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MSM as an attack dog of anti-Trump color revolution

Media's Trump coverage has radicalized me. That's why this set of pages about color revolution against Trump was created despite the fact that I am a programmer, not a reporter.  Looking at WaPo and NYT I can only say Wow! That proves the CIA were not joking when their spokesman said: "We shall know we have done our job when everything the public believes is false." It's like the editorial desk of every major MSM has a talking points written personally by Brennan.

News NeoMcCartyism Recommended Links US and British media are servants of security apparatus Purple revolution against Trump Strzok-gate Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Steele dossier Wolff revelations and slander
Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Trump vs. Deep State Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal Anti Trump Hysteria Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations FBI Mayberry Machiavellians
The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Corporatist Corruption  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Doublespeak The Deep State National Security State Nation under attack meme
Deception as an art form The Iron Law of Oligarchy Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Neoliberalism History of American False Flag Operations Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
   

A Suffolk University poll last month showed Fox News viewers have an unfavorable view of the media by a margin off 64-24. Another survey showed 76 percent of Republicans think the media makes up stories about Trump. And a Quinnipiac poll in November showed 91 percent of Republicans disapproved of how the media covered Trump and just 10 percent trusted the media more than Trump.

"Every president gets pounded by the press," Kurtz wrote. "But no president has ever been subjected to the kind of relentless ridicule, caustic commentary and insulting invective that has been heaped on Trump. I have a name for this half-crazed compulsion to furiously attack one man. It's called Trump Trauma

Howard Kurtz Media's Trump coverage has 'radicalized me'

One more comment here about Michael Wolff and his claim that everybody in the White House thinks that Trump’s a child, that he’s a moron, he doesn’t like to read, he’s mentally unbalanced, all this. This is really irresponsibly absurd. And for this claim to be 100% of the people around Trump, and Wolff is the guy saying that he can’t guarantee everything in his book is right, and he’s also admitting that he did anything to get his story, including not tell people they were on the record when he was talking to ’em.

Nuking the Wolff Book The Rush Limbaugh Show

In East Germany, Stasi leader Markus Wolfe took things a step further with the “zersetzung” tactic. The idea was to *induce* a “personal crisis” through clandestine harassment, including at the hands of acquaintances secretly recruited by the Stasi. In other words, ... trying to cause *real* mental illness by relentlessly gaslighting selected individual dissidents until they cracked.

John Grudlos, January 26, 2018 at 9:49 am

 

President Trump accuses critics, the media of with hunt. And he is right. It is witch hunt of neoliberal MSM against the President  who have the courage (at least during his election campaign) to call things with their proper names and to question neoliberal globalization and redistribution of wealth up, leaving Rust Belt without jobs and without perspectives.  but witch hunt is not the whole story.  This witch hunt is just a part of color Revolution against Trump.

President Trump accuses critics, the media of with hunt. And he is right. It is witch hunt of neoliberal MSM against the President  who have the courage (at least during his election campaign) to call things with their proper names and to question neoliberal globalization and redistribution of wealth up, leaving Rust belt without jobs and without perspectives.

Wolff book  is just a recent example of unrelenting campaign to discredit Trump and force him to abandon his  position. And look at all those "kid gloves" interviews with Wolff in neoliberal MSM. And there are other in pipeline -- such  as Kurtz book which will be published at the end of January (see preview at  The Washington Post, Jan 22, 2018)

Media's treatment of Trump is a classic, textbook case of demonization of the elected leader of country, an essential part of preparation by intelligence agencies of a color revolution against him. Paradoxically this american Don_Quixote Trump fought back and managed to shred the neoliberal MSM credibility, especially CNN and MSNBC.

A Suffolk University poll last month showed Fox News viewers have an unfavorable view of the media by a margin off 64-24. Another survey showed 76 percent of Republicans think the media makes up stories about Trump. And a Quinnipiac poll in November showed 91 percent of Republicans disapproved of how the media covered Trump and just 10 percent trusted the media more than Trump.

This new Trump book could do even more damage than Michael Wolff’s. Here’s why., WaPo, Jan 22, 2018

One tell sign of a color revolution  is when the media use too many anonymous sources when detailing what happens behind the scenes at the White House:

Unnamed sources are way overused, especially by major news outlets. People are allowed to take cheap shots without their names attached. They are empowered to engage in political sniping from behind a curtain of anonymity. And top news executives know this.

This abuse of anonymous sources hiding under the curtain of anonymity and weak slander laws which require public figure to prove malicious intent to win in court is a trademark feature of witch hung against Trump.

The media and Hollywood are fully behind this “Resistance to Trump” smear campaign. This would be rather hilarious, if it was not for all gravitas with which the neoliberal MSM are trying to reverse the last election results (in close cooperation with the intelligence agencies).

Actually the USA media coverage of Trump after elections reminds us once again, that key MSM in the USA used to be controlled by CIA. And  this might still be the case. So theoretically we can suspect who is behind  the curtain  and who is paying for all this dirty show. As well as who is organizing this stream of leaks and salacious detail (Steele dossier via FBI contractor Fusion GPS and Wolff's book via former Iraq War reporter turned sleazy gossip columnist ( look at his interview  to Bill Maher Jan 18, 2018 ) are two nice examples of the genre. As somebody said about Christopher Steele, the author of Stele dossier "former MI6 agents are never ex" And they are using their full bag of tricks they learned at the agencies.

This "war with the reality" of neoliberal MSM, which are ready to defend neoliberalism and globalization against nationalism and isolationalism to the last American,  will continue tot he last day of Trump presidency.  This #neverTrump campaign also reveals several ugly truths about neoliberal MSM and neoliberal "aversion to the truth". And  first of all that MSM does not act independently but in close cooperation with (and individual journalist often with funding by) intelligence agencies. This is very true about the color revolution against Trump:

SethPoor -> BennyBoy Jan 22, 2018 9:47 AM Permalink

For example, now it is known that FBI contractor Fusion GPS paid some  journalists to blackmail Trump  (redstate.com, Jan 07, 2018):

Why is Fusion GPS fighting so hard to resist the subpoena? Because the redacted records already released showed Fusion GPS paying money to journalists and to media organizations.

We don’t know if these payments were for pushing the totally irrelevant Trump dossier but we can be very sure that we will soon know the names of the journalists and organizations involved.

Being Trotskyism for the rich, neoliberalism not only reuses all Soviet propaganda tricks on a new technological level, it also inevitably creates a new nomenklatura, part of which can be called "national security parasites". Along with  fincancial "masters of the universe" or top 0.1%) they controls a leion share of national wealth (redistribution of wealth up is the goal of neoliberalism).  so huge military expences feed greedy "national security elite" which in the level of greed does not differ much from the financial elite.  This formation of a cast of "national security parasites" is part of parcel of the more general process of the gradual corruption and degeneration of the political elite.  Or how it is now called the "Washington swamp." or simple the swamp. 

This new role of "national security parasites" -- a deeply entrenched in Washington caste of bureaucrats with exorbitant (for government) salaries who are essentially "enjoying their life" in Washington, DC, while understaffed and underfunded field personnel during all the heavy lifting is a completly new phenomenon.  the level of infestation of intelligence againces is such they they now are capable to influence elections.  Worries of this caste were increased by Trump promises to cut Washington bureaucracy and send some of those Washington "fat cats" to field positions. This perspective might be yet another trigger points of the color revolution against him.

In this sense it looks  like the US political situation after Trump victory is starting to mirror the Eastern European situation under Communism with the security agencies representing  independent and formidable political force.

This is poorly understood but this political change with the intelligence agencies assuming a political role is the key to understanding of the current witch hunt against Trump. It is this development that made launching a color revolution against Trump possible.

And while public stopped trusting neoliberal MSM like CNN and MSNBC, the atmosphere was successfully poisoned.

In this sense that only reliable source of new remain foright sites on Internet (including some maligned by neoliberal MSM) and small web sites, as well as YouTube broadcasts.

They are now a new Samizdat. And this trend clearly worries the establishment (see comments to Are the Clintons Israeli Agents - The Unz Review). 

There are clear analogies here between Trump victory and Brexit and most US voters understand that they need to fight “big banks and hell-bent on neoliberal globalization financial elite” like UK voters did:

...the British politician, who was invited by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, will draw parallels between what he sees as the inspirational story of Brexit and Trump’s campaign. Farage will describe the Republican’s campaign as a similar crusade by grassroots activists against “big banks and global political insiders” and how those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised can become involved in populist, rightwing politics. With Trump lagging in the polls, just as Brexit did prior to the vote on the referendum, Farage will also hearten supporters by insisting that they can prove pundits and oddsmakers wrong as well.

This message resonates with the Trump campaign’s efforts to reach out to blue collar voters who have become disillusioned with American politics, while also adding a unique flair to Trump’s never staid campaign rallies.

... ... ...

“I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny,” Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. “If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We’ve just proved it.”

“I am being careful,” he added when asked if he supported the controversial Republican nominee. “It’s not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we’ve just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.”

What they do not understand is that intelligence agencies also have  their own elite and it is no less dangerous then the financial elite. They also tent to control MSM competing and allying in this task with the financial elite (CIA was actually created by a Wall Street lawyers, such as Allen Dulles) .  A more general question that arise in this context is: "Can any country with powerful intelligence agencies be  a republic or a democracy?"

And another related question is "Can MSM in a country with powerful intelligence agencies exist outside of their control?".


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Old News ;-)

[Aug 14, 2018] Trump feuds with former 'apprentice' Omarosa in White House drama fit for reality TV

Notable quotes:
"... "Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on The Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok," ..."
"... "People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work." ..."
"... "The Apprentice" ..."
"... "No, I don't think he's fit." ..."
"... "He's being puppeted, and that's very dangerous for this nation," ..."
"... "Omarosa? Omarosa what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving? What happened?" ..."
"... "You know they run a big operation, but I didn't know it. I didn't know that. I don't love you leaving at all." ..."
"... "Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House." ..."
"... "The Apprentice." ..."
"... "Lowlife. She's a lowlife." ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.rt.com

13 Aug, 2018 Get short URL Trump feuds with former 'apprentice' Omarosa in White House drama fit for reality TV © Carlo Allegri / Reuters Donald Trump has taken time out of his busy presidential schedule to tweet insults at ex-White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, amid a rapidly-escalating feud between the two estranged reality television prima donnas. "Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on The Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok," Trump tweeted on Monday. "People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work."

Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard....

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018

...really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work. When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser & nothing but problems. I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me - until she got fired!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018

While I know it's "not presidential" to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018

The tweet comes hours after Newman, who starred in Trump's reality television series "The Apprentice" before joining the White House, told NBC's "Today" show that Trump was a puppet who was unfit to hold the nation's highest office.

When asked by Today host Savannah Guthrie if she thought Trump had the mental faculties needed to be president, Newman answered: "No, I don't think he's fit." She added that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly – who allegedly fired her without Trump's knowledge – was "running" the White House while Trump remained clueless about daily operations. "He's being puppeted, and that's very dangerous for this nation," Newman said.

"John Kelly is running this White House, and Donald Trump has no clue what's going on. He's being puppeted, and that's very dangerous for this nation." - @OMAROSA pic.twitter.com/tYfDkMF19y

-- TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 13, 2018

In an audio recording provided by Newman, Trump appears to be unaware that the former combative "Apprentice" contestant had been fired.

Read more Omarosa Onee Manigault-Newman © Drew Angerer Omarosa's tape from inside the Situation Room fuels massive freakout over security

"Omarosa? Omarosa what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving? What happened?" Trump says in the recording, which Newman claims was made a day after she lost her job at the White House in December 2017.

After Newman tells the president that Kelly had fired her, Trump insists that nobody ever told him about it, adding: "You know they run a big operation, but I didn't know it. I didn't know that. I don't love you leaving at all."

Her appearance on the morning program is part of a press tour for her new book, "Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House." In it, Newman accuses Trump of regularly dropping N-bombs during tapings of the "The Apprentice." She also claims she was offered hush money in exchange for her silence about her tenure at the White House.

When asked over the weekend by a report if he felt betrayed by Newman, Trump shot back: "Lowlife. She's a lowlife."

[Aug 14, 2018] Rand Paul Stands Up for Peace by Justin Raimondo

Please support antiwar.com -- a unique antiwar site in the climate of rabid militarism and jingoism...
Notable quotes:
"... "the unlikely, unholy alliance between Rand Paul and Donald Trump, one a libertarian iconoclast, the other the cancerous center of the Republican party" is upsetting to writer Tina Nguyen because the "far left and the far right" are "converging." Or something. Peace with nuclear-armed Russia? That qualifies the Senator as a "wacko bird" and "Putin's perfect stooge." ..."
"... Rand Paul has gone from being an overly cautious presidential candidate who seemed scared of his own noninterventionist shadow to a principled statesman unafraid to take a stand for peace. He is a living example of how people – yes, even politicians – learn and change. His trip to Russia to bring a message of peace and détente at a time when the wolves of the War Party are howling ever louder was an act of courage that should have every person of good will standing and applauding. Bravo, Senator! ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

Libertarians are largely lost in the wilderness of the present era: wandering without a compass, either moral or ideological, and without a clue as to how to get home, never mind reach their ultimate goal of "freedom in our time." Yes, that was the old slogan that we libertarians started out with: an optimistic battle-cry that, today, seems unrealistic, at best. But is it? And if it isn't, who can show us the way forward?

My answer is simple: look at what Sen. Rand Paul is doing, and take a lesson. Instead of weeping and wailing about the loss of a "libertarian moment" that never really happened, Sen. Paul is making a difference. As Politico reports :

" Rand Paul has the ear, and the affection, of the most important person in the White House: President Donald Trump.

"Once bitter rivals on the Republican campaign trail, the Kentucky senator and the commander-in-chief have bonded over a shared delight in thumbing their noses at experts the president likes to deride as 'foreign policy eggheads,' including those who work in his own administration."

When Trump appointed the hawkish John Bolton as his National Security Advisor, the usual suspects crowed that "the neocons have taken over the White House." Never mind that a) Bolton is no neocon, and b) Trump is known for encouraging vigorous debate among his policy advisors while not necessarily agreeing with one or the other – these people, mostly alleged non-interventionists, hate the President for other reasons, and merely seized on the appointment as a convenient talking point. However, this narrative is contradicted by the reports of Sen. Paul's increasing influence in the Oval Office:

"While Trump tolerates his hawkish advisers, the aide added, he shares a real bond with Paul: 'He actually at gut level has the same instincts as Rand Paul.'"

"Paul has quietly emerged as an influential sounding board and useful ally for the president, who frequently clashes with his top advisers on foreign policy. The Kentucky senator's relationship with Trump, developed via frequent cellphone calls and over rounds of golf at the president's Virginia country club, became publicly apparent for the first time on Wednesday when the senator announced he had hand-delivered a letter to the Kremlin on Trump's behalf."

While the Beltway apparatus put together by the Kochs has jumped on the NeverTrump bandwagon with both feet, publicly declaring war on the administration and announcing a de facto alliance with the Democrats, Sen. Paul has made a difference in a key area that the Koch machine has largely abandoned or reversed itself: foreign policy. Here's Politico again:

"Both Paul and Trump routinely rail against foreign entanglements, foreign wars, and foreign aid – positions characterized as isolationist by critics and as 'America first' by the president and his supporters. Even on points of where they disagree, Paul has extracted small victories."

That one area is Iran, and even there it looks like Sen. Paul has his finger in the dike:

"But Trump has stopped short of calling for regime change even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Bolton support it, aligning with Paul instead, according to a GOP foreign policy expert in frequent contact with the White House. '

Rand Paul has persuaded the president that we are not for regime change in Iran,' this person said, because adopting that position would instigate another war in the Middle East."

As the President launches peace initiatives from the Korean peninsula to the steppes of Russia, the virtue-signalers among us pretend that none of that is happening and obsessively descry the decision to exit the Iran deal. Yet where has all their moaning and groaning gotten them? Sen. Paul is single-handedly doing more for peace than any of these bloviating nonentities could dream of.

The hysteria aimed at the President is now directed at Sen. Paul, with the New York Times in what is perhaps mistakenly presented as a "news" article describing the Senator's relationship with the White House in words that are clearly over the top:

"Suddenly, in the mind of the junior senator from Kentucky, Mr. Trump has soared from lower than that speck of dirt to high enough for Mount Rushmore."

One imagines the foam-flecked computer screen of the author was quite a mess well before she reached the end of her jeremiad. Hatred for the President blends and merges with hatred for Russia as the Fourth Estate becomes an instrument in the hands of the War Party. Vanity Fair – that bastion of foreign policy expertise – shrieks that

"the unlikely, unholy alliance between Rand Paul and Donald Trump, one a libertarian iconoclast, the other the cancerous center of the Republican party" is upsetting to writer Tina Nguyen because the "far left and the far right" are "converging." Or something. Peace with nuclear-armed Russia? That qualifies the Senator as a "wacko bird" and "Putin's perfect stooge."

Yeah, suuure it does, Tina: anything you say. Just like those who wanted to end the Vietnam war were "stooges" of Ho Chi Minh. Just like Ronald Reagan getting rid of a whole category of nukes made him a "stooge" of Gorbachev.

And to get down to the real intellectual heavyweight: S. E. Cupp, whose credentials seem to be phony glasses and blondness, vomits up her considered opinion that Sen. Paul is now Putin's "errand boy." Which is far better than being Max Boot's errand girl , but don't anyone tell Iraq war-supporting Ms. Cupp that she has blood on her hands. She feels no need to apologize.

Oh yes, the heavies are out in force, sliming Sen. Paul for defending the President's Helsinki peace initiative with nuclear-armed Russia. Vanity Fair , S. E. Cupp – who's next? Madonna? Women's Wear Daily ?

Rand Paul has gone from being an overly cautious presidential candidate who seemed scared of his own noninterventionist shadow to a principled statesman unafraid to take a stand for peace. He is a living example of how people – yes, even politicians – learn and change. His trip to Russia to bring a message of peace and détente at a time when the wolves of the War Party are howling ever louder was an act of courage that should have every person of good will standing and applauding. Bravo, Senator!

[Aug 13, 2018] FBI Reveals Maria Butina Traded Sex In Exchange For All 62,984,828 Votes Trump Received In 2016

Jul 19, 2018 | politics.theonion.com
WASHINGTON -- Saying that their investigation indicated her involvement in election interference went deeper than previously believed, the FBI revealed Thursday that Russian agent Maria Butina traded sex in exchange for all 62,984,828 votes Donald Trump received for president in 2016. "Our inquiry into Ms. Butina

[Aug 13, 2018] Cold War in the Sauna Notes From a Russian American by Pavel Kozhevnikov

Aug 13, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

I had just finished exercising and went to the sauna. The gym I go to is a modern facility with new equipment and is very popular in our city.

My favorite parts are the sauna and the steamer. Both remind me of my old country – Russia. Though, to be politically and geographically correct – I never lived in Russia: I was born and raised in one of the fifteen republics of the former USSR – the republic of Kazakhstan.

So, I am a Russian from Kazakhstan. It's kind of confusing for Americans, and when twenty-six years ago my American wife brought me here, the customs official gave me an alien card where my nationality was stated not Russian but Kazakh. My friends make fun of me, because Russians and Kazakhs are like apples and oranges. We look different

In 1992, when I arrived in America, the relationship between the two cold war rivals was excellent: Americans traveled to Russia, opening McDonalds, KFC's, Burger Kings, and other businesses, and Russians were opening not only their hearts but even the secrets of the overthrown KGB. Millions of Russians and Americans enjoyed such a "romance" between the two most powerful nuclear countries in the world.

Not anymore! Every morning I wake up to the words, "Russia is terrible," and go to sleep with the humiliating jokes of the "night-show-clowns" about "the dictator" Putin and "barbaric" Russians, whose 13 hackers changed the electoral minds of millions of naïve Americans. Wow! What a powerful "gasoline station country"- Russia, as Senator McCain calls it.

If in 1992 the people in my city who heard my accent were very nice to me and to Russia, now the usual reaction is to stare at me like a goat at the newly painted gates. One of my neighbors even yelled at me when I answered his question about my recent trip to Russia. I told him: "Russians like Putin because he saved their country from collapse. I saw with my own eyes how Russia has changed since my last trip there. I didn't see the impact of Obama's sanctions, Russians have better roads, than we have in Colorado; the shops, are filled with all kinds of products; the churches are restored "

My neighbor who didn't like Trump yelled at me: "If you like Russia go back to your country!" My answer was: "I love Russia but I am American – like your immigrant wife, like you. I love America for a lot of reasons, one of them – the right to speak! Nobody should privatize this right." He ran away, later coming to apologize

My wife, knowing my hard-tempered character asks me not to talk about policy – Putin-Trump anymore. And I don't, to a certain degree. However, when someone asks me about Russia or Putin I usually answer, giving my point of view; I just cannot be silent. I was silent for 40+ years living in the USSR, not anymore! Of course, not everyone likes my answers, like the man I am going to tell you about.

So, I went into the sauna; a stout man was sitting on the upper bench. He was the same age as I. Many of the older men in America call ourselves "old farts." The name is not offensive to us, because we really do not care about our image, and because we like to make jokes about everything, mostly about ourselves. Usually, we old farts are nice, we love to talk, even in the sauna. Young people nowadays do not talk. They turn on their phones even in the sauna – I bet they do not know how to talk with other people. They cover their "secrets" in towels while we do not – we do not have any secrets anymore.

Anyway, the man said hello to me, I answered, and he caught my slight accent.

"Where are you from?" It's a question I am usually asked.

"From here." I answered.

He was a little confused. I knew what usually followed if I had said – "from Kazakhstan." Usually, there would be an exchange of this type: "Where is it?" – "Between Russia and China," – "How do you like it here?" The silly film "Borat" helped me for a short period of time. People were smiling, as if they met Sasha Cohen, and I was happy that at least they knew some geography, though the film was silly and the geography in it was completely mistaken.

"No, I mean originally where are you from?" The guy, let's call him Tony, found the right question.

I decided not to check his geography skills and said that I came from Russia. The dialog that followed was remarkable. Here it is.

"Welcome to America! Your English is pretty good!"

"Yours, too." He didn't get my humor. "Just joking," I said, "As for welcoming, it's a little late: I have lived here for 25 years."

"Have you been in Russia lately?" He asked.

"Yes, I go there every year."

"Wow. So, what do you think about that crazy guy , Pyutin?"

"Sorry, honey," – I apologized to my wife in my thoughts and picked up the gauntlet. "You mean Putin? He is not crazy. Actually, he is one of the smartest rulers Russia ever had." I said.

Tony's eyes nearly leaped from their sockets. "But he is a dictator and kills people!"

"I wouldn't call him a dictator – he was just last week elected by nearly 67% of Russians. I would call him an authoritarian, strong ruler; but a weak ruler in Russia wouldn't survive a day. Besides, there were seven people opposed him in the election!"

Tony smiled. "You call it an election? He chose the opponents himself from his friends. The whole world knows that elections in Russia are a sham!"

"Who told you this nonsense, Tony? Did you listen to the debates? Did you hear how these people yelled at each other and cursed Putin, asking people to vote for them not for Putin. They really were as tough as Hillary to Donald! And besides, there were a lot of observers from 110 countries. They claimed the election was legitimate."

"No, I do not believe you."

"You may not believe me but I am citing the international organizations reports. You may check their reports on the Internet yourself. You may even sue these organizations if you wish."

Tony was silent for a minute, then turned his head to me and asked: "You know that Pyutin is evil even to his own people?"

"You mean Putin? Who told you? How many Russians share your opinion?"

"McCain."

"Is he Russian?"

"No, but he knows that Pyutin is KGB."

"His name is Putin!" I tried to correct at least this in his mind. "So, you do not believe me, a Russian, who just returned from Russia, but you believe this Senator, who hates Putin and Russia? Besides, there are no KGB anymore."

"But he used to be KGB?"

"Yes, and Bush H. was also a CIA agent. So, what? After the collapse of the Soviet Union there were no people who didn't work for government in that country, we all worked for government! Putin is good for Russia, he is the brightest politician nowadays. He is like a great Chess-master, and he is a dangerous player. We must be careful with him. Some Congressmen are underestimating Russia, calling it "a gasoline station with nukes," but I was there this summer and saw with my own eyes how much people love Putin, and how much he is doing to make that country great again."

"Yeh, yeh, yeh " Tony didn't know what to say. Then he recalled something and turned his red face to me. "Well, he invaded Crimea, and Ukraine!"

"No, he did not. Crimea was a harbor for the Russian navy, and according to the treaty between Ukraine and Russia there were sixteen thousand Russian troops stationed there on a permanent base. There were about twenty-three thousand Ukrainian troops there, too. So, when the thugs in Kiev took power, illegally kicking out president Yanukovych and killing the political opponents, the Crimean people decided to organize a referendum. Ninety-six percent decided to reunite with Russia, as they were Russians for nearly 400 years before the Communist dictator Khrushchev gave that peninsula to Ukraine as a present to his native land."

"But they had no right to secede from the main land of Ukraine!"

"Yes, they did. International law gives the right for self-determination to people. Remember, we split from the British Empire."

"But it was so long ago!"

"Okay, what about East and West Germany or Kosovo? The people in these countries also exercised their right of self-determination, but they didn't have any referendum as far as I know."

Tony looked at me attentively. "I don't believe you."

"You have the right not to believe me. You asked, I answered."

Tony was silent for a while. Then he threw out his last argument. "I hope you wouldn't deny that Putin killed British citizens recently, using KGB gas!"

Wow, he pronounced "Putin" correctly! I smiled. The nice face of my American wife appeared in my head again, and she was not happy! I kissed her in my thoughts and finished the conversation with my last knockout blow:

"I wouldn't deny it if the poisoning by Russians had been proved!"

"But it was proved by Teresa May!"

"Really? What did she say?"

"She said that it was Putin who poisoned the British citizens!"

"Not really, my friend. She said that it was "highly likely" that Russia did it! Besides, only Mr. Skripal is a British citizen, his daughter is a Russian citizen"

"Does it make any difference?"

"You mean, "highly likely" is proof to punish somebody? What about one of the main pillars of democracy – innocent until proven guilty?"

"But we believe our allies, not the Russians!"

That statement made me laugh. "You believe not facts but political statements without any facts? Wow! What kind of democracy is that?"

Tony's face became so red that I was afraid it would melt. He stood up from the bench and without looking at me firmly said:

"Russians are our enemies, and democracy does not apply to them."

He left, leaving me with a sudden fear of approaching nuclear war.

At night I prayed for peace. I prayed for American and Russian people-in-power who could easily destroy this fragile planet. If people refuse to understand each other, they fight. Kennedy and Khrushchev fortunately understood this. Will Putin and Trump understand?

Pavel Kozhevnikov was born in Kazakhstan. In 1992 he married an American woman and relocated to Colorado, USA, where he worked in a variety of business ventures and taught various subjects including Russian at Mitchell High School as well as at Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Pavel continues to enjoy teaching Russian at the local community college and university and devotes his free time to writing. He has published four books of stories and poems as well as numerous articles for newspapers and journals in Russia, Germany, Kazakhstan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

[Aug 11, 2018] President Trump the most important achivement

Highly recommended!
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @ nytimes , @ NBCNews , @ ABC , @ CBS , @ CNN ) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! ~ Donald Trump
On Thursday, Mr. Trump expressed his distaste for journalists in more populist terms, saying, "much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles in particular, speaks not for the people, but for the special interests."
"The public doesn't believe you people anymore," Mr. Trump added. "Now, maybe I had something to do with that. I don't know. But they don't believe you."
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC ..."
Aug 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

President Trump has denounced and exposed the repeated deceits and ongoing fabrications of the mass media. Never before has a President so forcefully identified the lies of the leading print and TV outlets. The NY Times , Washington Post , the Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS have been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the larger public. They have lost legitimacy and trust. Where progressives have failed, a war monger billionaire has accomplished, speaking a truth to serve many injustices.

[Aug 10, 2018] Butina Case Neo-McCarthyism Engulfs America

Several US lobbing organizations leadership should probably also be arrested if the same criteria is applied...
Aug 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Phillip Giraldi via The Stratgeic Culture Foundation,

The United States Department of Justice would apparently have you believe that the Kremlin sought to subvert the five-million-member strong National Rifle Association (NRA) by having two Russian citizens take out life memberships in the organization with the intention of corrupting it and turning it into a mouthpiece for President Vladimir Putin.

Both of the Russians – Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin – have, by the way, long well documented histories as advocates for gun ownership and were founders of Right to Bear Arms, which is not an intelligence front organization of some kind and is rather a genuine lobbying group with an active membership and agenda.

Contrary to what has been reported in the mainstream media, Russians can own guns but the licensing and registration procedures are long and complicated, which Right to Bear Arms, modeling itself on the NRA, is seeking to change.

Maria Butina, a graduate student at American University, is now in solitary confinement in a federal prison, having been charged with collusion with Torshin and failure to register as an agent of the Russian Federation. It is unusual to arrest and confine someone who has failed to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, but she has not been granted bail because, as a Russian citizen, she is considered to be a "flight risk," likely to try to flee the US and return home. It is to be presumed that she is being pressured to identify others involved in her alleged scheme to overthrow American democracy through NRA membership.

Indeed, in any event, it would be difficult to imagine why anyone would consider the NRA to be a legitimate intelligence target. It only flexes its admitted powerful legislative muscles over issues relating to gun ownership, not regarding policy on Russia. In short, Butina and by extension Torshin appear to have done nothing wrong. Both are energetic advocates for their country and guns rights, which they appear to believe in, and Butina's aggressive networking has broken no law except not registering, which in itself assumes that she is a Russian government agent, something that has not been demonstrated. To put the shoe on the other foot, will every American who now travels to Russia and engages in political conversations with local people be suspected of acting as an agent of the US government? Once you open the door, it swings both ways.

One might dismiss the entire Affair Butina as little more than a reflection of the anti-Russia hysteria that has been sweeping the United States since Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, but that would be unfair to those remaining honest FBI agents who may have investigated Butina and Torshin and come up with what they believed to be a plausible case for an indictment . There were possibly suspicious money transfers as well as email intercepts that might be interpreted as incriminating.

But two important elements are clearly missing.

The first is motive. Did the Kremlin seriously believe that it could get anything substantial out of having a gun totin' attractive young Russian woman as a life member in the NRA? What did the presumed puppet masters in Moscow expect to obtain apart from the sorts of group photos including Butina that one gets while posing with politicians at the annual NRA convention? Sure, the photo might even evolve into a cup of coffee together, but what is the end game?

Second is the lack of any of the hallmarks of an intelligence operation, which is referred to in the business as tradecraft. Spies meet secretly or at least outside the public eye with prospective agents whereas Maria operated completely in the open and she made no effort to conceal her love for her country and her desire that Washington and Moscow normalize relations. Spies also communicate securely, which means that they use encrypted systems or various cut-outs, i.e. mis-directions, when maintaining contact with those who are running them. Again, Maria did none of that, which is why the FBI has her emails. Also spies work under what is referred to as an "operating directive" in CIA-speak where they have very specific information that they seek to obtain from their contacts. There is no indication that Maria Butina in any way sought classified information or intelligence that would relate either to the security of the United States or to America's political system. And finally, Maria made no attempt to recruit anyone and turn them into an actual controlled Russian agent, which is what spies eventually seek to do.

It has come down to this: if you are a Russian and you are caught talking to anyone in any way influential, there is potentially hell to pay because the FBI will be watching you. You are automatically assumed to be part of a conspiracy. Once "evidence" is collected, you will be indicted and sent to prison, mostly to send a message to Moscow.

It is the ultimate irony that how the old Soviet Union's judiciary used to function is now becoming standing operating procedure in the United States.

[Aug 08, 2018] The Utility of the RussiaGate Conspiracy

Images deleted...
Notable quotes:
"... The election of Donald Trump came as a shock to many ( Independent , 11/5/16 ). ..."
"... The Washington Post ( 11/24/16 ) was one of the first media outlets to blame the election results on Russian "fake news." ..."
"... Thomas Friedman ( Morning Joe , 2/14/18 ) pointedly compared email hacking to events that the US responded to with major wars. ..."
"... Outlets like Slate ( 5/11/18 ) warned of a sinister connection between Black Lives Matter and Russia. ..."
"... "We are at war," Morgan Freeman assures us on behalf of the Committee to Investigate Russia. ..."
Jul 27, 2018 | fair.org

New McCarthyism allows corporate media to tighten grip, Democrats to ignore their own failings Alan MacLeod

The election of Donald Trump came as a shock to many ( Independent , 11/5/16 ).

To the shock of many, Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential elections, becoming the 45th president of the United States. Not least shocked were corporate media, and the political establishment more generally; the Princeton Election Consortium confidently predicted an over 99 percent chance of a Clinton victory, while MSNBC 's Rachel Maddow ( 10/17/16 ) said it could be a "Goldwater-style landslide."

Indeed, Hillary Clinton and her team actively attempted to secure a Trump primary victory, assured that he would be the easiest candidate to beat. The Podesta emails show that her team considered even before the primaries that associating Trump with Vladimir Putin and Russia would be a winning strategy and employed the tactic throughout 2016 and beyond.

With Clinton claiming , "Putin would rather have a puppet as president," Russia was by far the most discussed topic during the presidential debates ( FAIR.org , 10/13/16 ), easily eclipsing healthcare, terrorism, poverty and inequality. Media seized upon the theme, with Paul Krugman ( New York Times , 7/22/16 ) asserting Trump would be a " Siberian candidate," while ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden ( Washington Post , 5/16/16 ) claimed Trump would be Russia's "useful fool."

The day after the election, Jonathan Allen's book Shattered detailed, Clinton's team decided that the proliferation of Russian-sponsored "fake news" online was the primary reason for their loss.

Within weeks, the Washington Post ( 11/24/16 ) was publicizing the website PropOrNot.com , which purports to help users differentiate sources as fake or genuine, as an invaluable tool in the battle against fake news ( FAIR.org , 12/1/16 , 12/8/16 ). The website soberly informs its readers that you see news sources critiquing the "mainstream media," the EU, NATO, Obama, Clinton, Angela Merkel or other centrists are a telltale sign of Russian propaganda. It also claims that when news sources argue against foreign intervention and war with Russia, that's evidence that you are reading Kremlin-penned fake news.

The Washington Post ( 11/24/16 ) was one of the first media outlets to blame the election results on Russian "fake news."

PropOrNot claims it has identified over 200 popular websites that "routinely peddle Russian propaganda." Included in the list were Wikileaks , Trump-supporting right-wing websites like InfoWars and the Drudge Report , libertarian outlets like the Ron Paul Institute and Antiwar.com , and award-winning anti-Trump (but also Clinton-critical) left-wing sites like TruthDig and Naked Capitalism . Thus it was uniquely news sources that did not lie in the fairway between Clinton Democrats and moderate Republicans that were tarred as propaganda.

PropOrNot calls for an FBI investigation into the news sources listed. Even its creators see the resemblance to a new McCarthyism, as it appears as a frequently asked question on their website. (They say it is not McCarthyism, because "we are not accusing anyone of lawbreaking, treason, or 'being a member of the Communist Party.'") However, this new McCarthyism does not stem from the conservative right like before, but from the establishment center.

That the list is so evidently flawed and its creators refuse to reveal their identities or funding did not stop the issue becoming one of the most discussed in mainstream circles. Media talk of fake news sparked organizations like Google , Facebook , Bing and YouTube to change their algorithms, ostensibly to combat it.

However, one major effect of the change has been to hammer progressive outlets that challenge the status quo. The Intercept reported a 19 percent reduction in Google search traffic, AlterNet 63 percent and Democracy Now! 36 percent. Reddit and Twitter deleted thousands of accounts, while in what came to be called the "AdPocalypse," YouTube began demonetizing videos from independent creators like Majority Report and the Jimmy Dore Show on controversial political topics like environmental protests, war and mass shootings. (In contrast, corporate outlets like CNN did not have their content on those subjects demonetized.) Journalists that questioned aspects of the Russia narrative, like Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Maté, were accused of being agents of the Kremlin ( Shadowproof , 7/9/18 ).

The effect has been to pull away the financial underpinnings of alternative media that question the corporate state and capitalism in general, and to reassert corporate control over communication, something that had been loosened during the election in particular. It also impels liberal journalists to prove their loyalty by employing sufficiently bellicose and anti-Russian rhetoric, lest they also be tarred as Kremlin agents.

Thomas Friedman ( Morning Joe , 2/14/18 ) pointedly compared email hacking to events that the US responded to with major wars.

When it was reported in February that 13 Russian trolls had been indicted by a US grand jury for sharing and promoting pro-Trump and anti-Clinton memes on Facebook , the response was a general uproar. Multiple senior political figures declared it an "act of war." Clinton herself described Russian interference as a " cyber 9/11 ," while Thomas Friedman said that it was a " Pearl Harbor–scale event ." Morgan Freeman's viral video, produced by Rob Reiner's Committee to Investigate Russia, summed up the outrage: "We have been attacked," the actor declared ; "We are at war with Russia." Liberals declared Trump's refusal to react in a sufficiently aggressive manner further proof he was Putin's puppet.

The McCarthyist wave swept over other politicians that challenged the liberal center. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein refused to endorse the Russia narrative, leading mainstream figures like Rachel Maddow to insinuate she was a Kremlin stooge as well. After news broke that Stein's connection to Russia was being officially investigated, top Clinton staffer Zac Petkanas announced :

"Commentary" that succinctly summed up the political atmosphere.

In contrast, Bernie Sanders has consistently and explicitly endorsed the RussiaGate theory, claiming it is "clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russia was deeply involved in the 2016 election and intends to be involved in 2018." Despite his stance, Sanders has also been constantly presented as another Russian agent, with the Washington Post ( 11/12/17 ) asking its readers, "When Russia interferes with the 2020 election on behalf of Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders, how will liberals respond?" The message is clear: The progressive wave rising across America is and will be a consequence of Russia, not of the failures of the system, nor of the Democrats.

Outlets like Slate ( 5/11/18 ) warned of a sinister connection between Black Lives Matter and Russia.

It is not just politicians who have been smeared as Russian agents, witting or unwitting; virtually every major progressive movement challenging the system is increasingly dismissed in the same way. Multiple media outlets, including CNN ( 6/29/18 ), Slate ( 5/11/18 ), Vox ( 4/11/18 ) and the New York Times ( 2/16/18 ), have produced articles linking Black Lives Matter to the Kremlin, insinuating the outrage over racist police brutality is another Russian psyop. Others claimed Russia funded the riots in Ferguson and that Russian trolls promoted the Standing Rock environmental protests.

Meanwhile, Democratic insider Neera Tanden retweeted a description of Chelsea Manning as a "Russian stooge," writing off her campaign for the Senate as "the Kremlin paying the extreme left to swing elections. Remember that." Thus corporate media are promoting the idea that any challenge to the establishment is likely a Kremlin-funded astroturf effort.

The tactic has spread to Europe as well. After the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, the UK government immediately blamed Russia and imposed sanctions (without publicly presenting evidence). Jeremy Corbyn, the pacifist, leftist leader of the Labour Party, was uncharacteristically bellicose, asserting , "The Russian authorities must be held to account on the basis of the evidence and our response must be both decisive and proportionate."

The British press was outraged -- at Corbyn's insufficient jingoism. The Sun 's front page ( 3/15/18 ) attacked him as "Putin's Puppet," while the Daily Mail ( 3/15/18 ) went with "Corbyn the Kremlin Stooge." As with Sanders, the fact that Corbyn endorsed the official narrative didn't keep him from being attacked, showing that the conspiratorial mindset seeing Russia behind everything has little to do with evidence-based reality, and is increasingly a tool to demonize the establishment's political enemies.

The Atlantic Council published a report claiming Greek political parties Syriza and Golden Dawn were not expressions of popular frustration and disillusionment, but "the Kremlin's Trojan horses," undermining democracy in its birthplace. Providing scant evidence, the report went on to link virtually every major European political party challenging the center, from right or left, to Putin. From Britian's UKIP to Spain's Podemos to Italy's Five Star Movement, all are charged with being under one man's control. It is this council that Facebook announced it was partnering with to help promote "trustworthy" news and weed out "untrustworthy" sources ( FAIR.org , 5/21/18 ), as its CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with representatives from some of the largest corporate outlets, like the New York Times , CNN and News Corp , to help develop a system to control what content we see on the website.

"We are at war," Morgan Freeman assures us on behalf of the Committee to Investigate Russia.

The utility of this wave of suspicion is captured in Freeman's aforementioned video . After asserting that "for 241 years, our democracy has been a shining example to the world of what we can all aspire to" -- a tally that would count nearly a century of chattel slavery and almost another hundred years of de jure racial disenfranchisement -- the actor explains that "Putin uses social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political process."

The obvious implication is that the political process and media ought to be trusted, and would be trusted were it not for Putin's propaganda. It was not the failures of capitalism and the deep inequalities it created that led to widespread popular resentment and movements on both left and right pressing for radical change across Europe and America, but Vladimir Putin himself. In other words, "America is already great."

For the Democrats, Russiagate allows them to ignore calls for change and not scrutinize why they lost to the most unpopular presidential candidate in history. Since Russia hacked the election, there is no need for introspection, and certainly no need to accommodate the Sanders wing or to engage with progressive challenges from activists on the left, who are Putin's puppets anyway. The party can continue on the same course, painting over the deep cracks in American society. Similarly, for centrists in Europe, under threat from both left and right, the Russia narrative allows them to sow distrust among the public for any movement challenging the dominant order.

For the state, Russiagate has encouraged liberals to forego their faculties and develop a state-worshiping, conspiratorial mindset in the face of a common, manufactured enemy. Liberal trust in institutions like the FBI has markedly increased since 2016, while liberals also now espouse a neocon foreign policy in Syria, Ukraine and other regions, with many supporting the vast increases in the US military budget and attacking Trump from the right.

For corporate media, too, the disciplining effect of the Russia narrative is highly useful, allowing them to reassert control over the means of communication under the guise of preventing a Russian "fake news" infiltration. News sources that challenge the establishment are censored, defunded or deranked, as corporate sources stoke mistrust of them. Meanwhile, it allows them to portray themselves as arbiters of truth. This strategy has had some success, with Democrats' trust in media increasing since the election.

None of this is to say that Russia does not strive to influence other countries' elections, a tactic that the United States has employed even more frequently ( NPR , 12/22/16 ). Yet the extent to which the story has dominated the US media to the detriment of other issues is a remarkable testament to its utility for those in power.

[Aug 08, 2018] George Stephanopoulos is trying to criminalize any contacts with Russia

Notable quotes:
"... STEPHANOPOULOS: And I gave you a chance to explain all the irregularities you thought you saw in the investigation. I asked you about that. You said no collusion. At first the White House said that there were no contacts with Russians. We now know there were at least 80 contacts. If the White House or anyone connected to the Trump campaign accepted information from the Russians, that could potentially be collusion. That would be -- that could be considered collusion, could be considered participating with a conspiracy. ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | crooksandliars.com

STEPHANOPOULOS: And I gave you a chance to explain all the irregularities you thought you saw in the investigation. I asked you about that. You said no collusion. At first the White House said that there were no contacts with Russians. We now know there were at least 80 contacts. If the White House or anyone connected to the Trump campaign accepted information from the Russians, that could potentially be collusion. That would be -- that could be considered collusion, could be considered participating with a conspiracy.

So that's also -- that's also the possibility of a legal violation there as well. But I do want to ask you about --

(CROSSTALK)

SEKULOW: -- in that allegation, though, you'd have to -- the -- the so-called collusion, which by the way is not a legal term, that's now what results in a -- a-- a issue of criminality. I mean, that's just one theory (ph). And by the way, you know, the phrasing here, especially at this late date is very important. So everyone is still talking about this collusion concept. And when Rudy Giuliani said collusion's not a crime, that was again rather unremarkable.

What was the fact? I mean what was the fact? Well the facts that we know is what is the violation or what violation has anybody put forward of an actual federal statute that's been violated by the – by the president of the United States?

And we've yet to seen (ph) it, and as I said, we've seen an awful lot of it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well that's one of the things that Robert Mueller's investigating. I agree with you on that.

[Aug 08, 2018] Soros the 400k Question What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy

Notable quotes:
"... "Unproven Russian involvement in Brexit -- terrible! Impose more sanctions on Moscow! A £400k check from an American billionaire for an anti-Brexit campaigning group -- that's no problem; it's helping our democracy!" ..."
"... "By quitting Europe, I fear that we are hastening Putin's dream of the break-up of the EU -- and with it, potentially, western civilisation," ..."
"... "propaganda arms of the Russian government," ..."
"... "at the back of the queue" ..."
"... "This is not foreign interference This is not foreign interference!" ..."
"... " highly probable " ..."
"... "had conducted a thorough investigation around the Brexit referendum and found no evidence of Russian interference ." ..."
"... "Russian troll factory," ..."
"... "very low levels of engagement" ..."
"... "conspiracy theorist" ..."
"... "Just what does George Soros think he is doing pouring £400,000 into a campaign to stop Brexit. For a start he is not actually a resident of this country so it has nothing to do with him." ..."
"... "I don't know that the public understands the gravity of what the Russians were able to do and continue to do here in the United States. They've attacked us. They're trying to undermine our democracy," ..."
"... "I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money " ..."
"... "I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars," ..."
"... "Well, son of a b***h. He got fired." ..."
www.rt.com

You'd have to have a real sense of humor failure not to laugh. The news that US billionaire Soros donated £400k to an anti-Brexit group came on the day that YouTube said they found no evidence of Russian interference in Brexit. Repeat After Me (with robotic arm movements): "Unproven Russian involvement in Brexit -- terrible! Impose more sanctions on Moscow! A £400k check from an American billionaire for an anti-Brexit campaigning group -- that's no problem; it's helping our democracy!"

You don't have to own a brand new £999 state-of-the art Hypocrisy Detector from Harrods, to pick up on the double standards. Just having a few functioning brain cells and thinking for yourself will do. For months in the UK we've been bombarded with Establishment-approved conspiracy theories -- peddled in all the 'best' newspapers -- that Russia somehow 'fixed' Brexit. Getting Britain to leave the EU was all part of a cunning plot by Vladimir Putin, aka Dr. Evil, to weaken Europe and the 'free world.'

Read more Soros-backed anti-Brexit group is 'undemocratic' -- cofounder Gina Miller

Even West End musical composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who knows quite a bit about phantoms, seemed taken in by it. "By quitting Europe, I fear that we are hastening Putin's dream of the break-up of the EU -- and with it, potentially, western civilisation," the noble Lord declared in July.

Never mind that we don't have a single statement from Putin or other senior Kremlin figures saying that they actually supported Brexit. These Establishment Russia-bashers know exactly what The Vlad is thinking.

And never mind that RT and Sputnik, which we are repeatedly told are "propaganda arms of the Russian government," ran articles by pro- and anti-Brexit writers. The same people who told us Iraq had WMDs in 2003 were absolutely sure it was those dastardly Russkies who had got Britain to vote 'leave.' The irony is of course that there was significant foreign interference in Brexit. But it didn't come from Moscow.

Or Obama actually visiting the U.K. to urge people to vote Remain. Imagine if Putin did the same for Leave!

-- jeffreydujon (@vanremny) February 8, 2018

The US has always wanted Britain to stay in the EU. In April 2016, two months before the Referendum, President Obama made it clear what he wanted when he visited the UK. He warned that if Britain exited the EU it would be "at the back of the queue" for trade deals with the US .

Just imagine if Putin had said that. The Russophobes would have spontaneously combusted.

Then of course there was the backing the Remain camp had from the giants of US capital. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan donated £500,000 each to the 'Britain Stronger in Europe' group, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley -- £250,000 each.

Again, repeat after me (with robotic arm movements): "This is not foreign interference This is not foreign interference!"

You've got to see the funny side of this: all that hysterical fake news about 'Russian interference' in Brexit & here we have one side receiving £400K from a US billionaire who is part of the US political establishment. Is that not 'interference' ?!! https://t.co/URzrB3ciLd

-- Neil Clark (@NeilClark66) February 8, 2018

The point is not whether we are for or against Brexit. Or whether we think George Soros is a malign influence who only acts out of self-interest or an old sweetie-pie with the good of humanity at heart. The point is the double standards that are causing our Hypocrisy Detectors to explode.

Let's think back to December 2016. Then, the pro-war and fiercely anti-Russian Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told Parliament that it was " highly probable " that Russia had interfered with Brexit.

Fourteen months on, what have we got? On Thursday, the global head of You Tube's public policy, Juniper Downs, said her company "had conducted a thorough investigation around the Brexit referendum and found no evidence of Russian interference ."

Read more © Sophia Kembowski / Global Look Press No Russian interference in Brexit referendum - YouTube exec tells parliamentary committee (VIDEO)

Twitter meanwhile says it detected 49 (yes, 49) accounts from what it claimed to be a "Russian troll factory," which sent all of 942 messages about Brexit -- amounting to less than 0.005% of all the tweets about the Referendum. Twitter said the accounts received "very low levels of engagement" from users. If the Kremlin had planned to use tweets to persuade us to vote 'leave,' they didn't really put much effort into it, did they?

Finally, Facebook said that only three "Kremlin-linked" accounts were found which spent the grand sum of 72p (yes, 72p) on ads during the Referendum campaign. Which amounts to the greater "interference" ? 72p or £400K? Erm tough call, isn't it?

You might have thought, given his concern with 'foreign interference' in British politics, that Ben Bradshaw would have been urging 'Best for Britain' to return George Soros' donation. Au contraire! His only tweets about it were retweets of two critical comments about the Daily Telegraph, and the BBC's coverage of the story. Conclusion: Those who rail about 'Russia meddling in Brexit' but not Soros' intervention aren't concerned about 'foreign interference' in UK politics, only 'foreign interference' from countries they don't approve of.

Those who are quite happy peddling ludicrous conspiracy theories about Russians shout "conspiracy theorist" (or worse) at those who report factually on proven meddling from others. The Daily Express hit the nail on the head in their Friday editorial which said: "Just what does George Soros think he is doing pouring £400,000 into a campaign to stop Brexit. For a start he is not actually a resident of this country so it has nothing to do with him."

That really is the rub of the matter. And Bradshaw and co. have no adequate response except to shoot the messenger.

If we look at the affair with an even wider lens, the hypocrisy is even greater. The US has been gripped by an anti-Russian frenzy not seen since the days of Senator Joe McCarthy. The unsubstantiated claim that Russia fixed the election for Donald Trump is repeated by 'liberals' and many neocons too, as a statement of fact. "I don't know that the public understands the gravity of what the Russians were able to do and continue to do here in the United States. They've attacked us. They're trying to undermine our democracy," film director Rob Reiner said .

But the number one country round the world for undermining democracy and interfering in the affairs of other sovereign states is the US itself.

Read more The US Vice President Joe Biden (L) jokes that Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (R) is buying lunch, before sitting down to their bilateral meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington March 31, 2016. © Jonathan Ernst 'Son of b***h got fired': Joe Biden forced Ukraine to sack prosecutor general 'in six hours'

While Establishment journos and pundits have been foaming at the mouth over 'Russiagate' and getting terribly excited over 'smoking guns' which turn out -- surprise, surprise -- to be damp squibs, there's been less attention paid to the boasts of former Vice President Joe Biden on how he got the allegedly 'independent' Ukrainian government to sack its prosecutor general in a few hours. "I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money "

"I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars," Biden said during a meeting of the US' Council on Foreign Relations. "Well, son of a b***h. He got fired."

Again, just imagine the furore if a leading Russian government figure boasted about how he used financial inducements to get another country's Prosecutor General to be sacked. Or if a tape was leaked in which the Russian Ambassador and a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson could be heard discussing who should or shouldn't be in the new 'democratic' government of another sovereign state. But we had the US Ambassador to Ukraine and the US Assistant Secretary of State doing exactly that in 2014 -- and the 'Russia is interfering in the Free World!' brigade were as silent as a group of Trappist monks.

It's fair to say that Orwell would have a field day with the doublespeak that's currently on show. The cognitive dissonance is there for all to see. Repeat After Me: Unproven Russian interference -- Bad. Proven interference from other external sources -- Good. What's your problem?

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Aug 07, 2018] It s very profitable to be an anti-Russian talking head.

Aug 07, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

New Cold War

"Ex-FBI agent: Trump got elected, thanks to Russia" [ Yahoo News ]. • One thing to remember about RussiaRussiaRussia -- R 3 ? -- is that it's very profitable to be a talking head.

