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|"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money.
It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is
that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."
-- Gore Vidal
“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”
-- Leonard Pinkney
The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.
|In the “democracy” that America has evolved to, money counts more than people.
In past elections, the votes were counted, now they are going to start weighing them.
“(T)he rich elites of (the USA) have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens … the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot. Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it.”
-- Mike Lofgren
neither I nor any other political consultant understood”
Dick Morris, former Clinton political strategist,
turned into Trump supporter
The New York Times, July 9, 2016
Writing in Politico, Georgetown political scientist Joshua Mitchell has a long, important take on the deep meaning of Trump — and it’s probably not what you think:
If you listen closely to Trump, you’ll hear a direct repudiation of the system of globalization and identity politics that has defined the world order since the Cold War. There are, in fact, six specific ideas that he has either blurted out or thinly buried in his rhetoric: (1) borders matter; (2) immigration policy matters; (3) national interests, not so-called universal interests, matter; (4) entrepreneurship matters; (5) decentralization matters; (6) PC speech—without which identity politics is inconceivable—must be repudiated.
These six ideas together point to an end to the unstable experiment with supra- and sub-national sovereignty that many of our elites have guided us toward, siren-like, since 1989.
That is what the Trump campaign, ghastly though it may at times be, leads us toward: A future where states matter. A future where people are citizens, working together toward (bourgeois) improvement of their lot. His ideas do not yet fully cohere. They are a bit too much like mental dust that has yet to come together. But they can come together. And Trump is the first American candidate to bring some coherence to them, however raucous his formulations have been.
This is a clear repudiation of neoliberalism (aka "casino capitalism" or Trotskyism for the rich) -- the secular religion to both Republican and Democratic parties adhere (while the term is prohibited from mass media -- can you imagine the Communist Party of the USSR would prohibit its members under the threat of purge to utter the word "communism" or call themselves "communists"). And that means that Trump is a threat to Washington neoliberal elite, the threat to neoliberal Washington_Consensus, which since 1980 (or even earlier) rules the place. That's why they fight and demonization of Trump is conducted by neoliberal media with such a fierce determination. That's why such a tremendous efforts and money are spend on propelling sick and unprincipled establishment candidate -- Hillary Clinton. A warmonger neoconservative, who is a staunch neoliberal (like her husband Bill Clinton).
The US neoliberal elite ("creator class" or "Masters of the Universe" in neoliberal jargon) have successfully revolted against the political and economic constraints on their wealth and power put by "enlightened corporatism" of the New Deal, and for 36 years managed to redistribute wealth up to the level that has no historical presidents. As a result social stability is in danger and "the rest" (or Untermensch, or "takers"/"welfare queen" in neoliberal jargon) are rebelling in the only way left open to them: voting for anyone who claims to be an outsider. (Romney-Ryan 'makers vs. takers' rhetoric helped spawn Donald Trump Washington Examiner)
This idea of low-income "takers" lay beneath Mitt Romney's view that the 47 percent of adults in the U.S. who owed no federal income tax were therefore "dependent upon government" and "who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them…."
But "taker" is a slur also when aimed at recipients of government benefits. Millions of "takers" are people who work 40 hours, but at low wages, and thus receive the earned-income tax credit. Will you blame their low wages on them? Perhaps they got horrible education thanks to incompetent government, or were just never blessed with marketable skills.
Some percentage of the 47 percent are World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam Veterans, who after serving their country, put in decades of work, and now live off the Social Security they paid into, without earning enough to owe federal income tax.
The "takers" include widows receiving food stamps, the ill being kept alive by Medicaid, and people drawing on unemployment because their employer got up and moved to Mexico.
More importantly, many of those on welfare or disability hate that they are dependent. They want to be working.
Are there "welfare queens," lazy able-bodied moochers, and people scamming disability? Yes. But lumping in 47 percent of the country with these scoundrels is as illegitimate lumping all businessmen in with the failed bankers who depend on bailouts.
This wasn't just Ryan's mistake. Conservatives broadly have equated low income with dependency. The conservative belief that the market tends to reward skill and diligence often mutates into a belief that poverty reflects some sort of turpitude.
That view helped give birth to Donald Trump, who has tapped into the working class that Ryan and Romney had pushed away.
After the dissolution of the USSR the US neoliberal elite which was at this time already in power (getting to power via "quite coup" in 1970th) went completely off rails and started to devour not only other countries, but the USA itself. Neoliberals (like Bolsheviks in the past) are cosmopolitan by definition and consider the USA as just a host to implement their master plan of creating a global neoliberal empire in which transnational corporation, not nation-states, are the major political players. They have zero affinity with the common people of the USA. For them they are just tools for whatever needs to be done to expand the empire and crush its enemies. So their allegiance is not to the USA, but to the global neoliberal empire and the major political players of this empire -- transnational corporations. Neoliberal ideology is championed on behalf of globalist corporate elites who have now secured total control, even ownership, of the federal government and the Congress.
It's the same behavior that characterized Bolsheviks in Russia. Opposition was completely decimated, all major centers of power (including out supposedly free press) consolidates in hands of corporate owners and financial oligarchy. Only few political groups still are rooting for the interests of the USA as a sovereign country and its population. Among them are libertarians (especially in foreign policy were Ron Paul really shined) and paleoconservatives, especially the latter. Both groups bravely fought neocons "permanent war for permanent peace" or as Bacevich called it "New American militarism" -- permanent war for expansion of global neoliberal empire. But without MSM and just a couple of magazines they were outgunned and pushed to the sidelines of political discourse. The neoliberal media make tremendous efforts to create fear to prompt people to support aggressive wars of expansion of global US-led neoliberal empire and give up their human and civil rights, asking for militarization of the USA under the pretext of protection from terrorism, while launching one war against other regimes which did not suit the needs of neoliberal empire after another and now priming for a confrontation with Russia.
The last time America saw a strong paleo-conservative was Pat Buchanan in 1996. An early win in Louisiana was followed by the second place in Iowa and first in New Hampshire. Lacking money, Buchanan was steamrolled by the establishment. In terms of the ability of paleo-conservatism to attract voters, many thought he was the "Last of the Mohicans." But now it looks like no, he was not.
Trump's campaign is Buchananesque with one difference: Trump has money... He can fend off any attack and self-finance his campaign. He is establishment kryptonite. -- by Joseph R. Murray II (Orlando Sentinel, Aug 12, 2015).
Neoliberal MSM disinformation campaign tries to distract voters from fundamental issues, replacing the with "identity politics" smoke screen (did Putin met Melania ? ;-). Those presstitutes have no decency. The truth is that Donald Trump, who is constantly vilified by neoliberal media (aka MSM) for his anti-globalization stance is pretty close to paleoconservative platform. Here are some pro-Trump arguments:
Those fake democrats who are now frightened at the prospect of Donald Trump being elected need to explain precisely where they were when Bill Clinton sold the party to Wall street converting them to a faction of Republican Party or, as they are often called DemoRats (aka "third way" Democrats, or Clinton democrats) and launched their three-decade-long class war on the side on neoliberal elite against the great majority of the American people. And why we should vote for such a bloodthirsty politician, a war criminal, by Nierenberg standards.
The Allies eventually established the laws and procedures for the Nuremberg trials with the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal (IMT), issued on August 8, 1945. Among other things, the charter defined three categories of crimes: crimes against peace (including planning, preparing, starting or waging wars of aggression or wars in violation of international agreements), war crimes (including violations of customs or laws of war, including improper treatment of civilians and prisoners of war) and crimes against humanity (including murder, enslavement or deportation of civilians or persecution on political, religious or racial grounds). It was determined that civilian officials as well as military officers could be accused of war crimes.
Like Soviet nomenklatura in 1991 DemoRats brass changed sides and aligned with Wall Street against ordinary Americans initiating the greatest redistribution of wealth (read economic rape of US middle and lower class) in history. Clinton called his betrayal and dismantling New Deal laws framework the Third Way, while it was traditional way of getting twenty silver coins.
Much like Brexit referendum November election now looks like a referendum on neoliberal globalization. And Washington neoliberal elite is now in panic mode, because it is clear that people are sick and tired of neoliberal status quo and neocons war of conquests, while the US inner cities rot, meth epidemics reached dangerous proportions, and pavement of many roads reminds a third world country (with Mercedeses of the top 0.1% driving over potholes and slums).
American neoliberal elite cynically misled the US people promising them peace and prosperity, but instead driving their standard of living down and the elite wealth up and driving the country into constant wars of neoliberal conquest (again, exactly like Bolsheviks in Russia). The same process but is more hashed form has happened in Europe. Ordinary American, like ordinary Britons before them now became aware of this, and their angry generated backlash in 2016 election where Republican establishment candidates were wipes out from the chess board, and DemoRats establishment candidate survived only due to DNC dirty tricks.
The same anger as drove Brexit vote now is developing in regard Hillary Clinton candidacy as the establishment choice. The Trump is just an opportunity to lob a hand grenade into Washington establishment, that so many Americans would greatly enjoy now.
Moreover Hillary Clinton is a war criminal, if we apply to her the standards of Nuremberg trials, so voting for her is also a crime. She is really one of the most bloodthirsty American politicians in recent history. Yet neoliberal media tries to shove Hillary down the US voters throats, demonizing Trump using all dirty tricks they learned during Cold War.
put it best "This was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille."(Yes, the System Is Rigged The American Conservative):
“I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged,” Donald Trump told voters in Ohio and Sean Hannity on Fox News. And that hit a nerve. “Dangerous,” “toxic,” came the recoil from the media. Trump is threatening to “delegitimize” the election results of 2016.
Well, if that is what Trump is trying to do, he has no small point. For consider what 2016 promised and what it appears about to deliver. This longest of election cycles has rightly been called the Year of the Outsider. It was a year that saw a mighty surge of economic populism and patriotism, a year when a 74-year-old Socialist senator set primaries ablaze with mammoth crowds that dwarfed those of Hillary Clinton. It was the year that a non-politician, Donald Trump, swept Republican primaries in an historic turnout, with his nearest rival an ostracized maverick in his own Republican caucus, Senator Ted Cruz. More than a dozen Republican rivals, described as the strongest GOP field since 1980, were sent packing. This was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille.
... ... ...
Instructions are going out to Republican leaders that either they dump Trump, or they will cease to be seen as morally fit partners in power.
It testifies to the character of Republican elites that some are seeking ways to carry out these instructions, though this would mean invalidating and aborting the democratic process that produced Trump. But what is a repudiated establishment doing issuing orders to anyone?
Why is it not Middle America issuing the demands, rather than the other way around? Specifically, the Republican electorate should tell its discredited and rejected ruling class: If we cannot get rid of you at the ballot box, then tell us how, peacefully and democratically, we can be rid of you?
You want Trump out? How do we get you out? The Czechs had their Prague Spring. The Tunisians and Egyptians their Arab Spring. When do we have our American Spring?
The Brits had their “Brexit,” and declared independence of an arrogant superstate in Brussels. How do we liberate ourselves from a Beltway superstate that is more powerful and resistant to democratic change? Our CIA, NGOs and National Endowment for Democracy all beaver away for “regime change” in faraway lands whose rulers displease us. How do we effect “regime change” here at home?
Donald Trump’s success, despite the near-universal hostility of the media, even much of the conservative media, was due in large part to the public’s response to the issues he raised.
- He called for sending illegal immigrants back home, for securing America’s borders, for no amnesty. He called for an America First foreign policy to keep us out of wars that have done little but bleed and bankrupt us.
- He called for an economic policy where the Americanism of the people replaces the globalism of the transnational elites and their K Street lobbyists and congressional water carriers.
- He denounced NAFTA, and the trade deals and trade deficits with China, and called for rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
- By campaign’s end, he had won the argument on trade, as Hillary Clinton was agreeing on TPP and confessing to second thoughts on NAFTA.
- But if TPP is revived at the insistence of the oligarchs of Wall Street, the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — backed by conscript editorial writers for newspapers that rely on ad dollars — what do elections really mean anymore?
- And if, as the polls show we might, we get Clinton — and TPP, and amnesty, and endless migrations of Third World peoples who consume more tax dollars than they generate, and who will soon swamp the Republicans’ coalition — what was 2016 all about?
Would this really be what a majority of Americans voted for in this most exciting of presidential races? “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable,” said John F. Kennedy. The 1960s and early 1970s were a time of social revolution in America, and President Nixon, by ending the draft and ending the Vietnam war, presided over what one columnist called the “cooling of America.”
Moreover, in this historical context, neoliberalism is a revolt of financial oligarchy against the republican philosophy of the American republic: it insist that public virtue is a dangerous encumbrance on the "animal spirits" of modern capitalism (read unlimited speculation, outsourcing and derivatives games). In USA, neoliberals don't even have enough sense of self-preservation to try to hide their aristocratic despise of "common folk". Unlike von Hayek and von Mises, who trying to hide this aspect of neoliberalism tried in the past. That means that Hillary and her Washington establishment friends (like "constitutional scholar" Obama) formally are traitors, who betrayed the key idea behind the American republic and US constitution, the idea of General Welfare.
The importance and significance of the mandate to promote the General Welfare in the USA Constitution goes directly against neoliberalism. So the fact that republican Party became a citadel of neoliberalism (and Neoconservatism -- aka Trotskyism for rick) is an anomaly. those people are not republicans. They are more like representatives of the Confederacy (yes, that Confederacy, of the mid-1800s, dominated by an oligarchy of rich slaveholders who decided to tear apart the Union in a fratricidal war rather than do a single thing that might lead to eventual elimination of slavery) largely copied the USA Constitution, but, crucially, eliminated mention of the General Welfare from its Constitution. The libertarian von Mises Institute has a June 1992 article on its website by Randall G. Holcombe which explicitly states this was an important “improvement”:
Who can say where Trump_vs_deep_state leads, can it be co-opted by neoliberal establishment (which would not be too difficult as Trump is all the place on many key topics), or if it can win in November of 2016? But in many ways, openly expressed by Trump himself (especially at the beginning of his campaign, when he was not still burdened by compromises with the republican establishment) , his movement can be seen as the climax of anti-globalization and anti-immigration movements, a people protest against the waves of Creative Destruction unleashed by its controlled by transnationals neoliberal governments since the 1980’s. Yes starting with Reagan, the first president fully in pockets of financial oligarchy. Three more to follow (Clinton, Bush II and Obama) continuing the same policies sold under Democratic Party banner (the party which was perverted into another neoliberal party by Bill Clinton, who literally sold it to Wall Street for an annual pension of twenty silver coins. Sorry millions of dollars).
Hence the Trump attack upon Washington Political Correctness as well as social and cultural destruction that accompanies it. When this framing is used against neocons and President Obama, it hurls the accusation of American economic and military decline - due to “betrayal” of ordinary Americans (which is completely true as neoliberalism is cosmopolitan by definition, has no motherland, and its explicit goal is the redistribution of wealth up to the top 0.1%). We see that Polanyi was right about free market fundamentalism (aka neoliberalism) -- it does lead, if not mitigated by various “interventions,” to “annihilating the human and natural substance of society”. Anger had growth to the extent that establishment candidates from Republican party (Cruz and company) were drawn in it and Hillary became candidate from Democratic party only via fraud committed by DNS and the mechanism of Superdelegates
Establishment stared to fell the danger, but it was too late (Neoliberalism gave us Trump A dying America is raging against the capitalist machine - Salon.com):
...it was The Donald who magically rode that Trump Tower escalator down to the ground floor to pick up the pieces. His irreverence for established authority worked. His racist and misogynist phobias worked. His billions worked for millions who had grown infatuated with all the celebrated Wall Street conquistadors of the second Gilded Age. His way of gingerly tiptoeing around Social Security worked with those whose neediness and emotional logic was captured by the person who memorably told a Republican congressman, “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.” Most of all, his muscle-flexing bombast worked for millions fed up with demoralization, paralysis, and powerlessness. They felt The Donald.
In the face-off between right-wing populism and neoliberalism, Tea Party legions and Trumpists now find Fortune 500 CEOs morally obnoxious and an economic threat, grow irate at Federal Reserve bail-outs, and are fired up by the multiple crises set off by global free trade and the treaties that go with it.
... ... ...
The Sanders campaign had made its stand against the [neoliberalism of the Clinton elite. It has resonated so deeply because the candidate, with all his grandfatherly charisma and integrity, repeatedly insists that Americans should look beneath the surface of a liberal capitalism that is economically and ethically bankrupt and running a political confidence game, even as it condescends to “the forgotten man.”
In the campaign so far, it is clear that the US citizen are unhappy with the economic status quo and their grievances drive them into Trump comp, replicating what is called the dynamics of “Weimar Culture” with much less violence...
Americans want to reconstruct the New Deal society. We stand in the very beginning of anti-neoliberal revolution in which people insist upon recovering in practice those ideas which the USA constitution established -- securing a government devoted to the general interest and not to special interests… At the same time neoliberalism, which is essentially rule of transnational corporations is still strong and might manage to win the elections.
If we view the November elections as the referendum on neoliberal globalization, in no way they will be about the candidates. And here it will be not Trump against Hillary but more like referendum on adopting paleoconservative platform vs. neocon/neolib platform as the guidelines for the future development of the country. Of cause the elite would like to avoid this vote (as they know best what is good for American people ;-), but in the current situation they can't control the electorate as effectively as they did since, say, 1980. Neoliberalism now stinks and the level of discontent is too high to suppress it. It started to overflow into political channels and Trump is just one part of this wider trend of rejecting neoconservative doctrine and neoliberalism, which dominated the last 36 years, since Reagan presidency (Trump Policy Will Unravel Traditional Neocons - The Unz Review):
In economic policy, Trump also opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the TTIP trade and corporate power grab [inaud.] with Europe to block public regulation. And this was also a major plank of Bernie Sanders’ campaign against Hillary, which Trump knows. The corporatist wings of both the Republican and the Democratic Parties fear that Trump’s opposition to NAFTA and TPP will lead the Republicans not to push through in the lame duck session after November.
The whole plan has been that once the election’s over, Obama will then get all the Republicans together and will pass the Republican platform that he’s been pushing for the last eight years. The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement with Europe, and the other neoliberal policies.
And now that Trump is trying to rebuild the Republican Party, all of that is threatened. And so on the Republican side of the New York Times page you had David Brooks writing “The death of the Republican Party.” So what Trump calls the rebirth of the Republican Party, it means the death of the reactionary, conservative, corporatist, anti-labor Republican Party.
And when he wrote this, quote, Trump is decimating the things Republicans stood for: NATO, entitlement reform, in other words winding back Social Security, and support of the corporatist Trans-Pacific Partnership. So it’s almost hilarious to see what happens. And Trump also has reversed the traditional Republican fiscal responsibility austerity policy, that not a word about balanced budgets anymore. And he said he was going to run at policy to employ American labor and put it back to work on infrastructure. Again, he’s made a left runaround Hillary. He says he wants to reinstate Glass-Steagall, whereas the Clintons were the people that got rid of it.
