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Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking

After twenty year of betrayal of working class Democrats face the consequences of their "Clinton strategy" in full force: in 2016 Presidential elections workers abandoned them in droves

Clinton family grip on the Dems, the neoliberal grip,  might weaken

News US Presidential Elections of 2016 Recommended Links Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Populism Anti-globalization movement Zombie state and coming collapse of neoliberalism
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Bernie Sanders as sheepdog for Hillary TTP, NAFTA and other supranational trade treaties DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak
Clinton Cash and Hillary Clinton links to financial industry Hillary Clinton email scandal Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention Anti Trump Hysteria Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention Hillary as a pathological liar Lesser evil trick of legitimizing a disastrous, corrupt neoliberal politicians in US elections
Neoconservatism Obama: a yet another Neocon Hillary health issues Female Sociopaths Bill Clinton With Bill possibly again occupying White House bedroom his sexapades became Hillary campaign issue Hillary Clinton defense of the middle aged rapist of a 12 years old girl
Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime American Exceptionalism Color revolutions Deception as an art form Madeleine Albright as a model for Hillary
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Hillary the Other Woman Dolly Kyle Amazon.com Books The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Lawrence Summers Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Robert Rubin, the man who helped to convert the USA into banana republic
Diplomacy by deception Corruption of Regulators The Deep State Machiavellism Noble Lie Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Nation under attack meme
Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Inverted Totalitarism == Managed Democracy == Neoliberalism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Politically Incorrect Humor  Etc
 
Bill, Hillary, Barack and the rest should do the decent and honorable thing: disappear completely, along with the rest of their vicious elitist Neoliberal Democrat ilk. Progressives who have insisted on backing these criminals – and who have tried to bully those of us on the actual left into joining them in that ugly and viciously circular embrace – need to make themselves over or just drop off the face of the political landscape and let people who are more serious and radical step in.

www.counterpunch.org - Nov 12, 2016, 7:00 PM

Trump was right to point out that the Clintons and their allies atop the Democratic National Committee rigged the game against Bernie.

This rigging of DNC was consistent with the neoliberal corporate Democratic Party elite’s longstanding vicious hatred of left-wing of the party and anti-plutocratic populists. They hate and viciously fight them in the ranks of their pro-Wall Street Party. It's "Clinton Third Way Democrats" who essentially elected Trump, because Bernie for them is more dangerous than Trump (It was the Democrats' embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump Naomi Klein Opinion The Guardian, Nov 9, 2016)

Under Bill Clinton the Democrats have become the party of Financial Oligarchy. At this time corporate interests were moving to finance as their main activity and that was a very profitable betrayal for Clintons. They were royally remunerated for that.  Clintons have positioned the Dems as puppets of financial oligarchy and got in return two major things:

  1. Money for the Party (and themselves)
  2. The ability to control the large part of MSM, which was owned by the same corporations who were instrumental in neoliberal takeover of the USA.

When the neoliberal media have to choose between their paymasters and the truth, their paymasters win every time. Like under Bolshevism, they are soldiers of the Party. In any case, starting from Clinton Presidency Democratic Party lost any connection with the majority of the USA population.  Bill Clinton was more Davos Man than Democrat. A puppet of  Robert Rubin, a prodigious fundraiser who became his Treasury Secretary, Clinton embraced neoliberal vision of a global future in which corporate investors were unregulated and the social contract was history. That's why the majority working-class Americans, feeling abandoned by the Democrats, got on the hook of the Republican re-definition of class struggle as  struggle for nation  sovereignty (which is the essence of nationalism.) In other  words, Democrats (and  Clintons personally) created conditions for the rise of far right and neofascism in the USA.  The fact that after Presidential Election of 2016 they recruited factions of intelligence agencies (Brennan faction in CIA, Comey faction in FBI) to depose Trump makes the situation even worse.

Like Republicans, Clinton Democrats now completely depends on "divide and conquer" strategy. Essentially they became "Republicans light." That's why they used "identity wedge" politics to attract African American votes (which is ironic as Bill Clinton probably helped to incarcerate more black males than any other president) and minorities (especially woman and sexual minorities.)

As if Spanish and African-American population, as a whole, have different economic interests then white working class and white lower middle class.

We can say that Dems became a party which represents an alliance of neoliberal establishment and minorities, where minorities are duped again and again (as in Barack Obama "change we can believe in" bait and switch classic). This dishonest playing of race and gender cards was a trademark of Hillary Clinton campaign.

Clintons understood well that their  "The Third Way" turn represents the major betrayal of the working class, but they counted (and pretty successfully until 2016) on the fact that white working class "has nowhere to go" and will vote for them anyway, as a lesser evil. But in 2016 they were up to a big and unpleasant  surprise -- white working class turned to right wing populists. So Clinton Democrat are instrumentals in the big "Far right Renaissance". They essentially created all the necessary preconditions for it.

Clinton's strategy was that workers have nowhere to go, and that was true for almost two decades, But then came Trump....

All those hissy hits of Democrats (and neoliberals MSM controlled by  the  same interest groups; see, for example Krugman in NYT) after Hillary Clinton landmark defeat just reflect this fact.  As rejection of Democrats by lower middle and working class is now a permanent factor in US politics (The Democrats' Davos ideology won't win back the midwest Thomas Frank Opinion The Guardian, Apr 27, 2017)

 Clinton Dems now are trying to ally themselves with  intelligence  agencies (which became a real political force during 2018 elections), sliding to neofascism.  They position themselves as the Second War Party, trying  to outdid in jingoism Republicans. It is pretty ironic that Pelosi opposed Trump wall, which cost around 1% of the cost of F35 program (F-35 Program Costs Jump to $406.5 Billion in Latest Estimate). 

But as the head of "Davos Party" she wants to derail and if possible to impeach Trump: no even slightest deviation from neoliberal Washington consensus is allowed and now intelligence  agencies are recruited to ensure this.

It is clear that the US financial and  business elites represented in Davos are far more interested in global markets and corporate investors than they are in ordinary Americans' needs.
 

Essentially US Democrats are a wing of "Davos party" and that situation can't be changed by promoting  "National Security Democrats" (format staff of three letter agencies, or military)  to counter rising far right  in the USA. The latter is just a desperate move by the party brass after Hillary Clinton fiasco (which worked for Congress elections in 2018). If this works, it is only because due to blunders and betrayal of his voters by Trump, who became something like Republican Obama),  In any case, financial oligarchy still dominates (or more correctly have bought) the  Democratic Patty as Jeff Faux noted in his article in Nation (The Party of Davos The Nation , Jan 26, 2016):

Davos is rather the most visible symbol of the virtual political network that governs the global market in the absence of a world government. It is more like a political convention, where elites get to sniff one another out, identify which ideas and people are “sound” and come away with increased chances that their phone calls will be returned by those one notch above them in the global pecking order.

Americans are of course prominent members of this “Party of Davos,” which relies on the financial and military might of the US superpower to support its agenda. In exchange, the American members of the Party of Davos get a privileged place for their projects–and themselves. Whether it’s at Davos, at NATO headquarters or in the boardroom of the International Monetary Fund, heads turn and people listen more carefully when the American speaks.

“Davos Man,” a term coined by nationalist scholar Samuel Huntington, is bipartisan. To be sure, Democrats tend to be more comfortable with the forum’s informal seminar-style and big-think topics like global poverty, cultural diversity and executive stress. Bill Clinton goes often, and Al Gore, John Kerry, Robert Rubin, Madeleine Albright, Joe Biden and other prominent Democrats are familiar faces. Republicans generally prefer more private venues. George W. Bush, of course, doesn’t do anything unscripted. But people like Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, John McCain and Condoleezza Rice have all worked the Davos circuit.

That the global economy is developing a global ruling class should come as no shock. All markets generate economic class differences. In stable, self-contained national economies, where capital and labor need each other, political bargaining produces a social contract that allows enough wealth to trickle down from the top to keep the majority loyal. “What’s good for General Motors is good for America,” Dwight Eisenhower’s Defense Secretary famously said in the 1950s. The United Auto Workers agreed, which at the time seemed to toss the notion of class warfare into the dustbin of history.

But as domestic markets become global, investors increasingly find workers, customers and business partners almost anywhere. Not surprisingly, they have come to share more economic interests with their peers in other countries than with people who simply have the same nationality. They also share a common interest in escaping the restrictions of their domestic social contracts.

The class politics of this new world economic order is obscured by the confused language that filters the globalization debate from talk radio to Congressional hearings to university seminars. On the one hand, we are told that the flow of money and goods across borders is making nation-states obsolete. On the other, global economic competition is almost always defined as conflict among national interests. Thus, for example, the US press warns us of a dire economic threat from China. Yet much of the “Chinese” menace is a business partnership between China’s commissars, who supply the cheap labor, and America’s (and Japan’s and Europe’s) capitalists, who supply the technology and capital. “World poverty” is likewise framed as an issue of the distribution of wealth between rich and poor countries, ignoring the existence of rich people in poor countries and poor people in rich countries.

The conventional wisdom makes globalization synonymous with “free trade” among autonomous nations. Yet as Renato Ruggiero, the first director-general of the World Trade Organization, noted in a rare moment of candor, “We are no longer writing the rules of interaction among separate national economies. We are writing the constitution of a single global economy.” (Emphasis added.)

With Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, there is some evidence that Clinton and Co. actually wanted to run against Donald Trump, and tried to get their allies to manipulate the Republican primary in favor of a Trump victory (hence all the free corporate media coverage of the Donald). The dossier, fabricated or not, seems to have been one of many 'ace in the holes' that the Clinton campaign thought they could use to discredit Trump (including the Access Hollywood tape, etc.) in the general election. If so, this strategy really blew up in their face – they thought they could manipulate the process, so they could ignore the Rust Belt concerns, and that's what handed Trump the presidency.

If the Clintonites were to admit this, however, they'd have to step down from party leadership and let the Sanders Democrats take over, and that's what this is really all about now, their effort to prevent that outcome. And they do not want  to do that. Instead they decided to launch  a smoke screen to hide their  fiasco in the form of  Russiagate hysteria.

Trump essentially run as independent using Republican Party as a host. And then Republican Party tried to capture him after the victory converting him into the run-of-a-mill republican -- a stooge of MIC. Which was an easy move that was fully successful in just three month after inauguration. Extinct of neoliberal/neocon Trojan Horses within Trump entourage such  a Jared Kushner make it "slam dank". 

Trump was right to point out that the Clintons and their allies in DNC rigged the game against Bernie.  Now we know that FBI helped to achieve this particular result. But even he can't predict that elimination of Sanders would be such a  disaster for Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Hillary lost not merely because she misread the “real” people, she decided to run a very divisive and nasty negative campaign, which has fueled the violence ever since. According to WikiLeaks emails from campaign John Podesta, Clinton colluded with the DNC and the media to raise what they thought would be the extreme right among Republicans to then make her the middle of the road to hide her agenda.

... ... ...

Clinton called this her “pied piper” strategy, that intentionally cultivated extreme right-wing presidential candidates and that would turn the Republicans away from their more moderate candidates. This enlisted mainstream media who then focused to Trump and raise him above all others assuming that would help Hillary for who would vote for Trump. This was a deliberate strategy all designed to propel Hillary to the White House.

The Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee along with mainstream media all called for using far-right candidates “as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton’s camp insisted that Trump should be “elevated” to “leaders of the pack” and media outlets should be told to “take them seriously.”

If we look back on April 23, 2015, just two weeks after Hillary Clinton officially declared her presidential campaign, her staff sent out a message on strategy to manipulate the Republicans into selecting the worse candidate. They included this attachment a “memo for the DNC discussion.”

The memo was addressed to the Democratic National Committee and stated bluntly, “the strategy and goals a potential Hillary Clinton presidential campaign would have regarding the 2016 Republican presidential field.” Here we find that the real conspiracy was Clinton manipulating the Republicans. “Clearly most of what is contained in this memo is work the DNC is already doing. This exercise is intended to put those ideas to paper.”

“Our hope is that the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make whomever the Republicans nominate unpalatable to a majority of the electorate.”

The Clinton strategy was all about manipulating the Republicans to nominate the worst candidate Clinton called for forcing “all Republican candidates to lock themselves into extreme conservative positions that will hurt them in a general election.”

It was not Putin trying to rig the elections, it was Hillary. Clinton saw the Republican field as crowded and she viewed as “positive” for her. “Many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.” Clinton then took the strategic position saying “we don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party.”

Her manipulative strategy was to have the press build up Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Ben Carson. “We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously.”

This conspiracy has emerged from the Podesta emails. It was Clinton conspiring with mainstream media to elevate Trump and then tear him down. We have to now look at all the media who endorsed Hillary as simply corrupt. Simultaneously, Hillary said that Bernie had to be ground down to the pulp. Further leaked emails showed how the Democratic National Committee sabotaged Sanders’ presidential campaign. It was Hillary manipulating the entire media for her personal gain. She obviously did not want a fair election because she was too corrupt.

What is very clear putting all the emails together, the rise of Donald Trump was orchestrated by Hillary herself conspiring with mainstream media, and they sought to burn him to the ground. Their strategy backfired and now this is why she has not come out to speak against the violence she has manipulated and inspired.

This is by far the WORST campaign in history and it was all orchestrated by Hillary to be intentionally divisive for the nation all to win the presidency at all costs. She has torched the constitution and the country. No wonder Hillary could not go to the stage to thank her supporters. She never counted on them and saw the people as fools. The entire strategy was to take the White House with a manipulation of the entire election process. Just unbelievable. Any Democrat who is not angry at this is clearly just a biased fool. Wake up and smell the roses. You just got what you deserve.

Neoliberal MSM are now justifiably discredited, along with some most obnoxious neocons like  Robert Kagan, Max Boot, and Bill Kristol. Kristol lost his  magazine "Weekly Standard", which for many year was the flagship neocon publication. Max Boot got under the fire from Tucker Carlson, who suggested that he only good for painting houses (which actually is true, judging from the quality of his perditions  and policy recommendations). Victoria Nuland quickly resigned, as she particulate in distribution of Steele dossier.   And may be more then that.

Neoliberal MSM remains very kind to Obama and the Wall Street Democrats. What else we can expect. Clinton Democratic Party was all about throwing the people under the bus in the pursuit of the Almighty Dollar. Hillary candidacy was about betrayal of working Americans. Thomas Franks was especially clear about this in this speech  watch-v=pmCibWptzZQ

This was the Clinton Legacy, and that's why "serial betrayer" Obama, who also belongs to Clinton DemoRats camp (while hating Clintons; money makes strange bedfellows) , and the rest of the Democratic Establishment went along for the ride — and hit the electoral brick wall.  Bill Clinton great idea of betrayal of working class backfired: he thought that the working people have nowhere to go and body slamming the people who get you elected has no consequences for Democratic politicians. Worked for him and Obama. But it finally backfired with Hillary. 

For the professional class of politicians and the wealthy this was not about civil rights, this was not about decency and justice, and it certainly was not about compassion and kindness even if they were very careful to keep mouthing the words and giving lip service to the pretenses of social (but not economic) equality.  It was all about money and power. Theirs. Narrowly focused greed that was willfully blind to all that was happening around it. Washington and New York and London and Berlin are thick with it.

And now that their mighty God has betrayed them and bestowed its power on its other, more faithfully vicious children, they are running around without a mission or a purpose other than themselves, not knowing what to do next.

Michael Moore in his facebook post urged to "Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off."

Morning After To-Do List:

1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.

2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.

3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn't wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin.

4. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all "You're fired!" Trump's victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.

5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: "HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!" The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don't. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he's president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we'll continue to have presidents we didn't elect and didn't want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there's climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don't want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the "liberal" position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above).

As neoliberal elite definitely prefers Trump to Sanders, so the DNC rigging of primaries was consistent with the neoliberal  Democratic Party elite’s (Clinton wing of the Democratic Party) longstanding vicious hatred of left-leaning progressives and anti-plutocratic populists in the ranks of their party (The Guardian)

...Democratic leaders made Hillary their candidate even though they knew about her closeness to the banks, her fondness for war, and her unique vulnerability on the trade issue – each of which Trump exploited to the fullest. They chose Hillary even though they knew about her private email server. They chose her even though some of those who studied the Clinton Foundation suspected it was a sketchy proposition. To try to put over such a nominee while screaming that the Republican is a rightwing monster is to court disbelief. If Trump is a fascist, as liberals often said, Democrats should have put in their strongest player to stop him, not a party hack they’d chosen because it was her turn. Choosing her indicated either that Democrats didn’t mean what they said about Trump’s riskiness, that their opportunism took precedence over the country’s well-being, or maybe both.

Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers, but it was the quality of the media’s enthusiasm that really harmed her.

... ... ...

...the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here’s what it consisted of:

How did the journalists’ crusade fail? The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong with such an approach?

Neoliberal elite feared that they lost political control and resorted to intelligence agencies dirty tricks

What has happened on November 8, 2016 can be described as a repudiation of the neoliberal globalization and the US neoliberal elite. If is even more significant if you understand that Trump essentially run as an independent: Unlike Hillary he was shunned by the Republican elite. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in 2012, actively worked against Trump’s nomination. Many senior Republicans refused to endorse him, or even give him their support. The Republican National Committee did not raise money for Trump to the extent it had for other Republican candidates for president.

Now we know  that appointing of Mueller (WDM guy in FBI) was the "insurance policy" for the Clinton wing of Dems.  Obama probably appointed Brennan to do this and Brennan with  some help from Clapper, MI6 and Rosenstein  succeed in May 2017, putting Trump on a very short leash.

It is now clear that the tiny elite (0.01%) with the help of intelligence agencies (top brass of which belong to the neoliberal elite)  controls the political leaders of both parties, their political operatives, and fundraisers; all major MSM; the country’s biggest corporations, their top executives, and Washington lobbyists and trade associations; the biggest Wall Street banks, their top officers, traders, hedge-fund and private-equity managers, and their lackeys in Washington; as well as bunch of super wealthy individuals who invest directly in politics.

Democratic party became a neoliberal party of top 10%, the party of bankers and white collar professionals. After Bill Clinton sold the Democratic Party to Wall Street it is Financial Oligarchy, who determines  the agenda of the Party, not voters. At this time  corporate interests were moving to finance as their main activity.  Clintons have positioned the Dems as puppets of financial oligarchy and got in return the ability to control the media, which was owned by the same corporations.

When the MSM have to choose between their paymasters and honesty, their paymasters win every time.

Hillary Clinton’s defeat is all the more remarkable in that her campaign not only enjoyed unconditional support of major neoliberal MSM, but also almost twice  outspent the Trump campaign on television and radio advertisements, as well on get-out-the-vote  efforts.  The net result is that the Democratic party lost the lion share of working class voters and have no chances to attract them back in foreseeable future, unless it rejects its neoliberal ideology, re-adopt the New Deal principles and remove the current leaders, especially Clinton and Obama families. 

The best article on this issue that so far I managed to find is Sophia A. McClennen article in Salon which is devoted to defeat of Sanders, not Trump victory on November 8, 2016, despite all "sure" prediction of Hillary win. 
10 reasons why #DemExit is serious Getting rid of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not enough  by

Salon.com

Shortly after Bernie Sanders publicly endorsed Hillary Clinton a new hashtag trended on Twitter: #DemExit.  The hashtag offered Sanders supporters a chance to vent their frustrations with the Democratic Party and with the sense that their candidate had been pressured into an endorsement.  Rather than reach out to these disaffected voters, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ignored them. Understood within the larger narrative that Sanders supporters were just whining brats who refused to concede and move on, #DemExit was dismissed as just more sour milk.

But now that the latest leak of DNC emails proves that Sanders supporters have a legitimate right to feel cheated, #DemExit increasingly seems like an appropriate response to a rigged system.

The new leak shows that the DNC never took the Sanders campaign seriously, even when he was winning state after state. Rather than recognize that Sanders was attracting new voters to the party, members of the DNC chose to mock them and close ranks around Clinton.

Here are 10 reasons why the #DemExit movement has a valid reason to want nothing to do with the DNC.  Having DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resign is not enough for #DemExit supporters because their concerns run throughout the ranks of the DNC. Until party leaders take these concerns seriously they will have to spend their convention watching potential voters jump ship.

1.     Superdelegates

It is important to recognize that frustrations over party politics are not uniquely tied to the email leaks. The frustration over the superdelegate system is one clear example that distrust of the DNC goes deeper. The fact that the party even has superdelegates is a sign of its anti-democratic, pro-oligarchy stance. As Branko Marcetic of In These Times reports the superdelegate system was created specifically to challenge the will of voters. According to Marcetic, “When a Sanders supporter criticized superdelegate Howard Dean for sticking with Clinton despite Sanders’ landslide victory in Vermont, Dean tweeted back: “Superdelegates don’t represent the people.”

While there have been new negotiations to adjust the role of superdelegates, these concessions still give too much power to the party elite.

In addition, the fact that Clinton superdelegates were regularly reported by the media in her delegate tally contributed to the sense that Sanders couldn’t win.  So it was not just the existence of the superdelegates; it was the way they were covered by the corporate media that pissed off Sanders supporters. Any party with a superdelegate system should be prepared to alienate voters.  This time it worked.

2.     The Debate Schedule

The DNC created a debate schedule designed to make it hard for candidates to challenge Clinton’s status as the “presumptive” nominee.  Debates were held on weekends, at times that conflicted with other events, and were generally slotted to attract fewer viewers. From the start, well before it was clear that Sanders was gaining momentum, folks were already complaining that the debate schedule was slanted towards Clinton. According to a piece in The National Review from November some Democrats thought it was no accident the DNC scheduled a debate in Iowa on the night of a big Iowa Hawkeyes game.  The next two debates were also scheduled for less viewer heavy weekend slots.

The drama over the debate schedule got worse as the DNC refused to add more debates to give Sanders a chance to continue to build momentum.  As The Intercept reports the DNC laughed at the idea of adding another debate prior to the California primary, even though Fox News offered to host one.  Fox News wrote that, “the race is still contested, and given that you sanctioned a final trio of debates, the last of which has not yet been held, we believe a final debate would be an excellent opportunity for the candidates to, as you said when you announced these debates, ‘share Democrats’ vision for the country.’”  There never was a California debate set up. Not on Fox News or any other venue.

3.     Campaign finance

Back in April the Sanders campaign questioned “serious apparent violations” of campaign finance laws under a joint fundraising deal between Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.  The Sanders camp alleged that the joint fundraising agreement offered Clinton a chance to “launder” money through the DNC.  “While the use of joint fundraising agreements has existed for some time — it is unprecedented for the DNC to allow a joint committee to be exploited to the benefit of one candidate in the midst of a contested nominating contest,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager.

Politico reported that legal experts gave conflicting views on whether the practice constituted a violation of campaign finance law.  But whether or not it was legal was not the only point.  Larry Noble, the general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, who served for 13 years as general counsel at the Federal Election Commission, stated that “It clearly goes against what was intended for the joint fundraising committees.”  Given the already significant war chest Clinton had to run her campaign it is not surprising that Sanders supporters would find this news disturbing.

4.     Refusal to Address Claims of Election Fraud

According to a piece from the Observer on calls in California to have the DNC investigate election fraud, “Voter tampering has been frequently cited in California, with many alleging their party registration was changed without their consent. In Riverside County, district attorney Mike Hestrin confirmed voters’ party affiliations were changed without their knowledge.” And that was just one part of the story from California.

The primary elections were rife with claims of election fraud. From the purging of voter rolls (Brooklyn) to cutting poll locations (Arizona, Rhode Island, Puerto Rico), to the debacle of the California primary, there were numerous situations where the DNC could and should have called for an investigation. Despite the fact that in many cases it was Democratic voters that were directly affected, the DNC made no move to support voters’ claims of election fraud.

5.     The Democratic Party Platform

The recent fights over the DNC platform reveal a real lack of support for progressive policy, especially on key economic issues.  As Marcetic reported for In These Timesthere’s no denying that the platform compromises on certain core progressive values.”  While some suggested that the new platform was a “win” for Sanders, in the end the platform submits to corporate will on many issues

Committee delegates selected by Clinton and Wasserman Schultz voted down several measures dear to progressives’ hearts: “amendments advocating single-payer health care and a $15 minimum wage indexed to inflation, several proposals to halt climate change, language criticizing Israeli ‘occupation’ of Palestine and an amendment explicitly opposing the TPP trade agreement.” As Marcetic shows, delegates to the committee with corporate ties were among the most avid in promoting pro-business policy completely out of step with the sort of progressive values that once separated Democrats from Republicans. Unsurprisingly, those very same delegates were the ones connected to Clinton and Wasserman Schultz.

6.     Documented Attempts to Discredit / Dismiss Sanders

As if the previous issues were not evidence enough to justify the #DemExit movement, the Guccifer 2.0 leaks now offer Sanders supporters copious examples of ways that the DNC simply did not respect the Sanders campaign.  It is important to note that Wasserman Schultz was not alone in this general attitude. Even more disturbing, we have no examples of any DNC staffer suggesting that Sanders deserved a better shake than he was getting.  Some of the most egregious examples can be found here.

7.     DNC Collusion with Media

The corporate media was no ally to the Sanders campaign. With AP calling the primary for Clinton before California, New Mexico, New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota were set to vote, many Sanders’ supporters felt betrayed by the press. As Bill Boyarsky reports for Truthdig, “The story was not just a scoop. It fed the hostility and cynicism of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ fervent supporters.”

The Guccifer 2.0 leaks also reveal a disturbing pattern of collusion between the media and the DNC to support Clinton and not Sanders.  Luis Miranda, the national communications director for the DNC, communicated with reporters from both Politico and the Wall Street Journal in efforts to discredit Sanders. In one email thread, Miranda told Politico he would “point out… some of the issues” with Sen. Sanders’ DNC committee appointments, but only “off the record.”  Miranda also helped craft “talking points”  to be used by the Clinton campaign in response to the Hillary Victory Fund’s money laundering allegations referenced above.

DNC Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach also vetted a Politico story by reporter Ken Vogel before it was sent to editors:  “Vogel gave me his story ahead of time/before it goes to his editors as long as I didn’t share it,” Paustenbach wrote to Miranda. “Let me know if you see anything that’s missing and I’ll push back.”

And then there are the messages that show how Wasserman Schultz pressured MSNBC after it criticized her “unfair” treatment of Sanders.

8.     False Claims of Neutrality

Perhaps one of the most enervating features of the story is the fact that the leaked documents counter Wasserman Schultz’s claims that the DNC was neutral.  There simply is no evidence of neutrality at all–only evidence of bias. It makes moments like Wasserman Schultz’s interview with “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah where he asked her to respond to allegations that she has been cock-blocking Sanders seem like an orchestrated cover-up exist and they make the DNC look really bad. Rather than worry about Russian hacks, the DNC should worry about its integrity.

Today the polling for a potential Donald Trump win is increasingly frightening.  Even Michael Moore is predicting a Trump win.  While there are a variety of forces that are working together to advance the Trump campaign, the DNC’s actions are certainly not helping. If Trump wins in November, the DNC will certainly bear a good portion of the blame.

Sophia A. McClennen is Professor of International Affairs and Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University. She writes on the intersections between culture, politics, and society. Her latest book, co-authored with Remy M. Maisel, is, Is Satire Saving Our Nation? Mockery and American Politics


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[Jul 03, 2020] Apparently, however, Mayor Durkan does not want posterity to forget the glory days of what she had predicted would be a summer of love.

They did "God's work" for neoliberal Dems as unforgettable Vampire Squid head honcho Lloyd Blankfein quipped for a different reason
Jul 03, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Writes The Washington Post:

"Durkan called for charges to be dismissed against those who were arrested for alleged misdemeanors The mayor also said that Seattle arts and parks departments would preserve a community garden and artwork and murals that protesters created within the zone."

...Statues of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant and Theodore Roosevelt are dragged down, while the murals and graffiti of misfits who trashed downtown Seattle are to be preserved.

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

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

likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pm

John,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jun 23, 2020] Surely 'legitimacy' goes to the victor. Once you've won you can build a sort of legitimacy that the majority will agree with (whether its real or not)

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Of course ultimately you reach a point where no one truly understands what is real and what isn't any more. ..."
"... Boris Johnson PM of the UK? Surely not, Theresa May? I can barely wipe the smirk from my face. 4th and 5th rate politicians relying on SPADs to run the country. ..."
"... Reading his recent essay on the truths of WWII ( http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/63527 ) yet again sees him posting uncomfortable realities to a West knee deep in vassalage to a crumbling US. ..."
"... Change is coming whether we like it or not, with or without Putin, we'd best tend our own garden and stop worrying about an opposition that simply doesn't exist. ..."
Jun 23, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com
    1. Gerald says: June 20, 2020 at 5:34 pm surely 'legitimacy' goes to the victor. Once you've won you can build a sort of legitimacy that the majority will agree with (whether its real or not) of course if you are a kind of despotic dictatorship (as appears to be happening in terms of western neoliberal capitalism) then you will merely do as you wish regardless until confronted with overwhelming opposition at which point you will infiltrate and co-opt said opposition, pay lip service to their vague claim for 'rights' and continue on your merry way.

      I always thought that the greatest thing that the capitalists did in the 20th century was to get the slaves to love their slavery, its all advertising, hollywood, TV that's all that politics has become, certainly in the West. Edward Bernays has a lot to answer for.

      Of course ultimately you reach a point where no one truly understands what is real and what isn't any more.

      Boris Johnson PM of the UK? Surely not, Theresa May? I can barely wipe the smirk from my face. 4th and 5th rate politicians relying on SPADs to run the country.

      There is no wonder that Putin looks like the greatest 21st century leader, the last of a dying breed. Reading his recent essay on the truths of WWII ( http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/63527 ) yet again sees him posting uncomfortable realities to a West knee deep in vassalage to a crumbling US.

      Change is coming whether we like it or not, with or without Putin, we'd best tend our own garden and stop worrying about an opposition that simply doesn't exist.

[Jun 23, 2020] It is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get so many working class voters to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... From wiping out the ability of regular folks to declare bankruptcy (something supported by our founding fathers who were NOT socialists), to shipping our industrial base to communist China (which in less enlightened days would have been termed treason), to spending tens of trillions of dollars bailing out and subsiding the big banks (that's not a misprint), to supporting "surprise medical billing," to opening the borders to massive third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and reset and profits up (As 2015 Bernie Sanders pointed out), Backstabbing Joe Biden is neoliberal scum pure and simple. ..."
"... It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. ..."
"... Joe Biden is a crook and a con man. He has been lying his whole life. Claimed in his 1988 Campaign to have got 3 degrees at college and finished in top half of his class. Actually only got 1 degree & finished 76th out of 85 in his class. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

TG , Mar 3 2020 22:02 utc | 56

Yet another circus. The proles get to scream and holler, and when all is done, the oligarchy gets the policies it wants, the public be damned. Our sham 'democracy' is a con to privatize power and socialize responsibility.

Although it is shocking to see such a disgusting piece of human garbage like Joe Biden get substantial numbers of people to vote for him. Biden has never missed a chance to stab the working class in the back in service to his wealthy patrons.

The issue is not (for me) his creepiness (I wouldn't much mind if he was on my side), nor even his Alzheimer's, but his established track record of betrayal and corruption.

From wiping out the ability of regular folks to declare bankruptcy (something supported by our founding fathers who were NOT socialists), to shipping our industrial base to communist China (which in less enlightened days would have been termed treason), to spending tens of trillions of dollars bailing out and subsiding the big banks (that's not a misprint), to supporting "surprise medical billing," to opening the borders to massive third-world immigration so that wages can be driven down and reset and profits up (As 2015 Bernie Sanders pointed out), Backstabbing Joe Biden is neoliberal scum pure and simple.

It's astonishing that so many people will just blindly accept what they are told, that Biden is. "moderate." Biden is so far to the right, he makes Nixon look like Trotsky. Heck, he makes Calvin Coolidge look like Trotsky.

Mao , Mar 3 2020 22:01 utc | 55

Ian56:

Joe Biden is a crook and a con man. He has been lying his whole life. Claimed in his 1988 Campaign to have got 3 degrees at college and finished in top half of his class. Actually only got 1 degree & finished 76th out of 85 in his class.

[VIDEO]

https://twitter.com/Ian56789/status/1234914227963518977

[Jun 18, 2020] Populism vs. inverted totalitarism and the illusion of choice in the US elections

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The endless and extravagant election cycles, he said, are an example of politics without politics. ..."
"... "Instead of participating in power," he writes, "the virtual citizen is invited to have 'opinions': measurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them." ..."
"... Political campaigns rarely discuss substantive issues. They center on manufactured political personalities, empty rhetoric, sophisticated public relations, slick advertising, propaganda and the constant use of focus groups and opinion polls to loop back to voters what they want to hear. Money has effectively replaced the vote. Every current presidential candidate -- including Bernie Sanders -- understands, to use Wolin's words, that "the subject of empire is taboo in electoral debates." The citizen is irrelevant. He or she is nothing more than a spectator, allowed to vote and then forgotten once the carnival of elections ends and corporations and their lobbyists get back to the business of ruling. ..."
"... "If the main purpose of elections is to serve up pliant legislators for lobbyists to shape, such a system deserves to be called 'misrepresentative or clientry government,' " Wolin writes. "It is, at one and the same time, a powerful contributing factor to the depoliticization of the citizenry, as well as reason for characterizing the system as one of antidemocracy." ..."
"... We are tolerated as citizens, Wolin warns, only as long as we participate in the illusion of a participatory democracy. The moment we rebel and refuse to take part in the illusion, the face of inverted totalitarianism will look like the face of past systems of totalitarianism. ..."
"... "The significance of the African-American prison population is political," ..."
Jun 02, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

...Inverted totalitarianism also "perpetuates politics all the time," Wolin said when we spoke, "but a politics that is not political." The endless and extravagant election cycles, he said, are an example of politics without politics.

"Instead of participating in power," he writes, "the virtual citizen is invited to have 'opinions': measurable responses to questions predesigned to elicit them."

Political campaigns rarely discuss substantive issues. They center on manufactured political personalities, empty rhetoric, sophisticated public relations, slick advertising, propaganda and the constant use of focus groups and opinion polls to loop back to voters what they want to hear. Money has effectively replaced the vote. Every current presidential candidate -- including Bernie Sanders -- understands, to use Wolin's words, that "the subject of empire is taboo in electoral debates." The citizen is irrelevant. He or she is nothing more than a spectator, allowed to vote and then forgotten once the carnival of elections ends and corporations and their lobbyists get back to the business of ruling.

"If the main purpose of elections is to serve up pliant legislators for lobbyists to shape, such a system deserves to be called 'misrepresentative or clientry government,' " Wolin writes. "It is, at one and the same time, a powerful contributing factor to the depoliticization of the citizenry, as well as reason for characterizing the system as one of antidemocracy."

The result, he writes, is that the public is "denied the use of state power." Wolin deplores the trivialization of political discourse, a tactic used to leave the public fragmented, antagonistic and emotionally charged while leaving corporate power and empire unchallenged.

"Cultural wars might seem an indication of strong political involvements," he writes. "Actually they are a substitute. The notoriety they receive from the media and from politicians eager to take firm stands on nonsubstantive issues serves to distract attention and contribute to a cant politics of the inconsequential."

"The ruling groups can now operate on the assumption that they don't need the traditional notion of something called a public in the broad sense of a coherent whole," he said in our meeting. "They now have the tools to deal with the very disparities and differences that they have themselves helped to create. It's a game in which you manage to undermine the cohesiveness that the public requires if they [the public] are to be politically effective. And at the same time, you create these different, distinct groups that inevitably find themselves in tension or at odds or in competition with other groups, so that it becomes more of a melee than it does become a way of fashioning majorities."

In classical totalitarian regimes, such as those of Nazi fascism or Soviet communism, economics was subordinate to politics. But "under inverted totalitarianism the reverse is true," Wolin writes. "Economics dominates politics -- and with that domination comes different forms of ruthlessness."He continues: "The United States has become the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed."

The corporate state, Wolin told me, is "legitimated by elections it controls." To extinguish democracy, it rewrites and distorts laws and legislation that once protected democracy. Basic rights are, in essence, revoked by judicial and legislative fiat. Courts and legislative bodies, in the service of corporate power, reinterpret laws to strip them of their original meaning in order to strengthen corporate control and abolish corporate oversight.

He writes: "Why negate a constitution, as the Nazis did, if it is possible simultaneously to exploit porosity and legitimate power by means of judicial interpretations that declare huge campaign contributions to be protected speech under the First Amendment, or that treat heavily financed and organized lobbying by large corporations as a simple application of the people's right to petition their government?"

Our system of inverted totalitarianism will avoid harsh and violent measures of control "as long as dissent remains ineffectual," he told me. "The government does not need to stamp out dissent. The uniformity of imposed public opinion through the corporate media does a very effective job."

And the elites, especially the intellectual class, have been bought off. "Through a combination of governmental contracts, corporate and foundation funds, joint projects involving university and corporate researchers, and wealthy individual donors, universities (especially so-called research universities), intellectuals, scholars, and researchers have been seamlessly integrated into the system," Wolin writes. "No books burned, no refugee Einsteins."

But, he warns, should the population -- steadily stripped of its most basic rights, including the right to privacy, and increasingly impoverished and bereft of hope -- become restive, inverted totalitarianism will become as brutal and violent as past totalitarian states. "The war on terrorism, with its accompanying emphasis upon 'homeland security,' presumes that state power, now inflated by doctrines of preemptive war and released from treaty obligations and the potential constraints of international judicial bodies, can turn inwards," he writes, "confident that in its domestic pursuit of terrorists the powers it claimed, like the powers projected abroad, would be measured, not by ordinary constitutional standards, but by the shadowy and ubiquitous character of terrorism as officially defined."

The indiscriminate police violence in poor communities of color is an example of the ability of the corporate state to "legally" harass and kill citizens with impunity. The cruder forms of control -- from militarized police to wholesale surveillance, as well as police serving as judge, jury and executioner, now a reality for the underclass -- will become a reality for all of us should we begin to resist the continued funneling of power and wealth upward. We are tolerated as citizens, Wolin warns, only as long as we participate in the illusion of a participatory democracy. The moment we rebel and refuse to take part in the illusion, the face of inverted totalitarianism will look like the face of past systems of totalitarianism.

"The significance of the African-American prison population is political," he writes. "What is notable about the African-American population generally is that it is highly sophisticated politically and by far the one group that throughout the twentieth century kept alive a spirit of resistance and rebelliousness. In that context, criminal justice is as much a strategy of political neutralization as it is a channel of instinctive racism."

[Jun 16, 2020] The American elites wanted and, after the revolution got, the power to enrich themselves. Hence the birth of lobbyists simultaneous with the birth of the American nation state. IMO the constitution was about as meaningful to the leaders of the revolution as campaign promises are to contemporary politicians

Notable quotes:
"... The objective of the elites was to wrest control of resources eg land and/or timber plus so-called royal warrants that controlled who was allowed to produce, sell export products to who, grab allocation out of the control of the mobs of greedy royal favorites, then into the hands of the new American elites. ..."
"... The bagmen & courtiers grew fat at the expense of the colonists and generally the bagman, who also spied on the locals for obvious reasons, would go back to England once he had made his stash. ..."
"... The American elites wanted and, after the revolution got, the power to control economic development for themselves.Hence the birth of lobbyists simultaneous with the birth of the American nation state. ..."
"... IMO the constitution was about as meaningful to the leaders of the revolution as campaign promises are to contemporary politicians.That is, something to be used as self protection without ever implementing. ..."
Jun 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

A User , Jun 16 2020 3:36 utc | 87

I'm always amused, nah that is a little harsh - dumbfounded is more reasonable, when Americans express dismay that 'their' constitution is not being adhered to by the elites.

The minutiae of American political history hasn't greatly concerned me after a superficial study at high school, when I realized that the political structure is corrupt and was designed to facilitate corruption.

The seeming caring & sharing soundbites pushed out by the 'framers' scum such as Thomas Jefferson was purely for show, an attempt to gather the cannon fodder to one side. This was simple as the colonial media had been harping on about 'taxation without representation' for decades.

It wasn't just taxes, in fact for the American based elites that was likely the least of it. The objective of the elites was to wrest control of resources eg land and/or timber plus so-called royal warrants that controlled who was allowed to produce, sell export products to who, grab allocation out of the control of the mobs of greedy royal favorites, then into the hands of the new American elites.

A well placed courtier would put a bagman into the regional center of a particular colony (each colony becoming a 'state' post revolution), so that if someone wanted to, I dunno, say export huge quantities of cotton, the courtier would charge that 'colonial' for getting the initial warrant, then take a hefty % of the return on the product - all collected by the on-site bagman then divvied up.

The bagmen & courtiers grew fat at the expense of the colonists and generally the bagman, who also spied on the locals for obvious reasons, would go back to England once he had made his stash.

The system was ponderous inaccurate & very expensive. Something had to be done, but selling revolutionary change to the masses on the basis of the need to enrich the already wealthy was not likely to be a winner. Consequently the high faulting blather.

The American elites wanted and, after the revolution got, the power to control economic development for themselves.Hence the birth of lobbyists simultaneous with the birth of the American nation state.

IMO the constitution was about as meaningful to the leaders of the revolution as campaign promises are to contemporary politicians.That is, something to be used as self protection without ever implementing.

[Jun 11, 2020] The nearly complete corruption of the U.S. republican form of government has largely come about due to the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court in January 2010 that basically permitted unlimited donor-spending on political campaigns based on the principle that providing money, normally through a political action committee (PAC), is a form of free speech

Jun 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Jun 11 2020 10:10 utc | 100

The nearly complete corruption of the U.S. republican form of government has largely come about due to the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court in January 2010 that basically permitted unlimited donor-spending on political campaigns based on the principle that providing money, normally through a political action committee (PAC), is a form of free speech. The decision paved the way for agenda-driven plutocrats and corporations to largely seize control of the formulation process for certain policies being promoted by the two national parties.

No one has benefited from the new rules more than the state of Israel, whose hundreds of support organizations and principal billionaire funders euphemized as the "Israel Lobby" have entrenched pro-Israel donors as the principal financial resources of both major political parties.

https://ahtribune.com/us/israelgate/4206-ilhan-omar-surrenders.html

[Jun 09, 2020] Without proper Debate system there can be no democracy

But how it can be any, when big money controls everything ?
Jun 09, 2020 | www.unz.com

Robjil , says: June 8, 2020 at 12:03 pm GMT

The western world's biggest problem is the lack and the fear of Athenian Debate.

The west touts the word "Democracy" like crazy. It came from the ancient Greeks.

Yet, the west forgets the biggest part of Athenian Democracy. It is Athenian Debate.

Without Athenian Debate in the west, there are no Democracies in the west.

anonymous coward , says: June 8, 2020 at 1:03 pm GMT
@Robjil

The western world's biggest problem is the lack and the fear of Athenian Debate.

Pretty sure there's quite a few ones bigger.

[Jun 08, 2020] "The Ruling Elite Has Lost All Legitimacy" by Chris Hedges

Some interesting thought, but if you compare the USA situation with the situation in Ukraine, the ruling elite still have a long way to go undisturbed...
Jun 08, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Kenny Heimbuch , 1 day ago

"Corporation" has become a synonym for mafia.

Christina Suozzo , 1 day ago

"Being poor in America is one long emergency". SO true. 😓


hotblooded1983
, 1 day ago

Being poor anywhere is one long emergency. And poverty does not give a damn about the colour of your skin.


AK Li
, 1 day ago (edited)

ROGUE STATE. Biden and Trump are both part of the Oligarchs!!


muffet nellon
, 2 days ago

I doubt the United States can change. There are agencies whose purpose are to destroy popular movements seeking change. Most people also don't want to admit it, but when a government can launch dozens of wars, killing millions of people, it's obvious that government would kill it's citizens to keep power. The wrong people are blamed for 911.


Stephen A. Sheehan
, 1 day ago

I remember the blue dog "purge" that arrived with Clinton. That was when anti-new dealers captured the Democratic Party.


Peter Parker
, 1 day ago

"The nation that neglects social inequality, mischievously increases military budgets, and then uses its power internally to suppress the citizens on the pretext of invasion by an external enemy is on the road to extinction." - Yang Wenli, Legend of the Galactic Heroes.


AnonymousTwoPointO
, 2 days ago

Stop calling them ELITE, they are THE POLITICAL CRIMINAL CLASS, and as long as we cook their meals, drive their limos, tailor their suits, and guard them while they sleep, they are not untouchable. None of them.


Carl Jensen
, 1 day ago

Advice to people in a time like this: DO NOT EVER VOTE FOR LESSER OF EVIL, BECAUSE YOU STILL GET EVIL.


Marius Chirita
, 1 day ago

"If you're not rioting, you're not black." Joe Biden

Harry Kiralfy Broe , 2 days ago

Right now, the puppet masters are laughing, pitting one puppet against the other, white vs. black, man vs. woman, worker vs. unemployed, police vs. citizens, while they rob you blind and enslave your children in debt and austerity...

[Jun 03, 2020] RussiaGate for neoliberal Dems and MSM honchos is the way to avoid the necessity to look into the camera and say, I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. ..."
"... Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Mar 30, 2019 7:51:28 PM | link

Here is an insightful read on Trump's (s)election and Russiagate that I think is not OT

Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won

The take away quote

" Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming.

Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ."

As a peedupon all I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense

[May 17, 2020] TSMC a Taiwan chip's foundry not permitted to sell any chips to Huawei

May 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

JC , May 17 2020 18:03 utc | 16

Almost every freaking day Trump and Pompeo bashing China including Huawei.. Not a day of peace without china bashing.

Days earlier ZeroHedge, SCMP and other media reported freaking Trump and Pompeo... no companies inside or outside USA can sell American software or technology items or chips made with USA properties or machines to Huawei.

Meaning TSMC a Taiwan chip's foundry not permitted to sell any chips to Huawei, TSMC has been the world's dedicated semiconductor foundry. "curtailing its chip supply, an escalation of its campaign against the Chinese company that may also hurt Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co."

"China has the most fab projects in the world.... 30 facilities planned, including 10/7nm processes, but trade war and economic factors could slow progress...... SMIC 's move would put it on par with some of its foreign rivals. In addition, SMIC has obtained $10 billion in funding to develop 10nm and 7nm. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) is a publicly held semiconductor foundry company, and the largest in China.

"Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor Manufacturing (HSMC), a logic IC foundry founded in late 2017, is gearing up for 14nm and 7nm process manufacturing eyeing to be China's most advanced contract chipmaker.....Shang-yi Chiang, the former executive VP and co-chief operating officer overseeing R&D for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), will join a Wuhan-headquartered foundry in China. "<

[May 15, 2020] China Ready To Target Apple, Qualcomm, Cisco and Boeing in Retaliation Against US' Huawei Ban - Slashdot

May 15, 2020 | apple.slashdot.org

An anonymous reader shares a report: China is ready to take a series of countermeasures against a US plan to block shipments of semiconductors to Chinese telecom firm Huawei , including putting US companies on an "unreliable entity list," launching investigations and imposing restrictions on US companies such as Apple and suspending the purchase of Boeing airplanes, a source close to the Chinese government told the Global Times. The Trump administration on Friday moved to block shipments of semiconductors to Huawei from global chipmakers. The US Commerce Department said it was amending an export rule and the Entity List to "strategically target Huawei's acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain US software and technology," according to a statement on its website. "China will take forceful countermeasures to protect its own legitimate rights," if the US moves forward with the plan to bar essential suppliers of chips, including Taiwan-based TSMC, from selling chips to the Chinese tech giant, the source told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.


Brain-Fu ( 1274756 ) , Friday May 15, 2020 @02:58PM ( #60064610 ) Homepage Journal

All chips have backdoors. ( Score: 5 , Insightful)

Every hardware vendor has clear and strong incentives to bake backdoors into their hardware. The only difference is to whom they are loyal.

sehlat ( 180760 ) , Friday May 15, 2020 @02:20PM ( #60064454 )
Universal Rule of Economic Warfare ( Score: 1 )

Both sides lose ... BIG.

bodog ( 231448 ) writes:
Re: ( Score: 1 )

BIGLY. tftfy.

UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) , Friday May 15, 2020 @02:45PM ( #60064558 )
Re:Universal Rule of Economic Warfare ( Score: 3 )

Well people on both sides lose. The leaders on both sides do not lose as much. Concisely Put.

Alain Williams ( 2972 ) writes: < addw@phcomp.co.uk > on Friday May 15, 2020 @02:31PM ( #60064502 ) Homepage
Is anyone surprised ? ( Score: 5 , Interesting)

China will also put a lot of money into making things that it has, up to now, obtained from the USA. It might take a few years, but China's government set up (ie one party always in power) means that it does not have to do things to an electoral cycle.

[May 13, 2020] Shock at low US confidence in Trump's coronavirus narrative ignores decades of governments abusing Americans' trust by Helen Buyniski

Notable quotes:
"... In light of such a history of distrust – the president who'd promised to not only shutter the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison but also end the seemingly eternal wars in the Middle East had not only failed to deliver on those promises, but actually launched several new wars in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan – it's no surprise Americans are reluctant to embrace the Trump administration's Covid-19 narrative. ..."
"... Like the fabled boy who cried wolf, it doesn't matter if the emergency is real this time – the government has simply worn out its welcome by making demands on false pretenses. ..."
May 12, 2020 | www.rt.com

Just over a third of Americans trust President Donald Trump's information about the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new poll. But given decades of crises mishandled by the government, the only surprise is that it isn't lower. A CNN poll showing that just 36 percent of Americans trust Trump for reliable information about the coronavirus was held up triumphantly by the president's critics on Tuesday as proof his credibility is circling the drain. But it's more likely to be the fallout not just from Trump, but from the two preceding presidential administrations' misrepresentation of crises, that has created epidemic levels of distrust among the people.

Trump's own approval rating is hovering around 45 percent, according to the poll, conducted by CNN in conjunction with SSRS and released on Tuesday. While it's been presented as a scathing mass rejection of Trump, the same pollsters are actually seeing an uptick in support for the president – the approval rating last month stood at 44 percent, and the previous month's was 43. But Americans can't be faulted for distrusting the Trump administration's narratives, given prior presidents' tendencies toward crying wolf in ways that have invariably left the American people worse off.

The last time Washington tried to mobilize the US with the threat of an invisible enemy was during George W. Bush's 'War on Terror' after the September 11 attacks. While it soon became apparent that the many deaths that occurred on that day had nothing to do with the subsequent US invasions of Afghanistan and then Iraq, it was too late by the time Americans found out they had been lied to. Not only had the Afghan government willingly offered up Osama bin Laden, but Saddam Hussein was found to have had no 'weapons of mass destruction', and the entire narrative was the concoction of a secretive entity that had been set up to create a casus belli for war with Iraq despite the facts.

Bush's approval ratings declined steadily following 9/11, as the nation was forced into one war after another on false pretenses. At his lowest point, just 25 percent of Americans trusted him. The 'invisible enemy' of terrorism – supposedly lurking around every corner and requiring Americans to practically disrobe at entrances to airports – had lost its luster, and Bush's poor handling of real-life crises like Hurricane Katrina put the final nail in the coffin of his credibility.

While Barack Obama entered office on a high note with a promise of " hope and change ," his approval rating also plunged quickly – especially when he refused to stand in the way of the wildly unpopular 2008 'Wall Street bailout' – sinking to 41 percent in 2011 as Americans grew restive after years of recession with no change in sight. By 2014, 70 percent of respondents to an MSNBC poll stated the country was headed in the wrong direction, with 80 percent singling out the political system as the primary culprit. Congress enjoyed an appallingly low 14 percent approval rating.

In light of such a history of distrust – the president who'd promised to not only shutter the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison but also end the seemingly eternal wars in the Middle East had not only failed to deliver on those promises, but actually launched several new wars in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan – it's no surprise Americans are reluctant to embrace the Trump administration's Covid-19 narrative.

Another invisible enemy that requires them to sacrifice their livelihoods – a third of Americans couldn't pay their rent last month, while even the paltry $1,200 stimulus checks supposedly heading to 130 million Americans have apparently not reached half their intended recipients yet – is reminding Americans of what happened last time they were told to put aside their real-life concerns and fall in line behind a narrative that turned out to be false.

Like the fabled boy who cried wolf, it doesn't matter if the emergency is real this time – the government has simply worn out its welcome by making demands on false pretenses.

[May 11, 2020] Durham Supercharges Investigation With Elite Prosecutors To Review 'Witch Hunt'

Notable quotes:
"... "This is one particular episode, but we view it as part of a number of related acts ... and we're looking at the whole pattern of conduct," Barr added, saying that they're investigating actions taken before "and after ... the election." ..."
"... And according to Fox' s source, Durham is investigating a "pattern of conduct" which includes lying to the FISA court to obtain warrants to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page . ..."
"... "Barr talks to Durham every day," a source recently told Fox News . " The president has been briefed that the case is being pursued, and it's serious. " ..."
"... " It was a very dangerous situation what they did ," Trump said during an interview with "Fox & Friends" Friday. " These are dirty politicians and dirty cops and some horrible people and hopefully they're going to pay a big price in the not too distant future. ..."
"... Durham's probe is expected to wrap up by the end of the summer. Right as Trump is expected to face off against Joe Biden - who was VP while most of this was going on . ..."
May 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
John Durham has supercharged his review into the origins of the Russiagate hoax orchestrated by the Obama administration during and after the 2016 US election - adding additional top prosecutors to explore different components of the original probe, according to Fox News .

Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut tasked with by Attorney General Bill Barr with investigating the actions taken against the Trump team, has tapped Jeff Jensen - U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri who had been investigating the Michael Flynn case. Also added to the team is interim U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Timothy Shea, according to Fox 's sources.

" They farmed the investigation out because it is too much for Durham and he didn't want to be distracted ," said one source, adding "He's going full throttle, and they're looking at everything. "

Word of Durham's beefed-up team comes amid worsening tensions between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats, who have been making the case that the Justice Department's reviews have become politicized given the decision last week to drop the Flynn case - a move which House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) called "outrageous."

" The evidence against General Flynn is overwhelming ," said Nadler - who probably wasn't referring to handwritten notes by one of the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn which exposed their perjury trap . Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his perfectly legal communications with a Russian ambassador - a plea he made while under severe financial strain due to legal expenses, and to save his son from the FBI 'witch hunt.' Flynn would later withdraw his plea as evidence mounted that he was set up.

The DOJ determined that the bureau's 2017 Flynn interview -- which formed the basis for his guilty plea of lying to investigators -- was "conducted without any legitimate investigative basis."

Breadcrumbs were being dropped in the days preceding the decision that his case could be reconsidered. Documents unsealed the prior week by the Justice Department revealed agents discussed their motivations for interviewing him in the Russia probe – questioning whether they wanted to "get him to lie" so he'd be fired or prosecuted, or get him to admit wrongdoing. Flynn allies howled over the revelations, arguing that he essentially had been set up in a perjury trap. In that interview, Flynn did not admit wrongdoing and instead was accused of lying about his contacts with the then-Russian ambassador – to which he pleaded guilty. - Fox News

Jensen, the U.S. attorney now working with Durham, was reportedly the one who recommended dropping the Flynn case to Barr.

Barr speaks

When asked whether he thought the FBI conspired against Flynn, Barr told CBS News on Thursday "I think, you know, that's a question that really has to wait [for] an analysis of all the different episodes that occurred through the summer of 2016 and the first several months of President Trump's administration," adding that Durham is "still looking at all of this."

"This is one particular episode, but we view it as part of a number of related acts ... and we're looking at the whole pattern of conduct," Barr added, saying that they're investigating actions taken before "and after ... the election."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/g_OeiKXr0WE

And according to Fox' s source, Durham is investigating a "pattern of conduct" which includes lying to the FISA court to obtain warrants to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page .

President Trump has long-referred to the investigation as a "witch hunt" - which Barr and Durham are now untangling.

"Barr talks to Durham every day," a source recently told Fox News . " The president has been briefed that the case is being pursued, and it's serious. "

President Trump on Friday offered a vague, but ominous, warning as the Durham probe proceeds.

" It was a very dangerous situation what they did ," Trump said during an interview with "Fox & Friends" Friday. " These are dirty politicians and dirty cops and some horrible people and hopefully they're going to pay a big price in the not too distant future. "

Trump was specifically reacting to newly released transcripts of interviews from the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation that revealed top Obama officials acknowledged they knew of no "empirical evidence" of a conspiracy despite their concerns and suspicions. - Fox News

Durham's probe is expected to wrap up by the end of the summer. Right as Trump is expected to face off against Joe Biden - who was VP while most of this was going on .

[May 09, 2020] Huawei's HiSilicon becomes first mainland Chinese chip company to enter top 10 in global sales, says IC Insights South China

Notable quotes:
"... Over 90 per cent of Huawei phones in China now use HiSilicon processors, according to CINNO ..."
May 09, 2020 | www.scmp.com

HiSilicon , Huawei Technologies ' in-house semiconductor and integrated circuit design company, has surpassed US chip giant Qualcomm in terms of smartphone processor shipments in China for the first time amid coronavirus-linked disruptions that have hit most major players, according to a report.

In the first quarter of 2020, HiSilicon shipped 22.21 million smartphone processors, according to Chinese research firm CINNO's latest monthly report on China's semiconductor industry. Although HiSilicon's shipments only increased slightly from the 22.17 million units it shipped in the first quarter of last year, it was the only major company that did not see a year-on-year decline in the quarter, CINNO said in a summary of the report posted on its official WeChat account.

As a result, the Huawei subsidiary's market share surged to 43.9 per cent, from 36.5 per cent during the same period last year, and beat Qualcomm for the first time to become China's top smartphone processor supplier. HiSilicon's steady performance comes at a time when the Chinese smartphone industry is being battered by delayed product launches and dampened consumer sentiment linked to the coronavirus pandemic. Smartphone shipments in the country slumped by 34.7 per cent – more than a third – to 47.7 million units in the first quarter of 2020, according to a report released earlier this month by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

CINNO's report showed that there was a similar plunge in processor shipments, with overall smartphone processor shipments in the country dropping by 44.5 per cent in the first three months of 2020, compared to the same period last year. Huawei makes end-run around US trade ban by turning to its own chips 2 Mar 2020

US-based Qualcomm, the long-time market leader, fell to second place in the latest quarter with a year-on-year decline in its market share from 37.8 per cent to 32.8 per cent. Taiwan's Mediatek maintained its third-place position, but also saw its market share slide year-on-year from 14 per cent to 13.1 percent

. Table showing the market share of smartphone processor supplies according to CINNO Research. Source: CINNO Research / WeChat

Table showing the market share of smartphone processor supplies according to CINNO Research. Source: CINNO Research / WeChat

Huawei, HiSilicon's parent company, is at the centre of a high-profile US-China tech war. The Trump administration added the company to its Entity List last year, citing the risk that Huawei could give Beijing access to sensitive data from telecommunications networks. The trade blacklist effectively bars Huawei from buying US products and services. In response, the Chinese company, which has denied the allegations, is ramping up its own capabilities to produce more American component-free network gear, including through HiSilicon.