"DOJ Announces Public Release of the Cyber-Digital Task Force's First Report; Impact on and Role of the Private Sector Likely to be a Focus in the Coming Months" [ Compliance and Enforcement ]. "[Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] lauded 'self-policing' efforts to remove 'fake accounts' and encouraged companies to 'consider the voluntary removal of accounts and content' that are linked by the FBI to foreign agents' activities, which he said 'violate terms of service and deceive customers.'" • What could go wrong?

flora , August 6, 2018 at 2:44 pm

re: Living in the Age of the Big Lie.

"The Death of Truth" by Pulitzer-Prize winning book critic Michiko Kakutani explores the waning of integrity in American society, particularly since the 2016 elections. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's observation that "everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts," is more timely than ever, Kakutani says: "polarization has grown so extreme that voters have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts." And no wonder: Two-thirds of Americans get at least some of their news through social media -- a platform that has been overwhelmed by trolls and bots, and which uses algorithms to decide what each of us gets to see.

Executives ignore the cultural shift away from honesty at their peril.

I would put the start date for the cultural shift away from honest at 2008; every one knew what caused the financial disaster, knew who the culprits were (and are), saw them get away with grand theft and govt protection, and knew they were being lied to by the sort of bs excuses like WF's "it was a computer glitch" that done it. Once it was clear the govt was going to protect the robbers, the new paradigm of dishonesty in high places trickled down. Ohhh, so that's how trickle down works.

[Aug 07, 2018] Comrade Stalin speaks from the grave, in support of Kommissar Hillary Clinton

Notable quotes:
"... First, the wrecking and diversionist-espionage work of agents of foreign countries , among whom a rather active role was played by the Trotskyists, affected more or less all, or nearly all, of our organizations-economic, administrative, and Party. ..."
"... Second, agents of foreign countries, among them the Trotskyites , penetrated not only into lower organizations, but also into certain responsible posts. ..."
Aug 07, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

clarky90 , August 3, 2018 at 5:15 pm

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1937/03/03.htm

Defects in Party Work and Measures for Liquidating Trotskyite and Other Double Dealers : March 3, 1937

"Comrades!

From the reports and the debates on these reports heard at this plenum, it is evident that we are dealing with the following three main facts.

First, the wrecking and diversionist-espionage work of agents of foreign countries , among whom a rather active role was played by the Trotskyists, affected more or less all, or nearly all, of our organizations-economic, administrative, and Party.

Second, agents of foreign countries, among them the Trotskyites , penetrated not only into lower organizations, but also into certain responsible posts.

Third, some of our leading comrades, both at the center and at the periphery, not only failed to discern the face of these wreckers, diversionists, spies, and killers, but proved to be so careless, complacent, and naive that at times they themselves assisted in promoting agents of foreign states to responsible posts.

These are the three incontrovertible facts which naturally emerge from the reports and the discussions on them "

[Aug 06, 2018] George Stephanopoulos is trying to criminalize any contacts with Russia

Notable quotes:
"... STEPHANOPOULOS: And I gave you a chance to explain all the irregularities you thought you saw in the investigation. I asked you about that. You said no collusion. At first the White House said that there were no contacts with Russians. We now know there were at least 80 contacts. If the White House or anyone connected to the Trump campaign accepted information from the Russians, that could potentially be collusion. That would be -- that could be considered collusion, could be considered participating with a conspiracy. ..."
Aug 06, 2018 | crooksandliars.com

STEPHANOPOULOS: And I gave you a chance to explain all the irregularities you thought you saw in the investigation. I asked you about that. You said no collusion. At first the White House said that there were no contacts with Russians. We now know there were at least 80 contacts. If the White House or anyone connected to the Trump campaign accepted information from the Russians, that could potentially be collusion. That would be -- that could be considered collusion, could be considered participating with a conspiracy.

So that's also -- that's also the possibility of a legal violation there as well. But I do want to ask you about --

(CROSSTALK)

SEKULOW: -- in that allegation, though, you'd have to -- the -- the so-called collusion, which by the way is not a legal term, that's now what results in a -- a-- a issue of criminality. I mean, that's just one theory (ph). And by the way, you know, the phrasing here, especially at this late date is very important. So everyone is still talking about this collusion concept. And when Rudy Giuliani said collusion's not a crime, that was again rather unremarkable.

What was the fact? I mean what was the fact? Well the facts that we know is what is the violation or what violation has anybody put forward of an actual federal statute that's been violated by the – by the president of the United States?

And we've yet to seen (ph) it, and as I said, we've seen an awful lot of it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well that's one of the things that Robert Mueller's investigating. I agree with you on that.

[Aug 06, 2018] It's very profitable to be an anti-Russian talking head.

Aug 06, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

New Cold War

"Ex-FBI agent: Trump got elected, thanks to Russia" [ Yahoo News ]. • One thing to remember about RussiaRussiaRussia -- R 3 ? -- is that it's very profitable to be a talking head.

"DOJ Announces Public Release of the Cyber-Digital Task Force's First Report; Impact on and Role of the Private Sector Likely to be a Focus in the Coming Months" [ Compliance and Enforcement ]. "[Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] lauded 'self-policing' efforts to remove 'fake accounts' and encouraged companies to 'consider the voluntary removal of accounts and content' that are linked by the FBI to foreign agents' activities, which he said 'violate terms of service and deceive customers.'" • What could go wrong?

[Aug 05, 2018] Cooper was equally as unhinged as Boot: Neoliberal MSM is a real 1984 remake.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I'm somewhat puzzled why Trump and his people, when referring to the "fake news" and answering questions from hostile journalists, especially about the idea that the media are "enemies of the American people", fail to bring up the fact that the "fake news" and the "enemies of the people" are not the journalists themselves, but rather the management and ownership of the media. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
paul malfara , a day ago
I posted this one to my facebook page three or four days ago. It's brilliant. I have a few comments. First, I disagree with the analysis given by the fellow from the Duran in the introduction, something along the lines of "even Anderson Cooper was smirking because Cohen was demolishing Boot so badly".

If you pay attention to the questions and statements, you find that Cooper is equally as unhinged as Boot is, first hammering on the point that nobody knows what was discussed in the meeting, then after Cohen rattles off a list, Cooper shifts to the "you're believing Vladimir Putin on this" tactic, a nail that Cohen wisely smashes with a hammering statement, "I don't want to shock you, but I believe Vladimir Putin on several things."

Cooper continues to insist that the content of the meeting is unknown and unconfirmed, regardless of what Putin and Trump say. The sheer hubris of journalists today is unprecedented and outrageous.

I do admit that Cooper shuts up after being schooled by Cohen a second and third time and after Boot makes the mistake of calling Cohen an apologist for Putin and Russia. This leads me to a second point.

I'm somewhat puzzled why Trump and his people, when referring to the "fake news" and answering questions from hostile journalists, especially about the idea that the media are "enemies of the American people", fail to bring up the fact that the "fake news" and the "enemies of the people" are not the journalists themselves, but rather the management and ownership of the media.

\This would accomplish two important things, both necessary, in my opinion. First, it would put the front line journalists into their correct place, telling them that they are really nothing but mouthpieces, and we know that the real decisions on content are not made by them.

What a blow to their narcisstic self-esteem that would be!

Second, it would give the American people more information on how their consent is engineered, how the media has owners who have an agenda, and that agenda is not related to improving the lives of the American people, or even keeping them informed with accurate information.

[Aug 05, 2018] Cooper was equally as unhinged as Boot: Neoliberal MSM is a real 1984 remake.

Notable quotes:
"... I'm somewhat puzzled why Trump and his people, when referring to the "fake news" and answering questions from hostile journalists, especially about the idea that the media are "enemies of the American people", fail to bring up the fact that the "fake news" and the "enemies of the people" are not the journalists themselves, but rather the management and ownership of the media. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
paul malfara , a day ago
I posted this one to my facebook page three or four days ago. It's brilliant. I have a few comments. First, I disagree with the analysis given by the fellow from the Duran in the introduction, something along the lines of "even Anderson Cooper was smirking because Cohen was demolishing Boot so badly".

If you pay attention to the questions and statements, you find that Cooper is equally as unhinged as Boot is, first hammering on the point that nobody knows what was discussed in the meeting, then after Cohen rattles off a list, Cooper shifts to the "you're believing Vladimir Putin on this" tactic, a nail that Cohen wisely smashes with a hammering statement, "I don't want to shock you, but I believe Vladimir Putin on several things."

Cooper continues to insist that the content of the meeting is unknown and unconfirmed, regardless of what Putin and Trump say. The sheer hubris of journalists today is unprecedented and outrageous.

I do admit that Cooper shuts up after being schooled by Cohen a second and third time and after Boot makes the mistake of calling Cohen an apologist for Putin and Russia. This leads me to a second point.

I'm somewhat puzzled why Trump and his people, when referring to the "fake news" and answering questions from hostile journalists, especially about the idea that the media are "enemies of the American people", fail to bring up the fact that the "fake news" and the "enemies of the people" are not the journalists themselves, but rather the management and ownership of the media.

\This would accomplish two important things, both necessary, in my opinion. First, it would put the front line journalists into their correct place, telling them that they are really nothing but mouthpieces, and we know that the real decisions on content are not made by them.

What a blow to their narcisstic self-esteem that would be!

Second, it would give the American people more information on how their consent is engineered, how the media has owners who have an agenda, and that agenda is not related to improving the lives of the American people, or even keeping them informed with accurate information.

[Aug 05, 2018] Soros the 400k Question What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... "Unproven Russian involvement in Brexit – terrible! Impose more sanctions on Moscow! A £400k check from an American billionaire for an anti-Brexit campaigning group – that's no problem; it's helping our democracy!" ..."
"... "By quitting Europe, I fear that we are hastening Putin's dream of the break-up of the EU – and with it, potentially, western civilisation," ..."
"... "propaganda arms of the Russian government," ..."
"... "at the back of the queue" ..."
"... "This is not foreign interference This is not foreign interference!" ..."
"... " highly probable " ..."
"... "had conducted a thorough investigation around the Brexit referendum and found no evidence of Russian interference ." ..."
"... "Russian troll factory," ..."
"... "very low levels of engagement" ..."
"... "conspiracy theorist" ..."
"... "Just what does George Soros think he is doing pouring £400,000 into a campaign to stop Brexit. For a start he is not actually a resident of this country so it has nothing to do with him." ..."
"... "I don't know that the public understands the gravity of what the Russians were able to do and continue to do here in the United States. They've attacked us. They're trying to undermine our democracy," ..."
"... "I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money " ..."
"... "I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars," ..."
"... "Well, son of a b***h. He got fired." ..."
"... Follow Neil Clark @NeilClark66 ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | www.rt.com

Soros & the £400k Question: What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy? Neil Clark Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66 Published time: 9 Feb, 2018 16:32 Edited time: 19 Feb, 2018 09:39 Get short URL Soros & the £400k Question: What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy? © Wiktor Dabkowski / Global Look Press You'd have to have a real sense of humor failure not to laugh. The news that US billionaire Soros donated £400k to an anti-Brexit group came on the day that YouTube said they found no evidence of Russian interference in Brexit. Repeat After Me (with robotic arm movements): "Unproven Russian involvement in Brexit – terrible! Impose more sanctions on Moscow! A £400k check from an American billionaire for an anti-Brexit campaigning group – that's no problem; it's helping our democracy!"

You don't have to own a brand new £999 state-of-the art Hypocrisy Detector from Harrods, to pick up on the double standards. Just having a few functioning brain cells and thinking for yourself will do. For months in the UK we've been bombarded with Establishment-approved conspiracy theories – peddled in all the 'best' newspapers – that Russia somehow 'fixed' Brexit. Getting Britain to leave the EU was all part of a cunning plot by Vladimir Putin, aka Dr. Evil, to weaken Europe and the 'free world.'

Read more Gina Miller(R), George Soros(L) © Global Look Press Soros-backed anti-Brexit group is 'undemocratic' – cofounder Gina Miller

Even West End musical composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who knows quite a bit about phantoms, seemed taken in by it. "By quitting Europe, I fear that we are hastening Putin's dream of the break-up of the EU – and with it, potentially, western civilisation," the noble Lord declared in July.

Never mind that we don't have a single statement from Putin or other senior Kremlin figures saying that they actually supported Brexit. These Establishment Russia-bashers know exactly what The Vlad is thinking.

And never mind that RT and Sputnik, which we are repeatedly told are "propaganda arms of the Russian government," ran articles by pro- and anti-Brexit writers. The same people who told us Iraq had WMDs in 2003 were absolutely sure it was those dastardly Russkies who had got Britain to vote 'leave.' The irony is of course that there was significant foreign interference in Brexit. But it didn't come from Moscow.

Or Obama actually visiting the U.K. to urge people to vote Remain. Imagine if Putin did the same for Leave!

-- jeffreydujon (@vanremny) February 8, 2018

The US has always wanted Britain to stay in the EU. In April 2016, two months before the Referendum, President Obama made it clear what he wanted when he visited the UK. He warned that if Britain exited the EU it would be "at the back of the queue" for trade deals with the US .

Just imagine if Putin had said that. The Russophobes would have spontaneously combusted.

Then of course there was the backing the Remain camp had from the giants of US capital. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan donated £500,000 each to the 'Britain Stronger in Europe' group, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley – £250,000 each.

Again, repeat after me (with robotic arm movements): "This is not foreign interference This is not foreign interference!"

You've got to see the funny side of this: all that hysterical fake news about 'Russian interference' in Brexit & here we have one side receiving £400K from a US billionaire who is part of the US political establishment. Is that not 'interference' ?!! https://t.co/URzrB3ciLd

-- Neil Clark (@NeilClark66) February 8, 2018

The point is not whether we are for or against Brexit. Or whether we think George Soros is a malign influence who only acts out of self-interest or an old sweetie-pie with the good of humanity at heart. The point is the double standards that are causing our Hypocrisy Detectors to explode.

Let's think back to December 2016. Then, the pro-war and fiercely anti-Russian Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told Parliament that it was " highly probable " that Russia had interfered with Brexit.

Fourteen months on, what have we got? On Thursday, the global head of You Tube's public policy, Juniper Downs, said her company "had conducted a thorough investigation around the Brexit referendum and found no evidence of Russian interference ."

Read more © Sophia Kembowski / Global Look Press No Russian interference in Brexit referendum - YouTube exec tells parliamentary committee (VIDEO)

Twitter meanwhile says it detected 49 (yes, 49) accounts from what it claimed to be a "Russian troll factory," which sent all of 942 messages about Brexit – amounting to less than 0.005% of all the tweets about the Referendum. Twitter said the accounts received "very low levels of engagement" from users. If the Kremlin had planned to use tweets to persuade us to vote 'leave,' they didn't really put much effort into it, did they?

Finally, Facebook said that only three "Kremlin-linked" accounts were found which spent the grand sum of 72p (yes, 72p) on ads during the Referendum campaign. Which amounts to the greater "interference" ? 72p or £400K? Erm tough call, isn't it?

You might have thought, given his concern with 'foreign interference' in British politics, that Ben Bradshaw would have been urging 'Best for Britain' to return George Soros' donation. Au contraire! His only tweets about it were retweets of two critical comments about the Daily Telegraph, and the BBC's coverage of the story. Conclusion: Those who rail about 'Russia meddling in Brexit' but not Soros' intervention aren't concerned about 'foreign interference' in UK politics, only 'foreign interference' from countries they don't approve of.

Those who are quite happy peddling ludicrous conspiracy theories about Russians shout "conspiracy theorist" (or worse) at those who report factually on proven meddling from others. The Daily Express hit the nail on the head in their Friday editorial which said: "Just what does George Soros think he is doing pouring £400,000 into a campaign to stop Brexit. For a start he is not actually a resident of this country so it has nothing to do with him."

That really is the rub of the matter. And Bradshaw and co. have no adequate response except to shoot the messenger.

If we look at the affair with an even wider lens, the hypocrisy is even greater. The US has been gripped by an anti-Russian frenzy not seen since the days of Senator Joe McCarthy. The unsubstantiated claim that Russia fixed the election for Donald Trump is repeated by 'liberals' and many neocons too, as a statement of fact. "I don't know that the public understands the gravity of what the Russians were able to do and continue to do here in the United States. They've attacked us. They're trying to undermine our democracy," film director Rob Reiner said .

But the number one country round the world for undermining democracy and interfering in the affairs of other sovereign states is the US itself.

Read more The US Vice President Joe Biden (L) jokes that Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (R) is buying lunch, before sitting down to their bilateral meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington March 31, 2016. © Jonathan Ernst 'Son of b***h got fired': Joe Biden forced Ukraine to sack prosecutor general 'in six hours'

While Establishment journos and pundits have been foaming at the mouth over 'Russiagate' and getting terribly excited over 'smoking guns' which turn out – surprise, surprise – to be damp squibs, there's been less attention paid to the boasts of former Vice President Joe Biden on how he got the allegedly 'independent' Ukrainian government to sack its prosecutor general in a few hours. "I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money "

"I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars," Biden said during a meeting of the US' Council on Foreign Relations. "Well, son of a b***h. He got fired."

Again, just imagine the furore if a leading Russian government figure boasted about how he used financial inducements to get another country's Prosecutor General to be sacked. Or if a tape was leaked in which the Russian Ambassador and a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson could be heard discussing who should or shouldn't be in the new 'democratic' government of another sovereign state. But we had the US Ambassador to Ukraine and the US Assistant Secretary of State doing exactly that in 2014 – and the 'Russia is interfering in the Free World!' brigade were as silent as a group of Trappist monks.

It's fair to say that Orwell would have a field day with the doublespeak that's currently on show. The cognitive dissonance is there for all to see. Repeat After Me: Unproven Russian interference – Bad. Proven interference from other external sources – Good. What's your problem?

Follow Neil Clark @NeilClark66

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Aug 05, 2018] Perils of Ineptitude

Notable quotes:
"... cordon sanitaire ..."
"... ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

There is less shame in being undone by a "master of deceit."

When J. Edgar Hoover coined that description, he had Communists in mind. Back then, though, "Ruskies" and "Commies" – it was all the same. Americans were conditioned to live in fear that the Russians were coming.

That nonsense should have ended when Communism more or less officially expired in 1989, followed two years later by the demise of the Soviet Union itself. For a long time, it seemed that it had.

At first, the reaction in Western, especially American, political and media circles was triumphalist. The war was over and our side won.

Beneath the surface, however, there was mourning in America.

With the Cold War, the death merchants, the masters of war, the neocons, and a host of others had had a good thing going. Having been born into it, the political class was comfortable with the status quo too; and generations of Americans had grown up imbibing Russophobia in their mother's milk (or infant formula).

It turned out, though, that American triumphalism was only a phase. Before long, it became clear that our economic and political masters had nothing to worry about, that Cold War anti-Communism was more robust than Communism itself.

However, in the final days of Bush 41 and then at the dawn of the Clinton era, nobody knew that. Nobody gave America's propaganda system the credit it deserved.

Also, nobody quite realized how devastating Russia's regression to capitalism would be, and nobody quite grasped the savagery of the kleptocrats who had taken charge of what remained of the Russian state.

For more than a decade, the situation in that late great superpower was too dire to sustain the old fears and animosities. Capitalism had made Russia wretched again.

That suited Bill Clinton and his First Lady, the former Goldwater Girl. Boris Yeltsin, Russia's leader, was their man. He was a godsend, a Trump-like cartoon character and a drunkard to boot – with an economy in tatters, and no rightwing base egging him on.

But anti-Communism (without Communism) and its close cousin, Russophobia, could not remain in remission forever. The need for them was too great.

In the Age of Obama, the Global War on Terror, with or without that ludicrous Bush 43-era name, wasn't cutting it anymore. It was, and still is, good for keeping America's perpetual war regime going and for undoing civil liberties, but there had never been much glory in it, only endless misery for all. Also it was getting old and increasingly easy to see through.

The time was therefore right for a return of the repressed -- for full-blooded, fifties-style, anti-Communist (= anti-Russian) hysteria, or, since that still seemed far-fetched, for anti-Communist (= anti-Chinese) hysteria.

This was not the only factor behind the Obama administration's "pivot towards Asia," its largely failed attempt to take China down a notch or two, but it was an important part of the story.

However, by the time Obama and his team decided to pivot, China had become too important to the United States economically to make a good Cold War enemy. Worse still, it had for too long been an object of pity and contempt, not fear.

When the Soviet Union was an enemy, China was an enemy too, most glaringly during the Korean War. It remained an enemy even after the Sino-Soviet split became too obvious to deny. However, unlike post-1917 Russia, it had never quite become an historical foe.

Moreover, as Russia began to recover from the Yeltsin era, the Russian political class, and many of the oligarchs behind them, sensing the popular mood, decided that the time was ripe "to make Russia great again." Putin is not so much a cause as he is a symptom – and symbol – of this aspiration.

And so, there it was: the longed for new Cold War would be much like the one that seemed over a quarter century ago.

***

As everyone who has seen, heard or read anything about the 2016 election "knows," Russian intelligence services (= Putin) meddled. Everyone also "knows" that, with midterm elections looming, they are at it again.

This, according to the mainstream consensus view, is a bona fide casus belli , a justification for war. To be sure, what they want is a war that remains cold; ending life on earth, as we know it, is not on their agenda.

But inasmuch as cold wars can easily turn hot, this hardly mitigates the recklessness of their machinations. Humankind was extraordinarily lucky last time; there is no guarantee that all that luck will hold.

Exactly what "Putin," the shorthand name for all that is Russian and nefarious, did, or is still doing, remains unclear. But this does not seem to bother purveyors of the conventional wisdom.

Neither is ostensibly informed public opinion fazed by the fact that the evidence supporting the consensus view comes mainly from American intelligence services and from their counterparts in the UK and other allied nations.

Time was when anyone with any sense understood that these intelligence services, the American ones especially, are second to none in meddling in the affairs of other nations, and that the American national security state – essentially our political police -- is comprised, by design, of liars and deceivers.

How ironic therefore that nowadays it is mainly bamboozled Trump supporters in the Fox News demographic -- people who could care less about peace or, for that matter, about truth -- who are wary of the CIA and skeptical of the FBI's claims!

Try as they might, the manufacturers and guardians of conventional wisdom have so far been unable to concoct a plausible story in which Russian meddling affected the outcome of the 2016 election in any serious way. The idea that the Russians defeated Hillary, not Hillary herself, is, to borrow a phrase from Jeremy Bentham, "nonsense on stilts." Leading Democrats and their media flacks don't seem to mind that either.

They do not even seem to notice that what they allege, vague as it is, is trifling compared to the massive and very open meddling of American plutocrats, Republican vote suppressers and gerrymanderers, and the governments of supposedly friendly nations – like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and Israel.

Nevertheless, it probably is true that the Russians meddled. Cold War revivalists can therefore rest easy, confident that their propagandists will have at least a few facts with which they can work to restore the perils of their vanished youth.

Even so, the level of their hypocrisy is appalling. Russia, along with former Soviet republics and former members of the Warsaw Pact, has been bearing the brunt of far worse American meddling for far longer than anything sanctimonious defenders of so-called American "democracy" can plausibly allege.

Moreover, it should go without saying that the democracy they purport to care so much about has almost nothing to do with "the rule of the demos." It doesn't even have much to do with free and fair competitive elections – unless "free and fair" means that anything goes, so long as the principals and perpetrators are homegrown or citizens of favored nations.

Self-righteous posturing aside, Putin's real sin in the eyes of the American power elite is that, in his own small way, he has been defying America's "right" to run the world as it sees fit.

When Clinton was president, Serbia did that, and lived to regret it. Cuba has been suffering for nearly six decades for the same reason, and now Venezuela is paying its dues. The empire is merciless towards nations that rebel.

With Soviet support and then with sheer determination and grit, Cuba has been able to withstand the onslaught to some extent from Day One. Venezuela may not be so lucky – especially now that Republicans and Democrats feel threatened by the growing number of "democratic socialists" in their midst. Already, the propaganda system is targeting Venezuelan "socialism," blaming it for that country's woes, and warning that if our newly minted, homegrown socialists prevail, a similar fate will be in store for us.

This is ludicrous, of course – American hostility and the vagaries of the global oil market deserve the lion's share of the blame. But the on-going propaganda blitz could nevertheless pave the way for horrors ahead, should Trump decide to start a war America could actually win.

Inconsequential Russian meddling is a big deal on the "liberal" cable networks, on NPR, and in the "quality" press. Democrats and a few Republicans love to bleat on about it. But it is Ukraine that made Russia our "adversary" and its president Public Enemy Number One.

Hypocrisy reigns here too. It was the Obama administration – run through with neocons, liberal imperialists, and other holdovers from Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State – that did all it could to exacerbate longstanding tensions between that country's Ukrainian and Russian speaking populations, the better to complete NATO's encirclement of the Russian federation. And it was American meddling that led to the empowerment of virulently anti-Russian, fascisant Ukrainian politicians, much to the detriment of Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east.

But never mind: Putin – that is, the Russia government – violated international law by sending troops briefly into beleaguered Russian-speaking parts of the country. That they were generally welcomed by the people living there is of no importance.

Worst of all, Russia annexed Crimea – a territory integral to the Russian empire since the eighteenth century. Since long before the Russian Revolution, Crimea has been home to a huge naval base vital to Russia's strategic defense.

The story line back in the day was that anything that could be described as Russian aggression outside the Soviet Union's agreed upon sphere of influence had to do with spreading Communism. In fact, the Soviets did everything they could to keep Communist and other insurgencies from upending the status quo. The mainstream narrative was wrong.

Now Communism is gone and nothing has taken its place. Even so, the idea that Russia has designs on its neighbors for ideological reasons is hard to shake – in part because it is actively promoted by propagandists who have suddenly and uncharacteristically become defenders of international law.

Meanwhile, of course, the hypocrisies keep piling on. It is practically a tenet of the American civil religion that international law applies to others, not to the United States. This is why, when it suits some perceived purpose, America flaunts its violations shamelessly.

Thus nothing the Russians did or are ever likely to do comes close to the shenanigans Bill Clinton displayed – successfully, for the most part – in his efforts to tear Kosovo away from Serbia. Clinton even went so far as to bomb Belgrade; Putin never bombed Kiev.

The Cold War that began after World War II involved a clash of rival political economic systems. The Cold War that reignited a few years ago involves a clash of rival imperialist centers. Its world more nearly resembles the one that existed before World War I than the one that emerged after World War II.

However, the difference may be more superficial than it seems. The ease with which Cold War revivalists have been able to get the Cold War up and running again, even without Communism, suggests what a few observers have long maintained -- that the Cold War, on Russia's part, had little, if anything, to do with spreading Communism around the world, and everything to do with maintaining a cordon sanitaire around Russia's borders in order to protect against a demonstrably aggressive "free world."

George W. Bush claimed that 9/11 happened because "they hate our freedom." "They" would be radical Islamists of the kind stirred into action in Afghanistan by Zbigniew Brzezinski and his co-thinkers in the Carter administration. Their objective was to undermine the Soviet Union by getting it bogged down in a quagmire like the one that did so much harm to the United States in Vietnam.

That part of Brzezinski's plan was at least a partial success. But inasmuch as Bush's "they" are still there, still spreading murder and mayhem throughout the Greater Middle East, America and the world has been paying a high price for the benefits, such as they were, that ensued.

The never-ending wars set in motion by the "pivot" towards radical Islamism decades ago never quite succeeded in producing an enemy as serviceable as the USSR. But now that Putin's Russia has been pressed into service, that problem is potentially "solved."

However, the American public is not as naïve as it used to be, and it is impossible to say, at this point, how well this new story line will work.

Efforts to recycle Bush's "they hate our freedom" nonsense ought to be non-starters. But this is the best Cold War revivalists have come up with so far. The Russians, they say, simply cannot deal with the fact that we Americans are so damned free.

It is hard to believe, but there are people who are actually buying this but, with a lot of corporate media assistance, there are. No matter how clear it is that they are not worth being taken seriously, Cold War mythologies just won't die.

However, it is worth pondering why today's Russia would do what it is alleged to have done; and why, as is also alleged, it is still doing it.

From a geopolitical point of view, Russia does have an interest in doing all it can to ward off Western aggression. It also has an interest in undermining strategic alliances aimed at blocking anything and everything that challenges American supremacy. And, until sanity prevails in Washington and other Western capitals, it arguably also has an interest in aiding and abetting rightwing nationalists in order to exacerbate tensions within Western societies.

However, in view of prevailing power relations, these are interests it cannot do much to advance. Acting as if this were not the case only puts Russia in a bad light -- not for meddling, but for meddling stupidly.

No doubt, for reasons both fair and foul, Putin wanted Hillary to lose the election two years ago. So, but for one little problem, would anyone whose head is screwed on right. That problem's name is Donald Trump.

Clinton is bad, but Trump is worse -- not just by most measures but by all.

Her fondness for war and preparations for war was alarming; she was bellicosity personified. But it was plain even before the election that Trump, a mentally unhinged narcissist, would be even more likely than she to bring on massive devastation. A vote for Trump was and still is a vote for catastrophe.

Putin's enemy was Trump's enemy, and it is axiomatic that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" -- except sometimes it isn't. Sometimes, my enemy's enemy is an enemy far worse.

For reasons that remain obscure, Putin and Trump seem to have a "thing" going on between them. Some day perhaps we will know what that is all about. For now, though, the hard and very relevant fact is that Trump has done nothing to help, and quite a few things to harm, Russia.

It isn't just ordinary Russians who have been made worse off. Trump has been at least as hard on oligarchs close to Putin as Clinton would have been.

If those damned Russians were half as smart as they are made out to be, they would have realized long ago that, for getting anything done that bucks the tide, Trump is too inept to be of any use at all; and that anything he sets out to do is likely to turn out badly not just for America and its allies but for Russia too.

Therefore, if there really was Russian meddling, as there probably was, Putin should be ashamed – not so much for the DNC reasons laid out 24/7 on MSNBC and CNN, but for overestimating Trump's abilities and for underestimating the extent to which what started out as a maneuver of Hillary Clinton's, concocted to excuse her incompetence, would take a perilously "viral" turn, becoming a major threat to peace in a political culture that never quite got beyond the lunacy of the First Cold War. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Andrew Levine

ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Aug 05, 2018] Bernie Sanders did everything he was told he should do. He supported the Democratic establishment candidate, and now he believes the Russiagate story.

Notable quotes:
"... While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than " a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. ..."
"... So you plan to continue this McCarthy Russian BS? You didn't speak out when you got cheated in the primaries, and you didn't seem to care that Hillary was using her own paid troll army. Integrity matters Bernie and you are losing yours. ..."
"... You stopped speaking for me and millions of others when you caved to crooked HRC. No it was NOT clear that Russia was "deeply involved in the election. What is CLEAR is your betrayal of your followers and cover up of the election fraud perpetrated by DNC! Everybody knows... ..."
"... Bernie, that's MIC propaganda. Stop helping it. There are millions of reasons Trump should not be president. We don't need a hyped up corporate fairytale to make that point https://t.co/7FAwb47LtB ..."
"... Democratic party jingoism in 2020 will be extra-ordinary with candidates each trying to out do each other how they will fuck over Putin and the Russian nation. There will be a shit load of public loyalty testing against any third party candidate by the democrats. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

It has been clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russia was deeply involved in the 2016 election and intends to be involved in 2018. It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs.

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 16, 2018

However, Sanders had already committed the unforgivable sin of criticizing the Democratic establishment candidate from the left. There is simply no way of coming back from that treason.

Despite his stance, Sanders has also been constantly presented as another Russian agent, with the Washington Post (11/12/17) asking its readers, "When Russia interferes with the 2020 election on behalf of Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders, how will liberals respond?" The message is clear: The progressive wave rising across America is and will be a consequence of Russia, not of the failures of the system, nor of the Democrats.

It isn't just progressive politicians that are all traitors. Movements like Black Lives Matter are also traitors for Russia.

Slate: Russian Trolls Were Obsessed With Black Lives Matter
CNN: Her son was killed -- then came the Russian trolls
NY Times: The Propaganda Tools Used by Russians to Influence the 2016 Election

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:32pm
Bernie's tweet is hysterical
It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs.

Hey, Bernie. The American people were the ones who should have decided who won the primary, not Hillary, the DNC and the delegates. That you are blaming Her loss on Russia instead of admitting that the American people rejected her makes you nothing more than a democratic puppet. How embarrassing for you.

Every Black voter should abandon the DP until they apologize for their disrespect for the BLM and saying that they only started protesting cops killing Blacks because Russia manipulated them into doing so.

Eichenwald thinks that our intelligence agencies are patriots who have spent their lives working on keeping us safe does he? I agree with Dmitry Orlov's take on them.

US Intelligence Community is Tearing the Country Apart from the

The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on.

....

the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself.

While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than " a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. "

And let's not forget how many coups and false flag events they had a hand in creating that have cost so much misery and death.

One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips.

It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

The real puppets are the ones who believe in this silly story that Russia is pulling Trump's strings and that the GOP are also Russian puppets. Good grief!

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:55pm
The first tweet shows how people twist events

The others show that there are others out there that have seen through this propaganda crap. I'd like to see the breakdown of Hillary supporters that believe Russia Gate and the Bernie supporters that don't. Most of the Trump supporters think it's phony so what made Hillary's believe in something that everyone should be laughing at?

You deserve a lot of credit. Russia interfered in your favor, yet you are man enough to admit that they interfered. Thank you Bernie!

-- Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) February 16, 2018

So you plan to continue this McCarthy Russian BS? You didn't speak out when you got cheated in the primaries, and you didn't seem to care that Hillary was using her own paid troll army. Integrity matters Bernie and you are losing yours.

-- Underdawg47 (@Underdawg47) February 17, 2018

You stopped speaking for me and millions of others when you caved to crooked HRC. No it was NOT clear that Russia was "deeply involved in the election. What is CLEAR is your betrayal of your followers and cover up of the election fraud perpetrated by DNC! Everybody knows...

-- Logan (@KOMBUCHABABY) February 17, 2018

Bernie, that's MIC propaganda. Stop helping it. There are millions of reasons Trump should not be president. We don't need a hyped up corporate fairytale to make that point https://t.co/7FAwb47LtB

-- SanBernieDingDong (@noreallyhowcome) February 17, 2018

MrWebster on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 7:19pm
2020 dem candidates will try to out do each other on Russia

Democratic party jingoism in 2020 will be extra-ordinary with candidates each trying to out do each other how they will fuck over Putin and the Russian nation. There will be a shit load of public loyalty testing against any third party candidate by the democrats.

The democrats (and media cohorts) have become an apocolyptic death cult. The language that comes from them is infused with the language of conspiracies, violence, treason, aggression and demonization.

And here is the thing, Bernie to survive electorally will have to become a cult member. Effectively he will have to be pro-war with Russia. He will be giving from the the Left supposed support for aggressive action andmilitarism toward Russia.

I fear that if a democrat becomes president in 2020 (it won't be Bernie), is elected president that in the year of the midterms in 2022, the US will start a real war with Russia which has a highly likehood of going nuclear.

[Aug 05, 2018] Are you a Russiagate traitor by gjohnsit

Notable quotes:
"... There was NO hack. ..."
"... emphasis in original. ..."
"... "inside job" ..."
"... "Who's the insider?" ..."
"... -- William Powell, The Anarchist Cookbook (1971), from memory ..."
"... @thanatokephaloides ..."
"... Finally there's the meeting that Assange's lawyer set up with congress for him to testify to congress and tell them where he got the DNC emails that showed how they rigged the primary. Comey and Schaffer shot that down because it would have killed Russia Gate. Dead and buried and the country could move on. ..."
"... In this case, it is NOT a matter of opinion. It is a matter of FACT. The physical proof that we have right now tells us that the Wikileaks documents did not come from a "hack." We also have physical evidence that someone (no doubt Crowdstrike) manipulated copies of the leaked documents and embedded awkward amateurish evidence to make them look like they were taken by a "Russian" hacker. Here's how we know that: ..."
"... Assange's diplomatic trip to the US in mid-2017 to testify before Congress and prove where the documents came from was emergency-blocked by Comey and Rosenstein. As a consequence, Assange immediately released the extensive Vault 7 documents to the American people so we could forensically recognize the signature techniques that the US intelligence agencies would use to alter downloaded DNC documents and embed fake Russian "fingerprints." We have seen the physical evidence that that occurred. ..."
"... The US has no real physical evidence of a Russian hack or they would never have released the fake evidence. Yet they continue their attack to harm Russia's economy and the continue their attempts to provoke a hot war with Russia. The US motive for this has nothing to do with their fake hacking narrative; it is about crippling Russia (and China) to forestall the rapid rise of Eurasia, which is stripping the Neocons and war-profiteering corporations of their dream for the US to achieve total domination over all other nations. The Entitled Elite want their New American Century back! Their Empire was supposed to rule the world.... ..."
"... @Pluto's Republic ..."
"... While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than " a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. ..."
"... third run ..."
"... ~~Author Unknown ..."
"... ~~Martin Luther King Jr. ..."
"... @Unabashed Liberal ..."
"... @Unabashed Liberal ..."
"... ~~Martin Luther King Jr. ..."
"... Democratic party jingoism in 2020 will be extra-ordinary with candidates each trying to out do each other how they will fuck over Putin and the Russian nation. There will be a shit load of public loyalty testing against any third party candidate by the democrats. ..."
Aug 04, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Russiagate may technically be about Trump, but in fact most of the "traitors" and Putin Puppets are progressives on the left. Russiagate officially started in 2015 long before the DNC hack and the Democratic primaries.

From: brentbbi@webtv.net To: john.podesta@gmail.com Date: 2015-12-21 12:09

Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin

Russiagate never was actually about Russia. It's the Democrats' version of Obama's birth certificate. As Caitlin Johnstone puts it, Russiagate is 9/11 minus 9/11.

TWIT:

Kurt Eichenwald

@kurteichenwald

Bottom line: You either support the patriots in our intelligence community and law enforcement who work endlessly for our national security, and all of the intelligence agencies of our allies, or you support Putin.

You're either a patriot, a traitor or an idiot. Choose.

10:51 AM-16 Jul 2018

In reality, Russiagate started with Ralph Nader and the 2000 election .

They said a vote for Nader was a vote for Bush. You have a moral duty to vote for the Democrat and to be pragmatic. Your Naderite purity came at the expense of the poor. Only affluent selfish white guys could afford this type of virtue signaling. In fact, maybe some of these people were really Republicans in disguise. There were no Russian bots to blame just yet, but clearly some liberals are unable to imagine good faith criticism of Democrats coming from the left.

The terms " virtue signaling", " purity pony", and of course "White Berniebro" weren't coined yet, but the the stereotype they describe was formed in 2000. Gore lost and Nader and all his voters, in swing states or not, were vilified. They were worse than Republicans. They were traitors. Of all the factors that caused Gore's loss, the only one that Democratic partisans really cared about was Nader.

People that voted for Nader became responsible for the Iraq War, while Democrats who voted for Bush and the Iraq War got a free pass. Liberals, besides their obvious double-standards when allocating responsibility, made the dubious claim that morality requires being pragmatic in your voting. And then, as if to prove the basis of their claims to be false, they approach their target audience in a non-pragmatic way.

The anger on open display is the opposite of pragmatic politics. They don't try to persuade people to vote for the Democrat. They demand it. It is a moral litmus test, or rather, a judgement of one's very soul. Good people know they have to vote for the Democrat. Bad people vote for Republicans and the very worst people of all claim to be left, but vote for Stein or maybe even voted for Clinton, but criticized her. Democratic partisans have no interest in what you say about an issue if they perceive it as in any way an attack or a criticism of a Democrat. If you are a third party advocate you can forget about being taken seriously on any issue because you have already self identified as a Satanist and you need to be exorcised from the body politic. Even if you say you support the Democrat as the lesser evil, you speak as one of the damned and deserve no mercy. Sanders played the game in 2016 exactly the way people said Nader should have played it and he and his supporters were still dismissed.

Like Nader before her, Stein is the absolute worst traitor of all . Worse than Trump himself.

Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent. https://t.co/qkDUe6yADd

-- Zac Petkanas (@Zac_Petkanas) 18 December 2017

Maddow cast suspicion on Stein's silence over alleged Russian attempts to interfere with the election to benefit Donald Trump, who she claimed during her own campaign would govern no differently than Hillary Clinton.

"So everybody's like, 'Wow, how come this like super, super aggressive opposition that we saw from these third-party candidates -- how come they haven't said anything since this scandal has broken?'" Maddow said.

"I don't know, Jill -- I can't pronounce it in Russian," Maddow said, with apparent sarcasm.

. @maddow spots something fishy going on between Jill Stein and Vladimir Putin. pic.twitter.com/Cah10YWx8p

-- DESUS & MERO (@desusandmero) 15 February 2017

Bernie Sanders, OTOH, did everything he was told he should do. He supported the Democratic establishment candidate, and believed the Russiagate story.

It has been clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russia was deeply involved in the 2016 election and intends to be involved in 2018. It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs.

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 16, 2018

However, Sanders had already committed the unforgivable sin of criticizing the Democratic establishment candidate from the left. There is simply no way of coming back from that treason.

Despite his stance, Sanders has also been constantly presented as another Russian agent, with the Washington Post (11/12/17) asking its readers, "When Russia interferes with the 2020 election on behalf of Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders, how will liberals respond?" The message is clear: The progressive wave rising across America is and will be a consequence of Russia, not of the failures of the system, nor of the Democrats.

It isn't just progressive politicians that are all traitors. Movements like Black Lives Matter are also traitors for Russia.

Slate: Russian Trolls Were Obsessed With Black Lives Matter
CNN: Her son was killed -- then came the Russian trolls
NY Times: The Propaganda Tools Used by Russians to Influence the 2016 Election

That's because you, Russia, funded riots in Ferguson. See 0 hour I have your connections to Trump archived via Schiller and Scavino https://t.co/aTUDlCGkYi

-- Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) April 9, 2017

If you are still confused about what is treason and what isn't, ask yourself the question: Does the issue advance the narrative that the Democratic Party is a force for absolute good?

Oh my god: this is how deranged official Washington is. The President of the largest Dem Party think tank (funded in part by dictators) genuinely believes Chelsea Manning's candidacy is a Kremlin plot. Conspiracy theorists thrive more in mainstream DC than on internet fringes pic.twitter.com/e8g314iQHT

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 15, 2018

We still have the 2018 election, and then the long lead-up to the 2020 election. There is nothing to indicate that the rhetoric won't get a lot more insane. The general indifference of the public doesn't seem to discourage the media and pundits. So how will it likely look in Fall 2020? Probably like it looked in 1952 .

The purpose of advancing the Communist issue was not to fix the Communist problem -- it was to exploit that problem for political and ideological advantage. That is how the Republican Party could produce its unhinged 1952 platform, which charged that the Democrats "have shielded traitors to the Nation in high places," "work unceasingly to achieve their goal of national socialism," and "by a long succession of vicious acts, so undermined the foundations of our Republic as to threaten its existence." (Does that kind of talk strike you as overheated? Then you, too, are failing to take the Russia issue seriously.)

There is little to no danger for conservatives and Republicans. All of the danger is for progressives and socialists, and the angry mob is the Democratic establishment trying to silence left-wing ideas. In comparison, the danger of the GOP to the left-wing is trivial.

Deja on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 5:04pm

Ffs, there was NO "hack"

Russiagate officially started in 2015 long before the DNC hack and the Democratic primaries.

I'm finding it harder and harder to believe that people keep posting it as common knowledge and factual -- especially on this site. Old dkos habits are hard to break, I guess. The speed at which the files were STOLEN prove it was done from within the network. Not from Russia, or from a van parked down the street. I can only guess that the DNC can't reveal whose network account was used to do so, because it would blow the bullshit lie of a hack out of the water.

There was NO hack.

thanatokephaloides on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 5:21pm
inside job

@Deja

The speed at which the files were STOLEN prove it was done from within the network. Not from Russia, or from a van parked down the street. I can only guess that the DNC can't reveal whose network account was used to do so, because it would blow the bullshit lie of a hack out of the water.

There was NO hack.

emphasis in original.

The term usually used by the perpetrator classes for this sort of thing is: "inside job" . And, as with all other inside jobs, the question really is: "Who's the insider?"

"The easiest way to raise a revolutionary army is to use someone else's; especially if it belongs to your enemy."
-- William Powell, The Anarchist Cookbook (1971), from memory

Deja on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 5:27pm
Dead men tell no tales

@thanatokephaloides
R.I.P. Seth Rich

Side note: I find it odd that his parents sued Fox News for saying he was murdered by the DNC. The judge sided with Fox.

gjohnsit on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 5:51pm
It makes no difference

@Deja

I've seen an article debunking the "hack was a leak" story, but it makes no difference anyway. In my book, the leak/hack just created a more informed electorate, and that's good for American democracy.

gjohnsit on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:25pm
"care about the truth"

@Deja
The truth is contained in the emails, not in their journey. Remember who else is telling you that the contents of the emails is less important than how they got there - the Democrats.

divineorder on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 8:22pm
Yes, 'shill' equals bad imo. I too, have read that the 'leak'

@Deja hypothesis has problems. Don't get me wrong, I think it holds more promise than the 'hack' hypothesis. But right now, really, we got shit for proof either way? Would honestly look forward to your proof either way, sans the critique of the essayist. Might I suggest that you criticize the point, not the person, please? Questions remain.

- DNC leak vs hack remains unproven (servers not provided)
- one party consent is complicated. On the tape, there was 3rd party on speaker phone. Were they in one party consent jurisdiction as well?
- How was CNN able to confirm that this tape was recorded in NY?

-- John LeFevre (@JohnLeFevre) July 25, 2018

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 10:09pm
Leak or hack - there's no evidence that Russia was involved

@divineorder

in it. This is the point that matters to me. Assange has stated that the emails didn't come from Russia. Craig Murray said that he was involved with the person who got the information from the DNC computers and that there was no connection to Russia.

The CIAs Vault 7 shows how evidence on computers can be manipulated to make it seem like someone's dawg did the deed. I think it'd be very sloppy for trained hackers to leave their own footprints on the scene don't you think?

Finally there's the meeting that Assange's lawyer set up with congress for him to testify to congress and tell them where he got the DNC emails that showed how they rigged the primary. Comey and Schaffer shot that down because it would have killed Russia Gate. Dead and buried and the country could move on.

Pluto's Republic on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 10:34pm
Absolutely right.

@Deja

It matters profoundly. Knowing the facts surrounding critical political events or social earthquakes can be epigenetic events. Hard truths can trigger conscious evolution while we are alive and your advanced gene expressions can be physically inherited, changing the species.

By exercising our own critical thinking and working very hard to see through narratives to the core realities in the universe and in all things -- we are physically evolving the species into better and more enlightened generations of humans.

In this case, it is NOT a matter of opinion. It is a matter of FACT. The physical proof that we have right now tells us that the Wikileaks documents did not come from a "hack." We also have physical evidence that someone (no doubt Crowdstrike) manipulated copies of the leaked documents and embedded awkward amateurish evidence to make them look like they were taken by a "Russian" hacker. Here's how we know that:

Assange's diplomatic trip to the US in mid-2017 to testify before Congress and prove where the documents came from was emergency-blocked by Comey and Rosenstein. As a consequence, Assange immediately released the extensive Vault 7 documents to the American people so we could forensically recognize the signature techniques that the US intelligence agencies would use to alter downloaded DNC documents and embed fake Russian "fingerprints." We have seen the physical evidence that that occurred.

The US has no real physical evidence of a Russian hack or they would never have released the fake evidence. Yet they continue their attack to harm Russia's economy and the continue their attempts to provoke a hot war with Russia. The US motive for this has nothing to do with their fake hacking narrative; it is about crippling Russia (and China) to forestall the rapid rise of Eurasia, which is stripping the Neocons and war-profiteering corporations of their dream for the US to achieve total domination over all other nations. The Entitled Elite want their New American Century back! Their Empire was supposed to rule the world....

If that is what your instincts tell you, you should trust them. It's a biological imperative.

on the cusp on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 10:22pm
Perfect.

@Pluto's Republic At the very least, we should call it "alleged" hacks. I want some proof before we drop nukes.

Mickt on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 5:57pm
I saw this today

Just to lighten things up?

https://www.theonion.com/the-onion-reviews-christopher-robin-1828056997

The Aspie Corner on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:17pm
This whole thing is starting to look like

the plot to Beavis and Butt-head Do America.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3eTqb_fgTAA

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:32pm
Bernie's tweet is hysterical
It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs.

Hey, Bernie. The American people were the ones who should have decided who won the primary, not Hillary, the DNC and the delegates. That you are blaming Her loss on Russia instead of admitting that the American people rejected her makes you nothing more than a democratic puppet. How embarrassing for you.

Every Black voter should abandon the DP until they apologize for their disrespect for the BLM and saying that they only started protesting cops killing Blacks because Russia manipulated them into doing so.

Eichenwald thinks that our intelligence agencies are patriots who have spent their lives working on keeping us safe does he? I agree with Dmitry Orlov's take on them.

US Intelligence Community is Tearing the Country Apart from the

The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on.
....
the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your
own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than " a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. "

And let's not forget how many coups and false flag events they had a hand in creating that have cost so much misery and death.

One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips. It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

The real puppets are the ones who believe in this silly story that Russia is pulling Trump's strings and that the GOP are also Russian puppets. Good grief!

Unabashed Liberal on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:53pm
Say it, Sister! ;-) The entire exercise--

@snoopydawg

meaning the 'Russia Ruse'--IMO, has been an exercise in setting up a scenario under which the PtB can put in place a system geared toward major social media 'censorship,' and, a face-saving exercise for FSC--just in case she decides to make a third run in 2020. Heaven forbid!

Mollie/Blue Onyx (Reverting to my original handle)

"Every time I lose a dog, he takes a piece of my heart. Every new dog gifts me with a piece of his. Someday, my heart will be total dog, and maybe then I will be just as generous, loving, and forgiving." ~~Author Unknown

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." ~~Martin Luther King Jr.

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong." ~~W. R. Purche

MrWebster on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 7:51pm
Coates said the Russias are engaged in "messaging campaign"

@Unabashed Liberal @Unabashed Liberal

"... has been an exercise in setting up a scenario under which the PtB can put in place a system geared toward major social media 'censorship,'

Yup. Dan Coates directory of national intelligence came out and accused Russsia of engaging in a "messaging campaign". So how does one stop this messaging campaign. Well, back in the day, the answer was to answer bad speech with more and better speech.

Well, with Russiagate both the media and dem/gop establishment have to come to demand censorship from the major social media platforms. And they have responded. At first they actually didn't and thought the Russia charges were trivial. Until that is, they were theatened by House and Senate reps. And then they hopped to it.

And just a number of days ago, Facebook proudly announced they took down some nefarious pages who seemed to be engaging in a message campaign. And turns out they shut down a real group organizing an anti-fascist rally. There are other examples like this.

The censorship will continue becoming more and more brazen. (BTW, youtube started ths process earlier demonitizing and hurting a lot of popular, but alternative voices.)

BTW--the Young Turks showed the Coats clip and claimed "see the Russians are still hacking our elections".

Unabashed Liberal on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 8:17pm
Hi, Mr W!--good to see you. I couldn't

@MrWebster

agree more with all of your comments/sentiments.

I'm truly getting concerned regarding the direction our government appears to be taking when it comes to 'freedom of expression/speech.' Strangely, many on the 'left' don't seem very concerned. Indeed, because the MSM is so intent on going after DT, many so-called progressives--including the supposedly more liberal (cough, cough) lawmakers--have become major cheerleaders of the corporatist media. Go figure.

Mollie/Blue Onyx (Reverting to my original handle)

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went." ~~Will Rogers

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." ~~Martin Luther King Jr.

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong." ~~W. R. Purche

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 8:35pm
Dan Coates should be fired

@MrWebster

as well as every other person in Trump's administration that is working against him. This is insubordination and if Trump continues to let them run their mouths then I believe that he is in on this scam and is playing along with it. Why? Look at what has been happening since he became president. From the increasing Russian sanctions to the internet censorship to the increased military budget with money that goes to fighting cyber warfare and many other things that are being done because of this new and improved false flag.

As you stated YouTube has been removing lots of videos, Facebook and Twitter have been censoring alternative media sites that are not playing along with Russia Gate and Google changed its algorithms so that traffic to those sites are down up to 90% according to WSWS.

I once thought that this would eventually be exposed for the scam it is, but not any more. It's here to stay. And just like in 1984 where there was that place where history was changed to fit the narrative of the day, we are seeing that here. Things that happened last decade are being blamed on Russia hacking. I wouldn't be surprised if the KKK and Jim Crow were blamed on Russia. This is how out of control it's gotten. And I was so looking forward to seeing Rachel trying to explain to her viewers how she got things so wrong.

