Softpanorama

May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Lesserevilism bulletin, 2019

Home 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Dec 30, 2019] Sanders probably understands the situation but still is pandering to MIC, while Warren sounds like a regular neocon, another Kagan

Notable quotes:
"... "Today I say to Mr. Putin: We will not allow you to undermine American democracy or democracies around the world," Sanders said. "In fact, our goal is to not only strengthen American democracy, but to work in solidarity with supporters of democracy around the globe, including in Russia. In the struggle of democracy versus authoritarianism, we intend to win." ..."
"... And yet, Warren too seems in thrall to the idea that the world order is shaping up to be one in which the white hats (Western democracies) must face off against the black hats (Eurasian authoritarians). Warren says that the "combination of authoritarianism and corrupt capitalism" of Putin's Russia and Xi's China "is a fundamental threat to democracy, both here in the United States and around the world." ..."
"... The Cold War echoes here are as unmistakable as they are worrying. As Princeton and NYU professor emeritus Stephen F. Cohen has written, during the first Cold War, a "totalitarian school" of Soviet studies grew up around the idea "that a totalitarian 'quest for absolute power' at home always led to the 'dynamism' in Soviet behavior abroad was a fundamental axiom of cold-war Soviet studies and of American foreign policy." ..."
"... Cold warriors in both parties frequently mistook communism as a monolithic global movement. Neoprogressives are making this mistake today when they gloss over national context, history, and culture in favor of an all-encompassing theory that puts the "authoritarian" nature of the governments they are criticizing at the center of their diagnosis. ..."
"... By citing the threat to Western democracies posed by a global authoritarian axis, the neoprogressives are repeating the same mistake made by liberal interventionists and neoconservatives. They buy into the democratic peace theory, which holds without much evidence that a world order populated by democracies is likely to be a peaceful one because democracies allegedly don't fight wars against one another. ..."
"... George McGovern once observed that U.S. foreign policy "has been based on an obsession with an international Communist conspiracy that existed more in our minds than in reality." So too the current obsession with the global authoritarians. Communism wasn't a global monolith and neither is this. By portraying it as such, neoprogressives are midwifing bad policy. ..."
"... Some of these elected figures, like Trump and Farage, are symptoms of the failure of the neoliberal economic order. Others, like Orban and Kaczyński, are responses to anti-European Union sentiment and the migrant crises that resulted from the Western interventions in Libya and Syria. Many have more to do with conditions and histories specific to their own countries. Targeting them by painting them with the same broad brush is a mistake. ..."
"... "Of all the geopolitical transformations confronting the liberal democratic world these days," writes neoconservative-turned-Hillary Clinton surrogate Robert Kagan, "the one for which we are least prepared is the ideological and strategic resurgence of authoritarianism." Max Boot also finds cause for concern. Boot, a modern-day reincarnation (minus the pedigree and war record) of the hawkish Cold War-era columnist Joe Alsop, believes that "the rise of populist authoritarianism is perhaps the greatest threat we face as a world right now." ..."
Dec 30, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

You can hear echoes of progressive realism in the statements of leading progressive lawmakers such as Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Ro Khanna. They have put ending America's support for the Saudi war on Yemen near the top of the progressive foreign policy agenda. On the stump, Sanders now singles out the military-industrial complex and the runaway defense budget for criticism. He promises, among other things, that "we will not continue to spend $700 billion a year on the military." These are welcome developments. Yet since November of 2016, something else has emerged alongside the antiwar component of progressive foreign policy that is not so welcome. Let's call it neoprogressive internationalism, or neoprogressivism for short.

Trump's administration brought with it the Russia scandal. To attack the president and his administration, critics revived Cold War attitudes. This is now part of the neoprogressive foreign policy critique. It places an "authoritarian axis" at its center. Now countries ruled by authoritarians, nationalists, and kleptocrats can and must be checked by an American-led crusade to make the world safe for progressive values. The problem with this neoprogressive narrative of a world divided between an authoritarian axis and the liberal West is what it will lead to: ever spiraling defense budgets, more foreign adventures, more Cold Wars -- and hot ones too.

Unfortunately, Senators Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have adopted elements of the neoprogressive program. At a much remarked upon address at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, the site of Churchill's 1946 address, Sanders put forth a vision of a Manichean world. Instead of a world divided by the "Iron Curtain" of Soviet Communism, Sanders sees a world divided between right-wing authoritarians and the forces of progress embodied by American and Western European progressive values.

"Today I say to Mr. Putin: We will not allow you to undermine American democracy or democracies around the world," Sanders said. "In fact, our goal is to not only strengthen American democracy, but to work in solidarity with supporters of democracy around the globe, including in Russia. In the struggle of democracy versus authoritarianism, we intend to win."

A year later, Sanders warned that the battle between the West and an "authoritarian axis" which is "committed to tearing down a post-Second World War global order that they see as limiting their access to power and wealth." Sanders calls this "a global struggle of enormous consequence. Nothing less than the future of the -- economically, socially and environmentally -- is at stake."

Sanders's focus on this authoritarian axis is one that is shared with his intraparty rivals at the Center for American Progress (a think-tank long funded by some of the least progressive regimes on the planet), which he has pointedly criticized for smearing progressive Democrats like himself. CAP issued a report last September about "the threat presented by opportunist authoritarian regimes" which "urgently requires a rapid response."

The preoccupation with the authoritarian menace is one Sanders and CAP share with prominent progressive activists who warn about the creeping influence of what some have cynically hyped as an "authoritarian Internationale."

Cold War Calling

Senator Warren spelled out her foreign policy vision in a speech at American University in November 2018. Admirably, she criticized Saudi Arabia's savage war on Yemen, the defense industry, and neoliberal free trade agreements that have beggared the American working and middle classes.

"Foreign policy," Warren has said, "should not be run exclusively by the Pentagon." In the second round of the Democratic primary debates, Warren also called for a nuclear "no first use" policy.

And yet, Warren too seems in thrall to the idea that the world order is shaping up to be one in which the white hats (Western democracies) must face off against the black hats (Eurasian authoritarians). Warren says that the "combination of authoritarianism and corrupt capitalism" of Putin's Russia and Xi's China "is a fundamental threat to democracy, both here in the United States and around the world."

Warren also sees a rising tide of corrupt authoritarians "from Hungary to Turkey, from the Philippines to Brazil," where "wealthy elites work together to grow the state's power while the state works to grow the wealth of those who remain loyal to the leader."

The concern with the emerging authoritarian tide has become a central concern of progressive writers and thinkers. "Today, around the world," write progressive foreign policy activists Kate Kinzer and Stephen Miles, "growing authoritarianism and hate are fueled by oligarchies preying on economic, gender, and racial inequality."

Daniel Nexon, a progressive scholar of international relations, believes that "progressives must recognize that we are in a moment of fundamental crisis, featuring coordination among right-wing movements throughout the West and with the Russian government as a sponsor and supporter."

Likewise, The Nation 's Jeet Heer lays the blame for the rise of global authoritarianism at the feet of Vladimir Putin, who "seems to be pushing for an international alt-right, an informal alliance of right-wing parties held together by a shared xenophobia."

Blithely waving away concerns over sparking a new and more dangerous Cold War between the world's two nuclear superpowers, Heer advises that "the dovish left shouldn't let Cold War nightmares prevent them [from] speaking out about it." He concludes: "Leftists have to be ready to battle [Putinism] in all its forms, at home and abroad."

The Cold War echoes here are as unmistakable as they are worrying. As Princeton and NYU professor emeritus Stephen F. Cohen has written, during the first Cold War, a "totalitarian school" of Soviet studies grew up around the idea "that a totalitarian 'quest for absolute power' at home always led to the 'dynamism' in Soviet behavior abroad was a fundamental axiom of cold-war Soviet studies and of American foreign policy."

Likewise, we are seeing the emergence of an "authoritarian school" which posits that the internal political dynamics of regimes such as Putin's cause them, ineffably, to follow revanchist, expansionist foreign policies.

Cold warriors in both parties frequently mistook communism as a monolithic global movement. Neoprogressives are making this mistake today when they gloss over national context, history, and culture in favor of an all-encompassing theory that puts the "authoritarian" nature of the governments they are criticizing at the center of their diagnosis.

By citing the threat to Western democracies posed by a global authoritarian axis, the neoprogressives are repeating the same mistake made by liberal interventionists and neoconservatives. They buy into the democratic peace theory, which holds without much evidence that a world order populated by democracies is likely to be a peaceful one because democracies allegedly don't fight wars against one another.

Yet as Richard Sakwa, a British scholar of Russia and Eastern Europe, writes, "it is often assumed that Russia is critical of the West because of its authoritarian character, but it cannot be taken for granted that a change of regime would automatically make the country align with the West."

George McGovern once observed that U.S. foreign policy "has been based on an obsession with an international Communist conspiracy that existed more in our minds than in reality." So too the current obsession with the global authoritarians. Communism wasn't a global monolith and neither is this. By portraying it as such, neoprogressives are midwifing bad policy.

True, some of the economic trends voters in Europe and South America are reacting to are global, but a diagnosis that links together the rise of Putin and Xi, the elections of Trump in the U.S., Bolsonaro in Brazil, Orban in Hungary, and Kaczyński in Poland with the right-wing insurgency movements of the Le Pens in France and Farage in the UK makes little sense.

Some of these elected figures, like Trump and Farage, are symptoms of the failure of the neoliberal economic order. Others, like Orban and Kaczyński, are responses to anti-European Union sentiment and the migrant crises that resulted from the Western interventions in Libya and Syria. Many have more to do with conditions and histories specific to their own countries. Targeting them by painting them with the same broad brush is a mistake.

Echoes of Neoconservatism

The progressive foreign policy organization Win Without War includes among its 10 foreign policy goals "ending economic, racial and gender inequality around the world." The U.S., according to WWW, "must safeguard universal human rights to dignity, equality, migration and refuge."

Is it a noble sentiment? Sure. But it's every bit as unrealistic as the crusade envisioned by George W. Bush in his second inaugural address, in which he declared, "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."

We know full well where appeals to "universal values" have taken us in the past. Such appeals are not reliable guides for progressives if they seek to reverse the tide of unchecked American intervention abroad. But maybe we should consider whether it's a policy of realism and restraint that they actually seek. Some progressive thinkers are at least honest enough to admit as much that it is not. Nexon admits that "abandoning the infrastructure of American international influence because of its many minuses and abuses will hamstring progressives for decades to come." In other words, America's hegemonic ambitions aren't in and of themselves objectionable or self-defeating, as long as we achieve our kind of hegemony. Progressive values crusades bear more than a passing resemblance to the neoconservative crusades to remake the world in the American self-image.

"Of all the geopolitical transformations confronting the liberal democratic world these days," writes neoconservative-turned-Hillary Clinton surrogate Robert Kagan, "the one for which we are least prepared is the ideological and strategic resurgence of authoritarianism." Max Boot also finds cause for concern. Boot, a modern-day reincarnation (minus the pedigree and war record) of the hawkish Cold War-era columnist Joe Alsop, believes that "the rise of populist authoritarianism is perhaps the greatest threat we face as a world right now."

Neoprogressivism, like neoconservatism, risks catering to the U.S. establishment's worst impulses by playing on a belief in American exceptionalism to embark upon yet another global crusade. This raises some questions, including whether a neoprogressive approach to the crises in Ukraine, Syria, or Libya would be substantively different from the liberal interventionist approach of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton. Does a neoprogressive foreign policy organized around the concept of an "authoritarian axis" adequately address the concerns of voters in the American heartland who disproportionately suffer from the consequences of our wars and neoliberal economic policies? It was these voters, after all, who won the election for Trump.

Donald Trump's failure to keep his campaign promise to bring the forever wars to a close while fashioning a new foreign policy oriented around core U.S. national security interests provides Democrats with an opportunity. By repeatedly intervening in Syria, keeping troops in Afghanistan, kowtowing to the Israelis and Saudis, ratcheting up tensions with Venezuela, Iran, Russia, and China, Trump has ceded the anti-interventionist ground he occupied when he ran for office. He can no longer claim the mantle of restraint, a position that found support among six-in-ten Americans in 2016.

Yet with the exception of Tulsi Gabbard, for the most part the Democratic field is offering voters a foreign policy that amounts to "Trump minus belligerence." A truly progressive foreign policy must put questions of war and peace front and center. Addressing America's post 9/11 failures, military overextension, grotesquely bloated defense budget, and the ingrained militarism of our political-media establishment are the proper concerns of a progressive U.S. foreign policy.

But it is one that would place the welfare of our own citizens above all. As such, what is urgently required is the long-delayed realization of a peace dividend. The post-Cold War peace dividend that was envisioned in the early 1990s never materialized. Clinton's secretary of defense Les Aspin strangled the peace dividend in its crib by keeping the U.S. military on a footing that would allow it to fight and win two regional wars simultaneously. Unipolar fantasies of "full spectrum dominance" would come later in the decade.

One might have reasonably expected an effort by the Obama administration to realize a post-bin Laden peace dividend, but the forever wars dragged on and on. In a New Yorker profile from earlier this year, Sanders asked the right question: "Do we really need to spend more than the next ten nations combined on the military, when our infrastructure is collapsing and kids can't afford to go to college?"

The answer is obvious. And yet, how likely is it that progressives will be able realize their vision of a more just, more equal American society if we have to mobilize to face a global authoritarian axis led by Russia and China?

FDR's Good Neighbor Policy

The unipolar world of the first post-Cold War decade is well behind us now. As the world becomes more and more multipolar, powers like China, Russia, Iran, India, and the U.S. will find increasing occasion to clash. A peaceful multipolar world requires stability. And stability requires balance.

In the absence of stability, none of the goods progressives see as desirable can take root. This world order would put a premium on stability and security rather than any specific set of values. An ethical, progressive foreign policy is one which understands that great powers have security interests of their own. "Spheres of influence" are not 19th century anachronisms, but essential to regional security: in Europe, the Western Hemisphere and elsewhere.

It is a policy that would reject crusades to spread American values the world over. "The greatest thing America can do for the rest of the world," George Kennan once observed, "is to make a success of what it is doing here on this continent and to bring itself to a point where its own internal life is one of harmony, stability and self-assurance."

Progressive realism doesn't call for global crusades that seek to conquer the hearts and minds of others. It is not bound up in the hoary self-mythology of American Exceptionalism. It is boring. It puts a premium on the value of human life. It foreswears doing harm so that good may come. It is not a clarion call in the manner of John F. Kennedy who pledged to "to pay any price, bear any burden." It does not lend itself to the cheap moralizing of celebrity presidential speechwriters. In ordinary language, a summation of such a policy would go something like: "we will bear a reasonable price as long as identifiable U.S. security interests are at stake."

A policy that seeks to wind down the global war on terror, slash the defense budget, and shrink our global footprint won't inspire. It will, however, save lives. Such a policy has its roots in Franklin Delano Roosevelt's first inaugural address. "In the field of World policy," said Roosevelt, "I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor, the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others, the neighbor who respects his obligations and respects the sanctity of his agreements in and with a World of neighbors."

What came to be known as the "Good Neighbor" policy was further explicated by FDR's Secretary of State Cordell Hull at the Montevideo Conference in 1933, when he stated that "No country has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another." Historian David C. Hendrickson sees this as an example of FDR's principles of "liberal pluralism," which included "respect for the integrity and importance of other states" and "non-intervention in the domestic affairs of neighboring states."

These ought to serve as the foundations on which to build a truly progressive foreign policy. They represent a return to the best traditions of the Democratic Party and would likely resonate with those very same blocs of voters that made up the New Deal coalition that the neoliberal iteration of the Democratic Party has largely shunned but will sorely need in order to unseat Trump. And yet, proponents of a neoprogressive foreign policy seem intent on running away from a popular policy of realism and restraint on which Trump has failed to deliver.

James W. Carden is contributing writer for foreign affairs at The Nation and a member of the Board of the Simone Weil Center for Political Philosophy.

[Dec 29, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Quo Vadis: If the Dem Party is going to be kaput

Dec 29, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Tulsi Gabbard: Quo Vadis?


Alligator Ed on Wed, 12/25/2019 - 11:02pm After bravely contesting a nomination she knows she cannot win, Tulsi Gabbard has and continues to exhibit a tenacious adherence to achievement of purpose. What is that purpose? I believe it is evident if you only let your eyes see and your ears hear. Listen to what she says. Looks at what she does.

//www.youtube.com/embed/F1bVz4nNNnA?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

Humble surroundings. Real people. Good food.

What this does is obvious. However, please forgive me if I proceed to explain the meaning. People see what apparently is her home milieu. I've been to Filipino homes for dinner as many of my nurse friends were Filipino. Tulsi is so human. Despite Hindu belief, she is respectful to the presence and perhaps the essence of Jesus, and does not sound pandering or hypocritical.

Getting to know Tulsi at the beginning of her hoped-for (by me) political ascendancy. Get in on almost the ground floor of what will become an extremely powerful force in future American life.

Why? What's the hurry?

The more support and the earlier Tulsi receives it propel the campaign. That's what momentum means: a self-generating growing strength.

One doesn't have to be a Tulsi supporter to hopefully receive some ideas which may not have occurred to you. This essay does not concern any specific Gabbard policy. What I write here is what I perceive of her character and thus her selected path. Mind-reading, perhaps. Arm-chair speculation, possibly.

Tulsi has completed phase 2A in her career. The little that I know of her early life, especially politically (such as how she voted in HI state legislature) limits a deep understanding which such knowledge would provide. As the tree is bent, etc.

We are in Phase 2B. Tulsi, as I wrote in another essay, is letting the tainted shroud of Democrat corruption fall off her shoulders without any effort of her own. The Democrat party is eating itself alive. It is all things to all people at once. That is a philosophy incapable of satisfaction.

Omni Democraticorundum in tres partes est (pardon the reference to the opening of Caesar's Gallic Wars, with liberal substitution by me).

The Dems trifurcate and the division will be neither pleasant nor reconcilable. Tribalism will be reborn after Trump crushes whomever in 2020.

Tribe one: urban/techno/überkinden.

Tribe two: leftward bound to a place where no politician has ever ventured. Not socialism. Not Communism. We could call it Fantasy Land, although I fear Disney owns that name.

Tribe three: progressive realists. By using such positive wording, you will correctly suspect my bias as to which Tribe I belong to.

Once again, policy will not be discussed. Only strategy and reality. Can't have good strategy without a good grasp of reality. This is why Establidems are bereft of thematic variability. For the past 3.3 years, they have been singing from a hymn book containing but one song. You know the title. Orange Man Bad. Yeah, that's it. If they don't like that title, we establidems have another song for ya. It's called Orange Man Bad. Like that one, huh? Wazzat, ya didn't like the song the first time. Hey, we thought the song would grown on you.

Them Dems, noses up, can't see the sidewalk. Oops. Stepped in something there, huh? Oh, yeah like the Impeachment.

But I digress: The latter part of Phase 2B is not clear. Tulsi will continue to accept small donor contributions, even after not obtaining the nomination next year. Public appearances will be important but should be low key with little press attention. Press attention is something however that won't be available when most desirable. What else Tulsi will do may be to form a nucleus of like-minded activists, thinkers, and other supporters to promote an agenda for a more liberal, tolerant society.

If the Dem Party is going to be kaput . . .

@Alligator Ed

. . . ah, never mind.

Don't be surprised if even Warren will fail to gather the 15% of votes needed in each early primary state to get awarded any delegates.

It's gonna Biden vs Bernie.

Bernie or Dust. Or she who shall not be named in which case even worse (and I don't mean Tulsi).

edit/add: Well, lookee here, hot off the presses as it were:
https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/26/can-bernie-sanders-win-2020-ele...

Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 2:05pm
from your citation: If Sanders' candidacy ....

@Wally @Wally

If Sanders' candidacy continues to be taken seriously, he will eventually be subjected to the scrutiny that Warren and Biden have faced for prolonged stretches. That includes an examination of his electability. "That conversation has never worked well for anyone," Pfeiffer said.

What a bunch of hypocritical horseshit. Bernie not getting scrutiny? In 2016, when not being derided for this, that or the other, Bernie was always scrutinized. There are only two things voters have learned since the DNC 2016 convention:

1. Bernie had a heart attack
2. Bernie supported H. Rodent Clinton in the general election.

Wally on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 3:08pm
The reference was to 2020

@Alligator Ed

. . . and to the much noted "Bernie blackout" up until now this time around.

It's gotten to the point given the polls and the first primary in being held in about a month where TPTB in conjunction with the MSM can no longer afford to turn a blind eye towards Bernie. It's gonna get really nasty.

The most recent tropes on the twitters, probably in response to Brock talking point memos, have been pushing Bernie as an anti-Semite and him purportedly triggering rape survivors. Of course it's horsehit but it's the propagandistic method of the Big Lie.

I'm genuinely curious. How will you react if Tulsi endorses the Dem nominee and it ain't Bernie? Bernie's endorsement of she-who-shall-not-be-named in 2016 seems to have pretty much completely soured him to you. Endorsing Biden better? Or at least acceptable? Not for me. Bernie doing so in 2016 I could understand and forgive. But this is my last go round absent a Bernie miracle.

#2.1.1 #2.1.1

If Sanders' candidacy continues to be taken seriously, he will eventually be subjected to the scrutiny that Warren and Biden have faced for prolonged stretches. That includes an examination of his electability. "That conversation has never worked well for anyone," Pfeiffer said.

What a bunch of hypocritical horseshit. Bernie not getting scrutiny? In 2016, when not being derided for this, that or the other, Bernie was always scrutinized. There are only two things voters have learned since the DNC 2016 convention:

1. Bernie had a heart attack
2. Bernie supported H. Rodent Clinton in the general election.

Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 3:55pm
Tulsi's support if Bernie's not nominated

@Wally She might back Yang--who won't get nominated. But I hope she doesn't do anything more than a neutral statement, somewhat to the effect that "We must defeat Donald Trump", then not campaign otherwise.

#2.1.1.1

. . . and to the much noted "Bernie blackout" up until now this time around.

It's gotten to the point given the polls and the first primary in being held in about a month where TPTB in conjunction with the MSM can no longer afford to turn a blind eye towards Bernie. It's gonna get really nasty.

The most recent tropes on the twitters, probably in response to Brock talking point memos, have been pushing Bernie as an anti-Semite and him purportedly triggering rape survivors. Of course it's horsehit but it's the propagandistic method of the Big Lie.

I'm genuinely curious. How will you react if Tulsi endorses the Dem nominee and it ain't Bernie? Bernie's endorsement of she-who-shall-not-be-named in 2016 seems to have pretty much completely soured him to you. Endorsing Biden better? Or at least acceptable? Not for me. Bernie doing so in 2016 I could understand and forgive. But this is my last go round absent a Bernie miracle.

Wally on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 5:17pm
I don't think anyone other than Bernie or Yang would want Tulsi

@Alligator Ed

. . . to campaign in support of their candidacies.

Maybe Biden will accept her support. I've still never been able to figure why she never and probably still won't take any shots at his warmongering and otherwise cruddy record regarding domestic affairs.

#2.1.1.1.1 She might back Yang--who won't get nominated. But I hope she doesn't do anything more than a neutral statement, somewhat to the effect that "We must defeat Donald Trump", then not campaign otherwise.

by Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 6:28pm
She was working her way up the food chain

@Wally That's what intelligent predators do.

#2.1.1.1.1.1

. . . to campaign in support of their candidacies.

Maybe Biden will accept her support. I've still never been able to figure why she never and probably still won't take any shots at his warmongering and otherwise cruddy record regarding domestic affairs.

wokkamile on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 5:29pm
Well, she wouldn't

@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed be unfamiliar with the neutral position. Though I wonder if she would feel comfortable dipping into that well again given how much grief she got the last time.

Of course, if she again puts it in Neutral, and doesn't support the D nominee (anyone but Bloomberg), she will be finished as a Dem pol. She might as well go off and start a Neutral Party.

#2.1.1.1.1 She might back Yang--who won't get nominated. But I hope she doesn't do anything more than a neutral statement, somewhat to the effect that "We must defeat Donald Trump", then not campaign otherwise.

by Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 6:30pm
She IS finished as a Dem

@wokkamile Her dismissal papers will be submitted to her after she is barred entry into the DNC convention, regardless of how many delegates she may have won.

#2.1.1.1.1.1 #2.1.1.1.1.1 be unfamiliar with the neutral position. Though I wonder if she would feel comfortable dipping into that well again given how much grief she got the last time.

Of course, if she again puts it in Neutral, and doesn't support the D nominee (anyone but Bloomberg), she will be finished as a Dem pol. She might as well go off and start a Neutral Party.

Wally on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 8:38pm
Will Tulsi win any delegates?

@Alligator Ed

Don't forget that 15% state threshold for eligibility to be awarded delegates.

#2.1.1.1.1.1.2 Her dismissal papers will be submitted to her after she is barred entry into the DNC convention, regardless of how many delegates she may have won.

Alligator Ed on Thu, 12/26/2019 - 9:40pm
My crystal ball has developed cataracts

@Wally Thus my powers of predicting the future have dimmed accordingly. But two things haven't dimmed:

1. It is readily apparent that the DNC won't let Bernie win. They'll rob him of votes in CA (100% probability) and NY (95% probability), etc.

2. The Demonrats will get destroyed in 2020 up and down ballot except in the fiefdoms of Californicate and Ny-no-nah-nah.

What, pray good Sir, do you predict or is that an impossibility at this time?

#2.1.1.1.1.1.2.1

Don't forget that 15% state threshold for eligibility to be awarded delegates.

Wally on Fri, 12/27/2019 - 6:54am
I certainly won't be surprised if Bernie gets cheated or worse

@Alligator Ed

I will be surprised if Tulsi gets so much as one delegate.

More than a few knowledgeable people think he has a very good shot of winning California. I am less optimistic about NYS but I think he will do well enough to get a good number of delegates especially if he does well in the earlier primaries (NYS comes April 28).

I don't feel solidly about making any kind of predictions at this point but given the nature of the Democratic Party, I don't see it as falling into oblivion anytime soon or in our lifetimes.

As far as Bernie goes, I am not optimistic but I still have some hope. I still fervantly believe that his candidacy is the best chance we will have in our lifetimes of bringing about any substantial change -- and if he and his critical mass of supporters can't pull it off this time around, we're all phluckled big time, even alligators, in terms of combating climate change and putting a kabosh on endless wars. I wish you good future luck with Tulsi though. I just don't see it. But I've been wrong on more than one occasion in my life.

[Dec 29, 2019] People you are voting for actually serve as representatives of MIC, not you: House Dems Unanimously Vote to Condemn Withdrawal From Syria

Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

yaridanjo , 21 minutes ago link

Congress' constitutional duty is putting Israel first!

Reality_checkers , 18 minutes ago link

MIGA!

yaridanjo , 11 minutes ago link

You can find here who the warmongers in congress are:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/116-2019/h560

the warmongers voted 'yea' to get their bribes from the Rothschild Banking Cartel!

[Dec 26, 2019] I don't think Warren is a stalking horse for neoliberalism or whatever, but her inability to fight back against bad press (combined with her occasional baffling decisions to give herself bad press) is a big mark against her candidacy.

Dec 26, 2019 | twitter.com

Robespierre Garçon ‏ 5:43 PM - 25 Dec 2019

I don't think Warren is a stalking horse for neoliberalism or whatever, but her inability to fight back against bad press (combined with her occasional baffling decisions to give herself bad press) is a big mark against her candidacy. There will be bad press for either of them.

[Dec 25, 2019] Trump Impeachment as Dems dirty election campaign move

Trump can be impeached as a war criminal just for his false flag Douma attack (along with members of his administration). But Neoliberal Dems and frst of all Pelosi are war criminals too, with Pelosi aiding and abetting war criminal Bush.
So this is a variation of the theme of Lavrentiy Beria most famous quote: "Show me a man and I will find you a crime"
I think tose neolib Dems who supported impeachment disqualified themselves from the running. That includes Warren, who proved to be a very weak, easily swayed politician. It is quote probably that they increased (may be considerably) chances of Trump reelection, but pushing independents who were ready to abandon him, back into Trump camp. Now Trump is able to present himself as a victim of neoliberal Dems/neocons witch hunt.
Notable quotes:
"... Faithless Execution ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | www.nationalreview.com

The only real check left is impeachment. It is rarely invoked and (until very recently) has atrophied as a credible threat. But that doesn't make it any less indispensable.

The problem was exacerbated by the Clinton impeachment fiasco, which history has proved foolhardy. (I supported it at the time, but I was a government lawyer then, not a public commentator.) Republicans were sufficiently spooked by the experience that they seemed to regard impeachment as obsolete. Faithless Execution countered that this was the wrong lesson to take from the affair. Clinton's impeachment was a mistake because (a) his conduct, though disgraceful and indicative of unfitness, did not implicate the core responsibilities of the presidency; and more significantly, (b) the public, though appalled by the behavior, strongly opposed Clinton's removal. The right lesson was that impeachment must be reserved for grave misconduct that involves the president's essential Article II duties; and that because impeachment is so deeply divisive, it should never be launched in the absence of a public consensus that transcends partisan lines.

This is why, unlike many opponents of President Trump's impeachment, I have never questioned the legitimacy of the Democratic-controlled House's investigations of misconduct allegations against the president. I believe the House must act as a body (investigations should not be partisan attacks under the guise of House inquiries), and it must respect the lawful and essential privileges of the executive branch; but within those parameters, Congress has the authority and responsibility to expose executive misconduct.

Moreover, while egregious misconduct will usually be easy to spot and grasp, that will not always be the case. When members of Congress claim to see it, they should have a fair opportunity to expose and explain it. To my mind, President Obama was the kind of chief executive that the Framers feared, but this was not obvious because he was not committing felonies. Instead, he was consciously undermining our constitutional order. He usurped the right to dictate law rather than execute it. His extravagant theory of executive discretion to "waive" the enforcement of laws he opposed flouted his basic constitutional duty to execute the laws faithfully. He and his underlings willfully and serially deceived Congress and the public on such major matters as Obamacare and the Benghazi massacre. They misled Congress on, and obstructed its investigation of, the outrageous Fast and Furious "gun-walking" operation, in connection with which a border patrol agent was murdered. With his Iran deal, the president flouted the Constitution's treaty process and colluded with a hostile foreign power to withhold information from Congress, in an arrangement that empowered (and paid cash ransom to) the world's leading sponsor of anti-American terrorism.

My critics fairly noted that I opposed Obama politically, and therefore contended that I was masquerading as a constitutional objection what was really a series of policy disputes. I don't think that is right, though, for two reasons.

First, my impeachment argument was not that Obama was pursuing policies I deeply opposed. I was very clear that elections have consequences, and the president had every right to press his agenda. My objection was that he was imposing his agenda lawlessly, breaking the limitations within which the Framers cabined executive power, precisely to prevent presidents from becoming tyrants. If allowed to stand, Obama precedents would permanently alter our governing framework. Impeachment is there to protect our governing framework.

Second, I argued that, my objections notwithstanding, Obama should not be impeached in the absence of a public consensus for his removal. Yes, Republicans should try to build that case, try to edify the public about why the president's actions threatened the Constitution and its separation of powers. But they should not seek to file articles of impeachment simply because they could -- i.e., because control of the House theoretically gave them the numbers to do it. The House is not obliged to file impeachment articles just because there may be impeachable conduct. Because impeachment is so divisive, the Framers feared that it could be triggered on partisan rather than serious grounds. The two-thirds supermajority requirement for Senate conviction guards against that: The House should not impeach unless there is a reasonable possibility that the Senate would remove -- which, in Obama's case, there was not.

I also tried to focus on incentives. If impeachment were a credible threat, and Congress began investigating and publicly exposing abuses, a sensible president would desist in the misconduct, making it unnecessary to proceed with impeachment. On the other hand, a failed impeachment effort would likely embolden a rogue president to continue abusing power. If your real concern is executive lawlessness, then impeaching heedlessly and against public opinion would be counterproductive.

I've taken the same tack with President Trump.

The objections to Trump are very different from those to Obama. He is breaking not laws but norms of presidential behavior and decorum. For the most part, I object to this. There are lots of things about our government that need disruption, but even disruptive presidents should be mindful that they hold the office of Washington and Lincoln and aspire to their dignity, even if their greatness is out of reach.

That said, impeachment is about serious abuse of the presidency's core powers, not behavior that is intemperate or gauche. Critics must be mindful that the People, not the pundits, are sovereign, and they elected Donald Trump well aware of his flaws. That he turns out to be as president exactly what he appeared to be as a candidate is not a rationale for impeaching him.

The president's misconduct on Ukraine is small potatoes. Democrats were right to expose it, and we would be dealing with a more serious situation if the defense aid appropriated by Congress had actually been denied, rather than inconsequentially delayed. If Democrats had wanted to make a point about discouraging foreign interference in American politics (notwithstanding their long record of encouraging it), that would have been fine. They could have called for the president's censure, which would have put Republicans on the defensive. Ukraine could have been incorporated as part of their 2020 campaign that Trump should be defeated, despite a surging economy and relative peace.

Conducting an impeachment inquiry is one thing, but for the House to take the drastic step of impeaching the president is abusive on this record. Yes, it was foolish of Trump to mention the Bidens to President Zelensky and to seek Ukraine's help in investigating the Bidens. There may well be corruption worth probing, but the president ought to leave that to researchers in his campaign. If there is something that a government should be looking into, leave that to the Justice Department, which can (and routinely does) seek foreign assistance when necessary. The president, however, should have stayed out of it. Still, it is absurd to posit, as Democrats do, that, by not staying out of it, the president threatened election integrity and U.S. national security. Such outlandish arguments may make Ukraine more of a black eye for Democrats than for the president.

But whoever ultimately bears the brunt of the impeachment push, I have to ask myself a hard question: Is this the world I was asking for when I wrote a book contending that, for our system to work as designed, impeachment has to be a credible threat? I don't think so . . . but I do worry about it.

Back to the Clinton impeachment. I tried to make the point that that impeachment effort -- against public opinion, and based on misconduct that, while dreadful, was not central to the presidency -- has contributed significantly to the poisonous politics we have today. Democrats have been looking for payback ever since, and now they have it -- in a way that is very likely to make impeachment more routine in the future.

I don't see how our constitutional system can work without a viable impeachment remedy. But I may have been wrong to believe that we could be trusted to invoke the remedy responsibly. I used to poke fun at pols who would rather hide under their desks than utter the dreaded I-word. Turns out they knew something I didn't.

[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 24, 2019] The Fake Impeachment Pelosi's Botched Ploy Helps Trump Towards Victory by Joaquin Flores

It would be impossible for Trump to re-energize his base in any other way. Pelosi acts as covert agent for Trump re-election? Peloci calculation that she can repar "Mueller effect" of 2018 with this impeachment proved to be gross miscalculation.
Warren who stupidly and enthusiastically jumped into this bandwagon will be hurt. She is such a weak politician that now it looks like she does not belong to the club. Still in comparison with Trump she might well be an improvement as she has Trump-like economic program, which Trump betrayed and neutered. And her foreign policy can't be worse then Trump foreign policy. It is just impossible.
I am convinced that the Dems are not actually interested or focused on defeating Trump, or they would adopt an effective strategy. The question I keep wrestling with is, what is the point to the strategy that is so ineffective?
Notable quotes:
"... The fact that the impeachment is dead in the water, by Pelosi's own admission , is evident in Trump's being adamant that indeed it must be sent to the Senate – where he knows he'll be exonerated. But even if it doesn't go to the Senate, what we're left with still appears as a loss for Democrats. Both places are his briar patch. This makes all of this a win-win for team Trump. ..."
"... fake impeachment procedure ..."
"... For in a constitutional republic like the United States, what makes an impeachment possible is when the representatives and the voters are in communion over the matter. This would normally be reflected in a mid-term election, like say for example the mid-term Senatorial race in 2018 where Democrats failed to take control. Control of the Senate would reflect a change of sentiment in the republic, which in turn and not coincidentally, would be what makes for a successful impeachment. ..."
"... Nancy Pelosi is evidently extraordinarily cynical. Her politics appears to be 'they deserve whatever they believe'. ..."
"... little else can explain the reasoning behind her claim that she will 'send the impeachment to the Senate' as soon as she 'has assurances and knows how the Senate will conduct the impeachment', except that it came from the same person who told the public regarding Obamacare that we have to 'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.". ..."
"... "We have been attacked. We are at war. Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge – taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-soviet Russia and becomes president. ..."
"... He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy – the United States. And like the KGB spy that he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins." ..."
"... We'll say we impeached him, because we did, and we'll say he was impeached. We'll declare victory, and go home. This will make him unelectable because of the stigma of impeachment. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
And so it came to pass, that in the deep state's frenzy of electoral desperation, the 'impeachment' card was played. The hammer has fallen. Nearly the entirety of the legacy media news cycle has been dedicated to the details, and not really pertinent details, but the sorts of details which presume the validity of the charges against Trump in the first place. Yes, they all beg the question. What's forgotten here is that the use of this process along clearly partisan lines, and more – towards clearly partisan aims – is a very serious symptom of the larger undoing of any semblance of stability in the US government.

The fact that the impeachment is dead in the water, by Pelosi's own admission , is evident in Trump's being adamant that indeed it must be sent to the Senate – where he knows he'll be exonerated. But even if it doesn't go to the Senate, what we're left with still appears as a loss for Democrats. Both places are his briar patch. This makes all of this a win-win for team Trump.

Only in a country that produces so much fake news at the official level, could there be a fake impeachment procedure made purely for media consumption, with no real or tangible possible victory in sight.

For in a constitutional republic like the United States, what makes an impeachment possible is when the representatives and the voters are in communion over the matter. This would normally be reflected in a mid-term election, like say for example the mid-term Senatorial race in 2018 where Democrats failed to take control. Control of the Senate would reflect a change of sentiment in the republic, which in turn and not coincidentally, would be what makes for a successful impeachment.

Don't forget, this impeachment is fake

Nancy Pelosi is evidently extraordinarily cynical. Her politics appears to be 'they deserve whatever they believe'. And her aim appears to be the one who makes them believe things so that they deserve what she gives them. For little else can explain the reasoning behind her claim that she will 'send the impeachment to the Senate' as soon as she 'has assurances and knows how the Senate will conduct the impeachment', except that it came from the same person who told the public regarding Obamacare that we have to 'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.".

In both cases, reality is turned on its head – for rather we will know how the Senate intends to conduct its procedure as soon as it has the details, which substantively includes the impeachment documents themselves, in front of them, and likewise, legislators ought to know what's in a major piece of legislation before they vote either way on it. Pelosi's assault on reason, however, isn't without an ever growing tide of resentment from within the progressive base of the party itself.

We have quickly entered into a new era which increasingly resembles the broken political processes which have struck many a country, but none in living memory a country like the US. Now elected officials push judges to prosecute their political opponents, constitutional crises are manufactured to pursue personal or political vendettas, death threats and rumors of coups coming from media and celebrities being fed talking points by big and important players from powerful institutions.

This 'impeachment' show really takes the cake, does it not? We will recall shortly after Trump was elected, narrator for hire Morgan Freeman made a shocking public service announcement. It was for all intents and purposes, a PSA notifying the public that a military coup to remove Trump would be legitimate and in order. Speaking about this PSA, and recounting what was said, would in any event read as an exaggeration, or some allegorical paraphrasing made to prove a point. Jogging our memories then, Freeman spoke to tens of millions of viewers on television and YouTube saying :

"We have been attacked. We are at war. Imagine this movie script: A former KGB spy, angry at the collapse of his motherland, plots a course for revenge – taking advantage of the chaos, he works his way up through the ranks of a post-soviet Russia and becomes president.

He establishes an authoritarian regime, then he sets his sights on his sworn enemy – the United States. And like the KGB spy that he is, he secretly uses cyber warfare to attack democracies around the world. Using social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political processes, even their neighbors. And he wins."

This really set the tone for the coming years, which have culminated in this manufactured 'impeachment' crisis, really befitting a banana republic.

It would be the height of dishonesty to approach this abuse of the impeachment procedure as if until this moment, the US's own political culture and processes were in good shape. Now isn't the time for the laundry list of eroded constitutional provisions, which go in a thousand and one unique directions. The US political system is surely broken, but as is the case with such large institutions several hundreds of years old, its meltdown appears to happen in slow motion to us mere mortals. And so what we are seeing today is the next phase of this break-down, and really ought to be understood as monumental in this sense. Once again revealed is the poor judgment of the Democratic Party and their agents, tools, warlords, and strategists, the same gang who sunk Hillary Clinton's campaign on the rocks of hubris.

Nancy Pelosi also has poor judgment, and these short-sighted and self-interested moves on her part stand a strong chance of backfiring. Her role in this charade is duly noted. This isn't said because of any disagreement over her aims, but rather that in purely objective terms it just so happens that her aims and her actions are out of synch – that is unless she wants to see Trump re-elected. Her aims are her aims, our intention is to connect these to their probable results, without moral judgments.

The real problem for the Democrats, the DNC, and any hopes for the White House in 2020, is that this all has the odor of a massive backfire, and something that Trump has been counting on happening. When one's opponent knows what is probable, and when they have a track record for preparing very well for such, it is only a question of what Trump's strategy is and how this falls into it, not whether there is one.

Imagine being a fly on the wall of the meeting with Pelosi where it was decided to go forward with impeachment in the House of Representatives, despite not having either sufficient traction in the Senate or any way to control the process that the Senate uses.

It probably went like this: ' We'll say we impeached him, because we did, and we'll say he was impeached. We'll declare victory, and go home. This will make him unelectable because of the stigma of impeachment. '

Informed citizens are aware that whatever their views towards Trump, nothing he has done reaches beyond the established precedent set by past presidents. Confused citizens on the other hand, are believing the manufactured talking points thrown their way, and the idea that a US president loosely reference a quid pro quo in trying to sort a corruption scandal in dealings with the president of a foreign country, is some crazy, new, never-before-done and highly-illegal thing. It is none of those things though.

Unfortunately, not needless to say, the entirety of the direct, physical evidence against Trump solely consists of the now infamous transcript of the phone call which he had with Ukrainian president Zelensky. The rest is hearsay, a conspiracy narrative, and entirely circumstantial. As this author has noted in numerous pieces, Biden's entire candidacy rests precisely upon his need to be a candidate so that any normal investigation into the wrongdoings of himself or his son in Ukraine, suddenly become the targeted persecution of a political opponent of Trump.

Other than this, it is evident that Biden stands little chance – the same polling institutions which give him a double-digit lead were those which foretold a Clinton electoral victory. Neither their methods nor those paying and publishing them, have substantively changed. Biden's candidacy, like the impeachment, is essentially fake. The real contenders for the party's base are Sanders and Gabbard.

The Democratic Party Activist Base Despises Pelosi as much as Clinton

The Democratic Party has two bases, one controlled by the DNC and the Clintons, and one which consists of its energized rank-and-file activists who are clearer in their populism, anti-establishment and ant-corporate agenda. Candidates like Gabbard and Sanders are closest to them politically, though far from perfect fits. Their renegade status is confirmed by the difficulties they have with visibility – they are the new silent majority of the party. The DNC base, on the other hand, relies on Rachel Maddow, Wolf Blitzer, and the likes for their default talking points, where they have free and pervasive access to legacy media. In the context of increased censorship online, this is not insignificant.

Among the important reasons this 'impeachment' strategy will lose is that it will not energize the second and larger base. Even though this more progressive and populist base is also more motivated, they have faced – as has the so-called alt-light – an extraordinarily high degree of censorship on social media. Despite all the censorship, the Democrats' silent majority are rather well-informed people, highly motivated, and tend to be vocal in their communities and places of work. Their ideas move organically and virally among the populace.

This silent majority has a very good memory, and they know very well who Nancy Pelosi is, and who she isn't.

The silent majority remembers that after years of the public backlash against Bush's war crimes, crimes against humanity, destruction of remaining civil liberties with the Patriot Act, torture, warrantless search – and the list goes on and on – Democrats managed to retake the lower house in 2006. If there was a legitimate reason for an impeachment, it would have been championed by Pelosi against Bush for going to war using false, falsified, manufactured evidence about WMD in Iraq. At the time, Pelosi squashed the hopes of her own electorate, reasoning that such moves would be divisive, that they would distract from the Democrats' momentum to take the White House in '08, that Bush had recently (?) won his last election, and so on. Of course these were real crimes, and the reasons not to prosecute may have as much to do with Pelosi's own role in the war industry. Pelosi couldn't really push against Bush over torture, etc. because she had been on an elite congressional committee – the House Intelligence Committee – during the Bush years in office which starting in 2003 was dedicated to making sure that torture could and would become normalized and entirely legal.

It seems Pelosi can't even go anywhere with this impeachment on Trump today, and therefore doesn't even really plan to submit it to the Senate for the next stage . The political stunt was pulled, a fireworks show consisting of one lonely rocket that sort of fizzled off out of sight.

Trump emerges unscathed, and more to the point, we are closer to the election and his base is even more energized. Pelosi spent the better part of three years inoculating the public against any significance being attached to any impeachment procedure. Pelosi cried wolf so many times, and Trump has made good on the opportunities handed to him to get his talking points in order and to condition his base to receive and process the scandals in such and such way. This wouldn't have been possible without Pelosi's help. Thanks in part to Pelosi and the DNC, Trump appears primed for re-election.

Trump energizes his base, and the DNC suppresses and disappoints theirs. That's where the election will be won or lost.

[Dec 22, 2019] Warren, AOL, Pelosi and the Kabuki theater of Trump impeachment

Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 11:03 am

Where is AOC in all this? She was the prime mover on impeachment, specifically impeachment over a phone call rather than concentration camps and genocide.

And now with impeachment she gave Pelosi cover to sell the country out again.

I was wondering why many libreral centrists were expreasing admiration for her, a socialist. Maybe they recognized something?

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm

"Prime mover"? What planet are you from? They were Schiff, Nadler, and Pelosi. Did you miss that Russiagate was in motion while AOC was still tending bar? AOC isn't even on any of the key committees (Judiciary and Intel).

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 4:47 pm

I shouldn't have said THE prime mover, but ONE OF the prime movers in the House in actually pushing it over the line against Pelosi's opposition. It seems like the House Dem consensus ever since Russiagate was just to tease their base with it and milk the suspense for all it was worth, until AOC, among others, rallied the base.

AOC is one of the highest-profile members of Congress and she blasted Pelosi for resisting impeachment since May. In September, she tweeted, " At this point, the bigger national scandal isn't the president's lawbreaking behavior – it is the Democratic Party's refusal to impeach him for it​. " "Lawbreaking behavior" is nice and vague, but in this case it seems like she is talking about the Ukraine phone call.

There were other reps who pushed for impeachment, but AOC has one of the biggest platforms and crucially, expanded popular support for impeachment outside the MSNBC crowd. So yes, a key figure in the political/PR effort to move from conspiracy theories to actual impeachment.

Geo , December 21, 2019 at 6:09 pm

"AOC is one of the highest-profile members of Congress and she blasted Pelosi for resisting impeachment since May."

Liz Warren is the one who made it a part of her campaign before anyone else. Rashida Tlaib was the one who made t-shirt with her "impeach the mf'er" quote on it. A lot of them were "blasting" Pelosi for dithering. AOC also "blasted" her for giving ICE more money and a lot of their things .

Your central focus on AOC for the impeachment fiasco while ignoring her active role in spotlighting so many other issues of importance which no one else speaks about is interesting. Did you catch any of her speaking at the Sanders rally in LA today? Any other "high profile" Dems pushing such important issues and campaigns?

Carey , December 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm

Thanks for this comment. I don't trust *any of them* except Sanders, but AOC has been making more good noises than bad, and to claim that it was she who's been driving Pelosi to impeachment is quite a stretch. Poor, helpless/hapless Rep. Pelosi sure.

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Pelosi has repeatedly stared down the progressives in the House. The overwhelming majority of the freshmen reps are what used to be called Blue Dogs, as in corporate Dems. AOC making noise on this issue would not move Pelosi any more than it has on other issues.

IMHO Pelosi didn't try to tamp down Russiagate, and that created expectations that Something Big would happen. Plus she lives in the California/blue cities bubble.

What Dem donors think matters to her way more than what AOC tweets about. If anything, Pelosi (secondarily, I sincerely doubt this would be a big issue in her calculus) would view impeachment as a way to reduce the attention recently given to progressive issues like single payer and student debt forgiveness.

[Dec 22, 2019] Right now, it's Schrodinger's impeachment

Notable quotes:
"... My paranoid fear is that Pelosi or McConnell might try to time the proceedings so as to take Bernie and Warren off the campaign trail at a crucial moment, helping Biden. ..."
"... Amfortas the hippie , December 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm ..."
"... that, and sucking the air out of the room for the primaries. When's super tuesday, again? surely they can engineer it so that their "high drama" coincides. ..."
"... "let's talk about universal material benefits" " ok, Vlad trying to distract us from whats really important " ..."
"... Hepativore , December 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm ..."
"... Happy winter Solstice, everyone! ..."
"... Anyway, the funny thing is, that Biden himself has said that he only wants to be a one-term president. It makes me wonder if he knows that he has neither the energy or presence of mind to hold the office, and that he is merely doing so because of establishment pressure to stop Sanders at all costs. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves Smith Post author , December 21, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Please bone up on US procedure. It's not good to have you confuse readers.

The Senate can't do anything until the House passes a motion referring the impeachment to the Senate. The House ALSO needs to designate managers as part of that process.

Darthbobber , December 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Right now, it's Schrodinger's impeachment.

Joe Well , December 21, 2019 at 5:04 pm

Michael Tracey argued that it's only Senate rules that require that the House formally transmit the impeachment verdict. The Constitution says that the Senate has to try an impeached president, and the Constitution trumps the Senate's rules. Logically, then, the Senate could just modify its rules to try the president.

But the whole delay is weird and impeachment has only been done twice before, so not a lot of precedent.

My paranoid fear is that Pelosi or McConnell might try to time the proceedings so as to take Bernie and Warren off the campaign trail at a crucial moment, helping Biden.

Amfortas the hippie , December 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm

that, and sucking the air out of the room for the primaries. When's super tuesday, again? surely they can engineer it so that their "high drama" coincides.

"let's talk about universal material benefits" " ok, Vlad trying to distract us from whats really important "

Hepativore , December 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm

Happy winter Solstice, everyone!

Anyway, the funny thing is, that Biden himself has said that he only wants to be a one-term president. It makes me wonder if he knows that he has neither the energy or presence of mind to hold the office, and that he is merely doing so because of establishment pressure to stop Sanders at all costs. Plus, if the Democrats get the brokered convention they are after, he can bow out, satisfied that he helped the DNC protect the donor class from the Sanders threat.

https://invidio.us/watch?v=dpBEaFtkziY

[Dec 21, 2019] 'Christianity Today' anti-Trump editorial is a sign of things to come - CNN

Dec 21, 2019 | www.cnn.com

... ... ...

