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CIA Democrats

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The lesser evil is still evil.

If we assume the existence of powerful and uncontrollable by civil administration intelligence agencies is a grave threat to the democracy even in its most curtained form (legitimization of on one of two pre-selected and pre-approved by oligarchy candidates) practiced on the USA, then the problem with former CIA and other intelligence operative who became politicians is the level of connection to this former employee.

And please remember that CIA control large swats of major MSM and top journalists, which means that CIA brass is an influential political force, kind of inner party described in famous Orwell novel 1984.

In the USA history two presidents were deposed by CIA (JFK and Nixon) and least three presidents were closely connected to CIA

Which create unease about influence of CIA on policies they pursued while in office.

The CIA Democrats Part one - World Socialist Web Site

Introduction

By Patrick Martin
7 March 2018

PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE

An extraordinary number of former intelligence and military operatives from the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Council and State Department are seeking nomination as Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. The potential influx of military-intelligence personnel into the legislature has no precedent in US political history.

If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress. They will hold the balance of power in the lower chamber of Congress.

Both push and pull are at work here. Democratic Party leaders are actively recruiting candidates with a military or intelligence background for competitive seats where there is the best chance of ousting an incumbent Republican or filling a vacancy, frequently clearing the field for a favored “star” recruit.

A case in point is Elissa Slotkin, a former CIA operative with three tours in Iraq, who worked as Iraq director for the National Security Council in the Obama White House and as a top aide to John Negroponte, the first director of national intelligence. After her deep involvement in US war crimes in Iraq, Slotkin moved to the Pentagon, where, as a principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, her areas of responsibility included drone warfare, “homeland defense” and cyber warfare

CIA Banking On Trump Loss to Keep Russiagate Docs Hidden - RealClearPolitics

CIA Director Gina Haspel is hoping Trump loses his re-election bid so she can run out the clock on Russiagate document declassifications, multiple intelligence community officials told The Federalist.

Intel Sources- Haspel Banking On Trump Loss To Keep Russiagate Docs Hidden

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Gina Haspel is personally blocking the declassification and release of key Russiagate documents in the hopes that President Donald Trump will lose his re-election bid, multiple senior U.S. officials told The Federalist. The officials said Haspel, who served under former CIA Director John Brennan as the spy agency’s station chief in London in 2016 and 2017, is concerned that the declassification and release of documents detailing what the CIA was doing during the 2016 election and the 2017 transition could embarrass the CIA and potentially even implicate Haspel herself.

“Haspel and [FBI Director Christopher] Wray both want Trump to lose, because it’s the only chance they have of keeping their jobs,” one senior intelligence official told The Federalist. “They’re banking on Biden winning and keeping them where they are.”

The Federalist first reported last week that Haspel had emerged as the primary roadblock to declassification of materials showing that the U.S. intelligence community knew prior to the 2016 election that the allegations that Trump colluded with Russia were themselves the products of Russian disinformation. Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released a declassified summary last week that disclosed that Russian intelligence officials were aware that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had planned to smear Trump as a treasonous Russian asset to distract from the Clinton’s e-mail scandal. As part of her operation, Clinton hired a foreign agent who was himself working for a sanctioned Russian oligarch to spread unverified smears against Trump. One of the key sources of collusion allegations peddled by that foreign agent via the now-infamous Steele dossier was suspected by FBI authorities of being a Russian spy.

“It’s far more important for Haspel to block any embarrassment of herself or her agency than to have full transparency and accountability,” another senior intelligence official told The Federalist. “She’s just hoping she can get past the election so the documents will never come out.”

“This is not a source protection issue, it’s an embarrassment issue,” the intelligence official added.

Officials also accused Haspel of repeatedly lying to the White House about the status of documents that are in the pipeline for declassification and release. These officials said that Haspel has consistently provided baseless excuses for her failure to produce certain documents, falsely claiming that she can’t physically locate documents, or that her agency doesn’t technically own them and therefore cannot release them.

“Haspel has repeatedly lied to the president about the status of documents to be declassified,” one intelligence community source said. “She will claim they don’t know where they are, or which agency technically owns them, and then we’ll find out she had them the entire time and just didn’t want them to see the light of day.”

“The frustration with Haspel is reaching nuclear levels,” one official said, noting that White House and top U.S. intelligence community officials have been taken aback by the ferocity of Haspel’s refusal to release documents.

The Federalist reached out to the CIA Public Affairs office for comment, but did not receive a response prior to publication.

Sean Davis is the co-founder of The Federalist.

 


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Old News ;-)

[May 09, 2021] The CIA from its inception it has recruited an unusual number of closeted homosexuals

May 09, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

EoinW , May 5 2021 15:38 utc | 25

BrainRinsed | May 5 2021 15:20 utc | 15

Was it silly of us to think the Woke revolutionaires would get enough "bang for their buck" with trannie washrooms? Despite winning every battle in the culture war, the Looney Left is never satisfied. What's scary is the latest front they've opened: the Covid reformation of western society.

They won't have trouble finding 21st century Jews to de-humanize. Just label someone a Covid Denier or Anti Vaxxer and anything will go!

A nice sentiment to think the Woke cancer can rot the CIA or US military. Afraid we've got bigger problems than that.


William Gruff , May 5 2021 18:13 utc | 65

The CIA is not "testosterone saturated" . Quite the opposite. From its inception it has recruited an unusual number of closeted homosexuals. This somewhat makes sense in that a gay who is in the closet, particularly the less LGBTQWERTY-friendly culture of the 1950s that the CIA arose in, will already have experience being being less than forthright with their intentions. Such individuals can also be blackmailed more easily should their employer find the need.

While things have changed in American society and being outed as gay is no longer the social death sentence that it used to be, the gayness had already established itself as part of the internal culture of The Company and so it persists.

Do not equate a psychotic enthusiasm for harming others with testosterone. They are not a bunch of Rambos; more like a gang of Norman Bates.

corvo , May 5 2021 18:23 utc | 70

William Gruff @65:

Testosterone level has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Psychiatry tried dosing male homosexuals with testosterone in the 1950s and 1960s to make them "manly"; this served only to increase their (homosexual) sex drive and, not surprisingly, their aggressiveness. Similarly, there's no correlation between where one lies on the Kinsey scale and one's testosterone leve .

Your description of the CIA's use of homosexual agents during that time period, however, is spot on. One might add that the CIA (and other agencies; just consider the kind of character who ran the FBI at the time) may have valued the kind of talent for duplicity and secrecy that the homosexually-inclined had to nurture from an early age.

William Gruff , May 5 2021 14:50 utc | 5

"Generalized anxiety disorder" is what people who have a poor working relationship with reality often suffer from. The anxiety arises from the divergence of what they believe the world to be from what they perceive about the world with their senses. It is a permanent state of cognitive dissonance. The "woke" believe that the cure for this disorder is to create "safe spaces" where exposure to elements of the real world that trigger the cognitive dissonance can be banned and cancelled. It is an undeclared goal of the "woke" to extend these "safe space" reality exclusion zones to encompass the entire planet.

Naturally, that goal is only attainable within the fantasy spaces of the "woke" reality exclusion zones themselves, and those zones can only exist due to the pity and forbearance of the rest of the population. Currently the reality exclusion zones only encompass educational establishments (primary and secondary schools; university campuses), some government agencies, and some non-industrial workplaces (mass media, marketing, other strictly white collar enterprises).

Remember the "Havana Syndrome" , where CIA spooks under diplomatic cover at various US embassies, but mainly the one in Cuba, developed psychogenic illnesses because they were convinced that they were being zapped by Soviet mind rays? This is the result of taking individuals who already suffer from emotional and psychological damage like the cisgender millennial in the linked CIA advertisement and placing them in postings where they are absolutely convinced that they are completely surrounded by hostile enemies. Their delusion and paranoia feed off each other. Then, for the first time they hear crickets unlike anything they ever experienced in their gated, manicured, bug-sprayed northern Virginia wealthy suburbs and their already fractured mind shatters the rest of the way.

When you recall that the CIA is the "Mighty Wurlitzer" ; the conductor of the orchestra of mass media narratives, it becomes clear why outfits like the New York Langley Times, the Washington Bezos Post, the C IA N ews N etwork and such have been going off the rails with their absurd narratives these last several years.

Et Tu , May 5 2021 14:58 utc | 10

Yeah, that has to be one of the most hare brained Psyop fails ever. The US is a world leader alright, in mental retardation and lack of self awareness.

Identity politics and wokeness meets imperialism. Makes you wonder how much longer they can unironically continue calling themselves 'intelligence' agencies.

Consistent with other brilliant 'Born in the USA', ideologically spawned own goals, like bank deregulation, privatising the military, legalising bribes in politics, incentivising every idiot to own a gun, de-industrialising and outsourcing production in China, and the inevitable coup de grace in waiting, leveraging the Dollar's status as reserve currency to impose sanctions... because... exceptionalism and indispensability are just eternal, universally accepted virtues apparently.

If learning from mistakes makes us wiser, one can expect more than a few Buddhas of sorts to emerge from the US in a generation or 3. Would not want to be there in the time between though, it's bound to be a rough ride.

jared , May 5 2021 15:20 utc | 16

Being juvenile, insane, self-obsensed
would not preclude them from being dangerous.

Really, on the whole and in various ways, the CIA acts against american interests.
But certainly in the interest of some.

Empire of Perfidious Albion.

vk , May 5 2021 15:28 utc | 18

Contrary to what recent history might suggest, the CIA was founded by, and has always served as the upper-middle-class/bourgeois center-left bastion within the USG. During the Cold War, it was probably the main employer of Yale graduates, specially from the Literature bachelor. A running joke during the Cold War was that the CIA was the the world's highest concentration of failed writers.

The reason for that is very simple: its predecessor - the OSS - organically evolved during WWII as the repository for the sons of the Northeastern elite who wanted to experience the thrills of war without incurring the risk of death. By the time WWII ended, the OSS was essentially an Ivy League fraternity.

Seward , May 5 2021 15:37 utc | 24

I worked there 10 fiscal years as a computer-systems contractor, 20 years ago. Interacted with a lot of Government types. Seemed to me a huge bureaucracy, then, drowning in paperwork. Surprised if the whole place ever got anything done.

One oddity: people that went overseas, called DO then, absolutely mission critical, who often used initials for last names (worked with a "Steven P." once), got shafted for promotions when abroad: out of sight, out of mind. Often paired in offices back here, below the grade required for individual offices. Reputed to live high on the hog when away, but not back home.

[Nov 07, 2020] If they can do the three year long Russia-gate conspiracy, they can certainly do a three day long vote conspiracy.

Highly recommended!
Nov 07, 2020 | www.unz.com

Athletic and Whitesplosive , says: Next New Comment November 7, 2020 at 6:20 pm GMT • 14 minutes ago

@Anatoly Karlin ps would rather have more influence in governing than less, but they aren't particularly troubled by dem victory (principled defeat forms a big part of their rhetoric and the basis of many rep careers). Both the senior and junior members of the ruling class would truly like to see Trump gone, the faction that Trump represents is a very small minority in American government, without much institutional influence. And in this election in particular they made out like bandits, flipped a lot of seats to their side, and got rid of the primary opponent of principled cuckservatism, win-win! Seems to me when the defense and the prosecution both want the same thing, arguments in favor of a "fair" process should be viewed with extreme suspicion.
Bill Jones , says: November 7, 2020 at 6:20 pm GMT • 14 minutes ago

But to have large scale fraud, you need a conspiracy, which is hard because leakage is possible

Grow up.
If they can do the three year long Russia-gate conspiracy, they can certainly do a three day long vote conspiracy.

[Nov 03, 2020] Elections as a continuation of color revolution run by intelligence agencies against Trump

Notable quotes:
"... It is almost as if the Deep State vampire squid would prefer to bring the Republic that threatens it to 3rd world status in order to protect the oligarchy. ..."
"... Cheating has always happened in elections, by both sides. 2016 was unprecedented in the use of the intelligence agencies to thwart the Constitution. This election cycle the MSM has shown itself for what it is with it's large scale censorship and blackouts - totalitarian. Cheating has always happened in elections but this 2020 election cycle the Democrats will take cheating to another level - to the STRATOSPHERE. ..."
Nov 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Paul Damascene , Nov 3 2020 20:13 utc | 52

It is almost as if the Deep State vampire squid would prefer to bring the Republic that threatens it to 3rd world status in order to protect the oligarchy.


Down South , Nov 3 2020 19:43 utc | 43

Trump is going to win it. They only question is by how much.

The cities are not boarding up because they expect Trump to lose. They're boarding up because the left will not accept a Trump win under ANY circumstance.

Hillary Clinton has urged Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to "not concede under any circumstances," in November's presidential election, as she believes the results are "going to drag out," because of mail-in voting.

https://www.google.co.za/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-election/hillary-clinton-joe-biden-donald-trump-us-election-2020-a9688361.html%3famp


Rutherford82 , Nov 3 2020 20:14 utc | 53

@32 EoinW

Voting in the U.S. is manipulated at all levels. Fortunately the results probably don't matter due to the financial stranglehold on politics so, except for the those employed by the political candidates, it isn't worth losing sleep over. But if there was a functional government in place then it would be a big deal.

The truth is that the facade of the Democrats is falling while the Republican brand has not changed very much in a long time. Democratic support is an all time low and it is getting harder and harder to spin that brand to a society which is not stupid enough to believe everything anymore, especially in the face of two consecutive Presidential elections rife with internal DNC corruption.

The donors really just want the electorate divided, so any real vote manipulation is inconsequential in the scheme of things if all policy trends in the direction of finance and that sort of thing.

I predict you will see more scandal and spectacle over elections on television and every issue will have its emotional appeal magnified to try and bolster support for a feckless Left, while policy continues to feel like it was written by Count Dracula. Ultimately, violence will be stoked by news media in this subtle way until the "violent left" is used as an excuse to enact law and order policies aimed at shutting down protests of all types.

William Gruff , Nov 3 2020 21:02 utc | 71

JohnH @65

In 2016 the establishment knew their pick was going to win by a landslide. They had absolute certainty, so why bother with the extra work of cooking the tallies? After all, how could many of the American people possibly vote for the joke candidate who was reveling in playing the part of the Great Orange Ogre? It was inconceivable.

I am sure the establishment does have its contingency plans activated this time, but things are a little different now. Real discussions of election fraud (as opposed to voter fraud) were far outside the Overton Window back in 2016. Now the risk has been raised by the establishment itself, validating the possibility of widespread election tampering and making it part of the national discourse. Suspicions and evidence of tampering will be impossible to dismiss as "conspiracy theory" , so the establishment's freedom of action has been significantly constrained by their own accusations against Trump. As a consequence, they may be hesitant to doctor the vote counts as much as they would like.

dee , Nov 3 2020 21:05 utc | 72
Really funny to see people peddling their favorite pronostics on the eve of being probably proven dead wrong ...
winston2 , Nov 3 2020 21:06 utc | 73
70 He has been under their control from the chocolate cake surprise murder of that 24 year old Syrian radar
tech,no going back once you become a member of the war criminals club.
teri , Nov 3 2020 21:10 utc | 74
Wait, so Trump is the one who is sending armed poll watchers out to the states, stopping the post office mailings, already suing in court for ballots to be tossed out, actively telling supporters that any votes not counted by 8 pm tonight are invalid, telling his followers that Democrats are such "socialists and communists" that they are enemies of the state, and he is the one talking about having all his political opponents (and some of his own administration) arrested right after the election, but somehow it is the spineless Democrats who allow all this shit to go on without much complaint that are the ones trying to instigate a color revolution in the US.

Everyone is completely gonzo, inside out and upside down. And now even MoA.

William Gruff , Nov 3 2020 21:18 utc | 75
teri @74: "Russia! Russia! Russia!"

Come on, fess up, you've been chanting that for the last four years. Don't lie and say it ain't so.

The Dims have been gonzo since they turned on their TVs on the morning of November 9, 2016 to see how much Clinton had won by. They lost their minds then and have not yet found them again.

Paul Damascene , Nov 3 2020 21:19 utc | 76
Karlof1 @59
Thanks for giving this some thought.
Saracen's head , Nov 3 2020 21:29 utc | 77
It's very one sided to focus on Biden team's color revolution while denying Trump's. Both of them are evident. But, since media attention on Trump's had been overwhelming and quite muted on Biden's, let's count this as a venial sin...
Where this post is right is that it is the after struggle that matters. How far it goes and the damage it inflict on US' standing and power will reverberate everywhere.

In the end someone (not necessarily Trump or Biden) will win and will have to patch up this country on the rubble of the coming disaster. The question of how to reunite the USA after that, on what basis, for what purpose. For instance, during the election season, a lot of commentators argued that opposition to China was the only common ground in foreign policy.
China's patience at political, economic and tech attacks by the US is running to its end. The next "leader of the free world" will most likely have a very narrow window of opportunity to bring the relationship back to normalcy before China retaliates.

Old and Grumpy , Nov 3 2020 21:29 utc | 78
Democrats are so cute. First you had your divisive resistance in 2016, but the divisiveness wasn't your fault. Then you moved on to Russia, Russia, Russia. I get the Clinton machine and bipartisan cronies had unfinished business in the raping of post Soviet Russia. Damn that Putin for demanding legitimate tax payment. I always thought you guys loved taxing the rich. Guess not, but the bigger question are you getting any kickback from the global predatory crony system? Probably not. Now it is Trump won't leave. He will. Trump will suppress the vote. No he wants a big turnout. Here in PA our dear AG Josh Shapiro has said a couple days ago that Biden has the early votes to win the state. Kinda sounds like Josh plans on suppressing election day voting...no? Why can't you just win the vote with your positions? Why can't you accept when people don't like your positions? More importantly when did you decide to hate working class people, especially the white ones? They use to be your base. Everyone please stay safe from the deep state's planned insanity.
Paco , Nov 3 2020 21:38 utc | 79
Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 3 2020 21:02 utc | 71

High time to send observers, otherwise the international community shall not recognize the legitimacy of the results.... A US Guaidó is needed, then the MSM can tell the world that over fifty countries call him president,

JohnH , Nov 3 2020 21:38 utc | 80
Gruff@71: The problem is that you have a perfect situation: undercover services and a secret activity with no auditing possible in many cases. I'm sure that the intelligence services understand full well what the margin of error is, and know how to work within it in the places where it can tip the balance.

Heck, they might even be the secret owners of many of these voting machine manufacturers.

In addition, we know that some intelligence services went for Hillary in 2016–former CIA Director Mike Morrell helped kick off RussiaGate with an op-Ed in 2016. CIA Director John Brennan led the interagency charge against Trump's unproven collusion. Now Trump has vowed to make a lot of heads roll if he wins.

Lots of motivation and lots of secret tools, along with a perfect opportunity...

EoinW , Nov 3 2020 23:18 utc | 101

Old and Grumpy @ 78

They don't have any positions! They are the Democratic Party, therefore entitled to rule America forever. What support they have is from the Looney Left who, spoiled by winning every issue in the culture war, will throw a temper tantrum any time they don't get their way. Because they get there way practically all the time, they freak out if you just look at them the wrong way. No wonder we've had a 4 year meltdown since Trump appeared on the scene. And they'll double down on their hissy fit as we begin another 4 years.

Funny, I used to be left leaning. Certainly could find common ground with Liberals on many issues. Now all you get from the activists and the left wing media is a monotonous virtual signal.

librul , Nov 3 2020 23:25 utc | 103

Cheating has always happened in elections, by both sides. 2016 was unprecedented in the use of the intelligence agencies to thwart the Constitution. This election cycle the MSM has shown itself for what it is with it's large scale censorship and blackouts - totalitarian. Cheating has always happened in elections but this 2020 election cycle the Democrats will take cheating to another level - to the STRATOSPHERE.

Trump and his people saw it coming and so made attempts to thwart the NEW BEFORE SEEN OUTRAGEOUSLY MASSIVE cheating by Democrats and their allies.

Some see Trump's efforts as "distorting the electoral process" - what a laugh!!

WHAT A LAUGH !!!

[Oct 21, 2020] This Is Not A Russian Hoax 'Nonpublic Information' Debunks Letter From '50 Former Intel Officials'

Highly recommended!
Is this 50 former Intel officials or 50 former national security parasites? Real Intel officials should keep quite after retirement. National security parasites go to politics and lobbying. One telling sign that a particular parson is a "national security parasite" is his desire to play "Russian card"
From comments: "Did the 50 former intelligence officials find the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction yet?"
Oct 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
"This Is Not A Russian Hoax": 'Nonpublic Information' Debunks Letter From '50 Former Intel Officials'

by Tyler Durden Tue, 10/20/2020 - 08:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Hours before Politico reported the existence of a letter signed by '50 former senior intelligence officials' who say the Hunter Biden laptop scandal "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation" - providing "no new evidence," while they remain "deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case," Tucker Carlson obliterated their (literal) conspiracy theory .

According to the Fox News host, he's seen 'nonpublic information that proves it was Hunter's laptop ,' adding " No one but Hunter could've known about or replicated this information ."

" This is not a Russian hoax. We are not speculating ."

Watch:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1317255675320348673&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fnot-russian-hoax-tucker-carlson-has-seen-nonpublic-information-proving-laptop-was-hunter&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

TUCKER: "This afternoon, we received nonpublic information that proves it was Hunter's laptop. No one but Hunter could've known about or replicated this information. This is not a Russian hoax. We are not speculating." pic.twitter.com/cl2ktdmdVc

-- August Takala (@AugustTakala) October 17, 2020

Meanwhile, the Delaware computer repair shop owner who believes Hunter dropped off three MacBook Pros for data recovery has a signed work order bearing Hunter's signature . When compared to the signature on a document in his paternity suit, while one looks more formal than the other, they are a match.

Going back to the '50 former senior intelligence officials' and their latest Russia fixation, one has to wonder - do they think Putin was able to compromise Biden's former business associate , Bevan Cooney, who gave investigative journalist Peter Schweizer his gmail password - revealing that Hunter and his partners were engaged in an influence-peddling operation for rich Chinese who wanted access to the Obama administration?

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

Did Putin further hack Joe Biden in 2011 to make him take a meeting with a Chinese delegation with ties to the CCP - arranged by Hunter's group, two years they secured a massive investment of Chinese money?

The implications boggle the mind.

Here's the clarifying sentences from the '50 former senior intelligence officials' that exposes the utter farce of it all:

While the letter's signatories presented no new evidence , they said their national security experience had made them "deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case" and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin's hand at work.

"If we are right," they added, "this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this."

It would appear these former intel officials are not aware of the current intel official views, confirmed by DNI Ratcliffe yesterday that:

"Hunter Biden's laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign."

And then there's the fact that no one from the Biden campaign has yet to deny any of the 'facts' in the emails. lay_arrow jin187 , 2 hours ago

Totally ridiculous. This ******** beating around the bush for both sides pisses me off. Dump all the laptop contents on Wikileaks if it's real. Let the people sort it out. If you say it's not real, prove it. If Biden wants me to believe it's not real, then stand behind a podium, and say clear as day into a pile of cameras that's it's all a forgery, and that you've done nothing wrong.

Instead we have Giuliani swearing he has a smoking gun, but as far as I can tell he's just pointing his finger underneath his shirt. Biden on the other hand, keep using weasel words to imply it's fake, but never denies it outright. It's almost like he's trying to hedge his bet that no one will manage to prove it's real before he gets into office, and makes it disappear.

Roacheforque , 7 hours ago

To play the "Russian Card" yet again should be beyond embarrassing. An insult to the intelligence of anyone with an IQ over 80. And so it's harmful to the left wingnut derangeables. Like Assad's chemical weapons and Saddam's WMDs, it is now code for pure ********. Not even code, just more like a signal.

A signal that say's "guilty as charged - we got nothin' but lies and BS over here".

East Indian , 4 hours ago

An insult to the intelligence of anyone with an IQ over 80.

They know their supporters wont find this insulting.

Kayman , 4 hours ago

@vulvishka.

538 ? North Korea has better propaganda.

Don't forget to go all in, like you did with Hillary.

Antedeluvian , 2 hours ago

Unfortunately, some very bright people are sucked into the conspiracy theory. I know one. Very bright lawyer. She says, "I still think there is substantive evidence of Russian collusion." I can point to a sky criss-crossed with chemtrails (when you see these "contrails" crossing at the same altitude, this is one sure clue these are not from regular passenger jet traffic) and she refuses to look up. She KNOWS I am an idiot (a PhD scientist idiot at that) because I get news and analysis on the web from sites that just want to sell me tee shirts and coffee mugs (well, she is partly right there!) whereas she gets her news from MSNBC, a venerable and trustworthy news source.

4DegreesOfSeparation , 6 hours ago

More Than 50 Former Intel Officials Say Hunter Biden Smear Smells Like Russia

"If we are right," the group wrote in a letter, "this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote."

DescendantofthePatriots , 7 hours ago

That ****, James Clapper, signed his name at the top of this list.

Known liar, saboteur, and sneak.

The cognitive dissonance in our country is astounding. The fact that they would take these people's opinion over hard fact is astounding.

No wonder why we're sliding down the steep, slippery slope.

strych10 , 8 hours ago

So... let me get this straight.

50, that's 10 times five, fifty former intelligence officials are going with a convoluted narrative about a ludicrously complicated Russian Intelligence disinformation campaign involving planted laptops and at least half a dozen patsies when the two words "crack cocaine" explain the entire thing?

I'm not sure what's more terrifying; That these people think everyone else is dumb enough to believe this or that they're actually retired intelligence officials ​​​​​​.

Who the actual **** is running this ****show? The bastard child of Barney Fife and Inspector Clouseau?

Seriously, "Pink Panther Disinformation Operation" is more believable at this point.

Someone Else , 9 hours ago

This needs to get out, because a FAVORITE method of the Deep State, Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) is to parade some sort of a stupid letter with a bunch of signature hoping to look impressive but that really don't mean a damn thing.

Notre Dame graduates against the Supreme Court nominee, Intelligence agents alleging collusion, former State Department operatives against Trump. Its grandstanding that has been overdone.

moneybots , 8 hours ago

The letter by 50 former intelligence officials is itself, disinformation.

otschelnik , 8 hours ago

Remember when Weiner's attorney turned over Huma's home laptop to SDNY/FBI with all of Shillary's emails, and the FBI sat on it for a month and then Comey deep sixed them without even looking at them?

So now the FBI subpeona'd Hunter's laptop and burried it? Deja vu all over again.

enough of this , 8 hours ago

The FBI and DOJ constantly hide behind self-serving excuses to refuse the release of documents and, when forced to do so, they release heavily redacted files. They offer up the usual pretexts to fend off public disclosure such as: the information you seek cannot be disclosed because it involves an ongoing investigation, or the information you seek involves national security, or our methods and sources will be jeopardized if the information you seek is divulged to the public. But it seems the ones who would be most harmed by public disclosure are the corrupt FBI and DOJ officials themselves

Cobra Commander , 7 hours ago

A short 4 years ago the FBI and CIA were all concerned about "Kompromat" the Ruskies might have on Candidate Trump; concerned enough to spy on his campaign and open a counter-intelligence operation.

There are troves of Kompromat material, actual emails and video, on Joe, Hunter, and the whole Biden family; not made-up DNC-funded dossiers claiming a Russian consulate in Miami.

Now when it's Candidate Biden, everyone be all like, "Meh."

Cobra!

The Fonz...before shark jump , 5 hours ago

we gotta listen to the 50 former intelligence agents...you know the ones that had lone superpower status in the early 90s and then pissed it all away with 9/11 and infinity wars in middle east hahahahah ok buddy lol... histories D students....

Occams_Razor_Trader_Part_Deux , 7 hours ago

Signed by James Clapper and John Brennan;

You mean, the 2 Bozos who under the threat of perjury said there was NO evidence of Russian Collusion and the Trump campaign................. and 2 hours later called Trump 'Putin's puppet' on CNN.............

[Aug 27, 2020] Awan Brothers Helped Schultz Threaten Election Fraud Lawyers

Jul 30, 2017 | newspunch.com
July 30, 2017 Sean Adl-Tabatabai News

https://newspunch.com/awan-brothers-wasserman-schultz-threats/

The Awan Brothers aided former DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz in making threatening voice modulated phone calls to attorneys suing the DNC for election fraud.

Lt. Colonel Tony Schaffer told Fox News that Schultz ordered the Awan Brothers to scare off the lawyers due to the threat they pose in exposing widespread election fraud committed by the Democratic Party in 2016.

Disobedientmedia.com reports: If substantiated, the claims may have significance for the DNC fraud lawsuit proceedings, and add to the growing controversy surrounding the recent arrest of Imran Awan on bank fraud charges.

Jared Beck, and attorney litigating the DNC Fraud Lawsuit noted on Twitter :

[Aug 12, 2020] The Rhodes Scholars provide a talent pool for the single organisation that oversees the CIA, Mossad and British Intelligence:

Aug 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Arch Bungle , Aug 11 2020 17:36 utc | 95

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 11 2020 16:57 utc | 92

Almost certainly, at least at one time, the scholarship was meant to come first.


The Rhodes Scholars provide a talent pool for the single organisation that oversees the CIA, Mossad and British Intelligence:

A clumsy grab from James Corbett's excellent documentary `The WW1 Conspiracy` https://www.corbettreport.com/wwi/ provides the entrance to a rabbit hole ...


Gerry Docherty, WWI scholar and co-author of Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War.

DOCHERTY: Rhodes had the money and he had the contacts. He was a great Rothschild man and his mining wealth was literally uncountable. He wanted to associate himself with Oxford because Oxford gave him the kudos of the university of knowledge, of that kind of power.

And in fact that was centered in a very secretive place called "All Souls College." Still you'll find many references to All Souls College and "people behind the curtain" and such phrases [as] "power behind thrones." Rhodes was centrally important in actually putting money up in order to begin to gather together like-minded people of great influence.

Rhodes was not shy about his ambitions, and his intentions to form such a group were known to many. Throughout his short life, Rhodes discussed his intentions openly with many of his associates, who, unsurprisingly, happened to be among the most influential figures in British society at that time.

More remarkably, this secret society -- which was to wield its power behind the throne -- was not a secret at all. The New York Times even published an article discussing the founding of the group in the April 9, 1902, edition of the paper, shortly after Rhodes' death.

The article, headlined "Mr. Rhodes's Ideal of Anglo-Saxon Greatness" and carrying the remarkable sub-head "He Believed a Wealthy Secret Society Should Work to Secure the World's Peace and a British-American Federation," summarized this sensational plan by noting that Rhodes' "idea for the development of the English-speaking race was the foundation of 'a society copied, as to organization, from the Jesuits.'" Noting that his vision involved uniting "the United States Assembly and our House of Commons to achieve 'the peace of the world,'" the article quotes Rhodes as saying: "The only thing feasible to carry out this idea is a secret society gradually absorbing the wealth of the world."


c1ue , Aug 11 2020 23:35 utc | 108

@William Gruff #93
Perhaps you can highlight how a youthful Bill Clinton and/or Kris Kristofferson are prime future material for the intel agencies.
In reality, the IS intel agencies recruit primarily from certain Ivy League universities.
Or is this all a ploy for the CIA to control country music?
It is far more likely that Bill was a Rhodes scholar because of him having clerked for Fulbright- the US Senator who later created the Fulbright scholarships.
In any case, the burden of proof is always on the person making the extreme; strong statement.
As for Kristofferson: his father was a US Air Force major general.
Seems much more a tool of England building influence with existing and possible future Americans than any crystal ball intel agency recruitment.

chu teh , Aug 12 2020 5:28 utc | 124

Karlof1 , et al

Here's a mention of allegedly why WJClinton left Oxford [did not graduate]
https://medium.com/@the_war_economy/spygate-part-11-stefan-halper-477f2a723dc7

There are other mentions [e.g. Snopes], but never any evidence beyond "a 19-yr old name of Eileen Wellstone"...so it just hangs isolated in the air.

[Aug 09, 2020] Do some research and you will find Hilary and her husband worked for Pappy Bush

Apr 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

From comments to Trump Campaign Time To Go After 'Liars' Who Started Witch Hunt Zero Hedge

stephysat28 , 8 hours ago link

Do some research it becomes clear quickly what the real story is. Hillary and her bunch stink to high heaven and have or YEARS. Started with her and husband. They sold this country o or personal gain.Just search a little and make sure to use factual information. It is there for anyone to find.

oddjob , 8 hours ago link

Do some research and you will find Hilary and her husband worked for Pappy Bush

[Aug 09, 2020] The Mellon Foundation Goes All In for Social Justice by Micah Mattix

Notable quotes:
"... The Mellon Foundation's move towards social justice isn't surprising, but it is political, whatever Alexander may say, in its narrow conception of "the world of man," as Stegner put it, and its decision to support works for their utility alone is based on the misconception that art's primary function is to "change" people. People may change after reading certain works, and, as Seneca said, the arts may "prepare the soul for the reception of virtue," but they cannot make people virtuous -- and even that preparatory work is of secondary value. ..."
"... In other news: A group of writers published an open letter in Harper's condemning our cancel culture and calling for more openness to the "free exchange of information and ideas." It was immediately condemned as "fatuous, self-important drivel." ..."
Jul 08, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
MICAH MATTIX

How long will it be before praising a work of art for its aesthetic excellence alone is considered a revolutionary act? Nearly every literary prize now takes into consideration the race and politics of authors when naming shortlists and winners. When they don't, they get into trouble. More and more, what matters when it comes to literature today is the "utility" of a work -- defined, of course, in a very narrow way -- not its excellence, as if the utility of a work of art isn't found precisely in its excellence.

This is how Wallace Stegner put it in "One Way to Spell Man": "It would be idiotic to defend the arts for pseudoscientific or pragmatic reasons, for any 'usefullness' as 'communication' or 'therapy' or anything else that they may incidentally have. They are indispensable precisely because they are expressions of truth, a way of understanding, at the deepest level, the world of man."

The poet Elizabeth Alexander should read more Stegner. It was announced last week that the Mellon Foundation, of which Alexander is president, would only support projects that advance social justice:

"An increased focus on just communities comes at a moment in which a national spotlight is shining on widespread -- and longstanding -- social and racial injustice. The new mission notes that the Foundation's focus will be on building 'just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking where ideas and imagination can thrive' and animated by a belief that 'the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity.'"

Alexander said in an interview that there wouldn't be "a penny that is going out the door that is not contributing to a more fair, more just, more beautiful society." How they are going to decide which projects contribute in this way is unclear. When asked if the focus on social justice is politicizing the largest supporter of arts and humanities in America, Alexander said that social justice "isn't political any more than social injustice is political." So, when Mellon gave The Justice Collaboratory at Yale (you see how supporting "underrepresented" artists works) a $5.25 million grant for its Million Book Project, it wasn't making a political statement regarding the "cruel and unjust reality of the American penal system" or the "systemic inequities in our conception and application of the law" (my emphasis). It was just supporting an organization committed to truth. Alexander told Len Gutkin at The Chronicle of Higher Education : "It is mischaracterizing it to say that there is something inherently political about trying to create a more fair and just society. And that there is not something equally political about denying resources or denying the humanity or denying the possibility of so many people." I am sure she really believes this, which in itself could be taken as proof that the arts don't expand one's capacity for seeing other points of view or "critical thinking."

The Mellon Foundation's move towards social justice isn't surprising, but it is political, whatever Alexander may say, in its narrow conception of "the world of man," as Stegner put it, and its decision to support works for their utility alone is based on the misconception that art's primary function is to "change" people. People may change after reading certain works, and, as Seneca said, the arts may "prepare the soul for the reception of virtue," but they cannot make people virtuous -- and even that preparatory work is of secondary value.

In other news: A group of writers published an open letter in Harper's condemning our cancel culture and calling for more openness to the "free exchange of information and ideas." It was immediately condemned as "fatuous, self-important drivel."

... ... ...

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Micah Mattix is the literary editor of The American Conservative and an associate professor of English at Regent University. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal , National Review , The Weekly Standard , Pleiades , The Washington Times , and many other publications. His latest book is The Soul Is a Stranger in this World: Essays on Poets and Poetry (Cascade). Follow him on Twitter .

[Aug 09, 2020] Are the Democrats a Political Party or a CIA-backed Fifth Column by Mike Whitney

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The protests are largely a diversion aimed at shifting the public's attention to a racialized narrative that obfuscates the widening inequality chasm (created by the Democrats biggest donors, the Giant Corporations and Wall Street) to historic antagonisms that have clearly diminished over time. ..."
"... The Democrats are resolved to set the agenda by deciding what issues "will and will not" be covered over the course of the campaign. And– since race is an issue on which they feel they can energize their base by propping-up outdated stereotypes of conservatives as ignorant bigots incapable of rational thought– the Dems are using their media clout to make race the main topic of debate. In short, the Democrats have settled on a strategy for quashing the emerging populist revolt that swept Trump into the White House in 2016 and derailed Hillary's ambitious grab for presidential power. ..."
"... Let's be clear, the Democrats do not support Black Lives Matter nor have they made any attempt to insert their demands into their list of police reforms. BLM merely fits into the Dems overall campaign strategy which is to use race to deflect attention from the gross imbalance of wealth that is the unavoidable consequence of the Dems neoliberal policies including outsourcing, off-shoring, de-industrialization, free trade and trickle down economics. These policies were aggressively promoted by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as they will be by Joe Biden if he is elected. They are the policies that have gutted the country, shrunk the middle class, and transformed the American dream into a dystopian nightmare. ..."
Jul 05, 2020 | www.unz.com
Vandalized Statue of Christopher Columbus

How do the Democrats benefit from the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests?

While the protests are being used to paint Trump as a race-bating white supremacist, that is not their primary objective. The main goal is to suppress and demonize Trump's political base which is comprised of mainly white working class people who have been adversely impacted by the Democrats disastrous free trade and immigration policies. These are the people– liberal and conservative– who voted for Trump in 2016 after abandoning all hope that the Democrats would amend their platform and throw a lifeline to workers who are now struggling to make ends meet in America's de-industrialized heartland.

The protests are largely a diversion aimed at shifting the public's attention to a racialized narrative that obfuscates the widening inequality chasm (created by the Democrats biggest donors, the Giant Corporations and Wall Street) to historic antagonisms that have clearly diminished over time. (Racism ain't what it used to be.)

The Democrats are resolved to set the agenda by deciding what issues "will and will not" be covered over the course of the campaign. And– since race is an issue on which they feel they can energize their base by propping-up outdated stereotypes of conservatives as ignorant bigots incapable of rational thought– the Dems are using their media clout to make race the main topic of debate. In short, the Democrats have settled on a strategy for quashing the emerging populist revolt that swept Trump into the White House in 2016 and derailed Hillary's ambitious grab for presidential power.

The plan, however, does have its shortcomings, for example, Democrats have offered nearly blanket support for protests that have inflicted massive damage on cities and towns across the country. In the eyes of many Americans, the Dems support looks like a tacit endorsement of the arson, looting and violence that has taken place under the banner of "racial justice". The Dems have not seriously addressed this matter, choosing instead to let the media minimize the issue by simply scrubbing the destruction from their coverage. This "sweep it under the rug" strategy appears to be working as the majority of people surveyed believe that the protests were "mostly peaceful", which is a term that's designed to downplay the effects of the most ferocious rioting since the 1970s.

Let's be clear, the Democrats do not support Black Lives Matter nor have they made any attempt to insert their demands into their list of police reforms. BLM merely fits into the Dems overall campaign strategy which is to use race to deflect attention from the gross imbalance of wealth that is the unavoidable consequence of the Dems neoliberal policies including outsourcing, off-shoring, de-industrialization, free trade and trickle down economics. These policies were aggressively promoted by both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama as they will be by Joe Biden if he is elected. They are the policies that have gutted the country, shrunk the middle class, and transformed the American dream into a dystopian nightmare.

They are also the policies that have given rise to, what the pundits call, "right wing populism" which refers to the growing number of marginalized working people who despise Washington and career politicians, feel anxious about falling wages and dramatic demographic changes, and resent the prevailing liberal culture that scorns their religion and patriotism. This is Trump's mainly-white base, the working people the Democrats threw under the bus 30 years ago and now want to annihilate completely by deepening political polarization, fueling social unrest, pitting one group against another, and viciously vilifying them in the media as ignorant racists whose traditions, culture, customs and even history must be obliterated to make room for the new diversity world order. Trump touched on this theme in a speech he delivered in Tulsa. He said:

"Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities."

Author Charles Burris expanded on this topic in an article at Lew Rockwell titled America's Monumental Existential Problem:

"The wave of statue-toppling spreading across the Western world from the United States is not an aesthetic act, but a political one, the disfigured monuments in bronze and stone standing for the repudiation of an entire civilization. No longer limiting their rage to slave-owners, American mobs are pulling down and disfiguring statues of abolitionists, writers and saints in an act of revolt against the country's European founding, now re-imagined as the nation's original sin, a moral and symbolic shift with which we Europeans will soon be forced to reckon."

The statue-toppling epidemic is vastly more disturbing that the the looting or arson, mainly because it reveals a ideological intensity aimed at symbols of state power. By tearing down the images of the men who created or contributed to our collective history, the vandals are challenging the legitimacy of the nation itself as well as its founding "enlightenment" principles. This is the nihilism of extremists whose only objective is destruction. It suggests that the Democrats might have aspirations that far exceed a mere presidential victory. Perhaps the protests and riots will be used to justify more sweeping changes, a major reset during which traditional laws and rules are indefinitely suspended until the crisis passes and order can be restored. Is that at all conceivable or should we dismiss these extraordinary events as merely young people "letting off a little steam"?

Here's how General Michael Flynn summed up what's going on on in a recent article:

"There is now a small group of passionate people working hard to destroy our American way of life. Treason and treachery are rampant and our rule of law and those law enforcement professionals are under the gun more than at any time in our nation's history I believe the attacks being presented to us today are part of a well-orchestrated and well-funded effort that uses racism as its sword to aggravate our battlefield dispositions. This weapon is used to leverage and legitimize violence and crime, not to seek or serve the truth .The dark forces' weapons formed against us serve one purpose: to promote radical social change through power and control."

I agree. The toppling of statues, the rioting, the looting, the arson and, yes, the relentless attacks on Trump from the day he took office, to Russiagate, to the impeachment, to the insane claims about Russian "bounties", to the manipulation of science and data to trigger a planned demolition of the US economy hastening a vast restructuring to the labor force and the imposition of authoritarian rule; all of these are all cut from the same fabric, a tapestry of lies and deception concocted by the DNC, the Intel agencies, the elite media, and their behind-the-scenes paymasters. Now they have released their corporate-funded militia on the country to wreak havoc and spread terror among the population. Meanwhile, the New York Times and others continue to generate claims they know to be false in order to confuse the public even while the people are still shaking off months of disorienting quarantine and feelings of trepidation brought on by 3 weeks of nonstop social unrest and fractious racial conflict. Bottom line: Neither the Democrats nor their allies at the Intel agencies and media have ever accepted the "peaceful transition of power". They reject the 2016 election results, they reject Donald Trump as the duly elected president of the United States, and they reject the representative American system of government "by the people."

So let's get down to the nitty-gritty: Which political party is pursuing a radical-activist strategy that has set our cities ablaze and reduced Capitol Hill to a sprawling warzone? Which party pursued a 3 year-long investigation that was aimed at removing the president using a dossier that they knew was false (Opposition research), claiming emails were hacked from DNC computers when the cyber-security company that did the investigation said there was no proof of "exfiltration"? (In other words, there was no hack and the Dems knew it since 2017) Which party allied itself with senior-level officials at the FBI, CIA, NSA and elite media and worked together collaboratively to discredit, surveil, infiltrate, entrap and demonize the administration in order to torpedo Trumps "America First" political agenda, and remove him from office?

Which party?

No one disputes the Democrats right to challenge, criticize or vigorously oppose a bill or policy promoted by the president. What we take issue with is the devious and (possibly) illegal way the Democrats have joined powerful elements in the Intelligence Community and the major media to conduct a ruthless "dirty tricks" campaign that involved spying on members of the administration in order to establish the basis for impeachment proceedings. This is not the behavior of a respected political organization but the illicit conduct of a fifth column acting on behalf of a foreign (or corporate?) enemy. It's worth noting that an insurrection against the nation's lawful authority is sedition, a felony that is punishable by imprisonment or death. Perhaps, the junta leaders should consider the possible consequences of their actions before they make their next move.

What we need to know is whether the Democrat party operates independent of the Intel agencies with which it cooperated during its campaign against Trump? We're hopeful that the Durham investigation will shed more light on this matter. Our fear is that what we're seeing is an emerging Axis–the CIA, the DNC, and the elite media– all using their respective powers to terminate the Constitutional Republic and establish permanent, authoritarian one-party rule. As far-fetched as it might sound, the country appears to be slipping inexorably towards tyranny.

[Aug 09, 2020] Remember When Liberals Despised the National Security State by Robert Merry

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Schorr's relentless reporting on these matters reflected a fundamental reality of American politics in those times. If you worked within the national security establishment and involved yourself in abuses of power, you would do well to beware the forces of American liberalism, for they would assuredly come after you. Liberalism was, in those days, the watchdog of American politics, rooting out abuses of power at the CIA, the FBI, and other law enforcement and national security agencies. ..."
"... Even as the Cold War lingered as a specter of danger to America and the West, the liberal moviemakers of Hollywood often ignored all that in preference of their favorite boogeymen -- bad guys at the upper levels of government agencies. ..."
"... director Sydney Pollack brought out Three Days of the Condor , starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. It tells the story of Joe Turner (Redford), a studious CIA researcher who works at a clandestine New York front organization. He returns to his office from a lunch carryout errand one day to find all his colleagues slaughtered. Seeking help from CIA officials, he soon discovers that his agency handlers are complicit in ongoing efforts to get him killed. ..."
"... It's a slick and engaging romp of a movie, but think about its message -- even amidst the dangers of Cold War diplomacy, the real threat resided in the CIA. Power corrupts. Beware the unaccountable official with cloak and dagger. ..."
"... In the 1986 thriller F/X , the bad guys are Justice Department officials maneuvering in a dark underworld of intrigue and corruption. In The Pelican Brief (1993), the villain is an oil tycoon willing to assassinate Supreme Court justices who could thwart his drilling plans, which he gets away with for a considerable time in part because he'd wormed his way into the inner circle of the president and his chief of staff. When Tom Cruise, as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible (1996), seeks to extricate himself from a frame-up, he discovers that his tormenter is his boss, the head of the fabled Mission Impossible Force, who had faked his own death in furtherance of his dastardly aims. ..."
"... More recently, in the post-9/11 era, a 2013 British-American movie called Closed Circuit begins with a bombing that appears to be a product of Islamist fundamentalism. But as the drama unfolds, it turns out the evildoers are -- you guessed it -- officials of MI5. ..."
"... And yet here we are, with more revelations trickling out regularly about the origins of this mysterious Russia probe and an initiative on the part of the outgoing administration to spy on the people of the incoming administration. You don't have to be Sean Hannity to ask the question: what in the world was going on here? And yet the presumed paragons of the liberal establishment media -- The New York Times , The Washington Post , CNN, MSNBC, various web outlets -- simply refused to accept that there might be a story there. They joined the national security establishment in declaring that the only investigation worth pursuing centered on Russian collusion and likely treason at the highest levels of the Donald Trump entourage. ..."
May 25, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
In April 1975, former director of national intelligence Richard Helms, then the U.S. ambassador to Iran, left a hearing room where he had been grilled for three hours about CIA misdeeds then coming to light in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Seeing CBS reporter Daniel Schorr waiting outside, the normally controlled spymaster lashed out with breathtaking venom.

"Killer Schorr! Killer Schorr!" he shouted at the newsman, who had just aired a story alleging CIA assassination attempts against various foreign leaders. At a subsequent news conference, he responded to a Schorr question by saying, "I don't like the lies you've been putting on the air."

At the time of Helms' outburst, Dan Schorr was known by serious viewers of television news as a man of undisguised liberalism, an identity that would become more pronounced when he later became an on-air commentator for CNN and NPR. But even as early as 1964, during the Lyndon Johnson-Barry Goldwater presidential campaign, he'd revealed his political bias by reporting falsely from Germany that Goldwater planned to kick off his fall campaign in, of all places, Bavaria, "center of Germany's right wing" and "Hitler's one-time stomping ground." He said Goldwater had given an interview to the magazine Der Spiegel "appealing to right-wing elements in Germany." There were even signs "that the American and German right wings are joining up."

It was all bogus. Goldwater had no plans to campaign in Germany and in fact had not mentioned Germany in any way suggested by Schorr. The Der Spiegel interview was a reprint that had originally been published elsewhere and didn't appeal to German political sensibilities at all. It should have been a firing offense, but Schorr survived it. Hence, in 1975, he was in Washington covering national security matters and filling the CBS airwaves with abundant scoops laying bare security agency abuses then tumbling out of two congressional investigations and another promulgated by the Gerald Ford administration.

Schorr's relentless reporting on these matters reflected a fundamental reality of American politics in those times. If you worked within the national security establishment and involved yourself in abuses of power, you would do well to beware the forces of American liberalism, for they would assuredly come after you. Liberalism was, in those days, the watchdog of American politics, rooting out abuses of power at the CIA, the FBI, and other law enforcement and national security agencies.

Conservatives back then tended to defend those agencies or at least warn ominously against undermining their ability to do their jobs. Liberals seemed more motivated by the age-old warning -- often embraced by conservatives in other contexts -- that power corrupts and that especially those holding stealthy power needed to be watched closely and reined in.

Thinking back on those days, one wonders about today's liberal establishment. How could it be so blasé about what are clear abuses of power by law enforcement and intelligence officials in the now-infamous Russian collusion probe? How could it be so aggressive in defending those actions even as their abusive nature becomes increasingly clear? Where are the Dan Schorrs of today?

And it wasn't just liberals in journalism and the political arena who raised warnings about corruption in the national security state. Consider the popular culture of that time. Even as the Cold War lingered as a specter of danger to America and the West, the liberal moviemakers of Hollywood often ignored all that in preference of their favorite boogeymen -- bad guys at the upper levels of government agencies.

In 1975, the same year that "Killer Schorr" was bedeviling Richard Helms, director Sydney Pollack brought out Three Days of the Condor , starring Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. It tells the story of Joe Turner (Redford), a studious CIA researcher who works at a clandestine New York front organization. He returns to his office from a lunch carryout errand one day to find all his colleagues slaughtered. Seeking help from CIA officials, he soon discovers that his agency handlers are complicit in ongoing efforts to get him killed. After an intense and suspenseful cat-and-mouse drama, we learn that the CIA's deputy director of operations for the Middle East had grown agitated when he'd learned that a Turner research report had provided links to a rogue operation bent on seizing Middle Eastern oil fields. Fearing its disclosure, he had privately ordered Turner's New York section to be killed off.

It's a slick and engaging romp of a movie, but think about its message -- even amidst the dangers of Cold War diplomacy, the real threat resided in the CIA. Power corrupts. Beware the unaccountable official with cloak and dagger.

And consider how Joe Turner manages to expose the CIA corruption and finally extract himself from danger. He gives the story to The New York Times , that cathedral of journalistic liberalism. That may have been a clever move back in 1975, but it wouldn't work today. The Times is now hermetically aligned with the national security establishment. The leaks it publishes all come from that establishment and are usually self-protective in nature, rather than from those who wish to expose wayward corruption.

Later, after the Cold War had ended, liberal moviemakers continued to focus on treachery in the national security labyrinth. In the 1986 thriller F/X , the bad guys are Justice Department officials maneuvering in a dark underworld of intrigue and corruption. In The Pelican Brief (1993), the villain is an oil tycoon willing to assassinate Supreme Court justices who could thwart his drilling plans, which he gets away with for a considerable time in part because he'd wormed his way into the inner circle of the president and his chief of staff. When Tom Cruise, as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible (1996), seeks to extricate himself from a frame-up, he discovers that his tormenter is his boss, the head of the fabled Mission Impossible Force, who had faked his own death in furtherance of his dastardly aims.

More recently, in the post-9/11 era, a 2013 British-American movie called Closed Circuit begins with a bombing that appears to be a product of Islamist fundamentalism. But as the drama unfolds, it turns out the evildoers are -- you guessed it -- officials of MI5.

And don't forget Oliver Stone's JFK (1991), which suggests roundly that the man behind the John Kennedy assassination was his own vice president, Lyndon Johnson -- despite the total lack of any evidence of Johnson complicity. Although Stone's biopic is entertaining and often authentic in its rendition of events, it nonetheless rises to ridiculous and disturbing heights in pressing the popular culture obsession with what might be called "the enemy within."

How do we account for this obsession on the part of American liberalism? Perhaps it can be attributed in part to the fact that most liberals were civil libertarians, fearful of threats to individualism from any quarter, even from elements of big government (other government agencies didn't seem to bother them much). That was, after all, the post-Vietnam era, when antiwar activists embraced a kind of liberal isolationism that began with the proposition that America was a rogue nation likely to spread pain and suffering whenever it ventured out into the world. That being the case (in this view), it followed that those who wanted to take America into the world were particularly susceptible to villainy.

Taken to extremes, this was not a healthy attitude, for it undermined confidence in American institutions. But in a general sense, it served to remind people of a fundamental reality of any civic structure -- that governmental power needs to be curtailed and monitored lest it be abused. And this is particularly true in the area of national security, shrouded in secrecy as it is.

And yet here we are, with more revelations trickling out regularly about the origins of this mysterious Russia probe and an initiative on the part of the outgoing administration to spy on the people of the incoming administration. You don't have to be Sean Hannity to ask the question: what in the world was going on here? And yet the presumed paragons of the liberal establishment media -- The New York Times , The Washington Post , CNN, MSNBC, various web outlets -- simply refused to accept that there might be a story there. They joined the national security establishment in declaring that the only investigation worth pursuing centered on Russian collusion and likely treason at the highest levels of the Donald Trump entourage.

That's getting harder and harder to sustain as new revelations raise new questions and as more pieces of the puzzle come together. It now appears likely that the mystery will be unraveled in the end.

But the mystery of today's liberal media will linger on. Daniel Schorr of CBS wasn't an unblemished reporter, as his egregious report on Goldwater attests. But he could smell a story when it was under his nose, and he never aligned himself with unaccountable power cloaked in secrecy. He also never lost sight of an immutable fact of political life: power corrupts.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C., journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century (Simon & Schuster).


Tom Riddle 16 hours ago

Except for Argo, the entire Mission:impossible series, Zero Dark Thirty, every Jack Ryan reboot, Taken, The Expendables series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., White House Dow, Olympus has Fallen, and basically every action movie ever, Hollywood would never say anything nice about the Intelligence Community.

No. The real reasons NYT, et. al aren't reporting on the stories the way you want them to is because a) we know the origins of the Russian probe (Australia told us) b) the Obama admin wasn't spying on Trump (that's like the 3rd dumbest conspiracy theory from Trump's twitter this week).

You do in fact "be Sean Hannity to ask the question", because Sean Hannity the TV character is dumb and it's a question dumb people ask.

kirthigdon 11 hours ago • edited
This article ignores what actually happened. The ruling establishment, acting through its deep state components, took over its critics on the left as it had previously taken over its critics on the right. That's exactly what intelligence agencies are designed to do.

Opposition is not to be completely squashed except in rare cases; it's to be subverted, corrupted and controlled. Note Orwell's 1984 for a classical fiction account.

Note socialist journalist Diana Johnstone's recent memoir Circle in the Darkness for how this was accomplished in Europe. This may provide a clarity not obscured by US partisanship. Then apply those insights to the US. Or dismiss all the above as a conspiracy theory and we all know that spy and "law" enforcement agencies never engage in conspiracies.

Wally 11 hours ago
Speaking only for myself... I'm a lefty guy and I despise the national security apparatus and all the awful people working in the military and defense contractors. They are evil. The merchants of death. War criminals. Mercenary thugs. PTSD ridden cowards who are a danger to their friends, families, co-workers and, ultimately themselves. They are the ones who make life miserable for billions of people all over the world. Good luck.
Clyde Schechter Wally 4 hours ago
I endorse the sentiment that the national security apparatus as a whole is an enormous force for evil in the world. But I cannot agree with your blanket condemnation of all the people who work for it.

I have several acquaintances and relatives who have been in the military, or worked for defense contractors, and even one who worked for the NSA. A few of them are sociopaths, but most of them (including the one who worked for the NSA) are decent people, and for the most part they sincerely believed that they were working on the side of the angels. I think they were misguided in that belief, and some probably deluded themselves into thinking that so they could keep a job they, for various reasons, liked or needed. But for most, I do not question their sincerity and motivation.

None of that excuses the people at the top of those organizations, who very well knew exactly what their actions were bringing about in the world and who deserve a reckoning at the Hague.

New England Jon 11 hours ago • edited
Some liberals still despise the national security state. If you visit new media platforms, you can see or hear Jimmy Dore, Matt Taibbi, Aaron Mate and others who view Russiagate as a hoax.
Connecticut Farmer 9 hours ago • edited
As Michael Cordeleone said to Senator Geary in Godfather II, "Senator, we're all part of the same hypocrisy."
chris chuba 9 hours ago
I would say that MSM cynicism and scrutiny towards the military and govt agencies grew in the 70's post Vietnam war and then peaked during Reagan's term with Iran/Contra. And you know what, that was a renaissance for our military as the Vietnam era veterans now officers of an all volunteer force performed extremely well during Desert Storm to prove that their stuff actually did work in the desert. It was also the peak of our influence in the world as H.W. Bush built a real coalition and to the shock of the Neocons, 'GASP!' kept his word and stuck within the UN charter that we sponsored.

The post-9/11 requirement to fawn over the military and unquestioned loyalty to all aspects of our security establishment is eroding all aspects of our military preparedness, morale, and world standing while we scream we are #1, join us in our fight against China, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela (or else!).

Since this article brought up pop-culture, pre-9/11 X-files obviously unflattering to govt, and I almost cried watching an Nat. Lampoon movies that implied that law enforcement guys kind of like using excessive force to destroy houses (sorry cops, it was funny). Post 9/11, I'm waiting for the reboot of '24' and I wasn't shocked when 'Navy Seals' was renewed.

[Aug 09, 2020] The CIA Democrats by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has designated Slotkin as one of its top candidates, part of the so-called "Red to Blue" program targeting the most vulnerable Republican-held seats -- in this case, the Eighth Congressional District of Michigan, which includes Lansing and Brighton. The House seat for the district is now held by two-term Republican Representative Mike Bishop. ..."
"... The 23rd Congressional District in Texas, which includes a vast swathe of the US-Mexico border along the Rio Grande, features a contest for the Democratic nomination between Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force intelligence officer in Iraq, who subsequently served as an adviser for US interventions in South Sudan and Libya, and Jay Hulings. The latter's website describes him as a former national security aide on Capitol Hill and federal prosecutor, whose father and mother were both career undercover CIA agents. The incumbent Republican congressman, Will Hurd, is himself a former CIA agent, so any voter in that district will have his or her choice of intelligence agency loyalists in both the Democratic primary and the general election. ..."
Apr 30, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Part one

An extraordinary number of former intelligence and military operatives from the CIA, Pentagon, National Security Council and State Department are seeking nomination as Democratic candidates for Congress in the 2018 midterm elections. The potential influx of military-intelligence personnel into the legislature has no precedent in US political history.

If the Democrats capture a majority in the House of Representatives on November 6, as widely predicted, candidates drawn from the military-intelligence apparatus will comprise as many as half of the new Democratic members of Congress. They will hold the balance of power in the lower chamber of Congress.