The Aspie Corner on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 8:46pm
Trumpy Boy is as complicit in this as the rest of the pigs.

@snoopydawg His erratic actions are the perfect distraction for the capitalist pigs the same as the "Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist Communist Fascist Socialist Radical Leftist Feminazi SJW" crap that went on during the last capitalist puppet presidency. Either way, the world still burns and the pigs make out like bandits in the process. Keeping the plebs at each other's throats is just a bonus for them.

Alligator Ed on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 9:41pm
Rachel will never admit she's wrong.

@snoopydawg Remember whom you are discussing. Alas, you must be a Russian wolfhound to think R. Madcow could ever be wrong. Apologize, then stand in the corner until after the midterms when the GRU hauls off recalcitrant Dims and Repugnants failing to swear fealty to Vladimir Vladimirovich.

divineorder on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 7:18pm
sd yes Orlov calls it like it is.

@snoopydawg

Caitlin J. Interesting Twitter thread:

https://mobile.twitter.com/caitoz/status/1025482696628137986

"Russiagate is like a mirage. It looks so real from a distance you'll swear it's there and mock anyone who says otherwise, but once you get up close and examine its component parts you find it's made of nothing but innuendo, spin, unsubstantiated claims and dishonest omissions.
2:45 PM · Aug 3, 2018"

And....

https://mobile.twitter.com/caitoz/status/1025489710594945024Caitlin Johnstone

"
@caitoz
·
Aug 3
Nothing wrong with wanting a full investigation. There's something very, very wrong with pressuring a US president to continually escalate dangerous cold war tensions with a nuclear superpower without ever backing down based on an "idea" with no evidence. "

MrWebster on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 8:11pm
In 2020 Bernie will be a "strong" pro-war candidate

@snoopydawg Bernie will not be able to say "Oh evil Russia but let's not go to war with them." Diplomacy itself finally became full criminalized and made tresonous when Trump meet Putin in Finland. Any level of moderation will be attacked as soft on Putin and treasonous.

And I write "pro-war" and not "anti-Russian". One cannot be anti-Russian in any moderate way. Being anti-Russian means supporting a harsh and aggressive military stance toward their nation. The Russians are after all destroying Western civilization and this cannot be meant with diplomacy.

And from what I can, every national democratic candidate for House and Senate will follow suite.

divineorder on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 10:25pm
Hard to know what will happen by then but your guess

@MrWebster is as good as mine.

I wonder if this list is correct?

For reference, these are the only 10 senators who voted AGAINST giving Trump a $717 billion war budget:

Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Ed Markey
Kirsten Gillibrand
Dick Durban
Kamala Harris
Jeff Merkley
Ron Wyden
Mike Lee (R)
Marco Rubio (R)
So much for #Resistance huh?

-- Clayton Farris (@ClaytonRFarris) August 3, 2018

Wars and rumours of wars...

This is OT, and some will say Bernie is sheepdogging these kids.

Thank you to the young people standing up to fossil fuel corporations and leading the movement to combat climate change. #ThisIsZeroHour pic.twitter.com/77f9KvY4og

-- Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 24, 2018

... ... ...

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:55pm
The first tweet shows how people twist events

The others show that there are others out there that have seen through this propaganda crap. I'd like to see the breakdown of Hillary supporters that believe Russia Gate and the Bernie supporters that don't. Most of the Trump supporters think it's phony so what made Hillary's believe in something that everyone should be laughing at?

You deserve a lot of credit. Russia interfered in your favor, yet you are man enough to admit that they interfered. Thank you Bernie!

-- Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) February 16, 2018

So you plan to continue this McCarthy Russian BS? You didn't speak out when you got cheated in the primaries, and you didn't seem to care that Hillary was using her own paid troll army. Integrity matters Bernie and you are losing yours.

-- Underdawg47 (@Underdawg47) February 17, 2018

You stopped speaking for me and millions of others when you caved to crooked HRC. No it was NOT clear that Russia was "deeply involved in the election. What is CLEAR is your betrayal of your followers and cover up of the election fraud perpetrated by DNC! Everybody knows...

-- Logan (@KOMBUCHABABY) February 17, 2018

Bernie, that's MIC propaganda. Stop helping it. There are millions of reasons Trump should not be president. We don't need a hyped up corporate fairytale to make that point https://t.co/7FAwb47LtB

-- SanBernieDingDong (@noreallyhowcome) February 17, 2018

MrWebster on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 7:19pm
2020 dem candidates will try to out do each other on Russia

Democratic party jingoism in 2020 will be extra-ordinary with candidates each trying to out do each other how they will fuck over Putin and the Russian nation. There will be a shit load of public loyalty testing against any third party candidate by the democrats.

The democrats (and media cohorts) have become an apocolyptic death cult. The language that comes from them is infused with the language of conspiracies, violence, treason, aggression and demonization.

And here is the thing, Bernie to survive electorally will have to become a cult member. Effectively he will have to be pro-war with Russia. He will be giving from the the Left supposed support for aggressive action andmilitarism toward Russia.

I fear that if a democrat becomes president in 2020 (it won't be Bernie), is elected president that in the year of the midterms in 2022, the US will start a real war with Russia which has a highly likehood of going nuclear.

[Aug 04, 2018] The US establishment behind the Helsinki Summit, by Manlio Dinucci

So the US neoliberal establishment tried to sabotage Trump-Putin summit in doer to pursue "business as usual". In other words military-industrial complex is in control of the USA government...
Notable quotes:
"... It's no coincidence that, at the very moment when the President of the United States was about to meet with the President of Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller III charged twelve Russians with having manipulated the US presidential elections by hacking into the data networks of the Democratic party in order to hinder candidate Hillary Clinton. The twelve Russians, accused of being agents of the military secret services (GRU), were officially defined as " conspirators ", and found guilty of " conspiracy to the detriment of the United States ". Simultaneously, Daniel Coats, National Director of Intelligence and principal advisor to the President in these matters, accused Russia of working to " undermine our basic values and our democracy ". He then sounded the alarm about the " threat of cyber-attacks which have arrived at a critical point " similar to that which preceded 9/11, on behalf not only of Russia, " the most aggressive foreign agent ", but also China and Iran. ..."
"... At the same time, in London, British " investigators " declared that the Russian military secret service GRU, which had sabotaged the Presidential elections in the USA, is the same service which poisoned ex-Russian agent, Sergueï Skripal and his daughter, who, inexplicably, survived contact with an extremely lethal gas. ..."
"... The political objective of these " enquiries " is clear – to maintain that at the head of all these " conspirators " is Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom President Donald Trump sat down at the negotiating table, despite vast bi-partisan opposition in the USA. After the " conspirators " had been charged, the Democrats asked Trump to cancel the meeting with Putin. Even though they failed, their pressure on the negotiations remains powerful. ..."
"... In opposition to the easing of tension with Russia are not only the Democrats (who, with a reversal of formal roles, are playing the " hawks "), but also many Republicans, among whom are several highly-important representatives of the Trump administration itself. It is the establishment, not only of the US, but also of Europe, whose powers and profits are directly linked to tension and war. ..."
"... Even if an agreement on these questions were reached between Putin and Trump, would the latter be able to implement it? Or will the real deciders be the powerful circles of the military-industrial complex? ..."
Aug 04, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

While the International Press distorted the content of the NATO Summit, the US establishment perfectly understood the unique issue – the end of enmity with Russia. Thus disturbing the bilateral summit in Helsinki between the USA and Russia became its priority. By all means possible, it had to prevent any rapprochement with Moscow.

We need to talk about everything, from commerce to the military, missiles, nuclear, and China " - this was how President Trump began at the Helsinki Summit. " The time has come to talk in detail about our bilateral relationship and the international flashpoints ", emphasised Putin.

But it will not only be the two Presidents who will decide the future relationships between the United States and Russia.

It's no coincidence that, at the very moment when the President of the United States was about to meet with the President of Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller III charged twelve Russians with having manipulated the US presidential elections by hacking into the data networks of the Democratic party in order to hinder candidate Hillary Clinton. The twelve Russians, accused of being agents of the military secret services (GRU), were officially defined as " conspirators ", and found guilty of " conspiracy to the detriment of the United States ". Simultaneously, Daniel Coats, National Director of Intelligence and principal advisor to the President in these matters, accused Russia of working to " undermine our basic values and our democracy ". He then sounded the alarm about the " threat of cyber-attacks which have arrived at a critical point " similar to that which preceded 9/11, on behalf not only of Russia, " the most aggressive foreign agent ", but also China and Iran.

At the same time, in London, British " investigators " declared that the Russian military secret service GRU, which had sabotaged the Presidential elections in the USA, is the same service which poisoned ex-Russian agent, Sergueï Skripal and his daughter, who, inexplicably, survived contact with an extremely lethal gas.

The political objective of these " enquiries " is clear – to maintain that at the head of all these " conspirators " is Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom President Donald Trump sat down at the negotiating table, despite vast bi-partisan opposition in the USA. After the " conspirators " had been charged, the Democrats asked Trump to cancel the meeting with Putin. Even though they failed, their pressure on the negotiations remains powerful.

What Putin tried to obtain from Trump is both simple and complex – to ease the tension between the two countries. To that purpose, he proposed to Trump, who accepted, to implement a joint enquiry into the " conspiracy ". We do not know how the discussions on the key questions will go – the status of Crimea, the condition of Syria, nuclear weapons and others. And we do not know what Trump will ask in return. However, it is certain that any concession will be used to accuse him of connivance with the enemy. In opposition to the easing of tension with Russia are not only the Democrats (who, with a reversal of formal roles, are playing the " hawks "), but also many Republicans, among whom are several highly-important representatives of the Trump administration itself. It is the establishment, not only of the US, but also of Europe, whose powers and profits are directly linked to tension and war.

It will not be the words, but the facts, which will reveal whether the climate of détente of the Helsinki Summit will become reality - first of all with a de-escalation of NATO in Europe, in other words with the withdrawal of forces (including nuclear forces) of the USA and NATO presently deployed against Russia, and the blockage of NATO's expansion to the East.

Even if an agreement on these questions were reached between Putin and Trump, would the latter be able to implement it? Or will the real deciders be the powerful circles of the military-industrial complex?

One thing is certain – we in Italy and Europe can not remain the simple spectators of dealings which will define our future. Manlio Dinucci

Translation
Pete Kimberley

Source
Il Manifesto (Italy)

Manlio Dinucci

Geographer and geopolitical scientist. His latest books are Laboratorio di geografia , Zanichelli 2014 ; Diario di viaggio , Zanichelli 2017 ; L'arte della guerra / Annali della strategia Usa/Nato 1990-2016 , Zambon 2016. The warmonger The warmonger's response to negotiation
"The Art of War"

[Aug 04, 2018] The warmonger s response to negotiation, by Manlio Dinucci

Aug 04, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

The conflict between transnational financial capitalism and productive national capitalism has entered into a paroxystic phase. On one side, Presidents Trump and Putin are negotiating the joint defence of their national interests. On the other, the major daily newspaper for the US and the world is accusing the US President of high treason, while the armed forces of the US and NATO are preparing for war with Russia and China.

You have attacked our democracy. Your well-worn gamblers' denials do not interest us. If you continue with this attitude, we will consider it an act of war." This is what Trump should have said to Putin at the Helsinki Summit, in the opinion of famous New York Times editorialist Thomas Friedman, published in La Repubblica . He went on to accuse the Russian President of having "attacked NATO, a fundamental pillar of international security, destabilised Europe, and bombed thousands of Syrian refugees, causing them to seek refuge in Europe."

He then accused the President of the United States of having " repudiated his oath on the Constitution " and of being an " asset of Russian Intelligence " or at least playing at being one.

What Friedman expressed in these provocative terms corresponds to the position of a powerful internal and international front (of which the New York Times is an important mouthpiece) opposed to USA-Russia negotiations, which should continue with the invitation of Putin to the White House. But there is a substantial difference.

While the negotiations have not yet borne fruit, opposition to the negotiations has been expressed not only in words, but especially in facts.

Cancelling out the climate of détente at the Helsinki Summit, the planetary warmongering system of the United States is in the process of intensifying the preparations for a war reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific:

When Trump meets Chinese President Xi Jinping, Friedman will no doubt accuse him of connivance not only with the Russian enemy, but also with the Chinese enemy. Manlio Dinucci

Manlio Dinucci Geographer and geopolitical scientist. His latest books are Laboratorio di geografia , Zanichelli 2014 ; Diario di viaggio , Zanichelli 2017 ; L'arte della guerra / Annali della strategia Usa/Nato 1990-2016 , Zambon 2016.

[Aug 03, 2018] Katrina vanden Heuvel We Need "Robust Debate" in Reporting on Russia, Not "Suffocating Consensus"

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
Aug 03, 2018 | www.democracynow.org

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL : I think what Trump did on this trip, between Europe and the Helsinki summit, is he played to his base. He's reconfiguring the Republican Party so that it becomes more consistent with its isolationist roots, its roots as going it alone, not tethered by international institutions, and also sympathetic to strongmen. I mean, I think Trump is more a con man than a strongman, but he certainly has an affinity. I don't have much use for those who say, "Look, he's guilty, because he never says a bad word about Putin." Problem is, he never says a bad word about Bibi Netanyahu, doesn't say a bad word about the Saudi leaders, nor does he say a bad word about the murderous Duterte in the Philippines. So he does have an affinity for those strongmen, which I think does lead him and guide a kind of foreign policy. So we need, as small-D democrats, to counter and not accept -- what I talked to Amy about last week -- the failed bipartisan foreign policy establishment as our default. We should not go back to policing the world, indispensable nation, but instead have a demilitarized foreign policy that truly deals with the challenges of our time, which most of are not going to be met with a military solution.

... ... ...

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL : The vilification of alternative, dissenting views or linking those views to a foreign power -- in many people's views, an implacably hostile foreign power -- is the degradation of our political media culture. When Rand Paul, who is interesting on foreign policy, reminds, as The New York Times has over the last -- you know, that America has meddled in other countries' elections, has interfered, has overthrown countries' governments, and MSNBC contributors tweet "traitor"? And I would also mention Glenn Greenwald. We talked of him earlier. Malcolm Nance, a very ubiquitous commentator on MSNBC on intelligence and other issues, said Glenn was -- I'm going to read it, because it's so outrageous -- "an agent of Trump & Moscow deep in the Kremlin's pocket." This is -- we've seen this in our history before. And I think it is -- it's dangerous when you have a suffocating consensus instead of a full, robust debate.

And it should be about issues. Juan is right. When we fix so much on personalities, we're feeding the beast, we've seen, of media malpractice, this obliteration of the line between news and entertainment, the conglomeratization, the decimation of local news. These are issues which collide with an administration which does want to delegitimize public accountability, if they know public accountability journalism, delegitimize any check on abuses. And we, as representatives of a media which seek to speak to the issues, seek debate, to foster, not police, debate, need to stand up and continue to do our work despite these fake news and -- people are despairing about the issue of news, about facts, about -- anyway. But I think what -- the tweeting, to call someone a traitor because they have a point of you don't agree with, we're in a dangerous territory.

[Aug 03, 2018] Anglo America Russophobes as Fake Miracle workers; the Post Christ Resurrections

Jun 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

Extracted from: Appeasement as Global Policy, by James Petras - The Unz Review

As part of the propaganda campaign to discredit and isolate Russia, the UK and the Ukraine, stalwart flunkies of Washington, accused Moscow of assassinations by poison and bullets. Both alleged victims appeared live and well in due time!

On March 4, 2018, the Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May claimed that Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by Russian secret agents. Foreign Secretary Boris "Bobo" Johnson called the poison, 'the most-deadly agent known to man' (sic) – Novichok. According to "Terry and Bobo" the poison kills in 30 seconds. Two months later Sergei and Yulia were seen taking a stroll in a park.

The fake charges were promoted by the entire Anglo-Americans mass media. The UK proceeded to charge Putin with 'crimes against humanity' , backed additional diplomatic and economic sanctions, increased military spending for homeland defense and urged President Trump to take forceful action. Once the 'victims' 'rose from the dead' the media never questioned the regime's claim of a Russian conspiracy planned at the highest level.

The UK scored a few trivial merit points from Washington, which, however, did not prevent President Trump from slapping a double-digit tariff on British steel and aluminum exports (with more to come)!

The Ukraine joined the line of toadies trying to secure President Trump's approval by cooking up another Russian murder plot. This time Ukraine leaders claimed Kremlin agents assassinated one Arkady Babchenko, an anti-Russian journalist and self-proclaimed exile in Kiev.

On May 29, 2018, Arkady was found 'murdered' or so said the Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and repeated, embellished and circulated by the entire western mass media.

On May 31, a wide-eyed 'Arkady' turned up alive and claiming his 'resurrection' was a planned plot to catch a Russian agent!

Western regimes systematic use of lies, plots and conspiracies are central to the imperial drive for world power.

In Syria, the US accused Damascus of using poisonous gas against its own people in order to justify NATO's terror bombing of Aleppo's civilian population!

In Libya, Obama and Clinton claimed President Gaddafi distributed Viagra to his armed forced to rape innocent civilians, precipitating the US-EU terror bombing of the country and rape and murder of President Ghaddafi.

The question is whether western leaders will seek papal recognition of CIA directed resurrections to coincide with Easter?

[Aug 02, 2018] Cohen - who Trump has severed ties with, was either a terrible unregistered lobbyist or ran a bait and switch operation

Notable quotes:
"... Authorities are investigating whether Mr. Cohen engaged in unregistered lobbying in connection with his consulting work for corporate clients after Mr. Trump went to the White House, according to people familiar with the probe ..."
"... Investigators are also examining potential campaign-finance violations and bank fraud surrounding, among other deals, Mr. Cohen's October 2016 payment to Stephanie Clifford , the former adult-film star called Stormy Daniels, to keep her from discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the probe. Mr. Trump denies any encounter took place. - WSJ ..."
Aug 02, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Authorities are investigating whether Mr. Cohen engaged in unregistered lobbying in connection with his consulting work for corporate clients after Mr. Trump went to the White House, according to people familiar with the probe .

Investigators are also examining potential campaign-finance violations and bank fraud surrounding, among other deals, Mr. Cohen's October 2016 payment to Stephanie Clifford , the former adult-film star called Stormy Daniels, to keep her from discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the probe. Mr. Trump denies any encounter took place. - WSJ

[Aug 02, 2018] Neocon media Russiagate sham

Notable quotes:
"... It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth. ..."
Aug 02, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

CitizenOne , July 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Today on ABC Martha Raddatz hosted "This Week" which featured James Lankford a Republican from Oklahoma describing how Russia and Putin were actively trying to ruin our democracy and also were trying to influence elections at every possible turn. The Russian Bear and Putin according to Lankford were also trying to rewrite the Constitution, trying to upend every election and were seeking to disrupt our national electrical grid not to be confused with our national election grid which they were also trying to destroy as well as to control the most local elections by a means of electronic control that was beyond any means to control.

Of course no mention was made about possible solutions to thwart the Russians was mentioned and it is doubtful that there are any serious efforts to counteract the alleged Russian hacking of US elections since not one single preventive action to stop the Orwellian monster of Russia, like Emmanuel Goldstein in Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty Four" was put forth.

Apparently ABC and the other media are trying to convince Americans that there is an overwhelming force in Russia that is somehow able to infiltrate and control all our national elections. Apparently the Russians are unstoppable.

It is a sham.

It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth.

Instead the publishers of "This Week" on ABC were content to provide evidence-free incriminations of Russia and attribute all manner of influence in our elections to the incredibly sneaky and unstoppable Russian-Putin election Influencing machine which is unstoppable by our intelligence agencies.

What is missing from Martha Radditz's show? There will never be any admission that they have jobs because of Citizens United, their corporate benefactors (Koch Industries), Gerrymandering, Dark Money, Media Bias which ensures that the Iron Triangle of corporate election dark money flows to hand picked political candidates that will support conservative causes or that these are the real election influencing mechanisms which have the most power in our country to influence elections.

As long as ABC, NBC, CBS and other cable news shows fail to correctly identify the real reasons of election corruption which is our very near and dear corporate money funded political organizations we will continue to be duped by the free press to believe that Russia has control over our national elections and not believe that US Corporations hold all the power.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 29, 2018 at 5:51 am

Yes, but the great Putin Scare is not just the tactic of a political interest group or party

It feeds off of something more fundamental and much more pervasive and dangerous.

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/21/john-chuckman-comment-trump-is-out-maneuvering-his-enemies-on-russia-official-u-s-russophobia-is-epidemic-it-serves-real-interests-trump-does-not-have-leverage-he-cant-even-build-his-silly/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/john-chuckman-comment-putin-orders-air-force-to-prepare-for-a-time-of-war-he-is-wise-to-do-so-america-and-russia-today-a-completely-unnecessary-conflict-thanks-to-obama/

rosemerry , July 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Thanks to Norman for reminding us of the continued waste of time and effort on the 'russiagate' stories based on allegations and indictments, NOT evidence or possible reasons for such behavior. The USA is fully capable of unfair election practices, helped by the undemocratic system of electoral college, partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, lack of response to voter desires .plus of course Israel being the very large external factor.
Trump's influence on workers, environment, USA's reputation are negative, but blaming Russia when this is in nobody's real interest is hardly the way forward for the Democratic Party.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

All those loons you mentioned are effectively practicing a religion, in which there is a dogma everyone must believe to be virtuous and a set of commandments every believer must live by to gain salvation. Don't toe the line on every bit of it and you are rejected as an apostate.

I'm surprised that some of those folks, notably Thom Hartmann, choose not to practice what they preach -- you know, the platitudes about studying the facts and coming to your own conclusions rather than following the herd. They rightly condemn acting on prejudice, out of pure self-interest, without verifiable facts (indeed at odds with empirical fact) and using group intimidation, as per McCarthyist tactics, and then they go ahead and embrace those vices to their own ends.

It is my process on everything in this life to learn as much as I can on my own, without being brainwashed by any group or movement, and only backing a cause if it is congruent with my own conclusions. Unfortunately, most people do the opposite: they are joiners first and analysts only if their biases are not threatened.

I feel entirely justified in agreeing with movements on some things and not others. I doubt that human beings have arrived at definitive answers about most phenomena in the real world or that any single organised group of us has it all down accurate and pat on everything. Listen to any casual debate on the questions big and small in science: the give and take, back and forth, can go on as long as the participants have the interest and energy. I never give my interlocutors any respite, because there is always one more thing to be considered or one more way of looking at a problem. I'm sure I would have been burned at the stake in many previous lives and so would a lot of the readers here.

Eddie , July 27, 2018 at 11:26 pm

Yes, good points Drew. I view Maddow as a liberal Rush Limbaugh, trying to win a Leni Riefenstahl award from the DNC, and having to be satisfied with her purported $9M/yr salary (which definitely DOES buy a LOT of co-opting).

In support of your argument, I would add that ultimately we should be voting for a candidate based on his/her POLICIES, as evidenced by their prior political voting record and whatever political actions they've taken, NOT based on what they SAY they believe -- that's 1st period high school civics as I recall. It's too easy for candidates to say this or that during a campaign. Trump's policy of detente w/Russia, is -- like the proverbial 'blind squirrel who occasionally finds a nut' -- probably random chance or perhaps a way to penetrate a relatively untapped market with his hucksterism. But so what?? For something as IMPORTANT as NOT having a nuclear war, I'm all for any honest, significant efforts in that direction. Even Nixon, whose presidency I disliked greatly, did a good thing by 'going to China' -- I don't recall anybody on the liberal side at that time saying he was Mao's dupe or foolishness like that. Did Nixon do it as a cynical ploy to draw attention away from other political problems, and did he previously help aggravate/perpetuate a lot of the conflict w/China? Sure, but the act of rapprochement w/China was in-and-of-itself desirable and laudable in that it moved the world a major step AWAY from possible nuclear war. And full-scale nuclear war trumps (no pun intended) virtually all other problems, with the possible exception of climate change, so a POTUS should devote extra energy to that task. Ideally, they should be ramping down the militarism and nationalism, but unfortunately those are campaign tactics that are too easy for either major party to set aside (with 1/2 the fault lying in the electorate who too often endorses those 'isms).

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:10 am

Is not Maddow well compensated for her anti-Russian stance that is so valued by the Military-Industrial Complex? She is a profiteer.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-27/paul-craig-roberts-exposes-all-pervasive-military-security-complex

Jeff Harrison , July 27, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Re-reading this today for some reason really popped a few things up for me. The first one right in my face was: "Now, after a remarkable 46-minute news conference on foreign soil where Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent to praise his 'strong' denials of election interference and criticize the FBI, those strategists believe the ground may have shifted."

Can someone explain to me what the hell "foreign soil" has to do with the price of tea in China? Trump has given plenty of pressers "on foreign soil" but that phrase nor anything like it is ever mentioned. Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent.

Talk about a lack of respect and blatant bias. He stood side by side with the democratically elected President of the Russian Federation who, by the way, won his election by a clear majority of the vote unlike Mr. Trump who would have lost the election had it been held in Russia. One wonders what would have happened had WaPo and the NYT said something like Russian President Gorbachev stood side by side with the former head of the KGB I mean CIA without ever saying President Bush?

It's also blindingly obvious how screwed we are. We really only have one political party in the US -- the US Corporate Party. There is, indeed, very little reason to vote as a recent survey pointed out Congressional votes correspond to the people's preferences as determined by polling only about 5% of the time.

Gregory Herr , July 27, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Progressives, particularly those few taken tokens the Democrats allow for, should have realised long ago that MSNBC is all in on the corporatist controlled economy and leans heavily forward in the quest for War and Profits.

FAIR is correct to point to the "traditional centers of power" that MSNBC services, but the farcical "coverage" of Russiagate inanity certainly doesn't "preserve" a "progressive image" and is not "elegant" in any way.

The war on Yemen and the weapons contracting with the Saudi terrorist regime was already "steroidal" during Obama's Administration. In October 2016, warplanes bombed a community hall in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, where mourners had gathered for a funeral, killing at least 140 people and wounding hundreds. We should note that the U.S. provided intelligence assistance in identifying targets and mid-air refueling for Saudi aircraft and helped blockade the ports of Yemen during Obama's tenure.

[Aug 02, 2018] Did God Send Us Donald Trump by Nick Pemberton

Notable quotes:
"... I Thought About Killing You ..."
"... No, my new theory about why Americans want conflict with Russia is because we know in our heart of hearts that the world is ending soon because of climate change. ..."
"... Nick Pemberton is a student at Gustavus Adolphus College. He is currently employed by Gustavus Dining Services. Nick was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He can be reached at pemberton.nick@gmail.com ..."
Jul 27, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
Did God Send Us Donald Trump?

Photo by Durán | CC BY 2.0

And I think about killing myself
And I love myself way more than I love you, so

-- Kanye West, I Thought About Killing You

For the past two years, I have been wondering why Americans have been so ready, if not eager, to reengage the Cold War with Russia, despite Russia showing no desire to do so. A war between Russia and the United States, given the nuclear arsenals, political allegiances around the world, and the unhinged nature of our President, could destroy the entire species. And for what? Russia's alleged crime of election meddling, is negligible at best when in comparison to what America has done in Russia, or what rich Americans have done in America. Xenophobia, historical revisionism, and an embrace of fake news are all on the rise in the age of Trump, and are surely all factors for blaming Russia. But lying and bigotry, while practiced routinely, is often shameful, not something to get excited about.

No, my new theory about why Americans want conflict with Russia is because we know in our heart of hearts that the world is ending soon because of climate change. Just as born-again Christians flock to Trump as they yearn for a Revelations-style apocalypse, liberals want a showdown with Russia. If the world is ending anyways, let's end it on our own terms seems to be the rationale. Other countries have reacted with a more rational response to the potential of the world ending -- namely doing something about it. The Republican Party stands alone, in terms of rich countries, in its blatant denial of climate change. This is why Noam Chomsky correctly calls them the most dangerous organization in human history. The Democratic Party, their hapless and willing enablers, are a close second.

The Republican Party though has seemed to stand alone in their tendency to live in an 'alternative facts' universe. As bad as Democrats are, they know better ways to lie. But since the election of Donald Trump, the Democrats have become just as paranoid and dishonest as their friends across the aisle. The Republicans may see a communist behind every corner, but the Democrats see a Russian behind every corner. This makes sense because Russia, or at least the Soviet Union, was seen as communist the first time around. And the Democrats have always been scared of communism too. Now Russia isn't communist, or even close, but what world power is? Poor Mr. Putin. He has tried so hard to be a ruthless capitalist, in fact he has succeeded at this goal, but it appears that America is too hotheaded to care.

In the age of Barack Obama, those who deal with life superficially could forget the coming Armageddon. If one could get by his arrogance and kill lists, Mr. Obama seemed like a pretty cool guy. And when it came to Russia, a better diplomat. One has to wonder if the fear of Trump has become so irrational that we are scared of anything he does, and that by simply forcing him into the opposite, we will be better off. There also is surely a part of the American psyche that is just rooting for Mr. Trump to fail. And who wouldn't want that? Anything that gets him out of office as soon as possible should be welcomed, no matter the undemocratic implications of Robert Mueller's agenda. Trump failing while in office though? It is unclear who this helps besides the anti-Trump resistance who may be more interested in being morally superior than stopping Trump's vicious agenda.

Regardless, what Donald Trump brings to America is the sense that we are powerless. He is unpredictable, reckless, stupid and vengeful. We now live in constant fear, and for good reason. But the legitimate fear of Trump manifests as illegitimate fear of Putin, even though there is little implication they actually like each other. We fear Putin's authoritarian state, when it is Donald Trump who is bringing authoritarianism home. Why? Well, many of the resistance are imperialists. We want an enemy we can bomb and scapegoat, not one that pervades all of our own crumbling American institutions. It is the same reason why Republicans blame immigrants that Democrats blame Russia. Someone to blame, not something to change.

This powerlessness we feel may remind us of our powerless future that can easily be forgotten in the age of mass distraction. However, with Donald Trump, he is both the distraction and the problem. He is useful to the rich because he distracts, but perhaps he is a little too close to the real problem to be the calming relaxer that our smartphones are. One can turn on the TV and see Trump said blank, or Russia did that, but any person could quickly be reminded that not only is Trump a petty scandal, but a serious one.

Such is the reason for this extreme level of neurosis. There is endless piffling Trump material to focus on, but the material is based in something far more alarming not yet examined in a serious way. Thus, Trump, while ever present, remains enticing simply because we are not yet at the root of our fear. Many Americans may fear Donald Trump will grope them, insult them or embarrass them but the real fear is that he is deregulating and privatizing everything, and killing us all in the process. This is not the focus of discourse though. In part because mass media and their ties to polluting companies won't allow it. But also in part because it is no longer fun gossip.

Russia somehow remains fun gossip. The game of bringing down Donald Trump continues. He messes up, we scold, nothing happens. Until we drop the bomb, it's all fun and games. It's endless flirtation without a lot of action. I imagine it is how Ted Cruz deals with his sexual urges. It is a whole lot of fun talking about them, but he knows he is going to hell if he ever does them. Likewise, Russia is fun to talk about, but if we ever act on our claim that they are the greatest threat to democracy since 9/11, we will be bringing the end times early.

If Donald Trump was impeached, what would war-mongering corporate liberals talk about? Expect them to ask Russia to rig it even harder in 2020 for Mr. Trump.

Trump has reminded us of the real cause for alarm: the mass extinction thundering towards us. We feel so uneasy, but what can we do? Climate change is depressing and horrifying and we can seemingly do nothing about it on an individual level. We then opt for the only thing that we have left to control: how we all die. Foolish, I think. As bad as Trump is, there is something left to live for, and if Trump were to blow up Russia, it would not be on our terms, but on his. In fact, he is only likely to blow up Russia if he feels he is being out-machoed by the neoliberal corporate class in combative rhetoric. As it stands, America is egging on this madman for no other purpose than a sense of control over our own demise. If anything lets Trump and the corporate overlords win, this is it.

It is worth detailing what has happened in the Russia scandal, if only to show nothing has really happened. The first charge, which is denied by the accused firm, is that a Russian company known as Internet Research Agency funded 'millions of dollars' in advertisements. There has been no link established between this company and the Russian government. The accusation, if it is true, is no different from the private American companies who invest billions in elections, sometimes illegally, but often legally. The second charge is related to the Russian government and the alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee. Once again, this is only a charge, but the information released by hackers was potentially damaging to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, simply because it was true. The irony is that the damaging information for the DNC was that they had rigged their own primary. The accused riggers only crime is exposing the proven riggers. There are allegations of state and local hacking too, but those were present before 2016. Did Russia do it? is hardly our biggest story now. For whatever it is, even if it did prevent the corporate warmonger Hillary Clinton from winning, it should be far less concerning than the obsessive, neurotic, fear-mongering, scapegoating, ominous mood in the United States since the 2016 election.

Why were Democrats tearing their hair out over a Trump-Putin meeting last week that seemed to offer zero conclusions about how Trump felt about anything? The whole week, which was typical Donald, was just another week of bullying the weak and submitting to the strong. Putin may be able to push some buttons in his own country, but when Trump, who never apologizes for anything, ran back his own words, it was clear that NATO would live to see another day, no matter the scattered thoughts of a wimpy man in over his head. The deranged response to the deranged Donald was enough for me to think long and hard about a theory given to me by a right-wing woman this past week.

Her theory was that God had in fact sent us Donald Trump. My first thought: highly unlikely. This man lacks the morals of the people God sends to us. In fact, I can hardly think of a worse human being. There may actually be no human being worse than Trump, save maybe Charles Koch, David Koch and whoever funds Adam Sandler movies. But I thought of the alternative the corporate media was telling me: Vladimir Putin is the real President of America and the real reason the entire country is undemocratic, poor, hungry, and in prison. Also, highly unlikely.

Yet the pamphlet this woman handed me at least admitted there was no rhyme or reason to this theory other than some guy hearing it from God: "I, like many of you, was shocked by the word I received regarding Donald Trump. Trust me when I say it was given with fear and trembling." Has the fear and trembling gone away?

The only biblical evidence of this theory the pamphlet provided was 1 Corinthians 15:52: "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." and 1 Thessalonians 4:16: " For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first." The problem with being a fundamentalist in the age of Trump is that you are taking a book word for word that you haven't even read. If you are going to take it literally, at least look for that capital T in trump, otherwise you have to take every trumpet player as a prophet. Next thing you know Trumpettes will be swapping out their Johnny Rebel records and replacing them with Lee Morgan. Still, the trail left by the Trumpettes was no less convincing than Robert Mueller's. There was as much evidence of Trump in the Bible as Trump in Putin's pocket.

It should come to no one's surprise that Donald Trump has not exactly been pro-Russia. A broken clock may strike right twice a day, but a doomsday clock never strikes right. Glen Greenwald points out that Barack Obama was actually more pro-Russia than Trump: "you look at President Obama versus President Trump, there's no question that President Obama was more cooperative with and collaborative with Russia and the Russian agenda than President Trump. President Trump has sent lethal arms to Ukraine -- a crucial issue for Putin -- which President Obama refused to do. President Trump has bombed the Assad forces in Syria, a client state of Putin, something that Obama refused to do because he didn't want to provoke Putin. Trump has expelled more Russian diplomats and sanctioned more Russian oligarchs than [Obama] has. Trump undid the Iran deal, which Russia favored, while Obama worked with Russia in order to do the Iran deal." Once again, liberals give Mr. Trump too much credit. He has no friends. He gets along with no one. There is no coherent plan here other than corruption.

As liberals resist Putin-Trump with homophobic memes, one has to wonder, how mad are these people? Do they realize that Donald Trump is crazy, even crazier than them? Why on earth do they want Trump armed and angry?

Anyone who can still bear to follow the news knows that the corporate media is still attempting to paint Russia as an aggressive and unreasonable foe. This is all with Mr. Trump as the President! It is hard to believe that anyone is more unreasonable and aggressive than Trump, but once again, the liberals let him off the hook. Despite military on Russia's borders, years of war-mongering rhetoric and hostile economic activity, meddling in Russia's own elections, and constant racism, Russia remains a reasonable actor in its relation to the United States. One wonders why Russia tries to reason with us at all, but the nuclear weapons certainly make things a little more complicated.

For all the talk about Putin destroying American democracy, no one mentions the real threats to U.S. democracy that led to Trump's election -- absurd campaign financing, a sensationalist profit-driven corporate media, and voter suppression. No one mentions that there was a proven election scandal in the United States in 2016. This scandal was the DNC rigging its primary for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. If the United States was a democracy, Bernie Sanders would be President right now.

Finding no comfort or coherence in the liberal narrative, I turned once again to my new right-wing friend. She told me that all these recent storms were punishment for the sins of a liberal society. Almost, actually. But her anti-choice, anti-immigrant complaints showed me she was as far from the truth as anyone else. Still, I found this to be a fascinating denial of climate change. It was not so much that she denied that it is happening, she just denied human involvement. Which goes to show, as climate change becomes increasingly hard to ignore, religion may be the only method left to explain it away.

I have always thought the war over public opinion is a losing battle though. After all, what is the prize if you win? It is far more rewarding to fight hunger, poverty, deregulation, incarceration and war. Beat those things and we will all be too cozy to have a worthwhile opinion anyways.

The public opinion debate too often turns into a qualification of other people's mental health, as if any skepticism deserves to be medicated by the liars who tell you that you need their drugs. Climate change skeptics should have a place in public discourse. The skeptics do at times have a financial interest in keeping us fooled, but then their problem isn't their skepticism, but their dishonesty, which almost proves the real skeptics right. Otherwise, these are sincere believers who are right to be skeptical of science, which has brought us eugenics, unnecessary mental health treatments, nuclear power, and the very pollutants we now oppose, and would have kept at it without government checks and populist skeptics. If only the same amount of skepticism could be applied to Fox News and the corporate hacks Donald Trump appoints.

In the spirit of skepticism, let's look at what Trump has done on climate change and the coming end of the world. As Noam Chomsky puts it, the Republicans are racing to the precipice. Among the recent sins by Mr. Trump:

1. Rolling back the Endangered Species Act.

2. Cutting NASA Climate monitoring.

3. A move to make details of scientific studies public, making sure that scientists will have to choose between privacy rights and conducting a study.

4. Rollback of car emissions standards

5. Repeal of Water of the United States rule, which threatens clean water for 117 million Americans.

6. Repeal of lead-risk reduction program

7. Reduction of chemical bans for methylene chloride, trichloroethylene and N-Methylpyrrolidone

8. Stripping rules for coal ash waste removal.

9. Pardoning despicable ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond

10. Appointing anti-EPA Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

11. Pushing for drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

If anything, God sent us Trump to punish us for our sins, not to save us from them.

Alas, while a worthwhile exercise to imagine that God indeed sent us Donald Trump, I was only reminded that the right-wing is just as bonkers as the neoliberal wing. A week of watching CNN will have you believing anything; even pushing one to believe that God really did send Donald Trump. But I will confirm, for anyone so tempted by a new way of thinking, the glove just doesn't fit. God did not send us Donald Trump. I can't prove it, but I am fairly certain. I then was left with one mystifying question: if God did not send Donald Trump, what does the corporate media have against him?

The common variable between Trumpettes and Russiaphobes is the end of the world narrative. Is it a reaction to climate change that both must make up stories about how the world will end? Is it the only power any of us have left? Is it the cancer patient learning they have a year to live and then shooting up a school just so they can end it on their own terms? Sorry, to all Cold War Warriors and all Donald Doomers, some of us just are not ready to die. There is, one has to believe, a rose growing in the concrete somewhere that makes these prophecies not worth an early exit. At the very least, must we go out on such fabricated and petty terms? Surely there is something worth dying for besides hating political correctness or Putin's soccer ball.

What is that nuclear taste? Is reviving Hillary's corpse really worth it? Or has the entire country given up and opted for a death they can blame on someone else? It is not so dissimilar from the apocalypse envisioned by the Trumpettes, who can blame every storm that Trump makes worse on the sins of a liberal society. If Trump and Putin were to blow each other up tomorrow, liberals would die on top. However, if we are to die slightly slower due to climate change, the entire industrialized world will have to know we played a part. And there will be those pesky Trumpettes who blame it on liberalism, not capitalism. To all this I say, who cares. Yes, we messed up. We shouldn't have drained the earth of all its resources, we shouldn't have elected Trump. But no need to feel guilty and embrace the end of the world! There is still good work to be done. Who will be laughing when the world dies by nuclear (a Russiaphobe wet dream) or fire (a Trumpette wet dream). There will be no moral high ground at that point. The apocalypse will be the great equalizer. Even in the age of Trump, the world is worth sticking around for, although She might as well be done with us as soon as She can be.

Surely the principle of lesser evilism still has a place, no? Can't we all agree that dying tomorrow is better than dying today? Who is more looney, the apocalyptic Trumpettes or the Russiaphobic corporate class? We will find out soon enough. While it is very likely that Trump will win reelection (poll numbers in the Republican Party for him are very positive), it is just as likely that the new Cold War will continue until Trump is gone, whether that be in 2 years, 6 years, or 14 years (Ivanka). The premise is that we will either have Trump's apocalypse or we will blow up Russia. There must be a winner. Given Trump's flair for winning and upending the liberal class, who would be surprised if it was he who ended up blowing up Russia, not for our reasons, but for his own. Therefore, it is equally important to get Trump, the Republicans and Democrats out of power as quickly as possible.

We are once again pawns to the powers that be. Sensing the end is coming, they wish to go out with a bang. It is true, the end is coming, whether that be by climate change, nuclear weapons or God Himself. The battle over how we end is worth fighting for. I for one have no interest in being killed by Trump, the neocons, or the ecocide maniacs. If God must take me, I will let Him, but giving the establishment the satisfaction of having the last word is too much to bear. To hear Hillary's cackle at my funeral with the words "We came, we saw, he died" across the headstone would be a tragedy too great for even a species sprinting towards the precipice. If Donald were to preside over my grave, he would simply say "I won, you tiny loser", but I would resent this option equally. If God exists, and wants the last word for Himself, He should start by kicking all with nuclear fever to the curb. For we all are dangerously close to becoming the latest item on America's war-mongering resume. Let's just hope Donald doesn't take the bait and one-up the liberals one last time.

Even if God doesn't exist, one would have a better chance reasoning with Him than either Donald or his yuppy resistance groupies. So I thanked my right-wing friend today. For even if she was no more sane than the neoliberals prattling to the abyss, she at least had a nice place to send me after the world ended; that is assuming, I was born in America, had as many babies as ejaculations, and voted for God's unconventional servant, Donald J. Trump. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Nick Pemberton

Nick Pemberton is a student at Gustavus Adolphus College. He is currently employed by Gustavus Dining Services. Nick was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He can be reached at pemberton.nick@gmail.com

[Aug 01, 2018] The word McCarthyism came to mean making accusations of treason without sufficient evidence

Aug 01, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

To some, that fear was not a problem but a tool -- one could defeat political enemies simply by accusing them of being Russian sympathizers. There was no need for evidence, so desperate were Americans to believe; just an accusation that someone was in league with Russia was enough. Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy fired his first shot on February 9, 1950, proclaiming there were 205 card-carrying members of the Communist Party working for the Department of State. The evidence? Nothing but assertions .

Indeed, the very word " McCarthyism " came to mean making accusations of treason without sufficient evidence. Other definitions include a ggressively questioning a person's patriotism, using accusations of disloyalty to pressure a person to adhere to conformist politics or discredit an opponent, and subverting civil and political rights in the name of national security.

Pretending to be saving America while he tore at its foundations, McCarthy destroyed thousands of lives over the next four years simply by pointing a finger and saying "communist." Whenever anyone invoked his Fifth Amendment right to silence, McCarthy answered that this was "the most positive proof obtainable that the witness is communist." The power of accusation was used by others as well: the Lavender Scare , which concluded that the State Department was overrun with closeted homosexuals who were at risk of being blackmailed by Moscow for their perversions, was an offshoot of McCarthyism, and by 1951, 600 people had been fired based solely on evidence-free "morals" charges. State legislatures and school boards mimicked McCarthy. Books and movies were banned. Blacklists abounded.

The FBI embarked on campaigns of political repression (they would later claim Martin Luther King Jr. had communist ties), even as journalists and academics voluntarily narrowed their political thinking to exclude communism.

[Jul 31, 2018] Neocon media Russiagate sham

Notable quotes:
"... It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

CitizenOne , July 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Today on ABC Martha Raddatz hosted "This Week" which featured James Lankford a Republican from Oklahoma describing how Russia and Putin were actively trying to ruin our democracy and also were trying to influence elections at every possible turn. The Russian Bear and Putin according to Lankford were also trying to rewrite the Constitution, trying to upend every election and were seeking to disrupt our national electrical grid not to be confused with our national election grid which they were also trying to destroy as well as to control the most local elections by a means of electronic control that was beyond any means to control.

Of course no mention was made about possible solutions to thwart the Russians was mentioned and it is doubtful that there are any serious efforts to counteract the alleged Russian hacking of US elections since not one single preventive action to stop the Orwellian monster of Russia, like Emmanuel Goldstein in Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty Four" was put forth.

Apparently ABC and the other media are trying to convince Americans that there is an overwhelming force in Russia that is somehow able to infiltrate and control all our national elections. Apparently the Russians are unstoppable.

It is a sham.

It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth.

Instead the publishers of "This Week" on ABC were content to provide evidence-free incriminations of Russia and attribute all manner of influence in our elections to the incredibly sneaky and unstoppable Russian-Putin election Influencing machine which is unstoppable by our intelligence agencies.

What is missing from Martha Radditz's show? There will never be any admission that they have jobs because of Citizens United, their corporate benefactors (Koch Industries), Gerrymandering, Dark Money, Media Bias which ensures that the Iron Triangle of corporate election dark money flows to hand picked political candidates that will support conservative causes or that these are the real election influencing mechanisms which have the most power in our country to influence elections.

As long as ABC, NBC, CBS and other cable news shows fail to correctly identify the real reasons of election corruption which is our very near and dear corporate money funded political organizations we will continue to be duped by the free press to believe that Russia has control over our national elections and not believe that US Corporations hold all the power.

[Jul 31, 2018] Is not the Awan affair a grave insult to the US "Intelligence Community?

Highly recommended!
Jul 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:22 am

Is not the Awan affair a grave insult to the US "Intelligence Community?" http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/what-are-the-democrats-hiding-by-publius-tacitus.html

For several years, a family of foreign nationals (and not only Wassermannn-Schultz) has been surfing the congressional computers while having no security clearance.

Then there was a criminal negligence by H. Clinton who made her emails, filled with the highest-level classified information, available to Chinese (not the Russians). http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/07/httpstruepunditcomfbi-lisa-page-dimes-out-top-fbi-officials-during-classified-house-testimony-bureau-bos.html

Both Debbie and Hillary should be in federal prison already. Clinton used to be fond of droning Assange for divulging the criminal and illegal activities of the state. What Debbie and Hillary did has been much more dangerous to the US national security.

[Jul 31, 2018] The question re the Russians still targeting our elections? belongs to the same category as Are you still beating your wife? Both suggest kangaroo court in action

Jul 31, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

STEPHEN COHEN: ...Are the Russians still targeting our elections?" This is in the category "Are you still beating your wife?" There is no proof that the Russians have targeted or attacked our elections. But it's become axiomatic. What kind of media is that, are the Russians still, still attacking our elections.

And what Michael McFaul, whom I've known for years, formerly Ambassador McFaul, purportedly a scholar and sometimes a scholar said, it is simply the kind of thing, to be as kind as I can, that I heard from the John Birch Society about President Eisenhower when he went to meet Khrushchev when I was a kid growing up in Kentucky.

...to stage a kangaroo trial of the president of the United States in the mainstream media, and have plenty of once-dignified people come on and deliver the indictment, is without precedent in this country

[Jul 31, 2018] Donald Trump is Not the 'Manchurian Candidate' The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Vanity Fair ..."
"... The Washington Post , ..."
"... With impeachment itself on the table, Mueller has done little more than issue the equivalent of parking tickets to foreigners he has no jurisdiction over. Intelligence summaries claim the Russians meddled, but don't show that Trump was involved. Indictments against Russians are cheered as evidence, when they are just Mueller's uncontested assertions. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

An answer was needed, so one was created: the Russians. As World War II ended with the U.S. the planet's predominant power, dark forces saw advantage in arousing new fears . The Soviet Union morphed from a decimated ally in the fight against fascism into a competitor locked in a titanic struggle with America. How did they get so powerful so quickly? Nothing could explain it except traitors. Cold War-era America? Or 2018 Trump America? Yes, on both counts.

To some, that fear was not a problem but a tool -- one could defeat political enemies simply by accusing them of being Russian sympathizers. There was no need for evidence, so desperate were Americans to believe; just an accusation that someone was in league with Russia was enough. Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy fired his first shot on February 9, 1950, proclaiming there were 205 card-carrying members of the Communist Party working for the Department of State. The evidence? Nothing but assertions .

Indeed, the very word " McCarthyism " came to mean making accusations of treason without sufficient evidence. Other definitions include a ggressively questioning a person's patriotism, using accusations of disloyalty to pressure a person to adhere to conformist politics or discredit an opponent, and subverting civil and political rights in the name of national security.

Pretending to be saving America while he tore at its foundations, McCarthy destroyed thousands of lives over the next four years simply by pointing a finger and saying "communist." Whenever anyone invoked his Fifth Amendment right to silence, McCarthy answered that this was "the most positive proof obtainable that the witness is communist." The power of accusation was used by others as well: the Lavender Scare , which concluded that the State Department was overrun with closeted homosexuals who were at risk of being blackmailed by Moscow for their perversions, was an offshoot of McCarthyism, and by 1951, 600 people had been fired based solely on evidence-free "morals" charges. State legislatures and school boards mimicked McCarthy. Books and movies were banned. Blacklists abounded. The FBI embarked on campaigns of political repression (they would later claim Martin Luther King Jr. had communist ties), even as journalists and academics voluntarily narrowed their political thinking to exclude communism.

John Brennan, Melting Down and Covering Up Real Takeaway: The FBI Influenced the Election of a President

Watching sincere people succumb to paranoia again, today, is not something to relish. But having trained themselves to intellectualize away Hillary Clinton's flaws, as they had with Obama, about half of America seemed truly gobsmacked when she lost to the antithesis of everything that she had represented to them. Every poll (that they read) said she would win. Every article (that they read) said it too, as did every person (that they knew). Lacking an explanation for the unexplainable, many advanced scenarios that would have failed high school civics, claiming that only the popular vote mattered, or that the archaic Emoluments Clause prevented Trump from taking office, or that Trump was insane and could be disposed of under the 25th Amendment .

After a few trial balloons during the primaries under which Bernie Sanders' visits to Russia and Jill Stein's attendance at a banquet in Moscow were used to imply disloyalty, the fearful cry that the Russians meddled in the election morphed into the claim that Trump had worked with the Russians and/or (fear is flexible) that the Russians had something on Trump. Everyone learned a new Russian word: kompromat .

Donald Trump became the Manchurian Candidate. That term was taken from a 1959 novel made into a classic Cold War movie that follows an American soldier brainwashed by communists as part of a Kremlin plot to gain influence in the Oval Office. A Google search shows that dozens of news sources -- including The New York Times , Vanity Fair , Salon , The Washington Post , and, why not, Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti -- have all claimed that Trump is a 2018 variant of the Manchurian Candidate, controlled by ex-KGB officer Vladimir Putin.

The birth moment of Trump as a Russian asset is traceable to MI-6 intelligence officer-turned-Democratic opposition researcher-turned FBI mole Christopher Steele , whose "dossier" claimed the existence of the pee tape. Supposedly, somewhere deep in the Kremlin is a surveillance video made in 2013 of Trump in Moscow's Ritz-Carlton Hotel, watching prostitutes urinate on a bed that the Obamas had once slept in. As McCarthy did with homosexuality, naughty sex was thrown in to keep the rubes' attention.

No one, not even Steele's alleged informants, has actually seen the pee tape. It exists in a blurry land of certainty alongside the elevator tape , alleged video of Trump doing something in an elevator that's so salacious it's been called "Every Trump Reporter's White Whale." No one knows when the elevator video was made, but a dossier-length article in New York magazine posits that Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987.

Suddenly no real evidence is necessary, because it is always right in front of your face. McCarthy accused Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower of being communists or communist stooges over the "loss" of China in 1949. Trump holds a bizarre press conference in Helsinki and the only explanation must be that he is a traitor.

