Softpanorama
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)

Contents Bulletin Scripting in shell and Perl Network troubleshooting History Humor

In Foreign Events Coverage Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Reporters without conscience: once a nominally left of centre liberal publication became firmly embedded part of the Foreign Office and the US Department of State

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Media-Military-Industrial Complex > Propaganda

News Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Media as a weapon of mass deception US and British media are servants of security apparatus
Edward Licas as agent provocateur Hypocrisy of British elite MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Pussy Riot Provocation and Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?
Lewis Powell Memo Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The Iron Law of Oligarchy Two Party System as Polyarchy American Exceptionalism Anatol Leiven on American Messianism
The importance of controlling the narrative Patterns of Propaganda The Real War on Reality Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"
Diplomacy by deception Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Color revolutions Media-Military-Industrial Complex Manufactured consent What's the Matter with Kansas
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neo-fascism Nation under attack meme Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Bullshit as MSM communication method Big Uncle is Watching You
Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome" Russian Ukrainian Gas wars Nineteen Eighty-Four British hypocrisy
Groupthink Soft propaganda Fighting Russophobia Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

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

Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief

  • Lapdog is easy role, watchdog is hard.
  • Lapdogs are lazy but get fed, watchdogs stand out in the cold, and get kicked.
  • Lapdogs get rich, watchdogs remain poor.
  • Lapdogs eat shit, and watchdogs kick ass.
  • Lapdogs need many masters, watchdogs are their own master.
  • Lapdogs are part of the problem, watchdogs are part of the solution.

@RIP, lapdogs are dismissed even by the asses they kissed, while history remembers watchdogs for the asses they kicked.

Backbutton

10 October 2014 3:46pm

When Gerald Celente branded the American media “presstitutes,” he got it right. The US print and TV media (and NPR) whore for Washington and the corporations. Reporting the real news is their last concern. The presstitutes are a Ministry of Propaganda and Coverup. This is true of the entire Western media, a collection of bought-and-paid-for whores.

by Paul Craig Roberts, June 4, 2013,

A lot of our problems come from the unwillingness of honest people to call out the liars, cranks, wh*res and hacks.

A Brief Theory of Very Serious People — Crooked Timber

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Guardian as a neoliberal propaganda mouthpeace


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[Mar 28, 2017] Economics taught by neo-classical economics is like the Natural Sciences departments being run by creationists

Notable quotes:
"... This has echoes of a protest by students in 2011 at Harvard when a group of students walked out of the lectures by Dr Gregory Manilow. What has happened to them? ..."
"... Good for them. The economics profession has been dominated by neoliberal theoreticians for far too long. It needs bringing back to the real world. ..."
"... i went to the LSE to study maths and statistics with a sprinkling of economics (my first taste of it at the time). after a few months i was of the opinion it is based on terrible assumptions. e.g. the needs of the average consumer, which are then blown up into fantastical macroeconomical proportions which only led to flawed arguments. The subsequent financial crisis only backed this up. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com
RobinS , 25 Oct 2013 5:20

What a ghastly indictment of Manchester, and other economics departments - obviously being very economic with their subject. Sounds a bit like the Natural Sciences departments being run by creationists.

ResponsibleWellbeing , 25 Oct 2013 5:23

This should be the first class for the whole students in economics.
What are the limits in ecology ecosystem? And what are the needs/capacities for human flourishing?

Adventures in New Economics 2: Donut Economics, Kate Raworth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VieEtdcmjtI

This is an open/complex map with a compass in values that I've built trying to go through both main concepts. It's valid for personal development / companies / communities / nations / whole planet.

bit.ly/1775pbV

Jed Bland , 25 Oct 2013 5:36

This has echoes of a protest by students in 2011 at Harvard when a group of students walked out of the lectures by Dr Gregory Manilow. What has happened to them?

I personally have observed in other disciplines that teaching tends to be a generation behind current thinking, Particularly when it has more to do with ideology than science.

Some ten years ago, a movement called the Post-Autistic Ecomoncs Movement had a considerable influence in Europe but has no doubt disappeared in the face of the greed which is central supporting feature of today's neoliberalism.

SteveTen , 25 Oct 2013 5:44

Good for them. The economics profession has been dominated by neoliberal theoreticians for far too long. It needs bringing back to the real world.

skyblueravo , 25 Oct 2013 5:45

i went to the LSE to study maths and statistics with a sprinkling of economics (my first taste of it at the time). after a few months i was of the opinion it is based on terrible assumptions. e.g. the needs of the average consumer, which are then blown up into fantastical macroeconomical proportions which only led to flawed arguments. The subsequent financial crisis only backed this up.

I commend this thinking by the students but if I was one of their parents forking out 27k i would probably tell them to pass the exams they need to and get out and start earning.

LSE is a godawful uni also, unless you have given spawn to gordon gekko dont bother with it.

kongshan , 25 Oct 2013 5:46

Alternative theories and models??? Well they are currently practiced by North Korea and these students will be more than welcomed by the Kim family to ply their trade there.

UnlearningEcon -> kongshan , 25 Oct 2013 7:58

Actually, "alternative theories" were practiced by South Korea, which has been quite a success story. It's not either the status quo or state communism, you know.

[Mar 28, 2017] The robber barons and their useful idiots have certainly achieved what they set out to do.

Mar 28, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com
radicalchange 25 Oct 2013 6:41

For an understanding of how we came to have thrust upon us the "Dismal Science" of neo-classical economics, which took shape in the 1880's - 1890's, I recommend reading "The Corruption of Economics" by Mason Gaffney.

Here is a link to some excerpts from his book,
http://www.politicaleconomy.org/gaffney.htm

Essentially, economic thinking was hijacked by the robber barons who through building and funding universities were able to subvert the teaching of economics to suit their own agenda. Classical economics with a sound basis of three factors of production was replaced by voodhoo economics which reduced the three factors of production to only two. Whereas once "land" was a factor of production in its own right alongside "capital" and "labour", it was magicked away to be incorporated as "capital" for the purpose of the land owning robber barons.

As anyone with a few braincells would know, "land" is a distinct factor of production in its own right, and not only that, it is the primary factor since neither "capital" or "labour" would exist without it. But "land" can exist without both the other two factors which makes it unique and makes it primary and yet voodhoo economics has managed to hide this fact so well through the employment of clever mathematics to create an illusion of being a solid discipline.

http://www.henrygeorge.org/pcontents.htm

Neoclassical economics is the idiom of most economic discourse today. It is the paradigm that bends the twigs of young minds. Then it confines the florescence of older ones, like chicken-wire shaping a topiary. It took form about a hundred years ago, when Henry George and his reform proposals were a clear and present political danger and challenge to the landed and intellectual establishments of the world. Few people realize to what a degree the founders of Neoclassical economics changed the discipline for the express purpose of deflecting George, discomfiting his followers, and frustrating future students seeking to follow his arguments. The stratagem was semantic: to destroy the very words in which he expressed himself.


To most modern readers, probably George seems too minor a figure to have warranted such an extreme reaction. This impression is a measure of the neo-classicals' success: it is what they sought to make of him. It took a generation, but by 1930 they had succeeded in reducing him in the public mind. In the process of succeeding, however, they emasculated the discipline, impoverished economic thought, muddled the minds of countless students, rationalized free-riding by landowners, took dignity from labor, rationalized chronic unemployment, hobbled us with today's counterproductive tax tangle, marginalized the obvious alternative system of public finance, shattered our sense of community, subverted a rising economic democracy for the benefit of rent-takers, and led us into becoming an increasingly nasty and dangerously divided plutocracy.

Not one economics graduate have I met that has heard of Henry George but yet they have all heard of Karl Marx. The robber barons and their useful idiots have certainly achieved what they set out to do.

radicalchange -> radicalchange , 25 Oct 2013 6:45

As clarification the two paragraphs in italics are excerpts from the "Corruption of Economics" by Mason Gaffney. The link to Henry George's "Progress and Poverty" is, http://www.henrygeorge.org/pcontents.htm

[Mar 28, 2017] I taught Economics for forty years and over 30 of those to Singaporean scholars destined to Oxford, Cambridge and Ivy League universities; in all those years I was aware of the lies I had to teach in order to pass university entrance exams.

Notable quotes:
"... Then Economic History was virtually withdrawn from university Economics and other courses so that only the"lies" would be taught backed up by unquestioned (i.e. purely deductive) Mathematics. It is an academic crime ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | profile.theguardian.com
ptah , 25 Oct 2013 7:55

If a viable economic solution emerged from the universities - one which remedied the classical models and trumped the broken neo-liberal systems, how would we recognise it?

To provide some context - and I am in no way qualified to discuss this topic really but, the first machines to produce logic emerging from Bletchley park were not fully recognised for their potential - the computer revolution took place elsewhere. The UK is absolute rubbish at recognising innovation!

Good luck to the students. I hope many more get involved in this debate.

ID2322670 , 25 Oct 2013 8:24

I taught Economics for forty years and over 30 of those to Singaporean scholars destined to Oxford, Cambridge and Ivy League universities; in all those years I was aware of the lies I had to teach in order to pass university entrance exams.

I attempted to follow the thesis that every economic theory however old or new was attempting to answer a unique contemporary economic problem and therefore only Economic History was of relevance in understanding a theory be Adam Smith or Keynes or even (unacademically) Thatcherism.

My students found all such information useless to passing Economics exams but interesting for "life".

Then Economic History was virtually withdrawn from university Economics and other courses so that only the"lies" would be taught backed up by unquestioned (i.e. purely deductive) Mathematics. It is an academic crime.

[Mar 28, 2017] Zombie theories continue on their path of destruction.

Notable quotes:
"... Neoliberal economics not only led to the crash of 2007/8 it is continuing to wreak havoc. A good current example is pension schemes - something we will depend on one day. They are valued using the purest form of free market thinking: the efficient markets hypothesis - the idea that asset markets always perfectly embody all relevant information. It is akin to belief in magic. ..."
"... It is amazing to read how narrow economics education is in modern Britain. It is not only intellectually unenlightened and literally dangerous, given the power many economics graduates can wield, amplified by the extraordinary sums and resources they manage, it also does a great disservice to people who are entitled to a proper education which, clearly, they are not receiving in this monotheistic model. ..."
"... It reminds me precisely of the so-called "religious education" I received in Ireland which was nothing of the sort. All I got was instruction in Catholic doctrine and ethics; there was no instruction in the beliefs of any other Christian sects, let alone what goes on in the other major world religions such as Hinduism, Judaism, or Islam. What I know about them I taught myself in later life. ..."
"... It seems that the same shameful parochial narrowness, intellectual provincialism, and "one true religion" ethic prevails in British economic so-called "education". ..."
"... On another matter, the revelation that economists "ignore empirical evidence that contradicts mainstream theories" destroys any notion that economics is a science, a silly claim I have always opposed. All that it reveals is that economists have no idea what science is. ..."
Mar 28, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com
harrybuttle, 26 Oct 2013 7:25

Neoliberal economics not only led to the crash of 2007/8 it is continuing to wreak havoc. A good current example is pension schemes - something we will depend on one day. They are valued using the purest form of free market thinking: the efficient markets hypothesis - the idea that asset markets always perfectly embody all relevant information. It is akin to belief in magic.

Yet many professionals who run pension schemes and the government regulator all support it's use because it suits them - it deflects responsibility from them while they continue to be paid. It's effects on society are disastrous as it leads us to believe are insolvent. The government and actuarial profession accepted all this and enshrined it in law.

A topical example is the universities pension scheme the USS which BBC Newsnight and Radio 4 have just told us has a 'black hole' of a deficit.

Many of us thought that the EMH would ditched after its spectacular failure but no. Zombie theories continue on their path of destruction.

Josifer , 27 Oct 2013 01:00
It is amazing to read how narrow economics education is in modern Britain. It is not only intellectually unenlightened and literally dangerous, given the power many economics graduates can wield, amplified by the extraordinary sums and resources they manage, it also does a great disservice to people who are entitled to a proper education which, clearly, they are not receiving in this monotheistic model.

It reminds me precisely of the so-called "religious education" I received in Ireland which was nothing of the sort. All I got was instruction in Catholic doctrine and ethics; there was no instruction in the beliefs of any other Christian sects, let alone what goes on in the other major world religions such as Hinduism, Judaism, or Islam. What I know about them I taught myself in later life.

It seems that the same shameful parochial narrowness, intellectual provincialism, and "one true religion" ethic prevails in British economic so-called "education". Intellectuals ought to be utterly ashamed to propagate such blinkered views. Anyone who has never heard of Keynes is culturally illiterate; that an economics student, in particular, has never heard of Keynes is a disgrace.

On another matter, the revelation that economists "ignore empirical evidence that contradicts mainstream theories" destroys any notion that economics is a science, a silly claim I have always opposed. All that it reveals is that economists have no idea what science is.

[Mar 28, 2017] Economics students aim to tear up free-market syllabus

Notable quotes:
"... It was an eye opener that Universities are teaching only the neo-liberal model as the core syllabus. This is not education but indoctrination. Fair play to the group then who were passionate about the need for change and realise that it is up to them to effect that change. Good luck to them, I hope that they are successful in re-claiming education as a means of furthering understanding through questioning prevailing orthodoxy. ..."
"... Good luck. You may need it. You will be surprised at how much opposition you encounter and how remorseless and relentless it is. Look up the book "Political economy now!", about the experience at the University of Sydney. ..."
"... Economics is so discredited a subject that even students who have barley started studying realise that - with a few exceptions like Stiglitz or Schiller - it is total fabricated bullshit paid for by people with enough money to benefit from the lies it spreads. ..."
"... One of the biggest lies ever told the free market, as its never ever been a reality. ..."
"... Economists, like scientists and the rest of us, are always employed by someone and therein lies the problem: the conflict between what we believe to be the truth and what we are paid to do (or teach) to keep our job. Many economists (like investors & politicians) knew the crash would burst at some point but only those who enjoyed a seat outside the system would benefit from its prediction. ..."
Oct 24, 2013 | www.theguardian.com
Few mainstream economists predicted the global financial crash of 2008 and academics have been accused of acting as cheerleaders for the often labyrinthine financial models behind the crisis. Now a growing band of university students are plotting a quiet revolution against orthodox free-market teaching, arguing that alternative ways of thinking have been pushed to the margins.

Economics undergraduates at the University of Manchester have formed the Post-Crash Economics Society , which they hope will be copied by universities across the country. The organisers criticise university courses for doing little to explain why economists failed to warn about the global financial crisis and for having too heavy a focus on training students for City jobs.

A growing number of top economists, such as Ha-Joon Chang, who teaches economics at Cambridge University, are backing the students.

Next month the society plans to publish a manifesto proposing sweeping reforms to the University of Manchester's curriculum, with the hope that other institutions will follow suit.

Joe Earle, a spokesman for the Post-Crash Economics Society and a final-year undergraduate, said academic departments were "ignoring the crisis" and that, by neglecting global developments and critics of the free market such as Keynes and Marx, the study of economics was "in danger of losing its broader relevance".

Chang, who is a reader in the political economy of development at Cambridge, said he agreed with the society's premise. The teaching of economics was increasingly confined to arcane mathematical models, he said. "Students are not even prepared for the commercial world. Few [students] know what is going on in China and how it influences the global economic situation. Even worse, I've met American students who have never heard of Keynes."

In June a network of young economics students, thinkers and writers set up Rethinking Economics , a campaign group to challenge what they say is the predominant narrative in the subject.

Earle said students across Britain were being taught neoclassical economics "as if it was the only theory".

He said: "It is given such a dominant position in our modules that many students aren't even aware that there are other distinct theories out there that question the assumptions, methodologies and conclusions of the economics we are taught."

Multiple-choice and maths questions dominate the first two years of economics degrees, which Earle said meant most students stayed away from modules that required reading and essay-writing, such as history of economic thought. "They think they just don't have the skills required for those sorts of modules and they don't want to jeopardise their degree," he said. "As a consequence, economics students never develop the faculties necessary to critically question, evaluate and compare economic theories, and enter the working world with a false belief about what economics is and a knowledge base limited to neoclassical theory."

In the decade before the 2008 crash, many economists dismissed warnings that property and stock markets were overvalued. They argued that markets were correctly pricing shares, property and exotic derivatives in line with economic models of behaviour. It was only when the US sub-prime mortgage market unravelled that banks realised a collective failure to spot the bubble had wrecked their finances.

In his 2010 documentary Inside Job, Charles Ferguson highlighted how US academics had produced hundreds of reports in support of the types of high-risk trading and debt-fuelled consumption that triggered the crash.

Some leading economists have criticised university economics teaching, among them Paul Krugman, a Nobel prize winner and professor at Princeton university who has attacked the complacency of economics education in the US.

In an article for the New York Times in 2009, Krugman wrote : "As I see it, the economics profession went astray because economists, as a group, mistook beauty, clad in impressive-looking mathematics, for truth."

Adam Posen, head of the Washington-based thinktank the Peterson Institute, said universities ignore empirical evidence that contradicts mainstream theories in favour of "overly technical nonsense".

City economists attacked Joseph Stiglitz, the former World Bank chief economist, and Olivier Blanchard, the current International Monetary Fund chief economist, when they criticised western governments for cutting investment in the wake of the crash.

A Manchester University spokeman said that, as at other university courses around the world, economics teaching at Manchester "focuses on mainstream approaches, reflecting the current state of the discipline". He added: "It is also important for students' career prospects that they have an effective grounding in the core elements of the subject.

"Many students at Manchester study economics in an interdisciplinary context alongside other social sciences, especially philosophy, politics and sociology. Such students gain knowledge of different kinds of approaches to examining social phenomena many modules taught by the department centre on the use of quantitative techniques. These could just as easily be deployed in mainstream or non-mainstream contexts." Since you're here

we've got a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever, but far fewer are paying for it. Advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. And unlike many news organisations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can . So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure.

SmashtheGates , 25 Oct 2013 00:07

Good luck to this group. They are on the right lines.

Post-Autistic Economics has been around for quite a while, now, and has developed into the World Economics Association. Take a look ...........

http://www.worldeconomicsassociation.org/ Reply Share

GreatGrandDad SmashtheGates , 25 Oct 2013 04:02
Good luck to this group. They are on the right lines.
Post-Autistic Economics has been around for quite a while....

and so has CASSE.

I hope these students can insist on For the Common Good (Daly and Cobb 1992) becoming a central text for their course.

The quotations from the 'grand-daddy' of Heterodox (as opposed to Orthodox) Economics, Kenneth Goulding,
will give them plenty of ammunition.

I particularly like: Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist. and
Economists are like computers. They need to have facts punched into them.

But my favourite is Mathematics brought rigor to Economics. Unfortunately, it also brought mortis.

littlepump SmashtheGates , 25 Oct 2013 09:42
@ SmashtheGates 25 October 2013 12:07am . Get cifFix for Firefox .

Good luck to this group. They are on the right lines.

Agreed, but they are fighting an uphill battle. Just look at how few (accademic) heterodox economists actually work in economics departments. I think almost every heterdox economist I know works in an non-economics school/faculty (i.e. schools/facultues of the environment, sustainability, sociology, land use etc).
GreatGrandDad Conrad33 , 25 Oct 2013 04:33
Again the Economists have their heads buried in stats rather than in the trenches.

Nice one, and a neat summary of what the economists had to tell the Queen in answer to her question as to why there was not forewarning of the crash.

Chrisk79 , 25 Oct 2013 00:36
I spoke with some of the Post Crash group at a Peoples Assembly meeting recently. It was an eye opener that Universities are teaching only the neo-liberal model as the core syllabus. This is not education but indoctrination. Fair play to the group then who were passionate about the need for change and realise that it is up to them to effect that change. Good luck to them, I hope that they are successful in re-claiming education as a means of furthering understanding through questioning prevailing orthodoxy.
hamstrung Chrisk79 , 25 Oct 2013 01:53
Well said that man. Very well said. Unquestioning indoctrination has led us (all countries in the world be they active participants or 'victims) to this sorry pass.

Basic economics should include the very basic idea that money is no more and no less than a tool. If you strip money / the tool away from folk then they will either try and take your tool from you or, if life becomes savage enough, they will fall by the wayside.

Does this generation and successive ones really want to walk over the bodies of others?

Without a profound readjustment and realignment of economic thinking, that is precisely what is in store. Indeed, it is what has been set in motion already. Time for an urgent re-think before more bodies litter the highways.

GreatGrandDad hamstrung , 25 Oct 2013 04:40
Time for an urgent re-think...

I heard recently about one man who had had such a re-think.

He was an American financial executive who was asked why he was taking early retirement and going off to live in a little valley in the hills.

He replied: "Well, it is a lovely property with great scenery, fertile land and its own microhydroelectricity-----but the really big attraction is that it puts 300 miles of armed hillbillies between me and the nearest city"!!.

callaspodeaspode GreatGrandDad , 25 Oct 2013 11:28
I do hope the chap in question doesn't end up regretting that he has deliberately placed himself into a situation where there are 300 miles of armed hillbillies between himself and the nearest city.

These things can cut both ways. Reply Share

GazInOz , 25 Oct 2013 02:27
Good luck. You may need it. You will be surprised at how much opposition you encounter and how remorseless and relentless it is. Look up the book "Political economy now!", about the experience at the University of Sydney.

http://purl.library.usyd.edu.au/sup/9781921364051

marukun GazInOz , 25 Oct 2013 05:22
Exactly - the clue is in this statement from the University authorities...

It is also important for students' career prospects that they have an effective grounding in the core elements of the subject.

Or in other words...

Students should be familar with the free market fair tales thrown up by rich, greedy bankers and the right wing in order to earn money pandering the "correct" line

Economics is so discredited a subject that even students who have barley started studying realise that - with a few exceptions like Stiglitz or Schiller - it is total fabricated bullshit paid for by people with enough money to benefit from the lies it spreads.

Paul Flanagan , 25 Oct 2013 02:34
One of the biggest lies ever told the free market, as its never ever been a reality.

Restrictions or prejudices ensure this, so such a philosophy deserves tearing up just like their supporters who believe community and care are bad ideals. They call it socialism but it is far from being a dirty word as it is about looking after all people on a more equal level, so as to ensure the most vulnerable people in society are not left in a helpless and hopeless position.

GreatGrandDad hamstrung , 25 Oct 2013 04:40
Time for an urgent re-think...

I heard recently about one man who had had such a re-think.
He was an American financial executive who was asked why he was taking early retirement and going off to live in a little valley in the hills.
He replied: "Well, it is a lovely property with great scenery, fertile land and its own microhydroelectricity-----but the really big attraction is that it puts 300 miles of armed hillbillies between me and the nearest city"!!.

Squiff811 , 25 Oct 2013 07:28
Thatcherist 'Reaganomics' was their response to the hissy fit Maggie threw at the 'grubby little terrorist' Nelson Mandela when he started to put the kibosh on the elites cash cow of South African apartheid, 4 decades of 'starving the beast' and media complicity in pushing the benefits of supply side while pruning demand to the core by cutting back public investment which is the only source of high velocity currency in a debt based economy where cash is simply printed to commission public gods, services and infrastructure for a civilised society and withdrawn through tax to mitigate inflation.

Only as we approach their ideology of fiscal apartheid do the courtiers perceive that without demand a bleak future awaits everyone but the very few already excessively wealthy.

Nicoise , 25 Oct 2013 07:41
Economists, like scientists and the rest of us, are always employed by someone and therein lies the problem: the conflict between what we believe to be the truth and what we are paid to do (or teach) to keep our job. Many economists (like investors & politicians) knew the crash would burst at some point but only those who enjoyed a seat outside the system would benefit from its prediction.

[Mar 28, 2017] Its hardly surprising were such an unproductive - fiancialised and individualised nation is it? Nor is it surprising that London generally flourishes as one of the most financialised and individualised cities in the world

Mar 28, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com
NottinghamFlorist , 25 Oct 2013 5:10 The 'free' market is as follows...

UK lending by financial institutions, 1997-2012:

36%-40% going to "financial institutions"
51%-52% going to "individuals", i.e. mostly "rich individuals"
5%-9% going to "manufacturing/productive industry".

It's hardly surprising we're such an unproductive - fiancialised and individualised nation is it? Nor is it surprising that London generally "flourishes" as one of the most financialised and individualised cities in the world.

This isn't 'freedom'. It's reaping what we have sowed for the last thirty plus years of neoliberal politics and economics. It's as centrally planned as anything under the Soviet Union, only with capitalist distribution, i.e. it is pure state capitalism, or engineered capitalism, and yet they tell us society cannot be 'engineered', or 'structured', and that this is utopian dreaming. They are the utopian dreamers.

London is the financial arm of the Washington consensus - a part of the EU, and a part of the UK, but barely so - or semi-detached. The City of London from which all financial capital flows is effectively a tax haven, no different to the Channel Islands. It's all a huge political and social mess - exactly what the economic elite want.

[Mar 28, 2017] The crasiness of LUDWIG VON MISES

Mar 28, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com
BobMarsden -> Rafael Neves , 25 Oct 2013 9:57

SOCIALISM An Economic and Sociological Analysis by LUDWIG VON MISES 1951

[p.56, n.1] The term 'Communism' signifies just the same as 'Socialism'.

[p.64] Collectivism is ... the weapon of those who wish to kill mind and thought.

[p.105] It is not marriage which keeps woman inwardly unfree, but the fact that her sexual character demands surrender to a man and that her love for husband and children consumes her best energies. There is no human law to prevent the woman who looks for happiness in a career from renouncing love and marriage. But those who do not renounce them are not left with sufficient strength to master life as a man may master it. It is the fact that sex possesses her whole personality, and not the facts of marriage and family, which enchains woman. To take away a woman's children and put them in an institution is to take away part of her life; and children are deprived of the most far-reaching influences when they are torn from the bosom of the family. The segregated educational institution breeds homosexuality and neurosis. the proposal to treat men and women as radically equal, to regulate sexual intercourse by the State, to put infants into public nursing homes at birth and to ensure that children and parents remain quite unknown to each other ...

[p.119] Without calculation, economic activity is impossible. Since under Socialism economic calculation is impossible, under Socialism there can be no economic activity in our sense of the word.

[p.122] Socialism is the renunciation of rational economy.

[p.124] Economic activity is rational activity. the sphere of economic activity is coterminous with the sphere of rational action.

[p.13] The theory of economic calculation shows that in the socialistic community economic calculation would be impossible.

[p.132] Exchange relations in productive goods can only be established on the basis of private property in the means of production.

[p.134] To prove that economic calculation would be impossible in the socialist community is to prove also that Socialism is impracticable. Every attempt to carry it out will lead to syndicalism or, by some other route, to chaos, which will quickly dissolve the society, based upon the division of labour, into tiny autarkous groups.

[Mar 24, 2017] Measuring nepotism: is it more prevalent in the US than in other countries?

Mar 24, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

By age 30, about 22% of American sons will be working for the same employer at the same time as their fathers. But how does that compare with other countries?

Who's your daddy? Nepotism throughout the world. Data: World Economic forum.

Hi everyone, how are you? If your name is Ivanka (there really aren't that many of you), then maybe you had a great week. Maybe you got a new job with your dad with perks like access to classified information from the US government (chances are much higher if your last name is Trump).

Which brings me to the subject of this week's DIY fact check: nepotism. Let's find out how many Americans get a $110 denim shoe in thanks to their old man. And while we're at it, let's find out whether nepotism is more prevalent in the United States than other countries.

Step 1: Find out how many people get a job with the help of their father. I know, I know, I know – "what about the nepotistic mothers?" I hear you ask (or at least I hope you're asking). Well, being able to influence a company's employment decisions requires power and, for a long time, most women haven't had that kind of power in the workplace. So no historical data, buddy.

I Google "nepotism US data" and get nowhere. So I search for "nepotism statistics" instead (nothing), "nepotism study" (nada) and "nepotism prevalence" (zilch).

After a bunch more dead ends I spot that the Census Bureau is quoted in a number of places,so I add that to my search. I end up with this 2014 research paper. It turns out that I was struggling to find data because the Census Bureau doesn't use the word nepotism. Instead, it titled the paper Fathers, Children, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Employers. Interesting.

The study finds that "fathers and sons work together at the same employer more commonly than would be predicted by mere chance". That chance part is important, not least because when people get caught, they might claim it was coincidence rather than corruption.

According to its analysis of data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, the Census Bureau found that by the time they're 30, about 22% of sons will be working for the same employer at the same time as their fathers (and an extra 6% of sons work for an employer that their dads recently worked for but left).


That's a lot higher than I would have thought, but maybe I had lower expectations of getting help from my dad because I'm a woman. The same study found that only 13% of daughters work at the same place as their dads by the time they're 30 (and an extra 4% work for a former employer of their dads). Lucky Ivanka, eh?

Step 2: Find out if nepotism is more or less common elsewhere in the world. Yet again, I really struggle here – it's almost like governments don't have an interest in publishing data on national nepotism.

I end up finding a PDF floating on the internet. It's just one page, with no date, no sources, but it seems to be exactly what I need: a table of international data titled "impact of nepotism". Now I need to figure out where it came from. After getting nowhere for a while, I do something you should try sometime too: I ask for help.

Remember, the results you see on the internet are often different from what someone else will see because search engines take into account things like your location and web history. So I ask my colleague Jan Diehm to try to search for the title of the table, too – "1.29 impact of nepotism" (please don't send all your research requests to poor Jan – you could ask anyone to repeat your steps and see if they have more luck than you).

She finds something I didn't: the table is mentioned in this research paper, along with a note that it comes from the World Economic Forum's 2006-2007 indicators. That's all the information she needed to be able to track down the original PDF.

There are a couple of things we should keep in mind if we want to figure out how reliable these numbers are. For one thing, they're quite old (it doesn't look like the World Economic Forum still measures nepotism), so things might have changed a lot. When these figures were collected, George W Bush was president and Gmail was only two years old.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this survey doesn't measure nepotism itself, but rather the perception of nepotism among business executives that were surveyed in 110 countries. That's not ideal, but it's understandable given the difficulty of measuring illicit activity accurately.

That said, the list is interesting. It ranks countries on their levels of nepotism from seven (no influence) to one (enormous influence). The US has a score of 4.2, putting it in 63rd place out of 125 countries evaluated, behind Kazakhstan, Egypt and South Africa (to give just a few arbitrary examples) and waaay behind Germany and the UK (to give a few more). The Czech Republic, where Ivanka's mother was born, received the same score as the United States.

I suggest you peruse the list in full, especially if you're thinking about setting up an international business.
The graphic on this article was amended on 24 March 2017 after criticism from readers in the comment thread below. We regret any offense the original version caused.


Would you like to see something fact-checked? Send me your questions! mona.chalabi@theguardian.com / @MonaChalabi

[Mar 23, 2017] James Clapper resigns as US director of national intelligence

Mar 23, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Nov 17, 2016

...Clapper in 2014 played a leading role in firing Flynn from the directorship of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn, a retired US army lieutenant general, became one of the only national security officials of any note to back Trump, and is expected to take a leading role in Trump's administration, reportedly national security adviser.

... ... ...

In March 2013, months before Snowden provided the Guardian and the Washington Post with voluminous NSA data documenting sweeping domestic and international communications dragnets, Clapper had a public colloquy with Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat on the intelligence committee.

Wyden asked Clapper: "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?"

Clapper replied, untruthfully: "No sir," rubbing his head. "Not wittingly."

After Snowden revealed otherwise, Clapper offered a shifting series of explanations for his publicly uttered falsehood. He first said it was the " least untruthful " answer he could provide in an unclassified hearing. Later he said he misunderstood which particular communications collection program Wyden was asking about – despite Wyden's staff alerting Clapper's before the hearing as to the question – and apologized to the committee.

Later still, his lawyer, Robert Litt, would deny that Clapper lied and said the director simply forgot . Litt would also say that Clapper finds open intelligence-committee hearings, a requirement of congressional oversight, as annoying as folding fitted sheets.

Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, called on Clapper to resign for lying to Congress. It was not the first such call: GOP senator Lindsey Graham wanted Clapper's resignation in 2011 after Clapper forecast that the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi would " prevail " over his opposition.

But Obama stuck by his appointee, who struck a highly combative tone over the Snowden disclosures, even implying that journalists publishing them were " accomplices " to Snowden, who has been charged under the Espionage Act. During the departure ceremony for NSA director Keith Alexander in 2014, Clapper mocked "Eddie Snowden" and his admirers.

A just-published profile in Wired magazine will serve as Clapper's final explanation of the episode while in office.

"The popular narrative is that I lied, but I just didn't think of it. Yes, I made a mistake, but I didn't lie. There's a big difference," Clapper told Wired .

"I'm quite sure that will be the first line of my Washington Post obituary. But that's life in the big city."

For years before their famous exchange, Wyden had written numerous letters to Clapper seeking additional disclosure of widespread surveillance, particularly those programs with a domestic reach. He pointed to their history in reacting to Clapper's resignation.

"During Director Clapper's tenure, senior intelligence officials engaged in an deception spree regarding mass surveillance. Top officials, officials who reported to Director Clapper, repeatedly misled the American people and even lied to them," Wyden said.

[Mar 23, 2017] Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here

Notable quotes:
"... I think its best to cast Obama, to use Trotsky' phrase, 'into the dustbin of history' where he belongs, along with the Clintons. He is a footnote and little else ..."
"... Whereas working people & small business owners just want less tax, less people competing with them and a sense that the country they die in is not too different from the one they were born in. ..."
"... Trump got in because of the votes of the stagnated middle income bracket. ..."
"... The traditional elites in the USA have been broken. But neo-liberalism has not. The individuals,-both actors and interests- are in the process of re-alignment. The triumph of Trump shows just how thin is the veneer of the political liberalism that overlays neo-liberalism economy and society. ..."
"... Unless the role of Wall Street, The City of London and the gradual privatisation of economies and societies in favour of global corporations is addressed, talk of an end of neo-liberalism is cynical humbug. ..."
"... Meanwhile, an almost 'traditional' world of pre 1917 capitalist states is re-emerging with states and their proxies killing and destroying in order to control territory and economies. ..."
Mar 23, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
Cornel West

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang.

... ... ...

White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process.

This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees. In short, the abysmal failure of the Democratic party to speak to the arrested mobility and escalating poverty of working people unleashed a hate-filled populism and protectionism that threaten to tear apart the fragile fiber of what is left of US democracy. And since the most explosive fault lines in present-day America are first and foremost racial, then gender, homophobic, ethnic and religious, we gird ourselves for a frightening future.

... ... ...

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.

, toandfro , 17 Nov 2016 22:15
The article is wishful thinking.

It is clear that Trump and his kind are intent on reinforcing the barricades around the wealthy and powerful. With the 'popular' media collapsing into similar partisanship it is equally clear that the masses have no idea of the full extent to which they are being hoodwinked and fleeced.

Neo-liberalism is a return to the exploitative capitalism of the Georgian and Victorian eras, where the self-perpetuating 'money makes money' maxim is the driving force. The only way to break the cycle is to install more civic-minded politicians able to recycle money back to the rest of society. Yet the sheer expense of standing for office eliminates most from the starting gates.

Which means that a key change required (among many) is to put severe campaign spending limits in place.

, Miki Bitsko , 17 Nov 2016 22:09
"The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. "
Probably not. A defining component of Fascism (not the catch-all 'fascism' used by the generally historical and political illiterate) was Statism - that is, a believe in central government intervention in and control of the economy, commerce and society in general.

Perhaps Parkinson would care to detail the Republican Congress' (and Trump's) plans for a change to 'big government' instead of relying on free-market capitalism to largely 'take care' of things in America?

, LoneArranger , 17 Nov 2016 22:08
Blimey, this 'new analysis' concerning the failure of neo-liberal capitalist globalisation is pouring out of the newspapers - and in nearly every country too. Cornel West managed to mention the 'nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness'.
The thing is, there are still people who remember that prior to the frenzy of neo-liberalism, the privatisation of everything, the marketisation of everything not nailed down, and every man and his dog becoming a 'shareholder' and 'investor', there actually was some stability and rational economic normality.
Is it any wonder then, that people hanker after that? It is actually possible to undo some of the excesses, or at least stop them going further. Part of that voice of elitism is the one telling everybody that the clock can't be turned back or that all change is inevitable and irreversible. Easily said when your salary and pension are fat and you're in your twilight years.

In Trump there is merely a narrow political layer above the very same rapacious global financial system West claims has 'crumbled'. They all sit on the same economic ideas more-or-less.

Unfortunately large swathes of the populations are voting in a blind rage or from fear. It reflects badly on the electorate showing a complete dearth of economic knowledge. What else can be expected from 40 years of dumbed-down culture?

, bready , 17 Nov 2016 21:57
Neoliberalism: 19th century Imperialism, profiting from cheap labour propelled manufacturing, staged marketing and elimination of borders and national resistance on confiscated lands.
Neofascism: Fascism under "Neo" names.
Let's not divert ourselves from cold hard facts.
, Jamesj17 , 17 Nov 2016 21:41

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad

And yet his cult lives on. A heroes welcome in Berlin and barely hours after Clinton failed democrats were petitioning for Michelle Obama to stand in the next elections. It's the cult of personality in American politics that is so toxic, it's more like the fairytale of professional wrestling than a search for truth, fairness and justice. No wonder the stay-at-homes cost Clinton the election. People are fed up with the bs.

, Hippolytus , 17 Nov 2016 21:35
Since Washington D.C. has for decades chosen not to conciliate between the right and left political ideologies, but instead to become polarized to either extreme, it has become virtually impossible to govern the U.S. as the American forefathers had imagined at the foundation of the Constitution. Polarization to either extreme is why the pendulum continues to swing from one to the other periodically, and the wisest decision that can be made in any given instant is obviated as a result. If the politicians refuse to conciliate, as is their right and solumn duty to behave, then the people will have to speak to them in the only way possible to get them to understand. The government we get is what we deserve.
, Quetzalcoatl14 , 17 Nov 2016 21:03
Love it. See, Cornell is wise enough to recognize that the Democrat Party and Republican Party had both participated in two great evils: a rapacious and murderous foreign policy, one, and neo-liberal pro-elite economic policies that harmed the working and middle class, regardless of color. He also notes that there also is racism or xenophobia, that Trump masterfully manipulated. However, the Democrats are not off the hook, because as he notes they didn't address the economic plight of most Americans.
, mrsydney21 BrunoForestier , 17 Nov 2016 21:09
Facist - "A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, a capitalist economy subject to stringent governmental controls, violent suppression of the opposition, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism"......Seems like a pretty accurate description of the Trump campaign to me.
, BocRodgers , 17 Nov 2016 20:55

The Bush and Clinton dynasties were destroyed by the media-saturated lure of the pseudo-populist billionaire with narcissist sensibilities and ugly, fascist proclivities.


'Media-saturated lure', what a complete crock, the media were beside themselves at the result, CNN was delaying results because they didn't want to believe them, Trump rounded on the media towards the end and everyone thought he had blown it, but he hadn't, because the people had seen through the paid for, and conflicted media.
, Lester Metta , 17 Nov 2016 20:53
Sadly, I don't think neoliberalism is over, it is just dented. But time will tell. The DNC saying they have a big tent does not tell me that it is over.
, taxmesomemore , 17 Nov 2016 20:47
We are not waving goodbye to neoliberalism.

...we are in danger of further deepening crony capitalism.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/opinion/campaign-stops/donald-trump-crony-capitalist.html

, mmmmmonkey , 17 Nov 2016 20:45
You could not be more wrong that the neoliberal era has ended in the US.
Trump will find himself beholden to the same forces that Obama faced and will quickly lose control as his administration tears itself apart with infighting.

As soon as he is impeached the party elites, their corporate masters and the "liberal" media will produce a sensible centre candidate who will win comfortably by a combination of not being Trump and the thinly veiled anti-white-male rhetoric the establishment have employed throughout the Clinton / Obama years.

Once the establishment have the White House back the Silicon Valley and Wall St grandees will sweep back into their places of influence and they will pursue an even more aggressive neoliberal agenda than before, all the while singling out minority special interest groups for special treatment to maintain the false veneer of inclusiveness so characteristic of the Obama years.

Nothing has changed my child.

, Gungajin , 17 Nov 2016 20:33
It is the neoliberalistic focus on money as a means by its own right that has been priming human beings into becoming more and more isolated, greedy and egocentric. Thus the ground for a fascist takeover has been prepared and history is repeating itself. Apparently, we're unable to learn from earlier mistakes, because this development can only come as a surprise for those who only hear and see what they wish to hear and see.
Countless rational people, experts and laymen alike, have been warning us for this to happen for just as long as neoliberalism has lasted. But once "gold" has been cried out, nothing can stop the rush. We're not any better than those little lemming critters, stampeding towards their untergang.
We're guilty as charged and get what we have asked for. Like always, the weak and innocent will get the worst deal.
, Laura Lovitt Pandapas , 17 Nov 2016 20:32
Can we just put a stop to the notion that somehow Sanders would have slid in to victory. He'd never faced a national battle with the GOP. Ever. And Clinton pulled many a punch so as not to alienate his supporters. But the GOP would have been vicious. Here's a sampling, as reported by Newsweek. I am a little stunned by the naivetι of some progressives. Sanders ran to push Clinton to the left. That's why he ran as a Democrat, and that's why he supported her after he was mathematically out of the race. And that's why he worked so hard to get the Democratic platform to include almost 80% of his policy objectives. He did not intend for his supporters to blow up the entire fucking country and blow all those objectives because they didn't get 100% of what they wanted immediately. He is a savvy politician and was in it for the long game. His supporters blew the long game and potentially any hope for the planet, because now there won't be any action on climate and money will drown our political process further. Nicely done.

http://www.newsweek.com/myths-cost-democrats-presidential-election-521044

"So what would have happened when Sanders hit a real opponent, someone who did not care about alienating the young college voters in his base? I have seen the opposition book assembled by Republicans for Sanders, and it was brutal. The Republicans would have torn him apart. And while Sanders supporters might delude themselves into believing that they could have defended him against all of this, there is a name for politicians who play defense all the time: losers.

"Here are a few tastes of what was in store for Sanders, straight out of the Republican playbook: He thinks rape is A-OK. In 1972, when he was 31, Sanders wrote a fictitious essay in which he described a woman enjoying being raped by three men. Yes, there is an explanation for it-a long, complicated one, just like the one that would make clear why the Clinton emails story was nonsense. And we all know how well that worked out.

"Then there's the fact that Sanders was on unemployment until his mid-30s, and that he stole electricity from a neighbor after failing to pay his bills, and that he co-sponsored a bill to ship Vermont's nuclear waste to a poor Hispanic community in Texas, where it could be dumped. You can just see the words "environmental racist" on Republican billboards. And if you can't, I already did. They were in the Republican opposition research book as a proposal on how to frame the nuclear waste issue.

"Also on the list: Sanders violated campaign finance laws, criticized Clinton for supporting the 1994 crime bill that he voted for, and he voted against the Amber Alert system. His pitch for universal health care would have been used against him too, since it was tried in his home state of Vermont and collapsed due to excessive costs. Worst of all, the Republicans also had video of Sanders at a 1985 rally thrown by the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua where half a million people chanted, "Here, there, everywhere/the Yankee will die,'' while President Daniel Ortega condemned "state terrorism" by America. Sanders said, on camera, supporting the Sandinistas was "patriotic."

"The Republicans had at least four other damning Sanders videos (I don't know what they showed), and the opposition research folder was almost 2-feet thick. (The section calling him a communist with connections to Castro alone would have cost him Florida.) In other words, the belief that Sanders would have walked into the White House based on polls taken before anyone really attacked him is a delusion built on a scaffolding of political ignorance."

, Awayneramsey , 17 Nov 2016 20:17
Wow. A Harvard Graduate and it would seem you know little about the Neoliberal socio-economic policy model. President-elect Donald Trump has made it clear (or not, seeing how he often changes his mind and always allows for 'plausible deniability' e.g. no press allowed) that he will (1) continue to make US government smaller by privatization, in particular, private prisons; (2) deregulation, that is, The Pres.-elect says for each new regulation, two must be eliminated; (3) major tax reform that tends to redistribute wealth and inequality. No doubt you are TOO busy, but do a little superficial research before writing these disarming essays. This makes you look really bad!

, uniqueuserid , 17 Nov 2016 20:16

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism.


Counterpoint: Trump is the last gasp of neoliberalism.

From inception, neoliberalism has not been too far removed from neofacism. It's a set of economic ideals that Obama proved could benefit minorities; but it's most comfortable alongside the protectionism and jingoism of neofacism: in order to survive, the "trickle down" economy has to have something to pull the wealth downwards; and that's harder to achieve when the lower classes are better off. Better (from the perspective of neoliberalism) to create a new underclass of undesirables, and what better way to use everyday markers such as skin colour and religion, and favour the white middle- and upper-middle classes? Not enough? Okay add women into the mix. This in itself creates more impetus for the male middles and lowers to grasp upward. Anything to distinguish themselves from the underclasses, whether legal, criminal, or newly criminalized.

