the two Koreas are going to announce a reconciliation that requires the removal of America military forces/bases et al, which fits in with the fake nationalism efforts of Trump.

Jen , Jun 9, 2018 5:09:16 PM | 19
That the US and the EU and their respective camps are at loggerheads over trade and perhaps other economic issues should not (I hope) lead readers to assume that one side has the interests of the public it represents uppermost in mind. As the US and the Anglosphere is dominated by one set of neoliberals, so Germany and the lackey EU nations following Berlin are dominated by another set of neoliberals in thrall to an export-led mercantilist ideology. Just as the elites in charge of US power structures are only interested in enriching themselves, the same can be said for those in charge of power structures in Europe. Whether under the US or the EU, the public suffers.

Notice that Germany benefits from being the major economic power in the EU while its fellow EU nations around the Atlantic and Mediterranean rim flail under a huge debt (and Greece is being punished back into the impoverished colonial status it held under Nazi German occupation) and eastern European EU members are following suit running their economies into the ground and having to beg NATO into setting up bases in their territories to attract money. At the same time German workers are becoming poorer, they are not benefiting from Berlin's economic policies, they are not reproducing fast enough so Berlin needs to bring in more foreign workers in the guise of "refugees" to prop up factories and keep wages low.

@ Madderhatter67: The US did not win the Cold War because the Cold War was only ever a propaganda front for the secret war waged by US / UK elites against Russia and China to dominate and rob these nations and their neighbours of their natural resources.

Grieved , Jun 9, 2018 5:12:25 PM | 20
@5 Babyl-on

Thanks for the nod to CGTN. For any who care, I searched out its YouTube channel and it produces a huge daily output in English:

https://www.youtube.com/user/CCTVNEWSbeijing/videos

I've recently added Vesti News to my news for the same reason, a large daily feed of short clips of the Russian view, in English:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa8MaD6gQscto_Nq1i49iew/videos

I've never been a TV watcher, especially not for news, but I'm enjoying these tastes and flavors of this burgeoning century.

james , Jun 9, 2018 5:20:12 PM | 21
thanks b - and for the laugh with the marjorie and homer pic for comparison!

i think this parallel you draw is a good one.. the west is certainly floundering... i am not sure how global finance responds here... i can't imagine the 1% being on the wrong side of a bet on the direction of things here either..

@6 harry law.. did iran make it into the sco? it sounds like it did.. good!

@14 les7.. regarding your last line - i tend to agree with that viewpoint..

@19 jen... do you think it will be somehow different if the power shifts to russia/china? i guess i am not so sanguine over power, regardless of who holds it.

Wess County , Jun 9, 2018 5:23:01 PM | 22
Very well put, only issue that as to be dealt with is all those Stan Countries, they are a hibernating and breeding ground for Terrorists and Arms dealers , who don't care who they sell arms to and how they get them to rogue regimes.
Zanon , Jun 9, 2018 5:28:02 PM | 23
Its quite funny how Trump wrecked that meeting.

Trump could talk about Russia but who cares, he cant be trusted, hes totally unreliable and hopefully Russia sees that.

Zanon , Jun 9, 2018 5:29:13 PM | 24
at the same time Trump is a king, just look at how the pathetic western states STAND AROUND HIM begging him basically on all kinds of things!
Laguerre , Jun 9, 2018 5:57:10 PM | 25
re Grieved 17
I see China's full-on drive for the one Road as its way of waging total war, its strategic masterstroke to render the enemy powerless without the enemy's realizing that it is being attacked.
I do think you're exaggerating there.

China's past history has been one of a country very contented with itself, much like the US, because defended geographically by vast deserts. A longer history, so some foreigners did traverse the deserts.

The Chinese exported their products by foreign ships (Arabo-Persian) arriving at Canton, and buying cargoes, or camel caravans arriving in the north and buying silk. The Chinese themselves did not travel abroad very much, and so didn't know very much about surrounding countries, or the rest of the world. There was a fleet of Chinese junks which arrived in the Gulf in the 14th century, but it was the only one.

Today's situation is not so different. There are Chinese interventions in Africa, but their diplomacy is pretty ham-fisted. The Belt-and-Road initiative is in fact intended to bring up to speed Central Asian countries like Tajikistan. Fine, Tajikistan needs it, but it's not world-changing.

The rail freight from Beijing to Frankfurt works better as an intermediate between sea and air freight, but essentially it is what has always happened - foreigners export Chinese products. The Chinese don't know how to run a foreign policy.

bjd , Jun 9, 2018 5:58:01 PM | 26
I am surprised nobody here remarked on the pontifically present John Bolton.

This was about Iran, I am pretty sure.

bjd , Jun 9, 2018 6:02:20 PM | 27
I note, by the way, that in the second photo, the two persons holding a paper are not on the same page .

Talk about symbolism.

bjd , Jun 9, 2018 6:07:30 PM | 28
Have a closer look and you'll see that in the first photo, John Bolton is talking (Trump is silent and sitting there like 'Il Duce').

Bolton is talking to Macron, who is looking straight at Bolton.

In the second photo, Merkel is looking at Bolton, who is probably speaking at that moment.

Tell me this is not about Iran.

michaelj72 , Jun 9, 2018 6:26:40 PM | 29
hopehely at @4

"OK, so, is Japan 'east' or 'west'?"

from their body language, I would say that Japan is surely 'with' Trump and the US, but that's only because that arch-reactionary Abe is in power.....and when he goes, and go he will, there will be a big period of adjustment...some day.

Villainesse , Jun 9, 2018 6:26:46 PM | 30
The scambastic Trump could be inclined to make a slightly more fair deal in Singapore just to make a deal, but he is going extra early (no jet lag) and will be controlled by Pompeo with his 'Grim Reaper' CIA-dog/warhawk/translator/born & raised S. Korean with multiple relations in their South KCIA (NIS) and cabinet leadership, Andrew Kim (born Kim Sung-hyun). Kim's purpose will be to control Trump's spontaneaous decision making, inform him on what he reads as N. Korea's intent, and give baseline hawkish color to the translations for his own hawkish viewpoint.
annie , Jun 9, 2018 6:29:13 PM | 31
bjd, bolton is trump's overseer, making sure he doesn't step out of line.

Trump is a poor negotiator, and gives away tricks he doesn't have to. Why no concession from Israel, over the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem?

Laguerre, you have it backwards. the embassy move, the iran deal, and the appointment of bolton are all concessions trump made, as payback for adelson's millions to both the gop and his campaign. possibly also has a little something to do cambridge analytica, honey traps or whatever.

Adelson: the casino mogul driving Trump's Middle East policy

The imprint of the 84-year-old's political passions is seen in an array of Donald Trump's more controversial decisions, including violating the Iran nuclear deal, moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, and appointing the ultra-hawkish John Bolton as national security adviser.

......The New York Times reported that Adelson is a member of a "shadow National Security Council" advising Bolton

Jen , Jun 9, 2018 6:36:52 PM | 32
James @ 21: I think one should always be a bit suspicious of those who hold power, especially those who find themselves holding the uppermost hand in power as a result of victory in war (whether in the form of actual military combat, trade war or other wars in soft power).

Russia under Vladimir Putin and China under Xi Jinping may be fine but will their successors know not to abuse the power they may gain from the New Silk Road projects encompassing Eurasia and Africa?

hopehely , Jun 9, 2018 6:38:17 PM | 33
Posted by: bjd | Jun 9, 2018 6:02:20 PM | 27
I note, by the way, that in the second photo, the two persons holding a paper are not on the same page.

Talk about symbolism.

In that pic, is that Miller lurking from behind?

Red Ryder , Jun 9, 2018 6:42:03 PM | 34
@29, bjd,

Of course, it is about Iran. It's the Iranian deal that the EU needs to continue. They benefit as the biggest vendors to Iran. They want to get inside that developing 70 million person market, also.

Bolton wants regime change. The EU knows that will be worse than Iraq. And economically, the EU will be in the dumps for 2 decades if there's another war they are forced to join. And they will be forced to join. They cannot say No to the Hegemon.

The EU 2, Germany and France, are at a historic moment of truth.

They could have a great future with Russia, China, Iran, the BRICS, SCO, OBOR and EAEU or they could be crippled by the Empire.

John Gilberts , Jun 9, 2018 7:01:17 PM | 35
Excellent analysis as always. Here's the muck CBC is reporting on the summit.

Canada Rejects Trump's Call to Let Russia Back Into G-7

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trump-russia-g7-canada-1.4697655

"...But Canada, which pushed for Russia to get the boot in 2014, is not onside. 'Russia was invited to be part of this club and I think that was a very wise initiation, and an invitation full of goodwill,'[FM Chrystia Freeland] she told reporters at the summit. 'Russia, however, made clear that it had no interest in behaving according to the rules of Western democracies..."

Glad to hear it...

michaelj72 , Jun 9, 2018 7:15:43 PM | 36
it's kind of wonderful to see all these imperialist and former neo-colonial powers fighting among themselves.

unfortunately, like the old African proverb goes, when the elephants fight it's the grass and small animals that suffer.

I see no reason for optimism for the peoples of europe at this point, as the stranglehold of the Trioka is perhaps as strong as ever, and hundreds of millions of people are suffering; the people simply have to get organized at all levels and take back their sovereignty at least as a start

WorldBLee , Jun 9, 2018 7:17:31 PM | 37
The US still has the power of the dollar in its arsenal. The UK and EU, and any nation that deals with Wall Street, are addicted to US investment in dollars. Since the EU is run by the banks, and western banks can't function with the dollar, any statements by the EU that they're going to avoid US sanctions over Iran are meaningless.

The equation is essentially this: you can have your sovereignty or you can have the benefits of the dollar that make your 1% very rich. You can't have both. Since the EU is ruled by the 1% banker/investor class they will forestall any attempts to regain sovereignty by the people. In a sense, Europe is like Russia 10-15 years ago, thinking that the US is the key to the golden calf. Russia learned the hard way they needed to establish some independence (although to this day Russia doesn't have nearly the financial independence one might hope), and China saw from Russia's example they needed to do so as well. This led them to team up on many economic initiatives while seeking to reduce the dominance of the dollar.

Perhaps someday Europe will learn this lesson. But as long as the EU exists, I kind of doubt it. The EU-crats will cry and criticize Trump but the bankers love US money too much to let them actually do anything serious.

Ghost Ship , Jun 9, 2018 7:20:38 PM | 38
Paul Krugman is tweeting that this is all happening because Trump doesn't understand Value-Added Tax !

This is not an endorsement of Krugman who is trying to blame it on Putin.

rexl , Jun 9, 2018 7:56:05 PM | 39
If the West is dead and the East is the future, then why are so many Chinese buying houses and living part time in Canada, Australia, and the USA? Why is there so much emphasis put on Western education facilities by Asians?
Winston , Jun 9, 2018 8:02:05 PM | 40
I'm sure Trump doesn't understand VAT.

Most Americans don't no matter how much explanation I go into.

They insist its a tariff or duty,which its not.

I've given up trying to explain its a sales tax on all,paying at customs is merely a cash flow issue for the importer.A reclaimable input on his VAT return,did it many times myself.

Sabine , Jun 9, 2018 8:11:53 PM | 41
there is no west nor east.

there is only a bunch of paid of administrators running the countries and the corporations that pay them.

Trumps quid pro quo is deals that benefit his family. I don't thinks he cares one bit about the GOP and how the party fundraises. He cares about advancing his family and keeping the loot.

maybe we should realize that the concepts of east and west, as much as neo liberalism or neo conservatism or any other moniker that we could apply to loot and steal - legally and without shame under the guise of trade - are concepts of the past.

the future is for the strongest, irrespective of their origins or philosophy. we are burning this planet down with a vengeance and we - the people - are to numerous and too expensive to keep.

while we debate and some even chuckle with delight as to how the west is treated by trump, or how much the west deserves to be made redundant and all hail the Russians and the Chinese - the king is dead, long live the king - it is us who dies in the wars, it is our children that are being kidnapped and locked up in prison when arriving on the border seeking asylum, it is us who will watch the women in our live die in childbirth because of lack of medical care, it is us who will die of black lung, hunger, thirst and general malice.

and while we gossip, they laugh all the way to the bank.

NemesisCalling , Jun 9, 2018 8:24:56 PM | 42
b, we have no doubt that the North Korean leadership is ready for the Americans and know the score with a rising Eurasia and a sinking NATO. However, your last assumption of Kim being more than ready to go toe-to-toe with DJT smacks of some of the worst tendencies of many posters here who are ready to venerate Kim without him ever even making formal address of more than a few words to a) his people, 2) his allies, or D) even the world. This is a laughable assumption from you and it would be like having the most beautifully-made garment handy for a long while, desperate for anyone to come along so you could fling it on them to prove they were the most amazing supreme leader in all the world!

This is not to say I do not want the NoKos to succeed in their endeavors of getting a fair deal...hardly: I think they will succeed eventually because they are shrewd. But this is an attempt to squash the unbelievably propagandistic (or naive) attempts to place the mantle of imperviousness, all-knowingness, utterly-innocentness, and insurmountably-cleverousness onto the boy that would be king. DJT could eat a boy like Kim for breakfast if left alone from their advisors.

CE , Jun 9, 2018 8:26:35 PM | 43
Interesting that this happens in June. Because it reminds me of this classic little fun ditty:

Death in June - Death of the West

ben , Jun 9, 2018 8:33:09 PM | 44
Sabine @ 41 said:"there is no west nor east.

"there is only a bunch of paid of administrators running the countries and the corporations that pay them"

And this"and while we gossip, they laugh all the way to the bank."

I would tend to agree, but I'm hoping b's right in his assessment, the empire and her minions very badly need a comeuppance..

dh , Jun 9, 2018 8:45:10 PM | 45
Trump is very dependent on his base. He knows them well. At risk of hitting a discordant note I suspect a lot of his fans are happy seeing him sock it to the goddamn ch*nks and euro faggots.
Daniel , Jun 9, 2018 8:46:57 PM | 46
It's a big weekend. G7, SCO, Bilderberg, NATO Defence Ministers meeting in Brussels and the huge NATO "Drills" including the Baltic States and for the first time, Israel.

Oh, and the US called on NATO to add 30 land battalions, 30 air fighter squadrons, and 30 naval ships to "counter Russian aggression."

The AZW Empire is not giving up its plans.

karlof1 , Jun 9, 2018 8:47:27 PM | 47
I predicted it would become the G6+1 and so it has. Trump told his staffers NOT to sign the Joint Communique, which I believe is a first.

On the issue of power and the BRI , the linked item is a trove of info as it focuses on perhaps the most problematic region of the SCO/BRI.

If Europe is to break free from the Outlaw US Empire, Merkel must be jettisoned and independent-minded leaders must take control of Germany and EU. I'm not at all surprised with how events went in Canada. However, I see the Policy as the Bully, not Trump, the policy still being the attempt to gain Full Spectrum Domination. What's most important, IMO, is this spectacle will not go unnoticed by the rest of the world. The Outlaw US Empire cannot make it any plainer that it's the primary enemy state of all except the Zionist Abomination. I think Abe wonders why he's there and not in Qingdao.

Although this item focuses on Kashmir , it should be read after the longer article linked above. There's little news as of yet coming from Qingdao other than who's cooking what and sideline meets. I expect more coming out beginning Monday. Of course, Kim-Trump begins now, it being the 10th in Singapore already.

bevin , Jun 9, 2018 10:26:24 PM | 48
The difference between the two projects- the western Empire and the Eurasian schemes exemplified by OBOR- is that the former, as 500 years of experience teaches us, relies on ethnic divisions, wars and competition while the latter requires peace and co-operation.

In a sense that answers Jen @ 32. It really doesn't matter who runs the governments of China and Russia, provided that they can prevent the imperialists from distracting them into rivalry. It was that which, thanks to plenty of stupidity on both sides, gave rise to the tensions of which Nixon and Kissinger took advantage.

Had the USSR and China ironed out their small differences on the sixties- and Vietnam gave them a perfect excuse to do so, history would have been very different and probably much less bloody.

The truth is that, as b asserts, the SCO is already much more important than the G7- America and the Six Dwarfs. How much more important is shown by the role of Freeland (the neo-Nazi Ukrainian apologist) in insisting on holding the line against Russia's re-admission to a club that it almost certainly does not want to rejoin.

Trump may not be a 'good negotiator' but he has a position of relative strength vis a vis the rest of the G7 who cannot negotiate because they do as they are told. If they won't do what Trump tells them to do they will be on the lookout for someone else to give them orders-they have no idea of independence or sovereignty. Just watch most of them scuttle back to Brussels for ideas, or set up back channels to Moscow- once a puppet always a puppet.

karlof1 , Jun 9, 2018 11:57:39 PM | 49
The Sino-Soviet Split occurred while Stalin was still alive--he refused to allow the Chinese to develop "Communism with Chinese Characteristics" just like any other European Orientalist. And as the Monthly Review article I linked, the Chinese must beware of becoming/being seen as Imperialistic in their zeal to push BRI--Imperialist behavior will kill the Win-Win concept as it will revert to just another Zero-sum Game.
Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 10, 2018 12:20:55 AM | 50
One of the factors which has been killing the 'Democratic' West is that its bribed & blackmailed leaders have alienated themselves from The People whose views they were elected to represent.

No-one living in a so-called democracy is prepared to tolerate a leader who spends too much time praising, and making excuses for, the crimes of the racist-supremacist Zionist Abomination (h/t karlof1) and its Piece Process in Palestine. It can be persuasively argued that embrace of and fealty to the Z.A. is the only factor which Western Leaders have in common. And it's neither a coincidence nor happenstance.

ben , Jun 10, 2018 12:40:15 AM | 51
Hoarsewhisperer @ 50 said:" Piece Process in Palestine."

Nice word play. I'm assuming the "piece" word is referring to the Israelis taking the Palestinian's lands one piece at a time..

Debsisdead , Jun 10, 2018 12:51:14 AM | 52
Grrr! I still don't get why so many humans believe anything good comes from chucking aside one greedy oppressive arsehole then replacing it with another. Sure the SCO has a founding document laden with flowery words and seemingly wonderful concepts but I say "So what" check out the UN charter or the amerikan constitution and you'll find the same.

These issues of justice & equity cannot be fixed by swapping bosses because every society has its share of pathologically fucked up greedies who have the means and lack of empathy to destroy anything and everyone in their lust for whatever it is they imagine they need.

We have to accept that will never change and that trying to purge the planet of those types just creates more of them from within the structure most successful in effecting the swap.

I know I sound like a scratched disc but the only fix that could hope to work is one that smashes the conglomerations into tiny shards, reducing the world to thousands of small self governing entities; sure some places will still end up being taken over by low self esteem motivated arseholes, but not only will they not be able to do as much damage, arseholes stand out in a small society where more 'normal' humans interact with them - currently all the pr1cks coagulate in spots such as the G7 and few non-pr1cks ever get close enough to see them for what they are. A low count on the old degrees of seperation register makes it much more difficult for the scum to rise. Making sure that no chunk is sufficiently big to force its will on another would also be vital.

That won't fix everything, but who outside some totally screwed up anal regressive would want that anyway? I just want to live in a world where no one cops it like the entire Yemeni population currently is. I see no benefit in moving the horror from Yemen to Uigar-land or whatever place the new bosses decide should be their fun palace of hate, murder and misery.

The Congo and/or Nigeria another coupla sites of misery for money. Timor Leste aka East Timor, now that the Portuguese expats in the form of the man with the Nobel stamp of obeisance to the monied Jose Ramos Horta have done over the locals, something Xanana Gusmγo always said could happen. Horta's arseholeness made the wealthiest nation in the world (divide resources by population) riven by poverty, lack of health and education services plus of course old favourite, racist oppression. Check out these kids here untroubled by issues like getting a decent phone signal or their ranking on Twitch - wondering where their next decent feed is coming from is prolly their most pressing issue.

Swapping SCO for G7 will do SFA for them or anyone else unlucky enough to be living on top of whatever the current 'must have' is deemed to be.

Anyone who imagines that it could is delusional.

karlof1 , Jun 10, 2018 12:55:44 AM | 53
Official SCO Conference site .

Humanity either learns how to live with itself on an equal basis or it will perish; it's really that simple. The likes of the Outlaw US Empire, its NATO vassals and the Zionist Abomination are shining examples of what MUST be exorcised for ever more.

[Jul 14, 2018] Ja>red and Ivanka's marriage is anything but normal

Ivanka is Lady Macbeth of Trump administration. She insisted Trump to bomb Syria of false pretences and he obliged.
Notable quotes:
"... Another source close to the couple, speaking to Esquire, put it more cynically, "Power, power, power, power. Jared's got plenty of money, but the only way he can separate himself from his family is power. They're a great match because that's also what Ivanka is after." ..."
Jul 14, 2018 | www.nickiswift.com

For all of the speculation and media scrutiny surrounding the Trump family, Jared and Ivanka's marriage actually shows no signs of strain. Granted, they play everything extremely close to the chest, but most normal marriages would falter under the stress of just the 24 hour media coverage, let alone the privacy intrusion of a presidential election. But Jared and Ivanka's marriage is anything but normal, and the introduction of the stressful world of politics has only seemed to strengthen their bond.

Telling Vogue that she believes "your choice of spouse is really everything," Ivanka said that Jared is her ideal partner because his drive and ambitions match her own. "His own dreams are bold, and I love that in someone," she also said.

Another source close to the couple, speaking to Esquire, put it more cynically, "Power, power, power, power. Jared's got plenty of money, but the only way he can separate himself from his family is power. They're a great match because that's also what Ivanka is after."

Read More: https://www.nickiswift.com/54196/whats-really-going-ivanka-trumps-marriage/s/theyre-unconventional-but-perfect-for-each-other/?utm_campaign=clip

[Jul 03, 2018] Corruption Allegations are one of the classic tools in the color revolution toolbox

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I guess the CIA couldn't credibly stop AMLO from winning the election by popular vote and that major mass-media confidently plans to set on fire: paper bag after bag of ca-ca, on the front steps of Los Pinos whilst cooking-up virulent "anti-corruption" impeachment against the new president, a la Lula in Brazil. ..."
"... "Corruption Allegations" are one of the tools in the toolbox. It's how that evil Harper came to power in Canada. He's still lurking among the other nefarious vampires intent on destroying the commons. ..."
Jul 03, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Guerrero | Jul 2, 2018 1:44:41 PM | 50

@ fastfreddy

I wonder why it appears that the USA did not sufficiently meddle in the Mex. election. Typically the US heavily involves itself to ensure a compliant austerity type is elected.

Lopez Obredor was robbed of the Presidency in 2006; there was a prolonged organized popular protest.

I guess the CIA couldn't credibly stop AMLO from winning the election by popular vote and that major mass-media confidently plans to set on fire: paper bag after bag of ca-ca, on the front steps of Los Pinos whilst cooking-up virulent "anti-corruption" impeachment against the new president, a la Lula in Brazil.

fastfreddy , Jul 2, 2018 2:06:24 PM | 51

I remember that now. Same Obredor of 2006 who was expected to win at that time. There were USA instigated riots and a USA instigated vote recount too, IIRC.

Yes, I suppose they intend to Lula him - Which will begin very soon.

"Corruption Allegations" are one of the tools in the toolbox. It's how that evil Harper came to power in Canada. He's still lurking among the other nefarious vampires intent on destroying the commons.

[Jun 13, 2018] Predatory Gambling in the USA

Notable quotes:
"... Corporate Crime Reporter ..."
"... [For the complete q/a format Interview with Les Bernal, see 32 Corporate Crime Reporter 24(11), June 7, 2018, print edition only .] ..."
Jun 13, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

June 13, 2018 Predatory Gambling in the USA by Russell Mokhiber Les Bernal is working on a ranking of the states with the worst predatory gambling problems.

He hasn't completed it yet. But he gave us a sneak preview. Bernal is the national director of the public interest group Stop Predatory Gambling.

If he were to call it right now, which would be the five worst states?

Oregon, West Virginia, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania.

What about Nevada?

"We don't debate Nevada," Bernal told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last week. "If you were going to have one place to gamble, have it be Nevada. I always exclude Nevada."

What are the best five?

Utah, Hawaii, Alaska, Nebraska – with New Hampshire and Vermont tied for the number five slot.

"It's hard to do a ranking," Bernal said. "Oregon has one tribal casino. But the Oregon lottery has video gambling machines. Technically they don't have many casinos in Oregon. But Oregon is as bad as any state in the country in terms of harming the public."

"West Virginia is there as one of the worst. Oregon is right there. It's not a uniform thing."

