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Demexit: Abandonment of Democratic party by working class and lower middle class due to "Clinton betrayal"

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

News Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite Recommended Links US Presidential Elections of 2016 Democratic Party Monday morning quarterbacking Superdelegates at Democratic National Convention 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 supernational trade treates DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders Populism 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 Anti-globalization movement 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 Albrigh 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 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.

The Democratic party became a neoliberal party of top 10% (may be top 20%), the party of bankers and white collar professionals. "Soft" neoliberals, to distinguish them from "hard" neoliberals (GOP).

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 turned into a party of neoliberal DemoRats and lost any connection with the majority of the USA population.

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

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

So 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.

All those hissy hits of Democrats (and subservant to neoliberals MSM; see, for example Krugman in NYT) after Hillary Clinton landmark defeat just reflect this fact.

The best article on this issue that so far I managed to find is Sophia A. McClennen article in Salon:

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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[Sep 16, 2018] Polling the Left Agenda -- Finally

Notable quotes:
"... there is strong support for egalitarian populist redistributive public policy. ..."
"... His positions against illegal immigration and free trade also beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was a very experienced and savvy politician but she was tied to NAFTA thru her husband. And the Democratic party's defense of allowing ANY foreigner to walk across our borders without ANY sort of background check whatsoever, and remain in the country, was a losing proposition. ..."
"... Labor unions can claw back the "missing 10%" of overall income that a unionless labor market has squeezed out of the bottom 40% of earners; raising the bottom 40% back to 20% income share -- through higher consumer prices at Target, Walgreen's, etc. ..."
"... if fast food can pay $15/hr with 33% (!) labor costs, Target('s consumers) can easily pay $20/hr with 12% labor costs and Walmart('s consumers) can easily pay $25/hr with 7% labor costs. ..."
"... Your description of Republicans is spot on. However, other than their maniacal obsession with divisive identity politics, Democrats are hardly much better given the that they ALSO kowtow to the Wall Street and the wealthy. Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt. ..."
"... In other words Dems lost their legitimacy, identify politics did not work this time as well as in the past. I would say that the whole neoliberal elite lost its legitimacy. That's why Russiagate was launched, and Neo-McCarthyism hysteria was launched by Podesta and friends to cement those cracks that divide the USA. ..."
"... The Dem Party became a grab bag of identity groups. But this election the dominant was anti-globalization discourse, and Dems suffered a humiliating defeat. With Republican Party grabbing the the tool they created. The collies of small town America led to collapse of Dems. ..."
"... People do vote against their economic interest ("What the matter with Kansas" situation). But the level of alienation of working and lower middle class is really extreme. The opioid epidemic is just one sign of this. So Trump election was just a middle finger to the neoliberal elite. ..."
"... We actually do not have left in the USA. Because there is no real discussion about neoliberalism and alternatives. Bernie called himself "democratic socialist'. Which was at least in sense transformational. But that's it. Bernie is not anti-war and anti-American empire. ..."
Aug 04, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

As should already be clear from existing polls ( click and search for "fair" ), there is strong support for egalitarian populist redistributive public policy.

At Data For Progress, they chose to emphasize the positive -- four proposals with overwhelming support, but I think it is just as striking that opinion is almost equally split on a top marginal income tax rate of 90% (2% more oppose than support) and universal basic income (2% more oppose than support).

In particular, a (very narrow) plurality of whites without a bachelors degree support a universal basic income. One way to summarize the results is that pundits' guesses about public opinion match the opinions of college educated whites (surprise surprise). That is the group least enthusiastic about universal basic income (by far) (OK I admit I am white and have university degrees so I should say "we are" but like hell i'm going to be classed with my fellow White American College educated opponents of UBI).


JimH , August 2, 2018 9:59 am

"The key question for Democrats (and the USA) is why did most of a group of people more of whom support than oppose UBI vote for Trump ? How can there be such a huge gap between bread and butter big dollar issue polling (where the median US adult is to the left of the mainstream of the Democratic Party) and voting ?"

During the Republican primaries, candidate Trump lost in the polls and won on the ballots. In the run up to the Republican convention, mainstream Republicans were searching for any way to deny the nomination to candidate Trump. (Without ruining the party.)

So candidate Trump was not a traditional mainstream Republican presidential candidate. Candidate Trump espoused most of the mainstream Republican party position. But what separated him from the pack were his positions on illegal immigration and free trade treaties. And Republican voters chose him.

His positions against illegal immigration and free trade also beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was a very experienced and savvy politician but she was tied to NAFTA thru her husband. And the Democratic party's defense of allowing ANY foreigner to walk across our borders without ANY sort of background check whatsoever, and remain in the country, was a losing proposition.

Candidate Clinton could have beaten any of the other Republican candidates.

Unbridled immigration into European countries has caused enough problems for the native born citizens that it has become a huge political issue. Angela Merkel successfully oversaw the uniting of east and west Germany. (A triumph!) But on immigration, her reach exceeded her grasp, she completely misunderstood the magnitude of the problem. And she is splitting the European Union.

Politicians in Europe and the United States speak of populism as if it was some sort of new influence. That voters have never been seen to vote their own interests! European and American voters have allowed their politicians almost a free rein for decades. They seemed to assume that the political class knew best. But that period is coming to an end.

Democrats can beat Republican candidates, but first they have to accept that politics is the art of the possible.

Denis Drew , August 2, 2018 10:22 am

There is a practical, doable way to re-institute American labor unions (to German density level) tomorrow.

Labor unions can claw back the "missing 10%" of overall income that a unionless labor market has squeezed out of the bottom 40% of earners; raising the bottom 40% back to 20% income share -- through higher consumer prices at Target, Walgreen's, etc.

No doubt about this: if fast food can pay $15/hr with 33% (!) labor costs, Target('s consumers) can easily pay $20/hr with 12% labor costs and Walmart('s consumers) can easily pay $25/hr with 7% labor costs.

Easy practical way to do this: amend the NLRA to mandate regularly scheduled cert elections at every private workplace (I would suggest one, three or five year cycles; local plurality rules).

Practical because no other way to rebuild American unions. Illegal (effective-penalty free) union busting disease has so permeated our labor market that there is no normal organizing going back. Even if we made union busting a felony, millions of businesspersons across the country could just say: "What are you going to do, put us all in jail?"

Tear a page from the Rebublican's union busting playbook -- skip over organizing -- skip right to elections on a regular basis:

Why Not Hold Union Representation Elections on a Regular Schedule?

Andrew Strom -- November 1st, 2017

"Republicans in Congress have already proposed a bill [Repub amend] that would require a new election in each unionized bargaining unit whenever, through turnover, expansion, or merger, a unit experiences at least 50 percent turnover. While no union would be happy about expending limited resources on regular retention elections, I think it would be hard to turn down a trade that would allow the 93% of workers who are unrepresented to have a chance to opt for unionization on a regular schedule."

https://onlabor.org/why-not-hold-union-representation-elections-on-a-regular-schedule

Wheels within wheels of poetic justice: a Democratic proposed labor market-make-over would corral a lot of blue collar voters (Obama voters, remember?) back into the Democratic win column – so we could pass said amendment in the first place.

Robert Kuttner recently pointed out that Dems can lean left economically as far as they please -- they will only pick up blue collar workers when they lean left economically.
http://prospect.org/article/yes-democrats-need-run-left-on-economics

All said, all you have to realize is that there is no other way back -- do this or do nothing forever.
Stealing a page from Scott Walker's playbook is "the" win-win-win issue.

Karl Kolchak , August 2, 2018 10:35 am

Your description of Republicans is spot on. However, other than their maniacal obsession with divisive identity politics, Democrats are hardly much better given the that they ALSO kowtow to the Wall Street and the wealthy. Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt.

EMichael, August 2, 2018 11:11 am

KK,

"To hold President Trump accountable, the Center for American Progress Action Fund's American Worker Project is tracking every action the president takes to weaken job protections for Americans.

Our list includes legislation and orders signed by the president; procedural changes and regulations enacted or proposed by his administration; and official statements of policy, such as the president's proposed budget. The list does not include political nominations and appointments of individuals with records of enacting anti-worker policies, since these actions happened outside their role in the administration."

https://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/economy/reports/2018/01/26/168366/president-trumps-policies-hurting-american-workers/

There are 36 so far.

urban legend , August 3, 2018 3:47 pm

"Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt."

That's the kind of bullshit that allowed Trump to sneak into office. The Democrats may not be your idea of pro-worker or anti-Wall Street, but the difference in voting on bread-and-butter issues between Republicans and Democrats is dramatic. On just one issue, with a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress, there is no doubt we already would have seen a minimum wage to at least $10 per hour. That's not sufficient, but it's almost 40% better than what the Republicans are happy with. Tell a family with two minimum wage workers that an extra $11,000 in their pockets is worthless!

We also would not have seen a Janus decision, because Gorsuch would not be on the Court.

We probably would have already had a public option added to ACA -- at least for people aged 50-64 without employer-provided insurance having the right to buy into Medicare. Consideration of a broader public option for everyone in the exchanges would be on the table, too, with very strong public support (and, therefore, likely passage).

That's just three issues. This pox-on-both-your houses is truly toxic. It's uninformed. Yes, it's deplorable.

likbez , August 4, 2018 12:30 am

"Neither major party represents working people–it just too bad that working people allow themselves to be forever divided by two corrupt political parties who view them with little but contempt."

That's the kind of bullshit that allowed Trump to sneak into office. The Democrats may not be your idea of pro-worker or anti-Wall Street, but the difference in voting on bread-and-butter issues between Republicans and Democrats is dramatic

This line of thinking is well known as "What the matter with Kansas" line. It is true that "That's allowed Trump to sneak into office."

But you ignored the fact that Democratic Party entered a profound crisis (aka "demexit" similar to Brexit) from which they still are unable to escape. Clinton ideas that workers do not have alternative and will vote for peanuts Dems are willing to give them stop working.

In other words Dems lost their legitimacy, identify politics did not work this time as well as in the past. I would say that the whole neoliberal elite lost its legitimacy. That's why Russiagate was launched, and Neo-McCarthyism hysteria was launched by Podesta and friends to cement those cracks that divide the USA.

The Dem Party became a grab bag of identity groups. But this election the dominant was anti-globalization discourse, and Dems suffered a humiliating defeat. With Republican Party grabbing the the tool they created. The collies of small town America led to collapse of Dems.

People do vote against their economic interest ("What the matter with Kansas" situation). But the level of alienation of working and lower middle class is really extreme. The opioid epidemic is just one sign of this. So Trump election was just a middle finger to the neoliberal elite.

We actually do not have left in the USA. Because there is no real discussion about neoliberalism and alternatives. Bernie called himself "democratic socialist'. Which was at least in sense transformational. But that's it. Bernie is not anti-war and anti-American empire.

Hillary was a traditional neocon warmonger, defender of the empire in foreign policy and corrupt to the core, greedy politician in domestic policy (in the pocket of Wall Street and special interests).

As somebody noted here:

The term Progressive is now so mutilated that it's no longer effective as an identifier of political affiliation. To be a real Progressive: one must be Anti-War, except in the most dire of circumstances, which includes being Anti-Imperialist/Anti-Empire; 2nd, one must be Pro-Justice as in promoting Rule of Law over all else; 3rd, one must be tolerant and willing to listen to others; and 4th, work for Win-Win outcomes and denounce Zero-sum as the smoke screen for increasing inequality.

[Sep 12, 2018] If You Read This Book, It'll Make You a Radical A Conversation with Thomas Frank by John Siman

Notable quotes:
"... "Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps ..."
"... And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory. ..."
Sep 11, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Thomas Frank's new collection of essays: Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society (Metropolitan Books 2018) and Listen, Liberal; or,Whatever Happened to the Party of the People? (ibid. 2016)

To hang out with Thomas Frank for a couple of hours is to be reminded that, going back to 1607, say, or to 1620, for a period of about three hundred and fifty years, the most archetypal of American characters was, arguably, the hard-working, earnest, self-controlled, dependable white Protestant guy, last presented without irony a generation or two -- or three -- ago in the television personas of men like Ward Cleaver and Mister Rogers.

Thomas Frank, who grew up in Kansas and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, who at age 53 has the vibe of a happy eager college nerd, not only glows with authentic Midwestern Nice (and sometimes his face turns red when he laughs, which is often), he actually lives in suburbia, just outside of D.C., in Bethesda, where, he told me, he takes pleasure in mowing the lawn and doing some auto repair and fixing dinner for his wife and two children. (Until I met him, I had always assumed it was impossible for a serious intellectual to live in suburbia and stay sane, but Thomas Frank has proven me quite wrong on this.)

Frank is sincerely worried about the possibility of offending friends and acquaintances by the topics he chooses to write about. He told me that he was a B oy Scout back in Kansas, but didn't make Eagle. He told me that he was perhaps a little too harsh on Hillary Clinton in his brilliantly perspicacious "Liberal Gilt [ sic ]" chapter at the end of Listen, Liberal . His piercing insight into and fascination with the moral rot and the hypocrisy that lies in the American soul brings, well, Nathaniel Hawthorne to mind, yet he refuses to say anything (and I tried so hard to bait him!) mean about anyone, no matter how culpable he or she is in the ongoing dissolving and crumbling and sinking -- all his metaphors -- of our society. And with such metaphors Frank describes the "one essential story" he is telling in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "This is what a society looks like when the glue that holds it together starts to dissolve. This is the way ordinary citizens react when they learn that the structure beneath them is crumbling. And this is the thrill that pulses through the veins of the well-to-do when they discover that there is no longer any limit on their power to accumulate" ( Thomas Frank in NYC on book tour https://youtu.be/DBNthCKtc1Y ).

And I believe that Frank's self-restraint, his refusal to indulge in bitter satire even as he parses our every national lie, makes him unique as social critic. "You will notice," he writes in the introduction to Rendezvous with Oblivion, "that I describe [these disasters] with a certain amount of levity. I do that because that's the only way to confront the issues of our time without sinking into debilitating gloom" (p. 8). And so rather than succumbing to an existential nausea, Frank descends into the abyss with a dependable flashlight and a ca. 1956 sitcom-dad chuckle.

"Let us linger over the perversity," he writes in "Why Millions of Ordinary Americans Support Donald Trump," one of the seventeen component essays in Rendezvous with Oblivion : "Let us linger over the perversity. Left parties the world over were founded to advance the fortunes of working people. But our left party in America -- one of our two monopoly parties -- chose long ago to turn its back on these people's concerns, making itself instead into the tribune of the enlightened professional class, a 'creative class' that makes innovative things like derivative securities and smartphone apps " (p. 178).

And it is his analysis of this "Creative Class" -- he usually refers to it as the "Liberal Class" and sometimes as the "Meritocratic Class" in Listen, Liberal (while Barbara Ehrenreich uses the term " Professional Managerial Class ,"and Matthew Stewart recently published an article entitled "The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy" in the Atlantic ) -- that makes it clear that Frank's work is a continuation of the profound sociological critique that goes back to Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) and, more recently, to Christopher Lasch's The Revolt of the Elites (1994).

Unlike Veblen and Lasch, however, Frank is able to deliver the harshest news without any hauteur or irascibility, but rather with a deftness and tranquillity of mind, for he is both in and of the Creative Class; he abides among those afflicted by the epidemic which he diagnoses: "Today we live in a world of predatory bankers, predatory educators, even predatory health care providers, all of them out for themselves . Liberalism itself has changed to accommodate its new constituents' technocratic views. Today, liberalism is the philosophy not of the sons of toil but of the 'knowledge economy' and, specifically, of the knowledge economy's winners: the Silicon Valley chieftains, the big university systems, and the Wall Street titans who gave so much to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign . They are a 'learning class' that truly gets the power of education. They are a 'creative class' that naturally rebels against fakeness and conformity. They are an ' innovation class ' that just can't stop coming up with awesome new stuff" ( Listen, Liberal , pp. 27-29).

And the real bad news is not that this Creative Class, this Expert Class, this Meritocratic Class, this Professional Class -- this Liberal Class, with all its techno-ecstasy and virtue-questing and unleashing of innovation -- is so deeply narcissistic and hypocritical, but rather that it is so self-interestedly parasitical and predatory.

The class that now runs the so-called Party of the People is impoverishing the people; the genius value-creators at Amazon and Google and Uber are Robber Barons, although, one must grant, hipper, cooler, and oh so much more innovative than their historical predecessors. "In reality," Frank writes in Listen, Liberal ,

.there is little new about this stuff except the software, the convenience, and the spying. Each of the innovations I have mentioned merely updates or digitizes some business strategy that Americans learned long ago to be wary of. Amazon updates the practices of Wal-Mart, for example, while Google has dusted off corporate behavior from the days of the Robber Barons. What Uber does has been compared to the every-man-for-himself hiring procedures of the pre-union shipping docks . Together, as Robert Reich has written, all these developments are 'the logical culmination of a process that began thirty years ago when corporations began turning over full-time jobs to temporary workers, independent contractors, free-lancers, and consultants.' This is atavism, not innovation . And if we keep going in this direction, it will one day reduce all of us to day laborers, standing around like the guys outside the local hardware store, hoping for work. (p. 215).

And who gets this message? The YouTube patriot/comedian Jimmy Dore, Chicago-born, ex-Catholic, son of a cop, does for one. "If you read this b ook, " Dore said while interviewing Frank back in January of 2017, "it'll make y ou a radical" (Frank Interview Part 4 https://youtu.be/JONbGkQaq8Q ).

But to what extent, on the other hand, is Frank being actively excluded from our elite media outlets? He's certainly not on TV or radio or in print as much as he used to be. So is he a prophet without honor in his own country? Frank, of course, is too self-restrained to speculate about the motives of these Creative Class decision-makers and influencers. "But it is ironic and worth mentioning," he told me, "that most of my writing for the last few years has been in a British publication, The Guardian and (in translation) in Le Monde Diplomatique . The way to put it, I think, is to describe me as an ex-pundit."

Frank was, nevertheless, happy to tell me in vivid detail about how his most fundamental observation about America, viz. that the Party of the People has become hostile to the people , was for years effectively discredited in the Creative Class media -- among the bien-pensants , that is -- and about what he learned from their denialism.

JS: Going all the way back to your 2004 book What's the Matter with Kansas? -- I just looked at Larry Bartels's attack on it, "What's the Matter with What's the Matter with Kansas?" -- and I saw that his first objection to your book was, Well, Thomas Frank says the working class is alienated from the Democrats, but I have the math to show that that's false. How out of touch does that sound now?

TCF: [laughs merrily] I know.

JS: I remember at the time that was considered a serious objection to your thesis.

TCF: Yeah. Well, he was a professor at Princeton. And he had numbers. So it looked real. And I actually wrote a response to that in which I pointed out that there were other statistical ways of looking at it, and he had chosen the one that makes his point.

JS: Well, what did Mark Twain say?

TCF: Mark Twain?

