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Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"

Oligarchic "Quiet Coup" in the USA, "Greed is good" slogan and loss of trust in neoliberal governments

News Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Recommended Links Quiet coup The Deep State National Security State / Surveillance State In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Two Party System as polyarchy The Iron Law of Oligarchy The Pareto Law Media-Military-Industrial Complex Groupthink Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition
Corporatism Inverted Totalitarism US and British media are servants of security apparatus Casino Capitalism Ayn Rand and Objectivism Cult Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Corruption of Regulators
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment The importance of controlling the narrative New American Caste System The Essential Rules for Dominating Population What's the Matter with Kansas Big Uncle is Watching You
Nation under attack meme American Exceptionalism Neo-fascism Bureaucracies Military Bureaucracy Military Incompetence Bureaucratic Collectivism
Toxic Managers The psychopath in the corner office Female Sociopaths Office Stockholm Syndrome Quotes about Psychopaths Humor Etc


Introduction


There is an 'audacious oligarchy' of self-defined rulers who move freely between private industry and government, whose primary objective is preserving and furthering their own power and self-interest.

Jesse's Café American, Audacious Oligarchy

Audacious behaviour is often connected with the weakened self-preservation instinct, typical for sociopaths. So their audacity take the form of Chutzpah (shameless audacity; impudence, unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall). It's inherently connected with the lack of empathy, which is a defining feature of sociopaths. The key question here is: to what extent the US elite became infected with substantial or even dominant number of sociopaths? Including female sociopaths as we saw recently in the reaction of behaviour of a wife of former president on killing Gaddafy (Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: We came, we saw, he died ) ?

In fact this process of self-selection of sociopaths into neoliberal elite reached dangerous level was noted be many, including famous remark of Robert Johnson at Culture Project's IMPART 2012 Festival that essentially defined the term ("Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must."):

Oligarchy now is audacious. They don't really care if they are legitimate.

"Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must."

Robert Johnson serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) and a Senior Fellow and Director of the Global Finance Project for the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in New York. Previously, Johnson was a Managing Director at Soros Fund Management where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. Prior to working at Soros Fund Management, he was a Managing Director of Bankers Trust Company managing a global currency fund.

Johnson served as Chief Economist of the US Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire (D. Wisconsin) and of Chairman Pete Domenici (R. New Mexico). Johnson received a Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics from Princeton University and a B.S. in both Electrical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As you can see this idea "Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must." does not differ much with the modus operandi of three-letter agencies, so the terms "audacious oligarchy" and "deep state" are closely related: deep state can be viewed as a social system in this audacious oligarchy rules the population.

We can also think about the term "audacious oligarchy" as the term related to the rise of neo-fascism, (be it neoliberal fascism or Inverted Totalitarism). For some details National Security State / Surveillance State: Review of Literature and a very interesting discussion of Robert Johnson remarks on financial oligarchy at “They’re All Standing on the Deck of the Titanic Looking in Each Other’s Eyes” (naked capitalism, April 21, 2013). That means the key elements of fascist ideology are preserved, with the replacement of Arian Nation for financial oligarchy, but without ruthless physical suppression of opposition which are replaced by financial instruments, blacklisting, economic sanctions and color revolutions in "deviant" countries. Like in Third Reich dominance is supported by relentless propaganda and brainwashing with mechanisms polished since Reagan to perfection. there is now no problem to create an "enemy of the people" when the elite wants and it does not matter which country or individual is selected as an enemy. The essence of elite politics in this area was best formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

One interesting side effect of the dominance of financial oligarchy is loss of trusts in experts, especially economic expects, professors who now are nothing more then a prostitutes at the service of financial capital Ian Klaus in "Forging Capitalism: Rogues, Swindlers, Frauds, and the Rise of Modern Finance gives the following definition:

Trust, to be simple with our definition, is an expectation of behavior built upon norms and cultural habits. It is often dependent upon a shared set of ethics or values. It is also a process orchestrated through communities and institutions. In this sense, it is a cultural event and thus a historical phenomenon.

As Robert Johnson noted:

"People don't trust experts. If you saw 'Inside Job', you know why. People do not trust the private markets, and they don't trust government."

See also Neoclassical Pseudo Theories and Crooked and Bought Economists as Fifth Column of Financial Oligarchy.

In the case of neoliberal transformation of the USA the state to a large extent seized to defend the population. Instead the state became a predictor, defender of international corporations, as hostile to the US people as Bolshevik rule was to Russians and other nationalities of the USSR. In other word the USA population became hostages of the system much like population of the USSR was. In a way nothing is new in human history.

The most important side effect of neoliberal transformation of the US society is the destruction (or more correctly emasculation) of legal system, which effectively lead to the situation when like in monarchy, some people are above the law. And we can suspect, judging from recent the USSR nomenklatura experience that such a caste might quickly degrades. As Long Aston said "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". If you willfully and recklessly tear down the laws in the name of some misbegotten ideology the benefit to "chosen" few, blowback might come sooner or later. even if you successfully hide this in a smokescreen of sophisticated scam ideology (neoliberalism in case of current crony or casino capitalism, which replaced the New Deal "live and giver other chance to live" motto) the blowback eventually might knock the particular country down. In such system nobody trust anybody and the whole society gradually disintegrates becoming just extended version of a mafia clan. With typical for such clans deadly internal fights for power. Mexican drug cartels saying - plomo y plobo ('silver or lead'): either you accept our bribes or accept our bullets is perfectly applicable in this situation. And that's how "audacious oligarchy really operates at least of international scène. But the law of the jungle has one important difference with the regular law system: any more powerful group of states can became both a judge and executioner for less powerful, or competing group of states.

When you take some self-serving fairy tale and take it an extreme by sticking an 'ism' on the end of it, like is the case with neoliberalism, at the beginning everything is fine and population is carries by this lie with ease. But as soon as people discover this despite all the power of propaganda their standard of living is going down, some trouble appear on the horizon and there is no other way then to concert the state into national security state, as proponent of communism have found in the USSR. And under neoliberalism, the essence of which is redistribution of wealth in favor of the top 0.01% of the world population, this disillusionment in inevitable, unless we experience a new technological revolution, similar to computer revolution. it can't be hidden with fairly tales about "undemocratic nature" of poor state or corruption. People can only be suppressed by brute force. and the lead to overextension of the neoliberal empire.

When the financial oligarchy is completely exempt from the law and in this particular area regulation is burned to the ground to serve the interests of financial oligarchy, strange things start to happen. The first glimpse on which we already saw in 2008. There was a demonstration of an immanent feature of neoliberal regimes which might be called financial sector induced systemic instability of economy. The latter which lead to periodic booms and busts with unpredictable timing, severity and consequences for the society at large, but so far all of those crisis work also as mechanism of redistribution of the society wealth toward the top . this time the US oligarchy managed to swipe the dirt under the rug.

This instability happens automatically and does not depend on the presence of "bad apples" in the system, because the financial sector under neoliberalism functions not as the nerve system of the economy of the particular country, but more like an autoimmune disease. In other words financial sector destabilizes the "immune system" of the country by introducing positive feedback look into economic (and not only economic, look at the USA foreign policy since 1991) activities.

What exactly is neoliberal oligarchy ?

When we say audacious oligarchy we essentially mean neoliberal oligarchy, and first of all financial oligarchy. Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with an elite class distinguished by wealth, family ties, commercial, government and/or military positions. The actual literal translation from the Greek is the "rule of the few". The word oligarchy is derived from the Greek words "ὀλίγος" (olígos), "a few"[2] and the verb "ἄρχω" (archo), "to rule, to govern, to command".

Throughout history, most oligarchies have been tyrannical, relying on public servitude to exist, although some have been relatively benign. Plato pioneered the use of the term in Chapter Four, Book Eight of "The Republic" as a society in which wealth is the criterion of merit and the wealthy are in control.

However oligarchy is not always a rule according to the size of the wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group, and do not have to be distinguished from plebs by iether personal wealth or bloodlines as in a monarchy. Although often those two types of distinction are present too. For example, in the USSR the oligarchy was represented by special class of government and party servants (nomenklatura). The same is by-and-large true for Communist China. Those types of oligarchy has a lot of features in common with neoliberal oligarchy, although they are national in character. First of all in both system oligarchs are "working oligarchs". They actively participate in the their business or government activities. The second thing is that neoliberal oligarchy has very interesting connection with the idea of Communist International, and can be viewed as an interesting perversion of this concept ("Capitalism International") with some flavor of Trotskyism -- as it strives for and adopts Trotskyism central idea of permanent revolution as the method of reaching of the world dominance (see, neocons and color revolutions)

At the same time starting from 80th in the USA oligarchy by-and-large started to correspond to European aristocracy as vertical mobility became very limited and suppressed in the USA (actually more then in European countries, despite all the hype about the American dream).

The USA oligarchy by-and-large corresponds to European aristocracy, with substantial number of its members being children of oligarchic families. Vertical mobility, despite hype, is very limited and suppressed (actually more then in European countries). In no way the USA con be considered "the county of opportunities" anymore.

Russian oligarchy is very atypical in this sense, and is a pretty interesting case of a very high vertical mobility. As a country Russia is unique that in its history it several times wiped out its entrenched oligarchy. Two last "rotations" happened in 1917 then large part of old oligarchy lost their power and after neoliberal revolution of 1991 which brought into power the corrupt government of Boris Yeltsin. The drunkard, who imitated French proclaiming "enrich yourself" and launches (with gentle support from USA in a form of Harvard mafia) the most corrupt privatization of state wealth in human history.

But most members of the new, Post-Soviet Russian oligarchy did demonstrated tremendous level of upward mobility. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union on 31 December 1991, many directors and sometimes middle managers of state owned Russia-based corporations, especially producers of petroleum, natural gas, and metals managed to privatize their holdings and have become oligarchs. Criminal privatization under Yeltsin regime allowed them to amass phenomenal wealth and power almost overnight. In May 2004, the Russian edition of Forbes identified 36 of these oligarchs as being worth at least US$1 billion. And not of all them came from Nomenklatura. Many members of nomenklatura (even on the level of Politburo) did not fit in the new economic system and stopped being oligarchs.

All modern democracies should be viewed as oligarchies

Robert Michels believed that any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy. He called this the iron law of oligarchy. According to this school of thought, modern democracies should be considered to be oligarchies. this is what his "iron law of oligarchy" is about. In other word when we speak the word democracy about such regimes as current exist in the USA or Western Europe, it is most self-deception.

That gives a pretty sinister meaning to the "promotion of democracy" and "support of democracy" activities, as in reality it is installation of more favorable to the promoter oligarchic group in power, often via coup d'état (with a specific neoliberal variant, which use developed by Gene Sharp political technology, called Color revolution), as recently happened in Libya and Ukraine.

In "modern democracies", the actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an acceptable and respectable political position, and politicians' careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites. Thus the popular phrase: there is always only one political party, the party of oligarchy.

This is especially true for winner takes all election systems, which create two party environment, with both party being a factions of the same elite. See Two Party System as Polyarchy

Quiet coup

The term "Quiet coup" which means the hijacking of the political power in the USA by financial oligarchy was introduced by Simon H. Johnson (born January 16, 1963). Simon Johnson is a British-American economist, who currently is the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at the MIT Sloan School of Management and a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. From March 2007 through the end of August 2008, he was Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund.

The term was introduced in Simon Johnson article in Atlantic magazine, published in May 2009(The Quiet Coup - Simon Johnson - The Atlantic). Which opens with a revealing paragraph:

The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.

The wealth of financial sector gave it unprecedented opportunities of simply buying the political power:

Becoming a Banana Republic

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (and only in emerging markets): South Korea (1997), Malaysia (1998), Russia and Argentina (time and again). In each of those cases, global investors, afraid that the country or its financial sector wouldn’t be able to pay off mountainous debt, suddenly stopped lending. And in each case, that fear became self-fulfilling, as banks that couldn’t roll over their debt did, in fact, become unable to pay. This is precisely what drove Lehman Brothers into bankruptcy on September 15, causing all sources of funding to the U.S. financial sector to dry up overnight. Just as in emerging-market crises, the weakness in the banking system has quickly rippled out into the rest of the economy, causing a severe economic contraction and hardship for millions of people.

But there’s a deeper and more disturbing similarity: elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better—in a “buck stops somewhere else” sort of way—on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for “safety and soundness” were fast asleep at the wheel.

But these various policies—lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership—had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector’s profits—such as Brooksley Born’s now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998—were ignored or swept aside.

The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Several other factors helped fuel the financial industry’s ascent. Paul Volcker’s monetary policy in the 1980s, and the increased volatility in interest rates that accompanied it, made bond trading much more lucrative. The invention of securitization, interest-rate swaps, and credit-default swaps greatly increased the volume of transactions that bankers could make money on. And an aging and increasingly wealthy population invested more and more money in securities, helped by the invention of the IRA and the 401(k) plan. Together, these developments vastly increased the profit opportunities in financial services.

Not surprisingly, Wall Street ran with these opportunities. From 1973 to 1985, the financial sector never earned more than 16 percent of domestic corporate profits. In 1986, that figure reached 19 percent. In the 1990s, it oscillated between 21 percent and 30 percent, higher than it had ever been in the postwar period. This decade, it reached 41 percent. Pay rose just as dramatically. From 1948 to 1982, average compensation in the financial sector ranged between 99 percent and 108 percent of the average for all domestic private industries. From 1983, it shot upward, reaching 181 percent in 2007.

The great wealth that the financial sector created and concentrated gave bankers enormous political weight — a weight not seen in the U.S. since the era of J.P. Morgan (the man). In that period, the banking panic of 1907 could be stopped only by coordination among private-sector bankers: no government entity was able to offer an effective response. But that first age of banking oligarchs came to an end with the passage of significant banking regulation in response to the Great Depression; the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent.

He further researched this theme in his book 2010 book 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown (ISBN 978-0307379054), coauthored with James Kwak. They also founded and regularly contributes to the economics blog The Baseline Scenario.

Financial oligarchy as an key part of modern neoliberal elite

Corporate oligarchy is a form of power, governmental or operational, where such power effectively rests with a small, elite group of inside individuals, sometimes from a small group of educational institutions, or influential economic entities or devices, such as banks, commercial entities that act in complicity with, or at the whim of the oligarchy, often with little or no regard for constitutionally protected prerogative. Monopolies are sometimes granted to state-controlled entities, such as the Royal Charter granted to the East India Company. In this regime people move freely from government posts to private industry and back.

In the USA the most rapidly rising part of national oligarchy is financial oligarchy. As Senator Dick Durbin noted referring to the US Congress Banks Frankly Own The Place. Moreover in many cases it is unclear who owns whom, for example whether Goldman Sachs owns NY FED or NY FED Goldman Sachs ( The Fed Under Goldman's Thumb - Bloomberg )

Senators questioned Dudley, 61, on issues ranging from whether some banks are too big to regulate to the Fed’s role in overseeing their commodities businesses.

Some of the criticism was pointed. Warren, a frequent critic of financial regulators, asked Dudley if he was “holding a mirror to your own behavior.”

Jeff Merkley, an Oregon Democrat, complained that bank employees involved in misdeeds haven’t been prosecuted and are “too big to jail.”

Dudley repeatedly disagreed with assertions that the New York Fed wasn’t doing enough to regulate banks and said lenders have become stronger and safer in the past few years.

... ... ...

Today’s Senate hearing follows reports that Goldman Sachs fired two bankers after one of them allegedly shared confidential documents from the New York Fed within the firm.

A junior banker, who had joined the company in July from the New York Fed, was dismissed a week after the discovery in late September, along with another employee who failed to escalate the issue, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News. Goldman Sachs confirmed the memo’s contents.

As Adair Turner noted in The Consequences of Money Manager Capitalism

In the wake of World War II, much of the western world, particularly the United States, adopted a new form of capitalism called “managerial welfare-state capitalism.”

The system by design constrained financial institutions with significant social welfare reforms and large oligopolistic corporations that financed investment primarily out of retained earnings. Private sector debt was small, but government debt left over from financing the War was large, providing safe assets for households, firms, and banks. The structure of this system was financially robust and unlikely to generate a deep recession. However, the constraints within the system didn’t hold.

The relative stability of the first few decades after WWII encouraged ever-greater risk-taking, and over time the financial system was transformed into our modern overly financialized economy. Today, the dominant financial players are “managed money” — lightly regulated “shadow banks” like pension funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds, and university endowments—with huge pools of capital in search of the highest returns. In turn, innovations by financial engineers have encouraged the growth of private debt relative to income and the increased reliance on volatile short-term finance and massive uses of leverage.

What are the implications of this financialization on the modern global economy? According to Adair Lord Turner, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for New Economic Thinking and a former head of the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority, it means that finance has become central to the daily operations of the economic system. More precisely, the private nonfinancial sectors of the economy have become more dependent on the smooth functioning of the financial sector in order to maintain the liquidity and solvency of their balance sheets and to improve and maintain their economic welfare. For example, households have increased their use of debt to fund education, healthcare, housing, transportation, and leisure. And at the same time, they have become more dependent on interest, dividends, and capital gains as a means to maintain and improve their standard of living.

Another major consequence of financialized economies is that they typically generate repeated financial bubbles and major debt overhangs, the aftermath of which tends to exacerbate inequality and retard economic growth. Booms turn to busts, distressed sellers sell their assets to the beneficiaries of the previous bubble, and income inequality expands.

In the view of Lord Turner, currently there is no countervailing power (in John Kenneth Galbraith terms) able to deal with the consequences of neoliberalism, as he calls it "money manager capitalism.” The net result likely will be years more of economic stagnation and deteriorating living standards for many people around the world.

Finance is a form of modern warfare

As Michael Hudson aptly noted in Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy (2011)

Finance is a form of warfare. Like military conquest, its aim is to gain control of land, public infrastructure, and to impose tribute. This involves dictating laws to its subjects, and concentrating social as well as economic planning in centralized hands. This is what now is being done by financial means, without the cost to the aggressor of fielding an army. But the economies under attacked may be devastated as deeply by financial stringency as by military attack when it comes to demographic shrinkage, shortened life spans, emigration and capital flight.

This attack is being mounted not by nation states as such, but by a cosmopolitan financial class. Finance always has been cosmopolitan more than nationalistic – and always has sought to impose its priorities and lawmaking power over those of parliamentary democracies.

Like any monopoly or vested interest, the financial strategy seeks to block government power to regulate or tax it. From the financial vantage point, the ideal function of government is to enhance and protect finance capital and “the miracle of compound interest” that keeps fortunes multiplying exponentially, faster than the economy can grow, until they eat into the economic substance and do to the economy what predatory creditors and rentiers did to the Roman Empire.

Simon Johnson, former IMF Chief Economist, is coming out in May’s 2009 edition of The Atlantic with a fascinating, highly provocative article, on the collusion between the US’ “financial oligarchy” and the US government and how its persistence will contribute to prolonging the economic crisis. Here is the summary (hat tip to Global Conditions):

One thing you learn rather quickly when working at the International Monetary Fund is that no one is ever very happy to see you (…)

The reason, of course, is that the IMF specializes in telling its clients what they don’t want to hear.(…)

No, the real concern of the fund’s senior staff, and the biggest obstacle to recovery, is almost invariably the politics of countries in crisis. (…)

Typically, these countries are in a desperate economic situation for one simple reason—the powerful elites within them overreached in good times and took too many risks. Emerging-market governments and their private-sector allies commonly form a tight-knit—and, most of the time, genteel—oligarchy, running the country rather like a profit-seeking company in which they are the controlling shareholders (…)

Many IMF programs “go off track” (a euphemism) precisely because the government can’t stay tough on erstwhile cronies, and the consequences are massive inflation or other disasters. A program “goes back on track” once the government prevails or powerful oligarchs sort out among themselves who will govern—and thus win or lose—under the IMF-supported plan. (…)

In its depth and suddenness, the U.S. economic and financial crisis is shockingly reminiscent of moments we have recently seen in emerging markets (…).

(…) elite business interests—financiers, in the case of the U.S.—played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive. The government seems helpless, or unwilling, to act against them.

Top investment bankers and government officials like to lay the blame for the current crisis on the lowering of U.S. interest rates after the dotcom bust or, even better—in a “buck stops somewhere else” sort of way—on the flow of savings out of China. Some on the right like to complain about Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, or even about longer-standing efforts to promote broader homeownership. And, of course, it is axiomatic to everyone that the regulators responsible for “safety and soundness” were fast asleep at the wheel.

But these various policies—lightweight regulation, cheap money, the unwritten Chinese-American economic alliance, the promotion of homeownership—had something in common. Even though some are traditionally associated with Democrats and some with Republicans, they all benefited the financial sector. Policy changes that might have forestalled the crisis but would have limited the financial sector’s profits—such as Brooksley Born’s now-famous attempts to regulate credit-default swaps at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, in 1998—were ignored or swept aside.

The financial industry has not always enjoyed such favored treatment. But for the past 25 years or so, finance has boomed, becoming ever more powerful. The boom began with the Reagan years, and it only gained strength with the deregulatory policies of the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.

(…) the American financial industry gained political power by amassing a kind of cultural capital—a belief system. Once, perhaps, what was good for General Motors was good for the country. Over the past decade, the attitude took hold that what was good for Wall Street was good for the country. (…)

One channel of influence was, of course, the flow of individuals between Wall Street and Washington. Robert Rubin, once the co-chairman of Goldman Sachs, served in Washington as Treasury secretary under Clinton, and later became chairman of Citigroup’s executive committee. Henry Paulson, CEO of Goldman Sachs during the long boom, became Treasury secretary under George W.Bush. John Snow, Paulson’s predecessor, left to become chairman of Cerberus Capital Management, a large private-equity firm that also counts Dan Quayle among its executives. Alan Greenspan, after leaving the Federal Reserve, became a consultant to Pimco, perhaps the biggest player in international bond markets.

A whole generation of policy makers has been mesmerized by Wall Street, always and utterly convinced that whatever the banks said was true (…).

By now, the princes of the financial world have of course been stripped naked as leaders and strategists—at least in the eyes of most Americans. But as the months have rolled by, financial elites have continued to assume that their position as the economy’s favored children is safe, despite the wreckage they have caused (…)

Throughout the crisis, the government has taken extreme care not to upset the interests of the financial institutions, or to question the basic outlines of the system that got us here. In September 2008, Henry Paulson asked Congress for $700 billion to buy toxic assets from banks, with no strings attached and no judicial review of his purchase decisions. Many observers suspected that the purpose was to overpay for those assets and thereby take the problem off the banks’ hands—indeed, that is the only way that buying toxic assets would have helped anything. Perhaps because there was no way to make such a blatant subsidy politically acceptable, that plan was shelved.

Instead, the money was used to recapitalize banks, buying shares in them on terms that were grossly favorable to the banks themselves. As the crisis has deepened and financial institutions have needed more help, the government has gotten more and more creative in figuring out ways to provide banks with subsidies that are too complex for the general public to understand (…)

The challenges the United States faces are familiar territory to the people at the IMF. If you hid the name of the country and just showed them the numbers, there is no doubt what old IMF hands would say: nationalize troubled banks and break them up as necessary (…)

In some ways, of course, the government has already taken control of the banking system. It has essentially guaranteed the liabilities of the biggest banks, and it is their only plausible source of capital today.

Ideally, big banks should be sold in medium-size pieces, divided regionally or by type of business. Where this proves impractical—since we’ll want to sell the banks quickly—they could be sold whole, but with the requirement of being broken up within a short time. Banks that remain in private hands should also be subject to size limitations.

This may seem like a crude and arbitrary step, but it is the best way to limit the power of individual institutions in a sector that is essential to the economy as a whole. Of course, some people will complain about the “efficiency costs” of a more fragmented banking system, and these costs are real. But so are the costs when a bank that is too big to fail—a financial weapon of mass self-destruction—explodes. Anything that is too big to fail is too big to exist.

To ensure systematic bank breakup, and to prevent the eventual reemergence of dangerous behemoths, we also need to overhaul our antitrust legislation (…)

Caps on executive compensation, while redolent of populism, might help restore the political balance of power and deter the emergence of a new oligarchy. (…)

(…) Over time, though, the largest part may involve more transparency and competition, which would bring financial-industry fees down. To those who say this would drive financial activities to other countries, we can now safely say: fine”.

The predatory nature of financial oligarchy

The nature of financial oligarchy is such that the government’s capacity to take control of an entire financial system, and to clean, slice it up and re-privatize it impartially is almost non-existent. Instead we have growing, corrupt collusion between financial elites and government officials which is hall mark of corporatism in its most modern form -- neoliberalism.

Second probably is that institutions are more powerful them individuals and replacement or even jailing of corrupt current officials while a quite welcome move, can't by itself lead to drastic changes. You need to reinstall the whole system of government controls dismantled by Clinton-Bush regime. Otherwise one set of players will be simply replaced by the other, no less corrupt, hungry and unprincipled. As Daron Acemoglu pointed out recently, we are in a situation that attempt to fix the financial system will have to involve those same bankers (albeit in lower positions at the time of the crisis) that created the mess in the first place. To push the analogy a bit strongly, even in Germany post 1945 and Iraq post 2003 new governments still needed to work with some civil servants in the judicial and educational system from the previous regime as well as with tainted industrialists.

In theory, the best way to diminish the power of financiers is to limit the size (limiting the damage) and let them fail and crash badly. Also introduction of a tax of transactions (Tobin tax) can help to cool the frenzy of derivative trading. But there is nobody in power who can push those changes. That means the "silent coup" in which financial oligarchy got control of the state is complete.

Loss of trust led to conversion of the country into national security state

Paranoya of financial oligarchy after 2008 when most of the country wished them what was reflected in the slogan of the corner of Wallstreet (see the picture), led to speed up of creation of comprehensive network of spying over the citizens.

According to UN Human Right Council Report (17 April 2013) innovations in technology not only have increased the possibilities for communication and protections of free expression and opinion, enabling anonymity, rapid information-sharing and cross-cultural dialogues. They also simultaneously increased opportunities for State surveillance and interventions into individuals’ private communications facilitating to transformation of the state into National Security State, a form of corporatism characterized by continued and encompassing all forms of electronic communication electronic surveillance of all citizens.

Even if we assume that data collection is passive and never used it is like a ticking bomb or "skeleton in the closet" it is a powerful method of control of population, not the different from what was used by KGB in the USSR or STASI in East Germany.

So it does not really matter much what the data are collected for and what if official justification of such a collection. The mere fact of collection changes the situation to the worse, making opposition to the system practically impossible. The net result is what is matter. And the net result definitely resembles a move in the direction of a tyranny. US Senator Frank Church said in 1975:

"I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency [the National Security Agency] and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.".

Today his words sound even more true then in 1975 when computers were still in their infancy and mainframes dominated the computer landscape. With the proliferation of cheap electronic devices such as PCs and laptops, tablets and cell phones this really became "the abyss from which there is no return".

So the real, the key goal is not what is officially declared. Convenience of access to information has a side effect that it makes collection of information about you trivial and at the same time comprehensive. It is to keep the elite safe from common folks, not all those lies about national security. It is all about the security of the elite.

In other words 1984 dystopia materialized in slightly different, slightly more gentle form. The elite as a whole is not interesting in dismantling the tool that serve its interests so well even if it has some side effects on the elite members themselves. This is another confirmation of The Iron Law of Oligarchy

All-in-all it's a good time to smell the coffee and talk about the rise of a new mutation of totalitarism in the USA. That's exactly what this "Internet-inspired" flavor of total surveillance due to modern technical capabilities means. There is also distinct shadow of Stasi in all those activities. As countries of the USSR camp got into similar trap before, nothing is new under the sun. As Reinhold Niebuhr noted

"Communism is a vivid object lesson in the monstrous consequences of moral complacency about the relation of dubious means to supposedly good ends."

There is actually little difference between total surveillance as practiced by NSA and what was practiced by three letters agencies of Eastern block dictatorships. The key goal in both cases is protection and preservation of power of existing elite against the will of common people. So this is more about oppression of 99.9% from top 0.1% then surveillance per see.

Phone hacking and police corruption represent neoliberalism attempt to cling to life even entering in 2008 a zombie status. And we do not know if the change is possible (The zombie of neoliberalism can be beaten)

Poor growth figures put a "new" financial collapse back on the cards. The response from politicians, bankers and business leaders is more of the same – more of the same neoliberal policies that got us into this situation in the first place.

Neoliberalism no longer "makes sense", but its logic keeps stumbling on, without conscious direction, like a zombie: ugly, persistent and dangerous. Such is the "unlife" of a zombie, a body stripped of its goals, unable to adjust itself to the future, unable to make plans. It can only act habitually as it pursues a monomaniacal hunger. Unless there is a dramatic recomposition of society, we face the prospect of decades of drift as the crises we face – economic, social, environmental – remain unresolved. But where will that recomposition come from when we are living in the world of zombie-liberalism?

... ... ...

Neoliberalism, however, requires more than the internal realignment of a national ruling class. Every semi-stable form of capitalism also needs some sort of settlement with the wider population, or at least a decisive section of it. While the postwar Keynesian settlement contained an explicit deal linking rising real wages to rising productivity, neoliberalism contained an implicit deal based on access to cheap credit. While real wages have stagnated since the late 1970s, the mechanisms of debt have maintained most people's living standards. An additional part of neoliberalism's tacit deal was the abandonment of any pretence to democratic, collective control over the conditions of life: politics has been reduced to technocratic rule. Instead, individuals accepted the promise that, through hard work, shrewd educational and other "life" choices, and a little luck, they – or their children – would reap the benefits of economic growth.

The financial crisis shattered the central component of this deal: access to cheap credit. Living standards can no longer be supported and, for the first time in a century, there is widespread fear that children will lead poorer lives than their parents.

Conclusions

After 2008 the irresponsibility of the financial elites, the power and proliferation of special interest groups that defend interests of oligarchy, the paralysis of Congress and executive power to deal with challenges the financial oligarchy created have created atmosphere of public cynicism.

This correlated with withdrawal from public activity and elections. voter participation in the 1996 Presidential election reached similar to 1924 figure of 49%, less then half of eligible population. And with electronic surveillance reaching it zenith after 9/11/2001, the country quietly slid in the darkness of Inverted Totalitarism

Disillusionment with government and large corporation is a noticeable feature of contemporary America. There is a the widespread sense that big companies and those who run them are immune from prosecution and can't be held accountable by government for their crimes as that they are ... Too Big To Jail. Part of this leniency is connected with corruption of regulators. Which is an immanent part of neoliberal social order. There is also the issue off gaming the system. For very large and profitable multinationals paying some law firm or accounting firm a couple of million dollars to game the tax system in some sleazy way to park most of the income in tax havens represents a small fraction of their tax savings. So the big boys get away with this and middle market firms are the only ones who really pay corporate taxes.

The fact that no one has been imprisoned for the crime committed before 2008 is seen as outrageous by most Americans and large part of Main Street. At the same time, the multibillion-dollar fines and enforcement actions against financial institutions are providing large TBTF firms such as Goldman Sachs with wrong incentives. Paying with shareholders’ money as the price of protecting themselves is a very attractive trade-off. Punishment of individual executives who committed crimes or who failed in their managerial duty to monitor the behavior of their subordinates is short-changed because the principle that leaders should take responsibility for failure and resign contradicts neoliberal worldview.


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[Nov 14, 2019] From Russiagate to Ukrainegate An Impeachment Inquiry by Renée Parsons

Notable quotes:
"... Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty". ..."
"... There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead. The more recent Skripal Hoax. The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets. They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary. ..."
"... The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele. This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes. The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM. ..."
"... No need to even discuss, until Western societies ALL get a grip on the depths of depravity that lie within the actions and "The History of the National Security State" you have to admit, that Julian Assange could not have picked a better book to firmly grip and signal with, than GORE Vidal's, when being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, by Spooks who would sell their own mother, let alone nation, in their utter technological ignorance and adherence to anachronistic doctrines & mentality ! ..."
"... The most important thing for us and deliciously so now the election is happening is the BLOWBACK. Our DS lying murdering arses are going to get new ones drilled by Trump and BoBos bromance exploding in full technicolor. ..."
"... By sharing we disrupt the msm messages. Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects. ..."
"... I'd have thought that events like the spy in the holdall, the spies caught by farmers in Libya, the Skripal's, and the whole over-the-top reaction to the domestic terrorism threat and consequent successful pleas for extra funding, the obvious danger of creating terrorists by security services, the policy of giving asylum to foreign terrorists of countries we don't like and the whole concept of the 5 eyes and GCHQ needs more than ministerial oversight, a committee of yes men/women and an intelligence services commissioner. ..."
Oct 30, 2019 | off-guardian.org

As the Quantum field oversees the disintegration of institutions no longer in service to the public, the Democratic party continues to lose their marbles, perpetuating their own simulated bubble as if they alone are the nation's most trusted purveyors of truth.

Since the Mueller Report failed to deliver on the dubious Russiagate accusations, the party of Thomas Jefferson continues to remain in search of another ethical pretense to justify continued partisan turmoil. In an effort to discredit and/or distract attention from the Barr-Durham and IG investigations, the Dems have come up with an implausible piece of political theatre known as Ukrainegate which has morphed into an impeachment inquiry.

The Inspector General's Report, which may soon be ready for release, will address the presentation of fabricated FBI evidence to the FISA Court for permission to initiate a surveillance campaign on Trump Administration personnel. In addition, the Department of Justice has confirmed that Special Investigator John Durham's probe into the origin of the FBI's counter intelligence investigation during the 2016 election has moved from an administrative review into the criminal prosecution realm. Durham will now be able to actively pursue candidates for possible prosecution.

The defensive assault from the Democrat hierarchy and its corporate media cohorts can be expected to reach a fevered pitch of manic proportions as both investigations threatened not only their political future in 2020 but perhaps their very existence.

NBC s uggests that the Barr investigation is a ' mysterious ' review " amid concerns about whether the probe has any legal or factual basis " while the NY Times continues to cast doubt that the investigation has a legitimate basis implying that AG Barr is attempting to " deliver a political victory for President Trump." The Times misleads its readers with:

Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it."

when in fact, it was the Russiagate collusion allegations that Trump referred to as a hoax, rather than the Mueller investigation per se.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va), minority leader of the Senate Intel Committee suggested that Attorney General William Barr " owes the Committee an explanation " since the committee is completing a " three-year bipartisan investigation " that has " found nothing to justify " Barr's expanded effort.

The Senator's gauntlet will be ever so fascinating as the public reads exactly how the Intel Committee spent three years and came up with " nothing " as compared to what Durham and the IG reports have to say.

On the House side, prime-time whiners Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) commented that news of the Durham investigation moving towards criminal liability " raised profound concerns that Barr has lost his independence and become a vehicle for political revenge " and that " the Rule of Law will suffer irreparable damage ."

Since Barr has issued no determination of blame other than to assure a full, fair and rigorous investigation, it is curious that the Dems are in premature meltdown as if they expect indictments even though the investigations are not yet complete.

There is, however, one small inconvenient glitch that challenges the Democratic version of reality that does not fit their partisan spin. The news that former FBI General Counsel James Baker is actively cooperating with the BD investigation ought to send ripples through the ranks. Baker has already stated that it was a 'small group' within the agency who led the counterintelligence inquiry into the Trump campaign; notably former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Baker's cooperation was not totally unexpected since he also cooperated with the Inspector General's FISA abuse investigation which is awaiting public release.

As FBI General Counsel, Baker had a role in reviewing the FISA applications before they were submitted to the FISA court and currently remains under criminal investigation for making unauthorized leaks to the media.

As the agency's chief legal officer, Baker had to be a first-hand participant and privy to every strategy discussion and decision (real or contemplated). It was his job to identify potential legal implications that might negatively affect the agency or boomerang back on the FBI. In other words, Baker is in a unique position to know who knew what and when did they know it.

His 'cooperation' can be generally attributed to being more concerned with saving his own butt rather than the Constitution.

In any case, the information he is able to provide will be key for getting to the true origins of Russiagate and the FISA scandal. Baker's collaboration may augur others facing possible prosecution to step up since 'cooperation' usually comes with the gift of a lesser charge.

With a special focus on senior Obama era intel officials Durham has reportedly already interviewed up to two dozen former and current FBI employees as well as officials in the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

From the number of interviews conducted to date it can be surmised that Durham has been accumulating all the necessary facts and evidence as he works his way up the chain of command, prior to concentrating on top officials who may be central to the investigation.

It has also been reported that Durham expects to interview current and former intelligence officials including CIA analysts, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper regarding Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

In a recent CNN interview , when asked if he was concerned about any wrongdoing on the part of intel officials, Clapper nervously responded:

I don't know. I don't think there was any wrongdoing. It is disconcerting to know that we are being investigated for having done our duty and done what we were told to do by the President."

One wonders if Clapper might be a candidate for 'cooperating' along with Baker.

