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Is Major Pete a "CIA democrat"?

 Made to order political outsider, like Obama before him
"Change we can believe in" bait and switch again? Major Pete sounds more and more like Obama in each speech.

News Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Recommended Links CIA Democrats Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Donald Trump2020 Bloomberg: a pure oligarchic play in 2020 elections Israel lobby
Major Pete as a typical "CIA democrat" Creepy neocon Joe Biden Tulsi Gabbard Adelson factor in 2020 elections Trump as rabid militarist Trump as America’s First Zionist President Trump's impulsivity and incompetence Trump inauguration speech Trump tax cut for the rich
Nasty and pushy Kamala Harris Final report of Special prosecutor Mueller is a failed hatchet job: disingenuous and dishonest Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco Adam Schiff Witch Hunt MadCow disease of neoliberal MSM "Trump is insane" meme NeoMcCartyism Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking Steele dossier
Myth about intelligent voter Bait and Switch Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Sustained anti-Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections 2016 Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Hypocrisy of British ruling elite
Brennan elections machinations Strzok-gate British attempts to rig the US elections Israel attempts to rig the US elections Saudi Arabia attempts to rig the US elections Do the foreign states influence the US Presidential elections ? Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Superdelegates fraud at Democratic National Convention Pluralism as a myth
Rigging the elections and money in US politics Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite New American Militarism US and British media are servants of security apparatus Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy Rosenstein role in the "Appointment of the special prosecutor gambit"  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" National Security State
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization The Real War on Reality The Deep State Lesser evil trick of legitimizing disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections First after the post elections enforce two party system Politically Incorrect Humor Etc

Election success of Clinton, Bush II, Obama, and Trump at the core was based on an interesting, and pretty dirty,  political trick. None of them has any political baggage at the time of their elections. So the campaign managers were using "Tabula_Rasa" effect: such a person ability to be politically "all things to all people" for winning Presidential Elections. People can project anything they want into such candidate as there is no political history. Some columnist noted the trend. See for example  Inexperience is one of Mayor Pete’s greatest assets

Pete Buttigieg’s Work At McKinsey Is A Secret

A major piece of Pete Buttigieg’s past remains a mystery to voters.

For nearly three years, he worked at McKinsey & Company, an elite management consulting firm with offices around the world. It was work that took him, he has said, to Iraq and Afghanistan. And for years after that, in his early campaigns for public office, Buttigieg held up his stint at McKinsey as a selling point and proof that he was a business-friendly Democrat, while only vaguely describing what he did and never revealing his clients.

A deeper understanding of his time there a decade ago would be relevant to evaluating the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who’s now trying to prove he has the experience to be president. But Buttigieg continues to keep most details a secret, citing a confidentiality agreement. He also now describes the job — which informed his views on business issues — as “not something that I think is essential in my story.”

..."I got my street smarts working in war zones on economic stabilization,” Buttigieg told the South Bend Tribune in October 2011, “and I think that experience stands up next to anybody's."

AIM Truth Bits

According to Laura, he “now he claims to be living (currently) a “middle class lifestyle, in a middle class neighborhood, in middle America”. All sorta true, although he makes a salary of $110K/yr and I don’t know what his husband makes but six figures here goes a long way. In an interview about a year and a half ago (I will have to look for it) this is when he claims to have grown up “working class”.”

Laura continues to ask:

I have some questions about Mayor Pete:

Anyways, this guy is a Trojan horse. He should not be elevated to a national political position, especially not president.


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Old News ;-)

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

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

The neoliberals' cultural stock is in decline.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The neoliberals' cultural stock is in decline.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note that was before the Nevada debate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

[Feb 26, 2020] Butti on Trump and Sanders

Feb 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Feb 27 2020 1:38 utc | 68

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

revolutionary politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet there is clearly anger and desire for radical change.

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

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


likbez , February 25, 2020 12:37 am

Robert ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EMichael , February 25, 2020 10:39 am

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

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

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

likbez , February 25, 2020 12:19 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In 2016 that resulted in the election of Trump.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Hughes Mearns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a way to go.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For Pete's sake!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buttigieg attracts the bucks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 15, 2020 | thehill.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 14, 2020 | www.teamblind.com

Uber Viren Nov 26, 2019 57 Comments

I am convinced Mayor Pete is a CIA agent.

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

These are my thoughts. Discuss.

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

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

On Thursday, February 13, 2020 2 Comments

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

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

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

Table of Contents

Pete Buttigieg: Corporate Consultant

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

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

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

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

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

Pete Buttigieg: Navy Intelligence Officer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pete Buttigieg: Presidential Candidate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could the Iowa debacle be an intel operation?

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 14, 2020 | www.americanlibertyreport.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Answer: Total Deep State.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 14, 2020 | www.politifact.com

If Your Time is short

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

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

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

... ... ...

How is Pete Buttigieg involved?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 14, 2020 | www.ronpaulforums.com

Warlord

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

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

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

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

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

More:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

... ... ...

Justin Ling is a journalist based in Toronto.

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

Feb 14, 2020 | www.southbendtribune.com

Buttigieg draws rumors, conspiracies

Pete.jpg

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

AP Photo/ANDREW HARNIK/

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

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

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

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

Download PDF Tribune Aug. 30, 1998 front page

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Article with images +3

Council members: Dump 'Breathe easy' T-shirts

Council members: Dump 'Breathe easy' T-shirts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

information_agent , Feb 13 2020 17:32 utc | 188

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

Begging the question, is there a blackout?

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

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

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

Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

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

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

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

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

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


Circe , Feb 12 2020 21:59 utc | 73

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

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

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

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

flight-attendants-union-head-blasts-buttigieg

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

Circe , Feb 13 2020 2:40 utc | 102

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

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

buttigieg-foreign-policy-questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sneaky Pete skirts campaign finance violation.:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The CIA hearts Mayor Pete

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Empire's empty vessel

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Feb 10, 2020] math be damned

Feb 10, 2020 | www.businessinsider.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 10, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

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

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

Seth Karman.

By Max Blumenthal
The Grayzone

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

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

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

Iowa, you have shocked the nation.

By all indications, we are going on to New Hampshire victorious. #IowaCaucuses

-- Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 4, 2020

The bizarre scenario was made possible by a mysterious voting app whose origins had been kept secret by Democratic National Committee officials . For hours, it was unclear who created the failed technology, or how it wound up in the hands of Iowa party officials.

Though a dark money Democratic operation turned out to be the source of the disastrous app, suspicion initially centered on former Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and his Russiagate-related elections integrity initiative.

Leveraging Russia Hysteria

While Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price refused to say who was behind the failed app, he told NPR that he "worked with the national party's cybersecurity team and Harvard University's Defending Digital Democracy project ." Price did not offer details on his collaboration with the Harvard group, however.

The New York Times reported that this same outfit had teamed up with Iowa Democrats to run a "drill of worst-case scenarios" and possible foreign threats, but was also vague on details.

Robby Mook, the former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 presidential campaign, was the co-founder of Defending Digital Democracy. His initiative arose out of the national freakout over Russian meddling that he and his former boss helped stir when they blamed their loss on Russian interference. Mook's new outfit pledged to "protect from hackers and propaganda attacks."

He founded the organization with help from Matt Rhoades, a former campaign manager for Republican Mitt Romney whose public relations company was sued by a Silicon Valley investor after it branded him "an agent of the Russian government" and "a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin." Rhoades's firm had been contracted by a business rival to destroy the investor's reputation.

As outrage grew over the delay in Iowa caucus results, Mook publicly denied any role in designing the notorious app.

You know it's bad when https://t.co/oNDQnVPxjR

-- Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) February 4, 2020

Hours later, journalist Lee Fang reported that a previously unknown tech outfit called Shadow Inc. had contracted with the Iowa Democratic Party to create the failed technology. The firm was comprised of former staffers for Obama, Clinton and the tech industry, and had been paid for services by the Buttigieg campaign.

FEC filings show the Iowa Democratic party and Buttigieg campaign paid Shadow Inc.

The Path to Mayor Pete's Wine Cave

Shadow Inc. was launched by a major Democratic dark money nonprofit called Acronym, which also gave birth to a $7.7 million Super PAC known as Pacronym.

According to Sludge , Pacronym's largest donor is Seth Klarman. A billionaire hedge funder, Klarman also happens to be a top donor to Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

Though he has attracted some attention for his role in the campaign, Klarman's prolific funding of the pro-settler Israel lobby and Islamophobic initiatives has gone almost entirely unmentioned .

Seth Klarman is the founder of the Boston-based Baupost Group hedge fund and a longtime donor to corporate Republican candidates. After Donald Trump called for forgiving Puerto Rico's debt, Klarman -- the owner of $911 million of the island's bonds -- flipped and began funding Trump's opponents.

The billionaire's crusade against Trump ultimately led him to Mayor Pete's wine cave.

By the end of 2019, Klarman had donated $5,600 to Buttigieg and pumped money into the campaigns of Senators Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris as well.

The billionaire's support for centrist candidates appears to be driven not only by his own financial interests, but by his deep and abiding ideological commitment to Israel and its expansionist project.

As I reported for Mondoweiss , Klarman has been a top funder for major Israel lobby outfits, including those that support the expansion of illegal settlements and Islamophobic initiatives.

Klarman was the principal funder of The Israel Project, the recently disbanded Israeli government-linked propaganda organization that lobbied against the Iran nuclear deal and backed the Israeli settlement enterprise .

Klarman has heaped hundreds of thousands of dollars on the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and the American Jewish Committee. And he funded The David Project, which was established to suppress Palestine solidarity organizing on campuses across the U.S. and battled to block the establishment of a Muslim community center in Boston.

Through his support for the Friends of Ir David Inc, Klarman directly involved himself in the Israeli settlement enterprise, assisting the U.S.-based tax exempt arm of the organization that oversaw a wave of Palestinian expulsions in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

Other pro-Israel groups reaping the benefits of Klarman's generosity include Birthright Israel, the AIPAC-founded Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), a neoconservative think tank that helped devise Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign of economic warfare on Iran.

Klarman is the owner of the Times of Israel , an Israeli media outlet that once published a call for Palestinian genocide . (The op-ed was removed following public backlash).

In recent weeks, Buttigieg has sought to distinguish himself from Sanders on the issue of Israel-Palestine. During a testy exchange this January with a self-proclaimed Jewish supporter of Palestinian human rights, the South Bend mayor backtracked on a previous pledge to withhold military aid to Israel if it annexed parts of the West Bank.

NEW: The day after Trump unveiled his plan green-lighting Israeli annexation and Netanyahu's announcement of a cabinet vote on annexation this Tuesday, @PeteButtigieg backtracked on his repeated promise that the "U.S. will not foot the bill for annexation." #StopFundingOccupation pic.twitter.com/dldyRnI5lo

-- IfNotNow? (@IfNotNowOrg) January 30, 2020

Another recipient of Klarman's funding, Amy Klobuchar, has taken a strongly pro-Israel line, vowing to support Trump's relocation of the U.S.embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Battling Bernie with Hedge Fund Money & Sexism Claims

Like Klarman, Donald Sussman is a hedge funder who has channeled his fortune into Pacronym. He has given $1 million to the Super PAC and was also top donor to Clinton in 2016.

Sussman's Paloma Partners operates through a series of offshore shell companies, and received tens of millions of dollars in the 2009 federal bailout of the banking industry.

His daughter, Democratic operative Emily Tisch Sussman, declared on MSNBC in September that "if you still support Sanders over Warren, it's kind of showing your sexism."

MSNBC pundit says if you support Bernie Sanders over Elizabeth Warren it's "showing your sexism." pic.twitter.com/fghFIqOF6C

-- Ibrahim (@ibrahimpols) September 27, 2019

As Democratic elites like the Sussmans braced for a Bernie Sanders triumph in Iowa, a mysterious piece of technology spun out by a group they supported delayed the vote results, preventing Sanders from delivering a victory speech. And the politician many of them supported, Pete Buttigieg, exploited the moment to declare himself the winner. In such a strange scenario, conspiracy theories write themselves.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling " Republican Gomorrah ," " Goliath ," " The Fifty One Day War " and " The Management of Savagery ." He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including " Killing Gaza " and " Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie ." Blumenthal founded the Grayzone Project in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.


Limert , February 7, 2020 at 02:34

How much confusion is it possible to create from counting votes in an election in a small state? It is worrisome, to say the least, that we on Friday, four days after the event, still don't have the final numbers. How difficult can it be? Worse still, we don't know exactly what happened. How could Buttigieg, polling at ~15-20%, according to latest polls, suddenly be ahead in most districts? Biden's under performing was not a big surprise, at least not to me, but did all the votes that Biden didn't get go to Buttigieg? Did the way the caucuses were managed, somehow direct a great number of people towards Buttigieg? Is there still a discrepancy between the official results and Bernie Sanders' internal counts? According to many reports from the caucuses, many questionable things happened that all tended to disfavor Bernie Sanders, and most of them cannot simply be blamed on an app. Still 1% of the results are missing, presumably from Bernie Sanders strongholds. It seems that counting votes to Bernie Sanders must be extremely exhausting to DNC staffers.

Jeff Steinmetz , February 6, 2020 at 00:43

In a public statement Shadow Inc stated that they "contracted with the the Iowa Democratic Party to build a caucus reporting mobile app" , so why don't they have an expenditure/disbursement in the FEC filings?

See this link for the statement from Shadow Inc. See: ktiv.com/2020/02/04/nevada-democratic-party-abandons-app-used-in-iowa-caucuses/

When you do a search on the FEC web site with IOWA DEMOCRATIC PARTY (C00035600) as the spender and Shadow Inc. as the the RECIPIENT NAME OR ID you get a NOTHING.

See: fec.gov/data/disbursements/?data_type=processed&committee_id=C00035600&recipient_name=Shadow+Inc&two_year_transaction_period=2020

Jeff Steinmetz , February 6, 2020 at 00:29

Thank you for providing the link to the FEC web site. I spent some time on the site asking a bunch of different questions.
1) What other presidential candidates paid Shadow Inc.?
GILLIBRAND 2020 paid a total of $37,400.00
PETE FOR AMERICA, INC. $42,500.00
BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT $ 1,225.00

fec.gov/data/disbursements/?data_type=processed&committee_id=C00035600&committee_id=C00197996&committee_id=C00411330&committee_id=C00431916&committee_id=C00693234&committee_id=C00694018&committee_id=C00697441&committee_id=C00703975&recipient_name=Shadow+Inc&two_year_transaction_period=2020

However, when you look at who has spent money with Shadow Inc you won't see the Iowa Democratic Party spent anything with Shadow Inc. So how did the Iowa Democratic Party get the software? Who paid for it? How much was paid? Was it given to them? If there is no money to track you can not follow the money. So how did the Iowa Democratic Party end up with the software? You can see that NEVADA STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY paid Shadow Inc $58,000.00, but it seems the software just landed in lap of the Iowa Democratic Party.

robert e williamson jr , February 5, 2020 at 15:30

Patriot: It time to go to the tool shed and get the shovels and axes yet?

Billionaire: Oh Nooooo the markets are doing too well!

Trumpster Dumpster squatter: Oh Dog how I love this guy who is going to end up starving us all to death!

Ole Bob; Ole Bob here, it's time for dirty pool and judo in the trenches.

wolfess , February 5, 2020 at 15:20

It appears the entire power structure in the US is scared beyond all reason of a Bernie Sanders win -- we voters are going to have to fight tooth-and-nail to guarantee our votes are counted and recorded correctly!

While I don't have any real problem with Buttigieg he just seems a little too much like Obama, and after 8 years of "Yes we can!" "But we're not going to." I want someone who isn't two-faced, and Buttigieg ain't it!

Vera Gottlieb , February 5, 2020 at 11:41

Generally speaking, is it ever possible for anything to be done with honesty and integrity in the US? Dishonesty flows through many an American vein and so many proud of it.

o.j. frowein , February 5, 2020 at 10:09

America is proving again & again it's just a BANANA REPUBLIC!

Karen Bednarek , February 6, 2020 at 08:46

Max Blumenthal is one of the best investigative journalists in the world!
Thank you Max and CN for this illuminating background information.

Susan J Leslie , February 5, 2020 at 09:08

Such a JOKE!

JohnDoe , February 5, 2020 at 07:52

It seems that the Israel lobby is the one that will play the role of the "Russian interference" in this election. I don't mean to condone their actions, but pointing the attention on a single crook is a way to hide the failure of the whole system.
Before accepting to use an app in such a sensitive context the party should have setup an independent group in charge of inspecting the code and conducting a thorough testing. Shadow Inc. couldn't do all this damage without complicity at every level in the party and I suspect that if the democrats don't carry out immediately a major cleanup of the high ranks in the party the whole primaries will end up even more tainted that the ones that awarded the nomination to Clinton.

R. Linn , February 4, 2020 at 22:14

Is there any connection between the the delay of the caucus results and the The Des Moines Register and CNN decision not to release their poll of Monday's Iowa caucuses after a potential error was brought to their attention by the campaign of Pete Buttigieg?

Buttigieg received the media spotlight 1 day prior, which may have given him an advantage going into the caucus. Coincidence?

michael , February 5, 2020 at 17:42

Yesterday and today (62 and 74% counted) Buttigieg had a constant 6-7% lead, but Bernie said his strongholds had not been counted. Supposedly the national DNC came in to "help" count? Now 85% of the vote is in (from Bernie's strongholds?) and Mayor Pete's lead has jumped to about 10%. A 3% jump may not seem like much, but when it occurs in only 10% of the counted votes, Buttigieg would have had to receive 30% more votes than Bernie. Coincidence? Bad optics at a minimum, given the DNC's predilection for corruption, very suspicious.

Jane , February 5, 2020 at 22:12

No coincidence. The DNC, via the Iowa Dems, via Mayor Cheat, are doing everything they can to steal this election away from the people's choice. It WOULD have looked a little strange to have had the Des Moines Register poll showing Bernie Sanders the obvious leader a day ahead of the caucus, followed by Mayor Cheat winning it. Crooked. Crooked. Crooked. All of it.

