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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.

Hillary Clinton can change her views in an instant on trade, guns, gay marriage, and all sorts of issues, but she's consistent in this: she wants war. Washington Examiner

 All her election promises are lies, tuned to lure voters.  "Hillary Clinton will say anything to get elected, and nothing will change." -- Barack Obama, 2008

Version 5.2, May 1, 2017

News US Presidential Elections of 2016 Recommended Links Strzok-gate DNC emails leak Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Hillary Clinton email scandal Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal
Questions about Huma Abedin email forwarding Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Steele dossier FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Brennan elections machinations James "We are not weasels" Comey Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime"
Lock her up movement Is Hillary Clinton a war criminal? Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia Hillary role in Libya disaster Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary wet kiss with neocons Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and middle class
Hillary Clinton's faux feminism and cruelty toward women and children Hillary health issues Madeleine Albright as a model for Hillary Hillary as a pathological liar Is Hillary Clinton a toxic manager? Female Sociopaths Hillary Clinton defense of the middle aged rapist of a 12 years old girl Clinton Cash and Hillary Clinton links to financial industry
Superdelegates fraud at Democratic National Convention Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Bernie Sanders as sheepdog for Hillary Bill Clinton Perjury Investigation of Hillary Clinton FBI contractor Fusion GPS Bill  sexapades became Hillary campaign issue
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Presidential debate trap staged by neoliberal media Blowback against neoliberal globalization Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime American Exceptionalism Noble Lie Deception as an art form    
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Hillary the Other Woman Dolly Kyle Amazon.com Books The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon  
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Diplomacy by deception Cold War II Lawrence Summers Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Robert Rubin, the man who helped to convert the USA into banana republic Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections
Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich   Politically Incorrect Humor  Etc

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Hillary Clinton as neocon warmonger

Summary

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 liberalism. China Matters

The key points

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 minorities.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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)

Oct 05, 2016 | www.James Kroeger October 5, 2016 at 8:02 am

So what's a voter to do?

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 Commander-in-Chief.

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 it off.

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.

Quite simply, she scares the hell out of me.

likbez October 5, 2016 at 9:17 pm
James,

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 she anticipates."

I would like to add a few minor points:

1. Clinton might not have the intellectual capacity to discern critically important distinctions ( http://angrybearblog.com/2015/06/what-worries-me-most-about-clinton-that-she-may-not-have-the-intellectual-capacity-to-discern-even-critically-important-distinctions-even-glaring-ones.html ). From comments: "Hillary is phony as a 3-dollar bill. And I just watched FDR doing his thing on NPR's " The Roosevelts " , reminding me that in universes other than the one I occupy , it's possible to have an outstanding progressive , an outstanding candidate , and an outstanding human being , all in one."

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 her.

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. …" ( http://crookedtimber.org/2016/09/27/donald-trump-the-michael-dukakis-of-the-republican-party/#comment-693421 )

5. She is completely numb to human suffering. She has a total lack of empathy for other people.


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Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary

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[Jan 22, 2019] Mounting a campaign against plutocracy makes as much sense to the typical Washington liberal as would circulating a petition against gravity.

Jan 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"Mounting a campaign against [financial] plutocracy makes as much sense to the typical Washington liberal as would circulating a petition against gravity.

What our modernized liberal leaders offer is not confrontation but a kind of therapy for those flattened by the free-market hurricane: they counsel us to accept the inevitability of the situation."

Thomas Frank, Rendezvous With Oblivion

[Jan 22, 2019] The French Anti-Neoliberal Revolution. On the conditions for its success by Dimitris Konstantakopoulos

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The French bourgeoisie is the politically most experienced ruling class in Europe. It has no illusions about the challenge it faces. Le Point put its file on the revolt of the vests under the self-telling title "What is waiting us". ..."
"... But it's not only the king who is naked. The whole system is naked. In the many pages devoted by the magazine to demonstrate that what the Vests want is unfeasible, not even a single serious word is written about what needs to be done to deal with the deep causes which led the French to revolt. Today's capitalism of Macron, Merkel and Trump does not produce a Roosevelt and New Deal or Popular Fronts – and we have to wait to see if it will produce a Hitler as some are trying to achieve. For the time being, it only produces Yellow Vests! ..."
"... In Oscar Wilde's masterpiece "The Picture of Dorian Gray", the main character looks every night at his horrible real self in the mirror. But he looks at it alone. ..."
"... This is where Macron made his most fatal mistake, being arrogant and markedly cut off from reality – with the confidence given to him by the mighty elite forces, which elected him and by his contempt of the common people which characterizes him. ..."
"... Observing Macron, the people understood what lied ahead for them. They felt their backs against the wall – they felt that they had only themselves to rely on, that they had to take themselves action to save themselves and their country. ..."
"... This was the decisive moment, the moment the historical mission of Macron was achieved . By establishing the most absolute control of Finance over Politics, he himself invited Revolution. His triumph and his tragedy came together. ..."
"... Many established "leftists" or "radical" intellectuals, who used to feverishly haul capitalism over the coals – although the last thing they really wanted was to experience a real revolution during their lifetime – they too, stand now frightened, looking at an angry Bucephalus running ahead of them. They prefer a stable capitalism, of which they can constitute its "consciousness", writing books, appearing on shows and giving lectures, analyzing its crises and explaining its tribulations. They idea that the People could at some point take seriously what they themselves said, never crossed their minds either! ..."
"... Today, four out of five French people disapprove of Macron's policies and one in two demands that he resigns immediately. We assume that this percentage is greater than the percentage of Russians who wanted the ousting of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917. ..."
"... France is currently almost in a state of Power Vacuum . The president and the government cannot in essence govern and the people cannot tolerate them. It is not a situation of dual power, but a situation of dual legitimacy , in Mélenchon 's accurate description. ..."
"... This is a typical definition of a revolutionary situation . As history teaches us, the emergence of such a situation is necessary but not sufficient condition for a victorious Revolution. What is required in or order to turn a rebellion into a potentially victorious Revolution, is a capable and decided leadership and an adequate strategy, program and vision. These elements do not seem to exist, at last not for now, in today's France, as they did not exist in May 1968 or during the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Therefore, the present situation remains open to all possible eventualities; there must be no doubt however, that this is the beginning of a period of intense political and class conflicts in Europe, and that the Europe, as we know it, is already history. ..."
"... Or at least, for the people to be given the opportunity to develop an effective way of controlling state power. ..."
"... By reversing Marx's famous formula in German Ideology , the ideas of the dominant class do not dominate society. This is why the situation can be described as revolutionary. ..."
"... Although it is difficult to form an opinion from afar about how the situation may unfold, the formation of a such a United Front from grassroots could perhaps offer a way out with regards to the need for a political leadership for the movement, or even of the need to work out a transitional economic program for France, which must also serve as a transitional program for Europe . ..."
"... Contrary to how things were a century ago, certain factors such as the educational level of the lower social classes, the existence of a number of critical, radical thinkers with the necessary intellectual skills and the Internet, render such a possibility a much more realistic scenario today, than in the past. ..."
Jan 14, 2019 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The magazine Le Point is one of the main media outlets of the French conservative "centre-right". One of its December issues carries the cover title France Faces its History. 1648, 1789, 1830, 1848, 1871 four centuries of revolutions.

The cover features also a painting by Pierre-Jérôme Lordon, showing people clashing with the army at Rue de Babylone , in Paris, during the Revolution of 1830. Perhaps this is where Luc Ferry, Chirac's former minister, got his idea from, when, two days ago, he asked the Army to intervene and the police to start shooting and killing Yellow Vests.

Do not be surprised if you haven't heard this from your TV or if you don't know that the level of police repression and violence in France, measured in people dead, injured and arrested, has exceeded everything the country has experienced since 1968. Nor should you wonder why you don't know anything about some Yellow Vest's new campaign calling for a massive run on French banks. Or why you have been lead you to believe that the whole thing is to do with fuel taxes or increasing minimum wage.

The vast majority of European media didn't even bother to communicate to their readers or viewers the main political demands of the Yellow Vests ; and certainly, there hasn't been any meaningful attempt to offer an insightful interpretation of what's happening in France and there is just very little serious on-the-ground reporting, in the villages and motorways of France.

Totalitarianism

Following Napoleon's defeat in Waterloo, European Powers formed the Holy Alliance banning Revolutions.

Nowadays, Revolutions have just been declared inconceivable (Soros – though not just him – has been giving a relentless fight to take them out of history textbooks or, as a minimum, to erase their significance and meaning). Since they are unthinkable they cannot happen. Since they cannot happen they do not happen.

In the same vein, European media sent their journalists out to the streets in Paris on Christmas and New Year's days, counted the protesters and found that they weren't too many after all. Of course they didn't count the 150,000 police and soldiers lined up by Macron on New Year's Eve. Then they made sure that they remain "impartial" and by just comparing numbers of protesters, led viewers to think that we are almost done with it – it was just a storm, it will pass.

The other day I read a whole page article about Europe in one of the most "serious" Greek newspapers, on 30.12. The author devoted just one single meaningless phrase about the Vests. Instead, the paper still found the way to include in the article the utterly stupid statement of a European Right-Wing politician who attributed the European crisis to the existence of Russia Today and Sputnik! And when I finally found a somewhat more serious article online about the developments in France, I realized that its only purpose was to convince us that what is happening in France surely has nothing to do with 1789 or 1968!

It is only a pity that the people concerned, the French themselves, cannot read in Greek. If they could, they would have realized that it does not make any sense to have "Revolution" written on their vests or to sing the 1789 song in their demonstrations or to organize symbolic ceremonies of the public "decapitation" of Macron, like Louis XV. And the French bourgeois press would not waste time everyday comparing what happens in the country now with what happened in 1968 and 1789.

Totalitarianism is not just a threat. It's already here. Simply it has omitted to announce its arrival. We have to deduce its precence from its results.

A terrified ruling class

The French bourgeoisie is the politically most experienced ruling class in Europe. It has no illusions about the challenge it faces. Le Point put its file on the revolt of the vests under the self-telling title "What is waiting us".

A few months ago, all we had about Macron in the papers was praise, inside and outside of France – he was the "rising star" of European politics, the man who managed to pass the "reforms" one after the other, no resistance could stop him, he would be the one to save and rebuild Europe. Varoufakis admired and supported him, as early as of the first round of the 2017 elections.

Now, the "chosen one" became a burden for those who put him in office. Some of them probably want to get rid of him as fast as they can, to replace him with someone else, but it's not easy – and even more so, it is not easy given the monarchical powers conferred by the French constitution to the President. The constitution is tailored to the needs of a President who wants to safeguard power from the people. Those who drafted it could not probably imagine it would make difficult for the Oligarchy also to fire him!

Read also: Scandaleux : le fondateur du parti fasciste ukrainien Svoboda reçu à l'Assemblée et au Sénat !

And who would dare to hold a parliamentary or presidential election in such a situation, as in France today? No one knows what could come out of it. Moreover, Macron does not have a party in the sense of political power. He has a federation of friends who benefit as long as he stays in power and they are damaged when he collapses.

The King is naked

"The King is naked", points out Le Point's editorial, before, with almost sadistic callousness, posing the question: "What can a government do when a remarkable section of the people vomits it?"

But it's not only the king who is naked. The whole system is naked. In the many pages devoted by the magazine to demonstrate that what the Vests want is unfeasible, not even a single serious word is written about what needs to be done to deal with the deep causes which led the French to revolt. Today's capitalism of Macron, Merkel and Trump does not produce a Roosevelt and New Deal or Popular Fronts – and we have to wait to see if it will produce a Hitler as some are trying to achieve. For the time being, it only produces Yellow Vests!

They predicted it, they saw it coming, but they didn't believe it!

Yet they could have predicted all that. It would have sufficed, had they only taken seriously and studied a book published in France in late 2016, six months before the presidential election, highlighting the explosive nature of the social situation and warning of the danger of revolution and civil war.

The title of the book was "Revolution". Its author was none other than Emmanuel Macron himself. Six months later, he would become the President of France, to eventually verify, and indeed rather spectacularly, his predictions. But the truth is probably, that not even he himself gave much credit to what he wrote just to win the election.

By constantly lying, politicians, journalists and intellectuals reasonably came to believe that even their own words are of no importance. That they can say and do anything they want, without any consequence.

In Oscar Wilde's masterpiece "The Picture of Dorian Gray", the main character looks every night at his horrible real self in the mirror. But he looks at it alone.

This is where Macron made his most fatal mistake, being arrogant and markedly cut off from reality – with the confidence given to him by the mighty elite forces, which elected him and by his contempt of the common people which characterizes him.

Unwise and Arrogant, he made no effort to hide – this is how sure he felt of himself, this is how convinced his environment was that he could infinitely go on doing anything he wanted without any consequences (same as our Tsipras). Thus, acting foolishly and arrogantly, he left a few million eyes to see his real face. This was the last straw that made the French people realize in a definite way what they had already started figuring out during Sarkozy's and Hollande's, administration, or even earlier. Observing Macron, the people understood what lied ahead for them. They felt their backs against the wall – they felt that they had only themselves to rely on, that they had to take themselves action to save themselves and their country.

There was nobody else to make it in their place.

Macron as a Provocateur. Terror in Pompeii

This was the decisive moment, the moment the historical mission of Macron was achieved . By establishing the most absolute control of Finance over Politics, he himself invited Revolution. His triumph and his tragedy came together.

It was just then, that Bucephalus (*) sprang from the depths of historical Memory, galloping without a rider, ready to sweep away everything in his path.

Now those in power look at him with fear, but fearful too are both the "radical right" and the "radical left". Le Pen has already called on protesters to return to their homes and give her names to include in her list for the European election!

Mélenchon supports the Vests – 70% of their demands coincide with the program of his party, La France Insoumise – but so far he hasn't dared to join the people in demanding Macron's resignation, by adopting the immense, but orphan, cry of the people heard all over France: "Macron resign". Perhaps he feels that he hasn't got the steely strength and willpower required for attempting to lead such a movement.

The unions' leadership is doing everything it can to keep the working class away from the Vests, but this stand started causing increasing unrest at its base.

Read also: Macron Prepares a Social War

Many established "leftists" or "radical" intellectuals, who used to feverishly haul capitalism over the coals – although the last thing they really wanted was to experience a real revolution during their lifetime – they too, stand now frightened, looking at an angry Bucephalus running ahead of them. They prefer a stable capitalism, of which they can constitute its "consciousness", writing books, appearing on shows and giving lectures, analyzing its crises and explaining its tribulations. They idea that the People could at some point take seriously what they themselves said, never crossed their minds either!

In fact, this is also a further confirmation of the depth of the movement. Lenin , who, in any event knew something about revolutions, wrote in 1917: "In a revolutionary situation, the Party is a hundred times farther to the left than the Central Committee and the workers a hundred times farther to the left than the Party."

"Revolutionary Situation" and Power Vacuum

Today, four out of five French people disapprove of Macron's policies and one in two demands that he resigns immediately. We assume that this percentage is greater than the percentage of Russians who wanted the ousting of Tsar Nicholas II in February 1917.

France is currently almost in a state of Power Vacuum . The president and the government cannot in essence govern and the people cannot tolerate them. It is not a situation of dual power, but a situation of dual legitimacy , in Mélenchon 's accurate description.

