May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous
Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton == Obama 2.0, a Manchurian candidate fully controlled by financial oligarchy
Hillary Clinton is "a shifty, corrupt, lying shill, who cared
nothing for real progressive values… (Kevin
Drum). The only area in which she is highly qualified in selling out the American people to globalists.
This despicable Wahhabism appleaser (who pretends to be a fighter for women
and minorities rights) voted for Iraq war, was the butcher of Libya and Syria
and was instrumental in killing thousands of women and children in those two
countries. She accepted millions in "donations," from despotic Middle Eastern
regimes that stone women for adultery.
Her addiction to Wall Street money
and Saudi money like Bill addiction to sex is impossible to break. With the exception of a few social issues, Hillary Clinton is a right wing Republican.
Clintonism is about playing the "identity politics" as a bulwark against any
class or populist upheaval that might threaten neoliberalism.
"Clintonism's core identity is not, in other words, as a crusade for groups suffering from the
legacy and future threat of oppression by Trump's white male followers. It is a full-court press
to keep the wheels on the neoliberal sh*twagon as it careens down the road of globalization, and
it recognizes the importance in American democracy of slicing and dicing the electorate by identity
politics and co-opting useful demographics as the key to maintaining power... There is more to
Clintonism, I think, than simply playing the “identity politics” card to screw Bernie Sanders or
discombobulate the Trump campaign. “Identity politics” is near the core of the Clintonian agenda as
a bulwark against any class/populist upheaval that might threaten her brand of billionaire-friendly
The key points
The whole Democratic Party is in trouble as it lost its key constituency. Probably for
long time. My feeling is that Dems already lost working class and large part of lower middle.
They became the party of professionals and Wall Street speculators. They systematically betrayed
union members since Bill Clinton and now the train probably left the station. By estimate of
union brass, probably three out of four union members will vote against Hillary this election
even if the union endorsed Hillary.
The way Hillary plays identity politics is viewed by many people, especially women as
completely dishonest. How she can a champion for woman and minorities right is she was
instrumental in killing so many women and children in Iraq, Libya and Syria? What about her
defense of 40yars old rapist of 12 years old girl? Those fact this alone our shadows Trump
"transgressions"? Looks like she overplayed her "identify politics" hand.
The fact that she is a neocon, warmonger, hell-bent on Russophobia (making it the
cornerstone of her election strategy) might backfire.She essentially converted
Democratic Party into War Party with Russophobia as a banner. Is this that different from
neofascism, if we replace Jews with Russians ? People do not want yet another
war, especially with Russia. Her (and Democratic Party) demonization of Putin is a very dirty
election play. Three wars for expansion of neoliberal empire seems to be way too much. Enough is
enough. Her idea of no fly zone in Syria is just a code word for full invasion. And
she is a staunch advocate of "humanizing bombing" of brown people. That might not help her with
Her important weakness that people view her of compulsive, pathological liar. Few
people believe anything that she is promising. Most understand that she is lying and will "bait
and switch" them at first opportunity after assuming the office, much like Barack Obama did.
Her "identity politics" and her fake feminism are completely insincere. She is
completely numb to human suffering and interests of females and minorities. Looks like she has a
total lack of empathy for other people.
For most Sanders supporters she is a right wing Republican -- a wolf in sheep clothing.
Some might just prefer to vote for a real wolf, other for Jill Stein.
In case of election victory her win might well be a Pyrrhic victory. And the unknown
neurological disease that she has (Parkinson?) makes her even more vulnerable after the election.
The role of POTUS involves a lot of stress and requires substantial physical stamina as POTUS is
the center of intersection of all important government conflicts. She is a natural center of all
commutations within the government. That's a killing environment for anyone with Parkinson.
Possible impeachment and continued leaks might add to the stress too. And remember she was
not able to survive the pressure of the role of the Secretary of State when she was younger, in
much better physical and mental health and has an earlier stage of the disease.
Here is one exchange from naked capitalism blog that can extend this summary brings
several other interesting points (nakedcapitalism.com,
Oct 05, 2016)
Well, I would hope that informed voters who have a healthy fear of the military-industrial-political
complex will vote to keep the scariest of the two re: nuclear war out of office. This particular
concern is the reason why I will in all likelihood be voting for the man I've been ridiculing
for most of the past year, simply because I am terrified of the prospect of Hillary Clinton as
Trump is a bad choice for a long list of reasons, but the most outrageous things he has
proposed require legislation and I think it will be possible to defeat his essential sociopathy
on that level, since he will face not only the opposition of the Dem Party, but also MSM and a
significant number of people from his own party.
But when it comes to the President's ability to put American 'boots on the ground' vs.
some theoretical enemy, no such approval from Congress is necessary. Hillary Clinton will be in
a position to get us into a costly war without having to overcome any domestic opposition to pull
What scares me is my knowledge of her career-long investment in trying to convince the
generals and the admirals that she is a 'tough bitch', ala Margaret Thatcher, who will not hesitate
to pull the trigger. An illuminating
article in the NY Times revealed that she always advocates the most muscular and reckless
dispositions of U.S. military forces whenever her opinion is solicited.
All of her experience re: foreign policy that she's been touting is actually the scariest
thing about her, when you look at what her historical dispositions have been. The "No Fly Zone"
she's been pushing since last year is just the latest example of her instinct to act recklessly,
as it directly invites a military confrontation with Russia.
Her willingness to roll the dice, to gamble with other people's lives, is ingrained within
her political personality, of which she is so proud.
Her greatest political fear-that she might one day be accused by Republicans of being "weak
on America's enemies"-is what we have to fear. That fear is what drives her to
the most extreme of war hawk positions, since her foundational strategy is to get out in front
of the criticism she anticipates.
It is what we can count on. She will most assuredly get America into a war within the first
6-9 months of her Presidency, since she will be looking forward to the muscular response she will
order when she is 'tested', as she expects.
How reckless is Trump likely to be? Well, like Clinton-and all other civilian Commanders-in-Chief,
Trump be utterly dependent upon the advice of military professionals in deciding what kind of
responses to order. But in the position of The Decider, there is one significant difference between
Trump and Clinton. Trump is at least willing and able to 1) view Putin as someone who is not a
threat to the United States and 2) is able/willing to question the rationality of America's continued
participation in NATO.
These differences alone are enough to move me to actually vote for someone I find politically
detestable, simply because I fear that the alternative is a high probability of war, and a greatly
enhanced risk of nuclear annihilation-through miscalculation-under a Hillary Clinton Presidency.
Excellent, really excellent summary. Thank you. Especially this observation:
"Her greatest political fear-that she might one day be accused by Republicans of being "weak
on America's enemies"-is what we have to fear. That fear is what drives her to the most extreme
of war hawk positions, since her foundational strategy is to get out in front of the criticism
2. She (like most sociopaths, although it is unclear whether she is one or not) is not able
to apologize for mistakes. New York Times:
In the end, she settled on language that was similar to Senator John Kerry's when he was the
Democratic nominee in 2004: that if she had known in 2002 what she knows now about Iraqi weaponry,
she would never have voted for the Senate resolution authorizing force.
Yet antiwar anger has festered, and yesterday morning Mrs. Clinton rolled out a new response
to those demanding contrition: She said she was willing to lose support from voters rather
than make an apology she did not believe in.
"If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or
has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from," Mrs. Clinton told an
audience in Dover, N.H., in a veiled reference to two rivals for the nomination, Senator Barack
Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina.
Her decision not to apologize is regarded so seriously within her campaign that some advisers
believe it will be remembered as a turning point in the race: either ultimately galvanizing
voters against her (if she loses the nomination), or highlighting her resolve and her willingness
to buck Democratic conventional wisdom (if she wins).
At the same time, the level of Democratic anger has surprised some of her allies and advisers,
and her campaign is worried about how long it will last and how much damage it might cause
3. Due to her greed she and her close entourage represent a huge security risk. Emailgate had
shown that as for computer security she is an absolute zero. Absolutely, horribly incompetent
and absolutely, horribly greedy (the key idea of private server was to hide her "pay for play"
deals related to Clinton foundation). The same level of computer security incompetence is prevalent
in her close circle (Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, etc) .
4. She strongly believe in the neoconservative foreign-policy agenda by re-casting the neoconservatives'
goals in liberal-interventionist terms. In reality the difference between "liberal interventionism"
and Neoconservatism are pretty superficial (Kagan already calls himself liberal interventionalist)
and Hillary's willingness to infest a foreign-policy establishment with neocons is beyond any
doubt and comparable with Bush II.
As the recent Republican primary contest had shown neoconservatives have virtually no support
among the US voters. Their base is exclusively military-industrial complex. So the reason she
is reaching out to those shady figures is a deceptively simple: she shares common views, respects
their supposed expertise, and wants them in her governing coalition. That means that "… today's
Democrats have become the Party of War: a home for arms merchants, mercenaries, academic war planners,
lobbyists for every foreign intervention, promoters of color revolutions, failed generals, exploiters
of the natural resources of corrupt governments. …" (
5. She is completely numb to human suffering. She has a total lack of empathy for other people.
Senator Kamala Harris hinted Tuesday that if she wins the election in 2020, she will continue to "prosecute"
President Donald Trump even after he leaves the White House.
Jimmy Kimmel Live
on Tuesday, the
Democrat candidate for president said that her experience as a prosecutor would figure into her actions as president
and that she thinks the voters would want her to "prosecute" Trump.
"I also believe that what voters are going to want is they are going to want that there is someone who has the proven ability
to prosecute the case against this administration and this president," she said. "And that is going to be about having an ability
and a proven ability to be able to articulate the evidence that makes the case for why we need new leadership in this country."
Kimmel pressed her on the point and asked if she intended to continue trying to jail Trump after he leaves the White
House, but Harris dissembled saying, "I am very supportive of Bob Mueller being able to finish his process and do his
During her appearance, Harris also signed onto the new Democrat
narrative of abolishing the Electoral College.
"I'm open to the discussion," she told Kimmel. "There's no question that the popular vote has been diminished in
terms of making the final decision about who's the president of the United States, and we need to deal with that."
As to other hot-button policies, Harris also
with the so-called Green New Deal offered up by controversial liberal New York Representative
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In addition, the Californian
she supports "some type" of reparations for slavery.
Yves here. This post focuses on an important slice of history in what "freedom" has meant in
political discourse in the US. But I wish it had at least mentioned how a well-funded, then
extreme right wing effort launched an open-ended campaign to render US values more friendly to
business. They explicitly sought to undo New Deal programs and weaken or end other social
safety nets. Nixon Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell codified the strategy for this initiative
in the so-called Powell Memo of 1971.
One of the most effective spokesmen for this libertarian program was Milton Friedman, whose
bestseller Free to Choose became the foundation for a ten-part TV series.
America is having a heated debate about the meaning of the word socialism . We'd be
better served if, instead, we were debating the meaning of freedom .
Oregonian reported last week that fully 156,000 families are on the edge of homelessness in
our small-population state. Every one of those households is now paying more than 50 percent of
its monthly income on rent, and none of them has any savings; one medical bill, major car repair
or job loss, and they're on the streets.
While socialism may or may not solve their problem, the more pressing issue we have is an
entire political party and a huge sector of the billionaire class who see homelessness not as a
problem, but as a symptom of a "free" society.
The words freedom and liberty are iconic in American culture -- probably more so than with
any other nation because they're so intrinsic to the literature, declarations and slogans of our
The irony -- of the nation founded on the world's greatest known genocide (the systematic
state murder of tens of millions of Native Americans) and over three centuries of legalized
slavery and a century and a half of oppression and exploitation of the descendants of those
slaves -- is extraordinary. It presses us all to bring true freedom and liberty to all
But what do those words mean?
If you ask the Koch brothers and their buddies -- who slap those words on pretty much
everything they do -- you'd get a definition that largely has to do with being "free" from
taxation and regulation. And, truth be told, if you're morbidly rich, that makes a certain amount
of sense, particularly if your main goal is to get richer and richer, regardless of your
behavior's impact on working-class people, the environment, or the ability of government to
On the other hand, the definition of freedom and liberty that's been embraced by so-called
"democratic socialist" countries -- from Canada to almost all of Europe to Japan and Australia --
you'd hear a definition that's closer to that articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt when he
proposed, in January 1944, a " second Bill
of Rights " to be added to our Constitution.
FDR's proposed amendments included the right to a job, and the right to be paid enough to
live comfortably; the right to "adequate food and clothing and recreation"; the right to start a
business and run it without worrying about "unfair competition and domination by monopolies"; the
right "of every family to a decent home"; the right to "adequate medical care to achieve and
enjoy good health"; the right to government-based "protection from the economic fears of old age,
sickness, accident, and unemployment"; and the right "to a good education."
Roosevelt pointed out that, "All of these rights spell security." He added, "America's own
rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have
been carried into practice for our citizens. For unless there is security here at home there
cannot be lasting peace in the world."
The other nations mentioned earlier took President Roosevelt's advice to heart. Progressive
"social democracy" has kept Europe, Canada, and the developed nations of the East and South
Pacific free of war for almost a century -- a mind-boggling feat when considering the history of
the developed world since the 1500s.
Just prior to FDR winning the White House in the election of 1932, the nation had been
treated to 12 years of a bizarre Republican administration that was the model for today's GOP. In
1920, Warren Harding won the presidency on a campaign of "more industry in government, less
government in industry" -- privatize and deregulate -- and a promise to drop the top tax rate of
91 percent down to 25 percent.
He kept both promises, putting the nation into a sugar-high spin called the Roaring '20s,
where the rich got fabulously rich and working-class people were being beaten and murdered by
industrialists when they tried to unionize. Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover (the three Republican
presidents from 1920 to 1932) all cheered on the assaults, using phrases like "the right to work"
to describe a union-free nation.
In the end, the result of the "
horses and sparrows " economics advocated by Harding ("feed more oats to the horses and
there'll be more oats in the horse poop to fatten the sparrows" -- that generation's version of
trickle-down economics) was the Republican Great Depression (yes, they called it that until after
World War II).