As CIA Director, Brennan made no secret of his efforts to nail the Trump Administration. In the summer of 2016, he formed an inter-agency taskforce to investigate what was being reported as Russian collusion within the Trump campaign. He boasted to Rachel Maddow that he brought NSA and FBI officials together with the CIA to ' connect the dots ."

With the addition of James Clapper's DNI, three reports were released: October, 2016, December, 2016 and January, 2017 all disseminating the Russian-Trump collusion theory which the Mueller Report later found to be unproven.

Since 1947 when the CIA was first authorized by President Harry Truman who belatedly regretted his approval, the agency has been operating as if they report to no one and that they never owe the public or Congress any explanation of their behaviour or activity or how they spend the money.

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU's Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31


Martin Usher
I don't think the Democratic leadership wanted a formal impeachment, they would prefer that Trump just faded away quietly before the 2020 election and were in the process of collecting information to reinforce this. They got cornered into formalizing the investigation by Trump's defense team baiting them as part of their overall strategy. It really doesn't change anything.

Whichever way you slice and/or dice it Trump is fundamentally incompetent, he's unable to fulfill the duties of the office of the President. He also refuses to distinguish between private interests and public service. His cabinet, a rag tag body of industry insiders and special interests, are busy trying to ride roughshod over opposition, established policy and even public opinion to grab as much as possible before the whole house of cards collapses. Its a mess, and its a mess that's quite obviously damaging US interests. Many constituency groups will have gone along with the program because they thought they could control things or benefit from them but as its become increasingly obvious Trump's unable to deliver they've been systematically alienated.

The DNC is playing this with a relatively weak field of potential candidates for 2020. Much as I personally like a Sanders or Warren they're just not going to fly in a Presidential contest -- as we found from the Obama presidency the ship of state just doesn't turn on a dime, you're not going to undo decades or generations of entrenched neoconservatism and a politically divided country overnight by some kind of Second Coming pronouncements. My concern is that if we don't get our collective acts together we're going to end up with a President Romney after 2020 -- a much more reasonable choice considering the last four years but also one that's guaranteed to change nothing. We need the journey but its only going to start with a few steps.

( and as for Trump/collusion we've spent the last three years confusing money with nation states. Trump's a businessman in a business that's notorious for laundering money from dubious sources (this doesn't mean he's involved, of course)(legal disclaimer!). I daresay that if Russia really wanted to sink Trump they could easily do so but why would they bother when he's doing such a great job unaided?)

Joerg
Please make sure You see the Interview-Video "MICHAEL FLYNN CASE UNRAVELS. US-UK DEEP STATE ENTRAPMENT PLAN" on https://youtube.com/channel/UCdeMVChrumySxV9N1w0Au-w – it's a must-see!
Jonathan Jarvis
Something much deeper going on?

http://thesaker.is/the-terrorists-among-us11-azov-battalion-and-american-congressional-support/

Latest in series of articles by the author re USA – Ukraine connections

"American Ukrainian nationalists don't like democracy. They don't understand the concept of it and don't care to learn. But they do understand nationalist fascism where only the top of society matters. They are behind the actors of the Intelligence coup going on in the US today .This is the mentality and politics the Diaspora is pushing into American politics today. Hillary Clinton and the DNC is surrounded with this infection which even includes political advisors.

Rest assured they all the related Diasporas are in a fight for their political lives. If Donald Trump wins, their ability to infect American politics might be broken. Many of the leadership will be investigated for attempting to overthrow the government of the United States."

Simon Hodges
"My thoughts on all this are that many of us have become distracted and failed to examine the timeline of events since 9/11. We look at news and conflict in isolation and move on to the next without seeing what is now a clear pattern."

In terms of the Middle East you need to go back further than the fortuitous event of 9/11 – at least to 1997 and the founding of the Project for the New American Century which was essentially the first explicit formalisation of the agenda for an imperialist Neoliberal and Neoconservative globalist new world order deployed through the media constructed conflicts of 'good' and 'evil' around the world and with it the call for the 'democratisation' of the Middle East under the alibi of humanitarian interventionism against broadly socialist governments, which since the fall of communism were constructed by Neoliberal fundamentalists as being patently heretical and ideologically illegitimate forms of government. If it is economically illogical to elect a socialist failed form of government then one can only assume that the election must have been rigged.

I started looking at this all a few years ago when I asked myself the question 14 years after the invasion of Iraq: where was the liberal outrage at what had subsequently taken place in the ME? The answer was that from the Invasion of Iraq onward in addition to fully embracing the economics of Neoliberalism as the end of economic history, the progressive 'left' quietly assimilated and reduplicated the fundamentalist illiberal political philosophy of the Neocons. The progressive 'left' both in the UK and US have subsequently become the far Neocon 'right' in all but name and their party hosts of Labour in the UK and the Democrats in the US remain blissfully unaware of all of this. How else can we explain why they would welcome 'Woke' Bill Kristol into their ranks? Once one accepts this hypothesis, then an awful lot falls into place in order to explain the 'Progressive' open support for regime change and the almost total lack of any properly liberal objections to what has taken place ever since.

One key point here is that the Neocons have nothing to do with conservatism or the right. What is striking and most informative about the history of Neo-conservatism is that it does not have its roots in conservatism at all, but grew out of disillusioned US left wing intellectuals who were Marxist, anti-Stalinist Trotskyites. This is important because at the heart of Neo-conservatism is something that appeals strongly to the die hard revolutionaries of the left who hold a strong proclivity for violence, conflict and struggle. If one looks at the type of people in the Labour party who gravitated to the 'progressive' Neoliberal imperialist camp they all exhibit similar personality traits of sociopathic control freaks with sanctimonious Messiah complexes such as Blair. These extremist, illiberal fundamentalists love violence and revolution and the bloodier the better. In Libya or Syria is did not matter that Gadaffi or Assad headed socialist governments, the Neo-colonised progressives would back any form of apparent conflict and bloody revolution in any notional struggle between any identifiable form of 'authority' or 'oppression' with any identifiable form of 'resistance' even if those leading the 'resistance' were head chopping, misogynist, jihadist terrorists. It makes no difference to the fundamentalist revolutionary mindset.

The original left wing who gradually morphed in the Neoconservatives took 30-40 years to make the transition for the 1960s to 1990s. The Labour party Blairites made the same journey from 1990 to 2003. Christopher Hitchens made the same journey in his own personal microcosm.

Gezzah Potts
When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end? Does anyone else think that Adam Schiff has a screw or three loose, and should be residing in an institution? And imagine if somehow Mike Pence became Prez. Now that would be something to scare the bejesus out of you.
Tim Jenkins
Adam Schiff should be shot for Treason, of the highest order, along with many others, including HRC, Brennan & Clapper ; and it should be a public execution, like in Saudi Arabia. This is war on the minds of the masses, that Schiff for brains cares nothing for.

As for Chuck Schumer, he can have a life sentence, as long as he manages to shut his utterly unfunny dumb vulgar cousin Amy up & keep her out of the public eye, forever

Gezzah, life may seem bad right now: but imagine if, you were Amy Schumer's Husband and father of her child. Talk about obnoxious and utterly nauseating 🙂 , with you Gezzah, all the way.

"When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end?"

vexarb
Pepe sends more news from the real world:

https://thesaker.is/the-age-of-anger-exploding-in-serial-geysers/

"The presidential election in Argentina was a game-changer and a graphic lesson. It pitted the people versus neoliberalism. The people won – with new President Alberto Fernandez and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) as his VP.

Neoliberalism was represented by a PR marketing product, Mauricio Macri [a Micron look-alike]: former millionaire playboy, president of football legends Boca Juniors, obsessed with spending cuts, who was unanimously sold by Western MSM as a New Age paradigm.

Well, the paradigm will soon be ejected, leaving behind the usual New Age wasteland: $250 billion in foreign debt, less than $50 billion in reserves; inflation at 55 percent; 35.4 percent of Argentine homes can't make it); and (incredible as it may seem in an agriculturally self-sufficient nation) a food emergency."

vexarb
And from Yemen:

https://southfront.org/10000-sudanese-troops-to-potentially-withdraw-from-yemen-leaving-saudi-arabia-to-dry/

vexarb
Meanwhile, in the real world, the Denmark's Ukronazi-friendly regime has been brought to heel by Germany's common sense:

Some big natural gas news very significant for Russia, Germany and the Ukraine. The Danish pipeline sector has been stalled for a while now by anti-Russia, pro-Ukrainian forces within the Scandiwegian NATZO-friendly regimes. But it appears that Nordstream 2 _will_ get completed and that Ukraine's gas transit chokehold on the EU will come to an end when Russia's Nordstream 2 comes online for Europe.

-- -- -- -

Permit for the Nord Stream 2 project is reluctantly granted by the Danish Energy Agency. Nord Stream 2 AG has been granted a permit to construct natural gas pipelines on the Danish continental shelf.

The permit is granted pursuant to the Continental Shelf Act and in accordance with Denmark's obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Denmark has been put under obligation to allow the construction of transit pipelines with respect to resources and the environment.

https://en-press.ens.dk/pressreleases/permit-for-the-nord-stream-2-project-is-granted-by-the-danish-energy-agency-2937696

Antonym
Gas is the second most firm green energy source after nuclear. Denmark manages only due to their undersea cables to Norway's hydro mountains.

In another field has far more common sense than neighbors Germany or Sweden: immigration / integration.

RobG
In my humble opinion, the Trump stuff is all total nonsense.

Donald Trump was a property speculator in New York (amongst other places) and was heavily involved with the Mafia. Likewise, Trump was heavily involved with Jeffery Epstein.

There's so much dirt on Trump that they could get him with the snap of fingers; but of course that's not what they really want. Trump is pure theatre; a ploy to divert the masses. 'RussiaGate', 'UkraineGate' are all utter rollocks.

Trump and Obama, and all the rest going back to the assassination of Kennedy, are just puppets.

American/ deep state policy doesn't change a jot with any of them.

Wilmers31
America is always presentation over substance, wrapper over content, and shoot the messenger if you don't like the message. In the meantime the adults in this world outside the US have to hold it all together. Why was for instance Hillary Clinton not in the dock for saying 'Assad must go'?? It was meddling in the highest order.
phree

I guess this just goes to show you that a person can be a member of the ACLU, even a leader apparently, and still be highly biased in favor of Trump.

Just because a witness is "cooperating" with an investigation does not entail that the witnesses testimony or evidence will favor any particular side.

And implying that Clapper's comments somehow shows guilt when he clearly says he knows of no wrongdoing is pretty over the top.

I've read a lot of what's out there about the start of the initial Russia investigation, and it does seem that some of the FBI personnel leading it (McCabe particularly) were anti-Trump.

Isn't the bigger question whether the investigation was justified based on the reports from the Australians that Trump was getting political dirt on Hillary from Russia? Is the FBI just supposed to ignore those reports? Really?

George Cornell
Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty".
mark
The Spook Organisations and the Dirty Cops are a greater threat to our way of life than any foreign army or terrorist group (most of which they created in the first place and which they directly control.) They are a law unto themselves and completely free of any genuine oversight or control.

This applies equally to the US and UK. "We lie, we cheat, we steal", as Pompeo helpfully explains. They also murder people, at home and abroad. JFK, David Kelly, Diana, Epstein. They plant bombs and blow people up. Many of the "terrorist atrocities" from Northern Ireland to the present day, were false flag spook operations. The same applies with Gladio on the continent and the plethora of recent false flags.

There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead. The more recent Skripal Hoax. The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets. They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary.

The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele. This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump.

Trump has repaid the favour by meddling in Brexit and interfering in UK politics. It is not in his nature to turn the other cheek. We have spook organisations claiming for themselves a right of veto over election results and foreign policy. These people are poor servants and terrible masters. We see Schumer warning against crossing the spook organisations, begging the obvious question – who runs this country, you or the spooks?

The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes. The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM.

The irony in all this is that it very much serves Trump's interests. He is extremely vulnerable, having failed to keep any of his promises. Building The Wall, Draining The Swamp, Bringing The Troops Home. Sorting out health care. Building "incredible, fantastic" infrastructure.

All the Democrats had to do was highlight these failures, find a suitable candidate, and put forward some sensible policies, and they were home and dry. Instead, they provided an endless series of diversions and distractions from Trump's failures by charging down every rabbit hole they could find, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, Impeachment. It couldn't work out better for Trump if he was paying them.

Expect to see the Orange Man in the White House for another 4 years. And another even more virulent outbreak of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Tim Jenkins
Enigmatic and brilliant synopsis, m8, lol: & surely BigB could only agree. And you never even mentioned HQ.Intel. inside.Israel, today & their illegal trespass of WhatsApp, via corporate 'subsidiaries' with 'plausible' denial of liability of spying on everything-everything & any body, that could possibly threaten corporate fascist computerised dictatorship: distributing backdoors, like Promis & Prism, liberally & worldwide, the Maxwells legacy . . . (yet)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/29/whatsapp-sues-israeli-firm-accusing-it-of-hacking-activists-phones

No need to even discuss, until Western societies ALL get a grip on the depths of depravity that lie within the actions and "The History of the National Security State" you have to admit, that Julian Assange could not have picked a better book to firmly grip and signal with, than GORE Vidal's, when being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, by Spooks who would sell their own mother, let alone nation, in their utter technological ignorance and adherence to anachronistic doctrines & mentality !

Glad you mentioned 'good ole' cousin ChuckS.' >>> Lol, just for a laugh and a sense of perspective: yes, he is related to Amy Queen of Vulgarity & hideous societal distraction. What a family of wimps & morons: the 'Schumers' being perfect fodder for ridicule & intelligent humour, naturally . . . on a positive note, mark, think yourself lucky that you are not married to or the father of Amy Schumer's child 🙂

Dungroanin
Catching up Off-G. Excellent.

Larry C Johnson is at the vanguard on the debacle and is miles ahead on it. Check his output at sst. Here is a short speech outlining the conspiracy.
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/10/my-speech-on-the-deep-state-plot-by-larry-c-johnson.html

Two more pieces there – it is moving fast now.

The most important thing for us and deliciously so now the election is happening is the BLOWBACK. Our DS lying murdering arses are going to get new ones drilled by Trump and BoBos bromance exploding in full technicolor.

Think May's dementia tax and Strong and Stable were bad?

Lol. This is going to be a FUN month of early xmases.

Chris Rogers
Dungroanin,

SST is essential reading for anyone concerned with US overseas policy and the corruption of the USA itself in the service of the security state, so, many thanks for posting this link.

Dungroanin
By sharing we disrupt the msm messages. Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects.
lundiel

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Pretty much a carbon copy of our own oversight. We hear even less about our security services than Americans do of theirs. I'd have thought that events like the spy in the holdall, the spies caught by farmers in Libya, the Skripal's, and the whole over-the-top reaction to the domestic terrorism threat and consequent successful pleas for extra funding, the obvious danger of creating terrorists by security services, the policy of giving asylum to foreign terrorists of countries we don't like and the whole concept of the 5 eyes and GCHQ needs more than ministerial oversight, a committee of yes men/women and an intelligence services commissioner.

[Nov 14, 2019] Fake news content seems very close to what a lynch party seeking to get up the never to hang an innocent slave for a criminal act "done by one of their kind" would do.

Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

I am sorry but I c/n remember if was the guy at the far end of the bar down near to the bathroom in the boots, bathing suit, and top hat, or the guy at the seat nearest to the front door, in the grey flannel suit with polished boots, but it was one of them who gave the bar, a few evenings back, much of what it needs to be coherent. It was hierarchy of elements that propagandist use to install and support false narratives in their written and spoken words. It was system of analysis, given to us here at the bar, to establish the gosh awful truth hidden within an intentionally wrong narrative.

That evening I had too much bar juice, so this all I can recall, 8 elements could be applied to the propaganda to diagnose and debunk and discover the false in wrongful, misleading propaganda.. see the following.

1. EN always the propagandist must establish the general narrative God turned the blue sky, red.
2. WR the propagandist must make great wrongs into powerful strong rights.. The devil made him do it.
3. PE profession propagandists cherry pick the facts; include in the narrative only those facts that support the proposition.
The devil was seen talking to God on more than one occasion.
4. IS ignore damning or off point stuff that challenge or defeat the narrative or transform it into a positive
The fact that God had killed the devil two years before is ignored.
5. BV blame the victim.. don't give the victim a chance to speak.. The victim (God) did it..
6. MU make stuff up to support the narrative. A person on Jupitor saw God practising every evening He watched as God turned blue seas red and red seas blue
7. AC Attack all challengers allow no one to intercede in the attack. The Pope said God could not show him that he could turn Blue seas to red, or vice a versa
8. RL Repeat, and repeat and repeat the lie.. until it becomes embedded in the mind of the innocent. We are all tired of hearing this story..

After sobering up and thinking about this list, I realized its content seems very close to what a lynch party seeking to get up the never to hang an innocent slave for a criminal act "done by one of their kind" would do. The party would pretty much go through the 8 things, attempting to convince itself that the slave was guilty, until finally one of the members of the lynching party would swat the horse and the party would watch the victim swing..

We must develop a technology suitable to encoding these things, and to find other such things to add to this debunk the propaganda list of 8 items; so that no one can pass off on us wrongful narrative?

Its ok to be innocently wrong, in fact, we all learn when we discover a wrong, but intentional wrong should be against the rules of the bar.

We should adopt these 8 things and use them in our analysis..

[Nov 13, 2019] CIA emerged as a Political Party

Notable quotes:
"... this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods. ..."
"... Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth. ..."
"... To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment. ..."
"... Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats . ..."
"... "The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth." ..."
"... Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats! ..."
"... Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all. ..."
"... To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero. ..."
"... The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee. ..."
Nov 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Nov 10 2019 15:41 utc | 1

I am amazed how the Impeachment Circus and the mainstream media continue to ignore the facts of this story:

Joe Biden has been a favorite target for Trump-allied lawmakers. Many have adopted Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that Biden pushed for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, because he was investigating Burisma.

Other people get it:

The CIA is emerging as a domestic political party.
...
Brennan put a friendly finger on my chest. "The CIA is not involved in domestic politics," he said. "Period. That's on the record."

This he asserted confidently, at an event where he had just spoken about about influence campaigns on swing voters and implied that Hillary Clinton might be right in calling U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard a Russian asset. Even seasoned analysts, it seems, have their blind spots.

Motivation to impeach Trump is about control of Democratic Party - Rick Salutin, The Star

What shifted [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] now? I'd say the answer is: this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods.
I agree with Mr. Salutin, the impeachment is not about impeachment, although if impeachment results, I'm sure they will take it. And I agree it's about protecting the current Democratic Part "elites", both from scandal (Joe Biden, Clinton) and from the challenge on the left. A risky and desperate move .

I tend to think it was Trump going after the Ukraine cesspit that precipitated the impeachment, but other motives seem relevant. I have thought since Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control.


Walter , Nov 10 2019 15:54 utc | 2

@ "ince Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control."

How about that...geewhiz, one does speculate as to what crimes they fear might become known and public?

Everybody Knows...Brother Leonard Cohen... this they fear.

It's a mighty force. To the mat.

Jose Garcia , Nov 10 2019 16:59 utc | 4
Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth.

To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment.

pnyx , Nov 10 2019 17:58 utc | 10
Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)
Seamus Padraig , Nov 10 2019 18:23 utc | 12
Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats .
karlof1 , Nov 10 2019 18:24 utc | 13
Craig Murray has an exclusive interview with Randy Credico he prefaces with these remarks:

"The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth."

That would include MoA barflies since we crave Truth. Murray has a bit more to say prior to the excerpt I provide, which I suggest be read, too.

juliania , Nov 10 2019 19:13 utc | 18
What a feast of links! I've only just started, with b's Daniel Lazare piece at Stretegic Culture.org - well done!

" ...This is what impeachment is about, not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine – plus Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries that the Obama administration succeeded in destroying – and why Trump should pay the supreme penalty for suggesting that Democrats are in any way to blame..."

Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats!

chop stick , Nov 10 2019 19:17 utc | 19
Impeachment is about controlling where the attention is focused. When things get to close to home Pelosi says look over here at the orange head, look over there at the border but whatever you do, do not look over https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1KfU5ifhqE ">here.
b , Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114
@pnyx - Thanks for linking the NZZ piece

"Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)"

Funny it is mostly a recap of my findings of Biden in Ukraine. The piece links to William Bowles ( https://williambowles.info/2019/10/08/when-ukraines-prosecutor-came-after-his-sons-sponsor-joe-biden-sprang-into-action/) and attributes that the findings to him.

But it is not Bowles but a copy my piece here ( https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/10/biden-timeline.html).

So the Neue Züricher Zeitung, the most prestige Swiss outlet, is practically quoting MoA.

I am honored.

Bemildred , Nov 11 2019 14:35 utc | 115
Andrew J. Bacevich weighs in on US foreign policy:
Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all.

To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero.

There is no going back to an imagined Golden Age of American statecraft in the Middle East. The imperative is to go forward, which requires acknowledging how wrongheaded U.S. policy in region has been ever since FDR had his famous tete-a-tete with King Ibn Saud and Harry Truman rushed to recognize the newborn State of Israel.t

So succinct.

The Blob: Still Chasing After Pax Americana

vk , Nov 11 2019 14:41 utc | 116
@ Posted by: b | Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114

The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee.

[Nov 08, 2019] Bank Report Reveals Where Ruling Class Lives by Gary Engler

Nov 08, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org
While clearly not intended as a tool for the subversion of capitalism, the 2019 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report provides a fascinating glimpse at the inequality that the neoliberal era has produced, who has benefitted and those who have been left behind.

According to the tenth edition of the report, recently released, "The bottom half of wealth holders collectively accounted for less than 1% of total global wealth in mid-2019, while the richest 10% own 82% of global wealth and the top 1% alone own 45%." (Note that this a study about wealth and not income. It measure assets [housing, stocks, bonds etc.] minus debts.)

Further evidence of the incredible inequality generated by neoliberal capitalism:

The importance of knowing where rich people are and might be popping up next is what has produced this annual "most comprehensive and up-to date survey of household wealth".

In ancient Greece people would consult the oracles in order to choose the fruitful path, but today the most common source of such divination is the wisdom of the dollar and its associated deities. Rather than seek advice from experts at interpreting the various Hellenic gods, we consult those who specialize in illuminating where "the money" has been and is going. The ancient oracles could be found at shrines to the various gods; the modern version of these advice givers reside in universities, think tanks, mutual fund companies, brokerages, banks and the ever-present business media. The offerings of those seeking the guidance of today's financial gods support a multi-billion dollar information and advice industry.

This seems "rational" behavior only because we live in an economic system that distributes power on a one-dollar-one-vote basis. To divine where the dollars are is to learn where best to seek the power that comes from them. In other words, the rich get richer and those who want to catch the crumbs as they fall off the banquet table need to be present at the court of King Capital.

Like the royal courts of feudal Europe that moved around its realm from castle to castle, money, in the form of capital, travels around its planetary realm from country to country, city to city, economic sector to economic sector, searching for the highest profit. This movement of capital creates real estate and other booms in favored locations then financial crises when the wealthy decide it is time to move on.

According to supporters, capitalism is supposed to be all about competition. The system is supposed to reward merit. Winners and losers are legitimate because everyone has an equal chance to succeed. But this is clearly not true in the actual world as described by the Credit Suisse report.

How can the 2.9 billion adults who own less than $10,000 in net assets compete fairly against 47 million millionaires, let alone the 168,030 who own $50 million or more?

The system is rigged. In a neoliberal capitalist competition to buy the most profitable companies, processes, patents, ideas, and anything else that can be made "property" the winners will always be those with the most money.

This report illustrates the pyramid of capitalist wealth and the peculiar property of money that guarantees most of it floats to the top.

The only way for billions of people, most countries and entire continents to escape the inevitable "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer" is by using the power of collectivity (call it government, socialism or mutual aid) to counter the power of one-dollar-one-vote capitalism.

Gary Engler is a veteran Canadian journalist and author of American Spin , first novel in the FAKE NEWS Mysteries series, exploring journalism, propaganda, politics and murder in the Trump era. Read other articles by Gary .

[Nov 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Highly recommended!
Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted. ..."
"... In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates. ..."
"... The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . ..."
"... The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race, ..."
"... f Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent. ..."
"... Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time: ..."
"... Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet. ..."
"... Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

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

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

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

Social Media Meddling

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

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

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

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

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

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Canova's Allegations

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

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

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

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

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

Study of Corporate Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

[Nov 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

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

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

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

Social Media Meddling

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

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

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

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

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

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Canova's Allegations

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

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

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

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

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

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

Study of Corporate Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

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

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

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

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

The DNC defense lawyers then argued:

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

The brief continued:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

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

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

[Nov 06, 2019] America Will Keep Losing Its Middle Class as Long as "The Free Market" Dominates the Economic Debate

Notable quotes:
"... By Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute ..."
"... Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy ..."
"... When the government subsidize R&D here, what reason would there be for the resultant products that come from that R&D, be made here? In Canada the SRED (Scientific Research and Experimental Development) tax credits are used by companies to develop products that are then manufactured in China. No Canadian production worker will ever see an hour of labor from those subsidies. That result is baked into the R&D cake. ..."
"... As you point out, "many of the large International Corporations moved their software development and R&D offshore too". What stops them from co-mingling the subsidies and scamming the system for their benefit, since everything done to favor big business resolves to a scam on the peasants. ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on November 5, 2019 by Yves Smith By Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. produced by Economy for All , a project of the Independent Media Institute

National industrial policy was once something you might read about in today's equivalent of a friend's Facebook post, as hard as that might sound to believe. It was in newspapers; it was on the radio. Taxi drivers had opinions about it. That all changed in the last 35 years, when the rise and fall of the stock market and a shallow conversation about unemployment rates took over. Industrial policy became an inside-baseball conversation, and to the extent that it was discussed, it was through the prism of whether it imperiled the golden gospel and great economic distraction of our time, "the free market."

The decades of free-market propaganda we've been exposed to are basically an exercise in distracting the public from the meaningful choices that are now made behind closed doors. The two big political parties that outwardly represent symbolic issues like gun rights and school prayer spend the bulk of their time and political energy on complex industrial and regulatory questions.

But much like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, they'd better start considering the question of a national industrial policy before there's no industry left to manage. Manufacturing is now at its smallest share of the U.S. economy in 72 years, reports Bloomberg . Multinational supply chains undermine the negotiating power of workers, thereby exacerbating inequality.

Are there ways to bring back manufacturing, or should we just capitulate to a mindset that argues that these jobs are gone for good, that software retention is good enough, even as we shift what's left of our manufacturing sector overseas to sweatshop economies? That seems short-sighted. After all, it's pretty easy to steal IP; it's not so easy to steal an auto manufacturing facility. The real question is: In the absence of some sort of national industrial strategy, how do Western societies retain a viable middle class?

Decades of American middle-class exposure to favor China and other Asian countries' industrial capacity have foisted it right back from elite circles into our politics and the ballot box, in spectacular fashion, through the unlikely Donald Trump, who, in his typically blunderbuss fashion, has called attention to some serious deficiencies in our current globalized system, and the competitive threat posed by China to which we have remained oblivious for all too long.

Not that Trump's 19th-century protectionism represents the right policy response, but his concerns about Beijing make sense when you compare how much China invests in its own industrial base relative to the U.S.: Robert D. Atkinson and Caleb Foote of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation write that a recent Harvard Business School " study estimated that the Chinese governments (national, provincial, and local) paid for a whopping 22.2 percent of business R&D in 2015, with 95 percent of Chinese firms in 6 industries receiving government cash -- petrochemicals, electronics, metals and materials, machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, and information technology."

In addition to the direct government grants on R&D, Atkinson and Foote estimate that "the Chinese R&D tax credit is between 3 and 4.6 times more generous than the U.S. credit. To match China's R&D tax credit generosity, the U.S. rate for the Alternative Simplified Credit would have to be increased from 14 percent to between 35 and 40 percent." Atkinson and Foote also note that " 97 percent of American federal government funding went to just three sectors: transportation equipment, which includes such as fighter jets, missiles, and the like ($14 billion); professional, scientific, and technical services ($5 billion); and computer and electronic products ($4 billion)."

Taken in aggregate, Atkinson and Foote calculate that "nearly 25 percent of all R&D expenditures in China come in the form of government subsidies to firms." That's the sort of thing that must enter the calculations of antitrust advocates when they call for breaking up big tech, without considering the ramifications to research and development, especially relative to their Chinese counterparts. (Statistically, as Anne Marie Knott and Carl Vieregger find in a 2016 paper "Reconciling the Firm Size and Innovation Puzzle," there are ample studies illustrating that R&D spending and R&D productivity increase with scale.)

Why does this matter? Robert Kuttner, writing at the Huffington Post at the inception of Barack Obama's presidency, made a compelling argument that many of America's great industrial enterprises did not simply spring up spontaneously via the magic of the "free market":

American commercial leadership in aerospace is no naturally occurring phenomenon. It reflects trillions of dollars of subsidy from the Pentagon and from NASA. Likewise, U.S. dominance in pharmaceuticals is the result of government subsidy of basic research, favorable patent treatment, and the fact that the American consumer of prescription drugs is made to overpay, giving the industry exorbitant profits to plow back into research. Throwing $700 billion at America's wounded banks is also an industrial policy.

So if we can have implicit industrial policies for these industries, why not explicit policies to rebuild our auto industry, our steel industry, our machine tool industry, and the industries of the next century, such as green energy and high-speed rail? And why not devise some clear standards for which industries deserve help, and why, and what they owe America in return?"

In fact, Kuttner describes a problem that well preceded Barack Obama. America's belief in national industrial planning has been undermined to the extent that the U.S. began to adhere to a doctrine of shareholder capitalism in the 1980s and beyond, a philosophy that minimized the role of the state, and gave primacy to short-term profitability, as well as production growth through efficiency (i.e., downsizing) and mergers. Corporate prioritization of maximizing shareholders' value and the ways American corporations have minimized long-term R&D expenditures and capital investment, all of which have resulted in the "unproductive disgorging of corporate cash profits -- through massive dividend payouts and unprecedented spending on stock repurchases -- over productive investment in innovation," write Professors Servaas Storm and C.W.M. Naastepad .

Although European companies have not gone quite as far down that route, their "stakeholder capitalism" culture has been somewhat subverted to the same short-term goals as their American counterparts, as evidenced via Volkswagen's emissions scandal and the erosion of workers' rights via the Hartz labor "reforms" (which actually undermined the unions' stakeholder status in the companies, thereby freeing up management to adopt many of the less attractive American shareholder capitalism practices). The European Union too is now belatedly recognizing the competitive threat posed by China . There's no doubt that the European political classes are also becoming mindful that there are votes to be won here as well, as Trump correctly calculated in 2016.

In the U.S., industrial policy is increasingly finding advocates on both the left (Elizabeth Warren's policy director, Ganesh Sitaraman ) and the right ( Professor Michael Lind ), via the convenient marriage of national security considerations and with international investment and trade. If trade policy is ultimately subordinated to national security concerns, it is conceivable that industrial policy could be "bi-partisanized," thereby giving primacy to homegrown strategic industries necessary to sustain viable national defense and security.

But this approach is not without risks: it is unclear whether the "national security-fication" of the industrial policy renaissance will actually enhance or hinder creativity and risk-taking, or merely cause these firms to decline altogether as viable civilian competitors vis a vis Beijing. The current travails of Boeing provide a salutary illustration of the risks of going too far down the Pentagon rat hole.

And there are a number of recent studies illustrating that the case for "dual-use" (i.e., civilian and military) manufacturing does not substantially enhance civilian industrialization and, indeed, may retard overall economic growth. On the other hand, as the venture capitalist William Janeway highlights in his seminal work, Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy , there are advantages at times to being "[d]ecoupled from any direct concern with economic return [It allowed] the Defense Department [to] fund numerous alternative research agendas, underwriting the 'wasteful' search for solutions that inevitably accompanies any effort to push back the frontiers of knowledge." So there's a balance to be struck here. But, as Janeway notes , "the strategic state interventions that have shaped the market economy over generations have depended on grander themes -- national development, national security, social justice, liberation from disease -- that transcend the calculus of welfare economics and the logic of market failure."

Furthermore, to the extent that national security considerations retard offshoring and global labor arbitrage, it can enhance the prospects for a viable form of " national developmentalism ," given that both mean tighter labor markets and higher wages, which in turn will likely push firms toward upgrading R&D spending in order to upgrade on the high end of the technology curve ( as Seymour Melman argued years ago ), as well as enhancing productivity gains. As author Ted Fertik observes :

Higher productivity makes possible more generous welfare states, and helps national industries compete to supply the world with high-tech products. If technological leadership and a prosperous, patriotic citizenry are the surest guarantees of military preponderance, such an economic policy represents the best military strategy in an era of great power competition.

Both the left and the right are beginning to recognize that it makes no sense to make war on wage-earners while claiming to protect the same wage earners from Chinese competition. But governments need to do more than act as a neutral umpire, whose role never extends beyond fixing market failures. As Janeway has illustrated , governments have historically promoted the basic research that fueled innovation and nurtured the talent and skills that "became the foundation of the Innovation Economy"; "the central research laboratories of the great corporations were first supplemented and then supplanted by direct state funding of research." But in spite of providing the foundational research for a number of leading commercial products (e.g., Apple's iPhone), the government has proved reticent in considering alternative forms of ownership structure (e.g., a " government golden share ," which gives veto rights on key strategic issues, such as relocation, offshoring, special voting rights, etc.), or retaining intellectual property rights and corresponding royalty streams to reflect the magnitude of their own R&D efforts, as Professor Mariana Mazzucato has proposed in the past . At the very least, we need to consider these alternative ownership structures that focus entrepreneurial development on value creation, as opposed to capitulating to the depredations of rentier capitalism on the spurious grounds that this is a neutral byproduct of the market's efficient allocation of resources.

Within the U.S., national industrial policy also suits green advocates, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, whose Green New Deal plan , while failing to address domestic/local content, or manufacturing in the broadest possible sense, at least begins to move the needle with regard to the federal government building and owning a national renewable grid.

Likewise in Europe, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier recently published a " National Industrial Strategy 2030 ," which, according to Dalia Marin of Bruegel think tank in Brussels , "aims to protect German firms against state-subsidized Chinese competitors. The strategy identifies key industrial sectors that will receive special government support, calls for establishing production of electric-car batteries in Europe, and advocates mergers to achieve economies of scale." It is striking that EU policymakers, such as Lars Feld of the German Council of Economic Experts , still apparently think it is a protectionist step too far to consider coordinating with the car companies (where there is already a high degree of trans-European policy coordination and international consolidation), and other sectors, to help them all at the same time -- as Beijing is now doing . Of course, it would help to embed this in a manufacturing-based Green New Deal, but it represents a healthy corrective to offshoring advocates who continue to advocate that their car industry should migrate to China, on the short-term grounds of cost consideration alone .

Essentially, the goal should be to protect the industries that policymakers think will be strategically important from outsiders, and to further integrate with allies and partners to achieve efficiencies and production scale. (Parenthetically, it seems particularly perverse right at this juncture for the UK to break away from all this continental European integration, and to try to go it alone via Brexit.) The aim should not be to protect private rent-seeking and increasing private monopolization under the guise of industrial policy, which, as Dalia Marin notes , is why EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager blocked the proposed merger between France's Alstom and Germany's Siemens. The two companies "rarely compete with CRRC in third countries, because the Chinese company mainly focuses on its home market." Hence, the grounds for creating " heavyweight champions " was really a cover for developing an oligopoly instead.

Much of the focus of negotiation in the seemingly endless trade negotiations between the U.S. and China has been on American efforts to dismantle the wave of subsidies and industrial support that Beijing furnishes to its domestic industries. This seems both unrealistic as well as being the exact opposite of what the U.S. should be doing if it hopes to level, or at least carve up, the playing field.

Likewise, the problem in both the EU and the U.S. is not the size of these companies generated by national developmentalism, but a size-neutral form of national regulation that precludes these companies from stifling competition. The goal of a truly successful and workable industrial policy should be to create an environment that supports and sustains value creation and that socializes the benefits of the R&D for society as a whole, rather than simply licensing it or selling it on to private companies so that it just becomes a vehicle that sustains rent extraction for private profits alone.

We are slowly but surely starting to move away from market fundamentalism, but we still have yet to make the full conceptual leap toward a sustainable industrial policy that creates an economy for all. At least this is now becoming a fit discussion as far as policy making goes, as many of the neoliberal shibboleths of the past 40 years are gradually being reconsidered and abandoned. That is a start.