And this may be for show, simply to brand Hillary as Wall Street’s candidate. But it also seems to actually be an attack on Wall Street. And Trump’s genius was to turn around all the attacks on him as being a shady businessman. He said, look, nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. Now, what that means, basically, as a businessman, he knows the fine print by which they’ve been screwing the people. So only someone like him knows how to fight against Wall Street. After all, he’s been screwing the Wall Street banks for years [inaud.]. And he can now fight for the population fighting against Wall Street, just as he’s been able to stiff the banks.
And the cash for the neocons comes mostly from defense contractors. That's why neocons promote replacement of the USSR as arch-enemy of the USA. That allows to boost military spending. Corrupt and subservant MSM eagerly amplify threats worldwide and are willing to promote neocons viewpoint. Keeping the cash flowing to fund those neocon pundits. That's why they are jumping over themselves to support Hillary Clinton in spite of her corruption and incompetence. Because Donald Trump has threatened to do two things: first he has expressed his unwillingness to enter into new wars in the Middle East or anywhere else and second he has stated that Washington should be even handed when attempting to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Both are anathema to the neocons and Trump has further complicated matters by indicating that he would be willing to talk with Vladimir Putin. If Trump were to win, many neocons would likely find themselves having to look for a real job, a terrifying prospect for people with few skills to fall back on (Neocon Schizophrenia - The Unz Review)
Hillary’s bellicosity guarantees that the military industrial complex cash machine will continue to operate full speed, driving scores of leading neocons to announce that they will vote for her. Reuel Marc Gerecht, one of the neocons’ favorite Iran bashers, concluded in an article appearing in a recent issue of the Weekly Standard that Hillary’s “not a neoconservative, but Hillary Clinton isn’t uncomfortable with American power. Unlike Obama, she isn’t the apologetic type. Whatever her opinions were in the Vietnam era, she doesn’t now view the Cold War ambivalently. She’s certain that might married right in that struggle, even in the Third World, where Obama and many on the left have serious doubts.” I’m not completely sure what that pompous bit of prose is supposed to mean but Gerecht in a backhanded fashion also provided what is for me a ringing endorsement of Donald Trump, though he of course meant to do the opposite having stated his intention to vote for Hillary, writing “Trump is probably the most anti-interventionist presidential candidate since Eugene V. Debs, the indefatigable socialist, in 1912.”
...Neocons and their associated liberal interventionists have to an extent dominated the foreign and defense policy thinking of the two major parties and most of the media but their message is ultimately based on emphasizing national insecurity, which in the current context is somewhat inexplicable. The United States has never been more secure internationally, if not domestically, and the only problems it is confronting are themselves part and parcel of the imbroglios that have been engineered by the interventionists and their friends. Speculation is that a Trump victory will actually end their dominance. If that is so, it might just be sufficient reason to vote for Donald Trump.
That means that the election will be not so much about the personal traits of two candidates (like MSM tried us to convince), as about positions regarding neocons dominance in US foreign policy and neoliberal globalization. Which are interconnected issues, as neocons is just neoliberals with a machine guns and are eager to use military force to open markets for transnational corporations. Vote for Trump is essentially a vote of non-confidence for neoliberal globalization, and indirectly a vote against neocons and their excessive influence on the US foreign policy. Like saying "Enough is enough." It this sense candidates personalities are irrelevant as soon as they represent opposing points on views on neoliberal globalization (Michael Scheuer Non-Intervention.com):
Of the many lessons that have been taught by the 2016 presidential campaign, one of the most useful is the clarity that it has brought to the often-stated, but always denied fact that there is no difference between Republican and Democratic foreign policy. Both parties support military, political, and cultural interventionism; increasing foreign aid; remaining in NATO and other organizations that take the decision to wage war out of the hands of Americans, and, generally, the ongoing and war-causing construction of George H.W. Bush’s New World Order.
This month the two parties’ identical foreign policies were highlighted when two centurions of the elder Bush’s New World Order – and therefore endless war for Americans – endorsed Hillary Clinton for the presidency. Brent Scowcroft and Richard Armitage have hopped on that female felon’s gangster-filled train, with Scowcroft pontificating that Mrs. Clinton’s “longstanding relationships with a wide array of world leaders, and their sense of her as a strong and reliable counterpart, make her uniquely prepared for the highest office in the land.” The only reason Scowcroft could have for saying such a thing is that either he has advanced dementia, or he is on-the-take from the same powerful banks, lawyers, and industries that payoff Clinton for maintaining the foreign policy status quo.
Neoliberalism does not appear to be delivering the goods in the ways that matter the most for capitalism's long-run stability and survival. The most important features of globalization today are greatly increased international trade, increased flows of capital across national boundaries (particularly speculative short-term capital), and a major role for large TNCs in manufacturing, extractive activities, and finance, operating worldwide yet retaining in nearly all cases a clear base in a single nation-state (mostly in the USA and EU).
Most of TNC practices such as outsourcing, bringing in immigrants (with illegal immigrants essentially replacing slave labor) to suppress wages, etc. hurt middle class and lower class in the USA. They suffered silently long enough (35 years, if we assume 1980 as the year neoliberalism became dominant ideology and economic practice in the USA). Now well can be the payback time has come. It might have come quicker, but the dissolution of the USSR allowed plundering of this economic space for at least ten years and probably delayed the day of reckoning for another 15 years.
Financial oligarchy managed to restore its political power to the levels it enjoyed in 1920th (before the New Deal) and is not willing to relinquish it without a fierce fight. Redistribution of wealth up is the essence of neoliberalism, so it automatically led to restoration of Robber Barrons and a New Gilded Age. With a set of neocolonial wars as the way to enforce neoliberalism on those nations who don't want it and open their markets for transnationals.
Along with backlash against neoliberal globalization Trump and Sanders rise is inherently connected with the failure of "bait and switch" policies of Obama administration (Trump & Sanders Are a Reaction to Obama's Failures The Real Ratigan - Dylan Ratigan ). It looks like king of "bait and switch" Obama overplayed his hand:
It’s a direct reflection of decades of failure, betrayal and corruption on both the part of the Republican leadership as well as the Democratic party leadership, that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are doing as well as they are doing at this point in the political cycle. There are so many people in America that believed that the election of Barack Obama was the end of dynastic, inside, corrupt establishment politics.
Barack Obama was elected and corrected absolutely none of that. So what you are seeing is an escalation in the hostility, in the “outside of the system” nature of the candidates in direct response to Barack Obama’s failures to correct that which the American people know is wrong: the inside corruption of the American political system. I’m not saying it’s the right answer, but I’m saying corruption that has gone on for this long can inevitably only lead to candidates this far outside the box.
Neoliberal globalization did not provide anything of value for most American people. On the contrary it diminished their standard of living, destroyed available jobs and send important industries oversees, were cheap labor reside, for the benefit of transactional corporations. For some groups such as "blue color" workers standard of living dropped considerably and their number was decimated. They were pushed into low wage service sector. Even such "voice of neoliberalism" as WaPo admits that now (The Washington Post):
The United States’ economic dysfunctions have been apparent for decades: The decline of manufacturing, which provided middle-income jobs to millions, and the burgeoning of the low-wage service sector were visibly underway by the 1980s. So, too, was the shrinking of unions, and with it, the ability of workers to bargain with their employers. By now, it’s clear that long-held beliefs about how an economy works — for instance, that declining unemployment should be accompanied by higher wages — need to be altered, or at least qualified. Since the depth of the Great Recession, in 2009, the unemployment rate has been cut nearly in half, but despite its decline over the past year to roughly 5 percent, wages haven’t budged, while median income and the rate of poverty, according to Tuesday’s Census Bureau report, have remained unchanged
... ... ...
A different litany of economic woes vexes most European nations, but on both sides of the Atlantic the belief that the [neoliberal] economy generally produces broadly shared prosperity has been shaken, if not shattered.
Under these conditions, voters respond, and should respond, to political leaders who offer compelling explanations and solutions for the harsher economic realities. They respond to those who identify the culprits behind their troubles and say how they’ll diminish their sway. That’s why Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have connected with millions of voters, and why politicians who haven’t gauged the depth of voters’ anger over the economy’s betrayal of their prospects and expectations have failed to connect.
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Profits have risen at wages’ expense; the ratio between top executives’ pay and that of their employees has soared; taxing financial transactions and raising the tax on investments to the level of tax on work will more adequately fund needed public programs; giving workers the power to bargain with their employers will help re-start the American mobility machine. The key to Sanders’s success, beyond his unchallengeable authenticity, is that the story he tells, the villains he calls out and the remedies he proposes are more accurate a portrayal, and more adequate a prescription, than those of rival candidates.
Capitalism in Europe and the United States is no longer yielding mass prosperity. That’s why the center isn’t holding, and why left and right are rising
Trump is the candidate votes for whom symbolizes the same rejection of neoliberal globalization as votes for Brexit. That why the attacks of neoliberal press of Trump recently reached the pitch of Pravda campaigns against "revisionists of Marxism-Leninism". In a way Trump is the "revisionist": he is the revisionist of the neoliberal doctrine. As such he is very dangerous candidate for neoconservatives, who rule the Washington DC and is somewhat dangerous for financial oligarchy (although much less then they are afraid of).
|Trump is the candidate votes for whom symbolizes the same rejection of neoliberal globalization as votes for Brexit. That why the attacks of neoliberal press of Trump recently reached the pitch of Pravda campaign against "revisionists of Marxism-Leninism". In a way Trump is the "revisionist": he is the revisionist of the neoliberal doctrine. As such he is very dangerous candidate for neoconservatives, who rule the Washington DC and is somewhat dangerous for financial oligarchy (although much less then they are afraid of).|
The November election will be a referendum on the US neoliberal establishment as much as the Brexit vote was for the EU. The Brexit vote showed that people are so fed up that they are no longer listening to establishment fear-mongering and blackmail of alternative candidates.
In many ways, including his flamboyant personality, Trump is a unique phenomenon. He has uncanny ability to see weak spot of the opponent and exploit it using MSM as a free amplifier. Just Google " " and you will understand a lot about the power of this approach :-)
While the majority of factions of the US elite are still adhere to the delusional idea of the total world domination the people of the USA are tired to pay the costs for maintaining the Global Neoliberal Empire
What drove Trump up the polls and to victory over other Republican, often much better financed and supported by MSM, candidates. It was breakdown of neoliberal ideology and globalization pursued by Republican brass.
"Trade is an issue that polarizes Americans by socio-economic status. To the professional class, which encompasses the vast majority of our media figures, economists, Washington officials and Democratic powerbrokers, what they call 'free trade' is something so obviously good and noble it doesn’t require explanation or inquiry or even thought. Republican and Democratic leaders alike agree on this, and no amount of facts can move them from their Econ 101 dream." The Guardian
The US population protest against neoliberal globalization was the decisive factor. People worry that they and their families now are on their own, that the elite betrayed them, and that the basic middle class bargain—work hard, play by the rules and you can achieve the American Dream — own the house, raise and get kids via college with minimal debt and retire more or less comfortably became a thing of the past. Driving this anxiety is deep skepticism about government policies, persuading offshoring of manufacturing and global trade pacts such as NAFTA, TPP that benefit transnational corporation, but cut the standard of living of common people. Democrats and Republicans betrayed blue color workers and a large of white color workers and became a party of financial oligarchy (Clinton reached deal with Newt Gingrich to privatize Social Security but Monica Lewinsky saved us from this blunder ;-). They based they betrayal on the fact the blue-collar workers has nowhere to go. Now those completely betrayed and ruined people were driven to Trump camp, who essentially revived the concept of Paleoconservatism in mainstream politics. The first journalist who noticed that was probably Joseph R. Murray II. In this article Trump's the new face of paleo-conservatism (Orlando Sentinel, Aug 12, 2015)
When the term paleo-conservative is floated in conversation, most folks imagine a creature out of Jurassic World. But paleo-conservatism — a near extinct brand of conservatism that heralds limited government, nonintervention, economic nationalism and Western traditions — is finding a comeback in an unlikely spokesperson.
The history-making campaign of Donald Trump is turning the clock of U.S. politics back to a time when hubris was heroic and the truth, no matter how blunt, was king. It is resurrecting a political thought that does not play by the rules of modern politics.
Establishment hates Trump because he became an unusual fighter against the excesses of neoliberal globalization, fighter for the American middle class. His views (at least initially) were close to paleoconservatives, who are concentrated around Buchanan and The American Conservative magazine:
"Donald Trump is probably not a long-time reader of The American Conservative. Yet those who are instantly recognized the constellation of issues Trump chose to highlight in his campaign: concern about mass immigration, criticism of the foreign policy that took us to war in Iraq, skepticism about free-trade deals. These were the distinguishing traits of Pat Buchanan's campaigns in the 1990s. Trump is no paleoconservative, but he has independently discovered something that sounds a lot like paleoconservatism" [ The American Conservative ].
"That's not a coincidence. The elements of a populist, nationalist right have been present in American politics since at least the end of the Cold War; the cluster of issues common to Trump and Buchanan is a natural set. It isn't necessarily a winning political formula-opportunistic politicians have shunned this combination precisely because they thought it couldn't win -- but the economic and cultural conditions that bring it to life are persistent. As long as they exist, "paleoconservatism" will always come back, no matter what happens to campaigns like Buchanan's or Trump's."
Well paying jobs disappeared in the USA. The middle class, have become present day Oliver Twists. Instead of begging for some more food scraps in an orphanage they beg for a decent paying job. And most are rejected. Meanwhile, CEO’s get millions in bonuses via middle class funded bailouts. To add insult to injury, if you are struggling or poor under neoliberalism it’s your own fault. Neoliberalism rejects any human solidarity, it's a jungle out their. If you lost you job then you simply aren’t working hard enough or you aren’t the cream of the crop.
The middle class is evaporating because the Democratic Party has traded white collar and lower white collar workers for an elite consisting of tiny number of wealthy, tech-savvy, highly educated professionals. They became the party of financial speculators, lawyers, dentists, and before decimation of IT programmers and system administrators. The Clinton is Judas or our time who for twenty silver coins (sorry twenty millions in annual speaking fees) gave us NAFTA, deregulated big banks, instituted mass incarceration and created media monopolies. In 1998, Clinton was on a path to privatize Social Security via secret meetings with Newt Gingrich from which Monica Lewinski heroically saved us. And Hillary Clinton as bad or worse then Bill.
In his book Listen, Liberal Thomas Frank provided pretty convincing picture of this "great betrayal" (the very good and concise summary can be listed on YouTube, for example from his presentation Thomas Frank Listen, Liberal ). Here is a quote from Amazon review
While, “Listen, Liberal” is a must read in the lead up to Middle Class Armageddon come November 8th, there are some serious flaws with Frank’s narrative. Even though he acknowledges the role of globalization and the speed of technological advancement, he diminishes its importance. To gain a proper perspective, I suggest reading “The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies” by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. Google “What is The Second Half of the Chess Board?” and the answer you will find is the premise where Brynjolfsson and McAfee argue the next few decades are taking us. Truly understanding the magnitude of the change that is to come is important because it challenges Frank’s assessment of the power of the elected. He overestimates their clout. Politicians are the antithesis of my favorite 80’s cartoon hero, He-Man, because they ain’t got the power. Which brings me to the second point Frank diminishes – money.
The fact is, much like the ordinary middle class worker, all politicians, even Presidents, are expendable. The moment they draw a line in the sand the money well dries up and someone else will take their place. Don’t believe me, try living in a competitive congressional district and see how much outside “dark” money pours in. Or better yet, without googling, name the other actual Democrats who ran in the primary against Hillary. In the case of President Obama, these factors were combined with an opposition that could not accept that he was the first one of them to not be one of them. There was no way he could have done what Frank proposes.
The final missing piece of this assessment is that it offers no solutions, other than we need to wake up, as if we’re living in the world of the USA network’s “Mr. Robot” which I highly recommend. The fact is, unless we pass a constitutional amendment limiting money in elections and clarifying that only people are people, then, in the words of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”
So I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, to read Frank’s frank assessment of our current state of affairs. If it seems depressing, you could always go back and read the words of that dead white male from the other side of the pond who will tell you that the 21st century economy becoming the 19th century economy on steroids is the ultimate twist.
Democrats counted the blue collar workers and lower white collar workers have nowhere to go, and the can rape them economically forever again and again, while getting their support during elections. They were wrong. They now found Trump.
They killed solitary that now need to face the wrath of people who they betrayal...
|As much as I want to vote for HRC, the stench of neocon corporatism is too much, the thin
layer of accumulated grime from years of ethical expediency too toxic, the opaque lack of transparency
too dangerous, and the shifting sands of her amorphous policy too treacherous.
You fooled me once, but now after what you have just done, feel my afterbern - Trump for President!
Neoliberalism is self-destructive. It is equal to lowering of standards of living of the majority of population due to redistribution of wealth up. At some point this slide is going to produce social unrest. We are probably pretty close to this point and rejecting on mainstream candidates during this election cycle is probably a writing on the wall
Hillary is probably most hated Presidential candidate in the US history. Fury over Hillary candidacy is connected not only with her ugly personality and semi-criminal past, but also with the very real concerns over the impact of neoliberal globalization on lives of ordinary Americans, including upper middle class. Lowly shmucks the US elite thought forever brainwashed and suppressed, recently start to show some signs of independent thinking and neoliberal MSM brainwashing suddenly lost at least 80% of its effectiveness. Unemployed programmers, system administrators, oil and gas drillers and trackers, and other professionals (especially over 50) which fall from, say, $120K to $20K a year now are quite typical example of shrinking middle class. So the key tenet of neoliberalism which like socialism professed that the masses will get better with time, became another discredited illusion. And population became restless much like population of the USSR in 80th. It may not be obvious to the political and media elites living in their hallowed, protected homes in privileged areas. But an increasing gulf between the "establishment crowd" , and those who have to live at the sharp end of neoliberal globalization led to the situation, which probably can be called as a "revolutionary situation". The blind rage that characterized the first days of the US anti-establishment movement now have given way to political awakening. Which represents direct danger to the current elite, but which this elite can do nothing to suppress. Genie was let out of the bottle. There are several sides of any revolutionary situation:
In addition to that:
More than 16 million children in the United States – 22% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – $23,550 a year for a family of four. Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses. Using this standard, 45% of children live in low-income families.
Most of these children have parents who work, but low wages and unstable employment leave their families struggling to make ends meet. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Poverty also can contribute to poor health and mental health. Risks are greatest for children who experience poverty when they are young and/or experience deep and persistent poverty.
The social unrest caused by lowering of standard of living of the majority of the population (due to the redistribution of wealth up) demonstrated itself in backlash against two tenets of neoliberalism: neoliberal globalization (and connected with it outsourcing and offshoring of everything, destroying domestic job market in the USA) and unrestricted immigration, designed to put a cap on wages of domestic workers. It is clear that things have gone wrong in the global economy. What is at play is a reaction to the failure of over-centralization that is inherent in neoliberal globalization. Over-centralization is too expensive: this one of the reasons of the USSR decline and collapse. What is less clear is what can be done to fix it and how to get rid of excesses of neoliberal globalization.