This is a typical definition of a revolutionary situation . As history teaches us, the emergence of such a situation is necessary but not sufficient condition for a victorious Revolution. What is required in or order to turn a rebellion into a potentially victorious Revolution, is a capable and decided leadership and an adequate strategy, program and vision. These elements do not seem to exist, at last not for now, in today's France, as they did not exist in May 1968 or during the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Therefore, the present situation remains open to all possible eventualities; there must be no doubt however, that this is the beginning of a period of intense political and class conflicts in Europe, and that the Europe, as we know it, is already history.

People's Sovereignty at the center of demands

Starting from fuel tax the revolting French have now put at the centre of their demands, in addition to Macron's resignation, the following:

In other words, they demand a profound and radical " transformation " of the Western bourgeois-democratic regime, as we know it, towards a form of direct democracy in order to take back the state, which has gradually and in a totalitarian manner – but while keeping up democratic appearances – passed under direct and full control of the Financial Capital and its employees. Or at least, for the people to be given the opportunity to develop an effective way of controlling state power.

These are not the demands of a fun-club of Protagoras or of some left-wing or right-wing groupuscule propagating Self-Management or of some club of intellectuals. Nor are they the demands of only the lowest social strata of the French nation.

They are supported, according to the polls and put forward by at least three quarters of French citizens, including a sizeable portion of the less poor. In such circumstances, these demands constitute in effect the Will of the People, the Will of the Nation.

The Vests are nothing more than its fighting pioneers. And precisely because it is the absolute majority of people who align with these demands, even if numbers have somewhat gone down since the beginning of December, the Vests are still wanted out on the streets.

By reversing Marx's famous formula in German Ideology , the ideas of the dominant class do not dominate society. This is why the situation can be described as revolutionary.

And also because it is not only the President and the Government, who have been debunked or at least de-legitimized, but it's also the whole range of state and political institutions, the parties, the unions, the "information" media and the "ideologists" of the regime.

The questioning of the establishment is so profound that any arguments about violence and the protesters do not weaken society's support for them. Many, but not all, condemn violence, but there are not many who don't go on immediately to add a reminder of the regime's social violence against the people. When a famous ex-boxer lost his temper and reacted by punching a number of violent police officers, protesters set up a fundraising website for his legal fees. In just two hours they managed to raise around 120.000 euro, before removing the page over officials' complaints and threats about keeping a file on anyone who contributes money to support such causes.

Read also: Greece: Creditors out to crush any trace of Syriza disobedience

Until now, an overwhelming majority of the French people supports the demands while an absolute majority shows supports for the demonstrations; but of course, it is difficult to keep such a deadlock and power-void situation going for long. They will sooner or later demand a solution, and in situations such as these it is often the case that public opinion shifts rapidly from the one end of the political spectrum to the other and vice versa, depending on which force appears to be more decisive and capable of driving society out of the crisis.

The organization of the Movement

Because the protesters have no confidence in the parties, the trade unions, or anyone else for that matter, they are driven out of necessity into self-organization, as they already do with the Citizens' Assemblies that are now emerging in villages, cities and motorway camps. Indeed, by the end of the month, if everything goes well, they will hold the first " Assembly of Assemblies ".

Similar developments have also been observed in many revolutionary movements of this kind in various countries. A classic example is the spontaneous formation of the councils ( Soviets ) during the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917.

Although it is difficult to form an opinion from afar about how the situation may unfold, the formation of a such a United Front from grassroots could perhaps offer a way out with regards to the need for a political leadership for the movement, or even of the need to work out a transitional economic program for France, which must also serve as a transitional program for Europe .

Contrary to how things were a century ago, certain factors such as the educational level of the lower social classes, the existence of a number of critical, radical thinkers with the necessary intellectual skills and the Internet, render such a possibility a much more realistic scenario today, than in the past.

Because the movement's Achilles' Heel is that, while it is already in the process of forming a political proposition, it still, at least for now, does not offer any economic alternative or a politically structured, democratically controlled leadership.

Effective Democracy is an absolute requirement in such a front, because it is the only way to synthesize the inevitably different levels of consciousness within the People and to avoid a split of the movement between "left" and "right", between those who are ready to resort to violence to achieve their ends and those who have a preference for more peaceful, gradual processes.

Such a " front " could perhaps also serve as a platform for solidifying a program and vision, to which the various parties and political organizations could contribute.

In her Critique of the Russian Revolution Rosa Luxemburg , the leader of the German Social Democracy was overly critical of the Bolsheviks , even if, I think, a bit too severe in some points. But she closes her critique with the phrase: " They at least dared "

Driven by absolute Need, guided by the specific way its historical experience has formed its consciousness, possessing a Surplus of Consciousness, that is able to feel the unavoidable conclusions coming out of the synthesis of the information we all possess, about both the "quality" of the forces governing our world and the enormous dangers threatening our countries and mankind, the French People, the French Nation has already crossed the Rubicon.

By moving practically to achieve their goals at a massive scale, and regardless of what is to come next, the French people has already made a giant leap up and forward and, once more in its history, it became the world's forerunner in tackling the terrible economic, ecological, nuclear and technological threats against human civilization and its survival.

Without the conscious entry of large masses into the historical scene, with all the dangers and uncertainties that such a thing surely implies, one can hardly imagine how humanity will survive.

Note

(*) Bucephalus was the horse of Alexander the Great, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucephalus

[Jan 17, 2019] The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47

Yep,
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.

The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.

Brassic , 15 Jan 2019 08:21
Excellent article. Thank you.

This is the realistic perspective we have to adopt in the US: the Democratic establishment is part of the neoliberal machinery that has generated Bush's wars, Obama's bank bailouts, deportations, and drone executions, and now Trump's anti-democratic populism.

[Jan 17, 2019] In regards to the Hillary v Bernie question, it also didn't help that the primary vote was wildly skewed by so-called 'superdelegates,' who don't actually commit their votes until the DNC convention

Notable quotes:
"... Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly stayed on-message. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cagnusdei -> cagnusdei , 15 Jan 2019 10:53

In regards to the Hillary v Bernie question, it also didn't help that the primary vote was wildly skewed by so-called 'superdelegates,' who don't actually commit their votes until the DNC convention, but were being counted by the media as having already voted for Hillary, which made it appear to many of the uninformed that Bernie didn't have any chance of winning, which may have been intended to keep Bernie supporters home on primary day under the assumption that Hillary was unbeatable.
ehmaybe -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 10:52
As sensible as your suggestions may be, what you're calling for would require at least three constitutional amendments to be practical - including scrapping the first amendment.

Maybe we should strive towards attainable goals instead?

cagnusdei -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 10:50
Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage together.

Bernie Sanders is widely considered by many to be one of the most popular American politicians, more than Trump and certainly more popular than Hillary. I think an interesting phenomenon to notice is the lengths the GOP, in particular, will go to in order to convince the average voter that anything that cuts taxes is inherently good for the 'little guy,' while anything that raises taxes is bad. Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason.

ConBrio -> cnzewi , 15 Jan 2019 10:45

Progressive believe in inclusion and if that is "moralistic rhetoric" then so be it.

The litany goes "round and round.

Hillary Clinton:

" you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it!

"Barack Obama:

"Referring to working-class voters in old industrial towns decimated by job losses, the presidential hopeful said: "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion "

There's liberal "inclusion" for you!

memo10 -> GRBnative , 15 Jan 2019 10:34
Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly stayed on-message.

[Jan 17, 2019] The Coke or Pepsi and parties is a perfect corporatist arrangement, which guarantee filtering out any opposition to the oligarchy in 99 percent of elections

Only a severe political crisi can shake this "controlled duopoly" of the US coporatism.
Jan 16, 2019 | theguardian.com

William Williamson, 15 Jan 2019 10:38

Well put. All the USA has is Coke or Pepsi.
With a lot of masquerading in between.
A couple people who aren't on THE payroll,
or wanting to be.
MyGenericUsername , 15 Jan 2019 07:38
Half of Americans don't bother voting for president. Why is the American media full only of people who insist that the country is divided in half between Democrat and Republican supporters? Where are the people of influence who think it's a problem and reflects poorly on the country that half of eligible voters don't see a reason to participate, and that it's worth changing things in order to get more people to change their minds about that?

Both parties are content with being unpopular, but with political mechanisms ensuring they stay in power anyway. The Democrats aren't concerned with being popular. They're content with being a token opposition party that every once in a while gets a few token years with power they don't put to any good anyway. It pays more, I guess.

CanSoc , 15 Jan 2019 07:34
It still looks like if Americans want to live in a progressive country, they'll have to move to one. But as it is clear that the neoliberalism of establishment Democrats has little or nothing to offer the poor and working class, or to non-wealthy millennials, the times they are a-changing.

[Jan 16, 2019] The travesty of the US elections

These corporate-Dem candidates are not being forced to sell out to win elections. Quite the opposite in fact. They are risking losing their elections for the sake of selling out.
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 07:54

Surely, many will comment that Democrats have no choice but to take the money in order to be competitive. I have one truism for such folks to ponder: Why would you trust your allegiance to those who don't care if you win?

Basic logic: rich people win the general election either way, so long as the primary-winning Democrat is in their pocket (the GOP is always on their side). So this monetary affection is certainly more about fixing an no-lose general than it is about ousting Trump, or any Republican.

[Jan 14, 2019] As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans

Jan 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans" [Glenn Greenwald, T he Intercept ].

'But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal.

The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent."

Those of you who followed my midterms worksheets will recall that the liberal Democrat establishment packed the ballot with MILOs (candidates with Military, Intelligence, and Law enforcement backgrounds, or Other things, like being a DA), preparing the way for further militarization of the Party, and ultimately for war.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.

Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican nomination in 2020. We'll see.

But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.

Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.

Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year ago.

That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt, extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions. Romney became fantastically rich doing this.

Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the country.

Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations, Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those goals enthusiastically.

There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others -- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.

Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are destroying America? Those are open questions.

But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.

The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones, or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be summed up in GDP is an idiot.

The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness. There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence. Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.

But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even bother to understand our problems.

One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture, meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.

Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words, functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.

Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct. The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.

Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined. Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.

Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule. Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.

What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.

There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways, rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.

This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives, mostly.

Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of native-born Americans who are slipping behind.

But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made more than men.

Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them. Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the next generation.

This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science. We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in America can afford.

And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.

This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or Facebook executives.

For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own kids.

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.

We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in this game, and it shows.

What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans should say so.

They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect 400 percent annual interest.

We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work -- consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.

And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.

And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana, marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than alcohol," they tell us.

Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the reason. Because they don't care about us.

When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes close.

Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.

In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners, the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating.

Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids don't hate you. They hate each other.

That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.

What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.

A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that actually cares about families, the building block of everything.

Video

What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.

But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.

Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market fundamentalism a form of socialism.

That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that protects normal people.

If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."

Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.

America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."

He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."

The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.

Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then?"

The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.

I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."

Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."

But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.

"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"

Populism on the right is gaining, again

Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."

Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the words of Cas Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896. Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.

When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar workers":

Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."

Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.

Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.

"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."

Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."

"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."

But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.

Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson wrote a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their own family members struggling to get by.

Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response to it by National Review columnist David French:

Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists outside of its fantasies.

J.D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy , wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago, and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"

Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded. "I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."

Who is "they"?

And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.

When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or immigration policies.

In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in 1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana legalization means more teens are smoking weed ( this probably isn't true ). Someone, or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."

The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision making or a lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates doesn't make sense .

But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:

Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are doing to you .

And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say, less than enthusiastic .

Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the expansion of trans rights or creeping secularism than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in private prisons or an expansion of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he includes in his monologue .

He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're living under affects your culture."

Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking, 'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For the record, libertarians have critiqued Carlson's monologue as well.)

Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature."

And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.

[Jan 12, 2019] Democratic Party became the party of corrupt, sclerotic, corporate Democrats

Jan 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Monday, January 07, 2019 at 03:17 PM


-> anne... , January 10, 2019 at 07:06 AM

Did Krugman just issue a veiled warning to Pelosi, Schumer, and Clinton Democrats? Did he see this as a teaching moment for them? Has he turned from unabashed megaphone for establishment Democrats to an honest broker, willing to explain economics to Demcoratic Big Money parasites? Could be... If so, this might be a turning point for Krugman from partisan hack to honest broker!

As always, Robert Reich pulls fewer punches: "Do not ever underestimate the influence of Wall Street Democrats, corporate Democrats, and the Democrats' biggest funders. I know. I've been there.
In the 2018 midterms, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, big business made more contributions to Democrats than to Republicans. The shift was particularly noticeable on Wall Street. Not since 2008 have donors in the securities and investment industry given a higher percentage to Democratic candidates and committees than to Republicans.

The moneyed interests in the Democratic party are in favor of helping America's poor and of reversing climate change – two positions that sharply distinguish them from the moneyed interests in the Republican party.

But the Democrats' moneyed interests don't want more powerful labor unions. They are not in favor of stronger antitrust enforcement against large corporations. They resist firmer regulation of Wall Street. They are unlikely to want to repeal the Trump-Republican tax cut for big corporations and the wealthy."
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/06/house-democrats-donald-trump-subpoena-tax-return-impeachment

And maybe, just maybe, Krugman, in a veiled warning to Democrats enamored with Trump's tax cuts, has decided to trump partisan loyalty with economic reality...as any decent economist should do.

EMichael and kurt will be disappointed, very disappointed that Krugman sided with AOC over corrupt, sclerotic, corporate Democrats...

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to JohnH... , January 08, 2019 at 07:27 AM
There is no reason to think that mainstream liberals would not just go along with whatever direction the liberal establishment takes. OTOH, there is a major difference in the context between the rank and file of mainstream liberals and the actual liberal establishment itself. Mainstream liberals just want to fit in and win elections. They are concerned with electability and the constraints of legislative process. There is nothing wrong with that. It is the role of the rank and file.

However, AOC is correct. It is radicals that bring about all significant change. Mainstream radical is an oxymoron. After radicals cause change then it is no longer radical, but it becomes mainstream instead.

In contrast, the liberal establishment is also concerned with electability because that is what they do for a living, either get elected or ride along on the coattails of the elected, but they are elites and elitists not to be separated from the status quo economic establishment without considerable consternation. However, the elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing. Still, it would be a rare elected official that would rather eat in a soup kitchen than a five-star restaurant both for the good food and for the good company. In both regards though that depends upon what your definition of "good" is.

JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 08:48 AM
"Mainstream liberals just want to fit in and win elections..." And they are precisely they kind of "go-along to get along types" who let bad things happen...and then pretend to not understand what went wrong...Vietnam, Iraq, GWOT, Glass-Steagall repeal, trade liberalization/offshoring profits, banksters who go Scot free after bringing the economy down. The list goes on.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to JohnH... , January 08, 2019 at 09:24 AM
There are leaders, followers, and radicals. One can choose to be any one or two or those they want, but no more than two. It is not very rewarding to be a radical from the back of the line unless there is also a radical to follow at the front of the line. Leaders that are also followers inherit the status quo and guard it like it was their own because it is. Radical leaders rarely succeed, but often die young.

Trump is a bad example of a leader, but he follows his nose at least rather than just the status quo. Trump has a nose for trouble and he cannot resist its stench any more than a jackal or hyena can resist rotting carrion. Fortunate for Trump the US has a long history of stockpiling trouble for future consumption that reaches all the way back to colonial times. Trump likes to think that orange is the new black, but the old black, brown, and red are still around and neither yellow nor orange can take their place.