JS: There are lies, damned lies --

TCF: [laughs merrily] -- and statistics! Yeah. Well, anyhow, Bartels's take became the common sense of the highly educated -- there needs to be a term for these people by the way, in France they're called the bien-pensants -- the "right-thinking," the people who read The Atlantic, The New York Times op-ed page, The Washington Post op-ed page, and who all agree with each other on everything -- there's this tight little circle of unanimity. And they all agreed that Bartels was right about that, and that was a costly mistake. For example, Paul Krugman, a guy whom I admire in a lot of ways, he referenced this four or five times. He agreed with it . No, the Democrats are not losing the white working class outside the South -- they were not going over to the Republicans. The suggestion was that there is nothing to worry about. Yes. And there were people saying this right up to the 2016 election. But it was a mistake.

JS: I remember being perplexed at the time. I had thought you had written this brilliant book, and you weren't being taken seriously -- because somebody at Princeton had run some software -- as if that had proven you wrong.

TCF: Yeah, that's correct . That was a very widespread take on it. And Bartels was incorrect, and I am right, and [laughs merrily] that's that.

JS: So do you think Russiagate is a way of saying, Oh no no no no, Hillary didn't really lose?

TCF: Well, she did win the popular vote -- but there's a whole set of pathologies out there right now that all stem from Hillary Denialism. And I don't want to say that Russiagate is one of them, because we don't know the answer to that yet.

JS: Um, ok.

TCF: Well, there are all kinds of questionable reactions to 2016 out there, and what they all have in common is the faith that Democrats did nothing wrong. For example, this same circle of the bien-pensants have decided that the only acceptable explanation for Trump's victory is the racism of his supporters. Racism can be the only explanation for the behavior of Trump voters. But that just seems odd to me because, while it's true of course that there's lots of racism in this country, and while Trump is clearly a bigot and clearly won the bigot vote, racism is just one of several factors that went into what happened in 2016. Those who focus on this as the only possible answer are implying that all Trump voters are irredeemable, lost forever.

And it comes back to the same point that was made by all those people who denied what was happening with the white working class, which is: The Democratic Party needs to do nothing differently . All the post-election arguments come back to this same point. So a couple years ago they were saying about the white working class -- we don't have to worry about them -- they're not leaving the Democratic Party, they're totally loyal, especially in the northern states, or whatever the hell it was. And now they say, well, Those people are racists, and therefore they're lost to us forever. What is the common theme of these two arguments? It's always that there's nothing the Democratic Party needs to do differently. First, you haven't lost them; now you have lost them and they're irretrievable: Either way -- you see what I'm getting at? -- you don't have to do anything differently to win them.

JS: Yes, I do.

TCF: The argument in What's the Matter with Kansas? was that this is a long-term process, the movement of the white working class away from the Democratic Party. This has been going on for a long time. It begins in the '60s, and the response of the Democrats by and large has been to mock those people, deride those people, and to move away from organized labor, to move away from class issues -- working class issues -- and so their response has been to make this situation worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse, and it gets worse! And there's really no excuse for them not seeing it. But they say, believe, rationalize, you know, come up with anything that gets then off the hook for this, that allows them to ignore this change. Anything. They will say or believe whatever it takes.

JS: Yes.

TCF: By the way, these are the smartest people! These are tenured professors at Ivy League institutions, these are people with Nobel Prizes, people with foundation grants, people with, you know, chairs at prestigious universities, people who work at our most prestigious media outlets -- that's who's wrong about all this stuff.

JS: [quoting the title of David Halberstam's 1972 book, an excerpt from which Frank uses as an epigraph for Listen, Liberal ] The best and the brightest!

TCF: [laughing merrily] Exactly. Isn't it fascinating?

JS: But this gets to the irony of the thing. [locates highlighted passage in book] I'm going to ask you one of the questions you ask in Rendezvous with Oblivion: "Why are worshippers of competence so often incompetent?" (p. 165). That's a huge question.

TCF: That's one of the big mysteries. Look. Take a step back. I had met Barack Obama. He was a professor at the University of Chicago, and I'd been a student there. And he was super smart. Anyhow, I met him and was really impressed by him. All the liberals in Hyde Park -- that's the neighborhood we lived in -- loved him, and I was one of them, and I loved him too. And I was so happy when he got elected.

Anyhow, I knew one thing he would do for sure, and that is he would end the reign of cronyism and incompetence that marked the Bush administration and before them the Reagan administration. These were administrations that actively promoted incompetent people. And I knew Obama wouldn't do that, and I knew Obama would bring in the smartest people, and he'd get the best economists. Remember, when he got elected we were in the pit of the crisis -- we were at this terrible moment -- and here comes exactly the right man to solve the problem. He did exactly what I just described: He brought in [pause] Larry Summers, the former president of Harvard, considered the greatest economist of his generation -- and, you know, go down the list: He had Nobel Prize winners, he had people who'd won genius grants, he had The Best and the Brightest . And they didn't really deal with the problem. They let the Wall Street perpetrators off the hook -- in a catastrophic way, I would argue. They come up with a health care system that was half-baked. Anyhow, the question becomes -- after watching the great disappointments of the Obama years -- the question becomes: Why did government-by-expert fail?

JS: So how did this happen? Why?

TCF: The answer is understanding experts not as individual geniuses but as members of a class . This is the great missing link in all of our talk about expertise. Experts aren't just experts: They are members of a class. And they act like a class. They have loyalty to one another; they have a disdain for others, people who aren't like them, who they perceive as being lower than them, and there's this whole hierarchy of status that they are at the pinnacle of.

And once you understand this, then everything falls into place! So why did they let the Wall Street bankers off the hook? Because these people were them. These people are their peers. Why did they refuse to do what obviously needed to be done with the health care system? Because they didn't want to do that to their friends in Big Pharma. Why didn't Obama get tough with Google and Facebook? They obviously have this kind of scary monopoly power that we haven't seen in a long time. Instead, he brought them into the White House, he identified with them. Again, it's the same thing. Once you understand this, you say: Wait a minute -- so the Democratic Party is a vehicle of this particular social class! It all makes sense. And all of a sudden all of these screw-ups make sense. And, you know, all of their rhetoric makes sense. And the way they treat working class people makes sense. And they way they treat so many other demographic groups makes sense -- all of the old-time elements of the Democratic Party: unions, minorities, et cetera. They all get to ride in back. It's the professionals -- you know, the professional class -- that sits up front and has its hands on the steering wheel.

* * *

It is, given Frank's persona, not surprising that he is able to conclude Listen, Liberal with a certain hopefulness, and so let me end by quoting some of his final words:

What I saw in Kansas eleven years ago is now everywhere . It is time to face the obvious: that the direction the Democrats have chosen to follow for the last few decades has been a failure for both the nation and for their own partisan health . The Democrats posture as the 'party of the people' even as they dedicate themselves ever more resolutely to serving and glorifying the professional class. Worse: they combine self-righteousness and class privilege in a way that Americans find stomach-turning . The Democrats have no interest in reforming themselves in a more egalitarian way . What we can do is strip away the Democrats' precious sense of their own moral probity -- to make liberals live without the comforting knowledge that righteousness is always on their side . Once that smooth, seamless sense of liberal virtue has been cracked, anything becomes possible. (pp. 256-257).

[Sep 07, 2018] Left, Right, and Dead Center by Andrew Levine

Notable quotes:
"... When the center does fail to hold, it is usually in periods of political and perhaps also social upheaval. In those conditions, centrist parties, along with the constituencies they represent, often radicalize – generally merging into the side that wins the day. ..."
"... The jury is still out on how effective Trump's verbal assaults on the institutions that regulate global trade will be. No matter what Trump says, tweets, or thinks, those institutions were fashioned to work to America's advantage, and still generally do. Evidently, though, they do not conform well enough to his or his base's understanding of American "greatness"; thus they have become imperiled. ..."
"... It wasn't always so, but nowadays, almost without exception, Democrats occupy left or center positions on that spectrum; Republicans line up on its right. In a relational sense, the center is replete with Democrats; the left not so much. Centrist Republicans, long a vanishing breed, are, by now, as rare as snowstorms in July. ..."
"... In this respect, the United States is an exceptional case. There are few, if any, liberal democratic regimes in modern capitalist states in which notionally leftwing political forces have played such a negligible role. ..."
"... s was evident in the Clinton campaign's efforts to fight back the Sanders insurgency in 2016, it has forged robust political machines in the process. Their ability to mobilize voters on behalf of mainstream Democratic candidates has been disappointing however; what they have been mainly good at is tamping down radical dissent. ..."
"... Thus conditions are now in place for a revival of Left politics at the electoral level. This frightens the party's leaders. They and the pundits who serve them speak of unity. But is plain as can be that they are determined to quash whatever they cannot turn to their own advantage. Corporate media's role in this endeavor is crucial. They are already hard at work – pushing the all-too-familiar line that the way to win, especially in "red" states and districts, is to occupy the (relational) center. ..."
"... That center in today's Democratic Party is a dead center; it is where progressive impulses go to die. And, like a vampire on a mission, that dead center is gearing up for a fight – against those who would challenge the Democratic Party from the left. Witness the weeklong spectacle that accompanied the departure of John McCain from the land of the living. What a nauseating display of veneration for a man supremely unworthy, and of nostalgia for the good old (actually bad old) pre-Trump days! ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

When the center does fail to hold, it is usually in periods of political and perhaps also social upheaval. In those conditions, centrist parties, along with the constituencies they represent, often radicalize – generally merging into the side that wins the day.

Thus it is mainly in situations in which the regime itself is undergoing fundamental transformations that the center is depleted of its former occupants. In time, though, a new mainstream is constituted, and its center again becomes the point on the left/right continuum where the majority of positions and policies in play at the time cluster.

***

To everyone living through it, it feels as if the Trump presidency has turned the political scene topsy-turvy. This is what happens when there is an imbecilic president whose governing style is a low-grade imitation of a mob boss's.

The fact is, though, that the Trump presidency, destructive as it has been, has changed a good deal less than meets the eye. The foundations of the regime remain the same as before; fundamental neoliberal economic structures remain intact, and the perpetual war regime that went into overdrive after 9/11 continues to flourish.

The jury is still out on how effective Trump's verbal assaults on the institutions that regulate global trade will be. No matter what Trump says, tweets, or thinks, those institutions were fashioned to work to America's advantage, and still generally do. Evidently, though, they do not conform well enough to his or his base's understanding of American "greatness"; thus they have become imperiled.

What is disturbingly clear is that for all but the filthy rich, and especially for anyone not white as the driven snow, life in Trump's America has taken a turn for the worse.

Trump has been a godsend for "white nationalists," the current euphemism for nativists and racists. He has legitimated them and their views to an extent that no one would have imagined just a few years ago.

Also, to the detriment of the health and well being of the vast majority of Americans, Trump and his minions have done serious harm to America's feeble welfare state institutions.

And even this is not the main reason why there will be hell to pay when the next economic downturn happens, as it inevitably will, more likely sooner than later. By giving Wall Street free rein again, and by cutting taxes for the rich, depleting the treasury of financial resources that could be put to use in a crisis, Trump has all but guaranteed that most Americans will soon find themselves in straits as bad or worse than ten years ago.

Worst of all, by watering down or setting aside the weak but nevertheless indispensible environmental regulations in place before their arrival on the scene, Trump has hastened the day when the world will be hit with, and perhaps be undone by, grave, possibly irreparable, ecological catastrophes.

There are many other lesser harms for which, directly or indirectly, Trump is responsible. This is all serious stuff, but while they make life worse for many people and shift the political spectrum to the right, they do not shake the foundations of the regime in a way that puts the center in jeopardy -- at least not yet.

In short, what we are living through is not a Trumpian "revolution," not even in the "Reagan Revolution" sense, but a degeneration of much of what is worth preserving in the old regime. Trump didn't start the process, but he has come to dominate it, and his mindless and mean spirited antics accelerate it.

***

If "left," "right," and "center" are understood in relational terms, American politics plainly does have a left, right, and center. These designations overlay the deeply entrenched, semi-established duopoly party system that structures the American political scene.

It wasn't always so, but nowadays, almost without exception, Democrats occupy left or center positions on that spectrum; Republicans line up on its right. In a relational sense, the center is replete with Democrats; the left not so much. Centrist Republicans, long a vanishing breed, are, by now, as rare as snowstorms in July.

Understood notionally, where "left," "right," and "center" designate positions on an historically evolving, widely understood, ideal political spectrum, the situation is much the same, but with a major difference: there is hardly any left at all.

There have always been plenty of (notional) leftists in the United States, but there has never been much of an intersection between the left of the political spectrum, understood relationally, and anything resembling a notional Left.

In this respect, the United States is an exceptional case. There are few, if any, liberal democratic regimes in modern capitalist states in which notionally leftwing political forces have played such a negligible role.

This unfortunate state of affairs has become worse in recent decades under the aegis of (notionally) center-right Democrats like the Clintons and their co-thinkers. Thanks to them, the Democratic Party today is a (notionally) centrist party through and through.

They succeeded as well as they did partly because our party system stifles progressive politics more effectively than it is stifled in other ways in other liberal democracies.

The duopoly is still going strong, but, even so, times change. Largely thanks to Trump, there are now inklings of a notional Left in formation that stands a chance of avoiding marginalization.

Thus Democrats all along the (relational) spectrum now consider themselves embattled, challenged from the Left by anti-Trump militants. Many of the challengers come from under-represented, Democratic-leaning constituencies – the young, women, and "persons of color" – with traditionally low levels of political participation. In view of the abundant, well meaning but generally toothless "diversity" blather for which Democrats are notorious, this is delightfully ironic.

The challengers include African Americans, of course, but also people drawn from sectors of the population that Trump has targeted and demeaned with particular malice -- Hispanics and Muslims especially.

The Democratic Party has been actively courting – and colonizing – African American and other subaltern constituencies for a long time. A s was evident in the Clinton campaign's efforts to fight back the Sanders insurgency in 2016, it has forged robust political machines in the process. Their ability to mobilize voters on behalf of mainstream Democratic candidates has been disappointing however; what they have been mainly good at is tamping down radical dissent.

But because race and ethnicity intersect with age and gender – and because, in the final analysis, "it's the politics, stupid" -- many of the African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims and others now being drawn into the electoral fold will likely not be as amenable to being coopted by Democratic Party grandees as persons who "look like them" have been in the past. The danger of cooptation remains formidable, but it is almost certainly surmountable if the will to resist the pressure is strong.

Thus conditions are now in place for a revival of Left politics at the electoral level. This frightens the party's leaders. They and the pundits who serve them speak of unity. But is plain as can be that they are determined to quash whatever they cannot turn to their own advantage. Corporate media's role in this endeavor is crucial. They are already hard at work – pushing the all-too-familiar line that the way to win, especially in "red" states and districts, is to occupy the (relational) center.

In this context, "red," of course, doesn't mean red; it means almost the opposite, Republican. Only in America!

... ... ...

What passes for a "resistance" in liberal or "democratic socialist" circles nowadays is a pale approximation of the genuine article. This is not just because the spirit of rebellion has been bred out of us or because of any failure of imagination; it is because in the circumstances that currently obtain, resistance, like "revolution," even in the anodyne "Our Revolution" sense, just isn't on the agenda.

But there is something now that can and should be resisted by any and all appropriate means – the illusion that the way to defeat Trump and Trumpism and, more generally, to advance progressive causes, is to tack to the relational center.

That center in today's Democratic Party is a dead center; it is where progressive impulses go to die. And, like a vampire on a mission, that dead center is gearing up for a fight – against those who would challenge the Democratic Party from the left. Witness the weeklong spectacle that accompanied the departure of John McCain from the land of the living. What a nauseating display of veneration for a man supremely unworthy, and of nostalgia for the good old (actually bad old) pre-Trump days!

How pathetic! The whole country's, not just the Democratic Party's, left, right, and center – minus Donald Trump, of course -- heaping praise on a Navy pilot who, heeding McCain family traditions and the call of Lyndon Johnson, killed a lot of Vietnamese peasants for no defensible reason, before becoming a "hero" after the Vietnamese shot his plane down, and who, after repatriation, embarked on a legislative career in which, despite a few "maverick" exceptions, he promoted every retrograde Republican cause that arose, war mongered vociferously at every opportunity, and did all he could, even before Hillary Clinton took a notion, to get the Cold War revved up again.

They were all there, every rotten one of them -- from Barack Obama and Joe Biden and, their brother-in-arms, George W. Bush, the man who, but for Trump, could now boast of being the worst president in modern times, all the way to the decrepit Henry Kissinger, the never to be indicted war criminal whom liberals have learned to stop loathing and to call upon for advice instead.

Even that malevolent airhead couple Jarvanka showed up, invited, it seems, by Senator Lindsey Graham, McCain's hapless sidekick. This was no popular front. It was a festival of the dead Center, a blight on the political landscape, and, with Trump sucking up all the air, a harbinger of things to come.

Resist that!

[Sep 07, 2018] You elect Clinton she will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex. You elect trump he will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex

Sep 07, 2018 | politics.slashdot.org

Anonymous Coward , Friday September 07, 2018 @11:07AM ( #57269142 )

only after clinton stole from Bernie ( Score: 1 )

Either way its THE SYSTEM that's at fault. EITHER ONE WAS DESTINED TO BE THE WORST PRESIDENT OF THE USA.

You elect Clinton she will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex. You elect trump he will go onto be a pig at the trough of the military industrial complex.

Russia is unimportant to the outcome of the election. Mountains of collusion with Cambridge Analytics, Israel, Oligarchs in the USA like Robert Mercer. Facebook is subservient to the US military industrial complex now anyway, a few meme's here and there don't swing an election its utter bulls**t.

Then that empirically pales in comparison to a president (Obama) that did nothing for the middle class except destroy it with junk economics after the GFC in 2008. Lethargic voters who voted obama 2 times and got nothing didnt bother to turn up on election day there's the empirical cause effect of trump winning.

DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) , Friday September 07, 2018 @11:13AM ( #57269180 ) Homepage
Hillary wanted a no-fly zone over Syria ( Score: 2 )

Remember the debates? Hillary was firm in wanting a no-fly zone in Syria. This would have led to direct conflict between USAF and Russian AF. It could have easily broken out into a big shooting war. Heck, I get the idea that a lot of people in DC (the unelected government, so-called deep state) would have greatly desired that. World War II hero and former U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) once observed, in a different context: "There exists a shadowy government with ... its own fundraising mechanism." [danielkino...titute.org]

Also remember, just before the inauguration, that US armored brigade landed and the jokes wrote themselves? Obama just sent tanks into Poland, that sort of thing. They then traveled to the Russian border? That was Hillary's big stick. Plant a bunch of troops near them and then start shit in Syria. But she wasn't elected, and they just did some training and then left. Peace broke out instead.