It is important to understand that it is not sufficient for lower and middle class realize that they are robbed by neoliberal elite. It is also necessary that the neoliberal elite experience a crisis of governance, the dramatic loss of legitimacy (which is the case in the USA with Congress approval in single digits). Despite its ideological dominance neoliberalism did not enjoyed broad support and relied on the ability of the elite to turn elections in its favor using the iron law of oligarchy. It mostly co-opted professional classes and upper management. For a while it managed to suppress the demand of lower 80% for higher level of equality, for a larger piece of national pie. As a result those demand entered political discourse via violent protests, and the rise of nationalism. Civil disobedience movements like "Occupy Wall Street" were crushed, but to crush nationalism is a much more difficult task. Here the elite failed. It lost control. In other words the elite faces a real "crisis of confidence" in American government, values, and way of life, as the public expresses doubt in a better future for their own children under the neoliberalism. Before that neoliberals relied on "verge issues" and votes of excluded groups to beef up their voting block. There why the same sex marriage spectacle was staged in the USA. Trump is different and that why he is so hated by Washington establishment (An Uneasy Alliance With the GOP The American Conservative):
And yet. Trump has won the Republican nomination. He has partially unified the party, but when one recalls the nearly universal predictions of the fractured chaotic convention made three months ago, you can see how far Trump has come. He has, at least partially, vanquished an out of touch GOP establishment, in thrall to Beltway lobbies and deeply influenced by neocons, out of touch with the Republican electorate and the country. And for the moment that establishment, has, however grudgingly, for the most part accepted its defeat.
They don’t like it, and surely half of the Republican officeholders here wish they had just nominated someone else. But in the hall, there is perhaps in equal measure both Trump enthusiasm and Trump acceptance. To have gotten that far, with no political experience, with the party establishment and much of the important media completely aligned against you, is an extraordinary accomplishment.
There is of course the question of how much Trump can actually transform the GOP. That remains the biggest unknown.
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In the GOP platform, there are mixed signs of Trump’s influence. As some neoconservatives have lamented, the party has retreated from knee jerk support of trade deals. But the speeches at the convention have been almost uniformly hawkish—the sentiment that prompted Donald Trump to call the Iraq war a disaster is hardly visible. The Israel platform segment is more obsequious toward Israel’s occupation than any major American party ever has been. There is not much sign of the Donald Trump who said that negotiating a fair deal between Israelis and Palestinians would be the greatest of diplomatic accomplishments.
In short, if he wins, Trump will still have to govern with the Republican Party. Transforming the party to govern in any sort of Trumpian fashion might be even more unlikely than what he has managed so far.
This is the time when a considerable increase in the political activity of the loser 90% usually sedated and poisoned with consumerism and neoliberal ideology. Opium of neoliberal ideology no longer words, or at least does not work as efficiently as before. As neoliberal ideology entered a deep crisis in 2008 (much like Bolsheviks ideology in 1970th), it has been challenged by nationalism. That' the lesson Brexit that might repeat in the USA in the form of Trump winning the November election. The context of the British referendum was the choice between two evils: between the nationalism and the neoliberalism of both the Cameron government and the EU. Brexit was supported almost everywhere outside London, a city more dependent than any other in the world on the global financial system. Brexit vote and by the rise of Donald Trump in the United States are two sides of the same coin. Nationalism provides a clear and wrong answer to the problems of neoliberal globalization. While the key problem is how to cut the power of financial oligarchy and reverse neoliberal globalization (or at least put it under more state control), it resorted to the rage against immigrants and racial minorities who benefit from neoliberal "open borders" policies designed to suppress wages for everybody. The natural response is to stop or restrict migration and, if possible, to force recent migrants, and particularly illegal migrants, to leave. While it can stem the wages decline, this does not provide a solution to the economic decline against which most of population is protesting. .In other words, while all popular modern nationalist movements -- Trump, Leave, Golden Dawn, etc -- are anti-neoliberal, instead of hitting the financial elite as the responsible party for their sufferings, they lashed out against immigration.
The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media.
This was, in great part, a vote by those angered and demoralized by the sheer arrogance of the apologists for the “remain” campaign and the dismemberment of a socially just civil life in Britain. The last bastion of the historic reforms of 1945, the National Health Service, has been so subverted by Tory and Labour-supported privateers it is fighting for its life.
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The most effective propagandists of the “European ideal” have not been the far Right, but an insufferably patrician class for whom metropolitan London is the United Kingdom. Its leading members see themselves as liberal, enlightened, cultivated tribunes of the Twenty-first Century zeitgeist, even “cool.” What they really are is a bourgeoisie with insatiable consumerist tastes and ancient instincts of their own superiority.
In their house paper, the Guardian, they have gloated, day after day, at those who would even consider the European Union profoundly undemocratic, a source of social injustice and a virulent extremism known as “neoliberalism.”
The aim of this extremism is to install a permanent, capitalist theocracy that ensures a two-thirds society, with the majority divided and indebted, managed by a corporate class, and a permanent working poor.
Neoliberal ideology which emerged from the economic crisis of the 1970s, destroyed an earlier New Deal, which was based on Keynesian macroeconomic management and a social-democratic welfare state. It also buried the USSR, by co-opting (and directly bribing) its elite. The essence of neoliberal program was redistribution of wealth up and the dismantling of the welfare state and the associated mixed government/private social-democratic economy. This trend was exemplified by the Clinton administration in the United States and the Blair government in the UK. Two political party were co-opted (in case of Democratic Party sold to Wall Street by Bill Clinton -- bribed) into two somewhat different versions of neoliberalism: soft neoliberalism of democratic party vs. hard neoliberalism of Republican Party. Both parties adopted Neoconservatism as their foreign policy platform. Later Bill Clinton betrayal of sola-democratic values was repeated by Tony Blair’s New Labor, which explicitly abandoned the traditional positions of the Labor Party and embraced neoliberal globalization and the financial oligarchy dominance -- the key tenets of neoliberalism.
It is clear the Hillary is a quintessential neoliberal stooge, who will never voluntarily adopt any progressive, pro-middle class policy. She is the same neoliberal sellout as her husband. Bill Clinton, who managed to switch Democratic Party platform (and ideology) from the policy of Americanism (or "America first" in Trump terms) – focusing on what’s good for America’s middle class – to a policy of globalism (to neoliberal ideology), focusing on how to make more money for large corporations who can move their wealth and workers to foreign countries all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy. Essentially he sold Democratic Party to Wall Street (and due to "Triumphal March of neoliberalism" after dissolution of the USSR he was followed by several other politicians in other countries doing exactly the same thing, like Tony Blair in Great Britain).
While rise of Neoliberalism since the 1970s was partially a consequence of the deep, even "revolutionary" (Internet and global communications) changes in the world economy, it required stooges to dismantle New Deal mechanisms designed to protect workers and middle class from predation of financial oligarchy. Bill Clinton was one of such stooges, probably the most highly placed one. Neo-liberal counterrevolution lasted till 2008. At which point it proved to be a fiasco -- deregulated market failed to behave as a self-regulating organism. Even the most hard nose-neoliberals, such as managers of big banks as well as representatives of the Bush-administration were urgently infusing billions of taxpayers money to save neoliberals from themselves, from their reckless self-enriching via games with risky financial instruments such as derivatives. It is not accidental that the second popular name for neoliberalism is casino capitalism. But Hillary, like many other neoliberals behave like in famous Talleyrand quote about the restored Bourbon dynasty "They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing". She remains a staunch neoliberal and, worse, a stanch neocon really to put the US people lives and treasure at the service of transnational corporation, which attempts to "open" foreign markets and get access to natural resources of other countries. Which is not surprising as her own wealth and "pay for play" deals via Clinton Foundation are closely connected and depend upon the success of neoliberal globalization.
In other words Hillary Clinton is the candidate the Republicans wished they had been able to field. A Kissinger protégé, a chickenhawk with very bad, disastrous instincts on the foreign policy front, who has no clue what is the security of diplomatic communications means to the country and ready to endanger people so that her petty financial enrichment schemes where hidden from FIOA requests. A woman who can’t wait to start a new war, who wants her sexually obsessed husband to continue to neoliberalize the US economy, who is more open to compromises with the Republican right then Obama. Despite the fact that Obama never put any fight and always preferred his classic "bait and switch" approach, so it's really challenging to compromise with far right Republicans more then him.
Hillary is the candidate who called the TPP the gold standard of trade agreements. As such she is a dream candidate for Wall Street. And she’s counting on the support of Republican refugees rejecting Trump to help her win in November. Which now became more difficult as she might be stripped from security clearance and persecuted for perjury, but still possible. In any case she is now shaken by two major scandals, one of which theoretically should end in indictment (but never will under Obama administration, unless perjury changes will be presented to Congress before November elections):
By the way, 9/11 somewhat returned to the news. And not only because Hillary voted for the invasion in Iraq. The press corps recently reminded us about "dancing Israelis", the Palestinians, Saudi role in 9/11. Iran was charged by some NY judge with financial responsibility for 9/11 events. Several news agencies raised again question about "strange" fate of building 4 which spontaneously collapsed without being hit. And somehow managed to collapse so neatly in its footprint (which is clearly visible from YouTube videos), falling almost at the speed of gravity. Well, looks like we are close to the second phase of the debriefing of those events :-). Trump promised to release secret pages from 9/11 commission report. Perspective, which, of course, did not excite Washington neoconservatives, especially those with dual citizenship. See how Krauthammer screamed about that. Compare with the following quote:
...recently Trump has decided to venture into the controversial territory of questioning the official story of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.
Trump briefly flirted with 9/11 Truth in the past with his comments claiming he witnessed Muslims celebrating the attack but I personally saw that situation as more of a smokescreen. As many readers may know, it was not Muslims who were actually seen dancing and celebrating on camera but a group of dancing Israelis. Trump had many opportunities to clarify his comments and to call out the Israeli agents but instead chose to keep fanning the flames of Islamophobia.
Now Trump is making waves by discussing the “secret papers” and references to the Saudi government’s possible role in funding the 9/11 attacks. At a recent campaign event in South Carolina Trump called out former president George W. Bush for the Iraq war and referenced “very secret” papers about the Saudi government and 9/11.
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The “secret pages” Trump is referencing is more than likely the classified 28-pages of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (not the 9/11 Commission Report). Although the final report amounts to over 800 pages, the 28 pages were classified by former President George W. Bush shortly after the report was released in 2002. The 28 pages make up the bulk of a section titled “Part 4: Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.”
The following is a preview of a chapter by Claudia von Werlhof in https://www.amazon.com/Global-Economic-Crisis-Depression-Century/dp/0973714735 the XXI Century.” (2009)
Is there an alternative to plundering the earth?
Is there an alternative to making war?
Is there an alternative to destroying the planet?
No one asks these questions because they seem absurd. Yet, no one can escape them either. Until the onslaught of the global economic crisis, the motto of so-called “neoliberalism” was TINA: “There Is No Alternative!”
No alternative to “neoliberal globalization”?
No alternative to the unfettered “free market” economy?
What Is “Neoliberal Globalization”?
Let us first clarify what globalization and neoliberalism are, where they come from, who they are directed by, what they claim, what they do, why their effects are so fatal, why they will fail and why people nonetheless cling to them. Then, let us look at the responses of those who are not – or will not – be able to live with the consequences they cause.
This is where the difficulties begin. For a good twenty years now we have been told that there is no alternative to neoliberal globalization, and that, in fact, no such alternative is needed either. Over and over again, we have been confronted with the TINA-concept: “There Is No Alternative!” The “iron lady”, Margaret Thatcher, was one of those who reiterated this belief without end.
The TINA-concept prohibits all thought. It follows the rationale that there is no point in analyzing and discussing neoliberalism and so-called globalization because they are inevitable. Whether we condone what is happening or not does not matter, it is happening anyway. There is no point in trying to understand. Hence: Go with it! Kill or be killed!
Some go as far as suggesting that globalization – meaning, an economic system which developed under specific social and historical conditions – is nothing less but a law of nature. In turn, “human nature” is supposedly reflected by the character of the system’s economic subjects: egotistical, ruthless, greedy and cold. This, we are told, works towards everyone’s benefit.
The question remains: why has Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” become a “visible fist”? While a tiny minority reaps enormous benefits from today’s neoliberalism (none of which will remain, of course), the vast majority of the earth’s population suffers hardship to the extent that their very survival is at stake. The damage done seems irreversible.
All over the world media outlets – especially television stations – avoid addressing the problem. A common excuse is that it cannot be explained. The true reason is, of course, the media’s corporate control.
What Is Neoliberalism?
Neoliberalism as an economic policy agenda which began in Chile in 1973. Its inauguration consisted of a U.S.-organized coup against a democratically elected socialist president and the installment of a bloody military dictatorship notorious for systematic torture. This was the only way to turn the neoliberal model of the so-called “Chicago Boys” under the leadership of Milton Friedman – a student of Friedrich von Hayek – into reality.
The predecessor of the neoliberal model is the economic liberalism of the 18th and 19th centuries and its notion of “free trade”. Goethe’s assessment at the time was: “Free trade, piracy, war – an inseparable three!”
At the center of both old and new economic liberalism lies:
Self-interest and individualism; segregation of ethical principles and economic affairs, in other words: a process of ‘de-bedding’ economy from society; economic rationality as a mere cost-benefit calculation and profit maximization; competition as the essential driving force for growth and progress; specialization and the replacement of a subsistence economy with profit-oriented foreign trade (‘comparative cost advantage’); and the proscription of public (state) interference with market forces.
Where the new economic liberalism outdoes the old is in its global claim. Today’s economic liberalism functions as a model for each and everyone: all parts of the economy, all sectors of society, of life/nature itself. As a consequence, the once “de-bedded” economy now claims to “im-bed” everything, including political power. Furthermore, a new twisted “economic ethics” (and with it a certain idea of “human nature”) emerges that mocks everything from so-called do-gooders to altruism to selfless help to care for others to a notion of responsibility.
This goes as far as claiming that the common good depends entirely on the uncontrolled egoism of the individual and, especially, on the prosperity of transnational corporations. The allegedly necessary “freedom” of the economy – which, paradoxically, only means the freedom of corporations – hence consists of a freedom from responsibility and commitment to society.
The maximization of profit itself must occur within the shortest possible time; this means, preferably, through speculation and “shareholder value”. It must meet as few obstacles as possible. Today, global economic interests outweigh not only extra-economic concerns but also national economic considerations since corporations today see themselves beyond both community and nation. A “level playing field” is created that offers the global players the best possible conditions. This playing field knows of no legal, social, ecological, cultural or national “barriers”. As a result, economic competition plays out on a market that is free of all non-market, extra-economic or protectionist influences – unless they serve the interests of the big players (the corporations), of course. The corporations’ interests – their maximal growth and progress – take on complete priority. This is rationalized by alleging that their well-being means the well-being of small enterprises and workshops as well.
The difference between the new and the old economic liberalism can first be articulated in quantitative terms: after capitalism went through a series of ruptures and challenges – caused by the “competing economic system”, the crisis of capitalism, post-war “Keynesianism” with its social and welfare state tendencies, internal mass consumer demand (so-called Fordism), and the objective of full employment in the North. The liberal economic goals of the past are now not only euphorically resurrected but they are also “globalized”. The main reason is indeed that the competition between alternative economic systems is gone. However, to conclude that this confirms the victory of capitalism and the “golden West” over “dark socialism” is only one possible interpretation. Another – opposing – interpretation is to see the “modern world system” (which contains both capitalism and socialism) as having hit a general crisis which causes total and merciless competition over global resources while leveling the way for investment opportunities, i.e. the valorization of capital.
The ongoing globalization of neoliberalism demonstrates which interpretation is right. Not least, because the differences between the old and the new economic liberalism can not only be articulated in quantitative terms but in qualitative ones too. What we are witnessing are completely new phenomena: instead of a democratic “complete competition” between many small enterprises enjoying the freedom of the market, only the big corporations win. In turn, they create new market oligopolies and monopolies of previously unknown dimensions. The market hence only remains free for them, while it is rendered unfree for all others who are condemned to an existence of dependency (as enforced producers, workers and consumers) or excluded from the market altogether (if they have neither anything to sell or buy). About fifty percent of the world’s population fall into this group today, and the percentage is rising.
Anti-trust laws have lost all power since the transnational corporations set the norms. It is the corporations – not “the market” as an anonymous mechanism or “invisible hand” – that determine today’s rules of trade, for example prices and legal regulations. This happens outside any political control. Speculation with an average twenty percent profit margin edges out honest producers who become “unprofitable”. Money becomes too precious for comparatively non-profitable, long-term projects,
or projects that only – how audacious! – serve a good life. Money instead “travels upwards” and disappears. Financial capital determines more and more what the markets are and do. By delinking the dollar from the price of gold, money creation no longer bears a direct relationship to production”. Moreover, these days most of us are – exactly like all governments – in debt. It is financial capital that has all the money – we have none.
Small, medium, even some bigger enterprises are pushed out of the market, forced to fold or swallowed by transnational corporations because their performances are below average in comparison to speculation – rather: spookulation – wins. The public sector, which has historically been defined as a sector of not-for-profit economy and administration, is “slimmed” and its “profitable” parts (“gems”) handed to corporations (privatized). As a consequence, social services that are necessary for our existence disappear. Small and medium private businesses – which, until recently, employed eighty percent of the workforce and provided normal working conditions – are affected by these developments as well. The alleged correlation between economic growth and secure employment is false. When economic growth is accompanied by the mergers of businesses, jobs are lost.
If there are any new jobs, most are precarious, meaning that they are only available temporarily and badly paid. One job is usually not enough to make a living. This means that the working conditions in the North become akin to those in the South, and the working conditions of men akin to those of women – a trend diametrically opposed to what we have always been told. Corporations now leave for the South (or East) to use cheap – and particularly female – labor without union affiliation. This has already been happening since the 1970s in the “Export Processing Zones” (EPZs, “world market factories” or “maquiladoras”), where most of the world’s computer chips, sneakers, clothes and electronic goods are produced. The EPZs lie in areas where century-old colonial-capitalist and authoritarian-patriarchal conditions guarantee the availability of cheap labor. The recent shift of business opportunities from consumer goods to armaments is a particularly troubling development.
It is not only commodity production that is “outsourced” and located in the EPZs, but service industries as well. This is a result of the so-called Third Industrial Revolution, meaning the development of new information and communication technologies. Many jobs have disappeared entirely due to computerization, also in administrative fields. The combination of the principles of “high tech” and “low wage”/”no wage” (always denied by “progress” enthusiasts) guarantees a “comparative cost advantage” in foreign trade. This will eventually lead to “Chinese wages” in the West. A potential loss of Western consumers is not seen as a threat. A corporate economy does not care whether consumers are European, Chinese or Indian.
