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Some people referring to Bill Clinton sexcapades say "Bill Clinton gave us Bush the Younger thanks to having the self control of an adolescent chimpanzee." ( But this is wrong. Bill Clinton was much more dangerous then that. We can consider Bill Clinton to be the founder of "Vichy left". US Democrats were once for slavery as well. So in way Bill clinton returned the Party to its historic roots, not it stands for neoliberal ("debt-based") slavery.
Contrary to what US media say, Bill and Hillary Clinton are certainly not liberals or "progressives" (strange US term which means "normal in European sense social democrats), but typical run-of-the-mill neoliberals (with Hillary beings a neocon, an unrepentant warmonger hell bent on inciting the war with Russia via "no fly zone" in Syria).
As such they are Republicans of DINO ("Democrats only in name").
Bill Clinton gave us NAFTA, repeal of Glass Steagill, deregulation of media, etc. Bill Clinton switched Democrats from the policy of Americanism (or "America first" in Trump terms) – focusing on what’s good for America’s middle class – to a policy of globalism, focusing on how to make money for large corporations who can move their wealth and workers to foreign countries all to the detriment of the American worker and the American economy.
Speaking of "Clinton family" Hillary is a war hawk and supported TPP, who during her tenure as the Secretary of State turned "Public Service" into shady, lucrative business. In a nutshell, they got rich by making super big $$$ speeches to shady groups and persons who wanted to influence in the US government. Bill's speech fees skyrocketed when she became Secretary of State. See Clinton Cash
Bill Clinton was a staunch neoliberal, one of 12 apostils of deregulation. He also is a kind of Judas Iscariot of Democratic Party who helped to sell Democratic Party to Wall Street for an annual "pension" about 20 silver coins (sorry million of USD), delivered via speakers fees. He can can be viewed as a Godfather of kleptocratic neocons called Mayberry Machiavellians. He also was the first the neoconservative president, completely in bed with Likud lobby.
The President which destroyed the USA relations with post-Soviet Russia by attack on Serbia (On 24 March 1999, Primakov was heading to Washington, D.C. for an official visit. Flying over the Atlantic Ocean, he learned that NATO had started to bomb Yugoslavia. Primakov cancelled the visit, ordered the plane to turn around over the ocean and returned to Moscow in a maneuver dubbed "Primakov's Loop". Yevgeny Primakov ). His main achievements were:
"Bill Clinton conveniently forgets the hundreds of millions of campaign contributions that he and Hillary so famously raised from Wall Street for the Democrats. They taught their party, always a bit chaotic but left dispirited after the Kennedy assassinations, that 'greed is good.,' and it certainly pays well. You can put up $1000 and obtain a return of $100,000 in a futures market of which you know nothing, and do nothing, if you know the right people."
In politics, triangulation is the strategy in which a political candidate presents their ideology as being above or between the left and right sides (or "wings") of a traditional (e.g. American or British) democratic political spectrum. It involves adopting for oneself some of the ideas of one's political opponent. The logic behind it is that it both takes credit for the opponent's ideas, and insulates the triangulator from attacks on that particular issue.
The collapse and subsequent economic rape of the USSR region in 1991-1998 was a huge stimulus for the US economy. Something like 300 millions of new customers overnight for many products and huge expansion of the dollar zone, which partially compensates for the loss of EU to euro.
Even if we count just the cash absorbed by the region, it will be a major economic stimulus. All-it-all it was Bernanke size if we add buying assets for pennies on the dollar.
Actually, Bill Clinton put a solid fundament for subsequent deterioration relations with Russia. His semi-successful attempt to colonize Russia (under Yeltsin Russia was a semi-colony and definitely a vassal state of the USA) backfired.
Now the teeth of dragon planted by Slick Bill (of Kosovo war fame) are visible in full glory. Russian elite no longer trusts the US elite and feels threatened.
Series of female sociopath (or borderline personalities) in the role of Secretaries of State did not help either. The last one, "We came, we saw, he died" Hillary and her protégé Victoria Nuland (which actually was a close associate of Dick Cheney http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2005/11/president_cheney.html ) are actually replay of unforgettable Madeleine Albright with her famous a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied "we think the price is worth it."
The term was first used by President of the United States Bill Clinton's chief political advisor Dick Morris as a way to describe his strategy for getting Clinton reelected in the 1996 presidential election. In Dick Morris' words, triangulation meant "the president needed to take a position that not only blended the best of each party's views but also transcended them to constitute a third force in the debate." In news articles and books, it is sometimes referred to as "Clintonian triangulation". Morris advocated a set of policies that were different from the traditional policies of the Democratic Party. These policies included deregulation and balanced budgets.
One of the most widely cited capstones of Clinton's triangulation strategy was when, in his 1996
State of the Union Address, Clinton declared that the "era of big government is over."
Politicians alleged to have used triangulation more recently include US President Barack Obama, former Senator Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair with "New Labour" in the United Kingdom, Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin with the Liberal Party of Canada, Fredrik Reinfeldt with "The New Moderates" in Sweden, and Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, and Kevin Rudd of the Australian Labor Party. In France, the Socialist candidate in the 2007 presidential election, Ségolène Royal, advocated “military supervision” (encadrement militaire) for first offenders.
During the 2010 State of the Union Address, President Obama insisted that he would remain with his agenda in the face of criticism, rather than resort to triangulation.
The term "Third Way" was picked up in the 1950s by German ordoliberal economists such as Wilhelm Röpke, resulting in the development of the concept of the social market economy -- an early attempt to justify neoliberalism. Later Röpke distanced himself from the term and located the social market economy as "first way" in the sense of an advancement of the free market economy. Most significantly, Harold Macmillan, British Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963, based his philosophy of government on what he entitled in a book, The Middle Way
In politics, the Third Way is a set of neoliberal policies that on the surface tries to reconcile
right-wing and left-wing politics by selling trade union interests to the higher bidder under the smokescreen
of adopting synthesis of right-wing economic and left-wing social policies. The Third Way was
by proponents of neoliberalism as an attempt to weaken power of the state to regulated transnational
corporations and discredit economic interventionist policies that had previously been popularized
by Keynesianism. It rise corresponds to the rise of popularity for neoliberalism and the New Right.
The Third Way managed completely co-opt and destroy some Democratic Parties (in the USA, GB and Germany).
Major Third Way social democratic proponent Tony Blair claimed that the socialism he advocated was different from traditional conceptions of socialism. Blair said "My kind of socialism is a set of values based around notions of social justice ... Socialism as a rigid form of economic determinism has ended, and rightly". Blair referred to it as "social-ism" that involves politics that recognized individuals as socially interdependent, and advocated social justice, social cohesion, equal worth of each citizen, and equal opportunity.
Third Way social democratic theorist Anthony Giddens has said that the Third Way rejects the traditional conception of socialism, and instead accepts the conception of socialism as conceived of by Anthony Crosland as an ethical doctrine that views social democratic governments as having achieved a viable ethical socialism by removing the unjust elements of capitalism by providing social welfare and other policies, and that contemporary socialism has outgrown the Marxian claim for the need of the abolition of capitalism.
Blair in 2009 publicly declared support for a "new capitalism" -- neoliberalism.
It supports the pursuit of greater egalitarianism in society through action to increase the distribution of skills, capacities, and productive endowments, while rejecting income redistribution as the means to achieve this. Like neoliberalism in general it emphasizes commitment to balanced budgets, an emphasis on personal responsibility, decentralization of government power to the lowest level possible to restore the power of financial oligarchy), encouragement of public-private partnerships, improving labor supply (with Wal-Mart and McDonalds as two examples what they can do for impoverishing labor class), privatizing of education, protection of transnational corporations, which are above the law.
It been heavily criticized by many social democrats, democratic socialists and communists in particular
as a betrayal of left-wing values.
May 23, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
"Clinton to be honored at Harvard for 'transformative impact'" [ The Hill ]. Irony is not dead.
"From the Jaws of Victory" [ Jacobin ]. Some highlights from Amy Chozick's Chasing Hillary , which really does sound like a fun read:
"In the public's mind, Clinton's 'deplorables' quip is remembered as evidence of her disdain for much of Trump's fan base. But there was one other group Clinton had a similar dislike of: Bernie Sanders supporters.
As one person who had talked to Clinton about the difference between Trump and Sanders crowds recounted, her feeling was that 'at least white supremacists shaved.'"
UPDATE "Why does Trump get away with corruption? Because Bill and Hillary Clinton normalized it" [Josh Barro, Business Insider ].
May 03, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.gr
Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing
During the 2016 Democratic party primaries we wrote that what Bernie achieved, is to bring back the real political discussion in America, at least concerning the Democratic camp. Bernie smartly "drags" his primary rival, Hillary Clinton, into the heart of the politics. Up until a few years ago, you could not observe too much difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, who were just following the pro-establishment "politics as usual", probably with a few, occasional exceptions. The "politics as usual" so far, was "you can't touch the Wall Street", for example.
Bernie continuously forcing Hillary to appear apologetic about her campaign funding from big financial interests. She tries hard to persuade the public that she will not serve specific interests. Her anxiety can be identified in many cases and it was very clear at the moment when she accused Bernie of attacking her, concerning this funding. Hillary was forced to respond with a deeply irrational argument: anyone who takes money from big interests doesn't mean that he/she will vote for policies in favor of these interests!
Bernie drives the discussion towards fundamental ideological issues. He forced Hillary to defend her "progressiveness". She was forced to speak even about economic interests by names. A few years ago, this would be nearly a taboo in any debate between any primaries.
After the disastrous defeat by Trump in 2016 election, the corporate Democrats realized that the progressive movement, supported mostly by the American youth, would not retreat and vanish. On the contrary, Bernie Sanders' popularity still goes up and there is a wave of progressive candidates who appear to be a real threat to the DNC establishment and the Clintonian empire.
It seems that the empire has upgraded its dirty tactics beyond Hillary's false relocation to the Left. Seeing the big threat from the real progressives, the empire seeks to "plant" its own agents, masked as progressives, inside the electoral process, to disorientate voters and steal the popular vote.
Eric Draitser gives us valuable information for such a type of candidate. Key points:
One candidate currently generating some buzz in the race is Jeff Beals, a self-identified "Bernie democrat" whose campaign website homepage describes him as a " local teacher and former U.S. diplomat endorsed by the national organization of former Bernie Sanders staffers, the Justice Democrats. " And indeed, Beals centers his progressive bona fides to brand himself as one of the inheritors of the progressive torch lit by Sanders in 2016. A smart political move, to be sure. But is it true?
Beals describes himself as a "former U.S. diplomat," touting his expertise on international issues born of his experience overseas. In an email interview with CounterPunch, Beals describes his campaign as a " movement for diplomacy and peace in foreign affairs and an end to militarism my experience as a U.S. diplomat is what drives it and gives this movement such force. " OK, sounds good, a very progressive sounding answer. But what did Beals actually do during his time overseas?
By his own admission, Beals' overseas career began as an intelligence officer with the CIA. His fluency in Arabic and knowledge of the region made him an obvious choice to be an intelligence spook during the latter stages of the Clinton Administration.
Beals shrewdly attempts to portray himself as an opponent of neocon imperialism in Iraq. In his interview with CounterPunch, Beals argued that " The State Department was sidelined as the Bush administration and a neoconservative cabal plunged America into the tragic Iraq War. As a U.S. diplomat fluent in Arabic and posted in Jerusalem at the time, I was called over a year into the war to help our country find a way out. "
This is a Master's class in blatant historical revisionism and outright dishonesty. Beals was not a soldier unwillingly drafted into service, but an intelligence officer who voluntarily accepted an influential and critically important post for the Bush Administration in its ever-expanding crime against humanity in Iraq.
Moreover, no one who knows anything about the Iraq War could possibly swallow the tripe that CIA/State Department officials in Iraq were " looking to help our country find a way out " a year into the war. A year into the war, the bloodletting was only just beginning, and Halliburton, Exxon-Mobil, and the other corporate vultures had yet to fully exploit the country and make billions off it. So, unfortunately for Beals, the historical memory of the anti-war Left is not that short.
It is self-evident that Beals has a laundry list of things in his past that he must answer for. For those of us, especially Millennials, who cut our activist teeth demonstrating and organizing against the Iraq War, Beals' distortions about his role in Iraq go down like hemlock tea. But it is the associations Beals maintains today that really should give any progressive serious pause.
When asked by CounterPunch whether he has any connections to either Bernie Sanders and his surrogates or Hillary Clinton and hers, Beals responded by stating: " I am endorsed by Justice Democrats, a group of former Bernie Sanders staffers who are pledged to electing progressives nationwide. I am also endorsed for the Greene County chapter of the New York Progressive Action Network, formerly the Bernie Sanders network. My first hire was a former Sanders field coordinator who worked here in NY-19. "
However, conveniently missing from that response is the fact that Beals' campaign has been, and continues to be, directly managed in nearly every respect by Bennett Ratcliff, a longtime friend and ally of Hillary Clinton. Ratcliff is not mentioned in any publicly available documents as a campaign manager, though the most recent FEC filings show that as of April 1, 2018, Ratcliff was still on the payroll of the Beals campaign. And in the video of Beals' campaign kickoff rally, Ratcliff introduces Beals, while only being described as a member of the Onteora School Board in Ulster County . This is sort of like referring to Donald Trump as an avid golfer.
Beals has studiously, and rather intelligently, avoided mentioning Ratcliff, or the presence of Clinton's inner circle on his campaign. However, according to internal campaign documents and emails obtained by CounterPunch, Ratcliff manages nearly every aspect of the campaign, acting as a sort of éminence grise behind the artifice of a progressive campaign fronted by a highly educated and photogenic political novice.
By his own admission, Ratcliff's role on the campaign is strategy, message, and management. Sounds like a rather textbook description of a campaign manager. Indeed, Ratcliff has been intimately involved in "guiding" Beals on nearly every important campaign decision, especially those involving fundraising .
And it is in the realm of fundraising that Ratcliff really shines, but not in the way one would traditionally think. Rather than focusing on large donations and powerful interests, Ratcliff is using the Beals campaign as a laboratory for his strategy of winning elections without raising millions of dollars.
In fact, leaked campaign documents show that Ratcliff has explicitly instructed Beals and his staffers not to spend money on food, decorations, and other standard campaign expenses in hopes of presenting the illusion of a grassroots, people-powered campaign with no connections to big time donors or financial elites .
It seems that Ratcliff is the wizard behind the curtain, leveraging his decades of contact building and close ties to the Democratic Party establishment while at the same time manufacturing an astroturfed progressive campaign using a front man in Beals .
One of Ratcliff's most infamous, and indefensible, acts of fealty to the Clinton machine came in 2009 when he and longtime Clinton attorney and lobbyist, Lanny Davis, stumped around Washington to garner support for the illegal right-wing coup in Honduras, which ousted the democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya in favor of the right-wing oligarchs who control the country today. Although the UN, and even U.S. diplomats on the ground in Honduras, openly stated that the coup was illegal, Clinton was adamant to actively keep Zelaya out.
Essentially then, Ratcliff is a chief architect of the right-wing government in Honduras – the same government assassinating feminist and indigenous activists like Berta Cáceres, Margarita Murillo, and others, and forcibly displacing and ethnically cleansing Afro-indigenous communities to make way for Carribbean resorts and golf courses.
And this Washington insider lobbyist and apologist for war criminals and crimes against humanity is the guy who's on a crusade to reform campaign finance and fix Washington? This is the guy masquerading as a progressive? This is the guy working to elect an "anti-war progressive"?
In a twisted way it makes sense. Ratcliff has the blood of tens of thousands of Hondurans (among others) on his hands, while Beals is a creature of Langley, a CIA boy whose exceptional work in the service of Bush and Clinton administration war criminals is touted as some kind of merit badge on his resume.
What also becomes clear after establishing the Ratcliff-Beals connection is the fact that Ratcliff's purported concern with campaign financing and "taking back the Republic" is really just a pretext for attempting to provide a "proof of concept," as it were, that neoliberal Democrats shouldn't fear and subvert the progressive wing of the party, but rather that they should co-opt it with a phony grassroots facade all while maintaining links to U.S. intelligence, Wall Street, and the power brokers of the Democratic Party .
Info from the article How Clintonites Are Manufacturing Faux Progressive Congressional Campaigns by Eric Draitser
Apr 30, 2018 | www.unz.com
NoseytheDuke , April 23, 2018 at 11:39 am GMT@renfroTwodees Partain , April 23, 2018 at 10:23 pm GMT
I'm on the other side of the planet but a friend in the Mid-West sent me this and I thought I'd ask if anyone else had seen it?
Is there corruption in DC?
From 2001 to 2005 there was an ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation. A Grand Jury had been empaneled. The investigation was triggered by the pardon of Marc Rich ..
Governments from around the world had donated to the "Charity". Yet, from 2001 to 2003 none of those "Donations" to the Clinton Foundation were declared.
Guess who took over this investigation in 2002? Bet you can't guess. No other than James Comey.
Guess who was transferred in to the Internal Revenue Service to run the Tax Exemption Branch of the IRS? Your friend and mine, Lois "Be on The Look Out" (BOLO) Lerner.
It gets better, well not really, but this is all just a series of strange coincidences, right?
Guess who ran the Tax Division inside the Department of Injustice from 2001 to 2005? No other than the Assistant Attorney General of the United States, Rod Rosenstein.
Guess who was the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation during this time frame??? I know, it's a miracle, just a coincidence, just an anomaly in statistics and chances: Robert Mueller.
What do all four casting characters have in common? They all were briefed and were front line investigators into the Clinton Foundation Investigation.
Now that's just a coincidence, right? Ok, lets chalk the last one up to mere chance.
Let's fast forward to 2009. James Comey leaves the Justice Department to go and cash-in at Lockheed Martin.
Hillary Clinton is running the State Department, on her own personal email server.
The Uranium One "issue" comes to the attention of the Hillary. Like all good public servants do, you know looking out for America's best interest, she decides to support the decision and approve the sale of 20% of US Uranium to no other than, the Russians.
Now you would think that this is a fairly straight up deal, except it wasn't, I question what did the People get out of it?? Oddly enough, prior to the sales approval, Bill Clinton goes to Moscow, gets paid 500K for a one-hour speech then meets with Vladimir Putin at his home for a few hours.
Ok, no big deal right? Well, not so fast, the FBI had a mole inside this scheme.
Guess who was the FBI Director during this time frame? Yep, Robert Mueller. He requested the State Department allow himself to deliver a Uranium Sample to Moscow in 2009, under the guise of a "sting" operation -- (see leaked secret cable 09STATE38943).. while it is never clear if Mueller did deliver the sample, the "implication" is there ..
Guess who was handling that case within the Justice Department out of the US Attorney's Office in Maryland ?? No other than, Rod Rosenstein.
Remember the "informant" inside the FBI -- - Guess what happened to the informant? Department of Justice placed a GAG order on him and threatened to lock him up if he spoke about the Uranium Deal. Personally, I have to question how does 20% of the most strategic asset of the United States of America end up in Russian hands??? The FBI had an informant, a mole providing inside information to the FBI on the criminal enterprise and NOTHING happens, except to the informant -- Strange !!
Guess what happened soon after the sale was approved? 145 million dollars in "donations" made their way into the Clinton Foundation from entities directly connected to the Uranium One deal.
Guess who was still at the Internal Revenue Service working the Charitable Division?
No other than, Lois Lerner. Ok, that's all just another series of coincidences, nothing to see here, right? Let's fast forward to 2015.
Due to a series of tragic events in Benghazi and after the nine "investigations" the House, Senate and at State Department, Trey Gowdy who was running the 10th investigation as Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, discovers that the Hillary ran the State Department on an unclassified, unauthorized, outlaw personal email server.
He also discovered that none of those emails had been turned over when she departed her "Public Service" as Secretary of State which was required by law.
He also discovered that there was Top Secret information contained within her personally archived email. Sparing you the State Departments cover up, the nostrums they floated, the delay tactics that were employed and the outright lies that were spewed forth from the necks of the Kerry State Department, they did everything humanly possible to cover for Hillary.
Guess who became FBI Director in 2013? Guess who secured 17 no bid contracts for his employer (Lockheed Martin) with the State Department and was rewarded with a six million dollar thank you present when he departed his employer. No other than James Comey. Folks if I did this when I worked for the government, I would have been locked up -- The State Department didn't even comply with the EEO and small business requirements the government places on all Request For Proposals (RFP) on contracts -- It amazes me how all those no-bids just went right through at State -- simply amazing and no Inspector General investigation !!
Next after leaving the private sector Comey is the FBI Director in charge of the "Clinton Email Investigation" after of course his FBI Investigates the Lois Lerner "Matter" at the Internal Revenue Service and exonerates her. Nope couldn't find any crimes there. Nothing here to report --
Then of all surprises, in April 2016, James Comey drafts an exoneration letter of Hillary Rodham Clinton, meanwhile the DOJ is handing out immunity deals like candy on Halloween.
The DOJ didn't even convene a Grand Jury. Like a lightning bolt of statistical impossibility, like a miracle from God himself, like the true "Gangsta" Homey is, James steps out into the cameras of an awaiting press conference on July the 8th of 2016 and exonerates the Hillary from any wrongdoing. As I've said many times, July 8, 2016 is the date that will live in infamy of the American Justice System ..
Can you see the pattern?
It goes on and on, Rosenstein becomes Asst. Attorney General, Comey gets fired based upon a letter by Rosenstein, Comey leaks government information to the press, Mueller is assigned to the Russian Investigation witch hunt by Rosenstein to provide cover for decades of malfeasance within the FBI and DOJ and the story continues.FISA Abuse, political espionage .. pick a crime, any crime, chances are this group and a few others did it. All the same players. All compromised and conflicted. All working fervently to NOT go to jail themselves. All connected in one way or another to the Clinton's. They are like battery acid, they corrode and corrupt everything they touch. How many lives have the Clinton's destroyed?
As of this writing, the Clinton Foundation, in its 20+ years of operation of being the largest International Charity Fraud in the history of mankind, has never been audited by the Internal Revenue Service.
Let us not forget that Comey's brother works for DLA Piper, the law firm that does the Clinton Foundation's taxes.@NoseytheDuke
More on Mueller for renfro, who seems to think that Mueller has some kind of integrity hidden somewhere:
Apr 22, 2018 | www.unz.com
Steve Gittelson , April 18, 2018 at 1:55 am GMT@Rurik
Yeah. Sociopath. Gives me the shivers. Bill is the same, but conceals it better. I mean, WTF, the guy had state troopers bringing him any pussy he spotted on his lunch break. Jesus, the rejects this country brings to the White House it's a wonder there's anything left of this country at all.
Apr 21, 2018 | www.unz.com
Wednesday's criminal referral by 11 House Republicans of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as several former and serving top FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials is a giant step toward a Constitutional crisis.
Named in the referral to the DOJ for possible violations of federal law are: Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey; former Attorney General Loretta Lynch; former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe; FBI Agent Peter Strzok; FBI Counsel Lisa Page; and those DOJ and FBI personnel "connected to" work on the "Steele Dossier," including former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente.
With no attention from corporate media, the referral was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber. Sessions appointed Huber months ago to assist DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz. By most accounts, Horowitz is doing a thoroughly professional job. As IG, however, Horowitz lacks the authority to prosecute; he needs a U.S. Attorney for that. And this has to be disturbing to the alleged perps.
This is no law-school case-study exercise, no arcane disputation over the fine points of this or that law. Rather, as we say in the inner-city, "It has now hit the fan." Criminal referrals can lead to serious jail time. Granted, the upper-crust luminaries criminally "referred" enjoy very powerful support. And that will come especially from the mainstream media, which will find it hard to retool and switch from Russia-gate to the much more delicate and much less welcome "FBI-gate."
As of this writing, a full day has gone by since the letter/referral was reported, with total silence so far from T he New York Times and The Washington Post and other big media as they grapple with how to spin this major development. News of the criminal referral also slipped by Amy Goodman's non-mainstream DemocracyNow!, as well as many alternative websites.
The 11 House members chose to include the following egalitarian observation in the first paragraph of the letter conveying the criminal referral: "Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately." If this uncommon attitude is allowed to prevail at DOJ, it would, in effect, revoke the de facto "David Petraeus exemption" for the be-riboned, be-medaled, and well-heeled.
Meanwhile, the patience of the chairmen of House committees investigating abuses at DOJ and the FBI is wearing thin at the slow-rolling they are encountering in response to requests for key documents from the FBI. This in-your-face intransigence is all the more odd, since several committee members have already had access to the documents in question, and are hardly likely to forget the content of those they know about. (Moreover, there seems to be a good chance that a patriotic whistleblower or two will tip them off to key documents being withheld.)
The DOJ IG, whose purview includes the FBI, has been cooperative in responding to committee requests for information, but those requests can hardly include documents of which the committees are unaware.
Putting aside his partisan motivations, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) was unusually blunt two months ago in warning of legal consequences for officials who misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in order to enable surveillance on Trump and his associates. Nunes's words are likely to have sent chills down the spine of those with lots to hide: "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said ."The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."
Whether the House will succeed in overcoming the resistance of those criminally referred and their many accomplices and will prove able to exercise its Constitutional prerogative of oversight is, of course, another matter -- a matter that matters.
And Nothing Matters More Than the Media
The media will be key to whether this Constitutional issue is resolved. Largely because of Trump's own well earned reputation for lying, most Americans are susceptible to slanted headlines like this recent one -- "Trump escalates attacks on FBI " -- from an article in The Washington Post , commiserating with the treatment accorded fired-before-retired prevaricator McCabe and the FBI he ( dis)served .
Nor is the Post above issuing transparently clever warnings -- like this one in a lead article on March 17: "Some Trump allies say they worry he is playing with fire by taunting the FBI. 'This is open, all-out war. And guess what? The FBI's going to win,' said one ally, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. 'You can't fight the FBI. They're going to torch him.'" [sic]
Mind-Boggling Criminal Activity
What motivated the characters now criminally "referred" is clear enough from a wide variety of sources, including the text messages exchange between Strzok and Page. Many, however, have been unable to understand how these law enforcement officials thought they could get away with taking such major liberties with the law.
None of the leaking, unmasking, surveillance, "opposition research," or other activities directed against the Trump campaign can be properly understood, if one does not bear in mind that it was considered a sure thing that Secretary Clinton would become President, at which point illegal and extralegal activities undertaken to help her win would garner praise, not prison. The activities were hardly considered high-risk, because candidate Clinton was sure to win.
But she lost.
Comey himself gives this away in the embarrassingly puerile book he has been hawking, "A Higher Loyalty" -- which
amounts to a pre-emptive move motivated mostly by loyalty-to-self, in order to obtain a Stay-Out-of-Jail card. Hat tip to Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone for a key observation, in his recent article , "James Comey, the Would-Be J. Edgar Hoover," about what Taibbi deems the book's most damning passage, where Comey discusses his decision to make public the re-opening of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Comey admits, "It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls."
The key point is not Comey's tortured reasoning, but rather that Clinton was "sure to be the next president." This would, of course, confer automatic immunity on those now criminally referred to the Department of Justice. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men -- even very tall men. One wag claimed that the "Higher" in "A Higher Loyalty" refers simply to the very tall body that houses an outsized ego.
I think it can be said that readers of Consortiumnews.com may be unusually well equipped to understand the anatomy of FBI-gate as well as Russia-gate. Listed below chronologically are several links that might be viewed as a kind of "whiteboard" to refresh memories. You may wish to refer them to any friends who may still be confused.
- Russia-gate's Mythical 'Heroes' June 6, 2017
- The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate Oct. 29, 201 7
- The Foundering Russia-gate 'Scandal' Dec. 13, 2017
- What Did Hillary Clinton Know? Dec. 25, 2017
- The FBI Hand Behind Russia-gate Jan. 11, 2018
- Will Congress Face Down the Deep State? Jan. 30, 2018
- Nunes Memo Reports Crimes at Top of FBI and DOJ Feb. 2, 2018
- 'This is Nuts': Liberals Launch 'Largest Mobilization in History' in Defense of Russiagate Probe Feb. 9, 2018
- Nunes: FBI and DOJ Perps Could Be Put on Trial Feb. 19, 2018
- 'Progressive' Journalists Jump the Shark on Russia-gate March 7, 2018
- Intel Committee Rejects Basic Underpinning of Russiagate March 14, 2018
- McCabe: A War on (or in) the FBI? March 18, 2018
- Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared March 19, 2018
Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for a total of 30 years. In retirement, he co-created Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
Mike Whitney , April 20, 2018 at 4:15 am GMTThis story appears to be developing very fast. Interested readers might want to look at this short video on the Tucker Carlson show last night: http://video.foxnews.com/v/5773524495001/?playlist_id=5198073478001#sp=show-clipsjilles dykstra , April 20, 2018 at 6:05 am GMT
Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!A weird country, the USA. Reading the article I'm reminded of the 1946 Senate investigation into Pearl Harbour, where, in my opinion, the truth was unearthed. At the same time, this truth hardly ever reached the wider public, no articles, the book, ed. Harry Elmer Barnes, never reviewed.Greg Bacon , Website April 20, 2018 at 6:54 am GMTRonald Thomas West , Website April 20, 2018 at 7:23 am GMT
Will McCabe wind up in jail? Will Comey? Will Hillary face justice? Fingers crossed!
The short answer is NO. McCabe might, but not Comey and the Killer Queen, they've both served Satan, uh I mean the Deep State too long and too well.Satan and the banksters–who really run the show–take care of their own and apex predators like Hillary won't go to jail. But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars."Hope springs eternal" would be the cynical folk wisdom. FYI we haven't had a functioning constitution since the National Security Act of 1947 brought this nation under color of law, but the IC types wouldn't have you know that. Too tough to square the idea you'd never have had your CIA career in a world where the FISA court couldn't exist either.animalogic , April 20, 2018 at 8:00 am GMT
Consortium News many sops tossed to 'realpolitik' where false narrative is attacked with alternative false narrative, example given, drunk Ukrainian soldiers supposedly downing MH 17 with a BUK as opposed to Kiev's Interior Ministry behind the Ukrainian combat jet that actually brought down MH 17, poisons everything (trust issues) spewed from that news service.
The realpolitik 'face saving' exit/offer implied in the Consortium News narrative where Russia doesn't have to confront the West with Ukraine's (and by implication the western intelligence agencies) premeditated murder of 300 innocents does truth no favors.
Time to grow up and face reality. Realpolitik is dead; the caliber of 'statesman' required for these finessed geopolitical lies to function no longer exist on the Western side, and the Russians (I believe) are beginning to understand there is no agreement can be made behind closed doors that will hold up; as opposed to experiencing a backstabbing (like NATO not moving east.)
Back on topic; the National Security Act of 1947 and the USA's constitution are mutually exclusive concepts, where you have a Chief Justice appoints members of our FISA Court, er, nix that, let's call a spade a spade, it's a Star Chamber. There is no constitution to uphold, no matter well intended self deceits. There will be no constitutional crisis, only a workaround to pretend a constitution still exists:
For those who prefer the satire:
https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2016/01/07/moot-court/^To comprehend the internal machinations s of US politics one needs a mind capable of high level yoga or of squaring a circle. On the one hand there is a multimillion, full throttle investigation into – at best – nebulus, inconsequential links between trump/ his campaign & Russia.Jake , April 20, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT
On the other there is concrete evidence that the Democratic party/Clinton manipulated the primaries to destroy Clinton's challanger. That the DOJ, FBI & other alphabet agencies conspired with Clinton to equally, destroy Trump's campaign.
Naturally, its this 2nd conspiracy which is retarded. Imagine, a mere agency of a dept, the FBI, is widely considered untouchable by The President ! Indeed, they will "torch" him. AND the "the third estate" ie: the msm will support them the whole way! As a script the "The Twilight Zone" would have rejected all this as too ludicrous, too psychotic for even its broad minded viewers.The Deep State will make certain none of its most important functionaries get anything close to what they deserve.redmudhooch , April 20, 2018 at 11:43 am GMTJust a show, nothing will happen. Anything to keep you talking about anything other than 9/11, fake economy, fake war on terror, or Zionists..jacques sheete , April 20, 2018 at 11:49 am GMTDESERT FOX , April 20, 2018 at 12:58 pm GMT
And that will come especially from the mainstream media
I quit reading right there. Use of that term indicates mental laziness at best. What's mainstream about it? Please refer to corporate media in proper terms, such as PCR's "presstitute" media. Speaking of PCR, it's too bad he doesn't allow comments.The MSM is controlled by Zionists as is the U.S. gov and the banks, so it is no surprise that the MSM protects the ones destroying America, this is what they do. Nothing of consequence will be done to any of the ones involved, it will all be covered up, as usual.tjm , April 20, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMTWhat utter nonsense. These people are ALL actors, no one will go to jail, because everything they do is contrived, no consequence for doing as your Zionist owners command.anon  Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:49 pm GMT
There is no there there. This is nothing but another distraction, something o feed the dual narratives, that Clinton and her ilk are out to get Trump, and the "liberal media" will cover it up. This narrative feeds very nicely into the primary goal of driving Republicans/conservatives to support Trump, even as Trump does everything they elected him NOT TO DO!
We saw the same nonsense with Obama, the "peace president". Obama a man who never saw a Muslim he did not want to bomb or a Jew he did not want to bail out
Yet even while Obama did the work of the Zionist money machine, the media played up the fake battle between those who thought he was not born in America, "birthers" and his blind supporters.
Nothing came of any of it, just like Monica Lewinsky, nothing but theater, fill the air waves, divide the people, while America is driven insane.The best thing about this referral is that it also demands deputy AG Rod Rosenstein the weasel to recluse himself from this case. Rosenstein is the pinnacle of corruption by the deep state. It's seriously way pass time for Jeff Sessions to grow a pair, put on his big boy pants, unrecuse himself from the Russian collusion bullshit case, fire Rosenstein and Mueller and end the case once and for all. These two traitors are in danger of completely derailing the Trump agenda and toppling the Republican majority in November, yet Jeff Sessions is still busy arresting people for marijuana, talk about missing the forest for the trees.anon  Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm GMT
As far as where this referral will go from here, my guess is, nowhere. Not as long as Jeff Sessions the pussy is the AG. It's good to hear that Giuliani has now been recruited by Trump to be on his legal team. What Trump really needs to do is replace Jeff Sessions with Giuliani, or even Chris Christie, and let them do what a real AG should be doing, which is clean house in the DOJ, and prosecute the Clintons for their pay-to-play scheme with their foundation. Not only is the Clinton corruption case the biggest corruption case in US history, but this might be the only way to save the GOP from losing their majority in November.@Greg BaconTwodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:32 pm GMT
But it does keep the rubes entertained while the banksters continue to loot, pillage and plunder and Israel keeps getting Congress to fight their wars.
Sadly I think you're right. Things might be different if we had a real AG, but Jeff Sessions is not the man I thought he was. He's been swallowed by the deep state just like Trump. At least Trump is putting up a fight, Sessions just threw in the towel and recused himself from Day 1. Truly pathetic. Some patriot he is.@Nick GraniteTwodees Partain , April 20, 2018 at 2:46 pm GMT
" He's ferreted out more than a few and probably has a lot better idea who his friends are he certainly knows the enemies by now."
He failed to ferret out Haley, Pompeo, or Sessions and he just recently appointed John Bolton, so I don't agree with your assessment. If his friends include those three, that says enough about Trump to make any of his earlier supporters drop him.
Anyway, not having a ready made team, or at least a solid short list of key appointees shows that he was just too clueless to have even been a serious candidate. It looks more as though Trump is doing now what he intended to do all along. That means he was bullshitting everybody during his campaign.
So, maybe the neocons really have been his friends all along.@jacques sheeteAuthenticjazzman , April 20, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
It's also telling that Ray didn't mention what was included in the referral regarding an enforced recusal of Rosenstein going forward.
https://desantis.house.gov/_cache/files/8/0/8002ca75-52fc-4995-b87e-43584da268db/472EBC7D8F55C0F9E830D37CF96376A2.final-criminal-referral.pdf@Renomananon  Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:24 pm GMT
" America is a very crooked country, nothing suprises me".
Every country on this insane planet is "crooked" to a greater or lesser degree, when to a lesser degree, this is simply because they, the PTB, have not yet figured out how to accelerate, how to increase their corruption and thereby how to increase their unearned monetary holdings.
Money is the most potent singular factor which causes humans to lose their minds, and all of their ethics and decency.
And within the confines of a "socialist" system, "money" is replaced by rubber-stamps, which then wield, exactly in the manner of "wealth", the power of life or death, over the unwashed masses.
Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro jazz musician.@Ronald Thomas Westanon  Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm GMT
BTW Jeff Sessions is a fraternal brother of Pence (a member of the same club, same [recently deceased] guru) and is no friend of Trump.
That would explain why Sessions reclused himself from the start, and refused to appoint a special council to investigate the Clintons. He's in on this with Pence.Just as it looks like the Comey memos will further exonerate Trump, we now have this farce extended by the DNC with this latest lawsuit on the "Trump campaign". The Democrats are now the most pathetic sore losers in history, they are hell bent on dragging the whole country down the pit of hell just because they can't handle a loss.anon  Disclaimer , April 20, 2018 at 7:34 pm GMTWishful thinking that anything will come of this, just like when the Nunes memo was released. Nothing will happen as long as Jeff Sessions is AG. Trump needs to fire either Sessions or Rosenstein ASAP, before he gets dragged down by this whole Russian collusion bullshit case.SunBakedSuburb , April 20, 2018 at 7:45 pm GMTFormer CIA Director John Brennan is the prime mover behind the ongoing coup attempt against Trump. He gathered his deep state allies at DOJ and the FBI to join him in this endeavor. Brennan's allies -- McCabe, Lynch, Strzok, Yates, ect., may or may not be aware of Brennan's true motive behind creating all the noise and distraction since the 2016 election. It could be they're just partisan hacks; or they're on board with Brennan to keep secret what was revealed in the hack of the Podesta emails.Haxo Angmark , Website April 20, 2018 at 10:38 pm GMT
John Podesta, in addition to being a top Democrat/DC lobbyist and a criminal deviant, is also a long-time CIA asset running a blackmail/influence operation that utilized his deviancy: the sexual exploitation of children.Seth Rich is still dead...utu , April 20, 2018 at 11:33 pm GMTAssange had 'physical proof' Russians didn't hack DNC, Rohrabacher says https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/19/julian-assange-has-physical-proof-russians-didnt-h/UrbaneFrancoOntarian , April 21, 2018 at 12:18 am GMT@anonRonald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 12:56 am GMT
His cowardice is shocking. I wonder what they have on him? Probably some Roy Moore shit. Some shady stuff happened in the old South.@utuRobinG , April 21, 2018 at 1:02 am GMT
Yeah, and General Kelly won't let Rohrabacher meet with Trump. What do you suppose is up with that (rhetorical question)@utuanonymous  Disclaimer , April 21, 2018 at 2:36 am GMT
What kind of "physical proof" could Assange have? A thumb drive that was provably American, or something? Rohrabacher only got Red Pilled on Russia because he had one very determined (and well heeled) constituent. But he did cosponsor one of Tulsi Gabbard's "Stop Funding Terrorists" bills, which he figured out on his own. Nevertheless, a bit of a loose cannon and an eff'd up hawk on Iran He's probably an 'ISIS now, Assad later' on Syria.I noticed Comey tried to pull a J Edgar-style subtle blackmail on Trump by the way he brought up the so-called "dossier". Anyone could see it was absurd but he played his hand with it, pretending it was being looked at. I would say Trump could see through this sleazy game Comey was trying to play and sized him up. Comey is about as slimy as they get even as he parades around trying to look noble. What a corrupt bunch.Culloden , April 21, 2018 at 2:45 am GMT"The culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain "Bennis Mardens , April 21, 2018 at 2:47 am GMT
[What follows is excerpted from an article headlined Robert Mueller's Questionable Past that appeared yesterday on the American Free Press website:]
During his tenure with the Justice Department under President George H W Bush, Mueller supervised the prosecutions of Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, the Lockerbie bombing (Pan Am Flight 103) case, and Gambino crime boss John Gotti. In the Noriega case, Mueller ignored the ties to the Bush family that Victor Thorn illustrated in Hillary (and Bill): The Drugs Volume: Part Two of the Clinton Trilogy. Noriega had long been associated with CIA operations that involved drug smuggling, money laundering, and arms running. Thorn significantly links Noriega to Bush family involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Regarding Pan Am Flight 103, the culprit has swayed with the immediate need for a villain. Pro-Palestinian activists, Libyans, and Iranians have all officially been blamed when US intelligence and the mainstream mass media needed to paint each as the antagonist to American freedom. Mueller toed the line, publicly ignoring rumors that agents onboard were said to have learned that a CIA drug-smuggling operation was afoot in conjunction with Pan Am flights. According to the theory, the agents were going to take their questions to Congress upon landing. The flight blew up over Lockerbie, Scotland.
"We were in Libya for oil" (only). Who said that:
http://www.firmmagazine.comWithout exception, leftists are degenerate filth.Art , April 21, 2018 at 5:21 am GMT
But they won't be going to jail.
It's kabuki theater.My god – who believes this woman?WhiteWolf , April 21, 2018 at 5:39 am GMT
Hillary says "they would never let me be president" – she is serious. She has gone bonkers with self-pity.
This is no longer laughable – it boarders on the pathological.
Art@Bennis MardensStonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:20 am GMT
There has been some former high flyers going to jail recently. Sarkozy is facing a hard time at the moment. If it can happen to a former president of France it can happen to Hillary.@Twodees PartainStonehands , April 21, 2018 at 6:42 am GMT
I still read ZH articles, but the commentariat has devolved to lockeroom towel-snapping, barely above YouTube chattering.@Ronald Thomas WestStonehands , April 21, 2018 at 7:56 am GMT
Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?@Ronald Thomas WestTwodees Partain , April 21, 2018 at 10:11 am GMT
Ronald, thank-you for posting this Doug Coe sermon; l have never heard of him. BTW are you a Christian?@CullodenRonald Thomas West , Website April 21, 2018 at 1:14 pm GMT
Here's another about Mueller's involvement with the FBI's Whitey Bulger scandal.
Mueller's past is so laden with misfeasance and malfeasance that he should have been disbarred a few decades ago.@StonehandsCIA in Charge , April 21, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
Am I a Christian? Well, no. I had some exposure to Christianity but it never took hold. On the other hand, I do believe there was a historical Jesus that was a remarkable man, but there is a world (or universe) of difference between the man and the mythology. Here's some of my thoughts on the matter:
^ It doesn't necessarily go where the title might suggest (for many)@AuthenticjazzmanAuthenticjazzman , April 21, 2018 at 6:06 pm GMT
Nothing uncanny about it. There's a frenetic Democratic cottage industry inferring magical emotional charisma powers that explain the outsized influence of those three. The fact is very simple. All three are CIA nomenklatura.
(1.) Bill Clinton got recruited into CIA by Cord Meyer, who bragged of it himself in his cups.
(2.) Hillary cut her teeth on CIA's Watergate purge of Nixon. (If it's news to anyone that the Watergate cast of characters was straight out of CIA central casting, Russ Baker has conclusively tied the elaborate ratfeck to the intelligence community.)
(3.) Obama was son of spooks, grandson of spooks, greased in to Harvard by Alwaleed bin-Talal's bagman. While he was vocationally wet behind the ears he not only got into Pakistan, no mean feat at the time, but he went to a falconry outing with the future acting president of Pakistan. And is there anyone alive who wasn't flabbergasted at the instant universal acclaim for some empty suit who made a speech at the convention? Like Bill Clinton, successor to DCI Bush, Obama was blatantly, derisively installed in the president slot of the CIA org chart.@CIA in Charge
Excellent post and quite accurate information, however my point being that the irrational fear harbored by the individuals who could actually begin to rope these scumbags in, is just that : Irrational, as they seem to think or have been lead/brainwashed to believe that these dissolute turds are somehow endowed with supernatural, otherworldy powers and options, and that they are capable of unholy , merciless vengeance : VF, SR, etc.
And the truth is as soon as they finally start to go after them they, they will fall apart at the seams, such as with all cowards, and this is the bottom line : They, the BC/HC/BO clique, they are nothing more than consumate cowards, who can only operate in such perfidious manners when left unchallenged.
Authenticjazzman "Mensa" qualified since 1973, airborne trained US Army vet, and pro Jazz artist.
Apr 13, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org
o the Western powers hope to put an end to the constraints of International Law? That is the question asked by the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergueï Lavrov, at the Moscow conference on International Security [ 1 ].
Over the last few years, Washington has been promoting the concept of " unilateralism ". International Law and the United Nations are supposed to bow to the power of the United States.
This concept of political life is born of the History of the United States - the colonists who came to the Americas intended to live as they chose and make a fortune there. Each community developed its own laws and refused the intervention of a central government in local affairs. The President and the Federal Congress are charged with Defense and Foreign Affairs, but like the citizens themselves, they refused to accept an authority above their own.
Bill Clinton attacked Yugoslavia, blithely violating Internal Law. George Bush Jr. did the same by attacking Iraq, and Barack Obama by attacking Libya and Syria. As for Donald Trump, he has never hidden his distrust of supra-national rules.
Making an allusion to the Cebrowski-Barnett doctrine [ 2 ], Sergueï Lavrov declared: " We have the clear impression that the United States seek to maintain a state of controlled chaos in this immense geopolitical area [the Near East], hoping to use it to justify the military presence of the USA in the region, without any time limit, in order to promote their own agenda ".
The United Kingdom also seem to feel quite comfortable with breaking the Law. Last month, it accused Moscow in the " Skripal affair ", without the slightest proof, and attempted to unite a majority of the General Assembly of the UN to exclude Russia from the Security Council. It would of course be easier for the Anglo-Saxons to unilaterally rewrite the Law without having to take notice of the opinions of their opponents.
Moscow does not believe that London took this initiative. It considers that Washington is calling the shots.
" Globalisation ", in other words the " globalisation of Anglo-Saxon values ", has created a class society between states. But we should not confuse this new problem with the existence of the right to a veto. Of course, the UNO, while it declares equality between states whatever their size, distinguishes, within the Security Council, five permanent members who have a veto. This Directorate, composed of the main victors of the Second World War, is a necessity for them to accept the principle of supra-national Law. However, when this Directorate fails to embody the Law, the General Assembly may take its place. At least in theory, because the smaller states which vote against a greater state are obliged to suffer retaliatory measures.
La " globalisation of Anglo-Saxon values " ignores honour and highlights profit, so that the weight of the propositions by any state will be measured only by the economic development of its country. However, over the years, three states have managed to gain an audience to the foundations of their propositions, and not in function of their economy – they are the Iran of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (today under house arrest in his own country), the Venezuela of Hugo Chávez, and the Holy See.
The confusion engendered by Anglo-Saxon values has led to the financing of intergovernmental organisations with private money. As one thing leads to another, the member states of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), for example, have progressively abandoned their propositional power to the profit of private telecom operators, who are united in a " consultative committee ".
" Communication ", a new name for " propaganda ", has become the imperative in international relations. From the US Secretary of State brandishing a phial of pseudo-anthrax to the British Minister for Foreign Affairs lying about the origin of Novitchok in the Salisbury affair, lies have become the substitute for respect, and cause general mistrust.
During the first years of its creation, the UNO attempted to forbid " war propaganda ", but today, it is the permanent members of the Security Council who indulge in it.
The worst occurred in 2012, when Washington managed to obtain the nomination of one of its worst war-hawks, Jeffrey Feltman, as the number 2 of the UNO [ 3 ]. From that date onward, wars have been orchestrated in New York by the very institution that is supposed to prevent them.
Russia is wondering today about the possible desire of the Western powers to block the United Nations. If this is so, it would create an alternative institution, but there would no longer be a forum which would enable the two blocks to discuss matters.
Just as a society which falls into chaos, where men are wolves for men when deprived of the Law, so the world will become a battle-field if it abandons International Law. Thierry Meyssan
Apr 01, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
There is no doubt about it: Stormy Daniels is a formidable woman. Karen McDougal is no slouch either, though she is hard to admire after that riff, in her Anderson Cooper interview, about how religious and Republican she is; she even said that she used to love the Donald. Stormy Daniels is better than that.
How wonderfully appropriate it would be if she were to become the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back.
Even in a world as topsy-turvy as ours has become, there has to be a final straw.
To be sure, evidence of Trump's vileness, incompetence, and mental instability is accumulating at breakneck speed, and there are polls now that show support for him holding fast or even slightly rising. Trump's hardcore "base" seems more determined than ever to stand by their man.