TimMD909 ( 260285 ) , Friday September 07, 2018 @11:13AM ( #57269184 ) Homepage
2 years later... ( Score: 3 , Insightful)

... And there's still a ridiculous amount of derangement. Hilldog was a bad candidate who few outside the neocons liked. She was caught meddling in her own party's process to boot Bernie. She tried pretending that destroying evidence on her personal email server was an innocent mistake. Worst of all, she pretended to be a saint when she is definitely not. That wolf in sheeps clothing never sat well with me. Look up Hitchens thoughts on her for more things to be unsettled about. Now 2 years later, uncountable hours have gone into trying to shift the blame. When will the Dems admit it was a mistake to have her as the candidate?

grasshoppa ( 657393 ) writes: < {skennedy} {at} {tpno-co.org} > on Friday September 07, 2018 @12:38PM ( #57269866 ) Homepage
What weakened Clinton? ( Score: 1 )

Was anything released incorrect? Were the emails false, for instance? Was her insulting a sizable portion of the country Russia's doing? Was Russia behind her corrupting the DNC primary process?

Is Russia's biggest crime, in fact, that it did the job the media might have done in past generations? Today's media was all about helping Clinton to the presidency by almost any means necessary, and let me tell you; ironically that hurt Clinton more than it helped.

Trump just happened to be in the right place at the right time, with the right attitude to get the job ( loud, amoral and full of shit ).

[Sep 01, 2018] ZERO CHOICE OFFERED TO VOTERS DURING US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Notable quotes:
"... "The Russia Hoax Theme Got Started As a Dirty Trick by Hillary's 2016 Campaign ..."
"... "The seed was planted and significant parts of the American voting public noticed, particularly those who believed that Hillary Clinton had the God-given right to take control of the Oval Office. One way or another, Team Hillary was going to cram the Russian narrative down our collective throats." ..."
Sep 01, 2018 | chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

"The Russia Hoax Theme Got Started As a Dirty Trick by Hillary's 2016 Campaign

"The seed was planted and significant parts of the American voting public noticed, particularly those who believed that Hillary Clinton had the God-given right to take control of the Oval Office. One way or another, Team Hillary was going to cram the Russian narrative down our collective throats."

No question, the woman fits the description "evil," but that sure doesn't make Trump a saint by comparison.

America's tragedy – one shared by the entire world – is that this is the kind of choice American voters get, a Hillary Clinton or a Donald Trump.

No matter who wins or loses each American presidential election, the people in general lose and the establishment wins.

And right now, the American establishment likes and embraces the Clinton nonsense about Russia. It serves its current purposes. Actually, it wasn't truly Clinton's own nonsense. She was definitely feeding off a pre-existing set of attitudes in her Washington set.

So, it is more threatening than just a residual from an election campaign.

[Aug 27, 2018] Superficial differences between Dems and Republicans begs the question -- who is (and has been since the 1940s) setting US policy? If we, the voters, cannot alter or change our national policies, then democratic oversight of the Republic is nothing but a sham

Aug 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

Spanky , says: June 8, 2018 at 6:04 pm GMT

Sorry Mike, what do you mean by saying the goal is to "create a center-right" Democratic Party? The Clinton's accomplished this in the 1990s -- what we have here is a full scale enfoldment of the Dems into the National Security State

Not that it matters much -- both Republicans and Democrats have been on the same page for a few decades now (since the 1940s IMHO). Inter-party politics don't matter much, except insofar as the voting public can be conned into supporting one or the other, because no matter which party holds the Congress or Presidency the same Deep State agenda is their top priority.

Why? It's simple really -- money. Big campaign donors expect "value" in return for their "political contributions". And if value isn't had for their money, the Deep State's intelligence community can usually dig up something "useful" in the offender's background to "persuade" him or her to support the current bipartisan agenda

If it's really true that to find out who has power, just take note of whom is above criticism, perhaps we ought to consider that Rockefeller and JPMorgan money founded the CFR in 1921 and it took root and bloomed in government "service" during and after WWII.

If you doubt the CFR's power as the Deep State personified, I suggest reading historian Quigley's Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time and sociologist Tom Dye's Who Is Running America series.

Paraphrasing Quigley, writing when Bill Clinton was his student at Georgetown, the two parties should be as alike as two sides of a coin so that voters can "throw the rascals out" in any election without significantly changing governmental priorities and policies because the policies the US is and ought be pursuing are not subject to significant dispute (or at the least not by the voting public).

Which begs the question -- who is (and has been since the 1940s) setting US policy? If we, the voters, cannot alter or change our national policies, then democratic oversight of the Republic is nothing but a sham. The US is, in this view, just another Banana Republic which Tom Dye ably documents from Watergate to Shrub's administration.

exiled off mainstreet , says: June 9, 2018 at 4:36 am GMT

The two party "uniparty" is alive and well. In fact, while the party's supporters still may include self- described "leftists" the party itself has gone further right than the traditionally rightwing GOP. The dual party structure relies on the "Democrats" to gut "entitlements", that is Social Security or Medicare.

It was the "Democrats" who put in Obamacare, which mandated people to spend an arm and a leg on crappy medical insurance the cost of which was massively inflated which they could only use when they had spent way more than average on medical bills. Meanwhile it was the democrats' harpy candidate who proposed a no-fly zone in Syria on behalf of raghead mercenaries hired by the yankee imperium.

While Trump has largely caved in to the deep state, in part perhaps because of the pressure applied by the phony deep state witch hunt taking over the "justice" department of the yankee regime, we know what the democrats, exponents of the fraudulent "Russia-gate" stories, now espouse: a new cold war far more dangerous than the old one.

Meanwhile, the commercial media in the US and satellite countries, has degenerated into a Goebbels-like propaganda apparat. Trump's clumsiness actually may have the accidental salutary effect of enabling the satellite countries to slip the yankee leash, at least to some extent.

The situation brought about by this unprecedented two faction version of fascism is profoundly depressing, in addition to being seriously dangerous.

Harbinger , says: June 9, 2018 at 12:52 pm GMT

Why is this article entitled: "Dems Put Finishing Touches on One-Party 'Surveillance Superstate'"
This website seems to have articles that show their authors are awake and yet, this article shows quite the opposite. Who today, with the slightest modicum of common sense, who has made the effort in understanding how the system works, still plays the left-right paradigm, Hegelian Dialectic, political game nonsense?
I mean, let's get real here; the Democrats and the Republicans, like their UK counterparts of Labour and Conservative are merely wings on the same bird, ultimately flying to a destination. Both parties are taking the USA towards a one-party, surveillance, super state. You do not enter American politics unless you bow to Zionism and International Jewry. Unless you show 100% support to Israel then forget a career in politics.

Incidentally, to many who may have heard of her; the new luvey of the conservatives is none other than black, Candace Owens, who is better known as Red Pill Black. She has been this new voice who has entered into the 'alternative right', itself nothing more than controlled opposition, speaking out against feminism, white privilege, rape culture, transgender culture etc etc and has gained a large following. Other than being a complete fraud, as information has appeared that she tried to launch a 'doxing' website, targeting youngsters, she has appeared at the opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem:

https://www.bizpacreview.com/2018/05/14/candace-owens-not-a-single-elected-democrat-is-here-to-celebrate-this-historic-event-in-jerusalem-634472

Why on earth, would some nobody, who has had an incredibly fast rise on YouTube (most certainly her subscriber base and video view has been doctored) and more so a black conservative, be invited to attend the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem? Bottom line? She's being groomed for a career in politics and I wouldn't be surprised if they wheel her out, some time in the future, as a presidential hopeful to capture the black vote in the USA.
Again, this is controlled opposition.

You never vote in a new party in politics. You vote out the old one. 326 million is the population of the USA and there are only two political parties? Are you serious? It's bad enough, here in the UK with three (liberal party along with Labour and Conservative), with a 66 million population but only two in the USA?

Both parties are heavily controlled.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has been putting presidents into power now for over a hundred years. The CFR is the sister organization of the Royal Institute for International Affairs, which has been doing the same, here in the UK for the same time. All politicians are groomed from an early age, taught how to avoid answering any question directly, how to lie and of course who their masters are. By implementing their wishes, politicians are then granted a seat on some board, within some multi conglomerate, a six figure salary, a fat pension on top of their political one and of course umpteen houses spread across wherever. Blair and Obama epitomize this.

Both political parties are left wing, hiding under the right wing and classic liberal monikers.

[Aug 27, 2018] Jimmy Dore rightly states they are CIA funded campaigns of Dems candidates

Notable quotes:
"... Democrats are proceeding down a dark path: identity politics brings only conflict, civil war. ..."
"... Anybody who trusts the Democrats to save us from the evil machinations of the Neocons is as hopelessly stupid as anyone who trusts the Neocons to save us from the evil machinations of the Democrats. ..."
"... These new Democrats will never vote for less spending. There previous career was based on having abundant and in some cases unlimited Federal funds at their fingertips. ..."
Aug 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

Carlton Meyer , says: Website June 8, 2018 at 4:15 am GMT

Jimmy Dore covered this topic a few weeks ago. He rightly states they are CIA funded campaigns.

Eagle Eye , says: June 8, 2018 at 5:03 am GMT

Would it have killed you to link to the WSWS.org pieces you quote from at some length?

Patrick Martin's piece is here: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/06/07/prim-j07.html

Ron Unz has linked to WSWS.org several times in the past as WSWS was targeted by the Deep State/Google etc. cabal to make it disappear into the "memory hole."

Mishra , says: June 8, 2018 at 5:55 am GMT
@SunBakedSuburb

The only activism I've seen from progressives in the past two years has nothing to do with economic concerns; their energy is entirely focused on race, gender, and sexuality. The cultural-Marxist troika.

Just one of many good point you make. The only thing I'd add is in relation to:

Democrats are proceeding down a dark path: identity politics brings only conflict, civil war.

As Reg mentions: conflict among the masses is very much the plan. Divide et impera.

Biff , says: June 8, 2018 at 7:21 am GMT

And my stupid [neo]liberal friends still think the democrats are going to save them, and then on to super – duper – special stupid, they think their vote for a democrat is going to have an impact. On to ludicrous stupid – it's all the republicans fault. Identity politics at its finest.

Unfixable, and circling the drain.

The Alarmist, June 8, 2018 at 11:03 am GMT • 100 Words

"Center-right" and "business oriented?"

Try Oligarch-centric.

There is a story, perhaps apocryphal, from the fall of Constantinople: Sultan Mehmed II rounded up the surviving oligarchs of the Empire and asked them why they had withheld their riches and resources from supporting the Empire's final defense against his conquest, to which the oligarchs replied that they were saving their riches for his most excellent majesty. He had them brutally executed.

Jake, June 8, 2018 at 11:13 am GMT

Anybody who trusts the Democrats to save us from the evil machinations of the Neocons is as hopelessly stupid as anyone who trusts the Neocons to save us from the evil machinations of the Democrats.

DESERT FOX, June 8, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT

At the upper levels there is no difference between the Demonrats and the Republicons as all are controlled by the Zionists and congress would by more accurately called the lower house of the Knesset..

prusmc, June 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm GMT • 100 Words

@anon

These new Democrats will never vote for less spending. There previous career was based on having abundant and in some cases unlimited Federal funds at their fingertips.

It is a mistake to think they will be any different than Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee, Jerold Nadler or Luis Guitirez. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is about a unconventional as we can expect the new congressional majority members to be.

jacques sheete, June 8, 2018 at 1:44 pm GMT

@Anon
The ultra rich use the poor to attack the middle so they can distract everyone else from uniting

That, in fact, is the practical aim of government in general. Parties, schmarties it's all one huge extortion racket.

[Aug 25, 2018] Democrats Strip Superdelegates of Voting Power

Aug 25, 2018 | therealnews.com

The Democrats' progressive wing claimed victory on Saturday after 'Superdelegates' lost the ability to vote on the first ballot of the party's nomination process

[Aug 23, 2018] What The Party 'Strategists' Say Is Not What The Voters Want

Degeneration os social democratic parties into soft neoliberals is a world wide tendency. That spell troubles for them as they lost their key constituency. The level of corruption within the party elite is staggering (exemplified by Clintons and Obama). The "Democratic" Party is completely captured by FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate)
If this assessment has some connection to reality Dems will be unable to improve their position during the US mid-term elections.
At the same time idea that "proletariat" is capable organizing resistance and winning th election enforcing favorable for them changes proved to be wrong. Most positive changes of the New Deal/fair Deal were forced concessions in face of the possibility of open armed revolt. Now with the dissolution of the USSR this possibility is discounted by the ruling neoliberal elite.
Also we face the end of "cheap oil" and that means that standard of living of working class will continue to deteriorate.
The future is really grim...
Notable quotes:
"... Most social-democratic parties in Europe have the same problem the U.S. Democrats have. The party establishments angle for the ever elusive 'liberal' center. ..."
"... This phenomenon is the micro version of a much larger trend. [neo]Liberal globalization, as promoted by the party 'elites', promises but does not deliver what the real people need and want. [neo]Liberal globalization turned out to be a class war in which only the rich can win. A revolt, locally on the level of voters, and globally on the level of nations, is underway to regain a different view. ..."
"... Wages rise when companies have to compete for workers. Immigration increases the available work force. A political program that supports both does not compute. ..."
"... Neither LGBTXYZ identity policies nor other aloof 'liberal values' will increase the income of the poor. To win back the necessary masses the Democrats and social-democrats in Europe will have to shun, or at least de-emphasize such parts of their program. It's a class war. The rich are winning. Fight. ..."
"... your last sentence is right on target. It's been a class war for many decades. Most of the Dems have been playing "good cop, bad cop" for many years now. They talk progressive, but in the end they opt for the rich man's money. ..."
"... At present, the oligarchs own everything in the U$A. Giant corporate interests own the Govt., the Media, & the voting systems. No matter the good intentions of a few, if the people don't hear it or see it, it never happened. ..."
"... "The progressive Democrats...." Uh-oh! No such thing. "Working people understand this and in 2016 many of them voted for Trump." God...German working people also understand this and voted for Hitler or, rather for the Nazis. ..."
"... I think Marx call it "Dictatorship of the bourgeoisie" ..."
"... The western fiat faction requires perpetually increasing inputs of capital, commodities and labor - labor population must increase or the debt ponzi falls. Thus, as long as we have declining birthrates in the West, immigration will continue regardless of what the peasants want... ..."
"... I agree that it is a class war, but it is one we have already lost. We are at the end of the oil era, yet our financial economic system requires perpetual growth, how do you think this will work out? (It won't) ..."
"... The "Democratic" party is completely captured by its FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) funders on Wall Street and the corporate class. The DNC crowd will stick to their losing guns election after election while not offering any benefits to working people ..."
"... Were it not for the purposefully restricted structure of the two party systems where voters bounce between two awful parties before giving up altogether, the Democratic party would have fully collapsed long ago. ..."
"... Remember: the donors don't care if the Republicans or Democrats win, as long as their agenda prevails. And most Democrats and most Republican politicians don't care about their party either, as long as they can retire and get put on the boards of big corporations and cash in etc. ..."
"... Big Money and the Political Machines it built within the USA became prominent soon after its Civil War. Those plus the oligarchical controls built into the USA's governmental organization ensured that Commonfolk would have a very difficult time trying to govern themselves and promote their own interests. ..."
"... By WW2's end, the foundation for Keynesian Militarism and its in-built [monies get redistributed upward, not downward, automatically] Class War was laid along with the basis for Big Money's recapture of government. ..."
"... Essentially, tax dollars are spent on weapons and munitions and the manufacturer endowed with excess profits which are then plowed back into the political system through campaign contributions--politico buying--which in turn further corrupts the system. ..."
"... until we get beyond predatory finance, we are all essentially screwed.. ..."
"... US Health care, despised by everyone in the U.S: doctors, nurses, patients and pharmacists, is not the only thing that needs reform. How we select and elect those who allegedly represent us is unacceptable. Private money is more important than humanity and no one can guarantee that those elected actually won. ..."
"... What's happening now in the USA is no longer democracy or capitalism at all. It's military plutocracy. The elections and voting process are a sham and certainly have been since G.W. Bush "won" the election vs Al Gore. Strangely, last year's showdown between Killary and Trump was probably the first live election in a while where the establishment didn't get their (wo)man. Killary seemed to scare a few powerful people - she'd spent too much time in Washington, was too ruthless and had too many of her own people in institutions or available as ANTIFA brownshirts. She failed a few final interviews and some key establishment players switched sides, allowing Trump a last minute real shot at the ring. ..."
"... Only by setting us at each other's throats can the establishment maintain its place for another decade or two. It seems they are prepared to take this risk ..."
"... Marx and then the Soviet Union scared the capitalists at the start of the twentieth century. National Socialism scared them even more. The Western Establishment have built a system and a plan to put off the revolution. How long can they hold us under? This is the fascinating question which The Hunger Games set out to answer. ..."
"... the Democrats, and similar "liberal" movements in Europe, Canada, etc, know exactly what they're doing, which is simply what the donors want. It's not about the strategists, and it's not about winning elections either--at least not in the first place. ..."
"... In case anybody didn't hear it Warren Buffet some time back came out with: "There is a class war and we have won it." ..."
"... Psychohistorian's stress on the importance of private finance is of course correct but it is just part of an imperial equation where finance + military = empire or vice versa. ..."
"... For a century and a half, the primary purpose of the Democratic Party has been to crush leftist/socialist movements. Eugene Debs knew this a century ago. The SDS knew this 1/2 century ago. Bernie Sanders knew this until 2016. ..."
"... Hudson's first magnum opus was SuperImperialism , but please get the updated version as the first is somewhat dated. ..."
"... Clearly, the US military is used by this "loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires" to enforce their will on those who foolishly believe their governments should serve their own citizens. But it is not the US, or even primarily the 0.01% of the US who are calling the shots. The PTSB have no allegiance to any nation-state (with one glaring exception). But they use nationalism to divide the 99% of the world into bite-sized, easily edible pieces. ..."
"... Yes exactly, a class war. Basically elites vs the rest of us. Maybe 10% of non elites go along for the ride and puck up some crumbs. Another 20% do alright for a time until they get replaced by cheaper and younger and struggle to survive to reach social security without losing their home due to medical bankruptcy. ..."
"... So long as both parties go along with the neoliberal imperialistic agenda there will be rewards, even for the minority party. Best to be a minority party with plenty of funding than one without funding ..."
"... Real median incomes are much lower than the early 70's when adjusted with the pre-1980 CPI. CPI post 1980 has been adjusted to mask the impact of neoliberalism and enhance it by lowering COLA's and keeping money cheap to fuel asset inflation which does not impact the new CPI as much ..."
Aug 23, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
What The Party 'Strategists' Say Is Not What The Voters Want

Q: Why did the Democrats lose the Senate, House and presidency as well as more than a thousand state government positions?

A: They listened to their 'strategists', not to their voters.

Here is what the strategists currently say:

Staying out of the single-payer debate, party strategists say, could help Democrats in the general election, when they'll have to appeal to moderates skeptical of government-run health care. Earlier this year, the DCCC warned candidates about embracing single payer, hoping to avoid Republican attacks on "socialized" medicine.