Mark Galli, its current editor (who is leaving the publication in two weeks) takes on Trump directly -- a courageous move on his part, as his magazine has largely been apolitical. "The facts in this instance are unambiguous: the president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president's political opponents," Galli writes. He draws the obvious conclusion for Christians: "That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral." Galli goes further, digging into the behavior of the man in the Oval Office, noting that Trump "has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration." He gets specific: "He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals." As if that wasn't enough, Galli adds, "He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone -- with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders -- is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused." Galli's warning to Christians is clear. "To the many evangelicals who continue to support Mr. Trump in spite of his blackened moral record, we might say this: remember who you are and whom you serve," Galli writes. "Consider how your justification of Mr. Trump influences your witness to your Lord and Savior. Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump's immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency. If we don't reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?" Galli also acknowledged Friday in an interview on CNN's "New Day" that his stand is unlikely to shake loose Trump's strong hold on this voter segment, a crucial portion of his political base. Galli's move is even more admirable when you consider that he published his editorial even knowing that, as he said in his interview, he's not optimistic that his editorial will alter Trump's support among white evangelicals. It's not a stretch to say that white evangelicals put Trump into office in 2016. About 80% of them voted for him. They did so because of the abortion issue, mostly. They wanted pro-life judges throughout the justice system. But this was a devil's bargain, at best. Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us <img alt="Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us" src="//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/191121180252-20191121-fractured-states-religious-leaders-large-169.jpg"> Faith could bring us together. But too often it divides us Younger evangelicals, those under 45, have been slowly but steadily moving away from Trump during the past two years or so, unhappy about his example. A key topic that has driven them away is immigration. Loving your neighbor as yourself has always been a bedrock Christian value. And Trump's stance on immigrants (especially those of color) has upset the younger generation of evangelicals, with two-thirds of them saying in surveys that immigrants strengthen our country, bringing their work ethic and talents with them from Mexico or Central America or Syria. Climate change is another issue that has caught the imagination of younger evangelicals. "I can't love my neighbor if I'm not protecting the earth that sustains them and defending their rights to clean water, clean air, and a stable climate," Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, a national organizer for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, told Grist . Needless to say, Trump's contempt on this subject grates badly on these young Christians. Perhaps naively, Americans have always looked to the presidency for exemplary moral behavior, and when there are obvious personal or moral failures, as with Nixon and Clinton, there is disappointment, even anger. But if you're a Christian -- and I lay claim to this for myself -- you understand that it's human to fail at perfect behavior. There is always forgiveness. And, as T.S. Eliot wrote, "Humility is endless."

Humility lies at the heart of Christian behavior. As does honesty. In these, Trump has set a terrible example, and he's now been taken down for this by an important Christian voice. If only another 10 percent of evangelicals take this seriously, and I suspect they will, Donald J. Trump's presidency is destined for the ash heap of history.

[Dec 21, 2019] The debate reminds us that the only way to remove Trump from office is at the ballot box - The Washington Post

Dec 21, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

Delaying the Senate trial erodes the Democrats' argument that impeachment was so urgent that they could not wait for the courts to act on Trump's aggressive claims of privilege.

Seven Democratic presidential candidates who gathered on a debate stage in Los Angeles on Thursday represent another argument for moving beyond impeachment.

... ... ...

Washington is fixated on the daily turns of the impeachment saga, but polls indicate that most Americans are not. Business executive Andrew Yang pointed out that, even when the current president is gone, the struggles of many people will remain, particularly in parts of the country that helped elect Trump in 2016.

"We blasted away 4 million manufacturing jobs that were primarily based in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Missouri. I just left Iowa -- we blasted 40,000 manufacturing jobs there," Yang said. "The more we act like Donald Trump is the cause of all our problems, the more Americans lose trust that we can actually see what's going on in our communities and solve those problems."

That is what voters are waiting to hear, and the sooner the better for Democrats.

[Dec 20, 2019] The Tragedy of Donald Trump His Presidency Is Marred with Failure by Doug Bandow

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump's performance record as president is comprised of an unbroken string of broken promises, opportunities squandered, principles violated, and intentions abandoned. ..."
"... despite another supposedly positive personal relationship, the Trump administration has applied more sanctions on Moscow, provided more anti-Russian aid to Ukraine, further increased funds and troops to NATO Europe, and sent home more Russian diplomats than the Obama administration. ..."
"... Worse, Washington has made no serious effort to resolve the standoff over Ukraine. No one imagines Moscow returning Crimea to Ukraine or giving in on any other issue without meaningful concessions regarding Kiev. Instead of moderating and minimizing bilateral frictions, the administration has made Russia more likely today than before to cooperate with China against Washington and contest American objectives in the Middle East, Africa, and even Latin America. ..."
"... Although Trump promised to stop America's endless wars, as many - if not more - U.S. military personnel are abroad today as when he took office. He increased the number of troops in Afghanistan and is now seeking to negotiate an exit that would force Washington to remain to enforce the agreement. This war has been burning for more than eighteen years. ..."
"... The administration has maintained Washington's illegal deployment in Syria, shifting one contingent away from the Turkish-Kurdish battle while inserting new forces to confiscate Syrian oil fields-a move that lacks domestic authority and violates international law. A few hundred Americans cannot achieve their many other supposed objectives, such as eliminating Russian, Iranian, and other malign influences and forcing Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to resign or inaugurate democracy. However, their presence will ensure America's continued entanglement in a conflict of great complexity but minimal security interest. ..."
"... This is an extraordinarily bad record after almost three years in office. Something good still might happen between now and November 3, 2020. However, more issues are likely to get worse. Imagine North Korean missile and nuclear tests, renewed Russian attempts to influence Western elections, a bloody Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong, increased U.S.-European trade friction, more U.S. pressure on Iran matched by asymmetric responses, and more. At the moment, there is no reason to believe any of the resulting confrontations would turn out well. ..."
Dec 18, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Trump's performance record as president is comprised of an unbroken string of broken promises, opportunities squandered, principles violated, and intentions abandoned.

North Korea may have been the one issue on which President Donald Trump apparently listened to his predecessor, Barack Obama, when he warned about the serious challenge facing the incoming occupant of the Oval Office. Nevertheless, Trump initially drove tensions between the two countries to a fever pitch, raising fears of war in the midst of proclamations of "fire and fury." Then he played statesman and turned toward diplomacy, meeting North Korea's supreme leader, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore.

Today that effort looks kaput. The North has declared denuclearization to be off the table. Actually, few people other than the president apparently believed that Kim was prepared to turn over his nuclear weapons to a government predisposed toward intervention and regime change.

Now that this Trump policy is formally dead, and there is no Plan B in sight, Pyongyang has begun deploying choice terms from its fabled thesaurus of insults. Democrats are sure to denounce the administration for incompetent naivete. And the bipartisan war party soon will be beating the drums for more sanctions, more florid rhetoric, additional military deployments, new plans for war. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) already has dismissed the risks since any conflict would be "over there," on the distant Korean Peninsula. At which point Trump's heroic summitry, which offered a dramatic opportunity to break decades of deadly stalemate, will be judged a failure.

If the president had racked up several successes-wars ended, peace achieved, disputes settled, relations strengthened-then one disappointment wouldn't matter much. However, his record is an unbroken string of broken promises, opportunities squandered, principles violated, and intentions abandoned.

There is no relationship more important than that between the United States and the People's Republic of China. Despite Trump's supposed friendship with China's Xi Jinping, the trade war rages to the detriment of both countries. Americans have suffered from both the president's tariffs and China's retaliation, with no end in sight. Despite hopes for a resolution, Beijing is hanging tough and obviously doubts the president's toughness, given the rapidly approaching election.

Beyond economics, the relationship is deteriorating sharply. Disagreements and confrontations over everything from geopolitics to human rights have driven the two countries apart, with the administration lacking any effective strategy to positively influence China's behavior. The president's myopic focus on trade has left him without a coherent strategy elsewhere.

Perhaps the president's most pronounced and controversial promise of the 2016 campaign was to improve relations with Russia. However, despite another supposedly positive personal relationship, the Trump administration has applied more sanctions on Moscow, provided more anti-Russian aid to Ukraine, further increased funds and troops to NATO Europe, and sent home more Russian diplomats than the Obama administration.

Worse, Washington has made no serious effort to resolve the standoff over Ukraine. No one imagines Moscow returning Crimea to Ukraine or giving in on any other issue without meaningful concessions regarding Kiev. Instead of moderating and minimizing bilateral frictions, the administration has made Russia more likely today than before to cooperate with China against Washington and contest American objectives in the Middle East, Africa, and even Latin America.

Although Trump promised to stop America's endless wars, as many - if not more - U.S. military personnel are abroad today as when he took office. He increased the number of troops in Afghanistan and is now seeking to negotiate an exit that would force Washington to remain to enforce the agreement. This war has been burning for more than eighteen years.

The administration has maintained Washington's illegal deployment in Syria, shifting one contingent away from the Turkish-Kurdish battle while inserting new forces to confiscate Syrian oil fields-a move that lacks domestic authority and violates international law. A few hundred Americans cannot achieve their many other supposed objectives, such as eliminating Russian, Iranian, and other malign influences and forcing Syria's President Bashar al-Assad to resign or inaugurate democracy. However, their presence will ensure America's continued entanglement in a conflict of great complexity but minimal security interest.

The Saudi government remains corrupt, incompetent, repressive, reckless and dependent on the United States. Only Washington's refusal to retaliate against Iran for its presumed attack on Saudi oil facilities caused Riyadh to turn to diplomacy toward Tehran, yet the president then increased U.S. military deployments, turning American military personnel into bodyguards for the Saudi royals. The recent terrorist attack by the pilot-in-training-presumably to join his colleagues in slaughtering Yemeni civilians-added to the already high cost of the bilateral relationship.

The administration's policy of "maximum pressure" has proved to be a complete bust around the world. As noted earlier, North Korea proved unwilling to disarm despite the increased financial pressure caused by U.S. sanctions. North Koreans are hurting, but their government, like Washington, places security first.

Russia, too, is no more willing to yield Crimea, which was once part of Russia and is the Black Sea naval base of Sebastopol. Several European governments also disagree with the United States, having pressed to lighten or eliminate current sanctions. The West will have to offer more than the status quo to roll back Moscow's military advances.

Before Trump became president, Iran was well contained, despite its malign regional activities. The Islamic regime was hemmed in by Israel and the Gulf States, backed by nations as diverse as Egypt and America. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, sharply curtailed Iran's nuclear activities and placed the country under an intensive oversight regime. Now Tehran has reactivated its nuclear program, expanded its regional interventions, interfered with Gulf shipping, and demonstrated its ability to devastate Saudi oil production. To America's consternation, its Persian Gulf allies now are more willing to deal with Iran than before.

Additionally, the Trump administration has largely destroyed hope for reform in Cuba by reversing the Obama administration's progress toward normalizing relations and discouraging visits by-and trade with-Americans. The entrepreneurs I spoke to when I visited Cuba two years ago made large investments in anticipation of a steadily increasing number of U.S. visitors but were devastated when Washington shut off the flow. What had been a steadily expanding private sector was knocked back and the regime, with Raoul Castro still dominant behind the scenes, again can blame America for its own failings. There is no evidence that extending the original embargo and additional sanctions, which began in 1960, will free anyone.

For a time, Venezuela appeared to be an administration priority. As usual, Trump applied economic sanctions, this time on a people whose economy essentially had collapsed. Washington threatened more sanctions and military invasion but to no avail. Then the president and his top aides breathed fire and fury, insisting that both China and Russia stay out, again without success. Eventually, the president appeared to simply lose interest and drop any mention of the once urgent crisis. The corrupt, repressive Maduro regime remains in power.

So far, the president's criticisms of America's alliances have gone for naught. Until now, his appointees, all well-disposed toward maintaining generous subsidies for America's international fan club, have implemented his policies. More recently, the administration demanded substantial increases in "host nation" support, but in almost every negotiation so far the president has given way, accepting minor, symbolic gains. He is likely to end up like his predecessor, whining a lot but gaining very little from America's security dependents.

Beyond that, there is little positive to say. Trump and India's Narendra Modi are much alike, which is no compliment to either, but institutional relations have changed little. Turkey's incipient dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, receives a free pass from the president for the former's abuses and crimes. But even so Congress is thoroughly arrayed against Ankara for sins both domestic and foreign.

The president's aversion to genuine free trade and the curious belief that buying inexpensive, quality products from abroad is a negative has created problems with many close allies, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and multiple European states. Perhaps only with Israel are Washington's relations substantially improved, and that reflects the president's abandonment of any serious attempt to promote a fair and realistic peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

This is an extraordinarily bad record after almost three years in office. Something good still might happen between now and November 3, 2020. However, more issues are likely to get worse. Imagine North Korean missile and nuclear tests, renewed Russian attempts to influence Western elections, a bloody Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong, increased U.S.-European trade friction, more U.S. pressure on Iran matched by asymmetric responses, and more. At the moment, there is no reason to believe any of the resulting confrontations would turn out well.

Most Americans vote on the economy, and the president is currently riding a wave of job creation. If that ends before the November vote, then international issues might matter more. If so, then the president may regret that he failed to follow through on his criticism of endless war and irresponsible allies. Despite his very different persona, his results don't look all that different from those achieved by Barack Obama and other leading Democrats.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire.

rshimizu12 • 15 hours ago
Personally I think Trumps foreign policy has had mix results. Part of the problem is that Trump has adopted a ad hoc foreign policy tactics. The US has had limited success with North Korea. While we have not seen any reductions of nuclear weapons. He probably has stopped flight testing of ICBM's. The daily back and forth threats of destroying each other countries have stopped. We should have been making more progress with N Korea, but Trump has not been firm enough. Russia on the other hand is a much tougher country to deal with. As for China we will have to keep up the pressure in trade negotiations.

[Dec 19, 2019] The Trump Card was and is a masterstroke of scripting live, non-stop, divisive, politically paralytic distraction while the US oligarchy goes all-tard-in for private power.

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Artful Dodger , Dec 19 2019 8:00 utc | 86

The Trump Card was and is a masterstroke of scripting live, non-stop, divisive, politically paralytic distraction while the US oligarchy goes all-tard-in for private power.

Russ , Dec 19 2019 7:30 utc | 85

Since the whole impeachment farce already has been a political loser for the idiot Democrats, they'd have to be doubly stupid to double down on political stupidity by obstructing the transmission to the Senate, when most Americans just want this crap to be over with.

Meanwhile the Senate Republicans, once they get the charges, would be stupid to do anything but vote them down immediately. Otherwise they'll become complicit in the odious circus and rightly incur their share of the political blame.

[Dec 19, 2019] I'm starting to think the whole trump presidency is a con by making him look like a target for the deep state and anti establishment, he continues the empire while people who want real change get sunk

It still amazes me that people actually think impeachment accomplishes anything other than diverting attention from the Dems giving Trump everything he wants. Kayfabe.
Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Wed, 12/18/2019 - 10:12pm @snoopydawg

From the comments:

I'm starting to think the whole trump presidency is a con by making him look like a target for the deep state and anti establishment, he continues the empire while people who want real change get sunk.

I have had this thought more than once since Trump was selected to play president. He makes too many unforced errors that are timely for democrats to jump on. He could have nipped Russia Gate in its tracks by having the NSA show how Russia did not hack into the DNC computers. I'm sure that there were other things he could have done, but never did. But if the Huber investigation has legs and someone actually gets held accountable for taking the country on this 3 year insanity I'll rethink my opinion.

[Dec 19, 2019] Pelosi Digs In Against McConnell Over Impeachment Trial Standoff

Pelosi risk to turn the case into personal vendetta and DemoRats will be burned as the result. McConnell just need to wait a couple on months as time works for him.
This pressure from Pelosi actually helps Trump opening interesting lines of the attack: "McConnell said on the Senate floor that Pelosi and House Democrats "may be too afraid to even transmit their shoddy work product to the Senate." Trump tweeted as Pelosi spoke Thursday morning, saying that "Pelosi feels her phony impeachment HOAX is so pathetic she is afraid to present it to the Senate".
The Deep State Sunk The Democratic Party
Notable quotes:
"... she would delay naming impeachment managers -- who would argue the House case in the Senate -- until the Senate lays out its procedures for the trial. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

41 Million people in the US suffer from hunger and lack of food security"--US Dept. of Agriculture. That number of people constituted a crisis for FDR when he delivered his One-Third of a Nation speech for his 2nd Inaugural. About four years later, FDR expanded on that issue in his Four Freedoms speech: 1.Freedom of speech; 2.Freedom of worship; 3.Freedom from want; 4.Freedom from fear.

Faced with a similar situation, Trump advances plans to cut more people from the food stamp program thus increasing immiseration. One might say Trump's out of step with traditional American values; but were Obama, Bush, or Clinton any better?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday extended her standoff with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell over starting President Donald Trump 's impeachment trial, insisting she's waiting to see whether Republicans will agree to a "fair" process.

Pelosi surprised many House Democrats Wednesday night after the House impeached Trump when she said she would delay naming impeachment managers -- who would argue the House case in the Senate -- until the Senate lays out its procedures for the trial.

"When we see what they have, we'll know who and how many we will send over," she said at a news conference Thursday. Pelosi cast it as a procedural matter and cited the Senate's ability to come up with a bipartisan trial plan after President Bill Clinton was impeached.

... ... ...

McConnell and other GOP senators have been indicating they want a quick trial, with arguments presented by the House managers and Trump's counsel without witnesses. McConnell was giving no ground.

"It's beyond me how the speaker and Democratic leader in the Senate think withholding the articles of impeachment and not sending them over gives them leverage," he told reporters at the Capitol. "Frankly, I'm not anxious to have the trial."

... ... ...

McConnell called the House impeachment process rushed and shoddy.

"If the speaker ever gets her house in order, that mess will be dumped in the Senate's lap," he said on the Senate floor. "If the nation accepts this, presidential impeachments may cease being a once-in-a-generation event."

[Dec 15, 2019] Trump has been the most anti-russian president since the 80s. Be objective. Do not look at what they say, look at what they do, the maxim says. Defacto, Trump has been far more aggressive and hostile to Russia than Obama. And he made everything possible to increase military budgets.

Dec 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Dec 16 2019 1:39 utc | 24

Posted by: 18481917 | Dec 16 2019 1:01 utc | 21

>> On top of this Putin himself has made some critical mistakes due to his Naive personality, especially his falling for Trumps phoney reset (Trumps policies towards Russia have been harsher then any president since Pappi Bush) and in the aftermath of that flop, running into the arms of "Red" China's fake belt and Road which will be used to get Russia completely dependent on the biggest U$ satellite

I don't agree that China is pro-US, with tome China will grow and the US will diminish, BRI will leads towards that, but I do agree that Trump has been the most anti-russian president since the 80s. Be objective. Do not look at what they say, look at what they do, the maxim says. Defacto, Trump has been far more aggressive and hostile to Russia than Obama. And he made everything possible to increase military budgets.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/11/18/25-times-trump-has-been-dangerously-hawkish-on-russia/

She also failed to mention that Trump activated Second Fleet in the Atlantic (that Obama actually disabled) for Russia containment.

Trump is just a military puppet seeking to prolong the US Empire on the cheap. That is - no more nation building, and let others pay for propping up the US empire.

psychohistorian , Dec 16 2019 2:03 utc | 26

@ Posted by: lysias | Dec 16 2019 1:46 utc | 25 and Posted by: Passer by | Dec 16 2019 1:39 utc | 24 writing about who was instrumental in being negative towards Russia.

It was during Obama's term that Russia changed the trajectory of the war in Syria.

But lets get real, there is only one "Party" in America, the private finance/money party and both Obama and Trump are/were puppets for it. And those folks have know for some time about the integration of China/Russia geopolitical views so the policy has been "consistent" for probably a decade or more.

[Dec 14, 2019] Warren's awkward attempts to portray herself as a woman of color, even if a etsy weeny tiny bit, always seemed strange to me, ignoring the resume nonsense. It makes sense with the realization that Women of Color, have become a new politically privileged class, in spite of some of them being not very oppressed.

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Danny , December 13, 2019 at 3:31 pm

Warren's awkward attempts to portray herself as a woman of color, even if a etsy weeny tiny bit, always seemed strange to me, ignoring the resume nonsense. It makes sense with the realization that Women of Color, have become a new politically privileged class, in spite of some of them being not very oppressed.

Indian (subcontinent) women come from a tradition of a caste based society of wealth and privilege. The most succesful ones intuitively home in on and game American race-based identity politics in spite of their advantages, such as being one of the wealthiest religious groups in the nation,
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/11/how-income-varies-among-u-s-religious-groups/

No Bernie style economic class based socialism for them, no way. It's maintain privilege, Silicon Valley corporate caste based salaries, Republican reductionism, Hillary hopium and yet, they proudly proclaim their affiliation with real women of color, on whose backs they surf, like last generation's black cleaning women, the grandparents of which might have actually been slaves.
3 examples: Nimrata Nikki Randhawa, Neera Tanden and Kamala Harris.

drumlin woodchuckles , December 14, 2019 at 12:49 am

Women-of-color in general are not a privileged class. The not-very-poor women of color are perhaps a newly privileged class.

The Goldman Sachs women-of-color have become a new privileged class, in line with the tenets of Goldman Sachs Feminism. " The arc of history is long, and it bends towards rainbow gender-fluid oligarchy."

[Dec 14, 2019] As Dean Baker pointed out in his book Rigged, the neoliberal capitalism of America is rigged to benefit the top one percent

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Tomonthebeach , December 13, 2019 at 5:10 pm

As Dean Baker pointed out in his book Rigged, the neoliberal capitalism of America is rigged to benefit the top 1%. After all, they were the architects. Most Americans appreciate that. Nevertheless, the vast majority willingly wade into its rigged quicksand. All economies are rigged in the sense that there is a structure to it all. Moreover, the architects of that system will ensure there is something in it for themselves – rigged. Our school system does not instruct Americans on how their own economic system works (is rigged), so most of us become its victims rather than its beneficiaries.

Books by Liz Warren and her daughter offer remedial guidance on how to make the current US economic system work for the average household. So, in a sense, Liz comes across as an adherent to the system she is trying to help others master .

This seems to be a losing proposition for candidate Warren because most Americans want a new system with new rigging; not a repaired system that has been screwing them for generations.

[Dec 13, 2019] A few days ago, veterans' group VoteVets endorsed Pete Buttigieg. It has previously supported Tulsi Gabbard.

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

SolentBound , 10 Dec 2019 15:05

A few days ago, veterans' group VoteVets endorsed Pete Buttigieg. It has previously supported Tulsi Gabbard. Details:

New York Times, "Liberal Veterans' Group Endorses Pete Buttigieg in 2020 Race": https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/04/us/politics/pete-buttigieg-votevets-endorsement.html

[Dec 13, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's politics seem like a tangle of contradictions. She wants free markets, but also wants to tax billionaires' capital by Henry Farrell

Notable quotes:
"... Public choice economics has big influence and a bad name. It is a school of economic thought that has at different times been associated with scholars at the University of Rochester, Virginia Tech, and George Mason University. ..."
"... Samuelson, in his famous and influential textbooks, saw a clear role for government in regulating markets. Public choice scholars vehemently disagreed . For political and theoretical reasons, they instead saw government as a fountain of corruption. Public choice economists argued that government regulations were the product of special interest groups that had "captured" the power of the state, to cripple rivals and squeeze money from citizens and consumers. Regulations were not made in the public interest, but instead were designed to bilk ordinary citizens. ..."
"... The conventional story is that as Warren moved from the right to the left, she abandoned the public choice way of thinking about the world, in favor of a more traditional left-wing radicalism. A more accurate take might be that she didn't abandon public choice, but instead remained committed to its free-market ideals, while reversing some of its valences. ..."
"... A recent popular history book, which qualified as a finalist for the National Book Award, depicts public choice as a kind of stealth intellectual weapons program , developed by economist James Buchanan to provide Chilean President Augusto Pinochet with the justification for his dictatorial constitution, and the Koch brothers with the tools to dismantle American democracy. ..."
"... Warren's ideas have a close family resemblance to those of Olson, a celebrated public choice theorist. (Perhaps she has read him; perhaps she has just reached similar conclusions from similar starting points.) Olson, like other public choice scholars, worried about the power of interest groups. He famously developed a theory of collective action that shows how narrowly focused interest groups can dominate politics, because they can organize more cheaply and reap great benefits by setting rules and creating monopolies at the expense of the ordinary public. This means that government programs often actively harm the poor rather than helping them. ..."
"... Olson also castigated libertarian economists for their "monodiabolism" and "almost utopian lack of concern about other problems" so long as the government was chained down. He argued that the government was not the only source of economic power: Business special interests would corrupt markets even if the government did not help them. ..."
"... Warren shares far more intellectual DNA with Mancur Olson and his colleagues than with traditional socialism. However, there are important differences. Olson wrote his key work in the 1980s, before the globalization boom. His arguments for free trade depend on the assumption that open borders will disempower special interests. ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | foreignpolicy.com

Elizabeth Warren's politics seem like a tangle of contradictions. She wants free markets, but also wants to tax billionaires' capital. Her enemies on the right claim that she is a socialist , but Warren describes herself as "capitalist to my bones."

Warren's politics are so confusing because we have forgotten that a pro-capitalist left is even possible. For a long time, political debate in the United States has been a fight between conservatives and libertarians on the right, who favored the market, and socialists and liberals on the left, who favored the government.

It has been clear since 2016 that the traditional coalition of the right was breaking up. Conservatives such as U.S. President Donald Trump are no fans of open trade and free markets, and even favor social protections so long as they benefit their white supporters. Now, the left is changing too.

Warren is reviving a pro-market left that has been neglected for decades, by drawing on a surprising resource: public choice economics. This economic theory is reviled by many on the left, who have claimed that it is a Koch-funded intellectual conspiracy designed to destroy democracy. Yet there is a left version of public choice economics too, associated with thinkers such as the late Mancur Olson. Like Olson, Warren is not a socialist but a left-wing capitalist, who wants to use public choice ideas to cleanse both markets and the state of their corruption.

Public choice economics has big influence and a bad name. It is a school of economic thought that has at different times been associated with scholars at the University of Rochester, Virginia Tech, and George Mason University. Public choice came into being in fervent opposition to the mainstream of economics, which was dominated by scholars such as Paul Samuelson.

Samuelson, in his famous and influential textbooks, saw a clear role for government in regulating markets. Public choice scholars vehemently disagreed . For political and theoretical reasons, they instead saw government as a fountain of corruption. Public choice economists argued that government regulations were the product of special interest groups that had "captured" the power of the state, to cripple rivals and squeeze money from citizens and consumers. Regulations were not made in the public interest, but instead were designed to bilk ordinary citizens.

Perhaps the most influential version of public choice was known as law and economics. For decades, conservative foundations supported seminars that taught judges and legal academics the principles of public choice economics. Attendees were taught that harsh sentences would deter future crime, that government regulation should be treated with profound skepticism, and that antitrust enforcement had worse consequences than the monopolies it was supposed to correct. As statistical research by Elliott Ash, Daniel L. Chen, and Suresh Naidu has shown , these seminars played a crucial role in shifting American courts to the right.

Warren was one of the young legal academics who attended these seminars , and was largely convinced by the arguments. Her early work on bankruptcy law started from public choice principles, and displayed a deep skepticism of intervention.

The conventional story is that as Warren moved from the right to the left, she abandoned the public choice way of thinking about the world, in favor of a more traditional left-wing radicalism. A more accurate take might be that she didn't abandon public choice, but instead remained committed to its free-market ideals, while reversing some of its valences. Her work as an academic was aimed at combating special interests, showing how the financial industry had shaped bankruptcy reforms so that they boosted lenders' profits at borrowers' expense. Notably, she applied public choice theory to explain some aspects of public choice, showing how financial interests had funded scholarly centers which provided a patina of genteel respectability to industry's preferred positions.

Now, Warren wants to to wash away the filth that has built up over decades to clog the workings of American capitalism. Financial rules that have been designed by lobbyists need to be torn up. Vast inequalities of wealth, which provide the rich with disproportionate political and economic power, need to be reversed. Intellectual property rules, which make it so that farmers no longer really own the seeds they sow or the machinery they use to plant them, need to be abolished. For Warren, the problem with modern American capitalism is that it is not nearly capitalist enough. It has been captured by special interests, which are strangling competition.

It is hard to see how deeply Warren's program is rooted in public choice ideas, because public choice has come to be the target of left-wing conspiracy theories. A recent popular history book, which qualified as a finalist for the National Book Award, depicts public choice as a kind of stealth intellectual weapons program , developed by economist James Buchanan to provide Chilean President Augusto Pinochet with the justification for his dictatorial constitution, and the Koch brothers with the tools to dismantle American democracy.

For sure, the mainstream of public choice is strongly libertarian, and the development of the approach was funded by conservative individuals and foundations. What left-wing paranoia overlooks is that there has always been a significant left-wing current of public choice, and even a potent left-wing radicalism buried deep within public choice waiting to be uncovered. The free-market ideal is a situation in which no actor has economic power over any other. As many of Warren's proposals demonstrate, trying to achieve this ideal can animate a radical program for reform.

Warren's ideas have a close family resemblance to those of Olson, a celebrated public choice theorist. (Perhaps she has read him; perhaps she has just reached similar conclusions from similar starting points.) Olson, like other public choice scholars, worried about the power of interest groups. He famously developed a theory of collective action that shows how narrowly focused interest groups can dominate politics, because they can organize more cheaply and reap great benefits by setting rules and creating monopolies at the expense of the ordinary public. This means that government programs often actively harm the poor rather than helping them.

However, Olson also castigated libertarian economists for their "monodiabolism" and "almost utopian lack of concern about other problems" so long as the government was chained down. He argued that the government was not the only source of economic power: Business special interests would corrupt markets even if the government did not help them.

The result, according to Olson, was that societies, economies, and political systems became increasingly encrusted with special-interest politics as the decades passed. Countries benefited economically from great upheavals such as wars and social revolutions, which tore interest groups from their privileged perches and sent them tumbling into the abyss.

Olson wanted to open up both politics and the economy to greater competition, equalizing power relations as much as possible between the many and the few. He argued that under some circumstances, powerful trade unions could benefit the economy. When unions and business groups were sufficiently big that they represented a substantial percentage of workers or business as a whole, they would be less likely to seek special benefits at the expense of the many, and more likely to prioritize the good of the whole. Olson also believed strongly in the benefits of open trade, not just because it led to standard economic efficiencies, but because it made it harder for interest groups to capture government and markets. Northern European economies such as Denmark, which combine powerful trade unions with a strong commitment to free markets, represent Olsonian politics in action.


Warren shares far more intellectual DNA with Mancur Olson and his colleagues than with traditional socialism. However, there are important differences. Olson wrote his key work in the 1980s, before the globalization boom. His arguments for free trade depend on the assumption that open borders will disempower special interests.

As economists such as Dani Rodrik and political scientists such as Susan Sell have shown, this hasn't quite worked out as Olson expected. Free trade agreements have become a magnet for special interest groups, who want to cement their preferences in international agreements that are incredibly hard to reverse. The U.S. "fast track" approach to trade negotiations makes it harder for Congress to demand change, but allows industry lobbyists to shape the administration's negotiating stance. Investor-state dispute resolution mechanisms provide business with a friendly forum where they can target government rules that hurt their economic interests. All of this helps explain why Warren is skeptical of arguments for the general benefits of free-trade agreements: they aren't nearly so general as economists claim.

Close attention to Warren's public choice influences reveals both her radicalism and its limits. Like Olson, she is committed to the notion that making capitalism work for citizens will require changes that border on the revolutionary. The sweeping proposals she makes for changes to America's gross economic inequality, its economic relations with the rest of the world, its approach to antitrust legislation, and its tolerance of sleazy relationships among politicians, regulators, and industry are all aimed at creating a major upheaval. Where she proposes major state action, as in her "Medicare for All" plans, it is to supplant market institutions that aren't working, and are so embedded in interest group power dynamics that they are incapable of reform.

Yet this is a distinctly capitalist variety of radicalism. Socialists will inevitably be disappointed in the limits to her arguments. Warren's ideal is markets that work as they should, in contrast to the socialist belief that some forms of power are inherent within markets themselves. Not only Marxists, but economists such as Thomas Piketty, have suggested that the market system is rigged in ways that will inevitably favor capital over the long run. The fixes that Warren proposes will at most dampen down these tendencies rather than remove them.

If Warren wins, she will not only disappoint socialists. Her proposals may end up being too radical for Congress, but not nearly radical enough to tackle challenges such as climate change, which will require a rapid and dramatic transformation of the global economy if catastrophe is to be averted. Libertarians and mainstream public choice scholars will attack her from a different vantage point, arguing that she is both too skeptical about existing market structures and too trusting of the machineries of the state that she hopes to use to remedy them. State efforts to reform markets can easily turn into protectionism.

What Warren offers, then, is neither a socialist or deep green alternative to capitalism, nor a public choice justification for why regulators ought to leave it alone. The bet she is making is that capitalism can solve the major problems that the United States faces, so long as the government tackles inequality and defangs the special interests that have parasitized the political and economic systems. Like all such bets, it is a risky one, but one that might transform the U.S. model of capitalism if it succeeds.

Henry Farrell is a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University.

[Dec 09, 2019] Presidential candidates who want to place conditions on Israeli military aid have prompted pro-Israel House Democrats to go on the offensive.

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm opposed to conditioning the aid, and I would fight it no matter what," Engel told Al-Monitor. "The Democratic Party has traditionally been a pro-Israel party, and I see no reason for that to change now. If there are people who are Democrats who don't feel that way, then I don't think they should be elected president of the United States." ..."
"... Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the most vocal proponent of conditioning Israeli military aid in the presidential race -- ​ going even further left than J Street and all his primary opponents. At J Street's conference in October he said that some of the $3.8 billion in annual assistance "should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza." ..."
"... J Street has set any formal Israeli annexation of the West Bank as its red line for placing conditions on Israeli military aid. But it also supports the $38 billion memorandum of understanding. ..."
"... Shortly after the vote, Sanders campaign co-chair Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., as well as Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., asked colleagues to sign a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him to clarify whether Israel has used US military equipment while demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank. ..."
"... The letter, seen by Al-Monitor, notes that the Arms Export Control Act "narrowly conditions the use of transferred US-origin defense articles" and requires the president to inform Congress if the equipment is used for unauthorized purposes ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: December 8, 2019 at 4:46 am GMT

The Jews try to run US policy ..but lately the Dem base (and part of the party) has become more pro Palestine.

Democratic (Jewish) lawmakers reckon with 2020 rhetoric on Israel aid

December 6, 2019

Presidential candidates who want to place conditions on Israeli military aid have prompted pro-Israel House Democrats to go on the offensive.

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

It's becoming harder and harder for pro-Israel Democrats on Capitol Hill to ignore the increasingly critical voices of the US ally within their party and the presidential race.

House Democratic leaders -- who happen to be some of the staunchest Israel supporters on Capitol Hill -- this week added language supportive of the annual $3.8 billion military aid package to Israel to a symbolic resolution that endorses a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The stalled resolution passed 226-188, largely along party lines, today. But pro-Israel Democrats only came on board after House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., added their new language to the bill. The new provision is a response to the fact that several presidential candidates have come out of the woodwork in recent months with calls to place conditions on the largest recipient of US military aid.

"I'm opposed to conditioning the aid, and I would fight it no matter what," Engel told Al-Monitor. "The Democratic Party has traditionally been a pro-Israel party, and I see no reason for that to change now. If there are people who are Democrats who don't feel that way, then I don't think they should be elected president of the United States."

When Engel's committee first advanced the resolution in July, Democratic leaders opted not to put it on the floor, even as they passed another nonbinding resolution condemning the pro-Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement 398-17, which was backed by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

That changed last month after the Trump administration repealed a decades-old legal opinion maintaining that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law.

"There are those on the far-left side of the Democratic Party -- and some of the presidential candidates -- who are pushing for new conditions on aid, especially in their interactions with Gaza, which is run by Hamas -- a terrorist organization," Gottheimer told Al-Monitor.

An October poll from the liberal Center for American Progress found that 56% of American voters, including 71% of Democrats, oppose "unconditional financial and military assistance to Israel if the Israeli government continues to violate American policy on settlement expansion or West Bank annexation."

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is the most vocal proponent of conditioning Israeli military aid in the presidential race -- ​ going even further left than J Street and all his primary opponents. At J Street's conference in October he said that some of the $3.8 billion in annual assistance "should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza."

J Street has set any formal Israeli annexation of the West Bank as its red line for placing conditions on Israeli military aid. But it also supports the $38 billion memorandum of understanding.

Presidential hopefuls Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, have jumped on board with J Street's position. However, the current front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, has flatly ruled out conditioning the aid.

Notably, J Street did not oppose the effort to amend the Lowenthal resolution with the military aid language. That said, progressive Democrats do not necessarily view that provision as incompatible with calls to attach strings to that assistance. Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., called the Engel language "meaningless."

"It's just restating what current practice or current law is," Pocan told Al-Monitor. "We don't really see it as affecting the bill one way or the other. At any time if we feel like we're better off putting conditions on money and holding back money, Congress could always do that with any country through the normal process."

Shortly after the vote, Sanders campaign co-chair Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., as well as Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., asked colleagues to sign a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him to clarify whether Israel has used US military equipment while demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank.

The letter, seen by Al-Monitor, notes that the Arms Export Control Act "narrowly conditions the use of transferred US-origin defense articles" and requires the president to inform Congress if the equipment is used for unauthorized purposes

Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/12/democratic-lawmakers-2020-rhetoric-israel-aid.html#ixzz67UEIl383

[Dec 07, 2019] Could Tax Increases Speed Up the Economy?

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , December 05, 2019 at 04:53 AM

Could Tax Increases Speed Up the Economy?
Democrats Say Yes https://nyti.ms/2RlDbJx
NYT - Jim Tankersley - December 5

WASHINGTON -- Elizabeth Warren is leading a liberal rebellion against a long-held economic view that large tax increases slow economic growth, trying to upend Democratic policymaking in the way supply-side conservatives changed Republican orthodoxy four decades ago.

(Warren Would Take Billionaires Down
a Few Billion Pegs https://nyti.ms/2CtMPRN
NYT - November 10)

Generations of economists, across much of the ideological spectrum, have long held that higher taxes reduce investment, slowing economic growth. That drag, the consensus held, would offset the benefits to growth from increased government spending in areas like education.

Ms. Warren and other leading Democrats say the opposite. The senator from Massachusetts, who is a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, contends that her plans to tax the rich and spend the revenue to lift the poor and the middle class would accelerate economic growth, not impede it. Other Democratic candidates are making similar claims about their tax-and-spend proposals. Some liberal economists go further and say that simply taxing the rich would help growth no matter what the government did with the money.

Democrats in the past, including the party's 2016 nominee, Hillary Clinton, have argued that a more modest combination of tax increases and spending programs would expand the economy. But no Democratic nominee before Ms. Warren had ever proposed so many new taxes and spending programs, and leaned so heavily into the argument that they would be, in economist parlance, pro-growth.

That argument tries to reframe a classic debate about the economic "pie" in the United States by suggesting there is no trade-off between increasing the size of the pie and dividing the slices more equitably among all Americans.

Ms. Warren has proposed nearly $3 trillion a year in new taxes on businesses and high-earners, largely focused on billionaires but sometimes hitting Americans who earn $250,000 and above per year. The taxes would fund wide-reaching new government spending on health care, education, and family benefits like universal child care and paid parental leave.

Last month, Ms. Warren wrote on Twitter that education, child care and student loan relief programs funded by her tax on wealthy Americans would "grow the economy." In a separate post, she said student debt relief would "supercharge" growth.

The last batch of economists to disrupt a political party's consensus position were conservative -- the so-called supply-siders who built influence in the late 1970s and gained power in the Reagan administration. Previous Republican presidents had focused on keeping the budget deficit low, which constrained their ability to cut taxes if they did not also cut government spending. Supply-siders contended that well-targeted tax cuts could generate big economic growth even without spending cuts. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , December 05, 2019 at 04:57 AM
Ms. Warren is making the case that the economy could benefit if money is redistributed from the rich and corporations to uses that she and other liberals say would be more productive. Their argument combines hard data showing that high levels of inequality and wealth concentration weigh down economic growth with a belief that well-targeted government spending can encourage more Americans to work, invest and build skills that would make them more productive.

They also cite evidence that transferring money to poor and middle-class individuals would increase consumer spending because they spend a larger share of their incomes than wealthy Americans, who tend to save and invest.

"The economy has changed, our understanding of it has changed, and we understand the constricting effects of inequality" on growth, said Heather Boushey, the president of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a think tank focused on inequality.

Inequality has widened significantly in America over the last several decades. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the incomes of the top 1 percent of Americans more than tripled from 1979 to 2016, before taxes and government transfer payments are taken into account. For the middle class, incomes grew 33 percent. More than a decade after the recession, wage growth for the middle class continues to run well behind previous times of economic expansion, like the late 1990s.

Research by the economist Emmanuel Saez and colleagues shows that the last time such a small sliver of Americans controlled such a large share of the nation's income and wealth was in the late 1920s, just before a stock market crash set off the Great Depression. World Bank researchers have warned that high levels of inequality are stifling growth in South Africa, which has the globe's worst measured inequality.

"We have an economy that isn't delivering like it used to," said Ms. Boushey, who advised Hillary Clinton's 2016 Democratic presidential campaign. "That's leading people to say let's re-examine the evidence."

The contention that tax and spending increases can lift economic growth is not the only challenge to traditional orthodoxy brewing in liberal economic circles. Some Democrats have also embraced modern monetary theory, which reframes classic thinking that discourages large budget deficits as a drag on growth. Its supporters, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and the economist Stephanie Kelton, an adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, argue that the United States government should be spending much more on programs to fight inequality, like a federal job guarantee, without imposing new taxes.

Some of the inequality-focused economists say they are hoping to build new economic models to predict the effects of their policies, though they acknowledge few of those models exist yet. Instead, they rely on evidence about the likely effects of individual programs, added together.

Many economists who study tax policy contend that Ms. Warren's plans -- and other large tax-and-spend proposals from Democratic candidates this year -- would hurt the economy, just as classic economic models suggest.

"Some elements of the large increase in government spending on health and education proposed by Senator Warren would promote economic growth" through channels like improved education, said Alan Auerbach, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has written some of the most influential research in the profession on the relationship between tax rates and growth.

But, he said, "I am very skeptical that these growth effects would offset the negative effects on growth of the higher taxes, particularly given that the spending increases are not specifically targeted toward enhancing growth."

Ms. Warren disagrees. In the latest Democratic debate, she said the spending programs funded by her wealth tax would be "transformative" for workers. Those plans would raise wages, make college tuition-free and relieve graduates of student debt, she said, adding, "We can invest in an entire generation's future."

An emerging group of liberal economists say taxes on high-earners could spur growth even if the government did nothing with the revenue because the concentration of income and wealth is dampening consumer spending.

"We are experiencing a revolution right now in macroeconomics, particularly in the policy space," said Mark Paul, an economist who is a fellow at the liberal Roosevelt Institute in Washington. "We can think of a wealth tax as welfare-enhancing, in and of itself, simply by constraining the power of the very wealthy" to influence public policy and distort markets to their advantage.

Taken together, Ms. Warren's proposals would transform the role of federal taxation. If every tax increase she has proposed in the campaign passed and raised as much revenue as her advisers predict -- a contingency hotly debated among even liberal economists -- total federal tax revenue would grow more than 50 percent.

The United States would leap from one of the lowest-taxed rich nations to one of the highest. It would collect more taxes as a share of the economy than Norway, and only slightly less than Italy.

Mr. Sanders's plan envisions a similarly large increase in tax levels. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s proposals are much smaller in scale: He would raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations by $3.4 trillion over a decade, in order to fund increased spending on health care, higher education, infrastructure and carbon emissions reduction.

If Ms. Warren's tax program is enacted, said Gabriel Zucman, an economist at Berkeley who is an architect of her wealth tax proposal, "in my view, the most likely effect is a small positive effect on growth, depending on how the revenues are used."

Another economist who has worked with the Warren campaign to analyze its proposals, Mark Zandi of Moody's, said he would expect her plans to be "largely a wash on long-term economic growth."

Researchers at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College projected this summer that Ms. Warren's wealth tax and spending policies would generate a 1.7 percent increase in the size of the economy. A preliminary study of a wealth tax like Ms. Warren's proposal, by the Penn Wharton Budget Model, found that it would reduce the size of the economy by a similar 1.7 percent. The model uses the sort of classic methodology that liberals are now rebelling against and did not evaluate Ms. Warren's spending proposals.

Historical experience offers few parallels for assessing the economic effects of a taxation-and-spending program on the scale of Ms. Warren's ambitions. A 2002 study of wealth taxes in rich countries found that those taxes, most of which have since been abandoned, reduced economic growth slightly on an annual basis.

Conservative economists roundly disagree that large tax increases can spur faster growth, even those who say government spending on paid leave and child care may get more Americans into the labor force. They say a wealth tax on the scale of Ms. Warren's proposal would greatly reduce savings and investment by the rich.

"What a wealth tax does is, it directly taxes savings," said Aparna Mathur, an economist at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who favors a narrow paid leave program and whose research finds benefits from reducing tax rates on business and investment. "If you're taxing savings, you're implicitly taxing investment. So how can that possibly be pro-growth?"

The supply-side economists' plans were similarly denounced -- George Bush called them "voodoo economic policies" while running for president in 1980 -- but in time dominated Republican proposals.

Some members of the new liberal revolt against tax orthodoxy welcome the comparison to the supply-side uprising.

"While I think that the supply-siders were wrong, and were always wrong, they were reacting to very real economic problems in the 1970s," said Michael Linden, the executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, a liberal policy and advocacy group. "There was something really wrong with the economy at the time. I think there is now."

[Dec 06, 2019] The top .01 percent of all income earners in the United States accounted for 29 percent of all political committee fundraising.

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nbcnews.com

It has long required the support of the wealthy -- and a certain level of personal wealth -- to run for president of the United States. In 2016, billions of dollars were raised by Donald Trump's and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaigns. But the rich control much of this cash flow . In 2014, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, the top .01 percent of all income earners in the United States accounted for 29 percent of all political committee fundraising.

There are many reasons why this is a dangerous thing. But a big one is accountability.

[Dec 06, 2019] Her constant mind-changing and backpedaling in response to whomever has the political upper-hand at the moment has angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

WJ , December 5, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Said it before and I'll say it again, Warren's personal ambition is often what manifests her poor political instincts. Why did she claim Native American Heritage? Why did she endorse HRC in 2016? Why did she ambiguously support, then unambiguously back away from, M4A?

This trend leads me to suspect that she will not easily back out of the race, and cannot be trusted finally to endorse Sanders in 2020 any more than she could be in 2016. I suspect, in any case, that many of her voters would not default to Sanders but to Buttigieg in any case. They seem to be mostly white professionals between 30-60yrs old who make $120,000/year.

Hepativore , December 5, 2019 at 2:19 pm

Wow, Sanders has really been pulling ahead of Warren if the polls over the past few days are to be believed. I am hoping that this trend continues. Warren's overly-complicated healthcare proposal which she decided to backpedal on at the last moment seems like it has really cost her.

I kind of wonder at this point why Warren decided to run for president in the first place. She seems like the type of person who would rather follow than lead, and would be ill-suited to be president as she would be forced to take a position on something. Warren would have been better served to be clear about what her actual positions are instead of trying to have it both ways. Her constant mind-changing and backpedaling in response to whomever has the political upper-hand at the moment has angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left.

Lambert Strether Post author , December 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm

> angered both the DNC establishment as well as the progressive left.

Warren tried to straddle, and lost both.

Samuel Conner , December 5, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Or, as Abraham Lincoln put it in a letter to "Mr FJ Hooker" as he was contemplating a push across the Rappahannock in the wake of Lee's move westward in June 1863,

"like a bull stuck across a fence that cannot gore to the front or kick to the rear"

I think it was you, Lambert, who drew my attention to "Rich and Tracey's Civil War podcast", and I am grateful.

Lambert Strether Post author , December 5, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Isn't it great? I just listened to that episode!

Trent , December 5, 2019 at 3:34 pm

Love the podcast because we need more stuff like that, but Rich could use a shot of charisma ;)

flora , December 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm

Warren tried to straddle, and lost both.

See Jim Hightower's definition of the political middle of the road.
https://www.amazon.com/Theres-Nothing-Middle-Stripes-Armadillos/dp/0060929499

Arizona Slim , December 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

And there is nothing, I do mean nothing , that stinks worse than a dead armadillo.

Darius , December 5, 2019 at 3:37 pm

I think Warren is running for treasury secretary in a Biden administration. The theory being that that will be her reward for stopping Sanders. Everybody has an angle. Except Bernie. Can someone show me his angle?

NotTimothyGeithner , December 5, 2019 at 4:44 pm

Warren may be many things, but she despises Biden. She has enough self respect to never work for the turd.

hunkerdown , December 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm

No neoliberal should be assumed to have self-respect. If they did, they wouldn't be neoliberals.

[Dec 04, 2019] Trump claims that he escaped GOP mainstream republicans (read hard core neoliebrals) shackles (for now)

Lesson for 2020 -- Trump is a shape and color shifting chameleon. His statement that he "escaped GOP "mainstream republicans" (read hard core neoliberals) shackles" was a blatant lie. He never escaped and did not even have intent to escape... He did their bidding, which was most clearly demonstrated in Trump tax cut
Notable quotes:
"... Trump later tweeted "the shackles have been taken off me". ..."
"... It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to. ..."
"... With the exception of cheating Bernie out of the nom the Dems have always proven to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans! ..."
"... Disloyal R's are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don't know how to win - I will teach them! ..."
Oct 12, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs : October 11, 2016 at 08:03 AM

'The shackles have been taken off': Trump amps up GOP civil war
http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2016/10/11/donald-trump-blames-paul-ryan-disloyalty-for-hurting-campaign/V5gRA9Xs6MvdU93iUa64cK/story.html?event=event25
via @BostonGlobe - AP - October 11, 2016

Donald Trump is attacking House Speaker Paul Ryan. He's calling him ''very weak and ineffective'' a day after the House speaker said he would not campaign for the Republican nominee.

Ryan told Republican lawmakers on a conference call Monday that he would focus instead on helping the party keep control of the House.

Trump referred to that call in his tweet Tuesday morning. He said Ryan ''had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty.''

Trump later tweeted "the shackles have been taken off me".

The real estate mogul also claimed Democrats were more loyal to their party than Republicans.

House Speaker Paul Ryan all but abandoned Donald Trump, obliterating whatever bounce he may have received from Sunday's debate.

It was his second tweet of the morning targeting Ryan. The other said Ryan's ''zero support'' was making it hard for Trump to do well.

Ryan did face some pushback from members upset he was abandoning Trump. The House Speaker continues to endorse the nominee.

Donald J. Trump ✔ ‎@realDonaldTrump

Despite winning the second debate in a landslide (every poll), it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support!

8:16 AM - 11 Oct 2016

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump

Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty.

9:05 AM - 11 Oct 2016

Donald J. Trump ✔ ‎@realDonaldTrump

It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.

10:00 AM - 11 Oct 2016

Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump

With the exception of cheating Bernie out of the nom the Dems have always proven to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans!

10:15 AM - 11 Oct 2016 · Queens, NY, United States

Donald J. Trump ✔ ‎@realDonaldTrump

Disloyal R's are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don't know how to win - I will teach them!