, Ziontrain , 17 Nov 2016 20:10
Cornel is one of the few that dares to speak the truth, but I find this particular piece of though to be maybe be a bit incomplete.

To me Trump is the neoliberal crowd sneaking in through the back door by playing a new card: throw out a blaze of hatred and scapegoating to satisfy the anger of the crowd, but carry on doing exactly what you have been doing.

It's hard to see where the neoliberal age is over. Because Trump is not a populist, but rather a neoliberal in disguise. For example, prime on on his agenda it seems is more tax cuts, trickle down economics, the cult of individualism - and worst of all the privatisation of national infrastructure on a scale that will make post-soviet Russia seem mild!

He might say he isnt for the so called "trade deals", but so what - domestically he is set to roll back environmental regulation, protections that workers enjoy, you name it. So what's the difference if he does it via an internatonal framework or just domestic policy? It's the same result!

The only way Trump is going to be able to do this is the age old tactics of sowing divisiveness. Which he set out in his campaign.

The real issue is how dangerous will be situation be once "white people" realise that they have been duped......AND this guy has already set the hounds of hell loose on the minorities in the country.

This is all set to be a disaster of epic proportions. But lets not confuse this for the end of neoliberalism.


What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success.

On the above - all I can say is "amen", because many of us readers just went through an entire election coverage in which right here, we were treated to a barrage of neoliberal propaganda poorly disguised as gender politics. And the political alternatives were buried and ignored, to the point where it was blatant and embarassing.

So please Cornel, why dont you say this one one more time to the editorial team? Please.

, Gungajin Ziontrain , 17 Nov 2016 20:39
I believe you're wrong about Trump. Neoliberals have a long-term agenda and don't act spontaneously and emotionally like Trump does. TYrump's no neoliberal, he's just a maniac and only cares about himself and his closest family. He will rip off the American people for what it's worth and leave a total mess of everything.
, Ziontrain afurada , 17 Nov 2016 20:56
No, Trump is them. I lived in NYC for years and there is no other way to describe him. He worships money, he has no other values. He believes in markets - rigged ones only. Hates regulations. Rips off the working class.

Why do the existing neoliberal top dogs (Bush clan etc) hate him then? Just that he outflanked them by being willing to throw super explicit hatred and divisiveness around as bait for voters.

But make no mistake he is going to do exactly what they do - which is what he has done all his life.

Anyone who thinks a 70 yr old Riche Rich can suddenly become a "populist" should go to the movies for that fantasy, but shouldnt be allowed to vote.

, afurada Ziontrain , 17 Nov 2016 22:13
In a way, that is what I meant. It is just that, so far, he has not belonged to a 'club' and has gone on his own, money-grabbing way. He seems to reject 'the establishment'. But, from Jan 20th he will not only be apart of the 'establishment', he will be a leading player in it. Not difficult to see where that will end.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/donald-trump-youve-been-trumped-too-anthony-baxter-golf-aberdeenshire-documentary-mollie-michael-a7383311.html

, Harvey Diggs , 17 Nov 2016 19:59
Donald Trump is an elite who fed lie after lie to the so called 'working class' public and they ate it like starving dogs. Trump will destroy consumer protection groups, he will gut regulation on Wall St, he will manipulate government institutions so his private companies will benefit....and you allowed this to happen because you felt he wasn't a 'typical' politician. The working class voter will pay dearly over the next 4 years.
, Kay Urlich , 17 Nov 2016 19:59
It had to happen, read 'Is Humanity Suffering Testosterone Overload.' Neoliberalism is only one part of the problem.... denial of Basic Living Income? Sexism? Racism? they all come under the same umbrella of being manipulated by what can only be describes as 'Warlord' mentality that has been around for thousands of years... it's the mindset that must be changed
, jelliott johan1974 , 17 Nov 2016 20:16
"Fascism" is not very well defined tbh, but there are plenty of people that tick those boxes that aren't fascist. Maggie Thatcher was not technically fascist. And perhaps he was right to denounce the media because as wikileaks now tells us (and in fact Donna Brazile tells us openly) they were colluding pretty heavily with the democrats. If they hadn't been they wouldn't have published those ridiculously biased (democrats oversampled by 10%) polls and fooled themselves.
, jockeylad , 17 Nov 2016 19:44
Trump in the Whitehouse & the UK leaving the EU represent a big kick in the balls from all those that feel left behind/marginalised/had their legitimate concerns ignored by the - for want of a better word - establishment. All those who were doing well out of the status quo - actually, strike that, they were making out like fucking bandits - are now going to have to deal with a new set of variables, a situation that they hate.

The Remain campaign labelled anyone concerned about where the EU was headed as racist without even trying to engage with them - for what it's worth I voted to remain & try to reform from the inside - & reaped the whirlwind for their arrogance. Hilary Clinton's message was loud & clear - more of the same old tired shit, things will carry on getting shittier for all you peasants but all of my friends in big business will be fine, but on the bright side I've got ovaries y'all. America rejected the bullshit & said here, deal with this idiot for four years, have some of our uncertainty - we have nothing to lose. The sad thing is that whilst the Donald is gone in four years time a Supreme Court - that's where the real power in the US lies - packed out with Nazis will last for a very long time - & they can make your beloved constitution say anything they damn well please.

Sleep well in the (People are waking up to the fact that having nothing equals having nothing left to lose - may we all live in interesting times) fire.

, gunnerbull123 , 17 Nov 2016 19:34
Why the pussy footing around? For neo-liberalism read capitalism. When did Nixon go to China - 1973? In order to open a source of cheap labour for US and other western companies.
From there on it was inevitable that the Chinese would seize the opportunity for themselves and turn it full circle. So don't blame the Chinese. It's a 40 year orgy of more for less, spawned by global corps. that have no loyalty other than to themselves.
, leonotus , 17 Nov 2016 19:33
The author's analysis is deeply flawed. The exit polls show that people who earn less than $50,000/year voted in a solid majority for Clinton. It was people who earn $50,000-$100,000/year that voted overwhelmingly for Trump. Hardly a cry of help and a rejection of neoliberalism from the "dispossessed" classes. The whole trope about Trump's campaign being the voice of the "poor, bigoted, uneducated white voter" was simply a propaganda narrative designed to scare and mobilize black and brown voters to support Clinton. According to Nate Silver at 538.com, the average trump supporter earn $72,000/ year vs. the median income of $54,000/year. 44% of Trump supporters have a college degree, vs. 29% for the population as a whole.

I think a lot of people who voted for Trump were tired of the strategy of the Democrats to separate and polarize people based on a ruthless strategy of divisive identity politics. Even 30% of Hispanics voted for Trump -- I guess they didn't get the message that they should be afraid, and instead responded to Trump's core message -- economic empowerment for all Americans, based on ambition and merit. Maybe the leftist strategy of cultivating racial and class resentments is not so powerful as they had hoped.

, zii000 , 17 Nov 2016 19:00
I doubt if neoliberalism has reached the critical threshold yet. Businesses will continue to dominate behind the scenes through their indirect ownership of Congress so if neoliberal policies suit them (and they mostly do), then neoliberalism it is.
I think 2020 will be the critical year after 4 years of Trump (if he survives the full term which is a huge If). Then we might see some sweeping changes as the US electorate wakes up to the reality of what they have done.
, Lafcadio1944 , 17 Nov 2016 18:54
I believe fully in what my brother says, yet there is more to this story.

In this bleak moment, we must inspire each other driven by a democratic soulcraft of integrity, courage, empathy and a mature sense of history – even as it seems our democracy is slipping away.

We must, having "a mature sense of history" along with courage rejoice in the positive results of the end of Neoliberalism. GONE are TPP and TTIP - this is a great cause for progressives to celebrate. Rapprochement with Russia and the possible reshaping of the geopolitical post war arrangements, the end of "The New American Century" project of aggression and empire and a possible new view to cooperation.

These things are happening, there will be jobs programs and all sorts of positive initiatives.

The courage we need now is to work with an insurgent movement with tens of millions of supporters to try and shape new policies, not "fight" the insurgency but fight to fully kill of Neoliberalism.

The courage is in the cooperation with ugly people and swallowing your pride in favor of helping the people who have been so deeply betrayed. There is no left or right now there is only the insurgency or the Neoliberal establishment and corporate rule the end of democracy lies there, not in the insurgency - take your pick.

, BabylonianSheDevil03 Laura Lovitt Pandapas , 17 Nov 2016 18:57
Please read this -
http://www.combatingglobalization.com/articles/Neoliberal_Labor_Strategy.html
, chimesblues federalexpress , 17 Nov 2016 18:55
"Fascism - a form of radical authoritarian nationalism ..."

From my perspective Trump ticks the boxes.

, BabylonianSheDevil03 , 17 Nov 2016 18:24
Good piece.
Neoliberalism is expiring, due to people who sleep walked into a neoliberal era, starting with Thatcher and Reagan, waking up and smelling the BS. There is no 'trickle down', only a 'trickle up' of money to a ruling elite already fattened by privilege, and governments all sing from the same neoliberal hymn sheet, with global corporations calling the tune.
There has been no choice at the ballot box, no chance for ordinary people to vote for change, because governments no longer represent the people, they stopped doing that decades ago, now they represent the interests of the ruling elite/global corporations. Every few years political parties pretend to care about issues that affect all of us, then after being elected promptly turn their backs and do sod all for the people.
Something had to give.
Of course a few short years ago many would have put good money on a people's revolution being left-wing, nobody would have predicted that it would be far right wing. And of course this is now the difficulty, for though far right wing leaders have been quick to capitalise on people's fears and insecurities, promising an end to the neoliberal era, what we are in danger of doing is jumping out of the frying pan into the fire, with easy/lazy promises made by the likes of Trump/Farage/Le Pen, who simply say what many disillusioned people want to hear.
But delivering on those promises is not going to happen, and when it doesn't they will simply blame the scapegoats they have already tied to the back of their band wagon, to be mercilessly dragged along, immigrants/Muslims/Mexicans/women/Jews and sadly a lot of angry people who want a scapegoat will resort to hate crimes.
Sanders was offering a humane counter narrative, so is Corbyn, and if people don't want a repeat of what is happening in the US over here, then he is the only alternative, and scoff all you like but whilst doing so remember your options here, a counter narrative that offers a fairer, kinder politics, or one that offers the diametric opposite to this.
For me it is a no-brainer.
, Moo McMoo BabylonianSheDevil03 , 17 Nov 2016 19:24
I agree with you here minus the Sanders bit. Sanders was a nice old grandpa but a policy wonk he didn't make. Sanders was very much out of his depth and was essentially a nicer Trump. He would not have won and would be as ineffective as Trump will be.

, chaosmostly , 17 Nov 2016 18:24
"Neo-fascism" amounts to lazy thinking. It does disservice to history and the people who suffered under real fascism.
Where are Trump's blackshirts or SA?
Where are the political assassinations and street beatings of leftists by party-organized paramilitary units?
People are exercising their First Amendment rights, freely assembling and protesting without violent reprisals.
"Neo-fascism" is hyperbolic blather.
With overreaching rhetoric, West writes of how "we must;"--and how we must with "justice" and "truth telling."
He even invokes the magic name of Dr. Martin Luther King; a serious guy who can be counted on to sanctify any argument in the cloak of transcendental solemnity.
Here's his main assumption though:
West says that a "lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees."
Is that true?
Might it be that economic insecurity brought neoliberalism to its knees, despite cultural scapegoating?
Could it be that a lot of the people who voted for Trump see through the rhetoric, lies, inflammatory speech and overheated moralizing that lately pass for news, commentary and political discourse?
And, after careful consideration, they voted for economic policies that might improve their lives, rather than simply settling for more of the same.
Trump's policies might improve their lives.
Then again, they might not.
Clinton's certainly would not.
So is voting for Trump a knee-jerk reaction to fearful uncertainty--or a rational decision made by people who see through the seemingly all-pervasive rhetorical B.S.?
Maybe people aren't as dumb as mass media believes they are.
Something to consider.
, AQuietNight , 17 Nov 2016 17:47
"Trump's neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do."

This line goes down well with the Hollywood & Silicon Valley party circuit set.

Trump has shown he's pretty flexible. He's showing it now as early word indicates he is tempering his policies. So, all you worried snowflakes and oppressed maybe fretting for nothing or at best, very little.

, colinius , 17 Nov 2016 17:42
NeoLiberalism was the brainchild of economists Friedrich Hayak and Milton Friedman.It was picked up by Reagan in the US (Reaganomics) and Thatcher in the UK,as well as others.
Simply put it means deregulation of big banks and corperations to give them virtually unfettered power to do as they like.They did.It is the basis of the so-called theory of 'trickle- down'.
Basically 'trickle-down' believes that if the rich get richer a proportion of that wealth trickles down to everyone else. It was just a theory. It was wrong,as we now well know. The rich just sat on the money and much of it just ended up in tax havens.
As the corperations reached out for ever increasing profits they then started to 'globalise',a nice term for saying that you will lose your job and we will emigrate it abroad. This put pressure on the jobs market and depressed pay all over the West.
The USA had the opportunity to hit back at this with it's recent election and the UK with Brexit. The people did so.
However,the USA has now voted in an even more right-wing government and the UK has changed the face of it's government but not the substance and it has also taken a further lurch to the right.
Hence,NeoFacism.
The NeoLiberalists are still there,in power.
So,we now have NeoLiberalism joined with NeoFacism.
I'll leave to come to your own conclusions about the future.
, Densher colinius , 17 Nov 2016 17:59
Hayek write a pamphlet called 'Why I am not a Conservative' and would be appalled at the extent to which capitalism has been taken over by the state rather than by markets operating without state regulation, in domestic and international terms. Liberalism and its neophytes has a long way to go realise the dreams of its free market apostles. Reply Share
, Mickglover colinius , 17 Nov 2016 18:07
Trickle down seemed to work for a while post WW2, but with Thatcher all that was destroyed. Social policy needs State intervention and certain elements of society should be enshrined and not left to the cleverness of the ballot box tricks. Housing, education, health/welfare and public transport should all be kept out of the whims of new free market.
ideas

, skipissatan Densher , 17 Nov 2016 18:44
Hayek didn't realise that the logical result of his economics was oligarchy and a client state. The Conservative party aren't conservatives either, but very much neoliberal.
, zendancer , 17 Nov 2016 17:27
Funny thing is during the last 8 years of Obama in office as President ,the Clintons via their "Foundation " has made themselves very ,very rich .Meanwhile ISIS is supported by Obama and the reputation of USA is dragged through the "mud", as the World wonders why a the leader of the Western World in backing a "bunch of thugs who kill civilians ,act like they own the World.The whole of the Middle East was about to break into a "Sunni v Shia bloodbath over Syria and Irag ,until Russia decided the "game was over " and stopped Isis in it's tracks .

Neoliberalism is now shown up to be a "rich get richer and stuff everyone else : modus operandi,great for California (weapons and computer based systems ) and "Manhattan " where the Bankers and Federal Reserve broke all the rules as the National debt went up by 8 trillion US dollars under Obama (ex federal Reserve chief of 1990's joked a few years ago "When i ran the Fed . we never mentioned the "trillion " word when talking about the National Debt but ,now i can talk about 16 trillion dollar debt !What a laugh !"

Let us hope that Neoliberalism is now "dead and buried " ,the Clinton's and their Middle East autocratic backers (who must know they are soon to be history -take you pick -Saudi Arabia has trouble fighting Yemen and now Yemen is in Saudi Arabia ,because the Saudi's cannot fight .Forget Sanders ,too old and "did he take a backhander to go away ?.Trump does not want to be President ,he has said many times "i am not a politician " he should have said "i am your local builder ,who was hired to save you house /country after years of neglect finally brought the survival of the house to the tipping point of no return.Personally i cannot wait for the "ex Playboy centrefold ,who has a masters degree in economics ,is married to a leading surgeon ,father was a General in Vietnam war,mother runs one of the biggest charities in the West .She cam also waltz.tango,salsa and plays many musical instruments.She wants to run for President because God told her to,she has friends of every ethnic group in USA.Only joking Hilary was probably the female candidate for President - we will never know =the rest of the women who might have run could not afford the "price tag " on the Presidency set by Neoliberals who wanted one of their own elite as President .

, lochinverboy , 17 Nov 2016 17:26
Excellent article. Neo liberalism is unfettered capitalism embraced in it's truest form in Britain and the US. The social democracies of Europe harness the wealth created and invest in their societies far better than both. Emasculated unions, sell off of assets, privatising as much as possible and ignoring fiscal misbehaviour of banks and tax avoiders. Im sure the most extreme right wing President ever with his backers, Breibart, Farage, the KKK and Pen will gallop to the rescue of the ordinary US citizen!!!
, RecantedYank , 17 Nov 2016 17:20
Here are a few facts:
Democrats went along with Bush (and Hillary is no better) when it came to fighting wars...presumably because we (our Dem politicians) get just as much a chunk of cash from the military industrial sector as do the Republicans, and they saw the ka-ching very quickly.
We adopted a Republican(!!) Romney health care plan as the rebranded ACA, which allowed the further flow of unlimited greed in our health/medical care system, and unsurprisingly, soon started to leak like a sieve! (Of course, insurance, pharma, and the health care giant conglomerates are making money hand over fist)
Obama and Hillary backing Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court, the one man who came out and said publicly he would not vote to overturn Citizen's United, which allows the rich and corporations to flood our political system and thus our policies with money and influence.
Obama willing, unbidden, to put social security on the line...something republicans and Wall Street always wanted.
When it came to repealing Glass Steagall, ONLY 50 Dems had the backbone to vote "no"...because the others (almost entirely the Clinton neoliberal wing of the party) decided to collude with the republicans , who were unanimously in favour, with Wall Street.

The Clintonite neoliberal wing of the party would like you to believe that those who are highly suspicious of them (and rightly so) are either racist, misogynist or both.
Actually..quite a lot of us (particularly those of us who are serious about such issues) despise the way the Clinton wing of the party use these issues as a smokescreen to hide the fact that when it comes to selling everyone out, they are right up there with the republicans.
Although I am sure there are some racists out there, and some misogynists, I don't think the vast majority of those who hesitated to pull a lever for Hillary were. I think they were simply people who, while realizing that women and blacks were getting a raw deal, also realized that they would not be getting any part of a deal...and because they had been forgotten so long, quite a few of them voted for Trump.

I don't for a moment believe that Trump is any better than Clinton, but I do very much "get" where many of them are coming from. The distrust of Hillary over things like Benghazi, emails and the like was only the superficial exo-skin of a growing distrust of the Democrats going lockstep with the republicans when it came to toadying to Wall Street and corporations.

, Nancy M Ruff RecantedYank , 17 Nov 2016 17:41
Well the good news is that Wall Street is celebrating because it foresees regulations being removed completely. Good luck everyone!
, aldebaranredstar RecantedYank , 17 Nov 2016 17:55
"a growing distrust of the Democrats going lockstep with the republicans when it came to toadying to Wall Street and corporations." Agree. The Dems and Repubs became the uni-party blob on some key issues. Plus, they could come up with no new ideas for the problems that confront USA and the world--immigration, global warming, poverty. Obama did not even SAY the words "climate change" until after his re-election in 2012. That's how much Dems wanted to talk about the issue--they did not. Hence, we get all the people in USA in denial because no one bothered to talk about it, even with the bully pulpit.
, Michronics42 , 17 Nov 2016 17:17
The Guardian must employ more truth tellers like Cornel West, Thomas Frank, Robert Reich, Thomas Piketty and etcetera to regain legitimacy in the political arena, not self-serving sycophants.

And is it a wonder West and POTUS despised one another?

As for the frightening spectre of Trump's neofacist administration and the horrors it will most certainly unleash, we must "Rise like Lions from slumber in unvanquishable number"(Percy Bysshe Shelley: The Masque of Anarchy, 1819).

, EpicHawk , 17 Nov 2016 17:06
American neoliberalism can only be on its way out if US looks for Europe to teach the alternative. Bring back industries? How exactly, when all your businesses only care about cheap labour. I just can't imagine America favouring a different society. Their whole culture would have to change. Everything they do just reeks of inequality and competition to me. Not to mention the cities are ugly and all infrastructure and planning is centred around cars. To be honest the whole country is a mess.

, DrScepticus , 17 Nov 2016 17:05
Such interesting strands here in West's argument to untangle and examine. Fascism, neo-fascism: what do these terms mean? Most definitions zero in on "authoritarianism" and "nationalism." Trump's certainly a nationalist, but of course it's possible to nationalist and not a fascist. Trump also has also displayed some authoritarian symptoms: suggesting that opponents at rallies be beaten and that libel laws be changed to tamp down criticism directed against him. Yet, so far, this mostly seems to be bluster. Also, can a person be a fascist if he is bound by, and respects the rules of, constitutional democracy, as Trump certainly does (at least so far)? For these reasons, I don't see Trump as a fascist. A racist, yes, undoubtedly. Emotionally unstable, almost certainly. Fascist? I don't think so. West also includes all of the touchstones of identity politics: grievances of blacks, Mexican immigrants, gays, Jews, etc. Which is ironic because another group has just appropriated identity politics with a vengeance: working white people. So what is it, Cornell, Do you approve of identity politics, or don't you? Far better to my mind to think in terms of class, and the unfairness of the current system as seen through class privileges, than to linger on the divisive and losing concept of ethnic/racial/gender identity.
, Ian Potts , 17 Nov 2016 16:58
People forget, as this writer does, that fascism is not *just* about race, but about the idea of a strong nation too. And that doesn't just include a strong military, but strong infrastructure and strong domestic industries too. Yes, Trump won over the bigots and the racists, but that isn't why he won. It's an awful truth, but most bigots and racists will have voted Republican anyway. He won because he gave hope to enough people in devastated economic areas that they were willing to put aside all the hatred and crap from Trump because they either didn't have jobs, or they were in the middle classes who were in fear of losing their jobs.
, soundofthesuburbs , 17 Nov 2016 16:54
Today's collapse was due to the introduction of an ideology put forward by Milton Freidman.

Economic liberalism / neoliberalism

From its first trial in Chile it could be seen that it enriched the few and impoverished the many.

It was never going to work in democracies.

Everyone started to notice this economics of the 1%.

It was never going to work in democracies.

"There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning." Warren Buffett

How many people are in your class Warren?

It was never going to work in democracies.

It never did work in democracies and it was obvious from its first trial that this would be the case.

The Washington Consensus was a lesson in abject stupidity and its consequences have played out in the way that anyone with two brain cells to rub together would have expected.

, soundofthesuburbs soundofthesuburbs , 17 Nov 2016 16:58
What was the economics behind neoliberalism?
Neoclassical economics

When was it last used?
The 1920s

1920s/2000s - high inequality, high banker pay, low regulation, low taxes for the wealthy, robber barons (CEOs), reckless bankers, globalisation phase

1929/2008 - Wall Street crash

1930s/2010s - Global recession, currency wars, rising nationalism and extremism

Fascism rising now there's a surprise for anyone with less than two brain cells.

, Austin Young , 17 Nov 2016 16:53
And the neoliberal talking heads of the guardian and New York Times and Washington post are going to go down with him. This article gives me hope that the guardian might change but I'm not going to hold my breath.
, Harvey Diggs Austin Young , 17 Nov 2016 17:01
This is an op-ed by Cornell West it doesn't necessarily represent the perspective of the Guardian.
, hadeze242 , 17 Nov 2016 16:33
America and Russia/Assad carry out the bombing runs, yet the Syrian refugee families running from drones, cruise missiles, laser targeted bunker-busters, barrel bombs, chemical weaponry (employed by Assad) where do they go? Treck across hostile borders heading north, many to Germany.

A strange equation: the 2 countries basically responsible for the chaos and tragedy in Syria treat Syrian refugees as possible terrorists. Obama's 8 yrs are a disaster. Putin? Well, Putin could not care less for Syrian refugees. Russia has not taken in a single refugee family. This crooked formula has gone on throughout Obama's presidency. Could Obama and Putin have done worse? Not possible.

, JustARefugee hadeze242 , 17 Nov 2016 17:55
Russia had over 100.000 ex russian people/familes living in Syria, many of which have left Syria and gone to the country Russia which you state has not taken any refugees.

It does not matter where they are - it is OUR shame that never before have so many people been displaced due to wars. It is sickening.

, modernangel99 bananakingdom , 17 Nov 2016 16:40
"The financial elite and oligarchs despise democracy since they know that neoliberalism is the antithesis of real democracy because it feeds on inequality; it feeds on privilege, it feeds on massive divisiveness, and it revels in producing a theater of cruelty. All you have to do is look at the way it enshrines a kind of rabid individualism. It believes that privatization is the essence of all relationships. It works very hard to eliminate any investment in public values, in public trust. It believes that democracy is something that doesn't work, and we hear and see this increasingly from the bankers, anti-public intellectuals and other cheerleaders for neoliberal policies." ~ Henry Giroux

Neoliberalism is the defining political economic paradigm of our time - it refers to the policies and processes whereby a relative handful of private interests are permitted to control as much as possible of social life in order to maximize their personal profit.

Associated initially with Reagan and Thatcher, for the past four decades neoliberalism has been the dominant global political economic trend adopted by political parties of the center and much of the traditional left as well as the right. These parties and the policies they enact represent the immediate interests of extremely wealthy investors and less than one thousand large corporations.

- Robert W. McChesney, Harvard Educational Review

"I said in my previous article about "economic fascism"... you have a system where the government supports the interests of "big business" at the expense of everyone else, especially the "left wing" interests, such as the unions and employee rights in general.

Given this lifeboat by the government, this system encourages inefficiency, irresponsibility and corruption in those corporations themselves, which are necessarily economically supported by the government when the need arises. In other words, you have a system where profit is private, and debt is public - the corporations take the profits, and the government (the taxpayer) absorbs corporate losses.

This system reinforces a corporate oligarchy that is economically supported by the government; the taxpayers/electorate can do little about this if the major parties in the country all support this system. Corporate sponsorship of those parties also encourages political patronage, as do the necessary "connections" (another form of corruption) that political parties need from corporations in order to gain financial support." ~ Lee Daniel Hughes

"A lethal parasite has infected the brains of politicians and economists all over the world. It is so invasive that it has defeated all attempts to control or eradicate it since its emergence decades ago, and we are still far from having an effective vaccine or way to prevent its transmission.

The virus, known by its species name Neoliberalism Economicus (in lay terms, it is just called Neoliberalism), indiscriminately latches onto the brains of both liberals and conservatives. It turns social consciousness into ego-centrism, cooperation into unconscious greed, and it only gets worse as it mutates and spreads."

"To allow the market mechanism to be the sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment ...would result in the demolition of society." ~ Karl Polanyi, 1944

"In 1945 or 1950 if you had seriously proposed any of the ideas and policies in today's standard neo-liberal toolkit, you would have been laughed off the stage or sent off to the insane asylum." ~ Susan George, political scientist

Do not confuse the economic - oikos nomia - the norms of running home and community with chrematistics - krema atos - the accumulation of money. ~ Aristotle

, MotoringJourno bananakingdom , 17 Nov 2016 17:01
'Neo' - revival of/return to.
'Liberalism' - the pre-regulation economics of the height of the Industrial Revolution.

More accurately referred to as Monetarism - an extremist political ideology completely geared towards and absorbed by the making of money above all else. Even its adherents refer to it thus, so it's not a perjorative term.

Key policies:

- The deliberate maintenance of a pool of unemployment to drive down wages through insecurity and oversupply of labour.

- Privatisation of as many public services as is practicable, the reduction of the state into what's known as the 'nightwatchman state' - minimal, merely there to oversee and step in if anything goes really badly wrong.

- Social doctrine of 'Individualism' to combat 'Collectivism'. Promulgation of the notion that if anything goes wrong in your life chances are it's your fault. Denial of the existence of a supportive, co-operative society. Encouragement of Social Darwinistic theories that paint selfishness, greed and suspicion as natural 'animal' characteristics to be accepted at the very least, and positively encouraged. This sense that it's all 'natural' reinforces a dialogue that monetarism is some immovable, age-old doctrine that can never and should never change.

- The legislating into irrelevance of Trade Unions and any group that promoted collectivism and organised labour, as being fundamentally contrary to the doctrine of individualism.

- Promotion of 'traditional values' focused on family, thrift and home ownership to reinforce the notion of the family unit, rather than society or 'community' at large, as the bedrock of supportiveness. Hence an encouragement of nuclear family structures, an opposition to things like gay marriage, gay adoption and single parents to the point of demonisation through the tax system, and an inherent suspicion of the world outside of the walls of the family home (paedophiles, terrorists, safety fears etc).

- Competition, rather than co-operation as the underpinning ethos in life. Relaxation of credit availability and the encouragement of a debt-fuelled, comparative, competitive consumerism in society. Accusations of 'envy' and 'jealousy' get written into the popular narrative if anyone questions it. A sense put about that you can measure one's 'success' in life via the acquisition of various things bought from a recognisable, marketed 'menu'.

Yes, I know it's not 'that' concise, but I think I've been to the point.

, MabLlechIdris , 17 Nov 2016 16:24
I can't get my head around this article as I no longer know what 'neoliberalism' is. OK it has changed its meaning several times since it was first coined in the 1930s but I thought it had settled down as describing the economic policies advocated by Hayek and Friedman including primacy of the market and a minimalist state (as far as the economy is concerned). I think we can expect more of that with the Republicans in control of the Presidency, the House and the senate.

, MotoringJourno ExtraordinaryLadder , 17 Nov 2016 17:10
Trump's an odd one (understatement of the year). His traditionalist-conservative social outlook is very neoliberal, taken to extremes in fact. However, the economics he's suggesting are far from neoliberal, as he's talking about massively increasing state infrastructure spending, erecting protectionist tariff barriers and safeguarding American manufacturing jobs even when a neoliberal would claim it wasn't 'economically efficient' to do so.

What Trump is, is an extremist conservative nationalist. Or to put it another way, a fascist in the very definition of the term. Comparisons to Hitler are way off-kilter, but he is remarkably similar to Mussolini.

, Mark_MK , 17 Nov 2016 16:19
"a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness."
I don't think this is true - the past of America actually was, in material terms at least, great.
After WW2 American manufacuring capacity was rather more than the rest of the world combined. In the 1950s Americans were living in homes with washing machines, refrigerators and all manner of other goods which for most Europeans at that time were out-and-out luxuries. In the 1960s they were developing technology far ahead of most other countries (leading to putting a man on the moon in 1969) - look at the films, the aircraft and the cars of that era.
But gradually other countries caught up, using a combination of developing education snd skills, increasing quality and high technology. Gradually America's dominance was reduced - now Toyota is worth ten times what GM is worth, Samsung and others make good mobile phones and everybody makes PCs to the point where they are commodity items. As the manufacturing jobs were exported to countries with lower labour costs, many of the jobs that had given Americans high pay in the 1960s and 1970s disappeared.
So there is, in my view, some substance to the idea that Americans now can look back to a golden age of greatness that their parents and grandparents had. And so it is not surprising that they are disatisfied with their lot now...
, Danny Sheahan , 17 Nov 2016 16:12
It was over ripe for ending.

The Democrats chose a candidate that was very much part of it.

The Republicans ended up with a candidate who marketed himself as an outsider, much to the chagrin of the party leadership.

Neo-liberalism had to end, that is a good thing, it is a pity that someone like Trump is the one who did something about it. All he had to do was engage with a lot of voters, people that have been ignored for decades, despised and looked down upon.

A few batty and nasty statements and the Guardian types o America railed against them, as was his hope.

It meant a lot of voters looked at those people, who have not time or concern for them and they voted accordingly. They took a small chance on someone who listened to them and promised to shake things up, it is a small chance for them but a chance and it annoys the righteous who look down on them.

The left as just the Fabian Society has no future.

Chose to have a future and chose to take this as the wake up call it is.

, DuBois , 17 Nov 2016 16:12
I think its best to cast Obama, to use Trotsky' phrase, 'into the dustbin of history' where he belongs, along with the Clintons. He is a footnote and little else , historically the first African-American President. Though some will take offense, I await the first Black American president (might be Michelle ironically). The battle is afoot, that one against neo-fascism unwittingly (and I am being kind) unleashed by Brexit, and by the Dems when they sabotaged Sanders. They are already rebelling in the streets of America, the millennials who are protesting both neo-liberalism and neo-fascism
, direwolf7 , 17 Nov 2016 15:57
Trump's election was a reaction to neoliberalism but it is not so clear what he intends to do about it. Increasing inequality and decreasing opportunities are becoming a fact of life for a lot of people in both the US and the U.K. How this all plays out should make for Interesting Times.
, lostinmidwest direwolf7 , 17 Nov 2016 16:11
What's your definition of neoliberalism?

With Republican majorities in both Houses and an ostensible Republican president elect, that would seem to be an overwhelming vote for neoliberalism, wouldn't it? After all, Republicans are about laissez-faire economics and privatization of the public sector.

, Tamerza , 17 Nov 2016 15:44
I'd bet good money that things are going to change a lot less than this author thinks.

Trump's bluster is actually an expression of the very US exceptionalism that sustains the neoliberal order - there cannot be US military and economic hegemony without the neoliberal order. Neoliberalism IS US global hegemony.

, AngrySkeptic Tamerza , 17 Nov 2016 15:58

US military and economic hegemony

These were entrenched in place well before the world was subjected to the policies of Reagan and Thatcher. Reply Share

, Tamerza AngrySkeptic , 17 Nov 2016 16:17
Agreed but they've become more deeply entrenched with the US's role as the sole superpower. The only way they'll be undone now is by the US giving up its global power - I think even Trump will be able to see that that's in conflict with the (perceived) national interest. Great powers don't volunteer to resign. The European powers didn't give up their empires voluntarily, they had to be dragged kicking and screaming.

In any case, the office of the POTUS is not that powerful any more - look at Obama: barely achieved anything and that's not because he's some kind of weak character or a sell-out. He's a cog in a massive machine running US global supremacy, which can't be undone other than by catastrophe or confrontation with a superior force The only way Trump could change that would be to become an autocrat like Putin or Erdogan and impose his partisanship on the institutions of state - that's not going to happen.

, JustHenry , 17 Nov 2016 15:43
" a nostalgic return to an imaginary past of greatness" Here we go again, just like remainers mocking the brexiteers; the liberals trying to paint the suffering classes as nostalgic fools whose glory days were imaginary. It's a tempting, exculpatory idea, but it simply isn't true, so stop peddling it. Their situation WAS better, there WAS wider employment, there WAS a future. Stop excusing liberal blindness and selfish failures by denigrating the ones you forgot, the ones you look down on. Therein lies your fault and guilt. -h. Reply Share
, mcstowy JustHenry , 17 Nov 2016 16:18
This is an example of why "post-truth" is Merriam-Webster's word of the year. The Author indicts neo-liberalism, which was always the primary economic policy of the GOP, but was able to infect the Democratic party over they last 40 years. Therein lies the problem, With neither party interested in advocating for working people, the economy has been in a steady downward spiral, but make no mistake, it has been the GOP who has been the longest and strongest champion of the policies that have destroyed the middle class. Trump, like very right-wing demagogue before him, knew how to tap in to that anger, but, rather than offering concrete policies to correct the inequities of the last 40 year, like Bernie Sanders, he chose instead to scapegoat the weakest and poorest as if THEY had the power to cause the damage that was actually caused by the wealthy and powerful. The rank cynicism of the Trump campaign is already on display as he rushes to fill his government with the same bankers, lobbyists and corporate cronies that crashed the economy in the first place.

From the end of WWII until 1980, America was the preeminent economic power in the world and one one the most equal societies in terms of wealth distribution and opportunity. Unions were strong, government actively protected the poor and middle class from corporate exploitation, and taxes were far more progressive, recognizing that the corporate elite benefits far more from government than anyone else. The Neo-liberals hated it, but Mr. Trump's "solution" to the extend he has any "policy" at all, is to continue along the same economic path, but to return to the "good old days" of Jim Crow and nativism.

, TwoEarsAttached , 17 Nov 2016 15:40
"Trump's election was enabled by the policies that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens."

You are at it again aren't you ? Ignore the great majority in the middle, or even the "lower middle" and focus on the very bottom. Because people at the very bottom can be used as kind of economic human shields for all sorts of meddlers & do gooders & confidence tricksters, because most of them are so inarticulate, they can't speak for themselves.

Whereas working people & small business owners just want less tax, less people competing with them and a sense that the country they die in is not too different from the one they were born in.

Trump got in because of the votes of the stagnated middle income bracket.

, Quadspect TwoEarsAttached , 17 Nov 2016 15:49
The so-called middle class, obviously, IS among the vulnerable, because their income and prospects were dramatically injured. Also, best to not lump "do gooders" (are you including civil rights activists, poverty law lawyers, people who feed the unemployed,honest journalists, and other who serve the middle class and poor, in your sweeping condemnation? ) in with "confidence tricksters."
, mcstowy heronbone , 17 Nov 2016 16:42
Neo-liberalism is the revival of the economic policies that led to the Great depression, it emphasized the role of government as an enabler of privatization, corporate concentration and wage suppression. Government regulation to ensure competition, health and safety are repealed to allow for manipulation of markets by the largest economic actors.
, johnnypop , 17 Nov 2016 15:34
"White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites." While a surprisingly large number of ultralibs and lefties have recognized this fact in the past week - a huge number acutally! - they will, as usual, gloss over this reality, and, like Cornel, focus on everything else contained in his article, most of which is only marginally true. So, they will be relegated for the foreseeable future to wondering if they can win the next election for dog catcher.
, mismeasure , 17 Nov 2016 15:31
This is a dangerous juncture that is also a massive opportunity, though it's not clear that establishment liberals-- many of whom seem to be mired in some kind of self-regarding victimology-- are ready to accept that the system they supported is on the way out.
, outfitter , 17 Nov 2016 15:29
You live in the liberal press bubble. Trump only threatened to deport criminals illegally in the country - Obama departed 2.5 million Mexicans in that category (more than all presidents combined) and the wall would only be an extension of the 700 m iles Obama has already built. I suppose that is why 30% of Latinos voted for Trump.

I know you delight in terrifying muslims but we don't have a discrimination problem with Muslims - at least no where as much as in Britain. Trump proposed stopping immigration from countries infested with terrorists until we can figure out what is going on. Obama temporarily stopped all immigration from Iraq for the same reason. Besides the vetting process for immigration into the uSA is severe already and takes many years.

A president whose kids are married to Jews (or in the case of one) are dating Jews can hardly be called anti-semitic. As to women 45% voted for him. Trump was right that the Democrats merely pandered to them and his policies are more likely to benefit working class blacks. Blacks did not turn out a vote for Hillary anywhere near the numbers she needed.

THat leaves China and gays. I'm not aware of any gay bashing by Trump and there are real trading problems with China including currency manipulations and dumping. The balance of trade with China is so out of whack it can't be good. We don't owe China our jobs or to buy there products.

, tramor georgef , 17 Nov 2016 15:43
>Why is it necessary to call everyone a fascist?
>An overused word since the 00s

I don't agree that it is over used, but you are right we need to be explicit. The problem is that often the word is used for someone that we don't like. But the concept is one we need today.

These are the things I'd look for in diagnosing fascism, and how they relate to Trump.

- Extreme and irrational nationalism: TICK

- Nationalism is often accompanied by religious fervor, however poorly grounded in spirituality: TICK

- Identification of the 'other' as responsible for the undermining of the nation (immigrants, LGBT, people who have the wrong colour skin...): TICK

- Undermining any coherent critique of policies (Trumps refusal or inability to engage in coherent political debate, right wing intimidation, KKK, AltRight, attacks on the NYT): A WORK IN PROGRESS

- Use of violence to impose a view of the world (Trump's threats to reject the election result if it went against him, calls to take up arms by the far right, vigilantes): THE MISSING PIECE, BUT SOME WORRYING SIGNS

I'd say that fascism is an entirely relevant concept to use when discussing Trump (or Putin, Berlusconi, Le Pen, Wilders etc.). Not to insult them, but to understand what is going on.

, malcolm_tent , 17 Nov 2016 15:19

Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.

worked for neoliberals and now works for neofascists. Reply Share

, PlayaGiron , 17 Nov 2016 15:18
So many words and no once is the word "socialism" uttered.

Marx is right, it's class that matters not identity politics, triangulation and lesser evilism.

Socialism is the antidote to neoliberalism.

, ID4368353 Larissa Nikolaus , 17 Nov 2016 16:02
Parallels with 1930's Germany. Really? So in the last twenty years the US has seen or experienced

Defeat in a terrible, costly war, with a sizeable segjrnt of the population blaming established elites for a 'stab in the back'?

The imposition of ruinous sanctions by the international community, bringing about national humiliation and economic ruin?

The emergence of extremes on left and right committed to the overthrow of the state and revolution?

A weak tradition of liberalism, owing much to a particular path to modernity following unification, typified by pernicious militaristic, authoritarian, nationalist traditions?

A non functioning political system in which a small feeble centre could not hold?

Paramilitaries on left and right engaged in political violence and murder?

A fascist, racist party, led by an anti democratic fascist?

A Great Depression followed by a great inflation ruining the middle classes?

Yeah. Worrying parallels...... History repeating itself.

, ParticipantObserver Keo2008 , 17 Nov 2016 15:27
Neofacism - see Encyclopedia Britannica

ie ...political philosophy and movement that arose in Europe in the decades following World War II. Like earlier fascist movements, neofascism advocated extreme nationalism, opposed liberal individualism, attacked Marxist and other left-wing ideologies, indulged in racist and xenophobic scapegoating, and promoted populist right-wing economic programs. Unlike the fascists, however, neofascists placed more blame for their countries' problems on non-European immigrants than on leftists and Jews, displayed little interest in taking lebensraum (German: "living space") through the military conquest of other states, and made concerted efforts to portray themselves as democratic and "mainstream."

btw What does innvention mean?

, Sandgropper Firstact , 17 Nov 2016 15:29
Put simply, neoliberalism is liberalism minus the acknowledgement of social obligations. It appropriates the vocabulary of liberalism, a product of the Enlightenment that sought to progress human emancipation, in order to repurpose it as a rationale to justify inequality and elite privilege. It is a perversion of liberal ideals, and a deliberate construction, the origins of which can be traced to the 1960s; although it was not until the mid-70s that it really started to go mainstream.
, Candidly , 17 Nov 2016 15:09
One of the problems with liberally throwing the word "fascism" at policies and people with whom you don't agree is that if the real thing comes along people won't pay attention to your warnings, Guardian. You know, the old story of the boy who kept crying "wolf" when there were no real wolves about. And when real wolves came people were not prepared.
, Panda Bear , 17 Nov 2016 15:03
"White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process. "

I agree the vote was against the "economic neglect", surely then, the vote was for hope of jobs and improved living standards Trump declared he would bring for working people? I don't buy into the narrative of vote for racism etc. people vote for hope of better lives fundamentally, who doesn't? This is where we need to unite... economic issues, this crosses all divides currently being hammered into western societies from all sides of the political spectrum.

Prof Michael Hudson has one view of what has been happening in the economy/ies. Interview in Germany. http://michael-hudson.com/2016/11/how-debt-makes-the-rich-richer /

, socialistdemocrat , 17 Nov 2016 14:54
The traditional elites in the USA have been broken. But neo-liberalism has not. The individuals,-both actors and interests- are in the process of re-alignment. The triumph of Trump shows just how thin is the veneer of the political liberalism that overlays neo-liberalism economy and society.

Unless the role of Wall Street, The City of London and the gradual privatisation of economies and societies in favour of global corporations is addressed, talk of an end of neo-liberalism is cynical humbug.

Meanwhile, an almost 'traditional' world of pre 1917 capitalist states is re-emerging with states and their proxies killing and destroying in order to control territory and economies.