Huawei is also reportedly shifting production of HiSilicon-designed chips away from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and towards Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) as Washington readies new rules which would require foreign companies using US chipmaking equipment to obtain a license before supplying chips to Huawei – a move that would directly affect TSMC.

Over 90 per cent of Huawei phones in China now use HiSilicon processors, according to CINNO. However, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said in an interview with Yahoo Finance last year that the company would continue using chips from US vendors such as Intel and Qualcomm as long as it is still allowed by US regulators.

[May 08, 2020] Barr fight against Clinton gang

So Flynn was framed but the plot eventually failed. will Strzok get a jail sencetnce for his role in this FBI operation?
Charlie Savage being a NYT correspondent belongs to Clinton gang and defend their point of view. But h revels some interesting tidbits about the nature of framing and possible consequences for the key members of Clinton gang.
May 08, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

Originally from: 'Never Seen Anything Like This' Experts Question Dropping of Flynn Prosecution By Charlie Savage, NYT, May 7, 2020

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department's decision to drop the criminal case against Michael T. Flynn , President Trump's former national security adviser, even though he had twice pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, was extraordinary and had no obvious precedent, a range of criminal law specialists said on Thursday.

"I've been practicing for more time than I care to admit and I've never seen anything like this," said Julie O'Sullivan, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches criminal law at Georgetown University.

The move is the latest in a series that the department, under Attorney General William P. Barr, has taken to undermine and dismantle the work of the investigators and prosecutors who scrutinized Russia's 2016 election interference operation and its links to people associated with the Trump campaign.

The case against Mr. Flynn for lying to the F.B.I. about his conversations with the Russian ambassador was brought by the office of the former special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. It had become a political cause for Mr. Trump and his supporters, and the president had signaled that he was considering a pardon once Mr. Flynn was sentenced. But Mr. Barr instead abruptly short-circuited the case.

On Thursday, Timothy Shea, the interim U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia, told the judge overseeing the case, Emmet G. Sullivan, that prosecutors were withdrawing the case. They were doing so, he said, because the department could not prove to a jury that Mr. Flynn's admitted lies to the F.B.I. about his conversations with the ambassador were "material" ones.

The move essentially erases Mr. Flynn's guilty pleas. Because he was never sentenced and the government is unwilling to pursue the matter further, the prosecution is virtually certain to end, although the judge must still decide whether to grant the department's request to dismiss it "with prejudice," meaning it could not be refiled in the future.

A range of former prosecutors struggled to point to any previous instance in which the Justice Department had abandoned its own case after obtaining a guilty plea. They portrayed the justification Mr. Shea pointed to -- that it would be difficult to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the lies were material -- as dubious.

"A pardon would have been a lot more honest," said Samuel Buell, a former federal prosecutor who now teaches criminal law at Duke University.

The law regarding what counts as "material" is extremely forgiving to the government, Mr. Buell added. The idea is that law enforcement is permitted to pursue possible theories of criminality and to interview people without having firmly established that there was a crime first.

James G. McGovern , a defense lawyer at Hogan Lovells and a former federal prosecutor, said juries rarely bought a defendant's argument that a lie did not involve a material fact.

"If you are arguing 'materiality,' you usually lose, because there is a tacit admission that what you said was untrue, so you lose the jury," he said.

No career prosecutors signed the motion. Mr. Shea is a former close aide to Mr. Barr. In January, Mr. Barr installed him as the top prosecutor in the district that encompasses the nation's capital after maneuvering out the Senate-confirmed former top prosecutor in that office, Jessie K. Liu.

Soon after, in an extraordinary move, four prosecutors in the office abruptly quit the case against Mr. Trump's longtime friend Roger J. Stone Jr. They did so after senior Justice Department officials intervened to recommend a more lenient prison term than standard sentencing guidelines called for in the crimes Mr. Stone was convicted of committing -- including witness intimidation and perjury -- to conceal Trump campaign interactions with WikiLeaks.

It soon emerged that Mr. Barr had also appointed an outside prosecutor, Jeff Jensen, the U.S. attorney in St. Louis, to review the Flynn case files. The department then began turning over F.B.I. documents showing internal deliberations about questioning Mr. Flynn, like what warnings to give -- even though such files are usually not provided to the defense.

Mr. Flynn's defense team has mined such files for ammunition to portray the F.B.I. as running amok in its decision to question Mr. Flynn in the first place. The questioning focused on his conversations during the transition after the 2016 election with the Russian ambassador about the Obama administration's imposition of sanctions on Russia for its interference in the American election.

The F.B.I. had already concluded that there was no evidence that Mr. Flynn, a former Trump campaign adviser, had personally conspired with Russia about the election, and it had decided to close out the counterintelligence investigation into him. Then questions arose about whether and why Mr. Flynn had lied to administration colleagues like Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the ambassador.

Because the counterintelligence investigation was still open, the bureau used it as a basis to question Mr. Flynn about the conversations and decided not to warn him at its onset that it would be a crime to lie. Notes from Bill Priestap , then the head of the F.B.I.'s counterintelligence division, show that he wrote at one point about the planned interview: "What's our goal? Truth/admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?"

Mr. Barr has also appointed another outside prosecutor, John H. Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to reinvestigate the Russia investigators even though the department's independent inspector general was already scrutinizing them .

And his department has intervened in a range of other ways, from seeking more comfortable prison accommodations last year for Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump's former campaign chairman, to abruptly dropping charges in March against two Russian shell companies that were about to go to trial for financing schemes to interfere in the 2016 election using social media .

Mr. Barr has let it be known that he does not think the F.B.I. ever had an adequate legal basis to open its Russia investigation in the first place, contrary to the judgment of the Justice Department's inspector general.

In an interview on CBS News on Thursday, Mr. Barr defended the dropping of the charges against Mr. Flynn on the grounds that the F.B.I. "did not have a basis for a counterintelligence investigation against Flynn at that stage."

Anne Milgram , a former federal prosecutor and former New Jersey attorney general who teaches criminal law at New York University, defended the F.B.I.'s decision to question Mr. Flynn in January 2017. She said that much was still a mystery about the Russian election interference operation at the time and that Mr. Flynn's lying to the vice president about his postelection interactions with a high-ranking Russian raised new questions.

But, she argued, the more important frame for assessing the dropping of the case was to recognize how it fit into the larger pattern of the Barr-era department "undercutting the law enforcement officials and prosecutors who investigated the 2016 election and its aftermath," which she likened to "eating the Justice Department from the inside out."

[May 05, 2020] Newly released FBI documents show Israel intervened in 2016 election to help Trump

Highly recommended!
Looks like Mueller barked to the wrong tree... And that was not accidental
Notable quotes:
"... The back story that's really significant here is that Mueller redacted evidence of Israeli interference in the U.S. election, and the Russiagate! scandal was a cover for that and other third-country meddling. Most of us here knew that a couple years ago ..."
"... @Blue Republic ..."
"... @leveymg ..."
"... @leveymg ..."
May 05, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

leveymg on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 8:17am

Previously sealed FBI documents indicate close contacts between Israel and the Trump campaign and that the Mueller investigation found evidence of Israeli involvement, but largely redacted it.

May 04th, 2020
By Alison Weir @alisonweir
https://www.mintpressnews.com/fbi-documents-israel-collusion-2016-trump-...

Menifee, CA (IAK) -- Newly released FBI documents suggest that Israeli government officials were in contact with the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and offered "critical intel."

In one of the extensively redacted documents, an official who appears to be an Israeli minister warns that Trump was "going to be defeated unless we intervene." He goes on to tell a Trump campaign official: "The key is in your hands."

The previously classified documents were released in response to a lawsuit brought by the Associated Press, CNN, the New York Times, Politico, and the Washington Post. The unsealed documents suggest that rather than Russia, it was Israel that covertly interfered in the election.

While all these media companies except one seem to have ignored the apparent Israeli connection revealed in the FBI documents, Israeli media have been quick to jump on it.

Israel's i24 News reports:

Newly released documents from the FBI suggest that Roger Stone, a senior aide in the 2016 Trump campaign, had one or more high-ranking contacts in the Israeli government willing to help the then-Republican Party nominee win the presidential election."

Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper reports:

Tantalizing hints" of "alleged clandestine contacts came to light in recent publication of redacted FBI documents."

The Times of Israel (TOI) the first to report on this, states:

The FBI material, which is heavily redacted, includes one explicit reference to Israel and one to Jerusalem, and a series of references to a minister, a cabinet minister, a minister without portfolio in the cabinet dealing with issues concerning defense and foreign affairs,' the PM, and the Prime Minister."

TOI points out: "Benjamin Netanyahu was Israel's prime minister in 2016," and reports circumstantial evidence that the "PM" mentioned in the document refers to Netanyahu:

One reference to the unnamed PM in the material reads as follows: 'On or about June 28, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, "RETURNING TO DC AFTER URGENT CONSULTATIONS WITH PM IN ROME.MUST MEET WITH YOU WED. EVE AND WITH DJ TRUMP THURSDAY IN NYC.' Netanyahu made a state visit to Italy at the end of June 2016."

TOI also notes that "the Israeli government included a minister without portfolio, Tzachi Hanegbi, appointed in May with responsibility for defense and foreign affairs."

Ha'aretz also names Hanebi as the likely contact, and confirms that he "was in the United States on the dates mentioned, attending, among other things, a roll out of the first Israeli F-35 jet at a Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas."

The previously classified FBI affidavit says: "On or about August 12, 2016, [name redacted] messaged STONE, "Roger, hello from Jerusalem. Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intell. The key is in your hands! Back in the US next week."

Another section of the affidavit states: "On August 20, 2016, CORSI told STONE that they needed to meet with [name redacted] to determine "what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct." (Corsi refers to Jerome Corsi, a pro-Israel commentator and author known for extremist statements.)

Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Trump who worked on the 2016 campaign, was convicted last year in the Robert Mueller investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Stone has denied wrongdoing, consistently criticizing the accusations against him as politically motivated. Numerous analysts have found the "Russiagate" theory unconvincing, and the American Bar Association reported that Mueller's investigation "did not find sufficient evidence that President Donald Trump's campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the United States' 2016 election."

There have been previous suggestions that it was Israel that had most worked to influence the election.

[MORE]

The back story that's really significant here is that Mueller redacted evidence of Israeli interference in the U.S. election, and the Russiagate! scandal was a cover for that and other third-country meddling. Most of us here knew that a couple years ago .

Comments

Blue Republic on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:07am
Thank for posting

Mint Press has also reported on Israeli intelligence involvement/infiltration into critical US defense networks as well as their strong presence in social media.

I'd be surprised if there was an election in recent decades that they weren't involved in.

If Trump campaign people were actually soliciting Israeli help, that would be newsworthy and probably criminal. But Mueller throwing the book at Stone and Corsi over BS and covering what could actually be serious? That's twisted.

leveymg on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:26am
Laura Rozen who covers these things, has posted the FBI docs

@Blue Republic and adds this:

Laura Rozen
@lrozen
Profile picture
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1255347751153434624.html
Apr 29th 2020, 5 tweets, 2 min read
Stone arranged for meeting, but said in later email that a "fiasco" ensued after the associate brought a foreign military officer along
Unroll available on Thread Reader

https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1255344430443347969

On Aug.20, 2016, CORSI told STONE they
needed to meet w/[ ] to determine "what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct"courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco
huh courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco
courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco
(One PM in Rome on June 27 2016 was Netanyahu) mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/

Copy of FBI docs, including this, are linked at: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EWvp-fZWkAECFaN.jpg

Mint Press has also reported on Israeli intelligence involvement/infiltration into critical US defense networks as well as their strong presence in social media.

I'd be surprised if there was an election in recent decades that they weren't involved in.

If Trump campaign people were actually soliciting Israeli help, that would be newsworthy and probably criminal. But Mueller throwing the book at Stone and Corsi over BS and covering what could actually be serious? That's twisted.

leveymg on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:38am
The entire Court filing and Order sealing the FBI warrant app

@leveymg is reposted below, for those who want to read for themselves:

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
for the
District of Columbia
In the Matter of the Search of
(Briefly describe the property to be searched
or identify the person by name and address)
INFORMATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE GOOGLE
ACCOUNT ,
)
Case: 1:18-sc-01518
Assigned To : Howell, Beryl A.
Assign. Date: 5/4/2018
Description: Search & Seizure Warrant
SEARCH AND SEIZURE WARRANT
To: Any authorized law enforcement officer
An application by a federal law enforcement officer or an attorney for the government requests the search
of the following person or property located in the Northern District of California
(identify the person or describe the property to be searched and give its location):
See Attachment A.
I find that the affidavit(s), or any recorded testimony, establish probable cause to search and seize the person or property
described above, and that such search will reveal (identify the person or describe the property to be seized):
See Attachment B.
YOU ARE COMMANDED to execute this warrant on or before May 18, 2018 (not to exceed 14 days)
';$ in the daytime 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. 0 at any time in the day or night because good cause has been established.
Unless delayed notice is authorized below, you must give a copy of the warrant and a receipt for the property taken to the
person from whom, or from whose premises, the property was taken, or leave the copy and receipt at the place where the
property was taken.
The officer executing this warrant, or an officer present during the execution of the warrant, must prepare an inventory
as required by law and promptly return this warrant and inventory to Hon. Beryl A. Howell
(United States Magistrate Judge)
0 Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3103a(b), I find that immediate notification may have an adverse result listed in 18 U.S.C.
§ 2705 ( except for delay of trial), and authorize the officer executing this warrant to delay notice to the person who, or whose
property, will be searched or seized (check the awropriate box)
0 for __ days (not to exceed 30) 0 until, the facts justifying, the later specific date of
Date and time issued:
Judge 's signature
City and state: Washington, DC Hon. Beryl A. Howell, Chief U.S. District Judge
Printed name and title
Case 1:19-mc-00029-CRC Document 29-7 Filed 04/28/20 Page 1 of 35
AO 93 (Rev 11/13) Search and Seizure Warrant (Page 2)
Return
Case No.: Date and time warrant executed: Copy of warrant and inventory left with:
Inventory made in the presence of :
Inventory of the property taken and name of any person(s) seized:
Certification
I declare under penalty of pe1jury that this inventory is correct and was returned along with the original warrant to the
designated judge.
Date:
Executing officer's signature
Printed name and title
Case 1:19-mc-00029-CRC Document 29-7 Filed 04/28/20 Page 2 of 35
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Cf erk, U.S. District & Bankrupicy
Gourts for tirn District of Columbl&
IN THE MATTER OF THE SEARCH OF
INFORMATION ASSOCIATED WITH
THE GOOGLE ACCOUNT
ORDER
Case: 1: 18-sc-01518
Assigned To : Howell, Beryl A.
Assign. Date: 5/4/2018
Description: Search & Seizure Warrant
The United States has filed a motion to seal the above-captioned warrant and related
documents, including the application and affidavit in support thereof ( collectively the "Warrant"),
and to require Google LLC, an electronic communication and/or remote computing services with
headquarters in Mountain View, California, not to disclose the existence or contents of the Warrant
pursuant to !8 U.S.C. § 2705(b).
The Court finds that the United States has established that a compelling governmental
interest exists to justify the requested sealing, and that there is reason to believe that notification
of the existence of the Warrant will seriously jeopardize the investigation, including by giving the
targets an opportunity to flee from prosecution, destroy or tamper with evidence, and intimidate
witnesses. See 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b)(2)-(5).
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the motion is hereby GRANTED, and that the
warrant, the application and affidavit in support thereof, all attachments thereto and other related
materials, the instant motion to seal, and this Order be SEALED until further order of the Court;
and
Page 1 of2
Case 1:19-mc-00029-CRC Document 29-7 Filed 04/28/20 Page 3 of 35
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2705(b), Google and its
employees shall not disclose the existence or content of the Warrant to any other person ( except
attorneys for Google for the purpose of receiving legal advice) for a period of one year unless
otherwise ordered by the Court.
Date 41/Y>lf
THE HONORABLE BERYL A. HOWELL
CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Page 2 of2
Case 1:19-mc-00029-CRC Document 29-7 Filed 04/28/20 Page 4 of 35
AO 106 (Rev. 04/10) Application for a Search Warrant
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
In the Matter of the Search of
(Briefly describe the property to be searched
or identify the person by name and address)
for the
District of Columbia
MA\t !,
•'II·\! • ·r 2018
,,t,c,rk, U.S. District & Bankruptcy
C . ,,gurt~ lar 1hli-•D1strlctof Gollf/nh]•
ase.1:18-sc-01518 ·'
Ass!gned To: Howell, Beryl A
INFORMATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE GOOGLE
ACCOUNT
)
)
)
)
)
)
Assign. Date: 5;412018 ·
Description: Search & Seizure Warrant
APPLICATION FOR A SEARCH WARRANT
I, a federal law enforcement officer or an attorney for the government, request a search warrant and state under
penalty of perjury that I have reason to believe that on the following person or property (identify the person or describe the
property to be searched and give ifs location):
See Attachment A.
located in the Northern District of _____ C,-_a-,.l"'if.=o,..rn~ia.._ __ , there is now concealed (identijj, the
person or describe the property to be seized):
See Attachment B.
The basis for the search under Fed. R. Crim. P. 4 l(c) is (check one or more):
~ evidence of a crime;
ief contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed;
r'lf property designed for use, intended for use, or used in committing a crime;
D a person to be arrested or a person who is unlawfully restrained.
The search is related to a violation of:
Code Section
18 U.S.C. § 2
· et al.
The application is based on these facts:
See attached Affidavit.
r;/ Continued on the attached sheet.
Offense Description
aiding and abetting
see attached affidavit
D Delayed notice of __ days (give exact ending date if more than 30 days: ______ ) is requested
under 18 U.S.C. § 3103a, the basis of which is set forth on the attached sheet.
~44 Reviewed by AUSA/SAUSA: Appbcant's signature
•Aaron Zelinsky (Special Counsel's Office) Andrew Mitchell, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI
Printed name and title
Sworn to before me and signed in my presence.
Date:
City and state: Washington, D.C. Hon. Beryl A. Howell, Chief U.S. District Judge
Printed name and title
Case 1:19-mc-00029-CRC Document 29-7 Filed 04/28/20 Page 5 of 35
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
MAY ·· ti 1018
Clerk, LLS. District & Bar1i

#1 and adds this:

Laura Rozen
@lrozen
Profile picture
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1255347751153434624.html
Apr 29th 2020, 5 tweets, 2 min read
Stone arranged for meeting, but said in later email that a "fiasco" ensued after the associate brought a foreign military officer along
Unroll available on Thread Reader

https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1255344430443347969

On Aug.20, 2016, CORSI told STONE they
needed to meet w/[ ] to determine "what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct"courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco
huh courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco
courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco
(One PM in Rome on June 27 2016 was Netanyahu) mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/

Copy of FBI docs, including this, are linked at: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EWvp-fZWkAECFaN.jpg

leveymg on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 9:54am
The entire FBI affidavit supporting the FBI seizure order and

@leveymg request for sealing of the record -- Case 1:19-mc-00029-CRC Document 29-7 Filed 04/28/20 Pages 3 to 35 for those who want to read for themselves:

Judge's signature
Hon. Bery[ A. Howell, Chief U.S. District Judge

Printed name and title

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Glcrk, LL$. District & Bar1kruptcy
Gourts tor tirn District of ColumtHa

IN THE MATTER OF THE SEARCH OF INFORMATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE GOOGLE ACCOUNT

Case: 1:18-sc-01518
Ass!gned To : Howell, BerylA Assign. Date : S/4/20 18
Description: Search & S izure Warrant

AFFIDAVIT IN SUPPORT OF AN APPLICATION FOR A SEARCH WARRANT

I, Andrew Mitchell, having been first duly sworn, hereby depose and state as follows:

1. I make this affidavit in support of an application for a search warrant for

information associated with the following Google Account: (hereafter

the "Target Account 1"), that is stored at premises owned, maintained, controlled or operated by Google, Inc., a social networking company headquartered in Mountain View, California ("Google"). The information to be searched is described in the following paragraphs and in Attachments A and B. This affidavit is made in support of an application for a search warrant under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2703(a), 2703(b)(l)(A) and 2703(c)(l)(A)to require Google to disclose to the government copies of the information (including the content of communications) further described in Attachment A. Upon receipt of the information described. in Attachment A, government"authorized persons will review that information to locate the items described in Attachment B.
2. I am a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and have been since 2011. As a Special Agent of the FBI, I have received training and experience in investigating criminal and national security matters.
3. The facts in this affidavit come from my personal observations, my training and experience, and information obtained from other agents and witnesses. This affidavit is intended

to show merely that there is sufficient probable cause for the requested warrant and does not set fotth all of my knowledge about this matter.
4. Based on my training and experience and the facts as set forth in this affidavit, there is probable cause to believe that the Target Accounts contain communications relevant to violations of 18 U.S.C. § 2 (aiding and abetting), 18 U.S.C. § 3 (accessory after the fact), 18
U.S.C. § 4 (misprision of a felony), 18 U.S.C. § 371 (conspiracy), 18 U.S.C. § 1001 (making a

false statement); 18 U.S.C. §1651 (pe1jury); 18 U.S.C. § 1030 (unauthodzed access of a protected computer); 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (wire fraud), 18 U.S.C. § 1349 (attempt and conspiracy to commit wire fraud), , and 52 U.S.C. § 30121 (foreign contribution ban) (the "Subject
Offenses"). 1

5. As set forth below, in May 2016, Jerome CORSI provided contact information for
that there was an "OCTOBER SURPRISE COMING" and that Trump, ''[i]s going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intel." In that same time period, STONE communicated directly via Twitter with WikiLeaks, Julian ASSANGE, and Guccifer 2.0. On July 25, 2016, STONE emailed instructions to Jerome CORSI to "Get to Assange" in person at the Ecuadorian Embassy and "get pending WikiLeaks emails[.]" On August 2, 2016, CORSI emailed STONE back that,"Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps. One shortly after I1m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging." On August 20, 2016, CORSI told STONE that they
needed to meet o determine "what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct."

1 Federal law prohibits a foreign national from making, directly or indirectly, an expenditure or independent expenditure in connection with federal elections. 52 U.S.C. § 3012l(a)(l)(C); see also id. § 30101(9) & (17) (defining the terms "expenditure" and "independent expenditure").

(the Target Account) is le Account, which

sed to communicate with STONE and CORSI.

JURISDICTION

6. This Court has jurisdiction to issue the requested warrant because it is "a court of competent jurisdiction" as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 2711. Id. §§ 2703(a), (b)(l)(A), & (c)(l)(A). Specifically, the Court is "a district court of the United State (including a magistrate judge of such a court) ... that has jurisqiction over the offense being investigated." 18 U.S.C.
§ 2711(3)(A)(i). The offense conduct included activities in Washington, D.C., as detailed below, including in paragraph 8.
PROBABLE CAUSE

A. U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) Assessment of Russian Government­ Backed Hacking Activity during the 2016 Presidential Election

7. On October 7, 2016, the U.S. Depa1tment of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a joint statement of an intelligence assessment of Russian activities and intentions during the 2016 presidential election. In the report, the USIC assessed the following, with emphasis added:
8. The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e mails frorri US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures

#1 and adds this:

Laura Rozen
@lrozen
Profile picture
https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1255347751153434624.html
Apr 29th 2020, 5 tweets, 2 min read
Stone arranged for meeting, but said in later email that a "fiasco" ensued after the associate brought a foreign military officer along
Unroll available on Thread Reader

https://twitter.com/kyledcheney/status/1255344430443347969

On Aug.20, 2016, CORSI told STONE they
needed to meet w/[ ] to determine "what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct"courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco
huh courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco
courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco
(One PM in Rome on June 27 2016 was Netanyahu) mfa.gov.il/MFA/PressRoom/

Copy of FBI docs, including this, are linked at: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EWvp-fZWkAECFaN.jpg

[May 03, 2020] Realignment and Legitimacy: taking even larger chuck of the labor movement out of the Democrat orbit would be interesting.

May 03, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Third Party:

Here is what is real.

The Democratic Party elite doesn't care what we think. So all of the work that we do and have done around them is pretty much self torture.

We only will make a difference when we make ourselves a genuine #3rdparty collective voice. And it will be fun.

-- RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) May 1, 2020

By the midterms:

Fundamentally, we need a progressive 3rd party.

I am willing to spend the rest of my life working for that.

And yes, November is a massive problem.

I just don't ever want to be here again with bad choices in my lifetime.

We should prepare for a #3rdParty for the midterms.

-- RoseAnn DeMoro (@RoseAnnDeMoro) April 30, 2020

The other players would seem to be DSA and the Greens, and I'm not sure what they would think of this. But taking a big chuck of the labor movement out of the Democrat orbit would be interesting. Especially considering that nurses are as well-liked as, say, firefighters.

[Apr 19, 2020] Plutocratic Primary Challenger

Apr 19, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

shinola , April 16, 2020 at 3:34 pm

From The Intercept article "Wall Street Titans Finance Democratic Primary Challenger To Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez"

"Freedom and democracy are best secured when banking secrecy and tax havens exist," Caruso-Cabrera wrote.

"Plutocratic Primary Challenger" would be more apropos.

edmondo , April 16, 2020 at 7:23 pm

MCC is married to a VC multi-millionaire. To have hubby's business friends throw a couple hundred grand at her is unsurprising. It's kind of like when your kid has to sell chocolate bars so the marching band to go to the Thanksgiving Day parade. I doubt she'll get a thousand votes. It's a lark and great fun to talk about over cocktails with the other Masters of the Universe.

But then again Claire Booth Luce was a Congressperson but she had the good taste to run in Connecticut not the Bronx.

[Apr 17, 2020] "Neofeudalism by design" is today's Keiser Report Mantra--Max and Stacy present an excellent argument that tries to inform people about what I call the Money Power,

Apr 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 15 2020 23:23 utc | 76

teatree @71--

I see you're busy spreading BigLies. Please, jump out of your tree onto your head. Thanks.

"Neofeudalism by design" is today's Keiser Report Mantra --Max and Stacy present an excellent argument that tries to inform people about what I call the Money Power, which is the collective term for the Central Bank and the "Princely Class" within the Outlaw US Empire. And their critique about Sanders, Biden and "Progressives" I agree with 100%.

Become enlightened and watch at the link.

[Apr 17, 2020] Declassified Horowitz Footnotes Show Obama Officials Knew Steele Dossier Was Russian Disinfo Designed To Target Trump Zero He

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com, ..."
"... "Having reviewed the matter, and having consulted the heads of the relevant Intelligence Community elements, I have declassified the enclosed footnotes." ..."
"... , and that they were the product of RIS (Russian Intelligence Services) ..."
Apr 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,

Systemic FBI Effort To Legitimize Steele and Use His Information To Target POTUS

Newly declassified footnotes from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz's December FBI report reveals that senior Obama officials, including members of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane team knew the dossier compiled by a former British spy during the 2016 election was Russian disinformation to target President Donald Trump.

Further, the partially declassified footnotes reveal that those senior intelligence officials were aware of the disinformation when they included the dossier in the Obama administration's Intelligence Communities Assessment (ICA).

As important, the footnotes reveal that there had been a request to validate information collected by British spy Christopher Steele as far back as 2015, and that there was concern among members of the FBI and intelligence community about his reliability. Those concerns were brushed aside by members of the Crossfire Hurricane team in their pursuit against the Trump campaign officials, according to sources who spoke to this reporter and the footnotes.

The explosive footnotes were partially declassified and made public Wednesday, after a lengthy review by the Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell's office. Grenell sent the letter Wednesday releasing the documents to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and Sen. Ron Johnson, R- Wisconsin, both who requested the declassification.

"Having reviewed the matter, and having consulted the heads of the relevant Intelligence Community elements, I have declassified the enclosed footnotes." Grenell consulted with DOJ Attorney General William Barr on the declassification of the documents.

Grassley and Johnson released a statement late Wednesday stating "as we can see from these now-declassified footnotes in the IG's report, Russian intelligence was aware of the dossier before the FBI even began its investigation and the FBI had reports in hand that their central piece of evidence was most likely tainted with Russian disinformation."

"Thanks to Attorney General Barr's and Acting Director Grenell's declassification of the footnotes, we know the FBI's justification to target an American Citizen was riddled with significant flaws," the Senator stated. "Inspector General Michael Horowitz and his team did what neither the FBI nor Special Counsel Mueller cared to do: examine and investigate corruption at the FBI, the sources of the Steele dossier, how it was disseminated, and reporting that it contained Russian disinformation."

The Footnotes

A U.S. Official familiar with the investigation into the FBI told this reporter that the footnotes "clearly show that the FBI team was or should have had been aware that the Russian Intelligence Services was trying to influence Steele's reporting in the summer of 2016, and that there were some preferences for Hillary; and that this RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] sourced information being fed to Steele was designed to hurt Trump."

The official noted these new revelations also "undermines the ICA on Russian Interference and the intent to help Trump. It undermines the FISA warrants and there should not have been a Mueller investigation."

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/456702034/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-FfQY6LojXtyOnkGw6OiJ

Russian's Appeared To Have Preferred Clinton

The footnotes also reveal a startling fact that go against Brennan's assessment that Russia was vying for Trump, when in fact, the Russians appeared to be hopeful of a Clinton presidency.

"The FBI received information in June, 2017 which revealed that, among other things, there were personal and business ties between the sub-source and Steele's Primary Sub-source, contacts between the sub-source and an individual in the Russian Presidential Administration in June/July 2016 [redacted] and the sub source voicing strong support for candidate Clinton in the 2016 U.S. election. The Supervisory Intel Analyst told us that the FBI did not have a Section 702 vicarage on any other Steele sub-source."

Steele's Lies

The complete four pages of the partially redacted footnotes paint a clear picture of the alleged malfeasance committed by former FBI Director James Comey, former DNI James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, who were all aware of the concerns regarding the information supplied by former British spy Christopher Steele in the dossier. Steele, who was hired by the private embattled research firm Fusion GPS, was paid for his work through the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The FBI also paid for Steele's work before ending its confidential source relationship with him but then used Obama DOJ Official Bruce Ohr as a go between to continue obtaining information from the former spy.

In footnote 205, for instance, payment documents show that Steele lied about not being a Confidential Human Source.

"During his time as an FBI CHS, Steele received a total of $95,000 from the FBI," the footnote states. "We reviewed the FBI paperwork for those payments, each of which required Steele's Signed acknowledgement. On each document, of which there were eight, was the caption 'CHS payment' and 'CHS Payment Name.' A signature page was missing for one of the payments."

Footnote 350

In footnote 350, Horowitz describes the questionable Russian disinformation and the FBI's reliance on the information to target the Trump campaign as an attempt to build a narrative that campaign officials colluded with Russia. Further, the timeline reveals that Comey, Brennan and Clapper were aware of the disinformation by Russian intelligence when they briefed then President-elect Trump in January, 2017 on the Steele dossier.

"[redacted] In addition to the information in Steele's Delta file documenting Steele's frequent contacts with representatives for multiple Russian oligarchs, we identified reporting the Crossfire Hurricane team received from [redacted] indicating the potential for Russian disinformation influencing Steele' election reporting," stated the partially declassified footnote 350. "A January 12, 2017 report relayed information from [redacted] outlining an inaccuracy in a limited subset of Steele's reporting about the activities of Michael Cohen. The [redacted] stated that it did not have high confidence in this subset of Steele's reporting and assessed that the referenced subset was part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations.

A second report from the same [redacted] five days later stated that a person named in the limited subset of Steele's reporting had denied representations in the reporting and the [redacted] assessed that the person's denials were truthful. A USIC report dated February 27, 2017, contained information about an individual with reported connections to Trump and Russia who claimed that the public reporting about the details of Trump's sexual activities in Moscow during a trip in 2013 were false , and that they were the product of RIS (Russian Intelligence Services) 'infiltrate[ing] a source into the network' of a [redacted] who compiled a dossier of that individual on Trump's activities. The [redacted] noted that it had no information indicating that the individual had special access to RIS activities or information," according to the partially declassified footnote.

Looming Questions

Another concern regarding Steele's unusual activity is found in footnote 210, which states "as we discuss in Chapter Six, members of the Crossfire Hurricane Team were unaware of Steele's connections to Russian Oligarch 1."

The question remains that "Steele's unusual activity with 10 oligarch's led the FBI to seek a validation review in 2015 but one was not started until 2017," said the U.S. Official to this reporter. "Why not? Was Crossfire Hurricane aware of these concerns? Was the court made aware of these concerns? Didn't the numerous notes about sub sources and sources having links or close ties to Russian intelligence so why didn't this set off alarm bells?"

More alarming, it's clear, Supervisory Intelligence Agent Jonathan Moffa says in June 17, that he was not aware of reports that Russian Intelligence Services was aware of Steele's election reporting and influence efforts.

"However, he should have been given the reporting by UCIS" which the U.S. Official says, goes back to summer 2016.

Footnote 342 makes it clear that "in late January, 2017, a member of the Crossfire Hurricane team received information [redacted] that RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] may have targeted Orbis."

[Apr 17, 2020] Barr just said the Russia collusion probe was a travesty, had no basis and was intended to sabotage Trump.

Highly recommended!
Apr 17, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. US Attorney General Barr just said the Russia collusion probe was a travesty, had no basis and was intended to sabotage Trump . All true of course. May we take this as a sign that at last (at last!) Durham is ready to go with indictments? Or will it prove to be another false alarm? There's certainly a lot to reveal: A recent investigation showed that every FISA application (warrant to spy on US citizens) examined had egregious deficiencies. It's not just Trump.

MEANINGLESSNESS. Remember the Steele dossier? Now it's being spun as Russian disinformation . So we're now supposed to believe that Putin smeared Trump because he really wanted Clinton to win? Gosh, that Putin guy is so clever that it's impossible to figure out what he's doing!

COVID BLAME I. Back in the day I read a certain amount of Soviet propaganda about the wicked West. And, while it was quite often over the top, pretty monotonous and probably – judging from what ex-Soviets have told me – not all that effective in the long run, it usually had, buried deep inside, a tiny kernel of reality. Western anti-Russia propaganda, on the other hand, is nothing but free-association nonsense. Take the NYT's latest: the headline alone tells you it's crap: " Putin's Long War Against American Science: A decade of health disinformation promoted by President Vladimir Putin of Russia has sown wide confusion, hurt major institutions and encouraged the spread of deadly illnesses ." Another difference was that Soviet propaganda at least ran on the assumption that the Soviet system was preferable: this, on the other hand, is a pitiful attempt to blame the US COVID failure on somebody else. Nonetheless, this is not rock-bottom for the NYT's anti-Russian fantasies: that target was hit a couple of years ago with " Trump and Putin: A Love Story ". (But, the goalposts keep moving: if you accuse a Dem of Trumpish grabbing, you're probably a Putinbot .) I guess it will only get more: " The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters ."

COVID BLAME II. Maybe it's not Putin or Xi who's to blame: maybe it's your own propaganda outlet: " VOA too often speaks for America's adversaries -- not its citizens... VOA has instead amplified Beijing's propaganda. "

[Apr 15, 2020] Elizabeth Warren Endorses Biden

Apr 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Her endorsement of Biden comes one day after former President Obama finally backed the former VP after months of remaining in the shadows.

Things sure do change fast in Washington...

Just six weeks ago, Elizabeth Warren attacked Joe Biden as a "Washington insider" backed by "Washington insiders."

"Nominating a man who says we do not need any fundamental change in this country will not meet this moment," she said. pic.twitter.com/eXsByQUKIQ

-- Trump War Room - Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) April 15, 2020

[Apr 07, 2020] Three big claims of 'Russian disinformation' and 'Russian trolls/bots' on social media.

Apr 07, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

John A , April 7, 2020 at 04:09

Over the last week, there have, to my knowledge, been three big claims of 'Russian disinformation' and 'Russian trolls/bots' on social media.
1. Last week, Russian equipment and support sent to Italy to help fight Covid-19. Nato stenographers claim and spread the disinformation that '80% of the equipment was useless', citing one anonymous source. Total lies.

2. Swedish minister claims social media campaign against a 5G network in Sweden is run by russian trolls. Turns out it is a 64 year old grandmother living in Stockholm who is behind the campaign.

3. Yesterday afternoon, russia media report, according to a National Health Service source, Boris Johnson is on a ventilator in hospital. Utter nonsense say MSM, Russian disinformation. Overnight headlines in British media – Boris in intensive care.

The western media are so totally venally corrupt in serving the 1% yet get found out in their lies time after time and yet carry on. I try to read as many different media as possible, but have no doubt, which are more credible, and it aint NATO stenographers

AnneR , April 7, 2020 at 14:33

Yes, John A. Truly there is something warped about the western ruling elites' mindset. But I guess they have to have a bugaboo and Russia (then China, sometimes Iran and others) is the primary, western created, go-to one. Even among those who did not grow up, or were only young, during the cold war.

I am only thankful that, despite my father's Tory politics (all but regarding the land, which he believed should be nationalized and 50 acres given to every male [well, he was sexist]; an curious, decidedly not Tory viewpoint) the USSR as was then never was on either his or my mother's agenda. Indeed, we used to watch with much pleasure the Red Army choir, once we got a television (not till 1958, when I was 10), which toured the UK, I *think*

No ducking under school desks. Nor any other weird thing

[Mar 27, 2020] Senior officials in the Trump administration agreed to new measures to restrict the global supply of chips to China's Huawei Technologies, sources familiar with the matter said, as the White House ramps up criticism of China over coronavirus.

Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , Mar 26 2020 21:56 utc | 66

Is the troop deployment along the Canadian border is to stop anyone interfering in the coming chaos?

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 26 2020 20:34 utc | 36

You have a point there --the coming chaos after the COVID-19 Health crisis.

Wondering if Trudeau knows about the fences that were erected this morning?

Maybe I missed Trump's tweet on his declaration of War.

- He has imposed more sanctions on Iranians.
- Indicted Maduro of Venezuela on narco trafficking, sponsor of terrorism; placed a $15 million bounty on his head --straight from the Panama playbook.

and this beauty - continues his trade war on China because -----

Exclusive: U.S. prepares crackdown on Huawei's global chip supply - sources

(Reuters) - Senior officials in the Trump administration agreed to new measures to restrict the global supply of chips to China's Huawei Technologies, sources familiar with the matter said, as the White House ramps up criticism of China over coronavirus.

The move comes as ties between Washington and Beijing grow more strained, with both sides trading barbs over who is to blame for the spread of the disease and an escalating tit-for-tat over the expulsion of journalists from both countries.

Under the proposed rule change, foreign companies that use U.S. chipmaking equipment would be required to obtain a U.S. license before supplying certain chips to Huawei. The Chinese telecoms company was blacklisted last year, limiting the company's suppliers.[.]
"This is going to have a far more negative impact on U.S. companies than it will on Huawei, because Huawei will develop their own supply chain," trade lawyer Doug Jacobson said. "Ultimately, Huawei will find alternatives."[.]

Huawei has been doing just that - finding alternatives. Trade wars have been proven to end badly. They end up going hot.

[Mar 12, 2020] How 'Bernie Bros' Were Invented, Then Smeared as Sexist, Racist and unAmerican as Borscht by Jonathan Cook

Looks like DNC run a pretty sophisticated smear campaign against Sanders ...
Notable quotes:
"... It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities ..."
"... The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The Democratic presidential nomination race is a fascinating case study in how power works – not least, because the Democratic party leaders are visibly contriving to impose one candidate, Joe Biden, as the party's nominee, even as it becomes clear that he is no longer mentally equipped to run a local table tennis club let alone the world's most powerful nation.

Biden's campaign is a reminder that power is indivisible. Donald Trump or Joe Biden for president – it doesn't matter to the power-establishment. An egomaniacal man-child (Trump), representing the billionaires, or an elder suffering rapid neurological degeneration (Biden), representing the billionaires, are equally useful to power. A woman will do too, or a person of colour. The establishment is no longer worried about who stands on stage – so long as that person is not a Bernie Sanders in the US, or a Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities. What concerns it far more is that we might overcome those divisions and unify against it, withdrawing our consent from an establishment committed to endless asset-stripping of our societies and the planet.

Neither Biden nor Trump will obstruct the establishment, because they are at its very heart. The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power.

Although a pretty face or a way with words are desirable, incapacity and incompetence are no barrier to qualifying, as the two white men groomed by their respective parties demonstrate. Both have proved they will favour the establishment, both will pursue near-enough the same policies , both are committed to the status quo, both have demonstrated their indifference to the future of life on Earth. What separates the candidates is not real substance, but presentation styles – the creation of the appearance of difference, of choice.

Policing the debate

The subtle dynamics of how the Democratic nomination race is being rigged are interesting. Especially revealing are the ways the Democratic leadership protects establishment power by policing the terms of debate: what can be said, and what can be thought; who gets to speak and whose voices are misrepresented or demonised. Manipulation of language is key.

As I pointed out in my previous post , the establishment's power derives from its invisibility. Scrutiny is kryptonite to power.

The only way we can interrogate power is through language, and the only way we can communicate our conclusions to others is through words – as I am doing right now. And therefore our strength – our ability to awaken ourselves from the trance of power – must be subverted by the establishment, transformed into our Achilles' heel, a weakness.

The treatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters by the Democratic establishment – and those who eagerly repeat its talking points – neatly illustrates how this can be done in manifold ways.

Remember this all started back in 2016, when Sanders committed the unforgivable sin of challenging the Democratic leadership's right simply to anoint Hillary Clinton as the party's presidential candidate. In those days, the fault line was obvious and neat: Bernie was a man, Clinton a woman. She would be the first woman president. The only party members who might wish to deny her that historic moment, and back Sanders instead, had to be misogynist men. They were supposedly venting their anti-women grudge against Clinton, who in turn was presented to women as a symbol of their oppression by men.

And so was born a meme: the "Bernie Bros". It rapidly became shorthand for suggesting – contrary to all evidence – that Sanders' candidacy appealed chiefly to angry, entitled white men. In fact, as Sanders' 2020 run has amply demonstrated, support for him has been more diverse than for the many other Democratic candidates who sought the nomination.

So important what @ewarren is saying to @maddow about the dangerous, threatening, ugly faction among the Bernie supporters. Sanders either cannot or will not control them. pic.twitter.com/LYDXlLJ7bi

-- Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 6, 2020

How contrived the 2016 identity-fuelled contest was should have been clear, had anyone been allowed to point that fact out. This wasn't really about the Democratic leadership respecting Clinton's identity as a woman. It was about them paying lip service to her identity as a woman, while actually promoting her because she was a reliable warmonger and Wall Street functionary . She was useful to power.

If the debate had really been driven by identity politics, Sanders had a winning card too: he is Jewish. That meant he could be the United States' first Jewish president. In a fair identity fight, it would have been a draw between the two. The decision about who should represent the Democratic party would then have had to be decided based on policies, not identity. But party leaders did not want Clinton's actual policies, or her political history, being put under the microscope for very obvious reasons.

Weaponisation of identity

The weaponisation of identity politics is even more transparent in 2020. Sanders is still Jewish, but his main opponent, Joe Biden, really is simply a privileged white man. Were the Clinton format to be followed again by Democratic officials, Sanders would enjoy an identity politics trump card. And yet Sanders is still being presented as just another white male candidate , no different from Biden.

(We could take this argument even further and note that the other candidate who no one, least of all the Democratic leadership, ever mentions as still in the race is Tulsi Gabbard, a woman of colour. The Democratic party has worked hard to make her as invisible as possible in the primaries because, of all the candidates, she is the most vocal and articulate opponent of foreign wars. That has deprived her of the chance to raise funds and win delegates.)

. @DanaPerino I'm not quite sure why you're telling FOX viewers that Elizabeth Warren is the last female candidate in the Dem primary. Is it because you believe a fake indigenous woman of color is "real" and the real indigenous woman of color in this race is fake? pic.twitter.com/VKCxy2JzFe

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 3, 2020

Sanders' Jewish identity isn't celebrated because he isn't useful to the power-establishment. What's far more important to them – and should be to us too – are his policies, which might limit their power to wage war, exploit workers and trash the planet.

But it is not just that Democratic Party leaders are ignoring Sanders' Jewish identity. They are also again actively using identity politics against him, and in many different ways.

The 'black' establishment?

Bernie Sanders' supporters have been complaining for some time – based on mounting evidence – that the Democratic leadership is far from neutral between Sanders and Biden. Because it has a vested interest in the outcome, and because it is the part of the power-establishment, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is exercising its influence in favour of Biden. And because power prefers darkness, the DNC is doing its best to exercise that power behind the scenes, out of sight – at least, unseen by those who still rely on the "mainstream" corporate media, which is also part of the power-establishment. As should be clear to anyone watching, the nomination proceedings are being controlled to give Biden every advantage and to obstruct Sanders.

But the Democratic leadership is not only dismissing out of hand these very justified complaints from Bernie Sanders' supporters but also turning these complaints against them, as further evidence of their – and his – illegitimacy. A new way of doing this emerged in the immediate wake of Biden winning South Carolina on the back of strong support from older black voters – Biden's first state win and a launchpad for his Super Tuesday bid a few days later.

It was given perfect expression from Symone Sanders, who despite her surname is actually a senior adviser to Biden's campaign. She is also black. This is what she wrote: "People who keep referring to Black voters as 'the establishment' are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing."

People who keep referring to Black voters as "the establishment" are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing.

-- Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 3, 2020

Her reference to generic "people" was understood precisely by both sides of the debate as code for those "Bernie Bros". Now, it seems, Bernie Sanders' supporters are not simply misogynists, they are potential recruits to the Ku Klux Klan.

The tweet went viral, even though in the fiercely contested back-and-forth below her tweet no one could produce a single example of anyone actually saying anything like the sentiment ascribed by Symone Sanders to "Bernie Bros". But then, tackling bigotry was not her real goal. This wasn't meant to be a reflection on a real-world talking-point by Bernie supporters. It was high-level gaslighting by a senior Democratic party official of the party's own voters.

Survival of the fittest smear

What Symone Sanders was really trying to do was conceal power – the fact that the DNC is seeking to impose its chosen candidate on party members. As occurred during the confected women-men, Clinton vs "Bernie Bros" confrontation, Symone Sanders was field-testing a similar narrative management tool as part of the establishment's efforts to hone it for improved effect. The establishment has learnt – through a kind of survival of the fittest smear – that divide-and-rule identity politics is the perfect way to shield its influence as it favours a status-quo candidate (Biden or Clinton) over a candidate seen as a threat to its power (Sanders).

In her tweet, Symone Sanders showed exactly how the power elite seeks to obscure its toxic role in our societies. She neatly conflated "the establishment" – of which she is a very small, but well-paid component – with ordinary "black voters". Her message is this: should you try to criticise the establishment (which has inordinate power to damage lives and destroy the planet) we will demonise you, making it seem that you are really attacking black people (who in the vast majority of cases – though Symone Sanders is a notable exception – wield no power at all).

Symone Sanders has recruited her own blackness and South Carolina's "black voters" as a ring of steel to protect the establishment. Cynically, she has turned poor black people, as well as the tens of thousands of people (presumably black and white) who liked her tweet, into human shields for the establishment.

It sounds a lot uglier put like that. But it has rapidly become a Biden talking-point, as we can see here:

NEW: @JoeBiden responds to @berniesanders saying the "establishment" is trying to defeat him.

"The establishment are all those hardworking, middle class people, those African Americans they are the establishment!" @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/43Q2Nci5sS

-- Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) March 4, 2020

The DNC's wider strategy is to confer on Biden exclusive rights to speak for black voters (despite his inglorious record on civil rights issues) and, further, to strip Sanders and his senior black advisers of any right to do so. When Sanders protests about this, or about racist behaviour from the Biden camp, Biden's supporters come out in force and often abusively, though of course no one is upbraiding them for their ugly, violent language. Here is the famous former tennis player Martina Navratilova showing that maybe we should be talking about "Biden Bros":

Sanders is starting to really piss me off. Just shut this kind of crap down and debate the issues. This is not it.

-- Martina Navratilova (@Martina) March 6, 2020

Being unkind to billionaires

This kind of special pleading by the establishment for the establishment – using those sections of it, such as Symone Sanders, that can tap into the identity politics zeitgeist – is far more common than you might imagine. The approach is being constantly refined, often using social media as the ultimate focus group. Symone Sanders' successful conflation of the establishment with "black voters" follows earlier, clumsier efforts by the establishment to protect its interests against Sanders that proved far less effective.

Billionaires should not exist. https://t.co/hgR6CeFvLa

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 24, 2019

Remember how last autumn the billionaire-owned corporate media tried to tell us that it was unkind to criticise billionaires – that they had feelings too and that speaking harshly about them was "dehumanising". Again it was aimed at Sanders, who had just commented that in a properly ordered world billionaires simply wouldn't exist. It was an obvious point: allowing a handful of people to control almost all the planet's wealth was not only depriving the rest of us of that wealth (and harming the planet) but it gave those few billionaires way too much power. They could buy all the media, our channels of communication, and most of the politicians to ringfence their financial interests, gradually eroding even the most minimal democratic protections.

That campaign died a quick death because few of us are actually brainwashed enough to accept the idea that a handful of billionaires share an identity that needs protecting – from us! Most of us are still connected enough to the real world to understand that billionaires are more than capable of looking out for their own interests, without our helping them by imposing on ourselves a vow of silence.

But one cannot fault the power-establishment for being constantly inventive in the search for new ways to stifle our criticisms of the way it unilaterally exercises its power. The Democratic nomination race is testing such ingenuity to the limits. Here's a new rule against "hateful conduct" on Twitter, where Biden's neurological deficit is being subjected to much critical scrutiny through the sharing of dozens of videos of embarrassing Biden "senior moments".

Twitter expanding its hateful conduct rules "to include language that dehumanizes on the basis of age, disability or disease." https://t.co/KmWGaNAG9Z

-- Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) March 5, 2020

Yes, disability and age are identities too. And so, on the pretext of protecting and respecting those identities, social media can now be scrubbed of anything and anyone trying to highlight the mental deficiencies of an old man who might soon be given the nuclear codes and would be responsible for waging wars in the name of Americans. Twitter is full of comments denouncing as "ableist" anyone who tries to highlight how the Democratic leadership is foisting a cognitively challenged Biden on to the party.

Maybe the Dem insiders are all wrong, but it's true that they are saying it. Some are saying it out loud, including Castro at the debate and Booker here: https://t.co/0lbi7RFRqG

-- Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 6, 2020

Russian 'agents' and 'assets'

None of this is to overlook the fact that another variation of identity politics has been weaponised against Sanders: that of failing to be an "American" patriot. Again illustrating how closely the Democratic and Republican leaderships' interests align, the question of who is a patriot – and who is really working for the "Russians" – has been at the heart of both parties' campaigns, though for different reasons.

Trump has been subjected to endless, evidence-free claims that he is a secret "Russian agent" in a concerted effort to control his original isolationist foreign policy impulses that might have stripped the establishment – and its military-industrial wing – of the right to wage wars of aggression, and revive the Cold War, wherever it believes a profit can be made under cover of "humanitarian intervention". Trump partly inoculated himself against these criticisms, at least among supporters, with his "Make America Great Again" slogan, and partly by learning – painfully for such an egotist – that his presidential role was to rubber-stamp decisions made elsewhere about waging wars and projecting US power.

I'm just amazed by this tweet, which has been tweeted plenty. Did @_nalexander and all the people liking this not know that Mueller laid out in the indictments of a number of Russians and in his report their help on social media to Sanders and Trump. Help Sanders has acknowledged https://t.co/vuc0lmvvKP

-- Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 8, 2019

Bernie Sanders has faced similar smear efforts by the establishment, including by the DNC's last failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – in his case, painting him as a "Russian asset". ("Asset" is a way to suggest collusion with the Kremlin based on even more flimsy evidence than is needed to accuse someone of being an agent.) In fact, in a world where identity politics wasn't simply a tool to be weaponised by the establishment, there would be real trepidation about engaging in this kind of invective against a Jewish socialist.

One of the far-right's favourite antisemitic tropes – promoted ever since the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion more than 100 years ago – is that Jewish "Bolsheviks" are involved in an international conspiracy to subvert the countries they live in. We have reached the point now that the corporate media are happy to recycle evidence-free claims, cited by the Washington Post, from anonymous "US officials" and US intelligence agencies reinventing a US version of the Protocols against Sanders. And these smears have elicited not a word of criticism from the Democratic leadership nor from the usual antisemitism watchdogs that are so ready to let rip over the slightest signs of what they claim to be antisemitism on the left.

But the urgency of dealing with Sanders may be the reason normal conventions have been discarded. Sanders isn't a loud-mouth egotist like Trump. A vote for Trump is a vote for the establishment, if for one of its number who pretends to be against the establishment. Trump has been largely tamed in time for a second term. By contrast, Sanders, like Corbyn in the UK, is more dangerous because he may resist the efforts to domesticate him, and because if he is allowed any significant measure of political success – such as becoming a candidate for president – it may inspire others to follow in his footsteps. The system might start to throw up more anomalies, more AOCs and more Ilhan Omars.

So Sanders is now being cast, like Trump, as a puppet of the Kremlin, not a true American. And because he made the serious mistake of indulging the "Russiagate" smears when they were used against Trump, Sanders now has little defence against their redeployment against him. And given that, by the impoverished standards of US political culture, he is considered an extreme leftist, it has been easy to conflate his democratic socialism with Communism, and then conflate his supposed Communism with acting on behalf of the Kremlin (which, of course, ignores the fact that Russia long ago abandoned Communism).

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Let me tell this to Putin -- the American people, whether Republicans, Democrats, independents are sick and tired of seeing Russia and other countries interfering in our elections." pic.twitter.com/ejcP7YVFlt

-- The Hill (@thehill) February 21, 2020

Antisemitism smear at the ready

There is a final use of weaponised identity politics that the Democratic establishment would dearly love to use against Sanders, if they need to and can get away with it. It is the most toxic brand – and therefore the most effective – of the identity-based smears, and it has been extensively field-tested in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn to great success. The DNC would like to denounce Sanders as an antisemite.

In fact, only one thing has held them back till now: the fact that Sanders is Jewish. That may not prove an insuperable obstacle, but it does make it much harder to make the accusation look credible. The other identity-based smears had been a second-best, a make-do until a way could be found to unleash the antisemitism smear.

The establishment has been testing the waters with implied accusations of antisemitism against Sanders for a while, but their chances were given a fillip recently when Sanders refused to participate in the annual jamboree of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent lobby group whose primary mission is to ringfence Israel from criticism in the US. Both the Republican and Democratic establishments turn out in force to the AIPAC conference, and in the past the event has attracted keynote speeches from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

But Sanders has refused to attend for decades and maintained that stance this month, even though he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination. In the last primaries debate, Sanders justified his decision by rightly calling Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "racist" and by describing AIPAC as providing a platform "for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights".

Trump's Vice-President, Mike Pence, responded that Sanders supported "Israel's enemies" and, if elected, would be the "most anti-Israel president in the history of this nation" – all coded suggestions that Sanders is antisemitic.

But that's Mike Pence. More useful criticism came from billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is himself Jewish and was until last week posing as a Democrat to try to win the party's nomination. Bloomberg accused Sanders of using dehumanising language against a bunch of inclusive identities that, he improbably suggested, AIPAC represents. He claimed :

"This is a gathering of 20,000 Israel supporters of every religious denomination, ethnicity, faith, color, sexual identity and political party. Calling it a racist platform is an attempt to discredit those voices, intimidate people from coming here, and weaken the US-Israel relationship."

Where might this head? At the AIPAC conference last week we were given a foretaste. Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the UK and a friend to Conservative government leader Boris Johnson, was warmly greeted by delegates, including leading members of the Democratic establishment. He boasted that he and other Jewish leaders in the UK had managed to damage Jeremy Corbyn's electoral chances by suggesting that he was an antisemite over his support, like Sanders, for Palestinian rights.

His own treatment of Corbyn, he argued, offered a model for US Jewish organisations to replicate against any leadership contender who might pose similar trouble for Israel, leaving it for his audience to pick up the not-so-subtle hint about who needed to be subjected to character assassination.

WATCH: "Today I issue a call to the Jews of America, please take a leaf out of our book and please speak with one voice."

The Chief Rabbi speaking to the 18,000 delegates gathered at the @AIPAC General Session at their Policy Conference in Washington DC pic.twitter.com/BOkan9RA2O

-- Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) March 3, 2020

Establishment playbook

For anyone who isn't wilfully blind, the last few months have exposed the establishment playbook: it will use identity politics to divide those who might otherwise find a united voice and a common cause.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating one's identity, especially if it is under threat, maligned or marginalised. But having an attachment to an identity is no excuse for allowing it to be coopted by billionaires, by the powerful, by nuclear-armed states oppressing other people, by political parties or by the corporate media, so that they can weaponise it to prevent the weak, the poor, the marginalised from being represented.

It is time for us to wake up to the tricks, the deceptions, the manipulations of the strong that exploit our weaknesses – and make us yet weaker still. It's time to stop being a patsy for the establishment. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are " Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and " Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair " (Zed Books). His website is http://www.jonathan-cook.net/

[Mar 10, 2020] Trump's Second Term? Not Worth Freaking Out About by Ted Rall

Looks like Trump is already lame duck President. And this will not change with the elections
Notable quotes:
"... I'm not suggesting that President Trump deserves a second term. He didn't deserve a first one. He's a terrible person and an awful president. What I'm saying is that it is more likely than not that he has already done most of the damage that he can do. ..."
"... An achievement-filled second term would be a major reversal of recent historical precedent. Things may get worse under four more years of this idiot, but not much worse as the Democratic doomsday cult warns. ..."
"... I hope Obama enjoyed all those trips to Martha's Vineyard because that's pretty much all he has to show for term number two. ..."
"... George W. Bush screwed up one thing after another during his second four years in office, which was bookended by his hapless non-response to the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and his role in the ineffective and wasteful bailout of Wall Street megabanks during the subprime mortgage financial crisis. What began as an illegal war of aggression against Iraq became, after reelection, a catastrophic quagmire that destroyed America's international reputation. ..."
"... Reagan was both senile and bogged down in Iran Contra. ..."
"... "If Trump wins a second term this November," James Pethokoukis writes in The Week, Trump "might propose more tax cuts, but they are more likely to be payroll tax cuts geared toward middle-class workers instead of income tax cuts for rich people and corporations. ..."
Mar 06, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

You've heard it so often that you may well believe it's true: Trump's second term would be a disaster. For the Democratic Party. For the United States. For democracy itself. "The reelection of Donald Trump," warns Nancy Pelosi, "would do irreparable damage to the United States."

But would it really?

Exceptions are a normal part of history but the record suggests that Trump would not be one of the few presidents who get much done during their second terms. There are three reasons for the sophomore slump:

By definition, political honeymoons expire (well) before the end of a president's first term. Elections have consequences in the form of policy changes that make good on campaign promises. But turning a pledge into reality comes at a cost. Capital gets spent, promises are broken, alliances shatter. Oftentimes, those changes prove disappointing. Recent example: Obamacare. Voters often express their displeasure by punishing the party that controls the White House with losses in Congress in midterm elections.