[Dec 04, 2019] There Has Been No Retrenchment Under Trump

Notable quotes:
"... A more compelling explanation for the persistence of a large global U.S. military footprint, and the concomitant creep of oversees commitments, is to be found in domestic politics. Trump's rhetoric can diverge sharply from reality without consequence because few in his party have an incentive to hold him accountable. In this hyper-polarized political moment, most voters will stick with their party regardless of how many campaign pledges are broken or foreign policy initiatives end in failure. With an all-volunteer military, flattening taxes, and deficit financing, the vast majority of Americans are insulated from the costs of American foreign policy. So long as most Americans want to look tough and influential without paying for it, politicians won't be punished for living in the same fantasy world as voters. ..."
"... The main reason why America's military commitments remain unchanged under Trump may simply be that the president doesn't really want to reduce them. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

aul MacDonald and Joseph Parent explain in detail that Trump hasn't reduced U.S. military commitments overseas:

But after nearly three years in office, Trump's promised retrenchment has yet to materialize. The president hasn't meaningfully altered the U.S. global military footprint he inherited from President Barack Obama. Nor has he shifted the costly burden of defending U.S. allies. To the contrary, he loaded even greater military responsibilities on the United States while either ramping up or maintaining U.S. involvement in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere. On practically every other issue, Trump departed radically from the path of his predecessor. But when it came to troop deployments and other overseas defense commitments, he largely preserved the chessboard he inherited -- promises to the contrary be damned.

MacDonald and Parent's article complements my earlier post about U.S. "global commitments" very nicely. When we look at the specifics of Trump's record, we see that he isn't ending U.S. military involvement anywhere. He isn't bringing anyone home. On the contrary, he has been sending even more American troops to the Middle East just this year alone. While he is being excoriated for withdrawals that never happen, he is maintaining or steadily increasing the U.S. military presence in foreign countries. Many Trump detractors and supporters are so invested in the narrative that Trump is presiding over "withdrawal" that they are ignoring what the president has actually done. Trump's approach to U.S. military involvement might be described as "loudly declaring withdrawal while maintaining or increasing troop levels." Almost everyone pays attention only to his rhetoric about leaving this or that country and treats it as if it is really happening. Meanwhile, the number of military personnel deployed overseas never goes down.

The authors offer a possible explanation for why Trump has been able to get away with this:

A more compelling explanation for the persistence of a large global U.S. military footprint, and the concomitant creep of oversees commitments, is to be found in domestic politics. Trump's rhetoric can diverge sharply from reality without consequence because few in his party have an incentive to hold him accountable. In this hyper-polarized political moment, most voters will stick with their party regardless of how many campaign pledges are broken or foreign policy initiatives end in failure. With an all-volunteer military, flattening taxes, and deficit financing, the vast majority of Americans are insulated from the costs of American foreign policy. So long as most Americans want to look tough and influential without paying for it, politicians won't be punished for living in the same fantasy world as voters.

Trump is further insulated from scrutiny and criticism because he is frequently described as presiding over a "retreat" from the world. Most news reports and commentary pieces reinforce this false impression that Trump seeks to get the U.S. out of foreign entanglements. There are relatively few people pointing out the truth that MacDonald and Parent spell out in their article. The main reason why America's military commitments remain unchanged under Trump may simply be that the president doesn't really want to reduce them.

[Dec 03, 2019] Despite Pelosi gambit with Ukrtaiongate, chances of Dems to beat Trump did not improve. Warren slide is very dangerous for neoliberal Dems as she along with Sanders and Tulsi can be sold to Dem voters and independents as the "change we can believe in"

Clinton curse sill is hanging over Democratic Party candidates like Damocles sword. 25 year of betrayal of their core constituency and their alliance with Wall Street has consequences, which they now feel. Obama now is openly despised by Democratic voters as the person who betrayed his electorate and then enriched himself in classing "revolving door" corruption scheme. The phrase "change is can believe in" became a curse. Bill Clinton is mired in Epstein scandal. You can't get worse cheerleaders for the party and it does not have anybody else.
Notable quotes:
"... Obama was directly addressing Silicon Valley's wealthiest Democratic donors, telling them to "chill" in their debate over the party's candidates, and seeking to ease the tensions among tech billionaires who have broken into separate camps backing Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and -- most surprisingly -- Elizabeth Warren ..."
"... Gallup released a poll last week that had some troubling news for Democrats, as only 66% of the party faithful said they're enthusiastic about the upcoming election. ..."
Dec 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

While there are still 15 candidates running for the Democratic nomination (after the withdrawal of Kamala Harris earlier today), only four are polling in double digits, with most either at 1% or 0%. But Obama said whoever gets the nod should get the vote.

"There will be differences" between the candidates, Obama said, "but I want us to make sure that we keep in mind that, relative to the ultimate goal, which is to defeat a president and a party that has taken a sharp turn away from a lot of the core traditions and values and institutional commitments that built this country," those differences are "relatively minor."

"The field will narrow and there's going to be one person, and if that is not your perfect candidate and there are certain aspects of what they say that you don't agree with and you don't find them completely inspiring the way you'd like, I don't care," he said. "Because the choice is so stark and the stakes are so high that you cannot afford to be ambivalent in this race."

Obama was directly addressing Silicon Valley's wealthiest Democratic donors, telling them to "chill" in their debate over the party's candidates, and seeking to ease the tensions among tech billionaires who have broken into separate camps backing Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, and -- most surprisingly -- Elizabeth Warren , according to recode.

Obama may have his job cut out for him: with many Democratic voters confused or merely bored silly by the current roster of candidates, two newcomers, Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, entered the race adding further to the confusion. Last month, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, for instance, drew fewer than 100 people to a South Carolina "Environmental Justice" forum. And she's a frontrunner!

Meanwhile, Gallup released a poll last week that had some troubling news for Democrats, as only 66% of the party faithful said they're enthusiastic about the upcoming election. And while for Republicans the number is 65%, "this differed from the typical pattern Gallup has seen over the years, whereby those who identify with the political party of the incumbent president have been less enthusiastic about voting than members of the opposing party," Gallup wrote.

Ironically, Obama isn't alone in saying Democrats need to hold their nose when they vote for the eventual nominee. Joe Biden's wife, Jill, said in August that her husband might not be the best candidate, but told voters "maybe you have to swallow a little bit" and vote for him anyway.

"Your candidate might be better on, I don't know, health care, than Joe is," Jill Biden said on MSNBC, "but you've got to look at who's going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, 'OK, I personally like so-and-so better,' but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump."

During a campaign stop in New Hampshire, she repeated the point. "I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that. But I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who's going to win this race. So I think if your goal -- I know my goal -- is to beat Donald Trump, we have to have someone who can beat him," she said.

[Dec 03, 2019] Ukrainegate hysteria in neoliberal MSM repeats in minute details the neoliberal MSM hysteria about Trump meeting with Putin

In his foreign policy Trump looks like a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. Why is the Deep State is attacking him is completely unclear. May be they just do not like unpredictable, inpulsive politicians
Despite his surrender "Neocon crazies from the basement" still attack his exactly the same way as they attacked him for pretty mundane meeting with Putin and other fake "misdeeds" like Ukrainegate
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters, who voted for him in 2016 to block Hillary election.
And in no way he is an economic nationalist. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties. And his "fight" with the Deep state resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two. Most of his appointees are rabid neocons. Just look at Pompeo, Bolton, Fiona Hill. That that extends far beyond those obvious crazies.
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans. "The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said. When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?" "I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

[Dec 03, 2019] In foreign policy Trump is not that different from Obama: both are militarists and profess "Full Spectrum Dominance" , both betrayed their election promises and got away with it

While Obama organized 2014 coup data that smashed contitutional oder in Ukraine and installed far-right nationalists in power (Nulandgate) Obamam did not suppled arms toUkrains; Trump did
In his foreign policy Trump looks like a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. Why is the Deep State is attacking him is completely unclear. May be they just do not like unpredictable, impulsive politicians
Despite his surrender "Neocon crazies from the basement" still attack his exactly the same way as they attacked him for pretty mundane meeting with Putin and other fake "misdeeds" like Ukrainegate
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters, who voted for him in 2016 to block Hillary election.
And in no way he is an economic nationalist. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties. And his "fight" with the Deep state resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two. Most of his appointees are rabid neocons. Just look at Pompeo, Bolton, Fiona Hill. That that extends far beyond those obvious crazies.
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans. "The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said. When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?" "I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

[Dec 01, 2019] A Question for Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden or Any Democrat Running for President What s Your Foreign Policy The National In

Notable quotes:
"... "The next president will, for example, have to deal with the enormous loss of U.S. credibility during the past three years, which has stemmedin large part from Trump's reneging on or withdrawing from agreements such as the Paris accord on climate change, arms control accords withRussia, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which restricted Iran's nuclear program." ..."
"... What is the PURPOSE of US Foreign Policy? To protect the US homeland and US interests abroad (freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce and trade, and the protection of US citizens travelling abroad to name a few). ..."
"... Unfortunately, US Policy really refers to US interventionism across the globe. Covert activities are presumably necessary to protect US interests so as to thwart the covert activities of our enemies. In practice, what the US really does is protect the interests of friendly countries and US-based multi-national corporations...and the whole thing is smoke and mirrors (hidden from the American people). Thus, we really have NO IDEA what US Foreign Policy is, or what we are doing behind the scenes. That's on both Democrats and Republicans. ..."
Dec 01, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

This is still a race for a party nomination, and it is well known how political battles at this stage typically focus narrowly on what are perceived to be the parochial concerns of the party's base and take on a different character in the general election. But positions taken now can impose constraints later on. Moreover, Democratic primary voters ought to be learning about what difference the various contenders would make in executing the powers of the presidency, not just in who has the most attractive ideas about policies that cannot be imposed by fiat.

Foreign policy is where more attention and debate are most required, and not just because foreign policy nearly always gets inadequate attention in political campaigns. It also is where a president has the most power to make a difference even without getting Congress to go along with the president's program. This fact is reflected in how many presidents late in their presidencies, especially in second terms, have turned more of their attention to foreign relations as an area where they can make a difference after experiencing frustration in trying to get their domestic programs through Congress.

Many issues in foreign policy could profitably be discussed more than they are now, but priority should be given to those subjects on which Trump has caused the most damage. Candidates should explain how they intend to repair that damage, not just what their policies would be if they somehow could be written on a clean slate. The slate on which the next administration's foreign policy will be written starts out very dirty. Coming after Trump will be a major, task-defining fact about the next administration's foreign policy challenges.

The heavy damage to U.S. relations with the European allies represents another especially dirty part of the slate that the next administration will have to tend to. Brexit will be an added complication in addressing this problem and in a sense is another part of Trump's legacy given the way he has cheered on the Brexiteers, contrary to U.S. interests.

Issues examined by the current impeachment proceeding represent more damage-repair needs. Ukraine is a large and important country and constructing a U.S. policy that adequately reflects Ukraine's delicate situation between East and West would be a challenge in any event. Now it has been made more difficult by Trump and Rudy Giuliani's setting back of Ukraine's efforts to stamp out corruption and subordinating an aid relationship to dirt-digging for domestic political reasons. What are the Democratic candidates' specific ideas for repairing this damage, and for fitting the repairs into a sensible policy toward not just Ukraine but also Russia?

To emphasize these foreign policy challenges is not to diminish the amount of Trump-inflicted damage that extends to domestic matters as well, and the need for the next administration to repair that damage as well. Perhaps the greatest over-arching damage, spanning both the domestic and foreign sides, is that the nation seems to have become inured to wrongdoing because of the sheer volume of it, with attention to each offense quickly fading as it is succeeded by a new offense or attention-hogging presidential outburst. What will the next president do to restore a sense of national outrage over wrongdoing whenever it occurs, be it blatant self-dealing, corruption of U.S. foreign relations, or something else?

Such problems may not have as much resonance in Iowa caucuses as the cost of health care, but they have a lot more to do with who will make the best president.

Paul R. Pillar is Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University and Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is a contributing editor to The National Interest, where he writes a blog .


MaskOfZero 5 days ago • edited ,

"The next president will, for example, have to deal with the enormous loss of U.S. credibility during the past three years, which has stemmedin large part from Trump's reneging on or withdrawing from agreements such as the Paris accord on climate change, arms control accords withRussia, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which restricted Iran's nuclear program."

What a load of hooey this article is. U.S. credibility with whom? Failed Merkel? Failed Macron?...

Emidio Borg 11 days ago • edited ,

It is our weapons manufacturers who bankroll our political establishment, consequently our foreign policy is whatever they say it is.

The Mugged Liberal 13 days ago ,

Failure of the past three years but no mention of the failures of Obama? Sending an aging hippie James Taylor to console islamic terrorist victims in Paris apparently counts as a major foreign policy success and that mean Trump refuses to perpetuate. And then there's the cross the red line in Syria and we'll do nothing.

Or maybe ship weapons secretly to Islamic terrorists calling them freedom fighters and surprise surprise, the weapons from Obama are used to murder American diplomats in Benghazi. Then cover that up by blaming it on a video from a guy in Los Angeles and sending out a team to blatantly lie about the event.

Now there's real foreign policy you can depend on - from the Democrats.

And of course from Paul Pillar.

Carl Braun 18 days ago ,

What's Your Foreign Policy?
A. Orange man bad.
Need more taxes for my apology diplomacy.
More pallets of cash for the mullahs

Airbrush2020 Me 18 days ago • edited ,

What is the PURPOSE of US Foreign Policy? To protect the US homeland and US interests abroad (freedom of navigation, freedom of commerce and trade, and the protection of US citizens travelling abroad to name a few).

Unfortunately, US Policy really refers to US interventionism across the globe. Covert activities are presumably necessary to protect US interests so as to thwart the covert activities of our enemies. In practice, what the US really does is protect the interests of friendly countries and US-based multi-national corporations...and the whole thing is smoke and mirrors (hidden from the American people). Thus, we really have NO IDEA what US Foreign Policy is, or what we are doing behind the scenes. That's on both Democrats and Republicans.

[Dec 01, 2019] Senator Warren's plans on drugs are a really huge deal

Dec 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , November 28, 2019 at 12:34 PM

https://truthout.org/articles/warrens-new-proposal-for-prescription-drugs-is-flying-under-the-radar/

November 25, 2019

Warren's New Proposal for Prescription Drugs Is Flying Under the Radar
By Dean Baker

Earlier this month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren put out a set of steps that she would put forward as president as part of a transition to Medicare for All. The items that got the most attention were including everyone over age 50 and under age 18 in Medicare, and providing people of all ages with the option to buy into the program. This buy-in would include large subsidies, and people with incomes of less than 200 percent of the poverty level would be able to enter the Medicare program at no cost.

These measures would be enormous steps toward Medicare for All, bringing tens of millions of people into the program, including most of those (people over age 50) with serious medical issues. It would certainly be more than halfway to a universal Medicare program.

While these measures captured most of the attention given to Warren's transition plan, another part of the plan is probably at least as important. Warren proposed to use the government's authority to compel the licensing of drug patents so that multiple companies can produce a patented drug.

The government can do this both because it has general authority to compel licensing of patents (with reasonable compensation) and because it has explicit authority under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to require licensing of any drug developed in part with government-funded research. The overwhelming majority of drugs required some amount of government-supported research in their development.

These measures are noteworthy because they can be done on the president's own authority. While the pharmaceutical industry will surely contest a president's use of the government's authority to weaken their patent rights, those actions would not require congressional approval.

The other reason that these steps would be so important is that there is a huge amount of money involved. The United States is projected to spend over $6.6 trillion on prescription drugs over the next decade, more than 2.5 percent of GDP.

The government has explicit authority under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to require licensing of any drug developed in part with government-funded research.

This is an enormous amount of money. We spend more than twice as much per person on drugs as people in other wealthy countries.

This is not an accident. The grant of a patent monopoly allows drug companies to charge as much as they want for drugs that are necessary for people's health or even their life.

While other countries also grant patent monopolies, they limit the ability of drug companies to exploit these monopolies with negotiations or price controls. This is why prices in these countries are so much lower than in the United States.

But even these negotiated prices are far above what drug prices would be in a free market. The price of drugs in a free market, without patent monopolies or related protections, will typically be less than 10 percent of the U.S. price and in some cases, less than 1 percent.

This is because drugs are almost invariably cheap to manufacture and distribute. They are expensive because government-granted patent monopolies make them expensive.

The rationale for patent monopolies is to give companies an incentive to research and develop drugs. This process is expensive, and if newly developed drugs were sold in a free market, companies would not be able to recover these expenses.

To make up for the loss of research funding supported by patent monopolies, Warren proposes an increase in public funding for research.

To make up for the loss of research funding supported by patent monopolies, Warren proposes an increase in public funding for research. This would be an important move toward an increased reliance on publicly funded biomedical research.

There are enormous advantages to publicly funded research over patent monopoly-supported research. First, the government is funding the research. It can require that all results be fully public as soon as possible so that all researchers can quickly benefit from them.

By contrast, under the patent system, drug companies have an incentive to keep results secret. They have no desire to share results that could benefit competitors.

Public funding would also radically reduce the incentive to develop copycat drugs. Under the current system, drug companies will often devote substantial sums to developing drugs that are intended to duplicate the function of drugs already on the market. While there is generally an advantage to having more options to treat a specific condition, most often, research dollars would be better spent trying to develop drugs for conditions where no effective treatment currently exists.

Ending patent monopoly pricing would also take away the incentive for drug companies to conceal evidence that their drugs may not be as safe or effective as claimed. Patent monopolies give drug companies an incentive to push their drugs as widely as possible.

The opioid crisis provides a dramatic example of the dangers of this system. Opioid manufacturers would not have had the same incentive to push their drugs, concealing evidence of their addictive properties, if they were not making huge profits on them.

In short, Senator Warren's plans on drugs are a really huge deal. How far and how quickly she will be able to get to Medicare for All will depend on what she can get through Congress. But her proposal for prescription drugs is something she would be able to do if elected president, and it would make an enormous difference in both the cost and the quality of our health care.

[Nov 30, 2019] Obama Takes the Field and Hillary May Be Around the Corner by Stephen J. Sniegoski

Notable quotes:
"... However, Morris contends that Clinton believes that she has to "wait until Biden drops out because he's obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there's an opening for her." According to Morris' scenario, Clinton would become the moderate candidate opposed to the leading progressive, Elizabeth Warren. ..."
Nov 30, 2019 | www.unz.com

In November, Barack Obama, who had avoided commenting on the Democratic presidential primary, came out forcefully in opposition to the extreme positions taken by some leading progressive contenders, positions that could cause the Democrats to be beaten by Trump in the 2020 election. Obama was a very popular president among Democrats, and what he has to say carries considerable weight with them. While this may not be his intent, Obama's position could open the field for Hillary Clinton to enter the fray and quite possibly become the Democrats' nominee, given the lackluster performance of leading "moderate" Joe Biden, whose weaknesses have been brought out by the mainstream media, despite their animosity toward Trump.

Now many in the Democratic Party leadership, as well as wealthy Democratic donors, have been concerned for some time about the radical nature of some of the economic policies advocated by the leading progressive Democratic contenders. They fear that instead of the 2020 election revolving around Trump with his low approval ratings, and very likely his impeachment, which would seem to be a slam-dunk victory for Democrats, it would focus on those radical economic proposals. Many voters are skeptical about how free college for all, free health care for all, high-paying jobs in "green energy" -- after greatly reducing the use of fossil fuels, free childcare for all, just to name some of the "free" things that have been promised, would really work. Instead of raising taxes on the middle class, most of these free things would purportedly be paid for by the super-wealthy, which would exclude mere millionaires such as Bernie Sanders (estimated wealth $2 million) and Elizabeth Warren (estimated wealth $12 million) who are the leading progressive contenders.

Obama began stressing his concern about the danger of radicalism in an October speech at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago. And he did this not by dealing with presidential candidates but with youth who think they can immediately change society. "This idea of purity and you're never compromised, and you're always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly," Obama lectured. "The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws."

It was at a gathering of Democratic donors in Washington, D.C., in November that Obama cautioned Democratic candidates not to go too far to the left since that would antagonize many voters who would otherwise support the Democratic candidate. "Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision we also have to be rooted in reality ," Obama asserted. "The average American doesn't think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it." Although Obama did not specify particular Democratic candidates, his warning was widely interpreted as being directed at Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

Currently, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, according to national polls, is Joe Biden, who is considered a moderate. But Biden has a number of problems. He continues to make gaffes while speaking, and during his long career in the Senate took positions that are antithetical to the Democratic Party of today. Moreover, he lacks the charisma to attract large crowds to his events. Thus, it is questionable that he has the capability to attract large numbers of Democratic voters to the polls in November 2020.

According to Politico Magazine , Obama was recently discussing election tactics with an unnamed current candidate and "pointed out that during his own 2008 campaign, he had an intimate bond with the electorate" and he is quoted as adding, "And you know who really doesn't have it ? Joe Biden."

Biden's appeal already seems to be waning. For example, in November, a Marquette Law School poll, which is considered the gold-standard survey in swing state Wisconsin, which the Democrats need to win the 2020 election, shows Trump leading Biden 47 percent to 44 percent. In October, Trump had trailed Biden by 6 points (44 percent to 50 percent), and in August, Trump trailed Biden by 9 points (42 percent to 51 percent). In short, Biden is losing support. Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by a slender margin of 0.77 percent, with 47.22 percent of the total votes over the 46.45 percent for Hillary Clinton.

Another problem Biden faces is the corrupt activities of his son Hunter and brother James, who have taken advantage of their connection with him. The mainstream media has so far largely kept this mostly under wraps, but this tactic won't be successful as the election approaches. In fact, the progressive Democrats such as Bernie Sanders are likely to bring this up in a desperate effort to be nominated. And already these issues are being mentioned by the alternative media. For instance, there is an article in the non-partisan, anti-government Intercept titled, "Joe Biden's Family Has Been Cashing in on His Career for Decades. Democrats Need to Acknowledge That," and comparable articles in the conservative Washington Examiner such as, "Hunter Biden-linked company r eceived $130M in special federal loans while Joe Biden was vice president," and "Hunter Biden has 99 problems , and Burisma is only one."

David Axelrod, Democratic strategist and longtime aide to Barack Obama, said concerns about Biden's electability clearly influenced multi-billionaire (estimated $53 billion) and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's entrance into the contest for the Democratic nominee for president. "There's no question that Bloomberg's calculus was that Biden was occupying a space, and the fact that he's getting in is a clear indication that he's not convinced Biden has the wherewithal to carry that torch," Axelrod said. "So yeah, I don't think this is a positive development for Joe Biden."

Similarly, Democratic strategist Brad Bannon contended that "centrist Democrats and wealthy donors have lost confidence in Biden's ability to stop Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination." Bannon added that with Bloomberg entering the Democratic presidential race, "Biden's fundraising will get even shakier than it already is. There's only room for one moderate in this race and Bloomberg threatens Biden's status as the centrist standard-bearer."

Bloomberg's "stop and frisk" policy as mayor , which largely targeted blacks and Hispanics, should make it virtually impossible that he could be the Democratic nominee, despite his recent apology. Unless he has become senile in his late 70s, Bloomberg should well understand this since he did not make his billions by being stupid. It could be that he intends to serve as a stalking horse to draw Hillary Clinton into the contest by showing the weakness of Biden. Then like Superwoman, Hillary can enter the fray, appearing not to act for her own sake but to save the country from a likely second term for President Trump.

Similarly, Mark Penn, who was chief strategist for Clinton's unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign, said Bloomberg's entrance could cause Clinton to consider to run and decide there's "still a political logic there for her."

As Biden's support slips away, Clinton's should rise. Clinton has been recently promoting a book she co-wrote with her daughter, Chelsea, in Britain. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live , Clinton said "many, many, many people" are pressuring her to jump into the 2020 presidential race and that she thinks about this "all the time." Clinton told the host that she is under "enormous pressure" but said it is not in her plans, though she cryptically added that she would "never say never."

Dick Morris, who was once a close confidant of the Clintons during Bill Clinton's time as Arkansas governor and U.S. president recently said in a radio interview that Hillary Clinton likely wants to run for the presidency in 2020. "My feeling is that she wants to ," Morris said. "She feels entitled to do it. She feels compelled to do it. She feels that God put her on the Earth to do it. But she's hesitant because she realizes the timing is bad."

However, Morris contends that Clinton believes that she has to "wait until Biden drops out because he's obviously next in line for it, and if he goes away, there's an opening for her." According to Morris' scenario, Clinton would become the moderate candidate opposed to the leading progressive, Elizabeth Warren.

Morris has not been in touch with the Clintons for many years, and has become strongly critical of them, so his claim might be questionable. Nonetheless, his portrayal of Hillary's current thinking seems quite reasonable.

A Fox News poll included Clinton along with the active Democratic candidates in a hypothetical election with Trump, and Hillary came out ahead of him by two percentage points. While some actual candidates did somewhat better than Hillary, she did quite well for someone who is not currently running for office.

Furthermore, a Harris Harvard poll in late October asked the question, "Suppose Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg, and John Kerry decides [sic] to enter the race, who would you support as a candidate for President?" Joe Biden received the support of 19 percent of Democrat respondents while Clinton was a close second with 18 percent. Elizabeth Warren came in third at 13 percent, John Kerry was at 8 percent, and Bloomberg was at 6. Again, Clinton does quite well for someone who is not actually running for president.

One might think that if references to family members' corruption damaged Biden, then Clinton would be subject to worse damage in that area, since she and her husband Bill were connected with far more corrupt activities -- Whitewater, Travelgate, the Lewinsky affair, the Paula Jones affair, t the death of Vince Foster, the Clinton Foundation, her private server, and so on. But these issues are already known and are presumably already taken into account by the voters, whereas the Biden family's corrupt activities are so far largely unknown.

It should be pointed out that Clinton has a number of positives as a presidential candidate. Although losing in the Electoral College in 2016, Clinton had garnered 3 million more votes more than Trump. The election was decided by a total of 80,000 votes in three states. It is highly unlikely that such a fluke could be duplicated.

Clinton's staff had been overconfident assuming victory, which was based on their polling of various states, and as a result began to focus on competing in states well beyond those Clinton needed for victory.

Moreover, one key event outside the control of Clinton's staff was FBI Director James Comey's investigation of Clinton's use of a personal email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Most crucial were his July 2016 public statement terminating the investigation, with a lengthy comment about what Clinton did wrong, and his October 28 reopening the inquiry into newly discovered emails and then closing it two days before the election, stating that the emails had not provided any new information. The October 28 letter, however, probably played a key role in the outcome of the election. As statistician Nate Silver maintains: "Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28. The letter, which said the FBI had 'learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton's lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.'"

[Silver's organization FiveThirtyEight had projected a much higher chance (29 percent) of Donald Trump winning the presidency than most other pollsters]

Clinton has also helped to convince many Democrats and members of the mainstream media that the 2016 election was stolen from her by Russian agents If this were really true – which is very doubtful – then Hillary should be the Democrats' candidate for 2020 since Russian intervention should not be as successful as it allegedly was in 2016.

In endorsing Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, Obama stated. "I don't think that there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office." He has yet to make such an endorsement for Biden and privately, as mentioned earlier, said he is a poor choice for a nominee. He might ultimately endorse Biden, but he certainly would not renege on what he said four years ago about Clinton if she became the Democrats' standard-bearer.

Should Clinton opt to run, she would have no trouble raising money since she set a record in 2016 of $1.4 billion and wealthy donors want a moderate to be the Democratic nominee. It would seem likely that she would enter the contest if Biden has serious trouble. She would miss some state primaries since it would be too late to register in them but given the crowded field of candidates, there is a likelihood that there will be a brokered convention, that is, the convention will go past the first ballot. Since the superdelegates would be allowed to vote in all rounds after the first, they could determine the winner, which would probably mean the selection of a candidate who would be seen to have the greatest chance of winning, and that would likely be Hillary Clinton, if she has entered the fray.

I discussed the merits of Pete Buttigieg in a previous article in Unz Review, and what I write here might seem to conflict with that. However, while Buttigieg is doing quite well in the polls, he still does not get much support from blacks and Latinos, which is essential to become the Democrats nominee for president. Buttigieg could, however, be nominated for vice president or, more likely, given an important cabinet position since the vice-presidential slot would probably be reserved for a black or Latino if a white person were picked as the presidential nominee, which currently seems likely.

But because of Buttigieg's relatively hardline foreign policy , which largely meshes with that of Clinton's, and his wide knowledge and language ability, Buttigieg would fit well in the all-important position of secretary of state in a Clinton administration. Moreover, Buttigieg, whose tenure as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will end in January 2020, would almost certainly be willing to take such a position, which could serve as a jumping-off point for the presidency in the future.

[Nov 27, 2019] Did Pelosi went along with impeachment to block nomination of Bernie Sanders?

Notable quotes:
"... and now Obama weighs in to warn against the real danger to the democrats, Bernie Sanders. that's who they have to beat, and Gabbard. They don't give much of a damn about beating Trump. ..."
"... This pretty much confirms my and many others here hypothesis that the Dems are fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump nationalist capitalism and the other against the "democratic socialists" who have been flocking to their party machine since 2014. ..."
"... Clearly, the goal is to prevent the US Polity from clawing back power from the 10% and enacting policies to their benefit. Meanwhile, a new form of Transnational Nationalism continues to take shape that will soon present a serious threat to the Financialized Globalizers and their Cult of Debt. Too many seem to laugh off the entire situation by dismissing it as Kabuki Theatre, which I see as self-serving and shortsighted since there're several very real crises we're in up to our collective armpits. ..."
"... A full blown impeachment trial that exposes the entire Russia-gate/Ukraine-gate/Whatever-gate sham is what this country needs. ..."
"... Bet the MSM sells Ukrainegate this way: Trump is guilty in Ukrainegate and should be impeached, but Democrats are moving on to focus on the election. And besides, Dems will tell us, the dastardly Republicans in the Senate will corruptly block Trump's impeachment. ..."
"... That is what they call a "trial balloon." If there isn't too much of a freakout among the true-believer base, and I don't think there is, it'll be an option they will at least take seriously. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to bet on rational thinking at this point. Anyway I agree it's the best move for congressional Democrats. ..."
"... I am liking all the commenters here that understand that there is only one empire party with two mythical faces. I think this kabuki is necessary if you don't have a major WAR to keep the masses focused on or otherwise distracted from the underlying R2P which I translate to Rape2Protect. ..."
"... If this show should teach people in the US anything (again), it is how both US parties descend like vultures onto countries where they manage to take over the government. Five billion poured into Ukraine with the requisite murder and mayhem, and who knows how many billions come pouring back out. It's a real jackpot for those in the right positions to scoop it into their pockets. ..."
"... The average people in the US don't even have a genuine safety net. Important for all those productive resources to go to pedophile islands and sinecures for coke head sons of politicians, obviously. ..."
"... The GOP is the party of the rich. The Democrats are the party the rich pay to keep the left at bay when the Republicans lose. ..."
"... the deck is stacked even more against independents than it is against actual mildly leftist candidates who run as democrats. there are a substantial number of people who think the only way to change the country is to take over the democratic party. frankly, that isn't going to happen, and nobody is going to win as an independent candidate with all the procedural rules making it so hard to even get on the ballot, while the state government, which is invariably controlled by one of the two parties, throws every roadblock, legal and illegal, in the way. my gut feeling is things are going to have to get quite a bit worse before the citizenry starts to explode, and there's no telling how that process will work out, and no way to control it once it reaches critical mass. ..."
"... the Democrats won't want to censure Trump for matters in which they themselves are equally complicit, as has been discussed here. ..."
"... "The party's true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn't exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party -- the essential service it renders to the US power structure -- lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it's not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a "democracy." ..."
"... Trump is up against an entrenched powerful bureaucracy and people who buy ink by the 55 gallon barrel. The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi. The rank and file Democrats are tired of the elite political class ..."
"... The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment. ..."
"... He could lay out his story about how the American People never got to hear the full story because of house dems, and how the Senate would fully investigate the 2016 election, Russiagate, Ukraine, and whatever else they want. Maybe even make Hillary testify. Heads would explode and his base would love it. ..."
"... To the people here clamoring for Bernie Sanders to go independent: The American electoral system is very unique. The two parties -- GOP and Dems -- are much more than mere political parties: they are the American electoral machine itself. It is impossible to win the presidency without being the candidate of one of the two, that's why Trump also didn't go as an independent either. ..."
Nov 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stever , Nov 26 2019 21:01 utc | 9

"An impeachment trial in the Senate would be a disaster for the Democrats.
I can not see why the Democrats would want to fall into such a trap. House leader Nancy Pelosi is experienced enough to not let that happen."

The real reason in my opinion that Pelosi went along with impeachment was that she saw Bernies message getting through, and even though the DNC pushed all the conserva-dem candidates they could into the race, Bernie is still doing well and gaining. An impeachment trial would require Bernie to attend the hearings rather that campaigning. Also Wall Streets best friend Obama has just stated that Bernie is not a Democrat and that would require Obama to get on the speaking circuit to campaign against him - you know for the sake of the corporations - and those 500k speaking thank you gigs. They would rather elect Trump than Bernie - that is why I think Pelosi would go along with an impeachment trial in the Senate - Bernie is the greater threat.


Likklemore , Nov 26 2019 21:01 utc | 10

The idea to censure Trump and move on has been aired since mid 2017. The latest was Forbes.com billwhalen 26 September 2019 Link

I ordered a truckload of pop corn to snack on during the trial in the Senate. Just imagine Joe Biden under cross examination as he flips 'n flops! "Was that me in the Video, I can't recall."

Guess I will have to unpack some popcorn. At this phase in the process an impeachable offence remains undefined!??
House Judiciary Committee Sets Date For Impeachment Hearing, Invites Trump To Testify

With interest (even among Democrats) in the impeachment process sliding, the House Judiciary Committee is set to take over the impeachment probe of President Trump next week, scheduling a Dec. 4 hearing.

As The Hill reports, behind Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the committee will hear from legal scholars as Democrats weigh whether the evidence turned up in their weeks-long impeachment inquiry warrants the drafting of articles aimed at removing the president from office.

The hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday, will focus on the definition of an impeachable offense and the formal application of the impeachment process. The panel will invite White House lawyers to attend and participate.

Ahead of the hearing, Nadler wrote to Trump requesting his participation - or that of White House counsel - as part of ensuring "a fair and informative process."[.]

Trump will take a page from the other president who campaigned on the "do nothing congress"

pretzelattack , Nov 26 2019 21:16 utc | 11
and now Obama weighs in to warn against the real danger to the democrats, Bernie Sanders. that's who they have to beat, and Gabbard. They don't give much of a damn about beating Trump.
Wind Hippo , Nov 26 2019 21:21 utc | 12
b, there seems to be a critical flaw in your analysis--you seem to base it on a premise that the goal of the Democratic establishment is to win elections/gain power/govern. It's not, it's to ensure the continuing enrichment of themselves and their oligarch peers, financial industry, military, pharma, etc.

The question people like Pelosi (worth $100 million or so btw along with her husband whose business she enriches via her position) are pondering isn't "Will doing x, y, z help Trump win?" It's "Will doing x, y, z ensure Bernie Sanders doesn't win?"

vk , Nov 26 2019 21:23 utc | 13
Maybe this is useful to understand the DNC's situation:

Obama 'Privately' Vowed to 'Speak Up to Stop' Bernie Sanders if He Secured Presidential Nomination - Report

This pretty much confirms my and many others here hypothesis that the Dems are fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump nationalist capitalism and the other against the "democratic socialists" who have been flocking to their party machine since 2014.

jared , Nov 26 2019 21:25 utc | 14
No group of adults is that stupid. They are doing and will do as they are required to do by their owners.
Jen , Nov 26 2019 21:31 utc | 15
Of all the things that the Democrats could impeach President Trump over, the one thing they seized upon was the issue that had the most potential to blow back on them and destroy Joe Biden's chances of reaching the White House. Whoever had that brilliant idea and put it as the long straw in a cylindrical prawn-chip can along with all the other straws for pulling out, sure didn't think of all the consequences that could have arisen. That speaks for the depth (or lack thereof) of the thinking among senior Democrats and their worker bee analysts, along with a narrow-minded outlook, sheer hatred of a political outsider and a fanatical zeal to match that hatred and outlook.

The folks who hatched that particular impeachment plan and pitched it to Nancy Pelosi must have been the same idiots in the DNC who dreamt up the Russiagate scandal and also pursued Paul Manafort to get him off DJT's election campaign team. Dmitri Alperovich / Crowdstrike, Alexandra Chalupa: we're looking at you.

William Gruff , Nov 26 2019 21:37 utc | 16
Impeachment takes Sanders out of the campaign and that opens things up for the CIA/establishment's "Identity Politics Candidate #3" , Mayor Butt-gig.

That said, since "Everyone who doesn't vote for our candidate is a deplorable misogynist!" didn't work as expected, I wonder what makes them think "Everyone who doesn't vote for our candidate is a deplorable homophobe!" will work any better?

karlof1 , Nov 26 2019 21:52 utc | 17
Lots of agreement here with the overall situation becoming clearer with Bloomberg's entrance and the outing of Obama's plans. I just finished writing my response to Putin's speech before the annual United Russia Party Congress on the Open Thread and suggest barflies take 10 minutes to read it and compare what he espouses a political party's deeds & goals ought to be versus those of the West and its vassals.

Clearly, the goal is to prevent the US Polity from clawing back power from the 10% and enacting policies to their benefit. Meanwhile, a new form of Transnational Nationalism continues to take shape that will soon present a serious threat to the Financialized Globalizers and their Cult of Debt. Too many seem to laugh off the entire situation by dismissing it as Kabuki Theatre, which I see as self-serving and shortsighted since there're several very real crises we're in up to our collective armpits.

James Speaks , Nov 26 2019 22:58 utc | 21
A full blown impeachment trial that exposes the entire Russia-gate/Ukraine-gate/Whatever-gate sham is what this country needs.

Obviously, a sufficient number of secure Republican representatives are needed to vote in favor of impeachment to allow this circus to continue to its bizarrely entertaining, Democratic Party destroying end.

librul , Nov 26 2019 22:59 utc | 22
The MSM will declare Trump guilty - that is, he has earned impeachment for Ukrainegate.

There are Democrats still under the illusion that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election. Dems tell us that Trump *obstructed* the Mueller investigation thus Trump could not be nailed, nonetheless Trump is guilty of collusion until proven innocent.

Back to Ukrainegate. Bet the MSM sells Ukrainegate this way: Trump is guilty in Ukrainegate and should be impeached, but Democrats are moving on to focus on the election. And besides, Dems will tell us, the dastardly Republicans in the Senate will corruptly block Trump's impeachment.

karlof1 , Nov 26 2019 23:28 utc | 25
Tulsi Gabbard Tweet not specifically about impeachment but begs numerous questions:

"My personal commitment is to always treat you and all Americans with respect. Working side-by-side, we can defeat the divisiveness of Donald Trump, and usher in a 21st century of peace, human dignity, & true equality. Working side by side, we can make Dr. King's dream our reality ." [My Emphasis]

Questions: Is Trump divisive, or is it the D-Party and Current Oligarchy that make him so; and which is more important to defeat? Which party "usher[ed] in the 21st century" with several wars and abetted the next two? How did Obama, Slick Willie or his wife advance "human dignity & true equality"? How does her last sentence differ from "Hope you can believe in"? Hasn't her D-Party worked tirelessly for decades to circumvent the goals she espouses? Wouldn't Gabbard have a better chance running as an Enlightened Republican than as a Renegade Democrat if her goal's to defeat Trump?

snake , Nov 26 2019 23:30 utc | 26
American Democracy is political professional wrestling, Kabuki Theater, and mediocre Reality TV all rolled into. by: AK74 @ 4 <= binary divide <=conducted by the USA, is not about America, Americans or making America great again, its about the welfare of [the few<= which most Americans would not call fellow Americans].

Sasha.@ 23 I don't understand where you are coming from.. thank Korlof1 @18 for posting that Putin talk alert. excerpts from the talk.. => The priority [of United Russia has been] the protection of the people's interests, the interests of [the] Motherland, and ..responsible [approach] to ..country, its security, stability and people's lives in the long-term perspective.

The party.. offered a unifying agenda based on freedom and well being, patriotism, ..traditional values, a strong civil society and a strong state. The key issue in the party's work .being together with the people, Karlof1@18 <=this talk suggest change in Russian leadership that are not congruent with your [Sasha] comment @23. I hope you will make more clear what you spent sometime writing ( and for that effort I thank you) but it is not yet clear what you mean.. .

ptb , Nov 26 2019 23:42 utc | 27
Re: Brenda Lawrence talking about censure rather than impeachment:

That is what they call a "trial balloon." If there isn't too much of a freakout among the true-believer base, and I don't think there is, it'll be an option they will at least take seriously. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to bet on rational thinking at this point. Anyway I agree it's the best move for congressional Democrats.

Yet another other option is to continue the investigation indefinitely. I'm going to say it is their default move actually. In that case, the House Judiciary Committee would spend a few weeks putting on their own show, then say they would like more evidence to be really sure, returning matters to the House Intelligence Committee, and we repeat the cycle.

psychohistorian , Nov 27 2019 0:14 utc | 31
I am liking all the commenters here that understand that there is only one empire party with two mythical faces. I think this kabuki is necessary if you don't have a major WAR to keep the masses focused on or otherwise distracted from the underlying R2P which I translate to Rape2Protect.

It is sad to see us all talking about which of the lesser of horrible evils will continue the leadership of American faced empire.....I hope it crashes soon and takes the global elite down with it.....how many barflies are ready to stand up and say NO to the owners of the Super-Priority derivatives that will say they own the world because of their casino (no skin in the game) bets that are currently "legal" in America when the crash comes?

AK74 , Nov 27 2019 0:51 utc | 34
@ snake

American "Democracy" is a mask for the American Empire and its capitalist system--including especially the American Military and its Intelligence apparatus (aka The Deep State). If the American people don't identify with these institutions, you would see much greater hostility to -- if not outright rebellion against--the American military and spooks.

Instead, you see the very opposite: the American people saluting, glorifying, "thanking for their service," and politically fellating the US military and spy agencies every chance they get. That should tell you all you need to know about Americans.

Guest , Nov 27 2019 1:27 utc | 36
If this show should teach people in the US anything (again), it is how both US parties descend like vultures onto countries where they manage to take over the government. Five billion poured into Ukraine with the requisite murder and mayhem, and who knows how many billions come pouring back out. It's a real jackpot for those in the right positions to scoop it into their pockets.

The average people in the US don't even have a genuine safety net. Important for all those productive resources to go to pedophile islands and sinecures for coke head sons of politicians, obviously.

Dave , Nov 27 2019 1:38 utc | 37
Re: #3 Allen – well said. The GOP is the party of the rich. The Democrats are the party the rich pay to keep the left at bay when the Republicans lose.
Yeah, Right , Nov 27 2019 1:38 utc | 38
The problem with this prediction is that the MSM has been breathlessly pronouncing that THIS IS EXPLOSIVE EVIDENCE!!!! pretty much every day and after every witness testimony.

So if you are a member of the public who gets their "information" from the MSM (and, be honest, that is most of the people in the USA) then you have been force-fed is that Trumps defense against these allegations has already been shredded, and that his guilt has already been established beyond any reasonable doubt.

How can those opinion-makers then turn around and say "Nah, it'll be fine" and settle for a mere censure?

Wouldn't the Sheeple respond with a fully-justified "Hey, hang on! What gives?"

The Democrats has leapt on a Tiger. Nobody made them do it, but now they are there I don't think they are going to be able to leap off.

Some of the first-term nobodies, maybe, but not the Schiffs and the Pelopis and the Nadlers.

Hang on for dear life and hope for a miracle is probably their only option now.

And, who knows, that trio may be so incompetent that they actually think they are going to win.

Josh , Nov 27 2019 1:49 utc | 39
Via, perhaps, One who has established Truth, Standing, and Right, Declaring so.... Lawfully.
pretzelattack , Nov 27 2019 1:56 utc | 40
james, the deck is stacked even more against independents than it is against actual mildly leftist candidates who run as democrats. there are a substantial number of people who think the only way to change the country is to take over the democratic party. frankly, that isn't going to happen, and nobody is going to win as an independent candidate with all the procedural rules making it so hard to even get on the ballot, while the state government, which is invariably controlled by one of the two parties, throws every roadblock, legal and illegal, in the way. my gut feeling is things are going to have to get quite a bit worse before the citizenry starts to explode, and there's no telling how that process will work out, and no way to control it once it reaches critical mass.
Duncan Idaho , Nov 27 2019 2:13 utc | 43
The US is a one party State-- Pepsi _Pepsi Lite. Both parties are capitalist. It is rather humorous the attention paid to a Dim vs Repug argument. Small thinking for small minds---
Rob , Nov 27 2019 2:13 utc | 44
As I posted at the beginning of the impeachment process, the Dems would be foolish to hang it all on the arcane shenanigans in Ukraine but rather should impeach Trump on the numerous more serious breaches and crimes that he has committed. I also worried that the Democratic Party leaders would blow the opportunity to demonstrate that Trump and the Republican Party are rotten to the core and harmful to the country. And so they have blown it. What an inept pack of asses.
juliania , Nov 27 2019 2:26 utc | 46
I would think that even censure is still going to be a hot potato for the Democrats. Looking at the procedure as far as wikipedia describes it, it hasn't done anything of significance when it comes to being used against a president, especially as the Democrats won't want to censure Trump for matters in which they themselves are equally complicit, as has been discussed here.

That means they would be censuring on the same shaky grounds that they would have impeached him, which only prolongs attention upon the dubious claims of the indictment. It seems to me Trump will, rather than be shamed by the process, only be saying 'Make my day', and hopefully have his Attorney General come forward with exonerating revelations on that issue in the judicial proceeding that it was my contention the impeachment effort had been a last ditch one to forestall such.

Wishful thinking on that, I know - but at least that probe has merit.

karlof1 , Nov 27 2019 2:29 utc | 47
Grieved @42--

Thanks for your reply! And thanks for linking the Keen video! Made a comment on that thread.

As I wrote when the possibility of Trump's impeachment arose almost as soon as he was inaugurated, the entire charade reminds me of Slick Willie's impeachment, trial and exoneration--the Articles of Impeachment utilized were such that he'd avoid conviction just as they will be for Trump.

ben , Nov 27 2019 2:52 utc | 48
Allen @ 3 said; "The party's true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn't exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party -- the essential service it renders to the US power structure -- lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it's not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a "democracy."

With very few exceptions, you nailed it..Your description of the Dem. party is sad, but true.....

Trisha , Nov 27 2019 3:07 utc | 49
Oh dear, sadly this was so easy to predict.

Maybe the Dims will creep past the yawning Trump trap and get around to minor policy issues, like crafting and passing a real Green New Deal bill.

Again, sadly, so easy to predict nothing of the sort happening.

dltravers , Nov 27 2019 3:45 utc | 50
Not having much time to watch the show trial it appears to me the Democrats still have a set of very weak candidates. Anyone who knows Biden knows he in not now and never will be able to handle a campaign against Trump.

Trump is up against an entrenched powerful bureaucracy and people who buy ink by the 55 gallon barrel. The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi. The rank and file Democrats are tired of the elite political class in the same fashion that the rank and file Republicans were tired of the political establishment which caused then to turn to Trump.

Is the Democrat political establishment smart enough to take a few steps back and push forward some outsiders? I doubt that but they would not lose much if they did. Any new leaders would have the same stable of bureaucrats to pick from which will still be there long after they are gone.

MT_bill , Nov 27 2019 4:18 utc | 53
The real Trump move would be to hit the twitter right before the house impeachment vote and announce that he has instructed the House Republicans to vote for impeachment.

He could lay out his story about how the American People never got to hear the full story because of house dems, and how the Senate would fully investigate the 2016 election, Russiagate, Ukraine, and whatever else they want. Maybe even make Hillary testify. Heads would explode and his base would love it.

AntiSpin , Nov 27 2019 4:42 utc | 55
j @ dltravers | Nov 27 2019 3:45 utc | 50

"The democrats need to take a hard turn towards Mayor Pete and Tulsi."

Mayor Pete -- are you serious? I urge you to take a look at these two articles before making any other public endorsements.

All About Pete
by Nathan J. Robinson
https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/03/all-about-pete

Is Pete Buttigieg A Shill For The Donor Class?
by Miles Mogulescu | November 23, 2019
https://ourfuture.org/20191122/is-pete-buttigieg-a-shill-for-the-donor-class

librul , Nov 27 2019 5:56 utc | 56
The...***The***...core takeaway, the battle at the heart of Russiagate/Ukrainegate, is that it does not matter who the People elect as President and what platform he was elected on the Deep State will decide foreign policy.
A User , Nov 27 2019 9:12 utc | 61
RE: Posted by: Sabine | Nov 27 2019 7:39 utc | 61

democrats republicans makes no difference both teams are managed by self serving scum who refuse to allow "what the people want" to distract them from the big one. "what can I steal?".

People meed to appreciate two things about both the dems and the rethugs. The first is they supply a much-needed insight into: "How low can I go as a worthless hang off the wagon by me fingernails, careerist. The second? That every hack must understand that eventually every talking head is seen for the ugly sellout which they are.

There is no 'honourable way through this mess', one either quietly resigns pulling the pin on the worst of us all, or one accepts the previously unacceptable, that we are most likely both musically n functionally illiterate but it never matters what-u-say, what really counts is what you do.

TJ , Nov 27 2019 10:48 utc | 63
Whoever it was the Democrats should shun that person before it creates more damage to their party.

I would disagree here. If the Democrats continue they will destroy themselves hopefully leading to Mutually Assured Destruction as they would need to do something very drastic to destroy the Republicans in return e.g. expose 9/11, Iraq etc, let the swamp / Deep State go M.A.D. and from the political ashes parties and politicians can rise who are actually working for the betterment of the USA and its people.

vk , Nov 27 2019 11:54 utc | 64

To the people here clamoring for Bernie Sanders to go independent: The American electoral system is very unique. The two parties -- GOP and Dems -- are much more than mere political parties: they are the American electoral machine itself. It is impossible to win the presidency without being the candidate of one of the two, that's why Trump also didn't go as an independent either.

Bernie Sanders is different from all other independent presidential candidates in American History because he was the first to really want to win. That's why he penetrated the Democratic machine, even though he became senator many times as an independent. He read the conjuncture correctly and, you have to agree, he's been more influential over American political-ideological landscape than all the other independents put together (not considering Eugene Debs as an independent).

snake , Nov 27 2019 13:05 utc | 65
@ snake

American "Democracy" is a mask for the American Empire and its capitalist system--including especially the American Military and its Intelligence apparatus (aka The Deep State). If the American people don't identify with these institutions, you would see much greater hostility to--if not outright rebellion against--the American military and spooks.

Instead, you see the very opposite: the American people saluting, glorifying, "thanking for their service," and politically fellating the US military and spy agencies every chance they get.

That should tell you all you need to know about Americans. by: AK74 @ 34

<= No not yet do I agree with you.. The American young people are forced into the military in order to afford to be educated, and in order to have access to health care and good-level workforce entry jobs especially the military is default for children of struggling parents that cannot fund a college education or for the kids who are not yet ready to become serious students.

The USA has not always discounted America or denied Americans. When I grew up, a college education was very affordable, health care was available to even the most needy at whatever they could afford, most of us could work our way through the education and find decent entry level jobs if we were willing to dedicate ourselves to make the opportunity of a job into a success (education, degrees, licenses were not needed, just performance was enough). Unfortunately third party private mind control propaganda was used to extend into fake space, the belief that the USA provides a valuable service to American interest. As time went on, the USA had to hid its activities in top secret closets, it then had to learn to spy on everyone, and it had to prosecute those (whistle blowers) who raised a question. Hence the predicament of the awaken American dealing with friends that still believe the USA is good for America.. Others hope the good times will return but the USA tolerance for descent is dissipating. After the 16th amendment and the federal reserve act in 1913 the USA began to edge America out in favor of international globalization.