But even people as benighted as they are bound to realize eventually that they have been had. Many of them already do, but don't care; they hate Clinton Democrats that much. This is understandable, but foolish; so foolish, in fact, that they can hardly keep it up indefinitely.
To think otherwise is to despair for the human race.
What, if anything, can bring them to their senses in time for the 2018 election?
Stormy Daniels says she only wants to tell her story, not bring Trump down. But her political instincts seem decent, and she is one shrewd lady. Therefore, I would not be the least surprised if that is not quite true. It hardly matters, though, what her intentions are; I'd put my money on her.
A recession might also do the trick. A recession is long overdue, and Trump's tax cut for the rich and his tariffs are sure to make its consequences worse when it happens.
To turn significant portions of Trump's base against him, a major military conflagration might also do -- not the kind Barack Obama favored, fought far away and out of public view, but a real war, televised on CNN, and waged against an enemy state like North Korea or Iran. It would have to go quickly and disastrously wrong, though, in ways that even willfully blind, terminally obtuse Trump supporters could not fail to see.
Or the gods could smile upon us, causing Trump's exercise regimen (sitting in golf carts) and his fat-ridden, cholesterol rich diet to catch up with him, as it would with most other sedentary septuagenarians. The only downside would be that a heart attack or stroke might elicit sympathy for the poor bastard. No sane person could or should hope for a calamitous economic downturn or for yet another devastating, pointless, and manifestly unjust war, especially one that could become a war to end all wars (along with everything else), on the off-chance that some good might come of it. And if the best we can do is hope that cheeseburgers with fries will save us, we are grasping at straws.
These are compelling reasons to hope that the accusations made by Daniels and McDougal and Summer Zervos – and other consensual and non-consensual Trump victims and "playmates" – gain traction. If the several defamation lawsuits now in the works can get the president deposed, this is not out of the question.
The problem for Trump is not that his accusers' revelations will cause his base to defect; no matter how salacious their stories and no matter how believable they may be. Trump's moral turpitude is taken for granted in their circles; and they do not care about the myriad ways his words and deeds offend the dignity of the office he holds or embarrass the country he purports to put "first." If any of that mattered to them, they would have jumped ship long ago.
Except perhaps for unreconstructed racists and certifiable sociopaths, white evangelicals are Trump's strongest supporters. What a despicable bunch of hypocrites they are! As long as Trump delivers on their agendas, his salacious escapades don't faze them at all. Godly folk have evidently changed a good deal since the Cotton Mather days.
What has not changed is their seemingly limitless ability to believe nonsense.
And in case light somehow does manage to shine through, Trump has shown them how to restore the darkness they crave. When cognitive dissonance threatens, all they need do is scream "fake news."
The problem for Trump is that what his accusers are saying puts him in legal and political jeopardy. They are claiming, in effect, that he has committed a variety of unlawful and impeachable offenses – from obstruction of justice to violations of campaign finance laws.
In this case as in so many others, it is the cover-up, not the underlying "crime," that could lead to his undoing – especially if the stories Daniels and the others are telling shed light upon or otherwise connect with or meld into Robert Mueller's investigation of (alleged) Russian "meddling" in the 2016 election.
Trump could and probably will survive their charges. His base is such a preternaturally obdurate lot that there may ultimately be no last straw for them. We may have no choice, in the end, but to despair for a sizeable chunk of the human race.
Stormy Daniels would not be any less admirable on that account. She took Trump on and came out on top. For all the world (minus the willfully blind) to see, she, the porn star, is a strong woman who has her life together, while he, the president, is a discombobulated sleaze ball who is leading himself and his country to ruin.
It was different with Monica Lewinsky, another presidential paramour who, almost two decades ago, also held the world's attention.
There was nothing sleazy or venal about Lewinsky's involvement with Bill Clinton; and, for all I know, unless chastity counts, she is as good and virtuous a person as can be. But personal qualities are not what made her affair with our forty-second president as historically significant as it turned out to be.
It would be fair to say that of all the women who have ever had intimate knowledge of that old horn dog's private parts, there is no one who did more good for her country. If only for that, if there were a heaven, there would be special place in it just for her.
The Clinton-Lewinsky dalliance led to a series of events that prevented Clinton from doing even more harm to our feeble welfare state institutions than he would otherwise have done.
Who knows how much progress he would have turned back had he and Monica never done the deed or at least not been found out. Building on groundwork laid down by Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush, he and his wife had already terminated Aid to Families With Dependent Children, one of the main government programs aimed at relieving poverty. This was to be just the first step in "ending welfare as we know it."
With their "donors" pushing for more austerity, those two neoliberal pioneers were itching to begin privatizing other, more widely supported social programs, including even Social Security, the so-called "third rail" of American politics.
The "Lewinsky matter" put the kybosh on that idea, leaving the American people forever in Monica's debt.
Back in the Kennedy days, Mel Brook's two-thousand year old man got it right when he said: presidents "gotta do it," to which he added – " because if they don't do it to their wives and girlfriends, they do it to the nation."
Stormy Daniels made much the same point ten years ago, while flirting with the idea of running against Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Vitter's political career had been almost ruined when his name turned up in the phone records of the infamous "DC Madam," Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Daniels told voters that, unlike Vitter, she would "screw (them) honestly."
What then are we to make of the fact that Trump screws both the nation and his wife (maybe) and his girlfriends (or whatever they are)?
Blame it on arrested development, on the fact that despite his more than seventy-one years, Trump still has the mind of a teenage boy, one with money and power enough to live out his fantasies.
The contrast with Bill Clinton is stark. Clinton is a philanderer with eclectic tastes, a charming rascal with a broad and mischievous mind. Honkytonk women from Arkansas appeal to him as much as zaftig MOTs from the 90210 area code.
Trump, on the other hand, goes for super-models, Playboy centerfolds, and aspiring beauty queens -- standard teenage fantasy fare.
He seems to have had little trouble living his dreams – not thanks to his magnetic face, form and figure, and certainly not to his refinement, wit or charm, but to his inherited and otherwise ill-gotten wealth.
It is money and the power that follows from it that draws women to his net.
Henry Kissinger understood; recall his musings on the aphrodisiacal properties of power. Even in his prime, that still unindicted war criminal (and later-day Hillary Clinton advisor) was even more repellent than Trump. But that never kept him from having to fight the ladies off.
This fact of life puts a heavy responsibility on the women with whom presidents hook up.
Consider Melania. She made a Faustian bargain when she agreed to become Trump's trophy bride; in return for riches and a soft life in a gilded tower, she sold her soul. She might have thought better of it had she taken the burdens she would incur as First Lady into account, but why would she? The prospect was too improbable.
She has, it seems, a very practical, old world view of marriage, and is therefore tolerant of her husband's womanizing. At the same time, as a mother and daughter, she is, like most immigrants, a strong proponent of old world "family values."
Too much of a proponent perhaps; insofar as her idea was to "chain migrate" her parents out of Slovenia and onto Easy Street, or to raise a kid who would never want for anything, there were less onerous ways of going about it. After all, there are plenty of rich Americans lusting after supermodels out there, and it is a good bet that many of them are less repellent than Trump.
She was irresponsible as well. She ought to have realized that the man she married had already spawned two idiot sons, along with other fruit from the poisonous tree, and that four bad apples in one generation are enough.
And so now she finds herself a single mother – not in theory, of course, but very definitely in practice. Unlike most women in that position, she is not wanting for resources. But it must be a hard slog, even so. To her credit, Melania seems to be handling the burden well. More power to her!
She also deserves credit for her body language when the Donald is around; the contempt she shows for him is wonderful to behold. Best of all is her sense of the absurd. The way she plagiarized from Michelle Obama had obvious comic validity, and making childhood bullying her First Lady cause – all First Ladies have causes -- was a stroke of genius.
On balance, therefore, it is hard not to feel sorry for her. Of all the women in Trump's ambit, she deserves humiliation the least.
The rumor mill has it that with all the publicity about Daniels and the others , she has finally had enough. This may be the case; the old world ethos requires discretion and a concern with appearances. That is not the Donald's way, however, and now she is paying the price.
What a magnificent humiliation it would be if she and Trump were to split up on that account. This could happen soon. I would expect, though, that through a combination of carrots and sticks, Trump and his fixers will find a way to minimize the political effects. More likely still, they will channel Joe Kennedy and Jackie O, and figure out a way to head the problem off.
Then there is poor forgotten Tiffany. Her Wikipedia entry lists her as both a law student and a "socialite." I hope her studious side wins out and that, despite the genes from her father's side, she is at least somewhat decent and smart.
I'd be more confident of that if she would do what Ronald Reagan's daughter, Patti, did: use her mother's, not her father's, name. Unless she is a sleaze ball too, a Trump in the Eric and Don Junior mold, that would be a fine way to make a political point.
It would also pay back over the years. With the Trump administration on its current trajectory, who, in a few years' time, would take a Tiffany Trump seriously? A Tiffany Maples would stand a better chance.
Her half-sister, the peerless Ivanka, the Great Blonde Hope, is, of course, her father's sweetie. Let's not go there, however. Her marriage to Jared Kushner is already enough to process.
What a pair those two make; and what a glorious day it will be when the law finally catches up with Jared, as it did with his Trump-like father, Charles. Perhaps he will take Ivanka down a notch or two with him. Despite an almost complete lack of qualifications, Trump made his son-in-law his minister of almost everything; a pretty good gig for a feckless, airhead rich kid. Among other things, Trump enabled him to become Benjamin Netanyahu's ace in the hole. Netanyahu is a Kushner family friend. Netanyahu has more than his share of legal troubles too. Let them all go down together!
Ivanka and Jared are well matched – they share a "business model." It has them exploiting their daddies' connections and money.
Jared peddles real estate; his efforts have gotten his family into serious debt, while putting him in solid with Russian and Eastern European oligarchs, Gulf state emirs, and Mohammad bin Salman – people in comparison with whom his father-in-law seems almost virtuous.
Ivanka sells trinkets and schmatas to people who think the Trump name is cool. There actually are such people; at two hundred grand a pop, Mar-a-Lago is full of them. Ivanka's demographic is made up mostly of their younger set.
Two other presidential women bare mention: Hope Hicks and Nikki Haley. Surely, they both have tales to tell, but it looks, for now, as if their stories would be of little or no prurient interest. Neither of them appear to have been propositioned or groped.
Even though Hicks is said to be like a daughter to the Donald – we know what that could mean! – it is a safe bet that there was nothing of a romantic nature going on between them. For one thing, Hicks seems too close to Ivanka; for another, she is known to have dallied with two Trump subordinates, Corey Lewandowski and Rob Porter. The don is hardly the type to let his underlings have at his women.
Haley had to quash a spate of rumors that flared up thanks to some suggestive remarks Michael Wolff made while hawking Fire and Fury . The rumor caught on because people who hadn't yet fully realized what a piece of work Trump is, imagined that something had to be awry inasmuch as her main qualification for representing the United States at the United Nations was an undergraduate degree in accounting. Abject servility to the Israel lobby also helped.
But the Trump administration is full of ambitious miscreants whose views on Israel and Palestine are as abject and servile as hers, and compared to many others in Trump's cabinet she is, if anything, over qualified. Think of neurosurgeon Ben Carson heading the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He is qualified because, as a child, he lived in public housing.
With the exception of Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, Summer Zervos and whoever else comes forward with a juicy and credible tale to tell, the women currently in the president's ambit, though good for gossip and interesting in the ways that characters on reality TV shows can be, are of little or no political consequence.
This could change if any of them decides to "go rogue," to use an expression from the Sarah Palin days. But, while neither Melania nor Tiffany can yet be judged hopeless, it would be foolish to expect much of anything good to come from either of them.
Stormy, Karen, Summer, and whoever else steps forward are a better bet. They are the only ones with any chance of doing as much for their country and the world as Monica Lewinsky did a generation ago.
Among the president's women, they are a breed apart. This is plainly the case with Stormy Daniels; it is already clear that she deserves what all Trump's money can never buy – honor and esteem. To the extent that the others turn out to be similarly courageous, they will too.
Mar 30, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
"She Doesn't Have Any Policy Positions"
On the Friday after the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and prior to the Tuesday on which the vicious racist and sexist Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, Bernie Sanders spoke to a surprisingly small crowd in Iowa City on behalf of Hillary Clinton. As I learned months later, Sanders told one of his Iowa City friends that day that Mrs. Clinton was in trouble. The reason, Sanders reported, was that Hillary wasn't discussing issues or advancing real solutions. "She doesn't have any policy positions," Sanders said.
The first time I heard this, I found it hard to believe. How, I wondered, could anyone run seriously for the presidency without putting issues and policy front and center? Wouldn't any serious campaign want a strong set of issue and policy positions to attract voters and fall back on in case and times of adversity?
Sanders wasn't lying. As the esteemed political scientist and money-politics expert Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen note in an important study released by the Institute for New Economic Thinking two months ago, the Clinton campaign "emphasized candidate and personal issues and avoided policy discussions to a degree without precedent in any previous election for which measurements exist .it stressed candidate qualifications [and] deliberately deemphasized issues in favor of concentrating on what the campaign regarded as [Donald] Trump's obvious personal weaknesses as a candidate."
Strange as it might have seemed, the reality television star and presidential pre-apprentice Donald Trump had a lot more to say about policy than the former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a wonkish Yale Law graduate.
"Courting the Undecideds in Business, not in the Electorate"
What was that about? My first suspicion was that Hillary's policy silence was about the money. It must have reflected her success in building a Wall Street-filled campaign funding war-chest so daunting that she saw little reason to raise capitalist election investor concerns by giving voice to the standard fake-progressive "hope" and "change" campaign and policy rhetoric Democratic presidential contenders typically deploy against their One Percent Republican opponents. Running against what she (wrongly) perceived (along with most election prognosticators) as a doomed and feckless opponent and as the clear preferred candidate of Wall Street and the intimately related U.S foreign policy elite , including many leading Neoconservatives put off by Trump's isolationist and anti-interventionist rhetoric, the "lying neoliberal warmonger" Hillary Clinton arrogantly figured that she could garner enough votes to win without having to ruffle any ruling-class feathers. She would cruise into the White House with no hurt plutocrat feelings simply by playing up the ill-prepared awfulness of her Republican opponent.
If Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Chen (hereafter "JFC") are right, I was on to something but not the whole money and politics story. Smart Wall Street and K Street Democratic Party bankrollers have long understood that Democratic candidates have to cloak their dollar-drenched corporatism in the deceptive campaign discourse of progressive- and even populist-sounding policy promise to win elections. Sophisticated funders get it that the Democratic candidates' need to manipulate the electorate with phony pledges of democratic transformation. The big money backers know it's "just politics" on the part of candidates who can be trusted to serve elite interests (like Bill Clinton 1993-2001 and Barack Obama 2009-2017 ) after they gain office.
What stopped Hillary from playing the usual game – the "manipulation of populism by elitism" that Christopher Hitchens once called "the essence of American politics" – in 2016, a year when the electorate was in a particularly angry and populist mood? FJC's study is titled " Industrial Structure and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games : Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential Election." It performs heroic empirical work with difficult campaign finance data to show that Hillary's campaign funding success went beyond her party's usual corporate and financial backers to include normally Republican-affiliated capitalist sectors less disposed than their more liberal counterparts to abide the standard progressive-sounding policy rhetoric of Democratic Party candidates. FJC hypothesize that (along with the determination that Trump was too weak to be taken all that seriously) Hillary's desire get and keep on board normally Republican election investors led her to keep quiet on issues and policy concerns that mattered to everyday people. As FJC note:
"Trump trailed well behind Clinton in contributions from defense and aerospace – a lack of support extraordinary for a Republican presidential hopeful late in the race. For Clinton's campaign the temptation was irresistible: Over time it slipped into a variant of the strategy [Democrat] Lyndon Johnson pursued in 1964 in the face of another [Republican] candidate [Barry Goldwater] who seemed too far out of the mainstream to win: Go for a grand coalition with most of big business . one fateful consequence of trying to appeal to so many conservative business interests was strategic silence about most important matters of public policy. Given the candidate's steady lead in the polls, there seemed to be no point to rocking the boat with any more policy pronouncements than necessary . Misgivings of major contributors who worried that the Clinton campaign message lacked real attractions for ordinary Americans were rebuffed. The campaign sought to capitalize on the angst within business by vigorously courting the doubtful and undecideds there, not in the electorate " (emphasis added). Hillary Happened
FJC may well be right that a wish not to antagonize off right-wing campaign funders is what led Hillary to muzzle herself on important policy matters, but who really knows? An alternative theory I would not rule out is that Mrs. Clinton's own deep inner conservatism was sufficient to spark her to gladly dispense with the usual progressive-sounding campaign boilerplate. Since FJC bring up the Johnson-Goldwater election, it is perhaps worth mentioning that 18-year old Hillary was a "Goldwater Girl" who worked for the arch-reactionary Republican presidential candidate in 1964. Asked about that episode on National Public Radio (NPR) in 1996 , then First Lady Hillary said "That's right. And I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with. I don't recognize this new brand of Republicanism that is afoot now, which I consider to be very reactionary, not conservative in many respects. I am very proud that I was a Goldwater girl."
It was a revealing reflection. The right-wing Democrat Hillary acknowledged that her ideological world view was still rooted in the conservatism of her family of origin. Her problem with the reactionary Republicanism afoot in the U.S. during the middle 1990s was that it was "not conservative in many respects." Her problem with the far-right Republican Congressional leaders Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay was that they were betraying true conservatism – "the conservatism [Hillary] was raised with." This was worse even than the language of the Democratic Leadership Conference (DLC) – the right-wing Eisenhower Republican (at leftmost) tendency that worked to push the Democratic Party further to the Big Business-friendly right and away from its working-class and progressive base.
Of course, Bill and Hillary helped trail-blaze that plutocratic "New Democrat" turn in Arkansas during the late 1970s and 1980s. The rest, as they say, was history – an ugly corporate-neoliberal, imperial, and racist history that I and others have written about at great length. (I cannot reprise here the voluminous details of Mrs. Clinton's longstanding alignment with the corporate, financial, and imperial agendas of the rich and powerful. Two short and highly readable volumes are Doug Henwood, My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency [OR Books, 2015]; Diana Johnstone, Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton [CounterPunch Books, 2015]. On the stealth, virulent racism of the Clintons in power, see Elaine Brown's classic volume The Condemnation of Little B: New Age Racism in America .)
What happened? Horrid corporate Hillary happened. And she's still happening. The "lying neoliberal warmonger" recently went to India to double down on her "progressive neoliberal" contempt for the "basket of deplorables" (more on that phrase below) that considers poor stupid and backwards middle America to be by saying this : "If you look at the map of the United States, there's all that red in the middle where Trump won. I win the coasts. But what the map doesn't show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America's gross domestic product (GDP). So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward" (emphasis added).
That was Hillary Goldman Sachs-Council on Foreign Relations-Clinton saying "go to Hell" to working- and middle-class people in Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, and West Virginia. It was a raised middle and oligarchic finger from a super-wealthy arch-global-corporatist to all the supposedly pessimistic, slow-witted, and retrograde losers stuck between those glorious enclaves (led by Wall Street, Yale, and Harvard on the East coast and Silicon Valley and Hollywood on the West coast) of human progress and variety (and GDP!) on the imperial shorelines. Senate Minority Leader Dick Durbin had to go on television to say that Hillary was "wrong" to write off most of the nation as a festering cesspool of pathetic, ass-backwards, lottery-playing, and opioid-addicted white-trash has-beens. It's hard for the Inauthentic Opposition Party (as the late Sheldon Wolin reasonably called the Democrats ) to pose as an authentic opposition party when its' last big-money presidential candidate goes off-fake-progressive script with an openly elitist rant like that.
Whatever the source of her strange policy silence in the 2016 campaign, that hush was "a miscalculation of historic proportion" (FJC). It was a critical mistake given what Ferguson and his colleagues call the "Hunger Games" misery and insecurity imposed on tens of millions of ordinary working- and middle-class middle-Americans by decades of neoliberal capitalist austerity , deeply exacerbated by the Wall Street-instigated Great Recession and the weak Obama recovery. The electorate was in a populist, anti-establishment mood – hardly a state of mind favorable to a wooden, richly globalist, Goldman-gilded candidate, a long-time Washington-Wall Street establishment ("swamp") creature like Hillary Clinton.
In the end, FJC note, the billionaire Trump's ironic, fake-populist "outreach to blue collar workers" would help him win "more than half of all voters with a high school education or less (including 61% of white women with no college), almost two thirds of those who believed life for the next generation of Americans would be worse than now, and seventy-seven percent of voters who reported their personal financial situation had worsened since four years ago."
Trump's popularity with "heartland" rural and working-class whites even provoked Hillary into a major campaign mistake: getting caught on video telling elite Manhattan election investors that half of Trump's supporters were a "basket of deplorables." There was a hauntingly strong parallel between Wall Street Hillary's "deplorables" blooper and the super-rich Republican candidate Mitt Romney's infamous 2012 gaffe : telling his own affluent backers saying that 47% of the population were a bunch of lazy welfare cheats. This time, though, it was the Democrat – with a campaign finance profile closer to Romney's than Obama's in 2012 – and not the Republican making the ugly plutocratic and establishment faux pas .
"A Frontal Assault on the American Establishment"
Still, Trump's success was no less tied to big money than was Hillary's failure. Candidate Trump ran strangely outside the longstanding neoliberal Washington Consensus, as an economic nationalist and isolationist. His raucous rallies were laced with dripping denunciations of Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, and globalization, mockery of George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, rejection of the New Cold War with Russia, and pledges of allegiance to the "forgotten" American "working-class." He was no normal Republican One Percent candidate. As FJC explain:
"In 2016 the Republicans nominated yet another super-rich candidate – indeed, someone on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans. Like legions of conservative Republicans before him, he trash-talked Hispanics, immigrants, and women virtually non-stop, though with a verve uniquely his own. He laced his campaign with barely coded racial appeals and in the final days, ran an ad widely denounced as subtly anti-Semitic. But in striking contrast to every other Republican presidential nominee since 1936, he attacked globalization, free trade, international financiers, Wall Street, and even Goldman Sachs. ' Globalization has made the financial elite who donate to politicians very wealthy. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache . When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing. For years, they watched on the sidelines as our jobs vanished and our communities were plunged into depression-level unemployment.'"
"In a frontal assault on the American establishment, the Republican standard bearer proclaimed 'America First.' Mocking the Bush administration's appeal to 'weapons of mass destruction' as a pretext for invading Iraq, he broke dramatically with two generations of GOP orthodoxy and spoke out in favor of more cooperation with Russia . He even criticized the 'carried interest' tax break beloved by high finance" (emphasis added).
Big Dark Money and Trump: His Own and Others'
This cost Trump much of the corporate and Wall Street financial support that Republican presidential candidates usually get. The thing was, however, that much of Trump's "populist" rhetoric was popular with a big part of the Republican electorate, thanks to the "Hunger Games" insecurity of the transparently bipartisan New Gilded Age. And Trump's personal fortune permitted him to tap that popular anger while leaping insultingly over the heads of his less wealthy if corporate and Wall Street-backed competitors ("low energy" Jeb Bush and "little Marco" Rubio most notably) in the crowded Republican primary race.
A Republican candidate dependent on the usual elite bankrollers would never have been able to get away with Trump's crowd-pleasing (and CNN and FOX News rating-boosting) antics. Thanks to his own wealth, the faux-populist anti-establishment Trump was ironically inoculated against pre-emption in the Republican primaries by the American campaign finance "wealth primary," which renders electorally unviable candidates who lack vast financial resources or access to them.
Things were different after Trump won the Republican nomination, however. He could no longer go it alone after the primaries. During the Republican National Convention and "then again in the late summer of 2016," FJC show, Trump's "solo campaign had to be rescued by major industries plainly hoping for tariff relief, waves of other billionaires from the far, far right of the already far right Republican Party, and the most disruption-exalting corners of Wall Street." By FJC's account:
"What happened in the final weeks of the campaign was extraordinary. Firstly, a giant wave of dark money poured into Trump's own campaign – one that towered over anything in 2016 or even Mitt Romney's munificently financed 2012 effort – to say nothing of any Russian Facebook experiments [Then] another gigantic wave of money flowed in from alarmed business interests, including the Kochs and their allies Officially the money was for Senate races, but late-stage campaigning for down-ballot offices often spills over on to candidates for the party at large."
"The run up to the Convention brought in substantial new money, including, for the first time, significant contributions from big business. Mining, especially coal mining; Big Pharma (which was certainly worried by tough talk from the Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, about regulating drug prices); tobacco, chemical companies, and oil (including substantial sums from executives at Chevron, Exxon, and many medium sized firms); and telecommunications (notably AT&T, which had a major merge merger pending) all weighed in. Money from executives at the big banks also began streaming in, including Bank of America, J. P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Parts of Silicon Valley also started coming in from the cold."
"In a harbinger of things to come, additional money came from firms and industries that appear to have been attracted by Trump's talk of tariffs, including steel and companies making machinery of various types [a] vast wave of new money flowed into the campaign from some of America's biggest businesses and most famous investors. Sheldon Adelson and many others in the casino industry delivered in grand style for its old colleague. Adelson now delivered more than $11 million in his own name, while his wife and other employees of his Las Vegas Sands casino gave another $20 million.
Peter Theil contributed more than a million dollars, while large sums also rolled in from other parts of Silicon Valley, including almost two million dollars from executives at Microsoft and just over two million from executives at Cisco Systems. A wave of new money swept in from large private equity firms, the part of Wall Street which had long championed hostile takeovers as a way of disciplining what they mocked as bloated and inefficient 'big business.' Virtual pariahs to main-line firms in the Business Roundtable and the rest of Wall Street, some of these figures had actually gotten their start working with Drexel Burnham Lambert and that firm's dominant partner, Michael Milkin.
Among those were Nelson Peltz and Carl Icahn (who had both contributed to Trump before, but now made much bigger new contributions). In the end, along with oil, chemicals, mining and a handful of other industries, large private equity firms would become one of the few segments of American business – and the only part of Wall Street – where support for Trump was truly heavy the sudden influx of money from private equity and hedge funds clearly began with the Convention but turned into a torrent "
The critical late wave came after Trump moved to rescue his flagging campaign by handing its direction over to the clever, class-attuned, far-right white- and economic- nationalist "populist" and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon, who advocated what proved to be a winning, Koch brothers-approved "populist" strategy: appeal to economically and culturally frustrated working- and middle-class whites in key battleground states, where the bloodless neoliberal and professional class centrism and snooty metropolitan multiculturalism of the Obama presidency and Clinton campaign was certain to depress the Democratic "base" vote . Along with the racist voter suppression carried out by Republican state governments (JFC rightly chide Russia-obsessed political reporters and commentators for absurdly ignoring this important factor) and (JFC intriguingly suggest) major anti-union offensives conducted by employers in some battleground states, this major late-season influx of big right-wing political money tilted the election Trump's way.
The Myth of Potent Russian Cyber-Subversion
As FJC show, there is little empirical evidence to support the Clinton and corporate Democrats' self-interested and diversionary efforts to explain Mrs. Clinton's epic fail and Trump's jaw-dropping upset victory as the result of (i) Russian interference, (ii), then FBI Director James Comey's October Surprise revelation that his agency was not done investigating Hillary's emails, and/or (iii) some imagined big wave of white working-class racism, nativism, and sexism brought to the surface by the noxious Orange Hulk. The impacts of both (i) and (ii) were infinitesimal in comparison to the role that big campaign money played both in silencing Hillary and funding Trump.
The blame-the-deplorable-racist-white-working-class narrative is belied by basic underlying continuities in white working class voting patterns. As FJC note: " Neither turnout nor the partisan division of the vote at any level looks all that different from other recent elections 2016's alterations in voting behavior are so minute that the pattern is only barely differentiated from 2012." It was about the money – the big establishment money that the Clinton campaign took (as FJC at least plausibly argue) to recommend policy silence and the different, right-wing big money that approved Trump's comparative right-populist policy boisterousness.
An interesting part of FJC's study (no quick or easy read) takes a close look at the pro-Trump and anti-Hillary Internet activism that the Democrats and their many corporate media allies are so insistently eager to blame on Russia and for Hillary's defeat. FJC find that Russian Internet interventions were of tiny significance compared to those of homegrown U.S. corporate and right-wing cyber forces:
"The real masters of these black arts are American or Anglo-American firms. These compete directly with Silicon Valley and leading advertising firms for programmers and personnel. They rely almost entirely on data purchased from Google, Facebook, or other suppliers, not Russia . American regulators do next to nothing to protect the privacy of voters and citizens, and, as we have shown in several studies, leading telecom firms are major political actors and giant political contributors. As a result, data on the habits and preferences of individual internet users are commercially available in astounding detail and quantities for relatively modest prices – even details of individual credit card purchases. The American giants for sure harbor abundant data on the constellation of bots, I.P. addresses, and messages that streamed to the electorate "
" stories hyping 'the sophistication of an influence campaign slickly crafted to mimic and infiltrate U.S. political discourse while also seeking to heighten tensions between groups already wary of one another by the Russians miss the mark.' By 2016, the Republican right had developed internet outreach and political advertising into a fine art and on a massive scale quite on its own. Large numbers of conservative websites, including many that that tolerated or actively encouraged white supremacy and contempt for immigrants, African-Americans, Hispanics, Jews, or the aspirations of women had been hard at work for years stoking up 'tensions between groups already wary of one another.' Breitbart and other organizations were in fact going global, opening offices abroad and establishing contacts with like-minded groups elsewhere. Whatever the Russians were up to, they could hardly hope to add much value to the vast Made in America bombardment already underway. Nobody sows chaos like Breitbart or the Drudge Report ."
" the evidence revealed thus far does not support strong claims about the likely success of Russian efforts, though of course the public outrage at outside meddling is easy to understand. The speculative character of many accounts even in the mainstream media is obvious. Several, such as widely circulated declaration by the Department of Homeland Security that 21 state election systems had been hacked during the election, have collapsed within days of being put forward when state electoral officials strongly disputed them, though some mainstream press accounts continue to repeat them. Other tales about Macedonian troll factories churning out stories at the instigation of the Kremlin, are clearly exaggerated."
The Sanders Tease: "He Couldn't Have Done a Thing"
Perhaps the most remarkable finding in FJC's study is that Sanders came tantalizingly close to winning the Democratic presidential nomination against the corporately super-funded Clinton campaign with no support from Big Business . Running explicitly against the "Hunger Games" economy and the corporate-financial plutocracy that created it, Sanders pushed Hillary the Goldman candidate to the wall, calling out the Democrats' capture by Wall Street, forcing her to rely on a rigged party, convention, and primary system to defeat him. The small-donor "socialist" Sanders challenge represented something Ferguson and his colleagues describe as "without precedent in American politics not just since the New Deal, but across virtually the whole of American history a major presidential candidate waging a strong, highly competitive campaign whose support from big business is essentially zero ."
Sanders pulled this off, FJC might have added, by running in (imagine) accord with majority-progressive left-of-center U.S. public opinion. But for the Clintons' corrupt advance- control of the Democratic National Committee and convention delegates, Ferguson et al might further have noted, Sanders might well have been the Democratic presidential nominee, curiously enough in the arch-state-capitalist and oligarchic United States
Could Sanders have defeated the billionaire and right-wing billionaire-backed Trump in the general election? There's no way to know, of course. Sanders consistently out-performed Hillary Clinton in one-on-one match -up polls vis a vis Donald Trump during the primary season, but much of the big money (and, perhaps much of the corporate media) that backed Hillary would have gone over to Trump had the supposedly "radical" Sanders been the Democratic nominee.
Even if Sanders has been elected president, moreover, Noam Chomsky is certainly correct in his recent judgement that Sanders would have been able to achieve very little in the White House. As Chomsky told Lynn Parramore two weeks ago, in an interview conducted for the Institute for New Economic Thinking, the same think-tank that published FJC's remarkable study:
"His campaign [was] a break with over a century of American political history. No corporate support, no financial wealth, he was unknown, no media support. The media simply either ignored or denigrated him. And he came pretty close -- he probably could have won the nomination, maybe the election. But suppose he'd been elected? He couldn't have done a thing. Nobody in Congress, no governors, no legislatures, none of the big economic powers, which have an enormous effect on policy. All opposed to him. In order for him to do anything, he would have to have a substantial, functioning party apparatus, which would have to grow from the grass roots. It would have to be locally organized, it would have to operate at local levels, state levels, Congress, the bureaucracy -- you have to build the whole system from the bottom."
As Chomsky might have added, Sanders oligarchy-imposed "failures" would have been great fodder for the disparagement and smearing of "socialism" and progressive, majority-backed policy change. "See? We tried all that and it was a disaster!"
I would note further that the Sanders phenomenon's policy promise was plagued by its standard bearer's persistent loyalty to the giant and absurdly expensive U.S.-imperial Pentagon System, which each year eats up hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars required to implement the progressive, majority-supported policy agenda that Bernie F-35 Sanders ran on.
"A Very Destructive Ideology"
The Sanders challenge was equally afflicted by its candidate-centered electoralism. This diverted energy away from the real and more urgent politics of building people's movements – grassroots power to shake the society to its foundations and change policy from the bottom up (Dr. Martin Luther King's preferred strategy at the end of his life just barely short of 50 years ago, on April 4 th , 1968) – and into the narrow, rigidly time-staggered grooves of a party and spectacle-elections crafted by and for the wealthy Few and the American Oligarchy 's "permanent political class" (historian Ron Formisano). As Chomsky explained on the eve of the 2004 elections:
"Americans may be encouraged to vote, but not to participate more meaningfully in the political arena. Essentially the election is a method of marginalizing the population. A huge propaganda campaign is mounted to get people to focus on these personalized quadrennial extravaganzas and to think, 'That's politics.' But it isn't. It's only a small part of politics The urgency is for popular progressive groups to grow and become strong enough so that centers of power can't ignore them. Forces for change that have come up from the grass roots and shaken the society to its core include the labor movement, the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the women's movement and others, cultivated by steady, dedicated work at all levels, every day, not just once every four years sensible [electoral] choices have to be made. But they are secondary to serious political action."
"The only thing that's going to ever bring about any meaningful change," Chomsky told Abby Martin on teleSur English in the fall of 2015, "is ongoing, dedicated, popular movements that don't pay attention to the election cycle." Under the American religion of voting, Chomsky told Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson in the spring of 2016, "Citizenship means every four years you put a mark somewhere and you go home and let other guys run the world. It's a very destructive ideology basically, a way of making people passive, submissive objects [we] ought to teach kids that elections take place but that's not politics."
For all his talk of standing atop a great "movement" for "revolution," Sanders was and remains all about this stunted and crippling definition of citizenship and politics as making some marks on ballots and then returning to our domiciles while rich people and their agents (not just any "other guys") "run [ruin?-P.S.] the world [into the ground-P.S.]."
It will take much more in the way of Dr. King's politics of "who' sitting in the streets," not "who's sitting in the White House" (to use Howard Zinn's excellent dichotomy ), to get us an elections and party system worthy of passionate citizen engagement. We don't have such a system in the U.S. today, which is why the number of eligible voters who passively boycotted the 2016 presidential election is larger than both the number who voted for big money Hillary and the number who voted for big money Trump.
(If U.S. progressives really want to consider undertaking the epic lift involved in passing a U.S. Constitutional Amendment, they might want to focus on this instead of calling for a repeal of the Second Amendment. I'd recommend starting with a positive Democracy Amendment that fundamentally overhauls the nation's political and elections set-up in accord with elementary principles and practices of popular sovereignty. Clauses would include but not be limited to full public financing of elections and the introduction of proportional representation for legislative races – not to mention the abolition of the Electoral College, Senate apportionment on the basis of total state population, and the outlawing of gerrymandering.)
Ecocide Trumped by Russia
Meanwhile, back in real history, we have the remarkable continuation of a bizarre right-wing, pre-fascist presidency not in normal ruling-class hands, subject to the weird whims and tweets of a malignant narcissist who doesn't read memorandums or intelligence briefings. Wild policy zig-zags and record-setting White House personnel turnover are par for the course under the dodgy reign of the orange-tinted beast's latest brain spasms. Orange Caligula spends his mornings getting his information from FOX News and his evenings complaining to and seeking advice from a small club of right-wing American oligarchs.
Trump poses grave environmental and nuclear risks to human survival. A consistent Trump belief is that climate change is not a problem and that it's perfectly fine – "great" and "amazing," in fact – for the White House to do everything it can to escalate the Greenhouse Gassing-to-Death of Life on Earth. The nuclear threat is rising now that he has appointed a frothing right-wing uber-warmonger – a longtime advocate of bombing Iran and North Korea who led the charge for the arch-criminal U.S. invasion of Iraq – as his top "National Security" adviser and as he been convinced to expel dozens of Russian diplomats. Thanks, liberal and other Democratic Party RussiaGaters!
The Clinton-Obama neoliberal Democrats have spent more than a year running with the preposterous narrative that Trump is a Kremlin puppet who owes his presence in the White House to Russia's subversion of our democratic elections. The climate crisis holds little for the Trump and Russia-obsessed corporate media. The fact that the world stands at the eve of the ecological self-destruction, with the Trump White House in the lead, elicits barely a whisper in the reigning commercial news media. Unlike Stormy Daniels, for example, that little story – the biggest issue of our or any time – is not good for television ratings and newspaper sales.
Sanders, by the way, is curiously invisible in the dominant commercial media, despite his quiet survey status as the nation's "most popular politician." That is precisely what you would expect in a corporate and financial oligarchy buttressed by a powerful corporate, so-called "mainstream" media oligopoly.
Political Parties as "Bank Accounts"
One of the many problems with the obsessive Blame-Russia narrative that a fair portion of the dominant U.S. media is running with is that we had no great electoral democracy to subvert in 2016 . Saying that Russia has "undermined [U.S.-] American democracy" is like me – middle-aged, five-foot nine, and unblessed with jumping ability – saying that the Brooklyn Nets' Russian-born center Timofy Mozgof subverted my career as a starting player in the National Basketball Association. In state-capitalist societies marked by the toxic and interrelated combination of weak popular organization, expensive politics, and highly concentrated wealth – all highly evident in the New Gilded Age United States – electoral contests and outcomes boil down above all and in the end to big investor class cash. As Thomas Ferguson and his colleagues explain:
"Where investment and organization by average citizens is weak, however, power passes by default to major investor groups, which can far more easily bear the costs of contending for control of the state. In most modern market-dominated societies (those celebrated recently as enjoying the 'end of History'), levels of effective popular organization are generally low, while the costs of political action, in terms of both information and transactional obstacles, are high. The result is that conflicts within the business community normally dominate contests within and between political parties – the exact opposite of what many earlier social theorists expected, who imagined 'business' and 'labor' confronting each other in separate parties Only candidates and positions that can be financed can be presented to voters. As a result, in countries like the US and, increasingly, Western Europe, political parties are first of all bank accounts . With certain qualifications, one must pay to play. Understanding any given election, therefore, requires a financial X-ray of the power blocs that dominate the major parties, with both inter- and intra- industrial analysis of their constituent elements."
Here Ferguson might have said "corporate-dominated" instead of "market-dominated" for the modern managerial corporations emerged as the "visible hand" master of the "free market" more than a century ago.
We get to vote? Big deal.
People get to vote in Rwanda, Russia, the Congo and countless other autocratic states as well. Elections alone are no guarantee of democracy, as U.S. policymakers and pundits know very well when they rip on rigged elections (often fixed with the assistance of U.S. government and private-sector agents and firms) in countries they don't like, which includes any country that dares to "question the basic principle that the United States effectively owns the world by right and is by definition a force for good" ( Chomsky, 2016 ).
Majority opinion is regularly trumped by a deadly complex of forces in the U.S. The list of interrelated and mutually reinforcing culprits behind this oligarchic defeat of popular sentiment in the U.S. is extensive. It includes but is not limited to: the campaign finance, candidate-selection, lobbying, and policy agenda-setting power of wealthy individuals, corporations, and interest groups; the special primary election influence of full-time party activists; the disproportionately affluent, white, and older composition of the active (voting) electorate; the manipulation of voter turnout; the widespread dissemination of false, confusing, distracting, and misleading information; absurdly and explicitly unrepresentative political institutions like the Electoral College, the unelected Supreme Court, the over-representation of the predominantly white rural population in the U.S. Senate; one-party rule in the House of "Representatives"; the fragmentation of authority in government; and corporate ownership of the reigning media, which frames current events in accord with the wishes and world view of the nation's real owners.
Yes, we get to vote. Super. Big deal. Mammon reigns nonetheless in the United States, where, as the leading liberal political scientists Benjamin Page and Martin Gilens find , "government policy reflects the wishes of those with money, not the wishes of the millions of ordinary citizens who turn out every two years to choose among the preapproved, money-vetted candidates for federal office."
Trump is a bit of an anomaly – a sign of an elections and party system in crisis and an empire in decline. He wasn't pre-approved or vetted by the usual U.S. " deep state " corporate, financial, and imperial gatekeepers. The ruling-class had been trying to figure out what the Hell to do with him ever since he shocked even himself (though not Steve Bannon) by pre-empting the coronation of the "Queen of Chaos."
He is a homegrown capitalist oligarch nonetheless, a real estate mogul of vast and parasitic wealth who is no more likely to fulfill his populist-sounding campaign pledges than any previous POTUS of the neoliberal era.
His lethally racist, sexist, nativist, nuclear-weapons-brandishing, and (last but not at all least) eco-cidal rise to the nominal CEO position atop the U.S.-imperial oligarchy is no less a reflection of the dominant role of big U.S. capitalist money and homegrown plutocracy in U.S. politics than a more classically establishment Hillary ascendancy would have been. It's got little to do with Russia, Russia, Russia – the great diversion that fills U.S. political airwaves and newsprint as the world careens ever closer to oligarchy-imposed geocide and to a thermonuclear conflagration that the RussiaGate gambit is recklessly encouraging.
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Paul Street's latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)
Mar 11, 2018 | thebaffler.com
A president can be reelected despite corruption, foreign meddling, and sex scandals Bill Clinton was reelected with help from China. / The Baffler Imagine for a moment that special counsel Robert Mueller is unable to establish direct and intentional collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. Or, suppose he proves collusion by a few former campaign aides but finds nothing directly implicating the president himself. In either event -- or in just about any other imaginable scenario -- it seems improbable that Congress will have the votes to impeach Trump or otherwise hold him accountable prior to 2020.
If Mueller's probe drags on and fails to produce a "smoking gun," the whole affair may end up seeming so complex, muddy, and partisan that most of the public would prefer to move on, eager to talk about something else .
In other words, Russiagate could well continue to distract and infuriate Trump without breaking his hold on power.
Is it shocking to think evidence of Russian chicanery could be shrugged off? Don't be shocked. After all, the last major case of foreign meddling and collusion in a U.S. presidential race didn't exactly end up rocking the republic.
In 1996, Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole decided to take a hard line on China -- portraying the nation as a growing economic and geopolitical threat to the United States and a violator of international rules and norms. In response, China tried to leverage its extensive diplomatic , intelligence , and financial networks in the United States in order to sway the election in favor of Dole's rival, Democrat Bill Clinton.
This is not a theory, it is historical fact: there was a major Congressional investigation . In the end, several prominent Democratic fundraisers, including close Clinton associates, were found to be complicit in the Chinese meddling efforts and pled guilty to various charges of violating campaign finance and disclosure laws (most notably James T. Riady , Johnny Chung , John Huang , and Charlie Trie ). Several others fled the country to escape U.S. jurisdiction as the probe got underway. The Democratic National Committee was forced to return millions of dollars in ill-gotten funds (although by that point, of course, their candidate had already won).
It was a scandal that persisted after the election in no small part because many of Clinton's own policies in his second term seemed to lend credence to insinuations of collusion.
Several prominent Democratic fundraisers, including close Clinton associates, were found to be complicit in Chinese meddling efforts and pled guilty to campaign finance violations.
Rather than attempting to punish the meddling country for undermining the bedrock of our democracy, Bill Clinton worked to ease sanctions and normalize relations with Beijing -- even as the U.S. ratcheted up sanctions against Cuba, Iran, and Iraq. By the end of his term, he signed a series of sweeping trade deals that radically expanded China's economic and geopolitical clout -- even though some in his administration forecast that this would come at the expense of key American industries and U.S. manufacturing workers.
Clinton authorized a series of controversial defense contracts with China as well -- despite Department of Justice objections . Federal investigators were concerned that the contractors seemed to be passing highly sensitive and classified information to the Chinese. And indeed, the companies in question were eventually found to have violated the law by giving cutting-edge missile technology to China, and paid unprecedented fines related to the Arms Export Control Act during the administration of George W. Bush. But they were inexplicably approved in the Bill Clinton years.
For a while, polls showed that the public found the president's posture on China to be so disconcerting that most supported appointing an independent counsel (a la Mueller) to investigate whether the Clinton Administration had essentially been " bought ."
Law enforcement officials shared these concerns: FBI director Louis Freeh (whom Clinton could not get rid of, having just fired his predecessor ) publically called for the appointment of an independent counsel. So did the chief prosecutor charged with investigating Chinese meddling, Charles La Bella . However, they were blocked at every turn by Clinton's Attorney General, Janet Reno -- eventually leading La Bella to resign in protest of the AG's apparent obstruction.
The 1996 Chinese collusion story, much like the 2016 Russian collusion story, dragged on for nearly two years -- hounding Clinton at every turn. That is, until it was discovered that the president had been having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
The 1996 Chinese collusion story dragged on for nearly two years -- hounding Clinton at every turn. That is, until the Monica Lewinsky scandal came along.
This was Bill Clinton's second known extra-marital affair with a subordinate : in the lead-up to his 1992 election it was also discovered that Clinton had been involved in a long-running affair with Gennifer Flowers -- an employee of the State of Arkansas during Bill's governorship there, appointed as a result of Clinton's intercession on her behalf.
The drama of the inquiry into Bill Clinton's myriad alleged sexual improprieties, the President's invocation of executive privilege to prevent his aides from having to testify against him, Clinton's perjury , subsequent impeachment by the House, acquittal in the Senate, and eventual plea-bargain deal -- these sucked the oxygen away from virtually all other stories related to the president.
Indeed, few today seem to remember that the Chinese meddling occurred at all. This despite continuing China-related financial improprieties involving both the Clintons and the DNC Chairman who presided over the 1996 debacle, Terry McAuliffe -- and despite the fact that the intended target of the current foreign meddling attempt just so happens to be married to the intended beneficiary of the last.
And the irony in this, of course, is that not only do we find ourselves reliving an apparently ill-fated collusion investigation, but the foreign meddling story is once again competing with a presidential sex scandal -- this time involving actual porn stars. (Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones both posed for Penthouse after their involvement with Clinton surfaced. Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal are well-established in the industry.)
Much like Bill Clinton, our current president has a long pattern of accusations of infidelity, sexual harassment and even assault. However all of Trump's alleged sexual misconduct incidents occurred before he'd assumed any public office. Therefore, although some Democrats hope to provide Trump's accusers an opportunity to testify before Congress if their party manages to retake the House in 2018, the legal impact of these accounts is likely to be nil. The political significance of such theater is likely being overestimated as well.
The danger for Democrats in all this is that they could get lulled into the notion that Trump's liabilities -- the Mueller probe, the alleged affairs, and whatever new scandals and outrages Trump generates in the next two years -- will be sufficient to energize and mobilize their base in 2020. Democratic insiders and fatcats are likely to think they can put forward the same sort of unpalatable candidate and platform they did last cycle -- only this time, they'll win! A strong showing in 2018 could even reinforce this sense of complacency -- leading to another debacle in the race for the White House in 2020.
Democrats consistently snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by believing they've got some kind of lock. Remember the " Emerging Democratic Majority " thesis? Remember Hillary Clinton's alleged 2016 " Electoral Firewall ?" What have the Democrats learned from 2016? The answer is, very little if they believe the essential problem was just James Comey and the Russians.
Here's one lesson Democrats would do well to internalize:
The party has won by running charismatic people against Republican cornflake candidates (see Clinton v. Bush I or Dole, or Obama v. McCain or Romney). Yet whenever Democrats find themselves squaring off against a faux-populist who plays to voters' base instincts, the party always make the same move: running a wonky technocrat with an impressive resume, detailed policy proposals, and little else.
Does it succeed in drawing a sharp contrast? Pretty much always. Does it succeed at winning the White House? Pretty much never: Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, and now Clinton.
Democrats could be headed for trouble if they are counting on the Mueller investigation to bring Trump down.