Ignacio , November 5, 2019 at 6:13 am

Another way –and more precise in my opinion because it identifies the core problem– to frame the issue, would be this:

Why Trade Wars Are Inevitable

Repressed consumption in a few countries with sustained huge current account surpluses naturally drives manufacturing outside the US (and other deficit countries). Interestingly, Pettis says that those imbalances manifest today, not as a conflict between surplus/deficit countries, but between economic sectors: bankers and owners in surplus/deficit countries vs. the rest. According to Pettis this can be addressed internally in the US by tackling income inequality: Tax transfers, reduced health care & educational costs, raising minimum wages and giving negotiating power to unions. BUT BEFORE DOING THAT, THE US SHOULD IMPOSE CONTROLS ON FOREIGN CAPITAL INFLOWS (by taxing those) INSTEAD ON TARIFFS ON FOREIGN PRODUCTS. From the article:

It would have the additional benefit of forcing the cost of adjustment onto banks and financial speculators, unlike tariffs, which force the cost onto businesses and consumers.

If the US ever does this, other deficit countries, say the UK, France or Spain for instance, should do exactly the same, and even more abruptly if these don't want to be awash with foreign capital inflows and see inequality spiking even further.

Marshall Auerback , November 5, 2019 at 8:29 am

Not a bad way to frame the issue at all.

Winston , November 5, 2019 at 2:19 pm

It is financialization which is causing this. Please read Michael Hudson. As he has pointed out it is financialization that is key. There is a reason his book was titled "Killing the Host". Boeing's decline is also because of financialization.
https://evonomics.com/hedge-fund-activists-prey-companies/
How Hedge Fund Activists Prey on Companies

Private equity and hedge are responsible for US manufacturing decline since the 1980s, along with desire not to innovate-example why Deming's advice ignored by US automakers and absorbed by the Japanese-who then clobbered the US automakers.

Hudson also knows that rising expenses for homeowners reduced their consumption capacity. A main cause is rise in housing costs, education, and health.

Before manufacturing went to cheaper foreign shores, it went to the no union South. Has that made its workers better off? If so how come South didn't develop like Singapore? For a clue please read Ed Week article about what Singapore did and South failed to do.
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/top_performers/2016/01/the_low-wage_strategy_continues_in_the_south_is_it_the_future_for_your_state.html
The Low-Wage Strategy in the South: Is It the Future for Your State?

Melman's main message is that focus on national security destroyed civilian sector. Today most of US Govt R&D spending still in defense sector, while R&D disappearing in private sector because of financialization.

Industrial strategy is useless for US unless housing costs come down, unless robots are used. Hudson has already pointed out US cannot compete with Germany because of housing cost differences. As Carl Benedikt Frey who focusses on tech has pointed out Midwest revolt was because most automation was there.
"Frey argues that automation, or what he calls the third industrial revolution, is not only putting jobs at risk, but is the principal source of growing inequality within the American economy."
https://nationalinterest.org/feature/technology-trap-more-automation-driving-inequality-89211

" there are more robots in Michigan alone than in the entire American west. Where manufacturing jobs have disappeared is also where US dissatisfaction is the greatest"
https://voxeu.org/article/automation-and-its-enemies
Automation and its enemies
Carl Benedikt Frey, Ebrahim Rahbari 04 November 2019

https://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/news/2017/09/06/rise-of-the-robots-buffalo-retail-workers-should.html

Winston , November 5, 2019 at 4:19 pm

Major industrialized countries are also heavy users of automation. Forget idea that industrial policy will lead to jobs at scale used to.:

https://www.therobotreport.com/10-automated-countries-in-the-world/
10 Most Automated Countries in the World

https://ifr.org/ifr-press-releases/news/robots-japan-delivers-52-percent-of-global-supply
Robots: Japan delivers 52 percent of global supply
Japan is the world´s predominant industrial robot manufacturer

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/08/04/business/tech/japans-farming-industry-poised-automation-revolution/
Japan's farming industry poised for automation revolution

John Merryman. , November 5, 2019 at 9:18 am

I don't know that it's so much"free markets," as the financialization of the economy, where money has mutated free a medium of exchange and necessary tool, to the end goal of creating as much notational wealth, as the purpose of markets.
Money largely functions as a contract, where the asset is ultimately backed by a debt. So in order to create the asset, similar amounts of debt have to be generated.
For one thing, it creates a centripedial effect, as positive feedback draws the asset to the center of the community, while negative feedback pushes the debt to the edges. Since finance functions the value circulation mechanism of society, this is like the heart telling the hands and feet they don't need so much blood and should work harder for what they do get. The Ancients used debt nubiles to reset this process, but we lack the long term perspective.
The other consequence is the government has been manipulated into being debtor of last resort. Where would those trillions go otherwise and could Wall Street function without the government soaking up so much excess money. The real elephant in the room is the degree public debt backs private wealth.

John Merryman. , November 5, 2019 at 10:49 am

Further note; Since this borrowed money cannot be used to compete with the private sector for what is a finite amount of profitable investments, it is used to blow up whatever other countries incur the wrath of our despots.
As Deep Throat explained, if you want to know what's going on, follow the money.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , November 5, 2019 at 3:29 pm

Whenever I see the term "free markets" bandied about I know it's a framing that fits an ideology but in no way fits the actual facts.

Just like we now have two criminal justice systems, we now have two market systems: crony capitalism, and actual capitalism.

Crony capitalism is for Exxon Mobil; Verizon; Amazon; Raytheon; JP Morgan. Actual capitalism is reserved for the plebes, who get "creative destruction". Mom slipped and fell; the hospital bill arrived and there wasn't enough cash; so they took the house.

It's the obverse of the "socialism" argument. We have socialism across the length and breadth of the economy: more Federal dollars are spent subsidizing fossil fuels than are spent educating children. But heaven forbid Bernie should utter the "S" word, because he's talking about the kind of socialism for you and me.

John Merryman , November 5, 2019 at 5:43 pm

The problem is avoiding that us versus them polarity and show why what is going on is BS. That the markets NEED government debt to function and then waste that collective value. Not that government is some old nanny, trying to quell the 'animal spirits" of the market.
Maintaining infrastructure just isn't as glamorous as guns and bombs. Probably doesn't threaten to kill you, if you don't give it the money, either.
It should be obvious to most that simply pouring more vodka into the punch bowl does not create a healthy economy, just a bunch of vultures picking at the carcass.
Finance does function as the circulation mechanism of the body of the community, just as government, as its executive and regulatory function, is the central nervous system. We had private government before, called monarchy. Now finance is having its 'let them eat cake' moment.
As a medium, money is a public utility, like that other medium of roads. You can have the most expensive car out there, but you still don't own the road.
It's not that society should be either private, or public, but an intelligent mix of both.

rtah100 , November 5, 2019 at 7:20 pm

I want me some o' them debt nubiles! They sound like fun gals / guys/ humans. No wonder you're merry, man!

I'd also like a policy of debt jubilees and I imagine you would too. :-)

The Rev Kev , November 5, 2019 at 9:24 am

Just winging it a bit here but perhaps it might be an idea to map out money flows to help decide how to strengthen America's industrial health. As an example, it might be time to end some subsidies. I understand that there are deliberate tax breaks for corporations that move their manufacturing overseas. Cut them now for a start. Yeah, I know. Closing the barn door too late.
To free up cash for R&D, turn back the clock to 1982 and make stock buybacks once more illegal. Give tax credits to companies that pay for a younger generation of machinist's education. Have the Federal government match dollar-for-dollar money spent on R&D. If the government really wants to free up resources, bring out a law that says that it is illegal for the government to give any subsidies for any corporation with a net worth of $1 billion or more.
But we all know that none of this will ever happen as there are far too many rice bowls involved for this to be done – until it is too late. Oh well.

Leftcoastindie , November 5, 2019 at 11:04 am

"I understand that there are deliberate tax breaks for corporations that move their manufacturing overseas. Cut them now for a start. Yeah, I know. Closing the barn door too late."

Better late than never!

Personally, I think that is the only way to get a handle on this situation – Change the tax laws.

rd , November 5, 2019 at 9:52 am

Some thoughts:

1. Designate industries as targets to retain/recreate significant manufacturing capability in the US – semiconductors, flat screens, solar panels, and pharmaceuticals come to mind. Give them preferential protection with quotas, tariffs etc. instead of just shotgun tariffs. These industries should be forward looking instead of recreating mid 20th century.

2. Integrate this into NAFTA and maybe add Central American countries to it. If we need to use cheap labor, then do it in countries that otherwise provide illegal immigrants to us to build up their economies. Far better than sending the jobs to China, a major global competitor.

3. Fund big science such as NASA etc. A lot of discoveries come out that can then be commercialized with manufacturing inside the US and NAFTA.

Arizona Slim , November 5, 2019 at 9:29 pm

Seconded. Good thoughts, rd.

David J. , November 5, 2019 at 10:03 am

It's very refreshing to read articles of this kind. Thank you.

I'm recently retired and my career consisted of a healthy portion of managerial and executive responsibilities as well as a long denouement of flat out proletarian, worker-drone, pseudo-Taylorized work. (Think Amazon but not at Amazon.) I've experienced, in some detail, what I consider to be both sides of the post WWII dynamic as it relates to technology and who controls the shop floor. Now that I have some time on my hands I've decided to see if I can better understand what appears to be a central contradiction of modern industrial practice and especially what I believe to be misguided efforts by non-industrial corporations to employ industrial-work-process techniques in day-to-day practice.

I'm re-reading David F. Noble's 1984 book, Forces of Production: A Social History of Industrial Automation , as well as Christopher Lasch's The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy , as a beginning foray into this topic.

It does seem to me that we can do a lot better. A well developed industrial policy should include both a strategy for improving our productive capacity while simultaneously more fairly distributing the fruits of productivity more broadly throughout the population.

This article and the comments are very helpful in pointing the way.

Sam , November 5, 2019 at 10:42 am

For those who have used up their free access to Foreign Policy there's a non-paywalled version of the Pettis article on the Carnegie endowment website.

steven , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

There is so much to like in this post I am going to concentrate on the few points with which I had problems:
1. Any time I hear an economist bemoaning policies which "may retard overall economic growth." I am tempted to just tune out. 'nega-growth', a variant of Amory Lovins' 'Nega-Watts' maybe. But surely not more military Keynesianism, speeded up planned obsolescence and just plain junk!
2. Then there is "the convenient marriage of national security considerations and with international investment and trade." If national security considerations involve insuring circuit boards for more exceptional (SIC) fighting machines like the F35 or for that matter more hydrogen bombs that might actually work, count me out. OTOH if they include, for example, insuring the country has the capability to produce its own medicines and generally any of the goods and services required for national survival, sign me up.

(national security) Then there is 'climate change', brought to us by Exxon Mobile and the century-long pursuit of The Prize in the Middle Eastern deserts.

lyman alpha blob , November 5, 2019 at 1:30 pm

The title hits the nail right on the head.

An anecdote regarding this free market for everything all the time mentality –

My small city's council recently debated whether to pay several tens of thousands of dollars for a "branding" campaign with a PR/marketing company who in the past has dealt with Conde Nast, so read high end clientele. My better half, who is a councilor, argued that spending all that $$$ to attract more tourists wasn't the best use of the city's funds and that we weren't a "brand" to begin with, but a city. We've already had big problems will illegal Airbnb's removing significant amounts of housing from the market and housing costs have skyrocketed in recent years while wages, of course, have not. The city had until relatively recently been a blue collar suburb but that has changed rapidly. My wife tried to make the case that the result of this "branding" was likely to push housing costs even higher and push more long time residents right of of town. The council is pretty liberal, whatever that means these days, and I don't believe there is a pro-business Republican among them. She was still on the losing end of a 6-1 vote in favor of the "branding".

Very good article, however I don't think trying to bring manufacturing back by framing it in terms of 'national security' is a good idea. Although the idea itself is correct, explicitly promoting it this way would just hand more power over to the national security industry and that has not served us well at all in the last two decades.

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 2:53 pm

This was a great summary of rational thinking. Thank you MA. I've been almost depressed this last year or so by the relentless undermining of national sovereignty. Trying to replace it with everything from global supply chains to the ECB to Brexit-free-trade (even without Europe) to private property rights to you name it. Sovereignty is a very basic thing – we agree to it like we agree to our currency. And by that agreement we certainly imply an "Industrial Policy to create an economy for all." How this wisdom got systematically gaslighted is a whole nuther story. I'm glad China didn't get hooked.

Ford Prefect , November 5, 2019 at 3:06 pm

Make America Great Again.

Apparently, Americans don't need flag-making jobs as they will not Make America Great. Trump campaign making banners in China – moving fast to beat tariffs deadline. Although there is the possibility that these are for domestic consumption in China to help rally Chinese hackers to the cause of supporting the Trump campaign, including voting for Trump. That would prove there is No Collusion with Russia.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-2020-campaign-banners-are-being-proudly-produced-in-china-2018-07-25?mod=MW_story_top_stories

Jeremy Grimm , November 5, 2019 at 7:35 pm

This post started off suggesting it's time to toss the "the free market" and I would add that it's time to toss "free trade/globalization" too, but it shifted to discussions of R&D spending, cautions to anti-trust advocates, and considerations of industrial policy and national security.

If R&D spending and productivity increase with scale, and many sectors of the US economy are dominated by a handful of large International Corporations does that mean that US R&D spending and productivity are close to full-scale -- as are the Corporations? How does scaled-up R&D spending reconcile with "massive dividend payouts and unprecedented spending on stock repurchases" and the Corporate prioritization of "short-term profitability"? Should I read the claims about how R&D spending and productivity increase with 'scale' to mean the scale of the R&D spending -- not the scale of the firm? If so what sort of calculations should be made by "antitrust advocates when they call for breaking up big tech" if I separate the scale of a firm from the scale of the R&D spending? Does it matter where the R&D is done? Haven't many of the large International Corporations moved their software development and R&D offshore too? ["Software retention"? -- What "software retention"?]

"Likewise, the problem in both the EU and the U.S. is not the size of these companies generated by national developmentalism, but a size-neutral form of national regulation that precludes these companies from stifling competition." What sort of industrial policy will compel International Cartels to play nice with domestic small and medium-sized businesses? Will that industrial policy be tied with some kind of changes to the 'free market' for politicians, prosecutors, courts, and regulators?

If we sell it here, but we don't make it here any more then what kind of industrial policy will rebuild the factories, the base of industrial capital, skills, and technical know-how? It will take more than trade disputes or currency rate of exchange tricks, or R&D spending, or targeted spending on a few DoD programs to rebuild US Industry. Shouldn't an industrial policy address the little problem of the long distance splaying of industries across seas and nations, the narrowing and consolidation of supply chains for the parts used the products still 'made in the usa'? If the US started protecting its 'infant industry' I think that might impact the way a lot of countries will run their economies. This would affect a basis for our international hegemony. And if we don't protect our industry, which will have to be re-built and raised from the razed factory buildings scattered around this country, how would it ever reach the size and complexity needed to prosper again?

cnchal , November 5, 2019 at 10:05 pm

Lots of great questions, with no real answers.

When the government subsidize R&D here, what reason would there be for the resultant products that come from that R&D, be made here? In Canada the SRED (Scientific Research and Experimental Development) tax credits are used by companies to develop products that are then manufactured in China. No Canadian production worker will ever see an hour of labor from those subsidies. That result is baked into the R&D cake.

As you point out, "many of the large International Corporations moved their software development and R&D offshore too". What stops them from co-mingling the subsidies and scamming the system for their benefit, since everything done to favor big business resolves to a scam on the peasants.

[Nov 06, 2019] Schlichter Trump Is Derailing The Elite's Gravy Train

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Kurt Schlichter, op-ed via Townhall.com,

Like the garbage French elite of long ago, our American garbage elite of today has learned nothing and forgotten nothing .

For four years, it has been focused entirely on deep-sixing Donald Trump for his unforgivable crime of demanding that our ruling caste be held accountable for its legacy of failure. Instead of focusing on not being terrible at their job of running America's institutions, our elitists have decided that the real problem is us Normals being angry about how they are terrible at their job of running America's institutions .

So, let's imagine that they finally vanquish Trump, though every time they come up against him they end up dragging themselves home like Ned Beatty after a particularly tough canoe trip.

What happens then?

What happens then is that it's back to business as usual, and for decades, business as usual for our garbage elite has not merely been running our institutions badly but pillaging and looting our country for power, prestige and cash.

The difference is that in the future they will be much more careful to ensure that no one who is not in on the scam will ever again come anywhere near the levers of power. You can already see it – the demands that we defer to the bureaucrats they own, the attacks on the idea of free expression, and the campaign to disarm us. Their objective is no more Trumps, just an endless line of progressive would-be Maduros with the march toward despair occasionally put on pause for a term by some Fredocon Republican who hates us Normals just as much as the Dems, but won't admit it until after he's out of office.

Our garbage elite talks a good game about its service and moral superiority, but if our betters were actually better than us, we would not be having this national conversation about how awful they are.

The fact is that what they want to do is go back to the way it was before Trump , back to 2015, aka the year 1 BT – Before Trump. Back then, progressive Democrats got their bizarre social pathologies normalized. Moderate Democrats got money, power and an open season on the local talent. Corporate types represented largely by squishy Republicans got globalism and the ability to ship our jobs out and import Third World serfs in. And the fake conservatives of Conservative, Inc., got to cash in without the necessity of actually conserving anything.

The only people that the old system didn't work for were the American people.

It's important to remember and to always remind yourself, that everything our elite says about its motives and morals is a lie and a scam. Take the whole #MeToo thing. This was supposed to be some sort of revolutionary rebellion against the sexual exploitation of the powerless by the powerful. It's not, and never was. Rather, it's simply an internal power struggle among and within the elites to reallocate power among snooty people who don't give a damn about you or me.

The fall of Harvey Weinstein or Matt Lauer or any of the other bigwigs means nothing to the conservative single mom being exploited by the Democrat donors who own Walmart. It was actually striving female members of the elite – actresses, models, media figures, executives – leveraging the monstrosity of the creeps at the top to increase their own power within the elite. Do you see any of these #MeToo heroines, now that they have taken their scalps, helping their non-elite sisters out in Gun-Jesusland? Yeah, right. They are lining up with the rest of their elite pals to shaft us.

What you do see is excuses. They excuse Bill Clinton and his enabler Felonia Milhous von Pantsuit. They excuse Gropey Joe. They are in the process of excusing Katie Hill, whose naked hairbrush photo has ensured that none of us will ever sit on a hotel room chair again. Why no outrage? Why no concern? Because taking out Stumbles McMyturn or Hoover's Dad or Congresswoman Every Man's Lesbian Fantasy Destroyer does not help the faction of the elite that benefited from #MeToo. That would help us , but not the elite. Throuple Gal was exposed by Townhall's peppery sister site Redstate, not the mainstream media, and the mainstream media is horrified – not by her furniture defilement but that word of it got through the gate they yearn to keep.

The simple fact is that they desperately want Trump out so they can return to the good old days of winks, nods, and payoffs.

Look at the Biden Family Crime Syndicate and the antics of the junior capo of the Cosa Nose Candy. In what universe is it A-OK that the crack-fueled Johnny Appleseed of paternity suits that is Joe's snortunate son was cashing in on $50K a month in sweet, sweet Ukrainian gas gold just weeks after Ensign Biden got booted because he tooted? And then there's riding on Air Force Two to the NBA's favorite dictatorship for some commie ducats. Now there are even some Romanian shenanigans too – is there a single country on earth that Totally-Not-Senile Joe didn't shake down for the benefit of his daughter-in-law's second hubby?

But our garbage elite's garbage media seems amazingly uninterested in all this – it's fascinated by the timing of a situation room snap after Trump unleashed the Army's Delta Force on al-Baghdadi and by dog medal memes, but the Veep's boy's bag-mannery is not merely of no interest but is something they close their fussy phalanx ranks around to protect. Keep in mind, the premise underlying the whole star chamber impeachment festival of onanism is that Donald Trump, America's chief law enforcement officer, was somehow wrong and bad and double-plus ungood because he allegedly asked the Ukrainians, "Hey, what's the dealio with the Columbia Kid's pay-offs?"

In a non-bizarro political universe, the proper reaction to the Prezzy demanding, "You best fork over the evidence on these manifestly corrupt antics involving the Vice-President of the United States or we're cutting you off from the American taxpayers' feeding trough," would be, "Hell to the yeah, four more years! Four more years!'

But it's not , because the elite likes its sexual abuse and its foreign cash and its total lack of accountability to us, the Normals, the people who are supposed to be the ones that our elite is working for. The elite has not learned its lesson. It has not admitted that it sucks and resolved to stop sucking.

Instead, it has doubled down. And if it gets power again, it will act to solve what it sees as the most urgent problem facing America – the fact that we the people have the ability to reject the elite's utter incompetence and surpassing greed and elect someone with a mandate to burn down the whole rotten edifice.

If the elitists get power again, they are never letting go of it, not without a fight. And now, doesn't the elite's obsessive fixation on shutting down conservative dissent, eliminating competing institutions (like religious entities), and disarming law-abiding Americans make a lot more sense?

* * *

Our garbage elite is outraged over the success of my action-packed yet hilarious novels of America torn apart by liberal malice, People's Republic , Indian Country and Wildfire . In a few weeks, Number IV, Collapse, will drop. They call these books "appalling." They don't want you to read them. That's better than any blurb!


Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

Whodathunkit , 1 hour ago link

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

THAT is what TRUMP said. And it ******* freaks THEM out.

The Palmetto Cynic , 1 hour ago link

1.1 trillion to the deficit in 2019, record tax receipts, little to show for wage and standard of living increases, so no....**** no.

ZIRPdiggler , 2 hours ago link

He never said the elite are the "super rich". Sorry about your trump derangement syndrome, comrade. Many wealthy in this country are good people. This author is referencing the "ruling elite" Washington-Hollywood-Media complex that comprises the child trafficking lefties in this country: they ARE the fascist elite who run the censorship platforms in silicon valley, the hypocrite millionaire socialists like Warren, or the deep state mouth pieces like Adam Schitt....

12Doberman , 2 hours ago link

Trump is the elite? Trump represents the elite? If that's so why are the elite trying to take him out? I don't think you understand who the elite are that the author is referring to. He's talking about the political elite...the DC power brokers...the political "establishment."

kudocast , 2 hours ago link

"For four years, it has been focused entirely on deep-sixing Donald Trump for his unforgivable crime of demanding that our ruling caste be held accountable for its legacy of failure."

Donald Trump is our savior? Look at all the elite lackeys he put in his Cabinet, the exact type of people Kurt Schlichter claims Trump is removing. Trump passed $1.5 trillion tax cut bill benefiting the rich, expanded military spending $700 billion.

Chief Economic Advisor - Daniel Cohn - Goldman Sachs

Secretary of State - Rex Tillerson - Exxon Mobil

Secretary of Treasury - Steve Mnuchin - Goldman Sachs

Commerce Secretary - Wilbur Ross - Rothschilds and more

Transportation Secretary - Elaine Chao - wife of Mitch McConnell, from Chinese family shipping magnate

Secretary of Labor - Andy Puzder - CEO CKE Restaurants

Education Secretary - Betsy DeVos - husband CEO of Amway

Senior Advisor - Jared Kushner - Trump son in law

motley331 , 2 hours ago link

NAILED IT !!!!

devnickle , 2 hours ago link

He is no savior, but he sure the **** has exposed the enemy.

[Nov 05, 2019] The Empire, Trump and Intra-Ruling Class Conflict Dissident Voice

Notable quotes:
"... On the other hand, as Targ explains, are the Trumpian, "America First" nationalist capitalists. This faction of the ruling class, while also supporting global dominance and a permanent war economy (military-related spending will consume 48 percent of the 2020 federal budget) favors trade restrictions, economic nationalism, building walls and anti-immigrant policies. Although Trump is inconsistent, bumbling and sometimes contradictory, he's departed from the neocon's agenda by making overtures to North Korea and Russia, voicing doubts about NATO as an expensive relic from the past that is being dangerously misused outside of Europe, not being afraid to speak bluntly to EU allies, frequently mentioning ending our "endless, ridiculous and costly wars," asserting that the U.S. is badly overextended and saying "The job of our military is not to police the world." ..."
"... This is a high stakes intra-ruling class struggle and neither side cares a fig about what's best for the American people or those beyond our borders. At this point it's impossible to know how it will play out but grasping the underlying dynamics explains much about current U.S. domestic and foreign policy. This understanding may, in turn, point toward how opponents of America's oligarchic elites can most expeditiously use their time and energy. ..."
"... Foremost is the fact that Trump's intra-elite enemies despise him not for being a neo-fascistic demagogue, a despicable human being devoid of a conscience, or for the brouhaha over Ukraine. Their animus is rooted in the conviction that Trump has been a foot dragging imperialist, an equivocal caretaker of empire, unreliable pull-the-trigger Commander-in-chief (e.g.Iran) and transparent truth-teller about the real motives behind U.S. foreign policy. These are his unforgivable sins and if he's impeached or denied the Oval Office by some other means, they will be real reasons. ..."
"... One of Trump's most traitorous acts is that he's been consistent, at least rhetorically, in being opposed to U.S. troops being killed in "endless wars." One need not agree with his reasons to find merit in this worthy objective. His motives probably include Nativism, racism, foreign investment stability, the wars causing more refugees to come here, his massive ego, appeals to his voting base, or simply because he believes both he and the "real America" would be better off. For him, the latter two are synonymous. ..."
"... For this treachery, those arrayed against Trump include at least, the Pentagon-CIA-armaments lobby, MSM editors like those at CNN, The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
Nov 05, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org

Over the past few months President Trump has unilaterally by Tweet and telephone begun to dismantle the U.S. military's involvement in the Middle East. The irony is amazing, because in a general overarching narrative sense, this is what the marginalized antiwar movement has been trying to do for decades. 1

Prof. Harry Targ, in his important piece "United States foreign policy: yesterday, today, and tomorrow," (MR online, October 23, 2919), reminds us of the factional dispute among U.S. foreign policy elites over how to maintain the U.S. empire. On the one hand are the neoliberal global capitalists who favor military intervention, covert operations, regime change, strengthening NATO, thrusting China into the enemy vacuum and re-igniting the Cold War with Russia. All of this is concealed behind lofty rhetoric about humanitarianism, protecting human rights, promoting democracy, fighting terrorism and American exceptionalism. Their mantra is Madeleine Albright's description of the United States as the world's "one indispensable nation."

On the other hand, as Targ explains, are the Trumpian, "America First" nationalist capitalists. This faction of the ruling class, while also supporting global dominance and a permanent war economy (military-related spending will consume 48 percent of the 2020 federal budget) favors trade restrictions, economic nationalism, building walls and anti-immigrant policies. Although Trump is inconsistent, bumbling and sometimes contradictory, he's departed from the neocon's agenda by making overtures to North Korea and Russia, voicing doubts about NATO as an expensive relic from the past that is being dangerously misused outside of Europe, not being afraid to speak bluntly to EU allies, frequently mentioning ending our "endless, ridiculous and costly wars," asserting that the U.S. is badly overextended and saying "The job of our military is not to police the world."

I would add that Trump is also an "American exceptionalist" but ascribes a very different provincial meaning to the term, something closer to a crabbed provincialism, an insular "Shining City on a Hill," surrounded by a moat.

This is a high stakes intra-ruling class struggle and neither side cares a fig about what's best for the American people or those beyond our borders. At this point it's impossible to know how it will play out but grasping the underlying dynamics explains much about current U.S. domestic and foreign policy. This understanding may, in turn, point toward how opponents of America's oligarchic elites can most expeditiously use their time and energy.

Foremost is the fact that Trump's intra-elite enemies despise him not for being a neo-fascistic demagogue, a despicable human being devoid of a conscience, or for the brouhaha over Ukraine. Their animus is rooted in the conviction that Trump has been a foot dragging imperialist, an equivocal caretaker of empire, unreliable pull-the-trigger Commander-in-chief (e.g.Iran) and transparent truth-teller about the real motives behind U.S. foreign policy. These are his unforgivable sins and if he's impeached or denied the Oval Office by some other means, they will be real reasons.

One of Trump's most traitorous acts is that he's been consistent, at least rhetorically, in being opposed to U.S. troops being killed in "endless wars." One need not agree with his reasons to find merit in this worthy objective. His motives probably include Nativism, racism, foreign investment stability, the wars causing more refugees to come here, his massive ego, appeals to his voting base, or simply because he believes both he and the "real America" would be better off. For him, the latter two are synonymous.

For this treachery, those arrayed against Trump include at least, the Pentagon-CIA-armaments lobby, MSM editors like those at CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post , NSA, Zionist neocons, the DNC, establishment Democrats, some hawkish Republican senators, many lifestyle liberals still harboring a sentimental faith in American goodness and even EU and NATO elites who've benefited from being faithful lackeys to Washington's global imperialism.

In a recent interview, Major Danny Sjursen, retired army officer and West Point instructor with tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, notes that "The last bipartisan issue in American politics today is warfare, forever warfare." In terms of the military, that means " even the hint of getting out of the establishment interventionist status quo is terrifying to these generals, terrifying to these former intelligence officers from the Obama administration who seem to live on MSNBC now." Sjursen adds that many of these generals (like Mattis) have already found lucrative work with the military industrial complex. 2

In response to Trump's announcement about removing some U.S. troops from the region, we find an op-ed in The New York Times by Admiral William McRaven where he states that Trump "should be out of office sooner than later. It's time for a new person in the Oval Office, Republican, Democrat or Independent. The fate of the nation depends on it." The unmistakeable whiff of support for a soft coup is chilling. If Trump can't be contained, he must be deposed one way or another.

And this is all entirely consistent with the fact that the national security state was totally caught off guard by Trump's victory in 2016. For them, Trump was a loose cannon, erratic and ultra-confrontational, someone they couldn't control. Their favored candidate was the ever reliable, Wall Street-friendly, war-mongering Hillary Clinton or even Jeb Bush. Today, barring a totally chastised Trump, the favorites include a fading Biden, Pence, a reprise of Clinton or someone in her mold but without the baggage.

For Trump's establishment enemies, another closely related failing is his habit of blurting out inconvenient truths. I'm not the first person to say that Trump is the most honest president in my lifetime. Yes, he lies most of the time but as left analyst Paul Street puts it, "Trump is too clumsily and childishly brazen in laying bare the moral nothingness and selfishness of the real material-historical bourgeois society that lives beneath the veils of 'Western civilization' and 'American democracy.'" 3

All his predecessors took pains or were coached to conceal their imperialist actions behind declarations of humanitarian interventionism but Trump has pulled the curtains back to reveal the ugly truths about U.S. foreign policy. As such, the carefully calibrated propaganda fed to the public in endless reiterations over a lifetime is jeopardized whenever Trump utters a transparent truth. This is intolerable.

Here are a few examples culled from speeches, interviews and press reports:

As noted earlier, the endgame is not in sight. Trump seems without a clear strategy for moving forward and from all reports he can't depend on his current coterie of White House advisors to produce one. Further, he may lack the necessary political in-fight skills or tenacity to see it through. When some of his Republican "allies" savaged his announcement to withdraw troops from Syria, he backtracked and made some, at least cosmetic concessions. However, the fact that Trump's position remains popular with his voter base and especially with veterans of these wars will give pause to Republicans. If some finally join the Democrats in voting for impeachment over Ukraine-gate they may minimize re-election risks by hiding their real motives behind pious claims -- as will most Democrats -- about "protecting the constitution and the rule of law".

Now, lest I be misunderstood, nothing I've written here should be construed as support for Donald Trump or that I believe he's antiwar. Trump is aberration only in that his brand of Western imperialism means that the victims remain foreigners while U.S. soldiers remain out of harm's way. He knows that boots on the ground can quickly descend into bodies in the ground and unlike his opponents, coffins returning to Dover Air Base are not worth risking his personal ambitions. This is clearly something to build upon. We don't know if Trump views drones, cyber warfare and proxies as substitutes but his intra-elite opponents remain extremely dubious. In any event, that's another dimension to expose and challenge.

Finally, we know the ruling class in a capitalist democracy -- an oxymoron -- expends enormous time and resources to obtain a faux "consent of the governed" through misinformation conveyed via massive, lifelong ideological indoctrination. For them, citizen's policing themselves is more efficient than coercion and precludes raising questions that might delegitimize the system. Obviously force and fear are hardly unknown -- witness the mass incarceration and police murder of black citizens -- but one only has to look around to see how successful this method of control has been.

Nevertheless, as social historian Margaret Jacoby wisely reminds us, "No institution is safe if people simply stop believing the assumptions that justify its existence." 4 Put another way, the system simply can't accommodate certain "dangerous ideas."

Today, we see promising political fissures developing, especially within the rising generation, and it's our responsibility to help deepen and widen these openings through whatever means at our disposal.

[Nov 03, 2019] The "Deep State" Has Been Redefined as Career Bureaucrats Doing Their Patriotic Duty by Edward Curtin

Notable quotes:
"... It gets funny, this shallow analysis of the deep state that is currently big news. There's something ghoulish about it, perfectly timed for Halloween and masked jokers. What was once ridiculed by the CIA and its attendant lackeys in the media as the paranoia of "conspiracy theorists" is now openly admitted in reverent tones of patriotic fervor. But with a twisted twist. ..."
"... The Council on Foreign Relations ..."
"... Foreign Affairs, ..."
"... Linguistic mind control is insidious like the slow drip of a water faucet. After a while you don't hear it and just go about your business, even as your mind, like a rotting rubber washer, keeps disintegrating under propaganda's endless reiterations. ..."
"... To think that the deep state is government employees just doing their patriotic duty is plain idiocy and plainer propaganda. ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

By Edward Curtin Global Research, November 01, 2019 Region: USA Theme: Intelligence

It gets funny, this shallow analysis of the deep state that is currently big news. There's something ghoulish about it, perfectly timed for Halloween and masked jokers. What was once ridiculed by the CIA and its attendant lackeys in the media as the paranoia of "conspiracy theorists" is now openly admitted in reverent tones of patriotic fervor. But with a twisted twist.

The corporate mass-media has recently discovered a "deep state" that they claim to be not some evil group of assassins who work for the super-rich owners of the country and murder their own president (JFK) and other unpatriotic dissidents (Malcom X, MLK, RK, among others) and undermine democracy home and abroad, but are now said to be just fine upstanding American citizens who work within the government bureaucracies and are patriotic believers in democracy intent on doing the right thing.

This redefinition has been in the works for a few years, and it shouldn't be a surprise that this tricky treat was being prepared for our consumption a few years ago by The Council on Foreign Relations . In its September/October 2017 edition of its journal Foreign Affairs, Jon D. Michaels, in "Trump and the Deep State: The Government Strikes Back," writes:

Furious at what they consider treachery by internal saboteurs, the president and his surrogates have responded by borrowing a bit of political science jargon, claiming to be victims of the " deep state ," a conspiracy of powerful, unelected bureaucrats secretly pursuing their own agenda. The concept of a deep state is valuable in its original context, the study of developing countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey, where shadowy elites in the military and government ministries have been known to countermand or simply defy democratic directives. Yet it has little relevance to the United States, where governmental power structures are almost entirely transparent, egalitarian, and rule-bound.

The White House is correct to perceive widespread resistance inside the government to many of its endeavors. But the same way the administration's media problems come not from "fake news" but simply from news, so its bureaucratic problems come not from an insidious, undemocratic "deep state" but simply from the state -- the large, complex hive of people and procedures that constitute the U.S. federal government.

Notice how in these comical passages about U.S. government transparency and egalitarianism, Michaels slyly and falsely attributes to Trump the very definition – "unelected bureaucrats" – that in the next paragraph he claims to be the real deep state, which is just the state power structures. Pseudo-innocence conquers all here as there is no mention of the Democratic party, Russiagate, etc., and all the machinations led by the intelligence services and Democratic forces to oust Trump from the day he was elected. State power structures just move so quickly, as anyone knows who has studied the speed with which bureaucracies operate. Ask Max Weber.

The Deep State Goes Shallow. "Reality-TV Coup d'etat in Prime Time"

Drip by drip over the past few years, this "state bureaucracy" meme has been introduced by the mainstream media propagandists as they have gradually revealed that the government deep-staters are just doing their patriotic duty in trying openly to oust an elected president.

Many writers have commented on the recent New York Times article, Trump's War on the 'Deep State' Turns Against Him" asserting that the Times has finally admitted to the existence of the deep state, which is true as far as it goes, which is not too far. But in this game of deceptive revelations – going shallower to go deeper – what is missing is a focus on the linguistic mind control involved in the changed definition.

In a recent article by Robert W. Merry, whose intentions I am not questioning – "New York Times Confirms: It's Trump Versus the Deep State" – originally published at The American Conservative and widely reprinted , the lead-in to the article proper reads: "Even the Gray Lady admits the president is up against a powerful bureaucracy that wants him sunk." So the "powerful bureaucracy" redefinition, this immovable force of government bureaucrats, is slipped into public consciousness as what the deep state supposedly is. Gone are CIA conspirators and evil doers. In their place we find career civil servants doing their patriotic duty.

