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Color Revolutions Bulletin, 2016

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[Dec 23, 2019] Americas Spiral Into Permanent War Seems More Foolish Than Ever by Conn Hallinan ,

Notable quotes:
"... Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War. ..."
"... Through the Looking Glass ..."
Nov 18, 2016 | fpif.org

Donald Trump is inheriting the scariest tools of aggression imaginable. A new book explores their dark legacy.

Journalist Mark Danner explores how Washington's disastrous policies in the Middle East became standard operating procedure. (Photo: Berkeley School of Journalism)

"We have fallen into a self-defeating spiral of reaction and counterterror," writes Mark Danner in his new book Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War. "Our policies, meant to extirpate our enemies, have strengthened and perpetuated them."

Danner - an award winning journalist, professor, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations who has covered war and revolutions on three continents - begins Spiral with the aftermath of a 2003 ambush of U.S. troops outside of Fallujah, Iraq.

The insurgents had set off a roadside bomb, killing a paratrooper and wounding several others. "The Americans promptly dismounted and with their M-16s and M-4s began pouring lead into everything they could see," including a passing truck, he writes. "By week's end scores of family and close friends of those killed would join the insurgents, for honor demanded they kill Americans to wipe away family shame."

The incident encapsulates the fundamental contradiction at the heart of George W. Bush's - and with variations, Barack Obama's - "war on terror": The means used to fight it is the most effective recruiting device that organizations like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Shabab, and the Islamic State have.

Targeted assassinations by drones, the use of torture, extra-legal renditions, and the invasions of several Muslim countries have combined to yield an unmitigated disaster, destabilizing several states, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and generating millions of refugees.

Putting War Crimes on the Menu

Danner's contention is hardly breaking news, nor is he the first journalist to point out that responding to the tactic of terrorism with military force generates yet more enemies and instability. But Spiral argues that what was once unusual has now become standard operating procedure, and the Obama administration bears some of the blame for this by its refusal to prosecute violations of international law.

Torture is a case in point.

In the aftermath of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, the Bush administration introduced so-called "enhanced interrogation" techniques that were, in fact, torture under both U.S. and international law. Danner demonstrates that the White House, and a small cluster of advisers around Vice President Dick Cheney, knew they could be prosecuted under existing laws, so they carefully erected a "golden shield" of policy memos that would protect them from prosecution for war crimes.

In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Obama announced that he had "prohibited torture." But, as Danner points out, "torture violates international and domestic law and the notion that our president has the power to prohibit it follows insidiously from the pretense that his predecessor had the power to order it. Before the war on terror official torture was illegal and an anathema; today it is a policy choice."

And president-elect Donald Trump has already announced that he intends to bring it back.

There is no doubt that enhanced interrogation was torture. The International Committee of the Red Cross found the techniques "amounted to torture and/or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment." How anyone could conclude anything else is hard to fathom. Besides the waterboarding - for which several Japanese soldiers were executed for using on Allied prisoners during World War II - interrogators used sleep deprivation, extreme confinement, and "walling." Abu Zubaydah, who was waterboarded 83 times, describes having a towel wrapped around his neck that his questioners used "to swing me around and smash repeatedly against the wall of the [interrogation] room."

According to a 2004 CIA memo, "An HVD [high value detainee] may be walled one time (one impact with the wall) to make a point, or twenty to thirty times consecutively when the interrogator requires a more significant response to a question." There were, of course, some restraints. For instance, the Justice Department refused to approve a CIA proposal to bury people alive.

And, as Danner points out, none of these grotesque methods produced any important information. The claim that torture saved "thousands of lives" is simply a lie.

There was a certain Alice in Wonderland quality about the whole thing. Zubaydah was designated a "high official" in Al Qaeda, the number three or four man in the organization. In reality he wasn't even a member, as the Justice Department finally admitted in 2009. However, because he was considered a higher up in the group, it was assumed he must know about future attacks. If he professed that he didn't know anything, this was proof that he did, and so he had to be tortured more. "It is a closed circle, self-sufficient, impervious to disobedient facts," says Danner.

The logic of the Red Queen.

Through the Looking Glass

The Obama administration has also conjured up some interpretations of language that seem straight out of Lewis Carroll.

In defending his use of drone strikes in a 2014 speech at West Point, the president said he only uses them "when we face a continuing, imminent threat." But "imminent" means "likely to occur at any moment" and is the opposite of "continuing." A leaked Justice Department memo addresses the incongruity by arguing, "Imminent does not require the U.S. to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future."

Apparently the administration has now added "elongated" to "imminent," so that "a president doesn't have to deem the country under immediate threat to attack before acting on his or her own." As Humpty Dumpty says to Alice in Through the Looking Glass , "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean."

Danner turns the phrase "American exceptionalism" on its head. The U.S. is not "exceptional" because of its democratic institutions and moral codes, but because it has exempted itself from international law. "Americans, believing themselves to stand proudly for the rule of law and human rights, have become for the rest of the world a symbol of something quite opposite: a society that imprisons people indefinitely without trial, kills thousands without due process, and leaves unpunished lawbreaking approved by its highest officials."

The war has also undermined basic constitutional restrictions on the ability of intelligence agencies and law enforcement to vacuum up emails and cell phone calls, and has created an extra-legal court system to try insurgents whose oversight and appeal process in shrouded in secrecy.

Failure by Any Measure

The war on terror - the Obama administration has re-titled it a war on extremism - hasn't been just an illegal and moral catastrophe. It's a failure by any measure. From 2002 to 2014, the number of deaths from terrorism grew 4,000 percent, the number of jihadist groups increased by 58 percent, and the membership in those organizations more than doubled.

The war has also generated a massive counterterrorism bureaucracy that has every reason to amp up the politics of fear. And yet with all the alarm this has created, a total of 24 Americans were killed by terrorism in 2014, fewer than were done in by lighting.

Terrorism, says Danner, is "la politique du pire," the "politics of the worst" or the use of provocation to get your enemy to overreact. "If you are weak, if you have no army of your own, borrow you enemy's. Provoke your adversary to do your political work for you," he says. "And in launching the war on terror, eventually occupying two Muslim countries and producing Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib celebrating images of repression and torture, the United States proved all too happy to oblige."

Danner argues that idea you can defeat terrorism - which is really just a tactic used by the less powerful against the more powerful - with military force is an illusion. It can and does, however, make everything worse.

Even the Department of Defense knows this. In 2004, the Pentagon's Defense Science Board found that:

Increasingly the war on terrorism (or "extremism," if you prefer) is a secret war fought by drones whose targets are never revealed, or by Special Operations Forces whose deployments and missions are wrapped in the silence of national security.

And as long as Obama calls for Americans "to look forward as opposed to looking backward," the spiral will continue.

As Danner argues, "It is a sad but immutable fact that the refusal to look backward leaves us trapped in a world without accountability that [Obama's] predecessor made. In making it possible, indeed likely, that the crimes will be repeated, the refusal to look backward traps us in the past."

Foreign Policy In Focus columnist Conn Hallinan can be read at dispatchesfromtheedge.wordpress.com and middleempireseries.wordpress.com .

[Mar 29, 2019] America is a banana republic! FBI chief agrees with CIA on Russia alleged election help for Trump

Comey was a part of the coup -- a color revolution against Trump with Bremmen (possibly assigned by Obama) pulling the strings. That's right. This is a banana republic with nukes.
Notable quotes:
"... "Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it. ..."
"... Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election ..."
www.sott.net
Reprinted from RT

FBI and National Intelligence chiefs both agree with the CIA assessment that Russia interfered with the 2016 US presidential elections partly in an effort to help Donald Trump win the White House, US media report.

FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper are both convinced that Russia was behind cyberattacks that targeted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, The Washington Post and reported Friday, citing a message sent by CIA Director John Brennan to his employees.

"Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it.

"The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI," it continued.

Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election to help Trump win, calling info "fuzzy and ambiguous"

... ... ...

[Dec 27, 2017] In my opinion, this is a typical color revolution. The US has so often used the mechanism of "color revolutions" in other countries that they were unable to remove this cup from their lips

Nov 11, 2016 | www.mkd.mk

In my opinion, this is a typical colour revolution. The US has so often used the mechanism of "colour revolutions" in other countries that they were unable to remove this cup from their lips.

On the Internet there have been discovered vacancies for special jobs and groups, for which protesters have been paid. Clinton is making use of such "love of the people" that she has to buy support. I am curious about when the protesters are going to start building barricades and setting up tents. Stocks of Victoria Nuland biscuits will certainly come in useful.

As with the Ukrainian events, the driving force of the protest consists of a minority. However, the threats issuing from them should hardly be ignored. Experience of colour revolutions has repeatedly proven that an active minority is able to win over a passive majority.

Meanwhile, the majority of Americans are looking on with bewilderment and humour. Most Americans say that media lies have been involved in causing the protests. As you know, until the last moment the media and sociologists in the US preferred that Clinton win, which has caused this dissonance on the part of the people after the announcement of the election results. Press propaganda was so strong that a fortnight before the election an Irish bookmaker lost any belief that Trump could win and began to pay out to those who had put money on Clinton.

Dissonance has served as an additional catalyst in conjunction with bribery. Many Americans in the social media have been wondering why the protesters have so much free time. The very possibility of protesting has surprised US citizens, because the protest is against the legitimately elected President. Republicans noted that in 2008 and 2012 there were no protests, although they, too, were not satisfied that Obama had become President.

A split has been planned in American society, which many have heralded regardless of the outcome of the election. However, the elite group standing behind Clinton intends to extend this split. Truly, these crazy people are willing to do anything for the sake of having power over everything.

Trump's elite group is also not sitting by idly, for the police are on their side in that they are preventing riots and arresting provocateurs. In addition, they have shown that if police measures fail to suppress the protests, then it will come to using unidentified snipers. Events in Seattle, where unknown persons shot five Clinton supporters, have served as a kind of warning. Reply

  • Northern Star says: November 10, 2016 at 1:30 pm http://nypost.com/2016/11/09/the-one-scenario-that-could-still-get-hillary-into-the-white-house/
  • Moscow Exile says: November 10, 2016 at 1:47 pm Reply
  • Northern Star says: November 10, 2016 at 4:00 pm Accordng to this..5 anti Trump people were shot and killed in Seattle..

    http://www.newsx.com/world/45968-anti-trump-protests-5-dead-many-injured-in-mass-shooting-in-seattle-washington Reply

  • Cortes says: November 10, 2016 at 4:37 pm Comedy platinum as the Donald a new acronym: PEOTUS….

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/10/barack-obama-donald-trump-white-house-meeting-transition Reply

  • Cortes says: November 10, 2016 at 5:47 pm My aching sides:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 Reply

  • Moscow Exile says: November 10, 2016 at 10:27 pm
    "Downfall" (2004) vs."Downfall" (2016)

    "Der Untergang" was a 2004 award winning film depicting Hitler's last days in the Berlin Führerbunker as the victorious Red Army was drawing ever closer.

    There is a memorable scene in the film where Hitler goes into a magnificent rant against some generals whilst outside in a corridor his entourage, secretaries, servants and lackeys listen on dismayed. This scene has been dubbed many times and gone viral with subtitles showing that Hitler is ranting against more mundane, present-day events.

    I am sure there will soon be another "Der Untergang" clip done showing Hitler ranting on about Trump's victory/Clinton's defeat.

    Here is a typical example of such a mischievously subtitled rant that shows Hitler going lulu about the UK Brexit vote:

    The 2016 picture (above) was allegedly taken yesterday, Thursday,10th November, and claims to show White House staffers witnessing Donald Trump's visit to Obama on Thursday.

    It went viral after having first appeared thus:

    However, the photo was actually taken when President Obama spoke from the Rose Garden the day before,on Wednesday, 9th November, congratulating Trump on winning the election.

    Trump was not there.

    Nevertheless, the gang looks glum.

    Bear in mind, that sad-sack in the middle always has a face that looks like a slapped arse. Reply

  • Moscow Exile says: November 10, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    What you gonna do now, Porky? Reply

  • Moscow Exile says: November 11, 2016 at 12:30 am Over 2 million make on-line petition to electoral college to vote for Clinton:

    Petitions Ask Electoral College to Make Hillary Clinton President Reply

  • Moscow Exile says: November 11, 2016 at 6:25 am

    So whose president have those folks in the counties that appear red below?

    These California kreakles know full well that the system of an electoral college was put into place in order to prevent the opinions of voters in the populous centres overwhelming those in the backwoods, that on the popular vote count Clinton won by a margin of about 300,000 in fewer states but more populous states, whereas Trump, though having won fewer votes than Clinton, won far more states than did his opponent. They know that the president is chosen according to the number of electors' votes, i../ the votes of states, that are cast for a presidential candidate.

    They know that. They know the rules, the system. They just do not like the result.

    And if the boot were on the other foot, would thy howl "Unfair"? Reply

  • J.T. says: November 11, 2016 at 8:31 am I've aggregated and summarized several expert opinions on what the Trump presidency might mean for U.S.-Russian relations in my latest post .

    Also, if anyone's interested, here are some recent, new and upcoming Russia books . Reply

  • et Al says: November 11, 2016 at 8:35 am Daily Fail: Democrats at war: Staffer screams at pro-Clinton DNC leader Donna Brazile for helping Trump take the White House while her DNC pals 'plotted against Bernie for their own gain'
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3925682/DNC-leader-Donna-Brazile-screamed-staffer-helping-Donald-Trump-White-House-plotting-against-Bernie-Sanders.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&google_editors_picks=true

    The staffer, named 'Zach,' showed her up in front of 150 DNC employees He called her 'part of the problem' and Hillary Clinton 'a flawed candidate' Zach also blamed the DNC for 'plotting' against Bernie Sanders Sanders could have taken Trump due to anti-status-quo attitude, fans say Democrats are divided into Clinton elites and Sanders progressives The party must now embrace Sanders' vision, insiders say

    ####
    By the rivers of Klintonshire, where the shock sets in, Ye-eah we cried, for we stiffed dear Bernie…

    I wonder if the British Labor party is taking any note over what was done to Bernie and the self-inflicted consequences? Jez we can! Reply

  • [Dec 18, 2017] Can The Deep State Be Cured

    Notable quotes:
    "... The "Obama Doctrine" a continuation of the previous false government doctrines in my lifetime, is less doctrine than the disease, as David Swanson points out . But in the article he critiques, the neoconservative warmongering global planning freak perspective (truly, we must recognize this view as freakish, sociopathic, death-cultish, control-obsessed, narcissist, take your pick or get a combo, it's all good). Disease, as a way of understanding the deep state action on the body politic, is abnormal. It can and should be cured. ..."
    "... The deep state seems to have grown, strengthened and tightened its grip. Can a lack of real money restrain or starve it? I once thought so, and maybe I still do. But it doesn't use real money, but rather debt and creative financing to get that next new car, er, war and intervention and domestic spending program. Ultimately it's not sustainable, and just as unaffordable cars are junked, stripped, repossessed, and crunched up, so will go the way of the physical assets of the warfare–welfare state. ..."
    "... Because inflated salaries , inflated stock prices and inflated ruling-class personalities are month to month, these should evaporate more quickly, over a debris field once known as some of richest counties in the United States. Can I imagine the shabbiest of trailer parks in the dismal swamp, where high rises and government basilicas and abbeys once stood? I'd certainly like to. But I'll settle for well-kept, privately owned house trailers, filled with people actually producing some small value for society, and minding their own business. ..."
    "... Finally, what of those pinpricks of light, the honest assessments of the real death trail and consumption pit that the deep state has delivered? Well, it is growing and broadening. Wikileaks and Snowden are considered assets now to any and all competitors to the US deep state, from within and from abroad – the Pandora's box, assisted by technology, can't be closed now. The independent media has matured to the point of criticizing and debating itself/each other, as well as focusing harsh light on the establishment media. Instead of left and right mainstream media, we increasingly recognize state media, and delightedly observe its own struggle to survive in the face of a growing nervousness of the deep state it assists on command. ..."
    "... Watch an old program like"Yes, Minister" to understand how it works. Politicians come and go, but the permanent state apparatchiks doesn't. ..."
    "... The "deep state" programs, whether conceived and directed by Soros' handlers, or others, risks unintended consequences. The social division intended by BLM, for example could easily morph beyond the goals. The lack of law due to corruption is equally susceptible to a spontaneous reaction of "the mob," not under the control of the Tavistock handlers. There's an old saying on Wall St; pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. ..."
    www.zerohedge.com

    Submitted by Karen Kwiatkowski via LewRockwell.com,

    So, after getting up late, groggy, and feeling overworked even before I started, I read this article . Just after, I had to feed a dozen cats and dogs, each dog in a separate room out of respect for their territorialism and aggressive desire to consume more than they should (hmm, where have I seen this before), and in the process, forgot where I put my coffee cup. Retracing steps, I finally find it and sit back down to my 19-inch window on the ugly (and perhaps remote) world of the state, and the endless pinpricks of the independent media on its vast overwhelmingly evil existence. I suspect I share this distractibility and daily estrangement from the actions of our government with most Americans .

    We are newly bombing Libya and still messing with the Middle East? I thought that the wars the deep state wanted and started were now limited and constrained! What happened to lack of funds, lack of popular support, public transparency that revealed the stupidity and abject failure of these wars?

    Deep state. Something systemic, difficult to detect, hard to remove, hidden. It is a spirit as much as nerves and organ. How do your starve it, excise it, or just make it go away? We want to know. I think this explains the popularity of infotainment about haunted houses, ghosts and alien beings among us. They live and we are curious and scared.

    The "Obama Doctrine" a continuation of the previous false government doctrines in my lifetime, is less doctrine than the disease, as David Swanson points out . But in the article he critiques, the neoconservative warmongering global planning freak perspective (truly, we must recognize this view as freakish, sociopathic, death-cultish, control-obsessed, narcissist, take your pick or get a combo, it's all good). Disease, as a way of understanding the deep state action on the body politic, is abnormal. It can and should be cured.

    My summary of the long Jeffrey Goldberg piece is basically that Obama has become more fatalistic (did he mean to say fatal?) since he won that Nobel Peace Prize back in 2009 . By the way, the "Nobel prize" article contains this gem, sure to get a chuckle:

    "Obama's drone program is regularly criticized for a lack of transparency and accountability, especially considering incomplete intelligence means officials are often unsure about who will die. "

    [M]ost individuals killed are not on a kill list, and the government does not know their names," Micah Zenko, a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations told the New York Times."

    This is about all the fun I can handle in one day. But back to what I was trying to say.

    The deep state seems to have grown, strengthened and tightened its grip. Can a lack of real money restrain or starve it? I once thought so, and maybe I still do. But it doesn't use real money, but rather debt and creative financing to get that next new car, er, war and intervention and domestic spending program. Ultimately it's not sustainable, and just as unaffordable cars are junked, stripped, repossessed, and crunched up, so will go the way of the physical assets of the warfare–welfare state.

    Because inflated salaries , inflated stock prices and inflated ruling-class personalities are month to month, these should evaporate more quickly, over a debris field once known as some of richest counties in the United States. Can I imagine the shabbiest of trailer parks in the dismal swamp, where high rises and government basilicas and abbeys once stood? I'd certainly like to. But I'll settle for well-kept, privately owned house trailers, filled with people actually producing some small value for society, and minding their own business.

    Can a lack of public support reduce the deep state, or impact it? Well, it would seem that this is a non-factor, except for the strange history we have had and are witnessing again today, with the odd successful popular and populist-leaning politician and their related movements. In my lifetime, only popular figures and their movements get assassinated mysteriously, with odd polka dot dresses, MKULTRA suggestions, threats against their family by their competitors (I'm thinking Perot, but one mustn't be limited to that case), and always with concordant pressures on the sociopolitical seams in the country, i.e riots and police/military activations. The bad dealings toward, and genuine fear of, Bernie Sanders within the Democratic Party's wing of the deep state is matched or exceeded only by the genuine terror of Trump among the Republican deep state wing. This reaction to something or some person that so many in the country find engaging and appealing - an outsider who speaks to the growing political and economic dissatisfaction of a poorer, more indebted, and more regulated population – is heart-warming, to be sure. It is a sign that whether or not we do, the deep state thinks things might change. Thank you, Bernie and especially Donald, for revealing this much! And the "republicanization" of the Libertarian Party is also a bright indicator blinking out the potential of deep state movement and compromise in the pursuit of "stability."

    Finally, what of those pinpricks of light, the honest assessments of the real death trail and consumption pit that the deep state has delivered? Well, it is growing and broadening. Wikileaks and Snowden are considered assets now to any and all competitors to the US deep state, from within and from abroad – the Pandora's box, assisted by technology, can't be closed now. The independent media has matured to the point of criticizing and debating itself/each other, as well as focusing harsh light on the establishment media. Instead of left and right mainstream media, we increasingly recognize state media, and delightedly observe its own struggle to survive in the face of a growing nervousness of the deep state it assists on command.

    Maybe we will one day soon be able to debate how deep the deep state really is, or whether it was all just a dressed up, meth'ed up, and eff'ed up a sector of society that deserves a bit of jail time, some counseling, and a new start . Maybe some job training that goes beyond the printing of license plates. But given the destruction and mass murder committed daily in the name of this state, and the environmental disasters it has created around the world for the future generations, perhaps we will be no more merciful to these proprietors of the American empire as they have been to their victims. The ruling class deeply fears our judgment, and in this dynamic lies the cure.

    Jim in MN Tallest Skil Aug 20, 2016 8:22 PM

    I made a list of steps that could be taken to disrupt the Beast. It's all I can offer but I offer it freely.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/67758041/List-of-Demands-October-6-2011

    4:00 AM October 6, 2011

    Kitchen Table, USA

    LIST OF DEMANDS TO PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FROM FINANCIAL CATASTROPHE

    I.CURB CORRUPTION AND EXCESSIVE POWER IN THE FINANCIAL ARMS OF THE US GOVERNMENT

    A. FEDERAL RESERVE

    1. Benjaman Bernanke to be removed as Chairman immediately

    2. New York Federal Reserve Bank and all New York City offices of the Federal Reserve system will be closed for at least 3 years

    3. Salaries will be reduced and capped at $150,000/year, adjusted for official inflation

    4. Staffing count to be reduced to 1980 levels

    5. Interest rate manipulation to be prohibited for at least five years

    6. Balance sheet manipulation to be prohibited for at least five years

    7. Financial asset purchases prohibited for at least five years

    B. TREASURY DEPARTMENT

    1. Timothy Geithner to be removed as Secretary immediately

    2. All New York City offices of the Department will be closed for at least 3 years

    3. Salaries will be reduced and capped at $150,000/year, adjusted for official inflation

    4. Staffing count to be reduced to 1980 levels

    5. Market manipulation/intervention to be prohibited for at least five years

    7. Financial asset purchases prohibited for at least five years

    II. END THE CORRUPTING INFLUENCE OF GIANT BANKS AND PROTECT AMERICANS FROM FURTHER EXPOSURE TO THEIR COLLAPSE

    A. END CORRUPT INFLUENCE

    1. Lifetime ban on government employment for TARP recipient employees and corporate officers, specifically including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase

    2. Ten year ban on government work for consulting firms, law firms, and individual consultants and lawyers who have accepted cash from these entities

    3. All contacts by any method with federal agencies and employees prohibited for at least five years, with civil and criminal penalties for violation

    B. PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FROM FURTHER HARM AT THE HANDS OF GIANT BANKS

    1. No financial institution with assets of more than $10billion will receive federal assistance or any 'arm's-length' bailouts

    2. TARP recipients are prohibited from purchasing other TARP recipient corporate units, or merging with other TARP recipients

    3. No foreign interest shall be allowed to acquire any portion of TARP recipients in the US or abroad

    III. PREVENT CORPORATE ACCOUNTING AND PENSION FUND ABUSES RELATED TO THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

    A. CORPORATE ACCOUNTING

    1. Immediately implement mark-to-market accounting rules which were improperly suspended, allowing six months for implementation.

    2. Companies must reserve against impaired assets under mark-to-market rules

    3. Any health or life insurance company with more than$100 million in assets must report on their holdings and risk factors, specifically including exposure to real estate, mortgage-backed securities, derivatives, and other exotic financial instruments. These reports will be to state insurance commissions and the federal government, and will also be made available to the public on the Internet.

    B. PENSION FUNDS

    1. All private and public pension funds must disclose their funding status and establish a plan to fully fund accounts under the assumption that net real returns across all asset classes remain at zero for at least ten years.

    Winston Churchill -> Sam Clemons Aug 20, 2016 7:26 PM

    Watch an old program like"Yes, Minister" to understand how it works. Politicians come and go, but the permanent state apparatchiks doesn't.

    sinbad2 -> Winston Churchill Aug 20, 2016 7:58 PM

    Sir Humphrey Appleby: You know what happens when politicians get into Number 10; they want to take their place on the world stage.

    Sir Richard Wharton: People on stages are called actors. All they are required to do is look plausible, stay sober, and say the lines they're given in the right order.

    Sir Humphrey Appleby: Some of them try to make up their own lines.

    Sir Richard Wharton: They don't last long.

    rlouis Aug 20, 2016 7:47 PM

    The "deep state" programs, whether conceived and directed by Soros' handlers, or others, risks unintended consequences. The social division intended by BLM, for example could easily morph beyond the goals. The lack of law due to corruption is equally susceptible to a spontaneous reaction of "the mob," not under the control of the Tavistock handlers. There's an old saying on Wall St; pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

    The failed coup in Turkey is a significant indication of institutional weakness and also vulnerability. The inability to exercise force of will in Syria is another. The list of failures is getting too long.

    [Dec 31, 2016] I simply dont believe the Democrats would really be worse off with voters if they committed themselves to putting people back to work, policing Wall Street, throwing their weight behind a real public option in health care, making hedge fund managers pay the same tax rates as ordinary people, ending the pointless wars abroad, etc.

    Notable quotes:
    "... Trump told a significant fraction of the population that he understood their problems and that he would fix them. He told enough people what they wanted to hear - and did so with a convincing tone - that he got himself elected. That's how you win. You sell people on your vision. If you tell a good story most people aren't going to reality-check it. Sad but true. ..."
    "... On the importance of narrative: Drew Westen, "What Happened to Obama?" http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/what-happened-to-obamas-passion.html ..."
    "... Matt Taibbi in 2011: "I simply don't believe the Democrats would really be worse off with voters if they committed themselves to putting people back to work, policing Wall Street, throwing their weight behind a real public option in health care, making hedge fund managers pay the same tax rates as ordinary people, ending the pointless wars abroad, etc." ..."
    "... Unfortunately, there are at best a handful of Democrats who've been doing that. That should have been our message 24/7/365 for the past eight years. (That and the story Westen laid out.) It was not. ..."
    "... Yup. And that is how you lose the Presidency, the House, the Senate, 30-someodd (?) governorships, and 900-someodd state legislative seats over the past eight years. ..."
    Dec 31, 2016 | www.robustanalysis.net
    Chris G said... December 29, 2016 at 05:50 PM

    And this is telling us something significant: namely, that supply-side economic theory is and always was a sham.

    Urgh. That it is and always a sham is irrelevant. It is THE NARRATIVE that matters! They had a compelling story and they stuck to it. That's how you sell politics in this country.

    Trump told a significant fraction of the population that he understood their problems and that he would fix them. He told enough people what they wanted to hear - and did so with a convincing tone - that he got himself elected. That's how you win. You sell people on your vision. If you tell a good story most people aren't going to reality-check it. Sad but true.

    On the importance of narrative: Drew Westen, "What Happened to Obama?" http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/what-happened-to-obamas-passion.html

    Chris G said in reply to Mr. Bill... Anyway, get involved. December 29, 2016 at 06:39 PM

    Manned the phone banks and held signs for my state rep again this year. (Bowed out of going door-to-door this election though.) Tough race against a right-wing jerk. My guy won - in no small part because he's incredibly engaged with the community. I'll be back out for him again in 2018. That stated, I'm not sure how to make an impact at the national level - in part I think because I live in a very blue state. Keeping the goons from a establishing a local foothold seems a good place to start. Building resilient local networks feels like it will be essential for getting through the next four years.

    Chris G said in reply to Chris G ... December 29, 2016 at 06:30 PM

    Matt Taibbi in 2011: "I simply don't believe the Democrats would really be worse off with voters if they committed themselves to putting people back to work, policing Wall Street, throwing their weight behind a real public option in health care, making hedge fund managers pay the same tax rates as ordinary people, ending the pointless wars abroad, etc."

    Unfortunately, there are at best a handful of Democrats who've been doing that. That should have been our message 24/7/365 for the past eight years. (That and the story Westen laid out.) It was not.

    Taibbi continued: "That they won't do these things because they're afraid of public criticism, and "responding to pressure," is an increasingly transparent lie. This "Please, Br'er Fox, don't throw me into dat dere briar patch" deal isn't going to work for much longer. Just about everybody knows now that they want to go into that briar patch."

    Yup. And that is how you lose the Presidency, the House, the Senate, 30-someodd (?) governorships, and 900-someodd state legislative seats over the past eight years.

    [Dec 31, 2016] Like Iraq WMD Fiasco, Russia Story Does Not Add Up

    If such attempts were really registered, the question is were those attempts to hack US sites from Russian IP space a false flag operation, probably with participation of Ukrainian secret services? '
    As one commenter noted: "The Ukrainian government have been trying to drive a wedge between the West and Russia for years for their own political advantage."
    If so what is the agenda outside obvious attempt to poison Us-Russian relations just before Trump assumes presidency. Neocon in Washington are really afraid losing this plush positions. And there is the whole colony of such "national security professionals" in Washington DC. For example Robert Kagan can't do anything useful outside his favorite Russophobic agenda and would be an unemployed along with his wife, who brought us Ukrainian disaster.
    Notable quotes:
    "... President Obama issued a terse statement seeming to blame Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee emails. "These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government," he wrote. ..."
    "... The problem with this story is that, like the Iraq-WMD mess, it takes place in the middle of a highly politicized environment during which the motives of all the relevant actors are suspect. Nothing quite adds up. ..."
    "... Now we have this sanctions story, which presents a new conundrum. It appears that a large segment of the press is biting hard on the core allegations of electoral interference emanating from the Obama administration. ..."
    "... Did the Russians do it? Very possibly, in which case it should be reported to the max. But the press right now is flying blind. ..."
    "... Maybe the Russians did hack the DNC, but the WikiLeaks material actually came from someone else? There is even a published report to that effect, with a former British ambassador as a source, not that it's any more believable than anything else here. ..."
    "... We ought to have learned from the Judith Miller episode. Not only do governments lie, they won't hesitate to burn news agencies. In a desperate moment, they'll use any sucker they can find to get a point across. ..."
    "... The Joint Analysis Report from the FBI contains an appendix that lists hundreds of IP addresses that were supposedly "used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services." While some of those IP addresses are from Russia, the majority are from all over the world, which means that the hackers constantly faked their location. ..."
    "... "If I was the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it, I would use Russian language within the code, I would use Russian techniques of breaking into the organization," McAfee said, adding that, in the end, "there simply is no way to assign a source for any attack." ..."
    "... I have a problem understanding why the powers that be can't understand the widening gap between their on podium statements and the average persons view. Are they hoping to brainwash, or really believe it, or just leaving a video record for posterity that might sway historical interpretation of the current time? ..."
    "... A little OT, but how many people realize that Israel (less than half the population of the former Palestine) has taken complete control of ALL water and has decreed that 3% of that water may be directed to the Palestinians! ..."
    "... It's been said that on average Americans are like mushrooms – "Keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em shit!" ..."
    "... And THAT, from what I've read in OPEN literature (obviously) about what is known by our cyber threat intel community, read on tech sites, and seen on the outstanding documentary program CyberWar about the Eastern European hacking community, is a OUTRIGHT BLATANT LIE. ..."
    "... NOTE that he may actually believe that because that is what he may have been TOLD, just as Bush was told there were WMDs in Iraq, but as I've pointed out, the clumsy errors allowing the malware to be so very EASILY traced back to "supposedly" Russia are beyond belief for any state-sponsored outfit, especially a Russian effort. ..."
    "... Note that the user info for TWO BILLION Yahoo email accounts was stolen and they left no traces which then led the FBI to conclude that it must have been "state sponsored." ..."
    "... We are left with two basic options. Either they are simply stupid or their is a larger agenda at hand. I don't believe they are stupid. They have been setting fires all around this election for months, none of them effective by themselves, but ALL reinforcing the general notion that Trump is unfit and illegitimate. ..."
    "... I do not believe this is just random panic and hyperbole. They are "building" something. ..."
    "... This is what is must have been like being a Soviet Citizen in 1989 or so. The official media was openly laughed at because its lies were so preposterous. ..."
    "... Sadly, the JAR, as the Joint Analysis Report is called, does little to end the debate. Instead of providing smoking guns that the Russian government was behind specific hacks, it largely restates previous private-sector claims without providing any support for their validity. Even worse, it provides an effective bait and switch by promising newly declassified intelligence into Russian hackers' "tradecraft and techniques" and instead delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups." ..."
    "... WORSE than "delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups." It should have said "by just about anyone using 'in the wild' malware tools." ..."
    "... The Russians probably have a lot of information about USG employees, contractors, etc, via hacking, recording, etc than Wikileaks. But, as a general rule, intelligence agencies do not dump it into the public domain because you don't want a potential adversary know what you know about him lest he investigate and close off the means of obtaining that information. The leaks came from elsewhere. ..."
    "... Smells like a "false flag" operation, like the USA/NATO Operation Gladio in Europe. ..."
    "... McCain and the War Hawks have had it out for Russia for a long time, and the Neo-cons have been closing in on the borders of Russia for some time. What will be interesting is when Trump meets with the CIA/NSA et al. for intel briefings on the alleged hacking. Hopefully, Trump will bring along VP Pence, Mad Dog and the other Marine generals (appointees) for advice. I suspect that the "false flag" nature of the hacking excuse will be evident and revealed as the pretext for the Neo-con anti-Russia agenda moving forward. ..."
    "... McCain is the real thug, and an interferer in foreign elections (Kiev) and seems to have no real scruples. ..."
    "... After Victoria Nuland brags about the USA spending $5 billion to overthrow the elected Ukraine government, how these Russia-phobes have any credibility is beyond me. Just shows that the consolidation of the media into a few main propaganda outlets under Bill Clinton (who also brought the Neo-cons into foreign policy dominance) has reached its logical apex. The Swamp is indeed a stinking, Corrupt miasma. ..."
    "... Russia a country of 170 million surrounded by NATO military bases and 800 million people in the EU and USA is the threat? The US alone spends 12 times as much on its military annually than Russia. It's not Russia invading and overthrowing secular governments in the Muslim world. ..."
    "... If I remember correctly the CIA claimed their intelligence sources came from unspecified 'allies'. It seems rather crucial to establish who these allies actually are. If it were Germany that would be one thing, however it is more than likely to be the Ukraine. ..."
    "... So if Obama had actually produced evidence that the Russians had hacked Hilary's illegal, unprotected email setup in her Chapaqua basement/closet how would that change the ***content*** of the emails? It wouldn't. ..."
    "... Obama is failing to convince the world that Russia is a bunch of whistle blowers on his corrupt regime. All of the emails detailing corruption and fraud are true (unchallenged), however Obama wants to suggest they were obtained illegally from an illegal email server? That is Obama's bullshit defense for the corrupt behavior? ..."
    Dec 30, 2016 | mishtalk.com

    Yesterday, President Obama expelled 35 Russian "Operatives" from the Russian Embassy .

    Is there any evidence those expelled are "intelligence operatives"? Any hard evidence Russia was behind the Hillary hacks? Any credible evidence that Putin himself is to blame?

    The answers are No, No, and No. Yet, once again the American press is again asked to co-sign a dubious intelligence assessment.

    ... ... ....

    Something Stinks

    The Rolling Stone comments Something About This Russia Story Stinks

    In an extraordinary development Thursday, the Obama administration announced a series of sanctions against Russia. Thirty-five Russian nationals will be expelled from the country. President Obama issued a terse statement seeming to blame Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee emails. "These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government," he wrote.

    The problem with this story is that, like the Iraq-WMD mess, it takes place in the middle of a highly politicized environment during which the motives of all the relevant actors are suspect. Nothing quite adds up.

    If the American security agencies had smoking-gun evidence that the Russians had an organized campaign to derail the U.S. presidential election and deliver the White House to Trump, then expelling a few dozen diplomats after the election seems like an oddly weak and ill-timed response. Voices in both parties are saying this now.

    Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham noted the "small price" Russia paid for its "brazen attack." The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, said Thursday that taken alone, the Obama response is " insufficient " as a response to "attacks on the United States by a foreign power."

    The "small price" is an eyebrow-raiser.

    Adding to the problem is that in the last months of the campaign, and also in the time since the election, we've seen an epidemic of factually loose, clearly politically motivated reporting about Russia. Democrat-leaning pundits have been unnervingly quick to use phrases like "Russia hacked the election."

    This has led to widespread confusion among news audiences over whether the Russians hacked the DNC emails (a story that has at least been backed by some evidence, even if it hasn't always been great evidence ), or whether Russians hacked vote tallies in critical states (a far more outlandish tale backed by no credible evidence ).

    As noted in The Intercept and other outlets, an Economist/YouGov poll conducted this month shows that 50 percent of all Clinton voters believe the Russians hacked vote tallies.

    And reports by some Democrat-friendly reporters – like Kurt Eichenwald, who has birthed some real head-scratchers this year, including what he admitted was a baseless claim that Trump spent time in an institution in 1990 – have attempted to argue that Trump surrogates may have been liaising with the Russians because they either visited Russia or appeared on the RT network. Similar reporting about Russian scheming has been based entirely on unnamed security sources.

    Now we have this sanctions story, which presents a new conundrum. It appears that a large segment of the press is biting hard on the core allegations of electoral interference emanating from the Obama administration.

    Did the Russians do it? Very possibly, in which case it should be reported to the max. But the press right now is flying blind.

    Maybe the Russians did hack the DNC, but the WikiLeaks material actually came from someone else? There is even a published report to that effect, with a former British ambassador as a source, not that it's any more believable than anything else here.

    We just don't know, which is the problem.

    We ought to have learned from the Judith Miller episode. Not only do governments lie, they won't hesitate to burn news agencies. In a desperate moment, they'll use any sucker they can find to get a point across.

    Where the Hell is the Evidence?

    'I Can Guarantee You, It Was Not the Russians'

    John McAfee, founder of the security firm McAfee Associates, says 'I Can Guarantee You, It Was Not the Russians' .

    The Joint Analysis Report from the FBI contains an appendix that lists hundreds of IP addresses that were supposedly "used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services." While some of those IP addresses are from Russia, the majority are from all over the world, which means that the hackers constantly faked their location.

    McAfee argues that the report is a "fallacy," explaining that hackers can fake their location, their language, and any markers that could lead back to them. Any hacker who had the skills to hack into the DNC would also be able to hide their tracks, he said

    "If I was the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it, I would use Russian language within the code, I would use Russian techniques of breaking into the organization," McAfee said, adding that, in the end, "there simply is no way to assign a source for any attack."

    Question of Patriotism

    It's not patriotic to accept accusations as facts, given US history of lies, deceit, meddling, and wars.

    Related

    keepitsimple , December 30, 2016 1:41:03 at 1:41 PM
    The gullibility and ignorance of the typical media lapdog is appalling, and whores like McCain and Graham will use them shamelessly to promote their twisted, warmongering agenda. The same old story, over and over again.
    Bobdough , December 30, 2016 10:51:52 at 10:51 PM
    Not gullibilty, but complicity
    The_Fish , December 30, 2016 2:07:19 at 2:07 PM
    I have a problem understanding why the powers that be can't understand the widening gap between their on podium statements and the average persons view. Are they hoping to brainwash, or really believe it, or just leaving a video record for posterity that might sway historical interpretation of the current time?

    No problem if they deliver proof.

    James Greenberg , December 30, 2016 6:30:47 at 6:30 PM
    Read 1984. It will explain EVERYTHING.
    The_Fish , December 30, 2016 7:05:07 at 7:05 PM
    Net control very likely in Europe soon with public administration of the web/content. Might at least help reduce the unemployment rate. Looked over the 2016 Bilderberg attendees too. MSM attendees interesting vs political bias they exhibit.

    Whoever thinks there aren't people behind the scenes with a plan is naive and woe betide anyone upsetting that plan.

    Crysangle , December 30, 2016 8:56:05 at 8:56 PM
    Unemployment rate read last refuge from the official economy. Not the alt. web that takes away motivation, it is a pressure valve for people who find the official direction nothing short of insulting. The majority of social media users won't be distracted.

    Noticed zh on Italy for you if you had not picked it up

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-30/italy-urges-europe-begin-censoring-free-speech-internet

    Michael G , December 31, 2016 9:53:11 at 9:53 AM
    A little OT, but how many people realize that Israel (less than half the population of the former Palestine) has taken complete control of ALL water and has decreed that 3% of that water may be directed to the Palestinians!

    Over ten million get running water for 12 hrs a week, while in Israel (borders move every day as the world says nothing) there are no water restrictions zero! So, while Palestinians struggle to live in hot barren desert conditions (food and medicine is also denied children die of treatable cancer often as medication is blocked), a 5 min drive away millions of gallons are used to create a green, lush paradise for the Jewish Masters!

    Did you know US laws were changed in 1968 to allow "Dual Citizens" to be elected and appointed to government positions and today many of the top posts are citizens of Israel and America WTF?

    Trump needs to make a daily dose of Red Pills the law

    Michael G , December 31, 2016 9:58:31 at 9:58 AM
    Oops the 10M fig is a bit high but it's at least double the Jewish population, yet they get 97% this is slow moving genocide yet it's never even acknowledged
    Greg , December 30, 2016 2:07:48 at 2:07 PM
    Syria is about gas pipelines. Corporations want to profit from the gas pipeline through the region and wr the people are supposed to send our children to war over it and pay taxes tpbsupport the effort. Rissia wants pipelines from their country under the Black sea and Irans pipelines to the north. The US is supporting Qatar pipeline and LNG from our own shores to the EU.
    The_Fish , December 30, 2016 2:09:55 at 2:09 PM
    Some rumours Obama to be considered for UN role and Cameron NATO.
    Germ , December 30, 2016 2:13:34 at 2:13 PM
    It's been said that on average Americans are like mushrooms – "Keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em shit!"
    Winston , December 30, 2016 3:43:28 at 3:43 PM
    "These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government," (Obama) wrote.

    And THAT, from what I've read in OPEN literature (obviously) about what is known by our cyber threat intel community, read on tech sites, and seen on the outstanding documentary program CyberWar about the Eastern European hacking community, is a OUTRIGHT BLATANT LIE.

    Note he avoided the phrase, "slam dunk"

    Winston , December 30, 2016 3:52:29 at 3:52 PM
    NOTE that he may actually believe that because that is what he may have been TOLD, just as Bush was told there were WMDs in Iraq, but as I've pointed out, the clumsy errors allowing the malware to be so very EASILY traced back to "supposedly" Russia are beyond belief for any state-sponsored outfit, especially a Russian effort.

    Note that the user info for TWO BILLION Yahoo email accounts was stolen and they left no traces which then led the FBI to conclude that it must have been "state sponsored."

    fingerhole , December 30, 2016 5:24:36 at 5:24 PM
    Any government that claims a right to secrecy over its affairs is going to use lying as a policy.
    Steven milgrom , December 30, 2016 4:17:51 at 4:17 PM
    Snowden says that it is auite easy to trace the source of the hackers.
    madashellowell , December 30, 2016 4:21:48 at 4:21 PM
    We are left with two basic options. Either they are simply stupid or their is a larger agenda at hand. I don't believe they are stupid. They have been setting fires all around this election for months, none of them effective by themselves, but ALL reinforcing the general notion that Trump is unfit and illegitimate.

    I do not believe this is just random panic and hyperbole. They are "building" something.

    Fred Rogers , December 31, 2016 1:25:43 at 1:25 PM
    Well, it is an established and accepted fact that Richard Nixon was a very intelligent guy. None of Nixon's detractors ever claimed he was stupid, and Nixon won reelection easily.

    Tricky Dick was just a tad "honesty challenged", and so is Obama. They were/are both neo-keynesians, both took their sweet time ending stupid wars started by their predecessors even after it was clear the wars were pointless.

    Then again, I doubt Obozo is as smart as Nixon. Soros is clearly the puppeteer controlling what Obama does. Soros is now freaking out that his fascist agenda has been exposed.

    vooch , December 30, 2016 5:18:15 at 5:18 PM
    This is what is must have been like being a Soviet Citizen in 1989 or so. The official media was openly laughed at because its lies were so preposterous.
    Winston , December 30, 2016 5:24:35 at 5:24 PM
    http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/12/did-russia-tamper-with-the-2016-election-bitter-debate-likely-to-rage-on/

    Excerpt:

    "While security companies in the private sector have said for months the hacking campaign was the work of people working for the Russian government, anonymous people tied to the leaks have claimed they are lone wolves. Many independent security experts said there was little way to know the true origins of the attacks.

    Sadly, the JAR, as the Joint Analysis Report is called, does little to end the debate. Instead of providing smoking guns that the Russian government was behind specific hacks, it largely restates previous private-sector claims without providing any support for their validity. Even worse, it provides an effective bait and switch by promising newly declassified intelligence into Russian hackers' "tradecraft and techniques" and instead delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups."

    WORSE than "delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups." It should have said "by just about anyone using 'in the wild' malware tools."

    The_Fish , December 30, 2016 5:54:31 at 5:54 PM
    2015 Bilderberg. Looking down the attendees and subjects covered. Interesting some of the main anti-Brexit groups had representatives there, suggests HC picked for 2016 US election, Cyber-security and etc. Look at the key topics. How they all helped define 2016. So many current intertwined themes.

    Little people upset the apple-cart? http://www.globalresearch.ca/bilderberg-chooses-hillary-clinton-for-2016/5454829

    wootendw , December 30, 2016 6:01:33 at 6:01 PM
    "We just don't know "

    The Russians probably have a lot of information about USG employees, contractors, etc, via hacking, recording, etc than Wikileaks. But, as a general rule, intelligence agencies do not dump it into the public domain because you don't want a potential adversary know what you know about him lest he investigate and close off the means of obtaining that information. The leaks came from elsewhere.

    greg , December 30, 2016 9:09:50 at 9:09 PM
    One of the leakers is dead, we know that.
    joelg5 , December 30, 2016 6:35:45 at 6:35 PM
    Smells like a "false flag" operation, like the USA/NATO Operation Gladio in Europe.

    McCain and the War Hawks have had it out for Russia for a long time, and the Neo-cons have been closing in on the borders of Russia for some time. What will be interesting is when Trump meets with the CIA/NSA et al. for intel briefings on the alleged hacking. Hopefully, Trump will bring along VP Pence, Mad Dog and the other Marine generals (appointees) for advice. I suspect that the "false flag" nature of the hacking excuse will be evident and revealed as the pretext for the Neo-con anti-Russia agenda moving forward.

    The CIA it is now widely believed was part of the Deep State behind the JFK assassination when JFK took an independent view, so Trump will need the USA Marines on his side. McCain is the real thug, and an interferer in foreign elections (Kiev) and seems to have no real scruples.

    After Victoria Nuland brags about the USA spending $5 billion to overthrow the elected Ukraine government, how these Russia-phobes have any credibility is beyond me. Just shows that the consolidation of the media into a few main propaganda outlets under Bill Clinton (who also brought the Neo-cons into foreign policy dominance) has reached its logical apex. The Swamp is indeed a stinking, Corrupt miasma.

    Perhaps the Clinton Foundation and nascent Obama foundation feel it in their financial interests to nurture the misma.

    Cha-ching, cha-ching. Money to be made in demonizing Russia.

    Ron J , December 31, 2016 12:32:19 at 12:32 PM
    "The CIA it is now widely believed was part of the Deep State behind the JFK assassination when JFK took an independent view "

    All the circumstantial evidence pointed to Oswald. No one has ever proven otherwise, in over 50 years.

    After 50 years of being propagandized by conspiracy book writers, it isn't surprising that anything is widely believed at this point. The former curator of the 6th Floor Museum, Gary Mack, believed there was a conspiracy, but over time came to realize that it was Oswald, alone.

    CJ , December 30, 2016 8:15:54 at 8:15 PM
    When liberal Rolling Stone questions the Obama/DNC propaganda, you know for certain that they have lost even their base supporters (the ones that can still think). The BS has just gotten too stupid.
    Truth seeker , December 30, 2016 9:32:32 at 9:32 PM
    Why is the WSJ strongly supporting Obama here but also saying he waited way to long to make this move? I don't always agree with them nor do I with you.

    Ok I haven't read the comments but would only say that when Vladimir Putin the once leader of the KGB becomes a preacher and starts criticizing the West for abandoning its Christian roots, it's moral dignity, that for me doesn't just stink, it raises red flags all over the place. I think Trump and some of the rest of u r being set up here-like lambs to the slaughter. Mish your naïveté here surprises me!

    Bobdough , December 30, 2016 11:00:12 at 11:00 PM
    The Russians are coming!

    Russia a country of 170 million surrounded by NATO military bases and 800 million people in the EU and USA is the threat? The US alone spends 12 times as much on its military annually than Russia. It's not Russia invading and overthrowing secular governments in the Muslim world.

    greg , December 30, 2016 9:52:15 at 9:52 PM
    Germany takes back its gold from US. Finally, after the Fed Res refused an audit request. http://www.pravdareport.com/business/finance/27-12-2016/136521-gold-0/
    Simon Hodges , December 31, 2016 7:57:09 at 7:57 AM
    If I remember correctly the CIA claimed their intelligence sources came from unspecified 'allies'. It seems rather crucial to establish who these allies actually are. If it were Germany that would be one thing, however it is more than likely to be the Ukraine.

    The Ukranian government have been trying to drive a wedge between the West and Russia for years for their own political advantage. If I was Trump then when I took office I would want an extremely thorough investigation into the activities of the CIA by a third reliable party.

    Seenitallbefore , December 31, 2016 9:48:10 at 9:48 AM
    Don't be stupid. The Russians did it. CNN reported it, so it must be true.
    Winston , December 31, 2016 10:22:42 at 10:22 AM
    Supporting -EXACTLY- the points I've previously made here: Russian Hackers Said To "Penetrate US Electricity Grid" Using Outdated Ukrainian Malware

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-31/russian-hackers-said-penetrate-us-electricity-grid-using-outdated-ukrainian-malware

    Excerpt: But was it really Russian meddling? After all, how does one prove not only intent but source in a world of cyberespionage, where planting false flag clues and other Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) meant to frame a specific entity, is as important as the actual hack.

    Robert M. Lee, CEO and founder of cybersecurity company Dragos, which specializes in threats facing critical infrastructure, also noted that the IOCs included "commodity malware," or hacking tools that are widely available for purchase.

    He said:

    1. No they did not penetrate the grid.
    2. The IOCs contained *commodity malware* – can't attribute based off that alone.

    Fred Rogers , December 31, 2016 1:09:53 at 1:09 PM
    So if Obama had actually produced evidence that the Russians had hacked Hilary's illegal, unprotected email setup in her Chapaqua basement/closet how would that change the ***content*** of the emails? It wouldn't.

    Obama is failing to convince the world that Russia is a bunch of whistle blowers on his corrupt regime. All of the emails detailing corruption and fraud are true (unchallenged), however Obama wants to suggest they were obtained illegally from an illegal email server? That is Obama's bullshit defense for the corrupt behavior?

    And as "proportional retaliation" for this Russian whistle blowing, Obozo is evicting 35 entertainment staff from the Russian embassy summer camp?

    I doubt Hollywood or San Francisco has the integrity to admit they backed the wrong loser when they supported Obozo but they should think about their own credibility after January 20th. Anyone who is still backing Obozo is just too stupid to tie their own shoes much less vote

    [Dec 31, 2016] I simply dont believe the Democrats would really be worse off with voters if they committed themselves to putting people back to work, policing Wall Street, throwing their weight behind a real public option in health care, making hedge fund managers pay the same tax rates as ordinary people, ending the pointless wars abroad, etc.

    Notable quotes:
    "... Trump told a significant fraction of the population that he understood their problems and that he would fix them. He told enough people what they wanted to hear - and did so with a convincing tone - that he got himself elected. That's how you win. You sell people on your vision. If you tell a good story most people aren't going to reality-check it. Sad but true. ..."
    "... On the importance of narrative: Drew Westen, "What Happened to Obama?" http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/what-happened-to-obamas-passion.html ..."
    "... Matt Taibbi in 2011: "I simply don't believe the Democrats would really be worse off with voters if they committed themselves to putting people back to work, policing Wall Street, throwing their weight behind a real public option in health care, making hedge fund managers pay the same tax rates as ordinary people, ending the pointless wars abroad, etc." ..."
    "... Unfortunately, there are at best a handful of Democrats who've been doing that. That should have been our message 24/7/365 for the past eight years. (That and the story Westen laid out.) It was not. ..."
    "... Yup. And that is how you lose the Presidency, the House, the Senate, 30-someodd (?) governorships, and 900-someodd state legislative seats over the past eight years. ..."
    Dec 31, 2016 | www.robustanalysis.net
    Chris G said... December 29, 2016 at 05:50 PM

    And this is telling us something significant: namely, that supply-side economic theory is and always was a sham.

    Urgh. That it is and always a sham is irrelevant. It is THE NARRATIVE that matters! They had a compelling story and they stuck to it. That's how you sell politics in this country.

    Trump told a significant fraction of the population that he understood their problems and that he would fix them. He told enough people what they wanted to hear - and did so with a convincing tone - that he got himself elected. That's how you win. You sell people on your vision. If you tell a good story most people aren't going to reality-check it. Sad but true.

    On the importance of narrative: Drew Westen, "What Happened to Obama?" http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/what-happened-to-obamas-passion.html

    Chris G said in reply to Mr. Bill... Anyway, get involved. December 29, 2016 at 06:39 PM

    Manned the phone banks and held signs for my state rep again this year. (Bowed out of going door-to-door this election though.) Tough race against a right-wing jerk. My guy won - in no small part because he's incredibly engaged with the community. I'll be back out for him again in 2018. That stated, I'm not sure how to make an impact at the national level - in part I think because I live in a very blue state. Keeping the goons from a establishing a local foothold seems a good place to start. Building resilient local networks feels like it will be essential for getting through the next four years.

    Chris G said in reply to Chris G ... December 29, 2016 at 06:30 PM

    Matt Taibbi in 2011: "I simply don't believe the Democrats would really be worse off with voters if they committed themselves to putting people back to work, policing Wall Street, throwing their weight behind a real public option in health care, making hedge fund managers pay the same tax rates as ordinary people, ending the pointless wars abroad, etc."