Both push and pull are at work here. Democratic Party leaders are actively recruiting candidates with a military or intelligence background for competitive seats where there is the best chance of ousting an incumbent Republican or filling a vacancy, frequently clearing the field for a favored "star" recruit. A case in point is Elissa Slotkin, a former CIA operative with three tours in Iraq, who worked as Iraq director for the National Security Council in the Obama White House and as a top aide to John Negroponte, the first director of national intelligence. After her deep involvement in US war crimes in Iraq, Slotkin moved to the Pentagon, where, as a principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, her areas of responsibility included drone warfare, "homeland defense" and cyber warfare. Elissa Slotkin

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has designated Slotkin as one of its top candidates, part of the so-called "Red to Blue" program targeting the most vulnerable Republican-held seats -- in this case, the Eighth Congressional District of Michigan, which includes Lansing and Brighton. The House seat for the district is now held by two-term Republican Representative Mike Bishop.

The Democratic leaders are promoting CIA agents and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. At the same time, such people are choosing the Democratic Party as their preferred political vehicle. There are far more former spies and soldiers seeking the nomination of the Democratic Party than of the Republican Party. There are so many that there is a subset of Democratic primary campaigns that, with a nod to Mad magazine, one might call "spy vs. spy."

The 23rd Congressional District in Texas, which includes a vast swathe of the US-Mexico border along the Rio Grande, features a contest for the Democratic nomination between Gina Ortiz Jones, an Air Force intelligence officer in Iraq, who subsequently served as an adviser for US interventions in South Sudan and Libya, and Jay Hulings. The latter's website describes him as a former national security aide on Capitol Hill and federal prosecutor, whose father and mother were both career undercover CIA agents. The incumbent Republican congressman, Will Hurd, is himself a former CIA agent, so any voter in that district will have his or her choice of intelligence agency loyalists in both the Democratic primary and the general election.

CNN's "State of the Union" program on March 4 included a profile of Jones as one of many female candidates seeking nomination as a Democrat in Tuesday's primary in Texas. The network described her discreetly as a "career civil servant." However, the Jones for Congress website positively shouts about her role as a spy, noting that after graduating from college, "Gina entered the US Air Force as an intelligence officer, where she deployed to Iraq and served under the US military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy" (the last phrase signaling to those interested in such matters that Jones is gay).

According to her campaign biography, Ortiz Jones was subsequently detailed to a position as "senior advisor for trade enforcement," a post President Obama created by executive order in 2012. She would later be invited to serve as a director for investment at the Office of the US Trade Representative, where she led the portfolio that reviewed foreign investments to ensure they did not pose national security risks. With that background, if she fails to win election, she can surely enlist in the trade war efforts of the Trump administration.

[Aug 09, 2020] Dems have morphed into a branch of the CIA – not unlike origins of the East German Stasi government...

Oct 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Renee Parsons via Off-Guardian.org,

Even before Rep. Tulsi Gabbard threatened to boycott the October 15th Dem debate as the DNC usurps the role of voters in the Democratic primacy 2020 election and with an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump on the table, the Swamp was stirred and its slimy muck may be about to come to the surface as never before.

If so, those revelations are long overdue.

It is no secret to the observant that since the 2016 election, the Democratic Party has been in a state of near-collapse, the victim of its own hubris, having lost their moral compass with unsubstantiated Russisgate allegations; those accusations continue as a futile exercise of domestic regime change.

Today's Dems are less than a bona fide opposition party offering zero policy solutions, unrecognizable from past glories and not the same political party many of us signed up for many years ago. Instead, the American public is witnessing a frenzied, unscrupulous strategy.

Desperate in the denial of its demise, confronting its own shadow of corruption as the Dems have morphed into a branch of the CIA – not unlike origins of the East German Stasi government.

It should not be necessary to say but in today's hyper volatile political climate it is: No American should be labelled as anything other than a loyal American to be deeply disturbed by the Democrat/CIA collusion that is currently operating an unprecedented Kangaroo Court in secret, behind closed doors; thus posing an ominous provocation to what remains of our Constitutional Republic.

As any politically savvy, independent thinking American might grasp, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and their entire coterie of sycophants always knew that Russiagate was a crock of lies.

They lied to their willing Democratic rank n file, they lied to American public and they continue to lie about their bogus Impeachment campaign.

It may be that whistleblower Ed Snowden's revelations about the NSA surveillance state was the first inkling for many Americans that there is a Big Problem with an out-of-control intelligence community until Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned that Trump was being 'really dumb " in daring to question Intel's faulty conclusion that Russia hacked the 2016 election.

"Let me tell you. You take on the intelligence community = they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

Inescapably, Schumer was suggesting that the Congress has no oversight, that there is no accountability and that the US has lost its democratic roots when a newly elected President does not have the authority to question or publicly disagree with any of the Intel agencies.

Since the 2016 election, there has been a steady drumbeat of the US Intel's unabashed efforts to undermine and otherwise prevent a newly elected President from governing – which sounds like a clear case of insubordination or some might call it treasonous.

The Intel antipathy does not appear to be rooted in cuts to a favorite social services program but rather protecting a power, financial and influence agenda that goes far deeper and more profound than most Americans care to contemplate.

Among a plethora of egregious corporate media reactions, no doubt stirred by their Intel masters, was to a July, 2018 summit meeting between Russian President Putin and Trump in Helsinki emblematic of illegitimate censures from Intel veterans and its cronies:

" Trump sides with Putin over US Intelligence " – CNN

" Did Trump Commit Treason at Putin Meeting ? " – Newsweek , and

" Trump Slammed Over Disgrace, Disgusting Press Conference with Putin " – Newsweek .

Not one praised Trump for pursuing peace with Russia.

And yet, fellow Americans, it is curious to consider that there was no outrage after the 911 attacks in 2001 from any member of Congress, President Bush or the Corporate Media that the US intelligence community had utterly failed in its mission to keep the American public safe.

There was no reckoning, not one person in authority was held accountable, not one person who had the responsibility to 'know' was fired from any of the Intel agencies. Why is that?

As a result of the corrupt foundation of the Russiagate allegations, Attorney General Bob Barr and Special Investigator John Durham appear hot on the trail with law enforcement in Italy as they have apparently scared the bejesus out of what little common sense remains among the Democratic hierarchy as if Barr/Durham might be headed for Obama's Oval Office.

Barr's earlier comment before the Senate that " spying did occur' and that ' it's a big deal' when an incumbent administration (ie the Obama Administration) authorizes a counter-Intelligence operation on an opposing candidate (ie Donald Trump) has the Dems in panic-stricken overdrive – and that is what is driving the current Impeachment Inquiry.

With the stark realization that none of the DNC's favored top tier candidates has the mojo to go the distance, the Democrats have now focused on a July 25th phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which Trump allegedly ' pressured ' Zelenskyy to investigate Joe Biden's relationship with Burisma, the country's largest natural gas provider.

At issue is any hanky panky involving Burisma payments to Rosemont Seneca Partners , an equity firm owned by Joe's errant son, Hunter, who served on Burisma's Board for a modest $50,000 a month.

Zelenskyy, who defeated the US-endorsed incumbent President Petro Poroshenko in a landslide victory, speaks Russian, was elected to clean up corruption and end the conflict in eastern Ukraine. The war in the Donbass began as a result of the US State Department's role in the overthrow of democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

Trump's first priority on July 25th was Crowd Strike , a cybersecurity firm with links to the HRC campaign which was hired by the DNC to investigate Russian hacking of its server.

The Dems have reason to be concerned since it is worth contemplating why the FBI did not legally mandate that the DNC turn its server over to them for an official Federal forensic inspection.

One can only speculate those chickens may be coming home to roost.

Days after an anonymous whistleblower (not to be confused with a real whistleblower like Edward Snowden) later identified as a CIA analyst with a professional history linked to Joe Biden, publicly released a Complaint against Trump.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the initiation of an ambiguous Impeachment Inquiry campaign with little specificity about the process. The Complaint is suspect since it reads more like a professionally prepared Affidavit and the Dems consider Pelosi's statement as sufficient to initiate a formal process that fails to follow the time-honored path of a full House vote predicating a legitimate impeachment inquiry on to the Judiciary Committee.

Of special interest is how the process to date is playing out with the House Intelligence Committee in a key role conducting what amounts to clandestine meetings , taking depositions and witness statements behind closed doors with a still secret unidentified whistleblower's identity and voice obscured from Republican members of the Intel Committee and a witness testifying without being formally sworn in – all too eerily similar to East Germany.

The pretense of shielding the thinly veiled CIA operative as a whistleblower from public exposure can only be seen as an overly-dramatic transparent performance as the Dems have never exhibited any concern about protecting real whistleblowers like Snowden, Chelsea Manning, Bill Binney, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, Julian Assange, Jeffrey Sterling and others who were left to fend for themselves as the Obama Administration prosecuted more true, authentic whistleblowers than any other administration since the Espionage Act of 1917 .

As the paradigm shift takes its toll on the prevailing framework of reality and our decayed political institutions, (the FBI and DOJ come to mind as the Inspector General's report is due at week's end), how much longer does the Democratic Party, which no longer serves a useful public purpose, deserve to exist?

[Jun 10, 2020] The Democratic Party Exists To Co-Opt Kill Authentic Change by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... CaitlinJohnstone.com ..."
"... They do not move. ..."
"... Democratic Party leaders are currently under fire for staging a ridiculous performative display of sympathy for George Floyd by kneeling for eight minutes while wearing Kente cloth, a traditional African textile. The streets of America are filled with protesters demanding a total overhaul of the nation's entire approach to policing. ..."
"... I don't know what will happen with these protests. I don't know if the demonstrators will get anything like the changes they are pushing for, or if their movement will be stopped in its tracks. What I do know is that if it is stopped, it will be because of Democrats and their allies. ..."
"... The op-ed understandably received severe public backlash which resulted in a senior staff member's resignation . But if these protests end it won't be because tyrants in the Republican Party like Donald Trump and Tom Cotton succeeded in making the case for beating them into silence with the U.S. military. It will be because liberal manipulators succeeded in co-opting and stagnating its momentum. ..."
"... It is true that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the same sense that there's a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to keep an opponent at bay and set up the more damaging cross, but they're both wielded by the same boxer, and they're both punching you in the face. ..."
"... Obama was not the lesser of two evils, he was the more effective of the two evils ..."
"... The rot started long before Clinton. In the 1944 election the DNC replaced FDR's highly popular socialist VP Henry Wallace with Truman. At the convention party leaders closed the voting immediately after Wallace won resoundingly without confirming him. Furious politicking, bribery, and delegate lockouts over the next several days finally resulted in a Truman win and his immediate confirmation as the VP candidate. ..."
"... I agree on what the Democrat Party is and does. However, I'd shift the focus to the money behind it. The forces resisting change are what FDR called the moneyed interests. They've got the money, and their whole priority is to keep it. ..."
"... given a Supreme Court ruling that money is free speech and a Congress that's never has had any will to change the role of money or lobbies in politics, I'm afraid you are stuck with what you have. ..."
"... There is another well-known Twentieth Century play, "No Exit." And that title sums up the American very real situation. ..."
Jun 10, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

By Caitlin Johnstone
CaitlinJohnstone.com

E STRAGON: Well, shall we go?

V LADIMIR: Yes, let's go.

[ They do not move. ]

Curtain.

So ends both acts of the Samuel Beckett play "Waiting for Godot." One of the two main characters suggests leaving, the other agrees, followed by the stage direction that both remain motionless until curtain.

This is also the entire role of the Democratic Party. To enthusiastically agree with American support for movements calling for real changes which benefit ordinary people, while making no actual moves to provide no such changes. The actors read the lines, but remain motionless.

Barack Obama made a whole political career out of this. People elected him because he promised hope and change, then for eight years whenever hopeful people demanded changes he'd say "Yes, we all need to get together and have a conversation about that," express sympathy and give a moving speech, and then nothing would happen. The actors remain motionless, and Godot never comes.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/g3LaHb47xPY?feature=oembed

Democratic Party leaders are currently under fire for staging a ridiculous performative display of sympathy for George Floyd by kneeling for eight minutes while wearing Kente cloth, a traditional African textile. The streets of America are filled with protesters demanding a total overhaul of the nation's entire approach to policing.

The Democratic Party's response is to put on a children's play using black culture as a prop, and advance a toothless reform bill whose approach we've already established is worthless which will actually increase funding to police departments.

Meanwhile it's blue states with Democratic governors and cities with Democratic mayors where the bulk of the police brutality, people are objecting to, is occurring. The Democrats are going out of their way to spin police brutality as the result of Trump's presidency, but facts in evidence say America's violent and increasingly militarized police force would be a problem if every seat in every office in America were blue.

I don't know what will happen with these protests. I don't know if the demonstrators will get anything like the changes they are pushing for, or if their movement will be stopped in its tracks. What I do know is that if it is stopped, it will be because of Democrats and their allies.

Bloodthirsty Senator Tom Cotton recently took a break from torturing small animals in his basement to write an incendiary op-ed for The New York Times explaining to the American public why using the military to quash these protests is something that they should want. We later learned that The New York Times op-ed team had actually come up with the idea and pitched it to the senator , not the other way around, and that it was the Times itself which came up with the inflammatory headline "Send In the Troops."

From New York Times town hall: op-ed team pitched the piece TO Tom Cotton. Not the other way around.

-- Patrick Coffee (@PatrickCoffee) June 5, 2020

The op-ed understandably received severe public backlash which resulted in a senior staff member's resignation . But if these protests end it won't be because tyrants in the Republican Party like Donald Trump and Tom Cotton succeeded in making the case for beating them into silence with the U.S. military. It will be because liberal manipulators succeeded in co-opting and stagnating its momentum.

Watch them. Watch Democrats and their allied media and corporate institutions try to sell the public a bunch of words and a smattering of feeble, impotent legislation to mollify the masses, without ever giving the people the real changes that they actually need.

It remains to be seen if they will succeed in doing this, but they are already working on it. That is their entire purpose. It's much easier to control a populace with false promises and empty words than with brute force, and the manipulators know it. That is the Democratic Party's role.

It is true that there's a difference between Democrats and Republicans, in the same sense that there's a difference between the jab and the cross in boxing. The jab is often used to keep an opponent at bay and set up the more damaging cross, but they're both wielded by the same boxer, and they're both punching you in the face.

Don't let them disguise that jab as anything other than what it is. Don't let them keep you at bay with a bunch of impotent performances and word magic. If they have it their way, they'll keep that jab in your face all night until the knockout punch leaves you staring up at the arena lights like it always does, wondering what the hell happened and why Godot never came.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a book, " Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ."

Aaron , June 10, 2020 at 14:10

...Wall Street, Saudi-Israel alliance win again

Skip Scott , June 10, 2020 at 10:46

When you vote for a "lesser" evil, you condone and become evil. Voting for a peace candidate is the ONLY moral choice. Your line of thinking perpetuates a self-fulfilling prophecy of third party impossibility. So time for you to "get real". I also think it is imperative to insist on ranked-choice voting to get us out of the two party/one war party trap. BTW, Obama had his own brand of fascism. When we are the "exceptional" nation, all others are unexceptional and their citizens expendable. Your TDS has blinded you to our real problems.

AnneR , June 10, 2020 at 12:36

So what we are supposed to do, then, is vote for the very same evil, just enacted with a softer, gentler voice and smoother patina? And by the way, I'm a MA in History

We change absolutely zero domestically and minus zero abroad in those countries where we gaily – apparently – bomb and missile as if there were no tomorrow (for the recipients [all brownish you'll note], dead, injured or alive), no matter which colored face of the single party we "lesser evil" choose. Frankly pretending that there is such a thing as "lesser evil" voting when both parties behave in the same way, with different lipstick on is a tad hypocritical because all it boils down to is "we want a smiley, pleasant, charmingly spoken well educated barbarian rather than a grotesque, in your face, thicko one in charge."

No, ta. I'd rather vote my conscience, my principles which have nowt to do with either of corporate-capitalist-imperialist-MIC adoring-barbarian faces of the same bloody (literally) party.

Marc G Landry , June 10, 2020 at 12:38

For a history teacher, you seem to have given up on Democracy because you hate Trump. America WORKED when people voted their conscience, NOT for a lesser of two evils. And if people did this, within 12 years a THIRD PARTY would become strong enough to make the change we want. Democracy works when people vote their conscience, by person or by platform, NOT when everyone has to figure out a strategy who to vote for because you do not have the strength to vote by conscience or the guts to build a new party OVER TIME!

Blessthebeasts , June 10, 2020 at 13:08

Glen Ford, of the excellent BlackAgendaReport, put it well: Obama was not the lesser of two evils, he was the more effective of the two evils. It seems to work with a lot of people who can't let go of their "liberal" perspective. Anything goes, as long as it's served up on a politically correct platter.

John , June 9, 2020 at 16:51

and the solution is to (a) vote them out of office, (b) vote for the repubs, (c) vote for third party, (d) don't vote, (e) general strike and continuous demonstrations? My answer is both d and e. How about you?

Drew Hunkins , June 9, 2020 at 16:09

The Democratic Party hasn't done one substantive thing for the masses since Medicare c. 1966.

The destruction of unions and the labor movement is one of the prime reasons we're in this mess. Strong unions means the Democratic Party would have a wing of populist firebrands with moxie and muscle, voicing objections in Washington, advocating for progressive reforms, pounding the table, attacking Wall Street and big money, and most imporantly -- delivering substantive tangible benefits to the people every few years!! The labor movement would have cultivated these public speakers and activist politicians who had boatloads of chutzpah, instead what we're left with is a slickie boy Wall St hustler like Obama.

Litchfield , June 9, 2020 at 16:56

Right on! Pushing the nonexistent "agree" button. See also my comment in which I recommend reading Thomas Frank's "Listen, Liberal" for a really great tour of the downfall of the Dem Party, very well documented, and a pleasure to read.

It was not only labor that the "new" Dems under Clinton sucker-punched. They made a practice of demonstrating to Wall Street, the NYT, and other "liberal" entities (ha ha sob) and pundits that they were happy and willing to deny, Judas-like, and actually to attack their traditional constituencies, the source of the their original power and their raison d'etre since the thirties.

Now what one sees coming to the fore is the longer history of the damned Dems, that of cravenness compromise to the Jim Crow South and to other atavistic powers such as the National Security State, the MIC, the prisons-for-profit complex, and other such horrors.

It is like we're seeing that this leopard-party can't really changes its spots.

There is no reason and really no justification for giving one's vote to this Democratic Party.

Litchfield , June 9, 2020 at 15:36

For chapter and verse, and very witty commentary, on how the Democratic Party became the party that destroyed the (1) the working class, (2) the poor in America and especially their children, and (3) now, the middle class is available, see:

"Listen, Liberal: Or, Whatever Happened to the Party of the People?", by Thomas Frank.

Caitlin, I urge you to read it. Also, the notes, which are thorough and informative in themselves.

All the answers to the questions you pose are there. The true rot starts with Bill Clinton and the DLC, which he headed. Or course Hillary was there with him the whole time. Mouthing one set of platitudes for the public ("I feel your pain") and conspiring with Republicans and other Democrats to push and pass legislation that inexorably destroyed huge swaths of the USA: NAFTA; repeal of Glass-Steagall; welfare "reform"; three-strikes legislation; creation of prisons for profit (Biden was big in this); introduction of almost 100 new crimes with mandatory minimum sentencing; and more.

Then we move on to "hope and change" Obama (with his sidekick, Larry Summers): bailout of banks, not of citizens; health care "reform" written by Repugs; more foreign adventures in Libya, Afghanistan, etc. and more deaths and maimings of American servicepeople; and on and on. And all the while a concerted effort to ignore the white working class and to accuse any white who didn't like this crappy new deal and loss of livelihood and dignity as a racist. Since I first voted in 1968, as a registered Dem, I have been along for this ride since the beginning and I recall only too clearly my horror -- after feeling with Clinton's win in 1992 that we were finally getting off the awful post-assassination "detour" -- at hearing of all of these new destructive, unfair, "Democratic" initiatives in the 1990s and at their actually being passed.

As Frank remarks, voting for Trump was the working class's richly deserved payback to the Clintons for decades of policies that punished America's 99% both directly (targeted) and indirectly. As he puts it, with Trump leading the Repugs and, for the first time, talking about the hits the working class had taken under the Dems, bad trade deals, etc., suddenly there *was* "someplace else to go" for previous Dem voters. It should have been no surprise that working-class white and also many blacks and women went there.

But the Dems still insist that they occupy the moral "liberal" high ground, with absolutely no foundation for doing so except for empty identitarianist bromides and silliness such as the kneeling show. Now, the Floyd killing is being used to further deflect attention from the Dems' catastrophic record regarding the WHOLE American 99%, white and minority, men and women.

Trump makes it easy to blame the whole mess on him. But the Dems, with their decades of betrayal of the American people and kicking their constituents in the gut, brought us Trump.

The complacent Dem self-righteousness jacks up the puke index that much more.

buy my vote , June 10, 2020 at 11:57

The rot started long before Clinton. In the 1944 election the DNC replaced FDR's highly popular socialist VP Henry Wallace with Truman. At the convention party leaders closed the voting immediately after Wallace won resoundingly without confirming him. Furious politicking, bribery, and delegate lockouts over the next several days finally resulted in a Truman win and his immediate confirmation as the VP candidate.

FDR's rapidly deteriorating health made it clear that the VP would be the next president. The DNC, firmly in the hands of corporate industrialists, insured that the VP was compliant with their program. Truman was a failed businessman, not particularly intelligent, and the perfect puppet. You can thank him and the DNC for the Cold War.

Mark Thomason , June 9, 2020 at 14:14

I agree on what the Democrat Party is and does. However, I'd shift the focus to the money behind it. The forces resisting change are what FDR called the moneyed interests. They've got the money, and their whole priority is to keep it.

They realized that they could buy up the only "alternative" to themselves, and prevent there from being anybody at all willing to be a real alternative. They do. That is for example what Biden has always been, the Senator from money based in the corporate and banking HQ's of Delaware. Hence is sponsorship of the anti-consumer laws such as his bankruptcy bill.

The Democratic Party is the only place that could be a political home for reformers. It once was. It might be again. But first, money would need to be disempowered.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , June 9, 2020 at 14:01

Indeed. But it's the money-rotted political system that brings the result. And given a Supreme Court ruling that money is free speech and a Congress that's never has had any will to change the role of money or lobbies in politics, I'm afraid you are stuck with what you have.

There is another well-known Twentieth Century play, "No Exit." And that title sums up the American very real situation.

[Mar 08, 2020] The art of betrail or ordinary voters: CIA democrats or how Dems establishment focused on cultivating ever greater ties with the military and intelligence services

This actually started with Clintons, who also can be viewed as CIA democrats. (especially Hillary)
In no way Sanders supporters will vote for Biden. They will stay home or vote for the third party candidate. This is kind of mini-civil war withing the Dem Party and while Clinton wing won, this is a Pyrrhic victory.
Notable quotes:
"... There are the CIA Democrats who were elected in the last mid-terms. There was the obscene, degrading veneration of first James Comey and then Robert Mueller. ..."
"... There is Adam Schiff and the endless Russiagate black hole of mental resources, money, time and political capital. ..."
"... What they all have in common is the Democrats pressuring Trump for being insufficiently imperialist and warmongering. ..."
Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

tempestteacup , , March 7, 2020 at 8:38 am

This is what I was thinking. It was obvious from 2015 that one of Trump's most effective messages was his criticism of the Iraq War, of Nato, Syria and the endless occupation of Afghanistan. We can also set aside the fact that he has largely failed to do much of what he implied in his campaign. The point is that he campaigned to the left of the Democrats on these issues and did it knowingly -- and that this was a message that resonated with, as you say, voters connected in some way to the military.

Also significant in this context is that since his election, the mainstream Washington Dems have focused (besides their interminable obsession with 'civility') on cultivating ever greater ties with the military and intelligence services.

There are the CIA Democrats who were elected in the last mid-terms. There was the obscene, degrading veneration of first James Comey and then Robert Mueller.

There is Adam Schiff and the endless Russiagate black hole of mental resources, money, time and political capital.

What they all have in common is the Democrats pressuring Trump for being insufficiently imperialist and warmongering. In this context, too, it is significant that the Dem mandarins have chosen Joe Biden, probably the most right wing of all the remaining opponents facing off against Bernie -- definitely worse than Obama (remember that when he chose Biden as VP it was viewed rightly as throwing a bone to the Blue Dogs and other Dem reactionaries!) and almost certainly worse even than HRC herself.

But it doesn't have to be that way. As you suggest, an anti-war message can reach voters in special ways and unite, for example, groups that would otherwise view themselves as miles apart -- e.g. radicalised young people and rural working class families with military connections. That is exactly the type of solidarity we need. And therefore almost as exactly the sort of thing that Democrats minus Bernie will do all they can to prevent coming to pass!

tempestteacup , March 7, 2020 at 8:22 am

Yes, I didn’t mean to suggest that direct exposure to the often tragic consequences of serving the American Empire inevitably leads those affected to critical insights into how it operates or sustains itself – there is a difference between experience and insight, feeling and knowing. But I believe it does mean there is a very fertile ground for anti-war sentiments in precisely those groups most frequently dismissed by mainstream Democrats or the media as irredeemably…ahem…deplorable.

Not sure I agree that internationally minded socialism died in the trenches of WWI. It was quite literally murdered in that war’s aftermath through the brutal suppression of working class struggles like the Spartacist uprising and political assassinations of figures like Rosa Luxermburg and Karl Liebknecht. And it was ideologically murdered by the capital-assisted rise of fascism and national chauvinism at precisely the moment when global capitalism was entering a period of potentially terminal crisis. In that broad sweep of events I would go so far as to include the ascension to power of Stalin in the Soviet Union and his socialism-in-one-country, which effectively ended the internationalism unleashed by the 1917 Revolution.

After WWII, the capitalist West of course responded to these crises by ceding more ground to workers than they had ever done before. Socialised healthcare in Europe, the welfare state, access to education, state-led investment. They rightly feared the consequences of a resurgent international socialism and opted to head things off at the pass (I hate that cliche, to quote Hedley Lamarr!). But no less influential was the Stalinist Soviet Union’s cynical manipulation of liberation struggles and the various Communist Parties they funded across the West and Latin America. Their sabotage of the Spanish Republican struggle was here the template, as they evolved various “popular front” tactics to lead various working-class movements down strategically (for them) useful blind alleys.

In fact, the list of betrayals committed by the Soviet Union with regard to their international ‘comrades’ bears comparison with the Democratic Party’s own patented ability to bury social movements in the US – leading bravely and courageously…from behind.

As for Bernie/AOC, their plan to ‘deal with domestic problems first’ is exactly what I take issue with. In the first place, I see no evidence that the ruling class will allow even their modest policies to be enacted. This is not the Depression Era. Unions are weak, corrupt or worse. Political consciousness may be growing but remains relatively low compared to the 20th century. There is no broad mass movement beyond Washington DC which political leaders can use as leverage in the struggles that would inevitably need to be fought over policies like Medicare for All. Maybe they will emerge once the struggles gain momentum, but for now the disposition of social forces and political power is very different from the context in which the New Deal was (partially) executed or the Civil Rights Era in the 60s.

More importantly, though, and what I’ve been trying to get at is the idea that you can effectively decouple domestic from foreign issues is a mirage. Particularly in a period of unparalleled interconnection where global capital and finance have themselves eroded the integrity of nation states or their sovereignty. And besides that, Trump’s election has brought into the open the enormous political power that has been amassed by the military and intelligence services – and which will without doubt be brought to bear on any Bernie or AOC attempting to bring about domestic reforms opposed by the oligarchy.

I just don’t think it is possible to confront one set of issues without confronting the other – their interrelationship requires them to be faced at the same time. And that is of course before we talk about the moral imperative to do so.

One last thing – a lesson learned painfully from Labour under Corbyn. His constant capitulations over mainly foreign issues – Israel, Trident, the Skripal case, Syria, Julian Assange – didn’t free up space or energy to fight for domestic reform. It didn’t satisfy his opponents in the media or on the right wing of his own party. It signalled his weakness and encouraged them to press on with ever more insistent demands. And, crucially, it demotivated and demobilised the very popular support on which his insurgent movement relied. It disillusioned, confused and depressed the energies of those who had powered him to the leadership. And, finally, it exposed him as weak or vacillating to voters he needed to convince or galvanise.

Now Bernie is a much, much more skilled political operator than Jeremy Corbyn, but on the other hand the Democratic Party is far more corrupt and corporatist, far more detached from and unaccountable to its base of support. The Labour Party, at least, is a mass membership party with continued trade union links. The Dems are a mafia cartel/protection racket based around no more than perpetuating the privileges of those they call their own (elected officials, consultants, media cheerleaders etc). As I said in my first post, I acknowledge he is fighting a very particular fight for the nomination/presidency – and he is kept constantly busy fending off dishonest attacks from all sides – but if not him, then others, like AOC, need in my view to stop putting off confrontation over foreign issues for another day – the struggle needs to combine domestic and international otherwise it will end up sacrificing both.

Bazarov , March 7, 2020 at 1:46 pm

I don’t think Bernie is a much more skilled political operator than Jeremy Corbyn–I think he’s about as bad, so bad that he’s about to get defeated by a Joe Biden, a pudding brained old man with a terrible record.

But Bernie is going to do a great service (I hope) by losing and that’s to turn the nascent left away from electoralism and more toward the street, organizing the masses in the manner that the right wing has: by emphasizing propaganda to radicalize the normies (radio/podcasts/youtube), by siloing cadres into a parallel culture, and by growing tendencies toward revolutionary action by encouraging socialization with specific political content (in the right wing world these are gun/religious groups).

Out of these social formations, electoral success organically follows. The left ought to build the secular equivalent of evangelical churches (a Socialist Meeting Hall in every town!) and gun groups (left wing boy scouts and also…left wing gun groups?). Get the people out of their homes to meet one another in a specific political context. When someone identifies as “Socialist,” it should be a shorthand for a kind of “social” existence that is notably separate from the “normal” (as it is right now for the Right Wing–a strong reason, in my view, for the successful rightward political seduction of such a large portion of the masses, who ought to be easy pickings for the left).

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 3:36 am

> The overextension of empire is always going to provide its weakest points.

Exhibit A at least in terms of visibility: The supply chain.

It would surely be possible to frame, and possibly even to conceptualize, the combination of gutting manufacturing in this country and moving it to China as a bad case of Imperial overstretch….

[Mar 03, 2020] The neoliberals' cultural stock is in decline. caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... The eventual point of neoliberalism, then, is to exalt markets above people -- for the neoliberals, people are expendable but markets are superior. ..."
"... Postmodernism can give neoliberalism a cultural core ..."
"... The incubator regime for neoliberalism, as numerous authors have pointed out, was the regime in Chile under the dictatorial junta headed by Augusto Pinochet, beginning on the real September 11th, in 1973. The Department of Economics at the University of Chicago , the epicenter of neoliberal thought in America, was brought in to help Pinochet devise policy. Please keep in mind that neoliberals do not care one whit about democracy as long as the resultant regimes respect capitalism, and they're also okay with high death tolls for the same reason. Neoliberalism is a death culture. You live if you have money or if you have access to the government which invents money and forces you to use it. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

The neoliberals' cultural stock is in decline.

Cassiodorus on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 5:00pm The neoliberals' cultural stuck is in decline. When they had that suave dude Barack Obama telling everyone he was like Gandhi or Mandela, that was totally a thing. Cultural neoliberalism was rockin' da house as every branch of government, both state and Federal, was being awarded to Republicans . Then they put all of their eggs in the Hillary Clinton basket, waging a rather nasty campaign to get everyone to step in line while Clinton was and is very much about money and about the society of her John Birch Society daddy. (She and Bill did make great-looking hippies in the Sixties though, but you only see that in old photos.) Vote for her because Trump is Hitler or something.

Now they have what? Pete Buttigieg, who is smarter than you and who reeks insincerity from every pore of his skin as he delivers wooden imitations of Obama speeches? Michael Bloomberg, who brags about what he can buy? Grandpa Joe Biden, with initial-stage dementia? Hallmark card cop Amy Klobuchar, who will work with Republicans while helping maybe five or six people as she promised? Elizabeth "I'm in it for me" Warren? It's not like these people come naturally to cultural efflorescence -- they, after all, ran John Kerry, Al Gore, and Michael Dukakis -- but this has got to be a new low for them, expanding the field to twenty-plus candidates only to find themselves facing Super Tuesday with only this.

Philosophically, neoliberalism is a form of antihumanism . In an article in "American Affairs" (which I suggest you all read from beginning to end) the economist Philip Mirowski suggests several principles common to neoliberal thought. I'll just post one through four so as not to freak anyone out while making the point just as effectively:

(1) "Free" markets do not occur naturally. They must be actively constructed through political organizing.

(2) "The market" is an information processor, and the most efficient one possible -- more efficient than any government or any single human ever could be. Truth can only be validated by the market.

(3) Market society is, and therefore should be, the natural and inexorable state of humankind.

(4) The political goal of neoliberals is not to destroy the state, but to take control of it, and to redefine its structure and function, in order to create and maintain the market-friendly culture.

This then, is the core of neoliberal culture. The eventual point of neoliberalism, then, is to exalt markets above people -- for the neoliberals, people are expendable but markets are superior. It took a rabid nationalist like Donald Trump to end the war in Afghanistan , whereas faithful neoliberal Barack Obama kept the war around because it provided "markets" for weapons corporations. Neoliberals hate Bernie Sanders because he wants to get rid of some of the markets for health insurance -- as long as people are buying health insurance, the neoliberals don't care if anyone dies because they can't afford to use it.

... ... ...

Neoliberalism has been the dominant doctrine throughout the world's universities since the Eighties. Academic vogues such as "postmodernism" can serve as Trojan Horse concepts for hegemonic neoliberalism. Postmodernism, to own a definition, is an aesthetic concept involving the juxtaposition of radically differing aesthetic concepts and celebrating surface observations over "deeper meanings." The postmodern essence of visual art is in collage; the postmodern musical form is the medley. Postmodernism is innocuous when it combines medieval architecture with Frank Lloyd Wright, or when it combines classical music with rock and roll. Neoliberalism, however, sees in postmodernism a market, something to create new products and separate people from their money. Postmodernism can give neoliberalism a cultural core .

Postmodernism is what is behind Pete Buttigieg's assertion that people do not have to choose between revolution and the status quo . (Trust me, he's been to universities .) We just combine them in some kind of postmodern market. Never mind that such an idea eviscerates the concept of revolution.

The incubator regime for neoliberalism, as numerous authors have pointed out, was the regime in Chile under the dictatorial junta headed by Augusto Pinochet, beginning on the real September 11th, in 1973. The Department of Economics at the University of Chicago , the epicenter of neoliberal thought in America, was brought in to help Pinochet devise policy. Please keep in mind that neoliberals do not care one whit about democracy as long as the resultant regimes respect capitalism, and they're also okay with high death tolls for the same reason. Neoliberalism is a death culture. You live if you have money or if you have access to the government which invents money and forces you to use it.

The task of replacing neoliberalism with something else will be a daunting one. Neoliberals rule the planet today. It appears at this point that our primary weapon is the fact that the neoliberals don't really have any specific culture; instead, they speculate in culture for the sake of the fetishes of markets and money and property through which they destroy the planet, us, and ultimately themselves.

[Mar 02, 2020] "Word salad canadidate" ended his run for the nomination

Pete Buttigieg has ended his bid for the Democratic nomination
Notable quotes:
"... @entrepreneur ..."
Mar 02, 2020 | caucus99percent.com
@entrepreneur by a candidate with a degree in English Literature from Harvard (magna cum laude). Buttigieg couldn't even win the idiot vote, which he was clearly aiming for. If you think "The shape of our democracy is the issue that affects every other issue" means something, you are displaying the Dunning-Kruger effect .

[Mar 02, 2020] The neoliberals' cultural stock is in decline. caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... Postmodernism can give neoliberalism a cultural core ..."
Mar 02, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

The neoliberals' cultural stock is in decline.

Cassiodorus on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 5:00pm The neoliberals' cultural stuck is in decline. When they had that suave dude Barack Obama telling everyone he was like Gandhi or Mandela, that was totally a thing. Cultural neoliberalism was rockin' da house as every branch of government, both state and Federal, was being awarded to Republicans . Then they put all of their eggs in the Hillary Clinton basket, waging a rather nasty campaign to get everyone to step in line while Clinton was and is very much about money and about the society of her John Birch Society daddy. (She and Bill did make great-looking hippies in the Sixties though, but you only see that in old photos.) Vote for her because Trump is Hitler or something.

Now they have what? Pete Buttigieg, who is smarter than you and who reeks insincerity from every pore of his skin as he delivers wooden imitations of Obama speeches? Michael Bloomberg, who brags about what he can buy? Grandpa Joe Biden, with initial-stage dementia? Hallmark card cop Amy Klobuchar, who will work with Republicans while helping maybe five or six people as she promised? Elizabeth "I'm in it for me" Warren? It's not like these people come naturally to cultural efflorescence -- they, after all, ran John Kerry, Al Gore, and Michael Dukakis -- but this has got to be a new low for them, expanding the field to twenty-plus candidates only to find themselves facing Super Tuesday with only this.

Philosophically, neoliberalism is a form of antihumanism . In an article in "American Affairs" (which I suggest you all read from beginning to end) the economist Philip Mirowski suggests several principles common to neoliberal thought. I'll just post one through four so as not to freak anyone out while making the point just as effectively:

(1) "Free" markets do not occur naturally. They must be actively constructed through political organizing.

(2) "The market" is an information processor, and the most efficient one possible -- more efficient than any government or any single human ever could be. Truth can only be validated by the market.

(3) Market society is, and therefore should be, the natural and inexorable state of humankind.

(4) The political goal of neoliberals is not to destroy the state, but to take control of it, and to redefine its structure and function, in order to create and maintain the market-friendly culture.

This then, is the core of neoliberal culture. The eventual point of neoliberalism, then, is to exalt markets above people -- for the neoliberals, people are expendable but markets are superior. It took a rabid nationalist like Donald Trump to end the war in Afghanistan , whereas faithful neoliberal Barack Obama kept the war around because it provided "markets" for weapons corporations. Neoliberals hate Bernie Sanders because he wants to get rid of some of the markets for health insurance -- as long as people are buying health insurance, the neoliberals don't care if anyone dies because they can't afford to use it.

As implied in this article (password: AddletonAP2009) , the neoliberal "solution" to climate change is the only one that has been tried. The point of focusing all climate change mitigation efforts upon "reducing carbon emissions," from the Rio Earth Summit of 1992 onward, is so that a new line of products can be manufactured to help consumers reduce their carbon emissions, more efficient fossil-burning machines or alternative energy machines or carbon permits or easements or something like that. The idea that manufacturing new products also consumes carbon is not assumed to be a problem. Meanwhile the fossil energy interests will stay hidden from all of this "mitigation" effort, it being assumed that the sacred "market" will drive them out of business. Whether said "market" actually does so, when obviously over the past twenty-eight years it has done nothing of the sort, is nobody's business. Neoliberals are okay with carbon taxes because they can always be abolished later, like they were in Australia , and because their ideas of carbon taxes involve low carbon taxes so as not to hurt businesses.

Neoliberalism has been the dominant doctrine throughout the world's universities since the Eighties. Academic vogues such as "postmodernism" can serve as Trojan Horse concepts for hegemonic neoliberalism. Postmodernism, to own a definition, is an aesthetic concept involving the juxtaposition of radically differing aesthetic concepts and celebrating surface observations over "deeper meanings." The postmodern essence of visual art is in collage; the postmodern musical form is the medley. Postmodernism is innocuous when it combines medieval architecture with Frank Lloyd Wright, or when it combines classical music with rock and roll. Neoliberalism, however, sees in postmodernism a market, something to create new products and separate people from their money. Postmodernism can give neoliberalism a cultural core . Postmodernism is what is behind Pete Buttigieg's assertion that people do not have to choose between revolution and the status quo . (Trust me, he's been to universities .) We just combine them in some kind of postmodern market. Never mind that such an idea eviscerates the concept of revolution.

The incubator regime for neoliberalism, as numerous authors have pointed out, was the regime in Chile under the dictatorial junta headed by Augusto Pinochet, beginning on the real September 11th, in 1973. The Department of Economics at the University of Chicago , the epicenter of neoliberal thought in America, was brought in to help Pinochet devise policy. Please keep in mind that neoliberals do not care one whit about democracy as long as the resultant regimes respect capitalism, and they're also okay with high death tolls for the same reason. Neoliberalism is a death culture. You live if you have money or if you have access to the government which invents money and forces you to use it.

The task of replacing neoliberalism with something else will be a daunting one. Neoliberals rule the planet today. It appears at this point that our primary weapon is the fact that the neoliberals don't really have any specific culture; instead, they speculate in culture for the sake of the fetishes of markets and money and property through which they destroy the planet, us, and ultimately themselves.

[Feb 29, 2020] The RNC tried a similar trick against Trump in 2016 and DNC against Sanders in 2020. Everyone knows how well it worked.

Notable quotes:
"... Buttigieg and Bloomberg have similar voting blocks to Biden. Buttigieg is the clean cut presidential type with PR trained words, a Biden 2020 model with less baggage. Older whites love him which is why he does well in Iowa and NH. ..."
"... If Biden/Buttigieg/Bloomberg join forces behind one of them, they won't add any new voters; they'll simply stop stealing votes from each other. Less self-destructive, of course, but hardly enough to beat Sanders. ..."
Feb 29, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Alex (the one that likes Ike)3 days ago • edited

The Democratic establishment worries that if the "moderates" in the race do not start falling on their swords, dropping out, and joining behind a single candidate -- Biden, Buttigieg or Bloomberg -- to challenge Sanders, they will lose the nomination to Sanders and the election to Trump.

Strange and deeply delusional people. Let us imagine they fell on those proverbial swords and joined the forces behind someone. Why should it work with Democratic voters any better than in did with Republicans in 2016?

Biden's voters are those who believe that he will become Obama's third term; a doubtful assertion, but the number of such believers is rather stable and won't go either up or down. Warren's voters are more likely to defect to Sanders rather than to anyone else. Buttigieg's and Bloomberg's voters... Wait. Who exactly those "Buttigieg's and Bloomberg's voters" as a voting bloc even are?

Anyways, the RNC tried a similar trick against Trump in 2016. Everyone knows how well it worked.

IanDakar Alex (the one that likes Ike)3 days ago
Buttigieg and Bloomberg have similar voting blocks to Biden. Buttigieg is the clean cut presidential type with PR trained words, a Biden 2020 model with less baggage. Older whites love him which is why he does well in Iowa and NH.

Bloomberg is liberal Trump. Big business man that can "get things done". Has an ugly past but who cares. He was getting the same votes as Biden (both white and non white so long as they are middle agreed and older, all moderates). So basically a Biden 3.0 now with Minority Power and a dash of Trump

Note that was before the Nevada debate.

Note that Warren was supposed to be a Sanders 2.0 with less baggage. The race has always been Biden-like vs Sanders-like. But Warren couldn't go full Sanders while Biden ended up with that Romney effect where flashy new people would show up look nice then fade away because they couldn't just stick with the original.

It would be a very different race if it was Biden vs Sanders and that's that. But Sanders side figured it out first.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) IanDakar3 days ago
That's right. If Biden/Buttigieg/Bloomberg join forces behind one of them, they won't add any new voters; they'll simply stop stealing votes from each other. Less self-destructive, of course, but hardly enough to beat Sanders.

Though I'd disagree that Warren is Sanders 2.0 - as you noted, she cannot go full Sanders. She is Sanders 0.5 at best, if not Sanders beta.

IanDakar Alex (the one that likes Ike)3 days ago • edited
On the second matter the idea was for her to be Sanders 2.0. But Sanders always goes full Sanders to the point of flat out telling you that he WILL raise taxes. Warren couldn't go full Sanders and actually tried so sneak into the Biden camp. "Sanders v.5 now with more Biden" didn't sell well.

(Suddenly imagining a video of Sanders telling Warren to "follow me" then start parkour up a building while Warren watches helplessly)

On the first I just listened to Mondays episode of political rewind that noted something in Nevada: Sanders only got about 30% of the initial vote which is the closest to a normal primary. His bump to over 45% came as voters of dead candidates had to move to their second pick.

If this really was a moderate vs radical then Warren votes would go to Bernie and everyone else to Biden or buttigieg. Instead they mostly went to Sanders. Which means voters went "I would rather have this person but if I can't I'll vote Bernie." Jeeesh even TAC is doing it with Tulsi compete with hard social conservative folks seemingly to find a reason to vote for Sanders. Jeesh I did that with Warren.

It's one caucus but it's an interesting idea. What if it's not Anyone but Bernie and more "Bernie is ok but I really like this person." A mass consolidation may end up pushing them all to their second pick. It also explains why the field is so spread. It's not confused voters deciding on a moderate. It's fans of a particular candidate that are willing to substitute for Bernie once they're love drops out.

A consolidated field might not stop Bernie. It might give him the gold.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) IanDakar3 days ago
By the way, Tulsi as a veep candidate would significantly imporove Sanders's chances against Trump during the election itself. Though picking her will be equal to saying "we're through" to the Democratic establishment. So I'll withhold my opinion as to whether Bernie will dare to do it until he's nominated - at this point I expect that he will be nominated, unless the DNC resorts to some highly unconventional (which is, outright fraudulent) measures.
MT1798 Alex (the one that likes Ike)2 days ago
I don't know if Sanders has the courage to nominate someone like Tulsi, but he should, and not just to win the election. If he nominates some moderate, he'll have to watch his back constantly in fear that he might be given an untimely "heart attack."
MT1798 IanDakar2 days ago
Agreed, the idea that Sanders has a significantly lower ceiling than the others fell apart when the second alignment results from NV came in. There were plenty of people who picked Sanders when they could no longer go with their 1st option.
Kent3 days ago
""Medicare for All." Abolition of private health insurance. War on Wall Street. The Green New Deal. Free college tuition. Forgiveness of all student debt. Open borders. Supreme Court justices committed to Roe v. Wade. Welfare for undocumented migrants. A doubling of the minimum wage to $15 an hour."

With the exception of "open borders", which Sanders has repeatedly stated he is against, which of these issues do you think hurts Sanders with the majority?

James Burger Kent3 days ago
Right, he listed them off like they were points against him. Those are the reasons people are voting for him!
MT1798 Kent2 days ago
Abolition of private health insurance will hurt him with some union members, as well as people who have good health benefits currently. My parents are public employees, and their insurance costs little and they get access to the best doctors in the area. A MFA system would increase the demand to see those elite doctors, and they might get squeezed out. And Trump/GOP can simply say "They couldn't even build a functioning website for Obamacare, do you really trust them to completely overhaul our healthcare system?" People with no/bad health insurance might take that chance, but people with solid/good health insurance will probably be risk averse. Do you think people are going to fall for "If you like your doctor, you can keep them" a second time?

The Green New Deal will hurt in TX and PA, since there are a lot of oil industry workers there. And if you look at polling, Climate Change is nowhere near most voters, especially moderates, top concern.

Welfare to illegal immigrants is extremely unpopular to everyone outside of the hard left.

James Burger MT17982 days ago
I definitely hear those concerns but MFA will absolutely help more people than it hurts. Arguing against it for the sake of preserving jobs is to me like arguing for the carriage industry during the advent of the automobile. With regards to doctors, the problem with Obamacare was that it left the insurance industry intact, which is why people couldn't always keep their doctors. It's not a choice if your insurance won't cover the doctor you want. MFA would allow you to see literally any doctor you wanted, no concerns about "networks".

With regards to the GND, again you're arguing for the carriage makers while Model-T's are rolling off the line. Green energy is already edging out coal as it becomes cheaper and easier to produce, the oil workers are living on borrowed time. And any GND will have provisions for re-training displaced workers so they can land on their feet. My brother just became trained as a wind-turbine mechanic, he's working on job sites literally across the country (so far he's been to Texas, Iowa and Minnesota). The jobs for the displaced workers are there, and the GND will make sure they're properly prepared for them.

Also you're incorrect on American's concerns about climate change. Pew Research center says 67% of Americans believe the federal government should be doing more to stop it from getting worse. And while of course you see some demographic divisions in the data the trend is that number is growing, in fact they say 65% of moderate Republicans feel that way.

MT1798 James Burgera day ago
First of all, to all my original point, I'm arguing about how those policies hurt Bernie Sanders politically, not on their merits. Bernie continually votes to fund the F-35 even though it's a trillion dollar piece of junk, because some of its parts are built in VT.

On comparing MFA and the GND to the advent of the automobile, that's a terrible analogy since the government didn't shove the automobile down our throats. The automobile became affordable and convenient, and people voluntarily purchased it.

For MFA, there is no evidence that there will be any cost control measures that would make it economically viable. Congress has been kicking the can down the road on cost controls for Medicare and Obamacare for years, so why would we expect MFA to be different?

For the GND, if renewables are so awesome and cost effective, why do we need a new multi-trillion dollar government initiative to make people adopt them?

And as to climate change, where is that on people's list of concerns when polled? Yes, people may say we should do something about it, but 1.) typically they don't want to have to sacrifice anything for it and 2.) If you look at polls that rank peoples concerns in the world, climate change consistently ranks quite low. Heck, they couldn't even get WA state to adopt a modest carbon tax when it was voted on, so what makes you think that it will catch on nationally?

James Burger MT1798a day ago
I'll write more in depth when I have time but just as a point of order I apologize, I misunderstood the intent of your post.
cka2nd MT1798a day ago
There was quite a lot of corporate chicanery, aided and abetted by government, that helped promote the automobile, from auto and rubber companies butying up trolley systems to auto companies paying off movie producers to make newsreels promoting buses over trolleys. There are documentaries, books and even comic books on the subject.
Chris Chuba2 days ago
Sanders is for increasing the carried interest tax rate for private equity firms. He wants to turn the U.S. into Venezuela. Socialism ... sooooooocialism.
MT1798 Chris Chuba2 days ago
Bernie's Wall Street tax proposals are nonsensical. They are supposedly going to raise a ton of revenue without substantially disrupting the financial sector. One, or potentially both, of those things are likely to be false.
James Burger Chris Chuba2 days ago
For every Venezeula there is a Denmark, a Germany, a Finland, a Japan. It's easy to point to (I know it's not PC to say) a corrupt 3rd world country and crow about how "socialism failed". And yet if you glance over towards Europe you see dozens of nations with one form of socialist safety net or another, and they're spending *less* per capita on healthcare *and* getting *better* results than we are.

I flipped on this issue specifically because of the numbers, not ideological reasons. I happily voted for Johnson in 16, and in a perfect world I'd prefer government to stay small. But you can't deny that the healthcare system we're currently in is MUCH worse than just about everyone else's in the developed world (I mean it's the internet, you can deny all you want but the facts are what they are). I flipped because if we're spending more and getting less, it's literally *more* fiscally conservative and efficient to switch to a MFA system. I'd love a completely free-market system, but there's fewer examples that I'm aware of of that sort of system working well, and honestly I don't think it could be pulled off.

Kent James Burgera day ago
We in essence have a free market health care system. At least outside of Medicare and the VA. For a market to function efficiently, it requires 2 key ingredients: the ability to compare prices and the ability to compare quality. Due to the disparity in medical training between the medical community and your average Joe on the street, having those 2 key ingredients is impossible. So we just have a very inefficient health care market, as any economics book would predict. Less corrupt nations understand how this works and mitigate the problem with different solutions: full government control (England), government single-payer (Canada), non-profit insurance system (Germany) and many others.

[Feb 29, 2020] Buttigieg's Foreign Policy Vacuity

Notable quotes:
"... When he is pressed to give specifics on foreign policy, his answers range from vague to terrible , and when he does get pinned down he ends up sounding more and more hawkish . ..."
"... Buttigieg's lack of foreign policy substance and experience make him the perfect vessel that his advisers can fill with their own ideas. The former mayor rails against "old failed Washington," but his entire career has been aimed at becoming part of it, and to that end he fails to attack our government's many foreign policy failures. ..."
"... Buttigieg's weakness on foreign policy reflects the larger problem with his candidacy. There doesn't seem to be any particular reason why he is running for president except his own overweening ambition, and there isn't any compelling reason why voters should prefer him to any of the other alternatives. ..."
"... The average American voter wouldn't recognize a coherent foreign policy if it showed up gift-wrapped on their doorstep. ..."
"... electability comes more from the intuitions of voters - at the margin - than actual policy formulations. Celebrity and stage presence mean a lot to people who regularly imbibe cable TV, Oprah, Game of Thrones and Super Bowl halftime shows ( all of which are intellectually indistinguishable from one another, I might add ). ..."
"... Apart from the irony of the NY Times asking questions about regime-change wars -- all of which the Times cheerleaded -- Buttigieg's near-silence on foreign policy isn't much different from Sanders' in 2016. ..."
"... Buttigieg is an empty vessel. He poses no threat to entrenched wealth in this country or to the neocon foreign policy establishment. He won't do anything to curb the excesses of American militarism. The only powerful group he offends is the religious right - a group deeply offended by his homosexuality. They won't want a gay couple in the White House. For the socially liberal wealthy who don't want their wealth and power threatened by Sanders or Warren, he is the perfect candidate ..."
theamericanconservative.com

Barndollar notes that Pete Buttigieg avoids foreign policy substance all the time:

When the New York Times asked Democratic candidates about regime change wars and U.S. support for coups, "Mr. Buttigieg did not answer this question." Ditto for all of the Times' questions about Afghanistan, the war upon which Buttigieg's claims to foreign policy expertise hinge. Buttigieg remains essentially a cipher on foreign policy, sensible words about the AUMF aside. He sounds the right progressive notes but refuses to be pinned down on much of substance. It is hard to imagine him diverging much from the bipartisan foreign policy consensus that has wreaked so much havoc, in Afghanistan and elsewhere. When the New York Times asked Democratic candidates about regime change wars and U.S. support for coups, "Mr. Buttigieg did not answer this question." Ditto for all of the Times' questions about Afghanistan, the war upon which Buttigieg's claims to foreign policy expertise hinge. Buttigieg remains essentially a cipher on foreign policy, sensible words about the AUMF aside. He sounds the right progressive notes but refuses to be pinned down on much of substance. It is hard to imagine him diverging much from the bipartisan foreign policy consensus that has wreaked so much havoc, in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Buttigieg's Buttigieg's aversion to substance is not limited to foreign policy, and his rhetoric frequently tends towards the platitudinous. He proudly tweeted out a recent statement he made at a town hall in New Hampshire, "The shape of our democracy is the issue that affects every other issue." The real talent that Buttigieg has is that he says nonsensical things like that with a straight face. He can repeat the phrase "end endless war," but he never wants to say when or how exactly he is going to end any wars. In that respect, he may be the Democratic candidate most like Trump. When he is pressed to give specifics on foreign policy, his answers When he is pressed to give specifics on foreign policy, his answers

When he is pressed to give specifics on foreign policy, his answers range from vague to terrible , and when he does get pinned down he ends up sounding more and more hawkish .

He delivered one underwhelming speech on the subject last year, and we still know little more about his foreign policy views today than we did then. His campaign website section on foreign policy includes nothing except a copy of that same speech. It is probably because they assume that he poses no threat to conventional foreign policy that he has It is probably because they assume that he poses no threat to conventional foreign policy that he has It is probably because they assume that he poses no threat to conventional foreign policy that he has hundreds of foreign policy professionals rushing to endorse him when he has no qualifications.

Buttigieg's lack of foreign policy substance and experience make him the perfect vessel that his advisers can fill with their own ideas. The former mayor rails against "old failed Washington," but his entire career has been aimed at becoming part of it, and to that end he fails to attack our government's many foreign policy failures.

Buttigieg's weakness on foreign policy reflects the larger problem with his candidacy. There doesn't seem to be any particular reason why he is running for president except his own overweening ambition, and there isn't any compelling reason why voters should prefer him to any of the other alternatives.


Gerald Arcurian hour ago
The average American voter wouldn't recognize a coherent foreign policy if it showed up gift-wrapped on their doorstep. This is, for all intents and purposes, a moot issue in terms of the upcoming election.

Donald Trump never had a coherent foreign policy that anyone could discern when he was a candidate, and look how that turned out. Some Americans are intensely interested in foreign policy; most are not. Oh, they have opinions, alright.

But electability comes more from the intuitions of voters - at the margin - than actual policy formulations. Celebrity and stage presence mean a lot to people who regularly imbibe cable TV, Oprah, Game of Thrones and Super Bowl halftime shows ( all of which are intellectually indistinguishable from one another, I might add ).

Donnaan hour ago
Apart from the irony of the NY Times asking questions about regime-change wars -- all of which the Times cheerleaded -- Buttigieg's near-silence on foreign policy isn't much different from Sanders' in 2016.

Politicians believe the American public isn't as interested in foreign policy as it is in domestic issues. Also, with domestic issues, politicians have become experts in pushing wedge issues so as to manipulate their constituencies. But a more probable reason Buttigieg doesn't talk about foreign policy is because, as mayor of a small town, he never had to deal with it. This vacuum will mean that, as president, he will adopt the Democratic Party's pro-war, anti-Russia, neocon belligerency. He will be an inexperienced puppet controlled by the Clinton-Obama-neocon war agenda.

Sami Hussain34 minutes ago
Buttigieg is an empty vessel. He poses no threat to entrenched wealth in this country or to the neocon foreign policy establishment. He won't do anything to curb the excesses of American militarism. The only powerful group he offends is the religious right - a group deeply offended by his homosexuality. They won't want a gay couple in the White House. For the socially liberal wealthy who don't want their wealth and power threatened by Sanders or Warren, he is the perfect candidate.

[Feb 26, 2020] Butti on Trump and Sanders

Feb 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Feb 27 2020 1:38 utc | 68

Last night at the Democratic debate no one immediately noticed, most especially the lame media, how Buttigieg screwed the pooch with this bit of misinformed, unenlightened, wiseguy condescension:

Buttigieg said, I am not looking forward to a scenario where it comes down to Donald Trump, with his nostalgia for the social order of the 1950s, and Bernie Sanders with a nostalgia for the revolutionary politics of the 1960s.

Okay, but you really stepped into it butthead! You belittled and probably alienated millions of former revolutionary boomers in their 60s and 70's, who have justifed nostalgia for protest activism and social justice movements and organizations, the Civil Rights Movement, the Anti-War Movement, the United Farm Workers, and an era rich in creative awareness that gave rise to prominent revolutionary figures like MLK and Malcolm X and others together with musicians and artists who helped evolve the consciousness of humanity and changed the world.

The first big question, especially for a southern Black crowd, might be how the civil rights movement squares with Buttigieg's concerns about an era which saw Martin Luther King, Jr.'s rise to political prominence, and his tragic assassination; an era that gave prominence to the Black Panthers, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and many, many more Black leaders, whose work is still relevant today. These people, their work, and their movement are undoubtedly part of the "revolutionary politics of the 1960s."

Or maybe Buttigieg is talking about the people fed up with the homo- and transphobic policies of the times, who rose up, in 1966, at Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco, and at the Stonewall Inn, in 1969, in New York? Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, two of the most notably lionized figures to come out of Stonewall and the ensuing years of LGBTQ organizing in New York, even put the word "revolution" in the name of the organization they started to house and care for LGBTQ youth, the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR).

Maybe Buttigieg is worried about other movements from the 1960s. It was the era that gave us the Brown Berets, the Chicano movement, and an outburst of activism from migrant farmworkers. The '60s saw the birth of the Native-led Red Power movement and the Indigenous reclamation of Alcatraz Island. The bra-burning antics of the decade's feminists may be misremembered, but it's indisputable that the 1960s gave us a powerful wave of new feminist thought. Through it all, protests against the Vietnam War grabbed national attention. And many of these movements had young people leading the way.