Daniel , February 6, 2020 at 14:40

Judging on his debate performances, donor-related flip flops on the issues and the general smug tone of his Obam-ish politi-speak, I'd say Buttigieg's pretty well exposed himself as the power monger that he is, willing to do or say anything to get what he wants. A terrible candidate by every stretch. Considering his time on the national stage, it's easy to imagine his deliberately sabotaging Iowa, thinking he'd get away with it. To my eye, there's something off about the man, pathological perhaps; his brazen grasps for attention, his casual disregard of the truth, his staggering arrogance. He may have stolen Iowa, but he'll never get an ounce of support frome.

robert e williamson jr , February 4, 2020 at 21:40

No matter which major American political party it is, never underestimate the danger of large groups of stupid people especially when they work with Israeli lobbyist.

I for one have seem plenty enough of the love dance of death ( dancing to the music of the rapture ) between Natinyahoo and the large orange blob. And I damned sure don't want to the culmination in my front yard.

But, hey, ain't the markets doing great!

Hans Zandvliet , February 4, 2020 at 21:13

Since we're now living in a post-evidence era, the actual voting results don't matter anymore.
Anyone declaring himself the winner of an election, actually becomes the winner, if his claim gets the support of the MSM presstitutes.
My advice to all Americans is to vote with your feet: stay at home! Preserve your own dignity by turning down this voting scam. Refuse to vote. Show those swamp creatures that they've lost all legitimacy with an election turnout of 0.00% of all voters

In any case, it does not matter anymore whoever gets to sit in that white house somewhere in D.C.: Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, whoever; the wars will continue anyway, just like the pillaging of the lower and middle classes.

So the best way to vote is to not vote at all.

Will , February 5, 2020 at 11:26

Yes, by all means stay home which is exactly what most Americans do and have been doing for years .look how brilliantly it has worked!

DW Bartoo , February 5, 2020 at 14:34

So, Will, do you think that all U$ians of voting age should be required, by law, to vote?

Would that not necessitate the option of "None of the Above"?

You know, in case the choices were appallingly awful and only promised "More of the $ame", only reflected perpetual war, corporations as "people", money as "speech", a two-tiered "legal" system where the poor went to jail and the rich, bankers for example, were bailed out for committing fraud, and torture was held to be merely a "policy difference", where money making money was taxed (if at all) at a much lower rate than "earned income, you know as the result of actual work, where the media were corporate owned whores who dutifully propagandized the lies used to take the nation to war or unleash its "beautiful" weapons and so on?

Or would you simply insist that there was NO option but to vote for team blue or team red?

With all those who do dutifully vote, have been dutifully partisan, have voted for lesser (if more effective) evil candidates, for many years, for decades, how do you explain the current state of affairs?

Clearly, if voting is the sole measure of democratic engagement, then it has not had much capacity to change much of anything beyond what money and power has deemed to be in THEIR best "interest", to their profit and dominance.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the real problem is that no actual democracy has heretofore really existed in this exceptional and indispensable nation?

Perhaps it is all a sham and the "franchise" is a controlled and managed means of manufacturing "consent" such that the few can have their way despite the cost and harm to the many?

And, just perhaps, all those whose lack of "participation" you decry so vehemently have come to understand that, as Mother Jones (or Helen Keller) pointed out, if voting could change anything, if it could make a real difference, then it would be illegal

Indeed, if you really favor voting then why should there be any need of "representatives" and the Founder's fear of "mob rule"?

Do not both those things get in the way of real, participatory democracy?

Of course, the problem with participatory democracy is that political saviors would go out of vogue, for then each citizen would truly bear responsibility for the nature of society and all that was done in their name.

Are we "there" yet?

Or are we just a "republic" and not a real "democracy", in fact simply a military empire where citizens are meant to be but patriotic consumers of myth and bluster, of hegemony and bombast, whose task, every two or four years, IS but to cheer and vote for more of the same?

What bothers you about this nation that you blame those who you feel have not "bothered" to vote?

Is it a politician, a political wing of the war and money party?

Or is it something larger?

Perhaps systemic failure?

Perhaps economic insanity?

Possibly the plight of the many?

What is your beef with those who consider that voting seems ineffective, or even useless in terms of generating policies that would improve their lives and those of whom they love?

Or is that something you would not be comfortable with?

Just curious.

Skip Scott , February 7, 2020 at 08:55

DW-

Excellent response to Will.

I do make it a point to vote, but only for a "peace" candidate, which usually means third party by the General Election.

Michael , February 4, 2020 at 21:13

Mr Blumenthal makes it evident that the rich and powerful will be very active during this election year, and that Mr.Sanders and Ms. Warren will be thwarted at every opportunity. The only unknown are those young voters, who are not as vulnerable to MSM methods of persuasion. I am hopeful that they have amassed the numbers to impact the selection of the Democratic nominee or to empower a viable third party candidacy. It is highly unlikely that the Democratic Party apparatus would be removed by anything less than an overwhelming popular uprising.

Susan , February 5, 2020 at 04:44

I would go for the "overwhelming popular uprising". Solidarity, common cause and urgent need for aloha and cooperation are needed in order for us to stand together for Justice and guide her to course. Resist evil.

Will , February 5, 2020 at 11:30

Speaking of Warren pretty savvy of the NYTs to endorse Warren *and* Klobuchar in an attempt to make sure neither Warren nor Sanders win. A kiss of death combined with a divide and conquer

dean 1000 , February 4, 2020 at 20:39

If the guilty software was not given a couple of test runs the day before the caucus something is terribly wrong.
How many test runs and how did the app preform in each test?

Whatever the outcome of the first tally there should be a hand recount where every ballot is projected on a wall or screen so TV viewers can count the number of ballots and the tally for each candidate, along with the official counters.

In every city that has cable TV there is a channel reserved for city council meetings. Those TV stations can cover the recount from the first ballot to the last. The commercial stations must make a living broadcasting advertisements but can give their viewers periodic updates. Doesn't matter how long it takes. Accuracy is more important than speed. Especially a recount. Iowa democrats you owe it to the country to do another count. If it serves no other function it could deter future skullduggery and vote stealing. Don't leave voters harboring suspicions. It could reduce democratic turnout.

Len , February 4, 2020 at 19:52

Who would have guessed!

Len

KiwiAntz , February 4, 2020 at 17:13

If you had any doubts that America & it's so called Democracy is nothing more than a badly run, Banana Republic, the IOWA primary is a microcosm of this Political charade? Shamelessly rigged by a desperate DNC, to sabotage Bernie Saunders campaign & minimise his IOWA win result & the Media bump this would have given his Campaign, this disgusting behaviour demonstrates that the fix was in, once again, to deny Bernie any chance of being the preferred Presidential Candidate, starting in IOWA? And who better to blame but the Democratic Party's "go to" bogeyman to explain away this public relations disaster by once again claiming "It was RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA" who are responsible for this debacle? Pathetic & sad. Bernie is being screwed again by the same idiots who lost the previous Presidential race to a bankrupt Reality TV Star & are going to blow the 2020 Campaign as well by picking another lousy Candidate? Bernie is the only man that can beat Trump! Stop the nonsense DNC & listen to the voters who want Bernie, not Corporate stooges!

Aussidawg , February 5, 2020 at 17:00

That's the scary thing Kiwi, not only does the DNC not care about the wishes of the voters the establishment Dems such as Pelosi, Schumer, Hoyer, et al don't care either as is more often than not reflected in how they vote on important legislation. The establishment Dems simply will not support anything that might endanger the flow of corporate/billionaire campaign contributions into their re-election coffers. The bottom line is these people will always vote the way that will personally benefit them country and constituents be damned. Bernie Sanders poses a direct threat to that continued inflow of campaign donations since much of his proposed legislation will take away tax cuts and impose progressive taxation that the ruling elites have enjoyed and paid for via campaign donations (legal bribes) ever since Reagan was elected. The whole reason the establishment politicians fear Bernie is because he is honest, has integrity and can't be bought. He truly believes in representing his constituents which makes him a rare politician that poses a true threat to the ruling elites.

GO BERNIE SANDERS – 2020

Marko , February 4, 2020 at 16:34

" The delay in reporting is the result of a failed app ."

So far , I'd say the app has been wildly successful , and we still haven't seen the final results. If the purpose was to dilute the impact of Bernie's victory , mission accomplished. If the app was a man-in-the-middle mechanism designed to steal the election outright , it may yet succeed at that , as well. Mayor Pete Guaido seems to think that will be the outcome. Half the results will be announced today at 5 PM EST , ( I'd expect those results to show a razor-close race between Bernie and Pete ) allowing time for evaluating public reaction to see if a blatant theft would be accepted when final tallies are released.

Realist , February 4, 2020 at 15:50

Mayor B was just taking a page from Venezuela's "president" Juan Guaido, who got such good advice from the CIA. If you can't win, just create some chaos and declare yourself in charge.

Frankly, what this fiasco suggests to me is that, in the real world, Bernie won the actual vote in a landslide and these are the "corrective" measures by the Democratic establishment. However, if the coders did their jobs "right," no one will ever know. Plus it creates one more malefaction to blame on Putin don'tcha know and more reason to prefer a war-mongering hard right-wing Democratic Party. Meh, 2016 redux so far.

AnneR , February 5, 2020 at 09:13

These have pretty much been my thoughts on this whole imbroglio: Sanders was all too clearly winning the IA primary and the DNC and its plutocratic supporters balked, so created this "chaos" in order to deny him his win.

John Neal Spangler , February 4, 2020 at 15:03

Looks like fanatical pro-settler hard right pro-Israelis want to throw election to Trump. When the app failed the Iowa dems had no back up methods of communicating, like emails, telephones, or telegrams? Looks like the DNC brought out the clown car and said VOTE TRUMP.

Skip Scott , February 4, 2020 at 14:52

Why would we need the Russians to meddle in our election process? This year's democratic primaries are going to be something else. The party is in its death throes.

DW Bartoo , February 4, 2020 at 14:03

I was hoping that Consortium News would publish this article.

While it must be understood that much of what this article reveals will not reach the eyes or ears, will not cross the thought threshold of most U$ians, it is nonetheless of very significant import.

It points to the manipulation (the manufacturing) of "consent", it pulls the curtains from the behind-the-scenes mechanations of Big Money and the petty jiggering of candidates within the context of big-time political maneuvering in such a fashion that international connections, influence peddling, and vested interests are exposed as ubiquitous and "business" as usual, call it corruption, in an "electoral" process whose principal purpose is convince the many that actual democracy exits, that voting makes a difference, that the many matter, and that politicians actually care about the lives and well-being of those many.

We are told that the debacle in Iowa diminishes the "trust" that the many have of "the system", of the political process, indeed of all the many myths of U$ exceptionalism, of U$ moral virtue and the righteousness of U$ military "intervention" for "humanitarian" purposes and so on.

In 2016, the DNC made clear that the Democratic Party is a private club, that can change its rules (as it recently has done for Bloomberg), can ignore the popular will and substitute its own choices as candidates, and has NO obligation to conduct itself in a "fair", "open", or even consistent fashion, that it can resort to "smoke-filled rooms" decisions whenever it chooses and has every reason to assume that ALL who choose to consider voting for Democrats fully comprehend that the process is "rigged", dishonest, and graft and grift driven.

The Dems are but one of the two right wings of the war and money party, the Republicans the other.

Both wings exist to serve the donor class,
Not "their" donor class, but the whole international (globalist) financial class.

Would it not be wise to consider the very real likelihood that neither of these two wings has any real interest in serving the many, here in the U$, or anywhere else in the world?

That is to say, given the current reality, who can possibly imagine that the many can or may vote their way out of perpetual war, out of wealth inequality, out of for-profit healthcare, or propagandistic media owned by the financial (corporate) class?

If voting is simply a rite, an empty ritual designed not to change anything in meaningful fashion, but merely to provide the appearance but not substance of democracy, then how may it be believed that voting is anything other than passive acquiescence to a tyranny of deceit and population management, especially when leading intellectual "lights" admonish a third party, the Green Party, to effectively neuter itself because only the existing sham is possible?

We live in most interesting times, a time fraught with existential issues too long ignored, and quite unlike any others time in human history.

Can or will a pretend democracy, a bogus electoral system owned by a mere handful of "interests" of obscenely wealthy individuals and administered by sycophantic lap dogs, come to any honest grips with environmental collapse or nuclear Armageddon when the owners and their lackeys, as well as the upper "middle" class profit directly from those existential threats?

Might it not be time to think beyond the two and four year spectacles, beyond the horse race of personality, brand, spin, and media love-(and hate)-fest?

Might our time require more of us than dutifully going along to get along with the insanity?

Might it not be time to ponder how we might build a sustainable and humane human society that need not destroy the ability of the planet to support life simply to allow somewhat more than two thousand individuals to live like tyrannical "royalty"?

Who still believes or thinks that we can vote our way out of corruption and destruction when the only permitted choice is "More of the Same"?

Lesser weevil voting?

That only ensures that the "same" becomes more virulent, more vicious, and more powerful.

Skip Scott , February 7, 2020 at 09:08

I think one of the most important things the average person can do to change the world is to examine their consumer and investment choices. Everyone who pays a cable bill and sits hypnotized for hours each day in front of the "idiot box" is feeding the beast and becoming a compliant victim rather than an active citizen. Lifestyle choices matter.

I choose to vote each election because the Oligarchy loves low voter turnout as confirmation of the masses feeling powerless and complacent to whatever the elite chooses. We also have "propositions" here in Arizona that provide an opportunity for engaging in "direct" democracy.

Daniel , February 4, 2020 at 14:03

Can this DNC ineptitude and the actions of Buttigieg, who is associated with and brazenly trying to benefit from it, even be considered conspiracy theory anymore? When the net result is the same? You'll never convince me that the Iowa debacle wasn't a purposeful event, or that Buttigieg's complaint about the poll last week – whose results were thwarted as a result – weren't coordinated efforts to squash Sanders' momentum.

We know from reliable reporting that Buttigieg sold his soul long ago (if he has one) to the devils of Wall Street, the tech industry, and the intelligence agencies. And, whether he participated in deliberate sabotage in the two instances above or not, his brazen attempt to 'shape the narrative' and benefit from them is sickening enough.

Buttigieg and the like are facilitating and benefitting from a new and dangerous marriage between good old fashioned American propaganda and 21st century technological trickery to win elections that, in any just system, they'd never come close to winning.

I pray to God we are nearing the moment when thinking people finally abandon these frauds, hypocrites, thieves and charlatans en masse once and for all.

Eugenie Basile , February 4, 2020 at 13:34

The DNC has put all its know-how in the Impeachment of Trump and now they can't even count 300.000 votes anymore
Shooting yourself in the foot or rather in both feet while shouting Trump is unfit to be president.

plantman , February 4, 2020 at 13:03

Excellent report!
The influence of private money in the Democratic party is shocking.
Forget Russia -- The problem is much closer to home.

Stan W. , February 4, 2020 at 12:58

But this is Iowa, the land of hard-working farmers and factory workers. Are we sure it's not Chicago we're talking about?

Jeff Harrison , February 4, 2020 at 12:34

ROTFLMAO. And here I thought the Republicans were incompetent!

Drew Hunkins , February 4, 2020 at 12:19

They deprived Bernie of his moment.

This Iowa fiasco was all orchestrated by the corporate-Wall Street Dems to preempt Bernie. The last thing they wanted was Bernie giving a raucous populist victory speech live to the entire world. It would have focused solely on progressive-populist bread and butter issues which would have fired up the entire nation. This is a theft that should not go unpunished.

If Tom Perez has any integrity he'd resign by lunch time today.

[Feb 09, 2020] Iowans Rage They're Dirty, Man, Matt Taibbi Warns Des Moines Debacle Was Waterloo For Democrats

Feb 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg seemed perfect, a man who defended the principle of wine-based fundraisers with military effrontery. New York magazine made his case in a cover story the magazine's Twitter account summarized as:

"Perhaps all the Democrats need to win the presidency is a Rust Belt millennial who's gay and speaks Norwegian."

(The "Here's something random the Democrats need to beat Trump" story became an important literary genre in 2019-2020, the high point being Politico's "Can the "F-bomb save Beto?").

Buttigieg had momentum. The flameout of Biden was expected to help the ex-McKinsey consultant with "moderates." Reporters dug Pete; he's been willing to be photographed holding a beer and wearing a bomber jacket, and in Iowa demonstrated what pundits call a "killer instinct," i.e. a willingness to do anything to win.

Days before the caucus, a Buttigieg supporter claimed Pete's name had not been read out in a Des Moines Register poll, leading to the pulling of what NBC called the "gold standard" survey. The irony of such a relatively minor potential error holding up a headline would soon be laid bare.

However, Pete's numbers with black voters (he polls at zero in many states) led to multiple news stories in the last weekend before the caucus about "concern" that Buttigieg would not be able to win.

Who, then? Elizabeth Warren was cratering in polls and seemed to be shifting strategy on a daily basis. In Iowa, she attacked "billionaires" in one stop, emphasized "unity" in the next, and stressed identity at other times (she came onstage variously that weekend to Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" or to chants of "It's time for a woman in the White House"). Was she an outsider or an insider? A screwer, or a screwee? Whose side was she on?

A late controversy involving a story that Sanders had told Warren a woman couldn't win didn't help. Jaimee Warbasse planned to caucus with Warren, but the Warren/Sanders "hot mic" story of the two candidates arguing after a January debate was a bridge too far. She spoke of being frustrated, along with friends, at the inability to find anyone she could to trust to take on Trump.

"It's like we all have PTSD from 2016," she said. "There has to be somebody."

... ... ...

What happened over the five days after the caucus was a mind-boggling display of fecklessness and ineptitude. Delay after inexplicable delay halted the process, to the point where it began to feel like the caucus had not really taken place. Results were released in chunks, turning what should have been a single news story into many, often with Buttigieg "in the lead."

The delays and errors cut in many directions, not just against Sanders. Buttigieg, objectively, performed above poll expectations, and might have gotten more momentum even with a close, clear loss, but because of the fiasco he ended up hashtagged as #MayorCheat and lumped in headlines tied to what the Daily Beast called a "Clusterfuck."