"Our goal is to have a ranking of the biggest predatory gambling states in the country. And factor in the different forms of gambling they have."

How would you describe the politics behind the movement to stop predatory gambling?

"We are one of the most politically diverse movements in the United States. We have people from all political stripes who work together. You would be hard pressed to find a more diverse network of citizens involved with this."

Is your group opposed to all gambling?

"We are opposed to the role of government in actively promoting and sanctioning commercialized gambling to citizens."

Isn't that all gambling?

"If you and I went bowling or were playing golf and we had a friendly wager on the game, that is technically gambling. I'm not talking about prohibiting that. We are talking about gambling for profit."

You would prohibit gambling for profit?

"We would prohibit running a gambling ring for profit, yes we would."

If you prohibited gambling for profit, you are prohibiting 99 percent of the gambling in the United States, right?

"Running it as a business."

Isn't that 99 percent of gambling in the United States?

"No. There are all sorts of social gambling where people have Friday night poker gamers, office Super Bowl pools."

What percentage of all gambling in the United States is gambling for profit?

"In 2016, the American people lost $117 billion to government sanctioned gambling."

How much did they lose in other gambling?

"The numbers on illegal gambling don't compare."

The legalized gambling piece is $117 billion in 2016.

"That's what they lost. What they wagered is close to $200 billion."

And illegal gambling is much less?

"Well, if you and I are in a Friday night poker game, that's gambling."

How about bookies?

"Those guys are doing it for profit. That's called illegal commercial gambling."

How big is that market?

"The American Gaming Association make up a number of $150 billion on illegal sports gambling."

Give us your argument against government sanctioned gambling.

"The American people lost $117 billion to government sanctioned gambling in 2016. At the same time one out of two citizens in this country own zero net assets – no stocks, no property, no bonds."

"Here you have an enormous number of people who lack assets to grow into the middle class. And the public voice of government is targeting that same constituency to play games that are rigged against them."

"We start with this moral belief that all men and women deserve a fair opportunity to have the best life possible for themselves and their family. That's why we show up every day to compete on this."

"You have citizens losing $117 billion a year. And meanwhile, half the citizens don't have any assets at all. The public voice of government to most citizens today no matter where you live is gambling."

"We see a lottery class of citizens. You don't have a chance to improve your life. You are stuck with a lack of mobility out of poverty. And your best hope is to try and play a rigged game to make some cash to pay your rent every month."

"At the same time, government is advertising these games relentlessly to citizens. We spend more than $1 billion a year advertising gambling to the American people on lotteries alone. That pales in comparison to any other form of government advertising."

"When I was a kid growing up I used to see advertisements with John Wayne saying – invest in your country – buy US Savings Bonds. The idea behind that was to encourage citizens to build assets. Everyone points back to the 1950s where there was a growing middle class and a chance for people to climb out of poverty."

"We had a high savings rate. People were building assets. That was an understated part of keeping people in the middle class. We talk a lot about wages, but wages are only one part of the equation. You also have to encourage people to build assets."

"We come off the great depression during World War II. And the public voice of government then was – we have to put people to work. Imagine government encouraging people back then to go out and spend their money on lottery tickets to raise the money for the war. Instead they encouraged the citizens to go out and buys savings bonds, to invest in your country, invest in your neighbor. It created this strong sense of a common good. It was stronger then than it is today."

Of the $117 billion that the American people lost, how much of that came from poor people?

"Without question, a large portion is coming from the poor. David Just and his team at Cornell have done the best research on that. And it consistently shows that the people who are participating come from the least favored sections of our society. And they are playing out of financial desperation. It's a Hail Mary investment strategy."

"Two-thirds of the public doesn't gamble at all. You have one third of the public participating in this government sanctioned gambling. The messaging that is targeting those folks is – this is a chance to change your life. They sell scratch tickets that say – money for life. This is going to be your answer to get ahead in society."

"The average person sees the lottery as Powerball and Megamillions. But the truth is that those two games represent only a small portion of lottery revenues. Where lotteries make most of their cash are on what are called scratch tickets. Scratch tickets are the number one money maker, unless you are a state like Oregon that has these electronic gambling machines, which are the most lucrative of all."

"Scratch tickets are these high frequency games where you play many times a day at higher and higher wagered amounts."

What impact does gambling have on the poor?

"Government sanctioned gambling goes to the heart of many issues that the poor face. It's a big factor in the lack of mobility out of poverty. By encouraging people to gamble on these rigged games, instead of being able to build a savings account, they are spending on these rigged games at the street corner on a daily basis."

"What are the key elements of mobility out of poverty? Family structure. If you can keep a family unit together, you have a better shot of getting out of poverty than if you don't. Two of the biggest factors shown to disrupt family structure are infidelity and financial problems."

"Here you have a government program that directly attacks the family structure and the family structure is the key to pulling people out of poverty. Government sanctioned gambling is designed to get citizens to lose their cash as frequently as possible at higher wagered amounts. It directly intersects with rising inequality. We define it as a lack of opportunity."

[For the complete q/a format Interview with Les Bernal, see 32 Corporate Crime Reporter 24(11), June 7, 2018, print edition only .]

[Jun 12, 2018] Jared Kushner didn t disclose his business ties with George Soros, Peter Thiel, and Goldman Sachs, or that he owes $1 billion in loans, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Notable quotes:
"... The top White House adviser and son-in-law of Trump failed to identify his part ownership of Cadre, a real-estate startup he founded, which links him to the Goldman Sachs Group and the mega-investors George Soros and Peter Thiel, sources told The Journal. ..."
"... Vampire Squid. Tentacles everywhere. ..."
Jun 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

JelloBeyonce -> gwar5 Mon, 06/11/2018 - 20:24

I guess the "Deep State" is deeper than the White House is reporting.....

Jared Kushner didn't disclose his business ties with George Soros, Peter Thiel, and Goldman Sachs, or that he owes $1 billion in loans, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

The top White House adviser and son-in-law of Trump failed to identify his part ownership of Cadre, a real-estate startup he founded, which links him to the Goldman Sachs Group and the mega-investors George Soros and Peter Thiel, sources told The Journal.

Oldguy05 -> JelloBeyonce Mon, 06/11/2018 - 20:45 Permalink

Vampire Squid. Tentacles everywhere.

[Jun 06, 2018] The magic of Neoliberalism is to transform acts that should be illegal into legal ones

Notable quotes:
"... The magic of Neoliberalism is to transform acts that should be illegal into legal ones. In fact they do so explicitly as their argument for reducing taxation is exactly that of getting rid or decreasing the problem of illegal tax evasion.... so they say. Their problem is that we have no evidence that tax evasion decreases under Neoliberalism on top of the legal tax minimisation already provided. The only thing that happens under Neoliberalism is that the Tax Office tends to be under-resourced and everybody likes to conveniently look somewhere else. ..."
Jun 06, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Alpo88 -> DesignConstruct , 3 Jun 2018 17:20

A "legal system of tax evasion", written like that, in quotes, is obviously a metaphor with an intended sarcasm. Clearly, logically, if a taxation system is legal, by using it you are not "evading" taxes, which is an illegal act.... Anyway, everybody seems to have understood my intention but you. Well, now you also know.

The magic of Neoliberalism is to transform acts that should be illegal into legal ones. In fact they do so explicitly as their argument for reducing taxation is exactly that of getting rid or decreasing the problem of illegal tax evasion.... so they say. Their problem is that we have no evidence that tax evasion decreases under Neoliberalism on top of the legal tax minimisation already provided. The only thing that happens under Neoliberalism is that the Tax Office tends to be under-resourced and everybody likes to conveniently look somewhere else.

DesignConstruct -> Alpo88 , 3 Jun 2018 16:52
A "legal system of tax evasion" is a non sequitur, what they have done is create a set of tax laws that enable more opportunities for tax avoidance by the well off, and Kerry very correctly took advantage of it. If you can, get a copy of the Senate hearing - it's gold.
Splatgadget -> NME765 , 3 Jun 2018 16:51
Agreed, but I'll raise you Kleptocracy.

[Jun 06, 2018] PossumBilly

Jun 06, 2018 | profile.theguardian.com

3 Jun 2018 23:25

This message is clear and concise. It is however never going to be heard beyond the 'Guardian'.

The MSM are hardly going to publish this article, nor are they going to reference it, why should they? It goes against everything they have been fighting for and the tin ear of their readership are unwilling to change teir views.

The only thing that they understand is money and the concentration of wealth. This misonception as Dennis So far this has been handed to them on a plate, the taxation system has enabled them to manipulate an multiply their earnings. So much of money the has nothing to do with adding value to this countries economy but is speculative in nature based on financial and overseas instruments.

No is the time for our government to take the lead and start as the Victorian ALP have done and invest in people and jobs on the back of strategic investment. It is a fallacy that governments don't create jobs they, through their policies do just that.

Friends of mine who make a living out of dealing both in stock and wealth creating schemes have no loyalty to this country, they are self motivated and libertarian in persuasion. "Government should get out of the way!" This is nothing short of scandalous.

Unless we stand up for our rights and a civil society that provides adequate provision for fair and balanced policy making,xwe will continue until we will see an implosion. History is littered with examples of revolution based on the kind of inequality we are seeing happen in this country. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

jclucas , 3 Jun 2018 23:25
It is indeed important to make the distinction between the ideology of neoliberalism - the ideology of private enterprise is good, and public spending is bad - and the operational system of crony capitalism - the game of mates played by government and the special interests.

And it is certainly equally important to call out the monumental hypocrisy involved in the government's application of the ideology's set of rules to the powerless and public and the government's application of corrupt practice rules to the special interests.

The system is destroying the egalitarian character of Australia and fanning the flames of nativist authoritarianism here.

But what's even more dangerous is the fundamental dishonesty that the system necessitates, and the alienating influence it has - on top of the growing economic inequality.

The system has destroyed the economic and environmental viability and sustainability of the planet on which human civilization depends.

What is becoming increasingly clear to more and more of the public is that - simple put- the system cannot be allowed to go on as it has been proceeding because it threatens the future of civilization on earth.

Change is imperative now. However, how that will unfold is unclear, as well as, the toll the destruc5turing system will take.

What is clear is that a great restructuring must happen - and soon.

Aldeano , 3 Jun 2018 23:20
The neo liberals are intent on defacing Australia. Their pusstulant tentacles stretch into our classrooms forcing our kids to believe in their god. They tell us that white millionaire farmers deserve refugee status and all the benefits bestowed on poor persecuted minorities. They tell us that the disgustingly rich deserve tax relief. Their's is a world where their children are entitled to safe electoral sets. But they can be defeated and sent to misery. We did it in the Same Sex Marriage fiasco and we can do it to their more insidious behaviours. Write to your local member. Barrage them with emails. Write to their propaganda Letters to the Editor. Donate to GetUp. Keep on keeping on.
Alan Ritchie -> Paul Felix , 3 Jun 2018 23:02
Neoliberalism, the dogma was was sourced from Milton Freidman's Monetarism economic theory. When it morphed into the 'Greed is Good' credo is unclear.
Guess you have to call the disease something, so Neoliberalism it is.
familygardener , 3 Jun 2018 20:37
So anyway.

Is capitalism stuffed?
There is much debate at the moment about which Party has the best economic plan going forward. The Coalition maintains that the best way is by giving large tax breaks to business.
This is currently being called 'Pre GST theory or old style trickle down economics'.
Lenore Taylor writes:
"The investment bank once chaired by Malcolm Turnbull has backed the view that much of the benefit from the Coalition's company tax cuts could flow to offshore investors, as the prime minister insisted his plan was the best way to ensure continued economic growth".
"The domestic benefits would be far bigger if companies used the tax cut to grow their business, but according to Goldman Sachs "survey evidence suggests that companies are less likely to voluntarily lower the dividend payment ratio", in other words, the real-world impact was likely to be closer to the scenario where 60% of the benefit flowed offshore"

https://theaimn.com/day-to-day-politics-is-capitalism-stuffed/

[May 27, 2018] America's Fifth Column Will Destroy Russia by Paul Craig Roberts

Highly recommended!
Paul Craig Roberts is right about dominance of neoliberal economics in Russia. But what is the alternative?
Notable quotes:
"... If the neoconservatives had self-restraint, they would sit back and let America's Fifth Column -- Neoliberal Economics -- finish off Russia for them. Russia is doomed, because the country's economists were brainwashed during the Yeltsin years by American neoliberal economists. It was easy enough for the Americans to do. Communist economics had come to naught, the Russian economy was broken, Russians were experiencing widespread hardship, and successful America was there with a helping hand. ..."
"... For example, neoliberal economics exposes Russia's currency to speculation, manipulation, and destabilization. Capital inflows can be used to drive up the value of the ruble, and then at the opportune time, the capital can be pulled out, dropping the ruble's value and driving up domestic inflation with higher import prices, delivering a hit to Russian living standards. Washington has always used these kind of manipulations to destabilize governments. ..."
"... Neo-liberal economics has also brainwashed the Russian central bank with the belief that Russian economic development depends on foreign investment in Russia. This erroneous belief threatens the very sovereignty of Russia. The Russian central bank could easily finance all internal economic development by creating money, but the brainwashed central bank does not realize this. The bank thinks that if the bank finances internal development the result would be inflation and depreciation of the ruble. So the central bank is guided by American neoliberal economics to borrow abroad money it does not need in order to burden Russia with foreign debt that requires a diversion of Russian resources into interest payments to the West. ..."
"... As Michael Hudson and I explained to the Russians two years ago, when Russia borrows from the West, the US for example, and in flow the dollars, what happens to the dollars? Russia cannot spend them domestically to finance development projects, so where do the dollars go? They go into Russia's foreign exchange holdings and accrue interest for the lender. The central bank then creates the ruble equivalent of the borrowed and idle dollars and finances the project. So why borrow the dollars? The only possible reason is so the US can use the dollar debt to exercise control over Russian decision making. In other words, Russia delivers herself into the hands of her enemies. ..."
"... Putin is struggling to have Russia integrated into the Western economic system while retaining Russia's sovereignty (an unrealistic goal), because Putin has been convinced by the element in the Russian elite, which had rather be Western than Russian, that Russia's economic development depends on being integrated into the Western economy. As the neoliberal economic elite control Russia's economic and financial policy, Putin believes that he has to accept Western provocations or forfeit his hopes for Russian economic development. ..."
May 25, 2018 | www.paulcraigroberts.org

This is the lecture I would have given if I had been able to accept the invitation to address the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia this weekend.

Executive Summary:

From the standpoint of Russia's dilemma, this is an important column. Putin's partial impotence via-a-vis Washington is due to the grip that neoliberal economics exercises over the Russian government. Putin cannot break with the West, because he believes that Russian economic development is dependent on Russia's integration within the Western economy. That is what neoliberal economics tells the Russian economic and financial establishment.

Everyone should understand that I am not a pro-Russian anti-American. I am anti-war, especially nuclear war. My concern is that the inability of the Russian government to put its foot down is due to its belief that Russian development, despite all the talk about the Eurasian partnership and the Silk Road, is dependent on being integrated with the West. This totally erroneous belief prevents the Russian government from any decisive break with the West. Consequently, Putin continues to accept provocations in order to avoid a decisive break that would cut Russia off from the West. In Washington and the UK this is interpreted as a lack of resolve on Putin's part and encourages an escalation in provocations that will intensify until Russia's only option is surrender or war.

If the Russian government did not believe that it needed the West, the government could give stronger responses to provocations that would make clear that there are limits to what Russia will tolerate. It would also make Europe aware that its existence hangs in the balance. The combination of Trump abusing Europe and Europe's recognition of the threat to its own existence of its alignment with an aggressive Washington would break the Western alliance and NATO. But Putin cannot bring this about because he erroneously believes that Russia needs the West.

If the neoconservatives had self-restraint, they would sit back and let America's Fifth Column -- Neoliberal Economics -- finish off Russia for them. Russia is doomed, because the country's economists were brainwashed during the Yeltsin years by American neoliberal economists. It was easy enough for the Americans to do. Communist economics had come to naught, the Russian economy was broken, Russians were experiencing widespread hardship, and successful America was there with a helping hand.

In reality the helping hand was a grasping hand. The hand grasped Russian resources through privatization and gave control to American-friendly oligarchs. Russian economists had no clue about how financial capitalism in its neoliberal guise strips economies of their assets while loading them up with debt.

But worse happened. Russia's economists were brainwashed into an economic way of thinking that serves Western imperialism.

For example, neoliberal economics exposes Russia's currency to speculation, manipulation, and destabilization. Capital inflows can be used to drive up the value of the ruble, and then at the opportune time, the capital can be pulled out, dropping the ruble's value and driving up domestic inflation with higher import prices, delivering a hit to Russian living standards. Washington has always used these kind of manipulations to destabilize governments.

Neo-liberal economics has also brainwashed the Russian central bank with the belief that Russian economic development depends on foreign investment in Russia. This erroneous belief threatens the very sovereignty of Russia. The Russian central bank could easily finance all internal economic development by creating money, but the brainwashed central bank does not realize this. The bank thinks that if the bank finances internal development the result would be inflation and depreciation of the ruble. So the central bank is guided by American neoliberal economics to borrow abroad money it does not need in order to burden Russia with foreign debt that requires a diversion of Russian resources into interest payments to the West.

As Michael Hudson and I explained to the Russians two years ago, when Russia borrows from the West, the US for example, and in flow the dollars, what happens to the dollars? Russia cannot spend them domestically to finance development projects, so where do the dollars go? They go into Russia's foreign exchange holdings and accrue interest for the lender. The central bank then creates the ruble equivalent of the borrowed and idle dollars and finances the project. So why borrow the dollars? The only possible reason is so the US can use the dollar debt to exercise control over Russian decision making. In other words, Russia delivers herself into the hands of her enemies.

Indeed, it is the Russian government's mistaken belief that Russian economic development is dependent on Russia being included as part of the West that has caused Putin to accept the provocations and humiliations that the West has heaped upon Russia. The lack of response to these provocations will eventually cause the Russian government to lose the support of the nationalist elements in Russia.

Putin is struggling to have Russia integrated into the Western economic system while retaining Russia's sovereignty (an unrealistic goal), because Putin has been convinced by the element in the Russian elite, which had rather be Western than Russian, that Russia's economic development depends on being integrated into the Western economy. As the neoliberal economic elite control Russia's economic and financial policy, Putin believes that he has to accept Western provocations or forfeit his hopes for Russian economic development.

Russian economists are so indoctrinated with neoliberal economics that they cannot even look to America to see how a once great economy has been completely destroyed by neoliberal economics.

The US has the largest public debt of any country in history. The US has the largest trade and budget deficits of any country in history. The US has 22 percent unemployment, which it hides by not counting among the unemployed millions of discouraged workers who, unable to find jobs, ceased looking for jobs and are arbitrarily excluded from the measure of unemployment. The US has a retired class that has been stripped of any interest payment on their savings for a decade, because it was more important to the Federal Reserve to bail out the bad loans of a handful of "banks too big to fail," banks that became too big to fail because of the deregulation fostered by neoliberal economics. By misrepresenting "free trade" and "globalism," neoliberal economics sent America's manufacturing and tradeable professional skill jobs abroad where wages were lower, thus boosting the incomes of owners at the expense of the incomes of US wage-earners, leaving Americans with the lowly paid domestic service jobs of a Third World country. Real median family income in the US has been stagnant for decades. The Federal Reserve recently reported that Americans are so poor that 41 percent of the population cannot raise $400 without selling personal possessions.

Young Americans, if they have university educations, begin life as debt slaves. Currently there are 44,200,000 Americans with student loan debt totalling $1,048,000,000,000 -- $1.48 trillion! https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/

In the US all 50 states have publicly supported universities where tuition is supposed to be nominal in order to encourage education. When I went to Georgia Tech, a premier engineering school, my annual tuition was less than $500. Loans were not needed and did not exist.

What happened? Financial capitalism discovered how to turn university students into indentured servants, and the university administrations cooperated. Tuitions rose and rose and were increasingly allocated to administration, the cost of which exploded. Today many university administrations absorb 75% of the annual budget, leaving little for professors' pay and student aid. An obedient Congress created a loan program that ensnares young American men and women into huge debt in order to acquire an university education. With so many of the well-paying jobs moved offshore by neoliberal economics, the jobs available cannot service the student loan debts. A large percentage of Americans aged 24-34 live at home with parents, because their jobs do not pay enough to service their student loan debt and pay an apartment rent. Debt prevents them from living an independent existence.

In America the indebtedness of the population produced by neoliberal economics -- privatize, privatize, deregulate, deregulate, indebt, indebt -- prevents any economic growth as the American public has no discretionary income after debt service to drive the economy. In America the way cars, trucks, and SUVs are sold is via zero downpayment and seven years of loans. From the minute a vehicle is purchased, the loan obligation exceeds the value of the vehicle.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mike Meru, a dentist earning $225,000 annually, has $1,060,945.42 in student loan debt. He pays $1,589.97 monthly, which is not enough to cover the interest, much less reduce the principal. Consequently, his debt from seven years at the University of Southern California grows by $130 per day. In two decades, his loan balance will be $2 million. https://www.wsj.com/articles/mike-meru-has-1-million-in-student-loans-how-did-that-happen-1527252975

If neoliberal economics does not work for America, why will it work for Russia? Neoliberal economics only works for oligarchs and their institutions, such as Goldman Sachs, who are bankrolled by the central bank to keep the economy partially afloat. Washington will agree to Russia being integrated into the Western system when Putin agrees to resurrect the Yeltsin-era practice of permitting Western financial institutions to strip Russia of her assets while loading her up with debt.

I could continue at length about the junk economics, to use Michael Hudson's term, that is neoliberal economics. The United States is failing because of it, and so will Russia.

John Bolton and the neocons should just relax. Neoliberal economics, which has the Russian financial interests, the Russian government and apparently Putin himself in its grip, will destroy Russia without war.

[May 27, 2018] Turning on Russia by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

Notable quotes:
"... By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould ..."
"... Copyright © 2018 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved. This article first appeared on Invisible History. ..."
"... Coming Next, Part 2: The post WWII global strategy of the neocons has been shaped chiefly by Russophobia against the Soviet Union and now Russia ..."
"... * Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story , Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire and The Voice . Visit their websites at invisiblehistory and grailwerk .com ..."
May 27, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

Turning on Russia 11/05/2018

In this first of a two-part series, Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould trace the origins of the neoconservative targeting of Russia.

By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould
April 29.2018

The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel last September reported that, "Stanley Fischer, the 73–year-old vice chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, is familiar with the decline of the world's rich. He spent his childhood and youth in the British protectorate of Rhodesia before going to London in the early 1960s for his university studies. There, he experienced first-hand the unravelling of the British Empire Now an American citizen, Fischer is currently witnessing another major power taking its leave of the world stage the United States is losing its status as a global hegemonic power, he said recently. The U.S. political system could take the world in a very dangerous direction "

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the creation of the so called Wolfowitz Doctrine in 1992 during the administration of George Herbert Walker Bush, the United States claimed the mantle of the world's first and only. Unipower with the intention of crushing any nation or system that would oppose it in the future. The New World Order, foreseen just a few short years ago, becomes more disorderly by the day, made worse by varying degrees of incompetence and greed emanating from Berlin, London, Paris and Washington.

As a further sign of the ongoing seismic shocks rocking America's claim to leadership, by the time Fischer's interview appeared in the online version of the Der Spiegel , he had already announced his resignation as vice chair of the Federal Reserve -- eight months ahead of schedule. If anyone knows about the decline and fall of empires it is the "globalist" and former Bank of Israel president, Stanley Fischer. Not only did he experience the unravelling of the British Empire as a young student in London, he directly assisted in the wholesale dismantling of the Soviet Empire during the 1990s.

As an admitted product of the British Empire and point man for its long term imperial aims, that makes Fischer not just empire's Angel of Death, but its rag and bone man.

Alongside a handful of Harvard economists led by Jonathan Hay, Larry Summers, Andrei Shleifer, and Jeffry Sachs, in the "Harvard Project," plus Anatoly Chubais, the chief Russian economic adviser, Fischer helped throw 100 million Russians into poverty overnight – privatizing, or as some would say piratizing – the Russian economy. Yet, Americans never got the real story because a slanted anti-Russia narrative covered the true nature of the robbery from beginning to end.

As described by public policy scholar and anthropologist Janine R. Wedel in her 2009 book Shadow Elite: "Presented in the West as a fight between enlightenment Reformers trying to move the economy forward through privatization, and retrograde Luddites who opposed them, this story misrepresented the facts. The idea or goal of privatization was not controversial, even among communists the Russian Supreme Soviet, a communist body, passed two laws laying the groundwork for privatization. Opposition to privatization was rooted not in the idea itself but in the particular privatization program that was implemented, the opaque way in which it was put into place, and the use of executive authority to bypass the parliament."