The permanent campaign fed by the 24-7 news cycle makes lame ducks gimpier than ever. Before a president gets to take his or her second oath of office, news media and future hopefuls are already looking four years ahead.

Scandals come usually home to roost during second terms. It's tough to push laws through a Congress that is dragging your top officials through one investigation after another.

I'm not suggesting that President Trump deserves a second term. He didn't deserve a first one. He's a terrible person and an awful president. What I'm saying is that it is more likely than not that he has already done most of the damage that he can do.

Pundits and Democratic politicians have been pushing a self-serving narrative that implies that everything Trump has done so far was merely a warm-up for the main event, that he would want and be able to go even further if given the chance if November 2020 goes his way.

That doesn't make sense. Who in their right mind thinks Trump has been holding anything back? Which president has failed to go big within a year or two?

An achievement-filled second term would be a major reversal of recent historical precedent. Things may get worse under four more years of this idiot, but not much worse as the Democratic doomsday cult warns.

President Obama didn't get much done during his second term, which began with the bungled rollout of the federal and state "health exchanges." He signed the Paris climate accord, renewed diplomatic relations with Cuba and negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran. But the ease with which his successor canceled those achievements showcased both the ephemerality of policies pushed through without thorough public propaganda and a general sense that second-term laws and treaties are easy to annul. I hope Obama enjoyed all those trips to Martha's Vineyard because that's pretty much all he has to show for term number two.

George W. Bush screwed up one thing after another during his second four years in office, which was bookended by his hapless non-response to the destruction of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and his role in the ineffective and wasteful bailout of Wall Street megabanks during the subprime mortgage financial crisis. What began as an illegal war of aggression against Iraq became, after reelection, a catastrophic quagmire that destroyed America's international reputation.

Whatever the merits of Bill Clinton's legislative and policy agenda -- welfare reform, NAFTA and bombing Kosovo would all have happened under a Republican president -- having anything substantial or positive to point to was well in the rearview mirror by his second term, when he found himself embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky affair and impeachment.

Reagan was both senile and bogged down in Iran Contra.

Even the most productive and prolific president of the 20th century had little to show for his second term. FDR's legacy would be nearly as impressive today if he'd only served four years.

Anything could happen. Donald Trump may use his second term to push dramatic changes. If there were another terrorist attack, for example, he would probably try to exploit national shock and fear to the political advantage of the right. Another Supreme Court justice could pass away. On the other hand, Trump is old, clinically obese and out of shape. He might die. It's doubtful that Mike Pence, a veep chosen for his lack of charisma, would be able to carry on the Trump tradition as more than the head of a caretaker government.

Analysts differ on what Trump 2.0 might look like. Regardless of their perspective, however, no one expects anything big.

"If Trump wins a second term this November," James Pethokoukis writes in The Week, Trump "might propose more tax cuts, but they are more likely to be payroll tax cuts geared toward middle-class workers instead of income tax cuts for rich people and corporations. He'll look for a new Federal Reserve chair less worried about inflation than current boss Jerome Powell, who deserves at least partial credit for the surging stock market and continuing expansion. Trump will let the national debt soar rather than trimming projected Medicare and Social Security benefits. And there will be more protectionism, although it may be called 'industrial policy.'"

"The early outlines of the [second-term] agenda are starting to emerge," Andrew Restuccia reports in The Wall Street Journal. "Among the issues under consideration: continuing the administration's efforts to lower prescription drug prices, pushing for a broad infrastructure bill and taking another crack at reforming the country's immigration system, [White House] officials said." They also want to reduce the deficit.

Under Trump, immigration reform is never a good thing. But it's hard to imagine anything major happening without Democratic cooperation.

Internationally, many observers expect Trump to continue to nurture his isolationist tendencies. But President Bernie Sanders would probably have similar impulses to focus on America First.

By all means, vote against Trump. But don't freak out at the thought of a second term.

Mourn what happened under the first one instead -- and work to reverse it.

[Mar 10, 2020] Once sheep dog, always sheep dog

9 March 2020
Notable quotes:
"... The consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden is a damning exposure, not merely of the politically reactionary character of this organization, but of the contemptible falsification on which the Sanders campaign has been based: that it is possible to transform the Democratic Party, the oldest American capitalist party, into the spearhead of a "political revolution" that will bring about fundamental social change. ..."
"... It is evident that the Democratic Party leadership in Congress, as well as the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee, aims to run the 2020 campaign on the exact model of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016: portraying Trump as personally unqualified to be president and as a Russian stooge, while opposing any significant social reform and delivering constant reassurances to the ruling financial aristocracy that a restored Democratic administration will follow in the footsteps of Obama, showering trillions on Wall Street and doing the bidding of the military-intelligence apparatus. ..."
"... One could ask of the nine ex-candidates who have now endorsed Biden, why they were candidates in the first place? Why did they bother to run against the former vice president, clearly the preferred candidate of the party establishment? None of them voices any significant political differences with Biden. All of them hail the right-wing political record of the Obama-Biden administration, even though that administration produced the social and economic devastation that made possible the election of Donald Trump. ..."
"... African American Democratic Party leaders, including Representative James Clyburn in South Carolina and hundreds of others, represent one of the most right-wing and politically corrupt sections of the party. ..."
"... The thinking of this layer was summed up in a column Saturday in the Washington Post ..."
"... What the Washington Post ..."
"... the entire black Democratic Party establishment has lined up behind Biden -- including, most recently, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Kamala Harris. ..."
"... Sanders seeks to counter this all-out Democratic Party campaign for Biden by seeking to woo sections of the trade union bureaucracy with appeals to economic nationalism. ..."
"... More than 13 million people, mainly workers and youth, voted for Sanders in 2016 in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Millions more continue to support him this year, with the same result. Sanders will wrap up his campaign by embracing the right-wing nominee of the Democratic Party and telling his supporters that this is the only alternative to the election, and now re-election of Trump. ..."
Mar 10, 2020 | www.wsws.org

The campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is making a last-ditch stand in the Michigan primary Tuesday, amid mounting indications that the Democratic Party as a whole has moved decisively into the camp of his main rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders cancelled rallies in Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois -- all states where he trails Biden in the polls -- in order to concentrate all his efforts in Michigan, where he won an upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

On Sunday, Senator Kamala Harris endorsed Biden, the latest of nine former presidential contenders to announce their support for their one-time rival, joining Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bloomberg, Beto O'Rourke, John Delaney, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, and Deval Patrick. Harris is to join Biden for a campaign rally in Detroit Monday.

The consolidation of the Democratic Party behind Biden is a damning exposure, not merely of the politically reactionary character of this organization, but of the contemptible falsification on which the Sanders campaign has been based: that it is possible to transform the Democratic Party, the oldest American capitalist party, into the spearhead of a "political revolution" that will bring about fundamental social change.

Former Vice President Biden is the personification of the decrepit and right-wing character of the Democratic Party. In the past 10 days alone, Biden has declared himself a candidate for the US Senate, rather than president, confused his wife and his sister as they stood on either side of him, called himself an "Obiden Bama Democrat," and declared that 150 million Americans died in gun violence over the past decade. This is not just a matter of Biden's declining mental state: it is the Democratic Party, not just its presidential frontrunner, that is verging on political senility.

It is evident that the Democratic Party leadership in Congress, as well as the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee, aims to run the 2020 campaign on the exact model of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016: portraying Trump as personally unqualified to be president and as a Russian stooge, while opposing any significant social reform and delivering constant reassurances to the ruling financial aristocracy that a restored Democratic administration will follow in the footsteps of Obama, showering trillions on Wall Street and doing the bidding of the military-intelligence apparatus.

One could ask of the nine ex-candidates who have now endorsed Biden, why they were candidates in the first place? Why did they bother to run against the former vice president, clearly the preferred candidate of the party establishment? None of them voices any significant political differences with Biden. All of them hail the right-wing political record of the Obama-Biden administration, even though that administration produced the social and economic devastation that made possible the election of Donald Trump.

Even more revolting, if that is possible, is the embrace of Biden by the black Democratic politicians. The former senator from Delaware is identified with some of the most repugnant episodes in the history of race relations in America: the abusive treatment of Anita Hill, when she testified against the nomination of Clarence Thomas, before Biden's Judiciary Committee; an alliance with segregationist James Eastland on school integration in the early 1970s, highlighted at a debate by Kamala Harris, eight months before she endorsed Biden; and the passage of a series of "law-and-order" bills that disproportionately jailed hundreds of thousands of African Americans, all of them pushed through the Senate by Biden.

How did a politician who boasted of his close relationships with Eastland and Strom Thurmond become the beneficiary of a virtual racial bloc vote by African Americans in the Southern states? Because African American Democratic Party leaders, including Representative James Clyburn in South Carolina and hundreds of others, represent one of the most right-wing and politically corrupt sections of the party.

The thinking of this layer was summed up in a column Saturday in the Washington Post by Colbert King, a former State Department official and local banker, a prominent member of the African American elite in the nation's capital, who wrote in outrage, "America's black billionaires have no place in a Bernie Sanders world."

King denounced the suggestion that black CEOs and billionaires are "greedy, corrupt threats to America's working families or the cause of economic disparities and human misery." Voicing the fears of his class, he continued, "I know there are those out there who buy the notion that America consists of a small class of privileged, rapacious super-rich lording over throngs of oppressed, capitalist-exploited workers. You can see it in poll numbers showing the share of Americans who prefer socialism to capitalism inching upward."

What the Washington Post columnist reveals is what Bernie Sanders has done his best to cover up: the Democratic Party is a party of the capitalist class. It can no more be converted to socialism than the CIA can become an instrument of the struggle against American imperialism.

True, Sanders can dredge up Jesse Jackson for a last-minute endorsement, proof that demagogues engaged in diverting mass left-wing sentiment into the graveyard of the Democratic Party recognize and embrace each other across the decades. But with that exception, the entire black Democratic Party establishment has lined up behind Biden -- including, most recently, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Senator Kamala Harris.

Harris's statement is worth quoting. "I have decided that I am with great enthusiasm going to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States," she said. "I believe in Joe. I really believe in him, and I have known him for a long time." The senator was no doubt responding to the incentives dangled in front of her by Biden after she left the race last December, when he gushed, "She is solid. She can be president someday herself. She can be the vice president. She can go on to be a Supreme Court justice. She can be an attorney general."

Sanders seeks to counter this all-out Democratic Party campaign for Biden by seeking to woo sections of the trade union bureaucracy with appeals to economic nationalism. New Sanders television ads in Michigan feature a United Auto Workers member declaring that his state "has been decimated by trade deals," while Sanders declares that Biden backed NAFTA, drawing the conclusion, "With a record like that, we can't trust him to protect American jobs or defeat Donald Trump." The Vermont senator will find that very few auto workers follow the political lead of the corrupt gangsters who head the UAW.

More than 13 million people, mainly workers and youth, voted for Sanders in 2016 in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Millions more continue to support him this year, with the same result. Sanders will wrap up his campaign by embracing the right-wing nominee of the Democratic Party and telling his supporters that this is the only alternative to the election, and now re-election of Trump.

Indeed, in appearances on several Sunday television interview programs, Sanders went out of his way to repeat, as he said on Fox News, "Joe Biden is a friend of mine. Joe Biden is a decent guy. What Joe has said is if I win the nomination, he'll be there for me, and I have said if he wins the nomination, I'll be there for him "

[Mar 09, 2020] "What's the difference between a cannibal and a neoliberal like Senator Warren?"

Mar 09, 2020 | nymag.com

"A cannibal doesn't eat his friends."

[Mar 08, 2020] The depth of Warren betrayal

Notable quotes:
"... How is it that Warren pulling out of the race is a victory for patriarchy and sexism, but Amy Klobuchar pulling out of the race is not causing grief and angst? We Midwesterners just don't get enough respect–and melodrama. ..."
"... She and her dead-end supporters are giving a good run at being the most pathetic story in a primary that includes Zombie Joe Biden ..."
Mar 08, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

XXYY , March 6, 2020 at 2:54 pm

"Why Elizabeth Warren lost" [Ryan Cooper, The Week].

In a press conference discussing her campaign's end, Warren said that she had not decided yet whether to endorse anyone. "I need some space around this," she said.

Astonishing and amazing that Warren, claiming to be a "progressive", did not immediately endorse Sanders, especially when the alternative is the hapless "Senator from MBNA", Joe Biden. Warren also repeatedly refused to endorse Bernie in 2016, a time when the early and enthusiastic support of a prominent woman with progressive credentials would have really helped and perhaps been decisive in the race against Hillary Clinton.

Sanders is the best shot at a progressive US president we have seen in a century, yet Warren apparently needs time to cogitate on the matter for some reason. I hope whatever she ultimately gets for herself is worth it.

False Solace , March 6, 2020 at 5:57 pm

Bernie held out on endorsing Hillary until she signed on to his free college plan. What concession will Warren demand? Something for the people or something for herself? Force Bernie to make his taxes more regressive? She's a joke.

Rory , March 6, 2020 at 9:12 pm

Let's suppose that the one unchangeable goal of the Democratic Party establishment is that Bernie Sanders must not be the party's 2020 nominee. Any other realistic candidate will do, but it must not be Bernie. Let's also suppose that by the time of the party's convention Vice President Bden's weaknesses and unfitness have become so evident that the party simply can't put him forward as its nominee.

Suppose that Senator Warren sees that and thinks of herself as a realistic choice for the party to replace Biden. A veneer of leftishness, but no real threat to Wall Street. I suspect that her entertaining that hope may explain why since suspending her campaign Senator Warren has criticized the idea of Vice President Biden being the party's nominee, but has had nothing favorable to say about Senator Sanders.

urblintz , March 6, 2020 at 3:47 pm

And here's the email I sent Warren:

"You cried yesterday because you can't be POTUS then went on CNN and trashed Bernie AGAIN (when has he ever trashed you?) by way of his supporters. BOO-HOO. You should have focused your attention on the factory floor (working women) not the glass ceiling.

Politics is a nasty game which you have proven to be expert at. You have earned every criticism in whatever form it comes, frankly. But because you can't be POTUS this time, you will take your ball and go home, so there! with the emotional maturity of a 5 year old.

DJG , March 6, 2020 at 4:26 pm

urblintz

A worker wonders:

  • How is it that Warren pulling out of the race is a victory for patriarchy and sexism, but Amy Klobuchar pulling out of the race is not causing grief and angst? We Midwesterners just don't get enough respect–and melodrama.
  • Do we truly have to hear that Warren scared people because she is too competent? (Shades of Most Qualified Hillary.) Lying about being a Native American has a whiff of incompetence, but I'm just persnickety.
  • And should we collectively be pointing out that Political Sainthood, once reserved for John McCain, now has been bestowed on Elizabeth Warren, who is starting to be inebriated with her own scent of sanctity? In short: McCain, Warren, all maverick-y all the time.
  • On a positive note, is it possible that focusing on what white upper-middle-class people want, which is the status quo, kale salads, and more brunches, is somehow not a viable path to the presidency? As mentioned above, Warren started to slide when she announced Plans that involved means-testing health care and means-testing day care. At least she refrained from issuing leaf-blowers to all of us.

Matthew , March 6, 2020 at 9:44 pm

She and her dead-end supporters are giving a good run at being the most pathetic story in a primary that includes Zombie Joe Biden.

Just mind-bogglingly entitled upper and upper middle class trash. I regret ever thinking of voting for her, I regret ever hearing her name, and I look forward to the day she endorses someone so I never have to think about her again.

Matthew , March 6, 2020 at 9:47 pm

The person who read her Twitter mentions for her was on Twitter begging for Venmo donations for, I guess, her emotional trauma. Christ I hate these people.

[Mar 07, 2020] Warren Urged by National Organization for Women Not to Endorse Sanders: He Has 'Done Next to Nothing for Women'

That art of betrail, demonstrated by notable ruthless female careerst.
Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

jo6pac , March 6, 2020 at 2:26 pm

What did Anita Hill ever do warren or now?

"Warren Urged by National Organization for Women Not to Endorse Sanders: He Has 'Done Next to Nothing for Women'

Eureka Springs , March 6, 2020 at 2:58 pm

There's always a tweet rebuttal for what fails us )

https://twitter.com/KatQannayahu/status/1235986901741395968

In 1995, Gloria Steinem, spoke of making @BernieSanders an "honorary woman" because his advocacy for women was so strong then, and has continued strong over the decades.

curlydan , March 6, 2020 at 3:33 pm

exactly. Look at the prime examples of how Biden treats women in the public sphere: treating Anita Hill like crap and nuzzling random women. And N.O.W. wants Warren to endorse Biden? Sheesh.

Titus , March 6, 2020 at 4:06 pm

And Warren wonders why she didn't get the votes. Does Warren think being a women per se means only she is capable of going something for women. How childish.

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 2:01 am

Because when Sanders jawboned Amazon into raising wages, none of the workers who got the raised were women.

That's because to the PMC feminists of NOW -- another NGO to euthanize given how poorly they have performed as measured by their stated goals -- only PMC women are truly women. The working class is an undifferentiated mass without individual identities. That is, in fact, what the Bernie Bro " meme conveys. No female supporter of Sanders can possibly be a real woman, and even more revealing, Sanders supporters are coded male by default, a patriarchal semiotic that would drive NOW and its ilk, er, bananas in any other context.

Rhondda , March 7, 2020 at 8:40 am

"Bernie Bros" = all Sanders supporters [coded male]. Wow, yes! -- Exactly! That's a penetrating insight, Lambert. Thank you!

[Mar 07, 2020] Democrat Establishment deliberatly hands control over the nomination to the political establisment in states they will never win in the general elections

So sellout by Clinton of the Democratic Party to Wall Street proved to be durable and sustainable...
Bernie again behaves like a sheep dog with no intention to win... "Let's be friends" is not a viable strategy...
Notable quotes:
"... the same character traits that make him an honorable politician also make him fundamentally unsuited for the difficult task of waging a successful outsider campaign for the nomination of a major political party. ..."
"... Why hasn't Sara Nelson, head of the Flight Attendants' Union, endorsed Bernie? (Personally I have always thought she'd be a good VP.) ..."
"... Robinson is dreaming if he thinks Non-Profit Industrial Complex entities like EMILY's List and Planned Parenthood will lift a finger to help Sanders, or busines unionists like Randi Weingarten. To his credit, though, Ady Barkan switched immediately. External support, though is correct: IIRC, there are plenty of union locals to be had; the Culinary Workers should be only the first. ..."
"... "Corporate Lobbyists Control the Rules at the DNC" [ ReadSludge ]. "Among the 447 total voting DNC members, who make up the majority of 771 superdelegates, there are scores of corporate lobbyists and consultants -- including many of the 75 at-large DNC members, who were not individually elected . ..."
"... The 32-member DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee contains the following 20 individuals: a health insurance board member co-chair, three surrogates for presidential campaigns (two for Bloomberg, one for Biden), four current corporate lobbyists, two former corporate lobbyists, six corporate consultants, and four corporate lawyers." ..."
"... "Joe Biden is a friend of mine" is the 2020-updated version of "enough about the damn e-mails, already". No amount of ground-level organizing can make up for a candidate willing to publicly overlook what should be high-office-disqualifying fundamental character traits in his opponents out of "niceness". ..."
"... It's easy to do a post Super Tuesday defeat analysis of Sanders but remember, everything seems to work before SC where I think the Democrats fixed the election and the same holds for Super Tuesday. ..."
"... post-dial-up-modem ..."
Mar 07, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Sanders (D)(1): "Bernie Sanders needs to find the killer instinct" [Matthew Walther, The Week ]. I've heard Useful Idiots, Dead Pundits, and the inimitable Jimmy Dore all make the same point, but Walther's prose makes the point most forcefully (as prose often does). The situation:

There is no greater contrast imaginable than the one between the popular (and frequently exaggerated) image of so-called "Bernie bros" and the almost painfully conciliatory instincts of the man they support.

This was fully in evidence on Wednesday afternoon when Sanders responded to arguably the worst defeat of his political career by chatting with journalists about how " disgusted " he is at unspecified online comments directed at Elizabeth Warren and her supporters and what a " decent guy " Joe Biden is.

He did this despite the fact that Warren, with the connivance of debate moderators, recently called him a sexist in front of an audience of millions, effectively announcing that she had no interest in making even a tacit alliance with the only other progressive candidate in the race and, one imagines, despite thinking that the former vice president's record on virtually everything -- finance, health care, race relations, the environment, foreign policy -- should render him ineligible for office.

It should go without saying that offering these pleasantries will do Sanders few if any favors.

Lambert here: This is a Presidential primary, not the Senate floor. There is no comity. Walther then gives a list of possible scorched earth tactics to use against Biden; we could all make such a list. But then:

Sanders's benevolent disposition does him credit. But the same character traits that make him an honorable politician also make him fundamentally unsuited for the difficult task of waging a successful outsider campaign for the nomination of a major political party.

Corbyn had the same problem...

Sanders really must not let Biden and the Democrat Establishment off the hook. He seems to have poor judgment about his friends. Warren was no "friend." And neither is Joe Biden.

If Sanders wants friends, he can buy a dog .

He should forget those false friends, go into the next debate, and slice Joe Biden off at the knees. Trump would. And will, if Sander loses.

His canvassers and more importantly his millions of small donors deserve no less. The race and the debate is now between two people, and only one can emerge the winner. Sanders needs to decide if he wants to be that person, and then do what it takes . (If the outcome of the Sanders campaign is a left that is a permanently institutionalized force, distinct from liberal Democrats, I would regard that as a net positive. If that is Sanders' ultimate goal, then fine. He's not going to achieve that goal by being nice to Joe Biden. Quite the reverse.)

UPDATE Sanders (D)(2): "Time To Fight Harder Than We've Ever Fought Before" [Nathan J. Robinson, Current Affairs ].

"Biden now has some formidable advantages going forward: Democrats who no longer see him as a failed or risky bet will finally endorse and campaign for him. He will find it easier to raise money. He will have "momentum." Bloomberg's exit will bring him new voters.

Sanders may find upcoming states even harder to win than the Super Tuesday contests. But the one thing that would guarantee a Sanders loss is giving up and going home, which is exactly what Joe Biden hopes we will now do."

Here follows a laundry list of tactics. Then: "The real thing Bernie needs in order to win, though, is external support. Labor unions, activists, lawmakers, anyone with a public platform: We need to be pressuring them to endorse Bernie.

Why hasn't Sara Nelson, head of the Flight Attendants' Union, endorsed Bernie? (Personally I have always thought she'd be a good VP.)

Now that Elizabeth Warren is clearly not going to win, will organizations like the Working Families Party and EMILY's List and people like AFT president Randi Weingarten and Medicare For All advocate Ady Barkan switch and endorse Sanders?

Where is the Sierra Club, SEIU (Bernie, after all, was one of the first national figures to push Fight for $15), the UAW, Planned Parenthood? Many progressive organizations have been sitting out the race because Warren was in it."

Good ideas in general, but Robinson is dreaming if he thinks Non-Profit Industrial Complex entities like EMILY's List and Planned Parenthood will lift a finger to help Sanders, or busines unionists like Randi Weingarten. To his credit, though, Ady Barkan switched immediately. External support, though is correct: IIRC, there are plenty of union locals to be had; the Culinary Workers should be only the first.

Warren (D)(1): "Why Elizabeth Warren lost" [Ryan Cooper, The Week ]. "Starting in November, however, she started a long decline that continued through January, when she started losing primaries . So what happened in November?

It is hard to pin down exactly what is happening in such a chaotic race, but Warren's campaign certainly made a number of strategic errors. One important factor was surely that Warren started backing away from Medicare-for-all, selling instead a bizarre two-step plan.

The idea supposedly was to pass universal Medicare with two different bills, one in her first year as president and one in the third year. Given how difficult it is to pass anything through Congress, and that there could easily be fewer Democrats in 2023 than in 2021, it was a baffling decision. Worse, Warren then released a plan for financing Medicare-for-all that was simply terrible.

Rather than levying a new progressive tax, she would turn existing employer contributions to private health insurance plans into a tax on employers, which would gradually converge to an average for all businesses but the smallest. The clear objective here was to claim that she would pay for it without levying any new taxes on the middle or working classes. But because those employer payments are still part of labor compensation, it is ultimately workers who pay them -- making Warren's plan a horribly regressive head tax (that is, an equal dollar tax on almost all workers regardless of income).

All that infuriated the left, and struck directly at Warren's branding as the candidate of technical competence. It suggested her commitment to universal Medicare was not as strong as she claimed, and that she would push classic centrist-style Rube Goldberg policies rather than clean, fair ones. (Her child care plan, with its complicated means-testing system, had a similar defect).

Claiming her plan was the only one not to raise taxes on the middle class was simply dishonest. In sum, this was a classic failed straddle that alienated the left but gained no support among anti-universal health care voters. More speculatively, this kind of hesitation and backtracking may have turned off many voters." • On #MedicareForAll, called it here on "pay for" ; and here on "transition." Warren's plans should not have been well-received, and they were not. I'm only amazed that these really technical arguments penetrated the media (let along the voters).

Warren (D)(2): "Warren Urged by National Organization for Women Not to Endorse Sanders: He Has 'Done Next to Nothing for Women'" [ Newsweek ]. • Establishment really pulling out all the stops.

* * *

"Why Southern Democrats Saved Biden" [Mara Gay, New York Times ]. (Gay was the lone member of the Times Editorial Board to endorse Sanders .) "Through Southern eyes, this election is not about policy or personality. It's about something much darker. Not long ago, these Americans lived under violent, anti-democratic governments. Now, many there say they see in President Trump and his supporters the same hostility and zeal for authoritarianism that marked life under Jim Crow .

They were deeply skeptical that a democratic socialist like Mr. Sanders could unseat Mr. Trump. They liked Ms. Warren, but, burned by Hillary Clinton's loss, were worried that too many of their fellow Americans wouldn't vote for a woman."

Well worth a read. At the same time, it's not clear why the Democrat Establishment hands control over the nomination to the political establishment in states they will never win in the general; the "firewall" in 2016 didn't work out all that well, after all. As for Jim Crow, we might do well to remember that Obama destroyed a generation of Black wealth his miserably inadequate response to the foreclosure crisis, and his pathetic stimulus package kept Black unemployment high for years longer than it should have been. And sowed the dragon's teeth of authoritarian reaction as well.

"Corporate Lobbyists Control the Rules at the DNC" [ ReadSludge ]. "Among the 447 total voting DNC members, who make up the majority of 771 superdelegates, there are scores of corporate lobbyists and consultants -- including many of the 75 at-large DNC members, who were not individually elected .

The 32-member DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee contains the following 20 individuals: a health insurance board member co-chair, three surrogates for presidential campaigns (two for Bloomberg, one for Biden), four current corporate lobbyists, two former corporate lobbyists, six corporate consultants, and four corporate lawyers."


ewmayer , March 6, 2020 at 6:03 pm

"Joe Biden is a friend of mine" is the 2020-updated version of "enough about the damn e-mails, already". No amount of ground-level organizing can make up for a candidate willing to publicly overlook what should be high-office-disqualifying fundamental character traits in his opponents out of "niceness".

Lambert Strether Post author , March 7, 2020 at 1:57 am

> Bernie is thinking like an organizer

That's fine, but if his organization is then put at the disposal of Joe Biden, I don't see how the organization survives. (That's why the DNC cheating meme* is important; it provides the moral cover to get out of that loyalty oath (which the Sanders campaign certainly should have had its lawyers take a look at)).

NOTE * Iowa, Texas, and California have all had major voting screw-ups, all of which impacted Sanders voters disproportionately. The campaign should sue. They have the money.)

dcblogger , March 6, 2020 at 2:15 pm

I once met an union organizer and he said he could go back to any site he had worked and be on friendly terms with everyone. Bernie is thinking like an organizer. I think that making this about Social Security is his best bet. It demolishes Biden in a way that makes the election about the American people.

pretzelattack , March 6, 2020 at 2:25 pm

he needs to go after biden on the issues in a much more forceful manner than he typically does, with lots and lots of specifics. did i mention lots of specifics? and lots of pointed references to biden's past positions, and a focus on pinning him down on his position now. he needs to ask questions biden will not be prepared for with easy scripted responses.

JohnnyGL , March 6, 2020 at 2:59 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hcEljDeFEI

Well, he's baited Biden into a spat about SS for now, so that's a positive sign.

drumlin woodchuckles , March 6, 2020 at 7:10 pm

Perhaps if Sanders can keep successfully baiting Biden with hooks baited with Biden's own past statements over and over and over again, that Sanders can then go on to practice some very well disguised passive-aggressive pointing/not-pointing to Biden's mental condition by asking Biden at every opportunity: " don't you remember that, Joe? You remember saying that, don't you Joe? Don't you remember when you said that, Joe?"

Titus , March 6, 2020 at 3:31 pm

Except 70% of Women according to Stanford finding these kind of confrontations distressing to very distressing. Tricky. One changes emotions by using emotions so the trick here is "allowing" Biden to act deranged and expressing sorrow over it. For 70% of guys they won't get the emotional content, but will understand the logic of the questions and lack of answers. It can be done, Bill Clinton and Obama were very good at this. Look you want to be president you got to play the game at the highest level. Good practice for dealing with trump.

Oh , March 6, 2020 at 3:51 pm

Timing was right for both Obama and Clinton. After the GFC voters would have gone for any Democrat because Republicans were toxic. Similarly, it was fortuitous for Clinton because Perot was running and he quit the race a couple of months before the election.

Obama got loads and loads of money from Wall Street. Neither of these guys would stand a chance in an election year when the economy was doing well.

It's easy to do a post Super Tuesday defeat analysis of Sanders but remember, everything seems to work before SC where I think the Democrats fixed the election and the same holds for Super Tuesday.

I didn't see anyone pointing out that Bernie had to be confrontational when he seems to be winning.

Mo's Bike Shop , March 6, 2020 at 8:59 pm

Wait. How many days ago was the field of candidates wide open?

If Bernard does not roast Biden on Social Security I will be disappointed. If Smokin' Joe doesn't lash out with his typical aplomb, I'll be disappointed. I'm saving myself up for bigger disappointments.

I'll be happy with the Vermont interpretation of Huey Long. I'm glad that people are finally noticing we have one Socialist Senator.

Idea for an 'own the slur' bumper sticker: "I'm tickled pink by Bernie" -- Although I don't know how the post-dial-up-modem crowd might misinterpret that?

foghorn longhorn , March 6, 2020 at 2:56 pm

This is such bs.
Trump insulted the f*ck out of mccain, mittens, jeb, cruz, pelosi, schumer and the rest of the clown posse and what did they do?

Passed every gd thing he sent to them.

Are we gonna fight or dance, it's past time to get it on.

Zagonostra , March 6, 2020 at 6:01 pm

"I admittedly don't even know what to call Pelosi and Schumer at this point, besides a simple "past their sell date".

How about corrupt, immoral dishonest, greedy, sociopaths for starters (for more accurate adjectives I recommend viewing Jimmy Dore)

Glen , March 6, 2020 at 5:22 pm

Bernie cannot say it, but I can.

I support Bernie because Bernie supports the polices I think we need to save the country: M4A, GND,$15/hr min, free college, etc. To me, being an FDR Dem like Bernie is the moderate position, we've done it before, we know it works. Biden's support of neoliberal polices that have wrecked America is the extreme position.

But the DNC does not support FDR's Democracy. They have ended up to the right of Ronald Reagan. Pelosi could have pushed a M4A bill but did not. Pelosi could have pushed any number of polices to show how Trump is failing the working and middle class, but she did not.

So if Bernie is not picked for the general, I no longer have a reason to support the Dems, and will stay home. Actually, I will probably not stay home, I will work to get Dems out of office, and in general, work to burn the party to the ground. Why? Because it is in the way, and does not support the working class or the middle class.

The Dem party has to decide – do they really support the working and middle class or not. Because only Bernie supports those polices, and the rest of the Dems running for President do not.

[Mar 06, 2020] Warren presidential campaign postmortem

Notable quotes:
"... The Pow Wow Chow Native American Cookbook ..."
Mar 06, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

. In the spirit of charity, we should give credit where it's due: Warren really did become the " unity candidate " that she always proclaimed herself to be. She displayed an astounding capacity to bring together a polarized country around their shared distaste for her candidacy.

Compiling a complete discography of Warren's detractors would be an impossible feat, but for the sake of partisan schadenfreude, we should briefly revisit the greatest hits. These include the Native American tribal leaders who weren't particularly fond of a wealthy white Harvard professor claiming their ethnicity for personal gain (even co-authoring a cooking guide titled The Pow Wow Chow Native American Cookbook ), the Bernie Sanders supporters infuriated by Warren's cynical attempts to paint their candidate as a woman-hating misogynist, police unions offended by Warren's open dishonesty about violence in law enforcement, religious conservatives who found her contemptuous dismissal of anyone with traditionalist views of sexual morality to be in profoundly bad taste, and pro-lifers (who still comprise 34 percent of the Democratic electorate ) for whom Warren's radically pro-abortion policy objectives were unconscionable.

It's worth noting, of course, that this is just a small slice of the groups that found Warren enormously unlikeable. The senator's casual-at-best relationship with the truth ( listing herself as as "woman of color" in Harvard's faculty listing, claiming that she was fired from a teaching position for being pregnant, refusing to admit that her various spending plans would require raising taxes on the middle class, and so on) probably didn't help. And shockingly, her painfully contrived attempts at catering to the woke activist base (vocal support for reparations, pledging to let a transgender child pick her secretary of education, endorsing affirmative action for non-binary people) paired with her technocratically manicured professorial wonkiness -- she's got a plan for that! -- never caught fire in the blue-collar neighborhoods in the Midwest and South.

... ... ...

Senator Warren, we hardly knew ye.

Nate Hochman is an undergraduate student at Colorado College and a Young Voices contributor. You can follow him at Twitter @njhochman .

[Mar 05, 2020] The real threats to our democracy are our unaccountable surveillance state and the neoliberal politicians in Washington

Notable quotes:
"... the parties are two arguing heads on the same rapacious beast. or in the case of the primaries, a multi-headed beast. ..."
Mar 05, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Jeff Harrison , February 22, 2020 at 12:36

The real threats to our democracy are our unaccountable surveillance state and the craven politicians in Washington, DC.

And, no, Ben, we can't keep our republic because we don't have a sufficient mass of critical thinkers to run it. If we did, this kind of BS, having been shot full of holes once, wouldn't get any air.

Ground Owl Eats Fox , February 22, 2020 at 21:49

I don't think the Democrats have been very coordinated, and they (the establishment in general) is growing more desperate. They're acting less and less rationally.

My hunch is that Sanders is going to be assassinated. Even if a low chance per industry (5% for MIC; 5% for Wall Street; 5% for Hillary Clinton, etc ) the sheer number of powerful enemies and tens of trillions of dollars (and power) potentially at stake IMO makes it likely that this'll happen, whether coordinated or not. I'm guessing before the convention, if his lead is looking formidable.

He needs to pick a safety VP to make killing him less attractive, and also needs to wear a vest, ride around in a Popemobile-style vehicle, and have trustworthy chemists and doctors to check his food and umbrellas and everything else. And lots of documenters with cameras so if they do kill him in a violent hit maybe they won't get away with it.

tim ashby , February 22, 2020 at 10:38

how on earth could any entity, foreign or domestic, create any outcome in our burlesque electoral process that's worse than any other? the parties are two arguing heads on the same rapacious beast. or in the case of the primaries, a multi-headed beast.

the political circus can be likened to condi rice's concept of "constructive chaos" in the middle east. instead of nonfunctional endless war to render malleable a target for exploitation, we have endless functionless nitpicking blather to render popular leadership impossible.

[Mar 05, 2020] Warren as Biden's Trojan horse

Notable quotes:
"... She can attack him from "the left" if she's on the debate stage. I've always thought she's in cahoots with Biden. We'll see soon. ..."
"... poor showing in the first 3 contests made it clear she had no substantial and broad enough base. ..."
Mar 05, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

@wokkamile

She can attack him from "the left" if she's on the debate stage. I've always thought she's in cahoots with Biden. We'll see soon.

wokkamile on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 11:23am

She already hurt Bernie

@Wally by not dropping out and endorsing him b/f ST, after poor showing in the first 3 contests made it clear she had no substantial and broad enough base.

My sense this morning is that Bernie might need her to get the nomination, and Biden might need her as VP to win the election.

[Mar 05, 2020] Season of the Switch Dissident Voice

Notable quotes:
"... If you are holding out hope that Bernie can slay the dragon of the existing system at its belladonna roots, then be my guest. I see too many people spending their hope on Elizabeth Warren, which will only serve to suck power away from Bernie, who is the ONLY Democratic candidate movie that has the potential to actually INSPIRE voters, just as Trump does. Bernie deserves credit too for actually CHANGING the nature of the campaign conversation and who just MIGHT even begin to change it at the national level, assuming that time, tide and tyranny allow him four years safe passage to reach his pending retirement. ..."
"... In any case, after a year of endless media barrage, it is rather late now for the gods to intervene. All I would hope is that a few more of us can open our eyes to see past the silly "lesser of two evils" and "#votebluenomatterwho" memes, to the reality of how every one of these candidates serve as puppets to SOME specific mix of master control forces and thus make our choice in THAT more realistic light, rather than thinking that any of them offer "real" independent solutions or that any of their "heroic" feet are NOT already embedded knee, waist or neck-deep in the Big Muddy river of our dissolute illusions of Democracy. ..."
Mar 05, 2020 | dissidentvoice.org

Season of the Switch

Revising History Before It Happens

by Mark Petrakis / March 3rd, 2020

As people march off to the polls today to pick their favorite political actor of the year, I hear precious few voices openly asking what seem to me to be obvious questions, like WHO produced the movie that is their candidacy? Who directed it? Who wrote the script? Who are the investors that will be expecting to see returns on their investment, if their movie and their best actor should somehow win? And how far do the networks of wealth, influence and control extend beyond those public faces inside the campaign? None of these questions strike me as tangential; rather they are all essential.

Let's imagine for a moment that one of these actors can somehow out-thespian Trump once on stage which is HIGHLY unlikely – even for folksy Bernie – UNLESS he can somehow win himself 100% DNC buy-in and 24/7 mainstream "BLUE" media support. But assuming that he (or some "brokered" candidate) wins, it will still be their production teams (along with their extended networks) who will be making their presence felt on Day One of any new presidency. These are the people who will be calling in the favors and calling the shots.

I recall how moved I was by Obama's 2008 election. I was buoyed with hope, because I did not understand then what I understand now – that NO candidate can exist as an independent entity, disconnected from the apparatus and networks that support and produce the narratives that advance them and their agendas. I also recall the day that Obama entered the White House and instantly handed the keys to the economy (and the recovery) back to Geithner, Summers and Rubin – the same trio that had helped destroy it just a year earlier. And he did this at the same moment he was filling his cabinet with the very people "suggested" in that famous leaked letter from the CEO of Citibank. My hope departed in genie smoke at that moment, to be followed by eight years of spineless smooth talk and wobbly action, except where the agendas of Wall Street and pompous Empire were concerned.

Do you see how this works? The game is essentially rigged from the start by virtue of who is allowed to enter the race, what can and what can't be said by them and by who the media is told to shine their light on, and who to avoid. Candidates can, of course, say pretty much anything they want (short of "Building 7, WTF!!" of course) in hopes it will spark a reaction that the media can seize upon.

But just based on words, we know that NONE of these happy belief clowns will forcefully oppose existing "Regime Change" plans for Venezuela, Bolivia and Syria. We know that NONE of them will stand up to Israel – or to a Congress that is, almost to a person, in the pocket of Israel. We know too that NONE of them will bring more than an angry flyswatter to the battle with Wall Street or the corporations. We further know that NONE of them will do more than make modest cuts to military spending or god forbid, call out the secret state's fiscally unaccountable black budget operations, which by now reach into at least the 30 trillions.

Personally, I'm not FOR any candidate simply because I cannot UNSEE what it has taken me 12 years to get into focus; namely, how everyone of them are compromised by a SYSTEM that talks a lot about FIXING what's broken, but which is simply INCAPABLE of delivering anything other than what has been pre-ordained and decreed by the global order of oligarchs, which exists as the "ghost in the machine" that ultimately controls every part of the political "STATE" – at high, middle, low and especially at DEEP levels.

I will say in defense of Bernie that his production team early-on made the very unique decision to crowd-source the campaign's costs. That was a PROFOUND decision, which has paid off for him and which may well buy him a certain level of lubricated control over what is to come, even though the significance of that decision is not well appreciated because the DNC and the MSM simply refuse to discuss it in any depth.

Warren was TRYING to play the populist "people's campaign" game too, until last week when she must have been startled awake by the "Ghost of Reagan's Past" and decided to take the money and run as a Hillary proxy which (big surprise) was what she was all along anyway.

Let me just say this about Joe Biden. From his initial announcement, I never felt he was in his right mind. He seems rather to be teetering on the edge of senility and fast on his way into dementia. Also, the man has openly sold his soul so many times in his career that we shouldn't at this point expect any unbought (or even lucid) thought to ever again escape his remarkably loose lips. Joe might have run with the old skool Dems when he was a big deal on the Delaware streets, but now, like Bloomberg and Romney, he's just another Republican in a pricey blue suit.

I understand how people are feeling stressed, obsessed and desperate to get rid of Donald Trump. It's just that until we take a collective step back and see things at the level from which they actually operate and NOT at the level from which we are TOLD they operate, then we will never be successful in turning our public discourse around or in beginning to identify and eliminate the fascist and anti-human agendas that we associate with Trump, but which actually lie behind the subservient to power policies and preferences of BOTH parties.

If you are holding out hope that Bernie can slay the dragon of the existing system at its belladonna roots, then be my guest. I see too many people spending their hope on Elizabeth Warren, which will only serve to suck power away from Bernie, who is the ONLY Democratic candidate movie that has the potential to actually INSPIRE voters, just as Trump does. Bernie deserves credit too for actually CHANGING the nature of the campaign conversation and who just MIGHT even begin to change it at the national level, assuming that time, tide and tyranny allow him four years safe passage to reach his pending retirement.

In any case, after a year of endless media barrage, it is rather late now for the gods to intervene. All I would hope is that a few more of us can open our eyes to see past the silly "lesser of two evils" and "#votebluenomatterwho" memes, to the reality of how every one of these candidates serve as puppets to SOME specific mix of master control forces and thus make our choice in THAT more realistic light, rather than thinking that any of them offer "real" independent solutions or that any of their "heroic" feet are NOT already embedded knee, waist or neck-deep in the Big Muddy river of our dissolute illusions of Democracy.

– Yet Another Useful Idiot.

Mark Petrakis is a long-time theater, event and media producer based in San Francisco. He first broke molds with his Cobra Lounge vaudeville shows of the 90's, hosted by his alter-ego, Spoonman. Concurrently, he took to tech when the scent was still utopian, building the first official websites for Burning Man, the Residents and multiple other local arts groups of the era. He worked as a consultant to a variety of corps and orgs, including 10 years with the Institute for the Future. He is co-founder of both long-running Anon Salon monthly gatherings and Sea of Dream NYE spectacles. Read other articles by Mark .

This article was posted on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 at 8:34pm and is filed under Barack Obama , Bernie Sanders , Deep State , Democrats , Donald Trump , Elections , Joe Biden , Presidential Debates , United States .

[Mar 04, 2020] Donna Brazile who among other things gave Hillary the question for presidential debate in advance just told the @GOPChairwoman to "go to hell" for suggesting that the Democratic establishment was once again worked to manipulate a nominee into frontrunner status

Mar 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Former DNC chairman who gave Hillary Clinton debate questions in advance during the 2016 election, exclaimed on Fox News that Biden's victory was "the most impressive 72 hours I've ever seen in U.S. politics," and told another analyst to " go to hell " for suggesting that the Democratic establishment was once again working to manipulate a nominee into frontrunner status.

The Democrats are in chaos and melting down on live TV.

Donna Brazile just told the @GOPChairwoman to "go to hell" when asked about the chaos.

Best of luck, Donna! Meanwhile, Republicans are more unified than ever! pic.twitter.com/hCwotuF9tx

-- Trump War Room - Text EMPOWER to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) March 3, 2020

[Mar 04, 2020] From now on Warren is a Biden's Trojan horse. Warren staying in through Super Tuesday certainly hurt Sanders, while disappearance of Klobuchar, Buttigieg, and Steyer helped Biden; that smells like the return of the smoke fills room deals

The art of backstabbing, textbook example...
Mar 04, 2020 | www.truthdig.com

... Although it cannot be assumed that all her voters would have gravitated to Sanders, certainly some would have, and with an extra ten points Bernie would have won some states he lost. If she departs after coming in third in her home state, that will help Sanders going forward.

Sanders performed well below the polling. Polls had him competitive in Virginia, where he was crushed by Biden. Polls showed him winning Texas, whereas that turned into a close race.

[Mar 04, 2020] May the Best Man Win

Mar 04, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Cant Stop the M... on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 8:28am We base our entire politics on the idea that we're living in a meritocracy. In other words, like the knights of old at a joust, we find out who is best through competition, a competition assumed to be both fair and honest. In the old days, the joust was assumed to be fair and honest because God was both omnipotent and just and therefore, obviously, would not allow a bad man to win. Nowadays, even most of us who believe in God don't believe that God controls the outcome of competitions in that way. Yet the assumption of a fair and honest competition persists, despite blatant evidence to the contrary.

In the case of U.S. elections, it is assumed, not that the will of God controls the outcome of competitions, but that the will of the people does. Voter suppression and election fraud are hand-waved away on the dubious grounds that any candidate strong enough could overcome such things. Or maybe the people are to blame. The supporters of the defeated candidate must not have worked hard enough, or maybe the people generally are to blame for not voting in large enough numbers. Those who challenge any of these assumptions are defeated, either by institutional inertia or by gaslighting.

Nothing happens, so nothing happened

Here's what I mean by institutional inertia.

In 2000, there was ample evidence that George W. Bush had committed fraud in the presidential election, with the help of his brother, the governor of Florida. In 2004, there was ample evidence that George W. Bush had committed fraud once again, famously in Ohio, and less famously in Florida for a second time. However, in the first case, Gore stopped fighting after an obviously partisan and corrupt Supreme Court decision, and not a single member of the U.S. Senate was willing to help the Congressional Black Caucus challenge the election. In the second case, Kerry refused to challenge the election in Congress, and the legal case he brought about election fraud, after the fact, did not even make it to the Supreme Court.

In 2016, when New Yorkers brought a case that there had been election fraud and voter suppression in the Democratic primaries, the case was thrown out on the grounds that each county in New York had to file such cases separately, and, by then, the election would be over. Pleas to delay the vote count, or to delay declaring a winner, until the voting rights of the people could be secured, were brushed aside. Much later, when a civil lawsuit was brought against the DNC, the case was once again thrown out for lack of standing, but not before the DNC lawyers had defended their client on the grounds that the DNC didn't have to provide a fair competition, or any competition at all, really, and certainly didn't have to care what the people thought.

The effect of this institutional inertia is not simply that cheaters win the day, or that the people, whose will is being suppressed, lose morale and give up. The complaint itself begins to fade from people's minds. People begin to make excuses for what happened, to justify it, to act as if there never were cheating to begin with. Even many of those who dissent find that, over time, the injustice they remember mellows: no less a person than Jimmy Dore, hardly a weak-minded hack for the establishment, talks now about Gore's "loss" in 2000 as an evil caused by the electoral college. While the electoral college is obviously a tool for elites to control American politics (and never has that been so obvious as over the past two election cycles), such a narrative ignores and erases the police checkpoints that were set up in 2000 near predominantly African American polling places in Leon county, Florida. It ignores the Republican Speaker of the House, Tom DeLay, sending Republican staffers to Dade County to break up Miami's vote count by marching into the Supervisor of Elections office and screaming at the top of their lungs so that no accurate count could take place. It ignores and erases the digital Jim Crow that purged the voter lists of African American Democrats by claiming, falsely, that they were felons. It ignores the fact that emails between the State of Florida and the company that created the Jim Crow software revealed that the company had warned that their software would draw too many false positives, and that the State of Florida had replied "That's just what we want."

Similarly, the DNC's perfidy in 2016 has been reduced to the following: 1) that they had pre-selected their candidate, and didn't provide a real or fair competition, 2) that they gave debate questions ahead of time to Hillary Clinton, 3)that they used the electoral college, most particularly superdelegates, to overwhelm the Sanders movement, and that 4) the party primaries were often closed, not allowing independents the right to vote. Left out, or forgotten, are the multiple polling places closed in states from Arizona to New York (in New York, sometimes even the open polling places had no staff or broken machines), the media calling California for Clinton before the votes were counted, the 136,000 voters purged off Brooklyn's voter rolls (no doubt because Bernie Sanders was born and grew up in Brooklyn and that might have given him an advantage there), and the much larger multi-state purge of the Democratic party through changing people's voter registration without their knowledge and consent.

I'm not bringing this up to attack Jimmy Dore, who is one of the most reliable truth-tellers in the media today, but rather to point out what people's minds do under the stress of watching the establishment normalize corruption again and again. If there is no power to challenge institutional corruption, most people, over time, make of the corruption something less unjust and outrageous. Simply smothering objections to injustice with institutional inertia, will, over time, allow the victors to erase the evidence of their crime.

Sore Loserman

Since we believe, with the faith of fanatics, that competition must be honest and fair, it's easy to gaslight the losers (or the apparent losers). The Republicans in 2000 did not need to disprove the fact that George W. Bush had committed fraud and contravened the will of the people when he climbed up a staircase of disenfranchised Black faces to become President. All the Republicans needed to do was issue tens of thousands of bumper stickers that replaced the words "Gore/Lieberman" with "Sore Loserman." The RNC was using the same argument that was bruited about in the 1980s about poverty and employment. Unemployed poor people had lost the economic competition. Therefore, there must be something wrong with them. Maybe they weren't educated enough, smart enough, clean enough, hard-working enough; maybe they were people of bad character. Bloomberg's racial profiling worked much the same way. Black people are losers in the judicial game because they commit more crimes. That's why we put more police in their neighborhoods, because there are more criminals among young Black men than anywhere else. Corruption can't bring down a meritorious man. If you're good, you'll win. If you complain about cheating or any other form of injustice, you must be a Sore Loserman, attempting to cover up your own inadequacies by whining.

It's pretty obvious that this way of thinking makes it literally impossible to stop even the most outrageous injustice, as long as the perpetrators of that injustice have enough power to spread their "Sore Loser" messaging far and wide. So if I commit identity theft today and access one of your bank accounts, I can be brought to account. But if Wall St cheats homeowners, there was probably something wrong with the homeowners, or with the government for suggesting that those homeowners should get loans. If George W. Bush cheats in an election, there was probably something wrong with the other candidate, or with the voters.

People tend to get upset when I bring this up, because they think that talking about the corruption of the system will demoralize voters, making such discussions their own form of voter suppression. But I bring this up because the worst damage that can come out of Bernie Sanders losing contests in a highly compromised electoral process is that the idea of meritocracy be preserved. There are valid reasons for voting even in a corrupted system (of the "make 'em sweat" variety). There are valid reasons for not voting in a corrupted system. But whatever a citizen chooses to do on Election Day, the idea of meritocracy must die.

Despite all the truly horrendous policies, from both the Democrats and the Republicans, that have laid our society, our people, and the world to waste, the most poisonous effect of the tyranny we live under is its fraudulence: its pretense of being a fair, accurate, and reasonable expression of the will of the people. Even the Democrats' attacks on Trump, who is supposed to be a Manchurian candidate placed in office by Russian intelligence operatives and an existential threat to our democracy, have, in the past two years, increasingly focused on the people who support Trump. It's the voters fault for supporting the bad man. So even when we are supposedly in a situation of foreign powers changing the outcome of a presidential election, it's still the people's fault. Why? Well, there was a competition, and somebody won, so the person who won must be there by the will of the people. It has to be the people's fault.

Corruption among the powerful isn't a thing.

System-wide corruption in all the various infrastructures of our country, especially the political ones, isn't a thing.

Or, if it is, you just didn't do enough lifting at the political gym to be able to fend it off.

[Mar 04, 2020] Warren was the henchwoman of the right-wing takeover to destroy the left-wing curriculum a the University of Pennsylvania

Mar 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

S , Mar 3 2020 8:00 utc | 107

Philosopher Drucilla Cornell on Elizabeth Warren at the University of Pennsylvania (vid, 3:21):
I knew Elizabeth Warren when I was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She was a right-wing Reaganite. And the University of Pennsylvania had the most progressive law school curriculum in the country. And this is Elizabeth Warren.

And I taught a first year class called income security. Elizabeth Warren said "there is no more ridiculous idea than national healthcare". That's the Elizabeth Warren I knew. She was in her 30s at this time.

She was the henchwoman of the right-wing takeover to destroy the left-wing curriculum. I taught Worker's Rights, I taught the National Labor Rights Act, which doesn't exist anymore, for the most part, it's not taught in any law school in the United States, I taught Income Security, and I taught Jurisprudence. Elizabeth was against all those things. I don't really know Elizabeth Warren personally, I just know her as a right-wing Republican. And somehow or another, God came out of the heavens and turned her into a Democrat, probably at the very moment that Derrick Bell stepped down from Harvard because he would not work anymore until they hired an African-American woman.

Now she couldn't pretend she was Black, so she pretended she was African. She was Native American. That's not what we call people who are Native Americans, because they're First Nations people. Apaches and Cherokees were nations. There's no such thing as a Native American. Elizabeth checked that box just as Derrick Bell was stepping down. She goes to Massachusetts and she becomes a Democrat.

There is no more [of a] relentless, ruthless, nihilist that I have ever met in my entire life. Not Elizabeth Warren. She's right up there with Donald Trump. So I can't really support her. She did succeed in destroying that progressive curriculum. And that progressive curriculum is, you know, it's one of those life things that you hold onto, right? So I don't trust Elizabeth Warren as far as I can throw her.

She has no policy, she doesn't understand imperialism, and she has said she's a capitalist. What she really is is a technocrat who clawed her way to Harvard. I mean, that's where you want to end up, right? If you're a law professor, you want to be at Harvard. Ok, she did that. She succeeded.

But as President of the United States I wouldn't even dream of supporting her. Because Bernie Sanders, whatever you think of him, like me, was chaining himself to schools to [de]segregate them. Was protesting against the Vietnam war. There are people who have held onto values for a lifetime, and those, Slavoj, are the people I trust.

Russ , Mar 3 2020 8:22 utc | 109

S 124

Presumably Sanders always has known about Warren's record (it's never been obscure for anyone who took a few minutes to look; years ago when I focused on Wall Street and participated at the econoblogs I always knew she was a fraud), yet he's always helped propagate the fraud that she's some kind of "progressive". Same as he's always lied about Russiagate (he certainly knows it's a lie).

So according to the party line, Sanders wanted Warren to run in 2016 and only ran himself after she demurred. This can only mean he preferred for her to act as the sheepdog for Hillary, since he certainly knew she was no "progressive".

[Mar 04, 2020] Trump Slams 'SPOILER' Elizabeth Warren For Sinking Sanders

A pretty sharp political thinking from the President
Mar 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Democrat establishment came together and crushed Bernie Sanders, AGAIN! Even the fact that Elizabeth Warren stayed in the race was devastating to Bernie and allowed Sleepy Joe to unthinkably win Massachusetts. It was a perfect storm, with many good states remaining for Joe!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

20 minutes later, Trump tweeted that it was " So selfish for Elizabeth Warren to stay in the race ," as she has "Zero chance of even coming close to winning, but hurts Bernie badly."

"So much for their wonderful liberal friendship. Will he ever speak to her again? She cost him Massachusetts (and came in third), he shouldn't!"

So selfish for Elizabeth Warren to stay in the race. She has Zero chance of even coming close to winning, but hurts Bernie badly. So much for their wonderful liberal friendship. Will he ever speak to her again? She cost him Massachusetts (and came in third), he shouldn't!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

Three hours later, Trump tweeted: " Wow! If Elizabeth Warren wasn't in the race, Bernie Sanders would have EASILY won Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas , not to mention various other states. Our modern day Pocahontas won't go down in history as a winner, but she may very well go down as the all time great SPOILER! "

Wow! If Elizabeth Warren wasn't in the race, Bernie Sanders would have EASILY won Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas, not to mention various other states. Our modern day Pocahontas won't go down in history as a winner, but she may very well go down as the all time great SPOILER!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

[Mar 04, 2020] Warren is a Reagan Republican, a neoliberal. She only switched in the middle of the 1990s when she was 47 and the GOP had gone so far off the deep end that Clinton's center-right New Democrats better represented her neoliberal views.

Notable quotes:
"... On Sanders etc I just read this excellent piece at Greanville Post . Dated March 2. ..."
Mar 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Benjamin , Mar 4 2020 3:04 utc | 100

@94

Warren is a Reagan Republican. She was a Republican until she was 47 years old, which means she lived through the Reagan years thinking 'this is fine'. She only switched in the middle of the 1990s when the GOP had gone so far off the deep end that Clinton's center-right New Democrats better represented her Reaganite views. She claims it was because of abuse by banks, which doesn't make sense, since by that point it was the Democrats leading the charge on bank deregulation.

She isn't a leftist, by any definition.

She built a reputation because of the very narrow range of finance issues she's actually good on (the CFPB is the cornerstone of her entire progressive reputation). And in this election she hasn't been a candidate of the left. She's run on the veneer that she is, but like a snake she's been shedding that pretense over time, backing away from any and every progressive policy position. Her base is white suburbanite professionals, especially women who want to see one of their own be president.

The Warren-Sanders divide perfectly illustrates everything Marx ever wrote about the dangers of Liberals. They aren't the Left's friend. When the revolution comes, they'll be the first to be shot.

uncle tungsten , Mar 4 2020 3:07 utc | 101

Warren is a detestable, lying, hypocrite and probably a scumbag to boot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvdrkSUVn70

Jimmy Dore and Stef Zamorano do a great job here.

S , Mar 4 2020 3:56 utc | 108
@uncle tungsten #100:
Warren is a detestable, lying, hypocrite and probably a scumbag to boot.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvdrkSUVn70

A scumbag or a Sumerian bag?

S , Mar 4 2020 4:02 utc | 109
Jokes aside, here's the correct link to the latest The Jimmy Dore Show episode on Warren: Chris Hayes Calls Out Warren On Super-Pac B.S.
Sunny Runny Burger , Mar 4 2020 4:25 utc | 116
Benjamin: Ronald Reagan famously used to be a Democrat, lots of people forget that. He went Republican in 1962.

Lots of people also don't know or realize how extremely likeable Reagan was as a person when he was young, much more so for most people than Kennedy ever was or could ever be (the Kennedy family was/is as nasty as any).

I got this link a few US election ago, Reagan was still a Democrat at this point in time: "What's My Line - Ronald Reagan (1953)" , it's only three and a half minutes long.