Democrats rely heavily on irregular voters to win elections; negative partisanship races tend to depress turnout for these constituents. More broadly, if left with a choice between a "lesser of two evils" the public tends to stick with the "devil they know." In short: precisely what Democrats don't need in 2020 is a negative partisanship race.
A referendum on Trump might not play out the way Democrats expect. Against all odds, it looks like the president will even have an actual record to run on . He should not be underestimated.
Clinton-style triangulation is also likely to backfire. Contemporary research suggests there just aren't a lot of " floating voters " up for grabs these days. Rather than winning over disaffected Republicans, this approach would likely just alienate the Democratic base.
The party's best bet is to instead focus on mobilizing the left by articulating a compelling positive message for why Americans should vote for them (rather than just against Trump). They will need to respond to Trump with a populist of their own -- someone who can credibly appeal to people in former Obama districts that Hillary Clinton lost . And they need to activate those who sat the last election out -- for instance by delivering for elements of their base that the party has largely taken for granted in recent cycles.
If the Democratic National Committee wants to spend its time talking about Russia and sex scandals instead of tending to these priorities, then we should all brace for another humiliating "black swan" defeat for the party in 2020.
But, you say, isn't Trump the least popular president ever after one year in office? Guess whose year-one (un)popularity is closest to Trump's? Ronald Reagan. He was under 50 percent in approval ratings at the end of his first year; but he went on to win reelection in an historic landslide. Barack Obama was barely breaking even after year one but won reelection comfortably. Bill Clinton was only slightly above 50 percent after his first year.
You know who else had the lowest approval rating in a quarter-century after Trump's first year in office? The Democratic Party.
Musa al-Gharbi is a Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in Sociology at Columbia University. Readers can connect to his research and social media via his website .
Jan 15, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
An alert reader who is a representative of the class that's suing the DNC Services Corporation for fraud in the 2016 Democratic primary -- WILDING et al. v. DNC SERVICES CORPORATION et al., a.k.a. the "DNC lawsuit" -- threw some interesting mail over the transom; it's from Elizabeth Beck of Beck & Lee, the firm that brought the case on behalf of the (putatively) defrauded class (and hence their lawyer). Beck's letter reads in relevant part:
... ... ...
Jan 05, 2018 | thehill.com
The Justice Department has launched a new inquiry into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any pay-to-play politics or other illegal activities while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, law enforcement officials and a witness tells The Hill.
FBI agents from Little Rock, Ark., where the Foundation was started, have taken the lead in the investigation and have interviewed at least one witness in the last month, and law enforcement officials said additional activities are expected in coming weeks.
The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes.
The probe may also examine whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the Foundation complied with applicable tax laws, the officials said.
... ... ...
One challenge for any Clinton-era investigation is that the statute of limitations on most federal felonies is five years and Clinton left office in early 2013.
Aug 19, 2012 | Corrente
I got to thinking today about how neocon and neoliberal are becoming interchangeable terms. They did not start out that way. My understanding is they are ways of rationalizing breaks with traditional conservatism and liberalism. Standard conservatism was fairly isolationist. Conservatism's embrace of the Cold War put it at odds with this tendency. This was partially resolved by accepting the Cold War as a military necessity despite its international commitments but limiting civilian programs like foreign aid outside this context and rejecting the concept of nation building altogether.
With the end of the Cold War conservative internationalism needed a new rationale, and this was supplied by the neoconservatives. They advocated the adoption of conservatism's Cold War military centered internationalism as the model for America's post-Cold War international relations. After all, why drop a winning strategy? America had won the Cold War against a much more formidable opponent than any left on the planet. What could go wrong?
America's ability not simply to project but its willingness to use military power was equated with its power more generally. If America did not do this, it was weak and in decline. However, the frequent use of military power showed that America was great and remained the world's hegemon. In particular, the neocons focused on the Middle East. This sales pitch gained them the backing of both supporters of Israel (because neoconservatism was unabashedly pro-Israel) and the oil companies. The military industrial complex was also on board because the neocon agenda effectively countered calls to reduce military spending. But neoconservatism was not just confined to these groups. It appealed to both believers in American exceptionalism and backers of humanitarian interventions (of which I once was one).
As neoconservatism developed, that is with Iraq and Afghanistan, the neocons even came to embrace nation building which had always been anathema to traditional conservatism. Neocons sold this primarily by casting nation building in military terms, the creation and training of police and security forces in the target country.
9/11 too was critical. It vastly increased the scope of the neocon project in spawning the Global War on Terror. It increased the stage of neocon operations to the entire planet. It effectively erased the distinction between the use of military force against countries and individuals. Individuals more than countries became targets for military, not police, action. And unlike traditional wars or the Cold War itself, this one would never be over. Neoconservatism now had a permanent raison d'être.
Politically, neoconservatism has become the bipartisan foreign policy consensus. Democrats are every bit as neocon in their views as Republicans. Only a few libertarians on the right and progressives on the left reject it.
Neoliberalism, for its part, came about to address the concern of liberals, especially Democrats, that they were too anti-business and too pro-union, and that this was hurting them at the polls. It was sold to the rubiat as pragmatism.
The roots of neoliberalism are the roots of kleptocracy. Both begin under Carter. Neoliberalism also known at various times and places as the Washington Consensus (under Clinton) and the Chicago School is the political expression for public consumption of the kleptocratic economic philosophy, just as libertarian and neoclassical economics (both fresh and salt water varieties) are its academic and governmental face. The central tenets of neoliberalism are deregulation, free markets, and free trade. If neoliberalism had a prophet or a patron saint, it was Milton Friedman.
Again just as neoconservatism and kleptocracy or bipartisan so too is neoliberalism. There really is no daylight between Reaganism/supply side economics/trickledown on the Republican side and Clinton's Washington Consensus or Team Obama on the other.
And just as we saw with neoconservatism, neoliberalism expanded from its core premises and effortlessly transitioned into globalization, which can also be understood as global kleptocracy.
The distinctions between neoconservatism and neoliberalism are being increasingly lost, perhaps because most of our political classes are practitioners of both. But initially at least neoconservatism was focused on foreign policy and neoliberalism on domestic economic policy. As the War on Terror expanded, however, neoconservatism came back home with the creation and expansion of the surveillance state.
At the same time, neoliberalism went from domestic to global, and here I am not just thinking about neoliberal experiments, like Pinochet's Chile or post-Soviet Russia, but the financialization of the world economy and the adoption of kleptocracy as the world economic model.jest on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 5:55amlambert on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 9:18am
I'm now under the opinion that you can't talk about any of the "neo-isms" without talking about the corporate state.
That's really the tie that binds the two things you are speaking of.
With neocons, it manifests itself through the military-industrial complex (Boeing, Raytheon, etc.), and with neolibs it manifests itself through finance and industrial policy.
For example, you need the US gov't to bomb Iraq (Raytheon) in order to secure oil (Halliburton), which is priced & financed in US dollars (Goldman Sachs). It's like a 3-legged stool; if you remove one of these legs, the whole thing comes down. But each leg has two components, a statist component and a corporate component.
The entity that enables all of this is the corporate state.
It also explains why economic/financial interests (neolib) are now considered national security interests (neocon). The viability of the state is now tied to the viability of the corporation.jest on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 1:37pm
Corporate/statist (not sure "corporate" captures the looting/rentier aspect though). We see it everywhere, for example in the revolving door.
I think the stool has more legs and is also more dynamic; more like Ikea furniture. For example, the press is surely critical in organizing the war.
But the yin/yang of neo-lib/neo-con is nice: It's as if the neo-cons handle the kinetic aspects (guns, torture) and the neo-libs handle the mental aspects (money, mindfuckery) but both merge (like Negronponte being on the board of Americans Select) over time as margins fall and decorative aspects like democratic institutions and academic freedom get stripped away. The state and the corporation have always been tied to each other but now the ties are open and visible (for example, fines are just a cost of doing business, a rent on open corruption.)
And then there's the concept of "human resource," that abstracts all aspects of humanity away except those that are exploitable.
First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma GandhiLex on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 8:28am
I like the term much better than Fascist, as it is 1) more accurate, 2) avoids the Godwin's law issue, and 3) makes them sound totalitarianist.
Yes, I would agree that additional legs make sense. The media aspect is essential, as it neutralizes the freedom of the press, without changing the constitution. It dovetails pretty well with the notion of Inverted Totalitarianism.
I think you could also make the argument that Obama is perhaps the most ideal combination of neolib & neocon. The two sides of him flow together so seamlessly, no one seems to notice. But that's in part because he is so corporate.Hugh on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 3:57pm
Actually, neoliberalism is an economic term. An economic liberal in the UK and EU is for open markets, capitalism, etc. You're right that neoliberalism comes heavily from the University of Chicago, but it has little to do with American political liberalism.
A reading of the classical liberal economists puts some breaks on the markets, corporations, etc. Neoliberalism goes to the illogical extremes of market theory and iirc, has some influence from the Austrian school ... which gives up on any pretense of scientific exposition of economics or rationality at the micro level, assuming that irrationality will magically become rational behavior in aggregate.
Therefore, US conservatives post Eisenhower but especially post Reagan are almost certainly economic neoliberals. Since Clinton, liberals/Democrats have been too (at least the elected ones). You nailed neoconservative and both parties are in foreign policy since at least Clinton ... though here lets not forget to go back as far as JFK and his extreme anti-Communism that led to all sorts of covert operations, The Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Remember, the Soviets put the missiles in Cuba because we put missiles in Turkey and they backed down from Cuba because we agreed to remove the missiles from Turkey; Nikita was nice enough not to talk about that so that Kennedy didn't lose face.
"Don't believe them, don't fear them, don't ask anything of them" - Aleksandr SolzhenitsynHugh on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 10:44pm
I agree that neoconservatism and neoliberalism are two facets of corporatism/kleptocracy. I like the kinetic vs. white collar distinction.
The roots of neoliberalism go back to the 1940s and the Austrians, but in the US it really only comes into currency with Clinton as a deliberate shift of the Democratic/liberal platform away from labor and ordinary Americans to make it more accommodating to big business and big money. I had never heard of neoliberalism before Bill Clinton but it is easy to see how those tendencies were at work under Carter, but not under Johnson.
This was a rough and ready sketch. I guess I should also have mentioned PNAC or the Project to Find a New Mission for the MIC.Lex on Mon, 08/20/2012 - 11:49pm
I have never understood this love of Clinton that some Democrats have just as I have never understood the attraction of Reagan for Republicans. There is no Clinton faction. There is no Obama faction. Hillary Clinton is Obama's frigging Secretary of State. Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, both of whom served as Bill Clinton's Treasury Secretary, were Obama's top financial and economic advisors. Timothy Geithner was their protégé. Leon Panetta Obama's Director of the CIA and current Secretary of Defense was Clinton's Director of OMB and then Chief of Staff.
The Democrats as a party are neoconservative and neoliberal as are Obama and the Clintons. As are Republicans.
What does corporations need regulation mean? It is rather like saying that the best way to deal with cancer is to find a cure for it. Sounds nice but there is no content to it. Worse in the real world, the rich own the corporations, the politicians, and the regulators. So even if you come up with good ideas for regulation they aren't going to happen.
What you are suggesting looks a whole lot another iteration of lesser evilism meets Einstein's definition of insanity. How is it any different from any other instance of Democratic tribalism?
Perhaps it should be pointed out that the Clintons became fabulously wealthy just after Bill left office, mostly on the strength of his speaking engagements for the financial sector that he'd just deregulated. Both he and Hillary hew to a pretty damned neoconservative foreign policy ... with that dash of "humanitarian interventionism" that makes war palatable to liberals.
But your deeper point is that there isn't enough of a difference between Obama and Bill Clinton to really draw a distinction, not in terms of ideology. What a theoretical Hillary Clinton presidency would have looked like is irrelevant, because both Bill and Obama talked a lot different than they walked. Any projection of a Hillary Clinton administration is just that and requires arguing that it would have been different than Bill's administration and policies.
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that at that level of politics, the levers of money and power work equally well on both party's nomenklatura. They flock to it like moths to porch light.
That the money chose Obama over Clinton doesn't say all that much, because there's no evidence suggesting that the money didn't like Clinton or that it would have chosen McCain over Clinton. It's not as if Clinton's campaign was driven into the ground by lack of funds.
Regardless, that to be a Democrat i would kind of have to chose between two factions that are utterly distasteful to me just proves that i have no business being a Democrat. And since i wouldn't vote for either of those names, i guess i'll just stick to third parties and exit the political tribalism loop for good.
"Don't believe them, don't fear them, don't ask anything of them" - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Oct 24, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
AlaricBalth -> Creepy_Azz_Crackaah , Oct 24, 2017 1:03 PM
"Our justice system is represented by a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales. Those scales do not tip to the right or the left; they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status. The impartiality of our justice system is the bedrock of our republic..."
Spewed coffee after reading this quote.
E.F. Mutton -> Gerry Fletcher , Oct 24, 2017 12:57 PM
The Blind Justice Lady is real, she just has a .45 at the back of her head held by Hillary
And don't even ask where Bill's finger is
Jan 30, 2015 | www.thedailybeast.com
Pharisee Conservative Scold Ken Starr Got a Billionaire Pedophile Off Many believe Jeffrey Epstein could have been jailed for life for violating scores of underage girls, but Ken Starr and the rest of his legal team got him a deal. 5:55 AM ET
It was supposed to be a probe into the first family's finances. But when independent counsel Judge Ken Starr mounted an investigation into the Clintons' real-estate deals , the "Whitewater" probe took a peep-show turn . Starr and his team began to obsess over every lurid detail of Bill Clinton's philandering, issuing a 473-page report that was a catalog of misuse of funds but mostly torrid sexcapades in the White House and the president accused of committing perjury to cover it up.
The Starr Report came out in 1998. And all of this would be history, if it weren't for the fact that Starr, the legendary moral ninny now serving as the chancellor at Baylor University , was handpicked nearly a decade later to negotiate a sweetheart plea deal with state and federal prosecutors for billionaire pederast and Clinton crony Jeffrey Epstein.
On Wednesday, some of Epstein's lawyers were back in court, arguing that the negotiations over that deal must remain secret.
"I had given [Epstein] a list of lawyers I worked with in the past that had been exceptionally able and Jeffrey picked from the list," Alan Dershowitz, the world-famous criminal attorney and Harvard professor, told The Daily Beast. He also worked on Epstein's behalf. "Starr had experience in investigating sex investigations," Dershowitz said. "He had experience as the solicitor general and as a judge. He had all the bases covered."
The acquisition proved to be a panacea. In 2006, Jeffrey Epstein was hauled in by Palm Beach police for violating scores of underage girls for years and was facing federal charges for trafficking them across state lines. He was formally sentenced to 18 months prison, but only served 13 of them and was allowed to travel between his various mansions frequently. He was also forced to register as a sex offender.
Many believe Epstein dodged certain doom -- he could have remained behind bars for the rest of his life given the number of alleged victims (some say it's as many as hundreds, while his attorneys suggest it's barely double-digits). But ask the client and he believes the plea agreement was lousy.
"Jeffrey didn't think it was a good deal," Dershowitz said. And that may have been because Epstein's all-star legal team -- which included Starr, Dershowitz, Miami lawyer Roy Black, New York power esquires Jay Lefkowitz and Gerald Lefcourt, and Martin Weinberg in Boston -- apparently couldn't seal an even sweeter deal.
Sep 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
McClatchy points out, since March 2015 Judicial Watch has been engaged in a back and forth battle with the National Archives which argues that "the documents should be kept secret [to preserve] grand jury secrecy and Clinton's personal privacy."
Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group that files Freedom of Information Act requests, wants copies of the documents that the National Archives and Records Administration has declined to release. It filed a FOIA request for the documents in March 2015 and in October 2015 the group sued for the 238 pages of responsive records.
According to Judicial Watch: " The National Archives argues that the documents should be kept secret, citing grand jury secrecy and Clinton's personal privacy."
But Judicial Watch says that because so much about the Whitewater case has already been made public, "there is no secrecy or privacy left to protect."
The documents in question are alleged drafts of indictments written by Hickman Ewing, the chief deputy of Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel appointed to investigate Bill and Hillary Clinton's alleged involvement in fraudulent real estate dealings dating back to the 70's.
Ewing told investigators he drafted the indictments in April 1995. According to Judicial Watch, the documents pertain to allegations that Hillary Clinton provided false information and withheld information from those investigating the Whitewater scandal.
Meanwhile, for those who haven't been alive long enough to remember some of the original Clinton scandals dating back to the 1970's, the Whitewater scandal revolved around a series of shady real estate deals in the Ozarks, not to mention a couple of illegal, federally-insured loans, back when Bill was Governor of Arkansas.
Of course, like with all Clinton scandals, while several other people ended up in jail as a result of the FBI's Whitewater investigation, Bill and Hillary emerged unscathed. Wikipedia offers more details:
The Whitewater controversy, Whitewater scandal (or simply Whitewater), was an American political episode of the 1990s that began with an investigation into the real estate investments of Bill and Hillary Clinton and their associates, Jim McDougal and Susan McDougal, in the Whitewater Development Corporation, a failed business venture in the 1970s and 1980s.
A March 1992 New York Times article published during the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign reported that the Clintons, then governor and first lady of Arkansas, had invested and lost money in the Whitewater Development Corporation. The article stimulated the interest of L. Jean Lewis, a Resolution Trust Corporation investigator who was looking into the failure of Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, also owned by Jim and Susan McDougal.
Lewis looked for connections between the savings and loan company and the Clintons, and on September 2, 1992, she submitted a criminal referral to the FBI naming Bill and Hillary Clinton as witnesses in the Madison Guaranty case. Little Rock U.S. Attorney Charles A. Banks and the FBI determined that the referral lacked merit, but Lewis continued to pursue the case. From 1992 to 1994, Lewis issued several additional referrals against the Clintons and repeatedly called the U.S. Attorney's Office in Little Rock and the Justice Department regarding the case. Her referrals eventually became public knowledge, and she testified before the Senate Whitewater Committee in 1995.
David Hale, the source of criminal allegations against the Clintons, claimed in November 1993 that Bill Clinton had pressured him into providing an illegal $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal, the Clintons' partner in the Whitewater land deal. The allegations were regarded as questionable because Hale had not mentioned Clinton in reference to this loan during the original FBI investigation of Madison Guaranty in 1989; only after coming under indictment himself in 1993, did Hale make allegations against the Clintons. A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation resulted in convictions against the McDougals for their role in the Whitewater project. Jim Guy Tucker, Bill Clinton's successor as governor, was convicted of fraud and sentenced to four years of probation for his role in the matter. Susan McDougal served 18 months in prison for contempt of court for refusing to answer questions relating to Whitewater.
Neither Bill Clinton nor Hillary were ever prosecuted, after three separate inquiries found insufficient evidence linking them with the criminal conduct of others related to the land deal.
Just more attempts to "criminalize behavior that is normal"...
jamesmmu , Sep 21, 2017 6:36 PMknukles -> jamesmmu , Sep 21, 2017 7:00 PM
Understanding The Battle Between The Deep State – And "One Nation Under God" – The Holy War Within The United States Of America.
http://investmentwatchblog.com/understanding-the-battle-between-the-deep...Four chan -> knukles , Sep 21, 2017 7:27 PM
"National Security" Will Prevail Again. Hillary's health and mental condition are at risk.
Holy war? FFS people, this shit's straight out of the End of Days stories or numerous religious, spiritual and philosophical belief systems. Yes, the war between good and evil is real and evil has the upper hand at the moment. Greatly has the upper hand.
Edit and More Importantly, Andre Ward's announced his retirement from boxing Man was a thing of beauty in the ring....booboo -> Four chan , Sep 21, 2017 8:22 PM
the first work the clintons did for the ciaLumberjack -> Lumberjack , Sep 21, 2017 6:48 PM
Didn't Sandy Berger get caught stealing Clinton related documents from the National Archives?
Wonder what else he make off in his socks?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16706-2005Mar31.htmlBlankenstein -> YourAverageJoe , Sep 21, 2017 8:29 PM
Was Hillary Clinton Fired from the Nixon Impeachment Inquiry?
In 1999, nine years before the Calabrese interview, Zeifman told the Scripps-Howard news agency: "If I had the power to fire her, I would have fired her." In a 2008 interview on "The Neal Boortz Show," Zeifman was asked directly whether he fired her. His answer: "Well, let me put it this way. I terminated her, along with some other staff members who were ! we no longer needed, and advised her that I would not ! could not recommend her for any further positions."Blankenstein -> insanelysane , Sep 21, 2017 8:23 PM
They owned the property of what was most likely a drug smuggling operation in Paron, Arkansas.
That property has ties with the Rose law firm in Little Rock , in which Hillary Rodham Clinton was formerly a partner. While some observers believe the property was intended as an additional presidential residence - the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, for example, reported it was rumored to be a "White House West"; and contractors who worked on it whimsically tagged it "Camp Chelsea" - there are strong indications something quite different might be taking place in Paron
Simultaneous with this, residents said there was an increase in low-flying airplanes over the property. Unlike the military aircraft that occasionally fly over the area, these were "small Cessna-like" aircraft, according to Hill. He said the planes typically fly through a pass in the Cockspur Mountains on Southeast's property, several miles from the main road.
"After the planes leave, 20 to 30 minutes will go by, and small trucks and Jeeps leave the property at two different entrances," said Hill. He added that neighbors, during a flurry of aircraft activity, had logged the details, which they then passed on to federal authorities
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/993980/postsRebelrebel7 , Sep 21, 2017 7:22 PM
The ones with Vince Foster's fingerprints on them?
" After nearly two years of searches and subpoenas, the White House said this evening that it had unexpectedly discovered copies of missing documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton's law firm that describe her work for a failing savings and loan association in the 1980's.
"The mysterious appearance of the billing records, which had been the specific subject of various nvestigative subpoenas for two year s, sparked intense interest about how they surfaced and where they had been"
"But Whitewater investigators believe that the billing records show significant representation. They argue that the records prove that Ms. Clinton was not only directly involved in the representation of Madison, but more specifically, in providing legal work on the fraudulent Castle Grande land deal."
"Investigators believe this suggests that, at some point, this copy was passed from Vince Foster to Hillary Clinton for her review.
In addition, investigators had the FBI conduct fingerprint analysis of the billing records. Of significance, the prints of Vince Foster and Hillary Clinton were found."
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/arkansas/docs/recs.htmlChippewa Partners , Sep 21, 2017 7:49 PM
It is extremely unfortunate that criminal behavior is now considered normal! The Clintons are responsible for that.
The Clintons were extremely guilty of Whitewater for profiteering on a failed real estate deal at Arkansas' residents expense, in addition to dozens of other crimes! I often wonder how life could be much better if the Clintons were never elected! The invasive and rampant corruption in virtually every sector of our society, has made this country 100% dysfunctional!
There had been criminal activity at the local level in government in some regions, but Clinton nationalized it, and legitimized it. Nixon was impeached, and resigned, giving people belief that nobody was above the law.
Now, Trump has not committed a single impeachable offense, and all that they ever talk about is impeachment!
I recall reading that Starr had DNC loyalties. My guess is that Republicans were more concerned with a President Gore, than a President Clinton.Anunnaki , Sep 21, 2017 8:17 PM
The Rose Law Firm billings records? They were found sitting on her night stand next to her bed FFS...........
This is a great article on her prowess in cattle trading ......all of you wanna-be traders should try to emulate her ability!!!
The real scandal is how Hellary turned 1000$ into 100k in cattle futures. They said it would be like winning the lottery two days in a row
Sep 21, 2017 | www.mintpressnews.com
Although Hillary Clinton has blamed numerous factors and people for her loss to Donald Trump in last year's election, no one has received as much blame as the Russian government. In an effort to avoid blaming the candidate herself by turning the election results into a national scandal, accusations of Kremlin-directed meddling soon surfaced. While such accusations have largely been discredited by both computer analysts and award-winning journalists like Seymour Hersh, they continue to be repeated as the investigation into Donald Trump's alleged collusion with the Russian government picks up steam.
However, newly released Clinton emails suggest that that the former secretary of state's disdain for the Russian government is a relatively new development. The emails, obtained by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, show that the Russian government was included in invitations to exclusive Clinton Foundation galas that began less than two months after Clinton became the top official at the U.S. State Department.
In March of 2009, Amitabh Desai, then-Clinton Foundation director of foreign policy, sent invitations to numerous world leaders, which included Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. Desai's emails were cc'd to Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro and later forwarded to top Clinton aide Jake Sullivan.
The Clinton Foundation's activities during Hillary's tenure as secretary of state have been central to the accusations that the Clinton family used their "charitable" foundation as a means of enriching themselves via a massive "Pay to Play" scheme. Emails leaked by Wikileaks, particularly the Podesta emails , offered ample evidence connecting foreign donations to the Clintons and their foundation with preferential treatment by the U.S. State Department.
Nov 14, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
William Meyer 11.13.16 at 9:40 pm 4Obviously Mr. Deerin is, on its face, utilizing a very disputable definition of "liberal."
However, I think a stronger case could be made for something like Mr. Deerin's argument, although it doesn't necessarily get to the same conclusion.
My observation is that the New Class (professionals, lobbyists, financiers, teachers, engineers, etc.) have ruled the country in recent decades. For much of the twentieth century this class was in some tension with corporations, and used their skills at influencing government policy to help develop and protect the welfare state, since they needed the working class as a counterweight to the natural influence of corporate money and power. However, somewhere around 1970 I think this tension collapsed, since corporate managers and professionals realized that they shared the same education, background and interests.
Vive la meritocracy. This "peace treaty" between former rivals allowed the whole newly enlarged New Class to swing to the right, since they really didn't particularly need the working class politically anymore. And since it is the hallmark of this class to seek prestige, power and money while transferring risk away from themselves, the middle class and blue collar community has been the natural recipient. Free trade (well, for non-professionals, anyway), neoliberalism, ruthless private equity job cutting, etc., etc. all followed very naturally. The re-alignment of the Democratic Party towards the right was a natural part of this evolution.
I think the 90% or so of the community who are not included in this class are confused and bewildered and of course rather angry about it. They also sense that organized politics in this country – being chiefly the province of the New Class – has left them with little leverage to change any of this. Watching the bailouts and lack of prosecutions during the GFC made them dimly realize that the New Class has very strong internal solidarity – and since somebody has to pay for these little mistakes, everyone outside that class is "fair game."
So in that sense–to the extent that you define liberal as the ideology of the New Class (neoliberal, financial-capitalistic, big corporate-friendly but opposed to non-meritocratic biases like racism, sexism, etc.) is "liberalism", I think it is reasonable to say that it has bred resistance and anger among the "losers." As far as having "failed", well, we'll see: the New Class still controls almost all the levers of power. It has many strategies for channeling lower-class anger and I think under Trump we'll see those rolled out.
Let me be clear, I'm not saying Donald Trump is leading an insurgency against the New Class – but I think he tapped into something like one and is riding it for all he can, while not really having the slightest idea what he's doing.
Perhaps some evolution in "the means of production" or in how governments are influenced will ultimately develop to divide or downgrade the New Class, and break its lock on the corridors of power, but I don't see it on the horizon just yet. If anyone else does, I'd love to hear more about it.
Neville Morley 11.14.16 at 7:11 am ( 31 )
A little puzzled by the inclusion of teachers, alongside financiers and the like, in William Meyer's list of the New Class rulers. Enablers of those rulers, no doubt, but not visibly calling the shots. But then I'm probably just another liberal elitist failing to recognize my own hegemony, like Chris.
Chris S 11.14.16 at 7:31 am
I assume he meant certain professors [of economics]. Actually on @4, there's a good chapter on the topic in a Thomas Franks latest.
Jul 10, 2017 | www.unz.com
Over the past quarter century progressive writers, activists and academics have followed a trajectory from left to right – with each presidential campaign seeming to move them further to the right. Beginning in the 1990's progressives mobilized millions in opposition to wars, voicing demands for the transformation of the US's corporate for-profit medical system into a national 'Medicare For All' public program. They condemned the notorious Wall Street swindlers and denounced police state legislation and violence. But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.
Over time this political contrast between program and practice led to the transformation of the Progressives. And what we see today are US progressives embracing and promoting the politics of the far right.
To understand this transformation we will begin by identifying who and what the progressives are and describe their historical role. We will then proceed to identify their trajectory over the recent decades.
- We will outline the contours of recent Presidential campaigns where Progressives were deeply involved.
- We will focus on the dynamics of political regression: From resistance to submission, from retreat to surrender.
- We will conclude by discussing the end result: The Progressives' large-scale, long-term embrace of far-right ideology and practice.
Progressives by Name and Posture
Progressives purport to embrace 'progress', the growth of the economy, the enrichment of society and freedom from arbitrary government. Central to the Progressive agenda was the end of elite corruption and good governance, based on democratic procedures.
Progressives prided themselves as appealing to 'reason, diplomacy and conciliation', not brute force and wars. They upheld the sovereignty of other nations and eschewed militarism and armed intervention.
Progressives proposed a vision of their fellow citizens pursuing incremental evolution toward the 'good society', free from the foreign entanglements, which had entrapped the people in unjust wars.
Progressives in Historical Perspective
In the early part of the 20th century, progressives favored political equality while opposing extra-parliamentary social transformations. They supported gender equality and environmental preservation while failing to give prominence to the struggles of workers and African Americans.
They denounced militarism 'in general' but supported a series of 'wars to end all wars' . Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas. By the middle of the 20th century, different strands emerged under the progressive umbrella. Progressives split between traditional good government advocates and modernists who backed socio-economic reforms, civil liberties and rights.
Progressives supported legislation to regulate monopolies, encouraged collective bargaining and defended the Bill of Rights.
Progressives opposed wars and militarism in theory until their government went to war.
Lacking an effective third political party, progressives came to see themselves as the 'left wing' of the Democratic Party, allies of labor and civil rights movements and defenders of civil liberties.
Progressives joined civil rights leaders in marches, but mostly relied on legal and electoral means to advance African American rights.
Progressives played a pivotal role in fighting McCarthyism, though ultimately it was the Secretary of the Army and the military high command that brought Senator McCarthy to his knees.
Progressives provided legal defense when the social movements disrupted the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.
They popularized the legislative arguments that eventually outlawed segregation, but it was courageous Afro-American leaders heading mass movements that won the struggle for integration and civil rights.
In many ways the Progressives complemented the mass struggles, but their limits were defined by the constraints of their membership in the Democratic Party.
The alliance between Progressives and social movements peaked in the late sixties to mid-1970's when the Progressives followed the lead of dynamic and advancing social movements and community organizers especially in opposition to the wars in Indochina and the military draft.
The Retreat of the Progressives
By the late 1970's the Progressives had cut their anchor to the social movements, as the anti-war, civil rights and labor movements lost their impetus (and direction).
The numbers of progressives within the left wing of the Democratic Party increased through recruitment from earlier social movements. Paradoxically, while their 'numbers' were up, their caliber had declined, as they sought to 'fit in' with the pro-business, pro-war agenda of their President's party.
Without the pressure of the 'populist street' the 'Progressives-turned-Democrats' adapted to the corporate culture in the Party. The Progressives signed off on a fatal compromise: The corporate elite secured the electoral party while the Progressives were allowed to write enlightened manifestos about the candidates and their programs . . . which were quickly dismissed once the Democrats took office. Yet the ability to influence the 'electoral rhetoric' was seen by the Progressives as a sufficient justification for remaining inside the Democratic Party.
Moreover the Progressives argued that by strengthening their presence in the Democratic Party, (their self-proclaimed 'boring from within' strategy), they would capture the party membership, neutralize the pro-corporation, militarist elements that nominated the president and peacefully transform the party into a 'vehicle for progressive changes'.
Upon their successful 'deep penetration' the Progressives, now cut off from the increasingly disorganized mass social movements, coopted and bought out many prominent black, labor and civil liberty activists and leaders, while collaborating with what they dubbed the more malleable 'centrist' Democrats. These mythical creatures were really pro-corporate Democrats who condescended to occasionally converse with the Progressives while working for the Wall Street and Pentagon elite.
The Retreat of the Progressives: The Clinton Decade
Progressives adapted the 'crab strategy': Moving side-ways and then backwards but never forward.
Progressives mounted candidates in the Presidential primaries, which were predictably defeated by the corporate Party apparatus, and then submitted immediately to the outcome. The election of President 'Bill' Clinton launched a period of unrestrained financial plunder, major wars of aggression in Europe (Yugoslavia) and the Middle East (Iraq), a military intervention in Somalia and secured Israel's victory over any remnant of a secular Palestinian leadership as well as its destruction of Lebanon!
Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act, thereby opening the floodgates for massive speculation on Wall Street through the previously regulated banking sector. When President Clinton gutted welfare programs, forcing single mothers to take minimum-wage jobs without provision for safe childcare, millions of poor white and minority women were forced to abandon their children to dangerous makeshift arrangements in order to retain any residual public support and access to minimal health care. Progressives looked the other way.
Progressives followed Clinton's deep throated thrust toward the far right, as he outsourced manufacturing jobs to Mexico (NAFTA) and re-appointed Federal Reserve's free market, Ayn Rand-fanatic, Alan Greenspan.
Progressives repeatedly kneeled before President Clinton marking their submission to the Democrats' 'hard right' policies.
The election of Republican President G. W. Bush (2001-2009) permitted Progressive's to temporarily trot out and burnish their anti-war, anti-Wall Street credentials. Out in the street, they protested Bush's savage invasion of Iraq (but not the destruction of Afghanistan). They protested the media reports of torture in Abu Ghraib under Bush, but not the massive bombing and starvation of millions of Iraqis that had occurred under Clinton. Progressives protested the expulsion of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, but were silent over the brutal uprooting of refugees resulting from US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the systematic destruction of their nations' infrastructure.
Progressives embraced Israel's bombing, jailing and torture of Palestinians by voting unanimously in favor of increasing the annual $3 billion dollar military handouts to the brutal Jewish State. They supported Israel's bombing and slaughter in Lebanon.
Progressives were in retreat, but retained a muffled voice and inconsequential vote in favor of peace, justice and civil liberties. They kept a certain distance from the worst of the police state decrees by the Republican Administration.
Progressives and Obama: From Retreat to Surrender
While Progressives maintained their tepid commitment to civil liberties, and their highly 'leveraged' hopes for peace in the Middle East, they jumped uncritically into the highly choreographed Democratic Party campaign for Barack Obama, 'Wall Street's First Black President'.
Progressives had given up their quest to 'realign' the Democratic Party 'from within': they turned from serious tourism to permanent residency. Progressives provided the foot soldiers for the election and re-election of the warmongering 'Peace Candidate' Obama. After the election, Progressives rushed to join the lower echelons of his Administration. Black and white politicos joined hands in their heroic struggle to erase the last vestiges of the Progressives' historical legacy.
Obama increased the number of Bush-era imperial wars to attacking seven weak nations under American's 'First Black' President's bombardment, while the Progressives ensured that the streets were quiet and empty.
When Obama provided trillions of dollars of public money to rescue Wall Street and the bankers, while sacrificing two million poor and middle class mortgage holders, the Progressives only criticized the bankers who received the bailout, but not Obama's Presidential decision to protect and reward the mega-swindlers.
Under the Obama regime social inequalities within the United States grew at an unprecedented rate. The Police State Patriot Act was massively extended to give President Obama the power to order the assassination of US citizens abroad without judicial process. The Progressives did not resign when Obama's 'kill orders' extended to the 'mistaken' murder of his target's children and other family member, as well as unidentified bystanders. The icon carriers still paraded their banner of the 'first black American President' when tens of thousands of black Libyans and immigrant workers were slaughtered in his regime-change war against President Gadhafi.
Obama surpassed the record of all previous Republican office holders in terms of the massive numbers of immigrant workers arrested and expelled – 2 million. Progressives applauded the Latino protestors while supporting the policies of their 'first black President'.
Progressive accepted that multiple wars, Wall Street bailouts and the extended police state were now the price they would pay to remain part of the "Democratic coalition' (sic).
The deeper the Progressives swilled at the Democratic Party trough, the more they embraced the Obama's free market agenda and the more they ignored the increasing impoverishment, exploitation and medical industry-led opioid addiction of American workers that was shortening their lives. Under Obama, the Progressives totally abandoned the historic American working class, accepting their degradation into what Madam Hillary Clinton curtly dismissed as the 'deplorables'.
With the Obama Presidency, the Progressive retreat turned into a rout, surrendering with one flaccid caveat: the Democratic Party 'Socialist' Bernie Sanders, who had voted 90% of the time with the Corporate Party, had revived a bastardized military-welfare state agenda.
Sander's Progressive demagogy shouted and rasped on the campaign trail, beguiling the young electorate. The 'Bernie' eventually 'sheep-dogged' his supporters into the pro-war Democratic Party corral. Sanders revived an illusion of the pre-1990 progressive agenda, promising resistance while demanding voter submission to Wall Street warlord Hillary Clinton. After Sanders' round up of the motley progressive herd, he staked them tightly to the far-right Wall Street war mongering Hillary Clinton. The Progressives not only embraced Madame Secretary Clinton's nuclear option and virulent anti-working class agenda, they embellished it by focusing on Republican billionaire Trump's demagogic, nationalist, working class rhetoric which was designed to agitate 'the deplorables'. They even turned on the working class voters, dismissing them as 'irredeemable' racists and illiterates or 'white trash' when they turned to support Trump in massive numbers in the 'fly-over' states of the central US.
Progressives, allied with the police state, the mass media and the war machine worked to defeat and impeach Trump. Progressives surrendered completely to the Democratic Party and started to advocate its far right agenda. Hysterical McCarthyism against anyone who questioned the Democrats' promotion of war with Russia, mass media lies and manipulation of street protest against Republican elected officials became the centerpieces of the Progressive agenda. The working class and farmers had disappeared from their bastardized 'identity-centered' ideology.
Guilt by association spread throughout Progressive politics. Progressives embraced J. Edgar Hoover's FBI tactics: "Have you ever met or talked to any Russian official or relative of any Russian banker, or any Russian or even read Gogol, now or in the past?" For progressives, 'Russia-gate' defined the real focus of contemporary political struggle in this huge, complex, nuclear-armed superpower.
Progressives joined the FBI/CIA's 'Russian Bear' conspiracy: "Russia intervened and decided the Presidential election" – no matter that millions of workers and rural Americans had voted against Hillary Clinton, Wall Street's candidate and no matter that no evidence of direct interference was ever presented. Progressives could not accept that 'their constituents', the masses, had rejected Madame Clinton and preferred 'the Donald'. They attacked a shifty-eyed caricature of the repeatedly elected Russian President Putin as a subterfuge for attacking the disobedient 'white trash' electorate of 'Deploralandia'.
Progressive demagogues embraced the coifed and manicured former 'Director Comey' of the FBI, and the Mr. Potato-headed Capo of the CIA and their forty thugs in making accusations without finger or footprints.
The Progressives' far right - turn earned them hours and space on the mass media as long as they breathlessly savaged and insulted President Trump and his family members. When they managed to provoke him into a blind rage . . . they added the newly invented charge of 'psychologically unfit to lead' – presenting cheap psychobabble as grounds for impeachment. Finally! American Progressives were on their way to achieving their first and only political transformation: a Presidential coup d'état on behalf of the Far Right!
Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!
In return, President Trump began to 'out-militarize' the Progressives by escalating US involvement in the Middle East and South China Sea. They swooned with joy when Trump ordered a missile strike against the Syrian government as Damascus engaged in a life and death struggle against mercenary terrorists. They dubbed the petulant release of Patriot missiles 'Presidential'.
Then Progressives turned increasingly Orwellian: Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!
Progressives, under Obama, supported seven brutal illegal wars and pressed for more, but complained when Trump continued the same wars and proposed adding a few new ones. At the same time, progressives out-militarized Trump by accusing him of being 'weak' on Russia, Iran, North Korea and China. They chided him for his lack support for Israel's suppression of the Palestinians. They lauded Trump's embrace of the Saudi war against Yemen as a stepping-stone for an assault against Iran, even as millions of destitute Yemenis were exposed to cholera. The Progressives had finally embraced a biological weapon of mass destruction, when US-supplied missiles destroyed the water systems of Yemen!
Progressives turned full circle from supporting welfare to embracing Wall Street; from preaching peaceful co-existence to demanding a dozen wars; from recognizing the humanity and rights of undocumented immigrants to their expulsion under their 'First Black' President; from thoughtful mass media critics to servile media megaphones; from defenders of civil liberties to boosters for the police state; from staunch opponents of J. Edgar Hoover and his 'dirty tricks' to camp followers for the 'intelligence community' in its deep state campaign to overturn a national election.
Progressives moved from fighting and resisting the Right to submitting and retreating; from retreating to surrendering and finally embracing the far right.
Doing all that and more within the Democratic Party, Progressives retain and deepen their ties with the mass media, the security apparatus and the military machine, while occasionally digging up some Bernie Sanders-type demagogue to arouse an army of voters away from effective resistance to mindless collaboration.
(Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)Recently from Author
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WorkingClass > , July 12, 2017 at 9:21 pm GMTexiled off mainstreet > , July 12, 2017 at 11:20 pm GMT
But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda.
Thank you for putting your finger on the main problem right there in the first paragraph. There were exceptions of course. I supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic Primary that gave us the first black etc. But I never voted for Obama. Throughout the Cheney Admin I pleaded with progressives to bolt the party.
This piece accurately traces the path from Progressive to Maoist. It's a pity the Republican Party is also a piece of shit. I think it was Sara Palin who said "We have two parties. Pick one." This should be our collective epitaph.alan2102 > , July 13, 2017 at 2:04 am GMT
This is an excellent summary of the evolution of "progressives" into modern militarist fascists who tolerate identity politics diversity. There is little to add to Mr. Petras' commentary.Astuteobservor II > , July 13, 2017 at 5:17 am GMT
EXCELLENT.CCZ > , July 13, 2017 at 5:30 am GMT
at this point, are they still progressives though? they are the new far rightCarlton Meyer > , Website July 13, 2017 at 5:56 am GMT
"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"
Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.jilles dykstra > , July 13, 2017 at 6:27 am GMT
The great Jimmy Dore is a big thorn for the Democrats. From my blog:
Apr 29, 2017 – Obama is Scum!
Barak Obama is America's biggest con man who accomplished nothing "progressive" during eight years at the top, and didn't even try. (Obamacare is an insurance industry idea supported by most Republicans, which is why it recently survived.) Anyone who still likes Obama should read about his actions since he left office. Obama quickly signed a $65 million "book deal", which can only be a kickback since there is no way the publisher can sell enough books about his meaningless presidency to justify that sum. Obama doesn't get royalties based on sales, but gets the money up front for a book he has yet to write, and will have someone do that for him. (Book deals and speaking fees are legal forms of bribery in the USA.)
Then Obama embarked on 100 days of ultra expensive foreign vacations with taxpayers covering the Secret Service protection costs. He didn't appear at charity fundraisers, didn't campaign for Democrats, and didn't help build homes for the poor like Jimmy Carter. He returns from vacation this week and his first speech will be at a Wall Street firm that will pay him $400,000, then he travels to Europe for more paid speeches.
Obama gets over $200,000 a year in retirement, just got a $65 million deal, so doesn't need more money. Why would a multi-millionaire ex-president fly around the globe collecting huge speaking fees from world corporations just after his political party was devastated in elections because Americans think the Democratic party represents Wall Street? The great Jimmy Dore expressed his outrage at Obama and the corrupt Democratic party in this great video.Call me Deplorable > , July 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm GMT
Left in the good old days meant socialist, socialist meant that governments had the duty of redistributing income from rich to poor. Alas in Europe, after 'socialists' became pro EU and pro globalisation, they in fact became neoliberal. Both in France and the Netherlands 'socialist' parties virtually disappeared.
So what nowadays is left, does anyone know ?
Then the word 'progressive'. The word suggests improvement, but what is improvement, improvement for whom ? There are those who see the possibility for euthanasia as an improvement, there are thos who see euthanasia as a great sin.
Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:10 pm GMT
They chose power over principles. Nobel War Prize winner Obomber was a particularly egregious chameleon, hiding his sociopathy through two elections before unleashing his racist warmongering in full flower throughout his second term. But, hey, the brother now has five mansions, collects half a mill per speech to the Chosen People on Wall Street, and parties for months at a time at exclusive resorts for billionaires only.
Obviously, he's got the world by the tail and you don't. Hope he comes to the same end as Gaddaffi and Ceaușescu. Maybe the survivors of nuclear Armageddon can hold a double necktie party with Killary as the second honored guest that day.Seamus Padraig > , July 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm GMT
Discussions about left and progressive are meaningless without properly defining the concepts.
Properly defining the concepts would impede the system's ability to keep you confused.Stephen Paul Foster > , Website July 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm GMT
Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson embodied the dual policies of promoting peace at home and bloody imperial wars overseas.
You left out the other Roosevelt.
Like a huge collective 'Monica Lewinsky' robot, the Progressives in the Democratic Party bent over and swallowed Clinton's vicious 1999 savaging of the venerable Glass Steagall Act
Ignoring Obama's actual expulsion of over 2 million immigrant workers, they condemned Trump for promising to eventually expel 5 million more!
This is a huge myth. All that really happened is that the INS changed some of its internal terminology to make it sound as though they were deporting more people: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/04/21/lies-damned-lies-and-obamas-deportation-statistics/?utm_term=.7f964acd9b0dannamaria > , July 13, 2017 at 2:22 pm GMT
The Progressives now, failing electorally, are moving on to physical violence.
See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/07/trumps-would-be-assassins.htmlAnonymous IV > , July 13, 2017 at 2:49 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Obama, a paragon of American scoundrelAgent76 > , July 13, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT
@Seamus Padraig Agree on the bit about Obama as "deporter in chief." Even the LA Times had to admit this was misleading
so it's not just conservative conspiracy theory stuff as some might argue.
Still, the overall point of this essay isn't affected all that much. Open borders is still a "right wing" (in the sense this author uses the term) policy–pro-Wall Street, pro-Big Business. So Obama was still doing the bidding of the donor class in their quest for cheap labor.
I've seen pro-immigration types try to use the Obama-deportation thing to argue that we don't need more hardcore policies. After all, even the progressive Democrat Obama was on the ball when it came to policing our borders, right?! Who needed Trump?Alfa158 > , July 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm GMT
"Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!" Nathan Meyer Rothschild
June 13, 2016 Which Corporations Control The World?
A surprisingly small number of corporations control massive global market shares. How many of the brands below do you use?
"Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people." Henry Kissengeryeah > , July 13, 2017 at 5:46 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer If Jimmy keeps up these attacks on Wall Street, the Banksters, and rent-seekers he is going to get run out of the Progressive movement for dog-whistling virulent Anti-Semitism. Look at how the media screams at Trump every time he mentions Wall Street and the banks.TheJester > , July 13, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT
Mr. Petra has penned an excellent and very astute piece. Allow me a little satire on our progressive friends, entitled "The path to hell is paved with good intentions".
The early socialist/progressive travellers were well-intentioned but naïve in their understanding of human nature and fanatical about their agenda. To move the human herd forward, they had no compulsions about resorting to harsher and harsher prodding and whipping. They felt entitled to employ these means because, so they were convinced, man has to be pushed to move forward and they, the "progressives", were the best qualified to lead the herd. Scoundrels, psychopaths, moral defectives, and sundry other rascals then joined in the whipping game, some out of the sheer joy of wielding the whip, others to better line their pockets.
So the "progressive" journey degenerates into a forced march. The march becomes the progress, becoming both the means and the end at the same time. Look at the so-called "progressive" today and you will see the fanatic and the whip-wielder, steadfast about the correctness of his beliefs. Tell him/her/it that you are a man or a woman and he retorts "No, you are free to choose, you are genderless". What if you decline such freedom? "Well, then you are a bigot, we will thrash you out of your bigotry", replies the progressive. "May I, dear Sir/Madam/Whatever, keep my hard-earned money in my pocket for my and my family's use" you ask. "No, you first have to pay for our peace-making wars, then pay for the upkeep of refugees, besides which you owe a lot of back taxes that are necessary to run this wonderful Big Government of ours that is leading you towards greener and greener pastures", shouts back the progressive.
Fed up, disgusted, and a little scared, you desperately seek a way out of this progress. "No way", scream the march leaders. "We will be forever in your ears, sometimes whispering, sometimes screaming; we will take over your brain to improve your mind; we will saturate you with images on the box 24/7 and employ all sorts of imagery to make you progress. And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time."RobinG > , July 13, 2017 at 6:19 pm GMT
Knowing who is "progressive" and know who is "far-right" is like knowing who is "fascist" and who is not. For obvious historical reasons, the Russian like to throw the "fascist" slogan against anyone who is a non-Russian nationalist. However, I accept the eminent historian Carroll Quigley's definition of fascism as the incorporation of society and the state onto single entity on a permanent war footing. The state controls everything in a radically authoritarian social structure. As Quigley states, the Soviet Union was the most complete embodiment of fascism in WWII. In WWII Germany, on the other hand, industry retained its independence and in WWII Italy fascism was no more than an empty slogan.