The means of production become concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, especially since finance capital – rendered precarious itself – controls asset values ever more aggressively. New forms of private property are created, not least through the “clearance” of public property and the transformation of formerly public and small-scale private services and industries to a corporate business sector. This concerns primarily fields that have long been (at least partly) excluded from the logic of profit – e.g. education, health, energy or water supply/disposal. New forms of so-called enclosures emerge from today’s total commercialization of formerly small-scale private or public industries and services, of the “commons”, and of natural resources like oceans, rain forests, regions of genetic diversity or geopolitical interest (e.g. potential pipeline routes), etc. As far as the new virtual spaces and communication networks go, we are witnessing frantic efforts to bring these under private control as well.
All these new forms of private property are essentially created by (more or less) predatory forms of appropriation. In this sense, they are a continuation of the history of so-called original accumulation which has expanded globally, in accordance with to the motto: “Growth through expropriation!”
Most people have less and less access to the means of production, and so the dependence on scarce and underpaid work increases. The destruction of the welfare state also destroys the notion that individuals can rely on the community to provide for them in times of need. Our existence relies exclusively on private, i.e. expensive, services that are often of much worse quality and much less reliable than public services. (It is a myth that the private always outdoes the public.) What we are experiencing is undersupply formerly only known by the colonial South. The old claim that the South will eventually develop into the North is proven wrong. It is the North that increasingly develops into the South. We are witnessing the latest form of “development”, namely, a world system of underdevelopment. Development and underdevelopment go hand in hand. This might even dawn on “development aid” workers soon.
It is usually women who are called upon to counterbalance underdevelopment through increased work (“service provisions”) in the household. As a result, the workload and underpay of women takes on horrendous dimensions: they do unpaid work inside their homes and poorly paid “housewifized” work outside. Yet, commercialization does not stop in front of the home’s doors either. Even housework becomes commercially co-opted (“new maid question”), with hardly any financial benefits for the women who do the work.
Not least because of this, women are increasingly coerced into prostitution, one of today’s biggest global industries. This illustrates two things: a) how little the “emancipation” of women actually leads to “equal terms” with men; and b) that “capitalist development” does not imply increased “freedom” in wage labor relations, as the Left has claimed for a long time. If the latter were the case, then neoliberalism would mean the voluntary end of capitalism once it reaches its furthest extension. This, however, does not appear likely.
Today, hundreds of millions of quasi-slaves, more than ever before, exist in the “world system.” The authoritarian model of the “Export Processing Zones” is conquering the East and threatening the North. The redistribution of wealth runs ever more – and with ever accelerated speed – from the bottom to the top. The gap between the rich and the poor has never been wider. The middle classes disappear. This is the situation we are facing.
It becomes obvious that neoliberalism marks not the end of colonialism but, to the contrary, the colonization of the North. This new “colonization of the world” points back to the beginnings of the “modern world system” in the “long 16th century”, when the conquering of the Americas, their exploitation and colonial transformation allowed for the rise and “development” of Europe. The so-called “children’s diseases” of modernity keep on haunting it, even in old age. They are, in fact, the main feature of modernity’s latest stage. They are expanding instead of disappearing.
Where there is no South, there is no North; where there is no periphery, there is no center; where there is no colony, there is no – in any case no “Western” – civilization.
Austria is part of the world system too. It is increasingly becoming a corporate colony (particularly of German corporations). This, however, does not keep it from being an active colonizer itself, especially in the East.
Social, cultural, traditional and ecological considerations are abandoned and give way to a mentality of plundering. All global resources that we still have – natural resources, forests, water, genetic pools – have turned into objects of utilization. Rapid ecological destruction through depletion is the consequence. If one makes more profit by cutting down trees than by planting them, then there is no reason not to cut them. Neither the public nor the state interferes, despite global warming and the obvious fact that the clearing of the few remaining rain forests will irreversibly destroy the earth’s climate – not to mention the many other negative effects of such actions. Climate, animal, plants, human and general ecological rights are worth nothing compared to the interests of the corporations – no matter that the rain forest is not a renewable resource and that the entire earth’s ecosystem depends on it. If greed, and the rationalism with which it is economically enforced, really was an inherent anthropological trait, we would have never even reached this day.
The commander of the Space Shuttle that circled the earth in 2005 remarked that “the center of Africa was burning”. She meant the Congo, in which the last great rain forest of the continent is located. Without it there will be no more rain clouds above the sources of the Nile. However, it needs to disappear in order for corporations to gain free access to the Congo’s natural resources that are the reason for the wars that plague the region today. After all, one needs diamonds and coltan for mobile phones.
Today, everything on earth is turned into commodities, i.e. everything becomes an object of “trade” and commercialization (which truly means liquidation, the transformation of all into liquid money). In its neoliberal stage it is not enough for capitalism to globally pursue less cost-intensive and preferably “wageless” commodity production. The objective is to transform everyone and everything into commodities, including life itself. We are racing blindly towards the violent and absolute conclusion of this “mode of production”, namely total capitalization/liquidation by “monetarization”.
We are not only witnessing perpetual praise of the market – we are witnessing what can be described as “market fundamentalism”. People believe in the market as if it was a god. There seems to be a sense that nothing could ever happen without it. Total global maximized accumulation of money/capital as abstract wealth becomes the sole purpose of economic activity. A “free” world market for everything has to be established – a world market that functions according to the interests of the corporations and capitalist money. The installment of such a market proceeds with dazzling speed. It creates new profit possibilities where they have not existed before, e.g. in Iraq, Eastern Europe or China.
One thing remains generally overlooked: the abstract wealth created for accumulation implies the destruction of nature as concrete wealth. The result is a “hole in the ground” and next to it a garbage dump with used commodities, outdated machinery and money without value. However, once all concrete wealth (which today consists mainly of the last natural resources) will be gone, abstract wealth will disappear as well. It will, in Marx’s words, “evaporate”. The fact that abstract wealth is not real wealth will become obvious, and so will the answer to the question of which wealth modern economic activity has really created. In the end it is nothing but monetary wealth (and even this mainly exists virtually or on accounts) that constitutes a monoculture controlled by a tiny minority. Diversity is suffocated and millions of people are left wondering how to survive. And really: how do you survive with neither resources nor means of production nor money?
The nihilism of our economic system is evident. The whole world will be transformed into money – and then it will disappear. After all, money cannot be eaten. What no one seems to consider is the fact that it is impossible to re-transform commodities, money, capital and machinery into nature or concrete wealth. It seems that underlying all “economic development” is the assumption that “resources”, the “sources of wealth”, are renewable and everlasting – just like the “growth” they create.
The notion that capitalism and democracy are one is proven a myth by neoliberalism and its “monetary totalitarianism”.
The primacy of politics over economy has been lost. Politicians of all parties have abandoned it. It is the corporations that dictate politics. Where corporate interests are concerned, there is no place for democratic convention or community control. Public space disappears. The res publica turns into a res privata, or – as we could say today – a res privata transnationale (in its original Latin meaning, privare means “to deprive”). Only those in power still have rights. They give themselves the licenses they need, from the “license to plunder” to the “license to kill”. Those who get in their way or challenge their “rights” are vilified, criminalized and to an increasing degree defined as “terrorists” or, in the case of defiant governments, as “rogue states” – a label that usually implies threatened or actual military attack, as we can see in the cases of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and maybe Syria and Iran in the near future. U.S. President Bush had even spoken of the possibility of “preemptive” nuclear strikes should the U.S. feel endangered by weapons of mass destruction. The European Union did not object.
Neoliberalism and war are two sides of the same coin. Free trade, piracy and war are still “an inseparable three” – today maybe more so than ever. War is not only “good for the economy” but is indeed its driving force and can be understood as the “continuation of economy with other means”. War and economy have become almost indistinguishable. Wars about resources – especially oil and water – have already begun. The Gulf Wars are the most obvious examples. Militarism once again appears as the “executor of capital accumulation” – potentially everywhere and enduringly.
Human rights and rights of sovereignty have been transferred from people, communities and governments to corporations. The notion of the people as a sovereign body has practically been abolished. We have witnessed a coup of sorts. The political systems of the West and the nation state as guarantees for and expression of the international division of labor in the modern world system are increasingly dissolving. Nation states are developing into “periphery states” according to the inferior role they play in the proto-despotic “New World Order”. Democracy appears outdated. After all, it “hinders business”.
The “New World Order” implies a new division of labor that does no longer distinguish between North and South, East and West – today, everywhere is South. An according International Law is established which effectively functions from top to bottom (“top-down”) and eliminates all local and regional communal rights. And not only that: many such rights are rendered invalid both retroactively and for the future.
The logic of neoliberalism as a sort of totalitarian neo-mercantilism is that all resources, all markets, all money, all profits, all means of production, all “investment opportunities”, all rights and all power belong to the corporations only. To paraphrase Richard Sennett: “Everything to the Corporations!” One might add: “Now!”
The corporations are free to do whatever they please with what they get. Nobody is allowed to interfere. Ironically, we are expected to rely on them to find a way out of the crisis we are in. This puts the entire globe at risk since responsibility is something the corporations do not have or know. The times of social contracts are gone. In fact, pointing out the crisis alone has become a crime and all critique will soon be defined as “terror” and persecuted as such.
IMF Economic Medicine
Since the 1980s, it is mainly the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) of the World Bank and the IMF that act as the enforcers of neoliberalism. These programs are levied against the countries of the South which can be extorted due to their debts. Meanwhile, numerous military interventions and wars help to take possession of the assets that still remain, secure resources, install neoliberalism as the global economic politics, crush resistance movements (which are cynically labeled as “IMF uprisings”), and facilitate the lucrative business of reconstruction.
In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher introduced neoliberalism in Anglo-America. In 1989, the so-called “Washington Consensus” was formulated. It claimed to lead to global freedom, prosperity and economic growth through “deregulation, liberalization and privatization”. This has become the credo and promise of all neoliberals. Today we know that the promise has come true for the corporations only – not for anybody else.
In the Middle East, the Western support for Saddam Hussein in the war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s, and the Gulf War of the early 1990s, announced the permanent U.S. presence in the world’s most contested oil region.
In continental Europe, neoliberalism began with the crisis in Yugoslavia caused by the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) of the World Bank and the IMF. The country was heavily exploited, fell apart and finally beset by a civil war over its last remaining resources. Since the NATO war in 1999, the Balkans are fragmented, occupied and geopolitically under neoliberal control. The region is of main strategic interest for future oil and gas transport from the Caucasus to the West (for example the “Nabucco” gas pipeline that is supposed to start operating from the Caspian Sea through Turkey and the Balkans by 2011. The reconstruction of the Balkans is exclusively in the hands of Western corporations.
All governments, whether left, right, liberal or green, accept this. There is no analysis of the connection between the politics of neoliberalism, its history, its background and its effects on Europe and other parts of the world. Likewise, there is no analysis of its connection to the new militarism.
Bush administration policies in the Middle East have had disastrous consequences for the US; Israel too is in a less secure and worse place as a result of these policies; ultimate responsibility for all this lies with the president himself and his hawkish and close group of senior aides—principal among them Veep Cheney; the neoconservatives played an important role in providing an ideological framing for these policies; within that neoconservative world there operates a prominent and tight-knit group of Jewish neocons who are ideologically driven in part by an old school Likudist view of Israeli interests.
By pointing out the upper stupidity of the neocons-driven US policy in Iraq (which non only destabilized the country and created ISIS, but also actually made Iran dominant regional power) Trump subscribed (at least in part) to Noninterventionalism doctrine. And that definitely did not create amount people like from "Who is who of Iraq war lobby" such as Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Scooter Libby, Charles Krauthammer, Stephen Bryen, David Frum, Robert Kagan, Dov Zakheim, Norman Podhoretz, John Podhoretz, Elliot Abrams, Daniel Pipes, Bill Kristol, Max Boot, etc. Here is a summary of his views from Zerohedge:
“’I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they’d be blown up,’ Trump told the editors. ‘And we’d build another one and it would get blown up. And we would rebuild it three times. And yet we can’t build a school in Brooklyn.… at what point do you say hey, we have to take care of ourselves. So, you know, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that but at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially in the inner cities.’”
Trump talks about building infrastructure for the inner cities, especially better schools for African American children, rather than bombing people of color halfway around the world! That is hardly racism. And it is not how the mainstream media wants us to think of The Donald.
Next, Glen Ford, the eloquent radical Left executive editor of Black Agenda Report, a superb and widely read outlet, penned an article in March 2016, with the following title: “Trump Way to the Left of Clinton on Foreign Policy – In Fact, He’s Damn Near Anti-Empire.” Ford’s piece is well worth reading in its entirety; here are just a few quotes :
“Trump has rejected the whole gamut of U.S. imperial war rationales, from FDR straight through to the present.”
“If Trump’s tens of millions of white, so-called ‘Middle American’ followers stick by him, it will utterly shatter the prevailing assumption that the American public favors maintenance of U.S. empire by military means.”
“Trump shows no interest in ‘spreading democracy,’ like George W. Bush, or assuming a responsibility to ‘protect’ other peoples from their own governments, like Barack Obama and his political twin, Hillary Clinton.”
“It is sad beyond measure that the near-extinction of independent Black politics has placed African Americans in the most untenable position imaginable at this critical moment: in the Hillary Clinton camp.”
Next, let’s turn to John Pilger, the Left wing Australian journalist and documentary film maker who has been writing about Western foreign policy with unimpeachable accuracy and wisdom since the Vietnam War era. Here are some of his comments on Trump:
“..Donald Trump is being presented (by the mass media) as a lunatic, a fascist. He is certainly odious; but he is also a media hate figure. That alone should arouse our skepticism.”
“Trump’s views on migration are grotesque, but no more grotesque than those of David Cameron. It is not Trump who is the Great Deporter from the United States, but the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama.”
“In 1947, a series of National Security Council directives described the paramount aim of American foreign policy as ‘a world substantially made over in [America’s] own image’. The ideology was messianic Americanism. We were all Americans. Or else. …”
“Donald Trump is a symptom of this, but he is also a maverick. He says the invasion of Iraq was a crime; he doesn’t want to go to war with Russia and China. The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. She is no maverick. She embodies the resilience and violence of a system whose vaunted ‘exceptionalism’ is totalitarian with an occasional liberal face.”
The money quote is: “The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton.” When Pilger submitted his article to the “progressive” magazine Truthout, this sentence was deleted, censored as he reported, along with a few of the surrounding sentences. Such censorship had not been imposed on Pilger by Truthout ever before. Truthout’s commitment to free speech apparently has limits in the case of The Donald versus Hillary, rather severe ones. So one must read even the progressive press with some skepticism when it comes to Trump.
Trump has also been noticed by the Left in Europe, notably by the sharp minded Jean Bricmont, physicist and author of Humanitarian Imperialism who writes here:
(Trump) “is the first major political figure to call for ‘America First’ meaning non-interventionism. He not only denounces the trillions of dollars spent in wars, deplores the dead and wounded American soldiers, but also speaks of the Iraqi victims of a war launched by a Republican President. He does so to a Republican public and manages to win its support. He denounces the empire of US military bases, claiming to prefer to build schools here in the United States. He wants good relations with Russia. He observes that the militarist policies pursued for decades have caused the United States to be hated throughout the world. He calls Sarkozy a criminal who should be judged for his role in Libya. Another advantage of Trump: he is detested by the neoconservatives, who are the main architects of the present disaster.”
And then there is Stephen F. Cohen, contributing editor for The Nation and Professor Emeritus of Russian History at Princeton and NYU. Cohen makes the point that Trump, alone among the presidential candidates, has raised five urgent and fundamental questions, which all other candidates in the major parties have either scorned or more frequently ignored. The five questions all call into question the interventionist warlike stance of the US for the past 20 plus years. Cohen enumerates the questions here, thus:
- “Should the United States always be the world’s leader and policeman?
- “What is NATO’s proper mission today, 25 years after the end of the Soviet Union and when international terrorism is the main threat to the West?
- “Why does Washington repeatedly pursue a policy of regime change, in Iraq, Libya, possibly in Ukraine, and now in Damascus, even though it always ends in “disaster”?
- “Why is the United States treating Putin’s Russia as an enemy and not as a security partner?
- “And should US nuclear weapons doctrine include a no-first use pledge, which it does not?”
Cohen comments in detail on these questions here. Whatever one may think of the answers Trump has provided to the five questions, there is no doubt that he alone among the presidential candidates has raised them – and that in itself is an important contribution.
At this point, I mention my own piece, which appeared late last year. Entitled “Who is the Arch Racist, Hillary or The Donald”? Like Cohen’s pieces, it finds merit with the Trump foreign policy in the context of posing a question.
Finally, let us turn to Bill Blum, who wrote an article entitled, “American Exceptionalism and the Election Made in Hell (Or Why I’d Vote for Trump Over Hillary).” Again there is little doubt about the stance of Blum, who is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, a scholarly compendium, which Noam Chomsky calls “Far and away the best book on the topic.”
Blum begins his piece:
“If the American presidential election winds up with Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, and my passport is confiscated, and I’m somehow FORCED to choose one or the other, or I’m PAID to do so, paid well … I would vote for Trump.”
“My main concern is foreign policy. American foreign policy is the greatest threat to world peace, prosperity, and the environment. And when it comes to foreign policy, Hillary Clinton is an unholy disaster. From Iraq and Syria to Libya and Honduras the world is a much worse place because of her; so much so that I’d call her a war criminal who should be prosecuted.”
And he concludes:
“He (Trump) calls Iraq ‘a complete disaster’, condemning not only George W. Bush but the neocons who surrounded him. ‘They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.’ He even questions the idea that ‘Bush kept us safe’, and adds that ‘Whether you like Saddam or not, he used to kill terrorists’.”
“Yes, he’s personally obnoxious. I’d have a very hard time being his friend. Who cares?”
I conclude with Blum’s words because they are most pertinent to our present situation. The world is living through a perilous time when the likes of the neocons and Hillary Clinton could lead us into a nuclear Armageddon with their belligerence toward Russia and their militaristic confrontation with China.
The reality is that we are faced not so much with a choice between Clinton and Trump, but with the choice between "kicking the can of neoliberal globalization down the road" and adoption more Noninterventionist, more "New Deal" style policies to reverse present negative trends. Survival of common people is at stake (look how many in the USA live on food stumps - is this a sign of a healthy nation?) and we must consider survival first if our judgments are to be sane. Here we will rely on the analysis by Justin Raimondo (of Anti-War.com fame)
Most Americans don’t think much about politics, let alone foreign policy issues, as they go about their daily lives. It’s not that they don’t care: it’s just that the daily grind doesn’t permit most people outside of Washington, D.C. the luxury of contemplating the fate of nations with any regularity. There is one exception, however, and that is during election season, and specifically – when it comes to foreign policy – every four years, when the race for the White House begins to heat up. The President, as commander in chief, shapes US foreign policy: indeed, in our post-constitutional era, now that Congress has abdicated its responsibility, he has the de facto power to single-handedly take us into war. Which is why, paraphrasing Trotsky, you may not be interested in politics, but politics is certainly interested in you.