Why is "socialized" medicine supposed to be a bad thing? Why not defend it? It is what the voters want :


Reuters/Ipsos poll - June/July 2018 - bigger

The 'strategists' say the voters can not have the nice stuff they want. Their arguments lost the elections. If the Democrats want to win again their must tell their voters to demand more nice stuff. Some people get that :

Progressive insurgents believe Clinton's defeat, on top of losing control of Congress and most state governments, proved them right. They aspire to overthrow conventional wisdom that Democrats must stay safely in the middle to compete.

" Democrats have been fixated for 20 years on this elusive, independent, mythical middle of the road voter that did not exist ," said Crystal Rhoades, head of the Democratic Party in Nebraska's Douglas County, where a progressive candidate, Kara Eastman, is trying to wrest a competitive congressional district from a Republican.

"We're going to try bold ideas."

Most social-democratic parties in Europe have the same problem the U.S. Democrats have. The party establishments angle for the ever elusive 'liberal' center. They move the parties further to the right and lose their natural constituencies, the working class. This gives rise to (sometimes fascist) 'populists' (see Trump) and to an ever growing share of people who reject the established system and do not vote at all.

This phenomenon is the micro version of a much larger trend. [neo]Liberal globalization, as promoted by the party 'elites', promises but does not deliver what the real people need and want. [neo]Liberal globalization turned out to be a class war in which only the rich can win. A revolt, locally on the level of voters, and globally on the level of nations, is underway to regain a different view.

Alastair Crooke recently outlined the larger trend within a global, 'metaphysical' perspective.

The progressive Democrats who are pushing for single payer healthcare still miss out on other issues. They also support higher wages, but are, at the same time, against restrictions on immigration. Wages rise when companies have to compete for workers. Immigration increases the available work force. A political program that supports both does not compute.

Working people understand this and in 2016 many of them voted for Trump. Neither LGBTXYZ identity policies nor other aloof 'liberal values' will increase the income of the poor. To win back the necessary masses the Democrats and social-democrats in Europe will have to shun, or at least de-emphasize such parts of their program. It's a class war. The rich are winning. Fight.


fastfreddy , Aug 23, 2018 2:54:27 PM | 1

Corporations and their lobbyists pay big money to influence both parties to ignore the will of the proletariat in favor of the one percent. If the candidate does not deliver the goods to his rich benefactors, he will lose his funding.

Therefore, a candidate can talk a populist game, but if he tries to implement anything of value to the proles, he will be ousted as quickly as possible.

In this way, For the money, the Democratic Party that championed the working man (to a degree) helped the Republicans to sabotage Labor Unions.

Now the D party is a champion of LGTBQ.

Could be difficult to win back the blue collar working man.

ben , Aug 23, 2018 3:01:06 PM | 2
Thanks b, your last sentence is right on target. It's been a class war for many decades. Most of the Dems have been playing "good cop, bad cop" for many years now. They talk progressive, but in the end they opt for the rich man's money.

At present, the oligarchs own everything in the U$A. Giant corporate interests own the Govt., the Media, & the voting systems. No matter the good intentions of a few, if the people don't hear it or see it, it never happened.

It'll take torches and pitchforks to make a change, and, I just don't see that happening until we hit rock bottom.

partizan , Aug 23, 2018 3:15:20 PM | 4
"The progressive Democrats...." Uh-oh! No such thing. "Working people understand this and in 2016 many of them voted for Trump." God...German working people also understand this and voted for Hitler or, rather for the Nazis.

Without a true labor party all the narrative that you mentioned is taking place within capitalist's class, i.e. State Ideological Apparatus.

I think Marx call it "Dictatorship of the bourgeoisie"

ben , Aug 23, 2018 3:19:54 PM | 6
P.S.--Even with massive voter turn-out this Nov., we have no way of knowing what the real vote is, since our voting systems have never been vetted. The machines are privately owned by corporations, and they refuse vetting on grounds that their systems are proprietary information. No problem huh? Except for this..

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2142428-hacking-a-us-electronic-voting-booth-takes-less-than-90-minutes/

Paper ballots, counted by hand in full view of the public, might change things. Works for Canada.

partizan , Aug 23, 2018 3:22:43 PM | 7
"Immigration increases the available work force."

It does also increase "race to the bottom" wages, i.e. reserve army of labour force - Precariat.'

rico , Aug 23, 2018 3:27:31 PM | 8

The western fiat faction requires perpetually increasing inputs of capital, commodities and labor - labor population must increase or the debt ponzi falls. Thus, as long as we have declining birthrates in the West, immigration will continue regardless of what the peasants want...

I agree that it is a class war, but it is one we have already lost. We are at the end of the oil era, yet our financial economic system requires perpetual growth, how do you think this will work out? (It won't)

People should be thinking of how they are going to keep their children from starving in a couple of years, the rest is just noise...

worldblee , Aug 23, 2018 4:01:40 PM | 9
The "Democratic" party is completely captured by its FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) funders on Wall Street and the corporate class. The DNC crowd will stick to their losing guns election after election while not offering any benefits to working people.

Further, they would rather continue to lose elections than adapting to the will of the people -- hence their ridiculous focus on Russiagate and other phantoms rather than offering real programs of substance that would attract voters.

Were it not for the purposefully restricted structure of the two party systems where voters bounce between two awful parties before giving up altogether, the Democratic party would have fully collapsed long ago.

RayB , Aug 23, 2018 4:14:06 PM | 10
@ rico...

The capitalist migration policy intentions are not just to have.. "Immigration increase the available work force", but rather to saturate the labour market. That way they keep the cost of labour down by having more people compete for the jobs than there are available thus bringing the labour costs down. This leads to the kinds of ethnic ghetto's wherein rampant unemployment for the vast majority is a way of life, which in turn fosters non integration into the country's larger society and hence we get what you are referring to as some."living off of freebies in their own 'no-go' Shari law enclaves"

Solution? STOP bombing other countries back into the stone age, creating millions of destitute refugees and after that, simply regulate immigration according to the available jobs and workforce a country can reasonably accommodate and thereby successfully integrate any newcomers from other lands.

TG , Aug 23, 2018 4:37:55 PM | 11
Well said! A few minor points:

Q: Why did the Democrats lose the Senate, House and presidency as well as more than a thousand state government positions?

A: They listened to their DONORS, not to their voters.

Remember: the donors don't care if the Republicans or Democrats win, as long as their agenda prevails. And most Democrats and most Republican politicians don't care about their party either, as long as they can retire and get put on the boards of big corporations and cash in etc.

"The progressive Democrats who are pushing for single payer healthcare still miss out on other issues. They also support higher wages, but are, at the same time, against restrictions on immigration." Kudos to you for pointing out the obvious. Be careful though, this kind of talk can easily get you labelled as a racist, a fascist, as "literally Hitler" and Vladimir Putin's homosexual lover.

Bottom line: the Democrats give lip service to supporting higher wages, but in reality they support low wages, hence their opposition to moderating the rate of immigration.

karlof1 , Aug 23, 2018 4:41:54 PM | 12
My last reply on the previous thread serves well as a beginning comment here:

"IMO, too many assets that elevate/enhance one's life experiences need to be made into publicly owned utilities, social media communication platforms being one as I explained above. If the Outlaw US Empire's people can finally get universal healthcare for all enacted, then other realms of the for-profit arena can be targeted as a tsunami-sized political wave is building that will make such changes possible provided the insurrection's sustained for decades to forestall the forces of Reaction. It's really the only political direction capable of making America great for the first time in its history--Being a Great Nation contains a moral aspect the USA has never attained and is nowhere near close to attaining anytime soon."

The Class War's been raging for centuries--millennia actually. But as Michael Hudson notes at the end of his autobiographical interview, something deliberate was done to alter the course of political-economy:

"[Marx] showed that capitalism itself is revolutionary, capitalism itself is driving forward, and of course he expected it to lead toward socialism, as indeed it seemed to be doing in the nineteenth century.

But it's not working out that way. Everything changed in World War One."

( I highly suggest reading the rest of that passage .)

Elsewhere Hudson has shown Marx expected the contradictions within Capitalism to spawn its antithesis--Socialism--in a natural, evolutionary manner; but, clearly, the forces of Reaction stepped in to arrest that path as Kolko illustrated in his Triumph of Conservatism .

However, popular ideas within societies forwarding the evolution to socialism needed to be constrained and harnessed -- the populism of the late 19th Century couldn't be allowed to resurface as it was the #1 threat to elite control. And so began The Great Reaction as soon as WW1 ended.

Unfortunately, Capitalism's contradictions arose to temporarily derail the Counter-Revolution as the Great Depression ushered in a return of dynamic Populism within Europe and especially the USA. WW2 provided a golden opportunity to finally crush dynamic Populism once and for all as the forces of Reaction emerged from their closets within FDR's administration and tools were forged to enable societal control, which included the newly emerging forms of mass communication and indoctrination.

Big Money and the Political Machines it built within the USA became prominent soon after its Civil War. Those plus the oligarchical controls built into the USA's governmental organization ensured that Commonfolk would have a very difficult time trying to govern themselves and promote their own interests.

The changes made to the system after the very nearly won success of the Progressive Populists greatly aided the forces of Reaction as did the imposition of Prohibition and the Red Scare--Populist successes were a mixed bag during the 1930s as very reactionary laws were also introduced--The House Un-American Activities Committee in 1938 and The Smith Act in 1940.

By WW2's end, the foundation for Keynesian Militarism and its in-built [monies get redistributed upward, not downward, automatically] Class War was laid along with the basis for Big Money's recapture of government.

Essentially, tax dollars are spent on weapons and munitions and the manufacturer endowed with excess profits which are then plowed back into the political system through campaign contributions--politico buying--which in turn further corrupts the system.

It's been ongoing since 1938--80 years--and must be excised from the body politic if the Outlaw US Empire is ever to go straight and become a law abiding global citizen amongst the community of nations.

mdroy , Aug 23, 2018 4:45:53 PM | 13
Part of a world wide Trend. Populism is too simplistic, there are better analyses.

In Europe Somewhere vs Anywhere is a great way to show what is happening, and I'm pretty sure it is the same in US. Good book too.
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQCM_Y4H2wEd1tjl3mLg2_xKNrzPiI2eO9c02O11-pzwfpqABUX

There should be plenty of summaries all over the internet but briefly.

Somewhere:

  • Think local, not global
  • Economic liberal (high taxes, generous health views)
  • Socially conservative (not very pro LBGTX, anti immigration)
  • Less likely to be University educated
  • Have done poorly in last 35 years of growth but widening inequality
  • Anti-establishment
  • Are roughly 60% of population - and the biggest voting block

Anywhere:

  • Think global,
  • Economic conservative (low taxes, anti-redistribution)
  • Socially liberal (pro LBGTX, believe "our values" means something)
  • Probably University educated
  • Have done very well in last 35 years of growth and think they deserved it all
  • Pro-establishment
  • Are roughly 25% of population - and completely dominate the media

A lot have worked out that this new segmentation has overtaken traditional politics. But David Goodhart explains it all so well in his book.

Ed in Kanata , Aug 23, 2018 5:01:26 PM | 14
All the countries with single payer health systems have a small military. I live in Canada and when military spending is broached the people always want the money to be spent on health care. I personally doubt that the NATO countries will actually drastically increase there defense budgets against the voters wishes. No western country outside the USA feels threatened so why spend more on defense?

It is up to the American people to make similar choices when they vote.

james , Aug 23, 2018 5:04:35 PM | 15
thanks b.. the whole political system as it presently stands in the west is not working.. it is one step up from the system in places like Saudi Arabia and etc... i go back to psychohistorians main view that until we get beyond predatory finance, we are all essentially screwed..

folks talk immigration but in the forest industry here on the westcoast of canada, machines have replaced workers.. This is just one example.. robots and etc. etc. are working towards the same end.. a corp that can get a robot or machine to do something will go that way based on long term costs. None of the political parties i know of are addressing the impact of technology on job opportunities.. In fact they are all cheer leaders for technology while talking of growing the economy and etc. etc...

So we just keep ''growing the population'' while skipping over addressing the private finances elephant in the room.. at some point the world is going to have to change or not survive.. the political class here in Canada is abysmal.. it seems like it is much the same everywhere in the land of democracy too, where corporations and private interests with money are calling the shots.. plutocracy is what i think they call it..

karlof1 , Aug 23, 2018 5:14:25 PM | 16
I read this article then discovered b had written a similar one based on the same polling results. But is the long-denied desire within the Outlaw US Empire for universal healthcare an actual revolt against what b describes as "liberal globalization"?

What I see is a global revolt against the Outlaw US Empire's gross illegalities and immoral hegemony which also contains an ideological battle with nations embracing Win-Winism while rejecting Zerosumism, which can also be interpreted as rejection of the Millenia-long Class War.

Globalization continues on, actually increasing its velocity through the twin Eurasian projects--BRI & EAEU. IMO, the Eurasian projects have the potential to force Capitalism to finally evolve into Socialism, which is what Winwinism embodies.

CDWaller , Aug 23, 2018 5:26:31 PM | 17
Today's middle is yesterday's right. Party strategists are reflecting the views of their pay masters. Both parties dial for the same dollars. Those dollars come from billionaires who what to protect their wealth and power. Both parties parties parties reflect this sad reality.

US Health care, despised by everyone in the U.S: doctors, nurses, patients and pharmacists, is not the only thing that needs reform. How we select and elect those who allegedly represent us is unacceptable. Private money is more important than humanity and no one can guarantee that those elected actually won.

Spike , Aug 23, 2018 5:30:25 PM | 18
The assertion that immigration (in the U.S., at least) is keeping wages low needs to be questioned. The immigrants from south of the border by and large do the work that no one else wants to do. Unemployment is low, and relatively good paying jobs in less popular geographical areas are not getting filled.

Wages are low because the forces of regulation making them higher have been weakened, and unionization has declined. It has to be questioned whether the individual worker has ever had bargaining power over wages.

It's been the collective power of governmental action and union action that has worked for the benefit of higher wages.

Uncoy , Aug 23, 2018 5:40:26 PM | 20
Thank you for your comment, Karlof. Deep comments like your and those of Paveway and a few others are what make the comment section an occasional joy to read.

What's happening now in the USA is no longer democracy or capitalism at all. It's military plutocracy. The elections and voting process are a sham and certainly have been since G.W. Bush "won" the election vs Al Gore. Strangely, last year's showdown between Killary and Trump was probably the first live election in a while where the establishment didn't get their (wo)man. Killary seemed to scare a few powerful people - she'd spent too much time in Washington, was too ruthless and had too many of her own people in institutions or available as ANTIFA brownshirts. She failed a few final interviews and some key establishment players switched sides, allowing Trump a last minute real shot at the ring.

People all over the Western world have woken up to diminishing incomes, higher bills (education/medicine/utilities - all of which you can't avoid if you have children) and much worse employment opportunities even for the very motivated but only modestly capable (if you have 110 IQ or lower and didn't grow up inside a business household, your chances going into business for yourself are very low and you are likely to just dig yourself or your family a deeper hole). This is not what the people were promised during the last five elections (whether in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia or France). The game is up.

Only by setting us at each other's throats can the establishment maintain its place for another decade or two. It seems they are prepared to take this risk. The Hunger Games were a surprise huge world wide hit (the films are rather boring and not particularly well made, despite a good performance in the lead role).

The close similarity between that dystopia and what we live now with NFL football (literally knocks the brains out of your skull, may cause sane people to commit suicide or murder their wife and children ) or even Premier League Football or Tour de France where the contestants even now are mad roiders, compromising both personal integrity and long term health in pursuit of yellow vest.

Marx and then the Soviet Union scared the capitalists at the start of the twentieth century. National Socialism scared them even more. The Western Establishment have built a system and a plan to put off the revolution. How long can they hold us under? This is the fascinating question which The Hunger Games set out to answer.

... ... ...

peter , Aug 23, 2018 5:58:09 PM | 21
Hey, I worked In Canada For CN on the running trades for 37 years. I'm 65 plus so CCP and Old Age pension both kick in on top of my CN pension which leaves me able to indulge in all my bad habits.

I lease a new car every four years and my Buick Regal turbo goes back this January. I live in an upscale apartment with all the amenities I've been sick lately but have been receiving excellent healthcare. You don't get bills. Nada.

I'm a senior and my meds have been costing $4.11 per prescription. So you'll have to excuse me if up I'm not up for a revolution right now.

How 'bout you james? You ready to take to the streets?

Fidelios Automata , Aug 23, 2018 6:04:26 PM | 22
Even as one who opposes single-payer health care (all monopolies cause problems, be they private or public) I have to agree with b in principle. The rich are doing to us now what they did to Russia in the 1990's. We of the working class don't deserve to have our interests protected because we're "deplorables."
Tannenhouser , Aug 23, 2018 6:04:45 PM | 23
Ben@6. You must not have voted in Canada lately. Last two votes at provincial and federal levels had votes counted by machines. In Ontario any ways.
Ma Laoshi , Aug 23, 2018 6:12:19 PM | 24
Oh please; we've had EIGHT years of earnest-sounding, well-intentioned advice to Obama to do the right, progressive thing. As if he ever needed it; the Democrats, and similar "liberal" movements in Europe, Canada, etc, know exactly what they're doing, which is simply what the donors want. It's not about the strategists, and it's not about winning elections either--at least not in the first place.

Continuing to pay attention to this zombie party only supports it; when it's burned to the ground, that's when you may be having an impact.

james , Aug 23, 2018 6:16:11 PM | 25
@12 karlof1... thanks for the link to the autobiography on Michael Hudson. i really enjoyed reading about him and didn't realize all that he has done over the course of his life. it motivates me to read one of his books.. thanks.

@13 mdroy... that also looks like a good book.. thanks..

@21 peter.. i think the question is this: when's it all going to come crashing down? i think uncoy is right.. it is coming down sometime within mine or the younger generations lifetime.. young folks view things very differently then you... the fall will force many to alter their present day view and drop with the smug attitude that seems so pervasive with those who think they have it all..

Lochearn , Aug 23, 2018 6:47:49 PM | 26
A fascinating topic tonight and so much to ponder on with so many thoughtful comments. In case anybody didn't hear it Warren Buffet some time back came out with: "There is a class war and we have won it."

b. references Crooke's article. The poor folks over at zerohedge were hopelessly lost when the article was put up there; some of them got very angry when concepts such as the enlightenment celestially orbited way beyond their limited spheres. Maybe it stank of culture or gay paintings or something. Who knows. But maybe they had a point.

Rather than the enlightenment I see the creation of empires as the starting point - at which the English excelled. What the English did was to literally sacrifice their pawns (pawns = peons = peasants) for the greater game when they kicked their peasantry off the land in the enclosure movement (they always think up a nice word for a disgusting deed). Scientific methods began to be employed on the new larger farms sufficient to feed a burgeoning industrial proletariat. But it was this one revolutionary act that kickstarted the British-US empire that has ruled us for so long.