Most of the really important parts of what made the USA great for Americans has been sold off [privatized] and the protections and umpiring and refereeing that the USA used to provide to keep the American economic space highly competitive and freely accessible to all competitors has not only ceased, but now operates as a monopoly factory, churning out laws, rules and establishing agencies that make the wealthy and their corporate empires wealthier, richer and more monopolistic at the expense of everyday Americans.

The USA began to drop America from its sights after WWII. The USA moved its efforts and activities from American domestic concerns to global concerns in 1948, neglected its advance and protect American ideology; it imposed the continental shelf act in 1954 and the EPA act in 1972, in order to force American industry out of America (the oil business to Saudi Arabia and OPEC); by 1985-95 most businesses operating in America were either forced to close or forced to move to a cheap third world labor force places.. .<=the purpose is now clear, it was to separate Americans from their industrial and manufacturing know-how and to block American access to evolving technology . At first most Americans did not notice.

Many Americans are only now waking to the possibility that things topside have changed and some are realizing just how vulnerable the US constitution has made the USA to outside influence. .. thanks to the USA very little of good ole America remains. but the humanity first instinct most Americans are born with remains mostly unchanged, even though the globalist have decimated religious organizations, most Americans still believe their maker will not look favorably on those who deny justice, democracy or who abuse mankind. The USA has moved on, it has become a global empire, operating in a global space unknown to most Americans. The USA has created a world of its own, it no longer needs domestic America, it can use the people and resources of anyone anywhere in the world for its conquest.

The last two political campaigns for President were "Change=Obama" and "Make America Great Again=Trump"; neither of these two would have succeeded if Americans did not feel the problem.

[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] Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. Far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

Highly recommended!
Nov 24, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.25.19 at 2:56 am 46

Glen Tomkins 11.24.19 at 5:26 pm @43

And again, if we do win despite all the structural injustices in the system the Rs inherited and seek to expand, well, those injustices don't really absolutely need to be corrected, because we will still have gotten the right result from the system as is.

This is a pretty apt description of the mindset of Corporate Democrats. Thank you !

May I recommend you to listen to Chris Hedge 2011 talk On Death of the Liberal Class At least to the first part of it.

Corporate Dems definitely lack courage, and as such are probably doomed in 2020.

Of course, the impeachment process will weight on Trump, but the Senate hold all trump cards, and might reverse those effects very quickly and destroy, or at lease greatly diminish, any chances for Corporate Demorats even complete on equal footing in 2020 elections. IMHO Pelosi gambit is a really dangerous gambit, a desperate move, a kind of "Heil Mary" pass.

Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. And that's what happening right now and that's why I suspect that far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

IMHO Chris explains what the most probable result on 2020 elections with be with amazing clarity.

[Nov 22, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's Support for Bolivia Coup Consistent With Other Hawkish Foreign Policy Positions

Nov 22, 2019 | www.mintpressnews.com

The opposing positions of Warren and her primary opponent Bernie Sanders on Bolivia highlight an increasingly clear policy gap between the two Democratic frontrunners.

11-20-19

Massachusetts Senator and Democratic Presidential nomination frontrunner Elizabeth Warren endorsed the recent U.S. backed military coup d'état in Bolivia Monday. Warren's statement carefully avoided using the word "coup," and instead referred to the new government of Jeanine Añez as an "interim leadership," effectively validating the new administration.

She stated that the Bolivian people "deserve free and fair elections, as soon as possible," implying that the October 20 vote, won convincingly by President Evo Morales, was not clean, thus taking essentially the same position as the Trump administration, who made no secret of their relief that Morales was ousted.

Posted by: pogohere | Nov 21 2019 18:37 utc | 85 Elizabeth Warren's Support for Bolivia Coup Consistent With Other Hawkish Foreign Policy Positions

The opposing positions of Warren and her primary opponent Bernie Sanders on Bolivia highlight an increasingly clear policy gap between the two Democratic frontrunners.


11-20-19

Massachusetts Senator and Democratic Presidential nomination frontrunner Elizabeth Warren endorsed the recent U.S. backed military coup d'état in Bolivia Monday. Warren's statement carefully avoided using the word "coup," and instead referred to the new government of Jeanine Añez as an "interim leadership," effectively validating the new administration.

She stated that the Bolivian people "deserve free and fair elections, as soon as possible," implying that the October 20 vote, won convincingly by President Evo Morales, was not clean, thus taking essentially the same position as the Trump administration, who made no secret of their relief that Morales was ousted.

Posted by: pogohere | Nov 21 2019 18:42 utc | 86

[Nov 14, 2019] In 2019, the bottom 99% of families will pay 7.2% of their wealth in taxes, while the top 0.1% of households will pay just 3.2%.

Nov 14, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Nomad Money said in reply to Buscar Mañana... , November 11, 2019 at 09:08 AM

"In 2019, the bottom 99% of families will pay 7.2% of their wealth in taxes, while the top 0.1% of households will pay just 3.2%."
~~Elizabeth Warren~

do you see how EW has finally opened our eyes?

sure! poor people think about wealth as being income. they think about Wealth as being their salary. from the perspective of a wealthy senator wealth is a function of assets. EW had the guts to share this perspective with us, to open our eyes to reality.

we should not be taxing the payroll we should not be taxing the capital gains and other income. we should be taxing non productive assets, assets which cannot be hidden which cannot be taken off shore.

the Swiss have such a tax. all of their real estate is taxed at a rate of 0.3% per annum. it would be easy for us to stop all local taxes All County taxes all state taxes and all federal tax then initiate a 1% tax on all real property unimproved and on all improved real property. we should continue this tax until our federal debt is completely discharged. such a taxation shift would revv up our productive activity and increase our per capita GDP. as usual there would be winners and there would be losers. the losers would be those who want more inequality and the winners would be

those who want more
equality
.!

[Nov 14, 2019] Opinion Attack of the Wall Street Snowflakes by Paul Krugman

Notable quotes:
"... Cliff Asness, another money manager, would fly into a rage at Warren adviser Gabriel Zucman for using the term "revenue maximizing" -- a standard piece of economic jargon -- describing it as "disgustingly immoral." ..."
"... Objectively, Obama treated Wall Street with kid gloves. In the aftermath of a devastating financial crisis, his administration bailed out collapsing institutions on favorable terms. He and Democrats in Congress did impose some new regulations, but they were very mild compared with the regulations put in place after the banking crisis of the 1930s. He did, however, refer on a few occasions to "fat cat" bankers and suggested that financial-industry excesses were responsible for the 2008 crisis because, well, they were. And the result, quite early in his administration, was that Wall Street became consumed with " Obama rage ," and the financial industry went all in for Mitt Romney in 2012. ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

No, the really intense backlash against Warren and progressive Democrats in general is coming from Wall Street . And while that opposition partly reflects self-interest, Wall Street's Warren hatred has a level of virulence, sometimes crossing into hysteria, that goes beyond normal political calculation.

What's behind that virulence?

First, let's talk about the rational reasons Wall Street is worried about Warren. She is, of course, calling for major tax increases on the very wealthy, those with wealth exceeding $50 million, and the financial industry is strongly represented in that elite club. And since raising taxes on the wealthy is highly popular , it's an idea a progressive president might actually be able to turn into real policy.

Warren is also a big believer in stricter financial regulation; the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was highly effective until the Trump administration set about gutting it, was her brainchild.

So if you are a Wall Street billionaire, rational self-interest might well induce you to oppose Warren. Neoliberal_rationality/ does not, however, explain why a money manager like Leon Cooperman -- who just two years ago settled a suit over insider trading for $5 million, although without admitting wrongdoing -- would circulate an embarrassing, self-pitying open letter denouncing Warren for her failure to appreciate all the wonderful things billionaires like him do for society.

Nor does it explain why Cliff Asness, another money manager, would fly into a rage at Warren adviser Gabriel Zucman for using the term "revenue maximizing" -- a standard piece of economic jargon -- describing it as "disgustingly immoral."

The real tell here, I think, is that much of the Wall Street vitriol now being directed at Warren was previously directed at, of all people, President Barack Obama.

Objectively, Obama treated Wall Street with kid gloves. In the aftermath of a devastating financial crisis, his administration bailed out collapsing institutions on favorable terms. He and Democrats in Congress did impose some new regulations, but they were very mild compared with the regulations put in place after the banking crisis of the 1930s. He did, however, refer on a few occasions to "fat cat" bankers and suggested that financial-industry excesses were responsible for the 2008 crisis because, well, they were. And the result, quite early in his administration, was that Wall Street became consumed with " Obama rage ," and the financial industry went all in for Mitt Romney in 2012.

I wonder, by the way, if this history helps explain an odd aspect of fund-raising in the current primary campaign. It's not surprising that Warren is getting very little money from the financial sector. It is, however, surprising that the top recipient isn't Joe Biden but Pete Buttigieg , who's running a fairly distant fourth in the polls. Is Biden suffering from the lingering effects of that old-time Obama rage?

In any case, the point is that Wall Street billionaires, even more than billionaires in general, seem to be snowflakes, emotionally unable to handle criticism.

I'm not sure why that should be the case, but it may be that in their hearts they suspect that the critics have a point.

What, after all, does modern finance actually do for the economy? Unlike the robber barons of yore, today's Wall Street tycoons don't build anything tangible. They don't even direct money to the people who actually are building the industries of the future. The vast expansion of credit in America after around 1980 basically involved a surge in consumer debt rather than new money for business investment.

Moreover, there is growing evidence that when the financial sector gets too big it actually acts as a drag on the economy -- and America is well past that point .

Now, human nature being what it is, people who secretly wonder whether they really deserve their wealth get especially angry when others express these doubts publicly. So it's not surprising that people who couldn't handle Obama's mild, polite criticism are completely losing it over Warren.

What this means is that you should beware of Wall Street claims that progressive policies would have dire effects. Such claims don't reflect deep economic wisdom; to a large extent they're coming from people with vast wealth but fragile egos, whose rants should be discounted appropriately. The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We'd like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here's our email: letters@nytimes.com .

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram .

[Nov 11, 2019] The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'.

Notable quotes:
"... The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'. What is fun for them is to play geopolitics – the elite version of corporate travel perks – just look at how shocked they are that Trump is not playing along. ..."
Nov 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: November 9, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT

Recent class history of US is quite simple: the elite class first tried to shift the burden of supporting the lower classes on the middle class with taxation. But as the lower class became demographically distinct, partially via mass immigration, the elites decided to ally with the ' underpriviledged ' via identity posturing and squeeze no longer needed middle class out of existence.

What's left are government employees, a few corporate sinecures, NGO parasitic sector, and old people. The rest will be melded into a few mutually antagonistic tribal groups providing ever cheaper service labor. With an occasional lottery winner to showcase mobility. Actually very similar to what happened in Latin America in the past few centuries.

The truth is that for the Clintonite-Bushite elite almost all Americans are 'deplorable'. What is fun for them is to play geopolitics – the elite version of corporate travel perks – just look at how shocked they are that Trump is not playing along.

alexander , says: November 9, 2019 at 11:38 am GMT
BUILDING OUT vs. BLOWING UP

China 2000-2020 vs. USA 2000-2020

Unlike the USA (under Neocon stewardship) China has not squandered twenty trillion dollars of its national solvency bombing countries which never attacked it post 9-11.

China's leaders (unlike our own) never LIED its people into launching obscenely expensive, illegal wars of aggression across the middle east. (WMD's, Mushroom clouds, Yellow Cake, etc.)

China has used its wealth and resources to build up its infrastructure, build out its capital markets, and turbo charge its high tech sectors. As a consequence, it has lifted nearly half a billion people out of poverty. There has been an explosion in the growth of the "middle class" in China. Hundreds of millions of Chinese are now living comfortable "upwardly mobile" lives.

The USA, on the other hand, having been defrauded by its "ruling elites" into launching and fighting endless illegal wars, is now 23 trillion dollars in catastrophic debt.
NOT ONE PENNY of this heinous "overspending" has been dedicated to building up OUR infrastructure, or BUILDING OUT our middle class.

It has all gone into BLOWING UP countries which never (even) attacked us on 9-11.

As a consequence , the USA is fast becoming a failed nation, a nation where all its wealth is being siphoned into the hands of its one percent "war pilfer-teers".

It is so sad to have grown up in such an amazing country , with such immense resources and possibilities, and having to bear witness to it going down the tubes.

To watch all our sovereign wealth being vaporized by our "lie us into endless illegal war" ruling elites is truly heartbreaking.

It is as shameful as it is tragic.

SafeNow , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:01 pm GMT
That's fascinating about the declining "middle class" usage. A "soft synonym" that has gone in the opposite direction, I think, is "the community."
LoutishAngloQuebecker , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT
The white middle class is the only group that might effectively resist Globohomo's designs on total power.

Blacks? Too dumb. Will be disposed of once Globohomo is finished the job.
Hispanics? Used to corrupt one party systems. Give them cerveza and Netflix and they're good.
East Asians? Perfectly fine with living like bug people.
South Asians? Cowardly; will go with the flow.

The middle class is almost completely unique to white people.

Racial aliens cannot wrap their minds around being middle class. They think I'm crazy for appreciating my 2009 Honda Accord. They literally cannot understand why somebody would want to live a frugal and mundane life. They are desperate to be like Drake but most end up broke. It will be very easy for GloboHomo to control a bucket of poor brown slop.

Svevlad , says: November 9, 2019 at 6:32 pm GMT
Ah yes, apparatchiks. The worst kind of person
Counterinsurgency , says: November 9, 2019 at 7:36 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman

There IS a black middle class, but a big chunk of that works for governments of all shapes and sizes.

Strictly speaking, there is no more "middle class" in the sense of the classical economists: a person with just enough capital to live off the income if he works the capital himself or herself. By this definition professionals (lawyers, dentists, physicians, small store owners, even spinsters [1] and hand loom operators in a sense) were middle class. Upper class had enough property to turn it over to managers, lower class had little or no property and worked for others (servants and farm workers, for example). Paupers didn't earn enough income per year to feed themselves and didn't live all that long, usually.

What we have is "middle income" people, almost all of whom work as an employee of some organization -- people who would be considered "lower class" by the classical economists because they don't have freedom of action and make no independent decisions about how the capital of their organizations is spent. Today they are considered "intelligentsia", educated government workers, or, by analogy, educated corporate workers. IMHO, intelligentsia is a suicide job, and is responsible for the depressed fertility rate, but that's just me.

Back in the AD 1800s and pre-AD 1930 there were many black middle class people. usually concentrating on selling to black clientele. Now there are effectively none outside of criminal activities, usually petty criminal. And so it goes.

Of course, back then there were many white middle class people also, usually concentrating on selling to white clientele. Now there are effectively none, except in some rural areas. And so it goes.

Counterinsurgency

1] Cottagers who made their living spinning wool skeins into wool threads.

Mark G. , says: November 9, 2019 at 8:20 pm GMT
@unit472 A lot of the middle class are Democrats but not particularly liberal. Many of them vote Democrat only when they personally benefit. For example, my parents were suburban public school teachers. They voted for Democrats at the state level because the Democrats supported better pay and benefits for teachers but voted for Republicans like Goldwater and Reagan at the national level because Republicans would keep their federal taxes lower. They had no political philosophy. It was all about what left them financially better off. My parents also got on well with their suburban neighbors. Suburbanites generally like their local school system and its teachers and the suburban school systems are usually careful not to engage in teaching anything controversial. A lot of the government employed white middle class would be like my parents. Except in situations where specific Republicans talk about major cuts to their pay and pensions they are perfectly willing to consider voting Republican. They are generally social moderates, like the status quo, are fairly traditionalist and don't want any radical changes. Since the Democrats seem be trending in a radical direction, this would put off a lot of them. Trump would be more appealing as the status quo candidate. When running the last time, he carefully avoided talking about any major cuts in government spending and he's governed that way too. At the same time, his talk of cutting immigration, his lack of enthusiasm for nonwhite affirmative action, and his more traditional views on social issues is appealing to the white middle class.
anon [201] • Disclaimer , says: November 9, 2019 at 8:33 pm GMT
Wealth held by the top 1% is now close to equal or greater than wealth held by the entire middle class.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-09/one-percenters-close-to-surpassing-wealth-of-u-s-middle-class

Something similar was seen in the 1890's, the "gilded age". This is one reason why Warren's "wealth tax" has traction among likely voters.

WorkingClass , says: November 9, 2019 at 11:55 pm GMT
The term middle class is used in the U.S. to mean middle income. It has nothing to do with class. Why not just say what you mean? Most of the middle class that we say is disappearing is really that rarest of phenomenons. A prosperous working class. The prosperous American working class is no longer prosperous due to the Neoliberal agenda. Free trade, open borders and the financialization of everything.

Americans know nothing of class dynamics. Not even the so called socialists. They don't even see the economy. All they see is people with infinite need and government with infinite wealth. In their world all of Central America can come to the U.S. and the government (if it only wants to) can give them all homes, health care and education.

Lets stop saying class when we mean income. Not using the word class would be better than abusing it.

Anyway. Yes. Middle Class denotes white people. The coalition of the fringes is neither working, middle nor ruling class. They are black or brown. They are perverts or feminists. If the workers among them identified as working class they would find common ground with the Deplorables. We can't have that now can we.

Rosie , says: November 10, 2019 at 2:21 am GMT
@Audacious Epigone

Are we to the point where we've collectively resigned ourselves to the death of the middle class?

In the neoliberal worldview, the middle class is illegitimate, existing only as a consequence of artificial trade and immigration barriers. Anytime Americans are spied out making a good living, there is a "shortage" that must be addressed with more visas. Or else there is an "inefficiency" where other countries could provide said service or produce said product for less because they have a "comparative advantage."

Rosie , says: November 10, 2019 at 2:25 am GMT
@WorkingClass

Anyway. Yes. Middle Class denotes white people. The coalition of the fringes is neither working, middle nor ruling class. They are black or brown. They are perverts or feminists. If the workers among them identified as working class they would find common ground with the Deplorables. We can't have that now can we.

I don't know about that anymore. Increasingly, "middle class" means Asian, with Whiteness being associated with the lower middle class (or perhaps "working class"). Sometimes the media uses the term " noncollege Whites," which I think is actually very apt. They are the ones who identify with Whiteness the most.

[Nov 10, 2019] Liz Warren's Trans Train Whistlestop

At least Warren offers me something positive along with usual neoliberal "identity wedge" idiocy ;-).
Nov 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Thank you, @BlackWomxnFor ! Black trans and cis women, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people are the backbone of our democracy and I don't take this endorsement lightly. I'm committed to fighting alongside you for the big, structural change our country needs. https://t.co/KqWsVoRYMb

-- Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) November 7, 2019

Well, that's clarifying. "Backbone of our democracy." That's about what you would expect a Harvard faculty member to say.

JoeMerl 2 days ago • edited

People need to remember that we literally didn't even have democracy until the trans movement started and finally brought us to The Right Side of History.

[Nov 09, 2019] This should put the kobosh in Warren saying she is a progressive

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

snoopydawg on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 9:25pm

Bain Capital was co-founded by Mitt Romney.

Deval Patrick is a Managing Director.

Elizabeth Warren wants Patrick in her administration. @EmmaVigeland @atrios @NomikiKonst @_michaelbrooks @BernieBroStar

-- Eric J - #Bernie2020 (@EricJafMN) November 8, 2019

Deval Patrick served on the board at subprime mortgage giant Ameriquest. Melody Barnes is on the board at bigwig defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Textbook cases of the revolving door corruption Warren frequently attacks. https://t.co/KU3Ct3j9eC

-- Zach Carter (@zachdcarter) November 8, 2019

If she really cared about the policies she is running on she would have endorsed Bernie. Period. It was during the primary that Hillary said, "single payer will never ever happen here."

Bernie was running on it and yet Warren did not endorse him for it. If she actually wants to help us she would drop out and tell people to vote for Bernie. Sure everyone has the right to run for president, but we know or believe that she is only running to keep Bernie from becoming president.

She is lying to us about not taking money from rich people and corporations because she took their money for her senate campaign and transferred it to her presidential campaign. If she isn't up front about this then how can we trust her on anything else?

Chuck Todd is such a tool

My jaw is on the floor.

Elites eliting about elites while elitseplaining to working Americans about how they are going to vote for some elites and beat the Republicans elite. https://t.co/l0W8QPUT0E

-- Nomiki Konst(@NomikiKonst) November 8, 2019

"Who is to the left of Bloomberg on guns and climate change?" Hmm let me think...of course it's not Biden. Nor Harris...Kilobits.... Buttigieg or even Warren. Doh!

[Nov 09, 2019] Warren called herself a teacher, really pushed her teacher history, and asked "Are there any teachers in the crowd", etc etc. It was so fake and pandering. I wanted to barf.

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Warren did that(what Alex Thompson tweeted about) at her town hall here. Called herself a teacher, really pushed her teacher history, and asked "Are there any teachers in the crowd", etc etc. It was so fake and pandering. I wanted to barf. Do people really fall for this stuff? The folksy garbage was poured on mighty thick. I was sitting there thinking "Come on, lady-you've been a professor at the highest profile law school in the country for how long now?"

Lambert Strether Post author , November 8, 2019 at 2:33 pm

> The folksy garbage was poured on mighty thick.

Lime green Jello with marshmallows. That's the sort of thing I think of. Food I'd avoid at a church basement supper if at all possible.

petal , November 8, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Yep.
It's funny-I spent 10 years at Harvard, and I lived near The Yard and the law school. I knew a lot of faculty at H, and was privy to a lot of the politics that went on. My bs detector was honed there. At the town hall, I could see right through her. It was all so familiar. Don't underestimate the cunning and doublespeak. What is that quote-"When someone shows you who they are, believe them"?

Pavel , November 8, 2019 at 3:58 pm

Why didn't she proclaim her great groundbreaking achievement of being Harvard's "first woman of color" professorial appointment? Isn't she proud of that any more?

Dog, that woman seems to be in a race to seem the least authentic. Can't her staff tell her to act natural?

After I post this comment, I'm gonna get me a beer.

Phillip Allen , November 8, 2019 at 8:16 pm

"Can't her staff tell her to act natural?"

Why assume that what we see isn't her natural self, such as it is? Or, rather, that there's anything more genuinely human underneath the pandering, opportunistic surface? As Petal cited above, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them."

[Nov 08, 2019] Who has Trump kept his promise to?

Nov 08, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Nov 8 2019 17:31 utc | 8

Who has Trump kept his promise to?

Tea Party foot soldiers?

Repeal and replace Obamacare on day one
Nope. Quietly dropped coverage for prior conditions.

Build a Wall - and Mexico's gonna pay for it!

Not really. Building sections of a wall that USA will pay for.

Drain the swamp

Nope - unless by "swamp" Trump means the Democratic Party.

"Lock her up!"

Nope. He says they're good people who have been thru a lot. Aww . . .
America?
End the "threat" from NK "Rocket man"
Nope. No follow-thru on the (sham) Summit.

End the new Cold War

Nope. Increased military spending; ended treaties; militarized space.

End "forever wars", bring the troops home

Nope.

Bring jobs home

Uncertain: trade War with China doesn't necessarily mean jobs coming back US.

= = = = = = = =

Republican Party?

Cut taxes
YES!

Cut regulations on business

YES!

Israel?

Move Embassy to Jerusalem
YES!

Recognize Golan Heights as part of Israel

YES!

End aid to Palestinians

YES!

Don't give up on Syrian regime-change

YES!

US MIC, Netanyahu, MbS?

End US participation in the JCPOA
YES!

McCain: "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran"

"locked and loaded"
!!

[Nov 07, 2019] DNC Lawyers Argue Primary Rigging Is Protected by the First Amendment

Notable quotes:
"... They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | archive.is

The defense counsel also took issue with Jared Beck for what they termed as: " Repeatedly promoted patently false and deeply offensive conspiracy theories about the deaths of a former DNC staffer and Plaintiffs' process server in an attempt to bolster attention for this lawsuit." This author was shocked to find that despite the characterization of the Becks as peddlers of conspiracy theory, the defense counsel failed to mention the motion for protection filed by the Becks earlier in the litigation process.

They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory.

The DNC defense lawyers then argued:

" There is no legitimate basis for this litigation, which is, at its most basic, an improper attempt to forge the federal courts into a political weapon to be used by individuals who are unhappy with how a political party selected its candidate in a presidential campaign ."

The brief continued:

" To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege based on their animating theory would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office."

It appears that the defendants in the DNC Fraud Lawsuit are attempting to argue that cheating a candidate in the primary process is protected under the first amendment. If all that weren't enough, DNC representatives argued that the Democratic National Committee had no established fiduciary duty "to the Plaintiffs or the classes of donors and registered voters they seek to represent." It seems here that the DNC is arguing for its right to appoint candidates at its own discretion while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the belief that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

Adding to the latest news regarding the DNC Fraud Lawsuit was the recent finding by the UK Supreme Court, which stated that Wikileaks Cables were admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.

If Wikileaks' publication of DNC emails are found to be similarly admissible in a United States court of law, then the contents of the leaked emails could be used to argue that, contrary to the defendant's latest brief, the DNC did in favor the campaign of Hillary Clinton over Senator Sanders and that they acted to sabotage Sanders' campaign.

The outcome of the appeal of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit remains to be seen.

Elizabeth Vos is the Co-Founder and Editor in Chief at Disobedient Media .

[Nov 07, 2019] Note on the the degradation of the elite.

Notable quotes:
"... There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details. ..."
"... They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes. ..."
"... He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria. ..."
"... Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

" In a sense, the current NeoMcCartyism (Russophobia, Sinophobia) epidemic in the USA can partially be viewed as a yet another sign of the crisis of neoliberalism: a desperate attempt to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade using scapegoating -- creation of an external enemy to project the problems of the neoliberal society.

I would add another, pretty subjective measure of failure: the degradation of the elite. When you look at Hillary, Trump, Biden, Warren, Harris, etc, you instantly understand what I am talking about. They all look like the second-rate, if not the third rate politicians. Also, the Epstein case was pretty symbolic."

I had decided to stay on the sidelines for the most part after making a few earlier comments, but I liked this summary, except I would give Warren more credit. She is flawed like most politicians, but she has made some of the right enemies within the Democratic Party.

On Trump and " the Deep State", there is no unified Deep State. There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details.

They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes.

He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria.

But yes, scapegoating is a big thing with liberals now. It's pathetic. Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence .

For the most part, if we have a horrible political culture nearly all the blame for that is homegrown.

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.
--

I meant to say I would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.

[Nov 06, 2019] Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren By Dean Baker

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne said... http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/steven-rattner-s-rant-against-warren

November 5, 2019

Steven Rattner's Rant Against Warren
By Dean Baker

The New York Times gives Steven Rattner * the opportunity to push stale economic bromides in columns on a regular basis. His column ** today goes after Senator Elizabeth Warren.

He begins by telling us that Warren's plan for financing a Medicare for All program is "yet more evidence that a Warren presidency a terrifying prospect." He goes on to warn us:

"She would turn America's uniquely successful public-private relationship into a dirigiste, *** European-style system. If you want to live in France (economically), Elizabeth Warren should be your candidate."

It's not worth going into every complaint in Rattner's piece, and to be clear, there are very reasonable grounds for questioning many of Warren's proposals. However, he deserves some serious ridicule for raising the bogeyman of France and later Germany.

In spite of its "dirigiste" system France actually has a higher employment rate for prime age workers (ages 25 to 54) than the United States. (Germany has a much higher employment rate.) France has a lower overall employment rate because young people generally don't work and people in their sixties are less likely to work.

In both cases, this is the result of deliberate policy choices. In the case of young people, the French are less likely to work because college is free and students get small living stipends. For older workers, France has a system that is more generous to early retirees. One can disagree with both of these policies, but they are not obvious failures. Large segments of the French population benefit from them.

France and Germany both have lower per capita GDP than the United States, but the biggest reason for the gap is that workers in both countries put in many fewer hours annually than in the United States. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, an average worker in France puts in 1520 hours a year, in Germany just 1360. That compares to 1780 hours a year in the United States. In both countries five or six weeks a year of vacation are standard, as are paid family leave and paid sick days. Again, one can argue that it is better to have more money, but it is not obviously a bad choice to have more leisure time as do workers in these countries.

Anyhow, the point is that Rattner's bogeymen here are not the horror stories that he wants us to imagine for ordinary workers, even if they may not be as appealing to rich people like himself. Perhaps the biggest tell in this piece is when Rattner warns us that under Warren's proposals "private equity, which plays a useful role in driving business efficiency, would be effectively eliminated."

Okay, the prospect of eliminating private equity, now we're all really scared!

* https://fortune.com/2010/12/30/ex-car-czar-steve-rattner-settles-pay-to-play-scandal/

** https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/opinion/medicare-warren-plan.html

*** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirigisme

Dirigisme is an economic doctrine in which the state plays a strong directive role, as opposed to a merely regulatory role, over a capitalist market economy.

Reply Tuesday, November 05, 2019 at 11:34 AM

[Nov 06, 2019] Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 05, 2019 at 08:28 AM

Wake up, Democrats https://nyti.ms/32fUM7y
NYT - David Leonhardt - November 5

Maybe this is the wake-up call that Democrats need.

My old colleagues at The Upshot published a poll yesterday (*) that rightly terrified a lot of Democrats (as well as Republicans and independents who believe President Trump is damaging the country). The poll showed Trump with a good chance to win re-election, given his standing in swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida.

This was the sentence, by Nate Cohn, that stood out to me: "Nearly two-thirds of the Trump voters who said they voted for Democratic congressional candidates in 2018 say that they'll back the president" in hypothetical match-ups against Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Democrats won in 2018 by running a smartly populist campaign, focused on reducing health care costs and helping ordinary families. The candidates avoided supporting progressive policy dreams that are obviously unpopular, like mandatory Medicare and border decriminalization.

The 2020 presidential candidates are making a grave mistake by ignoring the lessons of 2018. I'm not saying they should run to the mythical center and support widespread deregulation or corporate tax cuts (which are also unpopular). They can still support all kinds of ambitious progressive ideas -- a wealth tax, universal Medicare buy-in and more -- without running afoul of popular opinion. They can even decide that there are a couple of issues on which they are going to fly in the face of public opinion.

But if they're going to do that, they also need to signal in other ways that they care about winning the votes of people who don't consider themselves very liberal. Democrats, in short, need to start treating the 2020 campaign with the urgency it deserves, because a second Trump term would be terrible for the country.

What would more urgency look like? Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would find some way to acknowledge and appeal to swing voters. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would offer more of a vision than either has to date. Pete Buttigieg, arguably the best positioned to take advantage of this moment, would reassure Democrats who are understandably nervous about his lack of experience. And perhaps Cory Booker or Amy Klobuchar can finally appeal to more of Biden's uninspired supporters. ...

* One Year From Election, Trump Trails Biden but
Leads Warren in Battlegrounds https://nyti.ms/2NDDeNb
NYT - Nate Cohn - November 4 - Updated

[Nov 06, 2019] It s the DNC, Stupid Democratic Party, Not Russia, Has Delegitimized the Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Nov 04, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

With the U.S. presidential cycle gearing up, Elizabeth Vos takes stock of lessons from 2016.

By Elizabeth Vos
Special to Consortium News

E stablishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.

The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.

The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.

Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a 2016 Democratic primary debate. (YouTube/Screen shot)

Social Media Meddling

Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.

On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.

The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.

In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.

Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

"Bernie or Bust" protesters at the Wells Fargo Center during Democrats' roll call vote to nominate Hillary Clinton. (Becker1999, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.

The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:

"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."

The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:

"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]

The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,

Tim Canova's Allegations

Tim Canova with supporters, April 2016. (CanovaForCongress, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.

Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:

"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."

Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.

Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."

Study of Corporate Power

A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.

Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perceptionof the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.

Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.

Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :

"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]

Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]

The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.

Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News.

If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

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 be removed. 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.

>>Please Donate to Consortium News' Fall Fund Drive<<

10103

Tags: Debbie Wasserman Schultz DNC fraud lawsuit Elizabeth Vos U.S. election meddling

Post navigation ← Europe Can Do More Than Watch the Crisis in Kurdistan 'The Test of a Country Is Not the Number of its Millionaires' → 74 comments for "It's the DNC, Stupid: Democratic Party, Not Russia, Has Delegitimized the Democratic Process"

countykerry , November 6, 2019 at 14:54

It appears that the DNC is responsible in fomenting this new cold war with Russia.

The party has become a war party and made the world very unsafe.

Instead of taking responsibility for Russiagate, it simply has progressed on to impeachment, no apologies simply moving on to the next tactic.

And why you might ask?

And weren't we a bit put off by our own intelligence agencies contributing to the overthrow of the Trump administration using the NYT and WAPO to spread innuendo and political chaos ?

Al Markowitz , November 6, 2019 at 12:31

Great analysis, yes it is the DNC, but larger than that it is the corporate oligarch which monoplize the power in both so-called parties which gave us Trump and which still prefer him to Sanders.

Ira Dember , November 6, 2019 at 00:20

Perception is everything. That is why the rigged "superdelegate" system was so effective. Clinton's sham "lead" became self-fulfilling prophesy. Many people told me, "I like Bernie but I'm voting for Hillary because she's more electable." Pure perception.

To test this widely held view, in March 2016 I started tallying every poll (at Real Clear Politics) that pitted Sanders and Clinton not against each other, but against GOP contenders including a reality-show buffoon named Trump. I did this all the way through early June, tallying 150 polls with no cherrypicking.

Result? Sanders outperformed Clinton against GOP candidates in 135 of 150 polls. That's 90 percent of the time. You can still see the results posted at my site BernieWorks.com.

What's more, Sanders remained consistently strong. It was so remarkable, so I dubbed him Iron Man Sanders. Meanwhile, Clinton's pattern of results across dozens upon dozens of polls showed disturbing signs of electoral weakness.

No one was paying attention. The corrupt system's rigged structure played a crucial role. The criminally fraudulet DNC and complicit corporate media played their respective roles.

So, disastrously wrong public perception won.

My tallies clearly show that if Sanders had become the nominee, he would have wiped the floor with Trump. And we would be living in a different world.

vinnieoh , November 6, 2019 at 12:01

As to your last sentence: yes I think he would have won handily, but no we would not be living in a different world. Recall that virtually no-one who should have endorsed Sanders did so – not Warren, and certainly not that oft-touted icon of "progressivism" my own Senator Sherrod Brown; in fact none in the D party that I can think of. They all obeyed the dictate of their undemocratic ruling central cabal. You need friends and allies to propose and enact legislation, and Bernie would have had few. As for foreign policy, aka WAR in US-speak, there was a completely unacknowledged military coup in 2000, right here in the good ol' US. The POTUS does not direct the ambitions of this empire.

Do I wish he would have won – absolutely, and that possibility yet exists. We've all watched the very unsubtle way in which the media is colluding with the D establishment. As soon as one candidate rises in the polls the media ignores them and focuses on one of the vote diluters inserted there to staunch the gathering rebellion. There was a piece by Jake Johnson on CD about the Sanders' campaign rightfully complaining about blatant misrepresentation of Sanders popularity in the polls. When distortion or silence proves ineffective look for primary election fraud to ensue.

My younger brother was one that was under the spell of that establishment party perception in '16 and I argued with him several times about it. I was flabbergasted and somewhat angry to hear him say recently that "Sanders could have won" then, but he can't now.

?????

wtf is it with some people?

Lee Anderson , November 6, 2019 at 00:16

Good points in the article the main point being the democratic party was far more guilty of interfering with the democratic primaries by undermining Sanders. The media was complicit and should be considered an accessory to election rigging.

We the people didn't hold the democratic party heads accountable and therefore we are seeing a repeat happening again. I refuse to be forced to vote force someone I deplore just because they aren't republican. I will always vote for the best candidate. The duopoly is fiercely maintained by the oligarchs for just that reason. They correctly predict that consumer zombies will stay loyal to their team and I think they lost control of the process in 2016 by thinking if they ran Krusty the Clown Trump against Hillary, she certainly win. They didn't have a good handle on the animosity so many people had for Hillary, including millions of progressives who were are bitter about the wicked, illegal, immoral, unethical, un-American machinations by the democratic henchmen as laid out expertly in the article.

Korey Dykstra , November 5, 2019 at 22:48

It must be nearly impossible to be an honest politician when many charges made against you are based on lies couched as the truth (with out evidence) which in turn has to be defended in a way that conveys knowledge and truthfulness. Extremely difficult against an opponent versed in or deflecting from factual and/or provable information. Great article. I have not read too mcu on Consortium but will read it consistently from now on

Manqueman , November 5, 2019 at 20:35

Actually, far more harm to democratic institutions has been done not by the DNC or Russians and foreign interests but by our own GOP.

Ash , November 6, 2019 at 14:55

Thank you for that totally unbiased and nonpartisan viewpoint.

Maura , November 5, 2019 at 19:19

How foolish to use Russia in their plots against republicans.And still nothing gets done!

Walton Andrews , November 5, 2019 at 18:40

Impeachment is all about manufacturing a crime and using an investigation to damage your political opponent. The goal is to give your friends in the establishment media excuses for an endless series of negative headlines slamming your opponent. The "Russia collusion" charges were extremely useful in generating propaganda even though they fizzled out when it came time to present some actual evidence. Today, the Democrats are running the investigations. But the Republicans are open to the same tactics (Remember the Benghazi hearings?). Congress doesn't have time to address the real problems of the country – they are playing political games.

I will vote third party in 2020 because any vote for a Democrat or a Republican is sending the message that you will go along with the degenerate system in Washington.

mary-lou , November 6, 2019 at 12:17

vote, but make your ballot paper invalid (in Europe we do this): this way they can see you support the democratic process, but not the political system. cheers!

Nathan Mulcahy , November 5, 2019 at 18:03

Until Obama's first election in 2008 I was Dem leaning. That's when I started to complain to my Democratic supporting friends that I find it more meaningful and satisfying to debate and discuss political issues with Republicans as opposed to Democrats. My rationale was that while I do not agree with the Republicans' worldview I see a rationale. In contrast, Democrats argue illogically and irrationally.

I was smart enough to recognize what a fraud Obama is, and Ended up not Voting Obama. Instead I voted for the Greens.

Needless to say that that cost me a lot, including friendships Only now do I realize how perceptive I was. The irrationality and cognitive dissonance of the Dims (among the way I thought it appropriate to change the name of the Party) are in full bloom now. Only the sheeple are unable to recognize their mental disorder.

Mike K , November 6, 2019 at 02:43

In contrast, Democrats argue illogically and irrationally.

Yes, yes they do.

Richard Annotico , November 6, 2019 at 05:06

[And Look How Well They Did .You are Brilliant
You thereby might be responsible fot TRUMP the CON MAN !!! Take A bow !!!!

Skip Edwards , November 5, 2019 at 16:29

As our country is ever more exposed to be the democratic hypocrisy that it is, we are finding that oligarchic empires never last. History certainly has proven that time and again. What leaves me in dismay, however, is how seemingly educated, intelligent societies continually fall asleep while any basic securities that the majority of those populations rely on are stolen away. It is like sailors whose ship has gone down, we cling to any flotation available to hold us up for one last breath of air as the sharks circle. What is the answer, you might be asking? Is there an answer? That we certainly cannot be sure of. But one thing is for certain; and that is, taking the same steps to solve this problem and expecting anything different from the usual results does not speak wisely of an intelligent people. As the article states, or maybe it was a comment, elections have not, and will not, change one thing in our entire existence as a nation. Taking to the streets just might be our only answer if we are to retain any pride in ourselves. And, without pride, what are we?

Mike K. , November 6, 2019 at 03:01

Those sharks you speak of consist of among others, the multinational companies who bribe congresspeople to pass bad trade bills and rewrite tax code which allowed those companies to offshore good paying jobs and otherwise exfiltrate our wealth. The election of Trump may well change some things in Washington DC. After the investigations by Durham, Barr, and Horowitz are completed, you will see the depths that govt officials and various media pundits, descended in their illegal, unconstitutional effort to overturn the 2016 election results. Hopefully, congress will retract their claws long enough to pass a bill giving congress vastly more oversight of our IC including the NSA and CIA, along with the FBI.

Lois Gagnon , November 5, 2019 at 16:28

Western Empire centered in the US is being challenged and its illegitimacy exposed by increased wars of aggression abroad and creeping authoritarianism domestically. Those profiting off the system for decades will resort to the usual tactics of lies, smears and violence to prevent having to surrender their power.

Elections have no doubt been rigged for a long time, but it's being done in the open now. Those who continue to believe they live in a functioning democracy being attacked by Russia are probably beyond hope for the short term. The cognitive dissonance is more than they can deal with. Trump's mistaken elevation to the presidency seems to have turned once functioning brains into easily controlled masses of obedient children. It's been surreal to watch the transformation.

Perhaps after another election fiasco for the ruling establishment, people will being to question who is really responsible for the way things are. Then again, maybe not.

karlof1 , November 5, 2019 at 16:13

Pardon me, but how many people were cited to have committed felonies but were never prosecuted for their criminality? Might I presume that's merely the tip of an iceberg and that the truth of the matter is the entire electoral process within the USA is utterly corrupt and thus illegitimate?! And of course there's a bipartisan effort to ensure no legislation regulating political parties ever gets to a vote so we the people have no means to alter their behavior!

I've looked long, hard and deep into the USA's fundamental problems and have mused about various bandages for the 1787 Constitution that might put the nation back into the hands of those in whose name it was organized–The People–but most people just don't seem to give a damn or argue that the situation isn't all that bad and just greater citizen activism is all that's required. What was it JFK said–"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." If the electoral process is completely illegitimate as it certainly appears to be, then the only real recourse citizens retain is revolution. Have the corporate pukes at the DNC & RNC thought through the outcome of their behavior; or perhaps revolution is what they want to see occur so they can crush it and establish the dictatorship their actions deem they prefer.

Lee Anderson , November 6, 2019 at 01:29

Yes Ill join the revolution but please, just one more game of Candy Crush first. Can't you see I'm busy.

Charlene Richards , November 5, 2019 at 16:00

Progressives will NEVER have a seat at the Democrat Party table.

The Democrats and the DNC are hopelessly corrupt and the only way to strip them of their power is for ALL true Progressive Americans to walk away and refuse to vote for ANY Democrat, Trump or no Trump.

Just as Sanders got screwed by them and he and his supporters KNEW it and he STILL supported and campaigned for Hillary Clinton who is a known liar and corrupt criminal!

I will vote for Tulsi in the California primary only because she had the guts to call out Clinton for what she is.

But I can promise all of you, if necessary the Superdelegates will step in to stop Sanders and when the corruption happens again next year I will start campaigning for Trump.

Believe me. Not playing their games with them is the ONLY way to stop them.

And I hope Canova will run against DWS again as an Independent. She is evil!!

Skip Edwards , November 5, 2019 at 16:52

Thank you, Charlene, for your simple clarity on a viable, trustworthy candidate to work for. That person is Tulsi Gabbard. Bernie lost it for me when he "supported and campaigned for Hillary Clinton" after what the Clinton/DNC did to him in the last election (sorry Bernie; but, you showed your true staying power with that one). Though again I will say it; it will take most of us in the streets to make the changes we need. Climate change is our real enemy with regards to our survival. US created endless wars blind us from this reality along with the silent killer, unrelenting population growth on a finite planet. If you care about any future for those coming after us, those three issues are all that really matter.

ML , November 5, 2019 at 20:07

It seems to me though, that not voting at all would be preferable in the circumstances you describe, to voting for such a one as trump. I'll never give my vote to any wickedly repulsive human being, no matter their party affiliation. Most Green Party candidates have been ethical, reasonable, kind, highly intelligent, and have good plans for the commons. But of course, to each his or her own, Charlene. Cheers, regardless.

Mike K , November 6, 2019 at 03:35

ML one more thing, would you vote for a candidate who hasn't initiated any regime change type of war and is doing his best to extricate us from the ones he inherited?
Even saint obama sent mountains of arms to Syria via Libya, which ended up in ISIS hands and killed US troops. Despicable!

rosemerry , November 5, 2019 at 15:28

"casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections". I am not an American but cannot believe that anyone could even pretend that there is any aspect of democracy in the US electoral process. As well as gerrymandering, the overwhelming effect of donors" ie bribes, and the appointment of partisan judges to SCOTUS and most of the other courts in the land make the selection and election of candidates a completely undemocratic procedure.Interference by Russia could never be significant, especially if, as Pres. Putin pointed out, the difference between the policies o the two Parties is minimal.

Steve Naidamast , November 5, 2019 at 15:27

I am a Green I don't care anymore :-(

Michael Crockett , November 5, 2019 at 14:03

I agree with your assessment of the DNC. They deflect from their own reprehensible conduct to blame Russia for interfering in our elections. No evidence is needed. It just a mind numbing stream of Russia! Russia! Russia! US elections are among the most corrupt in the world (Carter Foundation). It appears that our criminal justice system, to include our courts, can not or will not offer any remedy to this crisis.

Hopelb , November 5, 2019 at 13:55

The only way we US citizens can circumvent this undemocratic treachery is to hold a parallel vote on paper ballots that can be publicly counted if the election results are contested. Just read that Amazon or was it google has the cloud contract for tabulating votes in 40% of our elections.
HRC/the DNC not screaming night and day for I hackable paper ballots/publicly counted puts the lie to their Russia hoax.
Thanks for the great article! Love your show.

DH Fabian , November 5, 2019 at 13:42

We've spent years reading and talking about the illegitimacy of elections, interspersed with people railing against those who don't vote. Each election is "the most important of our lifetimes," and "every vote counts," and if Democrats lose, we're back to shouting that (fill in the blank) stole the election.

We've gone over "politics 101" a thousand times. Most votes come down to economic issues, and these are the very issues by which the Clinton right wing divided and conquered the Dem voting base., middle class vs. poor. The Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent. It isn't the result of arcane ideological differences, much less "Facebook trolls," but of the suffering caused by the policies of the Democrat Party. Predictably, we once again see much work going into to setting the stage to blame an expected election defeat on anything/everything other than this.

Antiwar7 , November 5, 2019 at 13:12

One cannot?

The Democratic Party will probably annoint Warren or Biden, one of the establishment candidates. After all, they could point to Trump as justification for "managing" their primary voters!

And then anyone with a brain and a heart will vote third party.

C.K. Gurin , November 5, 2019 at 18:52

Anyone with a brain and a heart will vote Bernie.
Why the heck do you think the DNC IS working so hard to stab him in the back again.

Mike from Jersey , November 5, 2019 at 13:11

Excellent article.

It seems that dishonesty is not just acceptable to the two political parties and to the media but it is now considered "accepted practice."

This, of course, has nothing to do with real democracy. Real democracy requires honesty to function properly.

One can only conclude that we no longer have a democracy in this country.

Sam F , November 5, 2019 at 13:00

Very well said. While the DNC corruption is the proper focus for reformers, the Repubs celebrate corruption as an ideal. In Florida where "Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes [but] Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor" I have an ongoing investigation of racketeering involving the theft of over 100 million in conservation funds by wealthy scammers in government, all of whom do far are Repubs. They regularly sell public offices to donors (get yours now): $2K for committee memberships and $32K for chairmanships, including your state university board of trustees, no qualifications at all required. They include judges state and federal, governors, prominent senators, you name it. Money=virtue=qualification is the core of their belief system, and white-collar theft is their profession and only skill.

I am astounded that Canova got a summary judgment against Snipes, but not that Snipes had no prosecution or penalty and remained in the very office in which the public trust was utterly betrayed.

michael , November 6, 2019 at 07:40

Your comment calls out corruption by Republicans, but the one concrete example you give is of Brenda Snipes, a Democrat, stealing a Democratic primary for Wasserman Schultz over Canova? As Federal and Florida judge Zloch noted, primaries are a mere formality. The DNC can pick any candidates they want, votes are meaningless. The GOP has always been the party of business, mean and corrupt. But since the Clintons, the DNC has passed them in Wall Street support, corruption and war mongering; and of course they have abandoned their constituents, the Poor, the Working Class, and Progressives, knowing they will not vote for Republicans and "have nowhere else to go".

Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 12:58

Good article

Jim Poly , November 5, 2019 at 12:52

Thank you for reinforcing my cynicism in the two party system in America. Both parties are at fault here of denigrating the public's confidence in the electoral process. How better than to blame the Russian boogie man in trying to rig our already rigged system. That's the purview of the plutocrat and oligarch cabal and their elite enablers in government. Stay in your lane.

Jill , November 5, 2019 at 12:50

This article makes many excellent points.

The US hasn't had an authentic election in a very long time. Even if the process was at one time more transparent, the CIA and OGA/other entities have taken out presidents who they didn't like. Then we come to 2000 where the election for president was clearly stolen by Bush and again in 2004, there was a likely election theft by Bush. (These thefts may have been by agreement of both legacy parties, as opposed to actual election theft. I say this because the Democratic party did not fight tooth and nail to make votes count or challenge voter roll purges that were happening in plain sight.)

What has changed now are the tools available to engage in mass election theft/voter disenfranchisement. Microsoft will be determining the coming election as they are the ones rolling out the voting machines. This is why we desperately need paper ballots. I lived in Ohio and I knew people who saw their vote changed in front of their eyes. As we will not get paper we need to figure out some way around unverifiable machine votes. That may be by filming one's vote or community efforts to have people come out of the polls and mark a citizen provided private paper ballot. Basically, a citizen run paper parallel voting apparatus that could provide some basis to challenge unverified machine votes.

This article points out some other things which have changed in the current society. The ability to ignore what most people really want is endemic. This is coupled with the ability to manipulate people to "want" someone they actually wouldn't "want" as a candidate where it not for massive propaganda and information restriction. Further, the government is lawless. The powerful will not be held to account for rigging or stealing elections. That has been made perfectly clear. The lack of legal accountability has necessitated making certain that citizens will not ask for evil and illegal actions committed by "their" parties' candidate/office holder to be questioned or called out. The government/corporate amalgam needs a closed system, no legal questions, no citizen questions. This allows complete impunity for all wrongdoing.

Thus we find ourselves in an incredibly dangerous place. People cling to a party/candidate with a zeal once reserved for cult leaders. As the cults run most of the discourse and have most of the information (as cults generally do) I think we must look at ways that people have successfully left cults and apply these stories to our own lives. We must break out of the cult.

Dfnslblty , November 5, 2019 at 12:48

Thanks for a good essay

Keep writing

torture this , November 5, 2019 at 12:30

LOL! I just changed from unaffiliated to Democrat so I can caucus/vote* for the least worst Democrat knowing that I'll end up voting Green-no-in-between anyway when the multi-party rigged election happens. I never feel dumber than when I waste my time filling out ballots or showing up for caucuses.
* Colorado changed procedures and I haven't given enough of a shit to figure out what I have to do, yet.

Jeff Harrison , November 5, 2019 at 12:11

The Economist, of course, has called the US a flawed democracy and they were probably being kind. On top of the chicanery Ms. Vos identifies here, we have the Republicans doing their dead level best to suppress the vote of anyone that even looks like they'd vote for someone else besides a Republican.

This is the Republicans pure and simple. They are the ones that are focused on winning at all costs. And both parties are now Republicans. There is, of course, the Republican party which has become extremely right wing in the wake of St. Ronnie, driving any moderate Republican out of the party and those people have infested the Democratic party as DINOs. Three Names herself is a former Goldwater Girl. The highly anticipated rematch between Donnie Murdo and Three Names will be a real disaster. (Hint: Donnie Murdo might get impeached but he'll never be convicted in the Senate)

Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 11:59

Was there ever a better argument put forth that would prove that the Chinese Communist Party is a far better form of government than is the corrupt democratic process in the USA. At least the CCP gives the Chinese people a competant government, with the over all well being of the population first and foremost. Just look at where this democratic????? system of government has gotten us. The entire system looks like the movie " The Gangs of New York" with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as the rival gang leaders.

Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 11:47

Well one thing is certain, we won`t be seeing this op ed in the New York Times or Newsweek or any other major American news outlet any time soon.

Antonio Costa , November 5, 2019 at 11:25

Yes the rot that is the DNC!

Thank you for this great summary, that brings us to now.

These parties must be eliminated. They cannot be reformed.

Paul , November 5, 2019 at 11:23

When I read this I have to wonder if the Russia agenda is anything less than a raging success. The Democrat party is doing the work for them by splitting the country by their single minded focus on Impeaching Trump. I do not know if that was the intent but it certainly is the result.

michael , November 5, 2019 at 11:08

According to REAL CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou a Russian "asset" is someone paid by the Kremlin. The only people paid by Putin were the Clintons who received $500,000 for a talk to Putin's bank in Moscow while Hillary was Secretary of State.

The only recent documented interference in Elections was by New Knowledge pretending to be Russians to swing the Alabama US Senate race from Moore to Jones: a 'technological advance that we'll see much more of from NSA/State department spin-offs in 2020).

And by Ukraine's fake Black Ledger which knocked Paul Manafort from Chairman of the Trump Campaign, thus helping Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Campaign. Manafort is a sleazy corrupt politico just like the Bidens, Ciaramalla, the Podestas and Greg Craig, the latter two working closely with Manafort in the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine.

jmg , November 5, 2019 at 10:24

A prediction from 2016 that turned out to be correct:

"Hillary Clinton just planted a bomb under American Democracy . . .

"By far the most irresponsible and dangerous Hillary Clinton has done is however to accuse a foreign power – Russia – of meddling in the election in order to prevent her winning, and to impose Donald Trump on the American people.

"This is dangerous and irresponsible at so many levels that it is difficult to know where to start.

"Firstly, it is not true. . . ."

(Hillary Clinton just planted a bomb under American Democracy -- The Duran -- Oct 31, 2016)

Herman , November 5, 2019 at 09:59

Great article. The use of Russia as the red herring to confuse the public and to serve the Democratic Party apparatchiks. Not a surprise as ordinary folks like me can see it yet it works. Witnessing the venom in Mueller's voice when he spoke about the evil Russians interfering in our elections says a lot about the Washington mindset.

Then the point that people don't matter, money does is not a new idea but a telling one about the way we select our leaders. Throw in the media that benefits most from the money flow and you get what Ms. Vos eloquently describes in the article, a very corrupt and damaging system.

Skip Scott , November 5, 2019 at 09:16

Excellent commentary! It is apparent to anyone who bothers to think that the DNC did more to destroy our democratic process than anything Russia could ever be capable of. They constantly cry about the electoral college, yet they have "superdelegates" set up in the primary process to ensure that "corporate sponsored warmonger from column B" becomes the only Democratic Party option in the General Election. To call it blatant hypocrisy is an understatement.

Democracy has always been a farce in the USA, and Russia has nothing to do with it.

John Moffett , November 5, 2019 at 08:37

If everyone started boycotting corporate news shows, it would go a long way toward ending their negative influence over our lives. There is no excuse for watching CNN, MSNBC or any of the other corporate news outlets, unless of course you want to hear the lies that the billionaires want you to hear.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , November 5, 2019 at 07:33

A hopelessly corrupt and confused political system for a hopelessly corrupt and confused nation.

GT Barnett , November 5, 2019 at 06:56

Sixty years now of mass delusion. The southern strategy has worked well during the decades.. BUT. This president has exposed it all. Money Honey, and the Southerners are starting to feel.. STUPID.
I must say, of all of it's confessions, the "we left enough soldiers to protect the oil" (In Iraq/Iran) was casually blurted out as plain speech.
It's the beginning of the end..good riddance gop.

Paul Ellis , November 5, 2019 at 04:19

Thank you very much for putting all this together in one article. It's great to have as a resource to help people see what's going on with the DNC.

Jeff Harrison , November 5, 2019 at 01:26

Fortunately, the DNC doesn't want any of my money or support for their candidates. And the RNC is, if anything worse.

torture this , November 5, 2019 at 12:32

Are you crazy (I know you're not)? They lust for your vote and will do ANYTHING they can to get it except offer you anything you need.

Realist , November 5, 2019 at 00:09

As a life-long registered Democrat I have felt totally betrayed by the DNC for the fraudulent and illegal acts that Ms. Vos so lucidly and comprehensively outlines in her piece. It is beyond my understanding why so many rank and file party members continue to embrace the lies and seditious acts that the organisation they entrust with defending their constitutional rights has never stopped perpetrating, even after being repeatedly caught red-handed. Undoubtedly the collusion of a fully partisan mass media has a great deal to do with this sad reality. However, one must insist that Trump Derangement Syndrome and extreme Russophobia, widely propagated by that corrupt media, are not valid reasons to adopt the same sleazy standards and morals reflexively attributed by Democrats to Republicans for generations. Maybe it used to be only half the country, when Democrats purportedly stood for strictly objective empirical truth, impartiality and fair play, but now, in light of proven shameless Democratic fraud, deception, false narratives and phony alibis, most of the country insists upon brazenly embarrassing itself beyond all belief. People don't seem to care whether they are governed by a rigorously open constitutional process or a demagogic dictator who seizes or sneaks into power through fraud, as long as that dictator is from "their" tribe. Shameful.

Dan Kuhn , November 5, 2019 at 11:50

Boss Hogg would be proud.

torture this , November 5, 2019 at 12:36

Ditto! It's like a pass interference call in football. My team never deserves a flag and the other side always does.

Sam F , November 5, 2019 at 13:05

Yes, primitive tribalism remains at the core of politics, due to the extreme political ignorance spawned by our corrupt mass media.

michael , November 6, 2019 at 09:52

"It is beyond my understanding why so many rank and file party members continue to embrace the lies and seditious acts that the organisation they entrust with defending their constitutional rights has never stopped perpetrating, even after being repeatedly caught red-handed. "
The rank and file party members have nowhere else to go and the DNC leadership knows it.

jadan , November 4, 2019 at 23:27

Our electoral system doesn't work because no one can have any confidence that their vote is counted as cast in a state wide or national venue. Aside from gerrymandering, the purging of voter rolls, and other tricks and techniques of election rigging, there is the manipulation of numbers in computerized vote counts that undermines the validity of US election results. It's not the Russians or any other outside influence. It's not possible as a practical matter to do a recount of a presidential election. Why would any rational person have confidence in the outcome?

Fixing the electoral system would be easy in theory but too many players depend on a rigged system. Fact is, no one wants a true count of the majority vote because it would run counter to special interests that have grown accustomed to buying elections. The DNC becomes just another special interest. An electoral system that counted every vote as cast and could be recounted would destroy the oligarchy.

"Our democracy" is a fantasy. Funny how no politician calls for reform of the electoral process. Not even Bernie.

Sam F , November 5, 2019 at 13:12

Yes, and the reforms are quite easy, although some require amendments to the Constitution:
1. Limiting campaign contributions to the average day's pay annually (or similar means) with accounting and penalties.
2. Monitor public officials and all relatives and associate for life, with heavy penalties for payoffs etc.
3. Similar measures to isolate mass media (say over 10% of market in subject area or region) from economic power.
4. Strict monitoring of voting machine design/production/usage, or requirement of manual balloting.
But as you note, "too many players depend on a rigged system."

DH Fabian , November 5, 2019 at 13:52

Agree, and while such reforms have been needed for decades, they would not change the consequences of Democrats successfully splitting apart their own voting base. By now, middle class liberals simply appear to be unaware of, or unconcerned about, this split, making it a lost cause.

Bethany , November 5, 2019 at 16:18

Right. Not even Bernie. And no one talks about Julian Assange either. None of them, including Bernie, wanted what WikiLeaks revealed to be revealed. Bernie's refusal to fight the obvious rigging last time and his subsequent directive to vote for Hillary were very enlightening. His weak defense of Tulsi Gabbard was also enlightening. Every day I am aware of what Hannah Arendt described as 'the iron bands' of totalitarianism tightening and don't foresee relief in the future.

nondimenticare , November 5, 2019 at 17:45

It puts me in mind of the election of Liberal Justin Trudeau, who campaigned on a platform of reforming the unfair, he said, Canadian voting system of first past the post to a form of proportional representation. (This was after years of a Conservative government.) What a surprise that when he won the election with a majority government, he had a middle-of-the-night epiphany that the voting system is quite fine as is.

The same reason we haven't gotten tax reform in the US even when people had a modicum of power: Everyone was sure that s/he was a rich person hiding in a poor person's body and, by golly, when that rich person emerged s/he wanted to keep all the loot. A pipe dream then, a virtual impossibility now.

Erelis , November 5, 2019 at 22:16

"Fixing the electoral system would be easy in theory but too many players depend on a rigged system. " Indeed. First, I have worked many an election and the ONLY people who can steal an election are the people inside the electoral infrastructure. That is, no Russian hacker sitting in Moscow who can change the results of an election. In America it is Americans cheating other Americans. (Just look to the the centuries long disenfrancshment of African America voters or recently in Georgia–not a Russian in sight.)

In 2000 I thought the democratic party leadership would lead the way to electoral reform as there were just a ton of compliants about computer based voting machines. Nada. Instead the democrats blamed Nader. There is only one conclusion. Neither the democrats nor republicans want to give up their electoral advantages to change and alter and the direction of the outcomes of an election.

Zhu , November 4, 2019 at 23:23

I first voted in the US in 1972. Nothing important has ever improved because of voting. We get more wars on third world people, more homelessness, no matter which team wins. No wonder more than half never vote!

Sweet William , November 5, 2019 at 11:30

that's just silly. Encouraging people not to vote has been highly successful in this country. thanks for your help in making it a successful tactic. CN plays a part in that same old sorry: both sides are equally evil.

ML , November 5, 2019 at 20:30

This is to Sweet William: Denying party leaders legitimacy, which they both richly deserve to be denied them, is but one way to deal with the utter sham that comprises our electoral system. I don't judge people for not voting out of sheer outrage and protestation. I have always voted and since I could not abide either candidate in 2016, I voted Green, but don't judge people for making the decision not to participate in protest. It's one thing to be completely incurious and apathetic, it's quite another to be raging mad and calling the system out for what it is- a completely corrupted unethical mess like our fascistic, lying, murdering, bellicose empire, the USA. I am not proud to be an American. But my right to vote includes my right NOT to, Sweet William.

jadan , November 5, 2019 at 23:01

People do not believe their votes are counted as cast because they aren't. There is no way to recount a national election. Nothing changes for most people by and large while great benefits accrue to the elites. The war racket continues. exploitation of the environment and labor continues. People do not trust their government to work for them, so why vote? This is the result of a rigged system that is not transparent. It is easy to fix the system. Paper ballots will not solve the problem. We need to develop a block chain system for voting. Just as a bitcoin is secure, so can a voter's ID be secure. You could easily check to see if your vote was counted as cast. The election itself could be recounted quickly and easily. The majority of people are not right wing libertarian or left wing radicals. If the voice of the genuine majority were delivered in an election, the oligarchy would collapse.

Jeffery Denton , November 4, 2019 at 22:11

Next I would like to hear your take on WHY the Republicans went along with the russiagate conspiracy theory. And what Joe thinks as well.

Skip Scott , November 5, 2019 at 09:20

The MIC funds both parties to a large extent. Trump's musings about detente with Russia made him the enemy of the establishment on both sides of the aisle.

Antiwar7 , November 5, 2019 at 13:15

Because either 1) they're on the national security gravy train, or 2) they can be easily pressured by all the forces of 1).

DH Fabian , November 5, 2019 at 13:54

Republicans fully support the "Russia-gate" insanity because they see how it has driven away more Dem voters, making Democrats too dangerous to vote for.

ML , November 5, 2019 at 20:42

I think Antiwar7 has it just about right and so does Skip Scott. I'd add that Trump's musings on detente with Russia went no further in his tiny, grasping mind than "what will I get out of this personally" if I encourage rapprochement with Russia? Except that the word "rapprochement" isn't in his vocabulary- but you get the idea.

Noah Way , November 4, 2019 at 21:54

Despite the blatant manipulation of the 2016 election by the Dems (to Hillary's chagrin, LOL) and the coordinated post-election disenfranchisement of the elected president (no matter how awful he is) by the collapsed accusations of RussiaGate and likewise the totally fabricated UkraineGate (just think about this for a millisecond – they're using an anonymous CIA "source" to blame Trump for something Biden actually did, and which has been a basic tool of US foreign policy since WWII), this is only part of domestic election meddling by both parties that includes gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, media manipulation, unlimited anonymous money in politics, electronic vote hacking, supreme court interference, etc., etc., etc.

The entire system is corrupt from the top to the bottom.

[Nov 06, 2019] no president I am familiar with, has done in office what was promised in the campaign.

Notable quotes:
"... First the constitution emerging from Philadelphia in 1787 did not contain the bill of rights, a fact prominently exposed when the states refused to ratify the constitution their own representatives at the Philadephia convention voted for. The states said, no to ratification unless and until, as a minimum, the first ten amendments were added. <= I assert the founders and their then corporations d\n want the governed to have any privileges or rights. ..."
"... One of the ongoing impediments to broad American public understanding of the US Constitution is its elevation to 'sacrosanct' status, thus placing it above critical discussion. ..."
"... And then you have the mantra of mass continual frequent typically hypocritical/false/programmed swearing of allegiance to it, and also, of all things, the linked elevation into 'symbolic deity' of a flag. ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Nov 6 2019 9:38 utc | 52

Thanks bin @ 23 for article

it noted =>America's representative appointed by the electoral college into the position of CEO of the USA interpreted the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force==> <=to mean=> executive privilege includes the right to assassinate US Citizens ?

WOW! Does that means person of wealth, corporation or foreign government can pay to get the USA to assassinate whom ever?

The article says: The democratic institutions, including the press, ..have been neutered. It notes that the Wealth and power once attributable to Americans is now consoliated inside and located behind the access controlled walls of privately owned corporate enterprise; where the dark hole of board room policy establishes how the corporation wealth and power will rape its next million or so victims...? the article discusses how America's wealth is eqally divided between 99% (wealth of 350,000,000 Americans) = and 1% (wealth of 35,000 in control of America) .

But I do not subscribe to the idea that it is deep state that is the problem. I think the problem lay in the construction of the constitution of the United States.. the deep state is just using the highly skewed distribution of power [between the governed and the governors placed in the constitution) to accommodate their for profit purposes. The constitution was never intended to protect governed Americans from exploitation by those who govern; its purpose was to protect those with the wealth and power from the Americans its federalism was designed to govern. Its pure propaganda that the constitution is to be interpreted as a democratic win for the governed.

First the constitution emerging from Philadelphia in 1787 did not contain the bill of rights, a fact prominently exposed when the states refused to ratify the constitution their own representatives at the Philadephia convention voted for. The states said, no to ratification unless and until, as a minimum, the first ten amendments were added. <= I assert the founders and their then corporations d\n want the governed to have any privileges or rights.

Secondly, it was not until the 17th amendment(1913) that Americans were empowered to vote for who would fill any of the 100 highly paid, very powerful, US Senate jobs, even today, no American can vote for but 2 senators each. <=to date Americans have no say by vote as to who shall be paid to be the President or VP of the USA [<=the electoral colleges determines the President and the states each appoint whomever they wish to the electoral college]. America is a democracy; the USA is a Republic, the states are trickle down versions of the USA.

Thirdly, ratification was invented and placed in the constitution to avoid offering all Americans the chance to decide for themselves if Americans wanted federalism or states rights, or if the excluded persons (Indians and 3/5 of other persons) wanted to be excluded or governed by federalism (federalism destroys states rights); had a popular vote been taken, I believe federalism w\h\b soundly defeated). Ratification (Article VII)<=regime changed [1788] the Articles of Confederation Government (AOCG: Hanson first President of the USA in Congress) [it was the AOCG that defeated the British Armies in America [1777] and that contributed the 1776 Declaration of Independence to the world, not the USA]. After regime change; USA, old British wealth and corporate cronies were back in charge of governing America. Today they might be called the deep state.

Fourthly, We, the American public, are spectators. An audience by Jackrabbit @ 36..

Fifthly, no president I am familiar with, has done in office what was promised in the campaign.

I think the governed must look to the constitution to see how the governors have made this happen.

My take is that civil liberties never existed in America.. the only civil liberties that Americans have ever enjoyed were those expressed in contractual promises (offered in the first 10 <=amendments of the COUS) and that courts were obliged to affirm because it would defeat the propaganda that such rights actually exist. How enforceable do you think a promise in a contract are that governors will not infringe the human rights promises made therein?

Over 200 years, during war time, the governors have suspended such rights and during normal times the only way to prevent infringement has often been to engage lawyers and costly expensive courts.. to remind the governors that it is important for propaganda purposes to honor the promises made in the amendments to the constitution? Its a joke to assume that a clause in an amended contract would be honored when it is inconvenient to the promissors; ie. Julian Assange?

even in the 'good articles', even in 'noble efforts' its pretty hard not to slip into, what? Let's call it, Empire Speak. Or is that Swamp Speak? by: Robert Snefjella @ 42 <= the mind control weapons that fire bullets made of propaganda are extremely powerful..

Robert Snefjella , Nov 6 2019 11:37 utc | 53
Re posted by: snake | Nov 6 2019 9:38 utc | 52

One of the ongoing impediments to broad American public understanding of the US Constitution is its elevation to 'sacrosanct' status, thus placing it above critical discussion.

Its 'supreme' status renders thoughts of ongoing improvement disabled. And then you have the mantra of mass continual frequent typically hypocritical/false/programmed swearing of allegiance to it, and also, of all things, the linked elevation into 'symbolic deity' of a flag.

This is helped along by a frequent stirring rendition of the national anthem, which has bombs exploding for the land of the "brave and the free".

(As an aside note of some curiosity and immeasurable impact, in Canada there is much swearing of allegiance to the very aged titular head of the dysfunctional 'Royal Family' of the UK.) Sigh.

[Nov 03, 2019] On seeing Astra Taylor's What is Democracy

Notable quotes:
"... At a first approximation, democracy is the alliance of the city dwellers for the power of the city, ignoring tribes and rural aristocrats, carefully contained so the landowners keep their land, and the slaves are kept under control. Or, to update it, the class collaboration of the wealthy (nowadays some sort of capitalist,) the middling strata and the common people for the power of the nation, carefully arranged so the people with great property make the decisions about the economy. ..."
"... As an example, it's only in the last few years I've wakened up to the extraordinary tendency to people to ignore either the progressive content of bourgeois revolutions, such as in pretending that destroying a national secular state in Iraq or Syria and replacing it with a cantonal confederation is a step backward. Or in surreptitiously pretending that democracy has nothing to do with the democratic state needing fighters against other states. Like most people on the internet, i do tend to get a little trendy, and repetitive. But apparently I'm too socially backward to get the memo on the correct trendy, and repetitive. ..."
"... The classic model of course was the Roman Republic. By coincidence I was reading Livy's first five books and the relationship between rights for the plebs and the need for them in war, stands out. Macchiavelli's Discourses on Livy makes this even plainer. In the US much of this was conveyed to the Americans via Algernon Sidney's Discourses on Government as refracted through Cato's Letters. (I hope to live long enough to read Discourses on Davila by John Adams, solely because of the title.) ..."
"... It would seem to me that the answer to the question "what is democracy" is best answered by another question: who gets (and doesn't get) the franchise? ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

I went to see occasional Timberite Astra Taylor's remarkable film What is Democracy? last night. It takes us from Siena, Italy to Florida to Athens and from Ancient Athenian democracy through the renaissance and the beginning of capitalism to the Greek debt crisis, occupy and the limbo life of people who have fled Syria and now find themselves stuck. It combines the voices of Plato and Rousseau with those of ordinary voters from left and right, Greek nationalists and cosmopolitans, ex-prisoners, with trauma surgeons in Miami, Guatemalan migrants in the US, with lawmakers and academics, and with refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. All the while it poses the questions of whether democracy is compatible with inequality and global financial systems and the boundaries of inclusion.


steven t johnson 10.23.19 at 3:05 pm (no link)

At a first approximation, democracy is the alliance of the city dwellers for the power of the city, ignoring tribes and rural aristocrats, carefully contained so the landowners keep their land, and the slaves are kept under control. Or, to update it, the class collaboration of the wealthy (nowadays some sort of capitalist,) the middling strata and the common people for the power of the nation, carefully arranged so the people with great property make the decisions about the economy.

It doesn't sound like this is very informative or useful, so I will wait until I have a cheaper way to see it.

Z 10.23.19 at 8:38 pm (no link)
In my opinion, democracy as an actually existing property of a society is only imperfectly described in terms of institutional arrangements, philosophical constructs, political system or (as steven t johnson would have it) power relations between social groups. In addition to all that, but probably prior to all that, democracy relies on principles which are anthropological in nature, that pertains to the particular way human beings relate to each other on a given territory.

This means that I absolutely believe in the necessity of a "we" to underlie democracy but I doubt that this "we" needs to be (or indeed is ever) constitutive, it exists primarily if not exclusively as a matter of human relations not as a constitutive abstraction. This also means that I'm not surprised by the general absence of convergence in democratic forms around the world (much to the bemusement of English-speaking political philosophers, or in the last 20 years, German and Flemish politicians) and that I believe that global citizenship is under present circumstances a meaningless concept with respect to democracy. Some people understand this to be arguing for a national, ethnic or cultural definition of democracy, in which only people with a specific national identity, or a particular ethnicity, or specific cultural practices or (in the contemporary American libertarian version) specific personality traits may participate, as a matter of normative or positive judgment, depending on various proponents of this theory. This seems to me to be a rather ironic analytical error: if indeed a core property of democracy is rooted in the characteristic ways people relate to each other, it is highly implausible that this could change under the influence of even a substantial minority (in one direction or the other).

Incidentally, the idea that democracy is originally native to North-America is somewhat classical (Voltaire championed it, but as usual with him, it is hard to vouch for his seriousness). Since then it has resurfaced periodically for instance in William James Sidis (disturbed) book The Tribes and the States or in the works of Bruce Johansen. Serious discussions of this question lead, I believe, to the seemingly paradoxical observation that English and Dutch settlers came to adopt the democratic principles of the Haudenosaunee because they were themselves rather primitive (temporally speaking), and hence democratic, in their anthropological values. Suc discussion would also lead to the far more pessimistic conclusion that beyond their political models, native people in North-America facilitated the establishment of a political democracy by providing a large neighboring group to exclude out of humanity.

steven t johnson 10.23.19 at 8:49 pm ( 12 )
LFC@10 uses a reason for waiting as an excuse for a rhetorical question meant as a taunt. The reason I might see it, if it's cheap enough, is because new facts and the (rare) new perspective, if any, would seep into my thinking. The idea that my thinking doesn't change is unfounded. It changes, it just doesn't change by conversion experience. The cogent arguments of the wise on the internet are like Jesus on the road to Damascus, not quite able to be described consistently, but still irrefutable.

But, try as I may, continual reworking of old ideas by new -- to me -- information inevitably leads to the change. The process usually goes A Is that really true? B My old ideas get a parenthesis added. C The parenthesis gets worked into the rest of the paragraph so that I'm more consisten. D I've always believed that. The step where I abjectly plead for forgiveness for being a moron is never there, any more than actually being consistent.

As an example, it's only in the last few years I've wakened up to the extraordinary tendency to people to ignore either the progressive content of bourgeois revolutions, such as in pretending that destroying a national secular state in Iraq or Syria and replacing it with a cantonal confederation is a step backward. Or in surreptitiously pretending that democracy has nothing to do with the democratic state needing fighters against other states. Like most people on the internet, i do tend to get a little trendy, and repetitive. But apparently I'm too socially backward to get the memo on the correct trendy, and repetitive.

For a less contentious example, as part of the process I've realized that ancient Sparta was on the democratic spectrum, not least because of two kings which is definitely not twice the monarchy. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is still true, despite authority. But a true expert who actually cared could revise the elementary insight into a much more sophisticated, much superior way that might not even seem controversial. It might even seem just like the answer to the questions: Why did Sparta ever ally with Athens in the first place? Why did both Athens and Sparta ally (at different times) with Persia?

I will admit to a general prejudice against every historical discovery that a particular place etc. was the birth of virtue.

steven t johnson 10.24.19 at 3:20 pm (no link)
Re the Haudenosaunee as exemplars of democracy, this is as I recall long known to be true of Benjamin Franklin, one of the disreputable founders, nearly as disgraced as Tom Paine. (Indeed, the notion that the revolutionaries weren't the founders, but Philadelphia lawyers' convention was, is remarkable, though unremarked on.) But, what did Franklin admire about the Iroquois League? I think it was the power through unity of different "tribes." The league essentially genocided the Hurons to control the fur trade; launched long distance military expeditions to drive away many other peoples from large areas in the Ohio valley to free up hunting grounds; when it was convenient, they sold their rights, lands, there to the US. (The treaty of Fort Stanwix) was later repudiated, verbally at least, by other.

The classic model of course was the Roman Republic. By coincidence I was reading Livy's first five books and the relationship between rights for the plebs and the need for them in war, stands out. Macchiavelli's Discourses on Livy makes this even plainer. In the US much of this was conveyed to the Americans via Algernon Sidney's Discourses on Government as refracted through Cato's Letters. (I hope to live long enough to read Discourses on Davila by John Adams, solely because of the title.)

eg 10.25.19 at 2:35 am ( 17 )
It would seem to me that the answer to the question "what is democracy" is best answered by another question: who gets (and doesn't get) the franchise?

[Nov 03, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Releases $20.5 Trillion Plan to Pay

Nov 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , November 01, 2019 at 07:34 AM

Elizabeth Warren Releases $20.5 Trillion Plan to Pay
for 'Medicare for All' https://nyti.ms/2N9lI4F
NYT - Thomas Kaplan, Abby Goodnough
and Margot Sanger-Katz - November 1

WASHINGTON -- Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday proposed $20.5 trillion in new spending through huge tax increases on businesses and wealthy Americans to pay for "Medicare for all," laying out details for a landmark government expansion that will pose political risks for her presidential candidacy while also allowing her to say she is not raising taxes on the middle class to pay for her health care plan.

Ms. Warren, who has risen steadily in the polls with strong support from liberals excited about her ambitious policy plans, has been under pressure from top rivals like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to release details about paying for her biggest plan, "Medicare for all." Her new proposal marks a turning point for her campaign, in which she will have to sell voters on a tax-and-spending plan that rivals the ambitions of the New Deal and the Great Society while also defending it against both Democratic and Republican criticism.

Under Ms. Warren's plan, employer-sponsored health insurance -- which more than half of Americans now receive -- would be eliminated and replaced by free government health coverage for all Americans, a fundamental shift from a market-driven system that has defined health care in the United States for decades but produced vast inequities in quality, service and cost.

Ms. Warren would use a mix of sources to pay for the $20.5 trillion in new spending over a decade, including by requiring employers to pay trillions of dollars to the government, replacing much of what they currently spend to provide health coverage to workers. She would create a tax on financial transactions like stock trades, change how investment gains are taxed for the top 1 percent of households and ramp up her signature wealth tax proposal to be steeper on billionaires. She also wants to cut $800 billion in military spending.

Ms. Warren's estimate for the cost of Medicare for all relies on an aggressive set of assumptions about how to lower national health care costs while providing comprehensive coverage to all Americans. Like Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, she would essentially eliminate medical costs for individuals, including premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Critically, her new plan would not raise taxes on middle-class Americans, a question she has been asked over and over but has not answered directly until now. When confronted on the campaign trail and debate stage, she emphasized instead that her plan would result in higher overall costs for wealthy people and big corporations but lower costs for middle-class families. ...

"A key step in winning the public debate over Medicare for all will be explaining what this plan costs -- and how to pay for it," Ms. Warren wrote in her plan. To do that, she added, "We don't need to raise taxes on the middle class by one penny."

The issue of health care helped Democrats win control of the House in last year's midterm elections, after unsuccessful attempts by President Trump and Republicans in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It has been a central issue again this year as Ms. Warren and other Democrats have competed for their party's presidential nomination, highlighting a divide on policy between the party's moderates and its liberal wing that favors transformative change. ...

Ms. Warren's proposal shows just how large a reorganization of spending Medicare for all represents. By eliminating private health insurance and bringing every American into a federal system, trillions of dollars of spending by households, employers and state governments would be transferred into the federal budget over the course of a decade.

Her financing plan is based on cost estimates that are on the low side, relative to those from other serious economists who have assessed the program. Her estimate of $20.5 trillion over 10 years is based on a recent cost model by the Urban Institute, but with several different assumptions that lower the cost from Urban's estimate of $34 trillion over the same period.

Ms. Warren attempts to minimize fiscal disruption by asking the big payers in the current system to keep paying for health care through new taxes. She would create a new "employer Medicare contribution" that would effectively redirect what employers are already paying to health insurers, totaling $8.8 trillion over a decade. Small businesses would be exempt if they are not currently paying for their employees' health care.

Ms. Warren has also proposed that states pay the federal government much of what they currently spend to cover state workers and low-income residents under the Medicaid program.

But she also describes new revenue streams to replace the other big chunk of health spending: the money spent by households on premiums, deductibles and direct payments for services like dental care that are not always covered by insurance.

Ms. Warren would raise $3 trillion in total from two proposals to tax the richest Americans. She has previously said that her wealth tax proposal, another signature of her campaign, would impose a 3 percent annual tax on net worth over $1 billion; she would now raise that to 6 percent. She would also change how investment gains are taxed for the top 1 percent of households.

In addition to imposing a tax on financial transactions, she would also make changes to corporate taxation. She is counting on stronger tax enforcement to bring in $2.3 trillion in taxes that would otherwise go uncollected. And she is banking on passing an overhaul of immigration laws -- which itself would be a huge political feat -- and gaining revenue from taxes paid by newly legal residents.

Ms. Warren's plan would put substantial downward pressure on payments to hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical companies. She expects that an aggressive negotiation system could lower spending on generic medications by 30 percent compared with what Medicare pays now, for example, and spending on prescription drugs could fall by 70 percent. Payments to hospitals would be 10 percent higher on average than what Medicare pays now, a rate that would make some hospitals whole but would lead to big reductions for others. She would reduce doctors' pay to the prices Medicare pays now, with additional reductions for specialists, and small increases to doctors who provide primary care. ...

Ending the Stranglehold of Health Care
Costs on American Families by @ewarren
https://link.medium.com/8Jx43ukfg1

Elizabeth Warren releases Medicare for All
plan, promising no middle class tax increase
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/11/01/elizabeth-warren-released-detailed-plan-raise-trillon-pay-for-medicare-for-all-promising-middle-class-taxes-won-increase-one-penny/yWXQ1gsnfxwZ7T2UAqzr6I/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

point -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 09:51 AM
This seems almost uniformly great. I only have two quibbles.

One is that a 6% wealth tax is actually too high, confiscatory even. The reason is that if expected ROI is about 6%, the tax takes all the expected return. In perpetuity that is equivalent to taking the entire net worth. Property tax is a pretty good guide here, 1-1.5% works, perhaps a bit more.

Two is that the slant shows up immediately with this reporter. One example: "Ms. Warren would use a mix of sources to pay for the $20.5 trillion in new spending over a decade..." Note the use of "new spending". This may make sense if the subject is limited to government spending, but we all know the game is to distract from the good lowered-aggregate spending and emphasize the component spent by the evil government. We may see much more of this misdirection including by primary opponents.

She is basically proposing to municipalize the entire payment flows for healthcare, much as proposals now exist for California to municipalize PG&E, both excellent ideas.

Paine -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 06:20 PM
This is a nice threat
But a universal public option is all we need here immediately
That and a Medicaid increase
funded by a wealth tax

Beyond that we need health cost cap and trade
Something not on the agenda of pols

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 01, 2019 at 08:54 PM
Five takeaways from Elizabeth
Warren's Medicare for All plan
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/11/01/five-takeaways-from-elizabeth-warren-medicare-for-all-plan/0xQAuKT7f3p8gCggtCkZ3O/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Christina Prignano - November 1

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday released her proposal to pay for Medicare for All, a plan to move every American to government-run health insurance that would reshape the US health care system.

Warren's plan, outlined in a 9,275-word Medium post, included complex ideas for paying for health care costs after private insurance is ended . It's a lot to digest, so here are five takeaways.

Much of it is based on the Medicare for All Act
The plan released by Warren on Friday is primarily aimed at answering the question of how to pay for single-payer health care. When it comes to the nuts and bolts of how her health care plan would work, Warren points to the existing Medicare for All Act, that "damn bill" Senator Bernie Sanders colorfully reminded debate viewers that he wrote.

Under the Medicare for All Act, introduced by Sanders in April and cosponsored by Warren, all US residents would be automatically enrolled in a national health care plan administered by the federal government. In addition to traditional medical coverage, the Medicare for All Act includes vision and dental, plus long-term care services.

It relies on a lot of assumptions

At the outset, Warren acknowledges that it's difficult to predict what health care costs will be in the future, and she notes that current projections about how much Medicare for All would cost vary widely. Because the Medicare for All Act leaves open questions about how the single-payer system would work, including major ones like the amount that health care providers would be compensated, Warren fills in the gaps to arrive at a total cost estimate. Outside analysts, including two local experts, cited by Warren estimate her plan would result in overall US health care costs that are slightly lower than what the nation currently spends.

Arriving at a specific cost allows Warren to figure out how she will pay for it, and there are some assumptions here, too.

To fund the plan without increasing taxes on the middle class, Warren relies on enacting seemingly unrelated legislation, including immigration reform. The pathway to citizenship for millions of people in her immigration proposal would add to the tax base. Warren also wants to cut defense spending.

There aren't new middle class taxes, but there are hikes for businesses and the wealthy

Warren announced her Medicare for All plan with a major promise not to increase taxes on the middle class, but that doesn't mean some taxes won't go up. After accounting for existing federal spending and health care spending by employers that would be redirected to the government, there's still a big hole. Warren fills it by levying new taxes and closing loopholes in ways that target financial firms and large corporations. She also increases her previously proposed wealth tax.

Some businesses would be hit harder than others. As Vox points out, if Warren asks businesses to send their existing employee health insurance payments to the government, businesses that currently provide inadequate insurance, or no insurance at all, fare much better than those that provide good insurance coverage. That sets up a kind of penalty for businesses that offer health coverage: They're helping pick up the tab for Medicare for All, but they no longer have an advantage in attracting top talent with generous benefits.

Under Warren's plan, that situation is temporary as businesses would eventually pay into the system at the same rate. And Warren says employers ultimately will be better off because they won't get hit with unpredictable changes in health care costs.

It would be difficult to implement

Moving every single American to a new health care plan is a massive endeavor, so much so that Warren says she'll release an entirely separate plan that deals with how to handle the transition.

The transition has become a sticking point in the Democratic primary, with moderates like former vice president Joe Biden using the lengthy time period (Sanders' plan says it would take four years) as a reason to oppose it altogether.

And then there's the problem of passing such legislation: During the debate around the Affordable Care Act in 2010, a proposed public option to allow people to buy into a government-run health care plan nearly sunk the entire bill, and was stripped out of the landmark legislation. The episode underscored the difficulty of implementing a government-run health care program, even one popular with voters.

Warren has a plan for that, though. She wants to get rid of the filibuster, meaning the Senate would need a simple majority to pass legislation, rather than the 60 votes currently required to stop debate.

Warren has been reluctant to go on the offensive, but that may be changing

As she rose in the polls, Warren resisted leveling direct attacks against her primary opponents. Warren's style has been to rail against the concept of big money fueling a campaign, rather than directly criticizing individual candidates who have taken cash from high-dollar fund-raisers.

But there are hints that this could be changing. Warren's lengthy Medicare for All plan includes rebuttals to the criticism she's gotten from the moderate wing of the primary field, calling on candidates who oppose her plan to explain how they would cover everyone.

"Make no mistake -- any candidate who opposes my long-term goal of Medicare for All and refuses to answer these questions directly should concede that they have no real strategy for helping the American people address the crushing costs of health care in this country. We need plans, not slogans," she wrote.

Paine -> Fred C. Dobbs... , November 02, 2019 at 05:55 AM
Declaring war on corporate America

The corporate health sub system
Intimately involves
the entire corporate system
We are on course toward
20 % of our economic output
Flowing thru our domestic
health services and products sectors

Where is the cost control mechanism

Simply in part
Progressively resourcing
And rechanneling the inflow of funds
Addresses a result not a cause

We have to address costs

We need a cap and trade market system

With a cap sector to GDP ratio that
Slowly squeezes down
the relative costs of the health sector

Enter stage left

a colander Lerner mark up market system

Paine -> Paine... , November 02, 2019 at 06:05 AM
Public option is the transition
That empowers
people themselves
To spontaneous determine
the timing and pattern of
Their own transitioning

Anything else is political folly


Liz has set a bold end state vision
Bravely out laying where we must go eventually
And drawing in
the major shift in the share of
The total social cost burden
to the wealthy classes


But that's an end a destination
not a path

Urge choice not mandates
as the better path

The present corporate cost
burden share
is a mess
That should self dissolve over time

Now we need an optional public system
And
A means to capture the
Present corporate pay ins
Piecemeal over time as employees opt out of corporate plans into publicnplans one by one

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 02, 2019 at 02:15 PM
Liz Warren would double her proposed billionaire
wealth tax to help fund 'Medicare for All' https://cnb.cx/332evbX

... Warren's wealth tax proposal would also impose a 2% tax on net worth between $50 million and $1 billion. She has previously said that it would be used to fund her ambitious climate agenda, a slate of investments in child care and reductions in student loan debt.

But Warren is refusing to tax the middle class. She released an analysis produced by several respected economists on Friday that suggests she will not have to.

( https://assets.ctfassets.net/4ubxbgy9463z/27ao9rfB6MbQgGmaXK4eGc/d06d5a224665324432c6155199afe0bf/Medicare_for_All_Revenue_Letter___Appendix.pdf )

Former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson, former Labor Department Chief Economist Betsey Stevenson, and Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, wrote that Warren could pay for her program "without imposing any new taxes on middle-class families."

The economists cite a number of possible revenue and spending options that they found could generate $20.5 trillion in additional funding. Much of that funding is expected to come from reallocating employer spending on health care and taxing the increased take-home pay that employees are expected to receive under her system.

But taxes on the wealthy form a substantial portion. Doubling the billionaire wealth tax will raise $1 trillion over 10 years, the economists found. They note in their analysis that the calculation assumes a 15% rate of tax avoidance. ...

[Nov 02, 2019] Is Elizabeth Warren the New Ted Cruz The American Conservative

Nov 02, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Despite scant polling evidence, Joe Biden's continued lead , and serious concerns over her viability with the broader electorate, Elizabeth Warren's Democratic presidential campaign has taken on an air of inevitability.

Just this fall, the emcee of the financial television circuit, Mad Money 's Jim Cramer, has gone from wailing "She's got to be stopped" to insisting, "I don't think she's nearly as anti-business" as commonly portrayed. Either way, Cramer continues, "I think there is such a thing called Congress." The implication is even if the prairie populist by way of Massachusetts goes the distance, Wall Street's network on Capitol Hill would make mincemeat of her agenda.

In my interviews with members of Congress, especially Republicans, Warren's nomination is generally treated as a fait accompli. Perhaps it's projection, Warren is who many partisan Republicans think the Democrats are: female, lawyerly and anti-capitalist. The contest of Warren vs. Donald Trump would provide, if nothing else, clarity.

The dynamic extends past Northeast Washington. Where people put their money where their mouth is -- political gambling sites -- Warren's chances of winning the Democratic nomination are assessed at nearing 40 percent. On PredicitIt.com, one can buy a Warren share an absurd thirty-eight cents on the dollar.

Advertisement

The idea of Democrats nominating an aged, gaffe-prone white male popular with industry and in the Rust Belt seems absurd on the face: "That's our nominee, right?" David Axelrod, mastermind of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, earlier this month crowned Warren the "front-runner."

There's just one problem with this line of thinking: it's not at all clear Warren is going to be the Democratic nominee for president. Her principal rival, Biden, the former vice president, still leads in some national polls. Biden is frequently compared to Jeb Bush, the establishment favorite, paper tiger on the Republican side in the last round.

There are two problems with this analogy. Biden isn't nearly as "establishment" as the former Florida governor. Bush was the cash-flush son and brother of two presidents, while Biden is bleeding dough and has failed to procure the endorsement of the president he served. Conversely, unlike Bush, whose lead nationally evaporated by Labor Day, Biden has stubbornly stayed more or less at the top of the heap through all of 2019.

It's Halloween and Democratic voters haven't been spooked enough by the former vice president's at-times catastrophic performance to dump him. Unlike Bush, Biden has an ace in the hole: the anchoring constituency of his party, African-American voters. If Bush had commanded the acclaim of evangelical Christians he might have held on despite his other weaknesses as a candidate. Biden is also relatively popular , while the Bush clan is rightly still blamed for the destruction of American prestige at home and abroad.

Down With the Clapback Will Senate Republicans Take A Chance on President Pence?

Biden frequently, even pathetically presents himself as an "Obama-Biden Democrat." ButBiden's candidacy remains most similar to a non-Bush 2016 candidate: Donald Trump, the front-runner the "smart set" claimed was doomed from the start. Like Trump, Biden is famous . And as Biden has hit campaign troubles, the former veep's raison d'etre can take on an air of the self-evident: I'm leading the race because I'm leading the race.

Like Trump, who would proudly spend literally hours of his campaign rallies reading off primary poll results, Biden also seems content to run a campaign based on his own lead. After weeks of purported political battering, Biden told 60 Minutes Sunday: "I know I'm the frontrunner."

With almost Trump-like flare, Biden noted: "Find me a national poll with a notable a couple exceptions." What was true of the last Democratic debate, earlier this month in Ohio, may be true of the 2020 election as a whole. As Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest , said : "It was a good night for the old codgers on stage."

Indeed, insistences from career progressives and conservatives that Warren is the true Democratic standard-bearer can take on a mawkish tone. Surely, in a time of ubiquitous partisanship, the victors will be most ideological. The Democrats are moving ever left, the Republicans, ever right. Surely, it is time for a true believer.

But the logic is too clever by half. Templates are incomplete assessments of the world, but play along: if Trump is Biden's proper analogue, then Warren's candidacy is perhaps most akin to Ted Cruz's in 2016. Like Cruz, Warren is somewhat unpopular with her colleagues, which doubles as a badge of honor with many, more ideological activists.

But party activists perhaps understand the organization they serve less than they think they do. Isn't it just as possible, indeed maybe even likely, that Warren, like Cruz, is waiting for a day that will never come? Trump's "implosions" were never reflected at the ballot box. Maybe so, it will also be with Biden.

Templates aren't perfect, however. While Cruz did well with evangelicals, Warren has failed to make inroads among African Americans. And unlike Cruz, the establishment has warmed to Warren's rise -- her campaign doubles as a Harvard satellite campus.

But perhaps Warren's greatest weakness as a candidate, as it was for Cruz, is that she is not the real voice of her party's discontented. A well placed source told me that in 2012 he advised Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, that the person who wins America's big elections today is the most pessimistic of the two messengers.

Of the 2016 conservatives, Cruz was perhaps most polite to Trump, but in failing to ape the future president's program, he never emerged as anything more than a poor imitation of the real estate mogul. Immigration and ennui over America's international role were the orders of the day, and for a core contingent, no substitutes for Trumpian nationalism would do.

Warren experiences this vulnerability, an intensity gap, not with Biden, but with Bernie Sanders. Warren, perhaps sensing the establishment's warmth to her, takes pains to emphasize that she is still a capitalist. Perhaps accordingly, socialist Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez, the most powerful millennial politician, has thrown in with Sanders, the candidate she volunteered for four years ago. For the under-forty set, which has been mired in a now-decade of low growth and the vise-grip of rising housing, education and healthcare costs, Warrenism, like Cruzism, may come too little, too late.

Curt Mills is senior writer at .


Signore Sharpshooter 2 days ago

The money is deserting Biden. He's toast.
Faux Squaw will take it. It's baked in.
LeeInWV 4 days ago
A well placed source told me that in 2012 he advised Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, that the person who wins America's big elections today is the most pessimistic of the two messengers.

Ummmm... Romney LOST.

For the under-forty set, which has been mired in a now-decade of low growth and the vice grip of rising housing, education and healthcare costs, Warrenism, like Cruzism, may come too little, too late.

The article was nearly completely about Biden vs Warren then changed course near the end by bring Sanders into it. So Warrenism may be "too little, too late" so Dems will go for less with Biden? Sorry, it really seems incoherent to me.

Richard Karl Schultz LeeInWV 2 days ago
Yeah, the analogy that makes more sense is Trump:Cruz as Bernie:Warren, except instead of being a total fraud with no political experience, Bernie has 40 years of experience, with lots of accomplishments, and is seen as far-and-away the most trustworthy and with the highest favorability.
Ed 4 days ago
As competing right-wing and left-wing versions of the "cool nerd"? I guess so, though the essence of the "cool nerd" is that most people don't think the "cool nerds" are cool.

Is Biden really less "Establishment" than Jeb Bush?. A lot depends on how you define Establishment -- and the word is very slippery and hard to define. I'd say they were both Establishment to something like the same degree. Bush has a waspy pedigree and two presidents in his family, but 38 years in the Senate made Biden part of the Washington Establishment to a high degree. Neither of them had much substance. Biden was sort of like the ottoman in a Washington salon - something you might not notice until you tripped over it - but still he was a Washington fixture. Jeb Bush had the connections, but so far as Washington was concerned there was something provincial about him.

Kelly Storme 4 days ago
It doesn't really matter who wins the Democrat's party nomination or who wins the Presidential election. The 'Deep State' runs the government and will continue to run the government no matter which pony is the face on stage. Pick your puppet at the polls. That is if you want to waste your time voting at all.
LewistonCatholic Kelly Storme 4 days ago
True of any candidate except Trump who is the only one not controlled by the Deep State. Not that he hasn't had limited success so far in going up against them, given their control of the FBI and CIA and ability to manufacture scandals at will such as the "Russia Collusion" hoax.
Kelly Storme LewistonCatholic 2 days ago
I'll agree that Trump is somewhat outside the 'Deep State's' control. I'll state that I am not a fan of most of his policies or the man himself and it is my firm opinion that even though he is not an 'offspring' of the Deep State, his actions and interests are self-focused just like those that are bred from within. None of them give a rat's behind about Joe Public; it's the super-elites serving the interests of the super-elites.
=marco01= Kelly Storme 3 days ago
The socalled Deep State swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. That oath comes before their loyalty to Trump.

Trump is president, not dictator. He doesn't just get to do whatever he wants despite the fact he thinks he can, he thinks he is above the Constitution.

"I have to the right to do whatever I want as president." - Trump

You no doubt nodded in agreement when he said that, but if a Democratic president ever said that, you'd erupt in outrage completely forgetting how you felt when Trump said it.

Stan Grand =marco01= 3 days ago
Elections have consequences.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) =marco01= 2 days ago
The previous Democratic president ruled largely through executive orders, if you haven't noticed. Not a dictator, right. While those upholders of the Constitution which are so dear to you, violated it left and right in everything foreign policy. Try better.
Hellprin_fan Alex (the one that likes Ike) 2 days ago
Obama issued an average of 34.6 EOs per year. Trump is at 47.7 per year. You were saying?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/...

Alex (the one that likes Ike) Hellprin_fan a day ago
Yes, and the next one, R, D or else, will issue even more of those. My point is that the tacit transition to dictatorship has already happened.
Kelly Storme =marco01= 2 days ago
Actually, as Alex stated, rule by Executive Order has become more prevalent with each successive President regardless of political party. Without going into a long explanation, I'll just say that the Constitution has been eroded by all Branches of the government - unfortunately, it's getting to the point where it will be completely ineffectual soon.
Madeleine Birchfield 4 days ago
Warren (as well as Bernie Sanders) would have been a great candidate for the Democratic Party to try to win back working-class whites in 2016, but nowadays it seems they are the Republican base and big Trump supporters and aren't returning back to the fold.

Democrats would do better to find a more center-right figure to win over neoconservatives, liberatarians, and suburban America, all alienated by Donald Trump and by what the Republican Party has become, which could potentially get them states like Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, and the like.

cka2nd Madeleine Birchfield 3 days ago
That describes most of the Democratic also-rans, and pretty much Biden, too. And Hilary Clinton, of course, and look how inspiring she was to the Democratic electorate.
Dan Madeleine Birchfield 2 days ago
You're pretty much describing Andrew Yang. His base is currently small, but very passionate, consisting of progressives, disaffected Trump voters, working class whites, libertarians, etc., basically anyone on the political spectrum.
Richard Karl Schultz Madeleine Birchfield 2 days ago
Only Bernie.
staircaseghost 4 days ago • edited
Warren is who many partisan Republicans think the Democrats are: female, lawyerly and anti-capitalist.

A few paragraphs down, you said "Warren, perhaps sensing the establishment's warmth to her, takes pains to emphasize that she is still a capitalist." Did you just assume your readers would prefer the smear up front and the facts buried near the bottom?

Message to pro-capitalist, Warren-curious conservatives: come on in, the water's fine!

" Franklin Foer : All the investment bankers who have voodoo dolls of you might be a bit surprised that you recently described yourself as "capitalist to the bone." What did you mean?

Elizabeth Warren : I believe in markets and the benefits they can produce when they work. Markets with rules can produce enormous value. So much of the work I have done -- the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, my hearing-aid bill -- are about making markets work for people, not making markets work for a handful of companies that scrape all the value off to themselves. I believe in competition."

Like Cruz, Warren is somewhat unpopular with her colleagues

"Somewhat unpopular"? Ted Cruz is positively *loathed* by his colleagues.

Wake me up when something actually analogous to Ted Cruz happens, like if Warren calls the eventual nominee a "narcissist" and "serial liar" for whom "morality doesn't exist" and then goes on to phone bank for him in the general.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) staircaseghost 3 days ago
Well, looks like I already have to wake you up. Remember that story with her saying that it ain't right when a veep's son serves on the board of a foreign company and then immediately backtracking after having understood what she just said?
Kenneth_Almquist Alex (the one that likes Ike) 3 days ago
No. In any case, you appear to be describing a case where Warren misspoke and quickly corrected herself, which is nothing like what Cruz did.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Kenneth_Almquist 2 days ago
Nah, that's what I'm describing:

http://disq.us/p/24lfxof

There's even a video there.

IanDakar staircaseghost 3 days ago
Sounds like Warren is thinking of "Capitalism, with fixes from outside capitalism"

I'll admit, even the criticisms make me more interested in her. Though I fear that it's more of a 'too good to be true' concept. My time in customer service helped me to understand that sometimes you have to give Hard Messages to people as you really can't have Everything You Want. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing Warren as "OMG this is everything I wanted." Which is one of the red flags I had over Trump.

It's hard though. I know that giving hard messages is basically a death sentence in campaigns so people don't do that. But Bernie did and he's not dying. BLAH.

In any case, don't go too hard on TAC articles about democratic candidates. It's sort of like when a US new organization puts an editorial on a foreign culture. It's not a bad viewpoint to have, but it IS going ot be..well.. different.

marqueemoons staircaseghost 3 days ago
How about if the President says her Dad was involved in killing JFK and insults her spouse?
Alex (the one that likes Ike) 4 days ago
It becomes more and more obvious with each day that nominating Biden is incomparably greater priority to the Democratic Party as an institution than winning the election. Yes, Warren is no orator (which is an extremely ill omen for a candidate when running against someone like Trump), but neither Biden is. Warren, with all her faults, at least speaks like a non-orator with both hemispheres functional. While Biden is simply babbling.