Intentionally set up to fail for Russia and the Russian people under the cover of a false narrative, she continues "The outcome rendered privatization 'a de facto fraud,' as one economist put it, and the parliamentary committee that had judged the Chubais scheme to 'offer fertile ground for criminal activity' was proven right."

If Fischer, a man who helped bring about a de facto criminal-privatization-fraud to post-empire Russia says the U.S. is on a dangerous course, the time has arrived for post-empire Americans to ask what role he played in putting the U.S. on that dangerous course. Little known to Americans is the blunt force trauma Fischer and the "prestigious" Harvard Project delivered to Russia under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. According to The American Conservative's James Carden "As the Center for Economic and Policy Research noted back in 2011 'the IMF's intervention in Russia during Fischer's tenure led to one of the worst losses in output in history, in the absence of war or natural disaster.' Indeed, one Russian observer compared the economic and social consequences of the IMF's intervention to what one would see in the aftermath of a medium-level nuclear attack."

Neither do most Americans know that it was President Jimmy Carter's national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski's 1970s grand plan for the conquest of the Eurasian heartland that boomeranged to terrorize Europe and America in the 21 st century. Brzezinski spent much of his life undermining the Communist Soviet Union and then spent the rest of it worrying about its resurgence as a Czarist empire under Vladimir Putin. It might be unfair to say that hating Russia was his only obsession. But a common inside joke during his tenure as the President's top national security officer was that he couldn't find Nicaragua on a map.

If anyone provided the blueprint for the United States to rule in a unipolar world following the Soviet Union's collapse it was Brzezinski. And if anyone could be said to represent the debt driven financial system that fueled America's post-Vietnam Imperialism, it's Fischer. His departure should have sent a chill down every neoconservative's spine. Their dream of a New World Order has once again ground to a halt at the gates of Moscow.

Whenever the epitaph for the abbreviated American century is written it will be sure to feature the iconic role the neoconservatives played in hastening its demise. From the chaos created by Vietnam they set to work restructuring American politics, finance and foreign policy to their own purposes. Dominated at the beginning by Zionists and Trotskyists, but directed by the Anglo/American establishment and their intelligence elites, the neoconservatives' goal, working with their Chicago School neoliberal partners, was to deconstruct the nation-state through cultural co-optation and financial subversion and to project American power abroad. So far they have been overwhelmingly successful to the detriment of much of the world.

From the end of the Second World War through the 1980s the focus of this pursuit was on the Soviet Union, but since the Soviet collapse in 1991, their focus has been on dismantling any and all opposition to their global dominion.

Pentagon Capitalism

Shady finance, imperial misadventures and neoconservatism go hand in hand. The CIA's founders saw themselves as partners in this enterprise and the defense industry welcomed them with open arms. McGill University economist R.T. Naylor, author of 1987's Hot Money and the Politics of Debt , described how "Pentagon Capitalism" had made the Vietnam War possible by selling the Pentagon's debt to the rest of the world.

"In effect, the US Marines had replaced Meyer Lansky's couriers , and the European central banks arranged the 'loan-back,'" Naylor writes. "When the mechanism was explained to the late [neoconservative] Herman Kahn – lifeguard of the era's chief 'think tank' and a man who popularized the notion it was possible to emerge smiling from a global conflagration – he reacted with visible delight. Kahn exclaimed excitedly, 'We've pulled off the biggest ripoff in history! We've run rings around the British Empire.'" In addition to their core of ex-Trotskyist intellectuals early neoconservatives could count among their ranks such establishment figures as James Burnham, father of the Cold War Paul Nitze, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, Jeane Kirkpatrick and Brzezinski himself.

From the beginning of their entry into the American political mainstream in the 1970s it was known that their emergence could imperil democracy in America and yet Washington's more moderate gatekeepers allowed them in without much of a fight.

Peter Steinfels' 1979 classic The Neoconservatives: The men who are changing America's politics begins with these fateful words. "THE PREMISES OF THIS BOOK are simple. First, that a distinct and powerful political outlook has recently emerged in the United States. Second, that this outlook, preoccupied with certain aspects of American life and blind or complacent towards others, justifies a politics which, should it prevail, threatens to attenuate and diminish the promise of American democracy."

But long before Steinfels' 1979 account, the neoconservative's agenda of inserting their own interests ahead of America's was well underway, attenuating U.S. democracy, undermining détente and angering America's NATO partners that supported it. According to the distinguished State Department Soviet specialist Raymond Garthoff, détente had been under attack by right-wing and military-industrial forces ( led by Senator "Scoop" Jackson ) from its inception. But America's ownership of that policy underwent a shift following U.S. intervention on behalf of Israel during the 1973 October war. Garthoff writes in his detailed volume on American-Soviet relations Détente and Confrontation , "To the allies the threat [to Israel] did not come from the Soviet Union, but from unwise actions by the United States, taken unilaterally and without consultation. The airlift [of arms] had been bad enough. The U.S. military alert of its forces in Europe was too much."

In addition to the crippling Arab oil embargo that followed, the crisis of confidence in U.S. decision-making nearly produced a mutiny within NATO. Garthoff continues, "The United States had used the alert to convert an Arab-Israeli conflict, into which the United States had plunged, into a matter of East-West confrontation. Then it had used that tension as an excuse to demand that Europe subordinate its own policies to a manipulative American diplomatic gamble over which they had no control and to which they had not even been privy, all in the name of alliance unity."

In the end the U.S. found common cause with its Cold War Soviet enemy by imposing a cease-fire accepted by both Egypt and Israel thereby confirming the usefulness of détente. But as related by Garthoff this success triggered an even greater effort by Israel's "politically significant supporters" in the U.S. to begin opposing any cooperation with the Soviet Union, at all.

Garthoff writes, "The United States had pressed Israel into doing precisely what the Soviet Union (as well as the United States) had wanted: to halt its advance short of complete encirclement of the Egyptian Third Army east of Suez Thus they [Israel's politically significant supporters] saw the convergence of American-Soviet interests and effective cooperation in imposing a cease-fire as a harbinger of greater future cooperation by the two superpowers in working toward a resolution of the Israeli-Arab-Palestinian problem."

Copyright © 2018 Fitzgerald & Gould All rights reserved. This article first appeared on Invisible History.

Coming Next, Part 2: The post WWII global strategy of the neocons has been shaped chiefly by Russophobia against the Soviet Union and now Russia

* Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould are the authors of Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story , Crossing Zero The AfPak War at the Turning Point of American Empire and The Voice . Visit their websites at invisiblehistory and grailwerk .com

Published at consortiumnews.com

[May 23, 2018] 2016 Hillary fiasco post mortem by Lambert Strether

Notable quotes:
"... Chasing Hillary ..."
"... As one person who had talked to Clinton about the difference between Trump and Sanders crowds recounted, her feeling was that 'at least white supremacists shaved.'" ..."
"... Why does Trump get away with corruption? Because Bill and Hillary Clinton normalized it ..."
May 23, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Clinton to be honored at Harvard for 'transformative impact'" [ The Hill ]. Irony is not dead.

"From the Jaws of Victory" [ Jacobin ]. Some highlights from Amy Chozick's Chasing Hillary , which really does sound like a fun read:

"In the public's mind, Clinton's 'deplorables' quip is remembered as evidence of her disdain for much of Trump's fan base. But there was one other group Clinton had a similar dislike of: Bernie Sanders supporters.

As one person who had talked to Clinton about the difference between Trump and Sanders crowds recounted, her feeling was that 'at least white supremacists shaved.'"

UPDATE "Why does Trump get away with corruption? Because Bill and Hillary Clinton normalized it" [Josh Barro, Business Insider ].

[May 20, 2018] Neoliberal economists as modern Mafiosi

I am starting wondering what was the role of intelligence agencies, especially CIA is creation of the neoliberal myths and spreading of the ideology... What connections to CIA has such figured and Milton Friedman and Hayek? Harvard mafia definitely has such connections.
Neoliberalism is the refinement of this basic human tendency for domination. It is a camouflaged form of oppression that is revealed through its ultimate effect, not what it does at the moment. A neoliberal is a disguised raider or conquerer.
Notable quotes:
"... It got to be a running joke how these gang bosses and members were always denying that the mafia was an actual thing. ..."
"... Could it be that the neoliberals took a page out of their book and adopted the same tactic of denying the existence of neoliberalism while actively pushing it at every opportunity? ..."
"... To extend your analogy, much like the mafia, there's a handful of shadowy law breakers who benefit from neoliberalism and a whole lot of people that suffer violence so that those benefits can flow up to that few. ..."
"... Like the concurrent and related "Conservative revolution"(1973-), they stole the Cell Structure from the Comintern, and bought out the competition. ..."
May 20, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rev Kev , May 17, 2018 at 10:39 am

Hey, I just remembered something. When I was a kid growing up everybody knew all about the mafia but all those in the know denied that there was any such thing when questioned in a court of law. It got to be a running joke how these gang bosses and members were always denying that the mafia was an actual thing.

Could it be that the neoliberals took a page out of their book and adopted the same tactic of denying the existence of neoliberalism while actively pushing it at every opportunity?

johnnygl , May 17, 2018 at 11:20 am

And like the line from 'fight club', the first rule of neoliberalism is that you don't talk about it.

To extend your analogy, much like the mafia, there's a handful of shadowy law breakers who benefit from neoliberalism and a whole lot of people that suffer violence so that those benefits can flow up to that few.

Amfortas the Hippie , May 17, 2018 at 3:35 pm

this is why I keep Mario Puzo next to Adam and Karl on the econ shelf in my library. It's not so much Omerta, as gobbdeygook and wafer thin platitudes.

Like the concurrent and related "Conservative revolution"(1973-), they stole the Cell Structure from the Comintern, and bought out the competition.

I am inclined to believe that the Libertarian Party was a vehicle for this counterrevolution, too. And finally, with the DLC, they were able to buy the "opposition party" outright and here we are.

[May 03, 2018] Alert The Clintonian empire is still here and tries to steal the popular vote throug

Highly recommended!
The dramatic rise fo the number of CIA-democrats as candidates from Democratic Party is not assedental. As regular clintonites are discredited those guys can still appeal to patriotism to get elected.
Notable quotes:
"... Bernie continuously forcing Hillary to appear apologetic about her campaign funding from big financial interests. She tries hard to persuade the public that she will not serve specific interests. Her anxiety can be identified in many cases and it was very clear at the moment when she accused Bernie of attacking her, concerning this funding. Hillary was forced to respond with a deeply irrational argument: anyone who takes money from big interests doesn't mean that he/she will vote for policies in favor of these interests! ..."
"... Bernie drives the discussion towards fundamental ideological issues. He forced Hillary to defend her "progressiveness". She was forced to speak even about economic interests by names. A few years ago, this would be nearly a taboo in any debate between any primaries. ..."
"... After the disastrous defeat by Trump in 2016 election, the corporate Democrats realized that the progressive movement, supported mostly by the American youth, would not retreat and vanish. On the contrary, Bernie Sanders' popularity still goes up and there is a wave of progressive candidates who appear to be a real threat to the DNC establishment and the Clintonian empire. ..."
"... It seems that the empire has upgraded its dirty tactics beyond Hillary's false relocation to the Left. Seeing the big threat from the real progressives, the empire seeks to "plant" its own agents, masked as progressives, inside the electoral process, to disorientate voters and steal the popular vote. ..."
"... This is a Master's class in blatant historical revisionism and outright dishonesty. Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq. ..."
May 03, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr

Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing

globinfo freexchange

During the 2016 Democratic party primaries we wrote that what Bernie achieved, is to bring back the real political discussion in America, at least concerning the Democratic camp. Bernie smartly "drags" his primary rival, Hillary Clinton, into the heart of the politics. Up until a few years ago, you could not observe too much difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, who were just following the pro-establishment "politics as usual", probably with a few, occasional exceptions. The "politics as usual" so far, was "you can't touch the Wall Street", for example.

Bernie continuously forcing Hillary to appear apologetic about her campaign funding from big financial interests. She tries hard to persuade the public that she will not serve specific interests. Her anxiety can be identified in many cases and it was very clear at the moment when she accused Bernie of attacking her, concerning this funding. Hillary was forced to respond with a deeply irrational argument: anyone who takes money from big interests doesn't mean that he/she will vote for policies in favor of these interests!

Bernie drives the discussion towards fundamental ideological issues. He forced Hillary to defend her "progressiveness". She was forced to speak even about economic interests by names. A few years ago, this would be nearly a taboo in any debate between any primaries.

After the disastrous defeat by Trump in 2016 election, the corporate Democrats realized that the progressive movement, supported mostly by the American youth, would not retreat and vanish. On the contrary, Bernie Sanders' popularity still goes up and there is a wave of progressive candidates who appear to be a real threat to the DNC establishment and the Clintonian empire.

It seems that the empire has upgraded its dirty tactics beyond Hillary's false relocation to the Left. Seeing the big threat from the real progressives, the empire seeks to "plant" its own agents, masked as progressives, inside the electoral process, to disorientate voters and steal the popular vote.

Eric Draitser gives us valuable information for such a type of candidate. Key points:

One candidate currently generating some buzz in the race is Jeff Beals, a self-identified "Bernie democrat" whose campaign website homepage describes him as a " local teacher and former U.S. diplomat endorsed by the national organization of former Bernie Sanders staffers, the Justice Democrats. " And indeed, Beals centers his progressive bona fides to brand himself as one of the inheritors of the progressive torch lit by Sanders in 2016. A smart political move, to be sure. But is it true?

Beals describes himself as a "former U.S. diplomat," touting his expertise on international issues born of his experience overseas. In an email interview with CounterPunch, Beals describes his campaign as a " movement for diplomacy and peace in foreign affairs and an end to militarism my experience as a U.S. diplomat is what drives it and gives this movement such force. " OK, sounds good, a very progressive sounding answer. But what did Beals actually do during his time overseas?

By his own admission, Beals' overseas career began as an intelligence officer with the CIA. His fluency in Arabic and knowledge of the region made him an obvious choice to be an intelligence spook during the latter stages of the Clinton Administration.

Beals shrewdly attempts to portray himself as an opponent of neocon imperialism in Iraq. In his interview with CounterPunch, Beals argued that " The State Department was sidelined as the Bush administration and a neoconservative cabal plunged America into the tragic Iraq War. As a U.S. diplomat fluent in Arabic and posted in Jerusalem at the time, I was called over a year into the war to help our country find a way out. "

This is a Master's class in blatant historical revisionism and outright dishonesty. Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq.

Moreover, no one who knows anything about the Iraq War could possibly swallow the tripe that CIA/State Department officials in Iraq were " looking to help our country find a way out " a year into the war. A year into the war, the bloodletting was only just beginning, and Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, and the other corporate vultures had yet to fully exploit the country and make billions off it. So, unfortunately for Beals, the historical memory of the anti-war Left is not that short.

It is self-evident that Beals has a laundry list of things in his past that he must answer for. For those of us, especially Millennials, who cut our activist teeth demonstrating and organizing against the Iraq War, Beals' distortions about his role in Iraq go down like hemlock tea. But it is the associations Beals maintains today that really should give any progressive serious pause.

When asked by CounterPunch whether he has any connections to either Bernie Sanders and his surrogates or Hillary Clinton and hers, Beals responded by stating: " I am endorsed by Justice Democrats, a group of former Bernie Sanders staffers who are pledged to electing progressives nationwide. I am also endorsed for the Greene County chapter of the New York Progressive Action Network, formerly the Bernie Sanders network. My first hire was a former Sanders field coordinator who worked here in NY-19. "

However, conveniently missing from that response is the fact that Beals' campaign has been, and continues to be, directly managed in nearly every respect by Bennett Ratcliff, a longtime friend and ally of Hillary Clinton. Ratcliff is not mentioned in any publicly available documents as a campaign manager, though the most recent FEC filings show that as of April 1, 2018, Ratcliff was still on the payroll of the Beals campaign. And in the video of Beals' campaign kickoff rally, Ratcliff introduces Beals, while only being described as a member of the Onteora School Board in Ulster County . This is sort of like referring to Donald Trump as an avid golfer.

Beals has studiously, and rather intelligently, avoided mentioning Ratcliff, or the presence of Clinton's inner circle on his campaign. However, according to internal campaign documents and emails obtained by CounterPunch, Ratcliff manages nearly every aspect of the campaign, acting as a sort of ιminence grise behind the artifice of a progressive campaign fronted by a highly educated and photogenic political novice.

By his own admission, Ratcliff's role on the campaign is strategy, message, and management. Sounds like a rather textbook description of a campaign manager. Indeed, Ratcliff has been intimately involved in "guiding" Beals on nearly every important campaign decision, especially those involving fundraising .

And it is in the realm of fundraising that Ratcliff really shines, but not in the way one would traditionally think. Rather than focusing on large donations and powerful interests, Ratcliff is using the Beals campaign as a laboratory for his strategy of winning elections without raising millions of dollars.

In fact, leaked campaign documents show that Ratcliff has explicitly instructed Beals and his staffers not to spend money on food, decorations, and other standard campaign expenses in hopes of presenting the illusion of a grassroots, people-powered campaign with no connections to big time donors or financial elites .

It seems that Ratcliff is the wizard behind the curtain, leveraging his decades of contact building and close ties to the Democratic Party establishment while at the same time manufacturing an astroturfed progressive campaign using a front man in Beals .

One of Ratcliff's most infamous, and indefensible, acts of fealty to the Clinton machine came in 2009 when he and longtime Clinton attorney and lobbyist, Lanny Davis, stumped around Washington to garner support for the illegal right-wing coup in Honduras, which ousted the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya in favor of the right-wing oligarchs who control the country today. Although the UN, and even U.S. diplomats on the ground in Honduras, openly stated that the coup was illegal, Clinton was adamant to actively keep Zelaya out.

Essentially then, Ratcliff is a chief architect of the right-wing government in Honduras – the same government assassinating feminist and indigenous activists like Berta Cαceres, Margarita Murillo, and others, and forcibly displacing and ethnically cleansing Afro-indigenous communities to make way for Carribbean resorts and golf courses.

And this Washington insider lobbyist and apologist for war criminals and crimes against humanity is the guy who's on a crusade to reform campaign finance and fix Washington? This is the guy masquerading as a progressive? This is the guy working to elect an "anti-war progressive"?

In a twisted way it makes sense. Ratcliff has the blood of tens of thousands of Hondurans (among others) on his hands, while Beals is a creature of Langley, a CIA boy whose exceptional work in the service of Bush and Clinton administration war criminals is touted as some kind of merit badge on his resume.

What also becomes clear after establishing the Ratcliff-Beals connection is the fact that Ratcliff's purported concern with campaign financing and "taking back the Republic" is really just a pretext for attempting to provide a "proof of concept," as it were, that neoliberal Democrats shouldn't fear and subvert the progressive wing of the party, but rather that they should co-opt it with a phony grassroots facade all while maintaining links to U.S. intelligence, Wall Street, and the power brokers of the Democratic Party .

Info from the article How Clintonites Are Manufacturing Faux Progressive Congressional Campaigns by Eric Draitser

[Apr 30, 2018] Mueller s past is so laden with misfeasance and malfeasance that he should have been disbarred a few decades ago

Key figures on anti-trump color revolution including Mueller, Rosenstein and Comey are closely connected with Clinton foundation
Notable quotes:
"... Guess who took over this investigation in 2002? Bet you can't guess. No other than James Comey. ..."
"... Guess who ran the Tax Division inside the Department of Injustice from 2001 to 2005? No other than the Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Rod Rosenstein. ..."
"... Guess who was the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during this time frame??? I know, it's a miracle, just a coincidence, just an anomaly in statistics and chances: Robert Mueller. ..."
"... Then of all surprises, in April 2016, James Comey drafts an exoneration letter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile the DOJ is handing out immunity deals like candy on Halloween. ..."
"... The DOJ didn't even convene a Grand Jury. Like a lightning bolt of statistical impossibility, like a miracle from God himself, like the true "Gangsta" Homey is, James steps out into the cameras of an awaiting press conference on July the 8th of 2016 and exonerates the Hillary from any wrongdoing. ..."
"... It goes on and on, Rosenstein becomes Asst. Attorney General, Comey gets fired based upon a letter by Rosenstein, Comey leaks government information to the press, Mueller is assigned to the Russian Investigation witch hunt by Rosenstein to provide cover for decades of malfeasance within the FBI and DOJ and the story continues. ..."
Apr 30, 2018 | www.unz.com

NoseytheDuke , April 23, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT

@renfro

I'm on the other side of the planet but a friend in the Mid-West sent me this and I thought I'd ask if anyone else had seen it?

Is there corruption in DC?

From 2001 to 2005 there was an ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation. A Grand Jury had been empaneled. The investigation was triggered by the pardon of Marc Rich ..

Governments from around the world had donated to the "Charity". Yet, from 2001 to 2003 none of those "Donations" to the Clinton Foundation were declared.

Guess who took over this investigation in 2002? Bet you can't guess. No other than James Comey.

Guess who was transferred in to the Internal Revenue Service to run the Tax Exemption Branch of the IRS? Your friend and mine, Lois "Be on The Look Out" (BOLO) Lerner.

It gets better, well not really, but this is all just a series of strange coincidences, right?

Guess who ran the Tax Division inside the Department of Injustice from 2001 to 2005? No other than the Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Rod Rosenstein.

Guess who was the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during this time frame??? I know, it's a miracle, just a coincidence, just an anomaly in statistics and chances: Robert Mueller.

What do all four casting characters have in common? They all were briefed and were front line investigators into the Clinton Foundation Investigation.

Now that's just a coincidence, right? Ok, lets chalk the last one up to mere chance.

Let's fast forward to 2009. James Comey leaves the Justice Department to go and cash-in at Lockheed Martin.

Hillary Clinton is running the State Department, on her own personal email server.

The Uranium One "issue" comes to the attention of the Hillary. Like all good public servants do, you know looking out for America's best interest, she decides to support the decision and approve the sale of 20% of US Uranium to no other than, the Russians.

Now you would think that this is a fairly straight up deal, except it wasn't, I question what did the People get out of it?? Oddly enough, prior to the sales approval, Bill Clinton goes to Moscow, gets paid 500K for a one-hour speech then meets with Vladimir Putin at his home for a few hours.

Ok, no big deal right? Well, not so fast, the FBI had a mole inside this scheme.

Guess who was the FBI Director during this time frame? Yep, Robert Mueller. He requested the State Department allow himself to deliver a Uranium Sample to Moscow in 2009, under the guise of a "sting" operation -- (see leaked secret cable 09STATE38943).. while it is never clear if Mueller did deliver the sample, the "implication" is there ..

Guess who was handling that case within the Justice Department out of the US Attorney's Office in Maryland ?? No other than, Rod Rosenstein.

Remember the "informant" inside the FBI -- - Guess what happened to the informant? Department of Justice placed a GAG order on him and threatened to lock him up if he spoke about the Uranium Deal. Personally, I have to question how does 20% of the most strategic asset of the United States of America end up in Russian hands??? The FBI had an informant, a mole providing inside information to the FBI on the criminal enterprise and NOTHING happens, except to the informant -- Strange !!

Guess what happened soon after the sale was approved? 145 million dollars in "donations" made their way into the Clinton Foundation from entities directly connected to the Uranium One deal.

Guess who was still at the Internal Revenue Service working the Charitable Division?

No other than, Lois Lerner. Ok, that's all just another series of coincidences, nothing to see here, right? Let's fast forward to 2015.

Due to a series of tragic events in Benghazi and after the nine "investigations" the House, Senate and at State Department, Trey Gowdy who was running the 10th investigation as Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, discovers that the Hillary ran the State Department on an unclassified, unauthorized, outlaw personal email server.

He also discovered that none of those emails had been turned over when she departed her "Public Service" as Secretary of State which was required by law.

He also discovered that there was Top Secret information contained within her personally archived email. Sparing you the State Departments cover up, the nostrums they floated, the delay tactics that were employed and the outright lies that were spewed forth from the necks of the Kerry State Department, they did everything humanly possible to cover for Hillary.

Guess who became FBI Director in 2013? Guess who secured 17 no bid contracts for his employer (Lockheed Martin) with the State Department and was rewarded with a six million dollar thank you present when he departed his employer. No other than James Comey. Folks if I did this when I worked for the government, I would have been locked up -- The State Department didn't even comply with the EEO and small business requirements the government places on all Request For Proposals (RFP) on contracts -- It amazes me how all those no-bids just went right through at State -- simply amazing and no Inspector General investigation !!