Then there is The New York Times' columnist James Stewart who, appearing on the Today Show recently, where he was promoting his new book, told Savannah Guthrie that:

Well, you meet these characters in my book, and the fact is, in a sense, he's [Trump] right. There is a deep state there is a bureaucracy in our country who has pledged to respect the Constitution, respect the rule of law. They do not work for the President. They work for the American people. And, as Comey told me in my book, 'thank goodness for that,' because they are protecting the Constitution and the people when individuals – we don't have a monarch, we don't have a dictator – they restrain them from crossing the boundaries of law. What Trump calls the deep state in the United States is protecting the American people and protecting the Constitution. It's a positive thing in this sense.

So again we are told that the deep-state bureaucracy is defending the Constitution and protecting the American people, as James Comey told Stewart, "in my book, 'thank goodness for that,'" as he put it so eloquently. These guys talk in books, of course, not person to person, but that is the level not just of English grammar and general stupidity, but of the brazen bullshit these guys are capable of.

This new and shallow deep state definition has buried the old meaning of the deep state as evil conspirators carrying out coup d'états, assassinations, and massive media propaganda campaigns at home and abroad, and who, by implication and direct declaration, never existed in the good old U.S.A. but only in countries such as Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan where shadowy elites killed and deposed leaders and opponents in an endless series of coup d'états. No mention in Foreign Affairs , of course, of the American support for the ruthless leaders of these countries who have always been our dear allies when they obey our every order and serve as our servile proxies in murder and mayhem.

Even Edward Snowden , the courageous whistleblower in exile in Russia, in a recent interview with Joe Rogan , repeats this nonsense when he says the deep state is just "career government officials" who want to keep their jobs and who outlast presidents. From his own experience, he should know better. Much better. Interestingly, he suggests that he does when he tells Rogan that "every president since Kennedy" has been successfully "feared up" by the intelligence agencies so they will do their bidding. He doesn't need to add that JFK, for fearlessly refusing the bait, was shot in the head in broad daylight to send a message to those who would follow.

Linguistic mind control is insidious like the slow drip of a water faucet. After a while you don't hear it and just go about your business, even as your mind, like a rotting rubber washer, keeps disintegrating under propaganda's endless reiterations.

To think that the deep state is government employees just doing their patriotic duty is plain idiocy and plainer propaganda.

It is a trick, not the treat it is made to seem.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Distinguished author and sociologist Edward Curtin is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. Visit the author's website here .

[Nov 01, 2019] Thank God For The Deep State Intel Agents Admit They Want To Take Out Trump

Nov 01, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/01/2019 - 08:05 0 SHARES

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

"These are people who are doing their duty or responding to a higher call."

Two former intelligence heads bragged about how the deep state is engaged in a coup to remove President Trump Thursday, with one even praising God for the existence of the deep state.

During an interview with Margaret Brennan of CSPAN, former CIA head John McLaughlin along with his successor John Brennan both basically admitted that there is a secretive cabal of people within US intelligence who are trying to 'take Trump out'.

"Thank God for the 'Deep State,'" McLaughlin crowed as liberals in the crowd cheered.

Tom Elliott ‏ @ tomselliott 15h 15 hours ago Follow Follow @ tomselliott Following Following @ tomselliott Unfollow Unfollow @ tomselliott Blocked Blocked @ tomselliott Unblock Unblock @ tomselliott Pending Pending follow request from @ tomselliott Cancel Cancel your follow request to @ tomselliott More

Former CIA director John McLaughlin on Trump's impeachment: "Thank God for the deep state"

Wakeup Bud ‏ @ spank419 13h 13 hours ago Replying to @ tomselliott

Mr. President it's time to completely clean out all of the Intel agencies from top to bottom. This is 40 years in the making if not more. It took a complete outsider to create this and thank God you'll be there for another five years @ realDonaldTrump

"I mean I think everyone has seen this progression of diplomats and intelligence officers and White House people trooping up to Capitol Hill right now and saying these are people who are doing their duty or responding to a higher call." he added.

"With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else," McLaughlin said, referring to the unnamed 'whistleblower', who it seems worked for Obama, Biden And Brennan .

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BREAKING The White House "whistleblower" is Eric Ciaramella. - Registered Democrat - Worked for Obama - Worked with Joe Biden - Worked for CIA Director John Brennan - Vocal critic of Trump - Helped initiate the Russia "collusion" investigation hoax

    1. Grace Vasquez ‏ Verified account @ itsYourGrace Oct 30 More
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      Replying to @ bennyjohnson

      "Ciaramella worked on Ukrainian policy issues for Biden in 2015 and 2016, when the vice president was President Obama's "point man" for Ukraine. A Yale graduate, Ciaramella is said to speak Russian and Ukrainian, as well as Arabic. He had been assigned to the NSC by Brennan."

"This is the institution within the U.S. government -- that with all of its flaws, and it makes mistakes -- is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth," McLaughlin claimed.

"It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth -- it's engraved in marble in the lobby." he continued to blather.

Brennan also expressed praise for the deep state and admitted that the goal is to remove the President.

"Thank goodness for the women and men who are in the intelligence community and the law enforcement community who are standing up and carrying out their responsibilities for their fellow citizens." he said.

Tom Elliott ‏ @ tomselliott 15h 15 hours ago Follow Follow @ tomselliott Following Following @ tomselliott Unfollow Unfollow @ tomselliott Blocked Blocked @ tomselliott Unblock Unblock @ tomselliott Pending Pending follow request from @ tomselliott Cancel Cancel your follow request to @ tomselliott More
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. @ JohnBrennan on the whistleblower coming from the intel community: They're "ighting in the trenches here and overseas I'm just pleased every day that my former colleagues in the intelligence community continue to do their duties."

There you have it. Two former CIA heads admitting that there is a plot to take out a duly-elected President.

Brennan lecturing anyone about telling the truth is also a complete joke, given that he publicly lied to Congress without any repercussions.

Americans reacted in droves to these intel slugs laughing about trying to remove Trump:

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Replying to @ tomselliott

I'm old enough to remember being told the Deep State was just a "right-wing conspiracy theory". Funny, because that's exactly what they call what's about to be reported by the IG and prosecuted by the DOJ.....


Omega_Man , 33 seconds ago link

CIA's largest mission is to protect their own corruption... enriching themselves and their dem friends... just close the CIA and start a new agency without all the ********...but get your own army to protect you first!! marines

Chupacabra-322 , 2 minutes ago link

No one in the Criminal government is following the law as everyone can see, new horror stories everyday and every second of the day emerge. The American government system is criminal, an organized crime syndicate of liars, thieves and murders. The lowest trailer park trash most people would try to avoid. That's the quality of the people working in the US government.

The Social Climate only reflects that Evil.

Whatever Trust, Loyalty & Respect you thought the American People had for you has been completely Squandered.

And, you Sick, Twisted, Treasonous, Seditious, Murdering ***** have absolutely NO ONE to Blame but yourselves.

The time to Eliminate & Defund these Criminal Treasonous Seditious Intelligence Agencies which have morphed into Crime Syndicate's has arrived.

**** THIS ****!!!

Until I see the Clintons rotting in jail along with the Bush family & the Obama's, Until I witness 3/4 of congress & the senate being purged & prosecuted, Until I witness the complete dismantle of the FED, Until I witness ALL military bases around the globe being closed & folks coming back home, Until I witness the MIC's budget cut down to 1/4 only for national protection, Until I witness the purge of all the CIA/FBI cartel, Until I witness manufacturing being restored in the Country, Until I witness the USA cutting all special interests & lobbying on behalf of Israel/Zionists & SA, Until I Witness the break of Wall Street & the Banks monopoly on the Economy & PM, Until I witness the full restoration of the rule of Law......................... Until then, to me.

It's absolute, complete, open, in your Faces Tyrannical Lawlessness.

Manthong , 2 minutes ago link

They don't care about the law, ethics and decency

THEY are morally superior

Interested_Observer , 3 minutes ago link

That moment when they are so confident that they admit the truth.

Is also the exact same moment when

conspiracy theory becomes

F A C T

Oldwood , 7 minutes ago link

Evidently "The Truth" is whatever is left after the rest has been silenced.

The intelligence community's (inclusive of the MSM) mission is to control information. They are the arbiters of what we see and hear while also monitoring it as a closed loop. CONTROL. Rather than call themselves "intelligence" they should instead adopt a more accurate title of "Information Control" given their intelligence is doubtful.

Given they are an outgrowth of what has kindly been called the fundamental transformation of America, we can only assume that they also are agents of change. Their control is designed to SHAPE America into the country or gulag they wish it to become. They are preserving nothing of the founder's intentions or even the constitution beyond what powers they can extrude from painful manipulation of language. This is about maintaining a course designed to specifically change America forever.

And many anticipate the change as something for the better. They bemoan the difficulty in existing opportunities convinced that this new improved America will finally reward them for their meager efforts. What they will discover in the end is that all opportunities will evaporate except for the few reserved for those most highly connected, an iron door closing to all others.

Trader-Scholar , 9 minutes ago link

Slightly off topic:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Trump . President Trumps uncle was a world class electrical engineer, inventor, and physicist. Together with Robert J. Van de Graaff , he developed one of the first million-volt X-ray generators. When Tesla died in 1943 his papers were taken by military intelligence and given to John Trump for review and development. Trump also debriefed top German scientists after the war. Donald may be an "outsider" but his uncle had the highest military clearance.

CAPT DRAKE , 17 minutes ago link

I knew these CIA assholes when I was working in Africa. If they worked 4 hours a day it was a lot. It was basically a no-show job. Push papers, reports written by a specialist that did this for them. Useless work. Their contribution is worth maybe $10.00/hr. This is why they guard and fight so hard to maintain this lifestyle.

[Oct 31, 2019] The Political Parties and the Media Have Abandoned the Working "Middle Class"

Oct 31, 2019 | www.oftwominds.com

October 31, 2019

Where is the line between "working class" and "middle class"? Maybe there isn't any.

Defining the "middle class" has devolved to a pundit parlor game, so let's get real for a moment (if we dare): the "middle class" is no longer defined by the traditional metrics of income or job type (blue collar, white collar), but by an entirely different set of metrics:

1. Household indebtedness, i.e. how much of the income is devoted to debt service, and

2. How much of the household spending is funded by debt.

3. The ability of the household to set aside substantial savings / capital investment.

4. The security of the households' employment.

5. The dependence of the household wealth on speculative asset bubbles inflated by central bank policies.

6. The percentage of the household income that is unearned, i.e. derived not from labor but from productive assets.

7. The exposure of the households' employment to automation, AI or offshoring.

8. How much of the household income is government transfers: benefits, subsidies, etc.

After writing about the middle class and America's class structure in depth for over a decade, it seems to me the actual, real-world class structure is something along these lines:

1. No formal earned income, dependent on government transfers, possibly supplemented by informal "black market" income; no family wealth.

2. The Working Poor, those laboring at minimum wage or part-time jobs with few if any benefits. This class depends on government transfers to get by: EBT (food stamps), housing subsidies, school lunch subsidies, Medicaid, etc. Highly exposed to reductions in hours, tips, gigs, etc. and layoffs.

3. The "muddle class" which muddles through on earned income, much of which goes to debt service (student loans, auto loans, mortgages, credit cards) and skyrocketing big-ticket expenses: rent, healthcare, childcare, etc. Unable to save enough to move the needle on household capital, any net worth is dependent on speculative asset bubbles continuing to inflate. Highly exposed to layoffs or destabilizing changes in employment status: from full-time to part-time, loss of benefits, etc.

This article from WSJ.com describes the Muddle Class: Families Go Deep in Debt to Stay in the Middle Class

4. The Protected Class with secure income/earnings and benefits: this includes the nomenklatura of government employees, mid-level technocrat / managerial employees in academia, government-funded non-profits, etc., and retirees with Medicare, Social Security and other income (pensions, unearned investment income, etc.) and family assets (home owned free and clear, substantial 401K nest eggs, etc.)

5. "Winner Take Most" Corporate America / market-economy households: top managers and salespeople, entrepreneurs, successful business owners, speculators in financialization/asset bubbles, marketers, those earning substantial royalties, etc. Most work crazy-hard and make sacrifices, as per this article from The Atlantic: Why You Never See Your Friends Anymore : Our unpredictable and overburdened schedules are taking a dire toll on American society.

6. The wealthy and super-wealthy. Many continue working hard despite being worth tens of millions or hundreds of millions of dollars, as per this article from NYT.com: Why Don't Rich People Just Stop Working? Are the wealthy addicted to money, competition, or just feeling important? Yes.

7. The upper reaches of this class constitute a Financial Aristocracy / Oligarchy / New Nobility, those who have leveraged mere wealth into political, social and financial power .

8. The Mobile Creatives Class , currently small but expanding, which essentially obsoletes the entire status quo of working for an employer (often to get benefits), going heavily into debt for a college degree, vehicle, house, wedding, etc., hiring employees and paying outrageous prices to live in an overcrowded, soul-destroying city, etc.

I've written often about Mobile Creatives , but the basic idea is multiple income streams and forms of capital provide security rather than depending on the state or an employer: Career Advice to 20-Somethings: Create Value as a Mobile Creative .

Where is the line between "working class" and "middle class"? Maybe there isn't any. The old definitions of working and middle class were social more than financial--the middle class was better educated (school teacher, etc.) than the working class (factory worker, skilled tradesperson) but both could aspire to owning a home and giving their children a more secure life than they had started with.

The working class was not limited to the working poor : working-class jobs provided security and social mobility, just like white-collar middle class jobs.

What differentiates classes now is debt, employment security and the ability to build household capital that isn't just a sand castle of speculative bubble "wealth." The worker with tradecraft skills (welding, logger, etc.) has more security and earning power than a college graduate with few skills that can't be outsourced or automated.

Many college graduates work in sectors that are highly exposed to layoffs and downsizing once the economy contracts: food and beverages, hospitality, etc.

All of which leads us to a highly verboten conclusion: both political parties and the corporate media have abandoned the 2/3 of the workforce that is working/middle class. The bottom 20% dependent on government transfers has more security than those earning just enough to disqualify the household for transfers, while the top 15% in the Protected Class are doing just fine unless they're over-indebted.

The winner take most class and the wealthy dominate both political parties and the media which is now dependent on advertising that appeals to the top 10% of households that collect more than 50% of the national income.

The political parties take care of the government dependent class to keep the rabble from rebelling, and they keep the government gravy train flowing to the Protected Class (healthcare, national defense, academia, government employees) to insure their support at election time, but they take their marching orders from the Aristocracy / Oligarchy that fund their campaigns and enrich them with $100,000 speaking fees, seats on the board of directors, etc.

The Working/Middle Class gets nothing but lip-service, and that's been the case for decades. The political parties and the media abandoned the Working/Middle Class long ago, buttering their bread with the soaring wealth of the Aristocracy / Oligarchy and relegating everyone outside the Protected Class who labors for their livelihood to the servitude of politically impotent tax donkey / debt-serfdom.

Please examine these charts closely. They look busy but show that income inequality has been rising for over three decades.

Here's income by quintile. The top 5% have done extremely well, the Protected Class 15% below them have done just fine, and the bottom 80%, well, who cares about them as long as they're politically passive and make their loan payments?

Cumulative income reveals the widening gap between the bottom 80% and the top 5%. The gap was not very big in the early 1990s, but look at it now:

Another chart of the top 5% pulling away from the rest of us:

No wonder the media depends on luxury/aspirational advertising: the top 5% are the only ones with the money and credit to blow on status-signifying fripperies:

Where does this lead? To this--a collapse of buffers: debt is not income, and eventually the buffers of borrowing more to keep afloat thin and break down. When the financial buffers of the middle two-thirds of working / middle class households break down, the economy and the social-political order will break down, too.

Don't think it won't happen just because it hasn't happened yet.

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[Oct 29, 2019] Deplorables, 'Human Scum,' and a party without a future

Oct 29, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , October 26, 2019 at 06:05 AM

(It's great to have you back!)

Deplorables, 'Human Scum,' and a party without a future https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/10/25/deplorables-human-scum-and-party-without-future/ntpdTYnvwABCmYYiTvVlmO/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Nestor Ramos - October 25

For the Furrowed Brow Society, things are finally looking up. Small in number and feeble in influence, so-called "Never Trumper" Republicans have spent three years now peeking out from behind the congressional drapes to express dismay over President Trump's antics.

Your John Kasiches, your Mitt Romneys, your Bens Sasse: They are among a handful of national Republican figures who all reliably emerge to criticize Trump on the occasion of his latest embarrassment. After every new indignity, the informal society assembles like an ineffectual version of the Avengers. Picture Captain America and Iron Man just sort of grunting ruefully and shaking their heads while they watch Fox News.

Has this resulted in any noticeable change in the president's policy or demeanor? Of course not. Will the Republican Party finally come to its senses and turn to this crew to lead it into the future? Also no.

. . . But!

The air of desperation surrounding the president these days has to be heartening. Even some Frequent Trumpers are starting to wonder whether it might be time to get off the train. Suddenly, the Never Trumpers are so ascendant that Trump is lashing out at them, pleading with his administration officials to stop giving them jobs (this would seem to be within his control, but whatever).

And so we've reached a remarkable moment in the discourse: Some of these people seem positively delighted to be called -- this is almost unbelievable, but I promise it's true -- "human scum."

"The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats," Trump tweeted on Wednesday afternoon, amid a fairly standard-issue tirade and blizzard of bonkers retweets. "Watch out for them, they are human scum!"

Hey, at least he called them "human," which is more grace than he usually affords immigrants. But even in today's uniquely debased political culture, the phrase "human scum" would seem to rise below our very low bar. And yet . . .

"Apparently, I'm human scum," the conservative cybersecurity expert and former homeland security official Paul Rosenzweig wrote in The Atlantic, in a column headlined "I'm Proud to Be Called Human Scum."

(Proud to Be Called Human Scum - Paul Rosenzweig.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/trumps-tweet-makes-me-proud-be-human-scum/600685/ )

If you're keeping score at home, the Republican Party is now overwhelmingly composed of people gleefully calling themselves "deplorable," and a separate, opposed group proudly self-identifying as "human scum."

Extremely normal, healthy stuff.

So I reached out to one of the few Republicans I could think of who does not seem to be in a hurry to brand himself as some sort of nightmare person -- who seems to genuinely want to rise above all this: America's Most Popular Governor™ Charlie Baker. Baker doesn't spend a lot of time firing back at the president's daily dumpster fire, which is probably wise.

"Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito did not support President Trump because he doesn't have the right temperament for the office," Baker's press secretary, Sarah Finlaw, said in an e-mail, "and the administration doesn't respond to sophomoric name-calling and will stay focused on working for the residents of Massachusetts. Washington, DC would be well served to follow suit."

So if he wasn't on the human scum list before, he probably is now. Sorry about that, Governor.

It's tempting to think that people like Baker, Bill Weld, and Romney (who must have thought everyone was telling him to "grow a Pierre" these last few years) will one day soon restore the Republican Party to some semblance of sanity. Even if you don't have much use for the small government/fiscal conservatism that supposedly drove the Republican Party before it abandoned even the pretense of responsibility, that ethos would be a lot less damaging than what we've got now.

(In praise of Pierre Delecto -- er, Mitt Romney
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/10/23/praise-pierre/t2S0xe8ais1STWhoTDaaJO/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe)

But I'm not sure that kind of reversal is even possible anymore. Nobody who abetted this nonsense should be taken seriously ever again, but that category includes the vast majority of elected Republicans in Washington. ...

Plp -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 26, 2019 at 06:38 AM
Reviewing the recent episodes of our continuing story " two party soap opera " with sardonic mirth

Like its just pretend boob tube stuff. Reflects a comfortable perch above the dismal job world 150 million of us revolve thru week by week

Oh well better then high school, or prison, or a tour in Afghanistan, or retirement on social security

[Oct 29, 2019] The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports

Notable quotes:
"... Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA. ..."
"... The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both ..."
"... It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies. ..."
"... They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people. ..."
"... They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer. ..."
Oct 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Oct 28 2019 21:51 utc | 75

I'm sure I'm not the only person here who sees the headlines B has linked to and other NYT headlines (and some of the actual articles themselves, if I have the time and patience to read them) and realised that The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports. Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA.
Arthur , Oct 28 2019 17:22 utc | 14
The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both.

It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies.

They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people.

They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer.

[Oct 29, 2019] Do the Public and 'the Blob' Want the Same Things

Oct 29, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Dan Drezner jumps to a shaky conclusion on public opinion and foreign policy:

What is striking about arguments like these is the near-complete absence of any discussion of public opinion polling to buttress their argument. If the Blob's policy preferences are truly disconnected from those of the American public, that would be a powerful populist talking point. This has been made in the past with a heavy reliance on polling data. Both Trumpists and progressives should be trumpeting public opinion surveys from the rooftops that highlight the disconnect with the Blob.

They are not doing that, however, and I think I know why. It turns out that what the American people want in foreign policy looks an awful lot like what the Blob wants.

I am neither a Trumpist nor a progressive, but I do advocate for foreign policy restraint, so it may be worth noting that I have called attention to public opinion surveys that show that most Americans want a more restrained foreign policy. These surveys do not show that most Americans want "what the Blob wants." Quite the contrary. The disconnect with "the Blob" is hard to miss.

The findings of the Eurasia Group Foundation's survey point to the very "chasm" between the public and foreign policy experts that Drezner says doesn't really exist:

A new, national survey commissioned by the Eurasia Group Foundation (EGF) reveals the American public supports a more restrained approach to international relations and military interventions. However, this desire for a more focused foreign policy is at odds with the more expansive role generally favored by foreign policy experts.

A separate study commissioned by the Center for American Progress found a similar preference for what they call "restrained engagement":

The findings in this survey suggest that American voters are not isolationist. Rather, voters are more accurately described as supporting "restrained engagement" in international affairs -- a strategy that favors diplomatic, political, and economic actions over military action when advancing U.S. interests in the world. American voters want their political leaders to make more public investments in the American people in order to compete in the world and to strike the right balance abroad after more than a decade of what they see as military overextension.

In contrast to much of the debate among political leaders and foreign policy experts today, voters in this survey express little interest in the processes and tactics of foreign policy or the workings of international alliances and institutions. They generally support cooperation and engagement with allies, but these are not top-tier objectives on their own.

One example of the "chasm" between foreign policy experts and the public from the EGF survey concerned the appropriate response to atrocities committed by foreign governments:

While there is some support among the surveyed experts for a restrained approach or a U.N.-led response, a large majority of them favors U.S.-led intervention (61%). The public leans heavily in the opposite direction with 43% in favor of restraint and 34% that prefer a U.N.-led response. When it comes to deciding when to initiate interventions and attack other states, there clearly is a yawning gap between the public and the foreign policy establishment. The latter is much more open to unilateral or U.S.-led military action in this instance.

The EGF survey found a similar gap when they asked about the prospect of retaliation in the event of an attack on a NATO ally:

While there is a slight majority in favor of retaliation, the public is much more evenly divided. The foreign policy experts are almost unanimously in favor. The gap is real and it is huge. Using Bremmer's categories, we see that expressed again in preferences for the U.S. role in the world:

Roughly half of the experts prefer America as the "indispensable nation" compared with less than 10% of the public. The "independent" America that is most closely identified with foreign policy restraint has the backing of 44% of the public and just 9% of the experts. One can argue that the experts are right and the public is wrong, or vice versa, but one cannot say that they all want the same thing.

Drezner cites public opinion on Syria as evidence in favor of the proposition that the public and "the Blob" are much more closely aligned than critics of "the Blob" allow, but this is not as compelling as he thinks it is. He finds that opinion at the start of this year was evenly split between pro- and anti-withdrawal blocs. The Pew poll he cites breaks down the responses by political affiliation, and there is a clear partisan split with far more Republicans in favor of withdrawal and most Democrats opposed. Most of the respondents are reacting to the proposed withdrawal in a partisan fashion: Democrats opposed it because Trump supposedly wanted it, and Republicans supported it for the same reason. There is now apparently more opposition to withdrawal, but that is presumably informed by the arbitrary and incompetent way in which the quasi-withdrawal has been executed. It may also be influenced by the fact that Trump's so-called withdrawal isn't really a withdrawal, but just a chaotic redeployment that may end up leaving more U.S. troops in Syria than before . That is not surprising. The public tends to turn against policies that are being carried out ineptly, no matter what their other policy preferences might be. The association with the increasingly unpopular Trump is probably also causing more people to reject whatever it is they think the president favors.

To understand the gap between foreign policy establishment and the public on Syria, we need to look at Americans' views over many years. Most Americans have been strongly against U.S. involvement in Syria over the years. The popular backlash against the proposed attack on the Syrian government in 2013 was strong enough that it blocked the intervention from happening. Many people in the foreign policy establishment have been calling for a more activist and interventionist Syria policy from the earliest days of the war in Syria, and there has been tremendous resistance from the public for almost all of this time. Obama caught ten kinds of hell from "the Blob" for his entire second term because he would not commit the U.S. to the larger role in the Syrian war that so many of them were demanding. Support for fighting ISIS from the air is the only thing that has consistently commanded broad support . When it comes on whether to send U.S. forces into a conflict, the public has consistently been much more reluctant to support this than the foreign policy establishment, and that is especially true when there don't appear to be any vital U.S. interests at stake.

Drezner concludes:

None of this is to say that the Blob or the American people are right about any particular foreign policy issue. I am all for serious debates about the future of American foreign policy. But advocates of restraint need to stop claiming that the Blob is acting in an undemocratic manner. Because it just ain't so.

Our objection to Syria policy isn't so much that "the Blob" is behaving in an undemocratic way as it is that the U.S. government has illegally involved itself in a war in Syria for the last five years without Congressional authorization or any legal justification whatsoever . U.S. forces were sent into Syria without the consent of the American people and our representatives, and they have been kept there all this time without that consent. If that doesn't demonstrate that our foreign policy today has become far too undemocratic, I don't know what would. If most Americans now disapprove of the Trump administration's haphazard, clownish management of Syria policy, that does not mean that they agree with "the Blob" about the larger policy questions. The divide between the public and "the Blob" is quite large on some of the most important questions, and if there is occasional agreement on a specific issue that shouldn't cause us to forget how wide that divide is.

Sid Finster 4 days ago

Since when did the public or voters start to have any discernable influence on policy?

As befits an oligarchic republic, they have none.

ThaomasH 4 days ago
Trump's problem is that his "restraint" is quit selective -- Not Iran, Not Saudi Arabia, Not Israel -- and where exercised, exaggerated. One need not withhold military aid from Ukraine in order to avoid a shooting war with Russia over Crimea, or abandon the Kurds to draw down the commitment in Syria.

[Oct 29, 2019] Endorsing The Deep State Endangers Democracy

Notable quotes:
"... The concept of a "deep state" -- a shadowy network of agency or military officials who secretly conspire to influence government policy -- is more often used to describe countries like Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan, where authoritarian elements band together to undercut democratically elected leaders. But inside the West Wing, Mr. Trump and his inner circle, particularly his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, see the influence of such forces at work within the United States, essentially arguing that their own government is being undermined from within. ..."
"... Though Mr. Trump has not publicly used the phrase , allies and sympathetic news media outlets have repurposed "deep state" from its formal meaning -- a network of civilian and military officials who control or undermine democratically elected governments -- to a pejorative meant to accuse civil servants of illegitimacy and political animus. ..."
"... Rather than look at it purely from a partisan point of view, one has to look at the deep state as a set range of priorities that are agreed or non-negotiable throughout a large part of the unelected civil service. ..."
"... Unfortunately I believe that in the US, the penchant for war, the worldview which has the US as a moral missionary, and the antipathy to socialist policies are central to this, no matter what the color of the ruling party is at the time. ..."
"... The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both ..."
"... It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies. ..."
"... They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people. ..."
"... They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer. ..."
"... "We" don't hold elections. The elections are required to buy the deep state legitimacy to do its thing. ..."
"... Yes, indeed, the 'Deep State' is there and of course the NYT is happy to write nice things about it, because it exists to support the same thing the NYT exists to support - 'government of the millionaires, by the millionaires, for the millionaires'!... ..."
"... The history of candidates is that they have not keep any of the campaign promises and there is little the electorate can do about it. Voting by Americans to fill jobs in the USA is a useless exercise in false excitement. . ..."
"... There are those who post here who would have you believe that the deep state installed Trump, then attacked Trump, then all as part of some elaborate scheme had Trump attack them back. That brings us directly to this point where the deep state is now at least partially exposed. ..."
"... This was to achieve what? Increased military spending? How does that logic work? They could have arranged such spending increases with Clinton instead of Trump. It isn't like Clinton ever even hinted that military spending should be curtailed. ..."
"... The deep state has gained nothing since the 2016 elections other than more of the public's eyeballs turned in their direction and a further erosion of the public's confidence in the corporate mass media upon which the deep state /establishment depends. ..."
"... The truth is that the deep state is staggering from failure to failure. You can celebrate that this is a symptom of the empire dying, but it is a dangerous period. ..."
"... The new term I would propose is Deep World to define the elite that are transnational/trans-state and have been behind/owning organizations like the BIS (Bureau of International Settlements - the central bank of Western central banks) that has been around since 1930 ..."
"... Examine closely the growth of the National Security edifice since WWII.(Importance of 9/11 as leverage for unrestrained expansion). Examine the expanding power of the Federal Reserve since the Great Recession of 2007-2008. ..."
"... Is it a fact that State structures are, indeed, no longer controlled by constitutionally controlled democratic institutions and elected representatives? ..."
"... Throughout the 19th century in the UK and the beginning of the same century in the US, elites worried about extending suffrage to the masses, initially just universal male suffrage, later on universal suffrage to all adults, male and female. They finally realized at the beginning of the 20th century that to continue to control political institutions they only needed to control the discourse through the media (initially just newspapers, magazines and broadsides, later extended to radio, movies/cinema and TV) and motivate people's choices through fear of anarchy (by creating/tolerating incidents, controlled chaos and criminality), the enemy/other and the unknown, through the use of falsified consensus (especially effective with women) and, as a last resort, through patriotism. They would then be able to channel popular opinion in the direction they wanted. ..."
"... The elite in the so-called democracies realized early on that there is actually no need to control everyone in a country. Since the elite's control is activated chiefly through political institutions and the media, it suffices to control key influencers, i.e., politicians and media players (journalists and TV and radio news reporters and presenters), who are subject to the same severe control as all the people living under dictatorial, communist and fascist regimes. ..."
"... Politicians and journalists deviating from the Consensus (also known as the Deep State) - whatever the elite wants at a particular time - would be initially mocked as proponents of some conspiracy theory if the steps they had taken were known by the public, and if they persist in their deviance from the Consensus and are respected by the public, they are silenced. ..."
"... The deep state /establishment is not all-powerful. They can influence, not control, and they can influence only so long as the public is unaware of that influence. This is why the so-called deep state blowing its cover is a huge deal. ..."
"... But as expensive and unwieldy as the "Democracy Show" might seem to be, it is still cheaper than that option. Cheaper = more profits and more wealth and more power for the elites. They don't want to pay for a full blown police state if they don't have to. ..."
"... Because of this when the plans of the deep state /establishment fall apart they must deal with it and try to patch things up on the fly, at least so long as the cost-benefit analysis still favors the "Democracy Show" . ..."
"... But why Clinton? Because the empire has many plates spinning at the moment. Many regime change operations around the world at different levels of maturity. Many delicate moves in the works that have been planned for literally decades. The Pivot to Asia , fracturing Russia, fleecing the remains of public wealth from the former Soviet states, gaining control of China, breaking up the BRICS, reversing the move to socialism in Latin America, etc.. The Clintons have been in the thick of all of that and are fully up to speed on all of the dirty deeds being done in the dark to build the empire. At this delicate stage, more than anything else, the empire needs internal stability (chaos outside is OK, though). One wrong tweet can wreck years of work. ..."
"... Trump, on the other hand, has no clue about any of that. He still even thinks that ISIS is America's enemy rather than a mercenary army for the empire. ..."
"... If Clinton had won as expected, on the other hand, the operations in Syria and Ukraine and Venezuela and so on could have proceeded without missing a beat. While the efforts of the Syrian military, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah have been truly remarkable in containing the head choppers, a fair portion of the credit for the demise of ISIS lies with severe disruption of their logistics and command structures due to Clinton not getting installed in the White House. ..."
"... In 2016 the deep state was "conspiracy theory" ... crazy talk. That is entirely the point of the article b composed above. Everybody didn't already know about it. It was the conflict between the deep state and the President that stripped the cover from the deep state and forced the New York Langley Times to partially admit that it exists. This conflict between the deep state and the President would not have occurred had Clinton won the election as planned. ..."
"... The neoconservatives originally were a small American Trotskyites who developed an overall anti-government stance and an elitist disgust for NCL "pluralism" (vital center). It is from the neoconservatives that came the designation of the term "liberal" as anyone left-wing in the USA. They later spread to dominate the common sense of American society after the 1970s and, after the oil crisis of 1974-5 and the rise of neoliberalism as a practical political doctrine, definitely became the dominant political stance in the USA - a position it enjoys until the present times. ..."
"... But when it comes to say the CIA's attempt to control global communications, long ago testified to by John Stockwell, and more recently disclosed and broadened by Udo Ulfkotte, there are definite linkages between CIA and Intelligence Agencies and high finance, but who is in control? And how effective is the attempt? ..."
"... Is the Central Intelligence Agency a state within a state? ..."
"... Evidently the elite slowly accepted the fact and stopped complaining. They learned to stop worrying and love the bomb! ..."
"... By pure coincidence, I found out this article today which perfectly exemplifies the degeneration of the "vital center" ( American Dream is Sunk ): ..."
"... Deep State is a loose term but it always had 2 halves that are now clearly coming together as one. ..."
"... The bipartisan-pro-business (i.e. neoliberal) wing. They won their total victory under Reagan, and have simply been maintaining it. ..."
"... The US national power wing - hawks / MIC / team-usa world-police. They experienced confusion after the cold war suddenly ended, but under Bush II they had a final victory of sorts, upon 9/11. The total unconditional surrender of the Dem party to the neocon principles made this wing also clearly bipartisan ..."
"... Trump does 95% exactly what the militarists and the big business guys want, yet manages to be pretty darn convincing in playing the victim, since the outrage against him is genuine. He is also in his personality a grotesquely cartoonish distillation of exactly these qualities - greed, corruption, bellegligence. ..."
"... Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA. ..."
"... Carl Bernstein "The CIA and the Media" http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php ..."
"... The British term for the "Deep State", coined I believe by the historian AJP Taylor, is The Establishment. It includes but goes far beyond the Civil Service and military hierarchy. Haute Finance is central to it, so are the educational system and the media. Its role is to act as a gyroscope ensuring, through whatever means are necessary, that the course pursued by society is that determined by the ruling class. ..."
"... Indeed, but there is another side to my point as well. The New York Times and Washington Post must simply love the fact that Trump and his supporters (of which I can be said to be one on a very limited number of issues) have re-defined "deep state" as a much shallower and easy to root out (in theory) subset of unelected government functionaries who have allegiances to Obama and his political opponents in general. ..."
"... The over-simplification allows them to treat it as just another Trumpist conspiracy gambit designed to discredit legitimate media outlets, which themselves are all owned - to some degree - by the very interests that constitute the non-governmental elements/persons of the deep state which can and do re-enter government via the revolving door. ..."
"... You're spot-on with respect to The Donald, but I think one of the intended goals of the NYT etc. finally admitting the reality of the deep state was to discredit the notion in the minds of most "liberals" by playing it off as only a small number of "patriotic public servants" instead of the deeply rooted rot and control mechanism that it really is. ..."
"... Tulsi Gabbard is in effect saying: we have repeatedly been conned into killing and being killed. That's crazy and evil. Let's get real and get good. She's reminiscent of the truth telling child in the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale: that drooling wacko empress is butt naked! ..."
Oct 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Endorsing The Deep State Endangers Democracy

Since Donald Trump was elected president the New York Times' understanding of the 'Deep State' evolved from a total denial of its existence towards a full endorsement of its anti-democratic operations.

February 16, 2017 - As Leaks Multiply, Fears of a 'Deep State' in America

A wave of leaks from government officials has hobbled the Trump administration, leading some to draw comparisons to countries like Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan, where shadowy networks within government bureaucracies, often referred to as "deep states," undermine and coerce elected governments.

So is the United States seeing the rise of its own deep state?

Not quite, experts say, but the echoes are real -- and disturbing.

March 6, 2017 - Rumblings of a 'Deep State' Undermining Trump? It Was Once a Foreign Concept

The concept of a "deep state" -- a shadowy network of agency or military officials who secretly conspire to influence government policy -- is more often used to describe countries like Egypt, Turkey and Pakistan, where authoritarian elements band together to undercut democratically elected leaders. But inside the West Wing, Mr. Trump and his inner circle, particularly his chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, see the influence of such forces at work within the United States, essentially arguing that their own government is being undermined from within.