Even though Roosevelt was fabulously popular -- the only president to be elected four times --
the right-wingers of his day were loud and outspoken in their protests of what they called
"socialist" programs like Social Security, the right to unionize, and government-guaranteed job
programs including the WPA, REA, CCC, and others.
The Klan and American Nazis were assembling by the hundreds of thousands nationwide -- nearly
30,000 in Madison Square Garden
alone -- encouraged by wealthy and powerful "economic royalists" preaching "freedom" and "
liberty ." Like the Kochs' Freedomworks , that generation's huge and well-funded
(principally by the DuPonts' chemical fortune) organization was the Liberty League .
Roosevelt's generation had seen the results of this kind of hard-right "freedom" rhetoric in
Italy, Spain, Japan and Germany, the very nations with which we were then at war.
Speaking of "the grave dangers of 'rightist reaction' in this Nation," Roosevelt told America in that same speech that: "[I]f
history were to repeat itself and we were to return to the so-called 'normalcy' of the 1920s --
then it is certain that even though we shall have conquered our enemies on the battlefields
abroad, we shall have yielded to the spirit of Fascism here at home."
Although right-wingers are still working hard to disassemble FDR's New Deal -- the GOP budget
for 2019 contains massive cuts to Social Security, as well as to Medicare and Medicaid -- we got
halfway toward his notion of freedom and liberty here in the United States:
You're not free if
you're old and deep in poverty, so we have Social Security (although the GOP wants to gut it).
You're not free if you're hungry, so we have food stamps/SNAP (although the GOP wants to gut
them). You're not free if you're homeless, so we have housing assistance and homeless shelters
(although the GOP fights every effort to help homeless people). You're not free if you're sick
and can't get medical care, so we have Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare (although the GOP wants
to gut them all). You're not free if you're working more than 40 hours a week and still can't
meet basic expenses, so we have minimum wage laws and the right to unionize (although the GOP
wants to gut both). You're not free if you can't read, so we have free public schools (although
the GOP is actively working to gut them). You're not free if you can't vote, so we've passed
numerous laws to guarantee the right to vote (although the GOP is doing everything it can to keep
tens of millions of Americans from voting).
The billionaire class and their wholly owned Republican politicians keep trying to tell us
that "freedom" means the government doesn't provide any of the things listed above.
Instead, they tell us (as Ron Paul famously did in a GOP primary debate years ago) that, if we're
broke and sick, we're "free" to die like a feral dog in the gutter.
Freedom is homelessness, in the minds of the billionaires who own the GOP.
Poverty, lack of education, no access to health care, poor-paying jobs, and barriers to voting
are all proof of a free society, they tell us, which is why America's lowest life expectancy,
highest maternal and childhood death rates, lowest levels of education, and lowest pay
are almost all in GOP-controlled states .
America -- particularly the Democratic Party -- is engaged in a debate right now about the
meaning of socialism . It would be a big help for all of us if we were, instead, to have
an honest debate about the meaning of the words freedom and liberty .
Let us not forget the other propaganda arm of Republican party and big money- Fox news. They
spew the freedom nonsense while not adhering to any definition of the word.
I worked in the midwest as an Engineer in the 90s to early 2000s and saw plants being
gutted/shifted overseas, Union influence curtailed and mid level and bottom pay stay flat for
decades; all in the name of free market.
Sadly the same families that are the worst affected vote Republican! But we know all this
and have known it for a while. What will change?
The intro to this post is spot on. The Powell memo outlined a strategy for a corporate
coup d'eta. Is was completely successful. Now that the business class rules America, their only
vision is to continue the quest and cannibalize the country and enslave its people by any means
possible. What tools do they use to achieve these ends? -- debt, fear, violence and pandering
to human vanity as a motivator. Again, very successful.
Instead of honest public debate- which is impossible when undertaken with liars and thieves,
a good old manifesto or pamphlet like Common Sense is in order. Something calling out concrete
action that can be taken by commoners to regain their social respect and power. That should
scare the living daylights out of the complacent and smug elite.
Its that, or a lot of public infrastructure is gong to be broken up by the mob- which
doesn't work out in the long run. The nations that learn to work with and inspire their
populations will prosper- the rest will have a hard time of it. Look no further than America's
This piece raises some important points, but aims too narrowly at one political party,
when the D-party has also been complicit in sharing the framing of "freedom" as less
government/regulation/taxation. After all, it was the Clinton administration that did welfare
"reform", deregulation of finance, and declared the end of the era of "big government", and
both Clinton and Obama showed willingness to cut Social Security and Medicare in a "grand
If in place of "the GOP," the author had written, "The national Democratic and Republican
parties over the past fifty years," his claim would be much more accurate. To believe what he
says about "the GOP," you have to pretend that Clinton, and Obama, and Pelosi, and Schumer, and
Feinstein simply don't exist and never did. The author's implicit valorization of Obamacare is
even more disheartening.
But perhaps this is the *point* of the piece after all? If I were a consultant to the DNC
(and I make less than $100,000/yr so I am clearly not), I would advocate that they commission,
underscore, and reward pieces exactly like this one. For the smartest ones surely grasp that
the rightist oligarchic policy takeover has in fact happened, and that it has left in its wake
millions of disaffected, indebted, uneducated, uninsured Americans.
(Suggesting that it hadn't was the worst idiocy of Clinton's 2016 campaign. It would have
been much better had she admitted it and blamed it on the Republican Senate while holding dear
old Obama up as a hamstrung martyr for the cause. I mean, this is what everybody at DailyKos
already believes, and the masses -- being poor and uneducated and desperate -- can be brought
around to believe anything, or anyway, enough of them can be.)
I would advocate that the DNC double down on its rightful claims to Roosevelt's inheritance,
embrace phrases like "social democracy" and "freedom from economic insecurity," and shift
leftward in all its official rhetoric. Admit the evisceration of the Roosevelt tradition, but
blame it all on the GOP. Maybe *maybe* even acknowledge that past Democratic leaders were a
little naive and idealistic in their pursuit of bipartisanship, and did not understand the
truly horrible intentions of the GOP. But today's Democrats are committed to wresting back the
rights of the people from the evil clutches of the Koch Republicans. This sort of thing.
Would my advice be followed? Or would the *really* smart ones in the room demure? If so, why
do you think they would?
In short, I read this piece as one stage in an ongoing dialectic in the Democratic Party in
the run-up to the 2020 election wherein party leaders try to determine how leftward its
"official" rhetoric is able to sway before becoming *so* unbelievable (in light of historical
facts) that it cannot serve as effective propaganda -- even among Americans!
Team Blue elites are the children of Bill Clinton and the Third Way, so the echo chamber was
probably terrible. Was Bill Clinton a bad President? He was the greatest Republican President!
The perception of this answer is a key. Who rose and joined Team Blue through this run? Many
Democrats don't recognize this, or they don't want to rock the boat. This is the structural
problem with Team Blue. The "generic Democrat" is AOC, Omar, Sanders, Warren, and a handful of
Can the Team Blue elites embrace a Roosevelt identity? The answer is no. Their ideology is
so wildly divergent they can't adjust without a whole sale conversion.
More succinctly, the Third Way isn't about helping Democrats win by accepting not every
battle can be won. Its about advancing right wing politics and pretending this isn't what its
about. If they are too clear about good policy, they will be accused of betrayal.
This article makes me wonder if the GOP is still a political party anymore. I know, I know,
they have the party structure, the candidates, the budget and all the rest of it but when you
look at their policies and what they are trying to do, the question does arise. Are they doing
it because this is what they believe is their identity as a party or is it that they are simply
a vehicle with the billionaires doing the real driving and recruiting? An obvious point is that
among billionaires, they see no need to form their own political party which should be telling
clue. Certainly the Democrats are no better.
Maybe the question that American should ask themselves is just what does it mean to be an
American in the year 2020? People like Norman Rockwell and his Four Freedoms could have said a
lot of what it meant some 60 years ago and his work has been updated to reflect the modern era
) but the long and the short of it is that things are no longer working for most people anymore
-- and not just in America. But a powerful spring can only be pushed back and held in place for
so long before there is a rebound effect and I believe that I am seeing signs of this the past
" a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be
established for all -- regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and
his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from
unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and
The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security."
America is having a heated debate about the meaning of the word socialism. We'd be better
served if, instead, we were debating the meaning of freedom.
I agree, and we should also be having a debate about capitalism as it actually exists. In
the US capitalism is always talked about in rosy non-specific terms (e.g. a preference for
markets or support for entrepreneurship) while anybody who says they don't necessarily support
capitalism has to answer for Stalin's gulag's or the Khmer Rouge. All the inequalities and
injustices that have helped people like Howard Schultz or Jeff Bezos become billionaire
capitalists somehow aren't part of capitalism, just different problems to be solved somehow but
definitely not by questioning capitalism.
Last night I watched the HBO documentary on Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos and I couldn't
help but laugh at all these powerful politicians, investors, and legal giants going along with
someone who never once demonstrated or even explained how her groundbreaking innovation
actually worked. $900 million was poured into that company before people realized something
that a Stanford professor interviewed in the documentary saw when she first met Holmes.
Fracking companies have been able to consistently raise funding despite consistently losing
money and destroying the environment in the process. Bank balance sheets were protected while
working people lost everything in the name of preserving American capitalism. I think it's good
to debate socialism and capitalism, but there's not really any point if we aren't going to be
talking about Actually Existing Capitalism rather than the hypothetical version that's trotted
out anytime someone suggests an alternative.
There was a great comment here on NC a little while ago, something to the effect of
"capitalism has the logic of a cancer cell. It's a pile of money whose only goal is to become a
bigger pile of money." Of course good things can happen as a side effect of it becoming a
bigger pile of money: innovation, efficiencies, improved standard of living, etc. but we need
government (not industry) regulation to keep the bad side effects of capitalism in check (like
the cancer eventually killing its host).
Shoot, must have missed that comment but it's a good metaphor. Reminds me of Capital vol. 1,
which Marx starts with a long and dense treatment of the nature of commodities and
commodification in order to capture this process whereby capitalists produce things people
really do want or need in order to get at what they really want: return on their
I also agree but I think we need to have a the same heated debate over what capitalism
means. Over the years I have been subjected to (exposed) to more flavors of socialism than I
can count. Yet, other than an introductory economics class way back when, no debatable words
about what 'capitalism' is seems to get attention. Maybe it's time to do that and hope that
some agreeable definition of 'freedom' falls out.
of course maybe socialism is the only thing that ever really could solve homelessness, given
that it seems to be at this point a worldwide problem, although better some places than others
(like the U.S. and UK).
This article lets the Dems off the hook. They have actively supported the Billionaire
Agenda for decades now; sometimes actively (like when they helped gut welfare) and sometimes by
enabling Repubs objectives (like voter suppression).
At this point in time, the Dem leadership is working to deep six Medicare for All.
With 'friends' like the Dems, who needs the Repubs?
1) In the history, a mention of the attempted coup against FDR would be good. See The
Plot to Seize the White House by Jules Archer. ( Amazon link )
2) For the contemporary intellectual history, I really appreciated Nancy MacLean's
Democracy in Chains . ( Amazon
link ) Look her up on youtube or Democracy Now . Her book got a bit of press and she
This post seems heavily slanted against the GOP and does not take into account how
pro-business the Democrats have become. I tenuously agree with Yves intro that much of the
current pro business value system campaign in the US was started with the political far right
and the Lewis Powell Memo. And that campaign kicked into high gear during the Reagan
But as that "pro business campaign" gained steam, the Democratic Party, IMO, realized that
they could partake in the "riches" as well and sold their political soul for a piece of the
action. Hartman's quote about the billionaire class should include their "wholly owned
Republicans and Democrat politicians".
As Lambert mentions (paraphrasing), "The left puts the working class first. Both liberals
and conservatives put markets first, liberals with many more layers of indirection (e.g.,
complex eligibility requirements, credentialing) because that creates niches from which their
professional base benefits".
As an aside, while the pro-business/capitalism on steroids people have sought more
"freedom", they have made the US and the world less free for the rest of us.
Also the over focusing on freedom is not uniquely GOP. As Hartman mentions, "the words
freedom and liberty are iconic in American culture -- probably more so than with any other
nation because they're so intrinsic to the literature, declarations and slogans of our nation's
founding." US culture has taken the concept of freedom to an extreme version of
That is not surprising given our history.
The DRD4 gene is a dopamine receptor gene. One stretch of the gene is repeated a variable
number of times, and the version with seven repeats (the "7R" form) produces a receptor protein
that is relatively unresponsive to dopamine. Being unresponsive to dopamine means that people
who have this gene have a host of related traits -- sensation and novelty seeking, risk taking,
impulsivity, and, probably most consistently, ADHD. -- -- Seems like the type of people that
would value extreme (i.e. non-collective) forms of freedom
The United States is the individualism poster child for at least two reasons. First
there's immigration. Currently, 12 percent of Americans are immigrants, another 12 percent are
children of immigrants, and everyone else except for the 0.9 percent pure Native Americans
descend from people who emigrated within the last five hundred years.
And who were the immigrants?' Those in the settled world who were cranks, malcontents,
restless, heretical, black sheep, hyperactive, hypomanic, misanthropic, itchy, unconventional,
yearning to be free, yearning to be rich, yearning to be out of their, damn boring repressive
little hamlet, yearning. -- -- Again seems like the type of people that would value freedom in
all aspects of life and not be interested in collectivism
Couple that with the second reason -- for the majority of its colonial and independent
history, America has had a moving frontier luring those whose extreme prickly optimism made
merely booking passage to the New World insufficiently, novel -- and you've got America the
The 7R variant mentioned above occurs in about 23 percent of Europeans and European
Americans. And in East Asians? 1 percent. When East Asians domesticated rice and invented
collectivist society, there was massive selection against the 7R variant. Regardless of the
cause, East Asian cultural collectivism coevolved with selection against the 7R variant.