, Mauryan , 17 Nov 2016 14:50
I agree that Sanders would have beaten Trump. For the lack of alternatives, the disgruntled white population went for Trump. I don't think they elected him because of his racist and misogynist views of the world. They wanted someone who at least voiced against the corporate owned establishment. Sanders was doing the same. Unfortunately the establishment derailed Sanders. So the crowd went for Trump. This election is not about racism or fascism. It is the vote against the establishment. Unfortunately Trump has fooled himself by letting him be surrounded by the establishment agents. So he will disappoint this crowd. Some younger politician who takes on the baton from Bernie will win the Presidency in 2020. Bernie must launch his own campaign. Now is the time.
, lisabethshaw , 17 Nov 2016 14:46
Interesting how many people don't know what Neoliberalism is or where it comes from. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/14/neoliberalsim-donald-trump-george-monbiot?CMP=fb_gu
, CaliDoc , 17 Nov 2016 14:39
A great meme, but utterly bogus. Trump lost the popular vote by a huge margin, and his policies are about increasing elite control & the exploitation of globalization to increase economic inequality. Trumps message was simple - your angry, Im angry, I'll say the nasty things you wish you could say, and even if your screwed economically, crucially, I'll mess up black, brown and yellow people, women and th disabled, so you'll feel better about your place int he pecking order. Dumb white dicks can rule again !!!
, Pushers11 , 17 Nov 2016 14:38
I find it odd that the Guardian writers call the economic system we have at the moment "neo-liberalism". I mean, if it were liberal, then we wouldn't have all the central planning and socialist type controls all over the economy. Look, current US economic/business regulations run to over 80,000 pages worth. 80,000 pages! That hardly sounds liberal (as if "free") to me. Plus and most importantly of all, we still have central banks with their price controls (interest rate fixing), legal tender laws and money supply fixing - again hardly liberal. More socialist that anything. Reply Share
, MooseMcNaulty Pushers11 , 17 Nov 2016 14:43
Regulations and central banks are not socialism. Socialism is about who owns economic institutions and in America they're still almost all owned by private wealth. That's not socialism.

, Panda Bear Pushers11 , 17 Nov 2016 14:45
What "socialist" type of controls over the economy would they be? Neoliberalism has nothing to do with traditional liberalism and certainly zero to do with Socialist thinking or practice.

This discussion might give you a different perspective. http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=14952

, Loatheallpoliticians , 17 Nov 2016 14:28
What are some of Trumps' main policy points:

1 USA policy should look after USA businesses over those of other countries.

What is wrong with this in the President of the USA? About time we had the same in the UK.

2 The USA should not have an open border to the south and non USA citizens do not have free right to sneak in and then stay i.e. the USA is not a free resource for anyone wanting to try their luck

What is wrong with this? The UK has voted for the same and rightly so.

3 Islam is incompatible with western liberal democracy

Again, can't see how this is incorrect. Either Islam moves away from sexism, homophobia, theocracy and fundamentalist view of it's own supremacy or it IS incompatible with the west and liberal democracy.

4 The rest of NATO should start spending more to protect itself and not rely on the USA to continually pick up the bill.

Quite right to and every member should be hitting the 2% of GDP level at the very least.

Trump's a businessman who is pro business a strong military and anti unrestricted immigration and Islamic fundamentalism. Good for him, we need the same.

, MattSpanner , 17 Nov 2016 14:26
There are similarities between what is happening now and what happened in Germany in the 20's. The political and economic chaos of the Weimar Republic led to the election of Hitler as Chancellor. His 'brown shirts' imposed the illusion of order over competing communist, anarchist and fascist demonstrators and were (at first) welcomed by the majority of Germans. I know comparing Trump to Hitler is problematic but the following similarities in their policies are inescapable:

1. Hitler implemented a massive infrastructure program (autobahns), Trump has promised the same

2. Hitler implemented a program of re-armament, Trump promises the same

3. Hitler singled-out Jews as a threat to national security, Trump chose Muslims and Mexicans

4. Hitler accused "international Jewry" and Bolshevism of attempting to destroy Germany, Trump accuses China of destroying American manufacturing and promises to lable them a currency manipulator

, RandomLibertarian , 17 Nov 2016 14:19
So what's the plan?

I hear a lot of social-media and liberal-media preening and prating about Trump's fascism, eeevil neoliberals, globalization and so on and so forth, and the need to speak truth to power (which is very effective - see the Defense Department-funded rebel Noam Chomsky, who's been banging on like this for a couple of centuries) and speak for the voiceless...

Meanwhile, how many state and Federal seats and chambers have the Democrats managed to lose over the past few elections? How far will Trump pursue a low-tax agenda, and how far will he really venture into the messy pick-winners-and-losers game of mercantilism?

So the question is, are you going to complain or revolt - you who have guffawed at those who even suggest that the citizenry might ever need to be equipped to resist the government by force? Tax protests? Your supporters have to pay a large proportion of taxes first. Mass demonstrations? Why do you think BLM likes to block highways? (Clue: it doesn't take many people.) And you're not allied with the Federal government against the weak economies of the mid-century South, but trying to dismantle the constitution.

My prediction is that the people will rise up and fight the hydra-headed monsters of neoliberalism. They will fight them on Twitter. They will fight them on Instagram. They will fight them on Facebook until everyone except their friends blocks them. And then they'll get bored.

, freenightfall25 , 17 Nov 2016 14:09
There is such a confusion with the use of terms - democrats, liberals, neoliberals, fascists - are they absolutely different or can be the same? Robert Michels in his book 'Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracy' yet a century ago wrote that representative democracy naturally deteriorates to olygarchy and particracy. And the next stop can be fascism (not necessarily nazism though). The author himself (Michel) was a socialist and later on joined Fascist Party led by Benito Mussolini. Does history repeat itself now? Goldberg in his book 'Liberal Fascism' published in 2008 insists that fascists movements were and are lef-wing. As an example, Henry Ford the American industrialist initially was a pacifist during World War I but later on funded first years of Hitler's political career and was awarded by Nazis in 1938. How it can be that democrats in the West become fascists?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Michels
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Fascism
http://rarehistoricalphotos.com/henry-ford-grand-cross-1938 /

, margsmeanders freenightfall25 , 17 Nov 2016 14:59
This is because the hard left and hard right share many characteristics - a belief in direct democracy which most often leads to authoritarianism, Manicheism, obsession with "the enemy within" and "the enemy without" (which often leads to nationalism), disgusted rejection of the politics of compromise essential within a representative democracy. Yes Mussolini was a socialist who morphed into a Fascist, and Nazism was, of course, National Socialism. The 5 star movement in Italy, populist, anti-establishment, yet very authoritarian, and with both solid left wing and extreme right wing tendencies, are a good example of how left and right become melded together.
, ACloud , 17 Nov 2016 14:08
I love Cornell West, but disagree about the end of Neoliberalism. First of all, what is it exactly? My understanding of the concept is somewhat limited to Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine," which tells us it consists of an economic idealogy that promotes deregulation, cuts in social spending, cutting taxes for the ultra-rich, and privatization. Second, how is Neoliberalism different from Neofascism or even Neoconservatism? I don't know, but I do know that Trump is giving the keys to the establishment, which actively promotes deregulation, cuts in social spending, cutting taxes fro the ultra-rich, and privatization. Essentially, Trump is bowing down to the Neoliberal establishment, and giving them the keys to the White House. Thus, the end of Neoliberalism isn't yet apparent.
, JohnAndrews57 , 17 Nov 2016 14:00
I agree that we must 'tell the truth'. But so must Cornel West and one of the truths to tell is that being against illegal immigration has nothing whatsoever to do with racism.
Another truth is that growing income inequality is a probably inescapable consequence of international trade. If overseas workers can do manufacturing jobs for $1/hour when Americans would need to be paid $50/hour for the same work then consumers will prefer the products of overseas workers. Does Cornel West think the US should withdraw from the WTO and see iPhone prices rise tenfold or more?
, boilingriver JohnAndrews57 , 17 Nov 2016 14:46
You are forgetting about R's tax cuts for rich, policy of trickle down. It was always a con. Politicians sticking to a failed policy for 30 years.
The companies are not even paying a living wage. We have people working 2 jobs and still needing food stamps to feed their children. Tax payers subsidizing companies who have billion dollar profit(Walmart) that also do not offer insurance. They can increase wage without increase prices if they were not so greedy. Republicans refuse to increase min wage. No one will stand up to these greedy company's.
, BrassTrumpet , 17 Nov 2016 13:56
For jiminey's sake... Trump is a neoliberal! His policies, such as we can discern, involve lowering taxes for the rich on the basis of trickle down and the laffer curve... neoliberal bollocks personified. No to organised labour... because the market is the perfect arbiter already. No to human rights, these are all economic. Etc etc etc.

Fair enough, have a go at all the others as well, but Trumps election represents nothing more than the triumph of mass delusion and the lying that it facilitates - over reason and logic.

, allom8 , 17 Nov 2016 13:56
We've got a whole generation of people who will never own their own house, because not enough of them have been built and the ones which were available have been bought en-masse by previous generations in order to rent them out in a totally unregulated market. We've got a pension crisis so massive and terrifying that no political party anywhere on the spectrum even mentions it - not even in the run-up to elections. The same people who cannot ever buy a house, thus, are paying into a pension system from which they will inevitably receive nothing. We've got a return to victorian levels of wealth inequality.

A guy (slash referendum) comes along promising to change it all, and the upper-middle class types who staff the media react with disbelief that the guy saying some dodgy things about Mexicans and women isn't a dealbreaker?! Hitler's brain in a mechanical body could run for election and as long as he was promising something other than the status quo which is disastrous for many and will only continue to get worse, he would stand a chance of winning.

All I see in the outraged news coverage of Trump's win is a bunch of people living very comfortably lecturing people living far less well about what they consider to be a dealbreaker in a political candidate. It's like the studies on the Taliban in Afghanistan which showed that they are disproportionately well-off and middle-class - when your main concern is basic survival needs, you don't have time to give even a fraction of a shit about ideological bollocks like a political candidate's opinion on women or whatever else.

Once again, it all comes down to the wealthy lecturing people about their beliefs about sex, race, gender (and so on) and ignoring the conspicuously massive elephant with the word "wealth" written on the side which at this point has grown so massive that it's hard to see anything else.

, NorthsideDave , 17 Nov 2016 13:51
"...Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad."

I'm particularly impressed with those last few words. I wonder if Mr. Obama would consider returning his Nobel Prize for Peace. The problem was not that he accepted the unearned honor, it was that the visionless Nobel committee gave it to him in the first place.

Cornel West accusing Barack Obama of being a war criminal. Now I've seen it all. And unfortunately I must agree. The president's legacy will be that he simply looked the other way as innocents were (are) being murdered in the name of national security.

Compared to this abomination Gitmo is an island paradise.

That would be the same Gitmo President Obama pledged to close.

, AndyMcCarthy NorthsideDave , 17 Nov 2016 14:01
Obama ordered the killing, he didn't look the other way.
, havetheyhearts , 17 Nov 2016 13:50
Decades of intransigent neoliberalism leading to war and fascism.

Looks as if some have stubbornly ignored the consequences of deregulated greed.

and obviously...still do !

, mindinsomnia , 17 Nov 2016 13:45
This isn't the end of neoliberalism... but.. it might be the beginning of the end. A sign that the system itself is starting to break apart under the weight of the failings of the system to look after the majority of society.

It's a sign that the people have stopped listening to the media. They've stopped listening to politicians. Stopped listening to experts. And have started to think with their own minds. That's a good sign! So a couple of elections haven't gone the left's way. Fine. But there's no question, Brexit and the US Election results are a sign that the people are ready for a peaceful revolution.

Don't despair, I know if you're against Trump and/or disagreed with Brexit, this seems like a bleak time in politics, but the truth is there's more to be hopeful for now than ever before. At least politics is in a fluid state now. No one knows what's coming. Those who were previously in control, now feel control slipping through their fingers. It's at least possible for things to change right now, before it wasn't, that's progress even if it doesn't feel like it.

Now is our chance to correct what has been wrong with the global political & economic system for decades. There is much cause for optimism! The left should be right now focused on coming up with ideas for ways to change the system, ways of helping the 99% left behind by the 1%, making democracy more fair, increasing citizen participation, etc.

..Or we can sit on the sidelines, not participating while the world is bordering on revolution and merely waiting for someone to lead it, because we are busy throwing a tantrum because we lost a couple of elections.

, AmyInNH wheresmewashboard , 17 Nov 2016 14:39
Neoliberalism is an economic philosophy that says that only the welfare of business is relevant. Reagan and Thatcher reoriented our economies toward that. First bank bust happened almost immediately, from the same thing, housing, 1989, including bank bailouts. And every president after that has followed that path, including post-2008.
"Retraining for another career"? That is what the public was told to sell them China/WTO trade. What they didn't tell people is a) part of their trade deals is employing foreign citizens in the west for cheap. (link below, note "visa" is part of the trade deal) As for retraining, retraining for what? "Welcome to Walmart", "Do you want fries with that?". That doesn't a) pay the mortgage nor b) even pay for a run down apartment. The "retraining" is just to defuse public upset and forestall riots in the streets. As someone who's worked most of my adult life in high tech., I can attest to the incredible anti-American hiring criteria, enough to frighten the earlier immigrants, because their children are now ... American.
"Sanders would have beat Trump"
So says national polls, early, during the primaries. But polls evidently were wrong.
Below, UK's Theresa May, talking to India's PM, who wants western jobs (visas), in exchange for selling western goods in India.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/in-india-british-leader-theresa-may-preaches-free-trade-2016-11-07
, donaldptucker , 17 Nov 2016 13:21
Relax, agreed Trump shoots from the hip in ways that can be distasteful but I prefer to judge people by their actions not their bullshit.

I'm pretty sure there have been worse xenophobes in the Whitehouse, worse sexists and I certainly know there have been more clueless Presidents.

My guess is that the liberal elite's biggest problem with Trump is that he's a low tax small government Republican, with, horror of horrors, a real world business background.

All the things you hate with a vengeance but you dare not attack him for that so you home in on his inability to tick all the right PC boxes, as if that makes him the spawn of the devil.

Then that is also bullshit and the kind of bullshit we've all seen through a long time past.

, DavidEire , 17 Nov 2016 13:18
A good over-view of the tribulations and tributaries that made Trump's victory possible
Neoliberal globalisation has left too many too far behind; struggling just to get by
Trump offered change and the forgotten working classes of America chose to elect him
Most who voted for Trump were voting against the establishment as much as for Trump
They would have elected Sanders if he were willing to fight - he wasn't

I think it is premature to announce the end of neoliberalism, but I do begin to hear in the responses of Western leaders to Trump's election stirrings they are beginning to realise their mismanagement of globalisation is alienating their domestic populations and eroding their political power base. This is why they will begin to moderate (if they have any sense)
To preserve their power base, not to alleviate the suffering of working classes

In the absence of democracy the only remedy for the populace would be revolution

The heart of the problem with neoliberal globalisation is the ideology of market fundamentalism which preaches (it is a sort of religion and as irrational as any) the pre-eminence of markets over communities and society; and corporate profits over people

In the natural humane order of things the function of markets is to serve people and society
The neoliberal ideology demands that people and society serve markets and profits
The tail has been wagging the dog too long

, sightline , 17 Nov 2016 13:18
The idea that Trump is not aprt of the establishment, in its widest sense, is farcical - his path to the final pages of Animal farm will be incredibly short.

I heard a description of UKIP as the party for people who think their life is someone else's fault. That holds for a lot of Trump voters. There's also some truth in it, the problem being that the people who's fault it is (say a billionaire businessman with interests in overseas businesses) convince the mass that the person who's fault it is is not them, it's the worker in their factory. Mixing my media but its all a bit Keyser Soze.

And will Trump really close down low cost operations overseas to bring the jobs back to the US - or will he hide between the alleged blind trust his kids run. The most corrupt legislature? - you ain't seen nothing yet.

(So that's book, film and music covered...got to find something to set against the anger)

, bonhee , 17 Nov 2016 13:16
Grotesque fake wordings here that show the author up to be more tabloid than socialist.
Neo-liberalism is a fake term because it is not "Neo" (new) and it is not "Liberalism" but Conservatism. Only a fake analyst would ever say that Thatcher, Reagan and Hayek were liberals in the modern social and democratic sense of the word. They were are arch Conservatives, trying to shrink the state back to some kind of foul Victorian era level. Accept of course the police state, which got full funding for the wars and the bombs and spys and the police brutality.

It is Grotesque for anyone who thinks they are Socialist to call the foul right wing Conservatives whose policies and ideas are ultra right wing "Neo-Liberals". It is the swamp of fake analysis from which the Far left fascists crawl out of, the Trots, the Stalinists, the Hamas and Hezbollah and Putin Poodles like Corbyn and Milne.

Trump is rightly conceived here as not being Neo-Liberal, but he is no Fascist either. He is classic 1970s Republican of the ilk of Nixon. He nods and winks towards the poor but is a business man, a tax dodger, a draft dodger and a right wing clown.

, DoyleSaylor bonhee , 17 Nov 2016 14:09
Neoliberal refers to Hayak and other economic theorist like Friedman and the policies they promoted. You confuse the post WWII U.S. centric alignment of democrats with so-called liberal social policies like LBJ promoted and the globalist free trade regime which historically is what nineteenth century Liberals stood for. On the other hand you are right in some ways about applying fascist to him as he is not exactly a militarist, but you can't deny his inciting mob violence in his rallies and that is fascist like. Reply Share
, AmyInNH bonhee , 17 Nov 2016 15:12
Neoliberal is not a variant of liberal. Neoliberal is economic policy of no restrictions on businesses, perverted to no restrictions whatsoever (fraud, scams, ponzi, etc.). US ultra toxic variant, neocon plus neoliberal: the world is my toilet, for the sake of record profits, at everyone else's expense, figuratively and literally. Business calls this "externalizing expenses". This is how/why the public is paying food/medical/housing assistance to ultra low wage Walmart workers - a highly circuitous variant of corporate welfare. This is how neocon attack on Iraq, causing chaos for plunder, is billed to the public taxes. Iraq blitz: Pizza Huts on the bases, while no armored vehicles for the troops.
Hopefully it brings insight into the word "neoliberalism", because it is being taught in Ivy League business schools.
If you want a look under the hood, suggested reading: The Shock Doctrine.
, lsgv53 , 17 Nov 2016 13:15
Why does anyone think/believe there will be actual change? Does anyone really believe Trump's policies will be anything else other than neo or just plain liberalism? He'll cut taxes, reduce government, cut social security programs, hold on to trade treaties even if he'll bad mouth them, drill baby drill, further liberalise banks and financial services, and more of the same.
Does anyone really believe voting changes anything! Either way you go, the same policies and interests will prevail.
Look at Brexit. Restore sovereignty for elected Parliament? Mrs. May is totally against that! Give a voice to the left-behind? Since when is Carlos Ghosn in need! Give those jobs back to true British people? Why couldn't they apply and get those jobs before? Do Polish or Spanish immigrants know better or work better? Is that what it is?
Brexit is nothing more than a disguised way of further liberalising UK economy and guess who's going to suffer? Those who voted for it. Exactly the same as those who voted for Trump in the US.
, freeman69 , 17 Nov 2016 13:09
Tremendous article.

But it may be a mistake to think the neo-liberal establishment is going to go away, either in US or Britain. On the contrary, they still retain much of the working levers of power and the evidence suggests they will be very busy making sure the globalist neo-liberal agenda prevails in the longer term.

Trump and Trumpers may have the impression they hold all the 'authoritarian' cards, but they do not - they will be forced to play through the Establishment. Same with Teresa May, she is going to find herself increasingly at the mercy of the working/technocratic Establishment, which is already geared to undermine Brexit.

Globalist neo-liberaliam (witness Obama and Merkel today) is the greatest force for evil in our world today. Wishful thinking that it is spent.

, DoyleSaylor freeman69 , 17 Nov 2016 13:19
No doubt they are still there. Trump's nationalist strategies clash with that globalist force and we should see evidence of neoliberalism continuity. Reply Share Facebook Twitter
, DuBois freeman69 , 17 Nov 2016 14:10
Well the Dems elected Schumer their Senate leader, so every indication that establishment politicos are still enamoured of this ideology despite all evidence to the contrary that the masses are getting progressively wise to it and wont swallow its bile. The politicos cant seem to reconcile themselves to the fact that the devil has been named and the masses increasingly understand the disaster it visits upon their lives
, jackrousseau , 17 Nov 2016 13:00
Agree wholeheartedly...with the exception of the scaremongering in the final two paragraphs.

Sadly, the Democratic Party is too far gone and too beholden to various economic interests to change. I mean, the neoliberal identity politics platform worked so well for so long...why scrap it after just one loss (three if you include Brexit and Corbyn)? Our social progressive thought leaders (many of whom are wealthy neoliberals) are much more likely to try to scaremonger their way through the next four years without addressing the coziness with Wall Street, corporations, and the rich (as well as conservative economic policies) that actually lost them this election.

Here's to hoping I'm wrong and the the Sanders/West wing of the party somehow roots out the 95% of Democratic leaders who are neolib grifters. It worked for Corbyn/Labour in the UK...who knows.

, DoyleSaylor jackrousseau , 17 Nov 2016 13:31
Identity politics is the bugbear of a stripe of reactionaries and their criticism of neoliberals. At best one can say identity politics was a false cover of Clinton. What exactly though does identity contribute to neoliberalsim besides as false cover of progressivism to diverse minorities? I see no such attempt to get real or meaningful about identity. Let's be clear attacking identity is simply a scape goat in place of real alternatives to the right's program. Especially egrigious is the claim of these right wing critics that they have concrete policies to carry out. They sit on their hands while Black Lives Matter. They offer nothing but platitudes when Natives protest pipelines. They ignore women in favor of traditional male roles as the leaders. On and bankrupt class shaped elitism on their prattle goes.
, PeterOfPlumpton , 17 Nov 2016 12:59
Cornel West has been one of the most powerful dissident voices coming out of America for many years. When I have listened to his speeches/lectures on youtube, they are always as interesting and perceptive as most media is 'analysis' is shallow and trite. He was write to warn that the Wall Street-friendly Obama was no visionary or prophetic African-American leader in the vein of a Martin Luther King. And now we are stuck with Trump. Prison and weapons stocks are already skyrocketing.
, Pinkie123 , 17 Nov 2016 12:55
Sorry, but utter tosh.

Trump and the populist right represent a new variant of neoliberalism. Spend some time looking at Trump's economic policies and you'll see they're fundamentally neoliberal; huge tax cuts, including unprecedented reductions in corporation tax; Wall Street deregulation; cuts to all areas of federal spending. His only divergence from neoliberal orthodoxy is the sky high tariffs on Chinese and Mexican imports. The chief purpose of this however is to make a show of deflecting blame for inequality onto migrant workers and thus shore up his support. No doubt he will readily enter into the most invidious free trade agreements with countries elsewhere.

The idea that Trump is a reaction against neoliberalism is one that needs to be invalidated. It's promulgated by the left and right wing press and is utterly groundless.

Right-wing populism is a new adaption of neoliberalism. Now global markets have become dysfunctional it constructs nativist narratives to give an illusion of sense of the world while continuing to let markets rip.

Market fascism.

, DoyleSaylor Pinkie123 , 17 Nov 2016 13:46
Nationalist nostrums are not globalism. The globalist opposed trump strenuously which is undeniable. All you point to is underlying an incompetant ignoramous trump republican neoliberals will assert a globalist agenda which their working class stirring base used in this election to oppose Obama. Globalism shaped by neoliberalism reasserting itself under trump will similarly point working class anger at trump. Unlike Obama trump will use other means like racist programs and mob violence to continue after his cover is blown against globalism.
, carlygirl , 17 Nov 2016 12:54
Oh come one, the very same people that elected Trump elected the very people who implemented free trade and the very neoliberal policies you are now yammering on about. They did it to themselves, they are racists that think they are 'entitled' to a certain standard of living without doing anything to deserve it. They are resentful because other people in the world are taking advantage of opportunities by 'educating' themselves and working hard instead of sitting on their overweight asses watching reality shows.

All these decades they've voted GOP - they didn't give a rat's ass about the sick and the poor and in fact they were the ones who kept saying 'no welfare, no government interference - if you're poor it's your fault so go out and get a job'. Now that the tables are turned and they aren't get paid doctor's salaries for work a monkey could do, suddenly they want the government to force corporations to bring back jobs that don't even exist anymore. Why aren't they being told to stop clinging to guns and religion and to go out and get an education. The entire world now has to cater to a bunch of inbred bigots, it's ridiculous! They're going to destroy the planet with their stupidity and if we allow it, we are just as bad. Just like the Nazi's were taken down, this second incarnation of them also needs to be.

, Gegenbeispiel , 17 Nov 2016 12:34
Goodbye to American neoliberalism? Perhaps, but to eliminate capitalism altogether, it needs to be goodbye to the American Dream, which was always a pack of sordid lies. Sadly, a transition through neo-Feudalism may be necessary (in the absence of a powerful communist or other left revolutionary presence anywhere in the world) to kill off both capitalism and its propaganda figment, the American Dream.

, hmmmmmmmmmmmmm , 17 Nov 2016 12:32
I thought I would be dancing in the streets as Neoliberalism fell. I never expected the far-right to fill the vacuum.

People took what ever alternate was on offer, both in the UK and US. Sadly it's very ugly what has been welcomed in.

For me it also shines a light also on the left, they had no alternative and they need to come up with something and quick.

, Hugo Ernst van Hees , 17 Nov 2016 12:25

This lethal fusion of economic insecurity and cultural scapegoating brought neoliberalism to its knees.

And yet, the neoliberal adagio of deregulation (particularly of the banking sector) is set to play a key role in Trump's policies - investment banks' stocks prices are soaring.

Neoliberalism is long from being on its knees in the US. On the contrary, it is likely to determine the path of the US economy further, and unchecked.

, Sandgropper Hugo Ernst van Hees , 17 Nov 2016 12:32
Yes, and it will result in even more blowback and anger. Neoliberalism's now in a death spiral that it is incapable of escaping. Reply Share
, zolotoy Sandgropper , 17 Nov 2016 12:35
Neoliberalism will die only once it has destroyed the planet.

, eegleumaseth , 17 Nov 2016 12:22

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang.

Pure hyperbole. First of all I am not sure that neoliberalism has ended. It's not a footy match where you can blow a whistle. The Senate and House is still chock full of Neoliberals. They haven't elected a King but a President. Ask Obama how easy it is to get stuff done if Congress doesn't play ball.

Secondly I am not sure that Trumps a Neofascist. In fact I am pretty sure he isn't. He's just a business guy with a binary attitude to decision making. ie what is the best way to get this done? Are there more voted in the rustbelt than the country club? Do more white working class Americans resent illegal immigration than Hispanics worry about that kind of rhetoric. I can hear him now. "Bring me the numbers". "Ok what's the quickest way to convince people you are serious about immigration?" Is it
A. Start talking about increasing border security and allocating X million more dollars
(doesn't sound serious and costs us money)

B Start talking about building a sod off great wall and making the Mexicans pay for it
(sounds very serious, gets the liberals to meltdown in rage, completely unrealistic but does anyone doubt that illegal immigration is a big issue for you. NO!)

Pure business. Simple binary decisions on how to go about winning the available votes.

Neofascist? No. Just a business brain working out how to sell the biggest number of units to the target market.

, KissTheMoai eegleumaseth , 17 Nov 2016 12:29
Neofascist? No, just a business guy who hires and empowers fascists.

I also doubt the "neo" prefix. Reply Share

, eegleumaseth KissTheMoai , 17 Nov 2016 12:51

Neofascist? No, just a business guy who hires and empowers fascists.

I also doubt the "neo" prefix.

Personally I think he's politically agnostic. I don't think he has a political philosophy. He just wanted to be President and he's been used to getting what he wanted. He just worked out a way to do that and it worked. He has a whole host of Jewish advisers, friends and family. He's been in the property business in Manhattan for nearly 50 years. If he had a problem with Jews it would have been news before now and he would have been a good deal less successful in that Parish.
Donald Trump doesn't believe in any particular political philosophy. He just wants to know what he needs to say to get the best result (for him) out of the next set of problems he faces. It won't matter whether he is on record as saying the opposite last week or last year. He doesn't care. He is into whatever works right now.

, freeman69 eegleumaseth , 17 Nov 2016 13:16
This is an excellent post, thank you. Sadly, neo-liberalism has embedded itself deep into the system. Trump's election or Brexit will do little to root it out. In fact, the system is likely to attempt to frustrate them aggressively, in its own nasty interests in the longer term.
, Sandgropper , 17 Nov 2016 12:21
People voted for Trump not to affirm any policy position, but to repudiate a broken system that no longer represents them - he's a symptom, not a protagonist.

However, the Trump Event is positive in the sense that it significantly diminishes the prestige and authority of the US political establishment, making it much more vulnerable to challenge.

Both the Republicans (the 'Red Team') and the Democrats (the 'Blue Team') were long ago appropriated and repurposed to serve the interests of corporations and billionaires, but until Trump, had still managed to retain a fig leaf of credibility, due to their historic brands. Not any more - the fig leaves have now been blown away and its plain to all but the most partisan that the Emperor has no clothes.

The questioning of the existing order will intensify because Trump has no solutions to the underlying problems of economic inequality and social injustice. He will be actively resisted and opposed from the grassroots, because it's starkly clear now that the old formal politics of the Red and Blue teams is corrupt and broken, and no longer represents the best interests of the people.

The recognition that the old politics is truly dead creates the conditions that will make the emergence of a new politics possible. It's going to be a bumpy ride, but we are moving forward again.

, Panda Bear Sandgropper , 17 Nov 2016 12:34
"People voted for Trump not to affirm any policy position, but to repudiate a broken system that no longer represents them - he's a symptom, not a protagonist."

Spot on.

The corrupt system created over the past 40 odd years has spewed up candidates such as Clinton and Trump... Trump may be considered fascist but Clinton and all she represents is also 'neo' fascist... corporate fascism.
I think we live in a corporate Empire serving elites, with US at it's main enforcer, not democratic states or republics. The elites intend to keep the massive gains they have made via neoliberal and Globalist polices and have the wealth, spying and security apparatus to do so.

, VitaminSea , 17 Nov 2016 12:15
Having a righteous, hawkish, government-hating one-percenter for president seems to fit the neocon/neolib thing pretty nicely. I mean he goes to a fancy dinner the other night and promises the other one percenters a load of major tax cuts. He loves authority and the spectacle of wealth without apology and despises government regulation of business and markets. Sure, he blusters about ripping up trade deals but in his own business dealings makes use of the global economy to get his branded goods made cheaply (neckties made in China etc). The neocons/libs were all about being revolutionary and reactionary. They liked seeing themselves as a dynamic force sweeping in from outside the system to utterly change everything. He may have a more overt angle on racism and social relationships but my cat and I really think it helps greatly to understand Uber Baby Boomer Trump as a neocon/neolib.
, Panda Bear , 17 Nov 2016 12:15
Even if Neoliberalism is dead... the looting of the 90-99% by the 1-10% and their wars for profit will continue. Neoliberalism/Globalism are just tools which have successfully increased the wealth gap to obscene heights, legalized corruption and inflicted immense suffering on US and world citizens. Structures are now in place to ensure this is not halted one jot.
The choice between Roman Empire and Roman Republic is long past... Trump and Clinton are just symptoms of the long decline of western 'democracy' if it ever really existed. The forces/systems of wealth transfer, looting and plundering really in charge have no morals or ethics and have built huge spying and police states.
, climbertrev1 CiaranLaval , 17 Nov 2016 12:56
Greed has been the problem for a lot longer than the last 40 years. The American dream is built on the idea that everyone can have a share of the wealth. The whole system is based on self interest and greed. This is true for most nations on the planet.

I agree about the divide and conquer strategy. The problem for the left is the same as ever human nature and whilst people still believe in the American dream they will never support a socialist manifesto. Obama care is a classic example. 'Why should I pay for other peoples health care".
Like many other Brits when the NHS was described as a manifestation of socialism I was confused. I had grown up with the idea that the NHS was a 'good' particularly if you were of a lower income group. That is the vast majority of the UK population. Access to free health care for all seems like a good thing.
In the USA among many lower income groups in the USA they perceive something like the NHS as being almost communist and at the least socialist and therefore something evil.
The left is probably wasting it's time in the USA. Americans are simply not ready for rehab from the American Dream. They need to hit rock bottom hard and stay there for a while.\

, Andy Wong Ming Jun Malunkey , 17 Nov 2016 15:38
As Frank Underwood said in House Of Cards, democracy is so overrated. I imagine the US looks now like a modern-day version of the end of the Roman Republic, just before it goes full imperial. Reply Share
, Malunkey Andy Wong Ming Jun , 17 Nov 2016 15:49

As Frank Underwood said in House Of Cards, democracy is so overrated.

Real-life democracy can look tarnished when held against the light of its finest ideals. But it is still a thousand times better than any tyranny that has ever existed.

Not only is democracy not overrated, it cannot be overrated. It is government for the people by the people and ipso facto better than any alternative.

Also: you might want to sharpen your political knowledge by studying life for citizens under Nazi Germany or the USSR rather than watching House Of Cards.

, windwheel , 17 Nov 2016 11:59
So Obama was a bad guy- a 'neo-liberal'. No doubt, Prof. West is now very ashamed of calling him 'a brother, a champion, a comrade' for which favor Obama called him a 'genius', a 'public intellectual' (not then a derogatory term) a 'preacher' and 'an oracle'.
To his credit, Prof. West turned upon Obama soon enough. He was an oracle, just as Obama had said, but one who merely confirmed that his stricture upon Black people- whom he accused of abandoning their 'prophetic tradition' in favor of 'individualistic pursuit of wealth, health and status'- applied only to himself.
He now says we shouldn't have a hope, but be a hope. That's sure to help. Did you know 'Africans' were 'subject to expanding US military presence' under Obama and that was a bad thing? What sort of hope does Prof. West represent, not by virtue of any quality he possesses, or viewpoint that he upholds, but from the simple fact of his being? It is that 'public intellectuals' come to be recognized as public conveniences. Their existence is a good thing only because they obscure and hygienically convey away material that would otherwise constitute a public nuisance.
, ID4709344 windwheel , 17 Nov 2016 12:09
"He was an oracle, just as Obama had said, but one who merely confirmed that his stricture upon Black people- whom he accused of abandoning their 'prophetic tradition' in favor of 'individualistic pursuit of wealth, health and status'- applied only to himself."

It's hard to listen to West address issues such as poverty and black nihilism, as undeniably brilliant as he is, for one reason: surely a man who commands 100k a night for his speeches is a man without an organic connection to his subject?

, Marina E Olivier , 17 Nov 2016 11:55
A rich white bully male wins, a warmonger lost.
Between a TV entertainer speaking layman English and a haughty has-been politician, the "deplorable" have chosen. America has gotten poorer.

Corporations will run the show instead of politicians.
Society go backwards driven by the overlords towards a Feudal state. The ultimate post neoliberalism. Reply Share

, ThunderChi1d Marina E Olivier , 17 Nov 2016 12:57

A rich white bully male wins, a warmonger lost.

Careful now - your privilege is showing!

, cjf1947 , 17 Nov 2016 11:53
The last two democratic administrations have included Wall Street within their 'triangulation'. In this they mirrored Blair-Brown who were prepared to woo the City in return for tax receipts to pursue siginifcant social reform. Clinton and Obama have also promoted globalisation - NAFTA, TPP, TTIP in the hope that this will boost growth (it has but not of median incomes) and keep inflation low . So ironically it is the extreme right that have led the charge against these twin towers of the neoliberal consensus: financialisation and globalisation. This is a paradigm shift in US politics (as the rise of UKIP has been in the UK). It remains to be seen whether the Republicans become the party of de financialisation and protectionism. I very much doubt they will; in fact I suspect it will be the GOP who are most resistant to Trumpism. There could be a period of extreme chaos politically and economically. Both the Dems and Labour must get ready to offer a meaningful alternative to the 'Washington consensus' for the next elections in 2020. They must promote investment in the real economy; change the tax structure to penalise short termism and inequality; and be prepared to return to a trade regime that is not the full bloodied corporation benefitting regime of tax avoidance, investor protections, fiscal dumping....
, criticalfart , 17 Nov 2016 11:48
"White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process."
Well what choice was there? The corrupt Democrat Machine did for Sanders. They thought voters had no other choice than support corrupt neoliberal Clinton. Just look at the number of Denocrate who failed to vote because they could not stomach either.
, AndrewAndrews criticalfart , 17 Nov 2016 12:07

Just look at the number of Denocrate who failed to vote because they could not stomach either.

Don't discount the impact of voter suppression - while the turnout would still be lower, efforts to prevent poorer folks from voting did contribute to the result.

, traversecity , 17 Nov 2016 11:47
Cornel West once critiqued Obama because "he's always had to fear being a white man in a black skin" and included the observation that "he feels most comfortable with upper middle class white and Jewish men who consider themselves to be very smart, very savvy and very effective in getting what they want."

He's the last person who should be writing about building multiracial alliances.

, macfeegal , 17 Nov 2016 11:46
It would seem that there is a great deal of over simplifying going on; some of the articles represent an hysteric response and the vision of sack cloth and ashes prevails among those who could not see that the wheels were coming off the bus. The use of the term 'liberal' has become another buzz word - there are many different forms of liberalism and creating yet another sound byte does little to illuminate anything.

Making appeals to restore what has been lost reflects badly upon the central political parties, with their 30 year long rightward drift and their legacy of sucking up to corporate lobbyists, systems managers, box tickers and consultants. You can't give away sovereign political power to a bunch of right wing quangos who worship private wealth and its accumulation without suffering the consequences. The article makes no contribution (and neither have many of the others of late) to any kind of alternative to either neo-liberalism or the vacuum that has become a question mark with the dark face of the devil behind it.

We are in uncharted waters. The conventional Left was totally discredited by1982 and all we've had since are various forms of modifications of Thatcher's imported American vision. There has been no opposition to this system for over 40 years - so where do we get the idea that democracy has any real meaning? Yes, we can vote for the Greens, or one of the lesser known minority parties, but of course people don't; they tend to go with what is portrayed as the orthodoxy and they've been badly let down by it.

It would be a real breath of fresh air to see articles which offer some kind of analysis that demonstrates tangible options to deal with the multiple crises we are suffering. Perhaps we might start with a consideration that if our political institutions are prone to being haunted by the ghost of the 1930's, the state itself could be seen as part of the problem rather than any solution. Why is it that every other institution is considered to be past its sell by date and we still believe in a phantom of democracy? Discuss.

, VenetianBlind macfeegal , 17 Nov 2016 12:00
I have spent hours trying to see solutions around Neo-Liberalism and find that governments have basically signed away any control over the economy so nothing they can do. There are no solutions.

Maybe that is the starting point. The solution for workers left behind in Neo-Liberal language is they must move. It demands labor mobility. It is not possible to dictate where jobs are created.

I see too much fiddly around the edges, the best start is to say they cannot fix the problem. If they keep making false promises then things will just get dire as.

, bornvonkarman , 17 Nov 2016 11:46
Trump won because working Americans don't want to allow the elite to elect a new sock puppet.
, Nash25 , 17 Nov 2016 11:40
This excellent analysis by professor West places the current political situation in a proper historical context.

However, I fear that neo-liberalism may not be quite "dead" as he argues.

Most of the Democratic party's "establishment" politicians, who conspired to sabotage the populist Sanders's campaign, still dominate the party, and they, in turn, are controlled by the giant corporations who fund their campaigns.

Democrat Chuck Schumer is now the Senate minority leader, and he is the loyal servant of the big Wall Street investment banks.

Sanders and Warren are the only two Democratic leaders who are not neo-liberals, and I fear that they will once again be marginalized.

Rank and file Democrats must organize at the local and state level to remove these corrupt neo-liberals from all party leadership positions. This will take many years, and it will be very difficult.

, SeeNOevilHearNOevil , 17 Nov 2016 11:36

The age of Obama was the last gasp of neoliberalism. Despite some progressive words and symbolic gestures, Obama chose to ignore Wall Street crimes, reject bailouts for homeowners, oversee growing inequality and facilitate war crimes like US drones killing innocent civilians abroad.


Didn't Obama say to Wall Street ''I'm the only one standing between you and the lynch mob? Give me money and I'll make it all go away''. Then came into office and went we won't prosecute the Banks not Bush for a false war because we don't look back.

He did not ignore, he actively, willingly, knowingly protected them. At the end of the day Obama is wolf in sheep's clothing. Exactly like HRC he has a public and a private position.He is a gifted speaker who knows how to say all the right, progressive liberal things to get people to go along much better than HRC ever did. But that lip service is where his progressive views begin and stop. It's the very reason none of his promises never translated into actions and I will argue that he was the biggest and smoothest scam artist to enter the white house who got even though that wholly opposed centre-right policies, to flip and support them vehemently. Even when he had the Presidency, House and Senate, he never once introduced any progressive liberal policy. He didn't need Republican support to do it, yet he never even tried.

, Giancarlo Bruno Malunkey , 17 Nov 2016 14:59
Obama entered the White House with the largest Congressional majorities since 1992. The Democrats had a larger share of seats in both houses, even leaving aside the dying and incapacitated Senators, than Bush the Younger enjoyed at any point in his presidency. What did he do with that?

The ARRA wasn't a bad idea but its effectiveness was hampered by significant giveaways to politically connected entities. Dodd-Frank somehow manages to achieve both byzantine complexity and regulatory ineffectiveness all at once. Its obvious benefits are so few that few people are ready to vigorously defend it (beyond the commonsense idea that Wall St should have been more closely regulated in the wake of the financial meltdown) while its 2,300 pages of tortured legalese inspire clarion calls for yet more deregulation. Obama unilaterally dismissed the public option he campaigned on in a close door meeting with 'health care' and pharma executives, giving us the failed Hillary/Romney/Dole health care plan that he rightfully derided during the primary contest. The Republicans were largely uninvolved in this, other than serving as useful idiots to provide the Democrats a cover for their naked betrayal. Not once did Obama use the bully pulpit to seriously advocate for single payer or even a public option.

And let's not forget the truly horrendous Bowles Simpson plan which would have cut Social Security and Medicare in the name of fiscal responsibility while at the same time reducing the marginal tax rates of the very wealthy and pushing working people into higher tax brackets with a flatter income tax schedule. Does nobody remember how they tried to punt responsibility for what would have been a disastrous and deeply unpopular package of 'reforms' by punting it over to an unelected 'Supercommittee'?! Does nobody remember that at all, FFS, it was barely 5 years ago!

You can say what you want about how Obama's hands were tied and he was totally helpless but the fact that Bush was able to make such drastic changes even when he had a rather small majority and Obama made little headway with a historically large one gives credence to the idea that the Democrats are the Washington Generals of politics. I mean, come on, he didn't even try to move public opinion towards a more progressive economic program: he was too busy boasting about how we had reduced government spending to GDP to the lowest levels in 50 years or proposing privatizations of public agencies like the Tennessee Valley Authority.

I am dismayed at the election of Donald Trump with full Republican control of Congress as most of us are, but I simply do not think it serves us to make excuses for a president who did so little to help those who once believed in him.

, TheyAreOurFriends , 17 Nov 2016 11:28

Trump's election was enabled by the policies that overlooked the plight of our most vulnerable citizens. We gird ourselves for a frightening future

No. Trump's election was secured by the hypocritical two-faced behavior of the US radical left wing. The Obama, Kerry and many of their closest advisors, had great difficulty with the word terrorist. Very much a parallel of Jeremy Corbyn-Milne and Momentum. And. Hilary was just too much of a barefaced liar.

Staggering hypocritical two-faced behavior.

Enough is enough. Although The Donald does seem to be 'walking back' so much of what he was elected on. But then, The Obama didn't close Guantanamo either.

[Mar 23, 2017] Automation threat is more complex than it looks

Mar 23, 2017 | discussion.theguardian.com
, EndaFlannel , 17 Nov 2016 09:12
In theory, in the longer term, as robotics becomes the norm rather than the exception, there will be no advantage in chasing cheap labour around the world. Given ready access to raw materials, the labour costs of manufacturing in Birmingham should be no different to the labour costs in Beijing. This will require the democratisation of the ownership of technology. Unless national governments develop commonly owned technology the 1% will truly become the organ grinders and everyone else the monkeys. One has only to look at companies like Microsoft and Google to see a possible future - bigger than any single country and answerable to no one. Common ownership must be the future. Deregulation and market driven economics are the road technological serfdom.
, Physiocrat EndaFlannel , 17 Nov 2016 09:58
Except that the raw materials for steel production are available in vast quantities in China.

You are also forgetting land. The power remains with those who own it. Most of Central London is still owned by the same half dozen families as in 1600. Reply Share

, Colin Sandford EndaFlannel , 17 Nov 2016 10:29
You can only use robotics in countries that have the labour with the skills to maintain them.Robots do not look after themselves they need highly skilled technicians to keep them working. I once worked for a Japanese company and they only used robots in the higher wage high skill regions. In low wage economies they used manual labour and low tech products.