Circe , Mar 4 2020 5:00 utc | 121
Elizabeth Warren really hurt Sanders tonight and she's getting no delegates cause her percentages are under 15% (except in her own state that she's losing IN 3RD PLACE)! If she had gotten out of the race Bernie would be sweeping everything for Progressives!

It's like Warren took a sledgehammer to the Progressive Movement and said: If I can't lead it to the White House, then neither will YOU Bernie Sanders!

That's how selfish she was this week.

Thank goodness Sanders might still be able to get a majority, because BIDEN IS THE TITANIC. Biden cannot be the Nominee, he's a walking disaster and Trump will crush him!

Ugh. What a stupid Party.

uncle tungsten , Mar 4 2020 9:51 utc | 153
S #107
A scumbag or a Sumerian bag?

Thats a good one. The anunaki wouldn't even shit on Warren. The ancient south American Indians would have found a fitting sacrifice for her type of lying, sleaze.

I have seen that video and watch most of his posts as he has a sharp enquiring mind. Most importantly he is comfortable to be challenged.

I discovered Robert Temple and the science of geopolymers through one of his references.

On Sanders etc I just read this excellent piece at Greanville Post . Dated March 2.

[Mar 04, 2020] I just can't be sympathetic with Bernie and his voters tonight. Remember how Bernie came out to support Tulsi Gabbard when she was having such a hard time with the establishment? Neither do I

Mar 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

SharonM , Mar 4 2020 3:34 utc | 104

I just can't be sympathetic with Bernie and his voters tonight. Remember how Bernie came out to support Tulsi Gabbard when she was having such a hard time with the establishment? Neither do I. Remember how Bernie's supporters made sure Bernie would speak the truth about russiagate, or they weren't going to support him? Neither do I. Remember how Bernie made it clear in every debate and every interview that the choice is endless war or medicare for all? He didn't. Watching someone with a few leftist atoms in him being defeated in State after State by a warmongering sociopath who belongs in a hospice with bars on the windows, is like watching what he deserves.

Jackrabbit , Mar 4 2020 6:10 utc | 129

Copeland @122
People who casually tell you that Bernie is for the Empire--and not for the repair of society-- are people trafficking in lies.
I encourage everyone to look at Bernie with a critical eye and decide for yourself.
  • Bernie has a history of deference to the Democratic Party and Democratic Party leaders. All of whom are 100% pro-Empire.
  • 'Nice guy' Bernie doesn't do anything that threatens the establishment. HE promises revolutionary change - but that has NEVER come just from establishment Parties via the ballot box. It has come from independent Movements.
  • When Bernie talks about Empire matters, he generally obfuscates or reinforces pro-Empire narratives (like Russiagate's McCarthyism).
Anyone in political life for any length of time (like Bernie) must know that USA is EMPIRE-FIRST. Empire priorities (military and intelligence focus; 'weaponized' liberalism; neoliberal graft; dollar hegemony; Jihadis as a proxy army; etc.) dictate the limits of domestic politics.

Bernie's quixotic insurgency was doomed to fail unless Bernie attacked the Democratic Party's connection to Empire and use of identity politics to divide and conquer. Oh, and Bernie would have to threaten to leave the Democratic Party -- but then would become the independent Movement that Bernie and the Democratic Party have tried so hard to prevent!

!!

[Mar 04, 2020] US national politics is gang warfare. The Crips vs. the Bloods. Two criminal enterprises with roughly the same aims and tactics, fighting for turf

Notable quotes:
"... US national politics is gang warfare. The Crips vs. the Bloods. Two criminal enterprises with roughly the same aims and tactics, fighting for turf. With minor differences of style. Trump upsets the leadership of the Bloods in 2016, but it turns out that, outrageous as he is, he is good for business, so all the Bloods but the wimps with a weak stomach fall in behind him. ..."
"... But let's just suppose that the old Crips are not quite as pathetic as they look. Let's imagine that they actually learned something in 2016. It was supposed to be easy for them in 2016, and they were surprised. So they have had four years to hone their election-stealing skills. And most of the traditional election stealing organizations in this country seem largely to hate Trump. ..."
"... So let's posit that the FBI & CIA, or whoever it is manages to prop up Biden, and succeed in stealing the election for him. Who would object to that? ..."
"... Not two gangs but one Deep State political mafia with two families running a protection racket (MIC), prostitution (media propaganda, psyops), drugs (industry incentives), and gambling (overseas adventurism) ..."
Mar 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Eric in Kansas , Mar 4 2020 5:00 utc | 122

Okay, here's a little speculative fiction.

The setup: US national politics is gang warfare. The Crips vs. the Bloods. Two criminal enterprises with roughly the same aims and tactics, fighting for turf. With minor differences of style. Trump upsets the leadership of the Bloods in 2016, but it turns out that, outrageous as he is, he is good for business, so all the Bloods but the wimps with a weak stomach fall in behind him.

The Crips are bloated and in decline. A bunch of naïve, starry eyed nobodies mount a campaign to take the Crips legit. The old Crips are irritated that they have to take time out from grifting so as to squash the upstart pests.

That is where I see us today. But let's just suppose that the old Crips are not quite as pathetic as they look. Let's imagine that they actually learned something in 2016. It was supposed to be easy for them in 2016, and they were surprised. So they have had four years to hone their election-stealing skills. And most of the traditional election stealing organizations in this country seem largely to hate Trump.

So let's posit that the FBI & CIA, or whoever it is manages to prop up Biden, and succeed in stealing the election for him. Who would object to that?

Yes, exactly – all the Trump die-hards, and 'tribal' gang bangers would object. It could get really nasty.

And so far, I have not seen any evidence that any of the characters that would be willing to play such a gambit have any inclination to give a shit for the consequences for us little people.

Jackrabbit , Mar 4 2020 5:23 utc | 125

Eric in Kansas @121: gang warfare

Not two gangs but one Deep State political mafia with two families running a protection racket (MIC), prostitution (media propaganda, psyops), drugs (industry incentives), and gambling (overseas adventurism)...

... aka "Tammany on the Potomac."

Wikipedia describes Tammany as :

The Tammany Society emerged as the center for Democratic-Republican Party politics in the city in the early 19th century. After 1854, the Society expanded its political control even further by earning the loyalty of the city's rapidly expanding immigrant community, which functioned as its base of political capital. The business community appreciated its readiness, at moderate cost, to cut through red tape and legislative mazes to facilitate rapid economic growth... Tammany Hall also served as an engine for graft and political corruption, perhaps most infamously under William M. "Boss" Tweed in the mid-19th century....

[Tweed's biographer wrote:]

It's hard not to admire the skill behind Tweed's system ... The Tweed ring at its height was an engineering marvel, strong and solid, strategically deployed to control key power points: the courts, the legislature, the treasury and the ballot box. Its frauds had a grandeur of scale and an elegance of structure: money-laundering, profit sharing and organization.

!!

kiwiklown , Mar 4 2020 8:32 utc | 141
trailertrash @6 --- Americans have been railroaded into endless squabbling about voting and democracy instead of demanding good governance. How does choosing between two similarly corrupt parties deliver good governance?

Voting in the lesser evil is still choosing evil.

What does it profit a nation to have voting every 4 years when excrement covers her sidewalks? and vets suicide themselves daily? and soldiers get raped daily by fellow soldiers?

[Mar 03, 2020] Hillary Clinton regarding the primaries: "Let's follow the rules"

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Mar 3 2020 15:06 utc | 2

Quote of the Day
or
Quote of the Millennia?

Hillary Clinton regarding the primaries:

"Let's follow the rules"

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/485646-hillary-clinton-responds-to-sanders-on-delegates-lets-follow-the-rules


Trailer Trash , Mar 3 2020 15:49 utc | 6

Is there any other nation state that has 50 separate official elections, mostly run and paid for by the public, just so a private club masquerading as a political party can select its leader? To the rest of the world, this must look completely insane, but few people anywhere even seem to notice how ridiculous it all looks.
Nathan Mulcahy , Mar 3 2020 22:54 utc | 62
Stop calling it USA. It is USO (United States of Oligarchs).

[Mar 03, 2020] All politicians should serve two terms. One in office and one in prison

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: Shadow | Mar 3 2020 19:39 utc | 41

[Mar 03, 2020] Elizabeth Warren's Foreign Policy Team is Stacked With neocons which would also shine in Hillary team

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

AntiSpin , Mar 3 2020 21:09 utc | 51

For everyone puzzling over Warren's actions and intentions, this should help -- a lot.

Woke Wonk Elizabeth Warren's Foreign Policy Team is Stacked With Pro-War Swamp Creatures
Alexander Rubinstein and Max Blumenthal – 2-26-20

"With her new list of foreign policy advisors, Warren unveiled a cast of pro-war think tankers, Cold Warriors and corporate careerists united in support of the Beltway consensus. So much for 'big, structural change'."

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/01/26/elizabeth-warren-foreign-policy-team-pro-war-regime-change/

[Mar 03, 2020] Why is Tulsi Gabbard Still In The Race by Pam Ho

Notable quotes:
"... Biden and Warren are both enthusiastic supporters of neocon foreign policy which is in line with their phony support for the working class. What happened to Warren's glittering M4A plan? It turned back into a pumpkin didn't it? It was all smoke and mirrors. No surprise if you know her history. ..."
"... Imperial Borg Assimilation ..."
"... The Foreign Policy Establishment ..."
"... Warren is an establishment social climber. She took off the mask and her true colors shone through when she viciously attacked Bernie Sanders as a misogynist. Yet still many people surrounding the Sander's campaign support Warren. Why is that? Big money on the left supports her, that's why. That big money also pays a lot of salaries in the liberal political job market. Have you heard of the The Democracy Alliance ? ..."
"... Why do so many liberals or even progressives dislike Tulsi and are so eager to see her gone? Propaganda from the media. The media for a year has relentlessly promoted Red Baiting towards Tulsi because Tulsi challenges the "Washington Consensus" (unfettered elite rule over America and the world with an iron fist). ..."
"... Everyone in the pro-Israel lobby (myself included) is already talking about how to make sure that Tulsi Gabbard's campaign is over before it even gets off the ground -- If you're going to bet on a Dem candidate, look elsewhere. ..."
"... There are many reasons behind that. The main reason though is Tulsi trying to stop war. The Neocons and Saudis have been pushing American politicians, celebrities, media owners, think tanks, foundations and so on for years -- to destroy Syria. Supposedly because Syria is close allies with Iran. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | medium.com

As I was checking the news earlier today I noticed that the coronavirus had killed another top government official in Iran, bringing the total to 3. Or at least the 3 they have released info on. There's a chance it's worse among the Iranian leadership but they don't want to cause a panic. I checked the Twitterverse after that for my daily dose of madness and surprisingly kept seeing people ask rhetorically:

Why is Tulsi Gabbard still in the primary race?

Turns out that Amy "She Hulk" Klobuchar had dropped out of the primary race apparently to suck up to Joe Biden for a VP slot. And so had Pete "Honestly I'm Not Annoying" Buttigigieididisjjd. This of course should surprise no one since the threat of Bernie Sanders to the financial criminal syndicates greasing the palms of practically all politicians and media to do their bidding have seen the writing on the wall. They realize they need candidates to drop out in order to coalesce centrist votes around one or two to stop what they perceive to be a huge problem for them in Bernie Sanders.

... ... ...

Biden and Warren are both enthusiastic supporters of neocon foreign policy which is in line with their phony support for the working class. What happened to Warren's glittering M4A plan? It turned back into a pumpkin didn't it? It was all smoke and mirrors. No surprise if you know her history. Did you see her on Pod Save America regaling us with how much she believes in crippling countries by sanctions if they dare to resist the racist Imperial Borg Assimilation Machine aka The Foreign Policy Establishment ? That doesn't sound woke to me Miss Thang .

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FC79AV_22NPg%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DC79AV_22NPg&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FC79AV_22NPg%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

Warren is an establishment social climber. She took off the mask and her true colors shone through when she viciously attacked Bernie Sanders as a misogynist. Yet still many people surrounding the Sander's campaign support Warren. Why is that? Big money on the left supports her, that's why. That big money also pays a lot of salaries in the liberal political job market. Have you heard of the The Democracy Alliance ?

The Democracy Alliance is a semi-anonymous donor network funded primarily by none other than Democratic mega-donor George Soros. Since its inception in 2005, it is estimated the Alliance has injected over $500 million to Democratic causes. While it isn't typical that they would endorse a candidate outright, they focus more on formulating a catalog of organizations and PACs that they recommend the network of about 100 or so millionaires and billionaires invest in. Democracy Alliance almost literally have their hands in every major left-leaning institution you have (and haven't) heard of -- John Podesta and Neera Tanden's Center for American Progress, David Brock's Media Matters, Center for Popular Democracy, Demos (we'll come back to this one), and the Working Families Party. All of these organizations are listed on the Alliance's website as recommended investments for it's members; and invest they do. Here's the rub: Democracy Alliance's membership isn't made entirely public -- but we know enough that alot of the people that have sat in the highest levels of that organization have an affinity for Elizabeth Warren.


... ... ...

Why do so many liberals or even progressives dislike Tulsi and are so eager to see her gone? Propaganda from the media. The media for a year has relentlessly promoted Red Baiting towards Tulsi because Tulsi challenges the "Washington Consensus" (unfettered elite rule over America and the world with an iron fist).

That is why we got this from Jacob Wohl after Tulsi declared her candidacy last year:

Everyone in the pro-Israel lobby (myself included) is already talking about how to make sure that Tulsi Gabbard's campaign is over before it even gets off the ground -- If you're going to bet on a Dem candidate, look elsewhere.

There are many reasons behind that. The main reason though is Tulsi trying to stop war. The Neocons and Saudis have been pushing American politicians, celebrities, media owners, think tanks, foundations and so on for years -- to destroy Syria. Supposedly because Syria is close allies with Iran.

But they are not the only ones who want Syria destroyed. Other reasons may have to do with massive profits at stake. A natural gas survey team from Norway some years ago discovered that Syria has the largest untapped deposits of natural gas in the world . After that secret discovery became known by various powerful people plans were drawn up to split up the profits after the destruction of the Syrian government. But after Syria asked Russia for help that changed their plans.

Tulsi meanwhile kept going on CNN to tell the American people that our government was waging a secret war in Syria by giving advanced weapons to Al-Qaeda in order to help them topple the government. America, Israel , and the Saudis weren't the only ones with a plan for Syria. Turkey and Qatar had their own plans. The UK and other leading EU nations had a plan as well . And the only politician in any of those countries telling the public the truth of what was going on -- was Tulsi.

... ... ...

She is not having our country become a plaything for rich a-holes who use the lives and limbs of service members for their greedy scams. Because of that the idle rich sociopaths ruling America with their political and media henchmen went after Tulsi with a full barrage of lies , media blackouts, and massive amounts of propaganda -- all to stop her message from getting out so they can create a false image of her in people's minds. Everything and anything they can throw at her, they do.

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FOBArkIbMybU%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DOBArkIbMybU&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FOBArkIbMybU%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=a19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

There are two politicians whom they fear. Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. Which is why Bernie Sanders has unsurprisingly been trying to stay out of the foreign policy debate, or he even goes along with the establishment for the most part. He saw what they unleashed against Tulsi. He knows from long experience that propaganda works on a lot of people. The financial elites are not naive though, they probably believe he is going along with their ridiculous foreign policy as a political strategy -- until he gains more power. They fear that if he gains that power he will, like Tulsi, not go along with their imperial stormtrooper agenda.

[Mar 03, 2020] Super Tuesday Bernie vs The DNC Round Two

Highly recommended!
Mar 03, 2020 | off-guardian.org

No matter who comes away with the nomination, it has to be asked "was any of this process legitimate?". We know from a plethora of examples that US elections are not fair. They border on meaningless most of the time. The DNC's doubly so, having argued in court they have no duty to be fair.

Any result, then, you could safely assume was contrived, for one reason or another.

If the Buttigieg-Klobuchar-Biden gambit works, we end up with Trump vs. Biden. And, realistically, that means a second Trump term.

Biden is possibly senile and definitely creepy . Watching him shuffle and stutter through a Presidential campaign would be almost cruel.

Politically, he has all of Hillary's weaknesses, being a big-time establishment type with a pro-war record, without even the "I have a vagina" card to play.

He'll get massacred.

Is that the plan?

There's more than enough signs that Trump has abandoned all the policies that made him any kind of threat to the political establishment. Four years on: no wars ended, no walls built, no swamp drained. Just more of the same. He's an idiot who talked big and got co-opted. It happens.

The Senate and other institutions might talk about Trump being a criminal or an idiot or a "Nazi", but the reality is he's barely perceptibly different from any other POTUS this side of JFK.

#TheResistance was a puppet show. A weak game played for toy money. When it really counts, they're all in it together. Biden getting on the ticket would be a public admittance of that. It would mean the DNC is effectively throwing the fight. Trump is a son of a bitch, but he's their son of a bitch. And that's much better than even the idea of President Bernie.

... ... ...

falcemartello ,

Does it really matter?
Empire of kaos will never move one inch to change the status quo.
The quaisi fascist state that most western /antlantacist nations have become it will make no difference
Gianbattista Vico"Their will always be an elite class" Punto e basta.
Name me one politico that made any difference to we the sheeple in the modern era.
If someone were to mention FDR I will scream.
Aldo Moro got murdered by the deep state for only suggesting to make a pact with Berlinguer the head of Il Partito Communista Italiano.

[Mar 03, 2020] The Democratic Party oligarchy are the world champions at every sort of electoral malfeasance

Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Mar 3 2020 18:04 utc | 25

The thing to watch today will be the vote stealing by the Democrat oligarchy. They are the world champions at every sort of electoral malfeasance. Remember in 2016 how Bernie almost won New York until Brooklyn, his hometown, was counted and more than 20,000 voters disappeared? Then there was California where millions of votes went uncounted and Hillary was called the winner.


The Democrats are not really a political party in the sense that europeans understand the term, more like an agglomeration of electoral machines, controlled by politicians owned by vested interests, making up the rules as they go along.

With both Biden and Warren desperate for anything that can be portrayed as momentum expect the unexpected: repeats of the sort of nonsense we saw in Iowa and local precincts in which 110% of the electorate give unanimous support to the candidate most likely to take away their social security and wave 'bye-bye' as they die untreated of diseases. Or malnutrition.
A
nd the cherry on top of the electoral sundae in today's primaries will be the near unanimity with which the most glaring irregularities are ignored by the media, and anyone suggesting that 2+2= anything as predictable as 4 will be called a conspiracy theorist, working for Putin and the KGB.

[Mar 03, 2020] Let s Talk About Your Alleged #Resistance by Joe Giambrone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children . ..."
"... What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race. ..."
"... Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough. ..."
"... Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed. ..."
"... Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite. ..."
"... How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children. ..."
"... The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation. ..."
"... The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. ..."
"... But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates. ..."
"... I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years. ..."
"... Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then. ..."
"... We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy. ..."
"... 'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root. ..."
"... Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns ..."
"... Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken. ..."
"... Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it." ..."
"... Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Editor Joe Giambrone

In 2016, Hillary Clinton deserved to lose, and she did. Her deception, her cheating in the primary elections , was well-documented, despicable, dishonest, untrustworthy. Her money-laundering scheme at DNC should have been prosecuted under campaign finance laws.

Her record of warmongering and gleefully gloating over death and destruction was also well established. On national TV she bragged about the mutilation of Moammar Qaddafi: "We came, we saw, he died!"

Clinton also lied to the country about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq and voted for that obviously illegal war. This after 8 years of her husband's genocidal sanctions killed a minimum of 500,000 innocent Iraqi children .

This person was undeserving of anyone's support.

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous. Yet, he persisted and to this day attempts to help common Americans as much as he can. He does what he believes to be the right thing. His integrity and his record of fighting for working Americans are not the points of contention in this race.

His opponents have instead opted for every nonsensical conspiracy theory and McCarthyite smear they can concoct, including the most ridiculous of all: the Putin theory , without a single shred of evidence to support it.

Today, however, Senator Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat who beats Trump in poll after poll . The only one. This is no small matter. Trump needs to be beaten in the tangled Electoral College, where a simple numerical victory isn't enough.

Bernie wins, and he has the best overall shot of changing the course of history, steering America away from plutocracy and fascism.

That crucial race is happening right now in the primaries . If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday.

It's either Trump or Bernie. That's your choice. Your only choice.

Where is your so-called "#Resistance" now?


Ben Barbour ,

Bernie is the best choice, but it is interesting that you brought up the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. Bernie supported those sanctions. He also supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 which reaffirmed US support for the sanctions even after 500,000 children had been killed.

Bernie also voted for Clinton's 1999 bombing campaign on Kosovo.

All that said, yes, Bernie is the best option.

Rhys Jaggar ,

Well, the BBC is bigging up Joe Biden right now, yet another of its ridiculous pieces of propaganda utterly devoid of its duty to serve its license payors, who are the British people, not the neoconservative banking elite.

When they spout bullshit that 20% of UK workers could miss work 'due to coronavirus', when we have had precisely 36 deaths in a population of 65 million plus, you know that like climate change, they spout the 1% probability as the mainstream narrative .

It just shows what folks are up against when media is so cravenly serving those who do not pay them.

Charlotte Russe ,

"If Bernie Sanders doesn't secure 50% of all delegates, then DNC insiders have already signaled that they will steal the nomination and give it to someone else -- who will lose to Trump. The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday."

While Bernie spent more than three decades advocating for economic social justice Biden spent those same three decades promoting social repression."

"The 1990s saw Biden take aim at civil liberties, authoring anti-terror bills that, among other things, "gutted the federal writ of habeas corpus," as one legal scholar later reflected. It was this earlier legislation that led Biden to brag to anyone listening that he was effectively the author of the Bush-era PATRIOT ACT, which, in his view, didn't go far enough. He inserted a provision into the bill that allowed for the militarization of local law enforcement and again suggested deploying the military within US borders."

How interesting, it's Obama who gave the "cue" for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Beto, Rice, and the entire slippery gang to circle the wagons in support of the most reactionary warmongering candidate running. The same Obama who released drones every Tuesday morning killing brown and blacks throughout the Middle East and Africa– the majority of slaughtered were innocent women and children.

The desperation of the national security state is reflected by The DNC's Shenanigans. The security state would rather promote a crooked, warmongering, lying, racist who barely can put together two logical thoughts then accept a candidate who represents a hopeful future for the next generation.

The DNC's message is very clear– they're a "private party" and the working-class are NOT invited. In fact, they're saying more than that–if uninvited workers and the marginalized dare to enter they'll be tossed out on their arse

In plain sight the mainstream media news is telling millions that NO one can stop the military/security/surveillance/corporate state from their stranglehold over the corrupt political duopoly.

I say fight and don't give-up! Be prepared–organize a million people march and head to Milwaukee– the future of the next generation is on the line.

But this by far is the most frightening thought, Biden, does not have all his marbles–it's obvious–we can only guess it's some type of dementia. So if Biden, slides through deploying a multitude of underhanded machinations and becomes the nominee, Trump, will make mincemeat of him during the debates.

But if Biden, makes it to the Oval Office he'll be "less" than a figurehead. Biden, will be as mentally acute as the early bird diner in a Florida assisted living facility after a recent stroke. The national security state will seize control– handing the "taxidermied Biden" a pen to idiotically sign off on their highly insidious agenda ..

Ken Kenn ,

Pretty straightforward for me ( I don't know about Bernie? ) but if the Super delegates and the DNC hierarchy decide to hand the nomination over to Biden then Bernie should stand as an independent. At least even in defeat a left marker would be placed on the US political table away from the Corporate owners and the shills that hack for them in the media and elsewhere. At least ordinary US people would know that someone is on their side.

Corbyn in the UK was described as a ' Marxist' by the Tories and the unquestioning media. Despite all that ' Marxist ' Labour got 33% of the vote. People will vote for a ' socialist '

Charlotte Ruse ,

Unfortunately, Bernie won't abandon the Democratic Party. However, there's a ton of Bernie supporters who will vote Third Party if Bernie doesn't get the nomination.

paul ,

I'm not in the Orange Baboon's Fan Club, but I find it sad and a little bit pathetic the way people still invest their hopes and put their faith in figures like Bernie, Tulsi or Jezza. Bernie got shafted in 2016 and just saluted smartly and fell into line behind Crooked Hillary. When she lost, he started singing from the approved hymn sheet. The evil Putin stole the election for Kremlin Agent Trump. He has been parroting the same nonsense for the past 4 years.

That's when he hasn't been shilling for regime change wars in Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and elsewhere against "communist dictators."

Bernie will get shafted again shortly and fall into line behind Epstein's and Weinstein's best mate Bloomberg or Creepy Joe, or Pocahontas, or whoever.

If by some miracle they can't quite rig it this time and Bernie gets the nomination, the DNC will just fail to support him, and allow Trump to win. They would rather see Trump than Bernie in the White House.

Just like Starmer, Thornberry, Phillips and all the Blairite Backstabber Friends of Israel were more terrified of seeing Jezza in Number Ten than any Tory.
Dr. Johnson said that getting remarried represented the triumph of hope over experience.

The same applies to people expecting any positive change from people like Bernie, Tulsi, or Jezza.

The system just doesn't allow it.

pete ,

Jeez people get a clue. How many times do you need to fall for the "this candidate is so much better and will solve everything" ruse? Remember Obama? The exact same bullshit was going around back then.

Gezzah Potts ,

We have hope😁 . We have change😁 . We have hope and change you can believe in😁 . Well, yeah, we all know what happened during Obombers 8 years. The entire thing is nothing but Kabuki theatre. For all those still believing the United States is a democracy.

clickkid ,

"The real election for the future of America is on Super Tuesday." Sorry Joe, but where have you been for the last 50 years" Elections are irrelevant. Events change the world – not elections. The only important aspect of an election is the turnout. If you vote in an election, then at some level you still believe in the system.

Willem ,

Sometimes Chomsky can be useful

'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. Rather, they must be instilled in the public mind by more subtle means. A totalitarian state can be satisfied with lesser degrees of allegiance to required truths. It is sufficient that people obey; what they think is a secondary concern. But in a democratic political order, there is always the danger that independent thought might be translated into political action, so it is important to eliminate the threat at its root.

Debate cannot be stilled, and indeed, in a properly functioning system of propaganda, it should not be, because it has a system-reinforcing character if constrained within proper bounds. What is essential is to set the bounds firmly. Controversy may rage as long as it adheres to the presuppositions that define the consensus of elites, and it should furthermore be encouraged within these bounds, thus helping to establish these doctrines as the very condition of thinkable thought while reinforcing the belief that freedom reigns.'

If true, the question is, what are we not allowed to say? Or is Chomsky wrong, and are we allowed to say anything we like since TPTB know that words cannot, ever, change political action as for that you need power and brutal force, which we do not have and which, btw Chomsky advocates to its readers not to try to use against the nation state?

So maybe Chomsky is not so useful after all, or only useful for the status quo.

Chomsky's latest book, sold in book stores and at airports, where, apparantly, opinions of dissident writers whose opinions go beyond the bounds of the consensus of elites, are sold in large amounts to marginalize those opinions out of society, is called 'Optimism over despair', a title stolen from Gramsci who said: 'pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.'

But every time I follow Chomsky's reasoning, I end in dead end roads of which it is quite hard to find your way out. So perhaps I should change that title into 'nihilism over despair'. If you follow Chomsky's reasoning

clickkid ,

Your Chomsky Quote: "'In the democratic system, the necessary illusions cannot be imposed by force. .. " Tell that to the Yellow Vests.

ajbsm ,

Despite the deep state stranglehold .on the whole world there seems to be a 'wind' blowing (ref Lenin) of more and more people turning backs on the secret service candidates – not just in America. Power, money and bullying will carry on succeeding eventually the edifice is blown away – this will probably happen, it will be ugly and what emerges might not even be better(!) But the current controllers seem to have a sell by date.

Ken Kenn ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. A revolution can only come about when the Bourgeoisie can no longer continue to govern in the old way. In other words it becomes more than a want – more of a necessity of change to the ordinary person.

We have to remember that in general ( it's a bit of a guess but just to illustrate a point ) that a small majority of people in any western nation are reasonably content – to an extent. They are not going to rock the boat that Kennedy tried to make the tide rise for or that Thatcher and her mates copied with home owner ship and the right to get into serious debt. This depends on whether you had/have a boat in the first place. If not you've always been drowning in the slowly rising tide.

Sanders as I've said before is not Castro. He has many faults but in a highly parameterised p Neo liberal economic loving political and media world he is the best hope. Not great stuff on offer but a significant move away from the 1% and the 3% who work for them ( including Presidents and Prime Misister ) so even that slight shift is plus for the most powerful country on planet earth.

I have in the past worked alongside various religious groups as an atheist as long as they were on the right( or should that be left?) side on an issue.

Now is not the time for the American left to play the Prolier than though card.

Every opportunity to push back Neo liberalism should be taken.

wardropper ,

I'm not convinced of the theory that the more poor/whipped/ spat upon people become the more likely they are to revolt. But didn't the Storming of the Bastille happen for that very reason? I think people are waiting for just one spark to ignite their simmering fury – just one more straw to break the patient camel's back. Understandably, the "elite" (which used to mean exalted above the general level) are in some trepidation about this, but, like all bullies their addiction to the rush of power goes all the way to the bitter end – the bitter end being the point at which their target stands up and gives them a black eye. It's almost comical how the bully then becomes the wailing victim himself, and we have all seen often enough the successfully-resisted dictatorial figure of authority resorting to the claim that he is now being bullied himself. But this is a situation of his own making, and our sympathy for him is limited by our memory of that fact.

Ken Kenn ,

Where's the simmering fury in the West. U.S. turnout is pathetically low. Even in the UK the turnout in the most important election since the First World War was 67%. I see the result of the " simmering fury " giving rise to the right not the left. Just that one phrase or paragraph of provocative words will spark the revolution?

... ... ...

wardropper ,

My point, which I thought I made clearly enough, was that the fury is simmering , and waiting for a catalyst. I also think an important reason for turnout being low is simply that people don't respond well to being treated like idiots by an utterly corrupt establishment. They just don't want to participate in the farce.

Once again, Mark Twain sums up my feeling: "If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it."

I'm not trying to be argumentative, and, like you, I am quite happy to back Sanders as by far the best of a pretty rotten bunch. Perhaps China is indeed leading in many respects right now, but becoming Chinese doesn't seem like a real option for most of us at the moment . . . Incidentally I have been to China and I found the people there as interesting as people anywhere else, although I particularly enjoyed the many things which are completely different from our western cultural roots.

Rhisiart Gwilym ,

Speaking of the Clintons' death toll, didn't Sanders too back all USAmerica's mass-murdering, armed-robbery aggressions against helpless small countries in recent times? And anyway, why are we wasting time discussing the minutiae of the shadow-boxing in this ridiculous circus of a pretend-democratic 'election'? Watching a coffin warp would be a more useful occupation.

I go with Dmitry Orlov's reckoning of the matter: It doesn't matter who becomes president of the US, since the rule of the deep state continues unbroken, enacting its own policies, which ignore the wishes of the common citizens, and only follow the requirements of the mostly hyper-rich gics (gangsters-in-charge) in the controlling positions of this spavined, failing empire. (My paraphrase of Dmitry.)

USPresidents do what their deep-state handlers want; or they get impeached, or assassinated like the Kennedy brothers. And they all know this. Bill Hick's famous joke about men in a smoke-filled room showing the newly-'elected' POTUS that piece of film of Kennedy driving by the grassy knoll in Dealy Plaza, Dallas, is almost literally true. All POTUSes understand that perfectly well before they even take office.

Voting for the policies you prefer, in a genuinely democratic republic, and actually getting them realised, will only happen for USAmericans when they've risen up and taken genuine popular control of their state-machine; at last!

Meanwhile, of what interest is this ridiculous charade to us in Britain (on another continent entirely; we never see this degree of attention given to Russian politics, though it has a much greater bearing on our future)? Our business here is to get Britain out of it's current shameful status, as one of the most grovelling of all the Anglozionist empire's provinces. We have a traitorous-comprador class of our own to turn out of power. Waste no time on the continuous three-ring distraction-circus in the US – where we in Britain don't even have a vote.

wardropper ,

The upvotes here would seem to show what thinking people appreciate most. Seeing through the advertising bezazz, the cheerleaders and the ownership of the media is obviously a top priority, and I suspect a large percentage of people who don't even know about the OffG would agree.

John Ervin ,

Where's yours? That's impertinent. Our voting process was programmed, close to 100% by two guys, at one point not many years ago, with the same last name, the brothers Urosevich. The machine owners claim that, as it is their proprietary software, the public is excluded from the vote-counting. And that much still holds true. Game. Set. Match. Any questions?

Antonym ,

What Bernie Sanders suffered and endured in 2016 was outrageous.

US deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016: they would love him to become string puppet POTUS in 2020. Trump is more difficult to control so they hate him.

John Ervin ,

Just one more Conspiracy Realist, eh! When will we ever learn? "The deep state ate him for breakfast in 2016 ." That gives some sense of the ease with which they pull strings, nicely put. One variation on the theme of your metaphor: "They savored him as one might consume a cocktail olive at an exclusive or entitled soirée."

It is painfully clear by any real connection of dots that he is simply one of their stalking horses for other game. And that Homeland game (still) doesn't know whether a horse has four, or six, legs.

*****

"Puppet Masters, or master puppets?"

Antonym ,

It is painfully clear that US Deep state hates Trump simply by looking at the Russiagate they cooked him up.

Fair dinkum ,

The US voters have surrounded themselves with a sewer, now they have to swim in it.

[Mar 02, 2020] Last Ditch Effort to Stop Sanders

Mar 02, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Rick Wilson has a plan for Obama to help snatch the White House away from Trump

.. GOP strategist and avid Never Trumper Rick Wilson said ... Obama needs to throw his full weight behind Biden before Super Tuesday in a way that will shake up the race ... Obama can transform this race in a hot second. ... It's now or never ... Biden beat Sanders like a rented mule. The exit polls told the tale; it was a crushing defeat across almost every demographic group ...

Gotta love these Republicans who have our best interests at heart.

Last week in Nevada it was Sanders who beat Biden like a rented mule, inflicting a crushing defeat across almost every demographic group. But that was then, this is now, and a Republican stratigist says "It's now or never" to defeat Sanders Trump.

Super Tuesday is ... Tuesday. Biden, as I noted yesterday, hasn't visited any Super Tuesday state in a month, has almost no money, is not on the air, has little or no ground game. Early voting is already in progress in several states. What can be done in one day to turn things around?

Realistically, nothing. Yes, a big endorsement by Obama could have an impact, but how many voters would even hear about it before voting? Biden will definitely get a bounce from his win in SC, but how big will it be? How much did Sanders' win in Nevada help him in SC?

Then there's this:

Why Biden still needs Klobuchar and Warren in the race

Team Biden believes having Klobuchar in the race through Super Tuesday is incredibly helpful to them.
Why? It blocks Bernie Sanders in the Minnesota primary on Tuesday.
"If Amy gets out, that gives Minnesota to Bernie,"
...
Four years ago, Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton in Minnesota, winning 62% to 38% ...
The Biden campaign wants Warren to be in the race through Super Tuesday, when Massachusetts voters weigh in.

Not to win. Not to hoard delegates for a convention fight. But just taking every opportunity to slow Bernie down.

Finally, and I only saw one tweet about this and can't find any confirmation, that Bloomberg hasn't made any ad buys beyond Super Tuesday. Anyone know anything about this?

Steyer has spent $200 million, got nothing for it, and has dropped out. I'm hoping that's what we see for Bloomberg as well. Is Bloomberg trying to win? Or just to stop Bernie? Super Tuesday will tell the tale.


laurel on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 2:18pm

It's interesting how each of them

@WoodsDweller -- Biden, Bloomberg, Warren, Klobuchar -- is stepping in to do his or her part for the overall goal of stopping Bernie. They are 100% loyal to the Dem establishment which is 100% loyal to the neocon, neoliberal, oligarchic, globalist Deep State. They know the Dem establishment will reward them -- and you can practically smell the certainty of that knowledge on Liz. She'll do and say whatever they ask of her.

Anja Geitz on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 10:42am
Frankly, I never believed Bernie's candidacy was going to be met

with anything but a full on assault by the DNC, the media, and their respective surrogates. What I didn't expect, especially from dubious "progressives" like Warren, was to hear non-viable candidates openly talking about blunting Bernie's momentum with their only goal being to collect delegates into the convention. Yes, most of us anticipated this was going to turn into a contested convention by design, but I don't know how many of us believed they'd tip their hand so blatantly and so soon into the process. Now that they have, it gives Bernie time to prepare his own strategy for meeting their threat at the convention. Maybe someone could refresh his memory on how effective the bus loads of people that GWB arranged were in shaping the media narrative of "civil disruption vs. accurate counting" in Florida? Taking a page out of that playbook, Bernie's people really need to start thinking about organizing an army of supporters in strength that rivals his numbers at his rallys, and descend onto Wisconsin. And maybe as an added bonus, conjure up the image of the 1968 convention Buttigieg seems to believe Bernie is so nostalgic about resurrecting. If the Establishment is going to twart the will of the people, let the will of the people be heard.

doh1304 on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 2:03pm
There are threee possible scenarios

for how the pre primary polls were so far off:

First, a wild methodological error. Bernie actually received more votes yesterday than in 2016. Perhaps only people who voted in 2016 were polled.

Second, everyone knows that Bernie is the person most likely to defeat Trump and Biden is the worst possible candidate. Perhaps thousands of Trump supporters came out pretending to be Democrats to vote for Biden. This has supposedly happened before.

Third, the quisling Democrats have given up all pretense of being honest and are blatantly stealing the nomination from Bernie. This is the most likely.

FreeSociety on Sun, 03/01/2020 - 3:18pm
2016 Deja Vu

.
In many ways, this race is now the same exact contest that was fought back in 2016. It has come down to Joe Biden -- The Establishment choice -- despite his obvious Ukraine corruption, family payoffs, obstruction of justice and abuse of office, etc. -- and despite Biden being 100% wrong on every issue from the Iraq War to NAFTA to the TPP to Syria (more Regime Change) to Libya to saying China is not an economic threat , etc. -- and despite him being a bumbling buffoon and gaffe machine who doesn't even know what State he is in, and constantly mangles sentences, and arrogantly yells at or insults prospective voters -- and despite him on multiple occasions caught sniffing the hair and fondling young girls in public.

How is this different from Hillary Clinton .. just without the Cackle ?

Bernie Sanders, as in 2016, is the only other option now that has a multi-state Campaign support structure. While Mike Bloomberg can buy million dollar Ads and saturate them everywhere across TV and the Internet .. he has no real voter base, a phony message, and no charisma.

So it is Sanders .vs. Biden , which is essentially a rematch between Sanders and Clinton -- or -- essentially a rematch between Sanders and the DNC Establishment (who also control the rules of the game).

My question is, who in earth would ever want to vote for the doddering and incoherent Joe Biden under any circumstance? Clearly, Biden just represents the anti-Sanders vote here, and The Establishment, with Bloomberg, Buttiburger, and Klobachar all failing, has closed ranks to consolidate around the one dog-faced, pony soldier left standing in the race: Quid Pro Joe.

Come on man! Get down and do some pushups Jack. I don't want your vote.

Polls and Votes and super delegates and Media narratives will all now be fixed around Biden from this point on (if they weren't already). So expect a whole lot of Malarkey upcoming, and this means that Sanders will have to win by big margins, and win a whole lot more States than he did in 2016, in order to survive.

--

[Mar 01, 2020] Sanders defeat will be the next step indelitimization of the US corrupt regime

Mar 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

paul ,

Sanders was shafted in 2016 by the corrupt DNC machine, and he is being shafted again.He will probably be sidelined in favour of some third rate hack like Buttplug, or some other synthetic, manufactured nonentity.

If he isn't, and by some miracle does secure the nomination, they will fail to support him and just allow him to be defeated by Trump. It doesn't matter.

There are millions of decent people who have long been persuaded to play the game of Lesser Evils. They will be as disenchanted as was Trump's Base by a transparently corrupt, rigged system, and finally withdraw their support. This has to be seen as a positive development.

They can no longer paper over the cracks.

[Mar 01, 2020] It was her waffling, insincerity, and attacks on Sanders that caused voters to realize not only that she was not committed to solving the most important issue dacing the nation and would likely accommodate to powerful interests in Obama-esque fashion.

Notable quotes:
"... not only did Warren botch the rollout, her plans were bad, and were seen as bad. ..."
"... "Elizabeth Warren cries and tries to regain ground with voters" [Joan Vennochi, Boston Globe ]. The deck: "Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders, her ideological soulmate, rolls along, tears-free." Ouch. ..."
"... IMO it was her later waffling, insincerity, and backtracking on M4A that caused progressives to realize not only that she was not committed to solving the most important issue identified by Dem voters, but that she may not have a fire in her belly to address the nation's other urgent crises and would likely accommodate to powerful interests in Obama-esque fashion. ..."
"... Trump as the not-Democrat has such an edge among the disaffected who are still angry enough to vote ..."
"... I think that I can answer that. Jimmy Dore put out a 5-minute video showing her in action. A protestor heckled her in front of a meeting and she went into deer-in-spotlight mode and shut down. In the end she had to be rescued by Ayanna Pressley and I was thinking – "She really wants to debate Trump? Will she shut down then too?". (Some language) ..."
Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Warren (D)(1): "What is happening with Elizabeth Warren?" [Chris Cilizza, CNN ].

"Less than two months ago, it looked as though Elizabeth Warren might just run away with the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination . Then that Warren wave hit a wall. Starting right around mid-October, Warren's numbers not only stopped moving upward but also began trending down

Add it all up and there's plenty of reason to believe that Warren's full-fledged support for Medicare for All -- coupled with her less-than-successful attempts to defend that position in the last two debates -- led to her current reduced status in the race."

If this were true, Sanders should drop as well. I think Cilizza should give consideration to the idea that not only did Warren botch the rollout, her plans were bad, and were seen as bad.

"Elizabeth Warren cries and tries to regain ground with voters" [Joan Vennochi, Boston Globe ]. The deck: "Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders, her ideological soulmate, rolls along, tears-free." Ouch.

More: "According to the Des Moines Register, "after a long pause and with tears in her eyes, the senator from Massachusetts said 'yeah,' before telling the story of the divorce from her first husband," and how painful it was to tell her mother that her marriage was over.

To showcase the significance of the encounter, Warren tweeted out a clip."

Dead Lord. You don't tweet out your own tears to show sincerity. Have somebody else do it! Isn't anybody on her staff protecting her?

XXYY , December 3, 2019 at 3:40 pm

I think Cilizza should give consideration to the idea that not only did Warren botch the rollout, her plans were bad, and were seen as bad.

The establishment is trying mightily to salvage something useful from Warren's surprisingly rapid decline in the polls, constantly pushing the refrain that M4A was somehow the kiss of death for her.

In fact, she rose to prominence by riding on Sanders policies like Medicare for All, canceling student debt, and free college. "I'm with Bernie" was her frequent reply on several policy issues, and she co-sponsored Sanders' Medicare for All Senate bill to great effect on her own "progressive" cred.

IMO it was her later waffling, insincerity, and backtracking on M4A that caused progressives to realize not only that she was not committed to solving the most important issue identified by Dem voters, but that she may not have a fire in her belly to address the nation's other urgent crises and would likely accommodate to powerful interests in Obama-esque fashion.

Mo's Bike Shop , December 3, 2019 at 8:23 pm

Six years wait for the ACA to piss almost everyone off.

Trump as the not-Democrat has such an edge among the disaffected who are still angry enough to vote. Especially since the whole and only DNC message will be 'you can't possibly vote for Trump!!!'

The Rev Kev , December 3, 2019 at 6:38 pm

"What is happening with Elizabeth Warren?"

I think that I can answer that. Jimmy Dore put out a 5-minute video showing her in action. A protestor heckled her in front of a meeting and she went into deer-in-spotlight mode and shut down. In the end she had to be rescued by Ayanna Pressley and I was thinking – "She really wants to debate Trump? Will she shut down then too?". (Some language)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CeRiG9jdF0

flora , December 3, 2019 at 7:34 pm

Warren seems to have a tin ear when it comes to political give and take. IMO.

[Feb 29, 2020] Meghan McCain Has To Ask Warren Three Times To Admit Soleimani Was A Terrorist

So the person who saves Syria from occupation by IGIL is a terrorist ? Just a few years ago, CNN praised # Iran 's Qassem # Soleimani for defeating ISIS.
Jan 08, 2020 | t.co
Sarah Abdallah ‏ @ sahouraxo 16h 16 hours ago More

Just a few years ago, CNN was praising Qassem # Soleimani for being the driving force behind the defeat of ISIS. Today they call him a "terrorist" and expect you to believe them.

[Feb 27, 2020] Russiagate Investigation Now Endangers Obama by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... The Russiagate investigation, which had formerly focused against the current US President, has reversed direction and now targets the prior President. ..."
"... In order to appreciate the seriousness of that misconduct and its implications, it is useful to understand certain procedural and substantive requirements that apply to the government's conduct of electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA ), codified as amended at 50 USC. 1801-1813, governs such electronic surveillance. It requires the government to apply for and receive an order from the FISC approving a proposed electronic surveillance. When deciding whether to grant such an application, a FISC judge must determine among other things, whether it provides probable cause to believe that the proposed surveillance target is a "foreign power" or an agent a foreign power. ..."
"... The government has a heightened duty of candor to the FISC in ex parte proceedings, that is, ones in which the government does not face an adverse party, such as proceedings on electronic surveillance applications. The FISC expects the government to comply with its heightened duty of candor in ex parte proceedings at all times. Candor is fundamental to this Court's effective operation. ..."
"... On December 9, 2019, the government filed, with the FISC, public and classified versions of the OIG Report. It documents troubling instances in which FBI personnel provided information to NSD ..."
"... which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession. It also describes several instances in which FBI personnel withheld from NSD information in their possession which was detrimental to their case for believing that Mr. ..."
"... Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power. ..."
"... MACCALLUM: Were you surprised that he ..."
"... seemed to give himself such a distance from the entire operation? ..."
"... "JAMES COMEY: As the director sitting on top of an organization of 38,000 people you can't run an investigation that's seven layers below you. You have to leave it to the career professionals to do." ..."
"... MACCALLUM: Do you believe that? ..."
"... BARR: No, I think that the -- one of the problems with what happened was precisely that they pulled the investigation up to the executive floors, and it was run and bird dogged by a very small group of very high level officials. And the idea that this was seven layers below him is simply not true. ..."
"... Allegedly, George Papadopoulos said that "Halper insinuated to him that Russia was helping the Trump campaign" , and Papadopoulos was shocked at Halper's saying this. Probably because so much money at the Pentagon is untraceable, some of the crucial documentation on this investigation might never be found. For example, the Defense Department's Inspector General's 2 July 2019 report to the US Senate said "ONA personnel could not provide us any evidence that Professor Halper visited any of these locations, established an advisory group, or met with any of the specific people listed in the statement of work." ..."
"... very profitable business ..."
"... Schultz and other members of the DNC staff had exercised bias against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic primaries -- which favoritism had been the reason why Obama had appointed Shultz to that post to begin with. She was just doing her job for the person who had chosen her to lead the DNC. Likewise for Comey. In other words: Comey was Obama's pick to protect Clinton, and to oppose Trump (who had attacked both Clinton and Obama). ..."
"... Nowadays, Obama is telling the Party's billionaires that Elizabeth Warren would be good for them , but not that Sanders would -- he never liked Sanders. ..."
"... and, so, Trump now will be gunning against Obama ..."
"... Whatever the outcome will be, it will be historic, and unprecedented. (If Sanders becomes the nominee, it will be even more so; and, if he then wins on November 3rd, it will be a second American Revolution; but, this time, a peaceful one -- if that's even possible, in today's hyper-partisan, deeply split, USA.) ..."
"... There is no way that the outcome from this will be status-quo. Either it will be greatly increased further schism in the United States, or it will be a fundamental political realignment, more comparable to 1860 than to anything since. ..."
"... Reform is no longer an available option, given America's realities. A far bigger leap than that will be required in order for this country to avoid falling into an utter abyss, which could be led by either Party, because both Parties have brought the nation to its present precipice, the dark and lightless chasm that it now faces, and which must now become leapt, in order to avoid a free-fall into oblivion. ..."
"... The problem in America isn't either Obama or Trump; it's neither merely the Democratic Party, nor merely the Republican Party; it is instead both; it is the Deep State . ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
Former US President Barack Obama is now in severe legal jeopardy, because the Russiagate investigation has turned 180 degrees; and he, instead of the current President, Donald Trump, is in its cross-hairs.

The biggest crime that a US President can commit is to try to defeat American democracy (the Constitutional functioning of the US Government) itself, either by working with foreign powers to take it over, or else by working internally within America to sabotage democracy for his or her own personal reasons. Either way, it's treason (crime that is intended to, and does, endanger the continued functioning of the Constitution itself*), and Mr. Obama is now being actively investigated, as possibly having done this.

The Russiagate investigation, which had formerly focused against the current US President, has reversed direction and now targets the prior President. Although he, of course, cannot be removed from office (since he is no longer in office), he is liable under criminal laws, the same as any other American would be, if he committed any crime while he was in office.

A December 17th order by the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court severely condemned the performance by the FBI under Obama, for having obtained, on 19 October 2016 (even prior to the US Presidential election), from that Court, under false pretenses, an authorization for the FBI to commence investigating Donald Trump's Presidential campaign, as being possibly in collusion with Russia's Government. The Court's ruling said:

In order to appreciate the seriousness of that misconduct and its implications, it is useful to understand certain procedural and substantive requirements that apply to the government's conduct of electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes. Title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA ), codified as amended at 50 USC. 1801-1813, governs such electronic surveillance. It requires the government to apply for and receive an order from the FISC approving a proposed electronic surveillance. When deciding whether to grant such an application, a FISC judge must determine among other things, whether it provides probable cause to believe that the proposed surveillance target is a "foreign power" or an agent a foreign power.

The government has a heightened duty of candor to the FISC in ex parte proceedings, that is, ones in which the government does not face an adverse party, such as proceedings on electronic surveillance applications. The FISC expects the government to comply with its heightened duty of candor in ex parte proceedings at all times. Candor is fundamental to this Court's effective operation.

On December 9, 2019, the government filed, with the FISC, public and classified versions of the OIG Report. It documents troubling instances in which FBI personnel provided information to NSD [National Security Division of the Department of Justice] which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession. It also describes several instances in which FBI personnel withheld from NSD information in their possession which was detrimental to their case for believing that Mr. [Carter] Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power.

On December 18th, Martha McCallum, of Fox News, interviewed US Attorney General Bill Barr , and asked him (at 7:00 in the video ) how high up in the FBI the blame for this (possible treason) goes:

MACCALLUM: Were you surprised that he [Obama's FBI Director James Comey] seemed to give himself such a distance from the entire operation?

"JAMES COMEY: As the director sitting on top of an organization of 38,000 people you can't run an investigation that's seven layers below you. You have to leave it to the career professionals to do."

MACCALLUM: Do you believe that?

BARR: No, I think that the -- one of the problems with what happened was precisely that they pulled the investigation up to the executive floors, and it was run and bird dogged by a very small group of very high level officials. And the idea that this was seven layers below him is simply not true.

The current (Trump) A.G. there called the former (Obama) FBI Director a liar on that.

If Comey gets heat for this possibly lie-based FBI investigation of the US Presidential nominee from the opposite Party of the sitting US President (Comey's own boss, Obama), then protecting himself could become Comey's top motivation; and, in that condition, protecting his former boss might become only a secondary concern for him.

Moreover, as was first publicly reported by Nick Falco in a tweet on 5 June 2018 (which tweet was removed by Twitter but fortunately not before someone had copied it to a web archive ), the FBI had been investigating the Trump campaign starting no later than 7 October 2015. An outside private contractor, Stefan Halper, was hired in Britain for this, perhaps in order to get around laws prohibiting the US Government from doing it. (This was 'foreign intelligence' work, after all. But was it really ? That's now being investigated.) The Office of Net Assessment (ONA) "through the Pentagon's Washington Headquarters Services, awarded him contracts from 2012 to 2016 to write four studies encompassing relations among the US, Russia, China and India" .

Though Halper actually did no such studies for the Pentagon, he instead functioned as a paid FBI informant (and it's not yet clear whether that money came from the Pentagon, which spends trillions of dollars that are off-the-books and untraceable ), and at some point Trump's campaign became a target of Halper's investigation. This investigation was nominally to examine "The Russia-China Relationship: The impact on US Security interests."

Allegedly, George Papadopoulos said that "Halper insinuated to him that Russia was helping the Trump campaign" , and Papadopoulos was shocked at Halper's saying this. Probably because so much money at the Pentagon is untraceable, some of the crucial documentation on this investigation might never be found. For example, the Defense Department's Inspector General's 2 July 2019 report to the US Senate said "ONA personnel could not provide us any evidence that Professor Halper visited any of these locations, established an advisory group, or met with any of the specific people listed in the statement of work."

It seems that the Pentagon-contracted work was a cover-story, like pizza parlors have been for some Mafia operations. But, anyway, this is how America's 'democracy' actually functions . And, of course, America's Deep State works not only through governmental agencies but also through underworld organizations . That's just reality, not at all speculative. It's been this way for decades, at least since the time of Truman's Presidency (as is documented at that link).

Furthermore, inasmuch as this operation certainly involved Obama's CIA Director John Brennan and others, and not only top officials at the FBI, there is no chance that Comey would have been the only high official who was involved in it. And if Comey was involved, then he would have been acting in his own interest, and not only in his boss's -- and here's why: Comey would be expected to have been highly motivated to oppose Mr. Trump, because Trump publicly questioned whether NATO (the main international selling-arm for America's 'defense'-contractors) should continue to exist, and also because Comey's entire career had been in the service of America's Military-Industrial Complex, which is the reason why Comey's main lifetime income has been the tens of millions of dollars he has received via the revolving door between his serving the federal Government and his serving firms such as Lockheed Martin . For these people, restoring, and intensifying, and keeping up, the Cold War , is a very profitable business . It's called by some "the Military-Industrial Complex," and by others "the Deep State," but by any name it is simply agents of the billionaires who own and control US-based international corporations, such as General Dynamics and Chevron. As a governmental official, making decisions that are in the long-term interests of those investors is the likeliest way to become wealthy.

Consequently, Comey would have been benefitting himself, and other high officials of the Obama Administration, by sabotaging Trump's campaign, and by weakening Trump's Presidency in the event that he would become elected. Plus, of course, Comey would have been benefitting Obama himself. Not only was Trump constantly condemning Obama, but Obama had appointed to lead the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 Presidential primaries, Debbie Wasserman Schultz , who as early as 20 February 2007 had endorsed Hillary Clinton for President in the Democratic Party primaries, so that Shultz was one of the earliest supporters of Clinton against even Obama himself. In other words, Obama had appointed Shultz in order to increase the odds that Clinton -- not Sanders -- would become the nominee in 2016 to continue on and protect his own Presidential legacy. Furthermore, on 28 July 2016, Schultz became forced to resign from her leadership of the DNC after WikiLeaks released emails indicating that Schultz and other members of the DNC staff had exercised bias against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic primaries -- which favoritism had been the reason why Obama had appointed Shultz to that post to begin with. She was just doing her job for the person who had chosen her to lead the DNC. Likewise for Comey. In other words: Comey was Obama's pick to protect Clinton, and to oppose Trump (who had attacked both Clinton and Obama).

Nowadays, Obama is telling the Party's billionaires that Elizabeth Warren would be good for them , but not that Sanders would -- he never liked Sanders. He wants Warren to get the voters who otherwise would go for Sanders, and he wants the Party's billionaires to help her achieve this (be the Party's allegedly 'progressive' option), so that Sanders won't be able to become a ballot option in the general election to be held on 3 November 2020.

He is telling them whom not to help win the Party's nomination. In fact, on November 26th, Huffington Post headlined "Obama Said He Would Speak Up To Stop Bernie Sanders Nomination: Report" and indicated that though he won't actually say this in public (but only to the Party's billionaires), Obama is determined to do all he can to prevent Sanders from becoming the nominee. In 2016, his choice was Hillary Clinton; but, today, it's anyone other than Sanders; and, so, in a sense, it remains what it was four years ago -- anyone but Sanders.

Comey's virtually exclusive concern, at the present stage, would be to protect himself, so that he won't be imprisoned. This means that he might testify against Obama. At this stage, he's free of any personal obligation to Obama -- Comey is now on his own, up against Trump, who clearly is his enemy. Some type of back-room plea-bargain is therefore virtually inevitable -- and not only with Comey, but with other top Obama-appointees, ultimately. Obama is thus clearly in the cross-hairs, from now on. Congressional Democrats have opted to gun against Trump (by impeaching him); and, so, Trump now will be gunning against Obama -- and against the entire Democratic Party (unless Sanders becomes its nominee, in which case, Sanders will already have defeated that Democratic Party, and its adherents will then have to choose between him versus Trump; and, so, too, will independent voters).

But, regardless of what happens, Obama now is in the cross-hairs. That's not just political cross-hairs (such as an impeachment process); it is, above all, legal cross-hairs (an actual criminal investigation). Whereas Trump is up against a doomed effort by the Democratic Party to replace him by Vice President Mike Pence, Obama will be up against virtually inevitable criminal charges, by the incumbent Trump Administration. Obama played hardball against Trump, with "Russiagate," and then with "Ukrainegate"; Trump will now play hardball against Obama, with whatever his Administration and the Republican Party manage to muster against Obama; and the stakes this time will be considerably bigger than just whether to replace Trump by Pence.

Whatever the outcome will be, it will be historic, and unprecedented. (If Sanders becomes the nominee, it will be even more so; and, if he then wins on November 3rd, it will be a second American Revolution; but, this time, a peaceful one -- if that's even possible, in today's hyper-partisan, deeply split, USA.)

There is no way that the outcome from this will be status-quo. Either it will be greatly increased further schism in the United States, or it will be a fundamental political realignment, more comparable to 1860 than to anything since.

The US already has a higher percentage of its people in prison than does any other nation on this planet. Americans who choose a 'status-quo' option will produce less stability, more violence, not more stability and a more peaceful nation in a less war-ravaged world. The 2020 election-outcome for the United States will be a turning-point; there is no way that it will produce reform.

Americans who vote for reform will be only increasing the likelihood of hell-on-Earth. Reform is no longer an available option, given America's realities. A far bigger leap than that will be required in order for this country to avoid falling into an utter abyss, which could be led by either Party, because both Parties have brought the nation to its present precipice, the dark and lightless chasm that it now faces, and which must now become leapt, in order to avoid a free-fall into oblivion.

The problem in America isn't either Obama or Trump; it's neither merely the Democratic Party, nor merely the Republican Party; it is instead both; it is the Deep State .