Next after leaving the private sector Comey is the FBI Director in charge of the "Clinton Email Investigation" after of course his FBI Investigates the Lois Lerner "Matter" at the Internal Revenue Service and exonerates her. Nope couldn't find any crimes there. Nothing here to report --

Then of all surprises, in April 2016, James Comey drafts an exoneration letter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile the DOJ is handing out immunity deals like candy on Halloween.

The DOJ didn't even convene a Grand Jury. Like a lightning bolt of statistical impossibility, like a miracle from God himself, like the true "Gangsta" Homey is, James steps out into the cameras of an awaiting press conference on July the 8th of 2016 and exonerates the Hillary from any wrongdoing. As I've said many times, July 8, 2016 is the date that will live in infamy of the American Justice System ..

Can you see the pattern?

It goes on and on, Rosenstein becomes Asst. Attorney General, Comey gets fired based upon a letter by Rosenstein, Comey leaks government information to the press, Mueller is assigned to the Russian Investigation witch hunt by Rosenstein to provide cover for decades of malfeasance within the FBI and DOJ and the story continues.

FISA Abuse, political espionage .. pick a crime, any crime, chances are this group and a few others did it. All the same players. All compromised and conflicted. All working fervently to NOT go to jail themselves. All connected in one way or another to the Clinton's. They are like battery acid, they corrode and corrupt everything they touch. How many lives have the Clinton's destroyed?

As of this writing, the Clinton Foundation, in its 20+ years of operation of being the largest International Charity Fraud in the history of mankind, has never been audited by the Internal Revenue Service.

Let us not forget that Comey's brother works for DLA Piper, the law firm that does the Clinton Foundation's taxes.

Twodees Partain , April 23, 2018 at 10:23 pm GMT
@NoseytheDuke

More on Mueller for renfro, who seems to think that Mueller has some kind of integrity hidden somewhere:

http://themillenniumreport.com/2017/05/robert-mueller-the-old-fixer-is-back-in-town/

[Apr 21, 2018] On the Criminal Referral of Comey, Clinton et al by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Putting aside his partisan motivations, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) was unusually blunt two months ago in warning of legal consequences for officials who misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and his associates. Nunes's words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of those with lots to hide: "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said ."The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created." ..."
"... The media will be key to whether this Constitutional issue is resolved. Largely because of Trump's own well earned reputation for lying, most Americans are susceptible to slanted headlines like this recent one -- "Trump escalates attacks on FBI " -- from an article in The Washington Post , commiserating with the treatment accorded fired-before-retired prevaricator McCabe and the FBI he ( dis)served . ..."
"... What motivated the characters now criminally "referred" is clear enough from a wide variety of sources, including the text messages exchange between Strzok and Page. Many, however, have been unable to understand how these law enforcement officials thought they could get away with taking such major liberties with the law. ..."
"... None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, "opposition research," or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison. The activities were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win. ..."
"... Comey admits, "It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls." ..."
"... The key point is not Comey's tortured reasoning, but rather that Clinton was "sure to be the next president." This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on those now criminally referred to the Department of Justice. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men -- even very tall men. One wag claimed that the "Higher" in "A Higher Loyalty" refers simply to the very tall body that houses an outsized ego. ..."
"... "Hope springs eternal" would be the cynical folk wisdom. FYI we haven't had a functioning constitution since the National Security Act of 1947 brought this nation under color of law, but the IC types wouldn't have you know that. Too tough to square the idea you'd never have had your CIA career in a world where the FISA court couldn't exist either. ..."
"... there is concrete evidence that the Democratic party/Clinton manipulated the primaries to destroy Clinton's challanger. That the DOJ, FBI & other alphabet agencies conspired with Clinton to equally, destroy Trump's campaign. ..."
"... We saw the same nonsense with Obama, the "peace president". Obama a man who never saw a Muslim he did not want to bomb or a Jew he did not want to bail out ..."
"... The best thing about this referral is that it also demands deputy AG Rod Rosenstein the weasel to recluse himself from this case. Rosenstein is the pinnacle of corruption by the deep state. ..."
"... Former CIA Director John Brennan is the prime mover behind the ongoing coup attempt against Trump. He gathered his deep state allies at DOJ and the FBI to join him in this endeavor. Brennan's allies -- McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Yates, ect., may or may not be aware of Brennan's true motive behind creating all the noise and distraction since the 2016 election. It could be they're just partisan hacks; or they're on board with Brennan to keep secret what was revealed in the hack of the Podesta emails. ..."
"... Assange had 'physical proof' Russians didn't hack DNC, Rohrabacher says https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/19/julian-assange-has-physical-proof-russians-didnt-h/ ..."
"... I noticed Comey tried to pull a J Edgar-style subtle blackmail on Trump by the way he brought up the so-called "dossier" ..."
"... Bill Clinton got recruited into CIA by Cord Meyer, who bragged of it himself in his cups. ..."
"... Hillary cut her teeth on CIA's Watergate purge of Nixon. (If it's news to anyone that the Watergate cast of characters was straight out of CIA central casting, Russ Baker has conclusively tied the elaborate ratfeck to the intelligence community.) ..."
"... Obama was son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased in to Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

Wednesday's criminal referral by 11 House Republicans of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as several former and serving top FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials is a giant step toward a Constitutional crisis.

Named in the referral to the DOJ for possible violations of federal law are: Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey; former Attorney General Loretta Lynch; former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe; FBI Agent Peter Strzok; FBI Counsel Lisa Page; and those DOJ and FBI personnel "connected to" work on the "Steele Dossier," including former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente.

With no attention from corporate media, the referral was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber. Sessions appointed Huber months ago to assist DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz. By most accounts, Horowitz is doing a thoroughly professional job. As IG, however, Horowitz lacks the authority to prosecute; he needs a U.S. Attorney for that. And this has to be disturbing to the alleged perps.

This is no law-school case-study exercise, no arcane disputation over the fine points of this or that law. Rather, as we say in the inner-city, "It has now hit the fan." Criminal referrals can lead to serious jail time. Granted, the upper-crust luminaries criminally "referred" enjoy very powerful support. And that will come especially from the mainstream media, which will find it hard to retool and switch from Russia-gate to the much more delicate and much less welcome "FBI-gate."

As of this writing, a full day has gone by since the letter/referral was reported, with total silence so far from T he New York Times and The Washington Post and other big media as they grapple with how to spin this major development. News of the criminal referral also slipped by Amy Goodman's non-mainstream DemocracyNow!, as well as many alternative websites.

The 11 House members chose to include the following egalitarian observation in the first paragraph of the letter conveying the criminal referral: "Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately." If this uncommon attitude is allowed to prevail at DOJ, it would, in effect, revoke the de facto "David Petraeus exemption" for the be-riboned, be-medaled, and well-heeled.

Stonewalling

Meanwhile, the patience of the chairmen of House committees investigating abuses at DOJ and the FBI is wearing thin at the slow-rolling they are encountering in response to requests for key documents from the FBI. This in-your-face intransigence is all the more odd, since several committee members have already had access to the documents in question, and are hardly likely to forget the content of those they know about. (Moreover, there seems to be a good chance that a patriotic whistleblower or two will tip them off to key documents being withheld.)

The DOJ IG, whose purview includes the FBI, has been cooperative in responding to committee requests for information, but those requests can hardly include documents of which the committees are unaware.

Putting aside his partisan motivations, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) was unusually blunt two months ago in warning of legal consequences for officials who misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and his associates. Nunes's words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of those with lots to hide: "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said ."The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

Whether the House will succeed in overcoming the resistance of those criminally referred and their many accomplices and will prove able to exercise its Constitutional prerogative of oversight is, of course, another matter -- a matter that matters.

And Nothing Matters More Than the Media

The media will be key to whether this Constitutional issue is resolved. Largely because of Trump's own well earned reputation for lying, most Americans are susceptible to slanted headlines like this recent one -- "Trump escalates attacks on FBI " -- from an article in The Washington Post , commiserating with the treatment accorded fired-before-retired prevaricator McCabe and the FBI he ( dis)served .

Nor is the Post above issuing transparently clever warnings -- like this one in a lead article on March 17: "Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. 'This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI's going to win,' said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. 'You can't fight the FBI. They're going to torch him.'" [sic]

Mind-Boggling Criminal Activity

What motivated the characters now criminally "referred" is clear enough from a wide variety of sources, including the text messages exchange between Strzok and Page. Many, however, have been unable to understand how these law enforcement officials thought they could get away with taking such major liberties with the law.

None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, "opposition research," or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison. The activities were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win.

But she lost.

Comey himself gives this away in the embarrassingly puerile book he has been hawking, "A Higher Loyalty" -- which

amounts to a pre-emptive move motivated mostly by loyalty-to-self, in order to obtain a Stay-Out-of-Jail card. Hat tip to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone for a key observation, in his recent article , "James Comey, the Would-Be J. Edgar Hoover," about what Taibbi deems the book's most damning passage, where Comey discusses his decision to make public the re-opening of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Comey admits, "It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls."

The key point is not Comey's tortured reasoning, but rather that Clinton was "sure to be the next president." This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on those now criminally referred to the Department of Justice. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men -- even very tall men. One wag claimed that the "Higher" in "A Higher Loyalty" refers simply to the very tall body that houses an outsized ego.

I think it can be said that readers of Consortiumnews.com may be unusually well equipped to understand the anatomy of FBI-gate as well as Russia-gate. Listed below chronologically are several links that might be viewed as a kind of "whiteboard" to refresh memories. You may wish to refer them to any friends who may still be confused.

2017

2018

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).


Mike Whitney , April 20, 2018 at 4:15 am GMT

This story appears to be developing very fast. Interested readers might want to look at this short video on the Tucker Carlson show last night: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5773524495001/?playlist_id=5198073478001#sp=show-clips

Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!

jilles dykstra , April 20, 2018 at 6:05 am GMT
A weird country, the USA. Reading the article I'm reminded of the 1946 Senate investigation into Pearl Harbour, where, in my opinion, the truth was unearthed. At the same time, this truth hardly ever reached the wider public, no articles, the book, ed. Harry Elmer Barnes, never reviewed.
Greg Bacon , Website April 20, 2018 at 6:54 am GMT

Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!

The short answer is NO. McCabe might, but not Comey and the Killer Queen, they've both served Satan, uh I mean the Deep State too long and too well.Satan and the banksters–who really run the show–take care of their own and apex predators like Hillary won't go to jail. But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 20, 2018 at 7:23 am GMT
"Hope springs eternal" would be the cynical folk wisdom. FYI we haven't had a functioning constitution since the National Security Act of 1947 brought this nation under color of law, but the IC types wouldn't have you know that. Too tough to square the idea you'd never have had your CIA career in a world where the FISA court couldn't exist either.

Consortium News many sops tossed to 'realpolitik' where false narrative is attacked with alternative false narrative, example given, drunk Ukrainian soldiers supposedly downing MH 17 with a BUK as opposed to Kiev's Interior Ministry behind the Ukrainian combat jet that actually brought down MH 17, poisons everything (trust issues) spewed from that news service.

The realpolitik 'face saving' exit/offer implied in the Consortium News narrative where Russia doesn't have to confront the West with Ukraine's (and by implication the western intelligence agencies) premeditated murder of 300 innocents does truth no favors.

Time to grow up and face reality. Realpolitik is dead; the caliber of 'statesman' required for these finessed geopolitical lies to function no longer exist on the Western side, and the Russians (I believe) are beginning to understand there is no agreement can be made behind closed doors that will hold up; as opposed to experiencing a backstabbing (like NATO not moving east.)

Back on topic; the National Security Act of 1947 and the USA's constitution are mutually exclusive concepts, where you have a Chief Justice appoints members of our FISA Court, er, nix that, let's call a spade a spade, it's a Star Chamber. There is no constitution to uphold, no matter well intended self deceits. There will be no constitutional crisis, only a workaround to pretend a constitution still exists:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/12/01/the-oath-and-the-trash-bin/

For those who prefer the satire:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2016/01/07/moot-court/^

animalogic , April 20, 2018 at 8:00 am GMT
To comprehend the internal machinations s of US politics one needs a mind capable of high level yoga or of squaring a circle. On the one hand there is a multimillion, full throttle investigation into – at best – nebulus, inconsequential links between trump/ his campaign & Russia.
On the other there is concrete evidence that the Democratic party/Clinton manipulated the primaries to destroy Clinton's challanger. That the DOJ, FBI & other alphabet agencies conspired with Clinton to equally, destroy Trump's campaign.

Naturally, its this 2nd conspiracy which is retarded. Imagine, a mere agency of a dept, the FBI, is widely considered untouchable by The President ! Indeed, they will "torch" him. AND the "the third estate" ie: the msm will support them the whole way! As a script the "The Twilight Zone" would have rejected all this as too ludicrous, too psychotic for even its broad minded viewers.

Jake , April 20, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT
The Deep State will make certain none of its most important functionaries get anything close to what they deserve.
redmudhooch , April 20, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
Just a show, nothing will happen. Anything to keep you talking about anything other than 9/11, fake economy, fake war on terror, or Zionists..
jacques sheete , April 20, 2018 at 11:49 am GMT

And that will come especially from the mainstream media

I quit reading right there. Use of that term indicates mental laziness at best. What's mainstream about it? Please refer to corporate media in proper terms, such as PCR's "presstitute" media. Speaking of PCR, it's too bad he doesn't allow comments.

DESERT FOX , April 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT
The MSM is controlled by Zionists as is the U.S. gov and the banks, so it is no surprise that the MSM protects the ones destroying America, this is what they do. Nothing of consequence will be done to any of the ones involved, it will all be covered up, as usual.
tjm , April 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
What utter nonsense. These people are ALL actors, no one will go to jail, because everything they do is contrived, no consequence for doing as your Zionist owners command.

There is no there there. This is nothing but another distraction, something o feed the dual narratives, that Clinton and her ilk are out to get Trump, and the "liberal media" will cover it up. This narrative feeds very nicely into the primary goal of driving Republicans/conservatives to support Trump, even as Trump does everything they elected him NOT TO DO!

We saw the same nonsense with Obama, the "peace president". Obama a man who never saw a Muslim he did not want to bomb or a Jew he did not want to bail out

Yet even while Obama did the work of the Zionist money machine, the media played up the fake battle between those who thought he was not born in America, "birthers" and his blind supporters.

Nothing came of any of it, just like Monica Lewinsky, nothing but theater, fill the air waves, divide the people, while America is driven insane.

anon [321] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
The best thing about this referral is that it also demands deputy AG Rod Rosenstein the weasel to recluse himself from this case. Rosenstein is the pinnacle of corruption by the deep state. It's seriously way pass time for Jeff Sessions to grow a pair, put on his big boy pants, unrecuse himself from the Russian collusion bullshit case, fire Rosenstein and Mueller and end the case once and for all. These two traitors are in danger of completely derailing the Trump agenda and toppling the Republican majority in November, yet Jeff Sessions is still busy arresting people for marijuana, talk about missing the forest for the trees.

As far as where this referral will go from here, my guess is, nowhere. Not as long as Jeff Sessions the pussy is the AG. It's good to hear that Giuliani has now been recruited by Trump to be on his legal team. What Trump really needs to do is replace Jeff Sessions with Giuliani, or even Chris Christie, and let them do what a real AG should be doing, which is clean house in the DOJ, and prosecute the Clintons for their pay-to-play scheme with their foundation. Not only is the Clinton corruption case the biggest corruption case in US history, but this might be the only way to save the GOP from losing their majority in November.

anon [321] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm GMT
@Greg Bacon

But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars.

Sadly I think you're right. Things might be different if we had a real AG, but Jeff Sessions is not the man I thought he was. He's been swallowed by the deep state just like Trump. At least Trump is putting up a fight, Sessions just threw in the towel and recused himself from Day 1. Truly pathetic. Some patriot he is.

Twodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
@Nick Granite

" He's ferreted out more than a few and probably has a lot better idea who his friends are he certainly knows the enemies by now."

He failed to ferret out Haley, Pompeo, or Sessions and he just recently appointed John Bolton, so I don't agree with your assessment. If his friends include those three, that says enough about Trump to make any of his earlier supporters drop him.

Anyway, not having a ready made team, or at least a solid short list of key appointees shows that he was just too clueless to have even been a serious candidate. It looks more as though Trump is doing now what he intended to do all along. That means he was bullshitting everybody during his campaign.

So, maybe the neocons really have been his friends all along.

Twodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:46 pm GMT
@jacques sheete

It's also telling that Ray didn't mention what was included in the referral regarding an enforced recusal of Rosenstein going forward.

https://desantis.house.gov/_cache/files/8/0/8002ca75-52fc-4995-b87e-43584da268db/472EBC7D8F55C0F9E830D37CF96376A2.final-criminal-referral.pdf

Authenticjazzman , April 20, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
@Renoman

" America is a very crooked country, nothing suprises me".

Every country on this insane planet is "crooked" to a greater or lesser degree, when to a lesser degree, this is simply because they, the PTB, have not yet figured out how to accelerate, how to increase their corruption and thereby how to increase their unearned monetary holdings.

Money is the most potent singular factor which causes humans to lose their minds, and all of their ethics and decency.
And within the confines of a "socialist" system, "money" is replaced by rubber-stamps, which then wield, exactly in the manner of "wealth", the power of life or death, over the unwashed masses.

Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro jazz musician.

anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

BTW Jeff Sessions is a fraternal brother of Pence (a member of the same club, same [recently deceased] guru) and is no friend of Trump.

That would explain why Sessions reclused himself from the start, and refused to appoint a special council to investigate the Clintons. He's in on this with Pence.

anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm GMT
Just as it looks like the Comey memos will further exonerate Trump, we now have this farce extended by the DNC with this latest lawsuit on the "Trump campaign". The Democrats are now the most pathetic sore losers in history, they are hell bent on dragging the whole country down the pit of hell just because they can't handle a loss.
anon [140] Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:34 pm GMT
Wishful thinking that anything will come of this, just like when the Nunes memo was released. Nothing will happen as long as Jeff Sessions is AG. Trump needs to fire either Sessions or Rosenstein ASAP, before he gets dragged down by this whole Russian collusion bullshit case.
SunBakedSuburb , April 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm GMT
Former CIA Director John Brennan is the prime mover behind the ongoing coup attempt against Trump. He gathered his deep state allies at DOJ and the FBI to join him in this endeavor. Brennan's allies -- McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Yates, ect., may or may not be aware of Brennan's true motive behind creating all the noise and distraction since the 2016 election. It could be they're just partisan hacks; or they're on board with Brennan to keep secret what was revealed in the hack of the Podesta emails.

John Podesta, in addition to being a top Democrat/DC lobbyist and a criminal deviant, is also a long-time CIA asset running a blackmail/influence operation that utilized his deviancy: the sexual exploitation of children.

Haxo Angmark , Website April 20, 2018 at 10:38 pm GMT
Seth Rich is still dead...
utu , April 20, 2018 at 11:33 pm GMT
Assange had 'physical proof' Russians didn't hack DNC, Rohrabacher says https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/19/julian-assange-has-physical-proof-russians-didnt-h/
UrbaneFrancoOntarian , April 21, 2018 at 12:18 am GMT
@anon

His cowardice is shocking. I wonder what they have on him? Probably some Roy Moore shit. Some shady stuff happened in the old South.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 12:56 am GMT
@utu

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/09/16/incompetent-espionage-wikileaks-iii/

Yeah, and General Kelly won't let Rohrabacher meet with Trump. What do you suppose is up with that (rhetorical question)

RobinG , April 21, 2018 at 1:02 am GMT
@utu

What kind of "physical proof" could Assange have? A thumb drive that was provably American, or something? Rohrabacher only got Red Pilled on Russia because he had one very determined (and well heeled) constituent. But he did cosponsor one of Tulsi Gabbard's "Stop Funding Terrorists" bills, which he figured out on his own. Nevertheless, a bit of a loose cannon and an eff'd up hawk on Iran He's probably an 'ISIS now, Assad later' on Syria.

anonymous [185] Disclaimer , April 21, 2018 at 2:36 am GMT
I noticed Comey tried to pull a J Edgar-style subtle blackmail on Trump by the way he brought up the so-called "dossier". Anyone could see it was absurd but he played his hand with it, pretending it was being looked at. I would say Trump could see through this sleazy game Comey was trying to play and sized him up. Comey is about as slimy as they get even as he parades around trying to look noble. What a corrupt bunch.
Culloden , April 21, 2018 at 2:45 am GMT
"The culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain "

[What follows is excerpted from an article headlined Robert Mueller's Questionable Past that appeared yesterday on the American Free Press website:]

During his tenure with the Justice Department under President George H W Bush, Mueller supervised the prosecutions of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, the Lockerbie bombing (Pan Am Flight 103) case, and Gambino crime boss John Gotti. In the Noriega case, Mueller ignored the ties to the Bush family that Victor Thorn illustrated in Hillary (and Bill): The Drugs Volume: Part Two of the Clinton Trilogy. Noriega had long been associated with CIA operations that involved drug smuggling, money laundering, and arms running. Thorn significantly links Noriega to Bush family involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal.

Regarding Pan Am Flight 103, the culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain. Pro-Palestinian activists, Libyans, and Iranians have all officially been blamed when US intelligence and the mainstream mass media needed to paint each as the antagonist to American freedom. Mueller toed the line, publicly ignoring rumors that agents onboard were said to have learned that a CIA drug-smuggling operation was afoot in conjunction with Pan Am flights. According to the theory, the agents were going to take their questions to Congress upon landing. The flight blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland.

http://lockerbiecase.blogspot.com/

"We were in Libya for oil" (only). Who said that:

http://www.firmmagazine.com

Bennis Mardens , April 21, 2018 at 2:47 am GMT
Without exception, leftists are degenerate filth.

But they won't be going to jail.

It's kabuki theater.

Art , April 21, 2018 at 5:21 am GMT
My god – who believes this woman?

Hillary says "they would never let me be president" – she is serious. She has gone bonkers with self-pity.

This is no longer laughable – it boarders on the pathological.

Art

WhiteWolf , April 21, 2018 at 5:39 am GMT
@Bennis Mardens

There has been some former high flyers going to jail recently. Sarkozy is facing a hard time at the moment. If it can happen to a former president of France it can happen to Hillary.

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:20 am GMT
@Twodees Partain

I still read ZH articles, but the commentariat has devolved to lockeroom towel-snapping, barely above YouTube chattering.

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:42 am GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?

Stonehands , April 21, 2018 at 7:56 am GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?

Twodees Partain , April 21, 2018 at 10:11 am GMT
@Culloden

Here's another about Mueller's involvement with the FBI's Whitey Bulger scandal.

https://saraacarter.com/questions-still-surround-robert-muellers-boston-past/

Mueller's past is so laden with misfeasance and malfeasance that he should have been disbarred a few decades ago.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 1:14 pm GMT
@Stonehands

Am I a Christian? Well, no. I had some exposure to Christianity but it never took hold. On the other hand, I do believe there was a historical Jesus that was a remarkable man, but there is a world (or universe) of difference between the man and the mythology. Here's some of my thoughts on the matter:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2013/04/11/celebrating-the-anti-christ/

^ It doesn't necessarily go where the title might suggest (for many)

CIA in Charge , April 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
@Authenticjazzman

Nothing uncanny about it. There's a frenetic Democratic cottage industry inferring magical emotional charisma powers that explain the outsized influence of those three. The fact is very simple. All three are CIA nomenklatura.

(1.) Bill Clinton got recruited into CIA by Cord Meyer, who bragged of it himself in his cups.

(2.) Hillary cut her teeth on CIA's Watergate purge of Nixon. (If it's news to anyone that the Watergate cast of characters was straight out of CIA central casting, Russ Baker has conclusively tied the elaborate ratfeck to the intelligence community.)

(3.) Obama was son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased in to Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman. While he was vocationally wet behind the ears he not only got into Pakistan, no mean feat at the time, but he went to a falconry outing with the future acting president of Pakistan. And is there anyone alive who wasn't flabbergasted at the instant universal acclaim for some empty suit who made a speech at the convention? Like Bill Clinton, successor to DCI Bush, Obama was blatantly, derisively installed in the president slot of the CIA org chart.

Authenticjazzman , April 21, 2018 at 6:06 pm GMT
@CIA in Charge

Excellent post and quite accurate information, however my point being that the irrational fear harbored by the individuals who could actually begin to rope these scumbags in, is just that : Irrational, as they seem to think or have been lead/brainwashed to believe that these dissolute turds are somehow endowed with supernatural, otherworldy powers and options, and that they are capable of unholy , merciless vengeance : VF, SR, etc.