[Feb 15, 2017] Americans arent as attached to democracy as you might think

Notable quotes:
"... Statistics can be made to slant any way you intend. ..."
"... Stupid survey leads to dumber article and fucking ridiculous headline. Standard Guardian opinion I guess. ..."
"... Seriously can you perhaps stop being so clickbaity? I've already lost the Independent because it went full on lefty Buzzfeed listical "you won't believe what they did to Trump when the lights went out". Don't follow them downwards. ..."
"... On both side of the Atlantic, we don't have a 'democracy', we have an elected monarchy. The trouble is, this monarchy gets itself elected on the basis of lies, money and suppression. For a few brief years after WWII, there was an attempt to hold executives to account, but neoliberals put paid to all that. Nowadays, it's just as if nothing had changed since Henry VIII's time. ..."
"... What we gave the ordinary Russian was neo-liberalism and they got screwed by it. Capitalisms greatest trick was to convince the many that it & democracy are the same thing. When actually, on many levels, they are totally at odds with each other. ..."
Feb 15, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
Statistics can be made to slant any way you intend. Essentially can be be used as another form of lie and propganada

Lawrence Douglas

But, the result changed when the data were narrowed to those who identified themselves as Trump supporters: 51% agreed that Trump should be able to overturn court decisions. 33% disagreed. 16% were not sure.

It is tempting to attribute this difference between Trump supporters and others simply to the fact that the president's supporters prefer a more authoritarian style of government, prioritize social order, like strong rulers, and worry about maintaining control in a world they perceive to be filled with threats and on the verge of chaos.


As the PPP's survey reveals, Trump is appealing to a remarkably receptive audience in his attempts to rule by decree – and many are no longer attached to the rule of law and/or democracy. Other studies confirm these findings. One such study found a dramatic decline in the percentage of people who say it is "essential" to live in a democracy.

When asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 how "essential" it is for them "to live in a democracy," 72% of Americans born before World War II check "10," the highest value. But, the millennial generation (those born since 1980) "has grown much more indifferent." Less than 1 in 3 hold a similar belief about the importance of democracy.

And, the New York Times reports that while 43% of older Americans thought it would be illegitimate for the military to take power if civilian government was incompetent, only 19% of millennials agreed.

While millennials may be politically liberal in their policy preferences, they have come of age in a time of political paralysis in democratic institutions, declining civility in democratic dialogue, and dramatically increased anxiety about economic security.

These findings suggest that we can no longer take for granted that our fellow citizens will stand up for the rule of law and democracy. That's why, while President Trump's behavior has riveted the media and the public, our eyes should not only be focused on him but on this larger – and troubling - trend.

If the rule of law and democracy are to survive in America we will need to address the decline in the public's understanding of, and support for both. While we celebrate the Ninth Circuit's decision on Trump's ban, we also must initiate a national conversation about democracy and the rule of law. Civics education, long derided, needs to be revived.

Schools, civic groups, and the media must to go back to fundamentals and explain what basic American political values entail and why they are desirable. Defenders of democracy and the rule of law must take their case to the American people and remind them of the Founders' admonition that: "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

We need to remember that our freedom from an arbitrary or intrusive government depends on the rule of law and a functioning democracy. We need to rehabilitate both – before this crisis of faith worsens.

Austin Sarat is a professor of jurisprudence and political science at Amherst College

, greatapedescendant , 11 Feb 2017 11:29

"There is much to celebrate in the court decision against President Trump's immigration ban. It was a stirring victory for the rule of law and reaffirmation of the independence of the judiciary."

A stirring victory of the rule of law? Hardly. More like an extraordinary act of politicised justice. And an orchestrated one at that. In my opinion that is, and as I see it at this point in time and from what I am able to discern.

No. I do not see not see any stirring victories for the rule of law here here. Certainly no courage of truth or justice. Nor, as it happens, do I like this travel ban. Nevertheless, the court's ruling seems to me to be wrong since the constitution gives the president the power to enforce blanket bans against countries believed to pose a threat.

I cannot see how the ban could justifiably be said to be aimed specifically at Muslims since it does not concern some 90 percent of the world's Muslim population. So it looks very much like a political decision from the 9th Circuit Court – and now San Francisco - in a tug of war between Democrats and Republicans.

I am somehow reminded of the final "Yes we can" in Obama's farewell speech and of a sore loser – the vindictive Mrs Clinton. Some smooth transfer of power.

The very fact that expert analysts are already sizing up what will be the Supreme Court's decision in terms of breaking the stalemate between 4 Republicans and 4 Democrats provides a perfect illustration of the politicisation of the judiciary at the highest level. Compatibly with this, Democrats are continuing to block Gorsuch's nomination.

And compatibly with this the illusion of salutary Rawlsian** apolitical amnesiacs on the part of the judiciary disperses like Scotch mist.

Somehow I have a clear mental picture of a newspaper editor, no one in particular, sitting back in his chair with a smug smile 'Look how we managed to swing that one', I hear him say. The principal protagonists here, overshadowing the US lawcourts, are the mainstream media. A power never to be underestimated, especially when the choir is singing in full maledictory and mephitic unison.

**The reference is to A Theory of Justice, the monumental work on philosophy of law by John Rawls. It casts damning light on judicial impartiality by focusing on distorting criteria affecting juries. Worth reading in the context of attacks on the impartiality of the judiciary in US lawcourts taking place right now. And also in the wake of recent attacks on the judiciary in Britain over Brexit.

, sam0412 imperium3 , 11 Feb 2017 11:53
This,

Interesting that Clinton's 52% is regarded as a God-given mandate where as the 52% for Leave is unfair as the voters were "too old/uneducated/outside London"

In both campaigns if more people my age (26) had actually bothered to vote then the results would probably be very different.

, Bluthner , 11 Feb 2017 11:34

Only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States."

But that is an utterly assinine question to ask anyone!

"Making decisions for the United States" suggests setting policy. The judges Trump is so angry with aren't making policy decisions, they are interpreting the laws that already exist.

Laws without and independent judiciary are not laws at all, they are just whims of whoever or whatever is in power. Might as well ask people do you prefer to live in a country that follows its laws or do you want to live at the whim of an irrational despot with irresponsible power who can do whatever the hell he pleases.

This survey is clearly a case of garbage in garbage out. Which is a pity, because the subject is an important one.

, LithophaneFurcifera Bluthner , 11 Feb 2017 12:03
In a common law system, like those of Britain and the US, judges do make law. If there is no relevant legislation and no precedent, the judge is required to make new law in order to rule on the case, which will then be cited as precedent by future courts. In a civil law system, like those of continental Europe, judges merely interpret (and generalise, where necessary) the rules set out in statutes and codes, and have less scope to innovate.

Of course, the recent case over Trump's immigration plans has been based on interpretations of the constitution though, but even interpretations are political (hence why the balance of power between liberals and conservatives on the Supreme Court is considered such a big issue).

, Veryumble , 11 Feb 2017 11:35
After nearly 40 years of corporate, lobbyist controlled politics, it's little surprise the younger generation have no faith in democracy. What on earth is the point in voting for two shades of the same shit?
, YoungMrP , 11 Feb 2017 11:36
You could argue that the US has never been a democracy. It is a strange democracy that allowed slavery, or the later segregation in the south, or that has systematically overlooked the rust belt taking all the gold for the liberal coasts.

It seems democracy is simply a way of deciding who the dictator should be. Not unlike the U.K. Either.

, YoungMrP therebythegrace , 11 Feb 2017 14:15
If you were black in Alabama in the early 60s I don't think you would have enjoyed any more freedom, respect or control than your Russian counterpart at that time
, jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 11:38
democracy is, of course, the best form of governance but in practice we see it benefit the wealthy who unhindered can rob
the poor, only a socialist government can
usher in a true government to do so it may
be needed to have an authoritarian regime
, Cape7441 jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 11:55
True socialism is a form of government which sounds wonderful in theory. In practice it has never successfully worked anywhere in the world. It does not take account of human nature.
, Captain_Smartypants jan oskar Hansen , 11 Feb 2017 12:00
Sorry but in the authoritarian nominatively socialist governments of the past the poor were as robbed off the fruit of their labour and their dignity as they are today.
, BonzoFerret , 11 Feb 2017 11:39
It's effectively a FPTP system that means you have a choice from only two parties. Even if someone could challenge they'd need to be a billionaire to do so. America is no democracy.
, Andy Wong Ming Jun therebythegrace , 11 Feb 2017 14:22
Germany under Adolf Hitler before he started WWII was not a zillion times worse than any of the contemporary powers in Western Europe. Neither was Franco's Spain. Looking in other areas of the globe and further away from the West, what about South Korea under Park Chung Hee? Would you call his dictatorship bad when he brought South Korea up to become one of the Asian 5 Tigers?
, therebythegrace Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 15:14

Germany under Adolf Hitler before he started WWII was not a zillion times worse than any of the contemporary powers in Western Europe

Is that supposed to be a joke? If so, it's in very poor taste.

My parents grew up in Nazi Germany. Yes, it was a zillion times worse. Political opponents were routinely murdered. There was no rule of law. Minorities, gay people etc were imprisoned, tortured, murdered, expelled.

WTF are on you on about?

, Metreemewall Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 15:50
Clueless.

Germany was broke, following their defeat in WWI; people were poor, humiliated,insecure and frightened for the future. In other words, the classic breeding ground for demagogues and extremists.

After WWII, the Allies had learned their lesson and made sure that Germany should, for everyone's security, be helped to prosper.

, Wehadonebutitbroke Andy Wong Ming Jun , 11 Feb 2017 16:05
what about South Korea under Park Chung Hee? Would you call his dictatorship bad when he brought South Korea up to become one of the Asian 5 Tigers?

The Friemanite right adored him and many of his equally repressive and dictatorial successors (just as they did Pinochet, Suharto (deemed by Transparency International to be the most corrupt leader in modern history to boot) and endless South American juntas etc).

Every one else saw him for what he was - an authoritarian who had political opponents tortured and killed and who banned any form of protest.

, John Favre praxismakesperfec , 11 Feb 2017 16:11

And is it particularly surprising that Trump voters tend towards anti democratic authoritarianism?

My dad and two of my brothers voted for Trump. Like most Americans, they detest authoritarian governments. I sincerely doubt you know any Trump voters - let alone ones who favor authoritarianism.

, fauteuilpolitique , 11 Feb 2017 11:42
How to misdirect readers with a BUT :

In a cross-section of Americans, only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States." 38% said they trusted Donald Trump more than our country's judges, and 9% were undecided.

But , the result changed when the data were narrowed to those who identified themselves as Trump supporters: 51% agreed that Trump should be able to overturn court decisions. 33% disagreed. 16% were not sure.

The results are significantly the same, the But implies something different.

, Paul B tenthenemy , 11 Feb 2017 13:32
besides, the results are *not* significantly the same. Fauteuil's first sentence suggests that 53% (more than a Brexit majority, hence Will of the People) of Americans support the judiciary over the presidency. In contrast, a majority of Trump supporters, not unnaturally, take the opposite view.
, sewollef , 11 Feb 2017 11:45
Statistics can be made to slant any way you intend.

So let's break this down: 51% of Trump supporters think he can do what he pleases. 51% means one quarter of those who voted in the US general election.

If we estimate that only two-thirds of the electorate voted, that means in reality, probably less than 16% of total potential voters think this way.

Not so dramatic now is it?

, bananacannon , 11 Feb 2017 11:45
Stupid survey leads to dumber article and fucking ridiculous headline. Standard Guardian opinion I guess.

Seriously can you perhaps stop being so clickbaity? I've already lost the Independent because it went full on lefty Buzzfeed listical "you won't believe what they did to Trump when the lights went out". Don't follow them downwards.

, Jympton , 11 Feb 2017 11:45
On both side of the Atlantic, we don't have a 'democracy', we have an elected monarchy. The trouble is, this monarchy gets itself elected on the basis of lies, money and suppression. For a few brief years after WWII, there was an attempt to hold executives to account, but neoliberals put paid to all that. Nowadays, it's just as if nothing had changed since Henry VIII's time.
, therebythegrace , 11 Feb 2017 11:46
Sad that a new, stupid generation have to learn the truth of Churchill's dictum that 'Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others'.

Sincerely hope for all of us that they don't have to learn this the hard way.

I say this speaking as someone whose parents fled Nazi Germany, and who also spent time with relatives in the former East Germany prior to the wall coming down. Life under a dictatorship, whether of the right or left, is no picnic.

, wikiwakiwik olderiamthelessiknow , 11 Feb 2017 12:32
'Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others'.

But is it democracy's fault when the option as to which kind of government we can choose is so narrow? Scary as it may sound, I think that the majority of young people would swap democracy just for some stability & safety. But what they fail to realize is that it's not democracy that's at the fault - but our form of capitalism. Look what happened in Russian when the wall came down & the free market rushed in & totally screwed over the ordinary Russian. Putin was, to some extent, a reaction to this. His strong man image was something they thought would help them. What we gave the ordinary Russian was neo-liberalism and they got screwed by it. Capitalisms greatest trick was to convince the many that it & democracy are the same thing. When actually, on many levels, they are totally at odds with each other.

, NadaZero , 11 Feb 2017 11:47
"Democracy is a great word, whose history, I suppose, remains unwritten, because that history has yet to be enacted." --Walt Whitman
, EpicHawk , 11 Feb 2017 11:47
Laws aren't final, they evolve with the needs of society. While I support this decidion I find all of this a bit silly and typical of that strange world.. "this is the law, therefor blabla.." I don't get why people even decide to study it in university. Most law students are like : "Yeah I don't know what to pick. Lets do Law, it'll give me a good job". Empty stuff really..
, Brexit_to_Democracy , 11 Feb 2017 11:47
Can someone please explain how the court has over ruled the executive order? From what I understand it's because it would harm some Americans - but does that mean using the same logic courts can undo tax increases, spending cuts, changes in abortion law? Or if the travel ban was instead passed by congress it would then be beyond the remit of judges?
, Brexit_to_Democracy Brexit_to_Democracy , 11 Feb 2017 11:51
And guns!! Surely judges could determine the second amendment can lead to a lot of harm?!
, referendum Brexit_to_Democracy , 11 Feb 2017 12:21
One example given was schools. Banning students from state universities, or professors, by preventing them from entering the country, was damaging to the schools capacity to earn money ( in tuition fees) and provide state education. Then there was the example of forcibly separating families.

But this part of the ruling does not exist on it's own, it goes together with another part of the ruling, which was that there was no good reason for this action, since the Government had failed to provide that any person from any of these countries was a threat - which was the reason given in the executive order. For this and other reasons the Executive order was deemed to be not legally enforceable.

Another problem is that this was an executive order, just a piece of paper signed by Trump, and the President does not have sole authority to make laws, there is also the judiciary and legislative branches - the courts and congress. If the travel ban had been passed by congress then the courts would probably have not been able to overturn it. In this game of stone scissors paper, the executive doesn't beat the other two - it needs one of them to rubber-stamp the decision if challenged. The argument that a presidential order should be all powerful and must be obeyed regardless of whether it was legal or not, was deemed by the judges to be anti constutional and thrown out of court.

The other examples you give of tax increases or spending cuts or abortion might indeed cause harm, but providing they are not anti-constitutional, and they get through congress, and are not illegal, the harm wouldn't be taken into account.

, Treflesg , 11 Feb 2017 11:48
I would not have voted for Trump. I would not have voted for quite a few American Presidents before him either.
But the hyperbole about Trump is being overdone.
The USA is one of the oldest democracies on earth, and, one of only ten nations that have lasted as democracies for more than a century.
By overstating Trump's impact, you are not helping.
, mondopinion Treflesg , 11 Feb 2017 12:12
It is actually a kind of hysteria. I remember Senator McCarthy's communist hysteria, and also the marijuana hysteria which swept through schools when I was a child in the 1950s.
, Tongariro1 , 11 Feb 2017 11:48
I'm a little surprised that there seems to be less debate in the USA about the electoral college for the presidency than I thought likely. Of course, the electoral college is a completely redundant if it never leads to a different result from a straightforward popular vote. As I understand it, the electoral college is designed to ensure that smaller states have a voice greater than their population size alone would deliver.

But in a nationwide poll, on a binary issue, such as the election of the president or Brexit, I would have thought that each vote should count equally. SNP supporters might differ in this view, as would presumably US Democratic Party supporters.

, unclestinky , 11 Feb 2017 11:48
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.- H. L. Mencken.

Working so far.

, MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:49

Public support for the rule of law and democracy can no longer be taken for granted.


"no longer"?

There was a mysterious absence of support for the rule of law when Obama used drones to extrajudicially assassinate American citizens.

, MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:51

Only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States." In this cross-section of Americans, 38% said they trusted Donald Trump more than our country's judges. 9% were undecided.

This means absolutely nothing regarding whether people support democracy and the rule of law.

Were the results about Obama, the very same result would probably be interpreted as racism by the liberal media.

, innnn , 11 Feb 2017 11:51
Another poll from Public Polling Policy says that by a margin of 51/23 Trump supporters agree that the Bowling Green massacre shows that Trump's travel ban is a good idea.

That's shows what you're up against and also why both Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer 'misspeak' so often.

, cidcid , 11 Feb 2017 11:51

A new national survey suggests that we can no longer take for granted that our fellow citizens will stand up for the rule of law and democracy

Dear Austin, let me educate you a bit about the basics. The rule of law and democracy cannot both exist simultaneously in one society. The former has never been an American tradition. Read Tocqueville.

The rule of law is characteristic of a totalitarian state where it is enforced by civil servant. The basic principle of such a state were described by Shang Yang 2400 years ago: a civil servant obeys the law, regardless of the will of his superior. Everyone obeys the law from top to bottom.

In democracy people are judged by courts of jury. Which rule as they like, representing the public opinion, not the written law. Constitution doesn't exist either. Teddy Roosevelt explained when asked if his orders are constitutional: "The constitution was created for the people, not the people for the constitution".

One nice example: the famous "Affirmative Action". It is obviously inconsistent with the most basic constitutional principle, that people are born equal. But it existed because the public didn't mind.

, MathiasWeitz , 11 Feb 2017 11:52
It makes me really wonder if americans (and other nations) are feeling something like a 'weimar' moment, when the germans in 1933 lost trust in their very young democracy after living for years under economic hardship and political pariah.
There is so much that resembles the nazi-era, this xenophobia, that started with a slow decay of civil rights, the erosion of check and balances without the need to change the constitution.
When we are heading for the similar kind of fascism like germany eighty years ago, at what point people should be held responsible for making a stand ?
, MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:54

Schools, civic groups, and the media must to go back to fundamentals and explain what basic American political values entail and why they are desirable.

Agreed. Special emphasis should be placed on accepting the results of elections, there appears to have been a recent surge in undemocratic sentiment on that front.

, MrHubris MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 11:57
How about special emphasis on debunking lies from people like the cowardly, liar Trump? Share Facebook Twitter
, therebythegrace MightyBuccaneer , 11 Feb 2017 12:48
Are you confusing "accepting the results of elections' with 'denying people the right to peacefully protest'?

If so, I think you are the one who could do with going back to the fundamentals and learning about what democracy entails.

Share Facebook Twitter
, eltonbraces MrHubris , 11 Feb 2017 12:50
Perhaps sweet, caring, sharing Hillary could visit and put them straight.
, CortoL , 11 Feb 2017 11:54
Democracy? What democracy? Share Facebook Twitter
, Streona25 , 11 Feb 2017 11:55
Can you have a democratic plutocracy?
, michaelmichael , 11 Feb 2017 11:56
"Americans aren't as attached to democracy as you might think"

you only just realised?? Wow

'Democracy' is just a handy label for when the US wants to bomb another sovereign state

, ErikFBerger , 11 Feb 2017 11:56
"... trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States."

This question is badly worded. It is not judges role to lead the country. The question should have been:

"Should judges uphold the law to the best of their understanding, even if that means nullifying an order by president Trump?"

, UnashamedPedant , 11 Feb 2017 11:59
That link to the Federalist of 1788 on Checks & Balances is wrong. Here is the correct version:
http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa51.htm
, ayupmeduck2 , 11 Feb 2017 11:59
I suspect that it's a change in what the word democracy means to people. Even the older generation are starting to understand that the 'democracies' that we live under in the western world are horribly distorted. Big corporations, even foreign ones, have far more access to the elected executive than the actual voters. Governments dance to the tune of powerful media. Votes don't often count for much at all.

With this background it's no wonder that the Brexit voters feel drunk with power. For once they voted on something and believe that they will get exactly what they voted for. The final irony is that for most of them they don't realise that they were turkeys voting for Christmas. Brexit could have possibly bought them some benefits, but the Tories seem determined to deny them even that. Once the realise they have been swindled, what then for democracy?

, sd0001 ayupmeduck2 , 11 Feb 2017 13:31
People have lost faith in democracy, politics, the judicial system and, yes, economics.

Voting to remain in the EU, is a vote for the status quo...if you're lucky. They want more government, not less. It is not a 20-50 year project. It is forever, and they will not stay still. It will evolve, and not regress politically.

The UK government will have to change, and they have the chance. They may not succeed, but I believe they will try, and the pressure from the people will be more direct.

The EU don't want to change. If it was an economic union and not a political one, then it would be a great organisation.

Forget the garbage about wars and instability. That comes from economic success, with NATO providing any security until that comes to fruition to the developing countries.

, FCBarca , 11 Feb 2017 12:00
No surveys needed to arrive at these conclusions I am afraid, apathy and mistrust of govt has been eroding for decades. US government is a cesspool of corruption and in no small way is aided by the fact that its citizens have given tacit approval for the erosion of their own civil liberties and rights while celebrating the war machine that has increasingly rolled on for more than 3 decades

The abyss looming for the US, and by extension the world, can be traced back to a populace that abandoned democracy and freely gifted the cronies the mandate to accelerate the erosion.

Solution? Kill apathy and not only get back involved but remain vigilant to preserve checks & balances

, Knapping , 11 Feb 2017 12:00
Forty years ago, democracy was more or less synonymous with prosperity. Given it's now wider spread to many poorer states across the world, as well as the incredible increase in the standard of living in non-democratic countries, principally China, this is no longer the case. I suspect we have not made the case for democracy as an end in itself, nor as a route to distributing prosperity more widely, or as a corollary of 'The Free Market'.
, J092939 Knapping , 11 Feb 2017 12:13
This (democracy relates to prosperity) is insightful. Will we all be able to operate democratically when climate issues and exhaustion of resources vs. population force us to manage the decline?
, timiengels , 11 Feb 2017 12:02
A thought provoking article. Like many things it comes down to terminology .what, for example is democracy? Are the US or UK systems really democracies when it is clear that laws are enacted in the interests of a narrow group of citizens and corporations who have the power to lobby, especially in the US where bribery has been legalized with respect to lobbying.

Beyond this, look at US attempts to come up with some sort of climate change plan. All of these flounder on the twin rocks of democracy with its lobbying (we'll never get voted in again) or economic cost to the tax payer (we'll get voted out next time).

Democracy is always presented in our schools, TVs, books and newspapers as a universal good, when in reality there are good democracies and bad democracies with the US and UK versions actually being on the bad side what with an unelected second chamber of grandees in the UK and the US in a state of perpetual wars of choice.

Countries are what they do. The US starts wars. The UK follows the US into wars. Most countries whether democratic or not, don't start many wars (Germany hasn't started too many wars since 1939). Many countries that don't start wars are actually controlled by non democratic governments or military juntas .and personally I would prefer non democracies that don't start wars. It's not a difficult concept to grasp.

The main problems with all forms of government is abuse of power and it goes on in democracies as much as any other type of government. Look at Tony Blair astride the globe hoover-ing up millions instead of being sitting next the Bush in a 6X8 feet cell. When Britain and America fell asleep and accepted total state surveillance as the price they had to pay to stop a handful of terrorist deaths each year, they set themselves up for this power to be abused in the future and badly abused.
What's the answer? Really it begins at home with lessons in honesty, modesty, selflessness and the like. The reality and the kids are plonked down in front of the TV watching the avarice of the Kardashians there is little hope.

, uuuuuuu , 11 Feb 2017 12:02
After the horrors of WWII most people in the developed world understood both, the dangers and merits of democracy. In fact there is a conventional wisdom that it is totalitarian regimes which start wars, never democracies. By and large that may be true, but I don't think it is true in every instance.

But the major motivation for people is to press their own advantage, even it is to the detriment of somebody else. Even if it is quite evident that it is to the fatal detriment of somebody else. I guess religion describes this as our original sin. If that goal of personal advantage is better secured by a dictatorship then people (e.g. in 1930s Germany) will support that. Democracy is not a value in itself for the majority, but just a means to an end. After all, I suspect many would prefer to be rich in a totalitarian state, rather than poor in a democracy (especially those people who have never lived under a totalitarian regime).

What people like Trump do is to legitimise this drive/desire/greed as something positive (greed is good, greed works), when all of our upbringing has told us otherwise. Otherwise we could just take to killing our siblings to acquire their larger bedrooms.

I suspect the horrors of WWII have to be repeated to re-learn that lesson.

, Peter55 , 11 Feb 2017 12:03
oh well who cares. let the US rip itself apart from the inside, we all knew it was gonna happen sooner or later.

there will be no need for a terrorist attack to destroy the US ,they manage that fine on their own. a 50/50 split in the population over values and believes? Regardless of who's right and who's wrong. Its so damaging that by the end of Trump Pax America will be history.

US cant even keep control in their own backyard atm, thousands are killed within their own boarders every year by their own people, most average people will never get enough paid to sustain a adequate living condition, they struggle heavily with race and race related problems. They struggle heavily with females and female right.
But most importantly they are not united, americans hate americans now. Many americans hate their fellow americans more than they hate outside enemies. And thats a fact. How can a society like that survive?

The US will eat itself and Trump will probably earn a billion on it, he is after all a business man. He does what suits him best. But did anyone actually expect something els?

, baxterb , 11 Feb 2017 12:03
Make them afraid, then exploit that fear like there's no tomorrow. Heartening that people don't fall for it though.
, Bluejil , 11 Feb 2017 12:04
It does correlate with research that says one third of US residents believe you must be Christian to be American ( http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/02/01/what-it-takes-to-truly-be-one-of-us /). Jesus makes the laws.

Take it a step further and apparently the word of Jesus is that you pull the ladder up after you and you look to the demagogue giving false praise to fantastical notions and mocking democracy.

, Fred Ducleaux Bluejil , 11 Feb 2017 12:17
There is much confusion between "Christian" America and America's Judeo-Christian Heritage. Books have been written.

The heritage is what gave America, and Europe, Liberal Democracy and freedoms understood as "self-evident." That is, embedded and safe from lawyers and politicians. You do not need to be a "Christian" to enjoy the freedomos the heritage gives to all.

, nottaken Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 15:57
"self-evident" is a strong clue that the constitution was informed more by man-centred Enlightenment than by residual Judeo-Christian Heritage.
The majority of the framers were Atheists or Deists; any reference to God was part of the necessary legitimizing and marketing process. Since then it has been a process of Christianity (read: Protestantism) being merged with the civic religion, to the point where they are indistinguishable. Both have been mightily degraded in the process.

More recently, corporate America's propaganda campaign to merge Christianity with Capitalism, fronted by Rev. J Fifield, was hugely successful, and has brought us to the present pass.

, mikedow , 11 Feb 2017 12:04
Sitting politicians create the laws the judges interpret.

That seems to be a necessary reminder.

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, AgainstDarkness , 11 Feb 2017 12:05
"While millennials may be politically liberal in their policy preferences... "

They are not politically liberal. They might be vaguely called "socially liberal", supporting the causes prescribed to them by a new "progressivism" in the name of ill-defined tolerance, diversity etc.

None of the above implies an understanding of liberal democracy.

There have been many strains of the "left" in the past that would be classified as "liberal" under current American terminology but were totally undemocratic. That was why the term "democratic left" was invented to separate left-wing people that really believe in democracy.

The modern "progressive identarian" is not a liberal.

, Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 12:08
If you are a Green Card holder and leave the US you can incure tax liability for up to 10 years. Taxation without representation.

But........the most flagrant departure from Democracy is giving the lawyers the final say on what is, or is not, the law. The legislature can pass whatever bills they may like but if the lawyers say it is offensive or phobic it will be struck down. The "Supreme" Court is the ultimate power in the USA and none are elected by the people and none can be removed by the people. The only way they go is in a box.

Sad to say, Tony Blair (surprise surprise!) created the same undemocratic monster in our country and even labelled it the same way: "Supreme." Unelected, unaccountable and as politically motivated as its US counterpart.

, Jack Taylor Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 12:20
By lawyers I guess you mean judges?
, snavep Fred Ducleaux , 11 Feb 2017 12:22
No the SC in the US can decide a law is contrary to the constitution.
Can you give a single example where the UK SC has 'struck down' any legislation? They have declared govt decisions contrary to existing law including common law. You do seem to have a habit of coming on here making stuff up.
, lochinverboy , 11 Feb 2017 12:08
In the context of first past the post, democracy is a total con. If you examine those democracies with FPTP you wintness the most right wing governments on the planet that use this system. PR as is used across Europe prevents these extremes and all votes count. Do you think the Tories OR Labour will rush to change to this? No chance. Lastly, here and in the US, you have a choice of two broadly similar parties who serve the rich and powerful who have engineered democracy largely by contolling the press, to suit their own ends. By definition therefore, democracy here and in the US is a caricature of what was originally intended for the people and not fit for purpose.
, Graz100 lochinverboy , 11 Feb 2017 12:20
I support the introduction of PR, but it is a mistake to assume that any kind of voting system or institution will stop the collapse of democracy/ democratic institutions Economic and social strife will tend to overcome all safeguards when the public starts to feel desperate. A good example and warning from history is the rise of the Nazi party in pre WW2 Germany. Trump and the republicans have yet to destroy democracy and I see no suggestion that T will refuse to stand fro reelection.
, Zojo lochinverboy , 11 Feb 2017 12:32
I agree that the reason democracy has lost its lustre is because both her and in the US we are offered no real choice. In terms of economic policy, the "There is No Alternative" party always wins. Unsurprisingly, people start to believe that there IS no alternative, and therefore the choice on offer is not genuine. They then either lose interest in voting altogether, or look for more extreme offerings which seem to be truly different.
, brightheart , 11 Feb 2017 12:14
Bringing up the 'law and order' issues combined with blaming it on immigrants is typical of far right regimes that want to undermine democratic values and move towards dictatorship.
, IanPitch , 11 Feb 2017 12:19 Guardian Pick
By casting aspersions on the judiciary, Trump is echoing past dictators. First, he questions their independence and then, when another terrorist incident occurs (whether white or non-white) he can say 'I told you so, this atrocity is all the judge's fault'. America has truly entered a new dark age. Let's pray that good men and women will continue to uphold and defend the Constitution and the rule of law... Share
, politicsblogsuk IanPitch , 11 Feb 2017 12:33
An independent judiciary and a free press are considered the pillars or cornerstones of a properly functioning democracy.

Once you undermine them or the public's trust in them, it is much easier to move the political centre of gravity towards fascism.

So, why is Trump attacking the judiciary and fee press?

, mondopinion politicsblogsuk , 11 Feb 2017 13:08
I for one no longer think the mainstream 'free press' is balanced or impartial.
, AgeingAlbion , 11 Feb 2017 12:23
Democracy has been in decline in the west for some time now, and it isn't just the right or the left which has abandoned it. Nearly every western country has a bill of rights (either a strong version eg the US which can strike down legislation or a weaker one eg the U.K. where the courts award damages for breaches and make declarations of incompatibility). The EU has pros and cons but no one could pretend it is democratic. The UK still has the House of Lords. The Canadian academic James Allen has written a good book on it - how elites have now decided they know best.

We need to be wary of this endless erosion of majority rule. Tin pot dictators the world over have always had an excuse for ignoring the majority. Latin American military Juntas always explained that they had to have power to ensure security. Human rights lawyers say they are needdd to uphold the ever evolving concept of human rights. The Church used to insist it should have power to enforce God's rule. The Fijian army in 1987 made an openly racist coup (attracting minimal opprobrium and next to no action from the international community). Even those who think there are sound reasons to ignore the majority have to admit they're not in great historical company

, Philip J Sparrow AgeingAlbion , 11 Feb 2017 12:40
"those who think there are sound reasons to ignore the majority"

People like Socrates/Plato, John Stuart Mill, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, James Madison, Alexis de Tocqueville...

, emmasdad AgeingAlbion , 11 Feb 2017 12:49

The EU has pros and cons but no one could pretend it is democratic.

The EU is not a state; it is 28 member states acting collaboratively in a number of specified policy areas. As such, the appropriate comparison is not between the EU and a state but between the EU and other collective bodies through which states cooperate with one-another such as the UN or NATO. In terms of giving representation to ordinary citizens of its member states, I would say the EU compares extremely favourably.

Moreover, the only two bodies in the EU that are able to enact legislation (and can only do so through the agreement of both bodies) are the EU Parliament, which is directly elected by the citizens of the member states and the Council, which consists of members of the Governments of the member states, which, in turn, have been put in place by the citizens of the member states through whichever electoral system is employed in each member state. We don't need to 'pretend' that the EU is democratic; it's system of governance IS democratic in the same way that the governance structures of western democracies are democratic.

, Vintage59 emmasdad , 11 Feb 2017 15:01
To put that more succinctly, no one can pretend the EU is democratic but many will still argue that it is if it fits their purposes.

Amusing.

, Gilbert3 , 11 Feb 2017 12:23
Fewer people believe in the importance of democracy because we're several generations on from almost having lost it. In the same vein we're more likely to have a major war than we were 40/50 years ago because none of the major world leaders have experience of one. It's cyclic. We become complacent and smug until it happens again.
, Gilbert3 , 11 Feb 2017 12:23
Fewer people believe in the importance of democracy because we're several generations on from almost having lost it. In the same vein we're more likely to have a major war than we were 40/50 years ago because none of the major world leaders have experience of one. It's cyclic. We become complacent and smug until it happens again.
, Andy Wong Ming Jun Gilbert3 , 11 Feb 2017 14:28
History is a cycle. In this respect I agree with Steve Bannon. He's not nuts, he's just someone who knows how to read the winds very well like a wolf.
, theshining , 11 Feb 2017 12:35
"It was a stirring victory for the rule of law and reaffirmation of the independence of the judiciary."
It most certainly was NOT anything of the kind. It was an act of judicial arrogance and a deliberate attempt to undermine the long upheld power of the President to take actions that HE considers required for the safety of the nation. What the ruling basically did was substitute judicial preferences for Presidential preferences no matter that the Constitution was clearly not supportive of this usurpation of power. you can review LOTS of legal opinions that state precisely this. An horrendously POLITICAL decision that will come back to haunt the courts.
A defense of 'democracy' that begins with a defense of an arbitrary and demonstrably BAD court ruling is pretty much fatally flawed from the jump.
Democracy works for as long as the fracture points in society are papered over with a commonality of basic interests. When that is not the case, democracy cannot endure. The US (and others will follow) is fracturing into pieces that simply don't like each other for VERY fundamental reasons, including the definition of a Nation State and what it means.
Democracy works when things go well. It cannot work when it all falls apart. Oh and it also of course fails when the majority have a vested interest in getting stuff 'free', and can vote to have their demands enacted no matter the consequences.
LOTS of places are not democracies. It really isn't the future. Too many fault lines coming up.
, kristinezkochanski , 11 Feb 2017 12:35
Only 53% of those surveyed said that they "trust judges more than President Trump to make the right decisions for the United States."

One of the reasons why I am very sceptical of opinion polls or surveys is that they often ask the wrong questions. It is not for judges to make decisions about what is best for the country which this question clearly implies. Their job is to judge what complies with the law.

Judges do not make political decisions about what is right for the United States any more than they do about what is right for the UK. It is this lack of understanding which leads to them being called enemies of the people.

, ennCarey , 11 Feb 2017 12:38
Here is the great George Carlin summing it all up in just 3 minutes and 14 seconds.

It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it - George Carlin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKUaqFzZLxU

, dv420uk , 11 Feb 2017 12:38
It all boils down to education. Democracy can't work when you have so many people prepared to believe and base their vote on 'fake news' (a nicer way to say lie).

Governments in a democracy need to make having a well educated public a priority. Provide a high standard education for all the population up to secondary school level for free (or at a rate affordable to everyone) and you greatly diminish the chances of another Trump/Brexit.

, therebythegrace dv420uk , 11 Feb 2017 12:52
And that's why both the Tories and the Republicans have placed so much effort in undermining our education systems.

They do not want an educated populace who are capable of critical thinking.

, CyrusA dv420uk , 11 Feb 2017 12:59
And hopefully diminish the chances of more "moderate" alternatives bringing the Population to its knees? Was Thatcher more "moderate" than Trump or did the Me Generation that she created usher in May and Trump.
, Budanevey , 11 Feb 2017 12:39
One person's victory is another's defeat. Politicians and voters are divided on judicial appointments to the Supreme Court, and the 4-4 split in the current court illustrates that the rule of law is simply another reflection of politics.

I think the Ninth Court made a big mistake. Why? Because playing politics with the law can have serious unintended consequences. American Presidents have been resorting to shock and awe against Muslims because they can't use tough domestic security measures to protect Americans at home for fear of US judges taking an uncompromising view of constitutional rights. Trump's predecessors have not only resorted to foreign military action, but they have taken risks with extra-legal measures like Rendition, Secret Prisons, Torture and Drone attacks.

The Ninth Court may uphold the constitutional rights of people coming from war zones to attend universities in Washington State, but the real world consequence of their hostility to domestic security measures will be to corner existing and future presidents in to bombing suspected terrorists abroad, making the world infinitely less safe with regime-changing wars.

, SkiSpy Budanevey , 11 Feb 2017 12:45
They have a hostility to unlawful, unconstitutional presidential edicts. That's a good thing. Share Facebook Twitter
, Budanevey SkiSpy , 11 Feb 2017 12:55
Congress gave the President the power to exclude people from the US on national security grounds. The University of Maryland maintains the Global Terrorism Database which lists more than 150,000 attacks since it began.

96% of current terrorism killing more than 7000 people each year is claimed by jihadis. President Trump first mentioned his proposed temporary ban after the murders in San Bernardino.

I don't think its unreasonable to restrict people coming from these war zones when they've been murdering people elsewhere, including Paris, Brussels, Berlin etc. It seems that US judges can't be persuaded that the right to life is more important than the temporary inconvenience of not being able to attend universities in Washington State unless and until such people murder Americans on American soil. I wouldn't call that 'constitutional'. It's offensive stupidity and irresponsible.

How man

, Joe Soap Budanevey , 11 Feb 2017 13:17
If Americans were so concerned about the right to life they would do something about their almost non-existent gun laws. Terrorists don't have to kill Americans since Americans are doing such a good job of it on their own.
, brap123 , 11 Feb 2017 12:40
Americans are waking up to the fact that the elite and establishment don't care about the them. The media lies, the courts are trying to let in terrorists. TRump is the only one who is fighting for the people. Trump is fighting for truth, Trump is fighting for our safety, even though the establishment is desperate to make us less safe (my guesss do the 1% can profit somehow). Fake news by the media is only continue to push this

Trump is fighting for Americans, we need to unite behind him. He will never let us down, and never lie to us.

, c23e , 11 Feb 2017 12:40
It's funny how Americans use Christianity as a weapon and are always quoting an eye for an eye etc instead of love your neighbour. If you are a Christian then surely you should realise that the old testament which is The Torah is all about revenge and anger whereas the New Testament is all about forgiveness and love and if the two come from the same God then that God has a spilt personality!

Also looking at history if you remember that Islam is 600 years younger than Christianity ask yourself what were Christians doing 600 years ago and you will see a lot of it was the same as what Jihardis are doing today - torture, beheadings and killing of those seen as apostates in the name of religion.

And remember American was founded by those seeking religious freedom despite the fact they oppressed the religions of the Native Americans and then went on to break more than 400 treaties with the Native Americans over the years.

Even the declaration of independence was signed mainly by slave owners ( which is surely anti-christian) and apartheid reigned in the US until Martin Luther King.

Land of the free and home of the brave is some king of joke played on the people but only noted by historians.

, PureReason2017 , 11 Feb 2017 12:44
To an important degree extensive, well-understood and articulately defended democracy only "matters" if you ascribe a large role to the [nation/federal] state - if you think it should spend very large amounts of money, address all manner of social problems, and regulate everything people do to reduce risk and enforce equality/diversity. If you believe in a minimal state (as most of the US founders did) then a much clearer and less pressing kind of democracy for national affairs is fully adequate. It is at the local level - in the states and counties, the towns and cities - that regular and engaged democracy is essential. And this report does not look at that at all. It is only bothered about who gets to drive forward the all-powerful state. If Pres Trump - and it is a very big if - wants to reduce the role of the state, then the significance of his actions through that state become clearer and more capable of control.
, Paul B PureReason2017 , 11 Feb 2017 13:00
surely the problem is that so much of what happens in a modern democracy cannot be carried out at a local level. You cannot have a local level internet. You cannot decide where your highways and trains are going to go purely at the local level. You cannot, in most cases, feed and clothe and support your population at the local level and any form of trade requires agreements that take place at a much higher level.
, Junkets , 11 Feb 2017 12:46
It's a very interesting phenomenon. The 'attraction' of Trump is that he's a loose cannon and doesn't seem to have that much control over a lot of what he says. The remarks about Putin and America's own predilection for killing people - which caused him to be called anti-American for actually speaking the truth - is a case in point. He is the precise opposite of your usual buttoned up on-message politician and that, quite frankly, is refreshing. He is precisely where our democracy itself has led to. Because of its reliance on professional politicians who say one thing and mean another, his tendency to blabber and say just what's on his mind, must be perceived as a virtue. Where this will lead, I have no idea, but he is definitely opening up new unexplored territory and what we might find in it is anyone's guess. As the old Chinese curse goes, "May you live in interesting times."
, Junkets Junkets , 11 Feb 2017 12:57
For those thinking of impeaching Trump, think what the alternative will be. Pence. Now that guy really is scary - scarier even than Bannon.

[Jan 23, 2017] We need an alternative to Trumps nationalism. It isnt the status quo

Notable quotes:
"... The era of neoliberalism ended in the autumn of 2008 with the bonfire of financialisation's illusions. The fetishisation of unfettered markets that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan brought to the fore in the late 1970s had been the necessary ideological cover for the unleashing of financiers to enable the capital flows essential to a new phase of globalisation in which the United States deficits provided the aggregate demand for the world's factories (whose profits flowed back to Wall Street closing the loop nicely). ..."
"... when the bottom fell out of this increasingly unstable feedback loop, neoliberalism's illusions burned down and the west's working class ended up too expensive and too indebted to be of interest to a panicking global establishment. ..."
"... Thatcher's and Reagan's neoliberalism had sought to persuade that privatisation of everything would produce a fair and efficient society unimpeded by vested interests or bureaucratic fiat. That narrative, of course, hid from public view what was really happening: a tremendous buildup of super-state bureaucracies, unaccountable supra-state institutions (World Trade Organisation, Nafta, the European Central Bank), behemoth corporations, and a global financial sector heading for the rocks. ..."
"... Their purpose was to impose acquiescence to a clueless establishment that had lost its ambition to maintain its legitimacy. When the UK government forced benefit claimants to declare in writing that "my only limits are the ones I set myself", or when the troika forced the Greek or Irish governments to write letters "requesting" predatory loans from the European Central Bank that benefited Frankfurt-based bankers at the expense of their people, the idea was to maintain power via calculated humiliation. Similarly, in America the establishment habitually blamed the victims of predatory lending and the failed health system. ..."
"... It was against this insurgency of a cornered establishment that had given up on persuasion that Donald Trump and his European allies rose up with their own populist insurgency. They proved that it is possible to go against the establishment and win. Alas, theirs will be a pyrrhic victory which will, eventually, harm those whom they inspired. The answer to neoliberalism's Waterloo cannot be the retreat to a barricaded nation-state and the pitting of "our" people against "others" fenced off by tall walls and electrified fences. ..."
"... This is all about globalisation, specifically wage deflation for the working classes from competing with emerging markets and freedom of movement, and also from offshoring of working class jobs to emerging markets. ..."
"... Until there is a viable alternative economic philosophy, nationalism is the future, whether we like it or not. ..."
"... Enough is enough. Globalisation is now only working for the rich and powerful. The model is simple - globalisation lowers the cost for consumers of everything, because the lowest cost geography produces everything (China, India etc), which is great until nobody has a job any more, so nobody can afford anything. ..."
"... The challenge is not to stick with the status quo, it's to find an alternative to nationalism that works for everyone. ..."
"... Fine words, but we're along way from that right now. What's happening in Europe, and across the Atlantic, is really only just getting started. Our elites may well be suffering from a crisis of legitimacy, and yet they are still very much in control. ..."
"... Neoliberalism is based on the acceptance that the rich elite are deserving of their wealth and privileges. The elite have used their mouthpieces, such as tabloids and think tanks, to ram this home; but the banking crisis of 2008 helped disabuse people of this myth that justifies rampant inequality in the US and the UK in particular. ..."
"... Trump and Brexit are expressions of the paradigm shift that is underway; but up till now, rather ironically, a billionaire and a rich former stockbroker have been the voice of protest, because it is they who have the money, connections and vanity to ensure they are heard. ..."
"... These classes of "globalization losers," particularly in the United States, have had little political voice or influence, and perhaps this is why the backlash against globalization has been so muted. They have had little voice because the rich have come to control the political process. The rich, as can be seen by looking at the income gains of the global top 5 percent in Figure 1, have benefited immensely from globalization and they have keen interest in its continuation. But while their use of political power has enabled the continuation of globalization, it has also hollowed out national democracies and moved many countries closer to becoming plutocracies. Thus, the choice would seem either plutocracy and globalization – or populism and a halt to globalization. ..."
"... Some of the gains of the top 5 percent could go toward alleviating the anger of the lower- and middle-class rich world's "losers." ..."
"... the history of the last quarter century during which the top classes in the rich world have continually piled up larger and larger gains, all the while socially and mentally separating themselves from fellow citizens, does not bode well for that alternative ..."
"... Social Neoliberals (mass immigration, family breakdown, individualism etc) combine with economic Neoliberals (profit maximisation, global capital movements etc) to get their way. ..."
"... I'm fairly sure that in time it will be shown that thier is a cabal of think-tanks and supranationalists who have perverted everything to thier own benefit. How and why does a Labour Peer get free accomodation on Baron Rothschilds' estate? How and why does the royal bank Coutts get bailed out by the taxpayer with no strings attached? ..."
Jan 23, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
The answer to neoliberalism's Waterloo cannot be a retreat to barricaded nation-states and the pitting of 'our' people against 'others' fenced off by high walls

A clash of two insurgencies is now shaping the west. Progressives on both sides of the Atlantic are on the sidelines, unable to comprehend what they are observing. Donald Trump's inauguration marks its pinnacle.