Nancy Pelosi ("President Trump's weakness in front of Putin was embarrassing, and proves that the Russians have something on the president, personally, financially, or politically") and Cory Booker ("Trump is acting like he's guilty of something") and Hillary Clinton ("now we know whose side he plays for") and John Brennan ("rises to and exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes and misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin") and Rachel Maddow ("We haven't ever had to reckon with the possibility that someone had ascended to the presidency of the United States to serve the interests of another country rather than our own") and others have said that Trump is controlled by Russia. As in 1954 when the press provided live TV coverage of McCarthy's dirty assertions against the Army, the modern media uses each new assertion as "proof" of an earlier one. Snowballs get bigger rolling downhill.

When assertion is accepted as evidence, it forces the other side to prove a negative to break free. So until Trump "proves" he is not a Russian stooge, his denials will be seen as attempts to wiggle out from under evidence that in fact doesn't exist. Who, pundits ask, can come up with a better explanation for Trump's actions than blackmail, as if that was a necessary step to clearing his name?

Joe McCarthy's victims faced similar challenges: once labeled a communist or a homosexual, the onus shifted to them to somehow prove they weren't. Their failure to prove their innocence became more evidence of their guilt. The Cold War version of this mindset was well illustrated in movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or the classic Twilight Zone episode " The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street ." Anyone who questions this must themselves be at best a useful fool, if not an outright Russia collaborator. (Wrote one pundit : "They are accessories, before and after the fact, to the hijacking of a democratic election. So, yes, goddamn them all.") In the McCarthy era, the term was "fellow traveler": anyone, witting or unwitting, who helped the Russians. Mere skepticism, never mind actual dissent, is muddled with disloyalty.

Blackmail? Payoffs? Deals? It isn't just the months of Mueller's investigation that have passed without evidence. The IRS and Treasury have had Trump's tax documents and financials for decades, even if Rachel Maddow has not. If Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987, or even 2013, he has done it behind the backs of the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, and NSA. Yet at the same time, in what history would see as the most out-in-the-open intelligence operation ever, some claim he asked on TV for his handlers to deliver hacked emails. In The Manchurian Candidate , the whole thing was at least done in secret as you'd expect.

With impeachment itself on the table, Mueller has done little more than issue the equivalent of parking tickets to foreigners he has no jurisdiction over. Intelligence summaries claim the Russians meddled, but don't show that Trump was involved. Indictments against Russians are cheered as evidence, when they are just Mueller's uncontested assertions.

There is no evidence the president is acting on orders from Russia or is under their influence. None.

As with McCarthy, as in those famous witch trials at Salem, allegations shouldn't be accepted as truth, though in 2018 even pointing out that basic tenet is blasphemy. The burden of proof should be on the accusing party, yet the standing narrative in America is that the Russia story must be assumed plausible, if not true, until proven false. Joe McCarthy tore America apart for four years under just such standards, until finally public opinion, led by Edward R. Murrow , a journalist brave enough to demand answers McCarthy did not have, turned against him. There is no Edward R. Murrow in 2018.

When asking for proof is seen as disloyal, when demanding evidence after years of accusations is considered a Big Ask, when a clear answer somehow always needs additional time, there is more on the line in a democracy than the fate of one man.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan. Follow him on Twitter @WeMeantWell .

[Jul 29, 2018] The Helsinki Debacle and US-Russian Relations

MIC is a cancer, and looks like there is no cure
Notable quotes:
"... Improving the relationship with Moscow has been and continues to be a worthwhile goal, but Trump has made it politically impossible to pursue that goal in the near term. ..."
"... I do think the credit for this goes to the Clinton campaign, the "intelligence" agencies, the neoconlib biparty and individuals like McCain, who have gone to McCarthyite lenghts since before the GOP primaries ended to prevent Trump from attempting *any* change of the status quo on foreign policy. Granted, the man might be ineffectual no matter what, but we will never know. The US establishment and the retainees of the war profiteering classes have made any negotiations with Russia impossible long before Trump even announced his campaign. ..."
"... We also should not forget to credit the GOP for test-driving the whole "weak on Russia" playbook during the Obama years. ..."
"... Additionally there has yet to be any actual evidence presented re significant election interference. Indictments are accusations, not evidence. ..."
"... I'm no Trump fan, but he was just saying he believed Putin rather than the people who are clearly trying to bring his administration down. Can't really blame him. ..."
"... CNN even used Putin's dearly departed Labrador, Konni making her look like Cujo stating that Putin use her to terrorize Angela Merkel. A U.S. Congressman fumed that the 50,000 children died in Syria because this fiend supported Assad when Syria was about to be liberated (a number suspiciously close to the true number of Yemeni children we helped to kill). ..."
"... As flawed as Trump may be, he is merely holding up a mirror to what we have become. Had we elected a conventional candidate it would just be business as usual with these seething hatreds buried just below the surface. ..."
"... No one better suggest that we should tarnish ourselves talking to the likes of a Russian leader unless we are discussing terms of surrender. We want Yeltsin or maybe Medvedev. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Improving the relationship with Moscow has been and continues to be a worthwhile goal, but Trump has made it politically impossible to pursue that goal in the near term. The U.S. and Russia could and should have a more constructive relationship, but it can't be based on the denial of reality and ignoring the genuine disagreements that exist between our governments.

If there is to be genuine improvement in U.S.-Russian relations, it will come from facing up to these disagreements and finding a way to work through or around them.


b. July 16, 2018 at 9:35 pm

"Trump has made it politically impossible to pursue that goal in the near term."

I do think the credit for this goes to the Clinton campaign, the "intelligence" agencies, the neoconlib biparty and individuals like McCain, who have gone to McCarthyite lenghts since before the GOP primaries ended to prevent Trump from attempting *any* change of the status quo on foreign policy. Granted, the man might be ineffectual no matter what, but we will never know. The US establishment and the retainees of the war profiteering classes have made any negotiations with Russia impossible long before Trump even announced his campaign.

We also should not forget to credit the GOP for test-driving the whole "weak on Russia" playbook during the Obama years.

Rob , says: July 16, 2018 at 11:21 pm
I agree with b. While Trump may not be savvy enough to calibrate his engagement with Putin in a way that would allow a proper dialogue with Russia in spite of the political backdrop in the US, the primary blame for any failure to allow such dialogue rests for those responsible for creating that political backdrop that makes it so difficult in the first place (hint: it's not Trump, unless you blame him for winning the election – rather it is the unholy alliance of Democrats looking for an excuse for them losing the election and Cold War hawk neocons who have Russia-hate in their DNA (and their stock portfolios)).
a spencer , says: July 17, 2018 at 1:33 am
That Putin talked up the Iran deal in the press conference makes me wonder what was said in the one-on-one. Couldn't have pleased the Adelson/Bolton wing.
Erik , says: July 17, 2018 at 2:35 am
I also agree with b.

Additionally there has yet to be any actual evidence presented re significant election interference. Indictments are accusations, not evidence.

I saw nothing particularly wrong with the press conference. I'm no Trump fan, but he was just saying he believed Putin rather than the people who are clearly trying to bring his administration down. Can't really blame him.

Christian Chuba , says: July 17, 2018 at 9:59 am
The embarrassment was the reaction in the MSM showcasing how they are now CIA state run media.

They trot out former high ranking CIA officers now employed by them recycling every meme to reinforce that we are the forces goodness and light and anyone strong enough to oppose us is evil.

CNN even used Putin's dearly departed Labrador, Konni making her look like Cujo stating that Putin use her to terrorize Angela Merkel. A U.S. Congressman fumed that the 50,000 children died in Syria because this fiend supported Assad when Syria was about to be liberated (a number suspiciously close to the true number of Yemeni children we helped to kill). These are just two random examples in a very long day. It was
a show worthy of the priests of Baal who confronted Elijah.

As flawed as Trump may be, he is merely holding up a mirror to what we have become. Had we elected a conventional candidate it would just be business as usual with these seething hatreds buried just below the surface.

No one better suggest that we should tarnish ourselves talking to the likes of a Russian leader unless we are discussing terms of surrender. We want Yeltsin or maybe Medvedev.

DanJ , says: July 18, 2018 at 1:07 am
The summit was announced by the White House and the Kremlin on June 28. The Finnish hosts probably knew about it a few days earlier. That leaves only three weeks for preparation.

The summit itself lasted one day. Putin arrived late and after lunch and diplomatic niceties there was only 2-3 hours for actual talks.

That's not a problem if everything is already carefully negotiated and the presidents just sign documents and smile for the cameras. But it seems very little was agreed on beforehand.

I'm all for world leaders meeting and talking. The more the better. But I really don't see the point of hastily calling a summit where nothing is agreed upon. At least not that we know of.

[Jul 29, 2018] Russophobic madness of the US neoliberal elite after Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki

The "uncivil war" within the US neoliberal elite is getting a lot hotter... The problem for the American establishment is that it doesn't like the way democracy worked out.
The bloated US intelligence industry fears that Trump may slash its budgets, power and perks.
Notable quotes:
"... Written by Eric Margolis ..."
"... But after the presidential meeting, Trump replied to reporters' questions by saying he believed Russia had no role in attempts to bug the Democratic Party during the election. Outrage erupted across the US. 'Trump trusts the Russians more than his own intelligence agencies' went up the howl. Trump is a traitor, charged certain of the wilder Democrats and neocon Republicans. Few Americans wanted to hear the truth. ..."
"... In fact, so intense was the outrage at home that Trump had to backtrack and claim he had misspoken. Yes, he admitted, the Russians had meddled in the US election. But then he seemed to back away again from this claim. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton did not lose the election due to Russian conniving. She lost it because so many Americans disliked and mistrusted her. When the truth about her rigging of the Democratic primary emerged, she deftly diverted attention by claiming the Russians had rigged the election. What chutzpah (nerve). ..."
"... Besides, compared to US meddling in foreign politics, whatever the Ruskis did in the US was small potatoes. Prying into US political and military secrets is precisely what Russian intelligence was supposed to do. Particularly when the US Democratic Party was pushing a highly aggressive policy towards Russia that might lead to war. ..."
"... For the US to accuse Russia of meddling is the ultimate pot calling the kettle black. The neocon former US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, admitted her organization had spent $5 billion to overthrow Ukraine's pro-Russian government. US undercover political and financial operations have recently been active in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, to name but a few nations. ..."
"... It's also clear that Trump's most ardent foes are the big US intelligence agencies whose mammoth $78 billion combined budget exceeds total Russian military spending. The bloated US intelligence industry fears that Trump may slash its budgets, power and perks. ..."
"... The uproar over Putin has revealed just how fanatic and far to the right were the heads of the US national security state operating under the sugarcoating of the Obama administration. Straight out of the wonderful film, 'Dr. Strangelove.' We now see them on CNN, snarling away at President Trump. ..."
"... Speaking of far right generals, one is also reminded of the brilliant film, `Seven Days in May,' in which a cabal of generals tries to overthrow the president because of a peace deal he made with Moscow. Could there be a real plot against the president? Watching US TV one might think so. ..."
"... Now, completing the childish 'Reds Under Our Beds' hysteria comes the final touch, the evil Russian temptress-spy who managed to infiltrate the National Prayer Breakfast, of all silly things. This dangerous Jezebel is now in the hands of the FBI. If this is the best KGB or GRU can come up with they need urgent help from Congolese intelligence. ..."
Jul 21, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Originally from: Madness in Moscow Written by Eric Margolis Saturday July 21, 2018

Comedy? Disaster? Mental disorder? Hearing loss? Even days after President Donald Trump's bizarre appearance in Moscow alongside a cool, composed President Vladimir Putin, it's hard to tell what happened. But it certainly was entertaining. In case anyone in the universe missed this event, let me recap. Trump met in private with Putin, which drove bureaucrats on both sides crazy. So far, Trump won't reveal most of what was said between the two leaders.

But after the presidential meeting, Trump replied to reporters' questions by saying he believed Russia had no role in attempts to bug the Democratic Party during the election. Outrage erupted across the US. 'Trump trusts the Russians more than his own intelligence agencies' went up the howl. Trump is a traitor, charged certain of the wilder Democrats and neocon Republicans. Few Americans wanted to hear the truth.

In fact, so intense was the outrage at home that Trump had to backtrack and claim he had misspoken. Yes, he admitted, the Russians had meddled in the US election. But then he seemed to back away again from this claim.

The whole thing was black comedy. Maybe it was due to Trump's poor hearing or to jet lag and travel fatigue.

Hillary Clinton did not lose the election due to Russian conniving. She lost it because so many Americans disliked and mistrusted her. When the truth about her rigging of the Democratic primary emerged, she deftly diverted attention by claiming the Russians had rigged the election. What chutzpah (nerve).

Yet many Americans swallowed this canard. If Russia's GRU military intelligence was really involved in the run-up to the election, as US intelligence reportedly claimed, it's alleged buying of social media amounted to peanuts and hardly swung the election.

Back in the 1940's, GRU managed to penetrate and influence Roosevelt's White House. Now that's real espionage. Not some junior officers and 20-somethings on a laptop in Moscow.

Besides, compared to US meddling in foreign politics, whatever the Ruskis did in the US was small potatoes. Prying into US political and military secrets is precisely what Russian intelligence was supposed to do. Particularly when the US Democratic Party was pushing a highly aggressive policy towards Russia that might lead to war.

For the US to accuse Russia of meddling is the ultimate pot calling the kettle black. The neocon former US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, admitted her organization had spent $5 billion to overthrow Ukraine's pro-Russian government. US undercover political and financial operations have recently been active in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Somalia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan, to name but a few nations.

Democrats and Republican neocons are in full-throat hysteria over an alleged Russian threat – Russia, whose total military budget is smaller than Trump's recent Pentagon budget increase this year.

What we have been seeing is the fascinating spectacle of America's war party and neocons clamoring to oust President Trump. Included in their ranks are most of the US media, led by the NY Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and TV's war parties, CNN and NBC.

It's also clear that Trump's most ardent foes are the big US intelligence agencies whose mammoth $78 billion combined budget exceeds total Russian military spending. The bloated US intelligence industry fears that Trump may slash its budgets, power and perks.

The uproar over Putin has revealed just how fanatic and far to the right were the heads of the US national security state operating under the sugarcoating of the Obama administration. Straight out of the wonderful film, 'Dr. Strangelove.' We now see them on CNN, snarling away at President Trump.

Speaking of far right generals, one is also reminded of the brilliant film, `Seven Days in May,' in which a cabal of generals tries to overthrow the president because of a peace deal he made with Moscow. Could there be a real plot against the president? Watching US TV one might think so.

Now, completing the childish 'Reds Under Our Beds' hysteria comes the final touch, the evil Russian temptress-spy who managed to infiltrate the National Prayer Breakfast, of all silly things. This dangerous Jezebel is now in the hands of the FBI. If this is the best KGB or GRU can come up with they need urgent help from Congolese intelligence.

Reprinted with permission from EricMargolis.com .

[Jul 29, 2018] Bill Maher Leads Attack on Larry Wilkerson over Trump Meeting with Putin

Notable quotes:
"... After Bush I's James Baker's verbal agreement with Russia to not expand NATO was proven "inoperative", the Russians should be very skeptical of American verbal promises/agreements, anyway. ..."
"... BILL MAHER: All our intelligence agencies said that Russia attacked us in 2016. Yes, it was cyber. It wasn't with armaments. But it was still-. ..."
"... not the only time Wilkerson has failed to stop the discussion cold until such points can be countered and clarified ..."
"... no examples or links to ..."
"... left sites will fade if the left doesn't get it's act together. The liberals are about gone already -- and the conservatives are riding a temporary wave ..."
"... and the conservatives are riding a temporary wave. Capitalism is dying. Everything in the empire is falling apart as contradictions of thesis and antithesis transform into some foggy synthesis, or destruction ..."
Jul 29, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Yves here. As Lambert might say, the behavior of the enforcers of Liberal Goodthinking has been wonderfully clarifying. Despite the fact that there is a catalogue-full of reasons to be deeply disturbed about the Trump presidency, prominent media figures are regularly resorting to the screeching, pearl-clutching, straw manning, and other forms of "any stick to beat a dog" strategies even faced with people like Lawrence Wilkerson, who is expressing only mild opposition to their views. That sort of behavior is usually the behavior of someone who does not have astrong case. Of course, on RussiaRussia! that is par for the course. The fact that Wilkerson was effectively silenced by Bill Maher is a disgrace. Don't invite people on your show if you aren't prepared to let them have their say. This Real News Network segment reviews the particulars.

Note that Wilkerson was ridiculed for making what should have been an utterly uncontroversial point: that US leaders need to, and always have, had a dialogue with our strategic opponents. Wilkerson doesn't add, perhaps because he does not have corroborating information, or alternatively, does not want to appear to be talking Russia's book, that Putin announced that Russia has weapon systems that the US appeared to have been unaware of, such as a nuclear-powered missile that can fly over the South Pole. If even half of them are real, they are game changers.

There's a sour note at the very end, where Wilkerson says he expects the Democrats to impeach Trump if they win both houses of Congress in the fall. As regular readers know, Nancy Pelosi has taken that off the table .

Bill Maher Leads Attack on Larry Wilkerson over Trump Meeting with Putin - YouTube

... ... ...

SHARMINI PERIES: Now, Larry, from what I understand from this morning's announcement that the invitation that Trump had issued to Vladimir Putin to come to Washington is now rescinded, or it's off. Apparently there was no movement on either side to make sure this happens. Now, are you surprised by that move?

LARRY WILKERSON: Not at all, politically. Because most of everything Donald Trump has done of substance since he was elected is based on his reading of his domestic political needs. As the German foreign minister said so aptly, I think, about his withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear agreement with Iran, it was all based on domestic politics in the United States. It had nothing to do with strategy, nothing to do with security, nothing to do with NATO or the security of Western Europe. It had everything to do with Donald Trump and his political base. I think the German foreign minister was absolutely correct.

So I have to look at everything that Trump does from that perspective, because that's his first consideration. So what he saw was what you cited at the beginning; 46 percent thought he was treasonous, and he said, ooh, John- talking to John Bolton, his national security adviser- walk this bit back about a meeting, and put it out that we're walking it back because we want the brouhaha about the meeting to subside. We want the accusations about the meeting to subside a bit before we invite Mr. Putin to come to Washington. This is bad on two levels. One, Mr. Putin should come to Washington, and we should continue the talks, and hopefully, in the way that I describe, good meaningful talks earlier. That's how we should continue them, particularly the nuclear issues. And two, because we do not need a war in Europe. And it's increasingly apparent that both sides are looking very hard at the potential for that war.

And if you want a war that will pale- make all the other prospects, Iran, Syria, North Korea and everything else, pale in comparison, let's have one break out in Europe, and let's have one go nuclear. This is bad stuff. So I really would like to see Mr. Putin come to Washington and meaningful talks take place. But to answer your question, and to reiterate, the reason this delay or maybe even cancellation altogether has occurred is because Trump read the domestic political signals and said, oop, can't get caught in this mess. The midterms are coming up.

These midterms, Sharmini, are going to determine the fate of the Republican Party. If the Democrats were to win both houses of the U.S. Congress in November, I think impeachment would be on the table for a majority of Republicans, and certainly Democrats, almost instantly. So Trump has got to start thinking about these midterms. And so I think that's the reason he canceled it, or at least told John Bolton to tell the Russians that it'll be later.


The Rev Kev , July 28, 2018 at 4:29 am

A word about that video. I couldn't play it at first but the clip can also be on YouTube found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79oymCf_pRk
I noticed that when Larry Wilkerson stated that the US had also interfered in countries since 1947 the audience agreed as there was a lot of clapping about that. Maybe the audience was getting jack over Maher's obstinacy.

I also note that it was not Maher that said in reply "But that doesn't make it right" but Michael Moore who until then had said nothing (How the mighty have fallen). Maher's comment was basically that it was "it's still us" which of course made it different.

You just wish that they had a speaker that would be more direct and say something like: "Well Bill Maher, should we attack and sink a Russian ship in the Black sea to show them who's boss? Maybe attack that Russian airbase in Syria to show how hurt our feelings are?". Probably find that footage like that would hit the editing floor in the same way that guest that give opinions that don't agree with the main stream get cut off and the same happens even with their own reporters.

There is a reason why newspapers are dying of irrelevancy over the past few decades and I would not be surprised if the same fate followed television if this performance is typical fare. The good ones on TV end up like Phil Donahue so all you get left with are the shrills or neocons like Rachel Maddow.

John Wright , July 28, 2018 at 11:34 am

If one goes to Youtube and looks at the readers' comments, there is little support for Bill Maher. An occasional "Trump should not have had secret conversation with Putin".. I may be naive, but I still do not understand why a private conversation with Putin was a problem.

Even if Trump made some concession with Putin during this private talk, wouldn't it have to be backed up with formal written agreements?

After Bush I's James Baker's verbal agreement with Russia to not expand NATO was proven "inoperative", the Russians should be very skeptical of American verbal promises/agreements, anyway.

see https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/newly-declassified-documents-gorbachev-told-nato-wouldnt-23629

I worked at a company that advocated for "Management by walking around". Part of the advantage of the higher ups talking with workers well down the organization chart was that the entire organization knew there was an alternate path for information to flow outside of the hierarchy.

I believe this improved the accuracy of information flowing in the normal management path as a consequence.

Trump's wandering to Russia might have the same positive effect. The Democrats/Republicans/MIC seem to want to control the Russia narrative by telling Trump, "trust us, you should not try to determine anything about Russia on your own, we will tell you what to do".

Trump, to his credit, ignored them and did not cancel the trip.

witters , July 28, 2018 at 5:16 am

May I ask, how is it in the US that Bill Maher is a "comedian"?

Lee , July 28, 2018 at 9:37 am

Maher has a particularly severe case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. The condition seems to have seriously impaired that part of the brain where his sense of humor resides, not to mention perspective, at least insofar as the topic of Trump is concerned. His calling for the U.S. intelligence community to save us from Trump is particularly unfunny.

Brooklin Bridge , July 28, 2018 at 10:58 am

That may be, but irrespective of Trump, Maher has always been sneaky, underhanded and whiney. He is at his most palatable when he covers a topic where one tends to be of the same mind, (which, of course, gets one to wonder about objectivity in general) and even then just barely. Scratch beneath superficial agreements and he is but one self indulgent spoiled brat.

Big River Bandido , July 28, 2018 at 11:26 am

IMNSHO, Maher has never been funny, nor particularly bright. I've never understood the appeal, and ever since the whole anti-science anti-vax campaign nonsense (which he pushed) I've come to feel Maher is dangerous, every bit a part of the problem. Certainly he's no friend of the left.

Brooklin Bridge , July 28, 2018 at 9:45 am

BILL MAHER: All our intelligence agencies said that Russia attacked us in 2016. Yes, it was cyber. It wasn't with armaments. But it was still-. -Idiot

As far as I know, ONE: this, "Russia attacked us in 2016" claim is still only claimed by three (3) agencies, not all of them, and TWO: the claim is still simply a set of allegations regarding origin and not hard established facts.

Because people like Wilkerson do not call Macarthyites out on such claims, the allegations have taken on the aspect of established fact to most Americans. If it's still allegations and not facts (that is, if I haven't missed important updates), then much as I like Wilkerson, I fault him for this kind of acquiescence to weapons of mass deception. Perhaps not so much with such a slimy shill as this particular comedic disease, who doesn't let Larry get a word in edgewise and is brain dead enough to think he's being clever, but the Maher episode is not the only time Wilkerson has failed to stop the discussion cold until such points can be countered and clarified.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2018 at 1:14 pm

well he is a conservative, he was colin powell's chief of staff when powell was lying to the u.n. about wmd's in iraq. he tells the truth sometimes, and admits some responsibility, but i don't really trust him.

Brooklin Bridge , July 28, 2018 at 2:07 pm

Yes, agreed

He has done a number of interviews for The Real News Network that were quite good where he has seemed far more impervious to spin (I think the experience with weapons of mass destruction fiasco, including Powell, represented a sea-change for him). I'm pretty sure that includes the realization that Ukraine was a US backed coup, that Syria and Assad wasn't so cut and dry, that Putin is a remarkable strategist, our part in the horrible fiasco in Lebanon, the brutal nature of Saudia Arabia, Israel criminality and on and on. But I may well be giving him more credit than he is due (by process of projection from a given interview I saw to a topic I thought I had heard him discuss).

And for sure, every now and then, it's as if his military training or background kicks in and he goes into obtuse mode though still making sense.

As to the Maher incident, I suspect he avoids (and/or gets put off balance by) cat claw scrabbles, as undignified.

blennylips , July 28, 2018 at 2:00 pm

> not the only time Wilkerson has failed to stop the discussion cold until such points can be countered and clarified

perhaps the colonel needs to milk the system for a bit. Any company boards clamouring for his services? That's the whole point: many returns, much clarification for as long as possible, with suitably deep yellow hip waders.

Bill Smith , July 28, 2018 at 6:06 pm

"The Russians attacked us." Depending on what parts of the 'attack' you are talking about there is little doubt about who did it.. For example – you can read interviews in the Russian newspapers with people who worked in the Internet Research Agency about what they did in the US social media. I don't really see the big deal. We have done it to many other countries. There was blow back and we got the same thing done to us. The real issue is that we where not very well prepared.

witters , July 28, 2018 at 9:04 pm

""The Russians attacked us." Depending on what parts of the 'attack' you are talking about there is little doubt about who did it."

Yes, it was "The Russians!" – all of them, anyone of them, some of them, and certainly (for it is their genes) the Russian State and so PUTIN.

So no, "The real issue is" not "that we where not very well prepared."
Unless you mean intellectually prepared for serious analysis.

Brooklin Bridge , July 28, 2018 at 9:55 pm

Right, the attribution of agency to the Kremlin and Putin has not, and almost certainly can not, be made.

Newton Finn , July 28, 2018 at 9:57 am

Many years ago, when I was a college freshman, there was one fraternity on campus that was looked down upon as a collection of losers. But it had at least one very sharp and enterprising brother named Jack, who was a counselor in the freshman dorm. As pledge time approached, he would talk to the most popular freshmen, one by one, and tell us that he had a proposition for us. Why, he asked, would we want to join one of the cool frats and find ourselves at the bottom of the pecking order? Why not instead join his struggling frat, en mass, take it over, and run things ourselves? If we did so, he assured us, this loser frat would become the coolest one on campus, and new students would be beating down the doors to join. Believe it or not, his scheme actually worked, and, one by one, the most popular freshmen agreed to go along with the concept. The key to his success was that he would put it to us this way: Look, I know this is a difficult choice to make, and I'm not asking you to do it on your own. But would you do it these other guys did it? If Jim and Steve and Pete and John and Bill, etc., all agreed to pledge with you, will you now give me your promise that you'd join them? That's all I want you to promise right now, that if these other guys do this, you will too. And by God, it worked, and at pledge time he had a huge group of popular freshmen lined up to join his loser fraternity. Had his conscience not bothered him and caused him to release us from our promises right before pledge day, the greatest and most sudden transformation in my college's frat history would have occurred. I tell this true story because I don't see why it couldn't apply to the Green Party, if only it had enough Jacks in its ranks, with the insight and savvy to reach out in similar fashion to progressives and minorities, one by one or group by group.

Wukchumni , July 28, 2018 at 10:00 am

We stopped watching his show when he let his guests talk over each other on a regular basis, and besides that, he's slower on the uptake of what's really going on, as opposed to any NC reader.

Quentin , July 28, 2018 at 10:24 am

Bill Maher is just disrespectful. He's not even qualified to shine Larry Wilkerson's shoes. Arrogant twat, Bill Maher.

David Carl Grimes , July 28, 2018 at 10:31 am

I watch Bill Maher's show regularly. I normally watch just the beginning and the end. The opening monologue and the New Rules segment at the end. I normally skip the panel in the middle of the show because it's so one-sided. Two or three liberals versus one conservative plus Bill Maher. So the conservative constantly gets drowned out and interrupted. He has little to no airtime because he can barely get a sentence in before the panel devolves to a hysterical shouting match. And this was before Trump even ran for President. Now, it's even worse. They don't even allow anyone else to have a contrarian opinion to the Beltway consensus.

tegnost , July 28, 2018 at 11:12 am

defining the boundaries of the veal pen

Bill , July 28, 2018 at 10:58 am

I find Maher odious in general. However, it does puzzle me as to why he was a strong Sanders supporter (kind of the opposite of a Libertarian) and he also clearly wasn't thrilled about Hillary, although he supported her over Trump.

Brooklin Bridge , July 28, 2018 at 11:09 am

What ever scruples Maher may have, they come along with a heaping helping of playing to what he thinks his perceived public wants to hear. It's possible that he actually does have a soft spot for Sanders (though that could be influenced by shared religious tribe).

tegnost , July 28, 2018 at 11:40 am

yeah, I love my doddering uncle, and I use him as an example to my kids of what they should not be like /s

jrs , July 29, 2018 at 8:35 am

but pretty much never had him on the show at least until the primaries were over

polecat , July 28, 2018 at 11:05 am

Network TV is still a thing ?? Guess I've been missin out .. well, not really. It's such that whenever I happen to be in proximity to a set that's 'on', which is rather rare, it just seems loud, obnoxious, and stupifying .. whether it be the programmed 'entertainment', or the commercial klaxons whailing away. If one thinks of Corpse-rated TV as a virus, then maher et. al. are the phomites of obsfucation, psychopathy and spite !

Blue Pilgrim , July 28, 2018 at 12:13 pm

Wilkerson was in with Powell when the phony reasons for the attack on Iraq were being mounted, and was deep into the military, and MIC. Maher, and Moore are both psychopaths, which Wilkerson, for all his faults, is not. The Republicans and conservatives are insane. The Democrats and liberals are even worse now. It's like watching two groups of insane, childish, drug-crazed, chimps flinging feces at each other as they both set the jungle on fire. The level of stupidity, ignorance, and lunacy is astounding. None of this makes sense.

I think I understand why elves and flying saucer people are not seen: "What? You want to try to contact these creatures? Are you on drugs? They would kill you without thinking twice. Better to interact with hyenas or grizzly bears."

Help! I've fallen into this insane nightmare and can't wake up. The best I've been able is to ignore some of it and hide in my 'cave' with the cats while I still can. It's hard to even find a good reason for thinking or talking about it any more: pissing into the wind.

Yves Smith Post author , July 28, 2018 at 1:09 pm

From Terry Practhett:

"I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it.

"CATS," he said eventually. "CATS ARE NICE."

Blue Pilgrim , July 28, 2018 at 1:39 pm

I just happened upon this and started reading it -- seems relevant:

https://journal-neo.org/2018/07/27/liberals-leap-to-defend-neo-con-henchmen-mcfaul/
27.07.2018 Author: Tony Cartalucci
Liberals Leap to Defend Neo-Con Henchmen McFaul
https://journal-neo.org/2018/07/27/liberals-leap-to-defend-neo-con-henchmen-mcfaul/

He sums it up in the last three paragraphs:
"
This troubling trend of the Western public gravitating toward and supporting individuals like McFaul and Browder solely out of their perceived hatred for President Trump and Russia is pushing Western political discourse further from rational debate and deeper toward hysteria.

That powerful special interests can easily manipulate sections of the Western public to support virtually anyone or anything, including unsavory characters like McFaul and Browder or the notion of expanding NATO or continued war abroad in nations like Syria simply by invoking "Trump" or "Russia" represents a predictable but dangerous Pavlovian phenomenon likely to leave deep scars, permanently disfiguring American politics and society much in the way the so-called "War on Terror" has.

The increasing lack of political sophistication in America is a reflection of a much wider deterioration of American economic and geopolitical strength both at home and around the globe. While one would expect sound leadership to begin preparing America for an orderly transition from a once global hegemon to a constructive member of a more multipolar world order, history has proven the lack of grace that generally accompanies an empire's decline.
"

athena , July 28, 2018 at 9:14 pm

I've thought since 2011 that "Tony Cartalucci" is a Kremlin writers-group operation thing, or something like that. Those writings are always group projects of some sort, not just one dude, kind of like "Tyler Durden" at zerohedge, but much, much higher quality. I'm not saying to not listen to or to disregard everything "Cartalucci" says. There's a lot of genuinely insightful and useful information in there. But be aware of how "not exactly for America's 99%" the bias is. "They" seem to think we should all give up on democracy and become preppers and wait on techno-utopian solutions to solve all of our problems.

Blue Pilgrim , July 29, 2018 at 3:47 am

I see at https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Tony_Cartalucci he is
"Tony Cartalucci is a geopolitical researcher and writer based in Bangkok, Thailand. His work covers world events from a Southeast Asian perspective and promotes self-sufficiency as one of the keys to true freedom."

I see no reason to doubt that right now, but I don't care. I read things for content, and his content is often good, so I pay attention when I see something from him. Other names I recognize as rubbish and don't wast my time or energy with it. I take no one without skepticism, fact checking, etc. Sometimes I could learn something from an idiot, but it's generally not worth the effort to try.
I also read some, such as Paul Craig Roberts, who has some good material and also some blind spots and obvious bias or flaws.

It all goes into the box from which I assemble my own take on the probabilities of which models and narratives are most accurate and useful.

Scott1 , July 28, 2018 at 2:30 pm

"Sex is Funny, but Love isn't." Hence it is that shopping cart traffic conflict is funny, but empty shelves isn't. Most I've done as a stand-up is the pro set time of 45 minutes. I've heard of Maher doing 2 hours. Someone like Eddie Murphy did movie length stand-up. People pay to see Maher live. Carlin was better at being serious. There is the Lenny Bruce tradition for which few can handle, and the Will Ferrell silly genus. If you want to see fine comedy watch Kate McKinnon do Kelly Ann Conway on SNL. I understand Bill Maher as a successful producer.

What do we mean by "BiPartisan". What it best means is neither Left or Right. Best it means American, Eclectic, Ethical, Pragmatism. In fact this is easiest achieved when it is an issue of Defense in Foreign Policy. GOP domestic policy is essentially selfish and mean. Makes the right answer hard to get near. Philosophy of leading GOP figures like Paul Ryan who has terrific power as Speaker is Objectivism not American Pragmatism. Ayn Rand makes what would be wonderful bleak.

You will have reasons to feel safer when you hear that the US & NATO have put 3 thousand Tanks along the Fronts where Russian Tanks would roll into Europe. It is either that or you know that Russian Tanks can all be bazooka blasted away by lots of mobile tank killing crews and their missiles. Nukes exist to kill tanks and their crews. US doctrine is still to use nukes to kill tanks.
When Carter saw he was going to fail to "rid all nuclear weapons from the face of this earth." -Inaugural Address) he came up with the neutron bomb. For some unfathomable reason this flipped people out. We would prefer the Neutron bomb since it would not destroy farmland.

In the time of Trump and the open assault on Democracy characterized by failures of the TV Press distorted by profits and personalities I look at the famines that are associated with One Party Rule, and the Dictators such as Stalin and Mao. Maybe there is a way to make it funny in how I might say "Democracy & a Free Press, No Famine!. One Party Rule & a Dictator & Famine. Don't vote for Famine Folks!"

If I was even negotiating with Russia and China I would be pointing out they are Food Insecure and the US is not. Russia and China need to be wary and fair if they want the US to sell them food at a price the US can maintain its farmers from.

Soybean Tariffs threaten to cause farmland in the US to be taken out of food production making the US take one turn itself towards less food insecurity. It is too much to expect that US Grants to Farmers would prevent some good high number of farmers selling their land for other uses when they are forced to fail on price competition.

William Burroughs who gave us sci fi phrases like "Heavy Metal", & the art he produced from heroin, Scientology's E Meter, pills, guns, spiritually justified murder? and Methadone in Kansas, ended his life saying all he cared about were his 11 cats.

Expat , July 28, 2018 at 1:17 pm

I understand that very few Americans have any objectivity left or imagination, but let's try a thought experiment. Substitute Hillary Clinton and Clinton Advisor for every time we hear Trump or Trump Advisor and tell me that the rabid right would not be foaming at the mouth, demanding impeachment (along with waterboarding and lynching) and threatening to round up all registered democrats as a precaution.

Hillary Clinton is a terrible thing. She should never have been allowed to run or even held any position in anyone's administration for a variety of reasons. But that does not absolve Trump from being everything HE is. And it does not absolve Trump from appearing to collude with Russia and be Putin's puppet. I cannot and will not buy the 9 Dimensional Chess argument or the He's a Business Genius Argument when both are patently false. He is admittedly incredibly ignorant and lacking any attention span. He is a narcissistic liar. A proven racist. A misogynist. A womanizer. A serial cheater. An unfaithful husband and business partner.

How have we gotten to the point where we are defending Donald Trump? How are we giving him the benefit of the doubt in anything when every past lie and action indicates he is incompetent and merits no trust whatsoever.

The Trump Spin Team has done an amazing job turning a megalomaniac serial liar into a victim. And America rolls over and takes it again.

Yves Smith Post author , July 28, 2018 at 6:57 pm

With all due respect, you have this wrong. Please tell me for starters who this "Trump spin team" is. The media is united against him, as is all of the Democratic party and big swathes of the GOP. Helsinki is a case study. Trump does something which every president has done, including the sainted Ronald Reagan, when "Russia" was not Russia but the far more threatening USSR, and no one got bent out of shape about it. All Trump did was high five Putin. He didn't make any commitments. And even when Trump makes commitments, he reneges on them a high proportion of the time. Oh, and Saint Ronnie also got on personally with Gorbachev.

The Republicans made clear they would impeach Hillary. They had both her server and the Clinton Foundation taking foreign cash as issues. They could get her alone on what amounted to taking kickbacks for brokering uranium to Russia.

As for RussiaRussia, you totally misrepresent the issue. What readers and many on the left are upset about is:

1. Disregard for facts or evidence. No one has yet to provide any solid evidence against Trump regarding his supposed dalliance with Russia. The stuff coming from Team Dem is on the order of the birther charges re Obama. Just read this discussion of the Steele dossier as an example:

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/07/an-updated-trump-dossier-cheat-sheet-by-publius-tacitus.html

Or card carrying Putin opponent Masha Gessen on the famed 17 agency report:

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/01/09/russia-trump-election-flawed-intelligence/

Or the evidentiary standard that RussiaRussia! theory proponents have to meet and have yet to meet:

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/07/22/the-burden-of-proof-is-on-the-russiagaters/

If you don't demand accuracy from the press, you are volunteering to be propagandized all the time.

2. The effort to demonize Trump has moved into New McCarthyism. And you are actively promoting it. Standing up for the idea of integrity of information and accurate reporting is now being mischaracterized as defense of Trump. This is tantamount to a loyalty test and is crass authoritarianism.

3. In case you missed it, various parties are now treating the left as a threat and using RussiaRussia to up the ante. See this telling Comey tweet as an example,

me title=

And recall the PropOrNot witch hunt, which the Washington Post had to disavow.

athena , July 28, 2018 at 9:32 pm

Yeah.

I'm usually more or less immune to groupthink and propaganda, at least compared to many, but even I had to take a few days away from all internet communications last week and just re-read old Orwell essays to get my mind straight again regarding Helenski.

"One of the peculiar phenomena of our time is the renegade Liberal. Over and above the familiar Marxist claim that 'bourgeois liberty' is an illusion, there is now a widespread tendency to argue that one can only defend democracy by totalitarian methods. If one loves democracy, the argument runs, one must crush its enemies by no matter what means. And who are its enemies? It always appears that they are not only those who attack it openly and consciously, but those who 'objectively' endanger it by spreading mistaken doctrines. In other words, defending democracy involves destroying all independence of thought."

"These people don't see that if you encourage totalitarian methods, the time may come when they will be used against you instead of for you. Make a habit of imprisoning Fascists without trial, and perhaps the process won't stop at Fascists. Soon after the suppressed Daily Worker had been reinstated, I was lecturing to a workingmen's college in South London. The audience were working-class and lower-middle class intellectuals -- the same sort of audience that one used to meet at Left Book Club branches. The lecture had touched on the freedom of the press, and at the end, to my astonishment, several questioners stood up and asked me: Did I not think that the lifting of the ban on the Daily Worker was a great mistake? When asked why, they said that it was a paper of doubtful loyalty and ought not to be tolerated in war time. I found myself defending the Daily Worker, which has gone out of its way to libel me more than once. But where had these people learned this essentially totalitarian outlook?"

http://orwell.ru/library/novels/Animal_Farm/english/efp_go

Unna , July 28, 2018 at 2:05 pm

What am I missing? Why does a guy like Wilkerson lower himself to appear on this show? Once maybe. More than that, why? No one is perfect including Wilkerson and he has a "past" but don't we all?

athena , July 28, 2018 at 9:38 pm

They lower themselves to be able to communicate to people like us, I think. Kind of a media narrative wars Jujutsu move.

Chauncey Gardiner , July 28, 2018 at 2:23 pm

There is a possibility that Maher's behavior reflects an expanded role of the BBG (Broadcasting Board of Governors), who controls it, concentration of media ownership in a few large corporate hands, and the recent modifications of the Smith-Mundt Act to allow domestic propaganda. IMO "RussiaRussia!" and "IranIran!" would not have been and continue to be relentlessly injected into our MSM diet for the past year and a half without the table having been set.

Unfortunately, as other readers have noted, this misdirection is also damaging in the sense that it serves to divert attention away from issues of genuine public concern such as climate change, the sad state of our nation's infrastructure, public education, erosion of civil liberties, transitioning from a war-based economy, extreme economic inequality, meaningful campaign finance reform, etc.

john c. halasz , July 28, 2018 at 3:08 pm

Where did Wilkerson pick up that it is now Russian military doctrine to use nukes? Every analysis I've read is that Putin's aim in weapons development, real or imaginary, is to restore deterrence, which the U.S. has been steadily eroding.

integer , July 28, 2018 at 11:21 pm

Why would we want a world without Russia?' Putin on Moscow's nuclear doctrine RT

Russia's latest edition of its nuclear doctrine allows the use of nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack against Russia or its allies, or to a conventional attack that threatens the existence of Russia.

Bill Smith , July 29, 2018 at 5:59 am

Sounds a lot like the US nuclear doctrine.

john c. halasz , July 29, 2018 at 8:45 am

Only the "or its allies" bit isn't straightforward deterrence doctrine. That would be "extended deterrence", a contradictory doctrine that the U.S. has adopted since virtually the start of the Cold War. McNamara's "ladder of escalation" doctrine was its explicit formulation. ("Full spectrum dominance" is its lineal descendant). And the fact of the matter is that the U.S. military has never really fully accepted the straight-forward notion of deterrence, but has always been pressing further, seeking some obscure advantage or leverage. I think it's clear from his statements over many years, that Putin is attempting to respond to the erosion of deterrence by the U.S., (while the Soviet Union itself never explicitly embraced deterrence doctrine, originally crudely understanding nukes as just high powered artillery).

Blue Pilgrim , July 28, 2018 at 5:02 pm

Here is yet another 'liberal' or 'leftist' who has fallen into Trump Derangement Syndrome, complete with hurling names and insults at any who disagree with him and spouting a host of logical and rhetorical fallacies -- and another who has fallen out of list of people who I think are worth listening to.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/27/the-curious-case-of-pro-trump-leftism/
July 27, 2018
The Curious Case of Pro-Trump Leftism
by Eric Draitser

"It's true that the number of self-professed "analysts" and dementia-addled lefties spouting the Trump-as-peacenik line is relatively small
Indeed, because of the Dotard's doting on Putin, we should all sing hosannas as we erect cheaply made gold-plated monuments in his honor.

But back on Planet Earth, even the specious notion that Trump is somehow a peacemaker cannot fake news its way into being true. In fact, if anything, Trump has been the most bellicose president in recent memory. But don't tell those Trumpy lefties that. "

Counterpunch itself is teetering on the edge of that 'worth reading' list such that I rarely bother going there any more. Have these clowns been listening to what Clinton and the Dems have been saying and doing? -- "treason" for a president to talk to Russian leaders ("doting on Putin")? They think Clinton, who laughed when she destroyed Libya, would be better?

Lambert Strether , July 28, 2018 at 5:19 pm

An inventory of verbal tics .

Adding, I just reread the thing, and I found no examples or links to these supposed "Left Trumpists." So it's a smear, plain and simple, left lying about for future use.

Kurt Sperry , July 28, 2018 at 11:46 pm

Re: "Left Trumpists" If anyone from the left agrees with *any* of the hundreds, if not thousands, of policies opinions espoused by Trump. Is a "Left Trumpist". He is evil, to give support to evil in any way is evil. It's politics driven almost purely by ad hominem fallacy. Therefore any person of the left who is capable of independent thought will necessarily be presumptively labeled a "Left Trumpist" by the absurd definition of the #resistance. I won't even bother pointing out to them that always disagreeing with someone puts you in their complete control. if I can make you always contradict me, I can make you think or say almost whatever I like.

Carolinian , July 28, 2018 at 6:32 pm

The world is full of Trump mind readers .wish I had their extra sensory powers.

And some of us who consider ourselves "leftists" do hope Trump makes peace with Russia and others. Since these are things he talked about before he was president it's not impossible. If you think Trump's main goal in life is to build his brand it's also not illogical. Starting a war with, say, Iran would be very unpopular–one new poll says 23 percent support–and bad for brand building. The public now wants peace IMO. Most of Trump's current mayhem is grandfathered in from Obama or at least too much under the radar to be noticed (except for those trash talking tweets of course).

Counterpunch publishes all sorts of views. I don't think we should condemn the site because of one article. However they do publish authors who like to say things like "dotard." Name calling is so childish (unless it's about Hillary).

Blue Pilgrim , July 28, 2018 at 9:10 pm

A view is one thing; this is something else: a tirade of insults is not a view. I regularly listen to Crosstalk, for example, and appreciate Lavelle and most of his guests, even if I disagree with the conservative positions, but they don't rant and rave and insult me with phrases such as "depraved" or "dementia-addled". This is not just unpleasant to read, but demonstrates a fundamental weakness in his analytical, and his writing, ability. If that's the best Draitser can manage then I don't want to take time to see what he has to say -- and there is really not much more there, but a litany of complaints about Trump which most everyone not in the matrix are aware of. It's not just name-calling which is childish, but his thinking and perception. And that's something I find increasingly common in Counterpunch, and other western publications. I have no need or time for more crude propaganda.

The idea of defending Trump is not defending Trump and his ogrish ways, but defending law, legitimate process, open inquiry and dialogue, sophisticated analysis, and even truth. That's not about Trump; that's about us.

Carolinian , July 28, 2018 at 9:30 pm

If it helps I agree they do accept some articles that aren't very good. I think they may be struggling since Cockburn died. I don't think they actually pay people to write there.

But that site has been around a long time and it would be a shame to see it go. Too many lefty sites have bitten the dust.

witters , July 28, 2018 at 9:19 pm

For me, Counterpunch has gone over the edge.

It started with Alexander Cockburn's weird "Climate Science is a fraud! A man on the Nation cruise told me this!" and achieved its defining moment with Andrew Levine, who went on endlessly as to how Trump was necessarily, inevitably, "unelectable in American Democracy," but could be a source of wry amusement to the enlightened liberal.

I suspect an upcoming merger between Counterpunch and the Guardian.

Carolinian , July 28, 2018 at 9:39 pm

Cockburn was a contrarian who liked to provoke. He was also a vehement opponent of nuclear power and thought the AGW warnings were a Trojan horse to restart nuclear power–which is to say even if true the proposed cure could be worse than the disease.

And while AGW is now more widely accepted it's hard to say that much is being done about it. It's not so much an inconvenient truth as a problem from hell. Bandaid solutions make us feel better but may not change the outcome. Fortunately nuclear still seems to be on the skids.

Blue Pilgrim , July 28, 2018 at 10:24 pm

Whether global warming is a hoax or not, nuclear is expensive and dangerous, and can be replaced with solar, wind, hydro, etc. with some good side effects for employment and other economic factors. Beat your swords into plowshares and your soldiers into energy technicians. Just do it -- make the investment (and remember MMT) -- and the survival of the ecology and civilization could well be a nice side effect. There is enough with that to make a decision with. Other countries are managing it.

The old Counterpunch was worth saving, I guess, but for the new one it isn't so clear. Many more left sites will fade if the left doesn't get it's act together. The liberals are about gone already -- and the conservatives are riding a temporary wave. Capitalism is dying. Everything in the empire is falling apart as contradictions of thesis and antithesis transform into some foggy synthesis, or destruction.

witters , July 28, 2018 at 10:53 pm

"Whether global warming is a hoax or not"

Whether we breathe oxygen is a hoax or not Whether water is H20 is a hoax or not Whether the earth is a spheroid is a hoax or not

I really can't see how this is a reasonable place to begin anything.

Blue Pilgrim , July 29, 2018 at 12:30 am

It's a place to begin where there is a not a crowd of climate change deniers and proponents breaking out into avoidable fights which would derail plans and efforts to go sustainable.

It doesn't matter whether the sun goes around the earth and actually sets, or if the earth rotates out of the light, to decide that when it gets dark one needs to light a lamp to see and not fall down the steps. It is being in the dark which is sufficient reason for the decision to light it.

A sufficient decision to do away with coal fired plants is that the pollution makes us sick -- we don't need to consider CO2 or albedo warming effects to not want to breath in the junk.

tegnost , July 29, 2018 at 12:19 am

left sites will fade if the left doesn't get it's act together. The liberals are about gone already -- and the conservatives are riding a temporary wave
you shouldn't ignore the belly of the beast, the working class, losing their divide that was the big risk to the status quo from sanders, he could have bridged that divide

and the conservatives are riding a temporary wave. Capitalism is dying. Everything in the empire is falling apart as contradictions of thesis and antithesis transform into some foggy synthesis, or destruction
the only quibble I have with this perfect description is that many democrats are conservative, and the democrat conservatives got, well, served, and the compass is kind of spinning right now

Seamus Padraig , July 29, 2018 at 10:03 am

Eric Draitser is a deeply, deeply meretricious commentator. In the essay you linked to, Blue, note how he tries to have it both ways. First, he criticizes us for, in effect, being the dupes of Russian propaganda:

Left Trumpists focus their ire on the opponents of Trumpism. Ostensibly, it's because the anti-Trump activists are hypocrites who only form political opposition against Republicans while letting Democrats eat live babies on YouTube and roll wheelchair-bound pensioners into oncoming traffic. But, seen from a more realistic perspective, it seems this chorus of silliness is based more on Trump's words, and those of openly pro-Putin media , than on reality. [Emphasis mine]

Next, he himself begins to spout what–only a few short months ago–would have been roundly dismissed by the MSM as Russian propaganda:

Well, it wasn't particularly inspiring when the Trump Administration decided to escalate Obama's already insane policy vis-à-vis Ukraine by providing lethal weapons to the US-backed Kiev regime which continues to be partnered with, and in some ways captive to, Ukrainian Nazis and other fascist, er um, "ultra-nationalist," forces.

Nazis in Ukraine! Why, that's so very RT of you, Eric.

So, to recap: Eric Draitser can switch sides in an argument whenever he wants, while still claiming that we are the ones who are being inconsistent.

Draitser, along with the rest of the 'Gang of Four' (Louis Proyect, Yoav Litvin, Jeffrey St. Clair), is the reason I now find CounterPunch to be basically unreadable. Sad for years it was my absolute favorite website–head and shoulders above the other alt-left sites back then. But I guess it was just Alexander Cockburn who made it what it was. Over the past two years, they've lost so many of their best writers that I've taken to calling it CounterPurge. Not to worry, though: most of their best writers have turned up at Unz.com.

Mark Ó Dochartaigh , July 28, 2018 at 6:45 pm

I'm far to the left of Bill Maher, but in a general way I agree with him more often than with Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer. However on what is apparently an attempt at a show with thoughtful discussion from a variety of perspectives, the way Col. Larry Wilkerson was treated was not helpful for any side. Col. Wilkerson is one of the last republicans on the national stage who is reasonable, or even rational at this point in time. And certainly one of the very few who have the backbone to stand up even for what they personally believe is "right". A real lost opportunity by Mr Maher. And regarding "tRump derangement syndrome" how SAD is it that we live in a world where we have to discuss whether it is worse to have a willfully ignorant and egomaniacal dotard with his finger on the nuclear button or whether the real problem is a country where forty per cent of the voters support an authoritarian party willing to steal elections so that they can pass laws to steal wages and savings at home and abroad, destroy the biosphere, and wage war for profit.