Same for "progressives". Everyone wants to be "progressive", right? Who wants to be "anti-progressive"? However, at the end of the day, "progressive" through verbal slights of hand has been nothing more than a euphemism for "socialist" or, in the extreme, "communist" the verbal slight-of-hand because we don't tend to use the latter terms in American political discourse.
"Progressives" morphing into a new "far-right" in America is no more mysterious than the Soviet Union morphing from Leninism to Stalinism or, the Jewish (Trotskyite) globalists fleeing Stalinist nationalism and then morphing into, first, "Scoop" Jackson Democrats and then into Bushite Republicans.
As you might notice, the real issue is the authoritarian vs. the non-authoritarian state. In this context, an authoritarian government and social order (as in communism and neoconservatism) are practical pre-requisites necessity to force humanity to transition to their New World Order.
Again, the defining characteristic of fascism is the unitary state enforced via an authoritarian political and social structure. Ideological rigor is enforced via the police powers of the state along with judicial activism and political correctness. Ring a bell?
In the ongoing contest between Trump and the remnants of the American "progressive" movement, who are the populists and who the authoritarians? Who are the democrats and who are the fascists?
I would say that who lands where in this dichotomy is obvious.Ben Banned > , July 13, 2017 at 9:13 pm GMT
@Alfa158 Is Jimmy Dore really a "Progressive?" (and what does that mean, anyway?) Isn't Jimmy's show hosted by the Young Turks Network, which is unabashedly Libertarian?
Anyway, what's so great about "the Progressive movement?" Seems to me, they're just pathetic sheepdogs for the war-crazed Dems. Jimmy should be supporting the #UNRIG movement ("Beyond Trump & Sanders") for ALL Americans:
On 1 May 2017 Cynthia McKinney, Ellen Brown, and Robert Steele launched
We the People – Unity for Integrity.
The User's Guide to the 2nd American Revolution.
Death to the Deep State.
https://www.unrig.net/manifesto/peterAUS > , July 13, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT
Petras, for some reason, low balls the number of people ejected from assets when the mafia came to seize real estate in the name of the ruling class and their expensive wars, morality, the Constitution or whatever shit they could make up to fuck huge numbers of people over. Undoubtedly just like 9/11, the whole thing was planned in advance. Political whores are clearly useless when the system is at such extremes.
Banks like Capital One specialize in getting a signature and "giving" a car loan to someone they know won't be able to pay, but is simply being used, shaken down and repossessed for corporate gain. " No one held a gun to their head! " Get ready, the police state will in fact put a gun to your head.
Depending on the time period in question, which might be the case here, more than 20 million people were put out of homes and/or bankrupted with more to come. Clearly a bipartisan effort featuring widespread criminal conduct across the country – an attack on the population to sustain militarism.Reg Cæsar > , July 14, 2017 at 1:19 am GMT
If I may add:
"and you also have to dearly pay for you being white male heterosexual for oppressing all colored, all the women and all the sexually different through the history".
"And if it all fails, we will simply pack you and others like you in a basket of deplorables and forget about you at election time. If we see that you still don't get with the program we will reeducate you. Should you resist that in any way we'll incarcerate you. And, no, normal legal procedure does not work with racists/bigots/haters/whatever we don't like".
@CCZ"Progressives loudly condemned Trump's overtures for peace with Russia, denouncing it as appeasement and betrayal!"Perhaps the spirit of Senator Joseph McCarthy is joyously gloating as progressives (and democrats) take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.
take their place as his heirs and successors and the 21st century incarnation of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee
which itself was a progressive invention. There was no "right wing" anywhere in sight when it was estsblished in 1938.
Jun 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne -> anne... , June 25, 2017 at 04:31 PM1994libezkova -> anne... , June 26, 2017 at 08:09 AM
China's experience does not show that gradual reform is superior to the shock therapy undertaken in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union....
-- Jeffrey Sachs and Wing Thye Woo
[ Of course, China's experience had already showed and continues all these years after just the opposite. This is very, very important. ]Your discussion just again had shown that there is no economics, only a political economy.Paine -> anne... , June 25, 2017 at 06:30 PM
And all those neoliberal perversions, which are sold as an economic science is just an apologetics for the financial oligarchy.
Apologetics of plunder in this particular case.
In a way the USSR with its discredited communist ideology, degenerated Bolshevik leadership (just look at who was at the Politburo of CPSU at the time; people much lower in abilities then Trump :-) and inept and politically naïve Mikhail Gorbachev at the helm had chosen the most inopportune time to collapse :-)
And neoliberal vultures instantly circled the corpse and have had a feast. Geopolitical goals of the USA also played important role in amplifying the scope of plunder.
No comparison of performance of Russia vs. China makes any sense if it ignores this fact.Lesson for the weekanne -> Paine ... , June 25, 2017 at 07:11 PM
NyetWhile I would argue with the economic advice given the Russian government after 1988, I am simply trying to understand the reasoning behind the advice, no more than that.libezkova -> anne... , June 26, 2017 at 08:15 AMThe reasoning was simple and is not hard to understand: Carthago delenda est.
In a way McCain can be viewed now as a caricature of the Roman senator Cato the Elder, who is said to have used it as the conclusion to all his speeches.
History repeats "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce."
Jun 25, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova -> anne..., June 25, 2017 at 06:47 PMAfter 1991 Eastern Europe and FSU were mercilessly looted. That was tremendous one time transfer of capital (and scientists and engineers) to Western Europe and the USA. Which helped to secure "Clinton prosperity period"
China were not plundered by the West. Russia and Eastern Europe were. That's the key difference.
For Russia this period was called by Anne Williamson in her testimony before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the United States House of Representatives "The economic rape of Russia"
Paul Likoudis has an interesting analysis of this event: https://paullikoudis.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/the-plunder-of-russia-in-the-1990s/
Sorry long quoteHow Clinton & Company & The Bankers Plundered Russia by Paul Likoudis
May 4, 2000
The other day I was surprised to learn that Jeffrey Sachs, the creator of "shock therapy" capitalism, who participated in the looting of Russia in the 1990s, is now NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo's top adviser for health care. So we in NY will get shock therapy, much as the Russians did two decades ago. Here is a story I wrote for The Wanderer in 2000:
How Clinton & Company & The Bankers Plundered Russia
by Paul Likoudis
In an ordinary election year, Anne Williamson's Contagion would be political dynamite, a bombshell, a block-buster, a regime breaker.
If America were a free and democratic country, with a free press and independent publishing houses (and assuming, of course, that Americans were a literate people), Williamson's book would topple the Clinton regime, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the rest of the criminal cabal that inhabits the world of modern corporate statism faster than you could say "Jonathan Hay."
Hay, for those who need an introduction to the international financial buccaneers who control our lives, was the general director of the Harvard Institute of International Development (HIID) in Moscow (1992-1997), who facilitated the crippling of the Russian economy and the plundering of its industrial and manufacturing infrastructure with a strategy concocted by Larry Summers, Andre Schliefer (HIID's Cambridge-based manager), Jeffrey Sachs and his Swedish sidekick Anders Aslund, and a host of private players from banks and investment houses in Boston and New York - a plan approved and assisted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Contagion can be read on many different levels.
At its simplest, it is a breezy, slightly cynical, highly entertaining narrative of Russian history from the last months of Gorbachev's rule to April 2000 - a period which saw Russia transformed from a decaying socialist economy (which despite its shortcomings, provided a modest standard of living to its citizens) to a "managed economy" where home-grown gangsters and socialist theoreticians from the West, like Hay and his fellow Harvardian Jeffrey Sachs, delivered 2,500% inflation and indescribable poverty, and transferred the ownership of Russian industry to Western financiers.
Williamson was an eyewitness who lived on and off in Russia for more than ten years, where she reported on all things Russian for The New York Times, Th e Wall Street Journal, and a host of other equally reputable publications. She knew and interviewed just about everybody involved in this gargantuan plundering scheme: Russian politicians and businessmen, the new "gangster" capitalists and their American sponsors from the IMF, the World Bank, USAID, Credit Suisse First Boston, the CIA, the KGB - all in all, hundreds of sources who spoke candidly, often ruthlessly, of their parts in this terrible human drama.
Her account is filled with quotations from interviews with top aides of Yeltsin and Clinton, all down through the ranks of the two hierarchical societies to the proliferating mass of Russian destitute, pornographers, pimps, drug dealers, and prostitutes. Some of the principal characters, of course, refused to talk to Williamson, such as Bill Clinton's longtime friend from Oxford, Strobe Talbott, now a deputy secretary of state and, Williamson suspects, a onetime KGB operative whose claim to fame is a deceitful translation of the Khrushchev Memoirs. (A KGB colonel refused to confirm or deny to Williamson that Clinton and Talbott visited North Vietnam together in 1971 - though he did confirm their contacts with the KGB for their protests against the U.S. war in Vietnam in Moscow. See especially footnote 1, page 210.)
The 546-page book (the best part of which is the footnotes) gives a nearly day-by-day report on what happened to Russia; left unstated, but implied on every page, is the assumption that those in the United States who think what happened in Russia "can't happen here" better realize it can happen here.
Once the Clinton regime and its lapdogs in the media defined Russian thug Boris Yeltsin as a "democrat," the wholesale looting of Russia began. According to the socialist theoreticians at Harvard, Russia needed to be brought into the New World Order in a hurry; and what better way to do it than Sachs' "shock therapy" - a plan that empowered the degenerate, third-generation descendants of the original Bolsheviks by assigning them the deeds of Russia's mightiest state-owned industries - including the giant gas, oil, electrical, and telecommunications industries, the world's largest paper, iron, and steel factories, the world's richest gold, silver, diamond, and platinum mines, automobile and airplane factories, etc. - who, in turn, sold some of their shares of the properties to Westerners for a song, and pocketed the cash, while retaining control of the companies.
These third-generation Bolsheviks - led by former Pravda hack Yegor Gaidar, grandson of a Bolshevik who achieved prominence as the teenage mass murderer of White Army officers, now heads the Moscow-based Institute for Economies in Transition - became instant millionaires (or billionaires) and left the Russian workers virtual slaves of them and their new foreign investors.
When Russian members of the Supreme Soviet openly criticized the looting of the national patrimony by these new gangsters early in the U.S.-driven "reform" program, in 1993, before all Soviet institutions were destroyed, Yeltsin bombed Parliament.
Ironically, when Harvard's Sachs and Hay started identifying Russians they could work with, they ignored - or shunned - the most capable talent at hand: those numerous Russian economists who for 20 years had been studying the Swiss economist Wilhelm von Roepke and his disciple, Ludwig Erhard, father of Germany's "economic miracle" in anticipation of the day when Communism would collapse. Somewhat sardonically, Williamson notes that one, probably unintended, benefit of Gorbachev's perestroika was the recruitment of these Russian economists by top U.S. universities.
In the new, emerging global economy, it's clear that Russia is the designated center for heavy manufacturing - just as Asia is for clothing and computers - with its nearly unlimited supply of hydroelectric power, iron and steel, timber, gold and other precious metals.
This helps explain why America's political elites don't give a fig about the closing down of American industries and mines. As Williamson observes, Russia is viewed as some kind of "closet."
What is important for Western readers to understand - as Williamson reports - is that when Western banks and corporations bought these companies at bargain basement prices, they bought more than just industrial equipment. In the Soviet model, every unit of industrial production included workers' housing, churches, opera houses, schools, hospitals, supermarkets, etc., and the whole kit-and-caboodle was included in the selling price. By buying large shares of these companies, Western corporations became, ipso facto, town managers.
On another level, Contagion is about the workings of international finance, the consolidation of capital into fewer and fewer hands, and the ruthless, death-dealing policies it inflicts on its target countries through currency manipulation, inflation, depression, taxation and war - with emphasis on Russia but with attention also given to Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia, the Balkans, and other countries, and how it uses its control over money to produce social chaos.
Those who read Williamson's book will find particularly interesting her treatment of the Federal Reserve, and how this "bank" was designed to plunder the wealth of America through war, debt, and taxation, in order to maintain what is nothing more nor less than a giant pyramid scheme that depends on domination of the earth and its resources.
Williamson is of that small but noble school of economics writers who believe that the academic field of economics is not some esoteric science that can only be comprehended by those with IQs in four digits, and she - drawing on such writers as Hayek and von Mises, Roepke and the late American Murray Rothbard - explains in layman's vocabulary the nuts and bolts of sound economic principles and the real-world effects of the Fed's policies on hapless Americans.
Contagion also serves up a severe indictment of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the other international "lending" agencies spawned by the Council on Foreign Relations and similar "councils" and "commissions" which are fronts for the big banks run by the Houses of Rockefeller, Morgan, Warburg, et al.
The policies inflicted on Russia by the banks were cruel to the Nth degree; but the policy implementers - Williamson employs the derogatory Russian word m yakigolovy ("soft-headed ones") applied to the Americans - were a foppish lot, streaming into Russia by the thousands (the IMF, alone, with 150 staffers) with their outrageous salaries and per diem allowances, renting out the finest dachas, bringing in their exotic consumer goods, driving up prices for goods and rents, spurring a boom in the drug and prostitution businesses, and then watching, cold-heartedly, the declining fortunes of their hosts as they lost everything - including the artistic heritage of the country.
Williamson describes brilliantly that heady atmosphere in Moscow in the early days of the IMF/USAID loan-scamming: a 24-hour party. There were bars like the Canadian-operated Hungry Duck, which lured Russian teenage girls into its bar with a male striptease and free drinks, "who, once thoroughly intoxicated, were then exposed to crowds of anxious young men the club admitted only late in the evening."
The Third Level
At a third and more intriguing level, Contagion is about America's criminal politics in the Clinton regime, and, inevitably, the reader will put Williamson's book down with the sense that Al Gore will be the next occupier of the White House.
Gore, who was raised to be President, has impeccable Russian connections. His father, of course, was Lenin financier Armand Hammer's pocket senator, and it was Hammer who paid for Al Jr.'s expensive St. Alban's Prep schooling; and, as Williamson reports, Al Jr.'s daughter married Andrew Schiff, grandson of Jacob, who, as a member of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., underwrote anti-czarist political agitation for two decades before Lenin's coup, and congratulated Lenin upon his successful revolution.
Williamson also documents Gore's intimate involvement with powerful Wall Street financial houses, and his New York breakfast meeting with multibillionaire George Soros (a key Russian player) just as the Russian collapse was underway.
Williamson tells an interesting story of Gore's response to the IMF/World Bank/USAID plunder of U.S. taxpayers for the purpose of hobbling Russia.
By March 1999, Russia was now a financial basket case, and billions, if not tens of billions of U.S. taxpayer-backed loans had vanished into the secret bank accounts of both Russian and American gangster capitalists, and the news was starting to make little vibrations on Capitol Hill. "The U.S. administration's response to the debacle was repulsively similar to a typical Bill Clinton bimbo-eruption operation: Having ruined Russia by cosseting her in debt, meddling ignorantly in her internal affairs, and funding a drunken usurper, his agents denied all error and slandered ('slimed') her," writes Williamson.
"Pundits and academics joined government officials in bemoaning Mother Russia's thieving ways, her bottomless corruption and constant chaos, all the while wringing their soft hands with a schoolmarm's exasperation. Russia's self-appointed democracy coach Strobe Talbott ('Pro-Consul Strobe' to the Russians) would get it right. An equally sanctimonious Albert Gore - the same Al Gore who'd been so quick to return the CIA's 1995 report detailing Viktor Chernomyrdin's and Anatoly Chubais' personal corruption with the single word 'Bullshit' scrawled across it - took the low road and sniffed that the Russians would just have to get their own economic house in order and cut their own deal with the IMF. . . ."
The cost to the American taxpayers of Clinton regime bailouts in a three-and-a-half-year period, Williamson notes, is more than $180 billion! The "new financial architecture" Clinton has erected, she writes, "isn't new at all, but rather something the international public lenders have been wanting for decades, i.e., an automatic bailout for their own bad practices."
As the extent of the corruption of the Clinton-Yeltsin "reform" plan for Russia unfolded last year, with the attendant Bank of New York scandal, the mysterious death of super banker Edmond Safra in his Monte Carlo penthouse, the collapse of the Russian stock market, and the whiplash effect in Southeast Asia, Congress was pressed to hold hearings.
What resulted, as Williamson accurately narrates it, was just a smoke screen, show hearings that barely rose above the seriousness of a Gilbert and Sullivan farce - though they did result in proposed new domestic banking laws that, if passed, will effectively make banks another federal police force responsible for reporting to the U.S. government the most minute financial transactions of U.S. citizens.
In this regard, it is instructive to quote Williamson at length: "If the FBI, [Manhattan District Attorney] Robert Morgenthau, or Congress were serious about getting to the bottom of the plundering of Russia's assets and U.S. taxpayers' resources, they would show far more professional interest in exactly what was said and agreed in the private meetings [U.S. Treasury secretary] Larry Summers, Strobe Talbott, and [former Treasury Secretary] Robert Rubin conducted with Anatoly Chubais [former Russian finance minister, who oversaw the distribution and sale of Russian industries], and Sergie Vasiliev [Yeltsin's principal legal adviser, and a member of the Chubais clan], and later Chubais again in June and July of 1998.
"Instead of allowing Larry Summers to ramble casually in response to questions at a banking committee hearing, the Treasury secretary should be asked exactly who suckered him - his Russian friends, his own boss [former Harvard associate Robert Rubin, his boss at Treasury who was once cochairman at Goldman Sachs], or private sector counterparts of the Working Committee on Financial Markets [a White House group whose membership is drawn from the country's main financial and market institutions: the Fed, Treasury, SEC, and the Commodities & Trading Commission]. . . . Or did he just bungle the entire matter on account of wishful thinking? Or was it gross incompetence?
"The FBI and Congress ought to be very interested in establishing for taxpayers the truth of any alleged 'national security' issues that justified allowing the Harvard Institute of International Development to privatize U.S. bilateral assistance. It too should be their brief to discover the relationship between the [Swedish wheeler-dealer and crony of Sachs, Anders] Aslund/Carnegie crowd and Treasury and exactly what influence that relationship may have had on the awarding of additional grants to Harvard without competition. On what basis did Team Clinton direct their financial donor, American International Group's (AIG) Maurice Greenberg (a man nearly as ubiquitous as any Russian oligarch in sweetheart public-funding deals), to Brunswick Brokerage when sniffing out a $300 million OPIC guarantee for a Russian investment fund. . . .
And why did Michel Camdessus [who left the presidency of the IMF earlier this year] announce his sudden retirement so soon after Moscow newspapers reported that a $200,000 payment was made to him from a secret Kremlin bank account? . . .
"American and Russian citizens can never be allowed to learn what really happened to the billions lent to Yeltsin's government; it would expose the unsavory and self-interested side of our political, financial, and media elites. . . . Instead, the [House] Banking Committee hearings will use the smoke screen of policing foreign assistance flows to pass legislation that will effectively end U.S. citizens' financial privacy while making them prisoners of their citizenship. . . . The Banking Committee will use the opportunity the Russian dirty money scandal presents to reanimate the domestic 'Know Your Customer' program, which charges domestic banks with monitoring and reporting on the financial transactions in which middle-class Americans engage. This data is collected and used by various government agencies, including the IRS; meaning that if a citizen sells the family's beat-up station wagon or their 'starter' home, the taxman is alerted immediately that the citizen's filing should reflect the greater tax obligation in that year of the sale. . . . Other data on citizens for which the government has long thirsted will also be collected by government's newest police force, the banks. . . ."
You see, as this book explains, the Clinton's Russia policy did not just plunder Russians, leaving them destitute while creating a new and ruthless class of international capitalist gangsters at U.S. taxpayer expense; it had the double consequence of bringing all Americans deeper into the bankers' New World Order by increasing their debt load, decreasing their privacy, and restricting their civil rights. If only Americans cared.
Apr 17, 2017 | www.unz.com
Agent76 , April 16, 2017 at 3:19 pm GMT \nOctober 18, 1994 Remarks on the Nuclear Agreement With North Korea William J. Clinton
Good afternoon. I am pleased that the United States and North Korea yesterday reached agreement on the text of a framework document on North Korea's nuclear program.
Apr 12, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.comhttp://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/robert-rubin-who-made-a-fortune-on-the-housing-bubble-argues-for-preserving-wall-street-s-power-over-the-fed
April 12, 2017
Robert Rubin, Who Made a Fortune on the Housing Bubble, Argues for Preserving Wall Street's Power Over the Fed
The Federal Reserve Board has more direct control over the economy than any other institution in the country. When it decides to raise interest rates to slow the economy, it can ensure that millions of workers don't get jobs and prevent tens of millions more from getting the bargaining power they need to gain wage increases. For this reason, it is very important who is making the calls on interest rates and who they are listening to.
Robert Rubin, who served as Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration, weighed in * today in the New York Times to argue for the status quo. There are a few important background points on Rubin that are worth mentioning before getting into the substance.
First. Robert Rubin was a main architect of the high dollar policy that led to the explosion of the trade deficit in the last decade. This led to the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs and decimating communities across the Midwest. Second, Rubin was a major advocate of financial deregulation during his years in the Clinton administration. Finally, Rubin was a direct beneficiary of deregulation, since he left the administration to take a top job at Citigroup. He made over $100 million in this position before he resigned in the financial crisis when bad loans had essentially put Citigroup into bankruptcy. (It was saved by government bailouts.)
Rubin touts the current apolitical nature of the Fed. He warns about:
"Efforts to denigrate the integrity of the Fed's work, and to inject groundless opinion, politics and ideology, must be rejected by the board - and that means governors and other members of the Federal Open Market Committee must be willing to withstand aggressive attacks."
It is important to recognize that the Fed is currently dominated by people with close ties to the financial industry. The Fed Open Market Committee (FOMC) which determines interest rate policy has 19 members. While 7 are governors appointed by the president and approved by Congress (only 4 of the governor seats are currently filled), 12 are presidents of the district banks. These bank presidents are appointed through a process dominated by the banks in the district. (Only 5 of the 12 presidents have a vote at any one time, but all 12 participate in discussions.)
It seems bizarre to describe this process as apolitical or imply there is great integrity here. Rubin's claim is particularly ironic in light of the fact that one of the bank presidents was just forced to resign ** after admitting to leaking confidential information on interest rate policy to a financial analyst.
There is good reason for the public to be unhappy about the Fed's excessive concern over inflation *** over the last four decades and inadequate attention to unemployment. This arguably reflects the interests of the financial industry, which often stands to lose from higher inflation and have little interest in the level of employment. It is understandable that someone who has made his fortune in the financial industry would want to protect the status quo with the Fed, but there is little reason for the rest of us to take him seriously.
-- Dean Baker
Mar 03, 2017 | cannonfire.blogspot.ca">Underaged sex with Alan Dershowitz and Prince Andrew...and Bill Clinton...? (If the claims are true, Hillary is OVER.) Wow.
A court filing in a civil case in Florida last week included new allegations against Jeffrey E. Epstein, a businessman who pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution, and two other high-profile men: a member of the British Royal family and an American lawyer.Jeffrey Epstein is not just a businessman. He's a billionaire, and he has already been convicted of soliciting underaged prostitution.
The motion filed in United States District Court in the Southern District of Florida alleges that Mr. Epstein forced a teenage girl to have sexual relations with several men, including Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth's second son, and Alan M. Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School. Both men have denied the allegations.
About the royal: Some of you may argue that if there was an encounter, the Prince may have been unaware of the girl's age. He has people . People who make arrangements for him. One can see how such a fellow might hear the same knock on the door that Neil Bush once heard. Perhaps, upon opening the door, his first reaction was something other than "May I see your ID, Miss?"
That scenario seems plausible. However, as we shall see, that scenario is not what has been alleged.
We will get to the Prince in a bit. For now, let's focus on Dershowitz.
On Saturday, Mr. Dershowitz said he "categorically and unequivocally" denied all of the allegations. He said he would file disbarment proceedings against the lawyers who filed the motion, Bradley J. Edwards, a lawyer in Florida, and Paul G. Cassell, a former federal judge and a law professor at the University of Utah.The very predictability of that furious reaction means that no lawyer would have filed such charges against Dershowitz frivolously. Cassell has an impressive resume. He's not a young go-getter out to make a name for himself.
"They are lying deliberately, and I will not stop until they're disbarred," Mr. Dershowitz said in a phone interview.
I understand that there are a lot of women who have made iffy claims against famous people. But this case seems different. Epstein has already pled guilty. Moreover, Dershowitz was part of Epstein's legal team.
The full court filing was published on Mondoweiss a couple of days ago. We learn that the complainant, Jane Doe #3, was 15 years of age,and that she was recruited by an Epstein associate named Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of Robert Maxwell (the late news tycoon and known Mossad asset). The photo to the left shows the Prince with the girl who seems to have been Jane Doe #3. Allegedly, the shot was taken by Epstein. (Note: In what follows, the term NPA refers to non-prosecution agreement .)
Epstein then became enamored with Jane Doe #3, and with the assistance of Maxwell converted her into what is commonly referred to as a "sex slave." Epstein kept Jane Doe #3 as his sex slave from about 1999 through 2002, when she managed to escape to a foreign country and hide out from Epstein and his co-conspirators for years. From 1999 and 2002, Epstein frequently sexually abused Jane Doe #3, not only in West Palm Beach but also in New York, New Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, in international airspace on Epstein's private planes, and elsewhere.There's a third named participant in these doings, one Jean Luc Brunel, a close Epstein friend and a scout for various modelling agencies.
Epstein also sexually trafficked the then-minor Jane Doe, making her available for sex to politically-connected and financially-powerful people. Epstein's purposes in "lending" Jane Doe (along with other young girls) to such powerful people were to ingratiate himself with them for business, personal, political and financial gain, as well as to obtain potential blackmail information.
One such powerful individual that Epstein forced then-minor Jane Doe #3 to have sexual relations with was former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a close friend of Epstein's and well-known defense attorney. Epstein required Jane Doe #3 to have sexual relations with Dershowiz on numerous occasions while she was a minor, not only in Flroida but also on private planes, in New York, New Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition to being a participant in the abuse of Jane Doe #3 and other minors, Dershowitz was an eye-witness to the sexual abuse of many other minors by Epstein and several of Epstein's co-conspirators. Dershowitz would later play a significant role in negotiating the NPA on Esptein's behalf. Indeed, Dershowitz helped negotiate an agreement that provided immunity from federal prosecution in the Southern District of Florida not only to Epstein, but also to "any potential co-conspirators of Epstein." NPA at 5. Thus, Dershowitz helped negotiate an agreement with a provision that provided protection for himself against criminal prosecution in Florida for sexually abusing Jane Doe #3. Because this broad immunity would have been controversial if disclosed, Dershowitz (along with other memebers of Epstein's defense team) and the Government tried to keep the immunity provision secret from all of Epstein's victims and the general public, even though such secrecy violated the Crime Victims' Rights Act.
He would bring young girls (ranging from ages as young as twelve) to the United States for sexual purposes and farm them out to his friends, especially Epstein. Brunel would offer the girls "modeling" jobs. Many of the girls came from poor countries or impoverished backgrounds, and he lured them in with a promise of making good money.The Government was well aware of Jane Doe #3 when it was negotiating the NPA, as it listed her as a victim in the attachment to the NPA. Moreover, even a rudimentary investigation of Jane Doe #3's relationship with Epstein would have revealed the fact that she had been trafficked throughout the United States and internationally for sexual purposes. Nonetheless, the Government secretly negotiated a non-prosecution agreement with Epstein precluding any Federal prosecution in the Southern District of Florida of Epstein and his co-conspirators. As with Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2, the Government concealed the non-prosecution agreement from Jane Doe #3 -- all in violation of her rights under the CVRA -- to avoid Jane Doe #3 from raising powerful objections to the NPA that would have shed tremendous light on Epstein and other powerful individuals that would likely have prevented it from being conlcuded in the secretive manner in which it was.The document also mentions a Jane Doe #4, an impoverished sixteen year old who was told that she could make $300 by giving a "massage" to an old man in Palm Beach.
This matter seems very serious. We have too many details, too many corroborating witnesses (in the form of four Jane Does). We have a photo. We have reports of the existence of many, many more photos. The hugger-mugger involving the NPA seems downright ghastly -- yet all too credible.
Frankly, I would not rule out the possibility that Epstein was working for an intelligence agency -- either Mossad or one of our own. The Maxwell connection points to Mossad.
This whole business has "honeytrap" written all over it.
The Clinton connection.
The Daily Mail discloses that one of Epstein's, er, protegees was a woman named Johanna Sjoberg. Since the story links her to Prince Andrew, it is tempting suppose that she is the aforementioned Jane Doe #3. However, British newspapers have named another young woman, Virginia Roberts.
Miss Sjoberg worked for Epstein for four years, often massaging him as he lay on a couch in his giant bathroom making phone calls to friends such as Bill Clinton and Cate Blanchett.The Prince strongly denies any claim of impropriety, of course.
He kept a little black book, containing the numbers of all his masseuses by a phone in the bathroom, she said. She left after he started becoming 'more aggressive' in his demands that she 'do sexual things to him'.
She said she was aware that the girls recruited by Epstein and his acolytes were not paid just for massages but for 'sexual favours'.
Virginia Roberts revealed that as a 17-year-old 'erotic masseuse', she was flown by Epstein to London to meet Prince Andrew,
Miss Sjoberg said: 'I'm not surprised he was sending girls abroad. I just did not think they were so young.'
What about Epstein and Clinton? Obviously, there is nothing wrong in taking a man's phone call, even a call from someone like Epstein. However...
Bill Clinton was also named dozens of times in lawsuits against Epstein and was alleged to have flown on his private jet more than 10 times.Let's make the obvious point. If there is any evidence of wrongdoing against Bill Clinton, then Hillary's chances at the nomination are over . A candidacy can withstand many things, but a statutory rape scandal involving one's spouse? No.
Flight logs in lawsuits detailed that between 2002 and 2005 the former US President traveled around the world courtesy of his friend and stopped at Epstein's Caribbean island Little St James where young girls were supposedly kept as sex slaves.
Clinton was deemed to be so close to Epstein that he was nearly deposed during the investigation into his paedophilia.
Before he was jailed Epstein's other acquaintances are said to have been former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak; former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.
More on the Clinton link here :
Over the years, the casually-dressed, globe-trotting financier, who was said to log more than 600 flying hours a year, has been linked with Bill Clinton, Kevin Spacey, Chris Tucker and Manhattan-London society figure Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late media titan Robert Maxwell.
Epstein reportedly flew Tucker and Spacey to Africa on his private jet as part of a charitable endeavour. Clinton, meanwhile, flew on multiple occasions in the same plane to Epstein's private Caribbean island, Little St James, between 2002 and 2005 as he developed his philanthropic post-presidential career. It would later be alleged in court that Epstein organised orgies on that same private island in the US Virgin Islands.Reports in the US media say many of the A-list names broke off any links with the former maths teacher after his arrest and conviction in 2008 of having sex with an underage girl whom he had solicited. His arrest followed an 11-month undercover investigation at a mansion in Florida's Palm Beach that Epstein owned.The story goes on to give much useful information about Epstein's business dealings.
In 2008, he pleaded guilty to a single charge of soliciting prostitution and was handed a 18-month jail sentence. He served 13 months in jail and was obliged to register as a sex offender. A 2011 report in the New York Post said that he celebrated his release from jail and his return to a property he maintains in New York – a 45,000-sq-foot eight-storey mansion on East 71st Street – with Prince Andrew.
More here :
The financier, who was jailed for 18 months in 2008 after pleading guilty to solicitation for prostitution, kept a sickening stash of images on a computer seized at his Palm Beach mansion in 2006.The six-year-old papers, seen by the Sunday People, state: "Some of the photographs in the defendant's possession were taken with hidden cameras set up in [Epstein's] home in Palm Beach.
"On the Day of his arrest, police found two hidden cameras and photographs of underage girls on a computer in the defendant's home.
"[He] may have taken lewd photographs of Jane Doe 102 with his hidden cameras and transported [them] to his other residences and elsewhere."Court papers also allege that Maxwell presented nude pictures of her she had taken herself to Epstein as a birthday present.And now let's play our game: Who was that Prime Minister?
They add that Roberts' claims that she was forced to tell Epstein all about her sexual encounters so he could use the information to "blackmail" the royal.
She further claims she was sex-trafficked to "many other powerful men, including numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well known Prime Minister, and other world leaders".
To- neeeeee...! If that's you, you're gonna have to say so many rosaries that even the Virgin Mary will get sick of hearing your voice.
This scandal places our right-wing media in a bind. Obviously, the right-wingers will want to leap on anything that dirties the Clinton name. On the other hand, anything that reeks of Mossad involvement is untouchable.
Jus' Sayin'... , December 6, 2016 at 4:55 pm GMT \n
Feb 26, 2017 | www.breitbart.comLiz Crokin of Townhall.com recently published an article titled "Why the MSM Is Ignoring Trump's Sex Trafficking Busts", discussing the arrests of sex criminals under Donald Trump's presidency and why it has been underreported by mainstream outlets.
Since President Donald Trump has been sworn in on Jan. 20, authorities have arrested an unprecedented number of sexual predators involved in child sex trafficking rings in the United States. This should be one of the biggest stories in the national news. Instead, the mainstream media has barely, if at all, covered any of these mass pedophile arrests. This begs the question – why?
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As a strong advocate for sex crime victims, I've been closely following the pedophile arrests since Trump took office. There have been a staggering 1,500-plus arrests in one short month; compare that to less than 400 sex trafficking-related arrests in 2014 according to the FBI . It's been clear to me for awhile that Trump would make human trafficking a top priority. On October 8, 2012, Trump tweeted: 'Got to do something about these missing children grabbed by the perverts. Too many incidents – fast trial, death penalty.
[Feb 26, 2017] the code words like "pizza", "cheese", "hotdog", "pasta", etc. are from an FBI list of code words commonly used by pedophiles.
Feb 26, 2017 | kunstler.comPucker February 24, 2017 at 9:51 am # Apparently, the code words like "pizza", "cheese", "hotdog", "pasta", etc. are from an FBI list of code words commonly used by pedophiles. These words appear in the Podesta emails. They're not just found in the Podesta emails.
On page 20, it says that the strongest indicator of a pedophile is a person who collects child pornography. John Podesta's brother collected sexually bizarre and sadistic photos of young children.
- hmuller February 24, 2017 at 10:06 am # Good point, Pucker. All the pro-Podesta apologists can't explain away the code language. Especially, disturbing are remarks (I think by owner James Alefantis) about 4 sick pizzas left over from the last session on sale for $1000. Be sure and dispose of them properly."
Then there's Laura Silsby rescued from a Haitian jail by the Clintons after being caught trafficking in children for prostitution.
Either JHK can't believe that such blatant evil exists in the world or he's pimping for that well entrenched crowd.Log in to Reply
- malthuss February 24, 2017 at 5:01 pm # I have pages of Word docs and have listened to too many facts,
You Tube, Titus Frost, especially hhis talk and display of sick 'art' on his PIZZA BRAIN –investigated.
Why is Katy Perry and the other bimbo, Miley, wearing Pizza Costumes?
WHAT IS PIZZAGATE
CHILD SEX SLAVERY
BILL CLINTON SEX SCANDAL
BILL CLINTON PEDOPHILIA
BILL CLINTON SEX SLAVE ISLAND
BILL CLINTON ORGY ISLAND
LAURA SILSBY HAITi CHILD TRAFFICKING
CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING
THE CLINTON FOUNDATION
ROGER CLINTON COCAINE
ROGER CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL PARDON
DAN LASATER PRESIDENTIAL PARDON
END TIMES NEWS REPORT
COMET PING PONG
- Janos Skorenzy February 24, 2017 at 3:26 pm # Most intellectuals hate Conspiracies for two reasons: one good and one bad. On the good side, there is just too much lunacy and crackpottery once conjecture and Freud's "primary process" (fantasy) get going. On the bad side, they hate not having full information or at least a partial store of consensus information from which to analyze. But Life is Conspiracy – and sometimes we have to go with what we have. In this regards, detectives are superior to intellectuals: they do it all the time. Ditto scientists. It's the inductive process. Once you get enough you form a hypothesis. Then you test it. That's all we're asking for in regards to this case. And I think we both agree: what they would find would bring down the System.
And there are two reasons these people can get away with it: one because of the number of the Elite who are involved. And second because people think a priori that it's not possible that such evil exists or that they could get away with it. Because people think it can't exist and they couldn't get away it enables them to get away with it.
- Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence
- Walter B February 24, 2017 at 7:47 pm # The utilization of "Conspiracy theorist" came about after the common man on the street started waking up to the fact that he was being screwed by those in power and lied to consistently. Did you know that during World War II, President Roosevelt, was onboard the battleship USS Iowa in route to North Africa when it was "accidently torpedoed" (the fish detonated in the ship's wake and did not actually impact the ship) by the US destroyer, the William D. Porter? Well it's the first I am hearing of it so I guess that these people are pretty good at keeping things quiet when they go wrong, especially REALLY wrong
I am reading the trilogy of the war by Rick Atkinson, and in the second book in the series, The Day of Battle, the revelation was detailed much to my surprise. If our own people can accidently fire a live torpedo at one of our own battleships, especially the one that happens to be transporting the standing President of the United States on it at the time, well there is no telling what supreme act of incompetence they will pull of next.
Those who rule lie their asses off every damned day and cover up every damned screw up they create until enough time goes by so that those that are now in the general public don't give a damn anymore. You would have to be retarded or on their payroll to believe otherwise.
[Feb 21, 2017] Stockman Warns Trump Flynns Gone But They are Still Gunning For You, Donald by David Stockman
"... In any event, it was "intercepts" leaked from deep in the bowels of the CIA to the Washington Post and then amplified in a 24/7 campaign by the War Channel (CNN) that brought General Flynn down. ..."
"... But here's the thing. They were aiming at Donald J. Trump. And for all of his puffed up bluster about being the savviest negotiator on the planet, the Donald walked right into their trap, as we shall amplify momentarily. ..."
"... But let's first make the essence of the matter absolutely clear. The whole Flynn imbroglio is not about a violation of the Logan Act owing to the fact that the general engaged in diplomacy as a private citizen. ..."
"... It's about re-litigating the 2016 election based on the hideous lie that Trump stole it with the help of Vladimir Putin. In fact, Nancy Pelosi was quick to say just that: ..."
"... 'The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia's financial, personal and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a press release. ..."
"... And Senator Graham, the member of the boobsey twins who ran for President in 2016 while getting a GOP primary vote from virtually nobody, made clear that General Flynn's real sin was a potential peace overture to the Russians: ..."
"... We say good riddance to Flynn, of course, because he was a shrill anti-Iranian warmonger. But let's also not be fooled by the clinical term at the heart of the story. That is, "intercepts" mean that the Deep State taps the phone calls of the President's own closest advisors as a matter of course. ..."
"... As one writer for LawNewz noted regarding acting Attorney General Sally Yates' voyeuristic pre-occupation with Flynn's intercepted conversations, Nixon should be rolling in his grave with envy: ..."
"... Yes, that's the same career apparatchik of the permanent government that Obama left behind to continue the 2016 election by other means. And it's working. The Donald is being rapidly emasculated by the powers that be in the Imperial City due to what can only be described as an audacious and self-evident attack on Trump's Presidency by the Deep State. ..."
"... Indeed, the paper details an apparent effort by Yates to misuse her office to launch a full-scale secret investigation of her political opponents, including 'intercepting calls' of her political adversaries. ..."
"... Yet on the basis of the report's absolutely zero evidence and endless surmise, innuendo and "assessments", the Obama White House imposed another round of its silly school-boy sanctions on a handful of Putin's cronies. ..."
"... Of course, Flynn should have been telling the Russian Ambassador that this nonsense would be soon reversed! ..."
"... But here is the ultimate folly. The mainstream media talking heads are harrumphing loudly about the fact that the very day following Flynn's call -- Vladimir Putin announced that he would not retaliate against the new Obama sanctions as expected; and shortly thereafter, the Donald tweeted that Putin had shown admirable wisdom. ..."
"... That's right. Two reasonably adult statesman undertook what might be called the Christmas Truce of 2016. But like its namesake of 1914 on the bloody no man's land of the western front, the War Party has determined that the truce-makers shall not survive. ..."
"... The Donald has been warned. ..."
Feb 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.comSubmitted via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,
General Flynn's tenure in the White House was only slightly longer than that of President-elect William Henry Harrison in 1841. Actually, with just 24 days in the White House, General Flynn's tenure fell a tad short of old "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too". General Harrison actually lasted 31 days before getting felled by pneumonia.
And the circumstances were considerably more benign. It seems that General Harrison had a fondness for the same "firewater" that agitated the native Americans he slaughtered at the famous battle memorialized in his campaign slogan. In fact, during the campaign a leading Democrat newspaper skewered the old general, who at 68 was the oldest US President prior to Ronald Reagan, saying:
Give him a barrel of hard [alcoholic] cider, and a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year and he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin.
That might have been a good idea back then (or even now), but to prove he wasn't infirm, Harrison gave the longest inaugural address in US history (2 hours) in the midst of seriously inclement weather wearing neither hat nor coat.
That's how he got pneumonia! Call it foolhardy, but that was nothing compared to that exhibited by Donald Trump's former national security advisor.
General Flynn got the equivalent of political pneumonia by talking for hours during the transition to international leaders, including Russia's ambassador to the US, on phone lines which were bugged by the CIA Or more accurately, making calls which were "intercepted" by the very same NSA/FBI spy machinery that monitors every single phone call made in America.
Ironically, we learned what Flynn should have known about the Deep State's plenary surveillance from Edward Snowden. Alas, Flynn and Trump wanted the latter to be hung in the public square as a "traitor", but if that's the solution to intelligence community leaks, the Donald is now going to need his own rope factory to deal with the flood of traitorous disclosures directed against him.
In any event, it was "intercepts" leaked from deep in the bowels of the CIA to the Washington Post and then amplified in a 24/7 campaign by the War Channel (CNN) that brought General Flynn down.
But here's the thing. They were aiming at Donald J. Trump. And for all of his puffed up bluster about being the savviest negotiator on the planet, the Donald walked right into their trap, as we shall amplify momentarily.
But let's first make the essence of the matter absolutely clear. The whole Flynn imbroglio is not about a violation of the Logan Act owing to the fact that the general engaged in diplomacy as a private citizen.
It's about re-litigating the 2016 election based on the hideous lie that Trump stole it with the help of Vladimir Putin. In fact, Nancy Pelosi was quick to say just that:
'The American people deserve to know the full extent of Russia's financial, personal and political grip on President Trump and what that means for our national security,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a press release.
Yet, we should rephrase. The re-litigation aspect reaches back to the Republican primaries, too. The Senate GOP clowns who want a war with practically everybody, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, are already launching their own investigation from the Senate Armed Services committee.
And Senator Graham, the member of the boobsey twins who ran for President in 2016 while getting a GOP primary vote from virtually nobody, made clear that General Flynn's real sin was a potential peace overture to the Russians:
Sen. Lindsey Graham also said he wants an investigation into Flynn's conversations with a Russian ambassador about sanctions: "I think Congress needs to be informed of what actually Gen. Flynn said to the Russian ambassador about lifting sanctions," the South Carolina Republican told CNN's Kate Bolduan on "At This Hour. And I want to know, did Gen. Flynn do this by himself or was he directed by somebody to do it?"
We say good riddance to Flynn, of course, because he was a shrill anti-Iranian warmonger. But let's also not be fooled by the clinical term at the heart of the story. That is, "intercepts" mean that the Deep State taps the phone calls of the President's own closest advisors as a matter of course.
This is the real scandal as Trump himself has rightly asserted. The very idea that the already announced #1 national security advisor to a President-elect should be subject to old-fashion "bugging," albeit with modern day technology, overwhelmingly trumps the utterly specious Logan Act charge at the center of the case.
As one writer for LawNewz noted regarding acting Attorney General Sally Yates' voyeuristic pre-occupation with Flynn's intercepted conversations, Nixon should be rolling in his grave with envy:
Now, information leaks that Sally Yates knew about surveillance being conducted against potential members of the Trump administration, and disclosed that information to others. Even Richard Nixon didn't use the government agencies themselves to do his black bag surveillance operations. Sally Yates involvement with this surveillance on American political opponents, and possibly the leaking related thereto, smacks of a return to Hoover-style tactics. As writers at Bloomberg and The Week both noted, it wreaks of 'police-state' style tactics. But knowing dear Sally as I do, it comes as no surprise.
Yes, that's the same career apparatchik of the permanent government that Obama left behind to continue the 2016 election by other means. And it's working. The Donald is being rapidly emasculated by the powers that be in the Imperial City due to what can only be described as an audacious and self-evident attack on Trump's Presidency by the Deep State.
Indeed, it seems that the layers of intrigue have gotten so deep and convoluted that the nominal leadership of the permanent government machinery has lost track of who is spying on whom. Thus, we have the following curious utterance by none other than the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes:
'I expect for the FBI to tell me what is going on, and they better have a good answer,' he told The Washington Post. 'The big problem I see here is that you have an American citizen who had his phone calls recorded.'
Well, yes. That makes 324 million of us, Congressman.
But for crying out loud, surely the oh so self-important chairman of the House intelligence committee knows that everybody is bugged. But when it reaches the point that the spy state is essentially using its unconstitutional tools to engage in what amounts to "opposition research" with the aim of election nullification, then the Imperial City has become a clear and present danger to American democracy and the liberties of the American people.
As Robert Barnes of LawNewz further explained, Sally Yates, former CIA director John Brennan and a large slice of the Never Trumper intelligence community were systematically engaged in "opposition research" during the campaign and the transition:
According to published reports, someone was eavesdropping, and recording, the conversations of Michael Flynn, while Sally Yates was at the Department of Justice. Sally Yates knew about this eavesdropping, listened in herself (Pellicano-style for those who remember the infamous LA cases), and reported what she heard to others. For Yates to have such access means she herself must have been involved in authorizing its disclosure to political appointees, since she herself is such a political appointee. What justification was there for an Obama appointee to be spying on the conversations of a future Trump appointee?
Consider this little tidbit in The Washington Post . The paper, which once broke Watergate, is now propagating the benefits of Watergate-style surveillance in ways that do make Watergate look like a third-rate effort. (With the) FBI 'routinely' monitoring conversations of Americans...... Yates listened to 'the intercepted call,' even though Yates knew there was 'little chance' of any credible case being made for prosecution under a law 'that has never been used in a prosecution.'
And well it hasn't been. After all, the Logan Act was signed by President John Adams in 1799 in order to punish one of Thomas Jefferson's supporters for having peace discussions with the French government in Paris. That is, it amounted to pre-litigating the Presidential campaign of 1800 based on sheer political motivation.
According to the Washington Post itself, that is exactly what Yates and the Obama holdovers did day and night during the interregnum:
Indeed, the paper details an apparent effort by Yates to misuse her office to launch a full-scale secret investigation of her political opponents, including 'intercepting calls' of her political adversaries.
So all of the feigned outrage emanating from Democrats and the Washington establishment about Team Trump's trafficking with the Russians is a cover story. Surely anyone even vaguely familiar with recent history would have known there was absolutely nothing illegal or even untoward about Flynn's post-Christmas conversations with the Russian Ambassador.
Indeed, we recall from personal experience the thrilling moment on inauguration day in January 1981 when word came of the release of the American hostages in Tehran. Let us assure you, that did not happen by immaculate diplomatic conception -- nor was it a parting gift to the Gipper by the outgoing Carter Administration.
To the contrary, it was the fruit of secret negotiations with the Iranian government during the transition by private American citizens. As the history books would have it because it's true, the leader of that negotiation, in fact, was Ronald Reagan's national security council director-designate, Dick Allen.
As the real Washington Post later reported, under the by-line of a real reporter, Bob Woodward:
Reagan campaign aides met in a Washington DC hotel in early October, 1980, with a self-described 'Iranian exile' who offered, on behalf of the Iranian government, to release the hostages to Reagan, not Carter, in order to ensure Carter's defeat in the November 4, 1980 election.
The American participants were Richard Allen, subsequently Reagan's first national security adviser, Allen aide Laurence Silberman, and Robert McFarlane, another future national security adviser who in 1980 was on the staff of Senator John Tower (R-TX).