We must remember that the revolutionary politics of the '60s were, in many ways, a response to the social order of the '50s. And just as Trump has pitched himself to America great again in a specifically '50s way, we need to make space for the revolutionary politics of the '60s to challenge the ways this nation has oppressed, and continues to oppress, the people it's pledged to liberate.

revolutionary politics

Bernie Sanders witnessed one of the most powerful eras in American history and participated in the struggle for civil rights. Buttigieg owes him gratitude, respect and owes an apology to the generation of boomers who actively mobilized for achieving rights for the oppressed at that time.

Buttigieg is a shallow, vacuous pompous pretender to the highest seat of power in the wrong race at the wrong time getting schooled by an inspiring, authentic leader and his legion of defenders.

The revolutionary spirit of the 60s has been awakened at a critical moment in history once again and Bernie Sanders will lead it straight to the highest office in the land.

Bernie Sanders will defeat Donald Trump bringing with him a new generation of revolutionary warriors ready to fight corruption, take on the pressing issues of this time and the existential threat that looms ahead for all mankind.

It is no longer Trumptime. Trump was merely the catalyst for this moment to be seized. I wrote this and believed it from the moment I joined this site, and I am convinced we are embarking on what I envisioned then.

THE UNASSUMING, GENUINE BERNIE SANDERS WILL DEFEAT DONALD TRUMP AND THE MOMENT WILL BE TRANSFORMATIVE, EXHILARATING AND HISTORICAL.

[Feb 25, 2020] The Economic Anxiety Hypothesis has Become Absurd(er)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The key promise of neoliberalism, which came to power in the USA in 1980 with the election of Reagan (aka "the Quiet Coup") was that "the rising tide lifts all boats." -- the redistribution of the wealth up somehow will lift the standard of living of lower strata of the population too. This was a false promise from the very beginning (like everything about neoliberalism, which is based on lies and fake economics in any case). So anger accumulated and now became the key factor in elections. This anger is directed against the neoliberal establishment. ..."
"... The anger toward immigrants is, in fact, a displaced and projected anger against the elimination of meaningful and well-paid jobs and replacing them with McJobs, the process that was the key factor in lowering the standard of living of the bottom 80% of the population. ..."
"... The other part of this anger is directed toward the USA financial oligarchy (personified by such passionately hated figures as Lloyd "we are doing God's" Blankfein, private equity sharks, and figures like Wexner/Epstein) and "political establishment" the key figures of which many people would like to see hanging from street lamp posts (remember "Lock her up" movement in 2016). ..."
"... That's why the neoliberal establishment was forced to use to dirty tricks like Russiagate to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade. ..."
"... In Marxist terms, the USA entered the period called the "revolutionary situation" when the ruling neoliberal elite couldn't govern "as usual" and "the deplorable" do not want to live "as usual". The situation when according to Hegel, "quantity turns into quality," or as Marx said "ideas become a material force when they grip the mind of the masses." ..."
Feb 25, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

I am old enough to remember when many very serious people ascribed the rise of Donald Trump to economic anxiety. The hypthesis never fit the facts (his supporters had higher incomes on average than Clinton's) but it has become absurd. The level of self reported economic anxiety is extraordinarily low

Gallup reports "Record High optimism about Personal Finances in U.S." with 74% predicting they will be better off next year.

Yet now the Democratic party has an insurgent candidate candidate in the lead. I hasten to stress that I am not saying Sanders supporters have much in common with Trump supporters (young vs old, strong hispanic support vs they hate Trump etc etc etc). But both appeal to anger and advocate a radical break with business as usual. Both reject party establishments. Also Warren if a little bit less so.

Trump's 2016 angry supporters still support him *and* they are still angry. He remains unpopular in spite of an economy performing very well (and perceived to be performing very well).

Whatever is going on in 2020, it sure isn't economic anxiety.

Yet there is clearly anger and desire for radical change.

I don't pretend to understand it, but I think it probably has a lot to do with relative economic performance and increased inequality. I can't understand why the reaction of so many Americans to this would be to hate immigrants and vote for Trump, but, then I don't watch Fox News.

One other thing which it isn't is rejection of the guy who came before Trump. Obama has a Real Clear Politics average favorable rating of 59% and unfavorable of 36.1 % vastly vastly better than any currently active politician. (Sanders is doing relatively very well at net -2.7 compared to Obama's + 22.9) He is not rejected. He is not considered a failure. Yet only a small majority is interested in any sort of going back to the way things were.


likbez , February 25, 2020 12:37 am

Robert ,

Trump's 2016 angry supporters still support him *and* they are still angry.

Many Trump "angry supporters" in 2016 used to belong to "anybody but Hillary" class (and they included a noticeable percentage of Bernie supporters, who felt betrayed by DNC) .

They are lost for Trump as he now in many aspects represents the "new Hillary" and the slogan "anybody but Trump" is growing in popularity. Even among Republicans: Trump definitely already lost a large part of anti-war Republicans and independents. As well as. most probably, a part of working class as he did very little for them outside of effects of military Keynesianism.

I suspect he also lost a part of military voters, those who supported Tulsi. They will never vote for Trump.

He also lost a part of "technocratic" voters resentful of the rule of financial oligarchy (anti-swampers), as his incompetence is now an undisputable fact.

He also lost Ron Paul's libertarians, who voted for him in 2016.

How "Coronavirus recession", if any, might affect 2020 elections is difficult to say, but in any case this is an unfavorable for Trump event.

EMichael , February 25, 2020 10:39 am

"I can't understand why the reaction of so many Americans to this would be to hate immigrants and vote for Trump, but, then I don't watch Fox News."

Coming to you since 1965. It's just that immigrants are now added to blacks. Trump took 50 years of the Southern Strategy, took the dogwhistles completely out of the closet and wore his racism right on his chest. Helped that he had over 50 years of experience as a racist, it came naturally to him.

And he attracted a new rw base, those who were not satisfied with dog whistles and/or did not hear them.

likbez , February 25, 2020 12:19 pm

I don't pretend to understand it, but I think it probably has a lot to do with relative economic performance and increased inequality.

It is actually very easy to understand: the middle class fared very poorly since 1991. See https://www.cnbc.com/id/44962589 . Now "the chickens come home to roost," so to speak.

The key promise of neoliberalism, which came to power in the USA in 1980 with the election of Reagan (aka "the Quiet Coup") was that "the rising tide lifts all boats." -- the redistribution of the wealth up somehow will lift the standard of living of lower strata of the population too. This was a false promise from the very beginning (like everything about neoliberalism, which is based on lies and fake economics in any case). So anger accumulated and now became the key factor in elections. This anger is directed against the neoliberal establishment.

The anger toward immigrants is, in fact, a displaced and projected anger against the elimination of meaningful and well-paid jobs and replacing them with McJobs, the process that was the key factor in lowering the standard of living of the bottom 80% of the population.

The other part of this anger is directed toward the USA financial oligarchy (personified by such passionately hated figures as Lloyd "we are doing God's" Blankfein, private equity sharks, and figures like Wexner/Epstein) and "political establishment" the key figures of which many people would like to see hanging from street lamp posts (remember "Lock her up" movement in 2016).

Resentment against spending huge amounts of money for wars for sustaining and enlarging the global USA-centered neoliberal empire is another factor. In this sense, impoverishment and shrinking of the middle class in the USA is similar to the same impoverishment during the last days of the British colonial empire.

That's why the neoliberal establishment was forced to use to dirty tricks like Russiagate to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade.

In Marxist terms, the USA entered the period called the "revolutionary situation" when the ruling neoliberal elite couldn't govern "as usual" and "the deplorable" do not want to live "as usual". The situation when according to Hegel, "quantity turns into quality," or as Marx said "ideas become a material force when they grip the mind of the masses."

In 2016 that resulted in the election of Trump.

Add to this the fact that the neoliberal establishment (represented by both parties) now is clearly anti-social (the fact that a private equity shark Romney was a presidential candidate and then was elected as senator tells a lot about the level of degradation) and is unwilling to solve burning problems with medical insurance, minimal wage and other "the New Deal" elements of social infrastructure.

Democratic Party platform now is to the right of Eisenhower republicans.

That dooms the party candidates like CIA-democrat Major Pete, or "the senator from the credit card companies" Biden, and create an opening for political figures like Sanders (which are passionately hated by DNC)

[Feb 24, 2020] Intelligence Sources All Candidates Are Russian Agents But Pete Buttigieg by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post ..."
Feb 24, 2020 | caitlinjohnstone.com

Following shocking reports from The New York Times and The Washington Post that Moscow is simultaneously working to both re-elect Donald Trump and ensure the nomination of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary race, NNC has obtained further information confirming that nearly all candidates currently running for president are in fact covert agents of the Russian government.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the lone candidate not literally conducting espionage on behalf of the Russian government is Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

"Intelligence has revealed that Mr. Buttigieg is at this time the only candidate who we can count on not to place our nation's interests square in the hands of Vladimir Putin," an anonymous source in the Central Intelligence Agency told NNC on Saturday.

"In fact Mr. Buttigieg is the only candidate running with the skill, the experience and the multilingual relatability needed to bridge our nation's deep divisions and bring Americans together in this time of uncontrolled hostility," the CIA source continued.

"Because in truth, the unity of our togetherness is in the freedom of our democracy," added the source. "The long and winding road to the American flag was built upon the steps of our founding fathers. You don't have to be a big shot Washington insider to see that the problems our nation faces are tearing us apart at our own peril with radical divisive rhetoric saying you need to burn down the establishment and voice a concrete foreign policy position. And that's why I for one believe we don't have to choose between revolution and the status quo: we can come together and find solutions that help the working class and billionaires."

Experts say these new revelations on Russian election interference should consume one hundred percent of all news coverage for the entirety of 2020, and that Democrats should definitely spend all their time from now until November focusing solely on President Trump's suspicious ties to the Russian government.

"I can't think of a single thing that could possibly go wrong if Democrats focused exclusively on the possibility that the president conspired with Vladimir Putin in the lead-up to the election in November," said Les Overton of the influential think tank Americans for an American America. "If Democrats want to prevent another four years of Trump they should hit him where they know it hurts: nonstop 24/7 Russia conspiracy theories. That's what Americans really care about."

Asked if it's possible that undue emphasis on Russian collusion could prove a fruitless endeavor given Trump's soaring approval rating after impeachment resulted in his acquittal and the Mueller report failed to indict a single American for conspiring with the Russian government, Overton disagreed and said this time will be "like, totally different."

"Democrats should definitely invest all of their mental and emotional energy in this Trump-Russia scandal, because this time it's a sure thing," Overton said. "Put all your eggs in this basket and get your hopes up very, very high. The big BOOM is coming any minute now, I promise."

Overton then departed with an envelope full of cash which he said was his life savings, reportedly to invest in lottery tickets.

[Feb 22, 2020] The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity The Rise of Pete Buttigieg The Man Who Isn't There by Martin Sieff

Notable quotes:
"... This is the real meaning behind the rise of Pete Buttigieg to second place among caucus voters in Iowa (though narrowly leading there in the number of pledged delegates) and in New Hampshire, and of the dramatic decline of Senator Elizabeth Warren in both U.S. states. ..."
"... Klobuchar is 20 years younger than Warren, far more controlled in public and not prone to Warren's hysteria. ..."
"... In fact, in so far as Pete Buttigieg is typical of anything, it is not the Democratic Party, the American Midwest, the state of Indiana or the modest mini-city of South Bend he has so manifestly failed to run impressively. ..."
"... Instead, Buttigieg is the latest classic example of what in these columns a year ago (March 29, 2019) I described as the phenomenon of the "Boy Toys" apparently cloned by the CIA as supposedly harmless puppets to (pretend to) run the West. ..."
Feb 22, 2020 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The Rise of Pete Buttigieg: The Man Who Isn't There Written by Martin Sieff Friday February 21, 2020
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"Yesterday, upon a stair
"I met a man who wasn't there
"He wasn't there again today
"I wish, I wish he'd go away."

-Hughes Mearns

This year, the Democratic Party caucus-goers of Midwest, prosperous Iowa and the voters of hard-scrabble, post-industrial, impoverished Granite State New Hampshire 1,342 miles (2,160 kilometers) away agreed on a historic decision:

They put the fantasy of a wonderful, First-Ever Lady President of the United States behind them and significantly tilted towards embracing a First-Ever, Openly Gay President instead.

This is the real meaning behind the rise of Pete Buttigieg to second place among caucus voters in Iowa (though narrowly leading there in the number of pledged delegates) and in New Hampshire, and of the dramatic decline of Senator Elizabeth Warren in both U.S. states.

Warren tried out different suits of political clothes and public policies through her endlessly promoted but always hollow and insubstantial campaign. None of them fitted convincingly on her.

Warren tried to be the candidate of the fake populist, fraudulent left championing Those In Need –a familiar trope.

She did not realize that Senator Bernie Sanders – significantly always a flinty Independent outside the Democratic Party mainstream – retained his rock-solid hold on his supporters from 2016.

By the time Warren – not at all the brightest of political light bulbs – realized her crucial mistake and tried to cut back to the Democrats' so-called moderate center (the terms are actually meaningless, but universally swallowed by gullible Americans), it was too late.

In reality, there is a much stronger and far more plausible mainstream lady Democratic potential candidate.

Senator Amy Klobuchar comes from Minnesota and is far more a daughter of the vast American Heartland than Warren, who grew up in Ohio, but fled it to Massachusetts and the fake intellectual distinction of Harvard as quickly as she could.

Klobuchar is 20 years younger than Warren, far more controlled in public and not prone to Warren's hysteria.

In terms of policy there is in reality little to differentiate them. But Klobuchar knows how to superficially talk to Heartland Americans without convincing them she regards them as dumb little poodle dogs –an absolutely vital requirement for any presidential contender in the 21st century United States. Warren, like Hillary Clinton before her, could never master that vital skill.

However, as the contest outcomes in radically contrasting Iowa and New Hampshire show, instead of Klobuchar's genuinely solid record after 12 years in the United States Senate, Democratic voters are tilting towards Pete Buttigieg: a man who only been mayor of tiny (100,000 population) South Bend, Indiana – and a far from distinguished mayor at that.

Far from being Mr. Clean, Buttigieg in fact has a mysterious background in U.S. Naval Intelligence and an astonishing degree of public support from scores of senior officials in the Secret State .

In fact Buttigieg has never been what he appears to be. He was accepted to Pembroke College at Oxford University in England on a Rhodes scholarship – an elite path previously followed by President Bill Clinton, Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and warmongering neocon columnist the late Charles Krauthammer among others.

He went to Harvard. He has literally scores of endorsements from extraordinarily high level officials in the CIA and throughout the U.S. intelligence community on his web site.

He was a successful employed consultant at McKinsey for three years. His career trajectory closely parallels that of President Emmanuel Macron of France, the supposedly super-smart, highly sheltered and arrogant little policy wonk always ready to ax the jobs and lives of hundreds of thousands of ordinary families on the sacred altar of "efficiency."

Buttigieg served in the U.S. Navy Reserve in intelligence. He had a seven month deployment in Afghanistan in 2014 for which he was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal. Yet he never rose beyond the level of lieutenant – the bottom rank of officers. And he has all these Deep State endorsements.

In fact, in so far as Pete Buttigieg is typical of anything, it is not the Democratic Party, the American Midwest, the state of Indiana or the modest mini-city of South Bend he has so manifestly failed to run impressively.

Instead, Buttigieg is the latest classic example of what in these columns a year ago (March 29, 2019) I described as the phenomenon of the "Boy Toys" apparently cloned by the CIA as supposedly harmless puppets to (pretend to) run the West.

As I wrote at the time, there is an astonishing element of similarity to all these figures. They are all in their forties or late 30s (Buttigieg is 38). They could all pass as teenagers. They all project an attempted air of wholesomeness and earnest idealism which their records reveal as utterly fraudulent. And none of them has any record of distinction in either domestic or international affairs.

"Little Pete" Buttigieg fits this profile eerily: Like the rest of them, he was plucked from nowhere on the basis of nothing more profound than his willingness to swallow the same old internationalist, liberal, free trade party line to cover endless aggressions, fostered coups, civil wars and other crimes against humanity.

Buttigieg, like his fellow Boy Toys is also a perfect candidate to be, in the wonderful words with which Alice Roosevelt Longworth dismissed 1948 U.S. presidential candidate Tom Dewey, the little toy man on top of a giant wedding cake.

The Mighty Mayor of South Bend is also a convincing candidate to be the Last Ever President of the United States: For he is the natural successor to Romulus Augustulanus, the ludicrous teenage last legal emperor of Rome (for less than a year) in 475-6 AD.

What a way to go.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .

[Feb 21, 2020] Everything You Wanted to Know About Pete Buttigieg, But Were Too Afraid to Ask -- Strategic Culture

Feb 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

Rhodes Scholar. Afghan vet. Mayor. An impressive resume, to be sure, but to have made the fantastic leap from local politics to the doorstep of the Oval Office – at the age of just 38 – seems altogether impossible without some serious behind-the-scenes connections.

Let's just cut right to the chase with a couple questions that the media has glaringly failed to consider about the top-polling Democratic presidential candidate. First, the most obvious one. How on earth does a young Midwestern mayor, regardless of his polished resume, jump to the front of the serving line, past hundreds of veteran politicians who have quietly nurtured presidential ambitions inside of the Beltway their entire lives?

As The Economist emphatically stated this week, "Mr Buttigieg is ridiculously young to be doing so well."

Second, if the mayor of South Bend, Indiana (pop. 101,166) is now in serious contention to challenge Donald Trump in November, what exactly does that say about the depth of the Democratic bench, loaded as it is with Senators, House members, Governors and various state officials with far more political experience and acumen?

Today, LGBTQ+ youth in America aren't just grappling with a crisis of belonging in their communities, many are left without a home or a place to sleep. I am so proud of @PeteButtigieg 's agenda for housing justice and what it means for vulnerable youth. https://t.co/btn2zKDrXd

-- Chasten Buttigieg (@Chas10Buttigieg) February 17, 2020

While the Oval Office has seen its share of pretenders, and even actors, the great majority of those men who made it to the pinnacle of power have spent at least some time in high political office before contemplating a presidential run. Incidentally, it is on this particular point, political experience, which could make a Trump-Buttigieg debate a very interesting spectacle. Although Buttigieg has limited political experience, Trump had none before he entered the White House, although certainly proving his abilities once in office.

For Pete's sake!

Born on January 19, 1982, Buttigieg graduated valedictorian from St. Joseph High School in 2000. That same year he won a JFK 'Profiles in Courage' essay contest on the subject of none other than Bernie Sanders, the democratic socialist the incredibly rising mayor is competing against for the November nod. "Above all, I commend Bernie Sanders for giving me an answer to those who say American young people see politics as a cesspool of corruption, beyond redemption," Buttigieg wrote. His trip to Washington D.C. to collect his prize included a meeting with members of the Kennedy clan, an honor that must have left a deep impression on the 18 year old.

Upon graduation from Harvard University, Buttigieg did a stint (2007-2010) at the Chicago office of McKinsey & Co, the discreet U.S. management consulting firm. During his time there, the young upstart took a trip to perhaps the most unlikely destinations in the world, Somaliland, a self-proclaimed independent state in Africa that is struggling for international recognition to this day. In other words, not a trip to Disneyland.

Just before embarking on his African adventure (Summer of 2008), Buttigieg was taken on as a fellow with the Truman National Security Project, a neoliberal think tank that has been described as "a powerful and exclusive club for the best and brightest young progressives in the country." Among its esteemed alumni is none other than Madeleine Albright, chief architect of NATO's obliteration of Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, the founder of the Truman Project, Rachel Kleinfeld, deserves some consideration.

Upon graduating from Oxford, Kleinfeld took up employment with Booz Allen Hamilton, the private contractor that carried out a long list of services for the military. It has also been described as "the world's most profitable spy organization." The head of the company at the time was none other than James Woolsey, the neoconservative former CIA director who has advocated for a fiercely interventionist U.S. foreign policy, notably the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Back to Somaliland. In addition to Buttigieg's affiliation with the Truman Center, where he now sits on the advisory board, his Somalian 'vacation' managed to garner special attention in The New York Times, suggesting this was much more than your ordinary getaway.

"Somaliland is pursuing investment and support from China and Gulf countries," Buttigieg wrote in the Times piece, co-authored by Nathaniel Myers, who also went along for the joyride. "Such support might be enough to ensure Somaliland's survival and eventual growth, but it will crowd out America's chance to win the gratitude of a potentially valuable ally in a very troubled area."

Possibly more than just incidentally, Myers, a Harvard buddy of Buttigieg, now serves as Senior Transition Advisor at USAID – Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), which works to destabilize governments deemed unfavorable to U.S. interests.

Just over a year later, in September 2009, Buttigieg, and despite his participation in anti-war rallies while at Harvard, signed up for the U.S. Navy Reserve. Due to his particular "pedigree," writes Stars and Stripe magazine, he was sworn in as an ensign in naval intelligence without any prior preparation, which is not the traditional route for enlistees. In 2014, he was deployed to Afghanistan, which required Buttigieg to take a seven-month leave of absence from his mayoral duties in South Bend. Here is where the political upstart's career begins to look a little sketchy.

This most disturbing thing about Pete 100% pic.twitter.com/1EhgcCyZgT

-- Heshmat Alavi's Trenchcoat (@UrOrientalist) February 5, 2020

According to The Grayzone, Buttigieg "spent his six months in Afghanistan in 2014 with a little-known unit that operated under the watch of the Drug Enforcement Administration. It was the Afghanistan Threat Finance Cell (ATFC), according to his appointment papers."

What exactly did Special Officer Pete Buttigieg do in this unit, which was founded by none other than the future CIA chief General David Patreaus, who at the time was the head of U.S. Central Command? Well, that's hard to say because the job description that appears in his discharge papers is left conveniently blank. This, and the fact that the ATFC has direct links to U.S. intelligence has fueled rumors with regards to who or what was responsible for placing the mayor of South Bend, Indiana on the political fast lane.

But those sorts of connections alone cannot explain Buttigieg's meteoric rise in Washington, D.C., especially when the young upstart spent the majority of his time in South Bend. No, Pete Buttigieg would require boatloads of cash to earn such fame in such a short time. And as it turns out, the money has been pouring into his coffers from some of the wealthiest families in the country.

The spook's choice: Coup plotters and CIA agents fill Mayor Pete's list of national security endorsers @Cancel_Sam looks at Buttigieg's new roster of endorsements from high-ranking spies, regime-change architects, and global financiers https://t.co/RBQTnDKu7g

-- The Grayzone (@TheGrayzoneNews) December 30, 2019

Buttigieg attracts the bucks

According to federal election data, forty billionaires and their spouses have donated to Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign, putting his campaign war chest at around $52 million, the most collected among all the Democratic candidates. An analysis of the contributions shows that the majority of the billionaire donators came from the financial, media and technology sectors.

In something that should surprise no one, Pete Buttigieg's Monday fundraiser in San Francisco is sold out at the upper-most level ($2,800), which doesn't happen too often. pic.twitter.com/6YFcbn2yfd

-- Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) December 13, 2019

Of particular interest, however, is how much the tech titans of Silicon Valley have lavished the democratic frontrunner with attention as well as infusions of hard cash. In December, for example, Rex Reed, co-founder of Netflix, helped organize a fundraising dinner at a wine cellar in Palo Alto, California, which gave Buttigieg's Democratic opponents a golden opportunity to expose his billionaire connections.

"Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States," Elizabeth Warren told Buttigieg in a December debate.

Buttigieg responded that he was "literally the only person on this stage who is not a millionaire or a billionaire," and that therefore Warren had failed the "purity test."

I find it "Ironic" that suddenly Wine Caves Are The Hot Topic On All News #WineCaves

The California winemakers who hosted a dinner at a "wine cave" for [D] Con Party presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg are defending the fundraising event https://t.co/VjI26zj41a

-- Steven Lundgren (@love4thegameAK) December 22, 2019

It's not just billionaires, however, who are cracking open their wallets for the Indiana native. The list includes more than 200 foreign policy and intelligence officials, including Anthony Lake, national security adviser for President Clinton, former National Security Council spokesman Ned Price, and former deputy CIA director David Cohen, among many others. Although such support from the foreign policy and intelligence community doesn't prove cause and effect, it has helped spawn a number of online conspiracy theories that Buttigieg is something of a Manchurian candidate, propped up by a deep state desperate to beat the swamp drainer Donald J. Trump.

Those ideas were brought to a boil during the Iowa caucus when the aptly named app Shadow, designed to perform the simple task of reporting the polling results in a timely and efficient manner, fizzled out just as Bernie Sanders had taken a commanding lead over Buttigieg. Would it come as any surprise that Shadow Inc. has a very shadowy history?

"Shadow Inc. was picked in secret by the Iowa Democratic Party after its leaders consulted with the Democratic National Committee on vetting vendors and security protocols for developing a phone app used to gather and tabulate the caucus results," AP reported . "Shadow Inc. was launched by ACRONYM, a nonprofit corporation founded in 2017 by Tara McGowan, a political strategist who runs companies aimed at promoting Democratic candidates and priorities."

McGowan is married to none other than Michael Halle, a senior strategist for Pete Buttigieg's presidential campaign, which records show has also paid Shadow Inc. $42,500 for the use of software.

And people wonder why there are so many 'conspiracy theorists' running around these days.

In any case, the glitch led to many days of debate as to who really won the Midwestern state, a debate that continues today. Yet despite that state of mass confusion, Buttigieg didn't miss an opportunity to seize victory from the claws of (possible) defeat, announcing just hours after the technological breakdown that he had been "victorious" in Iowa. Meanwhile, Sanders' supporters saw it as yet another brazen move by the DNC to sideline the democratic socialist.

So how does one explain the incredible string of political success for the young star of the Democratic Party? Is he really so politically talented and smart that there was no choice but to let him move to the front of the pack? That seems hard to believe since his speeches come off as hollow and scripted, a rhetorical trick that many politicians with far more experience have perfected. And how about all those billionaires, former state officials and people from the national security apparatus who have come forward to support him? A case of billionaire grassroots democracy in action, or just more good luck for the South Bend native?

As it stands, Pete Buttigieg remains a great mystery, a proverbial dark horse on the U.S. political scene. While there can be no question that he has a long future in American politics, it is too early to tell if that will be a good thing for the American people. There is still a lot of unpacking to do on the life and times of the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

[Feb 15, 2020] Health care activist Buttigieg plan 'preserves the status quo to a large extent'

Feb 15, 2020 | thehill.com

A prominent health care activist called out South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg 's "Medicare for All who want it" plan, arguing it merely preserves the status quo for the health care industry.

"It preserves the status quo to a large extent. It keeps the insurance industry fully in charge of our health care system, and that is why we're having this debate in the first place," Wendell Potter, a former health care executive who now serves as president of Medicare for All Now, said on Hill.TV's "Rising" Thursday.

"Pete's plan would thrill them because it lets them keep doing the things that they've been doing and making profits off of all of us," he added of the former South Bend, Ind. mayor's plan.

Health care has emerged as one of the chief fissures in the Democratic primary field, with the candidates battling over how far to expand coverage for Americans.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the leading progressive in the field, has proposed a "Medicare for All" plan that would scrap private insurance and introduce a single-payer system.

Centrists like Buttigieg have instead introduced plans to expand the Affordable Care Act and include a Medicare option for those who want it.

Moderates have slammed Sanders' plan as too expensive, though Sanders has said his proposal would offset costs already besetting families, such as high premiums.

[Feb 14, 2020] Politics Mayor Pete is a CIA plant - Blind

Feb 14, 2020 | www.teamblind.com

Uber Viren Nov 26, 2019 57 Comments

I am convinced Mayor Pete is a CIA agent.

- His time at McKinsey was focused on "economic development" in Iraq/Afghanistan
- His own campaign materials advertise the time he has spent at "black sites" in Iraq
- His milquetoast policies are a perfect red herring for awful deep state policies
- Clearly is in possession of CIA-grade brainwashing tech ala-Men in Black. There is no other plausible explanation for the recent "Mayor Pete" dance.

These are my thoughts. Discuss.

[Feb 14, 2020] Deep State Mayor Pete Could Former Naval Intelligence Officer Pete Buttigieg Be a CIA Asset by Sam Jacobs

Feb 13, 2020 | www.thepostemail.com
Deep State Mayor Pete: Could Former Naval Intelligence Officer Pete Buttigieg Be a CIA Asset?

On Thursday, February 13, 2020 2 Comments

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by Sam Jacobs, Ammo.com , CCA 4.0

Image: Ammo.com

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a rising star in the Democratic Party. A mere year ago, few could have picked him out of a police lineup. Now he's the presumptive front-runner of the centrist faction of the party and – for the moment, at least – the most likely person for "Stop Bernie" forces to coalesce around.

But few know much about him, if anything. His personal biography seems to revolve around two data points. First, that he's a gay Christian. Second, that he's a former Navy intelligence officer.

The latter of the two has not had any significant scrutiny. When "Mayor Pete's" military record is subjected to even the slightest bit of observation, however, some disturbing facts and damning questions begin to leap out. The question at the bottom continues to be: Who is Pete Buttigieg?

Table of Contents

Pete Buttigieg: Corporate Consultant

Mayor Pete likes to talk a lot about his deployment to Afghanistan (more on that later), but he also spent some time in Iraq when he was working for McKinsey and Company as an energy, retail, economic development, and logistics consultant. He makes a passing reference to having been in a "safe house in Iraq" in 2007, in his memoir Shortest Way Home. Indeed, Buttigieg spent time in both Iraq and Afghanistan while he was working with McKinsey and Company. This time period (2007-2010) also overlaps with his time as a Naval intelligence officer (2009-2017).

McKinsey isn't just any global management consulting firm. They have a contract with the Department of Defense as part of a broader Task Force on Business and Stability Operations. This project was criticized by Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum in 2011, as an inappropriate use of military resources. Why, after all, is the military being used to create an attractive investment and growth environment for American companies? One of the tasks carried out by the task force was to help Kate Spade source raw materials for her handbags.

In 2009, McKinsey was given an $18.6 million contract that expanded their work from Afghanistan into Iraq.

Pete refuses to answer questions about what he was doing with McKinsey during this period, citing a non-disclosure agreement that's over 10 years old. What we do know, however, is that Buttigieg was stationed in Herat Province for part of his resumé-building tour of duty, where McKinsey was also very active.

Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of dots to connect here, but the dots we have are worth noticing. Just like it's worth noticing that Buttigieg found time to volunteer for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, Pat Bauer's Indiana gubernatorial campaign, and enlist in the United States Navy – all while he was still working at his high-powered consulting gig with McKinsey. He finally left McKinsey in 2010, when he launched his losing bid for Indiana State Treasurer.

Pete Buttigieg: Navy Intelligence Officer

Deep State Mayor Pete: Could Former Naval Intelligence Officer Pete Buttigieg be a CIA Asset?How exactly did Mayor Pete end up in the Navy? It's interesting for a man who touts his service so readily, that he's reticent to discuss it in any detail. This is no doubt related to the classified nature of his work, but it's probably also related to how he ended up in the Navy in the first place.

The Navy Reserve's direct commission officer program allows ambitious young professionals to pad their resumé with military service (usually in intelligence and public affairs) without having to go through tedious processes like basic training or officer candidate school. Indeed, the program has men like Buttigieg in mind: Those who want to serve, but not so badly that they're going to put their civilian careers at risk to do so.

A highly competitive program, it receives thousands of applicants every year, accepting around a quarter of them.

This program has become de rigueur for a certain type of politically inclined social climber. Indeed, several senior members of the Trump Administration have used this program to add military service to their resumés. Sean Spicer, Reince Pribus and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie are just three within the Administration who have benefitted from this program. It's also popular with the rich and politically connected: George P. Bush, Hunter Biden, and Jimmy Pannetta are all alums.

The alums from this program form a tight-knit network within the government, including at the CIA, with many officers having served at Guantanamo. Buttigieg's former commander was once the chief linguist at Gitmo, according to his LinkedIn page .

Buttigieg likes to brag about his 119 trips outside the wire, but what was he actually doing on those missions? It's difficult to say, especially when his DD-214 was left blank .

What we do know is that Buttigieg was assigned to the Afghan Threat Finance Cell, whose ostensible purpose is combating the drug trade that exploded there after the American invasion in 2001. According to Buttigieg, while there he worked closely with every civilian intelligence alphabet agency .

There are other strange bullet points on Buttigieg's CV. Like the time he stopped off in Somaliland, a de facto independent state from Somalia, and spent 24 hours interviewing government officials in 2008, before he was in the Navy. This escapade received a glowing, first-person report in the New York Times that reads more like a carefully crafted press release than real journalism or op-ed.

One doesn't simply just hop over to Somaliland on a whim. It's a difficult place to get to, and once you get there, there's nothing going on. But Buttigieg made it in and was able to liaise with top government officials who just happened to be offering up their main port to AFRICOM, a boon that would certainly benefit the intelligence community Buttigieg later became cozy with.

Pete Buttigieg: Presidential Candidate

Deep State Mayor Pete: Could Former Naval Intelligence Officer Pete Buttigieg be a CIA Asset?Buttigieg's endorsements likewise raise questions. Why, for example, does a who's who of spooks and coup plotters want the mayor of a small Indiana city to be the leader of the free world?

Former CIA Deputy Director David S. Cohen is a big-time backer of Mayor Pete. Known as "the sanctions guru," he crafted the sanctions the Obama Administration levied on Iran, North Korea and Russia. Cohen continues to appear before think tanks encouraging intervention in Venezuela . Other spook endorsements come from Charlie Gilbert , former deputy director of the CIA's National Clandestine Service , John Bair, former chief of staff of the CIA's Middle East Task Force, and Dennis Bowden , who spent 26 years in vaguely defined "executive leadership positions" in the CIA among other CIA bigwigs. Robert Stasio , former chief of operations at the NSA Cyber Center, Robin Walker , former deputy intelligence officer of the Director of National Intelligence and William Wechsler , former deputy assistant secretary for special ops at the Department of Defense are three spook backers of Mayor Pete outside of the CIA.

The Grayzone has an article that is little more than a list of Mayor Pete's spook endorsements , which also includes ties to USAID, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank. The son of the president of Afghanistan is a senior foreign policy advisor for his campaign .

Why Mayor Pete? Because much like the spook community's previous favorite, President Barack Obama (whose partisans continue rear guard action against the Trump Administration through the intel community), Pete is an empty slate with a thin resume and no convictions. His electoral appeal is mostly an imagined yearning of middle America for a gay Christian president, a bizarre fever dream of the media class.

For what it's worth, Pete's backers, be they spooks or not, do not seem to be taking "no" for an answer. Signs point toward the recent electoral debacle in Iowa as not the shambling disaster of an incompetent Democratic Party, but as a naked power grab.

For anyone unaware, the results of the Iowa caucuses took the better part of a week to resolve, thanks to technical difficulties stemming from an app used to tabulate and track voting.

The app maker, who claims they were caught with their pants down because the app wasn't stress tested (extremely unlikely, as anyone who has ever worked in tech will tell you), has ties to both the Democratic Party and the Buttigieg campaign .

Could the Iowa debacle be an intel operation?

Indeed, the debacle surrounding Shadow (the name of the app used to count and track votes during the Iowa caucuses) has all the marks of a psyop. Rather than fudging the vote numbers (which there is evidence for at the esoteric state delegate equivalent level , where delegates are actually decided), perhaps the goal was simply to allow Buttigieg to declare victory, reap the media whirlwind that results from winning the Iowa caucuses and prevent his chief rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, from doing the same.

Buttigieg's campaign was invested in Shadow to the tune of $42,500. Sadly for his campaign, New Hampshire's elections are more straightforward, with hacking protections firmly in place and thus, much harder to steal.

It's not necessary for Mayor Pete to be a card-carrying CIA agent or a registered asset with a handler straight out of a spy novel. It's simply sufficient for him to traffic in the same circles, share the same values and be on board with the program.

You don't have to be a spook to do a spook's job. For those who spend enough time in that world, it simply becomes a matter of habit .


Looking for all of your news in one place? Try Whatfinger , your one-stop aggregator of news, opinion and everything else.

CIA , Democrat Party , Navy intelligence officer , Pete Buttigieg , SHADOW app , Somaliland

Deep State Mayor Pete: Could Former Naval Intelligence Officer Pete Buttigieg Be a CIA Asset? added on Thursday, February 13, 2020 Sharon Rondeau Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news . She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee's prison and judicial systems. Share on Facebook Follow on Facebook Add to Google+ Connect on Linked in Subscribe by Email Print This Post Loading...

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  1. Rosemary Friday, February 14, 2020 at 12:32 PM

    Obama: Unknown on the national stage, one term senator who did nothing, Harvard Grad (?) smooth talker, periods of disappearance from the country, birth place questionable, percieved as gay, fake parental parents, maybe CIA etc

    Mayor Pete: Unknown on national stage, no experience other than failed Mayor of city, maybe CIA, gay, Harvard Grad, Rhodes Scholar, father known communist, Pete praised socialism in essay in high school (learned by father ?) and awarded prize by Carolyn Kennedy, smooth talker, etc. Who is pushing and grooming these ppl to run for office as DEMOCRATS?

  2. Cort Wrotnowski Friday, February 14, 2020 at 10:36 AM

    This research raises a ton of questions. The motivations of those would commit time and resources to this certainly need examination. I regard it as public knowledge that roughly 20 democrats elected to Congress in the last round were former CIA members. What's up with that?

    The more we learn about the CIA, the more we learn that they violated their mandate to stick to work outside the country, a very very long time ago. So, you have a shadowy organization with privileged secrecy planting journalists, producing all manner of misinformation and dysinformation, running sting operations, killing people at will with no repercussions, compiling huge dossiers on individual Americans rivaling the collection held by the FBI.

    It makes you wonder. What is their goal? What is the desired end state which they wish to acheive? I don't know, but like so many others, I don't trust them. Born "extra-constitutional" and that way they have stayed. So, along comes this weirdo liberal who is articulate but feels phoney. Now comes the suggestion he is a CIA asset. Problem is that once you slap that label on, everything gets called into question, including his bio. Will he turn out to be another liar like Blumenthal? Will he turn out to be another exaggerating phoney like John Kerry? That's the funny thing about misinformation and dysinformation. When they are walking down the street and bump into Mr. Truth,there could be a problem or two for Mr. Buttigieg.

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[Feb 14, 2020] Russia's Preferred Candidate for 2020 Pete Buttigieg - American Liberty Report

Feb 14, 2020 | www.americanlibertyreport.com

The Deep State has gone all-in on its preferred candidate to replace Donald Trump in 2020: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. If you're thinking that Buttigieg is just another "flash in the pan," flavor-of-the-month frontrunner like John Edwards or Howard Dean of years past well, you're probably right.

But until Kamala Harris or Elizabeth Warren cut his throat, "Mayor Pete" is now the ostensible front-runner among the Democrats, having raised $7 million in Deep State contributions during the first quarter of 2019.

Here's a conundrum: If Democrats are truly concerned that interference in our elections by shady, corrupt Russian crime lords is the most serious problem America faces, then they should be worried about Pete Buttigieg. Very worried.

Who is Pete Buttigieg and why does the Deep State love him so much? He has a perfect resume: Rhodes scholar, Navy reservist, youngest mayor ever elected in South Bend, Indiana. No scandals. Buttigieg is like a blank-slate CIA operative who appeared out of nowhere like Barack Obama. But he's twice as gay! Democrats view Buttigieg as a two-for-one special: He's got all the wacky socialist policies, but his personal lifestyle choice makes him King of all Democrats.

"Oh, look! Mayor Pete has a 'husband!' That's so cute!"

They also think that because Buttigieg is a protected minority, it's as if he's somehow criticism-proof. He has a built-in victimhood status, so no one would dare commit a thought-crime against the guy by criticizing his policies.

Um Democrats have you heard of this guy who's running for reelection? Donald Trump? His mouth has no "off" switch when it comes to verbal improprieties. That's why so many Americans love President Trump, so don't think that Buttigieg's victimhood status is going to get him a free pass on the debate stage.

The mainstream media – which is an integral part of the Deep State – all received their Buttigieg talking points on the same day. This was hilarious to watch, because no one had ever heard of the guy before that day. It was like watching Wolf Blitzer refer to "Barack Osama bin uh Obama" all over again.

Watching news anchors stumble over "Butta Butta uh " over and over again was a real treat. A couple of reporters who dashed in too quickly called him "Butt-gouge" and "Butt-tag" – two unfortunate mispronunciations, given Mayor Pete's proclivities.

Anyway, who is this guy? How does a complete no-name like this come out of the woodwork and have Joe Scarborough of MSNBC declaring him to be the most electrifying candidate he's seen since Barack Obama?

Answer: Total Deep State.

You really have to do some digging to figure out the true story behind Buttigieg. One clue is in Buttigieg's official bio:

"Pete worked for McKinsey & Company, a top consulting firm, where he was responsible for advising senior business and government leaders on major decisions related to economic development, energy policy, strategic business initiatives, and logistics. His work took him around the country and the world "

The staff at McKinsey and Company reads like a veritable who's-who of the CIA Deep State globalist elites. Past "executives" at McKinsey and Company have included such globalist masters of the universe as Cheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Susan "Benghazi was caused by a YouTube video" Rice and that vapid, airheaded child of privilege Chelsea Clinton.

Pete Buttigieg's former employer McKinsey and Company has a ton of ties to corrupt Russian oligarchs, Russian crime lords, Russian banks and Russian energy companies. They developed the "business strategy" of VEB Bank in Russia, a corrupt banking cartel that's under sanction by the Trump administration and the State Department.

Numerous McKinsey executives have left the company and gone to work directly as lobbyists for corrupt Russian companies that are under US sanction. We wouldn't be surprised to learn that McKinsey was involved in Crooked Hillary's deal to sell America's nuclear reserves to Uranium One in Russia.

McKinsey and Company has also worked on image consulting and helping to prop up Victor Yanukovych. If that name sounds vaguely familiar, Yanukovych is the corrupt former pro-Russian president of Ukraine – you know, the one who paid Paul Manafort under the table and ended up getting him sent to prison?

The Kremlin absolutely loves Pete Buttigieg. He's made their business interests a lot of money. That's where "Mayor Pete" really came from and who he really is. If you're really concerned about Russian meddling in America's elections, keep an eye on Sneaky Pete. He's their preferred candidate.

[Feb 14, 2020] PolitiFact What we know about Shadow, Acronym and the Iowa caucuses

Feb 14, 2020 | www.politifact.com

If Your Time is short

..."The app that 'failed' in Iowa last night was developed by a software company called Shadow," one such tweet said . "Shadow was paid by Pete Buttigieg campaign last summer. Pete Buttigieg has now claimed victory before any precincts have reported. What's that about election interference?"

The Iowa Democratic Party failed to announce the winner of the state's Feb. 3 Democratic caucus thanks to what it called a "coding issue" in an app it planned to use to tabulate results, the New York Times reported. People who were briefed on the app by the state party said that it wasn't properly tested on a statewide scale, according to the paper, and reported only partial data.

"As part of our investigation, we determined with certainty that the underlying data collected via the app was sound," said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price. "While the app was recording data accurately, it was reporting out only partial data. We have determined that this was due to a coding issue in the reporting system. This issue was identified and fixed. The application's reporting issue did not impact the ability of precinct chairs to report data accurately."

... ... ...

How is Pete Buttigieg involved?

Even though caucus results were delayed, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was triumphant, tweeting early in the morning on Feb. 4 that he was heading "to New Hampshire victorious." Later that day, during an interview with MSNBC, he seemed to temper that announcement, saying that the campaign was reviewing internal numbers and began to realize "something extraordinary had happened."

"Here you have a campaign that was really questioned when we got in for whether we even oughta be here, whether we belonged in this race, and to not only establish that, but to reach the position that we did was a clear victory for our campaign," he said.

On social media, some users started to speculate that what they interpreted as a victory announcement was a sign of corruption. Conspiracy theories began to spread that the election had been rigged in Buttigieg's favor because of his connection to Shadow.

Some claims, such as that the Iowa caucus app was funded by Buttigieg, mischaracterize what we know.

Buttigieg's campaign, Pete for America, Inc., paid Shadow $42,500 for "software rights and subscriptions."

Sean Savett, a spokesman for the campaign, told PolitiFact that they contracted with Shadow for text messaging services to help them contact voters.

It was "totally unrelated" to the app Shadow built for the caucuses, he said; Buttigieg's campaign wasn't involved in the app's development.

[Feb 14, 2020] Is Pete Buttigieg a CIA plant

Feb 14, 2020 | www.ronpaulforums.com

Warlord

The world is on fire. But for an increasingly vocal segment of extremely online politicos, there is a greater geopolitical concern hanging over the election: the fear that Pete Buttigieg is secretly an asset, officer, or agent of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The conspiracy theory that Buttigieg is a CIA plant has been congealing in the internet's fever swamps for as long as profiles of the young candidate have fixated on a biography that, to the conspiracy-minded, seems almost suspiciously clean -- the perceived threats of neoliberal imperialists and the "deep state" converging in the unlikely form of a dweebish Midwestern mayor.

"He's one of the many intelligence community operators working in government," Steve Poikonen, host of the YouTube vlog series Slow News Day, said confidently in an April episode titled "Pete Buttigieg: CIA Democrat?" In a 13-minute video delineating the conspiracy theory, Poikonen breaks down what he sees as Buttigieg's Harvard-to-Oxford educational pipeline, his service as a Navy Intelligence officer in Afghanistan after a stint at McKinsey & Co., his fellowship at the Truman National Security Project, and the more than 200 national security and intelligence figures who have endorsed his candidacy, including the former head of the National Clandestine Service and the agency's former deputy director.

These, Poikonen told The Daily Beast, all amount to evidence that he's a perfect tool of the intelligence community.

"Put together, a picture forms of an elite-educated, multi-language-speaking employee of the CIA's consulting firm who currently serves as an intelligence officer in the naval reserves," Poikonen told The Daily Beast. "If you created a CIA asset in a lab, you'd wind up with Pete Buttigieg."

More:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/far-le...a-secret-agent

dannno
  1. "If you created a CIA asset in a lab, you'd wind up with Pete Buttigieg."

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/RdYu2yXpmqo?wmode=opaque

    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc
    " When you are divided, and angry, and controlled, you target those 'different' from you, not those responsible [controllers]" -Q

    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

[Feb 14, 2020] The agency's history of bloody-handed bungling abroad has come back to haunt U.S. politics by Justin Ling

This is baloney. What about the color revolution against Trump and Brennan role in it?
Feb 12, 2020 | foreignpolicy.com
... ... ...

In fairness, Buttigieg's own past offers material for conspiratorial pickings. At the consulting firm McKinsey, Buttigieg helped advise on grocery pricing for the Canadian grocery giant Loblaws -- a company later implicated in an industrywide price-fixing scheme for bread . McKinsey has also been a favorite contractor for the CIA, although that work was more about reorganizing the agency's bureaucracy than rigging elections.

After that, Buttigieg joined the Navy Reserve and deployed to Afghanistan, where he did intelligence work, among other things. It's not quite clear where, in his work history, Buttigieg was supposedly recruited to work for the agency. Nor can anyone seem to explain how his military role somehow switched over into work for the CIA, beyond both roles involving intelligence. It's rare for an intelligence officer to use as his cover being an intelligence officer.

That hasn't mattered much for an audience that likes to see the CIA under every stone. It was likely Chapo Trap House -- a very popular political comedy podcast, boasting over 35,000 paid subscribers and hundreds of thousands of listeners per episode, that is fanatically supportive of Sanders -- that got #CIAPete trending on twitter. On the first episode of the podcast after the delayed Iowa results were reported, one co-host, Will Menaker, concluded that the caucuses "had probably done more to destroy the legitimacy of our democratic process than almost anything that happened in American history." Other hosts chimed in with their agreement.

Menaker turned to Buttigieg, calling him, his campaign, supporters, and all involved in the Democratic Party "ratfuck pieces of shit," concluding they were all guilty of electoral fraud.

Co-host Amber A'Lee Frost jumped in to add, "We would actually be sending in troops if we were a South American country right now."

"Can you imagine if, in any Central or South American country, what happened last night took place?" Menaker agreed. "Pete Buttigieg literally did the Juan Guaidó playbook. If you don't think this guy is CIA-affiliated by now, I don't know what to tell you. This is straight out of the McKinsey-CIA election-stealing ratfucking playbook. He declared himself the victor exactly like Juan Guaidó did with no support or evidence for it."

... ... ...

Buttigieg did, indeed, declare victory in the Iowa caucuses before the results were in -- because the quirky rules of the Iowa caucuses mean anyone can, roughly, count the results themselves....

Ludicrous as they are, the conspiracy theories are strangely apt for this primary season.

... ... ...

Virtually the whole field has taken the symbolic step to oppose America's engagement in so-called forever wars. But not since Eugene McCarthy, who first pushed for congressional oversight of the CIA, and George McGovern, who helped publicize the assassination attempts on Cuba's Fidel Castro, has the party had a front-runner dove like Sanders.

Given that they are all too aware of America's actual history with political subterfuge abroad, it's not all that surprising that Sanders's supporters, in particular, see coups behind every corner.

But fans of Sanders should really study up on the very cases he cites, because they offer a useful guide to the CIA playbook. And they help explain why the idea of the agency putting its finger on the scale of the Iowa caucuses, at least with any kind of success, is comical.

A frequent example of CIA coup involvement Sanders cites, 1973 ouster of Chilean President Salvador Allende, is particularly instructive in showing just how flat-footed the CIA can be.

The CIA spent much of the 1960s funding right-wing and Christian democratic groups in Chile in an effort to thwart a socialist rise. They couldn't even do that properly, and in 1970 the left-wing Allende won in a three-way race.

"President Nixon informed the [director of central intelligence] that an Allende regime in Chile would not be acceptable to the United States," reads a 2000 CIA review of the operation.

So the CIA dropped the subtle skullduggery and began providing weapons to anti-socialist elements in Chile -- factions of which kidnapped and killed an army commander who refused to block Allende. Still, the CIA couldn't get a proper coup off the ground, and Allende took office. The agency kept it up for the following three years, continuously communicating with and providing intelligence to right-wing groups, including in the military. U.S. money indirectly supported a trucker strike, which kept supermarkets bare, stoked unrest, and ultimately helped force Allende from power.

...His successor, Augusto Pinochet, would become one of the most brutal dictators in South America. Some 3,200 Chileans were killed or disappeared during his 17-year rule. The CIA, generally satisfied to have an anti-communist in power, cut off its aid to moderate and democratic activists.

The CIA's ham-fisted tactics were applied across Central and South America. Sanders rattled off a few examples in a foreign-policy interview with the New York Times.

"The United States overthrew the government of Guatemala, a democratically elected government, overthrew the government of Brazil," Sanders told the Times. "I strongly oppose U.S. policy, which overthrows governments, especially democratically elected governments, around the world."

In 1954, the CIA ran an incredibly expensive and widespread campaign in Guatemala to prop up a right-wing, anti-communist movement, largely through anti-communist media and propaganda. When that didn't take, the CIA chartered a private air force to start bombing military installations. After that, an internal CIA cable instructed that it was time for "the surgeons to step back and the nurses to take over the patient," according to Tim Weiner's history of the CIA, Legacy of Ashes. Through "brute force and blind luck," Weiner writes, the plot worked. Leftist President Jacobo Árbenz was out, and military dictator Carlos Castillo Armas was in. His brutal regime would lead into the 36-year Guatemalan civil war.

The list of other examples is long. Mohammad Mossadeq was toppled in a CIA-backed military coup in 1953 , over his nationalization of Iran's oil. João Goulart was overthrown in Brazil in 1964, thanks in part to U.S. funds and arms . The Reagan administration famously orchestrated a scheme to launder money to the far-right Contra rebels in Nicaragua by selling weapons to Iran -- there was no coup, but tens of thousands of people died in the fighting before the left-wing Sandinista government lost power in 1990. All of these were bloody, chaotic affairs in which the CIA role was either apparent at the time or rapidly emerged.

The history of U.S. covert operations is long and varied -- ordered by both Democrats and Republicans, targeting foreign leaders both democratic and authoritarian -- but there are two things that tie virtually all of them together: CIA operations are not subtle, and they don't stay secret for long.

Both of those factors slowly led to a decrease in CIA foreign operations.

Concerns about foreign coups led to the creation of the Church Committee, which, in 1976, offered a clear and damning look at CIA meddling . That led to an executive order banning the assassination of foreign leaders. The CIA whined about that legal barrier, complaining it tied its hands as it tried to oust the Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, once a CIA asset, in 1988 and 1989. Plans to get rid of him were leaked, too, before they were put into action -- no matter, as Reagan ended up invading anyway. The assassination ban has shifted over time, but the appetite for the swashbuckling days was evaporating.

Part of it was that nobody could keep their mouths shut. Emmanuel Constant, a Haitian paramilitary leader, was outed as a CIA asset after a 1991 coup in that country. Then he went on 60 Minutes to discuss his role.

... ... ...

Sanders is right to be critical of U.S. involvement in coups and regime change -- and even today, oversight of intelligence is a critical issue.

... ... ...

Justin Ling is a journalist based in Toronto.

[Feb 14, 2020] The CIA, abused dogs, the Iowa app and 'Breathe Easy' Buttigieg draws rumors, conspiracies Government Politics southbend

Feb 14, 2020 | www.southbendtribune.com

Buttigieg draws rumors, conspiracies

Pete.jpg

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, speaks at a campaign stop at the Merrimack American Legion on Thursday in Merrimack, N.H.

AP Photo/ANDREW HARNIK/

SOUTH BEND -- Conspiracy theories and rumors have always surrounded presidential campaigns, so it shouldn't be a surprise that South Bend's former mayor has recently drawn his share.

For the past few days, The Tribune also has been drawn into the web of rumors surrounding the campaign of Pete Buttigieg. They involve abused dogs, an "I can't breathe" T-shirt and even the CIA.

They're also the latest proof of how information -- more precisely, disinformation -- spreads on social media these days and, by the time it gets shared and circulated and passed along, becomes accepted as true. The public then gets suspicious of attempts by media outlets to debunk the rumors.

Case in point: A Twitter user this past weekend made a fake image of a supposed Aug. 30, 1998 Tribune front page reporting that a teen Buttigieg was arrested for a shocking crime involving dogs. Everything about the image screamed bogus. It was generated through an online program that creates fake newspaper clippings.

Download PDF Tribune Aug. 30, 1998 front page

But even though that Twitter user admitted Sunday night he intended the fabrication as a joke, The Tribune was still receiving calls and messages Monday afternoon hoping to verify the story. Some thanked us for clarifying it; others angrily denounced us for "covering up for Pete."

So let's just make this perfectly clear: The Tribune did not publish the story making the rounds. The fake Aug. 30, 1998 Tribune front page gives several clues it isn't real.

• The masthead is a different font and style from what Tribune used in the 1990s.

• The Tribune would not have named anyone "arrested on suspicion" of the crimes in question before that person was charged. That's especially true of a 16-year-old, Buttigieg's age on that date.

• There's no age or hometown listed. There's also no byline or dateline.

• The headline goes over at least three columns of the fake page, which appears folded and shows only the left side. But the second column says the story continues on A10. (It does so in the wrong style, by the way.)

The phony Tribune front page is far from the only rumor or conspiracy theory circulating about Buttigieg.

"Pete is CIA" is another meme generating coverage and many calls and messages to The Tribune, with readers asking us to expose the truth. "Pete is a CIA agent" has also become a common comment on our social media posts.

The Daily Beast did an extensive exploration of this theory, debunking some aspects (such as a security firm working for the campaign with a name similar to another security firm reputedly tied to the CIA, or a claim that Buttigieg admitted he sought a post with the agency).

Then there are aspects to the theory that are impossible to debunk, such as the candidate's "mesmerizing, hypnotic blue eyes" giving away his secret agent status.

Buttigieg's strong showing in the Iowa caucuses last week drew out other conspiracies.

The idea that the Democratic National Committee may have refigured the caucus results to avoid giving any share of victory to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had support even among mainstream sources. That includes Sanders himself asking for another recount.

But a murkier theory wrongly blames Buttigieg for a Shadow, Inc., smartphone app that disastrously malfunctioned, delaying vote totals for days. The Buttigieg campaign did buy a separate app from Shadow, as did fellow candidates Joe Biden and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as the Texas Democratic Party.

It was actually the Iowa Democratic Party that paid Shadow to develop the failed caucus app. Nevada bought the same app but has said its caucus won't use it after seeing how it failed in Iowa.

In another example, t he story of the Notre Dame women's basketball team wearing shirts with the message "I can't breathe," after the July 17, 2014, death of New York City resident Eric Garner after a police officer's chokehold, has resurfaced.

Article with images +3

Council members: Dump 'Breathe easy' T-shirts

Council members: Dump 'Breathe easy' T-shirts

Three South Bend council members have asked Mishawaka police officer Jason Barthel to stop selling T-shirts he created in response to 'I Can't Breathe'

Recent accounts falsely report that a South Bend police officer created a shirt saying "Breathe Easy: Don't break the law" in response to the basketball team's protest. It was actually Mishawaka police officer Jason Barthel who created the shirts.

Some of the recent accounts also state Buttigieg supported the shirts. He actually tried to avoid taking sides .

Buttigieg's statement fearing citizens being asked to choose between supporting civil rights for minorities or supporting police was criticized by many, including South Bend Common Council members, at the time. But even that nuance is stripped from versions of the story now making the rounds.

"As residents exercise their free speech rights, it is important to be respectful of others' concerns," Buttigieg said in a statement at the time. "The sensitive issues now being discussed across America deserve to be taken seriously, and we as a community have a lot of work to do in addressing them here at home."

"We cannot rest until all residents and all public safety officers view each other in an authentic spirit of mutual trust and respect."

On one social media post attacking Buttigieg over the issue, one commenter linked to a Tribune story from 2014 and corrected the assertion South Bend police were involved. The comment was deleted, and comments were turned off altogether.

[Feb 14, 2020] The Nevada Democratic party (misnomer much?) has hired a heretofore member of Pete Buttigieg's campaign into the position of "defender of democracy" or some similarly Orwellian-named position.

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

information_agent , Feb 13 2020 17:32 utc | 188

Bubbles | Feb 13 2020 16:45 utc | 184 asked:

Begging the question, is there a blackout?

I think there probably is, because as things stand now it's all hands on the establishment deck to figure out a way to thwart the campaign of Bernie Sanders from continuing to gather momentum. I've been a Tulsi Gabbard supporter - and still am, both politically and financially - since 2015, but right now Bernie (who coincidentally and unlike Tulsi wasn't excluded from the debates and has not been treated as a persona non grata by the entire spectrum of mainstream media) is the one to watch.

The Nevada Democratic party (misnomer much?) has hired a heretofore member of Pete Buttigieg's campaign into the position of "defender of democracy" or some similarly Orwellian-named position. I think it's safe to assume the fix is in (again), and as a resident of New Hampshire I also believe - as in every election since I've been paying attention in 2000 - manipulation of votes was done around the periphery to keep things manageable. Move a little from column a into column b, a little from column a into column c, a little from column d into column b, etc.

[Feb 14, 2020] Buttigig is appealing to the muddled mediocre middle, but Christian fundamentalists will never vote for him. They would sooner vote for Putin.