On a related note at 51 minutes into this video by the excellent journalist Egberto Willies,Col. Larry Wilkerson, says that the military is being told that the worst case scenario (and IPCC "worst case" scenarios are routinely exceeded) is that "by the end of 2100" there will be less than enough arable land on the planet for 400 MILLION people.
https://egbertowillies.com/2015/09/25/lawrence-wilkerson-the-travails-of-empire-lone-star-college-kingwood-video/

The Rev Kev , July 28, 2018 at 9:20 pm

Something that you will never see. Bill Maher on the Jimmy Dore Show. It would be a massacre.

athena , July 28, 2018 at 10:09 pm

Oh, wow. You're right. My god , would that be a great episode if Maher wasn't Maher and had the courage to do it, though.

tegnost , July 29, 2018 at 12:07 am

no such thing as bad pr, it'd probably be great for both of them, must see youtube tm tv /s !
can't wait to watch

athena , July 29, 2018 at 4:41 am

"No such thing as bad publicity" is one of those truisms that isn't true. For example, this interview was very bad publicity indeed for Donna Brazile. https://youtu.be/GQtu1VsH_0s?t=47s

RBHoughton , July 28, 2018 at 11:02 pm

It looks as though the Pentagon is agreeing with the War Hawks in the Administration (Bolton) and Legislature (Graham) that nuclear war is the way ahead. They must disbelieve the Russian revelation of new weapons. That's a bold position to take when your entire country and its population is likely to be bombed.

I disagree with Colonel Wilkerson's apparent expectation that the war will be restricted to Europe. The day something falls on Russia is the day something falls on the continental USA.

The survivors will be those hundreds of thousands of US soldiers serving in Asia and Africa and South America. The recruiting offices might be able to make something of that but how will they keep the PXs supplied?

[Jul 29, 2018] Political Appointees who should be fired

Notable quotes:
"... I'll second Rod Rosenstein, I couldn't stand his performance before Congress. He played it both ways, 'we are working day and night to get you the documents', same as saying, I don't have enough people and then said he didn't know because ..., 'I can't watch everyone, I have thousands of people working under me'. A first class weasel. ..."
"... It appears that some senior FBI Cybersecurity leaders are retiring. Just when they are needed most - to explain how they let China run rampant through the Secretary of State's email server. They should be fired rather than allowed to collect a retirement check. ..."
"... https://www.wsj.com/article... ..."
"... I wonder which one of the three is Sy Hersh's source for the Seth Rich report. Because that came directly from the FBI cyber division and clearly would have been so explosive that anyone senior at that division would have been aware of it and had access to it. Of course, it could have come from some other agency but Hersh was clear that his source was very good. "I have somebody on the inside who will go and read a file for me. This person is unbelievably accurate and careful. He's a very high level guy. He'll do a favor." ..."
"... Since Globalization and President Obama giving out "get out of jail" cards, the Elite can do what they want. Government is secondary. The rule of law for Multinationals is dead. Fines are the cost of doing business. Courtiers use the revolving door to climb the ladder and accumulate power ..."
"... Chris Christie and Wray- two Jersey Republicans. Sessions knew Rosenstein from DoJ and the courts. This tells me that Trump did not know government people. ..."
Jul 29, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The government of the United States is not a parliamentary government. There are three co-equal branches in the federal government; the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary. The president is the "line and block chart" boss of everyone in the Executive Branch. All of the categories of political appointees listed above plus the actual department heads in the cabinet serve at the pleasure of the president acting as head of the Executive Branch of the US Government. He does not have such a free hand in disposing of civil servants who are below these political appointees and whose employment is protected by law. They generally work for the political appointees. For the record - I was a career SES after retirement from the army and not a presidential appointee. The Department of Justice is part of the Executive Branch of the federal government and all its political appointees are subject to presidential discipline as are all others in the Executive Branch. Presidents, like the heads of all executive teams have the right to expect the loyalty of the subordinates below them. It is expected that these subordinates should carry out all policies that are not illegal, nor grossly contrary to the interests of the United States. If an Executive Branch civilian employee believes that a policy is illegal or so contrary to US interests then this person should resign his or her position. In no instance should an Executive Branch employee act as a member of a "resistance" to the lawfully elected president. With that in mind I would suggest that the following officials should be dismissed by President Trump:

  1. DNI Dan Coats - He has made it clear by his utterances at the Aspen security conference this week that he is not loyal to the president. For a supposed member of the president's inner team to communicate in public by words or body language his rejection of presidential policy is a firing offense.
  2. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. This man is an obvious affiliate of the "resistance." His arrogance in dealing with the Congress clearly indicates that he thinks that all power is rightfully in the hands of the lawyer bureaucrats at the DoJ and that both the Congress and the president will get what he chooses to give them.
  3. FBI Director Christopher Wray. His performance at Aspen indicates that he thinks that as head of the FBI he is the consecrated protector of the Knights of the Round Table reborn as the FBI. IMO that comes before loyalty to the president for him. The FBI is in no legal or constitutional sense independent of presidential authority.
Others are candidates for this list, but time will develop the case. IMO it is clearly suicidal to retain such people in office when they are proceeding through action or inaction to undermine the administration. The argument will be made that there will be cries of Obstruction of Justice. So be it. pl https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_appointments_in_the_United_States

Pat Lang Mod , a day ago

The US Armed Forces are headed by commissioned officers whose appointments at each level of rank are confirmed by the US Senate. They can be removed at will from positions by superiors including of course the president/commander in chief but cannot be deprived of rank or expelled from the services except by court-martial. The armed forces understand very well that within the limits of US law they are completely subordinated to the commander in chief and will not speak against him or his policies unless they wish to risk conviction under the Punitive Article in UCMJ that forbids such speech. (Article 88)
chris chuba , a day ago
I'll second Rod Rosenstein, I couldn't stand his performance before Congress. He played it both ways, 'we are working day and night to get you the documents', same as saying, I don't have enough people and then said he didn't know because ..., 'I can't watch everyone, I have thousands of people working under me'. A first class weasel.
Fred , a day ago
It appears that some senior FBI Cybersecurity leaders are retiring. Just when they are needed most - to explain how they let China run rampant through the Secretary of State's email server. They should be fired rather than allowed to collect a retirement check.

https://www.wsj.com/article...

richardstevenhack -> Fred , a day ago
I wonder which one of the three is Sy Hersh's source for the Seth Rich report. Because that came directly from the FBI cyber division and clearly would have been so explosive that anyone senior at that division would have been aware of it and had access to it. Of course, it could have come from some other agency but Hersh was clear that his source was very good. "I have somebody on the inside who will go and read a file for me. This person is unbelievably accurate and careful. He's a very high level guy. He'll do a favor."
VietnamVet , 21 hours ago
Colonel,

You are correct. Except at this point the only people the President can trust are his family members. He went off to Helsinki and did his thing without senior staff.

Since Globalization and President Obama giving out "get out of jail" cards, the Elite can do what they want. Government is secondary. The rule of law for Multinationals is dead. Fines are the cost of doing business. Courtiers use the revolving door to climb the ladder and accumulate power .

Donald Trump slammed that door shut. Climbers can not work for him and risk pissing off future bosses. Andrea Mitchell (Mrs. Greenspan), Don Coats, Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray were at the Aspen Security Forum bonding and networking. If they lose their jobs and power, they face Paul Manafort's fate; jail before trial.

Donald Trump was elected because of American voters lost their jobs and homes, immigration, plus the endless wars. The Aspen Four's mission is to elevate VP Mike Pence and avoid a second Civil War while allowing the continued exploitation of the American people and environment to get richer. Will the global corporate propaganda and coup succeed? We are Americans. "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past."

Pat Lang Mod -> VietnamVet , 20 hours ago
No. There all kinds of patriotic Americans with great experience who would answer the call to serve. I can suggest some if Trump asks me.
David Schuler , a day ago
Maybe I'm painting with too broad a brush but I honestly don't understand why President Trump didn't demand the resignations of all of the Obama political appointees the moment he took the oath of office.
Pat Lang Mod -> David Schuler , a day ago
That would have been a good idea.
FB Ali , a day ago
"...it is clearly suicidal to retain such people in office..."

Why doesn't Trump do it? What is he waiting for?

semiconscious -> FB Ali , a day ago
but who does he replace them with? because i think it's this, primarily - the fact that he has no bullpen - that's his single biggest problem afa this issue's concerned...
JJackson -> semiconscious , 19 hours ago
I think you are right but this seems to be changing. He was not part of the Borg (in it's wider sense i.e not just re. FP) and therefore was not the GOP's man. As such it must have been a problem to find enough like minded people to fill all these positions who were not part of the status quo and had the experience to effectively operate within the beltway. Had any of the GOP's boys won they would have been able to dip into the establishment think-tank pool and pick the clones they wanted - not so easy for a boat rocker like President Trump. The unrelenting attacks from the Dems seem to be rallying more of the old Republicans in line behind the President.

We have a very similar problem here in the UK. Corbyn won an overwhelming victory from the Labour party rank and file but Blair had been PM for so long almost all of the senior positions were held by Blairites (AKA 'New Labour') and Corbyn is having a hard time finding 'Traditional Labour' ideologues with experience. Again, like Trump, he is having to try and restructure his party while under constant attack from the MSM and backstabbing from the Blairites. It is not easy trying to steer a Juggernaut like Westminster or Washington on a new course when all the existing crew only know, or want, the old way.

Should our current Brexit meltdown end PM May's Government we could end up with a Trump/Corbyn 'special relationship'. Now that really would be something very interesting to watch, preferably from a safe distance.

Fred -> semiconscious , 21 hours ago
There are a lot of lawyers in the DOJ and FBI. DNI wouldn't be too hard either. Maybe he should recall Martin Dempsey to active duty and give him the job.
semiconscious -> Fred , 18 hours ago
yeah, i'm not saying that there aren't any, i'm sure there're a number of very qualified people. but trump, personally, has no background in government, & just doesn't seem to have any kind of substantial, trustworthy inner circle who's judgments he can rely on when it comes to separating the wheat from the chaff, & filling positions like these...
Fred S -> semiconscious , 5 hours ago
If only he had been a community organizer.....
Rob , a day ago
I have no idea why Rosenstein is still there, it really is astonishing to behold.
seesee2468 -> Rob , a day ago
Rosenstein is a member of SES. I wonder if that is having an effect. Comey was also an SES member, but he was fired, although I guess that was for malfeasance. Or was Comey fired simply because DOJ members can be fired by the president? BTW, a cursory search showed that Jeff Sessions, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, Bill Priestap, Valerie Jarrett, and Bruce Ohr are also members of SES.
Pat Lang Mod -> seesee2468 , a day ago
That is not correct. A cabinet member cannot be a member of the SES. What is the citation for your assertion that these people were members of the SES? I think you are lying.
blue peacock , a day ago
Col. Lang

I completely concur with you and will add AG Sessions and DCIA Ms. Gina to the list. Anyone recommended by the traitor and avowed Communist Brennan should go. Jeff Sessions is a disgrace for hiding under his desk. If he had any decency he would have resigned long ago.

Are all SES employees of the federal government, "at will" employees? Or can they only be fired for "cause"?

IMO, a significant purge of the top echelons of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies is required to restore the rule of law and confidence in the integrity and competence of these institutions.

If guys like Andy McCabe, Peter Strzok, Sally Yates can rise up to the levels they did something is wrong with these institutions. I would even go further and shut them all down and re-build from scratch. These agencies are a bigger threat to our constitutional republic than our foreign adversaries.

Pat Lang Mod -> blue peacock , a day ago
To get rid of a career SES you either have to remove him for malfeasance and make it stick or give him a poor annual rating three years in a row. The president can remove them from position and let them sit in a bare office with a telephone until you have three poor ratings. That was always true.
seesee2468 -> Pat Lang , a day ago
Just to be sure, is it the president who gives this rating, or is it other SES members? Thank you.
Pat Lang Mod -> seesee2468 , a day ago
Whoever is immediately above them in the chain of command.
bonami , a day ago
I for one and all in favor. My favorite possible action which I am sure we will never see is the complete closure of the CIA, but we all know how that idea yielded unfortunate results the last time it was proposed by a President.
FarNorthSolitude , 16 hours ago
At what point do we declare Treason? My personal redline is Trump's Presidency. I don't pretend to know what Trump faces everyday. I do not like his rudeness, his incivility, and several of his policies, but I also don't doubt that he cares about America. And I know that he was legally elected.

Right after the election we saw an incredible social media push against the electoral college, the Constitution. It was the beginning of a coup d'etat here in the USA. That attempt has not ended.

The Constitution will stand or not, but it will not go easy and not without the blood of Patriots. Millions can moan whatever blather the TV tells them but it was a few that created this country and it will be a few that defend it and continues it into the future.

A few passionate and moral people can outweigh millions.

Not advocating revolution here but if needed and and we can get 1% to show up in Washington that is 3.3 million people. 5X current population. D.C. rolled out the tanks and used Patton for only 17,000 vets in 1932.

DianaLC , 16 hours ago
From where I sit and knowing the absolute disgust I am hearing from so many people around me, both those who are old moderates, those who are avid Trump supporters, and the ones around here who always vote for what I call "white 'bread" Republicans all the time, it's time for draining and hosing out the swamp. Even a few of the Democrats I know are a little embarrassed about what is going on in D.C.

I think you would be able to hear the cheering from the West clear out there in D.D. if your recommendations were put into place.

How do we get Trump to ask you for suggestions?

Nobby Stiles , a day ago
Quite so sir. This is an attempt to set aside the Constitution of the US. It is a mutiny and should be put down.
Patrick Armstrong , 3 hours ago
The Saker suggests he do what Putin did. (Maybe this is something the two of them talked about) "When Putin came to power he inherited a Kremlin every bit as corrupt and traitor-infested as the White House nowadays."
https://www.paulcraigrobert...

BTW what did they talk about? There's asyory going around that VVP gave him terabytes of coded US messages by and about the conspirators and the key to reading the codes. Don't know what to make of that but we should be alert for sudden revelations.

Bill Herschel , 6 hours ago
I humbly suggest that Trump supporters can stop hyperventilating. Your required reading should be the series of ten articles on the 2016 election by surely the most astute pollster on the political scene, Nate Silver. Among many, many money quotes, here is one of the most brutal,

""Coverage rarely mentioned the parallels between Clinton and Al Gore, for instance, who had failed to win a third consecutive term for Democrats in 2000 under similar conditions to the ones Clinton faced."
-- Nate Silver

Realistically, we're looking at eight years of Trump... and the transformation of U.S. society under malign Russian rule, because I firmly believe the bromance between Trump and Putin is based on one of the two things that Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards said could defeat him.

This is a reverse Yeltsin if you will. What goes around comes around. Given that it may end the horror of American military adventure across the globe, I intend to sit back and enjoy it. States' rights is thankfully a two-edged sword.

Pat Lang Mod -> Bill Herschel , 2 hours ago
Nate Silver predicted a Clinton victory. Yes, we may be headed for the '50s. I remember them fondly.
Jack , 12 hours ago
Trump has very limited support among the GOP establishment in the House and Senate. Just look at the response to the meeting with Putin from Flake, Corker, McCain and Rubio. Who does he have in the White House that shares his views on foreign policy? At least on trade policy he has Ross, Navarro and Lighthizer.

He clearly needs another team to lead the intelligence and law enforcement functions. I think he realizes it but it seems from recent interviews that he feels constrained due to Mueller and the obstruction of justice charge. Maybe he acts after the mid-terms. In the mean time the assault by the TDS crowd will continue.

O rly , 14 hours ago
while i agree with your sentiment that these people all need the axe, it seems like a trend where presidents putting key official in places where they sabotage themselves.

i mean i don't like obama, but what ever good instincts he had, were totally derailed by his own appointments. particularly on the foreign policy side of things.

Eugene Owens , 21 hours ago
All three Republicans. Why leave off Jeff Sessions?
Pat Lang Mod -> Eugene Owens , 20 hours ago
RINO party allegiance means nothing. They are swamp creatures. No reason to remove him. He is inert.
Eugene Owens -> Pat Lang , 20 hours ago
Dan Coats was pushed for DNI by Mike Pence. You have to wonder where Pence now stands in regards to Coats' statements? Wray was pushed for his job by NJ governor Chris Christie. Not sure who was Rosenstein's patron. My guess is Sessions.

Couldn't Sessions fire two of the three?

Pat Lang Mod -> Eugene Owens , 18 hours ago
Yes. Coats and Pence - two Hoosiers. Chris Christie and Wray- two Jersey Republicans. Sessions knew Rosenstein from DoJ and the courts. This tells me that Trump did not know government people.

[Jul 29, 2018] The Putin-Trump Helsinki summit by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... This is the proverbial case where the real " action is in the reaction " and, in this case, the reaction of the Neocon run US deep-state and its propaganda machine (the US corporate media) was nothing short of total and abject hysterics. ..."
"... What Trump is facing today is not a barrage of criticism but a very real lynch mob! And what is really frightening is that almost nobody dares to denounce that hysterical lynch mob for what it is. ..."
"... Even such supposed supporters of President Trump like Trey Gowdy who has fully thrown his weight behind the "Russia tried to attack us" nonsense . With friends like these... ..."
"... What has been taking place after this the summit is an Orwellian "two minutes of hatred" but now stretched well into a two weeks of hatred. And I see no signs that this lynch mob is calming down. In fact, as of this morning, the levels of hysteria are only increasing . ..."
"... By the way, these are typical Neocon-style tactics: double-down, then double-down again, then issue statements which make it impossible for you to back down, then repeat it all as many times as needed. This strategy is useless against a powerful and principled enemy, but it works miracles with a weak and spineless foe like Trump. ..."
"... The process which is taking place before our eyes splits the people of the US into two main categories: first, the Neocons and those whom the US media has successfully brainwashed and, second, everybody else. That second group, by the way, is very diverse and it includes not only bona fide Trump supporters (many of whom have also been zombified in their own way), but also paleo-conservatives, libertarians, antiwar activists, (real) progressives and many other groups. ..."
"... I am also guessing that a lot of folks in the military are watching in horror as their armed forces and their country are being wrecked by the Neocons and their supporters. Basically, those who felt "I want my country back" and who hoped that Trump would make that happen are now horrified by what is taking place. ..."
"... I believe that what we are seeing is a massive and deliberate attack by the Neocons and their deep state against the political system and the people of the United States. Congress, especially, is now guilty of engaging on a de-facto coup against the Executive on so many levels that they are hard to count (and many of them are probably hidden from the public eye) including repeated attempts to prevent Trump from exercising his constitutional powers such as, for example, deciding on foreign policy issues. ..."
"... By now there is overwhelming evidence that a creeping Neocon coup has been in progress from the very first day of Trump's presidency and that the Neocons are far from being satisfied with having broken Trump and taken over the de-facto power in the White House: they now apparently also want it de-jure too. ..."
"... From the Russian point of view, it matters very little whether Trump is removed from office or not – the problem is not one of personalities, but one of the nature of the AngloZionist Empire. ..."
"... the infighting of the US elites does and, if not, then at the very least the current crisis will further weaken the US, hence the Russian willingness to participate in this summit even if by itself this summit brought absolutely no tangible results: the action was in the reaction. ..."
"... The Deep State has opposed him at every turn, choosing to favor the policies of the Neocons and their enablers in the Democratic Party. Hence, having no team of his own, he has been saddled with personnel from the ranks of his most virulent enemies at every level. ..."
"... the Neocons and the Clinton gang are willing to say anything, no matter how destabilizing, to hurt Trump even if the US political system by itself is also put at risk. ..."
"... Saker, something is not adding up. If Trump is truly as pathetic a pushover, as "weak and spineless," as you say, why all the hysteria? If, on the other hand, he is a rather successful wrecking ball, already having put in jeopardy half the key resources of the empire, that's another story. ..."
"... He's laying waste to the Empire in the most peaceful process possible – in large part by so embarrassing the Empire's elites, allies and vassals that they withdraw first their active support, and then finally even their consent. Inducing hysteria, both foreign and domestic, is a non-trivial component of the forces giving the wrecking ball an extra push as it heads for the edifice. ..."
"... I don't think that Trump is the fool on the hill. I think that mostly all those around him are. The latest hysteria over Russia is not about any "meddling" in any "democracy". It's about throwing tantrums that Russia won't submit to US hegemony. In my opinion, they don't deserve to be in charge of their own country, let alone to be asking to be in charge of Russia. ..."
"... It is not just "unanimity of hatred and chaos", "abject hysterics", "hate-filled hysteria", "two minutes of hatred stretched well into a two weeks of hatred" etc. It's something else and, I feel, simply much worse and dangerous. ..."
Jul 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

Oh sure, there were a number of general statements made about "positive discussions" and the like, and some vague references to various conflicts, but the truth is that nothing real and tangible was agreed upon. Furthermore, and this is, I believe, absolutely crucial, there never was any chance of this summit achieving anything. Why? Because the Russians have concluded a long time ago that the US officials are " non-agreement capable " (недоговороспособны). They are correct – the US has been non-agreement capable at least since Obama and Trump has only made things even worse: not only has the US now reneged on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (illegally – since this plan was endorsed by the UNSC ), but Trump has even pathetically backtracked on the most important statement he made during the summit when he retroactively changed his " President Putin says it's not Russia. I don't see any reason why it would be " into " I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia " (so much for 5D chess!).

If Trump can't even stick to his own words, how could anybody expect the Russians to take anything he says seriously?! Besides, ever since the many western verbal promises of not moving NATO east " by one inch eastward " the Russians know that western promises, assurances, and other guarantees are worthless, whether promised in a conversation or inked on paper. In truth, the Russians have been very blunt about their disgust with not only the western dishonesty but even about the basic lack of professionalism of their western counterparts, hence the comment by Putin about " it is difficult to have a dialogue with people who confuse Austria and Australia ".

It is quite obvious that the Russians agreed to the summit while knowing full well that nothing would, or even could, come out of it. This is why they were already dumping US Treasuries even before meeting with Trump (a clear sign of how the Kremlin really feels about Trump and the US).

So why did they agree to the meeting? Because they correctly evaluated the consequences of this meeting. This is the proverbial case where the real " action is in the reaction " and, in this case, the reaction of the Neocon run US deep-state and its propaganda machine (the US corporate media) was nothing short of total and abject hysterics. I could list an immense number of quotes, statements and declarations accusing Trump of being a wimp, a traitor, a sellout, a Putin agent and all the rest. But I found the most powerful illustration of that hate-filled hysteria in a collection of cartoons from the western corporate media posted by Colonel Cassad on this page:

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/4330355.html

What we see today is a hate campaign against both Trump and Russia the likes of which I think the world has never seen before: even in the early 20th century, including the pre-WWII years when there was plenty of hate thrown around, there never was such a unanimity of hatred as what we see today. Furthermore, what is attacked is not just "Trump the man" or "Trump the politician" but very much so "Trump the President". Please compare the following two examples:

The US wars after 9/11: many people had major reservations about the wars against Afghanistan, Iraq and the entire GWOT thing. But most Americans seemed to agree with the "we support our troops" slogan. The logic was something along the lines of "we don't like these wars, but we do support our fighting men and women and the military institution as such". Thus, while a specific policy was criticized, this criticism was never applied to the institution which implement it: the US armed forces. Trump after Helsinki: keep in mind that Trump made no agreement of any kind with Putin, none. And yet that policy of not making any agreements with Putin was hysterically lambasted as a sellout. This begs the question: what kind of policy would meet with the approval of the US deep state? Trump punching Putin in the nose maybe? This is utterly ridiculous, yet unlike in the case of the GWOT wars, there is no differentiation made whatsoever between Trump's policy towards Putin and Trump as the President of the United States. There is even talk of impeachment, treason and "high crimes & misdemeanors" or of the "KGB" (dissolved 27 years ago but nevermind that) having a hand in the election of the US President.

What Trump is facing today is not a barrage of criticism but a very real lynch mob! And what is really frightening is that almost nobody dares to denounce that hysterical lynch mob for what it is. There are a few exceptions, of course, even in the media (I think of Tucker Carlson), but these voices are completely drowned out by the hate-filled shrieks of the vast majority of US politicians and journalists. Even such supposed supporters of President Trump like Trey Gowdy who has fully thrown his weight behind the "Russia tried to attack us" nonsense . With friends like these...

What has been taking place after this the summit is an Orwellian "two minutes of hatred" but now stretched well into a two weeks of hatred. And I see no signs that this lynch mob is calming down. In fact, as of this morning, the levels of hysteria are only increasing .

By the way, these are typical Neocon-style tactics: double-down, then double-down again, then issue statements which make it impossible for you to back down, then repeat it all as many times as needed. This strategy is useless against a powerful and principled enemy, but it works miracles with a weak and spineless foe like Trump. This is particularly true of US politicians and journalists who have long become the accomplices of the deep state (especially after the 9/11 false flag and its cover-up) and who now cannot back down under any circumstances or treat President Trump as a normal, regular, President. The anti-Trump rhetoric has gone way too far and the US has now reached what I believe is a point of no return.

The brewing constitutional crisis: the Neocons vs the "deplorables"

I believe that the US is facing what could be the worst crisis in its history: the lawfully elected President is being openly delegitimized and that, in turn, delegitimizes the electoral process which brought him to power and, of course, it also excoriates the "deplorables" who dared vote for him: the majority of the American people.

The process which is taking place before our eyes splits the people of the US into two main categories: first, the Neocons and those whom the US media has successfully brainwashed and, second, everybody else. That second group, by the way, is very diverse and it includes not only bona fide Trump supporters (many of whom have also been zombified in their own way), but also paleo-conservatives, libertarians, antiwar activists, (real) progressives and many other groups.

I am also guessing that a lot of folks in the military are watching in horror as their armed forces and their country are being wrecked by the Neocons and their supporters. Basically, those who felt "I want my country back" and who hoped that Trump would make that happen are now horrified by what is taking place.

I believe that what we are seeing is a massive and deliberate attack by the Neocons and their deep state against the political system and the people of the United States. Congress, especially, is now guilty of engaging on a de-facto coup against the Executive on so many levels that they are hard to count (and many of them are probably hidden from the public eye) including repeated attempts to prevent Trump from exercising his constitutional powers such as, for example, deciding on foreign policy issues. A perfect example of this can be found in Nancy Pelosi's official statement about a possible invitation from Trump to Putin:

"The notion that President Trump would invite a tyrant to Washington is beyond belief. Putin's ongoing attacks on our elections and on Western democracies and his illegal actions in Crimea and the rest of Ukraine deserve the fierce, unanimous condemnation of the international community, not a VIP ticket to our nation's capital. President Trump's frightened fawning over Putin is an embarrassment and a grave threat to our democracy. An invitation to address a Joint Meeting of Congress should be bipartisan and Speaker Ryan must immediately make clear that there is not – and never will be – an invitation for a thug like Putin to address the United States Congress."

Another example of the same can be found in the unanimous 98-0 resolution by the US Senate expressing Congress's opposition to the US government allowing Russia to question US officials. Trump, of course, immediately caved in, even though he had originally declared "fantastic" the idea of actually abiding by the terms of an existing 1999 agreement on mutual assistance on criminal cases between the United States of America and Russia. The White House "spokesperson", Sarah Sanders, did even better and stated : (emphasis added)

"It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin, but President Trump disagrees with it. Hopefully, President Putin will have the 12 identified Russians come to the United States to prove their innocence or guilt "

Talk about imperial megalomania! The US will not allow the Russians to interrogate anybody, but it wants Putin to extradite Russian citizens. Amazing

As for Nancy Pelosi, her latest "tweet" today is anything but subtle. It reads:

Every single day, I find myself asking: what do the Russians have on @realDonaldTrump personally, financially, & politically? The answer to that question is that only thing that explains his behavior & his refusal to stand up to Putin. #ABetterDeal.

Pretty clear, no? "Trump is a traitor and we have to stop him".

By now there is overwhelming evidence that a creeping Neocon coup has been in progress from the very first day of Trump's presidency and that the Neocons are far from being satisfied with having broken Trump and taken over the de-facto power in the White House: they now apparently also want it de-jure too. The real question is this: are there any forces inside the US capable of stopping the Neocons from completely taking all the reins of power and, if yes, how could a patriotic reaction to this Neocon coup manifest itself? I honestly don't know, but my feeling is that we might soon have a "President Pence" in the Oval Office. One way or another, a constitutional crisis is brewing.

What about the Russian interests in all this?

I have said it many times, Russia and the AngloZionist Empire (as opposed to the United States as a country) are at war, a war which is roughly 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% "kinetic". This is a very real war nonetheless and it is a war for survival simply because the Empire cannot allow any major country on the planet to be truly sovereign. Therefore, not only does the AngloZionist Empire represent an existential threat to Russia, Russia also represents an existential threat to the Empire. In this kind of conflict for survival there is no room for anything but a zero-sum game and whatever is good for Russia is bad for the US and vice-versa.

The Russians, including Putin, never wanted this zero-sum game, it was imposed upon them by the AngloZionists, but now that they have been forced into it, they will play it as hard as they can. It is therefore only logical to conclude that the massive systemic crises in which the Neocons and their crazy policies have plunged the US are to the advantage of Russia.

To be sure, the ideal scenario would be for Russia and the US (as opposed to the AngloZionst Empire) to work together on the very long list of issues where they share common interests. But since the Neocons have seized power and are sacrificing the US for the sake of their imperial designs, that is simply not going to happen, and the Russians understand that. Furthermore, since the US constitutes the largest power component of the AngloZionist Empire, anything weakening the US also thereby weakens the Empire and anything which weakens the Empire is beneficial for Russia (by the way, the logical corollary of this state of affairs is that the people of the US and the people of Russia have the same enemy – the Neocons – and that makes them de-facto allies).

It is not my purpose here to discuss when and how the Neocons came to power in the US, so I will just say that the delusional policies followed by the various US administrations since at least 1993 (and, even more so, since 2001) have been disastrous for the United States and could be characterized as one long never-ending case of imperial hubris (to use the title of here ). The long string of lost wars and foreign policy disasters are a direct result of this lack of even basic expertise. What passes for "expertise" today is basically hate-filled hyperbole and warmongering hysterics, hence the inflation in the paranoid anti-Russian rhetoric.

The US armed forces are only good at three things: wasting immense sums of money, destroying countries and alienating the rest of the planet. They are still the most expensive and bloated armed forces on the planet, but nobody fears them anymore (not even relatively small states, nevermind Russia or China). In technological terms, the Russians (and to a somewhat lesser degree the Chinese) have found asymmetrical answers to all the key force planning programs of the Pentagon and the former US superiority in the air, on land and on the seas is now a thing of the past. As for the US nuclear triad, it is still capable of accomplishing its mission, but it is useless as an instrument of foreign policy or to fight Russia or China (unless suicide is contemplated).

[Sidebar: this inability of the US military to achieve desired political goals might explain why, at least so far, the US has apparently given up on the notion of a Reconquista of Syria or why the Ukronazis have not dared to attack the Donbass. Of course, this is too early to call and these zigs might be followed by many zags, especially in the context of the political crisis in the US, but it appears that in the cases of the DPRK, Iran, Syria and the Ukraine there is much barking, but not much biting coming from the supposed sole "hyperpower" on the planet] The US is now engaged in simultaneous conflicts not only with Iran or Russia but also with the EU and China. In fact, even relationships with vassal states such as Canada or France are now worse than ever before. Only the prostituted leaders of "new Europe", to use Rumsfeld's term , are still paying lip service to the notion of "American leadership", and only if they get paid for it.

The US "elites" and the various interest groups they represent have now clearly turned on each other which is a clear sign that the entire system is in a state of deep crisis: when things were going well, everybody could get what they wanted and no visible infighting was taking place. The Israel Lobby has now fully subordinated Congress, the White House, and the media to its narrow Likudnik agenda and, as a direct result of this, the US has lost all their positions in the Middle-East and the chorus of those with enough courage to denounce this Zionist Occupation Government is slowly but steadily growing (at least on the Internet). Even US Jews are getting fed up with the now openly Israeli apartheid state (see here or here ). By withdrawing from a long list of important international treaties and bodies (TPP, Kyoto Protocol, START, ABM, JCPOA. UNESCO, UN Human Rights Council, etc.) the United States has completely isolated themselves from the rest of the planet. The ironic truth is that Russia has not been isolated in the least, but that the US has isolated itself from the rest of the planet.

In contrast, the Russians are capitalizing on every single US mistake – be it the carrier-centric navy, the unconditional support for Israel or the simultaneous trade wars with China and the EU. Much has been made of the recent revelation of new and revolutionary Russian weapon systems (see here and here ) but there is much more to this than just the deployment of new military systems and technologies: Russia is benefiting from the lack of any real US foreign policies to advance her own interests in the Middle-East, of course, but also elsewhere. Let's just take the very latest example of a US self-inflicted PR disaster – the following "tweet" by Trump: (CAPS in the original)

To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!

This kind of infantile (does he not sound like a 6 year old?) and, frankly, rather demented attempts at scaring Iranians (of all people!) is guaranteed to have the exact opposite effect from the one presumably sought: the Iranian leaders might snicker in disgust, or have a good belly-laugh, but they are not going to be impressed .

The so-called "allies" of the US will be embarrassed in the extreme to be "led" by such a primitive individual, even if they don't say so in public. As for the Russians, they will happily explore all the possibilities offered to them by such illiterate and self-defeating behavior.

Conclusion one: a useful summit for Russia

As a direct consequence of the Helsinki summit, the infighting of the US ruling classes has dramatically intensified. Furthermore, faced with a barrage of hateful attacks Trump did what he always does: he tried to simultaneously appease his critics by caving in to their rhetoric while at the same time trying to appear "tough" – hence his latest "I am a tough guy with a big red button" antics against Iran (he did exactly the same thing towards the DPRK). We will probably never find out what exactly Trump and Putin discussed during their private meeting, but one thing is sure: the fact that Trump sat one-on-one with Putin without any "supervision" from his deep-state mentors was good enough to create a total panic in the US ruling class resulting in even more wailing about collusion, impeachment, high crimes & misdemeanors and even treason. Again, the goal is clear: Trump must be removed.

From the Russian point of view, it matters very little whether Trump is removed from office or not – the problem is not one of personalities, but one of the nature of the AngloZionist Empire. The Russians simply don't have the means to bring down the Empire, but the infighting of the US elites does and, if not, then at the very least the current crisis will further weaken the US, hence the Russian willingness to participate in this summit even if by itself this summit brought absolutely no tangible results: the action was in the reaction.

Conclusion two: the Clinton gang's actions can result in a real catastrophe for the US

Trump's main goal in meeting with Putin was probably to find out whether there was a way to split up the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership and to back the Israeli demands for Syria. On the issue of China, Trump never had a chance since the US has really nothing to offer to Russia (whereas China and Russia are now locked into a vital symbiotic relationship ). On Syria, the Russians and the Israelis are now negotiating the details of a deal which would give the Syrian government the control of the demarcation line with Israel (it is not a border in the legal sense) and Trump's backing for Israel will make no difference. As for Iran, the Russians will not back the US agenda either for many reasons ranging from basic self-interest to respect for international law. So while Trump did the right thing in meeting with Putin, it was predictable at least under the current set of circumstances, that he would not walk away with tangible results.

For all his very real failings, Trump cannot be blamed for the current situation. The real culprits are the Clinton gang and the Democratic Party which, by their completely irresponsible behavior, are creating a very dangerous crisis for the United States: the Neocons and the Clinton gang are willing to say anything, no matter how destabilizing, to hurt Trump even if the US political system by itself is also put at risk. Furthermore, the Neocons have now completely flipped around the presumption of innocence – both externally (Russian "attack" on the US elections) and internally (Trump's "collusion" with Putin). As for Trump, whatever his good intentions might have been, he is weak and cannot fight the entire US deep state by himself. The Neocons and the US deep state are now on a collision course with Russia and the people of the United States and while Russia does have the means to protect herself from the Empire, it is unclear to me who, or what could stop the Neocons from further damaging the US. Deep and systemic crises often result in new personalities entering the stage, but in the case of the US, it is now undeniable that the system cannot reform


exiled off mainstreet , July 26, 2018 at 4:47 am GMT

All of this seems profoundly depressing, but it appears to be how things are. I was disappointed by Trump's efforts to cave into the deep state on his statements. The fact he can't even control his justice ministry reveals his weakness. I'm of the view history shows that once spy agencies reach a critical mass in power they become the absolute rulers of a structure and the rule of law becomes a facade, then is sidelined completely.
Anonymous [333] Disclaimer , July 26, 2018 at 10:55 am GMT
@exiled off mainstreet

Trump was a complete outsider to politics when he decided to run for the presidency in 2015. He had no team or political allies. He really didn't have much of a philosophy of governance, a solid foundation of history and facts, a first rate vocabulary or the debating skills of an 8th grader. He has consistently failed to win over any Democratic and probably not even a majority of Republican politicians.

The Deep State has opposed him at every turn, choosing to favor the policies of the Neocons and their enablers in the Democratic Party. Hence, having no team of his own, he has been saddled with personnel from the ranks of his most virulent enemies at every level.

His lack of knowledge and primitive persuasive skills, which might work in big business but not under the microscope of politics, have not won him any converts but only encouraged a vicious escalation of antipathy from his opponents, who, controlling the media from top to bottom, are openly calling him a traitor on no objective grounds, unless trying to do the job of the office, maintain the peace, and explore possible avenues for reducing international tensions is now considered treasonous. The charge of treason is clearly bombastic but with virtually everyone of influence nodding in agreement, it's difficult for the man to retain his credibility before the public.

Actually, a smidgen south of half the public are the only base of his support. And a very eclectic base they are, including numerous liberals, progressives, intellectuals and peaceniks, in addition to conservatives, Republicans and Libertarians, who prefer to deal with the real world rather than Hillary's deliberate misrepresentation of it.

Will that be enough for him to survive? The way the maniacs are raving in the media, expect the country to throw a big celebration if he gets "taken out" one way or another tomorrow. The situation is really dangerous and utterly shameful. Most of the blame goes to Hillary Clinton and her insurrectionists for not accepting the outcome of our system of ersatz "democracy." Her husband won with something like 43% of the popular vote in 1992. I'm pretty sure Trump had a higher number. Cry me a river, Hillary, but stop trying to destroy what you can't have like a petulant child.

(I'm a liberal Democrat.)

Johnny Rottenborough , Website July 26, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT
the logical corollary of this state of affairs is that the people of the US and the people of Russia have the same enemy – the Neocons – and that makes them de-facto allies

I think it would be more accurate to say that the people of Russia had the same enemy.

Anonymous [346] Disclaimer , July 26, 2018 at 1:37 pm GMT

By the way, these are typical Neocon-style tactics: double-down, then double-down again, then issue statements which make it impossible for you to back down, then repeat it all as many times as needed.

It's like trial lawyers say: if the facts are on your side and the law is not, then argue the facts; if the law is on your side and the facts are not, then argue the law; and if neither the facts nor the law are on your side, then bang your fists on the table and shout as loud as you can! That's exactly what the neo-clowns are doing here.

the Neocons and the Clinton gang are willing to say anything, no matter how destabilizing, to hurt Trump even if the US political system by itself is also put at risk.

All of which just helps to further discredit the empire. Even with all the insanity in the media, I still thank God every day that Hellary did not become president.

War for Blair Mountain , July 26, 2018 at 2:25 pm GMT
The Paradox:

The above h0moerotic caricature of Putin and Trump is quite revealing in what it tells us about what drives the emotional life of White Liberals and White Leftist. They are driven by powerful urges to impose homosexuality-pedophilia-pederasty on both Christian Russia and the Working Class Native Born White American Christians.

sarz , July 26, 2018 at 3:28 pm GMT
Saker, something is not adding up. If Trump is truly as pathetic a pushover, as "weak and spineless," as you say, why all the hysteria? If, on the other hand, he is a rather successful wrecking ball, already having put in jeopardy half the key resources of the empire, that's another story.
Carlo , July 27, 2018 at 12:08 am GMT
@sarz

I think because Trump postulated himself as a candidate, then got nominated the Republican candidate and worst of all, despite the huge campaign against him, won the elections, without the blessing of the Deep State and the neocons. So now they want to teach him (and anyone else who might think about doing the same) a lesson: "Anyone who tries to become president without our approval will be crushed", so it never happens again.

Erebus , July 27, 2018 at 2:12 am GMT
@sarz

something is not adding up. If Trump is truly as pathetic a pushover, as "weak and spineless," as you say, why all the hysteria?

And nobody seems to like him
They can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

That Trump is a wrecking ball is a hypothesis I've held since the first GOP debate, when I also realized he would (probably) win not only the election, but may even succeed at the far more difficult challenge of bringing the Empire to a sufficiently soft landing that the nation survives. I'm less convinced of the latter now, largely because I underestimated the centrifugal forces driving the fault lines in the American body politic. The nation, tragically may not survive the Empire's twilight, but I've seen nothing that makes me want to change my hypothesis.

He's laying waste to the Empire in the most peaceful process possible – in large part by so embarrassing the Empire's elites, allies and vassals that they withdraw first their active support, and then finally even their consent. Inducing hysteria, both foreign and domestic, is a non-trivial component of the forces giving the wrecking ball an extra push as it heads for the edifice.

As for the summit, I frankly wouldn't be surprised to learn that much of it was staged for maximum hysteria-inducing effect. Their 2hrs spent alone probably was little more than comparing notes. After all, what can Trump promise that he can also deliver under the circumstances? He can only promise to keep doing what he's doing.

In any case, they both know the Empire has to go, and they both want the American nation to be a player after it goes. A vibrant America is as critical to the multipolar world as it is to Americans. Maybe more so.

Collusion? Maybe, but the Trump phenomena, IMHO, has all the earmarks of regime change done right. With or without collusion, the hystericals can't quite put their finger on what happened, which drives further hysteria, which pushes the wrecking ball even faster, which drives....

Franz , July 27, 2018 at 6:13 am GMT
now undeniable that the system cannot reform itself

Yes, Saker and that puts US politics behind European fascism of 70+ years ago. Mussolini was booted out by a fascist committee, Franco paved the way for a constitutional monarchy, but all Americans get is Bozo the Clown/President.

The destruction of the US working class amazes me in its absence from all serious debate. First subverted by the CIA then rendered null by outsourcing (which is still undercounted) the "deplorables" have no mechanism for resistence except the unthinkable one: Hope for total breakup of the United States. Or hope for a foreign invasion.

Makes one wonder. When Egyptians greeted Alexander the Great as a liberator as he conquered them, it was a fairly pungent comment on the ruling Persians. Will blue-collar former-Yanks be cheering for liberating Chinese or Russian troops anytime soon? Henry Kissinger once predicted something of the sort.

We do live in interesting times.

Cyrano , July 27, 2018 at 7:10 pm GMT
@Erebus

Well on the way, head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice

He never listens to them
He knows that they're the fools
They don't like him

I don't think that Trump is the fool on the hill. I think that mostly all those around him are. The latest hysteria over Russia is not about any "meddling" in any "democracy". It's about throwing tantrums that Russia won't submit to US hegemony. In my opinion, they don't deserve to be in charge of their own country, let alone to be asking to be in charge of Russia.

All they come up with is terrible ideas which they in their generosity are way too eager to share with the world – against the wishes or the best interests of the world. Like the multiculturalism. It's bad enough that they came up with that awful idea, but then they had to force it down the throats of the stupid Europeans.

Then when Merkel showed enough brains to challenge their idea, they forced her to make 180 turn and to welcome over a 1 million refugees from the imperial misadventures.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/10/18/frum.merkel.multicultural

peterAUS , July 28, 2018 at 7:14 am GMT
Well, Saker did put, this time, some good points here. Of course, they were well mixed with the usual Kremlin propaganda, but that's now like "good morning" with his writing. Probably all public members of "Team Russia" have that clause in their contract. The usual spin "Russia is great, winning, and all is not only good but simply getting better for Kremlin and the Great Leader".

He does point to this "thing" with MSM and public figures in West re the summit. I agree, it's surreal. If I were watching this in a serious movie I'd change the channel/walk out. If I were reading a serious book with the "thing" as a part of the plot I'd stop reading. I think there IS something there.

It is not just "unanimity of hatred and chaos", "abject hysterics", "hate-filled hysteria", "two minutes of hatred stretched well into a two weeks of hatred" etc. It's something else and, I feel, simply much worse and dangerous.

I guess we have entered a zone beyond geopolitics into mass psychology. Not my area of expertise at all, but simply feel there is something there. It feels as watching, hard to express it, hysterical people? Now, on my level, whenever I dealt with such people I simply walked away, most of the time. A couple of times, when I couldn't walk away I simply floored them (or so I say). Both men and women (talking about being a gentleman , a). With women, it's even easier, just one strike, weak hand even. With men a full combination, even with a takedown and ..anyway. Joking. Sort of. Besides, I was younger then. But how can you take out people who control, in essence, US power, nuclear weapons in particular? You simply can't . That is what makes, IMHO, this so dangerous. I simply can't recollect anything similar in relationship between superpowers. I am not so optimistic re the collapse of The Empire, multipolar world etc.

This "thing" can, I concede, deliver a couple of goods: People, at last, realizing who, or better what, are our "betters". The real power of The Empire diminishing because of the mess and chaos those species ..created. Those two things creating an opportunity to, somehow, do something about this abomination.

But, and a big but, there is the flip there. People simply not paying attention. And, those hysterics really getting the levers of power in their hands. While they are in that state, that is.

As I've said several times here so far (doesn't matter a bit, of course) Trump supporters fucked up. Not him; he didn't expect to win and when he did he found himself in a really bad position. His supporters. As soon as he won they walked home. A mistake. A terrible mistake. I feel we'll all pay, dearly, for it.

[Jul 29, 2018] Trump is being beaten down by the propaganda arm of the deep state (the MSM) but his tenacity is paying off. Already poles are indicating that the majority of people are not taken in by the charade

Notable quotes:
"... The Deep State has opposed him at every turn, choosing to favor the policies of the Neocons and their enablers in the Democratic Party. Hence, having no team of his own, he has been saddled with personnel from the ranks of his most virulent enemies at every level. ..."
"... His lack of knowledge and primitive persuasive skills, which might work in big business but not under the microscope of politics, have not won him any converts but only encouraged a vicious escalation of antipathy from his opponents, who, controlling the media from top to bottom, are openly calling him a traitor on no objective grounds, unless trying to do the job of the office, maintain the peace, and explore possible avenues for reducing international tensions is now considered treasonous. The charge of treason is clearly bombastic but with virtually everyone of influence nodding in agreement, it's difficult for the man to retain his credibility before the public. ..."
"... Neocons have seized power and are sacrificing the US for the sake of their imperial designs ..."
"... Private corporations have become global, have acquired many public resources, and are now in control of whole segments of the profit potential in the entire world. This makes them as big as or bigger than the nations states that gave birth to them. America is just a small part of the private corporate wealth generating reach of the private domain. What corporations don't control is left to government. What's wrong with that? ..."
"... The USA has become a transfer mechanism and a transport company. Those in power are transferring massive arrays of public rights, duties, and resources to private corporate opulence. The elite (Pharaoh and his private corporation) have not been more secure, but Americans have reached the extended edge of insecurity. Leadership now consist of two masters: Public elected government 40% and privately owned corporations 60%. ..."
"... Every empire in history, after conquering its future colonies, ruled those colonies with a good degree of acceptance by the colonised population. Now the US claims that it is a global empire, the biggest one in history, but I know of no country which likes to be even man-handled let alone managed by US. ..."
"... Here is the specific threat to CIA impunity behind the US propaganda hysterics. Russia is turning over the rocks where CIA hides its moles in the US government. Russia knows what the perps are up to, so US state secrets don't protect them as they do at home. ..."
"... The CIA focal points that Fletcher Prouty told us about decades ago, they're still infesting the government, dug in deeper than ever. Russia proposes to question them. It's the American public's first look at the secret dotted-line reports CIA uses to control the US government. ..."
"... The US agents Russia singled out for questioning: Browder, Steele, McFaul (CIA war propaganda against Russia,) Jonathan Wiener (Lockerbie fabricator and DoS focal point,) David J. Kramer (ran Russian agents from DoS DRL and CIA's Freedom House), Kyle Parker (CIA mole on Senate staff) Todd Hyman, Schvartsman (CIA's DHS moles.) and Jim Rote, a garden-variety CIA spook rather than an agent, and CIA's transnational organized crime boss Robert Otto. ..."
"... Many millions of patriotic conservative, nationalist, and libertarian people working in "white-collar" jobs voted for Trump (as well as some more lefty white-collar folks who couldn't abide the DNC's rigging the primaries against Sanders and/or her obvious personal corruption, incessant warmongering, and loyalty to very rich folks in the finance/banking and entertainment fields). ..."
Jul 29, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anonymous

Trump was a complete outsider to politics when he decided to run for the presidency in 2015. He had no team or political allies. He really didn't have much of a philosophy of governance, a solid foundation of history and facts, a first rate vocabulary or the debating skills of an 8th grader. He has consistently failed to win over any Democratic and probably not even a majority of Republican politicians.

The Deep State has opposed him at every turn, choosing to favor the policies of the Neocons and their enablers in the Democratic Party. Hence, having no team of his own, he has been saddled with personnel from the ranks of his most virulent enemies at every level.

His lack of knowledge and primitive persuasive skills, which might work in big business but not under the microscope of politics, have not won him any converts but only encouraged a vicious escalation of antipathy from his opponents, who, controlling the media from top to bottom, are openly calling him a traitor on no objective grounds, unless trying to do the job of the office, maintain the peace, and explore possible avenues for reducing international tensions is now considered treasonous. The charge of treason is clearly bombastic but with virtually everyone of influence nodding in agreement, it's difficult for the man to retain his credibility before the public.

Actually, a smidgen south of half the public are the only base of his support. And a very eclectic base they are, including numerous liberals, progressives, intellectuals and peaceniks, in addition to conservatives, Republicans and Libertarians, who prefer to deal with the real world rather than Hillary's deliberate misrepresentation of it.

Will that be enough for him to survive? The way the maniacs are raving in the media, expect the country to throw a big celebration if he gets "taken out" one way or another tomorrow. The situation is really dangerous and utterly shameful. Most of the blame goes to Hillary Clinton and her insurrectionists for not accepting the outcome of our system of ersatz "democracy." Her husband won with something like 43% of the popular vote in 1992. I'm pretty sure Trump had a higher number. Cry me a river, Hillary, but stop trying to destroy what you can't have like a petulant child.

(I'm a liberal Democrat.)


chris , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 12:09 pm GMT

If Trump can't even stick to his own words, how could anybody expect the Russians to take anything he says seriously?!

I think this is tanken too seriously; the Russians definitely appreciate Trump's courage in taking a step toward them in an era of such hysteria. Trump is being beaten down by the propaganda arm of the deep state (the MSM) but his tenacity is paying off. Already poles are indicating that the majority of people are not taken in by the charade. As with the 2016 election, a sizable portion of the population just ain't buying it.

Anonymous [157] Disclaimer , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 12:17 pm GMT
I dunno whether citing Nancy Pelosi on anything is relevant. Never had courage on anything during the Dubya Years, and now she's pretty gone, a political career robot with decaying functions.

You can practically see the cabling coming out of the spine, she's probably having herself dominated remotely via TeamViewer by MS-13 members, too.

animalogic , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 12:25 pm GMT
I agree with your comments. I wish to emphasize one point: Trump was NEVER given a chance. The establishment HATED him from his candidacy. That hatred has become more pathological by the day.
It's gone beyond "agreeing"/ "disagreeing" with Trump: this is a sickening assault on U.S democracy.
The Democratic Party IS guilty of treason. The US establishment – the deep state, if you like is -- criminally INSANE.
animalogic , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 12:33 pm GMT
@War for Blair Mountain

I think there is an element of truth to your views. However, I can't get past the fact that the head of this Trump hating psychotics are native born white Americans. Yes, they pander to "minorities" but it's merely a means to their own piggish elite ends. Minorities are also "useful idiots" .

chris , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 12:39 pm GMT

the people of the US and the people of Russia have the same enemy – the Neocons – and that makes them de-facto allies

There's definitely something to this statement. I think the Russian people can definitely commensurate with the "deplorables" as they too have (and to some extent continue to) spend many decades under Jewish dominated Nomenklatura.

anastasia , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 12:49 pm GMT
Trump did not do anything different in this meeting with Putin than any other leader, who had in the past met with the Russian leader. It was not what was done; it was the reaction to what was presumed to have been done, and wasn't..

The entire Mueller investigation is being conducted, and will continue for all the years of the Trump Presidency, to be sure, to insure that Trump does not do what he promised to do during his campaign – cooperate with Putin and get out of the mid-east. It is very obvious that so far, Trump has shown to have completely reneged on his campaign promises in this regard (eg. putting military bases in Syria, evacuating ISIS commandos, bombing Syria, recognizing Jerusalem as the state capital, continuing the war in Afghanistan, arming to the teeth Saudi Arabia, etc. and some of the actions he has taken were based upon patent and obvious lies (eg. bombing Syria ..twice).