And that's not to mention the fact that Democrats (yet) have a candidate who would reliably beat any opponent aside from Rand Paul - Tulsi Gabbard. But these... epitomes of alternative genius keep on trying to drive her away from their party at all costs instead of holding on to her for dear life.

Kent 4 days ago
Trump won because of the number of other Republican candidates who wanted to fight it out to the bitter end, rather than throw in their lot with a better candidate like Cruz or even Jeb! Had it come down to two Republican candidates, Trump and one holding more traditional views, it is likely Trump would have lost the Republican nomination.

The Democrats look the same for 2020. Biden represents the Clinton, Republican-lite wing of the party. He has the name recognition and the big money backing. Sanders is a true leftist. And Warren is somewhere in-between. The question is whether or not Sanders and Warren will fight it out to the bitter end, leaving Biden with just enough of a plurality to win the nomination. I don't give any of the rest a chance.

I tend to think that Trump would beat Biden. For the same reasons he beat Clinton: he's a neo-liberal, neo-conservative who could give a rat's a$$ about the pain of the working and middle-classes. I think Warren could beat Trump. She's really not a leftist economically, and a lot of independents would see her as a rational, thoughtful person, as opposed to Trump's Trumpism.

My lawn chair and popcorn favorite would be a Trump/Sanders title fight. Maybe terrible for the country, but definitely fun to watch.

Stan Grand Kent 3 days ago
This argument was already proved false.

We heard about Trump's "ceiling" on a daily basis back in the 2016 cycle. And yet, when people kept dropping out, Trump kept going up.

Early Cuyler Kent 2 days ago
The woman who wants to implement a wealth tax and "free" health care for everyone isn't a leftist economically? lol
Kent Early Cuyler a day ago
I think she is probably to the right of either Nixon or Eisenhower. She's certainly not proposing a 91% marginal income tax rate (Eisenhower) or a fully socialized health care system (Nixon). The world has shifted so far to the right in modern times that I can understand that some see her as far left.
Mark Thomason 4 days ago
Biden is not "popular in the rust belt." That is why he is a loser. He's popular with the elitists who want a Republican-Lite nominee against Trump.
EliteCommInc. 4 days ago
The reason that Nominee Warren is unlikely to get black support is that she played a card that was not hers to [play and doubled down on the matter and continues to play that card inspite of the cold hard light of day that she wasn't, and is not native american.

There is a huge wave of under current simmering anger because I don't cleave to notions of some incorrectly underpinnings of "conservatism", that are sacrosanct. I don't put much stock in identity political machinations online. It is simply a nonfactor or less of a factor than what is on the page as to some's ideas.

But the hijacking of someone's history that is not your own in any fashion and profiting from the same -- for people whose history are hog to negative narratives, this simply will not sit well.

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

Senator Cruz's attempts to rig the Colorado primaries violates the principles of fair play. Making arguments about being pro-country and at the same time manipulating the immigration arguments to favor undermining US citizens -- don't invite much enthusiasm for his leadership.

IanDakar EliteCommInc. 3 days ago
"The reason that Nominee Warren is unlikely to get black support is that she played a card that was not hers to [play and doubled down on the matter and continues to play that card inspite of the cold hard light of day that she wasn't, and is not native american."

Why in the world would African Americans care one wilt about Warren claiming she was Native American?

Af-Ams are big on identity..but the only time I've seen it brought as an issue is when someone who's not Af-Am claims they are Af-Am.

Republicans have a big issue with her using the term. But it's similar to Democrats hating Trump's attacks on Latinos: the ones that rage weren't considering her in the first place.

Warren will win or lose the Black vote by whether she notes their issues and offers options that will change their current situation, something Hillary failed to do in those key states. Though first she'll need them win them over from Biden. Possible, though not easily.

Steveb 3 days ago
Not really sure why the author thinks warren is somehow outside the democratic norms, she has worked consistently for the working voters that make up her district by trying to bring some balance against the large corporations that pretty much control the economy. Even conservatives, the champions of big business and the haters of unions and all social programs seem to actually have second thoughts about crushing the life out of the common man, or at least they write occasional comments that make nice to them while giving the corporations massive tax cuts and cutting the social programs.

If I was a bit more cynical I would think that they are pretty nervous about an articulate candidate with a solid slate of actual policy papers and positions that try to lay out a way to make the economy work for the regular folks. Why they might actually be trying to claim that she will take the side of the corporations that run conservative politics..

Stan Grand Steveb 3 days ago
I think Warren's big problem is how she talks and how she looks.

Ever since TV came into the political process, image has become incredibly important. Look at Ted Cruz. He just looked...weird.

Warren is frenetic when she talks on the debate stage. Mute your TV during the next debate and watch. She also talks like a school marm.

Lasty, history does not smile on wonks. People want easy-to-understand programs and straight talk. Warren constantly dodges how she will pay for her programs. This will not play well in 2020.

Hellprin_fan Stan Grand 2 days ago
I'm going to jump off topic to point out that no one ever asks "How are you going to pay for it?" when it comes to tax cuts or military spending.
cka2nd 3 days ago
I still think it will be Sanders, with the 1980 and 2016 GOP primaries as the templates, and the crisis in the Reagan/Thatcher/neo-liberal consensus being the bedrock of his, and Trump's, appeal.
Ed 3 days ago
Trump was such a wild card in 2016 that it's hard to make connections or analogies to any other presidential election. You don't have to see Joe Biden as some clone of Jeb Bush to see that they both have real deficiencies as candidates. Cruz also was a lousy candidate who wouldn't have won the nomination or the general election, but he was blindsided by Trump, someone new from outside politics.

There's nobody in sight who could blindside Warren like that, and I get the feeling that the Democratic Party base (the White half of it anyway) is more comfortable with Warren than the Republican Party base was with Cruz. Even Evangelicals couldn't quite bring themselves to love Ted. However unpopular Warren is with the electorate as a whole, party loyalists and activists have no problem with her.

I don't see Buttigieg winning the nomination. Alice Roosevelt Longworth once said that Tom Dewey looked like the little plastic man at the top of the wedding cake. Now that we have gay marriage, voters are offered the a candidate who looks like the little plastic man on top of a gay wedding cake. I suspect they won't go for him.

JonF311 Ed 3 days ago
Had Cruz been the nominee he would have had the same advantage that Trump did: Hillary Clinton herself. She was a deeply unlikable candidate and 2016 is best described as "Hillary lost" as opposed to "Trump won." Pretty much any Republican, excepting maybe Bush with his family baggage, would have bear Hillary, and with a more respectable showing.
Bg 3 days ago • edited
what exactly is pathetic about an Obama Biden democrat? competence? prudence?
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Bg 2 days ago
Letting their foreign policy being hijacked (or, rather, joyridden) by neolib lunatics, the twins of neocon wackos. That can hardly be called "competence" and "prudence".
Hellprin_fan Alex (the one that likes Ike) 2 days ago
I like the image, but they ARE the neolibs.

[Oct 31, 2019] The 10% Technocrats like Elizabeth Warren will try to keep things running until they can't anymore.

Oct 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

VietnamVet , October 27, 2019 at 9:58 pm

The winners write history. Surviving losers also rewrite history ('Gone with the Wind"). Or, past lives are never written about at all. The problem is that western government has swirled down the drain into incompetent delusion. Corporations rule. Plutocrats are in combat over the spoils. Protests won't work until police and mercenaries realized that they aren't being paid enough to die or to subjugate their own families.

Right now, the problem is two million Californians forced out of their homes or waiting with no electricity for evacuation orders. The American government is simply incapable rebuilding Puerto Rico or Northern California . Or handling global plagues such as African Swine Fever that has already killed a quarter of the global pig population. Simply put, climate change, overpopulation, and rising inequality assure that revolutions cannot be orderly.

The 10% Technocrats like Elizabeth Warren will try to keep things running until they can't anymore.

Lambert Strether Post author , October 28, 2019 at 1:11 am

> The American government is simply incapable of rebuilding Puerto Rico or Northern California.

American elites are resolutely opposed to simply incapable of rebuilding Puerto Rico or Northern California.

Fixed it for ya

[Oct 29, 2019] If Democrats nominate Elizabeth Warren, there will a chorus of well-funded voices declaring that her progressivism would destroy the economy

Oct 29, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , October 27, 2019 at 11:52 AM

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1188439087830786049

Paul Krugman @paulkrugman

If Democrats nominate Elizabeth Warren, there will a chorus of well-funded voices declaring that her progressivism would destroy the economy. So it's not irrelevant to look at how that sort of thinking is holding up abroad 1/

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/26/world/americas/Macri-argentina-election.html

Pocketbook Woes Drive an Unlikely Comeback in Argentine Presidential Race
President Mauricio Macri rose to office with a promise that free markets would wrest Argentina from its boom-and-bust cycle. But with the country in recession, voters may now turn to an archrival.

5:55 AM - 27 Oct 2019

Macri was the business community's candidate; he was going to bring sound management in after years of populism, and things were going to be great. But he screwed up the macroeconomics, borrowing heavily in dollars (!), and presided over recession 2/

Chile has long, as Branko Milanovic says here, been the poster child for neoliberalism. I remember very well when Bush & co tried to sell Chile's privatized pensions as a replacement for Social Security. But rampant inequality is now causing mass unrest 3/

https://glineq.blogspot.com/2019/10/chile-poster-boy-of-neoliberalism-who.html

Obviously governments of both left and right can mess up. But the persistent belief that big business and the wealthy know How Things Work and can run the economy best is completely at odds with experience 4/

[Oct 29, 2019] Will 'Medicare for All' destroy Elizabeth Warren's campaign?

Oct 29, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to anne... ,

Will 'Medicare for All' destroy Elizabeth Warren's campaign?
https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2019/10/25/will-medicare-for-all-destroy-elizabeth-warren-campaign/3Pu1BYtcxTt6GET1VvRasM/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

David Scharfenberg - October 25

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , a
Without the necessary due diligence in planning both the transition and the aftermath going into the meme, then Medicare for All is a promise for some, a threat to many more, and a boat anchor for the Democratic Party. It could be a great plan if adequately executed, but given the haphazard approach to leaning on buzz words and memes instead of a explanatory framework, then this plan will be an executioner's block next November, if not just Tuesday week. The Democratic Party has screwed itself again unless just pure outrage and at Trump and Republican politicians can rescue the Dembots from their own idiot angels.
ilsm -> EMichael... , October 28, 2019 at 10:31 AM
Used to be capitalism did not work for the poor..... since the 1990's it has failed the middle class, too!

[Oct 28, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's Plan-itis Excessive Lobbying Case Study

In her heart, Warren is more of Eisenhower (or Nixon, if you wish ) republican type then a real fight against excesses of neoliberalism. that actually makes her chances to win 2020 elections much stronger and changes that she will bring radical chances much weaker.
Oct 28, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

First, as a general rule, politicians who propose meaningful change should get specific enough about their idea so that voters can have a good look before they go to the polls. So Warren is setting a good example on this front and likely raising the bar for other Democratic party aspirants.

Second, I want to make sure I'm not falling prey to the cognitive bias called the halo effect, which is a tendency to see people as all good or all bad. So I want to make sure my reaction to the neoliberal frogs that sometimes hop out of Warren's mouth doesn't taint my reading of her generally. For instance, her private equity plan is very strong, particularly her sweeping ideas about how to make private equity firm principals liable when they bankrupt companies. But as America's top bankruptcy scholar, the core of that plan falls in an area where she has unparalleled expertise.

But generally, Warren's change programs have a frequent shortcoming: they do a great job of assessing the challenge but then propose remedies that fall well short of remedying them. As Matt Yglesias pointed out in January :

If Two-Income Trap were released today, I'd say it suffers from a striking mismatch between the scale of the problem it identifies and the relatively modest solutions it proposes. Tougher regulation of consumer lending would be welcome but obviously would not fundamentally address the underlying stagnation of income.

On top of that, Warren's "I have a plan" mantra sounds an awful lot like a dog whistle to Clinton voters. And even though I've only given a good look at two of her plans so far ex her private equity plan, there's a lot not to like in both of them. We covered her wealth plan earlier, and didn't treat Sanders' at the same time because hers was sucking up all the media attention even though Sanders had proposed a wealth tax years before she did. That was a mistake. Sanders' wealth tax plan is better than Warren's.

Even though Sanders plan has the same fundamental problem, that of not recognizing how the IRS in recent decades has never won a large estate tax case where you have the same valuation issues with a wealth tax, Sanders proposes a more aggressive beef up of the IRS than Warren does, so he may have a sense of the severity of the enforcement problem and also provides for some legal fallbacks regarding valuation. He also realistically does not depict his tax as a global wealth tax, since there's no way to get the needed information or cooperation on foreign holdings that aren't in bank or brokerage firms.

But even more important, both Warren and Sanders wealth tax schemes rely on the work of economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman in devising their taxes and estimating how much they'd yield. The structure of Sanders' tax hews to their recommendations as to how to maximize revenues and cut into inequality. Warren's does not. So contrary to popular perceptions, Sanders' wealth tax plan should get higher wonk points than Warren's .

So on to the next Warren plan.

Warren's Excess Lobbying Tax

Warren presented her Excessive Lobbying Tax . The problem it is meant to solve is not just lobbying as currently defined, which is the petitioning of member of Congress to influence legislation. Warren is out to tackle not just that but also what she depicts as undue corporate influence in the regulatory process:

But corporate lobbyists don't just swarm Congress. They also target our federal departments like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau .

Regulatory agencies are only empowered to implement public interest rules under authority granted by legislation already passed by Congress. So how is it that lobbyists are able to kill, weaken, or delay so many important efforts to implement the law?

Often they accomplish this goal by launching an all out assault on the process of writing new rules -- informally meeting with federal agencies to push for favorable treatment, burying those agencies in detailed industry comments during the notice-and-comment rulemaking process, and pressuring members of Congress to join their efforts to lobby against the rule.

If the rule moves forward anyway, they'll argue to an obscure federal agency tasked with weighing the costs and benefits of agency rules that the rules are too costly, and if the regulation somehow survives this onslaught, they'll hire fancy lawyers to challenge it in court.

Before we get to Warren's remedies, there are some odd things about the problem statement. One is that she fails to acknowledge that regulatory rulemaking devises more specific policies in order to implement legislation. That reflects the fact that legislation often isn't detailed enough to provide a definitive guide to agencies. And the public is entitled to weigh in on rulemaking. So what she is objecting to is that corporate interests are able to overwhelm the comment process. Second is that there is a significant abuse that she fails to mention, that some proposed rule changes, such as regarding net neutrality, where ordinary citizens weighed in heavily, saw comments on the other side that were submitted by bots, overwhelming the agency. The bot abuse is specific and important, and it's odd to see Warren leave it by the wayside.

Warren's plan has three main prongs. First, she would make pretty much anyone who as part of their employment seeks to influence Federal legislation or regulation register as a lobbyist. They would be require to make public who they'd been lobbying and what information they provided (an interesting question here as to what gets reported from in person discussions).

Second, she would require that "every corporation and trade organization" with over $500,000 per year in lobbying expenditures is subject to an "excess lobbying tax". Spending of $500,000 to $1 million would be taxed at a 35% rate, over $1 million, at a 60% rate, and over $5 million, 75%.

Warren states that her tax would have raised $10 billion in the last ten years and she intends to use that for the third major leg of her programs, which is various anti-lobbyist initiatives. She plans to spend the revenues on

A "Lobbying Defense Trust Fund" to bolster "Congressional independence from lobbyists" by providing more money to Congressional support bodies like the CBO

Extra funding to agencies that are on the receiving of lobbying. When an entity in the $500,000 or higher lobbying spending bracket, the agency gets a special allocation "to help it fight back".

An Office of the Public Advocate to help ordinary citizens get better representation in the lobbying process

She also asserts that her plan will also "shut the revolving door between government and K Street" but she offers no mechanism to provide for that. So that is a handwave.

The Conceptual Flaws in Warren's Approach

It's hard to know how much of this Warren believes and how much of this was dreamed up by her staffers (the document is signed "Team Warren).

Taxation is the wrong approach . Even though Warren discusses how much money her tax would raise, her strident disapproval of lobbying and the punitive tax levels make clear that the purpose of the tax is to discourage lobbying. But if lobbying is as bad as Warren believes it is, she should instead be prohibiting abuses, like comments by bots. In the 1970s, economist Martin Weitzman came up with an approach to determine when taxation was the right way to discourage problematic behavior, as opposed to barring it. A summary from the Bank of England's celebrated economist Andrew Haldane :

In making these choices, economists have often drawn on Martin Weitzman's classic public goods framework from the early 1970s. Under this framework, the optimal amount of pollution control is found by equating the marginal social benefits of pollution-control and the marginal private costs of this control. With no uncertainty about either costs or benefits, a policymaker would be indifferent between taxation and restrictions when striking this cost/benefit balance.

In the real world, there is considerable uncertainty about both costs and benefits. Weitzman's framework tells us how to choose between pollution-control instruments in this setting. If the marginal social benefits foregone of the wrong choice are large, relative to the private costs incurred, then quantitative restrictions are optimal. Why? Because fixing quantities to achieve pollution control, while letting prices vary, does not have large private costs. When the marginal social benefit curve is steeper than the marginal private cost curve, restrictions dominate.

The results flip when the marginal cost/benefit trade-offs are reversed. If the private costs of the wrong choice are high, relative to the social benefits foregone, fixing these costs through taxation is likely to deliver the better welfare outcome. When the marginal social benefit curve is flatter than the marginal private cost curve, taxation dominates. So the choice of taxation versus prohibition in controlling pollution is ultimately an empirical issue.

Moreover, the tax would hit all lobbyists. Who do you think has the better odds of raising more money to offset the tax and carrying on as before: Public Citizen or the Chamber of Commerce?

By contrast, one idea of ours that could have helpful chilling effects would be to go much much further than merely requiring all lobbyists, broadly defined, to register and also require them to provide reports on what government officials they contacted/met with and what information they provided them.

We'd also make these lobbyists subject to FOIA and provide stringent standards that apply only to lobbyists, such as:

Set strict and tight time limits for responses (California requires that an initial determination be made in 10 days, for instance)

Require judges to award legal fees and costs to parties who successfully sue over FOIAs where the records were withheld. Provide for awards in cases where the defendant coughs up records as the result of a suit being filed. Set punitive damages for abuses (such as excessive delay, bad faith responses). Strictly limit invocation of attorney/client privilege to demonstrable litigation risks

Letting journalists and members of the public root around in the discussion between various think tanks and their business allies would regularly unearth material that would be embarrassing to the parties involved. It would go a long way toward denting the perceived legitimacy of lobbying, which over time would strengthen the immune systems of the recipients.

Warren assumes that most people in Congress and at regulators are anti-corporate but are overwhelmed by lobbyists. First, the piece presents a Manichean world view of evil greedy corporate interests versus noble underrepresented little people. And while this is very often true, it's not as absolute as Warren suggests. The companies are often have conflicting interests, which can allow for public-minded groups to ally with the corporate types who are on their side on particular matters.

A second part of the Manichean take is the notion that the agencies aren't on board with the corporate perspective. Unfortunately, reality is vastly more complicated. For instance, banking regulators are concerned overall with the safety and soundness of the institutions they oversee. They aren't in the business of consumer advocacy or consumer protection save as required by legislation. The concern with safety and soundness perversely means that they want the institutions they oversee to be profitable so as to help assure capital adequacy and to attract "talent" to make sure the place is run adequately. (We've stated repeatedly we disagree with this notion; banks are so heavily subsidized that they should not be seen as private businesses and should be regulated as utilities). For instance, in the late 1980s, McKinsey was heavily touting the idea of a coming bank profit squeeze. McKinsey partner Lowell Bryan in his 1992 book Bankrupt spoke with pride at how his message was being received, and in particular, that regulators were embracing deregulation as a way to bolster bank incomes.

Another complicating factor is that in certain key posts, industry expertise and therefore an insider status is seen as key to performing the job. For instance, it's accepted that the Treasury Secretary should come from Wall Street so he can talk to Mr. Market. Of all people, GW Bush defied that practice, appointing corporate CEOs as Treasury Secretary. The position wound up being a revolving door in his Administration as his appointees flamed out. Finding a modern Joe Kennedy, someone who knows sharp industry practices and decides to go against incumbents, is a tall order.

Similarly, agencies have career staffers and political appointees at a senior level. That included critical roles like the head of enforcement at the SEC. If Republicans or pro-corporate Democrats control the Administration and the Senate, business-friendly appointees will go into these critical posts. The optics may be better with the Democrats, but the outcome isn't that much different. As Lambert likes to say, "Republicans tell you they will knife you in the face. Democrats tell you they are so much nicer, they only want one kidney. What they don't tell you is next year they are coming for your other kidney."

So Warren is also implicitly selling the idea of Team Dem as anti-corporate vigilantes, a fact not in evidence.

And speaking of kidneys a letter from a departing SEC career employee and Goldman whistleblower, James Kidney, shows how even staffers who want to do the right thing have their perspective warped over time. As we said about his missive, which you can read in full :

Two things struck me about Jim Kidney's article below. One is that he still wants to think well of his former SEC colleagues

Number two, and related, are the class assumptions at work. The SEC does not want to see securities professionals at anything other than bucket shops as bad people. At SEC conferences, agency officials are virtually apologetic and regularly say, "We know you are honest people who want to do the right thing." Please tell me where else in law enforcement is that the underlying belief.

So it also seems unlikely that there is a cadre of vigorous regulators just waiting to be unshackled by the likes of Warren and her anti-lobbyist funding. The way institutions change is by changing the leadership and enough of the worker bees to send the message that the old way of doing things isn't on any more. That does not happen quickly. And absent a system breakdown like the Great Depression, staff incumbents know that talks of new sheriffs in town may not last beyond the next election cycle.

And the experience of Warren's hand picks at her own pet agency shows that they were all too willing to let corporations set the agenda. Recall that Warren recommended that Richard Cordray, head of the CFPB when it became clear she would not get the job, and Raj Date, the first deputy director of the CFPB, was also an ally of hers. From our 2012 post, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launches "Make Life Easier for Lobbyists" Tool :

I'm pretty gobsmacked by the link (hat tip reader Scott S) to a webpage at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which says it is written by Richard Cordray: " We want to make it easier for you to submit comments on streamlining regulations ."

There is more than a little bit of NewSpeak in this idea. "Streamlining regulations" is generally right wing code for "eliminating/relaxing regulations." Admittedly, Elizabeth Warren during her brief time as de facto head of the nascent CFPB, proposed and launched a project to simplify mortgage disclosure forms to combine two required forms into one and make them easier to understand .

However, this opening of the door by Cordray does not look as likely to produce such happy outcomes. Maybe this is a means for the CFPB to force lobbyists to provide their input in a format that makes it easier for CFPB to process. But I can't imagine that Cordray or Raj Date would say to the American Bankers Association: "We are trying to create a level playing field, so we won't meet with you. Put it in writing and we'll give it due consideration."

So if this portal is a supplemental channel, who exactly is it intended to serve? The dropdown menu on the "Tell Us About Yourself" page tells us who it expects to comment: people from organizations, specifically:

Financial services provider
Trade association
Government agency
Community organization
Other

In other words, it does not contemplate that consumers have the expertise or motivation to provide input. Citizens are probably assumed to be represented via the CFPB itself or perhaps also by consumer groups, but even then, they may have specific axes to grind (think the AARP).

With friends like this, who needs enemies? Date, a former McKinsey partner and Capital One executive when he joined the CFPB, was singled out in a 2013 article in The Hill on how he was among the recent departures that showed the revolving door was active at the agency .

More generally, this is another example of attacking the problem at the wrong level. The reason there is so much corruption in Washington is that the pay gap between what people can make at senior levels at regulators versus what they can make in the private sector is so enormous. And pay matters more than ever given the cost of housing, private schools, and college. Singapore's approach was designed explicitly to prevent corruption in government: pay top-level bureaucrats at the same level as top private sector professional (think law firm partners) and have tough and independent internal audit. We are a long long way from embracing any system like that, but it's important to recognize what the real issues are.

Lobbyist "tax" walks and quacks like an attack on free speech and the right to petition the government . Even worse, she makes it easy to attack her program in court with this section and similar observations in her piece:

In the first four months, the DOL received hundreds of comments on the proposed [fiducairy] rule, including comments from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, BlackRock, and other powerful financial interests. After a public hearing with testimony from groups like Fidelity and J.P Morgan, the agency received over 100 more comments -- including dozens from members of Congress, many of which were heavily slanted toward industry talking points. Because the law requires agencies to respond to each concern laid out in the public comments, when corporate interests flood agencies with comments, the process often becomes so time-consuming and resource-intensive that it can kill or delay final rules altogether -- and that's exactly what happened.

Warren is depicting the act of making public comments as an abuse. And her clear intent is to reduce corporate input. This particular bit is very problematic: " .many of which were heavily slanted toward industry talking points." Was she objecting to the fact that a lot of the submissions were highly parallel, and therefore redundant, designed to choke the pipeline or simply that they presented familiar pro-business tropes and were low value added? Not being well crafted is not a basis for rejecting a public comment.

Warren sets herself for a legal challenge to her idea with this bit: "..if the regulation somehow survives this onslaught, they'll hire fancy lawyers to challenge it in court," and she later criticizes opponents of the fiduciary rule:

Today, the Department of Labor is led by Eugene Scalia, the very corporate lawyer and ex-lobbyist who brought the lawsuit to kill off the proposal.

Was Warren missing in action in civics class when they presented the fact that Presidents make appointments subject to the advice and consent of the Senate? And what would she do about future Eugene Scalias? She is intimating that he shouldn't have been allowed to serve, but that's the call of the Senate, not hers.

But more important, Warren makes it clear that she is so opposed to undue corporate influence that she objects to judicial review. Help me. Philosophically, the US system allows even the devil to have the benefit of law. But apparently not former law professor Elizabeth Warren.

Again, the problem of ordinary people and pro-consumer organizations being outmatched in court isn't going to be solved by treating use of the legal process as illegitimate. The idea in her scheme that struck me as the most promising was the idea of an Office of the Public Advocate. If I were in charge, I'd throw tons of money at it, including for litigation.

The Practical Flaws in Warren's Approach

Since this post is already long, we'll address these issues briefly. The IRS is a weak agency that loses cases against corporate American all the time. A colleague recently confirmed that take with an insider story on enforcement matters. The short version is that the IRS was unable even to pursue issues only of moderate complexity. The problem isn't just expertise but apparently also poor internal communication and coordination.

Tax avoidance is completely legal. If you don't think some of the targets of Warren's tax would find ways to restructure their operations so as to greatly reduce their tax burdens, I have a bridge I'd like to sell you. And they'd probably do it not so much to reduce taxes ("We need more donations due to meanie Warren" would be a powerful fundraising cry and a lot of the heavyweight groups and big corporations that lobby directly wouldn't miss a stride) as to avoid funding her anti-lobbying initiatives.

And who would be least able to reorganize their lives to reduce the tax hit? The smaller public advocates, natch.

* * *

It could be that I've simply hit upon two of Warren's weakest plans. But I have a sneaking suspicion not. A contact who is an expert on political spending gave a big thumbs down to her campaign reform proposal. The spectacle of Warren, whose Congressional staffers would regularly turn out pointed, well-argued, very well supported requests for information from officials that showed her to be operating way way above legislative norms, publishing plans that score high on formatting and saber rattling and low on policy plumbing is a bad sign.

The most charitable interpretation is that Warren has weak people on this part of her campaign and either doesn't know or doesn't care. But Warren historically has also show herself to be an accomplished administrator. Is she more over her head than the press has figured out?

Tomonthebeach , October 28, 2019 at 3:32 am

Just an excellent critique. My view of Warren's plans was rather shallow and limited. I could not find any flaws in your assessment. One might think that a senator would have a better grasp of how DC works – or at least human nature.

[Oct 28, 2019] National Neolibralism destroyed the World Trade Organisation by John Quiggin

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended !
Notable quotes:
"... Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis. ..."
"... I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system ..."
"... If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners. ..."
"... The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump. ..."
"... I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say. ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

...what replaces it will be even worse. That's the (slightly premature) headline for my recent article in The Conversation .

The headline will become operative in December, if as expected, the Trump Administration maintains its refusal to nominate new judges to the WTO appellate panel . That will render the WTO unable to take on new cases, and bring about an effective return to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which preceded the WTO .

An interesting sidelight is that Brexit No-Dealers have been keen on the merits of trading "on WTO terms", but those terms will probably be unenforceable by the time No Deal happens (if it does).

likbez 10.27.19 at 11:22 pm

That's another manifestation of the ascendance of "national neoliberalism," which now is displacing "classic neoliberalism."

Attempts to remove Trump via color revolution mechanisms (Russiagate, Ukrainegate) are essentially connected with the desire of adherents of classic neoliberalism to return to the old paradigm and kick the can down the road until the cliff. I think it is impossible because the neoliberal elite lost popular support (aka support of deplorables) and now is hanging in the air. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive.

That's why probably previous attempts to remove Trump were unsuccessful. And if corrupt classic neoliberal Biden wins Neoliberal Dem Party nomination, the USA probably will get the second term of Trump. Warren might have a chance as "Better Trump then Trump" although she proved so far to be pretty inept politician, and like "original" Trump probably can be easily coerced by the establishment, if she wins.

All this weeping and gnashing of teeth by "neoliberal Intelligentsia" does not change the fact that neoliberalism entered the period of structural crisis demonstrated by "secular stagnation," and, as such, its survival is far from certain. We probably can argue only about how long it will take for the "national neoliberalism" to dismantle it and what shape or form the new social order will take.

That does not mean that replacing the classic neoliberalism the new social order will be better, or more just. Neoliberalism was actually two steps back in comparison with the New Deal Capitalism that it replaced. It clearly was a social regress.

John Quiggin 10.28.19 at 3:00 am ( 2 )
Exactly right!
Matt 10.28.19 at 6:28 am ( 3 )
John, I am legitimate curious what you find "exactly right" in the comment above. Other than the obvious bit in the last line about new deal vs neoliberalism, I would say it is completely wrong, band presenting an amazingly distorted view of both the last few years and recent history.
reason 10.28.19 at 8:58 am ( 5 )
I agree with Matt.

In fact, I see the problem as more nuanced.

Neo-liberalism is not a unified thing. Right wing parties are not following the original (the value of choice) paradigm of Milton Friedman that won the argument during the 1970s inflation panic, but have implemented a deceitful bait and switch strategy, followed by continually shifting the goalposts – claiming – it would of worked but we weren't pure enough.

But parts of what Milton Friedman said (for instance the danger of bad micro-economic design of welfare systems creating poverty traps, and the inherent problems of high tariff rates) had a kernel of truth. (Unfortunately, Friedman's macro-economics was almost all wrong and has done great damage.)

Tim Worstall 10.28.19 at 12:39 pm (no link) 6

"In that context it felt free to override national governments on any issue that might affect international trade, most notably environmental policies."

Not entirely sure about that. The one case where I was informed enough to really know detail was the China and rare earths WTO case. China claimed that restrictions on exports of separated but otherwise unprocessed rare earths were being made on environmental grounds. Rare earth mining is a messy business, especially the way they do it.

Well, OK. And if such exports were being limited on environmental grounds then that would be WTO compliant. Which is why the claim presumably.

It was gently or not pointed out that exports of things made from those same rare earths were not limited in any sense. Therefore that environmental justification might not be quite the real one. Possibly, it was an attempt to suck RE using industry into China by making rare earths outside in short supply, but the availability for local processing being unrestricted? Certainly, one customer of mine at the time seriously considered packing up the US factory and moving it.

China lost the WTO case. Not because environmental reasons aren't a justification for restrictions on trade but because no one believed that was the reason, rather than the justification.

I don't know about other cases – shrimp, tuna – but there is at least the possibility that it's the argument, not the environment, which wasn't sufficient justification?

Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm ( 9 )
Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.

In the EU, East Asia, and North America, some of what has taken place is the rationalization of bureaucratic practices and the weakening of archaic localisms. Some of these developments have been positive.

In this respect, neoliberalism in the blanket sense used by Likbez and many others is like what the the ancien regime was, a mix of regressive and progressive tendencies. In the aftermath of the on-going upheaval, it is likely that it will be reassessed and some of its features will be valued if they manage to persist.

I'm thinking of international trade agreements, transnational scientific organizations, and confederations like the European Union.

steven t johnson 10.29.19 at 12:29 am

If I may venture to translate @1?

Right-wing populism like Orban, Salvini, the Brexiteers are sweeping the globe and this is more of the same.

Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis.

I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system .

If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners.

The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump.

Again, despite the fury the old internationalism is collapsing under stagnation and weeping about it is irrelevant. Without any real ideas, we can only react to events as nationalist predatory capitals fight for their new world.

I'm not saying the new right wing populism is better. The New Deal/Great Society did more for America than its political successors since Nixon et al. The years since 1968 I think have been a regression and I see no reason–alas–that it can't get even worse.

I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say.

likbez 10.29.19 at 2:46 am 13

fausutsnotes 10.28.19 at 8:27 am @4

> What on earth is "national neoliberalism."

It is a particular mutation of the original concept similar to mutation of socialism into national socialism, when domestic policies are mostly preserved (including rampant deregulation) and supplemented by repressive measures (total surveillance) , but in foreign policy "might make right" and unilateralism with the stress on strictly bilateral regulations of trade (no WTO) somewhat modifies "Washington consensus". In other words, the foreign financial oligarchy has a demoted status under the "national neoliberalism" regime, while the national financial oligarchy and manufactures are elevated.

And the slogan of "financial oligarchy of all countries, unite" which is sine qua non of classic neoliberalism is effectively dead and is replaced by protection racket of the most political powerful players (look at Biden and Ukrainian oligarchs behavior here ;-)

> I think every sentence in that comment is either completely wrong or at least debatable. And is likbez actually John Hewson, because that comment reads like one of John Hewson's commentaries

I wish ;-). But it is true in the sense of sentiment expressed in his article A few bank scalps won't help unless they change their rotten culture That's a very similar approach to the problem.

politicalfootball 10.28.19 at 1:19 pm @8

> Most obviously, to define Warren and Trump as both being neoliberals drains the term of any meaning

You are way too fast even for a political football forward ;-).

Warren capitalizes on the same discontent and the feeling of the crisis of neoliberalism that allowed Trump to win. Yes, she is a much better candidate than Trump, and her policy proposals are better (unless she is coerced by the Deep State like Trump in the first three months of her Presidency).

Still, unlike Sanders in domestic policy and Tulsi in foreign policy, she is a neoliberal reformist at heart and a neoliberal warmonger in foreign policy. Most of her policy proposals are quite shallow, and are just a band-aid.

"Warren's "I have a plan" mantra sounds an awful lot like a dog whistle to Clinton voters" Elizabeth Warren's
Plan-itis Excessive Lobbying Case Study naked capitalism

Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm @9

> Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.

This is a typical stance of neoliberal MSM, a popular line of attack on critics of neoliberalism.

Yes, of course, not everything political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the "free market." But how can it be otherwise? Notions of human agency, a complex interaction of politics and economics in human affairs, technological progress since 1970th, etc., all play a role. But a historian needs to be able to somehow integrate the mass of evidence into a coherent and truthful story.

And IMHO this story for the last several decades is the ascendance and now decline of "classic neoliberalism" with its stress on the neoliberal globalization and opening of the foreign markets for transnational corporations (often via direct or indirect (financial) pressure, or subversive actions including color revolutions and military intervention) and replacement of it by "national neoliberalism" -- domestic neoliberalism without (or with a different type of) neoliberal globalization.

Defining features of national neoliberalism along with the rejection of neoliberal globalization and, in particular, multiparty treaties like WTO is massive, overwhelming propaganda including politicized witch hunts (via neoliberal MSM), total surveillance of citizens by the national security state institutions (three-letter agencies which now acquired a political role), as well as elements of classic nationalism built-in.

The dominant ideology of the last 30 years was definitely connected with "worshiping of free markets," a secular religion that displaced alternative views and, for several decades (say 1976 -2007), dominated the discourse. So worshiping (or pretense of worshiping) of "free market" (as if such market exists, and is not a theological construct -- a deity of some sort) is really defining feature here.

[Oct 27, 2019] DNC is converting the debates into a farce: Andr a Mitchell as a moderator as it MadCow presence is not enough to turn it into a farce.

The parade of neocons. Yes the same Andrea Mitchell, who pushed Iraq war...
Oct 27, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
The Debate

"MSNBC names four renowned female journalists as moderators for November debate" [ NBC ]. "Moderating the Nov. 20 event, which is being co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post, will be Rachel Maddow, host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC; Andrea Mitchell, host of "Andrea Mitchell Reports" on MSNBC and NBC News' chief foreign affairs correspondent; Kristen Welker, NBC News' White House correspondent; and Ashley Parker, a White House reporter for The Washington Post." • The count of journalists is off by at least one.

[Oct 27, 2019] Warren cutting into Biden's lead in new SC

Oct 27, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Iowa.'" • We'll see!

Warren (D)(1): "Warren cutting into Biden's lead in new SC 2020 Democratic poll" [ Post and Courier ]. "Biden's lead in South Carolina, which had hovered around 20 percentage points since the summer, has shrunk Biden received 30 percent to Warren's 19 percent. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 13 percent and California Sen. Kamala Harris at 11 percent are the only two other candidates with double-digit results in South Carolina . The biggest gains in the latest poll came from fifth- and sixth-place contenders, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer." • Everybody loves a winner, but the gains in the third tier show SC is still fluid (though perhaps not a firewall for Biden).

Warren (D)(2):

me title=

Yet another case where Warren's problem statement isn't commensurate with the proposed solution .

Impeachment

"Republicans criticize House impeachment process -- while fully participating in probe" [ WaPo ]. "Then the questions begin to fly, largely from the expert staff hired by lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee and other panels participating in the probe. Each side gets an equal amount of questions, as dictated by long-standing House rules guiding these interviews. 'It starts one hour, one hour,' said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), explaining how the questioning moves beyond one-hour blocks for each side. 'Then it goes 45, 45, 45, 45, with breaks, occasionally, and breaks for lunch.' Meadows, one of Trump's staunchest allies, said each side has been allowed an unlimited amount of questions they can ask of witnesses.' Those participating in the closed-door depositions generally say that these interviews are very professional and that both sides have operated under rules that were approved in January ." • As I've said, I don't like the policy on transcripts, and my litmus test for legitimacy is that there's no secret evidence at all. I don't much like that Republicans can't subpeona witnesses, either.

[Oct 27, 2019] What distinguishes Obama from other presidents is the degree to which he was manufactured. He made it to the WH without much of a political base. Control of the political context, media and process, launched Obama to the top. It was fulfillment of the liberal American dream. It was a great coup. Talk about the "deep state"!

Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

jadan , Oct 27 2019 2:44 utc | 56

@41 Jackrabbit

If Obama was CIA, and GW Bush was CIA (via daddy Bush), and Clinton was CIA (via Arkansas drug-running and the Presidency), and Bush Sr was CIA ... then what can we conclude about Trump? 1) he's also CIA, or 2) he's a willing stooge

Trump at first threw down the gauntlet to the spies and proclaimed his autocratic prerogative when God held off the rain for his inauguration (!) but now he would gladly get on his knees between Gina Haspel's legs if the CIA would only help him stay in power.

What distinguishes Obama from other presidents is the degree to which he was manufactured. He made it to the WH without much of a political base. Control of the political context, media and process, launched Obama to the top. It was fulfillment of the liberal American dream. It was a great coup. Talk about the "deep state"! It's staring us all in the face.

[Oct 23, 2019] Democrat s Virtue-Signaling Over Syria

Oct 18, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

gjohnsit on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 5:38pm

With a great weeping, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments and clutching of pearls, the Democrats have declared that the decision to withdraw troops from Syria was a mortal sin .

Joe Biden called it "the most shameful thing that any president has done in modern history in terms of foreign policy." Elizabeth Warren said Trump "has cut and run on our allies," and "created a bigger-than-ever humanitarian crisis." Kamala Harris announced, "Yet again Donald Trump [is] selling folks out."

However, it required Mayor Buttigieg to make it a personal moral imperative .

Meanwhile, soldiers in the field are reporting that for the first time they feel ashamed -- ashamed -- of what their country has done.

Democrats are totally honest and sincere here. It's not like they would have any double-standards on this issue.

When Muir asked Buttigieg whether he would stick to his pledge to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan in his first year despite warnings from top American commanders, Buttigieg ducked the question and insisted that "we have got to put an end to endless war." Turning to Biden, Muir cited "concerns about any possible vacuum being created in Afghanistan." But Biden brushed them off, declaring, "We don't need those troops there. I would bring them home."

What makes these statements so remarkable is that experts warn that if the United States withdraws its troops from Afghanistan in the absence of a peace agreement, Afghanistan will suffer a fate remarkably similar to what is happening in northern Syria.

It's not like this issue is anything less than black or white.

It's not like we would eventually have the choice of supporting either a Kurdish/Arab militia tied however loosely to the PKK, a designated terror group perceived by Turkey as an existential threat, or Turkey , a NATO member.

We keep hearing how we "betrayed our allies," but who promised the Kurds that we would fight Turkey on their behalf? It's a big jump from "Let's both fight ISIS" to "Take that, NATO ally." But our garbage media, and our garbage politicians, sort of hand wave away the fact that you can't "betray" someone by not doing what you never promised to do, especially when no reasonable person could ever expect you to do it.

Oh wait. It's exactly like that.
All this virtue-signaling amounts to "I want you to send your sons and daughters to kill and maybe die fighting a long-time ally because otherwise 'Putin will win'!"
Yes, Putin will get more control over a war-torn country, a ruined economy, with bombed-out cities, and millions of refugees. Why must we deny him of this again?

And then there is the lack of an AUMF for us being in Syria. Which makes our occupation of Syria illegal, both by domestic law, and international law .

Syria is not our country and U.S. troops were never authorized by its sovereign government to be there. Whether or not Washington likes Damascus is irrelevant, under international law U.S. troops have no right to be there. Even flights over Syrian airspace by the U.S. coalition are a violation of international agreements.

Why doesn't Bernie or Gabbard mention that this is an illegal war? People might care.

Also, does anyone remember when putting troops in Syria was something to be avoided?
Does anyone else remember the 16 times Obama said there would be no boots on the ground in Syria?

Since 2013, President Obama has repeatedly vowed that there would be no "boots on the ground" in Syria.

But White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the president's decision Friday to send up to 50 special forces troops to Syria doesn't change the fundamental strategy: "This is an important thing for the American people to understand. These forces do not have a combat mission."

We now have a stage full of presidential candidates that say they love Obama, yet ignore this part of his legacy (that he himself violated).

Finally there is our legacy in Syria. Our legacy of war crimes .

"The Commission finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that international coalition forces may not have directed their attacks at a specific military objective, or failed to do so with the necessary precaution," it said.

"Launching indiscriminate attacks that result in death or injury to civilians amounts to a war crime in cases in which such attacks are conducted recklessly," it added.

Engaging in an illegal war while committing war crimes is a "full stop" right there. No amount of virtue-signaling can justify this.
And yet it still gets worse .

In a now-famous secretly recorded conversation with Syrian opposition activists in New York, Former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the United States was hoping to use ISIS to undermine the Syrian government. To put it bluntly, U.S. foreign policy was duplicitous and used terrorism as a tool. This, of course, is a well-documented fact.

If we had a real media these candidates would all be crucified.

gjohnsit on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 5:38pm With a great weeping, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments and clutching of pearls, the Democrats have declared that the decision to withdraw troops from Syria was a mortal sin .

Joe Biden called it "the most shameful thing that any president has done in modern history in terms of foreign policy." Elizabeth Warren said Trump "has cut and run on our allies," and "created a bigger-than-ever humanitarian crisis." Kamala Harris announced, "Yet again Donald Trump [is] selling folks out."

However, it required Mayor Buttigieg to make it a personal moral imperative .

Meanwhile, soldiers in the field are reporting that for the first time they feel ashamed -- ashamed -- of what their country has done.

Democrats are totally honest and sincere here. It's not like they would have any double-standards on this issue.

When Muir asked Buttigieg whether he would stick to his pledge to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan in his first year despite warnings from top American commanders, Buttigieg ducked the question and insisted that "we have got to put an end to endless war." Turning to Biden, Muir cited "concerns about any possible vacuum being created in Afghanistan." But Biden brushed them off, declaring, "We don't need those troops there. I would bring them home."

What makes these statements so remarkable is that experts warn that if the United States withdraws its troops from Afghanistan in the absence of a peace agreement, Afghanistan will suffer a fate remarkably similar to what is happening in northern Syria.

It's not like this issue is anything less than black or white.

It's not like we would eventually have the choice of supporting either a Kurdish/Arab militia tied however loosely to the PKK, a designated terror group perceived by Turkey as an existential threat, or Turkey , a NATO member.

We keep hearing how we "betrayed our allies," but who promised the Kurds that we would fight Turkey on their behalf? It's a big jump from "Let's both fight ISIS" to "Take that, NATO ally." But our garbage media, and our garbage politicians, sort of hand wave away the fact that you can't "betray" someone by not doing what you never promised to do, especially when no reasonable person could ever expect you to do it.

Oh wait. It's exactly like that.
All this virtue-signaling amounts to "I want you to send your sons and daughters to kill and maybe die fighting a long-time ally because otherwise 'Putin will win'!"
Yes, Putin will get more control over a war-torn country, a ruined economy, with bombed-out cities, and millions of refugees. Why must we deny him of this again?

And then there is the lack of an AUMF for us being in Syria. Which makes our occupation of Syria illegal, both by domestic law, and international law .

Syria is not our country and U.S. troops were never authorized by its sovereign government to be there. Whether or not Washington likes Damascus is irrelevant, under international law U.S. troops have no right to be there. Even flights over Syrian airspace by the U.S. coalition are a violation of international agreements.

Why doesn't Bernie or Gabbard mention that this is an illegal war? People might care.

Also, does anyone remember when putting troops in Syria was something to be avoided?
Does anyone else remember the 16 times Obama said there would be no boots on the ground in Syria?

Since 2013, President Obama has repeatedly vowed that there would be no "boots on the ground" in Syria.

But White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the president's decision Friday to send up to 50 special forces troops to Syria doesn't change the fundamental strategy: "This is an important thing for the American people to understand. These forces do not have a combat mission."

We now have a stage full of presidential candidates that say they love Obama, yet ignore this part of his legacy (that he himself violated).

Finally there is our legacy in Syria. Our legacy of war crimes .

"The Commission finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that international coalition forces may not have directed their attacks at a specific military objective, or failed to do so with the necessary precaution," it said.

"Launching indiscriminate attacks that result in death or injury to civilians amounts to a war crime in cases in which such attacks are conducted recklessly," it added.

Engaging in an illegal war while committing war crimes is a "full stop" right there. No amount of virtue-signaling can justify this.
And yet it still gets worse .

In a now-famous secretly recorded conversation with Syrian opposition activists in New York, Former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the United States was hoping to use ISIS to undermine the Syrian government. To put it bluntly, U.S. foreign policy was duplicitous and used terrorism as a tool. This, of course, is a well-documented fact.

If we had a real media these candidates would all be crucified.

Why are we there? Follow the money

The good kind of foreign influence in our elections

The UAE is pumping millions of dollars into "vast and influential" lobbying efforts in the US, using a range of public relations companies to help shape foreign policy issues, a report by a Washington-based non-profit alleged this week.

The report published by the Center for International Policy (CIP) claims that 20 US companies were paid around $20 million to lobby politicians and other influential institutions on foreign policy issues.

"Though the Emirati's influence operation differs notably from the Saudi's in many ways, both rely heavily on their FARA registered lobbying and public relations firms to brandish their image in the US, and to keep their transgressions out of the public consciousness as much as possible," the report reads.

The report is part of CIP's Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative, which aims to elucidate the "half-billion-dollar foreign influence industry working to shape US foreign policy every single day".

The report added Emirati influence operation targeted legislators, non-profits, media outlets and think-tanks in an attempt to portray the UAE to the world in a positive light.

edg on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 7:13pm
Quote from article

@gjohnsit

The New Arab article quote "public relations firms to brandish their image in the US" has a word usage problem. The correct word would be burnish, not brandish. You brandish your weapon. You burnish your image.

Malapropism police out.

The good kind of foreign influence in our elections

The UAE is pumping millions of dollars into "vast and influential" lobbying efforts in the US, using a range of public relations companies to help shape foreign policy issues, a report by a Washington-based non-profit alleged this week.

The report published by the Center for International Policy (CIP) claims that 20 US companies were paid around $20 million to lobby politicians and other influential institutions on foreign policy issues.

"Though the Emirati's influence operation differs notably from the Saudi's in many ways, both rely heavily on their FARA registered lobbying and public relations firms to brandish their image in the US, and to keep their transgressions out of the public consciousness as much as possible," the report reads.

The report is part of CIP's Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative, which aims to elucidate the "half-billion-dollar foreign influence industry working to shape US foreign policy every single day".

The report added Emirati influence operation targeted legislators, non-profits, media outlets and think-tanks in an attempt to portray the UAE to the world in a positive light.

Funkygal on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 6:11pm
Here is another excellent one

https://fair.org/home/media-alarmed-by-imaginary-pullout-from-syria/

They are only moving 50-100 soldiers away and the lamestream media is hyperventilating.

apenultimate on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 6:52pm
The Turkish Invasion

a lot of people think it is actually kind of *staged* by an agreement with Russia and Turkey, and if so, it'll force the United States out of northern Syria, make the US look stupid, but actually give everybody what they want. Check it out:

Moon of Alabama

The basics are:

--Turkey makes some initial attacks in northern Syria, tells the US to get out of the way and abandon the Kurds

--The Kurds are forced to ally with Syrian forces, and they are swept into the Syrian Army ranks (negating their ability to go independent)

--The Syrian Army moves to the border and starts manning border crossings (already happening in many places), providing a long-term buffer between Kurds and Turkey

--The Turkish-backed terrorist forces are expended in border confrontations (Turkey really does not want them long-term)

--Once things settle down, Syrian refugees move back into Syria, out of Turkey

--US forces are forced to move out of northeastern Syria and out of the oil fields (or be surrounded and starved out by Syrian/Russian/Kurdish forces)

--Kurds are not wholesale slaughtered, and Democratic presidential candidates are revealed for their foolishness in the whole thing

--Trump gets more of what he wants--more US troops out of Syria (against the wishes of the deep state)

--Turkey has a protected border and the incesant attacks from Kurds drops to manageable levels due to the Syrian army border and the Kurds becoming integrated into Syrian forces.