Psychohistorian's stress on the importance of private finance is of course correct but it is just part of an imperial equation where finance + military = empire or vice versa.

Jen , Aug 23, 2018 6:55:03 PM | 27
I am inclined to agree with Spike @ 18 that immigration by itself does not keep wages low. In Australia (where I live), unemployment is low in comparison with other countries.

There are sectors where more workers are needed: more nurses are needed and more primary and secondary school teachers are needed. English-speaking countries in particular are short of medical and nursing staff to the extent that they are drawing (poaching?) such people away from Asian and African countries that need these people.

At the same time young people who might consider careers in nursing and medicine are dissuaded by the cost of pursuing degrees as universities increasingly rely more on charging on students for university education as government funding dries up.

Yet registered nurses earn an average annual pay of about A$65,000. Lower level nurses earn less. Average annual income in Australia (as of 2nd quarter of 2018) is about $82,000.

In Australia, wages growth has not kept pace with the cost of living since the 1980s when the unions struck an accord with the then Labor government under Bob Hawke. The result is that households have turned to credit cards to finance spending. Most households as a result carry large amounts of debt and have very little savings. At the same time, we have had steady if not very large levels of immigration.

Daniel , Aug 23, 2018 7:08:20 PM | 29
For a century and a half, the primary purpose of the Democratic Party has been to crush leftist/socialist movements. Eugene Debs knew this a century ago. The SDS knew this 1/2 century ago. Bernie Sanders knew this until 2016.

Faux Newz's "Fox and Friends" did a survey after the Koch Brothers funded "study" of Bernie's Medicare For All plan. Going on the misleading figure, they asked "Is Medicare For All worth the $32 Trillion it will cost?"

73% said YES!

All up and down, policies which we'd label "progressive" or even "socialist" are widely popular with USAmericans. From ending these wars to cutting military spending to increasing taxes on the rich and corporations to tuition free public education through college or trade schools, and on and on.

Right now, Sanders is still the most popular politician in the US by a country mile. Were he, Tulsi Gabbard, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nina Turner, and other well-respected politicians with records of electoral success to join together and create a new party, it would instantly be the most popular party in the country.

Then, all we'd have to do is establish legitimate election systems.

karlof1 , Aug 23, 2018 7:11:22 PM | 30
james @25--

Hudson's first magnum opus was SuperImperialism , but please get the updated version as the first is somewhat dated.

What I think is his crowning achievement--he seems to think so too--is his newest, and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption -- From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year , the culmination of almost 40 years of research. Funny how its only been reviewed by Brits .

When you read the entire autobiographical interview, you'll see there're several other joint books he's produced prior to debts I'd consider getting via a university library--it's 5 volumes @$150 each new--although he says he's going to rewrite them with debts being the first volume in the series. That I don't have any of those volumes or even knew about them is rather embarrassing given my fields of study. Here's Hudson's introducing the series via a lecture:

"The five colloquia volumes that we've published began in 1994. We decided we have to re-write the history to free it from the modern ideological preconceptions that have distorted much popular understanding."

Earlier in the thread, you mentioned immigration, population growth and automation. Are you aware that China scrapped its family planning policy despite their goal of instituting a high degree of robotics into their manufacturing system? CCP leaders seem to believe their system can provide resilient support for 1.3-1.5 Billion people, whereas we see the USA growing increasingly dysfunctional trying to keep 330 million content.

james , Aug 23, 2018 7:22:53 PM | 31
@28 chas... war movie here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma9lGs_-OH0

@30 karlof1.. yes - he talks of those books in the autobio interview, but i don't see them listed on amazon for example.. nor is his latest book - and forgive them their debts' listed either.. i suppose the reason for the last title is it is yet to be released.. release date is in nov 2018.. http://michael-hudson.com/2018/08/and-forgive-them-their-debts/

i was unaware of that change in policy in china.. i wonder how they envision everything - greater population and continued work opportunities, in the face of automation? for me - people need greater resources in order to continue to survive.. as i understand it - eating meat is making a much bigger carbon footprint then not.. the chinese with their new wealth are very much into eating pork and meat... i can't see how it all works out for the planet, while i do think china would have thought this thru... i suppose it will remain a mystery to me how they envision the intersection of these diverse interests and developments.. thanks again for your comments..

Daniel , Aug 23, 2018 7:30:11 PM | 32
Posted by: james | Aug 23, 2018 5:04:35 PM | 15

"it seems like it is much the same everywhere in the land of democracy too, where corporations and private interests with money are calling the shots.. plutocracy is what i think they call it.."

Exactly! And it is the very same supra-national banking cabal, trans-national corporations and Zionist racial supremacists in each of these "democracies" that are calling the shots. They are the loci of power, not the political facades of nation-states.

Clearly, the US military is used by this "loose affiliation of millionaires and billionaires" to enforce their will on those who foolishly believe their governments should serve their own citizens. But it is not the US, or even primarily the 0.01% of the US who are calling the shots. The PTSB have no allegiance to any nation-state (with one glaring exception). But they use nationalism to divide the 99% of the world into bite-sized, easily edible pieces.

karlof1 , Aug 23, 2018 7:44:03 PM | 34
I provided this link in my above comment to james, but I had yet to read the entire lecture. It's very important and quite germane to this discussion as this excerpt shows:

"It's very funny: If you go into Congress – I was the economic advisor to Dennis Kucinich – you go into Congress and there's a big mural with Moses in the center and Hammurabi on his right. Well, you know what Moses did? He gave the law. Leviticus, right in the center of Mosaic law, canceled the debt. What did Hammurabi do? Debt cancellation as well. You're not going to see Congress canceling the debts like that. If you look at the Liberty Bell, it is inscribed with a quotation from Leviticus 25: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land." Well now we have translation problems again. The word really isn't liberty: The real word means Clean Slate. It means freeing society from debt, letting everybody have their own basic housing and means of self-support. And by striking coincidence, what does the Statue of Liberty do? She's holding aloft a flame. And in the Babylonian historical records, when Hammurabi would cancel the debts they would say: "The ruler raised the sacred torch." So here you have a wonderful parallelism. It's been written out of history today, It's not what you're taught in Bible school, or in ancient studies, or in economic history. So you have this almost revolution that's been occurring in Assyriology, in Biblical studies and Hebrew studies, and it's all kept up among us specialists. It hasn't become popular at all, because almost everything about the Bronze Age and about the origins of Christianity is abhorrent to the vested interests today."

My reaction: Wow! I'm figuratively kicking myself for not diligently reading all of Hudson's essays--this was from January 2017. Just imagine what might occur if the global public decided to demand the genuine Old Time Religion!

Pft , Aug 23, 2018 8:25:15 PM | 35
Yes exactly, a class war. Basically elites vs the rest of us. Maybe 10% of non elites go along for the ride and puck up some crumbs. Another 20% do alright for a time until they get replaced by cheaper and younger and struggle to survive to reach social security without losing their home due to medical bankruptcy.

The rest its basically a struggle to survive from day 1 with these people living from paycheck to paycheck or just checking into one of the Prison Industrial Complex Apartments

Anyways, with the Democratic Party behind even Trump in the latest popularity polls (31% vs 38%) they stay the course and maintain their pro elitist policies. Both parties are puppets of the elites, differing on only on social issues that divide and distract from the major issues of importance to the elite class

So long as both parties go along with the neoliberal imperialistic agenda there will be rewards, even for the minority party. Best to be a minority party with plenty of funding than one without funding

Meanwhile life expectancy has been stagnating and now declining in US since 2010 (actually declined in 2015 and 2016 and most likely 2017) while most developed countries except UK are rising. Health care costs still the source of most individual bankruptcies although bankruptcy laws have been changed to ensure most lose their home in going that route (unlike owners of corporations like Trump)

Real median incomes are much lower than the early 70's when adjusted with the pre-1980 CPI. CPI post 1980 has been adjusted to mask the impact of neoliberalism and enhance it by lowering COLA's and keeping money cheap to fuel asset inflation which does not impact the new CPI as much

Its not just in the US, this is going on globally, some places faster than others

T , Aug 23, 2018 8:32:16 PM | 36
Spike 18

"The assertion that immigration (in the U.S., at least) is keeping wages low needs to be questioned. The immigrants from south of the border by and large do the work that no one else wants to do. "

There are plenty of countries that do not rely on large scale immigration and yet "someone" is doing those jobs there.

Loz , Aug 23, 2018 8:32:48 PM | 37
@worldblee 9

"Were it not for the purposefully restricted structure of the two party systems where voters bounce between two awful parties before giving up altogether, the Democratic party would have fully collapsed long ago."

This is the essence of the problem. Whose problem to solve is it? The average American citizen.

Anyone can use social media and crowdfunding to start a huge popular campaign for a specific objective.

True representative democracy. What's not to love about that?

All the nonsense about 'revolution' blah blah then becomes redundant. Once there are multiple parties representing multiple interests, deals have to be done. Government becomes far more careful and conservative.

Problems don't disappear, but at least there is an intelligent airing of the issues. Fiscal prudence becomes front and centre. Individual welfare is also elevated to a central concern. Everyone then recognises that tax money requires healthy businesses that pay their fair share.

Try it! In spite of the initial barrage of fear, uncertainty, doubt, you will come to a much more engaged and civil society.

Jackrabbit , Aug 23, 2018 8:55:53 PM | 38
The psyops against the American people have been nothing short of astounding.

"Trickle down!"

"Multi-culturalism"

"Globalism"

"Efficient Markets"

"War on Drugs! War on Terror! Russian interference!"

Each of these may have been reasonable in moderation but were pushed to the extreme via the oligarch-fed elite of BOTH political Parties. Starting with Bill Clinton, the Democrats sold out the people they used to represent. They have done MORE than simply block change, they have poisoned the well via divisive identity politics.

Obama is the poster child for the Democrats "Third Way" disaster. He proved to be a tool of neolibs and neocons alike, masking their evil agendas with a big smile, slick slogans ("YES WE CAN!") and clever quips ("If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear") . No bankers went to jail for the 2008 GFC, a trillion dollar fraud estimated to total a YEAR of global GNP , instead his administration "foamed the runway" for Bank home foreclosures (mostly of lower income people that couldn't fight back) .

Obama promised to include a public option as part of his 'signature' healthcare initiative ("Obamacare") but instead produced a boondoogle for insurance companies which has proven to be the epic failure that progressive critics said it would be.

Mis-allocated resources of an oligarch-centered public policy has created a supreme clusterf*ck, the magnitude of which has grown with every new can-kicking initiative.

IMO USA probably loses 30% of GDP to such things as:

- overpriced healthcare;

- a bloated military which is largely useless (who are we going to invade? who is going to invade us?);

- a police state that imprisons more people than any other Western democracy largely due to misguided social policies (why not regulate drugs and prostitution illegal? why not provide good training/jobs and workplace childcare?) ;

- terribly inefficient transportation system where everyone strives for "the American dream" of commuting dozens of miles from their suburban home via a big SUV;

- education costs that have skyrocketed due to failed govt educational policies;

- a pampered executive and "investor class" that siphons billions - inequality is at record levels and CEOs make dozens of times more pay then the average worker;

- while the US govt recognizes that climate change is real, they have decided to address it gradually and accept the cost of 'mitigation' (defensive measures like sea walls, when necessary) .

No one trust the government to fix anything. And fixes that are contemplated or in the works will take decades to effect any meaningful change.

Jackrabbit , Aug 23, 2018 9:13:01 PM | 39
The saddest part may be that most people can't see that they've been played.

Americans used to be free thinkers. Now most of them are in an unhealthy relationship with one of the two parties. Like the jealous, emotionally abusive partner they are, each party plays on the fears of their 'base'.

Societal Stockholm Syndrome. Is that a thing? It is now.

vk , Aug 23, 2018 9:13:21 PM | 40
Immigration, in the grand scheme of things, don't bring wages down mainly for two reasons:

1) it doesn't actually change the total number of human beings in the face of the Earth, it just reallocates them to one or another specific corner of it. Since modern capitalism is already global, even Steven.

2) in capitalism, labor power moves according to a reverse osmosis pattern: it goes from the corner of the Earth with less capital (in money form, therefore money-capital) to the corner of the Earth with more money-capital. So, for example, if 1,000,000 Mexicans immigrate -- legally or illegally, it doesn't matter to capitalism -- to the USA in one year, it is already presupposed the USA already has a wealth differential vis-à-vis Mexico that can accomodate 1,000,000 more people than it in one year. This movement is also known as "job hunt": people go where jobs are.

The only case mass immigration really distorts wages is when movement of labor force is not induced by capitalism, but by a black swan, natural, catastrophic event, e.g. if the hotspot in Yellowstone burst tommorow, and the American population somewhat manages to evacuate to, let's say, Mexico, then Mexico receives, in a matter of months, 400 million people thanks to a process the capitalist society didn't forsee. Then we have a so-called "humanitarian crisis", i.e. a crisis not induced from capitalism's inner metabolism.

As for the German case, it was a miscalculation by Merkel. She had just arrived from a huge victory in Greece (her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, had just put the socialist government of Syriza on its knees), and she was cocky. She decided to move fast and, enjoying the favorable wind from the Aegean, called for 1 million Syrians to come to Germany.

At that time, there was a rumor stating most of the Syrians that were fleeing the war were middle class, affluent Syrians who could afford the trip to Europe -- those were doctors, engineers, businessmen, etc. etc. It is a known fact the German bourgeoisie uses mass immigration from the Middle East as a leverage against the German powerful unions since the Turks offered themselves. So, if Merkel acted impulsively in the execution, the plan was old and had their approval with good antecedence.

Problem was Merkel appeared to be badly advised by the BND (or the CIA?).First, immigrants can only force wages down if they are willing to work. Those "affluent Syrians", if they existed, either were intercepted and coopted by Turkey and Saudi Arabia (where they had to stop first, before going to Europe via Greece or Italy), or were a very tiny minority. Most of the refugees were either already indigents, bandits, housewives with little children or even some terrorists. They were not capable, nor willing, to "assimilate", i.e. to work for German capitalists under German Law. So, it backfired.

Godot , Aug 23, 2018 9:23:06 PM | 41
Is this a joke??
Has anybody read the article from this Crooke that B is referring to in his post? This is really the worst crap. So enlightenments is just a " totalitarian " ideology made to help the Europeans rule the world? And Russia is just an old regime nation promoting blood based brotherhood fighting them ? In a word the eating-babies communists versus the Teutonic aryan Knights??
And then, I find an approving reference to the old stinking theory of " workers vs immigrants " to explain low wages ? Btw, where have you seen democrats elites being " against restrictions on immigrations " ? Didn't know that US under Obama was open door...
I don't recognize this website anymore! Let's hope the CIA is just fooling with me !
quot;Most social-democratic parties in Europe have the same problem the U.S. Democrats have."
It is plain wrong to mention social-democratic parties in connection with the u.s. Dems. They are a Wall street party very much at the right of even the most rightist, neoliberal social democrats in Europa.
And no. Immigration is definitely not the cause for the work place competition. Not in the usa at least. Most of the Latinos coming from the south do jobs u.s. citizen do not want, especially in agriculture. And; the immigrants are not only workers, they are consumers too and as such they raise the GDP and indirectly create additional work places. The capitalist system works best if the population is on a steady, not too pronounced rise. (It is different with inner-EU immigration though.)

Posted by: Pnyx , Aug 23, 2018 9:24:46 PM | 42

"Most social-democratic parties in Europe have the same problem the U.S. Democrats have."
It is plain wrong to mention social-democratic parties in connection with the u.s. Dems. They are a Wall street party very much at the right of even the most rightist, neoliberal social democrats in Europa.
And no. Immigration is definitely not the cause for the work place competition. Not in the usa at least. Most of the Latinos coming from the south do jobs u.s. citizen do not want, especially in agriculture. And; the immigrants are not only workers, they are consumers too and as such they raise the GDP and indirectly create additional work places. The capitalist system works best if the population is on a steady, not too pronounced rise. (It is different with inner-EU immigration though.)

Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 23, 2018 9:24:46 PM | 42 /div

Pft , Aug 23, 2018 9:30:42 PM | 43
On the subject of immigration keeping wages low. This has some truth to it of course, although it does not explain it in its entirety. The main reason of course is the US has extremely high unemployment/unxerempoyment rates
Pft , Aug 23, 2018 9:31:33 PM | 44
Accidentally posted before completion, sorry
Pft , Aug 23, 2018 9:48:32 PM | 45
On the subject of immigration keeping wages low. This has some truth to it of course, although it does not explain it in its entirety.

One reason of course is the US has extremely high unemployment/underemployment rates, far greater than official figures.

Then you have the destruction of unions in the private sector. The few remaining unions are coopted from within by union leadership

A principal cause of the above reasons may be globalization which has led to the outsourcing of jobs to countries with lower wages

And of course you have minimum wages which are much lower in real dollars than they were 40 years go as both parties became corrupted by the neoliberal elite.

As for immigration. Illegal immigrants
tend to work in jobs not very appealing and are low paying but may suppress technical innovation to make up for a low labor supply in this area at the cost of some higher paying jobs

Legal immigration tends bring in professional labor who are willing to work at lower wages in the hope of getting a shot at the American dream (or European Dream).


I feel both forms of immigration are minor impacts. The main purpose for the elite is to create divisions within the society. Divide and rule. Which is why neither party has sought to stamp it out entirely. Its simple really, jail time for anyone hiring an undocumented worker and enforcement. Go after the corporations who hire them and not the worker.

jdmckay , Aug 23, 2018 10:06:29 PM | 46
A: They listened to their 'strategists', not to their voters.

...

Why is "socialized" medicine supposed to be a bad thing? Why not defend it? It is what the voters want:

B: I haven't agreed with a whole lot of your posts lately, but this one I think you nailed. Wish you would say a little more about Green Energy and AGW.

Tannenhouser , Aug 23, 2018 10:11:43 PM | 47
@spudski, who says "No idea why anyone thinks that's a good idea "one things for sure those that do are definitely 'anywhere's' from mdroy's #13.
juliania , Aug 23, 2018 10:24:28 PM | 48
I actually think that Obama's first election was for young people in this country at that time the equivalent of the assassination of President Kennedy in my younger years. A blow from which there shall have to be allowed the loss of an entire generation - in my time, that was accomplished by the Vietnam War. And indeed the generation of so-called millenials in the US has been living through an ongoing psychological nightmare of similar proportions.

All the comments do apply, in spades. Thank you, fellow Americans.

The equivalence of which I speak is the shocking about face Obama presented after his inauguration. He could have been a new Kennedy inspiring the young - he chose not to be. For many, that was an assassination of an ideal - some clung on desperately refusing to believe, but most finally knew they had been betrayed.

All I can hope is that there is some decent, anonymous Putin-like figure out there ready to grab hold of power and throw it back to the people where it belongs. It happened there; maybe it will happen here, sometime.