So which came first, 7R frequency or cultural style? The 4R and 7R variants, along with the
2R, occur worldwide, implying they already existed when humans radiated out of Africa 60,000 to
130,000 years ago. A high incidence of 7R, associated with impulsivity and novelty seeking, is
the legacy of humans who made the greatest migrations in human history.
So it seems that many of the people who immigrated to the US were impulsive, novelty
seeking, risk takers. As a counterpoint, many people that migrated to the US did not do so by
choice but were forced from their homes and their countries by wars.
The point of this long comment is that for some people the concept of freedom can be taken
to extreme -- a lack of gun control laws, financial regulation, extremes of wealth, etc. After
a brief period in the 1940's, 1950's, and early 1960's when the US was more collective, we
became greedy, consumerist, and consumption oriented, aided by the political and business
elites as mentioned in the post.
If we want the US to be a more collective society we have to initially do so in our
behaviors i.e. laws and regulations that rein in the people who would take the concept of
freedom to an extreme. Then maybe over an evolutionary time period some of the move impulsive,
sensation seeking, ADHDness, genes can be altered to a more balance mix of what makes the US
great with more of the collective genes.
IMO, if we do not begin to work on becoming a collective culture now, then climate change,
water scarcity, food scarcity, and resource scarcity will do it for us the hard way.
In these days of short attention spans I apologize for the long comment. The rest of my day
is busy and I do not have more time to shorten the comment. I wanted to develop an argument for
how the evolutionary and dysfunctional forms of freedom have gotten us to this point. And what
we need to do to still have some freedom but also "play nice and share in the future sandbox of
climate change and post fossil fuel society.
Trump betrayed all and every of his main election promises, except may be building the wall. For example "Trump said that
he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse."
"... Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. If he sticks to his view, it means a big political change in Washington's EU vassals. The hostility toward Russia of the current EU and NATO officials would have to cease. German Chancellor Merkel would have to change her spots or be replaced. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would have to be dismissed. ..."
It also remains to be seen how the Oligarchy will respond to Trump's victory. Wall Street and
the Federal Reserve can cause an economic crisis in order to put Trump on the defensive, and they
can use the crisis to force Trump to appoint one of their own as Secretary of the Treasury. Rogue
agents in the CIA and Pentagon can cause a false flag attack that would disrupt friendly relations
with Russia. Trump could make a mistake and retain neoconservatives in his government.
With Trump there is at least hope. Unless Trump is obstructed by bad judgment in his appointments
and by obstacles put in his way, we should expect an end to Washington's orchestrated conflict
with Russia, the removal of the US missiles on Russia's border with Poland and Romania, the end
of the conflict in Ukraine, and the end of Washington's effort to overthrow the Syrian government.
However, achievements such as these imply the defeat of the US Oligarchy. Although Trump defeated
Hillary, the Oligarchy still exists and is still powerful.
Trump said that he no longer sees the point of NATO 25 years after the Soviet collapse. If he sticks
to his view, it means a big political change in Washington's EU vassals. The hostility toward Russia
of the current EU and NATO officials would have to cease. German Chancellor Merkel would have to
change her spots or be replaced. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg would have to be dismissed.
We do not know who Trump will select to serve in his government. It is likely that Trump is unfamiliar
with the various possibilities and their positions on issues. It really depends on who is advising
Trump and what advice they give him. Once we see his government, we will know whether we can be hopeful
for the changes that now have a chance.
If the oligarchy is unable to control Trump and he is actually successful in curbing the power
and budget of the military/security complex and in holding the financial sector politically accountable,
Trump could be assassinated.
"... Another house manager, Alfredo Rodriguez, told Recarey that very young girls were giving Epstein massages at least twice a day, and in one instance, Epstein had Rodriguez deliver one dozen roses to Mary, at her high school. ..."
"... Palm Beach prosecutors said the evidence was weak, and after presenting the case to a grand jury, Epstein was charged with only one count of felony solicitation of prostitution. In 2008, he pleaded guilty and nominally served 13 months of an 18-month sentence in a county jail: Epstein spent one day a week there, the other six out on "work release." ..."
"... Today, Jeffrey Epstein is a free man, albeit one who routinely settles civil lawsuits against him, brought by young women, out of court. As of 2015, Epstein had settled multiple such cases. ..."
According to a 2011 court filing by alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre, she saw Clinton and Prince Andrew on the
island but never saw the former president do anything improper. Giuffre has accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her when she
was a minor, a charge Buckingham Palace denies.
"Epstein lives less than one mile away from me in Palm Beach," author James Patterson tells The Post. In the 11 years since Epstein
was investigated and charged by the Palm Beach police department, ultimately copping a plea and serving 13 months on one charge of
soliciting prostitution from a 14-year-old girl, Patterson has remained obsessed with the case.
"He's a fascinating character to read about," Patterson says. "What is he thinking? Who is he?"
Epstein has spent the bulk of his adult life cultivating relationships with the world's most powerful men. Flight logs show that
from 2001 to 2003, Bill Clinton flew on Epstein's private plane, dubbed "The Lolita Express" by the press, 26 times. After Epstein's
arrest in July 2006, federal tax records show Epstein donated $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation that year.
Epstein was also a regular visitor to Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago, and the two were friends. According to the Daily Mail, Trump
was a frequent dinner guest at Epstein's home, which was often full of barely dressed models. In 2003, New York magazine reported
that Trump also attended a dinner party at Epstein's honoring Bill Clinton.
Last year, The Guardian reported that Epstein's "little black book" contained contact numbers for A-listers including Tony Blair,
Naomi Campbell, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Bloomberg and Richard Branson.
In a 2006 court filing, Palm Beach police noted that a search of Epstein's home uncovered two hidden cameras. The Mirror reported
that in 2015, a 6-year-old civil lawsuit filed by "Jane Doe No. 3," believed to be the now-married Giuffre, alleged that Epstein
wired his mansion with hidden cameras, secretly recording orgies involving his prominent friends and underage girls. The ultimate
purpose: blackmail, according to court papers.
"Jane Doe No. 3" also alleged that she had been forced to have sex with "numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business
executives, a well-known prime minister, and other world leaders."
"We uncovered a lot of details about the police investigation and a lot about the girls, what happened to them, the effect on
their lives," Patterson says.
"The reader has to ask: Was justice done here or not?"
Epstein, now 63, has always been something of an international man of mystery. Born in Brooklyn, he had a middle-class upbringing:
His father worked for the Parks Department, and his parents stressed hard work and education.
'We uncovered a lot of details about the police investigation and a lot about the girls, what happened to them, the effect
on their lives.'
- James Patterson
Epstein was brilliant, skipping two grades and graduating Lafayette High School in 1969. He attended Cooper Union but dropped
out in 1971 and by 1973 was teaching calculus and physics at Dalton, where he tutored the son of a Bear Stearns exec. Soon, Epstein
applied his facility with numbers on Wall Street but left Bear Stearns under a cloud in 1981. He formed his own business, J. Epstein
The bar for entry at the new firm was high. According to a 2002 profile in New York magazine, Epstein only took on clients who
turned over $1 billion, at minimum, for him to manage. Clients also had to pay a flat fee and sign power of attorney over to Epstein,
allowing him to do whatever he saw fit with their money.
Still, no one knew exactly what Epstein did, or how he was able to amass a personal billion-dollar-plus fortune. In addition to
a block-long, nine-story mansion on Manhattan's Upper East Side, Epstein owns the $6.8 million mansion in Palm Beach, an $18 million
property in New Mexico, the 70-acre private Caribbean island, a helicopter, a Gulfstream IV and a Boeing 727.
"My belief is that Jeff maintains some sort of money-management firm, though you won't get a straight answer from him," one high-level
investor told New York magazine. "He once told me he had 300 people working for him, and I've also heard that he manages Rockefeller
money. But one never knows. It's like looking at the Wizard of Oz -- there may be less there than meets the eye."
"He's very enigmatic," Rosa Monckton told Vanity Fair in 2003. Monckton was the former British CEO of Tiffany & Co. and confidante
to the late Princess Diana. She was also a close friend of Epstein's since the 1980s. "He never reveals his hand . . . He's a classic
iceberg. What you see is not what you get."
Both profiles intimated that Epstein had a predilection for young women but never went further. In the New York magazine piece,
Trump said Epstein's self-professed image as a loner, an egghead and a teetotaler was not wholly accurate.
"I've known Jeff for 15 years," Trump said. "Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful
women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it -- Jeffrey enjoys his social life."
Three years after that profile ran, Palm Beach Police Officer Michele Pagan got a disturbing message. A woman reported that her
14-year-old stepdaughter confided to a friend that she'd had sex with an older man for money. The man's name was Jeff, and he lived
in a mansion on a cul-de-sac.
Pagan persuaded the woman to bring her stepdaughter down to be interviewed. In his book, Patterson calls the girl Mary. And Mary,
like so many of the other girls who eventually talked, came from the little-known working-class areas surrounding Palm Beach.
A friend of a friend, Mary said, told her she could make hundreds of dollars in one hour, just for massaging some middle-aged
guy's feet. Lots of other girls had been doing it, some three times a week.
Mary claimed she had been driven to the mansion on El Brillo Way, where a female staffer escorted her up a pink-carpeted staircase,
then into a room with a massage table, an armoire topped with sex toys and a photo of a little girl pulling her underwear off.
Epstein entered the room, wearing only a towel, Mary said.
"He took off the towel," Mary told Pagan. "He was a really built guy. But his wee-wee was very tiny."
Mary said Epstein got on the table and barked orders at her. She told police she was alone in the room with him, terrified.
Pagan wrote the following in her incident report:
"She removed her pants, leaving her thong panties on. She straddled his back, whereby her exposed buttocks were touching Epstein's
exposed buttocks. Epstein then turned to his side and started to rub his penis in an up-and-down motion. Epstein pulled out a purple
vibrator and began to massage Mary's vaginal area."
Palm Beach assigned six more detectives to the investigation. They conducted a "trash pull" of Epstein's garbage, sifting through
paper with phone numbers, used condoms, toothbrushes, worn underwear. In one pull, police found a piece of paper with Mary's phone
number on it, along with the number of the person who recruited her.
On Sept. 11, 2005, detectives got another break. Alison, as she's called in the book, told Detective Joe Recarey that she had
been going to Epstein's house since she was 16. Alison had been working at the Wellington Green Mall, saving up for a trip to Maine,
when a friend told her, "You can get a plane ticket in two hours . . . We can go give this guy a massage and he'll pay $200," according
to her statement to the police.
Alison told Recarey that she visited Epstein hundreds of times. She said he had bought her a new 2005 Dodge Neon, plane tickets,
and gave her spending money. Alison said he even asked her to emancipate from her parents so she could live with him full-time as
his "sex slave."
She said Epstein slowly escalated his sexual requests, and despite Alison's insistence that they never have intercourse, alleged,
"This one time . . . he bent me over the table and put himself in me. Without my permission."
Alison then asked if what Epstein had done to her was rape and spoke of her abject fear of him.
An abridged version of her witness statement, as recounted in the book:
Alison : Before I say anything else . . . um, is there a possibility that I'm gonna have to go to court or anything?
Recarey : I mean, what he did to you is a crime. I'm not gonna lie to you.
Alison : Would you consider it rape, what he did?
Recarey : If he put himself inside you without permission . . . That, that is a crime. That is a crime.
Alison : I don't want my family to find out about this . . . 'Cause Jeffrey's gonna get me. You guys realize that, right? . . . I'm
not safe now. I'm not safe.
Recarey : Why do you say you're not safe? Has he said he's hurt people before?
Alison : Well, I've heard him make threats to people on the telephone, yeah. Of course.
Recarey : You're gonna die? You're gonna break your legs? Or --
Alison : All of the above!
Alison also told Recarey that Epstein got so violent with her that he ripped out her hair and threw her around. "I mean," she
said, "there's been nights that I walked out of there barely able to walk, um, from him being so rough."
Two months later, Recarey interviewed Epstein's former house manager of 11 years, documented in his probable-cause affidavit as
Mr. Alessi. "Alessi stated Epstein receives three massages a day . . . towards the end of his employment, the masseuses . . . appeared
to be 16 or 17 years of age at the most . . . [Alessi] would have to wash off a massager/vibrator and a long rubber penis, which
were in the sink after the massage."
Another house manager, Alfredo Rodriguez, told Recarey that very young girls were giving Epstein massages at least twice a
day, and in one instance, Epstein had Rodriguez deliver one dozen roses to Mary, at her high school.
In May 2006, the Palm Beach Police Department filed a probable-cause affidavit, asking prosecutors to charge Epstein with four
counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor -- a second-degree felony -- and one count of lewd and lascivious molestation of
a 14-year-old minor, also a second-degree felony.
Today, Jeffrey Epstein is a free man, albeit one who routinely settles civil lawsuits against him, brought by young women,
out of court.
Palm Beach prosecutors said the evidence was weak, and after presenting the case to a grand jury, Epstein was charged with
only one count of felony solicitation of prostitution. In 2008, he pleaded guilty and nominally served 13 months of an 18-month sentence
in a county jail: Epstein spent one day a week there, the other six out on "work release."
Today, Jeffrey Epstein is a free man, albeit one who routinely settles civil lawsuits against him, brought by young women,
out of court. As of 2015, Epstein had settled multiple such cases.
Giuffre has sued Ghislaine Maxwell in Manhattan federal court, charging defamation -- saying Maxwell stated Giuffre lied about
Maxwell's recruitment of her and other underage girls. Epstein has been called upon to testify in court this month, on Oct. 20.
The true number of Epstein's victims may never be known.
He will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life, not that it fazes him. "I'm not a sexual predator, I'm an 'offender,' "
Epstein told The Post in 2011. "It's the difference between a murderer and a person who steals a bagel."