Though Sanders won the popular vote by a fair margin, both in terms of initial preference (6,000 votes) and final preference (2,000), Mayor Pete's lead for most of the week with "state delegate equivalents" -- the number used to calculate how many national delegates are sent to the Democratic convention -- made him the technical winner in the eyes of most. By the end of the week, however, Sanders had regained so much ground, to within 1.5 state delegate equivalents, that news organizations like the AP were despairing at calling a winner.

This wasn't necessarily incorrect. The awarding of delegates in a state like Iowa is inherently somewhat random. If there's a tie in votes in a district awarding five delegates, a preposterous system of coin flips is used to break the odd number. The geographical calculation for state delegate equivalents is also uneven, weighted toward the rural. A wide popular-vote winner can surely lose.

But the storylines of caucus week sure looked terrible for the people who ran the vote. The results released early favored Buttigieg, while Sanders-heavy districts came out later. There were massive, obvious errors. Over 2,000 votes that should have gone to Sanders and Warren went to Deval Patrick and Tom Steyer in one case the Iowa Democrats termed a "minor error." In multiple other districts (Des Moines 14 for example), the "delegate equivalents" appeared to be calculated incorrectly, in ways that punished all the candidates, not just Sanders. By the end of the week, even the New York Times was saying the caucus was plagued with "inconsistencies and errors."

Emily Connor, a Sanders precinct captain in Boone County, spent much of the week checking results, waiting for her Bernie-heavy district to be recorded. It took a while. By the end of the week, she was fatalistic.

"If you're a millennial, you basically grew up in an era where popular votes are stolen," she said.

"The system is riddled with loopholes."

Others felt the party was in denial about how bad the caucus night looked.

"They're kind of brainwashed," said Joe Grabinski, who caucused in West Des Moines.

"They think they're on the side of the right they'll do anything to save their careers.

An example of how screwed up the process was from the start involved a new twist on the process, the so-called "Presidential Preference Cards."

In 2020, caucus-goers were handed index cards that seemed simple enough. On side one, marked with a big "1," caucus-goers were asked to write in their initial preference. Side 2, with a "2," was meant to be where you wrote in who you ended up supporting, if your first choice was not viable.

The "PPCs" were supposedly there to "ensure a recount is possible," as the Polk County Democrats put it. But caucus-goers didn't understand the cards.

Morgan Baethke, who volunteered at Indianola 4, watched as older caucus-goers struggled. Some began filling out both sides as soon as they were given them.

Therefore, Baethke says, if they do a recount, "the first preference should be accurate." However, "the second preference will be impossible to recreate with any certainty."

This is a problem, because by the end of the week, DNC chair Tom Perez -- a triple-talking neurotic who is fast becoming the poster child for everything progressives hate about modern Dems -- called for an "immediate recanvass." He changed his mind after ten hours and said he only wanted "surgical" reanalysis of problematic districts.

No matter what result emerges, it's likely many individual voters will not trust it. Between comical videos of apparently gamed coin-flips and the pooh-poohing reaction of party officials and pundits (a common theme was that "toxic conspiracy theories" about Iowa were the work of the Trumpian right and/or Russian bots), the overall impression was a clown show performance by a political establishment too bored to worry about the appearance of impartiality.

"Is it incompetence or corruption? That's the big question," asked Storey.

"I'm not sure it matters. It could be both."

[Feb 08, 2020] Mayo tried to dodge the question as usually does. But it didn't work so well

Feb 08, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

le="View user profile." href="https://caucus99percent.com/users/humphrey">humphrey

This is the single most important moment in the debate tonight.

In fact, I think it was the most brilliant moderator moment from ANY debate, thanks to @LinseyDavis .

She directly confronted @PeteButtigieg on his record.

And he had NOTHING.

pic.twitter.com/67Xk8Rn7eL

-- Shaun King (@shaunking) February 8, 2020

Raggedy Ann on Sat, 02/08/2020 - 4:49pm
His naivete

@humphrey @humphrey
came bursting forth! "I can stand here and blow smoke up your ass and you don't even know I'm doing it!" What a dumass! I can't even stand to hear his voice.

But it didn't work so well.

This is the single most important moment in the debate tonight.

In fact, I think it was the most brilliant moderator moment from ANY debate, thanks to @LinseyDavis .

She directly confronted @PeteButtigieg on his record.

And he had NOTHING.

pic.twitter.com/67Xk8Rn7eL

-- Shaun King (@shaunking) February 8, 2020

humphrey on Sat, 02/08/2020 - 4:55pm
LOL

@Raggedy Ann

https://t.co/t0mV3UN0iU

-- Yousef (@youskhalfan) February 8, 2020

#3 #3
came bursting forth! "I can stand here and blow smoke up your ass and you don't even know I'm doing it!" What a dumass! I can't even stand to hear his voice.

Not Henry Kissinger on Sat, 02/08/2020 - 5:26pm
Pete defends his record ...

@humphrey @humphrey

by saying that increased drug arrests were used to 'target' Black gang violence, which if you think about it, is pretty much the same pretext Richard Nixon used to START the Drug War in the first place.

At the time, I was writing a book about the politics of drug prohibition. I started to ask Ehrlichman a series of earnest, wonky questions that he impatiently waved away. "You want to know what this was really all about?" he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did. "

Pete is continuing the corrosive Nixonian conflation of drugs, Black people and violence, even as he calls for decriminalization of opioids for his poppy growing pals in Afghanistan.

What a creep.

But it didn't work so well.

This is the single most important moment in the debate tonight.

In fact, I think it was the most brilliant moderator moment from ANY debate, thanks to @LinseyDavis .

She directly confronted @PeteButtigieg on his record.

And he had NOTHING.

pic.twitter.com/67Xk8Rn7eL

-- Shaun King (@shaunking) February 8, 2020

longtalldrink on Sat, 02/08/2020 - 6:00pm
ANSWER the question Mayor Rat

@humphrey All I heard was blah, blah, blah with the deer in the headlights look.

[Feb 08, 2020] Mayor Pete and Bill Maher - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Feb 08, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Bill Maher interviewed Pete Buttigieg a few days ago on January 31, 2019. Bill Maher said, "You are the only military veteran in this."
Buttigieg nodded along and said, "Yeah."

It was a critical test of character for Mayor Pete, and Buttigieg showed his true colors. Instead of acknowledging Major Tulsi Gabbard -- the first female combat veteran to ever run for the presidency, who volunteered to deploy twice to the warzones of the Middle East at the height of the war, who has served in the Army National Guard for 17 years and is still serving today -- Buttigieg chose to allow the audience to believe the falsehood that he was the only military veteran running for president because it benefits him politically.

Furthermore, when Buttigeig's campaign posted the interview on social media, they chose to cut out the first part of Maher's statement (i.e.


"You are the only military veteran in this.") C'est un arriviste : mon opinion

Check this article:

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/03/all-about-pete

Before I dive into Shortest Way Home's account of the life and career of Peter Buttigieg, let me be up front about my bias. I don't trust former McKinsey consultants. I don't trust military intelligence officers. And I don't trust the type of people likely to appear on "40 under 40" lists, the valedictorian-to-Harvard-to-Rhodes-Scholarship types who populate the American elite. I don't trust people who get flattering reams of newspaper profiles and are pitched as the Next Big Thing That You Must Pay Attention To, and I don't trust wunderkinds who become successful too early. Why? Because I am somewhat cynical about the United States meritocracy. Few people amass these kind of résumés if they are the type to openly challenge authority. Noam Chomsky says that the factors predicting success in our "meritocracy" are a "combination of greed, cynicism, obsequiousness and subordination, lack of curiosity and independence of mind, [and] self-serving disregard for others." So when journalists see "Harvard" and think "impressive," I see it and think "uh-oh."

Posted by: The Beaver | 07 February 2020 at 02:03 PM DNC and Media have black balled Gabbard.
Thrashing Kamala and Hillary is an unforgivable sin for the current DNC.
Democratic party is poorly served by DNC corruption and incompetence.
The top of their ticket reminds me of the decrepit party hacks the politburo put forward in the early 80s.
Moral and intellectual bankrupt.
Noting that McCain and Romney were the previous GOP nominees does not inspire confidence either

Posted by: sbin | 07 February 2020 at 02:23 PM I'm not normally into conspiracy theories, but I am suspicious of his direct commission into Naval intelligence. His educational background and a few other things makes me think he might be a CIA stooge.

And yes, pretty dishonest and arrogant to not mention Tulsi.

Posted by: Eric Newhill | 07 February 2020 at 02:36 PM I had heard Mayor Pete had been an engineer in the military but in a The Atlantic interview he says he was Naval Intelligence. He also spent time as a consultant for McKinsey in the Afghanistan but in neither case was he in much danger--unlike Tulsi.
In his own words: "Four years later, Buttigieg would return to Afghanistan as a Naval intelligence officer. He stayed on bases for the most part, venturing out only as an armed escort on an occasional trip. On the McKinsey work, they were outside the wire more, but "there was no moment of great adventure or danger for me, other than just the fact of we drove from Kabul to Jalalabad. That was a little risky. But in Iraq we were on base, or at least in the Green Zone, almost all the time."

How does a mayor of a small mid-west town wake up one day and decide he is qualified to run for the highest political office in the land and believe he can win. He's either insane or has friends inm high places. After the fudging of the numbers in Iowa in his favor, I'd say the latter.

Posted by: optimax | 07 February 2020 at 02:41 PM I have a low opinion of his personal integrity. But then I have a lot opinion of the President's personal integrity. Its probably time saving to say who does appear to have integrity rather than doesnt. At the moment I am prepared to believe Steyer, Gabbard, Sanders and Yang have some decency. But I could easily be wrong about any of them.

Posted by: Harry | 07 February 2020 at 02:51 PM Ian Gabbard should run as an independent if she doesn't get the nomination. I believe Gabbard said she won't but I hope she change her mind.

Posted by: Ian | 07 February 2020 at 03:01 PM different clue Since my background is strictly civilian, I cannot state . . . anything. But perhaps I can ask, could we refer to this as " foam-rubber valor"? Or "cardboard-replica valor"?

And it confirms a new emerging nickname I am seeing here and there for Mayor Pete . . . Pete the Cheat, Cheater Peter, Cheatin' Pete.. .

Posted by: different clue | 07 February 2020 at 03:23 PM

[Feb 07, 2020] Is Buttigieg connected to CIA ?

Feb 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

steven t johnson , Feb 6 2020 17:02 utc | 17

Buttigieg was Navy, and military rivalry with the CIA means he's not likely to be CIA. Also, McKinsey is a political influence peddling outfit, which is not CIA. Working at NGOs, maybe. Buttigieg is affiliated with the Truman Project...but the Truman Project centers on the open admission that the Iraq war was an insanely stupid strategic and tactical mistake, and imperialism needs to be done smarter. It is not, not, not yet a principle of the CIA that the Iraq war was a signal failure on their part. Further, the CIA finds gays pretty much as distasteful as the average barfly, even if they feel they should be discrete.

The closest thing to a reason to believe Buttigieg is CIA is that his further was an avowed leftist who taught the works of the Italian Communist Antonio Gramscie, associated with the journal Rethinking Marxism. That is an ideal bio for a fake leftist fighting Leninist Communism. The thing there, of course, is that the CIA is not a hereditary institution!

Buttigieg believes in capitalism, just like Warren. Thus he is no good, period. The rest is largely homophobes losing their minds.

I think Buttigieg is the honest version of Warren, saying what she would actually do, whatever she's pretending right now. I think it is always an offense to common sense and common decency to abuse politicians when they tell the truth. It should be the opposite. Loving them for their lies is Trumpery.


the pair , Feb 7 2020 0:31 utc | 97

current affairs has also done a lot of good work on buttigieg, mckinsey and where the two intersect.

https://duckduckgo.com/html/?q=site%3Acurrentaffairs.org%20McKinsey

james , Feb 7 2020 0:42 utc | 101
@ 97 the pair...

nathan robinson wrote a great article on pete buttigieg that b shared 1/2 a year ago.. it is worth the read..

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/03/all-about-pete

@ 98 wg - maybe a combo of the 2? yours is a polite way of putting it..

[Jan 06, 2020] The spooks' choice Coup plotters and CIA agents fill Pete Buttigieg's list of national security endorsers by Samuel D. Finkelstein

Jan 06, 2020 | thegrayzone.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Patriot Group International PGI Pete Buttigieg

Eye-popping payments to a Blackwater-style mercenary firm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The CIA hearts Mayor Pete

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

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

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

David Cohen CIA Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg backer and former CIA Deputy Director David S. Cohen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Kaczmarek Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg endorser Matt Kaczmarek, a former US National Security Council official and now vice president of BlackRock

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

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

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

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

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

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

Empire's empty vessel

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

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

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

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

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

Samuel D. Finkelstein Sam Finkelstein is a political activist, writer, and student at Seton Hall Law School. Follow him on Twitter at @Cancel_Sam . Share Tweet Filed under: 2020 , 2020 presidential campaign , BlackRock , Brazil , CIA , coup , David S. Cohen , Democratic Party , Democrats , DNC , intelligence community , inter american development bank , Julie T. Katzman , Karen Mathiasen , Mayor Pete , Nicolas Maduro , NSC , Pete Buttigieg , presidential primary , regime change , us politics , Venezuela , world bank

[Dec 24, 2019] I think the Democrat establishment has decided to throw Mayor Pete under the bus. This is why Warren went after him and some donors appear to be stabbing him in the back. A fascinating situation to watch.

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Darius , December 23, 2019 at 9:15 am

I think the Democrat establishment has decided to throw Mayor Pete under the bus. This is why Warren went after him and some donors appear to be stabbing him in the back. A fascinating situation to watch.

jo6pac , December 23, 2019 at 9:36 am

Looks like mayor pete has a following. The 1% have spoken through their puppets.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-218-foreign-policy-endorsements-090003214.html?guccounter=1

Reply

Shonde , December 23, 2019 at 11:04 am

Just read the same article a few minutes ago and thought of what Yves had said today of those hired by Mckinsey, "the firm tries very hard to hire individuals who are very insecure and want badly to do well, including at the firm."

Eureka Springs , December 23, 2019 at 10:12 am

Was driving cross country on debate day listening to NPR as much as I could stand. More than the combined total of the last fifteen years. They played up Pete as if he were a sports star about to wipe every opponent off the playing field. And they never mentioned Sanders by name but included a clip of his voice saying something along the line of "of course taxes will have to go up" at least a hundred times.

And their impeachment Dem/Donald derangement syndrome made me wonder just what kind of drugs have they put in the coffee/water cooler.

Intentional dumbing-down of all who listen without question or nausea.

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 11:06 am

Mayor Pete's base is upper-middle-class, middle-aged, moderate-to-liberal-leaning, white people. Which is pretty much NPR's core donor base. Their Buttimania could just be fan service, like the most recent Star Wars movie.

Gotta move them tote bags!

Rod , December 23, 2019 at 11:25 am

It's painful for me to agree that the early efforts of so many journalists of integrity have evolved into what you noticed today. I trusted Noah Adams despite him never pleading to be my trusted news friend or emotional support in hard times.
so much of the bare language–nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs and their linking language is replicated by varying 'personalities' that I find it difficult to believe that talking points are not circulated by NPR Editors hourly.
I am also increasingly agitated in my listening by being force fed soooo many stories about Pop Culture 'hooked' to a 'news' item–like Hanukah Shopping events filed under Religion.

Eclair , December 23, 2019 at 11:34 am

Sympathy, Eureka Springs. We listen to NPR on long trips; usually the choices are Religion, Country or NPR. Or Sports Talk Call-Ins. I invariably end up banging my head on the dashboard (not while it is my turn to drive!) and/or screaming into thin air.

turtle , December 23, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Yikes! You could get an old mp3 player and fill it up with your favorite music and podcasts. It would completely transform your car travel experience. If you don't have a hook up for the player to the stereo, you can get great FM transmitters for 20 dollars or so. Good luck!

inode_buddha , December 23, 2019 at 2:35 pm

When going cross-country, I usually just enjoy the scenery, and there is plenty f it.

Amfortas the hippie , December 23, 2019 at 3:28 pm

yeah.
i got out of the habit of listening to the radio a long while ago. we're in an in between major markets place where if the wind is out of the north, we get stations from abilene and san angelo out of the south, san antonio.
none very good reception.
only local stations(2, in different towns) are porter wagoner fans that at least have live coverage of the ball games(for wife,lol. i can't stand it)
so i just got used to having music in my head when on the road, and literally forget that there's a thing called "radio"..

Arizona Slim , December 23, 2019 at 6:04 pm

When I was bicycling around the country, I carried a harmonica. Didn't play it while I was riding, but boy, would I pull that thing out in campgrounds.

Never became a good player, but gawd, that little Hohner was fun!

Goyo Marquez , December 23, 2019 at 7:23 pm

Well when we drive the 2 hours each way to San Diego, usually at least once a week, my wife reads the NC links and commentary. Sometimes she'll save the comments for the trip home and get so excited when she refreshes the page and , "There are 243 comments, that should keep us."

[Dec 24, 2019] Clinton DemoRats are confused about why people in the Democratic pre-primary season aren't flocking to Mayo Pete when he's enthusiastic about maintainjng establishment power and welcoming "former republicans" to the fold. As if "Radical Centrism" hasn't passed its sell by date yet.

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Chris , December 23, 2019 at 10:02 am

A two pack of Buttigieg stories, showing that all the Atlantic should be asking for Christmas is a clue

First, they're confused about why people in the Democratic pre-primary season aren't flocking to Mayo Pete when he's enthusiastic about maintainjng establishment power and welcoming "former republicans" to the fold. As if "Radical Centrism" hasn't passed its sell by date yet.

And then, they're confused about why young people don't like Mayo Pete. Clearly it's jealousy for his success and not his noxious ideas mixed bland centrism.