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trailer Trash , Feb 12 2020 17:23 utc | 30

I listened to a part of Buttigig's speech last night. He is articulate, speaks well, and has a nice voice. He's also Mr Clean and wears a nice suit. That makes for a very saleable product. He is appealing to the muddled mediocre middle, but Christian fundamentalists will never vote for a man married to another man. They would sooner vote for Putin.

I also heard part of Bernie's speech. Lots of promises of Free Stuff for Everyone! Joe and Jane Sixpack know that nobody gets free stuff unless they are rich. Not a single word from Bernie about putting the Empire up for sale and closing 800 military bases around the world.

Bernie could maybe convince Joe and Jane if he pointed out that the trillion dollars a year we are already paying to prop up the Empire would buy a lot of Free Stuff that we all need, like basic infrastructure and real healthcare (medical insurance is not accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, but nobody wants to talk about that). But he will never call for all troops to return home immediately, since endless war is supported by nearly everyone in DC.

Class unconscious Joe and Jane have only luke-warm support for "soaking the rich" because they still want to hope that someday they will win Megabucks and have riches to pass on to their offspring. Fifty years of slow decline should be enough to break through delusions of MAGA, but for now the consent manufacturing machine still has the upper hand.


Circe , Feb 12 2020 21:59 utc | 73

Buttigieg stepped into a doggie pile and is getting rightfully deserved flak for deceptive comments he made meant to diss and undermine Bernie's medicare-for-all.
Association of Flight Attendants President Sara Nelson criticized former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg Wednesday for a tweet defending private health insurance, that appeared to characterize the employer-provided health benefits as gains won by union workers.

Buttigieg defended his proposed "Medicare for All Who Want It" plan, saying 14 million union members have "fought hard for strong employer-provided health benefits" in a tweet Wednesday morning.

Nelson, who played a key role in ending the federal government shutdown last year, called the invocation of labor rights "offensive and dangerous."

"Stop perpetuating this gross myth. Not every union member has union healthcare plans that protect them," Nelson tweeted. "Those that do have it, have to fight like hell to keep it. If you believe in Labor then you'd understand an injury to one is an injury to all."

flight-attendants-union-head-blasts-buttigieg

MORE AND MORE I SUSPECT BUTTIGIEG OF BEING THE CULPRIT WHO GOT UNION LEADERS IN NEVADA TO CIRCULATE FEAR-MONGERING PROPAGANDA ON BERNIE SANDERS ALLEGING THE GROSS LIE THAT MEMBERS WILL LOSE HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE IF BERNIE BECOMES PRESIDENT.

Circe , Feb 13 2020 2:40 utc | 102

Circe. More like paper bags with $ got Union Leaders to do the deed. You realize it speaks really loudly as to the intelligence of union members in Nevada, that they would believe that a so called socialist would do this. Mind you I guess if the info comes from a 'Trusted' source might do the trick.
I hope im wrong but Bern is the perfect fall guy for a

Pete the Cheat is curiously dodging foreign policy questions. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that Mr. Neoliberal, centrist Buttigieg has an unpopular interventionist point of view?

buttigieg-foreign-policy-questions

MayoCheat was not nice to the black community in South Bend, Ind. As a matter of fact he was downright condescending and disrespectful to the Black Community.: (watch video Democracy Now!)

buttigieg_south_bend_black_community
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how-national-security-mandarins-groomed-pete-buttigieg-and-managed-his-future

Yep, Pete's an interventionist...read this from above link.

After college, the Democratic presidential hopeful took a gig with a strategic communications firm founded by a former Secretary of Defense who raked in contracts with the arms industry. He moved on to a fellowship at an influential DC think tank described by its founder as "a counterpart to the neoconservatives of the 1970s." Today, Buttigieg sits on that think tank's board of advisors alongside some of the country's most accomplished military interventionists.

Buttigieg has reaped the rewards of his dedication to the Beltway playbook. He recently became the top recipient of donations from staff members of the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, and the Justice Department – key cogs in the national security state's permanent bureaucracy.

Feel free to read the rest on the ambitious mayor who was groomed by national security state apparatchiks. (I need a shower after reading the rest of it!)

Sneaky Pete skirts campaign finance violation.:

buttigieg-pushes-anti-corruption-laws-to-their-limits-at-dark-money-linked-event

The tip of the iceberg? Buttigieg is far from the squeaky clean image he presents selling a bill of goods to the American people.

Buttigieg is as I've described him all along: NOT ATHENTIC AND VERY REHEARSED, and a Neoliberal in sheep's clothing.

[Feb 14, 2020] The spooks choice Coup plotters and CIA agents fill Pete Buttigieg s list of national security endorsers by Samuel D. Finkelstein

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Why are so many intelligence veterans throwing their weight behind a young Indiana mayor with such a thin foreign policy resume? ..."
Dec 30, 2019 | thegrayzone.com

Why are so many intelligence veterans throwing their weight behind a young Indiana mayor with such a thin foreign policy resume?

These questions continue to loom large over the 2020 Democratic primary field: Who is Pete Buttigieg? And what is he doing here?

Seemingly overnight, the once obscure mayor of Indiana's fourth-largest city was vaulted to national prominence, with his campaign coffers stuffed with big checks from billionaire benefactors.

The publication of a list of 218 endorsements from "foreign policy and national security professionals" by Buttigieg's campaign deepened the mystery of the mayor's rise.

Some observers have raised questions about Pete Buttigieg's intimate relationship with the national security state , after it was revealed that his campaign had paid nearly $600,000 for "security" to a Blackwater-style military contractor.

Buttigieg's new roster of endorsements from former high-ranking CIA officials, regime-change architects, and global financiers should raise more questions about the real forces propelling his campaign.

Patriot Group is currently under contract w/the US military.

They provide "contractor-owned, contractor-operated intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance aerial detection and monitoring support inside & outside the U.S."

and guard Mayor Pete. https://t.co/Aa5Ogl5K8b pic.twitter.com/6tnXDBPtOA

-- Samuel D. Finkelstein II (@CANCEL_SAM) December 7, 2019

Buttigieg has offered precious few details about his policy plans, and foreign policy is no exception. His campaign website dedicates just five sentences to international affairs, none of which offers any substantive details.

Beyond a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan as a Naval Reservist in 2010, the 37 year-old mayor has no first-hand foreign policy experience to speak of.

As The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal reported , Buttigieg's enjoys a long relationship with the Truman National Security Project, a foreign policy think tank in Washington, DC that advocates for "muscular liberalism." He has also taken a short, strange trip to Somaliland with a Harvard buddy, Nathaniel Myers, who ultimately became a senior advisor to USAID's Office of Transitional Initiatives. Otherwise, Buttigieg's foreign policy credentials are nil.

Buttigieg's lack of core principles are what might make him so attractive to military contractors and financial institutions, two of the status quo's biggest beneficiaries.

Mayor Pete has effectively positioned himself as a Trojan Horse for the establishment, offering "generational change" that doesn't challenge existing power structures in any concrete way.

A review of Pete for America's FEC disclosures found that the campaign had paid $561,416.82 for "security" to a company called Patriot Group International (PGI), from June 4 to September 9, 2019.

Buttigieg's August 29, 2019 payment of $179,617.04 to PGI represents the single largest security expenditure ever made by a presidential candidate, according to the FEC.

While the exorbitant amount of money raises questions, it is PGI's status as a Blackwater-style mercenary firm that makes Buttigieg's contract so remarkable.

PGI bills itself as a "global mission support provider with expeditionary capabilities, providing services to select clients within the intelligence, defense, and private sector." According to the company's website , it offers services like counter-terrorism, counter-weapons of mass destruction, and drone surveillance.

PGI is currently under a $26.5 million contract with the Department of Defense to provide "contractor-owned, contractor-operated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aerial detection and monitoring support inside and outside the U.S." It is a far cry from securing campaign events held in New Hampshire community centers.

FEC Spending receipts from Pete's campaign pic.twitter.com/GWoDEPUDGE

-- Samuel D. Finkelstein II (@CANCEL_SAM) December 6, 2019

Besides contracting with Buttigieg, PGI's only other record of political work was with Newt Gingrich's 2012 presidential campaign. In a 2016 Inc. Magazine profile , PGI founder Greg Craddock said his company stopped doing political work altogether, following a 2012 incident in which a PGI employee on Gingrich's security detail allegedly assaulted an overzealous Ron Paul supporter.

Why the mercenary firm chose to re-enter politics for the mayor of South Bend, Indiana remains an open question. Whatever the reason, Buttigieg's willingness to line the pockets of military contractors as a candidate might offer further insight into why so many in the national security state are lining up behind him.

The CIA hearts Mayor Pete

Buttigieg's lengthy roster of endorsements is loaded with former intelligence operatives, national security hardliners, regime-change specialists, and vulture capitalists.

Among Buttigieg's most notable endorsers is David S. Cohen , the deputy director of the CIA from 2015 to 2017, and a former Treasury official under George W. Bush.

Cohen is regarded as a " chief architect " of the crippling sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Iran, Russia, and North Korea -- earning him the ignominious nickname the " sanctions guru. "

Since leaving government, Cohen has made various think tank appearances to advocate for continued use of sanctions in the aforementioned countries, as well as Venezuela .

The impact of sanctions imposed under Cohen's watch has been equated to " collective punishment ," resulting in economic crises, food and medicine shortages, and tens of thousands of preventable deaths .

In his tenure at the Treasury Department, Cohen was also instrumental in drafting the Patriot Act, which restricted civil liberties and vastly increased the government's surveillance powers in response to 9/11.

Cohen has yet to speak publicly as to why he endorsed Buttigieg.

Buttigieg was likewise endorsed by Charlie Gilbert , former deputy director of the National Clandestine Service, a top-ten leadership position at the CIA. Gilbert's role was to "conceive, plan, and execute complex intelligence operations" against "hostile target [countries]."

Another Buttigieg endorser, John Bair , is the former chief of staff for the CIA's Middle East Task Force.

Dennis Bowden , a 26-year CIA veteran, with much of that time spent in unspecified "executive leadership positions," is also backing Mayor Pete.

The Buttigieg campaign has cited the support of former CIA senior analyst Sue Terry , who made a "record number of contributions to the President's Daily Brief," during her tenure from 2001 to 2008.

Two more CIA endorsements came from former senior intelligence officer Martijn Rasser , and former senior analyst Andrea Kendall-Taylor , who was also an officer at the National Intelligence Council.

If you're thinking, "Wow, that's a lot of CIA endorsements for a relatively unknown, small-town mayor," you're right – and it's just the tip of the iceberg.

More Buttigieg backers include Ned Price , the career CIA analyst who resigned publicly in a February 2017 protest against "the way [Trump] has treated the intelligence community." (Price was also a major Clinton donor, but insisted his resignation was non-partisan).

Another CIA Buttigieg endorser is Jeffrey Edmunds , who moonlighted as a National Security Council member under Presidents Obama and Trump.

Buttigieg was also endorsed by Chris Barton , the CIA's assistant general counsel during the Clinton administration, and Anthony Lake , whom Clinton nominated unsuccessfully to serve as CIA director in 1996.

Mayor Pete's list of spook supporters similarly includes non-CIA intelligence community professionals like Robert Stasio , the former chief of operations at the NSA Cyber Center, and William Wechsler , former deputy assistant secretary for Special Ops at the Department of Defense.

Buttigieg also named Robin Walker , a former deputy intelligence officer for the Director of National Intelligence, as a supporter. Walker now works for corporate weapons contractor Lockheed Martin.

Regime change hit-men and debt colonists jump on the bandwagon

Yet some of Mayor Pete's most troubling endorsements come from outside of the military-intelligence apparatus.

Buttigieg, for example, lists Fernando Cutz as an endorser. For the first 16 months of the Trump administration, Cutz was the national security council director for South America, where he led US policy on Venezuela and was credited with outlining regime-change plans for the president.

Since leaving government, Cutz has continued to support the Trump administration's regime-change efforts against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro .

As Max Blumenthal reported for The Grayzone, Cutz attended a secret meeting at the DC think tank CSIS dedicated to exploring US military intervention in Venezuela.

Revealing comments from @fscutz , one of the key architects of the US coup in Venezuela, declaring that the goal of intervention is to "restore Venezuela's place as an upper middle class country" https://t.co/jZsNLu5rWB pic.twitter.com/2IX8d1n41P

-- Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) February 15, 2019

Another Buttigieg endorser is Jessica Reitz-Curtin , who spent several years in leadership at USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), working alongside Buttigieg's close friend, Nathaniel Myers.

OTI is the de-facto tip of the spear for USAID's regime change efforts. In the case of Venezuela, OTI has bankrolled violent, right-wing opposition forces for decades.

There is also plenty of excitement for Buttigieg at the commanding heights of international finance. Matt Kaczmarek , vice president of BlackRock, the world's largest investment manager, controlling nearly $7 trillion in assets, is listed as an endorser of the South Bend mayor.

Kaczmarek previously served as the NSC's director of Brazil and Southern Cone affairs in the Obama administration, when the US backed a right-wing parliamentary coup against President Dilma Roussef.

BlackRock has massive holdings in Brazilian agribusiness, and is a major factor in the environmental degradation of the Amazon region. BlackRock's practices have been so destructive to the region that AmazonWatch named the financial behemoth the "world's largest investor in deforestation."

Kaczmarek is a perfect embodiment of the revolving door through which high-ranking government employees enter the private sector and reap the rewards of policies they previously helped implement. In 2013, while Kaczmarek was crafting US economic policy towards Brazil, then-Vice President Joseph Biden was urging the country to open its economy further to foreign capital.

From 2014 to the present, BlackRock has substantially increased its investment in Brazil, according to the AmazonWatch report. Now at the helm of the company, Kaczmarek stands to profit handsomely from the same economic liberalization policies that Brazil was goaded into adopting at his direction.

Buttigieg's list of endorsers likewise includes Karen Mathiasen , former acting executive US director at the World Bank; as well as Julie T. Katzman , COO of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Both organizations have long histories of using debt to impose the will of US policymakers onto poor countries.

Mathiasen, who previously served as deputy assistant secretary for debt and development policy at the Treasury Department, was intimately involved in the administration of what has been dubbed " debt colonialism ." Under this cynical practice, unsustainable levels of debt are used as a pretext to demand that debtor nations privatize government functions, impose austerity, and allow greater exploitation by global capital.

The IDB where Katzman worked plays a similar role in enforcing the Washington Consensus across the Western hemisphere. Wielding debt as its weapon, IDB policies maintain "[Latin America's] subordinated place in the global economy," argues Professor Victor Sepúlveda , author of Industrial Colonialism in Latin America: The Third Stage .

Empire's empty vessel

Obscure presidential candidates don't typically garner hundreds of elite national security endorsements before a single vote is cast. So what do these spooks and vulture capitalists see in Mayor Pete?

It can't be Buttigieg's foreign policy resume, because he doesn't have one. He hasn't proposed any notable policies to distinguish himself from the other corporate-friendly candidates, so that can't be it either. Some have posited that Mayor Pete may be a CIA asset himself, but the supporting evidence is circumstantial at best.

Perhaps the most reasonable conclusion is that they see Buttigieg as an empty vessel. Opportunistic and unmoored by ideology or political goals beyond his advancing his career, Buttigieg is the ideal candidate for those who seek to maintain existing hierarchies. Indeed, his national security endorsement list is filled with people who keep America's imperial machine humming along smoothly.

What is the thread that connects the CIA, USAID, and the World Bank? All three institution exist to prop up a grossly unequal global order in which a tiny sliver of the population hordes unimaginable wealth, while the mass of people get by on next to nothing.

At a time when that order looks increasingly untenable, with anti-austerity protests breaking out from Chile , to France, to Lebanon , Mayor Pete makes perfect sense.

Samuel D. Finkelstein is a political activist, writer, and student at Seton Hall Law School. Follow him on Twitter at @Cancel_Sam .

[Feb 10, 2020] math be damned

Feb 10, 2020 | www.businessinsider.com

, the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor is riding a wave of press attention and a potential polling surge . The American Legion hall hosting the event was at capacity, to the chagrin of both a Dane and a Canadian waiting to see America's newest political celebrity. Some of the media, too, found themselves on the outside looking in, trawling the line for voters with something to say. Buttigieg briefly dismounted from his SUV convoy to thank the supporters stuck outside, before pulling away to a back entrance to the building.

Inside, cameramen peeked around flag stands to get shots of the candidate as he unspooled a message of doing right by America's veterans. Buttigieg extolled homecomings, better military housing, and the unity in diversity he found in uniform ("task cohesion," in the parlance of the sociologists). He rightly raised the issue of veterans hamstrung by "bad paper" discharges for failings often linked to trauma they suffered overseas.

Buttigieg occasionally found himself on more uncertain ground. As the technocrat's technocrat, he is never more at ease than when explaining a problem that should be amenable to a procedural fix -- like when "systems aren't talking to each other." Confronted with a human issue, he contorts himself into phrases like "gender parity in the experience of serving this country in uniform." If that means what it sounds like, reality will rudely intrude. Even the Nordic countries, probably the most egalitarian nations on earth and all with at least a loose conscription system on the books, are striving to get their militaries to 20 percent female.

In a tidy 50 minutes with Buttigieg, foreign policy -- the actual ends to which American servicemen are dedicated and sometimes sacrificed -- received scant attention. It was an odd elephant in the room: Fawlty Towers' " don't mention the war! " rebooted, ongoing conflicts that most American politicians would just as soon ignore. An Air Force veteran asked the mayor what he learned in Kabul. Afghanistan itself, and what we're still doing there, was all but absent from the long answer. There were more questions (one) about Brexit than Iran.

The event was sponsored by VoteVets, a decade-old political action committee that endorsed Buttigieg in December. Other veterans seem more inclined to be skeptical of a naval reservist who appeared to punch a ticket with a short Afghan tour and then returned to climbing ladders Stateside. Buttigieg advetizes early and often: loud noises become a springboard to a brief, artful reference about what one "learns on deployment." He uses his time in uniform to undercut Beto, level with Klobuchar, and attack Trump.

True, Buttigieg ventured "outside the wire" often ( and kept count when he did ), and the threat of an improvised explosive device lurked on every Afghan road. But the mayor's descriptions of his service often have the ring of military LARPing . His stories of service dwell far more on convoy duty than on the presumably more valuable work he was doing behind a desk in Kabul. He writes of "shipping out" -- a phrase surely last deployed in a war movie. Buttigieg never internalized the enlisted rank structure (the Marine Corps does not employ anyone who answers to "gunny sergeant"). And cringe-worthy posed war zone photos drew predictable heat online .

Buttigieg's military record would hardly be the least distinguished in presidential history. Captain Ronald Reagan spent his war at the Army Air Force's First Motion Picture Unit in California. Naval reservist Lyndon Baines Johnson received a sham Silver Star despite never coming under fire. The problem is not Pete Buttigieg's service: it is what he seems to have learned, or rather not learned, from his time in Afghanistan.

Buttigieg's campaign-ready memoir, Shortest Way Home , gives the mayor's Afghanistan deployment due weight. But why he served isn't really clear. What the eager young volunteer learned in his five months in Afghanistan is even more opaque. In the book, Buttigieg refers to John Kerry's apt formulation: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" All that the famously erudite, would-be Kerry 2.0 can offer is repeated platitudes about how wars don't end anymore.

When the New York Times asked Democratic candidates about regime change wars and U.S. support for coups, "Mr. Buttigieg did not answer this question." Ditto for all of the Times' questions about Afghanistan, the war upon which Buttigieg's claims to foreign policy expertise hinge. Buttigieg remains essentially a cipher on foreign policy, sensible words about the AUMF aside. He sounds the right progressive notes but refuses to be pinned down on much of substance. It is hard to imagine him diverging much from the bipartisan foreign policy consensus that has wreaked so much havoc, in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Ninety miles north in West Lebanon, just across the river from Vermont, the other veteran in the race helmed a far smaller town hall. Clad in woodsman casual, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard spoke to an audience perhaps a quarter the size of Buttigieg's. The Hawaiian struck similar notes to the Indianan: unity, bipartisanship, common sense. She decried tribalism and described her successes in working across the aisle. (Note: Tulsi Gabbard is on the unpaid Council of Advisors to the Center for the Study of Statesmanship. She and the author had not met prior to Thursday night.)

Gabbard's crowd spoke to her cross-party appeal -- or her alienation from her own party. Just five hands went up when she asked who in the crowd was a Democrat (seven claimed to be Republicans). The vast majority in the room identified as independents or libertarians. Several, and perhaps most, were Vermonters. One man asked Gabbard point-blank: "Have you ever considered changing parties, or maybe re-affiliating somewhere?"

Though the Lebanon event did not focus on foreign policy, Gabbard's supporters, animated by her lonely heresies on the subject, raised the issue. In a tone more healing than strident, the congresswoman stuck to her guns. Though not fully dismissing humanitarian intervention, she rightly noted that humanitarianism is often the guise under which intractable, unjustifiable U.S.-led wars proceed. She vowed to reject "all these people" in the failed foreign policy establishment. One feels confident that even Samantha Power, most sainted of the she-hawks , would not be welcome in a Gabbard Administration.

Gabbard, last graced with a CNN town hall in March, soldiers on. Deval Patrick, the former Massachusetts governor who will likely receive a tenth of the New Hampshire votes she does, got his time on the big stage yesterday. Polling indicates that Gabbard may receive over 5 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, where she has focused most of her attention. Media dismissal and outright slander has knee-capped Gabbard's campaign to be president. Her fellow millennial veteran provided a small assist. Interviewed a week ago by Bill Maher, the late night host told Buttigieg, "You are the only military veteran in this." "Yeah," replied the mayor, his sister-in-arms erased.

Tulsi Gabbard's next move will be interesting. Gabbard herself was vague on the subject last night. She is not running for re-election to Congress; this will be her last campaign for the moment. Despite appearing to burn her bridges with the Democratic Party, she could have a place in a Sanders Administration. Regardless, one hopes her voice will remain a part of the national conversation. Tulsi Gabbard has far more to offer than the conventionally hollow Mayor Pete.

Gil Barndollar is a New Hampshire native and a fellow at the Catholic University of America's Center for the Study of Statesmanship.

[Feb 10, 2020] Buttigieg Backer Top Funder of Group Behind Iowa's Disastrous Voting App Consortiumnews

Feb 10, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Buttigieg Backer Top Funder of Group Behind Iowa's Disastrous Voting App February 4, 2020 • 39 Comments

A dark money operation funded by billionaires is behind the app that delayed Iowa's voting results, Max Blumenthal reports.

Seth Karman.

By Max Blumenthal
The Grayzone

A t the time of publication, 12 hours after voting in the Democratic Party's Iowa caucuses ended, the results have not been announced. The delay in reporting is the result of a failed app developed by a company appropriately named Shadow Inc.

This firm was staffed by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaign veterans and created by a Democratic dark-money nonprofit backed by hedge fund billionaires including Seth Klarman. A prolific funder of pro-settler Israel lobby organizations, Klarman has also contributed directly to Pete Buttigieg's campaign.

The delay in the vote reporting denied a victory speech to Sen. Bernie Sanders, the presumptive winner of the opening contest in the Democratic presidential primary. Though not one exit poll indicated that Buttigieg would have won, the former mayor South Bend, Indiana, took to Twitter to confidently proclaim himself the victor.

Iowa, you have shocked the nation.

By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious. #IowaCaucuses

-- Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 4, 2020

The bizarre scenario was made possible by a mysterious voting app whose origins had been kept secret by Democratic National Committee officials . For hours, it was unclear who created the failed technology, or how it wound up in the hands of Iowa party officials.

Though a dark money Democratic operation turned out to be the source of the disastrous app, suspicion initially centered on former Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and his Russiagate-related elections integrity initiative.

Leveraging Russia Hysteria

While Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price refused to say who was behind the failed app, he told NPR that he "worked with the national party's cybersecurity team and Harvard University's Defending Digital Democracy project ." Price did not offer details on his collaboration with the Harvard group, however.

The New York Times reported that this same outfit had teamed up with Iowa Democrats to run a "drill of worst-case scenarios" and possible foreign threats, but was also vague on details.

Robby Mook, the former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 presidential campaign, was the co-founder of Defending Digital Democracy. His initiative arose out of the national freakout over Russian meddling that he and his former boss helped stir when they blamed their loss on Russian interference. Mook's new outfit pledged to "protect from hackers and propaganda attacks."

He founded the organization with help from Matt Rhoades, a former campaign manager for Republican Mitt Romney whose public relations company was sued by a Silicon Valley investor after it branded him "an agent of the Russian government" and "a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin." Rhoades's firm had been contracted by a business rival to destroy the investor's reputation.

As outrage grew over the delay in Iowa caucus results, Mook publicly denied any role in designing the notorious app.

You know it's bad when https://t.co/oNDQnVPxjR

-- Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) February 4, 2020

Hours later, journalist Lee Fang reported that a previously unknown tech outfit called Shadow Inc. had contracted with the Iowa Democratic Party to create the failed technology. The firm was comprised of former staffers for Obama, Clinton and the tech industry, and had been paid for services by the Buttigieg campaign.

FEC filings show the Iowa Democratic party and Buttigieg campaign paid Shadow Inc.

The Path to Mayor Pete's Wine Cave

Shadow Inc. was launched by a major Democratic dark money nonprofit called Acronym, which also gave birth to a $7.7 million Super PAC known as Pacronym.

According to Sludge , Pacronym's largest donor is Seth Klarman. A billionaire hedge funder, Klarman also happens to be a top donor to Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

Though he has attracted some attention for his role in the campaign, Klarman's prolific funding of the pro-settler Israel lobby and Islamophobic initiatives has gone almost entirely unmentioned .

Seth Klarman is the founder of the Boston-based Baupost Group hedge fund and a longtime donor to corporate Republican candidates. After Donald Trump called for forgiving Puerto Rico's debt, Klarman -- the owner of $911 million of the island's bonds -- flipped and began funding Trump's opponents.

The billionaire's crusade against Trump ultimately led him to Mayor Pete's wine cave.

By the end of 2019, Klarman had donated $5,600 to Buttigieg and pumped money into the campaigns of Senators Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris as well.

The billionaire's support for centrist candidates appears to be driven not only by his own financial interests, but by his deep and abiding ideological commitment to Israel and its expansionist project.

As I reported for Mondoweiss , Klarman has been a top funder for major Israel lobby outfits, including those that support the expansion of illegal settlements and Islamophobic initiatives.

Klarman was the principal funder of The Israel Project, the recently disbanded Israeli government-linked propaganda organization that lobbied against the Iran nuclear deal and backed the Israeli settlement enterprise .

Klarman has heaped hundreds of thousands of dollars on the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and the American Jewish Committee. And he funded The David Project, which was established to suppress Palestine solidarity organizing on campuses across the U.S. and battled to block the establishment of a Muslim community center in Boston.

Through his support for the Friends of Ir David Inc, Klarman directly involved himself in the Israeli settlement enterprise, assisting the U.S.-based tax exempt arm of the organization that oversaw a wave of Palestinian expulsions in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

Other pro-Israel groups reaping the benefits of Klarman's generosity include Birthright Israel, the AIPAC-founded Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neoconservative think tank that helped devise Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign of economic warfare on Iran.

Klarman is the owner of the Times of Israel , an Israeli media outlet that once published a call for Palestinian genocide . (The op-ed was removed following public backlash).

In recent weeks, Buttigieg has sought to distinguish himself from Sanders on the issue of Israel-Palestine. During a testy exchange this January with a self-proclaimed Jewish supporter of Palestinian human rights, the South Bend mayor backtracked on a previous pledge to withhold military aid to Israel if it annexed parts of the West Bank.

NEW: The day after Trump unveiled his plan green-lighting Israeli annexation and Netanyahu's announcement of a cabinet vote on annexation this Tuesday, @PeteButtigieg backtracked on his repeated promise that the "U.S. will not foot the bill for annexation." #StopFundingOccupation pic.twitter.com/dldyRnI5lo

-- IfNotNow? (@IfNotNowOrg) January 30, 2020

Another recipient of Klarman's funding, Amy Klobuchar, has taken a strongly pro-Israel line, vowing to support Trump's relocation of the U.S.embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Battling Bernie with Hedge Fund Money & Sexism Claims

Like Klarman, Donald Sussman is a hedge funder who has channeled his fortune into Pacronym. He has given $1 million to the Super PAC and was also top donor to Clinton in 2016.

Sussman's Paloma Partners operates through a series of offshore shell companies, and received tens of millions of dollars in the 2009 federal bailout of the banking industry.

His daughter, Democratic operative Emily Tisch Sussman, declared on MSNBC in September that "if you still support Sanders over Warren, it's kind of showing your sexism."

MSNBC pundit says if you support Bernie Sanders over Elizabeth Warren it's "showing your sexism." pic.twitter.com/fghFIqOF6C

-- Ibrahim (@ibrahimpols) September 27, 2019

As Democratic elites like the Sussmans braced for a Bernie Sanders triumph in Iowa, a mysterious piece of technology spun out by a group they supported delayed the vote results, preventing Sanders from delivering a victory speech. And the politician many of them supported, Pete Buttigieg, exploited the moment to declare himself the winner. In such a strange scenario, conspiracy theories write themselves.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling " Republican Gomorrah ," " Goliath ," " The Fifty One Day War " and " The Management of Savagery ." He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including " Killing Gaza " and " Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie ." Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Limert , February 7, 2020 at 02:34

How much confusion is it possible to create from counting votes in an election in a small state? It is worrisome, to say the least, that we on Friday, four days after the event, still don't have the final numbers. How difficult can it be? Worse still, we don't know exactly what happened. How could Buttigieg, polling at ~15-20%, according to latest polls, suddenly be ahead in most districts? Biden's under performing was not a big surprise, at least not to me, but did all the votes that Biden didn't get go to Buttigieg? Did the way the caucuses were managed, somehow direct a great number of people towards Buttigieg? Is there still a discrepancy between the official results and Bernie Sanders' internal counts? According to many reports from the caucuses, many questionable things happened that all tended to disfavor Bernie Sanders, and most of them cannot simply be blamed on an app. Still 1% of the results are missing, presumably from Bernie Sanders strongholds. It seems that counting votes to Bernie Sanders must be extremely exhausting to DNC staffers.

Jeff Steinmetz , February 6, 2020 at 00:43

In a public statement Shadow Inc stated that they "contracted with the the Iowa Democratic Party to build a caucus reporting mobile app" , so why don't they have an expenditure/disbursement in the FEC filings?

See this link for the statement from Shadow Inc. See: ktiv.com/2020/02/04/nevada-democratic-party-abandons-app-used-in-iowa-caucuses/

When you do a search on the FEC web site with IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY (C00035600) as the spender and Shadow Inc. as the the RECIPIENT NAME OR ID you get a NOTHING.

See: fec.gov/data/disbursements/?data_type=processed&committee_id=C00035600&recipient_name=Shadow+Inc&two_year_transaction_period=2020

Jeff Steinmetz , February 6, 2020 at 00:29

Thank you for providing the link to the FEC web site. I spent some time on the site asking a bunch of different questions.
1) What other presidential candidates paid Shadow Inc.?
GILLIBRAND 2020 paid a total of $37,400.00
PETE FOR AMERICA, INC. $42,500.00
BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT $ 1,225.00

fec.gov/data/disbursements/?data_type=processed&committee_id=C00035600&committee_id=C00197996&committee_id=C00411330&committee_id=C00431916&committee_id=C00693234&committee_id=C00694018&committee_id=C00697441&committee_id=C00703975&recipient_name=Shadow+Inc&two_year_transaction_period=2020

However, when you look at who has spent money with Shadow Inc you won't see the Iowa Democratic Party spent anything with Shadow Inc. So how did the Iowa Democratic Party get the software? Who paid for it? How much was paid? Was it given to them? If there is no money to track you can not follow the money. So how did the Iowa Democratic Party end up with the software? You can see that NEVADA STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY paid Shadow Inc $58,000.00, but it seems the software just landed in lap of the Iowa Democratic Party.

robert e williamson jr , February 5, 2020 at 15:30

Patriot: It time to go to the tool shed and get the shovels and axes yet?

Billionaire: Oh Nooooo the markets are doing too well!

Trumpster Dumpster squatter: Oh Dog how I love this guy who is going to end up starving us all to death!

Ole Bob; Ole Bob here, it's time for dirty pool and judo in the trenches.

wolfess , February 5, 2020 at 15:20

It appears the entire power structure in the US is scared beyond all reason of a Bernie Sanders win -- we voters are going to have to fight tooth-and-nail to guarantee our votes are counted and recorded correctly!

While I don't have any real problem with Buttigieg he just seems a little too much like Obama, and after 8 years of "Yes we can!" "But we're not going to." I want someone who isn't two-faced, and Buttigieg ain't it!

Vera Gottlieb , February 5, 2020 at 11:41

Generally speaking, is it ever possible for anything to be done with honesty and integrity in the US? Dishonesty flows through many an American vein and so many proud of it.

o.j. frowein , February 5, 2020 at 10:09

America is proving again & again it's just a BANANA REPUBLIC!

Karen Bednarek , February 6, 2020 at 08:46

Max Blumenthal is one of the best investigative journalists in the world!
Thank you Max and CN for this illuminating background information.

Susan J Leslie , February 5, 2020 at 09:08

Such a JOKE!

JohnDoe , February 5, 2020 at 07:52

It seems that the Israel lobby is the one that will play the role of the "Russian interference" in this election. I don't mean to condone their actions, but pointing the attention on a single crook is a way to hide the failure of the whole system.
Before accepting to use an app in such a sensitive context the party should have setup an independent group in charge of inspecting the code and conducting a thorough testing. Shadow Inc. couldn't do all this damage without complicity at every level in the party and I suspect that if the democrats don't carry out immediately a major cleanup of the high ranks in the party the whole primaries will end up even more tainted that the ones that awarded the nomination to Clinton.

R. Linn , February 4, 2020 at 22:14

Is there any connection between the the delay of the caucus results and the The Des Moines Register and CNN decision not to release their poll of Monday's Iowa caucuses after a potential error was brought to their attention by the campaign of Pete Buttigieg?

Buttigieg received the media spotlight 1 day prior, which may have given him an advantage going into the caucus. Coincidence?

michael , February 5, 2020 at 17:42

Yesterday and today (62 and 74% counted) Buttigieg had a constant 6-7% lead, but Bernie said his strongholds had not been counted. Supposedly the national DNC came in to "help" count? Now 85% of the vote is in (from Bernie's strongholds?) and Mayor Pete's lead has jumped to about 10%. A 3% jump may not seem like much, but when it occurs in only 10% of the counted votes, Buttigieg would have had to receive 30% more votes than Bernie. Coincidence? Bad optics at a minimum, given the DNC's predilection for corruption, very suspicious.

Jane , February 5, 2020 at 22:12

No coincidence. The DNC, via the Iowa Dems, via Mayor Cheat, are doing everything they can to steal this election away from the people's choice. It WOULD have looked a little strange to have had the Des Moines Register poll showing Bernie Sanders the obvious leader a day ahead of the caucus, followed by Mayor Cheat winning it. Crooked. Crooked. Crooked. All of it.

Daniel , February 6, 2020 at 14:40

Judging on his debate performances, donor-related flip flops on the issues and the general smug tone of his Obam-ish politi-speak, I'd say Buttigieg's pretty well exposed himself as the power monger that he is, willing to do or say anything to get what he wants. A terrible candidate by every stretch. Considering his time on the national stage, it's easy to imagine his deliberately sabotaging Iowa, thinking he'd get away with it. To my eye, there's something off about the man, pathological perhaps; his brazen grasps for attention, his casual disregard of the truth, his staggering arrogance. He may have stolen Iowa, but he'll never get an ounce of support frome.

robert e williamson jr , February 4, 2020 at 21:40

No matter which major American political party it is, never underestimate the danger of large groups of stupid people especially when they work with Israeli lobbyist.

I for one have seem plenty enough of the love dance of death ( dancing to the music of the rapture ) between Natinyahoo and the large orange blob. And I damned sure don't want to the culmination in my front yard.

But, hey, ain't the markets doing great!

Hans Zandvliet , February 4, 2020 at 21:13

Since we're now living in a post-evidence era, the actual voting results don't matter anymore.
Anyone declaring himself the winner of an election, actually becomes the winner, if his claim gets the support of the MSM presstitutes.
My advice to all Americans is to vote with your feet: stay at home! Preserve your own dignity by turning down this voting scam. Refuse to vote. Show those swamp creatures that they've lost all legitimacy with an election turnout of 0.00% of all voters

In any case, it does not matter anymore whoever gets to sit in that white house somewhere in D.C.: Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, whoever; the wars will continue anyway, just like the pillaging of the lower and middle classes.

So the best way to vote is to not vote at all.

Will , February 5, 2020 at 11:26

Yes, by all means stay home which is exactly what most Americans do and have been doing for years .look how brilliantly it has worked!

DW Bartoo , February 5, 2020 at 14:34

So, Will, do you think that all U$ians of voting age should be required, by law, to vote?

Would that not necessitate the option of "None of the Above"?

You know, in case the choices were appallingly awful and only promised "More of the $ame", only reflected perpetual war, corporations as "people", money as "speech", a two-tiered "legal" system where the poor went to jail and the rich, bankers for example, were bailed out for committing fraud, and torture was held to be merely a "policy difference", where money making money was taxed (if at all) at a much lower rate than "earned income, you know as the result of actual work, where the media were corporate owned whores who dutifully propagandized the lies used to take the nation to war or unleash its "beautiful" weapons and so on?

Or would you simply insist that there was NO option but to vote for team blue or team red?

With all those who do dutifully vote, have been dutifully partisan, have voted for lesser (if more effective) evil candidates, for many years, for decades, how do you explain the current state of affairs?

Clearly, if voting is the sole measure of democratic engagement, then it has not had much capacity to change much of anything beyond what money and power has deemed to be in THEIR best "interest", to their profit and dominance.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the real problem is that no actual democracy has heretofore really existed in this exceptional and indispensable nation?

Perhaps it is all a sham and the "franchise" is a controlled and managed means of manufacturing "consent" such that the few can have their way despite the cost and harm to the many?

And, just perhaps, all those whose lack of "participation" you decry so vehemently have come to understand that, as Mother Jones (or Helen Keller) pointed out, if voting could change anything, if it could make a real difference, then it would be illegal

Indeed, if you really favor voting then why should there be any need of "representatives" and the Founder's fear of "mob rule"?

Do not both those things get in the way of real, participatory democracy?

Of course, the problem with participatory democracy is that political saviors would go out of vogue, for then each citizen would truly bear responsibility for the nature of society and all that was done in their name.

Are we "there" yet?

Or are we just a "republic" and not a real "democracy", in fact simply a military empire where citizens are meant to be but patriotic consumers of myth and bluster, of hegemony and bombast, whose task, every two or four years, IS but to cheer and vote for more of the same?

What bothers you about this nation that you blame those who you feel have not "bothered" to vote?

Is it a politician, a political wing of the war and money party?

Or is it something larger?

Perhaps systemic failure?

Perhaps economic insanity?

Possibly the plight of the many?

What is your beef with those who consider that voting seems ineffective, or even useless in terms of generating policies that would improve their lives and those of whom they love?

Or is that something you would not be comfortable with?

Just curious.

Skip Scott , February 7, 2020 at 08:55

DW-

Excellent response to Will.

I do make it a point to vote, but only for a "peace" candidate, which usually means third party by the General Election.

Michael , February 4, 2020 at 21:13

Mr Blumenthal makes it evident that the rich and powerful will be very active during this election year, and that Mr.Sanders and Ms. Warren will be thwarted at every opportunity. The only unknown are those young voters, who are not as vulnerable to MSM methods of persuasion. I am hopeful that they have amassed the numbers to impact the selection of the Democratic nominee or to empower a viable third party candidacy. It is highly unlikely that the Democratic Party apparatus would be removed by anything less than an overwhelming popular uprising.

Susan , February 5, 2020 at 04:44

I would go for the "overwhelming popular uprising". Solidarity, common cause and urgent need for aloha and cooperation are needed in order for us to stand together for Justice and guide her to course. Resist evil.

Will , February 5, 2020 at 11:30

Speaking of Warren pretty savvy of the NYTs to endorse Warren *and* Klobuchar in an attempt to make sure neither Warren nor Sanders win. A kiss of death combined with a divide and conquer

dean 1000 , February 4, 2020 at 20:39

If the guilty software was not given a couple of test runs the day before the caucus something is terribly wrong.
How many test runs and how did the app preform in each test?

Whatever the outcome of the first tally there should be a hand recount where every ballot is projected on a wall or screen so TV viewers can count the number of ballots and the tally for each candidate, along with the official counters.

In every city that has cable TV there is a channel reserved for city council meetings. Those TV stations can cover the recount from the first ballot to the last. The commercial stations must make a living broadcasting advertisements but can give their viewers periodic updates. Doesn't matter how long it takes. Accuracy is more important than speed. Especially a recount. Iowa democrats you owe it to the country to do another count. If it serves no other function it could deter future skullduggery and vote stealing. Don't leave voters harboring suspicions. It could reduce democratic turnout.

Len , February 4, 2020 at 19:52

Who would have guessed!

Len

KiwiAntz , February 4, 2020 at 17:13

If you had any doubts that America & it's so called Democracy is nothing more than a badly run, Banana Republic, the IOWA primary is a microcosm of this Political charade? Shamelessly rigged by a desperate DNC, to sabotage Bernie Saunders campaign & minimise his IOWA win result & the Media bump this would have given his Campaign, this disgusting behaviour demonstrates that the fix was in, once again, to deny Bernie any chance of being the preferred Presidential Candidate, starting in IOWA? And who better to blame but the Democratic Party's "go to" bogeyman to explain away this public relations disaster by once again claiming "It was RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA" who are responsible for this debacle? Pathetic & sad. Bernie is being screwed again by the same idiots who lost the previous Presidential race to a bankrupt Reality TV Star & are going to blow the 2020 Campaign as well by picking another lousy Candidate? Bernie is the only man that can beat Trump! Stop the nonsense DNC & listen to the voters who want Bernie, not Corporate stooges!

Aussidawg , February 5, 2020 at 17:00

That's the scary thing Kiwi, not only does the DNC not care about the wishes of the voters the establishment Dems such as Pelosi, Schumer, Hoyer, et al don't care either as is more often than not reflected in how they vote on important legislation. The establishment Dems simply will not support anything that might endanger the flow of corporate/billionaire campaign contributions into their re-election coffers. The bottom line is these people will always vote the way that will personally benefit them country and constituents be damned. Bernie Sanders poses a direct threat to that continued inflow of campaign donations since much of his proposed legislation will take away tax cuts and impose progressive taxation that the ruling elites have enjoyed and paid for via campaign donations (legal bribes) ever since Reagan was elected. The whole reason the establishment politicians fear Bernie is because he is honest, has integrity and can't be bought. He truly believes in representing his constituents which makes him a rare politician that poses a true threat to the ruling elites.

GO BERNIE SANDERS – 2020

Marko , February 4, 2020 at 16:34

" The delay in reporting is the result of a failed app ."

So far , I'd say the app has been wildly successful , and we still haven't seen the final results. If the purpose was to dilute the impact of Bernie's victory , mission accomplished. If the app was a man-in-the-middle mechanism designed to steal the election outright , it may yet succeed at that , as well. Mayor Pete Guaido seems to think that will be the outcome. Half the results will be announced today at 5 PM EST , ( I'd expect those results to show a razor-close race between Bernie and Pete ) allowing time for evaluating public reaction to see if a blatant theft would be accepted when final tallies are released.

Realist , February 4, 2020 at 15:50

Mayor B was just taking a page from Venezuela's "president" Juan Guaido, who got such good advice from the CIA. If you can't win, just create some chaos and declare yourself in charge.

Frankly, what this fiasco suggests to me is that, in the real world, Bernie won the actual vote in a landslide and these are the "corrective" measures by the Democratic establishment. However, if the coders did their jobs "right," no one will ever know. Plus it creates one more malefaction to blame on Putin don'tcha know and more reason to prefer a war-mongering hard right-wing Democratic Party. Meh, 2016 redux so far.

AnneR , February 5, 2020 at 09:13

These have pretty much been my thoughts on this whole imbroglio: Sanders was all too clearly winning the IA primary and the DNC and its plutocratic supporters balked, so created this "chaos" in order to deny him his win.

John Neal Spangler , February 4, 2020 at 15:03

Looks like fanatical pro-settler hard right pro-Israelis want to throw election to Trump. When the app failed the Iowa dems had no back up methods of communicating, like emails, telephones, or telegrams? Looks like the DNC brought out the clown car and said VOTE TRUMP.

Skip Scott , February 4, 2020 at 14:52

Why would we need the Russians to meddle in our election process? This year's democratic primaries are going to be something else. The party is in its death throes.

DW Bartoo , February 4, 2020 at 14:03

I was hoping that Consortium News would publish this article.

While it must be understood that much of what this article reveals will not reach the eyes or ears, will not cross the thought threshold of most U$ians, it is nonetheless of very significant import.

It points to the manipulation (the manufacturing) of "consent", it pulls the curtains from the behind-the-scenes mechanations of Big Money and the petty jiggering of candidates within the context of big-time political maneuvering in such a fashion that international connections, influence peddling, and vested interests are exposed as ubiquitous and "business" as usual, call it corruption, in an "electoral" process whose principal purpose is convince the many that actual democracy exits, that voting makes a difference, that the many matter, and that politicians actually care about the lives and well-being of those many.

We are told that the debacle in Iowa diminishes the "trust" that the many have of "the system", of the political process, indeed of all the many myths of U$ exceptionalism, of U$ moral virtue and the righteousness of U$ military "intervention" for "humanitarian" purposes and so on.

In 2016, the DNC made clear that the Democratic Party is a private club, that can change its rules (as it recently has done for Bloomberg), can ignore the popular will and substitute its own choices as candidates, and has NO obligation to conduct itself in a "fair", "open", or even consistent fashion, that it can resort to "smoke-filled rooms" decisions whenever it chooses and has every reason to assume that ALL who choose to consider voting for Democrats fully comprehend that the process is "rigged", dishonest, and graft and grift driven.

The Dems are but one of the two right wings of the war and money party, the Republicans the other.

Both wings exist to serve the donor class,
Not "their" donor class, but the whole international (globalist) financial class.

Would it not be wise to consider the very real likelihood that neither of these two wings has any real interest in serving the many, here in the U$, or anywhere else in the world?

That is to say, given the current reality, who can possibly imagine that the many can or may vote their way out of perpetual war, out of wealth inequality, out of for-profit healthcare, or propagandistic media owned by the financial (corporate) class?

If voting is simply a rite, an empty ritual designed not to change anything in meaningful fashion, but merely to provide the appearance but not substance of democracy, then how may it be believed that voting is anything other than passive acquiescence to a tyranny of deceit and population management, especially when leading intellectual "lights" admonish a third party, the Green Party, to effectively neuter itself because only the existing sham is possible?

We live in most interesting times, a time fraught with existential issues too long ignored, and quite unlike any others time in human history.

Can or will a pretend democracy, a bogus electoral system owned by a mere handful of "interests" of obscenely wealthy individuals and administered by sycophantic lap dogs, come to any honest grips with environmental collapse or nuclear Armageddon when the owners and their lackeys, as well as the upper "middle" class profit directly from those existential threats?

Might it not be time to think beyond the two and four year spectacles, beyond the horse race of personality, brand, spin, and media love-(and hate)-fest?

Might our time require more of us than dutifully going along to get along with the insanity?

Might it not be time to ponder how we might build a sustainable and humane human society that need not destroy the ability of the planet to support life simply to allow somewhat more than two thousand individuals to live like tyrannical "royalty"?

Who still believes or thinks that we can vote our way out of corruption and destruction when the only permitted choice is "More of the Same"?

Lesser weevil voting?

That only ensures that the "same" becomes more virulent, more vicious, and more powerful.

Skip Scott , February 7, 2020 at 09:08

I think one of the most important things the average person can do to change the world is to examine their consumer and investment choices. Everyone who pays a cable bill and sits hypnotized for hours each day in front of the "idiot box" is feeding the beast and becoming a compliant victim rather than an active citizen. Lifestyle choices matter.

I choose to vote each election because the Oligarchy loves low voter turnout as confirmation of the masses feeling powerless and complacent to whatever the elite chooses. We also have "propositions" here in Arizona that provide an opportunity for engaging in "direct" democracy.

Daniel , February 4, 2020 at 14:03

Can this DNC ineptitude and the actions of Buttigieg, who is associated with and brazenly trying to benefit from it, even be considered conspiracy theory anymore? When the net result is the same? You'll never convince me that the Iowa debacle wasn't a purposeful event, or that Buttigieg's complaint about the poll last week – whose results were thwarted as a result – weren't coordinated efforts to squash Sanders' momentum.

We know from reliable reporting that Buttigieg sold his soul long ago (if he has one) to the devils of Wall Street, the tech industry, and the intelligence agencies. And, whether he participated in deliberate sabotage in the two instances above or not, his brazen attempt to 'shape the narrative' and benefit from them is sickening enough.

Buttigieg and the like are facilitating and benefitting from a new and dangerous marriage between good old fashioned American propaganda and 21st century technological trickery to win elections that, in any just system, they'd never come close to winning.

I pray to God we are nearing the moment when thinking people finally abandon these frauds, hypocrites, thieves and charlatans en masse once and for all.

Eugenie Basile , February 4, 2020 at 13:34

The DNC has put all its know-how in the Impeachment of Trump and now they can't even count 300.000 votes anymore
Shooting yourself in the foot or rather in both feet while shouting Trump is unfit to be president.

plantman , February 4, 2020 at 13:03

Excellent report!
The influence of private money in the Democratic party is shocking.
Forget Russia -- The problem is much closer to home.

Stan W. , February 4, 2020 at 12:58

But this is Iowa, the land of hard-working farmers and factory workers. Are we sure it's not Chicago we're talking about?

Jeff Harrison , February 4, 2020 at 12:34

ROTFLMAO. And here I thought the Republicans were incompetent!

Drew Hunkins , February 4, 2020 at 12:19

They deprived Bernie of his moment.

This Iowa fiasco was all orchestrated by the corporate-Wall Street Dems to preempt Bernie. The last thing they wanted was Bernie giving a raucous populist victory speech live to the entire world. It would have focused solely on progressive-populist bread and butter issues which would have fired up the entire nation. This is a theft that should not go unpunished.

If Tom Perez has any integrity he'd resign by lunch time today.

[Feb 09, 2020] Iowans Rage They're Dirty, Man, Matt Taibbi Warns Des Moines Debacle Was Waterloo For Democrats

Feb 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg seemed perfect, a man who defended the principle of wine-based fundraisers with military effrontery. New York magazine made his case in a cover story the magazine's Twitter account summarized as:

"Perhaps all the Democrats need to win the presidency is a Rust Belt millennial who's gay and speaks Norwegian."

(The "Here's something random the Democrats need to beat Trump" story became an important literary genre in 2019-2020, the high point being Politico's "Can the "F-bomb save Beto?").

Buttigieg had momentum. The flameout of Biden was expected to help the ex-McKinsey consultant with "moderates." Reporters dug Pete; he's been willing to be photographed holding a beer and wearing a bomber jacket, and in Iowa demonstrated what pundits call a "killer instinct," i.e. a willingness to do anything to win.

Days before the caucus, a Buttigieg supporter claimed Pete's name had not been read out in a Des Moines Register poll, leading to the pulling of what NBC called the "gold standard" survey. The irony of such a relatively minor potential error holding up a headline would soon be laid bare.

However, Pete's numbers with black voters (he polls at zero in many states) led to multiple news stories in the last weekend before the caucus about "concern" that Buttigieg would not be able to win.

Who, then? Elizabeth Warren was cratering in polls and seemed to be shifting strategy on a daily basis. In Iowa, she attacked "billionaires" in one stop, emphasized "unity" in the next, and stressed identity at other times (she came onstage variously that weekend to Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" or to chants of "It's time for a woman in the White House"). Was she an outsider or an insider? A screwer, or a screwee? Whose side was she on?

A late controversy involving a story that Sanders had told Warren a woman couldn't win didn't help. Jaimee Warbasse planned to caucus with Warren, but the Warren/Sanders "hot mic" story of the two candidates arguing after a January debate was a bridge too far. She spoke of being frustrated, along with friends, at the inability to find anyone she could to trust to take on Trump.

"It's like we all have PTSD from 2016," she said. "There has to be somebody."

... ... ...

What happened over the five days after the caucus was a mind-boggling display of fecklessness and ineptitude. Delay after inexplicable delay halted the process, to the point where it began to feel like the caucus had not really taken place. Results were released in chunks, turning what should have been a single news story into many, often with Buttigieg "in the lead."

The delays and errors cut in many directions, not just against Sanders. Buttigieg, objectively, performed above poll expectations, and might have gotten more momentum even with a close, clear loss, but because of the fiasco he ended up hashtagged as #MayorCheat and lumped in headlines tied to what the Daily Beast called a "Clusterfuck."

Though Sanders won the popular vote by a fair margin, both in terms of initial preference (6,000 votes) and final preference (2,000), Mayor Pete's lead for most of the week with "state delegate equivalents" -- the number used to calculate how many national delegates are sent to the Democratic convention -- made him the technical winner in the eyes of most. By the end of the week, however, Sanders had regained so much ground, to within 1.5 state delegate equivalents, that news organizations like the AP were despairing at calling a winner.

This wasn't necessarily incorrect. The awarding of delegates in a state like Iowa is inherently somewhat random. If there's a tie in votes in a district awarding five delegates, a preposterous system of coin flips is used to break the odd number. The geographical calculation for state delegate equivalents is also uneven, weighted toward the rural. A wide popular-vote winner can surely lose.

But the storylines of caucus week sure looked terrible for the people who ran the vote. The results released early favored Buttigieg, while Sanders-heavy districts came out later. There were massive, obvious errors. Over 2,000 votes that should have gone to Sanders and Warren went to Deval Patrick and Tom Steyer in one case the Iowa Democrats termed a "minor error." In multiple other districts (Des Moines 14 for example), the "delegate equivalents" appeared to be calculated incorrectly, in ways that punished all the candidates, not just Sanders. By the end of the week, even the New York Times was saying the caucus was plagued with "inconsistencies and errors."

Emily Connor, a Sanders precinct captain in Boone County, spent much of the week checking results, waiting for her Bernie-heavy district to be recorded. It took a while. By the end of the week, she was fatalistic.

"If you're a millennial, you basically grew up in an era where popular votes are stolen," she said.

"The system is riddled with loopholes."

Others felt the party was in denial about how bad the caucus night looked.

"They're kind of brainwashed," said Joe Grabinski, who caucused in West Des Moines.

"They think they're on the side of the right they'll do anything to save their careers.

An example of how screwed up the process was from the start involved a new twist on the process, the so-called "Presidential Preference Cards."

In 2020, caucus-goers were handed index cards that seemed simple enough. On side one, marked with a big "1," caucus-goers were asked to write in their initial preference. Side 2, with a "2," was meant to be where you wrote in who you ended up supporting, if your first choice was not viable.

The "PPCs" were supposedly there to "ensure a recount is possible," as the Polk County Democrats put it. But caucus-goers didn't understand the cards.

Morgan Baethke, who volunteered at Indianola 4, watched as older caucus-goers struggled. Some began filling out both sides as soon as they were given them.

Therefore, Baethke says, if they do a recount, "the first preference should be accurate." However, "the second preference will be impossible to recreate with any certainty."

This is a problem, because by the end of the week, DNC chair Tom Perez -- a triple-talking neurotic who is fast becoming the poster child for everything progressives hate about modern Dems -- called for an "immediate recanvass." He changed his mind after ten hours and said he only wanted "surgical" reanalysis of problematic districts.

No matter what result emerges, it's likely many individual voters will not trust it. Between comical videos of apparently gamed coin-flips and the pooh-poohing reaction of party officials and pundits (a common theme was that "toxic conspiracy theories" about Iowa were the work of the Trumpian right and/or Russian bots), the overall impression was a clown show performance by a political establishment too bored to worry about the appearance of impartiality.

"Is it incompetence or corruption? That's the big question," asked Storey.

"I'm not sure it matters. It could be both."

[Feb 08, 2020] Mayo tried to dodge the question as usually does. But it didn't work so well

Feb 08, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

le="View user profile." href="https://caucus99percent.com/users/humphrey">humphrey

This is the single most important moment in the debate tonight.

In fact, I think it was the most brilliant moderator moment from ANY debate, thanks to @LinseyDavis .

She directly confronted @PeteButtigieg on his record.

And he had NOTHING.

pic.twitter.com/67Xk8Rn7eL

-- Shaun King (@shaunking) February 8, 2020

Raggedy Ann on Sat, 02/08/2020 - 4:49pm
His naivete

@humphrey @humphrey
came bursting forth! "I can stand here and blow smoke up your ass and you don't even know I'm doing it!" What a dumass! I can't even stand to hear his voice.

But it didn't work so well.

This is the single most important moment in the debate tonight.

In fact, I think it was the most brilliant moderator moment from ANY debate, thanks to @LinseyDavis .

She directly confronted @PeteButtigieg on his record.

And he had NOTHING.

pic.twitter.com/67Xk8Rn7eL

-- Shaun King (@shaunking) February 8, 2020

humphrey on Sat, 02/08/2020 - 4:55pm
LOL

@Raggedy Ann

https://t.co/t0mV3UN0iU

-- Yousef (@youskhalfan) February 8, 2020

#3 #3
came bursting forth! "I can stand here and blow smoke up your ass and you don't even know I'm doing it!" What a dumass! I can't even stand to hear his voice.

Not Henry Kissinger on Sat, 02/08/2020 - 5:26pm
Pete defends his record ...

@humphrey @humphrey

by saying that increased drug arrests were used to 'target' Black gang violence, which if you think about it, is pretty much the same pretext Richard Nixon used to START the Drug War in the first place.

At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. "You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did. "

Pete is continuing the corrosive Nixonian conflation of drugs, Black people and violence, even as he calls for decriminalization of opioids for his poppy growing pals in Afghanistan.

What a creep.

But it didn't work so well.

This is the single most important moment in the debate tonight.

In fact, I think it was the most brilliant moderator moment from ANY debate, thanks to @LinseyDavis .

She directly confronted @PeteButtigieg on his record.

And he had NOTHING.

pic.twitter.com/67Xk8Rn7eL

-- Shaun King (@shaunking) February 8, 2020

longtalldrink on Sat, 02/08/2020 - 6:00pm
ANSWER the question Mayor Rat

@humphrey All I heard was blah, blah, blah with the deer in the headlights look.

[Feb 08, 2020] Mayor Pete and Bill Maher - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Feb 08, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Bill Maher interviewed Pete Buttigieg a few days ago on January 31, 2019. Bill Maher said, "You are the only military veteran in this."
Buttigieg nodded along and said, "Yeah."

It was a critical test of character for Mayor Pete, and Buttigieg showed his true colors. Instead of acknowledging Major Tulsi Gabbard -- the first female combat veteran to ever run for the presidency, who volunteered to deploy twice to the warzones of the Middle East at the height of the war, who has served in the Army National Guard for 17 years and is still serving today -- Buttigieg chose to allow the audience to believe the falsehood that he was the only military veteran running for president because it benefits him politically.

Furthermore, when Buttigeig's campaign posted the interview on social media, they chose to cut out the first part of Maher's statement (i.e.