    Unfortunately, there are at best a handful of Democrats who've been doing that. That should have been our message 24/7/365 for the past eight years. (That and the story Westen laid out.) It was not.

    Taibbi continued: "That they won't do these things because they're afraid of public criticism, and "responding to pressure," is an increasingly transparent lie. This "Please, Br'er Fox, don't throw me into dat dere briar patch" deal isn't going to work for much longer. Just about everybody knows now that they want to go into that briar patch."

    Yup. And that is how you lose the Presidency, the House, the Senate, 30-someodd (?) governorships, and 900-someodd state legislative seats over the past eight years.

    [Dec 31, 2016] What Happened to Obamas Passion

    This was written in 2011 but it summarizes Obama presidency pretty nicely, even today. Betrayer in chief, the master of bait and switch. That is the essence of Obama legacy. On "Great Democratic betrayal"... Obama always was a closet neoliberal and neocon. A stooge of neoliberal financial oligarchy, a puppet, if you want politically incorrect term. He just masked it well during hist first election campaigning as a progressive democrat... And he faced Romney in his second campaign, who was even worse, so after betraying American people once, he was reelected and did it twice. Much like Bush II. He like another former cocaine addict -- George W Bush has never any intention of helping American people, only oligarchy.
    Notable quotes:
    "... IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. ..."
    "... We (yes, we) recognise that capitalism is the most efficient way to maximise overall prosperity and quality of life. But we also recognise that unfettered, it will ravage the environment, abuse labor, and expand income disparity until violence or tragedy (or both) ensues. ..."
    "... These are the lessons we've learned since the industrial revolution, and they're the ones that we should be drawing from the past decade. We recognise that we need a strong federal government to check these tendencies, and to strike a stable, sustainable balance between prosperity, community, opportunity, wealth, justice, freedom. We need a voice to fill the moral vacuum that has allowed the Koch/Tea/Fox Party to emerge and grab power. ..."
    "... Americans know this---including, of course, President Obama (see his April 13 speech at GW University). But as this article by Dr. Westen so effectively shows, Obama is incompetent to lead us back ..."
    "... he is not competent to lead us back to a state of American morality, where government is the protector of those who work hard, and the provider of opportunity to all Americans. ..."
    "... I've heard him called a mediator, a conciliator, a compromiser, etc. Those terms indicate someone who is bringing divergent views together and moving us along. That's part of what a leader does, though not all. Yet I don't think he's even lived up to his reputation as a mediator. ..."
    "... Almost three years after I voted for Obama, I still don't know what he's doing other than trying to help the financial industry: the wealthy who benefit most from it and the technocrats who run it for them. But average working people, people like myself and my daughter and my grandson, have not been helped. We are worse off than before. And millions of unemployed and underemployed are even worse off than my family is. ..."
    "... So whatever else he is (and that still remains a mystery to me), President Obama is not the leader I thought I was voting for. ..."
    "... I knew that Obama was a charade early on when giving a speech about the banking failures to the nation, instead of giving the narrative Mr. Westen accurately recommended on the origins of the orgy of greed that just crippled our economy and caused suffering for millions of Americans ..."
    "... He should have been condemning the craven, wanton, greed of nihilistic financial gangsters who hijacked our economy. Instead he seemed to be calling for all Americans not to hate rich people. That was not the point. Americans don't hate rich people, but they should hate rich people who acquire their wealth at the expense of the well being of an entire nation through irresponsible, avaricious, and in some instances illegal practices, and legally bribe politicians to enact laws which allow them to run amok over our economy without supervision or regulation. ..."
    "... I knew then that Obama was either a political lemon, in over his head, an extremely conflict averse neurotic individual with a compulsive need for some delusional ideal of neutrality in political and social relations, or a political phony beholden to the same forces that almost destroyed the country as Republicans are. ..."
    Aug 06, 2011 | nytimes.com

    When Barack Obama rose to the lectern on Inauguration Day, the nation was in tatters. Americans were scared and angry. The economy was spinning in reverse. Three-quarters of a million people lost their jobs that month. Many had lost their homes, and with them the only nest eggs they had. Even the usually impervious upper middle class had seen a decade of stagnant or declining investment, with the stock market dropping in value with no end in sight. Hope was as scarce as credit.

    In that context, Americans needed their president to tell them a story that made sense of what they had just been through, what caused it, and how it was going to end. They needed to hear that he understood what they were feeling, that he would track down those responsible for their pain and suffering, and that he would restore order and safety. What they were waiting for, in broad strokes, was a story something like this:

    "I know you're scared and angry. Many of you have lost your jobs, your homes, your hope. This was a disaster, but it was not a natural disaster. It was made by Wall Street gamblers who speculated with your lives and futures. It was made by conservative extremists who told us that if we just eliminated regulations and rewarded greed and recklessness, it would all work out. But it didn't work out. And it didn't work out 80 years ago, when the same people sold our grandparents the same bill of goods, with the same results. But we learned something from our grandparents about how to fix it, and we will draw on their wisdom. We will restore business confidence the old-fashioned way: by putting money back in the pockets of working Americans by putting them back to work, and by restoring integrity to our financial markets and demanding it of those who want to run them. I can't promise that we won't make mistakes along the way. But I can promise you that they will be honest mistakes, and that your government has your back again." A story isn't a policy. But that simple narrative - and the policies that would naturally have flowed from it - would have inoculated against much of what was to come in the intervening two and a half years of failed government, idled factories and idled hands. That story would have made clear that the president understood that the American people had given Democrats the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress to fix the mess the Republicans and Wall Street had made of the country, and that this would not be a power-sharing arrangement. It would have made clear that the problem wasn't tax-and-spend liberalism or the deficit - a deficit that didn't exist until George W. Bush gave nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks largely to the wealthiest Americans and squandered $1 trillion in two wars.

    And perhaps most important, it would have offered a clear, compelling alternative to the dominant narrative of the right, that our problem is not due to spending on things like the pensions of firefighters, but to the fact that those who can afford to buy influence are rewriting the rules so they can cut themselves progressively larger slices of the American pie while paying less of their fair share for it.

    But there was no story - and there has been none since.

    In similar circumstances, Franklin D. Roosevelt offered Americans a promise to use the power of his office to make their lives better and to keep trying until he got it right. Beginning in his first inaugural address, and in the fireside chats that followed, he explained how the crash had happened, and he minced no words about those who had caused it. He promised to do something no president had done before: to use the resources of the United States to put Americans directly to work, building the infrastructure we still rely on today. He swore to keep the people who had caused the crisis out of the halls of power, and he made good on that promise. In a 1936 speech at Madison Square Garden, he thundered, "Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me - and I welcome their hatred."

    When Barack Obama stepped into the Oval Office, he stepped into a cycle of American history, best exemplified by F.D.R. and his distant cousin, Teddy. After a great technological revolution or a major economic transition, as when America changed from a nation of farmers to an urban industrial one, there is often a period of great concentration of wealth, and with it, a concentration of power in the wealthy. That's what we saw in 1928, and that's what we see today. At some point that power is exercised so injudiciously, and the lives of so many become so unbearable, that a period of reform ensues - and a charismatic reformer emerges to lead that renewal. In that sense, Teddy Roosevelt started the cycle of reform his cousin picked up 30 years later, as he began efforts to bust the trusts and regulate the railroads, exercise federal power over the banks and the nation's food supply, and protect America's land and wildlife, creating the modern environmental movement.

    Those were the shoes - that was the historic role - that Americans elected Barack Obama to fill. The president is fond of referring to "the arc of history," paraphrasing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous statement that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics - in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time - he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation.

    When Dr. King spoke of the great arc bending toward justice, he did not mean that we should wait for it to bend. He exhorted others to put their full weight behind it, and he gave his life speaking with a voice that cut through the blistering force of water cannons and the gnashing teeth of police dogs. He preached the gospel of nonviolence, but he knew that whether a bully hid behind a club or a poll tax, the only effective response was to face the bully down, and to make the bully show his true and repugnant face in public.

    IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. Instead of indicting the people whose recklessness wrecked the economy, he put them in charge of it. He never explained that decision to the public - a failure in storytelling as extraordinary as the failure in judgment behind it. Had the president chosen to bend the arc of history, he would have told the public the story of the destruction wrought by the dismantling of the New Deal regulations that had protected them for more than half a century. He would have offered them a counternarrative of how to fix the problem other than the politics of appeasement, one that emphasized creating economic demand and consumer confidence by putting consumers back to work. He would have had to stare down those who had wrecked the economy, and he would have had to tolerate their hatred if not welcome it. But the arc of his temperament just didn't bend that far.

    Michael August 7, 2011

    Eloquently expressed and horrifically accurate, this excellent analysis articulates the frustration that so many of us have felt watching Mr...

    Bill Levine August 7, 2011

    Very well put. I know that I have been going through Kübler-Ross's stages of grief ever since the foxes (a.k.a. Geithner and Summers) were...

    AnAverageAmerican August 7, 2011

    "In that context, Americans needed their president to tell them a story that made sense of what they had just been through, what caused it,...

    cdearman Santa Fe, NM August 7, 2011

    Unfortunately, the Democratic Congress of 2008-2010, did not have the will to make the economic and social program decisions that would have improved the economic situation for the middle-class; and it is becoming more obvious that President Obama does not have the temperament to publicly push for programs and policies that he wants the congress to enact.
    The American people have a problem: we reelect Obama and hope for the best; or we elect a Republican and expect the worst. There is no question that the Health Care law that was just passed would be reversed; Medicare and Medicare would be gutted; and who knows what would happen to Social Security. You can be sure, though, that business taxes and regulation reforms would not be in the cards and those regulations that have been enacted would be reversed. We have traveled this road before and we should be wise enough not to travel it again!

    SP California August 7, 2011

    Brilliant analysis - and I suspect that a very large number of those who voted for President Obama will recognize in this the thoughts that they have been trying to ignore, or have been trying not to say out loud. Later historians can complete this analysis and attempt to explain exactly why Mr. Obama has turned out the way he has - but right now, it may be time to ask a more relevant and urgent question.

    If it is not too late, will a challenger emerge in time before the 2012 elections, or will we be doomed to hold our noses and endure another four years of this?

    farospace san francisco August 7, 2011

    Very eloquent and exactly to the point. Like many others, I was enthralled by the rhetoric of his story, making the leap of faith (or hope) that because he could tell his story so well, he could tell, as you put it, "the story the American people were waiting to hear."

    Disappointment has darkened into disillusion, disillusion into a species of despair. Will I vote for Barack Obama again? What are the options?

    Richard Katz American in Oxford, UK August 7, 2011

    This is the most brilliant and tragic story I have read in a long time---in fact, precisely since I read when Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt. When will a leader emerge with a true moral vision for the federal government and for our country? Someone who sees government as a balance to capitalism, and a means to achieve the social and economic justice that we (yes, we) believe in? Will that leadership arrive before parts of America come to look like the dystopia of Johannesburg?

    We (yes, we) recognise that capitalism is the most efficient way to maximise overall prosperity and quality of life. But we also recognise that unfettered, it will ravage the environment, abuse labor, and expand income disparity until violence or tragedy (or both) ensues.

    These are the lessons we've learned since the industrial revolution, and they're the ones that we should be drawing from the past decade. We recognise that we need a strong federal government to check these tendencies, and to strike a stable, sustainable balance between prosperity, community, opportunity, wealth, justice, freedom. We need a voice to fill the moral vacuum that has allowed the Koch/Tea/Fox Party to emerge and grab power.

    Americans know this---including, of course, President Obama (see his April 13 speech at GW University). But as this article by Dr. Westen so effectively shows, Obama is incompetent to lead us back to America's traditional position on the global economic/political spectrum. He's brilliant and eloquent. He's achieved personal success that is inspirational. He's done some good things as president. But he is not competent to lead us back to a state of American morality, where government is the protector of those who work hard, and the provider of opportunity to all Americans.

    Taxes, subsidies, entitlements, laws... these are the tools we have available to achieve our national moral vision. But the vision has been muddled (hijacked?) and that is our biggest problem. -->

    An Ordinary American Prague August 7, 2011

    I voted for Obama. I thought then, and still think, he's a decent person, a smart person, a person who wants to do the best he can for others. When I voted for him, I was thinking he's a centrist who will find a way to unite our increasingly polarized and ugly politics in the USA. Or if not unite us, at least forge a way to get some important things done despite the ugly polarization.

    And I must confess, I have been disappointed. Deeply so. He has not united us. He has not forged a way to accomplish what needs to be done. He has not been a leader.

    I've heard him called a mediator, a conciliator, a compromiser, etc. Those terms indicate someone who is bringing divergent views together and moving us along. That's part of what a leader does, though not all. Yet I don't think he's even lived up to his reputation as a mediator.

    Almost three years after I voted for Obama, I still don't know what he's doing other than trying to help the financial industry: the wealthy who benefit most from it and the technocrats who run it for them. But average working people, people like myself and my daughter and my grandson, have not been helped. We are worse off than before. And millions of unemployed and underemployed are even worse off than my family is.

    So whatever else he is (and that still remains a mystery to me), President Obama is not the leader I thought I was voting for. Which leaves me feeling confused and close to apathetic about what to do as a voter in 2012. More of the same isn't worth voting for. Yet I don't see anyone out there who offers the possibility of doing better.

    martin Portland, Oregon August 7, 2011

    This was an extraordinarily well written, eloquent and comprehensive indictment of the failure of the Obama presidency.

    If a credible primary challenger to Obama ever could arise, the positions and analysis in this column would be all he or she would need to justify the Democratic party's need to seek new leadership.

    I knew that Obama was a charade early on when giving a speech about the banking failures to the nation, instead of giving the narrative Mr. Westen accurately recommended on the origins of the orgy of greed that just crippled our economy and caused suffering for millions of Americans, he said "we don't disparage wealth in America." I was dumbfounded.

    He should have been condemning the craven, wanton, greed of nihilistic financial gangsters who hijacked our economy. Instead he seemed to be calling for all Americans not to hate rich people. That was not the point. Americans don't hate rich people, but they should hate rich people who acquire their wealth at the expense of the well being of an entire nation through irresponsible, avaricious, and in some instances illegal practices, and legally bribe politicians to enact laws which allow them to run amok over our economy without supervision or regulation.

    I knew then that Obama was either a political lemon, in over his head, an extremely conflict averse neurotic individual with a compulsive need for some delusional ideal of neutrality in political and social relations, or a political phony beholden to the same forces that almost destroyed the country as Republicans are.

    Perhaps all of these are true.

    [Dec 31, 2016] Like Iraq WMD Fiasco, Russia Story Does Not Add Up

    If such attempts were really registered, the question is were those attempts to hack US sites from Russian IP space a false flag operation, probably with participation of Ukrainian secret services? '
    As one commenter noted: "The Ukrainian government have been trying to drive a wedge between the West and Russia for years for their own political advantage."
    If so what is the agenda outside obvious attempt to poison Us-Russian relations just before Trump assumes presidency. Neocon in Washington are really afraid losing this plush positions. And there is the whole colony of such "national security professionals" in Washington DC. For example Robert Kagan can't do anything useful outside his favorite Russophobic agenda and would be an unemployed along with his wife, who brought us Ukrainian disaster.
    Notable quotes:
    "... President Obama issued a terse statement seeming to blame Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee emails. "These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government," he wrote. ..."
    "... The problem with this story is that, like the Iraq-WMD mess, it takes place in the middle of a highly politicized environment during which the motives of all the relevant actors are suspect. Nothing quite adds up. ..."
    "... Now we have this sanctions story, which presents a new conundrum. It appears that a large segment of the press is biting hard on the core allegations of electoral interference emanating from the Obama administration. ..."
    "... Did the Russians do it? Very possibly, in which case it should be reported to the max. But the press right now is flying blind. ..."
    "... Maybe the Russians did hack the DNC, but the WikiLeaks material actually came from someone else? There is even a published report to that effect, with a former British ambassador as a source, not that it's any more believable than anything else here. ..."
    "... We ought to have learned from the Judith Miller episode. Not only do governments lie, they won't hesitate to burn news agencies. In a desperate moment, they'll use any sucker they can find to get a point across. ..."
    "... The Joint Analysis Report from the FBI contains an appendix that lists hundreds of IP addresses that were supposedly "used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services." While some of those IP addresses are from Russia, the majority are from all over the world, which means that the hackers constantly faked their location. ..."
    "... "If I was the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it, I would use Russian language within the code, I would use Russian techniques of breaking into the organization," McAfee said, adding that, in the end, "there simply is no way to assign a source for any attack." ..."
    "... I have a problem understanding why the powers that be can't understand the widening gap between their on podium statements and the average persons view. Are they hoping to brainwash, or really believe it, or just leaving a video record for posterity that might sway historical interpretation of the current time? ..."
    "... A little OT, but how many people realize that Israel (less than half the population of the former Palestine) has taken complete control of ALL water and has decreed that 3% of that water may be directed to the Palestinians! ..."
    "... It's been said that on average Americans are like mushrooms – "Keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em shit!" ..."
    "... And THAT, from what I've read in OPEN literature (obviously) about what is known by our cyber threat intel community, read on tech sites, and seen on the outstanding documentary program CyberWar about the Eastern European hacking community, is a OUTRIGHT BLATANT LIE. ..."
    "... NOTE that he may actually believe that because that is what he may have been TOLD, just as Bush was told there were WMDs in Iraq, but as I've pointed out, the clumsy errors allowing the malware to be so very EASILY traced back to "supposedly" Russia are beyond belief for any state-sponsored outfit, especially a Russian effort. ..."
    "... Note that the user info for TWO BILLION Yahoo email accounts was stolen and they left no traces which then led the FBI to conclude that it must have been "state sponsored." ..."
    "... We are left with two basic options. Either they are simply stupid or their is a larger agenda at hand. I don't believe they are stupid. They have been setting fires all around this election for months, none of them effective by themselves, but ALL reinforcing the general notion that Trump is unfit and illegitimate. ..."
    "... I do not believe this is just random panic and hyperbole. They are "building" something. ..."
    "... This is what is must have been like being a Soviet Citizen in 1989 or so. The official media was openly laughed at because its lies were so preposterous. ..."
    "... Sadly, the JAR, as the Joint Analysis Report is called, does little to end the debate. Instead of providing smoking guns that the Russian government was behind specific hacks, it largely restates previous private-sector claims without providing any support for their validity. Even worse, it provides an effective bait and switch by promising newly declassified intelligence into Russian hackers' "tradecraft and techniques" and instead delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups." ..."
    "... WORSE than "delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups." It should have said "by just about anyone using 'in the wild' malware tools." ..."
    "... The Russians probably have a lot of information about USG employees, contractors, etc, via hacking, recording, etc than Wikileaks. But, as a general rule, intelligence agencies do not dump it into the public domain because you don't want a potential adversary know what you know about him lest he investigate and close off the means of obtaining that information. The leaks came from elsewhere. ..."
    "... Smells like a "false flag" operation, like the USA/NATO Operation Gladio in Europe. ..."
    "... McCain and the War Hawks have had it out for Russia for a long time, and the Neo-cons have been closing in on the borders of Russia for some time. What will be interesting is when Trump meets with the CIA/NSA et al. for intel briefings on the alleged hacking. Hopefully, Trump will bring along VP Pence, Mad Dog and the other Marine generals (appointees) for advice. I suspect that the "false flag" nature of the hacking excuse will be evident and revealed as the pretext for the Neo-con anti-Russia agenda moving forward. ..."
    "... McCain is the real thug, and an interferer in foreign elections (Kiev) and seems to have no real scruples. ..."
    "... After Victoria Nuland brags about the USA spending $5 billion to overthrow the elected Ukraine government, how these Russia-phobes have any credibility is beyond me. Just shows that the consolidation of the media into a few main propaganda outlets under Bill Clinton (who also brought the Neo-cons into foreign policy dominance) has reached its logical apex. The Swamp is indeed a stinking, Corrupt miasma. ..."
    "... Russia a country of 170 million surrounded by NATO military bases and 800 million people in the EU and USA is the threat? The US alone spends 12 times as much on its military annually than Russia. It's not Russia invading and overthrowing secular governments in the Muslim world. ..."
    "... If I remember correctly the CIA claimed their intelligence sources came from unspecified 'allies'. It seems rather crucial to establish who these allies actually are. If it were Germany that would be one thing, however it is more than likely to be the Ukraine. ..."
    "... So if Obama had actually produced evidence that the Russians had hacked Hilary's illegal, unprotected email setup in her Chapaqua basement/closet how would that change the ***content*** of the emails? It wouldn't. ..."
    "... Obama is failing to convince the world that Russia is a bunch of whistle blowers on his corrupt regime. All of the emails detailing corruption and fraud are true (unchallenged), however Obama wants to suggest they were obtained illegally from an illegal email server? That is Obama's bullshit defense for the corrupt behavior? ..."
    Dec 30, 2016 | mishtalk.com

    Yesterday, President Obama expelled 35 Russian "Operatives" from the Russian Embassy .

    Is there any evidence those expelled are "intelligence operatives"? Any hard evidence Russia was behind the Hillary hacks? Any credible evidence that Putin himself is to blame?

    The answers are No, No, and No. Yet, once again the American press is again asked to co-sign a dubious intelligence assessment.

    ... ... ....

    Something Stinks

    The Rolling Stone comments Something About This Russia Story Stinks

    In an extraordinary development Thursday, the Obama administration announced a series of sanctions against Russia. Thirty-five Russian nationals will be expelled from the country. President Obama issued a terse statement seeming to blame Russia for the hack of the Democratic National Committee emails. "These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government," he wrote.

    The problem with this story is that, like the Iraq-WMD mess, it takes place in the middle of a highly politicized environment during which the motives of all the relevant actors are suspect. Nothing quite adds up.

    If the American security agencies had smoking-gun evidence that the Russians had an organized campaign to derail the U.S. presidential election and deliver the White House to Trump, then expelling a few dozen diplomats after the election seems like an oddly weak and ill-timed response. Voices in both parties are saying this now.

    Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham noted the "small price" Russia paid for its "brazen attack." The Democratic National Committee, meanwhile, said Thursday that taken alone, the Obama response is " insufficient " as a response to "attacks on the United States by a foreign power."

    The "small price" is an eyebrow-raiser.

    Adding to the problem is that in the last months of the campaign, and also in the time since the election, we've seen an epidemic of factually loose, clearly politically motivated reporting about Russia. Democrat-leaning pundits have been unnervingly quick to use phrases like "Russia hacked the election."

    This has led to widespread confusion among news audiences over whether the Russians hacked the DNC emails (a story that has at least been backed by some evidence, even if it hasn't always been great evidence ), or whether Russians hacked vote tallies in critical states (a far more outlandish tale backed by no credible evidence ).

    As noted in The Intercept and other outlets, an Economist/YouGov poll conducted this month shows that 50 percent of all Clinton voters believe the Russians hacked vote tallies.

    And reports by some Democrat-friendly reporters – like Kurt Eichenwald, who has birthed some real head-scratchers this year, including what he admitted was a baseless claim that Trump spent time in an institution in 1990 – have attempted to argue that Trump surrogates may have been liaising with the Russians because they either visited Russia or appeared on the RT network. Similar reporting about Russian scheming has been based entirely on unnamed security sources.

    Now we have this sanctions story, which presents a new conundrum. It appears that a large segment of the press is biting hard on the core allegations of electoral interference emanating from the Obama administration.

    Did the Russians do it? Very possibly, in which case it should be reported to the max. But the press right now is flying blind.

    Maybe the Russians did hack the DNC, but the WikiLeaks material actually came from someone else? There is even a published report to that effect, with a former British ambassador as a source, not that it's any more believable than anything else here.

    We just don't know, which is the problem.

    We ought to have learned from the Judith Miller episode. Not only do governments lie, they won't hesitate to burn news agencies. In a desperate moment, they'll use any sucker they can find to get a point across.

    Where the Hell is the Evidence?

    'I Can Guarantee You, It Was Not the Russians'

    John McAfee, founder of the security firm McAfee Associates, says 'I Can Guarantee You, It Was Not the Russians' .

    The Joint Analysis Report from the FBI contains an appendix that lists hundreds of IP addresses that were supposedly "used by Russian civilian and military intelligence services." While some of those IP addresses are from Russia, the majority are from all over the world, which means that the hackers constantly faked their location.

    McAfee argues that the report is a "fallacy," explaining that hackers can fake their location, their language, and any markers that could lead back to them. Any hacker who had the skills to hack into the DNC would also be able to hide their tracks, he said

    "If I was the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it, I would use Russian language within the code, I would use Russian techniques of breaking into the organization," McAfee said, adding that, in the end, "there simply is no way to assign a source for any attack."

    Question of Patriotism

    It's not patriotic to accept accusations as facts, given US history of lies, deceit, meddling, and wars.

    Related

    keepitsimple , December 30, 2016 1:41:03 at 1:41 PM
    The gullibility and ignorance of the typical media lapdog is appalling, and whores like McCain and Graham will use them shamelessly to promote their twisted, warmongering agenda. The same old story, over and over again.
    Bobdough , December 30, 2016 10:51:52 at 10:51 PM
    Not gullibilty, but complicity
    The_Fish , December 30, 2016 2:07:19 at 2:07 PM
    I have a problem understanding why the powers that be can't understand the widening gap between their on podium statements and the average persons view. Are they hoping to brainwash, or really believe it, or just leaving a video record for posterity that might sway historical interpretation of the current time?

    No problem if they deliver proof.

    James Greenberg , December 30, 2016 6:30:47 at 6:30 PM
    Read 1984. It will explain EVERYTHING.
    The_Fish , December 30, 2016 7:05:07 at 7:05 PM
    Net control very likely in Europe soon with public administration of the web/content. Might at least help reduce the unemployment rate. Looked over the 2016 Bilderberg attendees too. MSM attendees interesting vs political bias they exhibit.

    Whoever thinks there aren't people behind the scenes with a plan is naive and woe betide anyone upsetting that plan.

    Crysangle , December 30, 2016 8:56:05 at 8:56 PM
    Unemployment rate read last refuge from the official economy. Not the alt. web that takes away motivation, it is a pressure valve for people who find the official direction nothing short of insulting. The majority of social media users won't be distracted.

    Noticed zh on Italy for you if you had not picked it up

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-30/italy-urges-europe-begin-censoring-free-speech-internet

    Michael G , December 31, 2016 9:53:11 at 9:53 AM
    A little OT, but how many people realize that Israel (less than half the population of the former Palestine) has taken complete control of ALL water and has decreed that 3% of that water may be directed to the Palestinians!

    Over ten million get running water for 12 hrs a week, while in Israel (borders move every day as the world says nothing) there are no water restrictions zero! So, while Palestinians struggle to live in hot barren desert conditions (food and medicine is also denied children die of treatable cancer often as medication is blocked), a 5 min drive away millions of gallons are used to create a green, lush paradise for the Jewish Masters!

    Did you know US laws were changed in 1968 to allow "Dual Citizens" to be elected and appointed to government positions and today many of the top posts are citizens of Israel and America WTF?

    Trump needs to make a daily dose of Red Pills the law

    Michael G , December 31, 2016 9:58:31 at 9:58 AM
    Oops the 10M fig is a bit high but it's at least double the Jewish population, yet they get 97% this is slow moving genocide yet it's never even acknowledged
    Greg , December 30, 2016 2:07:48 at 2:07 PM
    Syria is about gas pipelines. Corporations want to profit from the gas pipeline through the region and wr the people are supposed to send our children to war over it and pay taxes tpbsupport the effort. Rissia wants pipelines from their country under the Black sea and Irans pipelines to the north. The US is supporting Qatar pipeline and LNG from our own shores to the EU.
    The_Fish , December 30, 2016 2:09:55 at 2:09 PM
    Some rumours Obama to be considered for UN role and Cameron NATO.
    Germ , December 30, 2016 2:13:34 at 2:13 PM
    It's been said that on average Americans are like mushrooms – "Keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em shit!"
    Winston , December 30, 2016 3:43:28 at 3:43 PM
    "These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government," (Obama) wrote.

    And THAT, from what I've read in OPEN literature (obviously) about what is known by our cyber threat intel community, read on tech sites, and seen on the outstanding documentary program CyberWar about the Eastern European hacking community, is a OUTRIGHT BLATANT LIE.

    Note he avoided the phrase, "slam dunk"

    Winston , December 30, 2016 3:52:29 at 3:52 PM
    NOTE that he may actually believe that because that is what he may have been TOLD, just as Bush was told there were WMDs in Iraq, but as I've pointed out, the clumsy errors allowing the malware to be so very EASILY traced back to "supposedly" Russia are beyond belief for any state-sponsored outfit, especially a Russian effort.

    Note that the user info for TWO BILLION Yahoo email accounts was stolen and they left no traces which then led the FBI to conclude that it must have been "state sponsored."

    fingerhole , December 30, 2016 5:24:36 at 5:24 PM
    Any government that claims a right to secrecy over its affairs is going to use lying as a policy.
    Steven milgrom , December 30, 2016 4:17:51 at 4:17 PM
    Snowden says that it is auite easy to trace the source of the hackers.
    madashellowell , December 30, 2016 4:21:48 at 4:21 PM
    We are left with two basic options. Either they are simply stupid or their is a larger agenda at hand. I don't believe they are stupid. They have been setting fires all around this election for months, none of them effective by themselves, but ALL reinforcing the general notion that Trump is unfit and illegitimate.

    I do not believe this is just random panic and hyperbole. They are "building" something.

    Fred Rogers , December 31, 2016 1:25:43 at 1:25 PM
    Well, it is an established and accepted fact that Richard Nixon was a very intelligent guy. None of Nixon's detractors ever claimed he was stupid, and Nixon won reelection easily.

    Tricky Dick was just a tad "honesty challenged", and so is Obama. They were/are both neo-keynesians, both took their sweet time ending stupid wars started by their predecessors even after it was clear the wars were pointless.

    Then again, I doubt Obozo is as smart as Nixon. Soros is clearly the puppeteer controlling what Obama does. Soros is now freaking out that his fascist agenda has been exposed.

    vooch , December 30, 2016 5:18:15 at 5:18 PM
    This is what is must have been like being a Soviet Citizen in 1989 or so. The official media was openly laughed at because its lies were so preposterous.
    Winston , December 30, 2016 5:24:35 at 5:24 PM
    http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/12/did-russia-tamper-with-the-2016-election-bitter-debate-likely-to-rage-on/

    Excerpt:

    "While security companies in the private sector have said for months the hacking campaign was the work of people working for the Russian government, anonymous people tied to the leaks have claimed they are lone wolves. Many independent security experts said there was little way to know the true origins of the attacks.

    Sadly, the JAR, as the Joint Analysis Report is called, does little to end the debate. Instead of providing smoking guns that the Russian government was behind specific hacks, it largely restates previous private-sector claims without providing any support for their validity. Even worse, it provides an effective bait and switch by promising newly declassified intelligence into Russian hackers' "tradecraft and techniques" and instead delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups."

    WORSE than "delivering generic methods carried out by just about all state-sponsored hacking groups." It should have said "by just about anyone using 'in the wild' malware tools."

    The_Fish , December 30, 2016 5:54:31 at 5:54 PM
    2015 Bilderberg. Looking down the attendees and subjects covered. Interesting some of the main anti-Brexit groups had representatives there, suggests HC picked for 2016 US election, Cyber-security and etc. Look at the key topics. How they all helped define 2016. So many current intertwined themes.

    Little people upset the apple-cart? http://www.globalresearch.ca/bilderberg-chooses-hillary-clinton-for-2016/5454829

    wootendw , December 30, 2016 6:01:33 at 6:01 PM
    "We just don't know "

    The Russians probably have a lot of information about USG employees, contractors, etc, via hacking, recording, etc than Wikileaks. But, as a general rule, intelligence agencies do not dump it into the public domain because you don't want a potential adversary know what you know about him lest he investigate and close off the means of obtaining that information. The leaks came from elsewhere.

    greg , December 30, 2016 9:09:50 at 9:09 PM
    One of the leakers is dead, we know that.
    joelg5 , December 30, 2016 6:35:45 at 6:35 PM
    Smells like a "false flag" operation, like the USA/NATO Operation Gladio in Europe.

    McCain and the War Hawks have had it out for Russia for a long time, and the Neo-cons have been closing in on the borders of Russia for some time. What will be interesting is when Trump meets with the CIA/NSA et al. for intel briefings on the alleged hacking. Hopefully, Trump will bring along VP Pence, Mad Dog and the other Marine generals (appointees) for advice. I suspect that the "false flag" nature of the hacking excuse will be evident and revealed as the pretext for the Neo-con anti-Russia agenda moving forward.

    The CIA it is now widely believed was part of the Deep State behind the JFK assassination when JFK took an independent view, so Trump will need the USA Marines on his side. McCain is the real thug, and an interferer in foreign elections (Kiev) and seems to have no real scruples.

    After Victoria Nuland brags about the USA spending $5 billion to overthrow the elected Ukraine government, how these Russia-phobes have any credibility is beyond me. Just shows that the consolidation of the media into a few main propaganda outlets under Bill Clinton (who also brought the Neo-cons into foreign policy dominance) has reached its logical apex. The Swamp is indeed a stinking, Corrupt miasma.

    Perhaps the Clinton Foundation and nascent Obama foundation feel it in their financial interests to nurture the misma.

    Cha-ching, cha-ching. Money to be made in demonizing Russia.

    Ron J , December 31, 2016 12:32:19 at 12:32 PM
    "The CIA it is now widely believed was part of the Deep State behind the JFK assassination when JFK took an independent view "

    All the circumstantial evidence pointed to Oswald. No one has ever proven otherwise, in over 50 years.

    After 50 years of being propagandized by conspiracy book writers, it isn't surprising that anything is widely believed at this point. The former curator of the 6th Floor Museum, Gary Mack, believed there was a conspiracy, but over time came to realize that it was Oswald, alone.

    CJ , December 30, 2016 8:15:54 at 8:15 PM
    When liberal Rolling Stone questions the Obama/DNC propaganda, you know for certain that they have lost even their base supporters (the ones that can still think). The BS has just gotten too stupid.
    Truth seeker , December 30, 2016 9:32:32 at 9:32 PM
    Why is the WSJ strongly supporting Obama here but also saying he waited way to long to make this move? I don't always agree with them nor do I with you.

    Ok I haven't read the comments but would only say that when Vladimir Putin the once leader of the KGB becomes a preacher and starts criticizing the West for abandoning its Christian roots, it's moral dignity, that for me doesn't just stink, it raises red flags all over the place. I think Trump and some of the rest of u r being set up here-like lambs to the slaughter. Mish your naïveté here surprises me!

    Bobdough , December 30, 2016 11:00:12 at 11:00 PM
    The Russians are coming!

    Russia a country of 170 million surrounded by NATO military bases and 800 million people in the EU and USA is the threat? The US alone spends 12 times as much on its military annually than Russia. It's not Russia invading and overthrowing secular governments in the Muslim world.

    greg , December 30, 2016 9:52:15 at 9:52 PM
    Germany takes back its gold from US. Finally, after the Fed Res refused an audit request. http://www.pravdareport.com/business/finance/27-12-2016/136521-gold-0/
    Simon Hodges , December 31, 2016 7:57:09 at 7:57 AM
    If I remember correctly the CIA claimed their intelligence sources came from unspecified 'allies'. It seems rather crucial to establish who these allies actually are. If it were Germany that would be one thing, however it is more than likely to be the Ukraine.

    The Ukranian government have been trying to drive a wedge between the West and Russia for years for their own political advantage. If I was Trump then when I took office I would want an extremely thorough investigation into the activities of the CIA by a third reliable party.

    Seenitallbefore , December 31, 2016 9:48:10 at 9:48 AM
    Don't be stupid. The Russians did it. CNN reported it, so it must be true.
    Winston , December 31, 2016 10:22:42 at 10:22 AM
    Supporting -EXACTLY- the points I've previously made here: Russian Hackers Said To "Penetrate US Electricity Grid" Using Outdated Ukrainian Malware

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-31/russian-hackers-said-penetrate-us-electricity-grid-using-outdated-ukrainian-malware

    Excerpt: But was it really Russian meddling? After all, how does one prove not only intent but source in a world of cyberespionage, where planting false flag clues and other Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) meant to frame a specific entity, is as important as the actual hack.

    Robert M. Lee, CEO and founder of cybersecurity company Dragos, which specializes in threats facing critical infrastructure, also noted that the IOCs included "commodity malware," or hacking tools that are widely available for purchase.

    He said:

    1. No they did not penetrate the grid.
    2. The IOCs contained *commodity malware* – can't attribute based off that alone.

    Fred Rogers , December 31, 2016 1:09:53 at 1:09 PM
    So if Obama had actually produced evidence that the Russians had hacked Hilary's illegal, unprotected email setup in her Chapaqua basement/closet how would that change the ***content*** of the emails? It wouldn't.

    Obama is failing to convince the world that Russia is a bunch of whistle blowers on his corrupt regime. All of the emails detailing corruption and fraud are true (unchallenged), however Obama wants to suggest they were obtained illegally from an illegal email server? That is Obama's bullshit defense for the corrupt behavior?

    And as "proportional retaliation" for this Russian whistle blowing, Obozo is evicting 35 entertainment staff from the Russian embassy summer camp?

    I doubt Hollywood or San Francisco has the integrity to admit they backed the wrong loser when they supported Obozo but they should think about their own credibility after January 20th. Anyone who is still backing Obozo is just too stupid to tie their own shoes much less vote

    [Dec 31, 2016] The last hissy fit of neocon Obama is probably connected with the loss of Alepo and being sidelined in Syria

    Notable quotes:
    "... White House/StateDep press release on sanctions is ORWELLIAN: corruption within the DNC/Clinton's manager Podesta undermines the democracy, not its exposure as claimed (let alone the fact that there is still no evidence that the Russian government has anything to do with the hacks). ..."
    "... The press release also talks about how the security of the USA and its interests were compromised, so Obama in effects says that national security interest of the country is to have corrupt political system, which is insane. ..."
    "... You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination." ~Charles de Gaulle. ..."
    "... United States are not united I guess. Guess, that Merkel is the next on the list... ..."
    "... Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be silent, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. ..."
    Dec 31, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

    On Friday, the Kremlin responded to the moves, including the expulsion of 35 suspected intelligence operatives and the closing of two Russian facilities in the US, with a shrug. Putin, it seems, is willing simply to wait until Trump moves into the Oval Office. Trump's tweet suggested he is too.

    But such provocative words could not distract the media and public from another domestic concern for Trump – the growing perception that his predecessor has acted to his disadvantage .

    "The sanctions were clearly an attempt by the Obama administration to throw a wrench into – or [to] box in – the next administration's relationship with Russia," said Boris Zilberman, a Russia expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

    "Putin, in part, saw through that and sidestepped it by playing good cop to [Russian foreign minister Sergey] Lavrov and the [state] Duma, who were calling for a reciprocal response."


    vgnych 8h ago

    All Obama does with his clumsy movements is just attempting to blame Russians for Democrat's loss of elections. Also he is obscuring peaceful power transition while at it.

    All what Trump needs to do is to just call the looser a loser a move on.

    Max South , 30 Dec 2016 18:56
    White House/StateDep press release on sanctions is ORWELLIAN: corruption within the DNC/Clinton's manager Podesta undermines the democracy, not its exposure as claimed (let alone the fact that there is still no evidence that the Russian government has anything to do with the hacks).

    The press release also talks about how the security of the USA and its interests were compromised, so Obama in effects says that national security interest of the country is to have corrupt political system, which is insane.

    This argumentation means that even if Russian government has done the hacking, it was a good deed, there is nothing to sanction Russia for even in such case.

    MacCosham -> Max South , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
    There were no hacks, the DNC emails were leaked by disgruntled insiders. As brilliantly said by the heroic former diplomat Craig Murray. Reply
    CDNBobOrr , 30 Dec 2016 18:58
    'Fraid both Putin and Trump are a lot smarter than Barry. Putin's move in not retaliating and inviting US kids to the Kremlin New Year party was an astute judo throw. And Barry is sitting on his backside wondering how it happened. Reply
    antobojar , 30 Dec 2016 19:00
    .. Probably Obama's "exceptionalism" made him so clumsy on international affairs stage..

    .. just recently.. snubbed by Fidel.. he refused to meet him..
    .. humiliated by Raul Castro, he declined to hug president of USA..
    .. Duterte described.. hmm.. his provenance..
    .. Bibi told him off in most vulgar way.. several times..
    .. and now this..
    ..pathetic..

    P.S.
    You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination." ~Charles de Gaulle.

    chiefwiley -> Tribal War , 30 Dec 2016 21:49
    Obama knew about Russian involvement in July. Look it up. He ignored it because it was seen as having no effect, and they didn't want the appearance of the government favoring Hillary, because they thought she was in line for a landslide victory.

    After the election, "RUSSIA" has become a fund raising buzz word for Democrats.

    Phrygian , 30 Dec 2016 19:02
    Talk about sore loser. Obama's actions are disgraceful. The sooner he leaves office the better. Reply Share
    AveAtqueCave -> Phrygian , 30 Dec 2016 19:17
    The election should have taught our "betters" that people do think for themselves, albeit occasionally.

    I've been frustrated enough with Obama since he pardoned Bush and Cheney... now he wants to sacrifice whatever shreds of reputation the Democratic party has... to be a white knight for miserable candidate, warmonger, and incompetent Hillary Clinton.

    He figured the republicans would love him when he took Bush et al. off the hook and (clumsily) implemented Romney's health plan. They didn't.

    Now he thinks leftists will love him because he's going "all in" on Hillary didn't lose this all on her own. They won't.

    The guy doesn't have a fraction of the insight he credits himself with.

    blocksburg -> Phrygian , 30 Dec 2016 19:18
    Indeed, may even be seen as treasonous behaviour Reply
    Munchausen007 , 30 Dec 2016 19:06
    Simple solution, publish the commenter geolocation and ban proxy, clean the comment section from putinbots. Putin like ASBO's must stop to do more harm against democracy. Reply Share
    Down2dirt -> Munchausen007 , 30 Dec 2016 19:17
    What a foolish comment. Reply Share
    Ilurktostudyyouall -> Munchausen007 , 30 Dec 2016 19:39
    And what happens when you begin to realise many are not putinbots? Reply Share
    Not4TheFaintOfHeart -> Ilurktostudyyouall , 30 Dec 2016 19:58
    I'm sure they'll find some excuse to get around that...
    'It's elephants all the way down', don't forget Reply
    ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 19:07
    Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who.

    Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria.

    Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times. Reply

    foolisholdman -> ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 20:01
    Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corpratism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama.

    The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more.

    Terry Phillips , 30 Dec 2016 19:19
    You just know these people, like Johnny boy, who are pointing fingers at Russia are doing so based upon long laid plans to bind up Trump from building a healthy relationship with Russia which would put an end to terrorism and likely all of these petty little wars that are tearing the world to pieces. These people want war because division keeps them in power and war makes them lots of money. I hope that Trump and Putin can work together and build a trust and foundation as allies in that together we can stamp out terrorism and stabilize the worlds conflicts. Everything these people do in the next 20 days has a single agenda and that is to cause instability and roadblocks for Trump and his team. Hope is just around the corner people so let's help usher it in.
    86753oh9 , 30 Dec 2016 19:24
    First... let's see some actual evidence/proof. Oh, that's right, none has been offered up.
    Second... everyone is upset that the DNC turd was exposed, but no one upset about the existence of the turd. ?

    Obama acting like a petulant child that has to leave the game and go home now, so he's kicking the game board and forcing everyone else to clean up his mess. Irresponsible.

    TheWindsOfFreedom -> 86753oh9 , 30 Dec 2016 19:33
    Hundred times repeated lie will become the truth... that's the US officials policy for decades now. In 8 years, they did nothing, so they are trying to do "something" in the last minute. For someone, who's using his own brain is all of this just laughable.

    United States are not united I guess. Guess, that Merkel is the next on the list...

    Fulhamred , 30 Dec 2016 19:26
    Hopefully now this will enable senate and congress republicans to prevent these crazy ideas of russian appeasement take hold and prusue a hardline against Russia, Hamas, Iran and Cuba.
    Down2dirt -> Fulhamred , 30 Dec 2016 19:31
    They'll probably do that. Business as usual. To pursue a hard line against Isis enablers like Saudi and Qatar, now that would be a surprise. Reply Share
    Individualist -> Down2dirt , 30 Dec 2016 19:35
    Actually the biggest ISIS enabler was Cheney.
    Down2dirt -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
    Well you're probably right about that.
    rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
    Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be silent, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area.

    You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office.

    cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
    So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ?

    American party politics /
    Spite ?
    Ideological hatred ?

    For those of you who are too young to remember, look up "Cold War" and look for references
    to Hawks and Doves.

    Who are the Hawks now - and who are the Doves ?

    The Left/Liberal paradigm is so drastically in need of updating that it is becoming downright dangerous.

    Hell hath on fury like a self defined "liberal" scorned.

    Banker1 -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
    The foreign power did the American people a favor when it exposed the corruption within the Democratic Party; something the establishment media was apparently unable or unwilling to do. Rather than sanctioning Putin, Americans should be thanking him!
    Haigin88 , 30 Dec 2016 19:30
    R.E.M.: 'Exhuming McCarthy'
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMedTmZKo38 Reply Share
    gottliebvera , 30 Dec 2016 19:34
    I think Obama is behaving in a most petulant and non-presidential manner. Lack of decorum as parting shot. Good going. Reply Share
    UnitedundertheSun -> Jonathan Stromberg , 30 Dec 2016 23:10
    Attack Russia with a wet lettuce? Oh the pain! And gives Putin the high moral ground. Brilliant politics from Obama.

    All to hamfistedly conceal what a rotten dysfunctional political organisation he heads.

    Obama plays snakes and ladders while Putin is playing chess.

    chelsea55 , 30 Dec 2016 19:35
    Seems a no brainer, reverse Obama's ridiculous posturing gesture. As if the US doesn't have a long track record of interfering in the affairs of other countries.
    chelsea55 -> LithophaneFurcifera , 30 Dec 2016 21:57
    Personally I think the US should do as it wishes but it's extremely hypocritical to act shocked when the same meddling is returned by others. Obama is acting foolishly as if the final weeks of his presidency have any genuine traction on future events.

    [Dec 28, 2016] Americans Want Foreign-Policy Restraint

    Dec 28, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    The poll found that, when asked whether increasing or decreasing America's military presence abroad would make the country safer, 45 percent of respondents chose a reduction in military activity, while 31 percent favored increasing it (while 24 percent didn't know). Asked if there should be more U.S. democracy promotion abroad or less, 40 percent said less, while 31 said more (with 29 percent not sure).

    The poll overall seemed to suggest Americans favor a smaller U.S. footprint abroad than we have seen in recent years. Fully 55 percent of respondents opposed deployment of U.S. troops to Syria, compared to 23 percent who favored it (and 23 percent who weren't sure). A plurality of 35 percent opposed the idea of a greater U.S. military presence in the Middle East, while 22 percent favored it and 29 percent favored no change.

    But the poll also indicated the American people don't want to retreat from the world into any kind of isolationism. A plurality of 40 percent favored increased military spending compared to 32 percent who wanted to keep it constant and 17 percent who favored reductions.

    And the poll suggested Americans view China with a certain wariness. Asked if China should be viewed as a U.S. ally, 93 percent said no. But a like number-89 percent-said China should not be viewed as an enemy either. Some 42 percent favored the term competitor.

    [Dec 28, 2016] How NOT to hack an election Russian Hack EXPOSED as Hoax Zero Hedge

    Dec 28, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
    For those who missed it among the deluge of propaganda, the Russian 'hack' of the election has been exposed as a huge hoax:

    A Wikileaks envoy today claims he personally received Clinton campaign emails in Washington D.C. after they were leaked by 'disgusted' whisteblowers - and not hacked by Russia.

    Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and a close associate of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, told Dailymail.com that he flew to Washington, D.C. for a clandestine hand-off with one of the email sources in September.

    'Neither of [the leaks] came from the Russians,' said Murray in an interview with Dailymail.com on Tuesday. ' The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks.'

    His account contradicts directly the version of how thousands of Democratic emails were published before the election being advanced by U.S. intelligence.

    For those who have read our book Splitting Pennies - this comes as no surprise. As we explain in the book, the world is manipulated by several large global "Banks" which are also owners of big news outlets that control the flow of information around the world (i.e. Thompson Reuters). The surprise here is that the disinformation campaign goes so deep, it has even fooled senators into voting for a bill to stop Russian propaganda; which - on the surface, every flag waving US senator should agree with. No one wants foreign spies or foreign propaganda influencing the domestic population. But how big is the 'threat' of 'Russian' propaganda and how has it been overplayed, in a final 'hail mary' attempt to disrupt the legitimate political process. The motto, the modus operandi of the Illuminati controlled CIA "Order from Chaos" is explained on their 'think tank' website here.

    Americans steeped in a culture of 'politics' are again being fooled, this election wasn't about party or state lines, "Republicans" didn't win over "Democrats" - this election was about a wild card, a non-politician, non-Establishment candidate winning by a landslide if going by the polls (Trump was given 5% chance of winning up until the night of election).

    How to Hack an Election

    Interestingly, Bloomberg (although biased Bloomberg is still one of the only mainstream news sources that still produces real, investigative journalism globally) in April published an extremely well researched composition "How to Hack an Election" detailing the life of a real election hacker, Andres Sepulveda and his US political 'analyst' partner, Juan Jose Rendon. To understand how foolish the claim about Russians hacking the election, readers can study the story of Sepulveda who successfully hacked multiple elections in Latin America and was paid millions for his efforts:

    When Peña Nieto won, Sepúlveda began destroying evidence. He drilled holes in flash drives, hard drives, and cell phones, fried their circuits in a microwave, then broke them to shards with a hammer. He shredded documents and flushed them down the toilet and erased servers in Russia and Ukraine rented anonymously with Bitcoins. He was dismantling what he says was a secret history of one of the dirtiest Latin American campaigns in recent memory.

    For eight years, Sepúlveda, now 31, says he traveled the continent rigging major political campaigns. With a budget of $600,000, the Peña Nieto job was by far his most complex. He led a team of hackers that stole campaign strategies, manipulated social media to create false waves of enthusiasm and derision, and installed spyware in opposition offices, all to help Peña Nieto, a right-of-center candidate, eke out a victory. On that July night, he cracked bottle after bottle of Colón Negra beer in celebration. As usual on election night, he was alone.

    Sepúlveda's career began in 2005, and his first jobs were small-mostly defacing campaign websites and breaking into opponents' donor databases. Within a few years he was assembling teams that spied, stole, and smeared on behalf of presidential campaigns across Latin America. He wasn't cheap, but his services were extensive. For $12,000 a month, a customer hired a crew that could hack smartphones, spoof and clone Web pages, and send mass e-mails and texts. The premium package, at $20,000 a month, also included a full range of digital interception, attack, decryption, and defense. The jobs were carefully laundered through layers of middlemen and consultants. Sepúlveda says many of the candidates he helped might not even have known about his role; he says he met only a few.

    His teams worked on presidential elections in Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Venezuela. Campaigns mentioned in this story were contacted through former and current spokespeople; none but Mexico's PRI and the campaign of Guatemala's National Advancement Party would comment.

    The point here, well there are several points. One, Sepulveda is not the only guy in the world doing this. The CIA even has a team of social media trolls and the NSA has a department that only develops robots to do the same thing Sepulveda was doing and better. The age of 'spies' has transformed into an electronic, digital, online version - much like the internet has transformed life and business it has also changed the way the intelligence establishment deals with controlling the population. Oh how the FBI has evolved since the days of Hoffman and Cointelpro!

    Many of Sepúlveda's efforts were unsuccessful, but he has enough wins that he might be able to claim as much influence over the political direction of modern Latin America as anyone in the 21st century. "My job was to do actions of dirty war and psychological operations, black propaganda, rumors-the whole dark side of politics that nobody knows exists but everyone can see," he says in Spanish, while sitting at a small plastic table in an outdoor courtyard deep within the heavily fortified offices of Colombia's attorney general's office. He's serving 10 years in prison for charges including use of malicious software, conspiracy to commit crime, violation of personal data, and espionage, related to hacking during Colombia's 2014 presidential election. He has agreed to tell his full story for the first time, hoping to convince the public that he's rehabilitated-and gather support for a reduced sentence.

    Usually, he says, he was on the payroll of Juan José Rendón, a Miami-based political consultant who's been called the Karl Rove of Latin America. Rendón denies using Sepúlveda for anything illegal, and categorically disputes the account Sepúlveda gave Bloomberg Businessweek of their relationship, but admits knowing him and using him to do website design. "If I talked to him maybe once or twice, it was in a group session about that, about the Web," he says. "I don't do illegal stuff at all. There is negative campaigning. They don't like it-OK. But if it's legal, I'm gonna do it. I'm not a saint, but I'm not a criminal." While Sepúlveda's policy was to destroy all data at the completion of a job, he left some documents with members of his hacking teams and other trusted third parties as a secret "insurance policy."

    We don't need a degree in cybersecurity to see how this was going on against Trump all throughout the campaign. Not only did they hire thugs to start riots at Trump rallies and protest, a massive online campaign was staged against Trump.

    Rendón, says Sepúlveda, saw that hackers could be completely integrated into a modern political operation, running attack ads, researching the opposition, and finding ways to suppress a foe's turnout. As for Sepúlveda, his insight was to understand that voters trusted what they thought were spontaneous expressions of real people on social media more than they did experts on television and in newspapers. He knew that accounts could be faked and social media trends fabricated, all relatively cheaply. He wrote a software program, now called Social Media Predator, to manage and direct a virtual army of fake Twitter accounts. The software let him quickly change names, profile pictures, and biographies to fit any need. Eventually, he discovered, he could manipulate the public debate as easily as moving pieces on a chessboard-or, as he puts it, "When I realized that people believe what the Internet says more than reality, I discovered that I had the power to make people believe almost anything."

    Sepúlveda managed thousands of such fake profiles and used the accounts to shape discussion around topics such as Peña Nieto's plan to end drug violence, priming the social media pump with views that real users would mimic. For less nuanced work, he had a larger army of 30,000 Twitter bots, automatic posters that could create trends. One conversation he started stoked fear that the more López Obrador rose in the polls, the lower the peso would sink. Sepúlveda knew the currency issue was a major vulnerability; he'd read it in the candidate's own internal staff memos.

    While there's no evidence that Rendon or Sepulveda were involved in the 2016 election, there is also no evidence that Russian hackers were involved in the 2016 election. There's not even false evidence. There isn't a hint of it. There isn't a witness, there isn't a document, there's nothing - it's a conspiracy theory! And a very poor one.