  1. One of the two insurgencies shaping our world today has been analysed ad nauseum. Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Marine Le Pen and the broad Nationalist International that they are loosely connected to have received much attention, as has their success at impressing upon the multitudes that nation-states, borders, citizens and communities matter.
  2. However, the other insurgency that caused the rise of this Nationalist International has remained in the shadows: an insurrection by the global establishment's technocracy whose purpose is to retain control at all cost. Project Fear in the UK, the troika in continental Europe and the unholy alliance of Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the surveillance apparatus in the United States are its manifestations.

The era of neoliberalism ended in the autumn of 2008 with the bonfire of financialisation's illusions. The fetishisation of unfettered markets that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan brought to the fore in the late 1970s had been the necessary ideological cover for the unleashing of financiers to enable the capital flows essential to a new phase of globalisation in which the United States deficits provided the aggregate demand for the world's factories (whose profits flowed back to Wall Street closing the loop nicely).

Meanwhile, billions of people in the "third" world were pulled out of poverty while hundreds of millions of western workers were slowly sidelined, pushed into more precarious jobs, and forced to financialise themselves either through their pension funds or their homes. And when the bottom fell out of this increasingly unstable feedback loop, neoliberalism's illusions burned down and the west's working class ended up too expensive and too indebted to be of interest to a panicking global establishment.

Thatcher's and Reagan's neoliberalism had sought to persuade that privatisation of everything would produce a fair and efficient society unimpeded by vested interests or bureaucratic fiat. That narrative, of course, hid from public view what was really happening: a tremendous buildup of super-state bureaucracies, unaccountable supra-state institutions (World Trade Organisation, Nafta, the European Central Bank), behemoth corporations, and a global financial sector heading for the rocks.

After the events of 2008 something remarkable happened. For the first time in modern times the establishment no longer cared to persuade the masses that its way was socially optimal. Overwhelmed by the collapsing financial pyramids, the inexorable buildup of unsustainable debt, a eurozone in an advanced state of disintegration and a China increasingly relying on an impossible credit boom, the establishment's functionaries set aside the aspiration to persuade or to represent. Instead, they concentrated on clamping down.

In the UK, more than a million benefit applicants faced punitive sanctions. In the Eurozone, the troika ruthlessly sought to reduce the pensions of the poorest of the poor. In the United States, both parties promised drastic cuts to social security spending. During our deflationary times none of these policies helped stabilise capitalism at a national or at a global level. So, why were they pursued?

Their purpose was to impose acquiescence to a clueless establishment that had lost its ambition to maintain its legitimacy. When the UK government forced benefit claimants to declare in writing that "my only limits are the ones I set myself", or when the troika forced the Greek or Irish governments to write letters "requesting" predatory loans from the European Central Bank that benefited Frankfurt-based bankers at the expense of their people, the idea was to maintain power via calculated humiliation. Similarly, in America the establishment habitually blamed the victims of predatory lending and the failed health system.

It was against this insurgency of a cornered establishment that had given up on persuasion that Donald Trump and his European allies rose up with their own populist insurgency. They proved that it is possible to go against the establishment and win. Alas, theirs will be a pyrrhic victory which will, eventually, harm those whom they inspired. The answer to neoliberalism's Waterloo cannot be the retreat to a barricaded nation-state and the pitting of "our" people against "others" fenced off by tall walls and electrified fences.

The answer can only be a Progressive Internationalism that works in practice on both sides of the Atlantic. To bring it about we need more than fine principles unblemished by power. We need to aim for power on the basis of a pragmatic narrative imparting hope throughout Europe and America for jobs paying living wages to anyone who wants them, for social housing, for health and education.

Only a third insurgency promoting a New Deal that works equally for Americans and Europeans can restore to a billion people living in the west sovereignty over their lives and communities.


bag0shite

This is all about globalisation, specifically wage deflation for the working classes from competing with emerging markets and freedom of movement, and also from offshoring of working class jobs to emerging markets.

Liberalism has created so much wealth for the west and has dramatically reduced inequality over the last century, however it is no longer working for those on lower incomes in the west.

Until there is a viable alternative economic philosophy, nationalism is the future, whether we like it or not.

chantaspell -> bag0shite 1d ago

nationalism is the future, whether we like it or not.

No it's not. Because what we've got, although flawed, is far superior to Nationalism's false promises. Nationalism will, or perhaps already has, peaked.

bag0shite -> chantaspell

... go and tell that to all the families who don't have a job because their roles were offshored to Eastern Europe or China. Got and tell that to truck drivers who earn a pittance because there is essentially an infinite supply of Poles willing to do it for peanuts.

Enough is enough. Globalisation is now only working for the rich and powerful. The model is simple - globalisation lowers the cost for consumers of everything, because the lowest cost geography produces everything (China, India etc), which is great until nobody has a job any more, so nobody can afford anything.

The challenge is not to stick with the status quo, it's to find an alternative to nationalism that works for everyone.

MMGALIAS -> bag0shite 1d ago

This is all about globalisation, specifically wage deflation for the working classes from competing with emerging markets and freedom of movement, and also from offshoring of working class jobs to emerging markets.

The working classes have voted against their own interests in the last 3 decades, now we are all supposed to feel sorry for them when the neoliberal policies they have voted for have come back to bite them?

Northman1

"The answer can only be a Progressive Internationalism that works in practice on both sides of the Atlantic. To bring it about we need more than fine principles unblemished by power. We need to aim for power on the basis of a pragmatic narrative imparting hope throughout Europe and America for jobs paying living wages to anyone who wants them, for social housing, for health and education.

Only a third insurgency promoting a New Deal that works equally for Americans and Europeans can restore to a billion people living in the West sovereignty over their lives and communities".

These are fine aspirations. You precede them by saying that we cannot:

"...retreat to a barricaded nation-state and the pitting of 'our' people against 'others' fenced off by tall walls and electrified fences".

This presumably refers to physical barriers to prevent illegal immigration and tariff barriers to prevent free trade.

Tell me though how you can achieve the aspirations you set out whilst allowing millions of people from the third world to flood into Europe at an enormous economic and social cost and also trading freely with countries that don't trade fairly (e.g. China with its currency manipulation, government subsidies, product dumping and lack of environmental/ safety/ worker protection regulations)

greenwichite -> Northman1

He's brilliant on the problem...lame on the solution.

And wrong.

The answer is to only trade freely with countries that play by the same environmental, currency and labour-rights rules as we do.

Otherwise, we are just allowing ourselves to be undercuts by cheats.

That's not "barricading" oneself anywhere...it's basic common sense, which has unfortunately eluded our leaders for decades. In Thatcher's case, I think she was quite happy for mercantilist, protectionist Asian powers to destroy our industry, for her own party-political purposes.

MMGALIAS -> Northman1

and also trading freely with countries that don't trade fairly (e.g. China with its currency manipulation, government subsidies, product dumping and lack of environmental/ safety/ worker protection regulations)

The West doesn't trade freely either, just ask the African farmers who are tariffed into poverty by the EU.

Tiresius -> legalizefreedom

I agree. It's a well argued piece and I agree with the conclusion that neither the neo liberal free trade consensus , nor its reaction , will provide an answer to the worsening economic condition of the blue collar west. I also am convinced that in the longer term the only real answer is a return to the principles of social democracy and equity of opportunity.

This will however be a long march. Neo liberalism has been in the ascendant for over 30 years , it has brought some significant benefits to a few in the west , and many elsewhere , and of course a lot of Chinese billionaires , a large number of western voters have lost or are losing faith in a system that has failed to deliver rising living standards for them , incurred high levels of debt and reduced social mobility.

It is a failure of the narrative of the centre left that those people are persuaded by increasing protectionism rather than social democracy. So now we will see where the reaction to free trade liberalism takes us , it has to run its course before the prescriptions of social democracy can be reformulated , hopefully with more inspiring leaders than at present.

Andrew Skidmore

'Only a third insurgency promoting a New Deal that works equally for Americans and Europeans can restore to a billion people living in the West sovereignty over their lives and communities.'

Fine words, but we're along way from that right now. What's happening in Europe, and across the Atlantic, is really only just getting started. Our elites may well be suffering from a crisis of legitimacy, and yet they are still very much in control.

From the Trump administration Whitehouse website:

'The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.'

Hmmmmmm....?

thetowncrier -> Andrew Skidmore

As ever, a master of subtlety. I expect the American Stasi to come into being by the end of next week, with a brand new special 'badge' to go with their black shirts.

2bveryFrank

Neoliberalism is based on the acceptance that the rich elite are deserving of their wealth and privileges. The elite have used their mouthpieces, such as tabloids and think tanks, to ram this home; but the banking crisis of 2008 helped disabuse people of this myth that justifies rampant inequality in the US and the UK in particular.

Trump and Brexit are expressions of the paradigm shift that is underway; but up till now, rather ironically, a billionaire and a rich former stockbroker have been the voice of protest, because it is they who have the money, connections and vanity to ensure they are heard.

They, however, are very unlikely to deliver and then true and genuine voices of the people will emerge - voices that will target the root causes of discontent rather than convenient, nationalistic scapegoats such as immigration.

ReasonableSoul -> 2bveryFrank

"and then true and genuine voices of the people will emerge - voices that will target the root causes of discontent rather than convenient, nationalistic scapegoats such as immigration."

So working class people who struggle to compete for the low wage jobs and strained welfare services that are taken by migrants are not allowed to protest immigration policy?

Recent mass migrations (of the last 30 years) are unprecedented.

In Europe, whole towns have been transformed, particularly culturally.

Imposing huge demographic changes on a people is a form of authoritarian social engineering.


SeenItAlready

This is covered by a report in YaleGlobal (and a similar one in the Harvard Business Review) from 2014 which adds a few stats showing how middle-class salaries in the 'Western World' were the only ones to stagnate in the period 1998 to 2008 (and obviously drop post 2008, but that isn't covered):
http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/tale-two-middle-classes

This is the last section of that report:

The populists warn disgruntled voters that economic trends observed during the past three decades are just the first wave of cheap labor from Asia pitted in direct competition with workers in the rich world, and more waves are on the way from poorer lands in Asia and Africa. The stagnation of middle-class incomes in the West may last another five decades or more.

This calls into question either the sustainability of democracy under such conditions or the sustainability of globalization.

If globalization is derailed, the middle classes of the West may be relieved from the immediate pressure of cheaper Asian competition. But the longer-term costs to themselves and their countries, let alone to the poor in Asia and Africa, will be high. Thus, the interests and the political power of the middle classes in the rich world put them in a direct conflict with the interests of the worldwide poor.

These classes of "globalization losers," particularly in the United States, have had little political voice or influence, and perhaps this is why the backlash against globalization has been so muted. They have had little voice because the rich have come to control the political process. The rich, as can be seen by looking at the income gains of the global top 5 percent in Figure 1, have benefited immensely from globalization and they have keen interest in its continuation. But while their use of political power has enabled the continuation of globalization, it has also hollowed out national democracies and moved many countries closer to becoming plutocracies. Thus, the choice would seem either plutocracy and globalization – or populism and a halt to globalization.

Another solution, one that involves neither populism nor plutocracy, would require enormous effort at the understanding of one's own longer-term self-interest. It would imply more substantial redistribution policies in the rich world. Some of the gains of the top 5 percent could go toward alleviating the anger of the lower- and middle-class rich world's "losers." These need not nor should be mere transfers of money from one group to another.

Instead, money should come in the form of investments in public education, local infrastructure, housing and preventive health care. But the history of the last quarter century during which the top classes in the rich world have continually piled up larger and larger gains, all the while socially and mentally separating themselves from fellow citizens, does not bode well for that alternative

Personally I see the whole US election here... written a couple of years before it happened:


moranet -> Rusty Woods

Just as in the 1920s early 30s, when centrist governments attempting mild redistributive banking reforms -MacDonald, Herriot, Van Zeeland, Azaρa- came up against a "Wall of Money" when the financial markets reacted, and were overthrown in favour of orthodox liberal governments (the 'technocratic insugency' described by Prof. Varoufakis). And when public opinion inevitably lost its patience, propelling harder nosed reformers close to power... that's when political and financial elites discovered rule by executive decree and the adjournment of parliaments.

So we know very well what happens next in Europe, when liberal capitalism and liberal-democracy find themselves on opposing teams.

anewdawn

There are two sorts of nationalism in my view. There is the nasty, evil, Nazi style that promotes the insane social darwinism, and superiority, but a hypocritical imperialism towards other states and countries.

There is another type of nationalism that good decent people who really care about democracy would approve of however. It is the sort that seeks to protect the poor and the middle classes by stopping global corporations from off shoring their jobs to sweatshops in countries that have lower human rights records for the purpose of cheap labour and more profit. There is the sort of nationalism that promotes local democracy as opposed to tying countries up to TTIP and TPP which undermines the governments and laws of individual countries. There is a type of nationalism that seeks to protect their neighbors by insisting on fair trade and good treatment of workers in other countries.

If you listen to Trumps speech, he seems to be the second type when he promises to bring back jobs to the rust belt, but only time will tell if he really is of the first type - it will surface soon in his attitude to invasions of the middle east and control of the global corporations.

ID0118186 -> anewdawn

But those same middle classes are part of the problem, they want their consumer goods, their iPods and iPhones and iPads, but they don't want to pay the real cost of them if they were made by well-paid and well-trained skilled workers in their own country.

You have to address the whole issue: you can't have cheap prices and protectionism, unless you let wages fall to near the same level that they are in developing countries - also unpopular.

So if you want nationalism as you describe it, be willing to pay 50 to 100% more for many goods and services; or buy a lot less, which kills your economy anyway.

epidavros -> anewdawn

And then there is also the phoney internationalism of the EU - which is really a turbo charged nationalism of what will soon be 27 countries bent on protectionism, technocratic rule and a firmly closed mindset with a firmly debunked ideology.

toadalone -> anewdawn

I like your description of the two nationalisms. I think Varoufakis' point is that that kind of nationalism can't survive on its own, as an island in a globalised world: nationalists of that kind have to work together with their neighbouring counterparts to make their respective benign nationalisms function. It's a very difficult proposal to bring to fruition, even though I think it's right.

As for Trump: I think that seasoning campaign speeches with a flavour of benign nationalism is, sadly, little more than a well-established PR technique. I don't believe what Trump says for an instant (partly because he constantly breaks the fourth wall by saying the complete opposite a few days later).

Other leaders who deploy this flavour of nationalism are more complicated. Viktor Orbαn, for instance. It's very difficult to tell, with him, how much of his protectionist-nationalist rhetoric is genuine (but impossible to implement, given Hungary's membership of the EU), and how much of it is just more of the same dangle-shiny-things-in-front-of-the-voters-while-doing-what-you-want. And as with Trump, Orbαn's "benign" nationalism comes as just one flavour in a dish also heavily flavoured with demented backward-looking authoritarian nationalism, with Kulturkampf and all the other trimmings.

The weird thing about Trump is how he turns these contradictions into a kind of conscious performance art. It's possible to view Orbαn as someone who's cracking up a bit under the pressure of believing six impossible things before breakfast. Trump is more healthy (from the Trump's own point of view, of course, not from ours). He's embraced the crazy completely, and revels in it. While probably reserving some quiet time for himself, in which he can privately drop the mask, or rather the 500 different masks.

QuayBoredWarrior -> ReubenK1

Perhaps you should read this bit again:

The answer can only be a Progressive Internationalism that works in practice on both sides of the Atlantic. To bring it about we need more than fine principles unblemished by power. We need to aim for power on the basis of a pragmatic narrative imparting hope throughout Europe and America for jobs paying living wages to anyone who wants them, for social housing, for health and education.

Only a third insurgency promoting a New Deal that works equally for Americans and Europeans can restore to a billion people living in the West sovereignty over their lives and communities.

If you need to know what the New Deal involved, I suggest you Google it or buy a book about it. If there is a library still open near you, you might able to borrow a book for free.

I think what is suggested is a new New Deal, an interventionist strategy to replace the laissez-faire, the-market-knows-best approaches of the 80s/90s/00s. The details of which will need to be hammered out as we progress. BTW, the New Deal was a haphazard and piecemeal programme that was often based on hope over accepted wisdom. The aim was stabilisation and an end to the mass impoverishment of American workers. If we have this aim, I'm sure we can work out what needs to be done. It won't only be professors who come up with suggestions but all those who coalesce behind these aims.

The first thing necessary is to loosen the grip of those who bang on about deficit reduction above all else. This counter-productive approach needs to be crushed. It works for no one and it doesn't work for the future. The services being destroyed will have to be built up again and the deficit-above-all-else proselytisers have no strategy for this at all. It's as if their true aim is to see them destroyed forever.

SeenItAlready

Their purpose was to impose acquiescence to a clueless establishment that had lost its ambition to maintain its legitimacy. When the UK government forced benefit claimants to declare in writing that "my only limits are the ones I set myself", or when the troika forced the Greek or Irish governments to write letters "requesting" predatory loans from the European Central Bank that benefited Frankfurt-based bankers at the expense of their people, the idea was to maintain power via calculated humiliation. Similarly, in America the establishment habitually blamed the victims of predatory lending and the failed health system.

Not only that...

They also came out with the wheeze of getting the poor to fight amongst themselves

I'm convinced that is what is behind the explosion in Identity Politics we have seen over the last few years - where different groups are encouraged to dislike each other on gender, gender-orientation and and racial lines. Of course social class is kept well out of any of these discussions... in spite of it being the source of most of the real repression

SeenItAlready -> SeenItAlready

different groups are encouraged to dislike each other on gender, gender-orientation and and racial lines. Of course social class is kept well out of any of these discussions... in spite of it being the source of most of the real repression

Likewise immigration where the immigrants themselves are made an issue of and blamed or defended... of course in reality salary dumping and job losses have nothing to do with them

The wealthy class who encouraged the immigration of cheap labour, who did not provide any protection for workers impacted by it and who then effectively sacked local workers in favour of cheaper labour have again pulled-off a very neat trick by shifting the terms of the debate to the innocent immigrants who were simply following opportunity and invitations. Likewise the immigrants feel that they are being persecuted by the locals...

And so the rich sit back and rub their hands with glee... poor immigrants and poor locals fighting, poor men and poor women fighting, poor whites and poor non-whites fighting. No chance of the pitchforks arriving for quite a while, if ever...

FreddySteadyGO -> SeenItAlready

And so the rich sit back and rub their hands with glee... poor immigrants and poor locals fighting, poor men and poor women fighting, poor whites and poor non-whites fighting. No chance of the pitchforks arriving for quite a while, if ever...

Absolutely, its all far too convenient.

Social Neoliberals (mass immigration, family breakdown, individualism etc) combine with economic Neoliberals (profit maximisation, global capital movements etc) to get their way.

I'm fairly sure that in time it will be shown that thier is a cabal of think-tanks and supranationalists who have perverted everything to thier own benefit. How and why does a Labour Peer get free accomodation on Baron Rothschilds' estate? How and why does the royal bank Coutts get bailed out by the taxpayer with no strings attached?

SeenItAlready -> FreddySteadyGO

My reply to you got totally deleted, it seems that saying to much about this subject is not acceptable to these people, which I guess is no surprise considering...

I said in my removed message that I didn't think there was any 'conspiracy' and that it was the normal divide-and-conquer behaviour which people in power have applied since time immemorial to those they would wish to control

Now I've changed my mind...

mysterycalculator

Could it be that Francis Fukuyama got it wrong with his historicist vision of liberal democracy as the final stage in a Hegelian dialectic? Should he have gone with Marx's interpretation of Hegel's dialectic instead, arguing that political freedom without economic freedom is not enough? If so, then the argument for a redistributive social justice has to be the way forward. Though as Karl Popper was keen to point out, Hegal and historicist visions are bunk. Though interestingly Popper had much more time for Marx. A redistributive social justice within the checks and balances of a liberal democratic internationalist social order - that might be a way forward!

Sven Ringling

As long as this problem is seen as a left vs right, we won't address it. Trump's ideas are in many cases very left. He wants to subsidise jobs through tarifs/trade wars/ anything that reduces imports and therefore benefits job creation in their large market with a large trade deficit in the short run.
Corbyn wants to subsidise the poorer part of the population directly or through public services taking the money directly from businesses and the rich - though he is not disinclined to isolationism either.

Both recipies work in the short run, both are likely to backfire in the long run the way they are currently pushed.

It was Labour's big mistake to think UKIP is on the right and therefore a risk for the Tories only.

And this Greek clown considered left is not far from that American clown. Clowny-ness is actually their mist defining feature.

ReasonableSoul

Maintaining funcional borders is not a "retreat to a barricaded nation-state and the pitting of 'our' people against 'others' fenced off by tall walls and electrified fences."

Even liberal Sweden became so overwhelmed by the endless stream of migrants/refugees arriving that it had to shut the border.

ID614534 1d ago

2

3

Why does every debate about the nation state have to be economic? Peoples of the world are often tied to their places of birth by language religion and culture. Not every song has to be sung in an American accent and we don't all want to replace Nan's pie recipe with a Big Mac and fries.

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epidavros 1d ago

6

7

Fine words, but the problem is that there is no progressive internationalism and there are no real progressives. The response to the EU referendum widely seen to have been a call to end unmanaged migration and undue interference of those very supra national, unaccountable elite bodies you mention has been to call for the UK to be punished, to pay the price, to be treated entirely differently from trade partners like Canada and dealt with as a pariah. Not progressive. Not international. And very much the problem, not the cure.

The huge irony here is that with all this talk of populism and barricading behind borders the UK and USA are seeking to tear theirs down, while the EU is erecting ideological barricades to protect its elite and their project.

One thing is for sure - the solution is not the status quo. Either in the USA or the EU.

[Jan 21, 2017] James Mattis confirmed as secretary of defense

Jan 20, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

The Senate confirmed the appointment of retired general James Mattis as secretary of defense on Friday, making him the first member of Donald Trump's cabinet cleared to take office.

The Senate vote was passed by 98-1 after Trump signed a waiver making Mattis exempt from a law that blocks senior officers from taking the defense secretary job within seven years of retirement. Mattis has been out of uniform for three years.

The single vote against his confirmation was from Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, a Democrat who argued the bar should remain in place on the grounds that civilian control of the military was a fundamental principle of US democracy.

[Jan 21, 2017] One man sporting a T-shirt that said: "The witch is dead

Jan 21, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Hundreds of thousands of his supporters poured into Washington from all over the US, partly to savor this moment of history and partly to celebrate that the country was theirs again .

Many of the Trumpistas were making their first visit to the nation's capital. "With the help of our new president, to remind the world why America was great to begin with," said Jimmy Kirby, 46, an electrician from Nashville, Tennessee, who had driven 11 hours to have his first taste of the city.

Another newcomer, Jeff Krotz, 49, from Buffalo, New York, used edgier language. A military veteran, he said: "Nobody respects us. There's no God in the country any more, and the way I see it if you don't like the way we do things here you can go somewhere else."

Shirts proclaiming "Proud member of the basket of deplorables" were peppered through the crowd, as were those demanding "Hillary for prison 2016". Others had an even more malevolent ring, with one man sporting a T-shirt that said: "The witch is dead".

"This is the mood of the world," said Richard Pease, 53, a printing sales executive from New Hampshire. "You just watch: first Brexit, then Trump, next Marine Le Pen for France. People want their lives back."

Asked to elaborate, Pease said: "I'm a white male who owns firearms. At least for the next four years I get to keep my guns and my balls."

[Jan 20, 2017] The architect of supply-side economics is now a professor at Columbia University, former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell is an academic charlatan

Notable quotes:
"... For the architect of the euro, taking macroeconomics away from elected politicians and forcing deregulation were part of the plan ..."
"... The idea that the euro has "failed" is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor – and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it – predicted and planned for it to do. ..."
Jan 20, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
RC AKA Darryl, Ron :

Thanks to New Deal democrat, who made me curious about yesterday's "comment section in re Summers' piece." Then thanks to Ron Waller for his comment which closed with: (Good read: "Robert Mundell, evil genius of the euro".)

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/26/robert-mundell-evil-genius-euro

Robert Mundell, evil genius of the euro

Greg Palast

For the architect of the euro, taking macroeconomics away from elected politicians and forcing deregulation were part of the plan

The idea that the euro has "failed" is dangerously naive. The euro is doing exactly what its progenitor – and the wealthy 1%-ers who adopted it – predicted and planned for it to do.

That progenitor is former University of Chicago economist Robert Mundell. The architect of "supply-side economics" is now a professor at Columbia University, but I knew him through his connection to my Chicago professor, Milton Friedman, back before Mundell's research on currencies and exchange rates had produced the blueprint for European monetary union and a common European currency.

Mundell, then, was more concerned with his bathroom arrangements. Professor Mundell, who has both a Nobel Prize and an ancient villa in Tuscany, told me, incensed:

"They won't even let me have a toilet. They've got rules that tell me I can't have a toilet in this room! Can you imagine?"

As it happens, I can't. But I don't have an Italian villa, so I can't imagine the frustrations of bylaws governing commode placement.

But Mundell, a can-do Canadian-American, intended to do something about it: come up with a weapon that would blow away government rules and labor regulations. (He really hated the union plumbers who charged a bundle to move his throne.)

"It's very hard to fire workers in Europe," he complained. His answer: the euro.

The euro would really do its work when crises hit, Mundell explained. Removing a government's control over currency would prevent nasty little elected officials from using Keynesian monetary and fiscal juice to pull a nation out of recession.

"It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians," he said. "[And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business."

He cited labor laws, environmental regulations and, of course, taxes. All would be flushed away by the euro. Democracy would not be allowed to interfere with the marketplace – or the plumbing.

As another Nobelist, Paul Krugman, notes, the creation of the eurozone violated the basic economic rule known as "optimum currency area". This was a rule devised by Bob Mundell.

That doesn't bother Mundell. For him, the euro wasn't about turning Europe into a powerful, unified economic unit. It was about Reagan and Thatcher.

"Ronald Reagan would not have been elected president without Mundell's influence," once wrote Jude Wanniski in the Wall Street Journal. The supply-side economics pioneered by Mundell became the theoretical template for Reaganomics – or as George Bush the Elder called it, "voodoo economics": the magical belief in free-market nostrums that also inspired the policies of Mrs Thatcher.

Mundell explained to me that, in fact, the euro is of a piece with Reaganomics:

"Monetary discipline forces fiscal discipline on the politicians as well."

And when crises arise, economically disarmed nations have little to do but wipe away government regulations wholesale, privatize state industries en masse, slash taxes and send the European welfare state down the drain.

Thus, we see that (unelected) Prime Minister Mario Monti is demanding labor law "reform" in Italy to make it easier for employers like Mundell to fire those Tuscan plumbers. Mario Draghi, the (unelected) head of the European Central Bank, is calling for "structural reforms" – a euphemism for worker-crushing schemes. They cite the nebulous theory that this "internal devaluation" of each nation will make them all more competitive.

Monti and Draghi cannot credibly explain how, if every country in the Continent cheapens its workforce, any can gain a competitive advantage.
But they don't have to explain their policies; they just have to let the markets go to work on each nation's bonds. Hence, currency union is class war by other means.

The crisis in Europe and the flames of Greece have produced the warming glow of what the supply-siders' philosopher-king Joseph Schumpeter called "creative destruction". Schumpeter acolyte and free-market apologist Thomas Friedman flew to Athens to visit the "impromptu shrine" of the burnt-out bank where three people died after it was fire-bombed by anarchist protesters, and used the occasion to deliver a homily on globalization and Greek "irresponsibility".

The flames, the mass unemployment, the fire-sale of national assets, would bring about what Friedman called a "regeneration" of Greece and, ultimately, the entire eurozone. So that Mundell and those others with villas can put their toilets wherever they damn well want to.

Far from failing, the euro, which was Mundell's baby, has succeeded probably beyond its progenitor's wildest dreams.

[Needless to say, I am not a fan of Robert Mundell's.]

Reply Friday, January 20, 2017 at 07:07 AM Peter K. -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 20, 2017 at 07:19 AM
Excellent article!

"It puts monetary policy out of the reach of politicians," he said. "[And] without fiscal policy, the only way nations can keep jobs is by the competitive reduction of rules on business."

Reminded me of a point made by J.W. Mason:

http://jwmason.org/slackwire/what-does-crowding-out-even-mean/

"..It's quite reasonable to suppose that, thanks to dependence on imported inputs and/or demand for imported consumption goods, output can't rise without higher imports. And a country may well run out of foreign exchange before it runs out of domestic savings, finance or productive capacity. This is the idea behind multiple gap models in development economics, or balance of payments constrained growth. It also seems like the direction orthodoxy is heading in the eurozone, where competitiveness is bidding to replace inflation as the overriding concern of macro policy."

Peter K. -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 20, 2017 at 07:30 AM
I wonder how this fits with the national savings rate discussion of Miles Kimball and Brad Setser.

Like would they advise Greece to boost their national savings rate or doesn't it matter since Germany controls monetary policy?

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Peter K.... , January 20, 2017 at 08:58 AM
"I wonder how this fits with the national savings rate discussion of Miles Kimball and Brad Setser."

[Don't know and it sounds like way too much work for me to try to figure out. Savings rate is not a problem for us and it is difficult to see how Greece could realistically increase theirs sufficient to change anything without some other intervention being made first to decrease unemployment and increase output.]

pgl -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 20, 2017 at 09:47 AM
It is also too much work for PeterK. If he can't cherry pick it, he don't bother.

But note our net national savings rate has been less than 2% for a long, long time.

[Jan 19, 2017] Davos without Donald Trump is like Hamlet without the prince

From comments: "Saying Davos without Trump is like Hamlet without the prince implies a dignity about the event which is rather far fetched. More like the Dark Side without Darth Vader ... trouble is, Davos ain't fiction." "The biggest cabal of sociopathic criminals the world has ever known."
Notable quotes:
"... This is not new. Klaus Schwab, the man who founded the World Economic Forum in the early 1970s, warned as long ago as 1996 that globalisation had entered a critical phase. "A mounting backlash against its effects, especially in the industrial democracies, is threatening a very disruptive impact on economic activity and social stability in many countries," he said. ..."
"... Schwab's warning was not heeded. There was no real attempt to make globalisation work for everyone. Communities affected by the export of jobs to countries where labour was cheaper were left to rot. The rewards of growth went disproportionately to a privileged few. Resentment quietly festered until there was a backlash. For Schwab, Brexit and Trump are a bitter blow, a repudiation of what he likes to call the spirit of Davos. ..."
"... It would be wrong, however, to imagine that business is terrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency. Boardrooms rather like the idea of a big cut in US corporation tax. They favour deregulation. They purr at plans to spend more on infrastructure. Wall Street is happy because it thinks the new president will mean stronger growth and higher corporate earnings. ..."
"... 'Policy decisions-not God, nature, or the invisible hand-exposed American manufacturing workers to direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world. Policymakers could have exposed more highly paid workers such as doctors and lawyers to this same competition, but a bipartisan congressional consensus, and presidents of both parties, instead chose to keep them largely protected.' ..."
"... Good article by the way. Recommend others to read. Thanks. ..."
"... Stop trying to shackle every conservative to the desperate and ugly views of the few. Deplorables and their alt-right kin, are so small in number. We ought keep an eye on the Deplorables but little else ... they're politically insignificant. I wish you'd stop trying to throw the average Republican voter into the basket of bigoted, racist rednecks. It's deplorable! ..."
"... Saying Davos without Trump is like Hamlet without the prince implies a dignity about the event which is rather far fetched. More like the Dark Side without Darth Vader ... trouble is, Davos ain't fiction. ..."
"... Why would Daniel go into the lion's den? Trump is committed to stopping the excesses of the "swamp rats" most of whom are at Davos. The world will be turned on its head in 2017; it is going to be interesting to watch the demise of those at the top of the pyramid. ..."
"... What exactly is the "Spirit of Davos" then? A bunch of fat, rich elderly men and their hangers-on troughing themselves to the point of bursting on fine wines and gourmet food, while paying lip-service to the poor? ..."
"... One question for Davos might be: how are you going to resolve differences between the vast majority of people who exist as national citizens, and the multinational elite? It's not a new question. ..."
"... Multinationals, corporate and individuals, can dodge the taxes which pay for services we all rely on but especially citizens. ..."
"... Davos is not restricting attendance to high office bearers. Trump could have gone, had he wanted to, or he could have sent one of his family/staff - that's how Davos works. ..."
"... Bilderberg is by invitation, as far as I know, Davos by application and paying a high membership, plus fee. But the fact he is not represented could be a good sign if it means that the focus is on solving domestic issues as opposed to spending so much time and resources on international ones. ..."
"... My own take on the annual Davos circus is as follows:. It is a totally useless conclave and has never achieved anything tangible since its inception. ..."
"... This gives an excellent opportunity for those who hold so-called "numbered" or other secret bank accounts in the proverbially secretive Swiss banks to have their annual tete-a-tete with their bankers and carry out whatever maintenance has to be done to their bank accounts. After all, in tiny Switzerland, it is only a hop from one town to another. No one will miss you if you are not visible for a day or two. If any nosy taxman back home asks: "What was the purpose of your visit to Switzerland?", one can say with a straight face: "Oh, I was invited to be a keynote speaker at Davos to talk about the increasing income disparity in the world and on what steps to take to mitigate it."! ..."
"... I think globalisation is inhumane. Someone calculated that if labour were to follow capital flows we would see one third of the globe move around on a constant basis. One son in Cape Town a daughter in New York and a brother in Tokyo. It's not how human societies operate we are group animals like herds of cows. We need to be firmly rooted in order to build functioning and humane societies. That is the migration aspect of globalization the other aspect is the complete destruction of diverse cultures. ..."
Jan 19, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Trump's influence can also be felt in other ways. The manner in which he won the US election, tapping in to deep-seated anger about the unfair distribution of the spoils of economic growth, has been noted. There is talk in Davos of the need to ensure that globalisation works for everyone.

This is not new. Klaus Schwab, the man who founded the World Economic Forum in the early 1970s, warned as long ago as 1996 that globalisation had entered a critical phase. "A mounting backlash against its effects, especially in the industrial democracies, is threatening a very disruptive impact on economic activity and social stability in many countries," he said.

Schwab's warning was not heeded. There was no real attempt to make globalisation work for everyone. Communities affected by the export of jobs to countries where labour was cheaper were left to rot. The rewards of growth went disproportionately to a privileged few. Resentment quietly festered until there was a backlash. For Schwab, Brexit and Trump are a bitter blow, a repudiation of what he likes to call the spirit of Davos.

It would be wrong, however, to imagine that business is terrified at the prospect of a Trump presidency. Boardrooms rather like the idea of a big cut in US corporation tax. They favour deregulation. They purr at plans to spend more on infrastructure. Wall Street is happy because it thinks the new president will mean stronger growth and higher corporate earnings.

In Trump's absence, it has been left to two senior members of the outgoing Obama administration – his vice-president, Joe Biden, and secretary of state John Kerry – to fly the US flag.

Just as significantly, Xi Jinping is the first Chinese premier to attend Davos and has made it clear that, unlike Trump, he has no plans to resile from international obligations. The sense of a changing of the guard is palpable.

missuswatanabe

It's the way globalisation has been managed for the benefit of the richest in the developed world that has been bad for the masses rather than globalisation itself.

I thought this was an interesting, if US-centric, perspective on things:

'Policy decisions-not God, nature, or the invisible hand-exposed American manufacturing workers to direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world. Policymakers could have exposed more highly paid workers such as doctors and lawyers to this same competition, but a bipartisan congressional consensus, and presidents of both parties, instead chose to keep them largely protected.'

http://bostonreview.net/forum/dean-baker-globalization-blame

Sunny Reneick -> missuswatanabe

Good article by the way. Recommend others to read. Thanks.

Paul Paterson -> ConBrio

Decent, hardworking Americans facing social and economic insecurity, whether on the right or left, ought to be the focus. We need to deal with the concerns of the average citizen, however it is they vote. Fringe groups don't serve our attention given tbe very real problems the country faces.

Stop trying to shackle every conservative to the desperate and ugly views of the few. Deplorables and their alt-right kin, are so small in number. We ought keep an eye on the Deplorables but little else ... they're politically insignificant. I wish you'd stop trying to throw the average Republican voter into the basket of bigoted, racist rednecks. It's deplorable!

What we should concern ourselves with is the very real social and economic insecurity felt by many in red states and blue states alike. Those decent and hardworking Americans, regardless of party, are joined in much. Deplorables aren't the average Republican voter and didn't win Trump an election - they are too few to win much of anything.

What you keep referring to as Deplorables are decent Americans seeking change and socioeconomic justice. You are mixing up citizens who happen to vote for the GOP withbwhite nationalist scum. How dare you tar all conservatives with the hate monger brush!

Spunky325 -> Paul Paterson

Actually, before taking office, Trump strong-armed Ford and GM into putting more money in their American plants, instead of moving more production to Mexico. He's also questioned cost-overruns on Air Force One and several military projects which is causing companies to back off. I can't think of another American president who has felt it was important to keep jobs in America or who has questioned military spending. Good for him!

Paul Paterson -> Spunky325

You've made it quite clear "you can't think" as you've bought into the ruse. The question is why are you so boastful about it? Trump's policies are even seen by economists on the right as creating staggering levels of debt, creating more economic inequality and unlikely to increase jobs.

Among many flaws, they point out tax proposals that hurt the poor and middle class to such a degree it almost seems targeted. This is the same economic plot that has failed working Americans repeatedly. You folks are getting caught up in a time share pitch and embracing policy that has little chance to help the average American - however it is they vote. It isn't supposed to but y'all are asleep at the wheel.

DrBlamm0

Saying Davos without Trump is like Hamlet without the prince implies a dignity about the event which is rather far fetched. More like the Dark Side without Darth Vader ... trouble is, Davos ain't fiction.

johhnybgood

Why would Daniel go into the lion's den? Trump is committed to stopping the excesses of the "swamp rats" most of whom are at Davos. The world will be turned on its head in 2017; it is going to be interesting to watch the demise of those at the top of the pyramid.

bilyou

What exactly is the "Spirit of Davos" then? A bunch of fat, rich elderly men and their hangers-on troughing themselves to the point of bursting on fine wines and gourmet food, while paying lip-service to the poor?

Maybe Trump just decided to trough it at his tower and avoid hanging out with a grotesque bunch of insufferable see you next Tuesdays.

Ricardo_K

One question for Davos might be: how are you going to resolve differences between the vast majority of people who exist as national citizens, and the multinational elite? It's not a new question.

Multinationals, corporate and individuals, can dodge the taxes which pay for services we all rely on but especially citizens.

James Patterson

Xi's statements on a trade war are completely self serving. But his assertions that he is against protectionism and unfair trading practices is laughably hypocritical. China refuses to let any Silicon Valley Internet company one inch past the Great Firewall. Under his direction the CCP has imposed draconian regulations, which change by the week, on American Companies operating in China making fair competition with local Chinese companies impossible.

The business climate in China is reprehensible. The CCP has resorted to extortion, requiring that U.S. tech companies share their most sensitive trade secrets and IP with Chinese state enterprises or get barred from conducting business there. Sadly, U.S. companies entered China with high expectations and invested hundreds of millions of dollars in factories, labs and equipment. This threat has caused many CEO's to sacrifice their company's long term viability by transferring their most closely guarded technological advances to China or face the loss their entire investment in China. Even so, multinationals are beginning the Chinese exodus led by those with less financial exposure soon to be followed by companies like Apple despite significant economic ties.

True, most people believe a 'trade war' with China means America is the defacto loser because of dishonest reporting. The truth is that America's economic exposure to China is extremely limited. U.S. exports to China represent only 7% of America's total exports worldwide; which in turn accounts for less than 1% of total U.S. GDP (Wells Fargo Economics Group 2015). Most of America's exports to China are raw materials, which can be redirected to other markets with some effort. So even if China blocked all U.S. exports tomorrow, America's economy could absorb the blow with minimal damage. This presents the U.S. government with a wide range of options to deal with China's many trade infractions and unfair practices as aggressively or punitively as it wishes.

europeangrayling

Poor Davos attendees. You feel for them at their fancy alpine Bilderberg. It's like the meeting of the mafia organizations, if the mafia became legal and respected now and ran the world economy. And I don't think those economic royalists at Davos miss Trump, Trump was a small fish compared to the Davos people. They make Trump look like a dishwasher.

They are just pissed Trump came out against the TPP and those globalist 'free trade' deals, and doesn't want more regime change maybe. They like everything else about Trump's policies, the big tax cuts, environmental and banking deregulations galore, it's like Reagan 2.0, without the 'free trade'. But they really want that 'free trade' though, those guys are used to getting everything. Imagine if Bernie won, they would really hate that guy, he is also against the TPPs and trade, and for less war, and against everything else they are used to. And that's good, if those honorable brilliant Davos gentleman don't like you, that's not a bad thing.

soundofthesuburbs -> soundofthesuburbs

With secular stagnation we should all be asking why is economics so bad?

Keynesian redistributive capitalism went out with Margaret Thatcher and inequality has been rising ever since (there is a clue there for the economists amongst us).

How did these new ideas rise to prominence?

"There Is No Nobel Prize in Economics

It's awarded by Sweden's central bank, foisted among the five real prizewinners, often to economists for the 1% -- and the surviving Nobel family is strongly against it."

"The award for economics came almost 70 years later-bootstrapped to the Nobel in 1968 as a bit of a marketing ploy to celebrate the Bank of Sweden's 300th anniversary." Yes, you read that right: "a marketing ploy."

Today's economics rose to prominence by awarding its economists Nobel Prizes that weren't Nobel Prizes.

No wonder it's so bad.

Global elites can use all sorts of trickery to put their ideas in place, but economics is economics and if doesn't reflect how the economy operates it won't work.

Secular stagnation – what more evidence do we need?

HauptmannGurski -> bcarey

Davos is not restricting attendance to high office bearers. Trump could have gone, had he wanted to, or he could have sent one of his family/staff - that's how Davos works.

Bilderberg is by invitation, as far as I know, Davos by application and paying a high membership, plus fee. But the fact he is not represented could be a good sign if it means that the focus is on solving domestic issues as opposed to spending so much time and resources on international ones.

Meanwhile, alibaba's Jack Ma said in Davos that the US had spent many trillions on wars in the last 30 years and neglected their own infrastructure. Money is for people, or some such like, he said. Just mentioning it here, because the MSM tend to dislike running this kind of remark.

Rajanvn -> HauptmannGurski

My own take on the annual Davos circus is as follows:. It is a totally useless conclave and has never achieved anything tangible since its inception.