"You are the only military veteran in this.") C'est un arriviste : mon opinion

Check this article:

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/03/all-about-pete

Before I dive into Shortest Way Home's account of the life and career of Peter Buttigieg, let me be up front about my bias. I don't trust former McKinsey consultants. I don't trust military intelligence officers. And I don't trust the type of people likely to appear on "40 under 40" lists, the valedictorian-to-Harvard-to-Rhodes-Scholarship types who populate the American elite. I don't trust people who get flattering reams of newspaper profiles and are pitched as the Next Big Thing That You Must Pay Attention To, and I don't trust wunderkinds who become successful too early. Why? Because I am somewhat cynical about the United States meritocracy. Few people amass these kind of résumés if they are the type to openly challenge authority. Noam Chomsky says that the factors predicting success in our "meritocracy" are a "combination of greed, cynicism, obsequiousness and subordination, lack of curiosity and independence of mind, [and] self-serving disregard for others." So when journalists see "Harvard" and think "impressive," I see it and think "uh-oh."

Posted by: The Beaver | 07 February 2020 at 02:03 PM DNC and Media have black balled Gabbard.
Thrashing Kamala and Hillary is an unforgivable sin for the current DNC.
Democratic party is poorly served by DNC corruption and incompetence.
The top of their ticket reminds me of the decrepit party hacks the politburo put forward in the early 80s.
Moral and intellectual bankrupt.
Noting that McCain and Romney were the previous GOP nominees does not inspire confidence either

Posted by: sbin | 07 February 2020 at 02:23 PM I'm not normally into conspiracy theories, but I am suspicious of his direct commission into Naval intelligence. His educational background and a few other things makes me think he might be a CIA stooge.

And yes, pretty dishonest and arrogant to not mention Tulsi.

Posted by: Eric Newhill | 07 February 2020 at 02:36 PM I had heard Mayor Pete had been an engineer in the military but in a The Atlantic interview he says he was Naval Intelligence. He also spent time as a consultant for McKinsey in the Afghanistan but in neither case was he in much danger--unlike Tulsi.
In his own words: "Four years later, Buttigieg would return to Afghanistan as a Naval intelligence officer. He stayed on bases for the most part, venturing out only as an armed escort on an occasional trip. On the McKinsey work, they were outside the wire more, but "there was no moment of great adventure or danger for me, other than just the fact of we drove from Kabul to Jalalabad. That was a little risky. But in Iraq we were on base, or at least in the Green Zone, almost all the time."

How does a mayor of a small mid-west town wake up one day and decide he is qualified to run for the highest political office in the land and believe he can win. He's either insane or has friends inm high places. After the fudging of the numbers in Iowa in his favor, I'd say the latter.

Posted by: optimax | 07 February 2020 at 02:41 PM I have a low opinion of his personal integrity. But then I have a lot opinion of the President's personal integrity. Its probably time saving to say who does appear to have integrity rather than doesnt. At the moment I am prepared to believe Steyer, Gabbard, Sanders and Yang have some decency. But I could easily be wrong about any of them.

Posted by: Harry | 07 February 2020 at 02:51 PM Ian Gabbard should run as an independent if she doesn't get the nomination. I believe Gabbard said she won't but I hope she change her mind.

Posted by: Ian | 07 February 2020 at 03:01 PM different clue Since my background is strictly civilian, I cannot state . . . anything. But perhaps I can ask, could we refer to this as " foam-rubber valor"? Or "cardboard-replica valor"?

And it confirms a new emerging nickname I am seeing here and there for Mayor Pete . . . Pete the Cheat, Cheater Peter, Cheatin' Pete.. .

Posted by: different clue | 07 February 2020 at 03:23 PM

[Feb 07, 2020] The favored candidate of the DNC is clearly Trump

Trump is Hillary2020 ;-)
Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bubbles , Feb 6 2020 20:57 utc | 74

Yes pft, the favored candidate of the DNC is clearly Trump.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Feb 6 2020 19:25 utc | 58


Only if the ungrateful commoners who identify as Democrats or moderates can't be brought to heel and give their full throated support for the DNC's favoured Cookie Cutter candidate who might as well be one of those dolls with a string and a recording you hear when you pull the string.

Then yes, they would prefer 'fore moar years!!' of the Ugliest American ever to be installed as President of the United States.

One of things I respect about Tulsi Gabbard is she ain't no Doll with a string attached. When she made the comment about cleaning out the rot in the Democratic Party, she left no doubt her intent and goals. And to take on hillary, the Red Queen to boot, why that was simply delicious.

Alas, the View, the DNC, it's web of evil rich and the media will never forgive her for Soldiering for her Country.

[Feb 07, 2020] Is Buttigieg connected to CIA ?

Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

steven t johnson , Feb 6 2020 17:02 utc | 17

Buttigieg was Navy, and military rivalry with the CIA means he's not likely to be CIA. Also, McKinsey is a political influence peddling outfit, which is not CIA. Working at NGOs, maybe. Buttigieg is affiliated with the Truman Project...but the Truman Project centers on the open admission that the Iraq war was an insanely stupid strategic and tactical mistake, and imperialism needs to be done smarter. It is not, not, not yet a principle of the CIA that the Iraq war was a signal failure on their part. Further, the CIA finds gays pretty much as distasteful as the average barfly, even if they feel they should be discrete.

The closest thing to a reason to believe Buttigieg is CIA is that his further was an avowed leftist who taught the works of the Italian Communist Antonio Gramscie, associated with the journal Rethinking Marxism. That is an ideal bio for a fake leftist fighting Leninist Communism. The thing there, of course, is that the CIA is not a hereditary institution!

Buttigieg believes in capitalism, just like Warren. Thus he is no good, period. The rest is largely homophobes losing their minds.

I think Buttigieg is the honest version of Warren, saying what she would actually do, whatever she's pretending right now. I think it is always an offense to common sense and common decency to abuse politicians when they tell the truth. It should be the opposite. Loving them for their lies is Trumpery.


the pair , Feb 7 2020 0:31 utc | 97

current affairs has also done a lot of good work on buttigieg, mckinsey and where the two intersect.

https://duckduckgo.com/html/?q=site%3Acurrentaffairs.org%20McKinsey

james , Feb 7 2020 0:42 utc | 101
@ 97 the pair...

nathan robinson wrote a great article on pete buttigieg that b shared 1/2 a year ago.. it is worth the read..

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/03/all-about-pete

@ 98 wg - maybe a combo of the 2? yours is a polite way of putting it..

[Jan 06, 2020] The spooks' choice Coup plotters and CIA agents fill Pete Buttigieg's list of national security endorsers by Samuel D. Finkelstein

Jan 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

Why are so many intelligence veterans throwing their weight behind a young Indiana mayor with such a thin foreign policy resume?

These questions continue to loom large over the 2020 Democratic primary field: Who is Pete Buttigieg? And what is he doing here?

Seemingly overnight, the once obscure mayor of Indiana's fourth-largest city was vaulted to national prominence, with his campaign coffers stuffed with big checks from billionaire benefactors.

The publication of a list of 218 endorsements from "foreign policy and national security professionals" by Buttigieg's campaign deepened the mystery of the mayor's rise.

Some observers have raised questions about Pete Buttigieg's intimate relationship with the national security state , after it was revealed that his campaign had paid nearly $600,000 for "security" to a Blackwater-style military contractor.

Buttigieg's new roster of endorsements from former high-ranking CIA officials, regime-change architects, and global financiers should raise more questions about the real forces propelling his campaign.

Patriot Group is currently under contract w/the US military.

They provide "contractor-owned, contractor-operated intelligence, surveillance & reconnaissance aerial detection and monitoring support inside & outside the U.S."

and guard Mayor Pete. https://t.co/Aa5Ogl5K8b pic.twitter.com/6tnXDBPtOA

-- Samuel D. Finkelstein II (@CANCEL_SAM) December 7, 2019

Buttigieg has offered precious few details about his policy plans, and foreign policy is no exception. His campaign website dedicates just five sentences to international affairs, none of which offers any substantive details.

Beyond a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan as a Naval Reservist in 2010, the 37 year-old mayor has no first-hand foreign policy experience to speak of.

As The Grayzone's Max Blumenthal reported , Buttigieg's enjoys a long relationship with the Truman National Security Project, a foreign policy think tank in Washington, DC that advocates for "muscular liberalism." He has also taken a short, strange trip to Somaliland with a Harvard buddy, Nathaniel Myers, who ultimately became a senior advisor to USAID's Office of Transitional Initiatives. Otherwise, Buttigieg's foreign policy credentials are nil.

Buttigieg's lack of core principles are what might make him so attractive to military contractors and financial institutions, two of the status quo's biggest beneficiaries.

Mayor Pete has effectively positioned himself as a Trojan Horse for the establishment, offering "generational change" that doesn't challenge existing power structures in any concrete way.

Patriot Group International PGI Pete Buttigieg

Eye-popping payments to a Blackwater-style mercenary firm

A review of Pete for America's FEC disclosures found that the campaign had paid $561,416.82 for "security" to a company called Patriot Group International (PGI), from June 4 to September 9, 2019.

Buttigieg's August 29, 2019 payment of $179,617.04 to PGI represents the single largest security expenditure ever made by a presidential candidate, according to the FEC.

While the exorbitant amount of money raises questions, it is PGI's status as a Blackwater-style mercenary firm that makes Buttigieg's contract so remarkable.

PGI bills itself as a "global mission support provider with expeditionary capabilities, providing services to select clients within the intelligence, defense, and private sector." According to the company's website , it offers services like counter-terrorism, counter-weapons of mass destruction, and drone surveillance.

PGI is currently under a $26.5 million contract with the Department of Defense to provide "contractor-owned, contractor-operated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aerial detection and monitoring support inside and outside the U.S." It is a far cry from securing campaign events held in New Hampshire community centers.

FEC Spending receipts from Pete's campaign pic.twitter.com/GWoDEPUDGE

-- Samuel D. Finkelstein II (@CANCEL_SAM) December 6, 2019

Besides contracting with Buttigieg, PGI's only other record of political work was with Newt Gingrich's 2012 presidential campaign. In a 2016 Inc. Magazine profile , PGI founder Greg Craddock said his company stopped doing political work altogether, following a 2012 incident in which a PGI employee on Gingrich's security detail allegedly assaulted an overzealous Ron Paul supporter.

Why the mercenary firm chose to re-enter politics for the mayor of South Bend, Indiana remains an open question. Whatever the reason, Buttigieg's willingness to line the pockets of military contractors as a candidate might offer further insight into why so many in the national security state are lining up behind him.

The CIA hearts Mayor Pete

Buttigieg's lengthy roster of endorsements is loaded with former intelligence operatives, national security hardliners, regime-change specialists, and vulture capitalists.

Among Buttigieg's most notable endorsers is David S. Cohen , the deputy director of the CIA from 2015 to 2017, and a former Treasury official under George W. Bush.

Cohen is regarded as a " chief architect " of the crippling sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Iran, Russia, and North Korea -- earning him the ignominious nickname the " sanctions guru. "

David Cohen CIA Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg backer and former CIA Deputy Director David S. Cohen

Since leaving government, Cohen has made various think tank appearances to advocate for continued use of sanctions in the aforementioned countries, as well as Venezuela .

The impact of sanctions imposed under Cohen's watch has been equated to " collective punishment ," resulting in economic crises, food and medicine shortages, and tens of thousands of preventable deaths .

In his tenure at the Treasury Department, Cohen was also instrumental in drafting the Patriot Act, which restricted civil liberties and vastly increased the government's surveillance powers in response to 9/11.

Cohen has yet to speak publicly as to why he endorsed Buttigieg.

Buttigieg was likewise endorsed by Charlie Gilbert , former deputy director of the National Clandestine Service, a top-ten leadership position at the CIA. Gilbert's role was to "conceive, plan, and execute complex intelligence operations" against "hostile target [countries]."

Another Buttigieg endorser, John Bair , is the former chief of staff for the CIA's Middle East Task Force.

Dennis Bowden , a 26-year CIA veteran, with much of that time spent in unspecified "executive leadership positions," is also backing Mayor Pete.

The Buttigieg campaign has cited the support of former CIA senior analyst Sue Terry , who made a "record number of contributions to the President's Daily Brief," during her tenure from 2001 to 2008.

Two more CIA endorsements came from former senior intelligence officer Martijn Rasser , and former senior analyst Andrea Kendall-Taylor , who was also an officer at the National Intelligence Council.

If you're thinking, "Wow, that's a lot of CIA endorsements for a relatively unknown, small-town mayor," you're right – and it's just the tip of the iceberg.

More Buttigieg backers include Ned Price , the career CIA analyst who resigned publicly in a February 2017 protest against "the way [Trump] has treated the intelligence community." (Price was also a major Clinton donor, but insisted his resignation was non-partisan).

Another CIA Buttigieg endorser is Jeffrey Edmunds , who moonlighted as a National Security Council member under Presidents Obama and Trump.

Buttigieg was also endorsed by Chris Barton , the CIA's assistant general counsel during the Clinton administration, and Anthony Lake , whom Clinton nominated unsuccessfully to serve as CIA director in 1996.

Mayor Pete's list of spook supporters similarly includes non-CIA intelligence community professionals like Robert Stasio , the former chief of operations at the NSA Cyber Center, and William Wechsler , former deputy assistant secretary for Special Ops at the Department of Defense.

Buttigieg also named Robin Walker , a former deputy intelligence officer for the Director of National Intelligence, as a supporter. Walker now works for corporate weapons contractor Lockheed Martin.

Regime change hit-men and debt colonists jump on the bandwagon

Yet some of Mayor Pete's most troubling endorsements come from outside of the military-intelligence apparatus.

Buttigieg, for example, lists Fernando Cutz as an endorser. For the first 16 months of the Trump administration, Cutz was the national security council director for South America, where he led US policy on Venezuela and was credited with outlining regime-change plans for the president.

Since leaving government, Cutz has continued to support the Trump administration's regime-change efforts against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro .

As Max Blumenthal reported for The Grayzone, Cutz attended a secret meeting at the DC think tank CSIS dedicated to exploring US military intervention in Venezuela.

Revealing comments from @fscutz , one of the key architects of the US coup in Venezuela, declaring that the goal of intervention is to "restore Venezuela's place as an upper middle class country" https://t.co/jZsNLu5rWB pic.twitter.com/2IX8d1n41P

-- Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) February 15, 2019

Another Buttigieg endorser is Jessica Reitz-Curtin , who spent several years in leadership at USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), working alongside Buttigieg's close friend, Nathaniel Myers.

OTI is the de-facto tip of the spear for USAID's regime change efforts. In the case of Venezuela, OTI has bankrolled violent, right-wing opposition forces for decades.

There is also plenty of excitement for Buttigieg at the commanding heights of international finance. Matt Kaczmarek , vice president of BlackRock, the world's largest investment manager, controlling nearly $7 trillion in assets, is listed as an endorser of the South Bend mayor.

Kaczmarek previously served as the NSC's director of Brazil and Southern Cone affairs in the Obama administration, when the US backed a right-wing parliamentary coup against President Dilma Roussef.

Matt Kaczmarek Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg endorser Matt Kaczmarek, a former US National Security Council official and now vice president of BlackRock

BlackRock has massive holdings in Brazilian agribusiness, and is a major factor in the environmental degradation of the Amazon region. BlackRock's practices have been so destructive to the region that AmazonWatch named the financial behemoth the "world's largest investor in deforestation."

Kaczmarek is a perfect embodiment of the revolving door through which high-ranking government employees enter the private sector and reap the rewards of policies they previously helped implement. In 2013, while Kaczmarek was crafting US economic policy towards Brazil, then-Vice President Joseph Biden was urging the country to open its economy further to foreign capital.

From 2014 to the present, BlackRock has substantially increased its investment in Brazil, according to the AmazonWatch report. Now at the helm of the company, Kaczmarek stands to profit handsomely from the same economic liberalization policies that Brazil was goaded into adopting at his direction.

Buttigieg's list of endorsers likewise includes Karen Mathiasen , former acting executive US director at the World Bank; as well as Julie T. Katzman , COO of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Both organizations have long histories of using debt to impose the will of US policymakers onto poor countries.

Mathiasen, who previously served as deputy assistant secretary for debt and development policy at the Treasury Department, was intimately involved in the administration of what has been dubbed " debt colonialism ." Under this cynical practice, unsustainable levels of debt are used as a pretext to demand that debtor nations privatize government functions, impose austerity, and allow greater exploitation by global capital.

The IDB where Katzman worked plays a similar role in enforcing the Washington Consensus across the Western hemisphere. Wielding debt as its weapon, IDB policies maintain "[Latin America's] subordinated place in the global economy," argues Professor Victor Sepúlveda , author of Industrial Colonialism in Latin America: The Third Stage .

Empire's empty vessel

Obscure presidential candidates don't typically garner hundreds of elite national security endorsements before a single vote is cast. So what do these spooks and vulture capitalists see in Mayor Pete?

It can't be Buttigieg's foreign policy resume, because he doesn't have one. He hasn't proposed any notable policies to distinguish himself from the other corporate-friendly candidates, so that can't be it either. Some have posited that Mayor Pete may be a CIA asset himself, but the supporting evidence is circumstantial at best.

Perhaps the most reasonable conclusion is that they see Buttigieg as an empty vessel. Opportunistic and unmoored by ideology or political goals beyond his advancing his career, Buttigieg is the ideal candidate for those who seek to maintain existing hierarchies. Indeed, his national security endorsement list is filled with people who keep America's imperial machine humming along smoothly.

What is the thread that connects the CIA, USAID, and the World Bank? All three institution exist to prop up a grossly unequal global order in which a tiny sliver of the population hordes unimaginable wealth, while the mass of people get by on next to nothing.

At a time when that order looks increasingly untenable, with anti-austerity protests breaking out from Chile , to France, to Lebanon , Mayor Pete makes perfect sense.

Samuel D. Finkelstein Sam Finkelstein is a political activist, writer, and student at Seton Hall Law School. Follow him on Twitter at @Cancel_Sam . Share Tweet Filed under: 2020 , 2020 presidential campaign , BlackRock , Brazil , CIA , coup , David S. Cohen , Democratic Party , Democrats , DNC , intelligence community , inter american development bank , Julie T. Katzman , Karen Mathiasen , Mayor Pete , Nicolas Maduro , NSC , Pete Buttigieg , presidential primary , regime change , us politics , Venezuela , world bank

[Jan 06, 2020] Buttigieg on Soleimani strike- We need answers

Jan 06, 2020 | www.youtube.com


jason thomas , 3 hours ago

Don't trust the CIA


Aramai Jonassi
, 9 hours ago

We have nothing to worry about with Jared Kushner being in charge of middle East peace, amiright?🙄

Deborah Lawson , 8 hours ago (edited)

More people at Mara Lago knew that General Suliemeni was going to be hit than congressmen and congresswomen? That tells me trump was bragging about how much power he has. He's so insecure and feeble that he has no business holding the most power office in the land!


light Archer
, 10 hours ago

The main beneficiaries of Solimanies death are his arch enemies, Isis. Trump turned on both his field allies against Isis, the Kurds and Solimani's militia. Who are America's allies in the field, now?

Idin Azadipour , 5 hours ago

Let me tally this up for the wonderful viewers, an American backed coupe of a democratically elected prime minister who wanted to nationalize the oil fields of Iran which at time was owned by Britain. The shooting down of a plane with 290 people in it by an American Naval vessel. The backing of Saddam with chemical weapons and millions of dollars, to go to war with Iran leaving half a million dead. The installation of a dictator whose secret police force imprisoned, tortured and killed political dissidence. Learn your history.

Katherine Diaz , 20 minutes ago (edited)

All jokes aside but everyone this isnt a joke anymore becuase of our wreckless president making dumb distractions ive ever heard of trump is a sociopath he makes the rich richer, the poor poorer. Just remember this guy and his family are banned from having fun raisers in the state of new york becuase trump held a big fundraiser to help fight kids cancer he stole money from kids to search to find a cure for cancer. He nearly shut down the gouverment becuase Congress refused to give him the money for him to build the wall but not most of all 5 general from the us resigned becuase they didnt agree with his intensions. He doesnt care about anyone but himself and anyone with common sense can sse that and im done with the US government and this isnt the American that i grew up loving. All the hatred for eachother is disgusting and disturbing


TheFarmanimalfriend
, 11 hours ago

The Iranian fiasco started in 1953 when America overthrew Iran's democratically elected government, so we could get their oil. The autocrat we installed had a nasty habit of torturing and murdering any who opposed him, but he did sell us oil. In 1979 the Iranians, united by their clergy, threw him out. We keep stirring the hornets nest we created and are surprised when we get stung? Now you too can have a front row seat at this foreign policy debacle! War? We don't need no stinking war. Trump is desperate to distract the American people from seeing how incompetent and stupid he really is.

[Dec 29, 2019] It should be abundantly clear by now that the Democratic Party leadership will be selecting a CIA connected candidate in 2020 in all ways identical to Hillary Clinton but perhaps with a less tawdry past and less of an appetite for Goldman-Sachs speaking fees by Louis Proyect

Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump has been transforming American society not by legislation but by using his executive powers to put people in charge of government agencies who are inimical to their stated goals. It is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse ..."
"... By contrast, Trump is imposing a regime that was incubated long ago by people such as Grover "Starve the Beast" Norquist and every other libertarian think-tank funded by the Koch Brothers et al. The big bourgeoisie might not like the bad taste, racism and thuggish behavior of the Trump administration but they couldn't be happier with the results. This is an elected government that has fulfilled its deepest policy aspirations and that shows a willingness to push the Democrats back on their heels, so much so that someone like Mikie Sherrill lacks the courage to defend policies that might win elections down the road. After all, if she is unseated, she can always go back to a job as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey. What happens to someone working in Walmart's is not her business, after all. ..."
Nov 09, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Ever since the Democratic Party abandoned its New Deal legacy and adopted the neoliberal centrism associated with the Carter presidency and then cast in stone by the Democratic Leadership Council in 1985, each election loss has generated a chorus of remonstrations in the left-liberal press about the need to run "progressive" candidates if the party wants to win. The latest instance of this was a post to the Jacobin FB page that stated: "By running to the right, Democrats insist on losing twice: at the polls and in constructing an inspiring agenda. Bold left-wing politics are our only hope for long-term, substantive victory."

The question of why Democrats are so okay with losing has to be examined closely. In some countries, elections have huge consequences, especially in Latin America where a job as an elected official might be not only a source of income for a socialist parliamentarian but a trigger for a civil war or coup as occurred in Costa Rica in 1948 and in Chile in 1973 respectively.

In the 2010 midterm elections, there was a massive loss of seats in the House of Representatives for the Democrats. In this month's midterm elections, the Democrats hoped that a "Blue Wave" would do for them what the 2010 midterms did for the Republicans -- put them in the driver's seat. It turned out to be more of a "Blue Spray", not to speak of the toothless response of House leader Nancy Pelosi who spoke immediately about how the Democrats can reach across the aisle to the knuckle-dragging racists of the Republican Party.

Out of curiosity, I went to Wikipedia to follow up on what happened to the "losers" in 2010. Did they have to go on unemployment? Like Republicans who got voted out this go-round, Democrats had no trouble lining up jobs as lobbyists. Allen Boyd from Florida sent a letter to Obama after the BP oil spill in 2010 asking him to back up BP's claim that seafood in the Gulf of Mexico was okay to eat. After being voted out of office, he joined the Twenty-First Century Group, a lobbying firm founded by a former Republican Congressman from Texas named Jack Fields. A 1980 article on Fields describes him as a protégé of ultraright leader Paul Weyrich.

Glenn Nye, who lost his job as a Virginia congressman, his considerable CV that included working for the Agency for International Development (AID) and serving in various capacities during the occupation of Iraq to land a nice gig as Senior Political Advisor for the Hanover Investment Group.

John Spratt from South Carolina was described by Dow Jones News as "one of the staunchest fiscal conservatives among House Democrats." That was enough for him to land a job with Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that was supposed to come up with a strategy to reduce the deficit. Just the sort of thing that was calculated to lift the American economy out of the worst slump since the 1930s. Not.

Pennsylvania's Chris Carney was a helluva Democrat. From 2002 to 2004, he was a counterterrorism analyst for the Bush administration. He not only reported to Douglas Feith in the Office of Special Plans and at the Defense Intelligence Agency, researching links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, but served as an interrogator in Guantanamo. These qualifications landed him a job as director of homeland security and policy strategy for BAE Systems when the House of Representatives gig ended. A British security and munitions powerhouse, BAE won a contract worth £4.4bn to supply the Saudis with 72 fighter jets – some of which were used to bomb Red Cross and Physician Without Borders hospitals in Yemen.

With such crumb-bums losing in 2010, you'd think that the Democrats would be convinced that their best bet for winning elections would be to disavow candidates that had ties to the national security apparatus and anything that smacked of the DLC's assault on the welfare state. Not exactly. When the candidates are female, that might work in the party's favor like sugar-coating a bitter pill.

In Virginia, former CIA officer Abigail Spanberger and retired Navy Commander Elaine Luria defeated Republican incumbents. Air Force veteran Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, former CIA analyst Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, and former Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey also helped the Democrats regain the House. Sherill calculated that moving to the center would serve her own and the party's interests. She told MSNBC: "As a Navy helicopter pilot I never flew Republican missions or Democratic missions, I would have had a very short career. This is something I do think vets bring to the table, this willingness to work with everyone."

An article titled "' Montclair Mikie' Sherrill recast as 'Moderate Mikie' as Webber attacks in NJ House race " described her Road to Damascus conversion to DLC principles:

For Sherrill, a newcomer to politics, the 11th has proved to be a tricky terrain. She is seen as a progressive, but appears wary of carrying the "Trump resistance" banner into the fray. At Wednesday's debate, Sherrill was determined to show she is more Morris Plains than Montclair.

There were no heated vows to fight Trump, even though being "appalled" by the president was what motivated her to run in the first place. The Nov. 6 midterms loom as a referendum on Trump's presidency, but you would never have guessed that watching Wednesday's contest.

Sherrill repeatedly promised to be bipartisan -- a far cry from the combative, confrontational tone that many in the party's grass roots are demanding.

On tax policy she sounded more centrist Republican than mainstream liberal Democrat, and she refused to endorse issues like free community college tuition, which has become a popular talking point for Democrats and was launched by Gov. Phil Murphy this summer.

"Without understanding how that would be paid for, I haven't supported it because it sounds like it would raise taxes on our families,'" she said.

The moderate tone puzzled some of her ardent "resistance" activists who mobilized around her candidacy.

For Eric Fritsch, 32, a Teamster for the film and television industry from West Orange, it was jarring to hear Sherrill oppose Democratic Party wish-list items like free community college tuition or "Medicare-for-all" coverage out of fear that it may raise taxes. She used the same excuse to sidestep supporting a "carbon tax" to reduce global warming.

"By going on the defensive about taxes she is accepting a Republican framing that we don't want to be responsible with taxes in the first place,'" said Fritsch, who insisted that he remains a "very enthusiastic" Sherrill supporter.

It should be abundantly clear by now that the Democratic Party leadership will be selecting a candidate in 2020 in all ways identical to Hillary Clinton but perhaps with a less tawdry past and less of an appetite for Goldman-Sachs speaking fees. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, et al have no intention of allowing upstarts like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to spoil their plans, even if it means a second term for Donald Trump.

No matter. Jacobin editor Bhaskar Sunkara urges his readers and DSA comrades to plunge ahead trying to consolidate a "socialist" caucus in the Democratic Party. From his perspective, working in the Democratic Party seems to be the "most promising place for advancing left politics, at least in the short term." Keep in mind that Sherrill raised $1.9 million for her campaign and my old boss from Salomon Brothers Michael Bloomberg ponied up another $1.8 million just for her TV ads. Does anybody really think that "socialist" backed candidates will be able to compete with people like Sherrill in the primaries? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was able to defeat the hack Joe Crowley on a shoestring but that was something of a fluke. Until there is a massive shake-up in American society that finally reveals the Democratic Party to be the capitalist tool it has been since Andrew Jackson's presidency, it is likely that a combination of big money and political inertia will keep the Democratic Party an agent of reaction.

Furthermore, the takeover of the House might turn out to be a hollow victory in the light of how Trump rules. His strategy hasn't been to push through legislation except for the tax cut. Remember the blather about investing in infrastructure? His minions in Congress have no intention of proposing a trillion or so dollars in highway or bridge repair, etc. With Nancy Pelosi fecklessly talking about how the two parties can collaborate on infrastructure, you can only wonder whether she has been asleep for the past two years.

Donald Trump has been transforming American society not by legislation but by using his executive powers to put people in charge of government agencies who are inimical to their stated goals. It is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse as Malcolm X once put it. Two days ago, the NY Times wrote about how the "Trump Administration Spares Corporate Wrongdoers Billions in Penalties". It did not need legislation to help big banks rip off the public. All it took was naming former head of BankOne Joseph Otting comptroller of the currency. Senator Sherrod Brown, one of the few Democrats with a spine, called Trump out: "The president's choice for watchdog of America's largest banks is someone who signed a consent order -- over shady foreclosure practices -- with the very agency he's been selected to run."

For all of the dozens of articles about how Trump is creating a fascist regime, hardly any deal with the difference between Trump and Adolf Hitler. Hitler created a massive bureaucracy that ran a quasi-planned economy with generous social benefits that put considerable restraints on the bourgeoisie. Like FDR, he was taking measures to save capitalism. Perhaps if the USA had a social and economic crisis as deep as Germany's and left parties as massive as those in Germany, FDR might have embarked on a much more ambitious concentration camp program, one that would have interred trade unionists as well as Japanese-Americans. Maybe even Jews if they complained too much.

By contrast, Trump is imposing a regime that was incubated long ago by people such as Grover "Starve the Beast" Norquist and every other libertarian think-tank funded by the Koch Brothers et al. The big bourgeoisie might not like the bad taste, racism and thuggish behavior of the Trump administration but they couldn't be happier with the results. This is an elected government that has fulfilled its deepest policy aspirations and that shows a willingness to push the Democrats back on their heels, so much so that someone like Mikie Sherrill lacks the courage to defend policies that might win elections down the road. After all, if she is unseated, she can always go back to a job as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey. What happens to someone working in Walmart's is not her business, after all.

[Dec 24, 2019] I think the Democrat establishment has decided to throw Mayor Pete under the bus. This is why Warren went after him and some donors appear to be stabbing him in the back. A fascinating situation to watch.

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Darius , December 23, 2019 at 9:15 am

I think the Democrat establishment has decided to throw Mayor Pete under the bus. This is why Warren went after him and some donors appear to be stabbing him in the back. A fascinating situation to watch.

jo6pac , December 23, 2019 at 9:36 am

Looks like mayor pete has a following. The 1% have spoken through their puppets.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-218-foreign-policy-endorsements-090003214.html?guccounter=1

Reply

Shonde , December 23, 2019 at 11:04 am

Just read the same article a few minutes ago and thought of what Yves had said today of those hired by Mckinsey, "the firm tries very hard to hire individuals who are very insecure and want badly to do well, including at the firm."

Eureka Springs , December 23, 2019 at 10:12 am

Was driving cross country on debate day listening to NPR as much as I could stand. More than the combined total of the last fifteen years. They played up Pete as if he were a sports star about to wipe every opponent off the playing field. And they never mentioned Sanders by name but included a clip of his voice saying something along the line of "of course taxes will have to go up" at least a hundred times.

And their impeachment Dem/Donald derangement syndrome made me wonder just what kind of drugs have they put in the coffee/water cooler.

Intentional dumbing-down of all who listen without question or nausea.

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 11:06 am

Mayor Pete's base is upper-middle-class, middle-aged, moderate-to-liberal-leaning, white people. Which is pretty much NPR's core donor base. Their Buttimania could just be fan service, like the most recent Star Wars movie.

Gotta move them tote bags!

Rod , December 23, 2019 at 11:25 am

It's painful for me to agree that the early efforts of so many journalists of integrity have evolved into what you noticed today. I trusted Noah Adams despite him never pleading to be my trusted news friend or emotional support in hard times.
so much of the bare language–nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and their linking language is replicated by varying 'personalities' that I find it difficult to believe that talking points are not circulated by NPR Editors hourly.
I am also increasingly agitated in my listening by being force fed soooo many stories about Pop Culture 'hooked' to a 'news' item–like Hanukah Shopping events filed under Religion.

Eclair , December 23, 2019 at 11:34 am

Sympathy, Eureka Springs. We listen to NPR on long trips; usually the choices are Religion, Country or NPR. Or Sports Talk Call-Ins. I invariably end up banging my head on the dashboard (not while it is my turn to drive!) and/or screaming into thin air.

turtle , December 23, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Yikes! You could get an old mp3 player and fill it up with your favorite music and podcasts. It would completely transform your car travel experience. If you don't have a hook up for the player to the stereo, you can get great FM transmitters for 20 dollars or so. Good luck!

inode_buddha , December 23, 2019 at 2:35 pm

When going cross-country, I usually just enjoy the scenery, and there is plenty f it.

Amfortas the hippie , December 23, 2019 at 3:28 pm

yeah.
i got out of the habit of listening to the radio a long while ago. we're in an in between major markets place where if the wind is out of the north, we get stations from abilene and san angelo out of the south, san antonio.
none very good reception.
only local stations(2, in different towns) are porter wagoner fans that at least have live coverage of the ball games(for wife,lol. i can't stand it)
so i just got used to having music in my head when on the road, and literally forget that there's a thing called "radio"..

Arizona Slim , December 23, 2019 at 6:04 pm

When I was bicycling around the country, I carried a harmonica. Didn't play it while I was riding, but boy, would I pull that thing out in campgrounds.

Never became a good player, but gawd, that little Hohner was fun!

Goyo Marquez , December 23, 2019 at 7:23 pm

Well when we drive the 2 hours each way to San Diego, usually at least once a week, my wife reads the NC links and commentary. Sometimes she'll save the comments for the trip home and get so excited when she refreshes the page and , "There are 243 comments, that should keep us."

[Dec 24, 2019] Clinton DemoRats are confused about why people in the Democratic pre-primary season aren't flocking to Mayo Pete when he's enthusiastic about maintainjng establishment power and welcoming "former republicans" to the fold. As if "Radical Centrism" hasn't passed its sell by date yet.

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Chris , December 23, 2019 at 10:02 am

A two pack of Buttigieg stories, showing that all the Atlantic should be asking for Christmas is a clue

First, they're confused about why people in the Democratic pre-primary season aren't flocking to Mayo Pete when he's enthusiastic about maintainjng establishment power and welcoming "former republicans" to the fold. As if "Radical Centrism" hasn't passed its sell by date yet.

And then, they're confused about why young people don't like Mayo Pete. Clearly it's jealousy for his success and not his noxious ideas mixed bland centrism.

It's pretty clear Mayor Pete is running for President for two reasons. His own gratification and to receive big payouts from donors after his time in office. He has nothing substantial to offer to anyone. People in Indiana don't even like him enough to support him for a state office. He hasn't done anything worthwhile in little South Bend to show any promise for higher office either. His history and accomplishments vary between meritocratic box checking and crude virtue signaling. He's the political equivalent of a bunch of old rich men trying to create a boy band out of whole cloth. There's nothing there. And the people at the Atlantic can't figure out why voters don't like him???

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 11:03 am

My interpretation of Mayo Pete is: identity politics for white, middle-aged, middle-to-upper-class Americans.

NC linked to a poll the other day that showed that 97% of his supporters were white, compared to around 47% for Bernie and around 70% for Klobuchar, the next highest after the Mayor.

jrs , December 23, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Most Democrats hate Republicans (true technically any vote will do when it comes to an election, but it's often more emotional than rational and not going to be much of a selling point to Dems, that you are attracting the other tribe they hate and kumbaya).

There is the problem of him not being qualified of course, and not likely to win. The annoying part is centrists seem to have picked the least promising centrist candidates ever, so if we are stuck with a centrist, it's going to be one that seems to have little shot of winning.

Phacops , December 23, 2019 at 2:04 pm

Democrats hating republicans? Evidently not when they are DINOs, like Senator Peters (MI).

But, seriously, I am tired of those in the grip of Trump derangement who say that they will vote blue no matter who the nominee is. I just wish they would sit out the Democratic primaries and leave the selection to people who actually follow and mull over issues.

Massinissa , December 23, 2019 at 2:13 pm

I hope the people saying that will be ok voting for Bernie Sanders if he wins the primary.

I sort of doubt it though.

Pat , December 23, 2019 at 12:36 pm

I saw where some celebrity was defending him and his donors and described him as "guileless ". I was flummoxed. Guileless? He may be over his head as mayor and as candidate, but there is nothing real there.

I do look at records, but Buttigieg has always struck me as the smart kid B*ll Sh*tting their way through an assignment when ever I hear him speak. Donors buying a Trojan horse I get but I don't know how anyone sees sincerity.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , December 23, 2019 at 7:10 pm

I'd like to see a list of his accomplishments in office. What? There isn't one. Oh, wait, apparently he was really good on fixing the potholes in the roads.

Kind of like Obama, when I encounter the faithful, I pretend to go along, and then ask "what do you think were Obama's best three things he accomplished while in office?"

Squirming in chair, followed by vague platitudes, followed by "he would have done a lot if he wasn't blocked by Republicans

DJG , December 23, 2019 at 1:16 pm

Chris:

Excellent metaphor:
He's the political equivalent of a bunch of old rich men trying to create a boy band out of whole cloth.

But Pete is no Justin Timberlake! C'mon. Let's get serious about boy bands.

[Dec 24, 2019] Deep State endorses Buttigieg. Only half joking. No, maybe not joking at all.

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Donald , December 23, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Deep State endorses Buttigieg. Only half joking. No, maybe not joking at all.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-218-foreign-policy-endorsements-090003214.html

shinola , December 23, 2019 at 2:44 pm

I caught a TV news piece over the weekend that claimed Buttgag had been voted "most likely to become president" (or something to that effect) when he was a senior in high school. That got me thinking "Why does this not surprise me?"

Well because I had encountered exactly this type of person in some advanced placement classes in my HS senior year who claimed that his goal was to one day become president of the US. The word that comes to mind when I recall that guy is "insufferable". I had never encountered anyone before that proudly displayed such naked ambition. I hadn't really thought much about that fellow since then – until Buttgag came on the scene and I was immediately reminded

turtle , December 23, 2019 at 4:31 pm

Yes, the new Netflix series "The Politican" is exactly about one of these types (student at a rich high school who plans to be president). Not sure yet exactly what angle they take since I've only watched the pilot and other random bits, but it's at least interesting. As with any good writing they seem to want to show complexities of the character.

Carl , December 23, 2019 at 4:52 pm

Tracy Flick.

Bugs Bunny , December 23, 2019 at 6:03 pm

That spec screenplay was considered one of the greatest unproduced films for many years before it was finely shot.

Read it sometime, there are plenty of copies in circulation. It's simply brilliant.

The film differs slightly from the script, I suppose it was hard to do it exactly. There are two different endings that I've seen. Neither is the one from the original script.

David R Smith , December 23, 2019 at 9:26 pm

Have we forgotten one William J Clinton?

CoryP , December 24, 2019 at 1:12 am

On my current tangent about proper language. I like that we are able to make fun of his name and turn it into new nicknames. The guy's name has "butt" in it, after all. Let's free our inner 12-year olds.

As a gay man, I call him Butt****, with all the derision normally associated with that term. Theoretically that should be offensive to me.

Anyway interesting. Buttgag works well. ++

lyman alpha blob , December 23, 2019 at 4:34 pm

This was posted here a few days ago in case you missed it. https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/17/national-security-mandarins-groomed-pete-buttigieg/

Booty judge is a spook, Obama the phony pseudo-endorses Warren – the Democrat party is going to nominate a Republican whether the plebes like it or not!

drumlin woodchuckles , December 23, 2019 at 8:48 pm

In which case, the DemParty Convention will have presented the American electorate with a "Truman's Choice".

anon in so cal , December 23, 2019 at 4:52 pm

Here, too:

"The letter is interesting for what it says about Buttigieg's increasingly conventional and hawkish foreign policy and the preferences of many Democratic foreign policy experts."

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-blob-embraces-buttigieg/

pretzelattack , December 23, 2019 at 5:12 pm

i am reeling in shock. the globetrotters and the washington generals were more convincing.

CoryP , December 24, 2019 at 1:07 am

Random. Pretzel, I'm glad to see you here. I've enjoyed your comments at MoA even though the comment section there is a garbage fire.

Craig H. , December 23, 2019

[Dec 24, 2019] The fact that Obama is willing to put in a good word for Warren on behalf of the wealthy elite should give you a clue as to which side Warren is really on.

"Change we can believe in" the second series ? That's a real warning sign ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... A few weeks ago I read in this spot that while Clinton people hate Sanders and like Warren, Obama was pushing Buttigieg because Warren was such a pain in his ass. Seems he's finally given his signal. Hopefully it's the kiss of death for both Warren and Buttigieg. ..."
"... as the neoliberal corporate Democrats which she is aligning herself with are a sinking ship .. ..."
Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Hepativore , December 23, 2019 at 2:37 pm

So, the fact that Obama is willing to put in a good word for Warren on behalf of the wealthy elite should give you a clue as to which side Warren is really on. While many non-political "normies" look upon the Obama years with rose-tinted glasses, I wonder if the disillusionment that many people had in retrospect with Obama has sunk in to mainstream political consciousness yet. If that is the case, an Obama endorsement might actually backfire among progressives, seeing as how it has become evident that Obama was basically a silver-tongued neoliberal in the same mold as Clinton and Pelosi.

I know that Warren is a political careerist at heart, but I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt when she first launched her 2020 presidential campaign. However, it has become increasingly clear that she has hitched her wagon to the wrong horse as the neoliberal corporate Democrats which she is aligning herself with are a sinking ship. I honestly do not think that she would even be fit to be Sander's vice presidential pick at this point considering how wide the political gulf between Warren and Sanders actually is. A better choice would be Nina Turner as Sander's running mate, with Tulsi Gabbard as his Secretary of State if he gets that far.

shinola , December 23, 2019 at 2:54 pm

" an Obama endorsement might actually backfire among progressives "

It hit me pretty much the same way – that's a strike against her.

Pelham , December 23, 2019 at 4:25 pm

My guess is that this is why he's working behind the scenes, minimizing the chances of a backfire on the left. Of course, how behind-the-scenes is it if it's reported by Politico? Still.

I'm actually undecided on Warren. There was that story last week about her supposedly pushing Hillary in 2016 to name decent people to her cabinet if elected. But then you have to ask why that particular story surfaced at the particular time when Warren was sinking in the polls.

If true, though, and if what the new Politico story says about her clashes with Obama are true, maybe Warren isn't quite as objectionable as we tend to think. Then again, she came right out last week (I believe) and said Medicare for All would be a matter of choice under her plan, emphasizing that "choice" factor.

So I'm confused. But maybe that's what she, her campaign and various surrogates want at this stage.

kimyo , December 23, 2019 at 5:16 pm

I'm actually undecided on Warren.

maybe this will help you decide?
Our military can help lead the fight in combating climate change

It starts with an ambitious goal: consistent with the objectives of the Green New Deal, the Pentagon should achieve net zero carbon emissions for all its non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030.

having the pentagon 'lead the fight' against climate change is akin to appointing prince andrew as head of the global task force against pedophilia and child trafficking.

anon in so cal , December 23, 2019 at 6:06 pm

Yes, that plus Warren's comments during the Council on Foreign Relations interview, which were frightening (to me, at least).

Jeff W , December 23, 2019 at 7:32 pm

"maybe this will help you decide?"

Or one or both of these two What's Left podcasts:

"The Left Case Against Elizabeth Warren" here

"Warren's Medicare For All 'Plan'" here

Big River Bandido , December 23, 2019 at 3:29 pm

A few weeks ago I read in this spot that while Clinton people hate Sanders and like Warren, Obama was pushing Buttigieg because Warren was such a pain in his ass. Seems he's finally given his signal. Hopefully it's the kiss of death for both Warren and Buttigieg.

Big River Bandido , December 23, 2019 at 3:29 pm

A few weeks ago I read in this spot that while Clinton people hate Sanders and like Warren, Obama was pushing Buttigieg because Warren was such a pain in his ass. Seems he's finally given his signal. Hopefully it's the kiss of death for both Warren and Buttigieg.

Reply

Darius , December 23, 2019 at 5:14 pm

Buttigieg takes no votes from Sanders. While Warren does on the margins. I think Obama's calculation is simple as that. She also has special appeal to the virtue signaling liberals that are Obama's base.

notabanker , December 23, 2019 at 7:53 pm

as the neoliberal corporate Democrats which she is aligning herself with are a sinking ship ..

Bingo. Trump's letter goes right to the heart of it. These clowns are completely exposed and Obama hawking Warren to donors while the blob talks up a gay McKinsey/CIA Indiana Mayor shows just how far they have fallen.

[Dec 23, 2019] Buttigieg is that he worked for the occupation and seems to have bought the imperial cool-aid, which indicates to me that he is not that smart. Some people, like Gabbard, have enlisted in the military, but were able to think independently and critically about the wars.

Dec 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Buttigieg presents himself as having had little to no impact . Buttigieg presents his initial work, on a cost-cutting study for Blue Cross Blue Shield, as being about "rent, travel costs, mail, and printing." Perhaps his little corner of data crunching focused on that, but Buttigieg is being disingenuous in averting voter attention from the fact that the study was almost certainly about cutting headcount.

In my day, McKinsey only reluctantly took on what it called "activity value" or "overhead value" studies, which were its lingo for cost reduction assignments, because there was no way to make much of a dent unless you got rid of bodies. 70% of most firm's costs are employment-related and most costs, like rent, key off headcount. In other words, those "overhead expenditures" that Buttigieg's team was tasked to reduce included employees.

McKinsey didn't like getting people at clients fired because it recognized it might be creating future enemies, via axed professionals who eventually landed well and would likely do what they could to prevent McKinsey from getting hired at their new home. And consultants hated those studies too. They followed a cookbook, which meant they didn't allow the consultants to develop or show off problem-solving skills, plus it was just plain depressing to go to client when the people in the corridors correctly saw you as an executioner. 2

Buttigieg is proud of the monster data-crunching pricing exercise he did on his second study for the Canadian store Loblaw's. There's a bizarre grandiosity in how he presented his role as a still-wet-behind-the-ears consultant in the Atlantic interview: " .brought him in to figure out how to do it in a way that would actually help the bottom line." Structuring the analysis falls to the engagement manager. That isn't to say Buttigieg didn't improve considerably upon the initial ideas, but it seems wildly implausible that someone who presents himself as having to be taught spreadsheeting and doesn't have a degree in math, engineering, hard sciences, or at least a solid knowledge of statistics, would be "brought in" as if he had pre-existing expertise.

And oddly, he never says this big exercise was valuable to the client. There are acceptable in McKinsey-speak ways of taking credit without violating the norm of giving the glory to the client.

This part from the Atlantic interview is also grandiose:

By the time of the Loblaws project, Buttigieg was becoming known within the company for being a particularly good McKinsey consultant..

This is ludicrous. He's merely nine months into the firm and he has yet to demonstrate any client-related or project management skills. At most, Buttigieg might have gotten noticed within the Chicago and/or Toronto offices as being a good number cruncher and quantitative analyst.

Buttigieg also tries to depict his getting a foreign assignment as a badge of honor. In reality, when an office can't staff a project from its own team (and Buttigieg was sent from the Chicago office to work on an Iraq/Afghanistan project staffed out of the Washington office), nearly all of the time, this is the project everyone else in the office turned down. Only once in a great while is an office so busy that it can't even staff the good projects internally. I made this mistake in accepting a London project. I got to the the office in St. James and discovered that the partner to which I was now assigned was widely despised.

Mind you, Buttigieg no doubt learned a lot from this gig, even if it may not be want he wanted to learn. But getting put on it didn't mean he was special.

Buttigieg doesn't adequately explain the anomaly of his bugging out to work on a campaign .

How do we explain this?

I stepped away from the firm during the late summer and fall of 2008 to help full-time with a Democratic campaign for governor in Indiana, returning after the election.

This is sufficiently unusual that I suspect those who have taken notice of it are likely to have drawn the wrong inferences, so indulge me for a bit.

McKinsey, high-power professional firms, and most employers do not take well to employees saying they want to take a disruptive break to pursue personal interests.

McKinsey is even less good about making accommodations for women partners who have children than other top consultants; Bain by contrast has developed a reputation for being enlightened on this front, so there's no reason to think they are habituated to being accommodating in general .particularly for someone who has only been there a bit over a year.

Keep in mind that unlike other types of professional firms, where a young hire might join a particular department, like the bankruptcy practice, and those partners could have the power to run their own business and cut "their" staffers some slack, McKinsey non-partners are in a pool and a assignment specialist (who even when not a partner has a lot of clout) negotiates with partners as to who goes on what study. Even though the partners' interests are important, the assignment specialist also pays attention to the so-called "development needs" of the associates and managers, as well as other issues (like they were just on an out of town study in a terrible location and putting them on another might result in them quitting).

Shorter: for the purpose of keeping peace among the partners, individual partners do not get to act as godfathers with respect to associates or even engagement managers. 3

So how to make sense of this? Look at the timeframe again: Late summer-fall 2008.

The only thing I can fathom is that enough McKinsey clients saw the crisis unfolding and stopped signing up for new work so as to create a lot of underutilization. The firm might have let it quietly or not so quietly be known that it would consider requests for short-term leaves of absence.

McKinsey was badly hit in the dot-bomb era and wound up reducing its staffing in North America by nearly 50% in two years. With the benefit of hindsight, the firm might have come up with other ways to reduce payroll when faced with sudden slack besides cutting hiring and getting more aggressive about pushing weak performers out the door (both of which take time to implement).

Why did Buttigieg leave? Buttigieg strongly suggests he was never serious about McKinsey, that he was there to get his ticket punched. While that may be true, the firm tries very hard to hire individuals who are very insecure and want badly to do well, including at the firm. And if you really aren't that serious about your long-term career at the firm, it is hard to put up with the indignities of being an associate, like insecure managers wanting you to do analysis that is obviously a waste of time or who nag associates thinking that that will motivate them, or alternatively the stereotypical bad consulting gig of being on the road all the time, worse mainly in locations with not-good hotels and restaurants. 4

When I came to McKinsey, I was ambivalent but willing to be persuaded. I wasn't. I saw too little evidence that McKinsey actually added value, to use its pet expression. Most clients didn't seem to get better. Now it is true they might have gotten worse without McKinsey, but that's hard to establish.

One fellow 'Zoid who left around when I did had these observations:

The problem with consulting is you are hired by the problem.

The most profitable clients are the most diseased.

So consulting seemed to me to be a lot like therapy, in a bad way, in that I knew too many people who were in therapy, were convinced therapy was helping, yet there wasn't much objective evidence that their lives were getting better (they didn't seem less anxious, or to be having more success in their relationships or with whatever their presenting problem seemed to be). 5 At my remove, it looked as if in too many cases, the therapist had done a good job of creating patient dependence. And I saw the same phenomenon at McKinsey.

By contrast, Buttigieg is he exhibits no reservations about what McKinsey does generally, just some specific bad acts. From the Atlantic interview :

He said he's disappointed in some of the work the company has done. "Since I've left," he said, "there are at least four cases that I can think of where someone at McKinsey has done something upsetting."

Of course, McKinsey partners have turned out to be important funding sources for Buttigieg, so he has mercenary reasons for avoiding offending members of the firm. Nevertheless, it would seem more genuine to come up with some reason why consulting wasn't a fit for him, even if that reason wasn't the operative truth. But Buttigieg doesn't do genuine.

1 I don't consider Kennedy having worked for one month as a correspondent thanks to his father arm-twisting William Randolph Hearst as "private sector experience." LBJ briefly taught in public schools, again not a private sector position. Clinton decided at age 16 that he wanted to be a public servant. He worked on some political campaigns and was a law professor at the University of Arkansas (public school!) before he won his first race, for governor, at the age of 32.

2 McKinsey got over these touching sentiments when specialist cost cutting firms, including ones started by ex-McKinsey non-tenured partners , started coining money by taking a percentage of the savings.

3 The dynamic can change later when a consultant has worked regularly on a core client team. Then the client might actually start asking for a particular consultant to manage or lead a study. The firm views that positively since consultants that get known at a client will be contenders to take over the account later. But the earliest when clients start asking for a specific person is at the engagement manager level, when Buttigieg was a mere associate.

4 I was exceptionally lucky in getting way less of that than most associates did.

5 Admittedly New York is very competitive and few people have friends that aren't part of their professional circle. So the therapist might have filled an important role by being a safe sounding board/sanity check.


Bugs Bunny , December 23, 2019 at 6:40 am

Thanks Yves. In a few paragraphs you summed up the entire world of the big consulting firm. It can be fun but there's a heck of a lot of misery, especially for the associates and more junior managers. Getting assigned to a bad MD can set a career back for years and I've seen at least a dozen times where it led to illness or leaving the firm. Or both.

The odd thing that I noticed about Buttigieg was that at times he sounds like he's trying to oversell a flimsy resume of consulting experience and at other times sort of clumsily hiding what he really worked on. I agree with you that he was probably told that his part of the firm was "taking a break" before he went off to do campaign work. Otherwise it makes no sense to lose

Edward , December 23, 2019 at 10:22 am

Peter Van Buren has made a similar critique of Buttigieg's military service:

https://wemeantwell.com/blog/2019/06/08/what-mayor-pete-wont-tell-you-the-role-of-military-service-in-the-2020-election/

My basic feeling is that Buttigieg is a creation of the media. Some candidates, like Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Gravel, or Sanders, are diminished by the press. Others, like Buttigieg, are promoted. The hype about Buttigieg reminds me of the hype about George Bush giving Michelle Obama some candy, or about Alito's wife crying during his confirmation hearing.

JohnnyGL , December 23, 2019 at 12:06 pm

https://baselinescenario.com/2010/08/21/management-consulting-myths/

Here's a post on mgt consulting from awhile back that this post reminded me of. James Kwak helped place the proper role of consulting projects into the right frame.

I think it helps compliment Yves' very valid questions.

The larger takeaway I'm getting is that Buttigieg doesn't come across as particularly honest about much of anything on his resume. I know the elites of media and team dem really want to push this guy, but he's really struggling to catch on with voters, not least because he's hopelessly unqualified. There's no scenario where you can say:

"I was a low man on the totem pole at McKinsey" and then say, "I'm qualified to be president" in the next breath.

The same is true with his record as Mayor of South Bend. He's admitted he's not understood the black community and not represented them all that well, and yet, he wants a big promotion.

This kind of resume-based critique seems appropriate to me because he's running as the candidate who's trying to persuade the elite, PMC (prof mgr class) within the democratic party that he's the man for the job (and tell the larger working class base of the democratic party that they should just jump on board because he's electable) and he's not even qualified from their own frame of reference.

Edward , December 23, 2019 at 1:05 pm

What seems to me telling about Buttigieg is that he worked for the occupation and seems to have bought the imperial cool-aid, which indicates to me that he is not that smart. Some people, like Gabbard, have enlisted in the military, but were able to think independently and critically about the wars.

[Dec 22, 2019] The Insider National Security Mandarins Groomed Pete Buttigieg Managed His Future by Max Blumenthal

Notable quotes:
"... On the trail, he has invoked his distinction as the openly gay mayor of a de-industrialized Rust Belt town, as well as his experience as a Naval reserve intelligence officer who now claims to oppose "endless wars". He insists that "there's energy for an outsider like me," promoting himself as "an unconventional candidate." ..."
"... Like Buttigieg, Gabbard was a military veteran of the 9/11 generation. But she had taken an entirely different set of lessons from her grueling stint in Iraq than "Mayor Pete." Her campaign had become an anti-war crusade, with opposition to destructive regime change wars serving as her leitmotif. ..."
"... After ticking off her foreign policy credentials, Gabbard turned to Buttigieg and lit into him for stating his willingness to send U.S. troops to Mexico to crack down on drug cartels. A visibly angry Buttigieg responded by accusing Gabbard of distorting his record, then quickly deflected to Syria, where he has argued for an indefinite deployment of occupying U.S. troops. ..."
"... According to John Kiriakou, a former CIA case officer, ex-senior investigator for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and celebrated whistleblower, Somaliland is an unusual destination for tourism. "There really is nothing going on in Somaliland," Kiriakou told The Grayzone . "To say you go to Somaliland as a tourist is a joke to me. It's not a war-torn area but nobody goes there as a tourist." ..."
"... Whether or not Buttigieg's trip was coordinated without the assistance of lobbyists, the trip offered him and Myers an opportunity to weigh in on international affairs on the pages of the supposed newspaper of record – and on an absolutely non-controversial issue. ..."
"... When Pete Buttigieg made his journey to Somaliland in 2008, he had just earned a fellowship at the Truman Center, a Washington-based think tank that provided a steppingstone for national security-minded whiz kids like him to leadership positions in the Democratic Party. ..."
"... Buttigieg likely earned the fellowship after answering an ad like the one the Truman Center published on the website of the Harvard Law School Student Government in 2010 . Soliciting applicants for its security fellowship, the center declared that it was seeking "exceptionally accomplished and dedicated men and women who share President Truman's belief in muscular internationalism, and who believe that strong national security and strong liberal values are not antagonistic, but are two sides of the same coin." ..."
"... Buttigieg blended a call to "end endless wars" with Cold War bluster directed at designated enemies. ..."
"... Before an auditorium packed with the national press, he rattled off one of the more paranoid talking points of the Russiagate era, blaming President Vladimir Putin for fueling racism inside the U.S. He then attacked Trump for facilitating peace talks in Korea, slamming the president for exchanging "love letters" with "a brutal dictator," referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. ..."
"... Trojan Horse cum Wolf in Sheep's Clothing #2. Fooled me twice, Obama; shame on me. ..."
Dec 21, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

An influential D.C. network of military interventionists placed Mayor Pete on an inside track to power, reports Max Blumenthal.


The Grayzone

I n his quest for front-runner status in the 2020 presidential campaign, Pete Buttigieg has crafted an image for himself as a maverick running against a broken establishment.

On the trail, he has invoked his distinction as the openly gay mayor of a de-industrialized Rust Belt town, as well as his experience as a Naval reserve intelligence officer who now claims to oppose "endless wars". He insists that "there's energy for an outsider like me," promoting himself as "an unconventional candidate."

When former Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed Joe Biden this December, Buttigieg went full maverick . "I have never been part of the Washington establishment," he proclaimed, "and I recognize that there are relationships among senators who have been together on Capitol Hill as long as I've been alive and that is what it is."

But a testy exchange between the South Bend mayor and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard during a Nov. 20 Democratic primary debate had already complicated Buttigieg's branding campaign.

Like Buttigieg, Gabbard was a military veteran of the 9/11 generation. But she had taken an entirely different set of lessons from her grueling stint in Iraq than "Mayor Pete." Her campaign had become an anti-war crusade, with opposition to destructive regime change wars serving as her leitmotif.

After ticking off her foreign policy credentials, Gabbard turned to Buttigieg and lit into him for stating his willingness to send U.S. troops to Mexico to crack down on drug cartels. A visibly angry Buttigieg responded by accusing Gabbard of distorting his record, then quickly deflected to Syria, where he has argued for an indefinite deployment of occupying U.S. troops.

Rehashing well-worn criticism of Gabbard for meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a diplomatic visit she took -- her trip was devoted to de-escalating the U.S.-backed proxy war that had ravaged the country's population -- Buttigieg attacked the congresswoman for engaging with a "murderous dictator."

Throughout the exchange, Buttigieg appeared shaken, as though his sense of inviolability had been punctured. Gabbard had clearly struck a vulnerable point by painting the self-styled outsider as a conventional D.C.-style politician unconsciously spouting interventionist bromides.