If one listens carefully to the concerns of Trump in the Putin meeting, it was predominantly the "security" of Israel vis a vis Iran. It was not the Untied States, but Israel that was his major concern, and if you listen even more carefully, anyone could have heard some key words, "Putin is a big fan of BeeBee", which means what? It means that these mid-eastern wars are never, never. never going to end.

All this noise coming from the right and left is only that .noise. Because really nothing under the sun has changed.

anon [317] Disclaimer , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 12:56 pm GMT
@Anonymous

the lawfully elected President is being openly delegitimized and that, in turn, delegitimizes the electoral process which brought him to power and, of course, it also excoriates the "deplorables" who dared vote for him: the majority of the American people.

Neocons have seized power and are sacrificing the US for the sake of their imperial designs, that is simply not going to happen, and the Russians understand that.

transition from ::to

But I think the ruling classes intensity is a result of copyright and patent laws and other devices too numerous to list here have been taken to privatize the public resources held in trust by the USA into the hands of Pharaoh and his right arm corporations. Essentially American public assets were entrusted to the USA, and its corporate elected leaders pieced the public assets up, and sold them to the highest bidder. Now the successful bidders are trying to get control or ownership over the remaining few assets that still held in the public [USA} trust, when that is finished America will be wasted and the USA will become a dictatorship.

Privatization is the first and foremost internal problem; unless it is fixed, nothing will change.

What do I mean by privatization? Whole segments of the national USA and global economy now belong to one or a few private enterprises: by contract, by rule of some law, or by ownership of assets that were taken, or that are controlled by contract, or agreement, the public domain was reduced and the private domain was increased. Substantial economic power and most political power h\b transferred into private hands.

Private corporations have become global, have acquired many public resources, and are now in control of whole segments of the profit potential in the entire world. This makes them as big as or bigger than the nations states that gave birth to them. America is just a small part of the private corporate wealth generating reach of the private domain. What corporations don't control is left to government. What's wrong with that?

Private corporations (PCs) conduct their affairs independent of national laws and politics, but the political systems and the people that depend on those political systems are highly dependent, not on government, but on these private corporations.

Privatization means a part of the public domain has been transferred to the private domain (mostly corporations). Water franchises, health care, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, military arms production, transportation (airlines and ships used to be public owned or highly controlled quasi-governmental entities), energy production and distribution, private armies, public research discoveries converted by rule of law and investment capital into private properties, global manufacturers of important and necessary software or hardware systems or components ; energy, water, gas production and distribution, and services such as garbage, jail management, education, and so on, are public services provided by private corporations.

Just as British Colonial Aristocrats and their massive corporations were doing in 1776, today's elites are busy transferring public government and American assets, resources, and governing powers to their private selves.

The USA has become a transfer mechanism and a transport company. Those in power are transferring massive arrays of public rights, duties, and resources to private corporate opulence. The elite (Pharaoh and his private corporation) have not been more secure, but Americans have reached the extended edge of insecurity. Leadership now consist of two masters: Public elected government 40% and privately owned corporations 60%.

Pieces of the public government were carved out and given to private corporate enterprises. Each transfer from public government to private corporate government; provides elites more power, and the government that represents the public less power.

The problems the Saker presents are all results of the private taking from public.

anonymous [128] Disclaimer , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
If the media truly hated Trump as much as they say they did, they would never have put him front and center during the primary and given him all that publicity. They would have Ron Pauled him into public oblivion. They had complete control, but instead of ignoring him, they put him front of center.

And those polls? If they were rigged, the media knew they were rigged, and would have conducted one in secret. And why would Hillary have a schedule of campaign stops, half of which were lies. Why was she lying about her campaign schedule? His election was a surprise to no one, except those they wanted to fool – the public.

The "surprise" of his election was nothing more than part of the grand theatre we see being played now.

There was collusion all right during this election, but it certainly wasn't with the Russians.

Kiza , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 1:07 pm GMT
Every empire in history, after conquering its future colonies, ruled those colonies with a good degree of acceptance by the colonised population. Now the US claims that it is a global empire, the biggest one in history, but I know of no country which likes to be even man-handled let alone managed by US.

Therefore, I fail to understand where this claim to empire comes from. Yes, the behaviour appears empirial (for example requesting delivery of some "12 Russians" that some third-rate US horse-face pretend-policeman identified as perpetrators of a crime which never happened), but every Napoleon in my local asylum for the insane behaves empirially.

As to Pellosi and the gang who suck the dicks of Netanyahoo and MbS, the real mass murderers, like little bunny rabbits suck bottles of milk, their words on Putin are words of frustration due to the fact that Putin will never offer his member to be similarly sucked.

Let me summise it simply: what an amazing fuck up US is under its Jewish ownership.

HO-LY COWW , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 1:22 pm GMT
Here is the specific threat to CIA impunity behind the US propaganda hysterics. Russia is turning over the rocks where CIA hides its moles in the US government. Russia knows what the perps are up to, so US state secrets don't protect them as they do at home.

The CIA focal points that Fletcher Prouty told us about decades ago, they're still infesting the government, dug in deeper than ever. Russia proposes to question them. It's the American public's first look at the secret dotted-line reports CIA uses to control the US government.

From Meduza: "The list of names also includes Homeland Security Department official Todd Hyman (who testified in a deposition against Prevezon, a Russian company accused of laundering proceeds from the fraud uncovered by Sergey Magnitsky), Svetlana Engert (who supposedly stole criminal case materials from Russia), Alexander Shvartsman (who supposedly oversaw Browder's stay in the U.S.), Jim Rote (a supposed CIA agent acting as Browder's "financial manager"), Robert Otto (who supposedly served as deputy director of a U.S. intelligence agency until January 2017), David Kramer (who recently served as an adviser to the U.S. State Department), Jonathan Wiener (a long-time aide to John Kerry and an adviser on national security), and Kyle Parker (a recent U.S. State Department official), according to Kurennoi."

http://www.interfax.ru/russia/621432

The US agents Russia singled out for questioning: Browder, Steele, McFaul (CIA war propaganda against Russia,) Jonathan Wiener (Lockerbie fabricator and DoS focal point,) David J. Kramer (ran Russian agents from DoS DRL and CIA's Freedom House), Kyle Parker (CIA mole on Senate staff) Todd Hyman, Schvartsman (CIA's DHS moles.) and Jim Rote, a garden-variety CIA spook rather than an agent, and CIA's transnational organized crime boss Robert Otto.

Russia is showing us how CIA infiltrates and controls the entire US government.

anonymous [128] Disclaimer , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 1:36 pm GMT
Trump's accomplishments:

(1) continuing indefinitely the war in Afghanistan
(2) bombing Syria twice for reasons which he knew or should have known were false.
(3) putting a military base in Syria as an invader https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/u-s-forces-set-up-new-base-in-syria-s-manbij-despite-turkish-threats-1.6073192 something no President dared do in the past.
(4) appointing neo-con war mongers in all key cabinet positions
(5) telling police (on video for all the world to hear) to confiscate guns and "worry about due process later" (13 states have followed this advice) This statement tramples upon not only the second amendment, but the fifth and fourteenth as well
(6) saying absolutely nothing about Google, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, censuring all right wing groups, showing that he doesn't give a hoot about anyone's lst amendment rights, including his supporters.
(7) recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (at a cost of thousands injured and dead Palestinians during Israel's celebration)
(8) sanctioning Russia at least three times since he has been in office; with sanctions more severe than those imposed by Obama.
(9) having the US military evacuate ISIS commandos in Syria
(10) breaching the agreement with Iran at a time when the only party with continuing contract obligations was Iran who was abiding by the contract (he certainly was not going to get back the Obama money,w hich is the only thing he complained about during his campaign)
(11) fully funding planned parenthood (now trying to undo this Congressional action with an Executive Order which compounds the problem in his attempt to usurp the powers of Congress, violating Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution)
(12) not building the wall
(13) lying about his gross immorality (keep in mind that if the Senate impeached Clinton for committing fellatio in the Oval Office with a foolish young girl in her early twenties, Trump would never have dared to run for office with his background)
(14) lying about the economy (saying there was 4 percent unemployment when all the big retailers employing hundreds of thousands went out of business on the heels of his statement)
(15) proposing to reward millions of immigrants who have broken our laws

Yet, his supporters are still on the street with those silly hats reciting their mantra that he is making America great again.

What he is doing in fact is continuing unjustified wars (military Keynesian economics that will destroy the US) while simultaneously and quietly taking away our constitutional rights. Those are his biggest "accomplishments"

Z-man , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 1:48 pm GMT
An example has to be made of one or two Neocons/Deep State'rs .
RadicalCenter , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 1:55 pm GMT
@War for Blair Mountain

Sound analysis, WBC.

I'd just quibble that it's unlikely that the majority of Trump's voters were "blue collar", if that's what we mean by working class.

Many millions of patriotic conservative, nationalist, and libertarian people working in "white-collar" jobs voted for Trump (as well as some more lefty white-collar folks who couldn't abide the DNC's rigging the primaries against Sanders and/or her obvious personal corruption, incessant warmongering, and loyalty to very rich folks in the finance/banking and entertainment fields).

Unfortunately, if we're counting manufacturing and assembly jobs as "blue collar" or "working class", there just aren't enough of those jobs left in the USA for their holders to constitute a majority even of Trump voters. That was part of Trump's appeal, right, the endless loss of good-paying jobs actually making things of tangible usefulness and value?

animalogic , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 1:58 pm GMT
@peterAUS

What "we" have is a corrupt US (global) elite. An elite, primed in the 80′s & let entirely off the leash in '91. Benevolent despots ? A concept with only the vaguest comprehension.

No – these US/ Globalist elites just KNEW history was on THEIR side. Take the brakes off, & spin the capitalist coin: heads – class war; tails imperialism. Win -win. (Can't remember his name – guy who runs Hathaway-something: "there is class war, & my class is winning". Damn few business men are as worshipped as this bloke) And yes, just look at the 90′s, the Yeltsin years, the Clinton years looked like it was all working out.

Well, contradictions will "out". And here we are. A ruling class descending into sociopathology. A public unable to fully comprehend the toxic brew bubbling just beneath the surface ( the 6 o'clock news, comfortable, day in day out, pay the damn bills, the kid's teeth need braces & the car a new exhaust).

I won't mention climate change – few here who believe, let alone give a fuck ? We are in diabolical trouble but fuck it – instinctively we all know it's a Panglossian universe .& the devil take the hindmost.

RadicalCenter , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 1:59 pm GMT
@War for Blair Mountain

Both the USA and Russia are much less "Christian" than you make out. But you're right, of course, that our enemies seem especially motivated to destroy any nation with a meaningful vestige of Western (Greco-Roman-Anglo-European) Civilization and/or Christian mores.

Miro23 , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 2:01 pm GMT
@War for Blair Mountain

The Democratic Party Voting Bloc is now effectively-demographically majority post-1965 nonwhites+American Blacks .

True enough but they aren't necessarily against the "Deplorables". For example Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez who recently won a Democratic primary in New York (against heavy odds) describes herself as a "Democratic Socialist" for affordable single-payer national healthcare, tuition free education in high schools and universities ,with a downsized MIC & Deep State and realistic corporate taxation helping pay for it.

And on the Gaza border shooting of Palestinians she recently said, "This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can't be silent about this anymore." She opposes the Likudniks, AIPAC, Netanyahu and wants a two state solution.

Democratic Socialism and Elite Globalist Zionism seem to have a problem living together in the Democratic Party.

The strains are also visible in the UK where Jeremy Corbyn could also be described as a Democratic Socialist with much the same platform as Ocasio-Cortez and a good chance of becoming Prime Minister.

animalogic , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 2:04 pm GMT
@Erebus

Trump – good & evil. But his base need to take to the streets before he has a "problem in Dallas" or the dickless wonders in Congress finally get the gumption to impeach (hard as that's to believe of the Dem-castrartie party .)

Imperial myths , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 2:11 pm GMT
The US has been a very succesful country, an amazing empire . In barely a century and a half expanded enormously thanks to Northern European protestant immigration and to the occupation of Mexican territories .

In 1945 the USA was on top of the world , it was " the shining city of the hill " , the only city shining in the hill in fact , it had 50% of the world GDP . while the rest of the world was in ruins . The decadent Europeans had destroyed themselves in two world wars . . The Russians had suffered the horrors of the communist revolution and the two world wars . The Japanese although defeated had destroyed Asia , specially China which also endured a civil war and a communist revolution .

So , in 1945 the world was in ruins , and the USA was indeed the only "shining city on the hill " . The USA never suffered the world wars destruction on its own territory , had few casualties in the world wars , and had 50% of the world GDP. Besides the USA inherited economically and politically the British Empire that England, exhausted by the two world wars could not maintain .

In the 60`s the USA was still the " shining city on the hill ", Kennedy wanted to do some changes , I do not know which ones, and he was killed ( by the deep State ? ), the world was shocked .

In the 70`s Nixon finished the Vietnam war ( a colonial heritage of the French ) it was an American defeat, and the " shining city in the hill " impeached him ( the deep State does not accept defeat ) . Europe , the USSR , Japan , China , had recovered from the wars and wanted to have their shining little villages in the hills too.

Presently the USA has 20% of the GDP , that`s a lot , the USA is a very powerful country , probably the most powerful country of the world , but 20% is not 50% . Probably Kennedy and Nixon realized that this day would come , and Trump sees that this day is arrived . Probably the american deep State would like to freeze time in 1945 , as well as the french deep State would like it to freeze history in 1805 in Austerlitz with Napoleon , or the Spanish deep State would like to freeze history in 1492 when Spain completely expelled the moors from Spain after seven centuries of fighting and discovered America , with the Catholic Kings .

The deep States are always sick of imperial nostalgia , they are the war party , they would like to make war to anyone to threatens its 1945 imperial glorious moment . And the Kennedys , Nixons and Trumps of this world are the party of peace, they want to adapt to a changing reality less glorious than the magic orgasmic moments that all empires have had , but more constructive, more adapted to an ever changing world .

All the Empires that the earth has seen have passed though this dilemma : party of war vs party of peace . At the end the parties of peace end up prevailing, but the parties of war can make a lot of damage both to their own country and to others .

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 2:22 pm GMT
@Cyrano

I still think the best explanation of Merkel's immigration policy is her belief that indeed the Germans are guilty of two world wars and the holocaust. Therefore 'ein neuer Mensch', a new German, must be created through mass immigration, as a German commentator explains. His book should be ready by now. His prediction is that just the E European countries, Hungary, Poland, etc., will remain European. Writing this, one may expect that they will turn politically to Russia, also a catholic white country.

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 2:29 pm GMT
@Imperial myths

" The decadent europeans had destroyed themselves in two world wars . . "

The USA destroyed Europe in two world wars. Do not remember if it was here that I read what Mark Twain said or wrote 'it is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled'.
About WWI:
Charles Callan Tansill, 'Amerika geht in den Krieg', Stuttgart 1939 (America goes to War, 1938)
FDR's preparations for WWII:
Charles A. Beard, 'American Foreign Policy in the Making, 1932 – 1940, A study in responsibilities', New Haven, 1946
Charles A. Beard, 'President Roosevelt and the coming of the war 1941, A study in appearances and realities', New Haven, 1948

animalogic , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 2:45 pm GMT
@Been_there_done_that

"Russian leaders provoked popular sentiment in numerous countries to join NATO, no doubt abetted by their unfavorable experiences under Russian occupation"

You mean USSR occupation, of course. Perhaps Russia might discuss any number of issues when the US removes it's illegal forces in Syria, stops supporting the crypto--Nazi coup government in Ukraine, withdraws it's missiles from Poland etc (oh, we'll protect you from non existent Iranian nuclear weapons) & pulls back it's conventional forces, stops proving up invasions like the Georgian invasion of Sth Iapetus, stops interfering in what remains of the democratic processes of the former USSR states, stops supporting terrorists across the ME, stops interfering in the energy business of its allies in the EU, stops it's lies & threats against Russian allies such as Iran & stops iys criminal sanctions on Russia .Well, that scratches the surface, anyway .

Anon [235] Disclaimer , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 2:54 pm GMT

3.The US armed forces are only good at three things: wasting immense sums of money, destroying countries and alienating the rest of the planet.

Alienating the rest of the planet: Wasting immense sums of money: The U.S. War Industry Raked in $5+ Billion Worth of Foreign Military Sales in June 2018

July 27, 2018 / Christian Sorensen /

"The U.S. war industry raked in $5,408,112,575 worth of foreign military sales (FMS) during June 2018. Notable items included $1.12 billion worth of Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft for Bahrain and "

iseeit , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Anonymous

An uncommonly excellent analysis. High quality comment threads and sites that allow for reactions/debate/introduction of public discourse are my gold standard. Unz is exceptional and much appreciated. Just because it's unlikely that I might post here often

I would like to suggest Dr. Judith Curry's blog to anyone like me who enjoys going deeper into subjects than most 'normal' people would ever find time for. It's a climate blog. It's brilliant. Curry is a genuinely exceptional human and scientist. The comment threads are pure mind candy..

Comanche , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 3:07 pm GMT
@Been_there_done_that

are u ok ? Russia occupying her province of Kaliningrad ? maybe your country is occupying illegally California , Arizona , Nevada , Colorado , Utah , New Mexico , Oklahoma and Texas ? Get your nato out of Europe , Europe is fed un with your 80.000 yankee occupation troops .

Even baltics are missing Russians, Baltics` population is going down since they left CCCP , they are fed up with American warmongers , they do not want to be cannon fodder for the well paid eccentric American militarists .

TomSchmidt , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 3:20 pm GMT
@War for Blair Mountain

Trump won 20% of the Black male electorate. If he can increase that percentage, then the Democratic coalition becomes black females, post-1965 immigrants, and white New Class managerial types. He might get blacks to side with him over immigration, which has cut out the support for lower-skilled wages across the board.

linguistic smiles , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 3:26 pm GMT
It is very funny for the French speaking the American word neocon , for neo conservative. In French con means idiot , dumb , stupid , silly

so, neocon neoidiot , hehehhehehehehhehe

El Dato , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 3:39 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

The USA destroyed Europe in two world wars.

That's kinda over the top. Continental suicide was on the books for the Great Continental War (I don't know how it comes it is called "World War") as general desire of revanchism, political nastiness, prussian militarism, yougoslav apsirations, decaying empires and the British desire for a continental balance of power met head-on with war tool mechanization. The US came online rather late.

As for "Word War II", it was mainly about two socialist systems facing off, and Japan irking the US with a bout of late-onset colonialism. Also everyone going crazy with operations research and even more mechanization. So it should be called "Socialist War I with Colonialism on the side.".

El Dato , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 3:40 pm GMT
@Anon

Something out of a Kubrick Movie or out of Borat. Release the Nouveau Cheque!

TomSchmidt , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 3:42 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

They should have destroyed Germany after WWI, or come to a just Peace. They did neither, slightly weakening it and strongly pissing it off.

After the Soviets went out of business, the US neither welcomed it to the brotherhood of nations, nor destroyed it so it could not be a threat. Letting the looters loose upon it sure did piss a lot of people off though. Your point is well taken.

karakulaitis , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Been_there_done_that

You logorrheic schmuck , do you know the evolution of population in the baltic countries after they left the Soviet Union in 1990 ?

1990 : Estonia 1,600.000 2017 : Estonia 1,200.00

1990 : Letonia 2,700.000 2017 : Letonia 1,900.000

1990 : Lituania 3,700.000 2017 : Lituania 2,800.000

Looks like they are being exterminated by the new NATO/EU regime , don`t you think so ?

It is a new version of the plan Ost ?

Colin Wright , Website Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 4:18 pm GMT
Two reactions.

First reaction. All I can think of whenever I read another allegation of Russia influence, control of Trump or anyone else, or of Putin coming to Washington is Israel. Over and over: these people simply keep ignoring the elephant in the room. I don't care about the Pekinese: there's an elephant right there! Look at it! Yes, a Russian businessman once gave a Trump advisor (since dismissed) fifty thousand dollars. Israel partisans were the leading contributors to both candidates; Sheldon Adelson alone gave Donald Trump thirty five million dollars. Shall we talk about what we're doing as a consequence; how we're remorselessly driving Iran to the point where there will be no choice but war -- and at whose behest we're doing this?

No let's fret and fantasize about 'Russian influence.' Never mind that the body bags won't be coming back from Latvia, but from Iran.

Second reaction: this one's more optimistic. Yes, the attacks are increasingly hysterical; but they're also coming from an increasingly narrow base. More and more, people on both the right and the left just don't buy them anymore: see, for example, the denunciation of all this nonsense at the impeccably 'progressive' Mondoweiss.

I perceive the remaining anti-Trump partisans as still possessing a grip on the traditional media outlets. However, more and more, they simply speak for no one but themselves. In fact, this may account for the note of hysterical exaggeration; underneath it all is the sneaking suspicion that no one believes them, or is even listening. After all, look at Trump's poll numbers. The media keeps announcing that 'now he's blown it' -- and his numbers keep inching up. I like tracking a rolling average of the last ten polls. When I started the figure was around 38. Now it's moving past 43. Neither 'babygate' nor 'Russiagate' perceptibly affected this at all.

So to sum up, 'Russiagate' isn't the problem, and it's questionable if many actual Americans even think it is. This remains true whatever the ravings coming out of The Washington Post, or The New Yorker , or USA Today . All the evidence is that these organs speak for fewer and fewer people, and fewer and fewer are even listening.

Colin Wright , Website Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 4:32 pm GMT
Basically, I think most Americans don't even care about all this nonsense.

They know that if Trump is awful, the alternatives were even worse, and they know that the economy's doing well. No one's saying 'if only Hillary coulda won '

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 4:48 pm GMT
@El Dato

The USA came into WWI from the very beginning. Without buying USA food and weapons on credit GB and France could not have fought at all. Moreover, the USA was not neutral, the USA allowed the British blockade of Germany. As to continental suicide, there was no such thing.
GB wanted war.

WWII, how many times must be repeated what Lindbergh already said before Pearl Harbour, that 'jewry and GB wanted war'. FDR was brought into politics by Bernard Baruch, who already in 1928 prevented his friend Churchill from going into business, because 'he saw great things for Churchill in the future'. These great things came, Churchill waged an unnecessary war, and destroyed the empire.

ploni almoni , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 4:54 pm GMT
@Quartermaster

This is the best the CIA can do?

chris , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT
@Anon

maybe they're singing: "We Arm the World"

Been_there_done_that , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT
@karakulaitis

Quote:
" do you know the evolution of population in the baltic countries after they left the Soviet Union in 1990 ?"

Yes, the decreases in population can easily be explained primarily by Russians, who used to live there, having moved back to Russia. Additionally, there might have been small population flows of Lithuanias to Poland, Latvians to Sweden, and Estonians to Finland, given the close relationships. Nothing nefarious.

anon [317] Disclaimer , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 5:51 pm GMT
@HO-LY COWW

interesting that Russia has been called to defend itself in England. There its Novichok the instant death substance arguably produced in London by USA controlled labs or taken from the old USSR when it fell apart.

Putin vs British government case: Putin charged with poisoning an ex Russian spy and his daughter, unfortunately for the media and the British corporate Zionist both Russians survived, Russia has called the British liars to the carpet.. Russia demands an investigation but the Banksters and their corporations refuse to allow the British Government to open its "so-called" investigation to Russian questioning.

Keep your eyes focused on Nord II. the one road one belt, Turkey moving in support of Syria and Yemen against Saudi Arabia, BRICS and concern yourself with the fact that Russia not only does not own any USA debt, but Russia also has a non federal reserve approved monetary exchange operation, SCO is growing in strength, China Gold backed bonds are available for anyone to buy and convert the face value of the bond to gold. These are game changers.

Stay tuned for more privately owned advertising supported corporate media productions showing on "FREE THEATER". M 16, (criminal instigating Association) CIA and Mossad employees are busy writing new propaganda, budget is not a problem, the Russian's will be made to pay for the articles, movies etc. so everything is free. Enjoy!

HO-LY COWW , Next New Comment July 29, 2018 at 6:41 pm GMT
@anon

Yes indeed, first Britain, and now Russia has pantsed the US too. In a virtuosic dick move, they exposed a CIA spook who's implicated not only in Secret Agent Browder's war propaganda ( http://russiahouse.org/current_news.php?language=eng&id_current=1454 ) but in CIA crimes against humanity – specifically, 'legal pretexts for manifestly illegal acts."

David Kramer, Tufts/Harvard Political Science/Russian studies, **PNAC** , DoS focal point, then CIA's famous captive NGO **Freedom House** , and a featherbed job at the McCain Institute for Freedom, Democracy, and Abandoning Thousands of MIAs in Vietnam to Die Slow Agonizing Deaths in Penal Camps.

Here he is talking to his co-conspirator Robert Otto, "Only idiots like Kerry think we have common interests in Syria."

https://freeworld556.wordpress.com/2017/07/12/us-state-department-official-robert-otto-got-hacked/

Needless to say, Kramer wouldn't know a human right from a bar of soap. He's a knuckledragger. CIA sent Kramer to DRL when Alfreda Bikowsky got her tit caught in the crimes-against-humanity wringer for systematic and widespread torture. The US was five years late reporting to the Committee Against Torture and got a mind-boggling eight (8) follow-on inquiries for urgent derogations of non-derogable rights. So Kramer had to think fast and make up some bullshit why simulated live burial, object rape, death by dryboard suffocation, and penis-slitting is not torture. Kramer is not the brightest bulb, but that's not a hard job. During the Bush administration all the delegation did was say, "The US does not Torture," robotically over and over.

So Kramer is a good example of how CIA runs the State Department. When a CIA vital interest like impunity comes up, they parachute a mole in to get their criminals off the hook.

peterAUS , July 29, 2018 at 7:02 pm GMT
@animalogic

.A public unable to fully comprehend .

Really? Why? What's to hard to fully comprehend? This ain't quantum physics. Not enough time in busy lives to spend some effort on the topic?
Yeah .But enough time for shopping, social media, online entertainment and such. Etc.

No. Yes, the elites are corrupted. But, the masses are corrupted too. THAT is the problem here.

Or, Trump support base is corrupted too. Not as bad/evil/malicious. As weak. W ..e a k. And weak always get ruled by strong.

What did/do they think? That the same people who can slaughter hundreds of thousands Iraqis without missing their lunch are just going to give up their power like that? That the half an hour of voting "effort" will change that game of power?

What are they doing now? How can one expect to challenge that power by sitting at home and waiting for one man to go against all that? Bullshit.

I've been told that "Trump base" doesn't do mass demonstrations. I still don't get why not? What's so hard to do, WHENEVER Dems/progs pull their numbers on the street, the "Trump base" does the same? That's reactive. Go active. Whenever Trump pulls some of his moves which flips the Dems/progs his support base floods the streets From the little town in Midwest to New York.

What's so hard about that? The same people have no problem going out .watching games being outdoors..whatever. Oh, yes, it could get what .dangerous? Really? What? Fistfights? Shooting? What happened to that "brave" in the "land of ."?

Don't get this post wrong. Not directed at you. It's directed at lazy and weak people who are out of their depth. Wouldn't be a problem save what's going to happen when Dems/progs get their person in White House.

Then, all of us, will have fun times I am sure.

[Jul 29, 2018] The Helsinki summit, CIA-run media and U.S.-Russian Relations

MIC is a cancer, and looks like there is no cure
Notable quotes:
"... I do think the credit for this goes to the Clinton campaign, the "intelligence" agencies, the neoconlib biparty and individuals like McCain, who have gone to McCarthyism lengths since before the GOP primaries ended to prevent Trump from attempting *any* change of the status quo on foreign policy. Granted, the man might be ineffectual no matter what, but we will never know. The US establishment and the retainers of the war profiteering classes have made any negotiations with Russia impossible long before Trump even announced his campaign. ..."
"... it is the unholy alliance of Democrats looking for an excuse for them losing the election and Cold War hawk neocons who have Russia-hate in their DNA (and their stock portfolios)). ..."
"... The embarrassment was the reaction in the MSM showcasing how they are now CIA state run media. They trot out former high ranking CIA officers now employed by them recycling every meme to reinforce that we are the forces goodness and light and anyone strong enough to oppose us is evil. ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

b. July 16, 2018 at 9:35 pm

"Trump has made it politically impossible to pursue that goal in the near term."

I do think the credit for this goes to the Clinton campaign, the "intelligence" agencies, the neoconlib biparty and individuals like McCain, who have gone to McCarthyism lengths since before the GOP primaries ended to prevent Trump from attempting *any* change of the status quo on foreign policy. Granted, the man might be ineffectual no matter what, but we will never know. The US establishment and the retainers of the war profiteering classes have made any negotiations with Russia impossible long before Trump even announced his campaign.

We also should not forget to credit the GOP for test-driving the whole "weak on Russia" playbook during the Obama years.

Rob , says: July 16, 2018 at 11:21 pm
I agree with b. While Trump may not be savvy enough to calibrate his engagement with Putin in a way that would allow a proper dialogue with Russia in spite of the political backdrop in the US, the primary blame for any failure to allow such dialogue rests for those responsible for creating that political backdrop that makes it so difficult in the first place (hint: it's not Trump, unless you blame him for winning the election – rather it is the unholy alliance of Democrats looking for an excuse for them losing the election and Cold War hawk neocons who have Russia-hate in their DNA (and their stock portfolios)).
a spencer , says: July 17, 2018 at 1:33 am
That Putin talked up the Iran deal in the press conference makes me wonder what was said in the one-on-one. Couldn't have pleased the Adelson/Bolton wing.
Erik , says: July 17, 2018 at 2:35 am
I also agree with b.

Additionally there has yet to be any actual evidence presented re significant election interference. Indictments are accusations, not evidence.

I saw nothing particularly wrong with the press conference. I'm no Trump fan, but he was just saying he believed Putin rather than the people who are clearly trying to bring his administration down. Can't really blame him.

Christian Chuba , says: July 17, 2018 at 9:59 am
The embarrassment was the reaction in the MSM showcasing how they are now CIA state run media. They trot out former high ranking CIA officers now employed by them recycling every meme to reinforce that we are the forces goodness and light and anyone strong enough to oppose us is evil.

CNN even used Putin's dearly departed Labrador, Konni making her look like Cujo stating that Putin use her to terrorize Angela Merkel. A U.S. Congressman fumed that the 50,000 children died in Syria because this fiend supported Assad when Syria was about to be liberated (a number suspiciously close to the true number of Yemeni children we helped to kill). These are just two random examples in a very long day. It was
a show worthy of the priests of Baal who confronted Elijah.

As flawed as Trump may be, he is merely holding up a mirror to what we have become. Had we elected a conventional candidate it would just be business as usual with these seething hatreds buried just below the surface.

No one better suggest that we should tarnish ourselves talking to the likes of a Russian leader unless we are discussing terms of surrender. We want Yeltsin or maybe Medvedev.

[Jul 27, 2018] What Everyone Seemed To Ignore In Helsinki by Jon Basil Utley

Jul 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jon Basil Utley via The American Conservative,

We continue careening towards more conflicts which can always lead to unintended consequences, ever closer to nuclear war. Meanwhile efforts for a dialogue with Russia are thwarted by our internal politics and dysfunction in Washington.

Sifting through the cacophony of commentary from the Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki, here are four key points missed, ignored or glossed over by the Washington establishment and mainstream news coverage - and they require a good airing.

They are:

1) It's clear now that Europeans will increase their contributions to NATO. But Big Media totally ignored the trillion dollar gorilla in room: Why does anyone have to spend so much on NATO in the first place?

Are we planning a ground attack on Russia because we really think the former Soviet Empire will invade Poland or the Baltic nations? Are we planning for a land war in Europe to intervene in the Ukraine? What for is the money? The Trump administration and Big Media, for all their noise, mainly argue that more spending is good. There is no debate about the reasons why. Meanwhile Russia is cutting its military spending.

Washington is so dominated by our military-industrial-congressional complex that spending money is a major intent. Remember when Washington first insisted that putting up an anti-missile system in Poland and Romania was supposed to protect Europe from an Iranian attack? Of course, it was really directed against Russia. Washington was so eager to spend the money that it didn't even ask the Europeans to pay the cost even though it was supposedly for their defense. As of 2016 Washington had spent $800 million on the site in Romania. Now it appears that Poland and Romania will pay billions to the Raytheon Corporation for the shield to comply with their commitment to increase military spending to 2 percent of gross national product.

2) There was no focus on the real, growing threat of nuclear war, intentional or accidental. No one, including journalists at the joint press conference, spoke about the collapsing missile treaties (the only one who reportedly seemed keen to discuss it was ejected beforehand). Scott Ritter details these alarming risks here on TAC .

The U.S. is now funding new cruise missiles with nukes which allow for a surprise attack on Russia with only a few minutes of warning, unlike the ICBMs which launch gives a half an hour or more. This was the reason Russia opposed the anti-missile system in Eastern Europe, because they could have little warning if cruise missiles were fired from the new bases. Americans may think that we don't start wars, but the Russians don't. The old shill argument that democracies don't start wars is belied by American attacks on Serbia, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.

3) For all the Democratic and Big Media attacks on Trump for supposedly caving in to Putin, he gave Putin nothing. His administration is still maintaining an increasingly stringent economic attack on Russian trade and banking, announcing (just days after his meeting) $200 million of new aid to Ukraine's military and threatening Europeans with sanctions if they go ahead with a new Baltic pipeline to import Russian natural gas. Consequently, some analysts believe that Putin has given up on wanting better relations with the U.S. and instead is just trying to weaken and discredit America's overwhelming power in the world. In a similar vein Rand Paul writes how we never think about other nations' interests.

4) The release of intelligence agency findings about Russians' intervention in the last election just a day before the conference precisely shows the strength of the "Deep State" in dominating American foreign policy. An article by Bruce Fein in TAC argues we should "Forget Trump: The Military-Industrial Complex is Still Running the Show With Russia, " showing how Washington wants to keep Russia as an enemy because it's good for business.

Furthermore, releasing the accusations and indictments via a press already out for Trump's blood is explained away by pointing out that the special prosecutor has separate authority to that of the president. But the timing, a day before the Helsinki meeting, obviously shows intent to cause disarray and to prevent meaningful dialogue with Russia. It's interesting to note that TAC has been criticizing the "Deep State" since at least 2015.

The casualness with which much of Washington regards conflict and starting wars is only comparable to the thoughtlessness of Europeans when they started World War I. Like now, that war followed nearly a century of relative peace and prosperity. Both sides thought a war would be "easy" and over quickly and were engulfed in it because of minor incidents instigated by their small nation allies. It was started with a single assassination in Serbia. The situation is similar now. America is hostage to the actions of a host of tiny countries possibly starting a war. Think of our NATO obligations and promises to Taiwan and Israel.

America has become inured to the risks of escalation and Congress has ceded its war powers to the president. The authority of war power was one of the most important tenets of our Constitution, designed to prevent our rulers from irresponsibly launching conflicts like the European kings. Witness now how casually Trump talks about starting a war with Iran, with no thought of possible consequences, including blowing up oil facilities in the Persian Gulf, oil and gas vital for the world economy.

For most Americans, war means sitting in front of their TVs watching the bombs fall on small nations unable to resist or respond to our power. "We" kill thousands of "them" in easy battles and then worry if a single American soldier is harmed. We don't viscerally understand the full threat of modern weapons because they've never been used against us. This is not unlike World War I, for which the countries engaged were wholly unprepared for a protracted siege war against the lethality of new modern artillery and chemical weapons. All had assumed the war would be over in weeks. I wrote about these issues after visiting the battlefields of the Crimean war. (See " Lessons in Empire")

And so we continue careening towards more conflicts which can always lead to unintended consequences, ever closer to nuclear war. Meanwhile efforts for a dialogue with Russia are thwarted by our internal politics and dysfunction in Washington.

Son of Loki Thu, 07/26/2018 - 23:45 Permalink

Pompeo told those democrat Senators where to shove it at the hearing.

"Did You Ask Obama About His Private Meeting With Putin?", Mike Pompeo SILENCES Arrogant Dem Senator

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqcefW2F1DI

That Menendez is a total anti-American prick.

[Jul 27, 2018] Was Rob Goldstone MI6 operative or MI6 stooge ?

Jul 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Trump Tower meeting was arranged by Fusion GPS associate Rob Goldstone, who said during Congressional testimony reviewed by Breitbart that he believes the June 9, 2016 meeting was a "bait and switch" by a Russian lobbyist who promised "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, and admitted that he used hyperbolic language on purpose to ensure that the meeting would take place.

"I, therefore, used the strongest hyperbolic language in order to secure this request from Donald Trump Jr. based on the bare facts I was given," said Goldstone, a UK publicist and music manager.

"It was an example of, I was given very limited information, and my job was to get a meeting, and so I used my professional use of words to emphasize what my client had only given bare-bones information about, in order to get the attention of Mr. Trump Jr. " -Rob Goldstone

Goldstone then said " it appeared to me to have been a bait and switch of somebody who appeared to be lobbying for what I now understood to be the Magnitsky act," - which sanctions Russian officials thought to be involved in the death of a Russian tax accountant.

Fusion GPS associate Natalia Veselnitskaya, an attorney for Russian businessman and Fusion GPS client Denis Katsy, said that Emin Agalarov - the son of Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov - told her to contact his representative, Irakly "Ike" Kaveladze to set up the Trump Tower meeting, which Kaveladze attended.

While both Agalarov and Katsyv opposed the Magnitsky act, Veselnitskaya worked only for Katsyv, while approaching Agalarov and his associates to participate in the Trump Tower meeting. Of ntoe, Agalarov organized the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow when it was partially owned by Donald Trump.

Veselnitskaya said Agalarov told her to get in touch with Kaveladze about the meeting because he had connections with the Trump team.

Veselnitskaya said she made a point of asking Goldstone -- who she mistakenly thought was a lawyer -- whether it was OK to include Akhmetshin, given that he was a registered lobbyist. Goldstone told her it was fine, she said. - NBC News

On June 3, 2016, Goldstone sent an email to Trump Jr. on behalf of Emin Agalarov to set up the meeting. Goldstone was described last July as "associated with Fusion GPS" by Mark Corallo - spokesman for Trump's outside legal counsel, according to the Washington Post .

"Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS , a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the president and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier" -Mark Corallo

From Goldstone's June 3rd email to Trump Jr. - six days before the Trump Tower meeting:

The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.

This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump -- helped along by Aras and Emin.

Trump Jr. replied to Goldstone that " if it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer ."

Breitbart News previously reported that Russian-born Washington lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, who attended the meeting with Veselnitskaya, evidenced a larger relationship with Fusion GPS and the controversial firm's co-founder Glenn Simpson , according to Akhmetshin's testimony before the same committee. - Breitbart

Fusion's fingerprints are all over this...

Hours before Veselnitskaya attended the Trump Tower meeting to lobby Trump Jr. about the Magnitsky act, she met with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson .

While most people know that Fusion GPS was paid by the Clinton campaign to produce the infamous "Steele Dossier" - assembled by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, Fusion was also working for a Russian businessman who wanted the Magnitsky act repealed, Denis Katsyv, and Veselnitskaya was his lawyer who was given special permission by the Obama DOJ to enter the U.S. to represent him.

In late November of 2017, The Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross reported that heavily redacted Fusion GPS bank records reveal DNC law firm Perkins Coie paid Fusion a total of $1,024,408 in 2016 for opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump - including the 34-page dossier.

Ross also reported that law firm Baker Hostelter paid Fusion $523,651 between March and October 2016 on behalf of a company owned by Katsyv to research Bill Browder , a London banker who helped push through the Magnitsky Act.

Keep in mind, Veselnitskaya really doesn't like Donald Trump based on several archived Facebook posts:

me title=

So while the Trump Tower meeting may appear to some to have been a setup, the question now is whether or not Trump knew about it in advance.

Tags Legal Services Venture Capital News Agencies Social Media & Networking

nmewn -> DingleBarryObummer Thu, 07/26/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

I'm unsure of the zeitgeist being proposed here but it sure sounds like you are offering up the theory that the Deep State actually wanted Trump.

Yet he..."colluded"...among outside parties like the DNC funded Fusion, Perkins Coie, MI6 and then the FBI, the CIA, DNI and the DoJ to manufacture FALSE EVIDENCE.

In order to produce that "evidence" to a FISA court, in order to "legally" surveil (with taxpayer funds, of course) the very same man (and his associates).

So as to, gather incriminating evidence against him (Trump) so he could be removed from office in disgrace (almost immediately) because he is actually the one the Deep State wants in office, as President of the United States.

Is that what I'm hearing here? ;-)


Yellow_Snow -> DingleBarryObummer Thu, 07/26/2018 - 23:42 Permalink

Cohen was obviously in on the 'entrapping of Trump' plan from the beginning...

Even taping his conversations with his client without his permission - huge red flag

consider me gone -> Freeze These Thu, 07/26/2018 - 22:40 Permalink

The only one telling a different story is the guy who's trying desperately to stay out of prison. Not the best witness. Particularly since he didn't remember for two years prior. Reasonable doubt anyone?

Occams_Razor_Trader -> nmewn Thu, 07/26/2018 - 22:39 Permalink

So hold on this chick is employed by Fusion GPS- who was paid to concoct a dossier against Trump- using Russian sources and UK intelligence, has dinner with the head of Fusion GPS the night before the meeting, she gets the meeting offering information- within minutes changes the course of the meeting- realizing something was wrong, Donald Trump Jr ends the meeting- and the crime is Trump may have known about it??

It's a set up plain and simple. These fucking people are dirty AS SHIT- including the Brown Clown Kenyan.

The big story is using opposition research- paid for- submitted to the court as proof to secure a FISA warrant, and if they didn't know the information was false and paid for- what the fuck is the "I" in FBI for??

e_goldstein -> Occams_Razor_Trader Thu, 07/26/2018 - 22:53 Permalink

Here Louie Gohmert goes into 45 pages of detail on how dirty Mueller actually is.

https://1zwchz1jbsr61f1c4mgf0abl-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/upl

Share it far and wide.

Menoetius -> BurningFuld Thu, 07/26/2018 - 23:46 Permalink

April 2018...."Michael is in business, he is really a businessman, a fairly big business, as I understand it. I don't know his business." He "also practices law." And, "I have many attorneys. Sadly, I have so many attorneys you wouldn't even believe it." Cohen handled only a "tiny, tiny little fraction of my overall legal work."

According to Adam Davidson of the New Yorker, Cohen was not part of the Trump Organization's Legal Team in any sense. Alan Garten was the Trump Org's attorney on real estate matters and Marc Kasowitz usually represented Trump in important cases.

Cohen's legal education was not stellar by any sense of the word. Cohen often told this joke:

Q: "What do you call a lawyer who graduated with a 2.0?"

A: "Counselor."

Would Trump actually hire a guy like this to be his "personal" attorney? He was effectively a trip-and-fall attorney up to the point he was brought into the organization by Trump Sr. In truth, Cohen was a fairly savvy real estate investor and, as such, was appointed Trump's "deal maker" for international projects. He was also Trump's personal "fixer." Cohen made things 'go away.' You don't need to be an attorney to "make things go away."

It's doubtful that there was a legitimate "attorney/client" relationship there.

June 2018...

Michael Cohen is NOT my attorney:

https://youtu.be/qX0AlO53vYw

In any case, reports are out tonight that the Trump Organization's CFO has been subpoenaed to testify in the Cohen investigation. Why? Allen Weisselberg's name came up in the recording that Lanny Davis released yesterday. While everyone was getting their thongs in a twist about who said "cash," the Weisselberg mention was actually the biggest shoe to drop on that tape. Weisselberg has a thorough knowledge of all Trump's deals, payments and income.

MoreFreedom -> natronic Thu, 07/26/2018 - 23:37 Permalink

So what? Nobody cares but the dems.

What's important about this meeting:

What people should care about, is that Democrats were attempting to frame Trump, in the dirtiest campaign trick in my lifetime, and using it as a pretext to get the government to spy on Trump. But you're right that the Dems care about it, because they think (magically) that it means Trump was colluding with Russia. LOL Consider, wouldn't Trump be doing the USA a great favor by obtaining Hillary's emails from Russia, which would prove that Putin was blackmailing her and Obama. The Democrats are completely ignoring this narrative, as if it's Trump's fault Putin has her emails. LOL

Zorba's idea -> USofAzzDownWeGo Thu, 07/26/2018 - 22:25 Permalink

You're a funny guy...The perverse inquisition by the Purple Inquisitors strike again. Nothing but a pathetic Op to "Sting" Trump by the Psyop Deep State Dip Shits. Cohen squeals on cue, check his Cayman Isle bank account. Mr Mueller is beyond desperate as you should be well able to relate to. Ha F'n Ha, but you'll always have Hillary's " "Precious" pee pee dossier...

BankSurfyMan Thu, 07/26/2018 - 21:30 Permalink

Attorney Client Privilege? "Lawyers may not reveal oral or written communications with clients that clients reasonably expect to remain private." Mueller holds a law degree? https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/attorney-client-privilege.html F'Tards in the USA! Next!

GeezerGeek -> BankSurfyMan Thu, 07/26/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

Laws only apply to [neo]Liberals. Nothing matters except getting Trump.

I love your wife Thu, 07/26/2018 - 21:39 Permalink

Isn't Christopher Steele a foreign national? Weren't his sources Russian? Didn't Hillary and the DNC pay him? What's with this bullshit?

johnwburns Thu, 07/26/2018 - 21:43 Permalink

Nothing happened at the meeting, who gives a shit.

Anunnaki Thu, 07/26/2018 - 22:02 Permalink

Trump knew about a meeting re: oppo research on Hellary. Which is the same crime Hellary and the DNC did with the bogus Russo 8ntel from the Steele Dossier against What is good for the goose not good for the gander.

Alinsky Effect on steroids.

PiratePiggy Thu, 07/26/2018 - 22:05 Permalink

The Rules allow Mueller to tamper with the witnesses, but don't allow Trump to even tweet about them.

The DOJ's corrupt rules exposed for all to see - remember it when you are on a jury- it is your duty.

Berspankme Thu, 07/26/2018 - 22:22 Permalink

Guy tries to stay out of prison by telling prosecutors what they want to hear. Seen this movie a hundred times

thebriang Thu, 07/26/2018 - 22:22 Permalink

It's like a George Webb wayback machine.
Also funny how no one ever mentions that the Podesta Group closed shop immediately after George Webb filed his lawsuit against them.
Who were in bed with Fusion... who were in bed with the DNC... who were in bed with Awan.
Also funny how that fake ass Rosenstein Russian indictment stole George Webbs lawsuits actblues paragraph almost word for word, but substituting Russians for Awan.
The Awan who also downloaded terabytes of congressional data From Pakistan, ffs.
My, what a wicked web they weave.

Zepper Thu, 07/26/2018 - 22:30 Permalink

Cohen is a plant. The guy was in no danger of anything happening to him. Once the DOJ took everything they broke the law for lawyer client confidentiality. Cohen could just stfu and say nothing and no judge would prosecute him given he never broke a law... So why is he singing like a bird? Because its all a fucking setup.

Who knows, maybe he disliked Trump, Maybe his bitch wife made him do it at the end of the day its his word against a bunch of other people.

istt Thu, 07/26/2018 - 22:54 Permalink

Incredible what they are allowing Mueller to do. He basically makes it clear to the person that if they do not say what they want to hear they are going to ruin them financially, so people say tell me what you want me to say, and Mueller backs off. I am blown away this charade is being allowed to go forward. Mueller has done more to destroy the faith people have in our justice system than any other figure in our modern history. Truly, Mueller should be rotting in prison for a very long time since it is clear that he is attempting a silent coup, the US and the American public be damned. This is all about Mueller and appeasing his puppet masters.

But slowly, ever so slowly, this charade is unraveling. This is throwing his constituents a bone.

How do I really feel? FUCK YOU, Mueller. Fuck you and your outsized ego.

MuffDiver69 Thu, 07/26/2018 - 23:13 Permalink

Was just reported Cohen has already testified to Congress under oath Trump didn't know and Lanny Davis is accusing the Trump team of leaking this made up story...Cohen getting the treatment by Trump..

[Jul 27, 2018] Cohen Ready To Flip Will Tell Mueller Trump Knew About Trump Tower Meeting

So John "911 cover-up" Mueller is still waiving this dead chicken
Jul 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

President Trump's former longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is prepared to tell special counsel Robert Mueller that then-candidate Donald Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 Trump tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Fusion GPS associate Natalia Veselnitskaya - who is not a fan of Trump Sr., and several other individuals - including Cohen who says he was there, reports CNN .

[Jul 26, 2018] What Everyone Seemed to Ignore in Helsinki by Jon Basil Utley

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Utley is the publisher of ..."
Jul 25, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Washington establishment came to their own conclusions about Russia and NATO -- but this is what they missed.

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump during the recent summit in Helsinki. (Office of the Russian Presisdent/Kremin.ru) Sifting through the cacophony of commentary from the Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki, here are four key points missed, ignored or glossed over by the Washington establishment and mainstream news coverage -- and they require a good airing.

They are:

It's clear now that Europeans will increase their contributions to NATO. But Big Media totally ignored the trillion dollar gorilla in room: Why does anyone have to spend so much on NATO in the first place?

Are we planning a ground attack on Russia because we really think the former Soviet Empire will invade Poland or the Baltic nations? Are we planning for a land war in Europe to intervene in the Ukraine? What for is the money? The Trump administration and Big Media, for all their noise, mainly argue that more spending is good. There is no debate about the reasons why. Meanwhile Russia is cutting its military spending.

Trump Needs to Put Up or Shut Up on Russian Arms Race Let's See Who's Bluffing in the Criminal Case Against the Russians

Washington is so dominated by our military-industrial-congressional complex that spending money is a major intent. Remember when Washington first insisted that putting up an anti-missile system in Poland and Romania was supposed to protect Europe from an Iranian attack? Of course, it was really directed against Russia. Washington was so eager to spend the money that it didn't even ask the Europeans to pay the cost even though it was supposedly for their defense. As of 2016 Washington had spent $800 million on the site in Romania. Now it appears that Poland and Romania will pay billions to the Raytheon Corporation for the shield to comply with their commitment to increase military spending to 2 percent of gross national product.

There was no focus on the real, growing threat of nuclear war, intentional or accidental. No one, including journalists at the joint press conference, spoke about the collapsing missile treaties (the only one who reportedly seemed keen to discuss it was ejected beforehand). Scott Ritter details these alarming risks here on TAC .

The U.S. is now funding new cruise missiles with nukes which allow for a surprise attack on Russia with only a few minutes of warning, unlike the ICBMs which launch gives a half an hour or more. This was the reason Russia opposed the anti-missile system in Eastern Europe, because they could have little warning if cruise missiles were fired from the new bases. Americans may think that we don't start wars, but the Russians don't. The old shill argument that democracies don't start wars is belied by American attacks on Serbia, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen.

For all the Democratic and Big Media attacks on Trump for supposedly caving in to Putin, he gave Putin nothing. His administration is still maintaining an increasingly stringent economic attack on Russian trade and banking, announcing (just days after his meeting) $200 million of new aid to Ukraine's military and threatening Europeans with sanctions if they go ahead with a new Baltic pipeline to import Russian natural gas. Consequently, some analysts believe that Putin has given up on wanting better relations with the U.S. and instead is just trying to weaken and discredit America's overwhelming power in the world. In a similar vein Rand Paul writes how we never think about other nations' interests. TAC argues we should "Forget Trump: The Military-Industrial Complex is Still Running the Show With Russia, " showing how Washington wants to keep Russia as an enemy because it's good for business.

Furthermore, releasing the accusations and indictments via a press already out for Trump's blood is explained away by pointing out that the special prosecutor has separate authority to that of the president. But the timing, a day before the Helsinki meeting, obviously shows intent to cause disarray and to prevent meaningful dialogue with Russia. It's interesting to note that TAC has been criticizing the "Deep State" since at least 2015.

The casualness with which much of Washington regards conflict and starting wars is only comparable to the thoughtlessness of Europeans when they started World War I. Like now, that war followed nearly a century of relative peace and prosperity. Both sides thought a war would be "easy" and over quickly and were engulfed in it because of minor incidents instigated by their small nation allies. It was started with a single assassination in Serbia. The situation is similar now. America is hostage to the actions of a host of tiny countries possibly starting a war. Think of our NATO obligations and promises to Taiwan and Israel.