The majority of people are just plain old followers. If people think that there is chaos in the world already, just imagine what it would be like if most people were not just plain old followers. The status quo always has the advantage of the natural force of inertia.

mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 10, 2019 at 02:14 PM
"...banksters who go Scot free after bringing the economy down. The list goes on."

Because you believe in government as done by Putin, Maduro, Saddam, Saudi Arabia, etc: jail, torture, kill enemies by the people in power being the law.

You reject the US Constitution where voters are allowed to elect Republicans who legalize fraud and theft by deception based on voters wanting the free lunch of easy credit requiring bankers have no liability for the bad loans from easy credit. You reject the US Constitution prohibition on retroactive laws criminalizzing legal actions.

Only if you were leading protests in the 90s in opposition to laws making credit easy for below $80,000 workers whether buying houses or trucks/SUV.

Only if you were picketing real estate agents and car dealers from 2001 to 2005 to keep out customers, you were not doing enough to stop easy credit.

The GOP was only dellivering what voters wanted, stuff they could not afford paid for by workers saving for their retirement.

Elections have consequences.

The elections from 1994 to 2004 were votes for free lunch economics. The GOP promised and delivered free lunch economic policies.

In 2005, voters on the margins realized tanstaafl, and in 2006 elected Pelosi to power, and Pelosi, representing California knows economies are zero sum, so she increased costs to increase general welfare. One of the costs was reccognizing the costs, and benefits, of the US Constitution.

In 2008, she did not try to criminalize past action, and when she could not get the votes to punish the bankers who bankrupted the institutions they ran by prohibiting bonuses in the future,, she insread delivered the best deal possible for the US Constitutional general welfare.

I think Bernie wanted all voters who voted GOP to lose their jobs, or maybe he simply believes in free lunch economist claims that welfare payments in Ohio and Michigan are higher than union worker incomes.

Maybe he thinks bankruptcy court nationalize businesses, not liquidate them.

Or maybe he figured the solution was a 21st Century Great Depression which would elect a socialist instead of a capitalist FDR, and he would get to run all the automakers, all the food industry, and employ all the workers deciding what they can buy?

I can never figure out how the economy would work if Bernie were running it. He talks about Europe, but never advocates the cost of EU economy that is part of EU law: the VAT. All EU members must have a VAT that is a significant cost to every person in the EU.

Free lunch economics is when you promise increased benefits with no costs, or lower costs.


Free lunch Trump and free lunch Bernie differ only in their winners, but their losers are always the same.

When progressives argue for unlimited increases in debt just like Reagan, they are rejecting the pokicies of FDR, Keynes, the US when the general welfare increased most by increasing assets faster than debt.

JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 08:53 AM
"'elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing." Which is why so many liberal establishment politicians...per Reich...pay only lip service to real campaign finance reform. Being parasites, they feed off of their hosts and dare not disrupt the gravy train.
mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 09, 2019 at 05:04 AM
"elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing."

So, the wealthy liberal elites who pay no taxes by cleverly paying all revenue to workers need to be punished because they pay too much to too many workers?

Warrren Buffett has never paid much in taxes even when tax rates on corporations were over 50% and individuals reached over 70%. Money paid to workers, directly or indirectly, was and still is the number one tax dodge.

Unless you go to a sales tax aka VAT which taxes all revenue, expecially business income paid to workers.

VAT is an income tax with zero tax dodges aka loopholes aka deductions.

mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 10, 2019 at 03:04 PM
""'elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing." Which is why so many liberal establishment politicians...per Reich...pay only lip service to real campaign finance reform. Being parasites, they feed off of their hosts and dare not disrupt the gravy train."

In your view, its the poor who create high paying jobs?

It's wrong to listen to people who convince rich people to give their money to people paying US workers to build factories, wind farms, solar farms battery factories, transportation systems, vehicles, computer systems in the US?

Instead Democrats should listen to people who have never created long term paying jobs, but only pay elites who run campaigns using mostly unpaid workers, or workers paid only a few months every few years? Like Bernie does?

When it comes to how to run a "Green New Deal", I want the policy crafted by someone who listens to Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and the CEOs of California energy corporations, tech companies, who are commited to consuming more and more energy that requires no fossil fuels. Listening to Home Depot and Walmart building managers and retail sales managers should be a priority. All these guys both focus on paying more workers, and selling more to workers paid more.

AOC and Bernie seem to listen to the Lamperts who are destroying the value of companies like Sears by "taxing" both the customers, workers, and owners, by giving money to people who don't work to produce anything.

I make going to RealClearPolicy, Politics, etc a daily practice to see how bad progressives are at selling their policies, making it easy for find all sorts of costs, without any benefits to anyone.

The New Deal was not about taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor. The New Deal was about paying workers more.

In 1930, half the population still lived on farms. (They might work off the farm, but they were farmworkers first.) The problem for farmers is Europe had recovered from the war and was no longer sending gold to the US to secure loans to buy food, but instead repaying the loans by shipping high value food to the US, wine, cheese, etc, and that meant too much food drove prices down, which meant farmworkers earned less and less.

One of the first laws set minimum prices for food, enforced by destroying crops, or government overpaying for food like milk, cheese, bread, which the government gave away to the poor who could never buy this food. It was not about giving food away, but about paying workers, the farmers, ranchers, etc. Giving the food to the poor who could not afford to buy food was simply to avoid the attacks on FDR for destroying good food to drive up farmer pay. Which was the truth.

FDR talked about creating a healthy workforce to make America great, then about building a healthy soldier. Ike in the 50s and JFK in the 60s campaigned on creating healthy soldiers. And smart, educated soldiers and workers.

The policies of liberals was about better workers, richer workers.

Conservatives since Reagan has been about cutting the costs of workers. Sold based on consumers benefiting from lower cost workers, because consumees are never workers, workers never consumers, because if workers equal consumers, economics must be zero sum.

Christopher H. said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 09:20 AM
Well said. It is fascinating to witness how the liberal establishment is rallying around democratic socialists AOC and Rashida Tlaib.


https://twitter.com/MattBruenig/status/1082287736550293504

Matt Bruenig‏
@MattBruenig

By attracting the intense ire of the GOP, AOC activates the negative polarization of lib pundits and makes them look for ways to defend left policy items they'd attack in any other scenario. It's very effective at pushing the discourse forward.

6:47 AM - 7 Jan 2019

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Christopher H.... , January 08, 2019 at 09:25 AM
Sweet. THANKS!
mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 09, 2019 at 04:55 AM
"But the Democrats' moneyed interests don't want more powerful labor unions. They are not in favor of stronger antitrust enforcement against large corporations."

So, you think beef at $10 plus per pound, salad greens at $5 plus per pound, a fast food meal at $10 plus, is a winning issue for Democrats?

Or by powerful labor unions, you mean for only white male blue collar factory workers, long haul white truckers, white construction workers?

Making all work pay enough to reach middle class status at the low end will not happen by unions because many parts of the US, and workers, and jobs, will oppose unions. Instead, labor laws and enforcement to lift wages and working conditions rapidly in conservative regions are required.

Better to get the minimum wage in Indiana and Kansas to $10 than in California to $15.

More important to get farm workers fully covered by Federal law like factory workers, with exemptions only for farmer family members.

Raising incomes in low living cost regions will not raise prices much nationally, but increase living standards among the most disadvantaged who feel "left behind".

Automatic increases annually of 10% for 7 years, then indexed by cpi.

Constantly emphasizing this minimum is way below what the low wage is in SF, NYC, LA, but the goods produced will be bought and thus wages paid mostly by high income liberal elites. Conservatives sticking it to liberals!

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to mulp ... , January 09, 2019 at 09:26 AM
"you think beef at $10 plus per pound,"

Wow... you need to do a lot better at shopping sales. I wait for sales and then buy burger at $2.50, crud cuts at $3-4, and can frequently get t-bone and ribeye for under $5.

BUT, on the larger scale, what is the difference if I pay $1 a pound for burger and earn $20K a year, or I pay $3 for burger and earn $60K a year?

Inflation punishes savers? Really? What is the difference if I earn 3% at 2% inflation or 1% at 0% inflation? The answer is, none.

Julio -> anne... , January 08, 2019 at 09:47 AM
"In that case, however, why do we care how hard the rich work? If a rich man works an extra hour, adding $1000 to the economy, but gets paid $1000 for his efforts, the combined income of everyone else doesn't change, does it? Ah, but it does – because he pays taxes on that extra $1000. So the social benefit from getting high-income individuals to work a bit harder is the tax revenue generated by that extra effort – and conversely the cost of their working less is the reduction in the taxes they pay."

This is not right. Heck, it's not even wrong.
Say the $1000 is for a surgery. The social benefit is the tax they pay on it? The surgery itself is irrelevant?

Krugman confuses the flow of money, which supports and correlates with production, with the actual production, the real "social benefit".

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to Julio ... , January 08, 2019 at 04:17 PM
A point I try to make.

If you invent a widget that everyone on earth is willing to pay $1 over cost to get, congratulations, you just earned $7 billion.

Now, does that mean you get to consume $7 billion worth of stuff other people produce? I think so.

Or, does it mean you get to trap the world in $7 billion of debt servitude from which it is impossible for them to escape, because you are hoarding, and then charging interest on, the $7 billion they need to pay back their debts.

The key is to understand that money is created via debt. Money has value because people with debt need to get it to repay their debts.

If we all decide BitCoin is worthless, then BitCoin is worthless. It has no fundamental usefulness.

If we all decide money is worthless, then a bunch of people with debt will gladly take it off our hands so that they can repay their debt. Heck, they may even trade us stuff to get the debt... which is why money is NOT worthless.

mulp said in reply to Darrell in Phoenix... , January 09, 2019 at 05:15 AM
If $1 per day make everyone live better with no added climate change, PLUS paid an extra $7 billion per day to production workers, service workers, that would be good, or bad?

Say, the $7 billion in wages was to sing and dance so no matter where in the world he was, he was entertained by song and dance?

Economies are zero sum. Every cost has an equal benefit aka income or consumption. Work can't exist without consumption, consumption without work.

Money is merely work in the past or future.

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to mulp ... , January 09, 2019 at 08:06 AM
"If $1 per day make everyone live better with no added climate change, PLUS paid an extra $7 billion per day to production workers, service workers, that would be good, or bad?"

Obviously, good. Which is what I say in my post.

"Money is merely work in the past or future."

Money is other peoples' debt. They have borrowed money into existence and then spent it into the economy, AND they have pledged to do work in the future, to get the money back so they can repay the debt.

That "doing work in the future to get the money back" is only possible if the people with the money actually spend it back into the economy.

The problem is that the people in debt also agreed to pay interest, and the people with the money want to keep collecting the interest... so keep holding the money... making it absolutely impossible for those with debt to pay it back.

I'm saying is that there is obligation on both sides. There is obligation on the part of people with debt to produce goods and services and sell them for money to repay their debts, AND for that to be possible, there is obligation on those with money to actually spend the money...

Contrary to CONservative opinion, money is not created by work, it is earned by selling, and that means for the economy to function, there has to be spending.

We need a tax code with very high top rates, but deductions for spending and capital investing... not to take from the rich, but rather to force them to spend and invest to get deductions.

[Jan 11, 2019] As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, The Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic And Pro-War Than Republicans by Glenn Greenwald

Clinton Democrats (DemoRats) are so close to neocons that the current re-alliance is only natural and only partially caused by Trump. Under Obama some of leading figures of his administration were undistinguishable from neocons (Samantha Power is a good example here -- she was as crazy as Niki Haley, if not more). There is only one "war party in the USA which continently consists of two wings: Repugs and DemoRats.
Notable quotes:
"... Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham , one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton , who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon. ..."
"... That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's way" ..."
"... But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent. ..."
"... This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan ..."
"... While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining ..."
"... At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives , even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump ). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions. ..."
"... By far the most influential [neo]liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents , while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a "national security liberal" who was "all about counterterrorism"). ..."
"... All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation -- which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S December 18 announcement that he intends to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria produced some isolated support in the anti-war wings of both parties , but largely provoked bipartisan outrage among in Washington's reflexively pro-war establishment.

Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton, who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon.

But while official Washington united in opposition, new polling data from Morning Consult/Politico shows that a large plurality of Americans support Trump's Syria withdrawal announcement: 49 percent support to 33 percent opposition.

That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's way" far more than they agree with the pro-war view that "the U.S. needs to keep troops in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to help support our allies fight terrorism and maintain our foreign policy interests in the region."

But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent.

A similar gap is seen among those who voted Democrat in the 2018 midterm elections (28 percent support withdrawal while 54 percent oppose it), as opposed to the widespread support for withdrawal among 2018 GOP voters: 74 percent to 18 percent.

Identical trends can be seen on the question of Trump's announced intention to withdraw half of the U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, where Democrats are far more supportive of keeping troops there than Republicans and independents.

This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan:

With Trump rather than Obama now advocating troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, all of this has changed. The new polling data shows far more support for troop withdrawal among Republicans and independents, while Democrats are now split or even opposed . Among 2016 Trump voters, there is massive support for withdrawal: 81 percent to 11 percent; Clinton voters, however, oppose the removal of troops from Afghanistan by a margin of 37 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.

This latest poll is far from aberrational. As the Huffington Post's Ariel Edwards-Levy documented early this week , separate polling shows a similar reversal by Democrats on questions of war and militarism in the Trump era.

While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining. "Those who voted for Democrat Clinton now said by a 42-point margin that the U.S. had a responsibility to do something about the fighting in Syria involving ISIS," Edwards-Levy wrote, "while Trump voters said by a 16-point margin that the nation had no such responsibility." (Similar trends can be seen among GOP voters, whose support for intervention in Syria has steadily declined as Trump has moved away from his posture of the last two years -- escalating bombings in both Syria and Iraq and killing far more civilians , as he repeatedly vowed to do during the campaign -- to his return to his other campaign pledge to remove troops from the region.)

This is, of course, not the first time that Democratic voters have wildly shifted their "beliefs" based on the party affiliation of the person occupying the Oval Office. The party's base spent the Bush-Cheney years denouncing war on terror policies, such as assassinations, drones, and Guantánamo as moral atrocities and war crimes, only to suddenly support those policies once they became hallmarks of the Obama presidency .

But what's happening here is far more insidious. A core ethos of the anti-Trump #Resistance has become militarism, jingoism, and neoconservatism. Trump is frequently attacked by Democrats using longstanding Cold War scripts wielded for decades against them by the far right: Trump is insufficiently belligerent with U.S. enemies; he's willing to allow the Bad Countries to take over by bringing home U.S. soldiers; his efforts to establish less hostile relations with adversary countries is indicative of weakness or even treason.

At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives , even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump ). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions.

By far the most influential [neo]liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents , while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a "national security liberal" who was "all about counterterrorism").

All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation -- which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way.

[Jan 11, 2019] Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming

Highly recommended!
Seeing Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters suggest that the collapse of neoliberalism is coming...
Notable quotes:
"... Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

bruce wilder, January 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Barkley insists on a left-right split for his analysis of political parties and their attachment to vague policy tendencies and that insistence makes a mess of the central issue: why the rise of right-wing populism in a "successful" economy?

