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[Jun 23, 2020] Identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ( soft neoliberals ) to counter the defection of trade union members from the party

Highly recommended!
divide and conquer 1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition.
Notable quotes:
"... In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new. ..."
"... The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy. ..."
"... Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity. ..."
"... If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pm

John,

I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.

You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.

See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.

When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.

Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.

The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.

Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.

Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.

Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.

Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.

They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.

If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear. Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represents a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.

Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.

So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.

The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)

That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.

[Jun 03, 2020] Dems ratpack of reparations freaks, weird sexual curiosities, and race hustlers is actually a fifth column for Trump re-election by Fred Reed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats are fielding as candidates a roster of middle-school clowns and unflavored tapioca. Are they secretly in Trump's pay? Like Clinton with her "Deplorables" suicide line? ..."
"... Probably the Russians are behind it. ..."
Jul 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

They're going to do it, I tell you: The whole touchy-feely do-gooding ratpack of Microaggression worriers, reparations freaks, weird sexual curiosities, race hustlers, bat.-Antifa psychos, and egalitarian enstupidators of universities. They are going to elect Trump. Again.

Washington, where I shortly will be for a bit, is crazy. It has not the slightest, wan, etiolated idea of what is going on in America. The Democrats are fielding as candidates a roster of middle-school clowns and unflavored tapioca. Are they secretly in Trump's pay? Like Clinton with her "Deplorables" suicide line?

Probably the Russians are behind it.

[Jun 03, 2020] Not The Onion: NY Times Urges Trump To Establish Closer Ties With Moscow

Highly recommended!
Jul 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

2016 a Russia-Trump campaign collusion conspiracy was afoot and unfolding right before our eyes, we were told, as during his roll-out foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., then candidate Trump said [ gasp! ]:

" Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries. Some say the Russians won't be reasonable. I intend to find out."

NPR and others had breathlessly reported at the time, "Sergey Kislyak, then the Russian ambassador to the U.S., was sitting in the front row" [ more gasps! ].

This 'suspicious' "coincidence or something more?" event and of course the infamous Steele 'Dodgy Dossier' were followed by over two more years of the following connect-the-dots mere tiny sampling of unrestrained theorizing and avalanche of accusations...

Here's a very brief trip down memory lane:

2017, Politico: The Hidden History of Trump's First Trip to Moscow

2017, NYT: Trump's Russia Motives (where we were told: "President Trump certainly seems to have a strange case of Russophilia.")

2017, Business Insider: James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian 'asset'

2017, USA Today: Donald Trump's ties to Russia go back 30 years

2018, NYT: Trump, Treasonous Traitor

2018, AP: Russia had 'Trump over a barrel'

2018, BBC: Russia: The 'cloud' over the Trump White House

2018, NYT: From the Start, Trump Has Muddied a Clear Message: Putin Interfered

2018, USA Today: " From Putin with love"

2019, WaPo: Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset

2019, Vanity Fair: "The President Has Been Acting On Russia's Behalf": U.S. Officials Are Shocked By Trump's Asset-Like Behavior

2019, Wired: Trump Must Be A Russian Agent... (where we were told...ahem: " It would be rather embarrassing ... if Robert Mueller were to declare that the president isn't an agent of Russian intelligence." )

Embarrassing indeed.

"The walls are closing in!" - we were assured just about every 24 hours .

It's especially worth noting that a July 2018 New York Times op-ed argued that President Trump -- dubbed a "treasonous traitor" for meeting with Putin in Helsinki -- should "be directing all resources at his disposal to punish Russia."

Fast-forward to a July 2019 NY Times Editorial Board piece entitled "What's America's Winning Hand if Russia Plays the China Card?" How dizzying fast all of the above has been wiped from America's collective memory! Or at least the Times is engaged in hastily pushing it all down the memory hole Orwell-style in order to cover its own dastardly tracks which contributed in no small measure to non-stop national Russiagate hype and hysteria, with this astounding line:

President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia... -- Editorial Board, New York Times, 7-22-19

That's right, The Times' pundits have already pivoted to the new bogeyman while stating they agree with Trump on Russian relations :

"Given its economic, military and technological trajectory, together with its authoritarian model, China, not Russia , represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term . That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China ."

[... Mueller who? ]

Remember how recently we were told PUTIN IS WEAPONIZING EVERYTHING! from space to deep-sea exploration to extreme climate temperatures to humor to racial tensions to even 'weaponized whales' ?

It's 2019, and we've now come full circle . This is The New York Times editorial board continuing their call for Trump to establish "sounder" ties and "cooperation" with Russia :

"Even during the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union often made progress in one facet of their relationship while they remained in conflict over other aspects. The United States and Russia could expand their cooperation in space . They could also continue to work closely in the Arctic And they could revive cooperation on arms control."

Could we imagine if a mere six months ago Trump himself had uttered these same words? Now the mainstream media apparently agrees that peace is better than war with Russia.

With 'Russiagate' now effectively dead, the NY Times' new criticism appears to be that Trump-Kremlin relations are not close enough , as Trump's "approach has been ham-handed " - the 'paper of record' now tells us.

Or imagine if Trump had called for peaceful existence with Russia almost four years ago? Oh wait...

" Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries." -- Then candidate Trump on April 27, 2016

Cue ultra scary red Trump-Kremlin montage.

[Dec 31, 2019] Skripals false flag and Russiagate are birds of the feather

Notable quotes:
"... If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS. ..."
Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,

But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.

The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

[Dec 31, 2019] Skripals false flag and Russiagate are birds of the feather

Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,
But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not
apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.
The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

[Dec 30, 2019] Looking at Rachel Maddow I miss the days when a man could just accuse a woman of being a witch and trust the fine upstanding townspeople to take care of the rest

Dec 30, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

1 day ago Maddow is really a propagandist. She really isn't a journalist. Because her credibility and ratings have gone south because so many of the big stories she has been obliged to push have been fake from the get-go. People start to notice that after a while. You can't fool all of the people all of the time as Abe observed. 1 day ago It has been determined to have been a fabrication. It is not just controversial. Maddow may be spot on in fooling her drooling sycophants, but facts seldom ever interfere with her fairy tales and TDS motivated delusions. 10 hours ago Rational Agent:
The CIA told the FBI that the material in the Steele dossier is merely Internet gossip and bar room talk. This is in the inspector general's report (issued Dec 9) and public testimony under oath before Congress (Dec 11).

There were several agents in the FBI who were disturbed about the unverified nature of this material, and they were overruled by other agents and their supervisors and this material was then presented to the FISA court four times in the knowledge that it was unverified but the court was told it was verified. That is also in the inspector general's Report and public testimony.

The result of this misconduct was that the head judge of the FISA court Rosemary Collyer, issued on Dec 16 an unprecedented and angry public rebuke of the FBI for repeatedly deceiving the court about the veracity of the Steele dossier.

Enough for you? 1 day ago With apologies to Bob Dylan:

"A man (or woman) sees what he (she) wants to see and disregards the rest."

If you're tuned into cable 'news' at 9 p.m. eastern time looking for objective journalism, well, good luck with that. Cuomo is probably the best bet; he offers a little bit. 1 day ago I think the apology should be to Paul Simon?

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=a+man+sees+what+he+wants+to+see+and+disregards+the+rest+lyrics

Not withstanding that, your point is well made. Not much in the way of great thought on the telly at that time on any station. 1 day ago Independents view Rachael Maddow, Chris Cuomo and Sean Hannity as hate peddlers who spin, lie and twist every single issue to fit their fantasy of how the world exists. I cannot imagine how anyone with a brain or any semblance of logic could be a regular viewer of these hate mongers. If one does a cursory analysis of the predictions these people have made over the past couple of years, you will quickly see how ridiculous and wrong they have been. The bigger problem is that they represent their news organizations and only add to the distrust and declining reliance that rational folks have of the Media. 2 days ago [she is] Just another CIA mouthpiece. 2 days ago Maddow is being sued by the One America News Network for stating the latter were 'really, literally' Russian assets.

Maddows is furiously back pedalling, not standing by what she said. This speaks volumes.

Maddows is evil. 2 days ago The Steele dossier is trash. A joke. Comprehensively discredited. Only the wilfully blind or deluded would believe otherwise. Proof that [neo]liberalism is a form of mental illness. 1 day ago If it is all propaganda, then we are truly living in a post-truth world. In this world there are no facts, only competing narratives. This allows us to sink into fact-free thinking and rely only on our prejudices (or our "gut") to determine our preferences. 2 days ago " The case against Maddow is far stronger. When small bits of news arose in favor of the dossier, the franchise MSNBC host pumped air into them. At least some of her many fans surely came away from her broadcasts thinking the dossier was a serious piece of investigative research, not the flimflam, quick-twitch game of telephone outlined in the Horowitz report. She seemed to be rooting for the document."

[Dec 30, 2019] Looking at Rachel Maddow I miss the days when a man could just accuse a woman of being a witch and trust the fine upstanding townspeople to take care of the rest

Dec 30, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

1 day ago Maddow is really a propagandist. She really isn't a journalist. Because her credibility and ratings have gone south because so many of the big stories she has been obliged to push have been fake from the get-go. People start to notice that after a while. You can't fool all of the people all of the time as Abe observed. 1 day ago It has been determined to have been a fabrication. It is not just controversial. Maddow may be spot on in fooling her drooling sycophants, but facts seldom ever interfere with her fairy tales and TDS motivated delusions. 10 hours ago Rational Agent:
The CIA told the FBI that the material in the Steele dossier is merely Internet gossip and bar room talk. This is in the inspector general's report (issued Dec 9) and public testimony under oath before Congress (Dec 11).

There were several agents in the FBI who were disturbed about the unverified nature of this material, and they were overruled by other agents and their supervisors and this material was then presented to the FISA court four times in the knowledge that it was unverified but the court was told it was verified. That is also in the inspector general's Report and public testimony.

The result of this misconduct was that the head judge of the FISA court Rosemary Collyer, issued on Dec 16 an unprecedented and angry public rebuke of the FBI for repeatedly deceiving the court about the veracity of the Steele dossier.

Enough for you? 1 day ago With apologies to Bob Dylan:

"A man (or woman) sees what he (she) wants to see and disregards the rest."

If you're tuned into cable 'news' at 9 p.m. eastern time looking for objective journalism, well, good luck with that. Cuomo is probably the best bet; he offers a little bit. 1 day ago I think the apology should be to Paul Simon?

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=a+man+sees+what+he+wants+to+see+and+disregards+the+rest+lyrics

Not withstanding that, your point is well made. Not much in the way of great thought on the telly at that time on any station. 1 day ago Independents view Rachael Maddow, Chris Cuomo and Sean Hannity as hate peddlers who spin, lie and twist every single issue to fit their fantasy of how the world exists. I cannot imagine how anyone with a brain or any semblance of logic could be a regular viewer of these hate mongers. If one does a cursory analysis of the predictions these people have made over the past couple of years, you will quickly see how ridiculous and wrong they have been. The bigger problem is that they represent their news organizations and only add to the distrust and declining reliance that rational folks have of the Media. 2 days ago [she is] Just another CIA mouthpiece. 2 days ago Maddow is being sued by the One America News Network for stating the latter were 'really, literally' Russian assets.

Maddows is furiously back pedalling, not standing by what she said. This speaks volumes.

Maddows is evil. 2 days ago The Steele dossier is trash. A joke. Comprehensively discredited. Only the wilfully blind or deluded would believe otherwise. Proof that [neo]liberalism is a form of mental illness. 1 day ago If it is all propaganda, then we are truly living in a post-truth world. In this world there are no facts, only competing narratives. This allows us to sink into fact-free thinking and rely only on our prejudices (or our "gut") to determine our preferences. 2 days ago " The case against Maddow is far stronger. When small bits of news arose in favor of the dossier, the franchise MSNBC host pumped air into them. At least some of her many fans surely came away from her broadcasts thinking the dossier was a serious piece of investigative research, not the flimflam, quick-twitch game of telephone outlined in the Horowitz report. She seemed to be rooting for the document."

[Dec 30, 2019] Rachel Maddow rooted for the Steele dossier to be true. Then it fell apart. - The Washington Post

Looks like WaPo is pushing Madcow under the bus...
Dec 30, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

The Horowitz team didn't attempt an independent fact-check of the dossier, opting instead to report what the FBI had concluded about the document. Unflattering revelations pop up at every turn in the 400-page-plus report. It reveals that the CIA considered it a hodgepodge of "internet rumor"; that the FBI considered one of its central allegations -- that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen had traveled to Prague for a collusive meeting with Russians -- "not true"; that Steele's sources weren't quite a crack international spy team. After the 2016 election, for instance, Steele directed his primary source to seek corroboration of the claims. "According to [an FBI official], during an interview in May 2017, the Primary Sub-source said the corroboration was 'zero,'" reads the report.

The ubiquity of Horowitz's debunking passages suggests that he wanted the public to come away with the impression that the dossier was a flabby, hasty, precipitous, conclusory charade of a document.

... ... ...

The case for Maddow is that her dossier coverage stemmed from public documents, congressional proceedings and published reports from outlets with solid investigative histories. She included warnings about the unverified assertions and didn't use the dossier as a source for wild claims. There is something fishy, furthermore, about that Mueller footnote regarding the "tapes." In their recent book on the dossier, " Crime in Progress ," the Fusion GPS co-founders wrote that Steele believes the document is 70-percent accurate.

The case against Maddow is far stronger. When small bits of news arose in favor of the dossier, the franchise MSNBC host pumped air into them. At least some of her many fans surely came away from her broadcasts thinking the dossier was a serious piece of investigative research, not the flimflam, quick-twitch game of telephone outlined in the Horowitz report. She seemed to be rooting for the document. Rachel Maddow rooted for the Steele dossier to be true. Then it fell apart. - The Washington Post

And when large bits of news arose against the dossier, Maddow found other topics more compelling.

She was there for the bunkings, absent for the debunkings -- a pattern of misleading and dishonest asymmetry.

In an October edition of the podcast "Skullduggery," Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News pressed Maddow on her show's approach to Russia. Here's a key exchange:

Isikoff: Do you accept that there are times that you overstated what the evidence was and you made claims and suggestions that Trump was totally in Vladimir Putin's pocket and they had something on him and that he was perhaps a Russian asset and we can't really conclude that?

Maddow: What have I claimed that's been disproven?

Isikoff: Well, you've given a lot of credence to the Steele dossier.

Maddow: I have?

Isikoff: Well, you've talked about it quite a bit, I mean, you've suggested it.

Maddow: I feel like you're arguing about impressions of me, rather than actually basing this on something you've seen or heard me do.

After some back and forth about particulars of the Mueller report and the dossier with Isikoff, Maddow ripped: "You're trying to litigate the Steele dossier through me as if I am the embodiment of the Steele dossier, which I think is creepy, and I think it's unwarranted. And it's not like I've been making the case for the accuracy of the Steele dossier and that's been the basis of my Russia reporting. That's just not true."

Asked to comment on how she approached the dossier, Maddow declined to provide an on-the-record response to the Erik Wemple Blog. Rachel Maddow rooted for the Steele dossier to be true. Then it fell apart. - The Washington Post

Read more from Erik Wemple:

Part 1 of this series: 'The story stands': McClatchy won't back off its Michael Cohen-Prague reporting

Part 2: Horowitz report confirms John Solomon's scoop on FBI 'spreadsheet' regarding Steele dossier

Part 3: 'Disinformation' claim 'galls' dossier author Christopher Steele

Part 4: CNN lands an interview with its own contributor

Part 6: A much-cited defense of the Steele dossier has a problem

An untouchable Rachel Maddow busts her bosses at NBC News

Rachel Maddow: 'I don't necessarily want to hear from the White House on almost anything' 2 hours ago She's the left's version of Hannity or Tucker. This is not a good thing to be. 10 hours ago So many have been brainwashed by this woman. She is a total disgrace. In fact MSNBC in its entirety is a disgrace. Scandal after scandal. Lie after lie. Propaganda. Hit pieces on progressives. AWOL on what is actually happening to the middle and working class. But Maddow is not alone. She lies and makes things up and freely slanders and smears and so does the weekend linebacker, Reid, who not only lies and then makes up further lies to cover up the original lies. 11 hours ago We all know the liberal mainstream media lies a lot. We've come to expect it. That's why CNN's ratings are perpetually in the toilet. But this Rachel Maddow doesn't seem to be able to do anything but lie. Well, that's the left. Any lying, cheating behavior is acceptable if it's directed against Trump. 12 hours ago (Edited) The plain truth is that Russia did indeed attempt interference with the 2016 election, but its phishing expeditions and social media placements did not come remotely close to "flipping" the election to Trump -- indeed, it cannot be documented that a single vote was altered or voter registration list tampered with. The totality of Russian interference pales in comparison to what the United States has done and continues to do to foreign elections on a regular basis -- indeed, to what it did to Russia's in the 1990's to ensure Boris Yeltsin's election.

Another plain truth: the Mueller Report was a stunning blow to the Democratic Party establishment and the media and a victory for Trump, the extent of which is still to be determined, no matter how you try to spin it. Democrats and their media allies were willing to take at face value and without further evidence the pronouncements of people like John Brennan and other national security figures who had lengthy, documented histories of lying to the American people and the press. Skepticism went out the window because the spooks were telling the Democrats and the media what they wanted to hear. Rachel Maddow and MSNBC are the Judy Millers of this story, and the rest of the media just ran with it.

The ramifications of that miscalculation are still playing out. Senate conviction of Trump on ANY basis is now dead letter for the remainder of this election cycle because the Democrats' credibility and motives have been blown sky-high -- no small feat given Trump's historic levels of mendacity! It is why the public isn't getting behind the current effort even though Trump has literally been caught red-handed. But the Democratic establishment was just SO eager to blame it all on Russia, so they could exonerate themselves for their horrible strategies and worse policies that led to the 2016 debacle and fend off challenges from the progressives! What have they accomplished instead? Handing Trump a second term.

7 hours ago Rachel Maddow has "Hillary Clinton 2016" branded on her ace. She is totally owned by the corporate liberal establishment.


[Dec 30, 2019] WaPo pushed Madcow under the bus: Rachel Maddow version of events connected with Steele dossier is true, then it was one of the most successful Russian intelligence operations since 1917

Anti-Russian hysteria always takes the simpletons back to their happy place. She should quit "journalism" in favor of dog walking.
Dec 30, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com
14 hours ago If this version of events is true then the Steele dossier was one of the most successful Russian intelligence operations since 1917 or anyway 1991. It up-ended the American government for three full years, and is still having a deleterious impact even after being proven false. And deliciously, it was all paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC!

[Dec 29, 2019] Maddow Meltdown In Defense To OAN Lawsuit, Host Argues Her Words Are Not Facts

Are We About To Return To The Principle That "Actions Have Consequences"?
Notable quotes:
"... And she has also apparently hired Lionel Hutz as her legal adviser. ..."
"... Oh, it's capable of being proved false, alright. ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
reported that TV network OAN had filed a lawsuit against Rachel Maddow for the time the host said that OAN "really, literally is paid Russian propaganda."

Now, Maddow finds herself having to come up with a defense for her statement in court. And she has also apparently hired Lionel Hutz as her legal adviser.

According to Culttture , her lawyers argued in a recent motion that " the liberal host was clearly offering up her 'own unique expression' of her views to capture what she saw as the 'ridiculous' nature of the undisputed facts. Her comment, therefore, is a quintessential statement 'of rhetorical hyperbole, incapable of being proved true or false."

Oh, it's capable of being proved false, alright. Maddow had previously claimed, on air, about one of OAN's reporters:

"In this case, the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America is really literally is paid Russian propaganda," and added, "Their on-air politics reporter ( Kristian Rouz) is paid by the Russian government to produce propaganda for that government."

The testimony of UC Santa Barbara linguistics professor Stefan Thomas Gries, however, stands at odds with Maddow's defense. Gries said: "It is very unlikely that an average or reasonable/ordinary viewer would consider the sentence in question to be a statement of opinion."

[Dec 29, 2019] We received a wonderful Christmas gift from the Department of Schadenfreude in the form of this story from the Washington Post about MadCow

Dec 29, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

" Rachel Maddow rooted for the Steele dossier to be true. Then it fell apart ":

She was there for the bunkings, absent for the debunkings -- a pattern of misleading and dishonest asymmetry.

[Dec 29, 2019] We received a wonderful Christmas gift from the Department of Schadenfreude in the form of this story from the Washington Post about MadCow

Dec 29, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

" Rachel Maddow rooted for the Steele dossier to be true. Then it fell apart ":

She was there for the bunkings, absent for the debunkings -- a pattern of misleading and dishonest asymmetry.

[Dec 29, 2019] Maddow Meltdown In Defense To OAN Lawsuit, Host Argues Her Words Are Not Facts

Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

subgen , 57 minutes ago link

This Russian stuff has a longer half life than herpes

Nth Degree , 1 hour ago link

Whiners. They're all whiners. I don't understand why Maddow is worried. Hell, if she goes to the slammer she'll have her pick of all those incarcerated Honeys with which she will reside.

Decimus Lunius Luvenalis , 1 hour ago link

When you realize that Rachel Maddow is actually Joe Scarborough with different makeup....

dlweld , 2 hours ago link

You have to assume that Rachel is a Russian mole - how else can you explain her so effectively working to destroy the credibility of the Western media. She talks to her audience like she thinks she's on Sesame Street - Rachel: folks can pick up when they're being patronized - it's getting tired.

[Dec 28, 2019] Senior OPCW Official Busted Leaked Email Exposes Orders To Delete All Traces Of Dissent On Douma

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Imagine millions of government employees paid for by America's tax payer class, involved in covert operations undermining nation states for the benefit of war mongering shadow overlords counting on more never ending chaos feeding their hunger for power. ..."
"... This isn't Orwell's 1984, this Team America on opioids. ..."
"... Senior OPCW official had orders from US/ the Donald. Remember that the Donald bombed Syria based on this fake report , after a false flag done by Al Qaeda's artistic branch, the White Helmets. ..."
"... Pray, do tell where are the consequences for these literal demons that engaged in war crimes? It is quite clear: as long as you are a member of the establishment, you can do whatever the f*ck you want. ..."
"... Third rate script, third rate actors and crooked investigators. TPTB seem to have a plan worked out. Their problem now is that we, the hoi-polloi, have seen it all before, many times, and we can now recognise ******** when it's used to try to influence us. ..."
"... If this is not lamentable enough, the OPCW – whose final report came to more than a hundred pages and which even issued an easy-to-read precis version for journalists – now slams shut its steel doors in the hope of preventing even more information reaching the press. ..."
"... Instead of these pieces concentrating on the whistleblower how about putting a little heat on the 50 lying bastards who initiated the coverup? ..."
"... The destruction of the countries of the Middle East for the sake of a dwarf with giant ambitions is the most stupid thing the United States has done over the past 30 years in its foreign policy. And yes, all the wars in the Middle East were grounded in lies. And the Americans paid for it all from start to finish. When Americans realize that they need to defend their national interests, and not other people's national interests, maybe something in the Middle East will change for the better. True, I am afraid that with the hight level of stupidity and shortsightedness that is common among Americans, the United States is more likely to be destroyed faster. No offense. ..."
"... And I propose to remember the Syrian Christians who were destroyed by the Saudi Wahhabis, hired by the CIA with the money of American taxpayers and at the request of Israel. Until the Americans begin to investigate the activities of the CIA (and this activity causes the United States only harm), the responsibility for this genocide (you heard right) will be on the American nation. It turns out that in the Middle East you are primarily destroying Christians. How interesting, why such zeal. ..."
"... According to whistleblower testimony and leaked documents, OPCW officials raised alarm about the suppression of critical findings that undermine the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. Haddad's editors at Newsweek rejected his attempts to cover the story. "If I don't find another position in journalism because of this, I'm perfectly happy to accept that consequence," Haddad says. "It's not desirable. But there is no way I could have continued in that job knowing that I couldn't report something like this." ..."
"... New leaks continue to expose a cover-up by the OPCW – the world's top chemical weapons watchdog – over a critical event in Syria. Documents, emails, and testimony from OPCW officials have raised major doubts about the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. The leaked OPCW information has been released in pieces by Wikileaks. The latest documents contain a number of significant revelations – including that that about 20 OPCW officials voiced concerns that their scientific findings and on-the-ground evidence was suppressed and excluded. ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Senior OPCW Official Busted: Leaked Email Exposes Orders To "Delete All Traces" Of Dissent On Douma by Tyler Durden Sat, 12/28/2019 - 10:30 0 SHARES

Via AlMasdarNews.com,

Wikileaks has released their fourth set of leaks from the OPCW's Douma investigation, revealing new details about the alleged deletion of important information regarding the fact-finding mission.

RELEASE: OPCW-Douma Docs 4. Four leaked documents from the OPCW reveal that toxicologists ruled out deaths from chlorine exposure and a senior official ordered the deletion of the dissenting engineering report from OPCW's internal repository of documents. https://t.co/ndK4sRikNk

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 27, 2019

"One of the documents is an e-mail exchange dated 27 and 28 February between members of the fact finding mission (FFM) deployed to Douma and the senior officials of the OPCW. It includes an e-mail from Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW , where he instructs that an engineering report from Ian Henderson should be removed from the secure registry of the organisation," WikiLeaks writes. Included in the email is the following directive:

" Please get this document out of DRA [Documents Registry Archive] And please remove all traces, if any, of its delivery/storage/whatever in DRA.'"

According to Wikileaks, the main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma, was that two of the cylinders were most likely manually placed at the site, rather than dropped.

"The main finding of Henderson, who inspected the sites in Douma and two cylinders that were found on the site of the alleged attack, was that they were more likely manually placed there than dropped from a plane or helicopter from considerable heights. His findings were omitted from the official final OPCW report on the Douma incident," the Wikileaks report said.

It must be remembered that the U.S. launched an attack on Damascus, Syria on April 14, 2018 over alleged chemical weapons usage by pro-Assad forces at Douma.

AP file image.

Another document released Friday is minutes from a meeting on 6 June 2018 where four staff members of the OPCW had discussions with "three Toxicologists/Clinical pharmacologists, one bioanalytical and toxicological chemist" (all specialists in chemical weapons, according to the minutes).

Minutes from an OPCW meeting with toxicologists specialized in chemical weapons: "the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was
no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure". https://t.co/j5Jgjiz8UY pic.twitter.com/vgPaTtsdQN

-- WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 27, 2019

The purpose of this meeting was two-fold. The first objective was "to solicit expert advice on the value of exhuming suspected victims of the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April 2018". According to the minutes, the OPCW team was advised by the experts that there would be little use in conducting exhumations. The second point was "To elicit expert opinions from the forensic toxicologists regarding the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims."

More specifically, " whether the symptoms observed in victims were consistent with exposure to chlorine or other reactive chlorine gas."

According to the minutes leaked Friday: "With respect to the consistency of the observed and reported symptoms of the alleged victims with possible exposure to chlorine gas or similar, the experts were conclusive in their statements that there was no correlation between symptoms and chlorine exposure ."

The OPCW team members wrote that the key "take-away message" from the meeting was "that the symptoms observed were inconsistent with exposure to chlorine and no other obvious candidate chemical causing the symptoms could be identified".

* * *

See full details at Wikileaks.org


JohnFrodo , 28 minutes ago link

pity the human pawns at the center of this mess.

africoman , 38 minutes ago link

There has been a Newsweek reporter who quite over editorial block of this OPCW case here also another interview by Grayzone

https://youtu.be/qqK8KgxuCPI

The isisrahell have such long hand to pull the plug any stories implicating their crime in progress otherwise they can put out some bs spins as bombshell reporting about US lies in Afghanistan war on their wapo for public for those who read it was nothing important revealed except being a misdirected na

ponyboy99 , 40 minutes ago link

If you want to pay off that student loan you're going to print what they tell you to print. You're going to inject kids with what they tell you to inject them with. You're going to think what they tell you to think or you're going to spend your days in a Prole bar drinking Blatz.

ponyboy99 , 47 minutes ago link

If you go thru life assuming every single thing is a farce and a lie (Roddy Piper) these events can not only be explained, they can be predicted.

Ace006 , 57 minutes ago link

SOMEbody's got to ensure the intergrity of the Documents Registry Archive

Weihan , 58 minutes ago link

The globalist deep-state's reach is legendary.

Nothing , 1 hour ago link

yes, an attack was launched, 50 missiles I believe, after loud warnings that it was coming, and none of them actually hit anything significant ... this is the way the game is played .... the good news is that the missiles cost $50 million, and now they will have to be replaced, by the Pentagon, first borrowing the money through the US Treasury offerings, and then paying for them from new money printed by the Federal Reserve. capische?

Greed is King , 36 minutes ago link

That`s the way it`s always been, it`s the eternal war of good against evil.

And when one evil enemy is defeated, it`s necessary to create a new evil enemy, how else can the Establishment Elite make money from war, death and destruction.

africoman , 16 minutes ago link

It's really very awkward & telling how ***** these bunch of western nations are looking tough on taking out poor defenceless country like Syria on ******** & at the satried to ease real kickass Russian as you described when they launch the attacks

I kind wish the US & their Zionist clown launch such huge attacks on Iran based on false flag

I really wanted these evil aggressive powers to taste what it is like to get bombed back even one they used to throw on multiple weaker nations freely with nothing to fear as retribution etc

Thordoom , 1 hour ago link

This organisations are all set up in Europe and US run by the filthiest filth on earth who still think they have God given right to imperial rule over the world.

British elite is the worst of all.

DCFusor , 1 hour ago link

Your military-industrial-intelligence complex at work, creating justification for more funding, like always - and who cares if people die as a result? Like Soros said, if they didn't do it, someone else would. (do I need /sarc?).

They don't like to be shown to be in charge, just to be in charge. And if you think this is a function of the current admin, you've been slow in the head and deaf and blind for quite some time.

I've watched since Eisenhower, and "it's always something". Doesn't matter what color the clown in chief's tie is.

St. TwinkleToes , 1 hour ago link

Imagine millions of government employees paid for by America's tax payer class, involved in covert operations undermining nation states for the benefit of war mongering shadow overlords counting on more never ending chaos feeding their hunger for power.

This isn't Orwell's 1984, this Team America on opioids.

veritas semper vinces , 2 hours ago link

Senior OPCW official had orders from US/ the Donald. Remember that the Donald bombed Syria based on this fake report , after a false flag done by Al Qaeda's artistic branch, the White Helmets.

holgerdanske , 1 hour ago link

It was May that insisted on this attack. Remember the "poison" attack and the evil Russians?

lwilland1012 , 3 hours ago link

Pray, do tell where are the consequences for these literal demons that engaged in war crimes? It is quite clear: as long as you are a member of the establishment, you can do whatever the f*ck you want. Why do we even follow the law, then? Given the precedent that is being set, we might as well not have any.

ken , 1 hour ago link

Well, they are looking forward to using all those Israeli weapons, er, uh, products, that local law enforcement has purchased...so watch out for Co-Intel Pro elicitation going forward....?

WorkingClassMan , 3 hours ago link

Everybody knows the Golem (USA) does Isn'treal's bidding in Syria and elsewhere in the Near East. Hopefully they keep hammering in the fact that this "gas attack" was an obvious set-up to use as a pretext (flimsy itself on the face of it) to brutalize Assad and Syria on behalf of Isn'treal.

The whole thing is built on ******* lies. Worst part about it is, nothing will happen.

turkey george palmer , 3 hours ago link

Only official news is to believed. You see it and it is a lie. they tell you to believe it. A lot of people casually believe whatever is spoken on TV. They become teachers and are taught in college what is right and wrong. We only have a few years before all the brain dead are in charge and robotically following the message like zombies with no brain

adonisdemilo , 3 hours ago link

Third rate script, third rate actors and crooked investigators. TPTB seem to have a plan worked out. Their problem now is that we, the hoi-polloi, have seen it all before, many times, and we can now recognise ******** when it's used to try to influence us.

johnnycanuck , 3 hours ago link

It is difficult to underestimate the seriousness of this manipulative act by the OPCW. In a response to the conservative author Peter Hitchens, who also writes for the Mail on Sunday – he is of course the brother of the late Christopher Hitchens – the OPCW admits that its so-called technical secretariat "is conducting an internal investigation about the unauthorised [sic] release of the document".

Then it adds: "At this time, there is no further public information on this matter and the OPCW is unable to accommodate [sic] requests for interviews". It's a tactic that until now seems to have worked: not a single news media which reported the OPCW's official conclusions has followed up the story of the report which the OPCW suppressed.

And you bet the OPCW is not going to "accommodate" interviews. For here is an institution investigating a war crime in a conflict which has cost hundreds of thousands of lives – yet its only response to an enquiry about the engineers' "secret" assessment is to concentrate on its own witch-hunt for the source of the document it wished to keep secret from the world.

If this is not lamentable enough, the OPCW – whose final report came to more than a hundred pages and which even issued an easy-to-read precis version for journalists – now slams shut its steel doors in the hope of preventing even more information reaching the press.

https://johnmenadue.com/robert-fisk-the-evidence-we-were-never-meant-to-see-about-the-douma-gas-attack-counterpunch-27-may-2019/

5fingerdiscount , 3 hours ago link

Instead of these pieces concentrating on the whistleblower how about putting a little heat on the 50 lying bastards who initiated the coverup?

Helg Saracen , 3 hours ago link

The destruction of the countries of the Middle East for the sake of a dwarf with giant ambitions is the most stupid thing the United States has done over the past 30 years in its foreign policy. And yes, all the wars in the Middle East were grounded in lies. And the Americans paid for it all from start to finish. When Americans realize that they need to defend their national interests, and not other people's national interests, maybe something in the Middle East will change for the better. True, I am afraid that with the hight level of stupidity and shortsightedness that is common among Americans, the United States is more likely to be destroyed faster. No offense.

And I propose to remember the Syrian Christians who were destroyed by the Saudi Wahhabis, hired by the CIA with the money of American taxpayers and at the request of Israel. Until the Americans begin to investigate the activities of the CIA (and this activity causes the United States only harm), the responsibility for this genocide (you heard right) will be on the American nation. It turns out that in the Middle East you are primarily destroying Christians. How interesting, why such zeal.

carbonmutant , 4 hours ago link

You gotta wonder how much the deep state has deleted about their interference in Trump's administration...

dogbert8 , 4 hours ago link

Pretty much everyone with a brain realizes this all was a lie; only the M5M and the DC swamp continue to pretend it wasn't.

Joiningupthedots , 4 hours ago link

Who really made the order though?

ClickNLook , 3 hours ago link

Sebastien Braha, Chief of Cabinet at the OPCW needs to be interrogated to find out.

Condor_0000 , 4 hours ago link

Newsweek Reporter Quits After Editors Block Coverage of OPCW Syria Scandal

December 19, 2019

Aaron Mate

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/19/newsweek-reporter-quits-after-editors-block-coverage-of-opcw-syria-scandal/

According to whistleblower testimony and leaked documents, OPCW officials raised alarm about the suppression of critical findings that undermine the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. Haddad's editors at Newsweek rejected his attempts to cover the story. "If I don't find another position in journalism because of this, I'm perfectly happy to accept that consequence," Haddad says. "It's not desirable. But there is no way I could have continued in that job knowing that I couldn't report something like this."

New leaks continue to expose a cover-up by the OPCW – the world's top chemical weapons watchdog – over a critical event in Syria. Documents, emails, and testimony from OPCW officials have raised major doubts about the allegation that the Syrian government committed a chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma in April 2018. The leaked OPCW information has been released in pieces by Wikileaks. The latest documents contain a number of significant revelations – including that that about 20 OPCW officials voiced concerns that their scientific findings and on-the-ground evidence was suppressed and excluded.

This is, without a doubt, a major global scandal: the OPCW, under reported US pressure, suppressing vital evidence about allegations of chemical weapons. But that very fact exposes another global scandal: with the exception of small outlets like The Grayzone, the mass media has widely ignored or whitewashed this story. And this widespread censorship of the OPCW scandal has just led one journalist to resign. Up until recently, Tareq Haddad was a reporter at Newsweek. But in early December, Tareq announced that he had quit his position after Newsweek refused to publish his story about the OPCW cover up over Syria.

[Dec 28, 2019] How Impeachment Is Escalating the New US-Russian Cold War by Stephen F. Cohen

Dec 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

Summary of Broadcast Produced by Yvonne Lorenzo:

As the New Cold War gathers up speed and escalates, we are entering a "fact free world" as allegations are made that are proved not to be true are promoted; for example, the allegation that the DNC was hacked by Russia has been officially debunked -- no one could name the seventeen intelligence agencies, the Coast Guard was one. The notion of the hacking was cooked up by two agencies: by the DNI's head James Clapper and Brennan at the CIA. Nevertheless, recently News Anchor Chuck Todd of NBC (the most pro-Russiagate network, the ones who shamelessly accused presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard of being a Russian asset) took it one step further: ignoring the facts, Todd again stated that seventeen intelligence agencies agreed that the Russians not only interfered in the election but that they swung the election to Trump. While interference is one thing, no one has previously made that allegation. Consequently, we are now in a fact free discourse in America: no evidence is necessary to prove anything, falsehoods are taken up by the legacy media, what Professor Cohen would call a world of tabloid gossip media, except in their favor the tabloids, fearing lawsuits, will do some fact checking, which is conspicuous in its absence in the legacy media. And Professor Cohen noted that it's hard to get traction and you can't have a conversation with someone when you don't agree upon the facts.

In conversation on a cruise with fellow liberals, Professor Cohen noted most take the view that where there is smoke there is fire and there is something to these allegations of Russiagate and Putin's control over Trump; they state the media wouldn't continue to promote these conspiracy theories, these allegations about Trump's nefarious relations with the Kremlin, without reason and so there must be something to them. Yet while facts have become absolutely critical Cohen notes you can't get people to focus on the facts; for that reason, he feels despair and observes that for the first time in his life in his public discussions of Russia there are no basic premises that people accept any more, for if you say "If there's smoke, there's fire," that is just not a logical way of thinking: you either have the facts or you don't.

Batchelor also points out in the impeachment charges there is a great deal of presumption; there are no facts regarding the president as well, and he cites Trump's letter to Nancy Pelosi and poses this question: what does the Kremlin think about the impeachment?

Cohen answers that the Russian high policy class in the 1990s -- the America worship period -- they and not just the youth, strongly believed that Russia's future was with the West and America in particular, and now what strikes Russians most is the role of Russian intelligence services in the Western allegations. Pro-America Russians thought that American intelligence services didn't play the role that the Soviet ones did. In Russian history classes and as a staple of popular culture, the sinister role of the "secret police" goes back to the Czarist era but what distinguished America was that it didn't have anything comparable in abuses by its intelligence services -- or so it was believed. Consequently, for those who looked up to America, it's a source of disillusion and shock to learn that the American special services "went off the reservation" for quite a long time, not unlike Russia's, and so they have become disillusioned while for those who tried to get Russians to be more nationalistic, their perspective is to say with gratification, "We told you so. Now will you please grow up!"

Russians call the American agencies "the organs" perhaps not being clear on the difference between the CIA and the FBI and conflating them. For Russians, the role of such agencies is baked into the culture and this has resulted in rethinking not only about America but about their own special services. An Op-Ed piece in a Russian liberal newspaper the Russian liberal author wrote, after watching what's unfolding in America, we used to beat up on our intelligence services for decades but now maybe we need them. Contrary to a "cult of the intelligence services," Cohen thinks what must be determined is the role of the American intelligence services in creating Russiagate from the very beginning.

Yet what is critical is to know how Russiagate began in America, with the Barr-Durham probe into the origins of Russia and Russiagate will continue to be a major issue in the 2020 election. What struck Cohen about the letter from Trump to Pelosi -- which was so eloquent he doubts Trump wrote it -- was that he understands it will be an issue in the 2020 elections, and it was a campaign document. That aside, Trump is aware that Democrats are campaigning still on Russiagate; nothing has turned up that it factual. Therefore, despite the absence of facts, this will be a major issue. Ukraine has turned into a stand-in for Russia.

Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post, once a quintessential conservative, published an article titled "Time to Call out and Remove Putin's Propagandist in America." While the article is slightly cagier than that headline, essentially she wants to shutdown and deprive access to media who aren't espousing and promoting the Russiagate/Russophobic narratives. Cohen condemns that kind of behavior is that. On opposite side of Rubin, Cohen stated he himself has never advocated the silencing and removal of those who promote among other falsehoods the provably false Russiagate narrative. He asks where are things drifting and he answers discourse and relations are becoming ugly and awful.

Returning to the past, he notes there was an assumption that Russia under Yeltsin would emerge as a replica and junior partner of America; Cohen believes those who promote the Russiagate narrative and demonize Trump because their "impossible dream" failed -- Russia is too old, too vast to ever be a replica of America. What took Professor Cohen aback in the testimony from Fiona Hill and others was how deep and wide the Russophobia runs in the Washington think tanks. Until she spoke and testified he had no idea how much she -- and the other Russia experts -- hate Russia.

Batchelor noted this is the language of civil war in Trump's letter; Trump uses the term "Star Chamber of partisan persecution" and "coup" which are the language of a country torn in half and he asked the question whether the weakening of the civil contract to be an advantage to Putin and Russia. Cohen notes every newspaper and media source in America say Putin is delighted since it is his goal is to foment disarray in America.

The fact is, however, this chaos and dysfunction and enmity is one of the last things Putin wants. Putin's purpose is to rebuild Russia from the economic and political catastrophes of the 1990s; Putin's role is to reverse the demographic trend -- men died in their fifties in the 1990s -- and spend funds on modernization; that would be his legacy. Four hundred billion dollars has been saved to implement the modernization program. That attempt would be taken with modernizing partnerships with the West. Therefore, the last thing he wants is a new Cold War; the last thing he wants is political turmoil in America or in any Western nation. Cohen points out President Macron of France appears to understand that; he called for a rethinking of relations and said there could be no European security without Russia. Macron has broken with Washington and there will be a hell of fight because Washington is against it. But the notion that Putin wants to disrupt American society is wrong; Putin wants stability and partners.

Cohen still thinks that leadership -- the new President of Ukraine, Trump and Putin --


RJJCDA , says: December 27, 2019 at 9:13 pm GMT

I always listen to the Prof's podcast shows at Batchelor. What bothers me is that so many Trump supporters and public commentators BELIEVE, or at least parrot the idea that Russia INVADED both western Ukraine and Crimea.

As the Prof has pointed out and seconded by many others, Crimea has been a part of Russia since late 18th century. Because Khrushchev "gave' it to Ukraine in 50s when it was all one country does not obviate the fact that Crimeans consider themselves Russians as proved by all polling and a plebiscite. They had permanent bases there and the alleged invasion was nothing more than politely escorting the Ukrainian military off from the peninsula without any injuries to either side. Some invasion.

Surely some Russians (whether incognito military/intelligence forces or private citizens) were part of the Donbass forces that rebelled against Kiev. And they had good reasons to rebel witness the horrors of Odessa when 40 something citizens of Russian ancestry were burned alive trapped in a building by Ultra-Ukrainian nazi-like forces.

Now Senate Foreign Relations committee, chaired by Senator from my state, has called for designating Russia as a "terror supporting state." I emailed him and asked if he was insane. He returned a long letter that is full of obfuscations and lies, and I will compose a detailed response soon. But the question presents: is the Deep State and their globalists' master deliberately trying to force Russia into a military alliance with China? Could we prevail against that combination? Haunting resemblance to conditions that created Ribbentrop/Molotov pact in late 30s. And what that foretell?

Dan Hayes , says: December 27, 2019 at 9:16 pm GMT
Note that this article is the thorough paraphrase of the podcast appearing at the base of the article.
Isabella , says: December 28, 2019 at 1:04 am GMT
Well, I guess when you have such luminaries as members of the Council on Foreign Relations spieling the same level of ignorance, blindness, prejudice, propaganda and plain perverseness, you have to expect it from all levels of "Governance"
For anyone who knows even a small amount about Russia and her leader, go listen to a recent YouTube convention headed Russia's Resurgence: Prospects for stability in Russia-US relationship.
One thing is for sure – as long as these supposed "think tank leaders" can deliberately blind themselves to reality as this trio did, and spout the utterly brain dead stupidity they used to instigate a Q & A, there is no hope whatsoever of any stability in Russia – US relationship.
anonymous [356] Disclaimer , says: December 28, 2019 at 2:32 am GMT
The people of the media lie because they are for sale and are paid to lie. Rather uninspiring but understandable: they do it for the money and to stay in front of the cameras. But what's everyone else's excuse? Putin is a Svengali who mind-controls Trump? I thought people like that wore turbans and robes. How stupid are Americans, anyway? Who'd have thought something like this would have any traction whatsoever? It's simply incredible.
WorkingClass , says: December 28, 2019 at 4:28 am GMT
I was born into the Cold War in 1944. I got my draft notice in 1965. I had been expecting it all my young life. The Berlin wall did not fall until 1989.

This new Cold War will be over soon. It will turn hot and we will all die or the "West" will collapse and will repatriate it's legions. The Anglo/Zio Empire is in steep decline while Russia and her allies are ascendant.

I agree that the truth is no defense against the "left". Their long march is completed and they occupy the high ground whether it's politics or culture. They have taken over the country just in time to preside over its demise.

Russians who thought their future was with the West were not completely wrong. If the U.S. has a future it is probably with Russia.

Vaterland , says: December 28, 2019 at 6:27 am GMT
There is a couple of points I would like to add on a changing European perspective on the dynamics between the USA and Russia, with Europe caught in-between.

1.) After the Second World War the choice between Bolshevism and US liberal democracy seemed blatantly obvious; for Germany especially it was a question of national survival, since Stalin was viewed as a serious threat by the Adenauer government. Germany had actually enjoyed more internal independence from leading US doctrines in this period. US rule of law, the character of its elites and the general morality of the society had not completely degraded yet either. Today institutional erosion of American democracy, the rule of law and a cynical Neocon approach towards "promoting democracy abroad" turned the USA into a non-appealing leader of 'the West'. The increasing "Sovietization" of its state apparatus emphasizes this point: the expansion of the surveillance state, selective access to real political and economic access to a select few of the privileged; often hereditary dynasties of oligarchs, a political-media complex of agitation and propaganda. Thus, the accusations against Russia (or China for that matter) about a lack of transparency, pluralism and the rule of law sound entirely hollow.