And the truth is as soon as they finally start to go after them they, they will fall apart at the seams, such as with all cowards, and this is the bottom line : They, the BC/HC/BO clique, they are nothing more than consumate cowards, who can only operate in such perfidious manners when left unchallenged.

Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz artist.

[Apr 19, 2018] Sachs worked closely w/ Soros to plunder USSR/ FSU

Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

SolontoCroesus , April 18, 2018 at 9:08 pm GMT

@Anon

UUUge mistake, Jimmy Dore; you should have done some homework before you elevated Jeffrey Sachs to truth-teller status. Spend a few minutes with The Saker -- William Engdah interview: http://thesaker.is/the-rape-of-russia-saker-blog-exclusive-interview/ Sache is not trustworthy.

SolontoCroesus , April 18, 2018 at 9:31 pm GMT

@SolontoCroesus

Sachs worked closely w/ Soros to plunder USSR/ FSU. His job now is to establish Jews/Israel/banker class, Deep State of which he's a part, and think tankers as absolutely innocent of any complicity in the destruction of Syria. He's most likely in it up to his eyeballs.

[Apr 18, 2018] The Rape of Russia, an Interview with F. William Engdahl (Audio)

Notable quotes:
"... What the US Government under George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush Senior organised together with CIA, old boy networks of his, in terms of the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the looting of the assets, this open theft, the destruction of pensions, security, the health system and everything. The only appropriate word is the rape of Russia. They just pondered anything that they could. ..."
"... And the West, the Bush networks recruited a handful of KGB agents around Yeltsin who literally promoted Yeltsin to the top when they engineered the August 1991 fake coup. ..."
"... And through that the – this network, this corrupt network within the KGB that was working with the CIA, working with General Philip, Bob [unclear] is one of them, so called at that time the KGB brain. He was head of the KGB Fifth Directorate controlling to roll this in. ..."
"... They engineered a complete opening up of the assets of the Russian Federation which called today the Russian Federation, the largest part of the former Soviet Union and they made it such that the Russian Federation would assume all of the debts of Ukraine, of Kazakhstan and the other socialist republics of the Soviet and all the assets, all the crucial assets that were within the Russian Federation so the aluminium Rusal that's in the headlines yesterday, the nickel, the oil, the gas, just hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars' worth of assets that came into Yeltsin's control. ..."
"... Soros was very intermittently tied with Jeffrey Sachs and the whole Harvard to become a shock therapy group and working with Lawrence Summers team at the US Treasury under Clinton. ..."
"... So, Chubais was as an adviser to Yeltsin at that time and the key person on the economy arranged the secret meeting with George Soros. And Soros agreed to finance of course on behalf of Yeltsin, the referendum campaign. So he funnelled money over a million dollars by some accounts to offshore accounts set up to be used by Chubais to buy media. ..."
"... In 1989 President George H. W. Bush began the multi-billion dollar Project Hammer program using an investment strategy to bring about the economic destruction of the Soviet Union including the theft of the Soviet treasury, the destabilization of the ruble, funding a KGB coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and the seizure of major energy and munitions industries in the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Given the depth of the fall, the rise (under Putin) has been remarkable. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

The Rape of Russia (full transcript)

Lars Schall: Hello ladies and gentlemen. I am now connected with F. William Engdahl, who has written a new book, Manifest Destiny: Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance. Hi William.

F. William Engdahl: Hello, Lars. Good to be with you again.

LS: Great to have you with us. And first off, let me read something to you and our audience that was written by the economist Dean Baker earlier this month.

As a long-term columnist at the NYT, Thomas Friedman apparently never feels the need to know anything about the topics on which he writes. This explains his sarcastic speculation that Putin could be a CIA agent since he has done so much to hurt Russia.

For all his authoritarian tendencies, it is likely that most Russians think primarily about Putin's impact on the economy, just as is typically the case among voters in the United States. On that front, Putin has a very good record.

According to data from the IMF Russia's economy had plunged in the 1990s under the Yeltsin presidency. When Putin took over in 1998, per capita income in the country had shrunk by more than 40 percent from its 1990 level. This is a far sharper downturn than the United States saw in the Great Depression. Since Putin took power its per capita income has risen by more than 115 percent, an average annual growth rate of more than 3.9 percent.

While this growth has been very unequal, that was also the case even as Russia's economy was collapsing under Yeltsin. The typical Russian has done hugely better in the last two decades under Putin than they did in the period when Yeltsin was in power.

For this reason, there are probably few Russians who would have sympathy for Friedman's speculation about Putin's ties to the CIA. The same would not be the case for Boris Yeltsin.

Now, I think this is a good starting point for our discussion William because in your book, you have a chapter entitled The Rape of Russia, the CIA's Yeltsin Coup d'état. Why do you talk about rape related to Russia?

FWE: What the US Government under George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush Senior organised together with CIA, old boy networks of his, in terms of the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the looting of the assets, this open theft, the destruction of pensions, security, the health system and everything. The only appropriate word is the rape of Russia. They just pondered anything that they could.

And what you just read from Mr. Friedman is of course horse rubbish but the real CIA asset of this whole collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s was in fact Boris Yeltsin and the so called Yeltsin Family, the Yeltsin Mafia. And in my book, the Manifest Destiny book I document and detail at great lengths the relation of a handful of KGB very, very senior persons who worked with the Bush Senior old boys CIA networks in the West and their banks to create a group of oligarchs around Yeltsin, you know the famous Russian oligarchs, well, The New York Times and other Western Media portrayed them as Russian Mafia. They were kind of mafia but the real point was that they were a CIA-run mafia. They were run by the West. They betrayed their own country, their own people and literally stole billions and billions and billions of dollars of assets. And that's the reason for the title in that chapter.

LS: And Boris Yeltsin was very essential for this.

FWE: He was the key figure. He had been selected as a regional governor and brought into Moscow and a certain point Gorbachev saw him as a rising star and someone that could help with a little bit more liberal image as [unclear] was – the Russian economy was running into serious trouble in the '80s, the Star Wars of Reagan, the Nicaragua and above all the war in Afghanistan which is a CIA project with the Mujahideen, that took 10 years long that was bleeding the Soviet economy, the Soviet Union's Vietnam, as Brzezinski used to call it.

And the West, the Bush networks recruited a handful of KGB agents around Yeltsin who literally promoted Yeltsin to the top when they engineered the August 1991 fake coup. You remember, I'm sure many people remember the picture of Boris Yeltsin standing there courageously on top of a Soviet tank in front of the Russian White House or Soviet House, the Supreme Soviet building and reading a speech defying Gorbachev and so forth. Well, that was a KGB CIA-engineered coup d'état in June 1991. And through that the – this network, this corrupt network within the KGB that was working with the CIA, working with General Philip, Bob [unclear] is one of them, so called at that time the KGB brain. He was head of the KGB Fifth Directorate controlling to roll this in. And he later joined the [#inaudible 00:06:40-0#] oil and to this day he's still a member of the State Duma giving him prosecution immunity.

So, some of these people are still around after some 23, 25 years and incredibly enough but others of them have died off, have been killed, or murdered or whatever. But the operation that was done with Yeltsin, this corrupt KGB network working with the CIA financed Yeltsin's the silent seat of the presidency of the Russian Federation. And once they had their man in controlling the Russian Federation which is the largest of the former Soviet Union, the Socialist Republic, they were able to engineer through the international monetary fund that was mandated to oversee the transformation of the Soviet economy.

They engineered a complete opening up of the assets of the Russian Federation which called today the Russian Federation, the largest part of the former Soviet Union and they made it such that the Russian Federation would assume all of the debts of Ukraine, of Kazakhstan and the other socialist republics of the Soviet and all the assets, all the crucial assets that were within the Russian Federation so the aluminium Rusal that's in the headlines yesterday, the nickel, the oil, the gas, just hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars' worth of assets that came into Yeltsin's control.

LS: But those assets were sold to a price that was rather ridiculous.

FWE: Someone estimated that that gets into the whole coupon privatisation that was set up under Yeltsin in the '90s. The coupon privatisation issued one coupon to every single Russian man, woman and child 140 million in total. And the value of those coupons was such someone estimated that the totality of Russian Soviet's Fed assets or Russian Federation assets now was equal to the value of the stock at that point of General Electric Company on the New York Stock Exchange. I mean that's just laughable. Russia had financial bankruptcy because the shock therapy, the Jeffrey Sachs and others from Harvard and elsewhere brought in, George Soros and his pals. That created bankrupt companies that couldn't stand on their own and suddenly they had no, no resources. But the assets, the assets on the ground, the nickel, the aluminium, the uranium that Hillary Clinton knows more than a little bit about them, all of these were estimated to be in the trillions of dollars. And this is what the Bush operation aimed at. And they used NGOs, they used the National Endowment for Democracy, they used, George Soros' Open Society Foundation and so forth to bring this about.

LS: You've mentioned already the coup d'etat attempt of August 1991. Highly important for things to come was something that took place in early 1991 and that was the theft of the Soviet gold. Please tell us about this.

FWE: The, under the Soviet Union, this is a very crucial point about the transition that Washington forced on the Russian Federation because Yeltsin was, I think as long as he was well-supplied with vodka he didn't protest very much. But under the Soviet system and the Russian Federation took this over, there was a state bank, not a private central bank like the Federal Reserve or the European Central Bank today but a state bank that was an entity of the Russian State apparatus and that was called the Gosbank. And a man named Viktor Gerashchenko was the chairman of Gosbank at the time of Yeltsin's early start in 1991.

And Gerashchenko made a speech around that time in November of '91 to the Russian Duma or the parliament such as it was and said, "I have to report to you ladies and gentlemen that of perhaps 3,000 tons of Gosbank state-owned gold reserves, we have an estimated less than 400 tons that we can account for." And then he had to go to tell, shock members of parliament that he had no idea what happened to the missing gold, which of course was a lie. And Gerashchenko had created right after 1989 to prepare this coup d'etat coup, which was the CIA and Bush's old boys, he had created something called [unclear] on the Channel Islands in the Island of Jersey to handle the Russian foreign currency reserves.

And the Jersey was exempt from European supervision, so this was a perfect place to hide money, dirty money or stolen money and they managed something like $37 billion between 1993 and 1998. The Gerashchenko and the Gosbank even went to the lengths of hiring a New York Financial Detective firm called the Financial CIA back then called Jules Kroll Associate. And they were told to track the Soviet gold, find out what happened to it and something like $14 billion of communist party assets that were missing as well. And the Cruel which was tied with the CIA linked AIG Insurance Group Hank Greenberg whom you remember from the 2008 to the bail out of Henry Paulson.

LS: Yes.

FEW: The Kroll Associates after a few months announced that they had no results in the attempt to find the missing Soviet Gosbank gold. Then to add insult to injury, the IMF came in and rewrote the constitution of the Russian Federation under Yeltsin and took the power of money creation just like the Federal Reserve took the power of money creation from the congress in 1913. They took the power of money creation from the state and created the Russian Federation Central Bank, the Russian Central Bank and gave it a mandate for two things. One, to control inflation and the other to create currency stability.

Now, in Russia that day that meant stability of the ruble against the US dollar. So it effectively hammer-locked the Russian money creation into the US dollar. And unfortunately that constitution amendment holds until the present day. It's one of the difficulties that Vladimir Putin has been having to try to persuade the Independent Central Bank to lower interest rates more rapidly as inflation is simply managed as a problem in Russia in the last two years.

So, they looted the gold so that there would be no stability to the ruble. If you don't have any gold-backing, then western investors are going to lack confidence which is sort of what happened. And then they began working with very select western bankers to get their money out of Russia.

LS: And instrumental to get money out of Russia were Valmet and Riggs. Can you tell us please about some crucial personnel that was employed there at Valmet and Riggs?

FWE: Valmet Riggs was kind of a fusion of a Swiss bank and Riggs Bank of Washington D. C. And Riggs Bank, this is really quite a fascinating and very little discussed aspect of the reign of Russia back in the '90s.

So you have something called Riggs Bank in Washington and they were set up decades earlier since the 1960s CIA Bay of Pigs operation, they were known as the CIA tied bank. They invested the assets of people like Marcos of the Philippines until when he was close to the CIA. And there was a former NATO Ambassador named Alton Keel and in 1989 when the Soviet KGB generals and they had a group of protégés called the 'Kids' by George Bush Senior. The protégés were in their 30s and a couple of them were in their 40s but rather young. And they were the ones who were nominated to become the oligarchs, the frontal men for taking these state assets the aluminium, the oil assets and other things and looting the Russian Federation.

And Alton Keel just as the Russians were setting up men at a bank for the oligarchs to funnel their stolen assets, de facto stolen assets, Keel went from NATO and the National Security Council to become a head of international banking of Riggs Bank in Washington and its deputy chairman.

Now, it gets even more interesting because the international banking group of Riggs included a new entity that had been created called Riggs Valmet SA in Switzerland, and Riggs Valmet was set up by a man named Jonathan J. Bush, a private banker, who just happened to be the brother of George Herbert Walker Bush. So, Bush brother and Alton Keel set up Riggs Valmet, there was a money laundering apparatus in Geneva and Riggs then through their help bought the major share in Geneva Valmet to create Riggs Valmet.

So, you have the brother of the president of the United States up to his eyeballs in this whole Yeltsin CIA money laundering operation. And then Jonathan Bush was created CEO of something called Riggs Investment in Connecticut where he lived and at that point the looting and taking of the dollar assets out of Russia was just unstoppable. It was in the billions and tens of billions of dollars.

LS: William, there is one guy who was working closely with those people and he was working on Wall Street but later on he was personally recruited by George Tenet then the Director of CIA to become the number three at the CIA, and this is Alvin Bernard "Buzzy" Krongard.

FWE: Yes. We meet "Buzzy" Krongard at Bankers Trust, which bought up Alex Brown, and Krongard became vice chairman of Bankers Trust along with another charming character named Carter Beese. And at the time of the 1998 collapse of the ruble, Krongard was formally made, as you've pointed out, number three, the executive director at the CIA under George Tenet. So, it's a CIA network from beginning to end, from the banking side to you know the direct CIA side. You have Carter Beast, you have "Buzzy" Krongard, Jonathan Bush and Alton Keel and they were the ones working with Valmet as the Riggs Valmet Bank in Geneva to pull this money out through shell companies.

And the oligarchs, this is an interesting part of this whole thing that you know right now Theresa May and the foreign secretary Boris Johnson in the UK are accusing Putin of murdering almost everybody since the birth of Jesus Christ. And one of them was the person who had been the trusted bodyguard of one of the oligarchs living in London Boris Berezovsky.

And Berezovsky was one of the dirtiest of these oligarchs. He'd financed the Ukrainian Colour Revolution back in 2003, 2004 as a revenge against Putin because he at first thought Putin could be bought like Yeltsin and suddenly he realized that he was up against the faction of nationalists within of what had been the KGB but wanted to stabilise and preserve Russia as a functioning nation today. And so Mikhail Khodorkovskyi, Roman Abramovich, who is listed on the sanctions list yesterday, and Berezovsky were some of the leading oligarchs that were created by this Bush operation.

LS: And to jumpstart all of this, we have to talk about something that is well, that is stranger than fiction and that is something called for example "Yamashita's Gold". If our audience is interested in this, they could for example look for an article written by Chalmers Johnson, the famous Asian expert, The Looting of Asia, which was published at the London Review of Books on the 20 th of November of 2003 because then they can find something on this topic of Yamashita's gold on an instant basis in the internet ( https://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n22/chalmers-johnson/the-looting-of-asia ). I think this is just fair

FWE: Yeah.

LS: because no one really is aware of this whole story. Please tell us about this.

FWE: The Yamashita Gold story is one of the, as you've said really incredible stories of post-World War II. During the Second World War, the Japanese Imperial Family looted the gold of occupied Arch of China, they looted the gold of all the parts of Asia that they had conquered.

LS: Basically from 1895 to 1945.

FWE: Yeah, yeah. And because they had no guarantee that Japan was going to win the war, the emperor ordered the gold to be hidden away in, mostly in the Philippines as far as we know and literally untold tons of gold were buried so deep underground in tunnels around the Philippines and the people who dug the tunnels in many cases were later shot you know so that they couldn't tell. But Marcos who was a CIA asset initially, the dictator of the Philippines through much of the '70s and into the '80s, yeah through the '70, Ferdinand Marcos somehow came upon some of this gold. So, the Japanese looted war body was buried in the early '40s before the end of the war on orders of Emperor Hirohito should they lose the war.

And at some point in the 1970s, Marcos discovered some of the sites where Hirohito's soldiers had buried the gold and the gold was stolen from China, Korea, Philippines, Indonesia and other countries occupied by the Japanese forces. And Marcos, and I think this is the major reason the CIA dumped him, got a little bit greedy and took that gold and started selling it under the market through selective secret Swiss banks. But he used the CIA asset, the Saudi billionaire named Adnan Khashoggi to help them get the gold under the market. And what he didn't realise was that Khashoggi would double cross him. He got a better deal from Bush Senior and the old boys.

LS: We have to say Khashoggi is a figure who is involved for example in B.C.C.I. and in Iran-Contra.

FWE: Back in the '70s he was involved in everything dirty that Bush and the CIA were involved in. B.C.C.I. Bank, the money laundering bank of the CIA, the arms deals, Khashoggi was a huge arms dealer during the Iran and Iraq war the CIA was feeding. He was involved in almost every dirty thing the CIA was doing.

LS: He was aware of this gold.

FWE: Supposedly he was helping Marcos to sell the gold out of the market. So he was not only aware of it, he was right in the middle of it. But then once Marcos was tackled by the CIA Bush got rid of Marcos in 1986. Then someone named Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Armitage and Khashoggi began to work with someone in Canada to create something called – Peter Munk was his name, a rather dubious businessman there – to found something called Barrick Gold of Canada and later it went on to become the world's largest gold mining company.

But Barrick Gold, all available evidence is that buried gold was used to melt down the – I don't want to get too much into the details of this but basically to melt down the Emperor Hirohito's gold that had been discovered by Marcos in the Philippines, to melt it down and use that as collateral for derivatives that would be the collateral used to take over the Russian Federation assets.

LS: The money was basically transformed into bank loans into Russia so that the would-become oligarch people could buy up those assets

FWE: Yes, exactly. So, Yegor Gaidar, the economic privatisation adviser of Yeltsin and his sidekick Anatoly Chubais privatisation had kind of guided this whole process together with Jeffrey Sachs and a group from Harvard University. #00:28:37-8#

LS: Yeah. Let us talk about this. This is known as Harvard Shock Therapy.

FEW: Well, the Jeffrey Sachs Shock Therapy, but the Harvard shock therapy is – well, what happened, the next phase of this incredible story and it's important to keep all this in mind, this is one reason that I wrote the book because of what was clear after the CIA coup d'etat of 2014 in Ukraine and all the sanctions against Putin's Russia and so forth, that if you don't understand what really happened in the '90s, the deep-seated hatred there is on these neoconservatives around Washington and their think tanks as well as, the US political establishment for Putin's Russia and the nationalism behind group Russia. You can't make much sense out of what's going on today with all these incredible lies and accusations against Russia for every crime under the book.

So, what happened is the, as I mentioned the IMF, the International Monetary Fund which had done a beautiful job for Washington in terms of, and George Soros and others in terms of looting the assets of the dead economies of Latin America, Yugoslavia, Poland and others during the oil crisis in the 1970s. The IMF was used and a group of economists around Jeffrey Sachs, a young professor at Harvard University then to impose what Sachs called shock therapy.

And the idea was that Sachs convinced Yeltsin, let prices rise through western market prices and this will increase the supply of goods, you know the stores had a paucity of goods back in the Soviet Times and get rid of trade barriers so foreign commodities could flow in to fill the shelves of Russian stores. The problem was that was a lie. The shops had been full. Okay, you could say it wasn't Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Fried Perdue Chickens or whatever, but they were full of Russian food products until November of '91 when Yeltsin announced that the exact date on December 31 st of 1991, that price controls would be suddenly lifted. So, shop owners immediately hid their goods and waited for December 31 st . So, suddenly the shops were empty and rationing was imposed and so forth. It's just unbelievable.

So, into this, this was Jeffrey Sachs on shock therapy and a group of Harvard University under the auspices of the Harvard Institute for International Development, a group of, among other things later documented CIA agents set up shop in Moscow and worked with Yeltsin's economic team Gaidar and Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais and themselves got in on the thunder the Russian East Harvard economist working. Now we have a transition in '93 through the Clinton Administration and there former Harvard professor and former World Bank Chief Economist Lawrence Summers became the deputy secretary of treasury responsible for the looting of Russia, effective and responsible for the gold economic transition in the Russian Federation.

And all of the key actors were named by Summers and they were all involved in the privatisation of Russia. They were all from this Harvard Mafia. For example of David Lipton, a former consulting partner of the Jeffrey Sachs, became deputy assistant secretary of treasure for former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and Sachs himself was named Director of Harvard HIID that oversaw the looting of Russia through the voucher privatisation and so forth. And they got grants from the USAID, AID works very closely with the CIA in different parts of the world, this is documented. And so it was really a tight-knit cabal around Lawrence Summers that oversaw this complete theft through these pieces of paper called privatisation coupons.

And what you had was the economic situation under Yeltsin had become so severe I mean people literally they had no jobs because of the freeing up of prices, they could afford to buy little or nothing. So, most people, millions of Russians sold their privatisation vouchers on the street corners to the highest bidder. And of course the would-be oligarchs were the ones with hard currency dollars that they could buy these things up as you pointed out earlier when we talked about them. So, they had credits from their friends in the West, the Riggs Valmet and so forth to buy up these vouchers and therefore they were able when the cost came up, were able to simply steal the property titles, the ownership titles of some of the most valuable investor assets and mineral assets in the world.

LS: And we can talk about this as a classical case of leveraged buyout – even though it was a covered leveraged buyout, if it was?

FEW: Well, you could call it a leveraged buyout. I know Anne Williamson has used that term, the earlier descriptions of it. I think it was simply legalised theft, leveraged buyout gives it too much dignity. That was a term that was quite popular in the financial world back in the '80s and the early '90s. But whatever name you want to give it, it was certainly not a conventional leveraged buyout, it was bizarre in every sense of the word.

LS: An influential figure in this was mentioned by you already, George Soros. And in 1994, as you point out in your book, he was described with the following words from The Guardian in London, "Soros extraordinary role not only as the world's most successful investor but now possibly fantastically as the senior most powerful foreign influence in the whole of the former Soviet Empire, it tricks more suspicion than curiosity." What was he doing back then in Russia?

FWE: Soros was very intermittently tied with Jeffrey Sachs and the whole Harvard to become a shock therapy group and working with Lawrence Summers team at the US Treasury under Clinton. And in 1993 already the opposition inside what was left of Russia when the old communist party was in the Duma and so forth and the population generally was such that the opposition threatened to get out of hand and Yeltsin was forced to agree to hold a national referendum on the entire privatisation. So, this was in April of '93 and the referendum that was given to the population had four questions, yes or no. Do you support Yeltsin? Yes or no? Do you support Yeltsin's economic policy? Yes or no? Do you want early election for president? Yes or no? And do you want early elections for parliament? Yes or no?

So, Chubais was as an adviser to Yeltsin at that time and the key person on the economy arranged the secret meeting with George Soros. And Soros agreed to finance of course on behalf of Yeltsin, the referendum campaign. So he funnelled money over a million dollars by some accounts to offshore accounts set up to be used by Chubais to buy media. And so the media campaign and by this time most of the national media had been bought up by the oligarchs around Yeltsin so they were able to exercise undue influence. So they barely squeak through and got a yes to the privatisation scheme that Harvard, Jeffrey Sachs and George Soros and others had going on. And then of course Soros' company himself benefitted enormously from this privatisation just a little bit later when the auctions took place.

LS: A figure that connects yesterday with today is Vladimir Putin who came to international attention first in 1998, the same year when the ruble crisis took place.

FWE: This was 1999 and in August '98 you had the collapse of the ruble. This was part of the Bush "Operation Hammer's" original design. You had a huge scam going on in the GKO Russian Bond market where the interest rates were just unbelievably high. So, you had all sorts of hot money coming in, making profits and pulling it up including Soros Fund, quantum fund and so forth.