The most recent episode of the continuing GOP reality show, otherwise known as the presidential debates, certainly gave us a glimpse of what we are in for if the candidates on that stage actually make it into the Oval Office – and, folks, it wasn’t pretty, for the most part. But there were plenty of bright spots.
This was supposed to have been a debate about economics, but in the Age of Empire there is no real division between economic and foreign policy issues. That was brought home by the collision between Marco Rubio and Rand Paul about half way through the debate when Rubio touted his child tax credit program as being “pro-family.” A newly-aggressive and articulate Rand Paul jumped in with this:
“Is it conservative to have $1 trillion in transfer payments – a new welfare program that’s a refundable tax credit? Add that to Marco’s plan for $1 trillion in new military spending, and you get something that looks, to me, not very conservative.”
Rubio’s blow-dried exterior seemed to fray momentarily, as he gave his “it’s for the children” reply:
“But if you invest it in your children, in the future of America and strengthening your family, we’re not going to recognize that in our tax code? The family is the most important institution in society. And, yes…
”PAUL: Nevertheless, it’s not very conservative, Marco.”
Stung to the quick, Rubio played what he thought was his trump card:
”I know that Rand is a committed isolationist. I’m not. I believe the world is a stronger and a better place, when the United States is the strongest military power in the world.
“PAUL: Yeah, but, Marco! … How is it conservative … to add a trillion-dollar expenditure for the federal government that you’re not paying for?
“PAUL: … How is it conservative to add a trillion dollars in military expenditures? You can not be a conservative if you’re going to keep promoting new programs that you’re not going to pay for.
Here, in one dramatic encounter, were two worldviews colliding: the older conservative vision embodied by Rand Paul, which puts domestic issues like fiscal solvency first, and the “internationalist” stance taken by what used to be called Rockefeller Republicans, and now goes under the neoconservative rubric, which puts the maintenance and expansion of America’s overseas empire – dubbed “world leadership” by Rubio’s doppelganger, Jeb Bush – over and above any concerns over budgetary common sense.
Rubio then descended into waving the bloody shirt and evoking Trump’s favorite bogeyman – the Yellow Peril – to justify his budget-busting:
“We can’t even have an economy if we’re not safe. There are radical jihadists in the Middle East beheading people and crucifying Christians. A radical Shia cleric in Iran trying to get a nuclear weapon, the Chinese taking over the South China Sea…”
If the presence of the Islamic State in the Middle East precludes us from having an economy, then those doing their Christmas shopping early this year don’t seem to be aware of it. As for the Iranians and their alleged quest for nuclear weapons, IAEA inspectors are at this very moment verifying the complete absence of such an effort – although Sen. Paul, who stupidly opposed the Iran deal, is in no position to point this out. As for the fate of the South China Sea – if we could take a poll, I wonder how many Americans would rather have their budget out of balance in order to keep the Chinese from constructing artificial islands a few miles off their own coastline. My guess: not many.
Playing the “isolationist” card got Rubio nowhere: I doubt if a third of the television audience even knows what that term is supposed to mean. It may resonate in Washington, but out in the heartland it carries little if any weight with people more concerned about their shrinking bank accounts than the possibility that the South China Sea might fall to … the Chinese.
Ted Cruz underscored his sleaziness (and, incidentally, his entire election strategy) by jumping in and claiming the “middle ground” between Rubio’s fulsome internationalism and Paul’s call to rein in our extravagant military budget – by siding with Rubio. We can do what Rubio wants to do – radically increase military expenditures – but first, he averred, we have to cut sugar subsidies so we can afford it. This was an attack on Rubio’s enthusiasm for sugar subsidies, without which, avers the Senator from the state that produces the most sugar, “we lose the capacity to produce our own food, at which point we’re at the mercy of a foreign country for food security.” Yes, there’s a jihadist-Iranian-Chinese conspiracy to deprive America of its sweet tooth – but not if President Rubio can stop it!
Cruz is a master at prodding the weaknesses of his opponents, but his math is way off: sugar subsidies have cost us some $15 billion since 2008. Rubio’s proposed military budget – $696 billion – represents a $35 billion increase over what the Pentagon is requesting. Cutting sugar subsidies – an unlikely prospect, especially given the support of Republicans of Rubio’s ilk for the program – won’t pay for it.
However, if we want to go deeper into those weeds, Sen. Paul also endorses the $696 billion figure, but touts the fact that his proposal comes with cuts that will supposedly pay for the hike. This is something all those military contractors can live with, and so everybody’s happy, at least on the Republican side of the aisle, and yet the likelihood of cutting $21 billion from “international affairs,” never mind $20 billion from social services, is unlikely to garner enough support from his own party – let alone the Democrats – to get through Congress. So it’s just more of Washington’s kabuki theater: all symbolism, no action.
Paul’s too-clever-by-half legislative maneuvering may have effectively exposed Rubio – and Sen. Tom Cotton, Marco’s co-pilot on this flight into fiscal profligacy – as the faux-conservative that he is, but it evaded the broader question attached to the issue of military spending: what are we going to do with all that shiny-new military hardware? Send more weapons to Ukraine? Outfit an expeditionary force to re-invade Iraq and venture into Syria? This brings to mind Madeleine Albright’s infamous remark directed at Gen. Colin Powell: “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”
In this way, Paul undermines his own case against global intervention – and even his own eloquent argument, advanced in answer to Rubio’s contention that increasing the military budget would make us “safer”:
“I do not think we are any safer from bankruptcy court. As we go further, and further into debt, we become less, and less safe. This is the most important thing we’re going to talk about tonight. Can you be a conservative, and be liberal on military spending? Can you be for unlimited military spending, and say, Oh, I’m going to make the country safe? No, we need a safe country, but, you know, we spend more on our military than the next ten countries combined.”
... ... ...
Jeb Bush gave the usual boilerplate, delivered in his preferred monotone, contradicting himself when he endorsed a no-fly zone over Syria and then attacked Hillary Clinton for not offering “leadership” – when she endorsed the idea practically in unison with him. Bush added his usual incoherence to the mix by averring that somehow not intervening more in the region “will have a huge impact on our economy” – but of course the last time we intervened it had a $2 trillion-plus impact in terms of costs, and that’s a conservative estimate.
Oddly characterizing Russia’s air strikes on the Islamic State as “aggression” – do our air strikes count as aggression? – the clueless Marie Bartiromo asked Trump what he intends to do about it. Trump evaded the question for a few minutes, going on about North Korea, Iran, and of course the Yellow Peril, finally coming out with a great line that not even the newly-noninterventionist Sen. Paul had the gumption to muster:
“If Putin wants to go and knock the hell out of ISIS, I am all for it, one-hundred percent, and I can’t understand how anybody would be against it.”
Bush butted in with “But they aren’t doing that,” which is the Obama administration’s demonstrably inaccurate line, and Trump made short work of him with the now undeniable fact that the Islamic State blew up a Russian passenger jet with over 200 people on it. “He [Putin] cannot be in love with these people,” countered Trump. “He’s going in, and we can go in, and everybody should go in. As far as the Ukraine is concerned, we have a group of people, and a group of countries, including Germany – tremendous economic behemoth – why are we always doing the work?”
Trump, for all his contradictions, gives voice to the “isolationist” populism that Rubio and his neocon confederates despise, and which is implanted so deeply in the American consciousness. Why us? Why are we paying everybody’s bills? Why are we fighting everybody else’s wars? It’s a bad deal!
This is why the neocons hate Trump’s guts even more than they hate Paul. The former, after all, is the frontrunner. What the War Party fears is that Trump’s contradictory mixture of bluster – “bigger, better, stronger!” – and complaints that our allies are taking advantage of us means a victory for the dreaded “isolationists” at the polls.
... ... ...
"Terrible things we expect from Donald Trump,
we’ve actually already seen from Hillary Clinton,"
The only chance for Hillary to win election is completely demonize Trump. On her own she has no chances. So they are using against him that standard demonization process that is so successfully was against foreign leaders that the USA establishment does not like.
We know that such letters are a standard part of "color revolutions" (including but not limited to Libya, Ukraine(The Revolt of diplomats) and Syria ), but in this case this trick was used preemptively against a leading candidate from Republican party. It was followed by Khan gambit.
"Revolt of diplomats" from the perspective of propaganda is a very powerful weapon in the Arsenal of "soft coups". It can, if you want to ask Leonid Kuchma, that could confirm "the Colonel Kaddafi", and Mr. Yanukovich. But in order for bomb to explode more powerfully you need that the revolt of diplomats was (as in the era of Orange Revolution, in Libya and in Syria) is involve the diplomats of the highest rank, preferably the level of acting heads of diplomatic missions. In this case it produces an avalanche style affect de-legitimizing the current government. and then can serve as a starting point for the further de-legitimization.
Looks like US neocons now use the color revolution playbook against Trump. This is
a technique of "soft coup".
As a side note, it's pretty telling how much media attention Khizir Khan has received since the convention compared to the families involved in the Benghazi attack. I'm no fan of Trump, but this election has laid bare the degree to which the media establishment is willing to shield Clinton from the same kind of standards and criticism that are laid against a more explicitly transgressive candidate like Trump. There is clearly an establishment bias.
He’s been very clear about that fact and said I don’t support Iraq and I don’t support Afghanistan,” Lewandowski stated. Angry Bear » Bursting Damn. And Its Sole Cause.
August 5, 2016 12:01 am
I find “Khan gambit” using Democratic convention podium to be a well prepared trap.
While the fact that Trump got into in (and this is plain vanilla swift boating, so any normal politicians would sense the danger immediately) does not characterize him well, the shame IMHO is on neocons who created this trap.
BTW endorsement by Whitman is nothing to be proud of. She is a regular neoliberal. So what would you expect? That’s simply silly not to expect that some/most of them will not cross the party line. Neocons like Kagan were the first, now neoliberals follow the suit. The same is even more true about Bloomberg (with his media empire being essentially propaganda arm of GS)
I think Trump demonstrated courage by opposing well oiled with money propaganda machine of neocons.
In their zeal to discredit Trump some MSM became pretty disingenuous and that might have the opposite effect, if “Khan gambit” is overplayed:
=== Quote ===
While many Republicans have rebuked Donald Trump for attacking Khizr Khan and his wife — who lost their U.S. Army captain son, Humayun, in the war in Iraq — some of Trump’s allies are rallying to his side and, in the process, attacking Khan.
Trump’s longtime ally, political consultant Roger Stone, who has a long history as a controversialist, set the pattern on Twitter Sunday night by linking to an article that accused Khan, an immigration lawyer from Virginia, of being an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood, an inflammatory and unproved charge.
Here is what else you can expect to hear from some of Trump’s backers as the controversy builds:
- Hillary Clinton, they say, is not being called out adequately for contradicting Pat Smith, another Gold Star mother, whose son Sean was one of the Americans killed in the attack in 2012 on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Smith blames Clinton for misrepresenting the cause of the attack that took her son’s death, and ultimately for the death itself.
- Khan, they note, once worked for a law firm that represented Saudi Arabia, which has donated to the Clinton Foundation.
- They argue that because Clinton voted for the war in Iraq, she should be called to account for the death of Humayun Khan, who died 12 years ago in a suicide bomb attack. Trump supported the Iraq war at the time, although he now claims to have opposed it.
- The Khans, some Trump supporters say, opened themselves to criticism by taking the stage at a political event, thus politicizing their son’s death.
Indiscriminate killing of brown
people (including many woman and children) supported (and in case of Libya pressed) by Hillary is
not considered racist by neoliberal MSM, but Trump suggestion (note suggestion) to limit Muslim and
Mexican immigration to the USA is the crime of the century, because such a measure limits inflow
of cheap labor for transnational corporations. What is interesting in this "identity politics" attack
deployed by Hillary camp is that often they misdiagnose the problems pretending that nothing, but
racism matters and that this is automatically thee root cause. For example for excessive police violence
against blacks. Sometime the root cause is different: it can be stereotyping, or that people are
frightened, they can behave stupid, or they are evil. No, all such cases are automatically classified
as racists. Police misconduct is not a problem solely about race and racism. Here’s a thoughtful
blogpost about the problem of police misconduct in certain kinds of fatal shooting incidents and
what can be done about it, both politically and in terms of reforming police training and administration:
You need to be a very courageous person to fight against neocons. They already launched several below the belt attacks on Trump. More to follow. some were pretty damaging:
Half the things attributed to Trump were spun from whole cloth and printed as fact. That Joe Sarbourough’s sisters ex roomates cousin ( apologies to Dark Helmet) thought she heard Trump ask about nukes doesn’t impress me much .
Of course nukes are meant to be used, otherwise we wasted a lot of money on the 20,000 ++++ that we bought during the last 70 years.
The utter hysteria about Trump in neoliberal MSM like NYT is very illuminating. They really feel the danger and as the result the western media is outperforming anything envisioned by Orwell. It brazenly lies, censors the truth and spins every fact, still pretending to be objective, independent and balanced. At the same part population changes and no longer can be spoon fed by neoliberal propaganda. Many have allergic reaction which destroys that attempts to brainwash them. That's why neoliberal media's engage is constant paranoid exaggeration of Trump speeches, words and Twits. Nice example was hysterias about Melania Trump plagiarism and about his request (probably make to provoke the MSM) to Putin to provide deleted by Hillary emails. But those demolishing Trump pieces have little or no effect. And those presstitutes are getting desperate as the realization sets in: Trump 2016!
And that's why they are pushing "Crooked Hillary" (by apt definition of Trump ;-) as the only viable candidate. As if without her there is no tomorrow. If you read NYT the impression is that Trump is madman, a dyed-in-the-wool nationalist (and racist) danger of whom is equal or exceed the danger of Mussolini, or even Hitler. In reality Hillary can be considered to be a war criminal, the lowest possible type of politicians, so much like in case of absolute zero, there can't be more evil person even in principle.
But reading NYT you will not often see combination of words a "neocon" and Hillary. She will be presented via rose grasses and her ugly personality traits (which led to multiple suggestions that she might be a female sociopath) will be carefully hidden. Any demonstration of recklessness and somewhat psychopathic personality, her pathological jingoism, will be described as an admirable attributes indicative of a strong leader the same way the psychopathic personalities of her male counterparts are described as the attribute of "masters of statecraft" (the term which under neoliberalism became synonymous with bombing small helpless nations, who happen to have natural resources, valuable for transactionals, and bailing out transnational banks, when they overpay their hand with derivatives).
Sometimes I catch myself on the thought that neoliberal MSM outdid MSM of the USSR in their ability to distort the reality and conduct vicious propaganda campaigns directed on elimination of anybody threatening status quo. With generally better success in brainwashing the population.
In foreign policy Hillary Clinton is no different than your garden variety Republican, including Senator McCain or any of prominent neocons such as Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan and his wife. In other words she is another died in the wool neocon. Probably to the right of Jeb "I like Wolfowitz Doctrine" Bush, who as one of the signers of PNAC key document is difficult to match. So, in a way, Cold War II is guaranteed if she wins, because the elite needs an external threat to keep the nation united despite economic troubles connected with the sunset of neoliberalism as well as it hallmark -- ruthless looting of the nation by financial oligarchy, who is out of control and owns the government via "deep state" structures.
Again MSM in the USA tend to personalize the most important political issues (identity politics). That gives them opportunity to hide real issues facing the nation under smoke screen of personal invectives. The real issue during this election is a referendum of neoliberal globalization. that's what MSM try to bury in the smokescreen of identity politics, Look how "Back life matters" movement was played.
Increase use of misinformation as a campaign strategy in a post-factual world in not new. This is how in 2004 corrupt MSM got rid of Howard Dean in Democratic Party primaries (see Howard Dean's Scream - YouTube. Directed microphones were used to amplify the scream to make it outrageous). This disinformation campaign was recently played out in the Brexit vote, just look at Guardian campaign. They have betted on the power of fantasy over fact and instead of media outlets became pure propaganda outlet. Look also how Stephen Colbert tried to eliminate the candidate Best moments from presidential debates - YouTube. If you do not understand that this was promoting Kerry over Dean, listen again. When propaganda is close to what you feel whatever you feel is true, you are easily deceived. It is very difficult for anyone to tell the difference between what is true and what is not -- media creates artificial reality in which we live. They can amplify whatever they wish and present for us as facts, while they are not. That will be found but it will be too late. As Scott McConnell aptly noted (The American Conservative, July 20, 2016):
Much of the morning of the second day of the Republican Convention was taken up by the Melania speech flap. It’s an odd world. One can understand how it was news: there are thousands of reporters chasing any news, especially news embarrassing to Trump. One can imagine that if Jackie Kennedy inadvertently mouthed some earnest and eloquent platitudes that another speechwriter had previously prepared for a different celebrity, few would have noticed, and certainly few would have made a case of it. It might have been mentioned in an aside in a column.
Melania’s reading of secondhand words is not entirely insignificant. Of course the “plagiarism” case was the result of poor staff work, and it’s not unreasonable to wonder if it’s symptomatic of a more general confusion at the heart of the Trump campaign. If they can’t get Melania’s speech right, and they didn’t, who is going be in charge of implementing the Iran deal, or dealing with the Turkish coup aftermath, or trying to be a good friend to a Europe undergoing worse crises than we are? You can look at the Donald Trump operation and not come away with obviously reassuring answers.
You can see that in hunt for anti-Trump sensation MSM amplified the real but rather small problem with Melanie speech. "Lifting" a couple of sentences from somebody else speech is not a big crime. Of cause this is an immoral act, but let's see with whom we compare Melania -- with Hillary, who is a compulsive liar. Melania with all her transgressions is not. Now you see the problem. They use two difficult standard, because if we apply "Melania standard" to Hillary, MSM should bury her alive. There were a couple of sentences that closely resemble each other (so what; she is not an elected official and does not pretend on any official post; if we views this as a type of lie -- pretending that those words are your own what they actually are not -- compare with the amount of lie of Hillary Clinton. But the content of the speeches is vastly different. Still charge of plagiarism stuck. Unapt denial of Trump reps helped to amplify the issue further and exaggerations of this tiny, unimportant fact importance were done very skillfully -- this minor episode was on front pages for two days in the raw. As if there no other problems with DNC. What a despicable presstitutes --
They try to hide the danger that yet another globalist war for opening natural resources and labor resources of other countries for transnationals which will be unleashed by Hillary. Who already managed to vote of Iraq war, and royally rape Ukraine , Libya and Syria. This is a real issue, and it not about personalities involved. It is about different factions of the US elite: globalist part that now dominant and smaller weaker nationalist part what is now on the upswing.