2.) Thus secondly NATO has turned from a credible alliance of defense against the Soviet Union into a tool of US imperialism; especially after the USA has declared victory in the Cold War. Wars surrounding Europe and even inside of it – The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and in Ukraine – were the result. Nations were destroyed, heads of state publicly executed or tortured to death like Muammar Gaddafi and millions of people were killed; many more were made homeless and a refugee crisis was created. And concealing wars of aggression as "human rights promotion" opened a can of worms for cynical nihilism as the new norm of US foreign policy – WMD lies, Abu-Ghuraib and NSA scandals included. Just as the established political-media apparatus is guilty of everything populism is accused of: post factual parallel realities, fake news and fake realities, systematic disinformation, social engineering and conditioning into hysteria and the frenzy of the mob. The pathology of the new US ruling class personified by Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright

3.) There is indeed no lasting European stability imaginable without a permanent peaceful agreement between Western- and Eastern-Europe and Russia. Russia's role as the Eurasian land bridge to China is also essential this century. Mutual agreement has to be found to settle old grievances and fears regarding Napoleon and Hitler on the Russian side and Stalinism and the Soviet Union on the European side. A situation which the USA also currently exploits for political destabilization – especially in Poland.

4.) Germany, currently the central country in the EU, owes its unification largely to Russia. Unfortunately it was a mistake on the Russian side when they had unilaterally withdrawn all their troops from German territory, that they did not demand the same from US/NATO forces. In that moment the transformation of NATO was sealed and the New Cold War had begun. Yet while the attitudes of the older generations are shaped by the US-Soviet Union Cold War, for new generations it's a different story. Increasingly the USA is seen as a more credible threat and/or bully with its war policy, real political meddling and especially in my country the fact that Germany was both forced to sanction Russia, which went against its own vital interests, and then be sanctioned as well.

5.) I am leaving out the value and identity politics debate. Fundamentally the general public on both sides of the Atlantic agrees on the theory on foundations of functioning democracy. Although I do think that since the end of the last Cold War the influence of the USA has been more harmful and corrosive than helpful and stabilizing.

Conclusion: In this new Cold War which was, I think, initiated by the US establishment, we could see a future in which Germany and Russia begin to view themselves more in the light of the Prussian-Russian coalition against the new "Napoleon", the United States. Although this arising conflict could rightly be dubbed: The Unnecessary Cold War.

EdNels , says: December 28, 2019 at 6:59 am GMT
@WorkingClass It's funny to hear "

that the truth is no defense against the "left". Their long march is completed and they occupy the high ground whether it's politics or culture.'

'

Left ? Do you believe that the establishment crowd of Democrats (Liberals,) and the managed news (Liberals,) and others Liberals, neoliberals, neocons, or anything else comprising the Russiagate hoax can be describes as Leftist?

It's been determined that the Democrats intentionally jettisoned the Working Class decades ago. It shouldn't be news to working people that they don't have a party!

It was a rational decision to unload the workers, and substitute special interest and identity politics, because of trends of the decline of union membership in age of technology, automation, and YUPPIES! The Democrats are now slick pretenders of social justice, but not left.

animalogic , says: December 28, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
@RJJCDA " is the Deep State and their globalists' master deliberately trying to force Russia into a military alliance with China? "
Hard to say what their intentions are. (The old ploy of unity at home by means of an external enemy ?) Whatever they are -- US foreign policy (FO) re Russia should go down with Iraq (II) as among the US's greatest FO blunders.
As the Saker has pointed out– Russia & China are in symbiosis, which runs deeper than an alliance.
Russiagate is a kind of "two birds with one stone" deal: you get to bash Trump & Russia using each as a club to beat the other. That this whole base concoction of lies seems to still have legs speaks volumes as to the deep of Trump derangement syndrome & the universality of msm propaganda.
jack daniels , says: December 28, 2019 at 8:11 am GMT
@Dan Hayes Yes but the paraphraser should not go anonymous. Bad form.
GMC , says: December 28, 2019 at 8:28 am GMT
Mr Cohen is so far ahead of Washington , when it comes to Russia and other foreign matters, it just boggles the mind of us normies. The Ukraine Gate is all about the Kyivian Jew Oligarchs, trying to oust the thief Democrats from all the IMF looting , that those Kyivians , had their eyes/hands on. It's like – thanks for doing the Coup but all the money we get is – Ours for the looting. And there are hundreds of millions – missing. Russia Gate will go on, until the American public – " Grows Up " as Mr. Cohen says.
jack daniels , says: December 28, 2019 at 8:28 am GMT
What damns the US media, both anti-Trump and Fox News, is that America has been massively meddling in elections all over the globe since Day One, including Russia, and this is known or should be known to anyone with a basic knowledge of international relations, yet it is almost NEVER mentioned when the subject of Russian meddling comes up.

There is a feeling that it would be unpatriotic (treasonous?) to admit it. This is something new for America. In the old days American foreign policy was sharply debated and America's sins were much discussed by the left. But now, the left is on the CIA's side. This probably has to do with the Jewishness of the left. Jews tend to hate Russia as much as they tended to like the Soviet Union. They see post-Communist Russia as politically incorrect (e.g. anti-gay) and Christian, a potentially nationalistic society that could turn anti-Semitic.

Because of Russia's nuclear capability it is not possible for the US to invade it, so we are relying on internal subversion and economic tactics to bring down Putin, leading to the installation of a US lackey with neocon approval. Even as we speak of Russian meddling the CIA is busy organizing and funding anti-Putin elements in Russia.

"We're just trying to spread democracy. What's wrong with that!?"

SeekerofthePresence , says: December 28, 2019 at 8:58 am GMT
Yes, the nation has gone mad.
Result is measured in rads.
sally , says: December 28, 2019 at 9:13 am GMT
@Back1 Stupidity does not produce the invention and promotion of lie after lie,
Nor is stupidity consistent with the selection of the best lies from those total of lies generated.
Only lies that work on the minds targeted are repeated.

Repeat the lie but hide it, camouflage the lie with some truth, and embedded the lie into the propaganda that establishes the narrative, and then mass produce the lie embedded propaganda that establishes the false or misleading narrative is a complicated process. Repeat and repeat the false narrative is a hat trick that often deceives innocent minds into adopting, embedding and acting on beliefs established in innocent minds by mind control technology. These process are not consistent with stupidity, but instead suggest diabolical genius at work.

When only the lies that work; that is, that control, deceive or influence innocent minds are repeated you are looking process which took intelligence to make work. Inventing lies takes imagination, producing them into propaganda takes skill, and promoting the produced invented lie takes money, power and access.

Selection (of the best or most suitable lie) is an process that requires identification and sufficient intelligence to sort; while repetition requires the selected object be either committed to memory, or to be continuously and precisely regenerated for each promotion(campaign). Promotion is a delicate process; its success so dependant on so many things, that many people have obtained Phds from the subject matter that surround the technology of deceit.

The point is that promoting false narratives is an invented developing technology that takes professionally trained persons to make work. Someone is paying the mind control professionals (MCPs) that are working to embed false narrative into the memory of the minds of the governed masses. MCPs are not stupid people. Not only are they highly trained professionals but also they don't work for free. So who is paying them.

for example look at the rul below. You might need first to visit the url https://duckduckgo.com and when at duckduckgo,com to paste it into the search space and hit go. It seems many browsers and search engines deny or make difficult user access to this website https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/12/28/614755/Russia-Poland-politics-World-war-NATO <in the url you will see the argument between fact and fiction.

Truth3 , says: December 28, 2019 at 10:15 am GMT
Larry King (excuse me I mean Lawrence Harvey Zeiger) on RT is a real oxymoron with RT being the oxy and Zeiger being the moron.

This clown gave NeoCons a free pass for decades. No surprise there, for a Tribal "Kagan" of the Jews.

Robert Magill , says: December 28, 2019 at 10:28 am GMT
Why is Steven Cohen credited with this article when obviously it is written by another? What gives, Unz? It is an example of the same facts twisting it rails against.
gotmituns , says: December 28, 2019 at 10:48 am GMT
I don't give a rat's butt about trump's impeachment or russia.
Tom Welsh , says: December 28, 2019 at 10:59 am GMT
@Antiwar7 "If there's smoke, there's fire" is not so much stupid as devious. You have to understand that many political leaders nowadays have realised that they don't need hard facts and figures or logic to sway opinion.

Increasingly, political divisions are tribal; and the worst condemnation is "you are not one of us". Disagreeing with the party line shows that a person is "not one of us".

That is especially the case when the party line is obviously untrue. Then sticking to it is an absolute proof of devoted, unthinking loyalty. It's more like a pledge of allegiance than a rational statement of fact.

Monotonous Languor , says: December 28, 2019 at 11:19 am GMT
Foreigners have never understood that there are two Americas, nor how to differentiate which one they're dealing with at any point in time.
Realist , says: December 28, 2019 at 11:34 am GMT
@RJJCDA

I always listen to the Prof's podcast shows at Batchelor.

I do as well enjoy them very much.

I agree with your comments.

He returned a long letter that is full of obfuscations and lies, and I will compose a detailed response soon.

You are wasting your time he is paid extremely well to promulgate the dumbass dictates of the Deep State.

Realist , says: December 28, 2019 at 11:43 am GMT
@Dan Hayes The author of this article is listed as Stephen F Cohen, but if that's the case it's written in the third person.

WTF

Realist , says: December 28, 2019 at 11:48 am GMT
@WorkingClass

I agree that the truth is no defense against the "left". Their long march is completed and they occupy the high ground whether it's politics or culture. They have taken over the country just in time to preside over its demise.

It is the right as well on important issue to the Deep State there is no right and left.

Johnny Walker Read , says: December 28, 2019 at 12:29 pm GMT
Does it really matter? America is already a Jewish/Bolshevik occupied nation?

To achieve absolute power, Lenin focused on fomenting a class war, while Hitler set his sights on a race war. Either way, the divide-and-conquer modus operandi of fascist and communist demagogues is pretty much the same, no matter what each side might claim about the other. Their propaganda content may differ, but not so much their divide-and-conquer methods. Attitudes of supremacy come in a virtual rainbow of flavors and colors.

https://thefederalist.com/2017/11/06/bolshevik-revolution-reveals-six-phases-freedom-communist-misery/
Wake up fools, and quit putting your faith in political hacks, red or blue!!

9/11 Inside job , says: December 28, 2019 at 12:39 pm GMT
theamericanconservative.com : "Forget Trump : The Military-Industrial-Complex is still running the show " By Bruce Fein , July 18, 2018
theintercept.com " Defense contractors say Russian threat is great for business "
Sean , says: December 28, 2019 at 1:11 pm GMT
Did Russian believe that any assurances could prevent Nato being drawn right up to the borders of Russia? Did Ukrainians believe the UK and US's security assurances 'against the threat or use of force against Ukraine's territory or political independence' could replace Ukraine's possession of nuclear weapons? Zbigniew Brzezinski did speak of Russia "increasingly passing into de facto western receivership" .

They say the Russians only heard what that wanted to hear, but the record suggests the Americans misrepresented their intentions, and gave assurances that the Russians took at face value. Russia permitted an American campaign to spent vast sums and organise Yeltsin's reelection, which would not have happened without them. The Russian foreign minister at that time, Andrei Kozyrev, now lives in Miami.

https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2018-03-16/nato-expansion-what-yeltsin-heardD.C ., March 16, 2018 – Declassified documents from U.S. and Russian archives show that U.S. officials led Russian President Boris Yeltsin to believe in 1993 that the Partnership for Peace was the alternative to NATO expansion, rather than a precursor to it, while simultaneously planning for expansion after Yeltsin's re-election bid in 1996 and telling the Russians repeatedly that the future European security system would include, not exclude, Russia.

The declassified U.S. account of one key conversation on October 22, 1993, (Document 8) shows Secretary of State Warren Christopher assuring Yeltsin in Moscow that the Partnership for Peace was about including Russia together with all European countries, not creating a new membership list of just some European countries for NATO; and Yeltsin responding, "this is genius!"

Christopher later claimed in his memoir that Yeltsin misunderstood – perhaps from being drunk – the real message that the Partnership for Peace would in fact "lead to gradual expansion of NATO";[1] but the actual American-written cable reporting the conversation supports subsequent Russian complaints about being misled.[2]

After obtaining a succession of huge US-backed IMF loans, being found on Pennsylvania Avenue, drunk, in his underwear and trying to hail a taxi cab in order to find pizza in 1995, Yeltsin chose Putin the teetotal former counterintelligence specialist to succeed him. What a sense of humour Yeltsin must have had.

Dan Hayes , says: December 28, 2019 at 1:28 pm GMT
@jack daniels I agree that the paraphraser should not go anonymous. But more important is to bring to the reader's attention that a broadcast podcast is available at the article's end.
Wizard of Oz , says: December 28, 2019 at 1:30 pm GMT
@Vaterland The American elutes might be forgiven theirvicious follies by Americans if they had not impoverished so many Americans and,at best leaving them struggling.
Patrikios Stetsonis , says: December 28, 2019 at 1:33 pm GMT
@9/11 Inside job We do not call it "the Military-Industrial-Complex".
We do not call it "the Banks".
We do not call it "the FED"
We do not call it "the Wall Street"
We do not call it "the Media"

Once for all, we call it: "the Jews".

WorkingClass , says: December 28, 2019 at 1:39 pm GMT
@Realist Agreed. Truth is no defense against the Deep State which is neither left nor right.. Still, it is the ideological left that denies the existence of objective reality. For them there are no facts. Only subjective experience. Useful idiots and propagandists for the Deep State, they "know" Trump is a Russian agent because they can feel it. They don't need no steenking evidence.

The (left) media promote hatred. Orange Man Bad. The ideological left understands and enjoys hatred. They can feel it. When you hate somebody you are ready and eager to believe the worst about them.

Onebornfree , says: Website December 28, 2019 at 1:57 pm GMT
@WorkingClass "I agree that the truth is no defense against the "left"."

In other words, 2 + 2 = 5 [ to roughly quote Orwell]

Polylogism rules! : https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Polylogism

Regards, onebornfree

journey80 , says: December 28, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT
@EdNels Thank you. Well said, and not nearly enough.

It's my opinion that the relentless use of "left" to describe the neoliberal half of the Republicrat/Wall Street/war industry party is no accident.

Describing the "Democrats" of the Clinton DNC as "left" is useful to discredit and marginalize any political stance that, fairly and realistically, could be considered "left." It produces chaos and confusion, which is the objective of the neocon/neoliberal grifters who control both halves of the war party.

Dan Hayes , says: December 28, 2019 at 2:25 pm GMT
@Realist I suspect that the paraphraser is our own Ron Unz since he strikes me as a hands-on operator. Secondary suspect is Phil Giraldi, UR's National Security Editor.

In any event it's important to dissimulate Cohen's views since he's literally A Geopolitical Voice Crying Out in the Wilderness! For this both Batchelor and Unz are to be commended!!

Anonymous [645] Disclaimer , says: December 28, 2019 at 2:45 pm GMT
@Realist There's a left alright; there's just no right. Since the 1960's the conservative movement and Republican Party have conserved exactly nothing while the left has completely transformed America, successfully implementing much of the 1930's communist agenda and turning the government into the enemy of the society at large.

In his Myth of Religious Violence William T Cavanaugh points out that before the arrival of Frankfurter on the Supreme Court, religion, meaning chiefly Christianity, was held by the court to be the fundamental source of social cohesion and peace in America, while since the late 1940s and post-Frankfurter, religion, now meaning only Christianity, has been consistently held to be not only divisive, but the fundamental source of violence. The point is, this upending of society was accomplished by legislating from the bench, while the Republicans and Conservatism Inc, as we now learn, were funded to neutralize opposition, blowing smoke in Americans' eyes about legalisms at a time when at least 90% of this country was conservative.

Sites like The American Conservative and American Thinker, for example, are apparently funded to publish fawning material about the Jews and Israel that the latter would be too ashamed to write themselves, which also pretty much sums up the Republican's m.o. in Congress.

It's about time the American electorate saw candidates for national and state office as figureheads for their largest donors, who're presently portrayed as almost incidental by the msm. Instead of saying that Mitch McConnell or Lindsey Graham said this or that, accuracy requires we say Paul Singer and Sheldon Adelson's spokesman in the Senate, some so-and-so stooge, said this or that. It's the same on both sides of the aisle, obviously, and it turns out that the owners of both parties are kin when it comes to destroying the social fabric of this country for their own hateful reasons.

Christo , says: December 28, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
@Patrikios Stetsonis You forgot , an aspect. "We do not call it Z.O.G."
Which commands and guides the US government in both domestic and foreign policy.

On similar note to your closing statement ,
To quote Treitschke 1879 "The Jews are our misfortune"

Bill Jones , says: December 28, 2019 at 3:06 pm GMT
Meanwhile, the barking mad cow Maddow now claims:

""really, literally is paid Russian propaganda.""

Is not meant to be a statement of facts.

https://www.zerohedge.com/commodities/maddow-meltdown-defense-oan-lawsuit-host-argues-her-words-are-not-facts

Bill Jones , says: December 28, 2019 at 3:09 pm GMT
@jack daniels I see this line, at the beginning

"Summary of Broadcast Produced by Yvonne Lorenzo:"

Not good enough?

Or is it a later (unacknowledged) addition?

Do we now need a correction to the correction?

Antiwar7 , says: December 28, 2019 at 3:20 pm GMT
@Tom Welsh I totally agree with you. I'm just trying to heap public scorn on that approach. Because if you look at it clearly, it's ridiculous.
Desert Fox , says: December 28, 2019 at 3:36 pm GMT
The zionists hate Christians and since Russia is becoming more Christian the zionists hate towards Russia has reached a hysteria that is only matched by their demonic hate of Christians and one of the ways to strike at Russia is through lies and false flags blamed on Russia.

The ZUS is winning the war against Christians here in America with abortions and pedophilia in high places and the worship of satan in Hellywood and elsewhere and the penetration of the Christian churches by zionist elements.

The zionists will not stop until America is destroyed, zionism is the most dangerous element in America.

Read the Protocols of Zion, it is all right there.

Justvisiting , says: December 28, 2019 at 3:59 pm GMT
@Back1

*All* mainstream media is propaganda from clown world. This defines our era in US. Mass psychosis is the new reality.

The Russia nonsense tells me that US establishment people are stupid and self deluded, truly sad sack dummies.

Several commenters around here have claimed the Apollo moon landing hoax "does not matter".

[MORE]
It is old news, not relevant to today, too controversial, etc.

The problem is that once the elites get away with lying, it encourages them to do more of it. This hoax _is_ going to be exposed, and fairly soon–and it may unravel the whole ball of string of intelligence agency and mass media lies.

It is _not_ a left/right issue, so folks of any and all political persuasions will be able to accept it without crushing their ideological dreams.

Check out this article from NASA itself: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/rbsp/news/third-belt.html

This and related new discoveries (on why the Apollo manned moon missions were technically impossible) are discussed in this recent book:

https://read.amazon.com/kp/card?preview=inline&linkCode=kpd&ref_=k4w_oembed_cIFBq8Qs4dgS8X&asin=B07RCCKH1L&tag=kpembed-20

Every space program (national, private) _must_ solve this problem. Lying won't work. They have to deal with it–and the truth is going to get out–soon.

Anonymous [645] Disclaimer , says: December 28, 2019 at 4:06 pm GMT
@Desert Fox Judaic identity is essentially about hating Christians, as the Talmud makes clear, and as most anyone who's worked with Jews on Wall Street will attest. Michael Hoffman proves this in his books on Judaism, pointing out that modern Talmudic Judaism came into being nearly two centuries after the rise of Christianity and in opposition to it.
Ahoy , says: December 28, 2019 at 4:16 pm GMT
Ezra Pound. Is there around a literature professor, that can hold the weight of the title, to talk about him to American youth? Hell noooo!!

Fasten your seat belts then, because the historic American nation is crushing.

Miro23 , says: December 28, 2019 at 5:04 pm GMT
@animalogic

" is the Deep State and their globalists' master deliberately trying to force Russia into a military alliance with China? "

Hard to say what their intentions are. (The old ploy of unity at home by means of an external enemy ?) Whatever they are -- US foreign policy (FO) re Russia should go down with Iraq (II) as among the US's greatest FO blunders.

Agreed that it's a mistake, but when they've successfully pulled off the WMD lies, the 9/11 fakery, the destruction of Iraq, Libya etc., control the US media, and can dictate to Congress, then it's understandable that they get rather arrogant.

They simply want to kick Russia and Putin because he was the one that spoiled their Yeltsin looting party – and worst of all arrested and imprisoned their top guy Khodorkovsky. That it drives Germany and the EU towards Russia and strengthens Russian ties with China is secondary. After all, Hitler (after great military success), likened invading Russia to kicking down a rotten barn door, and he didn't work out the implications of declaring war on the US.

Realist , says: December 28, 2019 at 5:19 pm GMT
@Anonymous I agreed with you, except there is a Deep State and it is not made up of just Jews. But I do concede that Jews are disproportionately represented, as both sponsors and minions, for their demographics.

I believe the Deep State consists of the very wealthy who are greedy for more wealth and power. There are 607 billionaires in the US. There is no reason for the Deep State members to formally collude they all know what needs to be done and how to do it. They use a relatively small amount of their money to place their minions in positions of power heads of the movie industry, the media, the federal government, academia. From then on if the lessers in these groups want to keep their jobs/lives they will toe the line. It becomes self sustaining from tax money and the Deep State glories in more wealth and power. Here is an excellent example of the Deep State in action: The SCOTUS has passed down egregious decisions that abridge the First Amendment and show contempt for the concept of a representative democracy. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1976 and exacerbated by continuing stupid SCOTUS decisions First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission.
These decisions have codified that money is free speech thereby giving entities of wealth and power almost total influence in elections. By gaining control of the SCOTUS the Deep State is able to further their goals.

Another take on the Deep State:
https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/11/14/understanding-the-deep-states-propaganda/

Realist , says: December 28, 2019 at 5:30 pm GMT
@Dan Hayes Agreed.
vinteuil , says: December 28, 2019 at 5:33 pm GMT
@Vaterland

NATO has turned from a credible alliance of defense against the Soviet Union into a tool of US imperialism

That's the bottom line, here.

NATO may once have had a reason for being. But now it's just a monstrous golem, lurching uncontrollably towards global catastrophe.

Back1 , says: December 28, 2019 at 5:33 pm GMT
@sally Ok. I'll pass on clarification of my too brief comment. Your elaboration is food for thought.

Note that MCP in Tron was Master Control Program.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website December 28, 2019 at 5:40 pm GMT
@EdNels

The Democrats are now slick pretenders of social justice, but not left.

Excellent summary. What goes under "left" moniker (Cultural Marxist, "communists", socialists etc.) in the West nowadays is not left. Agree. it is just another iteration of Neo-liberal politics serving as a substitution for dealing with actual problems of Labor.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 28, 2019 at 5:45 pm GMT
@Patrikios Stetsonis politico.com : "The happy-go-lucky Jewish group [Chabad-Lubavitch] that connects Trump and Putin":

"Their respective ambitions led the two men[Trump and Putin] – along with Trump's future son-in-law, Jared Kushner -to build a set of close, over-lapping relationships in a small world that overlaps on Chabad , an international Hasidic movement most people have never heard of ."

sally , says: December 28, 2019 at 6:00 pm GMT
@gotmituns @ gotmituns <=Why then did you read the article?

At the heart of the impeachment process (Article II, Section 2, paragraph 3 and 4) are two questions that should interest most folks: @ paragraph 3 lays out a big part of Trump's defense in my view "Section 3 requires ..that the President shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, <=execution requires action so which law did the President not execute faithfully? <= I do not see such a question in the Articles of Impeachment.. @ Sec II, Art. II, paragraph 4 "The President shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.. " < the house found evidence it says, strong enough to indite the president on charges that .. he violated which of these 4 things?

Some think Trump should have been impeached for failure to deliver his tax Return.. but I do not see failure to deliver a tax return as failure to execute a law, or as a high crime, or as treason, or as an act of Bribery, or as a misdemeanor.. so the current impeachment indictment by the House against Trump reveals that the constitution is inadequate. The constitution does not express a government that can protect the Americans such a government governs; from the possibility, or the reality, that a deceitful president will be empowered to that job?

The best governed Americans can hope for from the USA is that the Congress of the USA rather than impeaching will decide to amend the constitution, so that the constitution denies any one that can be shown to be deceitful, to be the President. This one amendment could eliminate making campaign promises and do just the opposite once in office.

Of course such an amendment would mean few in politics today could be the President.
Most likely no matter the outcome of the impeachment, Trump will probably be reappointed President by the electoral college.. (recall that persons who animate the functions allowed to the USA to governed Americans are not elected by those who the USA governs. (Americans c/n vote for their president or their vice president because President and VP are article II persons; and article II persons are appointed to office by processes conducted at the state level, that appoint persons to the electoral college, and it is the electoral college that elects the President and the Vice President). Who has written a book on the electoral college? I have requested information from the government on the electoral college activities since the beginning and to date have received nothing but referrals to others.

WorkingClass , says: December 28, 2019 at 6:13 pm GMT
@EdNels Left ? Do you believe that the establishment crowd of Democrats (Liberals,) and the managed news (Liberals,) and others Liberals, neoliberals, neocons, or anything else comprising the Russiagate hoax can be describes as Leftist?

No. I do not believe that. I agree with you entirely. But common usage has the people you are talking about as LEFT and I am tired of bitching about it.

Exile , says: December 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm GMT
@RJJCDA Russia no more "invaded" Ukraine than the United States "invaded" Texas, Ohio or Florida. Ukraine has been a Russian fiefdom for centuries longer than it has ever been "independent," and its fate is no more the business of the United States or Western Europe than the fate of Hong Kong or Syria should be.
Exile , says: December 28, 2019 at 7:02 pm GMT
@Realist Exactly. Convergent interests are sufficient – no grand cabal or conspiracy is necessary to explain what we observe with our lying eyes.

To the extent one is ever necessary, that's where guys like Epstein come in.

Skeptikal , says: December 28, 2019 at 7:13 pm GMT
@Antiwar7 I agree that someone is making the fake smoke.
A.K.A. lies.
gotmituns , says: December 28, 2019 at 7:25 pm GMT
@sally I never read the articles.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: December 28, 2019 at 7:30 pm GMT
Please just let me ask americans some opinions about

if pastor John Hagee and his followers are jews or christians ? , if the thousands of pastors in the USA like Hagee and their millions of followers are jews or christians ? if the US puritan founding fathers were jews of christians ? , if the british angloisraelites are jews or christians ? , if the yankees are jews or christians ? if the wasps are jews or christians ? if the US " deep state " is jew or chistian ? , if the US masses are jew or christian ?

. because blaming the jews all the time of every problem and pretending that that the anglo-yankees are so pure and naive does not seem to be very realistic

Maybe " Jews Я US " ? what do you think ?

anon [232] Disclaimer , says: December 28, 2019 at 8:15 pm GMT
@Antiwar7 Americans should have believed into the existence
of thousands Mayan gods when they first saw the smoke billowing out of the sacrificial pit in front of the menacing idols.
Michael888 , says: December 28, 2019 at 8:16 pm GMT
Some things never change. Russiagate is no aberration. Establishment Authority, police state apparatuses and religious catechisms, are NOT based on reasoning and evidence, but rather fact-free Narratives handed down from above and grounded by Fear of the Other, the bogeymen (be it Russians, White Supremacists, Black men, Assad, Trump, the Devil, etc), without which authority will collapse. As the historian Will Durant noted, Strabo said it best 2000 years ago:

"For in dealing with a crowd of women a philosopher cannot influence them by reason or exhort them to reverence, piety or faith; nay, there is need of religious fear also, and this cannot be aroused without myths and marvels the founders of states gave their sanctions to these things as bugbears wherewith to scare the simple-minded."

Kolya Krassotkin , says: December 28, 2019 at 9:54 pm GMT
@Anon John Hagee, his followers and other Christian Zionists are morons. Happily, they are not nearly as common as you imply. Being a Christian Zionist takes a special kind of stupid

I cannot see Haggee without immediately recalling Christ's warning to beware of obese wolves in sheep's clothing, who take jiggly church secretaries and XXXL Italian silk suits as proof of God's blessing.

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: December 28, 2019 at 10:05 pm GMT
Cohen is another Jewish voice in the Jewish Mafia War between factions. I don't consider him that insightful or honest, as he never mentions the glaringly obvious: the attempt to oust Trump is a Jew Coup.
Start telling the truth about the Hostile Elite destroying America Cohen. Until then you are just another lying Jew destroying the country that welcomed your ancestors.
When will the Traitors be routed out and hung?
No country can withstand Treason from Within going unpunished for any length of time. We either destroy these scum or they will destroy America.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: December 28, 2019 at 10:08 pm GMT
@Anon Do you work for free? It is the payroll stupid,
Z-man , says: December 28, 2019 at 10:16 pm GMT
I gotta hand it to Larry King, even with one foot in the grave he's still doing these interviews and with Professor Cohen no less. Kudos to the old coot. (Grin)
Steven Cohen should be a special advisor to the POTUS. It would be a demotion for Cohen but good for Trump and for America.

[Dec 25, 2019] America's obsessive bashing of Russia (and now China) is suggestive of a deep psychological disorder.

Dec 25, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ak74 , Dec 24 2019 4:19 utc | 78

The imperial lie machine sure is disgruntled that the 1990s attempt to economically and biologically crush Russia once and for all was a failure and Russia has since been reasserting itself. It wasn't "the end of history" after all.

That was the source of the underlying current of Russia Derangement among the US elite classes (political, economic, media, academia, professional etc.), the many provocations, and then the total meltdown beginning in late 2016.

Since it really seems to be a collective mental illness (I mean that literally) afflicting a power group which is already psychotic and violent, and since it coincides with the accelerating erosion of the US imperial position, it's looking more and more likely that this must eventually lead to all-out war. I just can't imagine the US stepping back, any more than I could imagine Hitler doing so.

America's obsessive bashing of Russia (and now China) is suggestive of a deep psychological disorder.

Though the Americans and their allied apologists will insist that it is sincerely motivated by a humanitarian concern for Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights(TM), that is quite laughable given America's concentration camps for undocumented immigrants; its incarceration of immigrant children in cages; or the US Prison Industrial Complex in general, which has been called America's new Jim Crow in that it imprisons millions of African Americans and other minorities and relegates them to a new racist caste system.

No, cut through the barrage of American Moral Supremacism and other delusions, the United States is enraged that, despite its attempt to economically rape Russia in the 1990s through American-promoted Free Market reforms and Neoliberal "shock therapy," Russia is still standing and indeed resurgent.

THAT is what enrages the Americans and triggers them in rug-chewing fits of frenzy.

[Dec 24, 2019] Today in Russophrenia

Rachel Maddow is now so crazy that even other crazy people are starting to notice.
Dec 24, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

cartman December 22, 2019 at 9:55 am

Today in Russophrenia:

In other news, @RANDCorporation report firmly establishes that Van Gogh was a Russian Agent. May be, the dastardly Kremlin plot drove him to cut his ear off?.. At any rate, NATO is now on alert. pic.twitter.com/9k9j5K9rx1

-- Constantin Gurdgiev (@GTCost) December 22, 2019

[Dec 24, 2019] Looks like it's Europe's turn in smearing Russia

Notable quotes:
"... "I just want to note that this kind of people, people like the ones who were negotiating with Hitler back then, they now deface monuments to the liberator soldiers, Red Army soldiers who liberated the countries of Europe and the European peoples from Nazism. These are their followers. In this sense, unfortunately, little has changed. And we must keep this in mind, also with regard to the development of our Armed Forces . [My Emphasis] ..."
Dec 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 24 2019 14:40 utc | 101

Looks like it's Europe's turn in smearing Russia:

Putin slams European Parliament resolution on WWII outbreak as 'complete nonsense'

vk , Dec 24 2019 14:53 utc | 102

More on Putin's response to the EP resolution:

Poland wanted to 'erect magnificent monument' to honor Hitler's plan to send Jews to Africa – Putin cites WWII archives

We don't need to guess which member is behind the resolution.

Headache , Dec 24 2019 15:30 utc | 103
Voltairenet has a very interesting article about this subject (also discussed in the last open thread) by prof. Michael Jabara Carley of the University of Montreal: "Justin Trudeau Needs A History Lesson", in which he describes the unsuccessful efforts of Soviet diplomats to create an alliance of European countries against the nazis.

I am afraid to mess up the thread, so no link.

karlof1 , Dec 24 2019 20:16 utc | 111
People may have read that Putin has said a few more things about the documents he reviewed with his CIS peers; and in doing so, Putin revealed an aspect about himself few have seen previously. Putin made his statement at the annual year-end Defense Ministry Board Meeting . IMO, Putin has had more than enough of the extreme Russophobia now in circulation and he sees it as being very similar to that of prior historical periods where Russia was then subjected to attack from the West. I won't post Putin's diatribe here; you'll need to read it for yourself--I've never seen him so angry or speak undiplomatically. What I will post is what he said after, which IMO is even more important, although removed from the overall context:

"I just want to note that this kind of people, people like the ones who were negotiating with Hitler back then, they now deface monuments to the liberator soldiers, Red Army soldiers who liberated the countries of Europe and the European peoples from Nazism. These are their followers. In this sense, unfortunately, little has changed. And we must keep this in mind, also with regard to the development of our Armed Forces . [My Emphasis]

"Here is what I would like to say in this regard, which I think is critically important. Please note: neither the Soviet Union, nor Russia have ever tried to create a threat to other countries. We were always catching up in this regard. The United States created the atomic bomb, and the Soviet Union caught up with it. We did not have nuclear weapon delivery vehicles or carriers. There was no such thing as strategic aviation, and the Soviet Union was catching up in this area, as well. The first intercontinental missiles actually were not built here, and the Soviet Union was trying to catch up.

"Today, we have a unique situation in our new and recent history. They try to catch up with us."

Also note the word Putin chose to describe the Outlaw US Empire's withdraw from the INF Treaty. Clearly, Putin desires to impress upon those charged with Russia's defense that the times are indeed perilous, that the old lies are being spread without any resistance. As with the other three transcripts I linked, this one also demands to be read in full and also in close association with the other three. The Poles will scream along with their sycophants, but Putin is correct about both the past and the present and the danger present within the future.

[Dec 24, 2019] Having grown up watching professional wrestling President Trump's campaign rallies are exactly like a wrestling show

Notable quotes:
"... This character development and ad-libbing/a b testing is then always in use when dealing with the media and when tweeting. Since the President is a caricature his followers aren't bothered by his incorrect statements and when the Democrats/media point out his mis-statements it doesn't register because everyone knows wrestling is fake. A rhetorical analysis of Trump's letter shows that he will be a formidable opponent in 2020, and that he's crazy like a fox. Make America Great Again. Trump trademarked that saying 1 week after the 2012 election. He isn't crazy he's sly like a fox. ..."
"... I hear you, Chuck. I'm of the same generation and vaguely remember Ike. I recall, in particular, the U2 incident. Didn't Eisenhower himself deny to the world that the US did spy flights, even while the Soviets were displaying wreckage and parading Capt. F. G. Powers? It was a major embarrassment. ..."
Dec 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

TroyIA , December 23, 2019 at 9:01 pm

Lambert describes President Trump's style as schtick but another way is to consider it as a wrestling character named "President Trump." Remember President Trump was involved with the WWE and had the owners wife Linda McMahon in his cabinet and she is now running a pro-Trump super PAC.

Having grown up watching professional wrestling President Trump's campaign rallies are exactly like a wrestling show. He is playing a character and has to be quick thinking and able to ad-lib to manipulate the crowd's emotions. The crowd also has to become part of the show as well and overreact to signal to the performer (in this case who happens to be the President) they are engaged with the show. The baby face (Trump) is cheered loudly and the heels (Democrats/media) are booed in an exaggerated manner.

This character development and ad-libbing/a b testing is then always in use when dealing with the media and when tweeting. Since the President is a caricature his followers aren't bothered by his incorrect statements and when the Democrats/media point out his mis-statements it doesn't register because everyone knows wrestling is fake.

A rhetorical analysis of Trump's letter shows that he will be a formidable opponent in 2020, and that he's crazy like a fox.

Make America Great Again. Trump trademarked that saying 1 week after the 2012 election. He isn't crazy he's sly like a fox.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-patent-maga-2012/

chuck roast , December 23, 2019 at 9:30 pm

I've been around for a while and my attitude is that all of these "prexies", with the exception maybe of Ike, have been lying sacks of shit. Now while they all facilitated mass thievery by their friends and associates (as the mob would say), they could have at least had the good form to be funny. But no! They were all so earnest and sanctimonious. Kind of like my parish priest handing out the wafers.

I probably spent way too many hours warming various bar-stools next to a variety of knuckleheads, so I'm going to give Trump his due, OK? The guy has given me more chuckles, laughs, guffaws and all around hilarity than six decades worth of well dressed socio-paths. And as a bonus, a big bonus, he has greatly discomforted all of the smartest grifters in the room. Whenever I see the guy, Im in the Catskills.

Robert Gray , December 24, 2019 at 12:28 am

> all of these "prexies", with the exception maybe of Ike, have been lying sacks of shit.

I hear you, Chuck. I'm of the same generation and vaguely remember Ike. I recall, in particular, the U2 incident. Didn't Eisenhower himself deny to the world that the US did spy flights, even while the Soviets were displaying wreckage and parading Capt. F. G. Powers? It was a major embarrassment.

[Dec 24, 2019] Today in Russophrenia

Rachel Maddow is now so crazy that even other crazy people are starting to notice.
Dec 24, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

cartman December 22, 2019 at 9:55 am

Today in Russophrenia:

In other news, @RANDCorporation report firmly establishes that Van Gogh was a Russian Agent. May be, the dastardly Kremlin plot drove him to cut his ear off?.. At any rate, NATO is now on alert. pic.twitter.com/9k9j5K9rx1

-- Constantin Gurdgiev (@GTCost) December 22, 2019

[Dec 23, 2019] NYT neocon propaganda sing in unison with GE's harpy, Rachel Maddow

Dec 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

FSD , Dec 23 2019 14:48 utc | 1

The USA desperately need another resource-rich country to loot and can't find suitable candidate other then Russia. So MIC prostitute Madcow is just a dog of war. The USA deperately need another resource-rich country to loot and can't find sutable candiadate othe then Russia

There is no credible analyst not shackled to the MIC trough who ventures such an analysis beyond of course GE's W-2 harpie, Rachel Maddow.

The Western elites have long decided. WW3 is coming. In recent years, the Russians have repeatedly tried to get this message through the western Mediadrome, but to little effect.

The job of the GE spokespeople (Maddow et al) is diversionary/ preparatory spadework i.e. to drill with numbing repetition into the American consciousness who the enemy is. And you can bet the enemy is not who signs their paychecks. Their employers though happen to be OUR enemy.

Thus we find ourselves in the odd position of having Russia's top general attempting to shout through the Maddow racket that our two nations are on a collision course for war. Strange messenger. Or maybe not. They want to live too.

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/ /russias-top-general-warns-wor

Russia is in demographic collapse. It lacks the human capital to exploit even its own vast resource trove. The western banking system is over-leveraged. The imaginary numbers have gotten too big. Its 'denominator of the real' badly needs shoring up.

Russian resource wealth, Iran's massive South Pars LNG field are viewed with watering eyes as prolongations of the doomed Ponzi. Europe is energy-poor, geriatric and overrun with Islamic jihadists. With all due respect, who would want it at this late stage? At best, it is a funding source --and a battleground-- for WW3.

Meanwhile the Ponzi is ravenous and never sleeps. No growth - negative interest rates is a bell-ringer for WW3. The alternative is deflationary collapse. Maddow's been mysteriously cranked up again: Rushah Rushah!

So we find ourselves in another Goebellian shift: accuse the opposition of your own ulterior motives. They have no designs on us. Our overlords have designs on them.

Americans are just the People in the middle, hostages in a sense yet seemingly feared enough that our minds are still worth battling over. Trump's affinities are too populist. He's a dodgy helmsman for the massive undertaking of a world war where the people are only to be galvanized, not consulted.

Far from a duteous seat-warmer, he's a leader who squeaked through. The Oval Office is no place for leaders. It was thought to have been neutered of all that leadership malarkey post-JFK. Trump's not enough to hold back the MIC. No POTUS is. He either must depart the job or be compromised into executing the plan. But he's a bad Lieutenant. They'll never be comfortable with him.

Then some evil, diseased mind had an epiphany. Don't just Get Trump! Get a twofer! Get Trump and Russah! Weld them together for one kill-shot. Collusion means no daylight and one bullet. Yes, there's a genius to it, a very sick genius.

Annie , Dec 23 2019 15:29 utc | 4

B, great article as usual but disappointed that you didn't write about the latest sanctions on N2.

Another act of WAR by the US. These sanctions now cover the comoany, Allseas, laying the pipeline to Germany. They ceased operations and will not complete the project and Gazprom does not have the expertise. Would love to see your

analysis on that.
The NYT propaganda, true to form and loyal to Dem Russophobes just one more attempt to manufacture consent

This is maddening. These crazies are looking for war on Russia. Are the American people stupid enough to give that consent?

Piotr Berman , Dec 23 2019 15:30 utc | 5
My NYT site has the title "Russia Is a Mess. Why Is Putin Such a Formidable Enemy?"

Some quotes:
---- 1 ----
Under Mr. Putin, Vladislav Surkov, a longtime Kremlin adviser, wrote in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, a Moscow newspaper, earlier this year, Russia "is playing with the West's minds."

Also its own.
---- 2 ----
All the same, said Gleb Pavlovsky, a political scientist who worked for more than a decade as a Kremlin adviser, Russia under Mr. Putin still reminds him of a sci-fi movie exoskeleton: "Inside is sitting a small, weak and perhaps frightened person, but from the outside it looks terrifying."
---- 3 ----
Whatever its problems, Mr. Surkov, the Kremlin adviser, said, Russia has created "the ideology of the future" by dispensing with the "illusion of choice" offered by the West and rooting itself in the will of a single leader capable of swiftly making the choices without constraint.

China, too, has advocated autocracy as the way to get results fast, but even Xi Jinping, the head of the Chinese Communist Party, can't match the lightening speed with which Mr. Putin ordered and executed the seizure of Crimea. The decision to grab the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine was made at a single all-night Kremlin meeting in February 2014 and then carried out just four days later with the dispatch of a few score Russian special forces officers to seize a handful of government buildings in Simferopol, the Crimean capital.
==========
If true, the resources committed to "Crimea takeover" were comparable with what Israel committed to assassinate one person, Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, dispatching a team of 33 to Dubai in January 2010. Wasn't the superior productivity the strength of the West?

And this is not a joke. Putin is a maniac for balanced budgets, and compared to the expansive American style, the resources committed by Syria were minuscule. And by all accounts, spend well.

REUTERS. Oct 2, 2015 - U.S. President Barack Obama warned Russia on Friday that its bombing campaign against Syrian rebels will suck Moscow into a "quagmire," after a third straight day of air raids in support of President Bashar al-Assad. <<-- Obama was well aware that Russia committed a very small number of troops, and smallish air force that his military expert were describing as obsolete. Russia could not be many times more effective than USA, could it?

No sign of Obama's predicted 'quagmire' as Russia's ...
https://www.washingtonpost.com › world › 2016/09/30
Sep 30, 2016 - BEIRUT -- In the year since Russia began conducting airstrikes in support of the Syrian government, the intervention has worked to secure two ...

That explains the next quote from today NYT
---- 4 ----
"Maybe he's holding small cards, but he seems unafraid to play them," said Michael McFaul, a former United States ambassador to Moscow and now a scholar at Stanford. "That's what makes Putin so scary."
=========
Seems that Establishment scours most elite universities, Harvard, Yale, Stanford , Princeton etc. for the dumbest possible graduates. I know from private sources that not all graduates are dumb, many are actually brilliant. Does it occur to McFaul that boldness in playing small cards is even worse than playing large card? Russia (and Assad's partisans in Syria) had to do something well that USA (in government supporters in Afghanistan) did not do at all or did badly.

[Dec 22, 2019] The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. Up next: The bright, sunny history of the CIA

Notable quotes:
"... The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. New York Review of Books ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Stormcrow , December 21, 2019 at 11:54 am

The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. New York Review of Books

Up next: The bright, sunny history of the CIA

Carolinian , December 21, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Speaking of that.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/20/gladio-the-story-of-a-conspiracy/

Acacia , December 22, 2019 at 12:15 am

No surprise. NYRB has had a b*ner for Muh Russia since the early days of the hysteria.

[Dec 22, 2019] The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. Up next: The bright, sunny history of the CIA

Notable quotes:
"... The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. New York Review of Books ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Stormcrow , December 21, 2019 at 11:54 am

The Long, Dark History of Russia's Murder, Inc. New York Review of Books

Up next: The bright, sunny history of the CIA

Carolinian , December 21, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Speaking of that.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/20/gladio-the-story-of-a-conspiracy/

Acacia , December 22, 2019 at 12:15 am

No surprise. NYRB has had a b*ner for Muh Russia since the early days of the hysteria.

[Dec 21, 2019] Is Putin losing his grip? Why did Russian disinformation operations fail so dramatically in the UK election?

Dec 21, 2019 | off-guardian.org

s Putin losing his grip? Why did Russian disinformation operations fail so dramatically in the UK election? Not only did the "rabid socialist" Corbyn fail to seize power from the Russophobic cold-war warriors of Whitehall but Russia's man in the White House is already planning to move in with them!

[Dec 21, 2019] Is Putin losing his grip? Why did Russian disinformation operations fail so dramatically in the UK election?

Dec 21, 2019 | off-guardian.org

s Putin losing his grip? Why did Russian disinformation operations fail so dramatically in the UK election? Not only did the "rabid socialist" Corbyn fail to seize power from the Russophobic cold-war warriors of Whitehall but Russia's man in the White House is already planning to move in with them!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 20, 2019] The purpose of manufactured hysteria in the US is to obfuscate the issues important to the Deep State like destroying the first amendment, renewing the 'Patriot' act, extremely increasing the war/hegemony budget, etc

Highly recommended!
Dec 20, 2019 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: December 19, 2019 at 5:17 pm GMT

The Year of Manufactured Hysteria

The purpose of manufactured hysteria in the US is to obfuscate the issues important to the Deep State like destroying the first amendment, renewing the 'Patriot' act, extremely increasing the war/hegemony budget, etc.

The unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.

[Dec 19, 2019] Fiona Hill reveals herself as primitive and greedy neocon hawks who want to reactivate a new Cold War very badly to sustain her own well being as a rabid warmonger for MIC

Notable quotes:
"... Putin has indeed been repeatedly "rebuffed" by the West for proposing anything that makes Russia a leading equal in its sphere. This shows not limited contacts with the West, but rather ongoing and painful ones. ..."
"... In truth, Vladimir Putin is the Russian Ronald Reagan, bidding his citizens to "stand tall" against enemies from without and within working against the homeland. His stance on Ukraine, arming its "contras" in a border war against an enemy "satellite regime", may make him look the intolerant war jingo; but thus did Ronald Reagan appear outside the US. Ironically it's Reagan partisans who don't grasp the working parallels. In general, I can recommend this book as a good introduction on Vladimir Putin, but it's hardly the last word and certainly not the definitive narrative. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.amazon.com

karenann , August 8, 2015

A deeply biased book

Hill and Gaddy are pretty good scholars. They do a good job of providing a psychological profile of Vladimir Putin and the way he operates in the Kremlin. But they have their limitations. One of the more annoying aspects of the book is that the authors return again and again both to Putin's graduate thesis on an American management book and his 1999 manifesto on his millenial goals for Russia. A better set of writers would have covered both subjects in one section and then moved on. But Hill and Gaddy sprinkle references to these documents about five times each throughout the book, which leads me to suspect that they are padding what would otherwise be a much shorter book.

As I was reading, I felt that there was a strong bias against Putin and Russia by the authors, but I couldn't quite pinpoint their slant until the last sentence, which is a doozy:

"The onus will now be on the West to shore up its own home defenses, reduce the economic and political vulnerabilities, and create its own contingency plans if it wants to counter Vladimir Putin's new twenty-first century warfare."

For anyone who is a Russian scholar, this is proof that the authors get Russia very wrong. They reveal themselves to be in the neocon camp of hawks who want to reactivate a new Cold War very badly. And in their analysis, they ignore the fact that Russia as a country is in fact deeply defensive country far more concerned with its internal boundaries and control than some aggressive Soviet power after World War II. To be sure, Mr. Putin is no choir boy. Interestingly enough, the authors do not fully investigate the potentially criminal behavior that Putin performed with Russia's war on Chechnya. Hill and Gaddy could have strengthened their case if they had included some deeper analysis of Putin's behavior on this troublesome part of the Russian Empire. But instead they were intent on plowing their own rut, which while somewhat interesting -- ultimately becomes a little bit too pedantic.

I am reminded of some books in the 1950s that were secretly backed by the CIA, and this book certainly feels like it has the same flavor. Hill and Gaddy totally ignore Russian scholars like Stephen Cohen in his analysis of the Russian situation, which is totally the opposite of mainstream thinking unfortunately these days. But in ignoring what Cohen has to say, the predominant attitude of the American and European foreign policy establishment is in lock step with Hill and Gaddy, which is why the book has been so heavily publicized.

The neocon vision of what's wrong with Russia is so biased that it also ignores the writings of such foreign policy figures as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Briezinski, former US Secretarys of State, both of whom are much more closer in their visions of Russia to Cohen than they are to Hill and Gaddy.

Yes, this book is all about sticking to the Rooskies, unfortunately. And the hidden motivator are all of the defense contracts that NATO can suck up, as well as all the bankers' books in reaming the Ukrainian economy as badly as they've reamed Greece. But the authors never tell you that this is their motivation, until the last paragraph.

Ultimately, this is an unsatisfying work.

karenann, 2 years ago (Edited)

Kissinger has had the good sense to state that the best hope for peace in the region is to have Ukraine as a totally neutral country, similar to Finland before the USSR collapsed. The Budapest Memorandum of NATO calls for the full military integration of Ukraine and Georgia.

As a thought experiment, what if the Soviets undermined the provincial governments of Alberta and British Columbia, and then wanted to include these governments in the Warsaw Pact? What do you think the reaction of the US would be?

R. L. Huff , April 23, 2015
OK but blinkered

- look at Vladimir Putin and Mr. Putin's Russia. The book is based on intensive research and interviews with Putin, but I find it skewed by the Western biases it brings to the table. Yet it's not a demonization, as is so much of the Western Putin literature. It gives him credit for standing by the multi-racial and cultural realities of post-Soviet Russia. Compared to the real hardcore nationalists, Putin in fact has come across as a domestic liberal. The rising tide of Russian arch-nationalism, however, has taken its toll. Authors Hill and Gaddy correctly assess Putin's playing the nationalist card as a political manouver to keep one step ahead of his opponents - most of whom are not pro-Western liberal dissidents by any means. Courting the Russian Orthodox Church in recent years was one such strategy.

Yet the authors see only politics in Mr. Putin's tactics, and play down the West's own role in making him an antagonist. They take him to task for painting the Ukrainian insurrection of 2014 as a "fascist coup," and for denouncing Ukrainian nationalist partisan Stepan Bandera as a Nazi collaborator. Bandera and Hitler may have never met, but this was not necessary for the arming and use of Bandera's OUN to commit atrocities and war crimes on then-Soviet territory. Contrary to the authors' whitewash, Bandera's later persecution by Nazis consisted of special treatment in German camps, held on ice for postwar use. Of relevance is that the "regime change" of 2014 was largely the work of west Ukrainians - the backbone of the OUN movement and the very folks who today make Bandera a national hero. When he paints west Ukraine as again collaborating with Russia's enemy, Putin stands on solid historical ground. The West continues destabilizing actions all the while it blames Putin for the same.

The authors also lecture us on Putin's inability to grasp "Western values" as the root of his refusal to take the West on its own terms; on "how little Putin understands about us - our motives, our mentality, and, also, our values" (p.385) I rather think Putin grasps these "motives, mentality, and values" very well, as they seem inseparable from European economic hegemony and NATO expansion. His managed democracy comes off looking rather clean cut compared to US politics following the Citizens United ruling, where American oligarch David Koch engineered a fundamental change for the worse via the Supreme Court. In foreign policy, Putin has indeed been repeatedly "rebuffed" by the West for proposing anything that makes Russia a leading equal in its sphere. This shows not limited contacts with the West, but rather ongoing and painful ones.

The hypocrisy is breathtaking but tragically familiar. It's rather the West's (and the authors') failure to grasp regional history, and Putin's actions based on it, that fuel the "misunderstanding." Ukraine, for instance, had strong nationalist animosity toward the "Moskali" long before the 1930s holodomor/famine. Crimea was not transferred to Ukraine out of any degree of recognition of said suffering, as the authors allege on p. 367; but as part of a geo-political manouver to Russify east Ukraine with more "loyal" ethnic Russians, exactly as in the Baltic states.

His aggressive handling of terrorists within Chechnya is "decried" by the West, the authors note. Yet within a decade the US and its NATO partners would be pursuing an aggressive course in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen that make Russia look the provincial amateur. Putin in fact is *not* trying to recreate the USSR, as so often charged by Western pundits with an axe to grind, nor even the old Russian empire. His strategic thinking is dominated by security rationales. A wider invasive course would only threaten Russian security. At all times he sees his actions as defensive responses. If this is self-serving, it only puts him in good company: recall the American angst over the "dissident" Dixie Chicks; the livid anger over Edward Snowden.

In truth, Vladimir Putin is the Russian Ronald Reagan, bidding his citizens to "stand tall" against enemies from without and within working against the homeland. His stance on Ukraine, arming its "contras" in a border war against an enemy "satellite regime", may make him look the intolerant war jingo; but thus did Ronald Reagan appear outside the US. Ironically it's Reagan partisans who don't grasp the working parallels. In general, I can recommend this book as a good introduction on Vladimir Putin, but it's hardly the last word and certainly not the definitive narrative.

Anon II, 4 years ago (Edited)

It is refreshing to read something on Russia written by a reviewer who knows what he is talking about. This book is full of data, but the authors lack any intellectual basis on which to organize it. They are trying to publish a book in which there will be reader interest, but they really have nothing to say. If you are eager to make an enemy of Russia, this book will be useful to you. If you are simply trying to understand what is happening, it won't be.

D.B.4 years ago

Thank you for an excellent countervailing perspective!

[Dec 19, 2019] Putin, Putin, Putin under each bed

Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The EveryThing Bubble , 57 minutes ago link

GOP: Government Of Putin.
RNC: Russian National Committee

Zero Schmeero , 54 minutes ago link

Like anyone believes the words of a lying *** that upvotes itself. Rev. 2:9 and 3:9, words from a real ***. That must just eat you alive khazar.

sticky_pickles , 54 minutes ago link

DNC. Democratic Nation of China

attah-boy-Luther , 2 minutes ago link

Led by Feinstein and her driver....

silverer , 1 hour ago link

Aha! PROOF! Putin runs the US Senate now! Hear all about it on the Rachel Maddow show.

[Dec 19, 2019] Historically the ability of unelected, unaccountable, secretive bureaucracies (aka the "Deep State") to exercise their own policy without regard for the public or elected officials, often in defiance of these, has always been the hallmark of the destruction of democracy and incipient tyranny.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Today's Deep State most resembles the colonial administrations during the heyday of European imperialism. These too worked to run their own secret foreign policy, and to bring their power to bear on domestic policy as well. ..."
"... Impeachment, and the pro-bureaucracy anti-democracy campaign related to it, besides its more petty purposes (distraction from real social problems; forestalling Sanders), is the culmination of technocracy's attempted coup against a president who, even though he agrees with this cabal on all policy matters, is considered too unreliable, too undisciplined, too damn honest about the evil of the US empire. If they can take him down, they think they can restore the full business-as-usual status quo including the compliance of the rest of the world. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Dec 18 2019 22:00 utc | 19

Historically the ability of unelected, unaccountable, secretive bureaucracies (aka the "Deep State") to exercise their own policy without regard for the public or elected officials, often in defiance of these, has always been the hallmark of the destruction of democracy and incipient tyranny.

Today's Deep State most resembles the colonial administrations during the heyday of European imperialism. These too worked to run their own secret foreign policy, and to bring their power to bear on domestic policy as well.

Although both halves of the One-Party really want the effective tyranny of state and corporate bureaucracies, it's not surprising that it's the Democrats (along with the MSM) taking the lead in openly defending the tyrannical proposition that the CIA should be running its own foreign (and implicitly domestic) policy, and that the president should be just a figurehead which follows orders. That goes with the Democrats' more avowedly technocratic style, and it goes with the ratchet effect whereby it's usually Democrats which push the policy envelope toward ever greater inequality, ecocide and tyranny.

Now is a time of rising irredentism and the decline of all the ideas of globalization and technocracy, though the reality is likely to hang on for awhile. The whole Deep State-Zionist-Russia-Deranged-Trump-Deranged-MSM-social media censorship campaign is globalization trying to maintain its monopoly of ideas by force, since it knows it can never win in a free clash of ideas.

Impeachment, and the pro-bureaucracy anti-democracy campaign related to it, besides its more petty purposes (distraction from real social problems; forestalling Sanders), is the culmination of technocracy's attempted coup against a president who, even though he agrees with this cabal on all policy matters, is considered too unreliable, too undisciplined, too damn honest about the evil of the US empire. If they can take him down, they think they can restore the full business-as-usual status quo including the compliance of the rest of the world.

Since impeachment's going to fail, we can expect the system to try other ways.

james , Dec 19 2019 1:51 utc | 57

hey b... i like your title - "How The Deep State Sunk The Democratic Party" ... could change it to" How the Deep State Sunk the USA" could work just as well...

Seven of the 11 security state representatives who had joined the Democrats in 2018 gave the impulse for impeachment.

is this intentional?? it sort of looks like it...

good quote from @ 26 lk - "The contradictions of US empire and global capitalism cannot be mitigated by either more liberal strategies or realist ones."

ptb , Dec 19 2019 2:07 utc | 62
@babyl-on 35
yes that is about right. The top power networks are all a tight mix of names from govt, MIC, and private equity (incl. top 2-3 investment banks). With the latter group naturally paying the salaries of the whole policy making ecosystem, and holding the positions that select future generations who will eventually take their place.

They want the security of knowing noone in the world will mess with them. This necessitates that noone in the world *can* mess with them. Pretty straightforward from there.

[Dec 19, 2019] America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people. - strife delivery

Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

All pretense of our country being a representative democracy @snoopydawg
is gone. Our two party uniparty government has completely turned its back on serving the needs of the vast majority of the people of this country, and of the wider world. Profit sits at the head of our government. The monikers "Fascist" and "Totalitarian" are apt descriptors of the direction of our current trajectory. A dystopian future surely awaits us on this beautiful, fragile and life sustaining planet that we are trashing with such abandon.

Other than that, things are going quite nicely. Nancy is wearing her power pants and fools are applauding.

[Dec 19, 2019] "I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

It still amazes me... that people actually think impeachment accomplishes anything other than diverting attention from the Dems giving Trump everything he wants.

Kayfabe.

Impeachment without conviction means next to nothing.

The Senate will not convict. Trumps chances of being re-elected are continuing to improve as Democratic Party insiders work overtime to see to it that Bernie Sanders has to fight the Republican Party, a MSM that either dismisses or ignores his candidacy, AND the Democratic Party which has, once again, stacked the deck against him.

[Dec 19, 2019] The truth is never as interesting as wild speculation

Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

WoodsDweller on Wed, 12/18/2019 - 9:30pm

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/12/trump-has-joined-the-losers-of-presiden...

... Never-Trump conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin released a scorching assessment ... "Even Trump knows he will be lumped in with the 'losers' in the presidential history rankings such as Richard Nixon and Andrew Johnson," wrote Rubin. "Impeachment will define his presidency, dwarfing any other foreign or domestic action. No wonder he rages against a speaker he is powerless to stop. His worst nightmare is to be humiliated, and if not now, history certainly will regard him as a pitiful, damaged man utterly unfit for the role he won through a series of improbable events ... Just as Watergate figures ... were lionized as defenders of the Constitution, so too will Pelosi and House Democrats ... be among those admired for their lucidity, intellect and character. ... For every clownish, contemptible, screeching and dishonest House Republican, there is a sober, admirable, restrained and honest Democrat.
"No letter, no tweet, no Fox News spin can repair the reputations of Trump enablers," Rubin wrote. The right-wing media that cheered them on will, like outlets that rooted for Jim Crow and demonized Freedom Riders, be shunned by decent, freedom-loving people who reaffirm objective reality. The Republican Party will be known not as the Party of Lincoln but the Party of Trump, a quisling party that lost its bearings and its soul to defend an unhinged narcissist.

[Dec 19, 2019] The Day after Brexit (repost from 2016)

Dec 19, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.19.19 at 6:19 am (no link)

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Donald 12.15.19 at 2:58 am @15

" Neocons for some strange reason also hate Trump, although it is not clear why -- he

Not going to comment on British politics much since I'm an ignorant American, but I have wondered about the neocon hatred of Trump myself and I think it boils down to the fact that he is not trustworthy.

Yes, I would agree that "the fact that he is not trustworthy" can well be an important factor. But the USA foreign policy establishment was viewed as untrustworthy for some time now, so nothing changed for foreign countries in this sense. Or only the degree changed.

But there are more important factors in play, I think.

The main factor probably is that the USA foreign policy establishment are hard core neocons and preach "Full Spectum Dominance" doctrine. Heretics are burned at the stake.

That includes Trump's impeachment, persistent attempts to derail Sanders (using Biden to push the selection of the candidate from into the state where the support of superdelegates can be decisive), weaken Warren, and Tulsi Gabbard excommunication.

Trump's limited prevarications on Russia threaten the strategy to expand NATO to Ukraine which is a part of the plan of a long term strategy of encircling Russia and maintaining US dominance over Europe.

As Trump pushes great power rivalry as the name of the game, his policies threatens to weaken the US control of EU, which Trump wants to label as an economic competitor.

Here the strategic difference between Trump and the Deep State approaches become apparent: Trump is pushing mercantilist strategy against potential competitors,while the Deep State pursues the strategy of maintaining the global neoliberal empire led by the USA at all costs.

The latter presuppose imposing neoliberal globalization, forceful opening other countries economies to multinationals (much like in Trotskyism "Permanent War" doctrine), and the maintenance of USA primacy by dominating regional alliances like NATO. But it presupposes sharing of loot. Which Trump rejects.

Impeachment, besides its more petty purposes (distraction from real social problems; forestalling and derailing Sanders by propelling Biden as No.1 opponent of Thump and his policies ), is the culmination of the whole series of attempts of neoliberal oligarchy's to stage a color revolution against the President who, even though he agrees with this cabal on all policy matters, is considered too unreliable, too undisciplined, and too damn honest about the real goals of the US-led neoliberal empire. The latter factor is especially worrisome ;-)

If they can take him down, they think they can restore the business-as-usual status quo ("kick the can down the road" for a decade or more). The latter might well be an illusion. Trump and Brexit radically changed the situation and you can't step into the same river twice.

Trump's impeachment in this sense is yet another nail in the coffin of neoliberalism as it negatively affects the perception of the USA, reveals to the whole world the dirty USA internal politic kitchen, and complicates the USA foreign policy, especially "democracy promotion" part of it, China's Global Times was quite measured yet pointed:

"To many Chinese, it seems that US-style democracy has already become a negative concept, which has brought ceaseless chaos and produced absurd farces.

[Dec 19, 2019] Thiessen to Comey: You weren't sloppy, you intentionally falsified evidence

When tectonic plates of US politics shift, they can crash such a miserable puppets of CIA as Comey.
Notable quotes:
"... No no. These are not mistakes but rather deliberate criminal activity ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Ballsdeep Singh , 2 days ago

This guy is neck deep in the attempted coup to overthrow a duly elected president

Nathan Pickrell , 2 days ago

Why continue this interview? He is still lying, he is so full of himself its nuts!

ensign j , 2 days ago

No no. These are not mistakes but rather deliberate criminal activity

Leigh Ann Everett , 1 day ago

Comey knew that everything was wrong and illegal. Once again, he is lying.

Red Oz , 1 day ago

Why is Roger Stone in prison and Comey is a free man?

[Dec 19, 2019] Putin, Putin, Putin under each bed

Dec 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The EveryThing Bubble , 57 minutes ago link

GOP: Government Of Putin.
RNC: Russian National Committee

Zero Schmeero , 54 minutes ago link

Like anyone believes the words of a lying *** that upvotes itself. Rev. 2:9 and 3:9, words from a real ***. That must just eat you alive khazar.

sticky_pickles , 54 minutes ago link

DNC. Democratic Nation of China

attah-boy-Luther , 2 minutes ago link

Led by Feinstein and her driver....

silverer , 1 hour ago link

Aha! PROOF! Putin runs the US Senate now! Hear all about it on the Rachel Maddow show.

[Dec 19, 2019] Impeachment should be viewed is the context of a larger effort to initiate the new McCarthyism.

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Dec 18 2019 21:58 utc | 16

b:
Trump's letter notes that talk about impeachment started as soon as he stepped into office:

IMO the Deep State wanted to initiate a new McCarthyism.

Russiagate was the means to do so and that means that Impeachment was always a possibility (though likely a red-herring, as I explain below).

IMO After the Mueller investigation progressives pressed for Impeachment but establishment Democratics (led by Pelosi and Hillary) wouldn't allow it. People were (rightfully) asking why establishment Democrats were protecting Trump.

With this in mind, Ukrainegate is a convenient diversion from Russiagate while providing the Impeachment satisfaction that progressives had clamored for.

It's difficult NOT to notice that ...

... America First Trump actually furthered Russiagate when he hired Manafort (who was known to have worked for pro-Russian Parties in Ukraine and had NO recent experience in US elections) and called upon Russia to publish Hillary's emails (which were KNOWN to contain top-secret information - making any publication a crime under US law);

... and America First Trump furthered Ukrainegate by the mentioning the name of an announced political opponent when talking about investigating corruption on a call with Zelensky.

One might excuse this in many ways: Trump's ego; his unfamiliarity with politics and statecraft; or just bad luck. But one can also see these actions, in a larger context, as disturbing part of the effort to initiate the new McCarthyism.

[Dec 18, 2019] Russophobia vs Anti-Semitism: How would it fly if Trump's EO instead forbade criticism of Russia in schools and colleges in USA?

I think if Russians adopt a similar to IHRA definition of thier own and then pursue trangressors through the courts, the Guardian would be shut down within a month or so.
Dec 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

thotmonger , says: December 17, 2019 at 7:02 am GMT

How would it fly if Trump's EO instead forbade criticism of Russia in schools and colleges in USA?

Very strange that something like this could ever be written and signed. A fast budding and explicit "Judeo lese majetse" is unfolding before our eyes. And if it is meant to protect Jews as a race and nation, then that will naturally induce people to see them as exactly that: a separate nation. Will this quell concern about loyalty or raise more doubt?

p.s. In 2018, Israeli army expert snipers made a turkey shoot of Palestinians marching on the 70th anniversary of their people being ethnically cleansed from their ancestral homeland. A "shoot to cripple" policy only murdered several score but, with high speed dum dum bullets, they blasted bloody wreckage through the flesh and bones of many thousands of unarmed people. You may not see them on your porno channels and game shows, but a large number will be crippled for the rest of their lives.

This is a good example of a very recent state sponsored atrocity on a large scale. Students in our schools and colleges might want to examine this in a variety of ways. The history, legality, ethics, demographic dilemmas etc. Sure, it might roll over into some criticism and activism, e.g. DBS Israel, but is that to be prohibited by our government? What sort of citizens are our schools and colleges supposed to be cultivating if students are not permitted to exercise their freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of conscience?

https://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/palestine/2297-israel-shoot-to-cripple-policy-in-gaza.html

[Dec 17, 2019] I have wondered about the neocon hatred of Trump myself and I think it boils down to the fact that he is not trustworthy.

Dec 17, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Mark Pontin 12.15.19 at 1:18 am

Likbez at #5 wrote: 'Paleoconservatives hate Trump.'

I dunno. I look at 'The American Conservative' from time to time, which was created and is run by Pat Buchanan, who's pretty much the original paleocon.

Part of that is because it's good to understand what the enemy is thinking. But also it turns out 'The American Conservative', for instance, has guys like Scott Ritter and Andrew Bacievich writing for them, as well as other critics of the American elite that will never be allowed in the MSM. And that's because one particular policy axe Buchanan and his writers grind very strongly is against the forever wars, U.S. military interventionism, and the MIC. They hate the neocons and types like John Bolton.

Thus, when Trump makes noises or does something that looks like it plays against the MIC, the State Department and the three-letter agencies aka The Blob, and maybe has a chance of tamping down on the bloody military interventionism, Buchanan and co. are pro-Trump.

Conversely, Buchanan and co. are big on the evangelical Christian stuff and the hard-working American white nuclear family who built America, blah blah blah. Whereas Trump is a billionaire vulgarian. And there Buchanan and his writers don't like him.

So paleocons like Buchanan seem to deal with Trump on a policy-by-policy basis. Though I radically disagree with some of the policies that Buchanan does favor, that seems reasonable to me.

Christians had better not let the unachievable perfect be the enemy of the common-sense good enough.

Donald 12.15.19 at 2:58 am ( 15 )

" Neocons for some strange reason also hate Trump, although it is not clear why -- he completely folded and conduct their foreign policy."

Not going to comment on British politics much since I'm an ignorant American, but I have wondered about the neocon hatred of Trump myself and I think it boils down to the fact that he is not trustworthy. Yes, he has caved in and when you get past the tweets he is trying to start a new nuclear arms race and actually armed Ukraine and gave Israel almost everything but still, he isn't stable. He doesn't play the game right. He is supposed to talk about how we want democracy and freedom and instead he rather openly fawns over dictators. Well, yes, other Presidents support dictators, but never with so much open enthusiasm. Appearances matter. And even neocons want someone who is mentally stable conducting their preferred brand of militaristic warmongering.

[Dec 15, 2019] The Washington Post Opinion page: If you don't agree with us, you must be a Russian asset

Dec 15, 2019 | twitter.com

Nathan Brand ‏ 3:00 PM - 8 Dec 2019

The Washington Post Opinion page: If you don't agree with us, you must be a Russian asset

[Dec 15, 2019] The nature of one presidential candidate

Dec 15, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

In the early 2000s, writer Michael Wolff reported on a privately compiled, limited-edition booklet called "The Portable Bloomberg: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg." Compiled as a gag gift from his staff, the 32-page text featured real-life Bloomberg quotations collected by former executive Elisabeth DeMarse and others who knew the mogul in the 1980s, before his run for mayor. Among its more prescient gems: "A good salesperson asks for the order. It's like the guy who goes into a bar, and walks up to every gorgeous girl there, and says 'Do you want to fuck?' He gets turned down a lot -- but he gets fucked a lot, too!"

[Dec 15, 2019] For some people Russophobia is a pretty good meal ticket:

Notable quotes:
"... I'm not sure what neo-progressivism is, but I know a farce when I see it. The Mueller investigation failed to interview two central persons of interest in it's investigation: Craig Murray and Julian Assange. The fact that they did not interview them underscores that this was not a good faith investigation but one working backwards from it's conclusion. Hail Putin (JK, I couldn't care less about the Kleptocrat-in-chief). ..."
"... Funny, I would apply your description of "useful idiots" to centrist Democrats for advancing an agenda that severely hamstring the Democrats' political effectiveness and marries them to historically reactionary forces like neoconservatives and the intelligence community. ..."
"... Considering that our political establishment, including both parties, our media system including both ostensibly informational and entertainment content, and our civil society are deeply committed to US military and intelligence endeavors, I would "first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye," as the saying goes. ..."
"... The propaganda system that shapes public opinion around matters of geopolitics is extensive and pervasive. There is a relatively small community of academics, activists, and concerned citizens who are students of history, and more importantly, the history of propaganda and have watched what it can do. I've no doubt you're well-intentioned but I can't help but disagree with your perception. The pro-RTP humanitarian interventionist canard is a great way to get people who consider themselves on the left to back the same military/intelligence apparatus that has been waging war on the third world in pursuit of American political and economic hegemony since the end of WWII. ..."
"... It has occurred to me that their contentions are false, but that's precisely the point- if you're doing a competent, exhaustive investigation, you interview people that claim to have information of central importance, if only to exclude those possibilities from consideration. Not doing so is the hallmark of incompetence or something worse. ..."
Dec 15, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

gustave courbet KurtV12 hours ago ,

"There is little point trying to convince someone like Johnstone of what every sane person in the world knows to be almost certainly true, that Russia hacked the DNC and attempted to swing the election in favor of" ~ Donald Trump."

Count me among the insane, but such fact-free assertions are pretty standard examples of what passes for facts in the post-post-modern era of Trump. While this is certainly a minority position, competent journalists like Aaron Mate, Matt Taibbi, Michael Tracey and others have been doing good work in pointing out the deep flaws in the Russiagate narrative.

gustave courbet KurtV11 hours ago ,

I'm not sure what neo-progressivism is, but I know a farce when I see it. The Mueller investigation failed to interview two central persons of interest in it's investigation: Craig Murray and Julian Assange. The fact that they did not interview them underscores that this was not a good faith investigation but one working backwards from it's conclusion. Hail Putin (JK, I couldn't care less about the Kleptocrat-in-chief).

corruptclintons gustave courbet6 hours ago ,

I call it fake progressivism or the alt-left but neo-progressivism works too. They are easy to identify because they all listen to (and frequently cite) the same social media pundits and their logic is so painfully flawed.

They are useful idiots for the right because they advance the same talking points as the right, with a few variations that are designed to appeal to the left. In short, they are lefties who have been neutralized by clever propaganda and "alt-media" pied pipers.

gustave courbet corruptclintons5 hours ago ,

Funny, I would apply your description of "useful idiots" to centrist Democrats for advancing an agenda that severely hamstring the Democrats' political effectiveness and marries them to historically reactionary forces like neoconservatives and the intelligence community.

In the same way that your "neo-progressives" are labeled "Putin puppets" or "Assad apologists" for opposing destructive and bellicose foreign policy positions, this neo-red-scare language was used to tar principled anti-war voices during the Cold War (MLK Jr comes to mind).

Instead of debating policy positions, we must now try to cut through the Orwellian neologism game just to get to a discussion of substance.

corruptclintons gustave courbet5 hours ago ,

The anti-war narrative is a great hook with which to reel in some people on the left.

Yes, the level of propaganda being utilized is Orwellian, and until progressives realize they are being propagandized rather than informed, they will be used like pawns on a chess board.

gustave courbet corruptclintons3 hours ago ,

Considering that our political establishment, including both parties, our media system including both ostensibly informational and entertainment content, and our civil society are deeply committed to US military and intelligence endeavors, I would "first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye," as the saying goes.

The propaganda system that shapes public opinion around matters of geopolitics is extensive and pervasive. There is a relatively small community of academics, activists, and concerned citizens who are students of history, and more importantly, the history of propaganda and have watched what it can do. I've no doubt you're well-intentioned but I can't help but disagree with your perception. The pro-RTP humanitarian interventionist canard is a great way to get people who consider themselves on the left to back the same military/intelligence apparatus that has been waging war on the third world in pursuit of American political and economic hegemony since the end of WWII.

I'm reminded of the legacy media's reaction after MLK Jr's Beyond Vietnam speech: "Time magazine called the speech "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi." The Washington Post wrote that King had "diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people."" The pro-war establishment has had 52 years to come up with new false equivalencies and flawed analyses to disparage the moral and practical clarity of its critics, and they have not.

gustave courbet KurtV7 hours ago ,

It has occurred to me that their contentions are false, but that's precisely the point- if you're doing a competent, exhaustive investigation, you interview people that claim to have information of central importance, if only to exclude those possibilities from consideration. Not doing so is the hallmark of incompetence or something worse.

Of course, these aren't the only issues with Russiagate, only the most glaring. I'll mention briefly that perhaps the great sin of Russiagate (even if it turned out to be true) is that is has neatly distracted from election fraud in the US by US actors, both the DNC's rigging of primaries and the GOP's perennial voter suppression that likely gave Trump the election by securing him electoral college votes in key states.

Instead of looking at the damning evidence of GOP crimes (a hallowed tradition among Democrats), they did the thing convenient to DC insiders and national security apparatchiks: blame Russia. Even if Russia had hacked the DNC, their interference pales in comparison to demonstrable GOP manipulation, yet gets 98% of the coverage (and this will likely be repeated in 2020, thanks to this circus). Presuming Russiagate is entirely legit (which I don't), it's the hangnail distracting the body politic from stage 4 cancer.

Lastly, why on earth would one trust BCCI Bob and the intelligence community, on Russiagate or anything else considering their long history of lying to the American people? Maybe they're not in this case but the burden of proof is extremely high when dealing with serial liars.

gustave courbet corruptclintons5 hours ago ,

"the conspiracy to fabricate the Mueller report would have involved tens of thousands and all would have had to keep quite."

No it wouldn't. It's clear from this statement alone that you haven't studied many conspiracies involving high-profile reports and political narratives that mislead the public. A small number of people can set the agenda, pick witnesses that will back them up either due to credulity, confirmation bias, or ambition, and use a compliant media as a megaphone to broadcast their perspective, then cite that same media (as Dick Cheney was fond of doing). Beyond that, there is a deep dearth of critical thinking in DC, and incentives not to rock the boat. Why put your career at risk to voice an unpopular opinion? A massive conspiracy isn't required, nor is it plausible. People that work in large bureaucracies can infer what the consensus is and go with it. From the JFK assassination to Vietnam, to Iran Contra, to Iraq, to the MANY minor scandals in between that have faded from the public's memory, this is a sadly common phenomenon.

I'm not dismissing the idea that Russians didn't interfere per se, but rather that this interference had an impact on the election (bombshell after bombshell failed to detonate). The media circus around Russiagate, an incident that, insofar as it happened, didn't impact the election, when compared to voter purges that literally handed Trump the White house, has been nearly entirely absent. Why the overwhelming focus, day after day after day of the former to the scant mention of the latter? I would argue that it's because one fits neatly into a jingoistic narrative held by the MIC while the other reveals bipartisan corruption and dereliction.

[Dec 15, 2019] It is a violation of basic human rights to produce false, deceptive or misleading propaganda

Dec 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

snake , Dec 15 2019 14:03 utc | 2

NATO's fake humanitarian pretext catching up to them very interesting piece that fits into the to jo6pac post @ 1 of the smell of propaganda..
It does not matter who publishes smelly propaganda?

At the moment there is no way for concerned, affected or just plain good humans to either eradicate the stench or to jail and make liable the producers, inventors, distributors, publisher or the liars that deny the wrongful facts often found in smelly propaganda..

It is a violation of basic human rights to produce false, deceptive or misleading propaganda.. Maybe there will someday be a war on wrongful propaganda and those involved will find themselves labeled Terrorist.

[Dec 15, 2019] The Washington Post Opinion page: If you don't agree with us, you must be a Russian asset

Dec 15, 2019 | twitter.com

Nathan Brand ‏ 3:00 PM - 8 Dec 2019

The Washington Post Opinion page: If you don't agree with us, you must be a Russian asset

[Dec 15, 2019] The nature of one presidential candidate

Dec 15, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

In the early 2000s, writer Michael Wolff reported on a privately compiled, limited-edition booklet called "The Portable Bloomberg: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg." Compiled as a gag gift from his staff, the 32-page text featured real-life Bloomberg quotations collected by former executive Elisabeth DeMarse and others who knew the mogul in the 1980s, before his run for mayor. Among its more prescient gems: "A good salesperson asks for the order. It's like the guy who goes into a bar, and walks up to every gorgeous girl there, and says 'Do you want to fuck?' He gets turned down a lot -- but he gets fucked a lot, too!"

[Dec 14, 2019] Warmongeing is the national sport for the neoliberal elite in the USA

As Tony Kevin reported (watch-v=dJiS3nFzsWg) at one small fundraiser Bill Clinton made an interesting remark. He said that the USA should always have enemies. That's absolutely true, this this is a way to unite such a society as we have in the USA. probably the only way. And Russia simply fits the bill. Very convenient bogeyman.
Notable quotes:
"... The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Twolfe , 10 Dec 2019 16:30

One aspect of this report in the NYT is very troubling but not a great surprise to those who pay attention to Asian affairs.

The reports that US military leaders had no idea of what to do in Afghanistan and constantly lied to the public should rouse citizens in America to take a different view of military leaders. That view must be to trust nothing coming from the Pentagon or from spokespersons for the military. Included must be any and all secretaries of defence, and all branches of the military.

It is totally unacceptable that 1-2 trillion dollars and several thousand lives were spent by America for some nebulous cause. This does not include many thousands of civilians.

During the Vietnam disaster, it became obvious that American military was lying to the public and taking many causalities in an unwinnable war. Nothing was learned about Asia or Asian culture because America entered Afghanistan without a real plan and no understanding of the country or it's history.

The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium.

[Dec 14, 2019] You Backing The Russians, Boy - Illinois Man Charged With Threatening To Murder GOP Congressman

Looks like Professor Karlan operated on the level very close to this man.
Notable quotes:
"... Rodney Lee Davis ..."
"... "I just saw you ... on the TV. You backing the Russians, boy?" ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

It would appear all the escalating rhetoric from a month of impeachment hearings - including one Democratic congressman asking fellow lawmakers to imagine the teenage daughter of Ukraine's president tied up in Trump's basement - have sparked more than just verbal assaults on Republicans ( just as Maxine Waters would had suggested previously ).

The Hill reports that a man in Illinois has been charged after allegedly threatening to shoot Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and accusing the congressman of "backing the Russians."

Rodney Lee Davis

64-year-old Randall Tar of Rochester, Ill. was charged with communicating threats to injure a person and threatening to assault, kidnap or murder a federal official, according to court documents released this week (full release below).

Contacted at his home Thursday, Tarr said he saw a television ad in which Davis, a Republican from Taylorville, claimed that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections , and it angered him enough to call.

Prosecutors say Tarr called Davis's district office last month and left a profanity-filled voicemail, saying:

"I just saw you ... on the TV. You backing the Russians, boy?"

"Stupid son of a bitch, you're gonna go against our military and back the Russians?" he allegedly added.

"I'm a sharpshooter. ... I'd like to shoot your f---ing head off you stupid motherf---er."

Tarrlater reportedly told The Associated Press :

"I screwed up," Tarr said.

"I don't even have a weapon to do it, is the silliest thing."

"I wish I could just take it all back and just say he's a lousy (expletive) for backing the Russian theory."

Of course, the only problem with all this is that the Democrats' constant spewing of the narrative that Ukraine did not 'meddle' in the 2016 election is entirely false .


Dr Anon , 45 minutes ago link

The bigger story is the number of mentally unstable Americans. When you go driving next, remember that about 20% of them are gorked on prescribed medications. The behavior you will observe makes complete sense in that context.

greek mafia , 46 minutes ago link

Damn...64 and still stupid as hell

Pendolino , 47 minutes ago link

" I'm a sharpshooter "

Well he certainly knows how to shoot his mouth off.

[Dec 14, 2019] In politics there are no accidents by Harry Truman

Notable quotes:
"... While the typical BubisAmericanus will have forgotten all the details by then, me thinks the hard core democrats, I mean nomal'ish people that usually vote blue, simply stay home. ..."
"... Was this whole impeachment thing completely designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

squid, 7 hours ago link

They want to do it by Christmas in the vain hope that this circus will all blow over by November. I think not.

While the typical BubisAmericanus will have forgotten all the details by then, me thinks the hard core democrats, I mean nomal'ish people that usually vote blue, simply stay home.

Part of me, however, thinks back to something that Harry Truman said, "in politics there are no accidents" .

Was this whole impeachment thing completely designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno.

The Republicans will have both houses when in 2024 the the tax take will barley cover interest.

Meme Iamfurst , 6 hours ago link

designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno.

Been thinking along the same lines. May be the last thing they want is to be "on line" in 2021. I even wonder if CNN and BSNBC, etc, are there to DRIVE the decent Democrat to the Republicians.

I do think that things are not adding up.

[Dec 14, 2019] To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Md4 , 8 hours ago link

No reputable legal authority would fear ensuring due process for an accused, unless it had no evidence of an actual crime to justify prosecution...but DID have ulterior motives and nefarious purposes for doing so.

Let's be clear.

To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election.

***.

Nada.

We have the opinion of domestic intelligence agencies, but we have no physical or direct evidence.

On the contrary, we have as much reason to believe some or all of them interfered in the Trump campaign, to orchestrate and execute a foreign interference hoax against Trump, before and after his election.

Daily, and throughout this sick prog left congressional abuse of power, we have repeatedly heard claims of an "ongoing war with Russia" in Ukraine.

Which war is this? Is this a continuation of the non-invasion of the Donbas in 2014? The specious and false claims of Russian troop concentrations, and tanks rolling, that even spy satellites didn't see? Are we still lying about this? If so, where are the media reports of Russian airstrikes, burning Ukrainian villages, or body bags?

In any "on-going" war with Russia, we would've been treated to near-constant news video of Russian armor all over eastern Ukraine. Have we? Perhaps this war they keep telling us about is like the Russian "invasion" of Crimea that didn't happen either.

We clearly remember the two Crimean-initiated referenda which put them back in their ancestral Russian homelands, but none of that had anything to do with invading Russians, who already had a substantial military presence in Crimea for decades.

No sir, Professor Turley. ​​​​​​

There is no basis whatsoever for Trump's impeachment.

There is mounting evidence of a continued coup against this president, and the substantial number of Americans who actually elected him.

We too are closely monitoring the actual situation...

[Dec 14, 2019] Warmongeing is the national sport for the neoliberal elite in the USA

As Tony Kevin reported (watch-v=dJiS3nFzsWg) at one small fundraiser Bill Clinton made an interesting remark. He said that the USA should always have enemies. That's absolutely true, this this is a way to unite such a society as we have in the USA. probably the only way. And Russia simply fits the bill. Very convenient bogeyman.
Notable quotes:
"... The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Twolfe , 10 Dec 2019 16:30

One aspect of this report in the NYT is very troubling but not a great surprise to those who pay attention to Asian affairs.

The reports that US military leaders had no idea of what to do in Afghanistan and constantly lied to the public should rouse citizens in America to take a different view of military leaders. That view must be to trust nothing coming from the Pentagon or from spokespersons for the military. Included must be any and all secretaries of defence, and all branches of the military.

It is totally unacceptable that 1-2 trillion dollars and several thousand lives were spent by America for some nebulous cause. This does not include many thousands of civilians.

During the Vietnam disaster, it became obvious that American military was lying to the public and taking many causalities in an unwinnable war. Nothing was learned about Asia or Asian culture because America entered Afghanistan without a real plan and no understanding of the country or it's history.

The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium.

[Dec 13, 2019] The Inspector General's Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... a single American ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | theintercept.com
Just as was true when the Mueller investigation closed without a single American being charged with criminally conspiring with Russia over the 2016 election, Wednesday's issuance of the long-waited report from the Department of Justice's Inspector General reveals that years of major claims and narratives from the U.S. media were utter frauds .

Before evaluating the media component of this scandal, the FBI's gross abuse of its power – its serial deceit – is so grave and manifest that it requires little effort to demonstrate it. In sum, the IG Report documents multiple instances in which the FBI – in order to convince a FISA court to allow it spy on former Trump campaign operative Carter Page during the 2016 election – manipulated documents, concealed crucial exonerating evidence, and touted what it knew were unreliable if not outright false claims.

If you don't consider FBI lying, concealment of evidence, and manipulation of documents in order to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign to be a major scandal, what is? But none of this is aberrational: the FBI still has its headquarters in a building named after J. Edgar Hoover – who constantly blackmailed elected officials with dossiers and tried to blackmail Martin Luther King into killing himself – because that's what these security state agencies are. They are out-of-control, virtually unlimited police state factions that lie, abuse their spying and law enforcement powers, and subvert democracy and civic and political freedoms as a matter of course.

In this case, no rational person should allow standard partisan bickering to distort or hide this severe FBI corruption. The IG Report leaves no doubt about it. It's brimming with proof of FBI subterfuge and deceit, all in service of persuading a FISA court of something that was not true: that U.S. citizen and former Trump campaign official Carter Page was an agent of the Russian government and therefore needed to have his communications surveilled.

[Dec 13, 2019] Unprecedented brazenness

Dec 13, 2019 | irrussianality.wordpress.com

Unprecedented brazenness December 11, 2019 PaulR 6 Comments 'Something is rotten with the state of Denmark', or if not Denmark then certainly the United States of America. It's the only conclusion one can draw from the way the absolutely normal is nowadays treated as the most extraordinary drama.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump met Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. It's about as normal a diplomatic event as one could possibly imagine, but it caused much of the American commentariat to go into a collective meltdown.

Lavrov-Trump-Dec-10

'Trump welcoming Russia's top diplomat to the Oval Office is one of his most brazen moves yet,' declared the Washington Post , which makes you think that Trump really needs to step up his game on the brazenness front. The Post isn't alone in thinking this way, however. What one might call the 'liberal' TV channels leapt on the story too, dragging in some representatives of the American security apparatus to ram home the point (there was a time when liberals regarded the FBI and CIA with suspicion, but such days are apparently long gone).

And so it was that CNN brought on as a guest former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe to 'explain why the photograph tweeted by President Trump of his meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov is so extraordinary.' As McCabe told CNN :

There's no doubt there's something deeply odd about the way this president interacts with Russia. We've never seen anything like this before. Russia is our most significant enemy on the world stage. I don't think that we've ever seen a photograph out of the Oval Office on the lines of the one we saw today.

Meanwhile, MSNBC had its own star witness, former Under Secretary of State Richard Stengel. 'Why is a head of state meeting with the Russian foreign minister?' Stengel asked , 'Vladimir Putin doesn't meet with Mike Pompeo when he comes to Moscow. So it's very curious and it's very strange.'

Actually Rick, dear boy, Putin does meet with Pompeo, as you can see from this photo here. But when did one ever let little details like factual accuracy get in the way of a good line?

putin pompeo

Stengel wasn't MSNBC's only witness to Trump's suspicious behaviour. Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul also put in an appearance. 'He's obsessed with the East, like a certain world leader in the 1940s was obsessed with the East. Why is this guy obsessed with meeting with Russians all over the place', the host asked McFaul. The latter let pass the gratuitous Hitler comparison, and gave his learned response: 'It's truly bizarre. I confess I do not have a rational explanation for it,' said McFaul .

Just in case you think it was only the media, FBI, and the State Department, others were on the ball too. The Trump-Lavrov meeting had Twitter abuzz. Anne Applebaum, for instance, had the following to say.

applebaum

It's all simply nuts. Trump is Hitler. A former ambassador can't think of any reason why representatives of two major powers might wish to meet. A former deputy head of the US foreign service thinks that heads of state never meet foreign ministers. And all of them believe that a photograph of the US President and the Russian foreign minister is totally unprecedented and suggestive of something deeply suspicious, though exactly what they can't quite tell us. Which makes you wonder what they'd all make of this picture.

800px-Lavrov_and_Obama

I don't know about you, but that looks a lot like Sergei Lavrov and President Obama to me. So, was Obama a Russian agent? Was he secretly selling out US interests to a foreign power? Should we be investigating him as well? It's all rather suspicious, don't you think?

I'll leave the last word to the excellent Fred Weir of the Christian Science Monitor:

It's pretty clear by now that no normal dialog is going to be possible between Russia and the US. Perhaps ever again. It's not my job to advise the Russians what to do, but if it were I would suggest they just give it up. Spend your time going to Beijing, Delhi, Ankara, even Berlin and Paris, but give Washington a miss.
It's the most peculiar damned thing I have ever seen. Even at the lowest depths of the Cold War, the Washington Post would never have run a headline that described a US president meeting a Soviet leader in the Oval Office as "one of his most brazen moves yet."
Analyzing the official photo of Trump and Lavrov in the Oval Office, the main -- disapproving -- takeaway the WaPo has to offer here is: "Judging by the expressions on their faces, the conversation does not seem to have been particularly acrimonious." Geez.