NemesisCalling , Aug 23, 2018 10:40:24 PM | 49
Other than calling the Trump-phenom quasi or crypto fascist in your post and in the same breath at the end provide justification for the Trump-vote regarding the effect of an illegal work force, you are right, b. There are many things that hurt the left in the global scene.

Do they not notice this or are they willfully biding their time to reemerge in the same putrid swamp so us dumbasses can fawn over her like the Lady of the Lake?

I think the libs in this country, at least, are the real cheerleaders of globalism and a stupifying urbanism that is preaching a false future of free stuff and you don't even have to work for it!

Why would I Joe-taxpayer want to fund a student- loan debt relief program where morons the country over are relieved of any responsibility of their idiotic line of thinking where they believed that an overpriced degree equated to instant playboy lifestyle and on demand oral sex?

NemesisCalling , Aug 23, 2018 11:04:29 PM | 50
Lower forms of employment to be occupied by natural citizens is absolutely vital to a country's economic culture.

People have said that these are jobs that only Mexicans will take. That is BS. The market would natutally adjust to an actual shortage in labor and pay citizens appropriately for their menial labor. Having an abundance of black market labor prohibits this natural function of a healthy economy.

General Lee knew that slavery was anaethma and a tragedy to America. A correlation could be made about alien labor.

[Aug 17, 2018] Jim Kunstler Exposes The Democratic Party s Three-Headed Monster

Notable quotes:
"... The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself: Mr. Brennan, Mr. Clapper, Mr. Comey, Mr. Strzok, Mr. McCabe, Mr. Ohr, Ms. Yates. Ms. Page, et. al. who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Deep State can't stop running its mouth -- The New York Times , CNN, WashPo , et al -- in an evermore hysterical reaction to the truth of the matter: the Deep State itself colluded with Russia (and perhaps hates itself for it, a sure recipe for mental illness). ..."
"... The second head of this monster is a matrix of sinister interests seeking to incite conflict with Russia in order to support arms manufacturers, black box "security" companies, congressmen-on-the-take, and an army of obscenely-rewarded Washington lobbyists in concert with the military and a rabid neocon intellectual think-tank camp wishing to replay the cold war and perhaps even turn up the temperature with some nuclear fire. ..."
"... This second head functions by way of a displacement-projection dynamic. We hold war games on the Russian border and accuse them of "aggression." ..."
"... The third head of this monster is the one aflame with identity politics. It arises from a crypto-gnostic wish to change human nature to escape the woes and sorrows of the human condition -- for example, the terrible tensions of sexuality. Hence, the multiplication of new sexual categories as a work-around for the fundamental terrors of human reproduction as represented by the differences between men and women. ..."
"... "We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. " ..."
"... And this shit has been going on since the Soviet Union broke up and the "Harvard Boys" helped turn Russia into a corrupt Oligarchy, something the Left was first to identify. ..."
"... The rising of the Populist parties in the UK, Germany, especially Italy and now Sweden, portends an interesting trend, not just nationally, but world wide... ..."
Aug 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Jim Kunstler Exposes The Democratic Party's "Three-Headed Monster"

by Tyler Durden Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:35 132 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The faction that used to be the Democratic party can be described with some precision these days as a three-headed monster driving the nation toward danger, darkness, and incoherence.

Anyone interested in defending what remains of the sane center of American politics take heed:

The first head is the one infected with the toxic shock of losing the 2016 election. The illness took hold during the campaign that year when the bureaucracy under President Obama sent its lymphocytes and microphages in the "intel community" -- especially the leadership of the FBI -- to attack the perceived disease that the election of Donald Trump represented. The "doctors" of this Deep State diagnosed the condition as "Russian collusion." An overdue second opinion by doctors outside the Deep State adduced later that the malady was actually an auto-immune disease.

The agents actually threatening the health of the state came from the intel community itself: Mr. Brennan, Mr. Clapper, Mr. Comey, Mr. Strzok, Mr. McCabe, Mr. Ohr, Ms. Yates. Ms. Page, et. al. who colluded with pathogens in the DNC, the Hillary campaign, and the British intel service to chew up and spit out Mr. Trump as expeditiously as possible.

With the disease now revealed by hard evidence, the chief surgeon called into the case, Robert Mueller, is left looking ridiculous -- and perhaps subject to malpractice charges -- for trying to remove an appendix-like organ called the Manifort from the body politic instead of attending to the cancerous mess all around him. Meanwhile, the Deep State can't stop running its mouth -- The New York Times , CNN, WashPo , et al -- in an evermore hysterical reaction to the truth of the matter: the Deep State itself colluded with Russia (and perhaps hates itself for it, a sure recipe for mental illness).

The second head of this monster is a matrix of sinister interests seeking to incite conflict with Russia in order to support arms manufacturers, black box "security" companies, congressmen-on-the-take, and an army of obscenely-rewarded Washington lobbyists in concert with the military and a rabid neocon intellectual think-tank camp wishing to replay the cold war and perhaps even turn up the temperature with some nuclear fire. They are apparently in deep confab with the first head and its Russia collusion storyline. Note all the current talk about Russia already meddling in the 2018 midterm election, a full-fledged pathogenic hallucination.

This second head functions by way of a displacement-projection dynamic. We hold war games on the Russian border and accuse them of "aggression." We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. The sane center never would have stood for this arrant recklessness. The world community is not fooled, though. More and more, they recognize the USA as a national borderline personality, capable of any monstrous act.

The third head of this monster is the one aflame with identity politics. It arises from a crypto-gnostic wish to change human nature to escape the woes and sorrows of the human condition -- for example, the terrible tensions of sexuality. Hence, the multiplication of new sexual categories as a work-around for the fundamental terrors of human reproduction as represented by the differences between men and women. Those differences must be abolished, and replaced with chimeras that enable a childish game of pretend, men pretending to be women and vice-versa in one way or another: LBGTQetc. Anything BUT the dreaded "cis-hetero" purgatory of men and women acting like men and women. The horror .

Its companion is the race hustle and its multicultural operating system. The objective has become transparent over the past year, with rising calls to punish white people for the supposed "privilege" of being Caucasian and pay "reparations" in one way or another to underprivileged "people of color." This comes partly from the infantile refusal to understand that life is difficult for everybody, and that the woes and sorrows of being in this world require fortitude and intelligence to get through -- with the final reward being absolutely the same for everybody.


Creative_Destruct -> Got The Wrong No Fri, 08/17/2018 - 16:30 Permalink

"We engineer and pay for a coup against the elected government of Ukraine, and accuse Russia of aggression. We bust up one nation after another in Middle East and complain indignantly when Russia acts to keep Syria from becoming the latest failed state. We disrupt the Russian economy with sanctions, and the Russian banking system with a cut-off of SWIFT international currency clearing privileges, and accuse them of aggression. This mode of behavior used to be known as "poking the bear," a foolish and hazardous endeavor. "

And this shit has been going on since the Soviet Union broke up and the "Harvard Boys" helped turn Russia into a corrupt Oligarchy, something the Left was first to identify.

Chad Thunderfist -> venturen Fri, 08/17/2018 - 14:56 Permalink

...[MSM] owners:

https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/contributors?id=N00000019

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Sussman
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penny_Pritzker
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Harris_Simons
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haim_Saban
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Soros
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dustin_Moskovitz
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Rosenstein
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._Daniel_Abraham

STP -> edotabin Fri, 08/17/2018 - 17:36 Permalink

I was talking to someone, who knows a lot about the 'inner workings' and we were discussing, not only the US, but Europe's situation as well.

The rising of the Populist parties in the UK, Germany, especially Italy and now Sweden, portends an interesting trend, not just nationally, but world wide...

[Aug 14, 2018] Did Trump openly rejected some postulates of neoliberalism, at least during the election compaign ? Was Hillary somehow a bigger crook than Trump?

Some people are still fighting already lost battle.
Notable quotes:
"... That's a good critique of the electoral disaster that the Democrats brought upon themselves by adopting neoliberal economic policies at the dawn of the DLC. But it's delusional to think that Trump's restoration of gilded age economic policies will help working people, white or otherwise. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 08.11.18 at 7:52 pm (no link)

Still, to the extent that Trumpism has any economic policy content it's the idea that a package of immigration restrictions and corporate tax cuts[1] will make workers better off by reducing competition from migrants and increasing labor demand from corporations.

The emergence of Trumpism signifies deepening of the ideological crisis for the neoliberalism. Neoclassical economics fell like a house of cards.

IMHO Trumpism can be viewed as a kind of "national neoliberalism" which presuppose rejection of three dogmas of "classic neoliberalism":

1. Rejection of neoliberal globalization including, but not limited to, free movement of labor. Attempt to protect domestic industries via tariff barriers.

2. Rejection of excessive financialization and primacy of financial oligarchy Restoration of the status of manufacturing, and "traditional capitalists" status in comparison with financial oligarchy.

3. Rejection of austerity. An attempt to fight "secular stagnation" via Military Keysianism.

Trumpism sent "Chicago school" line of thinking to the dustbin of history. It exposed neoliberal economists as agents of financial oligarchy and the "Enemy of the American People" (a famous Trump phase about neoliberal MSM).

See, for example, a good summary by Sanjay Reddy ( Associate Professor of Economics, The New School for Social Research) at https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/11/trumpism-has-dealt-a-mortal-blow-to-orthodox-economics-and-social-science.html

It is never clear whether ideas or interests are the prime mover in shaping historical events, but only ideas and interests together can sustain a ruling consensus for a lengthy interval, such as the historic period of financialization and globalization running over the last 35 years. The role of economics in furnishing the now-rebuked narratives that have reigned for decades in mainstream political parties can be seen in three areas.

First, there is globalization as we knew it. Mainstream economics championed corporate-friendly trade and investment agreements to increase prosperity, and provided the intellectual framework for multilateral trade agreements.

Second, there is financialization, which led to increasing disconnection between stock market performance and the real economy, with large rewards going to firms that undertook asset stripping, outsourcing, and offshoring. The combination of globalization and financialization produced a new plutocratic class of owners, managers and those who serviced them in global cities, alongside gentrification of those cities, proleterianization and lumpenization of suburbs, and growing insecurity and casualization of employment for the bulk of the middle and working class.

Financialization also led to the near-abandonment of the 'national' industrial economy in favor of global sourcing and sales, and a handsome financial rentier economy built on top of it. Meanwhile, automation trends led to shedding of jobs everywhere, and threaten far more.

All of this was hardly noticed by the discipline charged with studying the economy. Indeed, it actively provided rationales for financialization, in the form of the efficient-markets hypothesis and related ideas; for concentration of capital through mergers and acquisitions in the form of contestable-markets theory; for the gentrification of the city through attacks on rent control and other urban policies; for remaking of labor markets through the idea that unemployment was primarily a reflection of voluntary leisure preferences, etc. The mainstream political parties, including those historically representing the working and middle classes, in thrall to the 'scientific' sheen of market fetishism, gambled that they could redistribute a share of the promised gains and thus embraced policies the effect of which was ultimately to abandon and to antagonize a large section of their electorate.

Third, there is the push for austerity, a recurrent trope of the 'neoliberal' era which, although not favored by all, has played an important role in creating conditions for the rise of popular movements demanding a more expansionary fiscal stance (though they can paradoxically simultaneously disdain taxation, as with Trumpism). The often faulty intellectual case made by many mainstream economists for central bank independence, inflation targeting, debt sustainability thresholds, the distortive character of taxation and the superiority of private provision of services including for health, education and welfare, have helped to support antagonism to governmental activity. Within this perspective, there is limited room for fiscal or even monetary stimulus, or for any direct governmental role in service provision, even in the form of productivity-enhancing investments. It is only the failure fully to overcome the shipwreck of 2008 that has caused some cracks in the edifice.

The dominant economic ideas taken together created a framework in which deviation from declared orthodoxy would be punished by dynamics unleashed by globalization and financialization. The system depended not merely on actors having the specific interests attributed to them, but in believing in the theory that said that they did. [This is one of the reasons that Trumpism has generated confusion among economic actors, even as his victory produced an early bout of stock-market euphoria. It does not rebuke neoliberalism so much as replace it with its own heretical version, bastard neoliberalism, an orientation without a theory, whose tale has yet to be written.]

Finally, interpretations of politics were too restrictive, conceptualizing citizens' political choices as based on instrumental and usually economic calculations, while indulging in a wishful account of their actual conditions -- for instance, focusing on low measured unemployment, but ignoring measures of distress and insecurity, or the indignity of living in hollowed-out communities.

Mainstream accounts of politics recognized the role of identities in the form of wooden theories of group mobilization or of demands for representation. However, the psychological and charismatic elements, which can give rise to moments of 'phase transition' in politics, were altogether neglected, and the role of social media and other new methods in politics hardly registered. As new political movements (such as the Tea Party and Trumpism in the U.S.) emerged across the world, these were deemed 'populist' -- both an admission of the analysts' lack of explanation, and a token of disdain. The essential feature of such movements -- the obscurantism that allows them to offer many things to many people, inconsistently and unaccountably, while serving some interests more than others -- was little explored. The failures can be piled one upon the other. No amount of quantitative data provided by polling, 'big data', or other techniques comprehended what might be captured through open-eyed experiential narratives. It is evident that there is a need for forms of understanding that can comprehend the currents within the human person, and go beyond shallow empiricism. Mainstream social science has offered few if any resources to understand, let alone challenge, illiberal majoritarianism, now a world-remaking phenomenon.

MisterMr 08.11.18 at 8:21 pm ( 12 )
I'll try to explain my previous comment from another angle:

I'll take the wage share on total income as the main index of worker's bargaining power.
The wage share depends on two factors:
1) there is a cyclical factor, when the economy is booming unemployment falls and the wage share rises, when the economy is depressed the opposite;
2) there are structural factors that depend on how redistributive is taxation, the power of unions etc.; these structural factors depend on law and policy, not on technology.

A big part of the "neoliberal" policy is the concept of trickle down, that can be summarized in (1) hope that the economy will go very well and will be in permanent boom by (2) lowering the wage share structural components, by making workers more flexible etc..
In this kind of policy (that was followed also by center left parties) the fall in the strucural component of the wage share is supposed to be compensated by the increase of the cyclical component, so that, in theory, workers should not be worse off.

But in reality, trickle down doesn't really work (we can argue why), so that the overall wage share fell.
Workers (and voters in general) then expect the economy to be in a situation of permanent boom, a boom so big that it surpasses the fall in the structural component of the wage share; but this never happens, and probably cannot happen for a sustained period.

So voters assume that someone is stealing their lunch, and they blame someone. Immigrants are supposed to lower worker's wage share, but influencing the cyclical component, not the structural one; instead we have an assumption that immigrants are lowering the structural component of the wage share, that is a nonsense, because voters have to blame someone.

Contemporaneously, we have policies that try to create a sort of permanent boom by trickle down, such as lowering the tax rate on high incomes. These policies resemble keynesian policy but in reality are strongly pro-cyclical, so in some sense are the opposite of the traditional keynesian policy.
This happens because these policies appease both workers (with the promise of a boom and thus an increase of the cyclical component of their wage share) and capitalists (because the government is pumping money in their pockets).
But these policies are also very pro-bubble.

From this point of view, Trump's policy (but also for example many policies of the current Italian government) are just a beefed up version of the neoliberal policy.

The hate for immigrants, as other nasty developments of international policy, are the effect of the fact that in reality trickle down cannot really create booms as big as to justify the weakening of the structural component of the wage share, so someone has to be blamed somehow; also trickle down is linked, culturally, to the concept of job creators, and the idea that workers only have an income because of the awesomeness of said job creators, which leads tho the idea that immigrants are also so to speak eating from the same dish, and thus robbing workers from their income.

CDT 08.13.18 at 2:41 am (no link)
@likbez --

That's a good critique of the electoral disaster that the Democrats brought upon themselves by adopting neoliberal economic policies at the dawn of the DLC. But it's delusional to think that Trump's restoration of gilded age economic policies will help working people, white or otherwise.

likbez 08.13.18 at 9:37 pm ( 34 )

It's why likbez is so sure that Clinton is somehow a bigger crook than Trump. That is just crazy.

He was just not the neoliberal establishment supported crook, or pretended to be such;-) That was enough for many people who are fed up with the system to vote for him. Just to show middle finger to neoliberal establishment personalized by Hillary Clinton.

On a more serious note, while I do assume that voting for Trump was a form of social protest against the current version of neoliberalism in the USA, I do not automatically assume that the social system that will eventually replace the current US flavor of neoliberalism will be an improvement for bottom 90% of population.

[Aug 14, 2018] Technocrats Rule Democracy Is 'OK' As Long As The People Rubberstamp Our Leadership

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Technocrats rule the world, East and West alike.

We are in a very peculiar ideological and political place in which Democracy (oh sainted Democracy) is a very good thing, unless the voters reject the technocrat class's leadership. Then the velvet gloves come off. From the perspective of the elites and their technocrat apparatchiks, elections have only one purpose: to rubberstamp their leadership.

As a general rule, this is easily managed by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and bribes to the cartels and insider fiefdoms who pony up most of the cash.

This is why incumbents win the vast majority of elections. Once in power, they issue the bribes and payoffs needed to guarantee funding next election cycle.

The occasional incumbent who is voted out of office made one of two mistakes:

1. He/she showed a very troubling bit of independence from the technocrat status quo, so a more orthodox candidate is selected to eliminate him/her.

2. The incumbent forgot to put on a charade of "listening to my constituency" etc.

If restive voters can't be bamboozled into passively supporting the technocrat status quo with the usual propaganda, divide and conquer is the preferred strategy. Only voting for the technocrat class (of any party, it doesn't really matter) will save us from the evil Other : Deplorables, socialists, commies, fascists, etc.

In extreme cases where the masses confound the status quo by voting against the technocrat class (i.e. against globalization, financialization, Empire), then the elites/technocrats will punish them with austerity or a managed recession. The technocrat's core ideology boils down to this:

1. The masses are dangerously incapable of making wise decisions about anything, so we have to persuade them to do our bidding. Any dissent will be punished, marginalized, censored or shut down under some pretext of "protecting the public" or violation of some open-ended statute.

2. To insure this happy outcome, we must use all the powers of propaganda, up to and including rigged statistics, bogus "facts" (official fake news can't be fake news, etc.), divide and conquer, fear-mongering, misdirection and so on.

3. We must relentlessly centralize all power, wealth and authority so the masses have no escape or independence left to threaten us. We must control everything, for their own good of course.

4. Globalization must be presented not as a gargantuan fraud that has stripmined the planet and its inhabitants, but as the sole wellspring of endless, permanent prosperity.

5. If the masses refuse to rubberstamp our leadership, they will be punished and told the source of their punishment is their rejection of globalization, financialization and Empire.

Technocrats rule the world, East and West alike. My two favorite charts of the outcome of technocrats running things to suit their elite masters are:

The state-cartel-crony-capitalist version: the top .1% skim the vast majority of the gains in income and wealth. Globalization, financialization and Empire sure do rack up impressive gains. Too bad they're concentrated in the top 1.%.