Both Clinton and Trump were close to Epstein. To me this smells like there was a
bi-partisan consensus to bury this, and only now that the Clintons are no longer dominating
the Democrat party, do we get some results.
While Trump has recently distanced himself from Epstein, a 64-year-old financier, it
wasn't always that way.
"I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy," Trump said of Epstein during a 2002
interview with New York magazine. "He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he
likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side."
Attorney Spencer Kuvin, one of dozens of lawyers who successfully sued Epstein on behalf
of roughly 30 women who claimed he lured them to his Palm Beach mansion for
sexually-charged massages when they were as young as 14, said he always found the comment
"How would he know that?" he said of Trump's acknowledgement of Epstein's penchant for
young women. The interview came nearly six years before Epstein's secret sex life exploded
into public view when the money manager pleaded guilty to Florida charges of procuring and
soliciting a minor for prostitution. "Why would he make a joke like that?" the West Palm
Beach attorney asked.
Be nice if someone found the guest list because Bill Clinton wouldn't be able to kill that
many people to cover it up. It'd be sweet if they found evidence that Trump went, because he
definitely did. He's probably the one to name it "Lolita Express."...no, that was probably
Strzok's big fat FBI lie
about the reason for the set up of the private email server. The FBI knew years before they released
tranches of Hillary's emails starting in Sep. 2016. Tellingly, he volunteered this explanation even though he wasn't asked about WHEN.
Peter Strzok. (Jun. 27, 2018)
. Peter Strzok TRANSCRIPTION of Interview with Peter Strzok released by Rep. Doug Collins (GA 9th),
Committee on the Judiciary, pgs. 312. U.S. House of Representatives.
FACT: The alternative media is better at presenting FACTS than the FBI. Her domain was registered in January 2009.
The 'rank and file' FBI SUCK at their jobs! When ordinary citizens do a better job at finding
facts, then why do we employee these people?
The final Mueller report should be graded "incomplete," says VIPS, whose forensic work proves the speciousness of the story that
DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking.
MEMORANDUM FOR: The Attorney General
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Mueller's Forensics-Free Findings
Media reports are predicting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is about to give you the findings of his probe into any
links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.
If Mueller gives you his "completed" report anytime soon, it should be graded "incomplete."
Major deficiencies include depending on a DNC-hired cybersecurity company for forensics and failure to consult with those who
have done original forensic work, including us and the independent forensic investigators with whom we have examined the data. We
stand ready to help.
We veteran intelligence professionals (VIPS) have done enough detailed forensic work to prove the speciousness of the prevailing
story that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks came from Russian hacking. Given the paucity of evidence to support that story,
we believe Mueller may choose to finesse this key issue and leave everyone hanging. That would help sustain the widespread belief
that Trump owes his victory to President Vladimir Putin, and strengthen the hand of those who pay little heed to the unpredictable
consequences of an increase in tensions with nuclear-armed Russia.
There is an overabundance of "assessments" but a lack of hard evidence to support that prevailing narrative. We believe that there
are enough people of integrity in the Department of Justice to prevent the outright manufacture or distortion of "evidence," particularly
if they become aware that experienced scientists have completed independent forensic study that yield very different conclusions.
We know only too well -- and did our best to expose -- how our former colleagues in the intelligence community manufactured fraudulent
"evidence" of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
We have scrutinized publicly available physical data -- the "trail" that every cyber operation leaves behind. And we have had
support from highly experienced independent forensic investigators who, like us, have no axes to grind. We can prove that the conventional-wisdom
story about Russian-hacking-DNC-emails-for-WikiLeaks is false. Drawing largely on the unique expertise of two VIPS scientists who
worked for a combined total of 70 years at the National Security Agency and became Technical Directors there, we have regularly published
our findings. But we have been deprived of a hearing in mainstream media -- an experience painfully reminiscent of what we had to
endure when we exposed the corruption of intelligence before the attack on Iraq 16 years ago.
This time, with the principles of physics and forensic science to rely on, we are able to adduce solid evidence exposing mistakes
and distortions in the dominant story. We offer you below -- as a kind of aide-memoire -- a discussion of some of the key
factors related to what has become known as "Russia-gate." And we include our most recent findings drawn from forensic work on data
associated with WikiLeaks' publication of the DNC emails.
We do not claim our conclusions are "irrefutable and undeniable," a la Colin Powell at the UN before the Iraq war. Our judgments,
however, are based on the scientific method -- not "assessments." We decided to put this memorandum together in hopes of ensuring
that you hear that directly from us.
If the Mueller team remains reluctant to review our work -- or even to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like
WikiLeaks' Julian Assange and former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, we fear that many of those yearning earnestly for the truth on Russia-gate
will come to the corrosive conclusion that the Mueller investigation was a sham.
In sum, we are concerned that, at this point, an incomplete Mueller report will fall far short of the commitment made by then
Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "to ensure a full and thorough investigation," when he appointed Mueller in May 2017. Again,
we are at your disposal.
The centerpiece accusation of Kremlin "interference" in the 2016 presidential election was the charge that Russia hacked Democratic
National Committee emails and gave them to WikiLeaks to embarrass Secretary Hillary Clinton and help Mr. Trump win. The weeks following
the election witnessed multiple leak-based media allegations to that effect. These culminated on January 6, 2017 in an evidence-light,
rump report misleadingly labeled "Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA)." Prepared by "handpicked analysts" from only three of
the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies (CIA, FBI, and NSA), the assessment expressed "high confidence" in the Russia-hacking-to-WikiLeaks
story, but lacked so much as a hint that the authors had sought access to independent forensics to support their "assessment."
The media immediately awarded the ICA the status of Holy Writ, choosing to overlook an assortment of banal, full-disclosure-type
caveats included in the assessment itself -- such as:
" When Intelligence Community analysts use words such as 'we assess' or 'we judge,' they are conveying an analytic assessment
or judgment. Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on
collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment
is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong."
To their credit, however, the authors of the ICA did make a highly germane point in introductory remarks on "cyber incident attribution."
They noted: "The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber
operation -- malicious or not -- leaves a trail." [Emphasis added.]
The imperative is to get on that "trail" -- and quickly, before red herrings can be swept across it. The best way to establish
attribution is to apply the methodology and processes of forensic science. Intrusions into computers leave behind discernible physical
data that can be examined scientifically by forensic experts. Risk to "sources and methods" is normally not a problem.
Direct access to the actual computers is the first requirement -- the more so when an intrusion is termed "an act of war" and
blamed on a nuclear-armed foreign government (the words used by the late Sen. John McCain and other senior officials). In testimony
to the House Intelligence Committee in March 2017, former FBI Director James Comey admitted that he did not insist on physical access
to the DNC computers even though, as he conceded, "best practices" dictate direct access.
In June 2017, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr asked Comey whether he ever had "access to the actual hardware
that was hacked." Comey answered, "In the case of the DNC we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic
information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. " Sen. Burr followed up: "But no content? Isn't content
an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?" Comey: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks
is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."
The "private party/high-class entity" to which Comey refers is CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity firm of checkered reputation and multiple
conflicts of interest, including very close ties to a number of key anti-Russian organizations. Comey indicated that the DNC hired
CrowdStrike in the spring of 2016.
Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – including a possible impeachment battle and greatly increased tension
between Russia and the U.S. -- it is difficult to understand why Comey did not move quickly to seize the computer hardware so the
FBI could perform an independent examination of what quickly became the major predicate for investigating election interference by
Russia. Fortunately, enough data remain on the forensic "trail" to arrive at evidence-anchored conclusions. The work we have done
shows the prevailing narrative to be false. We have been suggesting this for over two years. Recent forensic work significantly strengthens
We Do Forensics
Recent forensic examination of the Wikileaks DNC files shows they were created on 23, 25 and 26 May 2016. (On June 12, Julian
Assange announced he had them; WikiLeaks published them on July 22.) We recently discovered that the files reveal a FAT (File Allocation
Table) system property. This shows that the data had been transferred to an external storage device, such as a thumb drive,
before WikiLeaks posted them.
FAT is a simple file system named for its method of organization, the File Allocation Table. It is used for storage only and is
not related to internet transfers like hacking. Were WikiLeaks to have received the DNC files via a hack, the last modified times
on the files would be a random mixture of odd-and even-ending numbers.
Why is that important? The evidence lies in the "last modified" time stamps on the Wikileaks files. When a file is stored under
the FAT file system the software rounds the time to the nearest even-numbered second. Every single one of the time stamps in the
DNC files on WikiLeaks' site ends in an even number.
We have examined 500 DNC email files stored on the Wikileaks site. All 500 files end in an even number -- 2, 4, 6, 8 or 0. If
those files had been hacked over the Internet, there would be an equal probability of the time stamp ending in an odd number. The
random probability that FAT was not used is 1 chance in 2 to the 500th power. Thus, these data show that the DNC emails posted by
WikiLeaks went through a storage device, like a thumb drive, and were physically moved before Wikileaks posted the emails on the
World Wide Web.
This finding alone is enough to raise reasonable doubts, for example, about Mueller's indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers
for hacking the DNC emails given to WikiLeaks. A defense attorney could easily use the forensics to argue that someone copied the
DNC files to a storage device like a USB thumb drive and got them physically to WikiLeaks -- not electronically via a hack.
Role of NSA
For more than two years, we strongly suspected that the DNC emails were copied/leaked in that way, not hacked. And we said so.
We remain intrigued by the apparent failure of NSA's dragnet, collect-it-all approach -- including "cast-iron" coverage of WikiLeaks
-- to provide forensic evidence (as opposed to "assessments") as to how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks and who sent them. Well before
the telling evidence drawn from the use of FAT, other technical evidence led us to conclude that the DNC emails were not hacked over
the network, but rather physically moved over, say, the Atlantic Ocean.
Is it possible that NSA has not yet been asked to produce the collected packets of DNC email data claimed to have been hacked
by Russia? Surely, this should be done before Mueller competes his investigation. NSA has taps on all the transoceanic cables leaving
the U.S. and would almost certainly have such packets if they exist. (The detailed slides released by Edward Snowden actually show
the routes that trace the packets.)
The forensics we examined shed no direct light on who may have been behind the leak. The only thing we know for sure is that the
person had to have direct access to the DNC computers or servers in order to copy the emails. The apparent lack of evidence from
the most likely source, NSA, regarding a hack may help explain the FBI's curious preference for forensic data from CrowdStrike. No
less puzzling is why Comey would choose to call CrowdStrike a "high-class entity."
Comey was one of the intelligence chiefs briefing President Obama on January 5, 2017 on the "Intelligence Community Assessment,"
which was then briefed to President-elect Trump and published the following day. That Obama found a key part of the ICA narrative
less than persuasive became clear at his last press conference (January 18), when he told the media, "The conclusions of the intelligence
community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to how 'the DNC emails that were leaked' got to WikiLeaks.
Is Guccifer 2.0 a Fraud?
There is further compelling technical evidence that undermines the claim that the DNC emails were downloaded over the internet
as a result of a spearphishing attack. William Binney, one of VIPS' two former Technical Directors at NSA, along with other former
intelligence community experts, examined files posted by Guccifer 2.0 and discovered that those files could not have been downloaded
over the internet. It is a simple matter of mathematics and physics.
There was a flurry of activity after Julian Assange announced on June 12, 2016: "We have emails relating to Hillary Clinton which
are pending publication." On June 14, DNC contractor CrowdStrike announced that malware was found on the DNC server and claimed there
was evidence it was injected by Russians. On June 15, the Guccifer 2.0 persona emerged on the public stage, affirmed the DNC statement,
claimed to be responsible for hacking the DNC, claimed to be a WikiLeaks source, and posted a document that forensics show
was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."
Our suspicions about the Guccifer 2.0 persona grew when G-2 claimed responsibility for a "hack" of the DNC on July 5, 2016, which
released DNC data that was rather bland compared to what WikiLeaks published 17 days later (showing how the DNC had tipped the primary
scales against Sen. Bernie Sanders). As VIPS
reported in a wrap-up
Memorandum for the President on July 24, 2017 (titled "Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence)," forensic examination of the
July 5, 2016 cyber intrusion into the DNC showed it NOT to be a hack by the Russians or by anyone else, but rather a copy onto an
external storage device. It seemed a good guess that the July 5 intrusion was a contrivance to preemptively taint anything WikiLeaks
might later publish from the DNC, by "showing" it came from a "Russian hack." WikiLeaks published the DNC emails on July 22, three
days before the Democratic convention.
As we prepared our July 24 memo for the President, we chose to begin by taking Guccifer 2.0 at face value; i. e., that the documents
he posted on July 5, 2016 were obtained via a hack over the Internet. Binney conducted a forensic examination of the metadata contained
in the posted documents and compared that metadata with the known capacity of Internet connection speeds at the time in the U.S.
This analysis showed a transfer rate as high as 49.1 megabytes per second, which is much faster than was possible from a remote online
Internet connection. The 49.1 megabytes speed coincided, though, with the rate that copying onto a thumb drive could accommodate.
Binney, assisted by colleagues with relevant technical expertise, then extended the examination and ran various forensic tests
from the U.S. to the Netherlands, Albania, Belgrade and the UK. The fastest Internet rate obtained -- from a data center in New Jersey
to a data center in the UK -- was 12 megabytes per second, which is less than a fourth of the capacity typical of a copy onto a thumb
The findings from the examination of the Guccifer 2.0 data and the WikiLeaks data does not indicate who copied the information
to an external storage device (probably a thumb drive). But our examination does disprove that G.2 hacked into the DNC on July 5,
2016. Forensic evidence for the Guccifer 2.0 data adds to other evidence that the DNC emails were not taken by an internet spearphishing
attack. The data breach was local. The emails were copied from the network.
After VIPS' July 24, 2017 Memorandum for the President, Binney, one of its principal authors, was invited to share his insights
with Mike Pompeo, CIA Director at the time. When Binney arrived in Pompeo's office at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017 for an
hour-long discussion, the director made no secret of the reason for the invitation: "You are here because the President told me that
if I really wanted to know about Russian hacking I needed to talk with you."