It is well known that the key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform, but to influence. In the USA, like in the USSR, MSM are fully engaged in this dirty game. The psychological mechanism behind this dirty game is based on deeply rooted human tendency to side with the (presumptive) winner.
MSM fake the desirable for the elite result (or at least distort actually picture) and that automatically conditions those who is still undecided to vote for "presumptive winner", or not to vote. The latter in the spirit of inverted totalitarism is preferable for elite result -- making each elite voter (who always vote, as this is about their power) more valuable. Please note half of the US population does not vote. But anger might brings them out. John Pilger gave a good picture of behaviour of MSM in his recent article The Brexit Rejection of Neoliberal Tyranny ( Consortiumnews, ).
MSM also try to co-opt Trump voters:
On the eve of the convention, Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam—respected, young, mainstream conservative intellectuals—published an essay in the New York Times that was largely Trumpian in its prescriptions, calling for less immigration, less foreign military intervention, more tax policy favoring the middle and working classes. Designed to appeal to the real interests of Trump voters.
Yet the two cast their piece as “anti-Trump,” calling Trump a demagogue, and assuming that he couldn’t possibly implement their agenda. It’s a loss to Trump that he hasn’t won over people who so largely agree with him, but a sign too of the remaining power of the Republican establishment, which can make even people who mostly agree with Trump unable—so far—to see themselves as potential Trump backers.
CNN went as far as to hire Corey Lewandowski, former manager of Trump political campaign (CNN's Revolving Door of Political Hackery)
Widespread outrage erupted in late June over CNN's hiring of Corey Lewandowski, just four days after he was fired as Donald Trump's chief of staff. Lewandowski is a controversial figure, and not merely because he was heading up a campaign fueled by bigotry and fear. In March he was charged with simple battery for making physical contact with a reporter (though these charges were later dropped). Moreover, his utility as a CNN contributor is clearly limited -- if not worthless -- since he is reported to have signed a non-disclosure agreement that bars him from saying anything disparaging about Trump or discussing anything he did during the campaign.
CNN staffers were said to be enraged -- but within a week, CNN's newest contributor was on television using his soapbox to explain away another one of Trump's very public and obvious appeals to bigotry. That CNN felt it needed to hire an election commentator who can't say anything critical about Trump may seem strange, but it corresponds with CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker's stated desire to push CNN to the right. Even Fox News has taken the moral "high ground" in this situation: It has blasted CNN and the decision at least twice.
But hiring Lewandowski is not an anomaly -- it is business as usual for CNN and other cable news networks. When covering elections, CNN and its competitors rely largely on former political hacks as paid contributors. They also commonly employ active lobbyists with inherent conflicts of interest that are rarely disclosed.
What we are dealing with is a Revolving Door of Political Hackery between campaigns, the media and lobbyists. As we enter the final stretch of the 2016 election season, this revolving door has been spinning rapidly, especially with GOP staffers heading to CNN. This reliance on beltway insiders and industry surrogates is among the many reasons why campaign coverage is so often woefully lacking in substance.
The Democratic Party convention and the media are full of the assumption that Russia is the enemy of the United States. What is the basis for that assumption?
- Russian support for the Russian ethnic minority in eastern Ukraine? How does that threaten the United States?
- Russian annexation of the Crimea? Khrushchev arbitrarily transferred that part of Russia to Ukraine during his time as head of the USSR. Khrushchev was a Ukrainian. Russia never accepted the arbitrary transfer of a territory that had been theirs since the 18th Century. How does this annexation threaten the United States?
- Russia does not want to see Syria crushed by the jihadis and acts accordingly? How does that threaten the United States?
- Russia threatens the NATO states in eastern Europe? Tell me how they actually do that. Is it by stationing their forces on their side of the border with these countries? Have the Russians made threatening statements about the NATO states?
- Russia has made threatening and hostile statements directed at the United States? When and where was that?
- Russia does not accept the principle of state sovereignty? Really? The United States is on shaky ground citing that principle. Remember Iraq?
- Russian intelligence may have intercepted and collected the DNC's communications (hacked) as well as HC's stash of illegal e-mails? Possibly true but every country on earth that has the capability does the same kind of thing every single day. That would include the United States.
The Obama Administration is apparently committed to a pre-emptive assertion that Russia is a world class committed enemy of the United States. The Borgist media fully support that.
We should all sober up.
The Russian theme has become one of the most important in Hillary presidential campaign and
she unsurprisingly is engaged in full-scale anti-Russian hysteria.
Hillary joined ranks with neocons, military-industrial complex and plain-vanilla Russophobes (katehon.com, Jul 28. 2016):
Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Trump called on Russia to hand over the 30,000 emails "missing" from the Hillary Clinton's email server in the US. Their absence is a clear sign that Clinton destroyed evidence proving that she used her personal e-mail server to send sensitive information. Democrats immediately accused Trump of pandering to Russian hackers, although in reality the multi-billionaire rhetorically hinted that the data that Clinton hid from the American investigation is in the hands of foreign intelligence services. So, Clinton is a possible target for blackmail.
Trump's statement that he is ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the removal of anti-Russian sanctions caused even more noise. This view is not accepted either in the Democrat or in the Republican mainstream. Trump also said that Vladimir Putin does not respect Clinton and Obama, while Trump himself hopes to find a common language with him. Trump appreciates Putin's leadership and believes that the US must work together with Russia to deal with common threats, particularly against Islamic extremism.
Hide The establishment's tantrum
Both Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at Trump. The vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, made threats to Russia. The head of the Republican majority in Congress, Paul Ryan, became somewhat hysterical. He said that Putin is "a thug and should stay out of these elections."
It is Putin personally, and the Russian security services, who are accused of leaking correspondences of top employees of the National Committee of the Democratic Party. This unverified story united part of the Republicans and all of the Democrats, including the Clinton and Barack Obama themselves. Trump supporters note that the Russian threat is used to divert attention from the content of these letters. And these show the fraud carried out during the primaries which favored Hillary Clinton.
Hide The pro-American candidate
The "Russian scandal" demonstrates that on the one hand the thesis of the normalization of relations with Russia, despite the propaganda, is becoming popular in US society. It is unlikely that Donald Trump has made campaign statements that are not designed to gain the support of the public in this election. On the other hand - Trump - a hard realist, like Putin, is not pro-Russian, but a pro-American politician, and therefore the improvement of relations with Russia in his eyes corresponds to the US's national interests. Trump has never to date done anything that would not be to his advantage. Sometimes he even said he would order US fighter jets to engage with Russian ones, and declared he would have a hard stance in relations with Russia.
Another thing is that his understanding of US national interests is fundamentally different from the dominant American globalist elite consensus. For Trump, the US should not be the source of a global liberal remaking of the world, but a national power, which optimizes its position just as efficiently as any commercial project. And in terms of optimizing the position of the United States, he says there should be a normal American interaction with Putin and Russia in the field of combating terrorism and preventing the sliding of the two countries into a global war. He claims this is to be the priority instead of issues relating to the promotion of democracy and the so-called fight against "authoritarian regimes".
Bullsh**t that the US MSM are now propagating is essentially a variation of the old theme "The Russians are Coming". Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):
MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?
MC: Yes! Are you serious?
Putin: I’m quite serious.
MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?
MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?
Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics. These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?
MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word. What do you mean by that?
Putin: You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?
MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?
Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent. It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear. It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC. That was diversion one right out of the gate.
DNC and Clinton are going to push the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc. Technical analysis provided is some idiotic, entry level nonsense. And it should ne complete dulsh*t as those cases are very complex and can used smokescreen -- deflecting attention from a read source (for example Israel) to Russians (Israel has large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in security services of the country).
When the USA opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a blowback. Now it start coming: it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary. Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history. And technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They became a part of their workbook. And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as completely corrupt DNC with semi-competent IT staff using pathetic Microsoft Exchange based email system: (naked capitalism):
However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :
Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).
For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.
In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.
If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.
Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.
So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!
Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.
That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)
I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.
The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!
JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!
Update Addition by Yves:
Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):
There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.
Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.
Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:
Thomas Rid wrote:
One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.
This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.
Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."
Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.
 More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"
 This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.
Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 ampretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am
For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:
Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.
–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr
Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.
Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am
and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.
"… all these could be spoofed by another party."
Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?
Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.
But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.
Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.
Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail. And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ )
As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.
Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.
“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.
“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”
In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”
Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak??
As life exceeds satire, one can imagine that within a week Wikileaks will produce those "missing e-mails". And later Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the next appeal from Trump.
In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't fold when a Mafioso clan liked, and when caught red handed. that's why they instantly tried to change the subject deflecting attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, and focusing on possible links between email hack and Russiainstead. Great journalism!" The Guardian
I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.
Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.
Chanze Jennings -> atopic
The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?
BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post:
Shills for Democratic Party try to present Hillary as lesser evil then Trump. But Hillary is a war criminal of a type that in the recent past went to Nuremberg tribunal and as such she represents absolute zero (much like Kelvin scale absolute zero in temperatures) of evilness of politicians. You just can't be more evil. She was instrumental in destroying three countries (Ukraine, Libya and Syria) and killing hundreds of thousand civilians by unleashing civil wars in those countries. Aggressive wars are simply, as Jackson said at Nurnberg, the supreme international crime. You can't go lower then this. The President does have primacy in foreign policy matter and from this point Hillary Clinton should scare an average US voter. But this is not the case because an average US voter sees the US aggressive wars as defensive. Is it fair to consider such US citizens as delusional? Or if they were merely massively and comprehensively brainwashed? Is the Trump Campaign smart enough to wage a 6 months campaign of counter-disinformation warfare? Is he and his team smart enough to "beat Hillary's teeth out of her mouth" on this topic? This is a very interesting question (sic_semper_tyrannis, July 29, 2016).
Jack said in reply to Old Microbiologist...
"delusional citizens in the US see our aggression as defensive".
This is what happens when citizens have been propagandized for so long. And folks are inherently lazy. They'll buy into whatever whoever they trust say. Do you recall the majority of Americans believed that Saddam had WMD and was in cahoots with AQ and supported the invasion where we would be treated as liberators?
The first time in the recent past there is any dissonance in public discourse has been with Trump.
This time it looks like this time the working class voters vowed to take their revenge at the polls. They now understand that they were taken for a ride by neocons and will never see promised by neoliberal propagandists "prosperity for all", only redistribution of wealth up at their expense. They were disgusted with the neoliberal transformation of the country during previous three administrations and, especially the most dishonest of them -- the king of "bait and switch", neoliberal in democrat cloth Obama, who betrays people who elected him twice in best Bill Clinton traditions. Who now wants to became a venture capitalist himself. Such a "change we can believe in" ;-).
If you did not see Trump Ad Hillary Clinton Crooked Warmonger (Youtube) I recommend you to watch it. It catches the main point: Stakes are too high to elect warmonger like Hillary Clinton
Hysteria about "Star of David" was probably one the most obnoxious demonstration of this trend. This start is commonly used on advertisements. So the ad just imitate advertisements. But they decide to make this about anti-Semitism. For example Trump deletes anti-Clinton corruption ad with Star of David The Times of Israel
Superimposed over piles of cash, presumptive GOP nominee uses Jewish star to attack his Democratic rival, scraps it after backlash
Leveling corruption accusations against rival presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted, then swiftly deleted, an image depicting the Democratic nominee next to a Star of David superimposed over piles of money.
Trump’s image of Clinton surrounded by $100 bills read: “Most corrupt Candidate Ever!” on a six pointed star, a common Jewish and Israeli symbol.
Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC speech was a symphony of craven, delusional pandering.
Here is the entirety of Clinton’s remarks about settlements: “Everyone has to do their part by avoiding damaging actions, including with respect to settlements. Now, America has an important role to play in supporting peace efforts. And as president, I would continue the pursuit of direct negotiations. And let me be clear—I would vigorously oppose any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the U.N. Security Council.”
She spent significantly more time railing against the “alarming” Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which is gaining traction on college campuses nationwide. Pledging to “take our alliance to the next level,” Clinton said that one of the first things she’d do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister to the White House. That was a barely veiled rebuke to Obama, who never treated Benjamin Netanyahu with the deference the prime minister felt entitled to. Before the speech, some had hoped that Clinton might offer a word of solidarity or encouragement to beleaguered progressives in Israel. She gave them nothing.
It’s understandable that Clinton would want to widen the gulf between AIPAC and Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee. “We need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything is negotiable,” she said to applause, out-hawking the man who is running on a platform of Middle Eastern war crimes. In doing so, she offered a bridge to #NeverTrump neoconservatives like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, who has already written that, should Trump be the nominee, “the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”
Anti-Trump neoconservatives, however, are a minuscule group of people. And in seeking their approval, Clinton has further alienated left-wing voters, particularly young ones. Polls show that Americans under 30 are far more critical of Israel than are older voters. Liberal Democrats sympathize more with the Palestinians than they do with Israel. There is already deep suspicion of Clinton’s foreign-policy instincts among Bernie Sanders’ supporters; Clinton doesn’t need to give them new reasons to distrust her.
Foreign Phrase On Bill Clinton's Lapel Pin Sparks Speculation
Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday was subject to inquiries about his pin shortly after he arrived to watch Vice President Joe Biden’s address. The Forward’s Nathan Guttman shared a Twitter photo of the blue and white pin, which sparked some discussion regarding its potential significance.
“I know it’s Hebrew,” one commenter wrote, “but I can’t make out the letters. Tovah?”
A short time later, a representative of the National Jewish Democratic Council offered some clarity. Steve Rabinowitz explained both he and NJDC Chairman Marc Stanley gave Clinton one of the pins prior to Wednesday evening’s scheduled events. The lapel embellishment reads “Hillary” in Hebrew.
“He said he’d wear it,” Rabinowitz recalled of his encounter with the former president, “but I didn’t know whether or not to believe him and certainly didn’t think he’d do it tonight.”
If Trump is misogynic, Bill Clinton should be in jail. Now -- But neoliberal MSM would raise any false accusation to hurt candidate who competes with their beloved warmonger -- Hillary Clinton. Who happens to be a woman. So misogyny is a good attack tool against Trump and it is used to the fullest extent possible:
Trump Shushes Aggressive NBC Reporter Katy Tur, Media Flips Lid, Crying 'Sexism'
Every slight is sexist, racist, homophobic, you name it, in the eyes of liberals. Case in point, the media’s overblown response to Donald Trump shushing NBC reporter Katy Tur during Wednesday morning’s press conference. Journalists on Twitter were aghast that Trump dared to interrupt a relentless reporter, while MSNBC’s Tamron Hall likened the exchange to overt sexism, in the age of the first female presidential nominee.
During a press conference this morning, NBC’s Katy Tur, who had been asking multiple questions throughout, was shushed by Donald Trump at one point for continuing to press her question after he briefly answered it then shifted the focus to Hillary Clinton.
”Be quiet” he said mid-sentence to Tur as she kept repeating her question while he was still answering it. Social media blew up at this rather insignificant slight of an aggressive reporter and MSNBC’s Tamron Hall was no different, who got Tur on camera immediately at the press conference’s end on The Place for Poltiics.
Hall led by informing Tur of the “stunning” outrage on Twitter to Trump telling her to “be quiet” and insinuated this was a sign of sexism:
HALL: [B]ut on the day after we saw 102-year-old woman on the floor applaud the first female nominated to a major party, there you are being told to 'be quiet' by the nominee.
“I’m not asking you to make this personal,” Hall insisted repeatedly, (but isn’t that exactly why she brought Tur on?) before she asked her to comment on the question she asked Trump.
... ... ...
What always fails to get brought up is that Trump is universally brusque to reporters regardless of gender and for MSNBC to make this about gender is intellectually dishonest but proof that the “war on women” card is clearly still being utilized in this election.
Previous attack was atchificially inflaced and misrepresenrted remark about Megyn Kelly. Here is a pretty typical attack from POLITICO
Donald Trump cannot remember the last time he apologized.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday, Trump reiterated that he has no regrets about comments he has made early in his campaign that have generated significant backlash. From calling some immigrants coming into the country rapists, to saying Arizona Sen. John McCain was “ a war hero because he was captured,” to his unfinished remark that Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly had blood “coming out of her wherever,” Trump does not think he has anything for which he has to be sorry.
“People say, ‘He won’t apologize for anything’ — well, I was right on illegal immigration. McCain blew it because he’s done a poor job of taking care of the veterans. And then the third element so far, you had Megyn Kelly, and I think you’ve seen what happened with that,” Trump said. “I feel quite confident in my position.”
“At the same time,” he qualified, “I believe in apologizing. But to apologize for me is very difficult. I definitely would apologize if I were wrong on something.”
Asked to recall the last thing he apologized for, Trump said that “it was too many years ago to remember,” adding that he has “one of the great memories of all time, but it was too long ago.”
Trump domestic platform is concentrated on creating jobs. The only other two areas were he has defined position is immigration and healthcare reform. In this sense Trump movement is somewhat similar to Peronism: hatred of elites combined with direct appeals to “the forgotten man,” “the silent majority” and “the moral majority”. Among them is Trump uncanny ability to bring broad sectors of US society into his political movement, using for uniting them anger against neoliberal globalization. He advocates restoration of social well being of the US middle class severely damaged during 40 years of neoliberal globalization.
Moreover Trump understands that the people of the USA are tired to pay the costs for maintaining the Global Neoliberal Empire:
More than 16 million children in the United States – 22% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – $23,550 a year for a family of four. Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses. Using this standard, 45% of children live in low-income families.
Most of these children have parents who work, but low wages and unstable employment leave their families struggling to make ends meet. Poverty can impede children’s ability to learn and contribute to social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Poverty also can contribute to poor health and mental health. Risks are greatest for children who experience poverty when they are young and/or experience deep and persistent poverty.
It has some nationalist overtones ("Let's make America great again") but, contrary to MSM attempts to paint him black, without any racism, or nationalist bigotry (MSM now try to promote the idea that Trump is an anti-Semite, but this is clear baloney). Proposed by Trump restrictions on immigration are highly pragmatic and temporary in nature. Restriction again Muslim are partially dictated by the level of hate the current US foreign policy generates in Muslim world, so this is purely defensive measure.
Like Peron before him Trump stands far from religious fundamentalist. Peronism was based on three principles: social justice, political sovereignty and economic independence. You see the analogy. And they are actually deeper that just a fight against oligarchic financial capital (What is Peronism):
"... It was under Peron that a version of nationalized state capitalism, and an elimination of foreign investors was initiated in Argentina. He used nationalism, unlike his European counterparts, as a weapon of anti-imperialism. Peronism under Peron was Bonapartist in its manipulation of the social classes on behalf of industrializing an underdeveloped country and challenging dominant American imperialism. His style of leadership was one of a leader who took power in a power vacuum when no single class is in the position do so, and using reformist measures to win the radical support of the more populous class. ..."
"... Peron and Peronism also has to be viewed as a stage in the battle of Latin America for economic independence which is still yet to be achieved with at home the oligarchical structures still intact, and foreign manipulation in the country. ..."