I give this a 50% of how it will play out. Sure, there are current battles ongoing, but so far, Turkey is not attacking Syrian forces, who are moving up into place on the border in many areas. The central area is still fluid, but let's see where it dies down in a couple weeks.

edg on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 7:17pm
Small disagreement

@apenultimate

"Democratic presidential candidates are revealed for their foolishness" won't happen. The MSM won't allow it.

a lot of people think it is actually kind of *staged* by an agreement with Russia and Turkey, and if so, it'll force the United States out of northern Syria, make the US look stupid, but actually give everybody what they want. Check it out:

Moon of Alabama

The basics are:

--Turkey makes some initial attacks in northern Syria, tells the US to get out of the way and abandon the Kurds

--The Kurds are forced to ally with Syrian forces, and they are swept into the Syrian Army ranks (negating their ability to go independent)

--The Syrian Army moves to the border and starts manning border crossings (already happening in many places), providing a long-term buffer between Kurds and Turkey

--The Turkish-backed terrorist forces are expended in border confrontations (Turkey really does not want them long-term)

--Once things settle down, Syrian refugees move back into Syria, out of Turkey

--US forces are forced to move out of northeastern Syria and out of the oil fields (or be surrounded and starved out by Syrian/Russian/Kurdish forces)

--Kurds are not wholesale slaughtered, and Democratic presidential candidates are revealed for their foolishness in the whole thing

--Trump gets more of what he wants--more US troops out of Syria (against the wishes of the deep state)

--Turkey has a protected border and the incesant attacks from Kurds drops to manageable levels due to the Syrian army border and the Kurds becoming integrated into Syrian forces.

I give this a 50% of how it will play out. Sure, there are current battles ongoing, but so far, Turkey is not attacking Syrian forces, who are moving up into place on the border in many areas. The central area is still fluid, but let's see where it dies down in a couple weeks.

Cassiodorus on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 7:02pm
What's interesting about Rojava

(as Kurdish Syria is sometimes called) is that one of the Kurd leaders became a follower of Murray Bookchin after spending a bunch of time as a Marxist-Leninist, and so portions of Kurdish society are an experiment in Bookchinism. Here is a piece by Bookchin's daughter on the correspondence between him and the Kurds. Hopefully the Kurds will find some protection in the new Putin-brokered Syria.

Otherwise, yeah, the Kurds are an ally of convenience for the Democratic Party and its apologists on that most disgusting of propaganda instruments, National Public Radio.

snoopydawg on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 8:07pm
It's not only illegal for us to be in Syria

but it should have also been illegal for us to arm the same people that we had declared terrorists. Now those people are killing the people who fought on our side against the ones now doing the killing.. my head is spinning with all the insane talking points coming from people who have never met a war they didn't support.

This is a good read.

Former and current US officials have slammed the Turkish mercenary force of "Arab militias" for executing and beheading Kurds in northern Syria. New data from Turkey reveals that almost all of these militias were armed and trained in the past by the CIA and Pentagon.
By Max Blumenthal

The US has backed 21 of the 28 'crazy' militias leading Turkey's brutal invasion of northern Syria


Left: John McCain with then-FSA chief Salim Idriss (right) in 2013; Right: Salim Idriss (center) in October, announcing the establishment of the National Front for Liberation, the Turkish mercenary army that has invaded northern Syria.

Hmm..kinda hard to explain that huh? The article talks about Idriss in detail. As well as Obama and Hillary's roles in the 'no boots on the ground' war.

This should embarrass every person who is moaning over Trump's actions in Syria. Turkey was coming in one way or another and the only way to stop them was for our troops to stand in their way. But what really ticks me off is all of that equipment they left behind on their bug out. Not just tents , TVs and air conditioners and everything in between, but they left weapons and bombs there and they just blew them up. This will make the defense companies very happy!

snoopydawg on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 9:13pm
This is interesting if true

After the ceasefire, US backed #Kurds are deciding to hand over the north of #Syria to Turkey rather than the Syrian army. All trump had to promise them was a stake in #Syria 's oil fields. https://t.co/euat8DvIa4

-- Syrian Girl (@Partisangirl) October 19, 2019

Syrian Girl lives in Syria and has been a good source of information, but I'm not sure if what she is reporting is true. But wouldn't that shut lots of people up?

doh1304 on Fri, 10/18/2019 - 10:21pm
The only thing I wonder

Obama kept troops out of Syria until the last minute. Then he took a force small enough to justify his successor's escalation. So when the Turks tried to genocide the Kurds - like they were certain to do - Trump gets the blame. But it was supposed to be Hillary. What was in it for her? The joy of another country seeing genocide?

The Wizard on Sat, 10/19/2019 - 1:21am
Fool me once...

The Kurds were promised land and valuable oil fields in North Eastern Syria by... the US. What's wrong with this picture? Damascus has I invited the Kurds to be part of the multi-ethnic Syria. The Kurds refused and took America's deal. We armed them to the teeth with 10s of billions of dollars of weapons. What could go wrong? Well just about everything as the US offer was highly illegal, they are stealing Syrian oil, and Turkey will not accept any Kurdish permanent enclave on her border. Syria, Russia, Iran, China, Hezbollah, Iraq and more support the reunification of all of Syria. Why were the Kurds so stupid? Go it? Blind belief in the all powerful US!

[Oct 22, 2019] The main line of Republican attacks on Warren might be that she is not trustworthy

Oct 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren (D)(1): "Elizabeth Warren to put out plan on how to pay for 'Medicare for All'" [ CNN ]. • "Pay for" being both delusional and a question nobody, including Warren, ever asks about war, and "taxes on the middle class" being, shall we say, a well-worn, content-free trope.

Warren (D)(2): "Why Criticize Warren?" [Nathan Robinson, Current Affairs ]. "What will the right's main line of attack against Warren be? I think you can see it already, actually: They will attempt to portray her as inauthentic and untrustworthy. She will be painted as a Harvard egghead who has suddenly discovered populism for self-serving reasons, a slippery elite who isn't telling you the truth about her agenda . What worries me about Elizabeth Warren is that the criticisms of her as untrustworthy are not easy to wave away. Warren began her 2020 campaign with a video claiming to be a Native American, even though she isn't one. She has now tried to bury the evidence that she did this, by deleting the video and all accompanying social media posts .

I have tried, so far, to avoid lapsing into the usual discussions of "Bernie Sanders versus Elizabeth Warren," but here I should note that one reason I think Bernie Sanders is such a powerful potential candidate against Trump is that he doesn't have these kind of messy problems of authenticity and honesty.

The thing almost nobody denies about Bernie is that you know where he stands."

As The Big Picture says above. This is a massive takedown, and I've focused on a single, tactical issue, but this post is a must-read in full. If it's correct, the Warren campaign is a train-wreck waiting to happen.

(Adding, the Cherokee issue really matters to me, because the Penobscots were enormously powerful allies in the fight against the landfill (and cf. Standing Rock). It just drives me bananas that Warren didn't check in with the Cherokees before declaring herself one of them. I think it's an outrage, and I don't care if I get eye-rolls for it.)

[Oct 19, 2019] The primary voting system is a huge financial subsidy to the two officially approved parties, which are, of course, merely two branches of the Business Party.

Oct 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trailer Trash , Oct 19 2019 14:42 utc | 11

"Clinton should be suspended from the Democratic Party"

This sparks some interesting questions, such as, exactly who are party members, and how do they become members? The actual structure and functioning of political parties in the US is seldom discussed, and I wonder why that is. "Opaque" seems to be a good description. Even a quick review of the Wikipedia entry reveals little.

As best I can tell, a person is a party member by checking the box on the voter registration form. The few times I have registered, I did not check a box for any party. It is none of the state's business who I associate with or vote for.

It is also not the state's business to supervise and fund the selection of party candidates. But that is what happens in the US. The primary voting system is a huge financial subsidy to the two officially approved parties, which are, of course, merely two branches of the Business Party.

nemo , Oct 19 2019 15:11 utc | 19

The electoral college is neither archaic nor unfair. We were and are a union of States. The electoral college prevented the Executive office from being dominated by voters from heavily populated urban centers at the expense of the rural population. It is more relevant today than ever as the country is even more divided in disposition and ideology. If it were abolished, most of America would be effectively disenfranchised in Presidential elections as California, New York and a handful of other highly urbanized and ultra-liberal population centers would always carry the day. There would be no need to vote anymore. Maybe that is the idea......

[Oct 15, 2019] Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is paying Facebook Inc. to run false advertisements that its Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is endorsing President Donald Trump.

Oct 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , October 13, 2019 at 07:10 AM

(Possibly risky tactic by Liz Warren?)

Elizabeth Warren bought fake ads
on Facebook to highlight Facebook's fake ads
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2019/10/12/elizabeth-warren-bought-fake-ads-facebook-highlight-facebook-fake-ads/Hr5EBe5o2dGW6FoDu8O7kO/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Siraj Datoo - Bloomberg News - October 12

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is paying Facebook Inc. to run false advertisements that its Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is endorsing President Donald Trump.

Warren's campaign sponsored the posts which were blasted into the feeds of U.S. users of the social network, as it pushed back against Facebook's policy to exempt politicians' ads from its third-party fact-checking program.

The ads, which begin with the falsehood, quickly backtracks: "You're probably shocked. And you might be thinking, 'how could this possibly be true?' Well, it's not." ...

"If Senator Warren wants to say things she knows to be untrue, we believe Facebook should not be in the position of censoring that speech," Andy Stone, a spokesman for Facebook, said in a statement to CNN on the ads.

This isn't the first time Warren has used Facebook's own platform to make a political point. In March, Facebook took down ads from her campaign that called for the company to be broken up, but later restored them.

This time, Warren's latest ads strike a more forceful tone, calling on users to hold the Facebook CEO accountable and to back her mission.

"Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once," the ads read. "Now, they're deliberately allowing a candidate to intentionally lie to the American people."

Joe -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 13, 2019 at 08:42 AM
Great tactic, and Hilarious at that. I passed it on on my face book account. Great political humor has been a proven vote winner. Anytime you get a chuckle, the residual resentment gets same relief.

[Oct 10, 2019] Trump, Impeachment Forgetting What Brought Him to the White House by Andrew J. Bacevich

Highly recommended!
The term "centrist" is replaced by a more appropriate term "neoliberal oligarchy"
Notable quotes:
"... Furthermore, Donald Trump might well emerge from this national ordeal with his reelection chances enhanced. Such a prospect is belatedly insinuating itself into public discourse. For that reason, certain anti-Trump pundits are already showing signs of going wobbly, suggesting , for instance, that censure rather than outright impeachment might suffice as punishment for the president's various offenses. Yet censuring Trump while allowing him to stay in office would be the equivalent of letting Harvey Weinstein off with a good tongue-lashing so that he can get back to making movies. Censure is for wimps. ..."
"... So if Trump finds himself backed into a corner, Democrats aren't necessarily in a more favorable position. And that aren't the half of it. Let me suggest that, while Trump is being pursued, it's you, my fellow Americans, who are really being played. The unspoken purpose of impeachment is not removal, but restoration. The overarching aim is not to replace Trump with Mike Pence -- the equivalent of exchanging Groucho for Harpo. No, the object of the exercise is to return power to those who created the conditions that enabled Trump to win the White House in the first place. ..."
"... For many of the main participants in this melodrama, the actual but unstated purpose of impeachment is to correct this great wrong and thereby restore history to its anointed path. ..."
"... In a recent column in The Guardian, Professor Samuel Moyn makes the essential point: Removing from office a vulgar, dishonest and utterly incompetent president comes nowhere close to capturing what's going on here. To the elites most intent on ousting Trump, far more important than anything he may say or do is what he signifies. He is a walking, talking repudiation of everything they believe and, by extension, of a future they had come to see as foreordained. ..."
"... Moyn styles these anti-Trump elites as "neoliberal oligarchy", members of the post-Cold War political mainstream that allowed ample room for nominally conservative Bushes and nominally liberal Clintons, while leaving just enough space for Barack Obama's promise of hope-and-(not-too-much) change. ..."
"... These "neoliberal oligarchy" share a common worldview. They believe in the universality of freedom as defined and practiced within the United States. They believe in corporate capitalism operating on a planetary scale. They believe in American primacy, with the United States presiding over a global order as the sole superpower. They believe in "American global leadership," which they define as primarily a military enterprise. And perhaps most of all, while collecting degrees from Georgetown, Harvard, Oxford, Wellesley, the University of Chicago, and Yale, they came to believe in a so-called meritocracy as the preferred mechanism for allocating wealth, power and privilege. All of these together comprise the sacred scripture of contemporary American political elites. And if Donald Trump's antagonists have their way, his removal will restore that sacred scripture to its proper place as the basis of policy. ..."
"... "For all their appeals to enduring moral values," Moyn writes, "the "neoliberal oligarchy" are deploying a transparent strategy to return to power." Destruction of the Trump presidency is a necessary precondition for achieving that goal. ""neoliberal oligarchy" simply want to return to the status quo interrupted by Trump, their reputations laundered by their courageous opposition to his mercurial reign, and their policies restored to credibility." Precisely. ..."
"... how does such misconduct compare to the calamities engineered by the "neoliberal oligarchy" who preceded him? ..."
"... Trump's critics speak with one voice in demanding accountability. Yet virtually no one has been held accountable for the pain, suffering, and loss inflicted by the architects of the Iraq War and the Great Recession. Why is that? As another presidential election approaches, the question not only goes unanswered, but unasked. ..."
"... To win reelection, Trump, a corrupt con man (who jumped ship on his own bankrupt casinos, money in hand, leaving others holding the bag) will cheat and lie. Yet, in the politics of the last half-century, these do not qualify as novelties. (Indeed, apart from being the son of a sitting U.S. vice president, what made Hunter Biden worth $50Gs per month to a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch? I'm curious.) That the president and his associates are engaging in a cover-up is doubtless the case. Yet another cover-up proceeds in broad daylight on a vastly larger scale. "Trump's shambolic presidency somehow seems less unsavory," Moyn writes, when considering the fact that his critics refuse "to admit how massively his election signified the failure of their policies, from endless war to economic inequality." Just so. ..."
"... Exactly. Trump is the result of voter disgust with Bush III vs Clinton II, the presumed match up for a year or more leading up to 2016. Now Democrats want to do it again, thinking they can elect anybody against Trump. That's what Hillary thought too. ..."
"... Trump won for lack of alternatives. Our political class is determined to prevent any alternatives breaking through this time either. They don't want Trump, but even more they want to protect their gravy train of donor money, the huge overspending on medical care (four times the defense budget) and of course all those Forever Wars. ..."
"... Trump could win, for the same reasons as last time, even though the result would be no better than last time. ..."
"... I wish the slick I.D. politics obsessed corporate Dems nothing but the worst, absolute worst. They reap what they sow. If it means another four years of Trump, so be it. It's the price that's going to have to be paid. ..."
"... At a time when a majority of U.S. citizens cannot muster up $500 for an emergency dental bill or car repair without running down to the local "pay day loan" lender shark (now established as legitimate businesses) the corporate Dems, in their infinite wisdom, decide to concoct an impeachment circus to run simultaneously when all the dirt against the execrable Brennan and his intel minions starts to hit the press for their Russiagate hoax. Nice sleight of hand there corporate Dems. ..."
Oct 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

There is blood in the water and frenzied sharks are closing in for the kill. Or so they think.

From the time of Donald Trump's election, American elites have hungered for this moment. At long last, they have the 45th president of the United States cornered. In typically ham-handed fashion, Trump has given his adversaries the very means to destroy him politically. They will not waste the opportunity. Impeachment now -- finally, some will say -- qualifies as a virtual certainty.

No doubt many surprises lie ahead. Yet the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives have passed the point of no return. The time for prudential judgments -- the Republican-controlled Senate will never convict, so why bother? -- is gone for good. To back down now would expose the president's pursuers as spineless cowards. The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC would not soon forgive such craven behavior.

So, as President Woodrow Wilson, speaking in 1919 put it, "The stage is set, the destiny disclosed. It has come about by no plan of our conceiving, but by the hand of God." Of course, the issue back then was a notably weighty one: whether to ratify the Versailles Treaty. That it now concerns a " Mafia-like shakedown " orchestrated by one of Wilson's successors tells us something about the trajectory of American politics over the course of the last century and it has not been a story of ascent.

The effort to boot the president from office is certain to yield a memorable spectacle. The rancor and contempt that have clogged American politics like a backed-up sewer since the day of Trump's election will now find release. Watergate will pale by comparison. The uproar triggered by Bill Clinton's " sexual relations " will be nothing by comparison. A de facto collaboration between Trump, those who despise him, and those who despise his critics all but guarantees that this story will dominate the news, undoubtedly for months to come.

As this process unspools, what politicians like to call "the people's business" will go essentially unattended. So while Congress considers whether or not to remove Trump from office, gun-control legislation will languish, the deterioration of the nation's infrastructure will proceed apace, needed healthcare reforms will be tabled, the military-industrial complex will waste yet more billions, and the national debt, already at $22 trillion -- larger, that is, than the entire economy -- will continue to surge. The looming threat posed by climate change, much talked about of late, will proceed all but unchecked. For those of us preoccupied with America's role in the world, the obsolete assumptions and habits undergirding what's still called " national security " will continue to evade examination. Our endless wars will remain endless and pointless.

By way of compensation, we might wonder what benefits impeachment is likely to yield. Answering that question requires examining four scenarios that describe the range of possibilities awaiting the nation.

The first and most to be desired (but least likely) is that Trump will tire of being a public piñata and just quit. With the thrill of flying in Air Force One having worn off, being president can't be as much fun these days. Why put up with further grief? How much more entertaining for Trump to retire to the political sidelines where he can tweet up a storm and indulge his penchant for name-calling. And think of the "deals" an ex-president could make in countries like Israel, North Korea, Poland, and Saudi Arabia on which he's bestowed favors. Cha-ching! As of yet, however, the president shows no signs of taking the easy (and lucrative) way out.

The second possible outcome sounds almost as good but is no less implausible: a sufficient number of Republican senators rediscover their moral compass and "do the right thing," joining with Democrats to create the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump and send him packing. In the Washington of that classic 20th-century film director Frank Capra, with Jimmy Stewart holding forth on the Senate floor and a moist-eyed Jean Arthur cheering him on from the gallery, this might have happened. In the real Washington of "Moscow Mitch" McConnell , think again.

The third somewhat seamier outcome might seem a tad more likely. It postulates that McConnell and various GOP senators facing reelection in 2020 or 2022 will calculate that turning on Trump just might offer the best way of saving their own skins. The president's loyalty to just about anyone, wives included, has always been highly contingent, the people streaming out of his administration routinely making the point. So why should senatorial loyalty to the president be any different? At the moment, however, indications that Trump loyalists out in the hinterlands will reward such turncoats are just about nonexistent. Unless that base were to flip, don't expect Republican senators to do anything but flop.

That leaves outcome No. 4, easily the most probable: while the House will impeach, the Senate will decline to convict. Trump will therefore stay right where he is, with the matter of his fitness for office effectively deferred to the November 2020 elections. Except as a source of sadomasochistic diversion, the entire agonizing experience will, therefore, prove to be a colossal waste of time and blather.

Furthermore, Donald Trump might well emerge from this national ordeal with his reelection chances enhanced. Such a prospect is belatedly insinuating itself into public discourse. For that reason, certain anti-Trump pundits are already showing signs of going wobbly, suggesting , for instance, that censure rather than outright impeachment might suffice as punishment for the president's various offenses. Yet censuring Trump while allowing him to stay in office would be the equivalent of letting Harvey Weinstein off with a good tongue-lashing so that he can get back to making movies. Censure is for wimps.

Besides, as Trump campaigns for a second term, he would almost surely wear censure like a badge of honor. Keep in mind that Congress's approval ratings are considerably worse than his. To more than a few members of the public, a black mark awarded by Congress might look like a gold star.

Restoration Not Removal

So if Trump finds himself backed into a corner, Democrats aren't necessarily in a more favorable position. And that aren't the half of it. Let me suggest that, while Trump is being pursued, it's you, my fellow Americans, who are really being played. The unspoken purpose of impeachment is not removal, but restoration. The overarching aim is not to replace Trump with Mike Pence -- the equivalent of exchanging Groucho for Harpo. No, the object of the exercise is to return power to those who created the conditions that enabled Trump to win the White House in the first place.

Just recently, for instance, Hillary Clinton declared Trump to be an "illegitimate president." Implicit in her charge is the conviction -- no doubt sincere -- that people like Donald Trump are not supposed to be president. People like Hillary Clinton -- people possessing credentials like hers and sharing her values -- should be the chosen ones. Here we glimpse the true meaning of legitimacy in this context. Whatever the vote in the Electoral College, Trump doesn't deserve to be president and never did.

For many of the main participants in this melodrama, the actual but unstated purpose of impeachment is to correct this great wrong and thereby restore history to its anointed path.

In a recent column in The Guardian, Professor Samuel Moyn makes the essential point: Removing from office a vulgar, dishonest and utterly incompetent president comes nowhere close to capturing what's going on here. To the elites most intent on ousting Trump, far more important than anything he may say or do is what he signifies. He is a walking, talking repudiation of everything they believe and, by extension, of a future they had come to see as foreordained.

Moyn styles these anti-Trump elites as "neoliberal oligarchy", members of the post-Cold War political mainstream that allowed ample room for nominally conservative Bushes and nominally liberal Clintons, while leaving just enough space for Barack Obama's promise of hope-and-(not-too-much) change.

These "neoliberal oligarchy" share a common worldview. They believe in the universality of freedom as defined and practiced within the United States. They believe in corporate capitalism operating on a planetary scale. They believe in American primacy, with the United States presiding over a global order as the sole superpower. They believe in "American global leadership," which they define as primarily a military enterprise. And perhaps most of all, while collecting degrees from Georgetown, Harvard, Oxford, Wellesley, the University of Chicago, and Yale, they came to believe in a so-called meritocracy as the preferred mechanism for allocating wealth, power and privilege. All of these together comprise the sacred scripture of contemporary American political elites. And if Donald Trump's antagonists have their way, his removal will restore that sacred scripture to its proper place as the basis of policy.

"For all their appeals to enduring moral values," Moyn writes, "the "neoliberal oligarchy" are deploying a transparent strategy to return to power." Destruction of the Trump presidency is a necessary precondition for achieving that goal. ""neoliberal oligarchy" simply want to return to the status quo interrupted by Trump, their reputations laundered by their courageous opposition to his mercurial reign, and their policies restored to credibility." Precisely.

High Crimes and Misdemeanors

The U.S. military's "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad at the start of the Iraq War, as broadcast on CNN.

For such a scheme to succeed, however, laundering reputations alone will not suffice. Equally important will be to bury any recollection of the catastrophes that paved the way for an über -qualified centrist to lose to an indisputably unqualified and unprincipled political novice in 2016.

Holding promised security assistance hostage unless a foreign leader agrees to do you political favors is obviously and indisputably wrong. Trump's antics regarding Ukraine may even meet some definition of criminal. Still, how does such misconduct compare to the calamities engineered by the "neoliberal oligarchy" who preceded him? Consider, in particular, the George W. Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq in 2003 (along with the spin-off wars that followed). Consider, too, the reckless economic policies that produced the Great Recession of 2007-2008. As measured by the harm inflicted on the American people (and others), the offenses for which Trump is being impeached qualify as mere misdemeanors.

Honest people may differ on whether to attribute the Iraq War to outright lies or monumental hubris. When it comes to tallying up the consequences, however, the intentions of those who sold the war don't particularly matter. The results include thousands of Americans killed; tens of thousands wounded, many grievously, or left to struggle with the effects of PTSD; hundreds of thousands of non-Americans killed or injured ; millions displaced ; trillions of dollars expended; radical groups like ISIS empowered (and in its case even formed inside a U.S. prison in Iraq); and the Persian Gulf region plunged into turmoil from which it has yet to recover. How do Trump's crimes stack up against these?

The Great Recession stemmed directly from economic policies implemented during the administration of President Bill Clinton and continued by his successor. Deregulating the banking sector was projected to produce a bonanza in which all would share. Yet, as a direct result of the ensuing chicanery, nearly 9 million Americans lost their jobs, while overall unemployment shot up to 10 percent. Roughly 4 million Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. The stock market cratered and millions saw their life savings evaporate. Again, the question must be asked: How do these results compare to Trump's dubious dealings with Ukraine?

Trump's critics speak with one voice in demanding accountability. Yet virtually no one has been held accountable for the pain, suffering, and loss inflicted by the architects of the Iraq War and the Great Recession. Why is that? As another presidential election approaches, the question not only goes unanswered, but unasked.

Sen. Carter Glass (D–Va.) and Rep. Henry B. Steagall (D–Ala.-3), the co-sponsors of the 1932 Glass–Steagall Act separating investment and commercial banking, which was repealed in 1999. (Wikimedia Commons)

To win reelection, Trump, a corrupt con man (who jumped ship on his own bankrupt casinos, money in hand, leaving others holding the bag) will cheat and lie. Yet, in the politics of the last half-century, these do not qualify as novelties. (Indeed, apart from being the son of a sitting U.S. vice president, what made Hunter Biden worth $50Gs per month to a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch? I'm curious.) That the president and his associates are engaging in a cover-up is doubtless the case. Yet another cover-up proceeds in broad daylight on a vastly larger scale. "Trump's shambolic presidency somehow seems less unsavory," Moyn writes, when considering the fact that his critics refuse "to admit how massively his election signified the failure of their policies, from endless war to economic inequality." Just so.

What are the real crimes? Who are the real criminals? No matter what happens in the coming months, don't expect the Trump impeachment proceedings to come within a country mile of addressing such questions.

Andrew Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is president and co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft . His new book, " The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory ," will be published in January.

This article is from TomDispatch.com .


Mark Thomason , October 9, 2019 at 17:03

Exactly. Trump is the result of voter disgust with Bush III vs Clinton II, the presumed match up for a year or more leading up to 2016. Now Democrats want to do it again, thinking they can elect anybody against Trump. That's what Hillary thought too.

Now the Republicans who lost their party to Trump think they can take it back with somebody even more lame than Jeb, if only they could find someone, anyone, to run on that non-plan.

Trump won for lack of alternatives. Our political class is determined to prevent any alternatives breaking through this time either. They don't want Trump, but even more they want to protect their gravy train of donor money, the huge overspending on medical care (four times the defense budget) and of course all those Forever Wars.

Trump could win, for the same reasons as last time, even though the result would be no better than last time.

LJ , October 9, 2019 at 17:01

Well, yeah but I recall that what won Trump the Republican Nomination was first and foremost his stance on Immigration. This issue is what separated him from the herd of candidates . None of them had the courage or the desire to go against Governmental Groupthink on Immigration. All he then had to do was get on top of low energy Jeb Bush and the road was clear. He got the base on his side on this issue and on his repeated statement that he wished to normalize relations with Russia . He won the nomination easily. The base is still on his side on these issues but Governmental Groupthink has prevailed in the House, the Senate, the Intelligence Services and the Federal Courts. Funny how nobody in the Beltway, especially not in media, is brave enough to admit that the entire Neoconservative scheme has been a disaster and that of course we should get out of Syria . Nor can anyone recall the corruption and warmongering that now seem that seems endemic to the Democratic Party. Of course Trump has to wear goat's horns. "Off with his head".

Drew Hunkins , October 9, 2019 at 16:00

I wish the slick I.D. politics obsessed corporate Dems nothing but the worst, absolute worst. They reap what they sow. If it means another four years of Trump, so be it. It's the price that's going to have to be paid.

At a time when a majority of U.S. citizens cannot muster up $500 for an emergency dental bill or car repair without running down to the local "pay day loan" lender shark (now established as legitimate businesses) the corporate Dems, in their infinite wisdom, decide to concoct an impeachment circus to run simultaneously when all the dirt against the execrable Brennan and his intel minions starts to hit the press for their Russiagate hoax. Nice sleight of hand there corporate Dems.

Of course, the corporate Dems would rather lose to Trump than win with a progressive-populist like Bernie. After all, a Bernie win would mean an end to a lot of careerism and cushy positions within the establishment political scene in Washington and throughout the country.

Now we even have the destroyer of Libya mulling another run for the presidency.

Forget about having a job the next day and forget about the 25% interest on your credit card or that half your income is going toward your rent or mortgage, or that you barely see your kids b/c of the 60 hour work week, just worry about women lawyers being able to make partner at the firm, and trans people being able to use whatever bathroom they wish and male athletes being able to compete against women based on genitalia (no, wait, I'm confused now).

Either class politics and class warfare comes front and center or we witness a burgeoning neo-fascist movement in our midst. It's that simple, something has got to give!

[Oct 09, 2019] 'Don't tempt me' Hillary threatens to enter 2020 race after Trump Twitter jab

Oct 09, 2019 | www.rt.com

Hillary Clinton has threatened to enter the 2020 presidential race for president after President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter that she throw her hat in the ring in an effort to "steal it away" from Elizabeth Warren. Trump tweeted Tuesday that "Crooked Hillary" should run for president again to deprive the "Uber Left" Warren of a shot at the White House, but only on "one condition" to be subpoenaed to "explain all of her high crimes and misdemeanors."

I think that Crooked Hillary Clinton should enter the race to try and steal it away from Uber Left Elizabeth Warren. Only one condition. The Crooked one must explain all of her high crimes and misdemeanors including how & why she deleted 33,000 Emails AFTER getting "C" Subpoena!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2019

Five hours after Trump's jab, Clinton replied: "Don't tempt me. Do your job."

Reaction to Clinton's warning was mixed, to say the least. While mainstream media outlets seemed to love the idea, many social media users recoiled in horror at the thought of a 2016 re-run.

"I don't think my heart could take it" if Hillary really runs again, one fan proclaimed on Twitter.

[Oct 09, 2019] Ukrainegate as the textbook example of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues

Highly recommended!
Oct 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

EMichael , October 09, 2019 at 02:07 PM

His entire life trump has been a deadbeat.

"The president is dropping by the city on Thursday for one of his periodic angry wank-fests at the Target Center, which is the venue in which this event will be inflicted upon the Twin Cities. (And, just as an aside, given the events of the past 10 days, this one should be a doozy.) Other Minneapolis folk are planning an extensive unwelcoming party outside the arena, which necessarily would require increased security, which is expensive. So, realizing that it was dealing with a notorious deadbeat -- in keeping with his customary business plan, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago has stiffed 10 cities this year for bills relating to security costs that total almost a million bucks -- the company that provides the security for the Target Center wants the president*'s campaign to shell out more than $500,000.

This has sent the president* into a Twitter tantrum against Frey, who seems not to be that impressed by it. Right from when the visit was announced, Frey has been jabbing at the president*'s ego. From the Star-Tribune:

"Our entire city will stand not behind the President, but behind the communities and people who continue to make our city -- and this country -- great," Frey said. "While there is no legal mechanism to prevent the president from visiting, his message of hatred will never be welcome in Minneapolis."

It is a mayor's lot to deal with out-of-state troublemakers. Always has been."

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a29416840/trump-feud-minneapolis-mayor-security-rally/

ilsm , October 09, 2019 at 03:03 PM
When it comes to Trump not going full Cheney war monged in Syria Krugman is a Bircher!l
likbez , October 09, 2019 at 03:22 PM
This is not about Trump. This is not even about Ukraine and/or foreign powers influence on the US election (of which Israel, UK, and Saudi are three primary examples; in this particular order.)

Russiagate 2.0 (aka Ukrainegate) is the case, textbook example if you wish, of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues.

An excellent observation by JohnH (October 01, 2019 at 01:47 PM )

"It all depends on which side of the Infowars you find yourself. The facts themselves are too obscure and byzantine."

There are two competing narratives here:

1. NARRATIVE 1: CIA swamp scum tried to re-launch Russiagate as Russiagate 2.0. This is CIA coup d'état aided and abetted by CIA-democrats like Pelosi and Schiff. Treason, as Trump aptly said. This is narrative shared by "anti-Deep Staters" who sometimes are nicknamed "Trumptards". Please note that the latter derogatory nickname is factually incorrect: supporters of this narrative often do not support Trump. They just oppose machinations of the Deep State. And/or neoliberalism personified by Clinton camp, with its rampant corruption.

2. NARRATIVE 2: Trump tried to derail his opponent using his influence of foreign state President (via military aid) as leverage and should be impeached for this and previous crimes. ("Full of Schiff" commenters narrative, neoliberal democrats, or demorats.) Supporters of this category usually bought Russiagate 1.0 narrative line, hook and sinker. Some of them are brainwashed, but mostly simply ignorant neoliberal lemmings without even basic political education.

In any case, while Russiagate 2.0 is probably another World Wrestling Federation style fight, I think "anti-Deep-staters" are much closer to the truth.

What is missing here is the real problem: the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA (and elsewhere).

So this circus serves an important purpose (intentionally or unintentionally) -- to disrupt voters from the problems that are really burning, and are equal to a slow-progressing cancer in the US society.

And implicitly derail Warren (being a weak politician she does not understand that, and jumped into Ukrainegate bandwagon )

I am not that competent here, so I will just mention some obvious symptoms:

  1. Loss of legitimacy of the ruling neoliberal elite (which demonstrated itself in 2016 with election of Trump);
  2. Desperation of many working Americans with sliding standard of living; loss of meaningful jobs due to offshoring of manufacturing and automation (which demonstrated itself in opioids abuse epidemics; similar to epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR before its dissolution.
  3. Loss of previously available freedoms. Loss of "free press" replaced by the neoliberal echo chamber in major MSM. The uncontrolled and brutal rule of financial oligarchy and allied with the intelligence agencies as the third rail of US politics (plus the conversion of the state after 9/11 into national security state);
  4. Coming within this century end of the "Petroleum Age" and the global crisis that it can entail;
  5. Rampant militarism, tremendous waist of resources on the arms race, and overstretched efforts to maintain and expand global, controlled from Washington, neoliberal empire. Efforts that since 1991 were a primary focus of unhinged after 1991 neocon faction US elite who totally controls foreign policy establishment ("full-spectrum dominance). They are stealing money from working people to fund an imperial project, and as part of neoliberal redistribution of wealth up

Most of the commenters here live a comfortable life in the financially secured retirement, and, as such, are mostly satisfied with the status quo. And almost completely isolated from the level of financial insecurity of most common Americans (healthcare racket might be the only exception).

And re-posting of articles which confirm your own worldview (echo chamber posting) is nice entertainment, I think ;-)

Some of those posters actually sometimes manage to find really valuable info. For which I am thankful. In other cases, when we have a deluge of abhorrent neoliberal propaganda postings (the specialty of Fred C. Dobbs) which often generate really insightful comments from the members of the "anti-Deep State" camp.

Still it would be beneficial if the flow of neoliberal spam is slightly curtailed.

[Oct 05, 2019] Elisabeth Warren: Is Time for the United States to Stand Up to China in Hong Kong

Notable quotes:
"... The intemperate comments of an imperial-minded candidate for the presidency ..."
"... The democrat coup/impeach/coup machine suffers is bi-polar disorder. Every they way fill the military industry complex trough! In their war manic state they supress freedom fighters, and arm their jailers, in their war depress state they support rioters in Hong Kong. If Donbass rebels were in Macao they would get US support, in Dobass the US will suppress freedom. ..."
"... With Ukraine, because the democrat neocons want to surround Russia, US national security arms Ukriane to forcibly put down Donbass as they attempt some form of "self determination". ..."
"... In the case of Hong Kong because US is enemy to the PRC (Red China at Menzie Chinn blog) the US is all for self determination, like Hitler was for pulling Sudetenland out of Czechoslovakia in 1938! ..."
"... This bipolar morality fits with deep state surveillance on Trump in 2016 and in 2019 claiming Trump doing it to Biden so that Trump/DoJ cannot fight corrupt (all) democrats ever! ..."
Oct 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Is Time for the United States to Stand Up to China in Hong Kong
Tweets aren't enough. Washington must make clear that it expects Beijing to live up to its commitments -- and it will respond when China does not.
By ELIZABETH WARREN


anne -> anne... , October 04, 2019 at 09:28 AM

https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/03/it-is-time-for-the-united-states-to-stand-up-to-china-in-hong-kong/

October 3, 2019

It Is Time for the United States to Stand Up to China in Hong Kong
Tweets aren't enough. Washington must make clear that it expects Beijing to live up to its commitments -- and it will respond when China does not.
By ELIZABETH WARREN

[ Shocking and appalling; unethical and immoral; discrediting. The intemperate comments of an imperial-minded candidate for the presidency. ]

EMichael -> anne... , October 04, 2019 at 09:40 AM
You need to find out what "imperial-minded" means, and address your opposition to Warren's thoughts with reality.
ilsm -> EMichael... , October 04, 2019 at 01:41 PM
The democrat coup/impeach/coup machine suffers is bi-polar disorder. Every they way fill the military industry complex trough! In their war manic state they supress freedom fighters, and arm their jailers, in their war depress state they support rioters in Hong Kong. If Donbass rebels were in Macao they would get US support, in Dobass the US will suppress freedom.

With Ukraine, because the democrat neocons want to surround Russia, US national security arms Ukriane to forcibly put down Donbass as they attempt some form of "self determination".

In the case of Hong Kong because US is enemy to the PRC (Red China at Menzie Chinn blog) the US is all for self determination, like Hitler was for pulling Sudetenland out of Czechoslovakia in 1938!

This bipolar morality fits with deep state surveillance on Trump in 2016 and in 2019 claiming Trump doing it to Biden so that Trump/DoJ cannot fight corrupt (all) democrats ever!

[Oct 03, 2019] Warren vs Biden vs Trump

Oct 03, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> kurt... , October 02, 2019 at 06:00 PM

More unfounded assertions from kurt.

1) We don't know for certain what Shokin was investigating and what he wasn't.

2) Ukraine was rife with corruption. But most likely Biden was more concerned with uprooting pro-Russian elements calling them corrupt as shorthand. Pro-Western corruption was most likely overlooked.

3) We don't know why Hunter Biden was appointed to the Burisma board along with one of Joe Biden's big bundlers and the CIA-friendly former President of Poland. We do know that Hunter was put on the board immediately after the color revolution in Ukraine and that he served a stint on the National Democratic Institute, which promotes regime change. Much more needs to be learned about what the Bidens were up to in Ukraine and whether they were carpet baggers cashing out.

As I have said, I would be delighted if Trump went down and took Joe Biden with him. The last thing this country needs is a Joe Lieberman with a smiling face serving as President which is basically what Joe Biden is.

likbez -> JohnH... , October 02, 2019 at 08:51 PM
"As I have said, I would be delighted if Trump went down and took Joe Biden with him."

Biden was already destroyed by Ukrainegate, being Pelosi sacrificial pawn (and for such semi-senile candidate exit now looks the most logical; he can hand around for longer but the question is why? ), but it is unclear how this will affect Trump.

In any case each accusation of Trump boomerang into Biden. And Biden China story probably even more interesting then his Ukrainian gate story.

CIA ears over all Ukraine-gate are so visible that it hurts Pelosi case. Schiff is a sad clown in this circus, and he has zero credibility after his well publicized love story with Russiagate.

The fact that Warren is now favorite increases previously reluctant Wall Street support for Trump, who is becoming kind of new Hillary, the establishment candidate.

And if you able to think, trump now looks like establishment candidate, corrupt interventionist, who is not that far from Hillary in foreign policy and clearly as a "hard neoliberal" aligns with Hillary "soft neoliberal" stance in domestic policy.

As Warren can pretend that she is better Trump then Trump (and we are talking about Trump-2016 platform; Trump action were betrayal of his electorate much like was the case with Obama) she has chances, but let's do not overestimate them.

Pelosi help with Trump re-election can't be underestimated.

[Sep 30, 2019] Some longtime Democratic donors are reportedly considering throwing their backing behind Donald Trump

If Krugman is surprised that some Democratic donors will support Trump over Warren, he is not an analyst.
And Obama was a Wall Street prostitute, much like bill Clinton, no questions about it. Trump betrayal of his voters actually mirror the Obama betrayal. May suspect that Warren will be malleable with will fold to Wall Street on the first opportunity, governing like Trump-lite.
Sep 30, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , September 30, 2019 at 03:53 PM

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/30/opinion/elizabeth-warren-wealth-tax.html

September 30, 2019

Warren Versus the Petty Plutocrats. Why do they hate her? It's mainly about their egos.
By Paul Krugman

Remember when pundits used to argue that Elizabeth Warren wasn't likable enough to be president? It was always a lazy take, with a strong element of sexism. And it looks ridiculous now, watching Warren on the campaign trail. Never mind whether she's someone you'd like to have a beer with, she's definitely someone thousands of people want to take selfies with.

But there are some people who really, really dislike Warren: the ultrawealthy, especially on Wall Street. They dislike her so much that some longtime Democratic donors are reportedly considering throwing their backing behind Donald Trump, corruption, collusion and all, if Warren is the Democratic presidential nominee.

And Warren's success is a serious possibility, because Warren's steady rise has made her a real contender, maybe even the front-runner: While she still trails Joe Biden a bit in the polls, betting markets currently give her a roughly 50 percent chance of securing the nomination.

But why does Warren inspire a level of hatred and fear among the very wealthy that I don't think we've seen directed at a presidential candidate since the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt?

On the surface, the answer may seem obvious. She is proposing policies, notably a tax on fortunes exceeding $50 million, that would make the extremely wealthy a bit less so. But delve into the question a bit more deeply, and Warren hatred becomes considerably more puzzling.

For the only people who would be directly affected by her tax proposals are those who more or less literally have more money than they know what to do with. Having a million or two less wouldn't crimp their lifestyles; most of them would barely notice the change.

At the same time, even the very wealthy should be very afraid of the prospect of a Trump re-election. Any doubts you might have had about his authoritarian instincts should have been put to rest by his reaction to the possibility of impeachment: implicit death threats against whistle-blowers, warnings of civil war and claims that members of Congress investigating him are guilty of treason.

And anyone imagining that great wealth would make them safe from an autocrat's wrath should look at the list of Russian oligarchs who crossed Vladimir Putin -- and are now ruined or dead. So what would make the very wealthy -- even some Jewish billionaires, who should have a very good idea of the likely consequences of right-wing dominance -- support Trump over someone like Warren?

There is, I'd argue, an important clue in the "Obama rage" that swept Wall Street circa 2010. Objectively, the Obama administration was very good to the financial industry, even though that industry had just led us into the worst economic crisis since the 1930s. Major financial players were bailed out on lenient terms, and while bankers were subjected to a long-overdue increase in regulation, the new regulations have proved fairly easy for reputable firms to deal with.

Yet financial tycoons were furious with President Barack Obama because they felt disrespected. In truth, Obama's rhetoric was very mild; all he ever did was suggest that some bankers had behaved badly, which no reasonable person could deny. But with great wealth comes great pettiness; Obama's gentle rebukes provoked fury -- and a huge swing in financial industry political contributions toward Republicans.

The point is that many of the superrich aren't satisfied with living like kings, which they will continue to do no matter who wins next year's election. They also expect to be treated like kings, lionized as job creators and heroes of prosperity, and consider any criticism an unforgivable act of lèse-majesté.

And for such people, the prospect of a Warren presidency is a nightmarish threat -- not to their wallets, but to their egos. They can try to brush off someone like Bernie Sanders as a rabble-rouser. But when Warren criticizes malefactors of great wealth and proposes reining in their excesses, her evident policy sophistication -- has any previous candidate managed to turn wonkiness into a form of charisma? -- makes her critique much harder to dismiss.

If Warren is the nominee, then, a significant number of tycoons will indeed go for Trump; better to put democracy at risk than to countenance a challenge to their imperial self-esteem. But will it matter?

Maybe not. These days American presidential elections are so awash in money that both sides can count on having enough resources to saturate the airwaves.

Indeed, over-the-top attacks from the wealthy can sometimes be a political plus. That was certainly the case for F.D.R., who reveled in his plutocratic opposition: "They are unanimous in their hate for me -- and I welcome their hatred."

So far Warren seems to be following the same playbook, tweeting out articles about Wall Street's hostility as if they were endorsements, which in a sense they are. It's good to have the right enemies.

I do worry, however, how Wall Streeters will take it if they go all out to defeat Warren and she wins anyway. Washington can bail out their balance sheets, but who can bail out their damaged psyches?

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 30, 2019 at 04:59 AM
"Deductive reasoning" within the media message is mob control.

"It ain't what you know... it's what you know that ain't so"#. Keep reading the mainstream media!

Given enough time [and strategy wrt 2020 election] we will get to the bottom of Obama's "criminal influence" on 2016 election.

It takes a lot more to debunk the Biden, Clinton, Nuland, Obama Ukraine drama. To my mind, Ukraine needs to be clean as driven snow* to "earn" javelins to kill Russian speaking rebels.

Why do US from Obama+ fund rebels in Syria (Sunni radicals mainly) and want to send tank killers to suppress rebels where we might get in to the real deal?

# conservatives have been saying that about the 'outrage' started by the MSM for decades.

* not possible given US influenced coup in 2014

+Clinton in Serbia!

[Sep 30, 2019] The best alternative to the current situation: Get Liz Warren elected. But it is completely unclear whether the impeachment favors Warren or Trump

Sep 30, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , September 29, 2019 at 06:46 AM

Best alternative to the above?

Get Liz Warren elected, IMO.

likbez,

Warren might be an improvement over the current situation. Moreover she has some sound ideas about taming the financial oligarchy

"Best alternative to the above? Get Liz Warren elected, IMO."

True. IMHO Warren might be an improvement over the current situation. Moreover she has some sound ideas about taming the financial oligarchy.

The idea of taking on financial oligarchy will find strong support of voters and in some respects she is "a better Trump then Trump" as for restoring the honor and wellbeing of the working people mercilessly squeezed and marginalized by neoliberalism in the USA.

Her book "The two income trap"(2004) suggests that this is not just a classic "bait and switch" election trick in best Obama or Trump style.

And I would say she in her 70 is in better shape then Trump in his 73+. He shows isolated early signs of neurologic damage (some claim sundowning syndrome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwh6Fu9BcAw slurring speech patterns, repetitions, disorientation, etc), which is natural for any person in his 70th subjected to his level of stress.

But it is completely unclear to me whether the impeachment favors Warren or Trump. the treat of impeachment already cemented fractures in Trump base which now, judging from comments in forums, is really outraged.

Some people are talking about armed resistance, which is, of course, hopeless nonsense in the current national-security state, but does show the state of their mind.

Also nobody here can even imagine the amount of dirt Obama administration accumulated by their actions in Ukraine. They really supported a neo-fascist party and cooperated with neo-Nazi (other important players were Germany, Poland and Sweden). Just to achieve geopolitical victory over Russia. Kind of total reversion of WWII alliance for me.

That avalanche of dirt can affect Warren indirectly as she proved to be a weak, unsophisticated politician by supporting Pelosi drive for impeachment instead of pretending of being neutral. Which would be more appropriate and much safer position.

Neoliberal democrats despite all Pelosi skills ( see https://mediaequalizer.com/martin-walsh/2017/12/gifford-heres-how-pelosi-learned-mob-like-tactics-from-her-father ) really opened a can of worms with this impeachment.

Also it looks like all of them, including Pelosi, are scared of CIA:
https://galacticconnection.com/nancy-pelosi-admits-congress-scared-cia/

== quote ==
In response to Senator Dianne Feinstein’s speech last week calling out the CIA for spying on her staffers, Rep. Nancy Pelosi was asked to comment and gave what might be the most revealing comments to date as to why Congress is so scared of the CIA:


“I salute Sen. Feinstein,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference of the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I’ll tell you, you take on the intelligence community, you’re a person of courage, and she does not do that lightly. Not without evidence, and when I say evidence, documentation of what it is that she is putting forth.”

Pelosi added that she has always fought for checks and balances on CIA activity and its interactions with Congress: “You don’t fight it without a price because they come after you and they don’t always tell the truth.
==end==

I strongly doubt that Trump will ever risk to drop a bomb by declassifying documents about Obama dirty actions in Ukraine; so to speak go "all in" against neoliberal Democrats and part of intelligence community (and possibly be JFKed).

But Trump is unpredictable and extremely vindictive. How he will behave after being put against the wall on fake changes is completely unclear. I wonder if Pelosi correctly calculated all the risks.

[Sep 30, 2019] Wall Street fear and loathing of Elizabeth Warren, suggesting that it has more to do with threatened egos than with money per se

Sep 30, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , September 29, 2019 at 08:34 AM

https://twitter.com/paulkrugman/status/1178303352570089473

Paul Krugman @paulkrugman

I wrote the other day about Wall Street fear and loathing of Elizabeth Warren, suggesting that it has more to do with threatened egos than with money per se 1/

Some more thoughts on reports that Wall Street Democrats will back Trump over Warren. Obviously it's hard to know how big a deal this is -- how many of these guys are there, were they ever really Dems, and will they back Trump as more revelations emerge 1/

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/26/wall-street-democratic-donors-may-back-trump-if-warren-is-nominated.html

6:39 AM - 29 Sep 2019

So I remembered a sort of time capsule from the eve of the financial crisis that nicely illustrated how these guys want to be perceived, and retrospectively explains their fury at no longer getting to pose as economic heroes 2/

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/15/business/15gilded.html

The Richest of the Rich, Proud of a New Gilded Age

The new titans often see themselves as pillars of a similarly prosperous and expansive age, one in which their successes and their philanthropy have made government less important than it once was.

The thing is, even at the time the idea that financial deregulation had ushered in a golden age of prosperity was flatly contradicted by the data 3/

[Graph]

And of course the financial crisis -- which is generally considered to have begun just three weeks after that article was published! -- made utter nonsense of their boasting 4/

But they want everyone to forget about the hollowness of their claims to glory; and Warren won't let that happen, which makes her evil in their minds 5/

anne -> anne... , September 29, 2019 at 08:44 AM
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=p1hb0

January 30, 2018

Real Median Family Income in United States, 1954-2018

(Indexed to 2018)

anne -> anne... , September 29, 2019 at 12:11 PM
Correcting link:

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=p1hb

January 30, 2018

Real Median Family Income in United States, 1954-2018

(Indexed to 2018)

[Sep 29, 2019] Did Warren benefitted from killing Hillary's ring in 2016

Sep 29, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Warren would be more likely to bite off Hillary's finger @Steven D

When Bill was president Warren met with Hillary and persuaded her to talk Bill into killing Biden's increased protection for lenders from rapacious borrowers. When Hillary was senator she supported the Bill. Warren gave an interview on the subject before she was involved in politics. She was not happy.

Warren was the single female Democratic senator who declined to give Hillary an endorsement before the primaries started. That's an event of some significance.

During the debates Warren took actions that helped Bernie on several occasions. Someone, I think Paul Krugman, said Glass Stegall would have done nothing to stop the meltdown because it didn't deal with shadow banking. Bernie was able to respond that he supported Warren's proposed Glass Stegall bill, which did have provisions to regulate shadow banking. On another occasion someone pointed out that Warren's bill did not break up big banks. Warren stated publicly that the bill didn't propose breaking up too big to fail banks but she supported the idea.

Warren and Sanders both supported Clinton when she had the nomination locked up. It was Bernie's responsibility to defend his supporters from Team Clinton's smears and insults during and after the convention.

It wasn't Warren that Clinton invited to the Hamptons to be introduced to a few dozen of her favorite fundraisers. It was Harris.

up 3 users have voted.

Alligator Ed on Sat, 09/28/2019 - 6:06pm

If this is documented, it is quite important

@FuturePassed

It wasn't Warren that Clinton invited to the Hamptons to be introduced to a few dozen of her favorite fundraisers. It was Harris.