How could someone who served in the catastrophically wasteful U.S. wars in the Middle East, and who had seen their human toll, be reckless enough to propose sending U.S. troops to fight and possibly die in Mexico? "But Assad!" was the best response he could muster.

The remarkable dust-up highlighted a side of the 37-year-old political upstart that has been scarcely explored in mainstream U.S. media accounts of his rise to prominence. It revealed the real Buttigieg as a neoliberal cadre whose future was carefully managed by the mandarins of the national security state since almost the moment that he graduated from Harvard University.

After college, the Democratic presidential hopeful took a gig with a strategic communications firm founded by a former secretary of defense who raked in contracts with the arms industry. He moved on to a fellowship at an influential D.C. think tank described by its founder as "a counterpart to the neoconservatives of the 1970s." Today, Buttigieg sits on that think tank's board of advisors alongside some of the country's most accomplished military interventionists.

Buttigieg has reaped the rewards of his dedication to the Beltway playbook. He recently became the top recipient of donations from staff members of the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Justice Department – key cogs in the national security state's permanent bureaucracy.

His Harvard social network has been a critical factor in his rise as well, with college buddies occupying key campaign roles as outside policy advisers and strategists. One of his closest friends from school is today the senior adviser of a specialized unit of the State Department focused on fomenting regime change abroad.

That friend, Nathaniel "Nat" Myers, was Buttigieg's traveling partner on a trip to Somaliland, where the two claimed to have been tourists in a July 2008 article they wrote for The New York Times.

Their contribution to the paper was not any typical travelogue detailing a whimsical safari. Instead, they composed a slick editorial that echoed the Somaliland government's call for recognition from the U.S. government. It was Buttigieg's first foreign policy audition before a national audience.

Short, Strange Trip to Somaliland

Under public pressure for more transparency about his work at the notoriously secretive McKinsey consulting firm, the Buttigieg campaign released some background details this December. The disclosures included a timeline of his work for various clients that stated he "stepped away from the firm during the late summer and fall of 2008 to help full-time with a Democratic campaign for governor in Indiana."

How Buttigieg's "full-time" role on that gubernatorial campaign took him on a nearly 8,000-mile detour to Somaliland remains unclear.

Buttigieg and Nathaniel Myers spent only 24 hours in the autonomous region of Somaliland. In that short time, they interviewed unnamed government officials and faithfully relayed their pro-independence line back to the readers of The New York Times in a July 2008 op-ed .

The column read as though crafted by a public relations firm on behalf of a government client. In one section, the two travelers wrote that "the people we met in Somaliland were welcoming, hopeful and bewildered by the absence of recognition from the West. They were frustrated to still be overlooked out of respect for the sovereignty of the failed state to their south."

Since declaring its independence from Somalia in 1991, Somaliland has campaigned for recognition from the U.S., EU, and African Union. It even offered to hand its deep water port over to AFRICOM, the U.S. military command structure on the African continent, in exchange for U.S. acceptance of its sovereignty.

Several months after Buttigieg traveled to the autonomous region, Al Jazeera reported , "The Somaliland government is trying to charm its way to global recognition."

And just a few weeks before Buttigieg's visit, the would-be republic inked a contract with an international lobbying firm called Independent Diplomat , presumably to help oversee that charm offensive.

Founded by a self-described anarchist named Carne Ross, Independent Diplomat represents an array of non and para-state entities seeking recognition on the international stage. Ross's client list has included the Syrian Opposition Coalition , which tried and failed to secure power through a Western-backed war against the Syrian government .

Independent Diplomat did not respond to questions from The Grayzone about whether it had any role in facilitating the trip Buttigieg and Myers took to Somaliland.

According to John Kiriakou, a former CIA case officer, ex-senior investigator for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and celebrated whistleblower, Somaliland is an unusual destination for tourism. "There really is nothing going on in Somaliland," Kiriakou told The Grayzone . "To say you go to Somaliland as a tourist is a joke to me. It's not a war-torn area but nobody goes there as a tourist."

Kiriakou visited Somaliland in 2009 as part of an investigation for the Senate Intelligence Committee on what he described as the phenomenon of "blue-eyed" American citizens converting to Islam, traveling to Somalia and Yemen for training with Salafi-jihadist groups, then returning home on their U.S. passports.

To reach Somaliland, Kiriakou said he took an arduous seven-hour journey from the neighboring state of Djibouti. His junket was coordinated by the U.S. ambassador to Djibouti, a regional security officer of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service and an embassy attaché.

"It is not the easiest place to reach and there's no business to do there," Kiriakou said.

Whether or not Buttigieg's trip was coordinated without the assistance of lobbyists, the trip offered him and Myers an opportunity to weigh in on international affairs on the pages of the supposed newspaper of record – and on an absolutely non-controversial issue.

In his bio, Nathaniel Myers identified himself simply as a "financial analyst based in Ethiopia." According to his resume, which is available online at Linkedin, he was working at the time as a World Bank consultant on governance and corruption.

By 2011, Myers had moved on from that neoliberal international financial institution to a specialized government at the center of U.S. regime change operations abroad.

Pete Buttigieg on a pre-graduation trip with his Harvard buddies. Nathaniel "Nat" Myers is to his immediate left.

Imperial Social Network

Nathaniel Myers' relationship with the presidential hopeful began at Harvard University. There, they formed two parts of "The Order of Kong," a close-knit group of political junkies named jokingly for the Chinese restaurant they frequented after intensive discussion sessions at the school's Institute of Politics.

Like most members of the college-era "order," Myers and Buttigieg have remained close. When the mayor married his longtime partner in 2018, Buttigieg chose him as his best man.

Myers currently works as a senior advisor for the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID-OTI) in Washington, D.C. The OTI is a specialized division of USAID that routinely works through contractors and local proxies to orchestrate destabilization operations inside countries considered insufficiently compliant to the dictates of Washington.

Wherever the U.S. seeks regime change, it seems that USAID's OTI is involved.

The Linkedin page of Nathaniel Myers, a close friend of Pete Buttigieg's.

In a 2015 op-ed arguing for a loosening of bureaucratic restraints on USAID's participation in counter-terror operations, Myers revealed that he had "specialized in programming in places like Yemen and Libya " – two conflict zones destabilized by U.S.-led regime-change wars. (Myers was working as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations at the time, but would return to USAID's OTI the following year.)

USAID's OTI has also fueled Syria's brutal proxy war, coordinating U.S. government assistance to supposed civil society groups like the White Helmets that were attached to the armed extremists who ruled over portions of the country for several years.

In Venezuela, the OTI has spent tens of millions of dollars cultivating and training opponents of the late President Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro . It has done the same in Nicaragua, serving as the linchpin of a U.S. effort to "lay the groundwork for insurrection."

In Cuba, meanwhile, the OTI attempted to stir up civil unrest through a fake, Twitter-style social media site called ZunZuneo, hoping to turn the public against the country's leftist government through coordinated flash mobs. To populate the phony social media platform, the OTI contracted a D.C.-based firm called Creative Associates that had illicitly obtained half a million Cuban cellphone numbers.

USAID and Creative Associates attempted to place ZunZuneo into private hands through a Miami foundation called Roots of Hope, which was founded by students at Harvard University. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was even solicited by the State Department to operate the platform. (Roots of Hope board member Raul Moas, who personally trained ZunZuneo employees, is today the director of the Knight Foundation .)

The devious operation and its eventual exposure revealed the extent to which covert operations historically associated with the CIA had been outsourced to private contractors and NGOs.

And the role of the Harvard-founded "Roots of Hope" in the scheme demonstrated how much USAID and its contractors depended on the same Ivy League talent pool that produced Buttigieg and Myers.

A lengthy paper Myers authored for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2015 indicated that he had special knowledge of the ZunZuneo scheme and had been invested in its success.

Myers took the journalists who exposed the USAID-OTI program to task, claiming that "individual grants were pulled out of context and described as failures without heed to their actual goals," provoking an unfair "Capitol Hill pillorying."

He lamented that the exposure of covert programs like these had forced USAID officials to pursue "the opposite of the programming most likely to produce real impact in a hard aid environment." In other words, fear of public scrutiny had complicated efforts to subvert societies targeted by the U.S. for regime change – and he didn't like it one bit.

To Syracuse University professor of African American studies Horace Campbell, youthful cadres like Myers were a symptom of the American university's transformation into a neoliberal training ground.

"Many idealistic graduates from elite centers such as the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Maxwell School of Citizenship of Syracuse University or the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University among others had been seduced" into careers with USAID contractors like Creative Associates, Chemonics, and McKinsey, Campbell lamented in a lengthy 2014 survey of the OTI's sordid record .

"It has been painful," the professor wrote, "to see the ways in which the so called NGO initiatives have been refined over the past twenty years to support neoliberalism and to depoliticize idealistic students."

Campbell's comments painted a clear portrait of Myers, who earned his master's degree at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School on his way towards becoming a "hard aid" specialist at USAID.

They also captured the psychology of Buttigieg, who celebrated Bernie Sanders as a hero when he was a high school senior, and spoke out against the Iraq war as a Harvard junior before being absorbed into the culture of McKinsey and D.C. institutions like the Truman Center.

The Truman Show

When Pete Buttigieg made his journey to Somaliland in 2008, he had just earned a fellowship at the Truman Center, a Washington-based think tank that provided a steppingstone for national security-minded whiz kids like him to leadership positions in the Democratic Party.

Buttigieg likely earned the fellowship after answering an ad like the one the Truman Center published on the website of the Harvard Law School Student Government in 2010 . Soliciting applicants for its security fellowship, the center declared that it was seeking "exceptionally accomplished and dedicated men and women who share President Truman's belief in muscular internationalism, and who believe that strong national security and strong liberal values are not antagonistic, but are two sides of the same coin."

This was not the first time Buttigieg had dipped his toes into Washington's national security swamp. After graduating from Harvard, he worked at the Cohen Group, a consulting firm founded by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen that maintained an extensive client list within the arms industry . (As The Grayzone reported , the Cohen Group has been intimately involved in the Trump administration's bungling regime change attempt in Venezuela).

But it was Buttigieg's fellowship at the Truman Center that placed him on the casting couch before the Democratic Party's foreign policy mandarins.

A Tablet Magazine profile of Truman Center founder Rachel Kleinfeld described her as a "gatekeeper and ringleader" whose network of former fellows spanned Congress and the Obama administration's National Security Council. Her career trajectory mirrored Buttigieg's.

After last night, more proud than ever to support @PeteButtigieg – for those who missed it, a few reasons why: https://t.co/1XreWO5x15

-- Rachel Kleinfeld (@RachelKleinfeld) October 16, 2019

She had earned degrees at elite institutions (Yale and Oxford, where Buttigieg pursued his Rhodes scholarship) before accepting a job at a private contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, that performed an array of services for the U.S. military and private spying for intelligence agencies.

Kleinfeld's boss at the company was James Woolsey, the neoconservative former CIA director who has lobbied aggressively for U.S. military assaults on Iraq and Iran .

According to Tablet, "Woolsey positioned Kleinfeld to work on sensitive government projects the company was pursuing in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, including one that involved working as a researcher for the military's Defense Science Board, investigating information-sharing between intelligence and law-enforcement agencies."

When Kleinfeld founded her think tank in 2005, she named it for the president who oversaw the detonation of nuclear bombs on two Japanese cities, threats of another nuclear assault on North Korea and the killing of 20 percent of that country's population. The Truman doctrine, which called for "containing" the Soviet Union through internal destabilization and relentless pressure on its periphery, was the basis of Washington's Cold War policy. (Following Kleinfeld's lead, Buttigieg named one of his two pet dogs Truman ).

"We decided there really was a need to create a movement of Democrats to stand up for these ideas and to really start to think about it, very much as a counterpart to the neoconservatives of the 1970s," she told The Forward at the time.

To fill the center's board of advisers , Kleinfeld assembled a cast of Democratic foreign policy heavyweights whose accomplishments included the devastation of entire countries through regime change wars.

Among the most notable Truman advisors were Madeleine Albright, the author of NATO's destruction of Yugoslavia and president of an influence-peddling operation known as the Albright Stonebridge Group; the late Council on Foreign Relations President Les Gelb, who once proposed dividing Iraq into three federal districts along sectarian lines; former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who oversaw record levels of migrant deportations ; and Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former State Department policy planning director who conceived the Responsibility To Protect (R2P) doctrine deployed by the Obama administration to justify NATO's disastrous intervention in Libya and drum up another one against Syria.

"The Truman Project mobilizes Democrats who serve the conventional interventionist agenda," journalist Kelly Vlahos wrote . "Beyond that, they are part of a broader orbit of not so dissimilar foot soldiers on the other side of the aisle."

Buttigieg listed his fellowship at the Truman Center as one of the credentials that qualified him for Indiana State treasurer when he ran for the position in 2010.

Though he lost in a landslide, Buttigieg won election as mayor of South Bend the following year. "Mayor Pete" had not only secured his future in the Democratic Party, he had won a place in its foreign policy pantheon with a seat on the Truman Center's advisory board.

Balancing Opposition to Endless Wars

This July 11, Buttigieg rolled out his foreign policy platform in a carefully scripted appearance at Indiana University. Introduced by Lee Hamilton, a former Indiana congressman who was a fixture on the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees, Buttigieg blended a call to "end endless wars" with Cold War bluster directed at designated enemies.

Before an auditorium packed with the national press, he rattled off one of the more paranoid talking points of the Russiagate era, blaming President Vladimir Putin for fueling racism inside the U.S. He then attacked Trump for facilitating peace talks in Korea, slamming the president for exchanging "love letters" with "a brutal dictator," referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

You will not see me exchanging love letters on White House letterhead with a brutal dictator who starves and murders his own people @PeteButtigieg

-- Rachel Kleinfeld (@RachelKleinfeld) June 11, 2019

More recently, Buttigieg's campaign pledged to "balance our commitment to end endless wars with the recognition that total isolationism is self-defeating in the long run." This was the sort of Beltway doublespeak that defined the legacy of Barack Obama, another youthful, self-styled outsider from the Midwest who campaigned on his opposition to the Iraq war, only to sign off on more calamitous wars in the Middle East after he entered the White House.

On the presidential campaign trail, "Mayor Pete" has done his best to paper over the instincts he inherited from his benefactors among the national security state. But as the campaign drags on, his interventionist tendencies are increasingly exposed. Having padded his resume in America's longest and most futile wars, he may be poised to extend them for a new generation to fight.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling " Republican Gomorrah ," " Goliath ," " The Fifty One Day War " and " The Management of Savagery ." He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including " Killing Gaza " and " Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie ." Blumenthal founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

This article is from The Grayzone .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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Charlotte Ruse , December 21, 2019 at 17:46

"We decided there really was a need to create a movement of Democrats to stand up for these ideas and to really start to think about it, very much as a counterpart to the neoconservatives of the 1970s."

Blumenthal, dissected Buttigeg down to the bare bones revealing how the security state targets and harvests willing Ivy League specimens who once sufficiently groomed are launched onto the political stage infiltrating the Democratic Party shilling when commanded for regime change wars.

occupy on! , December 21, 2019 at 13:46

Breathtaking! Thank you, Max Blumenthal, and please watch your back.

Punkyboy , December 21, 2019 at 10:43

Trojan Horse cum Wolf in Sheep's Clothing #2. Fooled me twice, Obama; shame on me. But, then, when given choices between worse and worser or staying home on election day . . . The only candidate with a real chance of beating Trump in 2020 is Sanders, yet the Dims would rather cut their collective throat. Gabbard would be my choice, but she has no chance against The Dim Machine. I am so sick of these bastards and their games – Russiagate, Ukrainegate, now Impeachmentgate – all because they have no platform, and no candidate that gives a damn about this country and We the People. Shame on all you poseurs!

ML , December 21, 2019 at 15:59

Hear, hear, Punkyboy! I concur and applaud your way with words. Google George Carlin's monologue on why he doesn't vote. Even a committed voter may crack a smile and surmise he may have had a point! And you can laugh about this mess in the bargain. Might as well. Too many tears and fears these days and a little levity, especially at the Winter Solstice makes for a lightness of being. Cheers, Punky!

jessika , December 20, 2019 at 22:06

Thanks for this info, MSM never reports truth. And Mayor Pete doesn't exactly have a stellar record as mayor of South Bend, besides!

Piotr Berman , December 20, 2019 at 11:41

From the interview with Military Times that is linked in the article:

Q After one year of your administration, what size will the U.S. troop presence be in Afghanistan? In Syria and Iraq? In Europe?

A [first sentence] The size of troop presence in any theater depends on missions determined by overall strategy and long-term goals, which are well-developed by our political, military, diplomatic and intelligence leaders, not by "

-- --

This is somewhat recent. Before Trump became president, the problem of straying from the script "well-developed by our political, military, diplomatic and intelligence leaders" did not arise. Perhaps Carter had some weird ideas like pressuring satraps in Latin America to have a lighter hand in deploying death squads, but he was brought to the fold and eliminated from "the mainstream" without such rhetoric.

To make it clear, I also think that Trump is driven by "arbitrary or capricious decisions based on personal or political interests and executed on a whim." But the alternative in the form that is "well-developed by blah blah blah" is not appealing at all.

I guess that I do not need to convince the other readers, but Afghanistan is a good example if you want a talking point. Staying there follows "the well-developed strategy", but what is it?

improving human rights, education of women etc.
fostering honest competent government
fostering economic growth (apart from consuming profits from heroin and foreign donations)
training effective and honest national armed forces and police

One could add a few, but apparently, none of that was accomplished. Yet, "the well-developed strategy" had to deliver something important to the "national interest", otherwise it would be a total waste. It is actually not difficult to figure it out:

Afghanistan may be a total mess, but a mess where we have influence and freedom to operate. If we withdraw, it will be simply a total mess.

It still begs a question why "we" want to have influence and freedom to operate. Perhaps to create a total mess nearby. Whatever it is, an alternative is overdue, preferably not capricious and poorly executed. Tulsi for the head of NSC, DoS or DoD.

Jerry Findlay , December 20, 2019 at 11:37

They are trying to repeat the Obama playbook, escorting a pretend outsider and identity-firster posing as a liberal progressive, who as soon as he gets into office betrays everything he promised in favor of the corporate state. Why not? It fooled a lot of people before, including myself, once or twice. Why not use it again? Because American voters have awakened to the trick and don't have time for being fooled again.

Nathan Mulcahy , December 20, 2019 at 10:42

Great reporting. I have a simple filter. I instinctively put a black mark on and ignore any candidate being promoted by the corporate presstitutes. First it was Kamala Who Harris, then the Beto Who and now Buttigieg Who. Obviously I also do not follow this so called "debate" circus.

Tim Slattery , December 20, 2019 at 09:36

Rare, fascinating expose of how warmongers are made. Well done, Mr Blumenthal!

JOHN CHUCKMAN , December 19, 2019 at 17:10

Pete Buttigieg makes me think of a product, a manufactured product. Everything about him from gestures to words.

His is not an authentic political voice.

Nor does have much to say that's interesting or helpful to anyone.

Such are efforts on the election homefront in the declining days of American empire.

Drew Hunkins , December 19, 2019 at 16:47

Buttiejudge, Obama and others are such professional liars. They remind me of some of my fellow students during my grad school days.

robert e williamson jr , December 19, 2019 at 15:59

Thanks Max, it's great to have you out and about.

A man who looks to the Homeland Security nut cases for money to become president must have decided he was willing t0 give up his freedom for the promise of being safe and secure. He must be a moderate republican at heart. The country don't need another false representation buy someone seeking the highest office in the land.

I want one of these candidate to promise they will move to go back and debate the Patriot Act before extending it again.

Julie , December 21, 2019 at 14:07

All you need to know about Mayor Pete can be found on Youtube: Meet the real Mayor Pete; E. Michael Jones on PatrickCoffinMedia. Dr. Jones is the Mayor's neighbor. Reexaminging Mayor Pete and his years in office on Peter Hellands channel; Black Pastors speak out against Mayor Pete; CCM; Investigating of Pete & SBPD and there's more.

[Dec 22, 2019] The Insider National Security Mandarins Groomed Pete Buttigieg Managed His Future – Consortiumnews

Dec 22, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews Volume 25, Number 354–Saturday, December 21, 2019

Campaign 2020 , Commentary , Politics , Propaganda , U.S. , Until This Day--Historical Perspectives on the News The Insider: National Security Mandarins Groomed Pete Buttigieg & Managed His Future December 19, 2019 • 13 Comments

An influential D.C. network of military interventionists placed Mayor Pete on an inside track to power, reports Max Blumenthal.

By Max Blumenthal
The Grayzone

I n his quest for front-runner status in the 2020 presidential campaign, Pete Buttigieg has crafted an image for himself as a maverick running against a broken establishment.

On the trail, he has invoked his distinction as the openly gay mayor of a de-industrialized Rust Belt town, as well as his experience as a Naval reserve intelligence officer who now claims to oppose "endless wars". He insists that "there's energy for an outsider like me," promoting himself as "an unconventional candidate."

When former Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed Joe Biden this December, Buttigieg went full maverick . "I have never been part of the Washington establishment," he proclaimed, "and I recognize that there are relationships among senators who have been together on Capitol Hill as long as I've been alive and that is what it is."

But a testy exchange between the South Bend mayor and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard during a Nov. 20 Democratic primary debate had already complicated Buttigieg's branding campaign.

Like Buttigieg, Gabbard was a military veteran of the 9/11 generation. But she had taken an entirely different set of lessons from her grueling stint in Iraq than "Mayor Pete." Her campaign had become an anti-war crusade, with opposition to destructive regime change wars serving as her leitmotif.

After ticking off her foreign policy credentials, Gabbard turned to Buttigieg and lit into him for stating his willingness to send U.S. troops to Mexico to crack down on drug cartels.

A visibly angry Buttigieg responded by accusing Gabbard of distorting his record, then quickly deflected to Syria, where he has argued for an indefinite deployment of occupying U.S. troops.

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Rehashing well-worn criticism of Gabbard for meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a diplomatic visit she took -- her trip was devoted to de-escalating the U.S.-backed proxy war that had ravaged the country's population -- Buttigieg attacked the congresswoman for engaging with a "murderous dictator."

Throughout the exchange, Buttigieg appeared shaken, as though his sense of inviolability had been punctured. Gabbard had clearly struck a vulnerable point by painting the self-styled outsider as a conventional D.C.-style politician unconsciously spouting interventionist bromides.

How could someone who served in the catastrophically wasteful U.S. wars in the Middle East, and who had seen their human toll, be reckless enough to propose sending U.S. troops to fight and possibly die in Mexico? "But Assad!" was the best response he could muster.

The remarkable dust-up highlighted a side of the 37-year-old political upstart that has been scarcely explored in mainstream U.S. media accounts of his rise to prominence. It revealed the real Buttigieg as a neoliberal cadre whose future was carefully managed by the mandarins of the national security state since almost the moment that he graduated from Harvard University.

After college, the Democratic presidential hopeful took a gig with a strategic communications firm founded by a former secretary of defense who raked in contracts with the arms industry. He moved on to a fellowship at an influential D.C. think tank described by its founder as "a counterpart to the neoconservatives of the 1970s." Today, Buttigieg sits on that think tank's board of advisors alongside some of the country's most accomplished military interventionists.

Buttigieg has reaped the rewards of his dedication to the Beltway playbook. He recently became the top recipient of donations from staff members of the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department and the Justice Department – key cogs in the national security state's permanent bureaucracy.

His Harvard social network has been a critical factor in his rise as well, with college buddies occupying key campaign roles as outside policy advisers and strategists. One of his closest friends from school is today the senior adviser of a specialized unit of the State Department focused on fomenting regime change abroad.

That friend, Nathaniel "Nat" Myers, was Buttigieg's traveling partner on a trip to Somaliland, where the two claimed to have been tourists in a July 2008 article they wrote for The New York Times.

Their contribution to the paper was not any typical travelogue detailing a whimsical safari. Instead, they composed a slick editorial that echoed the Somaliland government's call for recognition from the U.S. government. It was Buttigieg's first foreign policy audition before a national audience.

Short, Strange Trip to Somaliland

Under public pressure for more transparency about his work at the notoriously secretive McKinsey consulting firm, the Buttigieg campaign released some background details this December. The disclosures included a timeline of his work for various clients that stated he "stepped away from the firm during the late summer and fall of 2008 to help full-time with a Democratic campaign for governor in Indiana."

How Buttigieg's "full-time" role on that gubernatorial campaign took him on a nearly 8,000-mile detour to Somaliland remains unclear.

Buttigieg and Nathaniel Myers spent only 24 hours in the autonomous region of Somaliland. In that short time, they interviewed unnamed government officials and faithfully relayed their pro-independence line back to the readers of The New York Times in a July 2008 op-ed .

The column read as though crafted by a public relations firm on behalf of a government client. In one section, the two travelers wrote that "the people we met in Somaliland were welcoming, hopeful and bewildered by the absence of recognition from the West. They were frustrated to still be overlooked out of respect for the sovereignty of the failed state to their south."

Since declaring its independence from Somalia in 1991, Somaliland has campaigned for recognition from the U.S., EU, and African Union. It even offered to hand its deep water port over to AFRICOM, the U.S. military command structure on the African continent, in exchange for U.S. acceptance of its sovereignty.

Several months after Buttigieg traveled to the autonomous region, Al Jazeera reported , "The Somaliland government is trying to charm its way to global recognition."

And just a few weeks before Buttigieg's visit, the would-be republic inked a contract with an international lobbying firm called Independent Diplomat , presumably to help oversee that charm offensive.

Founded by a self-described anarchist named Carne Ross, Independent Diplomat represents an array of non and para-state entities seeking recognition on the international stage. Ross's client list has included the Syrian Opposition Coalition , which tried and failed to secure power through a Western-backed war against the Syrian government .

Independent Diplomat did not respond to questions from The Grayzone about whether it had any role in facilitating the trip Buttigieg and Myers took to Somaliland.

According to John Kiriakou, a former CIA case officer, ex-senior investigator for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and celebrated whistleblower, Somaliland is an unusual destination for tourism.

"There really is nothing going on in Somaliland," Kiriakou told The Grayzone . "To say you go to Somaliland as a tourist is a joke to me. It's not a war-torn area but nobody goes there as a tourist."

Kiriakou visited Somaliland in 2009 as part of an investigation for the Senate Intelligence Committee on what he described as the phenomenon of "blue-eyed" American citizens converting to Islam, traveling to Somalia and Yemen for training with Salafi-jihadist groups, then returning home on their U.S. passports.

To reach Somaliland, Kiriakou said he took an arduous seven-hour journey from the neighboring state of Djibouti. His junket was coordinated by the U.S. ambassador to Djibouti, a regional security officer of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service and an embassy attaché.

"It is not the easiest place to reach and there's no business to do there," Kiriakou said.

Whether or not Buttigieg's trip was coordinated without the assistance of lobbyists, the trip offered him and Myers an opportunity to weigh in on international affairs on the pages of the supposed newspaper of record – and on an absolutely non-controversial issue.

In his bio, Nathaniel Myers identified himself simply as a "financial analyst based in Ethiopia." According to his resume, which is available online at Linkedin, he was working at the time as a World Bank consultant on governance and corruption.

By 2011, Myers had moved on from that neoliberal international financial institution to a specialized government at the center of U.S. regime change operations abroad.

Pete Buttigieg on a pre-graduation trip with his Harvard buddies. Nathaniel "Nat" Myers is to his immediate left.
Imperial Social Network

Nathaniel Myers' relationship with the presidential hopeful began at Harvard University. There, they formed two parts of "The Order of Kong," a close-knit group of political junkies named jokingly for the Chinese restaurant they frequented after intensive discussion sessions at the school's Institute of Politics.

Like most members of the college-era "order," Myers and Buttigieg have remained close. When the mayor married his longtime partner in 2018, Buttigieg chose him as his best man.

Myers currently works as a senior advisor for the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID-OTI) in Washington, D.C. The OTI is a specialized division of USAID that routinely works through contractors and local proxies to orchestrate destabilization operations inside countries considered insufficiently compliant to the dictates of Washington.

Wherever the U.S. seeks regime change, it seems that USAID's OTI is involved.

The Linkedin page of Nathaniel Myers, a close friend of Pete Buttigieg's.

In a 2015 op-ed arguing for a loosening of bureaucratic restraints on USAID's participation in counter-terror operations, Myers revealed that he had "specialized in programming in places like Yemen and Libya " – two conflict zones destabilized by U.S.-led regime-change wars. (Myers was working as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations at the time, but would return to USAID's OTI the following year.)

USAID's OTI has also fueled Syria's brutal proxy war, coordinating U.S. government assistance to supposed civil society groups like the White Helmets that were attached to the armed extremists who ruled over portions of the country for several years.

In Venezuela, the OTI has spent tens of millions of dollars cultivating and training opponents of the late President Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro . It has done the same in Nicaragua, serving as the linchpin of a U.S. effort to "lay the groundwork for insurrection."

In Cuba, meanwhile, the OTI attempted to stir up civil unrest through a fake, Twitter-style social media site called ZunZuneo, hoping to turn the public against the country's leftist government through coordinated flash mobs. To populate the phony social media platform, the OTI contracted a D.C.-based firm called Creative Associates that had illicitly obtained half a million Cuban cellphone numbers.

USAID and Creative Associates attempted to place ZunZuneo into private hands through a Miami foundation called Roots of Hope, which was founded by students at Harvard University. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was even solicited by the State Department to operate the platform. (Roots of Hope board member Raul Moas, who personally trained ZunZuneo employees, is today the director of the Knight Foundation .)

The devious operation and its eventual exposure revealed the extent to which covert operations historically associated with the CIA had been outsourced to private contractors and NGOs.

And the role of the Harvard-founded "Roots of Hope" in the scheme demonstrated how much USAID and its contractors depended on the same Ivy League talent pool that produced Buttigieg and Myers.

A lengthy paper Myers authored for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2015 indicated that he had special knowledge of the ZunZuneo scheme and had been invested in its success.

Myers took the journalists who exposed the USAID-OTI program to task, claiming that "individual grants were pulled out of context and described as failures without heed to their actual goals," provoking an unfair "Capitol Hill pillorying."

He lamented that the exposure of covert programs like these had forced USAID officials to pursue "the opposite of the programming most likely to produce real impact in a hard aid environment." In other words, fear of public scrutiny had complicated efforts to subvert societies targeted by the U.S. for regime change – and he didn't like it one bit.

To Syracuse University professor of African American studies Horace Campbell, youthful cadres like Myers were a symptom of the American university's transformation into a neoliberal training ground.

"Many idealistic graduates from elite centers such as the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Maxwell School of Citizenship of Syracuse University or the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University among others had been seduced" into careers with USAID contractors like Creative Associates, Chemonics, and McKinsey, Campbell lamented in a lengthy 2014 survey of the OTI's sordid record .

"It has been painful," the professor wrote, "to see the ways in which the so called NGO initiatives have been refined over the past twenty years to support neoliberalism and to depoliticize idealistic students."

Campbell's comments painted a clear portrait of Myers, who earned his master's degree at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School on his way towards becoming a "hard aid" specialist at USAID.

They also captured the psychology of Buttigieg, who celebrated Bernie Sanders as a hero when he was a high school senior, and spoke out against the Iraq war as a Harvard junior before being absorbed into the culture of McKinsey and D.C. institutions like the Truman Center.

The Truman Show

When Pete Buttigieg made his journey to Somaliland in 2008, he had just earned a fellowship at the Truman Center, a Washington-based think tank that provided a steppingstone for national security-minded whiz kids like him to leadership positions in the Democratic Party.

Buttigieg likely earned the fellowship after answering an ad like the one the Truman Center published on the website of the Harvard Law School Student Government in 2010 . Soliciting applicants for its security fellowship, the center declared that it was seeking "exceptionally accomplished and dedicated men and women who share President Truman's belief in muscular internationalism, and who believe that strong national security and strong liberal values are not antagonistic, but are two sides of the same coin."

This was not the first time Buttigieg had dipped his toes into Washington's national security swamp. After graduating from Harvard, he worked at the Cohen Group, a consulting firm founded by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen that maintained an extensive client list within the arms industry . (As The Grayzone reported , the Cohen Group has been intimately involved in the Trump administration's bungling regime change attempt in Venezuela).

But it was Buttigieg's fellowship at the Truman Center that placed him on the casting couch before the Democratic Party's foreign policy mandarins.

A Tablet Magazine profile of Truman Center founder Rachel Kleinfeld described her as a "gatekeeper and ringleader" whose network of former fellows spanned Congress and the Obama administration's National Security Council. Her career trajectory mirrored Buttigieg's.

After last night, more proud than ever to support @PeteButtigieg – for those who missed it, a few reasons why: https://t.co/1XreWO5x15

-- Rachel Kleinfeld (@RachelKleinfeld) October 16, 2019

She had earned degrees at elite institutions (Yale and Oxford, where Buttigieg pursued his Rhodes scholarship) before accepting a job at a private contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, that performed an array of services for the U.S. military and private spying for intelligence agencies.

Kleinfeld's boss at the company was James Woolsey, the neoconservative former CIA director who has lobbied aggressively for U.S. military assaults on Iraq and Iran .

According to Tablet, "Woolsey positioned Kleinfeld to work on sensitive government projects the company was pursuing in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, including one that involved working as a researcher for the military's Defense Science Board, investigating information-sharing between intelligence and law-enforcement agencies."

When Kleinfeld founded her think tank in 2005, she named it for the president who oversaw the detonation of nuclear bombs on two Japanese cities, threats of another nuclear assault on North Korea and the killing of 20 percent of that country's population. The Truman doctrine, which called for "containing" the Soviet Union through internal destabilization and relentless pressure on its periphery, was the basis of Washington's Cold War policy. (Following Kleinfeld's lead, Buttigieg named one of his two pet dogs Truman ).

"We decided there really was a need to create a movement of Democrats to stand up for these ideas and to really start to think about it, very much as a counterpart to the neoconservatives of the 1970s," she told The Forward at the time.

To fill the center's board of advisers , Kleinfeld assembled a cast of Democratic foreign policy heavyweights whose accomplishments included the devastation of entire countries through regime change wars.

Among the most notable Truman advisors were Madeleine Albright, the author of NATO's destruction of Yugoslavia and president of an influence-peddling operation known as the Albright Stonebridge Group; the late Council on Foreign Relations President Les Gelb, who once proposed dividing Iraq into three federal districts along sectarian lines; former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who oversaw record levels of migrant deportations ; and Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former State Department policy planning director who conceived the Responsibility To Protect (R2P) doctrine deployed by the Obama administration to justify NATO's disastrous intervention in Libya and drum up another one against Syria.

"The Truman Project mobilizes Democrats who serve the conventional interventionist agenda," journalist Kelly Vlahos wrote . "Beyond that, they are part of a broader orbit of not so dissimilar foot soldiers on the other side of the aisle."

Buttigieg listed his fellowship at the Truman Center as one of the credentials that qualified him for Indiana State treasurer when he ran for the position in 2010.

Though he lost in a landslide, Buttigieg won election as mayor of South Bend the following year. "Mayor Pete" had not only secured his future in the Democratic Party, he had won a place in its foreign policy pantheon with a seat on the Truman Center's advisory board.

Balancing Opposition to Endless Wars

This July 11, Buttigieg rolled out his foreign policy platform in a carefully scripted appearance at Indiana University. Introduced by Lee Hamilton, a former Indiana congressman who was a fixture on the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees, Buttigieg blended a call to "end endless wars" with Cold War bluster directed at designated enemies.

Before an auditorium packed with the national press, he rattled off one of the more paranoid talking points of the Russiagate era, blaming President Vladimir Putin for fueling racism inside the U.S. He then attacked Trump for facilitating peace talks in Korea, slamming the president for exchanging "love letters" with "a brutal dictator," referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

You will not see me exchanging love letters on White House letterhead with a brutal dictator who starves and murders his own people @PeteButtigieg

-- Rachel Kleinfeld (@RachelKleinfeld) June 11, 2019

More recently, Buttigieg's campaign pledged to "balance our commitment to end endless wars with the recognition that total isolationism is self-defeating in the long run." This was the sort of Beltway doublespeak that defined the legacy of Barack Obama, another youthful, self-styled outsider from the Midwest who campaigned on his opposition to the Iraq war, only to sign off on more calamitous wars in the Middle East after he entered the White House.

On the presidential campaign trail, "Mayor Pete" has done his best to paper over the instincts he inherited from his benefactors among the national security state. But as the campaign drags on, his interventionist tendencies are increasingly exposed. Having padded his resume in America's longest and most futile wars, he may be poised to extend them for a new generation to fight.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling " Republican Gomorrah ," " Goliath ," " The Fifty One Day War " and " The Management of Savagery ." He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including " Killing Gaza " and " Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie ." Blumenthal founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

This article is from The Grayzone .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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Before commenting please read Robert Parry's Comment Policy . Allegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive or rude language toward other commenters or our writers will not be published. If your comment does not immediately appear, please be patient as it is manually reviewed. For security reasons, please refrain from inserting links in your comments, which should not be longer than 300 words.

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Tags: Harvard University Max Blumenthal Neo-liberalism Pete Buttigieg

Post navigation ← 150 Cooks, Servers & Dishwashers Almost Shut Down Thursday Night's Democratic Debate, Showing Unions' Growing Clout in the Party JOHN KIRIAKOU: James Comey's Interview on Fox News Screams Out for Correction → 13 comments for "The Insider: National Security Mandarins Groomed Pete Buttigieg & Managed His Future"

Charlotte Ruse , December 21, 2019 at 17:46

"We decided there really was a need to create a movement of Democrats to stand up for these ideas and to really start to think about it, very much as a counterpart to the neoconservatives of the 1970s."

Blumenthal, dissected Buttigeg down to the bare bones revealing how the security state targets and harvests willing Ivy League specimens who once sufficiently groomed are launched onto the political stage infiltrating the Democratic Party shilling when commanded for regime change wars.

occupy on! , December 21, 2019 at 13:46

Breathtaking! Thank you, Max Blumenthal, and please watch your back.

Punkyboy , December 21, 2019 at 10:43

Trojan Horse cum Wolf in Sheep's Clothing #2. Fooled me twice, Obama; shame on me. But, then, when given choices between worse and worser or staying home on election day . . . The only candidate with a real chance of beating Trump in 2020 is Sanders, yet the Dims would rather cut their collective throat. Gabbard would be my choice, but she has no chance against The Dim Machine. I am so sick of these bastards and their games – Russiagate, Ukrainegate, now Impeachmentgate – all because they have no platform, and no candidate that gives a damn about this country and We the People. Shame on all you poseurs!

ML , December 21, 2019 at 15:59

Hear, hear, Punkyboy! I concur and applaud your way with words. Google George Carlin's monologue on why he doesn't vote. Even a committed voter may crack a smile and surmise he may have had a point! And you can laugh about this mess in the bargain. Might as well. Too many tears and fears these days and a little levity, especially at the Winter Solstice makes for a lightness of being. Cheers, Punky!

jessika , December 20, 2019 at 22:06

Thanks for this info, MSM never reports truth. And Mayor Pete doesn't exactly have a stellar record as mayor of South Bend, besides!

Piotr Berman , December 20, 2019 at 11:41

From the interview with Military Times that is linked in the article:

Q After one year of your administration, what size will the U.S. troop presence be in Afghanistan? In Syria and Iraq? In Europe?

A [first sentence] The size of troop presence in any theater depends on missions determined by overall strategy and long-term goals, which are well-developed by our political, military, diplomatic and intelligence leaders, not by "

-- --

This is somewhat recent. Before Trump became president, the problem of straying from the script "well-developed by our political, military, diplomatic and intelligence leaders" did not arise. Perhaps Carter had some weird ideas like pressuring satraps in Latin America to have a lighter hand in deploying death squads, but he was brought to the fold and eliminated from "the mainstream" without such rhetoric.

To make it clear, I also think that Trump is driven by "arbitrary or capricious decisions based on personal or political interests and executed on a whim." But the alternative in the form that is "well-developed by blah blah blah" is not appealing at all.

I guess that I do not need to convince the other readers, but Afghanistan is a good example if you want a talking point. Staying there follows "the well-developed strategy", but what is it?

improving human rights, education of women etc.
fostering honest competent government
fostering economic growth (apart from consuming profits from heroin and foreign donations)
training effective and honest national armed forces and police

One could add a few, but apparently, none of that was accomplished. Yet, "the well-developed strategy" had to deliver something important to the "national interest", otherwise it would be a total waste. It is actually not difficult to figure it out:

Afghanistan may be a total mess, but a mess where we have influence and freedom to operate. If we withdraw, it will be simply a total mess.

It still begs a question why "we" want to have influence and freedom to operate. Perhaps to create a total mess nearby. Whatever it is, an alternative is overdue, preferably not capricious and poorly executed. Tulsi for the head of NSC, DoS or DoD.

Jerry Findlay , December 20, 2019 at 11:37

They are trying to repeat the Obama playbook, escorting a pretend outsider and identity-firster posing as a liberal progressive, who as soon as he gets into office betrays everything he promised in favor of the corporate state. Why not? It fooled a lot of people before, including myself, once or twice. Why not use it again? Because American voters have awakened to the trick and don't have time for being fooled again.

Nathan Mulcahy , December 20, 2019 at 10:42

Great reporting. I have a simple filter. I instinctively put a black mark on and ignore any candidate being promoted by the corporate presstitutes. First it was Kamala Who Harris, then the Beto Who and now Buttigieg Who. Obviously I also do not follow this so called "debate" circus.

Tim Slattery , December 20, 2019 at 09:36

Rare, fascinating expose of how warmongers are made. Well done, Mr Blumenthal!

JOHN CHUCKMAN , December 19, 2019 at 17:10

Pete Buttigieg makes me think of a product, a manufactured product. Everything about him from gestures to words.

His is not an authentic political voice.

Nor does have much to say that's interesting or helpful to anyone.

Such are efforts on the election homefront in the declining days of American empire.

Drew Hunkins , December 19, 2019 at 16:47

Buttiejudge, Obama and others are such professional liars. They remind me of some of my fellow students during my grad school days.

robert e williamson jr , December 19, 2019 at 15:59

Thanks Max, it's great to have you out and about.

A man who looks to the Homeland Security nut cases for money to become president must have decided he was willing t0 give up his freedom for the promise of being safe and secure. He must be a moderate republican at heart. The country don't need another false representation buy someone seeking the highest office in the land.

I want one of these candidate to promise they will move to go back and debate the Patriot Act before extending it again.

Julie , December 21, 2019 at 14:07

All you need to know about Mayor Pete can be found on Youtube: Meet the real Mayor Pete; E. Michael Jones on PatrickCoffinMedia. Dr. Jones is the Mayor's neighbor. Reexaminging Mayor Pete and his years in office on Peter Hellands channel; Black Pastors speak out against Mayor Pete; CCM; Investigating of Pete & SBPD and there's more. Leave a Reply Cancel reply

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[Dec 21, 2019] How national security mandarins groomed Pete Buttigieg and managed his future

Dec 21, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Dec 21 2019 19:13 utc | 8

And talkin bout Greasy Mayo Pete, this came out a few days ago The insider: How national security mandarins groomed Pete Buttigieg and managed his future

[Dec 19, 2019] Bill Black Lawrence O'Donnell Aims at Buttigieg, But Hits New Democrats

Notable quotes:
"... By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and co-founder of Bank Whistleblowers United. Originally published at New Economic Perspectives ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on December 18, 2019 by Yves Smith Yves here. What Black calls the New Democrats have more recently been called Blue Dogs and even (gah) frontliners, but whatever you want to call them, they are corporate stooges loyal to bad economic ideas, most notably deficit hawkery and austerity.

By Bill Black, the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and co-founder of Bank Whistleblowers United. Originally published at New Economic Perspectives

On December 5, 2019, Lawrence O'Donnell made an impassioned attack on Pete Buttigieg on his " The Last Word " program on MSNBC. Buttigieg's statements criticizing the Democratic Party as historically soft on deficits enraged O'Donnell. The context was Buttigieg's effort to signal to New Hampshire voters that he was the most conservative Democratic candidate for the presidential nomination. Nothing signals 'responsible' so well to 'New Democrats' and the media as a candidate screaming 'deficits' in a crowded meeting room in a small New Hampshire town.

O'Donnell correctly pointed out that Buttigieg's claims about Democrats and deficits are 'Republican lies.' The truth is that New Democrats have been the only group in America dedicated to inflicting austerity on our Nation. Republicans only pretend to care about deficits when Democrats have power. Buttigieg knows this, but his political interests in portraying himself as a stalwart emerging leader of the New Democrats caused him to position himself (falsely) as unique among New Democrats in his dedication to inflict austerity.

O'Donnell (largely) correctly pointed out that New Democrats had been fighting federal deficits for Buttigieg's entire life. O'Donnell stressed the New Democrats actions in 1993, when Buttigieg was eleven. O'Donnell lauded the New Democrats for pushing austerity even when they knew doing so was likely to cause Democrats to lose elections.

O'Donnell's dominant message, measured by both length and passion, was the crippling price the Democrats paid for the New Democrats' pushing for austerity in 1993. He made clear it was not a "one-off" – Democrats paid that price again when President Obama, a self-described New Democrat, pushed to inflict austerity on the Nation in 2010.

O'Donnell describes the New Democrats (Bill Clinton and Al Gore) as knowingly taking a "grave political risk" in 1993 in voting in favor of austerity. The risk was that Democrats, not simply New Democrats, would lose scores of seats – and control of the House and Senate. O'Donnell stressed that no Republicans voted for the New Democrat's 1993 austerity program. O'Donnell explained the initial political results of austerity. "The Democrats lost the House because of that vote for the first time in 40 years." He then explained they also lost the Senate.

O'Donnell repeatedly explained that the New Democrats knew that their decision to inflict austerity on Americans would likely produce this political disaster – and "bravely" did so because of their belief that inflicting austerity on Americans was essential. He noted that he "watched with pride" this exercise of political suicide.

O'Donnell then cited President Obama's austerity efforts – during the weak recovery from the Great Financial Crisis (GFC). At a time when the need to provide stimulus, not inflict austerity, was obvious, Obama embraced what again proved the politically suicidal option.

As fate would have it, the death of Paul Volcker days after O'Donnell's takedown of Buttigieg extended O'Donnell's argument further back in time – to before Buttigieg's birth. In 1979, President Carter (a Democrat) appointed Volcker to Chair the Federal Reserve. Volcker soon unleashed powerful monetary austerity, raising interest rates to unprecedented levels for the United States. Volcker's obituary stressed the politically suicidal nature of inflicting austerity – and the Democrats' pride in knowingly losing elections because of their embrace of it.

The harsh Fed policy no doubt contributed to Mr. Carter's re-election defeat at the hands of Ronald Reagan; he had to campaign when interest rates were at their peak, and before the inflation fever had begun to break. Mr. Carter, in his memoirs, would offer a typically understated assessment: "Our trepidation about Volcker's appointment was later justified."

***

"Paul was as stubborn as he was tall," Mr. Carter said in a statement on Monday morning, "and although some of his policies as Fed chairman were politically costly, they were the right thing to do.

O'Donnell's denunciation of Buttigieg for adopting dishonest Republican talking points about Democrats and deficits did not discuss several essential points. The first two points emerge from answering this question: what was the cost to the Nation – not the loss of Democratic seats – of the New Democrats' intransigent insistence on inflicting austerity? Shakespeare explained famously that "mercy" was "twice blest," because it blesses both the giver and the receiver. The quality of austerity, however, is typically at least thrice damned. It is not a "gentle rain from heaven," but a sandstorm from hell that batters the public and punishes the politicians who unleash the whirlwind. It is at least thrice damned because it causes three grave forms of harm on the public.

Inflicting austerity on the United States government has three likely consequences for the public. It is likely to cause or extend a recession. It forces Democrats into an unending series of "Sophie's choice[s]s." We cannot adopt any new program of consequence without budget 'scoring' – requiring new taxes or cutting other vital federal programs. Under austerity, Democrats must shrink existing overall federal spending. By extending existing recessions or leading to new ones, austerity causes economic harms that increase social and political breakdowns that can lead to the election of fanatics and corrupt fake-populists. The political parties that refuse to inflict austerity (at least when they are in power) will be the political winners.

Republican fiscal policies combine "wedge" offerings to fire up the worst of their base and massive tax breaks for the elites that fund their campaigns – leading to a recurrent cycle in which the New Democrats champion policies that cause the public to identify Democrats as the party most likely to raise taxes and cut vital federal programs. Republican political power and 'wedge' legislation and policies cause enormous harm, particularly to the poor and minorities. The larger the Republican deficits, the greater the New Democrats' urgency to inflict austerity – and embrace political suicide. It is a self-reinforcing cycle producing recurrent political disaster for Democrats.

O'Donnell does not address two other critical points. First, MSNBC's top commentators endlessly warn Democrats that they must nominate the presidential candidate most likely to defeat President Trump. MSNBC's commentators implore us not to focus on policy differences among the candidates. Their message is relentless realpolitik, particularly, you should never vote for the candidate whose policies you believe are far superior to the candidate the MSNBC commentators think is most electable. MSNBC and the New Democrats claim they share the same prime directive – Democratic Party electoral victories are the only imperative.

O'Donnell's anti-Buttigieg rant reveals the truth about MSNBC and the New Democrats' real prime directive – inflicting austerity even when doing so is economically irrational and politically suicidal is their sole imperative. The obvious questions, which O'Donnell never asked or attempted to answer, are why he and his MSNBC colleagues push the false prime directive (winning must be the sole paramount goal) as gospel while praising the New Democrats for repeatedly causing the Democratic Party to commit political suicide through inflicting austerity on our Nation. Logically, the only possible answer to that question is that O'Donnell and the New Democrats must view inflicting austerity as being of transcendent importance. It outweighs everything. Inflicting austerity is the New Democrats and MSNBC's sole prime directive. They are not simply willing to lose so many contests that they lose control of the presidency, the House, and the Senate – they are "proud" to do so when the reason for those losses is 'we committed political suicide to fight to inflict austerity.' The related questions are whether MSNBC and the New Democrats are actually blind to the contradiction between the real and phony prime directives and why they think viewers and voters will be too dumb to spot the obvious contradiction. Why do New Democrats and MSNBC insist on hiding their real prime directive?

A related question arises from this bizarre prime directive to inflict austerity even when it is politically suicidal. Why did New Democrats and MSNBC choose inflicting austerity as their holy grail? What is it about inflicting austerity that makes New Democrats so "proud" to cause the Democratic Party to commit political suicide and deliver control of the House, Senate, and Presidency to the likes of Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump? Preventing Bush's invasion of Iraq, global climate disruption, and Trump's election would all make sense as overriding priorities. Those are things worthy of losing a House seat or even the entire House.

Inflicting austerity typically harms America and our people. A federal budget deficit is not bad. A federal budget surplus is not good. Clinton and Gore's budget surpluses were not good for America. They were likely harmful, as recessions soon followed our prior budget surpluses throughout our history. In each of the cases O'Donnell lauded, the New Democrats' insistence on inflicting austerity did not simply prove politically suicidal for the Democratic Party – austerity was a terrible economic policy that caused harm. How did inflicting austerity become the overriding priority of New Democrats, swamping all other policies? In 1993, when Clinton and Gore made O'Donnell "proud" by inflicting austerity, the inflation rate was three percent. That rate of inflation was trivially higher than what the Fed would adopt as its inflation target (2%) – the preferred rate of inflation. Even under neoclassical economic nostrums, there was no need, much less a compelling need, to inflict austerity.

In 2010, when Obama first sought to inflict austerity on us, the rate of inflation was 2.3 percent and the unemployment rate was 9.6 percent. The economic illiteracy of his austerity horrified even neoclassical economists. Fortunately, the Tea Party Republicans pushed so aggressively in the "Grand Bargain" negotiations with Obama that the tentative deal he reached with congressional Republicans collapsed. Otherwise, Obama's infliction of austerity would have ended the already weak recovery, plunged the Nation back into a Great Recession, and caused him and scores of congressional Democrats to lose their elections in 2012.

O'Donnell's presentation, implicitly, makes it clear that he thinks austerity is so obviously desirable, and the budget deficits of a fully sovereign nation so obviously the gravest conceivable threat that he need provide neither logic nor evidence to support the New Democrat's politically suicidal and economically illiterate austerity prime directive. O'Donnell's cheerleading for the austerity prime directive was never supported, but it has become facially indefensible over the last quarter-century. Trump's tax reduction scheme for the wealthiest was outrageous on multiple grounds, but O'Donnell can observe the present unemployment and inflation rates. Unemployment is at 3.5% and the inflation rate for 2018 was 1.9% -- less than the Fed's target rate. Inflation is the only logical bugaboo about federal budget deficits, so O'Donnell and Buttigieg's feverish fear that federal deficits are about to cause a catastrophe is beyond bizarre. The bond markets confirm that there is no expectation of material inflation.

The New Democrats remain transfixed by their 'virtue' and 'bravery' in losing control of all three branches of government by insisting on inflicting economically illiterate and politically suicidal austerity assaults on the voters – raising taxes and cutting vital services. They refuse to act on the real emergencies we face such as global climate disruption based on the economically illiterate fantasy that 'we cannot afford' to prevent the worsening catastrophe. The 'New Democrats' and their media enablers demand that we nominate candidates dedicated to enacting politically suicidal deficit hysteria policies and adopting tepid anti-environment policies that are suicidal towards the lives of our children and grandchildren. The most remarkable aspect of this insanity, however, is that the hucksters pitch their embrace of their prime directive as defining the concept of "responsible." Indeed, it is so obviously 'responsible' that O'Donnell and Buttigieg feel neither logic nor facts are necessary to prove the virtues of austerity. They omit the fact that austerity proponents' warnings and promises have repeatedly proved false and outright harmful as well as politically suicidal.


timotheus , December 18, 2019 at 7:52 am

Could it be that the New Democrats are not stupid or irrational at all but know what they are doing and happily play their role in the permanent professional wrestling spectacle as the hapless patsies who keep losing to the real tough guy? After all, they get paid handsomely in any case.

Adam1 , December 18, 2019 at 8:02 am

Not only did President Carter appoint Volcker, but he also vetoed a bill to raise the national debt ceiling. Thankfully Congress, run by a very different set of Democrats at the time, over-rode his veto.

NotTimothyGeithner , December 18, 2019 at 9:58 am

"Austerity" is basically the only policy Team Blue has undertaken without outside pressure. As bad as it is, it's the one thing they can point to over the last 25 years as something they did without mass mobilization or court cases embarrassing them into not being totally heinous.

Then little Mayo Pete is trying to deny Team Blue their only accomplishment.

shinola , December 18, 2019 at 12:25 pm

"New Democrat" = Neoliberal.

If Buttgag et al were really concerned about deficits, how about reverting to Eisenhower era tax rates & cutting back on "defense" spending?

Oh, wait – that would upset their real constituents – the 1% & the MIC.

[Dec 15, 2019] Pete Buttigieg's Corporate Heel-Turn

Who will pay for Medicare for all. This is the question. Because 10% of most sick patient consume 80of all funds it is not that simple quetion. Adter all any medical insurance is in essence putting a value of human life. Is human life is invaluable you need infinite amount of money.
So medical system in the USSR for example, where it cane be called Medicare for all in reality was grossly unfair to old and very sick people. They have limited funds for unlimited demand for their services. And they tried to save first those who they consider more valuable for the society.
So while it is clear that Pete Buttigieg is a well spoken corporate tool, his stance on Medicare for all is not completely obnoxious.
Dec 15, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

Pete Buttigieg burst on the national scene early this year as a new sort of presidential candidate. But it turns out he's a very old kind -- a glib ally of corporate America posing as an advocate for working people and their families. That has become apparent this fall as Buttigieg escalates his offensive against Medicare for All.

A not-so-funny thing has happened to Buttigieg on the campaign trail. As he kept collecting big checks from corporate executives and wealthy donors, he went from being " all for " a single-payer Medicare for All system in January to trashing it in the debate last week as a plan that would kick "150 million Americans off of their insurance in four short years." The demagoguery won praise from corporate media outlets.

Those outlets have often lauded Buttigieg for his fundraising totals this year without scrutiny of the funding sources. They skew toward the wealthy -- and toward donors with a vested interest in protecting the status quo.

[Dec 15, 2019] Pete Buttigieg is an actor for the well-connected

Notable quotes:
"... On December 5, while the McKinsey story was gaining steam, Buttigieg's campaign triumphantly announced the endorsement of former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee. When former White House officials make early endorsements like these, they're often overtures toward getting their former jobs back. Especially since Goolsbee isn't backing Joe Biden, Obama's natural heir, he's likely angling for a senior position in the Buttigieg administration. Goolsbee said in his endorsement, "It has been a while since I have seen the kind of excitement on the ground in Iowa that Mayor Pete has generated, and the last time worked out pretty well." ..."
"... Buttigieg wants us to see his lack of national experience as an asset instead of a liability ..."
"... Why is Buttigieg jet-setting between Wall Street and Silicon Valley for funding, instead of talking to the average voters (who hate both finance and tech) he supposedly represents? How can a Harvard and Oxford-educated ex-McKinseyite who has never taken up arms against corporate corruption credibly claim to be anything other than elitist in the first place? ..."
"... And who better understands what a Buttigieg administration would actually do -- MSNBC pundits impressed by Buttigieg's down-to-earth persona, or revolving-door insider Austan Goolsbee? ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

The Wrong People Are Really Excited About Pete Buttigieg's Campaign by Max Moran

Max Moran / Independent Media Institute
A senator from California, a senator from New York, and a nationally known Texan congressman have all clocked out of the 2020 Democratic primary. Yet the little-known mayor of the fourth-largest city in Indiana is not only staying alive, but thriving.

At least he was, until early December. Pete Buttigieg is currently receiving the media scrutiny expected of a front-runner, and his multilingual Midwestern golden boy routine isn't holding up very well. After a horrific ProPublica-New York Times expose put the spotlight squarely on Buttigieg's old employer McKinsey, he has struggled to justify his silence on what exactly he did for the firm, and squirmed under broader scrutiny of his corporate funders and bundlers. That's also brought his tight-lipped attitude toward his actual record in South Bend -- as well as South Bend's racist policing , and Buttigieg's own dismissive politicking toward African Americans -- back to the spotlight.

My organization, the Revolving Door Project at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, was one of the first to call out this election cycle's broad lack of bundler transparency, but there's another, even simpler data point about the South Bend mayor that we're surprised hasn't penetrated the broader discourse. Just look at the actual figures lining up behind the South Bend mayor, and it becomes clear that he's an actor for the well-connected.

On December 5, while the McKinsey story was gaining steam, Buttigieg's campaign triumphantly announced the endorsement of former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee. When former White House officials make early endorsements like these, they're often overtures toward getting their former jobs back. Especially since Goolsbee isn't backing Joe Biden, Obama's natural heir, he's likely angling for a senior position in the Buttigieg administration. Goolsbee said in his endorsement, "It has been a while since I have seen the kind of excitement on the ground in Iowa that Mayor Pete has generated, and the last time worked out pretty well."

To hear Goolsbee recall Obama's campaign promises should make all voters groan, and the Midwest seethe. On the 2008 campaign trail, Obama harshly criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for hollowing out Rust Belt factories, and even agreed to consider withdrawing the United States in a debate with Hillary Clinton. Yet at the same time, Goolsbee sent a back-channel memo to the Canadian embassy that Obama's criticisms of NAFTA were "more reflective of political maneuvering than policy." Later in office, as the American auto industry crumpled under the recession, Goolsbee favored letting Chrysler fail rather than "siphon market-share from Ford and GM," according to contemporaneous reports.