To this day we have not had occasion to visit our old friend Dick Allen in the US penitentiary because he's not there; the Logan Act was never invoked in what is surely the most blatant case ever of citizen diplomacy.
So let's get to the heart of the matter and be done with it. The Obama White House conducted a sour grapes campaign to delegitimize the election beginning November 9th and it was led by then CIA Director John Brennan.
That treacherous assault on the core constitutional matter of the election process culminated in the ridiculous Russian meddling report of the Obama White House in December. The latter, of course, was issued by serial liar James Clapper, as national intelligence director, and the clueless Democrat lawyer and bag-man, Jeh Johnson, who had been appointed head of the Homeland Security Department.
Yet on the basis of the report's absolutely zero evidence and endless surmise, innuendo and "assessments", the Obama White House imposed another round of its silly school-boy sanctions on a handful of Putin's cronies.
Of course, Flynn should have been telling the Russian Ambassador that this nonsense would be soon reversed!
But here is the ultimate folly. The mainstream media talking heads are harrumphing loudly about the fact that the very day following Flynn's call -- Vladimir Putin announced that he would not retaliate against the new Obama sanctions as expected; and shortly thereafter, the Donald tweeted that Putin had shown admirable wisdom.
That's right. Two reasonably adult statesman undertook what might be called the Christmas Truce of 2016. But like its namesake of 1914 on the bloody no man's land of the western front, the War Party has determined that the truce-makers shall not survive.
The Donald has been warned.
xythras , Feb 20, 2017 10:02 PMDarktarra -> xythras , Feb 20, 2017 10:11 PM
Assange is about to face censorship from one LENIN Moreno (next Ecuadorian president)
Assange must Reduce "Meddling" in US Policies While in Ecuadorian Embassy
How ironicwanglee -> Darktarra , Feb 20, 2017 10:18 PM
We haven't had deep state (successfully) take out a President since JFK. I am sure they will literally be gunning for Donald Trump! His election screwed up the elite's world order plans ... poor Soros ... time for him to take a dirt knap!
Be careful Trump! They will try and kill you! The United States government is COMPLETELY corrupt. Draining the swamp means its either you or they die!Chris Dakota -> wanglee , Feb 20, 2017 10:59 PM
Let us help Trump's presidency to make America (not globalist) great again.
Not only democrats rigged Primary to elect Clinton as presidential candidate last year even though she has poor judgement (violating government cyber security policy) and is incompetent (her email server was not secured) when she was the Secretary of State, and was revealed to be corrupt by Bernie Sanders during the Primary, but also democrats encourage illegal immigration, discourage work, and "conned" young voters with free college/food/housing/health care/Obama phone. Democratic government employees/politicians also committed crimes to leak classified information which caused former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn losing his job and undermined Trump's presidency.
However middle/working class used their common senses voting against Clinton last November. Although I am not a republican and didn't vote in primary but I voted for Trump and those Republicans who supported Trump in last November since I am not impressed with the "integrity" and "judgement" of democrats, Anti-Trump protesters, Anti-Trump republicans, and those media who endorsed Clinton during presidential election and they'll work for globalists, the super rich, who moved jobs/investment overseas for cheap labor/tax and demanded middle/working class to pay tax to support welfare of illegal aliens and refugees who will become globalist's illegal voters and anti-Trump protesters.
To prevent/detect voter fraud, "voter ID" and "no mailing ballots" must be enforced to reduce possible "voter frauds on a massive scale" committed by democratic/republic/independent party operatives. All the sanctuary counties need to be recounted and voided county votes if recount fails since the only county which was found to count one vote many times is the only "Sanctuary" county, Wayne county, in recount states (Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin) last year. The integrity of voting equipment and voting system need to be tested, protected and audited. There were no voting equipment stuck to Trump. Yet, many voting equipment were found to switch votes to Clinton last November. Voter databases need to be kept current. Encourage reporting of "voter fraud on a massive scale" committed by political party operatives with large reward.
Cashing in: Illegal immigrants get $1,261 more welfare than American families, $5,692 vs. $4,431 ( http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/cashing-in-illegal-immigrants-get-1261... ) DEA Report Shows Infiltration of Mexican Drug Cartels in Sanctuary Cities ( http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/09/08/dea-report-shows-infiltration-... ) Welfare Discourages Work( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/27/the-science-is-settle... ) Hillary Clinton Says Bernie Sanders's "Free College" Tuition Plan Is All a Lie ( http://www.teenvogue.com/story/clinton-says-sanders-free-tuition-wont-wo... UC Berkeley Chancellor: Hillary Clinton 'Free' College Tuition Plan Won't Happen ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/09/30/uc-berkeley-chancello... ) Bill Clinton Impeachment Chief Investigator: I'm 'Terrified' of Hillary because we know that there were "People" who "Disappeared" ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/10/30/exclusive-bil... ) Former FBI Asst. Director Accuses Clintons Of Being A "Crime Family" ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-30/former-fbi-asst-director-accuse... ) FBI boss Comey's 7 most damning lines on Clinton ( http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/05/politics/fbi-clinton-email-server-comey-da... ). Aides claiming she "could not use a computer," and didn't know her email password– New FBI docs ( https://www.rt.com/usa/360528-obama-implicated-clinton-email/ ). 23 Shocking Revelations From The FBI's Clinton Email Report ( http://dailycaller.com/2016/09/02/23-shocking-revelations-from-the-fbis-... ) DOJ grants immunity to ex-Clinton staffer who set up her email server ( http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/02/politics/hillary-clinton-email-server-just... ) Former House Intelligence Chairman: I'm '100 Percent' Sure Hillary's Server Was Hacked ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/11/06/former-house-... ) Exclusive - Gen. Mike Flynn: Hillary Clinton's Email Setup Was 'Unbelievable Active Criminal Behavior' ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/11/06/exclusive-gen... ) Clinton directed her maid to print out classified materials ( http://nypost.com/2016/11/06/clinton-directed-her-maid-to-print-out-clas... ) Obama lied to the American people about his secret communications with Clinton( http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/president-barack-obama-hillary-email-... ) Former U.S. Attorney General, John Ashcroft: FBI didn't 'clear' Clinton ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFYQ3Cdp0zQ ) When the Clintons Loved Russia Enough to Sell Them Our Uranium ( http://www.breitbart.com/2016-presidential-race/2016/07/25/flashback-cli... ) Wikileaks: Clinton Foundation Chatter with State Dept on Uranium Deal with Russia ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/10/08/wikileaks-putting-on-... ) Russian officials donated $$$ to Clinton Foundation for Russian military research ( http://www.breitbart.com/radio/2016/12/16/schweizer-insecure-left-wants-... ) Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal ( https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-... ) HILLARY CAMPAIGN CHIEF LINKED TO MONEY-LAUNDERING IN RUSSIA ( HTTP://WWW.WND.COM/2016/10/HILLARY-CAMPAIGN-CHIEF-LINKED-TO-MONEY-LAUNDE... ) The largest source of Trump campaign funds is small donors giving under $200 ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-self-fund_us_57fd4556e4... ) How mega-donors helped raise $1 billion for Hillary Clinton ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/how-mega-donors-helped-raise-1-b... ) Final newspaper endorsement count: Clinton 57, Trump 2 ( http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/304606-final-news... ) Journalists shower Hillary Clinton with campaign cash ( https://www.publicintegrity.org/2016/10/17/20330/journalists-shower-hill... ) Judicial Watch Planning to Sue FBI, NSA, CIA for Flynn Records ( http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/16/judicial-watch-planni... )
President Trump Vowed to Investigate Voter Fraud. Then Lawmakers Voted to "Eliminate" Election Commission Charged with Helping States Improve their Voting Systems ( http://time.com/4663250/house-committee-eliminates-election-commission-v... ) California's Recipe for Voter Fraud on a Massive Scale( http://www.breitbart.com/california/2017/01/27/voter-fraud/ ) California Republican Party Official Alleges Voter Fraud In California, a "Sanctuary" state ( http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/11/28/trump-among-those-saying-vot... ) BREAKING: Massive Voter Fraud Discovered In Mailing Ballots In Pennsylvania! See Huge Twist In Results! ( http://www.usapoliticstoday.com/massive-voter-fraud-pennsylvania/ ) "Voting Fraud" revealed during "Recount": Scanners were used to count one vote many times to favor Clinton in Wayne County, a "Sanctuary" county including Detroit and surrounding areas.( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-06/michigan-republicans-file-emerg... ) Illegal Voters Tipping Election Scales ( http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/243947/illegal-voters-tipping-election-s... ) Voter Fraud: We've Got Proof It's Easy ( http://www.nationalreview.com/article/368234/voter-fraud-weve-got-proof-... ) Voter Fraud Is Real. Here's The Proof ( http://thefederalist.com/2016/10/13/voter-fraud-real-heres-proof/ ) Here's Why State Election Officials Think Voter Fraud Is a Serious Problem ( http://dailysignal.com/2017/02/17/heres-why-state-election-officials-thi... ) Documented Voter Fraud in US ( http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/ViewSubCategory.asp?id=2216 ) No, voter fraud isn't a myth: 10 cases where it's all too real ( http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/oct/17/no-voter-fraud-isnt-myth... ) Non-US citizen gets eight years for voter fraud in Texas after "Sucessfully Illegally Voted for at least Five Times" in Dallas county, a "Sanctuary" county( http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/02/09/non-us-citizen-gets-eight-years-... ) Democratic party operatives tell us how to successfully commit voter fraud on a massive scale ( http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/10/james-okeefe-rigging-elections-d... ) Texas Rigged? Reports Of Voting Machines Switching Votes To Hillary In Texas( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-10-25/texas-rigged-first-reports-voti... ) Voting Machine "Irregularities" Reported in Utah, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, & North Carolina ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-08/voting-machine-irregularities-r... ) Video: Machine Refuses to Allow Vote For Trump in Pennsylvania ( http://www.infowars.com/video-machine-refuses-to-allow-vote-for-trump-in... ) Electoral fraud ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_fraud ) Voter fraud ( https://ballotpedia.org/Voter_fraud ) Sanctuary Cities Continue to Obstruct Enforcement, Threaten Public Safety( http://cis.org/Sanctuary-Cities-Map ) List of Sanctuary cities( http://www.apsanlaw.com/law-246.List-of-Sanctuary-cities.html ) Map Shows Sanctuary City Islands of Blue In Sea of Red ( http://www.infowars.com/map-shows-sanctuary-city-islands-of-blue-in-sea-... )CheapBastard -> Darktarra , Feb 20, 2017 10:19 PM
I hit some long click bait about famous people IQ
Barack Obama 140
Donald Trump 156
Trump knows whats coming. Rush Limbaugh said "I've known Trump for a long time, he is a winner and I am sure none of this phases him at all. The media didn't create him, the media can't destroy him."Chupacabra-322 -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 10:54 PM
Flynn has been there for several years. If he was such a threat why did they not take action sooner since Soweeto appointed him in 2012? It must be that Soweto Obama is his spy buddy then, both of them in league with the Russians since Obama has been with Flynn for a much longer time he had to know if something was up.
The entire Russian spy story is a complete Fake news rouse.
I am wondering what they'll say tomorrow to draw attention awya form the muslim riots in Sweden. If the news of Muslim riots in Sweden, then Trump will be even more vindicated and the MSM will look even more stupid and Fake.oncefired -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 11:07 PM
The Deep State has accentually lost control of the Intelligence Community via its Agents / Operatives & Presstitute Media vehicle's to Gas Light the Masses.
So what Criminals at large Obama, Clapper & Lynch have done 17 days prior to former CEO Criminal Obama leaving office was to Decentralize & weaken the NSA. As a result, Intel gathering was then regulated to the other 16 Intel Agencies.
Thus, taking Centuries Old Intelligence based on a vey stringent Centralized British Model, De Centralized it, filling the remaining 16 Intel Agenices with potential Spies and a Shadow Deep State Mirror Government.
All controlled from two blocks away at Pure Evil Criminal War Criminal Treasonous at large, former CEO Obama's Compound / Lair.
It's High Treason being conducted "Hidden In Plain View" by the Deep State.
It's the most Bizzare Transition of Power I've ever witnessed. Unprecedented.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-18/jay-sekulow-obama-should-be-hel ...Duc888 -> CheapBastard , Feb 20, 2017 11:11 PM
Flynn did not tell Pence that Pence's best friend was front and center on the Pizzagate list. That's what cost Flynn his job...it had fuck all do do with the elections.
[Feb 15, 2017] Proof of sexual misconduct accumulated by the deep state makes it possible to dictate the votes of Congress, decisions of judges and administrators
Talks-to-Cats on February 14, 2017 , · at 5:51 pm UTCNever mind their sex livesAnn on February 14, 2017 , · at 9:31 pm UTC
@Greg Schofield -
Catastrophic mistake. Proof of sexual misconduct accumulated by the deep state makes it possible to dictate the votes &c. of Congress, decisions of judges and administrators, &c.
Without a one-time blanket amnesty - however morally revolting - deep state control of government will endure. If you want to end its control of the ship of state, you must remove its nuclear option : blackmail (threat of exposure/prosecution/bankruptcy/family impoverishment/dying in prison).
No way around this.the whole Military Intelligence is rife with pedophilia and sodomy – I can't imagine how Flynn avoided it – the whole top ranking guys are involved – watch video interview of Kay Griggs –Greg Schofield on February 15, 2017 , · at 12:33 am UTC
Flynn was probably blackmailedGood point, but there are many types of amnesty. The first is the amnesty of tolerance, consenting adult sex mutual or professional, no matter how distasteful or strange, whether adulterous or not, should be considered private and off the table, but never kiddy-fiddling (actual rather than fictitious, in the real that is). Publication of tolerated sexual matters should be slammed, tolerance does not mean condoning, tolerance is what it says tolerating what is not condoned.Talks-to-Cats on February 15, 2017 , · at 2:26 am UTC
That is an amnesty that every civilised nation follows I can't see why the US should not adopt it as it use to be the case. In Australia we tolerate a lot of things, ex prime minister Bob Hawke was a notorious womaniser a faithless husband, and his antics were a national laugh.
I also agree blackmail is one of the main weapons and sexuality is one of its mainstays. Its an puritanical extension of identity politics, I believe toleration is the amnesty. I think your logic and argument is correct.
Look at the other way, a corrupt person, rips off this person and that, they are a public menace. A corrupt judge that cheats on taxes, runs fictions companies, uses legal fictions to launder wealth is defrauding the public as a whole - it is a worse crime. By extension accepting bribes, favours, preferential treatment, corporate support is to provide inequality before the law, negate the whole purpose of the judiciary and again is a worse crime than tax fraud - it is at best a serious conflict of interest (serious enough for removal), but is usually the accepted method of tilting the judicial system which is, with evidence, criminal. and all the evidence has to be is that judge has accepted favours and their judgements demonstrate his gratitude to the social network that provided the favour.
Against this a man whose marriage is happy, but sexually disaster, visits prostitutes or keeps a mistress, or has fathered a child, is as is nothing - if only it was tolerated whilst terrible crimes are tolerated instead. Flint's water poisoning is not a scandal it is a criminal conspiracy that stemmed from a criminal neglect. Banks that seize homes that they purposefully overvalued and over-lent of which we have a mountain of documents to show this was done purposefully - the banks are the ones that should suffer, not those desperate to own a house and were sent to them, by Real Estate agents and developer.
A sea change in attitude, on really simple stuff, has a disproportional effect. And today that is actually easier to achieve than ever before. My advice is to go to the local churches and argue that their fixation on sex is producing untold evils in the world and their moral righteousness is being misdirected. A direct confrontation on theological grounds etc.,
Sorry for the rant your point has been taken on board well and truly.The first is the amnesty of tolerance, consenting adult sex mutual or professional, no matter how distasteful or strange, whether adulterous or not, should be considered private and off the table, but never kiddy-fiddling (actual rather than fictitious, in the real that is).
No rant at all. IMO this is the real elephant in the political livingroom. People are coming to understand who the orcs are, how they operate and what their objective is. They can be mentioned now without everything melting down in a storm of terror.
But that they have the whole US government, industry and military (pardon the expression) "by the balls" is not known so well. Nor is it appreciated that no necessary change can be expected to gain political traction so long as this iron control continues.
The trial balloon figure of 30% compromised is probably a gross underestimate. And we are not talking about marital infidelities with secretaries or "escorts" but romping with adolescents (both sexes but apparently boys are their favorites -
Franklin/Boys Town scandal, Sandusky/Penn State, pizzagate, et al.)
This may not be the place for it but, if not, where ? The "Age of Consent" to sexual relations in the early US varied, but was often put at 9 years of age (this when puberty occurred around age 17-18). I see this as no evidence of moral turpitude, but of hard-nosed realism. It was human nature (as you have the moral decency to note) that people were going to get up to stuff like that, and there was no need to make bigger issue of it than it was. If it stirred popular outrage, the perpetrator could expect to be lynched or, where I grew up, shot "in a tragic accident" during hunting season when he was in the woods. People took care of their own problems. And gravely mistrusted the judicial system where the ability of wealth and connections (business relationships and funny handshakes) all but guaranteed impunity.
We now take it for granted (see Goebbels on the power of simple repetition to create "public opinion") that sex between an adolescent and an adult is the single worst moral outrage imaginable. In reality (I came to understand it inside the criminal justice system during 20+ years of working in it), making this a criminal offense, with the age of consent raised to 18 (completely ridiculous with puberty now happening in elementary school and given the "sexualization" of children by the orc media) was a strategic coup by the prison-industrial complex. By legally re-defining this as RAPE (!) and the perpetrator as a RAPIST (!) - well, repeat this often enough in court with an adolescent well coached by the childrens' services caseworker to see herself as a VICTIM who was GROOMED by him (when the actual dynamics of the situation were often the other way around), and a conviction was a prosecutor's easiest victory in an average month. Not to mention that the threat of sentence piling (pioneered during the Nixon years - prosecuting the same offense as as many separate crimes as possible, with sentences running consecutively) all but guaranteed "plea bargains" without even the expense or inconvenience of a trial.
Prisons love(d) this, as (except for homosexual pederasts) "sex offenders" ( almost 100% White for some strange reason ) are the most easily managed demographic of all. If a state prison (or private one) could house 2,500 of them, it could operate with a staff of, probably,10 guards per 8-hour shift.
Now, with the MSM and academia having turned sex with adolescents into the new "forbidden fruit," the appeal of it to the idle imaginations of the susceptible is multiplied. The whole thing stinks to high heaven of rank hypocrisy, human exploitation and lives ruined by a system that exploits human frailties as profit & control opportunities.
Now I am ranting, so will stop here. Noting that there is a LOT more that needs to be said on this.
[Feb 13, 2017] Under Maestro Greenspan Fed as an institution became this sense not so dissimilar to such post WWII financial institutions as IMF and World Bank (which became the key instruments for implementing Washington consensus ). It became a very effective enforcer of the neoliberalization of the country.
Feb 13, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.comllisa2u2, February 13, 2017 at 10:34 AMJust finished reading a great little book, THE ECONOMIC PINCH, by C.A.Lindbergh, SR. Here's a link to it: https://archive.org/stream/nkooan_yahoo_Lind/Lind#page/n1/mode/2upSanjait, February 13, 2017 at 11:10 AM
Yes, the writing style is a bit dated, but it gives the bottom-line in really clear, well-written English.
It's a GREAT little book, should be required reading with proof by some book report written by each economist, before their being allowed any public discussion about the FEDERAL RESERVE.
It's probably more relevant today for all U.S. citizens than it was back in the early 1900's.The Great Moderation era Fed has some good aspects but has fundamentally failed to understand how its obsession with keeping inflation from ever even thinking abut going up has suppressed wages and caused labor hysteresis.libezkova : February 13, 2017 at 03:07 PM , 2017 at 03:07 PM
I think they assume that all those problems just equilibriate away across the cycle but the reality is not that.
So definitely it could and should be better.
But .. that doesn't make every proposal to change it a good one, or even a coherent one. Nor does it justify the attitude that we should just blow everything up and hope something better happens. Those bad arguments are what got us Trump, and at no point should reasonable people pander to such bad arguments, or confuse the fact that bad arguments are widely held with the notion that they aren't bad.Fed independence was always a convenient fiction. This is an independence limited to implementing neoliberal policies.
Which was done under "Maestro" Greenspan. This Ann Rand follower and staunch believer in unrestrained "free market" (which means the law of jungles) subverted the institution and pressured the Presidents who deviated from the "Party line" (and one time Bill Clinton tried). This is the extent he was a Maestro. Later, after 2008, Maestro turned into cornered rat, but this is quite another story.
Under Maestro Greenspan Fed as an institution became not so dissimilar to such post WWII financial institutions as IMF and World Bank (which became the key instruments for implementing "Washington consensus"). It became a very effective enforcer of the neoliberalization of the country.
[Jan 26, 2017] But Clintons negative effects were also related to the weakening the only countervailing force remaining on the way of the neoliberalism -- trade unionism. So he played the role of subversive agent in the Democratic Party. His betrayal of trade union political interests and his demoralizing role should be underestimated.
"... Most of the major changes he mentions are clearly and explicitly the consequence of policy changes, mostly by Republicans, starting with Reagan: deregulation, lower taxes on the wealthy, a lack of antitrust enforcement, and the like. ..."
Jan 26, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.comDrDick, January 25, 2017 at 11:07 AMThis is frankly rather disingenuous. Most of the major changes he mentions are clearly and explicitly the consequence of policy changes, mostly by Republicans, starting with Reagan: deregulation, lower taxes on the wealthy, a lack of antitrust enforcement, and the like.
libezkova -> DrDick... January 25, 2017 at 09:29 PMsanjait -> DrDick... , January 25, 2017 at 11:20 AM
The first POTUS who cut tax rates was JFK.Read through the link and it's not nearly that simple, especially when you consider the fact that some trends, though plausibly or certainly reinforced through policy, aren't entirely or even primarily caused by policy.DrDick -> sanjait... , January 25, 2017 at 01:45 PMI did not say they were the *only* factors, but they are the primary causes. If you look at the timelines and data trends it is pretty clear. Reagan broke the power of the Unions and started deregulation (financialization is a consequence of this), which is the period when the big increases began. Automation plays a secondary role in this. what has happened is that the few industries which are most conducive to automation have remained here (like final assembly of automobiles), while the many, more labor intensive industries (automobile components manufacturing) have been offshored to low wage, not labor or environmental protections countries.libezkova -> DrDick... , January 25, 2017 at 05:39 PMBoth parties participated in the conversion of the USA into neoliberal society. So it was a bipartisan move.DrDick -> libezkova... , January 25, 2017 at 07:40 PM
Clinton did a lot of dirty work in this direction and was later royally remunerated for his betrayal of the former constituency of the Democratic Party and conversion it into "yet another neoliberal party"
Obama actually continued Bush and Clinton work. He talked about 'change we can believe in' while saving Wall street and real estate speculators from jail they fully deserved.Clinton contributed, but the Republicans did all the real heavy lifting. I was in my late 20s and early 30s during Reagan.libezkova -> DrDick... , January 25, 2017 at 09:25 PMVery true. Republicans were in the vanguard and did most heavy lifting. That's undeniable.
But Clinton's negative effects were also related to the weakening the only countervailing force remaining on the way of the neoliberalism -- trade unionism. So he played the role of "subversive agent" in the Democratic Party. His betrayal of trade union political interests and his demoralizing role should be underestimated.
[Jan 24, 2017] Pizzagate - The Unz Review by Aedon Cassiel
"... Mehrdad Amanpour ..."
"... The Sunday Times ..."
"... The Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal first "broke" in the far-right blogosphere. The accusation they made was that these gangs were being allowed to operate undisturbed because everyone was too afraid of "appearing racist" to properly investigate them . . . and nobody listened to the far-right bloggers who were breaking this story because they were afraid of "appearing racist" if they gave any credibility to those far-right sources, too. Never mind that it seemed paranoid to rely on bloggers ..."
"... the far-right blogosphere turned out to be right. ..."
"... those people ..."
"... The Podesta Emails ..."
"... The evidence is of wildly varying levels of quality, ranging from the pareidolia of "Jesus is appearing to me in my toast" to "wait, that's actually pretty damn creepy." The mountain of claims and observations and speculations being compiled in places like Voat and Steemit are too overwhelming for any one person to hope to wade through sorting wheat from chaff, and while I don't intend to try, I will summarize some just a little bit of it here. ..."
"... While many of these claims are wild speculation over coincidences (though by no means all of them are), at some point I think a bunch of weird coincidences involving pedophilia and kids becomes sort of damning in and of itself. In one email , Podesta is among those being invited to a farm and the host says, "Bonnie will be Uber Service to transport Ruby, Emerson, and Maeve Luzzatto (11, 9, and almost 7) so you'll have some further entertainment, and they will be in [the] pool for sure ." ..."
"... Could that have an innocent explanation? Sure, maybe. But inviting a group of adult men to a gathering and calling young children "further entertainment" while listing their ages is ..."
"... All the Children ..."
"... Here are just a few of the more "institutional" coincidences involved in the story: one of the men on the small list of people found "liking" photos like this one on these individuals' Instagram accounts is Arun Rao , the U.S. Attorney Chief, charged with prosecuting cases of child pornography. ..."
"... Besta Pizza, the business whose logo so closely resembled the "little boy lover" logo, is owned by Andrew Kline , who was one of four attorneys in the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit of the Department of Justice. Isn't it just a little ..."
"... The disturbing bit is that the photo uses the tag "#chickenlovers," and "chicken lover" is in fact ..."
"... Chicken Hawk ..."
"... Furthermore, Tony Podesta's favorite ..."
"... In addition to Jeffrey Epstein, the Podesta brothers are also friends with convicted sex offender Clement Freud as well as convicted serial child molester Dennis Hastert . ..."
"... And we do know that this has happened before. ..."
"... The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal ..."
"... how we should respond to the possibility. ..."
Dec 02, 2016 | www.unz.com
Man Motivated by 'Pizzagate' Conspiracy Theory Arrested in Washington Gunfire
Eric Lipton, The New York Times, December 5th, 2016
Beginning in 1997, in an English town of more than 100,000 people, eight Pakistani men stood at the core of a group involving as many as three hundred suspects who abused, gang-raped, pimped and trafficked, by the most conservative estimate, well over a thousand of the town's young girls for years.
The police were eventually accused of not just turning a blind eye, but of participating in the abuse - even supplying the Pakistani gangs with drugs and tipping them off when they heard of colleagues searching for children they knew to be in the gangs' possession.
Others were afraid of investigating the gangs or calling attention to their behavior because it would have been politically incorrect to accuse the town's ethnic community of such a rampant and heinous crime - in the words of one English writer, " Fears of appearing racist trumped fears of more children being abused ."
But when this story first broke, guess where it appeared?
Here's how a blogger writing under the name Mehrdad Amanpour tells the story of how the story first started reaching people:
Some years ago, a friend sent me a shocking article. It said hundreds of British girls were being systematically gang-raped by Muslim gangs. It claimed this was being covered-up.
I've never had time for conspiracy theories, especially when they look as hateful as those in the article. So I checked the links and sources in the piece. I found an American racist-far-right website and from there, saw the original source was a similarly unpleasant website in the UK.
I did a brief search for corroboration from reputable mainstream sources. I found none. So I wrote a curt reply to my friend: "I'd appreciate it if you didn't send me made-up crap from neo–Nazi websites."
Some months later, I read the seminal exposé of the (mainly) ethnic-Pakistani grooming gang phenomenon by Andrew Norfolk in The Sunday Times .
I was stunned and horrified - not just that these vile crimes were indeed happening and endemic, but that they really were being ignored and "covered-up" by public authorities and the mainstream media.
The Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal first "broke" in the far-right blogosphere. The accusation they made was that these gangs were being allowed to operate undisturbed because everyone was too afraid of "appearing racist" to properly investigate them . . . and nobody listened to the far-right bloggers who were breaking this story because they were afraid of "appearing racist" if they gave any credibility to those far-right sources, too. Never mind that it seemed paranoid to rely on bloggers to report truths like these when the allegations were so wide-reaching, involving a literal conspiracy within the police force.
And yet, years after no one was willing to take them seriously, the far-right blogosphere turned out to be right.
Well over a thousand (mostly) white young girls were being abused by (mostly) Pakistani gangs.
And the authorities were covering it up.
We are now, once again, in the stage of an evolving scandal that Mehrdad Amanpour described his experience with above. Just to be clear, I'm not going to commit myself to the idea that this is going to be as huge as Rotherham was. We should be careful: we don't know what would or wouldn't be confirmed with a proper investigation. The question here is not whether we've gotten to the bottom of this online. The question is whether there is enough here to justify thinking there should be a proper investigation.
And the parallel with Rotherham is that the relatively small number of people asking for that are mostly the loathsome kinds of people who run "racist far-right websites." So, since the claims are inherently conspiratorial, and the mainstream doesn't want to be associated with those people who are talking about it, it is once again all too easy to just dismiss the claims out of hand as paranoia run wild.
Again, the evolution of the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal was an extremely painful lesson that the mainstream can be wrong and the "paranoid racist far-right" can be right. And that lesson was far too expensive to simply let go to waste.
The name of this scandal is Pizzagate.
It gets the name for two reasons: first, because at the center of the scandal are high-level Washington insiders who own a handful of businesses in the DC area, including a couple pizzerias (Comet Ping Pong and Besta Pizza), who have fallen under suspicion for involvement in a child sex abuse ring. Second, because the first questions arose in peoples' minds as a result of some very bizarre emails revealed by Wikileaks in The Podesta Emails that, quite simply, just sound strange (and usually involve weird references to pizza). One of the strangest emails involves Joe Podesta being asked this question: "The realtor found a handkerchief (I think it has a map that seems pizza-related). Is it yours?"
The evidence is of wildly varying levels of quality, ranging from the pareidolia of "Jesus is appearing to me in my toast" to "wait, that's actually pretty damn creepy." The mountain of claims and observations and speculations being compiled in places like Voat and Steemit are too overwhelming for any one person to hope to wade through sorting wheat from chaff, and while I don't intend to try, I will summarize some just a little bit of it here.
While many of these claims are wild speculation over coincidences (though by no means all of them are), at some point I think a bunch of weird coincidences involving pedophilia and kids becomes sort of damning in and of itself. In one email , Podesta is among those being invited to a farm and the host says, "Bonnie will be Uber Service to transport Ruby, Emerson, and Maeve Luzzatto (11, 9, and almost 7) so you'll have some further entertainment, and they will be in [the] pool for sure ."
Could that have an innocent explanation? Sure, maybe. But inviting a group of adult men to a gathering and calling young children "further entertainment" while listing their ages is weird , whether it ends up having an explanation or not.
If I was getting messages that listed the ages of young children that would be in a pool
And it turned out that the logo for my business contained a symbol strikingly close to the "little boy lover" logo used by pedophiles to signify that their interest is in young boys rather than girls . . .
And the bands that showed up at my restaurant had albums called All the Children with images on the cover of a child putting phallic-shaped objects into his mouth . . .
. . . and were found making creepy jokes about pedophilia (in reference to Jared Fogle: " we all have our preferences . . . ") . . . and there were instagram photos coming out of kids ("jokingly?") taped to the tables in my restaurant . . .
. . . frankly, I would start asking questions about myself.
Here are just a few of the more "institutional" coincidences involved in the story: one of the men on the small list of people found "liking" photos like this one on these individuals' Instagram accounts is Arun Rao , the U.S. Attorney Chief, charged with prosecuting cases of child pornography.
Besta Pizza, the business whose logo so closely resembled the "little boy lover" logo, is owned by Andrew Kline , who was one of four attorneys in the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit of the Department of Justice. Isn't it just a little unusual that someone that high up in a human trafficking division would fail to notice the symbolism?
For yet another coincidence, Lauren Silsby-Gayler is the former director of The New Life Children's Refuge in Haiti. It is a matter of public record that she was caught, prosecuted, and sent to jail while in that role for trying to abduct dozens of children, most of whom had homes and families. The main lawyer paid to represent Silsby-Gayler, "President of the Sephardic Jewish community in the Dominican Republic," was himself suspected of involvement in human trafficking.
When the Clintons gained influence in the region, one of their first acts was to work to get Silsby-Gayler off the hook . Among the Podesta Wikileaks are State Department emails discussing their case. Meanwhile, she now works on the executive board of AlertSense . . . which collaborates with IPAWS to send out nation-wide Amber Alerts.
While some of the supposed "codewords" people have claimed to have identified in Pizzagate appear to be made up, there is at least one unambiguous instance: here is an Instagrammed photo posted by James Alefantis, the owner of Comet Ping Pong that appears innocent enough: a man carrying a young child with a beaded necklace draped around both of their necks.
The disturbing bit is that the photo uses the tag "#chickenlovers," and "chicken lover" is in fact an established term to refer to a pedophile - someone who loves "chicken," which is also unambiguously an established term to refer to underage children (you can see this in the gay slang dictionary subset of the Online Dictionary of Playground Slang ).
Complain all you want about the "speculative" and "paranoid" online discussions of Pizzagate, but when you have clearer-cut cases like this one where James Alefantis absolutely, unquestionably did in fact post a photo of a man holding an infant and the one and only hashtag he used for the photo involved a term that unquestionably is a reference to pedophilia, in a context where it is clear that there is nothing else here that "chicken" could possibly have been referring to, the likelihood that more speculative claims might have truth to them is increased.
There is a 1994 documentary expose on NAMBLA (the North American Man/Boy Love Association) called Chicken Hawk . Here is yet another reference from a watchdog group from 2006, proving that this one existed well before Pizzagate surfaced. Another confirmed fact dug up by the paranoid right-wing conspiracy nuts on the Internet?
So here are a few more things we do know. We know that Bill Clinton has taken dozens of international flights on a plane colloquially known as the " Lolita Express " with Jeffrey Epstein, a man who spent 13 months in jail after being convicted of soliciting a 13-year-old prostitute . We know that Hillary Clinton's staff knew that Anthony Weiner was sexting underage girls all the way back in 2011 - and covered it up. Guess whose laptop revealed evidence that Hillary Clinton went on flights on Jeffrey Epstein's " Lolita Express " along with Bill? That's right: Anthony Weiner's.
Now do you understand why the mainstream media was so eager to spin these emails as just a "distraction" during the election?
The staff that ignored Weiner's sexting of young children included John Podesta himself, whose brother Tony is one of the very men at the center of Pizzagate. Tony Podesta has rather warped tastes in art. For instance, he owns a bronze statue of a decapitated man in a contorted position identical to a well-known photograph of one of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's victims:
(See here for the disturbing photo of the real victim.)
The same news story that features the image above also mentions the fact that John Podesta's bedroom contains multiple images from a photographer "known for documentary-style pictures of naked teenagers in their parents' suburban homes.")
Furthermore, Tony Podesta's favorite artist is Biljana Djurdjevic, whose art heavily features images of children in BDSM-esque positions in large showers. Here's one with a row of young girls in a shower with their hands behind their backs in a position that suggests bondage:
Here's one with a young boy in a shower tied up in the air with his hands over his head:
In addition to Jeffrey Epstein, the Podesta brothers are also friends with convicted sex offender Clement Freud as well as convicted serial child molester Dennis Hastert .
We do know that the New York Times , which is now dismissing Pizzagate in its entirety as a hoax, is run by Mark Thompson - who was credibly accused a few years back of lying to help cover up a scandal involving another high-profile public figure involved in child sex abuse, Jimmy Savile , during his time as head of the BBC .
And we do know that this has happened before.
Lawrence King , the leader of the Black Republican Caucus, who sang the national anthem at the Republican convention in 1984, was accused by multiple claimed victims of trafficking and abusing boys out of the Boys Town charity for years. You can hear the chilling testimony from three people who claim to have been victimized by King in a documentary produced shortly after the events transpired.
You can hear the FBI, even after they received extensive testimony from victims, explain in their own words that they weren't going to prosecute King because if anything were wrong with him, he would have been prosecuted by a lower authority already. Eventually, King was found "O. J. guilty" of abusing Paul Bonacci - convicted in civil court, acquitted in criminal court.
The best written source for information about the depths of corruption and cover-up involved in this scandal is Nick Bryant's The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal (if you can't find a free copy on your own, contact me through my website, www.zombiemeditations.com and I tell you where to find it).
Could all of this turn out to be nothing?
Of course it could.
But that's not the question here. The question is how we should respond to the possibility.
Do we take the possibility seriously? History clearly indicates that we should. Even if it did turn out to be nothing at all, I would still be more proud to belong to a community willing to take the possibility seriously and call for investigation than I would to belong to a community that dismissed the possibility far too hastily and luckily turned out to be right - even as it did this and turned out to be wrong in so many cases like Rotherham before.
The real horror here would be to live in a society that responded as Reddit has - by shutting down the whole conversation entirely, banning r/pizzagate even while keeping subreddits like r/pedofriends, "a place for (non-offending) pedophiles and allies to make friends with each other!" alive.
Over on his blog, Scott Adams asks us to keep in mind cases where confirmation bias did lead to false allegations of institutional pedophilia, to caution against excessive confidence. (He hastens to add: "I want to be totally clear here that I'm not saying Pizzagate is false. I see the mountain of evidence too. And collectively it feels totally persuasive to me. It might even be true. I'm not debating the underlying truth of it. That part I don't know.")
But which is worse? If all the evidence coming out of Pizzagate is entirely false, what have we lost by spending time on it? On the other hand, if even five percent of the allegations that have been made surrounding the topic are true, what have we lost by ignoring them? Which is worse: spending too much time pursuing and thoroughly vetting false leads, or looking the other way while any amount of child abuse goes on?
According to the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, nearly 470,000 children disappear in the United States alone each year. This number is dubious for a number of reasons. It looks like some number of runaways end up in the NCIC count, and to make matters worse, repeat offenders can make it into the data multiple times. So that would suggest that the real number must be lower than this tally; but on the other hand, we also know that many missing children are never reported in the first place, so it's possible that that could boost the number back up. The bottom line, however, seems to be that there is no reliable way to determine how many total children are actually missing in the U.S.
Either way, though, even if correcting for these errors took out 90% of the disappearances in the NCIC database, and there were no unreported disappearances to account for at all, I think even the resulting 50,000 per year would still be enough to call the problem systematic and justify suspicion that these disappearances could well involve organized efforts-given that we already know of so many pedophile rings in so many powerful institutions.
In 2013, Canada busted a ring involving more than 300 adults , who had teachers, doctors, and nurses heavily represented among them. A pedophile ring has just been identified in the highest levels of UK football (Americans know the sport as soccer). Norwegian police also just uncovered a ring of 50 organized pedophiles mostly working in the tech sector , once again including elected officials, teachers, and lawyers. The Vatican scandals can practically go without mention - institutional involvement in child sex exploitation is nearly an a priori given.
And the children that are being raped and murdered in the photos passed around by these child porn rings are coming from somewhere . And when figures like politicians, teachers, and lawyers are involved in the rings, it's hardly inconceivable that they could be involved in disappearances.
Have we identified one here?
Only time will tell. But we deserve to be paid attention. We deserve to have the matter taken (Reprinted from Counter-Currents Publishing by permission of author or representative)
[Jan 24, 2017] That a person with the stature of being a former president would hang around with a low-life like Epstein is really telling. He flew perhaps twenty-seven times on Epsteins plane which makes him more than just a passing acquaintance. Birds of a feather flock together.
"... That a person with the stature of being a former president would hang around with a low-life like Epstein is really telling. He flew perhaps twenty-seven times on Epstein's plane which makes him more than just a passing acquaintance. Birds of a feather flock together. ..."
"... If a country next to us, so similar to ours in many ways but with a fraction of our population, has so many that can be exposed at one time then how many could the US have? ..."
"... The Burning Platform has featured a series of posts over the last few weeks that provide a volume of evidence that is impossible to discount. ..."
"... I have no doubt whatsoever that child sex abuse, trafficking and even sex-related murder may well be hung around the necks of very, very famous persons, and the horrors so bad that those persons (if still alive) will not even make it to trial before they're hung from a street lamp. ..."
"... What is clear is that the contention that there is "no evidence", a contention that is asserted or implied in seemingly every mainstream media discussion, is flatly false. There is a vast array of pertinent evidence, much of it circumstantial, but much of it also suggesting something of the mindset of some of the central figures. Anyone who denies this is utterly oblivious, or a liar, or a fool. ..."
"... As to what the evidence establishes, that is a different question. If skilled and intelligent investigators fail to take it up, then motivated and fervent - if not entirely competent - inquirers will surely rise up in their stead. ..."
"... Watch for the "fake news" sources' standard method for dealing with a large set of serious allegations like these from the internet's "real news" sources. They will take the most absurd/least likely allegations and dispose of them. They will then unobtrusively fail to address harder to dismiss allegations. Instead they will argue to the effect that, some of these allegations are false so obviously all must be. ..."
"... The "truther" site Snopes once had a perfect example, since taken down, I suspect because it made the technique so obvious ..."Jus' Sayin'... , December 6, 2016 at 4:30 pm GMT \n
Jan 24, 2017 | www.unz.comanonymous December 6, 2016 at 3:47 pm GMT • 300 Words
The children in some of these poor third-world 'orphanages' aren't really orphans as we understand the term but are just from poor families who can't take care of them. These international adoptions are a business where everyone along the line gets paid with the child being the commodity being sold to the end purchaser, people in the west seeking to adopt a child to make themselves feel good. As in the mentioned case, the agencies move around from country to country where people are poor and desperate and legal safeguards are weak. Although the end receivers seem to be mostly naive and well-meaning people there's no telling how many aren't.
That a person with the stature of being a former president would hang around with a low-life like Epstein is really telling. He flew perhaps twenty-seven times on Epstein's plane which makes him more than just a passing acquaintance. Birds of a feather flock together.
The Canadians pulled in over three hundred people. If a country next to us, so similar to ours in many ways but with a fraction of our population, has so many that can be exposed at one time then how many could the US have? Yet we hardly ever hear much, just of a few lone wolves here and there. Look at how Sandusky got away with it for so many years. People didn't want to know, turned a blind eye to it, because he was too valuable.
This entire bunch who hobnob with each other have a very creepy vibe. There's all these 'coincidences' that seem to gather together in one place.
Alfred1860 , December 6, 2016 at 3:50 pm GMT \n@MQdc.sunsets , December 6, 2016 at 3:54 pm GMT \n
This 'story' is complete horseshit / random confirmation bias. Scan the full social media accounts of any group of 100+ people and you could find just as much 'evidence' if you were determined to do so. This is scary -- the day that any social media post involving children that uses the word "chicken" anywhere in it counts as evidence of pedophilia is the day anyone could be smeared.
Ron Unz should be ashamed of himself for giving this kind of unhinged paranoid fear-mongering space.
Do some of your own research on this topic and you will come to a different conclusion if you can get beyond your massive bias. The Burning Platform has featured a series of posts over the last few weeks that provide a volume of evidence that is impossible to discount.
Most people cannot accept something like this would be real because they cannot fathom the depths of evil that exist in this world ..why, I don't know. You'd think the fact that many of the people implicated have also been the ones fully on board with unprovoked wars that have killed, maimed and displaced millions of people, including children, would be evidence enough.
Kudos to Ron Unz for exposing more people to this tragic, disgusting, horrendous story.200 Words
Socionomic Theory documents that the public's appetite for scandals is low when stocks and high and high when stocks are low.
Case in point: The "news" about Enron was favorable all the way down, until the stock had lost way over 90%. Only then did "news" about criminality and malfeasance gain traction.
This being the case, with stocks at All Time Highs after an astonishing 7 year vertical rally, pizzagate's very existence here tells us that when the next bear market (in social mood, as revealed by stock prices) is in full swing, the level of sociopathic, demonic behaviors emerging into public consciousness will be unimaginable.
I have no doubt whatsoever that child sex abuse, trafficking and even sex-related murder may well be hung around the necks of very, very famous persons, and the horrors so bad that those persons (if still alive) will not even make it to trial before they're hung from a street lamp.
Public disgust with those who ran (and run) the Federal Government will in all likelihood be so pervasive that it will undermine the very political cohesion of the United States.200 Words
This is by far the best survey of this topic that I've read.
What is clear is that the contention that there is "no evidence", a contention that is asserted or implied in seemingly every mainstream media discussion, is flatly false. There is a vast array of pertinent evidence, much of it circumstantial, but much of it also suggesting something of the mindset of some of the central figures. Anyone who denies this is utterly oblivious, or a liar, or a fool.
As to what the evidence establishes, that is a different question. If skilled and intelligent investigators fail to take it up, then motivated and fervent - if not entirely competent - inquirers will surely rise up in their stead.
Watch for the "fake news" sources' standard method for dealing with a large set of serious allegations like these from the internet's "real news" sources. They will take the most absurd/least likely allegations and dispose of them. They will then unobtrusively fail to address harder to dismiss allegations. Instead they will argue to the effect that, some of these allegations are false so obviously all must be.
The "truther" site Snopes once had a perfect example, since taken down, I suspect because it made the technique so obvious. One popular right-wing internet site claimed to link 100 or so suspicious deaths to the Clintons. Snopes attacked the obviously absurd linkages and was left with about twenty cases of persons who (1) were involved or rumored to be involved with nefarious activities involving the Clintons; (2) were scheduled to testify against the Clintons or rumored to be brokering plea deals; and (3) died under suspicious circumstances soon after. Snopes dismissed these with a comment to the effect that all public figures had numbers of known associates die like this; let's just move on, folks; nothing to see here.
200 Words @MQ This 'story' is complete horseshit / random confirmation bias. Scan the full social media accounts of any group of 100+ people and you could find just as much 'evidence' if you were determined to do so. This is scary -- the day that any social media post involving children that uses the word "chicken" anywhere in it counts as evidence of pedophilia is the day anyone could be smeared.
Ron Unz should be ashamed of himself for giving this kind of unhinged paranoid fear-mongering space.
In one of my many different careers I worked for a couple of years as an outside consultant to the FBI's ViCAP (now VICAP) program. About the time I was thus delving the depths of human depravity - and they are far deeper than the more fortunate readers of this are ever likely to learn - a scandal similar to this broke in Belgium, involving the highest levels of society, politics, and the EU bureaucracy in criminal conspiracies to kidnap children, sexually violate them, torture them, and even use them in the production of snuff films. A full investigation dead-ended after many suicides and suspicious deaths and disappearances. IMHO, based on some experience with criminal conspiracies of this type, the mass of material presented here is a pretty overwhelming indication that something very bad is happening. That the MSM ("fake new") sources are not paying more attentionto this is scandalous.eah , December 6, 2016 at 5:03 pm GMT \n
I'm not going to commit myself to the idea that this is going to be as huge as Rotherham was.
Sorry, but you are deluded if you believe Rotherham was "huge" in the media - even after the story broke, the English media did its best to downplay and underreport it - when they did report it, especially the BBC, it was always in a professional monotone, with no hint of outrage, or how disgusting and appalling all of it was, including/especially the behavior of the authorities - however let the BNP or EDL protest in front of the court where some of the Paki scum were being tried, and there you saw and felt media outrage - at this point, Rotherham has practically disappeared from the news - which is pretty sad because as everyone knows, it was just the tip of the iceberg.
And as currently being framed and investigatively fleshed out, if Rotherham was "huge", then Pizzagate will be a scandal of positively galactic dimension.
People will not let this go the way they did with the Jeffrey Epstein sleaze.Beaderino , December 6, 2016 at 6:26 pm GMT \n
Thank you for this article. It is well written and makes the point I have been trying to make. That the Wikileaks taken together with the Instagram photos warrant an investigation. A person with a predilection to pedophilia (based on the Instagram photos, choice of music, and music recordings at the Pizza Parlor premises) at the least, should not be running a "child-friendly" pizza parlor without some kind of societal due diligence to ensure the safety of our children.
On the one hand, what is lost if an investigation occurs and it turns out there is no wrong doing? We would have wasted some tax dollars and time of the law enforcement teams, but James Alefantis would in fact benefit from being exonerated. If however, there is ANY truth and any harm has and is occurring to children, then the greater good resulting from the investigation would be without price.Alfred1860 , December 6, 2016 at 7:12 pm GMT \n
@Jus' Sayin'... In one of my many different careers I worked for a couple of years as an outside consultant to the FBI's ViCAP (now VICAP) program. About the time I was thus delving the depths of human depravity -- and they are far deeper than the more fortunate readers of this are ever likely to learn -- a scandal similar to this broke in Belgium, involving the highest levels of society, politics, and the EU bureaucracy in criminal conspiracies to kidnap children, sexually violate them, torture them, and even use them in the production of snuff films. A full investigation dead-ended after many suicides and suspicious deaths and disappearances. IMHO, based on some experience with criminal conspiracies of this type, the mass of material presented here is a pretty overwhelming indication that something very bad is happening. That the MSM ("fake new") sources are not paying more attentionto this is scandalous.