    By the way, if you want to disguise your IP address as if you are living in Russia, there's a service that will do this for about $10/month - millions of people use this service. You can sign up for it too, and choose what country you want to be 'from' - Canada, Brazil, Russia - take your pick.

    Russian hackers would have had the same or better (probably much better) tools, strategies, and resources than Sepulveda. But none of this shows up anywhere. If anything, this is an example of how NOT to hack an election.

    To learn more about the way the world works, checkout Splitting Pennies. To gain some Alpha in your portfolio for QEP / ECP investors checkout Alpha Z Advisors.

    Further reading about 'truth' and 'alternative reality'

    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

    Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution .

    Armand Hammer: The Untold Story

    A People's History of the United States

    Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich

    Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets .
    Mike Masr , Dec 28, 2016 8:06 AM

    This truth will be swept under the rug and regarded as "fake news" because it doesn't fit the official Obama narrative that Russia did it!
    mary mary Kefeer , Dec 27, 2016 6:55 PM
    Thanks. Right. Hillary's official electronic communications is more correct than Hillary's emails.

    (And the "wipe them, you mean like with a rag?" from Hillary, after having been in government all her adult life and after having presented herself as a modern Secretary of State who knew all about how government and modern technology worked would have been a funny joke if it hadn't obviously been intended to cover up enormous crimes.)

    Grandad Grumps , Dec 27, 2016 2:58 PM
    Whoever is running the world with all of this fake stuff and all of the monitoring of people and petty false propganda, they pretty much suck at it. it is as if they are claiming to be running the world using "training wheels". As a substitute for God they stink! Grade D-!
    Fathead Slim , Dec 27, 2016 2:25 PM
    The tale doesn't have to be a good one for the TV addicted masses to believe it, it only has to be presented by the only sources these imbeciles are willing to use: their fucking TV sets. Most people are so deluded by their main source of entertainment and information that they wouldn't give a shit if incontrovertible evidence that their TV information source was lying was presented to them.

    Most people I know don't want to know anything that can't be spoonfed to them on a TV screen.

    Dick Buttkiss Fathead Slim , Dec 27, 2016 2:42 PM
    "The tale doesn't have to be a good one for the TV addicted masses to believe it..."

    Like the tale that the only steel highrise buildings to ever collapse due to fires (turning into dust at near freefall speed) ocurred on a single day 15 years ago, orchestrated, along with everything else on that fateful day, by a man in a cave half a world away.

    Fathead Slim Dick Buttkiss , Dec 27, 2016 6:57 PM
    Yep, a prime example. TV addicts are also convinced that they've seen news broadcasts that announced the finding of WMDs in Iraq.
    Kefeer Dick Buttkiss , Dec 27, 2016 4:49 PM
    You left out that the man was also on dialysis.
    jeff montanye Kefeer , Dec 27, 2016 6:51 PM
    and that after every airport was closed and every single commercial plane was grounded, that man's entire extended family resident in the u.s., some two dozen individuals, was given fbi protection, rented cars and chartered planes, and flown out of the country without ever being interviewed, at all, by any law enforcement branch of the government of the united states which, needless to say, had absolutely no involvement with the deadliest foreign attack on u.s. soil since the war of 1812, killing nearly 600 more than died at pearl harbor. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bin-laden-family-evacuated/

    this was known at the time it happened. what took longer to discover was that the source of the foreign attack was not a cave in afghanistan or even saudi arabia or the muslim world generally.

    all along it was our trusted ally, brave little israel.

  • http://www.whale.to/b/israel_did_911.html
  • https://sites.google.com/site/onedemocraticstatesite/archives/-solving-9...
  • http://www.amazon.com/Solving-9-11-Deception-Changed-World/dp/0985322586
  • http://www.luogocomune.net/site/modules/sections/index.php?op=viewarticl... .
  • http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/everything-rich-man-trick/
  • https://smile.amazon.com/dp/098213150X/sr=1-1/qid=1467687982/ref=olp_pro...
  • http://www.europhysicsnews.org/articles/epn/pdf/2016/04/epn2016474p21.pdf
  • Twodogs jeff montanye , Dec 28, 2016 8:33 AM
    Anti-semitism enables one to ignore the elephant in the room, namely the Saudis who have been spending billions promoting Wahhabism and terrorism, to blame a tiny little country for everything, without ever having to bother about evidence. Seek help.
    BSHJ Dick Buttkiss , Dec 27, 2016 3:06 PM
    Well, he was probably always watching HGTV and knew all the right tricks to make his man-cave as efficient as possible.
    mary mary BSHJ , Dec 27, 2016 6:58 PM
    So easy (with a little help from Bush and Cheney) that even a cave-man could do it. ....

    [Dec 27, 2016] Collapse of the USSR was the biggest color revolution model success of our times

    Some day the figures of case infusion to buy Soviet elite will be known. the rumors are the over billion of dollars was spend to bytthe KGB brass and some members of Politburo.
    Not the the USSR economic model was viable. But "return to NEP" was possible without the dissolution of the country. The tragic coincidence was the the collapse happened when neoliberal idea became popular. This period was the period of Triumphal march of neoliberalism over the globe. and that inflicted on the former USSR republic looting on the scale that happened only in middle ages. Many Soviet people paid with life and thier helath for this mass scale social experiment inflicted on them by Harvard academic crooks/henchmen, see Harvard Mafia, Andrei Shleifer and the economic rape of Russia for details.
    Notable quotes:
    "... People's Daily ..."
    Dec 24, 2016 | foreignpolicy.com

    It's been 25 years since the fall of the Soviet Union, and in that time the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has generated tens of thousands of internal papers, roundtables, and even documentaries on the issue. Like most intellectual products in the mainland, 95 percent of these have been worthless regurgitations of the political line of the day by mediocre careerists . But the official angle on the collapse, which once seemed to be pushing the country toward reforms that were more sensitive to public needs and opening the economy, has shifted sharply in the last few years. Today, the lessons Beijing is drawing seem likely to keep sending it backward.

    It's no surprise that the party is obsessed with the collapse of its former rival and ideological partner. The most bizarre thing about the brief spate of articles in 2012 and 2013 describing the newly appointed CCP general secretary, Xi Jinping, as a potential Mikhail Gorbachev for China was that some of the writers seemed to think they were paying him a compliment. In China, though, Gorbachev is seen not as a far-sighted reformer but as a disastrous failure, a man who led his country, and his party, to national calamity. That's not an unfair view: China has no desire to lose a quarter of its territory, watch GDP drop by 40 percent, and see male life expectancy cut short by seven years, as Russia did in the 1990s.

    Before the Soviet leader's failed gambit, though, many Chinese looked favorably on Gorbachev. The Soviet Union and China had tentatively made up after their vicious - and nearly world-ending - split in the 1960s, and both were looking to learn from the other's experiences. Moscow was increasingly convinced that China's "reform and opening up" was a way forward for its moribund economy, and Chinese intellectuals, inside and outside the party, were intrigued by the possibilities offered by glasnost and perestroika - the pillars of Gorbachev's heralded reform platform.

    The Soviet collapse prompted hard self-reflection, albeit couched within the even harder limits of Chinese political correctness.
    The Soviet collapse prompted hard self-reflection, albeit couched within the even harder limits of Chinese political correctness. (Even in relatively liberal moments - such as the fervent intellectual debates of the late 1980s - raising fundamental questions about national identity, the leadership of the party, and the correctness of socialism was a risky move for anyone inside the system.) What were the causes? Was China inevitably heading down the same path if it didn't change its ways?

    Virtually every aspect of the early People's Republic, from the organization of its railways to its party structure to its ethnic minority policy, was copied from the Soviet Union. As Marxist theorists saw it, like the Soviets, China had leapfrogged from peasant feudalism over industrial capitalism straight into socialism. But in reality, both slapped a veneer of socialism over a fusion of new nationalism and old-fashioned empire. And both followed mass famine with cultural revolution (originally a Soviet term ) and bloody party purges.

    At first, part of the Chinese response was to use the Soviet example to spur further reform inside the party itself. As political scientist David Shambaugh has argued , critical analysis of Soviet failings pointed to a top-heavy, incompetent, and stagnant Soviet Communist Party and prompted efforts in Beijing to transform the CCP into a more modern, flexible, and resilient organization. That didn't mean sweeping democratic reform, but it meant a party more sensitive to public opinion - and more interested in steering it, through both subtle and unsubtle means, in the right direction.

    There were also more immediate shifts. Fear of the popular changes unleashed across Eastern Europe had already played a powerful role in prompting the brutal crackdown on protesters in Beijing and elsewhere in 1989. In the aftermath of the Soviet collapse, deeply conscious of the role that rising nationalism, from Ukraine to Azerbaijan, had played in bringing down the Soviet Union, policy around China's autonomous regions and ethnic minorities tightened, and the language shifted. Minzu , the Chinese term for non-ethnic-Han groups, shifted from being "nationalities" in official translations to "ethnic minorities." Meanwhile, worries over Soviet economic stagnation boosted Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's final big push for economic reform during his 1992 "Southern Tour" of the country's newly booming commercial cities.

    Running parallel to this, however, was always a counternarrative that suggested the disaster hadn't come from inside but outside. It was the reformers who had caused the fall of a superpower, this argument went, by shaking faith in the system through acknowledging the Soviet Union's past crimes , letting in dangerous foreign influences, and abandoning hard-line Marxism. This idea has now received official stamp from the very top of Beijing's leadership, and one can see it reverberating through the new wave of paranoia about foreign influence, reassertion of party power, and hostility to civil society.

    As Xi himself put it in a 2013 speech : "Their ideals and beliefs had been shaken. In the end, 'the ruler's flag over the city tower' changed overnight. It's a profound lesson for us! To dismiss the history of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Communist Party, to dismiss Lenin and Stalin, and to dismiss everything else is to engage in historic nihilism, and it confuses our thoughts and undermines the party's organizations on all levels."

    " Historical nihilism " has become a favorite shibboleth for those looking to demonstrate loyalty under Xi, as has the hysterical defense of every bit of past propaganda . Manufactured Maoist hero Lei Feng , once idealized by Chinese youth in the 1960s, has been dragged, yet again, from the grave to serve as inspiration for utterly indifferent Chinese youth despite the "Western conspiracy" against him .

    The new line is simple: blame the West and blame the Soviet leaders - like Gorbachev - who let the West in. It's one reason why China has pushed through harsh new laws designed to force out foreign nongovernmental organizations, why the national press is getting shriller and shriller in its hostility to the United States, and why censorship is worsening. At the same time, there's no sign of the political reforms that some Western observers once confidently predicted .

    What's behind this shift? Part of it seems to be Xi's personal conviction in the essential truth of the party - and in his own right to rule as a revolutionary scion . That would be enough to shift the entire course of discussion by itself, in a country where following the leader's signals is second nature for anyone who wants to climb the ladder. (It's a habit that carries over into other contexts: Before President-elect Donald Trump's Taiwan call, visiting Chinese groups in Washington were ending speeches with, "Together, we can make America and China great again.")

    But Xi's own convictions have been empowered by the events of the last decade.

    The deepest Chinese fear is of regime change similar to the kinds that swept across the former Soviet space and let loose the Arab Spring.

    The deepest Chinese fear is of regime change similar to the kinds that swept across the former Soviet space and let loose the Arab Spring. "Color revolution" is a useful phrase, because it detaches these events from true, rightful revolution - of the kind that made the People's Republic of China and all its "revolutionary martyrs" - and puts it firmly in the realm of an organized, U.S.-led conspiracy designed to destabilize potential opponents.

    The belief that all of these revolutions were U.S.-orchestrated plots isn't just propaganda, but sincerely held; I argued with a People's Daily editor after a visit to Iran just after the Green Revolution in which he'd claimed that the Iranians loved their regime. "All the so-called protesters were CIA spies!" he told me.

    In Beijing, American promotion of democracy and human rights is seen as just a tool to ensure U.S. dominance and one that therefore has to be constantly resisted. " Peaceful evolution ," the nationalist tabloid Global Times proclaimed, was just another name for color revolution. Even seemingly harmless cultural products have been caught up in this. Zootopia , a recent Disney animated children's film, explained a People's Liberation Army newspaper, was an American plot to weaken China's morale.

    The hostility toward the color revolutions and the chaos they've unleashed has thus been projected backward. The Soviet fall, once seen at least in part as a result of the Communist Party's own failings, has become reinterpreted as a deliberate U.S. plot and a moral failure to hold the line against Western influence. That has ended what was once a powerful spur to reform - meaning that, barring a major change in leadership, the likely course of Chinese politics over the next few years will be further xenophobia, even more power to the party, and an unwillingness to talk about the harder lessons of history.

    [Dec 26, 2016] The Democratic Party as a Party (Sanders was an outlier) has nothing to do with fair and equal play for all. This is a party of soft neoliberals and it adheres to Washington

    Notable quotes:
    "... The Democratic Party as a Party (Sanders was an outlier) has nothing to do with "fair and equal play for all". This is a party of soft neoliberals and it adheres to Washington consensus no less then Republicans. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Consensus ..."
    "... If you read the key postulates it is clear that that they essentially behaved like an occupier in this country. In this sense "Occupy Wall street" movement should actually be called "Liberation from Wall Street occupation" movement. ..."
    "... Bill Clinton realized that he can betray working class with impunity as "they have nowhere to go" and will vote for Democrat anyway. In this sense Bill Clinton is a godfather of the right wing nationalism in the USA. He sowed the "Teeth's of Dragon" and now we have, what we have. ..."
    Dec 26, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
    EMichael : December 26, 2016 at 12:47 PM , 2016 at 12:47 PM
    You guys should wake up and smell what country you live in. Here is a good place to start.

    "Campaigning for president in 1980, Ronald Reagan told stories of Cadillac-driving "welfare queens" and "strapping young bucks" buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. In trumpeting these tales of welfare run amok, Reagan never needed to mention race, because he was blowing a dog whistle: sending a message about racial minorities inaudible on one level, but clearly heard on another. In doing so, he tapped into a long political tradition that started with George Wallace and Richard Nixon, and is more relevant than ever in the age of the Tea Party and the first black president.

    In Dog Whistle Politics, Ian Haney L?pez offers a sweeping account of how politicians and plutocrats deploy veiled racial appeals to persuade white voters to support policies that favor the extremely rich yet threaten their own interests. Dog whistle appeals generate middle-class enthusiasm for political candidates who promise to crack down on crime, curb undocumented immigration, and protect the heartland against Islamic infiltration, but ultimately vote to slash taxes for the rich, give corporations regulatory control over industry and financial markets, and aggressively curtail social services. White voters, convinced by powerful interests that minorities are their true enemies, fail to see the connection between the political agendas they support and the surging wealth inequality that takes an increasing toll on their lives. The tactic continues at full force, with the Republican Party using racial provocations to drum up enthusiasm for weakening unions and public pensions, defunding public schools, and opposing health care reform.

    Rejecting any simple story of malevolent and obvious racism, Haney L?pez links as never before the two central themes that dominate American politics today: the decline of the middle class and the Republican Party's increasing reliance on white voters. Dog Whistle Politics will generate a lively and much-needed debate about how racial politics has destabilized the American middle class -- white and nonwhite members alike."

    https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Whistle-Politics-Appeals-Reinvented-ebook/dp/B00GHJNSMU

    im1dc : , December 26, 2016 at 01:51 PM
    Reading the above posts I am reminded that in November there was ONE Election with TWO Results:

    Electoral Vote for Donald Trump by the margin of 3 formerly Democratic Voting states Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania

    Popular Vote for Hillary Clinton by over 2.8 Million

    The Democratic Party and its Candidates OBVIOUSLY need to get more votes in the Electoral States that they lost in 2016, not change what they stand for, the principles of fair and equal play for all.

    And, in the 3 States that turned the Electoral Vote in Trump's favor and against Hillary, all that is needed are 125,000 or more votes, probably fewer, and the DEMS win the Electoral vote big too.

    It is not any more complex than that.

    So how does the Democratic Party get more votes in those States?

    PANDER to their voters by delivering on KISS, not talking about it.

    That is create living wage jobs and not taking them away as the Republican Party of 'Free Trade' and the Clinton Democratic Party 'Free Trade' Elites did.

    Understand this: It is not the responsibility of the USA, or in its best interests, to create jobs in other nations (Mexico, Japan, China, Canada, Israel, etc.) that do not create jobs in the USA equivalently, especially if the gain is offset by costly overseas confrontations and involvements that would not otherwise exist.

    likbez : December 26, 2016 at 02:49 PM , 2016 at 02:49 PM
    You are dreaming:

    "The Democratic Party and its Candidates OBVIOUSLY need to get more votes in the Electoral States that they lost in 2016, not change what they stand for, the principles of fair and equal play for all. "

    The Democratic Party as a Party (Sanders was an outlier) has nothing to do with "fair and equal play for all". This is a party of soft neoliberals and it adheres to Washington consensus no less then Republicans. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Consensus

    If you read the key postulates it is clear that that they essentially behaved like an occupier in this country. In this sense "Occupy Wall street" movement should actually be called "Liberation from Wall Street occupation" movement.

    Bill Clinton realized that he can betray working class with impunity as "they have nowhere to go" and will vote for Democrat anyway. In this sense Bill Clinton is a godfather of the right wing nationalism in the USA. He sowed the "Teeth's of Dragon" and now we have, what we have.

    [Dec 25, 2016] Obama Quietly Signs The Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act Into Law

    Dec 25, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
    Looks like the US elite now is afraid that color revolution methods developed for overthrowing government in xUSSR area and Arab countries might come home to roost. and with neoliebral ideology discredited those worries are not completely unfounded: the USA population now is susceptible to anti-neoliberal (which means like in the USSR simultaneously anti-establishment) propaganda much like people of the USSR since 1960th were susceptible to Anti-communist propaganda. they listened to BBC and Voice of America for the same reason people now read and watch RT: the USA MSM became a bunch of propagandists that fake reality, the real producers of "fake news". All major news sources in the USA are now yellow.
    But while the passage of the NDAA - and the funding of the US military - was hardly a surprise, the biggest news is what was buried deep inside the provisions of the Defense Authortization Act.

    Recall that as we reported in early June , "a bill to implement the U.S.' very own de facto Ministry of Truth had been quietly introduced in Congress . As with any legislation attempting to dodge the public spotlight the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 marks a further curtailment of press freedom and another avenue to stultify avenues of accurate information. Introduced by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Ted Lieu, H.R. 5181 seeks a "whole-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions" to counter "foreign disinformation and manipulation," which they believe threaten the world's "security and stability."

    Also called the Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016 (S. 2692), when introduced in March by Sen. Rob Portman, the legislation represents a dramatic return to Cold War-era government propaganda battles. "These countries spend vast sums of money on advanced broadcast and digital media capabilities, targeted campaigns, funding of foreign political movements, and other efforts to influence key audiences and populations," Portman explained, adding that while the U.S. spends a relatively small amount on its Voice of America, the Kremlin provides enormous funding for its news organization, RT.

    "Surprisingly," Portman continued, "there is currently no single U.S. governmental agency or department charged with the national level development, integration and synchronization of whole-of-government strategies to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation."

    Long before the "fake news" meme became a daily topic of extensive conversation on such discredited mainstream portals as CNN and WaPo, H.R. 5181 would task the Secretary of State with coordinating the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to "establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response," which will pinpoint sources of disinformation, analyze data, and - in true dystopic manner - 'develop and disseminate' " fact-based narratives " to counter effrontery propaganda.

    In short, long before "fake news" became a major media topic, the US government was already planning its legally-backed crackdown on anything it would eventually label "fake news."

    * * *

    Fast forward to December 8, when the " Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act " passed in the Senate, quietly inserted inside the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report.

    And now, following Friday's Obama signing of the NDAA on Friday evening, the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act is now law.

    * * *

    Here is the full statement issued by the generously funded Senator Rob Portman (R- Ohio) on the singing into law of a bill that further chips away at press liberties in the US, and which sets the stage for future which hunts and website shutdowns, purely as a result of an accusation that any one media outlet or site is considered as a source of "disinformation and propaganda" and is shut down by the government.

    President Signs Portman-Murphy Counter-Propaganda Bill into Law

    Portman-Murphy Bill Promotes Coordinated Strategy to Defend America, Allies Against Propaganda and Disinformation from Russia, China & Others

    U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) today announced that their Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act – legislation designed to help American allies counter foreign government propaganda from Russia, China, and other nations – has been signed into law as part of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report. The bipartisan bill, which was introduced by Senators Portman and Murphy in March, will improve the ability of the United States to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation from our enemies by establishing an interagency center housed at the State Department to coordinate and synchronize counter-propaganda efforts throughout the U.S. government. To support these efforts, the bill also creates a grant program for NGOs, think tanks, civil society and other experts outside government who are engaged in counter-propaganda related work. This will better leverage existing expertise and empower our allies overseas to defend themselves from foreign manipulation. It will also help foster a free and vibrant press and civil society overseas, which is critical to ensuring our allies have access to truthful information and inoculating people against foreign propaganda campaigns.

    "Our enemies are using foreign propaganda and disinformation against us and our allies, and so far the U.S. government has been asleep at the wheel," Portman said. "But today, the United States has taken a critical step towards confronting the extensive, and destabilizing, foreign propaganda and disinformation operations being waged against us by our enemies overseas. With this bill now law, we are finally signaling that enough is enough; the United States will no longer sit on the sidelines. We are going to confront this threat head-on. I am confident that, with the help of this bipartisan bill, the disinformation and propaganda used against us, our allies, and our interests will fail."

    " The use of propaganda to undermine democracy has hit a new low. But now we are finally in a position to confront this threat head on and get out the truth. By building up independent, objective journalism in places like eastern Europe, we can start to fight back by exposing these fake narratives and empowering local communities to protect themselves," said Murphy. "I'm proud that our bill was signed into law, and I look forward to working with Senator Portman to make sure these tools and new resources are effectively used to get out the truth."

    NOTE: The bipartisan Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act is organized around two main priorities to help achieve the goal of combatting the constantly evolving threat of foreign disinformation from our enemies:

  • The first priority is developing a whole-of-government strategy for countering THE foreign propaganda and disinformation being wages against us and our allies by our enemies . The bill would increase the authority, resources, and mandate of the Global Engagement Center to include state actors like Russia and China as well as non-state actors. The Center will be led by the State Department, but with the active senior level participation of the Department of Defense, USAID, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the Intelligence Community, and other relevant agencies. The Center will develop, integrate, and synchronize whole-of-government initiatives to expose and counter foreign disinformation operations by our enemies and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support U.S. allies and interests.
  • Second, the legislation seeks to leverage expertise from outside government to create more adaptive and responsive U.S. strategy options. The legislation establishes a fund to help train local journalists and provide grants and contracts to NGOs, civil society organizations, think tanks, private sector companies, media organizations, and other experts outside the U.S. government with experience in identifying and analyzing the latest trends in foreign government disinformation techniques. This fund will complement and support the Center's role by integrating capabilities and expertise available outside the U.S. government into the strategy-making process. It will also empower a decentralized network of private sector experts and integrate their expertise into the strategy-making process.
  • * * *

    And so, with the likes of WaPo having already primed the general public to equate "Russian Propaganda" with "fake news" (despite admitting after the fact their own report was essentially "fake "), while the US media has indoctrinated the public to assume that any information which is not in compliance with the official government narrative, or dares to criticize the establishment, is also "fake news" and thus falls under the "Russian propaganda" umbrella, the scene is now set for the US government to legally crack down on every media outlet that the government deems to be "foreign propaganda."

    Just like that, the US Ministry of Truth is officially born.

    [Dec 21, 2016] M of A - How The Military Excluded The White House From International Syria Negotiations

    Dec 21, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org
    How The Military Excluded The White House From International Syria Negotiations

    The NYT laments today that international negotiations about the situation in Syria now continue without any U.S. participation: Russia, Iran and Turkey Meet for Syria Talks, Excluding U.S.

    Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Moscow on Tuesday to work toward a political accord to end Syria's nearly six-year war, leaving the United States on the sidelines as the countries sought to drive the conflict in ways that serve their interests.

    Secretary of State John Kerry was not invited. Nor was the United Nations consulted.

    With pro-government forces having made critical gains on the ground, ...

    (Note: The last sentence originally and correctly said "pro-Syrian forces ...", not "pro-government forces ...". It was altered after I noted the "pro-Syrian" change of tone on Twitter.)

    Russia kicked the U.S. out of any further talks about Syria after the U.S. blew a deal which, after long delaying negotiations, Kerry had made with the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.

    In a recent interview Kerry admits that it was opposition from the Pentagon, not Moscow or Damascus, that had blown up his agreement with Russia over Syria:

    More recently, he has clashed inside the administration with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Kerry negotiated an agreement with Russia to share joint military operations, but it fell apart.

    "Unfortunately we had divisions within our own ranks that made the implementation of that extremely hard to accomplish ," Kerry said. "But I believe in it, I think it can work, could have worked."

    Kerry's agreement with Russia did not just "fell apart". The Pentagon actively sabotaged it by intentionally and perfidiously attacking the Syrian army.

    The deal with Russia was made in June. It envisioned coordinated attacks on ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria, both designated as terrorist under two UN Security Council resolutions which call upon all countries to eradicate them. For months the U.S. failed to separate its CIA and Pentagon trained, supplied and paid "moderate rebel" from al-Qaeda, thereby blocking the deal. In September the deal was modified and finally ready to be implemented.

    The Pentagon still did not like it but had been overruled by the White House:

    The agreement that Secretary of State John Kerry announced with Russia to reduce the killing in Syria has widened an increasingly public divide between Mr. Kerry and Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, who has deep reservations about the plan for American and Russian forces to jointly target terrorist groups.
    Mr. Carter was among the administration officials who pushed against the agreement on a conference call with the White House last week as Mr. Kerry, joining the argument from a secure facility in Geneva, grew increasingly frustrated. Although President Obama ultimately approved the effort after hours of debate, Pentagon officials remain unconvinced.
    ...
    "I'm not saying yes or no," Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, commander of the United States Air Forces Central Command , told reporters on a video conference call. "It would be premature to say that we're going to jump right into it."

    The CentCom general threatened to not follow the decision his Commander of Chief had taken. He would not have done so without cover from Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

    Three days later U.S. CentCom Air Forces and allied Danish airplanes attack Syrian army positions near the ISIS besieged city of Deir Ezzor. During 37 air attacks within one hour between 62 and 100 Syrian Arab Army soldiers were killed and many more wounded. They had held a defensive positions on hills overlooking the Deir Ezzor airport. Shortly after the U.S. air attack ISIS forces stormed the hills and have held them since. Resupply for the 100,000+ civilians and soldiers in Deir Ezzor is now endangered if not impossible. The CentCom attack enabled ISIS to eventually conquer Deir Ezzor and to establish the envisioned "Salafist principality" in east Syria.

    During the U.S. attack the Syrian-Russian operations center had immediately tried to contact the designated coordination officer at U.S. Central Command to stop the attack. But that officer could not be reached and those at CentCom taking the Russian calls just hanged up:

    By time the Russian officer found his designated contact - who was away from his desk - and explained that the coalition was actually hitting a Syrian army unit, "a good amount of strikes" had already taken place, U.S. Central Command spokesman Col. John Thomas told reporters at the Pentagon Tuesday.

    Until the attack the Syrian and Russian side had, as agreed with Kerry, kept to a ceasefire to allow the separation of the "marbled" CIA and al-Qaeda forces. After the CentCom air attack the Kerry-Lavrov deal was off :

    On the sidelines of an emergency UN Security Council meeting called on the matter, tempers were high. Russia's permanent UN representative, Vitaly Churkin, questioned the timing of the strikes, two days before Russian-American coordination in the fight against terror groups in Syria was to begin.
    "I have never seen such an extraordinary display of American heavy-handedness," he said, after abruptly leaving the meeting.

    The Pentagon launched one of its usual whitewash investigations and a heavily redacted summary report (pdf) was released in late November.

    Gareth Porter still found some usable bits in it:

    The report, released by US Central Command on 29 November, shows that senior US Air Force officers at the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) at al-Udeid Airbase in Qatar, who were responsible for the decision to carry out the September airstrike at Deir Ezzor:

    The investigation was led by a Brigade General. He was too low in rank to investigate or challenge the responsible CentCom air-commander Lt. Gen. Harrington. The name of a co-investigator was redacted in the report and marked as "foreign government information". That officer was likely from Denmark.

    Four days after the investigation report was officially released the Danish government, without giving any public reason, pulled back its air contingent from any further operations under U.S. command in Iraq and Syria.

    With the attack on Deir Ezzor the Pentagon has:

    It is clear that the responsible U.S. officer for the attack and its consequences is one Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian who had earlier publicly spoken out against a deal that his Commander in Chief had agreed to. He likely had cover from Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

    The White House did not react to this public military insubordination and undermining of its diplomacy.

    Emptywheel notes that, though on a different issue, the CIA is also in quite open insurrection against the President's decisions:

    [I]t alarms me that someone decided it was a good idea to go leak criticisms of a [presidential] Red Phone exchange. It would seem that such an instrument depends on some foundation of trust that, no matter how bad things have gotten, two leaders of nuclear armed states can speak frankly and directly.

    Posted by b at 01:34 PM | Comments (38) AntiSpin | Dec 21, 2016 2:10:11 PM | 3

    SmoothieX12 | Dec 21, 2016 3:03:26 PM | 4
    though on a different issue, the CIA is also in quite open insurrection against the President's decisions:

    It merely confirms or reinforces what was known now for quite some, rather long, time--Obama is a shallow and cowardly amateur who basically abandoned the duty of governing the nation to all kinds of neocon adventurists and psychopaths. So, nothing new here. Results are everywhere on display for everyone to see.

    pubumwei | Dec 21, 2016 3:07:43 PM | 5
    WW3 is obviously just around the corner.

    cantmossadtheassad | Dec 21, 2016 3:25:46 PM | 6
    https://twitter.com/BilalKareem/status/811216051656658944
    Here's Bilal (American CIA agent) pointing out another terrorist scumbag has an explosive belt to avoid getting captured. Notice his face is covered and he appears western? Likely the American David Scott Winner or Israeli aDavid Shlomo Aram. They're going to explode their way out of Aleppo. SAA should have just exterminated the rats rather than let them leave, Bilal included

    likklemore | Dec 21, 2016 3:27:27 PM | 7
    Well b, after multiple revelations of US treachery, the water basket can take only so much.

    Bilateral relationship is at bare minimum. Communication is said to be Frozen - I posted on the previous Open Thread the link below
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-21/kremlin-warns-response-latest-us-sanctions-says-almost-all-communication-us-frozen

    Then again, it is difficult to see how sanctions between the two administration could be any more "damaged": also on Wednesday, the Kremlin said it did not expect the incoming U.S. administration to reject NATO enlargement overnight and that almost all communications channels between Russia and the United States were frozen, the RIA news agency reported.

    "Almost every level of dialogue with the United States is frozen. We don't communicate with one another, or (if we do) we do so minimally," Peskov said.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    FWIW, The State Department 's full transcript of Presser on the Threesome talks – Kerry out of the loop, Snubbed but briefed - http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/12/265846.htm

    Link includes denial US had a role in the assignation of Russia's Ambassador.
    The Denial, https://www.rt.com/news/371097-us-reject-claims-russian-ambassador/ because some have noted the curious timing and connected dots:-

    ((I have a pen Obama and I can dial the red phone.))


    On Friday, 17 December Obama threatened Russia and maintained the no evidence hacking of the US Elections to favor Trump.
    He is quoted as saying:
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-18/obama-plans-retaliation-against-russian-hacking-problem-emerges

    The only thing worse than not using a weapon is using it ineffectively. And if he does choose to retaliate, he has insisted on maintaining what is known as "escalation dominance," the ability to ensure you can end a conflict on your terms.

    Mr. Obama hinted as much at his news conference on Friday, as he was set to leave for his annual Hawaii vacation, his last as president.

    "Our goal continues to be to send a clear message to Russia or others not to do this to us because we can do stuff to you," he said. "But it is also important to us to do that in a thoughtful, methodical way. Some of it, we will do publicly. Some of it we will do in a way that they know, but not everybody will."

    On Monday 19 December, there was a hit captured on video and played worldwide. It was not by droning.

    plantman | Dec 21, 2016 3:36:48 PM | 8
    This post confirms that neocon Ash Carter was at the heart of the attack on Deir Ezzor and that the pro-Israel faction at the Pentagon will defy the chief executive if it achieves their political objectives.

    I don't know how anyone can review the details of this incident and not conclude that the split in the US government is nearing a climax-point where the removal of an obstinate president is a real possibility.

    Steve | Dec 21, 2016 3:37:44 PM | 9
    "deceived a European NATO ally..." Denmark is run by bastards, so they need not be deceived to participate in the criminal act. Same as Australia.

    james | Dec 21, 2016 3:43:25 PM | 10
    excellent coverage b.. thank you..

    the fact this division in power is happening in the usa today is indeed scary... why is this fucker ash carter still in any position of power, let alone the dipshit Jeffrey L. Harrigian? both these military folks might be serving israels interests very well, not to mention saudi arabia and gcc's but they sure ain't representing the usa's... or is the usa still a country with a leadership command? doesn't look like it..

    rg the lg | Dec 21, 2016 3:48:28 PM | 11
    Curiouser and curiouser.

    The trolls of the empire are feeding on each other. And this is a good thing ... why?

    Because on their own the sheople of the US are incapable of a revolt no matter how righteous their cause. The oligarchs and their minions thrive on discord and chaos. Thus we have the beginnings of a major breakdown (at long last) as some states (California in the lead) contemplate an exit by trying to establish embassies.

    My, my!

    We've never had a revolution in this country. Once upon a time we had a revolt by one group of oligarchs against the other (called a civil war, and its predecessor called the revolution). But a real bloody, kill off the oligarchs (as per France and Russia) revolt? No way Jose!

    No ... we stupidly accept the tripe/trope of being too damned good ... recently called exceptionalism.

    Implosion! The rest of the world (like me) can't wait!

    Wwinsti | Dec 21, 2016 3:51:50 PM | 12
    So that's it? Deir Ezzor is just a write off? Putin is publicly talking about "wrapping up" the Russian mission in Syria, Iran wants to turn the military focus westward, towards Idlib. At least this is what they say in public.

    PavewayIV | Dec 21, 2016 3:57:59 PM | 13
    I think the Deir EzZor attack was more of a dying gasp from the CIA/CENTCOM than anything of immense strategic value. A last shot at prepping their east Syrian head-chopper partition, but a futile one at that. Palmyra and the attack on the Syrian oil/gas hub give that same impression, too. Neither was very well though out and both efforts are proving to be failures.

    All this while the Obama administration is pushing for the SF 'cleaners' to erase any left-over intel and al Qaeda/al Nusra leaders as the head-choppers flee Aleppo. The CIA/CENTCOM are obviously in on this, while they still fancy some safe place for their spies and collaborators to escape and continue the fight.

    Russia's Turkish ambassador? Maybe he was an unfortunate part of the U.S. clean-up operation. He would have certainly been privy to a lot of damaging info on U.S. involvement. Obama announced the clean-up operation in mid-November - recall the unexpected 'targeting key ISIS and al Nusra leaders' spiel, followed by the dispatch of U.S. SF (and U.K. SAS) kill-teams.

    The ugly part of U.S. CIA/CENTCOM support for head-choppers is that they must control them. If they can't corral them in an east Syrian Pipelanistan, then they have to kill them and eliminate evidence of U.S. (and cronies') involvement. All at a time when a lame-duck U.S. administration is packing their belongings and cleaning out their offices.

    The current CIA leaders and current neocon CENTCOM lackeys are pretty much out of business in the Middle East when Trump gets in. If they can't eliminate Trump, he will eliminate them. Current CENTCOM commanders will be purged and replaced with fresh Israeli-firsters for the war with Iran. Trump's stated plans to pour more money into 'strengthening' the U.S. military means plenty of jobs for the departing generals.

    MacDill AFB (CENTCOM's home) must be crawling with defense industry executive recruiters looking for some fresh meat. The Pentagram is probably going to get an enema as well. Pretty soon, there will be unshaven, dirty generals standing near freeway on-ramps in Arlington begging for change, holding crudely-lettered cardboard signs that say, "Unemployed. Will wage war for sheckels. God bless you!" [I'll have my baseball bat ready...]

    SmoothieX12 | Dec 21, 2016 4:07:02 PM | 14
    Russia's Turkish ambassador? Maybe he was an unfortunate part of the U.S. clean-up operation. He would have certainly been privy to a lot of damaging info on U.S. involvement.

    If he was privy, so were, simultaneously, all intelligence people working under cover and, as a consequence, Russia's military-political top. There are some really strong indications of Karlov's assassination being a "parting gift" by US neocon mafia who, especially after Trump's victory and liberation of Aleppo, is the main loser (not that they ever won anything realistically) in a major geopolitical shift which is taking place as I type this.

    Copeland | Dec 21, 2016 4:07:14 PM | 15
    One of your best posts ever, b. Certainly, it shows what a terrible mess has been created by the deceptive, infamous lot, who have added fuel to the fire in this war in Syria.

    Jen | Dec 21, 2016 4:24:55 PM | 16
    AntiSpin @ 3:

    I should imagine that if you Google Bethania Palma's name (she's also known as Bethania Palma Markus), you will find that as a freelance writer she will have social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, possibly LinkedIn) and you and others can try to contact her through those.

    Palma has also written rubbish pieces on the Syrian White Helmets and former UK ambassador Craig Murray's claims that the DNC emails leaks were the work of a Washington insider.

    The more she writes such pieces for Snopes.com, laying out the details of the issue and then blithely dismissing them as having no credibility, the more the website's reputation for objective investigation will fall anyway. Palma will be her own worst enemy. So perhaps we need not bother trying to argue with her.

    Danny801 | Dec 21, 2016 4:54:22 PM | 17
    I have never before seen a US President as weak as Obama to the point where his own military disregards his command. the fact that anyone at the Pentagon would still have a job after openly defying the commander in chief shows you the pathetic state of affairs in a crumbling US.

    psychohistorian | Dec 21, 2016 5:14:47 PM | 18
    Thank you b for a splendid piece of journalism.

    While it speaks to a serious changing of the guard in the US military with Trump I hold little hope that it in anyway signals a lessening of the goals of empire.....just a change in approach.

    Those owning private finance are still leading our "parade" into extinction, IMO It sure looks to me like the acolytes of Trump have primary fealty to the God of Mammon.

    AntiSpin | Dec 21, 2016 5:16:43 PM | 19
    @Jen 16

    Thanks for your comments. Here's some fresh info (well, fresh to me, anyway.)

    Journalist Eva Bartlett DESTROYS Mainstream Journalist Over Syria, Aleppo
    http://www.activistpost.com/2016/12/journalist-eva-bartlett-destroys-mainstream-journalist-syria-aleppo.html

    Then, about 35 or so comments down, an excellent and rather devastating analysis of the Snopes attack, by one "sleepd." In it he discusses the background of the Snopes "report's" author:

    "Let's look at the background of Bethania Palmer, the author of the Snopes piece. It claims she worked as a "journalist" for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, which is a media company that has been purchased by a holding company called Digital First (previously Media News Group) that was run by a private equity company managed by a hedge funder. They are known for purchasing local run small newspapers and cutting staff and consolidating content into corporate-friendly ad sales positions. She also claims work for LAist, a local style and events blog in Los Angeles, and the OC Weekly, a somewhat conservative-leaning local weekly that survives on advertising. Nothing in her background that speaks towards expertise in the Middle East, or even awareness of differences in populations there. Considering that, we have to rate her credibility as below Barlett's when it comes to reporting on Middle Eastern affairs."

    lysias | Dec 21, 2016 5:19:19 PM | 20
    If the Pentagon can defy the president on such an important matter, I've gotta ask: Who controls the U.S.'s nukes?

    lysias | Dec 21, 2016 5:21:00 PM | 21
    If Trump's acolytes owe primary allegiance to Mammon, could that mean that they do not owe allegiance to Mars?

    blues | Dec 21, 2016 5:48:18 PM | 22
    Dear President Barack Obama:

    Please fire Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter. I'm too old to get many other Christmas gifts this year.

    Thank you for your kind attention,

    blues

    lysias | Dec 21, 2016 5:54:50 PM | 23
    Obama had the Secretary of Defense he wanted, Chuck Hagel, in the office for a while. But for some reason he was unable to resist the pressure that was put on him to replace Hagel with Carter.

    ALberto | Dec 21, 2016 6:30:28 PM | 24
    b,

    Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that in this day and age where everyone has a phone camera there exists not one picture of the alleged gore that occurred in France and German truck attacks???

    Also possessing identification documents, leaving them at the scene, appears to be a special talent required of all pseudo terr'ists.

    lysias | Dec 21, 2016 7:08:01 PM | 25
    I even saw a report in Tagesspiegel yesterday that said the authorities did not have a video. Pretty hard to believe. The place was packed with tourists. Just about everybody has a cellphone these days.

    I commented on it on a site yesterday, but I don't remember which one. Might have been here.

    Nobody | Dec 21, 2016 7:15:30 PM | 26
    Check out George Webb he's on to it. He should collaborate with b https://youtu.be/3-BYdDRbug0

    WorldBLee | Dec 21, 2016 7:27:10 PM | 27
    Good stuff, b. As much as I dislike Obama, I imagine he has to feel relieved his presidency is coming to an end so he doesn't have to deal with idiots like Ash Carter every day.

    William Mcdonald | Dec 21, 2016 7:37:16 PM | 28
    The General should have been publicly fired by the Secretary immediately after that video conference. It didn't happen so the CIC should have fired the SOD and found someone to fire the General. Defying the CIC, what a message to the world!

    jfl | Dec 21, 2016 7:38:09 PM | 29
    b,
    The CentCom general threatened to not follow the decision his Commander of Chief had taken. He would not have done so without cover from Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
    Ash Carter is certainly a neo-con, an insubordinate traitor, and is likely a CIA mole in the Pentagon. He has 29 days of monkey-wrenching left at the Pentagon.

    Beneath your heading 'With the attack on Deir Ezzor the Pentagon has:' add effected a coup against the POTUS.

    I agree with @12 wwinsti and @13 paveway ... at least i wanna believe that Ash 'CIA' Carter has managed to throw in his monkey-wrenches but that 'the Deir EzZor attack was more of a dying gasp from the CIA/CENTCOM than anything of immense strategic value'.

    @17 danny801

    Reagan was the same ... just that he was non compos mentis from the start, so didn't know he was just the cardboard cutout that he was. Obama knew, took the job anyway.

    @20 lysias

    i don't know who controls us nukes ... but it ain't Barack Obama. he'll just do as he's told.

    @22 blues

    agree with your wish ... unfortunately Ash 'CIA' Carter has already fired Barack Obama. we get coal in our stockings ... or we get turned into radioactive coal by AC, CIA

    ben | Dec 21, 2016 7:42:34 PM | 30
    psycho @ 18 said " IMO It sure looks to me like the acolytes of Trump have primary fealty to the God of Mammon.

    IMO, you're right.

    Trump will not be the second coming. Just another corporate lackie.

    Thanks again b, for the therapy....

    james | Dec 21, 2016 7:43:56 PM | 31
    todays daily press briefing, lol.. no mention of ash carter...

    "QUESTION: Okay. All right. I wanted to go back for a second to an interview that Secretary Kerry gave to The Globe, The Boston Globe, in which he admitted that the deal with the Russians over Syria was basically killed here because of the divisions within the Administration. Who was that – what was the agency that killed the deal? Was it the Pentagon?

    MR KIRBY: I don't think that that's what the Secretary said. I think the Secretary acknowledged what we've long acknowledged; there was nothing new in this interview. He's been very open and candid that even amongst the interagency here in the United States we haven't all agreed on the way forward in Syria. I'm also not sure why that should be shocking to anybody. Every federal agency has a different view --

    jfl | Dec 21, 2016 7:46:59 PM | 32
    on the new peace negotiation team ..

    Iran, Russia, Turkey start bid to solve Syria crisis diplomatically: Zarif


    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran, Russia and Turkey have started the process of finding a political solution to the Syria crisis.

    Turkish Army, rebels suffer 50+ casualties in failed Al-Bab assault: Al-Amaq


    According to the Islamic State's official media wing, their forces foiled the massive Turkish Army led assault, killing and wounding more than 50 military personnel in the process.

    The primary cause of these high casualties was a suicide attack that was initiated by an Islamic State terrorist west of the Al-Farouq Hospital.

    For nearly a month now, the Turkish Army has attempted to enter the key city of Al-Bab; however, they have been repeatedly repelled by the terrorist forces each time.

    Turkish-backed rebels torture, execute civilian in northern Aleppo


    Local sources said that Mahmud Akhtarini was arrested by a group of Zenki militants at midnight on charges of being a member of the ISIS terror organization. Four hours later, Mahmud was reported dead after being brutally tortured.

    The sources confirmed that the victim was mentally retarded.

    The Turkish backed group is notorious for beheading a 12 year-old boy in Aleppo city, for allegedly being a fighter of the Palestinian Liwaa Al Quds (Al-Quds Brigade).


    ... has Erdogan finally been taught the facts of life? or have all the other Turks in Turkey, and will they soon put the sultan on his magic carpet in a real, made in Turkey, coup? Terrorism at home, and abroad - with nothing to show for it - must be getting old for ordinary Turks.

    Jackrabbit | Dec 21, 2016 9:15:46 PM | 33
    Reading this, I am confused.

    What happened to CIA vs. FBI & Pentagon?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't military 'assets' operating covertly in a country that that is 'hostile' to US interests be under the command of the CIA?

    rhw007 | Dec 21, 2016 9:47:01 PM | 34
    We have been using "False Flag" operations to expand land since we were colonies and used white slaves kidnapped from European countries to work for the Elite 1% land owners in the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19, 20th, and continuing in the 21st Century when the 911 False Flag Operation to further erode the everyday people and further enrich the elite 1% and Masonic and Zionist ideologies. https://mycommonsenseparty.com

    chipnik | Dec 21, 2016 10:44:52 PM | 35
    "The Dow's initial move down in January of 2017 was very sharp and within a month, it was off 1900 points or almost 10%. As it is apparent from the chart, the Dow's slide was extremely volatile with big losing streaks often followed by sharp rallies. In the meantime, the Russiagate scandal was beginning to grow, as top Trump aides resigned at the end of April amid charges of obstruction of justice. The Dow's fall continued until late August when it finally bottomed at 16,357 to complete a seven month loss of almost 3600 points (over 18%). From this point, the Dow surged ahead so rapidly that the Fools were likely lulled by Wall Street traitors into believing that a new leg up was occurring. Amid October's renewed Ukraine-Syria War, Vice President Pence's forced resignation for incompetence, and an Arab oil glut sending WTI to the mid-$30s, the Dow closed at 19,387 near the end of that month for a gain of 15% off of its summer lows. The huge, two month rally left the Dow just 6% below its all time high of 20,247 set back in January, but the NYSE's advance/decline line was still in shambles. In addition, higher Fed interest rates were taking their toll on the US economy which officially re-entered a recession in November. The divergence between the large-cap stocks and smaller-cap stocks was resolved over the next five weeks as the markets experienced a brutal pounding and the Dow plunged 4000 points or over 20%. The Dow bottomed at 15,788 in early December of 2017 when NATO units were routed in Crimea by superior Russian forces, and Trump was finally forced to resign in early 2018 for corporate malfeasance of office, but this did not bring any relief to the Dow which continued to trade near the 15,000 level through most of the 2018 Recession."

    Play by play, verbatim, from the last time a Republican President joined at the hip with Tel Aviv, back in 1972. It's a' comin'!

    Outraged | Dec 21, 2016 10:48:52 PM | 36
    Steve | Dec 21, 2016 3:37:44 PM | 9

    "deceived a European NATO ally..." Denmark is run by bastards , so they need not be deceived to participate in the criminal act. Same as Australia .

    Duplicitous, deceitful, disingenuous, subservient vassal governments of Bastards ... indeed.

    Jackrabbit | Dec 21, 2016 10:52:59 PM | 37
    I think b is being very subtle here, as these two statements are not consistent:
    The White House did not react to this public military insubordination and undermining of its diplomacy.

    Emptywheel notes that ... the CIA is also in quite open insurrection against the President's decisions

    This might be hard to decipher for those who have not been paying attention. Suffice it to say that skepticism that Obama/Kerry ever really wanted any deal is more than warranted. Was this bungled deal just a delaying action?

    Obama apologists have been making excuses this empty suit for years: 11-dimensional chess, elite factions undermining him, his focus on his "legacy", etc. Yet Obama/Kerry really don't seem too upset by the "failures" that have occurred on their watch. They don't really attempt to recover from/rectify these failures. At some point one must ask: are those "failures" intentional?

    Outraged | Dec 21, 2016 11:00:50 PM | 38
    @ Danny801 | Dec 21, 2016 4:54:22 PM | 17

    How about Harry Truman and Doug Macarthur ?

    Um, no, actually, Truman publicly knifed Doug ... hm, so yes, Obama, the Greatest Presidential sock-puppet ever ?

    [Dec 21, 2016] Russia: The Old-New Official Enemy

    Dec 21, 2016 | www.fff.org
    by Jacob G. Hornberger December 15, 2016

    It is impossible to overstate the stakes involved in the latest controversy over Russia. They involve trillions of dollars in warfare largess to the tens of thousands of bureaucratic warfare-state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

    Ever since the advent of the U.S. national-security state after World War II, America has needed official enemies, especially ones that induce fear, terror, and panic within the American citizenry. When people are fearful, terrified, and panicked, they are much more willing, even eager, to have government officials do whatever is necessary to keep them safe and secure. It is during such times that liberty is at greatest risk because of the propensity of government to assume emergency powers and the proclivity of the citizenry to let them have them.

    That's what the Cold War was all about. The official enemies were communism and the Soviet Union, which was an alliance of nations that had Russia at its center. U.S. officials convinced Americans that there was a worldwide communist conspiracy to take over the world, with its principal base in Moscow.

    A correlative threat was Red China, whose communist hordes were supposedly threatening to flood the United States.

    There were also the communist outposts, which were considered spearheads pointed at America. North Korea. North Vietnam. Cuba, which, Americans were told, was a communist dagger pointed out America's neck from only 90 miles away.

    And then there was communism the philosophy, along with the communists who promoted it. It was clear, U.S. officials gravely maintained, that communism was spreading all across the world, including inside the U.S. Army, the State Department, and Hollywood, and that communists were everyone, including leftist organizations and even sometimes under people's beds.

    Needless to say, all this fear, terror, and panic induced people to support the ever-growing budgets, influence, and power of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, which had become the national-security branch of the federal government - and the most powerful branch at that. Few cared that their hard-earned monies were being taken from them by the IRS in ever-increasing amounts. All that mattered was being kept safe from the communists.

    Hardly anyone questioned or challenged this warfare-state racket. President Eisenhower alluded to it in his Farewell Address in 1961, when he pointed out that this new-fangled governmental structure, which he called "the military industrial complex," now posed a grave threat to the freedoms and democratic processes of the American people.

    One of those who did challenge this official-enemy syndrome was President John F. Kennedy. At war with his national-security establishment in 1963, Kennedy threw the gauntlet down at his famous Peace Speech at American University in June of that year. There was no reason, Kennedy said, that the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia) and the rest of the communist world couldn't live in peace co-existence and even friendship, even if the nations were guided by different ideologies and philosophies. Kennedy announced that it was time to end the Cold War against Russia and the rest of the communist world.

    What Kennedy was proposing was anathema to the national-security state and its ever-growing army of voracious contractors and subcontractors who were feeding at the public trough. How dare he remove the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia) as America's official enemy? How could the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA justify their ever-growing budgets and their ever-growing emergency powers? Indeed, how could they justify the very existence of their Cold War totalitarian-type apparatus known as a "national security state" without a giant official enemy to strike fear, terror, and panic with the American people?

    Kennedy was considered a neophyte and an incompetent by the national-security establishment, not to mention an immoral adulterous philanderer who was even sleeping with the girlfriend of a Mafia don. What Kennedy didn't realize, the Pentagon and the CIA believed, was that it was impossible for the United States and the communist world to live in peaceful coexistence. This was a fight to the finish. Kennedy was being lulled, perhaps even blackmailed, into surrendering America to the Reds. He was considered a traitor, a betrayer, and the epitome of naïve. (See: JFK's War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne; The Kennedy Autopsy by Jacob Hornberger; Regime Change: The Kennedy Assassination by Jacob Hornberger; The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State by Jacob Hornberger; and CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files by Jefferson Morley.)

    Once Kennedy was removed from the scene, everything returned to "normal." The Cold War continued. The Vietnam War against the commies in Asia to prevent more dominoes from falling got ramped up. The Soviet Union, Red China, and the worldwide communist conspiracy continued to be America's big official enemies. The military and intelligence budgets continued to rise. The number of warfare state parasites continued soaring.

    Seemingly, there was never going to be an end to the process. Until one day, the unexpected suddenly happened. The Berlin Wall came crashing down, East and West Germany were reunited, and the Soviet Union was dismantled, all of which struck unmitigated fear within the bowels of the American deep state.

    Oh sure, there was still Cuba, Red China, North Korea, and Vietnam but those communist nations, for some reason, just didn't strike fear, terror, and panic within Americans as Russia did.

    U.S. officials needed a new official enemy. Enter Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq, who had served as a partner and ally of the U.S. government during the 1980s when he was waging war against Iran, which, by that time, had become converted from official friend to official enemy of the U.S. Empire. Throughout the 1990s, Saddam was made into the new official enemy. Like the Soviets and the communists, Saddam was coming to get us and unleash mushroom clouds all over America. The American people bought it and, not surprisingly, budgets for the national-security establishment continued their upward soar.

    Then came the 9/11 attacks in retaliation for what the Pentagon and the CIA were doing in the Middle East, followed by with the retaliatory invasions Afghanistan and Iraq. Suddenly the new official enemies were "terrorism" and then later Islam. Like the communists of yesteryear, the terrorists and the Muslims were coming to get us, take over the federal government, run the IRS and HUD, and force everyone to study the Koran. The American people bought it and, not surprisingly, budgets for the national-security establishment continued their upward soar.

    The problem is that Americans, including U.S. soldiers and their families, are now growing weary of the forever wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. But U.S. national-security state officials know that if they bring the troops home, the official enemies of terrorism and Islam disappear at the same time.