That's the reality; and the process that got us here started on 26 July 1945 and secretly continued on the American side even after the Soviet Union ended and Russia promptly ended its side of the Cold War. The US regime's ceaseless thrust, since 26 July 1945, to rule the entire world, will climax either in a Third World War, or in a US revolution to overthrow and remove the Deep State and end its dictatorship-grip over America. Both Parties have been controlled by that Deep State , and the final stage or climax of this grip is now drawing near. America thus has been having a string of the worst Presidents -- and worst Congresses -- in US history. This is today's reality.

Unfortunately, a lot of American voters think that this extremely destabilizing reality, this longstanding trend toward war, is okay, and ought to be continued, not ended now and replaced by a new direction for this country -- the path toward world peace, which FDR had accurately envisioned but which was aborted on 26 July 1945. No matter how many Americans might vote for mere reform, they are wrong. Sometimes, only a minority are right. Being correct is not a majority or minority matter; it is a true or false matter. A misinformed public can willingly participate in its own -- or even the world's -- destruction. That could happen.

Democracy is a prerequisite to peace, but it can't exist if the public are being systematically misinformed. Lies and democracy don't mix together any more effectively than do oil and water.

[Feb 26, 2020] What brokered convention would mean for candidates and the Dem party

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC. ..."
"... Last year I was asked to write a scenario for what might happen with a renewed DNC theft of the election's nomination process. To be technical, I realize, it's not called theft when it's legal. In the aftermath of suits over the 2016 power grab, the courts ruled that the Democrat Party is indeed controlled by the DNC members, not by the voters. When it comes to party machinations and decision-making, voters are subsidiary to the superdelegates in their proverbial smoke-filled room (now replaced by dollar-filled foundation contracts). ..."
"... I could not come up with a solution that does not involve dismantling and restructuring the existing party system. We have passed beyond the point of having a solvable "problem" with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That is what a quandary is. A problem has a solution – by definition. A quandary does not have a solution. There is no way out. The conflict of interest between the Donor Class and the Voting Class has become too large to contain within a single party. It must split. ..."
"... A second-ballot super-delegate scenario would mean that we are once again in for a second Trump term. That option was supported by five of the six presidential contenders on stage in Nevada on Wednesday, February 20. When Chuck Todd asked whether Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar would support the candidate who received the most votes in the primaries (now obviously Bernie Sanders), or throw the nomination to the super-delegates held over from the Obama-Clinton neoliberals (75 of whom already are said to have pledged their support to Bloomberg), each advocated "letting the process play out." That was a euphemism for leaving the choice to the Tony-Blair style leadership that have made the Democrats the servants' entrance to the Republican Party. Like the British Labour Party behind Blair and Gordon Brown, its role is to block any left-wing alternative to the Republican program on behalf of the One Percent. ..."
Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

To hear the candidates debate, you would think that their fight was over who could best beat Trump. But when Trump's billionaire twin Mike Bloomberg throws a quarter-billion dollars into an ad campaign to bypass the candidates actually running for votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, it's obvious that what really is at issue is the future of the Democrat Party. Bloomberg is banking on a brokered convention held by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in which money votes. (If "corporations are people," so is money in today's political world.)

Until Nevada, all the presidential candidates except for Bernie Sanders were playing for a brokered convention. The party's candidates seemed likely to be chosen by the Donor Class, the One Percent and its proxies, not the voting class (the 99 Percent). If, as Mayor Bloomberg has assumed, the DNC will sell the presidency to the highest bidder, this poses the great question: Can the myth that the Democrats represent the working/middle class survive? Or, will the Donor Class trump the voting class?

This could be thought of as "election interference" – not from Russia but from the DNC on behalf of its Donor Class. That scenario would make the Democrats' slogan for 2020 "No Hope or Change." That is, no change from today's economic trends that are sweeping wealth up to the One Percent.

All this sounds like Rome at the end of the Republic in the 1st century BC. The way Rome's constitution was set up, candidates for the position of consul had to pay their way through a series of offices. The process started by going deeply into debt to get elected to the position of aedile, in charge of staging public games and entertainments. Rome's neoliberal fiscal policy did not tax or spend, and there was little public administrative bureaucracy, so all such spending had to be made out of the pockets of the oligarchy. That was a way of keeping decisions about how to spend out of the hands of democratic politics. Julius Caesar and others borrowed from the richest Bloomberg of their day, Crassus, to pay for staging games that would demonstrate their public spirit to voters (and also demonstrate their financial liability to their backers among Rome's One Percent). Keeping election financing private enabled the leading oligarchs to select who would be able to run as viable candidates. That was Rome's version of Citizens United.

But in the wake of Sanders' landslide victory in Nevada, a brokered convention would mean the end of the Democrat Party pretense to represent the 99 Percent. The American voting system would be seen to be as oligarchic as that of Rome on the eve of the infighting that ended with Augustus becoming Emperor in 27 BC.

Today's pro-One Percent media – CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times have been busy spreading their venom against Sanders. On Sunday, February 23, CNN ran a slot, "Bloomberg needs to take down Sanders, immediately." Given Sanders' heavy national lead, CNN warned, the race suddenly is almost beyond the vote-fixers' ability to fiddle with the election returns. That means that challengers to Sanders should focus their attack on him; they will have a chance to deal with Bloomberg later (by which CNN means, when it is too late to stop him).

The party's Clinton-Obama recipients of Donor Class largesse pretend to believe that Sanders is not electable against Donald Trump. This tactic seeks to attack him at his strongest point. Recent polls show that he is the only candidate who actually would defeat Trump – as they showed that he would have done in 2016.

The DNC knew that, but preferred to lose to Trump than to win with Bernie. Will history repeat itself? Or to put it another way, will this year's July convention become a replay of Chicago in 1968?

A quandary, not a problem

Last year I was asked to write a scenario for what might happen with a renewed DNC theft of the election's nomination process. To be technical, I realize, it's not called theft when it's legal. In the aftermath of suits over the 2016 power grab, the courts ruled that the Democrat Party is indeed controlled by the DNC members, not by the voters. When it comes to party machinations and decision-making, voters are subsidiary to the superdelegates in their proverbial smoke-filled room (now replaced by dollar-filled foundation contracts).

I could not come up with a solution that does not involve dismantling and restructuring the existing party system. We have passed beyond the point of having a solvable "problem" with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That is what a quandary is. A problem has a solution – by definition. A quandary does not have a solution. There is no way out. The conflict of interest between the Donor Class and the Voting Class has become too large to contain within a single party. It must split.

A second-ballot super-delegate scenario would mean that we are once again in for a second Trump term. That option was supported by five of the six presidential contenders on stage in Nevada on Wednesday, February 20. When Chuck Todd asked whether Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar would support the candidate who received the most votes in the primaries (now obviously Bernie Sanders), or throw the nomination to the super-delegates held over from the Obama-Clinton neoliberals (75 of whom already are said to have pledged their support to Bloomberg), each advocated "letting the process play out." That was a euphemism for leaving the choice to the Tony-Blair style leadership that have made the Democrats the servants' entrance to the Republican Party. Like the British Labour Party behind Blair and Gordon Brown, its role is to block any left-wing alternative to the Republican program on behalf of the One Percent.

[Feb 26, 2020] As Aristotle noted already in the 4th century BC, oligarchies turn themselves into hereditary aristocracies

Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Sean , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 8:28 pm GMT

As Aristotle noted already in the 4th century BC, oligarchies turn themselves into hereditary aristocracies

Sounds like a reading of the thesis of Piketty, yet hereditary aristocracies must be endogamous and–if they are to keep wealth in the family–consanguineous, which does not have much appeal for modern elite, for sound genetic reasons . Also Water Scheidel show in his Escape from Rome: The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity, the failure brought about competitive fragmentation and selection. Political, economic, scientific, and technological breakthroughs followed and allowed Europe to take off "It wasn't until Europe "escaped" from Rome that it launched an economic transformation that changed the continent and ultimately the world. What has the Roman Empire ever done for us? Fall and go away".

Piketty himself was clear in his first book that the two world wars brought about a huge leveling of wealth. But cities were levelled too. Piketty went on to assert–in his second and even weightier tome–that a struggle for equality has been the great driver of human progress. Yet from doorstopper of Walter Scheidel
the Neolithic long before the Bronze Age conquests, the "natural" human condition seems to have been inequality, while actual change to that condition often came in the aftermath of war (or plague and famine). Reduction of inequality by ideologically driven political change was often violent and ultimately at the cost of widespread pauperisation.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2014/03/14/the-author-of-the-son-also-rises-responds/

https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/gregory-clark-response-chart.jpg?w=489&crop=0%2C0px%2C100%2C512px

Studies of social status within ethnically homogenous groups show that genetics plays a substantial role in outcomes. Thus if elites and underclasses are drawn from parent populations by selective recruitment, they will differ genetically from the general population. It will take many generations for those differences to dissolve. This is not an "ugly" fact. It is not a "beautiful" fact. It is just a fact. This fact helps explain why it is so hard for societies using the levers of social policy to eliminate group disparities in outcomes. It is a fact that we should be aware of in thinking about inequalities of income and wealth.Studies of social status within ethnically homogenous groups show that genetics plays a substantial role in outcomes. Thus if elites and underclasses are drawn from parent populations by selective recruitment, they will differ genetically from the general population. It will take many generations for those differences to dissolve. This is not an "ugly" fact. It is not a "beautiful" fact. It is just a fact. This fact helps explain why it is so hard for societies using the levers of social policy to eliminate group disparities in outcomes. It is a fact that we should be aware of in thinking about inequalities of income and wealth.

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm GMT
There is no quandary. The US democracy has long become "one dollar – one vote". Those who still believe that Dems represent working people should not take IQ test to avoid being deeply disappointed.

[Feb 26, 2020] America is an oligarchy (Deep State) for a long time. The only struggle is to continue the present facade/charade that we are a democracy/democratic republic.

Feb 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 12:25 pm GMT

In a struggle between oligarchy and democracy, something must give

America hasn't been a democracy for decades there is no contest oligarchy (Deep State) won a long time ago. The only struggle is to continue the facade/charade that we are a democracy/democratic republic.

The Deep State doesn't care about the unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' as long as their important issues are maintained. As a matter of fact it strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.

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

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

9/11 Inside job , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 12:43 pm GMT
Is the US presently a :
1. Pathocracy
2.Plutocracy
3.Oligarchy
4.Kakistocracy
5.Cryptocracy
6.All of the above ?
AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment February 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm GMT
There is no quandary. The US democracy has long become "one dollar – one vote". Those who still believe that Dems represent working people should not take IQ test to avoid being deeply disappointed.

[Feb 26, 2020] Elections as a form of class war

Highly recommended!
Feb 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Cynthia , Feb 26 2020 22:23 utc | 55

karlof1 @49

You are right about it being a class war. It is this class war that the neoliberal establishment does not want us to see, hence creating other divisions such as racial, gender/trans, religious, etc. so we fight one another instead of uniting and fighting them.

When the many shades of surveillance are added in to your establishment existential threat, the Matrix feels really close at hand.

My guess is that your understanding stems from years of paying attention. Do you have any recommendations for sites that have helped?

I take it that your support of Bernie, with his imperfections, is due to you seeing him as a possible shift in the neoliberal order. My concern is that his imperfections are also baggage that is keeping people from supporting him - the woke agenda, panicky human-caused climate change agenda, supporting most of the MIC agenda. The first two are areas in which debate has been/is being shut down, which is a real red flag.

Thank you for any reply, or none. I always appreciate the big picture.

karlof1 , Feb 26 2020 23:04 utc | 60

Cynthia @55--

I'm a historian by training focusing on the Outlaw US Empire and everything related, which is a very wide field of inquiry. Yes, I started out paying attention as an adolescent during the 1960s with 1968 being a very important year for me. I'd read the Warren Commission Report a year earlier and thus began my real education. I passed out flyers for RFK in 1968 prior to the California Primary and watched again as the cities burned earlier that Spring. I pursued a career and tried to find love, but after 20 years I returned to college. Aside from college libraries, various alt-websites have served well over the years--Z-net, CommonDreams, The Oil Drum, MoA--along with a mixture of news sites that are nowadays all based in Russia or China. The one person I've learned more from online is Dr. Michael Hudson, whose Super Imperialism I bought and read after it was published during my senior high school year. And Noam Chomsky, not so much from his prose but from all the sources he consulted. Yes, I'm an end note and bibliography junkie. Solitude and time to study were also important assets. Knowing I was being lied to by Media and politicos was also helpful and thus made me seek out an objective historical narrative whereby I discovered I wasn't alone in my quest. Currently, Hudson's historical big picture is the one in which I believe the most merit lies--4,000+ years of Class War between creditors and debtors frames the West's existence, including its religions, which are its longest lasting institutions. And I highly value genuine discourse with associates.

[Feb 25, 2020] The best thing about this debate is that Buttigieg won t survive to another one

Is it somehow an indicator of peak neoliberalism when a candidate literally begs for money from the debate stage?
Notable quotes:
"... Pee Wee Pete indeed. ..."
"... Is Bloomberg even worse than last week? Yes or Hell yes? ..."
Feb 25, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

shinola , February 25, 2020 at 8:13 pm

Buttgag's 1st comment brings up Russia! Russia! Rooskies would love to see chaos caused by Trump vs. Sanders.

Pee Wee Pete indeed.

flora , February 25, 2020 at 8:15 pm

1st question to Sanders: The economy is good. Why would your's be better.

  • Sanders: most of the wealth has gone to the 1%. My plan would spread the wealth to everyone.
  • hizzoner: you can't win and your Putin's candidate.
  • Warren: Sanders has good ideas but he can't get it done. I can get it done. I'm smart.
  • Butte: chaos, chaos.

Big River Bandido , February 25, 2020 at 8:15 pm

Bloomberg again just attempted to claim that he reduced stop and frisk by 95% which is a complete lie.

Samuel Conner, February 25, 2020 at 8:19 pm

After he realized it was a problem. I have read that the realization was imposed on him by a court order

flora, February 25, 2020 at 8:18 pm

Sanders: ideas
Warren: Sanders ideas, but I'd do it better.
hizzoner: Sanders is a Russian agent.
Butte: cliche, cliche, cliche
klobe: rhetoric, name drop, cliche, rhetroic, name drop a 3rd way SC pol.

chuckster , February 25, 2020 at 8:19 pm

Is Bloomberg even worse than last week? Yes or Hell yes?

[Feb 20, 2020] Fratricide in Las Vegas - Six dwarfs mud fight should be fun all the way to November

Looks like it will Oligarch vs Oligarch Wrestling World Championship match again ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... These six dwarves will probably persist in their quest for the brass ring all the way to the convention ..."
Feb 20, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Some particulars:

  1. Bloomberg is revealed as having said in public that all the disposable income of the poor should be taxed away so that they will not have funds with which to do mischief like buying fast food or sugary drinks.
  2. Bloomberg described Sanders as a Communist who cannot be elected. In this he was correct.
  3. Bloomberg was described by Warren as a cold-hearted and insulting man who openly scorns women, gays and minorities.
  4. Mayor Pete mocked Klobuchar for her inability to remember the name of the president of Mexico. She asked if he was calling her "stupid."

These six dwarves will probably persist in their quest for the brass ring all the way to the convention. In the mayhem there, the "winner" will probably have to choose one of the "losers" to be his VP running mate.

This should be fun all the way to November. pl

[Jan 31, 2020] What's going on right now with Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton is the beginning of sticking the knife back into Bernie's back by Bill Martin What follows originates in some notes I made in response to one such woman who supports Bernie. There are two main points.

Highly recommended!
Jan 31, 2020 | off-guardian.org

1. What's going on right now with Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton is the beginning of sticking the knife back into Bernie's back. These two played a major role in doing that in 2016, and now they're getting the band back together again. Okay, that's no mystery.

The real question is, What are Bernie supporters and those who (one way or another) support the Democrats, going to do about it? When and if Warren and Clinton succeed in taking Bernie down–and of course Biden and the Obamas are onboard for this, as well–will Democrats (and Dem-supporting "leftists," etc.) be so blinded by TDS that they'll just say,

"Oh well, we still have to vote for " Warren, Biden, etc.?

I think this runs parallel to what some have said about "letting the CIA help with the impeachment"–it's truly delusional, reactionary stuff. Likewise, people getting in a huff because "Bernie called her a liar on national television." No problem, apparently, that Warren first called Bernie a liar. Even more, no problem that Warren's whole life and career is based on a lie–a lie that, even now, she justifies with bullshit about how she "just loves her family so much." Indeed, Hillary's intervention in the following days was very likely intended to take attention away from Warren's attack on Sanders, as well as, of course, to once again put HRC out there as the potential savior at the convention.

It seems to me that the lesson here is that, if Bernie doesn't get the nomination, no other candidate (from among the frontrunners) is acceptable, especially because of the role they will have played in taking down Bernie and his movement.

I have two basic reasons for hoping Sanders can get the nomination and that there could be a Trump/Sanders election:

i. For Sanders to get the nomination there will have to be a very strong, dedicated, and focused movement, which will essentially have to defeat the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party and in whatever one wants to call the agglomeration of power mechanisms that form the establishment and the State. Sanders will have to do what Trump did with the Republican Party in 2016, except with Sanders and the power structures he will be up against (and with which he is more compromised than Trump ever was), this will be much, much harder. I really don't think it can happen -- and we're seeing major moves in this effort toward eliminating Bernie just in the week that has passed since I started writing this. However, this does mean that, if Bernie can build (much further) and lead the movement to seriously address these power structures, and even beat them in some significant ways, then something tremendous will have been accomplished -- "the harder they come, the harder they fall," or at least I hope so. ii. Despite what you and many others say and (I feel) are a bit too desperate to think, Sanders does have some things in common with Trump, at least thematically -- and a lot of my arguments in my articles have to do with the importance of these themes being out there, in a way that they never would have been with any other Republican, Hillary Clinton or any of the other current frontrunners besides Sanders, and any of the other media with the very important exceptions of Tucker Carlson, Steve Hilton, and perhaps a couple others on Fox News (perhaps Laura Ingram) -- and this is not only something that the anti-Trumpers absolutely hate, they hate it so much that they can't even think about it.

That is, Trump and Sanders have in common that they 1) profess that they want to do things that improve the lives of ordinary working people, and 2) profess that they want to draw back militarism.

What I emphasize is that these terms would not even be on the table if it weren't for Trump -- and yes, to some extent if it weren't for Bernie, but there is a way in which Bernie can only be out there at all because Trump has put these things on the table.

A lot of blowback against my articles has been against my argument that getting these terms and the discourse around them on the table is very important, a real breakthrough, and a breakthrough that both clarifies the larger terms of things and disrupts the "smooth functioning" (I take this from Marcuse) of the neoliberal-neoconservative compact around economics and military intervention.

Okay, maybe I'm right about this importance, maybe I'm not -- that's an argument I've dealt with extensively in my articles and that I'll try to deal with definitively in further writing -- but certainly a very important part of not letting Sanders be taken down by the other frontrunners (and HRC, and other nefarious forces, with Warren playing a special "feminist" and Identity Politics role here -- a role that does nothing to help, and indeed does much to hurt, ordinary working people of all colors, genders, etc.) will be to further sharpen the general understanding of the importance of these themes.

Significantly, there is a third theme which has emerged since the unexpected election of Donald Trump -- unexpected at least by the establishment and the nefarious powers (though they were thinking of an "insurance policy"); on this theme, I don't know that Sanders can do much -- working with the Democratic Party, he is too implicated in this issue, and he does not have whatever "protection" Trump has here.

What I am referring to are those nefarious powers behind the establishment and the ruling class, and that have taken on a life of their own -- I don't mind calling this the Deep State, but one can just think about the "intelligence community" and especially the CIA.

Whatever -- the point is that Trump has had to call them out and expose them in ways that they obviously do not like, and also his agenda of a world where the U.S. gets along well-enough with China and Russia at least not to risk WWIII, or, perhaps more realistically, not to tip the balance of things such that Russia goes completely over to a full alliance with China, a "Eurasian Union," which both Putin and Xi have spoken about, is not to their liking.

Whether Sanders would call out these nefarious factors if he were in a position to do so, I don't know -- I don't have great confidence that he would -- but it is also the case that he is not in a position to do so, these powers can easily dispose of Sanders in ways that they haven't been able to, so far, with Trump.

If one does think these themes are important, especially the first two (with further discussion reserved regarding the powers-behind-the-powers), then I wish that Trump-haters would open their minds for a moment and think about what it apparently takes in our social system to even begin to get these themes on the table.

In any case, regarding Sanders, the movement he is building will have to go even further with the first two themes if Sanders is nominated, and at least go some distance in taking on the third theme. This applies even more if Sanders were to be elected. (This is where you might take a look at the 1988 mini-series, A Very British Coup -- except that how things go down in the U.S. will not be so "British.") Here again, though, if Sanders is to build a movement that can openly address these questions, this will be tremendous, a great thing.

So this is it in a nutshell: If Sanders were to be nominated, then there is the possibility, which everyone ought to work to make a reality, that we could have an election based around the questions, What can be done to improve the lives of ordinary working people?, and, What can be done to curb militarism and end the endless interventions and wars?


Antonym ,

Bernie is a nice guy – too nice: no match for the shark pools from Fairfax county, Lower Manhattan or the Clinton clan . The 2016 DNC candidate selection revelations proved this.

The only untainted strong Democratic candidate is Tulsi Gabbard, but she has all Establishments against her.

Fair dinkum ,

Since Reagan's Presidency, all US elections have been about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
The ship may be sinking slowly, but the outcome will be the same.

Gall ,

I'd say it was long before Ronnie got elected to office. Remember it was Carter and Zyb who got involved in the imperial quick sand of Afghanistan (mixing metaphors here) that is after being run out of 'Nam by a bunch of angry natives who had gotten tired of America "being a force for good" by reining "freedom and democracy" on them from the bomb bays of B 52s which I think is going to a be similar situation to what will soon happen in Iraq if we dawdle too long.

Elections have in reality become all pomp with no circumstance. Flip a coin and it always comes up heads. It's a stacked deck that public are asked to play every two years thinking the odds are in their favor when it never really is. Might as well head to Vegas following the dusty trail of Hunter S Thompson.

Charlotte Russe ,

It's not all that complicated Obama laid the groundwork ensuring Bernie's defeat when he interfered in deciding who would Chair the DNC. Tom Perez was Obama's pick. Bernie wanted Keith Ellison. Perez guaranteed neoliberal centrist Dems would maintain control. Tom Perez didn't disappoint– his nominations for the 2020 Democratic Convention standing committees are a like a who's who of centrism. Most of the folks on this "A list" would fit quite nicely in the Republican Party.

Bernie a FDR Democrat, is considered too radical by the wealthy who enjoy their Trumpian tax cuts and phony baloney stock market profits. If Trump, was just a bit less crude and not so overtly racist he'd be perfectly acceptable. Bernie, who thinks the working-poor are entitled to a living wage, healthcare, a college education, and clean drinking water is anathema to the affluent liberals who like everything just the way it is. They long for the Obama days when two wars were quietly expanded to seven, when the Wall Street crooks got a pass, and when health insurance lobbyists had their way with the federal government–the CIA was absolutely ecstatic with Obama. Trump was a bit of a speed bump for the security state, but nothing really threatening as he stuffed the pockets of the arms industry and the surveillance state with billions of working-class tax dollars. The Orangeman is having a few internecine battles with the intelligence agencies, but in the end they thoroughly had their way with the buffoon.

Bernie on the other hand, is a bit more complex. He can't be as easily attacked. Of course, the mainstream media news has all the usual Corbyn tricks in their bag, and Bernie could fall to the wayside like Corbyn if he's incapable of unapologetically fighting back. Bernie's working-class supporters want to see him give his attackers the one-two-punch and knock them out before the DNC Convention.

If Bernie manages to win numerous primaries the threat won't come from Warren or Hillary that's so 2016. The new insidious "Bernie enemy" is billionaire Bloomberg. Who is waiting in the wings If Biden takes a deep dive, Daddy Warbucks will make a play to cause a brokered convention. And that's when Perez and his Republican/Dems will takedown Bernie. Bernie's followers MUST come out swinging and not capitulate like they did last time. They have to force the issue, create a stir and threaten to abandon the Dems to start a Workers Third Party. Young progressives have this one big shot at making a difference, and they can't allow themselves to be sheepdogged into voting for another neoliberal who's
intent on maintaining the status quo. Remember, if you don't move forward you're actually moving backward into planetary ecocide.

Gall ,

Hey check this out. Seems the DNC is shaking in their boots about the possibility of a third party hijacking their "base":

https://www.mintpressnews.com/liberal-establishment-warning-third-parties-not-to-ruin-2020-election/264460/

Here's one from Whitney implying that they needn't worry because plans are in the works to install King Cyrus II as the permanent ruler with the help of his Zionist friends in the Department of Hebrew Security:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/liberal-establishment-warning-third-parties-not-to-ruin-2020-election/264460/

Even so it looks like Trump has decided to get rid of us noninterventionist and antiwar naysayers by fully bringing in the Dispensationalist Armageddon rapture embracing nut jobs who stand with the Talmudic genocidal racists in Israel who believe that Jesus Christ is boiling for an eternity in excrement and that his mother Mary was a whore:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52918.htm

I wish that this insanity was fantasy.

mark cutts ,

Hi Bill

we have witnessed in the UK the defamation of Corbyn the ' Left Disrupter ' as he wanted to throw back the normal state of political play.

He and the well meaning Labour Party was headed off at the pass.

We have to remember that the Ruling Class have to have fall back positions and that Biden is better than Bernie as is Warren and so on.

It appears to me that the DNC also has its fallback positions too and Bernie will be chopped by the Super Delegates once again on the altar of ' electabilty ' ( read any form of Socialism – American or British is not acceptatble to the PTB ) and that is how it may end.

The battle at the moment in the UK Labour Party is which leader will back up and support extra Parliamentary action in resistance to this very right wing Tory government?

In the US the thing is the same if Bernie doesn't get the nomination.

Personally I would think that he would be a plus ( despite his foreign policy views ) but remember that Trump was a maverick Republican yet I'm not sure that Sanders would veer over to that position.

If he did then the " action " part of the steep learning curve would have to kick in to defend him and more to the point his genuinely progressive policies.

In the UK now Corbyn as the personification of ' Socialist ' threat is no longer doorstepped by the British media.

Instead the installation of a Leftish Centrist by the media ( i.e. a person that is -no threat to the existing order ) is a requirement.

This is all under the guise of a " Strong Opposition " to the right wing government.

Warren – not Biden seems to be that kind of favourite for the Ruling Class should Trump fall.

We had Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair – you in the US will get Warren.

I wish Bernie and his backers weel but I don't see it happening.

Maybe Tulsi Gabbard in another 4 years?

She and AOC are very good But this is not their time.

Not yet.

Richard Le Sarc ,

When I think of how Corbyn refused to fight back against ENTIRELY mendacious and filthy vilification as an 'antisemite', I think it might be possible that the MOSSAD told him that if he resisted he might end up, dead in his bath, like John Smith.

bevin ,

Where the world weary gather to tell us how they have been let down.
Bill nails it here:
" i. For Sanders to get the nomination there will have to be a very strong, dedicated, and focused movement, which will essentially have to defeat the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party and in whatever one wants to call the agglomeration of power mechanisms that form the establishment and the State. Sanders will have to do what Trump did with the Republican Party in 2016, except with Sanders and the power structures he will be up against (and with which he is more compromised than Trump ever was), this will be much, much harder ."

Anyone who believes that elections, as such, lead to great changes needs a keeper. And one who can read the US Constitution aloud for preference.
But this is not to say that at a time like this-and there have been very few of them in US history- when there is the possibility of a major candidate challenging some of the bases of the ruling ideology-albeit by doing little more than running on a platform of refurbished Progressivism- there is really no excuse for not insisting that the challenge be made and the election played out.
Sanders is not just challenging the verities of neo-liberalism but, implicitly undermining the political consensus that has supported the Warfare State since 1948.
The thing about Bernie is that he is authenticated by the enemies that he has enrolled against him and the dramatic measures that they are taking against him. Among those enemies are the Black Misleadership Class, and the various other faux progressives who are revealing themselves to be last ditch defenders of the MIC, Israel- AIPAC is now 'all in' in Iowa and New Hampshire- and the Insurance industry. It is an indication of the simplicity of Bernie's political task that no section of Congress gives more support to the Healthcare scammers than the representatives of the community most deprived by the current system. If he manages to get through to the people and persuade them that he will fight for Free Healthcare for all and other basic and long overdue social and economic reforms he can break the hold that the political parties have over a system everyone understands is designed to make the rich-who own both parties- richer and the great majority poorer. That has been the way that things have been going in the USA for at least 45 years.

Gall ,

Here's the point you've missed here Bill and that Bernie had a mass appeal to the Independents that is until he sold out to the "Democratic" establishment which out of the two parties has to be the least democratic since it adopted the elitist and plutocratic Super Delegate system that can ride roughshod over the actual democratic will of the voters.

Of course a cosmetic change has been made that these delegates aren't allowed to vote until the Convention but as I said it is "cosmetic" since that was originally the way this undemocratic system was set up in the "Democratic" party until Hillary Clinton used it as a psychological weapon during that sham called a "primary" to convince the hoi polo that her nomination or more accurately coronation was already a foregone conclusion.

There is also another factor that most voters are not aware of and that is the so called "Democratic" party has come up with a dictatorial "by law" that can nullify the result of the primary if the candidate isn't considered "democratic" enough by the Chairman of the DNC which in Bernie's case is very possible since technically he is an Independent running as a "Democrat". This is what Lee Camp the "Nuclear Option".

Explained here in his inimitable style:

https://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/lee-camp-the-dncs-secret-nuclear-option-to-stop-bernie-sanders-and-what-we-can-do-about-it/

Personally I gave up on Bernie after he sold out and shilled for that warmongering harpy Hillary who if elected would accept it as a mandate to launch WW III while ironically trying to convince us all that the "noninterventionist", "antiwar" candidate was actually the greater of the two evils.

Yeah right.

Anyway no longer have any faith in the two party system. As far as I'm concerned they can both go to hell. I've already made my choice:

https://www.markcharles2020.com

He probably needs to adjust his message more to appeal to those of us who tend to be more Libertarian and is not exactly a Russell Means but with a little help from the American Indian Movement and others can probably "triangulate" his appeal to cover a broader political spectrum. Instead of what has been traditionally known as the "left".

Greg Bacon ,

After Obama, the golden liar and mass-murderer and now Tubby the Grifter, another liar and mass-murderer, I have no desire to vote in 2020, unless Tulsi is on the ticket.

If Sanders is smart and survives another back-alley mugging by the DNC and the Wicked Witch of the East, and gets the nod, he'll take on Tulsi–Mommy–as his VP.
If he does that, then Trump, Jared the Snake and Princess Bimbo will have to find another racket in 2021.

Gall ,

Yeah Trumpenstein is a far cry from the Silver Tongued Devil O-Bomb-em. Even so both of them sold us a bill of goods that neither of them delivered on.

But hey that's politics in America at least since Neoliberal prototype Wilson which is lie your ass off until you get elected at least.

Willem ,

Much magical thinking here.

If we act now and support Sanders things will change for the better?

I surely hope so, but hope and change is soo 2008.

And if the Hildebeast enters the race, life on earth will end?

Don't think so.

Perhaps we should do this different this time. Get away from the identity politics, look what is really needed, and demand for that, not caring about 'leadership'. You know, French yellow vests style. Actually if you look a little bit outside of the MSM bubble, you see demonstrations and people demanding better treatment from the government and corporations everywhere.

The US 2020 elections, will be a nothing burger I predict. Like all elections are nothing burgers and if they are not they will fake it, or call it 'populism' that needs to be stopped (and will be stopped).

I would have voted Sanders though, if I could vote for Sanders, Similar as I would have voted for Corbyn if I could have voted for Corbyn. Voting is a tic, a habit, an addiction that is difficult to get rid of, but deadly in the end since we have nothing to vote for, except to vote for more for them at the cost of everyone else, no matter what politicians say

It's liberating to lose some of your illusions and silly reflexes, although a bit painful in the beginning as is with all addictions. The story used to 'feel' so good.

See also https://act.represent.us/sign/the-problem/

Richard Le Sarc ,

If voting changed anything, it would be outlawed.

[Jan 29, 2020] Campaign Promises and Ending Wars

Highly recommended!
Jan 29, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

lizabeth Warren wrote an article outlining in general terms how she would bring America's current foreign wars to an end. Perhaps the most significant part of the article is her commitment to respect Congress' constitutional role in matters of war:

We will hold ourselves to this by recommitting to a simple idea: the constitutional requirement that Congress play a primary role in deciding to engage militarily. The United States should not fight and cannot win wars without deep public support. Successive administrations and Congresses have taken the easy way out by choosing military action without proper authorizations or transparency with the American people. The failure to debate these military missions in public is one of the reasons they have been allowed to continue without real prospect of success [bold mine-DL].

On my watch, that will end. I am committed to seeking congressional authorization if the use of force is required. Seeking constrained authorizations with limited time frames will force the executive branch to be open with the American people and Congress about our objectives, how the operation is progressing, how much it is costing, and whether it should continue.

Warren's commitment on this point is welcome, and it is what Americans should expect and demand from their presidential candidates. It should be the bare minimum requirement for anyone seeking to be president, and any candidate who won't commit to respecting the Constitution should never be allowed to have the powers of that office. The president is not permitted to launch attacks and start wars alone, but Congress and the public have allowed several presidents to do just that without any consequences. It is time to put a stop to illegal presidential wars, and it is also time to put a stop to open-ended authorizations of military force. Warren's point about asking for "constrained authorizations with limited time frames" is important, and it is something that we should insist on in any future debate over the use of force. The 2001 and 2002 AUMFs are still on the books and have been abused and stretched beyond recognition to apply to groups that didn't exist when they were passed so that the U.S. can fight wars in countries that don't threaten our security. Those need to be repealed as soon as possible to eliminate the opening that they have provided the executive to make war at will.

Michael Brendan Dougherty is unimpressed with Warren's rhetoric:

But what has Warren offered to do differently, or better? She's made no notable break with the class of experts who run our failing foreign policy. Unlike Bernie Sanders, and like Trump or Obama, she hasn't hired a foreign-policy staff committed to a different vision. And so her promise to turn war powers back to Congress should be considered as empty as Obama's promise to do the same. Her promise to bring troops home would turn out to be as meaningless as a Trump tweet saying the same.

We shouldn't discount Warren's statements so easily. When a candidate makes specific commitments about ending U.S. wars during a campaign, that is different from making vague statements about having a "humble" foreign policy. Bush ran on a conventional hawkish foreign policy platform, and there were also no ongoing wars for him to campaign against, so we can't say that he ever ran as a "dove." Obama campaigned against the Iraq war and ran on ending the U.S. military presence there, and before his first term was finished almost all U.S. troops were out of Iraq. It is important to remember that he did not campaign against the war in Afghanistan, and instead argued in support of it. His subsequent decision to commit many more troops there was a mistake, but it was entirely consistent with what he campaigned on. In other words, he withdrew from the country he promised to withdraw from, and escalated in the country where he said the U.S. should be fighting. Trump didn't actually campaign on ending any wars, but he did talk about "bombing the hell" out of ISIS, and after he was elected he escalated the war on ISIS. His anti-Iranian obsession was out in the open from the start if anyone cared to pay attention to it. In short, what candidates commit to doing during a campaign does matter and it usually gives you a good idea of what a candidate will do once elected.

If Warren and some of the other Democratic candidates are committing to ending U.S. wars, we shouldn't assume that they won't follow through on those commitments because previous presidents proved to be the hawks that they admitted to being all along. Presidential candidates often tell us exactly what they mean to do, but we have to be paying attention to everything they say and not just one catchphrase that they said a few times. If voters want a more peaceful foreign policy, they should vote for candidates that actually campaign against ongoing wars instead of rewarding the ones that promise and then deliver escalation. But just voting for the candidates that promise an end to wars is not enough if Americans want Congress to start doing its job by reining in the executive. If we don't want presidents to run amok on war powers, there have to be political consequences for the ones that have done that and there needs to be steady pressure on Congress to take back their role in matters of war. Voters should select genuinely antiwar candidates, but then they also have to hold those candidates accountable once they're in office.

[Jan 23, 2020] An incredible level of naivety of people who still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Highly recommended!
The deep state clearly is running the show (with some people unexpected imput -- see Trump ;-)
Elections now serve mainly for the legitimizing of the deep state rule; election of a particular individual can change little, although there is some space of change due to the power of executive branch. If the individual stray too much form the elite "forign policy consensus" he ether will be JFKed or Russiagated (with the Special Prosecutor as the fist act and impeachment as the second act of the same Russiagate drama)
But a talented (or reckless) individual can speed up some process that are already under way. For example, Trump managed to speed up the process of destruction of the USA-centered neoliberal empire considerably. Especially by launching the trade war with China. He also managed to discredit the USA foreign policy as no other president before him. Even Bush II.
Jan 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Trailer Trash , Jan 23 2020 18:30 utc | 44
>This is the most critical U.S. election in our lifetime
> Posted by: Circe | Jan 23 2020 17:46 utc | 36

Hmmm, I've been hearing the same siren song every four years for the past fifty. How is it that people still think that a single individual, or even two, can change the direction of murderous US policies that are widely supported throughout the bureaucracy?

Bureaucracies are reactionary and conservative by nature, so any new and more repressive policy Trumpy wants is readily adapted, as shown by the continuing barbarity of ICE and the growth of prisons and refugee concentration camps. Policies that go against the grain are easily shrugged off and ignored using time-tested passive-aggressive tactics.

One of Trump's insurmountable problems is that he has no loyal organization behind him whose members he can appoint throughout the massive Federal bureaucracy. Any Dummycrat whose name is not "Biden" has the same problem. Without a real mass-movement political party to pressure reluctant bureaucrats, no politician of any name or stripe will ever substantially change the direction of US policy.

But the last thing Dummycrats want is a real mass movement, because they might not be able to control it. Instead Uncle Sam will keep heading towards the cliff, which may be coming into view...


Per/Norway , Jan 23 2020 19:31 utc | 62

The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me.
HOW IS IT POSSIBLE to believe A politician will/can change anything and give your consent to war criminals and traitors?
NO person(s) WILL EVER get to the top in imperial/vassal state politics without being on the rentier class side, the cognitive dissonans in voting for known liars, war criminals and traitors would kill me or fry my brain. TINA is a lie and "she" is a real bitch that deserves to be thrown on the dump off history, YOUR vote is YOUR consent to murder, theft and treason.
DONT be a rentier class enabler STOP voting and start making your local communities better and independent instead.

Per
Norway

Piotr Berman , Jan 23 2020 20:19 utc | 82
The amount of TINA worshipers and status quo guerillas is starting to depress me. <- Norway

Of course, There Is Another Way, for example, kvetching. We can boldly show that we are upset, and pessimistic. One upset pessimists reach critical mass we will think about some actions.

But being upset and pessimistic does fully justify inactivity. In particular, given the nature of social interaction networks, with spokes and hubs, dominating the network requires the control of relatively few nodes. The nature of democracy always allows for leverage takeover, starting from dominating within small to the entire nation in few steps. As it was nicely explained by Prof. Overton, there is a window of positions that the vast majority regards as reasonable, non-radical etc. One reason that powers to be invest so much energy vilifying dissenters, Russian assets of late, is to keep them outside the Overton window.

Having a candidate elected that the curators of Overton window hate definitely shakes the situation with the potential of shifting the window. There were some positive symptoms after Trump was elected, but negatives prevail. "Why not we just kill him" idea entered the window, together with "we took their oil because we have guts and common sense".

From that point of view, visibility of Tulsi and election of Sanders will solve some problems but most of all, it will make big changes in Overton window.

[Jan 21, 2020] Warren as Lizzie-Faire Capitalist.

Jan 21, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

none , January 21, 2020 at 12:46 am

Warren will never endorse Bernie. She is not a progressive and the Republican in her is back in operation. But, there is a new Jeep named after her:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EOuTYRlXsAg151I.jpg

Henry Moon Pie , January 21, 2020 at 1:41 am

But we already had the Tin Lizzie.

ambrit , January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am

I can't resist. What we have here is an old fashioned "Lizzie-Faire Capitalist."

John Zelnicker , January 21, 2020 at 10:28 am

@ambrit
January 21, 2020 at 6:30 am
-- -- -

"Strike three! A sizzling fast ball over the middle of the plate, while the batter just looked dumbfounded"

[Jan 21, 2020] WaPo columnist endorses all twelve candidates

Highly recommended!
Are WaPo and NYT both encouraging their readerships to split the 'Anybody But Bernie' vote six ways from Super Tuesday? Fantastic!
Jan 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Cassiodorus on Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:44am Alexandra Petri tells us:

In a break from tradition, I am endorsing all 12 Democratic candidates.

Of course, this is a parody of the NYT's endorsement of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren , trying to encourage the "who cares about policy we want an identity-politics win" vote. Petri's funniest moment is:

One of two things is wrong with America: Either the entire system is broken or is on the verge of breaking, and we need someone to bring about radical, structural change, or -- we don't need that at all! Which is it? Who can say? Certainly not me, and that is why I am telling you now which candidate to vote for.

[Jan 19, 2020] With "help" like this from CNN, one struggles to imagine what sabotage might look like.

Is Warren Warren the Jussie Smollet of politics. I wonder if she claims Bernie attacked her while wearing a red hat and screaming, "A woman can't win! This is MAGA country!"
Jan 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Connecticut Farmer a day ago

SCENARIO I

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Bernie Sanders on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe and Bernie have a different worldview.

SCENARIO II

Joe is conservative, libertarian or possibly both.
Joe opposes Liz Warren on ideological grounds.
Ergo, Joe is an unprincipled sexist.

esquimaux 11 hours ago
Being one of Liz' constituents and familiar with her career and her base (consisting of people like me,) I think she faces so little consequence for her "embellishments" at least in part because "we" (her base) inhabit an environment in which, with ease, we adjust facts and perceptions to conform to whatever our self-serving narrative of the moment may be.

We know that Liz will say anything she imagines will be to her advantage and it's okay with "us" that she does. In a way, she's our ideal candidate and media darling because she reflects and affirms our plastic values.

[Jan 11, 2020] William Greider Knew What Ailed the Democratic Party by Katrina vanden Heuvel

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "When the party of activist government, faced with an epic crisis, will not use government's extensive powers to reverse the economic disorders and heal deepening social deterioration, then it must be the end of the line for the governing ideology inherited from Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson." ..."
"... Bill's frustration with what he referred to as "the rightward-drifting Democrats" ran deep. While his books often explored economic themes -- with particular brilliance in One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism (1997) and Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country (1987) -- he was at his finest when he wrote about the awful intersection of money and politics, in books such as Who Will Tell the People? The Betrayal of American Democracy (1992). ..."
"... Bill believed Wall Street money was corrupting American politics in general, and the Democratic Party in particular. Decades ago, during the Reagan interregnum, he warned that if the Democrats did not renew the robust commitment to economic justice that characterized FDR's tenure at its best, then surely right-wing populists would seize the opening. As always, whether he was writing for The Washington Post , Rolling Stone or The Nation (where he served as the ablest of all national affairs correspondents), Bill was right. ..."
"... The power arrangement resembles a shared monopoly, in which two companies have tacitly ceded territories to each other to avoid costly competition. ..."
"... Furthermore, the permanent hierarchy of both parties is dominated at the top by a network of pricey Washington lawyers and lobbyists who represent business interests and collaborate with one another on lobbying the government -- while pretending to be opponents. These inside players channel their corporate clients' money to the elected politicians. In effect, everyone is on the same side. ..."
Jan 01, 2020 | www.thenation.com

I knew Bill as a quick-witted comrade in the press corps of too many campaigns to count, a generous mentor, an ideological compatriot, and an occasional co-conspirator. He taught me to see politics not as the game that TV pundits discuss but as a high-stakes struggle for power in which the Democrats foolishly, and then dangerously, yielded far too much ground to increasingly right-wing Republicans. This son of the Depression era bemoaned the failure of the Democratic Party to make a New Deal–style response to the financial meltdown of 2008,

I knew Bill as a quick-witted comrade in the press corps of too many campaigns to count, a generous mentor, an ideological compatriot, and an occasional co-conspirator. He taught me to see politics not as the game that TV pundits discuss but as a high-stakes struggle for power in which the Democrats foolishly, and then dangerously, yielded far too much ground to increasingly right-wing Republicans.

This son of the Depression era bemoaned the failure of the Democratic Party to make a New Deal–style response to the financial meltdown of 2008, This son of the Depression era bemoaned the failure of the Democratic Party to make a New Deal–style response to the financial meltdown of 2008, explaining after the devastating Republican victories of 2010 , "When the party of activist government, faced with an epic crisis, will not use government's extensive powers to reverse the economic disorders and heal deepening social deterioration, then it must be the end of the line for the governing ideology inherited from Roosevelt, Truman and Johnson."

And, anticipating the rise of Donald Trump, he counseled that the void left by Democrats who pulled their punches would be filled by Republicans who would not hesitate to practice the crudest divide-and-conquer politics. And, anticipating the rise of Donald Trump, he counseled that the void left by Democrats who pulled their punches would be filled by Republicans who would not hesitate to practice the crudest divide-and-conquer politics.

Bill's frustration with what he referred to as "the rightward-drifting Democrats" ran deep. While his books often explored economic themes -- with particular brilliance in One World, Ready or Not: The Manic Logic of Global Capitalism (1997) and Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country (1987) -- he was at his finest when he wrote about the awful intersection of money and politics, in books such as Who Will Tell the People? The Betrayal of American Democracy (1992).

Bill believed Wall Street money was corrupting American politics in general, and the Democratic Party in particular. Decades ago, during the Reagan interregnum, he warned that if the Democrats did not renew the robust commitment to economic justice that characterized FDR's tenure at its best, then surely right-wing populists would seize the opening. As always, whether he was writing for The Washington Post , Rolling Stone or The Nation (where he served as the ablest of all national affairs correspondents), Bill was right.

More than 30 years ago, he recognized that "the two-party rivalry is not nearly as significant as it's made to appear" and counseled that

The power arrangement resembles a shared monopoly, in which two companies have tacitly ceded territories to each other to avoid costly competition.

Furthermore, the permanent hierarchy of both parties is dominated at the top by a network of pricey Washington lawyers and lobbyists who represent business interests and collaborate with one another on lobbying the government -- while pretending to be opponents. These inside players channel their corporate clients' money to the elected politicians. In effect, everyone is on the same side.

The parties have begun to delineate themselves a bit more in recent years. But not sufficiently, as Bill explained in scorchingly honest articles for The Nation . He spoke inconvenient truths about the roots of our current politics, especially when he explained that "the Democratic Party's crude betrayal of the working class was carried out by Bill Clinton and Al Gore when those 'New Democrats' won power in 1992. The Clinton-Gore administration swiftly enacted NAFTA, with Republican votes, sealing the deal with Republican policy-makers and selling out the remnants of organized labor." Bill recognized the necessity of understanding this history in order to explain the rise of Trump and Trumpism.

Above all, Bill argued that for Democrats to seize the high ground, morally and electorally, they had to stop being a "managerial party" and reacquaint themselves with the message FDR delivered during an epically successful 1936 reelection run. That was the year when Roosevelt declared that

We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace -- business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me -- and I welcome their hatred.

I don't know if Bill had that FDR speech memorized. But he carried its spirit in his heart and soul. And he taught the rest of us to do the same. He appreciated the history, as all great journalists do. But there was a point to its recollection. He wanted people to think about how a genuine two-party system might work in the 21st century.

The better part of two decades ago, Bill pointed to the way out when he wrote, for The Nation , on Republican scheming to roll back the economic and social advances initiated by progressives during the 20th century. It was sound advice then. It is sounder advice now, as a great wrestling for the soul of the Democratic Party plays out in the fight for the 2020 nomination to take on Trump.

"Most elected Democrats, I think, now see their role as managerial rather than big reform, and fear that even talking about ideology will stick them with the right's demon label: 'liberal,'" he suggested. But, he continued,

If a new understanding of progressive purpose does get formed, one that connects to social reality and describes a more promising future, the vision will not originate in Washington but among those who see realities up close and are struggling now to change things on the ground. We are a very wealthy (and brutally powerful) nation, so why do people experience so much stress and confinement in their lives, a sense of loss and failure? The answers, I suggest, will lead to a new formulation of what progressives want.

The first place to inquire is not the failures of government but the malformed power relationships of American capitalism -- the terms of employment that reduce many workers to powerless digits, the closely held decisions of finance capital that shape our society, the waste and destruction embedded in our system of mass consumption and production. The goal is, like the right's, to create greater self-fulfillment but as broadly as possible. Self-reliance and individualism can be made meaningful for all only by first reviving the power of collective action.

My own conviction is that a lot of Americans are ready to take up these questions and many others. Some are actually old questions -- issues of power that were not resolved in the great reform eras of the past. They await a new generation bold enough to ask if our prosperous society is really as free and satisfied as it claims to be. When conscientious people find ideas and remedies that resonate with the real experiences of Americans, then they will have their vision, and perhaps the true answer to the right wing.

This was how Bill Greider told the people of the politics that must be. He wrote truthfully, boldly, consistently, without fear or favor, and without the empty partisanships of these awkward times. He was our North Star.

[Dec 17, 2019] Judge Denies Flynn's Requests For Exculpatory Information, Case Dismissal by Peter Svab

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "The sworn statements of Mr. Flynn and his former counsel belie his new claims of innocence and his new assertions that he was pressured into pleading guilty," Sullivan said in his Dec. 16 opinion ( pdf ). ..."
"... In June, he fired his lawyers and hired former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell , who has since accused the government of misconduct, particularly of withholding exculpatory information or providing it late. ..."
"... Powell has argued that Flynn's previous lawyers had a conflict of interest because they testified in a related case against Flynn's former business partner. Flynn had previously told the court he would keep the lawyers despite the conflict, but Powell said prosecutors should have asked the judge to dismiss the lawyers anyway. Sullivan disagreed, saying Flynn failed to show a precedent that the prosecutors had that obligation. ..."
"... Powell also said the government had no proper reason to investigate Flynn in the first place and that it had set up an "ambush interview" with the intention of making Flynn say something it could allege was false. ..."
"... Sullivan disagreed again and said that previously, with the advice of his former lawyers, Flynn never "challenged the conditions of his FBI interview." ..."
"... Powell said Flynn's answers to the agents weren't "material," meaning relevant to the FBI investigation of election meddling. ..."
"... Sounds like Flynn got bad advice from his previous lawyers, and the judge is requiring Flynn to live with the consequences. In other words, it is as if the judge is prohibiting Flynn from changing legal representation because Flynn cannot do anything different than what his first team of "counselors" advised. ..."
"... Flynn is as deep state as it gets. He would throw the book at any one of you. Make no mistake. Being a general is a political appointment. ..."
"... Flynn was also a ******* lobbyist for foreign governments, including Turkey,...without disclosing his advise was paid for. He sold himself out like a whore. ..."
"... "Michael Flynn reportedly filed paperwork on Tuesday for the $530,000 worth of work he did last year that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey." https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/03/08/michael-flynn-admits-turkey-lobbying ..."
"... NATO Alliance member Turkey? How about a list of Israel friends with benefits. MIC grifters and aipac. Bloated orange imbecile can not fight only tweet. ..."
"... They say Dems and other psychos always accuse others of what they themselves are doing. Ever heard of the Clinton Foundation? Operating expenses: 95%.Benevolent aid: 5%. Suck on that for awhile. ..."
"... Flynn did nothing wrong. Was framed setup and then blackmailed to plead. Who will pay a price. Brennan Comey Strzok? Those who stood with Trump were ruined under false pretenses. ..."
"... Oh how soon you forget that Flynn commited war crimes in Grenada. ..."
"... Then bring him up on those charges. In court those kinds of leaps are inaddmissable. ..."
"... Hahahaha Grenada. Reagan's signature military victory. Flynn should be a super hero. Grenada and Panama are the only victories the Pentagon clowns have managed. What should we expect they only get $1,000,000,000,000.00 a year ..."
"... Remember that Michael Flynn waived his right to appeal this judge's decision when he plead guilty. This won't be going to a higher court. He's going down and the judge who is sentencing him is PISSED. ..."
"... Flynn is going to prison. Hillary is not. The sooner you jackoffs accept that, the sooner you'll be able to move on with your lives instead of living out your pitiful existence in bitterness and regret. And no, you won't be doing any civil war. You'll just be angry, your anger will turn inward, and you'll poison yourselves with resentment, living out your days alone. Don't say you weren't warned. ..."
"... They threatened his son if he did not plead guilty. Of course, to you Dems the means justifies the end. He will be pardoned, and deservedly so. ..."
"... I don't expect Clinton to go to jail ... committing crimes or not she is untouchable. People may wish it but it will never ever happen she has too much on all the other criminals. ..."
Dec 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Peter Svab via The Epoch Times,

A federal judge has denied requests by Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to prompt the government to give him information he deems exculpatory and to dismiss the case against him .

District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan sided with the government in arguing that Flynn was already given all the information to which he was entitled. The judge also dismissed Flynn's allegations of government misconduct, noting that Flynn already pleaded guilty to his crime and failed to raise his objections earlier when some of the issues he now complains about were brought to his attention.

"The sworn statements of Mr. Flynn and his former counsel belie his new claims of innocence and his new assertions that he was pressured into pleading guilty," Sullivan said in his Dec. 16 opinion ( pdf ).

Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, pleaded guilty on Nov. 30, 2017, to one count of lying to the FBI. He's been expected to receive a light sentence, including no prison time, after extensively cooperating with the government on multiple investigations.

In June, he fired his lawyers and hired former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell , who has since accused the government of misconduct, particularly of withholding exculpatory information or providing it late.

Powell has argued that Flynn's previous lawyers had a conflict of interest because they testified in a related case against Flynn's former business partner. Flynn had previously told the court he would keep the lawyers despite the conflict, but Powell said prosecutors should have asked the judge to dismiss the lawyers anyway. Sullivan disagreed, saying Flynn failed to show a precedent that the prosecutors had that obligation.

Powell also said the government had no proper reason to investigate Flynn in the first place and that it had set up an "ambush interview" with the intention of making Flynn say something it could allege was false.

Sullivan disagreed again and said that previously, with the advice of his former lawyers, Flynn never "challenged the conditions of his FBI interview."

Flynn was interviewed by two FBI agents, Joe Pientka and Peter Strzok, on Jan. 24, 2017, two days after he was sworn in as President Donald Trump's national security adviser.

The prosecutors argued that the FBI had a "sufficient and appropriate basis" for the interview because Flynn days earlier told members of the Trump campaign, including soon-to-be Vice President Mike Pence, that he didn't discuss with the Russian ambassador the expulsion of Russian diplomats in late December 2016 by then-President Barack Obama.

Flynn later admitted in his statement of offense that he asked, via Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak, for Russia to only respond to the sanctions in a reciprocal manner and not escalate the situation.

The FBI was at the time investigating whether Trump campaign aides coordinated with Russian 2016 election meddling. No such coordination was established by the probe, which concluded more than two years later under then-special counsel Robert Mueller.

Powell argued that whatever Flynn told Pence and others in the transition team was none of the FBI's business.

"The Executive Branch has different reasons for saying different things publicly and privately, and not everyone is told the details of every conversation," she said in a previous court filing .

"If the FBI is charged with investigating discrepancies in statements made by government officials to the public, the entirety of its resources would be consumed in a week."

Powell said Flynn's answers to the agents weren't "material," meaning relevant to the FBI investigation of election meddling.

Sullivan, however, thought otherwise, using a broader description of the investigation. The bureau, he said, probed the "nature of any links between individuals associated with the [Trump] Campaign and Russia" and what Flynn said was material to it. The description Sullivan used appears to omit the context of the probe, which focused specifically on the Russian election meddling.


Lord Raglan , 1 minute ago link

Powell was dealt a bad hand by Flynn's previous corrupt and incompetent attorneys. The judge has an obligation to honor the new views of new counsel. He can't assume that Flynn had been well advised by former counsel. There's no evidence or history of that. They sold him out.

thebigunit , 22 minutes ago link

Not sure what's going on.

Sounds like Flynn got bad advice from his previous lawyers, and the judge is requiring Flynn to live with the consequences. In other words, it is as if the judge is prohibiting Flynn from changing legal representation because Flynn cannot do anything different than what his first team of "counselors" advised.

hairlessBalls , 30 minutes ago link

Flynn is as deep state as it gets. He would throw the book at any one of you. Make no mistake. Being a general is a political appointment.

benb , 11 minutes ago link

He's so Deep State that Brennen and Clapper went to Soetoro to get him fired after the election. Flynn was going to rat them out on the treasonous Iran deal. When Obama said no because it was too close to the end of his presidency they then criminally framed Flynn.

You're talking out your butt.

spoonful , 8 minutes ago link

concurrr

https://brassballs.blog/home/four-lies-impeach-flynn-testimony-judges-jessie-liu-mike-flynn-mariia-maria-buina-imran-awan-spygate-in-congress-elijah-cummings-justice-department-doj-fbi-mueller-morrison-foerster-john-carlin-anthony-trenga-emmett-sullivan

VideoEng_NC , 30 minutes ago link

We're witnessing a judge being compromised. His actions & bold off-topic statements in court earlier this year seems to be the sign. DS Strikes Back.

peippe , 46 minutes ago link

never speak to leo without a lawyer representing you.

poor flynn.

socialist chum , 43 minutes ago link

Flynn was lied to. Flynn was a 30 year veteran and General. Flynn couldn't imagine his country turning against him like this. None of us could. But with the cabal running our country, it could and did happen. Now we have to stamp out the cockroaches before it's too late.

AHBL , 41 minutes ago link

Flynn was also a ******* lobbyist for foreign governments, including Turkey,...without disclosing his advise was paid for. He sold himself out like a whore.

peippe , 39 minutes ago link

he had a dinner, at a gala, where foreigners were indeed present. (actually invited & not by Flynn)

Crime? You decide

AHBL , 36 minutes ago link

The **** are you talking about?

"Michael Flynn reportedly filed paperwork on Tuesday for the $530,000 worth of work he did last year that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey." https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/03/08/michael-flynn-admits-turkey-lobbying

peippe , 33 minutes ago link

thought Turkey was our, umm, friend. Also, I did not know the cash disbursements had to be 15 million + ('Biden Sized')

to be forgiven.....or overlooked.

Interesting.

Anthraxed , 33 minutes ago link

Tony Pedoesta did the same thing. Yet, somehow was not prosecuted for it...

sbin , 24 minutes ago link

NATO Alliance member Turkey? How about a list of Israel friends with benefits. MIC grifters and aipac. Bloated orange imbecile can not fight only tweet.