The Belgian case, among other high-profile quashed investigations, is summarized here:
It was known as the Dutroux Affair.FKA Max , December 6, 2016 at 7:28 pm GMT \n
400 Words @FKA Max
Furthermore, Tony Podesta's favorite artist is Biljana Djurdjevic, whose art heavily features images of children in BDSM -esque positions in large showers.Psychopathy in the Pedophile (From Psychopathy: Antisocial, Criminal, and Violent Behavior, P 304-320, 1998, Theodore Millon, Erik Simonsen, et al, eds.--See NCJ-179236)
This paper argues that pedophilia may represent a special case or subcase of psychopathy and that the main aims of both the psychopath and the pedophile are to dominate, to use, and to subjugate another person in service of the grandiose self. [...] It notes that the major differences between psychopaths and pedophiles are that the object of the predation for the pedophile is a child and that the overt behavioral manifestation of the pathology is sexual.- https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/Abstract.aspx?id=179240
I just wanted to reemphasize Scott Adams' statement about the scandal:
Over on his blog, Scott Adams asks us to keep in mind cases where confirmation bias did lead to false allegations of institutional pedophilia, to caution against excessive confidence.
These types of investigations and scandals can easily lead to 'witch hunts' and 'panics' and need to be handled with the greatest care, prudence, and levelheadedness possible.
I wanted to add the following study/information, because as the study states ' These results provide further evidence of the importance of distinguishing between these groups of offenders. '
This might just be an irrelevant distinction for most people appalled by this potential/alleged abuse of power and authority of 'our' elites; but I believe we might mostly be looking at and dealing with psychopathy and not necessarily 'just' pedophilia in this Pizzagate scandal.
This has several different implications for how this scandal might be handled or be covered up, etc., because psychopaths are master liars, deflectors, charmers, etc., i.e. 'pillars of the community,' 'movers and shakers,' etc.
There is another curious connection here; Professor Robert Hare – the father of psychopathy research – said this:
Hare considers newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell to have been a strong candidate as a corporate psychopath.
Robert Maxwell is the father of Ghislaine Maxwell, who is close friends with Jeffery Epstein:
In an American court case that was made public in January 2015, a woman identified as 'Jane Doe 3′ said she was approached by Maxwell in 1999, and claimed that Maxwell procured under-age girls to have sex with Epstein. Maxwell has always denied any involvement in Epstein's crimes. She said: "She [Ghislaine] said she'd hit hard times. Jeffrey offered her a job and then, I guess, because of her ability to procure girls, she became a vital asset to him.
Psychopathy among pedophilic and nonpedophilic child molesters.
Olorin , December 6, 2016 at 9:36 pm GMT \n
Among men who commit sexual offenses against children, at least 2 distinct groups can be identified on the basis of the age of the primary targets of their sexual interest; pedophiles and nonpedophiles.
In the present report, across 2 independent samples of both types of child molesters as well as controls, a total of 104 men (53 pedophilic and 51 nonpedophilic) who had sexually offended against a child age 13 or younger were compared to each other (and to 49 non-sex offender controls) on psychopathy as assessed by the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI).
In both samples of child molesters, the nonpedophiles scored as significantly more psychopathic than the pedophiles.
These results provide further evidence of the importance of distinguishing between these groups of offenders.
500 Words @MQ This 'story' is complete horseshit / random confirmation bias. Scan the full social media accounts of any group of 100+ people and you could find just as much 'evidence' if you were determined to do so. This is scary -- the day that any social media post involving children that uses the word "chicken" anywhere in it counts as evidence of pedophilia is the day anyone could be smeared.
Ron Unz should be ashamed of himself for giving this kind of unhinged paranoid fear-mongering space.
Your comment sounds familiar to me. Are you writing from the UK perchance?
Back in the mid-Aughts I was surprised by how often I saw commenters at MSM news sites talking about the grooming and abduction of white girls in cities in England. At the time I was regularly reading BBC, Guardian, Telegraph, and Times. The stories where these comments appeared were diverse in topic.
Sometimes other comments would share similar experiences. Some would say they talked to someone who claimed similar experience. Others would say they'd heard murmurs of such things.
These voices repeatedly called on the MSM outlet to investigate, or they wondered why no response was forthcoming from elected officials or policymakers.
This was after–I later learned–Ann Cryer (MP for Keighley) had bravely stepped forward on behalf of girls whose parents had approached her for help. IOW, the cat was emerging from the bag, but the MSM were trying to stuff it back in.
Dismissive responses to these comments frequently were framed as yours is here: nothing to see here, move along, it's confirmation bias, you people are nuts, mods, step in and censor them!
In the Rotherham/etc. case, racism, Islamophobia, etc., were trotted out to inflict silence.
What was most noteworthy to me, and creepy, was how these comments would be removed from the comment streams of these outlets.
Sometimes the comments would be deleted but the response calling them racists or Islamophobes allowed to stand.
By the late Aughts I was convinced some sort of coverup was underway of something terrible indeed.
We now know that the MSM were key players in that.
Similar murmurings were afoot in Pennsylvania for many years prior to the revelations of the sexual abuse of children by Penn State coach Sandusky. I knew men who steered their sons away from football in general, guiding them instead to hockey or lacrosse, because the word on the street was that football camp was not a safe place for boys anymore. (Nor, increasingly, Boy Scouts or church camps.)
The gig is up for the MSM acting as panderers and pimps in the Cathedragogue of their own degenerate Narrative-religion.
They won't go down without a fight. They have more power and money to lose than any of the kids victimized by pedocidal perverts.
But what those kids have to lose is a treasure of vastly more importance than power and money.
Thing is, truth and goodness of spirit will win. This is part of why these degenerates fight back as they do. They can put truth and goodness on the run for only so long. They fight back not because they are losing, but because, by nature, they can never join the winning side of truth and goodness. It's just not in them.
All the more reason they need to be found out and reined in hard.
One last thing, regarding some people's assertion that these symbols, in-jokes, etc., are all "just a game." Or, worse, "art." (Which implies getting money and power by representing degeneracy to decorate rich people's businesses, homes and bedrooms.)
If pedophilia, grooming, and child rape are now matters to take lightly as shibboleths of entrance to circles of power, then those circles of power need to be napalmed.
"In the beginning there were the swamp, the hoe, and Jussi."Sunbeam , December 6, 2016 at 10:52 pm GMT \n
I think the crux of the problem is that most people find two different things equally plausible.
1) That the people who are talking about this (pizzagate) are lunatics.
2) That Podesta and the rest actually are involved in things like this.
Personally I think a nation that has reached this point, that it is totally believable that our leaders and elites are a bunch of monsters well that's a real problem.
Another problem is that the UK article a poster above linked to is two years old. Has anyone heard anything about that since? Expect to?Sandy Berger's Socks , December 6, 2016 at 11:13 pm GMT \n
How many members of the media political class, that are dismissing this as fake news have enjoyed "pizza" at Besta or at a similar place?
What if criminal deviancy rather than disqualifying a person, is not instead some weird prerequisite for elite status? Don't have to worry about rock throwers if they're inside the same glass house.
Blackmail seems as good an explanation as any for things like John Roberts sudden change of heart on the constitutionality of the Obama care mandate.Aaron B. , December 7, 2016 at 12:09 am GMT \n
This is a very good summary; thank you for publishing it.
The speed with which the old media have declared the entire thing false, far sooner than they possibly could have explored all the latest information and come to that conclusion, is astonishing. In other cases of conspiracy theories they think are false, they are willing to stand back and ridicule the theorists. Obama Birthers, 9/11 Truthers, Boston Bombing hoax, Sandy Hook . all certainly called false and ridiculed, but that's all. I don't think I've ever seen them try to squelch an entire line of discussion from the start like this before, even threatening lawsuits and prosecution.Kirt , December 7, 2016 at 12:16 am GMT \n
There may be something to pizzagate but I'm very skeptical of accusations of widespread institutional
pedophilia. I initially fell for the "Satanic panic" of the 1980s; I learned my lesson.
I see that this case relies a lot on cryptic symbols. Reminds me of the people who see swastikas and white supremacy runes wherever they look and try to make a case for a vast neo-Nazi underground. But the author states that 470,000 children "disappear" each year in the US alone. Really? The link goes to "reported missing" which is a whole different thing. I once reported one of my kids missing; he turned up shortly afterwards at a friend's house. He hadn't even run away, just overstayed and not informed us where he was. That sort of thing happens all the time, but genuine disappearances? I don't know of a single case and I know plenty of people with kids. In some third world country in a war, tens of thousands of missing kids might be believable, but even in most such countries (Syria for example) 470,000 disappearances per year would be a stretch.
In the U.K., all the abuse took place by people in power. Catholic clergy over choirboys. Celebs over their fans. Pakistanis targeted girls from broken homes. The wealthy and 'noble' preyed on the lesser born.
The worst though are the politicians, who have maximum power. I'm not sure I believe the pizzagate thing – the evidence is not conclusive (show me a victim or witness). But I certainly believe it is possible.Cortes , December 7, 2016 at 12:44 am GMT \n
The reliably excellent John Helmer provides an oblique reference to Pizzagate in the following linked piece about Propornot and its marvellous 200 Putin Stoogesites:
http://johnhelmer.net/?p=16851Avery , December 7, 2016 at 12:49 am GMT \n
200 Words @utu "What 'relatively obscure charge'?" - Making payments in a manner hiding the detection of payments. Payments were not illegal but he was doing it in amounts below the amounts that automatically would require reporting. In my opinion he did nothing illegal. The crimes he allegedly committed were beyond the statute of limitation and paying hush money is not illegal either.
I kinda thought that's what you were referring to, but wanted to make sure.
His real crime was something else.
He was a high school coach years ago and was raping underage boys in his charge. The cash he was withdrawing was for payments to one of the boys to keep him quiet. If memory serves, another one of his victims had committed suicide (not sure though). But the one Hastert was paying off wanted to burn him.
In addition, Sibel Edwards, when she was working for the FBI and translating foreign language intercepts, picked up some conversations by Turkish officials, who were bribing Hastert, and claimed they "owned him". He reportedly got $500K, but not sure for what. FBI had courts put a gag order on Sibel, so she could not reveal any more details. The story was buried: probably because too many high ranking swine were involved.
Hastert pleaded guilty to a Mickey Mouse charge so that there would no public child-rape trial, where the public might learn all the lurid details of what the filthy swine did to those underage boys.
Hastert got away with destroying the lives of many boys.
Hopefully he will be savagely beaten and crippled in prison – but not killed – so he can suffer for years.
Like a lot of people I have gone from completely ignoring this story, thinking it was Alex Jones type fantasy to starting to wonder if there might not be some truth to it after all. So far I haven't seen any definitive evidence that kids are actually being molested, or worse. And because the accusations are so damning I would want to be very cautious about casually tossing them around.
That being said, a lot of the stuff that's surfaced; the artwork, the cryptic messages, Spirit cooking, the odd choices of entertainment for a family friendly pizza restaurant and the Instagram pictures are just flat out creepy .
Even with a presumption of innocence I wouldn't allow anyone under the age of 18 anywhere near the Podesta brothers, Alefantis and everyone else involved without adult supervision.
I'm glad Unz has decided to publish this. I'm interested to see if anything more will come of it. It certainly warrants further investigation.James Kabala , December 7, 2016 at 3:04 am GMT \n
@DanC Rotate the old logo for Besta Pizza 180 degrees. It is the pedophile BLogo symbol.
That's why when it got publicised, Besta's management immediately deleted the old one and converted to a new, BLogo-free symbol on all their website and printed materials.
What is interesting to note in mainstream media "debunkings" of PizzaGate is that they focus on the doubtful evidence, things that could be "interpreted either way" and they leave out the glaringly obvious pedophilia links, like the Besta Pizza logo.
Just look at all the "debunking articles." Do any of them mention the old Besta logo? I haven't seen any.
It seems to me this is the way to wean the public off the mainstream media. Hammer on the fact that the MSM insists on leaving out the clear, obvious evidence and tries to imply that everything is doubtful and open to interpretation. Then people will start to associate them with coverup and BS. The MSM can't recover from that.
Actually the logo issue is a prominent part of this Washington Post article (and a tweet by the fairly well-known Dave Weigel highlighted that part in particular):
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/were-going-to-put-a-bullet-in-your-head-pizzagate-threats-terrorize-dc-shop-owners/2016/12/05/39469a82-bb2e-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.af2e34c09164pepperinmono , December 7, 2016 at 3:48 am GMT \n
100 Words @Johnny Smoggins Like a lot of people I have gone from completely ignoring this story, thinking it was Alex Jones type fantasy to starting to wonder if there might not be some truth to it after all. So far I haven't seen any definitive evidence that kids are actually being molested, or worse. And because the accusations are so damning I would want to be very cautious about casually tossing them around.
That being said, a lot of the stuff that's surfaced; the artwork, the cryptic messages, Spirit cooking, the odd choices of entertainment for a family friendly pizza restaurant and the Instagram pictures are just flat out creepy .
Even with a presumption of innocence I wouldn't allow anyone under the age of 18 anywhere near the Podesta brothers, Alefantis and everyone else involved without adult supervision.
I'm glad Unz has decided to publish this. I'm interested to see if anything more will come of
it. It certainly warrants further investigation.
7, 2016 at 3:48 am GMT \n
Podesta is a creepy fuck period.
How did such a dweeb get to be such a big person in our national conversation?
He is an obvious hack , but not a particular clever one. He just comes off so "are you fucking kidding me?". Where do they get these dudes? James Carville. Paul Begala. Bill Burton. Robby Mook. Even right has George Will, Buckley. Strange unnormal people.
@for-the-record See, for example,
http://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/top-news/podesta-brothers-revealed/Tulip , December 7, 2016 at 4:23 am GMT \n
I confess I don't get it. I can understand pizzagate as a brutal and nasty last minute campaign tactic, but the election is over, drop it. A mighty tissue of "coincidences" woven together in a manner that would make Glenn Beck envious. I guess I need to fashion a tin foil hat and then re-read the article. I think it just discredits the source more than the target.
If someone is actually raping children, then where are the children? The kids related to the socialite that she is bringing to a pool party? Come on, that is what plebes are for. How are the children procured? Where do they live? There is necessarily logistics to this kind of activity, and zero evidence of logistics, just some weird emails and weird art. Its like saying someone is a coke head because they had a runny nose. tweet at early hours in the morning, and behave very alpha.Anon , December 7, 2016 at 4:45 am GMT \n
In the 70s, I hear that NY pizzerias were fronts for narcotics dealers.
Are they now used by pedo-dealers?
I love pizza, but this issue is making me feel a bit icky about it.Anon , December 7, 2016 at 5:02 am GMT \n
500 Words @Anonymous "Every aspect of British society seems to have ties to pedophilia, from Parliament, to the elites, the City of London, the government, public schools, Oxbridge, the universities, all the way down to Paki immigrant communities and even British soccer."
Why do pedos gain such power? Same reason why homos do? Since many of them don't have families and since they resent the Normal World(from which they must hide their deviance or sickness), do they have extra time/energy for gaining power? Are they fueled by resentment toward Normal Society? It seems like homos had a kind of revenge streak, and it all came out with New Normal. Homos really want to rub our faces in their feces. They want to force us to accept the New Normal or be totally destroyed. They want to turn us into their bitches. They are into Bitch-Hunting.
Working in the shadows, homos and pedos seemed to gained considerable power. And since they are associated with Vice Industry, they have the dirt on everyone else and can blackmail them. Bill Clinton prolly never had sex with a minor, but surely homos and pedos have a lot of dirt on him about his many affairs and orgies. And since they have many connections, they serve as essential middlemen for those who seek power.
Also, there is a code of silence among the powerful. They watch out for one another. And homos and pedos are both pushy and gushy. They are very demanding but also accommodating and supportive of the powerful and ambitious. They go all out to serve the powerful and those on the up-and-up, but they also demand a cut of the pie.
The ambitious care most about power and privilege than about right and wrong. If their power
depends on a coterie of people committed to them 24/7, they will look the other way even when
they know something is up. Also, there is the human factor. People who work together closely develop
an emotional bond. It's team politics, us vs them. And loyalty must be favored.
Since homos and pedos have more time on their hands and more energy(fueled by resentment), they might be more available to the powerful or those who seek power.
Hollywood made the media the hero in the movie SPOTLIGHT. But the media seem eager to bury this as fast as possible.
Why did it take so long for the Hastert and Sandusky cases to come to light?
How did they get away with that stuff forever?
Is it a good idea to allow homos into Boy Scouts?
Homos seem to be closely allied with pedos, and the trajectory of our culture is to normalize pedophilia by sexualizing young girls and boys. If young ones are sexualized, it means they can be objects of sexual desire. And then what?
And the scientific community is arguing pedophilia should be treated as a condition than a crime. This may be legit as long as pedos didn't act on their impulses. But if they did, how can it not be a crime?
Rape is 'natural' too given that sexual feelings are natural. But we can't treat rape itself as a condition and not a crime.Wizard of Oz , December 7, 2016 at 5:48 am GMT \n
Regrettably, though one may have grown old without ever feeling the wish to have sexual contact with a pre-adolescent or of anyone of the same sex it hasn't been possible for a long time to deny the prevalence of socially disapproved sex drives and behaviours. So one finds that the nice young presenter on the antique show has been arrested for downloading and keeping pedophile images. And so on But isn't the idea of a large network, and what is needed to keep it covered up, a bit much to swallow? Nasty minds? Conspiracy theories?
Well I suppose not. Sex as a drive and the perverse varieties of expression that we know to manifest themselves are enough to make one accept the pedophile reality. Then the network and the cover up? The cover up, however difficult to make it reliable, is just a consequence of the danger their behaviour exposes them to. And the network? Easy enough to explain once you are in it – like knowing that you could attend mass in a number of aristocratic Elizabethan households. But the detail of why and how it should grow from a very small group is obviously more complex. I guess that there are organisers and facilitators who seek various rewards, some financial, some in young flesh, some in the obtaining of blackmailing power.NoseytheDuke , December 7, 2016 at 6:07 am GMT \n
100 Words @utu
It's the age difference and the power equation that matters. If a fifteen year old is sexting a thirteen year old it's quite different than a grown man like Anthony Wiener. I couldn't blame any father who administered a sound beating to an adult creep who was sexting a minor. What kind of a society doesn't protect children?Anon , December 7, 2016 at 6:28 am GMT \n
MSM is so eager to kill this story but tried so hard to keep alive the UVA hoax.
Even after it became clear that the whole thing had been made up, NY Times pretended that it wasn't sure.
But then, look at our political culture.
Say nothing of Israel's 200 nukes but never stop bitching about Iran's non-existing nukes.
And even though the West is the aggressor, blame Russia.
Yellow Cake and WMD. Colin Powell's lies and MSM's collusion.
Silence about black thuggery but pretend innocent blacks are murdered by evil white cops.
A real inversion of truth and lies.
Lugenpresse calling its detractors 'fake news'.Shimshon , December 7, 2016 at 7:30 am GMT \n
100 Words @Tulip
First, the emails are not just weird. Second, regarding this:
"There is necessarily logistics to this kind of activity, and zero evidence of logistics "
Actually, there is.
Jeffrey Epstein, the Lolita Express, and his pedophile island. This was obviously covered up.
The Pizzagaters have shed a tiny bit of light on Laura Silsby. Look her up.Anonymous Nephew , December 7, 2016 at 8:25 am GMT \n
100 Words @Tim Howells
"IMO this is yet another Jimmy Savile case: i.e. literally Satanic pedophilia on a vast scale, with the active collusion of our political and media elites"
Savile case wasn't that at all – more like famous DJ/charity fundraiser with great PR taking advantage of his status with teenage girls. How many of the post-death allegations are true, who knows, but we know some definitely aren't true – we know because long-time blogger Anna Raccoon was a resident of a small children's home where Savile was claimed to have abused girls. She has a whole series of seven posts called "Past Lives and Present Misgivings" on the allegations.
More "active collusion" is likely in the cases of Cyril Smith and Greville Janner, two pretty high-profile and connected MPs, who seem to have managed to go to their graves scot free.Blado , December 7, 2016 at 9:21 am GMT \n
The idea of on-camera child rape as a prerequisite of entry into organizations/guarantee of cooperation is a pretty old one. It's no doubt been done.Skeptikal , December 7, 2016 at 1:58 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Anonymous
How the "fake news" trope works in the real world:
Flynn's tweet regarding this story was perfectly reasonable.
The story has been stamped "bogus" without any kind of investigation.
No response to questions about the weird content of emails by Podesta and others.
Makes one think the shotgun blast at Comet might even have been a false flag!!
For those wondering about the authenticity of the FBI document, here is the wikileaks page where it was revealed in 2007 and they say "Wikileaks has verified the document":
And here is a MSM article about it:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3560069/The-symbols-pedophiles-use-signal-sordid-sexual-preferences-social-media.htmlBB753 , December 7, 2016 at 4:17 pm GMT \n
200 Words @Anonymous
I remember watching an excellent Australian film years ago that covered this very topic. It
portrayed in a very realistic way the whole homo/ pedo underground in the upper rungs of society,
from posh public schools to university, where grooming of youngsters occurred, to Parliament and
Finance, where the powerful pederasts/homosexuals ruled. In this world, the shortest way to power
and riches for a young man was to seek out the protection and guidance of an older and powerful
homo/pederast lover. It was shot in Australia and in Australian settings and institutions, but
it's all so British you'd think the film makers really intended the story to reflect British society
and were using Australia as a legal cover.
Sorry, I can't remember the title of the movie or the director. It was quite disturbing to watch but very interesting.
Perhaps Pat Hannagan or some other knowledgeable Australian reader can help.
Let's say there was no pedo-ring. I'm rather skeptical of it myself.
But just look at that pizzeria. What kind of freako place is that?
And why are some of the 'most powerful' people in DC such downright perverts and degenerates?
The fish rots from the head. Degenerates run government, institutions, and culture.
Government and judges push homo agenda. College push porn and 50 genders. Hollywood pushes drugs and tattoos. Disney turns girls into whores.
And this isn't just a 'left' vs 'right' problem. A lot of Trump voters were ass-tattoo freaks. The working class grew up on Jerry Springer, WWE, mentally deranged metal music, or Goth freakery.
And middle class kids grew up on the nerdy black magic of Harry Potter whose teacher is a happy ass-man.
Whether it's elites and their Pervert Pizza or the underclass with their degeneracy, it's ugly all around.
We need Vito-Corleonism.
This is how a man should be:
https://youtu.be/IeDV0rxBq9E?t=1m35sAnon , December 7, 2016 at 8:29 pm GMT \n
300 Words @map
I'm not sold on the pedo-ring. Too much risk, though I think those 'elites' are a bunch of pervs.
If anything, this pedo-issue takes our eyes off the ball.
The real issue should be that the governing elites of this nation in government, colleges, cultural institutions, media and even military(look at those tranny freaks) are a bunch of decadents, even degenerates. We are seeing the normalization of freakery and grossness.
The fact that it is considered NORMAL for Hillary to invite Lena Dunham to the DNC speaks for
itself. The fact that Newsweek celebrated Obama with a gay 'halo' speaks for itself. The fact
that churches hang 'homo flags' speaks for itself.
It is a sick nation.
A tolerant nation has room for decadence and even degeneracy. It belongs in the underground.
They always existed.
But now, this underground stuff is the bobo cultural fixation of the elites who consider themselves 'hip' and 'edgy'.
And they even introduce their kids to this stuff from a young age.
Indeed, even without overt pedophilia, introducing sexuality to kids at a very young age is a kind of indirect pedophilia.
When homo-ness is promoted among kids, what is being done? Kids will ask 'what is homo stuff?' And an honest answer will have to be, "some guys wanna stick pee pee into poo poo". But then, the kids will have to be told THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT, and if anything, WE SHOULD BLESS THE HOMOS. But why? What is so great about pee pee in poo poo?
We really need Culturegate. The whole culture is a rotten scandal, and the fact that US globo-imperialism spreads this filth around the world speaks volumes about how sick America has become. We don't need real pedo-rings of 'pizzagate' to accuse the elites of filth and vileness. Their cultural life is garbage.
Just look at this: 'mainstream' culture has no problem with it. If anything, it is promoted as the New Norm.
http://rare.us/story/lena-dunham-posts-picture-of-herself-on-the-crapper-before-declaring-herself-a-feminist-hero/Anon , December 7, 2016 at 9:01 pm GMT \n
As John Helmer points out, the new digital news business model doesn't provide any funds for
So who is going to pay for a serious journalist to do the legwork and paperwork and FOIA requests, etc.?
Re "And why are some of the 'most powerful' people in DC such downright perverts and degenerates? "
I thought you were going to say:
What are the most powerful people in DC doing hanging out at this creepy pizza parlor and doing fundraising events there?
We all know where Hillary goes for "real" money: The Saudis, Goldman Sachs, billionaires' glitzy summer compounds in the Hamptons, places like that-you know, where the money is.
So WTF is she doing in one of these pizza joints? Why would there be any real money there?
With creepy, tawdry "artwork" on the walls?
Something here does not pass the smell test.
100 Words @Anonymous Nephew
I'm intrigued by the Anna Racoon stuff, but I found it completely incoherent. Could you explain what these claims are, and why they should be taken seriously?
Re Sir Savile and Satanic child sex abuse, at least two victims gave entirely credible and consistent accounts. Here's a mainstream source:
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/370439/Jimmy-Savile-was-part-of-satanic-ringNoseytheDuke , December 7, 2016 at 11:36 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Skeptikal
Agreed. Often one wonders why such outrageous decisions are made in politics that clearly contradict the public good and one wonders, why? This topic goes a long way to explaining the why. I'm not so sure if the investigating of it is the hard part or the broad exposure, but it needs to happen.
I am probably more tolerant of 'deviates' than most on here. Queers don't bother me much, though I would recommend that they be more discreet and stop the promotion of their peccadilloes as normal. When it comes to children, even teenagers, I am very strict about them not being able to give consent and should be treated with respect, if not revered, by all adults with no exceptions.
There is enough smoke here for a thorough investigation to be demanded and carried out. I hope nothing less ensues.Stonehands , December 8, 2016 at 4:52 am GMT \n
100 Words @Anon
The fact that it is considered NORMAL for Hillary to invite Lena Dunham to the DNC speaks for itself. The fact that Newsweek celebrated Obama with a gay 'halo' speaks for itself. The fact that churches hang 'homo flags' speaks for itself.
It is a sick nation.
Yep. I don't have to look any further then this perv Alefantis. This is what you get when sodomy is legal. Of course this craven bastard makes all kinds of snarky degenerate comments about children on his instagram
Society has been desensitized to homosexuality- so they have moved on to the "prize".
You have hit it out of the park as usual, I enjoy and concur with your assesments.glorietalabs , December 8, 2016 at 12:51 pm GMT \n
I believe I saw the instagram account of Alefantis before it came down. The girl pictured in
several images seems to be the child of a family friend. I thought the taped to the table image
and the other pic with #chickenlover tag were at a minimum indicators of a dark humor or innuendo.
Who finds this sort of thing funny?
There were more pics of infants and a doll with creepy tags like #hoetard and suggestive comments, again, indicating a level of casual comfort with making implied references to pedophilia. ..wink wink.
Gross, at a minimum. But evidence of a ring? I don't understand why Alefantis doesn't just acknowledge that there is an "appearance" of sick humor.
Regarding the use of supposedly known pedo symbols- I'm skeptical. These are shapes and motifs we see everywhere. It could be that the pedo symbol inventors purposely chose designs that would easily coincide with innocent use so as to hide in plain sight. Or hmm ?
Podesta is definitely using code in his emails but my read was that he's talking about drugs and partying. Didn't we all use "pizza" at one time or another as a reference to party favors back in the day?
The Podestas have bad taste in art. Not a crime, just a general indicator of regular degenerately "hip" tastes so as to impress the cool kids?
And yet no one clears the air. And this is disturbing. I have yet to read one Wapo or nyt article denouncing the "witch hunt" but acknowledging that, yes, it looks bad. Because it really does.
Incidentally, if they haven't been faked, one of Alefantis' instagram commenters is the maker of child sized coffin coffee tables. Nice.par4 , December 8, 2016 at 4:54 pm GMT \n
Here is the Judge rebuking serial molester Hastert (R) before sentencing.The Scalpel , Website December 8, 2016 at 7:42 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Sandy Berger's Socks
"What if criminal deviancy rather than disqualifying a person, is not instead some weird prerequisite for elite status? Don't have to worry about rock throwers if they're inside the same glass house.Blackmail seems as good an explanation as any for things like John Roberts sudden change of heart on the constitutionality of the Obama care mandate."
This fits Occam's Razor. I would go so far as to say that pedophilia blackmail appears to have been a method of political control since the days of the British Empire. Much like gang membership, participation is required for entrance into the inner circles of political power, then used as blackmail to enforce conformity and secrecy.
Interestingly, there is a recent episode of "The Black Mirror," a Netflix show, that addresses this very psychology.FKA Max , December 9, 2016 at 5:11 pm GMT \n
300 Words @FKA Max
There is a rather informative article in the WaPo about Pizzagate and its potential (mass-)psychological origins. It actually indirectly and temporarily "blames" over-zealous feminists with being the originators of the this moral panic. Quite interesting, but of course the article/author reverts back to Trump-bashing, etc. in the end.
What the Pizzagate conspiracy theory borrows from a bogus satanic sex panic of the 1980s
Second, in both cases, social movements were involved in the weaponization of suspicion, although the political center of gravity has shifted from one episode to the next. In the late 1970s, social workers and feminist activists had focused on combating child sexual abuse; they sometimes developed extremely broad definitions of abuse or floated exaggerated estimates of its occurrence in this quest. Such efforts have left deep cultural residues, and these include the acceptance of exaggerated claims about the number of child trafficking victims, and the incidence and forms of organized child sexual abuse. Pizzagate relies on these inflated fears to seem plausible, and it similarly relies on a viewpoint marked by extreme suspicion (of the media, Washington "elites," politicians and the Clinton camp specifically) to decode ordinary events and statements into extraordinary claims.
A moral panic is a feeling of fear spread among a large number of people that some evil threatens the well-being of society. A Dictionary of Sociology defines a moral panic as "the process of arousing social concern over an issue – usually the work of moral entrepreneurs and the mass media." – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_panic
I had never come across the term "moral entrepreneur" before, very useful term https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_entrepreneurStonehands , December 9, 2016 at 8:50 pm GMT \n
100 Words @FKA Max
We know all about "Hysteria", but why did the artist use a decapitated male if not to possibly conflate this in the viewers mind with the atrocities of Dalmer?
What about the other degenerate art, such as the child bondage spankees posing in the easy- to -clean tiled torture chambers?
Some of us will never accept homosexuality as an "alternative" lifestyle.
The fact that Alefantis is a homo; who by dint of his perverse sexuality- has achieved some level of notoriety prior to pizzagate- is certainly part of the underlying rancor towards him.NoseytheDuke , December 9, 2016 at 11:01 pm GMT \n
100 Words @FKA Max
Incredibly generous of you to quote WaPo as a credible source. I would have done the same at one time but that was ages ago.
BB753 asks why haven't the Posdestas sued? I would ask why haven't they at the very least stepped forward to offer a simple explanation for what most agree is code in the emails?
I would suggest a possibility that blowing the lid off on this exposes exactly how certain "lobby" groups maintain control of the wheelhouse of the US ship of state, and have consistently steered it into troubled waters against the national interest.
Wiz, a simple typo that my computer ran with (very observant of you).anonymous , December 9, 2016 at 10:02 pm GMT \n
This clip of Brietbart going off on John Podesta seemed to me more than just a political squabble.
Keep in mind, this was years before the Wikileaks 'Pizza' stuff. Also keep in mind that Breitbard dropped dead shortly after this was filmed.Anonymous , December 10, 2016 at 3:17 am GMT \n
Pizzagate is not "fake news" at all. It needs to be investigated.
The MSM says it does not disseminate "fake news". However, the MSM will often simply not cover events that ARE real news.
Thus, the MSM is disseminating the opposite of "fake news", namely NO NEWS. The MSM keeps people in the dark because there things that it does not want people to know about. For example, the MSM will often not cover stories about how the LGBTQ movement is brainwashing kids in even the lowest grade in public elementary schools. That's because the MSM does not want people to become upset at the penetration (no pun intended) of the LGBTQ agenda.
In reality, there is relatively little "fake news" out there. Most alternative websites that people visit, such as Unz, simply provide a different perspective on issues that the MSM won't cover at all, or cover in a cursory manner.Skeptikal , December 10, 2016 at 2:35 pm GMT \n
And the "fake news" trope is an excellent example of misdirection/laying a false trail.
100 Words @Jus' Sayin'...
Classic disinfo technique, to seed the truth with a few lies that are provably false so that then the whole thing can be claimed to be false and written off.
I don't know about the Podestas but as others here have rightly stated, there's enough smoke for a thorough, open investigation.
Coincidently, the anti-Russian rhetoric has escalated to an even more absurd degree alongside the Pizzagate news. I wonder if the result will be even less people believing the blatant lies of mass media or if people will just demonstrate that there are no limits to gullibility.anonymous , December 11, 2016 at 5:31 am GMT \n
100 Words @NoseytheDuke
I saw a headline on CNN.com claiming Russia was attempting to smear people by 'planting' child pornography on their computers.
I didn't bother reading it, as CNN is a Gawker level news source these days, but it seems like they may attempt to blame this stuff on Russia – along with everything else.Mark Green , Website December 11, 2016 at 7:41 am GMT \n
Here's another sex scandal (and a certifiably real one) involving a prominent Canadian who turned out to be a pedaphile. There's a lot in this story that's revealing and fascinating.
http://torontolife.com/city/ben-levin-child-pornography-sting/Skeptikal , December 11, 2016 at 2:33 pm GMT \n
500 Words @Mark Green
Such a disturbing story. But instructive. In particular the information, or perhaps it is a speculation, that the pedophiliac sexual drive develops early on. This drive must be incredibly strong-stronger than what would be considered normal sexual desire? I don't know. But I have read that it is so strong that pedophiles make major life choices in terms of finding a way to get access to children to use sexually. Such as marrying: so they can father their own children and have them handy for abuse. Or entering a profession, such as the priesthood, or pediatrics, or education, etc. so that they have access to children. Or becoming sports coaches, where they spend a lot of time in locker rooms and also have blandishments to offer young boys such as sports career advances. Etc.
I think this point-the power of the drive-should be taken into account when people such as some commenters on this thread say: "These people [such as Podesta} are too intelligent to risk their careers blah blah." If the pedophilia drive is as strong as, say, a heroin addiction, then the addiction is in the driver's seat, not "intelligence." The more you feed an addiction, the stronger it gets, and the more stimulation it takes to get the charge.
As for the sprinkling of a few lies in with a story that is targeted for debunking: In a normal police investigation the police solicit leads from the public. (It is true that in this case there is not an obvious victim, so that must also be taken into account; but this was also the situation with the Ben Levin [Toronto] case; nevertheless what he did was criminal and dangerous.) They examine the leads and follow them up. This is detectives' job.
Often an obscure lead does lead to further useful information needed to build a hypothesis of the motive-means-opportunity for the crime and widen the scope of an investigation. Every American with a TV set has seen hundred of such police procedurals showing how crimes have been solved, often cold cases. Bona fide detectives who get leads from the public don't immediately start to smear the source of leads as looney-tunes. In this case the public, in the face of apparent inaction by law enforcement to follow up on this case, is responding by posting ideas and hypotheses and possible leads.
An honest law enforcement agency would be conducting an aggressive investigation and checking out any useful info and ideas that members of the public come up with, whether online or off. Honest news outlets should either be calling for a thorough investigation, or staying mum if they have been informed that an investigation is ongoing. The fact that the MSM, absent any sign of an investigation, are blaring out the "nothing here; move on; blogger are rabid fools" message is in itself suspicious and suggests that someone is being protected. The MSM have put out just enough info to warn the possible wrongdoers to get their act together, change their signage, and run for cover.Miro23 , December 11, 2016 at 4:40 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Skeptikal
The fact that the MSM, absent any sign of an investigation, are blaring out the "nothing here; move on; blogger are rabid fools" message is in itself suspicious and suggests that someone is being protected. The MSM have put out just enough info to warn the possible wrongdoers to get their act together, change their signage, and run for cover.
My feeling exactly. Too much volume, no doubts, too orchestrated and nothing being investigated, in fact just like WMD, and 9/11.Anon , December 11, 2016 at 5:23 pm GMT \n
Ping Pong Comet Pizza should rename itself as Suck-E-Cheese.
Btw, more pedo stuff.
Media seem less enthused about going after secular pedos, just like rabbi pedos got less public scrutiny than the Catholic pedo priests did.Intelligent Dasein , Website December 11, 2016 at 6:07 pm GMT \n
I believe that Pizzagate is a Trojan Horse being pushed into Alt-Right internet circles by Hillary/Soros' former CTR trolls in order to help the Democrats and the MSM continue to flog the "fake news" narrative. The idea behind it is to enable them to say, "Look, you see what kind of crazy conspiracies those Alt-Righters consume and repeat amongst themselves? This is the kind of fake news believing nutjobs we're up against." If you think back upon the history of the meme (I hate that word, but I have no other to use in its place), you'll find that its original and most vocal proponents were exhibiting clear trolling behavior. Given their flaky commenting histories, their pretended expertise on this then-obscure topic, their ostentatious expressions of optimism that this breaking news would ensure a Trump victory (itself a rather obsequious and scarcely believable attempt to paint themselves as one of our number), and their single-minded determination to talk about (and to get us talking about) nothing else, one can only suspect the presence of some sort of agenda behind their sudden exuberance over Pizzagate.
I believe we are up against a new and rather sophisticated sort of Concern Troll here-a veritable Stuxnet of concern trolling. A perfect example here at the Unz Review is the poster "anonguy". Look at his commenting history. Look at the sudden acceleration of his offerings as Election Day neared. And then look at his militant megaphoning of the Pizzagate narrative all over Sailer's blog in the days immediately preceding the election. Furthermore, pay attention to his unusual style, i.e. how he structures his comments as detached musings about the goings-on in the "infosphere" (his word), how he jejunely assures us the "the narrative is forming" (yes, he actually said that, and at a time when there was no narrative to speak of), and his links to literally fake news sites (the Denver Guardian? Give me a break). Now tell me that this is the behavior of someone who actually has the health of the body politic as his primary objective.
Now, after having sifted all that, do try to remember that the larger general public really doesn't know or care anything at all about Pizzagate, and that the leaked Podesta emails (all 37,000 of them, or whatever the final tally was) influenced the vote of precisely no one who did not have the time or inclination to read through them all, which is practically every one of us. Remember that the only people talking about this in the first place are the Alt-Right bloggers and their followers, the very venues of "fake news" whom the Left is attempting to discredit and sully. Remember that the Clintons and Soros specialize in public deception and that they employ all sorts of people for that very purpose. Now consider who is rendered vulnerable by all of this. It isn't going to be the Clintons or Podesta. If Hillary Clinton was not prosecuted for trafficking in state secrets from her private server-a crime for which she should have been executed- then Podesta is not going to be investigated for this. But you all, on the other hand, have been tainted with it. You have been successfully associated in the public mind with a "conspiracy theory," with the "fake news."
My conclusion: Pizzagate is a "thought worm" designed to infect, distract, and destroy the Alt-Right, and most of you have been infected with it. This is not to say that there is no pedophilia going on in Podesta's circle. There may be or there may not be, I really don't know. The point is that there isn't anything you can do about it. The accusations will be turned against the accusers instead-classic Clinton behavior. It would be better not to take the bait anymore. Recent history has demonstrated over and over again that the public is not going to rise up with one voice and clamor for the punishment even of credibly accused child molesters unless there is something more to be gained from doing so, and in this case there clearly isn't. What this says about the spiritual state of the modern West or the psychology of fallen mankind are subjects I will leave for another discussion. For now it is simply a fact of life with which we have to account. The only way to beat these people is the Chicago Way: hit them harder than they hit you. We dealt them a stunning blow by electing Donald Trump, but now we are in danger of losing our advantage by immersing ourselves in a mire of toothless recriminations, and this is exactly what they want. Let's not fall for this again; let us rather rekindle the spirit that got us this far, and take these vile people down once and for all.robt , December 11, 2016 at 6:28 pm GMT \n
The Washington Post found the funds to assign 27 investigative reporters for over a year to dig dirt on Trump, and bragged about it. Judging by what they came up with, it wasn't too fruitful.map , December 11, 2016 at 8:50 pm GMT \n
100 Words @Intelligent Dasein
Your comment is ridiculous.
First you say the entire pizzagate meme is fake and it's fakery will undo the alt-right. Then you say that you can't do anything about pedophilia anyway, pizzagate or otherwise.
Which is it? Is the story fake and thereby discrediting to those who support it, or is it real but pointless to cover because you can't do anything about it?
Then you suggest we do this "the Chicago way" which is hitting harder than them whatever that means. If you are not going to open investigations against these people, then what does "hitting harder" entail?
There is no way that Soros or anyone else is going to construct an elaborate criminal conspiracy out of whole cloth and tag one of his own loyal operatives.Skeptikal , December 11, 2016 at 9:55 pm GMT \n
100 Words @map
Intelligent's comment looks to me like an elaborate misdirection.
All such blah blah gets no one any closer to an answer as to what is behind the coded language in the Wikileaks emails.
It is a classic example of throwing up a convolution of dust to obscure the smoking emails.
Stick to the evidence.
Ignore irrelevant baroque musings.
300 Words @Intelligent Dasein
You make some good points but have missed the real issue entirely. Whilst I and many others here DO care about pedos and want them locked away from society, what makes this matter much more important is that it involves many top level power brokers in politics.
Pedophilia is more of a compulsion rather than addiction, why matters less than the fact that recidivism is the norm and society deserves protection both from the crime itself and from the crimes of blackmail that can result from knowledge of it..
Blackmail is a very powerful tool in the work of pure evil and is the reason why even Marines and Embassy guards have restrictions on who they may or may not consort with whilst on active foreign postings. I would estimate that there is no greater threat of exposure than one of sexually exploiting children. Even hardened criminals have contempt for such perverts who are usually granted special protection when incarcerated.
I would venture the suggestion that people with a compulsion towards sexual contact with children are identified early in their careers and consequently put forward for rapid progress within government institutions by those working behind the scene to exercise control over others with decision making capacity in the highest levels of government.
This is not a matter to be swept away if the swamp is to be drained, rather, this may well be where the "plughole" to the swamp itself is to be uncovered. It will require a special investigation team but not one like the Warren Commission or 9/11 "Investigation", a real investigation. Americans should settle for nothing less and it is incumbent of them to demand it.Erebus , December 12, 2016 at 11:07 am GMT \n
100 Words @NoseytheDuke
This is not a matter to be swept away if the swamp is to be drained, rather, this may well be where the "plughole" to the swamp itself is to be uncovered.
I'm willing to believe something pretty sordid is required to keep the bung hole as tightly plugged as it is and I can't imagine anything else creating a more tightly woven, impenetrable web of mutual blackmail. Imagine what they have on each other, and imagine what foreign intelligence services could do with same if they got hold of it. Come to think of it, maybe they have
America must get to the bung, dislodge it and deal with the stench that will cover the country for a generation. Until then, America can't hope to be great again.Skeptikal , December 12, 2016 at 12:51 pm GMT \n
100 Words @NoseytheDuke
This makes a lot of sense.
That string pullers are on the lookout for rising political stars who can be compromised along the way.
Hmmmmm . . .
Seems like a lot of political families have dynastic aspirations. That would mean that such offspring might be natural targets for monitoring for any "quirks."
100 Words @jacques sheete
Craig Spence's call boy business in Washington clearly involved high civilian and military officials. And Spence was able to take friends on midnight tours of the White House.
Spence's house was provided by the Japanese ruling party. The house they provided him had at least one bedroom wired for audio and video. I'm sure the Japanese didn't know that.
The Washington Times covered it for two or three weeks and it was never mentioned again.
Kids from Boys Town in Nebraska were allegedly used.
Unpack that and hope your hair doesn't turn white.Skeptikal , December 17, 2016 at 1:37 pm GMT \n
100 Words @NoseytheDuke
"Nobody is suggesting a rush to judgement here but clearly a prompt and thorough investigation is called for especially given the supporting evidence, as other commenters have pointed out."
If the putative "circumstantial evidence" that Russia-no! Putin himself!!-interfered in the American election suffices to launch the CIA on a nutty investigation whose purpose is, obviously, to "prove" that this is the case to the satisfaction of enough electors for them to become "faithless," then I think the Pizzagate emails plus "circumstantial" Pizzagate evidence are by comparison much more compelling and really scream for an investigation. In the Pizzagate case the investigating agency would presumably be the FBI. Which *might* be grounds to expect a genuine investigation.
No reasonable person would think that the emails really are about Podesta's playing dominos and having cheese for dinner. quite apart from the fact that cheese is usually mixed in with pasta!! Come on. I bet Podesta doesn't know how to play the game of dominos. What are these people really emailing about?BB753 , December 18, 2016 at 1:35 pm GMT \n
The Podestas' silence about the leaks seems pretty damning in itself. Silence is an admission of guilt.Eagle Eye , December 22, 2016 at 5:56 am GMT \n
100 Words @Sunbeam
For U.S. readers to gauge whether something like this COULD be happening in an advanced country, look to other countries where such incidents ARE known to have happened.
In Belgium, the Marc DUTROUX scandal led to political consequences and appears to be ongoing.
In the UK, the claims against Ted Heath and Cyril Smith (see picture of both in article linked below) are broadly seen as having at least some factual basis, and were reported in a number of newspapers including the Independent, the Guardian and the Daily Mail (see link below). Other names were rumored about.
There were also years of investigations and cover-ups involving various orphanages such as KINCORA (in Northern Ireland) and HAUTE GARENNE (on the Isle of Jersey). Both were conveniently located in somewhat remote locations outside the direct reach of English law.
There were also extensive rumors regarding several locations in London. Investigations were accompanied by the usual fortuitous deaths of potential witnesses, mysterious disappearance of documents, etc.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3189951/A-vanished-file-troubling-claims-Heath-young-musicians-s-no-smoking-gun-week-shocking-headlines-Mail-s-unearthed-fresh-allegations.htmlFKA Max , December 24, 2016 at 10:11 pm GMT \n
200 Words @FKA Max
Mr. Cassiel concludes his 3-part series of Pizzagate articles:
Precedents for Pizzagate
Aedon Cassiel Published: December 23, 2016
foolisholdman , December 27, 2016 at 9:45 pm GMT \n
To reiterate a point that should be clear to the more astute reader, my goal in this series (part 1, part 2) has not been to defend "Pizzagate" as such. My goal has been to defend the people who want to investigate it against specific accusations levied against them by people who think Pizzagate has revealed no intriguing information at all-for a specific reason, which I will be honing in and focusing on much more directly in this closing entry.
Whereas the mainstream critics of Pizzagate would have you believe that the world is divided between paranoid conspiracy theorist followers of "fake news" and level-headed people who follow trustworthy news sources and rely on cold, hard reason to determine the truth, my goal has been to show that-whatever is or is not happening with Pizzagate itself-this framing of the issue is arrogant, insulting, and the product of extremely narrow tunnel vision. [...]
And if the media is telling you only about the most bizarre, reaching accusations without telling you any of the more interesting points that have been uncovered (which it is), it is not doing its proper job."
100 Words @Sandy Berger's Socks
If in fact making all the "elite" blackmailable is the object of the exercise and at the same time being blackmailable is the requisite entry ticket to the elite, then not all the people taking part in all this sinister deviancy need be actual pedophiles! Some of them could be "merely" psychopaths furthering their careers. (Not that that makes them any better.)
If this story is what it appears to be – the tip of a very nasty and very large iceberg, then it could be the mechanism by which the "Deep State" keeps its control of the US government. That would make getting an investigation by official investigators going, very difficlt indeed.Ron Unz , December 27, 2016 at 10:07 pm GMT \n
200 Words @foolisholdman
If in fact making all the "elite" blackmailable is the object of the exercise and at the same time being blackmailable is the requisite entry ticket to the elite, then not all the people taking part in all this sinister deviancy need be actual pedophiles! Some of them could be "merely" psychopaths furthering their careers.