    That's why they have decided to return to their old, tried and true official enemy - Russia and, implicitly, communism. It's why the U.S. broke its promise to Russia to dismantle NATO. It's why the U.S. supported regime change in the coup in Ukraine. It's why the U.S. wants Ukraine into NATO - to enable the U.S. to install missiles on Russia's border. It's why the national-security state is "pivoting" toward Asia - to provoke crises with Red China. It's why they are accusing Russia of interfering with the U.S. presidential election and campaigning for Donald Trump. The aim of it all is to bring back the old Cold War official enemies of Russia, China, and communism, in order to keep Americans afraid, terrified, and panicked, which then means the continuation of ever-growing budgets to all those warfare state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

    With his fight against the CIA over Russian hacking and his desire to establish normal relations with Russia, Donald Trump is clearly not buying into this old, tried-and-true Russia-as-official enemy narrative. In the process, he is posing a grave threat to the national-security establishment and its ever-growing budgets, influence, and power.

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    [Dec 20, 2016] Its official the US is funding Middle-East jihadists!

    Dec 20, 2016 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr
    It's official: the US is funding Middle-East jihadists!

    globinfo freexchange

    We should not expect the truth from the corrupted establishment who fiercely fought Bernie Sanders, for example. We should expect it from someone who supported him. Indeed, the Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who resigned as DNC vice-chair on February 28, 2016, in order to endorse Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination, and actually was the first female US Representative to endorse Sanders, 'dared' to introduce bill so that the US to stop arming terrorists!

    Her words left no doubt of who is behind the dirty war in Syria and the chaos in the Middle East:

    Mr. speaker, under US law, it is illegal for you, or me, or any American, to provide any type of assistance to Al-Qaeda, ISIS, or other terrorist groups. If we broke this law, we'll be thrown in jail.

    Yet the US government has been violating this law for years, directly and indirectly supporting allies and partners of groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, with money, weapons, intelligence and other support in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government .

    A recent NY Times article, confirmed that rebel groups supported by the US 'have entered into battlefield alliances with the affiliate of al-Qaeda in Syria, formerly known as al Nusra.' The Wall Street Journal reports that rebel groups are 'doubling down on their alliance with al-Qaeda'. This alliance has rendered the phrase 'moderate rebels' meaningless .

    We must stop this madness.We must stop arming terrorists .

    I'm introducing the Stop Arming Terrorists act today, to prohibit taxpayer dollars for being used to support terrorists.

    Speaking on CNN , Gabbard specifically named CIA as the agency that supports terrorist groups in the Middle East:

    The US government has been providing money, weapons, intel. assistance and other types of support through the CIA, directly to these groups that are working with and are affiliated with Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

    Also, Gabbard specifically named the allies through which the US assist these terrorist groups:

    We've also been providing that support through countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar ...

    Speaking on NPR , Gabbard explained that she was working on the issue of the US interventionist, regime-change wars for years since she has been in Congress. Therefore, her position coincides with that of Donald Trump who repeatedly declared his opposition to these wars. This was also the main reason for which she endorsed Bernie Sanders:

    SIMON: You and President-elect Trump are obviously of different parties. But don't you kind of have the same position on Syria?

    GABBARD: I have heard him talk about his opposition to continuing interventionist, regime-change wars. I want to be clear, though, that this is an issue that I have been working on for years since I have been in Congress. And it's one...

    SIMON: It's why you endorsed Senator Sanders, isn't it?

    GABBARD: It's - correct. It was a clear difference between Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton. I am hopeful that this new administration coming in will change these policies so that we don't continue making these destructive decisions, as have been made in the past.

    This is really a unique moment, showing the absolute failure of the US obsolete, dirty policies and the degree of degeneration of the 'idealistic' picture of the Unites States as the number one global power. We can't remember any moment in the past in which a congressman was seeking to pass a bill to prohibit the US government funding terrorists, or, a newly elected president who, in his campaigns, was stating clearly that the previous administration created many terrorist groups.

    [Dec 20, 2016] ClubOrlov The Power of Nyet

    Notable quotes:
    "... What we ordinary folk think of as "American" interests are those interests as expressed by an entrenched foreign policy establishment to which the price of admission isn't only graduate studies in an expensive university. No, you have to walk within the lines. There's nothing as old under the sun as "group-think". ..."
    "... he served a purpose when he diverged from long established consensus and said that maybe, just maybe, getting on with the Russians might not be that hard. Or that NATO is an out-dated, dead-weight non-alliance of the unwilling. Or that border-less trade ruined heartland America. ..."
    July 26. 2016 | cluborlov.blogspot.com
    [ O poder do "não" ]
    [ Het vermogen van "njet" ]
    [ Síla „Nět" ]
    [ Le pouvoir du " Niet " ]

    The way things are supposed to work on this planet is like this: in the United States, the power structures (public and private) decide what they want the rest of the world to do. They communicate their wishes through official and unofficial channels, expecting automatic cooperation. If cooperation is not immediately forthcoming, they apply political, financial and economic pressure. If that still doesn't produce the intended effect, they attempt regime change through a color revolution or a military coup, or organize and finance an insurgency leading to terrorist attacks and civil war in the recalcitrant nation. If that still doesn't work, they bomb the country back to the stone age. This is the way it worked in the 1990s and the 2000s, but as of late a new dynamic has emerged.

    In the beginning it was centered on Russia, but the phenomenon has since spread around the world and is about to engulf the United States itself. It works like this: the United States decides what it wants Russia to do and communicates its wishes, expecting automatic cooperation. Russia says "Nyet." The United States then runs through all of the above steps up to but not including the bombing campaign, from which it is deterred by Russia's nuclear deterrent. The answer remains "Nyet." One could perhaps imagine that some smart person within the US power structure would pipe up and say: "Based on the evidence before us, dictating our terms to Russia doesn't work; let's try negotiating with Russia in good faith as equals." And then everybody else would slap their heads and say, "Wow! That's brilliant! Why didn't we think of that?" But instead that person would be fired that very same day because, you see, American global hegemony is nonnegotiable. And so what happens instead is that the Americans act baffled, regroup and try again, making for quite an amusing spectacle.

    The whole Edward Snowden imbroglio was particularly fun to watch. The US demanded his extradition. The Russians said: "Nyet, our constitution forbids it." And then, hilariously, some voices in the West demanded in response that Russia change its constitution! The response, requiring no translation, was "Xa-xa-xa-xa-xa!" Less funny is the impasse over Syria: the Americans have been continuously demanding that Russia go along with their plan to overthrow Bashar Assad. The unchanging Russian response has been: "Nyet, the Syrians get to decide on their leadership, not Russia, and not the US." Each time they hear it, the Americans scratch their heads and try again. John Kerry was just recently in Moscow, holding a marathon "negotiating session" with Putin and Lavrov. Above is a photo of Kerry talking to Putin and Lavrov in Moscow a week or so ago and their facial expressions are hard to misread. There's Kerry, with his back to the camera, babbling away as per usual. Lavrov's face says: "I can't believe I have to sit here and listen to this nonsense again." Putin's face says: "Oh the poor idiot, he can't bring himself to understand that we're just going to say 'nyet' again." Kerry flew home with yet another "nyet."

    What's worse, other countries are now getting into the act. The Americans told the Brits exactly how to vote, and yet the Brits said "nyet" and voted for Brexit. The Americans told the Europeans to accept the horrendous corporate power grab that is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the French said "nyet, it shall not pass." The US organized yet another military coup in Turkey to replace Erdoǧan with somebody who won't try to play nice with Russia, and the Turks said "nyet" to that too. And now, horror of horrors, there is Donald Trump saying "nyet" to all sorts of things-NATO, offshoring American jobs, letting in a flood of migrants, globalization, weapons for Ukrainian Nazis, free trade

    The corrosive psychological effect of "nyet" on the American hegemonic psyche cannot be underestimated. If you are supposed to think and act like a hegemon, but only the thinking part still works, then the result is cognitive dissonance. If your job is to bully nations around, and the nations can no longer be bullied, then your job becomes a joke, and you turn into a mental patient. The resulting madness has recently produced quite an interesting symptom: some number of US State Department staffers signed a letter, which was promptly leaked, calling for a bombing campaign against Syria in order to overthrow Bashar Assad. These are diplomats. Diplomacy is the art of avoiding war by talking. Diplomats who call for war are not being exactly diplomatic. You could say that they are incompetent diplomats, but that wouldn't go far enough (most of the competent diplomats left the service during the second Bush administration, many of them in disgust over having to lie about the rationale for the Iraq war). The truth is, they are sick, deranged non-diplomatic warmongers. Such is the power of this one simple Russian word that they have quite literally lost their minds.

    But it would be unfair to single out the State Department. It is as if the entire American body politic has been infected by a putrid miasma. It permeates all things and makes life miserable. In spite of the mounting problems, most other things in the US are still somewhat manageable, but this one thing-the draining away of the ability to bully the whole world-ruins everything. It's mid-summer, the nation is at the beach. The beach blanket is moth-eaten and threadbare, the beach umbrella has holes in it, the soft drinks in the cooler are laced with nasty chemicals and the summer reading is boring and then there is a dead whale decomposing nearby, whose name is "Nyet." It just ruins the whole ambiance!

    The media chattering heads and the establishment politicos are at this point painfully aware of this problem, and their predictable reaction is to blame it on what they perceive as its ultimate source: Russia, conveniently personified by Putin. "If you aren't voting for Clinton, you are voting for Putin" is one recently minted political trope. Another is that Trump is Putin's agent. Any public figure that declines to take a pro-establishment stance is automatically labeled "Putin's useful idiot." Taken at face value, such claims are preposterous. But there is a deeper explanation for them: what ties them all together is the power of "nyet." A vote for Sanders is a "nyet" vote: the Democratic establishment produced a candidate and told people to vote for her, and most of the young people said "nyet." Same thing with Trump: the Republican establishment trotted out its Seven Dwarfs and told people to vote for any one of them, and yet most of the disenfranchised working-class white people said "nyet" and voted for Snow White the outsider.

    It is a hopeful sign that people throughout the Washington-dominated world are discovering the power of "nyet." The establishment may still look spiffy on the outside, but under the shiny new paint there hides a rotten hull, with water coming in though every open seam. A sufficiently resounding "nyet" will probably be enough to cause it to founder, suddenly making room for some very necessary changes. When that happens, please remember to thank Russia or, if you insist, Putin.

    NowhereMan said... Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 7:13:00 AM EDT

    Beautiful! I'm going to start using that word in conversation now just to gauge people's reactions. Nyet!!! I have one particularly stuffy friend who's just baffled by the Trump phenomenon. He's an old school GOP conservative at heart who's chagrined that he's had to abandon the grand old party in favor of HRC and can't understand for the life of him why the "dirt people" are so enamored with Trump and Sanders. I just laugh and tell him that they're abandoning the Dems for the same reasons that he's embracing them.

    The rich and the near rich (which seems to include just about everybody these days, if only in their imaginations) here in the US all suffer from fundamental attribution bias - the idea that their own exceptionalism is why they are doing well - rather than realizing that it's all mostly just the luck of the draw - or even worse - their own willingness to carry corporate water like the good little Nazi's they are that has allowed them to temporarily advance their station in life.

    Fortunately for us all, the sun is setting on America's empire as we speak, and fevered dreams of US hegemony for the rest of time will be short lived indeed, although homo sapiens' time might be limited as well. If history keeps recording in the aftermath, US nuclear enabled hegemony will be but a brief blip on the historical radar, and like the legend of Atlantis before us, we'll be remembered chiefly as a society gone mad with our technologies, who aspired to reach out and touch the face of god, but instead settled for embracing our many inner devils. We won't be missed.

    Happy Unicorn said... Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 9:26:00 AM EDT

    A vote for Trump is a vote for Putin? Wouldn't THAT be nice!

    Dave Stockton said... Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 9:36:00 AM EDT

    This whole, "a vote against Hillary is a vote for Putin", is the best thing that could have happened this election. The US population will now have a debate and get to vote on whether we truly want to start World War Three. Hopefully the powers that be will be surprised by the response... NYET!

    Unknown said... Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 12:23:00 PM EDT

    Nice...

    Putin recently made fun of Lavrov, that he is becoming like Gromyko....
    ...and Gromyko was called Mr. NYET. :-)

    http://sevendaynews.com/2016/06/17/putin-has-lavrov-compared-with-gromyko/

    Vyse Legendaire said... Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 12:37:00 PM EDT

    I hope someone would volunteer to design a 'Nyet!' T-shirt on teepublic for advocates to show their unity to the cause.

    Shawn Sincoski said... Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 4:44:00 PM EDT

    I really hope that the next time the TBTF banks need a handout, somebody, somewhere reacts with a 'NFW' that resonates with the other plebes. Such a powerful word. But I am doubtful that such an event will occur. With all that is going on with Hillary the house should be on fire by now, but it is not (I am not advocating Trump by disparaging HRC). I suspect that the coming American experience will be unique and (dis)proportionate to their apathy.

    Cortes said... Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 9:01:00 PM EDT

    Herbert Marcuse: The first word of freedom is "No"

    Irene Parousis said... Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 6:58:00 AM EDT

    BRILLIANT!!!

    Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 12:12:00 AM EDT

    d94c074a-53e8-11e6-947a-073bf9f943f9 said...
    Excellent.
    There is a minor twist: "The corrosive psychological effect of "nyet" on the American hegemonic psyche cannot be underestimated". Probably GWB's "misunderestimated" left some local linguistic traume in your brain popping up in your otherwise perfect comment. I guess you meant "cannot be overestimated". Nevermind, you message is clear and convincing anyway :-)

    Mister Roboto said... Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 8:07:00 AM EDT

    This sums up why all the usual poppycock and folderol about why I need to vote for Hillary that always succeeded in getting under my intellectual skin in the past is now just the mere noise of screeching cats outside the window to me: There just comes a point where, if you have any integrity at all, you have to say, "Nyet!"

    Mark said... Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 5:42:00 AM EDT

    At some point, voting for a major party candidate is just throwing away your vote.

    Roger said... Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 7:11:00 AM EDT

    I always enjoy Dmitry's blogs and the fact that he pushes the Russian perspective, as a relief from the Russophobic drivel put out by the mainstream. However, a word of caution to the wise. Obama, Kerry, Clinton, Trump et al. are, in fact, extremely unfunny. Charlie Chaplin lampooned the funny little man with the moustache in the Great Dictator, xa! xa! xa! The truth came out later. Do not be afraid of Neocon America, but please remember these are dangerous people. Be vigilant always.

    Bruno said... Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 10:55:00 AM EDT

    Loved.

    And sad because Brasil didn't say NYET to the coup planted here by USA.

    Unknown said... Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 1:02:00 PM EDT

    "Putin recently made fun of Lavrov, that he is becoming like Gromyko....
    ...and Gromyko was called Mr. NYET. :-)"

    Even better, Lavrov was subsequently quoted in the press as saying "don't make me say the four letter word".

    What a tag team!

    Marty said... Friday, July 29, 2016 at 9:20:00 AM EDT

    I really believe that you have hit the crux of the issue, the Neocon psychopaths are besides themselves over the Nyets, and they find themselves to be a once powerful now toothless lion, the are being laughed at, even by the American people.

    I hope so because the worst of the bunch is Mrs. Clinton, she is just a crazy and stupid enough to burn it all down, perhaps the only thing that would prevent her from doing so is that this would interfere with her Diabolical Narcissistic need to be seen as the Kleptocrat she is and to get away with being the biggest grifter in American history.

    Turkey shows that they can't even organize a proper coup any more, even when they have a major base in the country of the government to be compromised. The NeoCons must be so disappointed.

    This failed coup was probably also was a big disappointment to those Fed Banksters who were counting on looting the Bank if Turkey's 500 or so Tonnes of gold, as they did with Ukraine.

    Roger said... Friday, July 29, 2016 at 12:53:00 PM EDT

    Leon Panetta sez "we know how to do this" despite an exuberant flourishing of evidence to the contrary. But there's a glimmer of hope, even if it comes from a way down the ranks, because there's a Col Bacevitch who begs to differ and sez "with all due respect, we DON'T know how to do this."

    You ask, know how to do WHAT exactly? Well, the topic at issue in a PBS panel discussion was destroying the Islamic State. But knowing how to do it or NOT knowing how to do it could refer equally to a series of monumental American foreign policy muffs. How could it be, that America with all its military force, screws up so mightily and predictably? Because it's as Mr Orlov asserts, there's a lot of NYETS out there and the American foreign policy establishment can't fathom it.

    But what they most crucially can't fathom is that those damn furriners have their own interests at heart just like the Americans have their own interests. Americans from the street level to the highest echelons view the world through Americentric lens resulting in ludicrously distorted fun-house views of the world.

    For example, why doesn't the Iranian see things the way Americans want him to? Why is it always "nyet" coming out of Teheran? Why are Iranians so belligerent? Americans seemingly can't comprehend that Iran is an ancient imperial power whose roots go back millennia, right to the origins of civilization. But could it possibly be that Iranian concerns have got more to do with goings-on in their geographic locale and pretty much nothing to do with the United States? And that the Iranian is highly irritated that Americans stick their noses into matters that concern Americans only tangentially or not at all? Could it be that the Iranian has his own life pathways in age-old places that Americans know nothing about? Could it be that an Iranian is educated in his own traditions in ancient academies that far pre-date anything on American soil? You can replace the words "Iranian" and "Iran" with "Chinese" and "China" or "Japanese" and "Japan" or dozens of other places and societies including "Russian" and "Russia". American incomprehension goes deep.

    Maybe some of the world is Washington-dominated. But maybe some this domination is more apparent than real. Maybe it only seems Washington-dominated because in many of these places there's a concordance of interests with the United States. But in most of the globe the interests of Americans are not the same as those of the locals. And America has not got the will nor the reach to make it otherwise.

    Happy Unicorn said...

    Roger: "But in most of the globe the interests of Americans are not the same as those of the locals."

    Most of the globe, including America itself! The interests of the Americans you're talking about are usually not the same as mine or anyone's that I know ("the locals" in America). I suspect the people of the USA who aren't brainwashed would have a lot in common with everybody else in the world, because the first colony of any would-be empire (colony 0, let's say) is always the country it originated from. More and more of us are saying nyet too, though the utterance usually takes the less exotic form also enumerated by Dmitry awhile back: "No, because we hate you."
    Friday, July 29, 2016 at 3:03:00 PM EDT

    flops said... Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 7:22:00 AM EDT

    In good wronglish:

    There's America, Americans, USA.

    And, in some point of our decolonized memory, there's Pacha Mama, our Mother Earth, the name given to our land by the older people.

    Not by chance, the unique country in Pacha Mama continents that have a pre-colonial language as its official - Paraguay's Guarani - was the initial focus of this antidemocratic wave attacking our countries.

    We, the united states of...? What?

    "Pacha Mama" is our best nyet!

    Not anymore south and central americas, south and central "americans". Pacha Mama is our real continents' name! We are The United States of Pacha Mama!
    When mentioning people from brazil, angentine, chile, bolivia, peru paraguay colombiavenezuelahaiti,surinamepanamacubamexico and so, please call us Pachamamists. That' what we are.

    Roger said... Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 11:27:00 AM EDT

    HappyUnicorn, of course you're right.

    What we ordinary folk think of as "American" interests are those interests as expressed by an entrenched foreign policy establishment to which the price of admission isn't only graduate studies in an expensive university. No, you have to walk within the lines. There's nothing as old under the sun as "group-think".

    The lines are long established. Just think of it: globalization, off-shoring millions of jobs, on-shoring millions of dirt-poor immigrants, legal and otherwise. Nothing warms the cockles of the oligarch's heart like a desperate underclass.

    I know Trump is a buffoon. But he served a purpose when he diverged from long established consensus and said that maybe, just maybe, getting on with the Russians might not be that hard. Or that NATO is an out-dated, dead-weight non-alliance of the unwilling. Or that border-less trade ruined heartland America.

    You saw the venomous reaction. A lot of people staked a career on the status-quo. Is the best-before expired as Trump suggested? I'll bet that if it hadn't been a blustering clown that raised it, many more people on the street would agree.

    Some regional interests are historic and easily visible for example, along the Mason-Dixon line. But even on either side of that old divide I think that the disparity is more an artifact of opposing elites determined to not get along. Why don't they get along? Well, there's a country to loot. You need distractions and diversions while pension funds and treasuries are emptied.

    And so we're off chasing our tails on burning problems like gender neutral washrooms. Brilliant, don't you think? Kudos to the Obama regime for that one. And so it's God fearin', gun packin' "conservative" versus enlightened, high-minded "progressive". What a joke, what a con. Yet, predictably, we fell for it. You name it, school prayer, abortion, evolution, and now washrooms, we fall for it, we always do.

    Robert T. said... Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 1:52:00 PM EDT

    It would be very nice if someone could write a piece on what life in Russia, in all its levels, is really like nowadays. I suspect that it is not just "nyet" that terrifies the Empire, but rather what Russia herself is now increasingly coming to represent.

    A lot of people, myself included, had been brought up thinking that Russia, while indeed a superpower, isn't and cannot be on the same page as the US. But now here are reports saying that a good and strong leader has pulled Russia out of the rut, and made things better. What's more, this leader did it in a manner that seems antithetical to the Empire. And what's even better is that this new Russia can't be easily rocked, like how the other countries had been rocked and thrown into chaos. The Empire therefore is at its wit's end. If people from other parts of the Earth, especially in those many places where democracy has failed miserably, begin to see that there is indeed an alternative to the empirical system, won't they then start to follow Russia's footsteps?

    Headsails said... Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 2:07:00 AM EDT

    Just like a spoiled rotten child that needs to learn some manners. It needs to learn the meaning of no. But in this case, instead of a spankng they would be chain ganged for life.

    [Dec 20, 2016] ClubOrlov Brain Parasite Gonna Eatcha!

    Dec 16, 2016 | cluborlov.blogspot.com
    Brain Parasite Gonna Eatcha! I've been experiencing some difficulties with commenting on the current political situation in the US, because it's been a little too funny, whereas this is a very serious blog. But I have decided that I must try my best. Now, these are serious matters, so as you read this, please refrain from any and all levity and mirth.

    You may have heard by now that the Russians stole the US presidential election; if it wasn't for them, Hillary Clinton would have been president-elect, but because of their meddling we are now stuck with Donald Trump and his 1001 oligarchs running the federal government for the next four years.

    There are two ways to approach this question. One is to take the accusation of Russian hacking of the US elections at face value, and we will certainly do that. But first let's try another way, because it's quicker. Let's consider the accusation itself as a symptom of some unrelated disorder. This is often the best way forward. Suppose a person walks into a doctor's office, and says, "Doctor, I believe I have schizophrenium poisoning." Should the doctor summon the hazmat team, or check for schizophrenia first?

    And so let's first consider that this "Russians did it" refrain we keep hearing is a symptom of something else, of which Russians are not the cause. My working hypothesis is that this behavior is being caused by a brain parasite. Yes, this may seem outlandish at first, but as we'll see later the theory that the Russians stole the election is no less outlandish.

    Brain parasites are known to alter the behavior of the organisms they infest in a variety of subtle ways. For instance, Toxicoplasma gondii alters the behavior of rodents, causing them to lose fear of cats and to become attracted to the smell of cat urine, making it easy for the cats to catch them. It also alters the behavior of humans, causing them to lavish excessive affection on cats and to compulsively download photographs of cute kittens playing with yarn.

    My hypothesis is that this particular brain parasite was specifically bioengineered by the US to make those it infects hate Russia. I suspect that the neurological trigger it uses is Putin's face, which the parasite somehow wires into the visual cortex. This virus was first unleashed on the unsuspecting Ukrainians, where its effect was plain to see. This historically Russian, majority Russian-speaking, culturally Russian and religiously Russian Orthodox region suddenly erupted in an epidemic of Russophobia. The Ukraine cut economic ties with Russia, sending its economy into a tailspin, and started a war with its eastern regions, which were quite recently part of Russia and wish to become part of Russia again.

    So far so good: the American bioengineers who created this virus achieved the effect they wanted, turning a Russian region into an anti-Russian region. But as happens so often with biological agents, it turned out to be hard to keep under control. Its next victims turned out to be NATO and the Pentagon, whose leadership started compulsively uttering the phrase "Russian aggression" in a manner suggestive of Tourette's Syndrome, entirely undeterred by the complete absence of evidence of any such aggression that they could present for objective analysis. They, along with the by now fit-to-be-tied Ukrainians, kept prattling on about "Russian invasion," waving about decades-old pictures of Russian tanks they downloaded from their friends on Facebook.

    From there the brain parasite spread to the White House, the Clinton presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and its attendant press corps, who are now all chattering away about "Russian hacking." The few knowledgeable voices who point out that there is absolutely no hard evidence of any such "Russian hacking" are being drowned out by the Bedlam din of the rest.

    This, to me, seems like the simplest explanation that fits the facts. But to be fair and balanced, let us also examine the other perspective: that claims of "Russian hacking" should be taken at face value. The first difficulty we encounter is that what is being termed "Russian hacking" is not hacks but leaks. Hacks occur where some unauthorized party breaks into a server and steals data. Leaks occur where an insider-a "whistleblower"-violates rules of secrecy and/or confidentiality in order to release into the public domain evidence of wrongdoing. In this case, evidence of leaking is prima facie: Was the data in question evidence of wrongdoing? Yes. Was it released into the public domain? Yes. Has the identity of said leaker or leakers remained secret? Yes, with good reason.

    But this does not rule out hacking, because what a leaker can do, a hacker can also do, although with difficulty. Leakers have it easy: you see evidence of wrongdoing, take umbrage at it, copy it onto a thumb drive, smuggle it off premises, and upload it to Wikileaks through a public wifi hotspot from an old laptop you bought off Craislist and then smashed. But what's a poor hacker to do? You hack into server after server, running the risk of getting caught each time, only to find that the servers contain minutes of public meetings, old press releases, backups of public web sites and-incriminating evidence!-a mother lode of pictures of fluffy kittens playing with yarn downloaded by a secretary afflicted with Toxicoplasma gondii .

    The solution, of course, is to create something that's worth hacking, or leaking, but this is a much harder problem. What the Russians had to do, then, was take the incorruptible, squeaky-clean goody-two-shoes faithful public servant Hillary Clinton, infiltrate the Clinton Foundation, Hillary's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and somehow manipulate them all into doing things that, when leaked (or hacked) would reliably turn the electorate against Clinton. Yes Sir, Tovarishch Putin!

    Those Russians sure are clever! They managed to turn the DNC into an anti-Bernie Sanders operation, depriving him of electoral votes through a variety of underhanded practices while appealing to anti-Semitic sentiments in certain parts of the country. They managed to manipulate Donna Brazile into handing presidential debate questions to the Clinton campaign. They even managed to convince certain Ukrainian oligarchs and Saudi princes to bestow millions upon the Clinton foundation in exchange for certain future foreign policy concessions. The list of these leak-worthy Russian subterfuges goes on and on But who can stop them?

    And so clearly the Russians had to first corrupt the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee, just in order to render them hackworthy. But here we have a problem. You see, if you can hack into a server, so can everyone else. Suppose you leave your front door unlocked and swinging in the breeze, and long thereafter stuff goes missing. Of course you can blame the neighbor you happen to like least, but then why would anyone believe you? Anybody could have walked through that door and taken your shit. And so it is hard to do anything beyond lobbing empty accusations at Russia as far as hacking is concerned; but the charge of corrupting the incorruptible Hillary Clinton is another matter entirely.

    Because here the ultimate Russian achievement was in getting Hillary Clinton to refer to over half of her electorate as "a basket of deplorables," and this was no mean feat. It takes a superpower to orchestrate a political blunder of this magnitude. This she did in front of an LGBT audience in New York. Now, Hillary is no spring chicken when it comes to national politics: she's been through quite a few federal elections, and she has enough experience to know that pissing off over half of your electorate in one fell swoop is not a particularly smart thing to do. Obviously, she was somehow hypnotized into uttering these words no doubt by a hyperintelligent space-based Russian operative.

    The Russian covert operation into subverting American democracy started with the Russians sending an agent into the hitherto unexplored hinter regions of America, to see what they are like. Hunched over his desk, Putin whipped out a map of the US and a crayon, and lightly shaded in an area south of the Mason-Dixon line, west of New York and Pennsylvania, and east of the Rockies.

    Let me come clean. I have split loyalties. I have spent most of my life hobnobbing with transnational elites on the East Coast, but I have also spent quite a few years working for a very large midwestern agricultural equipment company, and a very large midwestern printing company, so I know the culture of the land quite well. I am sure that what this Russian agent reported back is that the land is thickly settled with white people of Anglo-Irish, Scottish, German and Slavic extraction, that they are macho, that their women (for it is quite a male-centric culture) tend to vote same way as the men for the sake of domestic tranquility, that they don't much like dark-skinned people or gays, and that plenty of them view the East Coast and California as dens of iniquity and corruption, if not modern-day Sodoms and Gomorras.

    And what if Vladimir Putin read this report, and issued this order: "Get Clinton to piss them all off." And so it was done: unbeknownst to her, using nefarious means, Hillary was programmed, under hypnosis, to utter the phrase "a basket of deplorables." A Russian operative hiding in the audience of LGBT activists flashed a sign triggering the program in Hillary's overworked brain, and the rest is history. If that's what actually happened, then Putin should be pronounced Special Ops Officer of the Year, while all the other "world leaders" should quietly sneak out the back entrance, sit down on the ground in the garden and eat some dirt, then puke it up into their hands and rub it into their eyes while wailing, because how on earth can they possibly ever hope to beat that?

    Or we can just go back to my brain parasite theory. Doesn't it seem a whole lot more sane now? Not only is it much simpler and more believable, but it also has certain predictive merits that the "Russian hacking" theory lacks. You see, when there is parasitism involved, there is rarely just one symptom. Usually, there is a whole cluster of symptoms. And so, just for the sake of comparison, let's look at what has happened to the Ukraine since it was infected with the Ukrainian Brain Parasite, and compare that to what is happening to the US now that the parasite has spread here too.

    1. The Ukraine is ruled by an oligarch-Petro Poroshenko, the "candy king"-along with a clique of other oligarchs who have been handed regional governorships and government ministries. And now the US is about to be ruled by an oligarch-Trump, the "casino king"-along with a clique of other oligarchs, from ExxonMobile to Goldman Sachs.

    2. The Ukraine has repudiated its trade agreements with Russia, sending its economy into free-fall. And now Trump is promising to repudiate, and perhaps renegotiate, a variety of trade agreements. For a country that has run huge structural trade deficits for decades and pays for them by constantly issuing debt this is not going to be easy or safe.

    3. The Ukraine has been subjected to not one but two Color Revolutions, promoted by none other than that odious oligarch George Soros. The US is now facing its own Color Revolution-the Purple Revolution-paid for by that same Soros, with the goal of overturning the results of the presidential election and derailing the inauguration of Donald Trump through a variety of increasingly desperate ploys including paid-for demonstrations, vote recounts and attempts to manipulate the Electoral College.

    4. For a couple of years now the Ukraine has been mired in a bloody and futile civil war. To this day the Ukrainian troops (with NATO support) are lobbing missiles into civilian districts in the east of the country, and getting decimated in return. So far, Trump's victory seems to have appeased the "deplorables," but should the Purple Revolution succeed, the US may also see major social unrest, possibly escalating into a civil war.

    The Ukrainian Brain Parasite has devastated the Ukraine. It is by now too far gone for much of anything to be done about it. All of the best people have left, mostly for Russia, and all that's left is a rotten, hollow shell. But does it have to end this way for the US? I hope not!

    There are, as I see it, two possibilities. One is to view those who are pushing the "Russian hacking" or "Russian aggression" story as political adversaries. Another is to view them as temporarily mentally ill. Yes, their brains are infected with the Ukrainian Brain Parasite, but that just means that their opinions are to be disregarded-until they feel better. And since this particular brain parasite specifically influences social behavior, if we refuse to reward that behavior with positive reinforcement-by acknowledging it-we will suppress its most debilitating symptoms, eventually forcing the parasite to evolve toward a more benign form. As with many infectious diseases, the fight against them starts with improved hygiene-in this case, mental hygiene. And so that is my prescription: when you see someone going on about "Russian hacking" or "Russian aggression" be merciful and charitable toward them as individuals, because they are temporarily incapacitated, but do not acknowledge their mad ranting, and instead try to coax them into learning to control it.

    [Dec 18, 2016] Tancredo Would Republican Establishment Use Impeachment to Block Trump Agenda

    Notable quotes:
    "... Republican leaders in Congress are already sending Trump a subtle but clear warning: accept our business-as-usual Chamber of Commerce agenda or we will join Democrats to impeach you. ..."
    "... Impeachment has been the goal of Democrats since the day after Trump won the election, and the Republican establishment will use the veiled threat as leverage to win concession after concession from the Trump White House. ..."
    "... There are at least four Trump campaign promises which, if not dropped or severely compromised, could generate Republican support for impeachment: Trump's Supreme Court appointments, abandoning the Trans Pacific Partnership, radical rollback of Obama regulatory projects, and real enforcement of our nation's immigration laws. ..."
    "... On regulatory rollback, Congress can legitimately insist on negotiating the details with Trump. But on the other three, immigration, the TPP, and Supreme Court nominees, Trump's campaign promises were so specific - and so popular - that he need not accept congressional foot-dragging. ..."
    "... Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced this week he will oppose Trump's tax reforms. Senator Lindsey Graham is joining Democrats in sponsoring new legislation to protect the "Dreamers" from deportation after their unlawfully granted legal status and work permits expire. Senator Susan Collins will oppose any restrictions on Muslim refugees, no matter how weak and inadequate the vetting to weed out jihadists. Senator Lamar Alexander aims to protect major parts of Obamacare, despite five years of voluminous Republican promises to "repeal and replace" it if they ever had the power to do so. ..."
    "... on the House side, we have the naysayer-in-chief, Speaker Paul Ryan, who refused to campaign with Donald Trump in Wisconsin, and who has vowed to obstruct Trump's most important and most popular campaign promise - an end to open borders and vigorous immigration law enforcement. ..."
    "... Donald Trump won a electoral mandate to change direction and put American interests first, beginning with border security. If the congressional Republican establishment chooses to block the implementation of that electoral mandate, it would destroy not only Trump's agenda, it would destroy the Republican Party. ..."
    Dec 18, 2016 | www.breitbart.com
    Several months ago I was asked what advice I would give to the Trump campaign.

    I said, only half joking, that he had better pick a vice presidential candidate the establishment hates more than it hates him. That would be his only insurance against impeachment. Those drums have already begun to beat, be it ever so subtly.

    Is anyone surprised how quickly the establishment that Donald Trump campaigned against has announced opposition to much of his policy agenda? No. But few understand that the passionate opposition includes a willingness to impeach and remove President Trump if he does not come to heel on his America First goals.

    Ferocious opposition to Trump from the left was expected and thus surprises nobody. From the comical demands for vote recounts to street protests by roving bands of leftist hate-mongers and condescending satire on late-night television, hysterical leftist opposition to Trump is now part of the cultural landscape.

    But those are amusing sideshows to the main event, the Republican establishment's intransigent opposition to key pillars of the Republican president's agenda.

    Republican leaders in Congress are already sending Trump a subtle but clear warning: accept our business-as-usual Chamber of Commerce agenda or we will join Democrats to impeach you.

    If you think talk of impeachment is insane when the man has not even been sworn into office yet, you have not been paying attention. Impeachment has been the goal of Democrats since the day after Trump won the election, and the Republican establishment will use the veiled threat as leverage to win concession after concession from the Trump White House.

    What are the key policy differences that motivate congressional opposition to the Trump agenda? There are at least four Trump campaign promises which, if not dropped or severely compromised, could generate Republican support for impeachment: Trump's Supreme Court appointments, abandoning the Trans Pacific Partnership, radical rollback of Obama regulatory projects, and real enforcement of our nation's immigration laws.

    On regulatory rollback, Congress can legitimately insist on negotiating the details with Trump. But on the other three, immigration, the TPP, and Supreme Court nominees, Trump's campaign promises were so specific - and so popular - that he need not accept congressional foot-dragging.

    Yet, while the President-elect 's transition teams at the EPA, State Department and Education Department are busy mapping ambitious changes in direction, Congress's Republican leadership is busy doubling down on dissonance and disloyalty.

    Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced this week he will oppose Trump's tax reforms. Senator Lindsey Graham is joining Democrats in sponsoring new legislation to protect the "Dreamers" from deportation after their unlawfully granted legal status and work permits expire. Senator Susan Collins will oppose any restrictions on Muslim refugees, no matter how weak and inadequate the vetting to weed out jihadists. Senator Lamar Alexander aims to protect major parts of Obamacare, despite five years of voluminous Republican promises to "repeal and replace" it if they ever had the power to do so.

    And then, on the House side, we have the naysayer-in-chief, Speaker Paul Ryan, who refused to campaign with Donald Trump in Wisconsin, and who has vowed to obstruct Trump's most important and most popular campaign promise - an end to open borders and vigorous immigration law enforcement.

    It is no exaggeration to say that Trump's success or failure in overcoming the opposition to immigration enforcement will determine the success or failure of his presidency. If he cannot deliver on his most prominent and most popular campaign promise, nothing else will matter very much.

    So, the bad news for President Trump is this: If he keeps faith with his campaign promises on immigration, for example to limit Muslim immigration from terrorism afflicted regions, which is within his legitimate constitutional powers as President, he will risk impeachment. However, his congressional critics will face one enormous hurdle in bringing impeachment charges related to immigration enforcement: about 90 percent of what Trump plans to do is within current law and would require no new legislation in Congress. Obama disregarded immigration laws he did not like, so all Trump has to do is enforce those laws.

    Now, if you think talk of impeachment is ridiculous because Republicans control Congress, you are underestimating the depth of Establishment Republican support for open borders.

    The first effort in the 21st century at a general amnesty for all 20 million illegal aliens came in January 2005 from newly re-elected President George Bush. The "Gang of Eight" amnesty bill passed by the US Senate in 2013 did not have the support of the majority of Republican senators, and now they are faced with a Republican president pledged to the exact opposite agenda, immigration enforcement. And yet, do not doubt the establishment will sacrifice a Republican president to protect the globalist, open borders status quo.

    The leader and spokesman for that establishment open borders agenda is not some obscure backbencher, it is the Republican Speaker of the House. Because the Speaker controls the rules and the legislative calendar, if he chooses to play hardball against Trump on immigration he can block any of Trump's other policy initiatives until Trump abandons his immigration enforcement goals.

    What all this points to is a bloody civil war within the Republican Party fought on the battlefield of congressional committee votes.

    Donald Trump won a electoral mandate to change direction and put American interests first, beginning with border security. If the congressional Republican establishment chooses to block the implementation of that electoral mandate, it would destroy not only Trump's agenda, it would destroy the Republican Party.

    [Dec 18, 2016] Nickolas Kristof again demonstrates the level of neocons panic and his MIC lobbyist credentials

    What a despicable MIC stooge...
    Notable quotes:
    "... The CIA says it has "high confidence" that Russia was trying to get Trump elected, and, according to The Washington Post, the directors of the F.B.I. and national intelligence agree with that conclusion. ..."
    "... Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States. ..."
    "... Rex Tillerson, Trump's nominee for secretary of state, is a smart and capable manager. Yet it's notable that he is particularly close to Putin, who had decorated Tillerson with Russia's "Order of Friendship." ..."
    www.nytimes.com

    From Donald Trump The Russian Poodle - The New York Times

    In 1972, President Richard Nixon's White House dispatched burglars to bug Democratic Party offices. That Watergate burglary and related "dirty tricks," such as releasing mice at a Democratic press conference and paying a woman to strip naked and shout her love for a Democratic candidate, nauseated Americans - and impelled some of us kids at the time to pursue journalism.

    Now in 2016 we have a political scandal that in some respects is even more staggering. Russian agents apparently broke into the Democrats' digital offices and tried to change the election outcome. President Obama on Friday suggested that this was probably directed by Russia's president, saying, "Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin."

    In Watergate, the break-in didn't affect the outcome of the election. In 2016, we don't know for sure. There were other factors, but it's possible that Russia's theft and release of the emails provided the margin for Donald Trump's victory.

    The CIA says it has "high confidence" that Russia was trying to get Trump elected, and, according to The Washington Post, the directors of the F.B.I. and national intelligence agree with that conclusion.

    Both Nixon and Trump responded badly to the revelations, Nixon by ordering a cover-up and Trump by denouncing the CIA and, incredibly, defending Russia from the charges that it tried to subvert our election. I never thought I would see a dispute between America's intelligence community and a murderous foreign dictator in which an American leader sided with the dictator.

    Let's be clear: This was an attack on America, less lethal than a missile but still profoundly damaging to our system. It's not that Trump and Putin were colluding to steal an election. But if the CIA is right, Russia apparently was trying to elect a president who would be not a puppet exactly but perhaps something of a lap dog - a Russian poodle.

    In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair was widely (and unfairly) mocked as President George W. Bush's poodle, following him loyally into the Iraq war. The fear is that this time Putin may have interfered to acquire an ally who likewise will roll over for him.

    Frankly, it's mystifying that Trump continues to defend Russia and Putin, even as he excoriates everyone else, from CIA officials to a local union leader in Indiana.

    Now we come to the most reckless step of all: This Russian poodle is acting in character by giving important government posts to friends of Moscow, in effect rewarding it for its attack on the United States.

    Rex Tillerson, Trump's nominee for secretary of state, is a smart and capable manager. Yet it's notable that he is particularly close to Putin, who had decorated Tillerson with Russia's "Order of Friendship."

    Whatever our personal politics, how can we possibly want to respond to Russia's interference in our election by putting American foreign policy in the hands of a Putin friend?

    Tillerson's closeness to Putin is especially troubling because of Trump's other Russia links. The incoming national security adviser, Michael Flynn, accepted Russian money to attend a dinner in Moscow and sat near Putin. A ledger shows $12.7 million in secret payments by a pro-Russia party in Ukraine to Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort. And the Trump family itself has business connections with Russia.

    [Dec 18, 2016] America is a banana republic! FBI chief agrees with CIA on Russias alleged election help for Trump

    Notable quotes:
    "... "Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it. ..."
    "... Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election ..."
    www.sott.net
    Reprinted from RT

    FBI and National Intelligence chiefs both agree with the CIA assessment that Russia interfered with the 2016 US presidential elections partly in an effort to help Donald Trump win the White House, US media report.

    FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper are both convinced that Russia was behind cyberattacks that targeted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman, John Podesta, The Washington Post and reported Friday, citing a message sent by CIA Director John Brennan to his employees.

    "Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election," the message said, according to officials who have seen it.

    "The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI," it continued.

    Comment: The FBI now flip-flops from its previous assessment: FBI rejects CIA assessment that Russia influenced presidential election to help Trump win, calling info "fuzzy and ambiguous"

    ... ... ...

    [Dec 18, 2016] Neocon Panic and Agony

    Dec 18, 2016 | www.unz.com
    There are clear signs that the Neocons running the AngloZionist Empire and its "deep state" are in a state of near panic and their actions indicate they are truly terrified.

    The home front

    One the home front, the Neocons have resorted to every possible dirty trick on the book to try to prevent Donald Trump from ever getting into the White House: they have

    That is truly an amazing development, especially considering how Hillary attacked Trump for not promising to recognize the outcome of the elections. She specifically said that Trump's lack of guarantees to recognize the outcome would threaten the very basis of the stability of the US political system and now she, and her supporters, are doing everything in their power to do just that, to throw the entire electoral process into a major crisis with no clear path towards resolution. Some say that the Democrats are risking a civil war. Considering that several key Republican Congressmen have said they do support the notion of an investigation into the "Russian hackers" fairy tale, I submit that the Republicans are doing exactly the same thing, that this is not a Democrat vs Republican issue, but a "deep state vs The People of the USA" issue.

    Most experts agree that none of these tactics are going to work. So this begs the question of whether the Neocons are stupid, whether they think that they can succeed or what their true objective is.

    My guess is that first and foremost what is taking place now is what always happens when the Neocons run into major trouble: they double down, again. And again. And again. That is one of the key characteristics of their psychological make-up: they cannot accept defeat or, even less so, that they were wrong, so each time reality catches up to their ideological delusions, they automatically double-down. Still, they might rationalize this behavior by a combination of hope that maybe one of these tricks will work, with the strong urge to do as much damage to President-Elect Trump before he actually assumes his office. I would never underestimate the vicious vindictiveness of these people.

    What is rather encouraging is Trump's reaction to all this: after apparently long deliberations he decided to nominate Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of Defense. From a Neocon point of view, if General Michael Flynn was bad, then Tillerson was truly an apocalyptic abomination: the man actually had received the order of " Friend of Russia " from the hands of Vladimir Putin himself!

    Did Trump not realize how provocative this nomination was and how it would be received by the Neocons? Of course he did! That was, on his part, a totally deliberate decision. If so, then this is a very, very good sign.

    I might be mistaken, but I get the feeling that Trump is willing to accept the Neocon challenge and that he will fight back. For example, his reaction to the CIA accusations about Russian hackers was very telling: he reminded everybody that " these are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction ". I think that it is now a safe bet to say that as soon as Trump take control heads will roll at the CIA .

    [Sidebar: is it not amazing that the CIA is offering its opinion about some supposed Russian hacking during the elections in the USA? Since when does the CIA have any expertise on what is going on inside the USA? I thought the CIA was only a foreign intelligence agency. And since when does the CIA get involved in internal US politics? Yes, of course, savvy observers of the USA have always known that the CIA was a key player in US politics, but now the Agency apparently does not even mind confirming this openly. I don't think that Trump will have the guts and means to do so but, frankly, he would be much better off completely dissolving the CIA Of course, that could get Trump killed – messing with the Fed and the CIA are two unforgivable crimes in the USA – but then again Trump is already very much at risk anyway, so he might as well strike first].

    One the external front

    On the external front, the big development is the liberation of Aleppo by Syrian forces. In that case again, the Neocons tried to double-down: they made all sorts of totally unsubstantiated claims about executions and atrocities while the BBC, always willing to pick up the correct line, published an article about how much the situation in Aleppo is similar to what took place in Srebrenica . Of course, there is one way in which the events in Aleppo and Srebrenica are similar: in both cases the US-backed Takfiris lost and were defeated by government forces and in both cases the West unleashed a vicious propaganda war to try to turn the military defeat of its proxies into a political victory for itself. In any case, the last-ditch propaganda effort failed and preventing the inevitable and Aleppo was completely liberated.

    ORDER IT NOW

    The Empire did score one success: using the fact that most of the foreign forces allied to the Syrians (Hezbollah, Iranian Pasdaran, Russian Spetsnaz, etc.) were concentrated around Aleppo, the US-backed Takfiris succeeded in breaking the will of the Syrians, many of whom apparently fled in panic, and first surrounded and then eventually reoccupied Palmyra. This will be short lived success as I completely agree with my friend Alexander Mercouris who says that Putin will soon liberate Palmyra once again, but until this happens the reoccupation of Palmyra is rather embarrassing for the Syrians, Iranians and Russians.

    It seems exceedingly unlikely to me that the Daesh movement towards Palmyra was undetected by the various Syrian, Iranian and Russian intelligence agencies (at least once source reports that Russian satellites did detect it) and I therefore conclude that a deliberate decision was made to temporarily sacrifice Palmyra in order to finally liberate Aleppo. Was that the correct call?

    Definitely yes. Contrary to the western propaganda, Aleppo, not Raqqa, has always been the real "capital" of the US backed terrorists. Raqqa is a relatively small town: 220,000+ inhabitants versus 2,000,000+ for Aleppo, making Aleppo about ten times larger than Raqqa. As for tiny Palmyra, its population is 30,000+. So the choice between scrambling to plug the holes in the Syrian defenses around Palmyra and liberating Aleppo was a no-brainer. Now that Aleppo has been liberated, the city has to be secured and major engineering efforts need to be made in order to prepare it for an always possible Takfiri counter-attack. But it is one thing to re-take a small desert town and quite another one to re-take a major urban center. I personally very much doubt that Daesh & Co. will ever be in control of Aleppo again. Some Neocons appear to be so enraged by this defeat that they are now accusing Trump of "backing Iran" (I wish he did!).

    The tiny Palmyra was given a double-function by the Neocon propaganda effort: to eclipse the "Russian" (it was not solely "Russian" at all, but never mind that) victory in Aleppo and to obfuscate the "US" (it was not solely "US" at all, but never mind that) defeat in Mosul. A hard task for the tiny desert city for sure and it is no wonder that this desperate attempt also failed: the US lead coalition in Mosul still looks just about as weak as the Russian lead coalition looks strong in Aleppo.

    Any comparison between these two battles is simply embarrassing for the USA: not only did the US-backed forces fail to liberate Mosul from Daesh & Co. but they have not even full encircled the city or even managed to penetrate beyond its furthest suburbs. There is very little information coming out of Mosul, but after three months of combat the entire operation to liberate Mosul seems to be an abject failure, at least for the time being. I sincerely hope that once Trump takes office he will finally agree to work not only with Russia, but also with Iran, to finally get Daesh out of Mosul. But if Trump delivers on his promise to AIPAC and the rest of the Israel Lobby gang to continue to antagonize and threaten Iran, the US can basically forget any hopes of defeating Daesh in Iraq.

    Our of despair and spite, the US propaganda vilified Russia for the killing of civilians in Aleppo while strenuously avoiding any mention of civilian victims in Mosul. But then, the same propaganda machine which made fun of the color of the smoke coming out of the engines of the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (suggesting that she was about to break down) had to eat humble pie when it was the US navy's most expensive and newest destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, which broke down in the Panama canal and had to be immobilzed, while the Kuznetsov continued to do a very good job supporting Russian operations in Syria.

    Over and over again, the AngloZionist propaganda machine has failed to obfuscate the embarrassing facts on the ground and it now clearly appears that the entire US policy for the Middle-East is in total disarray and that the Neocons are as clueless as they are desperate.

    The countdown to January 20 th

    It is pretty obvious that the Neocon reign is coming to an end in a climax of incompetence, hysterical finger-pointing, futile attempts at preventing the inevitable and a desperate scramble to conceal the magnitude of the abject failure which Neocon-inspired policies have resulted in. Obama will go down in history as the worst and most incompetent President in US history. As for Hillary, she will be remembered as both the worst US Secretary of State the US and the most inept Presidential candidate ever.

    In light of the fact that the Neocons always failed at everything they attempted, I am inclined to believe that they will probably also fail at preventing Donald Trump from being sworn in. But until January 20 th , 2017 I will be holding my breath in fear of what else these truly demented people could come up with.

    As for Trump, I still can't figure him out. On one hand he nominates Rex Tillerson in what appears to be a deliberate message of defiance against the Neocons, while on the other hand he continues to try to appease the Israel Lobby gang by choosing a rabid Zionist of the worst kind, David M. Friedman, as the next US ambassador to Israel. Even worse then that, Donald Trump still does not appear to be willing to recognize the undeniable fact that the US will never defeat Daesh as long as the anti-Iranian stance of the Neocons is not replaced by a real willingness to engage Iran and accept it as a partner and ally.

    Right now the Trump rhetoric simply makes no sense: he wants to befriend Russia while antagonizing China and he wants to defeat Daesh while threatening Iran again. This is lunacy. Still, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but somebody sure needs to educate him on the geopolitical realities out there before he also end up making a total disaster of US foreign policy.

    And yet, I still have a small hope.

    My hope is that the latest antics of the Neocons will sufficiently aggravate and even enrage Trump to a point where he will give up on his futile attempts at appeasing them. Only by engaging in a systematic policy of " de-neoconization " of the US political establishment will Trump have any hopes of " making America great again ". If Trump's plan is to appease the Neocons long enough from him to be sworn in and have his men approved by Congress – fine. Then he still has a chance of saving the USA from a catastrophic collapse, but only as long as he remains determined to ruthlessly crack down on the Neocons once in power. If his hope is to distract the Neocons by appeasing them on secondary or minor issues, then his efforts are doomed and he will go down the very same road as Obama who, at least superficially, initially appeared to be a non-Neocon candidate and who ended up being a total Neocon puppet (in 2008 the Neocons had placed their bets on McCain and they only infiltrated the Obama Administration once McCain was defeated

    [Dec 17, 2016] You think Putin personally supervised the Yahoo hacking? This could make many people patriotic in a hurry.

    Notable quotes:
    "... this will probably be in tomorrow's washington post. "how putin sabotaged the election by hacking yahoo mail". and "proton" and "putin" are 2 syllable words beginning with "p", which is dispositive according to experts who don't want to be indentified. ..."
    "... [Neo]Liberals have gone truly insane, I made the mistake of trying to slog through the comments the main "putin did it" piece on huffpo out of curiosity. Big mistake, liberals come across as right wing nutters in the comments, I never knew they were so very patriotic, they never really expressed it before. ..."
    "... Be sure and delete everything from your Yahoo account BEFORE you push the big red button. They intentionally wait 90 days to delete the account in order that ECPA protections expire and content can just be handed over to the fuzz. ..."
    "... It's a good thing for Obama that torturing logic and evasive droning are not criminal acts. ..."
    "... "Relations with Russia have declined over the past several years" I reflexively did a Google search. Yep, Victoria Nuland is still employed. ..."
    "... With all the concern expressed about Russian meddling in our election process why are we forgetting the direct quid pro quo foreign meddling evidenced in the Hillary emails related to the seldom mentioned Clinton Foundation or the more likely meddling by local election officials? Why have the claims of Russian hacking received such widespread coverage in the Press? ..."
    "... I watched it too and agree with your take on it. For all the build up about this press conference and how I thought we were going to engage in direct combat with Russia for these hacks (or so they say it is Russia, I still wonder about that), he did not add any fuel to this fire. ..."
    "... The whole thing was silly – the buildup to this press conference and then how Obama handled the hacking. A waste of time really. I don't sense something is going on behind the scenes but it is weird that the news has been all about this Russian hacking. He did not get into the questions about the Electoral College either and he made it seem like Trump indeed is the next President. I mean it seems like the MSM was making too much about this issue but then nothing happened. ..."
    Dec 17, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    pretzelattack , December 16, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    this will probably be in tomorrow's washington post. "how putin sabotaged the election by hacking yahoo mail". and "proton" and "putin" are 2 syllable words beginning with "p", which is dispositive according to experts who don't want to be indentified.

    HBE , December 16, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    [Neo]Liberals have gone truly insane, I made the mistake of trying to slog through the comments the main "putin did it" piece on huffpo out of curiosity. Big mistake, liberals come across as right wing nutters in the comments, I never knew they were so very patriotic, they never really expressed it before.

    B1whois , December 16, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    The great sucking pit of need that keeps on giving. when will it abate?

    different clue , December 16, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    They are only hurt at the loss of their beloved Clintron, and are seizing on the Puttin Diddit excuse.

    polecat , December 16, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Did they happen to offer you some Guyana Kool-Aid with that order of vitriol ?