It's pretty clear Mayor Pete is running for President for two reasons. His own gratification and to receive big payouts from donors after his time in office. He has nothing substantial to offer to anyone. People in Indiana don't even like him enough to support him for a state office. He hasn't done anything worthwhile in little South Bend to show any promise for higher office either. His history and accomplishments vary between meritocratic box checking and crude virtue signaling. He's the political equivalent of a bunch of old rich men trying to create a boy band out of whole cloth. There's nothing there. And the people at the Atlantic can't figure out why voters don't like him???

Joe Well , December 23, 2019 at 11:03 am

My interpretation of Mayo Pete is: identity politics for white, middle-aged, middle-to-upper-class Americans.

NC linked to a poll the other day that showed that 97% of his supporters were white, compared to around 47% for Bernie and around 70% for Klobuchar, the next highest after the Mayor.

jrs , December 23, 2019 at 12:22 pm

Most Democrats hate Republicans (true technically any vote will do when it comes to an election, but it's often more emotional than rational and not going to be much of a selling point to Dems, that you are attracting the other tribe they hate and kumbaya).

There is the problem of him not being qualified of course, and not likely to win. The annoying part is centrists seem to have picked the least promising centrist candidates ever, so if we are stuck with a centrist, it's going to be one that seems to have little shot of winning.

Phacops , December 23, 2019 at 2:04 pm

Democrats hating republicans? Evidently not when they are DINOs, like Senator Peters (MI).

But, seriously, I am tired of those in the grip of Trump derangement who say that they will vote blue no matter who the nominee is. I just wish they would sit out the Democratic primaries and leave the selection to people who actually follow and mull over issues.

Massinissa , December 23, 2019 at 2:13 pm

I hope the people saying that will be ok voting for Bernie Sanders if he wins the primary.

I sort of doubt it though.

Pat , December 23, 2019 at 12:36 pm

I saw where some celebrity was defending him and his donors and described him as "guileless ". I was flummoxed. Guileless? He may be over his head as mayor and as candidate, but there is nothing real there.

I do look at records, but Buttigieg has always struck me as the smart kid B*ll Sh*tting their way through an assignment when ever I hear him speak. Donors buying a Trojan horse I get but I don't know how anyone sees sincerity.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , December 23, 2019 at 7:10 pm

I'd like to see a list of his accomplishments in office. What? There isn't one. Oh, wait, apparently he was really good on fixing the potholes in the roads.

Kind of like Obama, when I encounter the faithful, I pretend to go along, and then ask "what do you think were Obama's best three things he accomplished while in office?"

Squirming in chair, followed by vague platitudes, followed by "he would have done a lot if he wasn't blocked by Republicans

DJG , December 23, 2019 at 1:16 pm

Chris:

Excellent metaphor:
He's the political equivalent of a bunch of old rich men trying to create a boy band out of whole cloth.

But Pete is no Justin Timberlake! C'mon. Let's get serious about boy bands.

[Dec 24, 2019] Deep State endorses Buttigieg. Only half joking. No, maybe not joking at all.

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Donald , December 23, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Deep State endorses Buttigieg. Only half joking. No, maybe not joking at all.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-218-foreign-policy-endorsements-090003214.html

shinola , December 23, 2019 at 2:44 pm

I caught a TV news piece over the weekend that claimed Buttgag had been voted "most likely to become president" (or something to that effect) when he was a senior in high school. That got me thinking "Why does this not surprise me?"

Well because I had encountered exactly this type of person in some advanced placement classes in my HS senior year who claimed that his goal was to one day become president of the US. The word that comes to mind when I recall that guy is "insufferable". I had never encountered anyone before that proudly displayed such naked ambition. I hadn't really thought much about that fellow since then – until Buttgag came on the scene and I was immediately reminded

turtle , December 23, 2019 at 4:31 pm

Yes, the new Netflix series "The Politican" is exactly about one of these types (student at a rich high school who plans to be president). Not sure yet exactly what angle they take since I've only watched the pilot and other random bits, but it's at least interesting. As with any good writing they seem to want to show complexities of the character.

Carl , December 23, 2019 at 4:52 pm

Tracy Flick.

Bugs Bunny , December 23, 2019 at 6:03 pm

That spec screenplay was considered one of the greatest unproduced films for many years before it was finely shot.

Read it sometime, there are plenty of copies in circulation. It's simply brilliant.

The film differs slightly from the script, I suppose it was hard to do it exactly. There are two different endings that I've seen. Neither is the one from the original script.

David R Smith , December 23, 2019 at 9:26 pm

Have we forgotten one William J Clinton?

CoryP , December 24, 2019 at 1:12 am

On my current tangent about proper language. I like that we are able to make fun of his name and turn it into new nicknames. The guy's name has "butt" in it, after all. Let's free our inner 12-year olds.

As a gay man, I call him Butt****, with all the derision normally associated with that term. Theoretically that should be offensive to me.

Anyway interesting. Buttgag works well. ++

lyman alpha blob , December 23, 2019 at 4:34 pm

This was posted here a few days ago in case you missed it. https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/17/national-security-mandarins-groomed-pete-buttigieg/

Booty judge is a spook, Obama the phony pseudo-endorses Warren – the Democrat party is going to nominate a Republican whether the plebes like it or not!

drumlin woodchuckles , December 23, 2019 at 8:48 pm

In which case, the DemParty Convention will have presented the American electorate with a "Truman's Choice".

anon in so cal , December 23, 2019 at 4:52 pm

Here, too:

"The letter is interesting for what it says about Buttigieg's increasingly conventional and hawkish foreign policy and the preferences of many Democratic foreign policy experts."

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-blob-embraces-buttigieg/

pretzelattack , December 23, 2019 at 5:12 pm

i am reeling in shock. the globetrotters and the washington generals were more convincing.

CoryP , December 24, 2019 at 1:07 am

Random. Pretzel, I'm glad to see you here. I've enjoyed your comments at MoA even though the comment section there is a garbage fire.

Craig H. , December 23, 2019

[Dec 23, 2019] Buttigieg is that he worked for the occupation and seems to have bought the imperial cool-aid, which indicates to me that he is not that smart. Some people, like Gabbard, have enlisted in the military, but were able to think independently and critically about the wars.

Dec 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Buttigieg presents himself as having had little to no impact . Buttigieg presents his initial work, on a cost-cutting study for Blue Cross Blue Shield, as being about "rent, travel costs, mail, and printing." Perhaps his little corner of data crunching focused on that, but Buttigieg is being disingenuous in averting voter attention from the fact that the study was almost certainly about cutting headcount.

In my day, McKinsey only reluctantly took on what it called "activity value" or "overhead value" studies, which were its lingo for cost reduction assignments, because there was no way to make much of a dent unless you got rid of bodies. 70% of most firm's costs are employment-related and most costs, like rent, key off headcount. In other words, those "overhead expenditures" that Buttigieg's team was tasked to reduce included employees.

McKinsey didn't like getting people at clients fired because it recognized it might be creating future enemies, via axed professionals who eventually landed well and would likely do what they could to prevent McKinsey from getting hired at their new home. And consultants hated those studies too. They followed a cookbook, which meant they didn't allow the consultants to develop or show off problem-solving skills, plus it was just plain depressing to go to client when the people in the corridors correctly saw you as an executioner. 2

Buttigieg is proud of the monster data-crunching pricing exercise he did on his second study for the Canadian store Loblaw's. There's a bizarre grandiosity in how he presented his role as a still-wet-behind-the-ears consultant in the Atlantic interview: " .brought him in to figure out how to do it in a way that would actually help the bottom line." Structuring the analysis falls to the engagement manager. That isn't to say Buttigieg didn't improve considerably upon the initial ideas, but it seems wildly implausible that someone who presents himself as having to be taught spreadsheeting and doesn't have a degree in math, engineering, hard sciences, or at least a solid knowledge of statistics, would be "brought in" as if he had pre-existing expertise.

And oddly, he never says this big exercise was valuable to the client. There are acceptable in McKinsey-speak ways of taking credit without violating the norm of giving the glory to the client.

This part from the Atlantic interview is also grandiose:

By the time of the Loblaws project, Buttigieg was becoming known within the company for being a particularly good McKinsey consultant..

This is ludicrous. He's merely nine months into the firm and he has yet to demonstrate any client-related or project management skills. At most, Buttigieg might have gotten noticed within the Chicago and/or Toronto offices as being a good number cruncher and quantitative analyst.

Buttigieg also tries to depict his getting a foreign assignment as a badge of honor. In reality, when an office can't staff a project from its own team (and Buttigieg was sent from the Chicago office to work on an Iraq/Afghanistan project staffed out of the Washington office), nearly all of the time, this is the project everyone else in the office turned down. Only once in a great while is an office so busy that it can't even staff the good projects internally. I made this mistake in accepting a London project. I got to the the office in St. James and discovered that the partner to which I was now assigned was widely despised.

Mind you, Buttigieg no doubt learned a lot from this gig, even if it may not be want he wanted to learn. But getting put on it didn't mean he was special.

Buttigieg doesn't adequately explain the anomaly of his bugging out to work on a campaign .

How do we explain this?

I stepped away from the firm during the late summer and fall of 2008 to help full-time with a Democratic campaign for governor in Indiana, returning after the election.

This is sufficiently unusual that I suspect those who have taken notice of it are likely to have drawn the wrong inferences, so indulge me for a bit.

McKinsey, high-power professional firms, and most employers do not take well to employees saying they want to take a disruptive break to pursue personal interests.

McKinsey is even less good about making accommodations for women partners who have children than other top consultants; Bain by contrast has developed a reputation for being enlightened on this front, so there's no reason to think they are habituated to being accommodating in general .particularly for someone who has only been there a bit over a year.

Keep in mind that unlike other types of professional firms, where a young hire might join a particular department, like the bankruptcy practice, and those partners could have the power to run their own business and cut "their" staffers some slack, McKinsey non-partners are in a pool and a assignment specialist (who even when not a partner has a lot of clout) negotiates with partners as to who goes on what study. Even though the partners' interests are important, the assignment specialist also pays attention to the so-called "development needs" of the associates and managers, as well as other issues (like they were just on an out of town study in a terrible location and putting them on another might result in them quitting).

Shorter: for the purpose of keeping peace among the partners, individual partners do not get to act as godfathers with respect to associates or even engagement managers. 3

So how to make sense of this? Look at the timeframe again: Late summer-fall 2008.

The only thing I can fathom is that enough McKinsey clients saw the crisis unfolding and stopped signing up for new work so as to create a lot of underutilization. The firm might have let it quietly or not so quietly be known that it would consider requests for short-term leaves of absence.

McKinsey was badly hit in the dot-bomb era and wound up reducing its staffing in North America by nearly 50% in two years. With the benefit of hindsight, the firm might have come up with other ways to reduce payroll when faced with sudden slack besides cutting hiring and getting more aggressive about pushing weak performers out the door (both of which take time to implement).

Why did Buttigieg leave? Buttigieg strongly suggests he was never serious about McKinsey, that he was there to get his ticket punched. While that may be true, the firm tries very hard to hire individuals who are very insecure and want badly to do well, including at the firm. And if you really aren't that serious about your long-term career at the firm, it is hard to put up with the indignities of being an associate, like insecure managers wanting you to do analysis that is obviously a waste of time or who nag associates thinking that that will motivate them, or alternatively the stereotypical bad consulting gig of being on the road all the time, worse mainly in locations with not-good hotels and restaurants. 4

When I came to McKinsey, I was ambivalent but willing to be persuaded. I wasn't. I saw too little evidence that McKinsey actually added value, to use its pet expression. Most clients didn't seem to get better. Now it is true they might have gotten worse without McKinsey, but that's hard to establish.

One fellow 'Zoid who left around when I did had these observations:

The problem with consulting is you are hired by the problem.

The most profitable clients are the most diseased.

So consulting seemed to me to be a lot like therapy, in a bad way, in that I knew too many people who were in therapy, were convinced therapy was helping, yet there wasn't much objective evidence that their lives were getting better (they didn't seem less anxious, or to be having more success in their relationships or with whatever their presenting problem seemed to be). 5 At my remove, it looked as if in too many cases, the therapist had done a good job of creating patient dependence. And I saw the same phenomenon at McKinsey.

By contrast, Buttigieg is he exhibits no reservations about what McKinsey does generally, just some specific bad acts. From the Atlantic interview :

He said he's disappointed in some of the work the company has done. "Since I've left," he said, "there are at least four cases that I can think of where someone at McKinsey has done something upsetting."

Of course, McKinsey partners have turned out to be important funding sources for Buttigieg, so he has mercenary reasons for avoiding offending members of the firm. Nevertheless, it would seem more genuine to come up with some reason why consulting wasn't a fit for him, even if that reason wasn't the operative truth. But Buttigieg doesn't do genuine.

1 I don't consider Kennedy having worked for one month as a correspondent thanks to his father arm-twisting William Randolph Hearst as "private sector experience." LBJ briefly taught in public schools, again not a private sector position. Clinton decided at age 16 that he wanted to be a public servant. He worked on some political campaigns and was a law professor at the University of Arkansas (public school!) before he won his first race, for governor, at the age of 32.

2 McKinsey got over these touching sentiments when specialist cost cutting firms, including ones started by ex-McKinsey non-tenured partners , started coining money by taking a percentage of the savings.

3 The dynamic can change later when a consultant has worked regularly on a core client team. Then the client might actually start asking for a particular consultant to manage or lead a study. The firm views that positively since consultants that get known at a client will be contenders to take over the account later. But the earliest when clients start asking for a specific person is at the engagement manager level, when Buttigieg was a mere associate.

4 I was exceptionally lucky in getting way less of that than most associates did.

5 Admittedly New York is very competitive and few people have friends that aren't part of their professional circle. So the therapist might have filled an important role by being a safe sounding board/sanity check.


Bugs Bunny , December 23, 2019 at 6:40 am

Thanks Yves. In a few paragraphs you summed up the entire world of the big consulting firm. It can be fun but there's a heck of a lot of misery, especially for the associates and more junior managers. Getting assigned to a bad MD can set a career back for years and I've seen at least a dozen times where it led to illness or leaving the firm. Or both.

The odd thing that I noticed about Buttigieg was that at times he sounds like he's trying to oversell a flimsy resume of consulting experience and at other times sort of clumsily hiding what he really worked on. I agree with you that he was probably told that his part of the firm was "taking a break" before he went off to do campaign work. Otherwise it makes no sense to lose

Edward , December 23, 2019 at 10:22 am

Peter Van Buren has made a similar critique of Buttigieg's military service:

https://wemeantwell.com/blog/2019/06/08/what-mayor-pete-wont-tell-you-the-role-of-military-service-in-the-2020-election/

My basic feeling is that Buttigieg is a creation of the media. Some candidates, like Tulsi Gabbard, Mike Gravel, or Sanders, are diminished by the press. Others, like Buttigieg, are promoted. The hype about Buttigieg reminds me of the hype about George Bush giving Michelle Obama some candy, or about Alito's wife crying during his confirmation hearing.

JohnnyGL , December 23, 2019 at 12:06 pm

https://baselinescenario.com/2010/08/21/management-consulting-myths/

Here's a post on mgt consulting from awhile back that this post reminded me of. James Kwak helped place the proper role of consulting projects into the right frame.

I think it helps compliment Yves' very valid questions.

The larger takeaway I'm getting is that Buttigieg doesn't come across as particularly honest about much of anything on his resume. I know the elites of media and team dem really want to push this guy, but he's really struggling to catch on with voters, not least because he's hopelessly unqualified. There's no scenario where you can say:

"I was a low man on the totem pole at McKinsey" and then say, "I'm qualified to be president" in the next breath.

The same is true with his record as Mayor of South Bend. He's admitted he's not understood the black community and not represented them all that well, and yet, he wants a big promotion.

This kind of resume-based critique seems appropriate to me because he's running as the candidate who's trying to persuade the elite, PMC (prof mgr class) within the democratic party that he's the man for the job (and tell the larger working class base of the democratic party that they should just jump on board because he's electable) and he's not even qualified from their own frame of reference.

Edward , December 23, 2019 at 1:05 pm

What seems to me telling about Buttigieg is that he worked for the occupation and seems to have bought the imperial cool-aid, which indicates to me that he is not that smart. Some people, like Gabbard, have enlisted in the military, but were able to think independently and critically about the wars.

[Dec 22, 2019] The Insider National Security Mandarins Groomed Pete Buttigieg Managed His Future by Max Blumenthal

Notable quotes:
"... On the trail, he has invoked his distinction as the openly gay mayor of a de-industrialized Rust Belt town, as well as his experience as a Naval reserve intelligence officer who now claims to oppose "endless wars". He insists that "there's energy for an outsider like me," promoting himself as "an unconventional candidate." ..."
"... Like Buttigieg, Gabbard was a military veteran of the 9/11 generation. But she had taken an entirely different set of lessons from her grueling stint in Iraq than "Mayor Pete." Her campaign had become an anti-war crusade, with opposition to destructive regime change wars serving as her leitmotif. ..."
"... After ticking off her foreign policy credentials, Gabbard turned to Buttigieg and lit into him for stating his willingness to send U.S. troops to Mexico to crack down on drug cartels. A visibly angry Buttigieg responded by accusing Gabbard of distorting his record, then quickly deflected to Syria, where he has argued for an indefinite deployment of occupying U.S. troops. ..."
"... According to John Kiriakou, a former CIA case officer, ex-senior investigator for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and celebrated whistleblower, Somaliland is an unusual destination for tourism. "There really is nothing going on in Somaliland," Kiriakou told The Grayzone . "To say you go to Somaliland as a tourist is a joke to me. It's not a war-torn area but nobody goes there as a tourist." ..."
"... Whether or not Buttigieg's trip was coordinated without the assistance of lobbyists, the trip offered him and Myers an opportunity to weigh in on international affairs on the pages of the supposed newspaper of record – and on an absolutely non-controversial issue. ..."
"... When Pete Buttigieg made his journey to Somaliland in 2008, he had just earned a fellowship at the Truman Center, a Washington-based think tank that provided a steppingstone for national security-minded whiz kids like him to leadership positions in the Democratic Party. ..."
"... Buttigieg likely earned the fellowship after answering an ad like the one the Truman Center published on the website of the Harvard Law School Student Government in 2010 . Soliciting applicants for its security fellowship, the center declared that it was seeking "exceptionally accomplished and dedicated men and women who share President Truman's belief in muscular internationalism, and who believe that strong national security and strong liberal values are not antagonistic, but are two sides of the same coin." ..."
"... Buttigieg blended a call to "end endless wars" with Cold War bluster directed at designated enemies. ..."
"... Before an auditorium packed with the national press, he rattled off one of the more paranoid talking points of the Russiagate era, blaming President Vladimir Putin for fueling racism inside the U.S. He then attacked Trump for facilitating peace talks in Korea, slamming the president for exchanging "love letters" with "a brutal dictator," referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. ..."
"... Trojan Horse cum Wolf in Sheep's Clothing #2. Fooled me twice, Obama; shame on me. ..."
Dec 21, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

An influential D.C. network of military interventionists placed Mayor Pete on an inside track to power, reports Max Blumenthal.