Goolsbee departed the White House in June 2011 to return to the University of Chicago. In January 2013 -- while Obama was still in office -- he picked up a new job that should raise even louder alarm bells about his priorities and worldview. While ostensibly a full-time professor, Goolsbee now leads the Economic Intelligence practice at 32 Advisors, a firm founded by fellow Obama alum Robert Wolf. What does 32 Advisors do? It does the two things most revolving-door figures do to get rich: influencing and investing.

On influencing, 32 Advisors makes no effort to hide what it's up to. While Obama was still in office, the 32 Advisors website advertised that it "helps companies navigate the intricacies of government regulations and develop strategies to build strong relationships." Goolsbee's Economic Advisory department advertised "unparalleled insights into the future of the economy and its influence on businesses," including "Geo-Political Briefings & Ad-Hoc Email Insights." It's not your average consultant who can offer geopolitical insights from a former Cabinet adviser and longtime confidante of the then-sitting President of the United States. It also says something about a person's character to offer that insider take to the highest bidder. (Goolsbee was unlikely to starve on his salary as a professor at the University of Chicago School of Business.)

Meanwhile, 32 Advisors also runs its own investing arm called 32 Ventures. This has echoes of Bain and Company's relationship with Bain Capital, a former Obama punching bag in the 2012 campaign. 32 Advisors' relationship with 32 Ventures is even closer: instead of separate firms, the consultancy and investment wing are different divisions of the same company.

Nowadays, 32 Advisors' consulting arm is called Strategic Worldviews, which offers -- for the right price -- insights from Goolsbee, Glenn Hubbard (a George W. Bush economic adviser who's now on the board of private equity titan KKR), and others. Here's the twist: Strategic Worldviews is "a joint venture between 32 Ventures and Anthony Scaramucci's SALT Ventures."

Yes, that Anthony Scaramucci.

Other highlights from the 32 Ventures portfolio: Blade, a "digitally powered short-distance aviation company" that puts more recreational planes in the air to gobble up our carbon budget; the cannabis-related companies 14th Round and High Beauty, both of which have white founders, and one of whom is previously wealthy (read about the race and class issues in the legal cannabis industry here ); and Chanticleer Holdings, the parent company of Hooters.

Yes, that Hooters .

So we have a man who wanted to let the Rust Belt collapse, who revolved out to the influence and investment industries, and who literally works with The Mooch, throwing his support behind the Midwestern mayor. And the mayor is proud of this endorsement! The whole thing speaks to a fundamental tension about Buttigieg.

He is an elitist's idea of a small-town Indiana mayor. Buttigieg wants us to see his lack of national experience as an asset instead of a liability . Everyone hates Washington, after all. But if he is truly alien to the Washington way of doing things, why is a swamp figure like Goolsbee throwing support to Buttigieg instead of established moderates like Amy Klobuchar or Cory Booker? If Buttigieg actually is -- to use a meaningless word D.C.-types love -- "electable," what will he say to an Ohio autoworker wondering why he's cozying up to the forces who were ready to leave him out in the cold in the recession?

Why is Buttigieg jet-setting between Wall Street and Silicon Valley for funding, instead of talking to the average voters (who hate both finance and tech) he supposedly represents? How can a Harvard and Oxford-educated ex-McKinseyite who has never taken up arms against corporate corruption credibly claim to be anything other than elitist in the first place?

And who better understands what a Buttigieg administration would actually do -- MSNBC pundits impressed by Buttigieg's down-to-earth persona, or revolving-door insider Austan Goolsbee?

This article was produced in partnership by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Max Moran is a research assistant at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), which aims to increase scrutiny on executive branch appointments.

[Dec 06, 2019] He is still covering up whatever evil he did when he worked for McKinsey

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Matthew G. Saroff , December 5, 2019 at 2:36 pm

On the Democratic side of the Presidential campaign, mayor Pete "Sentient Mayonnaise" Buttigieg is literally this election cycle's Theodore Bilbo.

This is a guy who threw people of color out of their homes to give the property to white developers , demoted a police chief for uncovering racism in the ranks , and said that he was unaware of segregation in South Bend schools despite the school district being under a consent decree for longer than he has been alive .

If you think that black and Hispanic turnout was low for Hillary Clinton, just wait for Buttigieg to be on the ticket in the general.

No nomination for him, no spot as VP, no kidding.

Also, he is still covering up whatever evil he did when he worked for McKinsey , and we know that it was evil because it was McKinsey & Company, and it will come out if he gets the nomination, and you can be sure that whatever it was, it WILL come out in the general election.

allan , December 5, 2019 at 7:57 pm

But the good news is that he's a Very Serious Person when it comes to deficit spending:

Liz Goodwin @lizcgoodwin

"My party's not known for worrying about the deficit or the debt too much but it's time for us to start getting into that," Mayor Pete says in NH town hall in response to voter anxious about debt. Says everything his campaign has proposed is paid for.

Mayor Pete expanded on this in the gaggle: "I believe every Presidency of my lifetime has been an example of deficits growing under Republican government and shrinking under Democratic government, but my party's got to get more comfortable talking about this issue"

"And we shouldn't be afraid to demonstrate that we have the revenue to cover every cost that we incur in the investments that we're proposing."

Looks like MMT is not a McKinsey-approved management tool.

[Dec 06, 2019] 200PM Water Cooler 12-5-2019

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Buttigieg (D)(2): "The trips to war zones that Pete Buttigieg rarely talks about" [ABC]. Missed this at the time: "But what the 37-year-old South Bend mayor didn't mention, and virtually never discusses in his run for the nation's highest office, were other trips to Afghanistan and Iraq years prior to his military deployment, when he was a 20-something civilian contractor for the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company . Buttigieg worked for McKinsey from 2007 to 2010, after completing post-graduate studies at Oxford. In his memoir, 'Shortest Way Home,' he mentions his involvement in domestic projects for the firm like doing energy efficiency research in the U.S., and goes into particular detail about one that involved analyzing North American grocery prices. But when it comes to his work abroad with McKinsey, he only drops hints about working on 'war zone economic development to help grow private sector employment' in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also refers to a 'safe house' in Baghdad. The book doesn't say exactly when or how long Buttigieg was in either country." • So Mayo Pete was (?) a spook? No reporting on this; the story just disappeared.

[Nov 27, 2019] Obama Admits He Would Speak Up Only To Stop Bernie Sanders Nomination

Highly recommended!
The question is who will listed to Obama after his "change we can believe in" betrayal. Also is not he a war criminal? Obama election was probably the most slick false flag operation even conducted by intelligence agencies. Somebody created for him complexly fake but still plausible legend.
That Obama desire to interfere in 2020 election also shows gain that that he a regular completely corrupt Clinton neoliberal. The worst king of neoliberals, wolfs in sheep's clothing.
And the fact that CIA democrats dominates the Democratic Party actually is another reason from "Demexit" from the Democratic party of workers and lower middle class. The sad fact that the USA Corporate Dems recently became the second pro-war militarist party, and learned to love intelligence agencies; two things unimaginable in 60th and 70th.
Notable quotes:
"... Image source: Getty ..."
Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As we noted earlier, a bombshell admission from Politico today exploring Obama's substantial behind the scenes influence as Democratic kingmaker : included in the lengthy profile on the day-to-day of the former president's personal office in the West End of Washington D.C. and his meeting with the field of Democratic candidates, is the following gem :

"Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him."

Image source: Getty

And crucially, when asked about that prior statement reported in Politico, an Obama spokesperson did not deny that he said it.

The frank admission underscores what many independent analysts, not to mention prior damning WikiLeaks DNC disclosures , have pointed out for years: that the establishment controlling the Democratic party has continuously sought to rig the system against Bernie.

"Since losing 2016, Dem elites have waged a prolonged effort to stop Bernie. Bernie is the obvious answer to the neoliberal Clinton-Obama legacy voters rejected..." journalist Aaron Maté observed of the Politico quote.

Here's the stunning and deeply revealing section in full, which began by outlining Obama's 'advice-giving' throughout meetings with Democrat contenders including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and others :

Publicly, he has been clear that he won't intervene in the primary for or against a candidate , unless he believed there was some egregious attack. "I can't even imagine with this field how bad it would have to be for him to say something," said a close adviser. Instead, he sees his role as providing guardrails to keep the process from getting too ugly and to unite the party when the nominee is clear.

There is one potential exception: Back when Sanders seemed like more of a threat than he does now, Obama said privately that if Bernie were running away with the nomination, Obama would speak up to stop him. (Asked about that, a spokesperson for Obama pointed out that Obama recently said he would support and campaign for whoever the Democratic nominee is.)

And a further deeply revealing but more laughable quote comes later as follows: "Obama designed his post-presidency in 2016, at a time when he believed Hillary Clinton would win and Biden would be out of politics." So the reality is... far from the idea that the Dem elites would back the actual nominee the party puts forward, clearly the die has already been cast against Bernie just like the last time around against Hillary in 2016.

Politico author Ryan Lizza later in the story quotes a "close family friend," who described that Obama's "politics are not strong left of center."

"I mean it's left, but he's nowhere near where some of the candidates are currently sitting, at least when he got himself elected," the source claimed.

This means in the mind of Obama and other top party influencers and kingmakers, Bernie and other popular outliers like Tulsi Gabbard have already long been sidelined. Tulsi, it should also be noted, is one of the couple of candidates who did not bother to stop by Obama's D.C. office for a 'blessing' and advice.

[Nov 26, 2019] Who debunked the Biden conspiracy theories by Colonel Lang

Notable quotes:
"... "US Officials" say the Bidens are pure in heart and deed? Hah! Is it not clear that The Borg (foreign policy establishment) hate Donald Trump and will say anything possible to injure him? ..."
"... "Debunked," "Discredited," "Conspiracy theories?" Trickery in the press is the real truth , trickery intended to protect the only viable candidate in the Democratic Party field. ..."
"... Lutsenko has had a pretty sketchy career, including charges of abuse of power, forgery and embezzlement among other things. https://heavy.com/news/2019/11/yuriy-lutsenko/ It's telling that Democrats and the mainstream media choose to cite such a character as their primary source for evidence that the Bidens did nothing wrong. Reminds me of Mark Twains old adage: "An honest politician is one who, once he's been bought, stays bought." More recently it seems that his loyalties have shifted, accusing Yovanovitch of giving him a list of people who should be protected. ..."
"... It's not really that complicated an inquiry to decide whether there is a need to go further; two questions: what did Hunter Biden do for the money; and Joe, did you get the Ukrainian prosecutor fired as you bragged you did, and why? Maybe throw in a third if the answer is "I did", what or who made you think that you could do that? ..."
Nov 26, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Two quotes:

"Graham's conspiracy theory-based investigation is rooted in the baseless allegation that Biden pressured Ukraine to remove a corrupt prosecutor in 2016 as a way to protect Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, against a corruption probe. Biden's son Hunter was previously a board member with Burisma until April this year.

There is no evidence to support allegations that Biden acted improperly in calling for the prosecutor general in charge of the Burisma probe to be ousted, and both Ukrainian and U.S. officials have said there is no merit to the claim. As many have since noted, the Burisma investigation was in fact dormant when the prosecutor general was forced out on accusations he was slow-walking corruption probes, among other things.

Trump brought up that debunked conspiracy during a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, asking the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden as well as a baseless conspiracy involving the Democratic National Committee servers."

~American Independent

*******

"Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. Much debate in epistemology centers on four areas:

(1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth , belief , and justification , [1] [2]

(2) various problems of skepticism ,

(3) the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and

(4) the criteria for knowledge and justification.

Epistemology addresses such questions as: "What makes justified beliefs justified?" " What does it mean to say that we know something? ", and fundamentally "How do we know that we know?"

~ wiki on epistemology

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

As in the example above from the "American Independent," the MSM and online projects like the American Independent incessantly insist that the simple fact that Hunter Biden and his dear old dad, a "Union Man," solicited money in Ukraine and in China for services not rendered proves nothing, that nothing has been proven against them and that any mention of these occurrences is evidence of harsh partisan rhetoric based on fantasy and equivalent to belief in the Loch Ness Monster.

Well, pilgrims I want to know who and what investigation or investigations cleared the Bidens of anything.

It is obvious that Hunter is qualified for employment as a bag man and not much else. He has a law degree? So what? As in the matter of the qualifications of doctors, not all learn much in medical or law school.

"US Officials" say the Bidens are pure in heart and deed? Hah! Is it not clear that The Borg (foreign policy establishment) hate Donald Trump and will say anything possible to injure him?

"Debunked," "Discredited," "Conspiracy theories?" Trickery in the press is the real truth , trickery intended to protect the only viable candidate in the Democratic Party field.

Posted at 01:13 PM in As The Borg Turns , government , Media , Politics | Permalink


Mark McCarty , 25 November 2019 at 01:44 PM

The article highlighted here, typically, is a lie. As documented in Moon of Alabama's timeline ( https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/11/a-timeline-of-joe-bidens-intervention-against-the-prosecutor-general-of-ukraine.html), Shokin was actively investigating Zlochevsky in February 2016, when Shokin seized his luxury car. Barely two weeks later, Biden was on the phone to Poroshenko demanding Shokin's firing. While this doesn't prove that Biden was motivated primarily by a desire to protect his son's employer, it is certainly consistent with that possibility.
Keith Harbaugh , 25 November 2019 at 01:48 PM
John Solomon has been very much in the lead on reporting from Ukraine which furthers what the MSM calls "conspiracy theories". While he earlier reported, or opined, from The Hill, now he evidently has been bumped (my opinion) from that perch, and now has own blog John Solomon Report : https://johnsolomonreports.com/

He has been roundly attacked in the media for opposing the party line on Ukraine, see especially this Paul Farhi (normally a balanced voice, but not in this case) column: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/how-a-conservative-columnist-helped-push-a-flawed-ukraine-narrative/2019/09/26/1654026e-dee7-11e9-8dc8-498eabc129a0_story.html

In any case, here are some recent columns where Solomon fires back at the MSM and the party line:

2019-11-22 https://johnsolomonreports.com/responding-to-lt-col-vindman-about-my-ukraine-columns-with-the-facts/
2019-11-20 https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-ukraine-scandal-timeline-democrats-and-their-media-allies-dont-want-america-to-see/
2019-11-20 https://johnsolomonreports.com/impeachment-surprise-how-adam-schiff-validated-my-reporting-on-ukraine/
2019-11-15 https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-15-essential-questions-for-marie-yovanovitch-americas-former-ambassador-to-ukraine/
2019-11-13 https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-real-ukraine-controversy-an-activist-u-s-embassy-and-its-adherence-to-the-geneva-convention/

2019-10-31 https://johnsolomonreports.com/debunking-some-of-the-ukraine-scandal-myths-about-biden-and-election-interference/

This last link is especially worthwhile.

It is tragic, IMO, how the MSM ignores the facts that Solomon documents in his columns.
It is possible that JS is a mouthpiece for corrupt elements in Ukraine,
but I think his points deserve more attention than they have been getting.
There are two sides to this story, not only one as Col. Lang pointed out in his root piece.

prawnik , 25 November 2019 at 01:57 PM
I recall that the Russiagate conspiracy theory was "proven" factual as well, and by many of the same people who claim that Biden's corruption has been "debunked". Even though it was absurd on its face and had been debunked numerous times, many people in fact continue to insist otherwise.
catherine , 25 November 2019 at 02:00 PM
Seriously....who would think Biden's son taking a highly paid position with a company in a foreign country that Biden was representing the US in wasn't a conflict of interest? Even the 'appearance' of a conflict of interest should be avoided in such situations.
I find Biden and his political 'career', greased by his 'good old Joe act' disgusting in so many ways it would take too long to describe them here.

It should be investigated but I doubt it will.

plantman , 25 November 2019 at 02:29 PM
The media really seems to be testing the limits of disinformation. More and more, the media wants to convince people that black is white and up is down. Fortunately, I don't think their plan is working all that well.

In the case of Hunter Biden, we are told that "There is no evidence to support allegations that Biden acted improperly".

Okay, that's one way to look at things, but I have found that even among my liberal friends, the fetid smell of corruption emitting from this case, is overpowering. And while most people might have a hard time sinking their teeth into a "quid pro quo", they do have a pretty good grasp of old fashioned influence peddling, which is what we are talking about.

So why has the media chosen to defend the crooked goings-on of public officials who were obviously up to no good? Don't they care about their credibility at all?

Seamus Padraig said in reply to plantman... , 25 November 2019 at 07:09 PM
Quid Pro Joe Biden.
JohnH , 25 November 2019 at 02:41 PM
Was the American Independent quote lifted from The NY Times? It sure sounds like it!

For some time I've been wondering how exactly Biden got cleared. Was there any formal investigation? Who conducted it? And how reliable are the facts when they come from a place like Ukraine, where anything, including the 'truth,' can be laundered?

What's become painfully obvious is how eagerly America's major news outlets, including the journals of record, participate in the laundering of truth.

Of course, that should have been obvious from the yellow journalism preceding the war in Iraq.

What's really scary are reports that "intelligence" services get most of their 'facts' from the very same truth laundering sources.

oldman22 , 25 November 2019 at 03:15 PM
too much to summarize, includes original government documents, read all for yourself please

State Department Releases Detailed Accounts Of Biden-Ukraine Corruption

by Tyler Durden

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/state-department-releases-detailed-accounts-biden-ukraine-corruption

Factotum , 25 November 2019 at 04:08 PM
I always got the impression the "wild, debunked conspiracy theory pushed by right wing nuts" was always referring to the Crowdstrike DNC computer investigation hoax that Trump tried to re-open.

They would never specifically refer to the Crowdstrike favor Trump specifically asked for in the phone call, instead they would substitute Trump asked about some "debunked, wild right wing conspiracy".

So they never explained how the Crowdstrike investigation hoax was debunked either.

To me this is far more interesting missing debunked conspiracy link - since it shows incredible coordination between the DNC, the "leak" of their DNC computer data, Ukrainian Crowdstrike, and finally the Mueller Report who used the DNC Crowdstrike investigation conclusoin hook line and sinker to reach their own official conclusions which is now "proven" operating dogma. Without ever doing an independent investigation themselves. How often does that happen?

To me the Crowdstrike connection begs further investigation - why would a Russian hating Ukrainian who was running Crowdstrike point the finger at the Russians and claim they "hacked" the DNC computers, but not let anyone else touch those same computers to corroborate that conclusion?

And then parlay this into Trump supporting Russian interference in the 2016 election. All too tidy for me. Feels like dark forces are still at work, and subverting language to achieve their ends.

Petrel , 25 November 2019 at 04:17 PM
Whatever happened to Joe Biden's taped boast, at the Council on Foreign Relations, that he gave President Poroshenko 6 hours to fire Prosecutor Shokin -- or else lose $1 Billion of US aid ?

How was this taped confession of QUID-PRO-QUO debunked ?

Factotum said in reply to Petrel... , 25 November 2019 at 07:16 PM
Quid pro quo becomes a fait accompli.
Upstate NY'er , 25 November 2019 at 04:34 PM
The media (approx. 99% of them) have been in the tank for Democrats since at least the Vietnam war.
Roger Ailes said why he didn't read the NY Times:
"You cover the bad news about America. You do. But you don't get up in the morning hating your country."
b , 25 November 2019 at 05:21 PM
The "debunked" is based on the claim the the Ukrainian General Prosecutor Shokin was not investigating Burisma or its owner Mykola Zlochevsky.

That claim is evidently false.

On Feb 2 2016 Shokin confiscated the houses (more like palaces) of Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky.

A news agency reports the seizure two days later (Note: European date format ddmmyy)
https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/322395.html

Eight days later Joe Biden launched an intense pressure campaign to get rid of Shokin. He personally calls Poroshenko on Feb 12, 18 and 19 to press for firing Shokin.

To think that this is unrelated is not reasonable.

The rest of the timeline shows further Biden influence in the case.

(I should update that timeline as a lot of additional evidence of Burisma lobbying State at that time has since come in.)

There are tons of additional dirt. The U.S. has control over the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and uses it to push all such investigations to its favor. NABU has itself been involved in serious corruption.
There is also a USAID/Soros paid NGO that has a similar function and is equally corrupt.

These organizations are used as weapons to put all Ukrainian assets into the hands of those that the U.S. embassy likes.

JohnH said in reply to b ... , 25 November 2019 at 11:25 PM
The debunkers seem to be citing Yuriy Lutsenko, who said that "he had no evidence of wrongdoing by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or his son."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/05/23/fact-checking-president-trumps-wild-jabs-joe-biden/

Lutsenko was the guy who was appointed as Prosecutor General after Biden got the previous one fired. IOW Lutsenko owed his job to Biden.

Lutsenko has had a pretty sketchy career, including charges of abuse of power, forgery and embezzlement among other things. https://heavy.com/news/2019/11/yuriy-lutsenko/ It's telling that Democrats and the mainstream media choose to cite such a character as their primary source for evidence that the Bidens did nothing wrong. Reminds me of Mark Twains old adage: "An honest politician is one who, once he's been bought, stays bought." More recently it seems that his loyalties have shifted, accusing Yovanovitch of giving him a list of people who should be protected.

The only thing I can conclude is that Lutsenko is probably just trying to survive the shifting tides in the Ukrainian swamp and will say or do whatever it takes.

Ian56 , 25 November 2019 at 06:27 PM
"American Independent" is David Brock's Clinton / Soros linked Shareblue disinfo and troll brigade rebranded. It will obviously tell every lie going to protect the corrupt Corporate Dem Establishment, the Globalists and the Deep State. https://twitter.com/Ian56789/status/1198338991814250497
Flavius , 25 November 2019 at 09:22 PM
It's not really that complicated an inquiry to decide whether there is a need to go further; two questions: what did Hunter Biden do for the money; and Joe, did you get the Ukrainian prosecutor fired as you bragged you did, and why? Maybe throw in a third if the answer is "I did", what or who made you think that you could do that?

[Nov 24, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Endorses Trump s Economic War on Venezuela, Soft-Pedals Far-Right Bolivia Coup by Ben Norton

Notable quotes:
"... Doesn't Warren claim to have indigenous ancestors herself and was proud of it? She caused Trump to call her "Pocahontas"? She agrees to support the unelected interim president Jeannine Añez, who refers to indigenous inhabitants as satanic? Warren is a very horrible person, inhumane, amoral, and rather stupid overall, who wants to get rich. ..."
"... I personally think that capitalism with "human face" and robust public sector is the way to go. But imperialist imposition and aggression is not the part of "human face" that I imagine. ..."
"... I'm sorry but you all need to come to terms with the farce that is the American political system. Anyone who was supporting Warren or even considering voting for her for ANY reason is apparently either in denial or is being duped. Warren is a Madison Avenue creation packaged for US liberal consumption. ..."
"... She hangs out with Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright, two evil women if ever there were. Now they make the three witches brewing one coup/regime change after another. She's not smart enough to see that HRC and MA are leading her around by her nose. People should call out this phoney everywhere she goes. BTW, Rachel Maddow completes an odious clique. ..."
"... This is a bit of exaggeration. The three ladies are more like good students, they did not write the textbook but they good grades for answering as written, or like cheerleaders, they jump and shout but they do not play in the field. Mind you, "interagency consensus" was formed without them. ..."
"... The DNC's strategy for this election is to ensure that Bernie doesn't go into the Convention with enough delegates to win the first ballot. (Once voting goes past the first ballot, super-delegates get to weigh in and help anoint a candidate who's friendly to the Party's plutocratic-oligarch principals.) ..."
"... That's the reason the DNC is allowing and encouraging so many candidates to run. Warren's specific assignment is to cannibalize Bernie's base and steal delegates that would otherwise be his, by pretending to espouse most of his platform with only minor tweaks. She's been successful with "better educated," higher-income liberal Democrats who consider themselves well informed because they get their news from "respectable" sources -- sources that, unbeknownst to their target audiences, invariably represent the viewpoint of the aforementioned plutocratic oligarchs. ..."
"... if Warren becomes the nominee, I will support her over Trump. It's a lesser of two evils choice, but we must recognize that no candidate will be perfect–ever. ..."
"... Zionism is typically the gateway drug for Democratic would-be reformers. Once they've swallowed that fundamental poison, the DNC feels secure it's just a matter of time before they Get With the Program 100%. Given that "Harvard" and "phony" are largely synonymous, what else could've been expected? ..."
Nov 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

59 Comments

The Democratic contender parroted neocon regime-change myths in an interview on "Pod Save America," writes Ben Norton.

The Grayzone

... ... ...

Reiterates Her Neoconservative Policies Against Venezuela

Elizabeth Warren repeated her support for regime change in Venezuela in an interview in September with the Council on Foreign Relations , a central gear in the machinery of the military-industrial complex. "Maduro is a dictator and a crook who has wrecked his country's economy, dismantled its democratic institutions, and profited while his people suffer," Warren declared. She referred to Maduro's elected government as a "regime" and called for "supporting regional efforts to negotiate a political transition." Echoing the rhetoric of neoconservatives in Washington, Warren called for "contain[ing]" the supposedly "damaging and destabilizing actions" of China, Russia, and Cuba. The only point where Warren diverged with Trump was on her insistence that "there is no U.S. military option in Venezuela."

Soft-Pedals Far-Right Coup in Bolivia

While Warren endorsed Trump's hybrid war on Venezuela, she more recently whitewashed the U.S.-backed coup in Bolivia.

On Nov. 10, the U.S. government backed a far-right military coup against Bolivia's democratically elected President Evo Morales , a leftist from the popular Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party and the first Indigenous head of state in a country where nearly two-thirds of the population is Native.

Warren refused to comment on the putsch for more than a week, even as the far-right military junta massacred dozens of protesters and systematically purged and detained elected left-wing politicians from MAS.

Finally, eight days after the coup, Warren broke her silence. In a short tweet, the putative progressive presidential candidate tepidly requested "free and fair elections" and calling on the "interim leadership" to prepare an "early, legitimate election." What Warren did not mention is that this "interim leadership" she helped legitimize is headed by an extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist, the unelected "interim president" Jeanine Añez. Añez has referred to Bolivia's majority-Indigenous population as "satanic" and immediately moved to try to overturn the country's progressive constitution, which had established an inclusive, secular, plurinational state after receiving an overwhelming democratic mandate in a 2009 referendum.

Añez's ally in this coup regime's interim leadership is Luis Fernando Camacho , a multi-millionaire who emerged out of neo-fascist groups and courted support from the United States and the far-right governments of Brazil and Colombia. By granting legitimacy to Bolilvia's ultra-conservative, unelected leadership, Warren rubber-stamped the far-right coup and the military junta's attempt to stamp out Bolivia's progressive democracy. In other words, as The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal put it, Liz's Big Structural Bailey compliantly rolled over for Big IMF Structural Adjustment Program .

Ben Norton is a journalist and writer. He is a reporter for The Grayzone , and the producer of the " Moderate Rebels " podcast, which he co-hosts with Max Blumenthal. His website is BenNorton.com , and he tweets at @ BenjaminNorton .

This article is from The Grayzone .


Skip Scott , November 23, 2019 at 07:57

H Beazley-

A vote for evil is never a good choice, and choosing a candidate you perceive as a lesser evil still condones evil. Allowing the Oligarchy to limit your choice gives them the power to continue advancing evil policies. They control both major parties. You may succeed in getting non-gender specific restrooms in your Starbucks, but the murdering war machine will continue unabated.

JoAnn , November 23, 2019 at 01:41

Now, we are seeing the true colors of candidates, who have professed to be progressive. Sanders went on a "tirade" against Maduro during the last "debate" I saw. Tulsi Gabbard has stayed against US Imperialism, but, I'm sure the Democratic policy controllers will never nominate her. I foresee I'll be voting for the Socialist next year.

Raymond M. , November 22, 2019 at 18:09

""""On Nov. 10, the U.S. government backed a far-right military coup against Bolivia's democratically elected President Evo Morales bla blla bla".

And the 3 right wing candidates spent more time slinging mud at at each other than at Morales. Had the CIAs top front man Ortez stepped aside, the vote would not have split and allowed Morales to claim a first round victory and avoid a run-off that he would have lost. And the right wing Christian fundamentalist for sure was a CIA plant who manged to split the vote further.

Under the Trump administration, the CIA can even run a coup right.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 15:25

If only those anti-Western rulers seen the light and joined RBWO (rule* based world order, * rules decided in DC, preferably by bipartisan consensus), then the economy would run smoothly and the population would be happy. Every week gives another example:

By The Associated Press, Nov. 21, 2019, BOGOTA, Colombia

Colombians angry with President Iván Duque and hoping to channel Latin America's wave of discontent took the streets by the tens of thousands on Thursday in one of the biggest protests in the nation's recent history. [ ] Police estimated 207,000 people took part. [ ] government deployed 170,000 officers, closed border crossings and deported 24 Venezuelans accused of entering the country to instigate unrest.

So if only Iván did not start unnecessary conflict with Maduro, these 24 scoundrels would stay home and the trouble would be avoided. Oh wait, I got confused

CitizenOne , November 21, 2019 at 22:10

You must imagine that when candidtes suddenly become mind control puppets what is going on. The scariest thing in American Politics is how supposedly independent and liberal progressives somehow swallow the red pill and are transported into the world of make believe. Once inside the bubble of fiction far removed from human suffering which is after all what politicians are supposed to be about fixing they can say crazy things. Jimmy Carter and Donald Trump are the only souls to retain their independent (yet opposite) minds and both of them got the boot for being different.

Hide Behind , November 21, 2019 at 20:44

The puppet masters are experts, on the one hand there is A Republican, and on the other is a Democrat, but even they mess up now and then get the different strings tangled. Some come back on stage on the different hand so to save time they give a puppet two faces.

Watching same puppets gets old so every so often 2-4-6 they restring an old one that was used as props in past, change their makeup a bit to give them new faces. We do not actually elect the puppet, we instead legitimize the Puppeteers who own' s the only stage in town.

Those who choreograph the movements and change the backgrouds, media outlets and permanent bureaucrats know the plays before they are introduced, and they know best how to get adults to leave reality behind and bring back their childhood fantacies. Days of sugar plums, candy canes, socks filled with goodies and not coal, tooth fairys, and kind generous Fairy God Mothers.

Toy Nutcracker soldiers that turn into Angelic heros, Yellow brick roads, Bunnies with pocket watches, and and magic shoes of red, or of glass in hand of handsome Princes and beautiful Princesses, all available if we vote. So who votes, only those who control the voting puppets know that reality does not exist, they twitch we react, and at end of voting counts one of hand's puppets will slump and cry, while others will leap and dance in joy, only for all to end up in one pile until the puppeteers need them for next act.

Frederike , November 21, 2019 at 17:30

"What Warren did not mention is that this "interim leadership" she helped legitimize is headed by an extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist, the unelected "interim president" Jeanine Añez.

Añez has referred to Bolivia's majority-Indigenous population as "satanic" and immediately moved to try to overturn the country's progressive constitution, which had established an inclusive, secular, plurinational state after receiving an overwhelming democratic mandate in a 2009 referendum."

Doesn't Warren claim to have indigenous ancestors herself and was proud of it? She caused Trump to call her "Pocahontas"? She agrees to support the unelected interim president Jeannine Añez, who refers to indigenous inhabitants as satanic? Warren is a very horrible person, inhumane, amoral, and rather stupid overall, who wants to get rich. Everything she agreed to in the interview listed above is pathetic. I had no idea that she is such a worthless individual.

arggo , November 22, 2019 at 19:57

"neocon" explains this. She seems to have the support of very foundational structures that enabled Hillary Clinton Democrats to attack and destroy Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Cara , November 21, 2019 at 15:40

Warren has not lost my vote for the simple reason she never had it in the first place. None of this, sickening as it is, comes as any surprise. Warren is an unapologetic capitalist. She's like Robert Reich in that regard. They both believe capitalism–if reformed, tweaked a bit here and there–can work. To give her credit, she's always been very honest about that. And of course our doctrine of regime change is all in the service of capitalism. Unless I'm simply confused and mistaken.

Sherwood Forrest , November 22, 2019 at 09:38

Yes, Capitalist First! That makes it so difficult for any aware person to believe she sincerely supports a wealth tax, Universal Healthcare, Green New Deal, College loan forgiveness, family leave or anything else the 1% oppose. Because promising like Santa is part of Capitalist politics, and then saying," Nah, we can't afford it."

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:08

I personally think that capitalism with "human face" and robust public sector is the way to go. But imperialist imposition and aggression is not the part of "human face" that I imagine.

So Warren's imperialist positions are evil and unnecessary to preserve capitalism, how that projects at her as a person it is hard to tell. A Polish poet has those words spoken by a character in his drama "On that, I know only what I heard, but I am afraid to investigate because it poisons my mind about " (Znam to tylko z opowiada?, ale strzeg? si? tych bada?, bo mi truj? my?l o ) As typical of hearsay, her concept of events in Venezuela, Bolivia etc. is quite garbled, she has no time (but perhaps some fear) to investigate herself (easy in the era of internet). A serious politician has to think a lot about electability (and less about the folks under the steam roller of the Empire), so she has to "pick her fights".

It is rather clear that American do not care if people south of the border are governed democratically or competently, which led Hillary Clinton to make this emphatic statement in a debate with Trump "You will not see me singing praises of dictators or strongmen who do not love America". One can deconstruct it "if you do not love America you are a strongman or worse, but if you love America, we will be nice to you". I would love to have the original and deconstructed statement polled, but Warren is not the only one afraid of such investigations. So "electability" connection to green light to Bolivian fascist and red light to Bolivarians of Venezuela is a bit indirect. Part of it is funding, part, bad press.

brett , November 21, 2019 at 15:15

I'm sorry but you all need to come to terms with the farce that is the American political system. Anyone who was supporting Warren or even considering voting for her for ANY reason is apparently either in denial or is being duped. Warren is a Madison Avenue creation packaged for US liberal consumption.

She is a fraud and a liar. One trained in psychology can see, in her every movement and utterance, the operation that is going on behind the facade. Everything Warren says is a lie to someone. She only states truth in order to later dis-inform. Classic deception. She (her billionaires) has latched on to the populism of the DSA etc. in order to sabotage any progressive momentum and drive a stake in it.

Rob Roy , November 22, 2019 at 00:40

She hangs out with Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright, two evil women if ever there were. Now they make the three witches brewing one coup/regime change after another. She's not smart enough to see that HRC and MA are leading her around by her nose. People should call out this phoney everywhere she goes. BTW, Rachel Maddow completes an odious clique.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:13

This is a bit of exaggeration. The three ladies are more like good students, they did not write the textbook but they good grades for answering as written, or like cheerleaders, they jump and shout but they do not play in the field. Mind you, "interagency consensus" was formed without them.

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 14:53

The DNC's strategy for this election is to ensure that Bernie doesn't go into the Convention with enough delegates to win the first ballot. (Once voting goes past the first ballot, super-delegates get to weigh in and help anoint a candidate who's friendly to the Party's plutocratic-oligarch principals.)

That's the reason the DNC is allowing and encouraging so many candidates to run. Warren's specific assignment is to cannibalize Bernie's base and steal delegates that would otherwise be his, by pretending to espouse most of his platform with only minor tweaks. She's been successful with "better educated," higher-income liberal Democrats who consider themselves well informed because they get their news from "respectable" sources -- sources that, unbeknownst to their target audiences, invariably represent the viewpoint of the aforementioned plutocratic oligarchs.

Absolutely nothing in Warren's background supports her new calculatedly progressive primary persona. She was a Reagan Republican. When the Republican Party moved right to become the party of batshit crazy and the Democratic Party shifted right to become the party of Reagan Republicans, she became a Democrat. She's not a good actress, and it takes willing suspension of disbelief to buy into her performance as a savvier, wonkier alternative to Bernie. And when she's pressed for details (Medicare for All) and responses to crises (Venezuela and Bolivia), the cracks in her progressive façade become patently obvious. She's a sleeper agent for Democratic-leaning plutocrats, like Obama was in 2008, and she would never get my vote.

PS: Impressed by Warren's progressive wealth-tax plan? Don't be. Our country's billionaires know she won't fight for it, and that if she did, Congress would never pass it. (They know who owns Congress.) Besides, do you really think Pocahontas would beat Trump? Do you think Sleepy Joe would? The billionaires wouldn't bet on it. And they're fine with that. Sure, they'd like someone who's more thoroughly corporatist on trade and more committed to hot régime-change wars than Trump is, but they can live just fine with low-tax, low-regulation Trump. It's the prospect of a Bernie presidency that keeps them up at night and their proxies in the Democratic Party and allied media are doing everything they can to neutralize that threat.

mbob , November 21, 2019 at 18:13

@Peter

Thanks for this beautiful post. I agree with it 100%. I've been trying to figure out why Democrats are so consistently unable to see through rhetoric and fall for what candidates pretend to be. Part of it is wishful thinking. A lot of it is, as you wrote, misplaced trust in "respectable" sources. I have no idea how to fix that: how does one engender the proper skepticism of the MSM? I haven't been able to open the eyes of any of my friends. (Fortunately my wife and daughter opened their own eyes.)

Warren is, if you look clearly, driven by her enormous ambition. She's the same as every other candidate in that regard, save Bernie.

Bernie is driven by the same outrage that we feel. We need him.

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:31

In the last Israeli massacre on Gaza she was all for the IDF killing Palistinians. Americans like to look at the CCP and cry about China being a one party state. Well is the US not a one party state?= Are the views of the Democrats and Republicans not the same when it comes to slaughtering people in the third world? There is not a razor`s edge between them. Biden, Warren, Sanders, Trump, Cruz and Pense they are all war criminals, or if elected will soon become war criminals.

From someone who at the beginning showed promise and humanity, she has turned into Albright and Clinton. How f**king sad is that?

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:33

Better to see her for what she really is now then after the election if she were to win. She is disgusting in her inhumanity.

Rob , November 21, 2019 at 13:43

This Is, indeed, disturbing and disappointing. Warren seems so genuinely right on domestic economic and social issues, so how could she be so wrong on foreign policy issues? The same principles apply in both–justice, fairness, equity, etc. That said, she is no worse than any of the other Democratic candidates in that regard, with the exceptions of Sanders and Gabbard, so if Warren becomes the nominee, I will support her over Trump. It's a lesser of two evils choice, but we must recognize that no candidate will be perfect–ever.

Dan Kuhn , November 21, 2019 at 14:36

Far better to stick to your principles and write in " None of the above." believe me with this article we can easily see that Trump is no worse nor better than Warren is. They are both pretty poor excuses as human beings.

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 16:04

@Rob:

If you'll allow me to fix that for you, "What Warren tactically claims to support, in the primaries, seems so genuinely right on domestic economic and social issues ." I'm convinced Warren is an Obama 2.0 in the making. I don't think anyone can match Obama's near-180° turnabout from his 2008 primary platform and that if Warren is elected, she will try to make Wall Street a little more honest and stable, maybe advocate for a $12 minimum wage, and maybe try to shave a few thousand dollars off student-loan debts. I suppose that technically qualifies as less evil than Trump. But I fully expect her to jettison 90% of her primary platform, including a progressive tax on wealth and Medicare for All. And when you factor in her recently confirmed approval of US military and financial imperialism -- economic subversion and régime-change operations that cost tens of thousands of innocent foreign lives, and other peoples their sovereignty -- at what point does "less evil" become too evil to vote for?

John Drake , November 21, 2019 at 13:13

" presidential candidate tepidly requested "free and fair elections". Such a statement ignores the fact that Evo Morales term was not up; therefore elections are not called for. This means she supports the coup. Restoration of his position which was illegally and violently stolen from him are in order not elections until his term is up.
Her position on Venezuela is nauseating; as the article states classic neo-conservative. Maybe Robert Kagan will welcome her into their club as he did with Hillary.
Warren used to be a Republican, she has not been cured of that disease; and is showing her true colors. Maybe it's best as she is differentiating herself from Bernie. I was concerned before she started down this latest path that she would do an Obama; progressive rhetoric followed by neo-liberal-or worse- behavior once in office. Maybe she is more honest than Obama.

Guy , November 21, 2019 at 12:40

Warren can't be very informed about what democracy actually means .Democracy is not the same as capitalism . Not a US citizen but am very disappointed with her stated platform . Short of divine intervention Tulsi will never make it but Sanders for president and Tulsi as VP would do just fine to re-direct the US foreign policy and maybe ,just maybe make the US more respectable among the rest of the nations of the world.

Piotr Berman , November 22, 2019 at 16:17

It would make a lot of sense from actuarial point of view. The chances that at least one person on the ticket would live healthily for 8 years would be very good, without Tulsi

Punkyboy , November 21, 2019 at 12:02

I was pretty sure Warren was a Hillary clone; now I'm absolutely sure of it. Another election between worse and worser. I may just stay home this time, if the world holds together that long.

Socratic Truth , November 21, 2019 at 11:42

Warren is just another puppet of the NWO.

Ma Laoshi , November 21, 2019 at 11:12

I remember years and years ago, I guess about when Lizzie first entered Congress, that she went on the standard pandering tour to the Motherland and an astute mind commented: Zionism is typically the gateway drug for Democratic would-be reformers. Once they've swallowed that fundamental poison, the DNC feels secure it's just a matter of time before they Get With the Program 100%. Given that "Harvard" and "phony" are largely synonymous, what else could've been expected?

Peter in Seattle , November 21, 2019 at 15:32

@Ma Laoshi:

Speaking of Harvard, having contemplated the abysmal track record compiled by our "best and brightest" -- in Congress, in the White House, and on the federal bench -- I am now almost as suspicious of the Ivy League as I am of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security (WHINSEC, formerly known as the School of the Americas). The mission of both is to train capable, reliable, well-compensated servants to the US plutocracy. (And the only reason I say "almost" is because a non-negligible number of black sheep have come out of the Ivy League and I'm not aware of any that have come out of WHINSEC.)

Sam F , November 23, 2019 at 18:59

Harvard admissions are apparently largely bought, and doubtless those of Yale and others. MIT was strictly militarist warmongers in the 1970s, and one compete with 80% cheaters.

Dfnslblty , November 21, 2019 at 11:12

" The only point where Warren diverged with Trump was on her insistence that "there is no U.S. military option in Venezuela." " Hell, one doesn't need a military option after immoral, illegal and crippling sanctions. This essay is the most disturbing piece all year-2019.

Vote anti-military – vote nonviolence. Don't give these murderers anything but exposure to humane sensibilities.

Freedomlover , November 21, 2019 at 17:43

I didn't think Trump supported a military solution in Venezuela. That was John Bolton's baby and Trump fired him as one would hope he would soon fire Pompeo as has been hinted at. Trump campaigned on ending wars of choice but has given in to the MIC at almost every turn. Maybe he will resign in leiu of being impeached. We might then see a Rand Paul vs. Bernie Sanders. I could live with either one

Skip Scott , November 21, 2019 at 09:12

Once again the Democratic Party is pushing to have our choice for 2020 be between corporate sponsored war monger from column A or B.

I wish Tulsi would "see the light" and run as an Independent in 2020. There is absolutely no way that she gets the nod from the utterly corrupt DNC. She is abandoning her largest base (Independents) by sticking with the Democratic Party. Considering the number of disgruntled non-voters, she could easily win the general election; but she will never win the Democratic primary. The field is purposely flooded to ensure the "superdelegates" get the final say on a second ballot.

AnneR , November 21, 2019 at 08:50

Warren is as inhumane, amoral and imperialist as anyone in the WH and the US Congress, and she is certainly kindred in spirit, thought and would be in deed, as Madeline Albright, the cheerful slaughterer of some 500,000 Iraqi children because the "price was worth it." Of course, these utterly racist, amoral people do not have to pay "that price" nor do any of their families. (And let us not forget that Albright and Killary are good friends – Warren is totally kindred with the pair, totally.)

And clearly Warren – like all of the Demrat contenders – is full on for any kind of warfare that will bring a "recalcitrant" country into line with US demands (on its resources, lands etc.). She is grotesque.

She and those of her ilk – all in Congress, pretty much, and their financial backers – refuse to accept that Maduro and Morales *both* were legally, legitimately and cleanly re-elected to their positions as presidents of their respective countries. But to do that would be to go against her (commonly held) fundamental belief that the US has the right to decide who is and is not the legitimate national leader of any given country. And what policies they institute.

Anyone who supports economic sanctions is supporting siege warfare, is happily supporting the starvation and deprivation of potentially millions of people. And shrugging off the blame for the effects of the sanctions onto the government of the sanctioned country is heinous, is immoral and unethical. WE are the ones who are killing, not the government under extreme pressure. If you can't, won't accept the responsibility – as Warren and the rest of the US government clearly will not – for those deaths you are causing, then stay out of the bloody kitchen: stop committing these crimes against humanity.

Cara , November 21, 2019 at 15:25

Please provide documentation that Sanders is, as you claim, a "full-on zionist supporter of "Israel" and clearly anti-Palestinian." Sanders has been quite consistent in his criticism of Israel and the treatment of Palestinians: timesofisrael.com/bernie-sanders-posts-video-citing-apartheid-like-conditions-for-palestinians; and; jacobinmag.com/2019/07/bernie-sanders-israel-palestine-bds

Piotr Berman , November 21, 2019 at 16:46

"Sanders is less so, but not wholly because he is a full-on zionist supporter of "Israel" and clearly anti-Palestinian"

Sanders is definitely not "full-on zionist supporter", not only he does not deny that "Palestinians exist" (to died-in-the-wool Zionists, Palestinians are a malicious fiction created to smear Israel etc., google "Fakestinians"), but he claims that they have rights, and using Hamas as a pretext for Gaza blockade is inhumane (a recent headline). One can pull his other positions and statements to argue in the other direction, but in my opinion, he is at the extreme humane end of "zionist spectrum" (I mean, so humane that almost not a Zionist).

[Nov 24, 2019] Chris Hedges on Death of the Liberal Class - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Jan 04, 2011 | www.youtube.com

riccardo estavans , 4 months ago

Colin Shaw , 5 months ago Think Mackay , 5 months ago

Bill Clinton destroyed the USA economy and middle class like no president has ever done. Bush II and Obama exacerbated the destruction by the hundred folds.

Orion's Ghost , 5 months ago

I believe Hedges statement that "the true correctives to society were social movements that never achieved formal political power" is perhaps one of the most important things for each of us to understand.

Fred Slocombe , 3 months ago (edited)
Ali Naderzad , 3 months ago (edited)

16:50 GENIUS. WELL DONE. So true.go Chris !!!

cubismo85 , 4 weeks ago

hauntingly accurate in every aspect, im speehless

Eris123451 , 3 days ago

I watched this with interest and curiosity and growing skepticism although he makes some killer points and cites some extremely disturbing facts; above all he accepts and uncritically so the American narrative of history.

Brian Valero , 4 months ago

The message from democrats is "hey we're not bigots". Most people (repubs+dems) aren't. If they keep calling on that for energy the Dems will forever continue to lose. If they don't come back to the working class they might as well just call themselves conservatives.

jimmyolsenblues , 4 months ago

he did/wrote this in 2011, he really understood then how things are in 2019.

Andy Russ , 3 years ago (edited)

Prescient 'post-mortem' of the 2016 election

2009starlite , 5 months ago (edited)

Those of us who seek the truth can't stop looking under every stone. The truth will set you free but you must share it with those who are ready to hear it and hide it from those who can hurt you for exposing it. MT

Aubrey De Bliquy , 2 days ago (edited)

"A Society that looses the capacity for the sacred cannibalizes itself until it dies because it exploits the natural world as well as human beings to the point of collapse."

Clark WARS News , 1 day ago

I learned something from watching this thank you powerful teacher love you ⭐

Rebel Scum , 5 months ago

I think he meant Washington State University which is in Pullman. The University of Washington is in Seattle. 16:43

phuturephunk , 6 years ago

Damn, he's grim...but he makes a whole lot of sense.

davekiernan1 , 2 weeks ago

Like Mr bon ribentrof said in monty Python. He's right you know...

Rich Keal , 5 months ago

Search YouTube for Dr. Antony Sutton the funding of the Bolshevik Revolution. The Act of 1871 as well. Take the Red Pill and go deeper.

kevin joseph , 5 days ago

loony republicans? did they open the borders, legalize late abortions and outright infanticide?

Michael Maya , 5 months ago

I've listened to this twice both twice it played on accident bcuz I had you tube on autoplay, it woke me up while I was sleeping but I'm glad it did.

Bryce Hallam , 1 week ago

Set the Playback Speed to: 1.25 . Great lecture.

Buddy Aces , 5 months ago

It makes sense and we can smell it! Those varmints must be shown no mercy.

VC YT , 5 months ago

To get in the mood, I watched this lecture from behind some Hedges. :-)

Orion's Ghost , 5 months ago

I believe Hedges statement that "the true correctives to society were social movements that never achieved formal political power" is perhaps one of the most important things for each of us to understand.

Fred Slocombe , 3 months ago (edited)

15:05 The subjugation of Education 21:15 Theatrical Manipulation of Expectations 24:08 U.S. Debt and Borrowing

Ali Naderzad , 3 months ago (edited)

16:50 GENIUS. WELL DONE. So true.go Chris !!!

cubismo85 , 4 weeks ago

hauntingly accurate in every aspect, im speehless

Eris123451 , 3 days ago

I watched this with interest and curiosity and growing skepticism although he makes some killer points and cites some extremely disturbing facts; above all he accepts and uncritically so the American narrative of history. The Progressive movement, for example, (written into American history as being far more important that it ever really was,) unlike Socialism or Communism was primarily just a literary and a trendy intellectually movement that attempted, (unconvincingly,) to persuade poor, exploited and abused Americans that non of those other political movements, (reactive and grass-roots,) were needed here and that capitalism could and might of itself, cure itself; it conceded little, promised much and unlike either Communism or Socialism delivered fuck all. Personally I remain unconvinced also by, "climate science," (which he takes as given,) and which seems to to me to depend far too much on faith and self important repeatedly insisting that it's true backed by lurid and hysterical propaganda and not nearly enough on rational scientific argument, personally I can't make head nor tail of the science behind it ? (it may well be true, or not; I can't tell.) But above all and stripped of it his pretensions his argument is just typical theist, (of any flavor you like,) end of times claptrap all the other systems have failed, (China for example somewhat gives the lie to death of Communism by the way and so on,) the end is neigh and all that is left to do is for people to turn to character out of first century fairly story. I wish him luck with that.

penny kannon , 5 months ago

CHRIS HEDGES YOUR BOOK MUST BE HIGH SCHOOL STUDY!!! wtkjr.!!!

Brian Valero , 4 months ago

The message from democrats is "hey we're not bigots". Most people (repubs+dems) aren't. If they keep calling on that for energy the Dems will forever continue to lose. If they don't come back to the working class they might as well just call themselves conservatives.

jimmyolsenblues , 4 months ago

he did/wrote this in 2011, he really understood then how things are in 2019.

Andy Russ , 3 years ago (edited)

Prescient 'post-mortem' of the 2016 election

Jean Lloyd Bradberry , 5 months ago

Shared! Excellent presentation!

Mike van Wijngaarden , 4 months ago

What if, to fail is the objective? That would mean they planned everything that's happened and will happen.

Michael Hutz , 1 month ago (edited)

Loved Chris in this one. First time I've heard him talking naturally instead of reading verbatim from a text which makes him sound preachy.

Bill Mccloy , 4 months ago (edited)

Chris is our canary in a coal mine! Truly a national treasure and a champion for humanity. And he's more Christian than he thinks he is.

Herr Pooper , 4 months ago

I have always loved Chris Hedges, but ever since becoming fully awake it pains me to see how he will take gigantic detours of imagination to never mention Israel, AIPAC or Zionism, and their complete takeover of the US. What a shame.

ISIS McCain , 4 months ago

Hey Chris, please look up Dr. Wolfe and have a big debate with him!!! I believe you guys would mostly hit it off, but please look him up!

UtopiaMinor666 , 8 years ago

The reality of this is enough to make you want to cry.

Terri Pebsworth , 3 months ago

Excellent! And truer today (2019) than even in 2010.

Russell Olausen , 4 months ago

Notes From the Underground,my favourite book.

John Doe , 3 weeks ago

Gosh I thought it was being broadcasted today. Then I heard it and it was really for today.

George C. May , 2 months ago

Not once did I hear the word corruption which in this speech sums up the bureaucratic control of the country !

L N , 5 months ago

I think Chris Has saved my life! ✊🏼✌️ 👍🏼🌅

Laureano Luna , 4 months ago

43:53 Cicero did not even live the imperial period of Rome...

andrew domenitz , 4 months ago

The continued growth of unproductive debt against the low or nonexistent growth of GDP is the recipe for collapse, for the whole world economic system.

Thomas Simmons , 5 months ago

I agree with Chris about the tragedy of the Liberal Church. Making good through identity politics however, is every bit as heretical and tragic as Evangelical Republican corrupted church think, in my humble, Christian opinion.

Alexandros Aiakides , 2 weeks ago (edited)

The death of the present western hemisphere governments and "democratic" institutions must die right now for humanity to be saved from the zombies that rule it. 'Cannibalization" of oikonomia was my idea, as well as of William Engdahl. l am glad hearing Hedges to adopt the expression of truth. ( November 2019. from Phthia , Hellas ).

Heathcliff Earnshaw , 4 months ago div cl

ass="comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> Gosh , especially that last conclusion ,was terrific so I want to paste the whole of that Auden poem here:- September 1, 1939 W. H. Auden - 1907-1973

... ... ...

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.

[Nov 13, 2019] CIA emerged as a Political Party

Notable quotes:
"... this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods. ..."
"... Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth. ..."
"... To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment. ..."
"... Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats . ..."
"... "The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth." ..."
"... Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats! ..."
"... Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all. ..."
"... To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero. ..."
"... The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee. ..."
Nov 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Nov 10 2019 15:41 utc | 1

I am amazed how the Impeachment Circus and the mainstream media continue to ignore the facts of this story:

Joe Biden has been a favorite target for Trump-allied lawmakers. Many have adopted Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that Biden pushed for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, because he was investigating Burisma.

Other people get it:

The CIA is emerging as a domestic political party.
...
Brennan put a friendly finger on my chest. "The CIA is not involved in domestic politics," he said. "Period. That's on the record."

This he asserted confidently, at an event where he had just spoken about about influence campaigns on swing voters and implied that Hillary Clinton might be right in calling U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard a Russian asset. Even seasoned analysts, it seems, have their blind spots.

Motivation to impeach Trump is about control of Democratic Party - Rick Salutin, The Star

What shifted [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] now? I'd say the answer is: this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods.
I agree with Mr. Salutin, the impeachment is not about impeachment, although if impeachment results, I'm sure they will take it. And I agree it's about protecting the current Democratic Part "elites", both from scandal (Joe Biden, Clinton) and from the challenge on the left. A risky and desperate move .

I tend to think it was Trump going after the Ukraine cesspit that precipitated the impeachment, but other motives seem relevant. I have thought since Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control.


Walter , Nov 10 2019 15:54 utc | 2

@ "ince Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control."

How about that...geewhiz, one does speculate as to what crimes they fear might become known and public?

Everybody Knows...Brother Leonard Cohen... this they fear.

It's a mighty force. To the mat.

Jose Garcia , Nov 10 2019 16:59 utc | 4
Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth.

To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment.

pnyx , Nov 10 2019 17:58 utc | 10
Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)
Seamus Padraig , Nov 10 2019 18:23 utc | 12
Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats .
karlof1 , Nov 10 2019 18:24 utc | 13
Craig Murray has an exclusive interview with Randy Credico he prefaces with these remarks:

"The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth."

That would include MoA barflies since we crave Truth. Murray has a bit more to say prior to the excerpt I provide, which I suggest be read, too.

juliania , Nov 10 2019 19:13 utc | 18
What a feast of links! I've only just started, with b's Daniel Lazare piece at Stretegic Culture.org - well done!

" ...This is what impeachment is about, not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine – plus Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries that the Obama administration succeeded in destroying – and why Trump should pay the supreme penalty for suggesting that Democrats are in any way to blame..."

Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats!

chop stick , Nov 10 2019 19:17 utc | 19
Impeachment is about controlling where the attention is focused. When things get to close to home Pelosi says look over here at the orange head, look over there at the border but whatever you do, do not look over https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1KfU5ifhqE ">here.
b , Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114
@pnyx - Thanks for linking the NZZ piece

"Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)"

Funny it is mostly a recap of my findings of Biden in Ukraine. The piece links to William Bowles ( https://williambowles.info/2019/10/08/when-ukraines-prosecutor-came-after-his-sons-sponsor-joe-biden-sprang-into-action/) and attributes that the findings to him.

But it is not Bowles but a copy my piece here ( https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/10/biden-timeline.html).

So the Neue Züricher Zeitung, the most prestige Swiss outlet, is practically quoting MoA.

I am honored.

Bemildred , Nov 11 2019 14:35 utc | 115
Andrew J. Bacevich weighs in on US foreign policy:
Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all.

To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero.

There is no going back to an imagined Golden Age of American statecraft in the Middle East. The imperative is to go forward, which requires acknowledging how wrongheaded U.S. policy in region has been ever since FDR had his famous tete-a-tete with King Ibn Saud and Harry Truman rushed to recognize the newborn State of Israel.t

So succinct.

The Blob: Still Chasing After Pax Americana

vk , Nov 11 2019 14:41 utc | 116
@ Posted by: b | Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114

The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee.

[Oct 25, 2019] MSNBC Democrats = CIA Democrats

https://caucus99percent.com/content/msnbc-democrats

Matt Taibbi recently coined the term MSNBC Democrats to describe those who primarily get their news from MSNBC instead of other sources. They are more likely to believe Russiagate is a fact. According to new polling data, they are also far more likely to believe the economy is bad.

The online poll, by data firm Morning Consult, asks the same five core questions as the University of Michigan's well-known consumer sentiment survey, and for nearly two years has been collecting about 210,000 responses a month, compared to 500 or so each month for the Michigan survey.

American voters face the same set of economic facts, from low unemployment to the risks from a trade war, but the survey's index of overall sentiment - at 108 just above the 100 line that separates positive from negative impressions of the economic outlook - masked the huge divide between those who approve of Trump, whose views measured a far rosier 136, and those who disapprove of the president, with a reading of 88 .

The results, weighted by factors like age, race and sex, to be nationally representative, were similarly skewed based on media consumption. Viewers of conservative-leaning Fox News registered 139 for current sentiment about the economy; viewers of MSNBC, an outlet often critical of Trump, registered 89 . Readers of the New York Times sat in the middle at 107, near those who get their news from Facebook (110) and Twitter (112).

Source: Watch Fox News? You likely think the U.S. economy is great. MSNBC viewers not so much -- Reuters, 10/24/2019

This chart from the article shows respondents' view of the economy by news source:

The results shouldn't be surprising to anyone paying attention. MSNBC is in the liberal fake news business while Fox is in the conservative fake news business. Interestingly, the New York Times falls in the middle. This sort of makes sense. While I don't trust their political reporting, especially anything Russiagate related, their coverage of the economy does seem to be fair and balanced.

Ummm ... edg, the Economy IS Bad

I think the economy is shit, personally, and professionally. It's pretty expensive to live these days.

Negative interest rates are not what I would expect in a functioning economy... And say nothing of corporate balance sheets, gold repatriation and denials of repatriation, Q4, and a shit ton of big banksters just dying to have a bail-in.

But, I think that the MSNBC Democrat would simply blame Drumpf.

Just found it an interesting angle to essay. Stopped clocks and whatnot.