But, even if so, Harris was to be nothing more than a Clinton place-holder to be swept aside one HER decided to resurrect the same Dimocratic party, which she has still not successfully destroyed, even with minor assistance from Barack, JoJo and Wild Bill. Nope. My contention is that Hillary Rodent Clinton will sweep the field of duped pseudo-contenders in a fixed horse race. HRC -- still with her!~

[Sep 28, 2019] The Real Winner of Impeaching Trump? Liz Warren by Patrick J. Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... The first casualty of Pelosi's cause is almost certain to be the front-runner for the party nomination. Joe Biden has already, this past week, fallen behind Senator Elizabeth Warren in Iowa, New Hampshire, and California. ..."
"... By making Ukraine the focus of the impeachment drive in the House, Pelosi has also assured that the questionable conduct of Biden and son Hunter will be front and center for the next four months before Iowa votes. ..."
"... What did Joe do? By his own admission, indeed his boast, as vice president, he ordered then-Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko to either fire the prosecutor who was investigating the company that hired Hunter Biden for $50,000 a month or forego a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee that Kiev needed to stay current on its debts. ..."
"... There is another question raised by Biden's ultimatum to Kiev to fire the corrupt prosecutor or forego the loan guarantee. Why was the U.S. guaranteeing loans to a Kiev regime that had to be threatened with bankruptcy to get it to rid itself of a prosecutor whom all of Europe supposedly knew to be corrupt? ..."
"... This is bad news for the Biden campaign. And the principal beneficiary of Pelosi's decision that put Joe and Hunter Biden at the center of an impeachment inquiry is, again, Warren. ..."
"... Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of ..."
"... . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com. ..."
"... the Movers and Shakers in the Democrat Party have wanted Warren as their standard bearer on the belief that Biden is "yesterday" and that the rest of the field is either too loony (O'Rourke), nondescript (Booker) or -- potentially -- too corrupt (Harris).. ..."
"... Warren is the most pro-establishment candidate of all the non-establishment candidates, that is true ..."
"... Roughly 37% of Americans love Trump and will never change their mind. On the other side there are 38% who already supported impeachment based on previous investigations. That leaves 25% of Americans who are likely to be swayed one way or the other over this. In any case, those 25% are unlikely to be on this website. ..."
"... It'll be interesting to see what the voter turnout will be in 2020. 2016 --one of the most pivotal and controversial elections in modern times--saw 42% of the electorate stay home. This was a shockingly high numbter, little noted in the press. If you tack on the 6% who voted for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, that would mean that 48% of the electorate--nearly half--did NOT vote for either Trump or Clinton. ..."
"... Well, given that Trump has already released the transcript and Zelensky has already confirmed there were no pressure in their conversation plus said that Hunter's case is to be investigated by the AG, any impeachment hearings can only be damaging to those who decide to go further with them, because, as it turns out, there is no basis for such hearings and they were started a year before the election, showing what those who started them think regarding their own chances to win. ..."
Sep 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Even before seeing the transcript of the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Nancy Pelosi threw the door wide open to impeachment.

Though the transcript did not remotely justify the advanced billing of a "quid pro quo," Pelosi set in motion a process that is already producing a sea change in the politics of 2020.

The great Beltway battle for the balance of this year, and perhaps next, will be over whether the Democrats can effect a coup against a president many of them have never recognized as legitimate and have sought to bring down since before he took the oath of office.

Pelosi on Tuesday started this rock rolling down the hill.

She has made impeachment, which did not even come up in the last Democratic debate, the issue of 2020. She has foreclosed bipartisan compromise on gun control, the cost of prescription drugs, and infrastructure. She has put her and her party's fate and future on the line.

With Pelosi's assent that she is now open to impeachment, she turned what was becoming a cold case into a blazing issue. If the Democrats march up impeachment hill, fail, and fall back, or if they vote impeachment only to see the Senate exonerate the president, that will be the climactic moment of Pelosi's career. She is betting the future of the House, and her party's hopes of capturing the presidency, on the belief that she and her colleagues can persuade the country to support the indictment of a president for high crimes.

One wonders: do Democrats, blinded by hatred of Trump, ever wonder how that 40 percent of the nation that sees him as the repository of their hopes will react if, rather than beat him at the ballot box, they remove him in this way?

The first casualty of Pelosi's cause is almost certain to be the front-runner for the party nomination. Joe Biden has already, this past week, fallen behind Senator Elizabeth Warren in Iowa, New Hampshire, and California. The Quinnipiac poll has her taking the lead nationally for the nomination, with Biden dropping into second place for the first time since he announced his candidacy.

'Ukraine-gate' Will Endanger Biden, Not Trump The Impeachment Train Finally Stops for the Democrats

By making Ukraine the focus of the impeachment drive in the House, Pelosi has also assured that the questionable conduct of Biden and son Hunter will be front and center for the next four months before Iowa votes.

What did Joe do? By his own admission, indeed his boast, as vice president, he ordered then-Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko to either fire the prosecutor who was investigating the company that hired Hunter Biden for $50,000 a month or forego a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee that Kiev needed to stay current on its debts.

Biden insists the Ukrainian prosecutor was corrupt, that Hunter had done no wrong, that he himself was unaware of his son's business ties. All these assertions have been contradicted or challenged.

There is another question raised by Biden's ultimatum to Kiev to fire the corrupt prosecutor or forego the loan guarantee. Why was the U.S. guaranteeing loans to a Kiev regime that had to be threatened with bankruptcy to get it to rid itself of a prosecutor whom all of Europe supposedly knew to be corrupt?

Whatever the truth of the charges, the problem here is that any investigation of the potential corruption of Hunter Biden, and of the role of his father, the former vice president, in facilitating it, will be front and center in presidential politics between now and New Hampshire.

This is bad news for the Biden campaign. And the principal beneficiary of Pelosi's decision that put Joe and Hunter Biden at the center of an impeachment inquiry is, again, Warren.

Warren already appears to have emerged victorious in her battle with Bernie Sanders to become the progressives' first choice in 2020. And consider how, as she is rising, her remaining opposition is fast fading.

Senator Kamala Harris has said she is moving her campaign to Iowa for a do-or-die stand in the first battleground state. Senator Cory Booker has called on donors to raise $1.7 million in 10 days, or he will have to pack it in. As Biden, Sanders, Harris, and Booker fade, and "Mayor Pete" Buttigieg hovers at 5 or 6 percent in national and state polls, Warren steadily emerges as the probable nominee.

One measure of how deeply Biden is in trouble, whether he is beginning to be seen as too risky, given the allegations against him and his son, will be the new endorsements his candidacy receives after this week of charges and countercharges.

If there is a significant falling off, it could be fatal.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.


Mark B. 2 days ago

Then the Dems are doing themselves a favor. Biden stands no chance against Trump, Warren does.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Mark B. 2 days ago
They would be, if it were Sanders to get the nomination. Warren's chances are, obviously, better than Biden's - anyone's, save for complete fringe wackos, are - but, if they really wanted to win, they would need Sanders. Or, even better, Gabbard. But Sanders is too independent, dangerously so, and Gabbard is an outright enemy of their totalitarian cult. Hence, they pick Warren, who might be vaaaaaaaaaaguely considered Sanders-lite. But lite is not enough against someone like Trump. Or, even worse for them, they resort to all possible and impossible machinations to still get Biden nominated. It'll be a screaming mistake, but it's not excluded at all, given how easily the've just been lured into a trap.
Connecticut Farmer Mark B. a day ago
Happened to tune in to Rush Limbaugh yesterday just as he was saying that Pelosi's motivation to spin the wheels was at least in part to kill two birds with one stone--Trump AND Biden. Mehhh...maybe, but it's been clear from the beginning that the Movers and Shakers in the Democrat Party have wanted Warren as their standard bearer on the belief that Biden is "yesterday" and that the rest of the field is either too loony (O'Rourke), nondescript (Booker) or -- potentially -- too corrupt (Harris)..
Mark B. Connecticut Farmer 21 hours ago
Warren is the most pro-establishment candidate of all the non-establishment candidates, that is true . Incrowd-lite. Bernie of course is the big unknown. Will he prevail over Warren?
impedocles 2 days ago
If this scandal sinks Biden and Trump together, the Dems will come out ahead because they are not committed to Biden as their nominee. I think Warren will be the biggest net winner. My prediction is that we see an impeachment with the Senate voting on party lines to acquit. That could still be very damaging to Trump's election chances, if the portion of the public who dislikes Trump decide that he abused his power.

Roughly 37% of Americans love Trump and will never change their mind. On the other side there are 38% who already supported impeachment based on previous investigations. That leaves 25% of Americans who are likely to be swayed one way or the other over this. In any case, those 25% are unlikely to be on this website.

The main question, other than whether there is something damning that shows up, is whether the majority of voters think a quid pro quo is necessary for corruption to be an impeachable offense. It is required in a criminal bribery conviction, but impeachment isn't a criminal trial. Is the president using a diplomatic call to pressure a foreign government to dig up dirt on his political rivals something the 25% will be okay with? If they believe the story of Biden's corruption, will they see that as justification for using a diplomatic talk to push for an investigation into it? Will moderate voters who have a high opinion of Biden from the his time as Vice President view this as an unfair attack on him or will they change their view of him to match Trump's narrative?

Biden is in a tough spot, because he will be smeared here whether he is guilty or not. Trump is very good as slinging mud to distract from his actions. And most Americans are very unlikely to parse through the information overload to figure out whether the fired prosecutor is corrupt, whether the decision to fire him came from Joe or the state department/UK/EU/local protest, whether Hunter Biden was qualified for the job with his ivy law degree/experience on corp boards/previous consulting experience, and whether the investigation into Burisma was actuall ongoing when Shokin was fired. Who has time to read through everything and figure out which side is manufacturing a controversy?

But if Biden decides to go down a Martyr, it wouldn't be difficult for him to take Trump with him.

Connecticut Farmer impedocles a day ago
It'll be interesting to see what the voter turnout will be in 2020. 2016 --one of the most pivotal and controversial elections in modern times--saw 42% of the electorate stay home. This was a shockingly high numbter, little noted in the press. If you tack on the 6% who voted for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, that would mean that 48% of the electorate--nearly half--did NOT vote for either Trump or Clinton.

These numbers are ominous and do not bode well for the future of this thing of ours.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) impedocles a day ago
Well, given that Trump has already released the transcript and Zelensky has already confirmed there were no pressure in their conversation plus said that Hunter's case is to be investigated by the AG, any impeachment hearings can only be damaging to those who decide to go further with them, because, as it turns out, there is no basis for such hearings and they were started a year before the election, showing what those who started them think regarding their own chances to win. If Democrats want to cut losses, they should stop it now and, using military terms, regroup immediately, nominating Gabbard who consistently opposed this stillborn impeachment stupidity. But something makes me think they won't. Their visceral hatred to an anti-war candidate like her is simply too strong.
Clyde Schechter Alex (the one that likes Ike) 21 hours ago
Update: Tulsi Gabbard came out in favor of impeachment today.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Clyde Schechter 4 hours ago
And how does it change the fact that a) given the transcript, Democrats merrily fell into a trap b) they hate her because of her anti-war positions?

What has she specifically said, by the way?

Mata L Seen impedocles a day ago
I think you are missing that Trump's lawyers can subpoena people and drag up a lot of dirt on the Democrats too. I think it can go both ways.

Still Warren can be tough for Trump. She is not tainted by Clinton. She is a chameleon; will sound sufficiently WASP in New England and sufficiently woke in California and new York. If Buttgig becomes her sidekick he can get all the gays on-board.

Rick Steven D. Mata L Seen 12 hours ago
You're missing one thing about Warren: she's a wonk. And she actually has some good ideas alongside the more crazy ones. Even Tucker Carlson praised her book.

But Warren is an absolute stiff. Zero charisma. Like Kerry or Gore on their very worst day. And in this day and age, where the only thing that counts for the overwhelming majority of low information voters are soundbites and how telegenic you come off in a debate, someone like Trump will chew her up and spit her out for breakfast.

Sea Hunt 2 days ago
Warren? OK. I don't see how she could be any worse than Trump. Plus, we might not feel like we were snorkeling in a cesspool all the time, like we do now.
Eric Patton a day ago
"Warren already appears to have emerged victorious in her battle with
Bernie Sanders to become the progressives' first choice in 2020."

Buchanan evidently knows few progressives.

marisheba Eric Patton a day ago
Literally every progressive I know save one is team Warren. I think there might be an age divide. Progressives under thirty are more likely to be for Sanders, and over thirty for Warren.
Nowandthen marisheba a day ago
Warren is a progressive of convenience. Her record speak otherwise.

She claim to back M4A insinuating support for Bernies plan by using that term yet has failed to explain her plan which is more baby steps or buy in.

Eric Patton marisheba 12 hours ago • edited
You evidently know few progressives.
Don Quijote a day ago
She has foreclosed bipartisan compromise on gun control, the cost of prescription drugs, and infrastructure.

There was never going to be any compromise on any of these issues, so what is the loss?

WorkingClass a day ago
I have no idea what will happen with the election. But if Trump wins it after the Dems have done nothing for four years except impeach him - every day is going to be like Christmas.
Libertarianski a day ago
notice how it's all womyn @ Fauxcahontas's speeches,
how she gonna win with such a focused group??
Connecticut Farmer a day ago
Hey, did anybody inquire as to whether Biden cleared all this stuff with his boss first? Haven't heard that question posed to date.
Arclight a day ago
I sincerely hope that Trump is right in thinking that Biden is his biggest threat, because this affair is going to ensure Warren is the nominee. I think a lot of proggy Dems know this as well, which partly explains their enthusiasm for impeachment at this particular moment (not that they haven't been itching for this since November 8, 2016).
Salt Lick a day ago
Agree that Biden is toast. Best question from a reporter to Biden since the scandal broke: "Is Hunter dating Ukraine?"

But so is Warren toast against Trump:

View Hide
Ho Hum a day ago
I agree Biden and Bernie are toast but Warren is far from a sure thing. Of all the democratic candidates Tulsi is the most attractive in more ways than one and I could see Tulsi appealing to the many Trump voters who voted for him because he claimed to be non-interventionist only to discover he is a war-pig like the rest of them. Imagine Tulsi in a debate with Trump! If not Tulsi I would bet another high profile Dem will enter the race because Warren is un-electable and I would not be surprised to see Hillary get in the race at the last minute. American's love re-matches and come-back stories.
Barry_D a day ago
Not an honest word. Then again, none was expected.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Barry_D a day ago
Not a single counterargument from you. Just emotioning, pure in its meaninglessness. Then again, none was expected.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) a day ago
In breaking news: Pelosi has just revealed who was behind all this. It's Cardinal Richelieu Russians again.

Does the girl even understand that, by saying so, she's, basically, stating that she's the chief Russian agent out there, because she was the one who initiated that freak show?

Jesus Harold Christ, what a travelling circus. And this passes for a parliament these days.

Barry F Keane a day ago
Ukrainegate is Watergate in reverse. The farcical impeachment unintentionally acts as a foil, amplifying the significance of the Ukraine stories in the press (John Solomon, Andrew McCarthy) which reveal a culture of corruption and venality permeating the Democratic leadership: the Clintons, the Bidens, the DNC, the current Democratic caucus, and the entire deep state remnants of the obama administration. We haven't seen election interference like this since the Watergate break-in and coverup. This impeachment is the coup-de-grâce of the Democratic Party not just Biden. The Democrat faithful now have a choice between Scylla and Charybdis - self-proclaimed socialists with a tenuous hold on reality, or the discredited establishment. As an old-school Democrat, I can only hope that Trump buries them in 2020, so that the Democrats finally get the message and return to their pre-Clinton roots.
ObamasThirdTerm a day ago • edited
It is insane to pursue impeachment this late in a divisive President's mandate. The Democrats should spend their efforts selecting a moderate nominee that doesn't show signs of cognitive decline (Only candidate that matches these requirements is Tulsi Gabbard. ) rather than make Trump a "victim" in the eyes of many.

Drama Don is doing a good enough job himself to make sure that the Democrats win in 2020. "Trump fatigue" is going to be the most used expression next fall if Trump runs. If Trump is pushed out before the election, the Republicans may choose a charismatic new nominee who actually has a chance to win in 2020. The biggest asset that the Democrats have in 2020 is Trump.

samton909 a day ago • edited
Somebody, somewhere, had decided that Democrats stand little chance with Biden, because he is so old and gaffe prone. So they have put their money on Warren. Warren will choose Buttigieg as VP candidate, primarily because they want all that gay billionaire money flowing in. At the same time, they tick the SJW boxes -woman, gay candidates, so the left will love them. The fix is in.

Hence the stupid "impeachment " controversy, which is obviously a sham to knock Biden out.

Mark Krvavica a day ago
I don't wish U.S. Senator and "Queen" Elizabeth Warren well in 2020.
Will Wilkin a day ago
I voted for Trump, not as a Republican because I despise both political parties. I voted for him based on the need for a nationalist trade policy, and especially because I was so against the TPP --and President Trump rewarded me for that vote his first week in office by pulling the US out of TPP negotiations. Also I have great respect for you, Mr. Buchanan, and learned much from the 3 of your books I've read and recommended to others. But it looks like President Trump has been using his office for personal political gain, so I am sorry to admit I support the impeachment investigation to bring the facts to light and make a judgement of whether it is true he used the office to solicit a foreign country to help undermine his political opponent. But even before this, I'd decided I will not vote for him again, mainly because I have become alarmed at the looming climate crisis, and believe we need urgent policy towards full decarbonization of the global energy economy. But that doesn't motivate me to support the impeachment inquiry, a path I hate and regret...but it seems there is no other way to demand the President not abuse his office and manipulate foreign governments to help his political career. That is no patriot, that is corrupt and an embarrassment to our nation.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) Will Wilkin 4 hours ago
Well, he has just released the transcript. Which specific abuse was there?
Rick Steven D. 13 hours ago • edited
"...effect a coup against a president many of them have never seen as legitimate and have sought to bring down since before he took the oath of office."

Every single word of that describes the Republicans in Congress during the eight years Obama was president. Every single syllable.

Remember that birth certificate? And remember that Dick Tracy villain, Pocket-Neck McConnell, an excrescence that still infects us, standing up and actually saying, with a straight face, "Our ONLY goal is to make Obama a one-term president." Never mind an economy that was in free-fall, right Mitch? Or a couple of bothersome wars going on?

And what about how, for the very first time in history, Standard and Poor's downgraded America's credit rating, all because of completely meaningless Republican obstruction about the debt ceiling? And when I say completely meaningless, I mean completely meaningless. Now, under Trump, the deficit is approaching a trillion, and those very same Republicans couldn't give a hoot.

It's all in the great 2012 book, It's Even Worse Than it Looks, by Ornstein and Mann. We've had partisanship and gridlock before. But what was new is how the Republicans behaved under Obama: they treated him as completely illegitimate from the word go, and absolutely refused to work with him under any and all circumstances. The stimulus, which by the way saved the entire world economy from complete meltdown, didn't get a single Republican vote.

But Republicans can feel proud of one thing: their disgusting, scorched-earth, win-at-all-costs tactics are now business-as-usual in Washington. Probably for all time. Nice going, guys.

dupree 7 4 hours ago
Warren is the best candidate to defeat Trump. She is super smart ,honest and works hard as heck for the non 1% to get more of a fair shake. If she softens her hard left positions she could be a great candidate

[Sep 28, 2019] Joining this witch hunt greatly damages standing of Warren exposing her as a mediocre, malleable politician ( unlike Tulsi )

Sep 28, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , September 25, 2019 at 05:23 PM

Interesting day in Presidential politics today.

I assume most here are sick of hearing about it further today.

I enjoy speculating on what Speaker Pelosi might do with the results of the Impeachment Inquiry by the House.

Assumption: The House finds grounds for Impeaching Trump and hands it to Pelosi.

What will she do or rather what can she do?

She can have the full House vote to Impeach and march the Articles over to the Senate.

She can have the House Censure Trump, not vote to Impeach, and go no further at this time. That brings Trump's crimes to light, but saves the country from a Political Trial in the Senate, that won't convict Trump.

She can hold the Committee's report for review and not go forward until and unless she see's the POLITICAL need.

She can, IMO, have the House vote Articles of Impeachment and then HOLD them in the House waiting to take them to the Senate at a much later date of her choice or never.

The Senate cannot act until the Speaker delivers the Articles of Impeachment. No where does the Constitution declare WHEN those Articles, once voted, must be delivered, only that they are to be.

She can set a new precedent if she desires. Who can stop her?

This would allow the Articles to float over Trump's head - and the Re-Election campaign serving to restrain Trump, like a cudgel over his head - preventing or at least limiting more of Trump's outrageous unconstitutional and illegal acts in Office until Election 2020.

Simultaneously this would allow The House to continue its multiple investigations of Trump, including the IRS Whistle Blower complaint, further checking Trump, and even to open more investigations into Trump's abuse of Office, e.g., his use of AG Barr on Ukraine/Biden as well as investigations of AG Barr pursuing Ukraine/Biden.

Not to mention other investigations into Trump including NY's pursuit of Trump's Tax Returns, which could well be as revealing as the Ukraine phone call transcript.

So, while today was interesting in D.C., the future is far more so, imho.

likbez said in reply to im1dc... , September 25, 2019 at 06:17 PM
Let's face it:

1. Biden is now a zombie and has less then zero changes to beat Trump. Even if nothing explosive will be revealed by Ukraine-gate, this investigation hangs like albatross around his neck. Each shot at Trump will ricochet into Biden. Add to this China and the best he can do is to leave the race and claim unfair play.

2. Trump now probably will be reelected on the wave of indignation toward Corporate Dems new witch hunt. People stopped believing neoliberal MSM around 2015, so now neolibs no longer have the leverage they get used to. And by launching Ukraine-gate after Russiagate they clearly overplayed their hand losing critical mass of independents (who previously were ready to abandon Trump_

3. If unpleasant facts about neolib/neocon machinations to launch Ukraine-gate leak via alternative press via disgruntled DNC operatives or some other insiders who are privy to the relevant discussions in the Inner Party, they will poison/destroy the chances of any Dem candidate be it Warren or anybody else. Joining this witch hunt greatly damages standing of Warren exposing her as a mediocre, malleable politician ( unlike Tulsi )

4. Instead of running on policy issues the Democrats again tried to find vague dirt with which they can tarnish Trump. This is a huge political mistake which exposes them as political swindlers.

Neolib/neocon in Democratic Party from now on will be viewed as "The Children of Lieutenant Schmidt" (a fictional society of swindlers from the 1931 classic "The Little Golden Calf" by Ilf and Petrov).

I would say that Pelosi might now be able to understand better the situation in which Wasserman-Shultz had found herself in 2016 and resign.

IMHO this is a king of zugzwang for neoliberal Dems. There is no good exit from this situation.

After two years of falsely accusing Trump to have colluded with Russia they now allege that he colluded with Ukraine.

In addition to overpaying their hand that makes it more difficult for the Democrats to hide their critical role in creating and promoting Russiagate.

Here is one post from MA which tries to analyse this situation:

== quote ==
nil , Sep 25 2019 19:37 utc | 24
I think what's going in the brain trust of the DNC is something like this:

i. Biden is a non-starter with the public. He'll be devoured alive by the Republicans, who only need to bring up his career to expose his mendacity.

ii. Warren might be co-opted, having been a Republican and fiscal conservative up to the mid-90s, but what if she isn't?

iii. Sanders is a non-starter, but with the "people who matter". Rather than having to threaten him with the suspicions around his wife, or go for the JFK solution, they'd rather [make that] he didn't even get past the primaries, much less elected.

iv. As a CNN talking head said weeks ago, it's better for the wealthy people the DNC is beholden to that their own candidate loses to Trump if that candidate is Sanders.

So better to hedge their bets start impeachment hearings, give Trump ammunition to destroy Sanders or Warren. That way, the rich win in all scenarios:

a. If Biden wins the nomination, the campaign will be essentially mudslinging from both sides about who is more corrupt. The rich are fine with whoever wins.

b. If Warren gets the nomination and is co-opted, the media will let the impeachment hearings die out, or the House themselves will quickly bury it.

c. If Warren gets the nomination and is not co-opted, or if Sanders get it, the impeachment will suck up all the air of the room, Trump will play the witchhunt card and will be re-elected.

likbez -> ken melvin...

, September 25, 2019 at 07:53 PM

That's a very good idea to concentrate on your job instead of some fluff, or worse, criminal activity.

Millions of dollars, millions of manhours of political discourse and newsmedia coverage, were wasted on Russiagate. That's a typical "control fraud." Control fraud occurs when a trusted person in a high position of responsibility in a company, corporation, or state subverts the organization and engages in extensive fraud (in this case a witch hunt) for personal gain.

Those hours could have been used researching and discussing country foreign policy, economic policy, healthcare policy, industrial policy, environment policy and other important for this nation topics.

Instead the Dems chased a ghost (and they knew that this a ghost) for 3 years and now Pelosi have just signaled that they will spend the next 6 months chasing another ghost -- trying to impeach Trump for his attempt to re-launch (in his trademark clumsy, bulling way) investigating Joe Biden's family corruption in Ukraine. Action which is in full compliance with The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA)

During the last two years there were actions of Trump that probably deserved launching impeachment proceeding. For example, attempt of regime change in Venezuela. But neoliberal Dems were fully on board with that. So the main loss which this bunch of swindlers can't settle with is the the loss in their ability to defraud the country: I feel that the neoliberal Democrats' real problem with Trump is that he ended their scheme of defrauding the country in favor of his own.

Now with this Ukraine-gate scandal the US voters have, in effect, are being defrauded by a group of the same sophisticated political swindlers that ruled the county during Clinton and Obama administrations.

Joe -> likbez...

, September 26, 2019 at 11:42 PM

Right on all accounts.

Except this:

"Instead of running on policy issues the Democrats again tried to find vague dirt with which they can tarnish Trump."

If Warren is nominated she can run on dirt because she does not have the sewage history. If she runs on policy people will remember that she will fce 20 million families who got a $500/month Obamacare tax. These are the families that cost Dems four elections. She should not mention medicare at all, once she has the nomination.

Impeachment is what happens when a President has sex and lies about it. So it has become meaningless, thanks to Repubs.

If I were Trump, I would take the impeachment and run with it. Trump will claim he got impeached because he was hunting for Biden sewage, and there is no Biden, thanks to the impeachment. His team agrees, take the impeachment and run with it.

Who liked Biden? None of the young turks, they want Biden out as badly as they want Trump out. I just have this feeling, Biden is a gonner, sort of a bipartisan play if you ask me.

Joe , September 25, 2019 at 06:12 PM
For The First Time, Warren Beats Out Biden For No. 1 Spot In National Poll
--

Biden gone. Harris gone. Pete gone. Beto gone. It is between Bernie and Liz. Both of whom will be telling 10 million families that health care is free and they will not get hit with a $500/month tax. Problem is, voters regret on this is lifelong, a ot of voters, right here in this blog, think Obamacare was deceptive. But these same voters now put the cost on the federal debt machine, courtesy of Trump, and they prefer that.

Trump wins as long as there is no blue bar and Repubs avoid mass shootings in Florida or Texas. We, this group and our favorite economists have lost credibility on medical programs.

likbez -> Joe... , September 25, 2019 at 07:35 PM
"It is between Bernie and Liz. "
Looks like it is just Liz. She is younger ;-)

[Sep 27, 2019] Sanders endorsed the impeachment proceedings

Sanders is spend force in any case. His endorsement does not matter much. But for Warren this is a blunder. Tulsi is the only one out of this troika who proved to be capable politician.
Sep 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Sep 26 2019 19:23 utc | 51
bevin @41--

As I reported on the previous thread, Sanders endorsed the impeachment proceedings in a tweet I linked to and cited. Gabbard is apparently the only D-Party candidate that said this decision is a mistake. This article about her stance is actually balanced. Citing her recent interview by FOXNews :

"'I have been consistent in saying that I believe that impeachment in this juncture would be terribly divisive for our country at a time when we are already extremely divided,' Gabbard explained. 'Hyper-partisanship is one of the things that's driving our country apart.'

"'I think it's important to defeat Donald Trump. That's why I'm running for president, but I think it's the American people who need to make their voices heard, making that decision,' she said.

"Regardless of how you feel about Gabbard, you have to give her credit on this front. America is extremely divided today and politicians in Washington play into that. The impeachment saga is a prime example of their role in this division ." [My Emphasis]

When one digs deeper into the forces Gabbard's attacking, she's the most patriotic one of the entire bunch, including the Rs. I haven't looked at her election websites recently, but from what I see of her campaign appearances, her and Sanders seem to be sharing each other's policy proposals, although they both choose to place more emphasis on some than others. For Gabbard, its the wonton waste and corruption of the Empire that keeps good things from being done for all citizens at home, whereas Sanders basically inverts the two.

[Sep 26, 2019] The Two-Income Trap Why Middle-Class Parents Are (Still) Going Broke by Elizabeth Warren, Amelia Warren Tyagi

Notable quotes:
"... Meanwhile, greed -- once best known for its place on the list of Seven Deadly Sins -- became a point of pride for Wall Street's Masters of the Universe. With a sophisticated smile, the rallying cry of the rich and fashionable became "1 got mine -- the rest of you are on your own." ..."
Sep 26, 2019 | www.amazon.com

And yet America's policies were headed in the wrong direction. The big banks kept lobbying Congress to pass a bill that would gut families' last refuge in the bankruptcy courts -- the same bill we describe in this book. (It went by the awful name Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, but it should have been called the Gut the Safety Net and Pay OIT the Big Banks Act.). The proposed law would carefully preserve bankruptcy protections for the likes of Donald Trump and his friends, while ordinary families that had been crushed by debts from medical problems or job losses were thrown under the bus.

When we wrote The Two-Income Trap, it was already pretty clear that the big banks would win this battle. The fight kept going for two more years, but the tide of blame-the-unlucky combined with relentless lobbying and campaign contributions finally overwhelmed Congress.

In 2005, the Wall Street banking industry got the changes they wanted, and struggling families lost out. After the law was rewritten, about 800,000 families a year that once would have turned to bankruptcy to try to get back on their feet were shut out of the system.1

That was 800,000 families -- mostly people who had lost jobs, suffered a medical catastrophe, or gone through a divorce or death in the family. And now, instead of reorganizing their finances and building some security, they were at the mercy of debt collectors who called twenty or thirty times a day -- and could keep on calling and calling for as long as they thought they could squeeze another nickel from a desperate family.

As it turned out, the new law tore a big hole in the last safety net for working families, just in time for the Great Recession. Meanwhile, the bank regulators kept playing blind and deaf while the housing bubble inflated. Once it burst, the economy collapsed. The foreclosure problem we flagged back in 2003 rolled into a global economic meltdown by 2008, as millions of people lost their homes, and millions more lost their jobs, their savings, and their chance at a secure retirement. Overall, the total cost of the crash was estimated as high as S14 trillion.2

Meanwhile, America's giant banks got bailed out, CEO pay shot up, the stock market roared back, and the investor class got rich beyond even their own fevered dreams.3

A generation ago, a fortune-teller might have predicted a very different future. With so many mothers headed into the workforce, Americans might have demanded a much heavier investment in public day care, extended school days, and better family leave policies. Equal pay for equal work might have become sacrosanct. As wages stagnated, there might have been more urgency for raising the minimum wage, strengthening unions, and expanding Social Security. And our commitment to affordable college and universal preschool might have become unshakeable.

But the political landscape was changing even faster than the new economic realities. Government was quickly becoming an object of ridicule, even to the president of the United States. Instead of staking his prestige on making government more accountable and efficient, Ronald Reagan repeated his famous barb "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are Tin from the government and I'm here to help."'8 After generations of faithfulness to the promise of the Constitution to promote general welfare, at the moment when the economic foundations of the middle class began to tremble, our efforts to strengthen each other and offer a helping hand had become the butt of a national joke.

Those who continued to believe in what we could do together faced another harsh reality: much of government had been hijacked by the rich and powerful. Regulators who were supposed to watch out for the public interest shifted their loyalties, smiling benignly as giant banks jacked up short-term profits by cheating families, looking the other way as giant power companies scam mod customers, and partying with industry executives as oil companies cut comers on safety and environmental rules. In this book we told one of those stories, about how a spineless Congress rewrote the bankruptcy laws to enrich a handful of credit card companies.

Meanwhile, greed -- once best known for its place on the list of Seven Deadly Sins -- became a point of pride for Wall Street's Masters of the Universe. With a sophisticated smile, the rallying cry of the rich and fashionable became "1 got mine -- the rest of you are on your own."

These shifts played nicely into each other. Every' attack on "big government" meant families lost an ally, and the rules tilted more and These shifts played nicely into each other. Every attack on "big government" meant families lost an ally, and the rules tilted more and more in favor of those who could hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers. Lower taxes for the wealthy -- and more money in the pockets of those who subscribed to the greed-is-good mantra. And if the consequence meant less money for preschools or public colleges or disability coverage -- the things that would create more security for an overstretched middle class -- then that was just too bad.

Little by little, as the middle class got deeper and deeper in trouble, government stopped working for the middle class, or at least it stopped working so hard. The rich paid a little less and kept a little more. Even if they didn't say it in so many words, they got exactly what they wanted. Remember the 90 percent -- America's middle class, working class, and poor -- the ones who got 70 percent of all income growth from 1935 through 1980?

From 1980-2014, the 90 percent got nothing.9 None. Zero. Zip. Not a penny in income growth. Instead, for an entire generation, the top 10 percent captured all of the income growth in the entire country. l(X) percent.

It didn't have to be this way. The Two-Income Trap is about families that w'ork hard, but some things go wrong along the way -- illnesses and job losses, and maybe some bad decisions. But this isn't what has put the middle class on the ropes. After all, people have gotten sick and lost jobs and made less-than-perfect decisions for generations -- and vet, for generations America's middle class expanded. creating more opportunity to build real economic security and pass on a brighter future to their children.

What would it take to help strengthen the middle class? The problems facing the middle-class family are complex and far-reaching, and the solutions must be too. We wish there could be a simple silver bullet, but after a generation of relentless assault, there just isn't. But there is one overriding idea. Together we can. It's time to say it out loud: a generation of I-got-mine policy-making has failed -- failed miserably, completely, and overwhelmingly. And it's time to change direction before the entire middle class has been replaced by hundreds of millions of Americans barely hanging on by their fingernails.

Americas middle class was built through investments in education, infrastructure, and research -- and by' making sure we all have a safety net. We need to strengthen those building blocks: Step up investments in public education. Rein in the cost of college and cut out- standing student loans. Create universal preschool and affordable child care. Upgrade infrastructure -- mass transit, energy, communications -- to make it more attractive to build good, middle-class jobs here in America. Recognize that the modem economy can be perilous, and a strong safety net is needed now more than ever. Strengthen disability coverage, retirement coverage, and paid sick leave. And for heavens sake, get rid of the awful banker-backed bankruptcy law, so that when things go wrong, families at least have a chance at a fresh start. We welcome the re-issue of The Two-Income Trap because we see the original book as capturing a critical moment, those last few minutes in which the explanation of why so many hardworking, plav-by- tho-mlcs people were in so much trouble was simple: It was their own fault. If only they would just pull up their socks, cinch their belts a little tighter, and stop buying so much stuff, they -- and our country -- would be just fine. That myth has died. And we say', good riddance.

[Sep 26, 2019] You Can Have Brandeis or You Can Have Debs

Sep 26, 2019 | jacobinmag.com

Elizabeth Warren understands better than most the difference between her and Bernie Sanders.

"He's a socialist," Warren explains , "and I believe in markets." She's a " capitalist to [her] bones ," and Sanders is a democratic socialist .

Minor quibbles aside -- Warren presumably doesn't derive most of her income from capital owner-ship, and markets are compatible with socialism -- the Massachusetts senator is right. She and Sanders draw their lineage from distinct political traditions.

Warren is a regulator at heart who believes that capitalism works well as long as fair competition exists; Sanders is a class-conscious tribune who sees capitalism as fundamentally unjust . Warren frames her most ambitious reforms as bids to make capitalism " accountable "; Sanders pushes legislation called the " Stop BEZOS Act " and denounces ceos for exploiting workers . Warren seeks a harmonious accord between workers and employers; Sanders encourages workers to fight back.

Foreign policy differences spring from their respective traditions as well. While both are suspicious of military interventionism, Vermont's junior senator has shown himself much more willing to criticize the crimes of US empire -- famously proclaiming in a 2016 debate with Hillary Clinton that "Henry Kissinger is not my friend." Warren, though a critic of Bush-style adventurism, sees America's role in more conventional terms, arguing in a Foreign Affairs essay this year that we should "project American strength and values throughout the world."

Warren's political tradition is the left edge of middle-class liberalism; Sanders hails from America's socialist tradition. Or, to put the distinction in more personal terms: Warren is Louis Brandeis , Sanders is Eugene Debs .

[Sep 25, 2019] Warren most probably will win the Democratic nomination

Look also at the story about Warren daughter and Working Families Party -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jugq-wdI_7I
Notable quotes:
"... Rudy Drops New Bombs: Slams Obama Cabinet 'Pattern Of Corruption'; Claims China 'Bought' Biden ..."
"... Warren wins the nomination because the issue is Swamp Sewage and she hasn't been around long enough to emit much of it. Biden has a ton of it. Trump has three years of it. ..."
Sep 25, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Joe , September 25, 2019 at 10:26 AM

Rudy Drops New Bombs: Slams Obama Cabinet 'Pattern Of Corruption'; Claims China 'Bought' Biden

---

Rudy on a roll. Go look it up on a safe site.

Warren wins the nomination because the issue is Swamp Sewage and she hasn't been around long enough to emit much of it. Biden has a ton of it. Trump has three years of it.

[Sep 25, 2019] Tulsi is the only talented politician among those who are running on Democratic Platform; Warren proved to be a mediocre politician. I still believe that Warren has chances to win against Trump. But with such moves by Dem leadership this might no longer be true.

Notable quotes:
"... Warren proved to be a very weak, mediocre politician. By joining the calls to "Impeach Trump" she proved this again. And this is not the first time she made a very bad call. Looks like she is completely malleable candidate. The candidate without spine outside his favorite re-regulation issues. ..."
"... Ukraine-gate impeachment process (aka another attempt to demonize Trump after Russiagate fiasco) is what Trump badly needs now, as it will cement his voting block and might bring back those voters who are appalled by his betrayal of almost all election promises. ..."
"... As Ukraine-gate is based on a false rumor and actually implicates Biden, not Trump (and after Trump decision to open the transcript Dems now need to move goalposts like it was with the inner party member Parteigenosse Mueller witch hunt ). ..."
"... It portrays the Dems as clueless political scum who are ready to resort to dirty tricks in order to protect neoliberal warmonger Biden, and maintain Wall-Street favorable status quo. ..."
Sep 25, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Plp -> im1dc... , September 24, 2019 at 11:56 AM

The Senate republicans should be forced to block trumps impeachment. This is a good election issue in deep purple states with a senator up for re election. Plus a good house issue. Let the people judge both party wagons

Trump and Biden make a perfect pair of party Totem heads

likbez -> Plp... , September 25, 2019 at 08:28 AM
Tulsi is the only talented politician among those who are running on Democratic Platform.

And I applaud her courage to stand against the mob

Warren proved to be a very weak, mediocre politician. By joining the calls to "Impeach Trump" she proved this again. And this is not the first time she made a very bad call. Looks like she is completely malleable candidate. The candidate without spine outside his favorite re-regulation issues.

She essentially gave Trump additional ammunition to attack her and poach her supporters. I would now attack her along the lines:

"Do not believe anything Warren say; she does have spine. Look how easily she was co-opted to join this witch-hunt. If Warren wins, she will instantly fold and will do what bought by Wall Street Dems leadership will ask her. I am not perfect but I withstood Russiagate witch-hunt and that proves that with all my faults I am the only independent politician in this race, who can go against the flow and deliver what was promised; please give additional time and I will deliver"

Of course, this is disingenuous projection as Trump did the same, but that's politics ;-)

I still believe that Warren has chances to win against Trump. But with such moves by Dem leadership this might no longer be true. Why Warren does not attack Trump disastrous domestic and foreign policy record instead of making such questionable calls is not clear to me. Just a diagram "Trump promises vs reality" as election advertisement might improve her chances.

Ukraine-gate impeachment process (aka another attempt to demonize Trump after Russiagate fiasco) is what Trump badly needs now, as it will cement his voting block and might bring back those voters who are appalled by his betrayal of almost all election promises.

As Ukraine-gate is based on a false rumor and actually implicates Biden, not Trump (and after Trump decision to open the transcript Dems now need to move goalposts like it was with the inner party member Parteigenosse Mueller witch hunt ).

It portrays the Dems as clueless political scum who are ready to resort to dirty tricks in order to protect neoliberal warmonger Biden, and maintain Wall-Street favorable status quo.

[Sep 25, 2019] Warren would try to re-negotiate another Iran Nuclear Deal.

Sep 25, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc -> anne... , September 23, 2019 at 07:37 AM

Does anyone know S. Warren's position on this?

Has she said she will re-enter the Iran Nuclear Agreement?

I assume so but don't know.

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to im1dc... , September 23, 2019 at 07:52 AM
Where 2020 Democratic hopefuls stand on Iran
https://go.shr.lc/2FrKc4I
via @commondreams - June 23

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has supported the nuclear agreement since its inception, has levied criticism toward the White House. On June 18, in response to a New York Times report titled, "Trump Adds Troops After Iran Says It Will Breach Nuclear Deal" (a questionable media framing given that the U.S. had already violated the deal), she tweeted:

"I hope Iran chooses a different path. But let's be clear: Trump provoked this crisis. He has no strategy to contain it, he's burned through our friends and allies, and now he's doubling down on military force. We can't afford another forever war."

While Warren was correct to argue against war, she opens by appearing to place blame against Iran, neglecting to acknowledge the U.S.'s role in villainizing Iran in the first place.

On June 20, after reports of the Navy drone were published, Warren elaborated on her comments, adopting a stronger oppositional stance to the prospect of war with Iran.

"Trump provoked this crisis, and his reckless foreign policy by tweet will only worsen it. I've co-sponsored legislation to prohibit a war with Iran. We need to de-escalate tensions -- not let the war hawks in this administration drag us into conflict. #NoWarWithIran"

That same day, she followed with

"Donald Trump promised to bring our troops home. Instead he has pulled out of a deal that was working and instigated another unnecessary conflict. There is no justification for further escalating this crisis -- we need to step back from the brink of war."

Here, Warren uses stronger language to denounce Trump's actions, but still falls short of a moral denunciation of U.S. violence or a more incisive analysis of the Iran nuclear deal's power relations. Meanwhile, Warren's vote for new sanctions against Iran in 2017 weakens her legislative record. ...

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , September 23, 2019 at 07:57 AM
Warren is far more progressive than mainstream Democrats like Joe Biden. She calls for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Warren campaigns for the United State to rejoin the nuclear accord with Iran and to end trade pacts that hurt workers.

"Warren's foreign policy positions have shifted a fair amount in recent years, particularly during the past few months," says Stephen Zunes, a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, who provides foreign policy advice to the Warren campaign.

Elizabeth Warren on War and Peace
https://go.shr.lc/2MjA563 via @commondreams

im1dc -> Fred C. Dobbs... , September 23, 2019 at 04:52 PM
Thank you, Fred.

S. Warren would try to re-negotiate another Iran Nuclear Deal.

[Sep 24, 2019] The greatest single hold of "the interests" is the fact that they are the "campaign contributors"

That's to who political power belongs under late capitalism and neoliberalism: financial oligarchy. He who pays the piper calls the tune: " Do you imagine those who foot those huge bills are fools? Don't you know that they make sure of getting their money back, with interest, compound upon compound? "
Notable quotes:
"... Here we all are, piddling around with why Nancy Pelosi won't release the hounds in the House of Representatives, and waiting for some poor bastard in intelligence to come forward with what he really knows, and with a vulgar talking yam still in office. Meanwhile, Bill Weld has cut right to the heel of the hunt. You think you can't scare this guy? Put the gallows in his eyes. I mean, wow." ..."
"... " The greatest single hold of "the interests" is the fact that they are the "campaign contributors" -- the men who supply the money for "keeping the party together," and for "getting out the vote." Did you ever think where the millions for watchers, spellbinders, halls, processions, posters, pamphlets, that are spent in national, state and local campaigns come from? Who pays the big election expenses of your congressman, of the men you send to the legislature to elect senators? ..."
Sep 24, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

EMichael , September 23, 2019 at 08:55 AM

Kudos to at least one Republican.

"Well, Bill Weld, former governor of the Commonwealth (God save it!), really shot the moon to begin the week. Appearing on MSNBC, Weld made it plain. From the Washington Post:

"Talk about pressuring a foreign country to interfere with and control a U.S. election," Weld said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"It couldn't be clearer, and that's not just undermining democratic institutions. That is treason. It's treason, pure and simple, and the penalty for treason under the U.S. code is death. That's the only penalty...The penalty under the Constitution is removal from office, and that might look like a pretty good alternative to the president if he could work out a plea deal.""

Well, all right, then.

Here we all are, piddling around with why Nancy Pelosi won't release the hounds in the House of Representatives, and waiting for some poor bastard in intelligence to come forward with what he really knows, and with a vulgar talking yam still in office. Meanwhile, Bill Weld has cut right to the heel of the hunt. You think you can't scare this guy? Put the gallows in his eyes. I mean, wow."

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a29191267/president-trump-treason-bill-weld/

EMichael -> EMichael... , September 23, 2019 at 08:58 AM
Also from that link:

" The greatest single hold of "the interests" is the fact that they are the "campaign contributors" -- the men who supply the money for "keeping the party together," and for "getting out the vote." Did you ever think where the millions for watchers, spellbinders, halls, processions, posters, pamphlets, that are spent in national, state and local campaigns come from? Who pays the big election expenses of your congressman, of the men you send to the legislature to elect senators?

Do you imagine those who foot those huge bills are fools? Don't you know that they make sure of getting their money back, with interest, compound upon compound? Your candidates get most of the money for their campaigns from the party committees; and the central party committee is the national committee with which congressional and state and local committees are affiliated. The bulk of the money for the "political trust" comes from "the interests." "The interests" will give only to the "political trust."

Our part as citizens of the republic is plain enough. We must stand our ground. We must fight the good fight. Heartsick and depressed as we may be at times because of the spread of graft in high places and its frightfully contaminating influence, we must still hold up our heads. We must never lose an opportunity to show that as private citizens we are opposed to public plunderers."

Written in 1906

[Sep 24, 2019] Warren improved her chances to beat Biden in Iowa

Sep 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"Warren's rise shakes up Democratic field" [ The Hill ]. "A new poll showing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) leading former Vice President Joe Biden in Iowa has shaken up the Democratic nomination battle -- and insiders across the party are gaming out what it all means. Warren currently has 22 percent support to Biden's 20 percent, according to the well-respected Des Moines Register–CNN–Mediacom poll, released Saturday night. The two are well clear of the rest of the field, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in third place with 11 percent support . With more than four months to go, the experts all agree that it's too early to make solid predictions. But the battle for Iowa is heating up by the day."

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

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

https://c.deployads.com/sync?f=html&s=2343&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nakedcapitalism.com%2F2019%2F09%2F200pm-water-cooler-9-24-2020.html <img src="http://b.scorecardresearch.com/p?c1=2&c2=16807273&cv=2.0&cj=1" />


dcrane , September 24, 2019 at 3:09 pm

Re: Warren triumphalism/polls

Is there any reason to see what is going on as more than just Biden support bailing to "Plan C", i.e., the next most establishment-friendly candidate who has any apparent chance of winning? Sanders' support seems solid. Admittedly, I would much rather see Sanders slowly eating away at the "pro-establishment" fraction of Dem voters, but there is nothing to suggest that he is losing support.

nippersmom , September 24, 2019 at 2:25 pm

The more I see of Warren, the less I like her- and I would not have voted for her to begin with. I'm getting very tired of moderate Republicans being packaged and sold as "progressives".

hunkerdown , September 24, 2019 at 3:28 pm

To her credit, Warren does have a theory of change:

After dinner, "Larry leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice," Ms. Warren writes. "I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don't listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People -- powerful people -- listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don't criticize other insiders.

"I had been warned," Ms. Warren concluded.

Message received and understood!

jsn , September 24, 2019 at 3:54 pm

"• I'm not sure I agree. There are many, many, many of those "boutique lobbying or consulting shops" -- "

And how is Trump's shakedown hotel any different from DNC dialing for dollars? Or would it be better if he limited himself just renting out the Lincoln Bedroom like the Clintons did?

Lambert Strether Post author , September 24, 2019 at 4:03 pm

I want to reiterate the point that Yglesias seems incapable of recognizing* that a network of small shops could create more damage than one guy, even a titan. Look at health care policy, for example. It looks like Elizabeth Warren's daughter runs a body-shop for the kind of person Yglesias regards as harmless. Thread:

Samuel Douglas Retweeted Samuel Douglas

I spent some time looking into Warren Tyagi's consulting firm (Business Talent Group), and I learned some interesting things 1/

Samuel Douglas ‏ @ CANCEL_SAM Aug 25

Replying to @ philosophrob

Elizabeth Warren's daughter co-founded HealthAllies, a venture capital-backed health benefits firm which was later acquired by United Health Group, the second largest health insurer in the U.S.

NOTE * Incapable of recognizing, because obviously professionals don't have class interests.

Baby Gerald , September 24, 2019 at 5:23 pm

Wow, thanks for this, Lambert. See my link to the story in a reply above for yet another shady bit about Warren's daughter. I wouldn't normally find myself on RedState, but searching 'WARren daughter WFP' in the googlygoo brought this up first and after a read-through, seems pretty straight-up. It even includes reporting from Jordan Chariton in the meat of the story.

It's time for Warren to drop out. She's way too compromised.

[Sep 23, 2019] Tucker Carlson labelled the liberal Massachusetts senator and top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination a "joke" and a "living tragedy."

Sep 23, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , September 15, 2019 at 06:59 AM

(An op-ed heavy on irony.)

How Donald Trump just might save
the Republican Party -- and the country
https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2019/09/06/how-donald-trump-just-might-save-republican-party-and-country/qbew52NeSqBhmFGQ6t6GaM/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

David Scharfenberg - September 6

FOX NEWS HOST Tucker Carlson was saying nice things about Elizabeth Warren again.

Well, not entirely nice things.

Speaking at a conference of conservative journalists and intellectuals this summer (*), he took a moment to label the liberal Massachusetts senator and top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination a "joke" and a "living tragedy."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. . .

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

"This is our independence day," said Yoram Hazony, an Israeli political theorist and chief organizer of the event, in his spirited opening remarks. "We declare independence from neoconservatism, from libertarianism, from what they call classical liberalism."

"We are national conservatives," he said.

Any effort to build a right-of-center nationalism circa 2019 inevitably runs into questions about whether it will traffic in bigotry.

And one of the speakers, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, seemed to do just that -- suggesting that "cultural compatibility" should play a role in deciding which migrants are allowed into the country.

"In effect," she said, this "means taking the position that our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites."

But Wax's speech, however discomfiting, stood out because it was so discordant.

Conference organizers took pains to prevent hate-mongers from attending -- ultimately rejecting six applicants. ...

"Your ideas," he said, "are not welcome here." ...

* At the National Conservatism Conference, an
'Intellectual Trumpist' Movement Begins to Take Shape
https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/national-conservatism-conference-intellectual-trumpist-movement/

[Sep 18, 2019] Jerry Nadler is aiming to become the Rachael Maddow of Adam Schiffs

Humor aside Corey Lewandowski Opening statement deserves to be listened. Just 5 min.
This was obviously a Dog & Pony show by Nadler and his gang who can't shoot strait
Sep 18, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Seminole Nation , 5 hours ago

"Jerry Nadler is aiming to become the Rachael Maddow of Adam Schiffs" – Dan Bongino (3-24-19)

Gilbert Perea , 9 hours ago

You have to laugh , I wonder if Mr. Cowen has a chicken wing in his jacket pocket.

RIC shady , 7 ho