Impotence on parade

Soloamber , 48 minutes ago link

This ***** judge will give him a mouse sentence to protect his own *** . We don't know the half of it . How close is the judge to Obama ? I think we are going to find out .

leodogma1 , 50 minutes ago link

President Trump should step in now and Pardon Gen.Flynn and Roger Stone both trial were fixed unethical and not based on fact and law. In Stones case a radical jury of Demon Rat-Brains were assembled to hand down a guilty verdict.

dibiase , 41 minutes ago link

Stone was bragging he had dirt on Clinton from Assange and when the government called his bs, he lied to them.

Stone is a piece of ****.

PrideOfMammon , 7 minutes ago link

They say Dems and other psychos always accuse others of what they themselves are doing. Ever heard of the Clinton Foundation? Operating expenses: 95%.Benevolent aid: 5%. Suck on that for awhile.

sbin , 56 minutes ago link

Flynn did nothing wrong. Was framed setup and then blackmailed to plead. Who will pay a price. Brennan Comey Strzok? Those who stood with Trump were ruined under false pretenses.

Those who violated the constitution and rule of law are media pundants and undisturbed.

Orange dotard please divert some of your swamp creatures from destroying Iran, Venezuela and Bolivia.

America needs the secret police smashed and held accountable for sedition and treason.

hairlessBalls , 35 minutes ago link

Oh how soon you forget that Flynn commited war crimes in Grenada.

VideoEng_NC , 28 minutes ago link

Then bring him up on those charges. In court those kinds of leaps are inaddmissable.

sbin , 12 minutes ago link

Hahahaha Grenada. Reagan's signature military victory. Flynn should be a super hero. Grenada and Panama are the only victories the Pentagon clowns have managed. What should we expect they only get $1,000,000,000,000.00 a year

Soloamber , 59 minutes ago link

The minute they let Flynn off he talks and they sure as hell don't want that. They want to drag this out as long as possible and hope for a miracle (Trump gets beat ) or at least time enough for them to bugger off. FISA has known for years they were lied to by the FBI and now it has been confirmed . So why didn't they do anything then or now ? Were they in on it ? How do you draw any other conclusion ?

PopeRatzo , 1 hour ago link

Remember that Michael Flynn waived his right to appeal this judge's decision when he plead guilty. This won't be going to a higher court. He's going down and the judge who is sentencing him is PISSED.

Flynn is going to prison. Hillary is not. The sooner you jackoffs accept that, the sooner you'll be able to move on with your lives instead of living out your pitiful existence in bitterness and regret. And no, you won't be doing any civil war. You'll just be angry, your anger will turn inward, and you'll poison yourselves with resentment, living out your days alone. Don't say you weren't warned.

Spetzco , 28 minutes ago link

They threatened his son if he did not plead guilty. Of course, to you Dems the means justifies the end. He will be pardoned, and deservedly so.

GreatUncle , 15 minutes ago link

I don't expect Clinton to go to jail ... committing crimes or not she is untouchable. People may wish it but it will never ever happen she has too much on all the other criminals.

MurderNeverWasLove , 55 minutes ago link

Flynn can ask to withdraw plea, but he's turned down that opportunity three times, so judge might not allow it. Then everything Powell has been doing becomes relevant. Up to this point it's just a bunch of noise, unfortunately.

sowhat1929 , 55 minutes ago link

The house cleaning this country needs is truly astounding. This ******* judge can be swept out with all the other worthless trash

lwilland1012 , 1 hour ago link

So let me just be sure I understand this: he is being denied evidence that could prove innocence on a trial related to a guilty plea, which was largely the result of persecution by the FBI and we ALLOW this to happen in America? What has happened to this country?

GoldenDonuts , 1 hour ago link

And the same old same old continues. I really hope that all of these people receive the judgement that they so richly deserve.

[Dec 17, 2019] History Doesn t Repeat, But It Often Rhymes: Wilson in UK was subjected to the similar attack by rogue elements in MI5 as Trump in the USA

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... an inquiry by cabinet secretary Lord Hunt in 1996 concluded that "a few, a very few, malcontents in MI5" had "spread damaging malicious stories". ..."
"... Well, if a cabinet secretary says that it must be true. MI5, not MI6 - I think MI5's the heavy mob - but I just wondered if our spooks had passed these tricks on to the lads who put the Steele dossier about. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

English Outsider

Massive win, Colonel, that as far as I know nobody predicted. Not the polls, not the political blogs. But I didn't follow it that closely so that's just a general impression.

My man, Nigel Farage, got squeezed mercilessly. I was looking around the BBC site to find out how mercilessly when I came across a picture of the bete noir of my father's time, Harold Wilson. Wilson was convinced that MI something was out to get him - bugged his office, spread smear stories about him around the press, even a possible coup.

The odd rumour of all this had spread to my corner of the English provinces and I'd always wondered if there was anything in it. So I clicked on the BBC article -

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-49939123

- and came across this -

" .. A 1987 inquiry concluded the allegations of a security service plot against Wilson were untrue. However, an inquiry by cabinet secretary Lord Hunt in 1996 concluded that "a few, a very few, malcontents in MI5" had "spread damaging malicious stories".

Well, if a cabinet secretary says that it must be true. MI5, not MI6 - I think MI5's the heavy mob - but I just wondered if our spooks had passed these tricks on to the lads who put the Steele dossier about.

On another security matter I note with concern above - "Those are Jacobite tribesmen at the top. Some of my ancestors were such as they." I thought so. '15 and '45 caused us a lot of trouble and just in case the tradition remained in your family I'm opening a file. We're very happy with our present Queen, thank you, and we don't want you replacing her with some Stuart relic you might happen to have dug up.

Though I suppose it would only be poetic justice. We've just had a go at toppling your President so why shouldn't you return the compliment and topple Her Majesty.

14 December 2019 at 07:07 AM

[Dec 14, 2019] Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation

Highly recommended!
Clapper and Brennan will be shaking in their boots after watching Barr's interview: done in "bad faith" = SEDITION !!!! Deep State operatives...ie, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Stork, Lisa, McCabe, should be held accountable. Obama should probably be impeached.
The hard fact is, that the top of the FBI knew, in advance, that the "dossier" was just bs invented by Russian liars, for money, to be used as political lies for kilary's campaign. It Wasn't evidence and Comey knew far in advance of crossfire hurricane. I can't see less than 20 years in comey's future. That same includes barak, brennan and clapper, who were all informed, willing accomplices in this crime.
10:30 Whoever in FBI that intentionally misled the court using the Steele dossier knowing that the dossier was "total rubbish" as Barr states, needs to be inditing immediately. Why we are continuing to investigate instead of inditimg while continuing to investigate. Until these people are held accountable I don't think our country will begin to heal and media and others apologize to the country for the damage they have done.
7:49 - "Comey refused to sign back up for his security clearance, and therefore couldn't be questioned about classified matters." Well now, isn't that interesting. Haven't heard that one before.
Dec 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

In an exclusive interview, Attorney General William Barr spoke to NBC News' Pete Williams about the findings on the Justice Department Inspector General's report on the Russia investigation and his criticisms of the FBI.


grabir01 , 3 days ago

It appears that none of AG Barr's answers were what Pete Williams wanted to hear.

Gary Ellis , 2 days ago

I sincerely hope that the Durham investigation brings people to justice for what they have done to our country.

greg j , 2 days ago

The man just admitted "this may be the biggest conspiracy in U.S Political History." Ouch!

Jeremy Elice , 3 days ago

Shame we didn't get to see Pete William's face during Barr's answer accusing "an irresponsible press of fanning the flames."

JOHN DRUMHELLER , 2 days ago

Here's the adult in the room. Look out children.

Hart , 1 day ago

This is like if Watergate was on steroids and then some. Everyone involved should be prosecuted including the person who bought the dossier

Russell McAfee , 1 day ago (edited)

The FBI never got the actual DNC server. Crowdstrike has it. The FBI got a 'forensic copy'

Richard McLeod , 1 day ago

The FBI has now been proven to be corrupt at its' highest levels.

King Eris , 1 day ago

I could listen to AG Barr talk for hours. He's so calm and professional.

Noble Victory , 1 day ago

Barr is so intelligent and just. He's smoothe like the way he plays the Bagpipes. Pretty amazing! 🇺🇸👍

Nolan Gleason , 3 days ago

Death to the swamp

ctafrance , 1 day ago

The press is hopelessly corrupt. If we didn't know it already, this interview proves it.

Roman King , 1 day ago (edited)

I'm So glade we have a competent attorney General pushing back on the massive disinformation narrative that comes from Giant News outlets of which are used to being unchallenged, unchecked by today's "journalistic standards"

Clarion Call , 2 days ago

I so respect and admire this man's brain and logical thinking. His vocabulary is great as well.

wkcw1 , 2 days ago

NBC realizing they need to take a bath on this whole thing. Probably a bit too late now.

barbandrob1 , 1 day ago

Barr just basically clarified and justified Fox news reporting over the last 2 years.. Thanks NBC

Faris Hamarneh , 3 days ago

I love Barr's nonchalant style. But this is real big and heads are going to roll

Craig Bigelow , 2 days ago

Obama spied on Trump. Obama should have known about the FISA warrant!

Luis Santiago , 1 day ago

so this guy really asked Bahr"why not open an investigation even with little evidence?" because is a violation of civil liberties to invade the privacy of law abiding citizens. You need compelling evidence for something so huge

macfan128 , 1 day ago

17:44 "Why should the Attorney General care that the FBI was spying on a presidential candidate?" LOLOLOLOL Our media is a jooooooooke.

David , 3 days ago

NBC did a straight up interview??? This is shocking. Who told them that they could start doing journalism again?

Bill the Cat , 2 days ago

Clapper and Brennan will be shaking in their boots after watching Barr's interview.

Alan Sullivan , 1 day ago

Horowitz should be instructed to edit or update his Report to discuss The Question of Bias and Evidence of Bias. He has clearly misguided Americans with his choice of words and has omitted important facts underpinning bias.

MegaTrucker65 , 1 day ago

I haven't looked into Ukraine YET.

Gamer John3:18 , 1 day ago

AG Barr is an outstanding role model, a man of integrity and wisdom, calm in a raging political storm. I have full confidence he will make those who fabricated evidence and hid exculpatory evidence finally face justice. AG Barr for President 2024!

Yo Mama , 2 days ago

Barr is a straight shooter and I love it. It sounds like we will get to the real truth eventually through Durhams investigation I just hope it doesnt take another year to get to the prosecutions.


Direbear Coat , 1 day ago

So, I watched the interview... The video is called, "Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation." Not once did I hear him criticize the I.G.'s report. In fact, A.G. Barr clarified that the I.G.'s report was limited in scope because of the limitations put on the I.G. He said that the report was appropriate.

Wolverines Fight , 1 day ago

It's scary to see how powerful the corruption of the Democratic Party has grown. It represents a serious threat to all our personal freedom. The Democratic Party has to be stopped.

Benny .Burmeister Jørgensen , 3 days ago

Ok after watching this interview its quite clear that Barr and Durham is going after these criminals and people are going to jail. Maybe there is hope for US yet becuase this dane consider US atm a banana republic. Spying on political candidates? Forging documents? You FBI behaving like Stalins secret police. Lets see what happen.

Mike Dorsey , 1 day ago

God Bless Bill Barr. I'm glad there's still some adults in government that will speak their mind intelligently, rationally and unabashedly.

protochris , 1 day ago

This guy is brilliant; he's clearly exposing the FBI and the barking dogs on the alphabet networks.

Dan Kuo , 1 day ago

Amazing for the AG to go in deep into enemy territory at the heart of the opposition media to lay out a case for the criminal activities that undermined our country prior to and after the 2016 election. The deep state is trembling at the prospect of being held accountable after all the facts are laid out to the american people that these activities cannot be brushed aside or swept under the carpet if we are to continue as a country.

Jbyrd Texas , 2 days ago

The corrupt media is trying to act like they have not been involved in this treasonous scam since the beginning working directly with the treasonous cabal. The media has been lying and pushing fake news for 3 years calling Trump a Russia agent and called him treasonous. I knew the whole time that they were lying there was evidence from day one that this was all lies and if I can see that from the public then they can definitely see that from the inside they are purposefully lying.

Stephan Coutts , 1 day ago

I dare anyone on here to research Barr's History back to his involvement in the assignation of JFK, the cover up, defending Nixon, Epstein, and many other illegal and immoral activities. After reviewing the evidence, I walked away believing that Barr is trying to cover up his tracks so he does do jail time. No need to reply. Either take my dare or not. God Bless America and ALL her people, Stephan

Worlds Best Metal Detectorist , 2 days ago

The public are sick of waiting . I find myself skipping through a half hour news show in 5 minutes flat looking for arrests ,whereas before I was rivited to every minute of the half hour show but it goes on and on and at the there is Nothiing .The Democrats are the masters , it's obvious . If they break the law they get off scott free . If you are republican wave bye bye , you will be in jail for years . America is not the free and fair country it is all cracked up to be . It is corrupted by the democrats who have peoiple in high places that thwart real justice.

Right Thinking , 3 days ago

Mifsud approached George! Who was Mifsud working for (western asset) and why did he approach George? He’s the one who offered George dirt on Hill. Then invited him to meet the fake “niece”, of Putin, in England! What about this information? Someone set George up to make this happen outside the US, because of EO 12333. It had to happen outside the US so they could go to the fisa court!

dethtrk Jones , 3 days ago

I dont trust Christopher Wrey. He keeps slow-walking all the FBI documents and declassifications. He also fights judicial watch and judges that rule in their favor and continue not giving over what is ordered! This last judge was ready to hold him in contempt for refusing to cooperate with court ordered documents.

Brad Brown , 2 days ago

Why did the FBI continue to investigate Trump after January when the case collapsed? To try and find a way to impeach Trump. Remember the Washington Post headlined article right after the inauguration "The effort to impeach President Donald John Trump is already underway." The FBI "insurance" policy was essential!

[Nov 28, 2019] WSJ story reopens the claim Comey had a report there was an email exchange between Loretta Lynch and Clinton claiming Lynch promised her the DOJ would go easy on Clinton.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... does the author think this alleged Lynch-Clinton campaign exchange will be part of the upcoming Horowitz report? ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Factotum , 27 November 2019 at 11:57 AM

WSJ columnist today raises an old obscure issue today about the Clinton emails and Comey's calculated exoneration of Clinton's culpability.

This story reopens the claim Comey had a report there was an email exchange between Loretta Lynch and Clinton claiming Lynch promised her the DOJ would go easy on Clinton. Comey claimed when confronted with this memo, Lynch merely smiled like the Cheshire cat and nothing more was done.

This memo was later discredited as an alleged planted Russian hoax. Yet the memo story is again put in lead position on the opinion pages of the WSJ this very morning. Why was that? Not clear, but does the author think this alleged Lynch-Clinton campaign exchange will be part of the upcoming Horowitz report?

(WSJ: 11/27/19 - Holman Jenkins, Jr. - "Who will turn over the 2016 rocks")

[Nov 24, 2019] Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. Far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

Highly recommended!
Nov 24, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.25.19 at 2:56 am 46

Glen Tomkins 11.24.19 at 5:26 pm @43

And again, if we do win despite all the structural injustices in the system the Rs inherited and seek to expand, well, those injustices don't really absolutely need to be corrected, because we will still have gotten the right result from the system as is.

This is a pretty apt description of the mindset of Corporate Democrats. Thank you !

May I recommend you to listen to Chris Hedge 2011 talk On Death of the Liberal Class At least to the first part of it.

Corporate Dems definitely lack courage, and as such are probably doomed in 2020.

Of course, the impeachment process will weight on Trump, but the Senate hold all trump cards, and might reverse those effects very quickly and destroy, or at lease greatly diminish, any chances for Corporate Demorats even complete on equal footing in 2020 elections. IMHO Pelosi gambit is a really dangerous gambit, a desperate move, a kind of "Heil Mary" pass.

Despair is a very powerful factor in the resurgence of far right forces. And that's what happening right now and that's why I suspect that far right populism probably will be the decisive factor in 2020 elections.

IMHO Chris explains what the most probable result on 2020 elections with be with amazing clarity.

[Nov 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Highly recommended!
Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted. ..."
"... In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates. ..."
"... The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . ..."
"... The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race, ..."
"... f Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent. ..."
"... Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time: ..."
"... Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet. ..."
"... Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

Establishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.

The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.

The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.

Social Media Meddling

Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.

On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.

The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.

In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.

Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.

The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:

"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."

The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:

"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]

The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,

Tim Canova's Allegations

If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.

Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:

"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."

Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.

Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."

Study of Corporate Power

A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.

Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perception of the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.

Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.

Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :

"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]

Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]

The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.

Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?

* * *

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

[Oct 28, 2019] National Neolibralism destroyed the World Trade Organisation by John Quiggin

Highly recommended!
Highly recommended !
Notable quotes:
"... Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis. ..."
"... I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system ..."
"... If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners. ..."
"... The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump. ..."
"... I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say. ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

...what replaces it will be even worse. That's the (slightly premature) headline for my recent article in The Conversation .

The headline will become operative in December, if as expected, the Trump Administration maintains its refusal to nominate new judges to the WTO appellate panel . That will render the WTO unable to take on new cases, and bring about an effective return to the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) which preceded the WTO .

An interesting sidelight is that Brexit No-Dealers have been keen on the merits of trading "on WTO terms", but those terms will probably be unenforceable by the time No Deal happens (if it does).

likbez 10.27.19 at 11:22 pm

That's another manifestation of the ascendance of "national neoliberalism," which now is displacing "classic neoliberalism."

Attempts to remove Trump via color revolution mechanisms (Russiagate, Ukrainegate) are essentially connected with the desire of adherents of classic neoliberalism to return to the old paradigm and kick the can down the road until the cliff. I think it is impossible because the neoliberal elite lost popular support (aka support of deplorables) and now is hanging in the air. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive.

That's why probably previous attempts to remove Trump were unsuccessful. And if corrupt classic neoliberal Biden wins Neoliberal Dem Party nomination, the USA probably will get the second term of Trump. Warren might have a chance as "Better Trump then Trump" although she proved so far to be pretty inept politician, and like "original" Trump probably can be easily coerced by the establishment, if she wins.

All this weeping and gnashing of teeth by "neoliberal Intelligentsia" does not change the fact that neoliberalism entered the period of structural crisis demonstrated by "secular stagnation," and, as such, its survival is far from certain. We probably can argue only about how long it will take for the "national neoliberalism" to dismantle it and what shape or form the new social order will take.

That does not mean that replacing the classic neoliberalism the new social order will be better, or more just. Neoliberalism was actually two steps back in comparison with the New Deal Capitalism that it replaced. It clearly was a social regress.

John Quiggin 10.28.19 at 3:00 am ( 2 )
Exactly right!
Matt 10.28.19 at 6:28 am ( 3 )
John, I am legitimate curious what you find "exactly right" in the comment above. Other than the obvious bit in the last line about new deal vs neoliberalism, I would say it is completely wrong, band presenting an amazingly distorted view of both the last few years and recent history.
reason 10.28.19 at 8:58 am ( 5 )
I agree with Matt.

In fact, I see the problem as more nuanced.

Neo-liberalism is not a unified thing. Right wing parties are not following the original (the value of choice) paradigm of Milton Friedman that won the argument during the 1970s inflation panic, but have implemented a deceitful bait and switch strategy, followed by continually shifting the goalposts – claiming – it would of worked but we weren't pure enough.

But parts of what Milton Friedman said (for instance the danger of bad micro-economic design of welfare systems creating poverty traps, and the inherent problems of high tariff rates) had a kernel of truth. (Unfortunately, Friedman's macro-economics was almost all wrong and has done great damage.)

Tim Worstall 10.28.19 at 12:39 pm (no link) 6

"In that context it felt free to override national governments on any issue that might affect international trade, most notably environmental policies."

Not entirely sure about that. The one case where I was informed enough to really know detail was the China and rare earths WTO case. China claimed that restrictions on exports of separated but otherwise unprocessed rare earths were being made on environmental grounds. Rare earth mining is a messy business, especially the way they do it.

Well, OK. And if such exports were being limited on environmental grounds then that would be WTO compliant. Which is why the claim presumably.

It was gently or not pointed out that exports of things made from those same rare earths were not limited in any sense. Therefore that environmental justification might not be quite the real one. Possibly, it was an attempt to suck RE using industry into China by making rare earths outside in short supply, but the availability for local processing being unrestricted? Certainly, one customer of mine at the time seriously considered packing up the US factory and moving it.

China lost the WTO case. Not because environmental reasons aren't a justification for restrictions on trade but because no one believed that was the reason, rather than the justification.

I don't know about other cases – shrimp, tuna – but there is at least the possibility that it's the argument, not the environment, which wasn't sufficient justification?

Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm ( 9 )
Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.

In the EU, East Asia, and North America, some of what has taken place is the rationalization of bureaucratic practices and the weakening of archaic localisms. Some of these developments have been positive.

In this respect, neoliberalism in the blanket sense used by Likbez and many others is like what the the ancien regime was, a mix of regressive and progressive tendencies. In the aftermath of the on-going upheaval, it is likely that it will be reassessed and some of its features will be valued if they manage to persist.

I'm thinking of international trade agreements, transnational scientific organizations, and confederations like the European Union.

steven t johnson 10.29.19 at 12:29 am

If I may venture to translate @1?

Right-wing populism like Orban, Salvini, the Brexiteers are sweeping the globe and this is more of the same.

Trying to head off redivision of the world into nationalist trade blocks by removing Trump via dubiously democratic upheavals (like color revolutions) with more or less fictional quasi-scandals as pro-Russian treason or anti-Ukrainian treason (which is "Huh?" on the face of it,) is futile. It stems from a desire to keep on "free" trading despite the secular stagnation that has set in, hoping that the sociopolitical nowhere (major at least) doesn't collapse until God or Nature or something restores the supposedly natural order of economic growth without end/crisis.

I think efforts to keep the neoliberal international WTO/IMF/World Bank "free" trading system is futile because the lower orders are being ordered to be satisfied with a permanent, rigid class system .

If the pie is to shrink forever, all the vile masses (the deplorables) are going to hang together in their various ways, clinging to shared identity in race or religion or nationality, which will leave the international capitalists hanging, period. "Greed is good" mantra, and the redistribution of the wealth up at the end proved to be very destructive. Saying "Greed is good," then expecting selflessness from the lowers is not high-minded but self-serving. Redistribution of wealth upward has been terribly destructive to social cohesion, both domestically and in the sense of generosity towards foreigners.

The pervasive feeling that "we" are going down and drastic action has to be taken is probably why there hasn't been much traction for impeachment til now. If Biden, shown to be shady in regards to Hunter, is nominated to lead the Democratic Party into four/eight years of Obama-esque promise to continue shrinking the status quo for the lowers, Trump will probably win. Warren might have a better chance to convince voters she means to change things (despite the example of Obama,) but she's not very appealing. And she is almost certainly likely to be manipulated like Trump.

Again, despite the fury the old internationalism is collapsing under stagnation and weeping about it is irrelevant. Without any real ideas, we can only react to events as nationalist predatory capitals fight for their new world.

I'm not saying the new right wing populism is better. The New Deal/Great Society did more for America than its political successors since Nixon et al. The years since 1968 I think have been a regression and I see no reason–alas–that it can't get even worse.

I *think* that's more or less what likbez, said, though obviously it's not the way likbez wanted to express it. I disagree strenuously on some details, like Warren's problem being a schoolmarm, rather than being a believer in capitalism who shares Trump's moral values against socialism, no matter what voters say.

likbez 10.29.19 at 2:46 am 13

fausutsnotes 10.28.19 at 8:27 am @4

> What on earth is "national neoliberalism."

It is a particular mutation of the original concept similar to mutation of socialism into national socialism, when domestic policies are mostly preserved (including rampant deregulation) and supplemented by repressive measures (total surveillance) , but in foreign policy "might make right" and unilateralism with the stress on strictly bilateral regulations of trade (no WTO) somewhat modifies "Washington consensus". In other words, the foreign financial oligarchy has a demoted status under the "national neoliberalism" regime, while the national financial oligarchy and manufactures are elevated.

And the slogan of "financial oligarchy of all countries, unite" which is sine qua non of classic neoliberalism is effectively dead and is replaced by protection racket of the most political powerful players (look at Biden and Ukrainian oligarchs behavior here ;-)

> I think every sentence in that comment is either completely wrong or at least debatable. And is likbez actually John Hewson, because that comment reads like one of John Hewson's commentaries

I wish ;-). But it is true in the sense of sentiment expressed in his article A few bank scalps won't help unless they change their rotten culture That's a very similar approach to the problem.

politicalfootball 10.28.19 at 1:19 pm @8

> Most obviously, to define Warren and Trump as both being neoliberals drains the term of any meaning

You are way too fast even for a political football forward ;-).

Warren capitalizes on the same discontent and the feeling of the crisis of neoliberalism that allowed Trump to win. Yes, she is a much better candidate than Trump, and her policy proposals are better (unless she is coerced by the Deep State like Trump in the first three months of her Presidency).

Still, unlike Sanders in domestic policy and Tulsi in foreign policy, she is a neoliberal reformist at heart and a neoliberal warmonger in foreign policy. Most of her policy proposals are quite shallow, and are just a band-aid.

"Warren's "I have a plan" mantra sounds an awful lot like a dog whistle to Clinton voters" Elizabeth Warren's
Plan-itis Excessive Lobbying Case Study naked capitalism

Jim Harrison 10.28.19 at 5:20 pm @9

> Neoliberalism gets used as a generalized term of abuse these days. Not every political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the free market.

This is a typical stance of neoliberal MSM, a popular line of attack on critics of neoliberalism.

Yes, of course, not everything political and institutional development of the last 40 years comes down to the worship of the "free market." But how can it be otherwise? Notions of human agency, a complex interaction of politics and economics in human affairs, technological progress since 1970th, etc., all play a role. But a historian needs to be able to somehow integrate the mass of evidence into a coherent and truthful story.

And IMHO this story for the last several decades is the ascendance and now decline of "classic neoliberalism" with its stress on the neoliberal globalization and opening of the foreign markets for transnational corporations (often via direct or indirect (financial) pressure, or subversive actions including color revolutions and military intervention) and replacement of it by "national neoliberalism" -- domestic neoliberalism without (or with a different type of) neoliberal globalization.

Defining features of national neoliberalism along with the rejection of neoliberal globalization and, in particular, multiparty treaties like WTO is massive, overwhelming propaganda including politicized witch hunts (via neoliberal MSM), total surveillance of citizens by the national security state institutions (three-letter agencies which now acquired a political role), as well as elements of classic nationalism built-in.

The dominant ideology of the last 30 years was definitely connected with "worshiping of free markets," a secular religion that displaced alternative views and, for several decades (say 1976 -2007), dominated the discourse. So worshiping (or pretense of worshiping) of "free market" (as if such market exists, and is not a theological construct -- a deity of some sort) is really defining feature here.

[Oct 10, 2019] Trump, Impeachment Forgetting What Brought Him to the White House by Andrew J. Bacevich

Highly recommended!
The term "centrist" is replaced by a more appropriate term "neoliberal oligarchy"
Notable quotes:
"... Furthermore, Donald Trump might well emerge from this national ordeal with his reelection chances enhanced. Such a prospect is belatedly insinuating itself into public discourse. For that reason, certain anti-Trump pundits are already showing signs of going wobbly, suggesting , for instance, that censure rather than outright impeachment might suffice as punishment for the president's various offenses. Yet censuring Trump while allowing him to stay in office would be the equivalent of letting Harvey Weinstein off with a good tongue-lashing so that he can get back to making movies. Censure is for wimps. ..."
"... So if Trump finds himself backed into a corner, Democrats aren't necessarily in a more favorable position. And that aren't the half of it. Let me suggest that, while Trump is being pursued, it's you, my fellow Americans, who are really being played. The unspoken purpose of impeachment is not removal, but restoration. The overarching aim is not to replace Trump with Mike Pence -- the equivalent of exchanging Groucho for Harpo. No, the object of the exercise is to return power to those who created the conditions that enabled Trump to win the White House in the first place. ..."
"... For many of the main participants in this melodrama, the actual but unstated purpose of impeachment is to correct this great wrong and thereby restore history to its anointed path. ..."
"... In a recent column in The Guardian, Professor Samuel Moyn makes the essential point: Removing from office a vulgar, dishonest and utterly incompetent president comes nowhere close to capturing what's going on here. To the elites most intent on ousting Trump, far more important than anything he may say or do is what he signifies. He is a walking, talking repudiation of everything they believe and, by extension, of a future they had come to see as foreordained. ..."
"... Moyn styles these anti-Trump elites as "neoliberal oligarchy", members of the post-Cold War political mainstream that allowed ample room for nominally conservative Bushes and nominally liberal Clintons, while leaving just enough space for Barack Obama's promise of hope-and-(not-too-much) change. ..."
"... These "neoliberal oligarchy" share a common worldview. They believe in the universality of freedom as defined and practiced within the United States. They believe in corporate capitalism operating on a planetary scale. They believe in American primacy, with the United States presiding over a global order as the sole superpower. They believe in "American global leadership," which they define as primarily a military enterprise. And perhaps most of all, while collecting degrees from Georgetown, Harvard, Oxford, Wellesley, the University of Chicago, and Yale, they came to believe in a so-called meritocracy as the preferred mechanism for allocating wealth, power and privilege. All of these together comprise the sacred scripture of contemporary American political elites. And if Donald Trump's antagonists have their way, his removal will restore that sacred scripture to its proper place as the basis of policy. ..."
"... "For all their appeals to enduring moral values," Moyn writes, "the "neoliberal oligarchy" are deploying a transparent strategy to return to power." Destruction of the Trump presidency is a necessary precondition for achieving that goal. ""neoliberal oligarchy" simply want to return to the status quo interrupted by Trump, their reputations laundered by their courageous opposition to his mercurial reign, and their policies restored to credibility." Precisely. ..."
"... how does such misconduct compare to the calamities engineered by the "neoliberal oligarchy" who preceded him? ..."
"... Trump's critics speak with one voice in demanding accountability. Yet virtually no one has been held accountable for the pain, suffering, and loss inflicted by the architects of the Iraq War and the Great Recession. Why is that? As another presidential election approaches, the question not only goes unanswered, but unasked. ..."
"... To win reelection, Trump, a corrupt con man (who jumped ship on his own bankrupt casinos, money in hand, leaving others holding the bag) will cheat and lie. Yet, in the politics of the last half-century, these do not qualify as novelties. (Indeed, apart from being the son of a sitting U.S. vice president, what made Hunter Biden worth $50Gs per month to a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch? I'm curious.) That the president and his associates are engaging in a cover-up is doubtless the case. Yet another cover-up proceeds in broad daylight on a vastly larger scale. "Trump's shambolic presidency somehow seems less unsavory," Moyn writes, when considering the fact that his critics refuse "to admit how massively his election signified the failure of their policies, from endless war to economic inequality." Just so. ..."
"... Exactly. Trump is the result of voter disgust with Bush III vs Clinton II, the presumed match up for a year or more leading up to 2016. Now Democrats want to do it again, thinking they can elect anybody against Trump. That's what Hillary thought too. ..."
"... Trump won for lack of alternatives. Our political class is determined to prevent any alternatives breaking through this time either. They don't want Trump, but even more they want to protect their gravy train of donor money, the huge overspending on medical care (four times the defense budget) and of course all those Forever Wars. ..."
"... Trump could win, for the same reasons as last time, even though the result would be no better than last time. ..."
"... I wish the slick I.D. politics obsessed corporate Dems nothing but the worst, absolute worst. They reap what they sow. If it means another four years of Trump, so be it. It's the price that's going to have to be paid. ..."
"... At a time when a majority of U.S. citizens cannot muster up $500 for an emergency dental bill or car repair without running down to the local "pay day loan" lender shark (now established as legitimate businesses) the corporate Dems, in their infinite wisdom, decide to concoct an impeachment circus to run simultaneously when all the dirt against the execrable Brennan and his intel minions starts to hit the press for their Russiagate hoax. Nice sleight of hand there corporate Dems. ..."
Oct 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

There is blood in the water and frenzied sharks are closing in for the kill. Or so they think.

From the time of Donald Trump's election, American elites have hungered for this moment. At long last, they have the 45th president of the United States cornered. In typically ham-handed fashion, Trump has given his adversaries the very means to destroy him politically. They will not waste the opportunity. Impeachment now -- finally, some will say -- qualifies as a virtual certainty.

No doubt many surprises lie ahead. Yet the Democrats controlling the House of Representatives have passed the point of no return. The time for prudential judgments -- the Republican-controlled Senate will never convict, so why bother? -- is gone for good. To back down now would expose the president's pursuers as spineless cowards. The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC would not soon forgive such craven behavior.

So, as President Woodrow Wilson, speaking in 1919 put it, "The stage is set, the destiny disclosed. It has come about by no plan of our conceiving, but by the hand of God." Of course, the issue back then was a notably weighty one: whether to ratify the Versailles Treaty. That it now concerns a " Mafia-like shakedown " orchestrated by one of Wilson's successors tells us something about the trajectory of American politics over the course of the last century and it has not been a story of ascent.

The effort to boot the president from office is certain to yield a memorable spectacle. The rancor and contempt that have clogged American politics like a backed-up sewer since the day of Trump's election will now find release. Watergate will pale by comparison. The uproar triggered by Bill Clinton's " sexual relations " will be nothing by comparison. A de facto collaboration between Trump, those who despise him, and those who despise his critics all but guarantees that this story will dominate the news, undoubtedly for months to come.

As this process unspools, what politicians like to call "the people's business" will go essentially unattended. So while Congress considers whether or not to remove Trump from office, gun-control legislation will languish, the deterioration of the nation's infrastructure will proceed apace, needed healthcare reforms will be tabled, the military-industrial complex will waste yet more billions, and the national debt, already at $22 trillion -- larger, that is, than the entire economy -- will continue to surge. The looming threat posed by climate change, much talked about of late, will proceed all but unchecked. For those of us preoccupied with America's role in the world, the obsolete assumptions and habits undergirding what's still called " national security " will continue to evade examination. Our endless wars will remain endless and pointless.

By way of compensation, we might wonder what benefits impeachment is likely to yield. Answering that question requires examining four scenarios that describe the range of possibilities awaiting the nation.

The first and most to be desired (but least likely) is that Trump will tire of being a public piñata and just quit. With the thrill of flying in Air Force One having worn off, being president can't be as much fun these days. Why put up with further grief? How much more entertaining for Trump to retire to the political sidelines where he can tweet up a storm and indulge his penchant for name-calling. And think of the "deals" an ex-president could make in countries like Israel, North Korea, Poland, and Saudi Arabia on which he's bestowed favors. Cha-ching! As of yet, however, the president shows no signs of taking the easy (and lucrative) way out.

The second possible outcome sounds almost as good but is no less implausible: a sufficient number of Republican senators rediscover their moral compass and "do the right thing," joining with Democrats to create the two-thirds majority needed to convict Trump and send him packing. In the Washington of that classic 20th-century film director Frank Capra, with Jimmy Stewart holding forth on the Senate floor and a moist-eyed Jean Arthur cheering him on from the gallery, this might have happened. In the real Washington of "Moscow Mitch" McConnell , think again.

The third somewhat seamier outcome might seem a tad more likely. It postulates that McConnell and various GOP senators facing reelection in 2020 or 2022 will calculate that turning on Trump just might offer the best way of saving their own skins. The president's loyalty to just about anyone, wives included, has always been highly contingent, the people streaming out of his administration routinely making the point. So why should senatorial loyalty to the president be any different? At the moment, however, indications that Trump loyalists out in the hinterlands will reward such turncoats are just about nonexistent. Unless that base were to flip, don't expect Republican senators to do anything but flop.

That leaves outcome No. 4, easily the most probable: while the House will impeach, the Senate will decline to convict. Trump will therefore stay right where he is, with the matter of his fitness for office effectively deferred to the November 2020 elections. Except as a source of sadomasochistic diversion, the entire agonizing experience will, therefore, prove to be a colossal waste of time and blather.

Furthermore, Donald Trump might well emerge from this national ordeal with his reelection chances enhanced. Such a prospect is belatedly insinuating itself into public discourse. For that reason, certain anti-Trump pundits are already showing signs of going wobbly, suggesting , for instance, that censure rather than outright impeachment might suffice as punishment for the president's various offenses. Yet censuring Trump while allowing him to stay in office would be the equivalent of letting Harvey Weinstein off with a good tongue-lashing so that he can get back to making movies. Censure is for wimps.

Besides, as Trump campaigns for a second term, he would almost surely wear censure like a badge of honor. Keep in mind that Congress's approval ratings are considerably worse than his. To more than a few members of the public, a black mark awarded by Congress might look like a gold star.

Restoration Not Removal

So if Trump finds himself backed into a corner, Democrats aren't necessarily in a more favorable position. And that aren't the half of it. Let me suggest that, while Trump is being pursued, it's you, my fellow Americans, who are really being played. The unspoken purpose of impeachment is not removal, but restoration. The overarching aim is not to replace Trump with Mike Pence -- the equivalent of exchanging Groucho for Harpo. No, the object of the exercise is to return power to those who created the conditions that enabled Trump to win the White House in the first place.

Just recently, for instance, Hillary Clinton declared Trump to be an "illegitimate president." Implicit in her charge is the conviction -- no doubt sincere -- that people like Donald Trump are not supposed to be president. People like Hillary Clinton -- people possessing credentials like hers and sharing her values -- should be the chosen ones. Here we glimpse the true meaning of legitimacy in this context. Whatever the vote in the Electoral College, Trump doesn't deserve to be president and never did.

For many of the main participants in this melodrama, the actual but unstated purpose of impeachment is to correct this great wrong and thereby restore history to its anointed path.

In a recent column in The Guardian, Professor Samuel Moyn makes the essential point: Removing from office a vulgar, dishonest and utterly incompetent president comes nowhere close to capturing what's going on here. To the elites most intent on ousting Trump, far more important than anything he may say or do is what he signifies. He is a walking, talking repudiation of everything they believe and, by extension, of a future they had come to see as foreordained.

Moyn styles these anti-Trump elites as "neoliberal oligarchy", members of the post-Cold War political mainstream that allowed ample room for nominally conservative Bushes and nominally liberal Clintons, while leaving just enough space for Barack Obama's promise of hope-and-(not-too-much) change.

These "neoliberal oligarchy" share a common worldview. They believe in the universality of freedom as defined and practiced within the United States. They believe in corporate capitalism operating on a planetary scale. They believe in American primacy, with the United States presiding over a global order as the sole superpower. They believe in "American global leadership," which they define as primarily a military enterprise. And perhaps most of all, while collecting degrees from Georgetown, Harvard, Oxford, Wellesley, the University of Chicago, and Yale, they came to believe in a so-called meritocracy as the preferred mechanism for allocating wealth, power and privilege. All of these together comprise the sacred scripture of contemporary American political elites. And if Donald Trump's antagonists have their way, his removal will restore that sacred scripture to its proper place as the basis of policy.

"For all their appeals to enduring moral values," Moyn writes, "the "neoliberal oligarchy" are deploying a transparent strategy to return to power." Destruction of the Trump presidency is a necessary precondition for achieving that goal. ""neoliberal oligarchy" simply want to return to the status quo interrupted by Trump, their reputations laundered by their courageous opposition to his mercurial reign, and their policies restored to credibility." Precisely.

High Crimes and Misdemeanors

The U.S. military's "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad at the start of the Iraq War, as broadcast on CNN.

For such a scheme to succeed, however, laundering reputations alone will not suffice. Equally important will be to bury any recollection of the catastrophes that paved the way for an über -qualified centrist to lose to an indisputably unqualified and unprincipled political novice in 2016.

Holding promised security assistance hostage unless a foreign leader agrees to do you political favors is obviously and indisputably wrong. Trump's antics regarding Ukraine may even meet some definition of criminal. Still, how does such misconduct compare to the calamities engineered by the "neoliberal oligarchy" who preceded him? Consider, in particular, the George W. Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq in 2003 (along with the spin-off wars that followed). Consider, too, the reckless economic policies that produced the Great Recession of 2007-2008. As measured by the harm inflicted on the American people (and others), the offenses for which Trump is being impeached qualify as mere misdemeanors.

Honest people may differ on whether to attribute the Iraq War to outright lies or monumental hubris. When it comes to tallying up the consequences, however, the intentions of those who sold the war don't particularly matter. The results include thousands of Americans killed; tens of thousands wounded, many grievously, or left to struggle with the effects of PTSD; hundreds of thousands of non-Americans killed or injured ; millions displaced ; trillions of dollars expended; radical groups like ISIS empowered (and in its case even formed inside a U.S. prison in Iraq); and the Persian Gulf region plunged into turmoil from which it has yet to recover. How do Trump's crimes stack up against these?

The Great Recession stemmed directly from economic policies implemented during the administration of President Bill Clinton and continued by his successor. Deregulating the banking sector was projected to produce a bonanza in which all would share. Yet, as a direct result of the ensuing chicanery, nearly 9 million Americans lost their jobs, while overall unemployment shot up to 10 percent. Roughly 4 million Americans lost their homes to foreclosure. The stock market cratered and millions saw their life savings evaporate. Again, the question must be asked: How do these results compare to Trump's dubious dealings with Ukraine?

Trump's critics speak with one voice in demanding accountability. Yet virtually no one has been held accountable for the pain, suffering, and loss inflicted by the architects of the Iraq War and the Great Recession. Why is that? As another presidential election approaches, the question not only goes unanswered, but unasked.

Sen. Carter Glass (D–Va.) and Rep. Henry B. Steagall (D–Ala.-3), the co-sponsors of the 1932 Glass–Steagall Act separating investment and commercial banking, which was repealed in 1999. (Wikimedia Commons)

To win reelection, Trump, a corrupt con man (who jumped ship on his own bankrupt casinos, money in hand, leaving others holding the bag) will cheat and lie. Yet, in the politics of the last half-century, these do not qualify as novelties. (Indeed, apart from being the son of a sitting U.S. vice president, what made Hunter Biden worth $50Gs per month to a gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch? I'm curious.) That the president and his associates are engaging in a cover-up is doubtless the case. Yet another cover-up proceeds in broad daylight on a vastly larger scale. "Trump's shambolic presidency somehow seems less unsavory," Moyn writes, when considering the fact that his critics refuse "to admit how massively his election signified the failure of their policies, from endless war to economic inequality." Just so.

What are the real crimes? Who are the real criminals? No matter what happens in the coming months, don't expect the Trump impeachment proceedings to come within a country mile of addressing such questions.

Andrew Bacevich, a TomDispatch regular , is president and co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft . His new book, " The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory ," will be published in January.

This article is from TomDispatch.com .


Mark Thomason , October 9, 2019 at 17:03

Exactly. Trump is the result of voter disgust with Bush III vs Clinton II, the presumed match up for a year or more leading up to 2016. Now Democrats want to do it again, thinking they can elect anybody against Trump. That's what Hillary thought too.

Now the Republicans who lost their party to Trump think they can take it back with somebody even more lame than Jeb, if only they could find someone, anyone, to run on that non-plan.

Trump won for lack of alternatives. Our political class is determined to prevent any alternatives breaking through this time either. They don't want Trump, but even more they want to protect their gravy train of donor money, the huge overspending on medical care (four times the defense budget) and of course all those Forever Wars.

Trump could win, for the same reasons as last time, even though the result would be no better than last time.

LJ , October 9, 2019 at 17:01

Well, yeah but I recall that what won Trump the Republican Nomination was first and foremost his stance on Immigration. This issue is what separated him from the herd of candidates . None of them had the courage or the desire to go against Governmental Groupthink on Immigration. All he then had to do was get on top of low energy Jeb Bush and the road was clear. He got the base on his side on this issue and on his repeated statement that he wished to normalize relations with Russia . He won the nomination easily. The base is still on his side on these issues but Governmental Groupthink has prevailed in the House, the Senate, the Intelligence Services and the Federal Courts. Funny how nobody in the Beltway, especially not in media, is brave enough to admit that the entire Neoconservative scheme has been a disaster and that of course we should get out of Syria . Nor can anyone recall the corruption and warmongering that now seem that seems endemic to the Democratic Party. Of course Trump has to wear goat's horns. "Off with his head".

Drew Hunkins , October 9, 2019 at 16:00

I wish the slick I.D. politics obsessed corporate Dems nothing but the worst, absolute worst. They reap what they sow. If it means another four years of Trump, so be it. It's the price that's going to have to be paid.

At a time when a majority of U.S. citizens cannot muster up $500 for an emergency dental bill or car repair without running down to the local "pay day loan" lender shark (now established as legitimate businesses) the corporate Dems, in their infinite wisdom, decide to concoct an impeachment circus to run simultaneously when all the dirt against the execrable Brennan and his intel minions starts to hit the press for their Russiagate hoax. Nice sleight of hand there corporate Dems.

Of course, the corporate Dems would rather lose to Trump than win with a progressive-populist like Bernie. After all, a Bernie win would mean an end to a lot of careerism and cushy positions within the establishment political scene in Washington and throughout the country.

Now we even have the destroyer of Libya mulling another run for the presidency.

Forget about having a job the next day and forget about the 25% interest on your credit card or that half your income is going toward your rent or mortgage, or that you barely see your kids b/c of the 60 hour work week, just worry about women lawyers being able to make partner at the firm, and trans people being able to use whatever bathroom they wish and male athletes being able to compete against women based on genitalia (no, wait, I'm confused now).

Either class politics and class warfare comes front and center or we witness a burgeoning neo-fascist movement in our midst. It's that simple, something has got to give!

[Oct 09, 2019] Ukrainegate as the textbook example of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues

Highly recommended!
Oct 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

EMichael , October 09, 2019 at 02:07 PM

His entire life trump has been a deadbeat.

"The president is dropping by the city on Thursday for one of his periodic angry wank-fests at the Target Center, which is the venue in which this event will be inflicted upon the Twin Cities. (And, just as an aside, given the events of the past 10 days, this one should be a doozy.) Other Minneapolis folk are planning an extensive unwelcoming party outside the arena, which necessarily would require increased security, which is expensive. So, realizing that it was dealing with a notorious deadbeat -- in keeping with his customary business plan, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago has stiffed 10 cities this year for bills relating to security costs that total almost a million bucks -- the company that provides the security for the Target Center wants the president*'s campaign to shell out more than $500,000.

This has sent the president* into a Twitter tantrum against Frey, who seems not to be that impressed by it. Right from when the visit was announced, Frey has been jabbing at the president*'s ego. From the Star-Tribune:

"Our entire city will stand not behind the President, but behind the communities and people who continue to make our city -- and this country -- great," Frey said. "While there is no legal mechanism to prevent the president from visiting, his message of hatred will never be welcome in Minneapolis."

It is a mayor's lot to deal with out-of-state troublemakers. Always has been."

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a29416840/trump-feud-minneapolis-mayor-security-rally/

ilsm , October 09, 2019 at 03:03 PM
When it comes to Trump not going full Cheney war monged in Syria Krugman is a Bircher!l
likbez , October 09, 2019 at 03:22 PM
This is not about Trump. This is not even about Ukraine and/or foreign powers influence on the US election (of which Israel, UK, and Saudi are three primary examples; in this particular order.)

Russiagate 2.0 (aka Ukrainegate) is the case, textbook example if you wish, of how the neoliberal elite manipulates the MSM and the narrative for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objectives -- distracting the electorate from real issues.

An excellent observation by JohnH (October 01, 2019 at 01:47 PM )

"It all depends on which side of the Infowars you find yourself. The facts themselves are too obscure and byzantine."

There are two competing narratives here:

1. NARRATIVE 1: CIA swamp scum tried to re-launch Russiagate as Russiagate 2.0. This is CIA coup d'état aided and abetted by CIA-democrats like Pelosi and Schiff. Treason, as Trump aptly said. This is narrative shared by "anti-Deep Staters" who sometimes are nicknamed "Trumptards". Please note that the latter derogatory nickname is factually incorrect: supporters of this narrative often do not support Trump. They just oppose machinations of the Deep State. And/or neoliberalism personified by Clinton camp, with its rampant corruption.

2. NARRATIVE 2: Trump tried to derail his opponent using his influence of foreign state President (via military aid) as leverage and should be impeached for this and previous crimes. ("Full of Schiff" commenters narrative, neoliberal democrats, or demorats.) Supporters of this category usually bought Russiagate 1.0 narrative line, hook and sinker. Some of them are brainwashed, but mostly simply ignorant neoliberal lemmings without even basic political education.

In any case, while Russiagate 2.0 is probably another World Wrestling Federation style fight, I think "anti-Deep-staters" are much closer to the truth.

What is missing here is the real problem: the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA (and elsewhere).

So this circus serves an important purpose (intentionally or unintentionally) -- to disrupt voters from the problems that are really burning, and are equal to a slow-progressing cancer in the US society.

And implicitly derail Warren (being a weak politician she does not understand that, and jumped into Ukrainegate bandwagon )

I am not that competent here, so I will just mention some obvious symptoms:

  1. Loss of legitimacy of the ruling neoliberal elite (which demonstrated itself in 2016 with election of Trump);
  2. Desperation of many working Americans with sliding standard of living; loss of meaningful jobs due to offshoring of manufacturing and automation (which demonstrated itself in opioids abuse epidemics; similar to epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR before its dissolution.
  3. Loss of previously available freedoms. Loss of "free press" replaced by the neoliberal echo chamber in major MSM. The uncontrolled and brutal rule of financial oligarchy and allied with the intelligence agencies as the third rail of US politics (plus the conversion of the state after 9/11 into national security state);
  4. Coming within this century end of the "Petroleum Age" and the global crisis that it can entail;
  5. Rampant militarism, tremendous waist of resources on the arms race, and overstretched efforts to maintain and expand global, controlled from Washington, neoliberal empire. Efforts that since 1991 were a primary focus of unhinged after 1991 neocon faction US elite who totally controls foreign policy establishment ("full-spectrum dominance). They are stealing money from working people to fund an imperial project, and as part of neoliberal redistribution of wealth up

Most of the commenters here live a comfortable life in the financially secured retirement, and, as such, are mostly satisfied with the status quo. And almost completely isolated from the level of financial insecurity of most common Americans (healthcare racket might be the only exception).

And re-posting of articles which confirm your own worldview (echo chamber posting) is nice entertainment, I think ;-)

Some of those posters actually sometimes manage to find really valuable info. For which I am thankful. In other cases, when we have a deluge of abhorrent neoliberal propaganda postings (the specialty of Fred C. Dobbs) which often generate really insightful comments from the members of the "anti-Deep State" camp.

Still it would be beneficial if the flow of neoliberal spam is slightly curtailed.

[Sep 15, 2019] Donald Trump as the DNC s nominee by Michael Hudson

Highly recommended!
DNC is a criminal organization and the fact that Debbie Wasserman Schultz escaped justice is deeply regreatable.
Notable quotes:
"... The problem facing the Democratic National Committee today remains the same as in 2016: How to block even a moderately left-wing social democrat by picking a candidate guaranteed to lose to Trump, so as to continue the policies that serve banks, the financial markets and military spending for Cold War 2.0. ..."
"... Trump meanwhile has done most everything the Democratic Donor Class wants: He has cut taxes on the wealthy, cut social spending for the population at large, backed Quantitative Easing to inflate the stock and bond markets, and pursued Cold War 2.0. Best of all, his abrasive style has enabled Democrats to blame the Republicans for the giveaway to the rich, as if they would have followed a different policy. ..."
"... The effect has been to make America into a one-party state. Republicans act as the most blatant lobbyists for the Donor Class. But people can vote for a representative of the One Percent and the military-industrial complex in either the Republican or Democratic column. That is why most Americans owe allegiance to no party. ..."
"... I'm just curious about how much longer this log-jam situation can persist before real political realignment takes place. Bernie Sander is ultimately a relic not a representative of new political vigor running through the party, like Trump he would be largely be on his own without much congressional support from his own party. ..."
"... As the 2016 election and Brexit have illuminated, globalisation is a religion for the upper middle classes. ..."
"... They just refuse to understand that political solidarity, key to any such policies is permanently damaged by immigration. ..."
"... If you make people chose between their ethnicity being displaced and class conflict, they'll pick the preservation of their ethnicity and it's territory every time. I ..."
"... My prediction: The elites in the US won't give way, people will simply become demoralised and the Trump/Sanders moment will pass with significant damage done to the legitimacy of American democracy and media but with progressives unable to deal with immigration (Much like the right can't deal with global warming) they will fail to get much done. The general population has become too atomised and detached, beaten-down bystanders to their own politics and society to mount a popular political movement. Immigrants, recent descendants of immigrants and the upper middle classes will continue to instinctually understand globalisation is how they loot America and will not vote for 'extreme' candidates that threaten this. The upper middle class will continue to dominate the overton window and use it to inject utter economic lies to the public. ..."
Sep 15, 2019 | www.unz.com

Originally from: Breaking Up the Democratic Party, by Michael Hudson - The Unz Review

I hope that the candidate who is clearly the voters' choice, Bernie Sanders, may end up as the party's nominee. If he is, I'm sure he'll beat Donald Trump handily, as he would have done four years ago. But I fear that the DNC's Donor Class will push Joe Biden, Kamala Harris or even Pete Buttigieg down the throats of voters. Just as when they backed Hillary the last time around, they hope that their anointed neoliberal will be viewed as the lesser evil for a program little different from that of the Republicans.

So Thursday's reality TV run-off is about "who's the least evil?" An honest reality show's questions would focus on "What are you against ?" That would attract a real audience, because people are much clearer about what they're against: the vested interests, Wall Street, the drug companies and other monopolies, the banks, landlords, corporate raiders and private-equity asset strippers. But none of this is to be permitted on the magic island of authorized candidates (not including Tulsi Gabbard, who was purged from further debates for having dared to mention the unmentionable).

Donald Trump as the DNC's nominee

The problem facing the Democratic National Committee today remains the same as in 2016: How to block even a moderately left-wing social democrat by picking a candidate guaranteed to lose to Trump, so as to continue the policies that serve banks, the financial markets and military spending for Cold War 2.0.

DNC donors favor Joe Biden, long-time senator from the credit-card and corporate-shell state of Delaware, and opportunistic California prosecutor Kamala Harris, with a hopey-changey grab bag alternative in smooth-talking small-town Rorschach blot candidate Pete Buttigieg. These easy victims are presented as "electable" in full knowledge that they will fail against Trump.

Trump meanwhile has done most everything the Democratic Donor Class wants: He has cut taxes on the wealthy, cut social spending for the population at large, backed Quantitative Easing to inflate the stock and bond markets, and pursued Cold War 2.0. Best of all, his abrasive style has enabled Democrats to blame the Republicans for the giveaway to the rich, as if they would have followed a different policy.

The Democratic Party's role is to protect Republicans from attack from the left, steadily following the Republican march rightward. Claiming that this is at least in the direction of being "centrist," the Democrats present themselves as the lesser evil (which is still evil, of course), simply as pragmatic in not letting hopes for "the perfect" (meaning moderate social democracy) block the spirit of compromise with what is attainable, "getting things done" by cooperating across the aisle and winning Republican support. That is what Joe Biden promises.

The effect has been to make America into a one-party state. Republicans act as the most blatant lobbyists for the Donor Class. But people can vote for a representative of the One Percent and the military-industrial complex in either the Republican or Democratic column. That is why most Americans owe allegiance to no party.

The Democratic National Committee worries that voters may disturb this alliance by nominating a left-wing reform candidate. The DNC easily solved this problem in 2016: When Bernie Sanders intruded into its space, it the threw the election. It scheduled the party's early defining primaries in Republican states whose voters leaned right, and packed the nominating convention with Donor Class super-delegates.

After the dust settled, having given many party members political asthma, the DNC pretended that it was all an unfortunate political error. But of course it was not a mistake at all. The DNC preferred to lose with Hillary than win with Bernie, whom springtime polls showed would be the easy winner over Trump. Potential voters who didn't buy into the program either stayed home or voted green.


follyofwar , says: September 12, 2019 at 2:20 pm GMT

No votes will be cast for months, so I don't know how Mr. Hudson can say that Sanders is "clearly the voters choice." He would be 79 on election day, well above the age when most men die, which is something that voters should seriously consider. Whoever his VP is will probably be president before the end of Old Bernie's first term, so I hope he chooses his VP wisely.

In any case I laugh at how the media always reports that Biden, who has obviously lost more than a few brain cells, has such a commanding lead over this field of second-raters. The voters, having much better things to do, haven't even started to pay attention yet.

And, how could anyone seriously believe in these polls anyway? Only older people have land lines today. If calling people is the methodology pollsters are using, then the results would be heavily skewed towards former VP Biden, whose name everyone knows. I lost all faith in polls when the media was saying, with certainty, that Hillary was a lock to win against the insurgent Trump.

Tulsi Gabbard is the only candidate beside Trump with charisma today. With her cool demeanor, she is certainly the least unlikeable. She would be Trump's most formidable opponent. But the democrats, like their counterparts, are owned by Wall Street and the Military Industrial Complex. Sadly, most democrats still believe that the party is working in their best interests, while the republicans are the party of the rich.

If you watch the debates tonight, which I will not be, you will notice that Tulsi Gabbard won't be on stage. That is by design. She is a leper. At least the republicans allowed Trump to be onstage in 2016, which makes them more democratic than the democrats. Plus they didn't have Super Delegates to prevent Trump from achieving the nomination he had rightfully won. Something to think about since the DNC, not the voters, annointed Hillary last time.

If the YouTube Oligarchs still allow it, I plan on watching the post-debate analysis with characters like Richard Spencer and Eric Striker. Those guys are most entertaining, and have insights that are not permitted to be uttered in the controlled, mind-numbing farce of the mainstream media.

anon [110] Disclaimer , says: September 12, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
> When neoliberals shout, "But that's socialism," Americans finally are beginning to say, "Then give us socialism."

True, true! Also, when the neoliberals shout, "But that's nationalism," Americans finally are beginning to say, "Then give us nationalism."

One plus one is

Dutch Boy , says: September 12, 2019 at 3:42 pm GMT
Elizabeth Warren seems a more likely nominee than Sanders.
Biff , says: September 12, 2019 at 4:37 pm GMT
@Dutch Boy

Elizabeth Warren seems a more likely nominee than Sanders.

Elizabeth Warren is phony as phuck(PAP). Just like forked tongued Obama she's really just a tool for the neo-liberal establishment, which does make her more likely.

Svevlad , says: September 12, 2019 at 5:06 pm GMT
@anon Hehe. I propose that the anti-neoliberals join forces to beat this terrible beast...
Altai , says: September 12, 2019 at 6:19 pm GMT
Here is another question. Can the DNC or RNC really change institutionally fast enough?

I'm just curious about how much longer this log-jam situation can persist before real political realignment takes place. Bernie Sander is ultimately a relic not a representative of new political vigor running through the party, like Trump he would be largely be on his own without much congressional support from his own party.

As the 2016 election and Brexit have illuminated, globalisation is a religion for the upper middle classes. Many of them may be progressives but they refuse to understand the very non-progressive consequences of mass immigration (Or, one should say over-immigration) or globalisation more generally. The increasing defection of such individuals to the Liberal Democrats in Britain is a fascinating example. They just refuse to understand that political solidarity, key to any such policies is permanently damaged by immigration.