[Jul 15, 2019] Pete Buttigieg The made-to-order political "outsider" by Tom Hall

Highly recommended!
He is definitely a "CIA democrat" like Obama before him
Notable quotes:
"... In the media, Buttigieg is described as a 37-year-old "boy wonder," an "intelligent and worldly man" who speaks seven languages, whose speeches on the campaign trail exude intelligence and thoughtfulness, a former Rhodes scholar and graduate of Harvard and Oxford, who, driven by the ideal of public service, returned to his humble Midwestern roots to become mayor of his impoverished hometown, and who single-handedly sparked a renaissance in South Bend after a half-century of urban decay. ..."
"... Buttigieg has distinguished himself by his reluctance to take concrete positions on major political questions. His campaign website initially had no reference to policies, speaking only of the need to restore "values." ..."
"... As the campaign has developed, Buttigieg has taken substantive political positions that demonstrate he is a thoroughly establishment figure, aligned more with the "moderate" wing of the Democrats headed by former Vice President Joe Biden, and flatly opposed to the policies identified with Sanders ..."
"... Buttigieg was talent-spotted early and has moved in the top circles of the US national security establishment from the time he left college. From 2004 to 2005 (when he was 22 and 23), he worked as a conference director for the Cohen Group, a Washington-based consultancy that advises clients on international investment strategies. ..."
"... This aspect of Buttigieg's resumé closely resembles that of Barack Obama, who worked for CIA-connected Business International at age 21-22, making connections within the national security apparatus that stood him in good stead during his meteoric political rise. ..."
"... From 2007 to 2010, the year before his first mayoral campaign, Buttigieg served as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm with revenues of over $10 billion. ..."
"... Media comments suggest that the Democratic Party sees one of the functions of Buttigieg's campaign as preventing Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination. ..."
"... However, from the standpoint of the American ruling class, Buttigieg's most important credential by far is his military record. Between 2009 and 2017, Buttigieg was a lieutenant and naval intelligence officer in the Naval Reserve. ..."
"... According to a report in the Hill , "Buttigieg's reserve training took place at Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago, where he studied to become an intelligence officer. There, Buttigieg's background as a McKinsey consultant and his Rhodes scholar pedigree earned him a direct commission into the Navy." ..."
"... Two of the seven languages in which Buttigieg claims fluency are Arabic and Dari (the Afghan dialect of Persian, spoken by about one-third of the population). Such language skills are likely the product of intensive military-intelligence training. ..."
"... The presence of ex-military officers in the Democratic field is part of a larger process, the direct incorporation of military and intelligence figures into the leading personnel of the Democratic Party, a phenomenon the World Socialist Web Site identified among Democratic candidates for Congress in 2018 (see: The CIA Democrats ). ..."
Jul 15, 2019 | www.wsws.org

The World Socialist Web Site has begun an occasional series of articles profiling the major candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in the 2020 elections. WSWS writers will examine the political history and program of each candidate, making the case for a socialist alternative for the working class to both the Democrats and the Trump administration. The first article, on Elizabeth Warren , appeared on July 11.

Over the past six months, Pete Buttigieg has emerged as a potential dark horse candidate in the Democratic Party presidential primaries. The two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana -- now referred to by the shorthand title "Mayor Pete" -- has gained extensive media coverage and built a fundraising machine, raking in $24.8 million in the second quarter of 2019, the most for any Democrat.

Buttigieg has been the most aggressive holder of high-dollar fundraisers, attending dozens of such events, particularly in California and the northeast, and raising much of his money from Silicon Valley and Wall Street.

His poll numbers have not responded in direct proportion to the build-up, however. He regularly appears in fifth place, making him the lowest in the top tier of candidates. And his campaign received a significant blow in mid-June with the killing of a black resident of South Bend by a white cop, which forced Buttigieg to leave the campaign trail briefly to deal with the crisis.

Three factors account for Buttigieg's rise. His age, 37, is in sharp contrast to the two top candidates when he entered the race, Joe Biden, 76, and Bernie Sanders, 77, to say nothing of the geriatric leadership of the House Democrats: Nancy Pelosi, 79, Steny Hoyer, 80, and Jim Clyburn, 79. He is the only openly gay candidate among the 24 primary contestants, married to another gay man, Chasten Glezman. And most importantly -- from the standpoint of his acceptability to the US ruling elite -- he is a veteran of naval intelligence, having served a tour of duty in Afghanistan, where he helped identify targets for assassination squads.

These attributes -- comparative youth, identity as a gay man and a background in military intelligence, together with his public embrace of religion (he is a practicing Episcopalian) -- make Buttigieg something of a made-to-order candidate from the standpoint of the Democratic Party establishment. His candidacy ticks a number of boxes: anchoring the primary campaign in a right-wing national security perspective; employing youth and identity to appeal to the predominately youthful supporters of Sanders; and elevating a right-wing figure as a "next-generation" leader of the Democrats, although perhaps a more likely candidate for the vice presidency than the top job.

The American public could be forgiven for wondering why the mayor of a small Midwestern city (306th largest in the country) has suddenly appeared on their television screens in extensive and mostly favorable news reports that paint him as a serious candidate for the Democratic nomination.

Buttigieg's only other foray into national politics was a failed 2017 bid for chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a position that attracts relatively little public attention. A poll from late March found that 62 percent of respondents did not even know who Buttigieg was, although extensive media coverage has caused that figure to fall rapidly.

In the media, Buttigieg is described as a 37-year-old "boy wonder," an "intelligent and worldly man" who speaks seven languages, whose speeches on the campaign trail exude intelligence and thoughtfulness, a former Rhodes scholar and graduate of Harvard and Oxford, who, driven by the ideal of public service, returned to his humble Midwestern roots to become mayor of his impoverished hometown, and who single-handedly sparked a renaissance in South Bend after a half-century of urban decay.

As usual, the media depiction is largely at odds with reality.

One of the most noteworthy features of Buttigieg's campaign so far is its political amorphousness. Even by the standards of American capitalist elections, where issues of concern to the working class are systematically excluded from the public discussion, Buttigieg has distinguished himself by his reluctance to take concrete positions on major political questions. His campaign website initially had no reference to policies, speaking only of the need to restore "values."

As the campaign has developed, Buttigieg has taken substantive political positions that demonstrate he is a thoroughly establishment figure, aligned more with the "moderate" wing of the Democrats headed by former Vice President Joe Biden, and flatly opposed to the policies identified with Sanders. Buttigieg rejects the single-payer "Medicare for All" slogan proposed by Sanders and taken up by many other Democrats in favor of the establishment of a "public option" available on the health insurance exchanges set up under Obamacare.

One proposal that has garnered media attention is his plan to expand the Supreme Court to 15 judges, a cosmetic change that would not alter the fundamental character of the court as a bastion of political reaction. He has also called for elimination of the Electoral College, although this would require passage of a constitutional amendment, which is highly unlikely.

Voters would certainly find little in Buttigieg's political record, consisting of a two-term stint as mayor of South Bend, to inspire enthusiasm. In the press, Buttigieg is touted as a "turnaround" mayor who has placed the ailing former factory town and site of the University of Notre Dame on the road to economic recovery.

In actual fact, his main achievements include the bulldozing of hundreds of empty homes in blighted working class neighborhoods, the sprucing up of the downtown area, and the attraction of modest investment from IT corporations, measures whose impact is not to lift working class residents out of poverty, but rather to gentrify the city and drive up real estate values. Even a favorable review of "Mayor Pete's" time in office by an Indiana economist was forced to admit that "other than sharing in the unemployment-rate reductions of the national economic expansion, none of the top-line economic indicators for South Bend have changed markedly over Buttigieg's mayoral stint."

The New York Times wrote in a profile: "Some of the data is dismal. Though the overall poverty rate has fallen since Mr. Buttigieg took office, poverty among African-Americans stubbornly remains almost twice as high as for African-Americans nationwide. The city has one of the highest eviction rates in the country, which has doubled under the mayor, according to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. In households with working adults, 54 percent do not earn enough to meet a 'survival budget,' according to the United Way."

A glaring spotlight was placed on the actual state of affairs in South Bend on June 16, when a white policeman shot to death a 53-year-old black man, Eric Logan. The cop, who had been previously linked to reports of brutality, was equipped with a body camera but did not turn it on when he confronted Logan in a parking lot and shot him fatally, claiming that Logan had menaced him with a knife.

Buttigieg had to leave the campaign trail and return to South Bend, appearing at town hall meetings where he and the police force were loudly denounced. While police killings are not primarily a racial issue -- the largest number of those killed by police are white, and minority police shoot people just as frequently as white police -- there is clearly a large element of racial injustice in South Bend. The city is 40 percent nonwhite, but under Buttigieg's leadership the proportion of African-American police has fallen from 10 percent in 2011 to only 5 percent today. At the Democratic debate in Miami, Buttigieg claimed to have tried and failed to recruit a more diverse police force.

Given this mediocre record, what recommends "Mayor Pete" for promotion to the highest levels of the American state? Clearly, other factors are driving his buildup in the media.

Buttigieg was talent-spotted early and has moved in the top circles of the US national security establishment from the time he left college. From 2004 to 2005 (when he was 22 and 23), he worked as a conference director for the Cohen Group, a Washington-based consultancy that advises clients on international investment strategies.

The Cohen Group is headed by former Republican Senator William Cohen, who was secretary of defense under Democratic President Bill Clinton. Its principals, besides Cohen, include Marc Grossman, undersecretary of state for political affairs in the Bush administration and special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan under Obama; retired General Joseph Ralston, who concluded a 37-year Air Force career as chief of the European command and supreme allied commander, Europe; and Nicholas Burns, US ambassador to NATO and Grossman's successor as undersecretary of state for political affairs under Bush.

This aspect of Buttigieg's resumé closely resembles that of Barack Obama, who worked for CIA-connected Business International at age 21-22, making connections within the national security apparatus that stood him in good stead during his meteoric political rise.

From 2007 to 2010, the year before his first mayoral campaign, Buttigieg served as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm with revenues of over $10 billion.

Media comments suggest that the Democratic Party sees one of the functions of Buttigieg's campaign as preventing Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination. An opinion piece in the Washington Post headlined "Buttigieg might save the Democratic Party from Sanders," applauded Buttigieg's public criticism of Sanders' occasional use of the word "socialism." Buttigieg said: "I think of myself as progressive. But I also believe in capitalism, but it has to be democratic capitalism." The Post author commented: "In many ways, Buttigieg is ideally suited to take on Sanders for the hearts, minds and political survival of the Democratic Party."

While the Democrats know that Sanders poses no threat to American capitalism, they are determined to prevent social opposition within the working class from finding even a distorted reflection in their general election campaign, as in 2016, when the DNC attempted to sabotage Sanders' primary campaign.

However, from the standpoint of the American ruling class, Buttigieg's most important credential by far is his military record. Between 2009 and 2017, Buttigieg was a lieutenant and naval intelligence officer in the Naval Reserve.

According to a report in the Hill , "Buttigieg's reserve training took place at Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago, where he studied to become an intelligence officer. There, Buttigieg's background as a McKinsey consultant and his Rhodes scholar pedigree earned him a direct commission into the Navy."

"We had group of young, accomplished civilians -- assistant US attorneys and FBI agents," Thomas Gary, a senior petty officer at the Great Lakes station at the time, told the Hill . "Pete fit right in."

In 2014, during his first term as mayor, Buttigieg was deployed to Afghanistan, where he was a member of the Afghan Threat Finance Cell, a counter-terrorism group established in 2008 by then-commanding General David Petraeus. Through his work in this task force, Buttigieg was involved in activities that placed individuals on the US military's "kill or capture list," targeting these opponents of the US occupation for assassination or extraordinary rendition to a CIA black site.

Two of the seven languages in which Buttigieg claims fluency are Arabic and Dari (the Afghan dialect of Persian, spoken by about one-third of the population). Such language skills are likely the product of intensive military-intelligence training.

The presence of ex-military officers in the Democratic field is part of a larger process, the direct incorporation of military and intelligence figures into the leading personnel of the Democratic Party, a phenomenon the World Socialist Web Site identified among Democratic candidates for Congress in 2018 (see: The CIA Democrats ).

Buttigieg is also on the board of directors of the Truman Center, an imperialist foreign policy group. Other board members include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Leon Panetta, former CIA director and secretary of defense. The Truman Center is a veritable training center for CIA Democrats, offering workshops and messaging guidelines for up-and-coming politicians. It boasts on its website: "Our community includes more than 1,700 post-9/11 veterans, frontline civilians, policy experts, and political professionals who share a common vision of US leadership abroad."

Buttigieg's relative silence on foreign policy issues cannot be explained by a disinterest or lack of knowledge. It can be explained only as a deliberate attempt to avoid airing views he knows are widely unpopular, but which are mainstream within the Democratic Party.

When he finally delivered a significant foreign policy address, in May, it was at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, which is named in honor of former Democratic Congressman Lee H. Hamilton and former Republican Senator Richard G. Lugar, both pillars of the foreign policy establishment.

Buttigieg denounced China for "authoritarian capitalism" and a poor record on human rights, citing in particular the plight of Muslim Uighurs in Sinkiang, a longtime target of CIA efforts to destabilize the Beijing regime. He called for stepped-up US investment in infrastructure and education in order to "compete for the global economic future." And he referred sarcastically to Trump's dealings with Moscow, calling Russia "not a real estate opportunity but an adversarial actor."

In 2018, the Truman Center released a messaging pamphlet for elected officials and candidates that completely coincides with the Democrats' right-wing campaign against Trump over foreign policy. The first section, for example, declares Russia an "historic adversary" of the United States and asserts that the intelligence community (which is directly represented on the Truman Center's board) has "decisively confirmed" that Russia "interfered" in the 2016 elections.

In light of Buttigieg's national security background, his campaign proposal for the establishment of a "national service" program has particularly ominous implications. Buttigieg argues that such a program is necessary to promote a feeling of unity and "social cohesion" within the American population. In reality, such a program would amount to a return to the draft, combined perhaps with labor conscription, which could be used to suppress wages and living standards in the working class.

Whether or not Buttigieg ultimately wins the nomination, and at this point the possibility seems remote, his sudden elevation in advance of the primaries flows from definite political considerations within the Democratic Party itself. Whoever ultimately wins the nomination must be acceptable to the corporate aristocracy and the military apparatus the Democrats represent. However, the debacle of the Hillary Clinton campaign revealed, much to the Democrats' surprise, that any figure publicly identified with social inequality and war is liable to be deeply hated, particularly within the working class.

Within this context, Buttigieg has emerged as a figure whose particular combination of personal characteristics -- his youth, his sexual identity as a gay man, his association with the industrial Midwest where Clinton was wiped out by Trump, his media-concocted reputation for intelligent public speaking, and, above all, his lack of a well-known political track record -- might serve as a more suitable package for the same brand of politics.

One gets the sense that the Democratic Party is attempting replicate its success with Barack Obama, whose formless demagogy about "hope" and "change" was able to divert popular hostility to the political establishment, allowing the voters to see in him what they wanted to see. Buttigieg's status as the first gay man to become a serious presidential hopeful would thus parallel Obama's role as the "first black president."

In the context of popular disillusionment with eight bitter years under Obama, however, it is unlikely the Democrats will be able to pull off the same trick twice.

The author also recommends:

Pete Buttigieg's town hall debacle: A Democratic Party "golden boy" unmasked
[25 June 2019]

[Jun 05, 2019] Due to the nature of intelligence agencies work and the aura of secrecy control of intelligence agencies in democratic societies is a difficult undertaking as the entity you want to control is in many ways more politically powerful and more ruthless in keeping its privileges then controllers.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In reality intelligence agencies control the nomination. ..."
"... Russiagate and the DNC hacking scandal were the attempts to reverse the presidential election. Essentially Russiagate was created to tame Trump, although I am not sure that such drastic measures were needed and I might be wrong. He betrayed his election promises with such an ease that Russiagate now looks like a paranoid overreaction of the USA intelligence agencies (and former FBI director Mueller of 9/11 and anthrax investigation fame) Which figuratively speaking moved tanks to capture the unnamed native village. ..."
"... Due to the nature of intelligence agencies work and the aura of secrecy control of intelligence agencies in democratic societies is a difficult undertaking as the entity you want to control is in many ways more politically powerful and more ruthless in keeping its privileges then controllers. And if the society preaches militarism it is outright impossible: any politician deviation from militaristic policies will be met with the counterattack of intelligence agencies which are intimately interested in maintaining the status quo. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 04.27.19 at 5:21 am 99

In reality intelligence agencies control the nomination.

Pics or it didn't happen.

I am very sorry and sincerely apologize. Please view this as a plausible hypothesis ;-)

Some considerations (neoliberals and neocons usually interpret those facts differently so this is a view from paleoconservative universe; you are warned):

1. Exoneration of Hillary deprived Sanders of chances to lead Democratic ticket in 2016. This is as close to the proven fact as we can get.

2. Russiagate and the DNC hacking scandal were the attempts to reverse the presidential election. Essentially Russiagate was created to tame Trump, although I am not sure that such drastic measures were needed and I might be wrong. He betrayed his election promises with such an ease that Russiagate now looks like a paranoid overreaction of the USA intelligence agencies (and former FBI director Mueller of 9/11 and anthrax investigation fame) Which figuratively speaking moved tanks to capture the unnamed native village.

3. JFK and then Robert Kennedy assassination. The key role of the CIA in the JFK assassination now is broadly accepted in the USA.

3. Obama connection to CIA was subject of many articles, especially in the alt-right press. He definitely was raised in a family of CIA operatives.

4. Brennan spied on Congress and was not fired, which means that the CIA hieratically is above the Congress. Proven fact.

In short, nothing in the power structure of democratic societies prevents intelligence agencies from becoming key political actors, the Pretorian guard which selects the Presidents by keeping dirt on politicians and controls the press (see Church commission). They have both motivation (preservation and enhancement of their status as any large bureaucracy), means (weakly controlled, oversized budget; access to shadow funds from arms and narcotics trading) and skills (covert operations, disinformation, sabotage. This triad is inherent in their status as the legalized mafia which operates above the law. As Pompeo recently said in a recent speech at Texas A&M University CIA operatives lie and cheat and steal.

When intelligence agencies control MSM that alone gives them considerable power to influence the political process. For example, in the case of Russiagate, we saw well organized and timed series of leaks. So, in fact, they can be viewed as the "Inner Party" in terms of Orwell dystopia 1984.

And the fact of media control is a proven fact. And not only via Church commission. Dr. Ulfkotte went on public television stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job.

Due to the nature of intelligence agencies work and the aura of secrecy control of intelligence agencies in democratic societies is a difficult undertaking as the entity you want to control is in many ways more politically powerful and more ruthless in keeping its privileges then controllers. And if the society preaches militarism it is outright impossible: any politician deviation from militaristic policies will be met with the counterattack of intelligence agencies which are intimately interested in maintaining the status quo.

In any case, the problem of "the tail wagging the dog" is a problem for any country, not only for the USA. The fact that both Brennan and Clapper become 'talking heads' after retirement tells something about the trend. Such things would be impossible 20 years ago.

Some insights into the problem can be obtained by reading the article about the politicization of intelligence agencies in other countries. For example:

https://carnegieendowment.org/2015/12/18/challenges-of-civilian-control-over-intelligence-agencies-in-pakistan-pub-62278

Ultimately, making the intelligence agencies accountable amounts to a broader reevaluation of the larger framework of civil-military relations. As a result, not only is intelligence reform an almost intractable political issue, but it also requires a complete change of mentality for the actors involved. Reigning in the intelligence agencies is a problem of a deeper political culture, one that requires a systemic change in the psychology of the organizations.

the lack of civilian oversight of intelligence agencies is a byproduct of the political imbalance between civilian and military actors, a power structure that favors the latter.

As long as the military can get its way through seemingly constitutional means, the importance of the intelligence agencies will remain relatively limited. Their role, however, becomes essential whenever the military meets some resistance

the military's domestic political power "has always derived from [its] ability to mediate confrontations among feuding political leaders, parties or state institutions, invariably presented as threats to the political order and stability. The military [is] of course the only institution empowered to judge whether such threats existed based on the assumption that a polity in turmoil cannot sustain a professional military" (Rizvi 1998: 100). Yet whenever necessary, the military has not hesitated to generate problems itself if it believes its institutional interests would be better served by a weak and divided polity. This is where the intelligence agencies come into play.

the link between journalists and the intelligence agencies is a complex one, and cannot be reduced to a simple power dynamic in which the journalists are merely the victim. Journalists need information, and thus have an interest in maintaining a good relationship with intelligence agencies. In return, journalists are often asked to provide information themselves to intelligence agencies.

[Jun 05, 2019] Do Spies Run the World by Israel Shamir

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Within America, the alphabet agencies from NSA to CIA to FBI had betrayed their country as obviously as Figuera did, though they didn't run away, yet. Our colleagues Mike Whitney and Philip Giraldi described the conspiracy organised by John Brennan of CIA with active participation of FBI's James Comey, to regime-change the US. ..."
"... The CIA spies in England and passes the results to the British Intelligence. MI6 spies in the US and passes the results to CIA. They became integrated to unbelievable extent in the worldwide network of spies. ..."
"... It is not the Deep State anymore; it is world spooks who had united against their legitimate masters. Instead of staying loyal to their country, the spooks betrayed their countries. They are not only strictly-for-cash – they think they know better what is good for you. In a way, they are a new incarnation of the Cecil Rhodes Society . Democratically-elected politicians and statesmen have to obey them or meet their displeasure, as Corbyn and Trump did. ..."
"... Everywhere, in the US, the UK, and Russia, the spooks became too powerful to handle. The CIA stood behind assassination of JFK and tried to take down Trump. The British Intelligence undermined Jeremy Corbyn, after assisting the CIA in pushing for the Iraq war. They created the Steele Dossier, invented the Skripal hoax and had brought Russia and the West to the brink of nuclear war. ..."
"... In the Ukraine, the heads of their state security, SBU had plotted against the last legitimate president Mr Victor Yanukovych. They helped to organise and run the Maidan 2014 manifestations and misled their President, until he was forced to escape abroad. The Maidan manifestations could be compared with the Yellow Vests movement; however, Macron, an appointee of the Network, had support of his spies, and stayed in power, while Yanukovych had been betrayed and overthrown. ..."
"... You'd ask me, were they so stupid that they believed their own propaganda of inevitable Clinton's victory? Yes, they were and are stupid. They are no sages, evil or benevolent. My main objection to the conspiracy theorists is that they usually view the plotters as omniscient and all-powerful. They are too greedy to be all-powerful, and they are too silly to be omniscient. ..."
"... Now, however, the secret services' cohesion and integration increased to the next level, making it difficult to deal with them. ..."
"... People are fickle and not always know what is good for them; there are many demagogues to mislead the crowd. And still, elected legitimate officials should have precedence in governing, while non-elected ones should obey – and it means the Network spooks and media men should know their place. ..."
"... How did John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Christopher Steele and other Spygate principals manage to rise to the top of the intelligence bureaucracy? ..."
"... These characters have indulged in an orgy of highly conspicuous partisan political meddling and ranting that has created the strong public impression that they engaged in an attempted coup to overthrow a sitting American president on the basis of a frame-up that was largely fueled by Russian disinformation. ..."
"... Brennan in particular: can you imagine any previous CIA director comporting himself in this manner? Throwing all caution to the winds? Inconceivable. Brennan, Comey and Clapper have inflicted serious damage on the reputation of the CIA, FBI and ODNI. ..."
"... It's not just illegal surveillance and blackmail that gives the spies power, it's impunity for even the gravest crimes. If you don't get the message of blackmail you can be tortured or shot, with a bullet like JFK and RFK and Reagan, or with illegal biological weapons like Daschel and Leahy. Institutionalized impunity stares us in the face from US state papers. ..."
"... It's not that CIA and other neo-Gestapos escaped control. They were designed from inception for totalitarian control. The one poor bastard in Congress who pointed that out, Tydings, had McCarthy sicced on him for his cheek. CIA is not out of control; it's firmly IN control. ..."
"... It was funny during the Cold war (the original one) – whenever each side unveiled that a spy from the other side has defected to them – they would say it was because of ideology – i.e. the spy defected to them because he "believed" in "democracy" or socialism – depending on the case. ..."
"... And in order to discredit their own spies when they defected to the other side – they would say that they did it for money, because they were greedy and that they betrayed "democracy" or socialism ..."
"... The other crucial role that spies usually play is that they allow the adversaries to keep technological balance via industrial espionage. By transferring top military secrets, they don't allow any side to gain crucial strategic advantage that might encourage them to do something foolish – like start a nuclear war. Prime example of this were probably the Rosenbergs – who helped USSR close the nuclear weapons gap with US and kept the world in a shaky nuclear arms balance. ..."
"... Profound analysis by Mr. Shamir. It confirms that one of the important reasons for the decline of freemasonry is the monopolization of political conspiracy by the intelligence services. Who needs the lodge when you have the CIA. ..."
"... Spooks are everywhere, from secretaries "losing" important communications to CNN news anchors roleplaying with crisis actors, but they are at their most powerful when they are appointed to powerful positions. President Trump's National Security Advisor is a spook and he does what he wants. ..."
"... John le Carre described it perfectly in "A Perfect Spy". The spooks form their own country. They are only loyal to themselves. ..."
"... A global supra-powerful, organized and united, privately directed, publicly backed society of high technology robin hood_mercenary_spooks who conduct sub-legal "scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-your-back [in the nation of the other] routines"; who ignore duty to country, its constitutions, its laws and human rights. The are evil, global acting, high technology nomads with a monopoly on extortion and terror. ..."
"... Your statement "spooks and ex-spooks feel more proximity to their enemies and colleagues in other countries than to their fellow citizens" fails makes clear the importance of containment-of-citizen access to information. Nation states are armed, rule making structures that invent propaganda and control access to information. Information containment and filtering is the essence of the political and economic power of a national leader and it is more import to the evil your article addresses. ..."
"... Control of the media is 50 times more important than control of the government? Nearly all actions of consequence are intended to drain the governed masses and such efforts can only be successful if the lobbying, false-misleading mind controlling privately owned (92% own by just 6 entities) centrally directed media can effectively control the all information environments. ..."
"... While understanding the mechanics is helpful don't neglect the purpose. Why is more important than how. The why is control. They don't care what you believe, but only what you do. You can be on the left, right, mainstream, or fringe and they won't care as long as you eat what they serve. Take a minute to think about what they want you to do and strongly consider not doing it. ..."
May 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

... ... ...

Conspiratorially-minded writers envisaged the Shadow World Government as a board of evil sages surrounded by the financiers and cinema moguls. That would be bad enough; in infinitely worse reality, our world is run by the Junior Ganymede that went berserk. It is not a government, but a network, like freemasonry of old, and it consists chiefly of treacherous spies and pens-for-hire, two kinds of service personnel, that collected a lot of data and tools of influence, and instead of serving their masters loyally, had decided to lead the world in the direction they prefer.

German Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the last head of the Abwehr, Hitler's Military Intelligence, had been such a spy with political ambitions. He supported Hitler as the mighty enemy of Communism; on a certain stage he came to conclusion that the US will do the job better and switched to the Anglo-American side. He was uncovered and executed for treason. His colleague General Reinhard Gehlen also betrayed his Führer and had switched to the American side. After the war, he continued his war against Soviet Russia, this time for CIA instead of Abwehr.

The spies are treacherous by their nature. They contact people who betrayed their countries; they work under cover, pretending to be somebody else; for them the switch of loyalty is as usual and normal as the gender change operation for a Moroccan doctor who is doing that 8 to 5 every day. They mix with foreign spies, they kill people with impunity; they break every law, human or divine. They are extremely dangerous if they do it for their own country. They are infinitely more dangerous if they work for themselves and still keep their institutional capabilities and international network.

Recently we had a painful reminding of their treacherous nature. Venezuela's top spy, the former director of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin), Manuel Cristopher Figuera , had switched sides during the last coup attempt and escaped abroad as the coup failed. He discovered that his membership on the Junior Ganymede of the spooks is more important for him than his duty to his country and its constitution.

Within America, the alphabet agencies from NSA to CIA to FBI had betrayed their country as obviously as Figuera did, though they didn't run away, yet. Our colleagues Mike Whitney and Philip Giraldi described the conspiracy organised by John Brennan of CIA with active participation of FBI's James Comey, to regime-change the US. In the conspiracy, foreign intelligence agencies, primarily the British GCHQ, played an important role. As by law, these spies aren't allowed to operate on their home ground, they go into you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-your-back routine. The CIA spies in England and passes the results to the British Intelligence. MI6 spies in the US and passes the results to CIA. They became integrated to unbelievable extent in the worldwide network of spies.

It is not the Deep State anymore; it is world spooks who had united against their legitimate masters. Instead of staying loyal to their country, the spooks betrayed their countries. They are not only strictly-for-cash – they think they know better what is good for you. In a way, they are a new incarnation of the Cecil Rhodes Society . Democratically-elected politicians and statesmen have to obey them or meet their displeasure, as Corbyn and Trump did.

Everywhere, in the US, the UK, and Russia, the spooks became too powerful to handle. The CIA stood behind assassination of JFK and tried to take down Trump. The British Intelligence undermined Jeremy Corbyn, after assisting the CIA in pushing for the Iraq war. They created the Steele Dossier, invented the Skripal hoax and had brought Russia and the West to the brink of nuclear war.

Russian spooks are in a special relations mode with the global network – for many years. In Russia, persistent rumours claim the perilous Perestroika of Mikhail Gorbachev had been designed and initiated by the KGB chief (1967 – 1982) Yuri Andropov . He and his appointees dismantled the socialist state and prepared the takeover of 1991 in the interests of the One World project.

Andropov (who had stepped into Brezhnev's shoes in 1982 and died in 1984) had advanced Gorbachev and his architect of glasnost, Alexander Yakovlev . Andropov also promoted the arch-traitor KGB General Oleg Kalugin to head its counter-intelligence. Later, Kalugin betrayed his country, escaped to the US and delivered all Russian spies he knew of to the FBI hands.

In late 1980s-early 1990s, the KGB, originally the guarding dog of the Russian working class, had betrayed its Communist masters and switched to work for the Network. But for their betrayal, Gorbachev would not be able to destroy his country so fast: the KGB neutralised or misinformed the Communist leadership.

They allowed Chernobyl to explode; they permitted a German pilot to land on the Red Square – this was used by Gorbachev as an excuse to sack the whole lot of patriotic generals. The KGB people were active in subverting other socialist states, too. They executed the Romanian leader Ceausescu and his wife; they brought down the GDR, the socialist Germany; they plotted with Yeltsin against Gorbachev and with Gorbachev against Romanov. As the result of their plotting, the USSR fell apart.

The KGB plotters of 1991 had thought that post-Communist Russia would be treated by the West like the prodigal son, with a fattened calf being slaughtered for the welcome feast. To their disappointment, the stupid bastards discovered that their country was to play the part of the fattened calf at the feast, and they were turned from unseen rulers into billionaires' bodyguards. Years later, Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia with the blessing of the world spooks and bankers, but being too independent a man to submit, he took his country into its present nationalist course, trying to regain some lost ground. The dissatisfied spooks supported him.

Only recently Putin began to trim the wild growth of his own intelligence service, the FSB. It is possible the cautious president had been alerted by the surprising insistence of the Western media that the alleged attempt on Skripal and other visible cases had been attributed to the GRU, the relatively small Russian Military Intelligence, while the much bigger FSB had been forgotten. The head of FSB cybercrime department had been arrested and sentenced for lengthy term of imprisonment, and two FSB colonels had been arrested as the search of their premises revealed immense amounts of cash , both Russian and foreign currency. Such piles of roubles and dollars could be assembled only for an attempt to change the regime, as it was demanded by the Network.

In the Ukraine, the heads of their state security, SBU had plotted against the last legitimate president Mr Victor Yanukovych. They helped to organise and run the Maidan 2014 manifestations and misled their President, until he was forced to escape abroad. The Maidan manifestations could be compared with the Yellow Vests movement; however, Macron, an appointee of the Network, had support of his spies, and stayed in power, while Yanukovych had been betrayed and overthrown.

In the US, the spooks allowed Donald Trump to become the leading Republican candidate, for they thought he would certainly lose to Mme Clinton. Surprisingly, he had won, and since then, this man who was advanced as an easy prey, as a buffoon, had been hunted by the spooks-and-scribes freemasonry.

You'd ask me, were they so stupid that they believed their own propaganda of inevitable Clinton's victory? Yes, they were and are stupid. They are no sages, evil or benevolent. My main objection to the conspiracy theorists is that they usually view the plotters as omniscient and all-powerful. They are too greedy to be all-powerful, and they are too silly to be omniscient.

Their knowledge of official leaders' faults gives them their feeling of power, but this knowledge can be translated into actual control only for weak-minded men. Strong leaders do not submit easily. Putin has had his quota of imprudent or outright criminal acts in his past, but he never allowed the blackmailers to dictate him their agenda. Netanyahu, another strong man of modern politics, also had managed to survive blackmail. Meanwhile, Trump defeated all attempts to unseat him, though his enemies had used his alleged lack of delicacy in relation to women, blacks and Jews to its utmost. He waded through the deep pond of Russiagate like Gulliver. But he has to purge the alphabet agencies to reach safety.

In Russia, the problem is acute. Many Russian spooks and ex-spooks feel more proximity to their enemies and colleagues in other countries than to their fellow citizens. There is a freemasonic quality in their camaraderie. Such a quality could be commendable in soldiers after the war is over, but here the war is going on. Russian spooks are particularly besotted with their declared enemies; apparently it is the Christian quality of the Russian soul, but a very annoying one.

When Snowden reached Moscow after his daring escape from Hong Kong, the Russian TV screened a discussion that I participated in, among journalists, members of parliament and ex-spies. The Russian spooks said that Snowden is a traitor; a person who betrayed his agency can't be trusted and should be sent to the US in shackles. They felt they belong to the Spy World, with its inner bond, while their loyalty to Russia was a distant second.

During recent visit of Mike Pompeo to Sochi, the head of SVR, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Mr Sergey Naryshkin proposed the State Secretary Mike Pompeo, the ex-CIA director, to expand contacts between Russian and US special services at a higher level. He clarified that he actively interacted with Pompeo during the period when he was the head of the CIA. Why would he need contacts with his adversary? It would be much better to avoid contacts altogether.

Even president Putin, who is first of all a Russian nationalist (or a patriot, as they say), who has granted Snowden asylum in Moscow at a high price of seriously worsening relations with Obama's administration, even Putin has told Stone that Snowden shouldn't have leaked the documents the way he did. "If he didn't like anything at his work he should have simply resigned, but he went further", a response proving he didn't completely freed himself from the spooks' freemasonry.

While the spooks plot, the scribes justify their plots. Media is also a weapon, and a mighty one. In Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin , the protagonist is defeated by the smear campaign in the media. Despite his miraculous arrival, despite his glorious victory, the evil witch succeeds to poison minds of the hero's wife and of the court. The pen can counter the sword. When the two are integrated, as in the union of spooks and scribes, it is too dangerous tool to leave intact.

In many countries of Europe, editorial international policies had been outsourced to the spooky Atlantic Council, the Washington-based think tank. The Atlantic Council is strongly connected with NATO alliance and with Brussels bureaucracy, the tools of control over Europe. Another tool is The Integrity Initiative , where the difference between spies and journalists is blurred . And so is the difference between the left and the right. The left and the right-wing media use different arguments, surprisingly leading to the same bottom line, because both are tools of warfare for the same Network.

In 1930s, they were divided. The German and the British agents pulled and pushed in the opposite directions. The Russian military became so friendly with the Germans, that at a certain time, Hitler believed the Russian generals would side with him against their own leader. The Russian spooks were befriended by the Brits, and had tried to push Russia to confront Hitler. The cautious Marshal Stalin had purged the Red Army's pro-German Generals, and the NKVD's pro-British spooks, and delayed the outbreak of hostilities as much as he could. Now, however, the secret services' cohesion and integration increased to the next level, making it difficult to deal with them.

If they are so powerful, integrated and united, shouldn't we throw a towel in the ring and surrender? Hell, no! Their success is their undoing. They plot, but Allah is the best plotter, – our Muslim friends say. Indeed, when they succeed to suborn a party, the people vote with their feet. The Brexit is the case to consider. The Network wanted to undermine the Brexit; so they neutralised Corbyn by the antisemitism pursuit while May had made all she could to sabotage the Brexit while calling for it in public. Awfully clever of them – but the British voter responded with dropping both established parties. So their clever plot misfired.

People are fickle and not always know what is good for them; there are many demagogues to mislead the crowd. And still, elected legitimate officials should have precedence in governing, while non-elected ones should obey – and it means the Network spooks and media men should know their place.


Sean McBride , says: May 21, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT

Side note:

How did John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Christopher Steele and other Spygate principals manage to rise to the top of the intelligence bureaucracy?

Spymasters are usually renowned for their inscrutability and for playing their cards close to their vests.

These characters have indulged in an orgy of highly conspicuous partisan political meddling and ranting that has created the strong public impression that they engaged in an attempted coup to overthrow a sitting American president on the basis of a frame-up that was largely fueled by Russian disinformation.

Brennan in particular: can you imagine any previous CIA director comporting himself in this manner? Throwing all caution to the winds? Inconceivable. Brennan, Comey and Clapper have inflicted serious damage on the reputation of the CIA, FBI and ODNI.

Forthcoming books will no doubt get into all the remarkable and bizarre details.

Donald Trump has demonstrated the ability to troll and goad many of his opponents into a state of imbecility. It's a negotiating tactic -- knock them off balance, provoke them to lose control. No matter how smart they are, some people take the bait.

Ding ding ding , says: May 21, 2019 at 4:04 pm GMT
I am sitting here pointing to my nose. Spies run the world – contemporary history in a nutshell. A few provisos:

It's not just illegal surveillance and blackmail that gives the spies power, it's impunity for even the gravest crimes. If you don't get the message of blackmail you can be tortured or shot, with a bullet like JFK and RFK and Reagan, or with illegal biological weapons like Daschel and Leahy. Institutionalized impunity stares us in the face from US state papers.

It's not that CIA and other neo-Gestapos escaped control. They were designed from inception for totalitarian control. The one poor bastard in Congress who pointed that out, Tydings, had McCarthy sicced on him for his cheek. CIA is not out of control; it's firmly IN control.

– There is a crucial difference between US and Russian spies. Russians can go over the head of their government to the world. That's the only effective check on state criminal enterprise like CIA. Article 17 of the Russian Constitution says "in the Russian Federation rights and freedoms of person and citizen are recognized and guaranteed pursuant to the generally recognized principles and norms of international law and in accordance with this Constitution." Article 18 states that rights and freedoms of the person and citizen are directly applicable, which prevents the kind of bad-faith tricks the USA pulls, like declaring "non-self executing" treaties, or making legally void reservations, declarations, understandings, and provisos to screw you out of your rights. Article 46(3) guarantees citizens a constitutional right to appeal to inter-State bodies for the protection of human rights and freedoms if internal legal redress has been exhausted. Ratified international treaties including the ICCPR supersede any domestic legislation stipulating otherwise.

Endgame Napoleon , says: May 21, 2019 at 6:14 pm GMT
Isn't it just collusion that holds certain elite groups together, including in some businesses where a lot of chicanery goes on. The most important thing is to be in on it as one of them, not as a person who can be trusted not to say anything, but as one of the gang. It's exactly how absenteeism-friendly offices full of crony parents with crony-parent managers work.

The only problem for the guy at the tippy top is what would happen if such a tight group turned on him / her? Maybe, some leaders see the value in protecting a few brave individuals, like Snowden, letting any coup-stirring spooks know that some people are watching the Establishment's rights violators, too. Those with technical knowledge have more capacity than most to do it or, at least, to understand how it works.

In a country founded on individual liberties, including Fourth Amendment privacy rights that were protected by less greedy generations, the US should have elected leaders that put the US Constitution first, but that is too much to ask in an era when the top dogs in business & government are all colluding for money.

Digital Samizdat , says: May 21, 2019 at 6:40 pm GMT

In Russia, persistent rumours claim the perilous Perestroika of Mikhail Gorbachev had been designed and initiated by the KGB chief (1967 – 1982) Yuri Andropov.

FWIW, I have heard the exact same thing from Russian commenters myself. Some have insisted that, if Andropov had lived long enough, he would have carried glasnost and perestroika himself.

Cyrano , says: May 21, 2019 at 7:09 pm GMT
Spies are loathsome bunch, with questionable loyalties and personal integrity. But I believe that overall they play a positive role. They play a positive role because they help adversaries gain insight into their adversary's activities.

If it wasn't for the spies, paranoia about what the other side is doing can get out of hand and cause wrong actions to take place. The problem with the spies is also that no one knows how much they can be trusted and on whose side they are really on.

It was funny during the Cold war (the original one) – whenever each side unveiled that a spy from the other side has defected to them – they would say it was because of ideology – i.e. the spy defected to them because he "believed" in "democracy" or socialism – depending on the case.

And in order to discredit their own spies when they defected to the other side – they would say that they did it for money, because they were greedy and that they betrayed "democracy" or socialism.

The other crucial role that spies usually play is that they allow the adversaries to keep technological balance via industrial espionage. By transferring top military secrets, they don't allow any side to gain crucial strategic advantage that might encourage them to do something foolish – like start a nuclear war. Prime example of this were probably the Rosenbergs – who helped USSR close the nuclear weapons gap with US and kept the world in a shaky nuclear arms balance.

Kirt , says: May 21, 2019 at 10:01 pm GMT
Profound analysis by Mr. Shamir. It confirms that one of the important reasons for the decline of freemasonry is the monopolization of political conspiracy by the intelligence services. Who needs the lodge when you have the CIA.

An aspect of the rule of spies that Mr. Shamir does not touch on is the legitimization of this rule through popular culture. This started with the James Bond novels and movies and by now has become ubiquitous. Spies and assassins are the heroes of the masses. While secrecy is still needed for tactical reasons in the case of specific operations, overall secrecy is not needed nor even desirable. So you have thugs like Pompeo actually boasting of their villainy before audiences of college students at Texas A&M and you have the Mossad supporting the publication of the book Rise and Kill First which is an extensive account of their world-wide assassination policy. They have the power; now they want the perks that go with it, including being treated like rock stars.

israel shamir , says: May 22, 2019 at 4:06 am GMT
@Kirt

Who needs the lodge when you have the CIA

Good explanation of freemasonry's decline, Kirt! As for popular culture – almost all latest cinema characters are spies – like Avengers))

anno nimus , says: May 22, 2019 at 4:44 am GMT
dear mr Shamir, the criminals are not only stupid but also utterly wicked. they will be stricken down in the twinkling of the eye and will cry out why God? all the righteous will shout for joy and give thanks to the Almighty for judging Babylon. woe unto them! they will have no place to hide or run to.

Ezekiel 9 (NKJV)
The Wicked Are Slain
9 Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, "Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand." 2 And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer's inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer's inkhorn at his side; 4 and the Lord said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it."

5 To the others He said in my hearing, "Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the temple. 7 Then He said to them, "Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!" And they went out and killed in the city.

8 So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, "Ah, Lord God! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?"

9 Then He said to me, "The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great, and the land is full of bloodshed, and the city full of perversity; for they say, 'The Lord has forsaken the land, and the Lord does not see!' 10 And as for Me also, My eye will neither spare, nor will I have pity, but I will recompense their deeds on their own head."

11 Just then, the man clothed with linen, who had the inkhorn at his side, reported back and said, "I have done as You commanded me."

Antares , says: May 22, 2019 at 5:01 am GMT
Espionage depends on contra-espionage. We will never get that hold on Jewish spies as they can have on our spies.
Paul Bennett , says: May 22, 2019 at 5:38 am GMT
Great article.

E Michael Jones was just warning President Trump about the possibility of this in the Straits of Hormuz. https://youtu.be/iIm3WuJAVEE?t=272

Spooks are everywhere, from secretaries "losing" important communications to CNN news anchors roleplaying with crisis actors, but they are at their most powerful when they are appointed to powerful positions. President Trump's National Security Advisor is a spook and he does what he wants.

John le Carre described it perfectly in "A Perfect Spy". The spooks form their own country. They are only loyal to themselves.

Yarkob , says: May 22, 2019 at 7:52 am GMT
@Antares that's because the Mossad isn't like "our" spy agencies. it's closer to the old paradigm of the hashishim or true assassins. Mossad "agents" don't gad around wearing dark glasses and tapping phones; they run proper deep cover operations. "sleepers" is a term used in the USA. they have jobs. they look "normal". They integrate
MarkU , says: May 22, 2019 at 8:45 am GMT
Do spies run the world? No not really, bankers run the world.

Bankers constitute most of the deep state in the US/UK in particular and most of Europe. It is the bankers/deep state which control the intelligence agencies. The ethnicity of a hefty proportion of said bankers is plain to see for anyone with functioning critical faculties. How else can a tiny country in the middle east have such influence in the US? How else do we explain why 2/3 of the UK parliament are "friends of Israel" How come financial institutions can commit felonies and no one does jail time? why is Israel allowed to commit war crimes and break international law with total impunity? who got bailed out of their gambling debts at the expense of inflicting "austerity" on most of the western world?

I am open to any sensible alternative hypothesis.

Realist , says: May 22, 2019 at 8:48 am GMT
@Sean McBride

How did John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Christopher Steele and other Spygate principals manage to rise to the top of the intelligence bureaucracy?

Shit floats.

Sally , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:06 am GMT
A global supra-powerful, organized and united, privately directed, publicly backed society of high technology robin hood_mercenary_spooks who conduct sub-legal "scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-your-back [in the nation of the other] routines"; who ignore duty to country, its constitutions, its laws and human rights. The are evil, global acting, high technology nomads with a monopoly on extortion and terror.

Since winning, Trump has been hunted by the spooks-and-scribes freemasonry. <fallacy is that Trump could have gained the assistence of every American, had Trump just used his powers to declassify all secret information and make it available to the public, instead he chases Assange, and continues to conduct the affairs of his office in secret.

Propaganda preys on belief.. it is more powerful than an atomic weapon.. when the facts are hidden or when the facts are changed, distorted or destroyed.

Your statement "spooks and ex-spooks feel more proximity to their enemies and colleagues in other countries than to their fellow citizens" fails makes clear the importance of containment-of-citizen access to information. Nation states are armed, rule making structures that invent propaganda and control access to information. Information containment and filtering is the essence of the political and economic power of a national leader and it is more import to the evil your article addresses.

https://theintercept.com/2019/05/08/josh-gottheimer-democrats-yemen/ <i wrote IRT to the article, that contents appearing in private media supported monopoly powered corporations and distributed to the public, direct the use of military and the willingness of soldiers of 22 different countries.

Control of the media is 50 times more important than control of the government? Nearly all actions of consequence are intended to drain the governed masses and such efforts can only be successful if the lobbying, false-misleading mind controlling privately owned (92% own by just 6 entities) centrally directed media can effectively control the all information environments.

I am bothered by you article because it looks to be Trumped weighted and failes to make clear it is these secret apolitical, human rights abusers, that direct the contents of the media distributed articles that appear in the privately owmed, media distributed to the public. Also not explained is how the cost of advertising is shared by the monopoly powered corporations, and it is that advertising that is the source of support that keeps the fake news in business, the nation state propaganda in line, and the support of robin -hood terror.

Monopoly powered global corporation advertising funds the fake and misleading private media, that is why the open internet has been shut in tight. In order for the evil, global acting, high technology nomads to continue their extortion and terror activities they need the media, its their only real weapon. I have never meet a member of any of the twenty two agencies that was not a trained, certified mental case terrorist.

Anon [295] Disclaimer , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:08 am GMT
I think the interplay between the spooks and scribes warrants a deeper explanation. Covert action refers to anything in which the author can disclaim his responsibility, ie it looks like someone else or something else. The handler in a political operation cannot abuse his agent because the agent is the actor. The handler in an intelligence gathering operation can abuse his agent because the agent merely enables action.

The political operations in this case are propaganda. The Congress of Cultural Freedom is the most clearly described one to date. Propaganda is necessary in any mass society to ensure that voters care about the right issues, the right way, at the right time. Propaganda can be true, false, or a mix of the two. Black propaganda deals in falsehoods, ie the Steele Dossier. Black propaganda works best when it enables a pre-planned operation, but it pollutes the intelligence gathering process with disinformation.

Intelligence gathering is colloquially called investigative reporting. If anyone knows about Gary Webb, Alan Frankovich, or Michael Hastings they know you can't really do that job well for very long. So how do the old timers last so long? It's a back and forth. The reporter brings all of his information on a subject to his intelligence source (handler). The source then says, "print this, print that, sit on that, and since you've been a good boy here's a little something you didn't know." The true role of the investigative reporter is to conduct counterintelligence and package it as a limited hangout.

While understanding the mechanics is helpful don't neglect the purpose. Why is more important than how. The why is control. They don't care what you believe, but only what you do. You can be on the left, right, mainstream, or fringe and they won't care as long as you eat what they serve. Take a minute to think about what they want you to do and strongly consider not doing it.

https://www.nytimes.com/1977/12/26/archives/worldwide-propaganda-network-built-by-the-cia-a-worldwide-network.html

http://danwismar.com/uploads/Bernstein%20-%20CIA%20and%20Media.htm

joeshittheragman , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:29 am GMT
Do Spies Run the World?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- –
If they're Jewish spies – then yes.
Vojkan , says: May 22, 2019 at 9:45 am GMT
Not usually a big fan of Israel Shamir's pieces but this one on spooks is truly excellent. The article is spot on.
9/11 Inside job , says: May 22, 2019 at 10:37 am GMT
Spies do not run the world , they are merely agents of the "families" who use them to retain and increase their control ,power and wealth .
cowherd , says: May 22, 2019 at 10:46 am GMT
@Sean McBride And now Trump should have then all rounded up and hung from the trees in the front of the Whitehouse. Anything less should be seen as encouragement.
atlantis_dweller , says: May 22, 2019 at 11:26 am GMT
Don't agree.

[Should don't agree, agree, troll, and lol "buttons" for columns be added? I think it would be a nice extra].

mike k , says: May 22, 2019 at 11:49 am GMT
The worst among us rule over the rest of us. As Plato said, this needs to change. How to do that? We don't know, but we desperately need to find out ..
Anon [421] Disclaimer , says: May 22, 2019 at 12:41 pm GMT
@Sean McBride

Obama was a very effective promoter of what might be called the "globalist" agenda. He of course didn't invent it but did appoint those three.

Wayne Madsen gave a convincing account in his speculation that both Obama's parent's were CIA operatives. So it's "all the family" and in the details one might conclude with the author that indeed "spies run the world."

[Jun 03, 2019] The growth of the USA is going to depend on the ability of the people in government to disband the CIA which is similar to a dictator with absolute power and no accountability

The problem is more complex than just CIA. The Deep state encompass more players and it replaced elected officials (surface state) while elections now provide mostly function of legitimizing the rule of the Deep State
Notable quotes:
"... The truth is as the world's economy becomes free of the US and its think-tanks, the world gets richer but those of us in the USA who make our living by working and getting paid will become poorer. Our money will not be able to cover for a good lifestyle. ..."
"... Its sad to see the disastrous policies of the CIA's economic unit has to be paid by the hard working US citizens who only want a good life like everyone else. We did not ask for the CIA, the CIA imposed itself on us, making the decisions without our consent. Now we pay for their disastrous policies by becoming a third world country. ..."
Jun 03, 2019 | russia-insider.com

John Tosh JimB 2 months ago ,

The growth of the USA is going to depend on the ability of the people in government to disband the Central Intelligence Agency which has become a bottleneck in the progress of the USA. The USA cannot grow as long as you have such a powerful bottleneck similar to a dictator with absolute power.

The truth is as the world's economy becomes free of the US and its think-tanks, the world gets richer but those of us in the USA who make our living by working and getting paid will become poorer. Our money will not be able to cover for a good lifestyle.

Its sad to see the disastrous policies of the CIA's economic unit has to be paid by the hard working US citizens who only want a good life like everyone else. We did not ask for the CIA, the CIA imposed itself on us, making the decisions without our consent. Now we pay for their disastrous policies by becoming a third world country.

We are being left behind .... China is going to keep growing... there is nothing the USA can do to stop her now. If war is used, the USA will lose, if economics of scale is compared the USA loses. China is a giant with an almost monolithic population of over one billion. Can you imagine what an educated country with over one billion people can do???

The USA has a lot of blacks, hispanics, asians, Arabs etc, we are not a single group of people. While diversity is a good thing when you have a lot of money to keep everyone happy, poverty will be the enermy of diversity. People will be at each other's jugulars fighting for the little scraps of wealth left behind after the big and powerful grab all they can.

We are into a very hard future in the USA.... no thanks to the silly Central Intelligence Agency. For heavens sake, cant the CIA learn from Chinese or Russian intelligence???? How do the intelligence agencies of the Chinese or Russians operate? Learn instead of sitting on the silly high horse thinking US intelligence is anything but primitive and third rate!

Now the entire USA has to pay for the silly inteliigence agencies which keep expanding with acronyms like rats!

[Apr 22, 2019] On Contact: Russiagate Mueller Report with Aaron Mate

That's a great interview that summarizes Russiagate in a very assessable way. This is exactly repetition of Iraq WDM and subsequent cover up. The consequence is a new higher level of discreditation of neoliberal MSM, at least by Trump supporters They will just ignore those bottomfeeders like Clapper and Brennan.
Endemic of Russophobia is the biggest net result of Russiagate. This is also a big election gift to Trump.
The Deep State did not view Trump as a reliable steward of neoliberal empire and that's why Russiagate was unleashed. And Trump is an embarrassment to the empire, no questions about it.
MadCow spend two year rabidly promoting Russiagate nonsense and she still has her job. That's suggest whom she serves. In other cased she would be discarded like used condom.
Apr 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Chris Hedges discusses with Nation reporter Aaron Mate how despite the categorical statement in Robert Mueller's report that Donald Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia, the conspiracy theories by the nation's mainstream media show little sign of diminishing.

Find RT America in your area: http://rt.com/where-to-watch/
Or watch us online: http://rt.com/on-air/rt-america-air/

Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTAmerica
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_America Category News & Politics


Amy Marie , 1 day ago

Keep up the awesome work Aaron on RT

S Douglas , 1 day ago

It's great to see some non-propagandist journalism.

Tertiary Adjunct , 1 day ago (edited)

RT, give Aaron a show.

Dan Harris , 1 day ago

Aaron Mate is the absolute perfect foil to Jimmy when he is on the Jimmy Dore show. It is hilarious.

NPC Junk Ogre, TYT Head NPC , 1 day ago

We're all still waiting for MSDNC to bring on Aaron, Glenn Greenwald, Jimmy Dore, Michael Tracey and others on any of their programs. MSDNC has not had on one single lefty who got this fraudulent and disgraceful Stalinesque political investigation right from day one since December of 2016. Not one.

MrB1923 , 1 day ago

THIS is journalism. EVERYTHING else is propaganda.

Eric Disegno , 1 day ago (edited)

Two of the greatest journalists in Real News! Thank You RT!!!

J.L. Goodman , 1 day ago

I've got to admit, I get a massive dopamine rush hearing these two sane, intelligent,critical thinkers, skillfully dissect this convoluted quadrafuck that has wasted some much of our precious time. I literally feel washed clean for a moment.

Scott Turner , 1 day ago (edited)

Thanks for this. Aaron Maté and Chris Hedges keep many people somewhat sane in an insane media world. Depressed, but at least somewhat sane. lol

Mike2020able , 1 day ago

Chomsky : ' Israel ,not Russia, interferes With US Election '

[Apr 17, 2019] Trey Gowdy Calls Hillary Clinton a Habitual Serial Liar

Highly recommenced to listen. Judge Napolitano is an interesting speaker (start at 41 min)
As CIA in the USA government organizational chart stands above the Presidential Office Hillary is really untouchable, unless the Presidential Office is also occupied by CIA-democrat like Obama.
Notable quotes:
"... She absolutely thinks she is untouchable ..."
"... Every corrupt person was praised and given more power!!! Hillary sat back and knew of all the raping that bill was doing to kids teenagers young ladies boys young men and she never blinked an eye!!! If a simple tax paying citizen was to pull the bullshit that Hillary has pulled in front of Howdy that citizen would be see the lights day until Jesus came and took us home to Heaven!! ..."
"... Hillary Clinton actually says in this video that half of Trump supporters are "deplorable". That is equivalent to roughly 25% of the American population! That constitutes a very strong statement from someone who wants to be president of The United States. ..."
Jan 28, 2018 | www.youtube.com
Jeanne Stjohn 1 month ago

Congress is a waste of tax money, they have no power, so obvious! Criminal leaders just lie to them, knowing they can't do a thing and most of them are paid off anyway, they don't want to do anything! Elections are rigged, so they don't have to worry about, "we the poor, lowly people!" We are not even in the equation!

Giorgio Cooper 1 month ago

Why is this pathological liar Hillary still running around free ?? Isn't lying to Congress a felony ??? If this lowlife is simply above the law lets change the laws !

Ann Martin-Frey 1 month ago (edited)

Prosecute everyone of them that knew and allowed even the smallest bit of knowledge and make every one of them ineligible for their pensions. They do not deserve those pensions, they stole them, treasonous acts against your government does not make you eligable..they do not deserve it!!

Kathie Logan 2 months ago

Not only a habitual serial liar but a career Criminal! Hillary and Bill have been involved in illegal manners for over 40 years! Hillary stated it best last year during the time of the election!. " If Donald Trump becomes president, WE WILL ALL HANG!" She finally told the truth!

Pamela Dunford 1 week ago

She absolutely thinks she is untouchable because not one person has been brave enough and bold enough to take her down the Clinton's have been corrupt and evil from child good and they were taught from NWO that they will never be taken down go child rob steel kill do everything in the power we Give you both and bring me all glory!!! We will let you control the United States as long as you want!!!

All the connected deaths that embrace the Clinton's and not single piece of evidence is kept found or stored that it doesn't come up missing so they sit back and allow these foreign governments to take over major areas and promote child sex trafficking who're houses with kids being sold to any man with air in his lungs!

Every corrupt person was praised and given more power!!! Hillary sat back and knew of all the raping that bill was doing to kids teenagers young ladies boys young men and she never blinked an eye!!! If a simple tax paying citizen was to pull the bullshit that Hillary has pulled in front of Howdy that citizen would be see the lights day until Jesus came and took us home to Heaven!!

She gas lied straight face looked him dead in the eyes and laughed at the bengahzi deaths that She is on record having him killed she laughed and she didn't Give a f*** about killing him and leaving his remains behind but my question is why hasn't she been arrested booked finger printed and mugshot took with a huge bond or mot and put behind bars until you beat the f******truth out if her??? I would get the death penalty she wouldn't and hasn't gotten a contempt of court for not complying with mr. Gowdy

CB 2 weeks ago

Hillary Clinton actually says in this video that half of Trump supporters are "deplorable". That is equivalent to roughly 25% of the American population! That constitutes a very strong statement from someone who wants to be president of The United States.

To say that 80 million people are "deplorable" IS TRULY DEPLORABLE!!! After hearing this I can't really understand WHY she got even a single vote!

tropolite 3 weeks ago

This is a fantastic mosaic of the state of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. It is absolutely clear that she is an habitual liar, corrupt to the extreme and has absolutely no credibility.

I'd love to see Mr Gowdy take the gloves off and take her down. She must be removed from the public as she is a menace. She is the mother of deplorable.

[Apr 17, 2019] Did CIA Director William Casey really say, We ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The CIA fabricated a story that the Russians in Afghanistan made plastic bombs in the shape of toys, to blow up children. Casey repeated this story, knowing it to be disinformation, as fact to US journalists and politicians. ..."
Sep 01, 2013 |