Naomi Klein's book is about how and why centrist neoliberals got control of policy. The rise of right-wing populism is often supposed (see Mark Blyth) to be about the dissatisfaction bred by the long-term shortcomings of or blowback from neoliberal policy.

Barkley Rosser treats neoliberal policy as implicitly successful and, therefore, the reaction from the populist right appears mysterious, something to investigate. His thesis regarding neoliberal success in Poland is predicated on policy being less severe, less "shocky".

In his left-right division of Polish politics, the centrist neoliberals -- in the 21st century, Civic Platform -- seem to disappear into the background even though I think they are still the second largest Party in Parliament, though some seem to think they will sink in elections this year.

Electoral participation is another factor that receives little attention in this analysis. Politics is shaped in part by the people who do NOT show up. And, in Poland that has sometimes been a lot of people, indeed.

Finally, there's the matter of the neoliberal straitjacket -- the flip-side of the shock in the one-two punch of "there's no alternative". What the policy options for a Party representing the interests of the angry and dissatisfied? If you make policy impossible for a party of the left, of course that breeds parties of the right. duh.

Likbez,

Bruce,

Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming. I would consider the current situation in the USA as the starting point of this "slow-motion collapse of the neoliberal garbage truck against the wall." Neoliberalism like Bolshevism in 1945 has no future, only the past. That does not mean that it will not limp forward in zombie (and pretty bloodthirsty ) stage for another 50 years. But it is doomed, notwithstanding recently staged revenge in countries like Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil.

Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events.

At least half of Americans now hate soft neoliberals of Democratic Party (Clinton wing of Bought by Wall Street technocrats), as well as hard neoliberal of Republican Party, which created the " crisis of confidence" toward governing neoliberal elite in countries like the USA, GB, and France. And that probably why the intelligence agencies became the prominent political players and staged the color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate ) in the USA.

The situation with the support of neoliberalism now is very different than in 1994 when Bill Clinton came to power. Of course, as Otto von Bismarck once quipped "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America." and another turn of the technological spiral might well save the USA. But the danger of never-ending secular stagnation is substantial and growing. This fact was admitted even by such dyed- in-the-wool neoliberals as Summers.

This illusion that advances in statistics gave neoliberal access to such fine-grained and timely economic data, that now it is possible to regulate economy indirectly, by strictly monetary means is pure religious hubris. Milton Friedman would now be laughed out the room if he tried to repeat his monetarist junk science now. Actually he himself discarded his monetarist illusions before he died.

We probably need to the return of strong direct investments in the economy by the state and nationalization of some assets, if we want to survive and compete with China. Australian politicians are already openly discussing this, we still are lagging because of "walking dead" neoliberals in Congress like Pelosi, Schumer, and company.

But we have another huge problem, which Australia and other countries (other than GB) do not have: neoliberalism in the USA is the state religion which completely displaced Christianity (and is hostile to Christianity), so it might be that the lemming will go off the cliff. I hope not.

The only thing that still keeps neoliberalism from being thrown out to the garbage bin of history is that it is unclear what would the alternative. And that means that like in 1920th far-right nationalism and fascism have a fighting chance against decadent neoliberal oligarchy.

Previously financial oligarchy was in many minds associated with Jewish bankers. Now people are more educated and probably can hang from the lampposts Anglo-Saxon and bankers of other nationalities as well ;-)

I think that in some countries neoliberal oligarchs might soon feel very uncomfortable, much like Soros in Hungary.

As far as I understood the level of animosity and suppressed anger toward financial oligarchy and their stooges including some professors in economics departments of the major universities might soon be approaching the level which existed in the Weimar Republic. And as Lenin noted, " the ideas could become a material force if they got mass support." This is true about anger as well.

[Jan 07, 2019] It appears the investigations into government corruption by Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Utah U.S. attorney John Huber, were, in fact, the cover-up:

Notable quotes:
"... ― McCarthy, Cormac. (2005). "No Country for Old Men" ..."
"... – SOURCE ..."
Jan 07, 2019 | www.theburningplatform.com

Originally from: New Year's Notions Loosely Liberated and to Some Extent in Sequence – The Burning Platform

It takes very little to govern good people. Very little. And bad people cant be governed at all.

― McCarthy, Cormac. (2005). "No Country for Old Men"

It's become clear justice is dead in the United States. The respect for law is gone. If President Trump was ever going to drain the swamp, the Clintons, and even former president Obama, would have been dressed in orange by now. It didn't happen. Instead, it is Trump who now stands accused:

There is nothing Trump or any member of his administration has done that is comparable to Hillary Clinton's use of her own email server while U.S. secretary of state, or her destroying tens of thousands of emails after they were subpoenaed by Congress, or foreign governments' and corporations' paying vast sums of money to Bill Clinton and The Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Nor is there anything Trump or anyone in his administration has done comparable to the Obama administration's use of the IRS to suppress conservative nonprofits; its selling guns to Mexican drug cartels, at least one of which was later found at the scene where a Border Patrol officer was killed; or the lies it told about the cause of the murder of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi. Yet any suggestion by Republicans that these activities be investigated is effectively shouted down by the Democrats and the media. And let's not talk about the real collusion in 2016 – between the FBI, the State Department, the Clinton campaign and the Obama White House, using material sourced in part from the Russian government – to undermine the Republican candidate for president and his presidency.

– SOURCE

Even worse, it appears the investigations into government corruption by Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Utah U.S. attorney John Huber, were, in fact, the cover-up :

At this point, there is every reason to believe that the purpose of Huber's investigation is to hide the truth, not to find it; to protect the criminals, not to charge them. The key witnesses in each of the matters under investigation have not even been contacted. It appears that no grand juries have been empaneled.

Tom Fitton, of Judicial Watch says, "Huber wasn't tapped to investigate anything", he was just "a distraction".

[Jan 06, 2019] The NSA's FOIA response that they have traffic involving Rich and Assange reinforces both Assange's assertion and Binney's analysis that the DNC was not hacked, the data was downloaded

Notable quotes:
"... A possible scenario then would be that, some time in late April or early May, the kind of surveillance on Assange and figures known to be associated with him which we can be reasonably confident was being carried out both by GCHQ and MI6 alerted people to the fact that there had been a leak of material from the DNC. ..."
"... The accident of Cameron's – characteristically foolish – statement and the Papadopoulos interview could then have led on to his meeting with Downer being set up, at almost exactly the time when 'CrowdStrike' was beginning to work on the DNC servers. ..."
"... Having gone down that route, the possibility of Seth Rich talking obviously became acutely dangerous to all kinds of people. ..."
"... If Seth had made no attempt to contact Wikileaks - and if the FBI didn't look at his laptop because "we don't investigate murders", then why does the NSA have 32 pages of secret/top secret memos on him? ..."
"... If Seth was the real leaker, he was in a position to blow apart the Guccifer 2.0 scam which was the centerpiece of the "Russia interfered" hoax. ..."
"... Also, I suspect that Shawn Lucas may have been one of the friends of Seth who - according to Sy Hersh's account - had access to Seth's dropbox. So that might explain his very mysterious death - a drug overdose involving multiple drugs in someone never known to use drugs. ..."
"... What is clear is that, both from a cybersecurity and other perspectives – the Awan family saga being an obvious instance, and the networks in which Huma Abedin is involved perhaps another – the whole Democratic apparatus in which Hillary was a central figure was as leaky as an old sieve. ..."
"... When the ex-GCHQ 'twerp' Matt Tait, then supposedly running a consultancy, 'Capital Alpha Security', which only ever filed 'accounts for a dormant company', and has now been compulsorily wound up, immediately produced evidence backing up the incoherent claims by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike', it was clear that we were dealing with an amateurish cover-up. ..."
"... The notion that the name and patronymic 'Felix Dzerzhinsky' is likely to have been used by the Main Directorate, previously known as the GRU, could only have been dreamed up by people who are totally ignorant of the history of the relations between the General Staff and the 'Cheka' in the early Soviet period, or, at least, are relying on the ignorance of others. ..."
"... The next memorandum in the sequence, which is undated, introduces Paul Manafort and Carter Page into the 'rogues' gallery', and contains some very interesting observations about the cyber side. So 'Source E' – described as an 'ethnic Russian close associate' of Trump – supposedly explains that the 'intelligence network' being used against Hillary Clinton comprises three elements ..."
"... All this stinks of a hastily-organised cover-up operation, set in motion after it became clear that highly compromising material was going to appear on 'WikiLeaks' – but which moved into higher gear after the murder of Rich. ..."
"... As was very evident at the time from, for example, comments on the 'MailOnline' site, very many people who disliked Hillary immediately took for granted that Rich had been 'Arkancided', so his death then became further evidence of her innate villainy, and also confirmation that he was, in fact, the source of the 'WikiLeaks' material. ..."
"... How's this for a motive? Imran Awan ran the DNC servers. When it was discovered in May/June that the emails had been downloaded, a search was launched and suspicion fell on Seth. Worried that the Pakistani penetration of the DNC and the Congress might be uncovered, Seth was silenced. I offer this as one possible theory. ..."
"... I think it is very much a possible theory. And indeed, reading what Mark McCarty and Eric Newhill wrote, I think I may have greatly underestimated the extent to which people on Hillary's side could have thought Seth Rich too dangerous to be left alive ..."
"... One point raised by Eric's comments. It seems to me quite likely that the alarm was in fact raised by monitoring what came in to WikiLeaks, rather than what went out of the DNC. If this was so, however, it would be less likely that the monitoring was done directly by the CIA/NSA. It would be much more likely that this was in the first instance primarily an MI6/GCHQ function. ..."
"... If I had the talent and energy, I might write a sequel to the 'Quiet American', to be entitled 'The Noisy Englishmen.' It would feature a series of inept conspiracies, involving ludicrous means used in support of preposterous ends, necessitating one ham-fisted cover-up after another. ..."
"... The central characters might be loosely based on Christopher Steele, Matt Tait, Eliot Higgins, and our former UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, author of the July 2002 Downing Street memorandum, in which Sir Richard Dearlove was quoted explaining how, in Washington, 'the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy.' ..."
"... Guccifer 2.0 was nothing but an elaborate joke. ..."
Jan 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk , 2 months ago

All,

Ty Clevenger has posted the 4 October letter from the NSA on his 'LawFlog' blog.

See http://lawflog.com/?attachm... .

The request related to four categories of material. The first had to do with communications between Rich and a variety of people. It is interesting that the names of three figures with whom it is not suggested he communicated are Included, the precise phrasing being 'David Kendall, Cheryl Mills, and Heather Samuelson are the attorneys who represented Hillary Clinton.'

Apparently Clevenger has been trying, so far unsuccessfully, to get the trio investigated in relation to the deletion of e-mails from the secret server.

(See https://www.washingtontimes... .)

The second category relates to material concerning phone calls involving Rich on the day he died and the previous day, the third to possible financial transactions involved him and an interesting range of people.

The fourth category covers correspondence involving people in or involved with Congress.

The NSA response refers to an earlier reply dated 7 November 2017 in relation to the first three categories. So far I cannot trace this, but I would assume that this refused access to the material – if it did not there would clearly be rather more than fifteen documents with 32 pages. So these presumably all relate to communications involving Congress.

Another important thread in all this relates to the 10 May 2016 meeting between George Papadopoulos and Alexander Downer. Information has been trickling out about what the former said in his interview with members of the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees on Thursday. And the episode is dealt with in a book by the 'Washington Post' reporter Greg Miller, released earlier this month.

The sequence appears to have been that Papodopoulos was quoted in an interview in the 'Times' on 4 May 2016 saying that our then Prime Minister, David Cameron, should apologise for calling Trump 'divisive, stupid and wrong'. Two days later, an Australian embassy official who knew him suggested that Papadopoulos meet Downer.

According to the version restated by Miller, the FIB 'Crossfire Hurricane' investigation opened on 31 July, following the 'WikiLeaks' publication of the DNC emails on 22 July – with supposedly a belated communication from Downer about the Papadopoulos meeting being an important trigger. If you work for the 'Washington Post', you will of course take all this on trust. Serious journalists would not.

While the complications of the role of the mysterious Maltese Joseph Mifsud still do not seem adequately ironed out, the suggestion that he told Papadopoulos that he had learned that the Russian government had 'dirt' on Clinton in the form of 'thousands' of her emails may well be true. Moreover, it would not necessarily be part of an entrapment operation.

It is perfectly possible that Mifsud did actually retail what he had heard in Moscow, and while this could have been inaccurate gossip, it could also have been accurate.

As I have said before, if there was anything I would find more surprising than the notion that the DNC material came to 'WikiLeaks' from the Russians, it would be that these could not penetrate the obviously appallingly lax security not just of Clinton's server but of the whole Democratic network. (People who could hire the Awan clan are obviously either totally inept at security or totally unconcerned about it.)

(For updates from the 'Daily Caller' on the Papadopoulos interview and Miller book, see https://dailycaller.com/201... and https://dailycaller.com/201... .)

At that point, one comes up against the question of how much substance there is in the claims by Yaacov Apelbaum about the central role in 'Russiagate' of the Hakluyt/Holdingham group, with which Downer was certainly involved.

See https://apelbaum.wordpress....

A possible scenario then would be that, some time in late April or early May, the kind of surveillance on Assange and figures known to be associated with him which we can be reasonably confident was being carried out both by GCHQ and MI6 alerted people to the fact that there had been a leak of material from the DNC.

The accident of Cameron's – characteristically foolish – statement and the Papadopoulos interview could then have led on to his meeting with Downer being set up, at almost exactly the time when 'CrowdStrike' was beginning to work on the DNC servers.

What could have been a piece of accurate gossip out of Russia – although of course it could have been inaccurate gossip or indeed planted disinformation – then encouraged the notion that the leak could be treated as a hack.

Having gone down that route, the possibility of Seth Rich talking obviously became acutely dangerous to all kinds of people.

An accurate account of what was happened was finally passed to 'Fox News', sourced in substantial measure from figures involved with Assange, but the company 'chickened out' in the face of pressure. The Malia Zimmerman story, incidentally, can be viewed at http://www.raidersmerciless... .

Dan Feidt~hongpong , 2 months ago
If the FOIA request is authentic then it would be in the FOIA logs of the agency which are themselves FOIA-able (in general anyway).

I would speculate that the material might show that they rooted around for stuff like this, due to the media attention, and thus, some records exist about the idea.

Also re the metadata timing, while the idea of fast copies is reasonable, it is also possible to write a small script which would calculate a fresh set of datetime values at a different rate than the original, wouldn't this be less than 30 lines? (like they could have simply overwritten the metadata date values, from slower copying to an illusion of faster copying.)

Publius Tacitus -> Dan Feidt~hongpong , 2 months ago
On the metadata, NO. I checked with Bill Binney.
Mark McCarty , 2 months ago
Excellent summary. How did the author get the info on NSA's response to the FOIA request? - cant find it otherwise online.

If Seth had made no attempt to contact Wikileaks - and if the FBI didn't look at his laptop because "we don't investigate murders", then why does the NSA have 32 pages of secret/top secret memos on him?

This article should have cited the Sy Hersh phone tape - Sy, via Butowsky, is the evident source of the Fox report:

Play Hide
Publius Tacitus -> Mark McCarty , 2 months ago
No, Sy was not the source for the Fox report. Two of the sources are closely tied to Julian's lawyer.
Adam Carter , 2 months ago
With the leaks already out, if they wanted to make an example, they could have made his life hell and heaped blame on him for them losing the election, they could have made an example out of him without taking needless risks and without leaving anything to ambiguity (so that it would unquestionably deter others from doing the same).