The Grayzone

I n his quest for front-runner status in the 2020 presidential campaign, Pete Buttigieg has crafted an image for himself as a maverick running against a broken establishment.

On the trail, he has invoked his distinction as the openly gay mayor of a de-industrialized Rust Belt town, as well as his experience as a Naval reserve intelligence officer who now claims to oppose "endless wars". He insists that "there's energy for an outsider like me," promoting himself as "an unconventional candidate."

When former Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed Joe Biden this December, Buttigieg went full maverick . "I have never been part of the Washington establishment," he proclaimed, "and I recognize that there are relationships among senators who have been together on Capitol Hill as long as I've been alive and that is what it is."

But a testy exchange between the South Bend mayor and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard during a Nov. 20 Democratic primary debate had already complicated Buttigieg's branding campaign.

Like Buttigieg, Gabbard was a military veteran of the 9/11 generation. But she had taken an entirely different set of lessons from her grueling stint in Iraq than "Mayor Pete." Her campaign had become an anti-war crusade, with opposition to destructive regime change wars serving as her leitmotif.

After ticking off her foreign policy credentials, Gabbard turned to Buttigieg and lit into him for stating his willingness to send U.S. troops to Mexico to crack down on drug cartels. A visibly angry Buttigieg responded by accusing Gabbard of distorting his record, then quickly deflected to Syria, where he has argued for an indefinite deployment of occupying U.S. troops.

Rehashing well-worn criticism of Gabbard for meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a diplomatic visit she took -- her trip was devoted to de-escalating the U.S.-backed proxy war that had ravaged the country's population -- Buttigieg attacked the congresswoman for engaging with a "murderous dictator."

Throughout the exchange, Buttigieg appeared shaken, as though his sense of inviolability had been punctured. Gabbard had clearly struck a vulnerable point by painting the self-styled outsider as a conventional D.C.-style politician unconsciously spouting interventionist bromides.

How could someone who served in the catastrophically wasteful U.S. wars in the Middle East, and who had seen their human toll, be reckless enough to propose sending U.S. troops to fight and possibly die in Mexico? "But Assad!" was the best response he could muster.

The remarkable dust-up highlighted a side of the 37-year-old political upstart that has been scarcely explored in mainstream U.S. media accounts of his rise to prominence. It revealed the real Buttigieg as a neoliberal cadre whose future was carefully managed by the mandarins of the national security state since almost the moment that he graduated from Harvard University.

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

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

His Harvard social network has been a critical factor in his rise as well, with college buddies occupying key campaign roles as outside policy advisers and strategists. One of his closest friends from school is today the senior adviser of a specialized unit of the State Department focused on fomenting regime change abroad.

That friend, Nathaniel "Nat" Myers, was Buttigieg's traveling partner on a trip to Somaliland, where the two claimed to have been tourists in a July 2008 article they wrote for The New York Times.

Their contribution to the paper was not any typical travelogue detailing a whimsical safari. Instead, they composed a slick editorial that echoed the Somaliland government's call for recognition from the U.S. government. It was Buttigieg's first foreign policy audition before a national audience.

Short, Strange Trip to Somaliland

Under public pressure for more transparency about his work at the notoriously secretive McKinsey consulting firm, the Buttigieg campaign released some background details this December. The disclosures included a timeline of his work for various clients that stated he "stepped away from the firm during the late summer and fall of 2008 to help full-time with a Democratic campaign for governor in Indiana."

How Buttigieg's "full-time" role on that gubernatorial campaign took him on a nearly 8,000-mile detour to Somaliland remains unclear.

Buttigieg and Nathaniel Myers spent only 24 hours in the autonomous region of Somaliland. In that short time, they interviewed unnamed government officials and faithfully relayed their pro-independence line back to the readers of The New York Times in a July 2008 op-ed .

The column read as though crafted by a public relations firm on behalf of a government client. In one section, the two travelers wrote that "the people we met in Somaliland were welcoming, hopeful and bewildered by the absence of recognition from the West. They were frustrated to still be overlooked out of respect for the sovereignty of the failed state to their south."

Since declaring its independence from Somalia in 1991, Somaliland has campaigned for recognition from the U.S., EU, and African Union. It even offered to hand its deep water port over to AFRICOM, the U.S. military command structure on the African continent, in exchange for U.S. acceptance of its sovereignty.

Several months after Buttigieg traveled to the autonomous region, Al Jazeera reported , "The Somaliland government is trying to charm its way to global recognition."

And just a few weeks before Buttigieg's visit, the would-be republic inked a contract with an international lobbying firm called Independent Diplomat , presumably to help oversee that charm offensive.

Founded by a self-described anarchist named Carne Ross, Independent Diplomat represents an array of non and para-state entities seeking recognition on the international stage. Ross's client list has included the Syrian Opposition Coalition , which tried and failed to secure power through a Western-backed war against the Syrian government .

Independent Diplomat did not respond to questions from The Grayzone about whether it had any role in facilitating the trip Buttigieg and Myers took to Somaliland.

According to John Kiriakou, a former CIA case officer, ex-senior investigator for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and celebrated whistleblower, Somaliland is an unusual destination for tourism. "There really is nothing going on in Somaliland," Kiriakou told The Grayzone . "To say you go to Somaliland as a tourist is a joke to me. It's not a war-torn area but nobody goes there as a tourist."

Kiriakou visited Somaliland in 2009 as part of an investigation for the Senate Intelligence Committee on what he described as the phenomenon of "blue-eyed" American citizens converting to Islam, traveling to Somalia and Yemen for training with Salafi-jihadist groups, then returning home on their U.S. passports.

To reach Somaliland, Kiriakou said he took an arduous seven-hour journey from the neighboring state of Djibouti. His junket was coordinated by the U.S. ambassador to Djibouti, a regional security officer of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service and an embassy attaché.

"It is not the easiest place to reach and there's no business to do there," Kiriakou said.

Whether or not Buttigieg's trip was coordinated without the assistance of lobbyists, the trip offered him and Myers an opportunity to weigh in on international affairs on the pages of the supposed newspaper of record – and on an absolutely non-controversial issue.

In his bio, Nathaniel Myers identified himself simply as a "financial analyst based in Ethiopia." According to his resume, which is available online at Linkedin, he was working at the time as a World Bank consultant on governance and corruption.

By 2011, Myers had moved on from that neoliberal international financial institution to a specialized government at the center of U.S. regime change operations abroad.

Pete Buttigieg on a pre-graduation trip with his Harvard buddies. Nathaniel "Nat" Myers is to his immediate left.

Imperial Social Network

Nathaniel Myers' relationship with the presidential hopeful began at Harvard University. There, they formed two parts of "The Order of Kong," a close-knit group of political junkies named jokingly for the Chinese restaurant they frequented after intensive discussion sessions at the school's Institute of Politics.

Like most members of the college-era "order," Myers and Buttigieg have remained close. When the mayor married his longtime partner in 2018, Buttigieg chose him as his best man.

Myers currently works as a senior advisor for the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID-OTI) in Washington, D.C. The OTI is a specialized division of USAID that routinely works through contractors and local proxies to orchestrate destabilization operations inside countries considered insufficiently compliant to the dictates of Washington.

Wherever the U.S. seeks regime change, it seems that USAID's OTI is involved.

The Linkedin page of Nathaniel Myers, a close friend of Pete Buttigieg's.

In a 2015 op-ed arguing for a loosening of bureaucratic restraints on USAID's participation in counter-terror operations, Myers revealed that he had "specialized in programming in places like Yemen and Libya " – two conflict zones destabilized by U.S.-led regime-change wars. (Myers was working as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations at the time, but would return to USAID's OTI the following year.)

USAID's OTI has also fueled Syria's brutal proxy war, coordinating U.S. government assistance to supposed civil society groups like the White Helmets that were attached to the armed extremists who ruled over portions of the country for several years.

In Venezuela, the OTI has spent tens of millions of dollars cultivating and training opponents of the late President Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro . It has done the same in Nicaragua, serving as the linchpin of a U.S. effort to "lay the groundwork for insurrection."

In Cuba, meanwhile, the OTI attempted to stir up civil unrest through a fake, Twitter-style social media site called ZunZuneo, hoping to turn the public against the country's leftist government through coordinated flash mobs. To populate the phony social media platform, the OTI contracted a D.C.-based firm called Creative Associates that had illicitly obtained half a million Cuban cellphone numbers.

USAID and Creative Associates attempted to place ZunZuneo into private hands through a Miami foundation called Roots of Hope, which was founded by students at Harvard University. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was even solicited by the State Department to operate the platform. (Roots of Hope board member Raul Moas, who personally trained ZunZuneo employees, is today the director of the Knight Foundation .)

The devious operation and its eventual exposure revealed the extent to which covert operations historically associated with the CIA had been outsourced to private contractors and NGOs.

And the role of the Harvard-founded "Roots of Hope" in the scheme demonstrated how much USAID and its contractors depended on the same Ivy League talent pool that produced Buttigieg and Myers.

A lengthy paper Myers authored for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2015 indicated that he had special knowledge of the ZunZuneo scheme and had been invested in its success.

Myers took the journalists who exposed the USAID-OTI program to task, claiming that "individual grants were pulled out of context and described as failures without heed to their actual goals," provoking an unfair "Capitol Hill pillorying."

He lamented that the exposure of covert programs like these had forced USAID officials to pursue "the opposite of the programming most likely to produce real impact in a hard aid environment." In other words, fear of public scrutiny had complicated efforts to subvert societies targeted by the U.S. for regime change – and he didn't like it one bit.

To Syracuse University professor of African American studies Horace Campbell, youthful cadres like Myers were a symptom of the American university's transformation into a neoliberal training ground.

"Many idealistic graduates from elite centers such as the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Maxwell School of Citizenship of Syracuse University or the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University among others had been seduced" into careers with USAID contractors like Creative Associates, Chemonics, and McKinsey, Campbell lamented in a lengthy 2014 survey of the OTI's sordid record .

"It has been painful," the professor wrote, "to see the ways in which the so called NGO initiatives have been refined over the past twenty years to support neoliberalism and to depoliticize idealistic students."

Campbell's comments painted a clear portrait of Myers, who earned his master's degree at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School on his way towards becoming a "hard aid" specialist at USAID.

They also captured the psychology of Buttigieg, who celebrated Bernie Sanders as a hero when he was a high school senior, and spoke out against the Iraq war as a Harvard junior before being absorbed into the culture of McKinsey and D.C. institutions like the Truman Center.

The Truman Show

When Pete Buttigieg made his journey to Somaliland in 2008, he had just earned a fellowship at the Truman Center, a Washington-based think tank that provided a steppingstone for national security-minded whiz kids like him to leadership positions in the Democratic Party.

Buttigieg likely earned the fellowship after answering an ad like the one the Truman Center published on the website of the Harvard Law School Student Government in 2010 . Soliciting applicants for its security fellowship, the center declared that it was seeking "exceptionally accomplished and dedicated men and women who share President Truman's belief in muscular internationalism, and who believe that strong national security and strong liberal values are not antagonistic, but are two sides of the same coin."

This was not the first time Buttigieg had dipped his toes into Washington's national security swamp. After graduating from Harvard, he worked at the Cohen Group, a consulting firm founded by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen that maintained an extensive client list within the arms industry . (As The Grayzone reported , the Cohen Group has been intimately involved in the Trump administration's bungling regime change attempt in Venezuela).

But it was Buttigieg's fellowship at the Truman Center that placed him on the casting couch before the Democratic Party's foreign policy mandarins.

A Tablet Magazine profile of Truman Center founder Rachel Kleinfeld described her as a "gatekeeper and ringleader" whose network of former fellows spanned Congress and the Obama administration's National Security Council. Her career trajectory mirrored Buttigieg's.

After last night, more proud than ever to support @PeteButtigieg – for those who missed it, a few reasons why: https://t.co/1XreWO5x15

-- Rachel Kleinfeld (@RachelKleinfeld) October 16, 2019

She had earned degrees at elite institutions (Yale and Oxford, where Buttigieg pursued his Rhodes scholarship) before accepting a job at a private contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, that performed an array of services for the U.S. military and private spying for intelligence agencies.

Kleinfeld's boss at the company was James Woolsey, the neoconservative former CIA director who has lobbied aggressively for U.S. military assaults on Iraq and Iran .

According to Tablet, "Woolsey positioned Kleinfeld to work on sensitive government projects the company was pursuing in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, including one that involved working as a researcher for the military's Defense Science Board, investigating information-sharing between intelligence and law-enforcement agencies."

When Kleinfeld founded her think tank in 2005, she named it for the president who oversaw the detonation of nuclear bombs on two Japanese cities, threats of another nuclear assault on North Korea and the killing of 20 percent of that country's population. The Truman doctrine, which called for "containing" the Soviet Union through internal destabilization and relentless pressure on its periphery, was the basis of Washington's Cold War policy. (Following Kleinfeld's lead, Buttigieg named one of his two pet dogs Truman ).

"We decided there really was a need to create a movement of Democrats to stand up for these ideas and to really start to think about it, very much as a counterpart to the neoconservatives of the 1970s," she told The Forward at the time.

To fill the center's board of advisers , Kleinfeld assembled a cast of Democratic foreign policy heavyweights whose accomplishments included the devastation of entire countries through regime change wars.

Among the most notable Truman advisors were Madeleine Albright, the author of NATO's destruction of Yugoslavia and president of an influence-peddling operation known as the Albright Stonebridge Group; the late Council on Foreign Relations President Les Gelb, who once proposed dividing Iraq into three federal districts along sectarian lines; former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who oversaw record levels of migrant deportations ; and Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former State Department policy planning director who conceived the Responsibility To Protect (R2P) doctrine deployed by the Obama administration to justify NATO's disastrous intervention in Libya and drum up another one against Syria.

"The Truman Project mobilizes Democrats who serve the conventional interventionist agenda," journalist Kelly Vlahos wrote . "Beyond that, they are part of a broader orbit of not so dissimilar foot soldiers on the other side of the aisle."

Buttigieg listed his fellowship at the Truman Center as one of the credentials that qualified him for Indiana State treasurer when he ran for the position in 2010.

Though he lost in a landslide, Buttigieg won election as mayor of South Bend the following year. "Mayor Pete" had not only secured his future in the Democratic Party, he had won a place in its foreign policy pantheon with a seat on the Truman Center's advisory board.

Balancing Opposition to Endless Wars

This July 11, Buttigieg rolled out his foreign policy platform in a carefully scripted appearance at Indiana University. Introduced by Lee Hamilton, a former Indiana congressman who was a fixture on the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees, Buttigieg blended a call to "end endless wars" with Cold War bluster directed at designated enemies.

Before an auditorium packed with the national press, he rattled off one of the more paranoid talking points of the Russiagate era, blaming President Vladimir Putin for fueling racism inside the U.S. He then attacked Trump for facilitating peace talks in Korea, slamming the president for exchanging "love letters" with "a brutal dictator," referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

You will not see me exchanging love letters on White House letterhead with a brutal dictator who starves and murders his own people @PeteButtigieg

-- Rachel Kleinfeld (@RachelKleinfeld) June 11, 2019

More recently, Buttigieg's campaign pledged to "balance our commitment to end endless wars with the recognition that total isolationism is self-defeating in the long run." This was the sort of Beltway doublespeak that defined the legacy of Barack Obama, another youthful, self-styled outsider from the Midwest who campaigned on his opposition to the Iraq war, only to sign off on more calamitous wars in the Middle East after he entered the White House.

On the presidential campaign trail, "Mayor Pete" has done his best to paper over the instincts he inherited from his benefactors among the national security state. But as the campaign drags on, his interventionist tendencies are increasingly exposed. Having padded his resume in America's longest and most futile wars, he may be poised to extend them for a new generation to fight.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling " Republican Gomorrah ," " Goliath ," " The Fifty One Day War " and " The Management of Savagery ." He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including " Killing Gaza " and " Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie ." Blumenthal founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

This article is from The Grayzone .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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Tags: Harvard University Max Blumenthal Neo-liberalism Pete Buttigieg

Post navigation ← 150 Cooks, Servers & Dishwashers Almost Shut Down Thursday Night's Democratic Debate, Showing Unions' Growing Clout in the Party JOHN KIRIAKOU: James Comey's Interview on Fox News Screams Out for Correction → 13 comments for "The Insider: National Security Mandarins Groomed Pete Buttigieg & Managed His Future"

Charlotte Ruse , December 21, 2019 at 17:46

"We decided there really was a need to create a movement of Democrats to stand up for these ideas and to really start to think about it, very much as a counterpart to the neoconservatives of the 1970s."

Blumenthal, dissected Buttigeg down to the bare bones revealing how the security state targets and harvests willing Ivy League specimens who once sufficiently groomed are launched onto the political stage infiltrating the Democratic Party shilling when commanded for regime change wars.

occupy on! , December 21, 2019 at 13:46

Breathtaking! Thank you, Max Blumenthal, and please watch your back.