[Dec 12, 2019] 'Always better to talk than not': Lavrov Pompeo take on Russia-US problems in Washington, DC (VIDEO)

Dec 12, 2019 | www.rt.com

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have briefed the media after talks in Washington, DC, the first such meeting since 2017. Speaking at the press conference on Tuesday, Pompeo said the US was seeking a "better relationship" with Russia and that the two countries have been working on improving relations since his visit to Sochi in May. He said lines of communication between Moscow and Washington were open and relations were candid.

Lavrov echoed that, saying the two met regularly and also spoke frequently by phone. "It is useful to talk to each other," he said. "Always better than not talking to each other."

//www.youtube.com/embed/bp-uZHwMSWA

In a nod to the ongoing anti-Russia hysteria in the US, Lavrov said their joint work was, however, " hindered by the wave of suspicions that have overcome Washington." Calling allegations of Russian interference in US internal affairs "baseless," Lavrov said Moscow had "many times" asked the Trump administration to publish all correspondence between Trump and Putin from October 2016 and 2017, but that it had received "no response."

Allegations of Russian interference in US internal affairs are 'baseless': 'We have not seen any evidence, because it does not exist' – Lavrov pic.twitter.com/M1Ezgs22kd

-- RT (@RT_com) December 10, 2019

Russia is hoping the current anti-Russia feeling dissipates like the McCarthyism of the 1950s, Lavrov added.

Pompeo said that cooperation on anti-terrorism is one of the main focuses of the relationship, particularly in relation to Syria.

"We want to make sure Syria never again becomes a safe haven for ISIS or other terrorist groups," he said.

On Ukraine, Pompeo said the resolution of conflict in the eastern regions of the country begins "with adherence to the Minsk agreements."

[Dec 10, 2019] The level of Neo-McCarthyism and the number of lunitics this NYT forums is just astonishing: When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected.

Highly recommended!
The tread is reproduced as is. And out 100 posts available in NYT "all view mode 90% can be classified as plain vanilla Neo-McCarthyism
If they are representative sample of the country, the country is crazy.
This editorial can also be classified as lunatic. But in reality it is much worse: the paper became completely subservant to intelligence agencies. Should probably be renamed the Voice of the CIA. .
Dec 10, 2019 | www.nytimes.com
Opinion With Trump, All Roads Lead to Moscow

Monday's congressional hearing and the inspector general's report tell a similar story.

By Jesse Wegman Mr. Wegman is a member of the editorial board.

When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected.

That's the most important lesson from the two big events that played out Monday on Capitol Hill -- the House Judiciary Committee's hearings on President Trump's impeachment and the release of the report on the origins of the F.B.I.'s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

One of these involved the 2016 election. The other involves the 2020 election. Both tell versions of the same story: Mr. Trump depends on, and welcomes, Russian interference to help him win the presidency. That was bad enough when he did it in 2016, openly calling for Russia to hack into his opponent's emails -- which Russians tried to do that same day . But he was only a candidate then. Now that Mr. Trump is president, he is wielding the immense powers of his office to achieve the same end.

That is precisely the type of abuse of power that the founders were most concerned about when they created the impeachment power, and it's why Democratic leaders in the House are pressing ahead with such urgency on their inquiry. They are trying to ensure that the 2020 election, now less than a year away, is not corrupted by the president of the United States, acting in league with a foreign power. "The integrity of our next election is at stake," said Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. "Nothing could be more urgent."

On Monday morning, lawyers for the Democrats on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees presented the clearest and most comprehensive narrative yet of President Trump's monthslong shakedown of the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, for Mr. Trump's personal political benefit. They explained in methodical detail how the president withheld a White House meeting and hundreds of millions of dollars in crucial, congressionally authorized military aid to Ukraine, all in an effort to get Mr. Zelensky to announce two investigations -- one into Mr. Trump's political rival, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, and another into Ukraine's supposed interference in the 2016 election.

David Leonhardt helps you make sense of the news -- and offers reading suggestions from around the web -- with commentary every weekday morning.

Who would benefit from these announcements? Mr. Trump, who believes his re-election prospects are threatened most by Mr. Biden, and Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who has been working for years to make Ukraine the fall guy for his own interference in the 2016 election. Mr. Putin has not fooled serious people, like those in the American intelligence community who determined that his government alone was responsible for meddling on Mr. Trump's behalf . But he has fooled Republicans in Congress, who have degraded themselves and their offices by faithfully parroting Mr. Putin's propaganda in the mainstream press.

... ... ...


sdavidc9 Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut 12m ago

Republicans are in lawyer mode, advocating for Trump as if he were their client. Lawyers make the best case they can for their clients. It helps if they believe in the case, but it also helps to know the case's weaknesses so they can avoid them. The best lawyers can do both at the same time. Republicans are called on by the Constitution to exit lawyer mode and enter juror mode (which is, or should be, similar to why-did-this-aircraft-crash mode). So far, they are not heeding this call. From all appearances, they are mouthing the words of the Constitution while avoiding or refusing to hear or understand them. They took an oath to support the Constitution, but they are deaf to its call, or have moved to a place beyond understanding it.
Mark Larsen Cambria, CA 26m ago
The issue of whether to impeach was made by the President when he engaged in an abuse of his office for personal gain and then obstructed Congress' oversight function. We all understand the political downside arising from an acquittal in the Senate but that interest needs to be secondary to doing the right thing. On these facts, the decision representatives must make of whether to impeach really is no decision at all. Just do the right thing.
Twg NV 26m ago
When Senator John McCain died, he scripted his own funeral as a full bore defense against Trumpian Nationalism, and as an admonishment against a GOP too willing to sell the soul of our nation out to a cultist repudiation of objective fact, truth, and Constitutional order. McCain was a controversial maverick –a person I both admired and disliked in equal proportion. But there is one thing I will always admire him for: his final letter to the nation. It was a warning! He blew a golden bugle to sound the alarm against those entities both within and without our nation who wish to do our democratic republic harm. McCain, whether you agreed with the premise of the Vietnam war or not, was an American hero who served his country and his fellow soldiers with incontrovertible valor and love. President Donald Trump has no concept of what that dedication and sacrifice entails – and sadly, neither do many of the GOP members who continue to lie and make excuses for a president who is clearly abusing his office for personal gain. McCain characterized Trump's actions in Helsinki as an unfathomable 'abasement of the U.S. presidency.' All I can say is the GOP sure ain't the party of my father who fought in WWII against fascism and autocracy. It aggrieves me to no end to witness what too many members of Congress have become: tyrants toward the very meaning of American democracy. God save us from our own duplicity.
Jagmont Rousel Fresburg, Ca. 12m ago
@Twg Well said, and though I sometimes did not agree with McCain on matters of policy, I wish he were still with us, hopefully to show his fellow republicans what integrity looks like, and what America is supposed to be about. The Republican party I have known and respected is alas, like Senator McCain, no longer with us.
Consiglieri NYC 34m ago
Americans have to realize that the whole world is mocking us, and that doesn't necesarily inspire respect. That cold be dangerous. Many medical professionals have noticed a decay in the mental abilities of the president, and certain abnormalities. It would be wise to suggest to the family that maybe the best way forward, with minimal losses would be to motivate a retirement. That would be face saving for them, and save the country from a bitter impeachment spectacle that would not be positive for the USA.
Jennifer Francois Holland, Michigan 1h ago
I'm waiting for Trump's financial info to be released. There's something in there he doesn't even want his base to know . I think the logical conclusion is that whatever financials DJT has hidden do indeed lead to Moscow. Actually, all of this is very, very alarming. Does Putin have a political asset planted here? Y or N I wish the answer was no and that we had a different President. Can we as a nation hold things together when our leader wants to tear us apart?
AL NY 1h ago
All roads lead to the highest bidder(s). 21st century America in the era of Citizens United. Market pricing and the government is open for transactional business domestic and international. Alternate realities per GRU/FOX/GOP misinformation. Combine foreign money carefully grooming an in-need Trump, and a party worshipping money and you have a perfect storm removing any sense of civic duty. Hundreds of years to build and unwound in a few decades, the breathtaking and tragic fall of greatness and hope in our lifetime. It's not fiction, and every day I have to check if it's really happening, and shockingly it is.
DO5 Minneapolis 1h ago
There was no Russian meddling, only Ukraine who meddled in 2016 and they are still at it. Listening to the Judiciary Committee hearings, it seems that the Russians have hacked into the Republican Party servers and are sending talking points to Republicans who are defending the indefensible president.
We'll always have Paris Sydney, Australia 1h ago
At some point, Republicans have to ask themselves which is better for their party and the country. Slavish devotion to Trump, or losing an election and leaving Democrats a mess to clean up, as in 1932 and 2008?
Mike S. Eugene, OR 2h ago
Block witnesses from testifying, then say that the hearing is incomplete. Romney told America at the Republican Convention in 2012 that Russia was our biggest enemy, DJT wanted them to help Republicans win in 2016, said he believed Putin in 2018, and wants to convince us that it was really the Ukraine in 2019. The House has to impeach, even if politically it may be a bad move, because it is the right thing to do; indeed, the very actions I've seen in the past several weeks has given me glimmers of hope for the country.
Federalist California 2h ago
Trump will be reelected for the reason that the Russian intelligence agencies are still able to hack our election results, because Trump has blocked fixing the weaknesses. That is what happens when a Manchurian candidate is elected and then allowed to obstruct justice. It is not clear the US will survive Trump. One key thing he did was arrange to have the teams at DHS that watch for smuggled nuclear bombs were stood down and disbanded. See the report in the LA Times last July "Trump administration has gutted programs aimed at detecting weapons of mass destruction".
David Rochester 2h ago
I don't suppose a constructed transcript of Trump's meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tomorrow will be offered up as a token of our leader's transparency.
Markymark San Francisco 2h ago
It's clear now that AG William Barr isn't interested in enforcing the rule of law with fellow republicans, and especially the president. How can there be no recourse when an attorney general completely sells out to a criminal president? Can the employees of the Justice Dept hold a vote of no confidence in the AG? Can 10,000 attorneys nationwide express the same? The prospect of Trump and Barr running roughshod over the rule of law for another year is truly frightening.
Aluetian Contemplation 2h ago
65,845,063 voters knew clearly who this man was from the beginning and voted for what would have been a better now and future. It was never any secret. 62,980,160 voters also knew clearly who this man was and voted for him anyway. If the Democrats can ensure that we have a fair election in 2020. I'm confident they will win the majority in the house and senate and retake the White House and the end game for Trump will be jail. The problem is, he might not be the only one who's crimes come to light and I suspect a good lot of the GOP are threatening and blackmailing each other to hold the line. If there's any good men or women left in the GOP, your country and history are calling you.
Edwin a physician, scientist and realist 2h ago
It has easy to predict Trump's next move for the last 3 years. Just ask, "What would both benefit Trump, and benefit Putin?" Trump supporters = Putin supporters.
Kevin CO 2h ago
Do you know the American people are fed up with the discourse of all politicians. The republicans are fed up with any decency for the republic. The democrats are fed up with the republicans not facing the common sense of a exec not capable of being the President of the United states. I as a person am fed up with a political system that is not working for all people, just a select few. It's time too have term limits for all positions in gov't. That means all people that serve the people whether it be judges, senators or congressmen/women. It's time to find common sense again in our society as a whole society. We on this earth are all HUMAN.
Eben Spinoza 2h ago
Unfortunately their are serious problems with term limits. Just consider yourself in the role of a Congressional Representative limited to 4 terms. You know that in 8 years, you'll be be back on the job market. You can selflessly work for the public and damage your ability to get a job or tend to people who can hire you after you leave office. You're rational. Which future would you pick?
REBCO FORT LAUDERDALE FL 2h ago
Trump needs to keep Putin happy lest he unleash with all the damaging info he has collected on Trump and his financial crooked deals with Russians over decades. THe Russian mob reports to Putin as a former KGB agent he knows how to collect compromat on a politician and how to use it to get Trump to break into a giddy smile when he sees Putin his master it's obvious to most keen observers.
M. Barsoum Philadelphia 2h ago
Folks it is simple. Can we hear what Trump and Putin said to each other a few months ago. It is recored and on a server it should not be on. I am not sure why nobody is talking about these transcripts.
Nelly Half Moon Bay 2h ago
Finally! We get someone stating the obvious fact of Trump/Putin. Why are the Dems not talking about this all the time? Why are Congressmen and women not asking the witnesses about this? This is the ONE thing the Republicans are afraid of, so it is the one thing Democrats should do. I have been disappointed that the Russian asset thing hasn't been brought up....It's as if it is purposely bold. Trump is a Russian asset, either witting or unwitting. I doubt if there is one upper Intelligence Official that wouldn't say this. So find the right one and have them sit as a witness for this inquiry. And now the Russian big wig Diplomat and KGb spy, Lavarov, is visiting tomorrow. Good grief! Everyone is thinking this, so get out and say it Dems! Dr. Fiona Hill tried to lead into this direction but still the Dem Committee would take it up and aske her what she thought. Say it: All of Trump's Roads Lead to Russia.
Ro Laren Santa Monica 2h ago
Any American adult who has made an effort to educate himself or herself about Mr. Mueller's investigation or these impeachment proceedings understands that yes, with Trump all roads lead to Russia. Now if the poll numbers mean anything, Trump's crimes and Russia's involvement only matter to about 60% of us. As Trump's poll numbers remain steady, some 40% of Americans don't care what lawbreaking he is involved with or whether other nations now control our elections. Stop and think about this for a minute. Trump supporters know but literally do not care that Russia is tampering with our elections (2016 and 2020). Their cult-like support for Trump is why the Republican Senate will not remove him. There is no other reason Trump will remain in office. Trump has mesmerized his supporters like a modern day Rasputin. They will do literally anything for him, and Senate Republicans know this. Trump voters do not mind that Putin controls our nation at the highest levels of decision making. Again - think about this - they know he does, and they do not care. So I ask the rest of us. Is this the America we want to live in? To raise our families in? Where a large, rabid minority is in thrall to a lunatic puppet whose strings are firmly in Putin's hands? Because this is very much the America we live in now. The time will come, though, when we, the majority, will no longer tolerate the Trump/Putin regime. But the longer we wait, the harder it will be oust these tyrants.
Tracy Washington DC 2h ago
In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. said Russia was an important source of funding for the Trump businesses. American banks wouldn't lend him money. Saudi Arabia likely bailed out Jared's disastrous real estate investment in NYC. Follow. The. Money.
Huge Grizzly Seattle 2h ago
You say that Mr. Putin "has fooled Republicans in Congress, who have degraded themselves and their offices by faithfully parroting Mr. Putin's propaganda in the mainstream press." You are correct on all counts, except that the Republicans have not been fooled by Putin. They have gone along, headlong and absolutely willingly, in a complete sellout of personal and national principle and integrity. They should not be forgiven for this conduct, any more than Mr. Trump should be forgiven for his sellout of America.
Look Ahead WA 2h ago
For Republicans who believe so fervently in their counterfactual narrative, there is an immediate remedy. Bring facts and evidence to the Committees and testify under oath. Without witnesses and evidence presented under oath, all of the GOP antics simply look foolish and very much like they are defending the guilty. It is unfortunate that there is no penalty for elected officials who share unfounded conspiracy theories, engage in innuendo and obstruct process in official Committee hearings. It is also regretable that this President is not held accountable for trying to intimidate witnesses in real time during testimony. And it is a sad reality that one of the most corrupt rulers in the world, who rules a hostile power, has managed to entirely win over one of our major parties.
Gerard PA 2h ago
The strangest defense advanced today was the idea that the alleged state of the economy was reason not to impeach the President: the Republicans assert that America, the Constitution, the principle of our government are for sale to be bought by the rising stock market and a plethora of low-wage jobs. We are Faust, and the smell of sulphur is nauseating.
richard wiesner oregon 2h ago
If the IG's report on the 2016 Russia investigation had found the only problem was that two of the agents involved had horrible hangnails, Barr and Trump would have condemned it.
Asian Philosopher Germany 2h ago
Whatever Trump is doing, he always care about his main benefactors, Putin and MBS. This is the first time I have witnessed in history that an American president became a Russian puppet with all his Republican followers at the Congress and Senate. American constitutional crisis happening right in front of the world. I heard the cries of James Madison, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin from their graves.
trudds sierra madre, CA 2h ago Times Pick
Sir, do you honestly think that House Republicans have been "fooled" by Mr. Putin? On the contrary, it's pretty obvious they understand and believe the conclusions from our Intel community. These are instead willful lies for political gain. And while some Americans may actually be misled by the theater presented as rebuttal to the impeachment, it's hard to imagine for most it's once again, not conviction but convenience that places such "patriots" solidly in Russia's back pocket.
Michele Seattle 2h ago Times Pick
The pattern of behavior is clear and compelling: Trump is selling out this country, its national security, its integrity and sovereignty, in order to keep power and avoid his own prosecution, and protect his financial interests. We must get the truth about his relationships and indebtedness to Putin, the Saudis, and Erdogan. Our country has been hijacked and Trump will continue to corrupt the US and turn it into an autocracy if he is not stopped and held accountable under the law.
Linus Internet 2h ago
The country voted for this President knowing he is a flawed man in many ways. I don't think anything changes here - the Senate will speedily acquit him and the voters in the swing states will have to decide if they want to give Mr. Trump a second chance while the rest of the country impotently watches.
David CT 2h ago
If one looks at all of his actions as "How could this benefit Russia?" most of it makes sense. Why start a trade war with China and Western allies? Why withdraw from Syria? Why try to polarize the American public? Effectively showing this to the public is critical.
Mark New York 2h ago
Excellent piece. We all know Trump, Inc. turned to Russian oligarchs after '08 for condo sales. It just so happened that those same oligarchs (read as kleptocrats) were laundering money through Deutsche Bank, who was the only bank willing to lend to Trump. Trump's loan officer amazingly was SC Justice Anthony Kennedy's son. Trump was and is a desperate man in need of cash/ Putin is a desperate man who knows that the geyser of oil money that funds his national budget, and has done so since the 1920's, is coming to an end. Russia has no large material economic exports other than oil and gas, but it does still have a large military, hence the military incursions into Moldova, Ossetia, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. Desperate men do desperate things, and desperately try to project power with weak hands.
turbot philadelphia 2h ago
The Republicans in Congress were not fooled by the Russians. They believe in Trump no matter what the Russians do. The bottom line is - What does Putin have on Trump
stan continople brooklyn 2h ago
I don't understand why there hasn't been more of a pushback by the military. They went heavily for Trump in 20116, with many bases in the South and many recruits from economically devastated areas, but in the interim, they have seen his reckless, lurching foreign policy, worship of Putin, and clear evidence that somehow everything he does benefits Russia. A commander's first obligation is to their troops, so knowing the man in charge considers their lives subject to both Trump's whims, and Putin's whispers should provoke some reaction. No?
Steven Auckland 3h ago
Unfortunately - to put it mildly - impeachment will have no effect on the conduct of the 2020 election. The wheels are already turning, everyone knows their part, and only a massive commitment by an honest intelligence apparatus (if there is one) can stop it. One can only hope that, in 2020, the American people make a statement so overwhelming that there can be no doubt as to their intent, despite whatever meddling there may have been. It is entirely possible that there will never be a truly credible election again as long as there are bad actors who are power hungry or bent on destabilizing democratic governments. And make no mistake, these threats are coming from right wing autocracies, and they are in the ascendancy all over the world. American centrists and liberals are the only force that can change that. Are those stakes big enough for you?
Michael Kittle Vaison la Romaine, France 3h ago
We may finally have the answer as to why Trump is so accommodating to Putin. Trump has so many investments in Russia dependent on Putin's support. Trump financial reports will reveal this collusion between Trump and Putin. This should not come as a surprise to attentive Americans. Think of the worst an American president can do and that will bring you close to understanding Trump.
Ray Haining Hot Springs, AR 3h ago
Nobody's saying how Trump withholding military aid to Ukraine would benefit Putin and Russia in their WAR against Ukraine. It was, indeed, MILITARY aid he was withholding, was it not? I understand that this is not the impeachable offense of attempting to enlist a foreign government to win an election, but I believe this aspect of the situation should be brought out.
Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 3h ago
The Republican Party has been officially reduced to a giant miasma of fraud, fiction, fantasy, conspiracy theory, deflection, misdirection and prevarication. After tax cuts for rich people and rich corporations...the GOP has no other public policy ideas (except for bankrupting the government). A civilized country needs little things like infrastructure, education, technology, voting rights, law and order, regulations, fair taxation and facts to move forward. But none of those things are ever mentioned by the Republican Party; conspiracy-mongering and tax cuts are now the official governing planks of the Grand Old Propaganda/Grand One Percent party. This is no way to manage a nation anywhere except into the ground. Americans need to hit the Trump-GOP eject button before these Lord of the Fly Republicans take us over a very steep right-wing cliff of insanity.
Bob Hudson Valley 3h ago
The Republican Party is now Trump's party and the Republicans know it and are acting accordingly. You could call them opportunists following the way the political winds are blowing. The Constitution is based on members of Congress caring about the Constitution and searching for the truth. Since this is now not the case when if comes to the Republicans the Constitution has no remedy for this situation. The only remedy is an election and if Trump can manipulate elections to his advantage using foreign powers then there is no remedy and the system of government set up by the founders will be no more. The new system replacing it will be controlled by Trump. Putin figured out how to control Russian elections so he always wins and it is likely that Trump has a goal of imitating Putin. Ultimately this would mean taking over the press as Putin did. Trump cannot declare total victory as long as the there is a free press which he has labeled the enemy of the people.
DAWGPOUND HAR NYC 3h ago
From an acute perspective ..indeed shocking to say the least of the nature of this peculiar relationship. But looking at the big picture as evidence by all that has occurred in his or during this eye opening period for all the world to see....not so much so...For me, this dynamic is much expected.
James Ricciardi Panama, Panama 3h ago
"The witness has used language which impugns the motives of the president and suggests he's disloyal to his country, and those words should be stricken from the record and taken down," Mr. Johnson said. The Johnson rule effectively reads the impeachment power out of the constitution. How can you impeach a president if no one can say anything bad about him/her?
Bruce Rozenblit Kansas City, MO 3h ago
We have yet to plow the most fertile road yet. What does Trump care about over all else? Trump. How does Trump gauge his progress? His money. Where does his money come from? Good question. We all know he has filed for bankruptcy 6 times. We all know that because of those bankruptcies, American banks will not loan him any money. We all know he has significant financial dealings with Deutsche Bank. Now, who put the money in Deutsche Bank that ended up financing Trump's business.? That is the two billion dollar question. We also know that Russian oligarchs deal in billions of dollars. We also know that Trump has close relations with Russian business interests. We also know that Trump kowtows to Putin like Pence kowtows to him. We also know that Trump is doing everything possible to conceal his financial dealings from everyone and everything. So, we know that one billion plus one billion equals two billion. But does it also equal Trump? This money road is one we should take a ride on. Will it also take us to Putin?
Mark New York 2h ago
@Bruce Rozenblit No, but it will take us to those who are surrogates for him. Those whose wealth only continues because of Vova's "good will."
Gluscabi Dartmouth, MA 3h ago
The first Democratic candidate who labels Trump a "Russian agent" will own the simplest and most effective tag line going into the general election, provided of course that that candidate does his best to channel his inner Trump by never backing down but instead doubling down every chance he or she gets. Is Trump a Russian agent, paid for and accounted for? Not easy to say without some doubt, but that doesn't really matter because he sure as shoottin' acts like one. And when have the facts ever stopped Trump from going on the attack? The more Trump denies the label, the more he'll be digging his own grave. The real crime here is not so much the strong arming of Zelenskyy for a Biden investigation. That's small potatoes compared to Trump's withholding congressionally designated US military aid from a country engaged in a hot war with Russia, the same cast of characters who starved anywhere from one to eleven million Ukrainians during the 1930's. The Russian agent must go.
Alan Columbus OH 3h ago
I would not say Trump's lying "is effective", I would say it "has been effective". At some point, the public and his party may have had it with the thuggery and we do not know when that breaking point is.
abigail49 georgia 3h ago
For the sake of protecting our 2020 elections from Russian hackers and disinformation, the House is justified in moving forward fast, over the process howls of Republicans, with the compelling evidence they have surrounding Ukraine. But they need to continue investigating his business and financial ties to Russia and any other autocratic governments and their oligarchs, e.g. Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Especially if he is not convicted and removed by the Senate and stands for re-election, Americans need to know what conflicts of interest he has in making foreign policy and military decisions because American soldiers' lives are at stake. The Mueller investigation did not go down that road. Any businessman with global interests is automatically compromised, even more than a vice president whose son sits on a foreign corporation's board of director. Trump's own children continue to do business in foreign countries and we have no idea what Ivanka and Jared, sitting in the White House with top security clearances, are doing. In short, Ukraine should not be the only concern of congressional oversight committees. There's a lot more.
Peter Portland OR 3h ago
Trump must believe that Russian help in 2016 did help him to win. He must feel that fake evidence presented by an "independent" investigator such as a foreign government appears to carry more weight that the same fake evidence from a partisan investigator. Otherwise why would he be taking such chances to duplicate via Ukraine what he got from the Russians in 2016. But now that the Russian connection is outed, he can't go back to that well.
NA Wilson Massachusetts 3h ago
I worry it's all for naught. Dems in the House vote to impeach, GOP in the Senate vote to acquit. Trump remains highly competitive in 2020 election, Russia and other adversaries interfere, Trump stays put. Then what?
Rafael SC 3h ago
@NA Wilson Think of this situation differently. To have all possible scope to defeat him, we must support everything we can to undermine him. Lack of impeachment would have been business as usual. At some point his finances will get out and then all bets are off.
Tracy Washington DC 2h ago
@NA Wilson: It's all Hands on deck to save the country. Don't just vote, donate what money you can, work for candidates, knock doors, make calls. It's the only way out of this nightmare.
N. Smith New York City 3h ago
The Impeachment hearings weren't really necessary to prove what most everyone who's been paying attention knows. With Trump, all roads lead to Moscow. In fact, he's already acting very Putin-esque in his own way by forbidding anyone in the White House to respond to subpoena, by installing the fear of God in those who do, by punishing anyone who dares to think or act on their own, and then there's the act of holding a foreign country ransom until they agree to do his bidding -- not to mention inviting outside interference in our presidential elections. All the signs are not only there but they are ominous. By holding himself above the U.S. Constitution, Trump has declared war on this country and all the laws that govern it. And while entertainment-starved Americans laugh and cheer at his rallies, he and the Republicans drain our right to vote, and with it our Democracy. Today wasn't an epiphany. It was a warning.
bl rochester 3h ago
There seems to be no discussion of the financial backing trump received after '08-09 from sources inside Russia and how these actors would have expressed their support (or conditions for their silence) to the trump campaign during '15-16. Did the FBI not identify and investigate the funders behind trump and their interactions with the campaign during 2016? Would this not have been reasonable for an investigation to look into when its entire raison d'etre was to detect sources of Russian influence?
Jim TX 3h ago
I wonder if Mr. Wegman believes that this editorial will change anyone's mind or influence how anyone votes in the upcoming presidential election. Basically, this is classic preaching to the choir and sadly mostly a wasted effort. I would like to read articles with proven ideas that worked to change the minds of Republicans and other like them. Such articles might give me some better ideas to convince my pro-Trump friends and neighbors to Vote for America next November.
Kingfish52 Rocky Mountains 3h ago
"When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected." This! This is the central fact of all the things Trump has done (so far), and yet, the Democrats have failed to make this the central focus of the case against him. Instead, they've focused on one incident, and not even the most egregious one, to justify impeachment and removal from office. This was a terrible miscalculation. No, there is no doubt that Trump attempted to coerce Ukraine into helping with his re-election by announcing a bogus investigation of the Bidens. Nor any doubt that this constituted "high crimes and misdemeanors". But this was not the highest of crimes he's committed, nor have the Dems been able to convince any Republicans, or many independents, that this deserves Trump's removal. Moreover, they failed to produce the "smoking gun" of one witness or document in Trump's own words directing the quid pro quo. They gave plenty of room for the Republican attack machine to cast enough doubt and confusion that all but ensures Trump's acquittal in the Senate. Instead of focusing only on this one incident, the Democrats should have built their case around the theme that "with Trump, all roads lead to Russia". That is a crime that even the most skeptical doubter can grasp, and when linked together, all of his crimes can be shown to be of a pattern of serving Putin, and not the people of the United States. All roads lead to Putin, but the Democrats chose to follow a dead end.
DW Philly 2h ago
@Kingfish52 I completely agree with you and truly don't understand why the Democrats have not been shouting this from the rooftops. For mercy's sake! The problem is not just that the president solicited help from a foreign power for his own personal gain! That's bad enough, but isn't the point that he did this because he is beholden to Russia? Russia. is. not. our. friend. Why aren't the Democrats explaining this clearly to the American people? Trump is Putin's puppet and it could not be more obvious! Don't people understand that it doesn't just happen to be Ukraine that Trump took a notion to squeeze for his "personal gain"? He doesn't just want to win because it is so nice to win elections. He has to do what Putin tells him. Obviously, every last Republican in Congress understands this clearly. Why can't the Democrats explain it to the American people clearly?
Mike Republic Of Texas 4h ago
Obama did not provide lethal aid to Ukraine, after the Russians invaded Crimea. Obama did not Russia prevent the Iranian nuclear deal. Trump cancelled the Iranian nuclear deal, then provided lethal aid to Ukraine. Now I get it. Trump is working for Putin.
Mick Montclair 3h ago
By March 2015, the US had committed more than $120 million in security assistance for Ukraine and had pledged an additional $75 million worth of equipment including UAVs, counter-mortar radars, night vision devices and medical supplies, according to the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency. That assistance also included some 230 armored Humvee vehicles. Trump appears to be echoing a critique leveled at the Obama administration by the late Republican Sen. John McCain. "The Ukrainians are being slaughtered and we're sending blankets and meals," McCain said in 2015. "Blankets don't do well against Russian tanks." While it never provided lethal aid, many of the items that the Obama administration did provide were seen as critical to Ukraine's military. Part of the $250 million assistance package that the Trump administration announced (then froze and later unfroze) included many of the same items that were provided under Obama, including medical equipment, night vision gear and counter-artillery radar. The Trump administration did approve the provision of arms to Ukraine, including sniper rifles, rocket launchers and Javelin anti-tank missiles, something long sought by Kiev.
Ivan Memphis, TN 2h ago
@Mike Trump was not the one providing lethal aid to Ukraine. It was the house and senate that proposed and forced this aid into an appropriation bill - against the wishes of the Trump administration. After Trump realized he could not block this funding he did the second best thing - he used it to blackmail the Ukraine government to provide him with dirt on Biden and support for Putin's favorite narrative (that it was Ukraine not Russia that interfered in the 2016 election).
Mark New York 2h ago
@Mike It also took two acts of Congress to get the aid to Ukraine. Trump had nothing to do with it. Only the Impound Inclusion Act for foreign aid allows the President to time the release of the funds, which Trump did not follow. The Act was created because Nixon, like Trump, was playing fast and loose with our tax dollars. Who was the last President who asked for help from a foreign intelligence agency? Which President favored foregn intelligence agencies over his own? Answer no one other than Trump. If that doesn't show he's in someone's pocket, nothing does.

[Dec 09, 2019] Anti-semitism Is Cover for a Much Deeper Divide in Britain's Labour Party by Jonathan Cook

Anti-Semitism in UK serves the same role as Neo-McCartyism in the USA as demonstrated by RussiaGate.
There is a deep analogy between neo-McCarthyism complain in the USA nad anti-Semitism campaign in the US Parliament.
Notable quotes:
"... Luciana Berger (image on the right), a Jewish MP who has highlighted what she sees as an anti-Semitism problem under Corbyn, led the charge, stating at the Independent Group's launch that she had reached "the sickening conclusion " that Labour was "institutionally racist". ..."
"... She and her allies claim she has been hounded out of the party by "anti-semitic bullying". Berger has suffered online abuse and death threats from a young neo-Nazi who was jailed for two years in 2016. There have been other incidences of abuse and other sentences, including a 27-month jail term for John Nimmo , a right-wing extremist who referred to Berger as "Jewish scum" and signed his messages, "your friend, the Nazi". ..."
"... That is one reason why anti-semitism smears have been so maliciously effective against anti-Zionist Jews in the party and used with barely a murmur of protest – or in most cases, even recognition that Jews are being suspended and expelled for opposing Israel's racist policies towards Palestinians. ..."
"... The Blairites in Labour, joined by the ruling Conservative Party, the mainstream media and pro-Israel lobby groups, have selected anti-semitism as the terrain on which to try to destroy a Corbyn-led Labour Party, because it is a battlefield in which the left stands no hope of getting a fair hearing – or any hearing at all. ..."
Feb 23, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

Breakaway MPs hope that smearing Corbyn will obscure the fact that they are remnants of an old political order bankrupt of ideas

The announcement by seven MPs from the UK Labour Party on Monday that they were breaking away and creating a new parliamentary faction marked the biggest internal upheaval in a British political party in nearly 40 years, when the SDP split from Labour.

On Wednesday, they were joined by an eighth Labour MP, Joan Ryan , and three Conservative MPs. There are predictions more will follow.

With the UK teetering on the brink of crashing out of the European Union with no deal on Brexit, the founders of the so-called Independent Group made reference to their opposition to Brexit.

The chief concern cited for the split by the eight Labour MPs, though, was a supposed "anti-semitism crisis" in the party.

The breakaway faction seemingly agrees that anti-Semitism has become so endemic in the party since Jeremy Corbyn became leader more than three years ago that they were left with no choice but to quit.

Corbyn, it should be noted, is the first leader of a major British party to explicitly prioritize the rights of Palestinians over Israel's continuing belligerent occupation of the Palestinian territories.

'Sickeningly racist'?

Luciana Berger (image on the right), a Jewish MP who has highlighted what she sees as an anti-Semitism problem under Corbyn, led the charge, stating at the Independent Group's launch that she had reached "the sickening conclusion " that Labour was "institutionally racist".

She and her allies claim she has been hounded out of the party by "anti-semitic bullying". Berger has suffered online abuse and death threats from a young neo-Nazi who was jailed for two years in 2016. There have been other incidences of abuse and other sentences, including a 27-month jail term for John Nimmo , a right-wing extremist who referred to Berger as "Jewish scum" and signed his messages, "your friend, the Nazi".

In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle, the former Labour MP said the Independent Group would provide the Jewish community with a " political home that they, like much of the rest of the country, are now looking for".

In a plea to keep the party together, deputy leader Tom Watson issued a video in which he criticised his own party for being too slow to tackle anti-Semitism. The situation "poses a test" for Labour, he said, adding: "Do we respond with simple condemnation, or do we try and reach out beyond our comfort zone and prevent others from following?"

Ruth Smeeth , another Jewish Labour MP who may yet join a later wave of departures, was reported to have broken down in tears at a parliamentary party meeting following the split, as she called for tougher action on anti-semitism.

Two days later, as she split from Labour, Ryan accused the party of being "infected with the scourge of anti-Jewish racism".

Hatred claims undercut

The timing of the defections was strange, occurring shortly after the Labour leadership revealed the findings of an investigation into complaints of anti-semitism in the party. These were the very complaints that MPs such as Berger have been citing as proof of the party's "institutional racism".

And yet, the report decisively undercut their claims – not only of endemic anti-semitism in Labour, but of any significant problem at all.

That echoed an earlier report by the Commons home affairs committee, which found there was "no reliable, empirical evidence " that Labour had more of an anti-semitism problem than any other British political party.

Nonetheless, the facts seem to be playing little or no part in influencing the anti-semitism narrative. This latest report was thus almost entirely ignored by Corbyn's opponents and by the mainstream media.

It is, therefore, worth briefly examining what the Labour Party's investigation discovered.

Over the previous 10 months, 673 complaints had been filed against Labour members over alleged anti-semitic behaviour, many based on online comments. In a third of those cases, insufficient evidence had been produced.

The 453 other allegations represented 0.08 percent of the 540,000-strong Labour membership. Hardly "endemic" or "institutional", it seems.

Intemperate language

There is the possibility past outbursts have been part of this investigation. Intemperate language flared especially in 2014 – before Corbyn became leader – when Israel launched a military operation on Gaza that killed large numbers of Palestinian civilians, including many hundreds of children.

Certainly, it is unclear how many of those reportedly anti-semitic comments concern not prejudice towards Jews, but rather outspoken criticism of the state of Israel, which was redefined as anti-semitic last year by Labour, under severe pressure from MPs such as Berger and Ryan and Jewish lobby groups, such as the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Labour Movement.

Britain's Witchfinders Are Ready to Burn Jeremy Corbyn

Seven of the 11 examples of anti-semitism associated with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition adopted by Labour concern Israel. That includes describing Israel as a "racist endeavour", even though Israel passed a basic law last year stripping the fifth of its population who are not Jewish of any right to self-determination, formally creating two classes of citizen.

Illustrating the problem Labour has created for itself as a result, some of the most high-profile suspensions and expulsions have actually targeted Jewish members of the party who identify as anti-Zionist – that is, they consider Israel a racist state. They include T ony Greenstein, Jackie Walker, Martin Odoni, Glyn Secker and Cyril Chilson .

Another Jewish member, Moshe Machover , a professor emeritus at the University of London, had to be reinstated after a huge outcry among members at his treatment by the party.

Unthinking prejudice

Alan Maddison , who has been conducting statistical research on anti-semitism for a pro-Corbyn Jewish group, Jewish Voice for Labour, put the 0.08 percent figure into its wider social and political context this week.

He quoted the findings of a large survey of anti-semitic attitudes published by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research in 2017. It found that 30 percent of respondents from various walks of society agreed with one or more of eight anti-semitic views, ranging from stereotypes such as "Jews think they are better than other people" to Holocaust denial.

However, lead researcher Daniel Staetsky concluded that in most cases, this was evidence of unthinking prejudice rather than conscious bigotry. Four-fifths of those who exhibited a degree of anti-semitism also agreed with at least one positive statement about Jewish people.

This appears to be the main problem among the tiny number of Labour Party members identified in complaints, and is reflected in the predominance of warnings about conduct rather than expulsions and suspensions.

Far-right bigotry

Another of the institute's findings poses a particular problem for Corbyn's opponents, who argue that the Labour leader has imported anti-semitism into the party by attracting the "hard left". Since he was elected, Labour membership has rocketed.

Even if it were true that Corbyn and his supporters are on the far-left – a highly questionable assumption, made superficially plausible only because Labour moved to the centre-right under Tony Blair in the late 1990s – the institute's research pulls the rug out from under Corbyn's critics.

It discovered that across the political spectrum, conscious hatred of Jews was very low, and that it was exhibited in equal measure from the "very left-wing" to the "fairly right-wing". The only exception, as one might expect, was on the "very right-wing", where virulent anti-semitism was much more prevalent.

That finding was confirmed last week by surveys that showed a significant rise in violent, anti-semitic attacks across Europe as far-right parties make inroads in many member states. A Guardian report noted that the "figures show an overwhelming majority of violence against Jews is perpetrated by far-right supporters".

Supporters of overseas war

So what is the basis for concerns about the Labour Party being mired in supposed "institutional anti-semitism" since it moved from the centre to the left under Corbyn, when the figures and political trends demonstrate nothing of the sort?

A clue may be found in the wider political worldview of the eight MPs who have broken from Labour.

All but two are listed as supporters of the parliamentary "Labour Friends of Israel" (LFI) faction. Further, Berger is a former director of that staunchly pro-Israel lobby group, and Ryan is its current chair, a position the group says she will hold onto, despite no longer being a Labour MP.

So extreme are the LFI's views on Israel that it sought to exonerate Israel of a massacre last year, in which its snipers shot dead many dozens of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza in a single day. Faced with a social media backlash, it quietly took down the posts .

The eight MPs' voting records – except for Gavin Shuker, for whom the picture is mixed – show them holding consistently hawkish foreign policy positions that are deeply antithetical to Corbyn's approach to international relations.

They either "almost always" or "generally" backed "combat operations overseas"; those who were MPs at the time supported the 2003 Iraq war; and they all opposed subsequent investigations into the Iraq war.

Committed Friends of Israel

In one sense, the breakaway group's support for Labour Friends of Israel may not be surprising, and indicates why Corbyn is facing such widespread trouble from within his own party. Dozens of Labour MPs are members of the group, including Tom Watson and Ruth Smeeth.

Smeeth, one of those at the forefront of accusing Corbyn of fostering anti-semitism in Labour, is also a former public affairs director of BICOM, another stridently pro-Israel lobby group .

None of these MPs were concerned enough with the LFI's continuing vocal support for Israel as it has shifted to the far-right under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have stepped down from the group.

'Wrong kind of Jews'

Anti-semitism has taken centre stage in the manoeuvring against Corbyn, despite there being no evidence of significant hatred against Jews in the party. Increasingly, it seems, tangible abuse of Jews is of little interest unless it can be related to Corbyn.

The markedly selective interest in anti-semitism in the Corbyn context among the breakaway MPs and supposed anti-semitism watchdogs has been starkly on show for some time.

Notably, none expressed concern at the media mauling of a left-wing, satirical Jewish group called Jewdas when Corbyn was widely attacked for meeting "the wrong kind of Jews". In fact, leading Labour figures, including the Jewish Labour Movement, joined in the abuse .

And increasingly in this febrile atmosphere, there has been an ever-greater indulgence of the "right kind of anti-semitism" – when it is directed at Corbyn supporters.

A troubling illustration was provided on the TV show Good Morning Britain this week, when Tom Bower was invited on to discuss his new unauthorised biography of Corbyn, in which he accuses him of anti-semitism. The hosts looked on demurely as Bower, a Jewish journalist, defamed fellow Jewish journalist Michael Segalov as a " self-hating Jew " for defending Corbyn on the show.

Revenge of the Blairites

So what is the significance of the fact that the Labour MPs who have been most outspoken in criticising Corbyn – those who helped organise a 2016 leadership challenge against him, and those who are now rumoured to be considering joining the breakaway faction – are heavily represented on the list of MPs supporting LFI?

For them, it seems, vigorous support for Israel is not only a key foreign policy matter, but a marker of their political priorities and worldview – one that starkly clashes with the views of Corbyn and a majority of the Labour membership.

Anti-semitism has turned out to be the most useful – and damaging – weapon to wield against the Labour leader for a variety of reasons close to the hearts of the holdouts from the Blair era, who still dominate the parliamentary party and parts of the Labour bureaucracy.

Perhaps most obviously, the Blairite wing of the party is still primarily loyal to a notion that Britain should at all costs maintain its transatlantic alliance with the United States in foreign policy matters. Israel is a key issue for those on both sides of the Atlantic who see that state as a projection of Western power into the oil-rich Middle East and romanticise Israel as a guarantor of Western values in a "barbaric" region.

Corbyn's prioritising of Palestinian rights threatens to overturn a core imperial value to which the Blairites cling.

Tarred and feathered

But it goes further. Anti-semitism has become a useful stand-in for the deep differences in a domestic political culture between the Blairites, on one hand, and Corbyn and the wider membership, on the other.

A focus on anti-semitism avoids the right-wing MPs having to admit much wider grievances with Corbyn's Labour that would probably play far less well not only with Labour members, but with the broader British electorate.

As well as their enthusiasm for foreign wars, the Blairites support the enrichment of a narrow neo-liberal elite, are ambivalent about austerity policies, and are reticent at returning key utilities to public ownership. All of this can be neatly evaded and veiled by talking up anti-semitism.

But the utility of anti-semitism as a weapon with which to beat Corbyn and his supporters – however unfairly – runs deeper still.

The Blairites view allegations of anti-Jewish racism as a trump card. Calling someone an anti-semite rapidly closes down all debate and rational thought. It isolates, then tars and feathers its targets. No one wants to be seen to be associated with an anti-semite, let alone defend them.

Weak hand exposed

That is one reason why anti-semitism smears have been so maliciously effective against anti-Zionist Jews in the party and used with barely a murmur of protest – or in most cases, even recognition that Jews are being suspended and expelled for opposing Israel's racist policies towards Palestinians.

This is a revival of the vile "self-hating Jew" trope that Israel and its defenders concocted decades ago to intimidate Jewish critics.

The Blairites in Labour, joined by the ruling Conservative Party, the mainstream media and pro-Israel lobby groups, have selected anti-semitism as the terrain on which to try to destroy a Corbyn-led Labour Party, because it is a battlefield in which the left stands no hope of getting a fair hearing – or any hearing at all.

But paradoxically, the Labour breakaway group may have inadvertently exposed the weakness of its hand. The eight MPs have indicated that they will not run in by-elections, and for good reason: it is highly unlikely they would stand a chance of winning in any of their current constituencies outside the Labour Party.

Their decision will also spur moves to begin deselecting those Labour MPs who are openly trying to sabotage the party – and the members' wishes – from within.

That may finally lead to a clearing out of the parliamentary baggage left behind from the Blair era, and allow Labour to begin rebuilding itself as a party ready to deal with the political, social, economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century.

*

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Jonathan Cook, a British journalist based in Nazareth since 2001, is the the author of three books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He is a past winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His website and blog can be found at: www.jonathan-cook.net He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

[Dec 09, 2019] There is something to the idea that American political culture is becoming increasingly Sovietized

Notable quotes:
"... there is something to the idea that American political culture is becoming increasingly Sovietized ..."
"... This article below inadvertently illustrates the obsession with malign foreign influences, like that which pervaded Soviet discourse and remains a bad smell in Russia to this day. ..."
"... Another rapidly creeping Soviet trait is the weaponization of politics, turning any disagreement into an existential struggle, opponents into enemies, the way words like "treason" or "Russian asset" have become common coin ..."
"... increasingly they have that "enemy of the people" ring to them. The growing prominence of the intelligence services in political life, and their alumni on cable TV news shows, is another worrisome trend to watch. ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | eastwestaccord.com

There is something to the idea that American political culture is becoming increasingly Sovietized, writes Weir .