Well, I don't really have anything to contribute to the "Pizzagate" discussion myself, except to say that some of the supposed evidence plus the behavior of the media makes me very, *very* suspicious.
However, here's a somewhat related paragraph from one of the articles I published a year or two ago:
An obvious problem with installing puppet rulers is the risk that they will attempt to cut their strings, much like Putin soon outmaneuvered and exiled his oligarch patron Boris Berezovsky. One means of minimizing such risk is to select puppets who are so deeply compromised that they can never break free, knowing that the political self-destruct charges buried deep within their pasts could easily be triggered if they sought independence.
I have sometimes joked with my friends that perhaps the best career move for an ambitious young politician would be to secretly commit some monstrous crime and then make sure that the hard evidence of his guilt ended up in the hands of certain powerful people, thereby assuring his rapid political rise.
http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-when-tokyo-rose-ran-for-president/Junior , January 20, 2017 at 2:17 am GMT \n
This is ALL about the child trafficing that the Clinton-Bush Foundation was doing in Haiti. It is the weakpoint in a global child trafficing network and it is why the Clinton-Bush Foundation has taken down their website and are attempting to cover up any traces of it as we speak. Trump knows.
Anyone who believes that it is ludicrous to think that pizzerias could be used for such nefarious operations, I 'd like to point out to you the case of "The French Connection" which later became known as "The Pizza Connection" in which a huge global network of pizzerias were being used to distribute drugs in the 1980′s.
Anyone who believes that the pedophile code is purely circumstantial needs to take a look at the Katy Perry video "This Is How We Do" which appears to be an homage to Comet Pizza. It is absolutely rife with the code words from the Podesta emails revealed by Pizzagate. They prance around with convicted sex offender, who plea bargained out of a child porn charge, Pee-Wee Herman( http://people.com/celebrity/pee-wee-actor-settles-kiddie-porn-case/ ) singing about "this is how they do" and "it's no big deal".
Here is a video "Kids" by the group MGMT. The quote at the beginning of the video is from the quintessential Satanist Nietzsche("Free spirits", by contrast to the philosophers of the past, are "investigators to the point of cruelty, with rash fingers for the ungraspable, with teeth and stomach for the most indigestible" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyond_Good_and_Evil ). The video shows them bragging about how prevalent they are through our community. The "do as thou wilt" bastards are laughing at us about how they control positions of authority like policemen(3:36 of video) and how childrens TV programs are filled with their garbage of wolves in sheeps clothing(4:24 of video). And of course the Pizza and Hot Dog symbology throughout the end which culminates with them eating the child. This trash has 77 million views on Youtube.
Here is the video "Criminal" by Fiona Apple. It is all about placing the blame on the victim, by saying that the victim enticed the pedo scum, instead of the perpetrator. This homage to Child Porn makes great pains to highlight Pizza(:21 and :38 of the video) and tiled kill rooms with easy clean-up(:45 of the video and blood stains on carpet at :48 and :54).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFOzayDpWoIJunior , January 20, 2017 at 3:06 am GMT \n
100 Words @Junior
The lyrics from "In Bloom":
Sell the kids for food. Weather changes moods. Spring is here again. Reproductive Glands. We can have some more. Nature is a whore. Bruises on the fruit. Tender age in bloom . But he don't know what it means when I say "Yummmmmm"
It should be noted that there are two versions of this song. The original one has the Yummmmm heard at the end at 4:15 in this version.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdlrEJk9RDYFKA Max , January 20, 2017 at 5:55 am GMT \n
500 Words @FKA Max
Some potential victims of James Alefantis have been identified and one gave an anonymous testimony.
What James Alefantis allegedly did here is not illegal, but speaks volumes about his character, in my opinion, if the story indeed is true:
It turns out that Carole's son, who is +/-18 at this time, is also working at the restaurant. I think his name is Dylan/Dillon. He grew up without a father and turned to James Alefantis often for advice.
One night Carole walked into the comet pizza kitchen, and saw James Alefantis fucking her son in the kitchen. She was furious because she immediately knew how completely James had taken advantage of her son. She quit immediately and denounced James viciously in private, unwilling to do so publicly for professional reasons.
The story checks out, so far: Carole Greenwood is a single mom and has a son named Dylan, who was 13 years old/young in 2003. [...] [–] daj 16 points (+16|-0) 11 hours ago (edited 10 hours ago)
It's legit: http://hollaforums.com/thread/8359034/politics/james-alefantis-fucks.html
Disclaimer : I have absolutely no idea if this person is authentic, but since many Pizzagate critics argue that the scandal has not a leg to stand on, because no victims have come forward so far, I believe this testimony is important to share.
This is how he answered one of the questions on a voat comment thread. He seems to know/be aware of Dylan Greenwood
Here is one of the email exchanges between he and James Alefantis, that he did not delete: http://archive.is/8423t
After a little while when it was nearing the final exams, I was stressed out, exhausted and let my guard down and went out for some drinks with James a few times after work to get stuff off my chest. James would drug me up and then take advantage of me. When I threatened to go to the police he implied that he would harm me physically and said he would sue me. He had so many friends around DC that I believed him, I really was afraid, and just kept it all bottled up. I ended up getting PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, from what were effectively rapes, and later I began to realize that I likely had Stockholm Syndrome. I eventually quit the job, but James would send me lewd photos and texts for another 2 or three years at the rate of once about every 2 to 3 months, I think 6 months was the longest in that period. I had to kick him out of the place I worked when he came in every other month or so for about a year. Let this be a lesson: do not trust sociopaths and pathological liars.
– http://www.unz.com/article/precedents-for-pizzagate/#comment-1733621FKA Max , January 21, 2017 at 1:15 am GMT \n
200 Words @FKA Max
Former Comet Ping Pong Employee Alleges: "James Alefantis sexually assaulted me"
5 hours ago by abortionburger in pizzagate
Note: I have personally verified this person's identity and backstory. I obviously cannot verify his accusations. He wishes to remain anonymous.
By now, most people are at least vaguely familiar with the so-called "fake news" story known as Pizzagate. For those that aren't, the brief version is that self described "internet investigators" caught wind of some strange wording in the John Podesta emails released by Wikileaks, and went down the largest internet rabbit hole in recent history.
The story was quickly written off as mass hysteria, a conspiracy theory, and fake news by nearly all of mainstream media, and censored from the internet forum site Reddit. The theory, which has a plethora of circumstantial evidence, lacked one key factor: a victim. [...] The anonymous nature of internet forums leads to skeptics demanding proof of any seemingly outrageous claim. The publication of these emails adds credibility to his story.
Jan 24, 2017 | www.unz.com
In 2006, the DHS's Department of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ran an internationally cooperative investigation into the purchase of subscriptions of child pornography online. Code-named Project Flicker, the investigation uncovered the identities of 30,000 child porn subscribers in 132 different nations. Some 250 of these identities belonged to civilian and military employees of the U.S. Defense Department, who gave their real names and purchased the porn with government .mil email addresses-some with the highest security clearances available. In response, the Pentagon's Department of Criminal Investigative Services (DCIS) cross-referenced ICE's list with current employment roles and began a series of prosecutions.
A DCIS report from July 2010 shows that 30 of these individuals were investigated, despite uncovering a new total of 264 Defense employees and contractors who had purchased child pornography online. 13 had Top Secret security clearance. 8 had NATO Secret security clearance. 42 had Secret security clearance. 4 had Interim Secret security clearance. A total of 76 individuals had Secret security clearance or higher.
Yet, the investigations were halted entirely after only some 50 total names were investigated at all, and just 10 were prosecuted . A full 212 of the individuals on ICE's list were never even given the most cursory investigation at all. (Note: The number 5200 keeps popping up in sources covering this-for instance, see here -and I'm not sure what that number is for: American subscribers? Pentagon email addresses that weren't confirmed to have actually been used by Pentagon employees, but still may have been? I'll leave it to anyone interested enough to pursue these individual leads to see if they can figure that out and get back to us.)
In 2011, the story resurfaced when Anderson Cooper covered it with (again) Senator Chuck Grassley on CNN. After this, the story appears to have sunk straight back down into the memory hole yet again. Neither Anderson Cooper nor CNN appear to have given a follow–up in the five years since the story of the failed investigation first aired-why not? And why wasn't the first airing enough to lead to mass outrage and calls for action anyway? See here for another summary of the squashed investigation from 2014.
Jan 19, 2017 | www.investors.com
hile everyone's been gearing up for President Trump's inauguration, the Clinton Foundation made a major announcement this week that went by with almost no notice: For all intents and purposes, it's closing its doors.
In a tax filing, the Clinton Global Initiative said it's firing 22 staffers and closing its offices, a result of the gusher of foreign money that kept the foundation afloat suddenly drying up after Hillary Clinton failed to win the presidency.
It proves what we've said all along: The Clinton Foundation was little more than an influence-peddling scheme to enrich the Clintons, and had little if anything to do with "charity," either overseas or in the U.S. That sound you heard starting in November was checkbooks being snapped shut in offices around the world by people who had hoped their donations would buy access to the next president of the United States.
And why not? There was a strong precedent for it in Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. While serving as the nation's top diplomat, the Clinton Foundation took money from at least seven foreign governments - a clear breach of Clinton's pledge on taking office that there would be total separation between her duties and the foundation.
Is there a smoking gun? Well, of the 154 private interests who either officially met or had scheduled phone talks with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state, at least 85 were donors to the Clinton Foundation or one of its programs.
... ... ...
Using the Freedom of Information Act, Judicial Watch in August obtained emails (that had been hidden from investigators) showing that Clinton's top State Department aide, Huma Abedin, had given "special expedited access to the secretary of state" for those who gave $25,000 to $10 million to the Clinton Foundation. Many of those were facilitated by a former executive of the foundation, Doug Band, who headed Teneo, a shell company that managed the Clintons' affairs.
As part of this elaborate arrangement, Abedin was given special permission to work for the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and Teneo - another very clear conflict of interest.
As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said at the time, "These new emails confirm that Hillary Clinton abused her office by selling favors to Clinton Foundation donors."
The seedy saga doesn't end there. Indeed, there are so many facets to it, some may never be known. But there is still at least one and possibly four active federal investigations into the Clintons' supposed charity.
Americans aren't willing to forgive and forget. Earlier this month, the IBD/TIPP Poll asked Americans whether they would like President Obama to pardon Hillary for any crimes she may have committed as secretary of state, including the illegal use of an unsecured homebrew email server. Of those queried, 57% said no. So if public sentiment is any guide, the Clintons' problems may just be beginning.
Writing in the Washington Post in August of 2016, Charles Krauthammer pretty much summed up the whole tawdry tale : "The foundation is a massive family enterprise disguised as a charity, an opaque and elaborate mechanism for sucking money from the rich and the tyrannous to be channeled to Clinton Inc.," he wrote. "Its purpose is to maintain the Clintons' lifestyle (offices, travel accommodations, etc.), secure profitable connections, produce favorable publicity and reliably employ a vast entourage of retainers, ready to serve today and at the coming Clinton Restoration."
Except, now there is no Clinton Restoration. So there's no reason for any donors to give money to the foundation. It lays bare the fiction of a massive "charitable organization," and shows it for what it was: a scam to sell for cash the waning influence of the Democrats' pre-eminent power couple. As far as the charity landscape goes, the Clinton Global Initiative won't be missed.
Jan 18, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.comPeter K. : January 15, 2017 at 08:38 AM http://www.eschatonblog.com/2017/01/changing-perspectives.html
SUNDAY, JANUARY 15, 2017
Short blog post means big generalizations, but...
Post-impeachment, post-Bush selection, post-9/11 was a weird time in American politics (I suppose a specific weird time, it's always a weird time). One thing people forget about the impeachment era was that it was basically The Left (sometimes actually The Left like The Nation magazine writers and sometimes people who found themselves being branded The Left because of this) who defended Bill Clinton in the whole Monica Madness era (and before). Mainstream media (hi New York Times!), columnists, cable news personalities, all the respectable prominent "centrist" Democrats, were falling all over themselves to condemn that nasty Bill Clinton and his nasty penis, and Ken Starr was treated as the second coming of Jesus in respectable DC circles. It was a weird time in which the crazy left were actually the biggest defenders of the Democratic party, much bigger defenders of it than the Democratic party itself. It was a time when you wouldn't have been surprised if you woke up one morning and half the party hadn't decided to switch teams and become Republicans. "I was a Democrat before Bill Clinton did nasty things with that woman, but now I don't think rich people should pay taxes anymore..."
And then the selection, and then Iraq, and then Bush's re-election, and the whole Social Security privatization nonsense... It was always the "crazy left" that was trying to make the Democratic party just, you know, be Democrats, and everybody else basically being like "Why can't a Democrat be more like a Republican." Being against the war or against Social Security privatization (the Dems finally woke up on that one, but it took a lot of yelling) wasn't exactly calling for full communism, and plenty of people who thought they were just standard squishy Democrats suddenly found themselves being lumped together with radicals.
So I found myself on the crazy left. I'm genuinely more "lefty" than I was 15 years ago, but even now I'm not exactly calling for full communism. I generally think that usually the best use of my efforts are to pull the party leftward (not that I think I have the superpowers required to do this), not just because I'm more lefty, but because the forces pulling them to the right continue to be powerful and well-funded. Also, if the "crazy" position is a minimum wage of $25 an hour, then $15 an hour doesn't look so crazy anymore (for example). If the best we can ever do is a compromise, then it's best not to start the negotiations with the compromise position.
People get mad about criticizing Democrats these days in a way they never did before. People like Obama associates "the crazy left" with Bernie, blaming him (and therefore the crazy left) for Clinton's election problems. Maybe I'm wrong, but whatever horrors the Trump administration is going to unleash, the important thing is for the Democrats to draw distinctions, and not just hope for team R to step on enough rakes. "Not as evil as the other guys" just doesn't win elections, even when the other guys are really f!@#ing evil.
by Atrios at 09:48
Jan 17, 2017 | washingtonbabylon.com
Before heading out for the weekend, let's discuss Jeffrey Epstein, America's best connected political pedophile, shall we?
If you haven't heard of him, Epstein's the super-sleazy Palm Beach billionaire who was busted some time back and convicted for conspiring to bring underage foreign girls to his estates in the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Or as his 2008 plea deal put it, to "knowingly and willfully conspiring with others known and unknown to persuade, induce, or entice minor females to engage in prostitution."
I've previously written about Epstein's ties to Bill Clinton and to Donald Trump . Neither Clinton nor Trump look come out of it looking good, to put it mildly, but in this case Clinton looks a lot worse.
"Flight logs show Bill Clinton traveled at least 10 times on Epstein's private jet, dubbed the 'Lolita Express,' by tabloids, and he is widely reported to have visited Little St. James, Epstein's private island in the US Virgin Islands," I've previously written. "That's where, according to attorneys for Epstein's victims, many of the worst crimes against minors were committed by Epstein and friends who traveled there with him."
In a 2011 interview with her attorneys, Virginia Roberts, one of the teenagers preyed upon by Epstein, said he had told her he had "compromising" information on Bill Clinton and that the former president "owes me a favor."
Oh yeah, and by the way Epstein donated to the Clinton Foundation and multiple Democratic Party causes before and after being convicted for pedophilia.
Lately, however, the party has reportedly shunned Epstein. Indeed, he's so toxic, recently released emails show , that Team Obama rejected the idea of having Epstein's chief attorney, Roy Black, host a fundraiser. Black, by the way, is perhaps best known for winning an acquittal for William Kennedy Smith for allegedly raping a Palm Beach teenager. Following that trial Black married a juror in the case.
Federal and state investigators amassed a mountain of evidence against Epstein, but in the end Black and his other attorneys were able to draft and negotiate a bizarre plea deal. The terms of the agreement, which was secret at the time, capped damages against Epstein - reportedly worth about $2 billion - to between $50,000 and $150,000, depending on what year he had abused the girl, an attorney with direct knowledge of the case told me.
The agreement also barred victims from seeking any future financial redress. Roberts and a number of other "Jane Does" - Epstein's underage victims- are currently suing to overturn the settlement. A number of attorneys with ties to the Obama administration were involved in negotiating the deal, which was highly criticized and never publicly explained. (The astonishing story of the "sweetheart" plea deal is laid out in this article in the Palm Beach Daily News.)
So why write about Epstein now?
First, as just noted, this creep got off easy.
Second, Page Six recently spotted Epstein on the Upper East Side with young Russian "playmates."
Third, James Patterson, the best-selling writer, is authoring a book about Epstein that's coming out in October. It's a great time to pile on.
Fourth, I've been looking into the Epstein affair for over a year. I've interviewed dozens of sources in Florida, including several of the Miami-area lawyers for the Jane Does, and have a lot of material in my files.
Interviews with key sources, documents and previously published accounts show that Epstein's closest friends and collaborators included Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of disgraced British newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, and Frenchman Jean-Luc Brunel. The latter ran a modeling agency called Karin, which is based in Paris but also has offices in New York, Miami, and Brazil.
Brunel, whose role in the Epstein case has been covered by Jezebel and others, has a long and sordid record of abusing and pimping out young women. Back in 1988, 60 Minutes aired a segment that featured a dozen models who said they had been sexually assaulted by Brunel.
Craig Pyes, an associate producer and chief investigator of the segment, said various witnesses told him that Brunel was "heavily into cocaine and sex with young girls," and that he set-up parties for "his rich playboy friends" and invited girls to weekend parties that "operated as meat markets for older men." Several models told 60 Minutes they had been drugged and raped by Brunel or his friends.
What's especially outrageous, attorneys tell me, is that neither Brunel nor Maxwell ever testified in Epstein's case. Both fled the United States on the eve of their respective depositions with the flimsiest of excuses. (Page Six recently reported that Maxwell was finally going to be forced to testify in the ongoing Jane Doe trial, but I haven't been able to confirm that.)
Brunel lined up underage girls for Epstein's Virgin Islands hideaway through his modeling agency, several of the victims' attorneys I interviewed said. A private investigator involved in the case backed those accounts.
He said that Karin had two departments, one that was legal and sent girls to New York and elsewhere, and an illegal side that recruited underage girls for Epstein and other global clients. "They lured young girls [to Orgy Island], mostly from small towns in Brazil and Eastern Europe – with the promise of a fat modeling contract," this person said. "They told them they'd go to the island and meet the head of the modeling agency. Instead, they were coerced into pleasuring Epstein, Brunel and their guests."
This source said Epstein's entire sex procurement operation was laid out to him by a former Karin bookkeeper, a Cuban-American woman who worked for the modeling agency's Miami office during the relevant period.
I've unsuccessfully tried to track this woman down. Anyone with information please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I've reached out to Epstein, Brunel, Maxwell and Black on various occasions and never heard back from any of them.
Jan 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.comPeter K. : January 10, 2017 at 06:55 AM , 2017 at 06:55 AMhttp://economistsview.typepad.com/timduy/2011/01/what-is-rubins-legacy.htmlPeter K. -> Peter K.... , January 10, 2017 at 06:59 AM
Monday, January 03, 2011
What Is Rubin's Legacy?
by Tim Duy
As the candidates for the next NEC chair narrow, a debate has erupted regarding the suitability of candidates either too directly related to former US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin or Wall Street. Mark Thoma came out first:
I still think a break from the Wall Street connected side of the Clinton administration would have political value.
Brad DeLong subsequently declared his support for Gene Sperling. Next up was Felix Salmon, who, like Thoma, notes that the three leading candidates, Gene Sperling, Roger Altman, and Richard Levin, are all "multi-millionaires with close ties to Wall Street." He singles out Sperling for a particularly harsh criticism, first questioning the nature of Sperling's ties to Wall Street:
...there's Sperling, who in some ways is the worst of the three when it comes to grubbing money from Wall Street.
Salmon relies on Ezra Klein to paint a picture of Sperling as a low-class influence peddler, and then extends his attack to Sperling's competence:
Noam Scheiber does his best to defend Sperling, but is far from persuasive-the general picture he paints is of a man whose heart might be in the right place but who never seems to get anything done. The last time he was at the NEC he sat quietly by while Treasury pushed through various deregulatory measures; within the Obama administration his main claim to fame seems to be the bank tax, which never actually got enacted.
Finally, he echo's Thoma's concerns:
More generally, Sperling has done nothing to counter the general impression that he's one of many Rubinites in the administration, in the context of a political atmosphere where one of the few points of agreement between the right and left is that the departure of Summers can and should be taken as an opportunity to finally put as much distance between Obama and Rubin as possible.
This elicits a response from DeLong, who defines himself as a long-time Rubinite and launches into a spirited defense of Rubin:
Robert Rubin went to work for the Clinton Administration in 1993 with four goals: (1) to make the decision-making process work smoothly; (2) to match the tax revenues of the federal government to its spending commitments; (3) to make the tax and transfer system more progressive so that people like him paid more and America's working class paid less; and (4) to make the financial system work more smoothly and transparently and so diminish the rents earned because of market position and institutional connections by people like him.
(1), (2), and (3) were big successes. (4) was a failure--the belief that financial deregulation would diminish Wall Street payouts because organizations like Goldman Sachs would face new competition from deep-pocket commercial banks--turned out to be wrong. Why it was wrong I do not understand. But it was a failure. However, it was not a catastrophic failure--it was not the repeal of Glass-Steagall that caused our current downturn, but rather other and different regulatory failures long after Rubin had left office...
DeLong does acknowledge that Citigroup shareholders have a legitimate gripe, and so do the American people:
I think that if you are an American or a citizen of the world you have a beef with Rubin for believing--as I did--in the "Greenspanist" doctrine that the Federal Reserve had the tools to put a firewall between finance and employment and should thus regard bubbles principally with benign neglect.
What I find curious is that DeLong neglects to mention what I believe was a central element of the Rubin agenda, and an element that was in fact the most disastrous in the long run - the strong Dollar policy.
The strong Dollar policy takes shape in 1995. At that point, Rubin made it clear that the rest of the world was free to manipulate the value of the US Dollar to pursue their own mercantilist interests. This should have been more obvious at the time given that China was last named a currency manipulator in 1994, but the immensity of that decision was lost as the tech boom engulfed America.
Moreover, Rubin adds insult to injury in the Asian Financial Crisis, by using the IMF as a club to enact far reaching reforms on nations seeking aid. The lesson learned - never, ever run a current account deficit. Accumulating massive reserves is the absolute only way to guarantee you can always tell the nice men from the IMF and the US Treasury to get off your front porch.
In effect, Rubin encourages the US to unilaterally enact a new Plaza Accord on itself. Michael Pettis reminds us of what the Plaza Accord meant for Japan:
Not only did Tokyo wait way too long to begin the rebalancing process, but when the rest of the world (i.e. the US) refused to absorb its huge and expanding trade surplus and forced up the value of the yen, Tokyo made things worse – it counteracted the impact of the rising yen by expanding investment, expanding credit, and lowering interest rates. This accelerated Japan's structural imbalances, set off a further frenzied rise in asset prices and capacity, and worsened the eventual adjustment. This also seems to have happened after China began revaluing the RMB after July 2005.
This sounds like an eerily similar story. To counteract the impact of the rising trade deficit, US policymakers increasingly relied on asset bubbles to support domestic demand. It goes beyond benign neglect, which assumes you know acknowledge you have a bubble. US policymakers didn't even see the train wreck ahead. They simply enjoyed the fruits of the bubble thinking it reflected sound economic policy. Back to 2005:
Ben S. Bernanke does not think the national housing boom is a bubble that is about to burst, he indicated to Congress last week, just a few days before President Bush nominated him to become the next chairman of the Federal Reserve.
U.S. house prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years, noted Bernanke, currently chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, in testimony to Congress's Joint Economic Committee. But these increases, he said, "largely reflect strong economic fundamentals," such as strong growth in jobs, incomes and the number of new households.
At least Japan had the excuse that they were forced into the Plaza Accord, perhaps justifiably given their expanding current account surplus of the time. Rubin has no such excuse - the strong dollar policy was entirely a self inflicted wound that goes far beyond simple "benign neglect" of bubbles. To be sure, Yves Smith argues in Econned that Asian central banks were threatening to sell Dollar assets, but adds that the main motivation was supporting Japan. Most importantly, Rubin entirely missed how Chinese policymakers would take advantage of America's newfound love for an artificially strong currency.
But did he really miss it? Wall Street was making money hand over foot intermediating the current account deficit, which raises the question that many of us still have: Was Rubin working for the American people or Wall Street? As far as I can tell, the greatest coup of the last two decades was how easily Wall Street managed to secure the support of Democrats, knowing of course they always had the support of Republicans.
And what has been the ultimate achievement then of the Rubin era? A lost decade for jobs and industrial production and a massively unbalanced global economy. The promised compensating job surge in other sectors has so far been absent. Ultimately, didn't Rubin simply lay the foundation for today's economy that is decried by DeLong?:
From here it does look like a two-tier, profit-driven recovery--no parking places within a quarter mile of Tiffanys and long lines at Williams and Sonoma and Sur la Table, with people buying $12 cans of almond paste, while some of my daughter's high school classmates are now being told they cannot afford to go to college next year.
And by the way, it is not clear that we did China any favors either by the strong Dollar policy, as they are now faced with a massive internal rebalancing act - there is no guarantee anymore that China is the future, nor that China will escape the fate of Japan.
I agree with DeLong that being associated with the Wall Street, the Clinton Administration in general and Rubin in particular should not alone disqualify one from serving in the Obama Administration. But we shouldn't give Rubin a free pass either. The strong dollar policy reinforced and entrenched massive and disruptive distortions to patterns of global consumption and production. Unwinding those disruptions is proving to be very costly. The long-term impact of the strong Dollar policy needs to be counted among Rubin's legacies.Staring down the barrel of a Trump presidency, how prophetic were Duy's words. Rubin helped give us Trump.JohnH -> Peter K.... , January 10, 2017 at 08:20 AM
But for some reason certain progressive neoliberals want us to forget this. Wonder why.Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. The Wall Street banking cartel controls the Fed, Treasury, and the NEC...but it's only bad, according to 'liberal' economists when a Republican appoints these guys...Obama got shielded from criticism.John San Vant -> JohnH... , January 10, 2017 at 11:48 AMlol,wall street banking cartel has controlled everything from the 19th century commodity money to BW to the modern dollar standard every since Andrew Jackson gave them the power in the 1830's in the US. Of course New York replaced London in the 1930's.John San Vant -> Peter K.... , January 10, 2017 at 11:49 AMThe the Trump Presidency ends with recession, what then when another Obama type takes office in 2021?
Jan 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.comFred C. Dobbs -> Peter K.... January 10, 2017 at 07:20 AM , 2017 at 07:20 AMBill Clinton and the Reagan Consensus https://spectator.org/35394_bill-clinton-and-reagan-consensus/Peter K. -> Fred C. Dobbs... , January 10, 2017 at 08:16 AM
Jeffrey Lord - June 7, 2012
Bill Clinton is to Ronald Reagan as Dwight D. Eisenhower was to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
And as the Wisconsin Recall recedes into history's rearview mirror, Barack Obama and the Stealth Socialism he represents is nowhere but in trouble.
Which is exactly why all of these stories about the sub rosa rivalry between ex-President Clinton and President Obama are so relevant, not to mention important to understand.
First, Ike and FDR.
Dwight D. Eisenhower famously rode into the White House in 1952 as a genuine American hero. While other presidents had distinguished war records, only a small handful had to that point entered the presidency celebrated for their military genius. ...
Ike was the man behind D-Day, indisputably one of the central events in ending World War II. He had a fabulous grin and a likeable personality - not for nothing his campaign's famous slogan, "I Like Ike."
But a political thinker Ike was not, nor did he pretend to be one.
In 1952, the Republican Party had been out of the White House for 20 years. In the space of those 20 years Americans had become convinced that the liberal theory of Big Government - aka the New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt and the Fair Deal of Harry Truman - was the wave of the future. Modernity was here - and Big Government was its name.
In 1936, 1940, 1944 and 1948 the GOP had begun a conscious shift to acceptance of what Barry Goldwater would later scorn as the "dime store New Deal." The Big Government idea was accepted as political gospel - and GOP progressives or liberals believed that the route to political success for both the GOP and country was to simply swallow the concept whole. ...
Eisenhower was very much in the moderate Republican role. Not as a result of any thorough study of political philosophy - he was a student of matters military. But to the extent he had thought politics through, Ike was a thorough-going moderate. Like Hoover, Eisenhower too was a favorite of Democrats, many of whom wanted to draft him to replace Truman atop the 1948 Democratic ticket. By 1952 his biggest backers included Dewey and Massachusetts GOP liberal Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. His biggest opponent was famously Ohio's conservative "Mr. Republican" Senator Robert Taft. ...
Which brings us to Bill Clinton.
By the time Clinton took office as the first Democrat to succeed Ronald Reagan, the consensus over the role of Big Government had been irretrievably smashed. In its place stood the new consensus - the Reagan Consensus. An understanding that taxes must be kept low to encourage economic growth - and that spending had to be restrained.
No one was more acutely aware of this than Bill Clinton himself. He had in fact spent years positioning himself as a "centrist" or "New Democrat." Working with the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, Clinton fought to give the Democrats a more moderate veneer after years of McGovern, Carter, Mondale, and Dukakis had left Americans with the realization that Liberalism was hopelessly captured by tax-and-spend special interests - with public employee unions at the top of the list.
Yet once elected president, Clinton plunged into the presidency as an activist Democrat in the mold of his hero JFK, With a bust of FDR on his desk, Clinton and wife Hillary spent two years fighting the Reagan Consensus with "HillaryCare" - a government-controlled health care system. They failed. According to aide George Stephanopoulos, the quickly frustrated President Clinton was grousing that he was being forced to behave as an "Eisenhower Republican."
He wasn't happy - but if he were going to win re-election Bill Clinton was determined to get on with accommodating the Reagan Consensus.
By 1995, with the 1994 Gingrich-led sweep of Congress on a Reaganesque platform now a fact, Clinton formally acknowledged the new consensus - the Reagan Consensus. "The era of Big Government is over," he proclaimed in his State of the Union message. ...
"According to aide George Stephanopoulos, the quickly frustrated President Clinton was grousing that he was being forced to behave as an "Eisenhower Republican.""Peter K. : , January 10, 2017 at 06:58 AM
This is the episode certain progressive neoliberals refuse to acknowledge.
Rubin and Greenspan convinced Clinton to drop his middle class spending bill campaign promise in favor of deficit reduction and bending to the wishes of the bond market.
James Carville mockingly quipped that now he wanted to be reincarnated as the bond market. "You can intimidate anybody."
Private sector investment over government spending with all sorts of academic economics as rationale.
Government debt would "crowd out' private investment. Krugman proclaims the Clinton era a Nirvana.
Dean Baker:pgl : , -1
"Note that the dollar rose by more than 40 percent from the start of 1996 to its peak in 2002. That was the strong dollar policy of then Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. This also was when our trade deficit started to explode. Do folks remember all the people screaming against Rubin pushing a strong dollar because of the harm it would do to the countries in the developing world with dollar denominated debt? Yeah, I can't quite remember that either."
http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/think-of-the-money-physicians-families-would-save-on-health-care-costs-if-we-ended-protectionism-for-doctorsBrad Setser directs out attention to our exports - which he notes are not growing in large part due to the dollar appreciation. OK, imports are growing which is not a surprise for two reasons - that dollar appreciation once again and the growth in overall US real GDP. Now if we can only get real GDP to grow and the dollar to devalue. But that ain't happening with Trump's proposed policies. Of course my last statement will likely upset the feelings of certain trolls here. So be it.
Dec 30, 2016 | www.politico.com
their quarter-century project to build a mutual buy-one, get-one-free Clinton dynasty has ended in her defeat, and their joint departure from the center of the national political stage they had hoped to occupy for another eight years. Their exit amounts to a finale not just for themselves, but for Clintonism as a working political ideology and electoral strategy.
Twenty-five years ago, Bill Clinton almost single-handedly repositioned the Democratic Party for electoral success, co-opting and defusing Republican talking points and moving the party toward the center on issues like welfare and a balanced budget, in the process becoming the first presidential nominee of his party since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win two consecutive terms.
... ... ...
"New Democrat" he'd once exemplified was now extinct, a victim first of Clinton's own successes, and then of the economic and social dislocations of the globalism whose inevitability he foresaw when he predicted that Americans would one day "change jobs four or five times in their lifetimes!"
Bill Clinton's "Third Way" ideology was also undone by sheer geopolitical realities -- there are almost no Blue Dog Democrats left after a generation of redistricting, primary challenges and electoral defeats in the South
...while Hillary Clinton recognized the change intellectually, she seemed unable to catch up to the practical realities of its political implications for her campaign
..."People thought she'd been conceived in Goldman Sachs' trading desk," says one veteran Clinton aide
...Obama had not only largely overlooked the concerns of white working-class voters but, with his health care overhaul, had been seen as punishing them financially to provide new benefits to the poorest Americans. Fairly or not, he lost the public argument.
...Bill Clinton himself was far from an unalloyed asset in Hillary's campaign this year. The rosy glow that had come to surround much of his post presidency, and his charitable foundation's good works around the world, receded in the face of Trump's relentless reminders of his personal and sexual misconduct in office, and his and his wife's tendency toward legalistic corner-cutting-a point Sanders also drove home, even as he disavowed any interest in "her damn emails."
Jan 01, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Code Name D , December 31, 2016 at 6:25 pm
The death of Clintonism may be a bit premature.
It may come off as a shocker, but I found this piece to be too apologetic of the Clintons.
"By 2016, spurred by anger at Wall Street, and at Washington gridlock and business as usual, the Democratic Party had moved well to the left of the one Bill Clinton had inherited in 1992. And while Hillary Clinton recognized the change intellectually, she seemed unable to catch up to the practical realities of its political implications for her campaign."
I tend to see this sort of language peppered throughout the article. First is the choice of wording. "The Democratic Party had moved well to the left " The problem with this language is that it ignores the issues in place of an empty word "left". Voters did not "move to the left", but rather had new issues that needed redress that didn't exist then, or that morphed and evolved from past issues. At no point did the Clintons campaign ever talk about the issues beyond their platitudes and sound bites. Clinton's take on global warming is literally just, "investing in new technologies and renewable energy systems to wean our dependence off of foreign oil."
Second, the author declares several times that "Clinton understood this, but was unable to capitalize on it." As a general rule, I try not to pretend what people think or understand. I am not a mind reader and any claim to that effect will be nothing more than speculation. All I have to go on is what someone says and does. And when all that you say is little more than empty platitudes, the claim that she understands anything is rather hard to justify.
In regards to the authors specific claim that Clinton understood that the electorate "moved to the left of the party," I find this hard to accept, even from its own vapid context. If anything, Clinton seemed to have nothing but contempt for "the left", and certainly for Sander's supporters. Indeed, the Democratic narrative has always been that election are won "at the center" or just "left of center". If she understood that the party had "moved further to the left", then she also believed that the party had moved too far to the left and needed to be dragged back to the center in order to avoid losing to Trump.
"[The] Democratic Party that was seen as more sympathetic to criminals than to victims was not a Democratic Party that was going to win elections. Bill Clinton had to correct that, and he did, and by 2015 we just did not have that kind of violent crime any more," Kamarck says. The Clintons expressed regret for their 1990s posture, in light of declining crime rates, but Donald Trump still managed to paint the pair as somehow soft on crime,"
Here we come to one of the central tenants of "Clintionism", the issue of perception trumping reality. The problem: Republicans were painting Democrats as being too sympathetic to Criminals. Solution: Start beating on criminals until the image is repaired.
At no point is the question ever asked if the Dems really were "too soft on criminals" or even what that means? To Republicans, giving prisoners blankets and a pillow to sleep on is being "too soft." Today, being "soft" now includes a reluctance to torture, not embracing capital punishment, or insisting suspects get a fair trial. What's next? Would being "too soft" soon mean not shoveling coal fast enough into Trump's furnaces?
The proper response is to first reflect on the question. Are we, or are we not too soft on criminals? If the answer is yes, then admit to the mistake and effect change to your platform accordingly. If no, then stand up for your position and defend it. Or heaven forbid, call out the Republicans for their barbarity!
But this isn't a bug of Clintonism, but a feature. The question itself is irrelevant. Instead, you had the prison industrial complex turning a profit by how many heads were held behind bars. For the privet prisons to see profits, the courts needed to convict more black people, convicted them faster, and hold them for longer sentences. And of course, poor prison conditions were the inevitable consequence of cost cutting. Why give a black inmate a blanket and a pillow when the money would be better used on stock buy backs and corporate bonusses.
The importance of image is then only relevant for winning elections. Being "too soft on crime" had more to do with shaping the expectations of the electorate so that they would rubber stamp the policy incentives handed to them by the donors.
" Clintonism was always Bill Clinton himself, and his singular ability to speak to both the most elite audiences and the most everyday ones in ways that could move each "
This is the heart of Clintonism, moving both the elites and electorate. Back then, voters had no idea this was happening, and even trusted "Bubba" that he knew what he was doing. But even back then, Bill was duplicitous. I remember voting for Bill Clinton because he opposed NAFTA and campaigned against it. A necessary position in order to win support of the unions, who was the backbone of the Democratic Party at the time.
But it turned out this was his "public position". Once he got into office, he signed NAFTA into law, without any explanation as to why his position changed. This was his "privet position", more than likely reflected in the speeches he made to the elites at the time. So at the end of the day, Bill's "singular ability" was the power to lie to the voters in order to get elected and pass the donor's agenda.
Today, it's irrelevant if HRC understood this or not. The electorate has becoming increasingly aware of Democratic duplicity, and it turns out they do not appreciate being lied to. Nor is this a new lessen. This is largely why Obama beat Hillary eight years ago, by replacing Clinton style duplicity with an emotional appeal of "hope and change." Eight years later, she returned to the stage with the same playbook that failed her the last time.
Indeed, this seems to be the authors point. It worked for Bill – so it should have worked for Hillary twenty-five years later.
"Do I think it will hurt Bill Clinton in the long run?" Sperling asks. "No, because he will still be most remembered for helping to bring about eight of the best years of shared growth and peace our country has had."
This also seems to be the hallmark of Clintonism, self-aggrandizement. This is the Washington narrative that Bill oversaw the best years of shared growth. But both popular and academic perceptions of this period are changing, and not for the better of the legacy. Rather than overseeing massive shared economic growth, Bill is not seen as laying the foundation for the economic collapse that took place decades later.
The Clinton miracle was unsustainable. A fact that was already apparent even during Bill's administration as the various trade deals Bill passed ended up producing that great sucking sound of jobs leaving the nation. Today, we are surrounded by the ruins of Bill's legacy, factories abandoned in the 90's are now in such poor condition that they are caving in from their own weight. Production lines that once was the arsenal of freedom, has been to trees and shrubs piercing cement floors and reaching for gaps in the ceiling.
We couldn't rebuild now even if we were allowed to, not without first fully razing Bill's legacy to the ground.
And yet, the establishment continues to labor under the delusion that this is what works. Even as Obama surveyed the smoldering ruins of the housing markets originally created by Bill's deregulation, his first compulsion was to immediately begin re-inflating the housing market. Democrats have become like the robot arm trying to build a tower of blocks, unaware that the tower it has already build has collapsed in on itself. So now the Democratic Party keeps lofting up new blocks and dropping them into thin air, incapable of grasping that it has become an absurd parity of itself, incapable grasping the world around them, let alone self-reflection.
"Now Clinton's time as the party's Mr. Fix-It, and even as its "Explainer-in-Chief," as Obama famously styled him, has ended for good. It will be left for someone in the next generation to build a new New Democratic coalition, one that can somehow rise above prevailing identity politics (much as Clinton did) to forge an interracial coalition of working-class voters who can carry the big swing states in the heart of the country that count in the Electoral College "
Is it? This is the main question I am asking. Is Clintonism really, truly dead? The author seems to be lamenting the death of Clintonim, while I would say good riddance. But I fear that far from Clintonism being dead, it goes into hibernation.
Clintionism has already survived a long hibernation cycle. Indeed, the author actually noted that the majority of time under Clintonism, the Whitehouse was held by Republicans.
Clintonism is basically about influence pedaling. Your generous donations will almost always result in that mining lease, pipe line route, or pollution permit you always wanted. And the more offices you hold, the greater your ability to influence legislation, and the more "influence" you have to sell. So what happens when you lose an election, and start running out of influence?
Don't forget about the revolving door. Being voted out of office his hardly a political death these days, not when there is a limo waiting for you, ready to whisk you away to a lucrative career as a lobbyist, media commentator, or think tanks professor. As the saying goes, how can we ever miss you if you never go away.
Aug 06, 2011 | nytimes.com
When Barack Obama rose to the lectern on Inauguration Day, the nation was in tatters. Americans were scared and angry. The economy was spinning in reverse. Three-quarters of a million people lost their jobs that month. Many had lost their homes, and with them the only nest eggs they had. Even the usually impervious upper middle class had seen a decade of stagnant or declining investment, with the stock market dropping in value with no end in sight. Hope was as scarce as credit.
In that context, Americans needed their president to tell them a story that made sense of what they had just been through, what caused it, and how it was going to end. They needed to hear that he understood what they were feeling, that he would track down those responsible for their pain and suffering, and that he would restore order and safety. What they were waiting for, in broad strokes, was a story something like this:
"I know you're scared and angry. Many of you have lost your jobs, your homes, your hope. This was a disaster, but it was not a natural disaster. It was made by Wall Street gamblers who speculated with your lives and futures. It was made by conservative extremists who told us that if we just eliminated regulations and rewarded greed and recklessness, it would all work out. But it didn't work out. And it didn't work out 80 years ago, when the same people sold our grandparents the same bill of goods, with the same results. But we learned something from our grandparents about how to fix it, and we will draw on their wisdom. We will restore business confidence the old-fashioned way: by putting money back in the pockets of working Americans by putting them back to work, and by restoring integrity to our financial markets and demanding it of those who want to run them. I can't promise that we won't make mistakes along the way. But I can promise you that they will be honest mistakes, and that your government has your back again." A story isn't a policy. But that simple narrative - and the policies that would naturally have flowed from it - would have inoculated against much of what was to come in the intervening two and a half years of failed government, idled factories and idled hands. That story would have made clear that the president understood that the American people had given Democrats the presidency and majorities in both houses of Congress to fix the mess the Republicans and Wall Street had made of the country, and that this would not be a power-sharing arrangement. It would have made clear that the problem wasn't tax-and-spend liberalism or the deficit - a deficit that didn't exist until George W. Bush gave nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks largely to the wealthiest Americans and squandered $1 trillion in two wars.
And perhaps most important, it would have offered a clear, compelling alternative to the dominant narrative of the right, that our problem is not due to spending on things like the pensions of firefighters, but to the fact that those who can afford to buy influence are rewriting the rules so they can cut themselves progressively larger slices of the American pie while paying less of their fair share for it.
But there was no story - and there has been none since.
In similar circumstances, Franklin D. Roosevelt offered Americans a promise to use the power of his office to make their lives better and to keep trying until he got it right. Beginning in his first inaugural address, and in the fireside chats that followed, he explained how the crash had happened, and he minced no words about those who had caused it. He promised to do something no president had done before: to use the resources of the United States to put Americans directly to work, building the infrastructure we still rely on today. He swore to keep the people who had caused the crisis out of the halls of power, and he made good on that promise. In a 1936 speech at Madison Square Garden, he thundered, "Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me - and I welcome their hatred."
When Barack Obama stepped into the Oval Office, he stepped into a cycle of American history, best exemplified by F.D.R. and his distant cousin, Teddy. After a great technological revolution or a major economic transition, as when America changed from a nation of farmers to an urban industrial one, there is often a period of great concentration of wealth, and with it, a concentration of power in the wealthy. That's what we saw in 1928, and that's what we see today. At some point that power is exercised so injudiciously, and the lives of so many become so unbearable, that a period of reform ensues - and a charismatic reformer emerges to lead that renewal. In that sense, Teddy Roosevelt started the cycle of reform his cousin picked up 30 years later, as he began efforts to bust the trusts and regulate the railroads, exercise federal power over the banks and the nation's food supply, and protect America's land and wildlife, creating the modern environmental movement.
Those were the shoes - that was the historic role - that Americans elected Barack Obama to fill. The president is fond of referring to "the arc of history," paraphrasing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous statement that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics - in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time - he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation.
When Dr. King spoke of the great arc bending toward justice, he did not mean that we should wait for it to bend. He exhorted others to put their full weight behind it, and he gave his life speaking with a voice that cut through the blistering force of water cannons and the gnashing teeth of police dogs. He preached the gospel of nonviolence, but he knew that whether a bully hid behind a club or a poll tax, the only effective response was to face the bully down, and to make the bully show his true and repugnant face in public.
IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. Instead of indicting the people whose recklessness wrecked the economy, he put them in charge of it. He never explained that decision to the public - a failure in storytelling as extraordinary as the failure in judgment behind it. Had the president chosen to bend the arc of history, he would have told the public the story of the destruction wrought by the dismantling of the New Deal regulations that had protected them for more than half a century. He would have offered them a counternarrative of how to fix the problem other than the politics of appeasement, one that emphasized creating economic demand and consumer confidence by putting consumers back to work. He would have had to stare down those who had wrecked the economy, and he would have had to tolerate their hatred if not welcome it. But the arc of his temperament just didn't bend that far.
Michael August 7, 2011Bill Levine August 7, 2011
Eloquently expressed and horrifically accurate, this excellent analysis articulates the frustration that so many of us have felt watching Mr...AnAverageAmerican August 7, 2011
Very well put. I know that I have been going through Kübler-Ross's stages of grief ever since the foxes (a.k.a. Geithner and Summers) were...cdearman Santa Fe, NM August 7, 2011
"In that context, Americans needed their president to tell them a story that made sense of what they had just been through, what caused it,...SP California August 7, 2011
Unfortunately, the Democratic Congress of 2008-2010, did not have the will to make the economic and social program decisions that would have improved the economic situation for the middle-class; and it is becoming more obvious that President Obama does not have the temperament to publicly push for programs and policies that he wants the congress to enact.
The American people have a problem: we reelect Obama and hope for the best; or we elect a Republican and expect the worst. There is no question that the Health Care law that was just passed would be reversed; Medicare and Medicare would be gutted; and who knows what would happen to Social Security. You can be sure, though, that business taxes and regulation reforms would not be in the cards and those regulations that have been enacted would be reversed. We have traveled this road before and we should be wise enough not to travel it again!farospace san francisco August 7, 2011
Brilliant analysis - and I suspect that a very large number of those who voted for President Obama will recognize in this the thoughts that they have been trying to ignore, or have been trying not to say out loud. Later historians can complete this analysis and attempt to explain exactly why Mr. Obama has turned out the way he has - but right now, it may be time to ask a more relevant and urgent question.
If it is not too late, will a challenger emerge in time before the 2012 elections, or will we be doomed to hold our noses and endure another four years of this?Richard Katz American in Oxford, UK August 7, 2011
Very eloquent and exactly to the point. Like many others, I was enthralled by the rhetoric of his story, making the leap of faith (or hope) that because he could tell his story so well, he could tell, as you put it, "the story the American people were waiting to hear."
Disappointment has darkened into disillusion, disillusion into a species of despair. Will I vote for Barack Obama again? What are the options?An Ordinary American Prague August 7, 2011
This is the most brilliant and tragic story I have read in a long time---in fact, precisely since I read when Ill Fares the Land by Tony Judt. When will a leader emerge with a true moral vision for the federal government and for our country? Someone who sees government as a balance to capitalism, and a means to achieve the social and economic justice that we (yes, we) believe in? Will that leadership arrive before parts of America come to look like the dystopia of Johannesburg?
We (yes, we) recognise that capitalism is the most efficient way to maximise overall prosperity and quality of life. But we also recognise that unfettered, it will ravage the environment, abuse labor, and expand income disparity until violence or tragedy (or both) ensues.
These are the lessons we've learned since the industrial revolution, and they're the ones that we should be drawing from the past decade. We recognise that we need a strong federal government to check these tendencies, and to strike a stable, sustainable balance between prosperity, community, opportunity, wealth, justice, freedom. We need a voice to fill the moral vacuum that has allowed the Koch/Tea/Fox Party to emerge and grab power.
Americans know this---including, of course, President Obama (see his April 13 speech at GW University). But as this article by Dr. Westen so effectively shows, Obama is incompetent to lead us back to America's traditional position on the global economic/political spectrum. He's brilliant and eloquent. He's achieved personal success that is inspirational. He's done some good things as president. But he is not competent to lead us back to a state of American morality, where government is the protector of those who work hard, and the provider of opportunity to all Americans.