Punkyboy , December 21, 2019 at 10:43

Trojan Horse cum Wolf in Sheep's Clothing #2. Fooled me twice, Obama; shame on me. But, then, when given choices between worse and worser or staying home on election day . . . The only candidate with a real chance of beating Trump in 2020 is Sanders, yet the Dims would rather cut their collective throat. Gabbard would be my choice, but she has no chance against The Dim Machine. I am so sick of these bastards and their games – Russiagate, Ukrainegate, now Impeachmentgate – all because they have no platform, and no candidate that gives a damn about this country and We the People. Shame on all you poseurs!

ML , December 21, 2019 at 15:59

Hear, hear, Punkyboy! I concur and applaud your way with words. Google George Carlin's monologue on why he doesn't vote. Even a committed voter may crack a smile and surmise he may have had a point! And you can laugh about this mess in the bargain. Might as well. Too many tears and fears these days and a little levity, especially at the Winter Solstice makes for a lightness of being. Cheers, Punky!

jessika , December 20, 2019 at 22:06

Thanks for this info, MSM never reports truth. And Mayor Pete doesn't exactly have a stellar record as mayor of South Bend, besides!

Piotr Berman , December 20, 2019 at 11:41

From the interview with Military Times that is linked in the article:

Q After one year of your administration, what size will the U.S. troop presence be in Afghanistan? In Syria and Iraq? In Europe?

A [first sentence] The size of troop presence in any theater depends on missions determined by overall strategy and long-term goals, which are well-developed by our political, military, diplomatic and intelligence leaders, not by "

-- --

This is somewhat recent. Before Trump became president, the problem of straying from the script "well-developed by our political, military, diplomatic and intelligence leaders" did not arise. Perhaps Carter had some weird ideas like pressuring satraps in Latin America to have a lighter hand in deploying death squads, but he was brought to the fold and eliminated from "the mainstream" without such rhetoric.

To make it clear, I also think that Trump is driven by "arbitrary or capricious decisions based on personal or political interests and executed on a whim." But the alternative in the form that is "well-developed by blah blah blah" is not appealing at all.

I guess that I do not need to convince the other readers, but Afghanistan is a good example if you want a talking point. Staying there follows "the well-developed strategy", but what is it?

improving human rights, education of women etc.
fostering honest competent government
fostering economic growth (apart from consuming profits from heroin and foreign donations)
training effective and honest national armed forces and police

One could add a few, but apparently, none of that was accomplished. Yet, "the well-developed strategy" had to deliver something important to the "national interest", otherwise it would be a total waste. It is actually not difficult to figure it out:

Afghanistan may be a total mess, but a mess where we have influence and freedom to operate. If we withdraw, it will be simply a total mess.

It still begs a question why "we" want to have influence and freedom to operate. Perhaps to create a total mess nearby. Whatever it is, an alternative is overdue, preferably not capricious and poorly executed. Tulsi for the head of NSC, DoS or DoD.

Jerry Findlay , December 20, 2019 at 11:37

They are trying to repeat the Obama playbook, escorting a pretend outsider and identity-firster posing as a liberal progressive, who as soon as he gets into office betrays everything he promised in favor of the corporate state. Why not? It fooled a lot of people before, including myself, once or twice. Why not use it again? Because American voters have awakened to the trick and don't have time for being fooled again.

Nathan Mulcahy , December 20, 2019 at 10:42

Great reporting. I have a simple filter. I instinctively put a black mark on and ignore any candidate being promoted by the corporate presstitutes. First it was Kamala Who Harris, then the Beto Who and now Buttigieg Who. Obviously I also do not follow this so called "debate" circus.

Tim Slattery , December 20, 2019 at 09:36

Rare, fascinating expose of how warmongers are made. Well done, Mr Blumenthal!

JOHN CHUCKMAN , December 19, 2019 at 17:10

Pete Buttigieg makes me think of a product, a manufactured product. Everything about him from gestures to words.

His is not an authentic political voice.

Nor does have much to say that's interesting or helpful to anyone.

Such are efforts on the election homefront in the declining days of American empire.

Drew Hunkins , December 19, 2019 at 16:47

Buttiejudge, Obama and others are such professional liars. They remind me of some of my fellow students during my grad school days.

robert e williamson jr , December 19, 2019 at 15:59

Thanks Max, it's great to have you out and about.

A man who looks to the Homeland Security nut cases for money to become president must have decided he was willing t0 give up his freedom for the promise of being safe and secure. He must be a moderate republican at heart. The country don't need another false representation buy someone seeking the highest office in the land.

I want one of these candidate to promise they will move to go back and debate the Patriot Act before extending it again.

Julie , December 21, 2019 at 14:07

All you need to know about Mayor Pete can be found on Youtube: Meet the real Mayor Pete; E. Michael Jones on PatrickCoffinMedia. Dr. Jones is the Mayor's neighbor. Reexaminging Mayor Pete and his years in office on Peter Hellands channel; Black Pastors speak out against Mayor Pete; CCM; Investigating of Pete & SBPD and there's more.

[Dec 22, 2019] The Insider National Security Mandarins Groomed Pete Buttigieg Managed His Future – Consortiumnews

Dec 22, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews Volume 25, Number 354–Saturday, December 21, 2019

Campaign 2020 , Commentary , Politics , Propaganda , U.S. , Until This Day--Historical Perspectives on the News The Insider: National Security Mandarins Groomed Pete Buttigieg & Managed His Future December 19, 2019 • 13 Comments

An influential D.C. network of military interventionists placed Mayor Pete on an inside track to power, reports Max Blumenthal.

By Max Blumenthal
The Grayzone

I n his quest for front-runner status in the 2020 presidential campaign, Pete Buttigieg has crafted an image for himself as a maverick running against a broken establishment.

On the trail, he has invoked his distinction as the openly gay mayor of a de-industrialized Rust Belt town, as well as his experience as a Naval reserve intelligence officer who now claims to oppose "endless wars". He insists that "there's energy for an outsider like me," promoting himself as "an unconventional candidate."

When former Secretary of State John Kerry endorsed Joe Biden this December, Buttigieg went full maverick . "I have never been part of the Washington establishment," he proclaimed, "and I recognize that there are relationships among senators who have been together on Capitol Hill as long as I've been alive and that is what it is."

But a testy exchange between the South Bend mayor and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard during a Nov. 20 Democratic primary debate had already complicated Buttigieg's branding campaign.

Like Buttigieg, Gabbard was a military veteran of the 9/11 generation. But she had taken an entirely different set of lessons from her grueling stint in Iraq than "Mayor Pete." Her campaign had become an anti-war crusade, with opposition to destructive regime change wars serving as her leitmotif.

After ticking off her foreign policy credentials, Gabbard turned to Buttigieg and lit into him for stating his willingness to send U.S. troops to Mexico to crack down on drug cartels.

A visibly angry Buttigieg responded by accusing Gabbard of distorting his record, then quickly deflected to Syria, where he has argued for an indefinite deployment of occupying U.S. troops.

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Rehashing well-worn criticism of Gabbard for meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a diplomatic visit she took -- her trip was devoted to de-escalating the U.S.-backed proxy war that had ravaged the country's population -- Buttigieg attacked the congresswoman for engaging with a "murderous dictator."

Throughout the exchange, Buttigieg appeared shaken, as though his sense of inviolability had been punctured. Gabbard had clearly struck a vulnerable point by painting the self-styled outsider as a conventional D.C.-style politician unconsciously spouting interventionist bromides.

How could someone who served in the catastrophically wasteful U.S. wars in the Middle East, and who had seen their human toll, be reckless enough to propose sending U.S. troops to fight and possibly die in Mexico? "But Assad!" was the best response he could muster.

The remarkable dust-up highlighted a side of the 37-year-old political upstart that has been scarcely explored in mainstream U.S. media accounts of his rise to prominence. It revealed the real Buttigieg as a neoliberal cadre whose future was carefully managed by the mandarins of the national security state since almost the moment that he graduated from Harvard University.

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

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

His Harvard social network has been a critical factor in his rise as well, with college buddies occupying key campaign roles as outside policy advisers and strategists. One of his closest friends from school is today the senior adviser of a specialized unit of the State Department focused on fomenting regime change abroad.

That friend, Nathaniel "Nat" Myers, was Buttigieg's traveling partner on a trip to Somaliland, where the two claimed to have been tourists in a July 2008 article they wrote for The New York Times.

Their contribution to the paper was not any typical travelogue detailing a whimsical safari. Instead, they composed a slick editorial that echoed the Somaliland government's call for recognition from the U.S. government. It was Buttigieg's first foreign policy audition before a national audience.

Short, Strange Trip to Somaliland

Under public pressure for more transparency about his work at the notoriously secretive McKinsey consulting firm, the Buttigieg campaign released some background details this December. The disclosures included a timeline of his work for various clients that stated he "stepped away from the firm during the late summer and fall of 2008 to help full-time with a Democratic campaign for governor in Indiana."

How Buttigieg's "full-time" role on that gubernatorial campaign took him on a nearly 8,000-mile detour to Somaliland remains unclear.

Buttigieg and Nathaniel Myers spent only 24 hours in the autonomous region of Somaliland. In that short time, they interviewed unnamed government officials and faithfully relayed their pro-independence line back to the readers of The New York Times in a July 2008 op-ed .

The column read as though crafted by a public relations firm on behalf of a government client. In one section, the two travelers wrote that "the people we met in Somaliland were welcoming, hopeful and bewildered by the absence of recognition from the West. They were frustrated to still be overlooked out of respect for the sovereignty of the failed state to their south."

Since declaring its independence from Somalia in 1991, Somaliland has campaigned for recognition from the U.S., EU, and African Union. It even offered to hand its deep water port over to AFRICOM, the U.S. military command structure on the African continent, in exchange for U.S. acceptance of its sovereignty.

Several months after Buttigieg traveled to the autonomous region, Al Jazeera reported , "The Somaliland government is trying to charm its way to global recognition."

And just a few weeks before Buttigieg's visit, the would-be republic inked a contract with an international lobbying firm called Independent Diplomat , presumably to help oversee that charm offensive.

Founded by a self-described anarchist named Carne Ross, Independent Diplomat represents an array of non and para-state entities seeking recognition on the international stage. Ross's client list has included the Syrian Opposition Coalition , which tried and failed to secure power through a Western-backed war against the Syrian government .

Independent Diplomat did not respond to questions from The Grayzone about whether it had any role in facilitating the trip Buttigieg and Myers took to Somaliland.

According to John Kiriakou, a former CIA case officer, ex-senior investigator for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and celebrated whistleblower, Somaliland is an unusual destination for tourism.

"There really is nothing going on in Somaliland," Kiriakou told The Grayzone . "To say you go to Somaliland as a tourist is a joke to me. It's not a war-torn area but nobody goes there as a tourist."

Kiriakou visited Somaliland in 2009 as part of an investigation for the Senate Intelligence Committee on what he described as the phenomenon of "blue-eyed" American citizens converting to Islam, traveling to Somalia and Yemen for training with Salafi-jihadist groups, then returning home on their U.S. passports.

To reach Somaliland, Kiriakou said he took an arduous seven-hour journey from the neighboring state of Djibouti. His junket was coordinated by the U.S. ambassador to Djibouti, a regional security officer of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service and an embassy attaché.

"It is not the easiest place to reach and there's no business to do there," Kiriakou said.

Whether or not Buttigieg's trip was coordinated without the assistance of lobbyists, the trip offered him and Myers an opportunity to weigh in on international affairs on the pages of the supposed newspaper of record – and on an absolutely non-controversial issue.

In his bio, Nathaniel Myers identified himself simply as a "financial analyst based in Ethiopia." According to his resume, which is available online at Linkedin, he was working at the time as a World Bank consultant on governance and corruption.

By 2011, Myers had moved on from that neoliberal international financial institution to a specialized government at the center of U.S. regime change operations abroad.

Pete Buttigieg on a pre-graduation trip with his Harvard buddies. Nathaniel "Nat" Myers is to his immediate left.
Imperial Social Network

Nathaniel Myers' relationship with the presidential hopeful began at Harvard University. There, they formed two parts of "The Order of Kong," a close-knit group of political junkies named jokingly for the Chinese restaurant they frequented after intensive discussion sessions at the school's Institute of Politics.

Like most members of the college-era "order," Myers and Buttigieg have remained close. When the mayor married his longtime partner in 2018, Buttigieg chose him as his best man.

Myers currently works as a senior advisor for the United States Agency for International Development's Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID-OTI) in Washington, D.C. The OTI is a specialized division of USAID that routinely works through contractors and local proxies to orchestrate destabilization operations inside countries considered insufficiently compliant to the dictates of Washington.

Wherever the U.S. seeks regime change, it seems that USAID's OTI is involved.

The Linkedin page of Nathaniel Myers, a close friend of Pete Buttigieg's.

In a 2015 op-ed arguing for a loosening of bureaucratic restraints on USAID's participation in counter-terror operations, Myers revealed that he had "specialized in programming in places like Yemen and Libya " – two conflict zones destabilized by U.S.-led regime-change wars. (Myers was working as a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations at the time, but would return to USAID's OTI the following year.)

USAID's OTI has also fueled Syria's brutal proxy war, coordinating U.S. government assistance to supposed civil society groups like the White Helmets that were attached to the armed extremists who ruled over portions of the country for several years.

In Venezuela, the OTI has spent tens of millions of dollars cultivating and training opponents of the late President Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro . It has done the same in Nicaragua, serving as the linchpin of a U.S. effort to "lay the groundwork for insurrection."

In Cuba, meanwhile, the OTI attempted to stir up civil unrest through a fake, Twitter-style social media site called ZunZuneo, hoping to turn the public against the country's leftist government through coordinated flash mobs. To populate the phony social media platform, the OTI contracted a D.C.-based firm called Creative Associates that had illicitly obtained half a million Cuban cellphone numbers.

USAID and Creative Associates attempted to place ZunZuneo into private hands through a Miami foundation called Roots of Hope, which was founded by students at Harvard University. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was even solicited by the State Department to operate the platform. (Roots of Hope board member Raul Moas, who personally trained ZunZuneo employees, is today the director of the Knight Foundation .)

The devious operation and its eventual exposure revealed the extent to which covert operations historically associated with the CIA had been outsourced to private contractors and NGOs.

And the role of the Harvard-founded "Roots of Hope" in the scheme demonstrated how much USAID and its contractors depended on the same Ivy League talent pool that produced Buttigieg and Myers.

A lengthy paper Myers authored for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 2015 indicated that he had special knowledge of the ZunZuneo scheme and had been invested in its success.

Myers took the journalists who exposed the USAID-OTI program to task, claiming that "individual grants were pulled out of context and described as failures without heed to their actual goals," provoking an unfair "Capitol Hill pillorying."

He lamented that the exposure of covert programs like these had forced USAID officials to pursue "the opposite of the programming most likely to produce real impact in a hard aid environment." In other words, fear of public scrutiny had complicated efforts to subvert societies targeted by the U.S. for regime change – and he didn't like it one bit.

To Syracuse University professor of African American studies Horace Campbell, youthful cadres like Myers were a symptom of the American university's transformation into a neoliberal training ground.

"Many idealistic graduates from elite centers such as the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the Maxwell School of Citizenship of Syracuse University or the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University among others had been seduced" into careers with USAID contractors like Creative Associates, Chemonics, and McKinsey, Campbell lamented in a lengthy 2014 survey of the OTI's sordid record .

"It has been painful," the professor wrote, "to see the ways in which the so called NGO initiatives have been refined over the past twenty years to support neoliberalism and to depoliticize idealistic students."

Campbell's comments painted a clear portrait of Myers, who earned his master's degree at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School on his way towards becoming a "hard aid" specialist at USAID.

They also captured the psychology of Buttigieg, who celebrated Bernie Sanders as a hero when he was a high school senior, and spoke out against the Iraq war as a Harvard junior before being absorbed into the culture of McKinsey and D.C. institutions like the Truman Center.

The Truman Show

When Pete Buttigieg made his journey to Somaliland in 2008, he had just earned a fellowship at the Truman Center, a Washington-based think tank that provided a steppingstone for national security-minded whiz kids like him to leadership positions in the Democratic Party.

Buttigieg likely earned the fellowship after answering an ad like the one the Truman Center published on the website of the Harvard Law School Student Government in 2010 . Soliciting applicants for its security fellowship, the center declared that it was seeking "exceptionally accomplished and dedicated men and women who share President Truman's belief in muscular internationalism, and who believe that strong national security and strong liberal values are not antagonistic, but are two sides of the same coin."

This was not the first time Buttigieg had dipped his toes into Washington's national security swamp. After graduating from Harvard, he worked at the Cohen Group, a consulting firm founded by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen that maintained an extensive client list within the arms industry . (As The Grayzone reported , the Cohen Group has been intimately involved in the Trump administration's bungling regime change attempt in Venezuela).

But it was Buttigieg's fellowship at the Truman Center that placed him on the casting couch before the Democratic Party's foreign policy mandarins.

A Tablet Magazine profile of Truman Center founder Rachel Kleinfeld described her as a "gatekeeper and ringleader" whose network of former fellows spanned Congress and the Obama administration's National Security Council. Her career trajectory mirrored Buttigieg's.

After last night, more proud than ever to support @PeteButtigieg – for those who missed it, a few reasons why: https://t.co/1XreWO5x15

-- Rachel Kleinfeld (@RachelKleinfeld) October 16, 2019

She had earned degrees at elite institutions (Yale and Oxford, where Buttigieg pursued his Rhodes scholarship) before accepting a job at a private contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, that performed an array of services for the U.S. military and private spying for intelligence agencies.

Kleinfeld's boss at the company was James Woolsey, the neoconservative former CIA director who has lobbied aggressively for U.S. military assaults on Iraq and Iran .

According to Tablet, "Woolsey positioned Kleinfeld to work on sensitive government projects the company was pursuing in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, including one that involved working as a researcher for the military's Defense Science Board, investigating information-sharing between intelligence and law-enforcement agencies."