Binney warned Pompeo -- to stares of incredulity -- that his people should stop lying about the Russian hacking. Binney then started
to explain the VIPS findings that had caught President Trump's attention. Pompeo asked Binney if he would talk to the FBI and NSA.
Binney agreed, but has not been contacted by those agencies. With that, Pompeo had done what the President asked. There was no follow-up.
Confronting James Clapper on Forensics
We, the hoi polloi, do not often get a chance to talk to people like Pompeo -- and still less to the former intelligence
chiefs who are the leading purveyors of the prevailing Russia-gate narrative. An exception came on November 13, when former National
Intelligence Director James Clapper came to the Carnegie Endowment in Washington to hawk his memoir. Answering a question during
the Q&A about Russian "hacking" and NSA, Clapper said:
" Well, I have talked with NSA a lot And in my mind, I spent a lot of time in the SIGINT business, the forensic evidence
was overwhelming about what the Russians had done. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever." [Emphasis added]
Clapper added: " as a private citizen, understanding the magnitude of what the Russians did and the number of citizens in our
country they reached and the different mechanisms that, by which they reached them, to me it stretches credulity to think they didn't
have a profound impact on election on the outcome of the election."
(A transcript of the interesting Q&A can be found
here and a commentary
on Clapper's performance at Carnegie, as well as on his longstanding lack of credibility, is
Normally soft-spoken Ron Wyden, Democratic senator from Oregon, lost his patience with Clapper last week when he learned that
Clapper is still denying that he lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee about the extent of NSA surveillance of U.S. citizens.
In an unusual outburst, Wyden said: "James Clapper needs to stop making excuses for lying to the American people about mass surveillance.
To be clear: I sent him the question in advance. I asked him to correct the record afterward. He chose to let the lie stand."
The materials brought out by Edward Snowden in June 2013 showed Clapper to have lied under oath to the committee on March 12,
2013; he was, nevertheless, allowed to stay on as Director of National Intelligence for three and half more years. Clapper fancies
himself an expert on Russia, telling Meet the Press on May 28, 2017 that Russia's history shows that Russians are "typically,
almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever."
Clapper ought to be asked about the "forensics" he said were "overwhelming about what the Russians had done." And that, too, before
Mueller completes his investigation.
For the steering group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:
William Binney , former NSA Technical Director for World Geopolitical & Military Analysis; Co-founder of NSA's Signals
Intelligence Automation Research Center (ret.)
Richard H. Black , Senator of Virginia, 13th District; Colonel US Army (ret.); Former Chief, Criminal Law Division,
Office of the Judge Advocate General, the Pentagon (associate VIPS)
Bogdan Dzakovic , former Team Leader of Federal Air Marshals and Red Team, FAA Security (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Philip Girald i, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Mike Gravel , former Adjutant, top secret control officer, Communications Intelligence Service; special agent of the
Counter Intelligence Corps and former United States Senator
James George Jatras , former U.S. diplomat and former foreign policy adviser to Senate leadership (Associate VIPS)
Larry C. Johnson , former CIA and State Department Counter Terrorism officer
John Kiriakou , former CIA Counterterrorism Officer and former senior investigator, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Karen Kwiatkowski , former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture
of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003
Edward Loomis , Cryptologic Computer Scientist, former Technical Director at NSA (ret.)
David MacMichael , Ph.D., former senior estimates officer, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Ray McGovern , former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst; CIA Presidential briefer (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray , former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council & CIA
political analyst (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce , MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)
Peter Van Buren , US Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)
Sarah G. Wilton , CDR, USNR, (ret.); Defense Intelligence Agency (ret.)
Kirk Wiebe , former Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA
Ann Wright , retired U.S. Army reserve colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in 2003 in opposition to the Iraq
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is made up of former intelligence officers, diplomats, military officers
and congressional staffers. The organization, founded in 2002, was among the first critics of Washington's justifications for launching
a war against Iraq. VIPS advocates a US foreign and national security policy based on genuine national interests rather than contrived
threats promoted for largely political reasons. An archive of
VIPS memoranda is available at Consortiumnews.com.
Human society is way to complex for alpha males to succeed unconditionally... Quite a different set of traits is often needed.
"... Superficially, Hemingway was correct. But on a deeper level, he missed the reality of the heightened sense of entitlement that the very rich possess, as well as the deference that so many people automatically show to them. ..."
"... Hemingway is saying: take away all that money and the behavior would change as well. It's the money (or the power in your example) that makes the difference. ..."
"... I feel Fitzgerald got the basic idea right ..."
"... Apparently Fitzgerald was referring specifically to the attitudes of those who are born rich, attitudes that Fitzgerald thought remained unaltered by events, including the loss of economic status. ..."
"... "They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different." ..."
"... "He thought they were a special glamorous race and when he found they weren't it wrecked him as much as any other thing that wrecked him." ..."
Superficially, Hemingway was correct. But on a deeper level, he missed the reality of the heightened sense of
entitlement that the very rich possess, as well as the deference that so many people automatically show to them. The rich
shouldn't be different in this way, but they are. In some other societies, such entitlement and deference would accrue to
senior party members, senior clergymen, or hereditary nobility (who might not have much money at all).
"Go with the winner." That is how it works for the alpha male (a chimp, an ape, or a gorilla) for most followers anyway. Some will challenge. If victorious, followers will line up (more go-with-the-winner). If defeated, an outcast.
Without a doubt Hemingway had a rather catty attitude toward his literary rival, but in this instance I think the debunking
is merited. It's quite possible that rich people act the way we would act if we were rich, and that Fitzgerald's tiresome obsession
with rich people didn't cut very deep. Hemingway is saying: take away all that money and the behavior would change as well. It's
the money (or the power in your example) that makes the difference.
In my opinion, the fact that if they had less money would change the way they think, does not change the fact that, while they
have more money, they think differently, and different rules apply to them.
Addendum: The fact that an Alpha Chimp would act differently if someone else was the Alpha Chimp does not change the fact that
an Alpha Chimp has fundamentally different behavior than the rest of the group.
"Hemingway is responsible for a famous misquotation of Fitzgerald's. According to Hemingway, a conversation between him and
Fitzgerald: The rich are different than you and me. Hemingway: Yes, they have more money.
This never actually happened; it is a retelling of an actual encounter between Hemingway and Mary Colum, which went as follows:
Hemingway: I am getting to know the rich.
Colum: I think you'll find the only difference between the rich and other people is that the rich have more money."
Just want to point out that that quote of Hemingways wasn't about Fitzgerald and wasn't even by Hemingway. Anyway I was more
attacking the "rich have more money" thing than I was trying to defend Fitzgerald, but I feel Fitzgerald got the basic idea
Apparently Fitzgerald was referring specifically to the attitudes of those who are born rich, attitudes that Fitzgerald
thought remained unaltered by events, including the loss of economic status.
"They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations
and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are
better than we are. They are different."
Hemingway suggested that Fitzgerald had once been especially enamored of the rich, seeing them as a "special glamorous race"
but ultimately became disillusioned.
"He thought they were a special glamorous race and when he found they weren't it wrecked him as much as any other thing
that wrecked him."
The Justice Department and Hillary Clinton's legal team "negotiated" an agreement that blocked the
FBI from accessing emails on Clinton's homebrew server related to the Clinton Foundation,
according to a transcript
of recently released testimony from last summer by former FBI special
agent Peter Strzok.
Under questioning from Judiciary Committee General Counsel Zachary Somers, Strzok
acknowledged that Clinton's private personal email servers contained a mixture of emails related
to the Clinton Foundation, her work as secretary of state and other matters.
"Were you given access to [Clinton Foundation-related] emails as part of the investigation?"
We were not. We did not have access
," Strzok responded. "
recollection is that the access to those emails were based on consent that was negotiated
between the Department of Justice attorneys and counsel for Clinton
Strzok added that "
a significant filter team
" was employed at the FBI to "work
through the various terms of the various consent agreements."
"According to the attorneys, we lacked probable cause to get a search warrant for those servers
and projected that either it would take a very long time and/or it would be impossible to get to
the point where we could obtain probable cause to get a warrant," said Strzok.
The foundation has long been accused of "pay-to-play" transactions, fueled by a report in the
Clinton-led State Department authorized $151 billion in Pentagon-brokered deals to 16 countries
that donated to the Clinton Foundation - a
145% increase in completed sales to those
nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration.
Adding to speculation of malfeasance is the fact that
donor contributions to the Clinton
dried up by approximately 90%
over a three-year period between
according to financial statements.
What's more, Bill Clinton reportedly received a
from Qatar - one of the countries which gained State Department clearance to buy
US weapons while Clinton was Secretary of State,
even as the department signaled them out
for a range of alleged ills,"
The Clinton Foundation
"The committee almost never met, and when it deliberated it was usually at a fairly
low bureaucratic level," Richard Perle said. Perle, who has worked for the Reagan, Clinton and
both Bush administrations added, "
I think it's a bit of a joke.
Later in his testimony last summer, Strzok said that agents were able to access "the
entire universe" of information on the servers by using search terms to probe their contents -
saying "we had it voluntarily."
"What's bizarre about this, is in any other situation, there's no possible way
they would allow the potential perpetrator to self-select what the FBI gets to see," said former
Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz - former chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
until 2017 and current contributor to
The FBI should be the one to sort
through those emails -- not the Clinton attorneys.
Chaffetz suggested that the goal of the DOJ was to "make sure they hear no evil, see
no evil -- they had no interest in pursuing the truth."
"The Clinton Foundation isn't supposed to be communicating with the State Department
anyway," said Chaffetz. "The foundation -- with her name on it -- is not supposed to be
communicating with the senior officials at the State Department."
Republican-led concerns that the DOJ, under the Obama administration, was too cozy with the
Clinton team during the 2016 presidential campaign have grown louder in recent days. Earlier
News exclusively reviewed
an internal chart prepared by federal investigators working on the
so-called "Midyear Exam" probe into Clinton's emails. The chart contained the words "NOTE: DOJ
not willing to charge this" next to a key statute on the mishandling of classified information.
The notation appeared to contradict former FBI Director James Comey's repeated claims that
his team made its decision that Clinton should not face criminal charges independently.
But Strzok, in his closed-door interview, denied that the DOJ exercised undue influence over
the FBI, and insisted that lawyers at the DOJ were involved in an advisory capacity working with
Strzok was fired from the FBI after months of intense scrutiny over anti-Trump text messages he
exchanged with his mistress - FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Both Strzok and Page were involved at the
highest levels of both the Clinton email investigation and the counterintelligence investigation on
President Trump and his 2016 campaign.
Investigators Ask Loretta Lynch: Why Didn't DOJ/FBI Give Trump A
Defensive Briefing If They Suspected Members of His Campaign Had
Ties to Russia?
Posted at 7:30 pm on March 14, 2019 by Elizabeth Vaughn
Although the transcripts from former Attorney General Loretta
Lynch's Testimony last year have not been released yet,
investigative reporter Sara Carter obtained a copy and said that
lawmakers had one question on their minds. If the DOJ and the FBI
were so worried that Trump's campaign had been penetrated by
Russians, why didn't anyone give him a defensive briefing which is
customary? Lynch's inability to answer this question spoke
Defensive briefings are "often given to presidential
candidates, elected officials and even U.S. businesses that have
either been unwittingly approached by foreign actors attempting to
gain trust and befriend those in position of influence." A senior
former intelligence official told Carter that, "if the FBI or
intelligence agencies suspect foreign adversaries may be trying to
penetrate a presidential campaign, as those FBI and DOJ sources
suggested in testimony to lawmakers, it would then be required to
warn those affected." In 2008, for example, the FBI gave John
McCain a defensive briefing due to their concern over the Russian
connections of a member of his campaign. Why wasn't Trump offered
the same courtesy?
Carter's source added:
It is an essential task of the FBI and the intelligence
community to give a defensive briefing to a presidential candidate
when a foreign adversary is attempting to penetrate or make
contact with someone in the campaign. If the FBI and DOJ were so
concerned about Carter Page and (George) Papadopoulos why didn't
they brief Trump when he became a candidate? The fact that they
didn't is very revealing. If they gave a defensive briefing to the
Clinton campaign then I think we have the answer.
(It is unknown if the Clinton campaign received a briefing.)
Carter said that a comparison of the testimonies of DOJ
official Bruce Ohr, former FBI top lawyer James Baker and Lynch
show that all three spoke of their concern that Russians might be
penetrating Trump's campaign, yet no one offered a defensive
In her testimony, Lynch admitted that top officials, including
James Comey, all talked about offering a defensive briefing, but
no one ever followed through.
But, then again, why brief a candidate when you're trying to
frame him instead?
Pedophilia has come up in the mainstream a lot lately, as PizzaGate came to light fairly recently and more and more pedophile
rings are being exposed, some of which have involved government officials.
If you're unfamiliar with PizzaGate, it refers to a wide range of email correspondence leaked from the DNC that allegedly unearthed
a high-level elitist global pedophile ring in which the U.S. government was involved.
It emerged when Wikileaks released tens of thousands of emails from the former White House Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton,
John Podesta, who also served as Hillary Clinton's campaign manager. It's because of these emails that many claimed John Podesta
was a part of these child trafficking rings as well.
Since then, conspiracy theorists and world renowned journalists alike have been looking into the topic and speculating how big
this problem could be and who could be involved within these underground rings.
For example, award winning American journalist Ben Swann explained the Pizzagate controversy in detail on mainstream news:
Not long after, Swann's entire online personal brand and accounts had all but vanished from the
More recently, there's been some speculation that these pedophile rings could stretch into pop culture, potentially involving
more pedophilia scandals and symbolism within the media. The question here is: Is there any tangible evidence of all of this, or
is it mere speculation?