It is an extraordinary contention for a sitting president to make.

March 10, 2017 - What Happens When You Fight a 'Deep State' That Doesn't Exist

American institutions do not resemble the powerful deep states of countries like Egypt or Pakistan, experts say. Nor do individual leaks, a number of which have come from President Trump's own team, amount to a conspiracy.

The diagnosis of a "deep state," those experts say, has the problem backward. ... Though Mr. Trump has not publicly used the phrase , allies and sympathetic news media outlets have repurposed "deep state" from its formal meaning -- a network of civilian and military officials who control or undermine democratically elected governments -- to a pejorative meant to accuse civil servants of illegitimacy and political animus.

September 5, 2018 - I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin's spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better -- such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.

This isn't the work of the so-called deep state. It's the work of the steady state.

December 18, 2018 - Blaming the Deep State: Officials Accused of Wrongdoing Adopt Trump's Response

President Trump has long tried to explain away his legal troubles as the work of a "deep state" of Obama supporters entrenched in the law-enforcement and national-security bureaucracies who are just out to get him. Now junior officials and others accused of wrongdoing are making the case that the same purported forces are illegitimately targeting them, too.

October 6, 2019 - Italy's Connection to the Russia Investigation, Explained

President Trump and some of his allies have asserted without evidence that a cabal of American officials -- the so-called deep state -- embarked on a broad operation to thwart Mr. Trump's campaign. The conspiracy theory remains unsubstantiated , ...

October 20, 2019 - They Are Not the Resistance. They Are Not a Cabal. They Are Public Servants.

President Trump is right: The deep state is alive and well. But it is not the sinister, antidemocratic cabal of his fever dreams. It is, rather, a collection of patriotic public servants -- career diplomats, scientists, intelligence officers and others -- who, from within the bowels of this corrupt and corrupting administration, have somehow remembered that their duty is to protect the interests, not of a particular leader, but of the American people.

October 23, 2019 - Trump's War on the 'Deep State' Turns Against Him

[O]ver the last three weeks, the deep state has emerged from the shadows in the form of real live government officials, past and present, who have defied a White House attempt to block cooperation with House impeachment investigators and provided evidence that largely backs up the still-anonymous whistle-blower.

October 26, 2019 - The 'Deep State' Exists to Battle People Like Trump

The president and his allies have responded with fury. Those damning testimonials are part of a political vendetta by "Never Trumper" bureaucrats, members of a "deep state" bent on undermining the will of the people, they assert.

But what is this "deep state"? Far from being a tool of political corruption, the Civil Service was created to be an antidote to the very kind of corruption and self-dealing that seems to plague this administration.

This development is disconcerting. If the deep state is allowed to make its own policies against the will of the elected officials why should we bother with holding elections?

The Democrats are stupid to applaud this and to even further these schemes. They are likely to regain the presidency in 2024. What will they do when all the Civil Service functionaries Trump will have installed by then will organize to ruin their policies? This post assumes that the Deep State is partisan. IMO they are not. They use the duopoly and media to effect a "managed democracy". I also believe that the Deep State is remarkably united on promoting commercial interests (their version of "progressive") and the empire (slyly referred to as "world order" or "stability").


Jackrabbit , Oct 28 2019 16:13 utc | 1

This post is also accepting of what Caitlin Johnstone calls the "establishment narrative matrix" which divides us (along partisan political lines) while promoting acceptance/support for the national security state.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Jackrabbit !!

Josh , Oct 28 2019 16:40 utc | 4
We shouldn't forget that also during the Kerry years, there were times when he or the President was countered publicly by 'the deep state'. I believe there was such a time during the initial adoption of the Iran accord.

Rather than look at it purely from a partisan point of view, one has to look at the deep state as a set range of priorities that are agreed or non-negotiable throughout a large part of the unelected civil service.

Unfortunately I believe that in the US, the penchant for war, the worldview which has the US as a moral missionary, and the antipathy to socialist policies are central to this, no matter what the color of the ruling party is at the time.

Brendan , Oct 28 2019 16:43 utc | 5
The reason the NYT is acknowledging it now is that the Deep State's existence is being exposed and proven by the investigations into Russiagate. Because it's gradually becoming undeniable, the NYT feels it has no choice but to put out the message: 'Well, the Deep State isn't that bad anyway, even when it plots to overthrow the President of the USA'.
Sally Snyder , Oct 28 2019 16:48 utc | 6
Here are some fascinating comments about the state of democracy in the United States from an interview with Vladimir Putin in July 2019:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/07/vladimir-putins-observations-on.html

American democracy is pretty much a non-entity but Washington is perfectly content with the way that things exist because it works in their favor.

Lorenz , Oct 28 2019 16:52 utc | 7
Jackrabbit - I don't know where you are from, but you seem to be lacking a fundamental understanding how democracy works. b' summed it up brilliantly in one sentence: 'If the deep state is allowed to make its own policies against the will of the elected officials, why should we bother with holding elections?'

Whether we like it or not, Trump was elected as president. The American election system has established that beyond any doubt.

His policies are not uniformly accepted, but he is within his legal rights to make policy decisions. Do I like what he does? Mostly not. But I do accept that's the way democracy works, and if the majority of US voters does not like it either, January 2021 we will have a new US president.

That is how the US democracy works. That is the law of the land - or constitution as its often referred to. The deep state is an abomination and needs to be castrated.

bolasete , Oct 28 2019 16:58 utc | 8
kudos for your cogent, compelling presentation to pin blame where it belongs. It's hard to like Trump but his enemies are so wacky and dishonest, he may survive these death throes of empire.
james , Oct 28 2019 16:59 utc | 9
thanks b... it seems that the nyt would like to define what the deep state is = civil service.. talking about this is helpful as i see it, although the nyt is trying to cover its ass as i see it..

I mostly think of the deep state as the cia.. If members within the cia become partisan it is no longer fulfilling the role of the civil service... If the nyt wants to claim it is just doing it's job, how do they explain the Mueller investigation then? they can't have it both ways...

GMJ , Oct 28 2019 17:03 utc | 10
Since the 1990s the US Intelligence Services (NATO also) went liberal in outlook and recruitment drives. They opened their doors wide for those considered undesirable in the past. The best men and women left, the mediocre gained command and this is the result. However, they are not to be underestimated. At smearing an elected president they are quite good. Sadly so, GMJ
Likklemore , Oct 28 2019 17:09 utc | 11
Thanks b.

You asked:[.] "why should we bother holding elections?"

In "western democracies" SElections are the great pretend events held every 4-5 years. Take the day off and forget the trip to the 'Voting' Booth.

See the EU-UK Brexit saga. In 2014 GEAB.eu had forecast that in 2016 the U.S. would become ungovernable.

Russiagate, Ukrainegate are distractions as the USD$ is by-passed added to the imploding debt.

Jackrabbit , Oct 28 2019 17:10 utc | 12
Lorenz @9

I'm not a political partisan. I'm interested in democracy/governance, history, international affairs.

I agree with b's comment: "... why should we bother with holding elections?" But IMO the rot is deeper than he believes.

Jackrabbit !!

Joshua , Oct 28 2019 17:22 utc | 13
To the money people and the power people behind the institution that we refer to as our government, the entire govermental structure is a bit like a piece of property. They let it slip out when they say things like, 'our democracy', or 'our society'. They say it like they would say 'our chevy', or 'our ford'.
Arthur , Oct 28 2019 17:22 utc | 14
The Deep State has little to nothing to do with "rule of law." It is simply the law of the jungle: might makes right, exercised behind the scenes by the true power brokers and their minions. It is not partisan. It does use both parties to put on a show to distract the people while owning and using major parts of both.

It is they who have us in Syria now to steal Syria's oil. It is they who were enraged that Trump, an outsider, won the election contrary to all expectations and predictions. It is they who control most of the media. They are not the friends of the American people; in fact, they are our mortal enemies.

They have hijacked our government and our foreign policy, which they operate largely for their own interests and not in the true interests of the American people.

They use the media to sell us on what they are doing, appealing to our pride, our patriotism, the project of spreading peace, prosperity, democracy, and freedom to the world, the project of promoting human rights, the project of prosperity--whatever works to convince us that we should be in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Kosovo, and in hundreds of military bases around the world. They equally exploit left and right; thus dividing us, they conquer.

Norwegian , Oct 28 2019 17:23 utc | 15
If the deep state is allowed to make its own policies against the will of the elected officials why should we bother with holding elections?
"We" don't hold elections. The elections are required to buy the deep state legitimacy to do its thing.
dan of steele , Oct 28 2019 17:24 utc | 16
not sure why I still watch Bill Maher's show but this last weekend's Real Time had an absolutely jaw dropping moment for me. It started out with him having a former CIA agent as one of his guests (he even gushed over Brennan a few months back) and he then made a few stupid remarks about the Russians done it but the cherry on the whipped cream was when he referred to "the deep state heroes".

WTF?

foolisholdman , Oct 28 2019 17:25 utc | 17
Richard | Oct 28 2019 16:30 utc | 4
Yes, indeed, the 'Deep State' is there and of course the NYT is happy to write nice things about it, because it exists to support the same thing the NYT exists to support - 'government of the millionaires, by the millionaires, for the millionaires'!...

https://richardhennerley.com/2019/10/27/a-government-of-the-millionaires-by-the-millionaires-for-the-millionaires/

I think you are undoubtedly right!

My understanding for the last 70 years has been (more or less) that the Privy Council in the UK and a similar shadowy body in the US, for which I had no name until recently, was running the country's affairs practically independently of any elected representatives or bodies. Yes, PMs and Presidents had some influence, but not anything like as much as we, the hoi poloi, were led to believe.

snake , Oct 28 2019 17:43 utc | 18

https://friendsforsyria.com/2019/10/28/u-s-is-looting-syrian-oil-fields-to-fund-mercenaries-and-intelligence-operations

'If the deep state is allowed to make its own policies against the will of the elected officials, why should we bother with holding elections?'

Whether we like it or not, Trump was elected as president. .., and if the majority of US voters does not like it either, January 2021 we will have a new US president. That is how the US democracy works. That is the law of the land - or constitution as its often referred to. The deep state is an abomination and needs to be castrated. by: Lorenz @ 9

Lorenz suggest you read Article II of the Constitution you quote.. American voters c/n vote for the President or the Vice President. Americans qualified to vote in general elections cannot vote for the persons to occupy either of the two Article II places in the USA (President and VP).

The P and VP areappointed not elected by the ordinary governed qualified to vote Americans (those Americans are allowed each only three votes: 2 votes out of 100 jobs for a Senator from their state, and 1 vote for 1 job about 425 jobs in the House? Read it. The two persons are elected by the electoral college, so there is no voice of the governed people in the presidential election, now, last year, or ever.

More over even if there were, the people have no reasonable input because of road blocks the republic has established as to who is allowed to be a candidate for such an election, and because of the mass amount of money the establishment charges for the ticket to be a viable candidate so as far as the non able to vote for President-voters are concerned, its select the candidate in the top coat or the one with blue suede shoes.. might as well be select Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck.

The history of candidates is that they have not keep any of the campaign promises and there is little the electorate can do about it. Voting by Americans to fill jobs in the USA is a useless exercise in false excitement. .

America is a democracy, but the USA is a republic.

vk , Oct 28 2019 17:53 utc | 20
NYT's position over the deep state is perfectly in tune with the doctrine of the "vital center". Published in 1947, Schlesinger Jr.'s magnus opus is valid until our times, and serves as essentially the centrist/moderate manifesto.

The theory of the "vital center" states that what differentiates liberal democracy from "totalitarianism" is the fact that it enjoys a pulsating political core, made of many different ideologies that go from Left to Right (the "political spectrum") and which dispute the power of the government through periodical elections in a peaceful manner. This way, the ideology that is not in vogue today can emerge victorious tomorrow, given that it brings the answers to new problems the incumbent ideology couldn't solve. This "non-extermination" pact, where the victorious ideology spares the defeated ideologies, would give the liberal democracies - Schlesinger assumed - an internal dynamism the USSR didn't have.

The existence of a society with a political spectrum characterized the existence of "freedom". Indeed, that's the practical definition of freedom most people in the First World countries use nowadays. Other times, the old French Revolution (bourgeois) mean of "freedom to do business" (freedom of enterprise) is used - but that's more of a neoconservative usage.

The "vital center" doctrine is also the root of what we nowadays call "pluralism", and what the "far-right" defines today, perjoratively, as "multiculturalism" and/or "Cultural Marxism". The conservatives, it's good to note, never lost sight of the origins of the Western modern "center-left": most of them were ex-communists. They never accepted the people who commanded the CIA in the cultural front as legitimate liberals and always considered even the center-left another form of communism.

But there's a catch to Schlesinger Jr.'s doctrine. He stated the political spectrum should never be representative of all the ideologies possible, but of all the ideologies acceptable . And what was "acceptable"? Only the non-totalitarian ideologies. What are those "non-totalitarian ideologies"? The ideologies that promote/respect freedom. But "freedom" is the existence of the political spectrum, it's a circular argument: in practice, he's using a rhetoric that promotes the liberal ideologies as natural and the "totalitarian" ideologies as "unnatural". Indeed, that's the terminology he uses: "totalitarianism" is a "disease".

Here's the part that is related to this blog's post : what if the people, democratically (i.e. under a free society), elects (freely), a "totalitarian" government?

Schlesinger Jr. doesn't answer this question, although he raises it in his book. The only thing he states is that economic prosperity is key: as long as there's good economy, an society of abundance, the people will "naturally" vote for pro-freedom governments. If that didn't happen, then he stated the elite should feel free to use whatever means necessary to crush the elected "totalitarian" government and all the popular uprising that appeared.

According to him, this was legitimate, since the elite was enlightened and knew better what was the best for the people; and/or that it was fruit of Soviet covert operations . This is where the sophistication of his argument becomes apparent: liberal democracies are not perfect, they are not 100% free (but they are free to some extent), they are fragile -- but they were better than Soviet communism (where there was 0% freedom) and thus should be protected at any cost. If we think about it, this is literally the concept of deep state.

If we analyze Schlesinger Jr.'s doctrine, we can clearly see that the newer generations which succeeded his are perfectly following the guidelines as established in the post-war. The millenials are not degenerate, as the remaining boomers and gen. X people are stating: they are carrying the post-war torch with care and zeal. The deep state has always existed in liberal democracies: they were just hidden in plain sight, in the form of a collection of powerful public servants, experts, rich people, and parallel institutions that have always influenced whoever was the POTUS. They influence the POTUS one way or the other, since the USG is simply too big and too complex for just one person to manage.

Let's just remember: there was a plan to assassinate FDR in 1934 (botched because one of the general who was supposed to lead the militia invasion refused to be coopted and blew the whistle) and Kennedy was assassinated under Lyndon B. Johnson's orders. It's not a matter of the existence or not of a deep state, but at what degree the POTUS will obey it, and what price he is willing to pay.

William Gruff , Oct 28 2019 18:03 utc | 22
There are those who post here who would have you believe that the deep state installed Trump, then attacked Trump, then all as part of some elaborate scheme had Trump attack them back. That brings us directly to this point where the deep state is now at least partially exposed.

This was to achieve what? Increased military spending? How does that logic work? They could have arranged such spending increases with Clinton instead of Trump. It isn't like Clinton ever even hinted that military spending should be curtailed.

But no, the imperial FUDster wants you to believe that deep state /establishment/CIA deliberately blew a big chunk of their cover for what boils down to no reason whatsoever. The deep state has gained nothing since the 2016 elections other than more of the public's eyeballs turned in their direction and a further erosion of the public's confidence in the corporate mass media upon which the deep state /establishment depends.

Nonsense.

The truth is that the deep state is staggering from failure to failure. You can celebrate that this is a symptom of the empire dying, but it is a dangerous period.

psychohistorian , Oct 28 2019 18:05 utc | 23
If Deep State is defined as the career bureaucrats/military of a specific nation then let me define a new term that maybe Trump represents (because it sure as hell is not the masses/global commons).

The new term I would propose is Deep World to define the elite that are transnational/trans-state and have been behind/owning organizations like the BIS (Bureau of International Settlements - the central bank of Western central banks) that has been around since 1930

And I would agree with Richard | Oct 28 2019 16:30 utc | 4 and foolisholdman | Oct 28 2019 17:25 utc | 17 about this but would say that instead of millionaires, the Deep World folks are trillionaires....and they are in the process of culling the rabble millionaires.

I would conclude by noting that to the extent the Deep World have the masses focusing on the Deep State, they continue to succeed in maintaining their control of the levers of Western governments behind the curtain.

Robert Snefjella , Oct 28 2019 18:10 utc | 24
The word democracy means the sovereignty of the many; a fairly common historical circumstance when it comes to small matters and small places, but rare on the larger level. Classical Athens came close for a while; occasional national referendums that are retrospectively actually respected are occasional forays into democratic political procedure. Also on occasion, people rebel en masse, with popular support, and overthrow the regime in power, and thus in effect exercise an active temporary democratic procedure. People can also en masse refuse to cooperate - passive resistance. This too if effective and broadly supported is a democratic procedure.

In general terms the democratic idea rests largely on the belief that the broad public interest is best served by broad public sovereignty. And the constant references to democracy by oligarchic or narrow political power are indications that such power seeks to gain the appearance of legitimacy by cloaking themselves in the terminology of democracy.

A voting procedure in which honest and full discourse based on good information underlies the political choosing, and with fair play broadly predominating, can be described as a democratic process. But this is a rare accomplishment. But even in such a case, the result has for long typically been a so-called representative government which will be contaminated by, a secret servant to, or overtly predominantly representative of, oligarchic interests, corporate interests, transnational financial power, military related interests, and secretive networks and organizations.

The 'deep state' meme has been of benefit in serving as shorthand for and drawing more public attention to the fact of hidden sovereign or decisive power, or hidden power that attempts to exercise in effect sovereign power.

But it also becomes a 'lazy man's load', by loading up two words with too much baggage.

So, for example, pertaining to the United States, there is the Bilderberger and associated transnational power and influence wielding network; there is the military complex and empire and its associated corporate network; there is the federal bureaucracy; there are the many secret 'police' agencies; there is the propaganda/mind control system complex; there is the private internationally influential financial system; there are the bought or blackmailed/compromised politicians. This is a partial list and all these systems intersect, with stresses and strains, and together form a System of of in effect sovereign power.

It is the case that in every direction in the incomplete list just given, there is at best illegitimate power being wielded, and at worst the most horrific of crimes: wars of aggression. Somewhere in between are indigenous outrages like 9/11 or Oklahoma City or the JFK coup d'etat.

One hallmark of the hidden power is its 'above the law' status; its basic impulse is totalitarian.

Trump to some extent represents a hail Mary impulse in the American people to throw a monkey wrench into this deeply pathological trajectory that the United States has gone on. When he speaks at the UN about the future as belonging to patriots not globalists, or when he refers to draining the swamp, whatever level of sincerity or insincerity his words represent, they more or less represent the wishes of millions of Americans who know they've lost their country and want it back.

James Kulk , Oct 28 2019 18:13 utc | 25
A few important things to consider when discussing and doing an analysis of Deep State politics:

(1) The State is never a single actor with a unitary interest, rationale or capacity (factions must be identified as well as the policy stance of these same factions).

(2) All State functions have evolved historically (analyze closely the evolution of Central Banks, Intelligence Agencies and their relationships with private sector power-for example linkages between Silicon Valley and intelligence, the Federal Reserve and private banking and finance).

(3)Look closely at the supposed oversight capacities of elected officials. Are there really checks and balances presently in place? (Select committees of intelligence etc.)

(4) Study in detail how the different factions of the State structure are actually financed. Does the present National Security State have any funding constraints? Do elements of the bureaucracy in co-ordination with Congress simply budget expenditures and then go ahead and spend the money?

(5) Examine closely the growth of the National Security edifice since WWII.(Importance of 9/11 as leverage for unrestrained expansion). Examine the expanding power of the Federal Reserve since the Great Recession of 2007-2008.

(6) Is it a fact that State structures are, indeed, no longer controlled by constitutionally controlled democratic institutions and elected representatives?

arby , Oct 28 2019 18:17 utc | 26
Frank Zappa around 1986-- "Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex."

Elections fit right into that entertainment division./

vk , Oct 28 2019 18:19 utc | 27
@ Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Oct 28 2019 18:10 utc | 24

Athens wasn't democratic in the sense we have today. In Athens, only the people could vote, but the people were only the adult men citizens (the rest were slaves, women and non-citizen residents).

And, according to the post-war liberal doctrine, the deep state isn't "totalitarian", because "totalitarianism" presupposes the acceptance of only one ideology. According to the fathers of the post-war West, the deep state is there to protect a confederation of ideologies, which make the entire "political spectrum" of a liberal society. It would be legitimate for the deep state to try to topple Trump because they deem him as outside this political spectrum - in this case, the "far-right" (i.e. he went so far to the right end of the spectrum he "fell out" of it). But it wouldn't be legitimate for them to topple, e.g. Obama and W. Bush.

That's why censorship in the Western Democracies happen under the form of the "politically correct culture" ("PC Culture"). Western democracy is still authoritarian, the only difference being they are, allegedly (they propagandize as such), more flexible and tolerant with the exercise of their authority.

Tannenhouser , Oct 28 2019 18:22 utc | 28
@Gruff. So the 'deep state' just ignored the reality of the Electoral College? Seems to me the best way to install the candidate of choice would be to control this. IMO Trump is not from outside of the deep state but their preferred candidate, otherwise the EC would not have installed him. The rest is just smoke and mirrors and matters not as you either see it for what it is or hate Trump because......Trump. Anything that gets accomplished these days benefits they anyways. It matters not if the Deep state is being exposed as you say because Everybody knows already and because Polarisation. TDS is real. There are the most social minded caring people who would murder thousands just to see him burn......because..... Trump. It's a truly VIRAL MEME.
ADKC , Oct 28 2019 18:23 utc | 29
A few months ago Trump talked about 're-opening the old mental health institutions. Now Barr introduces
ben , Oct 28 2019 18:27 utc | 30
This isn't rocket science folks. The so-called "deep state" is nothing more than it ever was, a cabal of very wealthy individuals with enough $ to purchase enough "elected" individuals to change the rules of the game in their favor.

This has been going on throughout human history, and the goal is to subvert democracy so the wealthy can control the game of life, which we're all involved in.

In this day and age, here in America, it is reaching it's Zenith, behind a new corporate capitalism, fostered by monopolies, and moving around the globe.

Buy enough politicians, change the rules, win the game.

BM , Oct 28 2019 18:34 utc | 32
I'm not a political partisan. I'm interested in democracy/governance, history, international affairs. Posted by: jrabbit-troll/donkey-troll | Oct 28 2019 17:10 utc | 14

So claims an operator who is clearly paid by Deep State interests to confuse and obfuscate and waste precious MoA space with their repetitive and verbose idiocy. Is this the best you can find, Deep State? Pay is too stingy, probably.

ben , Oct 28 2019 18:37 utc | 33
P.S. IMO, these "deep staters" aren't undermining DJT they're assisting him. They've never had a more willing servant than DJT, by him devolving govt., it takes away the only force powerful enough to challenge the anti-democratic forces at work today in the U$A.

DJT is all theater, all the time. "Distracter in Chief", is his real title.

PavewayIV , Oct 28 2019 18:41 utc | 34
Since Donald Trump was elected president the New York Times' understanding of the 'Deep State' evolved from a total denial of its existence towards a full endorsement of its anti-democratic operations.

NYT discovers Deep State. Precious...

If your treasonous machinations against the will of the people are exposed, then 1) point the finger at someone (or something) else, 2) demonize that 'common' enemy, 3) proclaim your honorable and heroic fight against this threat, and 4) recruit the little people - they work for YOU. That's why they exist.

Once the little people identify with your side, they are unlikely to reconsider the enemy you pointed out. You're off the hook no matter how damning the evidence against you or preposterous the evidence is against the enemy.

It's also necessary to keep it simple for the little people's tiny simian brains. Make sure you shout the loudest and repeat the most frequently about your preferred 'enemy' to overcome the voice of anyone pointing back at you (especially) or pointing at some other enemy (dilutes your intended narrative). Remember, all the other psychopaths will be doing the same thing at the same time. Amplification through the MSM is most helpful.

Anyone that tells you there is one common identifiable US Deep State is your real enemy.

Robert Snefjella , Oct 28 2019 19:05 utc | 41
@ vk | Oct 28 2019 18:19 utc | 27

The word totalitarian can be quibbled over; I used it with in mind not just the global ambitions/impulses that lie behind say "full spectrum domination" as American military policy, or Professor Quigley's disclosure of international private banking's ambition to set up an in effect system of hidden global control above politics, or the extreme effort that has been made to set up a global surveillance capacity that seems to have the ambition of capturing say the private moments of 'dignataries' and dissidents around the planet, or Google's ambitions/reach, or the the Rockefeller 'competition is a sin' approach.

I'm also thinking of phenomenon such as say the 'deep state' murder of Sweden's Prime Minister Olaf Palme in 1986, or the killing of RFK by not Sirhan Sirhan, and the capacity and staying power of "the System' to maintain a public facade/false 'official' narrative pertaining to those and countless other criminal 'events' over generations.

If not precisely totalitarian, maybe 'extremely arrogant control freaks'?

Bobzibub , Oct 28 2019 19:09 utc | 42
Deep state or ordinary bureaucratic sclerosis, aka rule by committee?

For example, the awkward outcome wrt troops hijacking Syrian oil. It is not a practical solution for any US party--if there's a deep state, they're unhappy about it too. But there are also a slew of other vested interests to take into account with any decision process. Too many cooks does not imply a common unified entity. It is typically a lack of a clearly elucidated and fleshed out vision/agenda allowing wiggle room for all sorts of things. I could imagine that "getting out of Syria" or "getting out of Iraq" would fit.

Perhaps we need to simply lower our expectations.

Don Bacon , Oct 28 2019 19:23 utc | 44
Deep state derives from a natural human tendency. Those that have it (assets) believe that they have a right to keep it and get more of it, and so they do whatever is in their power (which is a lot) to exercise that "right." The US government is a good model for it, with its world "rules-based" malignancy, so people can draw from that example. And then add to that that the US has its caste system which is seldom mentioned, sort of like India.
Albertde , Oct 28 2019 19:43 utc | 46
The Elite and the Consensus

Throughout the 19th century in the UK and the beginning of the same century in the US, elites worried about extending suffrage to the masses, initially just universal male suffrage, later on universal suffrage to all adults, male and female. They finally realized at the beginning of the 20th century that to continue to control political institutions they only needed to control the discourse through the media (initially just newspapers, magazines and broadsides, later extended to radio, movies/cinema and TV) and motivate people's choices through fear of anarchy (by creating/tolerating incidents, controlled chaos and criminality), the enemy/other and the unknown, through the use of falsified consensus (especially effective with women) and, as a last resort, through patriotism. They would then be able to channel popular opinion in the direction they wanted.

Under dictatorial, communist and fascist regimes, the opinion of all residents is tightly controlled and no deviations are tolerated, either publicly or in a family setting (children being encouraged to report on parents). People expressing deviant opinions are silenced by imprisonment or if they are considered dangerous enough, accused of some "crime" and killed ("executed"). The result is that when the disparity between the reality people witness and the reports they see in the controlled media becomes too great, these regimes would weaken since the only tool for control would be visible fear and people would be prone to apathy.

The elite in the so-called democracies realized early on that there is actually no need to control everyone in a country. Since the elite's control is activated chiefly through political institutions and the media, it suffices to control key influencers, i.e., politicians and media players (journalists and TV and radio news reporters and presenters), who are subject to the same severe control as all the people living under dictatorial, communist and fascist regimes.

Politicians and journalists deviating from the Consensus (also known as the Deep State) - whatever the elite wants at a particular time - would be initially mocked as proponents of some conspiracy theory if the steps they had taken were known by the public, and if they persist in their deviance from the Consensus and are respected by the public, they are silenced.

The means of silencing depends on what the elite need in a given situation. If they feel the need to convey a message ("don't deviate"), the target is publicly assassinated. If they want to eliminate someone who appears to be lovable such as a famous woman, then a discrete plane accident or poison administered after some otherwise non-lethal accident does the trick.

If the influencer appears to be someone of questionable health, a fatal heart attack or cancer could be induced. In some situations, especially after a number of assassinations, "accidents", cancers or heart attacks had already occurred to remove deviant influencers, the elite may decide it might be too dangerous and too suspicious to continue to physically eliminate deviant influencers so, as a last resort, they only place these deviant influencers in situations where they are forced to resign/abandon the position that bestowed influence and thus removed from the public eye.

William Gruff , Oct 28 2019 19:48 utc | 47
Tannenhouser @28

The deep state /establishment is not all-powerful. They can influence, not control, and they can influence only so long as the public is unaware of that influence. This is why the so-called deep state blowing its cover is a huge deal.

The so-called deep state exists to protect and represent the interests of big business and the rich and powerful. It makes sure that the rest of the state continues to look out for the wealthy. This layer of society can most certainly just dispense with the whole "Democracy Show" and install a CEO for the country instead of going through the election motions. But as expensive and unwieldy as the "Democracy Show" might seem to be, it is still cheaper than that option. Cheaper = more profits and more wealth and more power for the elites. They don't want to pay for a full blown police state if they don't have to.

Because of this when the plans of the deep state /establishment fall apart they must deal with it and try to patch things up on the fly, at least so long as the cost-benefit analysis still favors the "Democracy Show" .

Trump was certainly part of the plans of the deep state /establishment, but only as a foil to help make Clinton look good in comparison. Unfortunately for them, the deep state /establishment is so far out of touch with the concerns of common Americans that they don't know how to make Clinton look good to them.

But why Clinton? Because the empire has many plates spinning at the moment. Many regime change operations around the world at different levels of maturity. Many delicate moves in the works that have been planned for literally decades. The Pivot to Asia , fracturing Russia, fleecing the remains of public wealth from the former Soviet states, gaining control of China, breaking up the BRICS, reversing the move to socialism in Latin America, etc.. The Clintons have been in the thick of all of that and are fully up to speed on all of the dirty deeds being done in the dark to build the empire. At this delicate stage, more than anything else, the empire needs internal stability (chaos outside is OK, though). One wrong tweet can wreck years of work.

Trump, on the other hand, has no clue about any of that. He still even thinks that ISIS is America's enemy rather than a mercenary army for the empire. This means that the CIA has not, even to this day, bothered to brief Trump on what they are really up to. That appears to be the consequence of some organizational pettiness and petulance within the CIA, blaming Trump personally for their plan's failure.

If Clinton had won as expected, on the other hand, the operations in Syria and Ukraine and Venezuela and so on could have proceeded without missing a beat. While the efforts of the Syrian military, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah have been truly remarkable in containing the head choppers, a fair portion of the credit for the demise of ISIS lies with severe disruption of their logistics and command structures due to Clinton not getting installed in the White House.

In 2016 the deep state was "conspiracy theory" ... crazy talk. That is entirely the point of the article b composed above. Everybody didn't already know about it. It was the conflict between the deep state and the President that stripped the cover from the deep state and forced the New York Langley Times to partially admit that it exists. This conflict between the deep state and the President would not have occurred had Clinton won the election as planned.

jayc , Oct 28 2019 19:50 utc | 48
A few weeks ago one of the regular CounterPunch scribes posted a direct plea to the US alphabet agencies to use any method, fair or foul, to ensure the rapid removal of Trump as President. The author went on to claim that anyone who does not support this effort, or who might depict Trump's administration as anything less than a full blown crisis demanding immediate measures, was deserving complete excommunication from American civil life.

The author did note the alphabet agencies had a pockmarked record when it came to respecting democratic institutions, but claimed that "the left" would keep them in check following Trump's removal and that there would be no long-term consequence to such a approved precedence.

That is bat-shit crazy talk, but the left/liberal wing has become so completely unhinged by Trump's victory that they will endorse anything should it mean his immediate exit from their consciousness. That their absolutist logic - Trump is a national emergency which requires immediate measures - doesn't hold up, and is fanned by emotive exaggeration, cannot be explained to them. They insist on their position.

psychohistorian , Oct 28 2019 19:54 utc | 49
Why all this focus on Deep State?

Let me pose a question. Do any of the Deep State folks own organizations like the BIS (Bureau of International Settlements - the central bank of Western central banks) that has been around since 1930?

If not, then why all the hysteria?

If so, then who are they?

lysias , Oct 28 2019 20:01 utc | 50
The people who own the Bank of International Settlements also own the Deep State.
uncle tungsten , Oct 28 2019 20:04 utc | 51
lysius #37

Thank you, Alexander Daniluk is the man. Standing over the Ukranian Presidents shoulder dripping poison in his ear. I will be interested to see his future career unfold.

Now Daniluk is a true deep stater and has now been Gulianied if I can use that term. Schiff has worked so hard to exploit him and now hide him from the Trump juggernaught and failed again.

Don Bacon #44

Your reference to the broken caste system is perfect.

lysias , Oct 28 2019 20:05 utc | 52
Who are they? Lord Rothschild is one obvious candidate.
psychohistorian , Oct 28 2019 20:07 utc | 53
@ lysias who wrote " The people who own the Bank of International Settlements also own the Deep State. " I agree and continue to be frustrated by the misdirected energy and ongoing obfuscation of the structural problem of the Western social contract.....those that control finance, control the social narrative.

Left and Right are Pluto's Cave Display creations....there is only Top and Bottom.

lysias , Oct 28 2019 20:11 utc | 55
The Cold War Western so-called democracies allowed a much broader range of thought then than they do now. If they weren't totalitarian then, they are well on the road to becoming it now.
vk , Oct 28 2019 20:15 utc | 56
@ Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Oct 28 2019 19:05 utc | 41

The origin of the term "totalitarianism" (adjective: "totalitarian") is uncertain, but it is almost certain it was popularized through a magazine called "The New Leader", which begun circulating in the USA (East Coast, mainly New York) in the 1920s and continued to be so until the 1950s. This magazine was created mainly by Menshevik refugees (the losers of the 1917 Revolution). It was edited, at its apex, by the infamous Sol Levitas (a OSS/CIA asset).

The magazine claimed to publish articles portraying the cruel realities of the Soviet Union and it is now known that its contents are pure propaganda. Those refugees told incredible stories a la those told nowadays by those North Korean refugees (see the posts in this blog about North Korea's famous "ressurections").

But this, in itself, is irrelevant, because the definition of the term people use nowadays is the one publicized by the CIA crew, that is, Hannah Arendt and co.

According to their definition, totalitarianism is a society which accepts only one ideology. In their minds, that's what the USSR was. But, in reality, what they did was to refurbish the term to try to create a narrative where - in the context of the bipolarity globe of the Cold War - the Western elites could paint the picture not as "red vs blue" or "the pot calling the kettle black", but as good vs evil, natural vs unnatural, freedom vs slavery.

Keep in mind that this operation happened essentially in a time span of three years (1947-1951), and that they were operating in a context of creation of a center-left (Non-Communist Left, NCL in the CIA designation). They were not conservatives, but identified themselves as moderates, some even as socialists (democratic socialists, from where Bernie Sanders borrowed the definition). They lived in a world without the threat of the far-right, in the world of the "keynesian consensus".

But the problem the NCL immediately faced with their "anti-totalitarian" propaganda was that Stalin unexpectedly died in 1953. After his death, Krushchev begun the process of "De-stalinization": well, if the USSR really was "totalitarian", that shouldn't happen. To make things even worse, Krushchev made a speech at the UN calling for "peaceful competition" and, some years later (1969), broke ties with another communist nation, China. Those events eroded the NCL's totalitarism thesis, since there was clearly a "vital center" in the USSR.

Not by coincidence, the end of the 1950s and, specially, the second half of the 1960s, marked the era of the rise of the so-called "neoconservatives" and the decline of the NCL. The neoconservatives originally were a small American Trotskyites who developed an overall anti-government stance and an elitist disgust for NCL "pluralism" (vital center). It is from the neoconservatives that came the designation of the term "liberal" as anyone left-wing in the USA. They later spread to dominate the common sense of American society after the 1970s and, after the oil crisis of 1974-5 and the rise of neoliberalism as a practical political doctrine, definitely became the dominant political stance in the USA - a position it enjoys until the present times.

winston2 , Oct 28 2019 20:19 utc | 57
The deep state is much more than the civil service, and was inherited from the British along with common law. It has its own schools and colleges, not quite as obvious as in Britain, but there anyway. We were taught the real history of events, not the pablum fed to the serfs at my school, a perfect example of that system,in the UK.

Prime ministers, ministers, MPs.Bankers, Lord Mayors of London,Judges and the top echelon of the civil service graduated its doors over the last seven centuries, nine really but with a century off while the Black Death ravaged the population. In the words of George Carlin:Its a big club and you are not in it.