America has become inured to the risks of escalation and Congress has ceded its war powers to the president. The authority of war power was one of the most important tenets of our Constitution, designed to prevent our rulers from irresponsibly launching conflicts like the European kings. Witness now how casually Trump talks about starting a war with Iran, with no thought of possible consequences, including blowing up oil facilities in the Persian Gulf, oil and gas vital for the world economy.

For most Americans, war means sitting in front of their TVs watching the bombs fall on small nations unable to resist or respond to our power. "We" kill thousands of "them" in easy battles and then worry if a single American soldier is harmed. We don't viscerally understand the full threat of modern weapons because they've never been used against us. This is not unlike World War I, for which the countries engaged were wholly unprepared for a protracted siege war against the lethality of new modern artillery and chemical weapons. All had assumed the war would be over in weeks. I wrote about these issues after visiting the battlefields of the Crimean war. (See " Lessons in Empire")

And so we continue careening towards more conflicts which can always lead to unintended consequences, ever closer to nuclear war. Meanwhile efforts for a dialogue with Russia are thwarted by our internal politics and dysfunction in Washington.

Mr. Utley is the publisher of The American Conservative 15 Responses to What Everyone Seemed to Ignore in Helsinki



Fran Macadam July 25, 2018 at 1:56 am

"And so we continue careening towards more conflicts which can always lead to unintended consequences, ever closer to nuclear war. Meanwhile efforts for a dialogue with Russia are thwarted by our internal politics and dysfunction in Washington."

Careful with such cavalier use of the truth. Someone is sure to point out Vlad said just the same, which means according to D.C. war profiteer sponsored consensus we should do exactly the opposite.

S , , July 25, 2018 at 2:01 am
Lovely article. One aspect of going to war for conquest over and over, is that it leads to moral deterioration. Defensive wars aren't that bad. I am not sure why we haven't seen any articles on TAC about this aspect -- is it that it's not a popular idea?
John S , , July 25, 2018 at 8:57 am
What an awful piece. Here's why:

"1) It's clear now that Europeans will increase their contributions to NATO."

No, they are not. Defense budgets are increasing -- very different, and it was happening already before Trump's tweets came along.

"2) There was no focus on the real, growing threat of nuclear war, intentional or accidental."

How do you know, since Trump hasn't told anyone what was discussed in Helsinki?

"3) For all the Democratic and Big Media attacks on Trump for supposedly caving in to Putin, he gave Putin nothing."

Trump abased himself before Putin. That's not nothing. And who knows what else he gave Putin behind closed doors. One must assume a lot since Trump is not out bragging about particulars.

"4) The release of intelligence agency findings about Russians' intervention in the last election just a day before the conference precisely shows the strength of the "Deep State" in dominating American foreign policy."

Trump personally approved the release of that intelligence.

TAC sure carries a lot of water for Trumpistan.

Johann , , July 25, 2018 at 9:10 am
The myth that NATO has kept Europe at peace since WWII (except for the Balkan war) is still alive and well. But really, it was the fear of nuclear weapons that kept the peace.
Christian Chuba , , July 25, 2018 at 9:21 am
It is the risk of war vs. the hidden agenda of trying to break Russia a second time.

The people who want to break Russia a second time really do believe that Russia is weak and unwilling to risk war under any circumstances. So they want to expand NATO, get into another arms race and wait for Russia to go bankrupt again. Rinse repeat China.

If we expand NATO, pull out of INF and even START, we can build missile bases near Russia's borders, reduce or eliminate their exports, we can drive their economy into overdrive. But this requires an information war to make it look like they are the aggressors while we are the ones implementing this strategy.

By 'we' I mean our entrenched Foreign Policy Establishment that blathers about the 'rules based world order' while we bomb any country we want whenever we want. Queue up another story on how they encroached on NATO airspace while flying to their enclave in Kaliningrad, look at a map, it's impossible not to so so.

Tying it back, they do not believe that there is any risk of war. They are wrong.

sean mcauliffe , , July 25, 2018 at 9:28 am
4 is not true.

https://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/russia-indictment-timing-trump-approved-not-mueller-attack.html

Kurt Gayle , , July 25, 2018 at 9:46 am
Jon Basil Utley makes an important point:

"The release of intelligence agency findings about Russians' intervention in the last election just a day before the conference precisely shows the strength of the 'Deep State' in dominating American foreign policy Releasing the accusations and indictments via a press already out for Trump's blood a day before the Helsinki meeting, obviously shows intent to cause disarray and to prevent meaningful dialogue with Russia."

To be sure, the 6-4-3 (Mueller to Rosenstein to Mainstream Media) double play appeared at first to be a real beauty. However, the video replay showed that the pitcher had not yet pitched the ball to the batter and that the shortstop Mueller, the second baseman Rosenstein, and the MSM first baseman had carried out their double play with a ball that Mueller had pulled out of his hip pocket. ("Hip pocket" is a polite euphemism for the proximate area of the Mueller anatomy from whence the ball was actually pulled.)

hetro , , July 25, 2018 at 11:00 am
@John S.

*"abased himself" is the popular demon meme of the moment -- how did he do that?

*you say we don't know what he said to Putin then assume you know he gave Putin something he should not have.

This is irrational assumption apparently born from a deep prejudice of some sort.

Michael Kenny , , July 25, 2018 at 11:49 am
The real question is what did Putin give Trump? Nothing, as far as can be seen. Efforts for a dialogue with Russia are thwarted by Putin's continued occupation of Ukrainian territory, with its implicit denial of the principle of the sovereign nation-state, which has been the building block of the European political order since the French Revolution. For Americans, given the history of the American continent, European nationalism and the nation-state are wholly incomprehensible concepts but they're very real to us in Europe. Those Americans who promote a poorly-understood European nationalism in the hope of destroying the EU are promoting the very war they so piously claim to oppose.
balconesfault , , July 25, 2018 at 12:30 pm
It's clear now that Europeans will increase their contributions to NATO. But Big Media totally ignored the trillion dollar gorilla in room: Why does anyone have to spend so much on NATO in the first place?

Why would you top post a commentor who so clearly doesn't understand the details of what he's discussing?

I mean -- such fundamental misunderstanding of the issues might qualify him to be the Republican nominee for President (and thanks to the Electoral College, the President) but it is beneath your editorial standards.

CLW , , July 25, 2018 at 1:41 pm
Enough of this "Deep State" nonsense: stop lambasting U.S. Federal law enforcement and intelligence professionals for calling out Trump's willful ignorance/intentional lies about Russia's malicious actions. Russian belligerence against the U.S. is a predictable and manageable problem, but only by a President (e.g., Reagan, Bush 41) who grasps the complexity of the issue and who can balance targeted confrontation and selective cooperation with Russia. Trump is inherently incapable of striking that balance, as Putin clearly understands, therefore U.S.-Russian relations will remain (usefully for Putin) confrontational for the near term.
One Guy , , July 25, 2018 at 2:57 pm
Why is it up to the media to address the elephant in the room? Shouldn't the media simply report what happened? Why doesn't Trump address the elephant in the room?
Freestater , , July 25, 2018 at 4:02 pm
Our grandparents and parents fought the Commies.
GOP throws that away in search of lower taxes and less regulation.
GOP elites belong to the international elite, namely the highest bidder.
Shame.
b. , , July 25, 2018 at 4:02 pm
"The release of intelligence agency findings about Russians' intervention in the last election just a day before the conference precisely shows the strength of the 'Deep State' in dominating American foreign policy"

Others have already pointed out that the facts might not back up that the timing was some elaborate plot, but even if this was a Derp State conspiracy on full display, it would probably be proof of the opposite -- this would have not been an indication of influence, control, domination, but a sign of weakness.

Like all conspiracy theories, "Deep State" implies competence, coordination, capability. Our problem appears to be that we have too many bureaucracies infighting with each other, and filled with too many shallow minds. Indeed, one could argue that 9/11 happened precisely because of this.

That said, the first half of the article makes a compelling case of the foreign policy aspect of the manufactured "Russia!" hysteria, and the existential threat originating with the nuclear sector of the war profiteering presidential-congressional-military-industrial complex -- "We end the world for money!" -- and the Great Gambler faction of the nelibcon biparty -- "We can win nuclear war!".

The other half of the national, collectivized insanity that is "Russia!" is the domestic fraud: the biggest threat to the integrity of our elections and the functions of our institutions of government is not Russia, but ourselves.

The semi-organized biparty mob -- the "Derp State" -- that is pushing the "Russia!" narrative as the Grant Unified Theory of US American Home-Made Failure is systematically destroying whatever is left of The People's confidence in our processes and institutions -- confidence in our ruling class had to have died before anybody considered voting for Trump -- and soon, we will find ourselves in a nation in which nobody can profess any trust in any elected representative without being accused of being a traitor or useful idiot.

Putin, for one, could never accomplish that. American Excess: Hamstring your political opponent? Worth It. Destroy democracy to protect it from The People? Priceless.

Ken Zaretzke , , July 25, 2018 at 4:34 pm
I wasn't aware that the U.s. Is finding new niclear-armed cruise missiles that would give Russia only minutes to respond to an attack, as opposed to a half hour with ICBMs. Russia only has to recalibrate its fully automated Doomsday Machine to target Warsaw, Berlin, and Cracow along with U.S. cities, and to shorten the time of response.

We have to ask whether the exponentially greater likelihood of nuclear holocaust by accident, which is what the U.S. would be bringing about by nuclear-arming cruise missiles, proves that the Deep State's lust for power is irrational bordering on madness.

[Jul 24, 2018] Reader Coping Strategies for Engaging With Committed Liberals by Yves Smith

Notable quotes:
"... By contrast, Americans, who pretend to fetishize individualism, are conformists. Dissent is not well tolerated at work or social spheres. And its only gotten worse as media fragmentation and political strategies based on hitting voter hot buttons means that many people are deeply invested in their political views, whether they are well founded or not. Punitive unfriending and other forms of ostracism have become a new normal. ..."
"... She said the "fake news" campaign has been extremely effective in discrediting non-mainstream views. And since her friends are also PhDs, she was also frustrated at their refusal to consider evidence, or entertain the idea that their preferred sources were biased. ..."
"... One approach she has used that worked was to find information from other sources they could not reject, like Reuters and the Associated Press, that had not been covered in the New York Times or better yet, contradicted what they wanted to believe, such as a Reuters story describing how Germany opposed sanctions against Russia. But she clearly found it taxing to find these informational nuggets. ..."
"... Saying early on that Hillary was an awful alternative to Trump can lower the temperature considerably. Going on to talk about issues and staying away from Trump bashing is a follow through. ..."
"... Speaking as a member of the clergy, I have a suggestion about how to use the teachings of Jesus to reach Team Blue, whether or not they subscribe to Christianity in some form. ..."
"... One of the most radical of Jesus' teachings, one that is often given lip service but is extremely difficult to put into practice, is the commandment that we love our enemies and pray for them ..."
"... I am increasingly encountering extremism as the base line for discussions, really arguments, in my daily encounters. This comes from both ends of the political spectrum. This I perceive as a sign of desperation. ..."
"... Fair enough, Chuck, but I think you might be missing a very important bit: the fact that many people who are otherwise staunch rank-and-file supporters might also have an otherwise invisible breakpoint, or fault line. I say this as a former Dem Party supporter, who did the full song and dance – supported Hillary, supported Kerry before that, and was a total devotee to Obama. I was as tied to the Dem party as anyone not getting a paycheck could be, and when Obama won, I was elated. I thought that things would really change. ..."
"... The Financial Crisis was a rude, rude awakening. The pretty speeches meant little, and did even less. If anyone had a hand in setting fire to my generally moderate viewpoint, it was Obama himself, his worship for Wall Street, and his inability to put up a fight about anything. It was a weird time for me, politically, but 2008-2016 was what set the stage, while the last set of primaries only confirmed what I had felt in my gut for many years. ..."
"... Listen is first. Would you expect to walk into any fundamentalist church or mosque and change minds? Conversation among strangers gets more specific along commonalities until it hits a split point, then drops down a level. If nothing in common, there's always the weather. That's universal. ..."
"... On Russia – the biggest "liberal" fake new angle for years now – I say "Not one single piece of evidence has ever been presented that Russia meddled in the election. Not one single piece. The same agencies that said WMD in Iraq are now telling us Russia meddled. This is Democrat's WMD in Iraq moment." ..."
"... The Making of the President 2016 ..."
"... my point is that she enforces dogma and insinuates disloyalty in any heretic. ..."
"... It would be great if the one group of unthinking believers cancelled out the other group of unthinking believers, but of course the adherents are so blind to reality that that can't see that the difference between Bush's Goldman Sachs' Treasury Secretary and Obama Goldman Sachs' Treasury Secretary is .???? ..."
"... I wonder, sadly, if "engaging with liberals" might be, in fact, a lost cause. Struggling to find common cause with the delusional amidst the collapse of empire, environmental catastrophe, and financial ruin might not be the best use of limited resources. ..."
"... Americans, who pretend to fetishize individualism, are conformists ..."
"... fairness and decency ..."
"... Arguing with entrenched people is a lost cause but sarcasm = mercilessly tearing right into their own hypocrisy does the work of shaming them for a while, especially if you make the point about a topic they are virtue signalling about. These people do not have a policy idea in mind, they are pure virtue signallers. ..."
"... knows what he is talking about ..."
Jul 24, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

An oft-repeated bit of advice in America is never to talk about religion or politics. Sadly, the reason is that Americans are dreadful at talking across political lines. When I lived in Australia in the early 2000s and adopted a pub, by contrast, I found the locals to be eager to debate the topics of the day yet remain civil about it. That may be because Australians in generally have mastered the art of being confrontational by lacing it with humor and/or self deprecation.

By contrast, Americans, who pretend to fetishize individualism, are conformists. Dissent is not well tolerated at work or social spheres. And its only gotten worse as media fragmentation and political strategies based on hitting voter hot buttons means that many people are deeply invested in their political views, whether they are well founded or not. Punitive unfriending and other forms of ostracism have become a new normal.

And now that we have anger over Trump directed at not the best or most useful objects, like Russia! Russia! as opposed to his packing of the Federal bench, or his environmental policies, or even his push to privatize Federal parks, a lot of educated people expect, even demand, that their friends be vocal supporters of the #Resistance.

For instance, at the San Francisco meetup, I spent a fair bit of time with a woman who had held elected offices in her community. She was clearly distressed by the fact (without using such crass terms) that her friends had turned into pod people. They all believe that the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the New Yorker are authoritative. When she tried arguing with them about what they've read in these outlets, they shoot back, "Oh, so you believe in fake news?" She said the "fake news" campaign has been extremely effective in discrediting non-mainstream views. And since her friends are also PhDs, she was also frustrated at their refusal to consider evidence, or entertain the idea that their preferred sources were biased.

One approach she has used that worked was to find information from other sources they could not reject, like Reuters and the Associated Press, that had not been covered in the New York Times or better yet, contradicted what they wanted to believe, such as a Reuters story describing how Germany opposed sanctions against Russia. But she clearly found it taxing to find these informational nuggets. She also said they would not consider foreign sources, even the BBC or Der Spiegel or Le Monde.

Readers also discussed their frustrations in Links over the weekend. For instance:

Montanamaven , July 22, 2018 at 8:28 am

"Shame" looks to me like the word of the week. I've heard from liberal/Democrat friends that they are "ashamed" of this President. They are embarrassed by his behavior at NATO and Helsinki. I asked, "Who are you embarassed in front of? What does that mean?" Then I got a link to a Thomas Friedman article .

I'm not sure how to answer my friends with grace. I don't want to be condescending by saying "Really, you read Tom Friedman without a red pen in your hand?" What should I say? "I had no idea you were a globalist although you are kind of anti labor, right?" Any suggestions for talking to Dems about this last week?

My usual answer is "I don't know why we need NATO now that the Cold War is over. Bush I promised Gorbachev not to expand NATO into the former Warsaw Pact countries. Putin wanted to join NATO. Russia, especially the populous West is more European than Asian. So why don't we have Russia join NATO. Wouldn't that solve the problem?

Amfortas the Hippie , July 22, 2018 at 10:06 am

on talking to democrats. LOL. you and me both. Haldol as a prophylactic, perhaps. The Berners are a lot easier but the "mainstream" dem people have been difficult to talk to for some time too many triggers and blind spots. They've become as reactionary as the tea party.. The aversion to figuring out what we're FOR must be overcome.

... ... ...

Hamford , July 22, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Montanahaven, great post, and I don't know the answer on how to talk to Dems or the general gammit of duopoly supporters, but I have been working on refining a technique I heard Tim Black talking about: "drop a few lines, and walk away". I am working on inserting a few judgment free comments without argument, however it requires patience in listening to the ramble of the other side. A few examples in my recent life:
  1. Hillary Dem: "But Mueller found Russia was hacking. Blah Blah, Blah, 17 intelligence agencies"

    Me: Did you know in 2003 Mueller helped lead us into Iraq and testified before Congress pushing WMD intel. [I did not follow with anything about along the lines of "Is this guy trustworthy."]

  2. Trump Repub: "People are killing each other in the streets, blah blah freeloaders, murder rate going up, blah blah, this country is not the same, what happened to our country"

    Me: "People are desperate, Americans are addicted to opiates and will get it however they can, but someone peddling marajuana will get 10 years in prison, but the Sackler family who wantonly pushed opiates on all of America are worth billions" [I could have argued that American crime rate has gone down since the 80's, but I just wanted to divert their attention to a part of the current problem, not to start an argument]

    A few weeks later these folks repeated these talking points as their own, which is a win in my book. I have been trying to drop stuff as subtly as possible and hope they find their own way. People get more entrenched on their viewpoint while arguing, and more words often means less average impact per word. My sample size is admittedly low right now, so I will continue observation.

Another approach, although it takes a great deal of patience, is to go Socratic and ask the true believers in your circle to provide the support for their views. You may still be stuck with the problem that they regard people like Louise Mensch or Timothy Synder or (gah) James Clapper as unimpeachable.

Of course, not everyone is dogmatic. On my way back to New York, I sat next to a Google engineer (PhD, possibly even faculty member at Cornell since he'd gotten some major grant funding for his research, now on an H1-B visa and on track to have to leave the US in the next year+ due to Trump changes in the program) who held pretty orthodox views. He wanted to chat and we were able to discuss the Dems and even Russia. He even thanked me for the conversation as he was getting off the plane. But I knew I was lucky to find someone who wasn't deeply invested in his views, or perhaps merely not invested in winning arguments.

Any further tips or observations would be helpful to everyone. Things will only get more heated as the midterms approach.

MassBay , July 24, 2018 at 6:25 am

Nice comments. It is all about ego. Most of us become invested in our own position and will not surrender, because it is OURS!!

Quanka , July 24, 2018 at 8:25 am

This is true. This is why I like Hamford's idea of information nuggets. You have to let people think you are on their side while they come around to your ideas more or less on their own. If you give someone a good nugget that they take in as their own, then you have more leverage to convince them of something grander.

And listen. Just listen. You don't have to agree with people to give them time and space to be heard. They are more likely to reciprocate if you do.

ScottS , July 24, 2018 at 12:14 pm

Letting people "talk it out" works for strangers and acquaintances. They'll eventually run out of road or realize they've monopolized the conversation and give you a chance to react, even if only out of politeness.

I find closer friends and family will chew your ear off mercilessly, and once they start, you're trapped. If you start poking holes in their beliefs after they've gone on for a while, they'll feel betrayed. I find it best to say "that's nice" and walk away to maintain your sanity. Don't mess with tribalism, you'll always lose.

David Miller , July 24, 2018 at 6:31 am

Ha ha these posts resonate with me – my mother is a committed Rachel Maddow watcher and my best friend is a Trump supporter.

And both of them are otherwise very nice people and rather similar in terms of personality, interests, and outlook aside from red team/blue team foolishness.

What I like to do with both of them is use the term BushBamaTrump. And at the slightest bit of pushback just jump right in to all the things that have been done more or less the same under all three. It never gets through and you really can't change people, but still. Gives me a bit of pleasure to at least throw a little wrench into their silly partisan blinkered world view

notabanker , July 24, 2018 at 8:26 am

If you can't shift out of the partisan mentality, then all hope is really lost. My brain just does not compute this way and I find it really hard to understand how someone else's does.

I find it difficult to break this construct without coming off as arrogant or cynical. I readily admit this feature in myself could be a bug.

hemeantwell , July 24, 2018 at 8:31 am

jump right in to all the things that have been done more or less the same under all three

Yes. Even though disagreements appear to be about issues, there's an underlying personal partisanship that often drives conversational breakdown. This is particularly true for people on the right. Saying early on that Hillary was an awful alternative to Trump can lower the temperature considerably. Going on to talk about issues and staying away from Trump bashing is a follow through.

Amfortas the Hippie , July 24, 2018 at 6:47 am

Hamford's approach is one that I have used with the people I live around(supermajority Repubs, altho much of that is habit and/or single issue apathy is the only growing demograph)

Introducing doubt, "short, sharp shock", and then they worry over it for a day or a week, and later they seem to have incorporated it into their weltanshauung.

That is, indeed, a win.

I've much more experience, given my habitus(central texas wilderness) with culture jamming and otherwise undermining the orthodoxy of republicans. To talk about important things with them, one must avoid numerous trigger words that cause salivation or violent conniptions.

Finding these rhetorical paths has been enlightening, to say the least. like talking about unionism by using the Chamber of Commerce as an example, or playing on their own memories of the Grange or the Farmer's Co-Op or even going directly at the cognitive dissonance, as in "hey, wait a minute if we have freedom of religion, aren't I by necessity free to be a Buddhist?"

Similarly, I've found that using the language of Jesus gets results, unless my interlocutor is too far gone into the whole warrior Christ thing. I'm still working on how to do this with Team Blue.

Like with the R's, the D's have an emotional attachment, and a psychological need, to avoid believing that their party is in any way less than pristine and above board.

Similarly, I remember a discussion of the Puma's (Hillary's 08 supporters) wherein they were so caught up with Herstory(!) that an attack on (or even criticism of) Hillary was an attack on their Identity.

Stages of Grief applies the acceptance we wish for is a big step for most people, because the manifest problems are so huge and complex and intertwined that acknowledging them feels like giving in and even giving up.

It's a big problem, and I thank you for addressing it.

The forces arrayed against civil discourse are huge and well funded(which is, in itself, a sort of indictment and indicator)

Newton Finn , July 24, 2018 at 10:45 am

Speaking as a member of the clergy, I have a suggestion about how to use the teachings of Jesus to reach Team Blue, whether or not they subscribe to Christianity in some form.

One of the most radical of Jesus' teachings, one that is often given lip service but is extremely difficult to put into practice, is the commandment that we love our enemies and pray for them.

I have come to believe that the Russiagate attacks on Trump are driven not by reason but by pure hatred, a sin which always blinds. While there are many reasons to oppose much of Trump's policies and actions, we must not allow ourselves to wallow in personal hatred of the man himself. If Jesus doesn't work here for some of Team Blue, MLK, who taught the same message, is an excellent alternative. Take away the visceral hatred of Trump, and he will be opposed, much more reasonably, ethically, and effectively.

Michael Fiorillo , July 24, 2018 at 11:44 am

I agree: whenever possible, Trump the individual should be ignored, since too many people seem unable to separate the man from the systems, processes and interests in play.

When it's all about Trump, he wins. You'd think people would have realized that by now, but take a look at Alternet, where it's literally "All Trump All The Time," and you see how trapped in their fears and illusions liberals are.

As Lambert and others insist, make it about issues and policy; that's how people can (eventually, hopefully) be reached over time. As the saying goes, they lose their minds in crowds/herds, and will only regain their sanity one at a time.

The added benefit is that ignoring Trump's provocations goes a ways toward depriving him of oxygen. Ignoring him is one of the few ways to drive him crazy(er), takes away much of his effectiveness, and provides the personal satisfaction of being able to do something against him, even if just passively.

readerOfTeaLeaves , July 24, 2018 at 12:06 pm

I'm really hopeful that Michael Hudson's upcoming book on the roots of Christianity will open up a whole new conversation for people of all views, particularly the role of debt and 'what we owe to one another'. Or when we should, and what we shouldn't, owe one another.

IMVHO, Trump is the apotheosis of a debt-based form of greed, which conventional politics mostly exalts and exacerbates, but doesn't seem to really understand -- and papers over its social costs [see also: FoxNews, CNBC]. In this form of (leveraged) debt, the debtor owes absolutely nothing to society, irrespective of the social dislocations that his/her debt creates.

I find that people who get caught up in Dem/Repub conflicts are unreachable on political terms, but if the conversation shifts to economics, to outrage at financial shenanigans, to who 'owes' what to whom, the emotional tone shifts and the conversations are much more engaged.

The R's that I know tend to affiliate with 'lenders', but have an abhorrence of debt. They seem weirdly incapable of grappling with the social and political implications of debt. To them, debt is a sign of weakness. I find myself struggling to grapple with their worldview on the general topic of 'debt'.

The D's that I know tend to at least be able to think about debt as a means to an end: an education, a home, a business idea. But they seem to experience debt as a form of guilt, or powerlessness, a lot of the time. The people in my life who fall into this category are very careful with money, but they are also capable of carrying on a conversation about social meaning of debt.

I don't think it is any accident that the two most articulate, informed voices in current politics are on the 'left', and their expertise and focus is on debt: Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. I suspect that is because debt is one of the most fundamental social-political-cultural issues of our time.

ambrit , July 24, 2018 at 6:50 am

I do come across as a bit of a nutter, and bloodthirsty to boot. However, in my defense, I am increasingly encountering extremism as the base line for discussions, really arguments, in my daily encounters. This comes from both ends of the political spectrum. This I perceive as a sign of desperation.

The Third Way 'faux left' movement is running out of steam as the inequality that it was designed to enable takes hold, and disenchants those that the movement required to at least be neutral in order for it to do its 'work.' The Right wing has always cultivated a sense of being oppressed in order to cultivate the sense of 'belonging' to a 'special' and 'chosen' people. I have been called "dirty socialist" and even less salubrious terms so many times, I've developed somewhat of a thick skin to the insult. The problem with that is that those who are doing the insulting are dead serious in their obloquy. This can escalate into actions. Therein lies the rub. the step from verbal abuse to physical abuse must be guarded against and, if encountered, short circuited. Hence, the comment about the probable bad results of trying to crash someone's SHTF refuge.

I have worked with several ex-cons during my work life. Jail is the pressure cooker of power relations for Western society. All the ex-cons said that threats, even when coming from obviously superior physical specimens must be responded to quickly and decisively. As one man put it, "Even if you have to take a beat down. Make the point that you will fight. Once is usually enough. After that, people in jail will leave you alone." Another man related the tale of a small man in prison who was being groomed for 'bitchdom' by a much bigger man. "The big guy poked the little guy in the chest and started to say something. The little guy grabbed the finger and broke it. Then this tiny tornado tore into the big guy. Man! Nobody f -- -d with the little guy again. He was crazy everybody said. Some of the older cons said that he was smart."

It may not be relevant yet, but America certainly does seem to be sliding into a full blown Police State. As such, the etiquette of prison is slowly being imposed on the civil society. Pure power relations are becoming the norm. This manifests in our more genteel disputations.
So, my present reply to people who take me to task for not voting for Her Royal Highness is to say; "Thank you for giving us Trump. Without your gallant efforts, we would have had a decent government, under Bernie." Then, as one of the above comments suggests, I walk away, and make sure our Urban Bug In Bag is ready.

Bugs Bunny , July 24, 2018 at 7:02 am

That is a frightening observation and I believe it is unfortunately accurate. Relations in the workplace certainly have resembled this since 2008. Civil society was next.

ambrit , July 24, 2018 at 6:52 am

Skynet ate a longer comment. Short version: "Thank you for running Hillary so Trump could win."

Brooklin Bridge , July 24, 2018 at 10:01 am

A brilliant compaction. And nice (fascinating being even better desc.) to see the longer version as well. Skynet apparently liked it too.

My poor wife has somewhat 'come around' (been dragged along) because many of the predictions (that I get from NC)seem to materialize in one way or another, but on the flip side we have lost what we thought were real friends (fortunately few), largely because of my inability to shut up (at least I don't do it until asked some hard to get out of question) combined with insufficient command of a given subject – alas, all given subjects it seems.

ambrit , July 24, 2018 at 11:37 am

We do find out who our 'real' friends are when we go a little 'off the reservation' with subjects having a significant emotional content. I have found that I also discover personal biases by observing what subjects being 'rejected' by others give me pain. I have been surprised at some of my personal biases. Don't be too hard on yourself about those things that you need to study more. Everyone has those kinds of subjects. I certainly do. Yesterday's thread on the lowly apostrophe was such a wake up call to me.

ex-PFC Chuck , July 24, 2018 at 6:57 am

It seems to me that the longer the person has supported the Democratic Party the more they are resistant to changing their views. The affiliation comes to resemble that of a football fan to her favorite team. People who've changed their political affiliation over the course of their lives, and especially those who have done so relatively recently, are more open-minded and willing to consider evidence contrary to their current views.

ambrit , July 24, 2018 at 7:10 am

Not to quibble, but your observation takes on the appearance of a 'chicken or egg' problem. As the Political Fundamentalists showed, politics is a long term game. That's one reason that Lamberts comment about the Democrat party and their 'missing' ground game is so pertinent.

Di Modica's Dumb Steer , July 24, 2018 at 10:12 am

Fair enough, Chuck, but I think you might be missing a very important bit: the fact that many people who are otherwise staunch rank-and-file supporters might also have an otherwise invisible breakpoint, or fault line. I say this as a former Dem Party supporter, who did the full song and dance – supported Hillary, supported Kerry before that, and was a total devotee to Obama. I was as tied to the Dem party as anyone not getting a paycheck could be, and when Obama won, I was elated. I thought that things would really change.

The Financial Crisis was a rude, rude awakening. The pretty speeches meant little, and did even less. If anyone had a hand in setting fire to my generally moderate viewpoint, it was Obama himself, his worship for Wall Street, and his inability to put up a fight about anything. It was a weird time for me, politically, but 2008-2016 was what set the stage, while the last set of primaries only confirmed what I had felt in my gut for many years.

I think there are many out there, struggling like I did. They'll show. Eventually. I'd say that the famous line about the center not holding applies here, but I'm likely missing a ton of context.

polecat , July 24, 2018 at 11:58 am

My 'turn' was when Nancy P. swiped "impeachment" off the gilded table in 2006, Right • After • The • House • Elections. So, when shortly there after, while listening to Obama give his inaugural address, all I could say was "we'll see ??" . Then came his cabinet appointments, and from then on the d-party lost me with their passive-aggressive "We'll have to $ee what's in it AFTER WE VOTED FOR IT" FU tactics.

Steve H. , July 24, 2018 at 6:58 am

Mediation in kindergarten words: Listen, Talk, Ask, Agree, Write.

Listen is first. Would you expect to walk into any fundamentalist church or mosque and change minds? Conversation among strangers gets more specific along commonalities until it hits a split point, then drops down a level. If nothing in common, there's always the weather. That's universal.

Which blogger was it, trying to change the world when he realized he was only reaching the 5% who thought like he did, & stopped? Think how hard it is to undo economics class learnin' and understand MMT.

Politically, these are not going to be new customers. I can't find number of new voters for AOC, but turnout was less than 1 in 5. She gained trust by knocking on doors. You can't reach the frontal lobes if the amygdala is signalling threat.

If you find points of agreement, you can move the conversation to universal. Then to concrete and material.

ChiGal in Carolina , July 24, 2018 at 8:38 am

This dovetails with hamsher above, whose defiines success as hearing his talking points adopted by those he has dropped them on. The key is to be nonjudgmental .

kimyo , July 24, 2018 at 6:59 am

there are two statements which have worked in my recent exchanges with liberals:
1) Obama has bombed more nations than Bush
2) no one person did more to put donald trump in office than hillary clinton (extreme, indisputable malfeasance against sanders in the primary)

although many seem completely ready to discard 'russian collusion' i still hear 'why is he trying to be friends with putin?' on a regular basis.

any criticism of obamacare is immediately discarded, even though many know someone who has health insurance but doesn't have health care.

i keep trying to argue that democrats are best served if abortion is constantly under threat. that most democratic politicians strongly prefer this situation, as it would otherwise be close to impossible to motivate people to get out to the polls. (or, likewise, republicans and gun rights) so far, this doesn't seem to work.

calling out tesla as a nonsense scam is working pretty well, though. (monorail!)

also, pointing out that new research shows that wifi/cellphone exposure increases miscarriage risk is starting to gain traction. i cringe everytime i see a toddler playing with an i-pad. (obviously not a liberal issue, but it helps to dispel the fog of complacency)

timbers , July 24, 2018 at 7:01 am

Here is my general approach, good or bad towards Hillary "liberal" or establishment think or whatever you may call it. I think it helps put the burden of proof to the fake news'ers

On Russia – the biggest "liberal" fake new angle for years now – I say "Not one single piece of evidence has ever been presented that Russia meddled in the election. Not one single piece. The same agencies that said WMD in Iraq are now telling us Russia meddled. This is Democrat's WMD in Iraq moment."

I ask them to "show me the money" if they can point to any evidence to support the claim Russia hacked. Depending on how much time I have, I can shoot it down (like the click bait social media example that is full of holes) but there is so much non-sense out their I am always up on the latest.

Chris , July 24, 2018 at 7:01 am

Long time NC reader in the DC/Maryland area.

Re: discussing what's happening with people I just gave up. Partially because I couldn't keep calm in the face of being labeled a "white cis gendered Russia loving hate monger." Partially because the medium for debate my friends and I were using was Facebook, which is really not a great tool for serious discussions. Partially because it took so much time and energy and garnered no rewards.

Most of my circle of friends ardently believe the following:

(1) the Democrats are significantly different from the Republicans and suggesting otherwise is lying. This gets you the most violent reactions from most people.

(2) all or most of what Trump is doing is a significant departure from the Obama administration.

(3) withholding votes or voting for other candidates than "electable Democrats" is equivalent to voting for fascists.

(4) US citizens who live in depressed economic areas are to blame for their own problems because they vote against their own interests and won't move to better places.

(5) increased immigration, increased globalism, and free trade agreements like TPP are policies we should support.

(6) Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, etc. are not monopolies and anti-trust law should not be used to break them up.

(7) solutions to inequality in public education should not include busing children from poor areas to wealthy areas. Or vice versa.

(8) our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan must continue.

(9) we need identity politics in this country.

(10) the world would be better off if Hillary was president. P.S. she was robbed by Russians, misogynists, and electoral manipulation from the fascistic Trump campaign.

When I try to mention that all of those points are debatable at best, and admittedly I do that with varying degrees of success, they do not accept it. Any of it. They find discussions of what happened during the Obama administration which either lead to, or was similar to, what Trump is doing now tiring and painful. Mentioning how poorly the HRC campaign was run, how HRC laundered money through local state dem orgs, the wasted millions in consultants, the lack of campaigning in key states, globalism, etc. get you a soulful vomiting of Russia/Misogyny/Fascism. They will ask why you focus on the Democrats, and not the Republicans. It's the Republicans fault we're here and their voters deserve rock suffer.

Humor or analogy doesn't work on this topic either. If you mention something like both parties blame outsiders for their troubles, except Republicans blame people from Mexico and Democrats blame people from Michigan, you get angry stares. If you mention both parties want to go back in time to a better, safer place, except for Republicans it's an imaginary 1950 something and for Democrats is an imaginary 2006, you'll end up drinking alone.

I realized that the only thing I was doing was aggravating my friends and hurting my cause. They're all too high strung to have discussions. They don't want to consider that the status quo ante that they think was great was only "great" for a select portion of the country. They might have admitted that progressives and leftists weren't happy with the Obama administration in 2016. They have no space for that kind of thinking now. So I logged out of FB and Twitter, deleted the apps and spend the time doing other things. I will talk to people about this stuff if they're interested and if it's in person. I stop when I see their body language shift to 'uncomfortable.'

The other thing I've been doing is working to support local candidates who believe in th kind of policies I want to see in my community. I think that's a much better way to use my time and political energy.

Good luck to anyone who wants to try and fight this battle with words. No one is reading or listening anymore. They just want red meat and a torch to join their preferred mob. And with what's happening if you post something a boss or other person finds objectionable, I strongly recommend the virtues of self censorship and keeping your mouth shut until this time passes.

Marshall Auerback , July 24, 2018 at 9:19 am

"being labeled a 'white cis gendered Russia loving hate monger'" Welcome to the club!

Shane Mage , July 24, 2018 at 9:27 am

Please. When mentioning Facebook bots, *always* put the scare quotes about the word "friend."

Chris , July 24, 2018 at 11:02 am

These were all people who I know and associate with off line. What surprised and saddened me was that they couldn't leave an argument behind.

I can leave an FB discussion on FB. I have other topics to discuss when I'm with my friends. They can't do that anymore.

It was that fact more than anything that lead me to believe there was no benefit in trying to post articles or participate in social media discussions. No one is listening. Everyone in my socal circle is feeling too raw to have measured discussions about how we got here and where we could go next.

flora , July 24, 2018 at 11:29 am

I've experienced the same from long time friends or who I thought were friends. For months after the election all they could talk about was 'Hillary was robbed.' I let them vent because it seemed like a grieving time for them. After six months or so, when they still could not talk about anything else even if I tried shifting the conversation to family or gardening or something, then I knew they were caught up in more than grieving. I'm starting to wonder if this is the fury of people who suspect they've been conned and are determined to prove they were not conned. 'The most qualified candidate ever' was a terrible campaigner.
From 2016:
https://www.businessinsider.com/clinton-losing-wisconsin-results-2016-11

My outlook now is that people determined to prove they were not conned then will need to find their way back to calmness.

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flora , July 24, 2018 at 11:39 am

adding: she couldn't turn out the vote. simple as that. imo. but not something people who are determined to prove they were not conned want to hear.

Arizona Slim , July 24, 2018 at 11:40 am

In Roger Stone's book, The Making of the President 2016 , there was a passage about people, many of them on the left, who view those who disagree with them as truly evil people.

What comes next explains a lot about what we've seen since the election. Quoting Stone:

"This is a very immature worldview that produces no coping skills."

Hence, the meltdowns that go on and on and on

christy , July 24, 2018 at 7:01 am

Yes! Plz someone tell me a way to discuss immigration at the border and separating families. The word on the street that 10k of those 12k children being separated were ACTUALLY being 'trafficked' and WITHOUT their REAL parents in the first place.

There are a lot of Dem Nuts on facebook that harrassed the heck out of me and since I posted #walkaway, as an astute BERNIE supporter, this has SHOCKED many and I been unfriended 5 times.

8 million MISSING children and our FBI has only reunited/found 526?

Someone plz tell me wth?

marym , July 24, 2018 at 8:56 am

Please don't post such serious charges about trafficked children without sources. As far as I know not even the Trump administration in its own defense is claiming to have identified trafficked children at those levels.

I'm going to try to put together a comment later today about what we know of the current situation, the need to understand what was happening pre-Ttrump, and what may be happening to the children now after separation. It will probably be on the links thread, as it's not directly related to the coping issue of this thread.

Carla , July 24, 2018 at 10:02 am

Thank you, marym. Hope I can find your comment later.

christy , July 24, 2018 at 7:10 am

Joker Hitler Burgler Spy https://t.co/LA9pTj0jQ0 This is how he does it.

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fresno dan , July 24, 2018 at 7:40 am

So, I made the below comments in today's LINKS. But I will emphasize a different aspect here – in the Links comment my point was the reporter was wrong (about Obama representing the 1% – I think he did). Here my point is that she enforces dogma and insinuates disloyalty in any heretic.

fresno dan
July 24, 2018 at 7:25 am
Why So Many Reporters Are Missing the Political Story of the Decade Washington Monthly. Versailles 1788.

Frankly, someone needs to tell this guy (i.e., Bernie Sanders) to sit down and shut up for a while. Reinforcing the notion that a party that was led by Barack Obama for eight years has merely been representing the one percent contributes to the divide and reinforces Republican lies.
====================================================
party that was led by Barack Obama for eight years has merely been representing the one percent
BESIDES believing that Obama DIDN'T represent the 1%, I'm sure this reporter believes:
1. The earth is flat
2. Elvis is alive
3. The living head of John F. Kennedy is kept at the CIA
4. There are 2 Melania Trumps
5. that Hillary got more white women voters than Trump .
other examples are welcome

Amfortas the Hippie , July 24, 2018 at 8:29 am

on that inability to confront the less stellar record of Obama: it's the same process that happened(and is happening, I'd argue) on the Right .and that happens, over and over, when science chips out another block in the wall of religious certainty.
Fear of the disenchantment of having been wrong, or fooled they'll resist tooth and claw from admitting being descendants of apes .even when they feel/know in their secret hearts that it's true.
With the Dems(non-Berner subspecies), it's acute right now.
They must defend the paradigm at all costs, because to do otherwise is to open the door to a frightening and incomprehensible world that would demand their attention and resolve. For so long, the ire was safely directed at the Right it's their fault we can't have nice things, they are a regressive existential threat, omgomgomg. This is rendered tolerable by the belief that the Dems are their team, on their side and the polar opposite of the hateful Right.
This latter set of assumptions was thrown into existential even ontological doubt by numerous reports, surveys and even by plain old look-out-the-window observation.
The belief and the Reality couldn't be reconciled(America is not already great for a whole bunch of folks) and the Nature of the newly perceived Reality was so ugly, and so huge, that they recoil into paradigm defense.
a giant edifice of bullshit is inherently unstable, it turns out.

The challenge, as I see it, is to acknowledge that the Way We Do Things is falling apart, and that it should fall apart, if we really believe all the high minded rhetoric we perform to each other and then to try to figure out what system/paradigm we'd like to replace it to use the chaos and destruction of the trump era to our advantage.
So more and more, in lib/dem/prog* social spaces, I'm asking "what are we for?"

(* the confusion of tongues here is both instructive and disheartening and encouraging(!). asking folks to define such things is resulting in less fury and spittle and froth, and more with either silence or thought and honest questioning. at least in my little circles )

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fresno dan , July 24, 2018 at 11:37 am

Amfortas the Hippie
July 24, 2018 at 8:29 am

I can't beat what notabanker said:
notabanker
July 24, 2018 at 8:26 am
If you can't shift out of the partisan mentality, then all hope is really lost. My brain just does not compute this way and I find it really hard to understand how someone else's does ..
==============================================
"Independent" self sufficient Americans .join groups called political parties that as a rite of passage evidently require the adherents to believe idiotic, inconsistent things.
But another thing is that the number of people who even belong to political parties isn't that great. But they set the agenda.

It would be great if the one group of unthinking believers cancelled out the other group of unthinking believers, but of course the adherents are so blind to reality that that can't see that the difference between Bush's Goldman Sachs' Treasury Secretary and Obama Goldman Sachs' Treasury Secretary is .????
NOW, of course there were real differences between Obama and Bush .Obama droned a LOT more.

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Colonel Smithers , July 24, 2018 at 7:53 am

Thank you, Yves and the community. This situation applies in the UK, too. It's amazing to meet people who took time off to protest against Trump, but won't against homelessness or austerity.

PlutoniumKun , July 24, 2018 at 11:59 am

Yes, the Irish media used to be moderately independent, but they are getting in line too. Over the weekend I nearly threw my copy of the Irish Times away in disgust at reading some of the articles from writers I'd consider pretty clear minded normally. They are just gradually absorbing the message by osmosis I think.

When someone here rants about Trump, I usually say something like 'well,what exactly has he done thats worse than anything Obama did to, say for example, Libya, or Honduras?' I'd love to say I get a thoughtful response, but thats rarely the case. Interestingly, I find that its the people who profess themselves as non-political or don't read the newspapers much who are more open to discussion.

Watt4Bob , July 24, 2018 at 8:15 am

I'm sure that a lot of NC readers have, over time, experienced some amount of pain associated with the dissolution of long-held beliefs surrounding the American dream, and faith in our economic, and political systems abilities to ' self-correct '.

It's been very painful to realize that ' things ' are not going to get better if we simply vote for the other team.

Over many decades, both the ' other teams ' have pointed fingers at each other and invited us to believe that our problems originated on the other side of the fence, when in reality, as many of us now understand, our two political parties have all the while, worked in collusion to forward the interests of the rich and powerful, the result of which has been wide spread, and extreme economic hardship for most of us.

This failure of our politics has engendered a wide spread visceral hatred of our leadership class, that so far, has remained loosely in the control of the two political parties, but, and I think this a good thing, there is a dawning understanding among a significant number of us, that the hatred of Hillary, and her party, is well deserved, and rooted in exactly the same reality as the hatred of George 'W', and his party.

All that hatred of the political parties and their leadership has so far, resulted in Trump, which in an odd sense is evidence supporting optimism that the two parties strangle-hold on our lives is not invincible, and that there exists a wide-spread thirst for change.

I think that thirst for change is the point where we have an opportunity to make conversation fruitful, and find common ground.

fresno dan , July 24, 2018 at 11:45 am

Watt4Bob
July 24, 2018 at 8:15 am

I'm sure that a lot of NC readers have, over time, experienced some amount of pain associated with the dissolution of long-held beliefs surrounding the American dream, and faith in our economic, and political systems abilities to 'self-correct'.

It's been very painful to realize that 'things' are not going to get better if we simply vote for the other team.
================================================
I don't know how many times I have heard that voting for a third party is "throwing your vote away"
REALITY, that voting for a democrat* or a republican is throwing your vote away, never seems to sway anyone.
* maybe there are individual democrats that are worth voting for, but that is usually due to some screw up by the party apparatchiks

festoonic , July 24, 2018 at 8:34 am

I wonder, sadly, if "engaging with liberals" might be, in fact, a lost cause. Struggling to find common cause with the delusional amidst the collapse of empire, environmental catastrophe, and financial ruin might not be the best use of limited resources. There's a guy running for local city council whose campaign I intend to work for, and anyone campaigning on Medicare-for-All (free at the point of care, of course!), a minimum wage humans can live on, and anything else beneficial to people who work for a living will get my jealously-guarded vote. But the rest looks more and more like the re-arranging the proverbial deck chairs.

macnamichomhairle , July 24, 2018 at 8:39 am

I also think that this is not the time to try to argue. Many people (liberals) seem to have been shocked to their core by Clinton's loss and the arrival of the barbarians. The world has come unhinged, it appears to them.

That is a deeply unsettling feeling that can induce a deep distress and panic. I think it's also new to most liberals because things in America had proceeded pretty much sensibly, even during the Bush years. Also, I suspect many are at a stage in life when they have settled their own sense of their lives on a platform of comfort with the status quo as personified by the liberal consensus; or they are deeply committed ideologically for other reasons of self-identity.

The liberal establishment everyday is whipping the flames of people's panic and resulting outrage, and has created a huge firestorm. The "resistance" gives people a way to make sense of the world again. They will hold onto the "resistance" with all their power because admitting that the "resistance" is in any way flawed throws them back into a chaotic world. So any argument about this stuff derives from a deep place and is not conducive to reasoning. You threaten them, if you try to take away their "resistance" bear.

I also think it is better to put energy into other things, like building positive political movements or structures of life that extend "under" the current debate. (If you go down below general political buzz words, you can sometimes find agreement across political barriers.)

I still make general comments non-locally, but I do not engage with people individually about this. It's useless right now.

Eric , July 24, 2018 at 8:41 am

IMO, these factors contribute to the problem:

Some additional tribes: Wall St bankers, corporate CEOs, police, teachers, Congress, your town, your state, sports fans, etc.

GeorgeOrwell , July 24, 2018 at 8:41 am

Very relevant commentary to which I can completely relate. I had to leave a certain FB group because it became increasingly apparent that these mostly PhD, higher education types were not really interested in being the resistance or fighting fascism. No, what they really want is a safe space/echo chamber in which they can whine about everything that has gone to shit while completely ignoring how they themselves and the 'Democrat' party facilitated said shit's construction. The level of cognitive dissonance was simply mind boggling.

No rational thought about how going along to get along contributed to the current situation, that the lesser of two evils still gets you to the same destination. My working theory is they suffer from social detachment disorder due to their comfortable government (many tenured professors) jobs. As I attempted to explain to one of them, the economic damage created by the policy responses following the GR directly contributed to the door opening for Trump or something like him. These PhD types seem to be completely willing to overlook the social injustice of the Obama tenure, growth of the surveillance state, economic monopolies etc.

Many of these people have not had to worry about a paycheck for some time, thus the complete disconnect from the realities of the current economy. They talk a good game about fighting for social & economic equality, but when push comes to shove many of them are willing to throw their working neighbor under the bus so they can keep their comfortable (not rich mind you) tenured positions and lifestyles. If nothing else, the level of cognitive dissonance in this group certainly made me think about tenure from a much different perspective. Certainly not an encouraging picture of higher ed for sure.

TroyMcClure , July 24, 2018 at 10:45 am

Thomas Frank has repeatedly pointed out that credentialed professionals were the most reliably Republican voting block in America for decades. Now they're firmly democrat. Did their politics/interests change? Doubtful

The decades-long purge of any hint of leftists from the American university system (which started right here in California in the 50's then spread out) has led to our extremely conservative tenure class of professors.

I've had the same experience with these credential class types. Their politics are uniformly anti-labor and elitist. There's no convincing them.

jrs , July 24, 2018 at 11:37 am

I think that it is seldom clear in discussions what differentiates credentialed class from not. Just a bachelors degree? Bachelors degree attainment is over 30% now among young people. They are luckier than many who don't have the degree, but with every white collar job wanting a bachelors degree (often for fairly lowly work that didn't used to) and with a bachelors degree no guarantee of anything (nope not even that white collar job) I'm not sure its all that. (BTW I don't have a bachelors degree, but I'm in no good shape economically at all, if I had a degree maybe I'd be allowed to live, that is all .. so I consider it but without illusion at 40 something).

I think what really protects people's jobs etc. is licensed professions (lawyers, doctors, CPAs, landscape architects etc.) and in some cases those requiring post-bachelors attainment including years of additional training (physical therapists etc.). Well and unionization in the public sector obviously and tenure in academia.

jrs , July 24, 2018 at 11:23 am

it's not in their class interest to care, well the tenured ones, the adjuncts it depends on who they identify with, with the working class or with the tenured ones whose life they can't get anyway.

The average office worker would be more likely to care, although usually not political, and though they usually pretend otherwise, and though they are taught to sympathize with the bosses, there is a chance they might at some level ultimately know the are pawns in a game that they don't control and that can eat them alive (unlike those protected with tenure).

TroyMcClure , July 24, 2018 at 11:39 am

Ask the professors at Vermont Law School, 75% of whom just had tenure stripped unceremoniously. It's coming for them all. I give it less than 10 years. These tenured types total lack of solidarity within their group or any other will finally come home to roost.

My dear friend has been slogging through the trenches of the adjunct lifestyle for the better part of a decade and it's only now at this late date starting to dawn on him that he'll never get regular work at the university. Those waves and easy smiles from tenured faculty hid what they were thinking all along, "Better you than me pal!"

David , July 24, 2018 at 8:45 am

Not my country, but this is less a question of talking to "liberals" (who have their own problems) than of talking to conspiracy theorists. All over the world, certain groups of people are finding that history has suddenly, in the last few years, veered off in directions it has no right to. Since they refuse to believe they are responsible, however distantly, and since they seek, as we all do, simple explanations for complex problems, it must be a conspiracy. And anyone who questions the existence of a conspiracy is by definition part of it.

Because conspiracy theories serve essentially emotional and ideological purposes, rational discussion is by definition useless, and studies show that pointing out that people are factually wrong actually makes them more likely to cling to their beliefs.

I'd recommend a site which discusses and dissects conspiracy theories (www.metabunk.org), and which has discussion threads on how to argue with conspiracy theorists.

Darius , July 24, 2018 at 8:47 am

I was a Keynesian. I thought that meant the same as being a Democrat. Obama cured me of that mistake. Now, I'm in the Modern Money camp. Explaining that to paygo liberals is an even bigger chore.

Jeff N , July 24, 2018 at 10:33 am

Yes, although I've found that when I simply explain basic MMT concepts to either repub or dem friends, I come across as non-political. Because neither dems or repubs support it.

And I gain instant credibility/solidarity with them when I agree with their knee-jerk reaction that state/local governments ARE constrained.