I'd like to begin by identifying the symbols that are used by pedophiles to identify themselves and make their requests within
underground networks. Here is a link
to a declassified FBI document illustrating the symbols and images used by pedophiles to "identify their sexual preferences."
So, how do these images relate to pizza? First of all, before PizzaGate was even suggested, "cheese pizza" was used as
a code word to discuss "child porn" (hint: it's the same initials, CP). A quick Google search will reveal that the market for underage
sex workers is fairly substantial, and you can even see a 2015 post on
Urban Dictionary that explains
how "cheese pizza" is used as code for child porn.
As per PizzaGate and the symbolism, it all started when multiple emails involving John Podesta, his brother, and Hillary Clinton
simply didn't add up. Strange wording discussing pizza and cheese left readers confused, and because the emails made so little sense,
it led many to suspect that they were code for something else.
For example, this email addressed to John Podesta
reads: "The realtor found a handkerchief (I think it has a map that seems pizza-related)," and
this email sent from John Podesta asks: "Do you
think I'll do better playing dominos on cheese than on pasta?" There are many more examples, and I encourage you to go through
the Wikileaks vault to explore.
On top of that, the DNC was associated with two pizza places, Comet Ping Pong and Besta Pizza, which use very clear symbols of
pedophilia in their advertising and have strange images of children and other ritualistic type images and suspicious videos on their
social media accounts – which has since been made private given the controversy over the images and their link to the DNC, but again,
a quick Google search will show you what those images looked like. You can read the email correspondence between John Podesta and
Comet Ping Pong's owner, James Alefantis,
"... I'll be honest here and admit that Democrats irritate me more than Republicans for this one simple reason. ..."
"... I've come to expect Republicans to be malicious -- there is honesty in their advertisement. However, it's the Democrats who smile like foxes as they pretend to be our allies only to stab us in our backs the minute they get elected. ..."
"Foxes and wolves usually are of the same breed. They belong to the same family -- I think
it's called canine. And the difference is that the wolf when he shows you his teeth, you know
that he's your enemy; and the fox, when he shows you his teeth, he appears to be smiling. But
no matter which of them you go with, you end up in the dog house."
It took a mean mugging by reality -- one that shook me out of cognitive dissonance -- for me
to realize that Democrats are no different than Republicans. They differ in their methods, but
in the end they feast on us regardless of their gang affiliation. Both parties are subsidiaries
of corporations and oligarchs; our entire political system is based on two factions bamboozling their
respective bases while manufacturing dissension on all sides.
... ... ...
Now that I've shed my political blinders, I see how this game is played. I'll be honest here
and admit that Democrats irritate me more than Republicans for this one simple reason.
come to expect Republicans to be malicious -- there is honesty in their advertisement. However,
it's the Democrats who smile like foxes as they pretend to be our allies only to stab us in our
backs the minute they get elected.
They have maintained power for decades by successfully
treading on the pains of marginalized groups as they concurrently enact legislation and
regulations that inflame the very injustices they rail against.
If there is one group that has been leveraged the most by Democrats, it's the descendants of slaves and "black" diaspora
as a whole. For generations, supposed liberals -- who now call themselves progressives -- have
cunningly used the pains of "African-Americans" to further their own agendas. The Democrat's
most loyal voting bloc have time and time again been taken advantage of only to be tossed to
the side as soon as Democrats gain power. They talk a good game and pretend to be for us right
up until election day, soon as the last ballot is counted, they are nowhere to be found.
The actual lowest point in the state might be at the bottom of the artificially created
lake-the Salton Sea, as at the surface it's -236 feet, and the claim is the bottom is 5 feet
higher than Badwater, but who knows.
It was created in 1905, when a diversion of the Colorado River went out of control for 2
years, until they were able to stop the flow.
Jimmy Dore show is pretty educational... Why hasn't Schultz been charged for election fraud yet (she rigged the 2016 primary
and then rigged her own race in Florida against Tim Canova.)? Just when you thought crooked Hillary and corrupt Debbie
Wasserman-Schultz were finally silent and out of the picture, they keep coming back again and again and again...like a case of
Nothing that Bernie will do can satisfy the Democrats. Said the other day he was
wishy-washy over Venezuela but it was still not enough. Seems that Debbie Wasserman Schultz
has threatened to have him kicked out of the party unless he calls out Madura as a dictator.
"... He quickly adapted and learned the art of duplicity; Obama perfected his ability to talk eloquently about our issues and suffering as a means to an end. ..."
"... Barack Obama was not an outlier but the norm when it comes to the tokens who are paraded by Democrats to represent faux-progress and counterfeit diversity. Kamala Harris is the next black bourgeoisie in line who is hoping to use the plight of African-Americans and the tribulations of "black" folk to win the White House. After spending a career locking up brown and "black" folk with impunity and resurrecting the ugly legacy of penal slavery, she is now shamelessly pretending to be the next coming of Sojourner Truth -- hers is the audacity of trope. ..."
"... Trump uses the same playbook of feigned concern to dupe their respective side ..."
"... Identity has been weaponized, instead of addressing the structural nature of racism and sexism, folks like Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton and identity politics shysters across the political spectrum are turning the victims of systematic oppression into human shields to intimidate anyone who dares to question their record. Enough is enough! ..."
"... There is a broader problem beyond these two-faced grifters ..."
"... What is true of "African-Americans" is true of society as a whole. In this richest nation, there exists a breathtaking chasm between the few who have much and the many who have little. Keeping this dynamic in place is a pyramid scheme that transfers wealth upward being kept by the greed of politicians and the indifference of the proletariat. We are being swindled by hustlers to keep this most depraved system intact. ..."
railed against the select few "negroes" who willingly stepped on their own people in order to
advance their own selfish ambitions. Malcolm X was against integration for this reason; he
realized that a modification of a racist system that benefits a fraction of society while
keeping the majority repressed was morally bankrupt. This same realization eventually
Martin Luther King Jr when he confided to his closest advisers that he might have
"integrated his people into a burning house."
Fast forward fifty years and it's evident that the bourgeoisie "negroes" who Malcolm X
talked about have been unleashed by the establishment to work against the interests of their
people. As the majority of "African-Americans" suffer economic inequalities and are burdened by
financial uncertainties, black politicians, pundits and so-called "activists" are enriching
themselves while they pretend to be fighting injustice.
Forget Plymouth Rock, the biggest hoodwink of them all that landed on us was a boulder named
Barack. After losing a Congressional primary to Bobby Rush in 2000, Obama's inner circle
realized that he was not embraced by "African-Americans" in Chicago because many did not see
him as one of them . He
quickly adapted and learned the art of duplicity; Obama perfected his ability to talk
eloquently about our issues and suffering as a means to an end. The end was his unabated ego.
After he scaled the heights of politics, he ended up enacting policies that exacerbated the
wealth gap. For his brazen act of betrayal, Obama was rewarded
The Audacity of Trope
Barack Obama was not an outlier but the norm when it comes to the tokens who are paraded by
Democrats to represent faux-progress and counterfeit diversity. Kamala
Harris is the next black bourgeoisie in line who is hoping to use the plight of
African-Americans and the tribulations of "black" folk to win the White House. After spending a
career locking up brown and "black" folk with impunity and resurrecting the ugly legacy of
penal slavery, she is now shamelessly pretending to be the next coming of Sojourner Truth --
hers is the audacity of trope.
Given the fact that too many are conditioned to think in binary fashion, I must take a pause
here to clarify one thing. This is in no way to excuse the pernicious nature of Republicans and
the vile racism of Donald Trump. After all, not only are Republicans insidious when it comes to
the way they treat "African-Americans" and minorities as a whole, the party of Trump uses the
same playbook of feigned concern to dupe their respective side. However, the more I observe the
rank opportunism of the Democrat front-runners, the more I appreciate the sagacity of Malcolm
It's not only politicians like Barack Obama and Kamala Harris who traffic in this most
insincere form of paternalism, there is a whole cottage industry of black opinion leaders and
gate-keepers who actively work against our interests while passively speaking against
injustice. They abound on TV, in the press and throughout social media; the surest way to make
a name for oneself is to be a part of the "woke" intelligentsia who lull their people into
Adding insult to injury is the fact that these same bourgeoisie mouthpieces are not only
using the pains of the oppressed to advance themselves, they are now employing the injuries of
the masses to deflect well-deserved criticism. Identity has been weaponized, instead of
addressing the structural nature of racism and sexism, folks like Kamala Harris, Hillary
Clinton and identity politics shysters across the political spectrum are turning the victims of
systematic oppression into human shields to intimidate anyone who dares to
question their record. Enough is enough!
The Talented Tenth
There is a broader problem beyond these two-faced grifters. The truth is that the "black"
community has become bifurcated; the bourgeoisie class feeling the blessings of capitalism and
enterprise while the vast majority are burdened by consumerism and debt. DuBois once talked
about the "talented tenth", an educated sector of blacks leading the bottom 90% out of bondage.
Sadly, the talented tenth has been convinced to seek self-enrichment and forget about
What is true of "African-Americans" is true of society as a whole. In this richest nation,
there exists a breathtaking chasm between the few who have much and the many who have little.
Keeping this dynamic in place is a pyramid scheme that transfers wealth upward being kept by
the greed of politicians and the indifference of the proletariat. We are being swindled by
hustlers to keep this most depraved system intact.
... ... ...
Teodrose Fikre is the editor and founder of the Ghion Journal . A published author and prolific writer, a once
defense consultant was profoundly changed by a two year journey of hardship and struggle. Going
from a life of upper-middle class privilege to a time spent with the huddled masses taught
Teodrose a valuable lesson in the essence of togetherness and the need to speak against
injustice. Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II , Teodrose is a former
community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary
victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective
justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses.
Note that the candidate swears to be "faithful" to the "interests, welfare and success of
the Democratic Party," but not to its principles. That's because there aren't any.
Readers may enjoy picking through the bafflegab, because I think you could drive a whole
fleet of trucks through the loopholes. Here, for example, is Benjamin
Studebaker's view : "A Second Term for Trump is Better Than Beto."
Nobody, after all, said that success had to be immediate ; perhaps a short term
failure improves the ultimate welfare and prospects for success for the party.
In a way, this McCarthy-ite armraising is a kludge, another symptom of a fraying system:
Exactly as we can no longer, apparently, trust voters to pick a President, and so must give
veto power to the intelligence community, so we can no longer trust primary voters to pick a
candidate, and the "National Chairperson" must step in if they somehow get the wrong answer.
Right now the title should "Can Trump happen again?" ;-)
But this is from 2016 and Professor Stiglitz missed the foreign policy and neoliberal globalization aspects of "Hillary vs
Trump" battle. A vote for Hillary was a vote for continuation of wars of expansion of neoliberal empire.
It is unclear where is political force that can reverse neoliberal deregulation and neoliberal tax cuts. for example full set of
taxes on all kind of income might help (so that dividends owners should pay Social security tax too) but currently is politically unfeasible,
as control of Washington is in the hands of financial oligarchy which will not relinquish its power without a fight.
"... reforms that political leaders promised would ensure prosperity for all – such as trade and financial liberalization – have not delivered. Far from it. And those whose standard of living has stagnated or declined have reached a simple conclusion: America's political leaders either didn't know what they were talking about or were lying (or both). ..."
"... Thus, many Americans feel buffeted by forces outside their control, leading to outcomes that are distinctly unfair. Long-standing assumptions – that America is a land of opportunity and that each generation will be better off than the last – have been called into question. The global financial crisis may have represented a turning point for many voters: their government saved the rich bankers who had brought the US to the brink of ruin, while seemingly doing almost nothing for the millions of ordinary Americans who lost their jobs and homes. The system not only produced unfair results, but seemed rigged to do so. ..."
"... Support for Trump is based, at least partly, on the widespread anger stemming from that loss of trust in government. ..."
"... The simplistic neo-liberal market-fundamentalist theories that have shaped so much economic policy during the last four decades are badly misleading, with GDP growth coming at the price of soaring inequality. Trickle-down economics hasn't and won't work. Markets don't exist in a vacuum. The Thatcher-Reagan "revolution," which rewrote the rules and restructured markets for the benefit of those at the top, succeeded all too well in increasing inequality, but utterly failed in its mission to increase growth. ..."
"... The interests that have secured control of the US government -- again, the legislative and executive at the federal and state levels, in particular -- will not easily or readily let go of the power they have amassed, vis-à-vis their control over the writing and execution of laws and regulations lesser mortals must live under but from which the elites are exempt (cf, banking crisis). ..."
"... Either we find a TR and FDR -- and the modern-day equivalent of their allies in Congress -- or our society will continue to erode. ..."
"... the balance of global power likely will continue to shift to the more pragmatic and less constrained Hobbesian forms of societal organization -- most likely some variant of strongman rule, with China at the vanguard, if Xi Jinping (or a competitor) is able to successfully consolidate power. ..."
"... we still lack the details and a roadmap towards a new economy. ..."
"... The vehicle for shifting the fruits of that growth has more to do with our free trade agreements than tax cuts. Corporations were just as greedy before we had free trade agreements but tariffs prevented the enrichment free trade opens up. That GDP increase would have happened without free trade as workers enjoyed higher wages. Which makes Trump correct after all. ..."
"... From shortly after the end of the War of 1812 until the Kennedy Round of tariff reductions in 1967 the United States was the most tariff protected nation on earth. ..."
"... How is it possible that two powerful families (Bush and Clinton) are nearly have a monopoly on becoming US presidents. ..."
"... Just twenty five years ago Mr. Robert McNamara came to Matsue, a Japanese city near where I live, to attend a US-Japanese conference. I was appalled to hear, as he said and I was in the audience, that the income of the American middle-class had not risen at all for the past twenty or so years. His words were less an explanation of what had been going on in the American economy and more a warning of what was going to happen in the Japanese economy. The rules need to be rewritten. ..."
"... The Americans shall be voting Trump for the same reasons they voted Bush Jr. The democratic [neoliberal] establishment failed miserably ..."