You gravely underestimate its power, it is the Establishment, not part, all of it. It has factions, but it is united in keeping control, and its damn good at that.

uncle tungsten , Oct 28 2019 20:27 utc | 58
ADKC #31

That is seriously bad news from Whitney Webb. With the CLOUD Act the USA 'law enforcement' will exercise global circumvention of all civil rights in any court. I would like to see all State Department staff tested to see if their support for regime change is potentially a violent intention.

karlof1 , Oct 28 2019 20:28 utc | 59
All regular barflies know I term the "Deep State" as the Current Oligarchy, and I've presented my reasoning why that's so; and I don't intend to reiterate. Instead, I'll provide some links to previous actions taken by the contemporaneous Current Oligarchy. First and most recent is Escobar's sarcastic pessimism over what he describes as a Netflix coming attraction and--as I nod my head in agreement--concludes:

"The 'died as a dog' movie can also be interpreted as the liquidation of a formerly useful asset that was a valued component of the gift that keeps on giving, the never-ending Global War on Terror. Other scarecrows, and other movies, await."

Next the overall scope of the situation must be enlarged to the entire planet, which has provided the actual stage for Current Oligarchy action since its rise to modern prominence during WW2 and significantly at its end as it worked hard to define the post-war world and mold it to its benefit. The next two pieces are by the same writer, the first describing the great importance of what I pointed to last week--the initial Russia-Africa Summit--and providing the following essential background:

"It is no secret that just as China began outpacing the Americans in African investment in 2007. Rather than acting intelligently to increase genuine infrastructure funding as the Chinese had done, the US Deep State not only continued its outdated debt-slavery practices, but created AFRICOM as a military arm across the continent. Ironically AFRICOM's presence coincided with a doubling of militant Islamist activities since 2010 with 24 groups now identified (up from only 5 in 2010) and a 960% increase in violent attacks from 2009-2018. Just as western lending has caused a pandemic of slavery, so too has western security forces only spread mass insecurity.

"The fact is that the neo cons infesting the Military Industrial Complex have openly identified both countries as co-equal enemies to the USA and understand that this alliance represents an existential threat to their hegemony. Speaking at the Heritage Foundation last year, former National Security Advisor John Bolton said (without blushing): ' The predatory practices pursued by China and Russia stunt economic growth in Africa; threaten the financial independence of African Nations; inhibit opportunities for US investment and pose a threat to US national security interests .'" [Emphasis Original]

Two paragraphs prior, the author referenced a previous essay of his to provide the background to why events have gone in a particular direction since 1945. To do so, most readers would get their first introduction to FDR's Veep, Henry Wallace whose role during much of WW2 was to continually enunciate on FDR's 4 Freedoms and how they'd produce the Century of the Common Man at the war's conclusion, which was diametrically opposed to the Current Oligarchy's vision embodied in Henry Luce's Amercian Century :

"While some commentators are trying to spin this emerging re-orientation in global affairs as a mere 'trick to get re-elected', the reality goes much deeper than many realize, as Trump is merely tapping into an American strategy which was firmly established during the 1941-1944 presidential term of America's President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his loyal collaborator Henry A. Wallace who had planned a grand design for a US-Russia-China New world order founded upon principles enshrined in the Atlantic Charter and enunciated in his 1942 'Century of the Common Man' speech [Link at Original]."

I could cite much more from that essay, but I encourage barflies to read it. I often allude to the path not taken and cite the internal coup that denied Wallace becoming FDR's Veep in the 1944 election, which would have made him POTUS in late April 1945, and have made that turn one of history's most important What Ifs? For those following closely, there are many parallels of today's events with those of 70-75 years ago that demonstrate the circular and linear nature of history. That brings us to our fourth item wherein we see a member of the Current Oligarchy revive those long hidden skeletons that now form the major focal point of its attempt to remain relevant:

"This bipartisan Russophobia can be traced back decades to the Red Scare paranoia of the Cold War and McCarthyite persecution during the 1950s of suspected Soviet sympathizers in Washington and Hollywood. But for the past three years, since the 2016 election, the Cold War has been crazily enlivened with the 'Russiagate scandal' of alleged interference in American political affairs by Moscow. It was the Clinton campaign, establishment media and her intelligence agency supporters that launched that canard against Trump."

Current holistic thinking and observing combined with enough prior knowledge not only proves the past and present existence of the Current Oligarchy; it shows us how it's relying on its previous success to bail itself out of its present predicament--Trump's policies have destabilized it thanks to its own internal factionalism while it's again threaten by the specter of what I'll call the Revenge of the Common Man, having been deprived of the fruits of its labors and sacrifices that began 80+ years ago through the vehicle of Sanders humanism and Gabbard's patriotic revelations of truth.

lysias , Oct 28 2019 20:29 utc | 60
Wasn't neoliberalism thoroughly discredited by the economic crisis of 2007-9?
DannyC , Oct 28 2019 20:33 utc | 61
you'd be assuming that they're partisan. The Deep State couldn't care less what party is in power, as long as the business of never ending wars, resource plundering and insane budgets stay in place.
Robert Snefjella , Oct 28 2019 20:35 utc | 62
Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 28 2019 20:07 utc | 53.

"those that control finance, control the social narrative."

Zero Hedge recently featured a piece in which a 'luminary' declared "These central bankers are clueless..." Maybe it's now more like riding a whale, rather than controlling it?

And the control of the social narrative has certainly been attempted. And until the Internet, considerable influence and some extremely effective taboos were in place for generations. But not long ago the 'faith' of the US public in their mass media was shown to have plummeted from roughly half a generation ago to roughly a quarter now. Now whether the collapse of US adoration of mass media is a global phenomenon I don't know. But "control" of the social narrative by financial controllers is more problematic today.

But when it comes to say the CIA's attempt to control global communications, long ago testified to by John Stockwell, and more recently disclosed and broadened by Udo Ulfkotte, there are definite linkages between CIA and Intelligence Agencies and high finance, but who is in control? And how effective is the attempt?

Or when the US military and British Military for example devote large resources to 'the right message', or when massive corporations hire professional slick liars - Public Relations - to spin their message, is this high finance in control? To some extent there is interlinkage, but again: is there a financial supreme Wizard of Oz or is it much more complex?

Seth_Rich , Oct 28 2019 20:40 utc | 63
Surprised nobody has mentioned this. The Trump crowd has skewed the original meaning of "deep state" to their advantage. The functionaries described by "b" in today's post don't really scratch the surface of the deep state.

At the same time, the NYT and establishment media are taking advantage of this re-definition to hide the real one, as b's article should state.

Seth_Rich , Oct 28 2019 20:45 utc | 64
The money-shot from the above linked article:
For Lofgren, "Deep State" was an apt phrase to describe what he wrote was "the big story of our time": a largely open confluence of entrenched interests that helped explain everything from the war on terror to income inequality.

The essay resonated, so much so that Lofgren turned it into the 2016 book.

Naturally, a book proposing a unified theory of overreach by the military, intelligence, government contractors, big banks, and big tech received a warm reception in left-wing outlets like Salon and CounterPunch. So too, though, did The Deep State get positive notice in the far-right finance blog Zero Hedge, and in the far-right Taki's Magazine from Steve Sailer, an influential and highly controversial writer who New York magazine called "The Man Who Invented Identity Politics for the New Right."

Indeed, in the months after Lofgren wrote his original deep state essay, Cambridge Analytica and its then–vice president Steve Bannon were busy discovering -- at least according to the whistleblower Christopher Wylie -- that the phrase was catnip to conservative voters.

Lofgren began to realize that the idea had become something else in the popular imagination when right-wing commentators blamed the deep state for leaks that led to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's resignation. And as a flood of similar leaks threatened to sink the Trump administration in its early months, reports emerged that the president himself blamed them on the deep state, and allies from Steve King to Newt Gingrich said so publicly.

Of course, Trump's supporters blamed only one group within the network of interests described by Lofgren's deep state -- career bureaucrats or Obama-era holdovers who were appalled by the anti–administrative state president and wanted to damage him to preserve the status quo. These were an entrenched interest to be sure, but, Lofgren said, not as important as the revolving door between industry, Wall Street, and government that made sure special interests dictated a consistent policy from administration to administration.

Today, posts about the deep state appear multiple times a day in pro-Trump communities like Reddit's /r/The_Donald, where its hidden hand is seen manipulating events as disparate as the death of child star Corey Haim and a DDoS attack against conservative conspiracy site the Gateway Pundit. Wednesday morning, a Daily Caller explainer video about the deep state was the top post on /r/The_Donald.

In response to what he saw as abuse of the term, Lofgren last year wrote a column for LobeLog, "Yes, There Is a Deep State -- But Not the Right Wing's Caricature."

ben , Oct 28 2019 20:57 utc | 65
WG @ 47; Excellent synopsis WG, absolutely right on point.
karlof1 , Oct 28 2019 20:59 utc | 66
lysias @60--

Yes, but it wasn't destroyed as its main players were rescued by Obama and saved from life in prison. That enabled the Current Oligarchy to double-down, take even greater risks and blow an even bigger financial bubble depicted by figure 3 here . Trump's related to the Current Oligarchy by the fact that he's riding/ridden the same bubble(s) and thus has connections to one of its factions as Pepe Escobar revealed during his coverage of the 2016 election. Since he's tangentially related, Trump's policies have fed them as they've also fed Trump, which has acted as a form of insurance for him. Trump shares a portion of Luce's American Century vision but not its entirety, which has exacerbated a longstanding disagreement between Current Oligarchy factions that goes back to the 1960s of which Senator Fulbright was the leading example.

Albertde , Oct 28 2019 21:02 utc | 67
Rest of Comment @46

This only works in so-called democracies as long as the reality people witness corresponds to the reports in the media. Once a disparity arises and the economic situation degenerates, the same apathy that arises in dictatorial, communist and fascist regimes, arises in so-called democracies.

Today, after the assassinations of JFK and RFK and the forced resignation of Nixon, every president since then until Trump has towed the line. (In fact, Obama enjoyed it.) Trump, being the narcistic fool he is and having the bloated ego he has, is taking on the Consensus, the chief enforcers being the CIA and FBI. That's why he was elected. If he doesn't continue to take on the Consensus, he won't be re-elected.

Zedd , Oct 28 2019 21:02 utc | 68
@Psychohistorian #49

Who are they? [the Deep State]

I suggest you follow the link below. To this day certain British parliamentarians refer to themselves as 'Venetians.' The tradition of the Globalizing elite and the Intelligence networks which guide it harken back to Venice.

There are no individual trillionaires per se, for example the 'Rothschilds' are merely one of many families who together participate and own shares in a grounp 'Fondo,' or Fund. When an individual from within this group dies without an heir his shares are returned to the Family. One group of individuals has been demonstrated to hold or otherwise control between 40 and 80% of all assets in existence - that's right, roughly half of everything - by a Swiss study tracing cross ownership of Corporate entities worldwide. It is sometimes refered to as the Octopus of Global Control. It is very real, controlling not just finance, but much more importantly controls English speaking Global culture, and therefore what people think and believe is reality, via a sophisticated and secretive elite based mainly in the UK.

This is the Deep State and it is very real. It's core ideology is Supremacist and Mathusian. Zionism is it's most obvious manifestation. As with everything else the Octopus manages the choices we lower caste individuals can make by managing dialectics. It matters not who you vote for since all your choices are predetermined by this group, to keep the hyper elite entrenched in their positions and the rest of us chasing our tails.

https://www.academia.edu/34954495/The_Spy_Chiefs_of_Renaissance_Venice_Intelligence_Leadership_in_the_Early_Modern_World

Petri Krohn , Oct 28 2019 21:09 utc | 69
The United States is a National Security State, where the institutions of imperial and state security override any elected government.

Warnings of a deep state filled the pages of The New York Times before and after the Kennedy assassination. People understood that the extraordinary powers given to the CIA and the US intelligence community as a result of the Cold War were incompatible with the ideals of a democratic republic that had exited previously.

State Within a State? - The New York Times , October 6, 1963 ( archive )

Is the Central Intelligence Agency a state within a state?

Evidently the elite slowly accepted the fact and stopped complaining. They learned to stop worrying and love the bomb!

***

I spent several years slowly collecting sources for a Wikipedia article on the US deep state. There was a general article on a state within a state , listing several countries where the phrase (or the equivalent Deep State ) was used. The United States was not listed before I added the entry.

After Trump's election someone finally started the article on the US Deep State . I moved my reliable sources over to that article. But in a few months the article degraded into an article about some "Trumpist" conspiracy theory.

vk , Oct 28 2019 21:26 utc | 70
By pure coincidence, I found out this article today which perfectly exemplifies the degeneration of the "vital center" (American Dream is Sunk ):
The dynamic, far-left versus far-right will end up ripping the U.S.A. to shreds. And the problem is not what either side gets wrong – it's what they get right.

[...]

Like everything else Washington and Wall Street churn out, it's all meant to calm the Titanic's passengers. The ship's orchestra is still playing soothing classics, as the chilly waters of the North Atlantic sting at the ladies Victorian dress hems. Our Captain has long since drowned down under at his station on Titanic's bridge, even as the boilers still turn the screws of our once mighty ship.

A few of us are looking on from the few lifeboats or life preservers. America, like R.M.S. Titanic, still illuminates the night sky. But for how long? For this writer, it is all just that sad. We sped across the waves of history like Titanic, unsinkable, unshakeable, and beautiful – only to hit the iceberg of reality. America, given the course and speed she took, was doomed from the moment the rudder turning in this direction. And the Russians were not steering or stoking the fires.

ptb , Oct 28 2019 21:36 utc | 72
@seth-r 63 ... good link to the 2014 bill moyers article.

Deep State is a loose term but it always had 2 halves that are now clearly coming together as one.

1. The bipartisan-pro-business (i.e. neoliberal) wing. They won their total victory under Reagan, and have simply been maintaining it.

2. The US national power wing - hawks / MIC / team-usa world-police. They experienced confusion after the cold war suddenly ended, but under Bush II they had a final victory of sorts, upon 9/11. The total unconditional surrender of the Dem party to the neocon principles made this wing also clearly bipartisan.

2016 was messy because both wings found their core beliefs discredited, and simultaneously they had to support an uninspiring figurehead in Clinton.

Trump, being the reality-show magician he is, not only benefited from this, but also reunited his allies/enemies with the electorates who were about to leave them. We again have strong partisan loyalty in the US. Trump does 95% exactly what the militarists and the big business guys want, yet manages to be pretty darn convincing in playing the victim, since the outrage against him is genuine. He is also in his personality a grotesquely cartoonish distillation of exactly these qualities - greed, corruption, bellegligence.

his best and most threatening quality is that it finally forces some honesty on observers of the system.

Jen , Oct 28 2019 21:51 utc | 75
I'm sure I'm not the only person here who sees the headlines B has linked to and other NYT headlines (and some of the actual articles themselves, if I have the time and patience to read them) and realised that The New York Times itself is part of the Deep State it initially denied and now wholeheartedly supports. Not that this should surprise anyone who is familiar with Operation Mockingbird and The New York Times' part in co-operating with the CIA to plant CIA-origin reports with reporters who were either willing volunteers or unaware innocents or to practise self-censorship to appease the CIA.

Carl Bernstein "The CIA and the Media" http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

Spartacus Educational "Operation Mockingbird" https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKmockingbird.htm

paul , Oct 28 2019 21:51 utc | 76
the deep state is basically the one per cent, so called, which has many levers, within 'the state', but also within the private economy, the world of media and culture, the academic world, etc..
Theophrastus , Oct 28 2019 22:09 utc | 77
There is no democracy anywhere on earth. Elections are not democratic; sortition is.

Here, for instance, is Aristotle on the subject:

"It is accepted as democratic when public offices are allocated by lot; and as oligarchic when they are filled by election." -- Aristotle, Politics

It was Cleisthenes who in 508 BC had the genius insight that it is elections themselves that are the problem, because those who are elected are always the ones most eager to seize a position of power, and they always use it for their own benefit and not for the common good. More than a century later, Plato would agree, stating that the worst that can happen to a society is that its offices are held by those who crave them most.

This deserves repeating: only those with an ambition for power seek election to public office.

The French philosopher Alain (original name: Emile Chartier) famously said that what characterises an honest man is not wanting to rule over others, which implies that it will be the least generous among us who will take advantage.

Elections are thus not at all democratic, and in agreement ---besides Cleisthenes himself, Plato, Aristotle, and Alain--- are also Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire, Thucydides, Herodotus, and many others.

Thus, in this discussion about the Deep State (which was officially birthed in 1947, but had been gestating since the very beginning of the USA), we forget that all democracies for the last 250 years have used the term "democracy" as a smokescreen to hide the fact that they are, in fact, oligarchies, and the Deep State is their muscle.

As George Carlin said so well: "There's an Owners' Club folks, and you and I are not in it. They want more for themselves and less for all the rest of us, and they don't give a f**k about you, at all."

uncle tungsten , Oct 28 2019 22:10 utc | 78
Albertde #46
Under dictatorial, communist and fascist regimes, the opinion of all residents is tightly controlled and no deviations are tolerated, either publicly or in a family setting (children being encouraged to report on parents). People expressing deviant opinions are silenced by imprisonment or if they are considered dangerous enough, accused of some "crime" and killed ("executed"). The result is that when the disparity between the reality people witness and the reports they see in the controlled media becomes too great, these regimes would weaken since the only tool for control would be visible fear and people would be prone to apathy.
So the USA is in the early or late stage of fascism? ADKC at 31 references the Whitney Webb article here .

The deep state will have arrived on your doorstep and across the globe through the CLOUD Act in the USA and with the collaboration of the Five Eyes.

pogohere , Oct 28 2019 22:19 utc | 79
I suggest the following will take inquiring minds much deeper into the subject:

THE DEEP STATE: A Brief Bibliographical Sketch

In his book The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World , Col. Fletcher Prouty, who was the briefing officer to the President of the US from 1955-1963, writes about "an inner sanctum of a new religious order." By the phrase Secret Team he means a group of "security-cleared individuals in and out of government who receive secret intelligence data gathered by the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) and who react to those data." He states: "The power of the Team derives from its vast intra-governmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with great private industries, mutual funds and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses." He further adds: "All true members of the Team remain in the power centre whether in office with the incumbent administration or out of office with the hard-core set. They simply rotate to and from official jobs and the business world or the pleasant haven of academe."

I have adopted the view outlined by Joseph Farrell in his Nazi International, The Reich of the Black Sun and The Third Way, by Alfred W. McCoy in his The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade and by William Engdahl in A Century of War, Anglo-American Oil Politics And The New World Order. See also Peter Dale Scott´s writings. Essentially I am referring to a consortium of intelligence agencies, their bankers and the drug cartels who finance themselves off money laundering and resource expropriation.

Post WW2 theft of Axis booty was used to finance intelligence agencies (see Seagrave: Gold Warriors: America's Secret Recovery of Yamashita's Gold" and the transfer of control over the Asian heroin trade (see: McCoy: "The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade") has been used to finance off-budget operations of intelligence agencies worldwide. The western deep state's object is to capture the resources of eurasia and prevent a geopolitical alignment of Russia and Germany, formulated by MacKinder: The Geographical Pivot of History" and the modern exponents of western hegemony, such as George Friedman and Brzezinski, of course. With regard to Russia , didn't we seen a version of this movie in 1918?

In pertinent point:

London is now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Gomorrah author Roberto Saviano says 'the British treat it as not their problem'

"The City of London is the money-laundering centre of the world's drug trade, according to an internationally acclaimed crime expert."

In my view, any attempt to analyse geopolitical machinations that doesn't recognize the everyday efforts of the multiple entities alluded to above will lack depth. I'm not referring to the holdover, identifiable bureaucrats who survive from one political administration to the next. I'm referring to those who administer the funds laundered by the too-big-to-fail-too-big-to jail banks as well as the funds disappearing into the black holes of the defense department: see:

Pentagon Claims That It Has "Lost" Over $18 Trillion, Which Probably Paid Foreign Army Payrolls

Rumsfeld says $2.3 TRILLION Missing from Pentagon

9/10/2001:

Cynthia Mckinney questions Rumsfeld and Myers about 9/11 War Games [and accounting]

MSU SCHOLARS FIND $21 TRILLION IN UNAUTHORIZED GOVERNMENT SPENDING; DEFENSE DEPARTMENT TO CONDUCT FIRST-EVER AUDIT

12-11-17

Earlier this year, a Michigan State University economist, working with graduate students and a former government official, found $21 trillion in unauthorized spending in the departments of Defense and Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.

The work of Mark Skidmore and his team, which included digging into government websites and repeated queries to U.S. agencies that went unanswered, coincided with the Office of Inspector General, at one point, disabling the links to all key documents showing the unsupported spending. (Luckily, the researchers downloaded and stored the documents.)

Now, the Department of Defense has announced it will conduct the first department-wide, independent financial audit in its history (read the Dec. 7 announcement here).

The Defense Department did not say specifically what led to the audit. But the announcement came four days after Skidmore discussed his team's findings on USAWatchdog, a news outlet run by former CNN and ABC News correspondent Greg Hunter.

"While we can't know for sure what role our efforts to compile original government documents and share them with the public has played, we believe it may have made a difference," said Skidmore, the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy at MSU.

Skidmore got involved last spring when he heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development, refer to a report which indicated the Army had $6.5 trillion in unsupported adjustments, or spending, in fiscal 2015. Given the Army's $122 billion budget, that meant unsupported adjustments were 54 times spending authorized by Congress. Typically, such adjustments in public budgets are only a small fraction of authorized spending. Skidmore thought Fitts had made a mistake. "Maybe she meant $6.5 billion and not $6.5 trillion," he said. "So I found the report myself and sure enough it was $6.5 trillion."

Skidmore and Fitts agreed to work together to investigate the issue further. Over the summer, two MSU graduate students searched government websites, especially the website of the Office of Inspector General, looking for similar documents dating to 1998. They found documents indicating a total $21 trillion in undocumented adjustments over the 1998-2015 period. (The original government documents and a report describing the issue can be found here.)

In a Dec. 8 Forbes column he co-authored with Laurence Kotlikoff, Skidmore said the "gargantuan nature" of the undocumented federal spending "should be a great concern to all taxpayers."

"Taken together these reports point to a failure to comply with basic constitutional and legislative requirements for spending and disclosure," the column concludes. "We urge the House and Senate Budget Committee to initiate immediate investigations of unaccounted federal expenditures as well as the source of their payment."

As they say, follow the money.

Paul Damascene , Oct 28 2019 22:27 utc | 80
Insofar as my fellow barflies might accept a bridge from Deep State to MIC as not taking us too far off topic, I was struck by the belligerence of US SecDef (for Raytheon) Mark Esper's tweet to the effect that "we will respond with overwhelming military force against any group that threatens the safety of our forces" controlling the Syrian oil fields. Apparently, when specifically asked, if this included Russia, he apparently said yes, without equivocation or hesitation.

Does this new policy then, to deny Syria of 200,000 bbl / day, entail a commitment to an full out attack on the forces of a nuclear armed country?

Is this intended to be a warning? (The US / Russkie generals have a deconfliction hotline for that.) Is this representative of not caring sufficiently to think through a position, or an inability to imagine its consequences? is this the product of a delusion that, barring an effort, surely manifold greater than that during the run up to the Iraq, the US is able to respond to Russia with overwhelming force, quite near Russia's borders, after all.

Is this bluster, or are the exponents of US military violence so accustomed to bullying small and medium countries that they are simply unable to process what even a regional, conventional conflict with Russia might entail? Even taking Saker's point that if Russia limits itself to playing defence, its forces in Syria can eventually be overwhelmed, given what Martyanov refers to as the 900-lb gorilla of Russia's stand off capacity, Russia has escalation dominance. All of America's bases in the ME and all of its carrier groups could be destroyed within hours.

What on earth possesses these characters?

james , Oct 28 2019 22:29 utc | 81
@47 wg.. i maintain the reason it is happening now, is the usa empire is in an accelerating state of decline..

@59 karlof1 quote - "But for the past three years, since the 2016 election, the Cold War has been crazily enlivened with the 'Russiagate scandal' of alleged interference in American political affairs by Moscow. It was the Clinton campaign, establishment media and her intelligence agency supporters that launched that canard against Trump." i agree with this viewpoint, alongside the one i just made to william g..

james , Oct 28 2019 22:31 utc | 82
@80 paul d... maybe it has to do with mark espers gig as joe boy for rayatheon prior to accepting the usa sec of defense position? maybe he uses the lingo of a tough talking capitalist more readily then a diplomat - something in real short supply in the usa at present... it fits the tough guy john wayne persona the usa likes to project...
bevin , Oct 28 2019 22:31 utc | 83
The British term for the "Deep State", coined I believe by the historian AJP Taylor, is The Establishment. It includes but goes far beyond the Civil Service and military hierarchy. Haute Finance is central to it, so are the educational system and the media. Its role is to act as a gyroscope ensuring, through whatever means are necessary, that the course pursued by society is that determined by the ruling class.

That course, neoliberalism, requires the subordination of 'democratic' mechanisms to the imperatives of the market. The Monthly Review has a very good article this month, of which this is a small sample.

"... Today there is once again a structural crisis of capital, most evident in the Great Financial Crisis of 2008–10, but actually going much deeper and extending back to the 1970s, which marked the beginning of the long slowdown of the advanced capitalist economies. Stagnation, characterized by the overaccumulation of capital, is all the more significant in our time since it has been accompanied by the greatest inequality in history. The world has also seen the emergence of a new phase of imperialism, best characterized as late imperialism, in which international exploitation/expropriation has been intensified in the context of the globalization of production and the prevalence of global value chains. International conflicts and racism are on the rise. Both the United States and Europe are experiencing declines in their respective positions within the international economic hierarchy, symbolized by the rise of China. On top of all this is a planetary ecological crisis on a scale that has no precedent in history, and which threatens the very future of humanity, not in some distant period, but already in the present century.

"Neoliberalism, which seeks to subordinate the state to the market while also using the state apparatus to enforce market relations, is systematically dissolving all bases of community relations, transforming them into mere commodity relations. This has served to delegitimize the state, the unintended effect of which has been to encourage the development of radical right or neofascist movements opposed to liberal/neoliberal political elites along with the working poor. Xenophobic racism is being directed at immigrants and populations emanating from the Global South. At the same time, perpetual war and imperialist-based coups have generated millions of refugees. Overall, the conditions of our time are those of epochal economic, social, and ecological crises, accompanied by intensified imperialism and war...." https://monthlyreview.org/2019/10/01/the-rise-of-the-right/

The interesting question is why The Establishment feels so threatened that, as Gruff points out above, it has torn off its mask and discredited itself over what is nothing more than a minor spat within the ruling class. Trump is not a threat to the system in any way. And yet large parts of the CIA and the classes that support the ruling class have gone mad in their determination to rid themselves of him. It seems to me that this is simply a symptom of an hierarchy collapsing- as they tend to do- from the accumulated weight of its hubris. It long ago lost any sense of proportion and moderation-hence the decades of stupid wars pursued without discernible political cost, and the neglect of the social base, in the slow but steady immiseration of the working (aka 'Middle') class. This process continues as we speak, notably in the auto-discrediting of the UAW in the GM strike just (shockingly) called off. The Establishment worked because it was grounded in broad social acceptance, a contract which included some social mobility, rising living standards for the majority and all the accoutrements of an ideology of progress. For a variety of reasons that is all over now and the only real barrier between the capitalist class and the unsatisfied appetites of the masses is force, the sort of force being employed in Chile, which is, after all, neo-liberalism's Show House. All of which is making the Deep State's directors very nervous, and unbalanced. Which is why they are acting so irrationally that they seem to have convinced themselves that Trump(almost indistinguishable though he is from themselves) is a threat. A threat that they no longer dare to assassinate, which is what they would normally do. Thanks pogo for the link...!!!!

Seth_Rich , Oct 28 2019 22:32 utc | 84
ptb@72 -

Indeed, but there is another side to my point as well. The New York Times and Washington Post must simply love the fact that Trump and his supporters (of which I can be said to be one on a very limited number of issues) have re-defined "deep state" as a much shallower and easy to root out (in theory) subset of unelected government functionaries who have allegiances to Obama and his political opponents in general.

This gives cover to the actual deep state for which the NYT and WaPo (MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, etc.) are the PR arm, or at least mouthpieces.

The over-simplification allows them to treat it as just another Trumpist conspiracy gambit designed to discredit legitimate media outlets, which themselves are all owned - to some degree - by the very interests that constitute the non-governmental elements/persons of the deep state which can and do re-enter government via the revolving door.

You're spot-on with respect to The Donald, but I think one of the intended goals of the NYT etc. finally admitting the reality of the deep state was to discredit the notion in the minds of most "liberals" by playing it off as only a small number of "patriotic public servants" instead of the deeply rooted rot and control mechanism that it really is.

It's really quite insidious reverse psychology propaganda they've got going with it, and I was hoping b would have gone into a little more depth, but I suppose that is the purpose of linking the Moyers re-post of Lofgren, and the second article I linked does a decent job of exposing one side of the issue - and Lofgren's dissatisfaction with it - without totally playing NYT's game of "damning by faint praise" the idea that there is actually such a thing.

Cheers.

uncle tungsten , Oct 28 2019 22:34 utc | 85
pogohere #79

Great post and many thanks. That explains why the air is thick with absurd red herrings and has been so since the Skidmore/MSU report was made public.

Paul Damascene , Oct 28 2019 22:36 utc | 86
Re post #80, Apologies for the solecisms: I meant a military effort many times greater than that leading up the Iraq war ... and obviously with much greater consequences, given the ability of this adversary to punch back. Hard.
h , Oct 28 2019 22:39 utc | 87
In the not so distant past folks used the term 'puppet masters' to describe the unseen hands influencing elections and policies here in the U.S. This term has evolved under Trump's WH to a 'cabal' of 'entrenched interests' or a 'deep state.' Whatever the term of the day may be, people intuitively know a hidden power greater than the electorate is controlling all things in DC.

When reading several articles and watching interviews a couple of weeks ago related to Ukraine, the coup and the current Burisma sunlight, I was struck by how similar their color revolution is paralleling with what we are bearing witness to here in the United States.

Whatever this hidden hand is the U.S. is ground zero for regime change.

And Lefties and Righties and all of those in the middle would be wise to inform themselves of what is heading our way. The sooner the better b/c Party identity won't matter one iota. You're either an American who wants the country to remain governed under the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution OR you're not. Remaining neutral will not be an option.

I'd also add that this regime change is being driven by the fact that those behind the mechanics of nurturing the Liberal World Order (LWO) along are in Trump's crosshairs. Many here write about the death of the American empire but I take issue with the global sense of such a suggestion. What is dying is the Liberal World Order NOT American empire. If folks here write about the death of the American empire also encompasses the body politic of the LWO then I fully agree. But words have meaning. The body politic that birthed the likes of BIS, the Tri-Lateral Commission and the IMF are by those whose family business, generation-after-generation, gave us what is known as the Liberal World Order most of the West has lived under since the early 1900's.

Someone mentioned up thread the Rothschild clan as being a silent partner, which I fully concur, but there are many more I'd add including Soros himself. Digging in and learning the mechanics behind the money laundering scheme at Burisma pretty much tells one all they need to know about how this LWO "deep state" secures the funds to pay off their enablers/useful idiots and to invest the remaining funds into keeping their morbid theater chugging along.

Whatever happens here in the U.S. in the coming years, beware to ALL who live elsewhere. This LWO is parasitic and those who are adherents will move onto another country and start all over again. Havoc is how they make their money. It's a family business.

psychohistorian , Oct 28 2019 22:51 utc | 88
Thanks to all commenters for raising the level of discussion as go off to read the link that Zedd and others provided

All this brings me back to my structural change drum that I continue to beat here. Humanity needs to change the social contract to exclude private finance of any kind. I say this because I believe that killing all the Jews won't work, nor putting in prison Clinton, Obama, Trump, Pelosi, etc. We simply need to focus on pushing forward sovereign public finance and collaboration between civilization states to replace the BIS and other inter-state coordination.......it is the structure (private finance/property and ongoing inheritance), not the individuals at any one time that needs to be changed

Off to read some of all the links provided by great commenters here.

Zedd , Oct 28 2019 22:52 utc | 89
@lysias

A lot of the people posting comments at unz.com may be racists...

The content at UNZ provokes the response. Some say this is accidental but I doubt this is true. I'm afraid all websites are directly or indirectly controlled by Intelligence, no different from Facebook. Keep that always at the top of your mind and you will possess the key to understanding the nature of the informational matrix in which we live.

Guilt by association is a practiced tradition. In the case of Unz it used to associate important ideas and debates with incoherent racism, thus causing dissonance with those possessing an excessive normalcy bias.

When you are accused of engaging in ad hominem it is often because you have pointed to an important connection an opponent may have. The term works both ways as any thoughtful person needs to acknowledge. I think the term was invented to discourage thinking and encourage confusion about broader issues, the same way pejorative use of the word 'conspiracy' was created to hide uncomfortable facts - but also highlight less relevant details - about those who rule over us and how they accomplish their goals.

As ever things are more complicated so I take no strictly ideological view of highlighting associations. Ad hominem attacks can be used to distract an audience or it can be used to highlight the contradictions of an opponents position, for example, I seriously wonder what the word 'McCarthyite' would mean today if the politician in question had claimed not a communist but a Jewish plot against the USA. I suspect the term would never be used had McCarthy been more specific about who he was targetting. I also suspect if he was sincere about outing genuinely dangerous people there would have been no Soviet style show trials of America's most beloved Menschen.

Paul Damascene , Oct 28 2019 23:16 utc | 90
Although there are different formulations for the deep state, I'm not sure my understanding of oligarchy is sufficiently broad that it can stand in as a synonym, as I believe Karlof1 proposes. In its international dimension, psychohistorian's coinage of "Deep World" is appealing.

According to one theory of the Deep State, there are 2 wings in the US. The East-coast globalist financial elites, Jewish and Anglo-Brahmin, and the CIA; and the more southern-based, Christian, military wing. It would appear that this might run parallel to the Trump era split between patriots and globalists if projected internationally, but I'm not sure that split holds outside of the US.

VietnamVet , Oct 28 2019 23:30 utc | 91
The handy handles for the West's actual rulers are "The 0.1%", "Neo-aristocracy", or "The Elite". Larry Summers's "Insiders" are the top 1%. Technocrats like Elizabeth Warren are the top 10% which includes the Spooks, Officers and Executives climbing through the revolving doors of the Deep State.

The remaining 90% are riffraff. Western governments are purposefully non-functional with remnants of democracy that the Plutocrat Donald Trump used to befuddle incompetent Democrat Insiders and won a Presidency that he never expected. True to form, he's seized Syria's Oil which is a war crime. Corporate Democrats to keep the donor's money coming continue to scapegoat Russia. The current conflict in the West is between nationalist and globalist oligarchs and their paid servants, the 10%.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only presidential candidate mentioning the unmentionable - End the forever wars and restore government by and for the people.

evilempire , Oct 28 2019 23:49 utc | 92

I am not as erudite or eloquent as Zedd or RS but I can attempt to give my take on some of the excellent insights they have. I see the deep state as those most enthralled(imps) or those who are the direct paid agents or minions in the mind control matrix of a demonic empire of "reality creators". The matrix they have created is not true reality but a viciously malign, malignantly evil, satanically deceptive simulation that is totally divorced from objective truth and therefore totally in thrall to satan and divorced from god. In other words, the imps are the fanatical believers in the cult of Lucifer-reality while the paid agents know the simulation is false but are conscienceless psychopaths, what I term the soulless machines or material automatons of the Luciferian Imperium. So the deep state in essence is a violent, deranged cult of true believers in a false reality and therefore psychotic and extremely dangerous. It is not recognized as a cult because it is mainstream and counts among it followers the majority of the population. Look at the rabidly deranged beliefs they fanatically hold: the skripal hoax, the russia collusion hoax, the ukraine hoax, and all the other hoaxes not mentioned like the syria chemical and barrel bomb hoax, the mh17 hoax, the isis hoax. There are so many hoaxes one can't even keep track of them any longer. Any countervailing narrative is denounced as the blashemy of conspiracy theory which is a hallmark of a cult.

Posted by: evilempire | Oct 28 2019 23:49 utc | 92

juliania , Oct 29 2019 0:26 utc | 93
I haven't yet read all the comments here (must be a Deep State stretcher at work) but I would like to bring a partial comment initiated by one of b's extra links on the weekend thread that I don't think got comments there - the Atlantic piece about the Nixon/Kissinger attempts to elect someone other than Allende, and then to do an 'Allende must go' on said elected President after he had been democratically elected.