It is interesting to see the see-saw effect of UKip and now the Brexit party in the UK (Well, in England). With them first drawing working class voters from Labour without increasing Conservative performance, bringing about a massive conservative majority and now threatening to siphon voters from the Tories with the opposite effect.

But UKip and later the Brexit party almost exist through the indispensable leadership of Nigel Farage and a very specific motivating goal of leaving the EU. I can't see a third party rising to put pressure on the mainstream parties.

If you make people chose between their ethnicity being displaced and class conflict, they'll pick the preservation of their ethnicity and it's territory every time. I f the centre left refuses to understand this (Something that wouldn't have been hard for them to understand when they still drew candidates from the working classes) they will continue their slide into oblivion as they have done across the Western world. (Excluding 2 party systems and Denmark where they do understand this)

My prediction: The elites in the US won't give way, people will simply become demoralised and the Trump/Sanders moment will pass with significant damage done to the legitimacy of American democracy and media but with progressives unable to deal with immigration (Much like the right can't deal with global warming) they will fail to get much done. The general population has become too atomised and detached, beaten-down bystanders to their own politics and society to mount a popular political movement. Immigrants, recent descendants of immigrants and the upper middle classes will continue to instinctually understand globalisation is how they loot America and will not vote for 'extreme' candidates that threaten this. The upper middle class will continue to dominate the overton window and use it to inject utter economic lies to the public.

The novel internet mass media outlets that allowed such unpoliced political discussion to reach mass audiences will be pacified by whatever means and America will slide into an Italian style trans-generational malaise at a national level for some time.

A123 , says: September 12, 2019 at 6:48 pm GMT
@Altai

Here is another question. Can the DNC or RNC really change institutionally fast enough?

Trump is trying to change the RNC away from Globalist elites and towards Christian Populist beliefs and Main Street America. I am some what hopeful, as the U.S. is not alone in this trajectory. There is a global tail wind that should help the GOP change quickly enough.

The true test will be the 2024 GOP nomination. A bold choice will have to break through to keep the RNC from backsliding into the clutches of Globalist failure.

PEACE

davidgmillsatty , says: September 12, 2019 at 7:43 pm GMT
I think Sanders could have beat Trump in 2016. This time around it is not that clear because so many of his supporters in 2016 feel burnt.

Badly burnt. Or Bernt. He threw his support for Hillary, even if it was tepid, and then got a bad case of Russiagateitis which his base on the left really hated. His left base never bought Russiagate for a minute. We knew it was an internal leak, probably by Seth Rich, who provided all the information to Assange. He still seems to be a strong Israel supporter even if has stood up to Netanyahu.

And while it may seem odd, many of his base on the left have grown weary of the global climate change agenda.

He has not advocated nuclear power and there is a growing movement for that on the left, especially by those who think renewables will not generate the power we need.

But since Sanders does seem to attract the rural and suburban vote more than any other Democrat, Sanders has a chance to chip away at Trumps' base and win the Electoral College. Another horrible loss to rural and suburban America by the Democrats will cost them the EC again by a substantial margin, even if they manage to pull off another popular vote win.

A123 , says: September 13, 2019 at 12:20 am GMT
@bluedog

the republican party is as globalist as you can find,and I'm sure you will be the first one to inform us when the global elite including those in America throw in the towel,

Some elite Globalist NeverTrumpers, such as George Will and Bill Kristol, have thrown in the towel on the GOP. This allows their "neocon" followers to return to their roots in the war mongering Democrat Party. So it *IS* happening.

The real questions are:
-- Can it happen fast enough?
-- Can it be sustained after Donald Trump term limits out?

I'm not bold enough to say it is inevitable. All I will say is, "There are reasons to be at least mildly hopeful."

PEACE

RadicalCenter , says: September 13, 2019 at 3:45 am GMT
@follyofwar Based on gabbard's immigration statements, voting for her is also voting for our continuing displacement.
Carlton Meyer , says: Website September 13, 2019 at 4:22 am GMT
Has everyone forgot the last time the DNC openly cheated Sanders he said nothing publicly, but then endorsed Clinton? Sanders knows he is not allowed to become president, his role to prevent the formation of a third party, and to keep the Green Party small. Otherwise he would jump to the Green Party right now and may beat the DNC and Trump.

Sanders treats progressives like Charlie Brown. Once again, inviting them to run a kick the football, only to pull it away and watch them fall. He recently backed off his opposition to the open borders crazies, rarely mentions cuts to military spending to fund things, and has even joined the stupid fake russiagate bandwagon.

Note that he dismisses the third party idea as unworkable, when he already knows the DNC is unworkable. Why not give the Green party a chance? Cause he don't want to win knowing he'd be killed or impeached for some reason.

follyofwar , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer The Stalinist DNC openly cheated Tulsi Gabbard when they left her off the debate stage last night. When asked about it on 'The View' recently, Sanders said nothing in her defense, or that she deserved to be on the stage. Nice way to stab her in the back for leaving her DNC position to support you last time, Bernie. Socialist Sanders wants to be president, yet is afraid of the DNC. Nice!

Those polls were rigged against Tulsi, and everyone who is paying attention knows it. But, far from hurting her candidacy by not making the DNC's arbitrary cut, her exclusion may wind up helping her. Kim Iverson, Michael Tracey, and comedian Jimmy Dore, anti-war progressive YouTubers with large, loyal followings, have lambasted the out-of touch DNC for its actions. Tucker Carlson on the anti-war right has also done so.

One hopes that the DNC's stupidity in censoring her message may wind up being the best thing ever for Tulsi's insurgent candidacy. We shall see. OTOH, who can trust the polls to tell us the truth of where her popularity stands.

follyofwar , says: September 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Do you forget about Trump's declaration that he wants the largest amount of immigration ever, as long as they come in legally? There are no good guys in our two sclerotic monopoly parties when it comes to immigration. Since both are terrible on that topic, at least Tulsi seems to have the anti-war principles that Trump does not.
Justvisiting , says: September 13, 2019 at 7:37 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Great comment.

Bernie has had many opportunities in the past few years to show real courage and stand for something, anything. He has failed every time.

I am actually beginning to feel sorry for him–he knows he has a mission, but he just can't seem to figure out what it is anymore

Getting old is not fun.

[Sep 13, 2019] Your overpaid RumorNet journalists placing Biden and Harris at the top are just well paid prostitutes

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Corporate media polls are fake. There is no effin' way that Biden is or ever was the "front runner" for the D Party nomination. His entire candidacy is fake, so obviously contrived -- just like Hillary's -- it's a wonder that the DNC and their corporate propagandists ever believed they could get away with it. ..."
"... All their "arguments" in favor of Biden are nothing more than cover stories being laid out in advance for the purpose of validating the contrived result they are dead set on producing. Even their cover stories are goddamn coverups! ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | www.alternet.org

Jorge Washington Jed Grover 6 hours ago

Corporate media polls are fake. There is no effin' way that Biden is or ever was the "front runner" for the D Party nomination. His entire candidacy is fake, so obviously contrived -- just like Hillary's -- it's a wonder that the DNC and their corporate propagandists ever believed they could get away with it.

All their "arguments" in favor of Biden are nothing more than cover stories being laid out in advance for the purpose of validating the contrived result they are dead set on producing. Even their cover stories are goddamn coverups!

The "polls" are fake. Corporate media outlets -- aka Ministries of Propaganda -- fabricate them out of whole cloth and then babble insensately about "electability" and "inevitability," and about how the senile hack Biden is "the only one" who can beat the shitgibbon chump, blah blah blah. The whole goddamn charade is so effin' obvious, a 3 year-old could see through it.

Come on Murca! Aren't you tired of being lied to and manipulated and robbed day after day? The fascist ratbastards in the R and D Parties are first rate dumbasses who can't even tell believable lies anymore.

Bob Huntley 14 hours ago ,

The DNC nomination will go to the candidate most likely to support the desires of the wealthy, those who own and run the country, not to one of that group who will attempt to upset that apple cart, if elected President. That makes Joe a shoe-in and all he has to do is not collapse as in falling to the floor requiring he be carried off by ambulance attendants, on stage, during a debate.

That selecting Joe out of that group will cause great concern among the Democratic voters such that they might just not vote thereby throwing the election to Trump is of little concern to the DNC executive. If by some miracle Joe does become President no harm will come to the interests of the wealthy so win or lose, it is the same win win result in the end.

[Sep 11, 2019] John Brennan's and Jim Clappers' Last Gasp by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
The fact that Smolenkov purchased house on his name excludes his "extraction" to the USA. He probably legally emigrated amazing some serious money in Russia
Notable quotes:
"... [Smolenkov] follows Ushakov back to Moscow, where he is a mid-level paper pusher doing administrative support for Ushakov. The CIA gets copies of Putin's itineraries that Smolenkov photographs. He is a big hit, but ultimately produces nothing of vital importance because all truly sensitive information is hand carried by principles, and never seen by administrative staff. Moreover Ushakov advises on international relations, and would not be privy to anything dealing with intelligence. Ushakov, as a long-serving Ambassador to the US, would be asked by Putin to opine on US politics. Smolenkov has access to Ushakov's post-meeting verbal comments, which he turns over to the CIA. ..."
"... The initial reports of the Steele Dossier appeared in June 2016. This coincided with John Brennan ordering Moscow Station to turn up the heat on Smolenkov to gain access to what Putin is thinking. But Smolenkov has no real direct access. Instead, he starts fabricating and/or exaggerating his access to convince his CIA handler that he is on the job and worth every penny he is being paid by US taxpayers. ..."
"... The information Smolenkov creates is passed to his CIA handler via the secure communications channel set up when he was signed up as a spy. But these reports are not handled in the normal way that sensitive human intelligence is treated at CIA Headquarters. Instead, the material is accepted at face value and not vetted to confirm its accuracy. My intel friend, citing a knowledgeable source, indicates that Smolenkov was not polygraphed. ..."
"... This raised red flags in the CIA Counterintelligence staff, especially when Brennan starts briefing the President using the information provided by Smolenkov. Brennan responds by locking most of the CIA's Russian experts out of the loop. Later, Brennan does the same thing with the National Intelligence Council, locking out the National Intelligence Officers who would normally oversee the production of a National Intelligence Assessment. In short, Brennan cooked the books using Smolenkov's intelligence, which had it been subjected to normal checks and balances would never have passed muster. It's Brennan's leaks to the press that eventually prompt the CIA to pull the plug on Smolenkov. ..."
"... The dossier attributed to Steele, it has seemed to me, showed every sign of being the proverbial 'camel produced by a committee.' ..."
"... Although I know that fabricating evidence and corrupting judicial proceedings is part of its supposed author's 'stock in trade', I think it is unclear whether he contributed all that much to the dossier. ..."
"... His prime role, I think, was to contribute a veneer of intelligence respectability to a farrago the actual origins of which could not be acknowledged, so it could be used in support of FISA applications and in briefings to journalists. ..."
"... Although it had started much earlier, the moving into 'high gear' of the conspiracy behind 'Russiagate, of which the dossier was one manifestation, and the phone 'digital forensics' produced by 'Crowdstrike' and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait another, were I think essentially panicky 'firefighting' operations. ..."
"... Part of this involved turning the conspiracy to prevent Trump being elected into a conspiracy to destabilise his Presidency and ensure he did not carry through on any of his 'anti-Borgist' agenda. ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

A flood of news in the last 24 hours regarding Russiagate. I am referring specifically to reports that the CIA ex-filtrated Oleg Smolenkov, a mid-level Russian Foreign Ministry bureaucrat who reportedly hooked himself on the coat-tails of Yuri Ushakov, who was Ambassador to the US from 1999 through 2008. He was recruited by the CIA (i.e., asked to collect information and pass it to the U.S. Government via his or her case officer) at sometime during this period. Smolenkov is being portrayed as a supposedly "sensitive" source. But if you read either the Washington Post or New York Times accounts of this event there is not a lot of meat on this hamburger.

Regardless of the quality of his reporting, Smolenkov is the kind of recruited source that looks good on paper and helps a CIA case officer get promoted but adds little to actual U.S. intelligence on Russia. If you understood the CIA culture you would immediately recognize that a case officer (CIA terminology for the operations officer tasked with identifying and recruiting human sources) gets rewarded by recruiting persons who ostensibly will have access to information the CIA has identified as a priority target. In this case, we're talking about possible access to Vladimir Putin.

If you take time to read both articles you will quickly see that the real purpose of this "information operation" is to paint Donald Trump as a security threat that must be stopped. This is conveniently timed to assist Jerry Nadler's mission impossible to secure Trump's impeachment. But I think there is another dynamic at play--these competing explanations for what prompted the exfiltration of this CIA asset say more about the incompetence of Barack Obama and his intel chiefs. John Brennan and Jim Clapper in particular.

A former intelligence officer and friend summarized the various press accounts as the follows and offered his own insights in a note I received this morning:

[Smolenkov] follows Ushakov back to Moscow, where he is a mid-level paper pusher doing administrative support for Ushakov. The CIA gets copies of Putin's itineraries that Smolenkov photographs. He is a big hit, but ultimately produces nothing of vital importance because all truly sensitive information is hand carried by principles, and never seen by administrative staff. Moreover Ushakov advises on international relations, and would not be privy to anything dealing with intelligence. Ushakov, as a long-serving Ambassador to the US, would be asked by Putin to opine on US politics. Smolenkov has access to Ushakov's post-meeting verbal comments, which he turns over to the CIA.

The initial reports of the Steele Dossier appeared in June 2016. This coincided with John Brennan ordering Moscow Station to turn up the heat on Smolenkov to gain access to what Putin is thinking. But Smolenkov has no real direct access. Instead, he starts fabricating and/or exaggerating his access to convince his CIA handler that he is on the job and worth every penny he is being paid by US taxpayers.

The information Smolenkov creates is passed to his CIA handler via the secure communications channel set up when he was signed up as a spy. But these reports are not handled in the normal way that sensitive human intelligence is treated at CIA Headquarters. Instead, the material is accepted at face value and not vetted to confirm its accuracy. My intel friend, citing a knowledgeable source, indicates that Smolenkov was not polygraphed.

This raised red flags in the CIA Counterintelligence staff, especially when Brennan starts briefing the President using the information provided by Smolenkov. Brennan responds by locking most of the CIA's Russian experts out of the loop. Later, Brennan does the same thing with the National Intelligence Council, locking out the National Intelligence Officers who would normally oversee the production of a National Intelligence Assessment. In short, Brennan cooked the books using Smolenkov's intelligence, which had it been subjected to normal checks and balances would never have passed muster. It's Brennan's leaks to the press that eventually prompt the CIA to pull the plug on Smolenkov.

There is public evidence that Brennan not only cooked the books but that the leaks of this supposedly "sensitive" intelligence occurred when he was Director and lying Jim Clapper was Director of National Intelligence. If Oleg Smolenkov was really such a terrific source of intel, then where are the reports? It is one thing to keep such reports close hold when the source is still in place. But he has been out of danger for more than two years. Those reports should have been shared with the Senate and House Intelligence committees. If there was actual solid intelligence in those reports that corroborated the Steele Dossier, then that information would have been leaked and widely circulated. This is Sherlock Holmes dog that did not bark.Then we have the odd fact that this guy's name is all over the press and he is buying real estate in true name. What the hell!! If the CIA genuinely believed that Mr. Smolenkov was in danger he would not be walking around doing real estate deals in true name. In fact, the sources for both the Washington Post and NY Times pieces push the propaganda that Smolenkov is a sure fire target for a Russian retaliatory hit. Really? Then why publish his name and confirm his location.

That leaves me with the alternative explanation--Smolenkov is a propaganda prop and is being trotted out by Brennan to try to provide public pressure to prevent the disclosure of intelligence that will show that the CIA and the NSA were coordinating and operating with British intelligence to entrap and smear Donald Trump and members of his campaign.

I want you to take a close look at the two pieces on this exfiltration (i.e., Washington Post and NY Times) and note the significant differences

REASON FOR THE EXFILTRATION :

Let's start with the Washington Post:

The exfiltration took place sometime after an Oval Office meeting in May 2017, when President Trump revealed highly classified counterterrorism information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, said the current and former officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive operation.

What was the information that Trump revealed? He was discussing intel that Israel passed regarding ISIS in Syria. (See the Washington Post story here .) Why would he talk to the Russians about that? Because every day, at least once a day, U.S. and Russian military authorities are sharing intelligence with one another in a phone call that originates from the U.S. Combined Air Operations Center (aka CAOC) at the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar. Trump's conversation not only was appropriate but fully within his right to do so as Commander-in-Chief.

What the hell does this have to do with a sensitive source in Moscow? NOTHING!! Red Herring.

The NY Times account is more detailed and damning of Obama instead of Trump:

But when intelligence officials revealed the severity of Russia's election interference with unusual detail later that year, the news media picked up on details about the C.I.A.'s Kremlin sources.

C.I.A. officials worried about safety made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia. The situation grew more tense when the informant at first refused, citing family concerns -- prompting consternation at C.I.A. headquarters and sowing doubts among some American counterintelligence officials about the informant's trustworthiness. But the C.I.A. pressed again months later after more media inquiries. This time, the informant agreed. . . .

The decision to extract the informant was driven "in part" because of concerns that Mr. Trump and his administration had mishandled delicate intelligence, CNN reported. But former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source, and other current American officials insisted that media scrutiny of the agency's sources alone was the impetus for the extraction. . . .

But the government had indicated that the source existed long before Mr. Trump took office, first in formally accusing Russia of interference in October 2016 and then when intelligence officials declassified parts of their assessment about the interference campaign for public release in January 2017. News agencies, including NBC, began reporting around that time about Mr. Putin's involvement in the election sabotage and on the C.I.A.'s possible sources for the assessment.

Trump played no role whatsoever in releasing information that allegedly compromised this so-called "golden boy" of Russian intelligence. The NY Times account makes it very clear that the release of information while Obama was President, not Trump, is what put the source in danger. Who leaked that information?

WHAT DID THE SOURCE KNOW AND WHAT DID HE TELL US?

But how valuable was this source really? What did he provide that was so enlightening? On this point the New York Times and Washington Post are more in sync.

First the NY Times:

The Moscow informant was instrumental to the C.I.A.'s most explosive conclusion about Russia's interference campaign: that President Vladimir V. Putin ordered and orchestrated it himself . As the American government's best insight into the thinking of and orders from Mr. Putin, the source was also key to the C.I.A.'s assessment that he affirmatively favored Donald J. Trump's election and personally ordered the hacking of the Democratic National Committee .

The Washington Post provides a more fulsome account:

U.S. officials had been concerned that Russian sources could be at risk of exposure as early as the fall of 2016, when the Obama administration first confirmed that Russia had stolen and publicly disclosed emails from the Democratic National Committee and the account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.

In October 2016, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a joint statement that intelligence agencies were "confident that the Russian Government directed" the hacking campaign. . . .

In January 2017, the Obama administration published a detailed assessment that unambiguously laid the blame on the Kremlin, concluding that "Putin ordered an influence campaign" and that Russia's goal was to undermine faith in the U.S. democratic process and harm Clinton's chances of winning.

"That's a pretty remarkable intelligence community product -- much more specific than what you normally see," one U.S. official said. "It's very expected that potential U.S. intelligence assets in Russia would be under a higher level of scrutiny by their own intelligence services."

Sounds official. But there is no actual forensic or documentary evidence (by that I mean actual corroborating intelligence reports) to back up these claims by our oxymoronically christened intelligence community.

Vladimir Putin ordered the hack? Where is the report? It is either in a piece of intercepted electronics communication and/or in a report derived from information provided by Mr. Smolenkov. Where is it? Why has that not been shared in public? Don't have to worry about exposing the source now. He is already in the open. What did he report? Answer--no direct evidence.

Then there is the lie that the Russians hacked the DNC. They did not. Bill Binney, a former Technical Director of the NSA, and I have written on this subject previously ( see here ) and there is no truth to this claim. Let me put it simply--if the DNC had been hacked by the Russians using spearphising (this is claimed in the Robert Mueller report) then the NSA would have collected those messages and would be able to show they were transferred to the Russians. That did not happen.

This kind of chaotic leaking about an old intel op is symptomatic of panic. CIA is already officially denying key parts of the story. My money is on John Brennan and Jim Clapper as the likely impetus for these reports. They are hoping to paint Trump as a national security threat and distract from the upcoming revelations from the DOJ Inspector General report on the FISA warrants and, more threatening, the decisions that Prosecutor John Durham will take in deciding to indict those who attempted to launch a coup against Donald Trump, a legitimately elected President of the United States.


blue peacock , 10 September 2019 at 02:34 PM

I'm always skeptical of NY Times and WaPo and CNN reporting on anything national security related. It seems there is always an axe to grind.

I don't know why folks believe these media outlets have any credibility.

Larry Johnson -> blue peacock... , 10 September 2019 at 03:16 PM
Important to focus on the fact they are telling different and even contradictory stories. That's confusion on the part of the deep state.
Ana said in reply to Larry Johnson ... , 11 September 2019 at 10:00 AM
... And what helps us to decode the plot!
turcopolier -> blue peacock... , 11 September 2019 at 09:47 AM
BP

As I told LJ yesterday while he was writing this piece I have a slightly different theory of this matter. It is true that CIA suffered for a long time from a dearth of talent in the business of recruiting and running foreign clandestine HUMINT assets. This was caused by a focus by several CIA Directors on technical collection means rather than espionage. This policy drove many skilled case officers into retirement but the situation has much improved in the last decade and it must be remembered that an agency only needs a few skilled case officers with the right access to human targets to acquire some very fine and useful well placed foreign agents (spies). IMO it is likely that CIA has/had several well placed Russian assets in Moscow of whom Smolenkov was probably the least useful and the most expendable. It may well be that Brennan was using the chicken feed provided by Smolenkov to fuel the conspiracy run by him and Clapper against Trump's campaign and presidency, but Brennan left office and then the CIA under other management was faced with the problem of a Russian government which was told in the US press by implication that either the US had deep penetrations of Russian diplomatic and intelligence communications or that there were deep penetration moles in Moscow. that being the case it seems likely to me that the Russians would have been beating the bushes looking for the moles. In that situation the CIA may have decided to exfiltrate Smolenkov and his wife while leaving enough clues along the way that would have indicated that he might have been THE MOLE. People do not need a lot of encouragement to accept thoughts that they want to believe. A point in favor of this theory is that once CIA had him in the States they quickly lost interest in him, terminated their relationship with him and paid him his back pay and showed him the door. No new identity, no resettlement, he was given none of that. Finding himself alone in a strange land, Smolenkov then bought a house in the suburbs of Washington in HIS OWN NAME. Say what? That would not have happened if CIA had maintained some sort of relationship with him. And then... someone in CIA leaked the story of the exfiltration as movie plot to "a former senior intelligence officer" who gives sit to Sciutto at CNN. Why would they do that? IMO they would have though that having the story appear in the media would reinfocer Smolenkov's importance in Russian minds. Well, pilgrims, Clapper fits the bill as the "former blah, blah". He is an employee of CNN. CNN hates Trump and they quickly broadcast the story far and away. Unfortunately for CNN the story immediately began to disintegrate even in the eyes of the NY Times. The Smolenkov/Brennan affair will undoubtedly be part of the road that leads to doom for Brennan and Clapper but the possible CIA story is equally interesting.

ambrit , 10 September 2019 at 03:51 PM
Sir;
The fact that Mr. Smolenkov is out and about in his new home in the West shows that he is a small fish. As you say, if he was really in danger, he would be living somewhere in the West now under a new name and maybe a new face. The fact that his 'handlers' allow this lax security to happen is a sign of how unimportant he is. Unless, my inner cynic prompts, he is destined to become one of the "honoured dead," perhaps by a false flag 'liquidation.'
How low will Clapper and Brennan et. al. go?
Thanks for keeping this matter front and centre.
Fred , 10 September 2019 at 04:22 PM
So the son of Our Man in Havana went to Moscow. It would make a decent movies if it weren't for the damage Brennan and company have done to us. Obama, of course, knew nothing......
Diana C , 10 September 2019 at 04:49 PM
I have lost hope that anyone--especially Brennan and Clapper--will be held accountable for their attempt to "launch a coup" (as you put it).

Since their coup attempt ultimately failed, most people will be wanting just to move on.

As an unimportant citizen liveing in a fly-over state, I feel very angry that my tax dollars were wasted on these many government hearings and enormously expensive investigations rather than on actually on governing and improving the governing of our country.

The least we should be able to expect is that people who live off our tax dollars should be held accountable for all that wasted expense and for the lack of actual governing going on in The House and The Senate. So many problems that need the attention of our elected representative and Senators were ignored while elected representatives and representatives got to capture the spotlight and try to become "media stars" while accomplishing nothing.

I also feel terrible that men have been sent to prison for seemingly nothing and have their lives ruined for nothing but the chance of some to grand stand and claim they are really doing the jobs they were sent to do. So many people with no real sense of honor or of what is right and what is wrong.

Thanks, Larry. You have been consistently one of the good guys. (And I bet you are happy now that Yosemite Sam Bolton is no longer advising the POTUS.)

fredw , 10 September 2019 at 06:09 PM
"The fact that his 'handlers' allow this lax security to happen is a sign of how unimportant he is."

It indicates to me that he and any handlers believe that the Russians are OK with it. That could be for various reasons. But relying on Russian tolerance because he is a "small fish" seems incredibly trusting. Neither fled agents nor their handlers are known for their trusting natures. They have had some reasons stronger than that for their unconcern. Whether those reasons will survive publicity remains to be seen.

Oscar , 10 September 2019 at 06:31 PM
Are those CIA agents as stupid, naive & incompetent as you paint them to be?
If that's the case our country is in real danger! You are. Pro Trump
and, you are basically defending him, but Putin do own Donald Trump,whether you like it or not!
turcopolier -> Oscar ... , 11 September 2019 at 08:56 AM
Oscar
What is the evidence for "Putin do own Trump?"Is it Trump's attempts to conduct foreign policy relationships with Russia? That is his job.
JohnH , 10 September 2019 at 08:16 PM
My question is: why did they push this report now? Any way you cut it, the Times and Post are just providing some trivia and drivel. Without substance, they can accomplish nothing and substance has been what's been missing all along.

I doubt that Democrats, having been burned once, are eager to explore Brennan's smoke and mirrors again. It's never been a big concern to voters. And unless Brennan & Co. can do better than this superficial stuff, voters are never going to be concerned.

Maybe the Times and Post just felt sorry for Brennan, who's been off barking at the moon for years now.

Factotum , 10 September 2019 at 08:40 PM
Have a cup of Ovomaltine.
Rhondda , 10 September 2019 at 08:48 PM
...Smolenkov is a propaganda prop and is being trotted out by Brennan to try to provide public pressure to prevent the disclosure of intelligence that will show that the CIA and the NSA were coordinating and operating with British intelligence to entrap and smear Donald Trump and members of his campaign...

Well said. Thank you for following this closely and shining the light! You are an amazing American patriot, Mr. Larry C. Johnson. A glass in your honor!

plantman , 10 September 2019 at 09:13 PM
I think AG Barr might have cut these guys (Brennan and Clapper) some slack and let them off the hook, but NOW, what can he do but prosecute??

Brennan has shown that he is going to persevere with his fallacious attacks on Trump come hell or high water.

He needs to be stopped and brought to justice...

johnklis56@gmail.com -> plantman... , 11 September 2019 at 08:51 AM
Haha! Dream on. Barr IS CIA...remember his role back in the Slick WIlly days in Mena Arkansas?
Roy G , 10 September 2019 at 11:27 PM
IMO this scenario is the most plausible, Thanks for the sanity check. That said, given the desperation by these Sorcerer's Apprentices, I would be on the lookout for Mr. Smolenkov lest he be 'Skirpal-ed' in the coming weeks.
anon , 10 September 2019 at 11:36 PM
This whole story convinces now more than ever before that there is a high level spy/mole in the us administration and intelligence community.The only question is it spying for russia or china or both.Just a beautiful thing to watch.Those knickers,must surely be in a knot by now.
Even rocketman had a giggle.
Jim Ticehurst , 10 September 2019 at 11:52 PM
How many CIA Assets have been exposed..Tortured and Murdered During The Barrack Obama Reign...In May..2014 HE Paid a Surprise Visit to Afghanastan..His White House Bureau Chief Sent out an email to Reporters with a List of Who would meet With President Obama..It Contained the NAME of the CIA...Chief of Station in Kabul...Now that is REAL MESSY..
turcopolier , 11 September 2019 at 08:59 AM
johnklis56@gmail.com

Is there any basis for any of your assertions or are you just running your mouth?

David Habakkuk , 11 September 2019 at 10:37 AM
Larry,

Having been away from base, I have not been able to comment on some very fascinating recent posts.

Both your recent pieces, and Robert Willman's most helpful update on the state of play relating to the unraveling of the frame-up against Michael Flynn, have provided a lot to chew over.

Among other things, they have made me think further about the 302s recording the interviews with Bruce Ohr produced by Joseph Pientka – a character about whom I think we need to know more.

On reflection, I think that the picture that emerges of Ohr as an incurious and gullible nitwit, swallowing whole bucket loads of 'horse manure' fed him by Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson, may be a carefully – indeed maybe cunningly – crafted fiction.

The interpretation your former intelligence officer friend puts on the Smolenkov affair, and also some of what Sidney Powell has to say in the ''Motion to Compel' on behalf of Flynn, both 'mesh' with what I have long suspected.

The dossier attributed to Steele, it has seemed to me, showed every sign of being the proverbial 'camel produced by a committee.'

Although I know that fabricating evidence and corrupting judicial proceedings is part of its supposed author's 'stock in trade', I think it is unclear whether he contributed all that much to the dossier.

His prime role, I think, was to contribute a veneer of intelligence respectability to a farrago the actual origins of which could not be acknowledged, so it could be used in support of FISA applications and in briefings to journalists.

Although it had started much earlier, the moving into 'high gear' of the conspiracy behind 'Russiagate, of which the dossier was one manifestation, and the phone 'digital forensics' produced by 'Crowdstrike' and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait another, were I think essentially panicky 'firefighting' operations.

They are likely to have been responses, first, to the realisation that material leaked from the DNC was going to be published by WikiLeaks, and then the discovery, probably significantly later, that the source was Seth Rich, and his subsequent murder.

Although the operation to divert responsibility to the Russians which then became necessary was strikingly successful, it did not have the expected result of saving Hillary Clinton from defeat.

What I then think may have emerged was a two-pronged strategy.

Part of this involved turning the conspiracy to prevent Trump being elected into a conspiracy to destabilise his Presidency and ensure he did not carry through on any of his 'anti-Borgist' agenda.

In different ways, both the framing of Flynn, and the final memorandum in the dossier, dated 13 December 2016, were part of this strategy.

Also required however was another 'insurance policy' – which was what the Bruce Ohr 302s were intended to provide.

The purpose of this was to have 'evidence' in place, should the first prong of the strategy run into problems, to sustain the case that people in the FBI and DOJ, and Bruce and Nellie Ohr in particular, were not co-conspirators with Steele and Simpson, but their gullible dupes.

This brings me to an irony. Some people have tried to replace the 'narrative' in which Steele was an heroic exposer of a Russian plot to destroy American democracy by an alternative in which he was the gullible 'patsy' of just such a plot.

In fact there is one strand, and one strand only, in the dossier which smells strongly to me of FSB-orchestrated disinformation.

Some of the material on Russian cyber operations, including critically the suggestions about the involvement of Aleksej Gubarev and his company XBT which provoked legal action by these against BuzzFeed and Steele, look to me as though they could come from sources in the FSB.

But, if this is so, the likely conduit is not through Steele, but from FSB to FBI cyber people.

How precisely this worked is unclear, but I cannot quite get rid of the suspicion that Major Dmitri Dokuchaev just might be serving out his sentence for treason in a comfortable flat somewhere above the Black Sea. Indeed, I can imagine a lecture to FSB trainees on how to make 'patsies' of people like the Ohrs.

If this is so, however, it mat also be the case that these are attempting to make 'patsies' of Steele and Simpson.

[Sep 02, 2019] Is it Cynical to Believe the System is Corrupt by Bill Black

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A new opinion poll released by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal last Sunday shows that 70% of Americans are "angry" because our political system seems to only be working for the insiders with money and power. Both Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren have also reflected on this sentiment during their campaigns. Sanders has said that we live in a "corrupt political system designed to protect the wealthy and the powerful." Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else." ..."
Aug 31, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

A new opinion poll released by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal last Sunday shows that 70% of Americans are "angry" because our political system seems to only be working for the insiders with money and power. Both Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren have also reflected on this sentiment during their campaigns. Sanders has said that we live in a "corrupt political system designed to protect the wealthy and the powerful." Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."

A New York Times opinion article written by the political scientist Greg Weiner felt compelled to push back on this message, writing a column with the title, The Shallow Cynicism of 'Everything Is Rigged'. In his column, Weiner basically makes the argument that believing everything is corrupt and rigged is a cynical attitude with which it is possible to dismiss political opponents for being a part of the corruption. In other words, the Sanders and Warren argument is a shortcut, according to Weiner, that avoids real political debate.

Joining me now to discuss whether it makes sense to think of a political system as rigged and corrupt, and whether the cynical attitude is justified, is someone who should know a thing or two about corruption: Bill Black. He is a white collar criminologist, former financial regulator, and associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He's also the author of the book, The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One. Thanks for joining us again, Bill.

BILL BLACK: Thank you.

GREG WILPERT: As I mentioned that the outset, it seems that Sanders and Warren are in effect taking an open door, at least when it comes to the American public. That is, almost everyone already believes that our political and economic system is rigged. Would you agree with that sentiment that the system is corrupt and rigged for the rich and against pretty much everyone else but especially the poor? What do you think?

BILL BLACK: One of the principal things I study is elite fraud, corruption and predation. The World Bank sent me to India for months as an anti-corruption alleged expert type. And as a financial regulator, this is what I dealt with. This is what I researched. This is a huge chunk of my life. So I wouldn't use the word, if I was being formal in an academic system, "the system." What I would talk about is specific systems that are rigged, and they most assuredly are rigged.

Let me give you an example. One of the most important things that has transformed the world and made it vastly more criminogenic, much more corrupt, is modern executive compensation. This is not an unusual position. This is actually the normal position now, even among very conservative scholars, including the person who was the intellectual godfather of modern executive compensation, Michael Jensen. He has admitted that he spawned unintentionally a monster because CEOs have rigged the compensation system. How do they do that? Well, it starts even before you get hired as a CEO. This is amazing stuff. The standard thing you do as a powerful CEO is you hire this guy, and he specializes in negotiating great deals for CEOs. His first demand, which is almost always given into, is that the corporation pay his fee, not the CEO. On the other side of the table is somebody that the CEO is going to be the boss of negotiating the other side. How hard is he going to negotiate against the guy that's going to be his boss? That's totally rigged.

Then the compensation committee hires compensation specialists who–again, even the most conservative economists agree it is a completely rigged system. Because the only way they get work is if they give this extraordinary compensation. Then, everybody in economics admits that there's a clear way you should run performance pay. It should be really long term. You get the big bucks only after like 10 years of success. In reality, they're always incredibly short term. Why? Because it's vastly easier for the CEO to rig the short-term reported earnings. What's the result of this? Accounting profession, criminology profession, economics profession, law profession. We've all done studies and all of them say this perverse system of compensation causes CEOs to (a) cheat and (b) to be extraordinarily short term in their perspective because it's easier to rig the short-term reported results. Even the most conservative economists agree that's terrible for the economy.

What I've just gone through is a whole bunch of academic literature from over 40-plus years from top scholars in four different fields. That's not cynicism. That's just plain facts if you understand the system. People like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, they didn't, as you say, kick open an open door. They made the open door. It's not like Elizabeth Warren started talking about this six months ago when she started being a potential candidate. She has been saying this and explaining in detail how individual systems are rigged in favor of the wealthy for at least 30 years of work. Bernie Sanders has been doing it for 45 years. This is what the right, including the author of this piece who is an ultra-far right guy, fear the most. It's precisely what they fear, that Bernie and Elizabeth are good at explaining how particular systems are rigged. They explain it in appropriate detail, but they're also good in making it human. They talk the way humans talk as opposed to academics.

That's what the right fear is more than anything, that people will basically get woke. In this, it's being woke to how individual systems have been rigged by the wealthy and powerful to create a sure thing to enrich them, usually at our direct expense.

GREG WILPERT: I think those are some very good examples. They're mostly from the realm of economics. I want to look at one from the realm of politics, which specifically Weiner makes. He cites Sanders, who says that the rich literally buy elections, and Weiner counters this by saying that, "It is difficult to identify instances in American history of an electoral majority wanting something specific that it has not eventually gotten." That's a pretty amazing statement actually, I think, for him to say when you look at the actual polls of what people want and what people get. He then also adds, "That's not possible to dupe the majority with advertising all of the time." What's your response to that argument?

BILL BLACK: Well, actually, that's where he's trying to play economist, and he's particularly bad at economics. He was even worse at economics than he is at political science, where his pitch, by the way is–I'm not overstating this–corruption is good. The real problem with Senator Sanders and Senator Warren is that they're against corruption.

Can you fool many people? Answer: Yes. We have good statistics from people who actually study this as opposed to write op-eds of this kind. In the great financial crisis, one of the most notorious of the predators that targeted blacks and Latinos–we actually have statistics from New Century. And here's a particular scam. The loan broker gets paid more money the worse the deal he gets you, the customer, and he gets paid by the bank. If he can get you to pay more than the market rate of interest, then he gets a kickback, a literal kickback. In almost exactly half of the cases, New Century was able to get substantially above market interest rates, again, targeted at blacks and Latinos.

We know that this kind of predatory approach can succeed, and it can succeed brilliantly. Look at cigarettes. Cigarettes, if you use them as intended, they make you sick and they kill you. It wasn't that very long ago until a huge effort by pushback that the tobacco companies, through a whole series of fake science and incredible amounts of ads that basically tried to associate if you were male, that if you smoked, you'd have a lot of sex type of thing. It was really that crude. It was enormously successful with people in getting them to do things that almost immediately made them sick and often actually killed them.

He's simply wrong empirically. You can see it in US death rates. You can see it in Hell, I'm overweight considerably. Americans are enormously overweight because of the way we eat, which has everything to do with how marketing works in the United States, and it's actually gotten so bad that it's reducing life expectancy in a number of groups in America. That's how incredibly effective predatory practices are in rigging the system. That's again, two Nobel Laureates in economics have recently written about this. George Akerlof and Shiller, both Nobel Laureates in economics, have written about this predation in a book for a general audience. It's called Phishing with a P-H.

GREG WILPERT: I want to turn to the last point that Weiner makes about cynicism. He says that calling the system rigged is actually a form of cynicism. And that cynicism, the belief that everything and everyone is bad or corrupt avoids real political arguments because it tires everyone you disagree with as being a part of that corruption. Would you say, is the belief that the system is rigged a form of cynicism? And if it is, wouldn't Weiner be right that cynicism avoids political debate?

BILL BLACK: He creates a straw man. No one has said that everything and everyone is corrupt. No one has said that if you disagree with me, you are automatically corrupt. What they have given in considerable detail, like I gave as the first example, was here is exactly how the system is rigged. Here are the empirical results of that rigging. This produces vast transfers of wealth to the powerful and wealthy, and it comes at the expense of nearly everybody else. That is factual and that needs to be said. It needs to be said that politicians that support this, and Weiner explicitly does that, says, we need to go back to a system that is more openly corrupt and that if we have that system, the world will be better. That has no empirical basis. It's exactly the opposite. Corruption kills. Corruption ruins economies.

The last thing in the world you want to do is what Weiner calls for, which he says, "We've got to stop applying morality to this form of crime." In essence, he is channeling the godfather. "Tell the Don it wasn't personal. It was just business." There's nothing really immoral in his view about bribing people. I'm sorry. I'm a Midwesterner. It wasn't cynicism. It was morality. He says you can't compromise with corruption. I hope not. Compromising with corruption is precisely why we're in this situation where growth rates have been cut in half, why wage growth has been cut by four-fifths, why blacks and Latinos during the great financial crisis lost 60% to 80% of their wealth in college-educated households. That's why 70% of the public is increasingly woke on this subject.

GREG WILPERT: Well, we're going to leave it there. I was speaking to Bill Black, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Thanks again, Bill, for having joined us today.

BILL BLACK: Thank you.

GREG WILPERT: And thank you for joining The Real News Network.

fdr-fan , August 31, 2019 at 2:13 am

Well, Sanders certainly knows that elections are rigged. But he's not quite right when he says that money does the rigging. It would be more accurate to say that powerful people are powerful because they're criminals, and they're rich because they're criminals.

Money is a side effect, not the driver. Specific example: Hillary and Bernie are in the same category of net worth, but Bernie isn't powerful. The difference is that Bernie ISN'T willing to commit murder and blackmail to gain power.

Lambert Strether , August 31, 2019 at 3:31 am

> Hillary and Bernie are in the same category of net worth

Clinton's net worth (says Google) is $45 million; Sanders $2.5 million. So, an order of magnitude difference. I guess that puts Sanders in the 1% category, but Clinton is much closer to the 0.1% category than Sanders.

Steve H. , August 31, 2019 at 6:57 am

There's also a billion-dollar foundation in the mix.

We had our choice of two New York billionaires in the last presidential election. How is this not accounted for? It's like the bond market, the sheer weight carries its own momentum.

Very similar to CEO's. I may not own a private jet, but if the company does, and I control the company, I have the benefit of a private jet. I don't need to own the penthouse to live in it.

Bugs Bunny , August 31, 2019 at 4:18 am

I despise HRC as well but those kinds of accusations would need some real evidence to back them up. Not a helpful comment.

Sorry, but I had to call that out.

Ian Perkins , August 31, 2019 at 10:26 am

"We came, we saw, he died. Tee hee hee!"
"Did it have anything to do with your visit?"
"I'm sure it did."
From a non-legal perspective at least, that makes her an accessory to murder, doesn't it?

Oh , August 31, 2019 at 10:18 am

"Money talks and everything else walks". Don't kid yourself; money is the driver.

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 11:38 am

there's a solution for that

Leroy , August 31, 2019 at 11:53 am

Perhaps you can elaborate on the "murder and blackmail" Mr. Trump !!

vlade , August 31, 2019 at 2:15 am

In the treaser, it says "prevents evidence", I don't think Bill would do that :)

Off The Street , August 31, 2019 at 10:45 am

Treaser -- > Treason
+1

Tyronius , August 31, 2019 at 2:57 am

Is it fair to say the entire system is rigged when enough interconnected parts of it are rigged that no matter where one turns, one finds evidence of corruption? Because like it or not, that's where we are as a country.

Spoofs desu , August 31, 2019 at 7:15 am

Indeed well said

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 11:42 am

Yes. And it is also fair to say, and has been said by lots of cynics over the centuries, that both democracy and capitalism sow the seeds of their own destruction.

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL , August 31, 2019 at 3:44 am

Burns me to see yet another "water is not wet" argument being foisted by the NYT, hard to imagine another reason the editorial board pushed for this line *except* to protect the current corrupt one percenters who call their shots. Once Liz The Marionette gets appointed we might get some fluff but the rot will persist, eventually rot becomes putrefaction and the polity dies. Gore Vidal called America and Christianity "death cults".

Oh , August 31, 2019 at 10:21 am

Apt description of Liz.
"I'm a marionette, I'm a marionette, just pull the string" – ABBA

Bugs Bunny , August 31, 2019 at 4:23 am

Another instance where the top comments "Reader Picks" in a NYT op-ed are much more astute than the NYT picks

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/25/opinion/trump-warren-sanders-corruption.html#commentsContainer

People get it.

inode_buddha , August 31, 2019 at 8:28 am

"Due to technical difficulties, comments are unavailable"

Pisses me off that I gave the propaganda rag of note a click and didn't even get the joy of the comments section. I'm sure there's some cynical reason why

Ian Perkins , August 31, 2019 at 10:28 am

I got there first time. No doubt some cynical reason

Barbara , August 31, 2019 at 10:56 am

NYT PicksReader PicksAll

Ronald Weinstein commented August 26

Ronald Weinstein
New YorkAug. 26
Times Pick

Shallow cynicism vs profound naivete. I don't know what to chose.
57 Recommend

Jeff W , August 31, 2019 at 11:41 am

People do get it. That struck me, too.

The other thing is that the NYT runs this pretty indefensible piece by a guy who is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Just how often does NYT -- whose goal, according to its executive editor, "should be to understand different views" -- run a piece from anyone who is leftwing? What's the ratio of pro-establishment, pro-Washington consensus pieces to those that are not? Glenn Greenwald points out that the political spectrum at the NYT op-ed page "spans the small gap from establishment centrist Democrats to establishment centrist Republicans." That, in itself, is consistent with the premise that the system is, indeed, rigged.

Spoofs desu , August 31, 2019 at 7:09 am

I think we have to drill down another level and ask ourselves a more fundamental question "why is cynicism necessarily bad to begin with?" Black's response of parsing to individual systems as being corrupt is playing into the NYT authors trap, sort to speak.

This NYT article is another version of the seemingly obligatory attribute of the american character; we must ultimately be optimistic and have hope. Why is that useful? Or maybe more importantly, to whom is that useful? What is the point?

In my mind (and many a philosopher), cynicism is a very healthy, empowering response to a world whose institutional configuration is such that it will to fuck you over whenever it is expedient to do so.

Furthermore, the act of voting lends legitimacy to an institution that is clearly not legitimate. The institution is very obviously very corrupt. If you really want to change the "system" stop giving it legitimacy; i.e. be cynical, don't vote. The whole thing is a ruse. Boycott it .

Some may say, in a desperate attempt to avoid being cynical, "well, the national level is corrupt but we need to increase engagement at the community level via local elections ", or something like that. This is nothing more than rearranging the chairs on the deck of the titanic. And collecting signature isn't going to help anymore than handing out buckets on the titanic would.

So, to answer my own rhetorical question above, "to whom is it useful to not be cynical?" It is useful to those who want things to continue as they currently are.

So, be cynical. Don't vote. It is an empowering and healthy way to kinda say "fuck you" to the corrupt and not become corrupted yourself by legitimizing it. The best part about it is that you don't have to do anything.

Viva la paz (Hows that for a non cynical salutation?)

jrs , August 31, 2019 at 11:29 am

Uh this sounds like the ultimate allowing things to continue as they currently are, do you really imagine the powers that be are concerned about a low voting rate, and we have one, they don't care, they may even like it that way. Do you really imagine they care about some phantom like perceived legitimacy? Where is the evidence of that?

kiwi , August 31, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Politicians do care about staying in office and will respond on some issues that will cost them enough votes to get booted from office. But it has to be those particular issues in their own backyard; otherwise, they just kind of limp along with the lip service collecting their paychecks.

IMO, it is sheer idiocy to not vote. If you are a voter, politicians will pay some attention to you at least. If you don't vote, you don't even exist to them.

inode_buddha , August 31, 2019 at 7:37 am

"I don't think it should be legal at ALL to become a corporate lobbyist if you've served in Congress," said Ocasio-Cortez. "At minimum there should be a long wait period."
"If you are a member of Congress + leave, you shouldn't be allowed to turn right around&leverage your service for a lobbyist check.
I don't think it should be legal at ALL to become a corporate lobbyist if you've served in Congress."

–AOC, as reported by NakedCapitalism on May 31, 2019

Which is worse - bankers or terrorists , August 31, 2019 at 11:45 am

I bet she opens up her lobbying shop in December 2020.

inode_buddha , August 31, 2019 at 7:52 am

It isn't cynical if it is real. Truth is the absolute defense.

Bugs Bunny , August 31, 2019 at 7:58 am

A shrink friend once said "cynicism is the most logical reaction to despair".

Off The Street , August 31, 2019 at 10:52 am

I try to be despairing, but I can't keep up.
Attributed to a generation or two after Lily Tomlin's quote about cynicism.

Out of curiosity, would it be cynical to question that political scientist's grant funding or other sources of income? These days, I feel inclined to look at what I'll call the Sinclair Rule* , added to Betteridge's, Godwin's and all those other, ahem, modifications to what used to be an expectation that communication was more or less honest.

* Sinclair Rule, where you add a interpretive filter based on Upton's famous quote: It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.

jrs , August 31, 2019 at 11:43 am

It's good to look at funding sources. But it's kind of a slander to those who must work for a living when assuming it's paychecks (which we need to live in this system) that corrupt people.

If it's applied to the average working person, maybe it's often true, maybe it has a tendency to push in that direction, but if you think there are no workers that realize the industry they are working in might be destructive, that they may be exploited by such systems but have little choice etc. etc., come now there are working people who are politically aware and do see a larger picture, they just don't have a lot of power to change it much of the time. Does the average working person's salary depend on his not understanding though? No, of course not, it merely depends on him obeying. And obeying enough to keep a job, not always understanding, is what a paycheck buys.

timbers , August 31, 2019 at 7:57 am

With all the evidence of everyday life (airplanes, drug prices, health insurance, Wall Street, CEO pay, the workforce changes in the past 20 years if you've been working those years etc) this Greg better be careful as he might be seen as a Witch to be hanged and burned in Salem, Ma a few hundred years ago.

It's cynical to say it's cynical to believe the system is corrupt.

Greg Weiner is cynic, and his is using his cynicism to dismiss the political arguments of people he disagrees with.

MyMoneysNotGreenAnymore , August 31, 2019 at 8:17 am

And just this week, I found out I couldn't even buy a car unless I'd be willing to sign a mandatory binding arbitration agreement. I was ready to pay and sign all the paperwork, and they lay a document in front of me that reserves for the dealer the right to seek any remedy against me if I harm the dealer (pay with bad check, become delinquent on loan, fail to provide clean title on my trade); but forces me to accept mandatory binding arbitration, with damages limited to the value of the car, for anything the dealer might do wrong.

It is not cynical at all when even car dealers now want a permission slip for any harm they might do to me.

Donald , August 31, 2019 at 8:24 am

Three words -- climate change denial.

Okay, a few more. We are literally facing the possibility of a mass extinction in large part because of dishonesty on the par of oil companies, politicians, and people paid to make bad arguments.

Donald , August 31, 2019 at 8:35 am

A few more words

"Saddam Hussein has WMD's."

"Assad (and by implication Assad's forces alone) killed 500,000 Syrians."

"Israel is just defending itself."

I can't squeeze the dishonesty about the war in Yemen into a short slogan, but I know from personal experience that getting liberals to care when it was Obama's war was virtually impossible. Even under Trump it was hard, until Khashoggi's murder. On the part of politicians and think tanks this was corruption by Saudi money. With ordinary people it was the usual partisan tribal hypocrisy.

dearieme , August 31, 2019 at 11:11 am

Two words: Goebbels Warming.

pretzelattack , August 31, 2019 at 12:36 pm

a lot of gibberish in those 2 words, dearie. are you going to grace us with your keen scientific insights on the issue?

jfleni , August 31, 2019 at 8:30 am

Conclusion: Even before they dress in the AM, they S C R E A M,
G I M M E!!

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell , August 31, 2019 at 8:45 am

The motivator is " Gap Psychology ," the human desire to distance oneself from those below (on any scale), and to come nearer to those above.

The rich are rich because the Gap below them is wide, and the wider the Gap, the richer they are .

And here is the important point: There are two ways the rich widen the Gap: Either gain more for themselves or make sure those below have less.

That is why the rich promulgate the Big Lie that the federal government (and its agencies, Social Security and Medicare) is running short of dollars. The rich want to make sure that those below them don't gain more, as that would narrow the Gap.

Off The Street , August 31, 2019 at 10:56 am

Negative sum game, where one wins but the other has to lose more so the party of the first part feels even better about winning. There is an element of sadism, sociopathy and a few other behaviors that the current systems allow to be gamed even more profitably. If you build it, or lobby to have it built, they will come multiple times.

The Rev Kev , August 31, 2019 at 9:07 am

A successful society should be responsive to both threats and opportunities. Any major problems to that society are assessed and changes are made, usually begrudgingly, to adapt to the new situation. And this is where corruption comes into it. It short circuits the signals that a society receives so that it ignores serious threats and elevates ones that are relatively minor but which benefit a small segment of that society. If you want an example of this at work, back in 2016 you had about 40,000 Americans dying to opioids each and every year which was considered only a background issue. But a major issue about that time was who gets to use what toilets. Seriously. If it gets bad enough, a society gets overwhelmed by the problems that were ignored or were deferred to a later time. And I regret to say that the UK is going to learn this lesson in spades.

Ian Perkins , August 31, 2019 at 10:37 am

'Sanders has said that we live in a "corrupt political system designed to protect the wealthy and the powerful." Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."'
Yet the rest of the article focuses almost entirely on internal US shenanigans. When it comes to protecting wealth and power, George Kennan hit the nail on the head in 1948, with "we have about 50% of the world's wealth but only 6.3 of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity." This, which has underpinned US policy ever since, may not be corrupt in the sense of illegal, but it certainly seems corrupt in the sense of morally repugnant to me.

dearieme , August 31, 2019 at 11:16 am

Warren said it's a "rigged system that props up the rich and powerful and kicks dirt on everyone else."

Is she referring to the system of race privilege that she exploited by making a false claim to be a Cherokee, or some other rigged system?

Still, compared to some of the gangsters who have been president I suppose she's been pretty small time in her nefarious activities. So far as I know.

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 12:07 pm

About Kennan's comment. That's interesting because no one questioned the word "wealth". Even tho' we had only 6.3% of the world's population we had 50% of the wealth. The point of that comment had to be that we should "spread the wealth" and we did do just that. Until we polluted the entire planet. I'd like some MMT person to take a long look at that attitude because it is so simplistic. And not like George Kennan at all who was sophisticated to the bone. But that's just more proof of a bred-in-the-bone ignorance about what money really is. In this case Kennan was talking about money, not wealth. He never asked Nepal for advice on gross national happiness, etc. Nor did he calculate the enormous debt burden we would incur for our unregulated use and abuse of the environment. That debt most certainly offsets any "wealth" that happened.

shinola , August 31, 2019 at 11:09 am

Approaching from the opposite direction, if someone were to say "I sincerely believe that the USA has the most open & honest political system and the fairest economic system in human history" would you not think that person to be incredibly naive (or, cynically, a liar)?

There has been, for at least the last couple of decades. a determined effort to do away with corruption – by defining it away. "Citizens United" is perhaps the most glaring example but the effort is ongoing; that Weiner op-ed is a good current example.

jef , August 31, 2019 at 11:34 am

What is cynical is everyone's response when point out that the system is corrupt. They all say " always has been, always will be so just deal with it ".

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 12:14 pm

Strawmannirg has got to be the most cynical behavior in the world. Weiner is the cynic. I think Liz's "the system is rigged " comment invites discussion. It is not a closed door at all. It is a plea for good capitalism. Which most people assume is possible. It's time to define just what kind of capitalism will work and what it needs to continue to be, or finally become, a useful economic ideology. High time.

Susan the other` , August 31, 2019 at 12:25 pm

Another thing. Look how irrational the world, which is now awash in money, has become over lack of liquidity. There's a big push now to achieve an optimum flow of money by speeding up transaction time. The Fed is in the midst of designing a new real-time digital payments system. A speedy accounting and record of everything. Which sounds like a very good idea.

But the predators are busy keeping pace – witness the frantic grab by Facebook with Libra. Libra is cynical. To say the least. The whole thing a few days ago on the design of Libra was frightening because Libra has not slowed down; it has filed it's private corporation papers in Switzerland and is working toward a goal of becoming a private currency – backed by sovereign money no less! Twisted. So there's a good discussion begging to be heard: The legitimate Federal Reserve v. Libra. The reason we are not having this discussion is because the elite are hard-core cynics.

[Aug 21, 2019] Solomon If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed

Highly recommended!
They are afraid to admin that a color revolution was launched to depose Trump after the elections of 2016. Essentially a coup d'état by intelligence agencies and Clinton wing of Democratic Party.
Notable quotes:
"... The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA. ..."
"... The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . ..."
"... Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. ..."
"... The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. ..."
"... The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. ..."
"... The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump ..."
"... The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit. ..."
"... Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. ..."
"... Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed." ..."
Aug 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As the Russiagate circus attempts to quietly disappear over the horizon, with Democrats preferring to shift the anti-Trump narrative back to "racist", "white supremacist", "xenophobe", and the mainstream media ready to squawk "recession"; the Trump administration may have a few more cards up its sleeve before anyone claims the higher ground in this farce we call an election campaign.

As The Hill's John Solomon details, in September 2018 that President Trump told my Hill.TV colleague Buck Sexton and me that he would order the release of all classified documents showing what the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. intelligence agencies may have done wrong in the Russia probe.

And while it's been almost a year since then, of feet-dragging and cajoling and deep-state-fighting, we wonder, given Solomon's revelations below, if the president is getting ready to play his 'Trump' card.

Here are the documents that Solomon believes have the greatest chance of rocking Washington, if declassified:

1.) Christopher Steele 's confidential human source reports at the FBI. These documents, known in bureau parlance as 1023 reports, show exactly what transpired each time Steele and his FBI handlers met in the summer and fall of 2016 to discuss his anti-Trump dossier. The big reveal, my sources say, could be the first evidence that the FBI shared sensitive information with Steele, such as the existence of the classified Crossfire Hurricane operation targeting the Trump campaign. It would be a huge discovery if the FBI fed Trump-Russia intel to Steele in the midst of an election, especially when his ultimate opposition-research client was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The FBI has released only one or two of these reports under FOIA lawsuits and they were 100 percent redacted. The American public deserves better.

2.) The 53 House Intel interviews. House Intelligence interviewed many key players in the Russia probe and asked the DNI to declassify those interviews nearly a year ago, after sending the transcripts for review last November. There are several big reveals, I'm told, including the first evidence that a lawyer tied to the Democratic National Committee had Russia-related contacts at the CIA.

3.) The Stefan Halper documents. It has been widely reported that European-based American academic Stefan Halper and a young assistant, Azra Turk, worked as FBI sources . We know for sure that one or both had contact with targeted Trump aides like Carter Page and George Papadopoulos at the end of the election. My sources tell me there may be other documents showing Halper continued working his way to the top of Trump's transition and administration, eventually reaching senior advisers like Peter Navarro inside the White House in summer 2017. These documents would show what intelligence agencies worked with Halper, who directed his activity, how much he was paid and how long his contacts with Trump officials were directed by the U.S. government's Russia probe.

4.) The October 2016 FBI email chain. This is a key document identified by Rep. Nunes and his investigators. My sources say it will show exactly what concerns the FBI knew about and discussed with DOJ about using Steele's dossier and other evidence to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant targeting the Trump campaign in October 2016. If those concerns weren't shared with FISA judges who approved the warrant, there could be major repercussions.