And finally, Yeltsin was getting near the end of his ability to hold this thing together. And he appointed in August '99, he appointed a young former KGB officer who served during the Cold War in East Germany named Vladimir Putin. And briefly Putin had been a deputy mayor in St. Petersburg and briefly had been the head of the successor to the KGB called FSB and the oligarchs around Putin, I've heard various Russian accounts have had this happen but Berezovsky, Brzezinski and other, the Yeltsin oligarchs thought they could take this young guy Putin and do business with him and you know that he was young and had no political base.

So, at that point Putin gave the ultimatum to Yeltsin, resign or face serious consequences and it turned out that Putin which has later been confirmed was the spokesperson for a nationalist faction within the intelligence community, a patriotic faction, call it what you want but Russian nationalist. And so Yeltsin was told, "If you resign and just get out of politics, we'll leave you alone." So he took the offer and ran. And before he did that he named Vladimir Putin as acting president until elections in March the following year.

So, Putin then came into power and called a meeting as it were of the most powerful oligarchs who had made staggering fortunes at the expense of Russia and he called them creators of a corrupt state through insider dealings and began criminal prosecution against oligarchs like Vladimir Gusinsky and Media-Most, a financial group led by Vladimir Potanin who is in the newspaper today and soon left an oil company controlled by a Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky. So, at that point Putin began the uphill battle of trying to stabilise Russia as a functioning economy. And the recent re-election of Putin indicates that the Russian people by and large support that effort of Putin's.

LS: Meanwhile he also had to react to something new that was taking place then and that was NATO was marching east.

FWE: The negotiations and this is, has been confirmed by former US Ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock and that was the negotiations between the Bush administration in 1991 Germany and Gorbachev included a solemn guarantee as Jack Matlock, Ambassador Matlock who was in Moscow in '87 until '91 in this period. He said that we gave a categorical assurance to Gorbachev when the Soviet Union still existed that if United Germany was able to stay in NATO, NATO would not move eastward. So, of course that pledge like so many pledges of Washington under Bush successor governance was honoured in the breach and the newly created National Endowment for Democracy that I write about quite a bit in the Manifest Destiny.

You had, Vin Weber was the chairman of the NED at that time and he took US taxpayer money through the NED to supposedly bring democracy into former communist states. Then Weber was also a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the neocon think tank which really shaped the personnel of George W. Bush in the year 2000 and 2001. And Vin Weber was also a lobbyist for the largest military industrial conglomerate of the US Lockheed Martin.

So, he was instrumental together with another military industrial Lockheed Martin, former Vice President for Strategy named Bruce Jackson, Bruce P. Jackson to promote back democracy in former communist countries including Russia. And they started the process of expanding NATO to the east in strict violation of the pledges that had been given back in the early '90s. So, by 2003, they had begun this whole expansion of NATO into Poland, into Hungary, all the former communist countries.

LS: And the countries at the Baltic Sea.

FWE: So, at the Baltic Sea right on the doorstep of the Russian Federation, and Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and so forth. And you began to see a very definite NATO encirclement of Russia. And then in 2003-2004, the National Endowment for Democracy, George Soros' Foundation, the whole arm of the fake democracy NGOs of Washington, began to create the so called Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and also the Rose Revolution in Georgia next door. And if you look at a map, if you bring a pro NATO government into power in Ukraine, this they did under Viktor Gerashchenko in 2004, then you're presenting a pretty formidable military threat to the national security of Russia.

Now, at that time 2003, Russia was in no shape to do much more than feebly protest as loud as they could but of course they were ignored. Then you had something quite dramatic in 2006, the end of 2006. The George W. Bush administration Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defence back then announced that they were installing ballistic missile defence now I'll get to that in a minute but it's anything but defensive. In Poland, in the Czech Republic and that those anti-missile defence installations which included missiles would be aimed at a rogue nuclear attack from Iran.

In early 2007, Vladimir Putin personally came as president of Russia Federation to the Munich Security Conference, the International Security Conference held here in Munich Germany and gave a speech which really defines the security position of Russia right up to the present date. He said of course this is not aimed at Iran or North Korea as Washington says. That's a lie. It's like taking your right arm to scratch your left ear we say in Russian. It's aimed at Russia. And we consider this intolerable as a threat to our national security and we will be forced to respond.

LS: And it is aimed at Russia as a first strike possibility.

FWE: Yeah. Well, the point about the missile defence is I – in connection with the book, I interviewed, in an earlier book I wrote, I interviewed Colonel Robert Bowman who had been briefly the head of Ronald Reagan's Star Wars or missile defence programme. And became a very, very severe critic of the Bush administration's reckless policies withdrawing from the antiballistic missile ABM Treaty and so forth, said that missile defence is the missing link to Nuclear Primacy. First strike capability.

And that's something that Pentagon planners had been opting for since the 1950s. And he said, "If you can block the counterattack from your opponent and you then have this possibility to make a first strike and wipe them out because they can't simultaneously fire an effective counterstrike." So, that in a nutshell destroys the whole cold war doctrine of mutual and sure destruction that kept nuclear options off the table up until that time. And the Russians understand military strategy rather well I would say. And said, "This is simply intolerable. We have to respond and we will respond but in our own way and you will see."

LS: And the Russians have reacted.

B: The Russians have reacted, and if we can go for a minute up until the present

LS: Please

FEW: On March 1st Putin gave an address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow televised to the nation. The beginning part of the speech, his annual speech there, was about the Russian economy and plans for the future. This was shortly before the Russian elections that overwhelmingly gave him a new term. But the crucial part of that speech to the Federal Assembly was Russia's military technologies and this is as he put it. He referred to that 2007 speech in Munich and he said, "We said at that time that Russia would have to reply and since the expansion of NATO to the east which really to be honest that's – see there is no reason after 1991 or certainly after 2000 for the existence of NATO other than the reason given when NATO was created by the first secretary general of NATO to keep the Russians out the Germans down and the Americans in."

But Putin's speech talked about nuclear primacy and the Russian response and he outlined the military are the developments that they had quietly brought online since Washington tore up, unilaterally tore up the ABM Treaty in 2002/2003. So he outlined an awesome array of missiles, hypersonic low flying stealth missiles carrying nuclear warheads, unpredictable trajectories, invisible against perspective missile defence and air defence systems, unmanned submersible vehicles to great depth that could go many times higher than the speed of submarines cutting edge torpedoes just and commentators in the West like CNN. They said, "Oh, this is just bluff and so forth."

People who know Russian military technology and the intensity of the kind of research and development that's focused on defending the nation confirm that this is no joke. Hypersonic aircraft five times the speed of sound, that's hypersonic and they have something called the [unclear] which goes 10 times mark 10 and as Putin described it, "This missile flying 10 times faster than sound can manoeuvre in all phases of the flight trajectory, overcome all prospective and aircraft county missile defences in a range of 2000 kilometres."

He outlined about six or seven of these I would call them not even cutting edge, bleeding edge military technology and as The Saker commented in his blogpost after the speech, it's indeed set marching game over for the empire. There's no more military option against Russia.

This all is to make a point that the entire history up until now, these fake accusations of Putin would have an interest or Russia would have an interest to meddle with the US elections when you have a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to accuse Putin and Russia of international violations of law by allowing a referendum to take place in Crimea after the CIA coup d'etat in Kiev and now it's come out from actual mercenary snipers that were brought in from Georgia under [#inaudible 00:55:08-0#] umbrella that they were paid by the CIA or promised to be paid by cut outs to the CIA to create the Maidan Square February 2014 chaos that led to the collapse of the government and the coup d'etat.

So, you know, this is not Russia is the arch Evel Knievel looking for a fight every corner of the world. It's not Russia doing bad things in Syria. It's Russia trying to stop a NATO and Saudi and other embedded destruction of the Middle East and create some kind of peace and stability. And anyone modest to take the slightest bit of care and follow this, they can read a running commentary on my website williamengdahl.com but not only there, it's all over the place. You realise that the fake media is the media that dominates and is guided by NATO public relations strategy in the West and it's not the so called critical media that's being sanctioned and censored right now.

LS: Let's talk further about the present, William, by closing one circle of our interview. As we've discussed the Russian gold vaults were empty since the early 1990s. This has changed since basically the financial crisis broke out in 2007, 2008, 2009. Since then the Russian Central Bank is buying gold like basically no other nation in a very rapid tempo.

FWE: Since the financial crisis and especially since the opposition of sanctions after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, it's been the policy of the Russian Central Bank and the Russian Federation to buy as much gold for reserves of the ruble as they can get their hands on. And they are now I think number five or number six in the world in terms of gold reserves and correct me if I'm wrong but just slightly behind the people's republic of China which has also been vigorously adding gold towards Central Bank reserves for the yuan.

So, what Russia is doing is creating a buffer gold, by the way in my view has never ceased being an object of value to stand behind currencies. If you have currencies like the dollar after all this 1971 when Nixon took the dollar off the bread and wood, gold exchange [unclear], then if you have a military you might or manipulate the oil price petrodollar and so forth, you can create money if you have the reserve currency you can create money without them. So what the Russia is doing is creating a security in terms of its currency and now that security is probably going to be tested by the economic warfare division of the US Treasury in these new sanctions.

But Russia is merging together with China. Interestingly enough after 2014 when the CIA coup d'etat Ukraine took place, Putin responded not by getting bogged down in the destructive war inside the Eastern Ukraine but he responded by turning east, strengthening his relationships with China, with the new president of China then Xi Jinping bringing the Asian economic Union which Russia is the leading economy in, together with Belarus and Kazakhstan, Armenia and others, bringing that in a coherence with Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative One Belt, One Road to link the infrastructure, the energy pipelines, the high-speed rail networks, the deep water ports and so forth to create a Eurasian, some people call it the land bridge but it's an economic space in Eurasia that would have the majority of the world's population, would have every raw material resource that the world needs including rare earth metals that China is world's leading supplier of at the moment.

And Russia has vast oil and gas reserves and military technology, civilian technology, an educated labour force that is probably one of the finest in the world and scientific country and so forth. And independent of the bankrupt economies of Britain and the United States and very rapidly of the European Union where this banking crisis has, since the crisis of 2008 has just been swept under the rug but it's ready to explode on a moment's notice. So, you have a depth loaded western NATO world. Let's call it a NATO world, a world of the NATO member countries and you have Russia together, which by the way, Russia has unbelievably small

LS: Debt.

FWE: National debt.

LS: Yes.

FWE: Something like 13 to 17% of the gross domestic product.

LS: And now they have this huge stock of gold relative to very little sovereign debt. It's almost ideal.

FWE: Yes, and that's by design. That is by Putin's intention to create this independence. And one thing, I am very often in Russia, have a very, very dear special friends in Russia over the years, the first time I was there was 1994. That was a vastly different, that was in the middle of the Yeltsin and the insanity. The Russians are very not only proud people but they are very determined and they protect their existence and have done that I would say for well over 1000 years going back to the great schism between the Western church in Rome and the Eastern Church in 1054. I think that was a pivotal date in modern history, the division there.

But certainly the Russians have gone through two World Wars and the rape of Russia under Yeltsin, unbelievable trials and tribulations and they are not shying away from defending their existence. That's something I think the west or certainly Washington with these neocons really doesn't have a sense of.

LS: One thing that I would like to ask you about as my final question is the following. You are a renowned expert for the geopolitics and the history of oil. And since this month we have a future's contract in Shanghai, denominated in yuan for oil and we also hear that the Chinese are planning to price oil that they import in yuan which is safe for this buying of oil internationally via yuan, Russia would be the candidate number one as the exporter?

FWE: Definitely. Most definitely and Russia and China are connecting their financial markets ever closer. The Russian government is the in the process sometime this year of issuing Russian bonds denominated new Chinese yuan. The announcing of the petrol yuan, the oil futures contracts being sold in Shanghai, ultimately it won't happen overnight but it's certainly off to a positive start in the marketing acceptance. That has the basis for taking oil sales.

Let's step back a moment to the 1970s and I document this at length in two of my books, Myths, Lies and Oil Wars and A Century of War. In the early 1970s when Nixon took the dollar off of gold, the dollar relative to the German mark and the Japanese yen dropped like a stone, something like 40% over a period of five or six months. And in order to stop that because the New York Banks were hurting quite a bit from that, there was a oil price shock that was orchestrated. I won't go into the details it's documented quite extensively in those two books of mine.

LS: And Sheikh Yamani had said something about this, too.

FWE: Yes. He invited me after reading my book to his annual energy retreat in London in 2000, September 2000. And then called me to a private dinner discussion at his home outside of London to talk about what I wrote about in the book. And he later went on CNN on an interview and mentioned my book by name. In the written transcript it's in there and in the television version they spliced it out so that you couldn't realise that it'd been in there. But Sheikh Yamani told me you are the first journalist or the first person outside of myself that writes correctly what happened with that oil shock. And that was manipulated by among others Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State and by a group in the Atlantic establishment called the Bilderberg meeting in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden back in May of that period before the Yom Kippur War.

In any case, the US circles around Rockefeller, who at that point was the chairman of the board of USA Incorporated, I would say. They had engineered a 400% price rise in oil and to make sure that Germany and Japan and other countries wouldn't make deals to buy oil in German mark but keep the dollar demand high and the dollar value high. They send a delegation from the US Treasury to sign an agreement with the Saudi Arabian monetary agency for a new relationship taking surplus Saudi petrodollars or OPEC petrodollars and buying US government debt.

LS: Yeah, and outside of the normal auction to privileged conditions.

FWE: Yes. In return, Washington agreed to give the Saudis tens and billions of dollars of defence equipment.

LS: Yeah, and Saudi Arabia would use its status as a swing producer in OPEC that it would only accept dollars as a pricing for oil.

FEW: And the quid pro quo was after 1975, this was formalised that Saudis would as swing producer in OPEC guarantee that OPEC sold its oil only in dollars and that held up until the time of Saddam Hussein during the sanctions shortly before the US invasion and Saddam Hussein began buying oil through a French bank denominated in Euros and not in dollars.

LS: And he made a plus, he made a net plus because he did sell his oil in Euro.

FWE: Yeah, yeah. And so this, what that has done up until the present is prop up the US dollars despite the fact that the internal industrial economy import activity of the United States went down the tubes over the past 40 years since the taking the dollar off of gold and the, putting of English dollars for the world economy. So, the idea than China and Russia would trade in energy and that other economies would begin to sell oil to China, Iran for example is a prime candidate in the petro yuan not in petrodollars, this began slowly like acid drops begins to erode the reserve currency status of the US dollar. And if that goes, it's end game for the US as a financial global power.

LS: We have to make clear to our audience. The fact that you have to buy oil in dollar makes sure that you need dollar, that you acquire dollar in order to buy oil.

FWE: Yeah.

LS: And so if this mechanism goes, well then the US has a problem because the dollars that are floating around internationally would find their way back into the homeland of the US.

FWE: Well, the other thing is that in order to sell now you have under this wonderful Trumponomics as I call it, you have projections that the US annual government deficit, shortage of tax income from tax outgo, spending outgo will by 2020 exceed one trillion dollars a year for every year as far as the eye can see. And by end of 2020, 2028 I think was figured by the congressional budget office, the US public debt is estimated to be well over $33 trillion, it's 20 now, 38 maybe, it's just out of control. So, if the ability of the US dollar to command use in the world economy is severely undermined, you're going to have to raise interest rates so high to sell this debt and it just becomes dysfunctional.

LS: Yes, but you have already in the last few years interest rates payments on this already existing that of per annum $400 billion.

FWE: Yeah.

LS: And if interest rates go up

FWE: Yeah and that was under zero interest rates, but now, you know, if they have to put up interest rates to five, six, seven, 8% like it was in the 1980s. the whole thing just blows up sky high.

LS: And so coming back to gold, gold has the advantage relative to bonds or shares or the US dollar or other Fiat currencies that there is no counterparty risk. If you have the gold in physical form, there is no counterparty risk.

FWE: Right.

LS: So would you say that gold will be one of the ultimate winners of the ongoing financial crisis when it goes into full gear?

FWE: Well, it's documented that J. P. Morgan, Chase and other select banks with this collusion of the Federal Reserve have been artificially depressing the price of gold for years. Every time there's a new financial crisis, they intervene and keep gold within a very tight range. At a certain point that's not going to work anymore and then some people estimate to follow the gold markets much more than I do but it could quickly go up to $10,000 an ounce or even beyond that.

Be that as it may, gold as you point out has no counterparty risk and it's a historic store of value. It's one of the beautiful commodities out there and it has a special – the other just being special significance economically and historically, the other thing is that China is the number one mining producer of gold in the world today, not South Africa. South Africa has fallen far behind

LS: Yeah, and Russia is number three.

FWE: Russia is number three.

LS: And a lot of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are producers or are buying gold.

FWE: At the rail connections of the circle of the China Belt Road Initiative in part are aiming to go in the areas where there are known gold reserves but no infrastructure during the Soviet era to bring that gold down to market. So, we have an extremely fascinating prospect, not just for China and Russia, for the world really to build up instead of tear down, destroy and burn and bankrupt which is the only policy that Washington seems able to follow these days.

LS: Yeah. To sum it up with a famous Chinese proverb. "May you live in interesting times" – you and all the others.

FWE: We certainly do.

LS: Okay. great. Thank you very much, William, for this interview.

FWE: Thank you, Lars.


Omega a day ago ,

Two things:

1. Operation Hammer:

In 1989 President George H. W. Bush began the multi-billion dollar Project Hammer program using an investment strategy to bring about the economic destruction of the Soviet Union including the theft of the Soviet treasury, the destabilization of the ruble, funding a KGB coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and the seizure of major energy and munitions industries in the Soviet Union.

Those resources would subsequently be turned over to international bankers and corporations. On November 1, 2001, the second operative in the Bush regime, President George W. Bush, issued Executive Order 13233 on the basis of "national security" and concealed the records of past presidents, especially his father's spurious activities during 1990 and 1991.

http://www.conspiracyarchiv...

2. Why can't Putin touch Yeltsinist oligarchs:

Yeltsin's oligarchs remained as rich as they were; Yeltsin's family still possesses immense riches. And Putin does not dare to touch them. He goes hat in hand to open a Yeltsin's Memorial Centre; he is courteous with Yeltsin's widow and daughter. Putin's establishment cautiously avoided celebration, or even mention of the Revolution centenary, in keeping with Yeltsin's anticommunism. This is the Deal.

https://www.unz.com/ishamir...

Fraser a day ago ,

Given the depth of the fall, the rise (under Putin) has been remarkable.

Guy Fraser a day ago ,

The rise has been astounding and all because they have a leader that can't be bought , not corrupt and loves his country. That is why he literally was swept in in the last election. The Western leaders will not admit it but I am sure they are terribly envious .

Tommy Jensen a day ago ,

Very good article to bring to RI also.

It open eyes on how the West political elite are a criminal rotten cancer syndicate and Georg Bush Sr. shows up to be even worse than the disgusting profile he already has in media and Georg Soros bad reputation gets confirmed.

No police or court are available to take this out. We only have John Connor or The One to count on.
Choice is the problem now. We will have to make a choice.

Play Hide
Nicole Temple a day ago ,

The photo of Yeltsin and Clinton that accompanies this article should remind readers of this story:

https://viableopposition.bl...

There is something rotten in Washington and it has been in existence for decades.

Guy a day ago ,

Great interview .William Engdahl is a very knowledgeable person. I have read a few of his books. Superb in my view.

Jimi Thompson a day ago ,

Quite a few unknown tidbits for me in all of this... very eye-opening even for someone that is aware of the games being played at the higher levels.

To imagine all of what remains unknown, including many of the players, leaves much to the imagination.

[Apr 13, 2018] The End of International Law by Thierry Meyssan

Notable quotes:
"... Bill Clinton attacked Yugoslavia, blithely violating Internal Law. George Bush Jr. did the same by attacking Iraq, and Barack Obama by attacking Libya and Syria. As for Donald Trump, he has never hidden his distrust of supra-national rules. ..."
"... " Globalisation ", in other words the " globalisation of Anglo-Saxon values ", has created a class society between states. ..."
"... " Communication ", a new name for " propaganda ", has become the imperative in international relations. From the US Secretary of State brandishing a phial of pseudo-anthrax to the British Minister for Foreign Affairs lying about the origin of Novitchok in the Salisbury affair, lies have become the substitute for respect, and cause general mistrust. ..."
"... Russia is wondering today about the possible desire of the Western powers to block the United Nations. If this is so, it would create an alternative institution, but there would no longer be a forum which would enable the two blocks to discuss matters. ..."
Apr 13, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

o the Western powers hope to put an end to the constraints of International Law? That is the question asked by the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergueï Lavrov, at the Moscow conference on International Security [ 1 ].

Over the last few years, Washington has been promoting the concept of " unilateralism ". International Law and the United Nations are supposed to bow to the power of the United States.

This concept of political life is born of the History of the United States - the colonists who came to the Americas intended to live as they chose and make a fortune there. Each community developed its own laws and refused the intervention of a central government in local affairs. The President and the Federal Congress are charged with Defense and Foreign Affairs, but like the citizens themselves, they refused to accept an authority above their own.

Bill Clinton attacked Yugoslavia, blithely violating Internal Law. George Bush Jr. did the same by attacking Iraq, and Barack Obama by attacking Libya and Syria. As for Donald Trump, he has never hidden his distrust of supra-national rules.

Making an allusion to the Cebrowski-Barnett doctrine [ 2 ], Sergueï Lavrov declared: " We have the clear impression that the United States seek to maintain a state of controlled chaos in this immense geopolitical area [the Near East], hoping to use it to justify the military presence of the USA in the region, without any time limit, in order to promote their own agenda ".

The United Kingdom also seem to feel quite comfortable with breaking the Law. Last month, it accused Moscow in the " Skripal affair ", without the slightest proof, and attempted to unite a majority of the General Assembly of the UN to exclude Russia from the Security Council. It would of course be easier for the Anglo-Saxons to unilaterally rewrite the Law without having to take notice of the opinions of their opponents.

Moscow does not believe that London took this initiative. It considers that Washington is calling the shots.

" Globalisation ", in other words the " globalisation of Anglo-Saxon values ", has created a class society between states. But we should not confuse this new problem with the existence of the right to a veto. Of course, the UNO, while it declares equality between states whatever their size, distinguishes, within the Security Council, five permanent members who have a veto. This Directorate, composed of the main victors of the Second World War, is a necessity for them to accept the principle of supra-national Law. However, when this Directorate fails to embody the Law, the General Assembly may take its place. At least in theory, because the smaller states which vote against a greater state are obliged to suffer retaliatory measures.

La " globalisation of Anglo-Saxon values " ignores honour and highlights profit, so that the weight of the propositions by any state will be measured only by the economic development of its country. However, over the years, three states have managed to gain an audience to the foundations of their propositions, and not in function of their economy – they are the Iran of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (today under house arrest in his own country), the Venezuela of Hugo Chávez, and the Holy See.

The confusion engendered by Anglo-Saxon values has led to the financing of intergovernmental organisations with private money. As one thing leads to another, the member states of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), for example, have progressively abandoned their propositional power to the profit of private telecom operators, who are united in a " consultative committee ".

" Communication ", a new name for " propaganda ", has become the imperative in international relations. From the US Secretary of State brandishing a phial of pseudo-anthrax to the British Minister for Foreign Affairs lying about the origin of Novitchok in the Salisbury affair, lies have become the substitute for respect, and cause general mistrust.

During the first years of its creation, the UNO attempted to forbid " war propaganda ", but today, it is the permanent members of the Security Council who indulge in it.

The worst occurred in 2012, when Washington managed to obtain the nomination of one of its worst war-hawks, Jeffrey Feltman, as the number 2 of the UNO [ 3 ]. From that date onward, wars have been orchestrated in New York by the very institution that is supposed to prevent them.

Russia is wondering today about the possible desire of the Western powers to block the United Nations. If this is so, it would create an alternative institution, but there would no longer be a forum which would enable the two blocks to discuss matters.

Just as a society which falls into chaos, where men are wolves for men when deprived of the Law, so the world will become a battle-field if it abandons International Law. Thierry Meyssan

[Apr 10, 2018] Applied in the conditions of the Soviet Union in the Nineties, shock therapy actually created pressing rational incentives leading to creation of organized crime in Russia

Notable quotes:
"... 'A relatively recent body of research has shown that mafias emerge in societies that are undergoing a sudden and late transition to a market economy, lack a legal structure that reliably protects property rights or settles business disputes, and have a supply of people trained in violence who become unemployed at this specific juncture.' ..."
"... Of course, this means that we know nothing of what Putin has managed to accomplish in Russia, beyond the fact that we apparently aren't supposed to like him much, or understand why he enjoys the kind of support that he apparently does. ..."
"... What is bizarre now is the c ombination of an unreal sense of danger relating to non-existent or grossly exaggerated threats, with a lack of any sense of danger relating to our current practice of making actually or potentially unstable areas of the world even more unstable (pushing Humpty-Dumpty off the wall, one might call it.) ..."
Apr 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk , 4 years ago

rkka, kao_hsien_chih

I broadly agree with rkka's last comment.