I have only read this long article partway but it strikes me the contrast is stark. There, the US government, or its executive at least, was the Deep State in the sense of being the power hidden behind its own democratic coming to be, performing illegal acts of subversion against another sovereign state. Was this what Nixon was elected to do?

It seems a horrible thing for an elected President to be engaged in, and yet do we have something even more horrible when the State itself is conspiring with media help to overturn its own elected head? Where do we go from here? It's as if the United States is now bound and determined that this country experience what it has inflicted on so many other countries north and south - a color revolution, coup d'etat of major proportions.

Well, they've been practising long and hard, but always the people fight back; and the people seem to be good at having the last say. And why not? Leaders come and go, even corporations come and go. The people are always here.

Jackrabbit , Oct 29 2019 0:36 utc | 94
Some definitions of "Deep State" given above are essentially a collection of power centers (defense department, financial industry, etc.) or a large network(s) of personal connections ("oligarchs", the "one percent", etc.). Others give great weight to state bureaucracy.

These conceptions of the Deep State are amorphous and imply collections that too unwieldy to operate effectively.

IMO the Deep State is a SMALL collection of powerful, smart people that are highly respected and virtually untouchable. They work across party lines but behind closed doors. People like McCain (while he was alive), Hillary, Bush Sr. (while he was alive), Brennan, Mueller.

Jackrabbit !!

Robert Snefjella , Oct 29 2019 0:46 utc | 95
There is no reason that I can see why the Athenian political system would not work with a less restricted citizen body.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 28 2019 19:39 utc | 45

Notice that the Yellow Vests in France emphasized direct democracy. The subject of Classical Athens regarding its 'amazing adventures' with democracy is a big one, and in my many discussions over the years on this subject, it is not unusual to be faced with the knee jerk condemnation and thus dismissal - clinching argument I win! - of Athenian democracy as irrelevant because well there were all those slaves and women who couldn't vote. Sigh.

But I would transmute your comment a bit to say that we could both learn from them, and, experiment and perhaps make some improvements. Some aspects of modern technology combined with the good old paper ballot anchor could be quite the team on behalf of direct democracy.

One aspect of their approach has been mentioned: drawing of lots to pick people for certain positions. One of the effects would be say to basically shut down contemporary lawyerly machinations re jury selection; it also dignifies the average person. Hey, anyone with any common sense can take on this task. There's lots more. Their mass juries were pretty well immune from being bought or intimidated. So, roughly speaking, I endorse your comment.

Posted by: evilempire | Oct 28 2019 23:49 utc | 92

I'm largely in sympathy with the thrust of your comments, apart from having some reservations about the comment - 'erudite and eloquent' re some RS character. Many of these very powerful people are really really sick and dangerous.

When liars and con artists successfully fool someone, the victim is taken 'out of touch with reality'; can be conned into acting on the basis of a false reality.

The layman's definition of insanity: being so out of touch with reality, and so invested in hallucination say, that one acts on the basis of that hallucination: the non-existent tiger scares the hell out of you, etc.

The average decent person can be conned into doing crazy monstrous things. It can become like you indicate group madness.

Truth is the great disinfectant.

Tulsi Gabbard is in effect saying: we have repeatedly been conned into killing and being killed. That's crazy and evil. Let's get real and get good. She's reminiscent of the truth telling child in the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale: that drooling wacko empress is butt naked!

Walter , Oct 29 2019 0:52 utc | 97
"Conversations With History - Peter Dale Scott"

Peter defined deep state and so forth.

lookit youtube

psychohistorian , Oct 29 2019 1:07 utc | 99
I got a lot out of the link from Zedd in comment #68 about the early Venice methods of social control "for the common good".

It reads like it was very effective and had aspects that are probably still in use today by the cabal that is at the top of the Western social order that use the BIS, IMF and World Bank as their payolla mechanism when needed.

It details how secrecy was a state virtue and how it used the "professional" or government folks, the "mercantile" or business folks and the "amateur" or public to feed information to the controlling top of the organization effectively....just like now, only contextually evolved.

I keep calling what we have today the God of Mammon religion and that is probably not too far off in description of the belief system at the core of today's version of the controlling order. The issue that is so stark today is that "for the common good" is no longer the center point of the religion. From what I read and understand, the system that China has evolved comes closest to what makes sense if humanity is to continue and prosper as a viably structured society.

Paul Damascene , Oct 29 2019 1:11 utc | 100
Juliana @ 93 -- Perceptive post. You seem to be getting a lot from your reading. Bonne lecture.

[Oct 27, 2019] There is a probably valid school of thought that the deep establishment has a faction that is pro-Trump and behind the general idea of disengaging from wasteful overseas adventures, since it is becoming clear that this is a ruinous path that the US cannot really afford anymore...

Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

juliania , Oct 26 2019 15:24 utc | 105

My thought about Barr holding fire on Epstein is that he may have known that was a red herring, false flag, or whatever you want to call it. That whole Epstein affair sounded like a juicy distraction to me, in the manner of "if it bleeds it leads". When someone actually dies who is the center of contraversial activity, you may be sure, unfortunately, that someone, he or another, is getting close to truths that ought not see the light of day. Somewhat in the nature of the baiting of Putin as Ukraine was beginning its time of troubles. The old revolutionary dictum "Hold your fire until you see the whites of their eyes" may have been in Barr's mind at the time of Epstein's demise.

Certainly such investigations as the one he is involved in take much time to sort out the who-what-where in terms sufficiently damaging to become a credible enterprise. We have seen such attempts fail in the past. I hope he takes his time and gets all his ducks in a row before the hammer falls as fall it must. It is so vital to this country that this attempt succeed; for if it fails only the shambles of Kiev style fisticuffs in Congress can be the result. Not pretty.

In b's post we are reminded of the power of the press to misinform. I would suggest we badly need divestiture of our media from the huge corporations now more wealthy than some countries. The latter are too powerful in this country now, and they do need to be whittled down to size. We not only need fact finders, we need eloquent voices to present those facts to the public. We need free speech!


flankerbandit , Oct 26 2019 17:12 utc | 111

Juliania...about Barr...

He is a deep state creature...his father Donald Barr was an OSS guy and original CIA [which morphed from the wartime OSS]...

Barr senior was also Epstein's mentor and got him his start at the deeply establishment Dalton School [and probably Epstein's handler as an asset or 'agent' as they are called]...

So things go a bit deeper than the surface when it comes to Barr junior...and what he is doing here...

There is a probably valid school of thought that the deep establishment has a faction that is pro-Trump and behind the general idea of disengaging from wasteful overseas adventures, since it is becoming clear that this is a ruinous path that the US cannot really afford anymore...

I would also agree with the theory that says that these two 'deep' factions ['nationalist' vs 'globalist'] are at war...with the 'DNC-Hillary-MSM-interventionist faction' possibly on the decline, but still powerful enough to blow up a lot of the plans that Trump and his deep backers would like to get done...

Epstein is a whole 'nuther can of worms here and I would not be surprised if he was not actually dead...Trump himself is deeply entangled with many of the prime players in the Epstein web...it all depends if he is more useful alive than dead...

Btw...pulling off a deception like a fake death is kindergarten level for these kinds of operators and the unlimited resources they possess to shape so-called 'reality' as brought to us on our little screens...

So really I find it kind of silly that the right wingers are looking at Barr as some kind of White Knight...there really are none of those in these circles...as much as the sheeple would like to believe that...

chu teh , Oct 26 2019 19:08 utc | 112
karlof1 | Oct 25 2019 22:15 utc | 54

re: source of "God has an infinite sense of humor"...

Was told that in 1994[?] conversation w Jerry, a fellow worker, abt the baffling condition of Mankind. Never heard it before or since. At the time it was one of most incisive and impinging viewpoints; it still is.

It was said to me dryly, not coy and no smile, almost plaintively as tho it would be ignored and pass thru unrecognized. I never met a more rational or sharper mind.

Once, I remarked I was looking for an obscure book that was mentioned in another book, as "1 of the 3 best autobios ever written in English" by someone I never heard of. J:"Who and what?" Me:"Kropotkin and Revolutionist".
J:"Oh, sure! I think my wife still has a copy" and he brought it in next day.[An awesome read, too!]

karlof1 , Oct 26 2019 19:56 utc | 113
chu the @112--

Thanks for your reply! I was also thinking that perhaps it was a cynical observation made by a stoic son of a Baptist or Methodist Minister, like the retort in M*A*S*H about how someone like that (Hawkeye, IIRC) got into the Army--"He got drafted," which caused the audience to erupt in laughter (definitely a context-dependent joke).

Peter AU 1 , Oct 26 2019 20:43 utc | 114
flankerbandit 111
"There is a probably valid school of thought that the deep establishment has a faction that is pro-Trump and behind the general idea of disengaging from wasteful overseas adventures, since it is becoming clear that this is a ruinous path that the US cannot really afford anymore..."

I think this what is occuring. And when Trump says swamp, I think it is the section of the swamp that this faction believe set the US on a ruinous path.

pogohere , Oct 26 2019 20:46 utc | 115
chu teh @44 & 112

God is a comedian whose audience refuses to laugh.

uncle tungsten , Oct 26 2019 20:52 utc | 116
Bemildred #66

Good post my friend, no wonder the demoncrazies went berserk over Trump dipping in to their honeypot. I could never definitively find a reason for those spectacular ammunition storage bonfires in Ukraine. I figured it was either to disable their sale or cover up theft.

ERing46Z , Oct 26 2019 22:55 utc | 117
W. Gruff, thanks for the process insight.
I was long-aware the removal of the Smith-Mundt Act was loaded into the 2012 NDAA. No attempt on Trump's watch has been made to bring a needed, modern form of it back. I didn't vote for Trump, and until the damn looney media is reeled back into factual, in-context reporting, it will remain obvious Trump is only expanding a variety of nefarious things on the absence of legislation such as the S-M Act.

[Oct 27, 2019] What can we conclude about Trump?

Notable quotes:
"... If Obama was CIA, and GW Bush was CIA (via daddy Bush), and Clinton was CIA (via Arkansas drug-running and the Presidency), and Bush Sr was CIA ... then what can we conclude about Trump? 1) he's also CIA, or 2) he's a willing stooge. ..."
"... There is a third possibility. What if Trump wasn't supposed to become President, according to the CIA's plans? This seems plausible to me, because during the 2016 election, it seemed to me at least that almost nobody in the US political and media establishments took Trump's candidacy seriously. Clinton was so sure she could easily beat Trump that she used her influence with the media to get Trump media coverage, in order to weaken the "serious" Republicans, one of whom everyone thought would get the nomination, like Jeb Bush. ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Oct 26 2019 23:51 utc | 41

jadan @32:
As we know from Wayne Madsen's little book, "The Manufacturing of a President", Obama has been a CIA asset since he was a suckling babe.
If Obama was CIA, and GW Bush was CIA (via daddy Bush), and Clinton was CIA (via Arkansas drug-running and the Presidency), and Bush Sr was CIA ... then what can we conclude about Trump? 1) he's also CIA, or 2) he's a willing stooge.
Glenn Brown , Oct 27 2019 0:32 utc | 46
Jackabbit @ 41

There is a third possibility. What if Trump wasn't supposed to become President, according to the CIA's plans? This seems plausible to me, because during the 2016 election, it seemed to me at least that almost nobody in the US political and media establishments took Trump's candidacy seriously. Clinton was so sure she could easily beat Trump that she used her influence with the media to get Trump media coverage, in order to weaken the "serious" Republicans, one of whom everyone thought would get the nomination, like Jeb Bush.

I know you believe that Trump was somehow exactly what the US deep state needed. I don't agree, but even if you are right, are you really sure that the CIA and the rest of the deep state were smart enough to understand and agree that they needed someone like Trump?

[Oct 26, 2019] The Blob Strikes Back by Hunter DeRensis

The State Department is a neoliberal Trojan horse in the USA government, with strong globalist ethos. They will sabotage any change of foreign policy. and they intend to kick the neoliberal can down the road as long as possible. They are the same type of neoliberals as Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. Probably less corrupt them those two, but still.
They are imperial soldiers par excellence; these whole life concentrated on serving the imperial interests, and strive for the strengthening and expansion of neoliberal empire via opening new markets for the expansions of US based multinationals, staging wars and color revolutions to overthrows the governments which resists Washington Consensus, etc.
They probably can't be reformed, only fired, or forced into retirement. 72 years old neocon stooge Taylor is just the tip of the iceberg.
From Wikipedia: He directed a Defense Department think tank at Fort Lesley J. McNair . Following that assignment, he went to Brussels for a five year assignment as the Special Deputy Defense Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to NATO From 1992 until 2002 Taylor served with the rank of ambassador coordinating assistance to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union , followed by an assignment in Kabul coordinating U.S. and international assistance to Afghanistan . In 2004 he was transferred to Baghdad as Director of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office
Taylor was nominated by President George W. Bush to be United States ambassador to Ukraine while he was serving as Senior Consultant to the Coordinator of Reconstruction and Stabilization at the Department of State. [10] He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 26, 2006, and was sworn in on June 5, 2006. At the time Taylor assumed responsibilities at the embassy it was, with over 650 employees from nine U.S. government departments and agencies, the fifth-largest bilateral mission in Europe
Notable quotes:
"... As William Taylor's testimony about Ukraine creates shock waves in Washington, a self-anointed mandarin class or, if you prefer, deep state, that has largely operated unmolested until the advent of Trump now appears to believe that it can foil, or even subvert, the policies of a president it deems unfit for office, a development that should worry Democrats and Republicans alike. ..."
"... One reason is that those who seek to repair the damage caused by a thirty-year deterioration in trust and cooperation face an uphill battle against what recently has been given the colloquial name, "the Blob." The term, coined by Obama White House staffer Ben Rhodes, refers to the foreign-policy establishment, mostly located in Washington, DC and constantly focused on the putative decline of American influence abroad. It has been distinguished by its unwillingness, or inability, to reconsider or reprioritize national interests that were first defined after World War II, and then continued, by and large, on auto-pilot after the end of the Cold War. ..."
"... Another reason is that Trump himself has been largely indifferent to who assumes positions in his administration, calculating that by sheer force of will he, and he alone, can be the decider. In September, Trump referred to his search for a fresh national security adviser in the following terms: "It's great because it's a lot of fun to work with Donald Trump, and it's very easy, actually, to work with me. You know why it's easy? Because I make all the decisions. They don't have to work." This insouciant approach has now boomeranged on Trump. ..."
"... Taylor, as his testimony made clear, was able to observe first-hand many of the Trump administration's ham-fisted moves to extract, in one form another, concessions from Ukraine. But however clumsy and counterproductive Trump's moves may have been, Taylor offered an overly simplistic survey of events in the region. Indeed, his Manichean introductory and concluding remarks suggested that he views Russia as an inveterate enemy of America and Ukraine as a white knight. ..."
"... Foreign policy is rarely a morality play and the fairy-tale that Taylor presented was more redolent of a post–Cold War cold warrior who, like too many of his colleagues at the foreign desk, are committed to retrograde thinking, than of an official offering an incisive look at a complex and troubled region. It is not as though Ukraine, where Taylor served as ambassador during the George W. Bush administration, has ever been free from the plague of corruption or murky machinations by local competing factions. Reflexively taking the side of Ukraine does not serve American interests any more than trying to pummel it for political favors. The testimony of Taylor and other State Department witnesses before the House Intelligence Committee is a case in point. ..."
"... ow that the fight between Trump and the permanent bureaucracy is now in the open? ..."
"... Vice President Mike Pence told Laura Ingraham , host of Fox's The Ingraham Angle , "There is no question when President Trump said we were going to drain the swamp, but an awful lot of the swamp has been caught up in the State Department bureaucracy and we're just going to keep fighting it. And we are going to fight it with the truth." For his part, Evans thinks that there is a modicum of hope for improved relations with Moscow. "Taylor will have to resign now," he says. "We might even see a moderation of the uncritical support for Ukraine, as some of the ugly underside starts to emerge, although anti-Russian sentiment is the mother's milk of Congress." ..."
Oct 23, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

As William Taylor's testimony about Ukraine creates shock waves in Washington, a self-anointed mandarin class or, if you prefer, deep state, that has largely operated unmolested until the advent of Trump now appears to believe that it can foil, or even subvert, the policies of a president it deems unfit for office, a development that should worry Democrats and Republicans alike.

President Donald Trump campaigned and was elected on a platform of improved relations with Russia. Yet, three years after his election, no real improvement has materialized and, if anything, they have deteriorated. Why?

One reason is that those who seek to repair the damage caused by a thirty-year deterioration in trust and cooperation face an uphill battle against what recently has been given the colloquial name, "the Blob." The term, coined by Obama White House staffer Ben Rhodes, refers to the foreign-policy establishment, mostly located in Washington, DC and constantly focused on the putative decline of American influence abroad. It has been distinguished by its unwillingness, or inability, to reconsider or reprioritize national interests that were first defined after World War II, and then continued, by and large, on auto-pilot after the end of the Cold War. Now Trump is taking a wrecking ball to this world order. But a self-anointed mandarin class or, if you prefer, deep state, that has largely operated unmolested until the advent of Trump now appears to believe that it can foil, or even subvert, the policies of a president it deems unfit for office, a development that should worry Democrats and Republicans alike.

Another reason is that Trump himself has been largely indifferent to who assumes positions in his administration, calculating that by sheer force of will he, and he alone, can be the decider. In September, Trump referred to his search for a fresh national security adviser in the following terms: "It's great because it's a lot of fun to work with Donald Trump, and it's very easy, actually, to work with me. You know why it's easy? Because I make all the decisions. They don't have to work." This insouciant approach has now boomeranged on Trump.

Enter William B. Taylor, Jr. Taylor has been the U.S. Chargé d 'Affaires Ukraine since June of this year (having previously held the position of ambassador 2006–2009), and yesterday he testified behind-closed-doors as part of the House impeachment inquiry into Trump. Taylor, as his testimony made clear, was able to observe first-hand many of the Trump administration's ham-fisted moves to extract, in one form another, concessions from Ukraine. But however clumsy and counterproductive Trump's moves may have been, Taylor offered an overly simplistic survey of events in the region. Indeed, his Manichean introductory and concluding remarks suggested that he views Russia as an inveterate enemy of America and Ukraine as a white knight.

In his opening statement, Taylor emphasized that Ukraine is a strategic partner of the United States that is "important for the security of our country as well as Europe," as well as a country that is "under armed attack from Russia." Well, yes. But this sweeping description occludes more than it reveals. Foreign policy is rarely a morality play and the fairy-tale that Taylor presented was more redolent of a post–Cold War cold warrior who, like too many of his colleagues at the foreign desk, are committed to retrograde thinking, than of an official offering an incisive look at a complex and troubled region. It is not as though Ukraine, where Taylor served as ambassador during the George W. Bush administration, has ever been free from the plague of corruption or murky machinations by local competing factions. Reflexively taking the side of Ukraine does not serve American interests any more than trying to pummel it for political favors. The testimony of Taylor and other State Department witnesses before the House Intelligence Committee is a case in point.

Will anything change n ow that the fight between Trump and the permanent bureaucracy is now in the open? On Tuesday night, Vice President Mike Pence told Laura Ingraham , host of Fox's The Ingraham Angle , "There is no question when President Trump said we were going to drain the swamp, but an awful lot of the swamp has been caught up in the State Department bureaucracy and we're just going to keep fighting it. And we are going to fight it with the truth." For his part, Evans thinks that there is a modicum of hope for improved relations with Moscow. "Taylor will have to resign now," he says. "We might even see a moderation of the uncritical support for Ukraine, as some of the ugly underside starts to emerge, although anti-Russian sentiment is the mother's milk of Congress."

Hunter DeRensis is a reporter at the National Interest .

[Oct 26, 2019] The Famous Baseball-Watching Equality-Equity Graphic, Scrutinized by Peter Dorman

Notable quotes:
"... The real world politics of affirmative action, targeted (as opposed to universal) benefit programs and the like reside in these complexities. The equity graphic conveys the initial insight, but the assumptions packed into its story make it harder rather than easier to think through the controversies that bedevil equity politics. ..."
"... This goes back to what I call justice vs fairness. Justice is supposed to be blind, with the same outcome for all. It ain't so at the moment, but let's suppose we'd get a perfect justice. It still would not be fair. Fine of 1k may mean bankruptcy for some, and way beyond the level of recognition for someone else. ..."
"... But if you start getting into "fair", it has its own problems. Namely, fair depends on the context, and the context may vary – what is fair in one context may be deeply unfair in another, and it's possible that there's no solution where something is "fair" in all possible (or even majority) contexts. ..."
"... Precisely a point. Abstract words require context when applied to concrete cases. The main case for 'equal' is likely "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence. The context there especially is a retort to the divine right of royalty. ..."
"... I think this argues for why a human element – judges – are indispensible for taking into account context and setting consequences appropriately. So Yves' introduction about the co-optation of the judiciary by Law & Economics is pertinent. It is vital for society to require the judiciary to act in the public interest. ..."
"... The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. Anatole France ..."
"... Another angle: all three are cheating, trying to watch the game without paying. If everybody did that. The point of the pictures is to simplify the concepts enough to provide a working definition – though as Studebaker wrote, it isn't a very good definition. ..."
"... Neo-liberal economics has resulted in more and more Americans finding themselves on the ' outside' , looking in, and a great many of them are quite upset about that because they remember a better time, and understand that in a very real sense, they're situation is the result of the callous, and willful behavior of elites who've profited in ruining their quality of life. ..."
"... Indeed. "The baseball game is dependent on the wall." Because, for one, who wants to run all the way to the river and wade in after the stupid ball? Baseball is an enjoyable distraction. So, to carry this metaphor, is the economy. Equity, to me, was always an equal share of something. A stake in something. Equal justice under the law. Without equity, as is now dawning on me, there can be no hope of equality. ..."
"... Neoliberalism is "accumulation by dispossession" (David Harvey) so there's no equity there. Hence no equality. ..."
Oct 25, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Yves here. To give you a bit of break rom the loud warble coming from far too many news outlets, here's a point of entry into a classic debate about fairness, or more specifically, equality versus equity.

In case you missed it, there's been a war on equity in the form of the law and economics movement. From ECONNED:

The third avenue for promoting and institutionalizing the "free market" ideology was inculcating judges. It was one of the most far-reaching actions the radical right wing could take. Precedents are powerful, and the bench turns over slowly. Success here would make the "free markets" revolution difficult to reverse.

While conservative scholars like Richard Posner and Richard Epstein at the University of Chicago trained some of the initial right-leaning jurists, attorney Henry Manne gave the effort far greater reach. Manne established his "law and economics" courses for judges, which grew into the Law and Economics Center, which in 1980 moved from the University of Miami to Emory in Atlanta and eventually to George Mason University.

Manne had gotten the backing of over 200 conservative sponsors, including some known for extreme right-wing views, such as the Adolph Coors Company, plus many of the large U.S. corporations that were also funding the deregulation.

Manne is often depicted as an entrepreneur in the realm of ideas. He took note of the fact that, at the time, the University of Chicago had one of the few law schools that solicited funding from large corporations. Manne sought to create a new law school, not along conventional brick-and-mortar lines (his efforts here failed), but as a network. He set out to become a wholesaler, teaching law professors and judges. However, although Manne presented his courses as teaching economics from a legal perspective, they had a strong ideological bias:

The center is directed by Henry Manne, a corporate lawyer who has undertaken to demolish what he calls "the myth of corporate responsibility." "Every time I hear a businessman acknowledge public interest in what they do," Manne warns, "they invite political control over their activities." At Manne's center in Miami, interested judges learn how to write decisions against such outside political control couched in the new norms of market efficiency.

Manne approached his effort not simply as education, but as a political movement. He would not accept law professors into his courses unless at least two came from a single school, so that they could support each other and push for others from the law and economics school of thought to be hired.

The program expanded to include seminars for judges, training in legal issues for economists, and an economics institute for Congressional aides. A 1979 Fortune article on the program noted that the instructors "almost to a man" were from the "free market" school of economics. Through 1980, 137 federal district and circuit court judges had finished the basic program and 56 had taken additional "advanced" one-week courses.

It is hard to overstate the change this campaign produced, namely, a major shift in jurisprudence. As Steven Teles of the University of Maryland noted:

In the beginning, the law and economics (with the partial exception of its application to antitrust) was so far out of the legal academic mainstream as to be reasonably characterized as "off the wall." . . . Moving law and economics' status from "off the wall" to "controversial but respectable" required a combination of celebrity and organizational entrepreneurship. . . . Mannes' programs for federal judges helped erase law and economics' stigma, since if judges -- the symbol of legal professional respectability -- took the ideas seriously, they could not be crazy and irresponsible.

Now why was law and economics vantage seen as "off the wall?" Previously, as noted above, economic thinking had been limited to antitrust, which inherently involves economic concepts (various ways to measure the power of large companies in a market). So extending economic concepts further was at least novel, and novel could be tantamount to "off the wall" in some circles. But with hindsight, equally strong words like "radical," "activist," and "revolutionary" would apply.

Why? The law and economics promoters sought to colonize legal minds. And, to a large extent they succeeded. For centuries (literally), jurisprudence had been a multifaceted subject aimed at ordering human affairs. The law and economics advocates wanted none of that. The law and economics advocates wanted none of that. They wanted their narrow construct to play as prominent a role as possible.

For instance, a notion that predates the legal practice is equity, that is, fairness. The law in its various forms including legislative, constitutional, private (i.e., contract), judicial, and administrative, is supposed to operate within broad, inherited concepts of equity. Another fundamental premise is the importance of "due process," meaning adherence to procedures set by the state. By contrast, the "free markets" ideology focuses on efficiency and seeks aggressively to minimize the role of government. The two sets of assumptions are diametrically opposed.

By Peter Dorman, professor of economics at The Evergreen State College. Originally published at Econospeak

Here's the graphic, widely used to explain why equity outcomes require unequal treatment of different people.

Benjamin Studebaker (hat tip Naked Capitalism ) doesn't like it at all: "I hate it so much." But his complaints, about the way the graphic elides classic debates in political theory, strike me as being too redolent of grad school obsessions. The graphic is not trying to advance one academic doctrine over another; it just makes a simple case for compensatory policy. I agree in a general way with this perspective.

Consider the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which mandates special facilities in public buildings to accommodate people in wheelchairs or facing other mobility challenges. This is unequal treatment: extra money is spent to install ramps that only a few will use, rather than for amenities for everyone. But it's a great idea! Yes, compensation is concentrated on a minority, but it aims to allow everyone to participate in public activities, and in doing this it embodies a spirit of solidarity that ought to embrace all of us. By making a simple, intuitive case for focused compensation, the graphic captures the spirit behind the ADA and many other policies that take account of inequalities that would otherwise leave some members of the community excluded and oppressed.

Unfortunately, however, there are serious limitations to the graphic; above all, it embodies assumptions that beg most of the questions people ask about compensatory programs. Some are challenges from conservatives of a more individualistic bent, others might be asked by friendly critics on the left, but all are worthy of being taken seriously.

1. Watching the game over the fence is binary: either you can see it or you can't. In the real world, however, most activities are matters of degree. You can learn more or less of a particular subject in school, have a better or worse chance of getting the job you want, live in a bigger or smaller house or apartment. How much compensation is enough? At what point do we decide that the gains from ex post equity are not large enough to justify the other costs of the program, not only monetary but possible conflicts with other social objectives? Every teacher who has thought about how much extra attention to give those students who come to the classroom with extra needs has faced this problem.

2. Watching the game is passive, an act of pure consumption. Things get more complex when inequalities involve activities that produce goods of value to others. For instance, how would the graphic address compensatory programs for the baseball players ? Yes, a player from an underserved, overlooked community should get an extra chance to show they should be on the team. But should the criteria for who makes the team be relaxed? How and how much? In case you haven't noticed, this gets to the core of debates over affirmative action. Again, I am in favor of the principle of taking extra steps to compensate for pre-existing inequalities, but the graphic offers no guidance in figuring out how far to go in that direction.

3. Height is a largely inherited condition, but what about differences in opportunity that are at least partly the result of the choices we make ourselves? This is red meat to conservatives, who denounce affirmative action and other compensatory policies on the grounds that they undermine the incentive to try hard and do one's best. I think this position is too extreme, since inherited and environmental conditions are obviously crucial in many contexts, but it would also be a mistake to say that individual choices play no role at all. Again we are facing questions of degree, and the graphic, with it's clear intimation that inequality is inborn and ineluctable, doesn't help.

4. The inequality depicted in the graphic is height, which is easily and uncontroversially measured. Most social inequalities are anything but. Student A went to a high school with a library; student B's high school didn't have one. That's a meaningful inequality, and if an opportunity can be awarded to only one of them, like entrance into a selective college program, it ought to be considered. But how big an effect should we attribute to it? Damned if I know.

5. There is no real scarcity facing the three game-watchers in the graphics. There are enough boxes to allow everyone to get a good view and enough fence space for everyone to share. In the real world neither tends to be true. Resources that can be devoted to compensatory programs are limited, especially on a global scale, which, if you're really an egalitarian, is how you should think about these things. Even locally, the money often runs short. The college I used to teach at could be criticized for not doing enough for students from low income and rural backgrounds with weak K-12 systems (I certainly did), but even with the best of intentions the money was not there. Of course, where the goods to be distributed are competitive, like slots in a school or job openings at a company, the problem is that there's not enough fence space to go around. Yes, we should take action to provide more opportunities and reduce the competitive scarcity. No, this won't make the scarcity go away completely.

6. The graphic shows us three individuals and asks us to visually compare their heights. America has a population of over 320 million, and even "small" communities can have a cast of thousands. Surely we are not expected to make individual calculations for every person-by-person comparison. No, those using the graphic usually have in mind group comparisons -- differences requiring compensatory interventions according to race, class, gender, ability status, etc. But while that makes things easier by reducing the number of comparisons, it makes everything else much harder to figure out: How do we measure group advantages and disadvantages? How do we account for intersections? Are they additive, multiplicative or something else? Do all members of the group get assigned the same advantage/disadvantage rankings? If not, on what criteria? These are tremendously difficult questions. I am not suggesting that they force us to abandon an egalitarian commitment to substantive, ex post equality -- quite the contrary, in fact. We do have to face them if we want to reduce the inequality in this world. My point here is that, by depicting just these three fans watching a baseball game over a fence, one tall, one medium, one short, the graphic is a dishonest guide to navigating actual situations.

My bottom line is that, while I agree with the spirit of the graphic that policies, whether at a single office, a large institution or an entire country, should take account of the inequalities people face in real life and try to compensate for them, how and how far to go is difficult to resolve. Achieving ex post equality is complicated in the face of so many factors that affect our chances in life, and on top of this, equality is only one of many values we ought to respect.

The real world politics of affirmative action, targeted (as opposed to universal) benefit programs and the like reside in these complexities. The equity graphic conveys the initial insight, but the assumptions packed into its story make it harder rather than easier to think through the controversies that bedevil equity politics.


vlade , October 25, 2019 at 4:22 am

This goes back to what I call justice vs fairness. Justice is supposed to be blind, with the same outcome for all. It ain't so at the moment, but let's suppose we'd get a perfect justice. It still would not be fair. Fine of 1k may mean bankruptcy for some, and way beyond the level of recognition for someone else.

But if you start getting into "fair", it has its own problems. Namely, fair depends on the context, and the context may vary – what is fair in one context may be deeply unfair in another, and it's possible that there's no solution where something is "fair" in all possible (or even majority) contexts.

Justice is blind really means it declaratively sets the context and recognises no other. But if we lock the context for fairness, we'll generate some unfair outcomes.

That all said, the fact that the perfect outcome is unachievable doesn't mean we'd not strive for a better one.

Steve H. , October 25, 2019 at 7:31 am

> context may vary

Precisely a point. Abstract words require context when applied to concrete cases. The main case for 'equal' is likely "all men are created equal" in the Declaration of Independence. The context there especially is a retort to the divine right of royalty.

Abstractions are particularly subject to korinthenkacking, "questions of degree". Commitment to decisions tend to binarism, and (imo) usually based on one or two factors, with a third for nuance.

For all the dithers, there is an egalatarianism inherent in the image; universally, everyone has been a child and at some point has felt the pain of being too small. That emotional impact is part of its success.

Oguk , October 25, 2019 at 11:41 am

I think this argues for why a human element – judges – are indispensible for taking into account context and setting consequences appropriately. So Yves' introduction about the co-optation of the judiciary by Law & Economics is pertinent. It is vital for society to require the judiciary to act in the public interest. Manne's framing of this as "political control" is not completely wrong. The kind of judicial reform we (I) would like to see needs to articulate what "public interest" means. I find Dorman's grappling with this graphic to be a helpful start. The left seems deficient in thinking about this kind of complexity (though perhaps I've missed it).

Katniss Everdeen , October 25, 2019 at 8:13 am

Wow, hadn't seen this before. Kinda fun to think about. Maybe the whole point is just to illustrate the difference in the definitions of the two words in an Ikea sorta way. Haven't seen the Studebaker critique so I don't know what his issues are.

I also have no idea what the "classic debates in political theory" wrt this graphic are. But a few thoughts occur to me–can the short guy cut a hole in the the fence, or do the "rules" say that the only way to see the game, without buying a ticket of course, is by looking OVER the fence?

Is there a legitimate reason for the fence at all? If so, what is it? If not, why is it there? Why are there no wheel chairs in the picture, when the discussion involves disabled accommodation? Why do the kibitzers in the graphic appear to be minorities, no whites?

Gotta take the dog to the vet now. Will look for the Studebaker piece later. Maybe he answers my questions.

Greg Gerner , October 25, 2019 at 8:36 am

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. Anatole France

James Fox , October 25, 2019 at 8:45 am

I have always found this graphic both confusing and troubling. Why are the three central figures watching the game outside the park? Isn't the difference between the outside the fence watchers and the comfortably seated audience inside the park a question of equality and equity? Are equity standards only applied to people relegated to not only 'second class seating' but standing room only areas? Finally, do the people inside the park get to decide not only who gets into the park but also how well or poorly the excluded fence watchers execute a workaround to subvert the exclusionary practices implied by the presence of a fence?

Oregoncharles , October 26, 2019 at 12:33 am

Another angle: all three are cheating, trying to watch the game without paying. If everybody did that. The point of the pictures is to simplify the concepts enough to provide a working definition – though as Studebaker wrote, it isn't a very good definition.

In simplifying it so much, it leaves a tremendous amount out and dodges a legion of questions – both our writers seem to agree that it dodges crucial questions.

In the end, it's just a cartoon. You're right: the field would have guards out there to prevent this sort of thing, unless they were consciously offering charity.

Watt4Bob , October 25, 2019 at 9:21 am

Why has no one made note of the fact that the people in the graphic are all excluded, presumedly because of lack of the price of a ticket?

And is that lack of money due to the fact that they are all people of color, and so subject to the economic inequality, based on racial prejudice, that plagues our system?

To me, the graphic portrays, in sub-text, the notion that people with less can/should be happy with less than full participation in the culture in which they live, so long as that austerity is ' properly' distributed amongst those ' outside ' the fence.

Neo-liberal economics has resulted in more and more Americans finding themselves on the ' outside' , looking in, and a great many of them are quite upset about that because they remember a better time, and understand that in a very real sense, they're situation is the result of the callous, and willful behavior of elites who've profited in ruining their quality of life.

To take my analysis a bit further, IMO, it is the ' nouveau poor ' who, because of their belief that they deserve the better life they clearly remember, and so recently lost, insist that the ' equality ' portrayed in the left panel is reasonable, and should be accepted because it is obviously evenly distributed.

This misinformed opinion might be attributed to their lack of experience with their new life ' outside ', where people over time learn to cooperate in making do with less.

There is a rich literature dealing with this reality, think The Prince and the Pauper, or even the teachings of Jesus, and the Buddha.

The folks who believe in MAGA, are refusing to adjust, and believe that somehow, they will regain their rightful place in an economy that has clearly decided to leave them behind, and ' outside '.

Our job then, is to help them understand that their only real hope for a better life is in solidarity with the rest of us, in our fight to get everyone a place inside the fence.

This job is obviously a long, up hill battle, largely because of the long history of the PTB stigmatizing socialism, dividing to conquer, and of course the MSM's total abandonment of their civic duty.

It's Bernie or bust!

Dan , October 25, 2019 at 12:56 pm

And, that the little kid will, unless they are a midget, grow to the point where they can see over the fence?

Oh, and poor white people, who outnumber blacks? What about them?

Will Shetterly , October 25, 2019 at 10:02 am

Socialism flattens the fence so anyone who wants to watch can take a seat in the stadium.

Watt4Bob , October 25, 2019 at 4:44 pm

Exactly!

Cuba is a baseball-crazy country, how many people in Cuba are watching from over the fence?

Joe Well , October 25, 2019 at 5:48 pm

I odce spent a few months in Cuba. It is absolutely not a model for most things. One anecdote: an employee of the film industry (ICAIC) told me she gave some desperately poor friends movie theater tickets. They ended up not going because they couldn't afford the bus fare.