The state-crony-socialist version: the currency is destroyed, impoverishing everyone but the top .1% who transferred their wealth to Miami, London and Zurich long ago. Hmm, do you discern a pattern here in the elite-technocrat regime?

Ideology is just a cover you slip over the machine to mask what's really going on.

* * *

My new book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com .

[Aug 08, 2018] In many ways, the Democratic elite are small "c"onservatives. New ideas and such are frightening to them.

Notable quotes:
"... In many ways, the Democratic elite are small "c"onservatives. New ideas and such are frightening to them. ..."
"... the energy of the political left is not with the Democrats ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

NotTimothyGeithner , August 7, 2018 at 8:29 pm

The by product of small minds and limited options. The collapse of the Democratic Party also represented a failure to create a bench. AOC is a person who should have been identified and pushed to run for local or even state government by a healthy political party.

In many ways, the Democratic elite are small "c"onservatives. New ideas and such are frightening to them.

Donna Brazille knocked the Clinton Headquarters staff for not having sex, but the pictures of the Clinton staffers looked like a particularly boring group of College Republicans. Wow, the President listens to Jay-Z. He's really popular with kids from the suburbs!

This morning I was reminded that Sam Power apologized for calling Hillary a monster in 2013 probably because it seemed inevitable HRC would be President, but now I see it as a lack of creative thinking where these boring people (they are boring) couldn't envision an alternative.

As far as the options, the energy of the political left is not with the Democrats hence why they have to pimp Biden every few months.

NotTimothyGeithner , August 7, 2018 at 10:27 pm

HRC use to pay DavidHow much went to MSNBC to be in ads for the choir? What good was an HRC ad during a network dedicated to "Her"?

As far as her staff, she use to pay Mark Penn. Its reasonable to expect the Clinton campaign would simply light money on fire, but I was always puzzled by the ads on MSNBC. What good were they beyond preaching Hillary was running for President?

We know from the DNC emails Podesta said he needed to talk to HRC about promising the VP to everyone after she had picked Kaine long before the announcement. I'm wondering what kinds of ad buys she promised. When Obama got to the end, he just randomly ran an infomercial and gave the field staff a fairly decent bonus. With all her money in a slam dunk election, I think the story is more than a campaign of would be Mark Penns.

DonCoyote , August 7, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Joan Didion's Insider Baseball , written 30 years ago, is still probably my favorite political piece of writing.

Thank you, Lambert, for going beyond the facile "horserace" and "blue wave" tropes and assembling enough data for us non-insiders to be able to gain some understanding of the game the insiders are playing.

These are people who speak of the process as an end in itself, connected only nominally, and vestigially, to the electorate and its possible concerns "Anything that brings the process closer to the people is all to the good," George Bush declared in his 1987 autobiography, Looking Forward, accepting as given this relatively recent notion that the people and the process need not automatically be on convergent tracks.

When we talk about the process, then, we are talking, increasingly, not about "the democratic process," or the general mechanism affording the citizens of a state a voice in its affairs, but the reverse: a mechanism seen as so specialized that access to it is correctly limited to its own professionals, to those who manage policy and those who report on it, to those who run the polls and those who quote them, to those who ask and those who answer the questions on the Sunday shows, to the media consultants, to the columnists, to the issues advisers, to those who give the off-the-record breakfasts and to those who attend them; to that handful of insiders who invent, year in and year out, the narrative of public life.

Tony of CA , August 7, 2018 at 7:08 pm

I have a simple question: Why vote? Both parties are largely control by the same donors. It strikes me as a waste of energy. When someone such a Sanders comes around who actually slightly challenges the status quo, the powers to be actively collude to disenfranchise the movement.

flora , August 7, 2018 at 7:39 pm

"I have a simple question: Why vote?"

Simple answer: It's the only thing we have that scares them. Why else would they spend so much effort trying to suppress the vote, or not fighting voter suppression? And who knows, some candidates you vote for might win.

Tony of CA , August 7, 2018 at 11:20 pm

I don't think it actually scares them. It's more important for them to keep the showing going. By voting, we are actively buying into the political theatre. It's a sham. Really democracy simply can't coexist in a Capitalistic system.

Altandmain , August 7, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Hard question, but how much is an Obama or Clinton endorsement really worth?

They are not going to be very appealing to swing voters, independents, etc. They have limited to appeal to getting young people and supporters of Bernie Sanders to vote.

Seems like they are most useful for just motivating Establishment Democratic voters.

Second, the Democrat Party really is split. As you can see, Obama, Clinton, and the DCCC's endorsements overlap in only a single case (again, CA-50) with "insurgent" backers like Justice Democrats (JD) and Our Revolution (OR). Negative confirmation: Obama did not endorse Ocasio-Cortez ("Party Unity is for Rubes"). Her district is a safe Democrat seat (unless Crowley, running as a straw on the Working Families line, somehow takes it away from her), so perhaps that doesn't matter: Positive confirmation: Obama and Clinton didn't endorse Bryce in WI-01, although -- because? -- Sanders did, even though the DCCC did, and the seat used to be Paul Ryan's![1]

It has been split between those who got rich by neoliberalism (the 10%er base) and the rest of us.

That's the really brutal reality.

NotTimothyGeithner , August 7, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Probably none.

My sense is the importance of the Oprah endorsement of Obama wasn't the endorsement as much as the spectacle and crowds. 10,000 people at a campaign event in New Hampshire is huge. At that point, Obama didn't have to face the usual primary audience much like HRC where candidates do get fairly difficult questions in comparison to the msm garbage questions cookie recipes.

Yellow dog types who might vote for AOC over say Crowley on their own might be swayed, but I suspect "DNC" letter head would have the same effect.

Lambert Strether Post author , August 7, 2018 at 11:34 pm

> how much is an Obama or Clinton endorsement really worth?

It's a signal about where to send money.

[Aug 07, 2018] Once the Democratic Party has burned the people who fall under the marketing term "Millennials" enough times, they'll move on to the new "hope" of Gen Z who won't have multiple memories of lie after lie

Aug 07, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Summer , August 3, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Once the Democratic Party has burned the people who fall under the marketing term "Millennials" enough times, they'll move on to the new "hope" of Gen Z who won't have multiple memories of lie after lie.

Wash.Rinse.Repeat.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 3, 2018 at 5:12 pm

Something about being young and having never been fooled too many times (yet).

  • Stalin and the soviets went after their own young ones.
  • So did the Austrian corporal.
  • Mao's Red Guards.
  • The Young Republicans.

And Sanders' wait, he's an exception. Though I'd still like free organic foods for all all ages before, or at the same time as free college.

(One can't march one's neuron soldiers on an empty stomach).

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 3, 2018 at 5:20 pm

Some people have told me they could think better when hungry.

Still, let's not let that be an excuse to starve anyone of any age.

JBird , August 6, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Some people have told me they could think better when hungry.

After the initial pangs go away, and one can think clearly, one is incentivized to really find solutions, but thinking as in learning? They have different brains then me, let's just say.

Summer , August 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm

Marketing and advertising thrive on the same concept.
Exalting youth to exploit it.
When that doesn't work, use fear (of not being wealthy enough, attractive enough, etc,). That base emotion gets played on throughout people's lives.

That is why those marketing terms found a comfy fit with political narratives and polling (which is done to fit a narrative).

[Aug 06, 2018] LeBron Shows Trump What Winning Really Looks Like

Notable quotes:
"... If, on average, just seven Republicans are moderates, and Democrats need 15 additional votes, Democrats will obviously fall short. Where else then could and should Democrats look? The more promising pools of people are actually Democratic voters -- many of whom face greater economic obstacles in finding the time and transportation to get to the polls. ..."
"... In the quest for those necessary 15 votes, the number-one place Democrats should look is among the 19 percent of Democrats who voted in 2016, but are unlikely to cast ballots this year. ..."
"... In fact, the largest pool of people Democrats should be trying to tap is actually nonvoters -- the 200,000 people per district who were eligible but didn't cast ballots in 2016. It is in these sectors of society where Democrats will find the source of success and the path to winning back the House and taking back our country and winning elections for years to come. ..."
Aug 06, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Democratic leaders have gone to great lengths, for example, to encourage military veterans to run for Congress this year. Veterans can be great progressive leaders (my father and uncle served in the military, and I was born on a military base), but if the strategic objective is to appeal to swing voters drawn to Trump's posture and positions, the math doesn't add up. The painful truth is that there just aren't that many swing voters.

Doing a deep data dive on the districts reveals that the number of swing voters is far smaller than many people realize, especially when you factor in the drop-off in voter turnout in midterm elections. In the most competitive Republican-held congressional districts, Clinton won by an average of 17,000 votes, but the incumbent GOP congressperson beat his or her Democratic foe by an average of 34,000 votes.

This reality is particularly problematic when you factor in the smaller electorate during midterms, when fewer turn out to vote than in a presidential year. This diagram shows the total voter pool in an average competitive district, how many people voted, and how many voted for Clinton, Trump, and the Republican member of the House. For illustration purposes, if 100 people voted in one of these Clinton-Republican representative-won districts in 2016, the incumbent House Republican received 54 votes, and his or her Democratic opponent received 43 votes. Of those 54 people who voted for the incumbent Republican, seven (out of 100 votes) voted for Clinton. That's seven moderate Republicans out of 100 voters. Historically, in midterm elections, Republicans are more likely to come back out and vote than are Democrats, and as a result, that 54-43 Republican advantage from the higher-turnout presidential year will be about 39-25 this midterm year (based on historical turnout data). This means Democrats need to find 15 votes in every 100 in order to flip those 23 seats. Looking at the possible sources of an additional 15 percent highlights how few moderate Republicans there are.

If, on average, just seven Republicans are moderates, and Democrats need 15 additional votes, Democrats will obviously fall short. Where else then could and should Democrats look? The more promising pools of people are actually Democratic voters -- many of whom face greater economic obstacles in finding the time and transportation to get to the polls.

In the quest for those necessary 15 votes, the number-one place Democrats should look is among the 19 percent of Democrats who voted in 2016, but are unlikely to cast ballots this year.

In races that may well be decided by a few thousand votes (for example, Pennsylvania Democrat Conor Lamb won his special US House election earlier this year by a mere 627 votes ), it makes sense to also target the 20,000 young people in each congressional district who were not old enough to vote in 2016, but are now eligible.

In fact, the largest pool of people Democrats should be trying to tap is actually nonvoters -- the 200,000 people per district who were eligible but didn't cast ballots in 2016. It is in these sectors of society where Democrats will find the source of success and the path to winning back the House and taking back our country and winning elections for years to come.

It is hard work to get all of these voters out, but that is the work that will determine success or failure this fall.

[Aug 03, 2018] Donald Trump might be a symptom that neoliberal system is about to collapse

Amazing interview.
We are in the point when capitalist system (which presented itself as asocial system that created a large middle class) converted into it opposite: it is social system that could not deliver that it promised and now want to distract people from this sad fact.
The Trump adopted tax code is a huge excess: we have 40 year when corporation paid less taxes. This is last moment when they need another gift. To give them tax is crazy excess that reminding Louis XV of France. Those gains are going in buying of socks. And real growth is happening elsewhere in the world.
After WW2 there were a couple of decades of "golden age" of US capitalism when in the USA middle class increased considerably. That was result of pressure of working class devastated by Great Depression. Roosevelt decided that risk is too great and he introduced social security net. But capitalist class was so enraged that they started fighting it almost immediately after the New Deal was introduced. Business class was enrages with the level of taxes and counterattacked. Tarp act and McCarthyism were two successful counterattacks. McCarthyism converting communists and socialists into agents of foreign power.
The quality of jobs are going down. That's why Trump was elected... Which is sad. Giving your finger to the neoliberal elite does not solve their problem
Notable quotes:
"... Finally, if everybody tries to save themselves (protection), we have a historical example: after the Great Depression that happened in Europe. And most people believe that it was a large part of what led to WWII after WWI, rather than a much saner collective effort. But capitalism doesn't go for collective efforts, it tends to destroy itself by its own mechanisms. There has to be a movement from below. Otherwise, there is no counter force that can take us in another direction. ..."
"... When Trump announced his big tariffs on China, we saw the stock market dropped 700 points in a day. That's a sign of the anxiety, the danger, even in the minds of capitalists, about where this is going. ..."
"... Everything is done to avoid asking the question to what degree the system we have in place - capitalism is its name - is the problem. It's the Russians, it's the immigrants, it's the tariffs, it's anything else, even the pornstar, to distract us from the debate we need to have had that we haven't had for a half a century, which puts us in a very bad place. We've given a free pass to a capitalist system because we've been afraid to debate it. And when you give a free pass to any institution you create the conditions for it to rot, right behind the facade. ..."
"... The Trump presidency is the last gasp, it's letting it all hang out. A [neoliberal] system that's gonna do whatever it can, take advantage of this moment, grab it all before it disappears. ..."
Jul 10, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

In another interesting interview with Chris Hedges, Richard Wolff explains why the Trump presidency is the last resort of a system that is about to collapse:

Finally, if everybody tries to save themselves (protection), we have a historical example: after the Great Depression that happened in Europe. And most people believe that it was a large part of what led to WWII after WWI, rather than a much saner collective effort. But capitalism doesn't go for collective efforts, it tends to destroy itself by its own mechanisms. There has to be a movement from below. Otherwise, there is no counter force that can take us in another direction.

So, absent that counter force we are going to see this system spinning out of control and destroying itself in the very way its critics have for so long foreseen it well might.

When Trump announced his big tariffs on China, we saw the stock market dropped 700 points in a day. That's a sign of the anxiety, the danger, even in the minds of capitalists, about where this is going. If we hadn't been a country with two or three decades of a middle class - working class paid really well - maybe we could have gotten away with this. But in a society that has celebrated its capacity to do what it now fails to do, you have an explosive situation.

Everything is done to avoid asking the question to what degree the system we have in place - capitalism is its name - is the problem. It's the Russians, it's the immigrants, it's the tariffs, it's anything else, even the pornstar, to distract us from the debate we need to have had that we haven't had for a half a century, which puts us in a very bad place. We've given a free pass to a capitalist system because we've been afraid to debate it. And when you give a free pass to any institution you create the conditions for it to rot, right behind the facade.

The Trump presidency is the last gasp, it's letting it all hang out. A [neoliberal] system that's gonna do whatever it can, take advantage of this moment, grab it all before it disappears.

In France, it was said 'Après moi, le déluge' (after me the catastrophe). The storm will break.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/60FrsWm9OAc

[Aug 03, 2018] Trumpism and the Politics of Distrust

Aug 03, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

We have lost some of our democratic habits -- indeed, in many ways we are losing our very cohesion as a society. But I frame the question very differently.

I know a bunch of Trump supporters. Some of them are intellectuals who write for places like TAC . But most are not. Neither are any of them raving bigots or knuckle-dragging neanderthals, and all of them read the news, though with vastly less obsessiveness than people who work in the business.

None of them "like" things like "unremitting chaos, lies, ignorance, trash-talking vulgarity, legislative failure" or collusion with foreign governments. Some of them minimize some of these things at least some of the time -- and I myself have been known to derive a kind of pleasure from the absurdity of a figure like Mooch. But this isn't what the people who I know who voted Trump voted for , nor is it why they continue to be happy with their vote -- which, however unhappy they are with how the administration is conducting itself, most of them still are.

Rather, the commonality among those who voted for Trump is their conviction that the Democratic party's leadership is utterly bankrupt, and, to one degree or another, so is the Republican leadership. And that assessment hasn't changed one iota since the election.


SDS August 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

"They are, however, people who have lost trust in the individuals and institutions who are most alarmed about Trump: the political establishment, the press, etc. And so, on a relative basis, they'd rather continue to put their trust in Trump."

That last line does not follow .We have lost trust in all of the others; so would rather see what Trump does; not that we have any trust in him to do the right thing

THAT would be ridiculous; especially after the last six months.

Will Harrington , says: August 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm
Hmmm. Populism can not govern or build institutions by its very nature? I can't help but read that as saying the plebeians are so incompetent and stupid that only the elites are capable of governing. As for the American people taking a turn to authoritarianism. This is possible, after all, our Federal government has spent most of the last century increasing their control over many of the aspects of our lives and stretching the limits of the Constitution beyond any recognition. We have been prepared to accept authoritarianism. Increasingly we have had an authoritarian presidency that surveils its own people and has usurped regulatory and warmaking authority from the Congress. The Federal government has created, out of whole cloth, a role for itself in public education. Do not blame the populace for being what the elite has spent a century shaping them to be.
I am convinced that the saber rattling and fear-mongering concerning Korea, Iran, and Russia are not happening because we have any reason to be particularly concerned about these countries or because they threaten our interests. No, this is the way a corrupt and ineffective regime distracts its citizens from its own failings. Lets be clear, this would be happening even if She-who-shall-not-be-named had one the Presidency.
JonF , says: August 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm
Whatever happened to "trust but verify"?
OK, a bunch of people did the political equivalent of a Hail Mary play in voting for Trump. But now that the ball has not only fallen short but gone way out of bounds and beaned some spectators in the stands shouldn't they be revoking that trust and casting around for someone else to represent them? Why stick with a sinking ship?
JessicaR , says: August 1, 2017 at 1:25 pm
https://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/11/11/why-veterans-voted-donald-trump-swing-states/21603486/

There is strong evidence to suggest that one factor in Trump's victory was distrust of US foreign policy. The link above is to an article about exit polls showing Trump won the veteran's vote 2:1 over Hillary Clinton.

Not long ago, a study by two academicians found that Trump carried counties with high casualties in the Iraq war: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2989040

People don't regret their votes for Trump because if they had voted for Clinton, they or their loved ones would be coming home in body bags–or minus body parts.

As bad as Trump is, his foreign policy instincts are less hawkish than Clinton's–witness his decision to end the CIA funding of Syrian insurgents.

Trump's behavior is certainly "unpresidential" and chaotic. It is also less horrible than war by many orders of magnitude.

Kevin , says: August 1, 2017 at 1:29 pm
"The politically relevant, and profoundly disturbing, fact is precisely the opposite of the conventional wisdom: After six months of unremitting chaos, lies, ignorance, trash-talking vulgarity, legislative failure, and credible evidence of a desire to collude with a hostile foreign government to subvert an American election, President Trump's approval rating is astonishingly high -- with something between one-third and two-fifths of the American people apparently liking what they see and hear from the White House"

But George W Bush at his nadir averaged 26% approval, and that's seven years in, during an epic economic collapse, a catastrophic war, and a host of other disasters. Trump is not THAT far away from that average.

There is simply a line beyond which a president can't decline unless he murders and eats a puppy in public, and I see no reason to presume that we can judge that Trump hit his bottom six months in, when the economy is decent and no non-self inflicted crisis looming.