This is becoming quite the meme. Upon reflection, I do think there is something in it. Not this idiotic suggestion that Repubicans have somehow morphed into borscht-swilling, shapka-wearing, Putin-loving Russkies. Indeed, there are hardly any actual Russians like that.

But there is something to the idea that American political culture is becoming increasingly Sovietized. Of course it's two separate camps, not a monolith, and the Democrats are at least as guilty as Republicans.

This article below inadvertently illustrates the obsession with malign foreign influences, like that which pervaded Soviet discourse and remains a bad smell in Russia to this day. Russians scoff at the idea that Putin is able to get his own man elected president of the US when he can't even fix the governor in Irkutsk. But the author of this piece implies that Putin is somehow pulling the strings, not only of Trump but all Republicans?

Another rapidly creeping Soviet trait is the weaponization of politics, turning any disagreement into an existential struggle, opponents into enemies, the way words like "treason" or "Russian asset" have become common coin. And they are not just deployed as simple insults: increasingly they have that "enemy of the people" ring to them. The growing prominence of the intelligence services in political life, and their alumni on cable TV news shows, is another worrisome trend to watch.

Also, it looks like big part of the media have become almost Pravda-like, making ideological mission their main priority. I spend some of my down-time perusing shows from Fox News and MSNBC, which an alien from outer space would think were the propaganda organs of two different, mutually-hostile states -- but both very Soviet-like.

... ... ...

THEATLANTIC.COM
The Russification of the Republican Party
GOP lawmakers used to oppose the president's embrace of Putin and the Kremlin. Not anymore.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/12/impeachment-republican-party-russia/603088/?fbclid=IwAR1EC0-CDBEx-3SMS1lJTMT2m0xVjfaguZehK4BIeZ5Bov41Ds1XFi_Cbkg

[Dec 09, 2019] A Determined Effort to Undermine Russia

Notable quotes:
"... The New Cold War can traced back to a broken promise made to Moscow on Nato expansion eastward. "London and Washington are orchestrating a disinformation" campaign today against Russia, as the New Cold War has heated up over Syria, Ukraine, NATO troops on Russia's borders and Russiagate. ..."
"... Hostility to Russia is the oldest continuous foreign policy tradition in the United States. It is now so much of a part of America's identity that it is unlikely to be ever cured. ..."
"... It is a dangerous miscalculation to think the "New Cold War" will end like the first. Russia (the USSR) had a buffer zone then, it doesn't today. For Moscow the coming war (world war) will be about survival. All that is left is the fall-back position of nuclear deterrence doctrine – annihilation. I don't think western capitals see how perilous the situation is. ..."
"... Then there are snide remarks about the meeting today concerning the Ukrainian Azov (Neo-Nazi) attacks on the Donbass (NOT how either the BBC or NPR speaks of this of course) in France. This struggle, between the Russian-speaking Donbass peoples and the neo-Nazis of western Ukraine, has killed many thousands of people (most likely mostly those of the Donbass). The Donbass fighters are spoken of as "Russian-supported" in an attempt to deny them and the reasons for their struggle *any* legitimacy (meanwhile the support for the neo-Nazis goes unmentioned, leaving the listener with the impression that they are the Ukrainian military, thus legitimately fighting a foreign funded and manned insurgency). ..."
"... Mad Dog Mattis spoke the truth when he said that an opponent wasn't defeated until they agreed they were defeated. The US merely assumed that Russia agreed that they were defeated and are doubling down when they now suddenly realize that Russia never said any such thing. ..."
"... I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!) ..."
"... "From 1922 onwards the strategic purpose of the Soviet Union was to defend the Soviet Union not global domination, whereas the purpose of the "West" has always been global domination. " ..."
"... "At an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause." ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin, in conversation with former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, says the West is unnecessarily determined to undermine Russia. A t an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause.

When Kevin said he returned to Russia after more than 40 years in 2016 he realized he "had to take sides" in the U.S.-Russia standoff when all Nato countries boycotted the Moscow celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

"I had to take a moral position that it is not right for the West to be ganging up on Russia," Kevin says in his conversation with the former Australian foreign minister.

The New Cold War can traced back to a broken promise made to Moscow on Nato expansion eastward. "London and Washington are orchestrating a disinformation" campaign today against Russia, as the New Cold War has heated up over Syria, Ukraine, NATO troops on Russia's borders and Russiagate.

Watch the hour-long in depth discussion which was filmed and produced by Consortium News' CN Live! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dJiS3nFzsWg?feature=oembed


ElderD , December 9, 2019 at 15:03

Tony's (especially!) and Bob's sane and sensible view of this dangerous and destructive state of affairs deserve the widest possible distribution and attention.

George McGlynn , December 9, 2019 at 13:27

A quarter century has passed since the fall of the Soviet Union, and little has changed. Cold War patterns of thinking about Russia show no sign of weakening in America. The further we distance ourselves from the end of the Cold War, the closer we come to its revival. Hostility to Russia is the oldest continuous foreign policy tradition in the United States. It is now so much of a part of America's identity that it is unlikely to be ever cured.

peter mcloughlin , December 9, 2019 at 10:45

It is a dangerous miscalculation to think the "New Cold War" will end like the first. Russia (the USSR) had a buffer zone then, it doesn't today. For Moscow the coming war (world war) will be about survival. All that is left is the fall-back position of nuclear deterrence doctrine – annihilation. I don't think western capitals see how perilous the situation is.

AnneR , December 9, 2019 at 07:48

The latest efforts at attacking Russia via smear, allegation and Doublespeak have been, are via that US supported supposed oversight committee, WADA which has done what the US-UK wanted: banned Russia for four years from international sporting events including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Cup (Football – soccer to Americans).

Then there were allegations – of those "highly likely" (therefore one knows to be untrue and unadulterated propaganda to increase Russophobia) sort – about Russian hackers (always giving the impression that the "Kremlin" is behind itl) being the Labour Party's source of the Tory party's US-UK trade deal which would/will deliberately and finally destroy the NHS and replace it with (of course) US "health" insurance company profiteering.

(Always the Tory intention from the NHS's initiation in May of 1948; only its popularity among many Tory party supporters among the working and lower middle classes prevented them from a full-frontal killing off the NHS; the Snatcher's government began the undermining, via installing a top-heavy bureaucratization, siphoning off a sizable proportion of the funds that would otherwise have gone to medical care, demanding that hospitals not "lose" money – a concept completely beyond the remit of the NHS as originally conceived and constructed and like exactions.)

Then there are snide remarks about the meeting today concerning the Ukrainian Azov (Neo-Nazi) attacks on the Donbass (NOT how either the BBC or NPR speaks of this of course) in France. This struggle, between the Russian-speaking Donbass peoples and the neo-Nazis of western Ukraine, has killed many thousands of people (most likely mostly those of the Donbass). The Donbass fighters are spoken of as "Russian-supported" in an attempt to deny them and the reasons for their struggle *any* legitimacy (meanwhile the support for the neo-Nazis goes unmentioned, leaving the listener with the impression that they are the Ukrainian military, thus legitimately fighting a foreign funded and manned insurgency).

Someone even suggested that President Putin needed to be diplomatic. Really? From what I've read the man is the most diplomatic and intelligent politician (not just political leader) along with Xi Jinping and the Iranian government that exist on the world stage. None of them are hubristic, solipsistic, eager beaver killers of peoples in other countries. Unlike their western "world" political counterparts.

Jeff Harrison , December 8, 2019 at 18:30

Mad Dog Mattis spoke the truth when he said that an opponent wasn't defeated until they agreed they were defeated. The US merely assumed that Russia agreed that they were defeated and are doubling down when they now suddenly realize that Russia never said any such thing.

St. Ronnie's whole thing back in the 80's was to outspend Russia militarily and it worked well. We're trying to do it again but Russia isn't playing the same game this time and now it is the US that has a mountain of debt and Russia that doesn't. SIPIRI tags US military spending at $650B and Russian military spending at $62B. But we know that the $650B number is bogus because it doesn't include our in-violation-of-the-NNPT nuclear program which is in the energy department or our veteran's expenses which are in HHS. I don't know what's missing from Russia's $62B but I'll bet they can sustain that a whole lot better than we can sustain our $650B and rising bill.

Antonio Costa , December 9, 2019 at 13:17

Good point regarding Russia's downsizing the Soviet Union. From Gorbachev to Putin there was NEVER a surrender, intended in any way. The intent has been multilateral partnerships. For Russia the US/West won nothing at all except the opportunity to live and work in peace. (By the way this policy has a long Russian history.)

They gave up the Warsaw Pact and America with our worthless "word" expanded NATO.

The US foreign policy has lost even the semblance of sanity. Our naked aggression is clear as never before, a mad man throwing a global fit armed with megaton nuclear projectiles on trigger first strike alert. What could go wrong?

nondimenticare , December 8, 2019 at 15:56

If, magically, Consortium News/CN Live! were a mass-distribution network/magazine (hence universally consulted), allowing the light in for the mass of the viewing and listening public, it could change the world – both an exalting and despairing thought.

Lily , December 8, 2019 at 09:52

It is a great joy to listen to this conversation!

I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!)

I wish people would have the courage to break away from the group pressure originated by a nation which has been started by killing more than 90% of the indigenous people in their country and since then has turned the worl into a very insecure place.

Chapeau, Tony Kevin! Thanks to Bob Carr and Consortiums News.

Lily , December 9, 2019 at 01:18

It seems that some facts are beginning to be realized in the military department.

www(dot)zerohedge(dot)com/geopolitical/pentagon-alarmed-russia-gaining-sympathy-among-us-troops

Bob Van Noy , December 8, 2019 at 09:22

Simply, wonderful

OlyaPola , December 8, 2019 at 07:43

Words are catalysts of connotations and connotations are functions of expectations/framing..

Some conflate cause with purpose thereby limiting perception of cause and purpose.

Some understand that causation is interactive and in any lateral system the genesis of causation is difficult to determine.

Some understand that evaluation is a function of purpose and that purpose can be evaluated through such portals into wonderlands such as "What is the "United States of America" and how is it facilitated?"

As thumb-nailed in the comments section of the article Capitalism's suicidal trajectory – OlyaPola
December 6, 2019 at 07:46

"From 1922 onwards the strategic purpose of the Soviet Union was to defend the Soviet Union not global domination, whereas the purpose of the "West" has always been global domination. "

From 1922 onwards various tactics have been attempted by the "West" to facilitate their purpose, including attempts at "Orange revolution" in many areas which catalysed many lateral trajectories including the process of transcendence of the "Soviet Union" by the Russian Federation in the period from 1991 to 2005.

Consequently Mr. Suslov's observation re war of "The United States of America" can be extended into present times and hence no "New cold war" exists.

""What is the "United States of America"

An initial step through the portal is that "The United States of America" is – a regime of social relations to facilitate its purpose – the social relations not being restricted to the "nation state" presently self designated "The United States of America" but including classes in other "nation states".

Consequently alternative purposes and social relations pose an existential threat to "The United States of America"; this being perceived of lesser significance in regard to "The Soviet Union" and greater in regard to the Russian Federation.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , December 8, 2019 at 07:30

"At an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause."

The American establishment's problem with Russia is simply that Russia is the only country on earth capable of obliterating the United States. Not even China has yet reached that capacity.

"Carthago delenda est"

Skip Scott , December 9, 2019 at 06:13

There is "cause." Russia was our latest vassal under Yeltsin. Putin stopped the looting, and worked to benefit average Russian citizens. Just watch "The Magnitsky Act, behind the scenes" to know the "cause".

Bruno DP , December 8, 2019 at 02:34

The West is ganging up on Russia? Replace "West" by "United States of America", and I will agree.

Much of the West (i.e. Germany) has been dragged by force into damage control mode. The Magnitsky Act monster, the election interference hysteria, are just 2 crying examples met with shock and disbelief across the pond. The Fiona Hill testimony was a very telling moment for the inner workings of a self perpetuating logic.

Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly.

But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined.

Martin Schuchert , December 8, 2019 at 17:33

I'm German, living in the US, and I agree with your comment. I especially love the last two sentences:

"Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly.
But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined."

[Dec 09, 2019] Newsweek Reporter Resigns After Accusing Outlet Of Suppressing OPCW Leak Story by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... Haddad added that he is now seeking legal advice and looking into the possibility of whistleblower protections for himself, and said at the very least he will publish the information he has while omitting anything that could subject him to legal retaliation from his former employer. ..."
"... Newsweek has long been a reliable guard dog and attack dog for the US-centralized empire, with examples of stories that its editors did permit to go to print including an article by an actual, current military intelligence officer explaining why US prosecution of Julian Assange is a good thing, fawning puff pieces on the White Helmets , and despicable smear jobs on Tulsi Gabbard . ..."
"... Newsweek also recently published an article attacking Tucker Carlson for publicizing the OPCW scandal, basing its criticisms on a bogus Bellingcat article I debunked shortly after its publication . ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

A Newsweek journalist has resigned after the publication reportedly suppressed his story about the ever-growing OPCW scandal, the revelation of immensely significant plot holes in the establishment Syria narrative that you can update yourself on by watching this short seven-minute video or this more detailed video here .

"Yesterday I resigned from Newsweek after my attempts to publish newsworthy revelations about the leaked OPCW letter were refused for no valid reason," journalist Tareq Haddad reported today via Twitter .

"I have collected evidence of how they suppressed the story in addition to evidence from another case where info inconvenient to US government was removed, though it was factually correct," Haddad said.

"I plan on publishing these details in full shortly. However, after asking my editors for comment, as is journalistic practice, I received an email reminding me of confidentiality clauses in my contract. I.e. I was threatened with legal action."

Haddad added that he is now seeking legal advice and looking into the possibility of whistleblower protections for himself, and said at the very least he will publish the information he has while omitting anything that could subject him to legal retaliation from his former employer.

"I could have kept silent and kept my job, but I would not have been able to continue with a clean conscience," Haddad said .

"I will have some instability now but the truth is more important."

This is the first direct insider report we're getting on the mass media's conspiracy of silence on the OPCW scandal that I wrote about just the other day . In how many other newsrooms is this exact same sort of suppression happening, including threats of legal action, to journalists who don't have the courage or ability to leave and speak out? There is no logical reason to assume that Haddad is the only one encountering such roadblocks from mass media editors; he's just the only one going public about it.

Newsweek has long been a reliable guard dog and attack dog for the US-centralized empire, with examples of stories that its editors did permit to go to print including an article by an actual, current military intelligence officer explaining why US prosecution of Julian Assange is a good thing, fawning puff pieces on the White Helmets , and despicable smear jobs on Tulsi Gabbard .

The outlet will occasionally print oppositional-looking articles like this one by Ian Wilkie questioning the establishment Syria narrative , but not without immediately turning around and publishing an attack on Wilkie's piece by Eliot Higgins, a former Atlantic Council Senior Fellow who is the cofounder of the NED-funded imperial narrative management firm Bellingcat.

Newsweek also recently published an article attacking Tucker Carlson for publicizing the OPCW scandal, basing its criticisms on a bogus Bellingcat article I debunked shortly after its publication .

The ubiquitous propagandistic tactic of fake news by omission distorts the public's worldview just as much as it would if mass media outlets were publishing bogus stories whole cloth every day, only if they were doing that it would be much easier to pin them down on their lies, hold them accountable, and discredit them.

A recent FAIR article by Alan MacLeod documents how the Hong Kong demonstrations are pushed front and center in mainstream consciousness despite the fact that to this day not one protester has been killed by security forces, while far more deadly violence is being directed at huge protests in empire-aligned nations like Haiti, Chile and Ecuador which have been almost completely ignored by these same outlets.

This deliberate omission causes a distorted worldview in casual and mainstream news media consumers in which protests are only happening in nations that are outside the US-centralized power alliance . We see the same kind of deliberate distortion-by-omission with the way mass media continually pushes the narrative that Donald Trump is "soft on Russia", while remaining completely silent on the overwhelming mountain of evidence to the contrary .

The time is now for everyone with a platform to start banging the drum about the OPCW scandal, because we're seeing more and more signs that the deluge of leaks hemorrhaging from that organisation is only going to increase. Mainstream propagandists aren't going to cover it, so if larger alternative media outlets want to avoid being lumped in with them and discredited in the same sweep it would be wise to start talking about this thing today. It's only going to get more and more awkward for everyone who chose to remain silent, and more and more validating for those who spoke out.

* * *

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[Dec 08, 2019] The Delusions Of The Impeachment Witnesses Point To A Larger Problem

Notable quotes:
"... For one the Ukraine is not fighting "the Russians". The Kiev government is fighting against east-Ukrainians who disagree with the Nazi controlled regime which the U.S. installed after it instigated the unconstitutional Maidan coup. Russia supplies the east-Ukrainians and there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine. ..."
"... But aside from that how can anyone truly believe that the Ukraine "fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"? Is Russia on the verge of invading the United States? Where? How? And most importantly: What for? How would that be in Russia's interest? ..."
"... And how is it in U.S. interest to give the Ukraine U.S. taxpayer money to buy U.S. weapons? The sole motive behind that idea was greed and corruption , not national interest: ..."
"... To claim that it hurt U.S. national interests is nonsense. ..."
"... It is really no wonder that U.S. foreign policy continuously produces chaos when its practitioners get taught by people like Karlan. In the Middle East as well as elsewhere Russian foreign policy runs circles around U.S. attempts to control the outcome. One reason it can do that is the serious lack of knowledge and realism in U.S. foreign policy thinking. It is itself the outcome of an educational crisis. U.S. 'political science' studies implement a mindset that is unable to objectively recognize the facts and fails to respond to them with realistic concepts. ..."
"... In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities. ..."
"... The same bs argument about "not fighting the Russians here" was used a couple of weeks ago by another witness, Tim Morrison. This shows you that the hysteria is bipartisan... ..."
"... I don't believe that the so called "Professor's View" is normative for the educated class of Americans. It is the normative view of the Ivy League pseudoeducated individuals that have been placed in leadership positions in the US Goverment and Politics but they are not EDUCATED in any way. Karlan is almost certainly a Jew. She is without a doubt a whore who will do anything for her John as directed by her pimp. ..."
"... Being a brain dead feminist helps her with that role in life. I had an ex wife who fought me post divorce for 10 years trying to destroy me in any way she could. She finally stopped with the Breast Cancer she had for 7 of those years finally killed her. I see the same psychotic, sociopathic and off scall narcissitic behavior in every one of these women in politics and academics today. So don't think that something will get better without a terminal solution. ..."
"... Americans are entranced by the kayfabe (mock combat). Just as in wrestling it is designed to look 'real' but just keeps people engrossed in the action, unable to think of what they are NOT being told. ..."
"... Her delusions are a prerequisite for teaching at an academic level. ..."
"... The military industrial complex is in the people of usa's interest.. they think they benefit from the rayatheons, lockheed martins, boeings and etc - as they have relatives working at these places... the usa is one sick puppy, and Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor is just further proof of this... sorry if someone else said what i did, as i didn't read the comments yet.. ..."
"... The fact that the "papers of record" have become mouthpieces for the CIA/deep state has played a huge role in the brainwashing of academia and the rise of neoliberalism. The false narratives these "trusted sources" of information have been serving up create a very real Matrix, a false reality that is ingrained into those who rely upon them for their daily "news". Karlan is merely repeating what she accepts as truth, garnered from the NY Times and Wash Post, CNN, NPR, etc. ..."
"... The US is dysfunctional on purpose to keep the masses under control and dumbed down/brainwashed ..."
"... BTW, it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong (wouldn't we all love to see strong Ukraine?) while wrecking its economy by encouraging policies like spending 5% of GDP on the military, switching to more expensive energy sources, cutting itself from traditional markets and supplies, replacing with rather worthless "cooperation" agreement with a trading block that is neither particularly interested in trading with Ukraine (Ukraine strongest exports are in surplus within EU) nor inclined to subsidize it (budgets are tights and plenty of recent EU members are in dire needs already) ..."
"... Unfortunately this is endemic in the western world. 'Democracy' seems to consist of dumbing down the population as much as possible, and telling them what they have to think so the self-anointed leaders of society can have their way (both those in front, and behind the scenes). I'm far from certain this is a recipe for success. ..."
"... Russians and Chinese in particular, and BRICS/SCO in general, are showing the way. The countries involved have very different political systems, but they understand that co-operation is much more beneficial than constant conflict. ..."
"... This is a typical example of the stupidity and often dementia of most of the highly educated. Especially those in academia, who exist in a funhouse hall of propagandist and ideological mirrors. But it's true of the educated in the general. I personally know plenty of highly educated people who make themselves more stupid and mentally ill by the day by uncritically reading the NYT and watching CNN. ..."
"... So it's no wonder that an elite Stanford law professor is in practice the exact same stupid, ignorant, deranged yahoo as you could easily find in a trailer park, just with better manners and diction. ..."
"... After all, Karlan's Russia comment would receive enthusiastic thumbs up from at least Biden, Obama, W. Clinton, H. Clinton, Rubio, Klobuchar, Pelosi, Warren, Graham, Buttigieg, Romney, the late McCain, Pompeo, Bolton, Mattis...the list goes on and on. ..."
"... It's even worse than that. The economy will never recover while oligarchs have a stranglehold on economic activity and government. And USA's capitalist dementia ensures that will never change. (The West as a whole is headed in the direction of unabashed oligarchic rule.) ..."
"... Many of the dumbest people I met were university students or graduates. They are thought to absorb information as given, reproduce once, forget. They are not trained to question anything, they follow a narrative. Some even denounced everything they ever learned and became a follower of some religion, which is just another narrative. ..."
"... I've seen Jonathan Turley on TV a number of times. He always seemed to be a person of integrity. One needs to add courage to the list after testifying against impeachment on the presented "evidence". I will be very surprised to see him on PBS or CBS ever again. Their news readers are nearly giddy with excitement about impeachment. They never consider what could happen if Trump is convicted but refuses to leave the White House. Then what? ..."
"... Karlan type of academics is scattered all over the US universities. They are the Academia´s gatekeepers, watching over & "spotting" of our future leaders. the majority of them are claptraps selling jingoism to our youth in order to fulfill the Judeo-Zionist agenda. ..."
"... You hit the nail on the head. Karlan's loyalty is to her tribe, not this nation. That's the crux of almost every major problem and injustice we're suffering from in this country, from private prisons to Wall Street looting to endless foreign wars to censorship. There is one group of people behind it with a very bad track record in terms of how they treat their host nations. I wonder when we will finally get our act together and become the 110th country to expel them. ..."
"... IF Trump is removed from office then the war on Lebanon and Iran would be accelerated. Israel will likely go for all the marbles and annex the last remaining Palestinian holdings. Some here believe this couldn't happen but we all live in bizarro world now. ..."
"... it was obvious (on the video) that Karlan really thought she was (wait for it! It's on the way) landing a very clever bon mot! ..."
"... It is a small thing, yet it speaks volumes about the spirit of this clearly clueless human being (and others of her ilk), and her handlers, who must have cleared this little gotcha for prime time. Been up on the podium too long, bleating to students who can't/don't bleat back! No common sense. ..."
"... As the great wise man, Frank Zappa proclaimed about the USA: "Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Government." American politics makes much greater sense (and is a hell of a lot more entertaining) if you understand this truism. ..."
Dec 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During yesterday's impeachment hearing at the House House Judiciary Committee one of the Democrats' witnesses made some rather crazy statements. Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor, first proved to have bought into neo-conservative delusions about the U.S. role in the world:

America is not just 'the last best hope,' as Mr. Jefferies said, but it's also the shining city on a hill. We can't be the shining city on a hill and promote democracy around the world if we're not promoting it here at home.

As people in Bolivia and elsewhere can attest the United States does not promote democracy. It promotes rightwing regimes and rogue capitalism. The U.S. is itself not a democracy but a functional oligarchy as a major Harvard study found:

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.

But worse than Karlan's pseudo-patriotic propaganda claptrap were her remarks on the Ukraine and Russia:

This is not just about our national interests to protect elections or make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here , but it's in our national interest to promote democracy worldwide.

That was not an joke. From the video it certainly seems that the woman believes that nonsense.

For one the Ukraine is not fighting "the Russians". The Kiev government is fighting against east-Ukrainians who disagree with the Nazi controlled regime which the U.S. installed after it instigated the unconstitutional Maidan coup. Russia supplies the east-Ukrainians and there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine.

But aside from that how can anyone truly believe that the Ukraine "fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"? Is Russia on the verge of invading the United States? Where? How? And most importantly: What for? How would that be in Russia's interest?

One must be seriously disturbed to believe such nonsense. How can it be that Karlan is teaching at an academic level when she has such delusions?

And how is it in U.S. interest to give the Ukraine U.S. taxpayer money to buy U.S. weapons? The sole motive behind that idea was greed and corruption , not national interest:

[U.S. special envoy to Ukraine] Volker started his job at the State Department in 2017 in an unusual part-time arrangement that allowed him to continue consulting at BGR, a powerful lobbying firm that represents Ukraine and the U.S.-based defense firm Raytheon. During his tenure, Volker advocated for the United States to send Raytheon-manufactured antitank Javelin missiles to Ukraine -- a decision that made Raytheon millions of dollars.

The missiles are useless in the conflict . They are kept near the western border of Ukraine under U.S. control. The U.S. fears that Russia would hit back elsewhere should the Javelin reach the frontline in the east and get used against the east-Ukrainians. That Trump shortly held back on some of the money that would have allowed the Ukrainians to buy more of those missiles thus surely made no difference.

To claim that it hurt U.S. national interests is nonsense.

It is really no wonder that U.S. foreign policy continuously produces chaos when its practitioners get taught by people like Karlan. In the Middle East as well as elsewhere Russian foreign policy runs circles around U.S. attempts to control the outcome. One reason it can do that is the serious lack of knowledge and realism in U.S. foreign policy thinking. It is itself the outcome of an educational crisis. U.S. 'political science' studies implement a mindset that is unable to objectively recognize the facts and fails to respond to them with realistic concepts.

The Democrats are doing themselves no favor by producing delusional and partisan witnesses who repeat Reaganesque claptrap. They only prove that the whole affair is just an unserious show trial.

In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities.

Do the Democrats really believe that their voters will not notice this?

Posted by b on December 5, 2019 at 15:40 UTC | Permalink


Mischi , Dec 5 2019 15:45 utc | 1

next page " never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even professors.
bevin , Dec 5 2019 15:56 utc | 2
This is the woman that Common Dreams describes as a leading legal scholar. And maybe she is, it would certainly help explain the current state of the US Judiciary and the legal system, which reflects internally the utter contempt for law and custom which characterises US behaviour in international affairs.
DG , Dec 5 2019 15:56 utc | 3
The same bs argument about "not fighting the Russians here" was used a couple of weeks ago by another witness, Tim Morrison. This shows you that the hysteria is bipartisan...
Duncan Idaho , Dec 5 2019 16:00 utc | 4
History is not a strong point for the Dims., as it conflicts with ideology. The Repugs just loot and plunder, with little regard for history.
oldhippie , Dec 5 2019 16:00 utc | 5
There is a large cohort of Americans who believe every word the professor spoke. Whatever you and I may think about it the professor's view of the world is normative for the educated class in America.
rednest , Dec 5 2019 16:02 utc | 6
Regarding those food stamps, it is actually just a small rule change lowering the unemployment rate to 6% (from 10%) above which a state can waive the existing work requirement for single, non-disabled recipients aged 18-49. States can still also waive it if they deem that job availability is low.
Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:13 utc | 7
Attributed to Mark Twain. Perhaps the learned professor karlan may affirm: "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

AND Ukraine wishing to join NATO: well, not so fast for Hungary. Hungary says it will block Ukraine from joining NATO over controversial language law

Budapest has signaled that it will not support Ukraine's bid to join NATO until Kiev reverses a law that places language restrictions on ethnic Hungarians and other minorities living in the country.

Legislation that limits the use of Hungarian, Russian, Romanian, and other minority languages in Ukraine must be repealed before Hungary backs Ukraine's NATO membership, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday.

"We ask for no extra rights to Hungarians in Transcarpathia, only those rights they had before," Szijjarto told Hungarian state media at a NATO summit in London. He alleged that 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in the region have been "seriously violated" by Ukraine.[.]

In February, Ukraine's parliament ratified amendments to the constitution which made NATO membership a key foreign policy objective. However, a number of hurdles still remain before its membership is likely to be seriously considered. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker predicted in 2016 that it would be 20-25 years before Ukraine would be able to join NATO and the EU.

Tick Tock , Dec 5 2019 16:18 utc | 8
I don't believe that the so called "Professor's View" is normative for the educated class of Americans. It is the normative view of the Ivy League pseudoeducated individuals that have been placed in leadership positions in the US Goverment and Politics but they are not EDUCATED in any way. Karlan is almost certainly a Jew. She is without a doubt a whore who will do anything for her John as directed by her pimp.

Being a brain dead feminist helps her with that role in life. I had an ex wife who fought me post divorce for 10 years trying to destroy me in any way she could. She finally stopped with the Breast Cancer she had for 7 of those years finally killed her. I see the same psychotic, sociopathic and off scall narcissitic behavior in every one of these women in politics and academics today. So don't think that something will get better without a terminal solution.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 16:18 utc | 9
Americans are entranced by the kayfabe (mock combat). Just as in wrestling it is designed to look 'real' but just keeps people engrossed in the action, unable to think of what they are NOT being told.

People must free themselves of partisan affiliations that are just levers used to manipulate them.

The establishment uses Democracy Works! propaganda to give you a false sense of power and security. But the people are an afterthought in US/Western politics. The politicians and their Parties work for the money. Much of that money comes from AIPAC, MIC, and other EMPIRE FIRST organizations that are leading us to WAR.

Lazy Americans must get off the couch and form protest Movements. Movements that the establishment works hard to prevent. This is what it takes: France Paralyzed By Largest General Strike In Decades .

It's messy and inconvenient but power only responds to power.

The stoopid cult-thinking must stop. This is where it leads: Buffalo Bishop Resigns Over Sex Abuse Cover-Up . Why do people cling to a corrupt Catholic Church? It's NOT just a few bad apples!! The pedophilia and cover-ups have been worldwide and reach into the highest levels of the Church.

This Buffalo Bishop, like dozens of other Bishops in the last decades, lied to cover for pedophiles and then used the power of his position to remain in his position. His wasn't for the children or any higher morality but for himself. He will get a nice, peaceful retirement - paid for by the deluded Catholic flock.

!!

vk , Dec 5 2019 16:19 utc | 10
In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it.

The reason for that if very simple: the Democrats agree with Trump on this.It's the same question many ask when studying Roman History for the first time: where were the legions when the Goths invaded? The answer is that the Goths were the legions, there was no invasion.

The same logic applies to the Right-Left political spectrum in modern Western Democracies. "Where are the lefties?" is the modern question the first worlders ask themselves since 2008.

--//--

As for the Pamela Karlan thing, it's an issue I've been commenting on here for some time now, so I won't repeat everything.

I'll just say again that imbecilization is a completely normal historical phenomenon in declining empires: the earlier example we have is the Christianization of the Roman Empire after Marcus Aurelius' death. The rise of Christianity was the messenger of the Crisis of the Third Century, the historic episode which ended the Roman Empire by giving birth to its demented form after the Diocletian Reforms.

Empires tend to have a very plastic conception of truth, that is, they believe they can fabricate reality for the simple reason they are geopolitically dominant.

It's easy to visualize this. The greatest philosopher of the end of the 18th Century and beginning of the 19th Century was a German, not a British. While Hegel wrote his proto-revolutionary works which would pave the way to Karl Marx, in UK we had the likes of Mackinder and Mahan dominating British philosophical thinking. And even then they weren't the dominant intellectual figures: the UK was the land of accountants and economists, not philosophers. The reason for this is that neither Hegel nor Marx had any ships to do gunboat diplomacy in Asia, as the British did.

Empires tend to think and rationalize the world in a much more plastic/practical way than the periphery. As the old saying goes: the stronger side doesn't need to think before it acts.

Bart Hansen , Dec 5 2019 16:21 utc | 11
"...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

Is this 2019 or 2003?

Bill H , Dec 5 2019 16:32 utc | 12
"In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it."

Bill Clinton took millions off of welfare support and was applauded for it.

Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:37 utc | 13
Scroll down the page @ Steven Cheung {VID} on Twitter to watch this exchange where the RATS are told they are the ones who have abused power. Professor Jonathan Turley, a lawyer's go-to-Constitutional Expert:

"The Record does not establish corruption in this case - no bribery, no extortion, no obstruction of justice, no abuse of power."

Trump should include Prof. Turley on his legal team. The RATS have not thought this through to what will unfold in the Senate. A real court trial; No hearsay and no! no! no! "I was made aware" And the Bidens, Schiff, and Pelosi under cross-examination. And the Whistleblower!!!

Year 2025 it is.

Mischi , Dec 5 2019 16:39 utc | 14
I used to think that stupid was a characteristic of the American right. It took Donald Trump getting elected to see that stupid knows no political borders. Seriously. I thought that education and progressive thinking also led to a clarity of thought. Boy, was I wrong. The most pro-war people in the USA seem to be Democrats. Bizarro world.
Vonu , Dec 5 2019 16:40 utc | 15
Her delusions are a prerequisite for teaching at an academic level.
Chevrus , Dec 5 2019 16:47 utc | 16
To "...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

This predates 2003 and stems from the red menace days when it was the communist legions would behave like a set of dominoes and eventually we (USA) would be fighting them in the streets of New York etc. Thus it was imperative that they defeat the commies in French Indo-China despite the fact that they could easily have simply bought the nation by supporting Uncle Ho who had been working for the OSS during WW2. But no, they had to win brownie points with the French by bankrolling their effort to retake the nation and when that didn't work a little "false flag" event employed to keep the ball rolling. I use quotations because while being false, the Tonkin Gulf event wasn't much of a flag.....

At any rate the fact that both Demublicans AND Republocrats are falling back on such antiquated rhetoric is bitterly laughable! It can also be seen as an indicator of just how dumbed down the USAn populace has become. As noted above article, how could anyone think that the RF would plan much less attempt an attack on the continental US?! A closer look at recent history has the US and it's poodles surrounding the RF with missile bases, sanctioning and embargoing the fhaak out it, and generally trying to destroy the nation as a whole with whatever clandestine methods are available. But hey, take a page from the book of Cheney: deny everything and make counter accusations.....

james , Dec 5 2019 16:52 utc | 17
thanks b... propaganda is the usa's education... see your breakdown of the nyt articles... most people don't get this...

The military industrial complex is in the people of usa's interest.. they think they benefit from the rayatheons, lockheed martins, boeings and etc - as they have relatives working at these places... the usa is one sick puppy, and Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor is just further proof of this... sorry if someone else said what i did, as i didn't read the comments yet..

james , Dec 5 2019 16:55 utc | 18
wikipedia on pamela karlan.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_S._Karlan

"Throughout her career, Karlan has been an advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court.[10] She was mentioned as a potential candidate to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter when he retired in 2009.[11]

Personal life

Karlan told Politico in 2009, "It's no secret at all that I'm counted among the LGBT crowd".[12] She has described herself as an example of a "snarky, bisexual, Jewish women".[13] Her partner is writer Viola Canales.[14]

she is not an American women apparently.. she is a Jewish women.. oh well, lol...

Perimetr , Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 19
The fact that the "papers of record" have become mouthpieces for the CIA/deep state has played a huge role in the brainwashing of academia and the rise of neoliberalism. The false narratives these "trusted sources" of information have been serving up create a very real Matrix, a false reality that is ingrained into those who rely upon them for their daily "news". Karlan is merely repeating what she accepts as truth, garnered from the NY Times and Wash Post, CNN, NPR, etc.

Believe me, even here in the red states, you won't find a hell of a lot of faculty members at large universities who are Trump supporters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

Lorenz , Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 20

What I find absent in most discussions about impeachment of Trump is the 800 pound gorilla - what will happen to the US if against all odds, Trump gets impeached. Could the US survive that cataclysmic event or would it rip the empire apart? What contingency plans does everybody make for that unlikely, but not impossible singularity?
Dave , Dec 5 2019 17:00 utc | 21
"In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities."

That's why it's called bread and circus. The loot and pillage party's two separate funding arms get their funding and privilege from the same sociopath/psychopaths who operate the mass murder for profit economy we now live in.

They will continue the slaughter until the enforcers within society finally understand they work for criminally insane cultists who will never have enough money, power, and prestige.

Piotr Berman , Dec 5 2019 17:02 utc | 22
I see that distrust to everything that is good and decent is extended to law professors. Stanford is a short (if sometimes slow) ride from Berkeley that has a more famous professor in its own law school (Wiki):[you know

John Choon Yoo (born July 10, 1967)[4] is a Korean-American attorney, law professor, former government official, and author. Yoo is currently the Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.[1] Previously, he served as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the Department of Justice, during the George W. Bush administration.

He is best known for his opinions concerning the Geneva Conventions that attempted to legitimize the Bush administration's War on Terror. He also authored the so-called Torture Memos, which provided a legal rationale for so-called [you know what] =====

First, they torture logic... The ignorants who could not tell tollens from a toilet brush would not even know what to twist, hence the need for professors.

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 17:15 utc | 23
@ b who wrote

"The U.S. is itself not a democracy but a functional oligarchy as a major Harvard study found:"

My only quibble with another great post is the assertion that the US is functional. Functional would mean it had supportive infrastructure but instead we have homeless shitting in the street because they are driven out of the parks to do so and they must be bad people that don't deserve public toilets.

Functional would mean, as Jackrabbit linked to above, and a I i did a few hours ago in the Weekly Open Thread, that there wouldn't be 117 sexually abusive Catholic priests in the Buffalo NY area doing the same thing as Epstein was doing to his clients.

Functional would mean we would not have the blatant hypocrisy Chervus quoted from the posting above

"To "...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

I agree with Chervus that this is same BS that got us the Iron Curtain with Russia after WWII because they wanted Godless communism instead of global private finance. And also, as I ranted recently in the Open Thread, this gave us the 1950's change to the US Motto to In God We Trust which gets back to the control of the obfuscatory/hypocrisy narrative telling us that the private finance cult are doing God's work and that "competition is good/sharing is bad"

The US is dysfunctional on purpose to keep the masses under control and dumbed down/brainwashed

Piotr Berman , Dec 5 2019 17:15 utc | 24
Ha! More connections to Stanford: "Ancient Logic: Forerunners of Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

BTW, it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong (wouldn't we all love to see strong Ukraine?) while wrecking its economy by encouraging policies like spending 5% of GDP on the military, switching to more expensive energy sources, cutting itself from traditional markets and supplies, replacing with rather worthless "cooperation" agreement with a trading block that is neither particularly interested in trading with Ukraine (Ukraine strongest exports are in surplus within EU) nor inclined to subsidize it (budgets are tights and plenty of recent EU members are in dire needs already)

Ant. , Dec 5 2019 17:17 utc | 25
I think it's tragic that that creatures like Karlan are not simply seen as the blatant bigots and Nazi's that they are. You have to be wearing a large set of blinkers not to be able to see that.

Unfortunately this is endemic in the western world. 'Democracy' seems to consist of dumbing down the population as much as possible, and telling them what they have to think so the self-anointed leaders of society can have their way (both those in front, and behind the scenes). I'm far from certain this is a recipe for success.

The biggest tragedy is that Americans seem to think that the only way to succeed is to tear down any other country that isn't essentially a puppet government, necessarily defining them as 'enemies', and therefore someone/thing that must be hated and destroyed, by any means, fair or foul.

Russians and Chinese in particular, and BRICS/SCO in general, are showing the way. The countries involved have very different political systems, but they understand that co-operation is much more beneficial than constant conflict. Unless, of course, a quarter of your government tax income is dedicated to supporting an amazingly corrupt Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex.

steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 17:27 utc | 26
Trump supporters approve of cutting food stamps. The majority of Democratic Party politicians approve of cutting food stamps. Both parties agree times are good and the future is rosy. The only thing they disagree on is foreign policy. The guy who couldn't even win the election (and merely fluked in on a technicality that undermines all progress since 1788,) refuses to play by the rules on foreign policy. And he is not justified by success, not in any terms, not in making peace, not in winning, not in anything. The only people who are upset about impeaching Trump are Trump lovers and cranks who think being president is like being elected God and no one but sinners can defy Him.

The Trump supporters were going to turn out for him anyway, barring an economic crisis even they couldn't ignore. Impeachment has no downside so long as it is from the right, and doesn't rile up the rich people. Except the rich donors are leaving the Democratic Party anyway. The strategy for a nicey-nice campaign that leaves enough Trump voters soothed enough to sit it out has one enormous defect: Trump was not elected by the people anyhow.

But the Democratic Party politicians are anti-Communist, which means pro-Fascist, so yes, they do see this as (im)moral principles to die for, though they hope to politically kill for it. Their problem is, Trump is also anti-Communist and pro-Fascist, which everyone knows, which means Trump was merely his office for campaigning. That may be hypocritical and a violation of campaign laws. But in the eyes even of the anti-Communist/pro-Fascist population missiles for Ukrainian fascists with strings or without strings is merely a tactical disagreement. Even worse, the president breaking laws is perceived as strong leadership, smashing the machine, getting rid of those awful politicians and their oppressive government.

Russ , Dec 5 2019 17:37 utc | 27
This is a typical example of the stupidity and often dementia of most of the highly educated. Especially those in academia, who exist in a funhouse hall of propagandist and ideological mirrors. But it's true of the educated in the general. I personally know plenty of highly educated people who make themselves more stupid and mentally ill by the day by uncritically reading the NYT and watching CNN.

I don't know why anyone would expect anything different. All system schooling at whatever level boils down to the same two goals:

  1. Instill the basic literacy necessary for a given cog position within the hierarchy.
  2. Instill obedience to authority, including indoctrination into its ideology.

From kindergarten to grad school these are the same; whether one's being trained to pump gas or to assume a high position in the corporate world/government/academia these are the same.

So it's no wonder that an elite Stanford law professor is in practice the exact same stupid, ignorant, deranged yahoo as you could easily find in a trailer park, just with better manners and diction.

That's the American system.

mrr52 , Dec 5 2019 17:42 utc | 28
"One must be seriously disturbed to believe such nonsense. How can it be that Karlan is teaching at an academic level when she has such delusions?"

I assume this question was meant rhetorically. After all, Karlan's Russia comment would receive enthusiastic thumbs up from at least Biden, Obama, W. Clinton, H. Clinton, Rubio, Klobuchar, Pelosi, Warren, Graham, Buttigieg, Romney, the late McCain, Pompeo, Bolton, Mattis...the list goes on and on.

For a related, institutionalized, revolting example packaging multiple instances of such delusional thought, see "russias-dead-end-diplomacy-syria" . Have a pail nearby to catch the spew.

Russ , Dec 5 2019 17:46 utc | 29
steven t johnson 26

"The guy who couldn't even win the election (and merely fluked in on a technicality that undermines all progress since 1788,)"

I don't think you ever answered when I asked you last time: Are you saying you think Hillary was so stupid she didn't know about the electoral college, and that it was electoral votes she had to fight for, not popular ones? Because if you're not saying that, then nothing is changed: Trump beat Hillary in the electoral fight they were both trying to win. It's pure nonsense to babble about "technicalities".

And if any significant Democrat faction was saying throughout 2016, and not just after the election, that the election should NOT be about electoral votes, please direct me to where and when they were saying that, because I don't recall ever hearing it. And I think the reason I never heard it was because the Dems were so smugly sure of electoral college victory. And if Hillary had won, we never would've heard a word from you or anyone else about the electoral college.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 17:47 utc | 30
Piotr Berman @24:
it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong while wrecking its economy
It's even worse than that. The economy will never recover while oligarchs have a stranglehold on economic activity and government. And USA's capitalist dementia ensures that will never change. (The West as a whole is headed in the direction of unabashed oligarchic rule.)

Why would anyone invest in Ukraine? Sometimes I think Putin was happy for the Western coup to succeed and simply planned to keep the best parts.

!!

casey , Dec 5 2019 17:48 utc | 31
But do they really believe what they (the mid-level elites) say or is it all some kind of theater of the increasingly absurd? I am never clear on who among the narrative managers is sincere and who is simply acting sincere. Are people like this woman or the Bellingcat narrative managers or any of their numerous colleagues in their mid-level narrative management positions occupying their positions simply due to their acting abilities? They seem to be both delusional and ill-informed. When these people get together at their conferences and dinner parties, does the mask come off?
juannie , Dec 5 2019 17:49 utc | 32
Mischi #1
never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even professors.

Or as I think it was Einstein that reportedly said: (I paraphrase from memory)

To truly understand the infinite, just contemplate human stupidity.
vk , Dec 5 2019 18:02 utc | 33
Related news (on the subject of "American delusion"):

NATO Is Full of Freeloaders. But It's How We Defend the Free World. -- Europe without American protection is a continental disaster waiting to happen.

Well, mr. Stephens kind of tells the truth on the headline. But at least he could be more polite.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 18:03 utc | 34
casey @31: When these people get together ... does the mask come off?

I doubt it. They have convinced themselves that they are right and/or are following the wishes of people who are right-thinking. In USA, most people are brainwashed to assume that people with lots of money are right-thinking (as in: they must be doing something right!).

Upton Sinclair:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

!!

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 18:25 utc | 36
Wasn't the "so we won't be fighting them here" meme used also to justify the Iraq invasion and the War on Terror?
karlof1 , Dec 5 2019 18:31 utc | 38
Upton Sinclair self-published a book in 1922 about education in America entitled Goose Step . Predating the infamous era of the Nazi/Fascist Goose Stepping thugs then armies, I read a preview and found an inexpensive copy. The subject as might be assumed was about the use of school systems to indoctrinate young Americans at all educational levels and nationwide to conform to the views of the rather few wealthy people who sat on interlocking boards that controlled curriculum--sort of like the oligarchic control over media today.

And as we've seen with the study of political-economy, the ability to erase rather recent developments and personages and inserting false doctrines and their priests was done rather easily and with little noted protest. And so it's gone on down through the decades until today--just look at the War Criminals hired by Stanford and other universities for proof of its being an ongoing problem.