Did it, in any way, with all the stars in the financial galaxy gathered in one place, warn against the 2008 global financial meltdown? The real reason why so many moneybags congregate at a place which would be shunned by all who have no affinity for snow sports may be, according to my own reckoning, may not be that innocent and may even be quite sinister.

This gives an excellent opportunity for those who hold so-called "numbered" or other secret bank accounts in the proverbially secretive Swiss banks to have their annual tete-a-tete with their bankers and carry out whatever maintenance has to be done to their bank accounts. After all, in tiny Switzerland, it is only a hop from one town to another. No one will miss you if you are not visible for a day or two. If any nosy taxman back home asks: "What was the purpose of your visit to Switzerland?", one can say with a straight face: "Oh, I was invited to be a keynote speaker at Davos to talk about the increasing income disparity in the world and on what steps to take to mitigate it."!

Roland33

I think globalisation is inhumane. Someone calculated that if labour were to follow capital flows we would see one third of the globe move around on a constant basis. One son in Cape Town a daughter in New York and a brother in Tokyo. It's not how human societies operate we are group animals like herds of cows. We need to be firmly rooted in order to build functioning and humane societies. That is the migration aspect of globalization the other aspect is the complete destruction of diverse cultures.

If everyone drives Toyota and everyone drinks Starbucks we lose the diversity of culture that people claim they find so valuable. And replaces it with a mono-culture of Levi jeans and McDonalds. Wealth inequality is really something that can be reduced if you look various countries score higher in this regard than others while still being highly successful market economies but I think money is secondary to the displacement and alienation that come with the first two aspects of globalisation. I find it strange that it is now the right that advocates reversing these neoliberal trends and the left that seems to champion it. I was conscious during the 90's and anti-globalisation was clearly a left wing issue. For whatever reason the left just leaves room for the right to harvest the grapes of wrath they warned about many years ago. Don't blame the "populist" right ask why the left left them the space.

[Jan 19, 2017] WikiLeaks' impact: an unfiltered look into the world's elite and powerful

Jan 19, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
The leaks also revealed that US diplomats had been ordered to take part in an intelligence-collection operation at the United Nations targeted at the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, and the permanent security council representatives from China, Russia, France and the UK.

Washington wanted diplomats as well as the intelligence agencies to pick up details such as credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers and even frequent-flyer account numbers of UN figures as well as "biographic and biometric information on UN security council permanent representatives".

The secret "national human intelligence collection directive" was sent to US missions at the UN in New York, Vienna and Rome; 33 embassies and consulates, including those in London, Paris and Moscow.

The cable raised questions about the dividing line between diplomats and spies in Washington's eyes, and without doubt made UN and other foreign officials think very carefully about subsequent meetings with US diplomats.

US officials have asserted that the release of the material endangered the lives of US diplomats' foreign sources. The state department legal adviser at the time, Harold Koh argued the document dump "could place at risk the lives of countless innocent individuals" as well as "ongoing military operations".

He accused WikiLeaks of endangerment "without regard to the security and the sanctity of the lives your actions endanger".

There are no proven cases of deaths directly attributable to the release of the cables. But there was no doubt about the breadth and depth of the embarrassment.

[Dec 31, 2016] Trump praises Putin over US sanctions – a move that puts him at odds with GOP

Notable quotes:
"... Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security... ..."
"... All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble. ..."
"... Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who. Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria. Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times. ..."
"... Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corporatism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama. ..."
"... The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more. ..."
"... Obama acting like a petulant child that has to leave the game and go home now, so he's kicking the game board and forcing everyone else to clean up his mess. Irresponsible. ..."
"... Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be silent, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office. ..."
"... So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ? ..."
Dec 30, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

The president-elect has been consistently -> skeptical about the US intelligence -> consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor – the reason for Obama's new sanctions. At one point, he suggested the culprit might have been China, another state or even a 400lb man in his bedroom .

On taking office in January, Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. And as president, he could do so; presidential orders can simply be repealed by the executive branch.

But the situation is not that simple. If Trump did choose to remove the sanctions, he would find himself at odds with his own party. Senior Republicans in Congress responded to the Obama sanctions by identifying Russia as a major geopolitical foe and criticizing the new measures only as a case of too little too late. Some promised a push for further measures in Congress.

Trump may therefore choose not to reverse the new sanctions. If so, he will find himself at odds with the man he so constantly praises.

On Friday, the Kremlin responded to the moves, including the expulsion of 35 suspected intelligence operatives and the closing of two Russian facilities in the US, with a shrug . Putin, it seems, is willing simply to wait until Trump moves into the Oval Office. Trump's tweet suggested he is too.

But such provocative words could not distract the media and public from another domestic concern for Trump – the growing perception that his predecessor has acted to his disadvantage .

"The sanctions were clearly an attempt by the Obama administration to throw a wrench into – or [to] box in – the next administration's relationship with Russia,"

vgnych, 30 Dec 2016 18:56
All Obama does with his clumsy movements is just attempting to blame Russians for Democrat's loss of elections. Also he is obscuring peaceful power transition while at it.

All what Trump needs to do is to just call the looser a loser a move on.

Max South , 30 Dec 2016 18:56
White House/StateDep press release on sanctions is ORWELLIAN: corruption within the DNC/Clinton's manager Podesta undermines the democracy, not its exposure as claimed (let alone the fact that there is still no evidence that the Russian government has anything to do with the hacks).

The press release also talks about how the security of the USA and its interests were compromised, so Obama in effects says that national security interest of the country is to have corrupt political system, which is insane.

This argumentation means that even if Russian government has done the hacking, it was a good deed, there is nothing to sanction Russia for even in such case.

CDNBobOrr , 30 Dec 2016 18:58
'Fraid both Putin and Trump are a lot smarter than Barry. Putin's move in not retaliating and inviting US kids to the Kremlin New Year party was an astute judo throw. And Barry is sitting on his backside wondering how it happened.
antobojar , 30 Dec 2016 19:00
.. Probably Obama's "exceptionalism" made him so clumsy on international affairs stage..

.. just recently.. snubbed by Fidel.. he refused to meet him..
.. humiliated by Raul Castro, he declined to hug president of USA..
.. Duterte described.. hmm.. his provenance..
.. Bibi told him off in most vulgar way.. several times..
.. and now this..
..pathetic..

P.S.
You may be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination."
Charles de Gaulle.

ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 19:07
Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who.

Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria.

Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times. Share Facebook Twitter

foolisholdman -> ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 20:01
Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corpratism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama.

The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more.

bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

Are your mentors still thinking that people will swallow that fable? The same mentors who understated Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania?

foolisholdman -> bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:36
bready

"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

These people either think that an ex-British Ambassador is not an important witness or they don't want to hear anything that contradicts the narrative they have been told to spin. It has to be one or the other.

rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be slient, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office.
cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ?

American party politics /
Spite ?
Ideological hatred ?

For those of you who are too young to remember, look up "Cold War" and look for references
to Hawks and Doves.

Who are the Hawks now - and who are the Doves ?

The Left/Liberal paradigm is so drastically in need of updating that it is becoming downright dangerous.

Hell hath on fury like a self defined "liberal" scorned.

Haigin88 , 30 Dec 2016 19:30
R.E.M.: 'Exhuming McCarthy'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMedTmZKo38
gottliebvera , 30 Dec 2016 19:34
I think Obama is behaving in a most petulant and non-presidential manner. Lack of decorum as parting shot. Good going.
philo41z , 30 Dec 2016 19:37
We watched trump defeat republican favourites to get the nomination. He has not really needed them as much as they have felt they need him. Then he has big oil in his transition team, tillerson if I am not mistaken, connected to exxon which has oil interests in Russia....

rocjoc43rd , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
I also think this is Obama's move to direct attention away from the cease fire in Syria. There the US has been supporting all these groups, flying air missions and dropping special forces in Syria for years now, and the US has no seat at the table of the cease fire negotiations. That should be very embarrassing for the US, but it apparently is not, because all the media wants to talk about are these sanctions, which seem pretty trivial to me. The Obama/media machine scores another hollow victory. Can't wait until this guy is out of office.
stormsinteacups , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
Still no proof of any meddling by the Russians. Only a last gasp attempt by a weak president in what is starting to look like a boys against men tussle with Putin. Add the Syria ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Putin to this to show how Obama is being outmanouvered at every turn.
Sad to see what a far cry from Obama the candidate Obama the president has turned out to be.
gandalfsunderpants , 30 Dec 2016 19:41
Action makes propaganda's effect irreversible. He who acts in obedience to propaganda can never go back. He is now obliged to believe in that propaganda because of his past action. He is obliged to receive from it his justification and authority, without which his action will seem to him absurd or unjust, which would be intolerable. He is obliged to continue to advance in the direction indicated by propaganda, for action demands more action.
Jacques Ellul:
Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 19:43
Obama just got dissed big time by Putin. What an inglorious end to an inglorious eight years.
DogsLivesMatter -> Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 20:05
The Obama administration should be thanking Russian efforts to end the war in Syria. We know the MIC wanted this civil war to go on for another decade.
MacCosham , 30 Dec 2016 19:44
Oh for christ's sake, once again:

There were no hacks, the emails were LEAKED!

Probably by Democrats disgusted by the way Bernie was treated.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

PS once you are there, read everything else Craig Murray has written there. This is the ambassador HM government fired for daring to speak out against the Uzbek government's human rights abuses.

PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
All Americans should be alarmed that their country is now losing its edge in terms of the manipulation of other countries' electoral processes. This is "unpresidented". Where previously we had implemented such actions ourselves without fear of reciprocation we should be concerned that we are no longer immune to such machinations by other states. These events may represent a turning point as regards our accepted global hegemony. Share
Tribal War -> PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:52
USA hacks
USA spies
USA interferes with foreign regimes
USA is number 1 bully and hypocrite

The damn cheek of Russian hack spies interfering with US election and setting them up with an idiot

brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 19:47
Obama has been anti-Russia long before Trump came into the picture.
This article is more of a wish list than anything else.
We are told by 'experts' that 'There is now a public record of what Russia did'

Where is it? I would love to see this.
I do know that the 2 countries that carry out most cyber attacks in the world are the US and it's main ally in the Middle East. Just ask the Iranians what they did.

Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
Obama complaining about Russian influence in American elections.

Last time I've checked it was Mr. Obama that warned British people against Brexit, wasn't? What about the deposition of an ELECTED president in Ukraine with their support of Obama and EU? Let's talk also about regime changes in Syria, Lybia and Egypt undertaken under Obama's administration? Perhaps we could also remember that Obama's agencies spied 3 million of Spanyards, Merkel, Dilma Rousseff (Brazilian President) and so on... WHAT A HIPOCRISY, OBAMA!!!!

mtkass -> Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 20:07
You have hit the nail on the head on all your points. But America and especially the American military needs a boogy man to justify the trillions of dollars of American tax payer money they request to keep their military empire going. Imagine if there was no boogy man and the conclusion was to half the American military to a size only equal to the next 6 largest militarys instead of the present 13. Incidentally, most of the next largest militarys are allies of the United States.
This whole kerfuffle about Russian hacking has the stink of shooting the messenger. What about concentrating on what was in the leaked e-mails. They showed a high level of deep corruption in the DNC. That is the importance of the hacked e-mails. Whoever hacked and released them to the American public has done the America public a great favor. If Wasserman Shultz in cohoots with Hillary had not swung the primaries in favor of Hillary and if Obama had remembered that the constitution says the government is for the people and by the people (the peoples choice was by a huge margin for Bernie) and come out for Bernie, we wouldn't be in the CF we are in right now. I thought Obama is a constitutional lawyer. So much for the constitution. The only statesman in this mess is Putin. Thank heaven for his level headedness. The American pronouncements have the stink of the build up to another false flag operation (the CIA revelations themselves are probably a false flag operation). I hope Putin can keep his 'cool' in the face of American provocation.
Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:03
Well what a spiteful, petty man this Obama has turned out to be! This is the first time his side hasn't 'won' and he can't take it so throws his toys out the pram and risks further souring relationships with the East. Thank goodness Putin rose above it.
ID1516963 -> Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:10
Ha! Obama has obviously nothing to lose and decided to make hay in the limited time he has. More mischief making. Love it. Let's face it the master spiteful petty man is the one about to occupy the white house.

voice__of__reason

, 30 Dec 2016 20:13
This just shows the real character of Obama. Queering the pitch for Trump and the incoming administration. But well done Putin for sidestepping. Clever. Much smarter than Obama. In the end lawyers make bad Presidents and bad Prime Ministers.
TheChillZone , 30 Dec 2016 20:15
Bit of a pot-kettle interface going on here. America leads the way in the hacking of public servers around the world and spying on friend and enemy alike. Not long ago the CIA tapped into Angela Merkel's mobile phone and I don't remember the same level of public outcry. Seems like America is affronted that Russia and others are now doing what the US has done for years. And if it is in fact the Russians - proof not yet forthcoming - this wasn't a hack into the electoral system at all; it was a simple phishing email that the US officials were silly enough to click onto the link.
And finally - what eventually was released was the truth. Clinton was favoured by the DNC, she did say those things to Goldman Sachs, a CNN reporter did provide her with the questions before the presidential debates. The truth is that the US elections were corrupted, but not by the Russians - the culprits lie a little closer to home.
Kano59 , 30 Dec 2016 20:18
With Putin declaring he'll wait to see what Trump's policies are, then it seems he has at least that in common with the US electorate.
Harry Bhai , 30 Dec 2016 20:22
Obama tried to corner Russia, and almost all GOP lawmakers applauded Obama's action. Called it was well overdue. But our smart president-elect comforted crying Putin right away by calling him a smart man for not taking any actions. It is becoming more and more clear that Trump and Putin are made for each other. I think Trump is keeping Putin on his side to take air out of overinflated Chinese balloon. May be he was advised by his team. No one knows his game plan.
flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:32
Nearly 40 years ago , at the height of the cold war when I joined up to serve my country, never did i dream the day would come when I had more respect for the leader of Russia than a president of the USA and that I would have more faith in the Russian media than our own fake media.

That's what 40 years of liberalism does i guess. Share Facebook Twitter

TyroneBHorneigh -> flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:38
40 years of Neo-liberalism.
Sparky Patriot , 30 Dec 2016 20:37
Not content with merely stealing the silverware, BO is intent on causing as much mischief as possible before being booted out of the White House, but the Russians are not falling for it. They will be dealing with Donald Trump in a few weeks, and there is no need to respond to Barry's diaper baby antics.
I'm sure the Russians are hacking our internet systems, but the DNC emails that went to WikiLeaks did not come from them. The content, outlining Podesta's plan to discredit Bernie supporters by falsely tying them to violent acts, would indicate that a disgruntled and disgusted DNC employee was more likely the source.
rocjoc43rd , 30 Dec 2016 20:38
The liberal media, I can't wait until they claim that Trump has few paths to victory from this trick bag he is in. We are living in the dying days of the Obama administration. Things will be very different January 20, 2017. Things that appear difficult or impossible now will suddenly be taken care of with the stroke of a pen. It will be exciting to see. Just a few months ago, Trumps path to victory was so small that he shouldn't even bother trying, then it was the electors will do something about Trump. It was all nonsense. This to about Obama limiting Trump is nonsense. Obama's lines in the sand are completely without effect.
HollyOldDog -> asiancelt , 30 Dec 2016 21:37
It is of course impossible as the USA has the most and claimed most advanced spying network on the planet. It totally surrounds both friends and foes alike - with such technical ability the only country who could spy and influence (e.g. arm twisting Merkal is a prime example) on any country at will is the 'exceptional ' US Government.

furiouspurpose

, 30 Dec 2016 20:54
If there was genuine evidence that Russia had somehow swayed the election, Hilary Clinton - who desires power above all other things - would now be bringing a legal case to overturn the result and get a re-election.

But there is no evidence - only lies and cynicism. A few weeks ago I was convinced that US politics had hit a nadir and that it couldn't smell any worse or get any more ridiculous. How wrong I was.

ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 20:55
The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it's done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

That number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. [...]

In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of "partisan electoral interventions" to be only about a 3% increase in vote share. ( Source )

I understand why some may find outside interference objectionable, but I reckon many of those who think so fail to recognise America's far-from-faultless behaviour. Curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost.

Of course had the DNC leadership and the Clinton camp behaved ethically in the primary by not conspiring to tip the scale in Clinton's favour, the hack would have found nothing. What we have now is Obama forced to divert the public attention because of yet another messy scandal Hillary finds herself involved in. Clinton must be one of the most blessed people on earth; everyone bends over backwards to accommodate her ambitions.

europeangrayling -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:23
Also the CIA-Belgian assassination of Lamumba in 61, Congo's first democratically elected president, for the same 'geopolitical' aka 'big business' reasons as the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 53, who wanted the nationalize Iranian oil for their people, and Lumumba had similar 'socialist' ideas for all the vast Congolese resources. To cut out the western business interests. And think how well the Congo has fared since, one of the worst, saddest places, chaos, civil war, more dead than in Rwanda or anywhere I think. They have not recovered from that.

And Iran, they were democratic, secular, elected a guy like Mossadegh, they were 'European', but the the US and Britain overthrew him on behest of British-US oil interests, installed the Shah, their puppet dictator, and the blow-back was the Iranian religious right-wing revolution and dictatorship some 20 years later. And now the Iranian people and our 'foreign policy' are suffering.

And all these US and CIA 'activities' the government had admitted and declassified, like the Gulf of Tonkin lie and false flag in Vietnam, because it was so long ago nobody cares, so it's no 'conspiracy' here, just history. But now these Clinton Democrats they really love and trust anything the CIA says, of course, they are big patriots now, and call people unpatriotic and foreign agents if they question the so honorable CIA, because they are on Hillary's side now.
And the CIA in cahoots with Bush and Cheney also told us how there were these big, scary WMDs in Iraq, and mushroom clouds, and how Saddam had links with Al Qaida, all obvious lies, that any amateur who knew basic world history could tell you even then.

And speaking of 'meddling', and overthrowing democratic governments, the US did the same under Obama and Hillary in Honduras just a few years ago, backed the violent coup of a democratic leftist government there, and they still refuse to call it a coup, and have legitimized the new corrupt and violent regime, are training their army, etc. Even though the EU and the US ambassador to Honduras called it a coup at the time.

And for the same reasons, that leftist government didn't want to play ball with big US and western 'business interests', energy companies, didn't want to sell them their rivers and resources like the new 'good' regime now. And since that coup, 100s of indigenous activists and environmentalists have been killed, like Berta Caceres, and the violence and corruption has gone up big time under the new regime, with 1000s more killed 'in general'. Yet Obama is so concerned about 'the integrity of democracy' and elections and freedom and all that, what a nice guy.

fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 20:58
The real question that Americans should be asking why Barack Obummer failed again to provide security in case of hacking Democrat's emails?

Clinton did not deny that emails published by WikiLeaks were genuine.
That is called freedom of press.
What's wrong with public finding the truth about Clinton? Share Facebook Twitter

RadLadd -> fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 21:00
As soon as you post "Obummer" you show yourself to be immature. Share Facebook Twitter
an opinion -> RadLadd , 30 Dec 2016 21:09
He is Obummer. Share Facebook Twitter
Paull01 -> fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 21:13
They are private servers, why would the government have any involvement whatsoever in the servers of political parties during an election?

The whole point is interference in the election process not who they interfered with. Share Facebook Twitter

roman vega , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
Send Obama to therapist ... urgent.. Share Report
roman vega -> J.K. Stevens , 30 Dec 2016 21:07
Haven't you noticed that whole of the West has already moved that way? I do not mean pro-Putin, I mean priority of national interests at home and some isolationism.
HollyOldDog -> MtnClimber , 30 Dec 2016 21:30
Obama is leaving office with the record of saving American troops lives by the process of using drones which on dodgy information mainly target wedding parties. Share Facebook Twitter
geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:42
Appears suspiciously likely that Obama is just bitter that his legacy is about to be dumped in the nearest skip on Jan 20, and wants to make trouble for Trump during his last 3 weeks in office.

Hard to see how Putin could have engineered Hillary Clinton's defeat, given she won the popular vote by 3 million.

Also Obama is extremely hypocritical as the CIA has repeatedly interfered in the affairs of other countries over the past 60 years.

I hope Trump and Putin become buddies. Share

Burnaby1000 -> geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
The CIA never released emails of any country's people. It's simply bad tradecraft, meaning that it can't be used when one really needs it. Share Facebook Twitter
geofffrey -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:51
Didn't Wikileaks release those emails.. Share Facebook Twitter
melodrama1 -> geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:56
The story is that they were 'leaked' to Wikileaks and that only stuff that helps Trump was leaked. There are loads of Republican/Trump mails that remain secret (presumably). Sounds plausible to me but the how the hell would I know? Share Facebook Twitter
tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:42
Putin outmaneuvers Obama, again. Share Facebook Twitter
pragmata -> tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
Obama outmanoevres Trump. Share Facebook Twitter
J.K. Stevens -> tomspen , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
Putin goes rogue. You're putin me on. Share Facebook Twitter
tomspen -> pragmata , 30 Dec 2016 20:48
Not really. Democrats lost the election, through their own fault, and now Putin is waiting till Trump comes in office. All will go swimmingly and we can look forward to better relations between the USA-Russia. Win win. Share Facebook Twitter
furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:42

On Thursday, the Arizona senator John McCain and South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement: "The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama administration today are long overdue.

That's all I needed to know. If lunatic war monger John McCain wants to ratchet up the tension with a nuclear power - then it is very wise to do the opposite. Share

Burnaby1000 -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:44
But he has 48 Dems who support him, and most Republicans. Share Facebook Twitter
MtnClimber -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
Sure. Let's let Putin control our democracy. He and his BFF, Trump, will keep our democracy safe /s Share Facebook Twitter
J.K. Stevens -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
Putin is/has been the provocateur. Keep up. Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:43
Wouldn't it be hilarious if a revolution broke out next year in Russia, over the downward spiralling Russian economy, just when Putin thinks he has victory in sight?

But wait--didn't that happen in 1917?

Yep, think it did... Share Facebook Twitter

pawsfurthought -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:51
Parallels with the public mood in Russia leading up to 1917? Zero. Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 -> pawsfurthought , 30 Dec 2016 20:58
"Peace, Land, Bread!!!!!"

Parallels -- 100% Share Facebook Twitter

HollyOldDog -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 21:21
Ah! The evident effects of sipping too much Death Wish Coffee 64 fl.oz - 3,472 mg of caffeine it could do serious damage to your brain. Share Facebook Twitter
osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 20:44
Wow, the Trump/kremlin brigade zoomed in on this comments section faster than greased lightening! Good to know that some people just love them some fascism! Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 20:50
They HAVE been doing this for quite some time. Share Facebook Twitter
furiouspurpose -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:10
Red baiting won't close down the debate. There's still no evidence of Russian hacking of the US election.

And fascism is shouting people down who ask for evidence and don't just follow the President because he is attacking the outsiders. Share Facebook Twitter

TheControlLeft -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:12
It's preferable to the Obama brigades sponsorship of Islamic terrorism Share Facebook Twitter
EmperorWearsNoCloths , 30 Dec 2016 20:45
Good move by Obama. Trump will soon have to clarify where he stands in regards to Putin. Share Facebook Twitter
HollyOldDog -> EmperorWearsNoCloths , 30 Dec 2016 21:12
I don't usually follow American elections but is this the usual way to hand over to a new president is to try to kick him in the teeth? Share Facebook Twitter
Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:47
As always, it is the US Senate that brings forth the best in the US inuncertain times.

It was Republican senators who were very critical of Bush that eventually got him to do the surge.

Similarly, it will be the Senate that applies pressure in the right place to keep Trump in check.

Who knows, he may even come up with one or two good ideas. Share Facebook Twitter

grodhagen -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 21:10
It were GOP senators leading the huzzas for invading Iraq too. But Ted Cruz? James Inhoffe? Half of the GOP senators are just hirelings for big business. Share Facebook Twitter
Putzik , 30 Dec 2016 20:48
It's not too late fir Obama to cluster bomb Russian troops in Syria and Ukraine.

Now that would certainly constipate the Golden Domed donald. Share Facebook Twitter

HollyOldDog -> Putzik , 30 Dec 2016 21:09
Such a move - did you manage to think this one up by yourself? Or is it just recient history repeating itself - you have only a one tracked mind, a bit like your icon. Share Facebook Twitter
Putzik -> HollyOldDog , 30 Dec 2016 22:37
I am not aware that the US has yet bombed the Russian fascist hordes.

Never too late though, eh? Share Facebook Twitter

dddxxx , 30 Dec 2016 20:49
The fact that the Russian sanctions makes things difficult for blowhard Trump is not the issue nor the intent. President Obama was acting in response to Russia's interference with our diplomats and cyber attacks. This needed to be done. As to Trump, that's tough. Share Facebook Twitter
furiouspurpose -> dddxxx , 30 Dec 2016 21:06
No - he was reacting to Russia "hacking the elections". What specifically did they do? What evidence exists of this? Share Facebook Twitter
WillKnotTell -> furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:16
The lack of evidence is the evidence. Ask any Trumpeteer and believer of Peter Schweizer. Share Facebook Twitter
monsieur_flaneur , 30 Dec 2016 20:49
Obama, envisioning a spot on Mt Rushmore, exits a laughing stock. Ah well

Not4TheFaintOfHeart , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
Why would Russia be happy that Clinton lost? Why would any foreign power be happy that Clinton lost?...
How many years did HRC, in her arrogance-fuelled denial, provide foreign intelligences with literally tonnes of free info??!
furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:03

Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. .... But if he did choose to do so, he would find himself at odds with his own party.

Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security...

All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble.

an opinion -> hawkchurch , 30 Dec 2016 21:07
Putin is playing obama like a fiddle and make him irrelevant!
diddoit , 30 Dec 2016 21:04
Make America and Russia ... Great Again.

Intelligence sharing, to tackle terror, is only the start of what's likely to become a strong partnership.

I bet Intel agents can hardly wait ..lol

Munchausen007
Simple solution, publish the commenter geolocation and ban proxy, clean the comment section from putinbots. Putin like ASBO's must stop to do more harm against democracy.
Down2dirt -> Munchausen007 , 30 Dec 2016 19:17
What a foolish comment.
Ilurktostudyyouall -> Munchausen007 , 30 Dec 2016 19:39
And what happens when you begin to realise many are not putinbots?
Not4TheFaintOfHeart -> Ilurktostudyyouall , 30 Dec 2016 19:58
I'm sure they'll find some excuse to get around that... 'It's elephants all the way down', don't forget
Julian Beach , 30 Dec 2016 19:06
...an attempt rendered utterly futile by Putin refusing to carry out tit-for-tat expulsions.

Premier League trolling. Again.

fivefeetfour -> Jonathan Stromberg , 30 Dec 2016 22:47
There's still no evidence regarding the origin of the cyber attack. I've seen you posting a link to the report. The first line in it is a disclaimer: "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within". Which is very wise from them.
ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 19:07
Sanctions = token gestures that will soon fade into the distance. Much like you know who. Obama is salty because of Kilary getting whupped and Putin out-playing him in Syria. Never thought I would see the day when I sided with Trump over Obama. Interesting times.
foolisholdman -> ukc ltd , 30 Dec 2016 20:01
Yes, the so-called liberals are losing all over. They blame everyone but themselves. The problem is that they have been found out. They were not real liberals at all. They had little bits of liberal policies like "Gay rights" and "bathrooms for Transgenders" and, of course, "Anti-Anti-Semitism Laws" and a few other bits and pieces with which they constructed a sort of camoflage coat, but the core of their policies was Corporatism. Prize exhibits: Tony Blair and Barak Obama.

The extreme Left and extreme Right ("Populists") are benefiting by being able to say what they mean, loud and apparently clear. People are not, on the whole, politically sophisticated but they do realise that they have been lied to for a very long time and they are fed up. That is why "Populists are making such a showing in the polls. People don't believe in the centre's "Liberalism" any more.

Potyka Kalman , 30 Dec 2016 19:09
Oh the War Party. Trump rally should point them out as such. So the light shines in those dark spots.

You Russians have a strange sense of humour.

AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 19:13
Ben, I found Glenn Greenwald's take on you quite interesting. Have you responded? And, yes, I know, my polite and pertinent question will violate the terms here.
Ilurktostudyyouall -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
Cheers for that. False news angle now in total tatters
furiouspurpose -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 21:36
What does Glenn Greenwald know? With his crappy little "Pulitzer Prize".
John Blenkins -> AveAtqueCave , 30 Dec 2016 23:17
Good to see someone with the bollox to call a spade a spade.
More importantly it helps lift the eyelids of those who think our msm tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
AveAtqueCave -> Tercole , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
The American system is based on open legal proceedings.

Have you seen the evidence Russia perpetrated the leaks?

Please provide.

Terry Phillips , 30 Dec 2016 19:19
You just know these people, like Johnny boy, who are pointing fingers at Russia are doing so based upon long laid plans to bind up Trump from building a healthy relationship with Russia which would put an end to terrorism and likely all of these petty little wars that are tearing the world to pieces. These people want war because division keeps them in power and war makes them lots of money. I hope that Trump and Putin can work together and build a trust and foundation as allies in that together we can stamp out terrorism and stabilize the worlds conflicts. Everything these people do in the next 20 days has a single agenda and that is to cause instability and roadblocks for Trump and his team. Hope is just around the corner people so let's help usher it in.
Ilurktostudyyouall -> 79pentland , 30 Dec 2016 19:54
Don't trust anyone until you know them. Been married and watched it turn to shit? You can't really trust anyone. The same can be said for any country member.
bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:22
"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

Are your mentors still thinking that people will swallow that fable? The same mentors who understated Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania?

foolisholdman -> bready , 30 Dec 2016 19:36
bready

"US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor "

These people either think that an ex-British Ambassador is not an important witness or they don't want to hear anything that contradicts the narrative they have been told to spin. It has to be one or the other. Share

bready -> foolisholdman , 30 Dec 2016 19:54
Some people don't need to hear narratives to discern the cheap tricks of politics.
86753oh9 , 30 Dec 2016 19:24
First... let's see some actual evidence/proof. Oh, that's right, none has been offered up.
Second... everyone is upset that the DNC turd was exposed, but no one upset about the existence of the turd. ?

Obama acting like a petulant child that has to leave the game and go home now, so he's kicking the game board and forcing everyone else to clean up his mess. Irresponsible.

TheWindsOfFreedom -> 86753oh9 , 30 Dec 2016 19:33
Hundred times repeated lie will become the truth... that's the US officials policy for decades now. In 8 years, they did nothing, so they are trying to do "something" in the last minute. For someone, who's using his own brain is all of this just laughable. United States are not united I guess. Guess, that Merkel is the next on the list...
Fulhamred , 30 Dec 2016 19:26
Hopefully now this will enable senate and congress republicans to prevent these crazy ideas of Russian appeasement take hold and pursue a hardline against Russia, Hamas, Iran and Cuba.
Down2dirt -> Fulhamred , 30 Dec 2016 19:31
They'll probably do that. Business as usual. To pursue a hard line against Isis enablers like Saudi and Qatar, now that would be a surprise.
Individualist -> Down2dirt , 30 Dec 2016 19:35
Actually the biggest ISIS enabler was Cheney.
Down2dirt -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
Well you're probably right about that.
Waaarrrggghhh , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
Not really. Obama is just making himself look like an idiot.
rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
Obama will be making to many paid speeches to be doing anything of the sort. And frankly I suspect he be silent, because Trump is soon going to know where all the bodies were buried under Obama, just like Obama knows where all the bodies are buried from the Bush area. You are a wishful thinker, if you think Obama is going anything after he leaves office.
cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:27
So the person awarded a Nobel Peace Prize uses his last weeks in office to sour relations between the only 2 superpowers on Earth for - what ?

American party politics /
Spite ?
Ideological hatred ?

For those of you who are too young to remember, look up "Cold War" and look for references
to Hawks and Doves.

Who are the Hawks now - and who are the Doves ?

The Left/Liberal paradigm is so drastically in need of updating that it is becoming downright dangerous.

Hell hath on fury like a self defined "liberal" scorned. Share

Individualist -> cosmith , 30 Dec 2016 19:33
So you are blaming the President (the current one) for addressing the fact that a foreign power attempted to mess with a US election?
rocjoc43rd -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:42
I think you can blame Obama for underestimating Putin. Remember when he told Putin before the 2012 election off mike that he would have more leeway after the election. Remember when Romney in 2012 warned us that Russia was a big threat and Obama thought that was silly. Obama has been outclassed by Putin at every turn. Whatever else you may say about Trump, he recognizes that Putin is worthy adversary not one to be marginalized. Putin has manage to marginalize the US in Syria despite all the money and effort we have dumped into it.
Banker1 -> Individualist , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
The foreign power did the American people a favor when it exposed the corruption within the Democratic Party; something the establishment media was apparently unable or unwilling to do. Rather than sanctioning Putin, Americans should be thanking him!
Haigin88 , 30 Dec 2016 19:30
R.E.M.: 'Exhuming McCarthy'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMedTmZKo38
Mick Readdin , 30 Dec 2016 19:31
Whatever the outcome, the winner is.... Putin!

His recent announcement (no tit-for-tat) was masterful politicking. Should Trump refuse to do anything, Putin knows he can wrap Trump around his finger, with the added bonus of both US houses kicking off.

If Trump does do something, relations will sour and Putin can blame the US.

gottliebvera , 30 Dec 2016 19:34
I think Obama is behaving in a most petulant and non-presidential manner. Lack of decorum as parting shot. Good going.
UnitedundertheSun -> Jonathan Stromberg , 30 Dec 2016 23:10
Attack Russia with a wet lettuce? Oh the pain! And gives Putin the high moral ground. Brilliant politics from Obama.

All to hamfistedly conceal what a rotten dysfunctional political organisation he heads.

Obama plays snakes and ladders while Putin is playing chess.

VultureTX -> Pitthewelder , 30 Dec 2016 21:50
" and decides not to accept it he will have to make it public,"

Solely a presumption on your part, a simple statement by the new agency heads saying that the info is inconclusive and the method of the investigation will not be revealed cancels your whole argument. Sure the press will howl, but Trumps using Twitter to talk to the people and unless someone leaks you got nothing.

chelsea55 , 30 Dec 2016 19:35
Seems a no brainer, reverse Obama's ridiculous posturing gesture. As if the US doesn't have a long track record of interfering in the affairs of other countries.
chelsea55 -> LithophaneFurcifera , 30 Dec 2016 21:57
Personally I think the US should do as it wishes but it's extremely hypocritical to act shocked when the same meddling is returned by others. Obama is acting foolishly as if the final weeks of his presidency have any genuine traction on future events.
philo41z , 30 Dec 2016 19:37
We watched trump defeat republican favourites to get the nomination. He has not really needed them as much as they have felt they need him. Then he has big oil in his transition team, tillerson if I am not mistaken, connected to exxon which has oil interests in Russia....if trump removed big oil from his team maybe he can get out of this without escalating the issue or appearing to be a putin puppet...

[Dec 31, 2016] The last hissy fit of neocon Obama is probably connected with the loss of Alepo and being sidelined in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... I also think this is Obama's move to divert attention away from the cease fire in Syria. ..."
"... The Obama/media machine scores another hollow victory. Can't wait until this guy is out of office. ..."
"... The Obama administration should be thanking Russian efforts to end the war in Syria. We know the MIC wanted this civil war to go on for another decade. ..."
"... Oh for christ's sake, once again: There were no hacks, the emails were LEAKED! Probably by Democrats disgusted by the way Bernie was treated. ..."
"... All Americans should be alarmed that their country is now losing its edge in terms of the manipulation of other countries' electoral processes. This is "unprecedented". ..."
"... Red baiting won't close down the debate. There's still no evidence of Russian hacking of the US election. And fascism is shouting people down who ask for evidence and don't just follow the President because he is attacking the outsiders. Share Facebook Twitter TheControlLeft -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:12 It's preferable to the Obama brigades sponsorship of Islamic terrorism Share Facebook Twitter monsieur_flaneur , 30 Dec 2016 20:49 Obama, envisioning a spot on Mt Rushmore, exits a laughing stock. Ah well Share Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:54 Russia defeated the US in the Ukraine and recently it received an even harder blow Syria. Next think you know the US 'administration' makes a fool of itself by expelling 35 RF officials, who would have though that! Sad to see this beautiful continent is being compromised by someone's puppets in the white house. Nato is crumbling now that Turkey t-he gateway to the Balkans, the Caspian, to the Stannies- rethinks its ties with US/NATO and moves towards Russia. It is crumbling beacuse the world begins to understand that the rationale behind 'operation gladio' /strategy of tension is still ruling the US admin. We could do without NATO, and could use a US government supporting peace rather than an administration creating war. Even Germany starts to realize that, because of the abundance of US military bases in this country, Germany is in fact 'occupied territory', a US colony if you will. The USA has underestimated people on this planet who, as opposed to US politicians, were able to put current politics in a historical perspective. US policymakers took a part of Heidegger, Locke, Freud, Descartes and others without knowing their interpretations were at least incomplete. It results from the way in which US universities teach the discretized model of two extremes with the requirement of choosing one of these without putting both in one perspective: 'Descartes or Pascal' (not both as the French do); 'black or white'; 'with or against us'. The result Americans aimed for was a stable socio-political model, same with 'Neue Sozialismus'. What they obtained was a polarized world, because, a rigid stable model can only be governed by suppression (which the Military industrial Complex is currently doing) and we do not want that. Trump may lack political experience, he may be supported by a group of ideosyncratic wealthy people attracting bad press from 'regulated media'. Equal chance of Trump having a positive or negative effect on US internal and external policy-making, and on the relationship with RF. But, Trump has one advantage: the more the Obama 'administration' barks, the more support Trump will receive to change what Bush-Clinton-Obama have ruined for their electorates; the more to celebrate for the Russians on January 13. LMichelle -> Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:57 Bingo. This is not about the integrity of US elections. It's about being punked in Syria this week. The problems with the electoral process in the US were massive before 2016 and never received this many Presidential press conferences. Share ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 20:55 The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it's done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. That number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. [...] In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of "partisan electoral interventions" to be only about a 3% increase in vote share. ( Source ) I understand why some may find outside interference objectionable, but I reckon many of those who think so fail to recognise America's far-from-faultless behaviour. Curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost. Of course had the DNC leadership and the Clinton camp behaved ethically in the primary by not conspiring to tip the scale in Clinton's favour, the hack would have found nothing. What we have now is Obama forced to divert the public attention because of yet another messy scandal Hillary finds herself involved in. Clinton must be one of the most blessed people on earth; everyone bends over backwards to accommodate her ambitions. Paull01 -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:18 Please provide an example of a political party behaving ethically during an election campaign? You reckon the republicans weren't trying to tip the scales away from Donny? Also, Clinton lost despite getting way more votes so Donny will be president and it is pointless to continue to indulge in bashing Hillary, she is now just another elderly lady enjoying her golden years. Share Facebook Twitter europeangrayling -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:23 Also the CIA-Belgian assassination of Lamumba in 61, Congo's first democratically elected president, for the same 'geopolitical' aka 'big business' reasons as the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 53, who wanted the nationalize Iranian oil for their people, and Lumumba had similar 'socialist' ideas for all the vast Congolese resources. To cut out the western business interests. And think how well the Congo has fared since, one of the worst, saddest places, chaos, civil war, more dead than in Rwanda or anywhere I think. They have not recovered from that. And Iran, they were democratic, secular, elected a guy like Mossadegh, they were 'European', but the the US and Britain overthrew him on behest of British-US oil interests, installed the Shah, their puppet dictator, and the blow-back was the Iranian religious right-wing revolution and dictatorship some 20 years later. And now the Iranian people and our 'foreign policy' are suffering. And all these US and CIA 'activities' the government had admitted and declassified, like the Gulf of Tonkin lie and false flag in Vietnam, because it was so long ago nobody cares, so it's no 'conspiracy' here, just history. But now these Clinton Democrats they really love and trust anything the CIA says, of course, they are big patriots now, and call people unpatriotic and foreign agents if they question the so honorable CIA, because they are on Hillary's side now. And the CIA in cahoots with Bush and Cheney also told us how there were these big, scary WMDs in Iraq, and mushroom clouds, and how Saddam had links with Al Qaida, all obvious lies, that any amateur who knew basic world history could tell you even then. And speaking of 'meddling', and overthrowing democratic governments, the US did the same under Obama and Hillary in Honduras just a few years ago, backed the violent coup of a democratic leftist government there, and they still refuse to call it a coup, and have legitimized the new corrupt and violent regime, are training their army, etc. Even though the EU and the US ambassador to Honduras called it a coup at the time. And for the same reasons, that leftist government didn't want to play ball with big US and western 'business interests', energy companies, didn't want to sell them their rivers and resources like the new 'good' regime now. And since that coup, 100s of indigenous activists and environmentalists have been killed, like Berta Caceres, and the violence and corruption has gone up big time under the new regime, with 1000s more killed 'in general'. Yet Obama is so concerned about 'the integrity of democracy' and elections and freedom and all that, what a nice guy. fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 20:58 The real question that Americans should be asking why Barack Obummer failed again to provide security in case of hacking Democrat's emails? Clinton did not deny that emails published by WikiLeaks were genuine. That is called freedom of press. What's wrong with public finding the truth about Clinton? Share Not4TheFaintOfHeart , 30 Dec 2016 20:59 Why would Russia be happy that Clinton lost? Why would any foreign power be happy that Clinton lost?... How many years did HRC, in her arrogance-fuelled denial, provide foreign intelligences with literally tonnes of free info??! Share furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:03 Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. .... But if he did choose to do so, he would find himself at odds with his own party. Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security... ..."
"... All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble. ..."
Dec 31, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
On Friday, the Kremlin responded to the moves, including the expulsion of 35 suspected intelligence operatives and the closing of two Russian facilities in the US, with a shrug. Putin, it seems, is willing simply to wait until Trump moves into the Oval Office. Trump's tweet suggested he is too.

But such provocative words could not distract the media and public from another domestic concern for Trump – the growing perception that his predecessor has acted to his disadvantage .

"The sanctions were clearly an attempt by the Obama administration to throw a wrench into – or [to] box in – the next administration's relationship with Russia," said Boris Zilberman, a Russia expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

"Putin, in part, saw through that and sidestepped it by playing good cop to [Russian foreign minister Sergey] Lavrov and the [state] Duma, who were calling for a reciprocal response."

rocjoc43rd, 30 Dec 2016 19:38

I also think this is Obama's move to divert attention away from the cease fire in Syria. There the US has been supporting all these groups, flying air missions and dropping special forces in Syria for years now, and the US has no seat at the table of the cease fire negotiations.

That should be very embarrassing for the US, but it apparently is not, because all the media wants to talk about are these sanctions, which seem pretty trivial to me.

The Obama/media machine scores another hollow victory. Can't wait until this guy is out of office.

stormsinteacups , 30 Dec 2016 19:38
Still no proof of any meddling by the Russians. Only a last gasp attempt by a weak president in what is starting to look like a boys against men tussle with Putin. Add the Syria ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Putin to this to show how Obama is being outmaneuvered at every turn.
Sad to see what a far cry from Obama the candidate Obama the president has turned out to be.
gandalfsunderpants , 30 Dec 2016 19:41
Action makes propaganda's effect irreversible. He who acts in obedience to propaganda can never go back. He is now obliged to believe in that propaganda because of his past action. He is obliged to receive from it his justification and authority, without which his action will seem to him absurd or unjust, which would be intolerable. He is obliged to continue to advance in the direction indicated by propaganda, for action demands more action.
Jacques Ellul:
Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 19:43
Obama just got dissed big time by Putin. What an inglorious end to an inglorious eight years.
jamie smith -> Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 19:47
An inglorious bastarde!
DogsLivesMatter -> Friday Night Beers , 30 Dec 2016 20:05
The Obama administration should be thanking Russian efforts to end the war in Syria. We know the MIC wanted this civil war to go on for another decade.
MacCosham , 30 Dec 2016 19:44
Oh for christ's sake, once again: There were no hacks, the emails were LEAKED! Probably by Democrats disgusted by the way Bernie was treated.

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

PS once you are there, read everything else Craig Murray has written there. This is the ambassador HM government fired for daring to speak out against the Uzbek government's human rights abuses. Share

Yer Man -> MacCosham , 30 Dec 2016 19:57
No, no, you see you just put the word "consensus" before a pathetically transparent lie and then apparently it magically becomes evidence based and well sourced...
PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:45
All Americans should be alarmed that their country is now losing its edge in terms of the manipulation of other countries' electoral processes. This is "unprecedented".

Where previously we had implemented such actions ourselves without fear of reciprocation we should be concerned that we are no longer immune to such machinations by other states. These events may represent a turning point as regards our accepted global hegemony.