Carolinian , July 24, 2018 at 8:59 am

Americans, who pretend to fetishize individualism, are conformists

That's spot on. Perhaps it has to with out lack of a set class structure which makes people socially insecure. Plus the rise of the meritocracy means that the worse thing you can call someone these days is "stupid" meaning uneducated. Life experience gets little credit at a time when knowledge has been overly formalized.

However we can take some comfort in a history where periods of intense conformity such as the 1950s provoke periods of more liberated thinking as in the 1960s. Things do seem to be changing–hopefully not for the worse. Patience with those vehement NYT and WaPo readers may be necessary until the fever breaks.

Amber Waves , July 24, 2018 at 9:02 am

My concern is that we have a poisoned public space, as it is hard to find the facts in the press or the body politic. Hard to find common ground to discuss or solve problems. I think our democracy, what is left of it, is in deep trouble. I agree that we need to talk to our neighbors about issues of the day. It is hard to overcome the do not talk about politics meme of the last 30 years.

Utah , July 24, 2018 at 9:02 am

I try really hard these days to talk about the system. Trump is a product of the system that we created and we need to change to better everyone.
I try to be compassionate above all else. Trump supporters are not evil or selfish. They believed the lies of someone telling them he was going to save jobs. We, as a nation, believed the lies of Obama's "hope and change" and it got us nowhere except a little more hopeless. Its not about political affiliation. Its about the world oligarchs having entire control. I refuse to be divided by what they want me to be divided by.

Brooklin Bridge , July 24, 2018 at 9:10 am

A fascinating and often painful subject. Being mostly a dismal failure in my own attempts, I've been keenly interested in and come up with several 'types' (hardly exhaustive) that seem gifted with varying degrees of success in communicating though I'm not sure about convincing others. Making others sit up and think (I should say 'having that effect' rather than 'making') might be as far as most in this select group will ever get but I strongly suspect such exchanges can ultimately be very powerful (meaning the 'other' will almost always do the changing of pov, or the expansion of understanding, under their own steam and in their own time).

Trite as it may seem, those who have a strong core of honesty, or who always tend to gravitate toward truth, have the most success in the above. They are the ones who seem to make headway under the most ridiculously difficult or impossible conditions. That they often have a strong command of their subject seems (to me) to be a natural outcome of the affinity for truth rather than truth being a result of knowledge breadth. They aren't always likeable but are often admirable.

After that, there are the 'warm intellectuals' and note that this categorization does not preclude honesty. My father was such. He had a way of making all present feel welcome and valuable despite the intricacy of the discussion. One usually had to ferret out his opinions or his 'take' on something as he rarely made an issue of it. But his conversation and 'presence' always made fairness and decency seem cool; the natural order of things, and I know for a fact he had a profound influence on at least some people – some hard core ones as well.

The ability to bend and compromise for a greater good (or in some cases for another purpose) is yet another 'type' who I see as potentially having considerable power in their exchanges with others. I see them as having emotional energy and an ability to see through the 'facts' or to 'suspend' them for a period. This is obviously a tricky – perhaps flawed (although in reality they are all flawed) – category, home to intellectuals inclined toward the Machiavellian as well as do-gooders quickly judged and relegated -not always justly- to the lot of suck-asses, and I image it has mixed results. It includes but is not the sole domain of those with the facility to put themselves in anther's shoes (and occasionally get lost in so doing).

I am only describing those who can influence others of extreme or highly contrary positions and beliefs, not the relatively larger group who can be eloquent in their own right but are not of note in dealing with made-up minds. Since we are all banging about under varying degrees of illusion , the truly or profoundly successful ambassador, along with his/her close cousin the successful negotiator, even the mundane every-man commenting on a blog or at a social gathering that provokes others to reassess, is a rather unusual individual indeed. That there is some preponderance of such individuals on NC does not contradict the rarity in general.

Perhaps just a very long winded way of saying, "Don't be too hard on yourself."

Brooklin Bridge , July 24, 2018 at 9:38 am

What I meant to say in the last sentence is, "I won't be too hard on myself ", but put in the general form while thinking of it applying to me. I don't presume to give others such advice (though I imagine it holds for others as well ).

Also, since the process of changing or simply being influenced, always takes time, it is almost impossible to see or assess; an unhappy circumstance for those who try at it rather than let it be an outcome..

Bite hard , July 24, 2018 at 9:11 am

Arguing with entrenched people is a lost cause but sarcasm = mercilessly tearing right into their own hypocrisy does the work of shaming them for a while, especially if you make the point about a topic they are virtue signalling about. These people do not have a policy idea in mind, they are pure virtue signallers.

Sarcasm is not to be confused with irony, which allows people to react mildly along "ha, ha, ha, oh my, what a world we live in". You can always escape from irony but a good, hard sarcasm put the moral dilemma right out there and people cannot escape their own crap poorly founded opinions.

danpaco , July 24, 2018 at 9:23 am

Political talk has really become a competition as opposed to a conversation. If the conversation decends into competition I'll try to ask "are there are any rules to this game?". When all else fails, go Socratic. Their answers can be enlightening.

Skip Intro , July 24, 2018 at 9:24 am

I think it can be effective to do a virtual cannonball into the kiddie pool of their belief system. Like Maddow squared but willing to connect the dots.

'Of course the Russians put Trump in, but the whole hacking story is part of a scam and a distraction. There's barely a connection between the leaked emails and the election results. They are a sideshow to get Assange. No, the real story is that the Russians had a high level operative inside the DNC. That's how the emails leaked. That is why the campaign was diverted away from Wisconsin, for example, in favor of Arizona. It is why the campaign pulled strings to get airtime for Trump during the GOP primary. It is why the DNC relied on bad software models and ignored experienced campaigners. Heck, it is why the DNC ran Hillary, even though she was over 43% animatronic by the end of the primary.'

Then you reveal that the mole is Mook.

The more facts you can weave into an acceptable narrative, the more secret landmines you can slip into their bubble, until the critical mass of cognitive dissonance causes a rupture

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ambrit , July 24, 2018 at 11:58 am

Watch out for the response being a psychotic break. I have had that happen when I got too carried away with 'weaponized humour' in my arguments.
I mean not just angry outbursts directed in my direction but actual punches. These times are becoming physically dangerous.

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William Hunter Duncan , July 24, 2018 at 9:24 am

I will generally, when I encounter a true believer Left or Right, let them get comfortable, agreeing with their critique of the Other until they say something grotesquely hypocritical or patently false or deranged, and then I will call out the hypocrisy/bs by way of pointing to it in their own party, then segway into something like 'MSNBC is part of the DNC, CNN is mockingbird CIA/DEEP STATE, and FOX is Rupert Murdoch's geriatric limp dick. Sometimes I call myself an anarchist, because I am liberal about some things and conservative about others and hypocrisy sucks. Wtf are Americans left and right going to pull their heads out of their buttz and realize the country has been gutted and the people put in debt servitude to globalist corp, bank, billionaire and eternal profiteering war/surveillance machine? Oh, and capitalism looks like a death cult if you are a pollinator or an ecosystem, so wtf about your bloody party ."

Which rant I can sustain as long as the person can hear it. Sometimes with liberals though I just ask why they think Hillary would have been a better president, and they usually realize at some point they have tied themselves in knots.

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voteforno6 , July 24, 2018 at 9:26 am

One quibble: It should be "Russia!Russia!Russia!", not "Russia!Russia!" – it makes the Jan Brady jokes a little funnier.

Anyway, with some people, I'm not sure if people should really be trying to "talk to" liberals, with the intent of changing their minds. I remember similar discussions going on in Daily Kos around 2006 or so, but there they discussed how to "talk to" conservatives, or people in rural areas, or "low information voters," as they liked to call them. It does seem a little condescending – some people believe what they believe, and you're not going to be able to argue them out of their positions. As macnamichomhairle posted above, the election of Trump really seems to have caused a psychic break in certain segments of society. I'm not sure if agitating them any further would really be that helpful. It's gotten to the point that I wonder (only half-jokingly) if Trump Derangement Syndrome will be included in the next volume of the DSM.

So, if you want to argue with people about something, make it sports. It seems that Americans are much more civil and mature when it comes to arguing about that topic. That is, unless they're from Philadelphia.

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Arizona Slim , July 24, 2018 at 11:44 am

From Philadelphia? Whatsa matter with that?

Says Slim, who was born in Pittsburgh and raised outside of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

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fresno dan , July 24, 2018 at 11:52 am

http://dailysnark.com/vikings-fans-claim-eagles-fans-took-hats-off-peed/

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vidimi , July 24, 2018 at 9:28 am

thank the lord i don't live in the united states.

when facing russia! putin! arguments, i usually retort with a big "i don't care" and paraphrase Mohammed Ali: "ain't no vladimir putin ever set the middle east on fire and crash the global economy".

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Newton Finn , July 24, 2018 at 11:11 am

Utter genius line.

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Arizona Slim , July 24, 2018 at 11:45 am

Me? I use these arguments as an opportunity to practice my Russian language skills.

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Carolinian , July 24, 2018 at 10:10 am

Caitlin Johnstone has a column on how to respond to the Russiagaters.

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-burden-of-proof-is-on-the-russiagaters-eb0b5e3602a3

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pretzelattack , July 24, 2018 at 10:58 am

thanks for that link. the debate is very familiar to me.

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The Rev Kev , July 24, 2018 at 10:20 am

At first I was going to suggest using a lead pipe on so-called liberals as a coping strategy but I think that this is too serious to joke about. Think about this. The US midterms take place on Tuesday, November 6, 2018 and only 16 days later you will have Thanksgiving in the US. If you think that people are on edge now can you imagine what it will be like around Thanksgiving tables this year?
Look, it is a real bad idea to tie your identity to any political party. Too much putting your faith in princes here – or princesses too for that matter. I don't think that the US voting system helps either where they want you to register for Party A or Party B which, when you think about it, kinda defeats the purpose of a secret ballet.
If people with phds are drinking the kool-aid and are not using their critical thinking skills, then how can you expect average people to be convinced? I am not sure that you can but what you can do is undermine their beliefs. Don't let them shape the battlefield of argument ('Or course everybody knows Russia did it!') or else it is a losing game. In any case, this whole thing reeks of the old identity game where those in power set two sides to fiercely combat each other while skimming profits all the way to the bank. An example of this? Democrats and Republicans hate each other's guts but when it come time to vote $1.5 trillion to the wealthiest people in the country then it was bipartisan all the way, baby.

Reply
Arizona Slim , July 24, 2018 at 11:47 am

My birthday comes shortly after the election. I'm thinking of throwing a party for myself and inviting liberal Democrats, libertarians, Republicans, Greens, independents, and those who refuse to be classified.

It'll be fun!

Reply
flora , July 24, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Thanksgiving in the US. If you think that people are on edge now can you imagine what it will be like around Thanksgiving tables this year?

hmmm if the MSM determine too many of the midterm winners are the *wrong* sort of people then watch out for more MSM, Thanksgiving weekend, crazy stories, as in 2016. Properly speaking or not. ;)

Reply
vlade , July 24, 2018 at 10:21 am

For a discussion to occur, both sides have to be willing and able to listen. While most people claim both, in my experience especially the latter (able to) is a learned skill which majority lacks (of all bents, not just liberals etc.).

Hence after this was tested, I do not discuss anymore, I rant, if I feel like it.

Reply
tokyodamage , July 24, 2018 at 10:27 am

Talk about small, but 'respectably' sourced news stories instead of whatever's dominating the current news cycle – stories where the DNC spokespeople haven't already poisoned the well by telling people "This is your team's official position, there's no need to make up your own mind."

Give the liberal a chance to make up their own mind on the small story. Chances are that they sympathize with the underdog in that story – showing how 'liberals care'.

Then – if you're in the mood – spring the trap:

"You're absolutely right to be concerned about the underdog in [story A]. The compassion -that's why people like liberals! By the way, why do you think that [famous dem spokesperson] doesn't show the same compassion regarding [morally analogous but more mainstream news controversy B]?"

That's all i got.

Reply
tokyodamage , July 24, 2018 at 10:32 am

"Russian meddling, eh? That's a scary country. I've been reading about Russia in the 90s. The average life expectancy of the whole country went down by years after the communist government collapsed. Old people dying alone in their apartments from easily treatable illnesses. Yeah, it IS terrible. Yeah it IS disgusting and immoral. Oh by the way, that's around the time they switched to a for-profit medical system like we have. Weird huh?"

Brooklin Bridge , July 24, 2018 at 10:39 am

The inability to talk politics with others of differing views is hardly limited to the US even if it expresses itself in different ways. I have family in France (je suis une pièce rapportée – in-law) and it's almost identical to the US. As even my wife is somewhat of a 'guest' when we go over now, You simply avoid subjects where you know it could get too hot and so do they among themselves. Things are not at all as cut and dry as they were (at least seemed) back in the late 60's early 70's when students AND workers united massively in common cause.

A few years ago, I had a discussion that turned into an argument with a friend visiting from France who is an economist by training but made his pile (of comfortable not gargantuan size) in real estate. It turned around Jeremy Corbyn with my argument that as long as people are really hurting, social/political/economic justice movements will thrive and often succeed in radical change and his argument that 1) he is an economist and therefore knows what he is talking about and 2) Corbyn is simply unacceptable and unworkable in todays economy , c'est tout!

How horribly frustrating for me not to have a good command of the subject, getting hot under the collar is not a compelling argument, (though I didn't let him get away with the, being an economist, braggadocio), but on the good side, our friendship survived the bout and we holstered our pistols for the rest of their visit.

Eureka Springs , July 24, 2018 at 10:57 am

I find arguments of systemic problems, corruption, absence of actual solutions, divide conquer, class war, rather than D vs R work best.

Example:
Ask anyone who has a problem with immigrants why not one politician demands an arrest of a ceo and board members for illegal hiring practices. Put them in jail just for a weekend and things would dramatically change over night. We don't need to cage many thousands of desperate people, just a few greedy ones. Like them or not, quit blaming desperate poor people for crawling through a nasty river and horrific desert to get a crappy job. If the illegal hiring didn't exist they wouldn't come. As for children and adults, once 'we' have them captured, under our control, how they exist is all about us, not them.

And then I shut up. You have to know when to shut up.

At other times I love reminding D's or R's and especially those who are neither, the D's and R's are at best 27 percent of the eligible voters. Independents are far greater in number than they are and 'refuse to vote' for any of them are greatest of all. The D's and R's both have a super majority against them for good reasons which are being ignored at all our peril. That they are not listening, not asking, not representing. They are owned and we are all being played like a two dollar banjo. Fighting for either one of them is exactly what they want and need to keep the con alive.

I keep reminding people this is not professional football, you don't have to watch, much more you are not forced to pick between two teams, please choose neither like most of us are doing because we need an entirely new game. Issues, not personality. Because all owners are always a winner, cashing in, if you do.

Adam Eran , July 24, 2018 at 11:01 am

More generally speaking, there are actually clinical trials of ways to be persuasive. Doctors need this for the difficult patients: the heart patients who don't want to take their meds, the addicts who don't want to quit, etc. It's worth looking up: Motivational Interviewing . The link is to a course offered by Citizens' Climate Lobby, designed to help their members deal with climate change denial.

The key, they say, is forming partnerships. Disagreement can take the form of fights, arguments or partnerships, with only the last providing some prospect for relief.

So providing the "perfect squelch" or putting down one's opponent is the very last thing you want to do. Finding areas of agreement and building on those is the royal road to something more positive.

I've also found some of the worst offenders in the environmental community. These are often former bureaucrats who want to keep the (bankrupt) process in place, but encourage a different outcome. They want to be the "good guys," and judge the environmental "bad guys" rather than make a significant change.

Ah, the human ego! Gotta love it!

Quite Likely , July 24, 2018 at 11:11 am

I tend towards the Socratic approach, both for establishment Democrats and the larger universe of people I disagree with in person. It generally means doing more listening than talking, which I know is a downside for some, but letting people talk things out in front of you with occasional nudges in the right direct does a decent job of moving them gradually in the right direction, and leaves them with an impression of you as a friendly good-listener with whom they have some disagreements rather than that asshole yelling about nonsense.

JohnnyGL , July 24, 2018 at 11:12 am

I'm going to throw out my tips that I've used for years to talk politics in various environments (office, family gatherings, etc).

1) Keep context in mind if you're in the office, keep encounters brief and cordial, couple of news headlines as you breeze by for a couple of minutes. Crack a couple of jokes and try to keep it light. But choose your topics with care, especially if you don't know the person really well.

2) Find common ground: with trumpers you can rail against clintons, obamas, and dem hypocrisy. with clintonites you can talk about how excited you are that Ted Cruz has a real challenge, Paul Ryan's retiring, all the damage Trump is doing to the establishment repubs, etc. Tell them the positive thing about Trump winning is that ALL THE OTHER REPUBS LOST .badly!

3) As far as genuinely changing minds .THESE THINGS TAKE TIME! Some minds aren't open to being changed, some will periodically open and close, and some of us are genuinely trying to figure out WTF is going on in the world (which is why we come to NC!) In any case, minds get changed over weeks and months, not a couple of hours.

4) Understand and remember that you DO NOT have all the answers and think about all things you've changed your mind about over the years and it helps to open minds to SHARE stories with people about what changed your mind and why. If you're not sure why you think what you think, go figure out why! :)

5) Once you've got a certain comfort level, don't be afraid to crack a joke that aggravates the other person, but don't overdo it and don't do a lot of public mocking/shaming.

6) When someone else uses 5) on you, practice to make sure you DO NOT get too mad about it. Get thicker skin, if you can't do it .then you aren't ready to talk politics.

7) Yes, that includes people saying ignorant stuff. That doesn't mean you have to grin and bear it, you don't and you shouldn't. Drop a mild rebuke (no more and no less) and change the subject. Don't ostracize or shame. Keep interacting with people, as much as they want to do so. We've all said stupid $h!t at one time or another, we can and should all be able to forgive/forget. I've certainly said my fair share. But also, people do change their minds over time. It's helpful if you can guide them in a positive direction.

8) Talk about the context in which things happen and put yourself in other people's shoes. This is something I've learned a lot in the last few years and people forget to step back and look at things from a high level. I've been amazed at how much more sense things can make when you think more about context.

marym , July 24, 2018 at 11:34 am

My coping method is mostly avoidance, but if I did intervene it would be something like this:

I agree Trump is ill-suited to the job and has horrible policies.

If Russia (or Russians) interfered with the election, if Trump and his cronies participated in that, or if Trump and cronies had other dealings with Russian that are illegal, Mueller is the right person to figure it out. His whole career has been defending and strengthening the pre-Trump status quo, the "norms" of the military-industrial-corporatist-security complex. If there's a way to push us back in that direction, there may be no one on earth more committed to that job.

Our job is to examine the impacts of current Trump policy, the roots where applicable in those status quo "norms", issues other than Russia that weaken and corrupt our electoral system, failures of centrist Democrat policies to solve problems; and to promote alternative policies and politicians. None of this will be adddressed by any negative Mueller consequences to Trump, and maybe to a few of those around him.

RUKidding , July 24, 2018 at 11:39 am

Whether it's committed liberals (eg, super strong Big D voters) or committed conservatives, there's really not much point in "talking."

I accidentally said something truthful about Trump's/the Republicans' recent tax law, and my super conservative sister launched into a tirade that came right out of Rush Limbaugh's mouth. I hadn't meant to stir the pot, either, and what I said was pretty nothingburger. I let her rant for a few minutes; explained my side very graciously and calmly (mainly that MY taxes have been raised, not lowered as advertised), and then I changed the topic.

I know a very few D voter friends who are starting to pay more attention – it's taken a while but they are – and they're starting to see that Big D is NOT their savior, at least, not as they currently exist. Of course, I have Big D friends who revile Bernie Sanders as the worst of the worst, and they're HORRIFIED that he's a socialist!!!111!!!!! Well, there's nothing to say there.

Mostly if I'm thinking about it, I'll drop in a few salient points – as some other commenters have suggested, above – and then mostly walk away.

The Big Fat Propaganda Wurlizter has done it's job, and HOW. And it's not just about conservatives ranting out the usual Fox/Rush rightwing talking points. Now it's so-called liberals ranting out the latest from, I guess (no tv, never watch), Rachael Maddow and similar.

I can barely ever listen to what passes for "nooz" on NPR, but possibly they get their talking points from there, as well. Some of those talking points now come up regularly in the weekend game shows. I duly noted that "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" had James EFFEN Comey on last weeked. R U Kidding ME???? Of course, I didn't listen.

So, go figure.

Both sides are being heavily brainwashed by our M$M. For me: No TV at all and precious little radio (mostly music stations). And judicious nooz paper reading.

Get my real info at sites like this one.

Thanks to all who comment logically here in reality-land.

timbers , July 24, 2018 at 11:41 am

In general, the way I deal with the liberals, partisan Dems, Hillary crowd or whatever you call it, is in person (I'm not on FB) with this type of statement:

"Not one single piece of evidence has every been presented showing Russia meddled in the election. Not one. We don't even have grounds to investigate such a thing. And what evidence we do have points away from Russia. The same agencies that said WMD in Iraq are now saying Russia meddled in the election, have you learned nothing? Russiagate is Democrat's WMD in Iraq moment."

That usually silences them because they don't have any evidence and some even know that. If they offer "evidence" (like the social media click bait adds) I am usually familiar enough show how silly the examples given are.

meadows , July 24, 2018 at 12:02 pm

I hike regularly w/my buddy who is a 73 year old Nam vet, I am a 65 year old conscientious objector he is blue collar for generations, I am college educated family for generations New Deal Dems forever.

Our concerns in life are the same, the well being of our adult children and grandchildren, our relationships w/our spouses, how to manage our retirements. But Oh do we talk politics! He teases me that I'm a Trumpster because of my deserved critiques of Clinton, Obama and my anger at that gang of liars, as if that means I think Trump and his band of "obligerant" oligarchs are great! (oblivious and belligerent)

The executive branch is a huge about-to-become-extinct dinosaur w/the brain of a tiny reptile, little realizing only the little mammals will survive, while still imagining itself to be king of the place forever.

[Jul 24, 2018] he current Russophobia hysteria as a smoke screen

Jul 24, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , July 24, 2018 12:23 am

@run75441 July 23, 2018 2:02 pm

===
Best bet is for Russia to want to trade with the US and Europe. The gas pipeline will not be enough leverage on Germany as it provides 9% of their needs.
===

Yes. And that's against the USA interests (or more correctly the US-led neoliberal empire interests). North Stream is a problem as the goal is to economically weaken Russia, tie the EU to the USA via energy supplies and support our new client state -- Ukraine.

As you know, nothing was proven yet in Russiagate (and DNC hacks looks more and more like a false flag operation, especially this Guccifer 2.0 personality ), but sanctions were already imposed. And when the US government speaks "Russia" in most cases they mean "China+Russia" ;-). Russia is just a weaker link in this alliance and, as such, it is attacked first. Russiagate is just yet another pretext after MH17, Magnitsky and such.

To me the current Anti-Russian hysteria is mainly a smokescreen to hide attempt to cement cracks in the façade of the USA neoliberal society that Trump election revealed (including apparent legitimization of ruling neoliberal elite represented by Hillary).

And a desperate attempt to unite the society using (false) war propaganda which requires demonization of the "enemy of the people" and neo-McCarthyism.

Bu this is also related to attempts to prevent/weaken the alliance of Russia and China. As geopolitical consequences of this alliance for the USA-led neoliberal empire are very bad (for example, military alliance means the end of the USA global military domination; energy alliance means that is now impossible to impose a blockade on China energy supplies from Middle East even if Iran is occupied)

In this sense the recent descent into a prolonged fit of vintage Cold War jingoistic paranoia is quite understandable. While, at the same time, totally abhorrent.

My feeling is that unless Russia folds, which is unlikely, the side effects/externalities of this posture can be very bad for the USA.

In any case, the alliance of Russia and China which Obama administration policies forged spells troubles to the global neoliberal empire dominated by the USA.

Trump rejection of existing forms of neoliberal globalization is one sign that this process already started and some politicians already are trying to catch the wind and adapt to a "new brave world" by using preemptive adjustments.

Which is why all this Trump-Putin summit hysteria is about.

Neither hard, nor soft neoliberals want any adjustments. They are ready to fight for the US-led neoliberal empire till the last American (excluding, of course, themselves and their families)

[Jul 24, 2018] CNN Leaks Confidential Trump-Cohen Recording

Jul 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:26 52 SHARES

The attorney for President Trump's former longtime personal attorney has given CNN a copy of a secretly recorded conversation between Trump and Cohen, in which they discuss purchasing the rights to a Playboy model's claim that she and Trump had an affair.

McDougal, claims to have had a nearly yearlong affair with Trump in 2006, right before Melania Trump gave birth to their son Barron. McDougal sold her story to the National Enquirer for $150,000 as the 2016 presidential campaign was in its final months, however the tabloid sat on the story which kept it from becoming public in a practice known as "catch and kill."

Cohen told Trump about his plans to set up a company and finance the purchase of the rights from American Media, which publishes the National Enquirer.

"I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David," Cohen said in the recording, likely a reference to American Media head David Pecker.

Trump interrupts Cohen asking, "What financing?" according to the recording. When Cohen tells Trump, "We'll have to pay." Trump is heard saying "pay with cash" but the audio is muddled and it's unclear whether he suggests paying with cash or not paying. Cohen says, "no, no" but it is not clear what is said next. - CNN

me title=

The Enquirer's chairman, David J. Pecker, is a personal friend of Trump's, and McDougal has accused Cohen of taking part in the deal.

By burying Ms. McDougal's story during the campaign in a practice known in the tabloid industry as "catch and kill," A.M.I. protected Mr. Trump from negative publicity that could have harmed his election chances, spending money to do so.

The authorities believe that the company was not always operating in what campaign finance law calls a "legitimate press function," according to the people briefed on the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. That may explain why prosecutors did not follow typical Justice Department protocol to avoid subpoenaing news organizations when possible, and to give journalists advance warning when demanding documents or other information. - New York Times

While Trump never paid for the rights, Lanny Davis says that the recording, made in 2016, shows Trump knew about the payment.

On Saturday, President Trump broke his silence over the recording, tweeting: "Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!" Trump tweeted.

me title=

The release of the tape has sparked a widespread debate about the sanctity of attorney-client privilege, and its use in "one-party" consent states.

me title=

Meanwhile, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed with the New York Times last week that Trump and Cohen had discussed payments - and that " there was no indication on the tape that Mr. Trump knew before the conversation about the payment from the Enquirer's parent company, American Media Inc., to Ms. McDougal ."

" Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance ," said Giuliani, adding that Trump had previously told Cohen that if he were to make a payment related to the woman, to write a check instead of sending cash so that the transaction could be properly documented. "In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence," Giuliani added.

Cohen made a similar payment of $130,000 to porn star and stripper Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. Cohen said at the time "In a private transaction in 2016, I used my own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford."

Clifford - whose husband just filed for divorce , is suing Trump over a nondisclosure agreement so that she can "tell her story" (in the form of a book, we imagine), while she is also suing both Trump and Cohen for libel after Trump called her statements "fraud" over Twitter, while claiming that Clifford fabricated a story that she was threatened by a man after she went to journalists with the story of her affair.

Shortly before the 2016 election, former Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said that McDougal's allegations were "totally untrue."

Tags Politics Software - NEC Comments Vote up! 13 Vote down! 4

TeamDepends Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:27 Permalink

Powder, aka Vanderbilt Jr., aka Anderson Cooper, approves this message.

vortmax -> TeamDepends Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:27 Permalink

Still don't care tbh. He hasn't even shot anyone on Fifth Avenue yet. MAGA

Stan522 -> vortmax Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:29 Permalink

They really HATE Trump, don't they.....

johngaltfla -> Stan522 Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:30 Permalink

Further proof that Mueller's office leaks like a sieve. Now shut this shitshow circus down the day after election in November.

NoDebt -> johngaltfla Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:32 Permalink

"The Enquirer's chairman, David J. Pecker..."

Oh, come on. You're making that shit up. There's no fucking way that's his real name.

NoDebt -> NoDebt Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:34 Permalink

And, by the way, thank God we finally have a President who nails hot chicks. Clinton went after some real woofers. It was embarrassing.

NoDebt -> NoDebt Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:38 Permalink

Uh oh. This article just became the top-kick post on the site. Here we go. Off to the races again.

Son of Loki -> NoDebt Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:40 Permalink

Honestly, no one cares except the libtards and democrats if there is a difference. The men and women I know love Trump because, among other things, he is not limp-wristed like Bush and Obama were.

Americans care about jobs, immigrants and terrorists.

IridiumRebel -> Son of Loki Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:41 Permalink

Uh oh! They have Trump on tape negotiating a contract for nothing illegal!

Son of Loki -> IridiumRebel Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:43 Permalink

CNN ignores Uncle Joe Biden being "creepy" being women "uncomfortable" and the way he acts around kiddies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy07yHAgM4E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ-YjGmpO4Q

ebworthen -> IridiumRebel Tue, 07/24/2018 - 22:08 Permalink

F.B.I. Witch Hunt > Attorney-Client Privilege Shattered > C.N.N. Propaganda mill

If that isn't a banana republic progression of events I don't know what is.

What's next, Trump's Pastor's church raided during Sunday service?

Little Barron taken in by Mueller for questioning?

monkeyshine -> IridiumRebel Tue, 07/24/2018 - 22:11 Permalink

"pay with cash" probably is just a response to the word "financing". Just my guess of course, but from the dialogue it flows logically, as in Trump saying to himself "why finance it, just pay her cash". Doesn't necessarily mean pay with currency just means don't borrow the money. Besides, it doesn't matter much in this context since the lawyer said no, and there is no crime here unless he said "pay her with campaign contributions".

Clinton paid Paula Jones, what, $850,000? And he didn't even get the rights to the story.
Trump's negotiating genius on display lol.

LetThemEatRand -> monkeyshine Tue, 07/24/2018 - 22:15 Permalink

"'pay with cash' probably is just a response to the word 'financing'."

I would say 99% probability that's what he meant. Lawyer: "we need to talk about financing" Trump: "pay with cash." He didn't mean a suitcase full of bills. He meant "just write a check." Anyone in business knows the terminology. Plus it's not even clear WTF they are talking about.

I have no love for Trump, in fact I think he's an asshole. But this is all so much ado about nothing.

Sanity Bear -> IridiumRebel Tue, 07/24/2018 - 22:18 Permalink

I have to admit I'm confused as to why he should pay anything at all. Why not let the smoking hot model tell the world you scored with her? What's the downside here?

Free This -> Sanity Bear Tue, 07/24/2018 - 22:25 Permalink

Just to get rid of it, people like to sue to settle, who knows though?

nmewn -> Son of Loki Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:48 Permalink

So this is the tape that Trump said he doesn't give a crap about the release of, outside of the larger question of EVERYONE'S RIGHT of lawyer-client privilege?

Well just damn, it must be a smoker that will finally lead to his impeachment ;-)

nmewn -> chunga Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:58 Permalink

Well yeah...but these days ya just roll with what they present, like..."past and former government officials who are in a position to know have confirmed that"...which invariably leads to, abuse of authority, presenting falsified/manufactured evidence to a court, withholding exculpatory evidence to a court, stolen classified documents after being fired, obstruction of justice, perjury...ya know, the normal regular things progs do to put their heads in the noose ;-)

chunga -> nmewn Tue, 07/24/2018 - 22:08 Permalink

It was FBI that raided Cohen's office so I'll presume that's where this tape came from.

I'm not going to start sticking up for the maverick's lapses in fidelity, but holy crap, the FBI/DOJ have been blatantly weaponized against him and in charge of those outfits are....Sessions and Wray?

What the fuck?

nmewn -> chunga Tue, 07/24/2018 - 21:58 Permalink

Well yeah...but these days ya just roll with what they present, like..."past and former government officials who are in a position to know have confirmed that"...which invariably leads to, abuse of authority, presenting falsified/manufactured evidence to a court, withholding exculpatory evidence to a court, stolen classified documents after being fired, obstruction of justice, perjury...ya know, the normal regular things progs do to put their heads in the noose ;-)

chunga -> nmewn Tue, 07/24/2018 - 22:08 Permalink

It was FBI that raided Cohen's office so I'll presume that's where this tape came from.

I'm not going to start sticking up for the maverick's lapses in fidelity, but holy crap, the FBI/DOJ have been blatantly weaponized against him and in charge of those outfits are....Sessions and Wray?

What the fuck?

Never One Roach -> nmewn Tue, 07/24/2018 - 22:38 Permalink

Time to release all 589 pages of FISA docs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxlO4Fjvvy8

GeezerGeek -> MrAToZ Tue, 07/24/2018 - 22:05 Permalink

At least DJT has shown generosity toward his, um, friends. What did JFK do to Marilyn? What did Teddy do to Mary Jo? LBJ had at least one mistress. What did Bill Clinton call the gal in the blue dress, wasn't it "that woman"? What did Obama call his wife, Michael if I recall correctly.

Poor Jimmy Carter. All he ever had was a killer rabbit. He may have been totally incompetent, but at least he was a decent guy while in office. Afterward, unfortunately, not so much.

seek -> Stan522 Tue, 07/24/2018 - 22:03 Permalink

Hate is an understatement.

Seriously, here we have :

Any one of these is a federal felony. The people behind this are willing to break a lot of laws to make it happen. All to release a recording that on the face of it is regarding a legal activity (a forebearance contract.)

These people are desperate.

[Jul 24, 2018] NEO Russiagate, the Comedy of Errors - Veterans Today News - Military Foreign Affairs Policy

Notable quotes:
"... "Why have you done this to us?" ..."
"... "Look elsewhere." ..."
"... Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He's a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today , especially for the online magazine " New Eastern Outlook ." https://journal-neo.org/2018/07/21/russiagate-the-comedy-of-errors/ ..."
Jul 24, 2018 | www.veteranstoday.com

https://us-u.openx.net/w/1.0/pd?plm=6&ph=2857f3e0-a998-4d70-b5c1-b19a3d6766a1&gdpr=0

NEO: Russiagate, the Comedy of Errors - Veterans Today | News - Military Foreign Affairs Policy The 2018 Helsinki summit has left Americans puzzled, some terrified, others feign outrage but few have stood back and taken a breath. Always stand back, always take a breath, always keep the mouth shut and the hand off the keyboard.

A quick review of the facts, such as they are, such as we can assume them to be, is a place to begin. Donald Trump, despite his denials and obfuscation, really did side with Russia against America's intelligence agencies.

Let's take a breath, on one hand you have the CIA, NSA and 14 other agencies, all heavily politicized, all with long histories of abuses, of lying, of even drug trafficking, rigging elections, assassinations – this is the "one hand."

On the other, you have Russian President Vladimir Putin saying, "I didn't do it."

Then you have Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller telling us he has evidence of Russian wrongdoing – evidence he got from the CIA, NSA and 14 other agencies.

Then again, I forgot to mention that these agencies generally get their intelligence from Israel, about half of it – a nation that is seldom an unbiased or disinterested party – or from open source intelligence.

They see it on TV.

Then again, they have been accused, from time to time, of making it all up.

Add to this Donald Trump , a man who would lie about what day it was; he doesn't seem to be able to help himself – the mouth opens and out they come – an endless stream of them, many of them bizarre and quite unnecessary. It is as though he is testing us.

There is a simple answer here. Based on reason, Trump may well have been quite correct in his assessment that Putin wasn't lying. Putin was right there; Trump only told the audience what he was told. Trump wasn't making that part up.

As you can note, we are now testing one or more hypotheses, hoping we might end up with something resembling truth, a lonely effort in the best of cases.

Robert Mueller

We can assume Robert Mueller was telling the truth also. He said, through indictments of Russian intelligence personnel, that he had "evidence" received from "intelligence sources" and "witnesses," some of whom are already convicted criminals, that support his hypothesis. Mueller says his evidence proves "the Russians did it."

This doesn't mean Putin lied. It doesn't even mean Trump lied, though in his recent denials, he has begun lying, and quite embarrassingly; nothing new there.

Here is what it hinges down to – the American judicial system, an adversarial system that can be manipulated and in many cases, as Trump has claimed over and over, can be used to target innocent victims.

Then again, we aren't saying Trump is an innocent victim, only that Putin didn't lie.

Then we ask, is it possible for Russian intelligence officers to do exactly what Mueller has claimed – steal identities, hack computers, pay off stooges – the normal things intelligence officers are paid to do anyway, without Putin knowing?

The answer to this is yes; but the answer is also mitigated, in that the likelihood of "yes" being correct is poor. Putin should have known. He says he didn't and, thus, based on his character, or at least his history of blatant fearlessness, he is unlikely to lie over something where he has little or nothing to lose nor does lying serve the interests of the Russian people and their welfare.

Then we look at the real weak link, the sources of the evidence, witness statements from admitted criminals and reports from intelligence agencies.

Past this , we look at who has something to gain in destroying American institutions, discrediting President Trump even more than usual, and worsening relations between the US and Russia.

It isn't Iran. It isn't Syria. It isn't Germany.

We then step back again and assess which nations have the power to fake evidence or corrupt the output of American intelligence reports even more than they are usually faked or corrupted.

Three nations come to mind, in order; Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Each have powerful lobbies in Washington, each could potentially gain through weakening both Russia and the United States, and each has a long history of using black propaganda and even false flag terrorism to achieve gains.

I like this list.

We then take an anecdotal look at a couple of minor aspects of the Mueller inquiry. We begin with internet manipulation of fake news stories attacking Hillary Clinton.

It is one thing putting out a fake story; it is quite another featuring it on Facebook with extremely strong preferences and making sure any and every Google search, for cabbage recipes or vacation spots, gives results that attack the Clinton campaign.

Assuming that "Zuckerberg" of Facebook would work with Israeli intelligence, simply because of his name might well be considered anti-Semitism. However, when examining how Zuckerberg dealt with Cambridge Analytica during an election year and his relationship with Israeli spy contractor, Black Cube, Israel comes to the top of the list.

Jared Cohen at Google Ideas

Google also has things to hide. Behind Google is a regime-change organization, formerly known as Google Idea Groups, now called Google Jigsaw.

Jigsaw, a powerful military and intelligence contractor owned by Google Corporation, is headed by former Bush White House clandestine intelligence chief, Jared Cohen.

Cohen has been active in operations against Russian interests in Crimea, he has run operations inside Iran and has a number of organizations under his command in Turkey aimed at ousting President Assad of Syria.

After all , Cohen's job is "regime change" and Russia, Iran and Syria are long targets of the "Russia bashers" in Washington, many of whom, if not most, are also powerful members of the Israel lobby as well.

We will let Saudi Arabia off the hook this time.

Time to step back again. Note that even if Russia were guilty, but guilty of what? Spying is not illegal. There is no international convention against spying.

America's troops in Syria are illegal. Drone killings are illegal. Recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel is illegal. Russia rigging an American election is not a violation of international law.

It's not nice, but then again, American sanctions against Russia aren't nice either. America's rightist coup against Ukraine wasn't so nice. America's invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a few other countries, wasn't so nice.

America's efforts to flood Russia with heroin from Afghanistan isn't nice either, but we don't have to get into that right now.

What we are saying, and a case we are making, there was no reason for Putin to lie. However, there is reason for a nation, let's take Israel for instance, to fake Russia as a "bad guy," putting an American president in office who, as Trump has proven, does what Israel tells him to do 100% of the time.

Does Israel have the muscle, the capability or, using the legal term, the "means" to fake evidence?

We already established they have a motive and they have opportunity.

We then have it – Mueller told the truth, Putin told the truth, even Trump told the truth before he started lying.

Should the Russian people take solace in the fact that America is poorly governed? America has hurt Russia, over and over, though few Americans realize it.

Peace could and should have broken out decades ago, except America has been ruled by Russia-haters for a hundred years – Russia-haters that are alive and well and in control in Washington, even now.

I am not saying Putin is perfect or above sin. I am only saying he would not have bothered lying about anything this stupid or minor; it isn't worth it. He has nothing to gain. Putin is not stupid, though he may well be poorly informed. Is he so poorly informed that his own intelligence agencies might well have acted with blatant stupidity against the United States and gotten caught?

The Russia of the Cold War, the old Soviet Union, would never have been so stupid.

Then again, how much has Russia gained from Trump?

As the ire of the first 48 hours after Helsinki dies down, and some real rage among a population of Americans – no one knows how big – burns on, we ask why?

To many Americans , perhaps a majority that ebbs and flows according to fake pollsters, Russia foisted a dangerous clown into the Oval Office as a sick joke – perhaps a punishment for some crime Americans would never admit to anyway.

"Why have you done this to us?"

When asked, Vladimir Putin simply said, "Look elsewhere."

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He's a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today , especially for the online magazine " New Eastern Outlook ."
https://journal-neo.org/2018/07/21/russiagate-the-comedy-of-errors/

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[Jul 23, 2018] America On It s Way to Being Stalin s Soviet Union by Publius Tacitus

Notable quotes:
"... PT is correct. Any Russian anywhere who has ever spoken to any American for any reason is now considered attempting to "undermine American democracy." When in reality, we're doing it just fine ourselves. The hypocrisy and paranoia is breathtaking - and extremely dangerous. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | /turcopolier.typepad.com

richardstevenhack a day ago ,

I noticed this situation some months ago when Torshin was accused of donating money to the NRA in order to help Trump get elected. Apparently he is a member of the NRA and as such is perfectly entitled to make donations to the organization.

What I noticed in the article about this is that the one piece of information left out was the amount of the donation. Since the NRA spent $50 million trying to get Trump elected, unless Torshin's donation was some significant percentage of that $50 million, it would make no sense for his donation to be considered significant, if it was little more than what a normal NRA member might be expected to contribute.

Which is, of course, why that figure was deliberately left out of the article - and several other articles on the subject.

An article at ABC News finally acknowledged what the "donation" was:

Last month, a lawyer for the NRA told ABC News that Torshin had, indeed, donated membership dues of between $600 and $1,000 to the organization.But the lawyer, J. Steven Hart, said that was the extent of money coming from Russians.

"We have one contribution from a Russian," Steven Hart, outside counsel to the NRA, said in an interview with ABC News before Friday's sanctions announcement.

Hart said it was the "life membership payment" made by Torshin, which went to the NRA's non-profit parent organization, which is not required by law to disclose the donation. Hart added, "The donation was the person's membership dues" and was not used for election-related activities. "That was not a major donor program," he said.

PT is correct. Any Russian anywhere who has ever spoken to any American for any reason is now considered attempting to "undermine American democracy." When in reality, we're doing it just fine ourselves. The hypocrisy and paranoia is breathtaking - and extremely dangerous.

william mcdonald richardstevenhack 16 hours ago ,

A Russian donating to the NRA - that is going to make liberal heads explode! Snowflakes, run do not walk to the campus safe spaces before they fill up!

RaisingMac richardstevenhack 10 hours ago ,

"Since the NRA spent $50 million trying to get Trump elected, unless Torshin's donation was some significant percentage of that $50 million, it would make no sense for his donation to be considered significant, if it was little more than what a normal NRA member might be expected to
contribute."

And just how significant was the $100,000 that clickbait firm from St. Petersburg spent on Facebook ads in 2016? We're through the looking-glass now, friend! Logic doesn't matter anymore.

Grazhdanochka 20 hours ago ,

The Narrative here faces serious Questions... Poor Trade-craft is obvious using insecure Communications, Chit Chat with supposed 'Handler' to name a few... The Note left about the FSB - FSB being INTERNAL Agency of RF begs yet more Questions...

The NYT Article about it brings up another one I think I should Highlight:

https://www.nytimes.com/201...

"Prosecutors sought criminal charges after agents reported over the weekend that she was moving money out of the country, had her boxes packed, looked into renting a moving truck and had terminated her apartment lease. "

If she was an Agent of the Government and preparing to leave the Country due to increased Attention - she would hardly waste her Time sorting her Affairs and Possessions in the US - This would be considered Government write off effectively.

Her actions however screams someone trying to preserve personal Possessions and Earnings..

I can suggest two 'soft' theories on this whole Affair -

A) She is a naive Girl who genuinely believed what she was doing, found a sponsor whom guided her, maybe even persuaded her to thinking she was working for Russian Government or elements within and thus her naive and very unprofessional behavior has obvious explanation.

B) Much of what is suggested she wrote has been playful Jest, the Types of Jokes my Friends and I have made countless Times when visiting Foreign Countries and taken for whatever reason utmost seriously by Investigators....

Even this Explanations feels forced - The alternative hard Theories may be something far worse as PT suggests

Having lived in a few Western Countries for varied Times, I feel vindicated having returned to Russia - Though I still travel constant for work, this serves as careful reminder that the very qualities I once admired in the Western World are potentially at highest risk and as a Russian - maybe best to be careful...

Harlan Easley 13 hours ago ,

This poor naive girl has been imprison by a bunch of cowards. This insanity has gone so far over the top with this relentless drive toward armed conflict with a nuclear superpower that it forces me to believe there is a more organizing principle than just TDS. They openly defy a elected President and plan his coup. Assange will be arrested next. The conspiracy will use his arrest against Trump as a bludgeoning tool and force his extradition to the US. Just another political prisoner in the Land of the Free.

RaisingMac Harlan Easley 10 hours ago ,

I'm sure you're right: there's more at work here than just TDS. The establishment was obviously planning something big, and Hillary was in on it. I can't say for sure what it was, but if I had to take a wild guess, I would say she was going to invade Syria, which would have almost certainly led to a war with Russia. But now that Trump is president instead, they're threatened with the specter of peace!

Fred S 13 hours ago ,

By this indictment's logic every foreign national helping planned parenthood is trying to "influence American politics". I wonder if speeches to chambers of commerce or economic clubs or universities by former Presidents of Mexico also make one guilty of this crime?

James Thomas 15 hours ago ,

It is worth remembering that the Soviet Union purported to be a democracy - the country held elections and the government and the news media told the people that they lived in the greatest democracy in the world.

I have a friend who grew up in the Soviet Union. Until he was 12 years old he believed he lived in the greatest country in the world. Then his mother went to England on a trade mission (an opportunity that very few Soviet citizens ever had), and when she came back she told her son what she had seen there. It was only then that he started to figure out the truth.

English Outsider 15 hours ago ,

Scarey. Foreign nationals will no doubt take note. But she is getting a court hearing, at least. Will it extend to Western citizens living and working in their home countries?

It already has. In England, in Australia, on the Continent and in the States there are many such examples. Seldom coming before the Courts. The use of government agencies to harass undesirables has long been standard - using the tax authorities mostly, as far as one can see, but sometimes other agencies.

For the average citizen it's never made a lot of odds. Those targeted are usually big names who are making waves or might do. The ordinary citizen has no fear that because he or she holds the view that Government's activities are wrong some official's going to turn up on the doorstep.

If ordinary people are vulnerable, as this case indicates even though this particular ordinary person is a foreigner, then we may begin to feel a trifle uneasy. But these are uneasy times in any case.

Timothy Hagios 17 hours ago ,

We are already seeing censorship of social media under the pretext of protecting the country from the supremely powerful Russian bots. I do not see this de-escalating, despite the best efforts of the Russians not to escalate.

Since the general consensus among Russia "experts" in policy-making circles is that they'll get regime change if only Russia's wealthy are harassed sufficiently, the logical next step would be to start arresting the children of wealthy Russians who are studying at US universities.

PRC90 Timothy Hagios 16 hours ago ,

Trump's intent for dialogue with the Russians and Putin's intent to maintain his 'Putin the Statesman' brand should preclude a very dangerous spiral of retaliation. We think.

[Jul 23, 2018] Chickens with Their Heads Cut Off, Coming Home to Roost. The "Treason Narrative" by Helen Buyniski

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Congress wasted no time jumping on the Treason bandwagon, led by Chuck Schumer conjuring the spectre of the KGB, Marco Rubio as neocon point-man (one imagines Barbara Bush rolling in her grave at his usurpation of Jeb's rightful role) proposing locked-and-loaded sanctions in case of future "meddling," and John McCain , still desperate to take the rest of the world with him before he finally kicks a long-overdue bucket, condemning the "disgraceful" display of two heads of state trying to come to an agreement about matters of mutual interest. The Pentagon has invested a lot of time and money in positioning Russia as Public Enemy #1, and for Trump to put his foot in it by making nice with Putin might diminish the size of their weapons contracts – or the willingness of the American people to tolerate more than half of every tax dollar disappearing down an unaccountable hole . Peace? Eh, who needs it. Cash , motherfucker. ..."
"... The Intelligence Community believes it is God, and it hath smote Trump good. Smelling blood in the water, the media redoubled their shrieking for several days, and crickets. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

... ... ...

The Helsinki hysteria shone a spotlight on the utter impotence of the establishment media and their Deep State controllers to make their delusions reality. Never before has there been such a gaping chasm visible between the media's "truth" and the facts on the ground. Pundits compared the summit to Pearl Harbor and 9/11 , with some even reaching for the brass ring of the Holocaust by likening it to Kristallnacht , while polls revealed the American people really didn't care .

Worse, it laid bare the collusion between the media and their Deep State handlers – the central dissemination point for the headlines, down to the same phrases, that led to every outlet claiming Trump had "thrown the Intelligence Community under the bus" by refusing to embrace the Russia-hacked-our-democracy narrative during his press conference with Putin. Leaving aside the sudden ubiquity of "Intelligence Community" in our national discourse – as if this network of spies and murderous thugs is Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood – no one seriously believes every pundit came up with "throws under the bus" as the proper way of describing that press conference.

The same central control was apparent in the unanimous condemnations of Putin – that he murders journalists , breaks international agreements , uses banned chemical weapons , kills women and children in Syria , and, of course, meddles in elections . For every single establishment pundit to exhibit such a breathtaking lack of insight into their own government's misdeeds is highly unlikely. Many of these same talking heads remarked in horror on Sinclair Broadcasting's Orwellian "prepared statement" issuing forth from the mouths of hundreds of stations' anchors at once. Et tu, Anderson Cooper?

Helsinki – Trump and Putin – a Showdown for Summer Doldrums or a Genuine Attempt Towards Peace?

The media frenzy was geared toward sparking a popular revolt, with tensions already running high from the previous media frenzy about family separation at the border (though only one MSNBC segment seemed to recall that they should still care about that, and belatedly included some footage of kids behind a fence wrapped in Mylar blankets). Rachel Maddow , armed with the crocodile tears that served her so well during the family-separation fracas, exhorted her faithful cultists to do something . Meanwhile, national-security neanderthal John Brennan all but called for a coup, condemning the president for the unspeakable "high crimes and misdemeanors" of seeking to improve relations with the world's second-largest nuclear power. He called on Pompeo and Bolton, the two biggest warmongers in a Trump administration bristling with warmongers, to resign in protest. This would have been a grand slam for world peace, but alas, it was not to be. Even those two realize what a has-been Brennan is.

Congress wasted no time jumping on the Treason bandwagon, led by Chuck Schumer conjuring the spectre of the KGB, Marco Rubio as neocon point-man (one imagines Barbara Bush rolling in her grave at his usurpation of Jeb's rightful role) proposing locked-and-loaded sanctions in case of future "meddling," and John McCain , still desperate to take the rest of the world with him before he finally kicks a long-overdue bucket, condemning the "disgraceful" display of two heads of state trying to come to an agreement about matters of mutual interest. The Pentagon has invested a lot of time and money in positioning Russia as Public Enemy #1, and for Trump to put his foot in it by making nice with Putin might diminish the size of their weapons contracts – or the willingness of the American people to tolerate more than half of every tax dollar disappearing down an unaccountable hole . Peace? Eh, who needs it. Cash , motherfucker.

Trump's grip on his long-elusive spine was only temporary, and he held another press conference upon returning home to reiterate his trust in the intelligence agencies that have made no secret of their utter loathing for him since day one. When the lights went out at the climactic moment, it became clear for anyone who still hadn't gotten the message who was running the show here (and Trump, to his credit, actually joked about it). The Intelligence Community believes it is God, and it hath smote Trump good. Smelling blood in the water, the media redoubled their shrieking for several days, and crickets. On to the Playmates .

Sacha Baron Cohen 's latest series, "Who is America," targeted Ted Koppel for one segment. Koppel cut the interview short after smelling a rat and expressed his high-minded concern that Cohen's antics would hurt Americans' trust in reporters. But after a week of the entire media establishment screaming that the sky is falling while the heavens remain firmly in place, Cohen is clearly the least of their problems. At least he's funny.

*

Helen Buyniski is a journalist and photographer based in New York City. She covers politics, sociology, and other anthropological/cultural phenomena. Helen has a BA in Journalism from New School University and also studied at Columbia University and New York University. Find more of her work at http://www.helenofdestroy.com and http://medium.com/@helen.buyniski .