5.) Page/Papadopoulos exculpatory statements. Another of Nunes' five buckets, these documents purport to show what the two Trump aides were recorded telling undercover assets or captured in intercepts insisting on their innocence. Papadopoulos told me he told an FBI undercover source in September 2016 that the Trump campaign was not trying to obtain hacked Clinton documents from Russia and considered doing so to be treason. If he made that statement with the FBI monitoring, and it was not disclosed to the FISA court, it could be another case of FBI or DOJ misconduct.

6.) The 'Gang of Eight' briefing materials. These were a series of classified briefings and briefing books the FBI and DOJ provided key leaders in Congress in the summer of 2018 that identify shortcomings in the Russia collusion narrative. Of all the documents congressional leaders were shown, this is most frequently cited to me in private as having changed the minds of lawmakers who weren't initially convinced of FISA abuses or FBI irregularities.

7.) The Steele spreadsheet. I wrote recently that the FBI kept a spreadsheet on the accuracy and reliability of every claim in the Steele dossier. According to my sources, it showed as much as 90 percent of the claims could not be corroborated, were debunked or turned out to be open-source internet rumors. Given Steele's own effort to leak intel in his dossier to the media before Election Day, the public deserves to see the FBI's final analysis of his credibility. A document I reviewed recently showed the FBI described Steele's information as only "minimally corroborated" and the bureau's confidence in him as "medium."

8.) The Steele interview. It has been reported, and confirmed, that the DOJ's inspector general (IG) interviewed the former British intelligence operative for as long as 16 hours about his contacts with the FBI while working with Clinton's opposition research firm, Fusion GPS. It is clear from documents already forced into the public view by lawsuits that Steele admitted in the fall of 2016 that he was desperate to defeat Trump , had a political deadline to make his dirt public, was working for the DNC/Clinton campaign and was leaking to the news media. If he told that to the FBI and it wasn't disclosed to the FISA court, there could be serious repercussions.

9.) The redacted sections of the third FISA renewal application. This was the last of four FISA warrants targeting the Trump campaign; it was renewed in June 2017 after special counsel Robert Mueller 's probe had started, and signed by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein . It is the one FISA application that House Republicans have repeatedly asked to be released, and I'm told the big reveal in the currently redacted sections of the application is that it contained both misleading information and evidence of intrusive tactics used by the U.S. government to infiltrate Trump's orbit.

10.) Records of allies' assistance. Multiple sources have said a handful of U.S. allies overseas – possibly Great Britain, Australia and Italy – were asked to assist FBI efforts to check on Trump connections to Russia. Members of Congress have searched recently for some key contact documents with British intelligence . My sources say these documents might help explain Attorney General Bill Barr's recent comments that "the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign, to me, is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed."

These documents, when declassified, would show more completely how a routine counterintelligence probe was hijacked to turn the most awesome spy powers in America against a presidential nominee in what was essentially a political dirty trick orchestrated by Democrats.


rahrog , 2 minutes ago link

America's Ruling Class is laughing at all you fools still falling for the Rs v Ds scam.

Stupid people lose.

LibertyVibe , 3 minutes ago link

I disagree with Solomon. Nothing will "doom" the swamp unless the righteous few are willing to indict, prosecute and carry out sentencing for the guilty. Exposing the guilty accomplishes nothing, because anyone paying attention already knows of their crimes. Those who want to believe lies will still believe them after the truth comes out.
It's ALL A WASTE OF TIME unless we follow through.

#TheDailyNews #DrainTheSwamp

Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link

Where's all the other, earlier docs Trump was going to declassify? Just wondering..............

TheFQ , 16 minutes ago link

Does anyone see a pattern here after the 2009 Tea Party movement began?

2009 - Republicans: "If we win back the House, we can accomplish our agenda."

2011 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House)

2012 - Republicans: "If we win back the Senate, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS After winning back the House)

2013 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 1 YEAR after winning back the House and the Senate)

2014 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 2 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2015 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 3 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2016 - Republicans: "If we win back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: 4 YEARS after winning back the House and the Senate)

2017 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 6 YEARS AGO and the Senate 4 YEARS AGO)

2018 - Republicans: "Now that we've won back the Presidency, we can accomplish our agenda." (NOTE: After winning back the House 7 YEARS AGO and the Senate 5 YEARS AGO)

2019 - John Solomon - "If Trump Declassifies These 10 Documents, Democrats Are Doomed"

I hate to say it, but I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, JOHN.

ALL WE HAVE HEARD OVER THE COURSE OF THIS DECADE IS "IF THIS HAPPENS...THEN THEY ARE DOOMED / WE CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR AGENDA / YADDA YADDA YADDA.

WHEN THE FOLLOWING ARE FOUND GUILTY OF TREASON, THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL I BELIEVE YOU:

  • CLINTONS
  • OBAMA
  • BIDEN
  • KERRY
  • BRENNAN
  • CLAPPER
  • COMEY
  • MCCABE
  • MUELLER
  • WEISSMAN
  • STRZOK
  • RICE
  • POWERS
  • LYNCH
  • YATES
  • ET AL

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

WTF?

FFS...

benb , 12 minutes ago link

WHY ARE THESE TREASONOUS, VILE, CORRUPT CRIMINALS NOT INDICTED FOR TREASON?

Because the people doing the indicting are in on it.

enfield0916 , 36 minutes ago link

As if there's any major philosophical difference between the Librtads and Zionist Cocksuckvatives.

Both sides use the .gov agencies to subvert and ignore the Constitution whenever possible. Best example is WikiLeaks and how each party wished Assange would just go away when he revealed damaging information about both sides on multiple occasions.

[Aug 12, 2019] New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has called Epstein's death "way too convenient."

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "How many other millionaires and billionaires were part of the illegal activities that he was engaged in?" he asked. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | www.rt.com

"How many other millionaires and billionaires were part of the illegal activities that he was engaged in?" he asked. Even the BBC website has as its heading of a news story today "Jeffrey Epstein: Questions raised over financier's death."

[Jul 30, 2019] The main task of Democratic Party is preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left and killing such social movements

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways: ..."
"... i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power; ..."
"... (ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;" ..."
"... (iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders; ..."
"... iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly. ..."
"... It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us. ..."
"... The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts. ..."
"... By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background. ..."
"... When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end. ..."
"... This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry ..."
Jul 30, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

g3 , July 30, 2019 at 4:08 am

Mainstream Dems are performing their role very well. Most likely I am preaching to the choir. But anyways, here is a review of Lance Selfa's book "Democrats: a critical history" by Paul Street :

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/hope-killers-by-paul-street/

Besides preventing social movements from undertaking independent political activity to their left, the Democrats have been adept at killing social movements altogether. They have done – and continue to do – this in four key ways:

i) inducing "progressive" movement activists (e.g. Medea Benjamin of Code Pink and the leaders of Moveon.org and United for Peace and Justice today) to focus scarce resources on electing and defending capitalist politicians who are certain to betray peaceful- and populist-sounding campaign promises upon the attainment of power;

(ii) pressuring activists to "rein in their movements, thereby undercutting the potential for struggle from below;"

(iii) using material and social (status) incentives to buy off social movement leaders;

iv) feeding a pervasive sense of futility regarding activity against the dominant social and political order, with its business party duopoly.

It is not broken. It is fixed. Against us.

Norb , July 30, 2019 at 7:18 am

The militarization of US economy and society underscores your scenario. By being part of the war coalition, the Democratic party, as now constituted, doesn't have to win any presidential elections. The purpose of the Democratic party is to diffuse public dissent in an orderly fashion. This allows the war machine to grind on and the politicians are paid handsomely for their efforts.

By joining the war coalition, the Democrats only have leverage over Republicans if the majority of citizens get "uppity" and start demanding social concessions. Democrats put down the revolt by subterfuge, which is less costly and allows the fiction of American Democracy and freedom to persist for a while longer. Republicans, while preferring more overt methods of repressing the working class, allow the fiction to continue because their support for authoritarian principles can stay hidden in the background.

I have little faith in my fellow citizens as the majority are too brainwashed to see the danger of this political theatre. Most ignore politics, while those that do show an interest exercise that effort mainly by supporting whatever faction they belong. Larger issues and connections between current events remain a mystery to them as a result.

Military defeat seems the only means to break this cycle. Democrats, being the fake peaceniks that they are, will be more than happy to defer to their more authoritarian Republican counterparts when dealing with issues concerning war and peace. Look no further than Tulsi Gabbard's treatment in the party. The question is really should the country continue down this Imperialist path.

In one sense, economic recession will be the least of our problems in the future. When this political theatre in the US finally reaches its end date, what lies behind the curtain will surely shock most of the population and I have little faith that the citizenry are prepared to deal with the consequences. A society of feckless consumers is little prepared to deal with hard core imperialists who's time has reached its end.

This wrath of frustrated Imperialists will be turned upon the citizenry.

[Jul 29, 2019] Looks like Epstein turned informant for Mueller s FBI in 2008. Likely earlier

Highly recommended!
Did Mueller done this at the request of Clintons?
Notable quotes:
"... That was while Robert Mueller ran the Bureau, which means everything about Epstein's blackmail and kompromat operation has been tucked safely away out of sight in FBI files for at least a decade. Much longer, new evidence shows. ..."
"... *CIA Acknowledged in 2003, It Knew that Ghislaine Maxwell's Late Father was a Major Foreign Intelligence Agent Operating Inside the U.S. ..."
"... That Robert Maxwell was a ruthless, corrupt, tax-dodging international businessman who served as an Israeli agent is highly probable. ..."
"... For the first time, Maxwell had failed to get his own way. He started to threaten and bluster. He then demanded that, for past services, he should receive immediately a quick fix of £400million to bale him out of his financial difficulties. ..."
"... Instead of providing the money, a small group of Mossad officers set about planning his murder. They feared that he was going to publicly expose all Mossad had done in the time he worked for them. They knew that he was gradually becoming mentally unstable and paranoid. He was taking a cocktail of drugs - Halcion and Zanax - which had serious side effects. ..."
"... Then Maxwell was contacted. He was told to fly to Gibraltar, go aboard the Lady Ghislaine and sail to the Canary Islands. There at sea he would receive his £400million quick fix in the form of a banker's draft. Maxwell did as he was told. ..."
"... As Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent told us: "On that cold night Mossad's problems with Robert Maxwell were over." ..."
"... The incontrovertible facts about his murder are contained in a previously-unseen autopsy report by Britain's then-leading forensic pathologist Dr Iain West and Israel State Pathologist Dr Yehuda Hiss. Of all the documents in our possession, these reports confirm the truth about Maxwell's death. ..."
"... Boy that Mueller has had a busy career hasn't he? Didn't he start out in Chicago where he gave Whitey Bulgar cover for being a mob boss? Then there's his cover up before and after 9/11. The weapons of mass destruction that he said Saddam had. The anthrax prosecution, Epstein's pedophilia cover up, HSBC and now he is trying to cover Hillary's buttocks. And maybe Obama's? I'm sure I've missed a few things that he did or didn't do. ..."
"... Acosta was told to stand down by someone at the top of the food chain. Mueller. Ugh what a slimy piece of work he is. But not to the Russia Gaters. Oh no. "He is a highly decorated marine who takes no guff from anyone. ..."
"... In that time, he had free access to Margaret Thatcher's Downing Street, to Ronald Reagan's White House, to the Kremlin and to the corridors of power throughout Europe. ..."
"... Inquiring minds want to know did Maxwell have access to Margaret and Ron because they liked him or because he had something on them? ..."
"... Epstein is the destruction of the Deep State. ..."
"... That pedophelia and politics scandal, better known as the Franklin Coverup, made the papers for a few months, too, before it was made to go away. Similarly, a couple of the operators served some time on reduced charges after that one. ..."
"... The two main suspects in the Bush, Sr. White House child ring were Craig Spence and Lawrence E. King Jr. King sang the National anthem at two GOP national conventions. He served time in jail for bank fraud. Spence was a Republican lobbyist before he committed suicide. Several of his partners went to jail for being involved in the adult part of the homosexual prostitution ring. ..."
"... Mueller's scrupulous avoidance of the CIA link in his prosecution of Manuel Noriega and his diversion of the PanAm 103 bombing and framing of two Libyans. Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation. ..."
"... Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation. ..."
"... The anthrax investigation is the most serious of his crimes. Mueller is being sued by his lead investigator in that case. ..."
"... Every now and then, here and there the curtain lifts for a moment and the political elite of a country, the business elite, the spy services, the military, and organized crime are revealed to be all working together, indeed practically joined at the hip ..."
"... partnership started during the early Cold War with US intelligence officers facilitating the drug trade out of Turkey and Burma through Europe. That soon spread to the Americas and globally. Covert operations such as Gladio, Condor, and the Safari Club, and associated banks (Franklin National Bank, BCCI, Riggs Bank, HSBC, etc.) produced massive human rights violations, transnational terrorism and governmental corruption. The CIA's secret wars provided funds and official cover for private-public sector alliance of criminals, bankers and spooks around the world. ..."
"... The CIA, MI6 and Mossad ran overlapping coordinated operations using privateers, paramilitaries and organized crime networks that consumed vast amounts of cash generated by money laundering mechanisms. Enriched by the looting of the former Soviet Union, along with the infusion of Arab oil money (the Saudi Yamamah slush fund), the "Octopus" became the instrument of Oligarchs that have thoroughly corrupted western governments and secret services. ..."
"... The Snowden release included a number of documents that illustrate the on-line entrapment and political disruption activities run by the two main communications intelligence agencies. ..."
"... Epstein recruits young girls, throws parties where he invites potential hedge fund clients, lets nature take its course and films the proceedings, extracts blackmail in the form of investments to his (largely fake) hedge fund, which actually just buys an index fund (no actual fund management required). He takes a percentage from the coerced investments. Nobody talks because they have too much to lose. No suspicious payments to raise eyebrows at the IRS. ..."
"... Epstein brought in the clients. The CIA/MI-6/Mossad provided necessary cover from the FBI and local cops - then, three or four agencies shared the intelligence take, as they had for decades from Robert Maxwell's operations. ..."
"... For Ghislaine, it was simply carrying on the family business for fun and profit. For the spooks, it was business as usual going back to the Green House, the Berlin bordello founded in the the 1870s by Wilhelm Steiber, a Prussian Police section chief, to provide useful intelligence to Bismarck's Military Intelligence, which he reorganized. ..."
"... Epstein is also well acquainted with University President Lawrence H. Summers. The two serve together on the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, two elite international relations organizations. ..."
"... Epstein's relationships within the academy are remarkable since the tycoon, who has amassed his fortune by managing the wealth of billionaires from his private Caribbean island, does not hold a bachelor's degree. ..."
"... There's a rocky road ahead for Larry Summers. Summers introduces Epstein into the Harvard fold, but becomes reckless with his newly-refined Neoliberalism and his opinions concerning "lady scholars." ..."
Jul 11, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

leveymg on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:30am

That was while Robert Mueller ran the Bureau, which means everything about Epstein's blackmail and kompromat operation has been tucked safely away out of sight in FBI files for at least a decade. Much longer, new evidence shows.

For those who may have wondered why Epstein was given such an incredible deal in sentencing, that explains it. Epstein was an extraordinary value informant, and he leveraged it. https://truepundit.com/fbi-pedophile-jeffrey-epstein-was-informant-for-m...

A figure who often gets overlooked in this is Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's chief procurer of underage girls. Ghislaine, the daughter of publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, was granted immunity and never charged in exchange for her own cooperation in the 2008 pseudo-prosecution. https://heavy.com/news/2019/03/ghislaine-maxwell/ ; https://pagesix.com/2016/03/17/alleged-epstein-madam-forced-to-hand-over...

The real question is, why did the FBI wait for more than a decade to bust Epstein and Maxwell?

Epstein and Maxwell came to the attention of the FBI in 1996, when, curiously, the Bureau never acted on an accusation that they had together sexually abused a 15 year old girl in a bedroom inside Epstein's Manhattan townhouse. Documents in a recent law suit filed by an alleged victim, Maria Farmer, show that the FBI had been aware of Epstein and Maxwell's child abuse activities in New York for at least a dozen years before Epstein was finally charged in 2008 with much-reduced Florida state offenses. https://www.yourtango.com/2019323698/who-maria-farmer-latest-woman-accus...

Farmer claims she reported her sexual assault to New York police and the FBI in 1996. "To my knowledge, I was the first person to report Maxwell and Epstein to the FBI," she wrote in her affidavit."

*CIA Acknowledged in 2003, It Knew that Ghislaine Maxwell's Late Father was a Major Foreign Intelligence Agent Operating Inside the U.S.

Previously, Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine's father, had for many years been known to have been involved in high-level espionage in the United States, as detailed in a 2003 publication of the CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence, The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf . Therein, the CIA reviewer of a biography by British author Gordon Thomas acknowledged about Maxwell: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-pub...

That Robert Maxwell was a ruthless, corrupt, tax-dodging international businessman who served as an Israeli agent is highly probable.

For the deeper background to the Epstein-Maxwell multinational blackmail, coverup and kompromat operation, we have to look at the events that led up to the 1991 death of Robert Maxwell. A summary of the Maxwell bio by its authors recounts:

British Publisher Robert Maxwell
Was Mossad Spy
By Gordon Thomas And Martin Dillon
The Mirror - UK
12-6-2002
[ . . .]
Eleven years after former Daily Mirror owner Robert Maxwell plunged from his luxury yacht to a watery grave, his death still arouses intense interest.

Many different theories have circulated about what really happened on board the Lady Ghislaine that night in May 1991.

[ . . . ]

The Jewish millionaire and former Labour MP [born Ludvik Hoch
in Czechoslovakia] died the way he had lived - threatening.

He had threatened his wife. Threatened his children. Threatened the staff of this newspaper.

But finally he issued one threat too many - he threatened Mossad.

He told them that unless they gave him £400million to save his crumbling empire, he would expose all he had done for them.

In that time, he had free access to Margaret Thatcher's Downing Street, to Ronald Reagan's White House, to the Kremlin and to the corridors of power throughout Europe.

On top of that he had built himself a position of power within the crime families of eastern Europe, teaching them how to funnel their vast wealth from drugs, arms smuggling and prostitution to banks in safe havens around the globe.

Maxwell passed on all the secrets he learned to Mossad in Tel Aviv. In turn, they tolerated his excesses, vanities and insatiable appetite for a luxurious lifestyle and women.

He told his controllers who they should target and how they should do it. He appointed himself as Israel's unofficial ambassador to the Soviet Bloc. Mossad saw the advantage in that.

[ . . . ]

The more successful Maxwell became the more risks he took and the more dangerous he was to Mossad. At the same time, the very public side of Maxwell, who then owned 400 companies, began to unwind.

He spent lavishly and lost money on deals. The more he lost, the more he tried to claw money from the banks. Then he saw a way out of his problems.

He was approached by Vladimir Kryuchkov, head of the KGB. Spymaster and tycoon met in the utmost secrecy in the Kremlin.

Kryuchkov had an extraordinary proposal. He wanted Maxwell to help orchestrate the overthrow of Mikhail Gorbachev, the reformist Soviet leader. That would bring to an end a fledgling democracy and a return to the Cold War days.

In return, Maxwell's massive debts would be wiped out by a grateful Kryuchkov, who planned to replace Gorbachev. The KGB chief wanted Maxwell to use the Lady Ghislaine, named after Maxwell's daughter, as a meeting place between the Russian plotters, Mossad chiefs and Israel's top politicians.

The plan was for the Israelis to go to Washington and say that democracy could not work in Russia and that it was better to allow the country to return to a modified form of communism, which America could help to control. In return, Kryuchkov would guarantee to free hundreds of thousands of Jews and dissidents in the Soviet republics.

Kryuchkov told Maxwell that he would be seen as a saviour of all those Jews. It was a proposal he could not refuse. But when he put it to his Mossad controllers they were horrified. They said Israel would have no part in such a madcap plan.

For the first time, Maxwell had failed to get his own way. He started to threaten and bluster. He then demanded that, for past services, he should receive immediately a quick fix of £400million to bale him out of his financial difficulties.

Instead of providing the money, a small group of Mossad officers set about planning his murder. They feared that he was going to publicly expose all Mossad had done in the time he worked for them. They knew that he was gradually becoming mentally unstable and paranoid. He was taking a cocktail of drugs - Halcion and Zanax - which had serious side effects.

The group of Mossad plotters sensed, like Solomon, he could bring their temple tumbling down and cause incalculable harm to Israel. The plan to kill him was prepared in the utmost secrecy. A four-man squad was briefed.

Then Maxwell was contacted. He was told to fly to Gibraltar, go aboard the Lady Ghislaine and sail to the Canary Islands. There at sea he would receive his £400million quick fix in the form of a banker's draft. Maxwell did as he was told.

On the night of November 4, 1991, the Lady Ghislaine, one of the world's biggest yachts, was at sea.

[ . . . ]

As Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent told us: "On that cold night Mossad's problems with Robert Maxwell were over."

The incontrovertible facts about his murder are contained in a previously-unseen autopsy report by Britain's then-leading forensic pathologist Dr Iain West and Israel State Pathologist Dr Yehuda Hiss. Of all the documents in our possession, these reports confirm the truth about Maxwell's death.

Gordon Thomas & Martin Dillon are authors of The Assassination of Robert Maxwell: Israel's Super Spy, published by Robson Books.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=12419168&method=f...

The obvious question, why did the U.S. government let these intelligence crimes continue for decades, isn't being asked. The answer is almost self-evident. Information and leverage obtained by Maxwell-Epstein and Co. was far too valuable to its several operators to let it all end too soon.

###

Linda Wood on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 12:45pm
Two parts of your reporting

leap out at me as suggesting how Epstein connects to much bigger subjects. First is the assertion that Maxwell was

... teaching them how to funnel their vast wealth from drugs, arms smuggling and prostitution to banks in safe havens around the globe.

This area of trafficking and money laundering directly connects to Mueller and his essential exoneration of HSBC .

The other quotation that suggests the importance of money laundering is here:

The plan was for the Israelis to go to Washington and say that democracy could not work in Russia and that it was better to allow the country to return to a modified form of communism, which America could help to control.

The life's work of Antony Sutton at Stanford's Hoover Institution shows that American industry was ALWAYS controlling communism as well as Soviet industrial development, and that a trend toward social democracy, represented by Gorbachev, would have put an end to that control.

leveymg on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 4:29pm
Curiously, the CIA review of the Maxwell bio doesn't touch on

@Linda Wood his money laundering and blackmailing activities. While the review confirms that Robert Maxwell was for decades a major Mossad agent actively setting up operations and cover in the United States and the UK, I can only surmise that the spreading political influence of Eastern European organized crime networks and child honey traps are things that the Agency didn't want to discuss publicly in 2003.

As for Mueller, let's not forget that he was FBI Director and before that the head of the Criminal Division at Main Justice at the time that global "black finance" grew along with the catastrophic spread of multinational crime and terrorism. BCCI, Iran-Contra, 9/11, and the rise of transnational Oligarchs happened on his watch. As the Chief Law Enforcement Officer in the United States at the time, it is hard to imagine anyone more responsibility for the ultimate consequences than Robert Mueller. There is perhaps someone who bears ultimate responsibility, the President who appointed Mueller: George Herbert Walker Bush and his lesser son, Shrub, who promoted him.

Pluto's Republic on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 5:21pm
From your own research

@leveymg

... wouldn't you assume that this entire affair is an ongoing Mossad operation, which may or may not have concluded? The US IC is just another operative inside the envelope, but Mossad owns the assets and the intellectual property. I think we could assume that some of this is automated and Mossad has ongoing leverage still in play.

The obvious question, why did the U.S. government let these intelligence crimes continue for decades, isn't being asked. The answer is almost self-evident. Information and leverage obtained by Maxwell-Epstein and Co. was far too valuable to its several operators to let it all end too soon.

.

Mossad's legendary blackmail traps ensnared even high-level deep state authorities and made them pliable. The recent history of United States foreign policy is an enigma that can only be solved when that assumption is inserted. Once the assumption is in place, it opens like a Pandora's box. Don't you find that to be the case?

Thanks for compiling this revealing argument.

Deja on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 11:03pm
HSBC?

@Linda Wood
From your link:

In a recent investigation I presented the case that British banking and financial giant HSBC conspired with banking institutions with documented links to terrorist financing, including those responsible for helping bankroll the 9/11 attacks.

Thank you for the link!

Linda Wood on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 1:11pm
HSBC article

linked here does not mention Mueller but does outline the crimes Mueller worked so hard not to solve:

http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2012/07/black-dossier-hsbc-terro...

SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2012
Black Dossier: HSBC & Terrorist Finance

Moral equivalencies abound. After all, when American secret state agencies manage drug flows or direct terrorist proxies to attack official enemies it's not quite the same as battling terror or crime.

Pounding home that point, a new report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations accused HSBC of exposing "the U.S. financial system to a wide array of money laundering, drug trafficking, and terrorist financing risks due to poor anti-money laundering (AML) controls."

That 335-page report, "U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History," (large pdf file available here ) was issued after a year-long Senate investigation zeroed-in on the bank's U.S. affiliate, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., better known as HBUS.

Drilling down, we learned that amongst the "services" offered by HSBC subsidiaries and correspondent banks were sweet deals with financial entities with terrorist ties; the transportation of billions of dollars in cash by plane and armored car through their London Banknotes division; the clearing of sequentially-numbered travelers checks through dodgy Cayman Islands accounts for Mexican drug lords and Russian mafiosi.

From richly-appointed suites at Canary Wharf, London, the bank's "smartest guys in the room" handed some of the most violent gangsters on earth the financial wherewithal to organize their respective industries: global crime.

A case in point. In 2008 alone the Senate revealed that the bank's Cayman Islands branch handled some 50,000 client accounts (all without benefit of offices or staff on Grand Cayman, mind you), yet still managed to ship some $7 billion (£10.9bn) in cash from Mexico into the U.S. Now that's creative accounting!...

Alligator Ed on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:49pm
Thank you, Linda

@Linda Wood HSBC, huh--there must be some clever name for it, which deserves no research.
what an eloquent article you presented. Brief but right on target. It isn't just sex, drugs and rock and roll. Now it is drugs - money -sexual perversion--and perhaps worse? Rumors are flying about what video on the Weiner laptop showed. It is strictly heresay, but a core of folks seem to believe the suspicions are possible.

snoopydawg on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 8:48pm
Boy that Mueller has had a busy career hasn't he? Didn't he start out in Chicago where he gave Whitey Bulgar cover for being a mob boss? Then there's his cover up before and after 9/11. The weapons of mass destruction that he said Saddam had. The anthrax prosecution, Epstein's pedophilia cover up, HSBC and now he is trying to cover Hillary's buttocks. And maybe Obama's? I'm sure I've missed a few things that he did or didn't do.

Acosta is saying that if he hadn't made the plea deal then Epstein would never have served any time in prison. Well he actually only slept there since he got to leave every day for work and then there's the massages he got after his busy day at work. But there were more than 80 pages that the Feds wrote on his escapades so I think that story he told congress is true. Acosta was told to stand down by someone at the top of the food chain. Mueller. Ugh what a slimy piece of work he is. But not to the Russia Gaters. Oh no. "He is a highly decorated marine who takes no guff from anyone.

In that time, he had free access to Margaret Thatcher's Downing Street, to Ronald Reagan's White House, to the Kremlin and to the corridors of power throughout Europe.

Inquiring minds want to know did Maxwell have access to Margaret and Ron because they liked him or because he had something on them?

Great information! The more I learn the more I need a shower.

Linda Wood on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 9:11pm
That needing a shower thing

@snoopydawg

is how I've been feeling all week from reading about this, just more and more demoralized when I think about the depravation of our so-called "leadership." What is it that we're supposed to think of as the new normal after this behavior?

Alligator Ed on Thu, 07/11/2019 - 10:53pm
Linda, you could shower in my extra long tub

@Linda Wood No problem--but, seriously, yecch! Epstein is the destruction of the Deep State.

leveymg on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:02pm
Remember Craig Spence and the 1989 Whitehouse Call Boy Ring?

@snoopydawg

That pedophelia and politics scandal, better known as the Franklin Coverup, made the papers for a few months, too, before it was made to go away. Similarly, a couple of the operators served some time on reduced charges after that one.

The two main suspects in the Bush, Sr. White House child ring were Craig Spence and Lawrence E. King Jr. King sang the National anthem at two GOP national conventions. He served time in jail for bank fraud. Spence was a Republican lobbyist before he committed suicide. Several of his partners went to jail for being involved in the adult part of the homosexual prostitution ring.

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/Franklin/FranklinCoverup/l...

Roy Blakeley on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 12:29pm
And let's not forget

@snoopydawg

Mueller's scrupulous avoidance of the CIA link in his prosecution of Manuel Noriega and his diversion of the PanAm 103 bombing and framing of two Libyans. Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation.

Linda Wood on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:09pm
Absolutely.

@Roy Blakeley

You sum it up perfectly:

Bobby Mueller has been a real go to guy when the security establishment needs a phony investigation.

The anthrax investigation is the most serious of his crimes. Mueller is being sued by his lead investigator in that case.

Because researchers in our biological weapons labs went public with what they were doing, and where such research was being done in the U.S., we learned the CIA was one of several outfits doing biological weapons research.

But Mueller exonerated all of them, including the CIA, with no explanation and only focused on a lone vaccine researcher at the Army lab when journalists began to ask why no one had been indicted after seven years of investigation, at which point the FBI attempted to harass the suspect into committing suicide.

lotlizard on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:44am
Comparable to "Deep State" scandals in Turkey?

Every now and then, here and there the curtain lifts for a moment and the political elite of a country, the business elite, the spy services, the military, and organized crime are revealed to be all working together, indeed practically joined at the hip.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susurluk_scandal

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/ergenekon-plot-massive-trial-...

leveymg on Sat, 07/13/2019 - 11:08am
Read "Politics of Heroin in SE Asia". The CIA-Mafia-warlord

@lotlizard @lotlizard

partnership started during the early Cold War with US intelligence officers facilitating the drug trade out of Turkey and Burma through Europe. That soon spread to the Americas and globally. Covert operations such as Gladio, Condor, and the Safari Club, and associated banks (Franklin National Bank, BCCI, Riggs Bank, HSBC, etc.) produced massive human rights violations, transnational terrorism and governmental corruption. The CIA's secret wars provided funds and official cover for private-public sector alliance of criminals, bankers and spooks around the world.

This "dark alliance" assumed a political and economic life of its own beyond its original intent to counter communist movements. By the Vietnam War, Agency operators were running most of the heroin trade in the world through proprietary airlines, banks and logistics companies. In the mid-1970s, CIA Director Bush expanded privatization with Saudi funding in his Safari Club deal that eventually morphed into Al Qaeda and ISIS.

The CIA, MI6 and Mossad ran overlapping coordinated operations using privateers, paramilitaries and organized crime networks that consumed vast amounts of cash generated by money laundering mechanisms. Enriched by the looting of the former Soviet Union, along with the infusion of Arab oil money (the Saudi Yamamah slush fund), the "Octopus" became the instrument of Oligarchs that have thoroughly corrupted western governments and secret services.

Multinational honey trap operations such as Maxwell-Epstein & Co. are an inevitable and continuing part of this privatization and criminalization of intelligence that stretches back to the days of Tom Braden and Cord Meyer handing out stacks of greenbacks to Mafiosi on the Corsican Docks.

leveymg on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 11:31am
NSA and GCHQ have gotten into the honeytrap and influence game

@leveymg

The Snowden release included a number of documents that illustrate the on-line entrapment and political disruption activities run by the two main communications intelligence agencies.

"Honey-trap; a great option. Very successful, when it works" (GCHQ, UK training program slide)

https://cannonfire.blogspot.com/2014/05/lots-of-secret-nsa-documents-plu...

The "Information Ops" category is of particular interest to me...

Does this really seem like the sort of thing that would be done only to a jihadist...?

WoodsDweller on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 1:48pm
Here's an interesting take

https://www.alternet.org/2019/07/epstein-was-running-a-blackmail-scheme-...

Without quoting the whole thing (which is worth a read):

Epstein recruits young girls, throws parties where he invites potential hedge fund clients, lets nature take its course and films the proceedings, extracts blackmail in the form of investments to his (largely fake) hedge fund, which actually just buys an index fund (no actual fund management required). He takes a percentage from the coerced investments. Nobody talks because they have too much to lose. No suspicious payments to raise eyebrows at the IRS.

There's no need to invoke the Mafia/Russia/Mossad/CIA/etc, that's just needlessly overfitting.

Except such an operation would be quite attractive to intelligence services. Maybe they were in on the ground floor, maybe they made Epstein an offer he couldn't refuse once they heard about it.

leveymg on Sat, 07/13/2019 - 10:28am
My gut tells me that G. Maxwell provided the Know-how, and

@WoodsDweller

Epstein brought in the clients. The CIA/MI-6/Mossad provided necessary cover from the FBI and local cops - then, three or four agencies shared the intelligence take, as they had for decades from Robert Maxwell's operations.

For Ghislaine, it was simply carrying on the family business for fun and profit. For the spooks, it was business as usual going back to the Green House, the Berlin bordello founded in the the 1870s by Wilhelm Steiber, a Prussian Police section chief, to provide useful intelligence to Bismarck's Military Intelligence, which he reorganized.

Steiber is considered the father of modern espionage. His methods were vastly influential, and he attracted students from London, St. Petersburg to Tokyo. Each put their own national spin on the science of sexual blackmail. As for the Japanese, they are among the most interesting and innovative in their use of a parallel network of privatized intelligence services incorporating underworld Yakuzi groups alongside conventional military intelligence units. Using compromise, they gained and maintained control over Imperial Japan and its Colonies: https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2019/03/15/eastern-peril/

To realize these divinely inspired ambitions, Japan needed a modern espionage system. Adopting the German model, Japanese officials were sent to study under Wilhelm Stieber in the mid-1870s. Over the next decade Japan built up separate army and naval intelligence services, each with an accompanying branch of secret military police (Kempeitai for the army and Tokeitai for the navy). These latter organizations also provided an excellent counter-espionage service. However, where the Japanese were unique was in the use of spies belonging to unofficial secret societies working alongside or independently of the official intelligence agencies. These shadowy institutions were ultra-nationalist by nature, drawing their membership from a cross-section of Japanese society, including the military, politics, industry and Yakuza underworld. Under ruthless leadership, their henchmen would spy on, subvert and corrupt Japan's Far East neighbours.

For more on Steiber and his superior, von Hinckeldey, methods of international counter-insurgency, espionage, and political policing included deception and a forerunner of today's internet surveillance: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2006/11/29/275653/-

While armies are essential to the maintenance of autocracy, the preservation of dynastic rule and the prevention of democracy requires an effective secret police. The suppression of its middle-class constitutionalists [during the 1840s] was followed by the expansion of the Prussian political police under Karl Ludwig Friedrich von Hinckeldey.

Appointed police president of Berlin in late 1848, Hinckeldey was an innovator of many of the features of modern systematic political policing. Among the tactics that he introduced with his new police system in Berlin was the "Litfass columns". Named for Ernst Litfass, Frederick William's court printer, he had dozens of these large poles erected in strategic spots around Berlin. The public posting of political notices was then banned. By application to a state office for a waiver, however, the columns could be used to display messages. The police dutifully recorded the names of all who had applied. A. Richie, Faust's Metropolis: A History of Berlin, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1998 at p.134.

LEGACY OF THE LITFASS COLUMNS: A similar ploy was later adopted by the People's Republic of China. In the mid-1980s, the Communist authorities at first appear to tolerate the operation of a so-called Democracy Wall, where "dissidents" in Beijing could post political writings, initially, without being arrested. Similar walls then sprung up under the noses of the authorities in other Chinese cities. For this apparent opening to democracy, the Deng regime much applauded, particularly by some in the Reagan-Bush Administration, eager to legitimize the regime and its growing commercial ties with U.S. corporations. Eventually, many of those who had availed themselves of the wall to post political messages were, of course, arrested in the roundup of hundreds of thousands of democracy supporters that followed the Tienamen Square massacre. The impression of anonymity and "freedom" conveyed by the Internet, of course, presents a similar opportunity for police to cast a wide net for identifying persons and organizations who may not hold favor for the regime in power, or may not in the future.

Hinckeldey also founded the Police Union, the first recorded international network of counterrevolutionary police spies in modern times. Primarily made up of police officers from Prussia and the German states, the Union operated throughout Europe, Britain and in the United States. The Union was run by his deputy, the notorious police provocateur, Wilhelm Steiber, who would later reorganize the Okhrana along similar lines. Internationally active from 1851-1866, the Police Union, according to Mathieu Deflem, was "one of the first formal initiatives in industrial society to establish an organized police system across national borders."13

I disagree with the Alternet view on this. See, this is the norm. A purely private sexual blackmail ring of any scale would be the historical exception. It certainly wouldn't survive very long.

Pluto's Republic on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 5:45pm
This is a chilling thought I try to avoid.

@leveymg

...authorities at first appear to tolerate the operation of a so-called Democracy Wall, where "dissidents" in Beijing could post political writings.... Similar walls then sprung up under the noses of the authorities in other Chinese cities. Eventually, many of those who had availed themselves of the wall to post political messages were, of course, arrested in the roundup of hundreds of thousands of democracy supporters....

The impression of anonymity and "freedom" conveyed by the Internet, of course, presents a similar opportunity for police to cast a wide net for identifying persons and organizations who may not hold favor for the regime in power, or may not in the future.

But why should one avoid the thought? If the situation looks like the people are going to lose the war for their minds, and are unwilling to back a publisher like Assange who has given his all to try to empower them, why should anyone put themselves at risk by expressing their opinions? It's a honeypot of our own making, just as Facebook is where people go to write their own dossiers for the Authorities.

leveymg on Sat, 07/13/2019 - 10:36am
Every time you entrap yourself as

@Pluto's Republic an enemy of the status quo, you raise the calculated costs of the eventual crackdown, pushing back the day of reckoning. Keep it up! Visible rebellion is the only defense of the people.

Pluto's Republic on Fri, 07/12/2019 - 5:54pm
Background: If someone were to choose the ideal node

...from which to leverage access to the elite, Harvard University would be a top choice.

Jeffery Epstein actually entered the social salons of the elite through many doors. He was, of course, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. One would have to be to rub shoulders with the political elite. From there he matriculated to the Trilateral Commission becoming friendly with Harvard President, Larry Summers. **

Becoming a surprise mystery philanthropist at Harvard, with Summers help, was a booster rocket for Epstein. In the Havard Crimson , in June 2003, Epstein's involvement with Harvard was celebrated.

People in the News: Jeffrey E. Epstein

Elusive financier Jeffrey E. Epstein donated $30 million this year to Harvard for the founding of a mathematical biology and evolutionary dynamics program.

While the mathematics teacher turned magnate remained unknown to most people until he flew President Clinton, Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker to Africa to explore the problems of AIDS and economic development facing the region, Epstein has been a familiar face to many at Harvard for years.

Networking with the University's leading intellectuals, Epstein has spurred research through both discussions with and dollars contributed to various faculty members.

Lindsley Professor of Psychology Stephen M. Kosslyn, former Dean of the Faculty Henry A. Rosovsky and Frankfurter Professor of Law Alan M. Dershowitz are among Epstein's bevy of eminent friends that includes princes, presidents and Nobel Prize winners.

Epstein is also well acquainted with University President Lawrence H. Summers. The two serve together on the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations, two elite international relations organizations.

Epstein's collection of high-profile friends also includes newly-recruited professor Martin A. Nowak, who will run Harvard's mathematical biology and evolutionary dynamics program.

Like Kosslyn, Rosovsky and Dershowitz, Nowak praises Epstein's numerous relationships within the scientific community.

"I am amazed by the connections he has in the scientific world," Nowak says. "He knows an amazing number of scientists. He knows everyone you can imagine."

Epstein's relationships within the academy are remarkable since the tycoon, who has amassed his fortune by managing the wealth of billionaires from his private Caribbean island, does not hold a bachelor's degree.

Yet, friends and beneficiaries say they do not see Epstein merely as a man with deep pockets, but as an intellectual equal.

Dershowitz says Epstein is "brilliant" and Kosslyn calls Epstein "one of the brightest people I've ever known."

Epstein's beneficiaries say they are particularly appreciative of the no-strings-attached approach Epstein takes with his donations.

"He is one of the most pleasant philanthropists," Nowak says. "Unlike many people who support science, he supports science without any conditions. There are not any disadvantages to associating with him."

Friends and associates say Harvard stands to benefit from its evolving relationship with Epstein.

"I hope that he will, over time, become one of the leading supporters of science at Harvard," Rosovsky writes in an e-mail.

__________________________________________
** A footnote on Larry Summers seems important here: Harvard-trained economists have been running the US economy for a very long time, and continue to do so. Summers began his ascent as a professor of economics at Harvard University, leaving shortly before Bill Clinton won the Presidency. He was clearly the Neoliberal seed planted for the New American Century.

In 1993, Summers was appointed Undersecretary for International Affairs of the United States Department of the Treasury under the Clinton Administration. In 1995, he was promoted to Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under his long-time political mentor Robert Rubin. In 1999, he succeeded Rubin as Secretary of the Treasury.

While working for the Clinton administration Summers played a leading role in the American response to the 1994 economic crisis in Mexico, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, and the Russian financial crisis. He was also influential in the Harvard Institute for International Development and American-advised privatization of the economies of the post-Soviet states, and in the deregulation of the U.S financial system, including the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act.

At This Point the Ball is Passed to the Bush Team Republicans, while the Democrats Sit Back and Wait for 2008.

There's now a Treasury surplus to transfer to the wealthy, and the necessary deregulation for Wall Street empowerment is in place. The Soviet era had ended and Russia is ended forever. The world is finally primed to be seized by the One Exceptional Power. It's 2001, and we are standing on the threshold of the New American Century . Time to throw a flash-bang of chaos onto the world stage and trigger the booming War Economy that will carry us directly to global control.

There's a rocky road ahead for Larry Summers. Summers introduces Epstein into the Harvard fold, but becomes reckless with his newly-refined Neoliberalism and his opinions concerning "lady scholars."

Following the end of Clinton's term, Summers served as the 27th President of Harvard University from 2001 to 2006. Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty, which resulted in large part from Summers's conflict with Cornel West, financial conflict of interest questions regarding his relationship with Andrei Shleifer, and a 2005 speech in which he suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a "different availability of aptitude at the high end", and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization. Remarking upon political correctness in institutions of higher education, Summers said in 2016:

Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of a no-confidence vote by Harvard faculty, which resulted in large part from Summers's conflict with Cornel West, financial conflict of interest questions regarding his relationship with Andrei Shleifer, and a 2005 speech in which he suggested that the under-representation of women in science and engineering

There is a great deal of absurd political correctness. Now, I'm somebody who believes very strongly in diversity, who resists racism in all of its many incarnations, who thinks that there is a great deal that's unjust in American society that needs to be combated, but it seems to be that there is a kind of creeping totalitarianism in terms of what kind of ideas are acceptable and are debatable on college campuses.

After his departure from Harvard, Summers cooled his jets on Wall Street, positioning himself to be called back into the game when it was Team Democrat's turn in 2008.

Summers worked as a managing partner at the hedge fund D. E. Shaw & Co., and as a freelance speaker at other financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers. Summers rejoined public service during the Obama administration, serving as the Director of the White House United States National Economic Council for President Barack Obama from January 2009 until November 2010, where he emerged as a key economic decision-maker in the Obama administration's response to the Great Recession.

Jeffery Epstein continued to weave himself into the fabric of government like a good psychopath would. He was by no means the only one.

[Jul 24, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Seeks to Cut Private Equity Down to Size

Highly recommended!
That bill alone makes Warren a viable candidate again, despite all her previous blunders. She is a courageous woman, that Warren. And she might wipe the floor with the completely subservant to Israel lobby Trump. Who betrayed his electorate in all major promises.
Notable quotes:
"... Not only would Warren's legislation prohibit some of the most destructive private equity activities, but it would end their ability to act as traditional asset managers, taking fees and incurring close to no risk if their investments go belly up. The bill takes the explicit and radical view that: ..."
"... Private funds should have a stake in the outcome of their investments, enjoying returns if those investments are successful but ab-1sorbing losses if those investments fail. ..."
"... Critics will say that Warren's bill has no chance of passing, which is currently true but misses the point. ..."
"... firms would share responsibility for the liabilities of companies under their control, including debt, legal judgments, and pension obligations to "better align the incentives of private equity firms and the companies they own." The bill, if enacted, would end the tax subsidy for excessive leverage and closes the carried interest loophole. ..."
"... The bill also seeks to ban dividends to investors for two years after a firm is acquired. Worker pay would be prioritized in the bankruptcy process, with guidelines intended to ensure affected employees are more likely to receive severance pay and pensions. It would also clarify gift cards are consumer deposits, ensuring their priority in bankruptcy proceedings. If enacted, private equity managers will be required to disclose fees, returns, and political expenditures. ..."
"... This is a bold set of proposals that targets abuses that hurt workers and investors. Most readers may not appreciate the significance of the two-year restriction on dividends. One return-goosing strategy that often leaves companies crippled or bankrupt in its wake is the "dividend recap" in which the acquired company takes on yet more debt for the purpose of paying a special dividend to its investors. Another strategy that Appelbaum and Batt have discussed at length is the "op co/prop co." Here the new owners take real estate owned by the company, sell it to a new entity with the former owner leasing it. The leases are typically set high so as to allow for the "prop co" to be sold at a richer price. This strategy is often a direct contributor to the death of businesses, since ones that own their real estate usually do so because they are in cyclical industries, and not having lease payments enables the to ride out bad times. The proceeds of sale of the real estate is usually dividended out to the investors, hence the dividend restriction would also pour cold water on this approach. ..."
"... However, there is precedent in private equity for recognizing joint and several liability of an investment fund for the obligations of its portfolio companies. In a case that winded its way through the federal courts until last year ( Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Indus. Pension Fund ), the federal court held that Sun Capital Partners III was liable under ERISA, the federal pension law, for the unfunded pension obligations of Scott Brass, a portfolio company of that fund. The court's key finding was that Sun Capital played an active management role in Scott Brass and that its claim of passive investor status therefore should not be respected. ..."
"... Needless to say, private equity firms have worked hard to minimize their exposure to the Sun Capital decision, for example by avoiding purchasing companies with defined benefit pension plans. The Warren bill, however, is so broad in the sweep of liability it imposes that PE firms would be unlikely to be able to structure around it. It is hard to imagine the investors in private equity funds accepting liability for what could be enormous sums of unfunded pension liabilities ultimately flowing onto them. Either they would have to set up shell companies to fund their PE investments that could absorb the potential liability, or they would have to give up on the asset class. Either way, it would mean big changes to the industry and potentially a major contraction of it. ..."
"... I am surprised that Warren sought to make private equity funds responsible for the portfolio company debts by "joint and several liability". You can get to economically pretty much the same end by requiring the general partner and potentially also key employees to guarantee the debt and by preventing them from assigning or buying insurance to protect the guarantor from being liable. There is ample precedent for that for entrepreneurs. Small business corporate credit cards and nearly all small business loans require a personal guarantee. ..."
"... Warren's bill also has strong pro-investor provisions. It takes on the biggest feature of the ongoing investor scamming, which is the failure of PE managers to disclose to the investors all of the fees they receive from portfolio companies. The solution proposed by the bill to this problem is exceedingly straightforward, basically proclaiming, "Oh yeah, now you will have to disclose that." The bill also abolishes the ability of private equity managers to claim long term capital gains treatment on the 20 percent of fund profits that they receive, which is unrelated to the return on any capital that the private equity managers may happen to invest in a fund. ..."
"... We need a reparations movement for all those workers harmed by private equity. Seriously. ..."
"... It's so nice to see someone taking steps to protect the rights and compensation of the people actually doing the work at the companies and putting their interests first in case of bankruptcy. That those who worked hardest to make the company succeed were somehow the ones who took it in the shorts the worst has always struck me as a glaring inequity bordering on cruelty. ..."
Jul 23, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Elizabeth Warren's Stop Wall Street Looting Act , which is co-sponsored by Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Mark Pocan and Pramila Jayapal, seeks to fundamentally alter the way private equity firms operate. While the likely impetus for Warren's bill was the spate of private-equity-induced retail bankruptcies, with Toys 'R' Us particularly prominent, the bill addresses all the areas targeted by critics of private equity: how it hurts workers and investors and short-changes the tax man, thus burdening taxpayers generally.

... ... ...

[Jul 15, 2019] Elizabeth Warren Has Made Her Story America's Story

Highly recommended!
Jul 15, 2019 | www.thenation.com

Looks like Warren weakness is her inability to distinguish between key issues and periferal issues.

While her program is good and is the only one that calls for "structural change" (which is really needed as neoliberalism outlived its usefulness) it mixes apple and oranges. One thing is to stop neoliberal transformation of the society and the other is restitution for black slaves. In the latter case why not to Indians ?

I'd argue that Warren's newly tight and coherent story, in which her life's arc tracks the country's, is contributing to her rise, in part because it protects her against other stories -- the nasty ones told by her opponents, first, and then echoed by the media doubters influenced by her opponents. Her big national-stage debut came when she tangled with Barack Obama's administration over bank bailouts, then set up the powerhouse Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But she was dismissed as too polarizing, even by some Democrats, and was passed over to run it. In 2012, Massachusetts's Scott Brown mocked Warren as "the Professor," a know-it-all Harvard schoolmarm, before she beat him to take his Senate seat. After that, Donald Trump began trashing her as "Pocahontas" in the wake of a controversy on the campaign trail about her mother's rumored Native American roots. And Warren scored an own goal with a video that announced she had "confirmed" her Native heritage with a DNA test, a claim that ignored the brutal history of blood-quantum requirements and genetic pseudoscience in the construction of race.

When she announced her presidential run this year, some national political reporters raised questions about her likability , finding new ways to compare her to Hillary Clinton, another female candidate widely dismissed as unlikable. A month into Warren's campaign, it seemed the media was poised to Clintonize her off the primary stage. But it turned out she had a plan for that, too.

I n the tale that is captivating crowds on the campaign trail, Warren is not a professor or a political star but a hardscrabble Oklahoma "late-in-life baby" or, as her mother called her, "the surprise." Her elder brothers had joined the military; she was the last one at home, just a middle-schooler when her father had the massive heart attack that would cost him his job. "I remember the day we lost the station wagon," she tells crowds, lowering her voice. "I learned the words 'mortgage' and 'foreclosure' " listening to her parents talk when they thought she was asleep, she recalls. One day she walked in on her mother in her bedroom, crying and saying over and over, " 'We are not going to lose this house.' She was 50 years old," Warren adds, "had never worked outside the home, and she was terrified."

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This part of the story has been a Warren staple for years: Her mother put on her best dress and her high heels and walked down to a Sears, where she got a minimum-wage job. Warren got a private lesson from her mother's sacrifice -- "You do what you have to to take care of those you love" -- and a political one, too. "That minimum-wage job saved our house, and it saved our family." In the 1960s, she says, "a minimum-wage job could support a family of three. Now the minimum wage can't keep a momma and a baby out of poverty."

That's Act I of Warren's story and of the disappearing American middle class whose collective story her family's arc symbolizes. In Act II, she walks the crowd through her early career, including some personal choices that turned her path rockier: early marriage, dropping out of college. But her focus now is on what made it possible for her to rise from the working class. Warren tells us how she went back to school and got her teaching certificate at a public university, then went to law school at another public university. Both cost only a few hundred dollars in tuition a year. She always ends with a crowd-pleaser: "My daddy ended up as a janitor, but his baby daughter got the opportunity to become a public-school teacher, a law professor, a US senator, and run for president!"


Warren has honed this story since her 2012 Senate campaign. Remember her "Nobody in this country got rich on his own" speech ? It was an explanation of how the elite amassed wealth thanks to government investments in roads, schools, energy, and police protection, which drew more than 1 million views on YouTube. Over the years, she has become the best explainer of the way the US government, sometime around 1980, flipped from building the middle class to protecting the wealthy. Her 2014 book, A Fighting Chance , explains how Warren (once a Republican, like two of her brothers) saw her own family's struggle in the stories of those families whose bankruptcies she studied as a lawyer -- families she once thought might have been slackers. Starting in 1989, with a book she cowrote on bankruptcy and consumer credit, her writing has charted the way government policies turned against the middle class and toward corporations. That research got her tapped by then–Senate majority leader Harry Reid to oversee the Troubled Assets Relief Program after the 2008 financial crash and made her a favorite on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart . Starting in the mid-2000s, she publicly clashed with prominent Democrats, including Biden , a senator at the time, over bankruptcy reforms, and later with then–Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner over the bank bailouts.

Sanders, of course, has a story too, about a government that works for the "millionaires and billionaires." But he has a hard time connecting his family's stories of struggle to his policies. After his first few campaign events, he ditched the details about growing up poor in Brooklyn. In early June, he returned to his personal story in a New York Times op-ed .

W arren preaches the need for "big structural change" so often that a crowd chanted the phrase back at her during a speech in San Francisco the first weekend in June. Then she gets specific. In Act III of her stump speech, she lays out her dizzying array of plans. But by then they're not dizzying, because she has anchored them to her life and the lives of her listeners. The rapport she develops with her audience, sharing her tragedies and disappointments -- questionable choices and all -- makes her bold policy pitches feel believable. She starts with her proposed wealth tax: two cents on every dollar of your worth after $50 million, which she says would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years. (She has also proposed a 7 percent surtax on corporate profits above $100 million.)

Warren sells the tax with a vivid, effective comparison. "How many of you own a home?" she asks. At most of her stops in Iowa, it was roughly half the crowd. "Well, you already pay a wealth tax on your major asset. You pay a property tax, right?" People start nodding. "I just want to make sure we're also taxing the diamonds, the Rembrandts, the yachts, and the stock portfolios." Nobody in those Iowa crowds seemed to have a problem with that.

Then she lays out the shocking fact that people in the top 1 percent pay roughly 3.2 percent of their wealth in taxes, while the bottom 99 percent pay 7.4 percent.

That "big structural change" would pay for the items on Warren's agenda -- the programs that would rebuild the opportunity ladder to the middle class -- that have become her signature: free technical school or two- or four-year public college; at least partial loan forgiveness for 95 percent of those with student debt; universal child care and prekindergarten, with costs capped at 7 percent of family income; and a pay hike for child-care workers.

"Big structural change" would also include strengthening unions and giving workers 40 percent of the seats on corporate boards. Warren promises to break up Big Tech and Big Finance. She calls for a constitutional amendment to protect the right to vote and vows to push to overturn Citizens United . To those who say it's too much, she ends every public event the same way: "What do you think they said to the abolitionists? 'Too hard!' To the suffragists fighting to get women the right to vote? 'Too hard!' To the foot soldiers of the civil-rights movement, to the activists who wanted equal marriage? 'Give up now!' " But none of them gave up, she adds, and she won't either. Closing that way, she got a standing ovation at every event I attended.

R ecently, Warren has incorporated into her pitch the stark differences between what mid-20th-century government offered to black and white Americans. This wasn't always the case. After a speech she delivered at the Roosevelt Institute in 2015, I heard black audience members complain about her whitewashed version of the era when government built the (white) middle class. Many black workers were ineligible for Social Security; the GI Bill didn't prohibit racial discrimination ; and federal loan guarantees systematically excluded black home buyers and black neighborhoods. "I love Elizabeth, but those stories about the '50s drive me crazy," one black progressive said.

The critiques must have made their way to Warren. Ta-Nehisi Coates recently told The New Yorker that after his influential Atlantic essay "The Case for Reparations" appeared five years ago, the Massachusetts senator asked to meet with him. "She had read it. She was deeply serious, and she had questions." Now, when Warren talks about the New Deal, she is quick to mention the ways African Americans were shut out. Her fortunes on the campaign trail brightened after April's She the People forum in Houston, where she joined eight other candidates in talking to what the group's founder, Aimee Allison, calls "the real Democratic base": women of color, many from the South. California's Kamala Harris, only the second African-American woman ever elected to the US Senate, might have had the edge coming in, but Warren surprised the crowd. "She walked in to polite applause and walked out to a standing ovation," Allison said, after the candidate impressed the crowd with policies to address black maternal-health disparities, the black-white wealth gap, pay inequity, and more.



G Jutson says:

July 4, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Well here we are in the circular firing squad Obama warned us about. Sander's fan boys vs. Warren women. Sanders has been our voice in DC on the issues for a generation. He has changed the debate. Thank you Bernie. Now a Capitalist that wants to really reform it can be a viable candidate. Warren is that person. We supported Sanders last time to help us get to this stage. Time to pass the baton to someone that can beat Trump. After the Sept. debates I expect The Nation to endorse Warren and to still hear grumbling from those that think moving on from candidate Bernie somehow means unfaithfulness to his/our message .

Kenneth Viste says: June 27, 2019 at 5:52 am

I would like to hear her talk about free college as an investment in people rather than an expense. Educated people earn more and therefore pay more taxes than uneducated so it pays to educate the populous to the highest level possible.

Jim Dickinson says: June 26, 2019 at 7:11 pm

Warren gets it and IMO is probably the best Democratic candidate of the bunch. Biden does not get it and I get depressed seeing him poll above Warren with his tired corporate ideas from the past.

I have a different take on her not being progressive enough. Her progressive politics are grounded in reality and not in the pie in the sky dreams of Sanders, et al. The US is a massively regressive nation and proposing doing everything at once, including a total revamp of our healthcare system is simply unrealistic.

That was my problem with Sanders, who's ideas I agree with. There is no way in hell to make the US into a progressive dream in one election - NONE.

I too dream of a progressive US that most likely goes well beyond what most people envision. But I also have watched those dreams collapse many, many times in the past when we reach too far. I hope that we can make important but obtainable changes which might make the great unwashed masses see who cares about them and who does not.

I hope that she does well because she has a plan for many of the ills of this nation. The US could certainly use some coherent plans after the chaos and insanity of the Trump years. Arguing about who was the best Democratic candidate in 2016 helped put this schmuck in office and I hope that we don't go down that path again.

Caleb Melamed says: June 26, 2019 at 2:13 pm

I had a misunderstanding about one key aspect of Warren's political history. I had always thought that she was neutral in 2016 between Sanders and Hillary Clinton. On CNN this morning, a news clip showed that Warren in fact endorsed Hillary Clinton publicly, shouting "I'm with her," BEFORE Sanders withdrew from the race. This action had the effect of weakening Sanders' bargaining position vis a vis Clinton once he actually withdrew. Clinton proceeded to treat Sanders and his movement like a dish rag. I am now less ready to support Warren in any way.

Robert Andrews says: June 26, 2019 at 12:17 pm

I have three main reasons I do not want Senator Warren nominate which are:

Not going all out for a single payer healthcare system. This is a massive problem with Warren. With her starting out by moving certain groups to Medicare is sketchy at best. Which groups would be graced first? I am sure whoever is left behind will be thrilled. Is Warren going to expand Medicare so that supplemental coverages will not be needed anymore? Crying about going too far too fast is a losing attitude. You go after the most powerful lobby in the country full bore if you want any kind of real and lasting changes.

With Warren's positions and actions