Tribal War -> PanopticonPlanet , 30 Dec 2016 19:52
USA hacks
USA spies
USA interferes with foreign regimes
USA is number 1 bully and hypocrite

The damn cheek of Russian hack spies interfering with US election and setting them up with an idiot Share Facebook Twitter

brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 19:47
Obama has been anti-Russia long before Trump came into the picture.
This article is more of a wish list than anything else.
We are told by 'experts' that 'There is now a public record of what Russia did'

Where is it? I would love to see this.
I do know that the 2 countries that carry out most cyber attacks in the world are the US and it's main ally in the Middle East. Just ask the Iranians what they did. Share

Think Clear -> brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 20:00
I think all American presidents are anti Russian. Sounds like you was born 2005 or you just doing your British citizenship. You don't know much so read this Life in the uk test Share Facebook Twitter
MaryLeone Sullivan -> brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 20:02
Ask Britain for their MI6 files on Russia. See how far you get with that. Share Facebook Twitter
UralMan -> brianboru1014 , 30 Dec 2016 20:13

We are told by 'experts' that 'There is now a public record of what Russia did'

Where is it? I would love to see this.

Whaaat!? You don't believe the most democratic democrats on their word? Share Facebook Twitter

Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 19:48
Obama complaining about Russian influence in American elections.

Last time I've checked it was Mr. Obama that warned British people against Brexit, wasn't? What about the deposition of an ELECTED president in Ukraine with their support of Obama and EU? Let's talk also about regime changes in Syria, Lybia and Egypt undertaken under Obama's administration? Perhaps we could also remember that Obama's agencies spied 3 million of Spanyards, Merkel, Dilma Rousseff (Brazilian President) and so on... WHAT A HIPOCRISY, OBAMA!!!! Share

mtkass -> Leucocephalus , 30 Dec 2016 20:07
You have hit the nail on the head on all your points. But America and especially the American military needs a boogy man to justify the trillions of dollars of American tax payer money they request to keep their military empire going. Imagine if there was no boogy man and the conclusion was to half the American military to a size only equal to the next 6 largest militarys instead of the present 13. Incidentally, most of the next largest militarys are allies of the United States.

This whole kerfuffle about Russian hacking has the stink of shooting the messenger. What about concentrating on what was in the leaked e-mails. They showed a high level of deep corruption in the DNC. That is the importance of the hacked e-mails. Whoever hacked and released them to the American public has done the America public a great favor. If Wasserman Shultz in cohoots with Hillary had not swung the primaries in favor of Hillary and if Obama had remembered that the constitution says the government is for the people and by the people (the peoples choice was by a huge margin for Bernie) and come out for Bernie, we wouldn't be in the CF we are in right now. I thought Obama is a constitutional lawyer. So much for the constitution. The only statesman in this mess is Putin. Thank heaven for his level headedness. The American pronouncements have the stink of the build up to another false flag operation (the CIA revelations themselves are probably a false flag operation). I hope Putin can keep his 'cool' in the face of American provocation.

DogsLivesMatter -> Deeptank , 30 Dec 2016 20:03
May he take John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Lindsey "I do declare" Graham with him.....please? Share Facebook Twitter
Georwell , 30 Dec 2016 19:51
Obama:

Check , haha !

Putin - Check&Mate !

HoHo, and Happy New Year little duck ! Share Facebook Twitter

vgnych , 30 Dec 2016 19:57
It starts to look as if Putin and Trump wipe their shoes on Obama at this point, and it is Obama who asked for it. Embarrassing. Share Facebook Twitter
SallyWa , 30 Dec 2016 20:00
I've read Guardian's article on Russia's response to Obama's tantrum. Yep, it's clear why Obama lost to Russians and can't cope with it. Now use your own advice, Barry. Go to the back of the queue. Share Facebook Twitter
DogsLivesMatter , 30 Dec 2016 20:02
They were gossipy emails ffs. If that was all it took for H. Clinton to lose to Trump, then the Democrats really need to do an autopsy on itself. Or, here's a thought, VISIT the states where you need the support to win. This is becoming soooooo boring! Share Facebook Twitter
Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:03
Well what a spiteful, petty like man this Obama has turned out to be! This is the first time his side hasn't 'won' and he can't take it so throws his toys out the pram and risks further souring relationships with the East. Thank goodness Putin rose above it. Share Facebook Twitter
ID1516963 -> Huddsblue , 30 Dec 2016 20:10
Ha! Obama has obviously nothing to lose and decided to make hay in the limited time he has. More mischief making. Love it. Share Facebook Twitter
irenka_irina , 30 Dec 2016 20:06
Few words left.....the future presidency and its administration is an absolute farce....a 'free for all' for Trump and his cronies. Watch the rich get even richer and the poor get screwed. America chose....they have to deal with it.
Unfortunately for those of us who aren't are going to be screwed as well. Lack of tact and ignorance of diplomacy could ignite a power keg. Share Facebook Twitter
Huddsblue -> irenka_irina , 30 Dec 2016 20:07
That was the Obama administration you've just described in a nutshell. Share Facebook Twitter
SeekAndYouShallFind -> dutchcanadian , 30 Dec 2016 20:40
The problem is no one trusts the agencies you mentioned anymore based on their past record....

As regards the FBI being no friend of the democrats, didn't they just let her off for storing thousands of classified emails on a private server?
Besides, the whole world knows that the US have been sponsoring changes of Govs around the world so it comes across as completely hypocritical.

This appears to be a smokescreen for numerous embarrassing issues relating to the election & foreign policy.

For the record, I'm not a putin bot or fan if DT. So tired of the same old hackie responses to anyone who questions the narrative. It's getting really boring. Share

BG Davis , 30 Dec 2016 20:12
"Obama's Russia sanctions: an attempt to tie Donald Trump in knots ".... Facebook Twitter
voice__of__reason , 30 Dec 2016 20:13
This just shows the real character of Obama. Queering the pitch for Trump and the incoming administration. But well done Putin for sidestepping. Clever. Much smarter than Obama. In the end lawyers make bad Presidents and bad Prime Ministers. Share
TheChillZone , 30 Dec 2016 20:15
Bit of a pot-kettle interface going on here. America leads the way in the hacking of public servers around the world and spying on friend and enemy alike. Not long ago the CIA tapped into Angela Merkel's mobile phone and I don't remember the same level of public outcry. Seems like America is affronted that Russia and others are now doing what the US has done for years. And if it is in fact the Russians - proof not yet forthcoming - this wasn't a hack into the electoral system at all; it was a simple phishing email that the US officials were silly enough to click onto the link.
And finally - what eventually was released was the truth. Clinton was favoured by the DNC, she did say those things to Goldman Sachs, a CNN reporter did provide her with the questions before the presidential debates. The truth is that the US elections were corrupted, but not by the Russians - the culprits lie a little closer to home.
Harry Bhai , 30 Dec 2016 20:22
Obama tried to corner Russia, and almost all GOP lawmakers applauded Obama's action. Called it was well overdue. But our smart president-elect comforted crying Putin right away by calling him a smart man for not taking any actions. It is becoming more and more clear that Trump and Putin are made for each other. I think Trump is keeping Putin on his side to take air out of overinflated Chinese balloon. May be he was advised by his team. No one knows his game plan. Share
Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:28
This shows Putin's strengths and weaknesses.

He is a great tactician. It certainly makes Obama look less threatening.

But he is a horrible strategist. A good strategy doesn't surprise. It makes plain to one's opponent that things will only get worse--and one had better accommodate sooner rather than later. It was at the heart of Reagan's strategy, which destroyed the SU.

And this is exactly the situation that Putin faces with or without sanctions. The renewed fracking is going to keep oil and gas at lows not seen since the 90s. What was interesting was that even Putin's stooge in the UK, Krassnov, said that Russia faced a very dire economic future. Whatever Trump does, few Republicans are going to be accommodating after:

1) Crimea and Donbass
2) Blasting Aleppo to smithereens
3) Trying to throw the US election

The latter is an existential threat to every lawmaker, and they are hopping mad at the thought that it could happen again.

Ironically, Putin is proving ever more clearly that Obama should have used air power in 2013, as Putin has done in 2016.

It is a lesson that will not be lost on a Republican Congress.

That hates Putin's guts.

SeekAndYouShallFind -> Burnaby1000 , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
1) situation caused by US Newland causing havoc in Ukraine by spending millions on regime change.
2) caused by US arming terrorists
3) lol - no serious person believes the Reds had any influence. It was the candidate. (If interference in someone else's election was an international crime, the US would be in the dock every 6 months!)

The fool trump cannot do any worse than what's been occurring the last 15 years! Wars, invasions, terrorist support and dossiers on mythical WMDs! It's been a disaster. US foreign policy is heavily influenced by the CFR. He won't have a say in it. They will continue in the same diabolical fashion.

Happy New Year!

flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:32
Nearly 40 years ago , at the h
flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:32
Nearly 40 years ago , at the height of the cold war when I joined up to serve my country, never did i dream the day would come when I had more respect for the leader of Russia than a president of the USA and that I would have more faith in the Russian media than our own fake media.

That's what 40 years of liberalism does i guess. Share Facebook Twitter

TyroneBHorneigh -> flabbotamus , 30 Dec 2016 20:38
40 years of Neo-liberalism. Share Facebook Twitter
Sparky Patriot , 30 Dec 2016 20:37
Not content with merely stealing the silverware, BO is intent on causing as much mischief as possible before being booted out of the White House, but the Russians are not falling for it. They will be dealing with Donald Trump in a few weeks, and there is no need to respond to Barry's diaper baby antics.
I'm sure the Russians are hacking our internet systems, but the DNC emails that went to WikiLeaks did not come from them. The content, outlining Podesta's plan to discredit Bernie supporters by falsely tying them to violent acts, would indicate that a disgruntled and disgusted DNC employee was more likely the source. Share
Nick Richardson , 30 Dec 2016 20:40
Of course everyone on here decrying Obama's actions knows far more and understands the cyber-attacks/election interference issue far better than the combined resources and considered judgement of the US intelligence community.
Of course you do. Goes without saying, all you have to do is cite an example of incompetence or malfeasance by US intelligence agencies in the past and you rest your case.
Or maybe it's like parents who can't accept their child has been a bully or a general shit at school. If you are a fan of the Trump-Putin axis you'll go through any self-deceiving contortions necessary to avoid accepting reality.
Stop defending the indefensible. It happened, Obama acted (albeit slowly) and now Trump quite properly will be expected to justify any softening of position.
Yer Man -> Nick Richardson , 30 Dec 2016 21:29
They've told us nothing. They are known repeat liars.
Only question is, why do you take them at their word and nothing further? Share Facebook Twitter
raharu -> Nick Richardson , 30 Dec 2016 21:34
Talking about self-deceiving contortions while performing your own mental gymnastics. It's quite a show.
You say "stop defending the indefensible", while waving away any past instances of malfeasance by US intelligence agencies in the past. To be explicit: yes, that includes meddling in other countries' political affairs. Share Facebook Twitter
HollyOldDog -> asiancelt , 30 Dec 2016 21:37
It is of course impossible as the USA has the most and claimed most advanced spying network on the planet. It totally surrounds both friends and foes alike - with such technical ability the only country who could spy and influence (e.g. arm twisting Merkal is a prime example) on any country at will is the 'exceptional ' US Government.
geofffrey , 30 Dec 2016 20:42
Appears suspiciously likely that Obama is just bitter that his legacy is about to be dumped in the nearest skip on Jan 20, and wants to make trouble for Trump during his last 3 weeks in office.

Hard to see how Putin could have engineered Hillary Clinton's defeat, given she won the popular vote by 3 million.

Also Obama is extremely hypocritical as the CIA has repeatedly interfered in the affairs of other countries over the past 60 years.

I hope Trump and Putin become buddies. Share

furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 20:42

On Thursday, the Arizona senator John McCain and South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement: "The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama administration today are long overdue.

That's all I needed to know. If lunatic war monger John McCain wants to ratchet up the tension with a nuclear power - then it is very wise to do the opposite. Share

furiouspurpose -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:10
Red baiting won't close down the debate. There's still no evidence of Russian hacking of the US election.

And fascism is shouting people down who ask for evidence and don't just follow the President because he is attacking the outsiders. Share Facebook Twitter

TheControlLeft -> osprey1957 , 30 Dec 2016 21:12
It's preferable to the Obama brigades sponsorship of Islamic terrorism Share Facebook Twitter
monsieur_flaneur , 30 Dec 2016 20:49
Obama, envisioning a spot on Mt Rushmore, exits a laughing stock. Ah well Share
Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:54
Russia defeated the US in the Ukraine and recently it received an even harder blow Syria. Next think you know the US 'administration' makes a fool of itself by expelling 35 RF officials, who would have though that!

Sad to see this beautiful continent is being compromised by someone's puppets in the white house. Nato is crumbling now that Turkey t-he gateway to the Balkans, the Caspian, to the Stannies- rethinks its ties with US/NATO and moves towards Russia. It is crumbling beacuse the world begins to understand that the rationale behind 'operation gladio' /strategy of tension is still ruling the US admin. We could do without NATO, and could use a US government supporting peace rather than an administration creating war. Even Germany starts to realize that, because of the abundance of US military bases in this country, Germany is in fact 'occupied territory', a US colony if you will.

The USA has underestimated people on this planet who, as opposed to US politicians, were able to put current politics in a historical perspective. US policymakers took a part of Heidegger, Locke, Freud, Descartes and others without knowing their interpretations were at least incomplete. It results from the way in which US universities teach the discretized model of two extremes with the requirement of choosing one of these without putting both in one perspective: 'Descartes or Pascal' (not both as the French do); 'black or white'; 'with or against us'. The result Americans aimed for was a stable socio-political model, same with 'Neue Sozialismus'. What they obtained was a polarized world, because, a rigid stable model can only be governed by suppression (which the Military industrial Complex is currently doing) and we do not want that.

Trump may lack political experience, he may be supported by a group of ideosyncratic wealthy people attracting bad press from 'regulated media'. Equal chance of Trump having a positive or negative effect on US internal and external policy-making, and on the relationship with RF. But, Trump has one advantage: the more the Obama 'administration' barks, the more support Trump will receive to change what Bush-Clinton-Obama have ruined for their electorates; the more to celebrate for the Russians on January 13.

LMichelle -> Janjii , 30 Dec 2016 20:57
Bingo. This is not about the integrity of US elections. It's about being punked in Syria this week.
The problems with the electoral process in the US were massive before 2016 and never received this many Presidential press conferences. Share
ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 20:55
The U.S. has a long history of attempting to influence presidential elections in other countries – it's done so as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000, according to a database amassed by political scientist Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University.

That number doesn't include military coups and regime change efforts following the election of candidates the U.S. didn't like, notably those in Iran, Guatemala and Chile. Nor does it include general assistance with the electoral process, such as election monitoring. [...]

In 59% of these cases, the side that received assistance came to power, although Levin estimates the average effect of "partisan electoral interventions" to be only about a 3% increase in vote share. ( Source )

I understand why some may find outside interference objectionable, but I reckon many of those who think so fail to recognise America's far-from-faultless behaviour. Curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost.

Of course had the DNC leadership and the Clinton camp behaved ethically in the primary by not conspiring to tip the scale in Clinton's favour, the hack would have found nothing. What we have now is Obama forced to divert the public attention because of yet another messy scandal Hillary finds herself involved in. Clinton must be one of the most blessed people on earth; everyone bends over backwards to accommodate her ambitions.

Paull01 -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:18
Please provide an example of a political party behaving ethically during an election campaign? You reckon the republicans weren't trying to tip the scales away from Donny?

Also, Clinton lost despite getting way more votes so Donny will be president and it is pointless to continue to indulge in bashing Hillary, she is now just another elderly lady enjoying her golden years. Share Facebook Twitter

europeangrayling -> ga gamba , 30 Dec 2016 21:23
Also the CIA-Belgian assassination of Lamumba in 61, Congo's first democratically elected president, for the same 'geopolitical' aka 'big business' reasons as the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 53, who wanted the nationalize Iranian oil for their people, and Lumumba had similar 'socialist' ideas for all the vast Congolese resources. To cut out the western business interests. And think how well the Congo has fared since, one of the worst, saddest places, chaos, civil war, more dead than in Rwanda or anywhere I think. They have not recovered from that.

And Iran, they were democratic, secular, elected a guy like Mossadegh, they were 'European', but the the US and Britain overthrew him on behest of British-US oil interests, installed the Shah, their puppet dictator, and the blow-back was the Iranian religious right-wing revolution and dictatorship some 20 years later. And now the Iranian people and our 'foreign policy' are suffering.

And all these US and CIA 'activities' the government had admitted and declassified, like the Gulf of Tonkin lie and false flag in Vietnam, because it was so long ago nobody cares, so it's no 'conspiracy' here, just history. But now these Clinton Democrats they really love and trust anything the CIA says, of course, they are big patriots now, and call people unpatriotic and foreign agents if they question the so honorable CIA, because they are on Hillary's side now.
And the CIA in cahoots with Bush and Cheney also told us how there were these big, scary WMDs in Iraq, and mushroom clouds, and how Saddam had links with Al Qaida, all obvious lies, that any amateur who knew basic world history could tell you even then.

And speaking of 'meddling', and overthrowing democratic governments, the US did the same under Obama and Hillary in Honduras just a few years ago, backed the violent coup of a democratic leftist government there, and they still refuse to call it a coup, and have legitimized the new corrupt and violent regime, are training their army, etc. Even though the EU and the US ambassador to Honduras called it a coup at the time.

And for the same reasons, that leftist government didn't want to play ball with big US and western 'business interests', energy companies, didn't want to sell them their rivers and resources like the new 'good' regime now. And since that coup, 100s of indigenous activists and environmentalists have been killed, like Berta Caceres, and the violence and corruption has gone up big time under the new regime, with 1000s more killed 'in general'. Yet Obama is so concerned about 'the integrity of democracy' and elections and freedom and all that, what a nice guy.

fanUS , 30 Dec 2016 20:58
The real question that Americans should be asking why Barack Obummer failed again to provide security in case of hacking Democrat's emails?

Clinton did not deny that emails published by WikiLeaks were genuine.
That is called freedom of press.
What's wrong with public finding the truth about Clinton? Share

Not4TheFaintOfHeart , 30 Dec 2016 20:59
Why would Russia be happy that Clinton lost? Why would any foreign power be happy that Clinton lost?...
How many years did HRC, in her arrogance-fuelled denial, provide foreign intelligences with literally tonnes of free info??! Share
furiouspurpose , 30 Dec 2016 21:03

Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. .... But if he did choose to do so, he would find himself at odds with his own party.

Trump is exactly where he is today because he attacked that same party. He called bullshit on the Bush's claims to have made the US safer and called bullshit on the idea that Iraq was something that we should still do in hindsight. He trashed the idea of free trade and TTIP - another Republican shibboleth. He refused to go down the standard Republican route of trashing social security...

All he needs to do is call bullshit on this 'evidence' of Russian hacking and remind everyone that it wasn't Russians who manned the planes on 9/11. Trump is a oafish clown - but he's not a standard politician playing standard politics. He can shrug off this oh-so-clever manoeuvre by Obama with no trouble.

[Dec 19, 2016] Michigan unemployment agency made 20,000 false fraud accusations – report

Notable quotes:
"... One bankruptcy attorney told the Detroit Metro Times he had as many as 30 cases in 2015 tied to debt from the UIA; before the automated system was implemented, he said he would typically have at most one per year with such claims. The newspaper also found claimants who were charged with fraud despite never having received a single dollar in unemployment insurance benefits. ..."
"... A pair of lawsuits were filed in 2015 against the UIA over Midas. According to a pending federal case, in which the state revealed it had discontinued using Midas for fraud determinations, the system "resulted in countless unemployment insurance claimants being accused of fraud even though they did nothing wrong". ..."
"... Blanchard told the Guardian in February that many unemployment applicants may not have realized they were even eligible to appeal against the fraud charge, due to the setup of Midas. Attorneys representing claimants have said that many refuse to ever apply for unemployment benefits again. ..."
"... Levin, who represents part of metropolitan Detroit, said in his statement that Michigan officials had to fully account for the money that has flowed into the unemployment agency's contingent fund. ..."
Dec 18, 2016 | www.theguardian.com
Michigan government agency wrongly accused individuals in at least 20,000 cases of fraudulently seeking unemployment payments, according to a review by the state.

The review released this week found that an automated system had erroneously accused claimants in 93% of cases – a rate that stunned even lawyers suing the state over the computer system and faulty fraud claims.

"It's literally balancing the books on the backs of Michigan's poorest and jobless," attorney David Blanchard, who is pursuing a class action in federal court on behalf of several claimants, told the Guardian on Friday.

The Michigan unemployment insurance agency (UIA) reviewed 22,427 cases in which an automated computer system determined a claimant had committed insurance fraud, after federal officials, including the Michigan congressman Sander Levin, raised concerns with the system.

The review found that the overwhelming majority of claims over a two-year period between October 2013 and August 2015 were in error. In 2015, the state revised its policy and required fraud determinations to be reviewed and issued by employees. But the new data is the first indication of just how widespread the improper accusations were during that period .

The people accused lost access to unemployment payments, and reported facing fines as high as $100,000. Those who appealed against the fines fought the claims in lengthy administrative hearings. And some had their federal and state taxes garnished. Kevin Grifka, an electrician who lives in metro Detroit, had his entire federal income tax garnished by the UIA, after it accused him of fraudulently collecting $12,000 in unemployment benefits.

The notice came just weeks before Christmas in 2014.

"To be honest with you, it was really hard to see your wife in tears around Christmas time, when all of this went on for me," Grifka said.

The computer system claimed that he had failed to accurately represent his income over a 13-week period. But the system was wrong: Grifka, 39, had not committed insurance fraud.

In a statement issued on Friday, Levin called on state officials to review the remaining fraud cases that were generated by the system before the policy revision.

"While I'm pleased that a small subset of the cases has been reviewed, the state has a responsibility to look at the additional 30,000 fraud determinations made during this same time period," he said.

Figures released by the state show 2,571 individuals have been repaid a total of $5.4m. It's unclear if multiple cases were filed against the same claimants.

The findings come as Michigan's Republican-led legislature passed a bill this week to use $10m from the unemployment agency's contingent fund – which is composed mostly of fines generated by fraud claims – to balance the state's budget. Since 2011, the balance of the contingent fund has jumped from $3.1m to $155m, according to a report from a Michigan house agency.

The system, known as the Michigan Integrated Data Automated System (Midas), caused an immediate spike in claims of fraud when it was implemented in October 2013 under the state's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, at a cost of $47m.

In the run-up to a scathing report on the system issued last year by Michigan's auditor general, the UIA began requiring employees to review the fraud determinations before they were issued.

The fraud accusations can carry an emotional burden for claimants.

"These accusations [have] a pretty big burden on people," Grifka said. While he said the new findings were validating and his own case had been resolved, he called for state accountability.

"There's no recourse from the state on what they're doing to people's lives. That's my biggest problem with all of this."

Steve Gray, director of the University of Michigan law school's unemployment insurance clinic, told the Guardian earlier this year that he routinely came across claimants facing a significant emotional toll. As a result, he said, the clinic added the number for a suicide hotline to a referral resource page on the program's website.

"We had just a number of clients who were so desperate, saying that they were going to lose their house they've never been unemployed before, they didn't know," said Gray, who filed a complaint with the US labor department in 2015 about the Midas system.

The fines can be enormous. Residents interviewed by local news outlets have highlighted fraud penalties from the UIA upwards of $100,000 . Bankruptcy petitions filed as a result of unemployment insurance fraud also increased during the timeframe when Midas was in use.

One bankruptcy attorney told the Detroit Metro Times he had as many as 30 cases in 2015 tied to debt from the UIA; before the automated system was implemented, he said he would typically have at most one per year with such claims. The newspaper also found claimants who were charged with fraud despite never having received a single dollar in unemployment insurance benefits.

A pair of lawsuits were filed in 2015 against the UIA over Midas. According to a pending federal case, in which the state revealed it had discontinued using Midas for fraud determinations, the system "resulted in countless unemployment insurance claimants being accused of fraud even though they did nothing wrong".

Blanchard told the Guardian in February that many unemployment applicants may not have realized they were even eligible to appeal against the fraud charge, due to the setup of Midas. Attorneys representing claimants have said that many refuse to ever apply for unemployment benefits again.

A spokesman for the unemployment insurance agency, Dave Murray, said it appreciated Levin's work on the issue and said it was continuing "to study fraud determinations".

The agency had already made changes to the fraud determination process, he said, and "we appreciate that the state legislature this week approved a bill that codifies the reforms we've set in place".

Levin, who represents part of metropolitan Detroit, said in his statement that Michigan officials had to fully account for the money that has flowed into the unemployment agency's contingent fund.

"While I am pleased that $5m has been repaid, it strikes me as small compared to the amount of money that was collected at the time," he said. "Only a full audit will ensure the public that the problem has been fully rectified."

ManuSHeloma 12 Feb 2016 9:02

Another failure of Gov Snyder's administration: first Flint water, now this. What can the people of Michigan expect next? The recall of Snyder should be automated.
stuinmichigan pepspotbib 12 Feb 2016 10:02
It's not just Snyder and his lackies. You should see the radically gerrymanderd Michigan legislature, run by rightist extremists, directed by the Koch Brothers, the DeVos family and others, via the ALEC program that provides them with the radical right legislation they have passed and continue to pass. Snyder ran saying that sort of stuff was not really on his agenda, but continues to sign it. He's either a liar, an unprincipled idiot, or both. It's bad here. And it's getting worse.
DarthPutinbot 12 Feb 2016 9:09
What the f*ck is wrong in Michigan? Split it up among the surrounding states and call it good. Michigan destroyed Detroit and cutoff their water. Michigan deliberately poisoned the residents of Flint. Too many Michigan lawyers are crooks or basically inept. The court system screws over parents in divorce cases. And now, Michigan is wrongly trying to collect money from people on trumped up fraud charges. Stop it. The federal government needs to take over the state or bust it up.
Non de Plume 12 Feb 2016 9:23
Hell, when the system *works* it's ridiculous. Watching my Dad - who had worked continuously since 14 years old save a few months in the early 90s - sitting on hold for hours... At least once a week, to 'prove' he still deserved money from a system he paid into. Hours is not an exaggeration.

And now this. Goddammit Lansing! How many other ways can you try to save/take money from the poor and end up costing us so much more?!?

Bailey Wilkins stuinmichigan 12 Feb 2016 21:56
Nothing against The Guardian's reporting, but if you follow the links, you'll see FOX 17 has been covering the story locally since last May. It's their investigation that got the attention of all the other publications (including Detroit Metro Times.) Local papers could have done a better job though, agreed on that.
talenttruth 12 Feb 2016 12:48
Leering, Entitled Republican bastards like Governor Snyder simply HATE poor people. And THAT is because all such bullies are cowards, through-and-through, always selecting as their "victims" those who can't fight back. And, since such Puritan Cretins as Snyder "Believe" that they are rich because of their superior merit, it stands to reason (doesn't it) that "poor people" (actually, all us Little Folk) have NO merit, because we didn't inherit a Trust Fund, Daddy's Business or other anciently stolen wealth. These people deserve stunningly BAD Karma. Unfortunately, Karma has its own timeline and doesn't do what seems just, on a timely basis (usually).
Jim Uicker 12 Feb 2016 13:29
With today's sophisticated algorithms, computers are used to flag insurance claims all the time. The hit rate is usually much better than 8%. But how can they even consider automating the adjudication of fraud? Fraud is a crime; there should be a presumption of innocence and a right to due process. Without telling people they had a right to appeal, didn't this system violate the constitutional rights of Michigan's most vulnerable citizens: those with no job and therefore no money to defend themselves?

And what about the employers who paid unemployment insurance premiums month after month, expecting the system to protect their employees from business conditions that would necessitate layoffs? Michigan has defrauded them as well, by collecting premiums and not paying claims.

Jim Uicker 12 Feb 2016 13:51
Even if the problem with Midas can be entirely blamed on the tech workers who built and tested the software, there is no excuse for the behavior of the Snyder administration when they became aware of the problem. Just like the cases of legionnaires disease, where the state failed to alert the public about the outbreak and four more people died, the Snyder administration is again trying to sweep its mistakes under the rug.

Before taking Midas offline, the UIA refused to comment on the Metro Times investigation, and Snyder himself artfully avoided reporters' questions after being made aware of the result of an investigation by a local television station. Now the state only revealed that it shut down Midas to a pending lawsuit.

The state spent $47 million dollars on a computer system and then took it offline because it didn't work. The flaws in the system are now costing the state many millions more. This level of secrecy is evidence of bad government. The state is supposed to be accountable to taxpayers for that money! Even if the Snyder administration isn't responsible for all of these tragedies, it is definitely responsible for covering them up.

Jefferson78759 12 Feb 2016 13:55
This is the GOP "governing"; treat the average person like a criminal, "save" money on essential infrastructure like water treatment, regardless of the consequences.

I get why the 1% votes GOP but if you're an average person you're putting your financial and physical well being on the line if you do. Crazy.

MaryLee Sutton Henry 12 Feb 2016 22:30
I was forced to plead guilty by a public defender to the UIA fraud charge & thrown in jail for 4 days without my Diabetic meds or diet in Allegan county. As it stands right now the State of Michigan keeps sending me bills that are almost $1000 more then what the county says I own. I have done community service, and between witholding tax refunds and payments I have paid over $1200 on a $4300 total bill. I have literally spend hours on the phone with UIA and faxing judgements trying to straighten this out, yet still get bills for the higher amount from UIA. Its a nightmare, I have a misdominer, until its paid and refuse to pay no more then $50 per month until they straighten this out. Maybe joining the class action law suit would help. Does anyone have any better ideas??
Teri Roy 13 Feb 2016 13:27
My son and I both got hit, I was able to dispute mine but he has autism and they would not dismiss his, so at 24 yrs old he's paying back 20 grand in pentailies and interest. Just not right
Outragously Flawless 14 Feb 2016 9:42
I also received a letter stating I owe and hadn't file taxes since 2007. I had to find all of my taxes from 2007 to 2013 my question is why did they wait over 5yrs to contact me, or is that the set up H&R block does my taxes and they didn't have records that far back.#sneakyass government

[Dec 14, 2016] Opinion Putin didnt win this election for Trump. Hillary Clinton did

Notable quotes:
"... That those scheming Russians were clever enough to hack into voting machines, but not clever enough to cover their tracks? ..."
"... It's strangely reminiscent of the days of the Red scare, minus the Reds. ..."
"... The displaced machinists in the industrial midwest, whose votes helped put Trump in the White House, believe that free trade deals are responsible for their economic woes and they never trusted Clinton's turn against the TPP. ..."
"... was Clinton's campaign for you, bereft of principle and pathologically concerned with "optics" at the expense of substance. ..."
"... They were so confident of their inevitable victory that they wrote off the old industrial states in favor of luring upscale suburbanites who normally vote Republican. They hoped they would be so revolted by Trump that they would vote for her, but they didn't. ..."
"... It's panic over loss of control. They aren't pondering ways to make things better for the American people. Not in the Beltaway. Not the duoploy. The handwringing is strictly about control and pasification of the population. ..."
"... The long, long list of dodgy-donors to The Clinton Foundation told large numbers of Democrat voters everything they needed to know about a potential Hillary Clinton presidency. This, and the 'knifing' of Bernie, sealed her fate. ..."
"... America will never, and should never, forgive Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. ..."
"... At last! Someone on this newspaper talking common sense. ..."
"... Absurd! She was a rich white hawkish neolib who has no one but herself and the Democratic Pary to blame for the terrible loss which will seal the supreme court for years. Face facts!! She couldn't even beat Trump and was widely viewed as a fraud. ..."
"... The person who lost the Presidential Election in USA is Hillary Clinton. She, like Blair is a war monger. I, if I had a vote, would not have voted for her. ..."
"... If she had been elected we would have had bigger and better wars in the Middle East. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan never ended despite Obama calling the Iraq war a "strategic mistake". One that continued for another eight years. To those two we have added Syria and Lybia. ..."
"... " ...reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is. " The rest of the world has known that for decades. ..."
"... I don't understand how accurate reporting by Wikileaks of politicians' emails is considered 'interference' with the US elections. To me, it seems helpful. If a US newspaper made the report, they would probably get a prize. If a foreign organization made the report, so what? People abroad are free (I hope) to comment on US matters, and people in the US are free to read it or not. ..."
"... Perhaps they mean the Guardian's politics. Identity politics has been thoroughly rejected and instead of learning from the experience, Guardian has been electing to throw more of the same tactics, except louder ..."
"... Americans across the political spectrum are happy to use Putin to distract them from reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is. ..."
"... You're absolutely right. Putin is the boogeyman for every ill, real or purported, of his own society, and when the American political system and its institutions prove to be broken, Putin gets to be the boogeyman for that, too. What a powerful man! He must be pleased. ..."
"... This is an ultimate truth because it explains why Merkel will not be elected. These days Putin is in full control of the world and is responsible for everything. ..."
"... Let's thank Hillary for that. There is a very good news: on the 20th January we'll cut all Saudi supply channels to the IS and kill all the bastards within 2 months. ..."
"... In the modern world it is enough to do nothing to be a good man, eg if Bush, Blair, Obama and Clinton didn't create ISIS, the world would be a much better place. You do not even need to be smart to understand this. ..."
"... It's crazy. Even if the Russian hacking claims are legitimate, the leaks still revealed things about the Democrats that were true. It's like telling your friend that their spouse is cheating on them, and then the spouse blaming you for ruining the marriage. ..."
"... The Clinton campaign spent like drunken sailors, on media. This is a new role for the media giants that took care of Clinton's every need, including providing motivational research and other consultants. ..."
"... The ongoing scenario that now spins around Putin as a central figure is a product of "after shock media". ..."
"... To weave fictional reality in real time for a mass audience is a magnum leap from internet fake news. This drama is concocted to keep DNC from going into seclusion until the inauguration. ..."
"... Doug Henwood is absolutely correct. This obsession with the supposed foreign interference is baseless. All the real culprits operate within our own system. ..."
"... Trump's embrace of Russia and decision to end the neocon-neoliberal agenda of regime change skewer two of the corporate establishment's cash cows - arms sales to the numerous conflicts in the Middle East initiated by the corporate cabal, and arms sales to NATO and all the new post Cold War NATO members to continue the buildup of armaments on Russia's borders." ..."
"... I'd love to be pleasantly surprised, and I note that already Trump's campaign has put down TWO odious political dynasties, AND the TPP -- all very healthy developments. ..."
"... The only thing that kept the contest somehow close was the unprecedented all-media fear campaign against Trump. ..."
"... It was always Hillary's election to lose and she lost it simply because she was not to be trusted. Her very public endorsement by gangster capitalist Jay-Z told you all you needed to know about who she represented. ..."
"... I was dubious before, but I'm now actively concerned. This crop of Democrats and their deep state cohorts are unhinged and dangerous. They see me and my families' lives as an externality in their eventual war with Russia. As Phyrric a victory as there could possibly be. They are psychotic; not only waging countless coups and intelligence operations abroad, but now in plain sight on American soil. The mainstream media seems to invoke the spirit of Goebbels more vividly with each passing day. Their disdain and manipulation of the general populace is chilling. They see us not as people to be won-over, but as things to be manipulated, tricked and coerced. Nothing new for politicians (particularity the opposition) - but the levels here are staggering. ..."
"... January couldn't come soon enough - and I say that as strong critic of Trump. ..."
"... A good article to counterbalance the reams of rubbish we are hearing in the US election post-mortem. Anyone who had neural activity should have known that when you steal the candidacy, you certainly won't get the votes. Clinton effectively handed the election to Trump by not having the humility, humanity and honesty to admit defeat by Benie Sanders. ..."
"... There's always the possibility of course, that the US establishment realised Clinton's blatant warmongering wasn't 'good for business'. ..."
"... So maybe, they thought, we can get the Russkies 'on side', deal with China (ie. reduce it to a 'client state'/ turn it into an ashtray) - and then move on Russia and grab all those lovely resources freed up by global warming.... ..."
"... Only her campaign volunteers knew, her message to the public was "dont vote for Trump" which translates to, I could lose to him, vote for me! ..."
"... The Podesta emails confirmed what many people already suspected and knew of Hillary and her campaign. Those who were interested in reading them had to actually look for them, since MSM was not reporting on them. It's not as if an avid MSNBC or CNN watcher was going to be exposed. ..."
"... It's hilarious how the major Left outlets (Washington Post) are now telling it's readers how Russia is to blame for people voting against Hillary due to the Podesta emails, when they didn't even report on the emails in the first place. ..."
"... EVERYTHING about the system all halfway decent people detest, is summed up in the figure of Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... Like Donald said, she had 'experience', but it was all BAD 'experience'. ..."
"... she is a frail, withered old woman who needs to retire - def the wrong democrat choice, crazy ! Berni.S would have won if for them - he is far more sincere ..."
"... "The displaced machinists... believe that free trade deals are responsible for their economic woes and they never trusted Clinton's turn against the TPP. But that was Clinton's campaign for you, bereft of principle and pathologically concerned with "optics" at the expense of substance." ..."
"... This argument is as asinine as the one the author opposes. It was a collusion of events that led to this result, including the failure of both parties to adapt to an evolving economic and social climate over decades. The right wing hailing the collapse of liberalism as a result of decades of liberal mismanagement conveniently forget their own parties have held the reins for half that time, and failed just as miserably as the left.... ..."
"... It's quite bizarre to see "progressives" openly side with the military industrial complex, which is threatened by a president elect weary of more warfare. ..."
"... It's to be expected from career politicians like McCain who is kicking and screaming, but it's shameful to see supposed liberally-minded people help spread the Red Scare storyline. ..."
"... Obama has behaved dreadfully, first he or his office gets one of its poodles namely MI6 to point the finger at Putin re cyberwar, which was swiftly followed by the International Olympic Committee looking at Russia for 2012 Olympic games, the elections in the US and the Democrats CIA coming out with unsubstantiated nonsense (funny how they never like, providing collaborative evidence - on this or anything that supposedly Russia has done) then there is Syria, and Obama and the Democrats were the cheerleader for regime change, because they have been out manoeuvred in that sphere. All of it in less than a week. ..."
"... If Obama, the administration, and the CIA were smart they would have realised that a concerted effort to blame Putin / Russia would be seen for what it is - a liar and one of trying to discredit both the outcome of the US elections, the dislike of HRC, and her association with Wall St. - she raised more money for her campaign than Trump and Sanders put together (if the Democrats had chosen Sanders, then they would have stood a chance) and that their hawk would not be in a position to create WW111 - thank goodness. The Democrats deserved what they got. ..."
"... This organ of the liberal media (no scare quotes required - it is socially liberal and economically neoliberal), along with many others, dogmatically supported Clinton against Sanders to the point of printing daily and ridiculous dishonesty, even going so far as to make out as if anyone who supports any form of wealth redistribution is a racist, sexist, whitesplaining dude-bro. ..."
"... The Wikileaks emails proved the votes were rigged against Sanders, it why Debbie W Shulz had to resign ..."
"... The election was close, and if one less thing had gone wrong for Hillary she would have won. However I think an important thing that lost her the election was identity politics. She patronized Afro-Americans and Hispanics, by tell them that because they are Trump-threatened minorities, they should vote for her. In the same vein, gays and women were supposed to vote for her. But what she was really telling these groups was that they should revel in their supposed victimhood, which was not a great message. ..."
"... Completely agreed! The onus for defeat belongs to the Democrat party leadership as well. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both understood where the momentum of the election was headed before anyone else did. The election was won and lost in the white blue collar Midwest. A place that decided that diet corporatism is decidedly worse than a populist right wing extremist. ..."
"... No one here believed the ridiculous about-face Hillary pulled on the question of the TPP. I guarantee you Bernie would have cleaned Trump's clock in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and perhaps Ohio and Iowa. ..."
"... "Our self-image as the world's greatest democracy...." Well, speaking for myself and plenty of other Americans, I never said anything like that about us. In fact, like a lot of people I wish we would stick to our own business, quit trying to be the world's cop, and cease meddling in other countries' affairs. ..."
"... Assuming that it really was the Russians who done it, I guess they had a better game plan than the Saudis. ..."
"... Her 'deplorables' comment was every bit as telling as Mitt Romney's '47%'. We really needed to know about her 'public versus private positions', even if it only confirmed what everybody already knew. I am not 100% sure the system made the worst choice in raising up Donald Trump. ..."
"... The American voters heard a steady stream of these arguments. Some may have simply ignored them. Others took them into consideration, but concluded that they wanted drastic change enough to put them aside. White women decided that Trump's comments, while distasteful, were things they'd heard before. ..."
"... Reliance on the sanctity of racial and gender pieties was a mistake. Not everyone treats these subjects as the holiest of holies. The people who would be most swayed by those arguments never would have voted for Trump anyways. ..."
"... Colin Powell said Clinton destroys everything she touches with hubris. Seeing as how she destroyed the democrat "blue wall" and also had low turnout which hurt democrats down the ticket I agree. ..."
"... All this hysteria about the USA and Russia finally working together than apart doesn't help either for it appears that the [neoliberal] lefties want a perpetual war rather than peace. ..."
"... The CIA being outraged about a foreign state intervening in an election is quite funny. They have intervened so many times, especially in Latin America, to install puppet regimes. ..."
"... As for hacking... does anybody believe the CIA has never hacked anybody? ..."
Dec 13, 2016 | www.theguardian.com

Hillary Clinton was the symbol of neoliberal globalization and contept of neoliberal for common poeple (aka deplorable). That's why she lost. this is more of the first defeat of neoliberal candidate in the USA then personal defeat of Hillary. She was just a symbol, or puppet, if you wish.

... ... ...

And what exactly are the claims made by these Putin-did-it stories? That were it not for Russian chicanery, Hillary Clinton would have won the popular vote by five million and not almost three million? That displaced machinists on the banks of Lake Erie were so incensed by the Podesta emails that they voted for Trump instead of Clinton? That Putin was pulling FBI director James Comey's strings in his investigation of the Clinton emails? That those scheming Russians were clever enough to hack into voting machines, but not clever enough to cover their tracks?

It's strangely reminiscent of the days of the Red scare, minus the Reds.

... ... ...

The displaced machinists in the industrial midwest, whose votes helped put Trump in the White House, believe that free trade deals are responsible for their economic woes and they never trusted Clinton's turn against the TPP. But that was Clinton's campaign for you, bereft of principle and pathologically concerned with "optics" at the expense of substance.

They were so confident of their inevitable victory that they wrote off the old industrial states in favor of luring upscale suburbanites who normally vote Republican. They hoped they would be so revolted by Trump that they would vote for her, but they didn't.

... ... ...

Of course there are questions about our voting machines. The American balloting system is a chaotic mess, with an array of state and local authorities conducting elections under a vast variety of rules using technologies ranging from old-fashioned paper ballots to sleek touch-screen devices.

The former take forever to count, and the latter are unauditable – we can have no idea whether the counts are accurate. The whole system is a perfect example of a quote attributed (probably falsely) to Joseph Stalin: "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." It's not a system that inspires trust, but we barely discuss that.

LMichelle , 14 Dec 2016 03:07

It's panic over loss of control. They aren't pondering ways to make things better for the American people. Not in the Beltaway. Not the duoploy. The handwringing is strictly about control and pasification of the population.

And you're shocked? I'm shocked you expected more.

cvneuves , 14 Dec 2016 02:49
The really amazing story about the presidential elections 2016 was actually not Clinton or Trump. It was how close the US actually got to get its first socialist, or factually rather social-democratic president. Americans are craving for more justice and equality.

And no, Clinton does not stand for any "left values". Therefore the media favored her.

Pu2u2skeete -> dphaynes , 14 Dec 2016 02:43
The long, long list of dodgy-donors to The Clinton Foundation told large numbers of Democrat voters everything they needed to know about a potential Hillary Clinton presidency. This, and the 'knifing' of Bernie, sealed her fate. A reincarnated Tricky Dicky would have trounced her, too.
poikloik098 -> Mansplain , 14 Dec 2016 03:05
Weird in your mind only. A letter just before the election suggesting that Clinton might be indicted? And was she? Of course not. Match the letter's release with the polls at the time to see it's influence.

Clinton's problems such as her email server were nothing compared to all the baggage that Trump carries, yet Trump's problems were blithely ignored by many because they thought Trump would make a difference.

AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 02:19
America will never, and should never, forgive Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
jmac55 , 14 Dec 2016 02:18
At last! Someone on this newspaper talking common sense.