When Kleinfeld founded her think tank in 2005, she named it for the president who oversaw the detonation of nuclear bombs on two Japanese cities, threats of another nuclear assault on North Korea and the killing of 20 percent of that country's population. The Truman doctrine, which called for "containing" the Soviet Union through internal destabilization and relentless pressure on its periphery, was the basis of Washington's Cold War policy. (Following Kleinfeld's lead, Buttigieg named one of his two pet dogs Truman ).

"We decided there really was a need to create a movement of Democrats to stand up for these ideas and to really start to think about it, very much as a counterpart to the neoconservatives of the 1970s," she told The Forward at the time.

To fill the center's board of advisers , Kleinfeld assembled a cast of Democratic foreign policy heavyweights whose accomplishments included the devastation of entire countries through regime change wars.

Among the most notable Truman advisors were Madeleine Albright, the author of NATO's destruction of Yugoslavia and president of an influence-peddling operation known as the Albright Stonebridge Group; the late Council on Foreign Relations President Les Gelb, who once proposed dividing Iraq into three federal districts along sectarian lines; former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who oversaw record levels of migrant deportations ; and Anne-Marie Slaughter, the former State Department policy planning director who conceived the Responsibility To Protect (R2P) doctrine deployed by the Obama administration to justify NATO's disastrous intervention in Libya and drum up another one against Syria.

"The Truman Project mobilizes Democrats who serve the conventional interventionist agenda," journalist Kelly Vlahos wrote . "Beyond that, they are part of a broader orbit of not so dissimilar foot soldiers on the other side of the aisle."

Buttigieg listed his fellowship at the Truman Center as one of the credentials that qualified him for Indiana State treasurer when he ran for the position in 2010.

Though he lost in a landslide, Buttigieg won election as mayor of South Bend the following year. "Mayor Pete" had not only secured his future in the Democratic Party, he had won a place in its foreign policy pantheon with a seat on the Truman Center's advisory board.

Balancing Opposition to Endless Wars

This July 11, Buttigieg rolled out his foreign policy platform in a carefully scripted appearance at Indiana University. Introduced by Lee Hamilton, a former Indiana congressman who was a fixture on the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees, Buttigieg blended a call to "end endless wars" with Cold War bluster directed at designated enemies.

Before an auditorium packed with the national press, he rattled off one of the more paranoid talking points of the Russiagate era, blaming President Vladimir Putin for fueling racism inside the U.S. He then attacked Trump for facilitating peace talks in Korea, slamming the president for exchanging "love letters" with "a brutal dictator," referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

You will not see me exchanging love letters on White House letterhead with a brutal dictator who starves and murders his own people @PeteButtigieg

-- Rachel Kleinfeld (@RachelKleinfeld) June 11, 2019

More recently, Buttigieg's campaign pledged to "balance our commitment to end endless wars with the recognition that total isolationism is self-defeating in the long run." This was the sort of Beltway doublespeak that defined the legacy of Barack Obama, another youthful, self-styled outsider from the Midwest who campaigned on his opposition to the Iraq war, only to sign off on more calamitous wars in the Middle East after he entered the White House.

On the presidential campaign trail, "Mayor Pete" has done his best to paper over the instincts he inherited from his benefactors among the national security state. But as the campaign drags on, his interventionist tendencies are increasingly exposed. Having padded his resume in America's longest and most futile wars, he may be poised to extend them for a new generation to fight.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of books including best-selling " Republican Gomorrah ," " Goliath ," " The Fifty One Day War " and " The Management of Savagery ." He has also produced numerous print articles for an array of publications, many video reports and several documentaries including " Killing Gaza " and " Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie ." Blumenthal founded The Grayzone in 2015 to shine a journalistic light on America's state of perpetual war and its dangerous domestic repercussions.

This article is from The Grayzone .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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Tags: Harvard University Max Blumenthal Neo-liberalism Pete Buttigieg

Post navigation ← 150 Cooks, Servers & Dishwashers Almost Shut Down Thursday Night's Democratic Debate, Showing Unions' Growing Clout in the Party JOHN KIRIAKOU: James Comey's Interview on Fox News Screams Out for Correction → 13 comments for "The Insider: National Security Mandarins Groomed Pete Buttigieg & Managed His Future"

Charlotte Ruse , December 21, 2019 at 17:46

"We decided there really was a need to create a movement of Democrats to stand up for these ideas and to really start to think about it, very much as a counterpart to the neoconservatives of the 1970s."

Blumenthal, dissected Buttigeg down to the bare bones revealing how the security state targets and harvests willing Ivy League specimens who once sufficiently groomed are launched onto the political stage infiltrating the Democratic Party shilling when commanded for regime change wars.

occupy on! , December 21, 2019 at 13:46

Breathtaking! Thank you, Max Blumenthal, and please watch your back.

Punkyboy , December 21, 2019 at 10:43

Trojan Horse cum Wolf in Sheep's Clothing #2. Fooled me twice, Obama; shame on me. But, then, when given choices between worse and worser or staying home on election day . . . The only candidate with a real chance of beating Trump in 2020 is Sanders, yet the Dims would rather cut their collective throat. Gabbard would be my choice, but she has no chance against The Dim Machine. I am so sick of these bastards and their games – Russiagate, Ukrainegate, now Impeachmentgate – all because they have no platform, and no candidate that gives a damn about this country and We the People. Shame on all you poseurs!

ML , December 21, 2019 at 15:59

Hear, hear, Punkyboy! I concur and applaud your way with words. Google George Carlin's monologue on why he doesn't vote. Even a committed voter may crack a smile and surmise he may have had a point! And you can laugh about this mess in the bargain. Might as well. Too many tears and fears these days and a little levity, especially at the Winter Solstice makes for a lightness of being. Cheers, Punky!

jessika , December 20, 2019 at 22:06

Thanks for this info, MSM never reports truth. And Mayor Pete doesn't exactly have a stellar record as mayor of South Bend, besides!

Piotr Berman , December 20, 2019 at 11:41

From the interview with Military Times that is linked in the article:

Q After one year of your administration, what size will the U.S. troop presence be in Afghanistan? In Syria and Iraq? In Europe?

A [first sentence] The size of troop presence in any theater depends on missions determined by overall strategy and long-term goals, which are well-developed by our political, military, diplomatic and intelligence leaders, not by "

-- --

This is somewhat recent. Before Trump became president, the problem of straying from the script "well-developed by our political, military, diplomatic and intelligence leaders" did not arise. Perhaps Carter had some weird ideas like pressuring satraps in Latin America to have a lighter hand in deploying death squads, but he was brought to the fold and eliminated from "the mainstream" without such rhetoric.

To make it clear, I also think that Trump is driven by "arbitrary or capricious decisions based on personal or political interests and executed on a whim." But the alternative in the form that is "well-developed by blah blah blah" is not appealing at all.

I guess that I do not need to convince the other readers, but Afghanistan is a good example if you want a talking point. Staying there follows "the well-developed strategy", but what is it?

improving human rights, education of women etc.
fostering honest competent government
fostering economic growth (apart from consuming profits from heroin and foreign donations)
training effective and honest national armed forces and police

One could add a few, but apparently, none of that was accomplished. Yet, "the well-developed strategy" had to deliver something important to the "national interest", otherwise it would be a total waste. It is actually not difficult to figure it out:

Afghanistan may be a total mess, but a mess where we have influence and freedom to operate. If we withdraw, it will be simply a total mess.

It still begs a question why "we" want to have influence and freedom to operate. Perhaps to create a total mess nearby. Whatever it is, an alternative is overdue, preferably not capricious and poorly executed. Tulsi for the head of NSC, DoS or DoD.

Jerry Findlay , December 20, 2019 at 11:37

They are trying to repeat the Obama playbook, escorting a pretend outsider and identity-firster posing as a liberal progressive, who as soon as he gets into office betrays everything he promised in favor of the corporate state. Why not? It fooled a lot of people before, including myself, once or twice. Why not use it again? Because American voters have awakened to the trick and don't have time for being fooled again.

Nathan Mulcahy , December 20, 2019 at 10:42

Great reporting. I have a simple filter. I instinctively put a black mark on and ignore any candidate being promoted by the corporate presstitutes. First it was Kamala Who Harris, then the Beto Who and now Buttigieg Who. Obviously I also do not follow this so called "debate" circus.

Tim Slattery , December 20, 2019 at 09:36

Rare, fascinating expose of how warmongers are made. Well done, Mr Blumenthal!

JOHN CHUCKMAN , December 19, 2019 at 17:10

Pete Buttigieg makes me think of a product, a manufactured product. Everything about him from gestures to words.

His is not an authentic political voice.

Nor does have much to say that's interesting or helpful to anyone.

Such are efforts on the election homefront in the declining days of American empire.

Drew Hunkins , December 19, 2019 at 16:47

Buttiejudge, Obama and others are such professional liars. They remind me of some of my fellow students during my grad school days.

robert e williamson jr , December 19, 2019 at 15:59

Thanks Max, it's great to have you out and about.

A man who looks to the Homeland Security nut cases for money to become president must have decided he was willing t0 give up his freedom for the promise of being safe and secure. He must be a moderate republican at heart. The country don't need another false representation buy someone seeking the highest office in the land.

I want one of these candidate to promise they will move to go back and debate the Patriot Act before extending it again.

Julie , December 21, 2019 at 14:07

All you need to know about Mayor Pete can be found on Youtube: Meet the real Mayor Pete; E. Michael Jones on PatrickCoffinMedia. Dr. Jones is the Mayor's neighbor. Reexaminging Mayor Pete and his years in office on Peter Hellands channel; Black Pastors speak out against Mayor Pete; CCM; Investigating of Pete & SBPD and there's more. Leave a Reply Cancel reply

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[Dec 21, 2019] How national security mandarins groomed Pete Buttigieg and managed his future

Dec 21, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Dec 21 2019 19:13 utc | 8

And talkin bout Greasy Mayo Pete, this came out a few days ago The insider: How national security mandarins groomed Pete Buttigieg and managed his future

[Dec 15, 2019] Pete Buttigieg's Corporate Heel-Turn

Who will pay for Medicare for all. This is the question. Because 10% of most sick patient consume 80of all funds it is not that simple quetion. Adter all any medical insurance is in essence putting a value of human life. Is human life is invaluable you need infinite amount of money.
So medical system in the USSR for example, where it cane be called Medicare for all in reality was grossly unfair to old and very sick people. They have limited funds for unlimited demand for their services. And they tried to save first those who they consider more valuable for the society.
So while it is clear that Pete Buttigieg is a well spoken corporate tool, his stance on Medicare for all is not completely obnoxious.
Dec 15, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

Pete Buttigieg burst on the national scene early this year as a new sort of presidential candidate. But it turns out he's a very old kind -- a glib ally of corporate America posing as an advocate for working people and their families. That has become apparent this fall as Buttigieg escalates his offensive against Medicare for All.

A not-so-funny thing has happened to Buttigieg on the campaign trail. As he kept collecting big checks from corporate executives and wealthy donors, he went from being " all for " a single-payer Medicare for All system in January to trashing it in the debate last week as a plan that would kick "150 million Americans off of their insurance in four short years." The demagoguery won praise from corporate media outlets.

Those outlets have often lauded Buttigieg for his fundraising totals this year without scrutiny of the funding sources. They skew toward the wealthy -- and toward donors with a vested interest in protecting the status quo.

[Dec 15, 2019] Pete Buttigieg is an actor for the well-connected

Notable quotes:
"... On December 5, while the McKinsey story was gaining steam, Buttigieg's campaign triumphantly announced the endorsement of former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee. When former White House officials make early endorsements like these, they're often overtures toward getting their former jobs back. Especially since Goolsbee isn't backing Joe Biden, Obama's natural heir, he's likely angling for a senior position in the Buttigieg administration. Goolsbee said in his endorsement, "It has been a while since I have seen the kind of excitement on the ground in Iowa that Mayor Pete has generated, and the last time worked out pretty well." ..."
"... Buttigieg wants us to see his lack of national experience as an asset instead of a liability ..."
"... Why is Buttigieg jet-setting between Wall Street and Silicon Valley for funding, instead of talking to the average voters (who hate both finance and tech) he supposedly represents? How can a Harvard and Oxford-educated ex-McKinseyite who has never taken up arms against corporate corruption credibly claim to be anything other than elitist in the first place? ..."
"... And who better understands what a Buttigieg administration would actually do -- MSNBC pundits impressed by Buttigieg's down-to-earth persona, or revolving-door insider Austan Goolsbee? ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

The Wrong People Are Really Excited About Pete Buttigieg's Campaign by Max Moran

Max Moran / Independent Media Institute
A senator from California, a senator from New York, and a nationally known Texan congressman have all clocked out of the 2020 Democratic primary. Yet the little-known mayor of the fourth-largest city in Indiana is not only staying alive, but thriving.

At least he was, until early December. Pete Buttigieg is currently receiving the media scrutiny expected of a front-runner, and his multilingual Midwestern golden boy routine isn't holding up very well. After a horrific ProPublica-New York Times expose put the spotlight squarely on Buttigieg's old employer McKinsey, he has struggled to justify his silence on what exactly he did for the firm, and squirmed under broader scrutiny of his corporate funders and bundlers. That's also brought his tight-lipped attitude toward his actual record in South Bend -- as well as South Bend's racist policing , and Buttigieg's own dismissive politicking toward African Americans -- back to the spotlight.

My organization, the Revolving Door Project at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, was one of the first to call out this election cycle's broad lack of bundler transparency, but there's another, even simpler data point about the South Bend mayor that we're surprised hasn't penetrated the broader discourse. Just look at the actual figures lining up behind the South Bend mayor, and it becomes clear that he's an actor for the well-connected.

On December 5, while the McKinsey story was gaining steam, Buttigieg's campaign triumphantly announced the endorsement of former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee. When former White House officials make early endorsements like these, they're often overtures toward getting their former jobs back. Especially since Goolsbee isn't backing Joe Biden, Obama's natural heir, he's likely angling for a senior position in the Buttigieg administration. Goolsbee said in his endorsement, "It has been a while since I have seen the kind of excitement on the ground in Iowa that Mayor Pete has generated, and the last time worked out pretty well."

To hear Goolsbee recall Obama's campaign promises should make all voters groan, and the Midwest seethe. On the 2008 campaign trail, Obama harshly criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) for hollowing out Rust Belt factories, and even agreed to consider withdrawing the United States in a debate with Hillary Clinton. Yet at the same time, Goolsbee sent a back-channel memo to the Canadian embassy that Obama's criticisms of NAFTA were "more reflective of political maneuvering than policy." Later in office, as the American auto industry crumpled under the recession, Goolsbee favored letting Chrysler fail rather than "siphon market-share from Ford and GM," according to contemporaneous reports.

Goolsbee departed the White House in June 2011 to return to the University of Chicago. In January 2013 -- while Obama was still in office -- he picked up a new job that should raise even louder alarm bells about his priorities and worldview. While ostensibly a full-time professor, Goolsbee now leads the Economic Intelligence practice at 32 Advisors, a firm founded by fellow Obama alum Robert Wolf. What does 32 Advisors do? It does the two things most revolving-door figures do to get rich: influencing and investing.

On influencing, 32 Advisors makes no effort to hide what it's up to. While Obama was still in office, the 32 Advisors website advertised that it "helps companies navigate the intricacies of government regulations and develop strategies to build strong relationships." Goolsbee's Economic Advisory department advertised "unparalleled insights into the future of the economy and its influence on businesses," including "Geo-Political Briefings & Ad-Hoc Email Insights." It's not your average consultant who can offer geopolitical insights from a former Cabinet adviser and longtime confidante of the then-sitting President of the United States. It also says something about a person's character to offer that insider take to the highest bidder. (Goolsbee was unlikely to starve on his salary as a professor at the University of Chicago School of Business.)

Meanwhile, 32 Advisors also runs its own investing arm called 32 Ventures. This has echoes of Bain and Company's relationship with Bain Capital, a former Obama punching bag in the 2012 campaign. 32 Advisors' relationship with 32 Ventures is even closer: instead of separate firms, the consultancy and investment wing are different divisions of the same company.

Nowadays, 32 Advisors' consulting arm is called Strategic Worldviews, which offers -- for the right price -- insights from Goolsbee, Glenn Hubbard (a George W. Bush economic adviser who's now on the board of private equity titan KKR), and others. Here's the twist: Strategic Worldviews is "a joint venture between 32 Ventures and Anthony Scaramucci's SALT Ventures."

Yes, that Anthony Scaramucci.

Other highlights from the 32 Ventures portfolio: Blade, a "digitally powered short-distance aviation company" that puts more recreational planes in the air to gobble up our carbon budget; the cannabis-related companies 14th Round and High Beauty, both of which have white founders, and one of whom is previously wealthy (read about the race and class issues in the legal cannabis industry here ); and Chanticleer Holdings, the parent company of Hooters.

Yes, that Hooters .

So we have a man who wanted to let the Rust Belt collapse, who revolved out to the influence and investment industries, and who literally works with The Mooch, throwing his support behind the Midwestern mayor. And the mayor is proud of this endorsement! The whole thing speaks to a fundamental tension about Buttigieg.

He is an elitist's idea of a small-town Indiana mayor. Buttigieg wants us to see his lack of national experience as an asset instead of a liability . Everyone hates Washington, after all. But if he is truly alien to the Washington way of doing things, why is a swamp figure like Goolsbee throwing support to Buttigieg instead of established moderates like Amy Klobuchar or Cory Booker? If Buttigieg actually is -- to use a meaningless word D.C.-types love -- "electable," what will he say to an Ohio autoworker wondering why he's cozying up to the forces who were ready to leave him out in the cold in the recession?

Why is Buttigieg jet-setting between Wall Street and Silicon Valley for funding, instead of talking to the average voters (who hate both finance and tech) he supposedly represents? How can a Harvard and Oxford-educated ex-McKinseyite who has never taken up arms against corporate corruption credibly claim to be anything other than elitist in the first place?

And who better understands what a Buttigieg administration would actually do -- MSNBC pundits impressed by Buttigieg's down-to-earth persona, or revolving-door insider Austan Goolsbee?

This article was produced in partnership by the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Max Moran is a research assistant at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), which aims to increase scrutiny on executive branch appointments.