But several underlying factors also appear to have contributed to the closeness of the race. For starters, many Americans are
economically worse off than they were a quarter-century ago. The median income of full-time male employees is lower than it was 42
years ago, and it is increasingly difficult for those with limited education to get a full-time job that pays decent wages.
Indeed, real (inflation-adjusted) wages at the bottom of the income distribution are roughly where they were 60 years ago. So
it is no surprise that Trump finds a large, receptive audience when he says the state of the economy is rotten. But Trump is wrong
both about the diagnosis and the prescription. The US economy as a whole has done well for the last six decades: GDP has increased
nearly six-fold. But the fruits of that growth have gone to a relatively few at the top – people like Trump, owing partly to massive
tax cuts that he would extend and deepen.
At the same time, reforms that political leaders promised would ensure prosperity for all – such as trade and financial liberalization
– have not delivered. Far from it. And those whose standard of living has stagnated or declined have reached a simple conclusion:
America's political leaders either didn't know what they were talking about or were lying (or both).
Trump wants to blame all of America's problems on trade and immigration. He's wrong. The US would have faced deindustrialization
even without freer trade: global employment in manufacturing has been declining, with productivity gains exceeding demand growth.
Where the trade agreements failed, it was not because the US was outsmarted by its trading partners; it was because the US trade
agenda was shaped by corporate interests. America's companies have done well, and it is the Republicans who have blocked efforts
to ensure that Americans made worse off by trade agreements would share the benefits.
Thus, many Americans feel buffeted by forces outside their control, leading to outcomes that are distinctly unfair. Long-standing
assumptions – that America is a land of opportunity and that each generation will be better off than the last – have been called
into question. The global financial crisis may have represented a turning point for many voters: their government saved the rich
bankers who had brought the US to the brink of ruin, while seemingly doing almost nothing for the millions of ordinary Americans
who lost their jobs and homes. The system not only produced unfair results, but seemed rigged to do so.
Support for Trump is based, at least partly, on the widespread anger stemming from that loss of trust in government.
But Trump's proposed policies would make a bad situation much worse. Surely, another dose of trickle-down economics of the kind he
promises, with tax cuts aimed almost entirely at rich Americans and corporations, would produce results no better than the last time
they were tried.
In fact, launching a trade war with China, Mexico, and other US trading partners, as Trump promises, would make all Americans
poorer and create new impediments to the global cooperation needed to address critical global problems like the Islamic State, global
terrorism, and climate change. Using money that could be invested in technology, education, or infrastructure to build a wall between
the US and Mexico is a twofer in terms of wasting resources.
There are two messages US political elites should be hearing. The simplistic neo-liberal market-fundamentalist theories that
have shaped so much economic policy during the last four decades are badly misleading, with GDP growth coming at the price of soaring
inequality. Trickle-down economics hasn't and won't work. Markets don't exist in a vacuum. The Thatcher-Reagan "revolution," which
rewrote the rules and restructured markets for the benefit of those at the top, succeeded all too well in increasing inequality,
but utterly failed in its mission to increase growth.
This leads to the second message: we need to rewrite the rules of the economy once again, this time to ensure that ordinary citizens
benefit. Politicians in the US and elsewhere who ignore this lesson will be held accountable. Change entails risk. But the Trump
phenomenon – and more than a few similar political developments in Europe – has revealed the far greater risks entailed by failing
to heed this message: societies divided, democracies undermined, and economies weakened.
markets aurelius OCT 15, 2016
I've yet to see such a succinct or well-presented analysis on the rise of Trump and the far-left and -right in Europe. Thank
Where I disagree with Prof. Stiglitz, however, is in the second point of his conclusion; to wit, "... we need to rewrite the
rules of the economy once again, this time to ensure that ordinary citizens benefit. Politicians in the US and elsewhere who ignore
this lesson will be held accountable. Change entails risk. But the Trump phenomenon – and more than a few similar political developments
in Europe – has revealed the far greater risks entailed by failing to heed this message: societies divided, democracies undermined,
and economies weakened." A political solution is impossible at this point in the USA since the legislative and executive branches
of the have been completely captured by cartels, just as Hayek warned back in the '40s.
It took centuries of war -- civil and foreign -- to evolve the English common law and representative government from which
America derived is greatest strengths. Included in that are the quaint cultural memes of civility and "fair play," which permeated
all levels of society, not just sports; these norms were violated at great personal expense, in that it was difficult to gain
the trust of one's fellow citizens if one violated them. However, it is not an immutable fact of nature such a system will persist
throughout history. Truth be told, it is an outlier in the history of the world. Typically, and to this day outside the Anglosphere,
most societies are spoils systems, in which the strong impose their will on the weak, and take the larger share of everything
their societies produce. Some operate artfully (e.g., Mediterranean Europe), while others are just ham-handed (e.g., Russia, the
Middle East). The ordering described by Hobbes more appropriately captures the state of affairs to a greater or lesser degree
in these states.
It took a revolution, a civil war, and a century-long struggle post-civil war to evolve the US society to its modern, yet-to-be-fully-formed
state. The interests that have secured control of the US government -- again, the legislative and executive at the federal
and state levels, in particular -- will not easily or readily let go of the power they have amassed, vis-à-vis their control over
the writing and execution of laws and regulations lesser mortals must live under but from which the elites are exempt (cf, banking
Either we find a TR and FDR -- and the modern-day equivalent of their allies in Congress -- or our society will continue
to erode. Either we fade into history as much of Europe did during the Dark Ages or we have another revolution.
While that's going on, the balance of global power likely will continue to shift to the more pragmatic and less constrained
Hobbesian forms of societal organization -- most likely some variant of strongman rule, with China at the vanguard, if Xi Jinping
(or a competitor) is able to successfully consolidate power.
Daniel Esmond OCT 15, 2016
I agree with nearly everything in Prof Stiglitz' analysis. However, I would like some details about the new 'rules of the economy'.
There is a realisation in many circles that something has to change and the solutions advanced by the new populists are unworkable.
But we still lack the details and a roadmap towards a new economy. While analysis like this one about how we got here
are useful and enlightening, we need (desperately!) to move on and do something. I really would like to see a follow up of this
article with Prof Stigliz outlining his plans for a new economic order.
James Murphy OCT 15, 2016
"But Trump is wrong both about the diagnosis and the prescription. The US economy as a whole has done well for the last
six decades: GDP has increased nearly six-fold. But the fruits of that growth have gone to a relatively few at the top.."
The vehicle for shifting the fruits of that growth has more to do with our free trade agreements than tax cuts. Corporations
were just as greedy before we had free trade agreements but tariffs prevented the enrichment free trade opens up. That GDP increase
would have happened without free trade as workers enjoyed higher wages. Which makes Trump correct after all.
We are a trade deficient nation. As such the only way we lose a trade war is not to fight one. Aside from the short transition
harm the American people would be better off with tariff protection as they were in the past.
From shortly after the end of the War of 1812 until the Kennedy Round of tariff reductions in 1967 the United States was
the most tariff protected nation on earth. During that time absolutely none of the bad things you postulate actually happened.
Free trade is an Ivory Tower theory that has never worked in the real world experience of the United States. We have more free
trade today than we have ever had. Where are the blessings of those free trade deals? We abandoned free trade in 1967 and the
real wages of blue collar workers peaked 5 years later never to come back.
Simon Barnard OCT 14, 2016
Rules of the economy do need to be rewritten and also do the rules of economic measurement.
Growth of GDP is not a valid measurement of whether or not an economy is healthy (or indeed growing). Should vast inequalities
be created, that in turn cause social unrest, that in turn lead to a disintegration of society, this society may find it necessary
to build a lot of prisons. The capital expenditure on these prisons will contribute to the GDP. Is it really healthier? Is this
what is happening in the US? - it could be going that way.
So is it any wonder that people are looking for an alternative to the status quo, of which Hilary Clinton is certainly part
Is Trump an alternative? DEFINITELY NO.
As Joseph Stiglitz put very well, he would make things still worse.
So I feel sorry for the USA having such a poor choice and I hope that soon we can change from the neo-liberal hegemony and
develop a new one that will allow a progressive new choice to make itself available.
Vicky Lavendel OCT 14, 2016
The true questions is: How is it possible that two powerful families (Bush and Clinton) are nearly have a monopoly on becoming
US presidents. And furthermore all presidential candidates who want to have a chance must be ultra rich (like Trump) or must
have very wealthy donors (like Obama). Is this still a democracy or already an oligarchy? That Stieglitz doesnt ask this question
might be a hint that he is part of this wealthy establishment as well.
Yoshimichi Moriyama OCT 14, 2016
The word liberalization is so dazzling that we are captured and made by it to be unable to see the reality; we are often duped
by it. When we hear or see the word, we need to be very careful of what the speaker or writer actually means by it. Corporate
and financial interests have made an extensive use of it to camouflage and promote their selfishness.
Just twenty five years ago Mr. Robert McNamara came to Matsue, a Japanese city near where I live, to attend a US-Japanese
conference. I was appalled to hear, as he said and I was in the audience, that the income of the American middle-class had not
risen at all for the past twenty or so years. His words were less an explanation of what had been going on in the American economy
and more a warning of what was going to happen in the Japanese economy.
The rules need to be rewritten.
M M OCT 14, 2016
The Americans shall be voting Trump for the same reasons they voted Bush Jr. The democratic [neoliberal] establishment failed
miserably. They had eight years to put things right and what did they do, not only maintaining the status quo which made
inequality worse but created mayhem everywhere and the Clintons were part of it throughout the Obama tenure. So Mr. "Yes We Can"
not only managed to increase inequality, re-introduce slavery (albeit in many new forms), help spread terrorism all over the place
and this to state just a few examples.
His greatest accomplishment may well be that he has caused Washington's Swamp Dwellers to rise from the ooze and expose themselves
for all the world to see. That's weakened them immeasurably, perhaps fatally. To be sure, that's no small thing, and the next
Trump to come along is now on full alert as to who & what to bring with him.
You nailed it. Even if they do eventually succeed in foiling Trump, things will never be the same again. The whole world is watching
the circus in Washington, and so Washington's brand ('democracy') is now shot. 2016 was indeed an annus mirabilis! " things will
never be the same again. The whole world is watching the circus in Washington.."
It looks and sounds like dementia – as if a sick person behaving inappropriately, showing unprovoked aggression (like some
Alzheimer patients), using silly or senseless phrasing, and having the unreasonable demands and uncontrolled fits of rage like
a spoiled child. The marasmic McCain, marasmic Pelosi, and hysterical Max Boot, the openly lying Clapper and the hate-filled profiteer
As I have written here and elsewhere, President Swamp Drainer needs to get control of the DoJ. He got rid of Comey, which was
good, but got Rosenstein and Mueller in response. Meanwhile Jeff Sessions is twiddling his thumbs re the Russia witch hunt. Perhaps
his recusal was appropriate, but he's not doing anything whatsoever regarding Swamp Draining. So it feels like he's a disingenuous
old guard GOPer, who wants to obstruct any real progress, while dragging his feet with do-nothingness obscured behind a facade
of law enforcement community boosterism. By this tactic the GOP attempts to stall until 2020, when it can then point at Trump's
failures (failures they have enabled by their stalling, wink wink) and then campaign to take "their" party back. In short, Sessions
may just be an anti-Trump "mole" planted in the single most important position with regard to swamp draining, in order to ***prevent***
any swamp draining.
Let me be clear: in the last 24 years the DC political class has gone almost entirely criminal, with the last 13 years dedicated
to serial war crimes. In this sort of situation the DoJ, AG, and FBI head, becomes corrupted, and turns away from the rule of
law to become a shield for the DC criminal despotism.
So watch closely what happens next. Just today rumors have come out -- though I've been speaking of this for several weeks
now -- that there is talk in the White House about ***recess appointments*** . We have reached the crucial moment, and I for one
am surprised that, as important as this is, it has not been prominent in public discussion until now. The "August" was scheduled
to begin at the end of business tomorrow, July 28th. Because of the health care business, McConnell has postponed it for two weeks,
so let's call it for close of business Friday, August 11th. That's fifteen days from now.
When Congress goes home fifteen days from now, this country and the world may very well change forever. Go to Wikipedia and
look up "recess appointment". Here's what you will find:
" a recess appointment is an appointment by the President of a federal official while the U.S. Senate is in recess.
Recess appointments are authorized by Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which states:
The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting
Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session .
If Trump is the fighter I think he is, then this is what he has been waiting for, ever so patiently these last six months.
Notice that the Congress cannot countermand recess appointments. Recess appointments end by expiration, and then only at the end
of the following Congressional session. Other than impeachment, Congress cannot stop Trump from doing this .
So Trump dumps Sessions, purges the anti-Trump prosecutors from previous administrations, and appoints a new FBI head and dozens
of fire-breathing swamp-draining prosecutors who immediately start doling out orange jumpsuits. He could -- not saying that he
would execute this "nuclear option" -- but he could lock up virtually the entire Congress on war crimes charges; Neocons for conspiracy
to commit war crimes; Cheney, Addington, Yoo, and Bybee to the Hague for torture; Hillary and Obama for Libya.
Control of the DoJ is the key.
The next two weeks will show whether Trump is the real deal, or just another schlub.
Look at this forecast now and laugh... Trump betrayed all hopes.
"... It's obvious that Americans want a new direction when it comes to foreign policy. That's partly what Trump's election is all about. Americans are sick and tired of the never-ending wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere. That includes military families, especially the many who supported Trump, Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein. Americans are also tired of the out of control spending and debt that come with these wars. By electing Trump, it is obvious that Americans are demanding a change on foreign policy. ..."
Eight years ago, President Obama had a chance to change the warmongering direction that outgoing
President Bush and the U.S. national-security establishment had led America for the previous eight
years. Obama could have said, "Enough is enough. America has done enough killing and dying. I'm going
to lead our country in a different direction - toward peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people
of the world." He could have ordered all U.S. troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan to return
home. He could have ended U.S. involvement in the endless wars that Bush, the Pentagon, and the CIA
spawned in that part of the world. He could have led America in a new direction.