So, even if his death wasn't just him accidentally getting shot twice in the torso during a struggle following a bungled robbery attempt in which nothing was stolen... revenge still would have been a questionable motive.

I'd say more but it's probably best for the sake of self-preservation and to prevent opponents from strawman attacks if I don't. Good luck figuring out who could have had a motive.

Mark McCarty -> Adam Carter , 2 months ago
I don't think that revenge had anything to do with it. If Seth was the real leaker, he was in a position to blow apart the Guccifer 2.0 scam which was the centerpiece of the "Russia interfered" hoax. The conspirators would be much more secure with him out of the way. Also, I suspect that Shawn Lucas may have been one of the friends of Seth who - according to Sy Hersh's account - had access to Seth's dropbox. So that might explain his very mysterious death - a drug overdose involving multiple drugs in someone never known to use drugs.
David Habakkuk -> Adam Carter , 2 months ago
Adam Carter,

On the question of who might have had a motive to kill Seth Rich, some aspects of the background are worth bearing in mind.

It is very clear that Hillary Clinton divides opinion, very sharply – actually, in Britain almost as much as in the United States. On the one hand, I have found even people whose judgement I would once have trusted quite extraordinarily reluctant to accept that there was anything reprehensible about her glaring security breaches, let alone about anything else she has done.

On the other, there are many people who loathe her and her husband so much that they will believe any mud that is slung at the pair.

What is clear is that, both from a cybersecurity and other perspectives – the Awan family saga being an obvious instance, and the networks in which Huma Abedin is involved perhaps another – the whole Democratic apparatus in which Hillary was a central figure was as leaky as an old sieve.

In such a situation, if I was for example Vladimir Putin, and none of my intelligence services had been able to supply me with something close to a complete set of Hillary Clinton's emails, I would have wanted to know why.

But that, of course, emphatically does not mean that the Russians are a likely conduit for material to have reached Assange. And it also means that, if by any chance Putin and General Gerasimov, who has overall responsibility for the Main Directorate of the General Staff, had decided they wanted the material made public, they could have been expected to look for 'plausible deniability.'

When the ex-GCHQ 'twerp' Matt Tait, then supposedly running a consultancy, 'Capital Alpha Security', which only ever filed 'accounts for a dormant company', and has now been compulsorily wound up, immediately produced evidence backing up the incoherent claims by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike', it was clear that we were dealing with an amateurish cover-up.

The notion that the name and patronymic 'Felix Dzerzhinsky' is likely to have been used by the Main Directorate, previously known as the GRU, could only have been dreamed up by people who are totally ignorant of the history of the relations between the General Staff and the 'Cheka' in the early Soviet period, or, at least, are relying on the ignorance of others.

In addition to this, we have the fact that the initial memoranda in the dossier published by 'BuzzFeed' and – supposedly – authored by Christopher Steele, are both a mess, and contradict the version put out by Alperovitch and Tait. The Ellen Nakashima piece was on 14 June, the first memorandum, which contained the 'golden showers' claim, is dated 20 June – which of course may not be accurate.

There is then a pause, until the first treatment of Russian cyber operations, in a memorandum dated '26 July 2015.' This is clearly a mistype for 2016, so that the date, if correct, is more than a fortnight after the murder of Rich, which was on 10 July. This memorandum makes no mention of the GRU, claims that 'FSB leads on cyber', and also that there had been 'limited success in attacking top foreign targets'.

The next memorandum in the sequence, which is undated, introduces Paul Manafort and Carter Page into the 'rogues' gallery', and contains some very interesting observations about the cyber side. So 'Source E' – described as an 'ethnic Russian close associate' of Trump – supposedly explains that the 'intelligence network' being used against Hillary Clinton comprises three elements:

'Firstly there were agents/facilitators within the Democratic Party structure itself; secondly Russian emigre and associated offensive cyber operators based in the US; and thirdly, state-sponsored cyber operatives working in Russia.'

The fourth memorandum, dated 19 July, which if accurate means it would have had to have been written before the second, then makes the accusations about the secret meetings between Page and Sechin.

All this stinks of a hastily-organised cover-up operation, set in motion after it became clear that highly compromising material was going to appear on 'WikiLeaks' – but which moved into higher gear after the murder of Rich.

The reference to 'agents/facilitators within the Democratic Party itself' reads as though it might well have been intended to provide a basis for a 'fall-back' position, if either the problems of the 'hacking' story became too glaring, or it became impossible to prevent more information coming out about the role of Rich in supplying material to WikiLeaks.

Also perhaps relevant is the fact that the initial meeting between Carter Page and Stefan Halper occurred at a symposium in Cambridge, UK, entitled '2016's Race to Change the World', which opened on 11 July, the day after Rich's death – and was also attended by Sir Richard Dearlove.

All this adds to the strong impression that panic which may well have been materially increased by Rich's murder could have been one of the reasons why the 'cover-up' took off into a kind of stratosphere of absurdity in the period that followed it.

Reverting to the question you raise of possible motives for the murder, precisely what the panic suggests is indeed that it is not obvious that anyone in the Democratic Party apparatus had any incentive to assassinate Rich.

As was very evident at the time from, for example, comments on the 'MailOnline' site, very many people who disliked Hillary immediately took for granted that Rich had been 'Arkancided', so his death then became further evidence of her innate villainy, and also confirmation that he was, in fact, the source of the 'WikiLeaks' material.

However, precisely because of the sieve-like nature of the Democratic Party apparatus, a situation had been created where there were actually a wide variety of people, in a wide variety of places, who could have been taking an intense interest in the kind of material which appeared on 'WikiLeaks.'

Such people might have been able, through all kinds of routes, to find out a good deal both about what had been leaked, how and why, and what might be leaked in the future.

While I agree that revenge is not the most obvious motive, there are two qualifications. As we have seen with MBS, people can badly misjudge the impact of their actions, which becomes more relevant if one starts casting the net wider in looking for possible suspects. Also, preventing further disclosures could conceivably have been a motive.

Equally, however, it is not entirely beyond the bounds of possibility that someone who was well aware of the conclusions people would draw could have seen having Rich murdered as a way of striking at Hillary.

A regrettable consequence of the way in which it has been possible to use atrocity to shape 'narratives', which has been facilitated by the increasingly patent disinterest of the mainstream media in trying to get at the truth, is that there are very many players who, for diverse reasons, could have seen their interests furthered by an assassination of this kind.

Publius Tacitus -> David Habakkuk , 2 months ago
How's this for a motive? Imran Awan ran the DNC servers. When it was discovered in May/June that the emails had been downloaded, a search was launched and suspicion fell on Seth. Worried that the Pakistani penetration of the DNC and the Congress might be uncovered, Seth was silenced. I offer this as one possible theory.
David Habakkuk -> Publius Tacitus , 2 months ago
PT,

I think it is very much a possible theory. And indeed, reading what Mark McCarty and Eric Newhill wrote, I think I may have greatly underestimated the extent to which people on Hillary's side could have thought Seth Rich too dangerous to be left alive.

And I also may not have have given adequate weight to the possibility that a not particularly unnatural fear could have overridden the patent dangers involved in following what I should perhaps have seen as an obvious logic.

One point raised by Eric's comments. It seems to me quite likely that the alarm was in fact raised by monitoring what came in to WikiLeaks, rather than what went out of the DNC. If this was so, however, it would be less likely that the monitoring was done directly by the CIA/NSA. It would be much more likely that this was in the first instance primarily an MI6/GCHQ function.

It may or may not be relevant here that Craig Murray has given a lot of people a lot of grief – not least, in exposing the way that 'loops of lies' about 'SIGINT' were used in the attempt to use the 'false flag' at Ghouta to inveige you and us into another disastrous intervention in the Middle East.

(See https://www.craigmurray.org... .)

Be that as it may, it seems to me a reasonable hypothesis that an enormous amount of effort – including both 'HUMINT' and 'SIGINT' – has been deployed by British intelligence agencies to ensure that all channels by which information could pass to and from Assange are monitored.

Of particular interest could have been the kind of covert means of organising payments which may have been used to transfer money to Seth Rich and his brother.

One might then be some way towards a better explanation of some of the absurd incoherencies in the stories told by and about 'CrowdStrike', which struck a lot of us quite early.

It is perfectly possible that 7 May is the actual date on which the company was called in. However, this would not have been because a problem with the DNC computer systems had been identified by that organisation – but because a receipt of information by 'WikiLeaks' had been identified, and probably by the British.

At that point, it is perfectly possible that Alperovitch et al identified many 'hacks' into the servers, some of which could indeed have been by organisations and individuals which could perfectly possibly be linked to the Russians (but with the fact not being palpable, because these would have looked for 'plausible deniability.')

Quite rapidly, the 'real' investigation, of which that by 'CrowdStrike' could have been a part, but only part, would have identified Rich. But this would only have happened in time for him to stop sending material originating later than 25 May. The search for a 'cover story' would have begun at some time during this period.

The first stage in this would have involved the instruction to leave all laptops in the office on 10 June. Thereafter, the attempts to create a 'cover story' developed rather rapidly.

It would then becomes unsurprising that a former GCHQ person – Matt Tait – should have played an important role, but also that the integration of the different parts of the story was, to put it mildly, imperfect.

Part of this, however, is also likely to have had to do with the fact that both Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele are, quite patently, incompetent.

Unfortunately, I was 'away from base', celebrating a birthday with old friends, with limited internet access, when the Colonel informed us that he had used 'Our Man in Havana' as a teaching aid.

But it has become clear to me that an enormous amount of damage has resulted from the fact that MSM journalists have read too much of the productions of David John Moore Cornwell (aka John Le Carré), and not enough Graham Greene.

I am still trying to think this through, but another Graham Greene novel – 'The Quiet American', of which the films are unfortunately awful, by contrast with that of 'Our Man in Havana' – comes into the picture.

A key point about this is that 'tails wag dogs.'

So, having been persuaded that I had underestimated the likelihood of people in the Hillary camp deciding that they had no realistic option but to remove Seth Rich from the picture, it also occurs to me that a corollary of your suggestion is that a lot of other people – among them, people involved with the Awans not in the United States – might have thought that they had an overriding interest in so doing.

Moreover, they could realistically have calculated that – as with Alden Pyle when General Thé escalates his 'false flags' – those who had thought they were in control would then have had no realistic option but to cover up.

To digress, it seems to me likely that this is the premise on which MBS has operated – and also, that a lot of people have given him every reason to think his confidence was justified.

However, sometimes, when the 'tails' have been able to wag the 'dogs' for a very long time, it goes to their head.

Pat Lang Mod -> David Habakkuk , 2 months ago
After contemplating the likely intelligence and propaganda efforts of HMG over the last 15 years or so I am puzzled as to motivation. Why? Why? The UK is now a regional power for which events in places like Syria would seem to have little to do with the welfare of Britain. Why? I suppose that the same question can be asked for the US and I have. In re "Our man in Havana" I think there are many issues raised in the work that apply directly to the trade of espionage.
David Habakkuk -> Pat Lang , 2 months ago
Colonel Lang,

The question why? is a very interesting but also very dispiriting one, but also one which it is quite hard to get one's head round. I hope to have something more coherent to say about it.

Among many reasons, however, there has been a kind of intellectual disintegration.

If I had the talent and energy, I might write a sequel to the 'Quiet American', to be entitled 'The Noisy Englishmen.' It would feature a series of inept conspiracies, involving ludicrous means used in support of preposterous ends, necessitating one ham-fisted cover-up after another.

The central characters might be loosely based on Christopher Steele, Matt Tait, Eliot Higgins, and our former UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, author of the July 2002 Downing Street memorandum, in which Sir Richard Dearlove was quoted explaining how, in Washington, 'the intelligence and the facts were being fixed around the policy.'

Subsequently, of course, he set about colluding in the process. And, sixteen years later, Dearlove is still at it, with 'Russiagate' – and the product being actually accepted much more uncritically by the MSM than it was then.

And that is one of the problems – nobody any longer pays any penalty for failure, or indeed feels any sense of shame about it..

johnf -> David Habakkuk , 2 months ago
DH

I agree with this.

There is a 1990's British historian (whose name I've been trying to rediscover without success) who wrote a sunny book saying Britain should return to its imperialist ways to bring light to the dark and repressive world we live in. It was a great hit with Blair and his henchmen. Blair used its arguments in his notorious 1999 Chicago neo-conservative/liberal interventionist speech.

As the Colonel eloquently asks:

"I am puzzled as to motivation. Why? Why? The UK is now a regional power for which events in places like Syria would seem to have little todo with the welfare of Britain. Why?"

I'd draw attention to "The Brideshead Revisited" generation especially at Oxford in the early 80's. Unashamedly celebrating their wealth and upper middle class privately-educated backgrounds, they viewed themselves as a gilded, golden generation, preened in narcissism, adept at networking and self-promotion.

They are the generation now in power - politically, financially, in the deep state. Their fantasy of again ruling the world (with American and Zionist aid) has led to a series of catastrophic blunders and overreaches in both foreign and domestic policies. Our economic power - the base of any imperial power - is shrinking daily. All the Oxfordites (chief amongst them Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove) are still playing Oxford Union/PPE games and stabbing each other joyously in the back as though there's no tomorrow. It most ressembles the halluciogenic decadence of the court of late Imperial Rome.

(I don't include the Maurice Cowling-ites in this fandango because they strike me as more Little Englanders. Though Peterhouse is of course, shamefully, the HQ of the Henry Jackson Society).

Eric Newhill -> Publius Tacitus , 2 months ago
How did the DNC determine that Seth Rich did the download? They killed him on mere suspicion that he could have been the insider stealing data? That seems like an extreme response carried out on mere suspicion. The Awan/Pakistan connection was eventually revealed and it went nowhere; basically fizzled out in the media. On the other hand, if one of our agencies actually knew it was Rich passing info to Wikileaks via a spying program, and that Rich, as a Sanders supporter, was doing so because he harbored deep animosity toward the Clinton campaign and the DNC, then Rich would have to be silenced. This theory would implicate members of the deep state. Perhaps, that is too far fetched or disturbing to consider?
Fred S -> Adam Carter , 2 months ago
"Accidentally shot" in the back in a city with strict gun control laws at 4 am is rather humorous. How many people are robbed in D.C @ 4am?
PBlacque , 2 months ago
Can you please clarify one point. You say Guccifer 2.0's DNC emails released in mid June, 2016 contain "meta data" and then that Binney analyzed "data" from an intrusion on July 5, 2016. Clearly Binney couldn't have analyzed Guccifer 2.0's emails meta data (inconsistent timing) ... and could it be that Guccifer's hack was performed at the slower rate expected over the internet? Thanks
Publius Tacitus -> PBlacque , 2 months ago
But he went back and analyzed the docs released on 15 June as well. Please focus on the central point--the FBI claims that Guccifer 2.0 is a GRU front but the meta data on the documents don't support the claim that they were obtained via an internet hack.
Snow Flake -> Lefty , 2 months ago
Ellipsis, linguistically? Don't you automatically add what is omitted? ... Russia had (n't) anything ...