    Brad , December 16, 2016 at 10:26 pm

    Unfortunately the whole "grief cycle" will get a reboot after next Monday's "Election II".

    The rest of us are to be pissed off that the CIA and Clinton clique have continued to agiprop this.

    Knot Galt , December 16, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Since the ex-Correct The Record key jockeys are out of a job they have to practice their craft somewhere.

    hunkerdown , December 16, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Be sure and delete everything from your Yahoo account BEFORE you push the big red button. They intentionally wait 90 days to delete the account in order that ECPA protections expire and content can just be handed over to the fuzz.

    auntienene , December 16, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    I don't think I've looked at my yahoo account in 8-10 years and I didn't use their email; just had an address. I don't remember my user name or password. I did get an email from them (to my not-yahoo address) advising of the breach.

    Do I need to do anything at all?

    hunkerdown , December 16, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    auntienene, probably not, but as a general principle it's better to close accounts down properly than to abandon them.

    Tvc15 , December 16, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    I was amazed as I watched a local am news show in Pittsburgh recommend adding your cell phone number in addition to changing your password. Yeah, that's a great idea, maybe my ss# would provide even more security.

    Jeremy Grimm , December 16, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    I use yahoo email. Why should I move? As I understood the breach it was primarily a breach of the personal information used to establish the account. I've already changed my password - did it a couple of days after the breach was reported. I had a security clearance with DoD which requires disclosure of a lot more personal information than yahoo had. The DoD data has been breached twice from two separate servers.

    As far as reading my emails - they may prove useful for phishing but that's about all. I'm not sure what might be needed for phishing beyond a name and email address - easily obtained from many sources I have no control over.

    So - what am I vulnerable to by remaining at yahoo that I'm not already exposed to on a more secure server?

    polecat , December 16, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    You are vulnerable to the knowledge that Marissa Mayer is STILL employed as a high-level corporate twit --

    Lee , December 16, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    It's a good thing for Obama that torturing logic and evasive droning are not criminal acts.

    Ranger Rick , December 16, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    "Relations with Russia have declined over the past several years" I reflexively did a Google search. Yep, Victoria Nuland is still employed.

    Pat , December 16, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Yeah, it isn't like Mr. 'We go high' is going to admit our relationship has declined because we have underhandedly tried to isolate and knee cap them for pretty much his entire administration.

    Jeremy Grimm , December 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Are you referring to Obama's press conference? If so, I am glad he didn't make a big deal out of the Russian hacking allegations - as in it didn't sound like he planned a retaliation for the fictional event and its fictional consequences. He rose slightly in stature in my eyes - he's almost as tall as a short flea.

    With all the concern expressed about Russian meddling in our election process why are we forgetting the direct quid pro quo foreign meddling evidenced in the Hillary emails related to the seldom mentioned Clinton Foundation or the more likely meddling by local election officials? Why have the claims of Russian hacking received such widespread coverage in the Press?

    Why is a lameduck messing with the Chinese in the South China sea? What is the point of all the "fake" news hogwash? Is it related to Obama's expression of concern about the safety of the Internet? I can't shake the feeling that something is going on below the surface of these murky waters.

    Susan C , December 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I watched it too and agree with your take on it. For all the build up about this press conference and how I thought we were going to engage in direct combat with Russia for these hacks (or so they say it is Russia, I still wonder about that), he did not add any fuel to this fire.

    He did respond at one point to a reporter that the hacks from Russia were to the DNC and Podesta but funny how he didn't say HRC emails. Be it as it may, I think what was behind it was HRC really trying to impress all her contributors that Russia really did do her in, see Obama said so, since she must be in hot water over all the money she has collected from foreign governments for pay to play and her donors.

    The whole thing was silly – the buildup to this press conference and then how Obama handled the hacking. A waste of time really. I don't sense something is going on behind the scenes but it is weird that the news has been all about this Russian hacking. He did not get into the questions about the Electoral College either and he made it seem like Trump indeed is the next President. I mean it seems like the MSM was making too much about this issue but then nothing happened.

    Pat , December 16, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Unfortunately the nightly news is focusing on Obama says Russia hacked the DNC and had it in for Clinton!!! He warned them to stay out of the vote! There will be consequences! Russia demands the evidence and then a story about the evidence. (This one might have a few smarter people going "huh, that's it?!?!")

    I do like the some private some public on that consequences and retaliation thing. You either have to laugh or throw up about the faux I've got this and the real self-righteousness. Especially since it is supposedly to remind people we can do it to you. Is there anyone left outside of America who doesn't think they already do do it to anyone Uncle Sam doesn't want in office and even some they do? Mind you I'm not sure how many harried people watching the news are actually going to laugh at that one because they don't know how how much we meddle.

    Knot Galt , December 16, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Obamameter. ty L. Scofield ;-)

    [Dec 15, 2016] The US along with many of its allies had a hand in all of the examples of irredeemable evil Powers named

    Notable quotes:
    "... "The weirdest speech to me was the one by the US representative which built her statement as if she is Mother Theresa herself. Please, remember which country you represent. Please, remember the track record of your country." ..."
    "... "I shouldn't want to remind this Western trio [France, US, UK] , which has called for today's meeting and carried it out in a raised voice, about your role in the creation of ISIS as a result of US and UK intervention in Iraq", Churkin said. ..."
    "... "I don't want to remind these three countries about their role in unwinding the Syrian crisis, which led to such difficult consequences, and let terrorists spread in Syria and Iraq. ..."
    "... Russia's public positions are getting progressively less 'diplomatic' and more direct. The west has been inviting Russia to take a swing with deliberately insulting language for a long time, but Russia is beginning to answer in kind. I smell a lifelong enemies situation, and that's unfortunate because Russia cannot be said to have not tried repeatedly to keep things civil. ..."
    Dec 15, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com
    Moscow Exile , December 14, 2016 at 5:27 am
    What a fucking slag!

    (ad hominem fully intended!)

    In response, Vitaly Churkin advised his colleague from the United States to remember the actions of her own country.

    "The weirdest speech to me was the one by the US representative which built her statement as if she is Mother Theresa herself. Please, remember which country you represent. Please, remember the track record of your country."

    "I shouldn't want to remind this Western trio [France, US, UK] , which has called for today's meeting and carried it out in a raised voice, about your role in the creation of ISIS as a result of US and UK intervention in Iraq", Churkin said.

    "I don't want to remind these three countries about their role in unwinding the Syrian crisis, which led to such difficult consequences, and let terrorists spread in Syria and Iraq.

    Moscow Exile , December 14, 2016 at 5:36 am
    The above translated Churkin quotes are from CNN.

    Churkin's actual words re the Mother Theresa wannabe, namely "Outraged" Powers:

    "Особенно странным мне показалось выступление представителя Соединенных Штатов, которая построила свое выступление, как будто она мать Тереза", - заявил он.

    Especially strange to me appeared the speech by the representative of the United States, who constructed her statement as though she were Mother Theresa", he stated.

    [You see, Denis Denisovich uses the subjunctive mood, unlike those CNN dickheads! :-)]

    marknesop , December 14, 2016 at 6:17 am
    Russia's public positions are getting progressively less 'diplomatic' and more direct. The west has been inviting Russia to take a swing with deliberately insulting language for a long time, but Russia is beginning to answer in kind. I smell a lifelong enemies situation, and that's unfortunate because Russia cannot be said to have not tried repeatedly to keep things civil.
    Lyttenburgh , December 14, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Mother Samantha – the patron saint of the moderate jihadis

    Fern , December 14, 2016 at 10:28 am
    Classic, Lyttenburgh, very droll. I hope Churkin was able to negotiate a pay increase or some sort of bonus for himself for having to sit through and reply to Samantha Power's rants. For a professional diplomat it must be beyond painful to try and work with her and her ilk.
    Moscow Exile , December 14, 2016 at 10:43 am
    I wonder if she prays for the souls of those innocents, about whose estimated half-a-million lives, sacrificed as a result of US sanctions imposed by the USA on Iran, were infamously considered by her fellow countrywoman as a "price well worth it" as regards the furtherance of the the policies of the "Exceptional Nation"?
    Fern , December 14, 2016 at 10:57 am
    Moscow Exile, yes, it's interesting what examples she picks as the epitome of evil that stains consciences – Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica etc. All of them non-western. How about Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Agent Orange (the gift that's still giving today), the saturation bombing of Cambodia, the extraordinary destruction wrecked on North Korea, the genocides of South and Central America carried out by those trained and shielded by the US and so on and so on – is she unaware of the history of her own country?
    Northern Star , December 14, 2016 at 11:32 am
    Halabja, ****Rwanda,*** Srebrenica etc. All of them non-western.

    Ummmm but the USA through the machinations of susan rice ..the corrupt whore/lackey of Bubba had a hand in Rwanda

    and let's not forget the French connection:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-38152791

    Fern , December 14, 2016 at 3:00 pm
    Indeed, Northern Star, the US along with many of its allies had a hand in all of the examples of 'irredeemable evil' Powers named. My point was that she chose examples where the immediate perpetrators were not western actors.
    Jen , December 14, 2016 at 1:18 pm
    Not to mention of course that 7-year-old boy her motorcade knocked over and killed while she was racing to a photo-shoot in Cameroon. The child's family did get compensation but you wonder how much guilt Samantha Power feels over an incident that would never have occurred had she not been so eager to meet and be photographed with former Boko Haram victims just so she could have bragging rights among the Washington social set.

    [Dec 12, 2016] Something about jungoism of some US politicians

    The poster is trying to imply that John Bolton = Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State. But I doubt that this is true. Still the level of jingoism in those quotes is really breathtaking...
    Dec 12, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Everything is fake, b, everything is fake. One ring to bind them and in the darkness find them, and the One Party of Mil.Gov to rule them all with a $35B/yr domestic propaganda budget.Say hello to USArya's defacto 'day-to-day operations' SecState:

    ===

    John Bolton
    "Overthrowing Saddam Hussein was the right move for the US and its allies"

    Hillary Clinton
    "No, I don't regret giving the president authority [to invade Iraq] because at the time it was in the context of weapons of mass destruction, grave threats to the United States, and clearly, Saddam Hussein had been a real problem for the international community for more than a decade."

    ===

    John Bolton
    "Our military has a wonderful euphemism called 'national command authority.' It's a legitimate military target. In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi is the national command authority. I think that's the answer right there. ... I think he's a legitimate target... and that would end the regime right there."

    Hillary Clinton
    "We came, we saw, he died!"

    ===

    John Bolton
    "If, in this context, defeating the Islamic State means restoring to power Mr. Assad in Syria... that outcome is neither feasible nor desirable."

    Hillary Clinton
    "The world will not waver, Assad must go"

    ===

    John Bolton
    "To stop Iran's bomb, bomb Iran"
    "The only longterm solution is regime change in [Iran]."

    Hillary Clinton
    "I want the Iranians to know that if I'm president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

    ===

    John Bolton
    "Vladimir Putin's Russia is on the prowl in Eastern Europe and the Middle East in ways unprecedented since the Cold War"

    Hillary Clinton
    "[Russia is] interested in keeping Assad in power. So I, when I was secretary of state, advocated and I advocate today a no-fly zone and safe zones. ... I want to emphasize that what is at stake here is the ambitions and the aggressiveness of Russia. Russia has decided that it's all in, in Syria. ... I've stood up to Russia. I've taken on Putin and others, and I would do that as president."

    ===

    John Bolton
    "The gravest threat to U.S. interests ... is the Russia-Iran-Syria axis"

    Hillary Clinton

    "ISIS was primarily the result of the [power] vacuum in Syria caused by Assad first and foremost, aided and abetted by Iran and Russia."

    [Dec 10, 2016] Shiny object distruction from the real issues

    Short-termism is a real problem for the US politicians. It is only now the "teeth of dragon" sowed during domination of neoliberalism since 80th start to show up in unexpected places. And reaction is pretty predictable. As one commenter said: "Looks like the CIA's latest candidate for regime change is the USA."
    Notable quotes:
    "... Divide and Control is being brilliantly employed once again against 'us'. The same tactics used against foreign countries are being used here at home on 'us'. ..."
    "... Divide and Conquer, yes indeed, watch McCain and Graham push this Russian hacking angle hard. ..."
    "... i regard this 'secret' CIA report, following on from the 'fake news' meme, to be another of what will become a never-ending series of attempts to deligitemize Trump, so that later on this year the coming economic collapse (and shootings, street violence, markets etc) can be more successfully blamed not only on Trump and his policies, but by extension, on the Russians. (a two-fer for the globalist statists) ..."
    "... Nevermind that many states voting machines are on private networks and are not even connected to the internet. ..."
    "... The Russians 'might' have influenced the election..... The American Government DID subvert and remove a democratically elected leader (Ukraine).Anyone see the difference there? ..."
    "... Voted for Trump, but the Oligarcy picked him too. Check the connection between Ross and Trump and Wilburs former employer. TPTB laughs at all of us ..."
    "... The sad facts are the CIA itself and it's massive propaganda arm has its gummy fingers all over this election and elections all over the planet. ..."
    "... The Russians, my ass. ................. The CIA are famous for doing nefarious crap and blaming their handy work on someone else. Crap that usually causes thousands of deaths. ... Even in the KGB days the CIA was the king of causing chaos. ..... the KGB would kill a dissident or spy or two and the CIA in the same time frame would start a couple of wars killing thousands or millions. ..."
    "... What makes people think the Post is believable? The truth has been hijacked by their self annihilating ideology. Honestly one would have to be dumb as a fence 'Post' (pun intended) to believe ANYTHING coming from this rag and the rest of these 'Fake News' MSM propaganda machines, good lord! ..."
    "... As for the CIA, it was reported at the time to be largely purged under the Dubya administration, of consitutionalists and other dissidents to the 9-11 -->> total-war program. Stacked to the brim with with neocon cadres. ..."
    "... Out of the 3,153 counties in this country, Hillary Clinton won only 480. A dismal and pathetic 15% of this country. The worst showing EVER for a presidential candidate. ..."
    "... The much vaunted 2 million vote lead in the popular vote can be attributed to exactly 4 boroughs in NYC; Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, & Brooklyn ..."
    "... 96 MILLION Americans were either too disgusted, too lazy, or too apathetic to even bother to go out and cast a vote for ANYONE in this election. ..."
    "... Looks like the CIA's latest candidate for regime change is the USA. ..."
    "... Clapper sat in front of congress and perjured himself. When confronted with his perjury he defended himself saying he told them the "least untruthful thing" he could - admitting he had not problem whatsoever about lying to Congress. ..."
    "... There certainly is foreign meddling in US government policy but it is not coming from Russia. The countries that have much greater influence than Russia on 'our' government are the Sunni-dominated Persian Gulf oil states including the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and, of course, that bastion of human rights, Saudi Arabia. ..."
    "... Oil money from these states has found its way into influentual think tanks including the Brookings Institution, the Atlantic Council, the Middle East Institute and the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies and others. ..."
    "... And also, there are arms sales. Arm sales to Saudi/Gulf States come with training. With training comes military ties, foreign policy ties and even intelligence ties. Saudi Arabia, with other Gulf oil states as partners, practically owns the CIA now. ..."
    "... Reverse Blockade: emphatically insisting upon something which is the opposite of the truth blocks the average person's mind from perceiving the truth. In accordance with the dictates of healthy common sense, he starts searching for meaning in the "golden mean" between truth and its opposite, winding up with some satisfactory counterfeit. People who think like this do not realize that this effect is precisely the intent of the person who subjects them to this method. ..."
    "... I recall lots of "consensus views" that were outright lies, bullshit and/or stupidity: "The Sun circles the Earth. The Earth is flat. Global cooling / next ice age (1970s). Global warming (no polar ice) 1990s-00's. Weapons of mass destruction." You can keep your doctor. ..."
    "... The CIA, Pentagon and "intelligence" agencies need both a cleaning and culling ..."
    "... Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying. ..."
    "... This whopper of a story from the CIA makes the one fabricated about WMD's in Iraq that fooled Bush Jr. and convinced him to almost take this country down by violating the sage advice on war strategy from Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz and opening up a second front in Iraq almost child's play. ..."
    "... At least with the WMD story they had false witnesses and some made up evidence! With this story, there is no "HUMINT (human intelligence) sources" and no physical evidence, just some alleged traces that could have been actually produced from the ether or if they knew ahead of time of Trump's possible win sent someone to Russia and had them actually run the IP routes for show. ..."
    "... Bush was misled because the CIA management was scared of some of his budgetary saber rattles and his chasing after some CIA management. In this case, someone is really scared of what the people will find when the swam gets drained, if ever it gets done. This includes so-called "false flag conservatives" like Lindsey Graham and top Democrats "Cambridge 5 Admirers" salted in over the years into the CIA ..."
    "... Trump has already signaled he is going hand them nearly unlimited power by appointing Pompeo in the first place. I would think they would be very happy to welcome the incoming administration with open arms. ..."
    "... I could see it if they were really that pissed about Trumps proposed Russian re-set and maybe they are but even that has to be in doubt because of the rate at which Trump is militarizing his cabinet. ..."
    "... In all reality Trump is a MIC, intelligence cabal dream come true, so why would they even consider biting the hand that feeds so well? Perhaps their is more going on here under the surface, maybe all the various agencies and bureaucracies are not playing nice, or together for that matter. ..."
    "... after all the CIA and the Pentagon's proxy armies are already killing each other in Syria so one has to wonder in what other arenas are they clashing? ..."
    "... The neocons are desperate. Their war monger Hitlery lost by a landslide now they fabricate all sorts of irrational BS. ..."
    "... 'CIA Team B' ..."
    "... 'Committee on the Present Danger' ..."
    "... 'Office of Special Plans' ..."
    "... Trump is a curious fellow. I've thought about this quite a bit and tried to put myself in his shoes. He has no friends in .gov, no real close "mates" he can depend on, especially in his own party, so he had to start from scratch to put his cabinet together. ..."
    "... It could very well be that this was Trump & the establishment plan to con the American public from the start of course. I kind of doubt it, since the efforts of the establishment to destroy Trump was genuinely full retard from the outset and still continues. ..."
    "... He would have done better to ignore the political divide to choose those who have spent their lives challenging the Deep State. My ignorance of US politics does not supply me with a complete picture, but Ron Paul, David Kucinich, Trey Gowdy, Tulsi Gabard and even turncoat Bernie Sanders would have been better to drain the swamp than the neocon zionists he has installed in power. ..."
    www.zerohedge.com

    MEFOBILLS -> Keyser , Dec 10, 2016 1:01 PM

    It is worse than "shiny object." Human brains have a latency issue - the first time they hear something, it sticks. To unstick something, takes a lot of counter evidence.

    So, a Goebbels-like big lie, or shiny object can be told, and then it can take on a life of its own. False flags operate under this premise. There is an action (false flag), and then false narrative is issued into press mouthpieces immediately. This then plants a shiny object in sheeple brains. It then takes too much mental effort for average sheeple to undo this narrative, so "crowds" can be herded.

    Six million dead is a good example of this technique.

    Fortunately, with the internet, "supposed fake news sites like ZH" are spreading truth so fast - that shiny stories issued by our Oligarch overlords are being shot down quickly.

    Bezo's, who owns Washington Post, is taking rents by avoiding sales taxes; not that I'm a fan of sales taxes. But, ultimately, Bezos is taking rental thefts, and he is afraid of Trump - who may change the law, hence collapse the profit scheme of Amazon.

    Cognitive Dissonance -> Oldwood •Dec 10, 2016 10:49 AM

    Oldwood. I have a great deal of respect for you and your intelligent opinions.

    My only concern is our constant and directed attention towards the 'liberals' and 'progressives'. When we do so we are thinking it is 'them' that are the problem.

    In fact it is the force behind 'them' that is the problem. If we oppose 'them', we are wasting our energy upon ghosts and boogeymen.

    Divide and Control is being brilliantly employed once again against 'us'. The same tactics used against foreign countries are being used here at home on 'us'.

    chunga -> Cognitive Dissonance •Dec 10, 2016 11:33 AM

    I've been reading what the blue-teamers are saying over on the "Democratic Underground" site and for a while they've been expressing it's their "duty" to disrupt this thing. They are now calling Trump a "Puppet Regime".

    Divide and Conquer, yes indeed, watch McCain and Graham push this Russian hacking angle hard. Also watch for moar of the Suprun elector frauds pop out of the woodwork. The Russian people must be absolutely galvanized by what's happening, USSA...torn into many opposing directions.

    dark pools of soros -> chunga •Dec 10, 2016 1:38 PM
    First tell them to change their name to the Progressive Party of Globalists. Then remind them that many democrats left them and voted for Trump.. Remind them again and again that if they really want to see blue states again, they have to actually act like democrats again

    I assure you that you'll be banned within an hour from any of their sites

    American Gorbachev -> Oldwood •Dec 10, 2016 10:12 AM

    not an argument to the contrary, but one of elongating the timing

    i regard this 'secret' CIA report, following on from the 'fake news' meme, to be another of what will become a never-ending series of attempts to deligitemize Trump, so that later on this year the coming economic collapse (and shootings, street violence, markets etc) can be more successfully blamed not only on Trump and his policies, but by extension, on the Russians. (a two-fer for the globalist statists)

    with a political timetable operative as well, whereby some (pardon the pun :) trumped up excuse for impeachment investigations/proceedings can consume the daily news during the run-up to the mid-term elections (with the intent of flipping the Senate and possibly House)

    these are very powerful, patient, and deliberate bastards (globalist statists) who may very well have engineered Trump's election for the very purpose of marginalizing, near the point of eliminating, the rural, christian, middle-class, nationalist voices from subsequent public debate

    Oldwood -> American Gorbachev •Dec 10, 2016 10:21 AM

    The problem is that once Trump becomes president, he will have much more power to direct the message as well as the many factions of government agencies that would otherwise be used to substantiate so called Trump failures. This is a calculated risk scenario for them, but to deny Trump the presidency by far produces more positives for them than any other.

    They will have control of the message and will likely shut down much of alternate media news. It is imperative that Trump be stopped BEFORE taking the presidency.

    sleigher -> overbet •Dec 10, 2016 10:00 AM

    "I read one morons comment that the IP address was traced back to a Russian IP. Are people really that dumb? I can post this comment from dozens of country IPs right now."

    Nevermind that many states voting machines are on private networks and are not even connected to the internet. IP addresses from Russia mean nothing.

    kellys_eye -> Nemontel •Dec 10, 2016 9:40 AM

    The Russians 'might' have influenced the election..... The American Government DID subvert and remove a democratically elected leader (Ukraine).Anyone see the difference there?

    Paul Kersey -> Nemontel •Dec 10, 2016 9:40 AM

    "Most of our politicians are chosen by the Oligarchy."

    And most of our politicians choose the Oligarchy. Trump's choices:

    Wilbur Ross, Rothschild, Inc

    The working man's choices.....very limited.

    Paul Kersey -> Paul Kersey •Dec 10, 2016 10:27 AM

    "Barack Obama received more money from Goldman Sachs employees than any other corporation. Tim Geithner, Obama's first treasury secretary, was the protege of one-time Goldman CEO Robert Rubin. "

    "The more things change, the more they stay the same."

    Nameshavebeench... -> Nemontel •Dec 10, 2016 11:53 AM

    If Trump gets hit, the 'official story' of who did it will be a lie.

    There needs to be a lot of online discussion about this ahead of time in preparation. If/when the incident happens, there needs to be a successful counter-offensive that puts an end to the Deep State. (take from that what you will)

    We've seen the MO many times now;

    The patterns are well established & if Trump gets hit it should be no surprise, now the 'jackals' need to be exterminated.

    Also, keep in mind that everything we're hearing in all media just might be psyops/counter-intel/planted 'news' etc.

    sgt_doom -> Nemontel •Dec 10, 2016 1:25 PM

    Although I have little hope for this happening, ideally Trump should initiate full forensic audits of the CIA, NSA, DIA and FBI. The last time a sitting president undertook an actual audit of the CIA, he had his brains blown out (President John F. Kennedy) and the Fake News (CBS, NBC, ABC, etc.) reported that a fellow who couldn't even qualify as marksman, the lowest category (he was pencilled in) was the sniper.

    Then, on the 50th anniversary of that horrible coup d'etat, another Fake News show (NPR) claimed that a woman in the military who worked at the rifle range at Atsuga saw Oswald practicing weekly - - absurd on the fact of it, since women weren't allowed at military rifle ranges until the late 1970s or 1980s (and I doublechecked and there was never a woman assigned there in the late 1950s).

    Just be sure he has trustworthy bodyguards, unlike the last batch of phony Secret Service agents (and never employ anyone named Elmer Moore).

    2rigged2fail -> Nemontel •Dec 10, 2016 4:04 PM

    Voted for Trump, but the Oligarcy picked him too. Check the connection between Ross and Trump and Wilburs former employer. TPTB laughs at all of us

    Arnold -> Arnold •Dec 10, 2016 9:15 AM

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

    jmack -> boattrash •Dec 10, 2016 11:08 AM

    All these Russian interference claims require one to believe that the MSM and democrat machine got out played and out cheated by a bunch of ruskies. This is the level of desperation the democrats have fallen too. To pretend to be so incompetent that the Russians outplayed and overpowered their machine. But I guess they have to fall on that narrative vs the fact that a "crazy" real estate billionaire with a twitter account whipped their asses.

    Democrats, you are morally and credulously bankrupt. all your schemes, agenda's and machinations cannot put humpty dumpty back together again. So now it is another period of scorched earth. The Federal Bureaucracy will fight Trump tooth and nail, joined by the democrats in the judiciary, and probably not a few rino's too.

    It is going to get ugly, like a machete fight. W. got a taste of it with his Plame affair, the brouhaha over the AGA firings, the regime of Porter Goss as DCI https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_Goss

    DuneCreature -> cherry picker •Dec 10, 2016 10:30 AM

    The sad facts are the CIA itself and it's massive propaganda arm has its gummy fingers all over this election and elections all over the planet.

    The Russians, my ass. ................. The CIA are famous for doing nefarious crap and blaming their handy work on someone else. Crap that usually causes thousands of deaths. ... Even in the KGB days the CIA was the king of causing chaos. ..... the KGB would kill a dissident or spy or two and the CIA in the same time frame would start a couple of wars killing thousands or millions.

    You said a mouth full, cherry picker. ..... Until the US Intel community goes 'bye bye' the world will HATE the US. ... People aren't stupid. They know who is behind the evil shit.

    ... ... ..

    G-R-U-N-T •Dec 10, 2016 9:39 AM

    What makes people think the Post is believable? The truth has been hijacked by their self annihilating ideology. Honestly one would have to be dumb as a fence 'Post' (pun intended) to believe ANYTHING coming from this rag and the rest of these 'Fake News' MSM propaganda machines, good lord!

    Colborne •Dec 10, 2016 9:37 AM

    As for the CIA, it was reported at the time to be largely purged under the Dubya administration, of consitutionalists and other dissidents to the 9-11 -->> total-war program. Stacked to the brim with with neocon cadres. So, that's the lay of the terrain there now, that's who's running the place. And they aren't going without a fight apparently.

    Interesting times , more and more so.

    66Mustanggirl •Dec 10, 2016 9:40 AM

    For those of us who still have a grip on reality, here are the facts of this election:

    But given this is a story from WaPo, I think will just give a few days until it is thoroughly discredited.

    max2205 -> 66Mustanggirl •Dec 10, 2016 11:04 AM

    And she won CA by 4 million. She hates she only gets a limited amount of electoral votes.. tough shit rules are rules bitch. Suck it

    HalEPeno •Dec 10, 2016 9:43 AM

    Looks like the CIA's latest candidate for regime change is the USA.

    Clara Tardis •Dec 10, 2016 9:45 AM

    This is a vid from the 1950's, "How to spot a Communist" all you have to do is swap out commie for: liberal, neocon, SJW and democrat and figure out they've about won....

    https://youtu.be/w86QhV7whjs

    dogismycopilot •Dec 10, 2016 9:51 AM

    This is the same CIA that let Pakistan build up the Taliban in Afganistan during the 1990s and gave Pakistan ISI (Pakistan spy agency) hundreds of millions of USD which the ISI channeled to the Taliban and Arab freedom fighters including a very charming chap named Usama Bin Laden.

    The CIA is as worthless as HRC.

    Fuck them and their failed intelligence. I hope Trump guts the CIA like a fish. They need a reboot.

    Yes We Can. But... -> venturen •Dec 10, 2016 10:08 AM

    Why might the Russians want Trump? If there is anything to the stuff I've been reading about the Clintons, they are like cornered animals. Putin just may think the world is a safer, more stable place w/o the Clintons in power.

    TRM -> atthelake •Dec 10, 2016 10:44 AM

    If it is "on" then those doing the "collections" should be aware that a lot of people they will be "collecting" have read Solzhenitsyn.

    "And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?"

    Those doing the "collections" will have to choose and choose wisely the side they are on. How much easier would it be for them to report back "Sorry, couldn't find them" than to face the wrath of a well armed population?

    Abaco •Dec 10, 2016 9:53 AM

    The clowns running the intelligence agencies for the US have ZERO credibility. Clapper sat in front of congress and perjured himself. When confronted with his perjury he defended himself saying he told them the "least untruthful thing" he could - admitting he had not problem whatsoever about lying to Congress. He was not fired or reprimanded in any way. He retired with a generous pension. He is a treasonous basrtard who should be swinging from a lamppost. These people serve their political masters - not the people - and deserve nothing but mockery and and a noose.

    mendigo •Dec 10, 2016 9:56 AM

    As reported on infowars:
    On Dec 9 0bomber issued executive order providing exemption to Arms Export Control Act to permit supplying weapons (ie sams etc) to rebel groups in Syria as a matter "essential to national security "interests"".

    Be careful in viewing this report as is posted from RT - perhaps best to wait for corraboaration on front page of rededicated nyt to be sure and avoid fratrenizing with Vlad.

    Separately Gabard has introduced bill : Stop Arming Terrorists Act.

    David Wooten •Dec 10, 2016 9:56 AM

    There certainly is foreign meddling in US government policy but it is not coming from Russia. The countries that have much greater influence than Russia on 'our' government are the Sunni-dominated Persian Gulf oil states including the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and, of course, that bastion of human rights, Saudi Arabia.

    Oil money from these states has found its way into influentual think tanks including the Brookings Institution, the Atlantic Council, the Middle East Institute and the Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies and others. All of these institutions should be registered as foriegn agents and any cleared US citizen should have his or her clearance revoked if they do any work for these organizations, either as a contractor or employee. And these Gulf states have all been donating oil money to UK and US universities so lets include the foreign studies branches of universities in the registry of foreign agents, too.

    And also, there are arms sales. Arm sales to Saudi/Gulf States come with training. With training comes military ties, foreign policy ties and even intelligence ties. Saudi Arabia, with other Gulf oil states as partners, practically owns the CIA now. Arms companies who sell deadly weapons to the Gulf States, in turn, donate money to Congressmen and now own politicians such as Senators Graham and McCain. It's no wonder Graham wants to help his pals - er owners. So what we have here ('our' government) is institutionalized influence, if not outright control, of US foreign policy by some of the most vicious states on the planet,
    especially Saudi Arabia - whose religious police have been known to beat school girls fleeing from burning buildings because they didn't have their headscarves on.

    As Hillary's 2014 emails have revealed, Qatar and Saudi Arabia support ISIS and were doing so about the same time as ISIS was sweeping through Syria and Iraq, cutting off the heads of Christians, non-Sunnis and just about anyone else they thought was in the way. The Saudi/Gulf States are the driving force to get rid of Assad and that is dangerous as nuclear-armed Russia protects him. If something isn't done about this, the Gulf oil states may get US into a nuclear war with Russia - and won't care in the least.

    Richard Whitney •Dec 10, 2016 10:10 AM

    So...somehow, Putin was able to affect the election one way, and the endorsements for HRC and the slander of Trump by and from Washington Post, New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, practically every big-city newspaper, practically every newspaper in Europe, every EU mandarin, B Streisand, Keith Olberman, Comedy Central, MSNBC, CNN, Lady Gaga, Lena Dunham and a wad of other media outlets and PR-driven-celebs couldn't affect that election the other way.

    Sounds unlikely on the face of it, but hats off to Vlad. U.S. print and broadcast media, Hollywood, Europe...you lost.

    seataka •Dec 10, 2016 10:11 AM

    The Reverse Blockade

    "Reverse Blockade: emphatically insisting upon something which is the opposite of the truth blocks the average person's mind from perceiving the truth. In accordance with the dictates of healthy common sense, he starts searching for meaning in the "golden mean" between truth and its opposite, winding up with some satisfactory counterfeit. People who think like this do not realize that this effect is precisely the intent of the person who subjects them to this method. " page 104, Political Ponerology by Andrew M. Lobaczewski more

    just the tip -> northern vigor •Dec 10, 2016 11:51 AM

    that car ride for the WH to the capital is going to be fun.

    Arnold -> just the tip •Dec 10, 2016 12:12 PM

    Your comment ticked one of my remaining Brain Cells.

    The final scene of "The Gauntlet".

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076070/

    Pigeon •Dec 10, 2016 10:29 AM

    I recall lots of "consensus views" that were outright lies, bullshit and/or stupidity: "The Sun circles the Earth. The Earth is flat. Global cooling / next ice age (1970s). Global warming (no polar ice) 1990s-00's. Weapons of mass destruction." You can keep your doctor.

    The CIA, Pentagon and "intelligence" agencies need both a cleaning and culling. 50% of the Federal govt needs to go.....now.

    What is BEYOND my comprehension is how anyone would think that in Putin's mind, Trump would be preferable to Hillary. She and her cronies are so corrupt, he would either be able to blackmail or destroy her (through espionage and REAL leaks) any time he wanted to during her presidency.

    Do TPTB think we are this fucking stupid?

    madashellron •Dec 10, 2016 10:31 AM

    Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46006.htm

    jfb •Dec 10, 2016 10:31 AM

    I love this. Trump is not eager to "drain the swamp" and to collide with the establishment, anyway he has no viable economic plan and promised way too much. However if they want to lead a coup for Hilary with the full backing of most republican and democrat politicians just to get their war against Russia, something tells me that the swamp will be drained for real when the country falls apart in chaos.

    northern vigor •Dec 10, 2016 10:36 AM

    Fuckin' Obama interfered in the Canadian election last year by sending advisers up north to corrupt our laws. He has a lot of nerve pointing fingers at the Russians.

    I notice liberals love to point fingers at others, when they are the guilty ones. It must be in the Alinsky handbook.

    Pigeon -> northern vigor •Dec 10, 2016 10:38 AM

    Called "projection". Everything they accuse others of doing badly, illegally, immorally, etc. - means that is EXACTLY what they are up to.

    just the tip -> northern vigor •Dec 10, 2016 11:35 AM

    It is in the Alinsky handbook.

    Arnold -> just the tip •Dec 10, 2016 4:41 PM

    http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2012/04/13/12_ways_to_use_sau...

    jerry_theking_lawler •Dec 10, 2016 10:45 AM

    CIA = Deep State.

    Trump should not only 'defund' them but should end all other 'programs' that are providing funds to them. Drug trade, bribery, embezzelment, etc. End the CIA terror organization.

    Skiprrrdog •Dec 10, 2016 10:49 AM

    Putin for Secretary of State... :-)

    brianshell •Dec 10, 2016 10:50 AM

    Section 8, The congress shall have the power to...declare war...raise armies...navies...militia.
    The National Security Act charged the CIA with coordinating the nation's intelligence activities and correlating, evaluating and disseminating intelligence affecting national security.

    Rogue members of the executive branch have overstepped their authority by ordering the CIA to make war without congressional approval or oversight.

    A good deal of the problems created by the United States, including repercussions such as terrorism have been initiated by the CIA

    Under "make America great", include demanding congress assume their responsibility regarding war.

    Rein in the executive and the CIA

    DarthVaderMentor •Dec 10, 2016 10:59 AM

    This whopper of a story from the CIA makes the one fabricated about WMD's in Iraq that fooled Bush Jr. and convinced him to almost take this country down by violating the sage advice on war strategy from Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz and opening up a second front in Iraq almost child's play.

    At least with the WMD story they had false witnesses and some made up evidence! With this story, there is no "HUMINT (human intelligence) sources" and no physical evidence, just some alleged traces that could have been actually produced from the ether or if they knew ahead of time of Trump's possible win sent someone to Russia and had them actually run the IP routes for show.

    Bush was misled because the CIA management was scared of some of his budgetary saber rattles and his chasing after some CIA management. In this case, someone is really scared of what the people will find when the swam gets drained, if ever it gets done. This includes so-called "false flag conservatives" like Lindsey Graham and top Democrats "Cambridge 5 Admirers" salted in over the years into the CIA

    The fact that's forgotten about this is that if the story was even slightly true, it shows how incompetent the Democrats are in running a country, how Barak Obama was an intentional incompetent trying to drive the country into the ground and hurting its people, how even with top technologies, coerced corrupted vendors and trillions in funding the NSA, CIA and FBI they were outflanked by the FSB and others and why Hillary's server was more incompetent and dangerous a decision than we think.

    Maybe Hillary and Bill had their server not to hide information from the people, but maybe to actually promote the Russian hacking?

    Why should Trump believe the CIA? What kind of record and leadership do they have that anyone other than a fool should listen to them?

    small axe •Dec 10, 2016 10:55 AM

    At some point Americans will need to wake up to the fact that the CIA has and does interfere in domestic affairs, just as it has long sought to counter "subversion" overseas. The agency is very likely completely outside the control of any administration at this point and is probably best seen as the enforcement arm of the Deep State.

    As the US loses its empire and gains Third World status, it is (sadly) fitting that the CIA war to maintain docile populations becomes more apparent domestically.

    Welcome to Zimbabwe USA.

    marcusfenix •Dec 10, 2016 11:10 AM

    what I don't understand is why the CIA is even getting tangled up in this three ring circus freak show.

    Trump has already signaled he is going hand them nearly unlimited power by appointing Pompeo in the first place. I would think they would be very happy to welcome the incoming administration with open arms.

    I could see it if they were really that pissed about Trumps proposed Russian re-set and maybe they are but even that has to be in doubt because of the rate at which Trump is militarizing his cabinet. All these stars are not exactly going to support their president going belly up to the bar with Putin. and since Trump has no military or civilian leadership experience (which is why I believe he has loaded up on so much brass in the first place, to compensate) I have no doubt they will have tremendous influence on policy.

    In all reality Trump is a MIC, intelligence cabal dream come true, so why would they even consider biting the hand that feeds so well? Perhaps their is more going on here under the surface, maybe all the various agencies and bureaucracies are not playing nice, or together for that matter. perhaps some have grown so large and so powerful that they have their own agendas? it's not as if our federal government has ever really been one big happy family there have been many times when the right hand did not know what the left hand was doing. and congress is week so oversight of this monolithic military and intelligence entities may not be as extensive as we would like to think.

    after all the CIA and the Pentagon's proxy armies are already killing each other in Syria so one has to wonder in what other arenas are they clashing?

    and is this really all just a small glimpse of some secret war within, which every once in a while bubbles up to the surface?

    CheapBastard •Dec 10, 2016 11:34 AM

    The neocons are desperate. Their war monger Hitlery lost by a landslide now they fabricate all sorts of irrational BS.

    However, there is no doubt the Russians stole my TV remote last week.

    Kagemusho Dec 10, 2016 11:38 AM

    The Intel agencies have been politicized since the late 1970's; look up 'CIA Team B' and the 'Committee on the Present Danger' and their BS 'minority report' used by the original NeoCons to sway public opinion in favor of Ronald Reagan and the arms buildup of the 1980's, which led to the first sky-high deficits. It also led to a confrontational stance against the Soviet Union which almost led to nuclear war in 1983: The 1983 War Scare Declassified and For Real http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb533-The-Able-Archer-War-Scare-Decl...

    The honest spook analysts were forced out, then as now, in favor of NeoCons with political agendas that were dangerously myopic to say the least. The 'Office of Special Plans' in the Pentagon cherry-picked or outright fabricated intel in order to justify the NeoCon/Israeli wet-dream of total control of oil and the 'Securing the (Israeli) Realm' courtesy of invading parts of the Middle East and destabilizing the rest, with the present mess as the wholly predictable outcome. The honest analysts told them it would happen, and now they're gone.

    This kind of organizational warping caused by agency politicization is producing the piss-poor intel leading to asinine decisions creating untold tragedy; that the WaPo is depending upon this intel from historically-proven tainted sources is just one more example of the incestuous nature of the relations between Traditional Media and its handlers in the intel community.

    YHC-FTSE •Dec 10, 2016 11:54 AM

    This isn't a "Soft Coup". It's the groundwork necessary for a rock hard, go-for-broke, above the barricade, tanks in the street coup d'etat. You do not get such a blatant accusation from the CIA and establishment echo vendor, unless they are ready to back it up to the hilt with action. The accusations are serious - treason and election fraud.

    Trump is a curious fellow. I've thought about this quite a bit and tried to put myself in his shoes. He has no friends in .gov, no real close "mates" he can depend on, especially in his own party, so he had to start from scratch to put his cabinet together. His natural "Mistake" is seeking people at his level of business acumen - his version of real, ordinary people - when billionaires/multimillionaires are actually Type A personalities, usually predatory and addicted to money. In his world, and in America in general, money equates to good social standing more than any other facet of personal achievements. It is natural for an American to equate "Good" with money. I'm a Brit and foreigners like me (I have American cousins I've visited since I was a kid) who visit the States are often surprised by the shallow materialism that equates to culture.

    So we have a bunch of dubious Alpha types addicted to money in transition to take charge of government who know little or nothing about the principle of public service. Put them in a room together and without projects they can focus on, they are going to turn on each other for supremacy. I would not be surprised if Trump's own cabinet destroys him or uses leverage from their own power bases to manipulate him.

    Mike Pompeo, for example, is the most fucked up pick as CIA director I could have envisaged. He is establishment to his core, a neocon torture advocate who will defend the worst excesses of the intelligence arm of the MIC no matter what. One word from his mouth could have stopped this bullshit about Russia helping Trump win the election. Nobody in the CIA was going to argue with the new boss. Yet here we are, on the cusp of another attack on mulitple fronts. This is how you manipulate an incumbent president to dial up his paranoia to the max and failing that, launch a coup d'etat.

    It could very well be that this was Trump & the establishment plan to con the American public from the start of course. I kind of doubt it, since the efforts of the establishment to destroy Trump was genuinely full retard from the outset and still continues. I think he was his own man until paranoia and the enormity of his position got the better of him and he chose his cabinet from the establishment swamp dwellers to best protect him from his enemies. Wrong choices, granted, but understandable.

    He would have done better to ignore the political divide to choose those who have spent their lives challenging the Deep State. My ignorance of US politics does not supply me with a complete picture, but Ron Paul, David Kucinich, Trey Gowdy, Tulsi Gabard and even turncoat Bernie Sanders would have been better to drain the swamp than the neocon zionists he has installed in power.

    flaminratzazz ->YHC-FTSE •Dec 10, 2016 12:03 PM
    I think he was his own man until paranoia and the enormity of his position got the better of him,,
    +1 I think he was just dickin around with throwin his hat in the ring, was going to go have fun calling everyone names with outlandish attacks and lo and behold he won.. NOW he is shitting himself on the enormity of his GREATEST fvkup in his life.
    jomama ->YHC-FTSE •Dec 10, 2016 12:16 PM
    Unless you can show how Trump's close ties to Wall St. (owes banks there around 350M currently
    YHC-FTSE ->jomama •Dec 10, 2016 12:59 PM
    My post is conjecture, obviously. The basis of my musings, as stated above, is the fact that the establishment has tried to destroy Trump from the outset using all of their assets in his own party, the msm, Hollyweird, intelligence and politics. A full retard attack is being perpetrated against him as I type.

    There is some merit to dividing the establishment, the Deep State, into two opposing sides. One that lost power, priestige and funds backing Hillary and one that did not, which would make Trump an alternative establishment candidate. But there is no proof that any establishment (MIC+Banking) entity even likes Trump, let alone supports him. As for Israel, Hillary was their candidate of choice, but their MO is they will always infiltrate and back both sides to ensure compliance.

    blindfaith ->YHC-FTSE •Dec 10, 2016 12:36 PM
    Do not underestimate Trump. I will grant that some of these picks are concerning. However, think in terms of business, AND government is a business from top to bottom. It has been run as a dog and pony show for years and look where we are. To me, I think his picks are strating to look like a very efficient team to get the government efficient again. That alone must make D.C. shake in thier boots.
    YHC-FTSE ->blindfaith •Dec 10, 2016 1:08 PM
    Underestimating Trump is the last thing I would do. I'm just trying to understand his motives in my own clumsy way. Besides, he promised to "Drain the swamp", not run the swamp more efficiently.
    ducksinarow •Dec 10, 2016 12:04 PM
    From a non political angle, this is a divorce in the making. Then democrats have been rejected in totallity but instead of blaming themselves for not being good enough, they are blaming a third party which is the Russians. They are now engaging the Republican Party in a custody battle for the "children". There are lies flying around and the older children know exactly what is going on and sadly the younger children are confused, bewildered, angry and getting angrier by the minute. Soon Papa(Obama) will be leaving which is symbolic of the male father figure in the African American community. The new Papa is a white guy who is going to change the narrative, the rules of engagement and the financial picture. The ones who were the heroes in the Obama narrative are not going to be heroes anymore. New heroes will be formed and revered and during this process some will die for their beliefs.

    Back to reality, Trump needs to cleanse the CIA of the ones who would sell our nation to the highest bidder. If the CIA is not on the side of America the CIA should be abolished. In a world where mercenaries are employed all over the world, bringing together a culturally mixed agency does not make for a very honest agency. It makes for a bunch of self involved countries trying to influence the power of individuals. The reason Castro was never taken down is because it was not in the interest of the CIA to do so. That is why there were some pretty hilarious non-attempts on Castro's life over the years. It is not in the best interest of the CIA that Trump be president. It is in the best interest of America that Trump is our President.

    brane pilot •Dec 10, 2016 12:22 PM

    Even the idea that people would rely on foreign governments for critical information during an election indicates the bankruptcy of the corrupt US media establishment. So now they resort to open sedition and defamation in the absence of factual information. The mainstream media in the USA has become a Fifth Column against America, no different than the so-called 'social science' departments on college campuses. Trump was America's last chance and we took it and no one is going to take it away.

    [Dec 07, 2016] What rankles me is the implication that tribalism is more or less synonymous with the rights reliance on racism as a primary rally cry, while the lefts anti-racist stance exempts the lefts identity politics from being a species of tribalism as well.

    Notable quotes:
    "... I am among those who think tribalism as a organizing pattern for partisan mobilization is extending neoliberalism's reign rather than displacing it. ..."
    "... What rankles me is the implication that "tribalism" is more or less synonymous with the right's reliance on racism as a primary rally cry, while the left's anti-racist stance exempts the left's identity politics from being a species of tribalism as well. ..."
    "... It seems to me that the emergence of "tribalism" in organizing and motivating partisan identity is driven by forces of partisan reaction in the context of increasing social atomization and the decline of social affiliation in all areas of life. ..."
    "... The "tribalism" of left identity politics has been very real and has contributed mightily in organizing a reactionary right "tribalism" around resentment and repulsion at being the left's outgroup, the poorly educated flyover people. ..."
    "... The division over Brexit demonstrated the extent to which social membership in actual social organizations like clubs, unions, churches no longer matters as much as personal worldview, as the authoritarians divided from the cosmopolitans. ..."
    "... One reason "tribalism" seems appropriate to characterize the eruption on right is that there is no coherent policy program corresponding to the resentments or grievances. It is voting on the basis of something personal, an emotional identification cum perception of sorts. ..."
    Dec 07, 2016 | crookedtimber.org

    bruce wilder 12.02.16 at 5:05 pm 103

    I do not object to the word, tribalism, though I am among those who think tribalism as a organizing pattern for partisan mobilization is extending neoliberalism's reign rather than displacing it.

    What rankles me is the implication that "tribalism" is more or less synonymous with the right's reliance on racism as a primary rally cry, while the left's anti-racist stance exempts the left's identity politics from being a species of tribalism as well.

    It seems to me that the emergence of "tribalism" in organizing and motivating partisan identity is driven by forces of partisan reaction in the context of increasing social atomization and the decline of social affiliation in all areas of life.

    In an American context, a long-standing theme of right-wing televised and on-line propaganda has aimed at motivating people on the basis of their resentments against the supposed contempt the hated libruls have for "God and guns" and the self-regarding moral superiority of those driving a Prius and listening to National Public Radio.

    I would not want to be understood as saying that tribalism is symmetric between right and left; I do think what has been happening on the right has been driven by social reaction to what has been happening on the left, and the interpretation the left has of the right is just as driven by motivated reasoning, even if the motivations are different. The left's sometime focus on language, micro aggression and personal experience cum personal justification thru enlightened attitudes is a manifestation of the decline of social affiliation, so there is an irony in naming the pseudo in-group conformity that results, "tribalism". The "tribalism" of left identity politics has been very real and has contributed mightily in organizing a reactionary right "tribalism" around resentment and repulsion at being the left's outgroup, the poorly educated flyover people.

    The division over Brexit demonstrated the extent to which social membership in actual social organizations like clubs, unions, churches no longer matters as much as personal worldview, as the authoritarians divided from the cosmopolitans. The angry, uncomprehending reaction to the vote from cosmopolitans reinforced the "tribalism" of both, but to see that requires a modicum of detachment from the angry accusation that racism and lies was the whole case and denies the legitimacy of economic grievance.

    One reason "tribalism" seems appropriate to characterize the eruption on right is that there is no coherent policy program corresponding to the resentments or grievances. It is voting on the basis of something personal, an emotional identification cum perception of sorts.

    I am not so certain that the left, as it has sunk into a denial laden defense of the status quo, has not also been shedding its attachment to a policy program, Hillary's proverbial website notwithstanding. Democrats associated with the party establishment especially in the 2016 campaign talked policy futility and never acted as if a concerted effort to, say, capture the Senate with an eye on opening a policy agenda mattered to them. And, many ordinary supporters of the Democrats seemed to be blithely unaware or apathetic about the policy record of war, economic predation, et cetera.

    Without a policy agenda, the tribes cannot be proper constituencies demanding delivery on promises, which fits a continuation of neoliberal policy agenda just fine, but foretells, it seems to me, disillusion, apathy, violence and loss of legitimacy becoming acute. If mobilizing the tribes substitutes for a politics of coherent policy, it is hard to imagine any but ineffectual albeit authoritarian governance.

    [Dec 06, 2016] Cheney, the Neocons and China by GARY LEUPP

    If conflict with China is inevitable, it does not make sense to increase hostility with Russia. Why neocons are doing that?
    Notable quotes:
    "... I've hesitated about whether to apply the word "neoconservative" to persons like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. I tend to follow the Christian Science Monitor lis t. Paul Wolfowitz, Libby, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Richard Bolton, and Elliott Abrams are intellectuals absorbed in the project of using U.S. military power to remake the Middle East to improve Israel's long-term security interests. (Hannah, David Wurmser, Eric Edelman, and other White House staffers not on the Monitor's dated list also fall into this category.) ..."
    "... Ultimate decision-makers Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld on the other hand are sometimes referred to as "aggressive nationalists." They are no doubt Christian Zionists, but are probably most interested in transforming the "Greater Middle East" in the interests of corporate America in an increasingly competitive world. They're probably more concerned about the geopolitics of oil and the placement of "enduring" military bases to "protect U.S. interests" than the fate of Israel. ..."
    "... They are equipped with a philosophical outlook that justifies the use of hyped, imagined threats to unite the masses behind rulers' objectives and ambitions, to suppress dissent and control through fear. They're inclined to identify each new target as "a new Hitler," and to justify their actions as " an answer to the Holocaust ." ..."
    "... "The true measure of how powerful the vice president's office remains today is whether the United States chooses to confront Iran and Syria or to seek diplomatic solutions. For the moment, at least, the war party led by Dick Cheney remains in ascendancy." ..."
    www.counterpunch.org

    I've hesitated about whether to apply the word "neoconservative" to persons like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. I tend to follow the Christian Science Monitor list. Paul Wolfowitz, Libby, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Richard Bolton, and Elliott Abrams are intellectuals absorbed in the project of using U.S. military power to remake the Middle East to improve Israel's long-term security interests. (Hannah, David Wurmser, Eric Edelman, and other White House staffers not on the Monitor's dated list also fall into this category.)

    Ultimate decision-makers Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld on the other hand are sometimes referred to as "aggressive nationalists." They are no doubt Christian Zionists, but are probably most interested in transforming the "Greater Middle East" in the interests of corporate America in an increasingly competitive world. They're probably more concerned about the geopolitics of oil and the placement of "enduring" military bases to "protect U.S. interests" than the fate of Israel.

    Dreyfuss' article suggests that Cheney (and thus, the administration) sees China as the biggest long-term threat to those interests.

    If conflict with China is inevitable,

    Because

    (1) that vision fits in perfectly with the broader New World Order and U.S. plans to contain China, and

    (2) the neocons as a coordinated "persuasion" if not movement, with their fingers in a dozen right-wing think tanks, and the Israel Lobby including its Christian Right component, and the academic community, are well-placed to serve as what Dreyfuss calls "acolytes."

    They are equipped with a philosophical outlook that justifies the use of hyped, imagined threats to unite the masses behind rulers' objectives and ambitions, to suppress dissent and control through fear. They're inclined to identify each new target as "a new Hitler," and to justify their actions as "an answer to the Holocaust."

    They have served Cheney well, and he them so far. They're all being exposed, maybe weakened. But as Dreyfuss states at the end of his article, "The true measure of how powerful the vice president's office remains today is whether the United States chooses to confront Iran and Syria or to seek diplomatic solutions. For the moment, at least, the war party led by Dick Cheney remains in ascendancy."