That ideological blinders are omnipresent is easily proven by the various defense planning documents referenced here over the last several years, all of which relate to the unilateral, might makes right mindset that's one of the Evil Outlaw US Empire's longstanding traits that predates the 20th Century. Too many will never learn humility and the reality accompanying it until it's enforced. But there's a wiser group residing within the Empire, some of us present at this bar ready to deal with the mess once humpty-dumpty falls from its perch upon which it's currently tottering.

Beibdnn , Dec 5 2019 18:40 utc | 42
I just looked up Pamala Karlan. Apparently there is a story that when she was a baby she was so ugly her parents had to put shutters on her pram. She claims to have a partner? There's no accounting for taste I suppose but even for a U.S. citizen there must be a red line. Somewhere? someone! As to her intellectual prowess, in my limited understanding, intellect depends on the platform it rests upon. Put a Jaguar engine into a Mobility scooter and see how well that performs. Plenty of power but no means of utilising it. Logical mechanisms such as law require as little emotion as possible. People like her just bring the demise of a great nation into action sooner rather than later. I suppose we should be grateful such fools consider Russia an adversary, it's makes predicting what comes next much more clear and succinct action can be instigated. Professor Pamela Karlan. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.
james , Dec 5 2019 18:58 utc | 44
@29 russ...steven is making himself look like a fool regularly with that crap.. oh well..

@36 really? yes, indeed.. same faulty logic one would expect from a stanford law prof.. as @22 piotr rightly notes - john yoo, the freak who could make torture in abu graib okay is another one cut from the very same cloth..

i see one of Pamela Karlans comments got the ire of melania trump.. article here..

"The Constitution states that there can be no titles of nobility. So while the president can name his son Barron, he can't MAKE him a baron." Pamela S. Karlan

"A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it." -- Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 4, 2019

Karlan apologized for her remark as the hearing continued late Wednesday. "It was wrong of me to do that,'' she said, according to the Associated Press. "I do regret it."

nwwoods , Dec 5 2019 19:19 utc | 45
Universally accepted fact among the devoted is that "America is fighting Russia in the Ukraine", though there are exactly zero confirmed reports of Russian troops in the region in the past five years.
Joost , Dec 5 2019 19:22 utc | 46
Many of the dumbest people I met were university students or graduates. They are thought to absorb information as given, reproduce once, forget. They are not trained to question anything, they follow a narrative. Some even denounced everything they ever learned and became a follower of some religion, which is just another narrative.

I remember one student dorm in particular. Someone came in and decided it was too warm. Put the central heating thermostat on "arctic winter", opened all doors and windows while it was freezing outside. Then someone else came in and decided it was cold, closed all doors and windows, put the thermostat on "incinerate". Repeat 24/7. The few times I tried to explain how a thermostat works, I felt like being rubbed out of existence. Only one guy understood that you set a room thermostat at a comfortable level and it would regulate to desired temperature. He was an alcoholic, always stoned up to his eyeballs, not a student except for the 3 or 4 studies he briefly tried and failed, and had given up on life in general. He was also the only one there who questioned things.

!!

Yevgeny , Dec 5 2019 19:36 utc | 51
Why assume that democracy was not always a trick? Pax Romana anyone?

Also there are some pretty nasty comments on here about the confused professor that say a whole lot more about the hangups of the poster.

Trailer Trash , Dec 5 2019 19:39 utc | 52
I've seen Jonathan Turley on TV a number of times. He always seemed to be a person of integrity. One needs to add courage to the list after testifying against impeachment on the presented "evidence". I will be very surprised to see him on PBS or CBS ever again. Their news readers are nearly giddy with excitement about impeachment. They never consider what could happen if Trump is convicted but refuses to leave the White House. Then what?

--------- The food stamp program changes will kill people. As intended. One of the most affected groups will be people who are too sick or otherwise too impaired to work, and maybe unable to even leave their home, but still can't get social support. The system says there is no problem because desperate people can get a free meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the other 363 days a year, go find a dumpster to dive in.

Almost all Social Security Disability applicants are denied on the initial application. There are no interim payments or support of any kind. Many give up, as intended. The rest file appeals and wait years for a hearing before an "administrative law judge", who is not a "real" judge, but just some lawyer with fancy title.

ALJ decisions tend to be rather arbitrary, so a favorable decision depends on which ALJ hears a case. Sure there are more levels to appeal, and many more years of no social support, if an applicant can find a way to survive for years on zero income, all the while being sick with probably no medical care.

Social Security and disability lawyers have colluded to keep lawyers in business. Social Security requires the use of a standard contract that gives the lawyer a fixed percentage of the retroactive benefits. "Retroactive benefits" are the regular monthly benefits that accrue from the officially determined "date of disability". So if it takes three years to get benefits, the lawyer gets a nice chunk of change for a few hours work writing a brief and showing up for the hearing.

The lawyer who signed my contract did nothing to help my case, and he even hired someone else to write the brief and attend the hearing. One wonders if ALJs get some benefit from lawyers to encourage long wait times, since long wait times increase lawyer profits at zero cost.

The US system really is that cruel and barbaric. It would be kinder to take us out back and shoot us, but that's too obvious. Much better to let people die slowly in the shadows so the rest of society doesn't have to see us.

And I'm one of the fortunates who managed to hang on, despite bankruptcy, a civil suit, the disability benefits process (only took six years), and state attempts to revoke Medicaid, all at the same time. I know it sounds melodramatic, made up, or at least exaggerated. That's understandable, because it seems that way to me, too!

About 1000 people a week kill themselves in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Does anyone wonder why, or even notice? The reason for many of these deaths is the lack of social supports. In Uncle Sam Land, social apoptosis is a feature, not a bug.

chet380 , Dec 5 2019 20:07 utc | 54
Did anyone really expect the Dems to appoint unbiased legal scholars to advise them on the finer legal points of the Articles of Impeachment?
Kooshy , Dec 5 2019 20:10 utc | 55
This fucking shining city on the hill, is so f*ing shiny that it's flames is burning the world.
steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 20:11 utc | 56
Russ@29 forgot the comments where I've reviewed exactly how everybody rejected the Electoral College, holding legitimacy came from winning the real election. Until Gore, every time the EC violated the expectation that it was a technical way of recording the popular vote, there was justified outrage. Bush's camp in 2000 had plans to contest an EC loss, until that shoe turned out to be on the other foot. If Trump had won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College, he would no more accept the results. Only liars take refuge in the simplistic legalisms. And only Trump ass-lickers are so contemptible as to pretend Trump was the stable genius who outplayed Clinton in the real game. Trump had no more idea how to win the EC without winning the popular vote than anyone else. Further, by the witless pretended principles of Russ' ilk, a presidential candidate who managed to win faithless electors who ignored even their own states' pluralities* would still be the legitimate president! Every single defender of Trump the one legitimate president is witless and worthless.

But very likely the real objection to the response is the insistence that Trump isn't magically guaranteed re-election because...well, the real reason is slavish devotion to a God named Trump. Even with the advantage of incumbency this time around, with even more support from the wealthy (the people who have really turned away from the Democratic Party to favor political gangsterism,) Trump is likely to lose the election again. If I were in Congress I would offer a compromise, where the Republicans were assured Trump would not be investigated any more, much less impeached, for abolition of the Electoral College. But I think Trump would say no, because he knows deep down he's a loser.

steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 20:13 utc | 57
*US politicians rarely win majorities of the electorate. Politicians of all stripes have agreed that non-voting is always to be deemed as "Satisfied" with either choice instead of "Alienated, with no choice." Decent people suspect otherwise.
goldhoarder , Dec 5 2019 20:23 utc | 58
@38 Karloff1 You can still Read the late John Taylor Gatto's The Underground History of American Education online. He did a great job highlighting the history and purpose of copying the Prussian style of education to replace the one room school houses and instill the "martial spirit" in the American public. I have to hand it to the Oligarchs of old too. They were very effective in their implementation.

[malformed/wrong link deleted - b.]

nietzsche1510 , Dec 5 2019 20:31 utc | 60
Karlan type of academics is scattered all over the US universities. They are the Academia´s gatekeepers, watching over & "spotting" of our future leaders. the majority of them are claptraps selling jingoism to our youth in order to fulfill the Judeo-Zionist agenda.
Trailer Trash , Dec 5 2019 20:39 utc | 61
I knew that name sounded familiar...
John Taylor Gatto, former New York City and New York State teacher of the year, stated:

The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders; and John Holt concluded, School is a place where children learn to be stupid . . . Children come to school curious; within a few years most of that curiosity is dead, or at least silent.

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html

Jen , Dec 5 2019 21:15 utc | 66
I recall when I was a student at the University of Technology, Sydney, way back in the Mesozoic era (1980s), the economics dept there had a lecturer there with a Harvard University background so the staff made him head of the department. Just because he had a Harvard University PhD. He was hardly a great administrator and the subjects he taught (compared with other lecturers' subjects) were much less structured. Of course this meant the courses he taught were easier on students' time and energy, though if you made use of the opportunity a less structured course gave, you could turn in an end-of-term essay with impressive research equivalent to the level required of a post-grad.

The university also had an exchange program with the University of Oregon, and most of the Oregon students who came to UTS (usually in their second or third year) found the UTS coursework very heavy-going and difficult.

In those days, UTS was only supposed to be a second-tier university in Australia.

ac , Dec 5 2019 21:34 utc | 68
This hearing is a theatre performance (kabuki -- hey, I learned a new word, thanks) and PK's lines are an invocation of the official US myth (the shinning city on the hill, the exceptional, indispensible nation). No one in the room took that seriously or literally (especially PK herself) and IMHO these national myths are not really anything to freak out about - every nation has got its myth, and this is an arrogant one, but compared to a few others it's almost likeable.

Of course it is at odds with historical records and the reality, but all of them are, because, frankly, the truth, being descendants of genocidal, religious nutters and slavers, is apparently very motivational -- in the KSA...

The RU/UK lines are slightly more worrisome, but that's just a matching background for her story - the fluff. She doesn't have to belive it - it's just a performance, an elegant one but meaningless in the end.

A lot of the visitors comment about the deep state, most of the time mentioning three letter agencies. Here comes a piece about a four letters one, acting more or less in the plain sight: OIRA, E.O. 12866

A group of virtually anonymous, unaccountable people wields quite considerable power over both legislative and executive. A very interesting construction...

information_agent , Dec 5 2019 22:08 utc | 70
Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Dec 5 2019 21:03 utc | 65

You hit the nail on the head. Karlan's loyalty is to her tribe, not this nation. That's the crux of almost every major problem and injustice we're suffering from in this country, from private prisons to Wall Street looting to endless foreign wars to censorship. There is one group of people behind it with a very bad track record in terms of how they treat their host nations. I wonder when we will finally get our act together and become the 110th country to expel them.

And Goldhoarder, while you may not mind how your posts look, you've managed to damage this comment thread and until b deletes your poorly structured post, we all suffer for it.

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 22:31 utc | 71
@ Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 5 2019 21:51 utc | 72 who seems to disagree with my concept "dysfunctional on purpose" and wants to use decadence instead and wrote: " Surely there must be some functionality to be able to keep the masses dumbed down/brainwashed; it implies some sort of thought out strategy. How do we get the same narrative trotted out in media in exactly the same format from LA to Warsaw, from Lima to Bangalore if it's all so dysfunctional? "

I posit that strategy of "dysfunctional on purpose" is control of the narrative and language and it is purposefully used.

Consider the current seeming understanding of the terms, socialism and capitalism by many of your fellow barflies. Many of our fellow barflies would have one believe that China is socialist and the West is capitalist...exclusively. I and a few others keep trying to point out that both China and the West are, to varying degrees mixed economies, including aspects of both socialism and capitalism

Consider the implicit definition of government if you will. Is government, as compared to dictatorships, not explicitly socialistic? Are not the provision of water, sewage treatment and in many case electricity explicitly socialistic by definition? Is it not dumbing down and brainwashing that many don't understand reality but spout the words and concepts they are fed by those in control of the narrative and media pushing it?

And, not to make too fine a point of it, does all of the West not live under the dictatorship of global private finance at this time? So how much more would I get ignored if I beat that drum as part of my comments here?

Ian2 , Dec 5 2019 23:07 utc | 75
Lorenz | Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 20:

IF Trump is removed from office then the war on Lebanon and Iran would be accelerated. Israel will likely go for all the marbles and annex the last remaining Palestinian holdings. Some here believe this couldn't happen but we all live in bizarro world now.

Also, don't expect the Electoral College to oust Pence after the general election since he's more pro-war; even the electors from Democrat controlled states would support him. IMHO, the US would continue on; business as usual.

However, if the Democrats are crazy enough to follow through, the Republican dominated Senate would reject it. Basically a repeat of what happened to Clinton. In the end, nothing changed.

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 23:07 utc | 76
James #44

""It was wrong of me to do that,'' she said, according to the Associated Press. "I do regret it.""

Ya but . . .as Tucker Carlson spot-on reacted, that comment sure looked as though it had been rehearsed in front of the bathroom mirror. It was sooooo lame!!! I mean, it was obvious (on the video) that Karlan really thought she was (wait for it! It's on the way) landing a very clever bon mot!

It is a small thing, yet it speaks volumes about the spirit of this clearly clueless human being (and others of her ilk), and her handlers, who must have cleared this little gotcha for prime time. Been up on the podium too long, bleating to students who can't/don't bleat back! No common sense.

Never a connection with a child, I'll bet, or she could never have said such a thing. Painful to look at the pinched little face, decent hairdo missing in action, with the rant coming out of the tight little mouth. A pathetic individual.

Ditto Noah Feldman from the Felix Frankfurter Dept of the Harvard Law School: Pure bloviation with skin like a baby's bottom. Better coiffed, actually, than Karlan. Quels types!!!

Jen , Dec 5 2019 23:21 utc | 80
Jackrabbit @ 68:

My comment @ 67 was actually just to highlight the (most undeserved) reputations that places like Harvard and Stanford have among certain faculties in Australian universities. In those days Stanford, Harvard and MIT were the holiest of holy shrines to do business studies / economics degrees. Years later I read a book by someone who actually did do a Stanford MBA and the scales fell from my eyes then. The work was similar to what I'd done as an undergraduate (albeit collapsed in the space of 18 months; I had the luxury of doing part-time and then going full-time as a student).

I should have added that the Harvard PhD guy who taught me comparative economics was a lousy teacher as well as a lousy administrator. I visited his office once and it looked as if a tornado had just hit it. To be fair though, he really wasn't cut out to be a lecturer, he was much better at research and analysis.

Before he became a lecturer, he worked at the CIA as a researcher. He knew next to no German (he was of Polish background) so he was assigned to the section to read East German newspapers. A fellow he knew who could speak and read German but no Bulgarian was assigned to the ... Bulgarian section. That experience must account for my lecturer's sloppy personal style.

But now that you draw my attention to the link, yes you are right that the study was done at Princeton University.

oldhippie , Dec 6 2019 0:18 utc | 87
@81

Why do you assume a technical illiterate could read those instructions? I can't even begin to do anything with that. It is never simple enough for those who have not been initiated.

HTML works by magic. Your instructions do not convince me otherwise.

Better solution is to forgo links altogether if not competent. Or spell out the link and force the really interested to transcribe. Of course no one is going to go to effort of spelling out a link as long as that one above. Which would be a good thing.

Jen , Dec 6 2019 0:27 utc | 88
She's been gone some time now (she died in April 2018) but Karen Dawisha , a so-called expert on Russian and post-Soviet politics who obtained a higher degree at the London School of Economics, was another deluded academic twat who wrote the book "Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?"

The 1-star, 2-star and 3-star reviews on Amazon.com of the book refer to the tabloid quality of many of the claims in the book, poor sourcing, cherry-picking of facts and the author's inability to write at a level that would attract a readership outside the academic community.

The least we can say for her is that she is no longer in a position to, erm, "advise" the US and UK governments on issues and help formulate policy that would backfire on Washington and London anyway.

ak74 , Dec 6 2019 2:14 utc | 98
As the great wise man, Frank Zappa proclaimed about the USA: "Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Government." American politics makes much greater sense (and is a hell of a lot more entertaining) if you understand this truism.

US Presidential Debates and impeachment hearings are a swell occasion for drinking games. Every time a political hack, media shill, or academic invokes some variant of American Exceptionalism, take a shot of your favorite alcoholic beverage. You will be drunk within half an hour--guaranteed!

Gal , Dec 6 2019 2:19 utc | 99
I'd say unbelievable but I know that is only wishful thinking on my part. What's scary is that these people populate the "educational" system which explains why we're as screwed as we are.

[Dec 08, 2019] Karlan, US neocons and "The Russians Are Coming!" scare

Notable quotes:
"... When Bush and his allies used this rhetoric, they were trying to spin a war of aggression as an act of self-defense. Now it is part of an even more ludicrous effort to make supplying weapons and other military assistance to Ukraine seem as if it is vitally important to the U.S. Simply put, this is propaganda, and it isn't even very good propaganda at that. ..."
"... Obviously, we aren't going to be fighting the Russians "here" no matter what happens in this conflict. These are the sorts of irrational claims that we get after decades of irresponsible threat inflation and mistakenly assuming that every conflict in the world is somehow our business. ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Here is a congealing conventional wisdom around sending military assistance to Ukraine that is as absurd as can be, and it cropped up again this morning:

"Fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" was extremely stupid when applied to terrorism. It is much more stupid when applied to Russia, and shows how impoverished the FP thinking of even bright, engaged Americans is. My goodness.

-- Justin Logan (@JustinTLogan) December 4, 2019

It is discouraging to see that one of the dumbest talking points from the Bush era has returned. "Fight them there" was always a silly justification for waging unnecessary wars in other countries, and now it is being repurposed to justify the questionable policy of throwing weapons at a conflict in Europe. When it was used in the context of Bush-era wars, it was an attempt to make what were clearly wars of choice seem as though they were unavoidable. When a government needs to defend a bad policy, it will usually claim that they have no choice but to do what they are doing.

When Bush and his allies used this rhetoric, they were trying to spin a war of aggression as an act of self-defense. Now it is part of an even more ludicrous effort to make supplying weapons and other military assistance to Ukraine seem as if it is vitally important to the U.S. Simply put, this is propaganda, and it isn't even very good propaganda at that.

I have written many times why I think it is a mistake to arm Ukraine. It just encourages escalation at worst and the prolongation of the conflict at best. Until recently, the arguments in favor of doing this have not been very compelling, but at least they weren't quite so mindless. Needless to say, Russia's conflict with Ukraine is a local one, and the U.S. doesn't have much at stake in that conflict. Ukrainians aren't fighting Russia and its proxies on our behalf or to prevent them from attacking someone else, but for the sake of their own country.

If Russia hawks insist on providing Ukraine with weapons and other assistance, they should at least be able to acknowledge that this is a peripheral interest of the United States. Exaggerating the importance of this policy to U.S. security just calls attention to how little it matters to U.S. security.

Obviously, we aren't going to be fighting the Russians "here" no matter what happens in this conflict. These are the sorts of irrational claims that we get after decades of irresponsible threat inflation and mistakenly assuming that every conflict in the world is somehow our business.

[Dec 07, 2019] Why the foreign policy establishment consensus is neocon by default.

Highly recommended!
Dec 07, 2019 | www.unz.com

Never in the history of America, probably never in the history of any country, had there been such open and direct control of governmental activities by the very rich. So long as a handful of men in Wall Street control the credit and industrial processes of the country, they will continue to control the press, the government, and, by deception, the people. They will not only compel the public to work for them in peace, but to fight for them in war. -- John Turner, 1922

[Dec 07, 2019] UK Johnson vs US Trump

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , November 30, 2019 at 10:13 AM

https://mainly macro.blogspot.com/2019/11/will-uk-voters-really-vote-for.html

November 30, 2019

Will UK voters really vote for the Republican party and our own Donald Trump?

There is so much about today's Conservative party that is very similar to the Republican party in the US. To establish this, there is no better place to start than our future Prime Minister for the next five years, if polls are to be believed.

Donald Trump and Boris Johnson are both inveterate liars. They lie when they have no need to, just for effect. To take some recent examples. He told Andrew Marr that the Tories don't do deals with other parties, when everyone can remember the Coalition government and the Democratic Unionist Party. (Marr, as so often with interviewers, let that pass.) Johnson has said that the extra money he has allowed for the health service is the biggest boost for a generation. In fact it is smaller than the increase in spending from Labour from 2004 onwards. There are many like this. He has lied all his life, and been sacked from jobs twice for doing so. He lies about lying! No UK politician in living memory has lied like this.

A consequence of that is you cannot trust a word he says. When he and his ministers say that the NHS will not be part of any trade negotiations with the US, it means nothing. Brexit puts the UK in a very weak position because the political costs of walking away, while the costs for the US are zero. So of course the National Health Service and things that affect the NHS will be part of any trade deal.

When he says that he will get a trade deal with the EU in just a year he is lying. It is just not possible given the reasons the Conservatives want to leave the EU. So voters will have to decide which lie he will choose: to break his undertaking not to extend the transition period or to leave with no deal.

Like Trump, Johnson treats the economy, and the consequent wellbeing of everyone in it, as a plaything for his own ends. With Trump this involves imposing tariffs because of his 15th century understanding of economics. With Johnson he chose Brexit on a toss up about what would advance his own ambitions. He then championed the hardest of Brexits because it appealed to those who would vote him leader of his party. But there is a difference: Brexit is far more harmful than anything Trump has managed.

Where Trump wants to increase coal production in the US, Johnson wants to stop any increases in fuel duty. Johnson didn't attend a leaders debate on climate change.

Johnson, like Trump, is totally lacking in empathy for others, and is only interested in himself. Johnson thought nothing of helping a friend beat up a journalist. His personal life matters because it reflects the kind of person he is.

Like Trump, he has no time or respect for people who disagree with him. He shut down parliament because it was getting in his way. In his manifesto he now threatens to curtail the ability of the law to stop him doing what he and his party want. Johnson and the Conservatives, like Trump and the Republicans, are a threat to democracy.

Like Trump, he and his party want a totally compliant media. They have put so much pressure on the BBC that parts of it now do what they can to flatter Johnson and the Conservative cause. They have threatened Channel4 because they put a block of ice in his place when he failed to turn up to that leaders debate on climate change.

Like Trump, Johnson hates scrutiny. They both would much rather talk to an adoring party faithful than take part in critical questioning. In this election, Johnson has avoided questions from the press as much as he can, has avoided debates, and is avoiding an interview with one of the best interviewers around.

One reason they both hate scrutiny is their inability to concentrate on the details, the kind of details he got wrong such that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe remains in jail. This is one reason they sent Gove rather than Johnson to do the climate change debate. Johnson is as mentally unsuitable to be Prime Minister as Trump is to be President.

Republicans in Congress with few exceptions defend Trump. Conservative MPs do the same for Johnson without exception, now that the few Conservatives with some attachment to One Nation Conservatism have been driven out of the party. The Republicans never pretend to govern for the whole country, but just for what some of them call Real America. The Conservatives with Brexit have adopted the same policy. A narrow victory for Leave, obtained in the most dubious referendum ever, has become a mandate for the hardest of Brexits, and with a referendum on the final deal ruled out.

Both parties adopt divide and rule tactics, yet play the nationalist card for all its worth. To conceal and distract from far right economic policies designed to help the 1% wealthiest in the population, by a party financed by the even wealthier, they focus on attracting votes from the xenophobic and racist. The Conservatives have seen off the threat from the Brexit party by adopting the Brexit party. It was probably the votes of ex-Brexit party members that helped secure Johnson his leadership.

The Republicans play the race card and the Tories play the immigration card, something they have done since the turn of this century. Once you do that, it is inevitable that you end up with a party leaders who are themselves racist. Whatever you think about Jeremy Corbyn, it is Johnson who has expressed racial slurs like calling Muslim women letterboxes, talked about black people as 'piccaninnies' with 'watermelon smiles', Nigerians as money obsessed. (Not to mention his homophobic and sexist comments, and his description of working class men as drunk, criminal and feckless, and what he originally wrote about Hillsborough victims and single mothers.)

In the US Trump gets away with his behaviour among many because of his money and fame, and in the UK Johnson gets away with it among many because of his class and jokes. Both are where they are because they were given huge head starts, Trump through inheritance and Johnson through class, and have subsequently had careers which are dotted with failure. But once you see beyond the fame and jokes, they are both authoritarians who see nothing wrong in stoking fears about minorities to get the majority to vote for them, and in abusing the constitution to get their way. You might say that it is Trump not Johnson who is threatened with impeachment, but I have lost count of the legal cases about his actions that have been conveniently postponed for this election.

What too many commentators on this election fail to see is the potential irreversibility of this decline into right wing authoritarian rule. With most newspapers pushing out propaganda for the Conservatives and the BBC successfully tamed, the Conservatives now have a sufficient block to any real scrutiny of their policies or behaviour. In the next five years their manifesto suggests they hope to tame anyone else who gets in their way.

The Conservatives have ensured that enough people in this country see and read want they want them to see and read. Soon we will see attempts to introduce nationwide voter ID simply because it helps the Conservatives. It is wishful thinking to say 'if only we had another Labour leader they would be miles ahead' - just remember Ed Miliband who lost an election because the media conveniently decided austerity was good economics. [1]

Next year the people of the United States will have their chance to get rid of the worst US president in living memory. We have the chance to stop our own Trump, Boris Johnson, before he gets five years in which he could do irreversible harm to our economy, our democracy, our union and our civil society. The danger in both countries is that they keep their Trump/Johnson, and get locked into permanent authoritarian right wing rule similar to what we see in Hungary and Poland.

Alarmist? Johnson shut down parliament to get his way! When Brexit fails to be the promised land Johnson has promised and when the UK's potential fails to be unleashed, who will the Conservatives blame for their own failure? How much will they give away to get a US trade deal? Johnson, like Trump, is in the words of a BBC interviewer in braver times a 'nasty piece of work', whose only interest is in helping himself. It says a lot about what the UK has become that he looks like getting elected to be Prime Minister.

[1] Of course there were other reasons Miliband lost. He was unpopular, like every Labour leader over the past 40 years has been unpopular except the one who did a deal with the Tory press. And in the final days he was said to be in the pocket of Alex Salmond, even though the Scottish National Party have said they will never put a Tory PM into power so their bargaining strength is zero. The broadcast media went with the Tory's SNP story rather than Labour highlighting the (we now know very real) threat to the NHS.

-- Simon Wren-Lewis

[Dec 07, 2019] Calling Trump 'Putin's boy' brings up coup tactics used by Birchers when Truman fired MacArthur!

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 02:19 PM

Calling Trump 'Putin's boy' brings up coup tactics used by Birchers when Truman fired MacArthur!

Brookings tools (Mr. Vindman (I have silver leaves Vindman does not fit) , Fiona Hill, Holmes eavesdropping....) pleading to Schiff that Trump ain't their kind of 'Murekan empire builder.

Making up "charges", hearsay evidence, hiding DNC US #resistance corruption, despise the constitution, hide behind it and patriotism...... define democracy and who is 'patriotic'. All the trappings of Mao and Hitler before they took over.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , December 01, 2019 at 02:54 PM
"...Making up 'charges', hearsay evidence, hiding DNC US #resistance corruption, despise the constitution, hide behind it and patriotism...... define democracy and who is 'patriotic'. All the trappings of Mao and Hitler before they took over."


[Funny (NOT) that they say the same thing about Trump. Your adversaries and yourself would all make better lampshades or bars of soap than you do citizens.

Democracy has never been more than an illusion, sometimes just an allusion, particularly though in modern republican times. Leaders have all too rarely been patriotic aside from maybe George Washington, who largely despised the representative government that he had made. TJ did not exactly fall in love with the US Congress either. In these times the political class and their pet sycophants are more idiotic than patriotic.]

ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 04:47 PM
One bone: the coup #resistance despises the "office of the president" more than they (swamp trolls like Schiff's tool Vindman) disdain deplorables and the US constitution.

It is a constitutional thingie in my view going back to the Henry Luce media and Birchers/McCarthy (the ragings over "who lost Chiang's fiefdom in China?") going after anyone who they described wrongfully in most cases as "subversives".

I believe that Washington was like Ike as to taking up the executive office.

Paine -> Paine ... , December 01, 2019 at 06:37 AM
Eric Finer in an effort to unearth this buried history

Calls congressional reconstruction
A second founding of the republic

Reconstruction like the new deal

Ended by producing its opposite

BUT we progressive spirits
still rightly honor the era

Similarly
Jacksonianism by some of us not poisoned
By identity pol anachronisms

And Jeffersonianism
Despite far greater identity transgressions

Why not radical republicanism ?

anne -> Paine ... , December 01, 2019 at 07:24 AM
"Eric Foner" in an effort to unearth this buried history

Calls Congressional Reconstruction
A second founding of the Republic

Reconstruction like the New Deal

Ended by producing its opposite

[ Please be careful in spelling names, and set down where the specific reference is. This will be important, if a reference is set down. Also, further explanation when possible would be helpful. ]

[Dec 07, 2019] It is obvious that Russia is calling the shots

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> kurt... , December 04, 2019 at 07:49 AM

What an idiot! "it is obvious that Russia is calling the shots." This lunacy is beyond what even Joe McCarthy could have imagined.
RC (Ron) Weakley -> JohnH... , December 04, 2019 at 09:59 AM
I doubt that it was imagination that characterized Joe McCarthy's behavior, but with friend kurt then imagination appears to be in full blossom. Joe McCarthy was just an opportunistic scoundrel crassly impersonating a concerned patriot as a pure political convenience for attacking the left in general with specific intentions on casting a specter of fear over all New Deal loyalists. He weaponized socialist sympathizers against FDR's legacy. Remember that it was socialist sentiments that gave rise to FDR and his New Deal. It seemed only fair to Joe that those same sentiments be used to cover FDR in his grave.
JohnH -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 04, 2019 at 01:37 PM
A good definition of a politician: "an opportunistic scoundrel crassly impersonating a concerned patriot as a pure political convenience.

"Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel." Mark Twain

JohnH -> kurt... , December 04, 2019 at 02:57 PM
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

Incredible paranoia, reminiscent of the 1980s, when the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse!

[Dec 07, 2019] This is clearly one of the most dirty tricks played by UK Israel lobby, if we talk about Corbin. Baseless charge of anti-Semitism became a political smear, the way to destroy political opponent.

Zionist McCarthyism?
Notable quotes:
"... Charges of anti-Semitism against Corbyn are highly suspect. From what I can see, they all stem from Corbyn's remarks supporting Palestinian rights in the face of the Israeli government's institutionalized racism and oppression of Palestinians. ..."
"... Yes. This is clearly one of the most dirty tricks played by UK Israel lobby, if we talk about Corbin. Baseless charge of anti-Semitism became a political smear, the way to destroy political opponent. ..."
Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> anne... , December 06, 2019 at 03:53 PM

Charges of anti-Semitism against Corbyn are highly suspect. From what I can see, they all stem from Corbyn's remarks supporting Palestinian rights in the face of the Israeli government's institutionalized racism and oppression of Palestinians.

If Bernie were not Jewish, there would have been an enormous smear campaign against him for exactly the same reasons.

likbez -> JohnH... , December 07, 2019 at 01:53 AM


Charges of anti-Semitism against Corbyn are highly suspect. From what I can see, they all stem from Corbyn's remarks supporting Palestinian rights in the face of the Israeli government's institutionalized racism and oppression of Palestinians.

Yes. This is clearly one of the most dirty tricks played by UK Israel lobby, if we talk about Corbin. Baseless charge of anti-Semitism became a political smear, the way to destroy political opponent.

Much like charge of "Putin stooge" in the USA. And Russophobia is very similar to Anti-Semitism, if you think about it. It serves as a kind of politically correct anti-Semitism.

[Dec 07, 2019] The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> anne... , November 28, 2019 at 03:46 PM

Stephen Cohen (one of the few pundits who actually knows something about Russia:)

"Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained, ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising.

We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation "Intelgate," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book. Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.
We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report.

And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so.But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him?"
https://www.thenation.com/article/inconvenient-truths-2/

ilsm -> JohnH... , November 29, 2019 at 09:19 AM
The Russia thingie/falsehoods are part of corrupt demrats assault on the US constitution. They are even now predicting their loss in 2020 due to "interference" and people wanting to know how corrupt the DNC [front running] select has been!

Demrat allies in the shadow revolving door government of neocon humbug factories are denouncing Trump for his ignoring their war mongering imperial objects.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , November 30, 2019 at 08:31 AM
"...assault on the US constitution..."

[Adding assault to injury? The US Constitution was damning enough on its own. What are they thinking inside the deep state apparatus? Don't they know that power and privilege is reserved for holders of wealth by the US Constitution? Who do they think that they are really working for?]

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to JohnH... , November 30, 2019 at 08:26 AM
Friend ilsm may be less nuts than it appears, but friend ilsm is not less incomprehensible than it appears. Would it be out of place to thank you for ilsm's sake?

Our two-party system was largely useless after FDR, but our two-party system has been largely destructive since 1968. Let me know if anything really changes.

kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 02, 2019 at 04:52 PM
It isn't our two party system - it is one of the two parties contained within. The "both sides" are bad is both demonstrably not accurate (with some exceptions that prove the rule) and requires ignoring the shattered norms of the last 10 years that came from only one side. Mitch McConnell is the most dangerous person in America. Trump and Pence are just useful idiots. But Trump is also corrupt and dangerous because he doesn't believe he is constrained by anything. And Mitch keeps proving him right.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to kurt... , December 03, 2019 at 07:00 AM
The cause goes back as far as Truman with roots all the way back to our nation's founding on the shoulders of slaves and a trail of tears, but "the shattered norms of the last 10 years that came from only one side" were the inevitable effect of a failed political system. When the US government has no obvious external enemies and imminent threats then it must manufacture them from within to maintain a meaningful commanding presence. Otherwise the government would be tasked with solving our nation's social and economic problems, which would be both costly and far too complicated for simple self-absorbed minds.
kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 04, 2019 at 10:00 AM
I disagree. What the problem is now is that non-whites and women have taken some power - and in fact may be able to displace the white christian patriarchy (actually, I think as long as we can hang onto a free and fair democracy this is inevitable) and the white christian patriarchy is trying to rule from the minority via fascism and authoritarianism.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to kurt... , December 04, 2019 at 10:31 AM
I could almost understand this obsession had you never left Indiana, presumably Indianapolis or somewhere similar, but unlikely Gary. There is greater diversity in the US than just what you have seen. Every picture tells a story, and it is a different story for each.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 04, 2019 at 10:34 AM
Overall the common ground that moves everyone everywhere is money, which in some cases is just a proxy for power and in other cases is a means to material satisfaction. If one already has power, then purchase can be had in reverse, money for power instead of power for money.
kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 04, 2019 at 05:01 PM
This is a great explaination of why we need 1. independent regulatory agencies with power, 2. white collar crime enforcement 3. rule of law and most of all 4. an independent judiciary that is not overrun by ideologues and theocrats who ignore the first amendment wholesale.
JohnH -> kurt... , December 06, 2019 at 03:44 PM
It would have been nice if Obama has demonstrated his concern for the rule of law by frog marching banksters to Rikers, closing Guantanamo, and prosecuting CIA torturers.

But kurt is only concerned with the rule of law when his party is not in power typical partisan hack.

kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 04, 2019 at 01:50 PM
I have been to every state except Alaska and have lived in the North East, Southwest, Midwest, South and California. My comment was about power structures - and the patriarchy of white supremacy and christianity. I am well aware of the diversity. Heck - I even lived next to the Great Checkerboard for 3 summers.

[Dec 04, 2019] Ukrainegaters claim that Trump Reduced the USA empire 'Global Commitments' was fraudulent from the very beginning. Trump is yet another imperial president who favours the "Full spectrum Dominance; The problem is that the time when the USA can have it are in the past. Europe finally recovered from WWII losses and that alone dooms the idea

Highly recommended!
Pelosi interference in elections might cost democrats a victory. She enraged Trump base and strengthened Trump, who before was floundering. Now election changed into "us vs them" question, which is very unfavorable to neoliberal Dems. as neolibelism as ideology is dead. She also brought back Trump some independents who othersie would stay home or vote for Dem candidate. No action of House of Representatives can changes this. Bringing Vindman and Fiona Hill to testify were huge blunders as they enhance the narrative that the Deep State, unaccountable Security Establishment, controls the government, to which Trump represents very weak, but still a challenge. As such they strengthened Trump
Essentially Dems had driven themselves into a trap. Moreover actions of the Senate can drag democrats in dirt till the elections, diminishing their chances further and firther. Can you image the effect if Schiff would be called testify under oath about his contacts with Ciaramella? Or Biden questioning about his dirty dealing with both Yanukovich administration and Provisional Government after the 2014 coup d'état (aka EuroMaydan, aka "the Revolution of dignity" ?
Notable quotes:
"... It is true that both Obama and Trump have been falsely accused of presiding over "withdrawal" and "retreat." In Obama's case, Republican hawks made this false claim so that they could attack a fantasy version of Obama's record instead of arguing against the real one. Members of the foreign policy establishment have been warning about Trump's supposed "isolationism" for four years and it still hasn't shown up. Both presidents have been criticized in such similar ways despite conducting significantly different foreign policies because these are the automatic, knee-jerk criticisms that pundits and analysts use to criticize a president. ..."
"... Because there is a strong bias in favor of "action" and "leadership," the only way most of these people know how to attack a president is to say that he is "failing" to "lead" and is guilty of "inaction." It doesn't matter if it makes sense or matches the facts. It is the safe, Blobby way to complain about a president's foreign policy without suggesting that you think there is something wrong with the underlying assumptions about the U.S. role in the world. Instead of challenging the presidents on their real records, it is easier to condemn non-existent "isolationism" and pretend that presidents that maintain or increase U.S. involvement overseas are reducing it. ..."
"... We should debate whether U.S. commitments overseas need to be reduced, but we really have to stop pretending that the U.S. has been reducing those commitments when it has actually been adding to them. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Originally from: The U.S. Has Not Reduced Its 'Global Commitments' The American Conservative by Daniel Larison

Gideon Rachman tries to find similarities between the foreign policies of Trump and Obama:

Both men would detest the thought. But, in crucial respects, the foreign policies of Donald Trump and Barack Obama are looking strikingly similar.

The wildly different styles of the two presidents have disguised the underlying continuities between their approaches to the world. But look at substance, rather than style, and the similarities are impressive.

There is usually considerable continuity in U.S. foreign policy from one president to another, but Rachman is making a stronger and somewhat different claim than that. He is arguing that their foreign policy agendas are very much alike in ways that put both presidents at odds with the foreign policy establishment, and he cites "disengagement from the Middle East" and a "pivot to Asia" as two examples of these similarities. This seems superficially plausible, but it is misleading. Despite talking a lot about disengagement, Obama and Trump chose to keep the U.S. involved in several conflicts, and Trump actually escalated the wars he inherited from Obama. To the extent that there is continuity between Obama and Trump, it has been that both of them have acceded to the conventional wisdom of "the Blob" and refused to disentangle the U.S. from Middle Eastern conflicts. Ongoing support for the war on Yemen is the ugliest and most destructive example of this continuity.

In reality, neither Obama nor Trump "focused" on Asia, and Trump's foray into pseudo-engagement with North Korea has little in common with Obama's would-be "pivot" or "rebalance." U.S. participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a major part of Obama's policy in Asia. Trump pulled out of that agreement and waged destructive trade wars instead. Once we get past generalizations and look at details, the two presidents are often diametrically opposed to one another in practice. That is what one would expect when we remember that Trump has made dismantling Obama's foreign policy achievements one of his main priorities.

The significant differences between the two become much more apparent when we look at other issues. On arms control and nonproliferation, the two could not be more different. Obama negotiated a new arms reduction treaty with New START at the start of his presidency, and he wrapped up a major nonproliferation agreement with Iran and the other members of the P5+1 in 2015. Trump reneged on the latter and seems determined to kill the former. Obama touted the benefits of genuine diplomatic engagement, while Trump has made a point of reversing and undoing most of the results of Obama's engagement with Cuba and Iran. Trump's overall hostility to genuine diplomacy makes another one of Rachman claims quite baffling:

The result is that, after his warlike "fire and fury" phase, Mr Trump is now pursuing a diplomacy-first strategy that is strongly reminiscent of Mr Obama.

Calling Trump's clumsy pattern of making threats and ultimatums a "diplomacy-first strategy" is a mistake. This is akin to saying that he is adhering to foreign policy restraint because the U.S. hasn't invaded any new countries on Trump's watch. It takes something true (Trump hasn't started a new war yet) and misrepresents it as proof that the president is serious about diplomacy and that he wants to reduce U.S. military engagement overseas. Trump enjoys the spectacle of meeting with foreign leaders, but he isn't interested in doing the work or taking the risks that successful diplomacy requires. He has shown repeatedly through his own behavior, his policy preferences, and his proposed budgets that he has no use for diplomacy or diplomats, and instead he expects to be able to bully or flatter adversaries into submission.

So Rachman is simply wrong he reaches this conclusion:

Mr Trump's reluctance to attack Iran was significant. It underlines the fact that his tough-guy rhetoric disguises a strong preference for diplomacy over force.

Let's recall that the near-miss of starting a war with Iran came as a result of the downing of an unmanned drone. The fact that the U.S. was seriously considering an attack on another country over the loss of a drone is a worrisome sign that this administration is prepared to go to war at the drop of a hat. Calling off such an insane attack was the right thing to do, but there should never have been an attack to call off. That episode does not show a "strong preference for diplomacy over force." If Trump had a strong preference for diplomacy over force, his policy would not be one of relentless hostility towards Iran. Trump does not believe in diplomatic compromise, but expects the other side to capitulate under pressure. That actually makes conflict more likely and reduces the chances of meaningful negotiations.

It is true that both Obama and Trump have been falsely accused of presiding over "withdrawal" and "retreat." In Obama's case, Republican hawks made this false claim so that they could attack a fantasy version of Obama's record instead of arguing against the real one. Members of the foreign policy establishment have been warning about Trump's supposed "isolationism" for four years and it still hasn't shown up. Both presidents have been criticized in such similar ways despite conducting significantly different foreign policies because these are the automatic, knee-jerk criticisms that pundits and analysts use to criticize a president.

Because there is a strong bias in favor of "action" and "leadership," the only way most of these people know how to attack a president is to say that he is "failing" to "lead" and is guilty of "inaction." It doesn't matter if it makes sense or matches the facts. It is the safe, Blobby way to complain about a president's foreign policy without suggesting that you think there is something wrong with the underlying assumptions about the U.S. role in the world. Instead of challenging the presidents on their real records, it is easier to condemn non-existent "isolationism" and pretend that presidents that maintain or increase U.S. involvement overseas are reducing it.

Rachman ends his column with this assertion:

In their very different ways, both Mr Obama and Mr Trump have reduced America's global commitments -- and adjusted the US to a more modest international role.

The problem here is that there has been no meaningful reduction in America's "global commitments." Which commitments have been reduced or eliminated? It would be helpful if someone could be specific about this. The U.S. has more security dependents today than it did when Trump took office. NATO has been expanded to include two new countries in just the last three years. U.S. troops are engaged in hostilities in just as many countries as they were when Trump was elected. There are more troops deployed to the Middle East at the end of this year than there were at the beginning, and that is a direct consequence of Trump's bankrupt Iran policy.

We should debate whether U.S. commitments overseas need to be reduced, but we really have to stop pretending that the U.S. has been reducing those commitments when it has actually been adding to them.

[Dec 04, 2019] A Warning

Looks like a sequel to Wolff book
Dec 04, 2019 | www.amazon.com

linda galella , November 19, 2019

"This may be our last chance to act to hold the man accountable..."

Well, that was "A Warning", for sure! The anonymous author of this tell all, Trump outter, goes on to proclaim "we must look deeper at the roots of the present disorder, which is why I have written this book."

Based on his/hers opening salvo, I proceeded with an open mind and hoped a first hand accounting of events would give me something more, something new, something unbiased...after reading every single word, I'm not sure what to think any more.

"A Warning", by Anonymous, is a well written political volume that speaks clearly, and authoritatively concerning the events that take place in the White House and with our president, Donald J. Trump. They have avoided all the histrionics that fill the tomes offered by most of the media members. There's plenty of passion and urgency behind what's being said it's just not crazed which for me, lends it an air of veracity. I'm settled for 60% of the discourse.

By chapter 5 my opinion of the author's recanting about the details of the POTUS's daily events has begun to become suspect and I'm starting to get that feeling that something is "off". I read on trying to keep my open mind, feelings at bay. It's not easy because the stories being told are starting to take on a schoolyard tenor such as: listing snippets of twitter tweets (only the "bad"parts), highlighting his inadequacies as a statesman/politician (DJT never claimed to be more than a businessman). It's not wrong to mention these things, it's the spirit in how it's done and the vacuum.

This is about the time that anonymous' logic becomes unfounded, for me; a Venn diagraming dilemma of if-then, WHAT?

Positing that POTUS has such a weakness for strong men that he would make egregious blunders of national security, as well as waffle on business and finance issues just doesn't make sense. Sorry. If for no other reason than his sheer business acumen, I'm rejecting this premise. Yes, he blunders on with lack of finesse in the deportment and statesman columns but...nope.

"A Warning" continues on pretty much in this manner, more and more juvenile until we end up firmly in the land of snark with chapter seven and "The Apologists" where the author in his anonymity proclaims how we can identify the various flavors of apologists, all they think and feel and all they need to do-to get , be and do better; presumptuous, IMHO. I'm sure snark wasn't the intended goal but it's how I arrived, for me.