Guccifer 2.0 was nothing but an elaborate joke.

Lefty -> Snow Flake , 2 months ago
When I turn something I am writing into a non sequitur, or worse reverse its meaning, I call it a f*ck up (linguistically), correct it and thank anyone who cared enough to take the time to read me in the first place and to lend me a hand. What I try not to do is to hide behind a misapplied grammatical device. Know what I mean buttercup... ?

The NSA's FOIA response that they have traffic involving Rich and Assange reinforces both Assange's assertion and Binney's analysis that the DNC was not hacked, the data was downloaded. Assange's uncategorical denial that the Ruskies did it is important. It deserves to remain unambiguous and not to be subject to uncontrolled ellipsisical seizure.

Guccifer 2.0 seemed pretty earnest. As yet we don't have much of a clue who he was working for.

Pat Lang Mod -> Lefty , 2 months ago
PT's info is not from a FOIA request.
Snow Flake -> Lefty , 2 months ago
When I turn something .... Know what I mean buttercup... ?

No, I am afraid, you are way too sophisticated for me.

[Jan 06, 2019] DNC Emails--A Seth Attack Not a Russian Hack by Publius Tacitus

CIApedia story is a complete fabrication. And there might be connection between Seth murder and Avan brothers.
Notable quotes:
"... Now there is new information, courtesy of the National Security Agency aka NSA, that confirms that the NSA has Top Secret and Secret documents that are responsive to a FOIA request for material on Seth Rich and his contacts with Julian Assange ..."
"... While the content of these documents remain classified for now, they may provide documentary proof that Seth Rich "dropped boxed" the emails to Julian. If these documents are declassified, a big hole could be blown in the claim that Russia hacked the DNC. ..."
"... Is it really plausible that the perps would kill one person, fail to get anything of value from the homicide, then say "Oh shucks, that didn't work, won't do that again."? ..."
"... Yet there is no discussion of this of which I am aware, and the Wikipedia editors controlling the Wikipedia page for the murder of Seth Rich absolutely prohibit discussion, even on their "Talk Page" of such questions. E.g., their deletion of the question I asked here, under the heading "Why the "conspiracy theory" pejorative?" (which resulted in not only being deleted but a "Sanction" against me for daring to ask the question). ..."
"... CIA/NSA is already watching wikileaks due to Manning, etc) and "sees' that Rich has passed files. ..."
"... Intel filters up to Obama, Brennan, NSA people, Clinton and others that Rich has passed info to Wikileaks and then wikileaks announces and publishes the material. ..."
"... The DNC + Obama and other leftist deep staters concoct the Russian hacking meme to distract from the content of the material as well as to begin discredit Trump (and perhaps even develop a means of deposing him should he actually be elected). ..."
"... There is a connection between Seth and the Pakistani guy who had free rein with a lot of dem congresspeople's computers!!! His protector, Lil Debbie WS!!! There is a Podesta email where he states something to the effect that the person be taught a lesson as an example, guilty or not! ..."
Oct 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

If Russia had actually "hacked" the DNC emails then the National Security Agency would have had proof of such activity. In fact, the NSA could have tracked such activity. But they did not do that. That lack of evidence did not prevent a coordinated media campaign from spinning up to pin the blame on Russia for the "theft" and to portray Donald Trump as Putin's lackey and beneficiary.

Any effort to tell an alternative story has met with stout opposition. Fox News, for example, came under withering fire after it published an article in May 2017 claiming that Seth Rich, a young Democrat operative, had leaked DNC emails to Julian Assange at Wikileaks. The family of Seth Rich reacted with fury and sued Fox, Malia Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky, but that suit subsequently was dismissed.

Now there is new information, courtesy of the National Security Agency aka NSA, that confirms that the NSA has Top Secret and Secret documents that are responsive to a FOIA request for material on Seth Rich and his contacts with Julian Assange.

While the content of these documents remain classified for now, they may provide documentary proof that Seth Rich "dropped boxed" the emails to Julian. If these documents are declassified, a big hole could be blown in the claim that Russia hacked the DNC.


Keith Harbaugh , 2 months ago

There is a local angle to the Seth Rich murder story I have not seen discussed. Consider:
But the circumstances and facts surrounding the murder were strange. Seth was shot in the back. Nothing was taken from his body -- not his watch, not his wallet and not his credit cards.

The story promulgated by the MSM and Wikipedia is that the Washington DC MPD believe the crime was a botched robbery.

But attempted robberies are not normally a unique event. If it was a botched robbery, it seems almost certain that the perpetrator(s) would, having failed in this attempt, try again to execute a robbery.

And use the same MO (modus operandi). But I have seen no reports of other such homicide/robbery combinations. If this was truly a unique event, how would that be possible? Is it really plausible that the perps would kill one person, fail to get anything of value from the homicide, then say "Oh shucks, that didn't work, won't do that again."? There certainly are reports of serial robberies in Washington. Very hard to believe this is an exception.

Yet there is no discussion of this of which I am aware, and the Wikipedia editors controlling the Wikipedia page for the murder of Seth Rich absolutely prohibit discussion, even on their "Talk Page" of such questions. E.g., their deletion of the question I asked here, under the heading "Why the "conspiracy theory" pejorative?" (which resulted in not only being deleted but a "Sanction" against me for daring to ask the question).

Eric Newhill , 2 months ago
PT,

So is the theory, more or less, that

  1. As a Sanders supporter, Rich was appalled by how the DNC screwed Sanders (and maybe some other things he learned also contributed to his decision to engage in espionage against the DNC)
  2. Rich decides to expose DNC corruption.
  3. Rich downloads the files locally and then passes them to wikileaks.
  4. CIA/NSA is already watching wikileaks due to Manning, etc) and "sees' that Rich has passed files.
  5. Intel filters up to Obama, Brennan, NSA people, Clinton and others that Rich has passed info to Wikileaks and then wikileaks announces and publishes the material.
  6. The DNC + Obama and other leftist deep staters concoct the Russian hacking meme to distract from the content of the material as well as to begin discredit Trump (and perhaps even develop a means of deposing him should he actually be elected).
  7. Rich is the wild card. He could confess that he did it all by himself - and he could create a spectacle by explaining why.
  8. 8. They kill Rich to remove the only serious threat to their nefarious plot....?
Larry McDonald , 2 months ago
"Now there is new information, courtesy of the National Security Agency aka NSA, that confirms that the NSA has Top Secret and Secret documents that are responsive to a FOIA request for material on Seth Rich and his contacts with Julian Assange."

What's your source?

Publius Tacitus -> Larry McDonald , 2 months ago
The source is the letter that the lawyer, Ty Clevenger, received from the NSA. I have seen the letter.
Pat Lang Mod -> Larry McDonald , 2 months ago
You don't really expect him to tell you, do you?
KatieWeddington -> Larry McDonald , 2 months ago
Letter has been released. http://lawflog.com/?attachm...
Walrus , 2 months ago
Another case of "Arkancide"?
jnewman -> Walrus , 2 months ago
Vince Foster?
Pat Lang Mod -> Walrus , 2 months ago
The Serb?
amuncat -> Walrus , 2 months ago
There is a connection between Seth and the Pakistani guy who had free rein with a lot of dem congresspeople's computers!!! His protector, Lil Debbie WS!!! There is a Podesta email where he states something to the effect that the person be taught a lesson as an example, guilty or not!

[Jan 05, 2019] Obama as the agent of the Deep State consciously deciving his voters with faux populism promises which he never intended to follow

Obama strategy in Syria was replica of Clinton strategy in Yugoslavia during the Balkan Wars. Divide everybody up by ethnicity or religion (Croats are Catholics, Serbians are Orthodox not to mention the various Muslims and Albanians lurking about), arm them, create false flags to set them at each other's throats. Enjoy the results.
Obama like Clinton before him was a real wolve in sheep's clothing
Notable quotes:
"... Jackrabbit, I agree with Bevin. Obama was really useful to the deep state because, as the "First Black President" he was widely popular, not just inside the US but outside it as well. Before the 2016 election, there was a widespread hope inside the US elite that Hillary Clinton, as the "First Woman President" would be able to serve a similar function in giving US imperialism a pleasing face. ..."
"... Trump, by contrast, hurts the US deep state because his true nature as a greedy, incompetent egotist is just too blatantly obvious to too many people. And he won't follow a script, the way GW Bush usually did. That's why we see major sections of the US deep state going out of their way to be publically hostile towards Trump. ..."
Jan 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Jan 5, 2019 6:10:33 PM | 17

bevin @10:

But the notion that it is part of a complex and tightly scripted conspiracy in which he plays his public part and the deep state play theirs, pretending to be at odds with each other, is bizarre.
I would've agreed with you before Obama. I followed the criticisms of Obama from true progressives closely. It was clear within 2 or 3 years that Obama was betraying his 'base'.

His lofty rhetoric didn't match his actions. His Nobel Peace Prize can only be viewed today as a ruse. He talked of peace and fairness but worked behind the scenes to further the establishment.

Fast forward to the 2016 election where Sanders was a sheepdog and Hillary ran a terrible campaign. It's difficult to look back and not be at least somewhat suspicious of the 2016 election. A populist nationalist was what the Deep State NEEDED to face the threat from Russia and China to their NWO project. And that is what they got. After recognizing the threat in 2013-14 (when Russia countered the Empire in Syria and Ukraine).

Similar excuses are made for both Obama and Trump. We are told that they were FORCED to succumb to Deep State scheming and political power. But a much more logical view is that these "populists" know exactly what they are doing: they know what their 'job' is to serve the establishment and act as the leader of the Deep State's political arm. In return they get financial gain, social standing, and life long protection. Sweet.

Obama 'turned the page' on the Bush Administration's warmongering. He promised a more peaceful USA. But he conducted covert wars and bragged of his drone targeting.

Trump 'turned the page' on Obama's deceitfulness. He promised to put 'America First' but within months attacked Syria with missiles "for the babies". Evidence that his first attack was prompted by a false flag didn't deter him from attacking AGAIN - also based on a false flag. Trump is still helping the Saudis in Yemen. And he's not doing what's necessary to get peace in Korea.

Obama promised 'transparency' ("Sunlight is the best disinfectant") but 'no drama' Obama protected CIA torturers, NSA spies, and bankers. Trump promised to "drain the swamp" but has welcomed oligarchs and neocons into his Administration.

How much sly BS do we have to see before people connect the dots? A real populist will NEVER be elected in USA unless there is a revolution; USA political elites are fully committed to a neoliberal economics that make society neofeudal, and a neoconservative-driven foreign policy that demands full spectrum dominance that brooks no opposition to its NWO goals.

Anyone who believes otherwise has drunk the Kool-Aid, an addictive, saccharine concoction, provided without charge and in abundance.

Glenn Brown | Jan 5, 2019 10:27:14 PM |

39@ 10 17

Jackrabbit, I agree with Bevin. Obama was really useful to the deep state because, as the "First Black President" he was widely popular, not just inside the US but outside it as well. Before the 2016 election, there was a widespread hope inside the US elite that Hillary Clinton, as the "First Woman President" would be able to serve a similar function in giving US imperialism a pleasing face.

Trump, by contrast, hurts the US deep state because his true nature as a greedy, incompetent egotist is just too blatantly obvious to too many people. And he won't follow a script, the way GW Bush usually did. That's why we see major sections of the US deep state going out of their way to be publically hostile towards Trump.

Yes, their public rejection of Trump is partly motivated by the need to be able to claim that Trump is an aberration from all previous US Presidents, as opposed to Trump and his policies being just a particularly explicit continuation of the same underlying trends.

But I see no reason to doubt that the US elites really wish they had someone as President who was better at supplying the right propaganda and less obviously an incompetent fool. So I don't understand why you think the US oligarchy and deep state would have thought they needed someone like Trump, or would have greatly preferred him to Hillary Clinton.

[Jan 03, 2019] Russia-mania takes over the world

Russophobia is the standard deflection trick, designed to cement cracks in neoliberal society facade. And deep distrust of common people toward neoliberal elite. With neoliberal elite completely immersed in its own groupthink, which reaches the level "Let them eat cakes".
Notable quotes:
"... We have seen this play out in the US in the continuing obsession, fronted by Troll-Finder General Robert Mueller, over alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. And the same obsession has emerged in the UK, too, with politicians and pundits claiming that a shadowy network of Russian influence tipped the EU referendum in favour of Leave. ..."
"... It is never quite clear how the 'Russians' or 'Putin' did all this, beyond Facebook ads and decidedly dubious talk of so-called dark money. But then clarity is not the point for this stripe of Russia-maniac. He or she simply wants to believe that Trump or Brexit were not what they were. Not expressions of popular will. Not manifestations of popular discontent. Not democratic exercises. ..."
Jan 03, 2019 | theduran.com

While Russia-mania is widespread among today's political and cultural elites, it is not uniform.

For an older, right-wing section of the Western political and media class, otherwise known as the Cold War Re-Enactment Society, Russia looms large principally as a military, quasi-imperial threat. Jim Mattis, the former US marine and general, and now US defence secretary, said Russia was responsible for 'the biggest attack [on the world order] since World War Two'. Whether this is true or not is beside the point. What matters is that Russia appears as a military aggressor. What matters is that Russia's actions in Ukraine – which were arguably a defensive reaction to NATO and the EU's expansion into Russia's traditional ally – are grasped as an act of territorial aggrandisement. What matters is that Russia's military operations in Syria – which, again, were arguably a pragmatic intervention to stabilise the West-stoked chaos – are rendered as an expression of imperial aggression. What matters is that Russian state involvement in the poisoning of the Skripals in Salisbury – which, given its failure, proved Russian incompetence – is presented as 'part of a pattern of Russian aggression against Europe and its near neighbours, from the western Balkans to the Middle East', to quote Theresa May.

And it matters because, if Russia is dressed up as the West's old Cold War adversary, just with a new McMafia logo, then the crumbling, illegitimate and increasingly pointless postwar institutions through which Western elites have long ordered the world, suddenly look just that little bit more solid, legitimate and purposeful. And none more so than NATO.

This is why NATO has this year been accompanying its statements warning Russia to 'stop its reckless pattern of behaviour' with some of the largest military exercises since the fall of the Berlin Wall nearly three decades ago. Including one in November in Norway, involving 50,000 troops, 10,000 vehicles, 250 aircraft and 60 warships.

Then there is the newer form of Russia-mania. This has emerged from within the political and cultural elite that came to power after the Cold War, ploughing an uninspiring third way between the seeming extremes of the 20th century's great ideologies. Broadly social democratic in sentiment, and elitist and aloof in practice, this band of merry technocrats and their middle-class supporters have found in 'Russia' a way to avoid having to face up to what the populist revolt reveals – that the majority of Western citizens share neither their worldview nor their wealth. Instead, they use 'Russia' to displace the people as the source of discontent and political revolt.

We have seen this play out in the US in the continuing obsession, fronted by Troll-Finder General Robert Mueller, over alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. And the same obsession has emerged in the UK, too, with politicians and pundits claiming that a shadowy network of Russian influence tipped the EU referendum in favour of Leave.

It is never quite clear how the 'Russians' or 'Putin' did all this, beyond Facebook ads and decidedly dubious talk of so-called dark money. But then clarity is not the point for this stripe of Russia-maniac. He or she simply wants to believe that Trump or Brexit were not what they were. Not expressions of popular will. Not manifestations of popular discontent. Not democratic exercises.