[Dec 06, 2019] He is still covering up whatever evil he did when he worked for McKinsey

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Matthew G. Saroff , December 5, 2019 at 2:36 pm

On the Democratic side of the Presidential campaign, mayor Pete "Sentient Mayonnaise" Buttigieg is literally this election cycle's Theodore Bilbo.

This is a guy who threw people of color out of their homes to give the property to white developers , demoted a police chief for uncovering racism in the ranks , and said that he was unaware of segregation in South Bend schools despite the school district being under a consent decree for longer than he has been alive .

If you think that black and Hispanic turnout was low for Hillary Clinton, just wait for Buttigieg to be on the ticket in the general.

No nomination for him, no spot as VP, no kidding.

Also, he is still covering up whatever evil he did when he worked for McKinsey , and we know that it was evil because it was McKinsey & Company, and it will come out if he gets the nomination, and you can be sure that whatever it was, it WILL come out in the general election.

allan , December 5, 2019 at 7:57 pm

But the good news is that he's a Very Serious Person when it comes to deficit spending:

Liz Goodwin @lizcgoodwin

"My party's not known for worrying about the deficit or the debt too much but it's time for us to start getting into that," Mayor Pete says in NH town hall in response to voter anxious about debt. Says everything his campaign has proposed is paid for.

Mayor Pete expanded on this in the gaggle: "I believe every Presidency of my lifetime has been an example of deficits growing under Republican government and shrinking under Democratic government, but my party's got to get more comfortable talking about this issue"

"And we shouldn't be afraid to demonstrate that we have the revenue to cover every cost that we incur in the investments that we're proposing."

Looks like MMT is not a McKinsey-approved management tool.

[Dec 06, 2019] 200PM Water Cooler 12-5-2019

Dec 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Buttigieg (D)(2): "The trips to war zones that Pete Buttigieg rarely talks about" [ABC]. Missed this at the time: "But what the 37-year-old South Bend mayor didn't mention, and virtually never discusses in his run for the nation's highest office, were other trips to Afghanistan and Iraq years prior to his military deployment, when he was a 20-something civilian contractor for the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company . Buttigieg worked for McKinsey from 2007 to 2010, after completing post-graduate studies at Oxford. In his memoir, 'Shortest Way Home,' he mentions his involvement in domestic projects for the firm like doing energy efficiency research in the U.S., and goes into particular detail about one that involved analyzing North American grocery prices. But when it comes to his work abroad with McKinsey, he only drops hints about working on 'war zone economic development to help grow private sector employment' in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also refers to a 'safe house' in Baghdad. The book doesn't say exactly when or how long Buttigieg was in either country." • So Mayo Pete was (?) a spook? No reporting on this; the story just disappeared.

[Jul 15, 2019] Pete Buttigieg The made-to-order political "outsider" by Tom Hall

Highly recommended!
He is definitely a "CIA democrat" like Obama before him
Notable quotes:
"... In the media, Buttigieg is described as a 37-year-old "boy wonder," an "intelligent and worldly man" who speaks seven languages, whose speeches on the campaign trail exude intelligence and thoughtfulness, a former Rhodes scholar and graduate of Harvard and Oxford, who, driven by the ideal of public service, returned to his humble Midwestern roots to become mayor of his impoverished hometown, and who single-handedly sparked a renaissance in South Bend after a half-century of urban decay. ..."
"... Buttigieg has distinguished himself by his reluctance to take concrete positions on major political questions. His campaign website initially had no reference to policies, speaking only of the need to restore "values." ..."
"... As the campaign has developed, Buttigieg has taken substantive political positions that demonstrate he is a thoroughly establishment figure, aligned more with the "moderate" wing of the Democrats headed by former Vice President Joe Biden, and flatly opposed to the policies identified with Sanders ..."
"... Buttigieg was talent-spotted early and has moved in the top circles of the US national security establishment from the time he left college. From 2004 to 2005 (when he was 22 and 23), he worked as a conference director for the Cohen Group, a Washington-based consultancy that advises clients on international investment strategies. ..."
"... This aspect of Buttigieg's resumé closely resembles that of Barack Obama, who worked for CIA-connected Business International at age 21-22, making connections within the national security apparatus that stood him in good stead during his meteoric political rise. ..."
"... From 2007 to 2010, the year before his first mayoral campaign, Buttigieg served as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm with revenues of over $10 billion. ..."
"... Media comments suggest that the Democratic Party sees one of the functions of Buttigieg's campaign as preventing Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination. ..."
"... However, from the standpoint of the American ruling class, Buttigieg's most important credential by far is his military record. Between 2009 and 2017, Buttigieg was a lieutenant and naval intelligence officer in the Naval Reserve. ..."
"... According to a report in the Hill , "Buttigieg's reserve training took place at Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago, where he studied to become an intelligence officer. There, Buttigieg's background as a McKinsey consultant and his Rhodes scholar pedigree earned him a direct commission into the Navy." ..."
"... Two of the seven languages in which Buttigieg claims fluency are Arabic and Dari (the Afghan dialect of Persian, spoken by about one-third of the population). Such language skills are likely the product of intensive military-intelligence training. ..."
"... The presence of ex-military officers in the Democratic field is part of a larger process, the direct incorporation of military and intelligence figures into the leading personnel of the Democratic Party, a phenomenon the World Socialist Web Site identified among Democratic candidates for Congress in 2018 (see: The CIA Democrats ). ..."
Jul 15, 2019 | www.wsws.org

The World Socialist Web Site has begun an occasional series of articles profiling the major candidates for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in the 2020 elections. WSWS writers will examine the political history and program of each candidate, making the case for a socialist alternative for the working class to both the Democrats and the Trump administration. The first article, on Elizabeth Warren , appeared on July 11.

Over the past six months, Pete Buttigieg has emerged as a potential dark horse candidate in the Democratic Party presidential primaries. The two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana -- now referred to by the shorthand title "Mayor Pete" -- has gained extensive media coverage and built a fundraising machine, raking in $24.8 million in the second quarter of 2019, the most for any Democrat.

Buttigieg has been the most aggressive holder of high-dollar fundraisers, attending dozens of such events, particularly in California and the northeast, and raising much of his money from Silicon Valley and Wall Street.

His poll numbers have not responded in direct proportion to the build-up, however. He regularly appears in fifth place, making him the lowest in the top tier of candidates. And his campaign received a significant blow in mid-June with the killing of a black resident of South Bend by a white cop, which forced Buttigieg to leave the campaign trail briefly to deal with the crisis.

Three factors account for Buttigieg's rise. His age, 37, is in sharp contrast to the two top candidates when he entered the race, Joe Biden, 76, and Bernie Sanders, 77, to say nothing of the geriatric leadership of the House Democrats: Nancy Pelosi, 79, Steny Hoyer, 80, and Jim Clyburn, 79. He is the only openly gay candidate among the 24 primary contestants, married to another gay man, Chasten Glezman. And most importantly -- from the standpoint of his acceptability to the US ruling elite -- he is a veteran of naval intelligence, having served a tour of duty in Afghanistan, where he helped identify targets for assassination squads.

These attributes -- comparative youth, identity as a gay man and a background in military intelligence, together with his public embrace of religion (he is a practicing Episcopalian) -- make Buttigieg something of a made-to-order candidate from the standpoint of the Democratic Party establishment. His candidacy ticks a number of boxes: anchoring the primary campaign in a right-wing national security perspective; employing youth and identity to appeal to the predominately youthful supporters of Sanders; and elevating a right-wing figure as a "next-generation" leader of the Democrats, although perhaps a more likely candidate for the vice presidency than the top job.

The American public could be forgiven for wondering why the mayor of a small Midwestern city (306th largest in the country) has suddenly appeared on their television screens in extensive and mostly favorable news reports that paint him as a serious candidate for the Democratic nomination.

Buttigieg's only other foray into national politics was a failed 2017 bid for chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), a position that attracts relatively little public attention. A poll from late March found that 62 percent of respondents did not even know who Buttigieg was, although extensive media coverage has caused that figure to fall rapidly.

In the media, Buttigieg is described as a 37-year-old "boy wonder," an "intelligent and worldly man" who speaks seven languages, whose speeches on the campaign trail exude intelligence and thoughtfulness, a former Rhodes scholar and graduate of Harvard and Oxford, who, driven by the ideal of public service, returned to his humble Midwestern roots to become mayor of his impoverished hometown, and who single-handedly sparked a renaissance in South Bend after a half-century of urban decay.

As usual, the media depiction is largely at odds with reality.

One of the most noteworthy features of Buttigieg's campaign so far is its political amorphousness. Even by the standards of American capitalist elections, where issues of concern to the working class are systematically excluded from the public discussion, Buttigieg has distinguished himself by his reluctance to take concrete positions on major political questions. His campaign website initially had no reference to policies, speaking only of the need to restore "values."

As the campaign has developed, Buttigieg has taken substantive political positions that demonstrate he is a thoroughly establishment figure, aligned more with the "moderate" wing of the Democrats headed by former Vice President Joe Biden, and flatly opposed to the policies identified with Sanders. Buttigieg rejects the single-payer "Medicare for All" slogan proposed by Sanders and taken up by many other Democrats in favor of the establishment of a "public option" available on the health insurance exchanges set up under Obamacare.

One proposal that has garnered media attention is his plan to expand the Supreme Court to 15 judges, a cosmetic change that would not alter the fundamental character of the court as a bastion of political reaction. He has also called for elimination of the Electoral College, although this would require passage of a constitutional amendment, which is highly unlikely.

Voters would certainly find little in Buttigieg's political record, consisting of a two-term stint as mayor of South Bend, to inspire enthusiasm. In the press, Buttigieg is touted as a "turnaround" mayor who has placed the ailing former factory town and site of the University of Notre Dame on the road to economic recovery.

In actual fact, his main achievements include the bulldozing of hundreds of empty homes in blighted working class neighborhoods, the sprucing up of the downtown area, and the attraction of modest investment from IT corporations, measures whose impact is not to lift working class residents out of poverty, but rather to gentrify the city and drive up real estate values. Even a favorable review of "Mayor Pete's" time in office by an Indiana economist was forced to admit that "other than sharing in the unemployment-rate reductions of the national economic expansion, none of the top-line economic indicators for South Bend have changed markedly over Buttigieg's mayoral stint."

The New York Times wrote in a profile: "Some of the data is dismal. Though the overall poverty rate has fallen since Mr. Buttigieg took office, poverty among African-Americans stubbornly remains almost twice as high as for African-Americans nationwide. The city has one of the highest eviction rates in the country, which has doubled under the mayor, according to the Eviction Lab at Princeton University. In households with working adults, 54 percent do not earn enough to meet a 'survival budget,' according to the United Way."

A glaring spotlight was placed on the actual state of affairs in South Bend on June 16, when a white policeman shot to death a 53-year-old black man, Eric Logan. The cop, who had been previously linked to reports of brutality, was equipped with a body camera but did not turn it on when he confronted Logan in a parking lot and shot him fatally, claiming that Logan had menaced him with a knife.

Buttigieg had to leave the campaign trail and return to South Bend, appearing at town hall meetings where he and the police force were loudly denounced. While police killings are not primarily a racial issue -- the largest number of those killed by police are white, and minority police shoot people just as frequently as white police -- there is clearly a large element of racial injustice in South Bend. The city is 40 percent nonwhite, but under Buttigieg's leadership the proportion of African-American police has fallen from 10 percent in 2011 to only 5 percent today. At the Democratic debate in Miami, Buttigieg claimed to have tried and failed to recruit a more diverse police force.

Given this mediocre record, what recommends "Mayor Pete" for promotion to the highest levels of the American state? Clearly, other factors are driving his buildup in the media.

Buttigieg was talent-spotted early and has moved in the top circles of the US national security establishment from the time he left college. From 2004 to 2005 (when he was 22 and 23), he worked as a conference director for the Cohen Group, a Washington-based consultancy that advises clients on international investment strategies.

The Cohen Group is headed by former Republican Senator William Cohen, who was secretary of defense under Democratic President Bill Clinton. Its principals, besides Cohen, include Marc Grossman, undersecretary of state for political affairs in the Bush administration and special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan under Obama; retired General Joseph Ralston, who concluded a 37-year Air Force career as chief of the European command and supreme allied commander, Europe; and Nicholas Burns, US ambassador to NATO and Grossman's successor as undersecretary of state for political affairs under Bush.

This aspect of Buttigieg's resumé closely resembles that of Barack Obama, who worked for CIA-connected Business International at age 21-22, making connections within the national security apparatus that stood him in good stead during his meteoric political rise.

From 2007 to 2010, the year before his first mayoral campaign, Buttigieg served as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm with revenues of over $10 billion.

Media comments suggest that the Democratic Party sees one of the functions of Buttigieg's campaign as preventing Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination. An opinion piece in the Washington Post headlined "Buttigieg might save the Democratic Party from Sanders," applauded Buttigieg's public criticism of Sanders' occasional use of the word "socialism." Buttigieg said: "I think of myself as progressive. But I also believe in capitalism, but it has to be democratic capitalism." The Post author commented: "In many ways, Buttigieg is ideally suited to take on Sanders for the hearts, minds and political survival of the Democratic Party."

While the Democrats know that Sanders poses no threat to American capitalism, they are determined to prevent social opposition within the working class from finding even a distorted reflection in their general election campaign, as in 2016, when the DNC attempted to sabotage Sanders' primary campaign.

However, from the standpoint of the American ruling class, Buttigieg's most important credential by far is his military record. Between 2009 and 2017, Buttigieg was a lieutenant and naval intelligence officer in the Naval Reserve.

According to a report in the Hill , "Buttigieg's reserve training took place at Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago, where he studied to become an intelligence officer. There, Buttigieg's background as a McKinsey consultant and his Rhodes scholar pedigree earned him a direct commission into the Navy."

"We had group of young, accomplished civilians -- assistant US attorneys and FBI agents," Thomas Gary, a senior petty officer at the Great Lakes station at the time, told the Hill . "Pete fit right in."

In 2014, during his first term as mayor, Buttigieg was deployed to Afghanistan, where he was a member of the Afghan Threat Finance Cell, a counter-terrorism group established in 2008 by then-commanding General David Petraeus. Through his work in this task force, Buttigieg was involved in activities that placed individuals on the US military's "kill or capture list," targeting these opponents of the US occupation for assassination or extraordinary rendition to a CIA black site.

Two of the seven languages in which Buttigieg claims fluency are Arabic and Dari (the Afghan dialect of Persian, spoken by about one-third of the population). Such language skills are likely the product of intensive military-intelligence training.

The presence of ex-military officers in the Democratic field is part of a larger process, the direct incorporation of military and intelligence figures into the leading personnel of the Democratic Party, a phenomenon the World Socialist Web Site identified among Democratic candidates for Congress in 2018 (see: The CIA Democrats ).

Buttigieg is also on the board of directors of the Truman Center, an imperialist foreign policy group. Other board members include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Leon Panetta, former CIA director and secretary of defense. The Truman Center is a veritable training center for CIA Democrats, offering workshops and messaging guidelines for up-and-coming politicians. It boasts on its website: "Our community includes more than 1,700 post-9/11 veterans, frontline civilians, policy experts, and political professionals who share a common vision of US leadership abroad."

Buttigieg's relative silence on foreign policy issues cannot be explained by a disinterest or lack of knowledge. It can be explained only as a deliberate attempt to avoid airing views he knows are widely unpopular, but which are mainstream within the Democratic Party.

When he finally delivered a significant foreign policy address, in May, it was at the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, which is named in honor of former Democratic Congressman Lee H. Hamilton and former Republican Senator Richard G. Lugar, both pillars of the foreign policy establishment.

Buttigieg denounced China for "authoritarian capitalism" and a poor record on human rights, citing in particular the plight of Muslim Uighurs in Sinkiang, a longtime target of CIA efforts to destabilize the Beijing regime. He called for stepped-up US investment in infrastructure and education in order to "compete for the global economic future." And he referred sarcastically to Trump's dealings with Moscow, calling Russia "not a real estate opportunity but an adversarial actor."

In 2018, the Truman Center released a messaging pamphlet for elected officials and candidates that completely coincides with the Democrats' right-wing campaign against Trump over foreign policy. The first section, for example, declares Russia an "historic adversary" of the United States and asserts that the intelligence community (which is directly represented on the Truman Center's board) has "decisively confirmed" that Russia "interfered" in the 2016 elections.

In light of Buttigieg's national security background, his campaign proposal for the establishment of a "national service" program has particularly ominous implications. Buttigieg argues that such a program is necessary to promote a feeling of unity and "social cohesion" within the American population. In reality, such a program would amount to a return to the draft, combined perhaps with labor conscription, which could be used to suppress wages and living standards in the working class.

Whether or not Buttigieg ultimately wins the nomination, and at this point the possibility seems remote, his sudden elevation in advance of the primaries flows from definite political considerations within the Democratic Party itself. Whoever ultimately wins the nomination must be acceptable to the corporate aristocracy and the military apparatus the Democrats represent. However, the debacle of the Hillary Clinton campaign revealed, much to the Democrats' surprise, that any figure publicly identified with social inequality and war is liable to be deeply hated, particularly within the working class.

Within this context, Buttigieg has emerged as a figure whose particular combination of personal characteristics -- his youth, his sexual identity as a gay man, his association with the industrial Midwest where Clinton was wiped out by Trump, his media-concocted reputation for intelligent public speaking, and, above all, his lack of a well-known political track record -- might serve as a more suitable package for the same brand of politics.

One gets the sense that the Democratic Party is attempting replicate its success with Barack Obama, whose formless demagogy about "hope" and "change" was able to divert popular hostility to the political establishment, allowing the voters to see in him what they wanted to see. Buttigieg's status as the first gay man to become a serious presidential hopeful would thus parallel Obama's role as the "first black president."

In the context of popular disillusionment with eight bitter years under Obama, however, it is unlikely the Democrats will be able to pull off the same trick twice.

The author also recommends:

Pete Buttigieg's town hall debacle: A Democratic Party "golden boy" unmasked
[25 June 2019]

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