One of the core parts of the Trump platform is restricting illegal (note the word "illegal" immigration. This is similar to fight against slavery (abolitionsm) in the past:
The movement gained new momentum in the early 19th century as many critics of slavery hardened their views and rejected their previous advocacy of gradualism (the slow and steady progress towards the goal of freedom for slaves) and colonization (finding land in Africa for former slaves). As the movement grew and became more formally organized, it sparked opposition in both the North and the South; Northern mill owhttp://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/19/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/ners depended upon slave-produced cotton every bit as much as the Southern plantation owners.
Similar any attempt to limit illegal immigration creates the same reaction of modern neoliberal "South" plantation owners -- economic insentive of using illegal immigrants labor are just too great. The current population of illegal immigrants is around 11 million in the USA or around 3.5% of population; Six states alone account for 60% of unauthorized immigrants — California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. Unauthorized immigrants make up 5.1% of the U.S. labor force. About 7% of K-12 students had at least one unauthorized immigrant parent in 2012 (pewresearch.org )
That's why neoliberal politicians talk about “immigration reform” they mean three things: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. For example, the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties. And Trump caught some important features of this situation in his statement of the subject:
Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change. Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform:
- A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.
- A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
- A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.
His position on Mexico is concentrated on illegal immigration:
Compelling Mexico to Pay for the Wall
Introduction: The provision of the Patriot Act, Section 326 - the "know your customer" provision, compelling financial institutions to demand identity documents before opening accounts or conducting financial transactions is a fundamental element of the outline below. That section authorized the executive branch to issue detailed regulations on the subject, found at 31 CFR 130.120-121. It's an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year. There are several ways to compel Mexico to pay for the wall including the following:
- On day 1 promulgate a "proposed rule" (regulation) amending 31 CFR 130.121 to redefine applicable financial institutions to include money transfer companies like Western Union, and redefine "account" to include wire transfers. Also include in the proposed rule a requirement that no alien may wire money outside of the United States unless the alien first provides a document establishing his lawful presence in the United States.
- On day 2 Mexico will immediately protest. They receive approximately $24 billion a year in remittances from Mexican nationals working in the United States. The majority of that amount comes from illegal aliens. It serves as de facto welfare for poor families in Mexico. There is no significant social safety net provided by the state in Mexico.
- On day 3 tell Mexico that if the Mexican government will contribute the funds needed to the United States to pay for the wall, the Trump Administration will not promulgate the final rule, and the regulation will not go into effect.
- Trade tariffs, or enforcement of existing trade rules: There is no doubt that Mexico is engaging in unfair subsidy behavior that has eliminated thousands of U.S. jobs, and which we are obligated to respond to; the impact of any tariffs on the price imports will be more than offset by the economic and income gains of increased production in the United States, in addition to revenue from any tariffs themselves. Mexico needs access to our markets much more than the reverse, so we have all the leverage and will win the negotiation. By definition, if you have a large trade deficit with a nation, it means they are selling far more to you than the reverse - thus they, not you, stand to lose from enforcing trade rules through tariffs (as has been done to save many U.S. industries in the past).
- Cancelling visas: Immigration is a privilege, not a right. Mexico is totally dependent on the United States as a release valve for its own poverty - our approvals of hundreds of thousands of visas to their nationals every year is one of our greatest leverage points. We also have leverage through business and tourist visas for important people in the Mexican economy. Keep in mind, the United States has already taken in 4X more migrants than any other country on planet earth, producing lower wages and higher unemployment for our own citizens and recent migrants.
- Visa fees: Even a small increase in visa fees would pay for the wall. This includes fees on border crossing cards, of which more than 1 million are issued a year. The border-crossing card is also one of the greatest sources of illegal immigration into the United States, via overstays. Mexico is also the single largest recipient of U.S. green cards, which confer a path to U.S. citizenship. Again, we have the leverage so Mexico will back down.
Conclusion: Mexico has taken advantage of us in another way as well: gangs, drug traffickers and cartels have freely exploited our open borders and committed vast numbers of crimes inside the United States. The United States has borne the extraordinary daily cost of this criminal activity, including the cost of trials and incarcerations. Not to mention the even greater human cost. We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage. It is time we use it in order to Make America Great Again.
Trump position of healthcare report is based on increasing the role of states instead of federal goverment in providing the citizens with adequate healthcare protection. In other word decentralizing the healthcare to the state level:
Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again
Since March of 2010, the American people have had to suffer under the incredible economic burden of the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare. This legislation, passed by totally partisan votes in the House and Senate and signed into law by the most divisive and partisan President in American history, has tragically but predictably resulted in runaway costs, websites that don’t work, greater rationing of care, higher premiums, less competition and fewer choices. Obamacare has raised the economic uncertainty of every single person residing in this country. As it appears Obamacare is certain to collapse of its own weight, the damage done by the Democrats and President Obama, and abetted by the Supreme Court, will be difficult to repair unless the next President and a Republican congress lead the effort to bring much-needed free market reforms to the healthcare industry.
But none of these positive reforms can be accomplished without Obamacare repeal. On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.
However, it is not enough to simply repeal this terrible legislation. We will work with Congress to make sure we have a series of reforms ready for implementation that follow free market principles and that will restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country. By following free market principles and working together to create sound public policy that will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans.
Any reform effort must begin with Congress. Since Obamacare became law, conservative Republicans have been offering reforms that can be delivered individually or as part of more comprehensive reform efforts. In the remaining sections of this policy paper, several reforms will be offered that should be considered by Congress so that on the first day of the Trump Administration, we can start the process of restoring faith in government and economic liberty to the people.
Congress must act. Our elected representatives in the House and Senate must:
- Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.
- Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.
- Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn’t Congress allow individuals the same exemptions? As we allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, we must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance. We must review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.
- Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate. These accounts would become part of the estate of the individual and could be passed on to heirs without fear of any death penalty. These plans should be particularly attractive to young people who are healthy and can afford high-deductible insurance plans. These funds can be used by any member of a family without penalty. The flexibility and security provided by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.
- Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.
- Block-grant Medicaid to the states. Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure. The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead. States will have the incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources.
- Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.
The reforms outlined above will lower healthcare costs for all Americans. They are simply a place to start. There are other reforms that might be considered if they serve to lower costs, remove uncertainty and provide financial security for all Americans. And we must also take actions in other policy areas to lower healthcare costs and burdens. Enforcing immigration laws, eliminating fraud and waste and energizing the ecoomy will relieve the economic pressures felt by every American. It is the moral responsibility of a nation’s government to do what is best for the people and what is in the interest of securing the future of the nation.
Providing healthcare to illegal immigrants costs us some $11 billion annually. If we were to simply enforce the current immigration laws and restrict the unbridled granting of visas to this country, we could relieve healthcare cost pressures on state and local governments.
To reduce the number of individuals needing access to programs like Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program we will need to install programs that grow the economy and bring capital and jobs back to America. The best social program has always been a job – and taking care of our economy will go a long way towards reducing our dependence on public health programs.
Finally, we need to reform our mental health programs and institutions in this country. Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones. There are promising reforms being developed in Congress that should receive bi-partisan support.
To reform healthcare in America, we need a President who has the leadership skills, will and courage to engage the American people and convince Congress to do what is best for the country. These straightforward reforms, along with many others I have proposed throughout my campaign, will ensure that together we will Make America Great Again.
Here devil is in derails: while general premise about decentralization is a valid one, federal government have far larger negotiating power with pharmaceuticals and medical providers. which pay play states, especially small one, as they wish.
Donald Trump tax reform is impossible without dramatic cut of military expenditures. It also closes several loopholes for large corporations. As for elimination of death tax (which is a bad move) we need to remember that this tax is successfully bypassed by very rich right now via blind trusts and other schemes. Essentially only upper middle class is paying death tax now.
Too few Americans are working, too many jobs have been shipped overseas, and too many middle class families cannot make ends meet. This tax plan directly meets these challenges with four simple goals:
- Tax relief for middle class Americans: In order to achieve the American dream, let people keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages.
- Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and let everyone keep more of their money.
- Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
- Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.
The Trump Tax Plan Achieves These Goals
- If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% – from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, “I win,” those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.
- All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets – 0%, 10%, 20% and 25% – instead of the current seven. This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II.
- No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world.
- No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family, not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.
The Trump Tax Plan Is Revenue Neutral
The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:
- Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.
- A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate, followed by an end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.
- Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses
Trump rejects neocon platform of forcefully converting all states into neoliberal protectorates using color revolutions and brute military force. With the exception of Iran, which for some reason he hates so much, that he can risk a war with it, he speaks more like a paleoconservative. His focus in relations with China, while also hawkish in more about trade balance and "bringing jobs home" issues, not so much on military adventures (U.S.-China Trade Reform Donald J Trump for President):
How We Got Here: Washington Politicians Let China Off The HookHere is what Trump said later about his foreign policy agenda (April 27, 2016 Foreign Policy Speech):
In January 2000, President Bill Clinton boldly promised China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization (WTO) “is a good deal for America. Our products will gain better access to China’s market, and every sector from agriculture, to telecommunications, to automobiles. But China gains no new market access to the United States.” None of what President Clinton promised came true. Since China joined the WTO, Americans have witnessed the closure of more than 50,000 factories and the loss of tens of millions of jobs. It was not a good deal for America then and it’s a bad deal now. It is a typical example of how politicians in Washington have failed our country.
The most important component of our China policy is leadership and strength at the negotiating table. We have been too afraid to protect and advance American interests and to challenge China to live up to its obligations. We need smart negotiators who will serve the interests of American workers – not Wall Street insiders that want to move U.S. manufacturing and investment offshore.
The Goal Of The Trump Plan: Fighting For American Businesses And Workers
America has always been a trading nation. Under the Trump administration trade will flourish. However, for free trade to bring prosperity to America, it must also be fair trade. Our goal is not protectionism but accountability. America fully opened its markets to China but China has not reciprocated. Its Great Wall of Protectionism uses unlawful tariff and non-tariff barriers to keep American companies out of China and to tilt the playing field in their favor.
If you give American workers a level playing field, they will win. At its heart, this plan is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China. The results will be huge for American businesses and workers. Jobs and factories will stop moving offshore and instead stay here at home. The economy will boom. The steps outlined in this plan will make that a reality.
When Donald J. Trump is president, China will be on notice that America is back in the global leadership business and that their days of currency manipulation and cheating are over. We will cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete.
The Trump Plan Will Achieve The Following Goals:
- Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.
- Protect American ingenuity and investment by forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors as a condition of entry to China’s market.
- Reclaim millions of American jobs and reviving American manufacturing by putting an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards. No more sweatshops or pollution havens stealing jobs from American workers.
- Strengthen our negotiating position by lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home, attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.
Details of Donald J. Trump’s US China Trade Plan:
Declare China A Currency Manipulator
We need a president who will not succumb to the financial blackmail of a Communist dictatorship. President Obama’s Treasury Department has repeatedly refused to brand China a currency manipulator – a move that would force China to stop these unfair practices or face tough countervailing duties that level the playing field.
Economists estimate the Chinese yuan is undervalued by anywhere from 15% to 40%. This grossly undervalued yuan gives Chinese exporters a huge advantage while imposing the equivalent of a heavy tariff on U.S. exports to China. Such currency manipulation, in concert with China’s other unfair practices, has resulted in chronic U.S. trade deficits, a severe weakening of the U.S. manufacturing base and the loss of tens of millions of American jobs.
In a system of truly free trade and floating exchange rates like a Trump administration would support, America's massive trade deficit with China would not persist. On day one of the Trump administration the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China as a currency manipulator. This will begin a process that imposes appropriate countervailing duties on artificially cheap Chinese products, defends U.S. manufacturers and workers, and revitalizes job growth in America. We must stand up to China’s blackmail and reject corporate America’s manipulation of our politicians. The U.S. Treasury’s designation of China as a currency manipulator will force China to the negotiating table and open the door to a fair – and far better – trading relationship.
End China’s Intellectual Property Violations
China’s ongoing theft of intellectual property may be the greatest transfer of wealth in history. This theft costs the U.S. over $300 billion and millions of jobs each year. China’s government ignores this rampant cybercrime and, in other cases, actively encourages or even sponsors it –without any real consequences. China’s cyber lawlessness threatens our prosperity, privacy and national security. We will enforce stronger protections against Chinese hackers and counterfeit goods and our responses to Chinese theft will be swift, robust, and unequivocal.
The Chinese government also forces American companies like Boeing, GE, and Intel to transfer proprietary technologies to Chinese competitors as a condition of entry into the Chinese market. Such de facto intellectual property theft represents a brazen violation of WTO and international rules. China’s forced technology transfer policy is absolutely ridiculous. Going forward, we will adopt a zero tolerance policy on intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. If China wants to trade with America, they must agree to stop stealing and to play by the rules.
Eliminate China’s Illegal Export Subsidies And Other Unfair Advantages
Chinese manufacturers and other exporters receive numerous illegal export subsidies from the Chinese government. These include - in direct contradiction to WTO rules - free or nearly free rent, utilities, raw materials, and many other services. China’s state-run banks routinely extend loans these enterprises at below market rates or without the expectation they will be repaid. China even offers them illegal tax breaks or rebates as well as cash bonuses to stimulate exports.
China’s illegal export subsidies intentionally distorts international trade and damages other countries’ exports by giving Chinese companies an unfair advantage. From textile and steel mills in the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast’s shrimp and fish industries to the Midwest manufacturing belt and California’s agribusiness, China’s disregard for WTO rules hurt every corner of America.
The U.S. Trade Representative recently filed yet another complaint with the WTO accusing China of cheating on our trade agreements by subsidizing its exports. The Trump administration will not wait for an international body to tell us what we already know. To gain negotiating leverage, we will pursue the WTO case and aggressively highlight and expose these subsidies.
China’s woeful lack of reasonable environmental and labor standards represent yet another form of unacceptable export subsidy. How can American manufacturers, who must meet very high standards, possibly compete with Chinese companies that care nothing about their workers or the environment? We will challenge China to join the 21 st Century when it comes to such standards.
The Trump Plan Will Strengthen Our Negotiating Position
As the world’s most important economy and consumer of goods, America must always negotiate trade agreements from strength. Branding China as a currency manipulator and exposing their unfair trade practices is not enough. In order to further strengthen our negotiating leverage, the Trump plan will:
- Lower the corporate tax rate to 15% to unleash American ingenuity here at home and make us more globally competitive. This tax cut puts our rate 10 percentage points below China and 20 points below our current burdensome rate that pushes companies and jobs offshore.
- Attack our debt and deficit by vigorously eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal government, ending redundant government programs, and growing the economy to increase tax revenues. Closing the deficit and reducing our debt will mean China cannot blackmail us with our own Treasury bonds.
- Strengthen the U.S. military and deploying it appropriately in the East and South China Seas. These actions will discourage Chinese adventurism that imperils American interests in Asia and shows our strength as we begin renegotiating our trading relationship with China. A strong military presence will be a clear signal to China and other nations in Asia and around the world that America is back in the global leadership business.
“Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course…. Logic was replaced with foolishness and arrogance, which led to one foreign policy disaster after another.
“We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper…. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy. We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans just killed [and] lives, lives, lives wasted…. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill.
“[T]he legacy of the Obama-Clinton interventions will be weakness, confusion and disarray, a mess. We’ve made the Middle East more unstable and chaotic than ever before. We left Christians subject to intense persecution and even genocide…. Our actions in Iraq, Libya and Syria have helped unleash ISIS, and we’re in a war against radical Islam, but President Obama won’t even name the enemy, and unless you name the enemy, you will never ever solve the problem.
“After Secretary Clinton’s failed intervention in Libya, Islamic terrorists in Benghazi took down our consulate and killed our ambassador and three brave Americans. Then, instead of taking charge that night, Hillary Clinton decided to go home and sleep…. Clinton blames it all on a video, an excuse that was … proven to be absolutely a total lie. Our ambassador was murdered and our secretary of state misled the nation.
“We desire to live peacefully and in friendship with Russia and China.”
What Putin says about foreign policy (June 30, 2016 address to the eighth meeting of Russian Federation ambassadors and permanent envoys, held at the Russian Foreign Ministry):
“I therefore say again that cooperation, a common will, and willingness to seek compromises are the key to resolving the greatest and most complex problems, no matter where in the world they arise.
“However, we see how some of our partners continue stubborn attempts to retain their monopoly on geopolitical domination. They put to use centuries of experience in suppressing, weakening, and setting opponents against each other, and turn to their advantage enhanced political, economic, financial and now information levers as well.
“By this, I mean, for example, the practice of intervening in other countries’ internal affairs, provoking regional conflicts, exporting so-called ‘colour revolutions’ and so on. In pursuing this policy, they sometimes take on as accomplices terrorists, fundamentalists, ultra-right nationalists, and even outright neo-fascists. […]
“The military intervention in Iraq and Libya are the most vivid examples of this irresponsible and mistaken policy that has led to a rise in terrorism and extremism. It is clear to everyone today that this policy has contributed to the emergence of menacing organisations such as the Islamic State (DAISH). Terrorists have tried to turn to their advantage, and not without success, the breakdown in state systems and the results of, frankly speaking, clumsy experiments in exporting democracy to parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Every man and his dog talks about this now. It would be funny if it were not so sad, and if it were not the cause of so many tragedies.”
Here are some additional details from Russophobic Guardian presstitute Shawn Walker (The Guardian, July 7, 2016):
Page, an investment banker who previously worked in Russia, insisted he was in Russia on a private visit, although he is likely to meet Russian officials when he gives the commencement speech at the New Economic School in Moscow on Friday. He refused to comment on whether he had any meetings with officials planned.
... ... ...
Trump himself has has often praised the Russian leader during the campaign, saying in a December interview “he’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country”.
The presumptive Republican nominee has expressed his confidence that he would build a good relationship with the Russian president telling reporters last year: “I think I would get along very well with Vladimir Putin.”
He also defended the Russian leader against accusations that Putin has ordered the killing of journalists, telling ABC News “In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that. I don’t know that he has. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of the reporters that he’s killed? Because I’ve been – you know, you’ve been hearing this, but I haven’t seen the names,”
The announced topic of Page’s discussion was “the evolution of the world economy”, but much of it involved semi-coherent analysis of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.
In passing, Page castigated the US for interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and pursuing "regime change" in former Soviet countries. He said Russia and the US could have better relations in future, but this would be “contingent upon US’s refocus toward resolution of domestic challenges”. However, when pressed on details he was evasive.
In March, Page told Bloomberg that his experience on the ground doing deals in Russia and Central Asia would make him better placed to give advice than “people from afar, sitting in the comfort of their think tanks in Washington”. It is unclear how close he is to Trump and how much weight his advice holds with the presidential candidate.