All things considered, the writing and publishing are excellent. For the first half of the book, I was impressed with the author's ability to detail the story, taking the high road. The road got lonely along the way and anonymous veered to the access road, never joining yellow journalism highway to deliver "A Warning" 📚

Menkaure , November 21, 2019
Half-Hearted Epiphany

A lot of reviewers are saying "It's nothing we didn't already know," and at first, that was my conclusion as well: there's no bombshells here. But upon reflection, there actually is something that we didn't know. It answered a mystery that has perplexed me for the better part of 3 years, albeit I don't think the author knows it themselves. The million dollar question: how could anyone with any morality, dignity, patriotism, or merely a sense of self-preservation work in the Trump administration? 'A Warning' is not any kind of explosive insider expose on the workings of the current White House. It's far too vague and generalized, avoiding specifics on nearly every topic to the point of exasperation. What this book is, is an attempt by the author to justify their bad, and it must be said, weak choices. It's both a sub-conscious excuse and apology for what's clear the author has still not fully come to terms with themselves. Between the lines, you can almost see him/her trying to work it out, never quite grasping his/her own moral weakness in enabling a man they know to be dangerously incompetent. Everybody, anybody, who has ever worked for somebody else has faced this dilemma at some point in their career: when the boss is bad; you either stay for self-serving reasons (like your finances) or you make a stand before the boss damages the whole enterprise. The author is trying to make a stand, and failing at it. The alarming aspect in this instance, is the stakes are so much higher, the highest, in fact. This is a book written by somebody deep in denial, attempting to work it out but not quite willing, yet, to look themselves directly in the mirror. Chapter 7, "Apologists," is the most telling. The author is not just explaining the motivations of his/her co-participants, but is unwittingly addressing their self as well. Perhaps the most important question here, is WHO does Anonymous think they are "Warning?" at this point? For the Never-Trumpers this is all old news. For the Ever-Trumpers, they're never going to read anything unapproved by their Dear Leader. For those on the fence (if there are any) they're comatose and aren't capable of comprehension. This wasn't written for anybody but the author's own conscience, and even at that, it hedges, dances around itself, and avoids mirrors.

Amazon Customer , November 19, 2019
Discusses what is already known about Trump with little in the way of solutions.

The book tells readers what is already known and readily apparent about Donald Trump: his lack of empathy and curiousity, his volatility and impetuousness, his vengeful nature, the long-lasting damage he is doing to the country's institutions and norms.

The book does not delve into much, if any, new territory that has not been previously reported. Mentions of specific administration members and their individual actions are sparing and go little beyond general notions that many intitially thought Trump would turn his behavior around, are continually dumbfounded by him, try behind the scenes to keep the wheels of government on the road and fail due to his ADD, vanity, and pettiness, and that all know they are expendible to him.

The author devotes quite a bit of time discussing historical Greek democratic philosophy and examples to compare to the current situation. While interesting, it only serves to put Trump's personality and failings into yet another historical context which would surprise nobody who has paid any attention to this administration, government, politics, law, or history.

One of the largest problems with the author's arguments and solutions is that it ultimately lack individual courage. The author takes time to discuss the passengers aboard Flight 93 that fought back against the hijackers on 9/11. He/she even ends the book with the famous last words of one of the passengers who fought back: " Let's roll." While we do not know the identity of the author, his or her actions in publishing this book are not the same. The actions of passengers deciding to fight back against hijackers was not anonymous. They did not fail to show their faces. They met the danger head-on and with full knowledge of the consequences of failure. They did not try to leave it to others. The author gives the coda that the general public needs to wake up and do something, but then does not get in the aisle with the rest of the passengers to fight back. While the author's explanation of remaining anonymous is logical (that the message is more important than the messenger), the author ultimately falls prey to one of the flaws of everyone else who serves Trump: that he/she is not willing to speak truth directly to power regardless of the horrific consequences of not doing so. Former Senator Jeff Flake and Representative Justin Amash have made many of the same philosophical and logical points as the author regarding Trump's damaging actions publicly, to their own political demise. The reader cannot help but wonder if the author is still in the administration taking daily part in the passivity of those who know better but will not say it to Trump's face.

The book offers much in the way of problems but little in the way of solutions. The author suggests Americans be engaged in civics and politics at local and state levels. The author suggests that we find the political middle and return to civility. The author does not posit how the reader should, given such a dire warning, convince the many people to change course, who: 1) see what Trump really is and actually like it, 2) have been completely fooled about who Trump really is but will not respond to facts, logic, and/or self-interest, and 3) hold power to do something about Trump (i.e.: 53 Republican Senators) but remain passive due to a variety of personal, social, political, or economic factors.

Ultimately, the book puts forth an important analysis of Trump, the sycophants that surround him, and the damage he continues to do. But it doesn't come with the gravity of someone who is willing to risk his/her own skin in order to try to save the country that he/she seems to hold so dear. The message would mean more if the author was willing to risk all like the passengers of Flight 93.

joel wing , November 22, 2019
Disappointing Repeats major faults w/Trump without adding any new details

A Warning by Anonymous who claims to be a senior Trump administration official comes on the heal of previous tell all books such as Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury and Bob Woodward's Fear. Unfortunately, if one read those books or has paid attention to the news there is nothing really new in A Warning, which outlines the argument against the Trump presidency.

Anonymous' argument is that Trump is unfit for the presidency and most be voted out of office in the next election. The author's complaints are well known. The president knows nothing about how the government, the economy or foreign policy works which leads to endless problems as he makes pronouncements, Tweets, or asks his staff to do things that can't be done, and sometimes might even be illegal. He contemplated telling the National Guard that was deployed to the border with Mexico to shoot people trying to enter illegally as a deterrent. Trump isn't inquisitive, doesn't read, and is an avid consumer of conspiracy theories. Trump for example is so adverse to reading and has such a short attention span that his staff has been reduced to briefing him with just one graphic or one slide that represents one main issue, and to repeat that point over and over in the hopes that it will sink in with the chief executive. Many times that fails. Instead, Trump's main sources of information are cable news and a variety of conspiracy theories he hears or makes up himself. The president's language is divisive. Trump revels in smack talking, and one of his favorite times is to go to rallies where he can unleash a new line against his opponents. He enjoys being a rabble rouser and inciting his followers. The president came into office with a diverse cabinet of generals, politicians, and businessmen, but most of them have left. Not only that, but some of them were willing to stand up to the president and tell him things he didn't want to hear. The author considers himself part of this group. Now Trump is surrounded by people that only tell him what he wants to hear. All together that has led the White House into one crisis after another. Trump Tweets he wanted out of Syria without telling any of his staff beforehand. The White House had outlined a $2 trillion infrastructure bill with the Democrats, but then Trump got mad watching cable TV before a planned meeting and walked away from the deal. The author has one great characterization at an end of a chapter where he says the government is like one of Trump's companies. It's badly managed, a sociopath is at its head, there is infighting, lawsuits, debt, shady deals, and everything is focused upon the owner rather than the customers.

Anonymous does make one new argument you rarely hear, and that is Trump is not a conservative. He starts off with the fact that Trump has changed his party affiliation several times. He also has violated many of the hall marks of conservatism such as free trade, fiscal responsibility, and cutting the size of the federal government. Trump for example, has created a huge budget deficit with his tax cuts while continuing to increase public spending.

Again, the problem with the book isn't the message, it's just that his has all been said before. I was at least expecting some interesting stories to go along with this laundry list of faults, but was disappointed by the lack of them. In the end, if this is the first book you're thinking of reading about Trump you will get the main arguments against his presidency. If you've been following Trump and his faults, then there's little to see here.

E.M. Tennessen , November 21, 2019
Familiar info in a new package

"A Warning" confirms with additional anecdotes what we already know--useful if you don't want to go all over the web for "all the news" about the White House's inner workings and the President's behavior. It's well-written but would have been more compelling if the op-eds, snark and name-calling had been edited out. Clearly, not written (but possibly edited) by someone with a journalism background. The chapter on "character" was the most valuable as it serves as a reminder of what we are looking for in a leader of our country, or any leader, in fact--someone with integrity, honesty, service-minded, respectful of others, clear-thinking, etc. It's clear from what's written here that if the President is re-elected, it says more about our nation than it does about a 73-year-old man who clearly has attention deficit disorder, possibly a reading disability, and absolutely no experience with statecraft. (Nor does he care. I don't know what's worse.) I'm sure this book will become a part of our interesting historical record!

DalkasChris , November 22, 2019
Don't Bother

I purchased this book (against my better judgment) because I thought maybe the insights in this book would be enlightening. But I wish I hadn't spent the money. First, most of what was related in these pages, other than the opinion parts, were already well known through media, especially The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as other other media outlets.

Second, anyone paying attention would have anticipated Trump's actions. What made me want to vomit after finishing this book was the realization that the Republican party doesn't care and will continue to support Trump, regardless of the evidence that he is not fit to serve and the author despite issuing this "warning", doesn't have the guts or the patriotism to come out of the shadows.

I also take issue with the author's portrayal of "never Trumpers" as crazed haters. That's the farthest from the truth. Many of us recognized early on that Trump is agrifter and a liar and an unscrupulous opportunist. We are not crazed; we are sounding the alarm! We are sensible patriots who love our country and our Constitution, who do not want to see our discourse redown into tribal factions and, possibly, into civil war (hopefully, if such does occur it will be cyber rather than armed conflict).

Every single day we are asked to ignore what our eyes can clearly see and what our ears can clearly hear and our brains can easily deduce in order to allow Trump's reality to proceed unquestioned. He doesn't understand he is not a monarch and his children are not heirs to the throne. The lies are non-stop and getting worse and the people surrounding him, including the author, are doing NOTHING to reign him in.

Last, we are in the midst of an impeachment inquiry. I've read every deposition that has been released and watched every minute of direct testimony during the hearings. It is without contest that Trump attempted to extort and bribe Ukraine in order to have the newly inaugurated president of Ukraine announce an investigation of Joe and Hunter Biden's involvement with Burisma. Sondland made it abundantly clear that no such actual investigation would be necessary, just the announcement of an investigation to tarnish Joe Biden's reputation and electoral standing. Trump's act was sleazy and wrong and illegal (check the statute about soliciting foreign involvement in domestic elections).

I'm infuriated by the author's insinuation that we who oppose such actions by any president are somehow deranged. The writer seems to think that impeachment and removal from office for such dirty tricks involving a foreign government should be somehow, beyond the pale for a civilized society. NO! Trump has obviously abused his office and put an ally in danger by withholding funding HE WAS NOT AUTHORIZED TO WITHHOLD, according to our Constitution. The author seems to think we should just cover our eyes to these transgressions and wait until the next election to vote Trump out.

What about all of the damage Trump can perpetrate on our democracy and on our foreign policy. He has done so much damage alrready, how can we allow him another year and keep our fingers crossed that it doesn't get worse? Also, since Trump was obviously trying to influence our upcoming elections with his dirty dealings, how can we allow him to remain in office knowing that he will do anything to cheat to win?

We anti-Trumpers (not never-Trumpers) are constantly accused of trying to perpetuate a "coup" by trying to remove Trump from office via either impeachment or through the 25th. That would only be true if Hilllary Clinton was installed in Trump's place. But If Trump leaves office before his first term is up, Mike Pence will assume the duties of president, not HRC. -- certainly not a "coup" to anyone who has half a brain and understands how our system works. It would still be a Republican administration and there would still be a Republican Senate. Certainly NOT a coup, just a Constitutional succession of the next in.line.

With regard to restoring a "climate of truth", that is impossible so long as alternative media (including FOX) exists. We Americans used to share a truth courtesy of the likes of Walter Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley and others. Now, there's "left" media and a "right" media and they both exist in their own realities. We no longer share the same reality. If we no.longer share the same immutable facts and truths, then how can we work out our differences and our needs so we can all come to a consensus?

This book left me feeling angry and afraid for the future of my country, especially because people like the "anomynous" author doesn't take his citizenship and patriotism a step forward and tell what he knows on the record.

Don't waste your money. The author is a coward and should never profit from his lack of courage.

World Traveller , November 22, 2019
Should Have Remained an Op Ed

This is not a very good book . I say this even though I was so looking forward to it , even buying it in pre-publication. On the publication date, I woke up early and started to read it, only to find it repetitious and general in nature.
Trump is described as amoral, indifferent, inattentive and impulsive – repeatedly. But with little background. The author is afraid of being identified as such so he deletes specific information that may later identify him. High ranking officials are identified as "high ranking officials". Important meetings are identified as "important meetings".
I did not read the original article that led to the book but It feels like the author took the article and padded it into a book. Disappointing: a waste of time; a waste of money.

Uh How How How , November 22, 2019
Self-aggrandizing, short on new info, long on whining written by a coward

I am a critic of this Administration.

First off, I really enjoyed the author's listing of every sleazy thing Trump has ever done (none of which are new or even greatly detailed), followed by snarky quips about Democrats taking power with too much zeal to investigate. That's the kind of 'logic' we are looking at here. The argument is that there is a lawless criminal in the White House but it's better to whine about him in print than do anything about it.

Secondly, there is no new information in this book. There is nothing here I have not heard before. There are no damning conversations or dramatic revelations. This book packages up the reporting of every news agency to date and just vomits it out at us. We've heard this all before. We had the author's level of indignation three years ago. We came to these conclusions three years ago. It is insulting that the author presents this material with a 'ta-daaa!' It's a scam.

Thirdly, Trump does what he does because weasels like the author of this 'book' let him. No matter what justifications this guy has for himself, he is still nothing but an enabler, and is complicit in the actions of this Administration. The author spends most of the book whining about the things Trump has done, takes no responsibility for anything, and does a LOT of "CYA." (cover your butt).

This is a 'nothing-burger.'

[Dec 04, 2019] A Warning A manifesto of the pro-war "Resistance" in the American state by Andre Damon

Notable quotes:
"... The anonymous author of the piece revealed that "many of the senior officials in [Trump's] own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations." The "adults in the room," he claimed, are leading a "two-track presidency." ..."
"... The author, "Anonymous," has been publicly identified as Guy Snodgrass, the US Navy commander who served as the communications secretary for the Department of Defense under Gen. James Mattis. Posting a report of his alleged authorship on Twitter, Snodgrass cryptically mused, "the swirl continues. ..."
"... If the allegation is true, it would have ominous implications. It would mean that the New York Times gave the military an opportunity to denounce a president as "amoral," "impetuous," "petty" and "ineffective," and to all but advocate his removal via unconstitutional means. ..."
"... We do not know whether Snodgrass is the author of A Warning , but the themes of the National Defense Strategy document are consistent with the emphasis of the book. ..."
"... A Warning makes one thing abundantly clear: the "Resistance" to Trump's policies within the state, which is the basis of the Democrats' opposition to him, centers on claims that Trump is insufficiently aggressive in defending and expanding America's imperial interests against Russia and China. ..."
"... A Warning argues that "America's dominant role on the international stage is at risk today," but Trump is "not positioning us to strengthen our empire of liberty." It continues: "Instead, he's left the empire's flank vulnerable to power-hungry competitors" with his "isolationist, what's-in-it-for-me attitude toward the world." ..."
"... Politically, the author appears to be an anti-Trump Republican. He urges his "fellow Republicans" to vote for a centrist Democrat if one is nominated--as long as the candidate is not a "socialist." ..."
"... The struggle to remove Trump and to hold him to account for his real crimes will have nothing to do with people such as "Anonymous," or the Democratic impeachment campaign that is totally aligned with his pro-war agenda. ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.wsws.org

On September 5, 2018, the New York Times published an op-ed by a "senior official" in the White House, entitled "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration."

The anonymous author of the piece revealed that "many of the senior officials in [Trump's] own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations." The "adults in the room," he claimed, are leading a "two-track presidency."

In that op-ed, he revealed that "there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president."

In other words, members of the executive branch had discussed a coup to remove a sitting president, which they pulled back from only because "no one wanted" a "constitutional crisis."

One year later, the same unnamed official, whose identity is known to the Times , has published a book elaborating on themes elucidated in the editorial. A Warning is currently #1 on the New York Times ' nonfiction bestseller list.

The author, "Anonymous," has been publicly identified as Guy Snodgrass, the US Navy commander who served as the communications secretary for the Department of Defense under Gen. James Mattis. Posting a report of his alleged authorship on Twitter, Snodgrass cryptically mused, "the swirl continues."

If the allegation is true, it would have ominous implications. It would mean that the New York Times gave the military an opportunity to denounce a president as "amoral," "impetuous," "petty" and "ineffective," and to all but advocate his removal via unconstitutional means.

Notably, Snodgrass claims to be the author of perhaps the most important military document produced under the Trump administration, the unclassified summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which declared that "Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security."

We do not know whether Snodgrass is the author of A Warning , but the themes of the National Defense Strategy document are consistent with the emphasis of the book.

A Warning makes one thing abundantly clear: the "Resistance" to Trump's policies within the state, which is the basis of the Democrats' opposition to him, centers on claims that Trump is insufficiently aggressive in defending and expanding America's imperial interests against Russia and China.

Cmdr. Guy M. Snodgrass is shown in this Defense Department photograph in Japan in 2016. MATTHEW C. DUNCKER/U.S. NAVY

A Warning argues that "America's dominant role on the international stage is at risk today," but Trump is "not positioning us to strengthen our empire of liberty." It continues: "Instead, he's left the empire's flank vulnerable to power-hungry competitors" with his "isolationist, what's-in-it-for-me attitude toward the world."

The allegations continue:

The president lacks a cogent agenda for dealing with these rivals because he doesn't recognize them as long-term threats. He only sees near-term deals. "Russia is a foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically But that doesn't mean they are bad," the president said in one interview

What he doesn't see, especially with China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, is that their governments are programmed to oppose us

The United States is taking its eye off the ball with China, and our national response has been ad hoc and indecisive under President Trump. We have no serious plan to safeguard our "empire of liberty" against China's rise. There is only the ever-changing negotiating positions of a grifter in chief, which will not be enough to win what is fast becoming the next Cold War. President Trump is myopically focused on trade with China, which is only part of the picture

In a July 2018 interview, the president was asked to name America's biggest global adversary. He didn't lead the list with China, which is stealing American innovation at a scale never before seen in history, or Russia, which is working to tear our country apart.

And on and on.

In response to such concerns, the writer makes clear that sections of this staff were contemplating an extra-constitutional coup to replace Trump by declaring the American president mad and therefore "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office," in the words of the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution, which outlines presidential succession in the case of a presidential disability.

A back-of-the-envelope "whip count" was conducted of officials who were most concerned about the deteriorating situation. Names of cabinet-level officials were placed on a mental list. These were folks who, in the worst case scenario, would be amenable to huddling discreetly in order to assess how bad the situation was getting I froze when I first heard someone suggest that we might be getting into "Twenty-fifth territory."

Among the figures noted in the press as possibly amenable to such an endeavor were former Defense Secretary Mattis, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly and former National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster.

The writer describes what the removal of the president via the 25th Amendment would look like:

Removal of the president by his own cabinet would be perceived as a coup. The end result would be unrest in the United States the likes of which we haven't seen since maybe the Civil War. Millions would not accept the outcome, perhaps including the president himself, and many would take to the streets on both sides. Violence would be almost inevitable.

If Trump is "removed from office and he refuses to go He will not exit quietly -- or easily It is why at many turns he suggests 'coups' are afoot and a 'civil war' is in the offing."

One does not know whether the author has really had a change of heart about overthrowing the American government in a coup, or, if he is a military person, he fears a court martial for treason. In any event, he concludes, "In a democracy we don't overthrow our leaders when they're underperforming. That's for third-rate banana republics and police states."

How reassuring

After only three paragraphs weighing in on the merits of the impeachment proceeding, the author concludes, "One option -- and one option only -- stands above the rest as the ultimate way to hold Trump accountable" -- to unseat him in the 2020 election.

Politically, the author appears to be an anti-Trump Republican. He urges his "fellow Republicans" to vote for a centrist Democrat if one is nominated--as long as the candidate is not a "socialist."

Two "warnings" are to be drawn from this book:

First is the enormous crisis of democracy in the United States, which has degenerated to the point where cabinet officials, most of whom are or were military officers, abetted by the media, discuss a coup as a legitimate means to resolve policy differences. The president, meanwhile, repeatedly threatens to say in office past the two-term constitutional limit, and effectively asserts unlimited and dictatorial executive powers.

While the threat posed by Trump to democratic rights is immense, no one who opposes war and attacks on democratic rights can have anything to do with the aims and intentions of the author of this book. Behind his pilfered, cobbled-together quotations -- he calls Plato an American historian -- and his ridiculous attempt at gravitas, he is a bloodthirsty advocate of imperialist war.

The Democrats, who have upheld this man and people like him as the "adults in the room" and the antipode to Trump, are infected with the same poison.

The struggle to remove Trump and to hold him to account for his real crimes will have nothing to do with people such as "Anonymous," or the Democratic impeachment campaign that is totally aligned with his pro-war agenda.

[Dec 04, 2019] The author of the book A Warning looks like the same author as the author of the NYT Resistance Manifesto. The books author has been publicly identified as Guy Snodgrass, the US Navy commander who served as the communications secretary for the Department of Defense under Gen. James Mattis.

Dec 04, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

'A Warning: A manifesto of the pro-war "Resistance" in the American state ' Andre Damon, 4 December 2019 , wsws.org

On September 5, 2018 , the New York Times published an op-ed by a "senior official" in the White House, entitled "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration."

The anonymous author of the piece revealed that "many of the senior officials in [Trump's] own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations." The "adults in the room," he claimed, are leading a "two-track presidency."

In that op-ed, he revealed that "there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president."

..........................................

One year later , the same unnamed official, whose identity is known to the Times, has published a book elaborating on themes elucidated in the editorial. A Warning is currently #1 on the New York Times ' nonfiction bestseller list.

The author, "Anonymous," has been publicly identified as Guy Snodgrass, the US Navy commander who served as the communications secretary for the Department of Defense under Gen. James Mattis. Posting a report of his alleged authorship on Twitter, Snodgrass cryptically mused, "the swirl continues."

If the allegation is true, it would have ominous implications. It would mean that the New York Times gave the military an opportunity to denounce a president as "amoral," "impetuous," "petty" and "ineffective," and to all but advocate his removal via unconstitutional means.
Notably, Snodgrass claims to be the author of perhaps the most important military document produced under the Trump administration, the unclassified summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which declared that "Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security."

We do not know whether Snodgrass is the author of A Warning, but the themes of the National Defense Strategy document are consistent with the emphasis of the book.
A Warning makes one thing abundantly clear: the "Resistance" to Trump's policies within the state, which is the basis of the Democrats' opposition to him, centers on claims that Trump is insufficiently aggressive in defending and expanding America's imperial interests against Russia and China."
.......................................................
The Democrats, who have upheld this man and people like him as the "adults in the room" and the antipode to Trump, are infected with the same poison.
The struggle to remove Trump and to hold him to account for his real crimes will have nothing to do with people such as "Anonymous," or the Democratic impeachment campaign that is totally aligned with his pro-war agenda."

and another 20 inches of text. you'll also remember that the NYT published a whispered rumor last year that 'military insiders' were saying privately that DT really meant to leave NATO, which was nonsense. that rumor led to the infamous 'defense of NATO act', which every senator vote for, and almost all of the house (3 didn't vote, conveniently.)

[Dec 04, 2019] The Anti-Trust Election

This is from 2016 election cycle but still relevant. Money quote: "Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse. "
Despicable neoliberal MSM do not like to discuss real issue that facing people in 220 elections. They like to discuss personalities. Propagandists of Vichy left like Madcow spend hours discussing Ukrainegate instead of real issues facing the nation.
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump has promised to make deregulation one of the focal points of his presidency. If Trump is elected, the trend toward rising market concentration and all of the problems that come with it are likely to continue. ..."
"... If Clinton is elected, it's unlikely that her administration would be active enough in antitrust enforcement for my taste. But at least she acknowledges that something needs to be done about this growing problem, and any movement toward more aggressive enforcement of antitrust regulation would be more than welcome. ..."
"... Once again we have a stark 'choice' in this election...one party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them. Like flipping a coin: heads, the predator class wins; tails, we lose. ..."
"... "Vote third party to register your disgust..." and waste the opportunity, at least in a few states, to affect the national outcome (in many states the outcome is not in doubt, so, thanks to our stupid electoral college system, millions of voters could equally well stay home, vote third party, or write in their dog). ..."
"... But then it dawned on me: antitrust enforcement is largely up to the president and his picked advisers. If Democrats really think it is so damned important, why has Clinton's old boss Barack Obama done so very, very little with it? ..."
"... Josh Mason thinks a Clinton administration may push on corporate short-termism if not on anti-trust. We'll see, but seeing as the Obama administration didn't do much I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary doesn't either. ..."
"... They ignored the housing bubble, don't seem to understand the connection between manufacturing and wealth (close your eyes and imagine your life with no manufactured goods, because they are all imported and your economy only produces a few low value-added raw materials such as timber or exotic animals) then you will see that allowing the US to deindustrialize was a really, world-historic mistake. ..."
"... Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse. ..."
Oct 08, 2016 | economistsview.typepad.com
Economist's View
I have a new column:

The Anti-Trust Election of 2016 :

... ... ...

Donald Trump has promised to make deregulation one of the focal points of his presidency. If Trump is elected, the trend toward rising market concentration and all of the problems that come with it are likely to continue.

We'll hear the usual arguments about ineffective government and the magic of markets to justify ignoring the problem.

If Clinton is elected, it's unlikely that her administration would be active enough in antitrust enforcement for my taste. But at least she acknowledges that something needs to be done about this growing problem, and any movement toward more aggressive enforcement of antitrust regulation would be more than welcome.

JohnH : October 07, 2016 at 09:10 AM , October 07, 2016 at 09:10 AM
"We'll hear the usual arguments about ineffective government" which has been amply demonstrated during the last 7 years by negligible enforcement of anti-trust laws.

Once again we have a stark 'choice' in this election...one party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them. Like flipping a coin: heads, the predator class wins; tails, we lose.

Vote third party to register your disgust and to open the process to people who don't just represent the predator class.

supersaurus -> JohnH... October 07, 2016 at 10:05 AM , October 07, 2016 at 10:05 AM
"Vote third party to register your disgust..." and waste the opportunity, at least in a few states, to affect the national outcome (in many states the outcome is not in doubt, so, thanks to our stupid electoral college system, millions of voters could equally well stay home, vote third party, or write in their dog).
JohnH -> JohnH... , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 04:32 PM
Thomas Frank: "I was pleased to learn, for example, that this year's Democratic platform includes strong language on antitrust enforcement, and that Hillary Clinton has hinted she intends to take the matter up as president. Hooray! Taking on too-powerful corporations would be healthy, I thought when I first learned that, and also enormously popular. But then it dawned on me: antitrust enforcement is largely up to the president and his picked advisers. If Democrats really think it is so damned important, why has Clinton's old boss Barack Obama done so very, very little with it?"
http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/10/07/some-clintons-pledges-sound-great-until-you-remember-whos-president

One party who won't enforce existing laws and another who will just get rid of them...a distinction without a difference.

Who do you prefer to have guarding the chicken house...a fox or a coyote? Sane people would say, 'neither.'

Peter K. -> DrDick... , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 01:13 PM
Yes and Clinton supporters attacked Sanders over this during the primaries.

Josh Mason thinks a Clinton administration may push on corporate short-termism if not on anti-trust. We'll see, but seeing as the Obama administration didn't do much I wouldn't be surprised if Hillary doesn't either.

http://jwmason.org/slackwire/links-for-october-6/

"At Vox,* Rachelle Sampson has a piece on corporate short-termism. Supports my sense that this is an area where there may be space to move left in a Clinton administration."

* http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/10/3/13141852/short-term-capitalism-clinton-economics

Henry Carey's ghost : , Friday, October 07, 2016 at 09:35 PM
Economists have said for thirty years that free trade will benefit the US. Increasingly the country looks like a poor non-industrialized third world country. Why should anyone trust US economists?

They ignored the housing bubble, don't seem to understand the connection between manufacturing and wealth (close your eyes and imagine your life with no manufactured goods, because they are all imported and your economy only produces a few low value-added raw materials such as timber or exotic animals) then you will see that allowing the US to deindustrialize was a really, world-historic mistake.

Trust in experts is what has transformed the US from a world leader in 1969 with the moon landing to a country with no high speed rail, no modern infrastructure, incapable of producing a computer or ipad or ship.

Trump_vs_deep_state will outlive Trump and the people's faith in economists will only be restored after the next financial collapse if all of the financial sector is liquidated, all the universities and think tanks go bankrupt and the know-nothing free traders disappear from our public discourse.

>

[Dec 03, 2019] Something about Bellingcat credibility

Dec 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

The blogger Eliot Higgins made waves early in the decade by covering the war in Syria from a laptop in his apartment in Leicester, England, while caring for his infant daughter. In 2014, he founded Bellingcat, an open-source news outlet that has grown to include roughly a dozen staff members, with an office in The Hague. Mr. Higgins attributed his skill not to any special knowledge of international conflicts or digital data, but to the hours he had spent playing video games , which, he said, gave him the idea that any mystery can be cracked.
...
Bellingcat journalists have spread the word about their techniques in seminars attended by journalists and law-enforcement officials. Along with grants from groups like the Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, the seminars are a significant source of revenue for Bellingcat, a nonprofit organization.

[Dec 03, 2019] Exciting new product intro from Max Blumenthal: Maddow's Tears™, a new formula that produces soothing, cooling moisture in politically convenient circumstances

Jul 09, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Daniel , Jul 8, 2018 3:35:44 PM | 57

Exciting new product intro from Max Blumenthal: Maddow's Tears™, a new formula that produces soothing, cooling moisture in politically convenient circumstances.
Daniel , Jul 8, 2018 4:25:49 PM | 58
Interesting case of honesty from The Guardian:

"I am at a loss to see what motive the Kremlin might have to commit murders on foreign soil during the buildup, let alone the enactment, of a sporting event that is of mammoth chauvinist significance to Russia."

"The most obvious motive for these attacks would surely be from someone out to embarrass the Russian president, Vladimir Putin – someone from his enemies, rather than from his friends or employees. But once again we have no clue."

[Dec 03, 2019] Something about Bellingcat credibility

Dec 03, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

The blogger Eliot Higgins made waves early in the decade by covering the war in Syria from a laptop in his apartment in Leicester, England, while caring for his infant daughter. In 2014, he founded Bellingcat, an open-source news outlet that has grown to include roughly a dozen staff members, with an office in The Hague. Mr. Higgins attributed his skill not to any special knowledge of international conflicts or digital data, but to the hours he had spent playing video games , which, he said, gave him the idea that any mystery can be cracked.
...
Bellingcat journalists have spread the word about their techniques in seminars attended by journalists and law-enforcement officials. Along with grants from groups like the Open Society Foundations, founded by George Soros, the seminars are a significant source of revenue for Bellingcat, a nonprofit organization.

[Dec 01, 2019] Stephen Cohen (one of the few pundits who actually knows something about Russia) about false narrative that persist in the Democratic Party

Dec 01, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> anne... , November 28, 2019 at 03:46 PM

Stephen Cohen (one of the few pundits who actually knows something about Russia:)

"Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained, ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising.

We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation "Intelgate," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book. Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report.

And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him?"

https://www.thenation.com/article/inconvenient-truths-2/

ilsm -> JohnH... , November 29, 2019 at 09:19 AM
The Russia thingie/falsehoods are part of corrupt demrats assault on the US constitution. They are even now predicting their loss in 2020 due to "interference" and people wanting to know how corrupt the DNC [front running] select has been!

Demrat allies in the shadow revolving door government of neocon humbug factories are denouncing Trump for his ignoring their war mongering imperial objects.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , November 30, 2019 at 08:31 AM
"...assault on the US constitution..."

[Adding assault to injury? The US Constitution was damning enough on its own. What are they thinking inside the deep state apparatus? Don't they know that power and privilege is reserved for holders of wealth by the US Constitution? Who do they think that they are really working for?]

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to JohnH... , November 30, 2019 at 08:26 AM
Friend ilsm may be less nuts than it appears, but friend ilsm is not less incomprehensible than it appears. Would it be out of place to thank you for ilsm's sake?

Our two-party system was largely useless after FDR, but our two-party system has been largely destructive since 1968. Let me know if anything really changes.

JohnH -> anne... , November 28, 2019 at 03:54 PM
Aaron Maté: "Impeachment Non-Bombshells Endanger Democrats in 2020

Unmerited hype about Gordon Sondland's testimony has overshadowed the potential damage that the impeachment saga poses for the presidential election."
https://www.thenation.com/article/impeachment-sondland-democrats/

Have I ever said how pathetic the Democratic establishment is? As for Pelosi's vaunted tactical skills? What BS!

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to JohnH... , November 30, 2019 at 06:25 AM
Pelosi has been wagged by her party's tail.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , November 30, 2019 at 06:29 AM
not that I would be ordinarily predisposed to defend her. The problem with delusions is that they can easily become self-perpetuating, even easier with the right hand on the tiller.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , November 30, 2019 at 06:34 AM
Sail Away

Pearls Before Swine

I have just come back from the land beyond the mountain
This is not a story I was told
When all the people are made out of wood
They build their houses of bones

Sail away, Oh sail away
The edge of the world is near
Sail away, Oh sail away from here

I have just come back from the land beyond the mountain
All the cigarettes are hand rolled
Nothing is bought and nobody is sold
And everything's made of gold

I have just come back from the land beyond the mountain
There a man with wounds I did see
Said: I do not want to escape from reality
I want reality to escape from me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBn9Ytr9o-c

Pearls Before Swine - Sail away

[Nov 29, 2019] Customer reviews Mr. Putin Operative in the Kremlin (Geopolitics in the 21st Century)

Fiona Hill books does not worth even 5% of any book written by Professor Stephen Cohen. In other words they are pathetic junk. Of the class that in UK(ream MI6) writes Luke Harding. may be they both have the same handlers. She is just a regular MIC prostitute, like all neocons.
And Putin is a KGB thug is a terrible. simplistic argument. Pure propaganda. This isn't about either Putin (or Trump) really, its about the long history of US-Russia relations and all that has occurred.
Notable quotes:
"... As I was reading, I felt that there was a strong bias against Putin and Russia by the authors ..."
"... "The onus will now be on the West to shore up its own home defenses, reduce the economic and political vulnerabilities, and create its own contingency plans if it wants to counter Vladimir Putin's new twenty-first century warfare." ..."
"... For anyone who is a Russian scholar, this is proof that the authors get Russia very wrong. They reveal themselves to be in the neocon camp of hawks who want to reactivate a new Cold War very badly. ..."
"... I am reminded of some books in the 1950s that were secretly backed by the CIA, and this book certainly feels like it has the same flavor. Hill and Gaddy totally ignore Russian scholars like Stephen Cohen in his analysis of the Russian situation, which is totally the opposite of mainstream thinking unfortunately these days. ..."
"... The neocon vision of what's wrong with Russia is so biased that it also ignores the writings of such foreign policy figures as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Briezinski, former US Secretarys of State, both of whom are much more closer in their visions of Russia to Cohen than they are to Hill and Gaddy. ..."
"... Yet the authors see only politics in Mr. Putin's tactics, and play down the West's own role in making him an antagonist. They take him to task for painting the Ukrainian insurrection of 2014 as a "fascist coup," and for denouncing Ukrainian nationalist partisan Stepan Bandera as a Nazi collaborator. Bandera and Hitler may have never met, but this was not necessary for the arming and use of Bandera's OUN to commit atrocities and war crimes on then-Soviet territory. Contrary to the authors' whitewash, Bandera's later persecution by Nazis consisted of special treatment in German camps, held on ice for postwar use. Of relevance is that the "regime change" of 2014 was largely the work of west Ukrainians - the backbone of the OUN movement and the very folks who today make Bandera a national hero. When he paints west Ukraine as again collaborating with Russia's enemy, Putin stands on solid historical ground. The West continues destabilizing actions all the while it blames Putin for the same. ..."
"... I rather think Putin grasps these "motives, mentality, and values" very well, as they seem inseparable from European economic hegemony and NATO expansion. His managed democracy comes off looking rather clean cut compared to US politics following the Citizens United ruling, where American oligarch David Koch engineered a fundamental change for the worse via the Supreme Court. In foreign policy, Putin has indeed been repeatedly "rebuffed" by the West for proposing anything that makes Russia a leading equal in its sphere. This shows not limited contacts with the West, but rather ongoing and painful ones. ..."
"... A poorly written smear that would make McCarthy blush. Recycled fear for the gullible citizens so desperately uneducated and unread. The Military Industrial Corporatists will pass it around as Bible ..."
Nov 29, 2019 | www.amazon.com

karenann , August 8, 2015

A deeply biased book

Hill and Gaddy are pretty good scholars. They do a good job of providing a psychological profile of Vladimir Putin and the way he operates in the Kremlin. But they have their limitations. One of the more annoying aspects of the book is that the authors return again and again both to Putin's graduate thesis on an American management book and his 1999 manifesto on his millennial goals for Russia. A better set of writers would have covered both subjects in one section and then moved on. But Hill and Gaddy sprinkle references to these documents about five times each throughout the book, which leads me to suspect that they are padding what would otherwise be a much shorter book.

As I was reading, I felt that there was a strong bias against Putin and Russia by the authors, but I couldn't quite pinpoint their slant until the last sentence, which is a doozy:

"The onus will now be on the West to shore up its own home defenses, reduce the economic and political vulnerabilities, and create its own contingency plans if it wants to counter Vladimir Putin's new twenty-first century warfare."

For anyone who is a Russian scholar, this is proof that the authors get Russia very wrong. They reveal themselves to be in the neocon camp of hawks who want to reactivate a new Cold War very badly. And in their analysis, they ignore the fact that Russia as a country is in fact deeply defensive country far more concerned with its internal boundaries and control than some aggressive Soviet power after World War II.

To be sure, Mr. Putin is no choir boy. Interestingly enough, the authors do not fully investigate the potentially criminal behavior that Putin performed with Russia's war on Chechnya. Hill and Gaddy could have strengthened their case if they had included some deeper analysis of Putin's behavior on this troublesome part of the Russian Empire. But instead they were intent on plowing their own rut, which while somewhat interesting -- ultimately becomes a little bit too pedantic.

I am reminded of some books in the 1950s that were secretly backed by the CIA, and this book certainly feels like it has the same flavor. Hill and Gaddy totally ignore Russian scholars like Stephen Cohen in his analysis of the Russian situation, which is totally the opposite of mainstream thinking unfortunately these days.

But in ignoring what Cohen has to say, the predominant attitude of the American and European foreign policy establishment is in lock step with Hill and Gaddy, which is why the book has been so heavily publicized.

The neocon vision of what's wrong with Russia is so biased that it also ignores the writings of such foreign policy figures as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Briezinski, former US Secretarys of State, both of whom are much more closer in their visions of Russia to Cohen than they are to Hill and Gaddy.

Yes, this book is all about sticking to the Rooskies, unfortunately. And the hidden motivator are all of the defense contracts that NATO can suck up, as well as all the bankers' books in reaming the Ukrainian economy as badly as they've reamed Greece. But the authors never tell you that this is their motivation, until the last paragraph.

Ultimately, this is an unsatisfying work.

corkpuller , July 22, 2018
Unprofessional writing, a high school level polemic, sad to say

Unprofessional writing, a profound disappointment. Reads like a high school essay - one that repeats a single thought over and over, even re-using the same phrases - than a proper biography. The content feels like it has been skimmed only from public sources. There is no sign of insight among the authors, nor even a curiosity as to what makes this important figure unique. One wonders where the interests lie in those who wrote laudative reviews. I am sad to say that this book is nothing more than a polemic, and moreover one that is repetitive and boring.

R. L. Huff , April 23, 2015
OK but blinkered

- look at Vladimir Putin and Mr. Putin's Russia. The book is based on intensive research and interviews with Putin, but I find it skewed by the Western biases it brings to the table. Yet it's not a demonization, as is so much of the Western Putin literature. It gives him credit for standing by the multi-racial and cultural realities of post-Soviet Russia. Compared to the real hardcore nationalists, Putin in fact has come across as a domestic liberal. The rising tide of Russian arch-nationalism, however, has taken its toll. Authors Hill and Gaddy correctly assess Putin's playing the nationalist card as a political manouver to keep one step ahead of his opponents - most of whom are not pro-Western liberal dissidents by any means. Courting the Russian Orthodox Church in recent years was one such strategy.

Yet the authors see only politics in Mr. Putin's tactics, and play down the West's own role in making him an antagonist. They take him to task for painting the Ukrainian insurrection of 2014 as a "fascist coup," and for denouncing Ukrainian nationalist partisan Stepan Bandera as a Nazi collaborator. Bandera and Hitler may have never met, but this was not necessary for the arming and use of Bandera's OUN to commit atrocities and war crimes on then-Soviet territory. Contrary to the authors' whitewash, Bandera's later persecution by Nazis consisted of special treatment in German camps, held on ice for postwar use. Of relevance is that the "regime change" of 2014 was largely the work of west Ukrainians - the backbone of the OUN movement and the very folks who today make Bandera a national hero. When he paints west Ukraine as again collaborating with Russia's enemy, Putin stands on solid historical ground. The West continues destabilizing actions all the while it blames Putin for the same.

The authors also lecture us on Putin's inability to grasp "Western values" as the root of his refusal to take the West on its own terms; on "how little Putin understands about us - our motives, our mentality, and, also, our values" (p.385) I rather think Putin grasps these "motives, mentality, and values" very well, as they seem inseparable from European economic hegemony and NATO expansion. His managed democracy comes off looking rather clean cut compared to US politics following the Citizens United ruling, where American oligarch David Koch engineered a fundamental change for the worse via the Supreme Court. In foreign policy, Putin has indeed been repeatedly "rebuffed" by the West for proposing anything that makes Russia a leading equal in its sphere. This shows not limited contacts with the West, but rather ongoing and painful ones.

The hypocrisy is breathtaking but tragically familiar. It's rather the West's (and the authors') failure to grasp regional history, and Putin's actions based on it, that fuel the "misunderstanding." Ukraine, for instance, had strong nationalist animosity toward the "Moskali" long before the 1930s holodomor/famine. Crimea was not transferred to Ukraine out of any degree of recognition of said suffering, as the authors allege on p. 367; but as part of a geo-political maneuver to Russify east Ukraine with more "loyal" ethnic Russians, exactly as in the Baltic states.

His aggressive handling of terrorists within Chechnya is "decried" by the West, the authors note. Yet within a decade the US and its NATO partners would be pursuing an aggressive course in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen that make Russia look the provincial amateur. Putin in fact is *not* trying to recreate the USSR, as so often charged by Western pundits with an axe to grind, nor even the old Russian empire. His strategic thinking is dominated by security rationales. A wider invasive course would only threaten Russian security. At all times he sees his actions as defensive responses. If this is self-serving, it only puts him in good company: recall the American angst over the "dissident" Dixie Chicks; the livid anger over Edward Snowden.

In truth, Vladimir Putin is the Russian Ronald Reagan, bidding his citizens to "stand tall" against enemies from without and within working against the homeland. His stance on Ukraine, arming its "contras" in a border war against an enemy "satellite regime", may make him look the intolerant war jingo; but thus did Ronald Reagan appear outside the US. Ironically it's Reagan partisans who don't grasp

WooDog , November 22, 2019
PROPOGANDA , CIA DRIVEL,

A poorly written smear that would make McCarthy blush. Recycled fear for the gullible citizens so desperately uneducated and unread. The Military Industrial Corporatists will pass it around as Bible

Kindle Customer , April 28, 2017
The motto of the respected authors is "Russia is devil, West are angels". Conclusions made in the book are easy to predict.

The book gives advices what the US officials should say about Russia to advocate their (US's) dishonest and aggressive policy. See examples of such policy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Lybia.

Alexey Tuzikov , July 16, 2017
poor

The book has absolutely no connection to reality. The authors use their sick propaganda fantasies to maintain oppression of Russia.

X. Z. , August 8, 2015
"Putin is a thug and we are great! "

More facts than your usual MSM, but along the same line: "Putin is a thug and we are great!"

[Nov 29, 2019] Manufacturing a pretext for the U.S. missile strike on Syria in April 2018 is nowhere near the biggest of OPCW's crimes. The OPCW is an accessory, both before and after the fact to the crime of mass murder.

Notable quotes:
"... The worst of these massacres happened in Ghouta in August 2013 when 2000 civilian hostages (rebel claim) were gassed to death by rebels and their pre-White Helmets "civil defence". The OPCW was there to cover up the crime and to fabricate evidence to assign blame to Syria. ..."
Nov 29, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Petri Krohn , Nov 29 2019 23:16 utc | 21

TAKE THEM TO THE HAGUE!

Manufacturing a pretext for the U.S. missile strike on Syria in April 2018 is nowhere near the biggest of OPCW's crimes. The OPCW is an accessory , both before and after the fact to the crime of mass murder.

It should now be clear to everyone that Syrian "rebels" gassed thousands of hostages in cellars, most likely with chlorine gas, and then paraded the victims in White Helmets snuff videos. OPCW conspired in this crime in both encouraging the terrorists to more murder and by protecting them afterward by assigning blame to Assad and the Syrian government.

The worst of these massacres happened in Ghouta in August 2013 when 2000 civilian hostages (rebel claim) were gassed to death by rebels and their pre-White Helmets "civil defence". The OPCW was there to cover up the crime and to fabricate evidence to assign blame to Syria.

We have been documenting these crimes and hoaxes at A Closer Look On Syria from December 2012. OPCW was used from the beginning to manufacture consent for war. See for example:


karlof1 , Nov 29 2019 23:52 utc | 24

Petri Krohn @21--

Of course, the OPCW is already there! I highly suggest Caitlin Johnstone's article b linked be read, which can be found here .

We should expand on Petri's number of people involved in this crime to include all the paid disinformation artists noted in Caitlin's essay at minimum. What becomes very clear in all this is the total collusion with OPCW upper level management--those whom the whistleblowers and their allies within OPCW petitioned--in these crimes as Petri contends. Until they are visibly replaced, nothing issued by OPCW has any credence.

Canthama , Nov 30 2019 0:21 utc | 26
OPCW has shown to be a pure political entity, used at will by few regimes in the UN to promote their agenda, b has done a tremendous job to humanity to bring the truth to the public worldwide. Syrians have paid the price for UN leaders support to global terrorism for too long. It must stop now.
iv>

/div

[Nov 29, 2019] Mainstream Policy Expert Reveals How He Was Silenced On Syria Truth Did Not Matter

Nov 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

A mainstream media and academic expert this week issued a rare admission : that pretty much everything the establishment has fed the public on Syria is false or distorted; but it remains that after tragic eight-year long war is slowly coming to a close, new indisputable facts are coming to light. " Truth did not matter at all," he admits after years of providing commentary for mainstream publications.