    GARY LEUPP is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu

    [Dec 05, 2016] New Class War

    This is a very weak article from a prominent paleoconservative, but it is instructive what a mess he has in his head as for the nature of Trump phenomenon. We should probably consider the tern "New Class" that neocons invented as synonym for "neoliberals". If so, why the author is afraid to use the term? Does he really so poorly educated not to understand the nature of this neoliberal revolution and its implications? Looks like he never read "Quite coup"
    That probably reflects the crisis of pealeoconservatism itself.
    Notable quotes:
    "... What do these insurgents have in common? All have called into question the interventionist consensus in foreign policy. All have opposed large-scale free-trade agreements. ..."
    "... the establishment in both parties almost uniformly favors one approach to war, trade, and immigration, while outsider candidates as dissimilar as Buchanan, Nader, Paul, and Trump, and to a lesser extent Sanders, depart from the consensus. ..."
    "... The insurgents clearly do not represent a single class: they appeal to eclectic interests and groups. The foe they have all faced down, however-the bipartisan establishment-does resemble a class in its striking unity of outlook and interest. So what is this class, effectively the ruling class of the country? ..."
    "... The archetypal model of class conflict, the one associated with Karl Marx, pits capitalists against workers-or, at an earlier stage, capitalists against the landed nobility. The capitalists' victory over the nobility was inevitable, and so too, Marx believed, was the coming triumph of the workers over the capitalists. ..."
    "... The Soviet Union had never been a workers' state at all, they argued, but was run by a class of apparatchiks such as Marx had never imagined. ..."
    "... Burnham recognized affinities between the Soviet mode of organization-in which much real power lay in the hands of the commissars who controlled industry and the bureaucratic organs of the state-and the corporatism that characterized fascist states. Even the U.S., under the New Deal and with ongoing changes to the balance between ownership and management in the private sector, seemed to be moving in the same direction. ..."
    "... concept popularized by neoconservatives in the following decade: the "New Class." ..."
    "... It consists of a goodly proportion of those college-educated people whose skills and vocations proliferate in a 'post-industrial society' (to use Daniel Bell's convenient term). We are talking about scientists, teachers, and educational administrators, journalists and others in the communication industries, psychologists, social workers, those lawyers and doctors who make their careers in the expanding public sector, city planners, the staffs of the larger foundations, the upper levels of the government bureaucracy, and so on. ..."
    "... I have felt that this 'new class' is, so far, rather thin gruel. Intellectuals, verbalists, media types, etc. are conspicuous actors these days, certainly; they make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention, and some of them make a lot of money. But, after all, they are a harum-scarum crowd, and deflate even more quickly than they puff up. On TV they can out-talk any of the managers of ITT, GM, or IBM, or the administration-managers of the great government bureaus and agencies, but, honestly, you're not going to take that as a power test. Who hires and fires whom? ..."
    "... Burnham had observed that the New Class did not have the means-either money or manpower-to wield power the way the managers or the capitalists of old did. It had to borrow power from other classes. Discovering where the New Class gets it is as easy as following the money, which leads straight to the finance sector-practically to the doorstep of Goldman Sachs. Jerry Rubin's journey from Yippie to yuppie was the paradigm of a generation. ..."
    "... Yet the New Class as a whole is less like Carl Oglesby or Karl Hess than like Hillary Clinton, who arguably embodies it as perfectly as McNamara did the managerial class. ..."
    "... Even the New Class's support for deregulation-to the advantage of its allies on Wall Street-was no sign of consistent commitment to free-market principles ..."
    "... The individual-mandate feature of Obamacare and Romneycare is a prime example of New Class cronyism: government compels individuals to buy a supposedly private product or service. ..."
    "... America's class war, like many others, is not in the end a contest between up and down. It's a fight between rival elites: in this case, between the declining managerial elite and the triumphant (for now) New Class and financial elites. ..."
    "... Donald Trump is not of the managerial class himself. But by embracing managerial interests-industrial protection and, yes, "big government"-and combining them with nationalistic identity politics, he has built a force that has potential to threaten the bipartisan establishment, even if he goes down to defeat in November. ..."
    "... The New Class, after all, lacks a popular base as well as money of its own, and just as it relies on Wall Street to underwrite its power, it depends on its competing brands of identity politics to co-opt popular support. ..."
    "... Marx taught that you identify classes by their structural role in the system of production. I'm at a loss to see how either of the 'classes' you mention here relate to the system of production. ..."
    "... [New] Class better describes the Never Trumpers. Mostly I have found them to be those involved in knowledge occupations (conservative think tanks, hedge fund managers, etc.) who have a pecuniary interest in maintaining the Global Economy as opposed to the Virtuous Intergenerational Economy that preceded. Many are dependent on funding sources for their livelihoods that are connected to the Globalized Economy and financial markets. ..."
    "... "mobilize working-class voters against the establishment in both parties. " = workers of the world unite. ..."
    "... Where the class conflict between the Working and Knowledge Classes begins is where the Knowledge Class almost unilaterally decided to shift to a global economy, at the expense of the Working Class, and to the self-benefit of the Knowledge Class. Those who designed the Global Economy like Larry Summers of Harvard did not invite private or public labor to help design the new Globalist Economy. The Working Class lost out big time in job losses and getting stuck with subprime home loans that busted their marriages and created bankruptcies and foreclosures. The Knowledge Class was mostly unscathed by this class-based economic divide. ..."
    "... Trump's distinguishing ideology, which separates him from the current elite, is something he has summed up many times – nationalism vs. Globalism. ..."
    "... The financial industry, the new tech giants, the health insurance industry are now almost indistinguishable from the government ruling elite. The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America. Both are right in a sense. ..."
    "... The hyperconcentration of power in Washington and a few tributary locations like Wall Street and Silicon Valley, elite academia and the media–call that the New Class if you like–means that most of America–Main Street, the flyover country has been left behind. Trump instinctively – brilliantly in some ways – tapped into the resentment that this hyperconcentration of wealth and government power has led to. That is why it cuts across right and left. The elites want to characterize this resentment as backwards and "racist," but there is also something very American from Jefferson to Jackson to Teddy Roosevelt that revolts against being lectured to and controlled by their would-be "betters." ..."
    "... The alienation of those left out is real and based on real erosion of the middle class and American dream under both parties' elites. The potentially revolutionary capabilities of a political movement that could unite right and left in restoring some equilibrium and opportunities to those left out is tremendous, but yet to be realized by either major party. The party that can harness these folks – who are after all the majority of Americans – will have a ruling coalition for decades. If neither party can productively harness this budding movement, we are headed for disarray, civil unrest, and potentially the dissolution of the USA. ..."
    "... . And blacks who cleave to the democrats despite being sold down the tubes on issues, well, for whatever reason, they just have thinner skin and the mistaken idea that the democrats deliver – thanks to Pres. Johnson. But what Pres. Johnson delivered democrats made a mockery of immediately as they stripped it of its intent and used for their own liberal ends. ..."
    "... Let's see if I can help Dreher clear up some confusion in his article. James Burnham's "Managerial Class" and the "New Class" are overlapping and not exclusive. By the Managerial Class Burnham meant both the executive and managers in the private sector and the Bureaucrats and functionaries in the public sector. ..."
    "... The rise of managers was a "revolution" because of the rise of modernization which meant the increasing mechanization, industrialization, formalization and rationalization (efficiency) of society. Burnham's concern about the rise of the managerial revolution was misplaced; what he should have focused on was modernization. ..."
    "... The old left–represented by Sanders–rails against this as big money coopting government, even while conservatives are exasperated by the unholy cabal of big business and big government in cohoots in the "progressive" remake of America ..."
    "... . Some 3 – 5% of the population facing no real opposition has decided that that their private lives needed public endorsement and have proceeded to upend the entire social order - the game has shifted in ways I am not sure most of the public fully grasps or desires ..."
    "... There has always been and will always be class conflict, even if it falls short of a war. Simply examining recent past circumstances, the wealthy class has been whooping up on all other classes. This is not to suggest any sort of remedy, but simply to observe that income disparity over the past 30 years has substantially benefitted on sector of class and political power remains in their hands today. To think that there will never be class conflict is to side with a Marxian fantasy of egalitarianism, which will never come to pass. Winners and losers may change positions, but the underlying conflict will always remain. ..."
    "... State governments have been kowtowing to big business interests for a good long while. Nothing new under the sun there. Back in the 80s when GM was deciding where to site their factory for the new Saturn car line, they issued an edict stating they would only consider states that had mandatory seat belt use laws, and the states in the running fell all over each to enact those. ..."
    "... People don't really care for the actions of the elite but they care for the consequences of these actions. During the 1960's, per capita GDP growth was around 3.5%. Today it stands at 0,49%. If you take into account inflation, it's negative. Add to this the skewed repartition of said growth and it's intuitive that many people feel the pain; whom doesn't move forward, goes backwards. ..."
    "... People couldn't care for mass immigration, nation building or the emergence of China if their personal situation was not impacted. But now, they begin to feel the results of these actions. ..."
    "... I have a simple philosophy regarding American politics that shows who is made of what, and we don't have to go through all the philosophizing in this article: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American. ..."
    "... Re: Anyone who believes in same sex marriage has been brainwashed and is un-American and unreliable. Anyone who puts Israeli interests above America's is un-American. ..."
    "... The first has nothing whatsoever to do with American citizenship. It's just a political issue– on which, yes, reasonable people can differ. However no American citizen should put the interests of any other country ahead of our own, except in a situation where the US was itself up to no good and deserved its comeuppance. And then the interest is not that of any particular nation, but of justice being done period. ..."
    "... A lot of this "New Class" stuff is just confusing mis-mash of this and that theory. Basically, America changed when the US dollar replace gold as the medium of exchange in the world economy. Remember when we called it the PETRO-DOLLAR. As long as the Saudis only accepted the US dollar as the medium of exchange for oil, then the American government could export it's inflation and deficit spending. Budget deficits and trade deficits are intrinsically related. It allowed America to become a nation of consumers instead of a nation of producers. ..."
    "... It's really a form of classic IMPERIALISM. To maintain this system, we've got the US military and we prop up the corrupt dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya ..."
    "... Yeah, you can talk about the "new class", the corruption of the banking system by the idiotic "libertarian" or "free market utopianism" of the Gingrich Congress, the transformation of American corporations to international corporations, and on and on. But it's the US dollar as reserve currency that has allowed it all to happen. God help us, if it ends, we'll be crippled. ..."
    "... The Clinton Class mocks The Country Class: Bill Clinton, "We all know how her opponent's done real well down in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky. Because the coal people don't like any of us anymore." "They blame the president when the sun doesn't come up in the morning now," ..."
    "... That doesn't mean they actually support Hillary's policies and position. What do they really know about either? These demographics simply vote overwhelmingly Democrat no matter who is on the ticket. If Alfred E. Newman were the candidate, this particular data point would look just the same. ..."
    "... "On the contrary, the New Class favors new kinds of crony finance capitalism, even as it opposes the protectionism that would benefit hard industry and managerial interests." This doesn't ring true. Hard industry, and the managers that run it had no problem with moving jobs and factories overseas in pursuit of cheaper labor. Plus, it solved their Union issues. I feel like the divide is between large corporations, with dilute ownership and professional managers who nominally serve the interests of stock fund managers, while greatly enriching themselves versus a multitude of smaller, locally owned businesses whose owners were also concerned with the health of the local communities in which they lived. ..."
    "... The financial elites are a consequence of consolidation in the banking and finance industry, where we now have 4 or 5 large institutions versus a multitude of local and regional banks that were locally focused. ..."
    Sep 07, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Since the Cold War ended, U.S. politics has seen a series of insurgent candidacies. Pat Buchanan prefigured Trump in the Republican contests of 1992 and 1996. Ralph Nader challenged the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party from the outside in 2000. Ron Paul vexed establishment Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012. And this year, Trump was not the only candidate to confound his party's elite: Bernie Sanders harried Hillary Clinton right up to the Democratic convention.

    What do these insurgents have in common? All have called into question the interventionist consensus in foreign policy. All have opposed large-scale free-trade agreements. (The libertarian Paul favors unilateral free trade: by his lights, treaties like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership are not free trade at all but international regulatory pacts.) And while no one would mistake Ralph Nader's or Ron Paul's views on immigration for Pat Buchanan's or Donald Trump's, Nader and Paul have registered their own dissents from the approach to immigration that prevails in Washington.

    Sanders has been more in line with his party's orthodoxy on that issue. But that didn't save him from being attacked by Clinton backers for having an insufficiently nonwhite base of support. Once again, what might have appeared to be a class conflict-in this case between a democratic socialist and an elite liberal with ties to high finance-could be explained away as really about race.

    Race, like religion, is a real factor in how people vote. Its relevance to elite politics, however, is less clear. Something else has to account for why the establishment in both parties almost uniformly favors one approach to war, trade, and immigration, while outsider candidates as dissimilar as Buchanan, Nader, Paul, and Trump, and to a lesser extent Sanders, depart from the consensus.

    The insurgents clearly do not represent a single class: they appeal to eclectic interests and groups. The foe they have all faced down, however-the bipartisan establishment-does resemble a class in its striking unity of outlook and interest. So what is this class, effectively the ruling class of the country?

    Some critics on the right have identified it with the "managerial" class described by James Burnham in his 1941 book The Managerial Revolution . But it bears a stronger resemblance to what what others have called "the New Class." In fact, the interests of this New Class of college-educated "verbalists" are antithetical to those of the industrial managers that Burnham described. Understanding the relationship between these two often conflated concepts provides insight into politics today, which can be seen as a clash between managerial and New Class elites.

    ♦♦♦

    The archetypal model of class conflict, the one associated with Karl Marx, pits capitalists against workers-or, at an earlier stage, capitalists against the landed nobility. The capitalists' victory over the nobility was inevitable, and so too, Marx believed, was the coming triumph of the workers over the capitalists.

    Over the next century, however, history did not follow the script. By 1992, the Soviet Union was gone, Communist China had embarked on market reforms, and Western Europe was turning away from democratic socialism. There was no need to predict the future; mankind had achieved its destiny, a universal order of [neo]liberal democracy. Marx had it backwards: capitalism was the end of history.

    But was the truth as simple as that? Long before the collapse of the USSR, many former communists -- some of whom remained socialists, while others joined the right-thought not. The Soviet Union had never been a workers' state at all, they argued, but was run by a class of apparatchiks such as Marx had never imagined.

    Among the first to advance this argument was James Burnham, a professor of philosophy at New York University who became a leading Trotskyist thinker. As he broke with Trotsky and began moving toward the right, Burnham recognized affinities between the Soviet mode of organization-in which much real power lay in the hands of the commissars who controlled industry and the bureaucratic organs of the state-and the corporatism that characterized fascist states. Even the U.S., under the New Deal and with ongoing changes to the balance between ownership and management in the private sector, seemed to be moving in the same direction.

    Burnham called this the "managerial revolution." The managers of industry and technically trained government officials did not own the means of production, like the capitalists of old. But they did control the means of production, thanks to their expertise and administrative prowess.

    The rise of this managerial class would have far-reaching consequences, he predicted. Burnham wrote in his 1943 book, The Machiavellians : "that the managers may function, the economic and political structure must be modified, as it is now being modified, so as to rest no longer on private ownership and small-scale nationalist sovereignty, but primarily upon state control of the economy, and continental or vast regional world political organization." Burnham pointed to Nazi Germany, imperial Japan-which became a "continental" power by annexing Korea and Manchuria-and the Soviet Union as examples.

    The defeat of the Axis powers did not halt the progress of the managerial revolution. Far from it: not only did the Soviets retain their form of managerialism, but the West increasingly adopted a managerial corporatism of its own, marked by cooperation between big business and big government: high-tech industrial crony capitalism, of the sort that characterizes the military-industrial complex to this day. (Not for nothing was Burnham a great advocate of America's developing a supersonic transport of its own to compete with the French-British Concorde.)

    America's managerial class was personified by Robert S. McNamara, the former Ford Motor Company executive who was secretary of defense under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. In a 1966 story for National Review , "Why Do They Hate Robert Strange McNamara?" Burnham answered the question in class terms: "McNamara is attacked by the Left because the Left has a blanket hatred of the system of business enterprise; he is criticized by the Right because the Right harks back, in nostalgia if not in practice, to outmoded forms of business enterprise."

    McNamara the managerial technocrat was too business-oriented for a left that still dreamed of bringing the workers to power. But the modern form of industrial organization he represented was not traditionally capitalist enough for conservatives who were at heart 19th-century classical liberals.

    National Review readers responded to Burnham's paean to McNamara with a mixture of incomprehension and indignation. It was a sign that even readers familiar with Burnham-he appeared in every issue of the magazine-did not always follow what he was saying. The popular right wanted concepts that were helpful in labeling enemies, and Burnham was confusing matters by talking about changes in the organization of government and industry that did not line up with anyone's value judgements.

    More polemically useful was a different concept popularized by neoconservatives in the following decade: the "New Class." "This 'new class' is not easily defined but may be vaguely described," Irving Kristol wrote in a 1975 essay for the Wall Street Journal :

    It consists of a goodly proportion of those college-educated people whose skills and vocations proliferate in a 'post-industrial society' (to use Daniel Bell's convenient term). We are talking about scientists, teachers, and educational administrators, journalists and others in the communication industries, psychologists, social workers, those lawyers and doctors who make their careers in the expanding public sector, city planners, the staffs of the larger foundations, the upper levels of the government bureaucracy, and so on.

    "Members of the new class do not 'control' the media," he continued, "they are the media-just as they are our educational system, our public health and welfare system, and much else."

    Burnham, writing in National Review in 1978, drew a sharp contrast between this concept and his own ideas:

    I have felt that this 'new class' is, so far, rather thin gruel. Intellectuals, verbalists, media types, etc. are conspicuous actors these days, certainly; they make a lot of noise, get a lot of attention, and some of them make a lot of money. But, after all, they are a harum-scarum crowd, and deflate even more quickly than they puff up. On TV they can out-talk any of the managers of ITT, GM, or IBM, or the administration-managers of the great government bureaus and agencies, but, honestly, you're not going to take that as a power test. Who hires and fires whom?

    Burnham suffered a stroke later that year. Although he lived until 1987, his career as a writer was over. His last years coincided with another great transformation of business and government. It began in the Carter administration, with moves to deregulate transportation and telecommunications. This partial unwinding of the managerial revolution accelerated under Ronald Reagan. Regulatory and welfare-state reforms, even privatization of formerly nationalized industries, also took off in the UK and Western Europe. All this did not, however, amount to a restoration of the old capitalism or anything resembling laissez-faire.

    The "[neo]liberal democracy" that triumphed at "the end of history"-to use Francis Fukuyama's words-was not the managerial capitalism of the mid-20th century, either. It was instead the New Class's form of capitalism, one that could be embraced by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair as readily as by any Republican or Thatcherite.

    Irving Kristol had already noted in the 1970s that "this new class is not merely liberal but truly 'libertarian' in its approach to all areas of life-except economics. It celebrates individual liberty of speech and expression and action to an unprecedented degree, so that at times it seems almost anarchistic in its conception of the good life."

    He was right about the New Class's "anything goes" mentality, but he was only partly correct about its attitude toward economics. The young elite tended to scorn the bourgeois character of the old capitalism, and to them managerial figures like McNamara were evil incarnate. But they had to get by-and they aspired to rule.

    Burnham had observed that the New Class did not have the means-either money or manpower-to wield power the way the managers or the capitalists of old did. It had to borrow power from other classes. Discovering where the New Class gets it is as easy as following the money, which leads straight to the finance sector-practically to the doorstep of Goldman Sachs. Jerry Rubin's journey from Yippie to yuppie was the paradigm of a generation.

    Part of the tale can be told in a favorable light. New Left activists like Carl Oglesby fought the spiritual aridity and murderous militarism of what they called "corporate liberalism"-Burnham's managerialism-while sincere young libertarians attacked the regulatory state and seeded technological entrepreneurship. Yet the New Class as a whole is less like Carl Oglesby or Karl Hess than like Hillary Clinton, who arguably embodies it as perfectly as McNamara did the managerial class.

    Even the New Class's support for deregulation-to the advantage of its allies on Wall Street-was no sign of consistent commitment to free-market principles. On the contrary, the New Class favors new kinds of crony finance capitalism, even as it opposes the protectionism that would benefit hard industry and managerial interests. The individual-mandate feature of Obamacare and Romneycare is a prime example of New Class cronyism: government compels individuals to buy a supposedly private product or service.

    The alliance between finance and the New Class accounts for the disposition of power in America today. The New Class has also enlisted another invaluable ally: the managerial classes of East Asia. Trade with China-the modern managerial state par excellence-helps keep American industry weak relative to finance and the service economy's verbalist-dominated sectors. America's class war, like many others, is not in the end a contest between up and down. It's a fight between rival elites: in this case, between the declining managerial elite and the triumphant (for now) New Class and financial elites.

    The New Class plays a priestly role in its alliance with finance, absolving Wall Street for the sin of making money in exchange for plenty of that money to keep the New Class in power. In command of foreign policy, the New Class gets to pursue humanitarian ideological projects-to experiment on the world. It gets to evangelize by the sword. And with trade policy, it gets to suppress its class rival, the managerial elite, at home. Through trade pacts and mass immigration the financial elite, meanwhile, gets to maximize its returns without regard for borders or citizenship. The erosion of other nations' sovereignty that accompanies American hegemony helps toward that end too-though our wars are more ideological than interest-driven.

    ♦♦♦

    So we come to an historic moment. Instead of an election pitting another Bush against another Clinton, we have a race that poses stark alternatives: a choice not only between candidates but between classes-not only between administrations but between regimes.

    Donald Trump is not of the managerial class himself. But by embracing managerial interests-industrial protection and, yes, "big government"-and combining them with nationalistic identity politics, he has built a force that has potential to threaten the bipartisan establishment, even if he goes down to defeat in November.

    The New Class, after all, lacks a popular base as well as money of its own, and just as it relies on Wall Street to underwrite its power, it depends on its competing brands of identity politics to co-opt popular support. For the center-left establishment, minority voters supply the electoral muscle. Religion and the culture war have served the same purpose for the establishment's center-right faction. Trump showed that at least one of these sides could be beaten on its own turf-and it seems conceivable that if Bernie Sanders had been black, he might have similarly beaten Clinton, without having to make concessions to New Class tastes.

    The New Class establishment of both parties may be seriously misjudging what is happening here. Far from being the last gasp of the demographically doomed-old, racially isolated white people, as Gallup's analysis says-Trump's insurgency may be the prototype of an aggressive new politics, of either left or right, that could restore the managerial elite to power.

    This is not something that conservatives-or libertarians who admire the old capitalism rather than New Class's simulacrum-might welcome. But the only way that some entrenched policies may change is with a change of the class in power.

    Daniel McCarthy is the editor of The American Conservative .

    [Dec 05, 2016] Capitalism Requires World War by Cathal Haughian via TheSaker.ie,

    www.zerohedge.com

    It has been our undertaking, since 2010, to chronicle our understanding of capitalism via our book The Philosophy of Capitalism . We were curious as to the underlying nature of the system which endows us, the owners of capital, with so many favours. The Saker has asked me to explain our somewhat crude statement 'Capitalism Requires World War'.

    The present showdown between West, Russia and China is the culmination of a long running saga that began with World War One. Prior to which, Capitalism was governed by the gold standard system which was international, very solid, with clear rules and had brought great prosperity: for banking Capital was scarce and so allocated carefully. World War One required debt-capitalism of the FIAT kind, a bankrupt Britain began to pass the Imperial baton to the US, which had profited by financing the war and selling munitions.

    The Weimar Republic, suffering a continuation of hostilities via economic means, tried to inflate away its debts in 1919-1923 with disastrous results-hyperinflation. Then, the reintroduction of the gold standard into a world poisoned by war, reparation and debt was fated to fail and ended with a deflationary bust in the early 1930's and WW2.

    The US government gained a lot of credibility after WW2 by outlawing offensive war and funding many construction projects that helped transfer private debt to the public book. The US government's debt exploded during the war, but it also shifted the power game away from creditors to a big debtor that had a lot of political capital. The US used her power to define the new rules of the monetary system at Bretton Woods in 1944 and to keep physical hold of gold owned by other nations.

    The US jacked up tax rates on the wealthy and had a period of elevated inflation in the late 40s and into the 1950s – all of which wiped out creditors, but also ushered in a unique middle class era in the West. The US also reformed extraction centric institutions in Europe and Japan to make sure an extractive-creditor class did not hobble growth, which was easy to do because the war had wiped them out (same as in Korea).

    Capital destruction in WW2 reversed the Marxist rule that the rate of profit always falls. Take any given market – say jeans. At first, all the companies make these jeans using a great deal of human labour so all the jeans are priced around the average of total social labour time required for production (some companies will charge more, some companies less).

    One company then introduces a machine (costed at $n) that makes jeans using a lot less labour time. Each of these robot assisted workers is paid the same hourly rate but the production process is now far more productive. This company, ignoring the capital outlay in the machinery, will now have a much higher profit rate than the others. This will attract capital, as capital is always on the lookout for higher rates of profit. The result will be a generalisation of this new mode of production. The robot or machine will be adopted by all the other companies, as it is a more efficient way of producing jeans.

    As a consequence the price of the jeans will fall, as there is an increased margin within which each market actor can undercut his fellows. One company will lower prices so as to increase market share. This new price-point will become generalised as competing companies cut their prices to defend their market share. A further n$ was invested but per unit profit margin is put under constant downward pressure, so the rate of return in productive assets tends to fall over time in a competitive market place.

    Interest rates have been falling for decades in the West because interest rates must always be below the rate of return on productive investments. If interest rates are higher than the risk adjusted rate of return then the capitalist might as well keep his money in a savings account. If there is real deflation his purchasing power increases for free and if there is inflation he will park his money (plus debt) in an unproductive asset that's price inflating, E.G. Housing. Sound familiar? Sure, there has been plenty of profit generated since 2008 but it has not been recovered from productive investments in a competitive free market place. All that profit came from bubbles in asset classes and financial schemes abetted by money printing and zero interest rates.

    Thus, we know that the underlying rate of return is near zero in the West. The rate of return falls naturally, due to capital accumulation and market competition. The system is called capitalism because capital accumulates: high income economies are those with the greatest accumulation of capital per worker. The robot assisted worker enjoys a higher income as he is highly productive, partly because the robotics made some of the workers redundant and there are fewer workers to share the profit. All the high income economies have had near zero interest rates for seven years. Interest rates in Europe are even negative. How has the system remained stable for so long?

    All economic growth depends on energy gain. It takes energy (drilling the oil well) to gain energy. Unlike our everyday experience whereby energy acquisition and energy expenditure can be balanced, capitalism requires an absolute net energy gain. That gain, by way of energy exchange, takes the form of tools and machines that permit an increase in productivity per work hour. Thus GDP increases, living standards improve and the debts can be repaid. Thus, oil is a strategic capitalistic resource.

    US net energy gain production peaked in 1974, to be replaced by production from Saudi Arabia, which made the USA a net importer of oil for the first time. US dependence on foreign oil rose from 26% to 47% between 1985 and 1989 to hit a peak of 60% in 2006. And, tellingly, real wages peaked in 1974, levelled-off and then began to fall for most US workers. Wages have never recovered. (The decline is more severe if you don't believe government reported inflation figures that don't count the costof housing.)

    What was the economic and political result of this decline? During the 20 years 1965-85, there were 4 recessions, 2 energy crises and wage and price controls. These were unprecedented in peacetime and The Gulf of Tonkin event led to the Vietnam War which finally required Nixon to move away from the Gold-Exchange Standard in 1971, opening the next degenerate chapter of FIAT finance up until 2008. Cutting this link to gold was cutting the external anchor impeding war and deficit spending. The promise of gold for dollars was revoked.

    GDP in the US increased after 1974 but a portion of end use buying power was transferred to Saudi Arabia. They were supplying the net energy gain that was powering the US GDP increase. The working class in the US began to experience a slow real decline in living standards, as 'their share' of the economic pie was squeezed by the ever increasing transfer of buying power to Saudi Arabia.

    The US banking and government elite responded by creating and cutting back legal and behavioral rules of a fiat based monetary system. The Chinese appreciated the long term opportunity that this presented and agreed to play ball. The USA over-produced credit money and China over-produced manufactured goods which cushioned the real decline in the buying power of America's working class. Power relations between China and the US began to change: The Communist Party transferred value to the American consumer whilst Wall Street transferred most of the US industrial base to China. They didn't ship the military industrial complex.

    Large scale leverage meant that US consumers and businesses had the means to purchase increasingly with debt so the class war was deferred. This is how over production occurs: more is produced that is paid for not with money that represents actual realized labour time, but from future wealth, to be realised from future labour time. The Chinese labour force was producing more than it consumed.

    The system has never differed from the limits laid down by the Laws of Thermodynamics. The Real economy system can never over-produce per se. The limit of production is absolute net energy gain. What is produced can be consumed. How did the Chinese produce such a super massive excess and for so long? Economic slavery can achieve radical improvements in living standards for those that benefit from ownership. Slaves don't depreciate as they are rented and are not repaired for they replicate for free. Hundreds of millions of Chinese peasants limited their way of life and controlled their consumption in order to benefit their children. And their exploited life raised the rate of profit!

    They began their long march to modern prosperity making toys, shoes, and textiles cheaper than poor women could in South Carolina or Honduras. Such factories are cheap to build and deferential, obedient and industrious peasant staff were a perfect match for work that was not dissimilar to tossing fruit into a bucket. Their legacy is the initial capital formation of modern China and one of the greatest accomplishments in human history. The Chinese didn't use net energy gain from oil to power their super massive and sustained increase in production. They used economic slavery powered by caloric energy, exchanged from solar energy. The Chinese labour force picked the World's low hanging fruit that didn't need many tools or machines. Slaves don't need tools for they are the tool.

    Without a gold standard and capital ratios our form of over-production has grown enormously. The dotcom bubble was reflated through a housing bubble, which has been pumped up again by sovereign debt, printing press (QE) and central bank insolvency. The US working and middle classes have over-consumed relative to their share of the global economic pie for decades. The correction to prices (the destruction of credit money & accumulated capital) is still yet to happen. This is what has been happening since 1971 because of the growth of financialisation or monetisation.

    The application of all these economic methods was justified by the political ideology of neo-Liberalism. Neo-Liberalism entails no or few capital controls, the destruction of trade unions, plundering state and public assets, importing peasants as domesticated help, and entrusting society's value added production to The Communist Party of The People's Republic of China.

    The Chinese have many motives but their first motivation is power. Power is more important than money. If you're rich and weak you get robbed. Russia provides illustrating stories of such: Gorbachev had received a promise from George HW Bush that the US would pay Russia approximately $400 billion over10 years as a "peace dividend" and as a tool to be utilized in the conversion of their state run to a market based economic system. The Russians believe the head of the CIA at the time, George Tenet, essentially killed the deal based on the idea that "letting the country fall apart will destroy Russia as a future military threat". The country fell apart in 1992. Its natural assets were plundered which raised the rate of profit in the 90's until President Putin put a stop to the robbery.

    In the last analysis, the current framework of Capitalism results in labour redundancy, a falling rate of profit and ingrained trading imbalances caused by excess capacity. Under our current monopoly state capitalism a number of temporary preventive measures have evolved, including the expansion of university, military, and prison systems to warehouse new generations of labour.

    Our problem is how to retain the "expected return rate" for us, the dominant class. Ultimately, there are only two large-scale solutions, which are intertwined .

    One is expansion of state debt to keep "the markets" moving and transfer wealth from future generations of labour to the present dominant class.

    The other is war, the consumer of last resort. Wars can burn up excess capacity, shift global markets, generate monopoly rents, and return future labour to a state of helplessness and reduced expectations. The Spanish flu killed 50-100 million people in 1918. As if this was not enough, it also took two World Wars across the 20th century and some 96 million dead to reduce unemployment and stabilize the "labour problem."

    Capitalism requires World War because Capitalism requires profit and cannot afford the unemployed . The point is capitalism could afford social democracy after the rate of profit was restored thanks to the depression of the 1930's and the physical destruction of capital during WW2. Capitalism only produces for profit and social democracy was funded by taxing profits after WW2.

    Post WW2 growth in labour productivity, due to automation, itself due to oil & gas replacing coal, meant workers could be better off. As the economic pie was growing, workers could receive the same %, and still receive a bigger slice. Wages as a % of US GDP actually increased in the period, 1945-1970. There was an increase in government spending which was being redirected in the form of redistributed incomes. Inequality will only worsen, because to make profits now we have to continually cut the cost of inputs, i.e. wages & benefits. Have we not already reached the point where large numbers of the working class can neither feed themselves nor afford a roof over their heads?13% of the UK working age population is out of work and receiving out of work benefits. A huge fraction is receiving in work benefits because low skill work now pays so little.

    The underlying nature of Capitalism is cyclical. Here is how the political aspect of the cycle ends:

    If Capitalism could speak, she would ask her older brother, Imperialism, this: "Can you solve the problem?" We are not reliving the 1930's, the economy is now an integrated whole that encompasses the entire World. Capital has been accumulating since 1945, so under- and unemployment is a plague everywhere. How big is the problem? Official data tells us nothing, but the 47 million Americans on food aid are suggestive. That's 1 in 7 Americans and total World population is 7 billion.

    The scale of the solution is dangerous. Our probing for weakness in the South China Sea, Ukraine and Syria has awakened them to their danger.The Chinese and Russian leadershave reacted by integrating their payment systems and real economies, trading energy for manufactured goods for advanced weapon systems. As they are central players in the Shanghai Group we can assume their aim is the monetary system which is the bedrock of our Imperial power. What's worse, they can avoid overt enemy action and simply choose to undermine "confidence" in the FIAT.

    Though given the calibre of their nuclear arsenal, how can they be fought let alone defeated? Appetite preceded Reason, so Lust is hard to Reason with. But beware brother. Your Lust for Power began this saga, perhaps it's time to Reason.

    Uncle Sugar

    Seriously - Having a Central Bank with a debt based monetary system requires permanent wars. True market based capitalism does not.

    Father Thyme

    Your logical fallacy is no true scotsman
    http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/no-true-scotsman

    Wed, 03/02/2016 - 23:21 | 7264475 Seek_Truth

    Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    If wealth were measured by creating strawmen- you would be a Rothschild.

    gwiss

    That's because they don't understand the word "capitalism."

    Capitalism simply means economic freedom. And economic freedom, just like freedom to breed, must be exposed to the pruning action of cause and effect, otherwise it outgrows its container and becomes unstable and explodes. As long as it is continually exposed to the grinding wheel of causality, it continues to hold a fine edge, as the dross is scraped away and the fine steel stays. Reality is full of dualities, and those dualities cannot be separated without creating broken symmetry and therefore terminal instability. Freedom and responsibility, for example. One without the other is unstable. Voting and taxation in direct proportion to each other is another example.

    Fiat currency is an attempt to create an artificial reality, one without the necessary symmetry and balance of a real system. However, reality can not be gamed, because it will produce its own symmetry if you try to deny it. Thus the symmetry of fiat currency is boom and bust, a sine wave that still manages to produce equilibrium, however at a huge bubbling splattering boil rather than a fine simmer.

    The folks that wrote this do not have a large enough world view. Capitalism does not require world wars because freedom does not require world wars. Freedom tends to bleed imbalances out when they are small. On the other hand, empire does require world war, which is why we are going to have one.

    Wed, 03/02/2016 - 23:27 | 7264485 GRDguy

    Capitalism becomes imperialism when financial sociopaths steal profits from both sides of the trade. What you're seeing is an Imperialism of Capital, as explained very nicely in the 1889 book "The Great Red Dragon."

    AchtungAffen

    Really? I thought that was the re-prints of Mises Canada, Kunstler or Brandon Smith. In comparison, this article is sublime.

    Caviar Emptor

    Wrong. Capitalism needs prolonged directionless wars without clear winners and contained destruction that utilize massive amounts of raw materials and endless orders for weapons and logistical support. That's what makes some guys rich.

    Wed, 03/02/2016 - 22:56 | 7264423 Jack's Raging B...

    That's was a very long-winded and deliberately obtuse way of explaining how DEBT AS MONEY and The State's usurpation of sound money destroyed efficient markets. The author then goes to call this system Capitalism.

    So yeah, the deliberate destruction of capital, in all its forms, is somehow capitalism. Brilliant observation. Fuck you. There are better terms for things like this. Perhaps....central banking? The State? Fiat debt creation? Evil? Naw, let's just contort and abuse language instead. That's the ticket.

    My Days Are Get...

    From Russia News Feed:

    Cathal Haughian Bio :

    I've spent my adult life in 51 countries. This was financed by correctly anticipating the Great Financial Crisis in 2008. I was studying Marx at that time. I'm presently an employee of the Chinese State. I educate the children of China's best families. I am the author, alongside a large international team of capitalists, of Before The Collapse : The Philosophy of Capitalism.

    I also have my own business; I live with my girlfriend and was born and grew up in Ireland.

    ===============

    Why would anyone waste time to read this drivel, buttressed by the author's credentials.

    The unstated thesis is that wars involve millions of actors, who produce an end-result of many hundreds of millions killed.

    Absent coercion ("the Draft"), how is any government going to man hundreds of divisions of foot soldiers. That concept is passé.

    Distribute some aerosol poisons via drones and kill as many people as deemed necessary. How in the hell will that action stimulate the world economy.

    Weapons of mass-destruction are smaller, cheaper and easier to deploy. War as a progenitor of growth - forget it.

    The good news is that this guy is educating the children of elite in China. Possibly the Pentagon could clone him 10,000 times and send those cyborgs to China - cripple China for another generation or two.

    slimycorporated...

    Capitalism requires banks that made shitty loans to fail

    Ms No

    The term cyclical doesn't quite cover what we have being experiencing. It's more like a ragdoll being shaken by a white shark. The euphoria of bubble is more like complete unhinged unicorn mania anymore and the lows are complete grapes of wrath. It's probably always been that way to some extent because corruption has remained unchallenged for a great deal of time. The boom phases are scarier than the downturns anymore, especially the last oil boom and housing boom. Complete Alfred Hitchcock stuff.

    I don't think it's capitalism and that term comes across as an explanation that legitimizes this completely contrived pattern that benefits a few and screws everybody else. Markets should not be behaving in such a violent fashion. Money should probably be made steady and slow. And downturns shouldn't turn a country into Zimbabwe. I could be wrong but there is really no way to know with the corruption we have.

    Good times.

    o r c k

    And War requires that an enemy be created. According to American General Breedlove-head of NATO's European Command-speaking to the US Armed Services Committee 2 days ago, "Russia and Assad are deliberately weaponizing migration to break European resolve". "The only reason to use non-precision weapons like barrel bombs is to keep refugees on the move". "These refugees bring criminality, foreign fighters and terrorism", and "are being used to overwhelm European structures". "Russia has chosen to be an adversary and is a real threat." "Russia is irresponsible with nuclear weapons-always threatening to use them." And strangely, "In the past week alone, Russia has made 450 attacks along the front lines in E. Ukraine".

    Even with insanity overflowing the West, I found these comments to be the most bizarrely threatening propaganda yet. After reading them for the first time, I had to prove to myself that I wasn't hallucinating it.

    [Dec 05, 2016] Backlash Against Trade Deals: The End of US Led Economic Globalisation?

    Notable quotes:
    "... By Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics and Chairperson at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Originally published at The Frontline ..."
    "... President Obama has been a fervent supporter of both these deals, with the explicit aim of enhancing and securing US power. "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy. We should do it today while our economy is in the position of global strength. We've got to harness it on our terms. If we don't write the rules for trade around the world – guess what? China will!", he famously said in a speech to workers in a Nike factory in Oregon, USA in May 2015. But even though he has made the case for the TPP plainly enough, his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US. ..."
    "... The official US version, expressed on the website of the US Trade Representative, is that the TPP "writes the rules for global trade-rules that will help increase Made-in-America exports, grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs, and strengthen the American middle class." This is mainly supposed to occur because of the tariff cuts over 18,000 items that have been written into the agreement, which in turn are supposed to lead to significant expansion of trade volumes and values. ..."
    "... But this is accepted by fewer and fewer people in the US. Across the country, workers view such trade deals with great suspicion as causing shifts in employment to lower paid workers, mostly in the Global South. ..."
    "... But in fact the TPP and the TTIP are not really about trade liberalisation so much as other regulatory changes, so in any case it is hardly surprising that the positive effects on trade are likely to be so limited. What is more surprising is how the entire discussion around these agreements is still framed around the issues relating to trade liberalisation, when these are in fact the less important parts of these agreements, and it is the other elements that are likely to have more negative and even devastating effects on people living in the countries that sign up to them. ..."
    "... Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying: the intellectual property provisions, the restrictions on regulatory practices and the investor-state dispute settlement provisions ..."
    "... All of these would result in significant strengthening of the bargaining power of corporations vis-à-vis workers and citizens, would reduce the power of governments to bring in policies and regulations that affect the profits or curb the power of such corporations ..."
    "... So if such features of US-led globalisation are indeed under threat, that is probably a good thing for the people of the US and for people in their trading partners who had signed up for such deals. ..."
    "... The question arises: is Trump evil? Or merely awful? If Trump is merely awful, then we are not faced with voting for the Lesser Evil or otherwise voting Third Party in protest. If we are faced with a choice between Evil and Awful, perhaps a vote for Awful is a vote against Evil just by itself. ..."
    "... Trump has backpedaled and frontpedaled on virtually everything, but on trade, he's got Sanders-level consistency. He's been preaching the same sanity since the 90s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZpMJeynBeg ..."
    "... While I do not disagree with your comments, they must be placed in proper context: there is no substantive difference between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, and the people who staff the campaigns of Trump and Clinton are essentially the same. (Fundamentally a replay of the 2000 election: Cheney/Bush vs. Lieberman/Gore.) ..."
    "... Great Comment. Important to knock down the meme that "this is the most significant or important election of our time" - this is a carbon copy of what we have seen half a dozen times since WW2 alone and that's exactly how our elite handlers want it. Limit the choices, stoke fear, win by dividing the plebes. ..."
    "... Let's face it, trade without the iron fist of capitalism will benefit us schlobs greatly and not the 1%. I'm all for being against it (TPP etc) and will vote that way. ..."
    "... We'd also have put in enough puppet dictators in resource rich countries that we'd be able to get raw materials cheaply. The low labor/raw material cost will provide a significant advantage for exports but alas, our 99% won't be able to afford our own products. ..."
    "... the TPP will completely outlaw any possibility of a "Buy America" clause in the future! ..."
    "... The cynic in me wonders if under say NAFTA it would be possible for a multinational to sue for lost profits via isds if TPP fails to pass. That the failure to enact trade "liberalizing" legislation could be construed as an active step against trade. the way these things are so ambiguously worded, I wonder. ..."
    "... Here's Obama's actual speech at the Nike headquarters (not factory). http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barackobama/barackobamatradenike.htm ..."
    "... It should be noted that the Oregon Democrats who were free traitors and supported fast track authority were called out that day: Bonamici, Blumenauer, Schrader and Wyden. The only Oregon Ds that opposed: Sen. Merkley and Congressman DeFazio. ..."
    "... The Market Realist is far more realistic about Oregon's free traitors' votes. http://marketrealist.com/2015/05/trans-pacific-partnership-affects-footwear-firms/ "US tariffs on footwear imported from Vietnam can range from 5% to 40%, according to OTEXA (Office of Textiles and Apparel). Ratification of the TPP will likely result in lower tariffs and higher profitability for Nike." ..."
    "... So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now? ..."
    "... Perhaps they still need to show loyalty to their corporate owners and to the principle of "free trade". ..."
    "... Obama: "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy." ..."
    "... Thank you, Mr. President, for resolving any doubts that the American project is an imperialist project! ..."
    "... Yes, and I would add a jingoistic one as well. Manifest destiny, the Monroe doctrine, etc. are not just history lessons but are alive and well in the neoliberal mindset. The empire must keep expanding into every nook and cranny of the world, turning them into good consumerist slaves. ..."
    "... Funny how little things change over the centuries. ..."
    "... The West Is The Best, Subhuman Are All The Rest. The perpetual mantra of the Uebermensch since Columbus first made landfall. Hitler merely sought to apply the same to some Europeans. ..."
    "... "How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism", 2015, Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nisancioglu. ..."
    "... The Dem candidate's husband made it appallingly clear what the purpose of the TPP is: "It's to make sure the future of the Asia-Pacific region is not dominated by China". ..."
    "... Bill Clinton doesn't even care about "the rise of China". That's just a red herring he sets up to accuse opponents of TPP of soft-on-China treasonism. It's just fabricating a stick to beat the TPP-opponents with. Clinton's support for MFN for China shows what he really thinks about the "rise of China". ..."
    "... Clinton's real motivation is the same as the TPP's real reason, to reduce America to colonial possession status of the anti-national corporations and the Global OverClass natural persons who shelter behind and within them. ..."
    "... Obama. Liar or stupid? When Elizabeth Warren spoke out about the secrecy of the TPP, Obama, uncharacteristically, ran to the cameras to state that the TPP was not secret and that the charge being leveled by Warren was false. Obama's statement was that Warren had access to a copy so how dare she say it was secret. ..."
    "... Obama (and Holder) effectively immunized every financial criminal involved in the great fraud and recession without bothering to run for a camera, and to this day has refused and avoided any elaboration on the subject, but he wasted no time trying to bury Warren publicly. The TPP is a continuation of Obama's give-away to corporations, or more specifically, the very important men who run them who Obama works for. And he is going to pull out all stops to deliver to the men he respects. ..."
    "... It's a virtual "black market" of "money laundering" (sterilization). In foreign trade, IMPORTS decrease (-) the money stock of the importing country (and are a subtraction to domestic gDp figures), while EXPORTS increase (+) the money stock and domestic gDp (earnings repatriated to the U.S), and the potential money supply, of the exporting country. ..."
    "... I don't WANT the US writing the rules of trade any longer. We know what US-written rules do: plunge worker wages into slave labor territory, guts all advanced country's manufacturing capability, sends all high tech manufacturing to 3rd world nations ..."
    "... Time to toss the rules and re-write them for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of NON-wealthy and for the benefit of the planet/ecosystems, NOT for benefit of Wall St. ..."
    Sep 22, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    By Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics and Chairperson at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Originally published at The Frontline

    There is much angst in the Northern financial media about how the era of globalisation led actively by the United States may well be coming to an end. This is said to be exemplified in the changed political attitudes to mega regional trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) that was signed (but has not yet been ratified) by the US and 11 other countries in Latin America, Asia and Oceania; and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) still being negotiated by the US and the European Union.

    President Obama has been a fervent supporter of both these deals, with the explicit aim of enhancing and securing US power. "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy. We should do it today while our economy is in the position of global strength. We've got to harness it on our terms. If we don't write the rules for trade around the world – guess what? China will!", he famously said in a speech to workers in a Nike factory in Oregon, USA in May 2015. But even though he has made the case for the TPP plainly enough, his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US.

    However, the changing political currents in the US are making that ever more unlikely. Hardly anyone who is a candidate in the coming elections, whether for the Presidency, the Senate or the House of Representatives, is willing to stick their necks out to back the deal.

    Both Presidential candidates in the US (Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton) have openly come out against the TPP. In Clinton's case this is a complete reversal of her earlier position when she had referred to the TPP as "the gold standard of trade deals" – and it has clearly been forced upon her by the insurgent movement in the Democratic Party led by Bernie Sanders. She is already being pushed by her rival candidate for not coming out more clearly in terms of a complete rejection of this deal. Given the significant trust deficit that she still has to deal with across a large swathe of US voters, it will be hard if not impossible for her to backtrack on this once again (as her husband did earlier with NAFTA) even if she does achieve the Presidency.

    The official US version, expressed on the website of the US Trade Representative, is that the TPP "writes the rules for global trade-rules that will help increase Made-in-America exports, grow the American economy, support well-paying American jobs, and strengthen the American middle class." This is mainly supposed to occur because of the tariff cuts over 18,000 items that have been written into the agreement, which in turn are supposed to lead to significant expansion of trade volumes and values.

    But this is accepted by fewer and fewer people in the US. Across the country, workers view such trade deals with great suspicion as causing shifts in employment to lower paid workers, mostly in the Global South. Even the only US government study of the TPP's likely impacts, by the International Trade Commission, could project at best only 1 per cent increase in exports due to the agreement up to 2032. A study by Jeronim Capaldo and Alex Izurieta with Jomo Kwame Sundaram ("Trading down: Unemployment, inequality and other risks of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement", Working Paper 16-01, Global Development and Environment Institute, January 2016) was even less optimistic, even for the US. It found that the benefits to exports and economic growth were likely to be relatively small for all member countries, and would be negative in the US and Japan because of losses to employment and increases in inequality. Wage shares of national income would decline in all the member countries.

    But in fact the TPP and the TTIP are not really about trade liberalisation so much as other regulatory changes, so in any case it is hardly surprising that the positive effects on trade are likely to be so limited. What is more surprising is how the entire discussion around these agreements is still framed around the issues relating to trade liberalisation, when these are in fact the less important parts of these agreements, and it is the other elements that are likely to have more negative and even devastating effects on people living in the countries that sign up to them.

    Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying:

    1. the intellectual property provisions,
    2. the restrictions on regulatory practices
    3. the investor-state dispute settlement provisions.
    Three aspects of these agreements are particularly worrying: the intellectual property provisions, the restrictions on regulatory practices and the investor-state dispute settlement provisions.

    All of these would result in significant strengthening of the bargaining power of corporations vis-à-vis workers and citizens, would reduce the power of governments to bring in policies and regulations that affect the profits or curb the power of such corporations

    For example, the TPP (and the TTIP) require more stringent enforcement requirements of intellectual property rights: reducing exemptions (e.g. allowing compulsory licensing only for emergencies); preventing parallel imports; extending IPRs to areas like life forms, counterfeiting and piracy; extending exclusive rights to test data (e.g. in pharmaceuticals); making IPR provisions more detailed and prescriptive. The scope of drug patents is extended to include minor changes to existing medications (a practice commonly employed by drug companies, known as "evergreening"). Patent linkages would make it more difficult for many generic drugs to enter markets.

    This would strengthen, lengthen and broaden pharmaceutical monopolies on cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS drugs, and in general make even life-saving drugs more expensive and inaccessible in all the member countries. It would require further transformation of countries' laws on patents and medical test data. It would reduce the scope of exemption in use of medical formulations through public procurement for public purposes. All this is likely to lead to reductions in access to drugs and medical procedures because of rising prices, and also impede innovation rather than encouraging it, across member countries.

    There are also very restrictive copyright protection rules, that would also affect internet usage as Internet Service Providers are to be forced to adhere to them. There are further restrictions on branding that would reinforce the market power of established players.

    The TPP and TTIP also contain restrictions on regulatory practices that greatly increase the power of corporations relative to states and can even prevent states from engaging in countercyclical measures designed to boost domestic demand. It has been pointed out by consumer groups in the USA that the powers of the Food and Drug Administration to regulate products that affect health of citizens could be constrained and curtailed by this agreement. Similarly, macroeconomic stimulus packages that focus on boosting domestic demand for local production would be explicitly prohibited by such agreements.

    All these are matters for concern because these agreements enable corporations to litigate against governments that are perceived to be flouting these provisions because of their own policy goals or to protect the rights of their citizens. The Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism enabled by these agreements is seen to be one of their most deadly features. Such litigation is then subject to supranational tribunals to which sovereign national courts are expected to defer, but which have no human rights safeguards and which do not see the rights of citizen as in any way superior to the "rights" of corporations to their profits. These courts can conduct closed and secret hearings with secret evidence. They do not just interpret the rules but contribute to them through case law because of the relatively vague wording of the text, which can then be subject to different interpretations, and therefore are settled by case law. The experience thus far with such tribunals has been problematic. Since they are legally based on "equal" treatment of legal persons with no primacy for human rights, they have become known for their pro-investor bias, partly due to the incentive structure for arbitrators, and partly because the system is designed to provide supplementary guarantees to investors, rather than making them respect host countries laws and regulations.

    If all these features of the TPP and the TTIP were more widely known, it is likely that there would be even greater public resistance to them in the US and in other countries. Even as it is, there is growing antagonism to the trade liberalisation that is seen to bring benefits to corporations rather than to workers, at a period in history when secure employment is seen to be the biggest prize of all.

    So if such features of US-led globalisation are indeed under threat, that is probably a good thing for the people of the US and for people in their trading partners who had signed up for such deals.

    human , September 22, 2016 at 10:14 am

    his only chance of pushing even the TPP through is in the "lame duck" session of Congress just before the November Presidential election in the US.

    "just _after_ the November Presidential election"

    Uahsenaa , September 22, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I was watching a speech Premier Li gave at the Economic Club of NY last night, and it was interesting to see how all his (vetted, pre-selected) questions revolved around anxieties having to do with resistance to global trade deals. Li made a few pandering comments about how much the Chinese love American beef (stop it! you're killing me! har har) meant to diffuse those anxieties, but it became clear that the fear among TPTB of people's dissatisfaction with the current economic is palpable. Let's keep it up!

    allan , September 22, 2016 at 11:30 am

    On a related note:

    U.S. Court Throws Out Price-Fixing Judgment Against Chinese Vitamin C Makers [WSJ]

    A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out a $147 million civil price fixing judgment against Chinese manufacturers of vitamin C, ruling the companies weren't liable in U.S. courts because they were acting under the direction of Chinese authorities.

    The case raised thorny questions of how courts should treat foreign companies accused of violating U.S. antitrust law when they are following mandates of a foreign government.

    "I was only following orders" might not have worked in Nuremberg, but it's a-ok in international trade.

    different clue , September 22, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    The question arises: is Trump evil? Or merely awful? If Trump is merely awful, then we are not faced with voting for the Lesser Evil or otherwise voting Third Party in protest. If we are faced with a choice between Evil and Awful, perhaps a vote for Awful is a vote against Evil just by itself.

    Wellstone's Ghost , September 22, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Trump has already back peddaled on his TPP stance. He now says he wants to renegotiate the TTP and other trade deals. Whatever that means. Besides, Trump is a distraction, its Mike Pence you should be keeping your eye on. He's American Taliban pure and simple.

    RPDC , September 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    This is simply false. Trump has backpedaled and frontpedaled on virtually everything, but on trade, he's got Sanders-level consistency. He's been preaching the same sanity since the 90s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZpMJeynBeg

    Hillary wants to start a war with Russia and pass the trade trifecta of TPP/TTIP/TiSA.

    sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    While I do not disagree with your comments, they must be placed in proper context: there is no substantive difference between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, and the people who staff the campaigns of Trump and Clinton are essentially the same. (Fundamentally a replay of the 2000 election: Cheney/Bush vs. Lieberman/Gore.)

    Trump was run to make Hillary look good, but that has turned out to be Mission Real Impossible!

    We are seeing the absolute specious political theater at its worst, attempting to differentiate between Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Trumpster – – – the only major difference is that Clinton has far more real blood on her and Bill's hands.

    Nope, there is no lesser of evils this time around . . .

    Quanka , September 23, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Great Comment. Important to knock down the meme that "this is the most significant or important election of our time" - this is a carbon copy of what we have seen half a dozen times since WW2 alone and that's exactly how our elite handlers want it. Limit the choices, stoke fear, win by dividing the plebes.

    different clue , September 24, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Really? Well . . . might as well vote for Clinton then.