Another point may be worth bringing into the discussion. One thing that Oxford University does rather well nowadays, perhaps ironically, is mafia studies – they have two splendid Italian professors, Diego Gambetta and Federico Varese. As the latter put it in his 2011 study 'Mafias on the Move':

'A relatively recent body of research has shown that mafias emerge in societies that are undergoing a sudden and late transition to a market economy, lack a legal structure that reliably protects property rights or settles business disputes, and have a supply of people trained in violence who become unemployed at this specific juncture.'

An interesting feature of this work is that a great deal of it is really an application of 'rational choice' theory. Applied in the conditions of the Soviet Union in the Nineties, 'shock therapy' actually created pressing 'rational' incentives leading to extensive criminalisation.

If property rights cannot be protected by an effective state, they will be protected by private enterprise – which means mafias. And if at the same time a vast military, intelligence and internal security apparatus is being demobilised, some of its members have the strongest incentives to join mafias.

Some kind of reconstruction of the Russian state – and also of Russian patriotism – was clearly necessary if large parts of Eurasia were not to be permanently locked in a state of criminalised anarchy.

People can legitimately disagree about the merits and demerits of Putin's approaches, and the interpenetration between organised crime, supposedly 'legitimate' business and politics continues to be a massive problem.

However, any argument based upon the belief Russia was 'on the right lines' in the Yeltsin years quite patently makes it impossible to understand what the possibilities are in the country today – in particular as, precisely as rkka says, it leads to the conclusion that Putin's supporters are suffering from a massive case of 'false consciousness'.

rkka , 4 years ago

"Of course, this means that we know nothing of what Putin has managed to accomplish in Russia, beyond the fact that we apparently aren't supposed to like him much, or understand why he enjoys the kind of support that he apparently does."

Exactly. In the '90s, oligarchs felt no need to pay wages to workers or taxes to the government, preferring to offshore every kopek they could get their hands on. Hence, workers suffered and the government was bankrupt.

And the FreeMarketReformers were fine with this.

When Putin arrived, he offered the oligarchs a deal: Keep your swag from the '90s, but behave from this point on. Most took him up on it. Several refused and tried to do as they had before. And when these were exiled or jailed, the Angosphere Foreign Policy Elite and Punditocracy (AFPE&P) howled with outrage at Putin 'violating their human rights'

However, the Russian people know by their own experience that they now live far better than they did while FreeMarketReformers were running the place. This is the simple reason Putin is popular with Russians. The AFPE&P say its because the Russian government dominates Russian media and propagandizes the ignorant masses. The AFPE&P lie about this, from both ignorance and malice.

kao_hsien_chih, 4 years ago
USG is clearly out of date by at least a decade and a half, or more likely, two or more, when it comes to Russia. After all, isn't that when we supposedly "won" the Cold War? If my speculation is right and no serious Russia experts came near the loci of power in USG since then, I shudder to think how out of date our information about the rest of the world (besides Russia and its surroundings) are.

Of course, this means that we know nothing of what Putin has managed to accomplish in Russia, beyond the fact that we apparently aren't supposed to like him much, or understand why he enjoys the kind of support that he apparently does.

David Habakkuk , 4 years ago

kao_hsien_chih,

I would absolutely agree with everything you write.

Some tentative thoughts in response.

In relation to British imperial experience, it may be relevant that the distinctive nature of Indian society, both the religious issues involved and the critical issue of caste, facilitated imperial control over a population which was not simply 'primitive' in the way that was the case in, for instance, most of Africa.

But 'divide et impera' can only be practised on the basis of understanding. Moreover, there were clear penalties for obtuseness, as we discovered in 1857.

What is bizarre now is the c ombination of an unreal sense of danger relating to non-existent or grossly exaggerated threats, with a lack of any sense of danger relating to our current practice of making actually or potentially unstable areas of the world even more unstable (pushing Humpty-Dumpty off the wall, one might call it.)

[Apr 02, 2018] Belarus Expels Moscow Diplomats 'Leading Russia Expert' Falls for Cheeky April Fool's Joke

Apr 02, 2018 | russia-insider.com

[Apr 01, 2018] All the President s Women by Andrew Levine

This is probably the most vicious attack on Trump trangressions that i encountered so far...
Notable quotes:
"... The problem for Trump is that what his accusers are saying puts him in legal and political jeopardy. They are claiming, in effect, that he has committed a variety of unlawful and impeachable offenses – from obstruction of justice to violations of campaign finance laws. ..."
"... The Clinton-Lewinsky dalliance led to a series of events that prevented Clinton from doing even more harm to our feeble welfare state institutions than he would otherwise have done. ..."
"... Fire and Fury ..."
Apr 01, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

There is no doubt about it: Stormy Daniels is a formidable woman. Karen McDougal is no slouch either, though she is hard to admire after that riff, in her Anderson Cooper interview, about how religious and Republican she is; she even said that she used to love the Donald. Stormy Daniels is better than that.

How wonderfully appropriate it would be if she were to become the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back.

Even in a world as topsy-turvy as ours has become, there has to be a final straw.

To be sure, evidence of Trump's vileness, incompetence, and mental instability is accumulating at breakneck speed, and there are polls now that show support for him holding fast or even slightly rising. Trump's hardcore "base" seems more determined than ever to stand by their man.

But even people as benighted as they are bound to realize eventually that they have been had. Many of them already do, but don't care; they hate Clinton Democrats that much. This is understandable, but foolish; so foolish, in fact, that they can hardly keep it up indefinitely.

To think otherwise is to despair for the human race.

What, if anything, can bring them to their senses in time for the 2018 election?

Stormy Daniels says she only wants to tell her story, not bring Trump down. But her political instincts seem decent, and she is one shrewd lady. Therefore, I would not be the least surprised if that is not quite true. It hardly matters, though, what her intentions are; I'd put my money on her.

A recession might also do the trick. A recession is long overdue, and Trump's tax cut for the rich and his tariffs are sure to make its consequences worse when it happens.

To turn significant portions of Trump's base against him, a major military conflagration might also do -- not the kind Barack Obama favored, fought far away and out of public view, but a real war, televised on CNN, and waged against an enemy state like North Korea or Iran. It would have to go quickly and disastrously wrong, though, in ways that even willfully blind, terminally obtuse Trump supporters could not fail to see.

Or the gods could smile upon us, causing Trump's exercise regimen (sitting in golf carts) and his fat-ridden, cholesterol rich diet to catch up with him, as it would with most other sedentary septuagenarians. The only downside would be that a heart attack or stroke might elicit sympathy for the poor bastard. No sane person could or should hope for a calamitous economic downturn or for yet another devastating, pointless, and manifestly unjust war, especially one that could become a war to end all wars (along with everything else), on the off-chance that some good might come of it. And if the best we can do is hope that cheeseburgers with fries will save us, we are grasping at straws.

These are compelling reasons to hope that the accusations made by Daniels and McDougal and Summer Zervos – and other consensual and non-consensual Trump victims and "playmates" – gain traction. If the several defamation lawsuits now in the works can get the president deposed, this is not out of the question.

The problem for Trump is not that his accusers' revelations will cause his base to defect; no matter how salacious their stories and no matter how believable they may be. Trump's moral turpitude is taken for granted in their circles; and they do not care about the myriad ways his words and deeds offend the dignity of the office he holds or embarrass the country he purports to put "first." If any of that mattered to them, they would have jumped ship long ago.

Except perhaps for unreconstructed racists and certifiable sociopaths, white evangelicals are Trump's strongest supporters. What a despicable bunch of hypocrites they are! As long as Trump delivers on their agendas, his salacious escapades don't faze them at all. Godly folk have evidently changed a good deal since the Cotton Mather days.

What has not changed is their seemingly limitless ability to believe nonsense.

And in case light somehow does manage to shine through, Trump has shown them how to restore the darkness they crave. When cognitive dissonance threatens, all they need do is scream "fake news."

The problem for Trump is that what his accusers are saying puts him in legal and political jeopardy. They are claiming, in effect, that he has committed a variety of unlawful and impeachable offenses – from obstruction of justice to violations of campaign finance laws.

In this case as in so many others, it is the cover-up, not the underlying "crime," that could lead to his undoing – especially if the stories Daniels and the others are telling shed light upon or otherwise connect with or meld into Robert Mueller's investigation of (alleged) Russian "meddling" in the 2016 election.

Trump could and probably will survive their charges. His base is such a preternaturally obdurate lot that there may ultimately be no last straw for them. We may have no choice, in the end, but to despair for a sizeable chunk of the human race.

Stormy Daniels would not be any less admirable on that account. She took Trump on and came out on top. For all the world (minus the willfully blind) to see, she, the porn star, is a strong woman who has her life together, while he, the president, is a discombobulated sleaze ball who is leading himself and his country to ruin.

***

It was different with Monica Lewinsky, another presidential paramour who, almost two decades ago, also held the world's attention.

There was nothing sleazy or venal about Lewinsky's involvement with Bill Clinton; and, for all I know, unless chastity counts, she is as good and virtuous a person as can be. But personal qualities are not what made her affair with our forty-second president as historically significant as it turned out to be.

It would be fair to say that of all the women who have ever had intimate knowledge of that old horn dog's private parts, there is no one who did more good for her country. If only for that, if there were a heaven, there would be special place in it just for her.

The Clinton-Lewinsky dalliance led to a series of events that prevented Clinton from doing even more harm to our feeble welfare state institutions than he would otherwise have done.

Who knows how much progress he would have turned back had he and Monica never done the deed or at least not been found out. Building on groundwork laid down by Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush, he and his wife had already terminated Aid to Families With Dependent Children, one of the main government programs aimed at relieving poverty. This was to be just the first step in "ending welfare as we know it."

With their "donors" pushing for more austerity, those two neoliberal pioneers were itching to begin privatizing other, more widely supported social programs, including even Social Security, the so-called "third rail" of American politics.

The "Lewinsky matter" put the kybosh on that idea, leaving the American people forever in Monica's debt.

Back in the Kennedy days, Mel Brook's two-thousand year old man got it right when he said: presidents "gotta do it," to which he added – " because if they don't do it to their wives and girlfriends, they do it to the nation."

Stormy Daniels made much the same point ten years ago, while flirting with the idea of running against Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Vitter's political career had been almost ruined when his name turned up in the phone records of the infamous "DC Madam," Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Daniels told voters that, unlike Vitter, she would "screw (them) honestly."

What then are we to make of the fact that Trump screws both the nation and his wife (maybe) and his girlfriends (or whatever they are)?

Blame it on arrested development, on the fact that despite his more than seventy-one years, Trump still has the mind of a teenage boy, one with money and power enough to live out his fantasies.

The contrast with Bill Clinton is stark. Clinton is a philanderer with eclectic tastes, a charming rascal with a broad and mischievous mind. Honkytonk women from Arkansas appeal to him as much as zaftig MOTs from the 90210 area code.

Trump, on the other hand, goes for super-models, Playboy centerfolds, and aspiring beauty queens -- standard teenage fantasy fare.

He seems to have had little trouble living his dreams – not thanks to his magnetic face, form and figure, and certainly not to his refinement, wit or charm, but to his inherited and otherwise ill-gotten wealth.

It is money and the power that follows from it that draws women to his net.

Henry Kissinger understood; recall his musings on the aphrodisiacal properties of power. Even in his prime, that still unindicted war criminal (and later-day Hillary Clinton advisor) was even more repellent than Trump. But that never kept him from having to fight the ladies off.

This fact of life puts a heavy responsibility on the women with whom presidents hook up.

Consider Melania. She made a Faustian bargain when she agreed to become Trump's trophy bride; in return for riches and a soft life in a gilded tower, she sold her soul. She might have thought better of it had she taken the burdens she would incur as First Lady into account, but why would she? The prospect was too improbable.

She has, it seems, a very practical, old world view of marriage, and is therefore tolerant of her husband's womanizing. At the same time, as a mother and daughter, she is, like most immigrants, a strong proponent of old world "family values."

Too much of a proponent perhaps; insofar as her idea was to "chain migrate" her parents out of Slovenia and onto Easy Street, or to raise a kid who would never want for anything, there were less onerous ways of going about it. After all, there are plenty of rich Americans lusting after supermodels out there, and it is a good bet that many of them are less repellent than Trump.

She was irresponsible as well. She ought to have realized that the man she married had already spawned two idiot sons, along with other fruit from the poisonous tree, and that four bad apples in one generation are enough.

And so now she finds herself a single mother – not in theory, of course, but very definitely in practice. Unlike most women in that position, she is not wanting for resources. But it must be a hard slog, even so. To her credit, Melania seems to be handling the burden well. More power to her!

She also deserves credit for her body language when the Donald is around; the contempt she shows for him is wonderful to behold. Best of all is her sense of the absurd. The way she plagiarized from Michelle Obama had obvious comic validity, and making childhood bullying her First Lady cause – all First Ladies have causes -- was a stroke of genius.

On balance, therefore, it is hard not to feel sorry for her. Of all the women in Trump's ambit, she deserves humiliation the least.

The rumor mill has it that with all the publicity about Daniels and the others , she has finally had enough. This may be the case; the old world ethos requires discretion and a concern with appearances. That is not the Donald's way, however, and now she is paying the price.

What a magnificent humiliation it would be if she and Trump were to split up on that account. This could happen soon. I would expect, though, that through a combination of carrots and sticks, Trump and his fixers will find a way to minimize the political effects. More likely still, they will channel Joe Kennedy and Jackie O, and figure out a way to head the problem off.

Then there is poor forgotten Tiffany. Her Wikipedia entry lists her as both a law student and a "socialite." I hope her studious side wins out and that, despite the genes from her father's side, she is at least somewhat decent and smart.

I'd be more confident of that if she would do what Ronald Reagan's daughter, Patti, did: use her mother's, not her father's, name. Unless she is a sleaze ball too, a Trump in the Eric and Don Junior mold, that would be a fine way to make a political point.

It would also pay back over the years. With the Trump administration on its current trajectory, who, in a few years' time, would take a Tiffany Trump seriously? A Tiffany Maples would stand a better chance.

Her half-sister, the peerless Ivanka, the Great Blonde Hope, is, of course, her father's sweetie. Let's not go there, however. Her marriage to Jared Kushner is already enough to process.

What a pair those two make; and what a glorious day it will be when the law finally catches up with Jared, as it did with his Trump-like father, Charles. Perhaps he will take Ivanka down a notch or two with him. Despite an almost complete lack of qualifications, Trump made his son-in-law his minister of almost everything; a pretty good gig for a feckless, airhead rich kid. Among other things, Trump enabled him to become Benjamin Netanyahu's ace in the hole. Netanyahu is a Kushner family friend. Netanyahu has more than his share of legal troubles too. Let them all go down together!

Ivanka and Jared are well matched – they share a "business model." It has them exploiting their daddies' connections and money.

Jared peddles real estate; his efforts have gotten his family into serious debt, while putting him in solid with Russian and Eastern European oligarchs, Gulf state emirs, and Mohammad bin Salman – people in comparison with whom his father-in-law seems almost virtuous.

Ivanka sells trinkets and schmatas to people who think the Trump name is cool. There actually are such people; at two hundred grand a pop, Mar-a-Lago is full of them. Ivanka's demographic is made up mostly of their younger set.

Two other presidential women bare mention: Hope Hicks and Nikki Haley. Surely, they both have tales to tell, but it looks, for now, as if their stories would be of little or no prurient interest. Neither of them appear to have been propositioned or groped.

Even though Hicks is said to be like a daughter to the Donald – we know what that could mean! – it is a safe bet that there was nothing of a romantic nature going on between them. For one thing, Hicks seems too close to Ivanka; for another, she is known to have dallied with two Trump subordinates, Corey Lewandowski and Rob Porter. The don is hardly the type to let his underlings have at his women.

Haley had to quash a spate of rumors that flared up thanks to some suggestive remarks Michael Wolff made while hawking Fire and Fury . The rumor caught on because people who hadn't yet fully realized what a piece of work Trump is, imagined that something had to be awry inasmuch as her main qualification for representing the United States at the United Nations was an undergraduate degree in accounting. Abject servility to the Israel lobby also helped.

But the Trump administration is full of ambitious miscreants whose views on Israel and Palestine are as abject and servile as hers, and compared to many others in Trump's cabinet she is, if anything, over qualified. Think of neurosurgeon Ben Carson heading the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He is qualified because, as a child, he lived in public housing.

With the exception of Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, Summer Zervos and whoever else comes forward with a juicy and credible tale to tell, the women currently in the president's ambit, though good for gossip and interesting in the ways that characters on reality TV shows can be, are of little or no political consequence.

This could change if any of them decides to "go rogue," to use an expression from the Sarah Palin days. But, while neither Melania nor Tiffany can yet be judged hopeless, it would be foolish to expect much of anything good to come from either of them.

Stormy, Karen, Summer, and whoever else steps forward are a better bet. They are the only ones with any chance of doing as much for their country and the world as Monica Lewinsky did a generation ago.

Among the president's women, they are a breed apart. This is plainly the case with Stormy Daniels; it is already clear that she deserves what all Trump's money can never buy – honor and esteem. To the extent that the others turn out to be similarly courageous, they will too.

[Apr 01, 2018] Big American Money, Not Russia, Put Trump in the White House: Reflections on a Recent Report by Paul Street

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. ..."
"... Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. ..."
"... Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. ..."
"... one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary ..."
"... Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate ..."
"... Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. ..."
"... My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency ..."
"... Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton ..."
"... The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America ..."
"... Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. ..."
"... Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache ..."
"... "In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added). ..."
"... "What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large." ..."
"... "In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million. ..."
"... Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. ..."
"... Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent " ..."
"... The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote ..."
"... Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." ..."
"... An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces: ..."
"... By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. ..."
"... Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ." ..."
"... no support from Big Business ..."
"... Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ." ..."
"... American Oligarchy ..."
"... teleSur English ..."
"... we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 ..."
"... Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements." ..."
"... Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like ..."
"... Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. ..."
"... Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos." ..."
"... His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging. ..."
Mar 30, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"She Doesn't Have Any Policy Positions"

On the Friday after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and prior to the Tuesday on which the vicious racist and sexist Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Bernie Sanders spoke to a surprisingly small crowd in Iowa City on behalf of Hillary Clinton. As I learned months later, Sanders told one of his Iowa City friends that day that Mrs. Clinton was in trouble. The reason, Sanders reported, was that Hillary wasn't discussing issues or advancing real solutions. "She doesn't have any policy positions," Sanders said.

The first time I heard this, I found it hard to believe. How, I wondered, could anyone run seriously for the presidency without putting issues and policy front and center? Wouldn't any serious campaign want a strong set of issue and policy positions to attract voters and fall back on in case and times of adversity?

Sanders wasn't lying. As the esteemed political scientist and money-politics expert Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen note in an important study released by the Institute for New Economic Thinking two months ago, the Clinton campaign "emphasized candidate and personal issues and avoided policy discussions to a degree without precedent in any previous election for which measurements exist .it stressed candidate qualifications [and] deliberately deemphasized issues in favor of concentrating on what the campaign regarded as [Donald] Trump's obvious personal weaknesses as a candidate."

Strange as it might have seemed, the reality television star and presidential pre-apprentice Donald Trump had a lot more to say about policy than the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a wonkish Yale Law graduate.

"Courting the Undecideds in Business, not in the Electorate"

What was that about? My first suspicion was that Hillary's policy silence was about the money. It must have reflected her success in building a Wall Street-filled campaign funding war-chest so daunting that she saw little reason to raise capitalist election investor concerns by giving voice to the standard fake-progressive "hope" and "change" campaign and policy rhetoric Democratic presidential contenders typically deploy against their One Percent Republican opponents. Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. She would cruise into the White House with no hurt plutocrat feelings simply by playing up the ill-prepared awfulness of her Republican opponent.

If Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Chen (hereafter "JFC") are right, I was on to something but not the whole money and politics story. Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. Sophisticated funders get it that the Democratic candidates' need to manipulate the electorate with phony pledges of democratic transformation. The big money backers know it's "just politics" on the part of candidates who can be trusted to serve elite interests (like Bill Clinton 1993-2001 and Barack Obama 2009-2017 ) after they gain office.

What stopped Hillary from playing the usual game – the "manipulation of populism by elitism" that Christopher Hitchens once called "the essence of American politics" – in 2016, a year when the electorate was in a particularly angry and populist mood? FJC's study is titled " Industrial Structure and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games : Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential Election." It performs heroic empirical work with difficult campaign finance data to show that Hillary's campaign funding success went beyond her party's usual corporate and financial backers to include normally Republican-affiliated capitalist sectors less disposed than their more liberal counterparts to abide the standard progressive-sounding policy rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates. FJC hypothesize that (along with the determination that Trump was too weak to be taken all that seriously) Hillary's desire get and keep on board normally Republican election investors led her to keep quiet on issues and policy concerns that mattered to everyday people. As FJC note:

"Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. For Clinton's campaign the temptation was irresistible: Over time it slipped into a variant of the strategy [Democrat] Lyndon Johnson pursued in 1964 in the face of another [Republican] candidate [Barry Goldwater] who seemed too far out of the mainstream to win: Go for a grand coalition with most of big business . one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary . Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate " (emphasis added). Hillary Happened

FJC may well be right that a wish not to antagonize off right-wing campaign funders is what led Hillary to muzzle herself on important policy matters, but who really knows? An alternative theory I would not rule out is that Mrs. Clinton's own deep inner conservatism was sufficient to spark her to gladly dispense with the usual progressive-sounding campaign boilerplate. Since FJC bring up the Johnson-Goldwater election, it is perhaps worth mentioning that 18-year old Hillary was a "Goldwater Girl" who worked for the arch-reactionary Republican presidential candidate in 1964. Asked about that episode on National Public Radio (NPR) in 1996 , then First Lady Hillary said "That's right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don't recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl."

It was a revealing reflection. The right-wing Democrat Hillary acknowledged that her ideological world view was still rooted in the conservatism of her family of origin. Her problem with the reactionary Republicanism afoot in the U.S. during the middle 1990s was that it was "not conservative in many respects." Her problem with the far-right Republican Congressional leaders Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay was that they were betraying true conservatism – "the conservatism [Hillary] was raised with." This was worse even than the language of the Democratic Leadership Conference (DLC) – the right-wing Eisenhower Republican (at leftmost) tendency that worked to push the Democratic Party further to the Big Business-friendly right and away from its working-class and progressive base.

Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. (I cannot reprise here the voluminous details of Mrs. Clinton's longstanding alignment with the corporate, financial, and imperial agendas of the rich and powerful. Two short and highly readable volumes are Doug Henwood, My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency [OR Books, 2015]; Diana Johnstone, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton [CounterPunch Books, 2015]. On the stealth, virulent racism of the Clintons in power, see Elaine Brown's classic volume The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America [2003].)

What happened? Horrid corporate Hillary happened. And she's still happening. The "lying neoliberal warmonger" recently went to India to double down on her "progressive neoliberal" contempt for the "basket of deplorables" (more on that phrase below) that considers poor stupid and backwards middle America to be by saying this : "If you look at the map of the United States, there's all that red in the middle where Trump won. I win the coasts. But what the map doesn't show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product (GDP). So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward" (emphasis added).

That was Hillary Goldman Sachs-Council on Foreign Relations-Clinton saying "go to Hell" to working- and middle-class people in Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, and West Virginia. It was a raised middle and oligarchic finger from a super-wealthy arch-global-corporatist to all the supposedly pessimistic, slow-witted, and retrograde losers stuck between those glorious enclaves (led by Wall Street, Yale, and Harvard on the East coast and Silicon Valley and Hollywood on the West coast) of human progress and variety (and GDP!) on the imperial shorelines. Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin had to go on television to say that Hillary was "wrong" to write off most of the nation as a festering cesspool of pathetic, ass-backwards, lottery-playing, and opioid-addicted white-trash has-beens. It's hard for the Inauthentic Opposition Party (as the late Sheldon Wolin reasonably called the Democrats ) to pose as an authentic opposition party when its' last big-money presidential candidate goes off-fake-progressive script with an openly elitist rant like that.