A bigger issue: the daily struggle to get enough to eat beyond rice, beans, and sugar. We can debate the role of the US in turning Cuba into a near prison, and all sanctions need to stop now, but it is what it is.

witters , October 26, 2019 at 12:57 am

We can debate the role of the US in turning Cuba into a near prison, and all sanctions need to stop now, but it is what it is.

And we can debate why, without sanctions, the US has the largest prison population in the world at the highest rate of imprisonment. Tthough, of course, there is "no daily struggle" for food or healthcare )

https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie2019.html

Joe Well , October 26, 2019 at 10:15 am

Cuba is an actual country with 11 million real people in it, not just a set of talking points or a hypothetical. Of all the manifestations of North American arrogance, being made into fairy tales pisses off Latin Americans, including the left, about as much as any. We can abolish the current prison model and also abolish the sanctions on Cuba and do other things not to make their already difficult lives worse.

A country a hundred miles from Disney World has the boot of the US state pressing down on its suffering people and most American leftists only talk about it in terms of an internal US political debate. Exhibit 10000 of why the American left sucks.

And yes, Cuba today distributes what resources it does have so unequally that it is not a great model of social justice.

Anarcissie , October 25, 2019 at 11:41 am

In the graphic, there are at least three games going on: the baseball game, about which we don't learn very much; the game of the fence, which is solved with box arrangements, or by taking it down; and the game of the definitions of 'equality' and 'equity', which comes through the fourth wall into the world in which the cartoonist is trying to prove something. According to my communistic prejudices, I would have said the only just solution would be to remove the wall, but it could be that the baseball game is dependent on the wall -- I would think most goods produced by labor, especially performances, would require some defining structure -- and certainly the word game requires the wall as part of its raw material.

PKMKII , October 25, 2019 at 11:45 am

Or, replace the wall with clear plexiglass, thus retaining the nature of the game but removing the market barriers that keep people without access to funds from enjoying the game.

Susan the Other , October 25, 2019 at 2:02 pm

Indeed. "The baseball game is dependent on the wall." Because, for one, who wants to run all the way to the river and wade in after the stupid ball? Baseball is an enjoyable distraction. So, to carry this metaphor, is the economy. Equity, to me, was always an equal share of something. A stake in something. Equal justice under the law. Without equity, as is now dawning on me, there can be no hope of equality.

Little Manu Macron, in a burst of hypocrisy, told Trump that the difference between France and the US was that France was based more on social justice. Justice. I really don't see that as fundamentally French. But I definitely don't see it as fundamentally USA. "Equity" is as much verbiage as "Equality". We might want to start looking at the antonyms. Neoliberalism is "accumulation by dispossession" (David Harvey) so there's no equity there. Hence no equality.

Appleseed , October 25, 2019 at 3:00 pm

A version of this graphic was used at a civic engagement seminar on multi-modal transportation accessibility I attended last night. It featured one twist – the replacement of the slotted fence with a chain link fence so that all could see the game "because the cause of the inequity was addressed. The systemic barrier was removed." In the context of the presentation about accessibility in the city, the presenter mentioned universal design . This reminded me of Bucky Fuller's anticipatory design since both seek to think comprehensively (i.e. inclusively) about design challenges and to accommodate the maximum number of beneficiaries while doing harm to the least number possible. Seem equitable to me! The designer of the equity meme has a great post at Medium that provides a thorough overview of how the graphic has evolved (including the the chain link fence addition), the variety of interpretations, and how the "famous" meme has spread far and wide.

William S , October 25, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Is Mr. Dorman damning this image with faint praise? I think it's a brilliant way of illustrating how an issue can be turned on it's head and looked at from a different perspective.

It presents the difference between equality of opportunity vs. equality of outcome. Even some self-labeled progressives (perhaps in order to appease conservatives?) have claimed they are only interested in the former, not the latter. The graphic shows how meaningless that way of judging results is.

The first step in trying to achieve good outcomes for all is to listen to all. This gets my goat:

"Surely we are not expected to make individual calculations for every person-by-person comparison."

Well, that's what individuals do, and if you respect them you take their perceptions of inequity as data for your distributed computation. Not everyone wants the same thing. Some people don't even like baseball.

And yes, that fence around the field is a good starter for a conversation about the problems of enclosure. You wouldn't need the damn boxes if you hadn't blocked the view.

Katniss Everdeen , October 25, 2019 at 1:06 pm

Wow, hadn't seen this before. Kinda fun to think about. Maybe the whole point is just to illustrate the difference in the definitions of the two words in an Ikea sorta way. Haven't seen the Studebaker critique so I don't know what his issues are.

I also have no idea what the "classic debates in political theory" wrt this graphic are. But a few thoughts occur to me–can the short guy cut a hole in the the fence, or do the "rules" say that the only way to see the game, without buying a ticket of course, is by looking OVER the fence?

Is there a legitimate reason for the fence at all? If so, what is it? If not, why is it there? Why are there no wheel chairs in the picture, when the discussion involves disabled accommodation? Why do the people in the graphic appear to be minorities, no whites?

Gotta take the dog to the vet now. Will look for the Studebaker piece later. Maybe he answers my questions.

rd , October 25, 2019 at 6:32 pm

I think a big challenge in the US is the general assumption that equality, equity, etc. are a zero-sum game. If somebody gets something, then other people have lost. I think this thinking is one of the reasons that we have seen low productivity growth over the past couple of decades.

If the lower-class elements in society can get better conditions and opportunities, they also have the opportunity to contribute more to society which increases the total size of the pool for everybody to split. High inequality, such as now, means that many people are not able to contribute to their full potential, which means the total size of the pool can be smaller than it otherwise might be.

I don't think it is accidental that one of the great economic booms of all time occurred from about 1950 to 2000 when the US:

1. Helped fund reconstruction of Europe and Japan after WW II;
2. Instituted the GI Bill which allowed many people who would never have gone to higher education to do so;
3. Desegregated schools and generally allowed minorities to participate more fully;
4. Encouraged women to participate more fully in society; and
5. Disabled people could participate more fully.

All of these factors contributed to substantial growth in the 50s-90s period as more and more groups become economically prosperous. However, we are now going to the ultimate meritocracy where the economic winners are beginning to crush the people who have not done as well and concentrate wealth at the top. As a result, the growth has stagnated as mobility is decreasing and the upper pools are not growing.

witters , October 26, 2019 at 1:03 am

1950-2000? I think the key date is 1973, when labor productivity was detached from wage compensation. That's your neoliberalism kicking in, and it kicks on (and down).

Knute Rife , October 26, 2019 at 4:55 pm

Destroying the equity powers of the federal courts was a major goal of Rehnquist & Co. For the most part, mission accomplished.

[Oct 26, 2019] The globalist criminal elites will not be held responsible for any of these crimes. They're bound together by ties of blackmail forged by guys like Epstein, mutually assured incrimination in serial swindles which cross Left and Right political boundaries and literal murder in the case of guys like Seth Rich

Oct 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

Exile , says: October 25, 2019 at 6:42 pm GMT

The globalist criminal elites will not be held responsible for any of these crimes. They're bound together by ties of blackmail forged by guys like Epstein, mutually assured incrimination in serial swindles which cross Left and Right political boundaries and literal murder in the case of guys like Seth Rich.

The cozy proximity of recently-murdered Epstein himself to crypto-converso AG Barr's family only makes me more certain that they will get away with this heist like they've done with dozens of other billion-dollar swindles.

If they were only stealing money it would be bad enough, but the fact that these same grifters are our "diplomats" and warmakers is positively Orwellian. Watching these petty hoodlums play nuclear chicken with Russia so they can squeeze more shekels from the supine Ukraine would be laughable if I could get the first-strike nightmares of my Cold War childhood out of my head long enough to laugh.

[Oct 25, 2019] Trump-Haters, Not Trump, Are The Ones Wrecking America s Institutions, WSJ s Strassel Says

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "I've always felt that the media leaned left. That wasn't a surprise to anyone. "But what we've seen over the past three years is something entirely different. This is the media actively engaging on one side of a partisan warfare. It's overt." ..."
"... "We had a media cheerleading the FBI for meddling in American politics. Can you ever imagine a time in American history where the media would have played such a role? ..."
"... "I keep warning my friends on the other side of the aisle: Think about the precedent you are setting here," Strassel said. ..."
Oct 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump-Haters, Not Trump, Are The Ones Wrecking America's Institutions, WSJ's Strassel Says by Tyler Durden Thu, 10/24/2019 - 17:15 0 SHARES

Authored by Irene Luo and Jan Jekielek via The Epoch Times,

The anti- Trump "Resistance" has devastated core American institutions and broken longstanding political norms in seeking to defeat and now oust from office President Donald Trump, said Kimberley Strassel, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and member of the Journal's editorial board.

"And this, to me, is the irony, right? We've been told for three years that Donald Trump is wrecking institutions," Strassel said in an interview with The Epoch Times for the "American Thought Leaders" program.

" But in terms of real wreckage to institutions, it's not on Donald Trump that public faith in the FBI and the Department of Justice has precipitously fallen. That's because of Jim Comey and Andy McCabe. It's not on Donald Trump that the Senate confirmation process for the Supreme Court is in ashes after what happened to Brett Kavanaugh. It's not on Donald Trump that we are turning impeachment into a partisan political tool."

The damage inflicted by the anti-Trump Resistance is the subject of Strassel's new book, "Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America."

Strassel uses the term "haters" deliberately, to differentiate this demographic from Trump's "critics."

In Strassel's view, all thoughtful critics of Trump - and she counts herself among them - would look at Trump the same way that they have examined past presidents - namely, to call him out when he does something wrong, but also laud him when he does something right.

" The 'haters' can't abide nuance. To the Resistance, any praise - no matter how qualified - of Trump is tantamount to American betrayal, " Strassel writes in "Resistance (At All Costs)."

She told The Epoch Times: "Up until the point at which Donald Trump was elected, what happened when political parties lost is that they would retreat, regroup, lick their wounds, talk about what they did wrong.

"That's not what happened this time around. Instead, you had people who essentially said we should have won."

From the moment Trump was elected, this group believed Trump to be an illegitimate president and therefore felt they could use whatever means necessary to remove him from office , Strassel said.

'Unprecedented Acts'

"One thing I try really hard to do in this book is enunciate what rules and regulations and standards were broken, what political boundaries were crossed, because I think that that's where we're seeing the damage," Strassel said.

The "unprecedented acts" of the Resistance have caused the public to lose trust in longstanding institutions such as the FBI, the CIA, and the Department of Justice, and cheapened important political processes like impeachment, she said.

The Resistance fabricated and pushed the theory that it was Trump's collusion with Russia that won him the presidency, not the support of the American people, and lied about the origins of the so-called evidence -- the Steele dossier -- that was used by the FBI to justify a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, Strassel said.

"We have never, in the history of this country, had a counterintelligence investigation into a political campaign," she said.

In an anecdote that Strassel recounts in her book, she asked former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) if there was anything in America's laws that could have prohibited this situation.

Nunes, who had helped write or update many laws concerning the powers of the intelligence community, replied, "I would never have conceived of the FBI using our counterintelligence capabilities to target a political campaign.

"If it had crossed any of our minds, I can guarantee we'd have specifically written: 'Don't do that.'"

In Strassel's view, the Resistance is partially fueled by deep-seated anger, or what others have termed "Trump derangement syndrome" -- an inability to look rationally at a man so far outside of Washington norms.

But at the same time, in Strassel's view, much of the Resistance is motivated by a desire to amass political power using whatever means necessary.

"That involves removing the president who won. That involves some of these other things that you hear them talking about now: packing the Supreme Court, getting rid of the electoral college, letting 16-year-olds vote," she said.

"These are not reforms. Reforms are things that the country broadly agrees are going to help improve stuff. This is changing the rules so that you get power, and you stay in power."

The impeachment inquiry into the president, based on his phone call with Ukraine's president, is just another example of how the Resistance is violating political norms and relying on flimsy evidence to try to remove him from office, she said.

Testimony in the inquiry has taken place behind closed doors, led by three House committees, and Democrats have so far refused to release transcripts from the depositions of former and current State Department employees.

"[Impeachment] is one of the most serious and huge powers in the Constitution. It was meant always by the founders to be reserved for truly unusual circumstances. They debated not even putting it in because they were concerned that this is what would happen," Strassel said.

In the impeachment inquiries against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, Strassel said, American leaders "understood the great importance of convincing the American public that their decision to use this tool was just and legitimate.

"So if you look back at Watergate, they had hundreds of hours of testimony broadcast over TV that people tuned into and watched. It's one of the reasons that Richard Nixon resigned before the House ever held a final impeachment vote on him, because the public had been convinced. He knew he had to go," she said.

But now, instead of access to the testimonies, the public is receiving only leaked snippets and dueling narratives.

"You have Democrats saying, 'Oh, this is very bad.' And Republicans saying, 'Oh, it's not so bad at all.' What are Americans supposed to think?" Strassel said.

Bureaucratic Resistance

Within the federal bureaucracy, there is a "vast swath of unelected officials" who have "a great deal of power to slow things down, mess things up, file the whistleblower complaints, leak information, actively engage against the president's policies," Strassel said.

"It's their job to implement his agenda. And yet a lot of them are part of the Resistance, too," she said.

Data shows that in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, government bureaucrats overwhelmingly contributed toward the Clinton campaign over the Trump campaign.

Ninety-five percent, or about $1.9 million, of bureaucrats' donations went to Clinton, according to The Hill's analysis of donations from federal workers up until September 2016. In particular, employees at the Department of Justice gave 97 percent of their donations to Clinton. For the State Department, it was even higher -- 99 percent.

"Imagine being a CEO and showing up and knowing that 95 percent of your workforce despises you and doesn't want you to be there," Strassel said.

Strassel pointed to when former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration, publicly questioned the constitutionality of Trump's immigration ban and directed Justice Department employees to disobey the order.

"It was basically a call to arms," Strassel said. "What she should've done is honorably resigned if she felt that she could not in any way enforce this duly issued executive order.

"It really kicked off what we have seen ever since then: The nearly daily leaks from the administration, the whistleblower complaints," as well as "all kind of internal foot-dragging and outright obstruction to the president's agenda."

According to a report by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, in Trump's first 126 days in office, his administration "faced 125 leaked stories -- one leak a day -- containing information that is potentially damaging to national security under the standards laid out in a 2009 Executive Order signed by President Barack Obama."

Activist Media

Strassel says the media has played a critical role in bolstering the anti-Trump Resistance.

"I've been a reporter for 25 years," Strassel said.

"I've always felt that the media leaned left. That wasn't a surprise to anyone. "But what we've seen over the past three years is something entirely different. This is the media actively engaging on one side of a partisan warfare. It's overt."

Along the way, the media have largely abandoned journalistic standards, "whether it be the use of anonymous sources, whether it be putting uncorroborated accusations into the paper, whether it's using biased sources for information and cloaking them as neutral observers," she said.

Among the many examples of media misinformation cited in Strassel's book is a December 2017 CNN piece that claimed to have evidence that then-candidate Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. had been offered early access to hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. But it turned out the date was wrong . Trump Jr. had received an email about the WikiLeaks release one day after WikiLeaks had made the documents public.

"If it hurts Donald Trump, they're on board," Strassel said. And in many cases, the attacks on Trump have been contradictory.

"He's either the dunce you claim he is every day or he's the most sophisticated Manchurian candidate that the world has ever seen. You can't have it both ways.

"He's either a dictator and an autocrat who is consolidating power around himself to rule with an iron fist, or he's the evil conservative who's cutting regulations."

Contrary to claims of authoritarianism, Trump has significantly decreased the size of the federal government. Notably, he reduced the Federal Register, a collection of all the national government's rules and regulations, to the lowest it's been since Bill Clinton's first year in office.

"You can't be a libertarian dictator," Strassel said.

In addition to the barrage of attacks on Trump, the media has actively sought to "de-legitimize anybody who has a different viewpoint than they do, or who is reporting the facts and the story in a way other than they would like them to be presented."

"They would love to make it sound as though none of us are worthy of writing about this story," she said.

"The media is supposed to be our guardrails, right? When a political party transgresses a political boundary, they're supposed to say 'No, that's beyond the pale.'"

Instead, "they indulged this behavior," Strassel said.

"We had a media cheerleading the FBI for meddling in American politics. Can you ever imagine a time in American history where the media would have played such a role?

"In a way, I blame that for so much else that has gone wrong."

Long-Term Consequences

Strassel says the actions taken by the Resistance will have long-term consequences for America.

"I keep warning my friends on the other side of the aisle: Think about the precedent you are setting here," Strassel said.

For example, if Joe Biden wins the presidency in 2020 but Republicans take back the House, would the Republican-dominated House immediately launch impeachment proceedings against Biden for alleged corruption in Ukraine?

"I wouldn't necessarily use the word [corruption], but there's a lot of Republicans who happily would. And if they thought they'd get another shot at the White House, why not?" Strassel said.

It's short-term thinking, she said, just like Sen. Harry Reid's decision in 2013 to drop the number of votes needed to overcome a filibuster for lower-court judges.

"Did he really stop to think about the fact that it paved the way for Republicans to get rid of the filibuster for Supreme Court judges?" Strassel said.

If there's any rule in Washington, "it's that when you set the bar low, it just keeps going lower," Strassel said.

"Donald Trump is going to be president for at most another five years. But the actions and the destruction that's coming with some of this could be with us for a very long time," she said.

"Should anyone allow their deep disregard for one particular man to so change the structure and the fabric of the country?"

[Oct 23, 2019] Goodbye Middle Class 50% Of American Workers Make Less Than $33,000 A Year

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, about 10 percent of all American workers are making $100,000 or more a year, but most of those high paying jobs are concentrated in the major cities along the east and west coasts. For much of the rest of the country, these are very challenging times as the cost of living soars but their paychecks do not. ..."
Oct 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

The truth is that most American families are deeply struggling, but you hardly ever hear this from the mainstream media.

Yes, about 10 percent of all American workers are making $100,000 or more a year, but most of those high paying jobs are concentrated in the major cities along the east and west coasts. For much of the rest of the country, these are very challenging times as the cost of living soars but their paychecks do not.

According to the Social Security Administration , the median income in the United States last year was just $32,838.05. In other words, 50 percent of American workers made more than $32,838.05 and 50 percent of American workers made less than $32,838.05 in 2018. Let's be generous and round that number up to $33,000, and when you break it down on a monthly basis it comes to just $2,750 a month. Of course nobody can support a middle class lifestyle for a family of four on $2,750 a month before taxes, and so in most families more than one person is working these days. In fact, in many families today more than one person is working multiple jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet, and it still is often not quite enough.

If you want to look at the Social Security wage statistics for yourself, you can find them right here . As you will see, I am not making these numbers up.

These days many would have us feel bad if we are not making at least $100,000 a year, but according to the report only about 10 percent of all American workers make that much money.

Instead, most Americans are in what I would call "the barely getting by" category. Here are some key facts that I pulled out of the report

-33 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000 last year.

-46 percent of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.

-58 percent of all American workers made less than $40,000 last year.

-67 percent of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.

That means that approximately two-thirds of all American workers are making $4,000 or less a month before taxes.

Ouch.

But these numbers help us to understand why survey after survey has shown that most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck . After paying the bills, there just isn't much money left for most of us.

And for an increasing number of Americans, even paying the bills has become exceedingly difficult. In fact, a brand new report from UBS says that 44 percent of all U.S. consumers "don't make enough money to cover their expenses"

Low-income consumers are struggling to make ends meet despite the "greatest economy ever," and if a recession strikes or the employment cycle continues to decelerate -- this could mean the average American with insurmountable debts will likely fall behind on their debt servicing payments, according to a UBS report, first reported by Bloomberg .

UBS analyst Matthew Mish wrote in a recent report that 44% of consumers don't make enough money to cover their expenses.

That means that about half the country is flat broke and struggling just to survive financially.

Of course those at the top of the economic food chain often don't have a lot of sympathy for those that are hurting. Many of them have the attitude that those that are struggling should just go out and get one of the "good jobs" that the mainstream media is endlessly touting.

But most jobs in the United States are not "good jobs".

Today, the poverty level for a household of four in the United States is $25,750. More than 40 percent of the workers in this country make less than that each year.

Starting a business is always an option, but that takes money, and thanks to government regulations it is harder than ever to run a small business successfully.

Just look at what is happening to our dairy farmers. There are few occupations that are more quintessentially "American" than being a dairy farmer, and since most people drink milk and eat cheese, you would think that it would be a pretty safe profession.

But instead, dairy farms are shutting down at a pace that is absolutely chilling all over the nation. For example, just check out what has been going on in Wisconsin

Wisconsin lost another 42 dairy farms in July, and since January 1, has lost 491 farms, reports the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

At this rate, the Dairy State could lose 735 dairy farms this year, which would be a decline of 9%. In 2018, the state lost 691 farms, a rate of decline of 7.9%.

Over the last decade the state has lost more than 5,000 farms, or 40% of its licensed dairy farms. To state the obvious, the current rate of exits is more than double that of the last decade.

... ... ...

[Oct 23, 2019] The idea of tribunes a a check on ruling financial oligarchy can probably be reinstituted under late neoliberalism

That creates somewhat artificial division with the ruling elite, which might help to prevent stagnation and degradation.
Oct 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

hemeantwell , October 22, 2019 at 12:50 pm

In trying to make up for my ignorance on Rome's history I came across P. A. Brunt's "Social Conflicts in the Roman Republic." His account of the innovation of the office of the tribune gave me a good sense of the intensity of those conflicts:

"In 494 a great body of the plebs sat down en masse outside Rome and refused to serve in the army. Such a 'secession' or strike undoubtedly occurred in 287, and similar revolutionary action must have been taken now, to account for the concession the patricians were forced to make: the creation of the tribunate of the plebs. The ten tribunes were plebeians annually elected by an assembly organized in voting units calle tribes; these were local divisions of the state, originally four within the city and seventeen in the adjoining countryside. This assembly was truly democratic at the start, when the tribes were probably more or less equal in numbers; the rich had no superior voting power.

The original function of the tribunes was to protect humble Romans against oppression by the magistrates; they did so by literally stepping between them and their intended victims (intercessio). The magistrates did not dare touch their persons, which were 'sacrosanct'; that meant that the whole plebs were sworn to avenge them by lynching whoever laid hands on them. But their power was confined to the city; outside the walls, Roman territory was still too insecure for any restriction to be allowable on the discretion of the magistrates to act as they thought best for the public safety. This limitation on tribunician power subsisted throughout the Republic, long after its rationale had disappeared." p.52

In this light, it seems that the obstructionist quality of tribunician power that Yves' refers to stemmed from the original need to allow plebs to put the kabosh on patrician power to avoid revolution. Another instance of when peace brought about by a veto power eventually makes the veto power appear unnecessary.

The limitation on the power of the tribunes in rural areas was relevant to a factor in Rome's development Brunt places a lot of weight on: the breakdown of plebian farmholding, in part through loss of land through absence brought about by conscription, but also by patrician gang violence. In his telling this alienation by dispossession was ongoing to varying degrees during the Republic.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , October 22, 2019 at 1:50 pm

Tribunes.

Do we have something similar today, anywhere in the world?

likbez , October 23, 2019 at 12:29 am

Yes, I think so.

During the New Deal, the union leaders were effectively tribunes without veto power, but still considerable influence as they controlled a large number of voters belonging to respective unions.

Similar short story was with Russian "Soviets" -- worker and peasant consuls until Stalin centralization of governance. They were kind of power check on Bolshevik party Politburo (a kind of Senate, the Bolsheviks party nobility )

[Oct 23, 2019] The Pathocracy Of The Deep State Tyranny At The Hands Of A Psychopathic Government

Highly recommended!
If we assume that most politicians are latent psychopaths, they need to be more tightly controlled by the people. which means no re-election of Senators after two terms.
Notable quotes:
"... " Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths . I think you would find no expert in the field of sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder who would dispute this... That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow -- but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one." ..."
Oct 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

" Politicians are more likely than people in the general population to be sociopaths . I think you would find no expert in the field of sociopathy/psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder who would dispute this... That a small minority of human beings literally have no conscience was and is a bitter pill for our society to swallow -- but it does explain a great many things, shamelessly deceitful political behavior being one."

- Dr. Martha Stout, clinical psychologist and former instructor at Harvard Medical School

Twenty years ago, a newspaper headline asked the question: " What's the difference between a politician and a psychopath? "

The answer, then and now, remains the same: None . There is no difference between psychopaths and politicians. Nor is there much of a difference between the havoc wreaked on innocent lives by uncaring, unfeeling, selfish, irresponsible, parasitic criminals and elected officials who lie to their constituents , trade political favors for campaign contributions, turn a blind eye to the wishes of the electorate, cheat taxpayers out of hard-earned dollars, favor the corporate elite, entrench the military industrial complex, and spare little thought for the impact their thoughtless actions and hastily passed legislation might have on defenseless citizens.

Psychopaths and politicians both have a tendency to be selfish, callous, remorseless users of others, irresponsible, pathological liars , glib, con artists, lacking in remorse and shallow.

Charismatic politicians, like criminal psychopaths, exhibit a failure to accept responsibility for their actions , have a high sense of self-worth, are chronically unstable, have socially deviant lifestyles, need constant stimulation, have parasitic lifestyles and possess unrealistic goals.

It doesn't matter whether you're talking about Democrats or Republicans.

Political psychopaths are all largely cut from the same pathological cloth, brimming with seemingly easy charm and boasting calculating minds . Such leaders eventually create pathocracies: totalitarian societies bent on power, control, and destruction of both freedom in general and those who exercise their freedoms.

Once psychopaths gain power, the result is usually some form of totalitarian government or a pathocracy. "At that point, the government operates against the interests of its own people except for favoring certain groups," author James G. Long notes. "We are currently witnessing deliberate polarizations of American citizens, illegal actions, and massive and needless acquisition of debt. This is typical of psychopathic systems , and very similar things happened in the Soviet Union as it overextended and collapsed."

In other words, electing a psychopath to public office is tantamount to national hara-kiri, the ritualized act of self-annihilation, self-destruction and suicide. It signals the demise of democratic government and lays the groundwork for a totalitarian regime that is legalistic, militaristic, inflexible, intolerant and inhuman.

Incredibly, despite clear evidence of the damage that has already been inflicted on our nation and its citizens by a psychopathic government, voters continue to elect psychopaths to positions of power and influence.

According to investigative journalist Zack Beauchamp , "In 2012, a group of psychologists evaluated every President from Washington to Bush II using 'psychopathy trait estimates derived from personality data completed by historical experts on each president.' They found that presidents tended to have the psychopath's characteristic fearlessness and low anxiety levels -- traits that appear to help Presidents, but also might cause them to make reckless decisions that hurt other people's lives."

The willingness to prioritize power above all else, including the welfare of their fellow human beings, ruthlessness, callousness and an utter lack of conscience are among the defining traits of the sociopath.

When our own government no longer sees us as human beings with dignity and worth but as things to be manipulated, maneuvered, mined for data, manhandled by police, conned into believing it has our best interests at heart, mistreated, jailed if we dare step out of line, and then punished unjustly without remorse -- all the while refusing to own up to its failings -- we are no longer operating under a constitutional republic.

Instead, what we are experiencing is a pathocracy: tyranny at the hands of a psychopathic government, which " operates against the interests of its own people except for favoring certain groups ."

Worse, psychopathology is not confined to those in high positions of government. It can spread like a virus among the populace. As an academic study into pathocracy concluded , "[T]yranny does not flourish because perpetuators are helpless and ignorant of their actions. It flourishes because they actively identify with those who promote vicious acts as virtuous."

People don't simply line up and salute. It is through one's own personal identification with a given leader, party or social order that they become agents of good or evil.

Much depends on how leaders " cultivate a sense of identification with their followers ," says Professor Alex Haslam. "I mean one pretty obvious thing is that leaders talk about 'we' rather than 'I,' and actually what leadership is about is cultivating this sense of shared identity about 'we-ness' and then getting people to want to act in terms of that 'we-ness,' to promote our collective interests. . . . [We] is the single word that has increased in the inaugural addresses over the last century . . . and the other one is 'America.'"

The goal of the modern corporate state is obvious: to promote, cultivate, and embed a sense of shared identification among its citizens. To this end, "we the people" have become "we the police state."

We are fast becoming slaves in thrall to a faceless, nameless, bureaucratic totalitarian government machine that relentlessly erodes our freedoms through countless laws, statutes, and prohibitions.

Any resistance to such regimes depends on the strength of opinions in the minds of those who choose to fight back. What this means is that we the citizenry must be very careful that we are not manipulated into marching in lockstep with an oppressive regime.

Writing for ThinkProgress , Beauchamp suggests that " one of the best cures to bad leaders may very well be political democracy ."

But what does this really mean in practical terms?

It means holding politicians accountable for their actions and the actions of their staff using every available means at our disposal: through investigative journalism (what used to be referred to as the Fourth Estate) that enlightens and informs, through whistleblower complaints that expose corruption, through lawsuits that challenge misconduct, and through protests and mass political action that remind the powers-that-be that "we the people" are the ones that call the shots.

Remember, education precedes action. Citizens need to the do the hard work of educating themselves about what the government is doing and how to hold it accountable. Don't allow yourselves to exist exclusively in an echo chamber that is restricted to views with which you agree. Expose yourself to multiple media sources, independent and mainstream, and think for yourself.

For that matter, no matter what your political leanings might be, don't allow your partisan bias to trump the principles that serve as the basis for our constitutional republic. As Beauchamp notes, "A system that actually holds people accountable to the broader conscience of society may be one of the best ways to keep conscienceless people in check."

That said, if we allow the ballot box to become our only means of pushing back against the police state, the battle is already lost.

Resistance will require a citizenry willing to be active at the local level.

Yet as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People , if you wait to act until the SWAT team is crashing through your door, until your name is placed on a terror watch list, until you are reported for such outlawed activities as collecting rainwater or letting your children play outside unsupervised, then it will be too late.

This much I know: we are not faceless numbers. We are not cogs in the machine. We are not slaves.

We are human beings, and for the moment, we have the opportunity to remain free -- that is, if we tirelessly advocate for our rights and resist at every turn attempts by the government to place us in chains.

The Founders understood that our freedoms do not flow from the government. They were not given to us only to be taken away by the will of the State. They are inherently ours. In the same way, the government's appointed purpose is not to threaten or undermine our freedoms, but to safeguard them.

Until we can get back to this way of thinking, until we can remind our fellow Americans what it really means to be free , and until we can stand firm in the face of threats to our freedoms, we will continue to be treated like slaves in thrall to a bureaucratic police state run by political psychopaths.


fudly , 4 minutes ago link

"There is no difference between psychopaths and politicians."

Could have just left it at that.

Is-Be , 13 minutes ago link

The solution, dear Zerohedge, is to pass a law demanding any official's psychological profile for public scrutiny. (By humans and by our superiors, Artificial Intelligence.)

(I think Is-Be just cracked a funny.)

BiloxiMarxKelly , 18 minutes ago link

http://www.ponerology.com/

Max.Power , 27 minutes ago link

The problem of democracy is that too many are unbelievably naive, and even more are poorly educated.

That's why propaganda always works, regardless of how absurd the narrative is.

herbivore , 29 minutes ago link

"Psychopaths and politicians both have a tendency to be selfish, callous, remorseless users of others, irresponsible, pathological liars , glib, con artists, lacking in remorse and shallow".

And the people who elect them are colloquially known as dumbasses.

IntercoursetheEU , 29 minutes ago link

The countries with the best psychopaths win ... they call it history.

Manthong , 32 minutes ago link

Gimme a break.

Just because they do not care about hurting people, are irritable, narcissistic, avaricious and lascivious does not mean they are psychopaths.

They are morally superior.

SocratesSolves , 22 minutes ago link

Bravo! The inner workings of psychopathy. All is justified. Included the Joker cults 911 mass murder with dancing after the fact. I want to see real dancing Israelis now. Dancing like hell to try to save their own murderous lives now. That's what we do with murderers out here in the west. We line them up and watch them DANCE for their lives.

Four chan , 22 minutes ago link

one could say gods chosen, or is this lie where the false sence of entitlement began?

Manthong , 21 minutes ago link

They are doing "God's work".

Don't worry about the slave trading, usury or death count thing.

PrintCash , 32 minutes ago link

What I find hilarious is the psychopathic politicians/bureaucrats/cia-fbi types/all matter of deep staters getting upset at Trumps words/tweets/style.

Pilfering the country for profit perfectly ok. Unseemly (by their standards) speech or tweets are not.

See, while they are pilfering Uncle Sam, ie you, they do it with charm (one of the strongest signs of a psychopath) and manners. What a narcissist/psychopath fears most is being outed as a fraud. And unfortunately, as long as Washington DC plays nice, throws in some lines about American values, helping the less fortunate, helping the kids, the majority fall in line with their pilfering, and whatever they want goes.

What they fear most about Trump is he hurts their Big Government brand. Either by his rhetoric, his logic, his investigative actions, or his brassness. This also includes Republicans, who only fell in line when the base forced them to fall in line.

Epstein101 , 35 minutes ago link

Big Tech Oligarchs' Best Tool for Censoring the Internet: The ADL

SocratesSolves , 18 minutes ago link

Just another *** shell game

Omni Consumer Product , 37 minutes ago link

Ahh, now we're talking about topics of substance:

There is no form of government, no perfect "ism" that can withstand the real-world effects of psycopaths at the top.

Until that problem is solved, history will continue to repeat.

http://pathocracy.net/

[Oct 23, 2019] The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic Part 1 of 4 Structure and Background naked capitalism

Oct 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic: Part 1 of 4: Structure and Background Posted on October 22, 2019 by Yves Smith Yves here. Historical lessons for the present are a favorite topic here, and particularly from the Roman Republic and the later empire. So enjoy! I'm sure some of you will qualify or add to these views.

By Newdealdemocrat. Originally published at Angry Bear

"Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny," by Edward J. Watts
"The Storm Before the Storm,: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic" by Mike Duncan
"Ten Emperors: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine," by Barry Strauss

I've recently mentioned that lately I've been unable to read most American history books, with their currently unwarranted chipper optimism. Instead my recent reading has focused on other periods of crisis.

One question I've been considering is, just how rare, and how stable have Republics historically been? There are few antecedents for the experience of the US, because it has aspires to both be a Republic under the rule of law and simultaneously a superpower. In fact I believe there are only four, in reverse historical order:

The British Empire (yes, I know, it's technically a monarchy, but it has been a parliamentary democracy really ever since the Glorious Revolution 400 years ago). The Dutch Republic (I'm not sure if this really qualifies, since it was more a confederation of principalities, but it was styled a Republic, and it did have global interests.) The Republic of Venice (this is a dark horse contender, but this Republic lasted almost 1200 years, from roughly 600 A.D. until it was conquered by that other "republican," Napoleon, in 1797). The Roman Republic.

In these four posts, I'm going to summarize what I've learned about the Roman Republic from the three books that lead this post.

While we're all familiar with Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon, and probably all had to read Shakespeare's Tragedy of that name (but really about Brutus and Cassius) in high school, I don't think much attention has been paid in modern education to the Roman Republic, which lasted 450 years – almost as long as the subsequent western Roman Empire – and was avowedly the model that inspired the Framers of the American Constitution. None of the books that have come out in the past few years, to my knowledge, have discussed either the Roman Republic or other historical antecedents to the US. I believe studying the rise and demise of the Roman Republic, which during its existence was extremely – probably too – successful, is well worth the effort.

Without intending so, I read the above three books in reverse chronological order above. "Ten Emperors" was first, followed by "The Storm Before the Storm." Unfortunately this latter book (in my opinion) wound up being a chronological blow-by-blow vomiting of not well organized facts. It desperately needed a list of "dramatic personae" with at least a couple of lines describing the most prominent 20 or 30 individual's role, so that when they re-appeared after a 30 or 80 page hiatus, I could recollect who they were. It also needed an initial chapter setting forth the basic governing details of the Republic, and most importantly the roles of the Senate and the Assemblies. In the end it left me so unsatisfied I went back and found "Mortal Republic," which was a much more orderly and understandable if less detailed treatment.

If you are interested in the material, I recommend you read "Mortal Republic" in segments, and then read so much of "The Storm Before the Storm" to fill in the details until you reach the same chronological point. Once you do that, when you start the final book, you will see that the process of Imperial succession in the Empire was very much like the power struggles in the last 60 years of the Republic, and in particular sets forth Augustus's programme and genius in more detail.

To cut to the chase , the Roman Republic, which was previously quite stable (as Republics, once they last a generation or more, tend to be), was toppled by a series of hammer-blows that fell over roughly a 100 year period. The shortest version is that the type of factional political violence that br