    First Woman President!
    Feminism!
    Liberation!

    TedWa , September 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Let's face it, trade without the iron fist of capitalism will benefit us schlobs greatly and not the 1%. I'm all for being against it (TPP etc) and will vote that way.

    a different chris , September 22, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    >only 1 per cent increase in exports due to the agreement up to 2032.

    At that point American's wages will have dropped near enough to Chinese levels that we can compete in selling to First World countries . assuming there are any left.

    oh , September 22, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    We'd also have put in enough puppet dictators in resource rich countries that we'd be able to get raw materials cheaply. The low labor/raw material cost will provide a significant advantage for exports but alas, our 99% won't be able to afford our own products.

    sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Naaah, never been about competition, since nobody is actually vetted when they offshore those jobs or replace American workers with foreign visa workers.

    But to sum it up as succinctly as possible: the TPP is about the destruction of workers' rights; the destruction of local and small businesses; and the loss of sovereignty. Few Americans are cognizant of just how many businesses are foreign owned today in America; their local energy utility or state energy utility, their traffic enforcement company which was privatized, their insurance company (GEICO, etc.).

    I remember when a political action group back in the '00s thought they had stumbled on a big deal when someone had hacked into the system of the Bretton Woods Committee (the lobbyist group for the international super-rich which ONLY communicates with the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader, and who shares the same lobbyist and D.C. office space as the Group of Thirty, the lobbyist group for the central bankers [Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Mario Draghi, Ernesto Zedillo, Bill Dudley, etc., etc.]) and placed online their demand of the senate and the congress to kill the "Buy America" clause in the federal stimulus program of a few years back (it was watered down greatly, and many exemptions were signed by then Commerce Secretary Gary Locke), but such information went completely unnoticed or ignored, and of course, the TPP will completely outlaw any possibility of a "Buy America" clause in the future!

    http://www.brettonwoods.org
    http://www.group30.org

    Arthur J , September 22, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    The cynic in me wonders if under say NAFTA it would be possible for a multinational to sue for lost profits via isds if TPP fails to pass. That the failure to enact trade "liberalizing" legislation could be construed as an active step against trade. the way these things are so ambiguously worded, I wonder.

    Carla , September 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    In June 2016, "[TransCanada] filed an arbitration claim under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) over President Obama's rejection of the pipeline, making good on its January threat to take legal action against the US decision.

    According to the official request for arbitration, the $15 billion tab is supposed to help the company recover costs and damages that it suffered "as a result of the US administration's breach of its NAFTA obligations." NAFTA is a comprehensive trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico that went into effect in January 1, 1994. Under the agreement, businesses can challenge governments over investment disputes.

    In addition, the company filed a suit in US Federal Court in Houston, Texas in January asserting that the Obama Administration exceeded the power granted by the US Constitution in denying the project."

    http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/transcanada_complains_nafta_sues_us_15_bn_keystone_xl_rejection/

    Six states have since joined that federal law suit.

    Kris Alman , September 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Here's Obama's actual speech at the Nike headquarters (not factory). http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/barackobama/barackobamatradenike.htm

    It should be noted that the Oregon Democrats who were free traitors and supported fast track authority were called out that day: Bonamici, Blumenauer, Schrader and Wyden. The only Oregon Ds that opposed: Sen. Merkley and Congressman DeFazio.

    Obama's rhetoric May 5, 2015 at the Nike campus was all about how small businesses would prosper. Congresswoman Bonamici clings to this rationale in her refusal to tell angry constituents at town halls whether she supports the TPP.

    The Market Realist is far more realistic about Oregon's free traitors' votes. http://marketrealist.com/2015/05/trans-pacific-partnership-affects-footwear-firms/
    "US tariffs on footwear imported from Vietnam can range from 5% to 40%, according to OTEXA (Office of Textiles and Apparel). Ratification of the TPP will likely result in lower tariffs and higher profitability for Nike."

    That appeals to the other big athletic corporations that cluster in the Portland metro: Columbia Sportswear and Under Armour.

    A plot twist!

    Vietnam will not include ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the agenda for its next parliament session. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asia/1087705/vietnam-delays-tpp-vote So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now?

    Vatch , September 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    So what's the incentive for Oregon's free traitors to support the TPP now?

    Perhaps they still need to show loyalty to their corporate owners and to the principle of "free trade".

    hemeantwell , September 22, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Obama: "We have to make sure America writes the rules of the global economy."

    Thank you, Mr. President, for resolving any doubts that the American project is an imperialist project!

    ChrisFromGeorgia , September 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Yes, and I would add a jingoistic one as well. Manifest destiny, the Monroe doctrine, etc. are not just history lessons but are alive and well in the neoliberal mindset. The empire must keep expanding into every nook and cranny of the world, turning them into good consumerist slaves.

    Funny how little things change over the centuries.

    Brad , September 22, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    The West Is The Best, Subhuman Are All The Rest. The perpetual mantra of the Uebermensch since Columbus first made landfall. Hitler merely sought to apply the same to some Europeans.

    "How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism", 2015, Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nisancioglu.

    Minnie Mouse , September 22, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    When America writes the rules of the global economy the global economy destroys America.

    OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , September 22, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    The Dem candidate's husband made it appallingly clear what the purpose of the TPP is: "It's to make sure the future of the Asia-Pacific region is not dominated by China".

    Would be nice if they had even a passing thought for those people in a certain North American region located in between Canada and Mexico.

    different clue , September 23, 2016 at 1:40 am

    Bill Clinton doesn't even care about "the rise of China". That's just a red herring he sets up to accuse opponents of TPP of soft-on-China treasonism. It's just fabricating a stick to beat the TPP-opponents with. Clinton's support for MFN for China shows what he really thinks about the "rise of China".

    Clinton's real motivation is the same as the TPP's real reason, to reduce America to colonial possession status of the anti-national corporations and the Global OverClass natural persons who shelter behind and within them.

    different clue , September 22, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    If calling the International Free Trade Conspiracy "American" is enough to get it killed and destroyed, then I don't mind having a bunch of foreigners calling the Free Trade Conspiracy "American". Just as long as they are really against it, and can really get Free Trade killed and destroyed.

    Chauncey Gardiner , September 22, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Excellent post. Thank you. Should these so called "trade agreements" be approved, perhaps Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS arbitration) futures can be created by Wall Street and made the next speculative "Play-of-the-day" so that everyone has a chance to participate in the looting. Btw, can you loot your own house?

    KYrocky , September 22, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Obama. Liar or stupid? When Elizabeth Warren spoke out about the secrecy of the TPP, Obama, uncharacteristically, ran to the cameras to state that the TPP was not secret and that the charge being leveled by Warren was false. Obama's statement was that Warren had access to a copy so how dare she say it was secret.

    At the time he made that statement Warren could go to an offsite location to read the TPP in the presence of a member of the Trade Commission, could not have staff with her, could not take notes, and could not discuss anything she read with anyone else after she left. Or face criminal charges.

    Yeah. Nothing secret about that.

    Obama (and Holder) effectively immunized every financial criminal involved in the great fraud and recession without bothering to run for a camera, and to this day has refused and avoided any elaboration on the subject, but he wasted no time trying to bury Warren publicly. The TPP is a continuation of Obama's give-away to corporations, or more specifically, the very important men who run them who Obama works for. And he is going to pull out all stops to deliver to the men he respects.

    sgt_doom , September 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    And add to that everything from David Dayen's book (" Chain of Title ") on Covington & Burling and Eric Holder and President Obama, and Thomas Frank's book ("Listen, Liberals") and people will have the full picture!

    Spencer , September 22, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    It's a virtual "black market" of "money laundering" (sterilization). In foreign trade, IMPORTS decrease (-) the money stock of the importing country (and are a subtraction to domestic gDp figures), while EXPORTS increase (+) the money stock and domestic gDp (earnings repatriated to the U.S), and the potential money supply, of the exporting country.

    So, there's a financial incentive (to maximize profits), not to repatriate foreign income (pushes up our exchange rate, currency conversion costs, if domestic re-investment alternatives are considered more circumscribed, plus taxes, etc.).

    In spite of the surfeit of $s, and E-$ credits, and unlike the days in which world-trade required a Marshall Plan jump start, trade surpluses increasingly depend on the Asian Tiger's convertibility issues.

    Praedor , September 23, 2016 at 10:30 am

    I don't WANT the US writing the rules of trade any longer. We know what US-written rules do: plunge worker wages into slave labor territory, guts all advanced country's manufacturing capability, sends all high tech manufacturing to 3rd world nations or even (potential) unfriendlies like China (who can easily put trojan spyware hard code or other vulnerabilities into critical microchips the way WE were told the US could/would when it was leading on this tech when I was serving in the 90s). We already know that US-written rules is simply a way for mega corporations to extend patents into the ever-more-distant future, a set of rules that hands more control of arts over to the MPAA, rules that gut environmental laws, etc. Who needs the US-written agreements when this is the result?

    Time to toss the rules and re-write them for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of NON-wealthy and for the benefit of the planet/ecosystems, NOT for benefit of Wall St.

    [Dec 05, 2016] Stiglitz Blasts Outrageous TPP as Obama Campaigns for Corporate-Friendly Deal Common Dreams Breaking News Views for the

    Notable quotes:
    "... Expressing his overall objections to the TPP, Stiglitz said "corporate interests... were at the table" when it was being crafted. He also condemned "the provisions on intellectual property that will drive up drug prices" and "the 'investment provisions' which will make it more difficult to regulate and actually harm trade." ..."
    "... The Democratic candidate, for her part, supported the deal before coming out against it , but for TPP foes, uncertainty about her position remains, especially since she recently named former Colorado Senator and Interior Secretary-and " vehement advocate for the TPP "-Ken Salazar to be chair of her presidential transition team. ..."
    "... Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said , "We have to make sure that bill never sees the light of day after this election," while Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said at the American Postal Workers Union convention in Walt Disney World, "If this goes through, it's curtains for the middle class in this country." ..."
    Aug 25, 2016 | www.commondreams.org
    Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has reiterated his opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying on Tuesday that President Barack Obama's push to get the trade deal passed during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress is "outrageous" and "absolutely wrong."

    Stiglitz, an economics professor at Columbia University and chief economist of the Roosevelt Institute, made the comments on CNN's "Quest Means Business."

    His criticism comes as Obama aggressively campaigns to get lawmakers to pass the TPP in the Nov. 9 to Jan. 3 window-even as resistance mounts against the 12-nation deal.

    Echoing an argument made by Center for Economic and Policy Research co-director Mark Weisbrot, Stiglitz said, "At the lame-duck session you have congressmen voting who know that they're not accountable anymore."

    Lawmakers "who are not politically accountable because they're leaving may, in response to promises of jobs or just subtle understandings, do things that are not in the national interest," he said.

    Expressing his overall objections to the TPP, Stiglitz said "corporate interests... were at the table" when it was being crafted. He also condemned "the provisions on intellectual property that will drive up drug prices" and "the 'investment provisions' which will make it more difficult to regulate and actually harm trade."

    "The advocates of trade said it was going to benefit everyone," he added. "The evidence is it's benefited a few and left a lot behind."

    Stiglitz has previously spoken out against the TPP before, arguing that it "may turn out to be the worst trade agreement in decades;" that it would mean "if you pass a regulation that restricts ability to pollute or does something about climate change, you could be sued and could pay billions of dollars;" and previously said that the president's TPP push "is one of Obama's biggest mistakes."

    Stiglitz has also been advising the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. The Democratic candidate, for her part, supported the deal before coming out against it, but for TPP foes, uncertainty about her position remains, especially since she recently named former Colorado Senator and Interior Secretary-and "vehement advocate for the TPP"-Ken Salazar to be chair of her presidential transition team.

    Opposition to the TPP also appeared Tuesday in Michigan and Florida, where union members and lawmakers criticized what they foresee as the deal's impacts on working families.

    Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) said, "We have to make sure that bill never sees the light of day after this election," while Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said at the American Postal Workers Union convention in Walt Disney World, "If this goes through, it's curtains for the middle class in this country."

    [Dec 05, 2016] Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Tulsi Gabbard - Fighting for the people.

    Aug 01, 2016 | www.votetulsi.com

    We cannot allow this agreement to forsake the American middle class, while foreign governments are allowed to devalue their currency and artificially prop-up their industries.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is a bad deal for the American people. This historically massive trade deal -- accounting for 40 percent of global trade -- would reduce restrictions on foreign corporations operating within the U.S., limit our ability to protect our environment, and create more incentives for U.S. businesses to outsource investments and jobs overseas to countries with lower labor costs and standards.

    Over and over we hear from TPP proponents how the TPP will boost our economy, help American workers, and set the standards for global trade. The International Trade Commission report released last May (https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4607.pdf) confirms that the opposite is true. In exchange for just 0.15 percent boost in GDP by 2032, the TPP would decimate American manufacturing capacity, increase our trade deficit, ship American jobs overseas, and result in losses to 16 of the 25 U.S. economic sectors. These estimates don't even account for the damaging effects of currency manipulation, environmental impacts, and the agreement's deeply flawed Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) process.

    There's no reason to believe the provisions of this deal relating to labor standards, preserving American jobs, or protecting our environment, will be enforceable. Every trade agreement negotiated in the past claimed to have strong enforceable provisions to protect American jobs -- yet no such enforcement has occurred, and agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have resulted in the loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has called TPP "NAFTA on steroids." The loss of U.S. jobs under the TPP would likely be unprecedented.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fC0qppnK_U

    Watch: Tulsi restates the need for transparency in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on the House floor.

    [Dec 05, 2016] BuzzFeed Exposes Corporate Super Courts That Can Overrule Government

    Corporations are "one-dollar-one-vote" top-down systems. They consider "one-person-one-vote" democracy illegitimate
    Notable quotes:
    "... Existing "trade" agreements like NAFTA allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws and regulations that limit their profits. They set up special " corporate courts " in which corporate attorneys decide the cases. These corporate "super courts" sit above governments and their own court systems, and countries and their citizens cannot even appeal the rulings. ..."
    "... Now, corporations are pushing two new "trade" agreements - one covering Pacific-are countries and one covering Atlantic-area countries - that expand these corporate rights and move governments out of their way. The Pacific agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Atlantic one is called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). ..."
    "... International corporations that want to intimidate countries have access to a private legal system designed just for them. And to unlock its power, sometimes all it takes is a threat. ..."
    "... ISDS is so tilted and unpredictable, and the fines the arbitrators can impose are so catastrophically large, that bowing to a company's demands, however extreme they may be, can look like the prudent choice. ..."
    Sep 03, 2016 | Back to (our) Future

    BuzzFeed is running a very important investigative series called "Secrets of a Global Super Court." It describes what they call "a parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else."

    Existing "trade" agreements like NAFTA allow corporations to sue governments for passing laws and regulations that limit their profits. They set up special "corporate courts" in which corporate attorneys decide the cases. These corporate "super courts" sit above governments and their own court systems, and countries and their citizens cannot even appeal the rulings.

    The 2014 post "Corporate Courts - A Big Red Flag On "Trade" Agreements" explained the origin and rationale for these corporate courts:

    Picture a poor "banana republic" country ruled by a dictator and his cronies. A company might want to invest in a factory or railroad - things that would help the people of that country as well as deliver a return to the company. But the company worries that the dictator might decide to just seize the factory and give it to his brother-in-law. Agreements to protect investors, and allowing a tribunal not based in such countries (courts where the judges are cronies of the dictator), make sense in such situations.

    Here's the thing: Corporate investors see themselves as legitimate "makers" and see citizens and voters and their governments - always demanding taxes and fair pay and public safety - to be illegitimate "takers." Corporations are all about "one-dollar-one-vote" top-down systems of governance. They consider "one-person-one-vote" democracy to be an illegitimate, non-functional system that meddles with their more-important profit interests. They consider any governmental legal or regulatory system to be "burdensome." They consider taxes as "theft" of the money they have "earned."

    To them, any government anywhere is just another "banana republic" from which they need special protection.

    "Trade" Deals Bypass Borders

    Investors and their corporations have set up a way to get around the borders of these meddling governments, called "trade" deals. The trade deals elevate global corporate interests above any national interest. When a country signs a "trade" deal, that country is agreeing not to do things that protect the country's own national interest - like impose tariffs to protect key industries or national strategies, or pass laws and regulations - when those things interfere with the larger, more important global corporate "trade" interests.

    Now, corporations are pushing two new "trade" agreements - one covering Pacific-are countries and one covering Atlantic-area countries - that expand these corporate rights and move governments out of their way. The Pacific agreement is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Atlantic one is called the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

    Secrets of a Global Super Court

    BuzzFeed's series on these corporate courts, "Secrets of a Global Super Court," explains the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in the "trade" deals that have come to dominate the world economy. These provisions set up "corporate courts" that place corporate profits above the interests of governments and set up a court system that sits above the court systems of the countries in the "trade" deals.

    Part One, "Inside The Global "Club" That Helps Executives Escape Their Crimes," describes, "A parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else, helps executives convicted of crimes escape punishment."

    In a little-noticed 2014 dissent, US Chief Justice John Roberts warned that ISDS arbitration panels hold the alarming power to review a nation's laws and "effectively annul the authoritative acts of its legislature, executive, and judiciary." ISDS arbitrators, he continued, "can meet literally anywhere in the world" and "sit in judgment" on a nation's "sovereign acts."

    [. . .]

    Reviewing publicly available information for about 300 claims filed during the past five years, BuzzFeed News found more than 35 cases in which the company or executive seeking protection in ISDS was accused of criminal activity, including money laundering, embezzlement, stock manipulation, bribery, war profiteering, and fraud.

    Among them: a bank in Cyprus that the US government accused of financing terrorism and organized crime, an oil company executive accused of embezzling millions from the impoverished African nation of Burundi, and the Russian oligarch known as "the Kremlin's banker."

    One lawyer who regularly represents governments said he's seen evidence of corporate criminality that he "couldn't believe." Speaking on the condition that he not be named because he's currently handling ISDS cases, he said, "You have a lot of scuzzy sort-of thieves for whom this is a way to hit the jackpot."

    Part Two, "The Billion-Dollar Ultimatum," looks at how "International corporations that want to intimidate countries have access to a private legal system designed just for them. And to unlock its power, sometimes all it takes is a threat."

    Of all the ways in which ISDS is used, the most deeply hidden are the threats, uttered in private meetings or ominous letters, that invoke those courts. The threats are so powerful they often eliminate the need to actually bring a lawsuit. Just the knowledge that it could happen is enough.

    [. . .] ISDS is so tilted and unpredictable, and the fines the arbitrators can impose are so catastrophically large, that bowing to a company's demands, however extreme they may be, can look like the prudent choice. Especially for nations struggling to emerge from corrupt dictatorships or to lift their people from decades of poverty, the mere threat of an ISDS claim triggers alarm. A single decision by a panel of three unaccountable, private lawyers, meeting in a conference room on some other continent, could gut national budgets and shake economies to the core.

    Part Three, "To Bankers, It's Not Just A Court System, It's A Gold Mine," exposes how "Financial companies have figured out how to turn a controversial global legal system to their own very profitable advantage."

    Indeed, financiers and ISDS lawyers have created a whole new business: prowling for ways to sue nations in ISDS and make their taxpayers fork over huge sums, sometimes in retribution for enforcing basic laws or regulations.

    The financial industry is pushing novel ISDS claims that countries never could have anticipated - claims that, in some instances, would be barred in US courts and those of other developed nations, or that strike at emergency decisions nations make to cope with crises.

    ISDS gives particular leverage to traders and speculators who chase outsize profits in the developing world. They can buy into local disputes that they have no connection to, then turn the disputes into costly international showdowns. Standard Chartered, for example, bought the debt of a Tanzanian company that was in dire financial straits and racked by scandal; now, the bank has filed an ISDS claim demanding that the nation's taxpayers hand over the full amount that the private company owed - more than $100 million. Asked to comment, Standard Chartered said its claim is "valid."

    David Dayen explains this last point, in "The Big Problem With The Trans-Pacific Partnership's Super Court That We're Not Talking About": "Financiers will use it to bet on lawsuits, while taxpayers foot the bill."

    But instead of helping companies resolve legitimate disputes over seized assets, ISDS has increasingly become a way for rich investors to make money by speculating on lawsuits, winning huge awards and forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.

    Here's how it works: Wealthy financiers with idle cash have purchased companies that are well placed to bring an ISDS claim, seemingly for the sole purpose of using that claim to make a buck. Sometimes, they set up shell corporations to create the plaintiffs to bring ISDS cases. And some hedge funds and private equity firms bankroll ISDS cases as third parties - just like billionaire Peter Thiel bankrolled Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker Media.

    Part Four of the great BuzzFeed series, "Secrets of a Global Super Court," is expected to be published later this week.

    PCCC Statement

    The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) released this statement on the ISDS provisions in TPP:

    "Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Wall Street would be allowed to sue the government in extrajudicial, corporate-run tribunals over any regulation and American taxpayers would be on the hook for damages. This is an outrage. We need more accountability and fairness in our economy – not less. And we need to preserve our ability to make our own rules.

    "It's time for Obama to take notice of the widespread, bipartisan opposition to the TPP and take this agreement off the table before he causes lasting political harm to Democrats with voters."

    [Dec 05, 2016] No TPP - a certainty in case Donald Trump is elected in November - means the end of US economic hegemony over Asia.

    Notable quotes:
    "... "No TPP - a certainty in case Donald Trump is elected in November - means the end of US economic hegemony over Asia. Hillary Clinton knows it; and it's no accident President Obama is desperate to have TPP approved during a short window of opportunity, the lame-duck session of Congress from November 9 to January 3." ..."
    "... To me, the key to our economic hegemony lies in our reserve currency hegemony. They will have to continue to supply us to get the currency. Unless we have injected too much already (no scholars have come forth to say how much trade deficits are necessary for the reserve currency to function as the reserve currency, and so, we have just kept buying – and I am wondering if we have bought too much and there is a need to starting running trade surpluses to soak up the excess money – just asking, I don't know the answer). ..."
    Sep 01, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

    Joe Hunter , August 31, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    " http://www.defenddemocracy.press/whole-game-containing-russisa-china/

    A response to Hillary Clinton's America Exceptionalist Speech:

    1. America Exceptionalist vs. the World..
    2. Brezinski is extremely dejected.
    3. Russia-China on the march.
    4. "There will be blood. Hillary Clinton smells it already ."

    clarky90 , August 31, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    "No TPP - a certainty in case Donald Trump is elected in November - means the end of US economic hegemony over Asia. Hillary Clinton knows it; and it's no accident President Obama is desperate to have TPP approved during a short window of opportunity, the lame-duck session of Congress from November 9 to January 3."

    http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20160829/1044733257/russia-china-game-brics.html

    MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 31, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    To me, the key to our economic hegemony lies in our reserve currency hegemony. They will have to continue to supply us to get the currency. Unless we have injected too much already (no scholars have come forth to say how much trade deficits are necessary for the reserve currency to function as the reserve currency, and so, we have just kept buying – and I am wondering if we have bought too much and there is a need to starting running trade surpluses to soak up the excess money – just asking, I don't know the answer).

    [Dec 05, 2016] In the face of public opposition to the TPP and TISA proponents have trotted out a new argument: we have come too far , our national credibility would be damaged if we stop now.

    Aug 27, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    L , August 26, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Regarding the push to pass the TPP and TISA I've been needing to get this off my chest and this seems to be as good a time as any:

    In the face of public opposition to the TPP and TISA proponents have trotted out a new argument: "we have come too far", "our national credibility would be damaged if we stop now." The premise of which is that negotiations have been going on so long, and have involved such effort that if the U.S. were to back away now we would look bad and would lose significant political capital.

    On one level this argument is true. The negotiations have been long, and many promises were made by the negotiators to secure to to this point. Stepping back now would expose those promises as false and would make that decade of effort a loss. It would also expose the politicians who pushed for it in the face of public oppoosition to further loss of status and to further opposition.

    However, all of that is voided by one simple fact. The negotiations were secret. All of that effort, all of the horse trading and the promise making was done by a self-selected body of elites, for that same body, and was hidden behind a wall of secrecy stronger than that afforded to new weapons. The deals were hidden not just from the general public, not from trade unions or environmental groups, but from the U.S. Congress itself.

    Therefore it has no public legitimacy. The promises made are not "our" promises but Michael Froman's promises. They are not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government but only by the words of a small body of appointees and the multinational corporations that they serve. The corporations were invited to the table, Congress was not.

    What "elites" really mean when they say "America's credibility is on the line" is that their credibility is on the line. If these deals fail what will be lost is not America's stature but the premise that a handful of appointees can cut deals in private and that the rest of us will make good.

    When that minor loss is laid against the far greater fact that the terms of these deals are bad, that prior deals of this type have harmed our real economies, and that the rules will further erode our national sovreignity, there is no contest.

    Michael Froman's reputation has no value. Our sovreignity, our economy, our nation, does.

    flora , August 26, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    +1

    grizziz , August 26, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Thank you for your comment. +1

    Lambert Strether Post author , August 26, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    "We've gone too far."

    Whaddaya mean, "we"?

    ambrit , August 26, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    The imperial "We."
    I just had a soul corroding vision of H Clinton done up as Victoria Regina. Ouch!!! Go get the butter!

    Jim Haygood , August 26, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    In modern parlance, she's Victoria Rejayjay. :-0

    JohnnyGL , August 26, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Good comment .

    "What "elites" really mean when they say "America's credibility is on the line" is that their credibility is on the line. If these deals fail what will be lost is not America's stature but the premise that a handful of appointees can cut deals in private and that the rest of us will make good."

    Yes! And the victory will taste so sweet when we bury this filthy, rotten, piece of garbage. Obama's years of effort down the drain, his legacy tarnished and unfinished.

    I want TPP's defeat to send a clear message that the elites can't count on their politicians to deliver for them. Let's make this thing their Stalingrad! Leave deep scars so that they give up on TISA and stop trying to concoct these absurd schemes like ISDS.

    abynormal , August 26, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    sorry but i don't see it that way at all. 'they' got a propaganda machine to beat all 'they' make n break reps all the time. i do see a desperation on a monetary/profit scale. widening the 'playing field' offers more profits with less risk. for instance, our Pharams won't have to slash their prices at the risk of sunshine laws, wish-washy politicians, competition, nor a pissed off public. jmo tho')

    OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , August 26, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    LOL "America's credibility" LOL, these people need to get out more. In the 60's you could hike high up into the Andes and the sheep herder had two pics on the wall of his hut: Jesus and JFK. America retains its cachet as a place to make money and be entertained, but as some kind of beacon of morality and fair play in the world? Dead, buried, and long gone, the hype-fest of slogans and taglines can only cover up so many massive, atrocious and hypocritical actions and serial offenses.

    Synoia , August 26, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    his legacy tarnished and unfinished.

    And his post-presidential money small .

    NotTimothyGeithner , August 26, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Clinton Inc was mostly Bill helping Epstein get laid until after Kerry lost. If this was the reelection of John Edwards, Kerry's running mate, and a referendum on 12 years of Kerronomics, Bill and Hill would be opening night speakers at the DNC and answers to trivia questions.

    My guess is Obama is dropped swiftly and unceremoniously especially since he doesn't have much of a presence in Washington.

    John Wright , August 26, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    The must preserve American credibility argument on the line again.

    Here is a quote from NYT's Nicholas Kristoff from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/opinion/kristof-reinforce-a-norm-in-syria.html

    "It looks as if we'll be firing Tomahawk cruise missiles at Syria in the coming days, and critics are raising legitimate concerns:"

    "Yet there is value in bolstering international norms against egregious behavior like genocide or the use of chemical weapons. Since President Obama established a "red line" about chemical weapons use, his credibility has been at stake: he can't just whimper and back down."

    Obama did back down.

    NIcholas Kristof, vigilant protector of American credibility through bombing Syria.

    polecat , August 26, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    he's just another syncophantic punk .in a long line of syncophantic punks

    ..oh..that includes Kristof too

    RabidGandhi , August 26, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Ah yes the credibility of our élites. With their sterling record on Nafta's benefits, Iraq's liberation, Greece's rebound, the IMF's rehabilitation of countries

    We must pass TPP or Tom Friedman will lose credibility, what?

    polecat , August 26, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    yeah but will he have to shave off his 'stache' ??

    Propertius , August 26, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Well said!

    HopeLB , August 26, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Wonderful (and credible) assessment.

    [Dec 05, 2016] Framing Votes for TPP as the Surrender of National Sovereignty (i.e., Treason) naked capitalism

    Notable quotes:
    "... pro-TPPers "consciously seek to weaken the national defense," that's exactly what's going on. Neoliberalism, through offshoring, weakens the national defense, because it puts our weaponry at the mercy of fragile and corruptible supply chains. ..."
    "... Now, when we think about how corrupt the political class has become, it's not hard to see why Obama is confident that he will win. ..."
    "... I think raising the ante rhetorically by framing a pro-TPP vote as treason could help sway a close vote; and if readers try that frame out, I'd like to hear the results ..."
    Aug 29, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
    Why the Proponents of TPP Are Traitors

    There are two reasons: First, they consciously seek to weaken the national defense. And second, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system is a surrender of national sovereignty .

    National Defense

    This might be labeled the "Ghost Fleet" argument, since we're informed that Paul Singer and Augustus Cole's techno-thriller has really caught the attention of the national security class below the political appointee level, and that this is a death blow for neoliberalism. Why? "The multi-billion dollar, next generation F-35 aircraft, for instance, is rendered powerless after it is revealed that Chinese microprocessor manufacturers had implanted malicious code into products intended for the jet" ( Foreign Policy ). Clearly, we need, well, industrial policy, and we need to bring a lot of manufacturing home. From Brigadier General (Retired) John Adams :

    In 2013, the Pentagon's Defense Science Board put forward a remarkable report describing one of the most significant but little-recognized threats to US security: deindustrialization. The report argued that the loss of domestic U.S. manufacturing facilities has not only reduced U.S. living standards but also compromised U.S. technology leadership "by enabling new players to learn a technology and then gain the capability to improve on it." The report explained that the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing presents a particularly dangerous threat to U.S. military readiness through the "compromise of the supply chain for key weapons systems components."

    Our military is now shockingly vulnerable to major disruptions in the supply chain, including from substandard manufacturing practices, natural disasters, and price gouging by foreign nations. Poor manufacturing practices in offshore factories lead to problem-plagued products, and foreign producers-acting on the basis of their own military or economic interests-can sharply raise prices or reduce or stop sales to the United States.

    The link between TPP and this kind of offshoring has been well-established.

    And, one might say, the link between neo-liberal economic policy "and this kind of offshoring has been well-established" as well.

    So, when I framed the issue as one where pro-TPPers "consciously seek to weaken the national defense," that's exactly what's going on. Neoliberalism, through offshoring, weakens the national defense, because it puts our weaponry at the mercy of fragile and corruptible supply chains. Note that re-industrializing America has positive appeal, too: For the right, on national security grounds; and for the left, on labor's behalf (and maybe helping out the Rust Belt that neoliberal policies of the last forty years did so much to destroy. Of course, this framing would make Clinton a traitor, but you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. (Probably best to to let the right, in its refreshingly direct fashion, use the actual "traitor" word, and the left, shocked, call for the restoration of civility, using verbiage like "No, I wouldn't say she's a traitor. She's certainly 'extremely careless' with our nation's security.")

    ISDS

    The Investor-State Dispute Settlement system is a hot mess (unless you represent a corporation, or are one of tiny fraternity of international corporate lawyers who can plead and/or judge ISDS cases). Yves wrote :

    What may have torched the latest Administration salvo is a well-timed joint publication by Wikileaks and the New York Times of a recent version of the so-called investment chapter. That section sets forth one of the worst features of the agreement, the investor-state dispute settlement process (ISDS). As we've described at length in earlier posts, the ISDS mechanism strengthens the existing ISDS process. It allows for secret arbitration panels to effectively overrule national regulations by allowing foreign investors to sue governments over lost potential future profits in secret arbitration panels. Those panels have been proved to be conflict-ridden and arbitrary. And the grounds for appeal are limited and technical.

    (More from NC on the ISDS panels , the TPP clauses on ISDS , the "code of conduct" for lawyers before the ISDS, pending ISDS settlements , and the potential constitutional challenges to the ISDS system.)

    Here again we have a frame that appeals to both right and left. The very thought of surrendering national sovereignty to an international organization makes any good conservative's back teeth itch. And the left sees the "lost profits" doctrine as a club to prevent future government programs they would like to put in place (single payer, for example). And in both cases, the neoliberal doctrine of putting markets before anything else makes pro-TPP-ers traitors. To the right, because nationalism trumps internationalism; to the left, because TPP prevents the State from looiking after the welfare of its people.

    The Political State of Play

    All I know is what I read in the papers, so what follows can only be speculation. That said, there are two ways TPP could be passed: In the lame duck session, by Obama, or after a new President is inaugurated, by Clinton (or possibly by Trump[1]).

    Passing TPP in the Lame Duck Session

    Obama is committed to passing TPP (and we might remember that the adminstration failed to pass the draft in Maui , then succeeded in Atlanta . And the House killed Fast Track once , before voting for it (after which the Senate easily passed it, and Obama signed it). So the TPP may be a "heavy lift," but that doesn't mean Obama can't accomplish it. Obama says :

    [OBAMA:] And hopefully, after the election is over and the dust settles, there will be more attention to the actual facts behind the deal and it won't just be a political symbol or a political football. And I will actually sit down with people on both sides, on the right and on the left. I'll sit down publicly with them and we'll go through the whole provisions. I would enjoy that, because there's a lot of misinformation.

    I'm really confident I can make the case this is good for American workers and the American people. And people said we weren't going to be able to get the trade authority to even present this before Congress, and somehow we muddled through and got it done. And I intend to do the same with respect to the actual agreement.

    So how would Obama "muddle through"? One way is to appeal to legislators who won't have to face voters again :

    So it is looking like a very close vote. (For procedural and political reasons, Obama will not bring it to a vote unless he is sure he has the necessary votes). Now let's look at one special group of Representatives who can swing this vote: the actual lame-ducks, i.e., those who will be in office only until Jan. 3. It depends partly on how many lose their election on Nov. 8, but the average number of representatives who left after the last three elections was about 80.

    Most of these people will be looking for a job, preferably one that can pay them more than $1 million a year. From the data provided by OpenSecrets.org, we can estimate that about a quarter of these people will become lobbyists. (An additional number will work for firms that are clients of lobbyists).

    So there you have it: It is all about corruption, and this is about as unadulterated as corruption gets in our hallowed democracy, other than literal cash under a literal table. These are the people whom Obama needs to pass this agreement, and the window between Nov. 9 and Jan. 3 is the only time that they are available to sell their votes to future employers without any personal political consequences whatsoever. The only time that the electorate can be rendered so completely irrelevant, if Obama can pull this off.

    (The article doesn't talk about the Senate, but Fast Track passed the Senate with a filibuster-proof super-majority, so the battle is in the House anyhow. And although the text of TPP cannot be amended - that's what fast track means! - there are still ways to affect the interpretation and enforcement of the text, so Obama and his corporate allies have bargaining chips beyond Beltway sinecures.[2])

    Now, when we think about how corrupt the political class has become, it's not hard to see why Obama is confident that he will win. ( Remember , "[T]he preferences of economic elites have far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average citizens do.") However, if the anti-TPP-ers raise the rhetorical stakes from policy disagreement to treason, maybe a few of those 80 representatives will do the right thing (or, if you prefer, decide that the reputational damage to their future career makes a pro-TPP vote not worth it. Who wants to play golf with a traitor?)

    Passing TPP after the Inaugural

    After the coronation inaugural, Clinton will have to use more complicated tactics than dangling goodies before the snouts of representatives leaving for K Street. (We've seen that Clinton's putative opposition to TPP is based on lawyerly parsing; and her base supports it. So I assume a Clinton administration would go full speed ahead with it.) My own thought has been that she'd set up a "conversation" on trade, and then buy off the national unions with "jobs for the boys," so that they sell their locals down the river. Conservative Jennifer Rubin has a better proposal , which meets Clinton's supposed criterion of not hurting workers even better:

    Depending on the election results and how many pro-free-trade Republicans lose, it still might not be sufficient. Here's a further suggestion: Couple it with a substantial infrastructure project that Clinton wants, but with substantial safeguards to make sure that the money is wisely spent. Clinton gets a big jobs bill - popular with both sides - and a revised TPP gets through.

    Finally, an even more radical proposal, again from a conservative source :

    What Clinton needs is a significant revision to TPP that she can tout as a real reform to trade agreements, one that satisfies some of the TPP's critics on the left. A minor tweak is unlikely to assuage anyone; this change needs to be a major one. Fortunately, there is a TPP provision that fits the bill perfectly: investor state dispute settlement (ISDS), the procedure that allows foreign investors to sue governments in an international tribunal. Removing ISDS could triangulate the TPP debate, allowing for enough support to get it through Congress.

    Obama can't have a conversation on trade, or propose a jobs program, let alone jettison ISDS; all he's got going for him is corruption.[3] So, interestingly, although Clinton can't take the simple road of bribing the 80 represenatives, she does have more to bargain with on policy. Rubin's jobs bill could at least be framed as a riposte to the "Ghost Fleet" argument, since both are about "jawbs," even if infrastructure programs and reindustrialization aren't identical in intent. And while I don't think Clinton would allow ISDS to be removed ( her corporate donors love it ), at least somebody's thinking about how to pander to the left. Nevertheless, what does a jobs program matter if the new jobs leave the country anyhow? And suppose ISDS is removed, but the removal of the precautionary principle remains? We'd still get corporate-friendly decisions, bilaterally. And people would end up balancing the inevitable Clinton complexity and mush against the simplicity of the message that a vote for TPP is a vote against the United States.

    Conclusion

    I hope I've persuaded you that TPP is still very much alive, and that both Obama in the lame duck, and Clinton (or even Trump) when inaugurated have reasonable hopes of passing it. However, I think raising the ante rhetorically by framing a pro-TPP vote as treason could help sway a close vote; and if readers try that frame out, I'd like to hear the results (especially when the result comes from a letter to your Congress critter). Interestingly, Buzzfeed just published tonight the first in a four-part series, devoted to the idea that ISDS is what we have said it is all along: A surrender of national sovereignty. Here's a great slab of it :

    Imagine a private, global super court that empowers corporations to bend countries to their will.

    Say a nation tries to prosecute a corrupt CEO or ban dangerous pollution. Imagine that a company could turn to this super court and sue the whole country for daring to interfere with its profits, demanding hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars as retribution.

    Imagine that this court is so powerful that nations often must heed its rulings as if they came from their own supreme courts, with no meaningful way to appeal. That it operates unconstrained by precedent or any significant public oversight, often keeping its proceedings and sometimes even its decisions secret. That the people who decide its cases are largely elite Western corporate attorneys who have a vested interest in expanding the court's authority because they profit from it directly, arguing cases one day and then sitting in judgment another. That some of them half-jokingly refer to themselves as "The Club" or "The Mafia."

    And imagine that the penalties this court has imposed have been so crushing - and its decisions so unpredictable - that some nations dare not risk a trial, responding to the mere threat of a lawsuit by offering vast concessions, such as rolling back their own laws or even wiping away the punishments of convicted criminals.

    This system is already in place, operating behind closed doors in office buildings and conference rooms in cities around the world. Known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, it is written into a vast network of treaties that govern international trade and investment, including NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Congress must soon decide whether to ratify.

    That's the stuff to give the troops!

    NOTE

    [1] Trump: "I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers." Lotta wiggle room there, and the lawyerly parsing is just like Clinton's. I don't think it's useful to discuss what Trump might do on TPP, because until there are other parties to the deal, there's no deal to be had. Right now, we're just looking at Trump doing A-B testing - not that there's anything wrong with that - which the press confuses with policy proposals. So I'm not considering Trump because I don't think we have any data to go on.

    [2] In-Depth News explains the mechanisms:

    To pacify [those to whom he will corrupt appeal], Obama will have to convince them that what they want will anyway be achieved, even if these are not legally part of the TPP because the TPP text cannot be amended.

    He can try to achieve this through bilateral side agreements on specific issues. Or he can insist that some countries take on extra obligations beyond what is required by the TPP as a condition for obtaining a U.S. certification that they have fulfilled their TPP obligations.

    This certification is required for the U.S. to provide the TPP's benefits to its partners, and the U.S. has previously made use of this process to get countries to take on additional obligations, which can then be shown to Congress members that their objectives have been met.

    In other words, side deals.

    [3] This should not be taken to imply that Clinton does not have corruption going for her, too. She can also make all the side deals Obama can.

    [Dec 05, 2016] US Faces Major Setback As Europeans Revolt Against TTIP

    Notable quotes:
    "... One of the main concerns with TTIP is that it could allow multinational corporations to effectively "sue" governments for taking actions that might damage their businesses. Critics claim American companies might be able to avoid having to meet various EU health, safety and environment regulations by challenging them in a quasi-court set up to resolve disputes between investors and states. ..."
    "... These developments take place against the background of another major free trade agreement - the Trans Pacific Partnership ( TPP ) - hitting snags on the way to being pushed through Congress. ..."
    "... "US Faces Major Setback" Well, actually, US corporations face a major setback. Average US citizens face a reprieve. ..."
    Zero Hedge
    TTIP negotiations have been ongoing since 2013 in an effort to establish a massive free trade zone that would eliminate many tariffs. After 14 rounds of talks that have lasted three years not a single common item out of the 27 chapters being discussed has been agreed on. The United States has refused to agree on an equal playing field between European and American companies in the sphere of public procurement sticking to the principle of "buy American".

    The opponents of the deal believe that in its current guise the TTIP is too friendly to US businesses. One of the main concerns with TTIP is that it could allow multinational corporations to effectively "sue" governments for taking actions that might damage their businesses. Critics claim American companies might be able to avoid having to meet various EU health, safety and environment regulations by challenging them in a quasi-court set up to resolve disputes between investors and states.

    In Europe thousands of people supported by society groups, trade unions and activists take to the streets expressing protest against the deal. Three million people have signed a petition calling for it to be scrapped. For instance, various trade unions and other groups have called for protests against the TTIP across Germany to take place on September 17. A trade agreement with Canada has also come under attack.

    US presidential candidate Donald Trump has promoted protectionist trade policies, while rival Hillary Clinton has also cast doubt on the TTIP deal. Congressional opposition has become steep. The lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have railed against free trade agreements as unfair to US companies and workers.

    These developments take place against the background of another major free trade agreement - the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) - hitting snags on the way to being pushed through Congress. The chances are really slim.

    silverer •Sep 5, 2016 9:51 AM

    "US Faces Major Setback" Well, actually, US corporations face a major setback. Average US citizens face a reprieve.

    [Dec 05, 2016] Failure of Globalization and the Fourth Estate

    Notable quotes:
    "... As Mr. Buffet so keenly said it, There is a war going on, and we are winning. ..."
    "... Just type `TPP editorial' into news.google.com and watch a toxic sludge of straw men, misdirection, and historical revisionism flow across your screen. And the `objective' straight news reporting is no better. ..."
    "... "Why is it afraid of us?" Because we the people are perceived to be the enemy of America the Corporation. Whistleblowers have already stated that the NSA info is used to blackmail politicians and military leaders, provide corporate espionage to the highest payers and more devious machinations than the mind can grasp from behind a single computer. 9/11 was a coup – I say that because looking around the results tell me that. ..."
    "... The fourth estate (the media) has been purchased outright by the second estate (the nobility). I guess you could call this an 'estate sale'. All power to the markets! ..."
    naked capitalism
    Free Trade," the banner of Globalization, has not only wrecked the world's economy, it has left Western Democracy in shambles. Europe edges ever closer to deflation. The Fed dare not increase interest rates, now poised at barely above zero. As China's stock market threatened collapse, China poured billions to prop it up. It's export machine is collapsing. Not once, but twice, it recently manipulated its currency to makes its goods cheaper on the world market. What is happening?

    The following two graphs tell most of the story. First, an overview of Free Trade.

    Deficit4-1024x420

    Capital fled from developed countries to undeveloped countries with slave-cheap labor, countries with no environmental standards, countries with no support for collective bargaining. Corporations, like Apple, set up shop in China and other undeveloped countries. Some, like China, manipulated its currency to make exported goods to the West even cheaper. Some, like China, gave preferential tax treatment to Western firm over indigenous firms. Economists cheered as corporate efficiency unsurprisingly rose. U.S. citizens became mere consumers.

    Thanks to Bill Clinton and the Financial Modernization Act, banks, now unconstrained, could peddle rigged financial services, offer insurance on its own investment products–in short, banks were free to play with everyone's money–and simply too big to fail. Credit was easy and breezy. If nasty Arabs bombed the Trade Center, why the solution was simple: Go to the shopping mall–and buy. That remarkable piece of advice is just what freedom has been all about.

    Next: China's export machine sputters.

    CAIXEN-1024x527

    China's problem is that there are not enough orders to keep the export machine going. There comes a time when industrialized nations simply run out of cash–I mean the little people run out of cash. CEOs and those just below them–along with slick Wall Street gauchos–made bundles on Free Trade, corporate capital that could set up shop in any impoverished nation in the world.. No worries about labor–dirt cheap–or environmental regulations–just bring your gas masks. At some point the Western consumer well was bound to run dry. Credit was exhausted; the little guy could not buy anymore. Free trade was on its last legs.

    So what did China do then? As its markets crashed, it tried to revive its export model, a model based on foreign firms exporting cheap goods to the West. China lowered its exchange rates, not once but twice. Then China tried to rescue the markets with cash infusion of billions. Still its market continued to crash. Manufacturing plants had closed–thousands of them. Free Trade and Globalization had run its course.

    And what has the Fed been doing? Why quantitative easy–increase the money supply and lower short term interest rates. Like China's latest currency manipulation, both were merely stop-gap measures. No one, least of all Obama and his corporate advisors, was ready to address corporate outsourcing that has cost millions of jobs. Prime the pump a little, but never address the real problem.

    The WTO sets the groundwork for trade among its member states. That groundwork is deeply flawed. Trade between impoverished third world countries and sophisticated first world economies is not merely a matter of regulating "dumping"-not allowing one country to flood the market with cheap goods-nor is it a matter of insuring that the each country does not favor its indigenous firms over foreign firms. Comparable labor and environmental standards are necessary. Does anyone think that a first world worker can compete with virtual slave labor? Does anyone think that a first world nation with excellent environmental regulations can compete with a third world nation that refuses to protect its environment?

    Only lately has Apple even mentioned that it might clean up its mess in China. The Apple miracle has been on the backs of the Chinese poor and abysmal environmental wreckage that is China.

    The WTO allows three forms of inequities-all of which encourage outsourcing: labor arbitrage, tax arbitrage, and environmental arbitrage. For a fuller explanation of these inequities and the "race to the bottom," see here.

    Of course now we have the mother of all Free Trade deals –the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)– carefully wrapped in a black box so that none of us can see what finally is in store for us. Nothing is ever "Free"–even trade. I suspect that China is becoming a bit too noxious and poisonous. It simply has to deal with its massive environmental problems. Time to move the game to less despoiled and maybe more impoverished countries. Meanwhile, newscasters are always careful to tout TPP.

    Fast Tracking is a con man's game. Do it so fast that the marks never have a chance to watch their wallets. In hiding negotiations from prying, public eyes, Obama, has given the con men a bigger edge: A screen to hide the corporations making deals. Their interest is in profits, not in public good.

    Consider the media. Our only defense is a strong independent media. At one time, newsrooms were not required to be profitable. Reporting the news was considered a community service. Corporate ownership provided the necessary funding for its newsrooms–and did not interfere.

    But the 70′s and 80′s corporate ownership required its newsrooms to be profitable. Slowly but surely, newsrooms focused on personality, entertainment, and wedge issues–always careful not to rock the corporate boat, always careful not to tread on governmental policy. Whoever thought that one major news service–Fox–would become a breeding ground for one particular party.

    But consider CNN: It organizes endless GOP debates; then spends hours dissecting them. Create the news; then sell it–and be sure to spin it in the direction you want.

    Are matters of substance ever discussed? When has a serious foreign policy debate ever been allowed occurred–without editorial interference from the media itself. When has trade and outsourcing been seriously discussed–other than by peripheral news media?

    Meanwhile, news media becomes more and more centralized. Murdoch now owns National Geographic!

    Now, thanks to Bush and Obama, we have the chilling effect of the NSA. Just whom does the NSA serve when it collects all of our digital information? Is it being used to ferret out the plans of those exercising their right of dissent? Is it being used to increase the profits of favored corporations? Why does it need all of your and my personal information–from bank accounts, to credit cards, to travel plans, to friends with whom we chat .Why is it afraid of us?


    jefemt, October 23, 2015 at 9:43 am

    As Mr. Buffet so keenly said it, There is a war going on, and we are winning.

    If 'they' are failing, I'd hate to see success!

    Isn't it the un-collective WE who are failing?

    failing to organize,
    failing to come up with plausible, 90 degrees off present Lemming-to-Brink path alternative plans and policies,
    failing to agree on any of many plausible alternatives that might work

    Divided- for now- hopefully not conquered ..

    I gotta scoot and get back to Dancing with the Master Chefs

    allan, October 23, 2015 at 10:03 am

    Just type `TPP editorial' into news.google.com and watch a toxic sludge of straw men, misdirection, and historical revisionism flow across your screen. And the `objective' straight news reporting is no better.

    Vatch, October 23, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Don't just watch the toxic sludge; respond to it with a letter to the editor (LTE) of the offending publication! For some of those toxic editorials, and contact information for LTEs, see:

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/10/200pm-water-cooler-10162015.html#comment-2503316

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/10/trading-away-land-rights-tpp-investment-agreements-and-the-governance-of-land.html#comment-2502833

    A few of the editorials may now be obscured by paywalls or registration requirements, but most should still be visible. Let them know that we see through their nonsense!

    TedWa, October 23, 2015 at 10:38 am

    "Why is it afraid of us?" Because we the people are perceived to be the enemy of America the Corporation. Whistleblowers have already stated that the NSA info is used to blackmail politicians and military leaders, provide corporate espionage to the highest payers and more devious machinations than the mind can grasp from behind a single computer. 9/11 was a coup – I say that because looking around the results tell me that.

    TG, October 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    The fourth estate (the media) has been purchased outright by the second estate (the nobility). I guess you could call this an 'estate sale'. All power to the markets!

    Pelham, October 23, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Even when newsrooms were more independent they probably would not, in general, have reported on free trade with any degree of skepticism. The recent disappearance of the old firewall between the news and corporate sides has made things worse, but at least since the "professionalization" of newsrooms that began to really take hold in the '60s, journalists have tended to identify far more with their sources in power than with their readers.

    There have, of course, been notable exceptions. But even these sometimes serve more to obscure the real day-to-day nature of journalism's fealty to the corporate world than to bring about any significant change.

    [Dec 04, 2016] Nuclear war our likely future as Russia China would not accept US hegemony, Reagan official warns

    Notable quotes:
    "... "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests." ..."
    "... "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda." ..."
    "... "How America Was Lost" ..."
    "... "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance." ..."
    "... "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." ..."
    "... "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony." ..."
    "... "On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," ..."
    "... "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future." ..."
    "... "historical turning point," ..."
    "... "the Chinese were there in their place," ..."
    "... "Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," ..."
    "... "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht." ..."
    "... "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'" ..."
    "... "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'" ..."
    "... "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," ..."
    "... "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," ..."
    May 13, 2015 | RT News
    The White House is determined to block the rise of the key nuclear-armed nations, Russia and China, neither of whom will join the "world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony," says head of the Institute for Political Economy, Paul Craig Roberts.

    The former US assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy, Dr Paul Craig Roberts, has written on his blog that Beijing is currently "confronted with the Pivot to Asia and the construction of new US naval and air bases to ensure Washington's control of the South China Sea, now defined as an area of American National Interests."

    Roberts writes that Washington's commitment to contain Russia is the reason "for the crisis that Washington has created in Ukraine and for its use as anti-Russian propaganda."

    The author of several books, "How America Was Lost" among the latest titles, says that US "aggression and blatant propaganda have convinced Russia and China that Washington intends war, and this realization has drawn the two countries into a strategic alliance."

    Dr Roberts believes that neither Russia, nor China will meanwhile accept the so-called "vassalage status accepted by the UK, Germany, France and the rest of Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia." According to the political analyst, the "price of world peace is the world's acceptance of Washington's hegemony."

    "On the foreign policy front, the hubris and arrogance of America's self-image as the 'exceptional, indispensable' country with hegemonic rights over other countries means that the world is primed for war," Roberts writes.

    He gives a gloomy political forecast in his column saying that "unless the dollar and with it US power collapses or Europe finds the courage to break with Washington and to pursue an independent foreign policy, saying good-bye to NATO, nuclear war is our likely future."

    Russia's far-reaching May 9 Victory Day celebration was meanwhile a "historical turning point," according to Roberts who says that while Western politicians chose to boycott the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, "the Chinese were there in their place," China's president sitting next to President Putin during the military parade on Red Square in Moscow.

    A recent poll targeting over 3,000 people in France, Germany and the UK has recently revealed that as little as 13 percent of Europeans think the Soviet Army played the leading role in liberating Europe from Nazism during WW2. The majority of respondents – 43 percent – said the US Army played the main role in liberating Europe.

    "Russian casualties compared to the combined casualties of the US, UK, and France make it completely clear that it was Russia that defeated Hitler," Roberts points out, adding that "in the Orwellian West, the latest rewriting of history leaves out of the story the Red Army's destruction of the Wehrmacht."

    The head of the presidential administration, Sergey Ivanov, told RT earlier this month that attempts to diminish the role played by Russia in defeating Nazi Germany through rewriting history by some Western countries are part of the ongoing campaign to isolate and alienate Russia.

    Dr Roberts has also stated in his column that while the US president only mentioned US forces in his remarks on the 70th anniversary of the victory, President Putin in contrast "expressed gratitude to 'the peoples of Great Britain, France and the United States of America for their contribution to the victory.'"

    The political analyst notes that America along with its allies "do not hear when Russia says 'don't push us this hard, we are not your enemy. We want to be your partners.'"

    While Moscow and Beijing have "finally realized that their choice is vassalage or war," Washington "made the mistake that could be fateful for humanity," according to Dr Roberts.