Instead, Obama decided to stay Bush's course, no doubt believing that he, unlike Bush, could win
the endless wars that Bush had started. It was not to be. He chose to keep the national-security
establishment embroiled in Afghanistan and Iraq. Death and destruction are Obama's legacy, just as
they were Bush's.
Obama hoped that Hillary Clinton would protect and continue his (and Bush's) legacy of foreign
death and destruction. Yesterday, a majority of American voters dashed that hope.
Will Trump change directions and bring U.S. troops home? Possibly not, especially given he is
an interventionist, just as Clinton, Bush, and Obama are. But there is always that possibility, especially
since Trump, unlike Clinton, owes no allegiance to the U.S. military-industrial complex, whose survival
and prosperity depends on endless wars and perpetual crises.
If Clinton had been elected, there was never any doubt about continued U.S. interventionism in
Afghanistan and the Middle East. Not only is she a died-in-the-wool interventionist, she would have
been owned by the national-security establishment. She would have done whatever the Pentagon, CIA,
and NSA wanted, which would have automatically meant endless warfare - and permanent destruction
of the liberty and prosperity of the American people.
It's obvious that Americans want a new direction when it comes to foreign policy. That's partly
what Trump's election is all about. Americans are sick and tired of the never-ending wars in Afghanistan,
Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere. That includes military families, especially the many who
supported Trump, Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein. Americans are also tired of the out of control spending
and debt that come with these wars. By electing Trump, it is obvious that Americans are demanding
a change on foreign policy.
Imagine the benefits to American society if Trump were to change directions on foreign policy.
No more anti-American terrorist blowback, which would mean no more war on terrorism. That means the
restoration of a sense of normality to American lives. No more TSA checkpoints at airports. No more
mass surveillance schemes to "keep us safe." No more color coded warnings. No more totalitarian power
to round up Americans, put them into concentration camps or military dungeons, and torture them.
No more power to assassinate people, including Americans. In other words, the restoration of American
civil liberties and privacy.
The Middle East is embroiled in civil wars - wars that have been engendered or magnified by U.S.
interventionism. Continued interventionism in an attempt to fix the problems only pours gasoline
on the fires. The U.S. government has done enough damage to Afghanistan and the Middle East. It has
already killed enough people, including those in wedding parties, hospitals, and neighborhoods. Enough
Will Trump be bad on immigration and trade? Undoubtedly, but Clinton would have been bad in
those areas too. Don't forget, after all, that Obama has become America's greatest deporter-in-chief,
deporting more illegal immigrants than any U.S. president in history. Clinton would have followed
in his footsteps, especially in the hope of protecting his legacy. Moreover, while Trump will undoubtedly
begin trade wars, Clinton would have been imposing sanctions on people all over the world whose government
failed to obey the commands of the U.S. government. A distinction without a difference.
Another area for hope under a Trump presidency is with respect to the drug war, one of the most
failed, destructive, and expensive government programs in history. Clinton would have followed in
Bush's and Obama's footsteps by keeping it in existence, if for no other reason than to cater to
the army of DEA agents, federal and state judges, federal and state prosecutors, court clerks, and
police departments whose existence depends on the drug war.
While Trump is a drug warrior himself, he doesn't have the same allegiance to the vast drug-war
bureaucracy that Clinton has. If we get close to pushing this government program off the cliff -
and I am convinced that it is on the precipice - there is a good chance that Trump will not put much
effort into fighting its demise. Clinton would have fought for the drug war with every fiber of her
There is another possible upside to Trump's election: The likelihood that Cold War II will
come to a sudden end. With Clinton, the continuation of the new Cold War against Russia was a certainty.
In fact, Clinton's Cold War might well have gotten hot very quickly, given her intent to establish
a no-fly zone over Syria where she could show how tough she is by ordering U.S. warplanes to shoot
down Russian warplanes. There is no telling where that would have led, but it very well might have
led to all-out nuclear war, something that the U.S. national-security establishment wanted with the
Soviet Union back in the 1960s under President Kennedy.
The danger of war with Russia obviously diminishes under a President Trump, who has said that
he favors friendly relations with Russia, just as Kennedy favored friendly relations with the Soviet
Union and Cuba in the months before he was assassinated.
Indeed, given Trump's negative comments about NATO, there is even the possibility of a dismantling
of that old Cold War dinosaur that gave us the crisis in Ukraine with Russia.
How about it, President-Elect Trump? While you're mulling over your new Berlin Wall on the Southern
(and maybe Northern) border and your coming trade wars with China, how about refusing to follow
the 16 years of Bush-Obama when it comes to U.S. foreign interventionism? Bring the troops home.
Lead America in a different direction, at least insofar as foreign policy is concerned - away from
death, destruction, spending, debt, loss of liberty and privacy, and economic impoverishment and
toward freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony.
Not so quick. He proved to be Bush III. But illusions after his election were abundant.
"... I see Trump's success as proof that "the people who run [the GOP] and the institutions surrounding it failed." They not only failed in their immediate task of preventing the nomination of a candidate that party leaders loathed, but failed repeatedly over at least the last fifteen years to govern well or even to represent the interests and concerns of most Republican voters. ..."
"... Party leaders spent decades conning Republican voters with promises they knew they wouldn't or couldn't fulfill, and then were shocked when most of those voters turned against them. ..."
"... Trump is millions of Republican voters' judgment against a party that failed them, and the fact that Trump is thoroughly unqualified for the office he seeks makes that judgment all the more damning. ..."
secured the Republican nomination last night:
Mr. Trump tallied 1,725 delegates, easily surpassing the 1,237 delegate threshold
needed to clinch the nomination. The delegate tally from his home state of New York,
announced by Mr. Trump's son Donald Jr., put him over the top.
Rod Dreher, I see Trump's success as proof that "the people who run [the GOP] and
the institutions surrounding it failed." They not only failed in their immediate task of
preventing the nomination of a candidate that party leaders loathed, but failed
repeatedly over at least the last fifteen years to govern well or even to represent the
interests and concerns of most Republican voters.
Had the Bush administration not presided over multiple disasters, most of them of
their own making, there would have been no opening or occasion for the repudiation of
the party's leaders that we have seen this year. Had the party served the interests of
most of its voters instead of catering to the preferences of their donors and
corporations, there would have been much less support for someone like Trump.
leaders spent decades conning Republican voters with promises they knew they wouldn't or
couldn't fulfill, and then were shocked when most of those voters turned against them.
Trump is millions of Republican voters' judgment against a party that failed
them, and the fact that Trump is thoroughly unqualified for the office he seeks makes
that judgment all the more damning.
"... What happened? Why is this clique's triumphant return to power erupting in massive scandal this time around? Probably because we are living in an era during which much that was mysterious is suddenly becoming clear. Probably because Trump's "silent majority" suddenly saw before them someone they had been waiting for for a long time – a man ready to defend their interests. ..."
"... Perhaps also it is because the middle class is choking on its growing exasperation with the "elite caste" occupying its native country. And it finally became clear to the sober-minded American patriots in law enforcement that the return to power of the people responsible for the current global chaos could be a big threat to the US and rest of the world. Because, in the end, everyone has children and no one wants a new world war. ..."
Today Trump represents an entirely new party made up of half of the American electorate, and they
are ready for action. And whatever the eventual political structure of this new model, this is what
is shaping America's present reality. Moreover, this does not seem like such a unique situation.
It rather appears to be the final chapter of some ancient story, in which the convoluted plotlines
finally take shape and find resolution.
The circumstances are increasingly reminiscent of 1860, when Lincoln's election so enraged the
South that those states began agitating for secession. Trump is today symbolic of a very real American
tradition that during
the Civil War (1860-1865) ran headlong into American revolutionary liberalism for the first time.
Right up until World War I traditional American conservatism wore the guise of "isolationism."
Prior to WWII it was known as "non-interventionism." Afterward, that movement attempted to use
McCarthy to battle the left-liberal stranglehold. And in the 1960s it became the primary target
of the "counter-cultural revolution."
Its last bastion was
Nixon , whose fall was the result of an unprecedented attack from the left-liberal press in 1974.
And this is perhaps the example against which we should compare the present-day Trump and his current
And by the way, the crimes of Hillary Clinton, who has failed to protect state secrets and has
repeatedly been caught lying under oath, clearly outweigh the notorious Watergate scandal that led
to Nixon's forced resignation under threat of impeachment. But the liberal American media remains
silent, as if nothing has happened.
By all indications it is clear that we are standing before a truly epochal moment. But before
turning to the future that might await us, let's take a quick glance at the history of conflict between
revolutionary liberalism and traditional white conservatism in the US.
Immediately after WWII, an attack on two fronts was launched by the party of "expansionism" (we'll
call it that). The Soviet Union and Communism were designated the number one enemy. Enemy number
two (with less hype) was traditional American conservatism. The war against traditional "Americanism"
was waged by several intellectual fringe groups simultaneously.
The country's cultural and intellectual life was under the absolute control of a group known as
the " New York
Intellectuals ." Literary criticism as well as all other aspects of the nation's literary life
was in the hands of this small group of literary curators who had emerged from the milieu of a Trotskyist-communist
magazine known as the
Partisan Review (PR). No one could become a professional writer in the America of the 1950s and
1960s without being carefully screened by this sect.
The foundational tenets of American political philosophy and sociology were composed by militants
from the Frankfurt School
, which had been established during the interwar period in Weimar Germany and which moved to
the US after the National Socialists took power. Here, retraining their sights from communist to
liberal, they set out to design a "theory of totalitarianism" in addition to their concept of an
"authoritarian personality" – both hostile to "democracy."
The "New York Intellectuals" and representatives of the Frankfurt School became friends, and
Hannah Arendt , for example, was an
authoritative representative of both sects. This is where future neocons (Norman Podhoretz, Eliot
A. Cohen, and Irving Kristol) gained their experience. The former leader of the Trotskyist Fourth
International and godfather of the neocons,
Max Shachtman , held a place
of honor in the "family of intellectuals."
The anthropological school of Franz Boas and Freudianism reigned over the worlds of psychology
and sociology at that time. The Boasian approach in psychology argued that genetic, national, and
racial differences between individuals were of no importance (thus the concepts of "national culture"
and "national community" were meaningless).
Psychoanalysis also became fashionable, which primarily aimed to supplant traditional church institutions
and become a type of quasi-religion for the middle class.
The common denominator linking all these movements was anti-fascism. Did something look fishy
in this? But the problem was that the traditional values of the nation, state, and family were all
labeled "fascist." From this standpoint, any white Christian man aware of his cultural and national
identity was potentially a "fascist."
Kevin MacDonald, a professor of psychology at California State University, analyzed in detail
the seizure of America's cultural, political, and mental landscape by these "liberal sects" in his
brilliant book The Culture
of Critique , writing:
"The New York Intellectuals, for example, developed ties with elite universities, particularly
Harvard, Columbia, the University of Chicago, and the University of California-Berkeley, while
psychoanalysis and anthropology became well entrenched throughout academia.
"The moral and intellectual elite established by these movements dominated intellectual
discourse during a critical period after World War II and leading into the countercultural revolution
of the 1960s."
It was precisely this intellectual milieu that spawned the countercultural revolution of the 1960s.
Riding the wave of these sentiments, the new
Immigration and Nationality Act was passed in 1965, encouraging this phenomenon and facilitating
the integration of immigrants into US society. The architects of the law wanted to use the celebrated
melting pot to "dilute" the "potentially fascist" descendants of European immigrants by making use
of new ethno-cultural elements.
The 60s revolution opened the door to the American political establishment to representatives
from both wings of the expansionist "party" – the neo-liberals and the neo-conservatives.
Besieged by the left-liberal press in 1974, Richard Nixon resigned under threat of impeachment.
In the same year the US Congress passed the
Amendment (drafted by Richard
Perle ), which emerged as a symbol of the country's "new political agenda" – economic war against
the Soviet Union using sanctions and boycotts.
At that same time the "hippie generation" was joining the Democratic Party on the coattails of
Senator George McGovern's campaign . And that was when Bill Clinton's smiling countenance first
emerged on the US political horizon.
And the future neo-conservatives (at that time still disciples of the Democratic hawk Henry "Scoop"
Jackson) began to slowly edge in the direction of the Republicans.
In 1976, Mr. Rumsfeld and his fellow neo-conservatives resurrected the
on the Present Danger , an inter-party club for political hawks whose goal became the launch
of an all-out propaganda war against the USSR.
Former Trotskyists and followers of Max Shachtman (Kristol, Podhoretz, and Jeane Kirkpatrick)
and advisers to Sen. Henry Jackson (Paul Wolfowitz, Perle, Elliott Abrams, Charles Horner, and Douglas
Feith) joined Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and other "Christian" politicians with the intention
of launching a "campaign to transform the world."
This is where the neocons' "nonpartisan ideology" originated. And eventually today's "inalterable
US government" hatched from this egg.
American politics began to acquire its current shape during the Reagan era. In economics this
was seen in the policy of neoliberalism (politics waged in the interests of big financial capital)
and in foreign policy – in a strategy consisting of "holy war against the forces of evil." The Nixon-Kissinger
tradition of foreign policy (which viewed the Soviet Union and China as a normal countries with which
is essential to find common ground) was entirely abandoned.
The collapse of the USSR was a sign of the onset of the final phase of the "neocon revolution."
At that point their protégé, Francis Fukuyama, announced the "end of history."
As the years passed, the influence of the neo-conservatives (in politics) and neoliberals (in
economics) only expanded. Through all manner of committees, foundations, "think tanks," etc., the
students of Milton Friedman and Leo Strauss (from the departments of economics and political science
at the University of Chicago) penetrated ever more deeply into the inner workings of the Washington
power machine. The apotheosis of this expansion was th