In a lengthy thread on Twitter, counter-terrorism author and assistant professor of political science and public policy at Northeastern University Max Abrahms exposed how he saw the 'narrative managers' at work from the inside of the establishment think tank world and media. As his own research came to uncover and document the truth of what was happening in Syria, "the media would excise me and the research from their stories" he revealed. His work in the early years of the war appeared in The New York Times and other major outlets, however, he was increasingly censored and pushed out of a number of platforms for speaking inconvenient truths.

Below is his full commentary , written in the wake of the new OPCW leaks which the mainstream is still trying hard to ignore.

Dr. Max Abrahms, screengrab via The Center For Strategic & International Studies.

Every day there are new revelations that the "rebels" were in cahoots not only with Al Qaeda but also ISIS and official reports of Assad using chemical weapons were doctored according to the reports' own authors.

Were you ever skeptical that Assad was authorizing chemical weapons attacks when they were the one thing that put his winning the war at risk?

Authors of the official reports linking him to chemical weapons usage have now supplied evidence that their own reports were doctored .

When I was interviewed about Syria's military using chemical weapons, I expressed skepticism as Assad bucked the political science literature by engaging in the one conduct that would reverse his hard-fought victory.

But the media would excise me and the research from their stories.

The #1 story should be that authors of the official reports linking Assad to WMD usage have supplied evidence that they were doctored in defiance of the scientific evidence and exploited to push regime change in Damascus, which risked creating the Islamic State war with Russia.

Until you get how you were duped into supporting regime change in Syria you'll get duped into supporting other costly ventures to the local population , international stability and our counterterrorism efforts.

Max Abrahms ✔ @MaxAbrahms

The mainstream narrative of the Syria conflict has imploded.

Every day there are new revelations that the "rebels" were in cahoots not only with Al Qaeda but also ISIS & official reports of Assad using chemical weapons were doctored according to the reports' own authors.

The story of doctored WMD reports and Al Qaeda-led rebels must be told.

What happened in Syria is the American political establishment decided that the ends justify the means. Truth did not matter at all. We were told Assad must go based on WMD reports their own authors say were doctored to support "rebels" who were Al-Qaeda-led and helping ISIS.

Watch this interview and determine yourself whether you find trustworthy the official report linking Assad to the chlorine attack which was sold in the

sold in the media as casus belli for toppling Assad and has now been exposed by the fact-finders themselves as doctored.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SMSyLg1E49M

If you think politicians, think tanks and media got a lot wrong in the Iraq war wait until you hear about the Syria war.

If you cheered for another regime change war then it doesn't matter whether the casus belli lacks evidence. The media is unmoved that multiple scientists who made up the official investigation doubt that the Syrian military was behind the attacks or the use of chlorine at all.


Bernard_2011 , 4 minutes ago link

Apparently Trump is too dumb to question what the Deep State tells him on this matter. Assad did it. End of story.

Justapleb , 29 minutes ago link

This is how they roll out new deep state Mockingbird Media clones.

The older completely discredited clones are replaced with new ones who pretend to have been right there with us all along.

Look at Obama. One solitary vote among so many regarding Iraq and he gained the anti-war vote and a Nobel Prize. Then he went about personally making the kill orders by drone, allowing the wicked witch to overthrow Syria and sodomize their leader with a bayonet. Then on to Syria, various African countries, etc.

I'm sure this *** has written lots on returning the Golan Heights to Syria, returning the West Bank to the Palestinians, renouncing foreign aid to Israel, etc. Right? Not.

uhland62 , 51 minutes ago link

The mendacity of 'the system' can be infuriating when you and your work is targeted.

What I see today is not any different in any way from what my elders told me about the Third Reich and what I heard from East Berlin and the Soviet Union under Stalin and successors. I grew up in West Berlin and we did meet people, heard things.

Heil Hegemon - and Heil to all its lackeys! Heil!!!

truthseeker47 , 57 minutes ago link

Ron Paul was trying to tell everyone right from the git-go that the Syrian gas attacks were a false flag, and the evidence and logic supported a false flag operation. Even more annoying, the 100 or so Tomahawk missiles cost US taxpayers about a $million each. But maybe the missiles were getting old, and the military needed some practice shots.

MrBoompi , 1 hour ago link

We gassed some folks....

cwsuisse , 1 hour ago link

Steele is credible. I believe that the OPCW doctored the reports upon instructions. The narrative management on Syria has totally destroyed the trust in the western governments and has demonstrated that the US, the UK and the EU are not behaving any better than China or Russia.

QABubba , 44 minutes ago link

Someone needs to make an argument as to why we should believe any of these guys. I mean, after you have been proven liars so many times, should we not throw the rotten tomatoes?

strannick , 2 hours ago link

America will tell any lie, commit any atrocity, on behalf of its military industrial complex, bankster, Zionist elite, while manufacturing consent for its evil by its corrupt complicit Mainstream Media. Is that even news?

mailll , 2 hours ago link

It doesn't matter Max, we already knew all this news about Syria was fake. When they were trying to fulfill an agenda, which was to overthrow Syria for the sake of Israel, since Syria is part of this fictitious promised land, their lies help support this agenda. Just like the Zionist attacks on the world trade center and the pentagon with remote controlled airplanes and pre-planted controlled demolition explosives. They were followed up with a bunch of lies to the entire world telling us it was a handful of Muslims who have never flown jumbo jets before. And they performed top gun maneuvers with these jumbo jets and breached perhaps the greatest air defense system in the world with only primitive box cutters. I totally believe the US and Israel covertly created ISIS. And the support funds came from the Zionist controlled printing presses, and from the pentagon budget that was unaccounted for. But unfortunately, most Americans still drink the Kool-aid. They continue to believe their lies. And because of this, they will keep doing what they are doing.

White Nat , 2 hours ago link

Here's Jeffrey Epstein's BFF and Mossad handler Ehud Barak pinning the israeli 9/11 false flag on the Osama bin Laden donkey within hours of the attack.

A chief architect of 9-11, Ehud Barak, interviewed on BBC an hour after attacks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAueLjdKh1s

Married Israeli politician Ehud Barak is seen hiding his face entering Jeffrey Epstein's NYC townhouse

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7250009/Netanyahu-challenger-Ehud-Barak-hides-face-enters-entering-Jeffrey-Epsteins-mansion.html

The Harlequin , 2 hours ago link

...more on AVAAZ and Syria from my own archives, probably already republished here at the time!

http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2014/09/17/syria-avaaz-purpose-the-art-of-selling-hate-for-empire/

https://www.activistpost.com/2016/01/avaaz-the-online-pro-war-propagandist-and-color-revolution-ngo.html

https://www.globalresearch.ca/avaaz-the-lobbyist-that-masquerades-as-online-activism/5314829

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/03/avaaz-sponsoring-fake-reporting-from-syria.html

JB Say , 2 hours ago link

That was a sloppy *** false flag too. The "agencies" are getting lazy because they own the press and Americans are incredibly dumbed down on foreign policy. The got away with 2 planes collapsing 3 WTC buildings so maybe they figure why bother even making it look convincing.

monty42 , 2 hours ago link

Since it follows a pattern, it's not even just Syria. The US regime is a state sponsor of terrorism, by their own definition, and go into countries and create chaos and revolution, attempting regime change, creating a crisis they then use as "justification" for escalating into open conflict against the victim. Accuse the victim nation of crimes, blanketing the world in propaganda to delude the masses. Try to focus their attention on a single bad guy in their narrative, a "brutal dictator" or whatnot. Attack by proxy and directly, sanction, bomb, etc until the victim is left unable to produce for their own needs, making them dependent, and then going in to apply the chains of debt to the victim to pay the empire to rebuild what they destroyed. Everyone gets rich, increased resources from theft, testing of weapons systems, dominion over the new vassal nation, etc, while the victim is subjugated.

Soloamber , 2 hours ago link

I would like to know who the "narrative managers " are because you know if they do it with Syria they are doing it on everything .

No wonder there is a growing contemptuous distrust of most of the MSM .

It is as if they act in concert and limit anything that doesn't support their agenda.

... ... ...

White Nat , 2 hours ago link

israel and their US sayanim want all of their enemies destroyed using US blood and treasure aka balkanizing the middle east.

Speeches that still matter: Gen Wesley Clark on US going to war in 7 countries in 5 yrs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTbg11pCwOc

The "memo" Wesley Clark refers to came directly from zionist war criminal Paul Wolfowitz who was whispering in the ear of Donald Rumsfeld the whole way.

Wolfowitz is perhaps better known not for writing the Wolfowitz Doctrine but for co-authoring Rebuilding America's Defenses, a report released in September 2000 by Zionist neocon think tank PNAC (The Project for a New American Century). The PNAC membership list is a "Who's Who" of American Zionist New World Order conspirators – in addition to Wolfowitz the list includes **** Cheney Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Kagan, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, Richard Perle, Doug Feith and many others.

https://thefreedomarticles.com/wolfowitz-doctrine-us-plan-global-supremacy/

PNAC. Greater Israel Project. Oded Yinon Plan.

Long-term the tribe plans to rule the earth from the third temple in Jerusalem.

That's why they are working so hard to shut the goyim up and flood all white countries with third world sewage.

E Michael Jones and Vincent James Discuss the ADL

https://www.bitchute.com/video/CTSjzm8FYH8y/

Fentonbr , 2 hours ago link

Everyone now knows how corrupt it all is now, Thank God Clinton lost!

White Nat , 2 hours ago link

Hillary Clinton Email: 'Syria Must Be Destroyed For Israel'

https://neonnettle.com/features/1360-hillary-clinton-email-syria-must-be-destroyed-for-israel-

lwilland1012 , 2 hours ago link

Puppets have Masters.

The Harlequin , 2 hours ago link

"The mainstream narrative of the Syria conflict has imploded."

"Every day there are new revelations that the "rebels" were in cahoots not only with Al Qaeda but also ISIS & official reports of Assad using chemical weapons were doctored according to the reports' own authors."

IF YOU HAVE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION...

...you would know that the "narrative" imploded from the moment AVAAZ started handing out satellite phones to the "rebels" and "No-Fly Zone" became Clinton's cackling catch-cry ...in 2011!

UBrexitUPay4it , 2 hours ago link

Bless you for trying, but you would do less damage by quietly withdrawing. You just look silly. USA spent 4+ years fighting ISIS, during which time ISIS spread across the middle East. Russia stepped in with 40 aircraft, funded through their normal air force training program, and destroyed ISIS in 9 months.

Either Russians are superhuman warriors, or the west was lying when it claimed to be fighting ISIS. Which is it?

HRH of Aquitaine 2.0 , 3 hours ago link

The MSM in the US is compromised and is fully state media, at this point. Deep state, straight from the ******* pond scum suckers in DC.

[Nov 29, 2019] McCarthyism Redux by Riva Enteen

Notable quotes:
"... A few days after my article was printed, my nephew, who helped me edit the piece and works for corporate America, told me he's afraid to open certain websites on his work computer -- off the clock -- because he could be flagged as "suspicious" and questioned. McCarthy was limited to phone taps and other dirty tricks. ..."
Nov 13, 2019 | blackagendareport.com

The National Lawyers Guild, born in resistance to political witch-hunts, seems to have neutered itself in the face of the new wave of manufactured hysteria.

"The Guild has 'a sort of hip neoliberal mindset: anti-Russia, anti-China, anti-Syria etc.'"

I recently returned from a delegation to Russia, and now smell McCarthyism more clearly.

The delegation was organized by the Center for Citizen Initiatives , an invaluable 32-year old citizen diplomacy organization, but CCI said it would not to print the article I wrote about the delegation because it needed to say something critical of the Soviet period, not just praise. The article is titled Russian Pride and US Exceptionalism. A political decision was made that, in order to have access to some highly placed people, CCI needs to be "balanced" about the Soviet period and acknowledge the gulags. That could be a good strategic decision, but I was surprised. [Two weeks later, after the article was published widely with a very positive response, CCI did publish it.]

A few days after my article was printed, my nephew, who helped me edit the piece and works for corporate America, told me he's afraid to open certain websites on his work computer -- off the clock -- because he could be flagged as "suspicious" and questioned. McCarthy was limited to phone taps and other dirty tricks.

Edward Snowden is in Russia because he told us the state has access to everything. My nephew is pragmatic, not paranoid. When I told members of the delegation about him, several said they weren't surprised about his concern, and one called it tragic. I told them they were all extremely cougeous to go to Russia at this frenzied point in history. One elder, seasoned member, said McCarthyism is certainly here and she's very careful. I am not very careful because I hold on to the belief that since I'm not doing anything illegal, they can't get me. History proves otherwise.

"Edward Snowden is in Russia because he told us the state has access to everything."

I have been a proud member of the National Lawyers Guild for 35 years, but since Trump's election I have repeatedly challenged how it has become a partisan organization for the Democrats. The Guild's Democratic Party loyalty, exposed in a Black Agenda Report article , is reflected in its resistance to support for Julian Assange . A recent article by Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, exposes how Assange is being tortured before our eyes, with no pretense of the rule of law. Assange had support when he went after Bush's war, but is now publicly brutalized because he went after the Democrats , so is apparently a Russian asset responsible for Trump, as Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein are also "Russian assets." MSNBC claimed that because Gabbard didn't deny she was a Russian asset, she clearly is. Does that sound like McCarthy?

After I publicly exposed the partisan liberalism of the Guild in the Black Agenda Report , I was both chastised for airing dirty laundry and told I raised valid, important concerns about the political compass of the 82-year old organization. There was talk of the need for elders to provide political context, to help the current ahistorical political climate, which believes it's all Trump's fault. However, a third annual convention has occurred since Trump's election and none have addressed the new McCarthyism, or Assange, who is the victim of one of the most egregious cases of legal abuse in history and should be of grave concern to a legal organization such as the Guild.

"Assange had support when he went after Bush's war, but is now publicly brutalized because he went after the Democrats."

Recently, a former Guild president posted an article to the International Committee from Forbes with the ominous title: Russia Attempts To Take Over Venezuelan Oil, Creating A Challenge For The U.S. I responded to the committee and asked if I was missing something, but why can't Russia and Venezuela trade? Within minutes, a Guild member since 1974 asked to be taken off the list because of what he saw as "foolish ultra leftism (an infantile disorder to coin a phrase)" that was a "stupid discussion." Another said I was "lacking in ethical grounding."

One who thought my question was valid, said "I personally support any sovereign nation's ability to make alliances. Russia is not my enemy. Russia was invited into Venezuela just as it was invited into Syria. When I started law school in 2002, at the ripe old age of 52, the only thing I cared about was joining my school's Guild chapter. I have found a good deal of disappointment in the Guild ever since." Others added that the Guild has "a sort of hip neoliberal mindset: anti-Russia, anti-China, anti-Syria etc.," and that "If it's ultra-left to call out the Democrats, I wear the badge ultra-leftist as a badge of honor." One member cautioned, "as Riva said recently, being aware of source is very important." But the discussion has been shut down, with no plans to discuss the implications of the Guild helping to fan the flames of anti-Russia sentiment, let alone the need to quell them.

"If it's ultra-left to call out the Democrats, I wear the badge ultra-leftist as a badge of honor."

A long-time Guild comrade who is now all about anybody but Trump, and knows my nephew, said his story is just anecdotal. "I don't see an across-the-board 'new McCarthyism.' To rise to that level, what I'd need to see is a major concerted effort by the government to destroy the lives, careers and reputations of people accused of being insufficiently hostile to Russia." Are we waiting for the first obvious suicide of this McCarthy period?

An article about the recent conviction of seven Catholic peace activists for a Plowshares action generated this comment: "The greatest risk of nuclear war today comes from Trump Derangement Syndrome. The fact that the leadership of the Democratic Party would use Russia-gate, a pile of absurd lies, for political advantage, at the risk of initiating a nuclear war with Russia is beyond despicable."

The fear of exposing the depth of the rot is pervasive, counter-revolutionary and jeopardizes life itself. That Trump is the only anti-endless war candidate, other than Tulsi Gabbard, exposes the Democrats as the war party they are. Many hope that Trump is the wrecking ball that will knock it all down. Hopefully before somebody pushes the button.

Riva Enteen edited the book Follow the Money, interviews by Flashpoints producer Dennis J. Bernstein. She can be reached at rivaenteen@gmail.com .

[Nov 28, 2019] Joe Rogan Experience #1386 - Matt Taibbi

Epstein murder/suicide was probably the most public elimination of critical witness...
Notable quotes:
"... “Biden to me is like having a flashlight with a dying battery and going for a long hike in the woods” - Joe Rogan 😅 1:28:33 ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

HD , Nov 28 2019 19:45 utc | 38

Apologies if someone already posted this but on Nov 16 Joe Rogan and Matt Taibbi discussed the current state of the MSM in a wide-ranging conversation that I think most Barflies will find very interesting:

Joe Rogan Experience #1386 - Matt Taibbi) , Nov 16, 2019

Jeff phillips , 1 week ago

"Censorship is telling a grown man that he can't eat steak, because the baby can't chew it." - Mark Twain

Savannah Thomas , 1 week ago (edited)

“Biden to me is like having a flashlight with a dying battery and going for a long hike in the woods” - Joe Rogan 😅 1:28:33

T B , 1 week ago (edited)

“When the government's boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence.” - Gary Lloyd. We Americans are willingly blind to truth. It'll be the death of us.

Colin Hay , 1 week ago

George Orwell said it best: "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever."

John Merlino , 1 week ago

Matt Taibbi: "they’re trying to sound like legitimate news, but they’re also completely selling out at the same time " perfectly sums up news outlets today, on both sides.

Tenzin Nordron , 11 hours ago (edited)

When I was a kid, i heard, on live radio broadcast, Oswald shot to death in Dallas Police Station - still think that's a more blatant murder of Witness.

Ricky Milano , 1 week ago

"There isn't the shame of screwing something up like there used to be." - Welcome to Hell everyone, we have jackets!!!

Adrienne Marini , 1 week ago

1:15:32 "There's also people that are like wolves trying to take out that baby joke wandering through the woods." So many good quotes in this podcast.

Major Bloodnok , 6 days ago

"We don't have any institutional respect anymore".. When even the broadsheets knowingly sow falsehoods or subtly mislead the public on a regular basis, you'd better be prepared for the harvest. You never win back respect from someone who's sussed out your con.

[Nov 28, 2019] Sanders Calls Out MSNBC s Corporate Ownership -- In Interview On MSNBC HuffPost

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders went on to argue that "pressure has got to be put on media" to cover policy issues like income inequality and poverty more heavily, instead of devoting attention to sensational campaign moments and the state of political horse races. ..."
"... 'You know what, forget the political gossip. Politics is not a soap opera. Talk about the real damn issues facing this country.'" ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | www.huffpost.com

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has not been shy about his disdain for the mainstream media. But the Democratic presidential hopeful has rarely, if ever, articulated it as bluntly as he did in an interview that aired on MSNBC 's " The Rachel Maddow Show " on Friday night. Sanders called out the network for its corporate character in a novel exchange with host Rachel Maddow .

"The American people are sick and tired of establishment politics and economics, and by the way, a little bit tired of corporate media as well," Sanders told Maddow in an interview taped in Burlington, Vermont.

Maddow pressed Sanders for specifics on how he would change the media if he were president. "What's the solution to corporate media?" she asked.

"We have got to think of ways the Democratic party, for a start, starts funding the equivalent of Fox television," Sanders answered. Of course, MSNBC is a corporate media outlet that is widely seen as a Democratic version of Fox News because of the perceived sympathies of many of its political talk shows.

Sanders went on to argue that "pressure has got to be put on media" to cover policy issues like income inequality and poverty more heavily, instead of devoting attention to sensational campaign moments and the state of political horse races.

He then claimed that bringing that pressure to bear would be difficult, since corporate ownership makes it harder for news outlets to cover issues in a way that conflicts with the interests of top executives. "MSNBC is owned by who?" Sanders asked. "Comcast, our overlords," Maddow responded with a chuckle.

"All right, Comcast is not one of the most popular corporations in America, right?" Sanders said. "And I think the American people are going to have to say to NBC and ABC and CBS and CNN, 'You know what, forget the political gossip. Politics is not a soap opera. Talk about the real damn issues facing this country.'"

[Nov 28, 2019] New Study Russian Trolls Did Not Sow Discord - They Influenced No One

Notable quotes:
"... The IRA also bought advertisement to attract more people to its accounts. But the amount it spent was tiny. The final price tag for the 2016 election was $6.5 billion for the presidential and congressional elections combined. The IRA spend a total of $100,000 to promote its own accounts. But only some $45,000 of that was spend before the election. It was 0.000007 cent for every election dollar that was spend during that time. It is statistically impossible that the mostly apolitical IRA spending had any effect on the election. ..."
"... U.S. intelligence services tried to explain that away by claiming that the Russians wanted to "sow discord". There is zero evidence that this was really the case. It is simply an explanation that was made up because they failed to find a better one. ..."
"... FOX News is not pro-Trump because it wants to sow discord. Nor is CNN anti-Trump to serve that purpose. Both are in the business of attracting viewers to - in the end - sell advertisements. People flock to the TV station that fit to the opinion they already have. Both stations promote by and large similar products. ..."
"... The virtual IRA persona worked in a similar ways. They took political positions to attract people who already had a similar one. One persona did that for the left, another one for the right. Neither changed the opinions of their followers. ..."
"... of course it didn't matter, as when you have ignored 9-11 and everything else, you may as well buy into Russia influencing the election with some commercial enterprise like the ira... it's shocking actually, to see how many otherwise intelligent people can be bamboozled so easily via the cia with swamp media ..."
"... Every single mainstream media organization refers to Russian interference in the 2016 election as though it were a proven fact. When the government makes an unfounded assertion, it is reported one time as "government sources say" but every time thereafter it is referenced as fact. If you find an alternative source that contradicts the government lie and try to post it to social media, you will be tagged with a "Warning" that claims your story is "fake news". Orwellian doesn't begin to describe it. ..."
"... Once MSM propagandists broadcast 'Russian meddling' hundreds of thousands of times, their audience becomes impervious to the simplest of logic and barest of facts. ..."
"... The US media is still trying to breathe some life into a case which should have been declared dead on arrival, beltway politics must carry on its partisan shows, with the corporate media trying to whip audiences into a frenzy, over the most ridiculous plots in order to ignore that the body politic is corrupt beyond redemption and is as dead as US democracy. ..."
"... RT may have the insidious effect of injecting bits of reality-oriented counter news to the ubiquitous lame bought propaganda from American mass media. ..."
"... "One hates to be in the position of rooting for the Russians, but the Mueller Switch Project is so distasteful that it is hard not to enjoy the prospect of Mueller having to deal with an actual adversary in court. Meanwhile, this is probably the first time in the history of litigation that a plaintiff (here, prosecutor) has told a court that it may not have obtained good service of process on a defendant that has appeared to defend the case on the merits. Mueller to Court: We didn't really mean it, Judge! We had no idea they might actually show up!" ..."
"... The real sin of Russia, is not, of course, the nonsense election meddling, but its resistance against the US culture of open free markets, its threat of closing its markets to the US, its national doctrine against the Full Spectrum Dominance and US-led neo-liberal order. Its sin is economic nationalism. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

New Study: "Russian Trolls" Did Not "Sow Discord" - They Influenced No One

The U.S. has claimed that the Russia government tried to influence the 2016 election through Facebook and Twitter.

Russia supposedly did this through people who worked the Internet Research Agency (IRA) in St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia. The IRA people ran virtual persona on U.S. social networks which pretended to have certain political opinions. It also spent on advertising supposedly to influence the election. U.S. intelligence claimed that the purpose of the alleged Russian influence campaign was to "sow discord" within the United States.

But the IRA had nothing to do with the Russian government. It had no interests in politics. And a new study confirms that the idea that it was "sowing discord" is blatant nonsense.

The Mueller investigation indicted 13 Russian persons and three Russian legal entities over the alleged influence campaign. But, as we wrote at that time, there was more to it than the media reported:

The published indictment gives support to our long held believe that there was no "Russian influence" campaign during the U.S. election. What is described and denounced as such was instead a commercial marketing scheme which ran click-bait websites to generate advertisement revenue and created online crowds around virtual persona to promote whatever its commercial customers wanted to promote. The size of the operation was tiny when compared to the hundreds of millions in campaign expenditures. It had no influence on the election outcome.

The IRA hired people in Leningrad for little money and asked them to open accounts on U.S. social media. The virtual persona they created and ran were to attract as many persons to those accounts as possible. They did that by posting funny dog pictures or by taking strong political positions. They were 'influencers' who sold their customers' products to the people they attracted.

The sole purpose was the same as in any commercial media. Create content to attract 'eyeballs', then sell those eyeballs to advertisers.

As Point 95 of the Mueller indictment said :

Defendants and their co-conspirators also used the [financial] accounts to receive money from real U.S. persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements on the ORGANIZATION-controlled social media pages . Defendants and their co-conspirators typically charged certain U.S. merchants and U.S. social media sites between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content on their popular false U.S. persona accounts , including Being Patriotic, Defend the 2nd, and Blacktivist.

The was no Russian government campaign to influence the 2016 election. There was only a Russian commercial media enterprise that used sock-puppet accounts with quirky content to attract viewers and sold advertisement space to U.S. companies.

The IRA also bought advertisement to attract more people to its accounts. But the amount it spent was tiny. The final price tag for the 2016 election was $6.5 billion for the presidential and congressional elections combined. The IRA spend a total of $100,000 to promote its own accounts. But only some $45,000 of that was spend before the election. It was 0.000007 cent for every election dollar that was spend during that time. It is statistically impossible that the mostly apolitical IRA spending had any effect on the election.

That the IRA ran a marketing machine and not a political operation was also obvious when one analyzed the content that those sock puppet accounts posted. Most of it was apolitical. Where it was political it covered both sides. Some IRA accounts posted pro-Trump content, others posted anti-Trump stuff. Some were pro-Clinton others against her.

U.S. intelligence services tried to explain that away by claiming that the Russians wanted to "sow discord". There is zero evidence that this was really the case. It is simply an explanation that was made up because they failed to find a better one.

The real answer to the question why different IRA accounts posted on different sides of the political spectrum is that the IRA wanted to maximize its income. One has to cover both sides if one wants to optimize the number of eyeballs one attracts.

FOX News is not pro-Trump because it wants to sow discord. Nor is CNN anti-Trump to serve that purpose. Both are in the business of attracting viewers to - in the end - sell advertisements. People flock to the TV station that fit to the opinion they already have. Both stations promote by and large similar products.

The virtual IRA persona worked in a similar ways. They took political positions to attract people who already had a similar one. One persona did that for the left, another one for the right. Neither changed the opinions of their followers.

A recently published study which looked at Twitter users who followed IRA sock puppet accounts and their content confirms that. It found that the IRA sock puppets had no influence on the opinions of their followers.

The study by U.S. and Danish researchers is headlined Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency's impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017 . It found:

Using Bayesian regression tree models, we find no evidence that interaction with IRA accounts substantially impacted distinctive measures of political attitudes and behaviors over a 1-mo period. We also find that interaction with IRA accounts were most common among respondents with strong ideological homophily within their Twitter network , high interest in politics, and high frequency of Twitter usage. Together, these findings suggest that Russian trolls might have failed to sow discord because they mostly interacted with those who were already highly polarized.

Most hardcore Republicans watch FOX New, most hardcore Democrats watch CNN. Neither TV station changes the core opinions of their viewers. They reinforce them.

The "Russian trolls" were virtual persona created to cover -in total- a wide spectrum. Some persona played hardcore Republican, other played hardcore Democrats. They created and posted content that fit to the role they played. Each attracted followers with opinions similar to those the virtual persona pretended to have. No opinion was changed through those contacts. No discord was sown.

The IRA then sold advertisement space to vendors to monetize all eyeballs its virtual personas attracted.

The U.S. intelligence agencies pretended that the commercial IRA was a political agency. It helped them to sell animosity against Russia and to pretend that Trump was somehow colluding with Putin.

But it all never made any sense.

Posted by b on November 27, 2019 at 18:33 UTC | Permalink


james , Nov 27 2019 18:52 utc | 1

thanks b... of course it didn't matter, as when you have ignored 9-11 and everything else, you may as well buy into Russia influencing the election with some commercial enterprise like the ira... it's shocking actually, to see how many otherwise intelligent people can be bamboozled so easily via the cia with swamp media in tow... again - emptywheel is a good case in point.. complete drivel about russia stole my sandwich on a 24-7 basis.. they have their heads up their asses so far, there is no light able to shine in...
james , Nov 27 2019 18:54 utc | 2
as for twitter and facebook - two other NSA snoop dog outlets - there may be some value in these two creations, mostly with the intel agencies, but it is slim pickins' for most everyone else... the sooner they go the way of the dodo bird, the better..
plantman , Nov 27 2019 18:58 utc | 3
Excellent report.
Thanks.

Now that you've shown that the IRA was not a "Russian influence campaign", I hope you will refute the claims that were made on last Sunday's 60 Minutes
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russian-hackers-2016-election-democratic-congressional-campaign-committee-60-minutes-2019-11-24/

Title --How Russian intelligence officers interfered in the 2016 election, CBS

Alot of people still think 60 Minutes is a credible news source, but their wild and unsubstantiated claims in this segment really cast doubt on whether they can trusted or not.

Charles Dunaway , Nov 27 2019 19:18 utc | 4
Every single mainstream media organization refers to Russian interference in the 2016 election as though it were a proven fact. When the government makes an unfounded assertion, it is reported one time as "government sources say" but every time thereafter it is referenced as fact. If you find an alternative source that contradicts the government lie and try to post it to social media, you will be tagged with a "Warning" that claims your story is "fake news". Orwellian doesn't begin to describe it.
jeestun , Nov 27 2019 19:26 utc | 5
Once MSM propagandists broadcast 'Russian meddling' hundreds of thousands of times, their audience becomes impervious to the simplest of logic and barest of facts.

Science.

Jay , Nov 27 2019 19:27 utc | 6
"Most hardcore Republicans watch FOX New, most hardcore Democrats watch CNN."

No, most hard core Democrats are repulsed by CNN. The Democrats who watch CNN, and believe it, this goes for NPP, the NY Times, the New Yorker, and MSNBC, are Democratic Party loyalists. There's a big difference.

The first is set of people largely loyal to the party of FDR, and the other is a group of corporatists--largely loyal to big businesses like JP-Morgan Chase, Amazon, and many military contractors.

Lawrence Magnuson , Nov 27 2019 19:45 utc | 7
I watched a bit belatedly the 60 Minutes affair on the link provided. As the video was unusually very slow to appear, I read the text and then started looking around for when it was posted. Unbelievable. New stuff? I wrongly thought this had to be an old, superannuated piece. @emptywheel the producer or just the muse? This sort of nails down the coffin lid on a free media for me. And for you. We're in a very bad place.
uncle tungsten , Nov 27 2019 20:04 utc | 10
Lawrence Magnuson #7

Did you refer to Marcy Wheeler who scribbles the emptywheel blog. That gal is all rim and no spokes. The entire site is obsessive fantasising, Russia hating, Trump loathing to attract eyeballs and sell patreon donations.

Marcy couldn't fart and chew gum at the same time.

Cliff , Nov 27 2019 20:17 utc | 11
@b: Sorry b, but I don't buy it. Running a commercial scheme by posting *highly* political memes in a *foreign* country, such as promoting secession of Texas and California or inciting race tension, simply isn't a wise idea. Even if it weren't meant political, it still was political. Cat memes would have been a different story.
karlof1 , Nov 27 2019 20:32 utc | 13
Cliff @11 clearly falls off by failing to note b's and the study's major point--the Russian Government in no way meddled in the 2016 election. IRA as the commercial entity that didn't either has zero links to said government.
William Gruff , Nov 27 2019 20:32 utc | 14
It is funny how Cliff @11 apparently believes that commercial exploitation is innocent, but efforts at political influence are sinister.

This disorder is part and parcel of the disease that is destroying western culture. The total loss of perspective is also one of the key symptoms of the hysteria that is clearly still gripping the West.

I wonder if this is something that the West can ever possibly recover from? I figured by now the hysteria would have burned itself out, but here it still seems to be going strong.

pretzelattack , Nov 27 2019 20:33 utc | 15
uh cliff, what "highly political memes". 100k spent on pictures of kermit the frog hand puppets or "buff bernie" is not highly political, and even if they were, they influenced nobody. it's all horseshit.
bevin , Nov 27 2019 20:42 utc | 16
Cliff@11

It might not have been wise but it is obviously what happened.The important point is that there is not the slightest suggestion of there being any evidence that the Russian state was involved.

To put the matter in context: hundreds of other sets of influencers did what the IRA did but because none of them could be associated in any way with Russia their, collectively order of magnitude more important efforts, most of them pushing Clinton who was thought to be a clear favourite, but their work goes unanalysed.
Not that there is any evidence of the IRA's connection with the Kremlin except that it is located not in Moscow but Petrograd, where Putin is from. And that the hustler running the organisation is said to have supplied sandwiches to meetings in the Kremlin -- hence the media's coinage "Putin's Chef!"

b in this post is hammering yet one more nail into the coffin of Russiagate, there can't be much more room on the lid for more. And there isn't much room left in the coffin either-it already contains half of the Democratic Party, several presidential candidates, poor old Marcy wheeler and the entire Mainstream Media. High time it was six feet under.

S.O. , Nov 27 2019 20:54 utc | 18
Oh Noes!

You mean the russian click bait add spam farm, that looks and behaves like an add spam farm, which everyone with a functioning brain in their skulls said is an add spam farm... might just turn out to behave like an actual add spam farm?

Well, colour me amazed. ..it's like no one remembered geocities pop up storms or something.

Allen , Nov 27 2019 20:57 utc | 19
The US media is still trying to breathe some life into a case which should have been declared dead on arrival, beltway politics must carry on its partisan shows, with the corporate media trying to whip audiences into a frenzy, over the most ridiculous plots in order to ignore that the body politic is corrupt beyond redemption and is as dead as US democracy.

Is Trump a Putin stooge? Let's 'investigate' or continually mu(e)ll over this possibility even more! Meanwhile, the stooges in Washington we are instructed to call 'our representatives' remain bipartisan in pursuing the dictatorial goals of class elites, no matter which CEO is temporarily managing affairs for the Fortune 500.

Who needs Russian meddling in an electoral process that means next to nothing when it comes to affecting in the slightest the homegrown depravity of our oligarchy?

We still have plenty of Dem Party hacks telling us in the most convoluted language what to think about a report vomited out by a professional liar (See: Mueller Iraq War Crimes for but one example of Mueller's long and sordid career) and we are suppose to believe any of this? Oh and let's see we are suppose to care that an orange-haired, spray tanned criminal buffoon won the Kabuki (s)election in Potemkin Empire against the insanely corrupted and proven War Criminal Donkey Queen Bee? You just have to wonder how much per word these pundits are paid to pump out their bilge?

The entire "Russiagate" smokescreen is a perfect example of how propaganda works. Accuse your "enemy" of the very thing you have been doing in plain sight so that when accusations are levied against you it will be harder to make them stick- keep that external enemy front and center so that the real enemy within remains hidden.

To believe that the Mueller report ever was anything than a wax show piece in a stale play one must put aside all the obvious items such as- 1) Zero evidence; 2) US elections are already rigged by the US elites before a single vote is cast; 3) The US has been tampering in just about every countries elections for decades overtly and covertly; AND 4) Recent attempts BY THE US to ACTUALLY tamper in Russian elections through the ever-handy NED.

There is no other country that intervenes in the political affairs of foreign states so directly, regularly and shamelessly as the United States. American foreign policy is one massive intervention in the politics of other countries, running the gamut from propaganda, destabilization, financing of opposition parties, electoral fraud and coups to military bombardment and occupation.

Professor Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University assembled a database documenting as many as 81 occasions between 1946 and 2000 when Washington interfered in elections in other countries.

There is zero solid evidence that Russia "meddled" in the US elections. It is all speculation and innuendo. Even if one were to blindly assume that the stories were accurate, whatever Russia may or may not have done pales in comparison to the operations of US intelligence agencies all over the world, including within the United States itself, not to mention the billions of dollars spent by the corporate and financial elite to manipulate US elections and determine their outcome.

The claim, moreover, that Russian Twitter and Facebook posts are responsible for social discontent and "disruptions in the democracy" of the United States -- one of the most unequal countries in the world -- is beyond ludicrous.

Andrea Sutton , Nov 27 2019 21:39 utc | 20
I didn't believe that the Russians interfered with the election anyway, but this exposition of the raw data used by the intell. services as a basis for promulgating the fiction, is fascinating and hilarious if the consequencies hadn't been so dire. The basis is so utterly mundane and so "American" if you forgive my saying so, I mean the IRA was just trying to make money. I suppose the intell. services knew this, knew they were peddling lies as Pompeo says they are taught to do. All for what? Not just to hurt Trump. No, to feed a McCarthyite fear to keep the endless wars going. Evil.
Trailer Trash , Nov 27 2019 21:57 utc | 21
The "Russia Stole Our Election" story is wearing thin? Fortunately a UK stink tank has discovered a "Gun Gap" to scare us with:

British ground forces would be "comprehensively outgunned" in a conflict with Russia in Eastern Europe, according to a defence think-tank.

Research by the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) found that the Army, as well as Nato allies, has a "critical shortage" of artillery and ammunition.

The research comes ahead of a meeting of Nato leaders in London next week to mark the 70th anniversary of the alliance.

I know we are supposed to believe that US is so wonderful and exceptional that Russia, China, Iran, etc. all want to conquer it. But why would they want to? What would they do with a place like Detroit, Camden, and all the rest of the broken down infrastructure?

Trailer Trash , Nov 27 2019 22:00 utc | 22
I meant to add that there is an easy solution to the scary new Gun Gap: don't attack Russia (or anywhere else).
Clueless Joe , Nov 27 2019 22:02 utc | 23
"British ground forces would be "comprehensively outgunned" in a conflict with Russia in Eastern Europe"

So fucking what, if that were actually true? UK is a group of islands in NW Europe, it's not Poland, and UK hasn't any business to have troops in Eastern Europe to begin with; meanwhile, the European part of Russia is very much a big chunk of Eastern Europe; odds are that they'd have their military ready to defend and fight there. These useless hacks should come back only once they can claim that the British forces would be outgunned in a conflict with Russia in Essex; that would be worrying.

Robert Snefjella , Nov 27 2019 22:10 utc | 25
But there is a sense in which Russia may have subtly influenced the election. For any well informed American - and in my opinion finding such is more likely than say spotting a Sasquatch - the varied political presentations of say RT may have the insidious effect of injecting bits of reality-oriented counter news to the ubiquitous lame bought propaganda from American mass media.

And the Putin-effect over the last two decades too may be quite insidious: after all, in the realm dominated by political banality, lies, stupidity and bad acting, an articulate, and in practical terms effective, political leader of a major country is a rather extraordinary phenomenon. Such things are possible, discover wayward Americans! But what explains its near complete absence in our exceptional indispensable nation?

Putin and Russia: the success that haunts us.

karlof1 , Nov 27 2019 22:51 utc | 29
Obama's D-Party set up what the following article describes which I provide as a marker of that party's leadership's immoral mindset. Imagine what BigLie Media would do if this was done in Russia or China! We'd read/hear/see all about it 24/7/365.
Jackrabbit , Nov 27 2019 23:13 utc | 30
b neglected to mention a few things:

1) USA interferes in other countries elections all the time. Recent and very stark examples: Bolivia and Venezuela.

2) USA's broken, money-based electoral system practically invites "interference"/"meddling" by powerful interests and skews the results toward candidates that will serve powerful interests that can afford to support the electoral farce that provides an illusion of democracy.

3) Pro-Israel Zionists and Zionist organizations, like Haim Saban, Sheldon Adelson, and AIPAC, contribute huge sums to the duopoly that controls US politics. Their contribution is vastly greater than a few facebook ads.

4) The vast majority of the "Russian oligarchs" that are supposed to have influenced Trump are Jewish with closer ties to Israel than Russia.

!!

Montreal , Nov 27 2019 23:19 utc | 31
Bevin @ 17
Evgeny Progozhin - supposedly behind IRA - was - and maybe still is - VVP's chef. I think it is probably him who started that joke about his being a "hot-dog salesman" in St P. But he was much more than that.

More importantly he was the man who re-introduced fine restaurants to St Petersburg. In the nineties he opened several very good restaurants in a city which hadn't seen a decent meal since the Revolution - a bit like England before it joined the Common Market. He was a great perfectionist with a tremendous eye for detail. His difficulty was in finding staff in a city which had no history of training staff beyond the very low levels demanded by the Intourist hotels - and as soon as he trained them they were poached by would-be rivals, so often he gave the top places to French and English specialists.

The very best of his restaurants was the Old Customs House on the University Embankment. I haven't been there for a couple of years but in its hey-day it could match any restaurant in Europe.

He would also fly his staff to other Russian cities to lay on banquets for the President. He then went into mass catering and by the sounds of it different fields altogether. An admirable man, one of those who helped Russia into the 21st Century.

DougDiggler , Nov 27 2019 23:52 utc | 34
Let's compare the IRA's lame content to what is being emitted by the thousands of 'bots in Bolivia.
the pessimist , Nov 28 2019 2:06 utc | 36
Fresh Air has an interview with Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch of Fusion GPS posted on their page . There seems to be a full court press on to solidify the 'consensus' narrative, with stories on BBC and other main US news outlets, including many on NPR, 'explaining' various aspects of the Russophobic/Sinophibic view of the world, and attacking as 'conspiracy theories' that are proven false (mainly by way of reciting innuendo and accusations by anonymous sources and professional liars) any counter narratives.

In my experience, even if people retain some skepticism, they assume the main points of the narrative as proven fact to the extent that it is nearly impossible to have a reasoned discussion about the basic assumptions of the narrative.

I see that Chrystia Freeland has been appointed deputy prime minister of Canada.

Dr George W. Oprisko , Nov 28 2019 2:21 utc | 37
I am amazed.......... that one and all haven't noticed the inability of the USG to deal with any.... and I mean any.... issues affecting the people of the USA.

INDY

FSD , Nov 28 2019 2:32 utc | 38
Examining direct state-actor involvement would be one thing. But this 'study' is little more than a sui generis, slow motion ethnic slur. What about Russian-American US citizens in Boston who happen to tweet benign and banal messages about nothing in particular? Can we get cooties from them as well? Does it come thru the WIFI?

The sizable Russian-American population has been absolutely stoic during this whole protracted episode. I can think of many other groups who'd be screaming bloody murder.

As for the IRA indictments, they were a sham from top to bottom. Here's the Powerline blog:

"One hates to be in the position of rooting for the Russians, but the Mueller Switch Project is so distasteful that it is hard not to enjoy the prospect of Mueller having to deal with an actual adversary in court. Meanwhile, this is probably the first time in the history of litigation that a plaintiff (here, prosecutor) has told a court that it may not have obtained good service of process on a defendant that has appeared to defend the case on the merits. Mueller to Court: We didn't really mean it, Judge! We had no idea they might actually show up!"

None other than Michael Moore is another IRA victim. So much for Trump-Russia.

https://fullspectrumdominoes.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/7864/

JW , Nov 28 2019 3:01 utc | 39
#21

"I know we are supposed to believe that US is so wonderful and exceptional that Russia, China, Iran, etc. all want to conquer it. But why would they want to? What would they do with a place like Detroit, Camden, and all the rest of the broken down infrastructure?"

Also, the greatest political system ever conceived in mankind according the Americans somehow can just simply crumble in the face of a tiny bit of alleged foreign money.

bevin , Nov 28 2019 3:12 utc | 40
The proverb " A dog will return to its vomit" obviously applies to New Yorker writers too. Jane Mayer, author of a famously gushing fanmag feature on Christopher Steele is at it again. https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/59965-focus-the-inside-story-of-christopher-steeles-trump-dossier
lysias , Nov 28 2019 3:28 utc | 41
Jane Mayer used to write good journalism. Her book "Dark Money" from a couple of years ago was an eye-opener. What happened to her? I guess the same question could be asked about Marcy Wheeler. And what happened to Democracy Now and Amy Goodman?
Innocent Civilian , Nov 28 2019 3:36 utc | 42
The real sin of Russia, is not, of course, the nonsense election meddling, but its resistance against the US culture of open free markets, its threat of closing its markets to the US, its national doctrine against the Full Spectrum Dominance and US-led neo-liberal order. Its sin is economic nationalism.

Its sin is taking shares of Christopher Steele's in Gazprom by force, who had them by tax fraud in the first place. Its sin is allowing Government of Russia holding more than half of the shares of Gazprom. Its sin is becoming self-reliant in oil and gas (and recently food thanks to sanctions), backed with a substantial military force. A huge country that can industrialize its resources and that can defend itself and deter any aggression on her soil. A recipe for nightmare for neo-liberals.

Since the Americans voted for a president who is against the neo-liberal order and promotes nationalism, they are on fire and afraid they are going to have to take it by four more years.

[Nov 28, 2019] Gutfeld on calling Trump supporters a cult

Nov 28, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Henry Ninth , 1 day ago

Hillary's winning strategy was to insult half of America, then turn around and insult a third of what was left.

William Chadwick , 1 day ago

"Liberal" State-cultists calling other people "cultists" is pretty ironic.

Cinema Madness , 2 days ago

We aren't Russians anymore, now were a cult

Steven DelGatto , 1 day ago

CNN picks a "negative word of the day" and runs with it on all their crappy shows

Christopher , 2 days ago

Trump supporters are people who don't let Hollywood actors and "Late Night" comedians, do their thinking for them.

[Nov 28, 2019] Devin Nunes: CNN, Daily Beast are going to run for cover

Nov 28, 2019 | www.youtube.com

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Rep. Devin Nunes speaks out on his plan to take news outlets to federal court amid the Trump impeachment probe. #FoxNews #Hannity


Bleach Bit , 1 day ago

Good to see Nunes is "throwing down the gauntlet" to these thugs!👌

Solid Asian Gold , 1 day ago

Dear CNN & Daily Beast: It's called "Freedom Of Press", not "Freedom Of Lies And Slander".

Cynthia Risser , 1 day ago

It's about time someone grew a spine and stands their ground against these morally bankrupt media companies! Thank you, Devin!! Kick them a few times for us!!