Page repeatedly emphasised that he was in Russia as a private citizen rather than as an emissary of Trump. However, it is connections with the presidential candidate which prompted the New Economic School to invite him to give their keynote annual speech. In previous years, the commencement speeches at the university have been given by high-profile figures, including Barack Obama in 2009.
In December, Putin referred to Trump as a “colourful” person who was the “absolute leader” of the US presidential race, comments which prompted Trump to respond in turn that he was flattered by the praise. “When people call you brilliant, it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia,” Trump said, adding incorrectly that Putin had called him a “genius”.
Last month, Putin clarified the comments, saying he had not endorsed Trump, but welcomed his stance on relations with Russia.
“Here’s where I will pay close attention, and where I exactly welcome and where on the contrary I don’t see anything bad: Mr Trump has declared that he’s ready for the full restoration of Russian-American relations. Is there anything bad there? We all welcome this, don’t you?”
From Gaius Publius When Trump Talks Trade, Voters Listen naked capitalism
Before you read, though, take a moment to watch less than two minutes of Donald Trump above, from his victory speech after winning in Michigan and Mississippi. I’ve cued it up to start at the remarks I want to highlight, Trump discussing our trade deficit.
Now Thomas Frank, writing in The Guardian. He starts by noting the utter invisibility of real working Americans to our elite class, including our media elites, and especially our liberal media elites (my emphasis throughout):
Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here’s why
When he isn’t spewing insults, the Republican frontrunner is hammering home a powerful message about free trade and its victims
Let us now address the greatest American mystery at the moment: what motivates the supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump?
I call it a “mystery” because the working-class white people who make up the bulk of Trump’s fan base show up in amazing numbers for the candidate, filling stadiums and airport hangars, but their views, by and large, do not appear in our prestige newspapers. On their opinion pages, these publications take care to represent demographic categories of nearly every kind, but “blue-collar” is one they persistently overlook. The views of working-class people are so foreign to that universe that when New York Times columnist Nick Kristof wanted to “engage” a Trump supporter last week, he made one up, along with this imaginary person’s responses to his questions.
When members of the professional class wish to understand the working-class Other, they traditionally consult experts on the subject. And when these authorities are asked to explain the Trump movement, they always seem to zero in on one main accusation: bigotry. Only racism, they tell us, is capable of powering a movement like Trump’s, which is blowing through the inherited structure of the Republican party like a tornado through a cluster of McMansions.
The conclusion of these writers is this:
The Trump movement is a one-note phenomenon, a vast surge of race-hate. Its partisans are not only incomprehensible, they are not really worth comprehending.
A lot of people are racists, including those not supporting Trump. But people have other concerns as well, especially working people. They are dying faster than they used to, from drugs and despair, and they fear for their jobs and their families, for very good reasons. This economy is failing them.
They also hate — and understand — “free trade.”
Trump Also Talks Trade
Donald Trump talks about more than just race and immigration. He talks about trade and the trade deficit, an issue that powered Bernie Sanders to his Michigan victory as well. From the New York Times:
Trade and Jobs Key to Victory for Bernie Sanders
Democratic presidential candidate had campaigned in Traverse City, Mich., in decades until Senator Bernie Sanders pulled up to the concert hall near the Sears store on Friday. Some 2,000 people mobbed him when he arrived, roaring in approval as he called the country’s trade policies, and Hillary Clinton’s support for them, “disastrous.”
“If the people of Michigan want to make a decision about which candidate stood with workers against corporate America and against these disastrous trade agreements, that candidate is Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Sanders said in Traverse City, about 250 miles north of Detroit.
Mr. Sanders pulled off a startling upset in Michigan on Tuesday by traveling to communities far from Detroit and by hammering Mrs. Clinton on an issue that resonated in this still-struggling state: her past support for trade deals that workers here believe robbed them of manufacturing jobs. Almost three-fifths of voters said that trade with other countries was more likely to take away jobs, according to exit polls by Edison Research, and those voters favored Mr. Sanders by a margin of more than 10 points.
There is no question — America’s billionaire-friendly, job-destroying trade policy is toxic — again, literally. That’s why Obama and his bipartisan “free trade” enablers in Congress have to pass TPP, if they can, in post-election lame duck session. TPP is also toxic to political careers, and only lame ducks and the recently-elected can vote for it.
Frank again on Trump:
Last week, I decided to watch several hours of Trump speeches for myself. I saw the man ramble and boast and threaten and even seem to gloat when protesters were ejected from the arenas in which he spoke. I was disgusted by these things, as I have been disgusted by Trump for 20 years. But I also noticed something surprising. In each of the speeches I watched, Trump spent a good part of his time talking about an entirely legitimate issue, one that could even be called left-wing.
Yes, Donald Trump talked about trade. In fact, to judge by how much time he spent talking about it, trade may be his single biggest concern – not white supremacy. Not even his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, the issue that first won him political fame. He did it again during the debate on 3 March: asked about his political excommunication by Mitt Romney, he chose to pivot and talk about … trade.
It seems to obsess him: the destructive free-trade deals our leaders have made, the many companies that have moved their production facilities to other lands, the phone calls he will make to those companies’ CEOs in order to threaten them with steep tariffs unless they move back to the US.
On the subject more generally, Frank adds:
Trade is an issue that polarizes Americans by socio-economic status. To the professional class, which encompasses the vast majority of our media figures, economists, Washington officials and Democratic power brokers, what they call “free trade” is something so obviously good and noble it doesn’t require explanation or inquiry or even thought. Republican and Democratic leaders alike agree on this, and no amount of facts can move them from their Econ 101 dream.
To the remaining 80 or 90% of America, trade means something very different. There’s a video going around on the internet these days that shows a room full of workers at a Carrier air conditioning plant in Indiana being told by an officer of the company that the factory is being moved to Monterrey, Mexico and that they’re all going to lose their jobs.
As I watched it, I thought of all the arguments over trade that we’ve had in this country since the early 1990s, all the sweet words from our economists about the scientifically proven benevolence of free trade, all the ways in which our newspapers mock people who say that treaties like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement allow companies to move jobs to Mexico.
Well, here is a video of a company moving its jobs to Mexico, courtesy of Nafta. This is what it looks like. The Carrier executive talks in that familiar and highly professional HR language about the need to “stay competitive” and “the extremely price-sensitive marketplace.” A worker shouts “Fuck you!” at the executive. The executive asks people to please be quiet so he can “share” his “information”. His information about all of them losing their jobs.
Frank goes to greater length, and again, please click through. But you get the idea. This is what Trump is speaking to, whether he means what he says or not, and this is what his voters are responding to, whether they like his racism or not. After all, haven’t you, at least once, voted for someone with qualities you dislike because of policies you do like?
Whose Fault Is This? Both Parties, But Especially the Democratic Elites
One final point. Frank takes on the issue of responsibility:
Trump’s words articulate the populist backlash against liberalism that has been building slowly for decades … Yet still we cannot bring ourselves to look the thing in the eyes. We cannot admit that we liberals bear some [or most] of the blame for its emergence, for the frustration of the working-class millions, for their blighted cities and their downward spiraling lives. So much easier to scold them for their twisted racist souls, to close our eyes to the obvious reality of which Trump_vs_deep_state is just a crude and ugly expression: that neoliberalism has well and truly failed.
I am certain, if this comes up in a general election debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, she could very likely get her clock cleaned; not certainly, but certainly very likely. First, she can only equivocate, and Trump will have none of it. (Trump: “Let me understand. You were for this before you were against it? So … will you be for it again next year? I’m just trying to understand.”)
Second, this is a change election, Trump is one of only two change candidates in the race, and Clinton is not the other one.
Here’s that Carrier Air Conditioning “we’re moving to Mexico” video that Frank mentioned above. Take a look, but prepare to feel some pain as you watch:
All republican establishment candidates were neocons and die-in-the-wool neoliberals (neoconservative is just a neoliberal with the gun :-). This time this did not play well with Republican voters, who rejected them in favor of Trump. Hillary Clinton is now viewed as successor of Obama, who is the king of "bait and switch" hated by many. Both are closet "moderate Republicans", both are neocons. Actually Hillary is a staunch neocon. There is no war she did not like. May be this is an attempt of overcompensation for being a female, but this is a provable fact.
Especially humiliating was the defeat of Jeb Bush who represented old party establishment. After that the GOP establishment, confronted by an electorate that rejected its platform of interventionalist wars, neoliberal globalization and austerity was forced to bet of Ted Cruz, a man with grassroots strength in key early primary states (via his Tea Party links) but few friends in Washington. A man that they hated. That did not play well iether.
Trump really has chances against Hillary Clinton ( much less against less jingoistic candidate), because Democratic Party switched from New Deal ideology to neoliberalism under Bill Clinton and betrayed working class and large swat of working class (and probably more then 50% of members of unions) and even part of professional class squeezed by globalization. Democrat do no understand that they essentially pushed the voters to support Trump, making his victory to certain extent inevitable. They created Trump. Obama made a word "hope" a cruel joke and that means that people who have nowhere to go in Democratic Party suddenly looked at Trump and decided -- "f*ck" Obama and his successor Hillary. F*ck Democratic Party. I am voting against those bastards -- I'm voting for Trump. Union brass can't control how union members vote. The fact is that blue color workers are increasingly rejecting Democratic Party who became the party of upper professionals and financial oligarchy. They will voting for Trump. Also Obama proved to be weak, decietful president, which futher diminishes Hillary chances. After his very questionable second perm, during which he managed top betray his electorate several times (TPP was the last) to win election for Democrats is uphill battle. That gives Trump a chance. Professor Helmut Norpoth put thisa line of reasoning best in his article My model shows Donald Trump has an 87 percent chance of beating Hillary ClintonNewsday
My advice: Beware of pollsters bearing forecasts, especially anyone trying to peek into the future, especially those with money to bet.
Some 20 years ago, I constructed a formula, The Primary Model, that has predicted the winner of the popular vote in all five presidential elections since it was introduced. It is based on elections dating to 1912. The formula was wrong only once: The 1960 election. That one hurt because John F. Kennedy was my preferred candidate.
The Primary Model consists of two ingredients: The swing of the electoral pendulum, and the outcomes of primaries.
You can see the pendulum work with the naked eye. After two terms in office, the presidential party in power loses more often than not. In fact, over the past 65 years, it managed to win a third term only once. In 1988, President George H.W. Bush extended Ronald Reagan’s presidency by one more term. Reagan made this possible by winning re-election by a bigger margin than when he first got elected. That spells continuity, a desire for more of the same.
President Barack Obama has not left such a legacy for a Democratic successor. He did worse in his re-election victory over Mitt Romney in 2012 than when he beat John McCain in 2008. That spells, “It’s Time for a Change!” The pendulum points to the GOP in 2016, no matter whether the candidate was named Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich or whoever.
Now add the outcomes of presidential primaries. Although some experts claim primary votes have no bearing on general elections, the fact is that primaries prove uncanny in forecasting the winner in November. Take the first election with a significant number of primaries, in 1912. In November that year, Woodrow Wilson, the winner in Democratic primaries, defeated William Howard Taft, the loser in Republican primaries; Taft was renominated since most states then did not use primaries. In general, the party with the stronger primary candidate wins the general election.
This year, Trump has wound up as the stronger of the two presidential nominees. He won many more primaries than did Clinton. In fact, this was apparent as early as early March. Trump handily won the first two primaries, New Hampshire and South Carolina, while Clinton badly lost New Hampshire to Sen. Bernie Sanders before beating him in South Carolina.
The Primary Model predicts that Trump will defeat Clinton with 87 percent certainty. He is the candidate of change. When voters demand change, they are willing to overlook many foibles of the change candidate. At the same time, the candidate who touts experience will get more intense scrutiny for any missteps and suspicions of misconduct of the record of experience.
Trump may be lucky to have picked an election in which change trumps experience and experience may prove to be a mixed blessing.
Helmut Norpoth is the director of undergraduate studies and political science professor at Stony Brook University.
At the same time neoliberals and neocons are still strong. And they have a lot to lose. There is a very powerful neocon strata in Washington DC -- the people who are essentially unregistered lobbyists for military industrial complex. They totally control DNC. So they can resort to dirty tricks.
So they have a position to put a good fight. Moreover, for Hillary personally, losing might well mean getting prison term. And for Obama this turn does not look too promising as well. He has some skeletons in the closet that Hillary will not touch but Trump might. And fear is a powerful motivating factor.
In any case election politics in America is a dirty business. The winners are the ones who play the rigged game best, who have the biggest financial backers, who are willing to do the bidding for those corporate masters. Hillary Clinton is not the peace president. She’s a militarist and hawk and never met a war she didn’t like. So she has full support of militry industrila complex (neocons are just salesmen of this complex; poor reformed Trotskyites losr any decency). Neocons are pushing the memo that Donald Trump is unqualified, Donald Trump is scary, Donald Trump is unstable, Donald Trump is crazy narrative hard. Despite the long list of Donald defects, the American electorate still likes what Trump is selling. The way that the Russia-Trump storyline has been pounded into our consciousness by the media and the Democratic Party, including at the convention in prime time, is a calculated effort to take our eye off the ball and is a classic “shoot the messenger” tactic.
This time there are issues with Hillary Clinton as a prototypical Democratic establishment candidate. She is quintessential neoliberal, like in case of Bill clinton neoliberalism in her veins. She can't change this, even if she want. She is totally brainwashed with neoliberalism, much like some bolshevisks in the past were brainwashed with Communist ideology. Since Bill Clinton such candidates attract Democratic voters because they have nobody else to vote for. Actually this was an idea of sell-out of Democratic Party to Wall Street accomplished by Bill Clinton. But this time is different. Probably half of votes for Sanders in primaries would never vote for Hillary. All she can count on are Republican votes who oppose Trump. But with her emailgate scandal she is losing them. If she lose her security clearness, or worse will face criminal changes for perjury, that will be a knockdown .
Now most Democratic voters understand that she will betrays them like Obama so successfully did during his two terms in the office. And that will happen during the first minute she is in office. So they are more inclined to vote for the third party candidate, such as Jill Stein, or can "write-in" Sanders. There are also three scandals that hurt her chances in November (although MSM tries to downplay them):
"An indictment could have wrecked Clinton’s election hopes and perhaps opened the door for Donald Trump to become president."
I think they got that backwards, An Indictment would destroy Clinton's election hopes, and opened the door for Bernie Sanders to become president.
Its a lot easier for Trump to beat Hillary then Bernie. People actually like him.. Huge advantage over both other opponents.
And the level of hate toward Hillary Clinton reflects the understanding of voters that she, as the establishment candidate, who symbolizes the neoliberal status quo. It's really funny that neoliberal MSM can't play the "corruption" card against Trump: it is extremely difficult to match Clintons in corruption.
Another problem for neoliberal MSM is the Dems elite corruption is much larger than just Clinton, or Debbie Wasserman Schultz. At the heart of the matter is a political party that is undemocratic and corrupt to the core – one that answers only to Wall Street, not middle class or God forbid, working people as any real Democrats should do. It's the second most pro-neoliberal party in the world, after the Republican Party. For all practical purposes is a moderate faction of the Republican Party.
Hillary Clinton stands to the right of Eisenhower Republicans in all major policy areas. Bill Clinton was a staunch neoliberal who "triangulated" (read sold) his presidency to Wall Street and deregulated the economy, empowering the financial oligarchy. He had demolished Aid to Families With Dependent Children and bought into the bash-the-poor rhetoric of the right wing. He had passed a crime bill that targeted people of color; he had destroyed FDR's New Deal legacy, notably by abolishing the Glass-Steagall Act. And he was so "tough on crime" that during the 1992 presidential campaign season, he had gone back to his home state of Arkansas to witness the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, who was "mentally deficient." Bill Clinton might not have inhaled marijuana, but he certainly had inhaled the neoliberal ideology. Hillary is the same, but in addition is a notable, pathological war hawk. Which strangely enough is a feature of all three last female Secretaries of State stating from Madeleine Albright. It would be a huge challenge to find more jingoistic women then this troika. Talk about "unnatural selection" here :-).
In comparison with her Donald Trump looks like a real statesman, who understands that "war is a racket and always was". Obomber bombed 7 countries during his presidency so those who are afraid of Trump as a president should understand that is difficult to match Obomber record. As Jill Stain said
"Trump says very scary things—deporting immigrants, massive militarism and, you know, ignoring the climate," Stein explained on Democracy Now. "Well, Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things. Hillary has supported the deportations of immigrants, opposed the refugees—women and children coming from Honduras, whose refugee crisis she was very much responsible for by giving a thumbs-up to this corporate coup in Honduras that has created the violence from which those refugees are fleeing. She basically said, 'No, bar the gates, send them back.' You know, so we see these draconian things that Donald Trump is talking about, we actually see Hillary Clinton doing."
Stein also brought up Clinton's militarism. "And it's not only the militarism that Trump talks about, it's Hillary's massive record of militarism," she continued. Obama made the mistake of intervening in Libya, but in a recent interview with The Atlantic, he admitted, "It didn't work," and "Libya is a mess." Clinton, however, has never expressed second thoughts. (Why Is Hillary Clinton Still a Hawk - Reason.com )
During his recent visit to Chicago, I asked Landler about her ability to confront the possibility she was wrong.
"I don't find the same evidence of a learning curve with her," he said. "I would have liked to see a little more introspection from her on that, because I think that's the key case where she led the charge, it didn't go the way they hoped it would and there are some really important lessons to be drawn."
In that instance, she apparently didn't learn from our failed military intervention. If she becomes president, I'm guessing, she'll get another chance.
We should try our best not be victims of neoliberal MSM propaganda campaign aimed to discourage voting for Trump and for the third party.
No matter how Democratic Party loyalists try to spin it, the blame for a Trump win will fall on the corrupt Democratic Party establishment. It is no accident that the vast majority of Super-delegates have steadfastly stood by Hillary, warts and all.
After all, it’s difficult to trust a politician who completely fabricated a story about being fired upon by snipers. Like POLITIFACT states, “it’s hard to understand how she could err on something so significant as whether she did or didn’t dodge sniper bullets.”
Attempts to lure Sanders supporters71% of men and 64% of women find Clinton “not honest and trustworthy.”
Most Sanders supporters approve foreign policy program of Donald Trump (non interventionism) and agree of some issues of domestic policy (job creation, the necessicy to limit transnationals corporation and treaties like TPP that Obama pushes so hard).
Trump brilliantly played the betrayal of Bernie Sunders of his supporters with just a single sweet, which is worth a dozen of prime time commercials: Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs
Trump also tried to lure former Sanders backers during his address to the GOP convention, emphasizing
his anti-establishment stance and his questioning of free trade deals. that can sure some Democrats
who are unhappy with Clinton and, especially, Kaine, a staunch supporter of neoliberal globalization
who is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
"The Bernie Sanders supporters are furious with the choice of Tim Kaine, who represents the opposite of what Bernie stands for," Trump tweeted. "Tim Kaine is, and always has been, owned by the banks," he wrote, taunting, "Philly fight?"