    Read more Perverted history: Europeans think US army liberated continent during WW2

    Read more US mulls sending military ships, aircraft near South China Sea disputed islands – report

    [Dec 04, 2016] Chilcot: Intelligence reports confirm Iraq war created ISIS

    Notable quotes:
    "... " It is clear a significant number of former Baathist officers have formed the professional core of Daesh [IS] in Syria and Iraq and have given that organization the military capability it has shown in conducting its operations. " ..."
    "... A March 2007 JIC report warned Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which it terms AQ-I, had " no shortage of suicide bombers. AQ-I is seeking high-profile attacks. We judge AQ-I will try to expand its sectarian campaign wherever it can: suicide bombings in Kirkuk have risen sharply since October when AQ-I declared the establishment of the notional 'Islamic State of Iraq' (including Kirkuk). " ..."
    "... " They claimed that the label 'jihadist' is becoming increasingly difficult to define: in many cases distinctions between nationalists and jihadists are blurred. They increasingly share common cause being drawn together in the face of Shia sectarian violence. " ..."
    Oct 01, 2016 | www.rt.com
    Intelligence reports examined and now released by the Chilcot inquiry appear to confirm Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) was created by the Iraq war, a view now apparently backed by Britain's Tory Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. The reports from the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), which were previously classified, tell the story of the security services' increasing concern that the war and occupation was fuelling ever more extremism in Iraq.

    The evidence also appears to debunk repeated claims by former PM Tony Blair that IS began in the Syrian civil war and not Iraq, positioning the brutal group's rise clearly within Iraq's borders.

    The Chilcot findings were backed up Thursday by serving Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond. He told The Foreign Affairs Committee " many of the problems we see in Iraq today stem from that disastrous decision to dismantle the Iraqi army and embark on a program of de-Baathification ."

    " That was the big mistake of post-conflict planning. If we had gone a different way afterwards we might have been able to see a different outcome, " he said.

    Hammond conceded that many members of Saddam's armed forces today filled top roles in IS.

    " It is clear a significant number of former Baathist officers have formed the professional core of Daesh [IS] in Syria and Iraq and have given that organization the military capability it has shown in conducting its operations. "

    The documents show that by 2006 – three years into the occupation – UK intelligence chiefs were increasingly concerned about the rise of Sunni jihadist resistance to the Western-backed regime of Shia President Nouri Al-Maliki.

    A March 2007 JIC report warned Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which it terms AQ-I, had " no shortage of suicide bombers. AQ-I is seeking high-profile attacks. We judge AQ-I will try to expand its sectarian campaign wherever it can: suicide bombings in Kirkuk have risen sharply since October when AQ-I declared the establishment of the notional 'Islamic State of Iraq' (including Kirkuk). "

    Many leading Al-Qaeda figures had been pro-regime Baathists and members of the former Iraqi Army disbanded by the occupation. They are broadly accepted to have later formed the basis for IS.

    The report describes AQ-I as being " in the vanguard. "

    " Its strategic main effort is the prosecution of a sectarian campaign designed to drag Iraq into civil war " at the head of a number of other Sunni militia groups.

    " We judge its campaign has been the most effective of any insurgent group, having significant impact in the past year, and poses the greatest immediate threat to stability in Iraq. The tempo of mass-casualty attacks on predominantly Shia targets has been relentless, " the spies argue.

    Chillingly, an earlier report from 2006 appears to echo some of the realizations made late in the Vietnam War that there were also strong elements of nationalism driving the insurgency.

    " They claimed that the label 'jihadist' is becoming increasingly difficult to define: in many cases distinctions between nationalists and jihadists are blurred. They increasingly share common cause being drawn together in the face of Shia sectarian violence. "

    The reports appear to suggest that the conditions also somewhat echo the Afghanistan war, which by that time was already underway, in that the anti-coalition forces displayed a mix of ideological and economic drivers to resist the occupation.

    " Their motivation is mixed: some are Islamist extremists inspired by the AQ agenda, others are simply hired hands attracted by the money, " the spies warn.

    The religious sectarianism involved, however, was distinctly Iraqi and reflected the power battle between the deposed Sunni forces and the US-installed Shia regime which replaced it.

    They also appeared to believe that AQ-I was composed of local and not, as was claimed at the time, foreign fighters.

    " We judge Al-Qaida in Iraq is the largest single insurgent network and although its leadership retains a strong foreign element, a large majority of its fighters are Iraqi.

    " Some are drawn in by the opportunity to take on Shia militias: the jihadists' media effort stresses their role as defenders of the Sunni ," the report concludes.

    Prophetically, even before IS began to germinate in Iraq, one now-declassified Foreign Office memo from January 2003 warned "all the evidence from the region suggests that coalition forces will not be seen as liberators for long, if at all. Our motives are regarded with huge suspicion. "

    AHHA -> Blue Car 7 Jul

    No there was a documentary on the rise of IS months ago on Dutch television coming to the same conclusion. Kicking all Baath party members (all Sunni people) out of the army, leaving only Shiite in created IS. Baath militairy specialists did it out of revenge. One former high Baath militairy officer even went up to the room of the American leadership on Irak to tell him that if they would kick Baath people out he would have no other option than to start fighting America. Because what would all those people have to live of. And they did not just kick them out of the army but out of all government posts. But the Americans and making one group less equal to another by treating them different, does that ring any bells. ?
    AHHA -> Blue Car 8 Jul
    It was not Fox, I loath them. It was a well built Dutch documentary not praising the Americans for a change but being real True, together with Bush and the rest of their accomplices, of the most horrific mass killings based on lies (more than a million innocent people have perished because of their deceitful actions)! We should all demand Justice for the sake of humanity, and also because it is the only way to deter feature self-righteous leaders like them from leading our world to more blood sheds and catastrophic destructions! No one should be above the law!
    Blue Scissors -> Red Snow 7 Jul
    No, Bush and Cheney are the biggest terrorist. Blair just followed behind them, like a sheep.
    Linx 7 Jul
    Its clear that the U.S. government was the instigator of the war in Iraq based on 911and WMD. Blair in his ambition to reached the top lied to his parliament because there is noway they did not have the intelligence there not WMDs. In a stunning but little-known speech from 2007, Gen. Wesley Clark claims America underwent a "policy coup" at the time of the 9/11 attacks. In this video, he reveals that, right after 9/11, he was privy to information contained in a classified memo: US plans to attack and remove governments in seven countries over five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. He was told: "We learned that we can use our military without being challenged . We've got about five years to clean up the Soviet client regimes before another superpower comes along and challenges us." "This was a policy coup these people took control of policy in the United States. The interview is still available in the internet.
    Orange Tag 7 Jul
    What I want to be informed about is the ICC court date set for Bush, Blair, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the generals ordering the killings of innocent people in Iraq. It's time for the west to wake up and provide all and every help that Syrian legitimate government needs, and for west to stop the support of Saudis, Qatari and others alike regimes whom are the providers and are state sponsors of terrorism as Isis and others a like called " "moderates terrorist". Look you fly the Emirates you pay for the costs of their terrorism in Middle East.
    keghamminas 7 Jul Edited
    Very true about the blind destructive policy of the US-Nato that should have attacked Saudi Arabia instead of Iraq .The same faults are committed now against Syria and it's legal government ; the total destruction of this country will lead to more anarchy and new terrorist movements as what's happenning in Iraq. All the puppets ,like the UK are guilty by their criminal participation.
    Malcolm stark 7 Jul
    Yet another problem caused by Washington and Co and yet their are still people even here who say Russia, Russia, Russia. And will make excuses for the problems caused without blaming their own government.
    CyanDog 7 Jul
    Sexton: What a surprise. An investigation designed to whitewash the criminal activities of our beloved Western leaders turned out to be eminently successful. A playful slap on the wrist for Mr Blair, but basically the Western criminals made to look like good guys although a few unintentional mistakes were made. From now on the West can continue business as usual. I wonder which countries the West has currently set its future sights on? I would suggest that Iran, Russia and China should keep their powder dry. The Westerners are playing for keeps, and they do not care who gets hurt on either side.

    [Dec 04, 2016] Trump: Obama and Hillary Created ISIS

    Notable quotes:
    "... ISIS is al-Qaeda re-branded and is supported by Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and the Western military alliance. Obama didn't technically 'create' them. Nor did he do anything to stop them. When ISIS first emerged, the US State Department said they were caught completely "flat -footed". ISIS emerged like a mirage in the Iraq desert, fully equipped, fully armed and driving a convoy of matching Toyota trucks! ..."
    "... I would like to say that Obama and Hillary Clinton were too weak or complacent to stop the Neoconservatives/Zionists/Establishment from creating ISIS. It was their way of toppling the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and helping Israel to tighten the grip over stolen land. ..."
    "... I would like to say watch the "Yuri Bezmenov" interviews, and realize there is no difference between the democrats and establishment GOP, they are the same thing. ..."
    "... I was able to see through GW Bush, other establishment RINOs, and was honest enough to see the fraud. ..."
    www.infowars.com

    Allen Highsmith 7 months ago

    We have been saying that for years that Isis was created and funded by the US ( Obama) he should have been impeached years ago and to this day he needs to impeached and locked up for life for all the lives he has killed and for all the crooked deals he has done behind our backs! He is not even a citizen of the US! Please God help us all!

    ISIS is al-Qaeda re-branded and is supported by Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and the Western military alliance. Obama didn't technically 'create' them. Nor did he do anything to stop them. When ISIS first emerged, the US State Department said they were caught completely "flat -footed". ISIS emerged like a mirage in the Iraq desert, fully equipped, fully armed and driving a convoy of matching Toyota trucks!

    At least Trump is telling part of the truth.

    Two of a Kind Turds 7 months ago
    We all know why Hillary and Obama get away with literally murder and treason. The reason is that it is leverage over them by their puppet masters to ensure they stay on course with the New World Order agenda. When it is feared that they are getting a bit off script leaks occur of their heinous crimes and they get back on script. Both of these pathetic scum bags know what awaits them if they turn away from their puppet master's wishes. At the least prison for life and the worse is death in so many possible ways that it would be a replay of Kennedy with different patsies. This is why Hillary has a Cheshire cat grin and Obama plays more golf than any other president. They know they have a get out of jail free pass.
    Mahboob Khan 7 months ago
    I would like to say that Obama and Hillary Clinton were too weak or complacent to stop the Neoconservatives/Zionists/Establishment from creating ISIS. It was their way of toppling the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and helping Israel to tighten the grip over stolen land.
    Elapoides Mahboob Khan 7 months ago
    I would like to say watch the "Yuri Bezmenov" interviews, and realize there is no difference between the democrats and establishment GOP, they are the same thing. The cancer of the democrat party bled into the GOP, hence the establishment, and organ of the democrat party. I was able to see through GW Bush, other establishment RINOs, and was honest enough to see the fraud.

    I used my intellect, my brains, to see what was going on, and left the republican party many years ago. YOU are still defending the democrat party, Obama, and Hillary. Pathetic.

    [Dec 04, 2016] Bernie Sanders launches presidential campaign

    Unfortunatly, under neoliberalism it's not people who vote. It's only large corporations which use two party system to put forward two canditates that will follow thier agenda. quote "Unfortunately the US propaganda system is now so entrenched and so heavily financed by the financial elites that such campaigns as that by Sanders, admirable as it is, have no chance of changing the US system. The only thing that will is violent revolution and that is highly unlikely given the monopoly of legitimate force commanded by those elites."
    Notable quotes:
    "... Bernie Sanders is the first candidate since Carter to actually project a sense of positive values and integrity. ..."
    "... Sheepdogs are herders, and the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box. ..."
    "... The function of the sheepdog candidate is to give left activists and voters a reason, however illusory, to believe there's a place of influence for them inside the Democratic party,... ..."
    May 26, 2015 | http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/26/bernie-sanders-launches-presidential-campaign
    Nad Gough
    This is a good man. He is Independent, running as a Democrat as 3rd party candidates are doomed from the start. He is elderly, so choosing his running mate will be extremely important in terms of his electibility. Elizabeth Warren? If she won't run for President, maybe this is the ticket?

    So far this is the ONLY candidate whose desire for "change" matches what folks want. The other potential candidates are known sleight of hand change artists. And I use the word "artist" in the way one might describe someone who draws stick figures. Badly.

    lutesongs
    Bernie Sanders is the first candidate since Carter to actually project a sense of positive values and integrity. He is the frontrunner for most Americans who care about fairness and a sustainable future. Don't allow the corporate media to marginalize him by innuendo or non-coverage. Don't allow the Democratic Party to turn a blind eye to the issues. Don't allow the Repubs to steal another election through blatant electronic voter fraud, hacking the voting machines and gaming the results. Start a campaign for voters to photograph their results and compile independent vote counts. An honest election would likely favor a populist with integrity. Bernie Sanders is the one.
    BabyLyon
    The country is ruled by greedy corporation, all governmental authorities are corrupted to the limit, unstoppable wars and overall torpidity and all these candidates are able to offer is doubtful solutions for two-or three "serious" problems. Either they're blind or just fool American people.
    PhilippeOrlando

    This population is too stupid to elect a guy like Sanders. With a median household income of 50K/year it will vote, one more time, for people who don't represent it. The only two running candidates who represents 99% of the population are Sanders and Stein, the Green candidate. All others will cater first to the wealthy. Clinton will be chosen over Sanders because for some weird reason 'mericans vote for the guy they think will fight for who they think they'll be one day, not for whom they are now. I think it's about time to stop feeling sorry for most Americans, half of them won't bother to go vote anyway, and a huge majority will keep voting for the wrong guys.
    Justin Weaver -> PhilippeOrlando
    I totally get you, but I think that a lot of Americans truly believe that they ARE prosperous even if they have minimal savings, no job security, and are only one medical disaster away from bankruptcy. Many American's have really bought the American dream narrative even if they have little chance of achieving it.
    patimac54
    Bernie's brother Larry, long time UK resident, stood for the Green Party in my constituency in the recent elections. He has spent his adult life working for others, particularly carers, and is a man of great integrity and intelligence. Of course he didn't win but was by far the most impressive candidate at the local hustings, and thereby exposed the audience to a viewpoint most will not have experienced previously.
    If Bernie is half the man his brother is, US voters have a fine candidate, and similarly he may open up the electorate's eyes to the idea that it is possible to believe in something better.
    amorezu
    A man that openly calls himself a 'democratic socialist' will never win in the USA. People here have an allergy to the word 'socialism'. Unfortunately that allergy is causing them to be OK with living in a de-facto oligarchy.
    Observer453
    Something I love about Bernie Sanders is that he is straight forward, honest in his views and cannot be bought. I imagine he's something of a mystery to the many 'politicians', as Barack Obama recently described himself.

    Someone that actually thinks about what is best for the people, not for himself. Bernie calls himself a Socialist, if that is what Socialism means - and caring for the environment - sign me up.

    jdanforth
    Part of an analysis of the Sanders campaign, written three weeks ago by Bruce A. Dixon:

    Bernie Sanders is this election's Democratic sheepdog. The sheepdog is a card the Democratic party plays every presidential primary season when there's no White House Democrat running for re-election. The sheepdog is a presidential candidate running ostensibly to the left of the establishment Democrat to whom the billionaires will award the nomination. Sheepdogs are herders, and the sheepdog candidate is charged with herding activists and voters back into the Democratic fold who might otherwise drift leftward and outside of the Democratic party, either staying home or trying to build something outside the two party box.

    1984 and 88 the sheepdog candidate was Jesse Jackson. In 92 it was California governor Jerry Brown. In 2000 and 2004 the designated sheepdog was Al Sharpton, and in 2008 it was Dennis Kucinich. This year it's Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. The function of the sheepdog candidate is to give left activists and voters a reason, however illusory, to believe there's a place of influence for them inside the Democratic party,...

    Doro Wynant jdanforth

    Except:

    1. Not one of the candidates cited had the legislative background that Sanders has -- not the duration in office, not the proven appeal to a diverse constituency, not the proven ability to work respectfully with unlike-minded peers.

    2. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson clearly never had a chance; they're not at all in the same category.

    3. Poverty is at a 50-year high in the US, and many once-middle-class, educated, professional persons (myself included) are -- thanks to the recession -- part of the nouveau poor. Even the formerly-non-activist-types are angry, and they're paying attention to his talk of income inequality -- and Sanders has more credibility as a potential reformer than does wealthy insider HRC.

    4. What Dixon condescendingly refers to as "left activists and voters [who have no influence in the party]" are in fact people with mainstream ideas about building and maintaining a stable society. The right, having skewed the debate over the past 25 years, luvvvvvs to pretend that these centrist, humane ideas are wacky and way-out when in fact they're, well, mainstream ideas. Who among us doesn't want a safe, clean world in which to live, love, work, raise our families?

    Not only is that not a wacky idea, it's a very -- GASP -- Christian idea/ideal!

    Jon Phillips

    If you vote for Hillary you are accepting that America is now an oligarchy. How else can you explain the amount of time the Bush & Clinton families have occupied the White House?

    300 million Americans and 2 families have occupied the White House for 20 of the last 28 years........

    RickyRat

    This business comes down to just two choices: You can vote for Pennywise the Clown in either his Republican or her Democratic persona, along with the creature's Robber Baron backers, or you can vote for Sanders. You could cast a protest vote somewhere else, but doing that will just further the cause of the Robber Barons. Let's take back the wheel of the American political process!

    Bertmax RickyRat

    That is a fallacy called "false equivalency". It is wrong to say that both parties are to blame. Sure, both have their share of corruption, but at least the Democrats are pushing legislation that actually benefits the 90%. I am a member of neither party, since I don't believe in supporting only a narrow set of ideals one way or the other, but the GOP are the true scourge of my country. People like Sanders and Warren actually care about this country.

    Doro Wynant Needsmorecow

    This site links you to legislation he sponsored or co-sponsored, to his bio, and to his website:
    https://www.congress.gov/member/bernard-/bernie_sanders.S000033

    Chris Plante
    A recent poll had Bernie "lagged behind the favorite by a margin of 63% to 13%" Is that among the fake people "Hillary Who" has supporting her?

    He's probably doing much better among real people.

    RickyRat Chris Plante
    There is a machine out there, running full blast. Sanders is the wrench the machine's owners fear.
    Jeannie Parker
    I take offense at the suggestion he's from far left field. It's absurd to say in the least. He's been drafted by us. He's running for us. All of us. I admin on few Bernie Sanders' pages on FB and I can tell you with all certainty that the folks getting behind this man and his campaign are coming from across the political spectrum.

    The beauty of it is, he has a thirty some odd years long record that cannot be altered.
    This man has and always will work for the interests of everyone.

    No one can listen to him and his policy positions and not get behind him.

    Bernie Sanders is coming and a revolution is coming with him.

    No amount of money can sway us or turn us from our goal of seeing this fine gentleman ascend to the highest office of our Land. Cheers.

    [Dec 04, 2016] Neoliberalism and Why its Bad for All of Us

    The full version of this paper with a complete bibliography is also available electronically.
    Notable quotes:
    "... The buck is constantly and systematically passed to those least able to carry it – large-scale problems (e.g. national debts) are sent down the pipeline to smaller units; devolution without the resources to implement it, combined with competition for resources, choices without resources, responsibility without power, power without structure. ..."
    "... "See-Judge-Act" ..."
    "... resistance have happened over the last 5 years or so – views about how effective they have been vary. But as Christians, we are called to show solidarity with those who resist a dehumanising and very powerful status quo. ..."
    "... And, above all, we should recognise that a very small space in which to act is not no space at all – challenging TINA – that neoliberalism is the only view on the block is itself action of a kind – sometimes opening up a space opens up new possibilities. What we shouldn‟t so, at least, is to close them down! ..."
    Mar 07, 2015 | Diocese of Liverpool
    Introduction: When is an economy not an economy? When it's a caravan park! So What is It? Several key elements to what Neoliberalism is: Behind these features are a series of underlying assumed principles – an ideology of neo-liberalism: 2

    So What's Wrong with it?

    1. It is internally contradictory
      • There is no such thing as a free market
      • Even the original neoliberals recognise this – competition regulates the market – there is no one view of what "competitive" is
      • The ordoliberals certainly recognise it – role of government to create the perfectly competitive market
      • The view taken of competition based on price tends to monopolies, a "race to the bottom," and uniformity (Amazon, Sky, Apple )
    2. Its effects are not as the theory predicted, and have often been damaging:
      • There has been no "trickle down" effect of wealth (in fact, wealth has redistributed upwards)
      • It has entailed much "creative destruction" of institutional frameworks and powers, divisions of labour social relations, attachments to the land and habits of the heart.‟ (David Harvey, Short History of Neo-Liberalism, p 3)
      • It has pushed, and is pushing, the reach of the market into ever more spheres of human life, „the saturation of the state, political culture and the social with market rationality.‟ (Wendy Brown: American Nightmare: Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism and De-Democratization (Political Theory 34 (2006), p 695)
    3. It has a view of human beings as 'specks of human capital,' who can be 'plugged in' to markets of various kinds, (or who plug themselves in)
      • the hero of neoliberalism is the entrepreneur – we are all becoming more and more required to be „entrepreneurs of the self‟ – to invest in ourselves/make something of ourselves, „cultivate and care for‟ ourselves and, increasingly – measure our performance.
      • The caravan park analogy –we are required to „plug ourselves in‟ – to pay the price of doing so, and to accept the cost.
      • Our „belonging‟ becomes passive plugging in – rather than active participation.
      • Traditional forms of solidarity are wiped out.
      • Specks of human capital are eminently sacrificable, even if they have done all the „right things‟ – there are no guarantees, and individuals are expected to bear the risk of their entrepreneurial activity themselves (investing many hours in „training‟ and „upskilling,‟ often with no financial or institutional support and with no guarantee of better employment practices – i.e. gain (more skilled workforce) is privatized and risk is distributed downwards, labour is bound and capital released.
      • Austerity politics is the natural outcome of this – people are told virtue is sacrifice for the sake of a productive economy, but with no protection.
      • Despite opposition to „big government,‟ isolated and vulnerable individuals are eminently governable, subject to new forms of power whilst having smaller and
      • smaller spaces in which to resist it. People are easily integrated into a project that is quite prepared to sacrifice them.
    So why is it bad for all of us? So what is to be done? Justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, in quite resting places. (Isaiah 32.16-18)

    Further Reading:

    The full version of this paper with a complete bibliography will be available electronically after the conference.

    [Dec 04, 2016] Much-disputed Iranian nuclear bomb

    An interesting warning about possible return of neocons in Hillary administration. Looks like not much changed in Washington from 2005 and Obama more and more looks like Bush III. Both Hillary and Trump are jingoistic toward Iran. Paradoxically Trump is even more jingoistic then Hillary.
    Notable quotes:
    "... That no one yet claims actually exists, has begun. Once again we seem to be heading down a highway marked "counterproliferation war." What makes this bizarre is that the Middle East today, for all its catastrophic problems, is actually a nuclear-free zone except for one country, Israel, which has a staggeringly outsized, semi-secret nuclear arsenal. ..."
    "... And not much has changed since. I recommend as well a piece written even earlier by Ira Chernus on a graphic about the Israeli nuclear arsenal tucked away at the MSNBC website (and still viewable ). ..."
    "... Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and one of the founders of the group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, considers the Iranian and Israeli bombs, and Bush administration policy in relation to both below in a piece that, he writes, emerged from "an informal colloquium which has sprung up in the Washington, DC area involving people with experience at senior policy levels of government, others who examine foreign policy and defense issues primarily out of a faith perspective, and still others with a foot in each camp. We are trying to deal directly with the moral -- as well as the practical -- implications of various policy alternatives. One of our group recently was invited to talk with senior staffers in the House of Representatives about Iran, its nuclear plans, its support for terrorists, and U.S. military options. Toward the end of that conversation, a House staffer was emboldened to ask, 'What would be a moral solution?' This question gave new energy to our colloquium, generating a number of informal papers, including this one. I am grateful to my colloquium colleagues for their insights and suggestions." ..."
    "... What about post-attack "Day Two?" Not to worry. Well-briefed pundits are telling us about a wellspring of Western-oriented I find myself thinking: Right; just like all those Iraqis who welcomed invading American and British troops with open arms and cut flowers. ..."
    "... In 2001, the new President Bush brought the neocons back and put them in top policymaking positions. Even former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, convicted in October 1991 of lying to Congress and then pardoned by George H. W. Bush, was called back and put in charge of Middle East policy in the White House. In January, he was promoted to the influential post (once occupied by Robert Gates) of deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs. From that senior position Abrams will once again be dealing closely with John Negroponte, an old colleague from rogue-elephant Contra War days, who has now been picked to be the first director of national intelligence. ..."
    "... Those of us who -- like Colin Powell -- had front-row seats during the 1980s are far too concerned to dismiss the re-emergence of the neocons as a simple case of déjà vu . They are much more dangerous now. Unlike in the eighties, they are the ones crafting the adventurous policies our sons and daughters are being called on to implement. ..."
    "... So why would Iran think it has to acquire nuclear weapons? Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked this on a Sunday talk show a few months ago. Apparently having a senior moment, he failed to give the normal answer. Instead, he replied, "Well, you know, Israel has..." At that point, he caught himself and abruptly stopped. ..."
    Sep 22, 2005 | www.washingtonpost.com
    That no one yet claims actually exists, has begun. Once again we seem to be heading down a highway marked "counterproliferation war." What makes this bizarre is that the Middle East today, for all its catastrophic problems, is actually a nuclear-free zone except for one country, Israel, which has a staggeringly outsized, semi-secret nuclear arsenal.

    As Los Angeles Times reporter Douglas Frantz wrote at one point, "Though Israel is a democracy, debating the nuclear program is taboo A military censor guards Israel's nuclear secrets." And this "taboo" has largely extended to American reporting on the subject. Imagine, to offer a very partial analogy, if we all had had to consider the Cold War nuclear issue with the Soviet, but almost never the American nuclear arsenal, in the news. Of course, that would have been absurd and yet it's the case in the Middle East today, making most strategic discussions of the region exercises in absurdity.

    I wrote about this subject under the title, Nuclear Israel , back in October 2003, because of a brief break, thanks to Frantz, in the media blackout on the subject. I began then, "Nuclear North Korea, nuclear Iraq, nuclear Iran - of these our media has been full for the last year or more, though they either don't exist or hardly yet exist. North Korea now probably has a couple of crude nuclear weapons, which it may still be incapable of delivering. But nuclear Israel, little endangered Israel? It's hard even to get your head around the concept, though that country has either the fifth or sixth largest nuclear arsenal in the world." And not much has changed since. I recommend as well a piece written even earlier by Ira Chernus on a graphic about the Israeli nuclear arsenal tucked away at the MSNBC website (and still viewable ).

    Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and one of the founders of the group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, considers the Iranian and Israeli bombs, and Bush administration policy in relation to both below in a piece that, he writes, emerged from "an informal colloquium which has sprung up in the Washington, DC area involving people with experience at senior policy levels of government, others who examine foreign policy and defense issues primarily out of a faith perspective, and still others with a foot in each camp. We are trying to deal directly with the moral -- as well as the practical -- implications of various policy alternatives. One of our group recently was invited to talk with senior staffers in the House of Representatives about Iran, its nuclear plans, its support for terrorists, and U.S. military options. Toward the end of that conversation, a House staffer was emboldened to ask, 'What would be a moral solution?' This question gave new energy to our colloquium, generating a number of informal papers, including this one. I am grateful to my colloquium colleagues for their insights and suggestions." Now, read on. ~ Tom

    Attacking Iran: I Know It Sounds Crazy, But...

    By Ray McGovern

    "'This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.'

    "(Short pause)

    "'And having said that, all options are on the table.'

    "Even the White House stenographers felt obliged to note the result: '(Laughter).'"

    ( The Washington Post's Dan Froomkin on George Bush's February 22 press conference)

    For a host of good reasons -- the huge and draining commitment of U.S. forces to Iraq and Iran's ability to stir the Iraqi pot to boiling, for starters -- the notion that the Bush administration would mount a "preemptive" air attack on Iran seems insane. And still more insane if the objective includes overthrowing Iran's government again, as in 1953 -- this time under the rubric of "regime change."

    But Bush administration policy toward the Middle East is being run by men -- yes, only men -- who were routinely referred to in high circles in Washington during the 1980s as "the crazies." I can attest to that personally, but one need not take my word for it.

    According to James Naughtie, author of The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency , former Secretary of State Colin Powell added an old soldier's adjective to the "crazies" sobriquet in referring to the same officials. Powell, who was military aide to Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger in the early eighties, was overheard calling them "the f---ing crazies" during a phone call with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw before the war in Iraq. At the time, Powell was reportedly deeply concerned over their determination to attack -- with or without UN approval. Small wonder that they got rid of Powell after the election, as soon as they had no more use for him.

    If further proof of insanity were needed, one could simply look at the unnecessary carnage in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003. That unprovoked attack was, in my view, the most fateful foreign policy blunder in our nation's history...so far.

    It Can Get Worse

    "The crazies" are not finished. And we do well not to let their ultimate folly obscure their current ambition, and the further trouble that ambition is bound to bring in the four years ahead. In an immediate sense, with U.S. military power unrivaled, they can be seen as "crazy like a fox," with a value system in which "might makes right." Operating out of that value system, and now sporting the more respectable misnomer/moniker "neoconservative," they are convinced that they know exactly what they are doing. They have a clear ideology and a geopolitical strategy, which leap from papers they put out at the Project for the New American Century over recent years.

    The very same men who, acting out of that paradigm, brought us the war in Iraq are now focusing on Iran, which they view as the only remaining obstacle to American domination of the entire oil-rich Middle East. They calculate that, with a docile, corporate-owned press, a co-opted mainstream church, and a still-trusting populace, the United States and/or the Israelis can launch a successful air offensive to disrupt any Iranian nuclear weapons programs -- with the added bonus of possibly causing the regime in power in Iran to crumble.

    But why now? After all, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency has just told Congress that Iran is not likely to have a nuclear weapon until "early in the next decade?" The answer, according to some defense experts, is that several of the Iranian facilities are still under construction and there is only a narrow "window of opportunity" to destroy them without causing huge environmental problems. That window, they say, will begin to close this year.

    Other analysts attribute the sense of urgency to worry in Washington that the Iranians may have secretly gained access to technology that would facilitate a leap forward into the nuclear club much sooner than now anticipated. And it is, of course, neoconservative doctrine that it is best to nip -- the word in current fashion is "preempt" -- any conceivable threats in the bud. One reason the Israelis are pressing hard for early action may simply be out of a desire to ensure that George W. Bush will have a few more years as president after an attack on Iran, so that they will have him to stand with Israel when bedlam breaks out in the Middle East.

    What about post-attack "Day Two?" Not to worry. Well-briefed pundits are telling us about a wellspring of Western-oriented I find myself thinking: Right; just like all those Iraqis who welcomed invading American and British troops with open arms and cut flowers. For me, this evokes a painful flashback to the early eighties when "intelligence," pointing to "moderates" within the Iranian leadership, was conjured up to help justify the imaginative but illegal arms-for-hostages-and-proceeds-to-Nicaraguan-Contras caper. The fact that the conjurer-in-chief of that spurious "evidence" on Iranian "moderates," former chief CIA analyst, later director Robert Gates, was recently offered the newly created position of director of national intelligence makes the flashback more eerie -- and alarming.

    George H. W. Bush Saw Through "The Crazies"

    During his term in office, George H. W. Bush, with the practical advice of his national security adviser Gen. Brent Scowcroft and Secretary of State James Baker, was able to keep "the crazies" at arms length, preventing them from getting the country into serious trouble. They were kept well below the level of "principal" -- that is, below the level of secretary of state or defense.

    Even so, heady in the afterglow of victory in the Gulf War of 1990, "the crazies" stirred up considerable controversy when they articulated their radical views. Their vision, for instance, became the centerpiece of the draft "Defense Planning Guidance" that Paul Wolfowitz, de facto dean of the neoconservatives, prepared in 1992 for then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney. It dismissed deterrence as an outdated relic of the Cold War and argued that the United States must maintain military strength beyond conceivable challenge -- and use it in preemptive ways in dealing with those who might acquire "weapons of mass destruction." Sound familiar?

    Aghast at this radical imperial strategy for the post-Cold War world, someone with access to the draft leaked it to the New York Times , forcing President George H. W. Bush either to endorse or disavow it. Disavow it he did -- and quickly, on the cooler-head recommendations of Scowcroft and Baker, who proved themselves a bulwark against the hubris and megalomania of "the crazies." Unfortunately, their vision did not die. No less unfortunately, there is method to their madness -- even if it threatens to spell eventual disaster for our country. Empires always overreach and fall.

    The Return of the Neocons

    In 2001, the new President Bush brought the neocons back and put them in top policymaking positions. Even former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams, convicted in October 1991 of lying to Congress and then pardoned by George H. W. Bush, was called back and put in charge of Middle East policy in the White House. In January, he was promoted to the influential post (once occupied by Robert Gates) of deputy assistant to the president for national security affairs. From that senior position Abrams will once again be dealing closely with John Negroponte, an old colleague from rogue-elephant Contra War days, who has now been picked to be the first director of national intelligence.

    Those of us who -- like Colin Powell -- had front-row seats during the 1980s are far too concerned to dismiss the re-emergence of the neocons as a simple case of déjà vu . They are much more dangerous now. Unlike in the eighties, they are the ones crafting the adventurous policies our sons and daughters are being called on to implement.

    Why dwell on this? Because it is second in importance only to the portentous reality that the earth is running out of readily accessible oil – something of which they are all too aware. Not surprisingly then, disguised beneath the weapons-of-mass-destruction smokescreen they laid down as they prepared to invade Iraq lay an unspoken but bedrock reason for the war -- oil. In any case, the neocons seem to believe that, in the wake of the November election, they now have a carte-blanche "mandate." And with the president's new "capital to spend," they appear determined to spend it, sooner rather than later.

    Next Stop, Iran

    When a Special Forces platoon leader just back from Iraq matter-of-factly tells a close friend of mine, as happened last week, that he and his unit are now training their sights (literally) on Iran, we need to take that seriously. It provides us with a glimpse of reality as seen at ground level. For me, it brought to mind an unsolicited email I received from the father of a young soldier training at Fort Benning in the spring of 2002, soon after I wrote an op-ed discussing the timing of George W. Bush's decision to make war on Iraq. The father informed me that, during the spring of 2002, his son kept writing home saying his unit was training to go into Iraq. No, said the father; you mean Afghanistan... that's where the war is, not Iraq. In his next email, the son said, "No, Dad, they keep saying Iraq. I asked them and that's what they mean."

    Now, apparently, they keep saying Iran ; and that appears to be what they mean.

    Anecdotal evidence like this is hardly conclusive. Put it together with administration rhetoric and a preponderance of other "dots," though, and everything points in the direction of an air attack on Iran, possibly also involving some ground forces. Indeed, from the New Yorker reports of Seymour Hersh to Washington Post articles , accounts of small-scale American intrusions on the ground as well as into Iranian airspace are appearing with increasing frequency. In a speech given on February 18, former UN arms inspector and Marine officer Scott Ritter (who was totally on target before the Iraq War on that country's lack of weapons of mass destruction) claimed that the president has already "signed off" on plans to bomb Iran in June in order to destroy its alleged nuclear weapons program and eventually bring about "regime change." This does not necessarily mean an automatic green light for a large attack in June, but it may signal the president's seriousness about this option.

    So, again, against the background of what we have witnessed over the past four years, and the troubling fact that the circle of second-term presidential advisers has become even tighter, we do well to inject a strong note of urgency into any discussion of the "Iranian option."

    Why Would Iran Want Nukes?

    So why would Iran think it has to acquire nuclear weapons? Sen. Richard Lugar, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was asked this on a Sunday talk show a few months ago. Apparently having a senior moment, he failed to give the normal answer. Instead, he replied, "Well, you know, Israel has..." At that point, he caught himself and abruptly stopped.

    Recovering quickly and realizing that he could not just leave the word "Israel" hanging there, Lugar began again: "Well, Israel is alleged to have a nuclear capability."

    Is alleged to have ? Lugar is chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and yet he doesn't know that Israel has, by most estimates, a major nuclear arsenal, consisting of several hundred nuclear weapons? (Mainstream newspapers are allergic to dwelling on this topic, but it is mentioned every now and then, usually buried in obscurity on an inside page.)

    Just imagine how the Iranians and Syrians would react to Lugar's disingenuousness. Small wonder our highest officials and lawmakers -- and Lugar, remember, is one of the most decent among them -- are widely seen abroad as hypocritical. Our media, of course, ignore the hypocrisy. This is standard operating procedure when the word "Israel" is spoken in this or other unflattering contexts. And the objections of those appealing for a more balanced approach are quashed.

    If the truth be told, Iran fears Israel at least as much as Israel fears the internal security threat posed by the thugs supported by Tehran. Iran's apprehension is partly fear that Israel (with at least tacit support from the Bush administration) will send its aircraft to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, just as American-built Israeli bombers destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981. As part of the current war of nerves, recent statements by the president and vice president can be read as giving a green light to Israel to do just that; while Israeli Air Force commander Major General Eliezer Shakedi told reporters on February 21 that Israel must be prepared for an air strike on Iran "in light of its nuclear activity."

    US-Israel Nexus

    The Iranians also remember how Israel was able to acquire and keep its nuclear technology. Much of it was stolen from the United States by spies for Israel. As early as the late-1950s, Washington knew Israel was building the bomb and could have aborted the project. Instead, American officials decided to turn a blind eye and let the Israelis go ahead. Now Israel's nuclear capability is truly formidable. Still, it is a fact of strategic life that a formidable nuclear arsenal can be deterred by a far more modest one, if an adversary has the means to deliver it. (Look at North Korea's success with, at best, a few nuclear weapons and questionable means of delivery in deterring the "sole remaining superpower in the world.") And Iran already has missiles with the range to hit Israel.

    Israeli Prime Minister Sharon has for some time appeared eager to enlist Washington's support for an early "pre-emptive" strike on Iran. Indeed, American defense officials have told reporters that visiting Israeli officials have been pressing the issue for the past year and a half. And the Israelis are now claiming publicly that Iran could have a nuclear weapon within six months -- years earlier than the Defense Intelligence Agency estimate mentioned above.

    In the past, President Bush has chosen to dismiss unwelcome intelligence estimates as "guesses" -- especially when they threatened to complicate decisions to implement the neoconservative agenda. It is worth noting that several of the leading neocons – Richard Perle, chair of the Defense Policy Board (2001-03); Douglas Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; and David Wurmser, Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney -- actually wrote policy papers for the Israeli government during the 1990s. They have consistently had great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel and those of the US -- at least as they imagine them.

    As for President Bush, over the past four years he has amply demonstrated his preference for the counsel of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who, as Gen. Scowcroft said publicly , has the president "wrapped around his little finger." (As Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board until he was unceremoniously removed at the turn of the year, Scowcroft was in a position to know.) If Scowcroft is correct in also saying that the president has been "mesmerized" by Sharon, it seems possible that the Israelis already have successfully argued for an attack on Iran.

    When "Regime Change" Meant Overthrow For Oil

    To remember why the United States is no favorite in Tehran, one needs to go back at least to 1953 when the U.S. and Great Britain overthrew Iran's democratically elected Premier Mohammad Mossadeq as part of a plan to insure access to Iranian oil. They then emplaced the young Shah in power who, with his notorious secret police, proved second to none in cruelty. The Shah ruled from 1953 to 1979. Much resentment can build up over a whole generation. His regime fell like a house of cards, when supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini rose up to do some regime change of their own.

    Iranians also remember Washington's strong support for Saddam Hussein's Iraq after it decided to make war on Iran in 1980. U.S. support for Iraq (which included crucial intelligence support for the war and an implicit condoning of Saddam's use of chemical weapons) was perhaps the crucial factor in staving off an Iranian victory. Imagine then, the threat Iranians see, should the Bush administration succeed in establishing up to 14 permanent military bases in neighboring Iraq. Any Iranian can look at a map of the Middle East (including occupied Iraq) and conclude that this administration might indeed be willing to pay the necessary price in blood and treasure to influence what happens to the black gold under Iranian as well as Iraqi sands. And with four more years to play with, a lot can be done along those lines. The obvious question is: How to deter it? Well, once again, Iran can hardly be blind to the fact that a small nation like North Korea has so far deterred U.S. action by producing, or at least claiming to have produced, nuclear weapons.

    Nuclear Is the Nub

    The nuclear issue is indeed paramount, and we would do well to imagine and craft fresh approaches to the nub of the problem. As a start, I'll bet if you made a survey, only 20% of Americans would answer "yes" to the question, "Does Israel have nuclear weapons?" That is key, it seems to me, because at their core Americans are still fair-minded people.

    On the other hand, I'll bet that 95% of the Iranian population would answer, "Of course Israel has nuclear weapons; that's why we Iranians need them" -- which was, of course, the unmentionable calculation that Senator Lugar almost conceded. "And we also need them," many Iranians would probably say, "in order to deter 'the crazies' in Washington. It seems to be working for the North Koreans, who, after all, are the other remaining point on President Bush's 'axis of evil.'"

    The ideal approach would, of course, be to destroy all nuclear weapons in the world and ban them for the future, with a very intrusive global inspection regime to verify compliance. A total ban is worth holding up as an ideal, and I think we must. But this approach seems unlikely to bear fruit over the next four years. So what then?

    A Nuclear-Free Middle East

    How about a nuclear-free Middle East? Could the US make that happen? We could if we had moral clarity -- the underpinning necessary to bring it about. Each time this proposal is raised, the Syrians, for example, clap their hands in feigned joyful anticipation, saying, "Of course such a pact would include Israel, right?" The issue is then dropped from all discussion by U.S. policymakers. Required: not only moral clarity but also what Thomas Aquinas labeled the precondition for all virtue, courage. In this context, courage would include a refusal to be intimidated by inevitable charges of anti-Semitism.

    The reality is that, except for Israel, the Middle East is nuclear free. But the discussion cannot stop there. It is not difficult to understand why the first leaders of Israel, with the Holocaust experience written indelibly on their hearts and minds, and feeling surrounded by perceived threats to the fledgling state's existence, wanted the bomb. And so, before the Syrians or Iranians, for example, get carried away with self-serving applause for the nuclear-free Middle East proposal, they will have to understand that for any such negotiation to succeed it must have as a concomitant aim the guarantee of an Israel able to live in peace and protect itself behind secure borders. That guarantee has got to be part of the deal.

    That the obstacles to any such agreement are formidable is no excuse not trying. But the approach would have to be new and everything would have to be on the table. Persisting in a state of denial about Israel's nuclear weapons is dangerously shortsighted; it does nothing but aggravate fears among the Arabs and create further incentive for them to acquire nuclear weapons of their own.

    A sensible approach would also have to include a willingness to engage the Iranians directly, attempt to understand their perspective, and discern what the United States and Israel could do to alleviate their concerns.

    Preaching to Iran and others about not acquiring nuclear weapons is, indeed, like the village drunk preaching sobriety -- the more so as our government keeps developing new genres of nuclear weapons and keeps looking the other way as Israel enhances its own nuclear arsenal. Not a pretty moral picture, that. Indeed, it reminds me of the Scripture passage about taking the plank out of your own eye before insisting that the speck be removed from another's.

    Lessons from the Past...Like Mutual Deterrence

    Has everyone forgotten that deterrence worked for some 40 years, while for most of those years the U.S. and the USSR had not by any means lost their lust for ever-enhanced nuclear weapons? The point is simply that, while engaging the Iranians bilaterally and searching for more imaginative nuclear-free proposals, the U.S. might adopt a more patient interim attitude regarding the striving of other nation states to acquire nuclear weapons -- bearing in mind that the Bush administration's policies of "preemption" and "regime change" themselves create powerful incentives for exactly such striving. As was the case with Iraq two years ago, there is no imminent Iranian strategic threat to Americans -- or, in reality, to anyone. Even if Iran acquired a nuclear capability, there is no reason to believe that it would risk a suicidal first strike on Israel. That, after all, is what mutual deterrence is all about; it works both ways.

    It is nonetheless clear that the Israelis' sense of insecurity -- however exaggerated it may seem to those of us thousands of miles away -- is not synthetic but real. The Sharon government appears to regard its nuclear monopoly in the region as the only effective "deterrence insurance" it can buy. It is determined to prevent its neighbors from acquiring the kind of capability that could infringe on the freedom it now enjoys to carry out military and other actions in the area. Government officials have said that Israel will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon; it would be folly to dismiss this as bravado. The Israelis have laid down a marker and mean to follow through -- unless the Bush administration assumes the attitude that "preemption" is an acceptable course for the United States but not for Israel. It seems unlikely that the neoconservatives would take that line. Rather

    "Israel Is Our Ally."

    Or so said our president before the cameras on February 17, 2005. But I didn't think we had a treaty of alliance with Israel; I don't remember the Senate approving one. Did I miss something?

    Clearly, the longstanding U.S.-Israeli friendship and the ideals we share dictate continuing support for Israel's defense and security. It is quite another thing, though, to suggest the existence of formal treaty obligations that our country does not have. To all intents and purposes, our policymakers -- from the president on down -- seem to speak and behave on the assumption that we do have such obligations toward Israel. A former colleague CIA analyst, Michael Scheuer, author of Imperial Hubris , has put it this way: "The Israelis have succeeded in lacing tight the ropes binding the American Gulliver to Israel and its policies."

    An earlier American warned:

    "A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation facilitates the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, infuses into one the enmities of the other, and betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.... It also gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens, who devote themselves to the favorite nation, facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country." ( George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796 )

    In my view, our first president's words apply only too aptly to this administration's lash-up with the Sharon government. As responsible citizens we need to overcome our timidity about addressing this issue, lest our fellow Americans continue to be denied important information neglected or distorted in our domesticated media.

    Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst for 27 years -- from the administration of John F. Kennedy to that of George H. W. Bush. During the early 1980s, he was one of the writers/editors of the President's Daily Brief and briefed it one-on-one to the president's most senior advisers. He also chaired National Intelligence Estimates. In January 2003, he and four former colleagues founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

    Copyright 2005 Ray McGovern

    [Dec 04, 2016] Obama has normalized the idea that Us presidents get to have secret large-scale killing programs at their disposal

    Dec 02, 2016 | www.moonofalabama.org

    jfl | Nov 30, 2016 6:07:04 PM | 141

    @126 quentin, 'He is trying to divert us from---well, from Donald Trump.'

    Bingo. There is no 'there' there. Just an endless stream of incendiary statements to keep the man in the 'news'.

    More on "not a dime's worth of difference" ... not from the TNC msm.

    Obama extends global reach of US Special Operations death squads


    "Obama has normalized the idea that presidents get to have secret large-scale killing programs at their disposal."

    Obama was at pains, in his first post-election statement, to dismiss the bitter vituperation of the election campaign, declaring that the electoral struggle between the Democrats and Republicans was merely "an intramural scrimmage." This is profoundly true: both parties represent the same class, the American financial aristocracy, and its global interests, defended in the final analysis by death and destruction inflicted by the American military machine.

    ... what you get for your dime is that, for instance, Trump huffs and he puffs before he blows your door in, while with Obama and the TNC media, people can claim that they didn't know what hit them.

    I wonder how wsws.org missed the Pro-Porno-t(eam)'s 'initial set of sites that 'reliably echo Russian propaganda'? Probably didn't want to draw attention to it.

    [Nov 26, 2016] Obama changes his mind on Russia

    Notable quotes:
    "... BHO was hired to read speeches as they all have been, since Reagan, at least. The System filters out anyone with a genuinely positive agenda, a mind of his/her own and a corruption-free (secret) history. We should be focused on the Unelected (ie Actual) Rulers instead. ..."
    "... For Obama – read Kissinger/Brzezinski change his mind for him – it seems to me – to lay the diplomatic groundwork for Trump to pivot away from a 'unipolar' world (where the American hegemon is in direct conflict with Russia and China – the classic Cold War scenario) – to the 'multipartner' world – where America foments chaos, then under a banner of shared responsibility draws in Russia and China and lets them fight it out like two moles in a bag over the Middle East. America then picks off the last one standing. ..."
    "... Obama, Cameron, Johnson, H. Clinton, Nuland, McCain, Holland, Poroshenko, Merkel, the WMSM – the list of the damned goes on and on ..."
    "... "constant since I first came into office" Indeed you have Mr President, a constant disappointment, a constant liar, a constant weakling who failed to stand up to the US Jewish lobby, a constant war criminal, in fact a complete and total constant failure. Bravo! ..."
    Nov 26, 2016 | off-guardian.org
    It's been quite a progression, hasn't it?

    Part One: Weak, Regional, Failing

    Netherlands, 25 March 2014

    " Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors - not out of strength but out of weakness.

    Economist interview, 2 August 2014

    " But I do think it's important to keep perspective. Russia doesn't make anything. Immigrants aren't rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking. And so we have to respond with resolve in what are effectively regional challenges that Russia presents. We have to make sure that they don't escalate where suddenly nuclear weapons are back in the discussion of foreign policy. And as long as we do that, then I think history is on our side.

    State of the Union Address, 20 January 2015

    " Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, as we were reinforcing our presence with frontline states, Mr. Putin's aggression it was suggested was a masterful display of strategy and strength. That's what I heard from some folks. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated with its economy in tatters. That's how America leads - not with bluster, but with persistent, steady resolve. (Applause.)

    Part Two: Maybe not

    Washington, 18 October 2016

    " The bottom line is, is that we think that Russia is a large important country with a military that is second only to ours, and has to be a part of the solution on the world stage, rather than part of the problem.

    Part Three: Powerful, Worldwide

    Berlin, 17 November 2016

    " With respect to Russia, my principal approach to Russia has been constant since I first came into office. Russia is an important country. It is a military superpower. It has influence in the region and it has influence around the world. And in order for us to solve many big problems around the world, it is in our interest to work with Russia and obtain their cooperation.


    "constant since I first came into office"

    StAug says November 25, 2016

    BHO was hired to read speeches as they all have been, since Reagan, at least. The System filters out anyone with a genuinely positive agenda, a mind of his/her own and a corruption-free (secret) history. We should be focused on the Unelected (ie Actual) Rulers instead.
    BigB says November 25, 2016
    Excellent comment!

    For Obama – read Kissinger/Brzezinski change his mind for him – it seems to me – to lay the diplomatic groundwork for Trump to pivot away from a 'unipolar' world (where the American hegemon is in direct conflict with Russia and China – the classic Cold War scenario) – to the 'multipartner' world – where America foments chaos, then under a banner of shared responsibility draws in Russia and China and lets them fight it out like two moles in a bag over the Middle East. America then picks off the last one standing.

    Not much of a plan – especially as Russia and China are both 'eyes wide open' – but it is the best the two senile old twats – who are both overdue in the mortuary – can come up with. Obama of course has no mind of his own. Trumps pick for Secretary of State may indicate his.

    Kissinger once said that "the elderly are useless eaters" – maybe it is time for him to take his own counsel and move on. Perhaps he could take Soros and Brzezinski with him?

    StAug says November 25, 2016
    Indeed! If only we could pop some corn and watch from a safe space on another planet
    tutisicecream says November 25, 2016
    Should be titled "Putin's Progress".

    During this tale many of the would be pretenders have fallen or are falling by the wayside.

    Obama, Cameron, Johnson, H. Clinton, Nuland, McCain, Holland, Poroshenko, Merkel, the WMSM – the list of the damned goes on and on

    Their Faustian Bargain seems to have failed them and given rise to Mephistopheles incarnate Trump.

    Øystein Blix says November 25, 2016
    Putin, at least, seems to have a spine

    DavidKNZ says November 24, 2016

    What a lesson this man has been.
    Came in with soaring rhetoric, a promise of a new beginning, and a Nobel peace prize.
    Failed to deliver on any of these, but did deliver:
    Death by drone, without trial
    Death by military misadventure in the middle east
    Death of a civil economy via unaccountable military spending

    And now trying to 'burnish' his 'legacy' of lies. With more lies.

    At least Russia's Putin, ruthless as he is, does seem to have a moral compass

    Amer Hudson says November 24, 2016
    He's been worked like a ventriloquist's dummy. And badly at that.
    Alec says November 24, 2016
    "constant since I first came into office" Indeed you have Mr President, a constant disappointment, a constant liar, a constant weakling who failed to stand up to the US Jewish lobby, a constant war criminal, in fact a complete and total constant failure. Bravo!

    [Nov 25, 2016] Anti Russian warriors created valuable set of sites that fight neocon/neoliberal propaganda

    For them neocon/neoliberal propaganda 24/7 is OK, but anti-neoliberalism, anti-neoconservatism information, which sometimes is pro-Russian propaganda is not. Viva to McCarthyism! The hint is that you do not have a choice -- Big Brother is watching you like in the USSR. Anti-Russian propaganda money in action. It is interesting that Paul Craig Roberts who served in Reagan administration is listed as "left-wing"... Tell me who is your ally ( Bellingcat) and I will tell who you are...
    As Moon of Alabama noted "I wholeheartedly recommend to use the list that new anonymous censorship entity provides as your new or additional "Favorite Bookmarks" list. It includes illustrious financial anti-fraud sites like Yves Smith's Naked Capitalism , Wikileaks , well informed libertarian sites like Ron Paul and AntiWar.com and leftish old timers like Counterpunch . Of general (non-mainstream) news sites Consortiumnews , run by Robert Parry who revealed the Iran-contra crimes, is included as well as Truthdig and Truth-out.org ."
    Extended list is here It a real horror to see how deep pro Russian propaganda penetrated the US society ;-) This newly minted site lists as allies, and with such allies you can reliably tell who finance it
    www.propornot.com
    Name Domain Primary Target Audience Interests Review Article Absurd Pro-Russia Content Source? Repeater?
    Infowars / Alex Jones infowars.com Conspiracy Example Example Major Major
    Zerohedge zerohedge.com Finance Example Example Major Major
    True Activist trueactivist.com Left-wing Example Example Minor Major
    Natural News naturalnews.com Health Example Example Major Major
    Ending The Fed endingthefed.com Right-wing Example Example Minor Major
    Corbett Report corbettreport.com Geopolitics Example Example Major Minor
    Washington's Blog washingtonsblog.com General Example Example Major Major
    Before It's News beforeitsnews.com General Example Example No Major
    Counterpunch counterpunch.org Left-wing Example Example Major Minor
    Ron Paul Institute ronpaulinstitute.org Right-Wing Example Example Major Major
    Hang the Bankers hangthebankers.com Finance Example Example Minor Major
    The Activist Post activistpost.com Left-wing Example Example Major Minor
    The Anti-Media theantimedia.org Anti-Media Example Example Major Minor
    Veterans Today veteranstoday.com Veterans Example Example Major Major
    Southfront southfront.org Military Example Example Major Major
    Your Newswire yournewswire.com General Example Example Major Major
    America's Freedom Fighters americasfreedomfighters.com Right-wing Example Example Minor Minor
    Global Research globalresearch.ca