Taxes, subsidies, entitlements, laws... these are the tools we have available to achieve our national moral vision. But the vision has been muddled (hijacked?) and that is our biggest problem. -->martin Portland, Oregon August 7, 2011
I voted for Obama. I thought then, and still think, he's a decent person, a smart person, a person who wants to do the best he can for others. When I voted for him, I was thinking he's a centrist who will find a way to unite our increasingly polarized and ugly politics in the USA. Or if not unite us, at least forge a way to get some important things done despite the ugly polarization.
And I must confess, I have been disappointed. Deeply so. He has not united us. He has not forged a way to accomplish what needs to be done. He has not been a leader.
I've heard him called a mediator, a conciliator, a compromiser, etc. Those terms indicate someone who is bringing divergent views together and moving us along. That's part of what a leader does, though not all. Yet I don't think he's even lived up to his reputation as a mediator.
Almost three years after I voted for Obama, I still don't know what he's doing other than trying to help the financial industry: the wealthy who benefit most from it and the technocrats who run it for them. But average working people, people like myself and my daughter and my grandson, have not been helped. We are worse off than before. And millions of unemployed and underemployed are even worse off than my family is.
So whatever else he is (and that still remains a mystery to me), President Obama is not the leader I thought I was voting for. Which leaves me feeling confused and close to apathetic about what to do as a voter in 2012. More of the same isn't worth voting for. Yet I don't see anyone out there who offers the possibility of doing better.
This was an extraordinarily well written, eloquent and comprehensive indictment of the failure of the Obama presidency.
If a credible primary challenger to Obama ever could arise, the positions and analysis in this column would be all he or she would need to justify the Democratic party's need to seek new leadership.
I knew that Obama was a charade early on when giving a speech about the banking failures to the nation, instead of giving the narrative Mr. Westen accurately recommended on the origins of the orgy of greed that just crippled our economy and caused suffering for millions of Americans, he said "we don't disparage wealth in America." I was dumbfounded.
He should have been condemning the craven, wanton, greed of nihilistic financial gangsters who hijacked our economy. Instead he seemed to be calling for all Americans not to hate rich people. That was not the point. Americans don't hate rich people, but they should hate rich people who acquire their wealth at the expense of the well being of an entire nation through irresponsible, avaricious, and in some instances illegal practices, and legally bribe politicians to enact laws which allow them to run amok over our economy without supervision or regulation.
I knew then that Obama was either a political lemon, in over his head, an extremely conflict averse neurotic individual with a compulsive need for some delusional ideal of neutrality in political and social relations, or a political phony beholden to the same forces that almost destroyed the country as Republicans are.
Perhaps all of these are true.
Dec 26, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.comEMichael : December 26, 2016 at 12:47 PM , 2016 at 12:47 PMYou guys should wake up and smell what country you live in. Here is a good place to start.im1dc : , December 26, 2016 at 01:51 PM
"Campaigning for president in 1980, Ronald Reagan told stories of Cadillac-driving "welfare queens" and "strapping young bucks" buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. In trumpeting these tales of welfare run amok, Reagan never needed to mention race, because he was blowing a dog whistle: sending a message about racial minorities inaudible on one level, but clearly heard on another. In doing so, he tapped into a long political tradition that started with George Wallace and Richard Nixon, and is more relevant than ever in the age of the Tea Party and the first black president.
In Dog Whistle Politics, Ian Haney L?pez offers a sweeping account of how politicians and plutocrats deploy veiled racial appeals to persuade white voters to support policies that favor the extremely rich yet threaten their own interests. Dog whistle appeals generate middle-class enthusiasm for political candidates who promise to crack down on crime, curb undocumented immigration, and protect the heartland against Islamic infiltration, but ultimately vote to slash taxes for the rich, give corporations regulatory control over industry and financial markets, and aggressively curtail social services. White voters, convinced by powerful interests that minorities are their true enemies, fail to see the connection between the political agendas they support and the surging wealth inequality that takes an increasing toll on their lives. The tactic continues at full force, with the Republican Party using racial provocations to drum up enthusiasm for weakening unions and public pensions, defunding public schools, and opposing health care reform.
Rejecting any simple story of malevolent and obvious racism, Haney L?pez links as never before the two central themes that dominate American politics today: the decline of the middle class and the Republican Party's increasing reliance on white voters. Dog Whistle Politics will generate a lively and much-needed debate about how racial politics has destabilized the American middle class -- white and nonwhite members alike."
https://www.amazon.com/Dog-Whistle-Politics-Appeals-Reinvented-ebook/dp/B00GHJNSMUReading the above posts I am reminded that in November there was ONE Election with TWO Results:likbez : December 26, 2016 at 02:49 PM , 2016 at 02:49 PM
Electoral Vote for Donald Trump by the margin of 3 formerly Democratic Voting states Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania
Popular Vote for Hillary Clinton by over 2.8 Million
The Democratic Party and its Candidates OBVIOUSLY need to get more votes in the Electoral States that they lost in 2016, not change what they stand for, the principles of fair and equal play for all.
And, in the 3 States that turned the Electoral Vote in Trump's favor and against Hillary, all that is needed are 125,000 or more votes, probably fewer, and the DEMS win the Electoral vote big too.
It is not any more complex than that.
So how does the Democratic Party get more votes in those States?
PANDER to their voters by delivering on KISS, not talking about it.
That is create living wage jobs and not taking them away as the Republican Party of 'Free Trade' and the Clinton Democratic Party 'Free Trade' Elites did.
Understand this: It is not the responsibility of the USA, or in its best interests, to create jobs in other nations (Mexico, Japan, China, Canada, Israel, etc.) that do not create jobs in the USA equivalently, especially if the gain is offset by costly overseas confrontations and involvements that would not otherwise exist.You are dreaming:
"The Democratic Party and its Candidates OBVIOUSLY need to get more votes in the Electoral States that they lost in 2016, not change what they stand for, the principles of fair and equal play for all. "
The Democratic Party as a Party (Sanders was an outlier) has nothing to do with "fair and equal play for all". This is a party of soft neoliberals and it adheres to Washington consensus no less then Republicans. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Consensus
If you read the key postulates it is clear that that they essentially behaved like an occupier in this country. In this sense "Occupy Wall street" movement should actually be called "Liberation from Wall Street occupation" movement.
Bill Clinton realized that he can betray working class with impunity as "they have nowhere to go" and will vote for Democrat anyway. In this sense Bill Clinton is a godfather of the right wing nationalism in the USA. He sowed the "Teeth's of Dragon" and now we have, what we have.
Nov 30, 2016 | angrybearblog.com
What follows is from Today's Democratic Party: Meeting America's Challenges, Protecting America's Values , a.k.a., the 1996 Democratic Party Platform. This is the section on immigration. I took the liberty of bolding pieces I found interesting.
Democrats remember that we are a nation of immigrants. We recognize the extraordinary contribution of immigrants to America throughout our history. We welcome legal immigrants to America. We support a legal immigration policy that is pro-family, pro-work, pro-responsibility, and pro-citizenship , and we deplore those who blame immigrants for economic and social problems.
We know that citizenship is the cornerstone of full participation in American life. We are proud that the President launched Citizenship USA to help eligible immigrants become United States citizens. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is streamlining procedures, cutting red tape, and using new technology to make it easier for legal immigrants to accept the responsibilities of citizenship and truly call America their home.
Today's Democratic Party also believes we must remain a nation of laws. We cannot tolerate illegal immigration and we must stop it. For years before Bill Clinton became President, Washington talked tough but failed to act. In 1992, our borders might as well not have existed. The border was under-patrolled, and what patrols there were, were under-equipped. Drugs flowed freely. Illegal immigration was rampant. Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again.
President Clinton is making our border a place where the law is respected and drugs and illegal immigrants are turned away. We have increased the Border Patrol by over 40 percent; in El Paso, our Border Patrol agents are so close together they can see each other. Last year alone, the Clinton Administration removed thousands of illegal workers from jobs across the country. Just since January of 1995, we have arrested more than 1,700 criminal aliens and prosecuted them on federal felony charges because they returned to America after having been deported.
However, as we work to stop illegal immigration, we call on all Americans to avoid the temptation to use this issue to divide people from each other. We deplore those who use the need to stop illegal immigration as a pretext for discrimination . And we applaud the wisdom of Republicans like Mayor Giuliani and Senator Domenici who oppose the mean-spirited and short-sighted effort of Republicans in Congress to bar the children of illegal immigrants from schools - it is wrong, and forcing children onto the streets is an invitation for them to join gangs and turn to crime.
Democrats want to protect American jobs by increasing criminal and civil sanctions against employers who hire illegal workers , but Republicans continue to favor inflammatory rhetoric over real action. We will continue to enforce labor standards to protect workers in vulnerable industries. We continue to firmly oppose welfare benefits for illegal immigrants. We believe family members who sponsor immigrants into this country should take financial responsibility for them, and be held legally responsible for supporting them.
Feb 16, 2016 | dailymail.co.uk
'There is a vengeful, spiteful ugliness that some women have for other women. Hillary is just one of those women.' For the latest on Hillary and Bill Clinton visit www.dailymail.co.uk/hillary
...The book promises to recall a series of unguarded conversations in which she claims Bill revealed his wife's preference for female lovers. As far-fetched as her accusations may appear, she remains convinced that Hillary Clinton is behind a plot to silence her ahead of the November election. But it will also lay bare what Miller, describes as a decades-long Democrat campaign to discredit and harass her that began when she first revealed the affair in 1992, a campaign she claims has now reached such perverse depths that she actually fears for her life.
The twice-divorced 77-year-old took to social media in recent weeks to post an extraordinary warning that if she dies by 'suicide' no-one should believe it. When Daily Mail Online visited Miller at her Arkansas home she insisted she had been stalked, spied upon and plagued by anonymous phone calls since word of her memoir leaked out.
... ... ...
It was a very different scenario in August 1983, when a 44-year-old Miller left her back door ajar so her seven-years' younger paramour Bill could be chauffeured to the rear of the property before slipping inside unnoticed.
The pair had met a decade earlier at parties and political functions when Miller was a senate aide at the Arkansas State Capitol and Clinton was preparing for his unsuccessful 1974 run for the House of Representatives.
So when she needed help getting a vintage steam train project off the ground, she sought out her former friend, by now in his second stint as Governor. 'I left my number with his secretary,' recalled Miller. 'He was playing golf but within three hours he'd called me. 'He said "I'm going to be leaving here in a little while, why don't I just drop by and let's see each other for old times' sake."
'We decided because of the positioning of the condo it might be better if he didn't come by the front door, there are some prominent people that live across by me. 'He never drove himself, it was a state trooper or someone on his staff. He parked in the park behind my house. I had a gate on the patio but he just had to lift the latch. 'The first night I just played the piano while he sang. He's not noted as someone who has a trained voice but we laughed, it was just kind of fun. 'Finally he said ''we didn't talk about what I came to talk about, so we're going to have to do this again sometime''. I had all my notes and pictures, all my ideas, all he had to do was call his parks and tourism gal and get her on this. Bill is not the most handsome man. But he makes you feel like you have an incredible body and on top of all that you're beautiful. There are not many men that can make a woman feel that way. 'But we dragged it out for about three months. And yes, we did go upstairs where the bedrooms were.'
Their clandestine meetings typically included Bill goofing around and playing his sax while Miller, a trained singer and musician, accompanied him on her piano. He would sometimes unwind by smoking a marijuana cigarette. Miller claims that she saw Clinton produce a pouch of white powder on several occasions and snort lines off her coffee table. 'I don't do drugs and I don't smoke. But if you come into my house and say "gosh I've had a bad day" I wouldn't know how to stop you,' said Miller.
'Bill is not the most handsome man. But he makes you feel like your breasts are the right size, your legs are the perfect length, you have an incredible body and on top of all that you're beautiful. There are not many men that can make a woman feel that way. 'Do I make it a point to have affairs with married men, no. But most everyone in Arkansas assumed that their marriage was a business arrangement. 'Bill never sounded like he was in love or locked into a loyal arrangement.'
Their affair would remain a secret for nearly a decade until she went public on the Sally Jesse Raphael show in July 1992, a day after Clinton had been formally named by the Democratic Party as its Presidential candidate. But while the future president was a born entertainer and charismatic companion, the sex itself failed to inspire. 'It wasn't that memorable. It was no big deal - think about that,' chuckled Miller. 'That's probably why he didn't have any confidence as a lover. 'He reminded me of a what a little boy would say to his momma. 'Is it OK if I put my hand there? Can I touch you here?' I've always preferred younger men but I've never had one who asked permission.' She claims the affair ended abruptly in late 1983 when Miller revealed her intention to stand for mayor of her hometown, Pine Bluffs, as a Republican.
It would remain a secret for nearly a decade until she went public on the Sally Jesse Raphael show in July 1992, a day after Clinton had been formally named by the Democratic Party as its Presidential candidate.
BILL'S WOMEN WHO HAUNT HILLARY
- Kathleen Willey, a former White House volunteer who says Bill Clinton groped her in an Oval Office hallway in 1993 when she came to him seeking a paid job, says she has agreed to become a paid national spokeswoman for an anti-Clinton group being created by operative Roger Stone
- Paula Jones, the former state employee whose allegations of sexual harassment dogged President Bill Clinton throughout his administration, was photographed appearing at a rally for presidential candidate Donald Trump in Little Rock.
- Linda Tripp, Monica Lewinsky's confidante and who worked as a White House staffer says that Hillary Clinton not only knew about her husband's exploits, 'She made it her personal mission to disseminate information and destroy the women with whom he dallied.'
- Juanita Broaddrick, who claims that she was raped by Bill Clinton in an Arkansas hotel 38 years ago, says that she was cornered by Hillary as she was helping at a Clinton fundraiser and was given a thinly-veiled warning to keep her mouth shut.
- Maria Crider, who worked on Bill Clinton's first political campaign, said power-hungry Hillary torpedoed the torrid affair that threatened to destroy her master plan to become president with anonymous phone calls, fears of stalking and veiled threats.
SF94123, San Francisco, United States, 3 months ago
She probably fears her because it's all a bunch of lies.
Not_Surprised, Walton County, United Kingdom, 3 months ago
Don't believe this mess!
Barney Fife, St Paul, United States, 4 months ago
And this is news? It has been rumored for many years Hillary swings both ways. As for Billy, that has been known, too.
mememememe, Glasgow, 4 months ago
So what? Sad old woman reliving her youth
du Vallon, Midwest, United States, 4 months ago
So this woman admits that she freely threw her cat at a married man, and now she is bragging about it, and all the bible pounding, family values, right wing Christian fundamentalists want us to believe that she is the caliber of woman who we should all believe. Making it worse, she has so little regret at the hurt she caused that she is now passing around some completely unsupported and foul whispers about the wife of the man that she dragged into bed. Then has the gall to whine that Hillary isn't very nice to her. I should think not. She is a sodden dox of a woman with no morals whatsoever. I have no use for her and don't believe a word she says.
peanutmom, SFBay, United States, 4 months ago
Meh. Who the Clintons get busy with, and how, is of no consequence. Hillary could do the entire USC football team, and I wouldn't care, just so long as the job she does is done right. It was ridiculous that Bill got impeached over a dalliance with an intern. It's not like Lewinsky interfered with how the country was being run.
Nov 20, 2016 | www.newnationalist.netStrong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, controlled press and a mere token opposition party.
1. Dummy up . If it's not reported, if it's not news, it didn't happen.
2. Wax indignant . This is also known as the "how dare you" gambit.
3. Characterize the charges as "rumors" or, better yet, "wild rumors." If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through "rumors."
4. Knock down straw men . Deal only with the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.
5. Call the skeptics names like "conspiracy theorist," "nut," "ranter," "kook," "crackpot" and, of course, "rumor monger." You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned.
6. Impugn motives . Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money.
7. Invoke authority . Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can be very useful.
8. Dismiss the charges as "old news."
9. Come half-clean . This is also known as "confession and avoidance" or "taking the limited hang-out route." This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal "mistakes." This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken.
10. Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.
11. Reason backward , using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. For example: We have a completely free press. If they know of evidence that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing they would have reported it. They haven't reported it, so there was no prior knowledge by the BATF. Another variation on this theme involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press that would report it.
12. Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely.
13. Change the subject . This technique includes creating and/or reporting a distraction.
Nov 18, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:07 pm 30
At the center of Great Depression politics was a political struggle over the distribution of income, a struggle that was only decisively resolved during the War, by the Great Compression. It was at center of farm policy where policymakers struggled to find ways to support farm incomes. It was at the center of industrial relations politics, where rapidly expanding unions were seeking higher industrial wages. It was at the center of banking policy, where predatory financial practices were under attack. It was at the center of efforts to regulate electric utility rates and establish public power projects. And, everywhere, the clear subtext was a struggle between rich and poor, the economic royalists as FDR once called them and everyone else.
FDR, an unmistakeable patrician in manner and pedigree, was leading a not-quite-revolutionary politics, which was nevertheless hostile to and suspicious of business elites, as a source of economic pathology. The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance.
It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle.
In retrospect, though the New Deal did use direct employment as a means of relief to good effect economically and politically, it never undertook anything like a Keynesian stimulus on a Keynesian scale - at least until the War.
Where the New Deal witnessed the institution of an elaborate system of financial repression, accomplished in large part by imposing on the financial sector an explicitly mandated structure, with types of firms and effective limits on firm size and scope, a series of regulatory reforms and financial crises beginning with Carter and Reagan served to wipe this structure away.
When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup.
I don't know what considerations guided Obama in choosing the size of the stimulus or its composition (as spending and tax cuts). Larry Summers was identified at the time as a voice of caution, not "gambling", but not much is known about his detailed reasoning in severely trimming Christina Romer's entirely conventional calculations. (One consideration might well have been worldwide resource shortages, which had made themselves felt in 2007-8 as an inflationary spike in commodity prices.) I do not see a case for connecting stimulus size policy to the health care reform. At the time the stimulus was proposed, the Administration had also been considering whether various big banks and other financial institutions should be nationalized, forced to insolvency or otherwise restructured as part of a regulatory reform.
Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. Accelerating the financialization of the economy from 1999 on made New York and Washington rich, but the same economic policies and process were devastating the Rust Belt as de-industrialization. They were two aspects of the same complex of economic trends and policies. The rise of China as a manufacturing center was, in critical respects, a financial operation within the context of globalized trade that made investment in new manufacturing plant in China, as part of globalized supply chains and global brand management, (arguably artificially) low-risk and high-profit, while reinvestment in manufacturing in the American mid-west became unattractive, except as a game of extracting tax subsidies or ripping off workers.
It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics.
It is conceding too many good intentions to the Obama Administration to tie an inadequate stimulus to a Rube Goldberg health care reform as the origin story for the final debacle of Democratic neoliberal politics. There was a delicate balancing act going on, but they were not balancing the recovery of the economy in general so much as they were balancing the recovery from insolvency of a highly inefficient and arguably predatory financial sector, which was also not incidentally financing the institutional core of the Democratic Party and staffing many key positions in the Administration and in the regulatory apparatus.
This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints.
No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence.
bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:33 pm ( 31 )The short version of my thinking on the Obama stimulus is this: Keynesian stimulus spending is a free lunch; it doesn't really matter what you spend money on up to a very generous point, so it seems ready-made for legislative log-rolling. If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying.
Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference.
likbez 11.18.16 at 4:48 pm 121bruce wilder 11.16.16 at 10:07 pm 30
Great comment. Simply great. Hat tip to the author !
"… The New Deal did not seek to overthrow the plutocracy, but it did seek to side-step and disable their dominance. …"
"… It seems to me that while neoliberalism on the right was much the same old same old, the neoliberal turn on the left was marked by a measured abandonment of this struggle over the distribution of income between the classes. In the U.S., the Democrats gradually abandoned their populist commitments. In Europe, the labour and socialist parties gradually abandoned class struggle. …"
"… When Obama came in, in 2008 amid the unfolding GFC, one of the most remarkable features of his economic team was the extent to which it conceded control of policy entirely to the leading money center banks. Geithner and Bernanke continued in power with Geithner moving from the New York Federal Reserve (where he served as I recall under a Chair from Goldman Sachs) to Treasury in the Obama Administration, but Geithner's Treasury was staffed from Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citibank. The crisis served to concentrate banking assets in the hands of the top five banks, but it seemed also to transfer political power entirely into their hands as well. Simon Johnson called it a coup. … "
"… Here's the thing: the globalization and financialization of the economy from roughly 1980 drove both increasingly extreme distribution of income and de-industrialization. …"
"… It was characteristic of neoliberalism that the policy, policy intention and policy consequences were hidden behind a rhetoric of markets and technological inevitability. Matt Stoller has identified this as the statecraft of neoliberalism: the elimination of political agency and responsibility for economic performance and outcomes. Globalization and financialization were just "forces" that just happened, in a meteorological economics. …"
"… This was not your grandfather's Democratic Party and it was a Democratic Party that could aid the working class and the Rust Belt only within fairly severe and sometimes sharply conflicting constraints. …"
"… No one in the Democratic Party had much institutional incentive to connect the dots, and draw attention to the acute conflicts over the distribution of income and wealth involved in financialization of the economy (including financialization as a driver of health care costs). And, that makes the political problem that much harder, because there are no resources for rhetorical and informational clarity or coherence. …"
"… If Obama could not get a very big stimulus indeed thru a Democratic Congress long out of power, Obama wasn't really trying. And, well-chosen spending on pork barrel projects is popular and gets Congressional critters re-elected. So, again, if the stimulus is small and the Democratic Congress doesn't get re-elected, Obama isn't really trying. …"
"… Again, it comes down to: by 2008, the Democratic Party is not a fit vehicle for populism, because it has become a neoliberal vehicle for giant banks. Turns out that makes a policy difference. …"
Nov 11, 2016 | www.theamericanconservative.comIt began a quarter-century ago.
During the past 12 months, the most-watched reality-show competition has been Who Wants to Succeed Barack Obama? And one of the biggest concerns of our media pundits has been the danger of "normalizing" the often-violent and tasteless rantings of Donald Trump. We must constantly remind our readers, the pundits proclaim, of just how sui generis , just how different and threatening and unprecedented this non-politician, this tabloid superstar, this reality-TV king is as a candidate for the highest and most serious office in the land.
Well, as it turns out, not quite .
The narrative through-line that Donald Trump used to beat his rivals was written almost 25 years earlier. It was a made-for-TV miniseries starring an "undignified," barrier-breaking candidate who shunned old media gatekeepers, who forever blurred the line between light entertainment and hard news, who catered to groups of voters being ignored by the establishment, and who made shameless emotional appeals.
And the media's normalization of what was in 1992 a game-changing, even shocking approach to running for the presidency (and governing thereafter) did more to pave the way for the Trumpocalypse than almost anything else.
When Bill Clinton first ran for president in 1991 and '92, the Democratic Party was coming off of three consecutive pounding defeats. The economy was finally souring (with the first wave of Roger and Me post-industrialization, plus a 2008-like real estate collapse on both coasts following the S&L failures of 1989 and '90), accompanied by record-breaking, crack-inspired, drive-by-shooting crime. Yet most older and seasoned Democrats still assumed that sitting President George H.W. Bush was a shoo-in for reelection that year. The Berlin Wall had finally been torn down in November of 1989. And with that, plus victory in Operation Desert Storm, by early 1991 Bush's approval ratings had touched the 90 percent mark. Not even St. Ronnie's had soared that high.
When New York governor and Democratic icon Mario Cuomo famously decided in December of 1991 to go back to Albany to dither over a state budget rather than launch his campaign for the most powerful office in the world, the message was clear: no Democrat stood a real chance of beating Bush that year. But a nervy young small-state Southern governor named Bill Clinton and his "radical feminist" wife Hillary hadn't gotten the memo.
Along with some neoliberal young guns in the press (like Michael Kinsley, Joe Klein, and Sidney Blumenthal), Clinton was the first to notice that the drugs/sex/rock-'n'-roll hippies of the late '60s and early '70s had become the concerned suburban parents of the '80s and early '90s. And the "Generation Jones" middle children between the baby boomers and their Gen-X offspring-the Alex P. Keatons and Bud Foxes-just wanted to get rich and make money in the first place. Despite fielding a nearly 70-year-old icon from Old Hollywood in 1980, the same candidate again in 1984, and a nearly 65-year-old WWII veteran in 1988, the Republicans actually won younger voters those years. And why shouldn't they have won the youth, whose only alternatives were dreary, gray-haired, out-of-touch fiftysomethings like Cuomo, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis?
Bill Clinton's number-one priority in 1992 was to create a media contrast between his energetic, handsome, Elvis-like self and 68-year-old, grandfatherly, Eastern-elitist Bush Senior. Of all major political candidates from either party in 1992, only Bill and Hillary Clinton cut a convincing figure of the baby boomers' journey from hippie to yuppie. Not then-Vice President Dan Quayle, a conservative Christian who loyally served in the Vietnam National Guard; not self-righteous borderline silent-generationers like Newt Gingrich, Joe Lieberman, Pat Buchanan, or Dick Cheney; and not reactionary Southern Strategists like Lee Atwater, Tom DeLay, Trent Lott, and Karl Rove. And absolutely not tired, didactic, haranguing New Deal leftovers like Mondale, Dukakis, and Cuomo.
When Richard Nixon went on Laugh-In in 1968 for one "quickie" guest shot (saying "Sock it to ME??"), it made world headlines. Back then, world leaders simply didn't "do" variety or celebrity game shows, or even most talk shows. But could Tricky Dick pull off staring the camera soulfully right in the eyes and telling Americans that "I feel yer pain?" the way Bill Clinton famously did (to a gay AIDS activist, no less) in 1992? Just try to imagine Mondale, Dukakis, or Cuomo going on The Arsenio Hall Show in sunglasses and saxophone-jamming "Heartbreak Hotel" with a bunch of twentysomething black and Latino studio musicians. Or Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter telling a young woman whether they wore "boxers or briefs" on MTV Live . With every savvy new media move, Bill Clinton was redefining what it was to run for president in the modern era.
Instead of trying to carve up the same tired political pie, Bill Clinton had decided to bake an entirely new pie altogether. As cheesy as it might seem in today's era of Shonda, Tyler, Oprah, Spike, and Barack, in 1992, seeing a white Southern candidate for president playing rock and jazz on an urban black man's young-skewing late-night show was a positively thrilling moment for voters of color, particularly young ones.
More than one minority commentator said it was as if Clinton was saying he was "one of us" -- it was so outside the political grammar of any of the old, 1950s-style candidates we'd had up until then. No wonder Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison took notice of Clinton, whom they would later christen (before anyone had heard of Obama) the "first black president." And these were blatant shout-outs to America's youth that no candidate had made from either side since George McGovern in 1972. As MTV said itself, Bill Clinton wanted to "ROCK the Vote!" And he did. Clinton won young voters in 1992 by over 12 points, and by an almost 20-point margin in 1996.
Indeed, Bill Clinton was the first president (or candidate for president) who could truly be called sexy since his idol JFK had died in 1963. Clinton "was alive from the waist down," approved feminist icon Erica Jong. His closest comparison, handsome and youthful Colorado Sen. Gary Hart, had seen his 1980s presidential ambitions crushed when it was revealed he had a longtime mistress, Donna Rice. But even on that score, Clinton changed the game.
In early 1992, with the occurrence of several "bimbo eruptions"-the leaking of his affairs with longtime companions like Gennifer Flowers and Marla Crider-many people thought that Bill Clinton's campaign would be over before it had even begun. Instead, 17 years before the premiere of The Good Wife, Hillary went on 60 Minutes and famously stood by her man, transforming the narrative from one involving a cheating husband to one about an intact marriage that could survive anything.
The Republicans, meanwhile, were now bending over so far to satisfy a frustrated religious right-seen in campaigns against women's-libby TV heroines like Murphy Brown and Roseanne, Pat Buchanan's infamous "culture war" speech at the '92 Republican convention, and people telling Hillary she should have given up her law practice to "submit unto" her husband and "bake cookies" -- that Clinton could now rope-a-dope the sordid revelations about his swinging sex life into assets rather than liabilities, especially among educated professional voters. He wasn't going to go around pouring hellfire and brimstone on "liberated" women or divorced dads, after all.
Clinton's campaign and administration also coincided with a perfect storm of more hyped-up true-crime and scandal-driven media offerings than had even been imaginable before. In 1985, only two TV "newsmagazines" existed in primetime: CBS's league-leading 60 Minutes and ABC's Barbara Walters/Hugh Downs stalwart, 20/20. From 1988 to '94, they were suddenly joined by the likes of 48 Hours , PrimeTime Live , Turning Point , West 57th , Person to Person With Connie Chung , Top Cops , Street Stories , and Dateline NBC -the last of which would run not once a week, but three times a week, by 1999.
In the 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. "prime access" slot immediately following the Big Three's "serious" newscasts, Entertainment Tonight was the gold standard. It would now be joined by Inside Edition (starring future Fox News royalty Bill O'Reilly), A Current Affair , Access Hollywood , EXTRA! , American Journal , and Hard Copy . All these ET ripoffs premiered between 1987 and 1996, and each one of them required a new headline scandal or sensation five nights a week, 52 weeks a year, with no reruns. Then came the daytime TV "trash talk" shows-pioneered by Geraldo Rivera and Morton Downey Jr. in the late '80s and segueing into Ricki Lake , Jenny Jones , Maury , and of course The Jerry Springer Show by the Clinton administration.
This tabloid metastasis began to infect even the most prestigious bastions of "serious" journalism. In the ACT UP era of AIDS activism, radical queer journos like Michelangelo Signorile and Armistead Maupin began "outing" closeted Hollywood or political icons like Rock Hudson, Raymond Burr, Anthony Perkins, Richard Chamberlain, Ed Koch, and Merv Griffin-as well as any new sports, music, or political stars they had reason to suspect.
This kind of "journalism" used to be the exclusive province of sleazy, Confidential magazine types and the McCarthy era. (Can you imagine Edward R. Murrow, Ben Bradlee, or Walter Cronkite discussing tragic eating disorders, or sitcom stars who had been molested or who got booked into rehab this week?) But now that there was a pseudo-political patina to overlay it-of "raising awareness" of dread diseases and/or bigotry-the "right to privacy" that had used to be the supreme bulwark protecting gay rights and abortion was now reduced to a borderline-bigoted dog whistle. Suddenly, public figures' most private lives were considered fair game, not just by the National Enquirer and Weekly World News , but by NBC Nightly News and the New York Times as well .
Above all else, the Clinton presidency also saw the birth of the 24/7 spin cycle, what was then and now rightly called the "permanent campaign." No other president from the Great Society to Barack Obama attempted so many domestic-policy game changes as Bill Clinton did in his frenzied first term. From 1993 to '96, there was defense of marriage, gays in the military, gun control, crime, family and medical leave, the 1993 tax increase, and a Tea Party-style government shutdown over the holidays. And then there were the big guns: NAFTA, welfare reform, and the first stab at national health care.
This round-the-clock activism on such inflammatory topics guaranteed that the printing presses and TV cameras would be running overtime. Yet perhaps no Clintonomic game-change had as much long term importance as his deregulation of the media. That, combined with the launch of not one but two 24-hour cable networks (Fox News and MSNBC) now turned every political decision into a long-running "crisis" and turned every campaign into a nail-biting "horse race."
When Bill Clinton ran for reelection in fall 1996, with a recovering economy, unemployment cut in half from its 1992–94 levels, a shrinking deficit, and lower crime rates and class sizes-against a 73-year-old "unelectable throwback to the past" (as Arianna Huffington once described Bob Dole) and 66-year-old returning gadfly Ross Perot-well, let's just say you didn't have to be a member of the Psychic Friends Network to guess the outcome. But the TV news shows-now a profit center rather than a loss-leader for their networks and studios-and the magazines and newspapers (which were feeling the first pinches of the internet) depended on hyping every last second into a pulse-pounder that would go right down to the wire. "Tree it, bag it, defoliate the forest for it, destroy the village for it," wrote a contemptuous Joan Didion: from now on, print and TV journalists would arm-wrestle every fact into a suspenseful running "narrative," with any and all inconvenient truths to be left on the cutting-room floor.
This meant that neither the Clinton administration nor the American public would ever get a minute's peace. We had now entered the era of politics as gladiator sport. The 1987 Robert Bork and 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings had ensured that every high-level judicial or cabinet appointment would now become a Springer- style freak show. And every trumped-up scandal that could be used to pump up the ratings and the circulation-Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate, Vince Foster's suicide-was milked for maximum echo-chamber impact.
While Bill and Hillary Clinton suffered the most from the scandal-of-the-month-club atmosphere of '90s media, many Republican politicians also needed an extra big box of Band-Aids, and would only need more. As Oliver Darcy wrote in his Business Insider feature "Donald Trump Broke the Conservative Media," the "roots of the conservative news media-industrial complex came in the 1990s, with the rise of three key forces: Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and Matt Drudge." (He might have also included high-profile bestsellers like Ann Coulter's anti-Clinton High Crimes and Misdemeanors .) To appease this ravenous, Internet-powered red-meat machine, "a Republican would have to take a hardline conservative position on nearly every issue ," said Darcy. If a Republican were "to hold conservative positions on 90% of the issues, the conservative press would focus on the 10% where there was disagreement." Ten years before Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, the roots of the Tea Party were being fertilized with the blood of the sacrificial RINOs of the Republican Revolutionary 1990s.
The final piece of the puzzle came in June of 1994, when O.J. Simpson dropped by his ex-wife Nicole's condo for the last time. Perhaps the most famous African-American male alive at the time (besides Michael Jackson, who certainly had more than his own share of problems), the "Juice" was accused of viciously murdering his blonde wife and the handsome young white dude who may or may not have been her lover. It was as if the entire case had been designed by a central-casting office of ugly racial stereotypes.
With the memories of 1988's Willie Horton ad, 1991's Rodney King beating, and the 1992 LA riots still fresh, this whodunit touched on every racial and gendered raw nerve in the book. The case drew higher ratings and sold more papers and magazines than any other story in 1994–95-the equal of the November 1994 "Republican Revolution" and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and far surpassing any other economic, gang, or foreign-policy situation that year, including even the Bosnian genocide. Whether you were Time magazine or a supermarket tabloid, there was simply no way to avoid covering it, even if you wanted to. It was one of the first stories to be tabloid trash and hard news in equal parts, but it wouldn't be the last.
When Bill Clinton looked the world's TV cameras in the eye, pointed his finger, and said "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," only for Miss Lewinsky to bring her stained dress out of the closet, what would have ordinarily been a sleazy back-of-the-book sex scandal became a top-rated constitutional crisis. During the summer and fall of 1998, it was all Monica, all the time, with serious journalists slavering over the political pornography that was the Starr report and pundits writing reams of dime-store psychology on the soapy twists and turns of Bill and Hillary's marriage.
Noting Bill Clinton's record popularity with African-American (and Latino) voters, Toni Morrison branded the impeachment as a coded racial attack on people of color, comparing the attack on Clinton's "unpoliced sexuality" to a black man being frisked and body-searched by racist cops. Embarrassed teachers and grandparents had to explain to curious kids why adults were laughing like middle-schoolers in a locker room whenever the word "cigar" was uttered, and whether or not the role model in chief had ever "worn" somebody's dress. Standup comics never had it so good. World events like Osama bin Laden's bombings of two American embassies went on the back burner. And tellingly, Osama chose to appear on a prime-time TV newsmagazine, 20/20 , to announce his "fatwa" and "jihad" against America in the spring of 1998.
The fallout from Hurricane Monica was even more important than the 1998–99 impeachment effort itself. If being "alive from the waist down" and exuding "unpoliced sexuality" was now the gold standard for being president, then how would a seemingly "on the spectrum," uncharismatic, Mondale-Dukakis-Cuomo policy wonk-like Clinton's own vice president, Al Gore-fare?
Just before his big nominating speech at the 2000 Democratic Convention, Gore grabbed his wife Tipper and bent her over into an open-mouthed tongue kiss on live TV-a Big Brother or Behind the Music moment if ever there was one, to demonstrate that his marriage was alive and well (unlike the famously open Clinton marriage), and that he wasn't quite as robotic as he seemed. (Ironically, it was Al and Tipper who would separate a decade later, while Bill and Hillary's relationship seems stronger than ever.) Adding another dose of backstabbing House of Cards- style drama, Gore went out of his way to insult Bill and Hillary to their faces in his nomination speech, angrily proclaiming that his election would not be "a reward for past performance" under Bill and Hill, and that he was running as his "own man!" And instead of choosing a pro-Clinton progressive Democrat (like Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold, Paul Wellstone, Barbara Mikulski, Carl Levin, or Chuck Schumer, who were all available that year), Gore chose William F. Buckley's favorite Democrat-conservative Clinton critic "Joe-mentum" Lieberman-as his vice-presidential nominee. Aaron Sorkin couldn't have written it better for sweeps month. Why, you'd think an immunity idol was at stake.
While Al Gore ran as far as his legs could take him from Clinton, his archrival, Texas governor (and presidential son) George W. Bush plagiarized the winning media playbook Clinton had used against Poppy in 1992. Candidate Bush played the media like Clinton's saxophone. Bush fed them gourmet food and designer water on the buses and planes, hung out with them in the back benches, and gave them affectionate nicknames like "Dulce" and "Panchito." He even mouthed a playful "I love you, man!" to an openly gay young reporter covering him.
Al Gore, meanwhile, treated the press like an angry Judge Judy. Gore 2000 staffer Carter Eskew told Vanity Fair 's Evgenia Peretz in 2007 that he used a "whip and a chair" with the media. When Gore finally deigned to go on MTV, instead of taking the opportunity to knock some starch out of his image and present a friendly face to Generation X, he chauvinistically picked a fight with a dreadlocked African-American, angrily whitesplaining to the young man about the immorality and sinfulness of gangsta rap and hip-hop culture.
Despite being credited by Steve Jobs, Vinton Cerf, and even Newt Gingrich as having (from a legal and government-funding point of view) "invented the Internet," the famously stiff Gore was at a loss for how to handle the brave new media world he now found himself trapped in. In spite (or perhaps because) of his own earlier training as a journalist, Gore couldn't believe just how far the profession had fallen. Despite being the progressive candidate, he clearly craved a return to the old-fashioned, "dignified" Don Draper era of political campaigns.
And if Al Gore hated the media, then the feeling was mutual. Openly lesbian feminist Camille Paglia said that Gore's "Little Lord Fauntleroy" entitlement and snobbery were so outrageous they "bordered on the epicene." Maureen Dowd said that Gore acted like a straight-up "loser." "Positively Nixonian in his naked longing," wrote the brilliant liberal critic John Powers in his 2004 recap Sore Winners , Gore had a sense of entitlement "the size of a cruise liner" and "fairly reeked of insider privilege." Kennedy/Obama Democrat Chris Matthews thought Gore was someone who would probably "lick the bathroom floor to be president," and Matthews said flat-out that he was voting for Bush in 2000. Lefty celebs like Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Eddie Vedder, and Michael Moore lent their star power … to campaign for Ralph Nader.
The mirror finally cracked during Gore's first two debates with Bush, when a stressed-out Gore got up in Bush's face and began eye-rolling, sighing, and shaking his head on camera when Bush spoke. Gore's body language evoked Alexis Colby or Cruella de Vil. White working-class voters (including many women) were revolted. Whether Gore won on the issues was forgotten, or more likely beside the point.
The atmosphere only got crazier after the election was held and the five-week-long recount battle began. The Wicked Witch of the West flew over the Florida supreme court, advising Democrats to "Surrender, Gore-thy!" while a grown man dressed as a big baby (symbolizing Gore) threw a temper tantrum outside of a news conference. Black voters went to the barricades with tape over their mouths, to symbolize their voices having been silenced. Control of Florida's electoral votes bounced between fundamentalist Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris (complete with her Tonya Harding-like makeup and hair sense) and then-Gov. Jeb Bush, to the lower trial courts, to the overwhelmingly Democratic and partisan Florida supreme court. Each one ruled and then overruled the other so often it was like watching setups and punchlines fly on Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond. The election had now been reduced to the atmosphere of Survivor and American Idol .
And contrary to the Reagan-era belief that it was senior citizens who controlled elections-those AARP members, WWII and Korea veterans, and retired grandmothers who always showed up to do their civic duty with plenty of time on their hands-Election 2000 proved once and for all that just like prime-time TV and the movies, politics was all about the 18–34 demographic. Seniors voted roughly 50/50 for Bush and Gore (even Florida's famed New York Jewish seniors voted nearly one-third for Bush, and that was after accounting for the controversy over Pat Buchanan and the infamous "butterfly ballot"). But fatefully, first- and second-time young voters also broke evenly for Bush and Gore, in a 47-47 tie (with Nader winning the rest), a break from the youth advantage that delivered the White House to Clinton in 1992 and '96 and would return to ensure Barack Obama's triumphs in 2008 and 2012. If Gore had won young voters by 20 or 30 points like Clinton and Obama, not only Florida but likely Nevada and New Hampshire-and maybe even Ohio-would have been in the bag for him.
In other words, Gore was now on a fast track to losing this election because he had almost lost hip, diverse young people. It was a mistake no Democrat would ever want to make again. Just look at the threat the overwhelmingly millennial "Bernie Bros" posed to what was supposed to be Hillary Clinton's coronation.
Like the judge on a reality show, or those big 11 o'clock climaxes on Law & Order , on December 12, 2000, the Supreme Court gave America the final decision, siding with Bush over Gore. Cue the dark camera filters and the Hans Zimmer underscore.
"Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you got till it's gone?" said Joni Mitchell in her signature song, Big Yellow Taxi. Twenty years after Joni sang, the Bill Clinton years proved to be the era when (as Ezra Klein rightly recalled in in 2007) "the media just lost its mind for eight years, went crazy with class hatred and status envy, groupthink and scandal-mongering." It was the time when Washington, DC, movers and shakers like Sally Quinn and David Gergen began referring to Washington as "This Town" like some kind of Sue Mengers, Lin Bolen, or Julia Phillips power-woman in 1970s New Hollywood protecting her turf from wannabes and outsiders. It was when the Iron Curtain between trash talk and serious news, between talk-radio ranting and highbrow gatekeeping, was torn down. And it was when politicians truly became TV personalities, colorful supporting characters in the latest Whatevergate, the next scandal before Scandal. It was the decade when the real world turned into The Real World. We didn't know what we had until it was gone.
Looking back, the reality TV-ization of politics that billionaire businessman Donald Trump capitalized on and rode to victory seems not only natural but inevitable. How can Donald Trump himself not be "normalized" as a presidential candidate when the mainstream media, and in particular the media-savvy husband of Trump's general-election opponent, spent a full quarter-century normalizing tabloidism, reality-TV techniques, and media-whoring, showing that the royal road to 1600 Pennsylvania was paved by Letterman and Leno, Stewart and SNL, MTV and Maureen Dowd? Really, is having the star of The Apprentice as Mister President that far a leap?
It is a delicious irony indeed that the wife of the man who did more to postmodernize the presidency than any other politician before him lost the White House to a candidate who took note of all the media tricks and treats the Clintons largely invented and blew them up to their unnatural extreme. But the lesson of both the Clinton-era beginnings of the postmodern presidency and Donald Trump's current commando raid on respectability centers on one immovable fact. Whether you're right wing or left, black or white, old or young, it all comes down to one thing. As the late Marshall McLuhan might have put it, had he lived another decade or two, It's the media, stupid.
Telly Davidson is the author of a new book on the politics and pop culture of the '90s, Culture War . He has written on culture for FrumForum , All About Jazz , FilmStew , and Guitar Player , and worked the Emmy-nominated PBS series Pioneers of Television.Fran Macadam , says: November 11, 2016 at 6:32 amGlib, yes, but true? Is superficiality the key, or have events finally been driven by an underlying reality? Ironically, this is the election where the circumstances of millions of actual middle American lives broke through the glam manufacture and demanded redress from the celebitchy Davos privileged political class.connecticut farmer , says: November 11, 2016 at 9:29 amIn a WST op-ed, Peggy Noonan points out that, the hoopla notwithstandin, among Clinton, Johnson and Stein, about 52% of the popular vote went against Trump. It is useful to keep this in mind because in '92 between Bush Sr. and Perot, 57 % of the popular vote went AGAINST Bill Clinton. Clinton for all his vaunted political skills, didn't pay heed. Thereafter, bang went Hillary Health Care! Bang went the US Congress in '94 with the Republican Party winning back not only the Senate but the House (the latter for the first time since 1954).
When all was said and done, Clinton still lost the popular vote and his failure to take note cost his his party control of the Congress. It is hope that The Don doesn't make the same mistake.
Nov 14, 2016 | discussion.theguardian.comweejonnie Intheround 11h ago ...In the last 8 years the Democrat party.
Lost control of the Senate
Lost control of the House of Representatives
Lost control of dozens of state legislatures and Governorships.
The Republicans control 36 States of America - One more and they could in theory amend the Constitution.
In Wisconsin (notionally Democrat) the Legislature and Governor are both Republican controlled. And Clinton didn't even campaign there when it was pretty obvious the State was not trending towards her.
Nov 11, 2016 | crookedtimber.org
kidneystones 11.10.16 at 10:39 am 161
... .. ...
@138 The woman is wrong. Chelsea Clinton was not paid $600 k from the Clinton Foundation. Chelsea Clinton was paid $600 k per year from 2011 by NBC for 'work' as a special correspondent, whilst also pocketing $300 k per year plus stock options as a 'board member' of IAC. Chelsea's speaking fees were a mere $65 k per.
The NYT offers a more severe critique of the IAC board deal readable by clicking through the links. There will be those who see nothing improper about a fifth-estate firm paying a 31 year-old graduate student $600 k, or awarding her a board seat and stock options at $300k. Others may disagree, and perhaps with some good reason.
The defeat of the democratic candidate by a rodeo clown is a slap in the face. Contra Manta @71 I do not believe that anything less than a slap in the face of this order would be enough to jar the successful and well-fed out of their state of complacency and indifference to the plight of both the blacks and whites left behind by 8 years of Democratic rule, and far longer when we're talking about urban African-Americans.
As noted, I believe the Republican candidate to be far and away the more sober, safer choice both on domestic and foreign policy. Now we'll find out.
Thanks for the kind words to Rich, Bruce, T, bob mc, and others.
Best to you all.
Nov 08, 2016 | www.huffingtonpost.comJohn Feffer Director, Foreign Policy In Focus and Editor, LobeLog Much has been made of the swing in political allegiances of neoconservatives in favor of Hillary Clinton.
As a group, Washington's neocons are generally terrified of Trump's unpredictability and his flirtation with the alt-right. They also support Clinton's more assertive foreign policy (not to mention her closer relationship to Israel). Perhaps, too, after eight long years in the wilderness, they're daydreaming of an appointment or two in a Clinton administration.
This group of previously staunch Republicans, who believe in using American military power to promote democracy, build nations, and secure U.S. interests abroad, have defected in surprising numbers. Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan , the Wall Street Journal 's Bret Stephens , and the Foreign Policy Initiative 's James Kirchick have all endorsed Clinton. Other prominent neocons like The National Review 's William Kristol , the Wall Street Journal 's Max Boot , and SAIS's Eliot Cohen have rejected Trump but not quite taken the leap to supporting Clinton.
A not particularly large or well-defined group, neoconservatives have attracted a disproportionate amount of attention in this election. For the Trump camp, these Republican defectors merely prove that the elite is out to get their candidate, thus reinforcing his outsider credentials (never mind that Trump initially wooed neocons like Kristol). For the left , the neocons are flocking to support a bird of their feather, at least when it comes to foreign policy, which reflects badly on Clinton. The mainstream media, meanwhile, is attracted to the man-bites-dog aspect of the story (news flash: members of the vast right-wing conspiracy support Clinton!).
As we come to the end of the election campaign, which has been more a clash of personalities than of ideologies, the neocon defections offer a much more interesting storyline. As the Republican Party potentially coalesces around a more populist center, the neocons are the canary in the coal mine. Their squawking suggests that the American political scene is about to suffer a cataclysm. What will that mean for U.S. foreign policy?
A History of Defection
The neoconservative movement began within the Democratic Party. Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a Democrat from Washington State, carved out a new position in the party with his liberal domestic policies and hardline Cold War stance. He was a strong booster of civil rights and environmental legislation. At the same time, he favored military build-up and a stronger relationship with Israel. He was also dismayed with the Nixon administration's détente with the Soviet Union.
Prioritizing foreign over domestic policy, Jackson's former aides Richard Perle , Douglas Feith , and