No, they were the result, as one Tory MP put it , of 'the covert and overt forms of malign influence used by Moscow'.

Or, in the words of an Observer columnist, 'a campaign that purported to be for the "left behind" was organised and funded by men with links across the global network of far-right American demagogues and kleptomaniac dictators such as Putin'.

Such has been the determination to blame 'Russia' or 'Putin' for the political class's struggles, that in August Tom Watson, Labour's conspiracy-theory-peddling deputy leader, called for a public inquiry into an alleged Russian Brexit plot. '[Voters] need to know whether that referendum was stolen or not', he said.

Such a call ought to be mocked. After all, it is absurd to think 'Russia', 'Putin' and the trolls are the power behind every populist throne. But the claims aren't mocked – they're taken as calls to action. Think of anything viewed as a threat to our quaking political and cultural elites in the West, and you can bet your bottom ruble that some state agency or columnist is busy identifying Putin or one of his legion of bots and trolls as the source. The gilet jaunes protests in France? Check . Climate change? Check . Italy's Five Star Movement? Check .

And all this from a nation with a GDP equivalent to Spain, an ageing, declining population, and a failing infrastructure. The reality of Russia is not that of a global threat, but of a struggling state. Russia is weak. Yet in the minds of those clinging desperately to the status quo, 'Russia' has never been more powerful.

[Jan 03, 2019] John Helmer- Lunatic Russia-Hating in Washington Is 70 Years Old. It Started with Joseph Alsop, George Kennan and the Washington Post

The USA is treating Russia the same way it treated the USSR and run all kind of subversive operations against it.
Notable quotes:
"... This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1440 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page , which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we're doing this fundraiser, what we've accomplished in the last year and our current goal, more original reporting . ..."
"... By John Helmer , the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears ..."
"... In June 1933, he bought the Washington Post at a bankruptcy auction, for $825,000 ..."
"... It [USA] has always been fighting on foreign soil since it was formed by violence against a lawful sovereign. ..."
"... This Vast Southern Empire ..."
"... A mentor in shamelessness: the man who taught Trump the power of publicity Roy Cohn, the lawyer who embraced infamy during the McCarthy hearings and Rosenberg trial, influenced Donald Trump to turn the tabloids into a soapbox ..."
"... Angels in America ..."
"... For the life of me, I still cannot figure out why people are in an absolute panic over Russian "agents" buying $100,000.00, or whatever, worth of advertising promoting either or both sides of the election when U.S.citizens and Political Parties spent over $1.6 billion. ..."
"... Are American citizens really so stupid as to fall for the amazingly, brilliantly conceived and placed $100K worth of Russian advertising, so clever that it superseded $1.6 billion worth of U.S. citizen ads? ..."
"... Or (to misquote Shakespeare/Macbeth) is it a tale told by propagandists, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing? ..."
"... Don't confuses them with the facts. ..."
Jan 03, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

John Helmer: Lunatic Russia-Hating in Washington Is 70 Years Old. It Started with Joseph Alsop, George Kennan and the Washington Post Posted on October 12, 2017 by Yves Smith

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 1440 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page , which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card, or PayPal. Read about why we're doing this fundraiser, what we've accomplished in the last year and our current goal, more original reporting .

Yves here. An important bit of history that can't be repeated too often: when the Clinton Administration decided to move NATO into former Warsaw Pact countries, violating a understanding made as part of the peaceful dissolution, George Kennan said it would prove to be the worst geopolitical mistake the US ever made.

By John Helmer , the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears

Joseph Alsop and George Kennan started the kind of Russia-hating in Washington which, today, President Vladimir Putin, like the businessmen around him, think of as a novelty that cannot last for long.

Alsop was a fake news fabricator, and such a narcissist as to give the bow-ties he wore a bad name. Kennan was a psychopath who alternated bouts of aggression to prove himself with bouts of depression over his cowardice. For them, Russia was a suitable target. The Washington Post was the newspaper which gave their lunacy public asylum. This, according to a fresh history by a university professor from California, started in 1947, long before the arrival in Washington of the anti-communist phobia known after the name of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Russia-hating was an American upper-class phenomenon, cultivated in the offices, cocktail parties, clubs, and mansions of the deep state, as it emerged out of World War II. It needed a new enemy to thrive; it fastened on Russia (aka the Soviet Union) as the enemy.

McCarthyism was an American lower-class phenomenon. It focused on the loyalty or disloyalty of the upper-class deep-staters. That wasn't the same thing as Russia-hating; Wall Street bankers, Boston lawyers, homosexuals, Jews, communists, were all the enemy. As the Senator from Wisconsin characterized it himself in 1952, "McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled." He implied – without a middle-class tie; certainly not an upper-class bow-tie.

Russia was not an enemy which united the two American lunacies, for they hated each other much more than they hated the Russians. The Soviet Politburo understood this better then than the Kremlin does now.

Gregg Herken's The Georgetown Set , is so named because it records the activities of Alsop, Kennan and several other State Department, Central Intelligence Agency and White House officials who lived as neighbours in the Georgetown district of the capital city, together with Katharine (Kay) and Philip Graham, proprietor managers of the Washington Post. The district – once a chartered city of Maryland and river port, which was absorbed into the federal District of Columbia in 1871 -- was expensive, relatively speaking then; more so now. The richest of the set, including Alsop, had town houses in Georgetown, and rural retreats in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

They were a set because because, as Herken said succinctly to an interviewer , "they got together every Sunday for supper and, basically, they ran the country from those meetings." As the book elaborates, they thought they were running the world. With a longer time lapse in which to view the evidence, they were also losing it.

Newspapers exposed in the book for collaborating in all the deceits, failures and war crimes of the history have reacted by calling Herken's effort a "provincial corner". The New Yorker opined that the Russia-hating and Russia war-making which Herken retells are dead and gone. "The guests at the Sunday soirées no doubt felt that they were in the cockpit of history. But the United States is a democracy, not a Wasp Ascendancy There was once an atmosphere of willingness that made a system of bribes and information exchanges seem, to the people involved, simply a way of working together for a common cause in a climate of public opinion that, unfortunately, required secrecy. No one got rich from the arrangement. People just lost track of what was inside their bubble and what was outside, as people tend to do. Vietnam was the reality check. 'I've Seen the Best of It' was the title Alsop gave to his memoirs. Things hadn't been the same since, he felt. He was right about that, and we should be thankful." In the New York media business these days it's possible to publish a selfie of pulling your own leg.

The Washington Post has deflected the indictment against itself by describing Herken's work as "a very strange book (A) a rehash of the history of the Cold War as experienced in certain Washington circles and (B) an almost obsessive recapitulation of the life and journalism of Joseph Alsop." Alsop is dismissed as unworthy of a history at all because he was "utterly repellent: arrogant, patronizing, imperious, uninterested in anyone except himself."

That's the truth about Alsop. The truth about the Washington Post is buried in this line by the Post's books editor about the hand that fed him: "it must be very hard for people who did not live through the '50s and '60s to understand how obsessed the American people were with the threat from Moscow." That line appeared in print on November 7, 2014. It was already history, that's to say, a misjudgement. How monumentally mistaken is obvious now.

In covering the period from 1946 to 1975, Herken's research does repeat much of the history of the Cold War which has been told elsewhere. It starts on February 22, 1946, the date of the "Long Telegram", No. 511 -- Kennan's despatch from the US Embassy in Moscow to the State Department, setting out his strategy of so-called containment and much more besides. Read it in the declassified original . Most of the war-fighting and other war crimes which the telegram set in motion under Kennan's 1948 rubrics, "organized political warfare" and "preventive direct action", are reported in Herken's book; so too are Kennan's frequent funks, failures of conviction, reversals of judgement, and pleas for help.

The book ends on December 30, 1974, the date of Alsop's last column. Alsop concluded with the line: "I have never known the American people to be really badly wrong, if only they were correctly and fully informed."

Herken shows how self-deluded and professionally delusional that was -- not because of Alsop's character but because of his sources. Herken documents that they ran upwards from foot-soldiers (also lubricious sailors) to presidents and cabinet secretaries. Herken doesn't think the same of Kennan, who gets to walk off stage, aged 101, sounding more sceptical of overthrowing Saddam Hussein than he ever was in his prime and in power to direct schemes of what we call state terrorism today.


Left to right: Kennan died in 2005, aged 101; Alsop died in 1989 aged 78; Frank Wisner died in 1965 aged 56. The deeper Herken gets into the private papers, the more he refers to his subjects by their diminutives and nicknames – Joe, Oppie, Beetle, Dickie, the Crocodile, Wig, Jack, Wiz, Soozle, Vangie, et al.

What is fresh about the sources is that Herken has had access to the private notes, letters and diaries of the Alsop family; the Kennan diaries and letters; and the private papers of Frank Wisner, the first director of covert operations against Russia. Wisner went mad and killed himself, as did Graham. There's no doubt about the suicide outcome of their madness.

In the case of the mad ex-Defence Secretary James Forrestal his fatal jump from the window of the Navy hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, in May 1949 might have been a homicidal push. Herken concludes that Forrestal's death was "the first senior-ranking American casualty of the Cold War." Herken thinks of their madness as anomalies. The history shows they were normalities.

Missing from this history is any reference to official documents, now declassified; press reporting of the time; or interviews with veterans of the same events but on other sides – Russian and Soviet; British; German; French; Polish; Vietnamese; Chinese. This isn't so much a fatal flaw in Herken's (right) book as the reason why his history is repeating itself today. Call this a variation on Karl's Marx's apothegm that history starts as tragedy and repeats itself as farce. Herken's blindness to this is as revealing as the Washington Post's madness, not yet as suicidal as its former proprietor's, today.

So mesmerized is Herken by the moneyed backgrounds of his subjects and sources, and by the amount of black cash from the US Government they spent on operations, he forgets to report what they did to fill their own pockets. The claim by the New Yorker that "no one got rich from the arrangement" – Alsop's fake news fabrications – is false, but Herken touches only in passing on how they made (or kept) their money. Alsop's column, for example, was sold to 200 newspapers, and at one time claimed a readership of 25 million. His family inheritance is recorded, but not its annual revenue value. Alsop's payola included silk shirts from Alfred Kohlberg, a textile importer from China who backed Chiang Kai-shek against Mao Tse-tung, as did Alsop. Alsop's patrons included Convair (General Dynamics), the company building the US Air Force Atlas missile for procurement of which Alsop reported fictions about Soviet missile strength.

In the US power which Alsop, Kennan and Wisner believed without hesitation, Herken is not less a believer. "Anything could be achieved", Herken quotes a New York Times reporter quoting Wisner. When the US force multiple changed, however, and US allies or agents were outgunned, outspent, outnumbered, or outwitted, they were unable to acknowledge miscalculation, attributing defeat instead to the superior force or guile of their adversaries, especially the Russians.

This is madness, and there is good reason for recognizing the symptoms again. In 1958, when Herken says Wisner's paranoid manias were becoming obvious to his friends and colleagues, "Frank put forward a theory that the careless comment which had gotten George Kennan kicked out of the Soviet Union was evidence the Soviets had succeeded in an area where the CIA's own scientists had failed: mind control. Some agency hands alleged that Wisner attributed his own increasingly bizarre behaviour to the Kremlin's sly manipulation."


A cell from the comic "Is This Tomorrow? America Under Communism"(1947). Test your mind, read more: https://archive.org/details/IsThisTomorrowAmericaUnderCommunismCatecheticalGuild

From Washington in 1958, fast forward to Washington in 2017; for mind control and sly manipulation, read Russian hacking and cyber warfare. From Wisner's and Kennan's balloon drops of leaflets and broadcasts by Radio Free Europe, fast forward to Russia Today Television and Russian infiltrations of Twitter, Google, the Democratic National Committee, and the Trump organization.

It stands to reason (ahem!) that if you think what the US Government and its journalists were doing then was mad, you are might conclude that what they is doing now is just as mad – and not very different. When the incumbent president and his Secretary of State publicly call for IQ tests on each other, all reason has failed. "The nation," as Alsop had written, "had simply taken leave of all sense of proportion." That was in March 1954.

If you fast forward to now, there's one difference. Today the lunatic Russia warfighters don't retire. They also don't fade away. Today's sleek successors to mad Wisner and mad Graham sleep easily in their beds a-nights. For what they've done and do, they wouldn't dream of taking shotguns to their heads.

Herken retells the story of the campaign Alsop waged against McCarthyism at the State Department, against McCarthy himself, and the vulnerability Alsop himself presented until the Boston lawyer Joseph Welch put an end to McCarthy on June 9, 1954 : "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Welch famously said. "Have you left no sense of decency?" The recurring history reveals why, even if there are plenty of people to say the same thing today to the Washington Post, New York Times, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the madness will continue repeating itself.


Colonel Smithers , October 12, 2017 at 10:42 am

Thank you, Yves.

A couple of tidbits:

Wisner's son married the stepmother of Nicolas Sarkozy. This facilitated the Sarkozy family's links with Wall Street (Guillaume at Credit Suisse and Carlyle and Nicolas' stepdaughter Judith Martin (daughter of France's Bruce Forsyth and Cecilia Albeniz) at Morgan Stanley, the latter at Canary Wharf).

A year ago, before his elimination in the Republicain primary, Sarko met executives from Goldman Sachs to discuss a move from London to Paris due to Brexit. Sarko promised bespoke personal and corporate tax arrangements in return for a relocation and fanfare. Sarko was keen on the fanfare and planned to exploit that, thinking it would be a PR coup soon between his election and the August shut down.

Kay Graham was the daughter of a former partner at Lazard Freres. Her father bought the WaPo after his retirement. The family and its plaything rag formed part of Operation Mockingbird.

djrichard , October 12, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Also worth mentioning that he purchased the WaPo in 1933. Per wikipedia, " In June 1933, he bought the Washington Post at a bankruptcy auction, for $825,000 ".

Pre-sages Bezos buying the WaPo on the cheap too. Can't say I would have thought of Bezos as being a Russia scare-monger. I guess it's the flip-side of regime change. If you're in the regime preservation business, perhaps that means regime changing your enemies. In which case, never let a good crisis go to waste. And if a crisis isn't available well if a newspaper can't figure out how to manufacture a crisis out of the available pool of evil-doers, then really why even have a newspaper?

Bezos to Russia, "It's nothing personal, it's just business". Bezos to Trump, "It's personal."

funemployed , October 13, 2017 at 7:00 am

The CIA did give jeff 600 million dollars shortly after his acquisition of wapo

Scott , October 13, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Seems like that is the under the radar amount of supposed funding for Fronts.

Slowly it dawned on me, or I simply put two and two together realizing I was working for a CIA/MI6 Front. Explained why mediocrities, liars & thieves had secure jobs.

American Airlines is most probably the inheritor of Air America's freight operations, station agents, & to pilots a great system for overt & covert operations gets 685 million a year.

IN-Q-TEL the CIA retirement benefits fund for agents gets 685 million as well.

I don't remember where I read the figures. See what you find out?
When I worked the independent movie scene in NYC all the budgets were 100 thousand dollars.

Now how you know, or the commentators know what they are saying here, I don't know. We are aware that the US power structure found it convenient to blame, or imply the blame for all that was stupid and violent in politics in the US on the Russians who as a secretive organization by habit made the picture plausible.