Historic Mistakes

Whatever the source of her strange policy silence in the 2016 campaign, that hush was "a miscalculation of historic proportion" (FJC). It was a critical mistake given what Ferguson and his colleagues call the "Hunger Games" misery and insecurity imposed on tens of millions of ordinary working- and middle-class middle-Americans by decades of neoliberal capitalist austerity , deeply exacerbated by the Wall Street-instigated Great Recession and the weak Obama recovery. The electorate was in a populist, anti-establishment mood – hardly a state of mind favorable to a wooden, richly globalist, Goldman-gilded candidate, a long-time Washington-Wall Street establishment ("swamp") creature like Hillary Clinton.

In the end, FJC note, the billionaire Trump's ironic, fake-populist "outreach to blue collar workers" would help him win "more than half of all voters with a high school education or less (including 61% of white women with no college), almost two thirds of those who believed life for the next generation of Americans would be worse than now, and seventy-seven percent of voters who reported their personal financial situation had worsened since four years ago."

Trump's popularity with "heartland" rural and working-class whites even provoked Hillary into a major campaign mistake: getting caught on video telling elite Manhattan election investors that half of Trump's supporters were a "basket of deplorables." There was a hauntingly strong parallel between Wall Street Hillary's "deplorables" blooper and the super-rich Republican candidate Mitt Romney's infamous 2012 gaffe : telling his own affluent backers saying that 47% of the population were a bunch of lazy welfare cheats. This time, though, it was the Democrat – with a campaign finance profile closer to Romney's than Obama's in 2012 – and not the Republican making the ugly plutocratic and establishment faux pas .

"A Frontal Assault on the American Establishment"

Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. As FJC explain:

"In 2016 the Republicans nominated yet another super-rich candidate – indeed, someone on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans. Like legions of conservative Republicans before him, he trash-talked Hispanics, immigrants, and women virtually non-stop, though with a verve uniquely his own. He laced his campaign with barely coded racial appeals and in the final days, ran an ad widely denounced as subtly anti-Semitic. But in striking contrast to every other Republican presidential nominee since 1936, he attacked globalization, free trade, international financiers, Wall Street, and even Goldman Sachs. ' Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache . When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing. For years, they watched on the sidelines as our jobs vanished and our communities were plunged into depression-level unemployment.'"

"In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added).

Big Dark Money and Trump: His Own and Others'

This cost Trump much of the corporate and Wall Street financial support that Republican presidential candidates usually get. The thing was, however, that much of Trump's "populist" rhetoric was popular with a big part of the Republican electorate, thanks to the "Hunger Games" insecurity of the transparently bipartisan New Gilded Age. And Trump's personal fortune permitted him to tap that popular anger while leaping insultingly over the heads of his less wealthy if corporate and Wall Street-backed competitors ("low energy" Jeb Bush and "little Marco" Rubio most notably) in the crowded Republican primary race.

A Republican candidate dependent on the usual elite bankrollers would never have been able to get away with Trump's crowd-pleasing (and CNN and FOX News rating-boosting) antics. Thanks to his own wealth, the faux-populist anti-establishment Trump was ironically inoculated against pre-emption in the Republican primaries by the American campaign finance "wealth primary," which renders electorally unviable candidates who lack vast financial resources or access to them.

Things were different after Trump won the Republican nomination, however. He could no longer go it alone after the primaries. During the Republican National Convention and "then again in the late summer of 2016," FJC show, Trump's "solo campaign had to be rescued by major industries plainly hoping for tariff relief, waves of other billionaires from the far, far right of the already far right Republican Party, and the most disruption-exalting corners of Wall Street." By FJC's account:

"What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large."

"The run up to the Convention brought in substantial new money, including, for the first time, significant contributions from big business. Mining, especially coal mining; Big Pharma (which was certainly worried by tough talk from the Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, about regulating drug prices); tobacco, chemical companies, and oil (including substantial sums from executives at Chevron, Exxon, and many medium sized firms); and telecommunications (notably AT&T, which had a major merge merger pending) all weighed in. Money from executives at the big banks also began streaming in, including Bank of America, J. P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Parts of Silicon Valley also started coming in from the cold."

"In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million.

Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. A wave of new money swept in from large private equity firms, the part of Wall Street which had long championed hostile takeovers as a way of disciplining what they mocked as bloated and inefficient 'big business.' Virtual pariahs to main-line firms in the Business Roundtable and the rest of Wall Street, some of these figures had actually gotten their start working with Drexel Burnham Lambert and that firm's dominant partner, Michael Milkin.

Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent "

The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote . Along with the racist voter suppression carried out by Republican state governments (JFC rightly chide Russia-obsessed political reporters and commentators for absurdly ignoring this important factor) and (JFC intriguingly suggest) major anti-union offensives conducted by employers in some battleground states, this major late-season influx of big right-wing political money tilted the election Trump's way.

The Myth of Potent Russian Cyber-Subversion

As FJC show, there is little empirical evidence to support the Clinton and corporate Democrats' self-interested and diversionary efforts to explain Mrs. Clinton's epic fail and Trump's jaw-dropping upset victory as the result of (i) Russian interference, (ii), then FBI Director James Comey's October Surprise revelation that his agency was not done investigating Hillary's emails, and/or (iii) some imagined big wave of white working-class racism, nativism, and sexism brought to the surface by the noxious Orange Hulk. The impacts of both (i) and (ii) were infinitesimal in comparison to the role that big campaign money played both in silencing Hillary and funding Trump.

The blame-the-deplorable-racist-white-working-class narrative is belied by basic underlying continuities in white working class voting patterns. As FJC note: " Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." It was about the money – the big establishment money that the Clinton campaign took (as FJC at least plausibly argue) to recommend policy silence and the different, right-wing big money that approved Trump's comparative right-populist policy boisterousness.

An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces:

"The real masters of these black arts are American or Anglo-American firms. These compete directly with Silicon Valley and leading advertising firms for programmers and personnel. They rely almost entirely on data purchased from Google, Facebook, or other suppliers, not Russia . American regulators do next to nothing to protect the privacy of voters and citizens, and, as we have shown in several studies, leading telecom firms are major political actors and giant political contributors. As a result, data on the habits and preferences of individual internet users are commercially available in astounding detail and quantities for relatively modest prices – even details of individual credit card purchases. The American giants for sure harbor abundant data on the constellation of bots, I.P. addresses, and messages that streamed to the electorate "

" stories hyping 'the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate U.S. political discourse while also seeking to heighten tensions between groups already wary of one another by the Russians miss the mark.' By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. Large numbers of conservative websites, including many that that tolerated or actively encouraged white supremacy and contempt for immigrants, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, or the aspirations of women had been hard at work for years stoking up 'tensions between groups already wary of one another.' Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ."

" the evidence revealed thus far does not support strong claims about the likely success of Russian efforts, though of course the public outrage at outside meddling is easy to understand. The speculative character of many accounts even in the mainstream media is obvious. Several, such as widely circulated declaration by the Department of Homeland Security that 21 state election systems had been hacked during the election, have collapsed within days of being put forward when state electoral officials strongly disputed them, though some mainstream press accounts continue to repeat them. Other tales about Macedonian troll factories churning out stories at the instigation of the Kremlin, are clearly exaggerated."

The Sanders Tease: "He Couldn't Have Done a Thing"

Perhaps the most remarkable finding in FJC's study is that Sanders came tantalizingly close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination against the corporately super-funded Clinton campaign with no support from Big Business . Running explicitly against the "Hunger Games" economy and the corporate-financial plutocracy that created it, Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ."

Sanders pulled this off, FJC might have added, by running in (imagine) accord with majority-progressive left-of-center U.S. public opinion. But for the Clintons' corrupt advance- control of the Democratic National Committee and convention delegates, Ferguson et al might further have noted, Sanders might well have been the Democratic presidential nominee, curiously enough in the arch-state-capitalist and oligarchic United States

Could Sanders have defeated the billionaire and right-wing billionaire-backed Trump in the general election? There's no way to know, of course. Sanders consistently out-performed Hillary Clinton in one-on-one match -up polls vis a vis Donald Trump during the primary season, but much of the big money (and, perhaps much of the corporate media) that backed Hillary would have gone over to Trump had the supposedly "radical" Sanders been the Democratic nominee.

Even if Sanders has been elected president, moreover, Noam Chomsky is certainly correct in his recent judgement that Sanders would have been able to achieve very little in the White House. As Chomsky told Lynn Parramore two weeks ago, in an interview conducted for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, the same think-tank that published FJC's remarkable study:

"His campaign [was] a break with over a century of American political history. No corporate support, no financial wealth, he was unknown, no media support. The media simply either ignored or denigrated him. And he came pretty close -- he probably could have won the nomination, maybe the election. But suppose he'd been elected? He couldn't have done a thing. Nobody in Congress, no governors, no legislatures, none of the big economic powers, which have an enormous effect on policy. All opposed to him. In order for him to do anything, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus, which would have to grow from the grass roots. It would have to be locally organized, it would have to operate at local levels, state levels, Congress, the bureaucracy -- you have to build the whole system from the bottom."

As Chomsky might have added, Sanders oligarchy-imposed "failures" would have been great fodder for the disparagement and smearing of "socialism" and progressive, majority-backed policy change. "See? We tried all that and it was a disaster!"

I would note further that the Sanders phenomenon's policy promise was plagued by its standard bearer's persistent loyalty to the giant and absurdly expensive U.S.-imperial Pentagon System, which each year eats up hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars required to implement the progressive, majority-supported policy agenda that Bernie F-35 Sanders ran on.

"A Very Destructive Ideology"

The Sanders challenge was equally afflicted by its candidate-centered electoralism. This diverted energy away from the real and more urgent politics of building people's movements – grassroots power to shake the society to its foundations and change policy from the bottom up (Dr. Martin Luther King's preferred strategy at the end of his life just barely short of 50 years ago, on April 4 th , 1968) – and into the narrow, rigidly time-staggered grooves of a party and spectacle-elections crafted by and for the wealthy Few and the American Oligarchy 's "permanent political class" (historian Ron Formisano). As Chomsky explained on the eve of the 2004 elections:

"Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, 'That's politics.' But it isn't. It's only a small part of politics The urgency is for popular progressive groups to grow and become strong enough so that centers of power can't ignore them. Forces for change that have come up from the grass roots and shaken the society to its core include the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the women's movement and others, cultivated by steady, dedicated work at all levels, every day, not just once every four years sensible [electoral] choices have to be made. But they are secondary to serious political action."

"The only thing that's going to ever bring about any meaningful change," Chomsky told Abby Martin on teleSur English in the fall of 2015, "is ongoing, dedicated, popular movements that don't pay attention to the election cycle." Under the American religion of voting, Chomsky told Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson in the spring of 2016, "Citizenship means every four years you put a mark somewhere and you go home and let other guys run the world. It's a very destructive ideology basically, a way of making people passive, submissive objects [we] ought to teach kids that elections take place but that's not politics."

For all his talk of standing atop a great "movement" for "revolution," Sanders was and remains all about this stunted and crippling definition of citizenship and politics as making some marks on ballots and then returning to our domiciles while rich people and their agents (not just any "other guys") "run [ruin?-P.S.] the world [into the ground-P.S.]."

It will take much more in the way of Dr. King's politics of "who' sitting in the streets," not "who's sitting in the White House" (to use Howard Zinn's excellent dichotomy ), to get us an elections and party system worthy of passionate citizen engagement. We don't have such a system in the U.S. today, which is why the number of eligible voters who passively boycotted the 2016 presidential election is larger than both the number who voted for big money Hillary and the number who voted for big money Trump.

(If U.S. progressives really want to consider undertaking the epic lift involved in passing a U.S. Constitutional Amendment, they might want to focus on this instead of calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment. I'd recommend starting with a positive Democracy Amendment that fundamentally overhauls the nation's political and elections set-up in accord with elementary principles and practices of popular sovereignty. Clauses would include but not be limited to full public financing of elections and the introduction of proportional representation for legislative races – not to mention the abolition of the Electoral College, Senate apportionment on the basis of total state population, and the outlawing of gerrymandering.)

Ecocide Trumped by Russia

Meanwhile, back in real history, we have the remarkable continuation of a bizarre right-wing, pre-fascist presidency not in normal ruling-class hands, subject to the weird whims and tweets of a malignant narcissist who doesn't read memorandums or intelligence briefings. Wild policy zig-zags and record-setting White House personnel turnover are par for the course under the dodgy reign of the orange-tinted beast's latest brain spasms. Orange Caligula spends his mornings getting his information from FOX News and his evenings complaining to and seeking advice from a small club of right-wing American oligarchs.

Trump poses grave environmental and nuclear risks to human survival. A consistent Trump belief is that climate change is not a problem and that it's perfectly fine – "great" and "amazing," in fact – for the White House to do everything it can to escalate the Greenhouse Gassing-to-Death of Life on Earth. The nuclear threat is rising now that he has appointed a frothing right-wing uber-warmonger – a longtime advocate of bombing Iran and North Korea who led the charge for the arch-criminal U.S. invasion of Iraq – as his top "National Security" adviser and as he been convinced to expel dozens of Russian diplomats. Thanks, liberal and other Democratic Party RussiaGaters!

The Clinton-Obama neoliberal Democrats have spent more than a year running with the preposterous narrative that Trump is a Kremlin puppet who owes his presence in the White House to Russia's subversion of our democratic elections. The climate crisis holds little for the Trump and Russia-obsessed corporate media. The fact that the world stands at the eve of the ecological self-destruction, with the Trump White House in the lead, elicits barely a whisper in the reigning commercial news media. Unlike Stormy Daniels, for example, that little story – the biggest issue of our or any time – is not good for television ratings and newspaper sales.

Sanders, by the way, is curiously invisible in the dominant commercial media, despite his quiet survey status as the nation's "most popular politician." That is precisely what you would expect in a corporate and financial oligarchy buttressed by a powerful corporate, so-called "mainstream" media oligopoly.

Political Parties as "Bank Accounts"

One of the many problems with the obsessive Blame-Russia narrative that a fair portion of the dominant U.S. media is running with is that we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 . Saying that Russia has "undermined [U.S.-] American democracy" is like me – middle-aged, five-foot nine, and unblessed with jumping ability – saying that the Brooklyn Nets' Russian-born center Timofy Mozgof subverted my career as a starting player in the National Basketball Association. In state-capitalist societies marked by the toxic and interrelated combination of weak popular organization, expensive politics, and highly concentrated wealth – all highly evident in the New Gilded Age United States – electoral contests and outcomes boil down above all and in the end to big investor class cash. As Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues explain:

"Where investment and organization by average citizens is weak, however, power passes by default to major investor groups, which can far more easily bear the costs of contending for control of the state. In most modern market-dominated societies (those celebrated recently as enjoying the 'end of History'), levels of effective popular organization are generally low, while the costs of political action, in terms of both information and transactional obstacles, are high. The result is that conflicts within the business community normally dominate contests within and between political parties – the exact opposite of what many earlier social theorists expected, who imagined 'business' and 'labor' confronting each other in separate parties Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements."

Here Ferguson might have said "corporate-dominated" instead of "market-dominated" for the modern managerial corporations emerged as the "visible hand" master of the "free market" more than a century ago.

We get to vote? Big deal.

People get to vote in Rwanda, Russia, the Congo and countless other autocratic states as well. Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like, which includes any country that dares to "question the basic principle that the United States effectively owns the world by right and is by definition a force for good" ( Chomsky, 2016 ).

Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. The list of interrelated and mutually reinforcing culprits behind this oligarchic defeat of popular sentiment in the U.S. is extensive. It includes but is not limited to: the campaign finance, candidate-selection, lobbying, and policy agenda-setting power of wealthy individuals, corporations, and interest groups; the special primary election influence of full-time party activists; the disproportionately affluent, white, and older composition of the active (voting) electorate; the manipulation of voter turnout; the widespread dissemination of false, confusing, distracting, and misleading information; absurdly and explicitly unrepresentative political institutions like the Electoral College, the unelected Supreme Court, the over-representation of the predominantly white rural population in the U.S. Senate; one-party rule in the House of "Representatives"; the fragmentation of authority in government; and corporate ownership of the reigning media, which frames current events in accord with the wishes and world view of the nation's real owners.

Yes, we get to vote. Super. Big deal. Mammon reigns nonetheless in the United States, where, as the leading liberal political scientists Benjamin Page and Martin Gilens find , "government policy reflects the wishes of those with money, not the wishes of the millions of ordinary citizens who turn out every two years to choose among the preapproved, money-vetted candidates for federal office."

Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos."

He is a homegrown capitalist oligarch nonetheless, a real estate mogul of vast and parasitic wealth who is no more likely to fulfill his populist-sounding campaign pledges than any previous POTUS of the neoliberal era.

His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging.

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Paul Street's latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)

[Mar 14, 2018] In effect, under Yeltsin our Harvard mafia turned Russia into African economy, never mind that Russian's aren't African's. This desire to rape and pillage the earth in order to take rents is a sophisticated, yet criminally insane method

Mar 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

MEFOBILLS , March 14, 2018 at 3:38 pm GMT

@DESERT FOX

God bless Putin and Russia for standing against the Zionist NWO

You are correct Desert Fox. The prime variable in history is economics. Economics before politics and before war.

Our illuminist friends manipulate the strings of international bank capital for their one world government. In effect, the West has been infested with a tiny cadre of plutocrats, who operate a usury mechanism to extract wealth from host peoples and nations.

Russia was to be broken up into parts. ((Harvard boys)) came to the 'rescue" and privatized Russia with various schemes, the most important of which was to saddle Russian's with "dollar" debts. Russians as hewers of wood and drawers of water, were to sell their "earth" in exchange for finished dollar priced goods. Middle Class Russian labor is then cut out of wealth production inherent in making finished goods. For example, Russian platinum is used to make high value catalytic converters elsewhere, while only a few Russian's get wealthy (in dollar terms) by poking holes in Russian land to extract minerals. Former Russian nuclear scientists walk around drunk as they are not fit for being good labor to extract oil, platinum, etc.

In effect, our ((friends)) turned Russia into African economy, never mind that Russian's aren't African's. This desire to rape and pillage the earth, to then take rents on the world, to then think of yourselves as god (note a little g) is a sophisticated, yet criminally insane method akin to parasitism.

Russian's were infested by parasites, and yet Russian people as hosts have become stronger year on year, to eject their parasite. Putin was instrumental in this transformation.

All nationalist economies in the past, which had the temerity to eject these parasites have come under attack. I'm thinking Nazi Germany as well – oh the horror. This economic attack is often under the guise of liberalism, which has a knock on effect of breaking down civil society. In other words, liberalism is a symptom of parasitic financial oligarchy (and illuminism) a control method to make a host weak, to then be re-colonized.

Russia DOES need to take full control of its Central Bank and eject its fifth columnists (atlantacists), a final act that hasn't been done yet. On this point, it is factual and fair to criticize Putin, because once Russian's have their own money power, they can accelerate even faster. http://www.sovereignmoney.eu

[Mar 12, 2018] There is no democracy without economic democracy by Jason Hirthler

Highly recommended!
Like many high demand cults neoliberalism is a trap, from which it is very difficult to escape...
Notable quotes:
"... A large, open-border global free market would be left, not subject to popular control but managed by a globally dispersed, transnational one percent. And the whole process of making this happen would be camouflaged beneath the altruistic stylings of a benign humanitarianism. ..."
"... Globalists, as neoliberal capitalists are often called, also understood that democracy, defined by a smattering of individual rights and a voting booth, was the ideal vehicle to usher neoliberalism into the emerging world. Namely because democracy, as commonly practiced, makes no demands in the economic sphere. Socialism does. Communism does. These models directly address ownership of the means of production. Not so democratic capitalism. This permits the globalists to continue to own the means of production while proclaiming human rights triumphant in nations where interventions are staged. ..."
"... The enduring lie is that there is no democracy without economic democracy. ..."
turcopolier.typepad.com

Part 3 - A False Promise

This 'Washington Consensus' is the false promise promoted by the West. The reality is quite different. The crux of neoliberalism is to eliminate democratic government by downsizing, privatizing, and deregulating it. Proponents of neoliberalism recognize that the state is the last bulwark of protection for the common people against the predations of capital. Remove the state and they'll be left defenseless .

Think about it. Deregulation eliminates the laws. Downsizing eliminates departments and their funding. Privatizing eliminates the very purpose of the state by having the private sector take over its traditional responsibilities.

Ultimately, nation-states would dissolve except perhaps for armies and tax systems. A large, open-border global free market would be left, not subject to popular control but managed by a globally dispersed, transnational one percent. And the whole process of making this happen would be camouflaged beneath the altruistic stylings of a benign humanitarianism.

Globalists, as neoliberal capitalists are often called, also understood that democracy, defined by a smattering of individual rights and a voting booth, was the ideal vehicle to usher neoliberalism into the emerging world. Namely because democracy, as commonly practiced, makes no demands in the economic sphere. Socialism does. Communism does. These models directly address ownership of the means of production. Not so democratic capitalism. This permits the globalists to continue to own the means of production while proclaiming human rights triumphant in nations where interventions are staged.

The enduring lie is that there is no democracy without economic democracy.

What matters to the one percent and the media conglomerates that disseminate their worldview is that the official definitions are accepted by the masses. The real effects need never be known. The neoliberal ideology (theory) thus conceals the neoliberal reality (practice). And for the masses to accept it, it must be mass produced. Then it becomes more or less invisible by virtue of its universality.

Source, links:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/02/colonizing-the-western-mind/
[ 1 ] [ 2 ]

[Mar 11, 2018] Is Trump the New Clinton by Musa al-Gharbi

Notable quotes:
"... If Mueller's probe drags on and fails to produce a "smoking gun," the whole affair may end up seeming so complex, muddy, and partisan that most of the public would prefer to move on, eager to talk about something else . ..."
"... In 1996, Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole decided to take a hard line on China -- portraying the nation as a growing economic and geopolitical threat to the United States and a violator of international rules and norms. In response, China tried to leverage its extensive diplomatic , intelligence , and financial networks in the United States in order to sway the election in favor of Dole's rival, Democrat Bill Clinton. ..."
"... This is not a theory, it is historical fact: there was a major Congressional investigation . In the end, several prominent Democratic fundraisers, including close Clinton associates, were found to be complicit in the Chinese meddling efforts and pled guilty to various charges of violating campaign finance and disclosure laws (most notably James T. Riady , Johnny Chung , John Huang , and Charlie Trie ). Several others fled the country to escape U.S. jurisdiction as the probe got underway. The Democratic National Committee was forced to return millions of dollars in ill-gotten funds (although by that point, of course, their candidate had already won). ..."
"... Clinton authorized a series of controversial defense contracts with China as well -- despite Department of Justice objections . Federal investigators were concerned that the contractors seemed to be passing highly sensitive and classified information to the Chinese. And indeed, the companies in question were eventually found to have violated the law by giving cutting-edge missile technology to China, and paid unprecedented fines related to the Arms Export Control Act during the administration of George W. Bush. But they were inexplicably approved in the Bill Clinton years. ..."
Mar 11, 2018 | thebaffler.com

A president can be reelected despite corruption, foreign meddling, and sex scandals Bill Clinton was reelected with help from China. / The Baffler Imagine for a moment that special counsel Robert Mueller is unable to establish direct and intentional collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Or, suppose he proves collusion by a few former campaign aides but finds nothing directly implicating the president himself. In either event -- or in just about any other imaginable scenario -- it seems improbable that Congress will have the votes to impeach Trump or otherwise hold him accountable prior to 2020.

If Mueller's probe drags on and fails to produce a "smoking gun," the whole affair may end up seeming so complex, muddy, and partisan that most of the public would prefer to move on, eager to talk about something else .

In other words, Russiagate could well continue to distract and infuriate Trump without breaking his hold on power.

Is it shocking to think evidence of Russian chicanery could be shrugged off? Don't be shocked. After all, the last major case of foreign meddling and collusion in a U.S. presidential race didn't exactly end up rocking the republic.

In 1996, Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole decided to take a hard line on China -- portraying the nation as a growing economic and geopolitical threat to the United States and a violator of international rules and norms. In response, China tried to leverage its extensive diplomatic , intelligence , and financial networks in the United States in order to sway the election in favor of Dole's rival, Democrat Bill Clinton.

This is not a theory, it is historical fact: there was a major Congressional investigation . In the end, several prominent Democratic fundraisers, including close Clinton associates, were found to be complicit in the Chinese meddling efforts and pled guilty to various charges of violating campaign finance and disclosure laws (most notably James T. Riady , Johnny Chung , John Huang , and Charlie Trie ). Several others fled the country to escape U.S. jurisdiction as the probe got underway. The Democratic National Committee was forced to return millions of dollars in ill-gotten funds (although by that point, of course, their candidate had already won).

It was a scandal that persisted after the election in no small part because many of Clinton's own policies in his second term seemed to lend credence to insinuations of collusion.