For the last twenty years, (way before we even knew Putin's name) the Republican Party have promoted, fomented and instigated the most ludicrous lies and calumnies about the Democratic Party and particularly Hilary Clinton, who they quite rightly recognised as a future Democratic Presidential candidate.

They have politicised: education, defense, Federal Parks, water, race, religion and even the air we breath in their efforts to ensure victory and to this end, they bought and paid for populist uprisings against Democratic politicians, like the now abandoned Tea Party.

The problem was that even when Republicans were elected, they obviously couldn't keep their own nonsensical promises to their now rabid audience who no longer trusted their own elected Government.

When Trump, a disestablishment, anti-Government candidate came along, the electorate (naively) saw a possibility of the change they have been promised.

Of course the Russians prefer Trump over Clinton, since they can see the destruction he can cause their geopolitical adversary and Putin would say as much as he can to support Trump...errr....even though it would be counter-productive with conservative voters...but it is unlikely that he bears anywhere near the blame that the Republican Party does, who foolishly allowed their own 'attack dog' to bite them on the arse.

I'm sorry to say that the Republican Party (and the US) has to suck this one up and admit...(to mix my hackneyed metaphors) that they've blown themselves up with their own petard!

joanne Ward , 14 Dec 2016 02:17
I think with hindsight Bernie Sanders is going to be blamed for dividing the Democratic Party and bolstering the Republican propaganda against the Clintons. If only we had stuck together with Clinton we wouldn't be facing the Trump disaster now. Hillary Clinton is not evil and she was very highly qualified--to paraphrase Brando, we could have had progress instead of a disaster, which is what we have now.
sand2016 -> joanne Ward , 14 Dec 2016 02:25
Absurd! She was a rich white hawkish neolib who has no one but herself and the Democratic Pary to blame for the terrible loss which will seal the supreme court for years. Face facts!! She couldn't even beat Trump and was widely viewed as a fraud.
FriendlyEmpiricist -> Fred1 , 14 Dec 2016 02:28
You fool, the Libertarian party is the largest third party in the US and they mostly take votes from the Republicans. Stop blaming third parties when their existence demonstrably helps the Democrats. Or perhaps you dream of a world where conservatives still support their third party just as much as they ever did but lefties all move in perfect lockstep? If so, it's time for a reality check.
pacificist , 14 Dec 2016 02:14
Up jumped Hilary Benn with the theory that Jeremy Corbyn had caused the Brexit vote. His resignation and the denunciation of 172 Labour MP's based on an "indisputable fact" that nobody believes to be true today. The person who lost the Presidential Election in USA is Hillary Clinton. She, like Blair is a war monger. I, if I had a vote, would not have voted for her.

If she had been elected we would have had bigger and better wars in the Middle East. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan never ended despite Obama calling the Iraq war a "strategic mistake". One that continued for another eight years. To those two we have added Syria and Lybia. The west, like Russia, is dabbling in other people's wars. They have been made one hundred times worse.

What Hillary would not have dabbled in is the industrial decline in the "Rust Belt" states. She is proposing to do nothing. So they had the prospect of no rectification at home with yet more wars abroad. No wonder they stayed at home. Hillary and Nu Labour are the same: belligerancy in the Middle East coupled with tame pussy cat against failing capitalism at home. The middle east has got total destruction from the west and total nothingness but austerity (ie more failure) as the action plan for capitalism. They are on the "same page" then!

Jympton , 14 Dec 2016 01:48
" ...reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is. " The rest of the world has known that for decades.
helenus , 14 Dec 2016 01:48
I don't understand how accurate reporting by Wikileaks of politicians' emails is considered 'interference' with the US elections. To me, it seems helpful. If a US newspaper made the report, they would probably get a prize. If a foreign organization made the report, so what? People abroad are free (I hope) to comment on US matters, and people in the US are free to read it or not. It could be argued that only reporting democratic emails is distorting the truth: I'd say its a step towards the whole truth. I welcome all disclosures that are pertinent to a good decision by US voters.
PostTrotskyite -> helenus , 14 Dec 2016 01:53
When did hacking become legal?
helenus -> PostTrotskyite , 14 Dec 2016 02:57
ask Snowden
DMontaigne -> 14122016 , 14 Dec 2016 02:26
The Guardian helped Trump? How many Americans actually read the Guardian?
Mansplain -> DMontaigne , 14 Dec 2016 02:46
Perhaps they mean the Guardian's politics. Identity politics has been thoroughly rejected and instead of learning from the experience, Guardian has been electing to throw more of the same tactics, except louder
Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 01:42
Citizens of the UK are by far the most heavily surveilled in the western world. This has been the case since long before the ubiquitous introduction of CCTV cameras.
HomoSapienSapiens , 14 Dec 2016 01:35

Americans across the political spectrum are happy to use Putin to distract them from reflecting on how baseless our self-image as the world's greatest democracy is.

You're absolutely right. Putin is the boogeyman for every ill, real or purported, of his own society, and when the American political system and its institutions prove to be broken, Putin gets to be the boogeyman for that, too. What a powerful man! He must be pleased.

Only, the thing is, the American political system and its institutions - American democracy - weren't undermined overnight. It took several decades and it was done by Americans who weren't so keen on democracy. Can't fob that off on Putin, try as they might.

If American power takes a big fat fall like Humpty Dumpty, don't look to Vladimir Putin, look in a fucking mirror. That's where you'll find the culprit.

PreziDonald -> PostTrotskyite , 14 Dec 2016 01:28
This is an ultimate truth because it explains why Merkel will not be elected. These days Putin is in full control of the world and is responsible for everything.
PreziDonald , 14 Dec 2016 01:23
Let's thank Hillary for that. There is a very good news: on the 20th January we'll cut all Saudi supply channels to the IS and kill all the bastards within 2 months.
PreziDonald -> shampacanada , 14 Dec 2016 01:43
In the modern world it is enough to do nothing to be a good man, eg if Bush, Blair, Obama and Clinton didn't create ISIS, the world would be a much better place. You do not even need to be smart to understand this.
Your Donald.
From where you'd rather be.
With love.
Lafeyette , 14 Dec 2016 01:13
It's crazy. Even if the Russian hacking claims are legitimate, the leaks still revealed things about the Democrats that were true. It's like telling your friend that their spouse is cheating on them, and then the spouse blaming you for ruining the marriage.
Althnaharra , 14 Dec 2016 01:05
The Clinton campaign spent like drunken sailors, on media. This is a new role for the media giants that took care of Clinton's every need, including providing motivational research and other consultants.

The ongoing scenario that now spins around Putin as a central figure is a product of "after shock media". Broadcast media bounced America back and forth from sit-com to gun violence for decades, giving fiction paramount value. To weave fictional reality in real time for a mass audience is a magnum leap from internet fake news. This drama is concocted to keep DNC from going into seclusion until the inauguration.

judyblue , 14 Dec 2016 01:04
Doug Henwood is absolutely correct. This obsession with the supposed foreign interference is baseless. All the real culprits operate within our own system.
Chukcha Rybak , 14 Dec 2016 01:04
What happened to Guardian today ? A reasonable story. Unreal feel
AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:51
Maybe, in four years, Trump's administration can oversee a secure election. Unlike the Obama folks, who seem to make a calamity out of any project bigger than making a sandwich.
Pu2u2skeete -> AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:59
Obama still has access to lethal drones, watch your back.
TheMediaSux , 14 Dec 2016 00:49
This hullabaloo really highlights the disdain the establishment has for the American voter. They thought they had it tied up. They thought they had pulled one over on the American people. They are not interested in what the voter actually wants.

And this raises questions about why our servicemen and women are making sacrifices. The establishment story-line talks about our brave soldiers dying so we can have free elections. Or something like that. The establishment does not care about free and fair elections. In fact, this hullabaloo should have demonstrated to everybody that the establishment does not respect or accepts the results of elections that don't go their way.

AveAtqueCave -> TheMediaSux , 14 Dec 2016 00:53
Look at WikiLeaks. They died so Hillary could present her ever-so-clever "tick-tock on Libya" and make fools think she's a constructive foreign policy force.
AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:48
Trump blows, but I'm relieved incompetent Hillary Clinton and her gang of bloodthirsty bunglers aren't going to be in the white house.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz should have shown more respect to her party's membership.

Pu2u2skeete -> AveAtqueCave , 14 Dec 2016 00:55
H. Clinton would have started a war against Russia in Syria come January; and war against Russia in The Ukraine shortly after. Trump could yet end civilization as we know it: thereagain the CIA might 'JFK' him early doors before he's able to.
DogsLivesMatter -> Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 01:25
Trump might start a war with Iran. He will have the backing of Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordon. That frightens me just as much if not worse.
Pu2u2skeete -> DogsLivesMatter , 14 Dec 2016 01:30
Fully agree with you. Trump's victory is certain to have incalculable consequences for life on earth. I believe he will give Netenyahu the green light to use tactical nuclear weapons against Iranian nuclear and military facilities. I am no fan of Trump.
Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 00:43
American 'exceptionalism;' The World's Policeman; The greatest country on earth. Descriptions believed and espoused by the USA. So Exceptional is America that it claims a God-given right to interfere with or sabotage political parties, foriegn governments (democratically-elected or not) and sovereign states anywhere it chooses. Now we have the hilarious spectacle of a historically blood-drenched CIA (Fake News Central) squawking and squealing completely fabricated nonsense about Kremlin interference in Trump's election victory. Tell that to the tens of millions slaughtered in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and the many other nations and people's around the globe who have had first hand experience of American Exceptionalism. You could not make it up..
Fred Lunau -> Pu2u2skeete , 14 Dec 2016 01:43
Well said. Sad but true.

cvneuves , 14 Dec 2016 00:41
Arguably, Clinton and the DNC themselves showed very little respect for democracy, as we know from leaks. And now they are whining because of a democratic outcome they don't like.

We should discuss two things:

- the content of the mails
- and the ethical question: did the hacker, whoever it is, did democracy rather a service than a disservice? From when on is a piece of information so valuable that its origins don't matter anymore?

Media, at least in times when msm still had some moral clout, often relied in their investigative journalism on source which by themselves were not necessarily ethically bona fide - but the public interest, the common good benefited by the information.

Had Clinton won the election and we only found out now about the trickery that aided in her success we would have a major dilemma. We would have to have endless discussions now about her legitimacy.

LibertineUSA , 14 Dec 2016 00:26
I am one who firmly believes that Clinton lost this election because of Clinton's and the DNC's ineptitude and hubris.

But that doesn't mean the Russians weren't running a psy-ops campaign of fake news stories and misinformation about Clinton and this election on Facebook.

Which was more responsible for Clinton's loss? Most probably Clinton's ineptitude but the fake news campaigns on Facebook had some effect. It needs to be addressed...

diddoit -> LibertineUSA , 14 Dec 2016 00:35
But hadn't Hillary made it personal by saying Trump was Putin's puppet etc?
She even refused to state whether she'd seek to impose a no-fly zone over Syria; this despite leading Generals telling her it would mean going to war with Russia and Syria.

Given all that, it's hardly surprising the Russian Duma broke into spontaneous applause upon the confirmation of her defeat. She'd very much cast herself as the enemy of Russia in the campaign.

LibertineUSA -> diddoit , 14 Dec 2016 01:12
With the naming of Rex Tillerson, a close business, and personal, friend of Putin, to be Secy. of State I am not sure the argument can be made that she was wrong in her assessment.
Mizzentop , 14 Dec 2016 00:21
This article is absolutely right. Trump was not a good candidate and for him to beat Clinton should be setting alarm bells ringing in Democrat HQ. The left though does have an entrenched culture of deluding itself and convincing itself that its a victim of things beyond its control. That lack of self awareness and inability to be brutally honest with itself is a major reason why the left wins many fewer elections than the left. It is also why there are never shock wins for the Democrats or Labour because they always assume too much. The Tories and Republicans are very good at understanding their weaknesses and mitigating them to win elections.
Aaron Aarons -> Mizzentop , 14 Dec 2016 00:41
It's absurd to consider Clinton and the mainstream Democrats as part of "the Left". Even the best of the Democrats are generally more on the Right than on the Left, in that they are pro-capitalist and defend the national interests of U.S. imperialism. Add to that their almost unanimous support for the settler colony called "Israel" and there's very little leftism to be found among them.
JamesHeartfield -> ID8701745 , 14 Dec 2016 00:31
Cunning of Putin to go back in time and persuade the framers of the US constitution to institute an electoral college, so that he could put his own candidate in place all those hundreds of years later.
No. Both candidates fought an election under the same rules. In the run up to the vote, Hillary's spokesmen often argued that even if the vote was close, they had the electoral college sewn up. She has nobody to blame but herself.
ID5073867 , 14 Dec 2016 00:11
There are plenty of villains who contributed to the electoral downfall of HRC, mostly, though, it's HRC who is primarily responsible, with a big assist from an arrogant & politically inept DNC. Hillary won a bare majority of women, plus the average income of Trump voters exceeded that of Hillies' supporters. Then all the groundwork for the deplorables was laid by Bill, who got rid of Glass-Steagell. Too much is being made of the machinist from Erie & the deplorables generally & if the Dems don't take a serious look at themselves we'll have Agent Orange for 8 rather than 4 deplorable years.
freeandfair -> S , 14 Dec 2016 01:52
For goodness sake, it is not foreign governments , it is information. With advance of social media and internet it became so much harder to control the information that gets out.
That is where we are in a post-propaganda world. You are not only receiving your government approved daily portion of brainwashing but propaganda and brainwashing and information from various sources, all with their various interests. It is your job a s an individual to decide what to believe. You can't put the jinni back in the box.
cvneuves , 14 Dec 2016 00:10
It is all about a narrative to suit the agenda. Had Trump outspent Clinton 2:1 he would now be reviled as the candidate of arms industry, pharmaceuticals and big banks. Had Clinton defeated him it would be celebrated as a successful setback for the aforementioned industries; the intelligence of the voters would have been praised. But then supposedly, Clinton was more supported by disadvantaged groups, albeit they then also would be disadvantaged with regards to their education.

It will always end up in absurdity. However, the notion that "Putin" (never with first name, or Mr, preferably pronounced "Poot'n") decided the US presidency is, interesting.

Usually the issue simply is, crap candidate, crap result.

diddoit , 14 Dec 2016 00:09
Had Sanders been the candidate and had he lost to Trump, I doubt very much he'd have started all this blaming the Russians nonsense.

Ultimately, Hilary had terrible trustworthiness ratings from nearly 25 years in frontline politics; every shortcoming ruthlessly exploited along the way by her and her husband's political opponents. Ignoring all that historic baggage(dating back to the early '90s) as irrelevant and blaming defeat on the Russians makes everyone supporting that theory look equally absurd.

MayorHoberMallow , 14 Dec 2016 00:08
In the 2016 Presidential election, in the 49 States other than California, Trump won the popular vote and enough electoral votes to win the election.
In California, the most populous State in America, the popular vote was so overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary Clinton that she ended up winning the overall popular vote.
The electoral college is working exactly as the Founding Fathers intended.
cvneuves -> ID8701745 , 14 Dec 2016 01:08

No he didn't. Check your facts and try again.

He did, in fact Trump is 600,000 votes ahead of Clinton without California.

Trump 62,916,237 - California 3,916,209 = 59,000,028
Clinton 65,758,070 - California 7,362,490 = 58,395,580

Amazing, the difference a fact check can make, isn't it? Thanks for alerting me to a fact check.

Zacky Olumba , 13 Dec 2016 23:58
In Shakespeare's book "Julius Caesar" the dictator was told not to go to the Capitol where he will be murdered. His wife warned him, the soothsayer warned him but he ignored it. Caesar's wisdom was consumed in confidence...confidence that he will be crowned king, confidence that all Romans (most stupid people then) loved him, and confidence that those who surround him are his 'friends.' He adamantly went to the Capitol and was murdered.

Clinton ignored most rural areas and I totally agree with the writer along this line "They were so confident of their inevitable victory that they wrote off the old industrial states in favor of luring upscale suburbanites who normally vote Republican." Clinton and her team paid dearly for it just like Caesar did. Blaming Russian for the loss is like "You made me do it."

Simon Speed , 13 Dec 2016 23:53
In the UK, Rupert Murdoch accesses a Prime Minister as readily as any government minister and wields at least as much influence. At least he is open and honest about this. Similar oligarchs exert their power more discretely. Murdoch's an Australian born US citizen (for business reasons) with a truly global empire.

A country's big rich have always ruled it's politics. Imperial powers have intervened in their spheres of influence . But now the big rich are international and, it seems, 1st world electorates are getting a taste of what 3rd world people have become used to.

What strikes me is the reluctance of the US political elite (including Obama) to intervene, even when there's a suspicion of vote rigging. The right of the rich and powerful to control the electoral process (as they have long done) trumps the national-interest (US v. rival powers) side of politics.

It's a confusing globalized world.

LastNameOnTheShelf , 13 Dec 2016 23:41
Hilary Clinton won the popular vote. More people voted for her. What is the deal with the electoral college? How is it possible to have such a huge discrepancy between the two. What is the point of blaming the candidate when they can lose while winning?

And what is the point of blaming the candidate for their campaign when large numbers of Americans are prepared to believe the most random bullshit? What did you want her to do, lie more often? Because apparently, that's what it takes.

86753oh9 -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 13 Dec 2016 23:52
this does a good job of explaining how the electoral college system works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXnjGD7j2B0 ->
MayorHoberMallow -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:09
From my comment above... "In the 2016 Presidential election, in the 49 States other than California, Trump won the popular vote and enough electoral votes to win the election.
In California, the most populous State in America, the popular vote was so overwhelmingly in favor of Hillary Clinton that she ended up winning the overall popular vote.
The electoral college is working exactly as the Founding Fathers intended."
Keith Schoose -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:20
The election is decided by Electoral Votes. Everyone including Hillary knew that. Complaining that she won the popular vote while losing in the Electoral College would be similar to the loser of a soccer match complaining they lost 1-nil even though they outshot the victor by a 6-1 margin. Whine all you want about the popular vote, it is irrelevant.

Hillary Clinton visited Arizona in the last week of the election, while visiting Wisconsin ZERO times in the general election campaign. The trip to Arizona was a waste of time.

She lost because she was a horrible candidate with terrible strategy. All these people bleating about "Putin" and or the "popular vote" make me laugh.

Afterthoughtbtw -> RobertAussie , 14 Dec 2016 00:10
With respect, you're going to have to back up some of those claims in the second paragraph and how they could apply to Russia.

As for the first paragraph, a few things come to mind.

Firstly, it's a huge simplification - there are things like public interest laws to be borne in mind when talking about the press having to obey the law. I don't think there is much doubt that this was in the public interest. I mean what Clinton did with the email server was actually illegal. If someone hacked into a mob boss' computer, got evidence of his/her crimes, and leaked them to the press, would you criticise the hacker or the mob boss?

Secondly, how on earth was this selectively released to favour one side? How do you favour one side over the other when you only have information on one side. You are literally saying that you shouldn't report on one side's wrongdoings if you can't find anything wrong about the other's! If these are genuine - which absolutely no-one to do with Clinton has denied - then that is all there is to it. Reality isn't partisan.

Or are you talking about how it was released? You mean dumped en masse onto Wikileaks? How was that showing bias in any way? I just don't understand what you are trying to claim here.

Finally this comment makes me suspect you don't appreciate the American political climate:

But, given the result, the section of the press that would investigate hasn't got the money or power to do so. You can be assured the Fox network would have devoted billions to the investigation had HRC won though.

Fox News aren't the only people with money - indeed, Clinton vastly outspent Trump in the election... by roughly half a billion(!) dollars.

JamesHeartfield -> fairviewsue , 14 Dec 2016 01:24
O ! The Director of the CIA says it, then it must be true? Forgive me, but isn't this an organisation created to spread disinformation around the world, overthrow foreign governments, and subvert democracy? Which elections in the world has the CIA not tried to influence? Time Magazine openly boasts that the US government and agencies had a direct role in securing the election of President Yeltsin (who sold off a significant share of the country's assets under US advice, and plunged Russia into the worst recession since the 1930s). Hillary Clinton openly supported the management of the elections for the Palestine National Authority in 2006. Bill Clinton openly agitated for the overthrow of President Aristide.
Now that the CIA's most assiduous supporters have lost office, up pops the CIA, blaming the Russians, like we were in some bad 1950s Cold War pastiche. Get real. Take responsibility for your own failures, Democrats. Time to cleanse the stables.
hashtagthat , 13 Dec 2016 23:21
The CIA: the organisation that brought us WMD, a Gulf war, 100,000s of deaths and the birth of ISIS. The original fake news masters.

Highly credible.

Mark222 , 13 Dec 2016 23:12
Where is even the proof of Russian propaganda? It all seems to come from an "Anonymous source", without verfication I don't see how this is any more legitimate than the rest of the post truth fake news out there that people believe just because it confirms their biases.
LastNameOnTheShelf -> Mark222 , 13 Dec 2016 23:45
The CIA claim to know that Russian hackers leaked the Clinton campaign emails to Assange. You can, of course, disbelieve them, but they're not a random anonymous source exactly.
Rosie423956 -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:17
Except the sources within the CIA are anonymous. The same CIA who has wrought wars, coups, interfered with elections. That CIA. Anonymous source.

This would be funny, except...oh hell, it's still funny.

JamesHeartfield -> LastNameOnTheShelf , 14 Dec 2016 00:56
The CIA ! Trustworthy source !
cvneuves -> Sappho53 , 13 Dec 2016 23:17
Putin extremely powerful man. Make regime change in Amerika without needing invasion or rebels. Soon regime change also in many Europan countries by sending copies of emails to small room in embassy of little country in London.

You know how powerful Putin? Last week even show finger to Chuck Norris! Chuck Norris now call Putin "sir".

James Harris -> Sappho53 , 14 Dec 2016 01:43
Uterus or bust went bust a good while back. Give it up
Michronics42 , 13 Dec 2016 22:50
Thank you, Doug Henwood for pointing out what the wholly-owned corporate "pundits" choose not to divulge to coincide with their own agendas.

Hillary was a disastrous choice for the "Democratic" party, but the vast majority of Democratic politicians were just too feckless to support Bernie Sanders, so now we have an equally terrible choice in Donald Trump.

That Clinton and Trump even competed for the presidency is in itself an indication of just how disconnected and undemocratic U.S. politics has become.

Moreover, as Henwood (a frequent and unsparing critic of Clinton, Inc. over the years) has pointed out both Democrats and Republicans are supporting the Russia conspiracy theory in a cowardly attempt to distract the U.S. public from the real and far more dire crisis, which is Washington's enormous political dysfunction not Russia's complicity. (Read Henwood's essay: Stop Hillary! Vote no to a Clinton Dynasty in Harper's Magazine, November 2014 - one article a month is free for reading).

Yes, the electoral college is a ridiculous throwback to slavery which should be abolished, but its dissolution is just one of many things I'd like to see eradicated from a governing body that has long stopped representing the interests of working class Americans; unless, of course you have the influence and money for such access.

The non-violent and powerful Black Lives Matter, Moral Mondays in North Carolina and Standing Rock protesters (reinforced by U.S. veterans and other supporters) have demonstrated that change is possible if we're carefully focused on uprooting and replacing government corruption.

Francisco Carvajal , 13 Dec 2016 22:49
A silly binary-it's not either Putin or Clinton but a complex conjecture. Can't we raise our intellectual level closer to the complexity of our world?
SubjectiveSubject , 13 Dec 2016 22:46
The West support for regimes like Israel and Saudi Arabia makes it hard to present a credible case against Putin on any issues but, rigging the election is just absurd. These days people are more clued up and know Hillary lost because she was not trusted, carried baggage and was funded by big banks. It is rather worrying that we've gone backward and Nazi propaganda tactics are the norm again.
skiloypet , 13 Dec 2016 22:42
There was a 50/50 chance the Democrats would take the fall from grace; both parties are out of touch with mainstream, middle-class America, it's just coincidence Trump manifested himself when he did. Neither party had a good message or a good messenger; the dark phenomenon of Trump could have come from either party, the nation was so desperate for change. Yet the GOP really maneuvered for Jeb Bush to begin with; the Democrats, with a significantly smaller field, laid their bet on Clinton. The public's rejection of both Bush and Clinton left the door open for a GOP interloper, Trump; and Clinton was pushed on the Democrats rather than Sanders.

Even the GOP will have buyers remorse if/when they cannot temper Trump.

Patrick Moore , 13 Dec 2016 22:34
As someone who wanted Hilary to win, it is difficult to disagree with any of this.

If she couldn't beat Trump - who about three times a day said something idiotic or repugnant, then she really was the wrong candidate

Since he won Trump has actually sounded miles more sensible. I can't help feel that if he had adopted his current tone before the election that he would have won by a landslide

samuel glover -> Herr_Settembrini , 13 Dec 2016 22:55
"This was the strategy not because Clinton was was incompetent; it was the strategy because all available data pointed to the fact that it was working."

What a joke.

She had a billion dollars in her campaign fund. The money she spent on "data" was just money flushed down the sewer. (No doubt various Clinton hangers-on got very nice "consulting" fees.) She was a Democrat who publicly bragged about her devotion to **Henry Kissinger**.

She lost to **Donald Trump**. I think even Martin O'Malley could've beaten Trump; I'm certain Sanders could. Only Hillary Clinton had the "magic" necessary to lose to a casino and real estate huckster.

She was always a lousy candidate, and she's an incompetent politician as well. Dems can face that, face reality, or keep going as they are, in which case there won't **be** a Democratic Party before long.

MountainMan23 , 13 Dec 2016 22:24
Agreed. HRC, DNC and the Clintonistas are the only ones responsible for her loss. But there's more to their post-election pushback than just shifting the blame, a lot more.

Demonizing Russia isn't just about seeking a scapegoat. Trump's embrace of Russia and decision to end the neocon-neoliberal agenda of regime change skewer two of the corporate establishment's cash cows - arms sales to the numerous conflicts in the Middle East initiated by the corporate cabal, and arms sales to NATO and all the new post Cold War NATO members to continue the buildup of armaments on Russia's borders.

That's a lot of anticipated arms sales and a lot of every bit as anticipated political "donations" from the corporate establishment.

amuel glover -> MountainMan23 , 13 Dec 2016 23:00
" Trump's embrace of Russia and decision to end the neocon-neoliberal agenda of regime change skewer two of the corporate establishment's cash cows - arms sales to the numerous conflicts in the Middle East initiated by the corporate cabal, and arms sales to NATO and all the new post Cold War NATO members to continue the buildup of armaments on Russia's borders."

That's a mighty optimistic forecast, but it's not impossible. I think Trump is likely to be a disaster, and even if he isn't, an unleashed Republican gang is a horrible thing to imagine. Still, I'd love to be pleasantly surprised, and I note that already Trump's campaign has put down TWO odious political dynasties, AND the TPP -- all very healthy developments.

cvneuves , 13 Dec 2016 22:23
Hillary Clinton lost because the majority of the voters were nauseated by her by her fake perma- smile which might as well have been installed by cosmetic surgery. The well rehearsed, worn-out, hollow on-message crap she spouted had zilch credibility and as much resonance. She had nothing to say to the electorate.

That the Clinton spent about twice as much as the Trump camp in this case did not work to her favour: every appearance on tv made her lose voters.

The only thing that kept the contest somehow close was the unprecedented all-media fear campaign against Trump.

I have never had any doubt that that Trump would get the job. What surprised me though, is that only one in 200 eligible voters bothered with the Green's Jill Stein: they are supposedly relatively highly committed to their causes.

Another mistake of the Clinton campaign, btw. was to focus on scandal. My experience of 45 years of campaigning tells me "scandal" does not win any campaigns.

cvneuves -> Walter Masterson , 13 Dec 2016 22:45

99% of the weapons in the Trump arsenal were Trumped up Hillary "scandals"

They did not decide it. Neither did the new "sexual victim" paraded every couple of days by the Clinton camp. Scandal and counter-scandal are part of every campaign and ignored by non-committed voters.

What did it for Trump was, that he spoke unscripted, thus came across a somewhat more genuine, and at least acknowledged the victims of de-industrialisation, for which he could not be blamed, but Clinton could. Clinton did not have anything she could present apart from "better equipped because of experience" - with an undistinguished actual record. The name Clinton can be blamed for the plight of the "rust-belt".

Juillette , 13 Dec 2016 22:19
Americans have paid a heavy price because of free trade deals and they want a different direction. In the last 15 years there is a noticeable difference in opportunity and wages and most of our politicians don't care. Hillary lost this because she supported most free trade and outsourcing jobs to India and China. They DNC has a chance to reform but they choose not to. I hope Bernie starts a new party and leaves the neo liberals behind. Who knows where Trump will take us but if he adds to the swamp he will be a one term president. Right now it looks like he is repaying his Wall Street fundraisers and big oil super pacs. Our politicians deserve the embarrassment for ignoring our citizens struggles.
PennyCarter -> Juillette , 13 Dec 2016 22:25
I mostly see your argument and respect it. However I was not aware that trump was subject to enormous support from super-pacs or Wall Street?
Juillette -> PennyCarter , 13 Dec 2016 22:58
Steven Mnuchin with ties to Wall Street stepped in when no one else would and fund raised for Trump. Mnuchin is picked as secretary of treasury. Big oil supported Cruz and moved to Trump with a few superpacs that Kellyanne Conway managed. Both Wall Street and energy will be deregulated. Also tax reform for corporations. He will have to follow through on new trade deals, tax on imports and immigration or he will only help the 1%. We will see if he follows through...
samuel glover -> PennyCarter , 13 Dec 2016 23:02
His appointments aren't those of a guy intent on keeping Wall Street at arm's length. **Three** cabinet posts to Goldman Sachs alums?!?!? C'mon.....
Solomon Black , 13 Dec 2016 22:18
But didn't Obama dismiss Romney's warning that Russia was a threat to America in 2012. Democrats double standard.
Walter Masterson -> Solomon Black , 13 Dec 2016 22:31
Short answer: no.

Keith Schoose -> Solomon Black , 14 Dec 2016 00:57
Short answer: Yes.

Mauryan , 13 Dec 2016 22:18
CIA? The one which came up with the truth about WMDs in Iraq?

Who can trust an intelligence agency that has become a legalized criminal organization?

I think Aliens changed the course of the election and not Putin :-)

Patrick Moore -> Mauryan , 13 Dec 2016 22:41
Exactly. So Goldman Sachs as well as the CIA are supporting Hilary. What's not to love about that.

Difficult to even think of a more toxic endorsement

MarinaAs , 13 Dec 2016 22:14
You sir are simply, wrong! read:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/12/12/1609989/-It-s-the-Russian-arctic-shelf-stupid
kritter , 13 Dec 2016 22:14
The only person the democrats are helping with this is Putin.

diddoit -> kritter , 13 Dec 2016 22:25
Indeed,

I bet in Moscow they're quite enjoying this notion Putin can simply dismiss any govt on earth by simply letting loose a few hackers and propagandists. And probably thinking if only.

The west looks like its collectively losing its marbles. Political systems, like tastes and fashion change naturally over time. Our two party systems struggle to cope with any change, thus the bewildered politicians within these parties lash out.

PennyCarter -> diddoit , 13 Dec 2016 22:33
It seems the Arab spring has finally reached America
MOTCO , 13 Dec 2016 22:11
The US have been obsessed with the commies for so long they can't see where the new threats are coming from.
SteveTory , 13 Dec 2016 22:09
On November 25, 2016, the Obama administration said the results from November 8, "accurately reflect the will of the American people." The following day, the White House released another statement saying, "the federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyberactivity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on Election Day."
Herr_Settembrini -> SteveTory , 13 Dec 2016 22:38
And? Does anybody claim that any foreign power hacked the voting machines themselves?

The claim is that Russian directed operatives hacked the DNC, etc. in an attempt to find embarrassing material that would damage Clinton's candidacy. They succeeded.

mismeasure -> Herr_Settembrini , 13 Dec 2016 23:49
We know about the claims. What about the evidence?
suddenoakdeath , 13 Dec 2016 22:04
Doug Henwood trying to beat the Bernie Sanders drum. What I heard from Bernie Sanders Townhall in Wisconsin is that people blamed illegal immigrants for their situation. Deep down inside they have been Trump supporters for a while. That is why Trump won Wisconsin.
Wiseaftertheevent , 13 Dec 2016 22:02
A Labour MP is claiming that Putin also fixed the Brexit vote - which also shows how people will blame anyone but themselves for losing a vote. There is not one Clinton supporter who would have complained about the result had she won the Electoral College and lost the popular vote.

That is not to say that the system should not be changed but Democrats and/or Clintonites should not try to change it retrospectively. That would mean chaos.

ATLcitizen7 , 13 Dec 2016 22:02
Totally agree with this article by Mr. Henwood. If Democrats, and Republicans for that matter, want to go on a wild goose chase to blame Russians for the election outcome, with basically no hard evidence to back their claim, rather than look at the real reasons why they lost (disaffected angry citizens and not being able to compete with Trump because they chose lousy candidates) then they deserve to continue losing their future elections. So be it.
Mystik Al , 13 Dec 2016 22:01
If she had not spent so much time calling Trump a Misogynist while taking money from Saudi Arabia then maybe , just maybe she would have not come across as the most deceitful and toxic candidate the US has ever seen.
NancyVolle , 13 Dec 2016 21:58
Hillary Clinton lost Pennsylvania, Michigan & Wisconsin solely because of NAFTA & TPP. Bill & Hillary Clinton supported NAFTA. Hillary Clinton had a history of supporting TPP & Obama was actively pushing it. When Hillary Clinton changed her position on TPP people in the old industrial heartland were not convinced that was sincere. The Russians were not responsible for Hillary, Bill & Obama's history of support for trade deals that facilitate moving jobs to low wage countries that suppress unions, allow unsafe working conditions & don't have meaningful environmental regulations.
seho90 , 13 Dec 2016 21:56

Julian Assange denies that the Russian government was the source of the hacked emails to and from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta that WikiLeaks published. Of course, there's no way of knowing if he's telling the truth – but regardless of their source, how much influence did they have on the election outcome?

oh, right

so when the Wikileaks reveals evilness of the conservatives, it's good, but when the liberals get revealed, he's not telling the truth?

give me a break.

Wikileaks is a neutral source, not a conservative or a liberal one.

PennyCarter -> seho90 , 13 Dec 2016 22:04
I agree with you. However may I add that the point is not whether Assange is of good character or whether Wikileaks is left or right. The point is has any Wikileaks releases been proven false in the last 10 years or so?
Herr_Settembrini -> seho90 , 13 Dec 2016 22:32

Wikileaks is a neutral source, not a conservative or a liberal one.

Bull. Assange dripped, dripped, dripped the leaks so that it would do maximum damage to Clinton. Whether he has conservative or liberal leanings is irrelevant. What in incontrovertible, however, is that he has an anti-Clinton bias.

What the leaks revealed is exactly the kind of internal policy debates, calibration of message, and gossipy venting that occurs in any political campaign. Only out of context did they appear damaging.

calderonparalapaz , 13 Dec 2016 21:43
Is Guardian running cold war propaganda?

"Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA's Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence"- Glen Greenwald

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/10/anonymous-leaks-to-the-washpost-about-the-cias-russia-beliefs-are-no-substitute-for-evidence /

ewmbrsfca , 13 Dec 2016 21:41
The other big elephant in the room is that nearly half of those eligible to vote did not. Instead, the hysterical US media engage the gullible populace in yet another game of mass distraction, and soon Putin will be forgotten and all will salivate over the Oscar nominations. Thus the United States of Amnesia will settle into its usual addictive habit of running after any "news" that holds the promise of distractive entertainment. Never mind the nation's democracy... "We amuse ourselves to death" (Neil Postman).
Mike Kiepe , 13 Dec 2016 21:37
This article is spot on. Tulsi Gabbard 2020
PennyCarter , 13 Dec 2016 21:34
Otto Bismarck once said: "laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made"

To paraphrase, I guess you could also say the same about elections. Leaks revealing behind the curtains shenanigans of any election would turn most stomachs. After seeing this election I may become a vegetarian.

Huddsblue , 13 Dec 2016 21:32
Too right. It was always Hillary's election to lose and she lost it simply because she was not to be trusted. Her very public endorsement by gangster capitalist Jay-Z told you all you needed to know about who she represented.
chris200 , 13 Dec 2016 21:12
I used to work for an American oil company. Clinton was the one thing that united Democrats and Republicans over lunch time chats. She was unsuitable, and unfit for office. People voted not necessarily for Trump, but against Clinton. Don't blame Trump for this result. Blame the democrats and their poor candidates. So far I like his choice of cabinet members. Except for the banker they are men that create wealth by providing work for talented people. Not something the Guardian understands.
merrykoala -> LDWWDL , 13 Dec 2016 21:27
So your prime character witness for Hillary Clinton is.....Bill Clinton.

Good luck with that.

FYI mishandling protectively marked documents is wrongdoing, which James Comey testified that she had. Had it been ANYBODY other than a presidential candidate their feet wouldn't have touched the floor.

Justin Chudgar , 13 Dec 2016 21:09
What the author fails to emphasize is the degree to which Dem. party 'insiders' like DWSchulz and DBrazile and so on sabotaged their own nomination process by biasing the pre-primary and primary contests in favor of Clinton in subtle and stupidly obvious ways.

Had this been a contest between Trump and B. Sanders, M. O'Malley, J. Biden, E. Warren, etc. there would have been no Podesta emails to care hack, no home server to investigate, etc. By tipping the scales in favor of Clinton early, parts of the Dem. party caused the current outcome.

piouspish , 13 Dec 2016 20:58
I was dubious before, but I'm now actively concerned. This crop of Democrats and their deep state cohorts are unhinged and dangerous. They see me and my families' lives as an externality in their eventual war with Russia. As Phyrric a victory as there could possibly be. They are psychotic; not only waging countless coups and intelligence operations abroad, but now in plain sight on American soil. The mainstream media seems to invoke the spirit of Goebbels more vividly with each passing day. Their disdain and manipulation of the general populace is chilling. They see us not as people to be won-over, but as things to be manipulated, tricked and coerced. Nothing new for politicians (particularity the opposition) - but the levels here are staggering.

January couldn't come soon enough - and I say that as strong critic of Trump.

erewhon888 , 13 Dec 2016 20:39
There is an update to yesterday's Guardian article. Update: David Swanson interviewed Murray today, and obtained additional information. Specifically, Murray told Swanson that: (1) there were two American leakers ... one for the emails of the Democratic National Committee and one for the emails of top Clinton aide John Podesta; (2) Murray met one of those leakers; and (3) both leakers are American insiders with the NSA and/or the DNC, with no known connections to Russia.
michaelmichael , 13 Dec 2016 20:38
"Putin didn't win this election for Trump. Hillary Clinton did"

Nailed it. If the Democrats had fielded someone who actually represented the people (and who spoke the truth) instead of a corporate shill, the outcome would have been very different.

They had the ideal candidate in Sanders and they fucked him out of it. But have they learned anything? I seriously doubt it.

Patrick Perroud , 13 Dec 2016 20:37
Mrs Clinton is not blaming others. She never did. It's the CIA - backed by the 17 US intelligence agencies - that's saying Russia interfered with the election process in the USA.

In UK as well, the MI6 said something similar a few weeks ago. Germany is also concerned about the next elections in France and Germany. If any of this was true then it would be a serious threat against democracy in Western countries.

So who's blaming who? Deep cheaters or bad loosers? The CIA could be wrong but is probably correct this time. Trying to bury this unanimous call from western secret services under contempt is significant by itself.

Thatoneguyyouknow -> Patrick Perroud , 13 Dec 2016 21:06
" It's the CIA - backed by the 17 US intelligence agencies - that's saying Russia interfered with the election process in the USA. "

Way to parrot FAKE NEWS.

That is a COMPLETE LIE. Unless you honestly believe that agencies like the DEA and NASA's "intelligence" conclusively found "proof" that does not exist. That TALKING POINT was a lie when CLINTON'S CAMPAIGN originated it, and it is STILL a lie.

But hey, it's only wrong when the "bad guys" on the "other team" spread fake news and engage in intellectual dishonesty, right? When it's the "good guys" it's just a case of the "ends justify the means" and perfectly acceptable, right?

samuel glover -> Patrick Perroud , 13 Dec 2016 23:43
"Mrs Clinton is not blaming others. She never did."

Bullshit. Just last week she resurfaced (can't she grasp the idea of the graceful exit?) to yammer on about the menace of "fake news". Because of course we all know that before 2016, all American elections have been exercises in fair-mindedness and scrupulous devotion to truth.

stellendar , 13 Dec 2016 20:37
It's funny how media simply refuses to admit that Trump did it.
Russians, Hilary, polar bears - none of them had anything to do with it - HE WON.
Live with it.
Hmeckardt , 13 Dec 2016 20:36
The clickbait headline is frustrating. No serious person is accusing Russia of having caused Clinton's loss. Instead, serious people (including, thankfully, leading Republicans) are demanding that we take a thoughtful and comprehensive look at the evidence that Russia intended to influence the election. That's a necessary step for protecting our democracy and it's irresponsible to ascribe political motives to that task.
Bauhaus -> Hmeckardt , 13 Dec 2016 20:42
What about the $20 million given to Clinton from Saudi Arabia, did that influence the election or don't we talk about that?
James Harris -> Bauhaus , 13 Dec 2016 20:44
Sssshhh don't mention facts that don't support the agenda
HeeeresJohnny , 13 Dec 2016 20:34
There was a good article in The Intercept the other regarding the CIA's unsubstantiated (and subserviently published by the media) claims of Russian interference - how it has essentially become a willy-waving contest between the CIA and the FBI in the wake of the elections; how the CIA is an inherently untrustworthy organisation and the media allowing "senior officials" to dictate the news with empty leaks and no evidence (while shouting the loudest about fake news) is folly.

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/10/anonymous-leaks-to-the-washpost-about-the-cias-russia-beliefs-are-no-substitute-for-evidence /

Eric Hurley -> HeeeresJohnny , 13 Dec 2016 20:53
The CIA is untrustworthy? what about the FBI?

HeeeresJohnny -> Eric Hurley , 13 Dec 2016 21:05
As far as I know, the FBI isn't currently leaking unsubstantiated "news" with the potential of provoking dangerously poor relations with Russia.
Thatoneguyyouknow -> Eric Hurley , 13 Dec 2016 21:12
"The CIA is untrustworthy?"

Have you ZERO knowledge of history? WHAT in their ENTIRE EXISTENCE has given you a ONE SINGLE BIT of faith in their credibility?

michaelmichael -> Dzomba , 13 Dec 2016 20:40
"but using covert methods to manipulate the flow of information in the public debate to undermine a candidate is totally unacceptable"

the US prefers to engineer military coups

finnja , 13 Dec 2016 20:32
Very true. It takes an abysmal candidate to lose against (quoting Jimmy Dore here:) Donny Tinyhands.
It takes a special brand of dense to run
- for Wall Street (against reinstatement of Glass Steagall)
- for a direct military confrontation with nuclear power Russia (wich Clinton's pet-project of no-fly zones in Syria would have signified)
- for trade deals (nobody bought Clinton was suddenly against that)
and expect the DEMOCRATIC base to turn out.
Jesus Christ, Donny ran to the left of Hillary on all three issues. Not that anyone trusts him to keep any promise, but at least he didn't outright spit in the face of the people who want less war, less neoliberalism and less Wall Street cronyism while running for election.
No Democratic candidate worth his/her name would have lost against Trump, not even if the Axis of Evil (whoever that currently is) had hacked all their emails, photobooks and private porn-flicks, in which they starred, and had them all run nonstop 24/7 on every screen on Earth.
2fingersup2tories , 13 Dec 2016 20:23
I'm shocked!!! Aren't the Russians to blame for everything???
My t.v breaking, the rain outside, brexit, Donald trump, the Iraq war, the death of Jesus, those damn Russians, nothing is safe around those monsters.
Hilarious
enodesign , 13 Dec 2016 20:19
Thanks for this article .

You are so correct .

I am so sick and tired of hearing those whining elite democrats gone incessantly about white males , the FBI , Putin , Russia , stupid red state citizens , etc., etc ..

I want say ' Shut the fuck up ! ..... and look in the bloody mirror ' .

I am a classic liberal .... always have been ..... always will be ...... and I don't know what you would like to call these corrupt , elitist , contemporary democrats but you certainly can not call them real liberals .

I call them designer democrats . They care only for their particular pet issues and they ongoing pursuit of notions of their own superiority . They routinely generalize in highly sexist and racist fashions and through the use of political correctness seek to silence all of their critics .

I , simply , loath them .

They sabotaged Bernie Sanders campaign . Bernie Sanders ..... the nicest , most caring man to come along in American politics in the past 50 years . Not since , FDR , John and Robert Kennedy have we seen