If oligarchs money fleeing Russia came to America and was a source of Industrial Service Banking it would be a victory. As it is the working classes in the US and Russia end up with the same leaders only different.

As it is the game is the same with it being real estate and art.
If there is one thing about Russians, they lust to possess beauty.
Otherwise from my experience they are difficult to do business with and you get more respect when you up front don't trust them so they can act like Russians.

I pitched to the Atlantic "Statehood for Russia" when the Cold War supposedly ended.
With the propaganda going into what Americans look at and voter system hacking it is evident they want to be a state.

sgt_doom , October 12, 2017 at 1:42 pm

Outstanding article and excellent commentary points and to elaborate just on several facts stated: ("Wisner went mad and killed himself, as did Graham.") -- this might have been the case, but most curiously, both Wisner and Graham were first treated at Chestnut Lodge Sanitarium in Rockville, MD at the CIA's MK ULTRA wing, then they both would return home and commit suicide?! This was also the facility where the CIA would send a research nutritionist (do not know whether they connived her, or it was against her will, etc., but she did not work for the Agency) who was researching an Amazonian plant with unique properties, and after her treatment, she never mentioned said plant or research ever again?!.

Also, this is where Richard Helms, then CIA director, had his famous auto accident right before giving testimony before the Church Committee (when he perjured himself and later was officially censured by Congress). Helms claimed he was seeing a psychoanalyst (basis for a simpleton movie from Hollywood called "The President's Analyst" -- probably involved Harry Weinstein) -- but it was because Helms was shredding all the MK ULTRA files kept there prior to appearing before the Church Committee.

And Joe Alsop was cousin to several CIA dudes, Kermit Roosevelt and Archibald Roosevelt, whereupon he received his "tips" or misinformation.

And the Colonel explains Sarkozy's familial background quite nicely, but to further add it was Wisner and John Negroponte, working through the Franco-American Foundation, who were supposed to be behind the concocted false scandals against Sarkozy's presidential opponent which allowed Sarkozy to win the election the first time. (The second time, Sarkozy was behind that NYC airport "incident" which blow up in his face, resulting in a Hollande victory.)

Vatch , October 12, 2017 at 1:55 pm

"The President's Analyst" is an outstanding satire from 1967. The Church committee hearings were in 1975.

Enquiring Mind , October 12, 2017 at 3:12 pm

There are further Wall Street links in the Sarkozy family. Olivier, half-brother of Nicolas, was at CS First Boston and worked briefly with our company on an engagement some years ago. His colleagues remarked on his pedigree and ability to open doors where others couldn't.

Patrick Donnelly , October 12, 2017 at 10:53 am

So the USA had no hand in arming Japan and encouraging them to attack Russia, successfully in 1904? Who stirred up Japan, forcing them with battleships to trade, actually firing on Japan. USA has always had war plans for the invasion of every country on Earth, since the Civil War, if not before.

It has always been fighting on foreign soil since it was formed by violence against a lawful sovereign. Except for 20 years!!!

WWII was a result of rearmament of Germany, by USA and its banker allies. They wanted USSR in ashes. In the end they had to rescue Germany, failing in that and losing half of Europe. That must be smart!

Vatch , October 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm

It [USA] has always been fighting on foreign soil since it was formed by violence against a lawful sovereign.

The monarchy of George III? Lawful sovereign? Who elected George III? Nobody. Who elected the members of Parliament? Nobody in America, and only adult males who could meet stringent properly requirements in Britain. Britain in 1775/1776 was definitely not a lawful sovereign over any territory in the North American continent.

Carolinian , October 12, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Don't forget Woody Wilson sending the troops to Vladivostok after WW1. Communism was always regarded as an existential threat by the then WASPy, now not so WASPy elites.

And re Kennan, the recent Ken Burns Vietnam documentary shows him casting doubts on the Vietnam intervention at a Congressional hearing. Kennan said the policy was like the elephant being terrified of the mouse. So his Russia obsession does seem to have been more about power rivalry than ideological apostasy.

David , October 12, 2017 at 1:40 pm

They wanted USSR in ashes.

If this is true, why did the US send 17.5 M tons of material to the USSR, through Lend Lease , during WW2?

Roughly 17.5 million tons of military equipment, vehicles, industrial supplies, and food were shipped from the Western Hemisphere to the USSR, 94% coming from the US. For comparison, a total of 22 million tons landed in Europe to supply American forces from January 1942 to May 1945.

One item typical of many was a tire plant that was lifted bodily from the Ford Company's River Rouge Plant and transferred to the USSR. The 1947 money value of the supplies and services amounted to about eleven billion dollars.

Wasn't Henry Ford supposed to be a Na*i?

While repayment of the interest-free loans was required after the end of the war under the act, in practice the U.S. did not expect to be repaid by the USSR after the war. The U.S. received $2M in reverse Lend-Lease from the USSR. This was mostly in the form of landing, servicing, and refueling of transport aircraft; some industrial machinery and rare minerals were sent to the U.S. The U.S. asked for $1.3B at the cessation of hostilities to settle the debt, but was only offered $170M by the USSR. The dispute remained unresolved until 1972, when the U.S. accepted an offer from the USSR to repay $722M linked to grain shipments from the U.S., with the remainder being written off.

So $722M in 1972 dollars for $11B in 1947 dollars?

hemeantwell , October 12, 2017 at 4:09 pm

They wanted USSR in ashes.

If this is true, why did the US send 17.5 M tons of material to the USSR, through Lend Lease, during WW2?

They suspended their death wish because without the USSR they could very well have lost to the Nazis. Short of a successful invasion of Britain, the availability to the Nazis of a small portion of the tank and aerial forces that were getting chewed up in the Soviet Union would have led to the easy conquest of North Africa and the loss of the Suez canal. That would have been hard for the Allies to recover from. Once the war was won it was time to shift back into playing the innocent party responding to Soviet aggression.

Vatch , October 12, 2017 at 4:27 pm

The U.S. also sent $20 million in food aid to the Soviets during the famine of 1921-1922. The U.S. attitude towards Russia / Soviet Union is complex and contradictory. Members of the U.S. establishment mostly opposed the Soviets, but future President Herbert Hoover's role in the famine relief project shows that there were exceptions.

By the 1930s, the behavior of Stalin justified opposition to the Soviets, although I think that for a long time, many (perhaps most) of the Americans who opposed them did so for the wrong reasons.

Bigfoot , October 13, 2017 at 10:59 am

Did he send food aid to the Soviets?

Hoover's role in famine relief was about more than food distribution. By 1911-1912 or so he was director of the Russo-Asiatic Corporation and had extensive oil, mining, and timber interests in Russia, all of which made him very, very wealthy. These interests were relinquished prior to the Revolution, which Hoover vehemently opposed. According to Sayers and Kahn in The Great Conspiracy Against Russia, "He was to remain one of the world's bitterest foes of the Soviet Government for the rest of his life. It is a fact, whatever his personal motive may have been, that American food sustained the White Russians and fed the storm troops of the most reactionary regimes in Europe which were engaged in suppressing the upsurge of democracy after the First World War. Thus American relief became a weapon against the peoples' movements in Europe."

This is Disaster Capitalism 100 years ago.

The quote is footnoted. The footnote reads: "Herbert Hoover's activities as Food Relief Administrator were directed toward giving aid to the White Russians and withholding all supplies to the Soviets. Hundreds of thousands starved in Soviet territory. When, finally, Hoover bowed to public pressure and sent some food to the Soviets he continued according to a statement by a Near East Relief official in the New York World in April, 1922 -- to 'interfere with the collection of funds for famine-stricken Russia.' In February, 1992, when Hoover was Secretary of Commerce, the New York Globe made this editorial comment: 'Bureaucrats centered throughout the Department of Justice, the Department of State and the Department of Commerce for purposes of publicity are carrying on a private war with the Bolshevist Government Washington propaganda has grown to menacing proportions Messrs. Hughes and Hoover and Dougherty will do well to clean their houses before public irritation reaches too high a point. The American people will not long endure a presumptuous bureaucracy which for its own wretched purposes is willing to let millions of innocent people die."

Pages 36-37 of Sayers and Kahn:

https://www.scribd.com/document/239748857/Herbert-Hoovers-Billion-Dollars-in-Russia?ad_group=725X175Xd393bbb985be6bbdd9f1080622142345&campaign=Skimbit%2C+Ltd.&content=10079&irgwc=1&keyword=ft750noi&medium=affiliate&source=impactradius

Vatch , October 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm

In 1919, when the American Relief Administration first offered to help Russia, it's very plausible that they only wanted to help the regions under White control. But the Soviets refused foreign assistance at that time. In 1921, when the famine was worse, the Whites didn't control much outside of portions of Siberia. I think the worst areas of famine were in eastern Ukraine and the nearby parts of Russia. I don't think the Whites controlled any of that territory any longer, but I could be wrong. I think that Hoover's aid helped a lot of people in Soviet areas. And yes, he was anti-communist.

ex-PFC Chuck , October 12, 2017 at 7:18 pm

Also there was considerable sympathy towards Germany among the Latin American elites. Several countries, such as Paraguay and Argentina, would likely have jumped aboard the Axis bandwagon if it began to look like they'd come out on top.

ex-PFC Chuck , October 12, 2017 at 7:40 pm

The percentage of battle deaths incurred by the Germans on the Eastern front was at a minimum 70%, and by some counts over 90%. If Operation Barbarosa had not been launched in 1941 and a truce had held on that front it is unlikely that the Anglo-American alliance could have sustained a a landing on continental Europe in the west. This would have especially been the case if the Germans, instead of putting their chips on Barbarosa, had been able to successfully shut off British use of the Suez Canal, and thus deprive them of ready access to the resources from India and especially the oil from Iran. Given British naval dominance of the Mediterranean, however, this would have been difficult unless they were able to negotiate passage to the Levant by land through Turkey and the Balkans.

Bigfoot , October 13, 2017 at 11:07 am

Jacob Schiff was instrumental in this as he helped raise hundreds of millions for Japan. http://jewishcurrents.org/august-10-jacob-schiff-russo-japanese-war/

Lambert Strether , October 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm

> every country on Earth, since the Civil War, if not before

Every country? Surely not. See This Vast Southern Empire , pre-Civil War. We had designs on "our own" hemisphere, but every country? No.

Vatch , October 12, 2017 at 11:54 am

"Kennan was a psychopath who alternated bouts of aggression to prove himself with bouts of depression over his cowardice."

A little evidence would be nice. This appears to be one of those violations of Naked Capitalism policy: making stuff up.

hemeantwell , October 12, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Agreed. Instead of peddling diagnoses he would do well to stick with the attacking the crudity of Kennan's view of world affairs. Kennan saw the Soviets as akin to "windup toys" that were somehow driven to expand. In this he completely failed to account for the fact that the Soviets were potentially autarchic, while the capitalist West was governed by accumulation imperatives that pushed for market expansion. He doesn't bother himself with the problem but jumps right into rationalizing base construction and an arms race. That Kennan is seen as a kind of geostrategic genius speaks volumes regarding the self-deluded mindlessness of US foreign policy.

Andrew Watts , October 12, 2017 at 4:52 pm

This article sounds more like an angry emotional outburst from Helmer. It wouldn't surprise me if he's one of the people taking a lot of crap in all this Russian propaganda hysteria.

Lambert Strether , October 13, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Kennan certainly suffered from bouts of depression . I have never read a Kennan biography, so I can't vouch for the rest. Perhaps some other reader has.

Vatch , October 14, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Yes, I know about his depression. But the claim that he was a psychopath? That stretches believability. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, John Wayne Gacy, and Ted Bundy were examples of psychopaths. I don't think that George Kennan was like them.

EmilianoZ , October 12, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Russia-phobia is actually 100 years old. Strangely, I haven't seen any commemoration of the centenary of 1917 Revolution. Nobody can deny that it was a world-changing event.

Disturbed Voter , October 12, 2017 at 12:25 pm

The Bolshevik Revolution, that overtook the Kerensky Revolution shocked the world to the core, particularly the Church. It quickly alienated even syndicalists and anarchists, because it developed into a strong centralized state, not the bottom up movement that Lenin found when he entered Petrograd.

The last 4 years of Nato intervention in the Baltics, Poland and the Ukraine have shown that the world has never recovered from that shock. British opposition to Russia goes even deeper, back to the Great Game and the Crimean War. Without Churchill vehemently opposing Russia in general and Stalin in particular would there even be a Nato? History is more about continuity than discontinuity.

justanotherprogressive , October 12, 2017 at 1:33 pm

I'm glad you mentioned Churchill. Since the first Directors of the OSS and the CIA were complete Anglophiles and modeled their collection techniques on Britian's SIS (MI-6) (until, of course, those famous British spies were uncovered), it is not surprising that our first after the war "enemies" were the same as Churchill's enemies

Norb , October 12, 2017 at 2:06 pm

I have a sneaking suspicion that the troubles of the world have such a basic foundation that if they are ever solved, people will look back, marveling at the simplicity of the answers.

Humans have always faced the dilemma of how to organize society. The main sticking points being how to control personal ambition in ones own group and how to get the work done that needs doing- including protecting oneself form ones neighbors who are dealing with the same issues.

Capitalism, and the west in general, seem to turn personal ambition loose. It takes a persons personal confrontation and experience with the universe and makes that the primary motivator for organization. It serves to reward the aggressive while insulating failure as a personal shortcoming, not a flaw in the system. The Catholic religion, which underpins such a system by giving it a spiritual legitimacy. The individual can have a personal relationship with the creator of the universe- with the moderating teaching of caring for the poor to curb excessive personal ambition or too close a connection. That hasn't worked out so well as the poor are with us still and the argument is given that the poor will be with us forever. The Divine right of Kings and all that.

Godless Communists challenged all that and the results still haven't worked themselves out.

Endless wars seem to be an excuse to justify recurring cycles of hate. Love your God, and spite your enemies.

The promise of Socialism is that the tools of science and reason can be used to relieve human suffering and provide for a meaningful life. That vision remains unborn because those sentiments are always snuffed out as quickly as they take hold.

Jeff W , October 12, 2017 at 5:53 pm

I have a sneaking suspicion that the troubles of the world have such a basic foundation that if they are ever solved, people will look back, marveling at the simplicity of the answers.

I have the exact same suspicion. We might, in fact, understand the basic foundation and already have the solutions but, to use your words, they are always snuffed out as quickly as they take hold -- which is itself its own intractable problem.

JTMcPhee , October 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Interesting observation about McCarthyism as a feature of the lower classes. Particularly about what the hate and fear was directed against: bankers, lawyers, Jews, homosexuals, communists One of the big actors in that great national drama was a fella named Roy Cohn, who kind of fell into almost all of those categories (except maybe "communist", though with Cohn, who was also a mob lawyer and buddy of J. Edgar Hoover, who knows?).

And for Trump haters, or those who are trying to "understand" the guy, there's even a great big Cohn Connection, which is fun to read about here: " A mentor in shamelessness: the man who taught Trump the power of publicity
Roy Cohn, the lawyer who embraced infamy during the McCarthy hearings and Rosenberg trial, influenced Donald Trump to turn the tabloids into a soapbox
" , https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/20/roy-cohn-donald-trump-joseph-mccarthy-rosenberg-trial

H.Alexander Ivey ,