I'd also add that while all your friends have different reasons to stay aboard the Trump train, all of them sound like high information, fairly ideological voters. This is probably not the profile of Trump voters set to vote for The Rock in 2020

c matt , says: August 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm
Well, when a building is rotten to the core, the only thing you can do is raze it to the ground to start rebuilding. Our government has long passed its sell-by date. Really, expecting a political solution to arise from a government controlled system such as ours does not border on insanity – it completely crosses that border in leaves it miles in the dust. Witness our insane Congress voting by a 98% margin to inflict sanctions based upon absolute crock. But then the US has never let reality get in the way of statesmenshowmanship. We get what we deserve, good and hard.
polistra , says: August 1, 2017 at 2:57 pm
You're OK until the last line. "And populism by its very nature cannot build institutions, cannot govern "

You're still using the Deepstate definition of populism. In fact populists want only one thing: We think the government of THIS country should serve the interests of the people of THIS country.

It's perfectly possible to govern by this rule. FDR did it magnificently.

Why did it work for FDR? Because he was determined to BREAK the monopolies and forces that acted contrary to the interests of the people, and because governments BELOW the Federal level were still strong. When he closed the banks for several months, cities and Chambers of Commerce jumped in immediately to develop scrip systems.

Thanks to an unbroken series of evil judges and presidents after WW2, local governments and institutions are dead or dying. Even if a competent and determined populist tried to close down banks or Amazon or the "health" insurance system, there would be no organized way to replace them.

Jones , says: August 1, 2017 at 2:59 pm
What exactly did these people think a Clinton administration would do? What nightmarish dystopia did they see coming around the bend? And what do you think -- were their perceptions of America's future under a Clinton administration accurate, or at least close to the mark? And if so, why?
Jones , says: August 1, 2017 at 3:01 pm
Also, I get that people have lost trust in mainstream institutions. What makes them think that Trump is trustworthy in comparison? Why do they have more trust in Trump than in the institutions? And does that seem reasonable?
Heyseed , says: August 1, 2017 at 3:06 pm
I didn't vote for Trump: His rhetorical style turns me cold; I don't like his position on many issues, or his general governing philosophy, to the extent he can be said to have one. But, BUT, I sure as Hell did not vote for Hilary Clinton(I voted for Johnson and Weld, who were obvious non-starters from the word Go. I might possibly have voted for Trump if it had looked like the election might be close in Illinois, but since the Chicago Machine had already stolen it for HRC, I could salve my conscience and vote for Johnson.

Clinton was the status quo candidate, and since I did not desire "more of the same", governmentally, Trump and his circus are preferable to Clinton and whatever cabal she would have assembled to run the country.

You claim that the elite "inevitably" run the machinery of government, but it's worth noting that once upon a time in America, most of the people in government were political appointees who could be sent packing(along with their bosses) by the voters. Nowadays, the 'elite' which runs government is dug in pretty much permanently, and the same people will be, in practice, running the government no matter who wins the next election, or the one after that

Hilary Clinton was forthrightly the candidate of the permanent, un-elected bureaucracy, and Trump, well, didn't seem to be. The choice was between Trump, whose actual position on the size of government was not clear, and Hilary Clinton who was actually promising to make government bigger, more centralized, more expensive and less responsive. I'm not sorry Trump won however distasteful he and his henchmen are to me.

Michael R Honohan , says: August 1, 2017 at 3:57 pm
I too had a friend who was a huge Ron Paul supporter who not only backed Trump, but became a major apologist for him ever since. The man ran two back to back campaigns in Georgia for US Senate, the Ron Paul mold. Now, no on his original team will give him the time of day. Those who tried to get some sense into him, have been closed off.

As a libertarian, I am no more afraid of the left or the right. In fact, listening to the right rant about the left yields a lot of ignorance, disinformation and paranoia: stock in trade for right wing propaganda. But I am disturbed when people spend years fighting for liberty suddenly joined Cult 45 that has no sense of liberty Ron Paul or his followers would recognize.

But Trump fit the bankrupt GOP. Lest we forget, those 49 GOP Senators who voted for "skinny repeal" (even the name is joke!) never gave a moment's consideration to the bill written by Rand Paul that covers the conservative attributes of free markets and self-determination. Lest we also forget that Rand is not only one of the few legit conservatives, but a doctor and the son of doctor or former Congressman. Those credentials alone would have been enough if GOP was actually interested being conservative. Apparently, Trumpism is what the GOP is about and 49 of them proved it.

ojc , says: August 1, 2017 at 4:43 pm
I think that you have identified a problem that transcends Trump and his opponents. Vitriolic partisanship is one thing. At various points in our history, we have had some nasty spells of polarization. The deeper problem that the institutions of public life are now losing their very legitimacy.

Legitimacy is something deeper than mere approval. It relies upon the unspoken acceptance of political and institutional norms.

We are clearly in the process of publicly reevaluating and even rejecting these norms. The birthers questioning Obama's background and "not my president" folks do not view their oppponents as legitimate, if mistaken. In the case of Trump and the radical left, they contest the legitimacy of the other side even participating in the process, a process by the way to which they owe no fealty.

Whine Merchant , says: August 1, 2017 at 5:42 pm
"We had to destroy the village to save it."

Where have we heard that line before??

Cash , says: August 1, 2017 at 5:58 pm
Nothing wrong with America that couldn't be fixed, one, by making voting mandatory, and two, by having top two vote getters in primary face each other in the general.

We'd have a moderate politics with elected officials clustering slightly right and left of the center.

cka2nd , says: August 1, 2017 at 6:32 pm
Speaking as a Commie Pinko Red, I still prefer Trump as President over Clinton, precisely because he is doing so much to undermine America's "leadership" in world affairs. He's still a murderous imperialist, maybe even just as much as she would have been, but there's just so much more damage that she could have done making bi-partisan deals with the GOP for the benefit of Wall Street and the insurance industry.

The movement against GOPcare – Trumpcare wasn't really a fair name for the wet dreams of Paul Ryan and Conservative, Inc. – probably couldn't have been so effective or flew under the radar of the establishment tools running the Democratic Party and its media mouthpieces if a Democrat was in the White House and the various beltway "movement" honchos had had their precious seat at the table where they could have rolled over for the Democratic president of the moment.

bt , says: August 1, 2017 at 6:41 pm
The biggest problem is what comes after Trump for the GOP?

He's kicked off a process for the GOP that will be very difficult to manage going forward. He showed that outright racism, sexism, continuous lying, even treasonous collusion with Russia to subvert our election is just fine with the Republican Party. How does the GOP sell family values to their 'base' after they all lined up with Donald j Trump, serial wife-cheater and money-launderer?

It will be hard for anyone to forget that any of this happened.

Consider this: 8 years of W Bush yielded the first black President – It really could not have happened if W hadn't burned the house down. What comes after Trump?

FiveString , says: August 1, 2017 at 7:52 pm
I'm a very middle-class worker in the IT sector where most of my coworkers have been sensible, but my weekend hobby of playing music has put me in contact (largely via Facebook) with many Trump supporters who do happen to be knuckle-dragging neanderthals. They generally don't read; their "news" comes from partisan demagogues on the radio or TV. If I give one the benefit of the doubt and share an article from, say, The American Conservative -- "The Madness of King Donald" was a favorite -- it's been all too common to receive a childish/hate-filled meme in response. Bigots are legion: I've unfriended the raving variety, and unfollowed the milder dog-whistlers. These deplorables have in fact been emboldened by the current POTUS.

But I get your point. I abhor the current duopoly, but it could be fixed if thinking citizens wanted to put in some effort. So, it's depressing in a different kind of way that so many thoughtful and well-read Americans are so cynical about state of US politics that they are fine with Trump wrecking it.

Barry , says: August 1, 2017 at 8:23 pm
"Rather, the commonality among those who voted for Trump is their conviction that the Democratic party's leadership is utterly bankrupt, and, to one degree or another, so is the Republican leadership. And that assessment hasn't changed one iota since the election."

They are people who were full of it beforehand, and as the evidence rolls in, they just sink deeper into lies.

MarkW , says: August 1, 2017 at 8:38 pm
Linker's quote "a desire to collude" you reference later as "collusion". The first instance is an attempt to broaden the charge from collusion, the second instance is a (sloppy?) change in language.
Mdet , says: August 1, 2017 at 9:31 pm
@Will Harrington, "Populism can not govern or build institutions by its very nature? I can't help but read that as saying the plebeians are so incompetent and stupid that only the elites are capable of governing."

I read that statement as "Once you are governing, once you are the one(s) in a position of power, then by definition you have become 'the elite' and are no longer 'a plebeian'". Populists, by definition, are the people who call for the tearing down of institutions that make up the status-quo, and elites, by definition, are the people who build and maintain status-quo institutions. At least in my eyes, "being a populist" and "governing institutions" are mutually exclusive.

Frank Lettucebee , says: August 2, 2017 at 12:46 am
Since the conservative party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower was invaded by the right wingers and became the party of Jefferson Davis and John Wilkes Booth, the goal has been to tarnish all concept of a functioning a democracy and a government is built to work for the people, of the people, and by the people. The right wing main tactic is lies and just get people riled up so that they don't realize and oblivious to the fact that America has slipped from capitalism to corporatism; from a capitalist democracy to a caste based plutocracy run for the sole benefit of the oligarchs who bought this country.

Don Trump is the embodiment and distillation of the right winger and their economic and social cultural policies. He is not an alternative or antidote to the Republicans or Democrats.

Cal , says: August 2, 2017 at 2:04 am
" Is he happy with Trump? No -- he's especially unhappy with the number of Goldman bankers Trump appointed to senior economic posts, but more generally he acknowledges that the government is in chaos and that Trump is not bringing the change he hoped for. But he doesn't regret his vote, and he prefers the chaos of Trump to business-as-usual under either the Democrats or the Republicans. And if Trump winds up discrediting the Federal government generally, that's fine with him."

I didn't vote this election because I didn't like either candidate. I had been promoting 'America First' as a rallying cry for a candidate for years but Trump wasnt exactly the kind of leader I had in mind for it.
But I'm with the guy above -- if chaos will bust up the musical chair dual monarchies of the dems and repubs and the corrupt status quo government bring it on.

Pear Conference , says: August 2, 2017 at 6:23 am
I think the Democratic nominee in 2020 should be O.J. Simpson.

The reason is that I have lost trust in the media and the elites that are most alarmed about O.J. Simpson.

Kurt Gayle , says: August 2, 2017 at 8:37 am
A somewhat related question, Noah: If you had been a young man living in China on August 1, 1927, do you think you would have joined the People's Liberation Army?
connecticut farmer , says: August 2, 2017 at 9:50 am
Originally I wanted to sit out this past election but gave in to peer pressure. And I regret this. Trump? Clinton? Johnson? Stein? All were mediocre. Clinton/Trump were the two worst candidates that the "major" parties have ever produced in my lifetime. It was with fear and trepidation that I voted for Trump, notwithstanding that I fundamentally agreed with him on the issues of immigration and the need for a reduced American role in global affairs. In the end, I rationalized this (wasted) vote based upon the notion that not only had his opponent committed a felony (detouring government emails) but also because (as others have pointed out) she was the candidate of the status quo, the "permanent bureaucracy", Big Finance etc. etc. The fact that Trump actually won surprised me, but only moderately, because as terrible a candidate as he was, his opponent was even worse.

What has transpired since his election comes as no surprise. Had Clinton been elected conditions would have only been mirror imaged, such being the state of things in this once-great republic. I continue to maintain that the two-party system is archaic and has to go. Whether a multi-party system would be better, I don't know. Perhaps we have reached a point where the country is simply ungovernable. Perhaps more responsibility should be returned to state and local government (Jefferson would have approved). Again, I don't know.

What I do know is that the current system is dysfunctional.

And that, my friends, is why we have a real estate/TV personality as President.

wallysdaughter , says: August 2, 2017 at 12:40 pm
i am neither an establishment voter, or a member of the media/press. i am deeply worried where the man (trump) is taking this nation. the gop is complicit in this chaos as they see trump as a rubber stamp for their plutocratic agenda. i don't know what it will take to right the ship of state
EliteCommInc. , says: August 3, 2017 at 7:49 am
I don't regret my vote. And I ave had issues with my choice before and after the election. The sky is not even close to falling as predicted. And the democracy you claim is at threat may very well be, but it's from the current executive. And nothing thus far suggests that it will.

I m not going to dismiss the caterwauling liberals have been making since the campaign or the election as major distraction to governance.

And by the way there remain not a twiddle's evidence that the WH prior to the election colluded to undermine the US in any manner. It's time to cease throwing that out as sauce for the goose.

I think I agree with all four of your "freinds". I am very fond of the establishment, they have their place. What they provide in cohesion, stability and continuity is valuable to the state. But they appear to be want for any level of substance, depth thereof or moral consistency (if any at all). The double standards they hold themselves, their donors and connections on issues and accountability is unsustainable in a democracy as I think you understand it.

When I was laid out in the ER, I found myself wrestling with my own position on healthcare. The temptations are great to bend the guide as to my own conditions -- but I don't think I could so with a clear conscience. I am nor sot sure that what we haven't lost is a sense of conscience -- that sense that truth overrides immediate gain. I don't think the US can survive as the US if the leadership is bent on holding themselves to a standard not available to the country's citizens.

"Is he happy with Trump? No -- he's especially unhappy with the number of Goldman bankers Trump appointed to senior economic posts, but more generally he acknowledges that the government . . ."

And the discredited notions that

1. the rich know how to run an economy effectively and

2. that a rise in the market is a sign of economic health.

Brendan Sexton , says: August 3, 2017 at 10:48 am
Pear Conference captures perfectly the 'thinking' i have heard from more than one Trump voter. This is 'reasoning'?
If there is one system in America that needs blowing up to start over it might be our education system. I am generally supportive of public ed, and i am impressed by some of the commitment and inventiveness i see among the proposers of various alternatives to public ed. So, some folks are trying, even sometimes succeeding, but we have managed to arrive at a point in our culture where we have elected a President whose election success depended more than anything else on a public who have lost the ability to think critically. (if they ever had it, of course)
Yes I know the other one got more votes, by a lot. And i know that this other candidate was oddly not at all an attractive alternative. I know all that, but still, a huge fraction of the voting population–a fraction large enough to make themselves now THE base the government is playing to–is a group who could not/would not see this con-job coming? There was every opportunity to use actual logic and facts to reach a voting decision, but these millions of voters chose instead to go with various variations on the theme of 'they all stink, so i'm using my vote to poke a stick in their eyes." Or, as Pear satirized, "I hate/mistrust the elites and they like almost anybody else other than my guy, so I'm gonna turn my country over to the most vulgar non-elite pig the system can come up with."
There is talk now about the damage he can do to American politics and sense of community, but I think he may be more symptom than cause. We don't value the things we thought were a standard part of the American process: truthfulness, kindness, authenticity, devotion to the common good. We value, it turns out, showmanship, machismo, crass shows of wealth and power, and ..I can't go on.
I'm not sure how we got here, but I know the institutions held in high regard on this site, such as church, and some factors we all put our faith in such as increasing levels of education, turn out not to matter so much as we had thought. It is going to take some hard work and more than a little time to recover from this sickness in the country's soul.
Fran Macadam , says: August 3, 2017 at 11:43 am
"Trump supporters are just like people who are outraged by something and show it by rioting and burning down their own neighborhoods." – Greg in PDX

The antifas rioting and destroying in Portland also got very violent when some old folks held a peaceful rally for Trump there.

Oh, sorry. I forgot that when "progressives" disagree with someone, they consider that merely disagreeing with them constitutes "violence" against their "safe space" and they are compelled to go out and punch or shoot people.

Fran Macadam , says: August 3, 2017 at 11:47 am
"Nothing wrong with America that couldn't be fixed, one, by making voting mandatory"

Right, and by making public disclosure of who you voted for mandatory as well!

Just don't be the first to stop clapping.

Fran Macadam , says: August 3, 2017 at 11:50 am
Those calling for a soft coup to reinstate elite status quo leaders against the election results are the ones who are profoundly anti-democratic.
Grumpy Old Man , says: September 5, 2017 at 8:33 pm
No reason why populism couldn't govern. Huey Long was a damn effective governor of Louisiana. Send the whole Acela Corridor élite to Saddam's woodchipper and the country would noodle along just fine. I'm not for state violence, and yet the fantasy gives me a frisson. Forgive me, a sinner.

[Aug 03, 2018] The elites "have no credibility left by David North and Chris Hedges

Notable quotes:
"... War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, The Death of the Liberal Class ..."
"... Empire of Illusion: the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt ..."
"... Wages of Rebellion: the Moral Imperative of Revolt ..."
"... Do not significantly alienate those upon whom we depend for money and access! ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
Oct 06, 2017 | www.unz.com

On Monday, WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North interviewed Chris Hedges, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author, lecturer and former New York Times correspondent. Among Hedges' best-known books are War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, The Death of the Liberal Class , Empire of Illusion: the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt , which he co-wrote with the cartoonist Joe Sacco, and Wages of Rebellion: the Moral Imperative of Revolt .

In an article published in Truthdig September 17 , titled "The Silencing of Dissent," Hedges referenced the WSWS coverage of Google's censorship of left-wing sites and warned about the growth of "blacklisting, censorship and slandering dissidents as foreign agents for Russia and purveyors of 'fake news.'"

Hedges wrote that "the Department of Justice called on RT America and its 'associates' -- which may mean people like me -- to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. No doubt, the corporate state knows that most of us will not register as foreign agents, meaning we will be banished from the airwaves. This, I expect, is the intent."

North's interview with Hedges began with a discussion of the significance of the anti-Russia campaign in the media.

David North: How do you interpret the fixation on Russia and the entire interpretation of the election within the framework of Putin's manipulation?

Chris Hedges: It's as ridiculous as Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. It is an absolutely unproven allegation that is used to perpetuate a very frightening accusation -- critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism are foreign agents for Russia.

I have no doubt that the Russians invested time, energy and money into attempting to influence events in the United States in ways that would serve their interests, in the same way that we have done and do in Russia and all sorts of other countries throughout the world. So I'm not saying there was no influence, or an attempt to influence events.

But the whole idea that the Russians swung the election to Trump is absurd. It's really premised on the unproven claim that Russia gave the Podesta emails to WikiLeaks, and the release of these emails turned tens, or hundreds of thousands, of Clinton supporters towards Trump. This doesn't make any sense. Either that, or, according to the director of national intelligence, RT America, where I have a show, got everyone to vote for the Green Party.

This obsession with Russia is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working men and women and poor people of color. It is the result of disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA that abolished good-paying union jobs and shipped them to places like Mexico, where workers without benefits are paid $3.00 an hour. It is the result of the explosion of a system of mass incarceration, begun by Bill Clinton with the 1994 omnibus crime bill, and the tripling and quadrupling of prison sentences. It is the result of the slashing of basic government services, including, of course, welfare, that Clinton gutted; deregulation, a decaying infrastructure, including public schools, and the de facto tax boycott by corporations. It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy. The nativist revolt on the right, and the aborted insurgency within the Democratic Party, makes sense when you see what they have done to the country.

Police forces have been turned into quasi-military entities that terrorize marginal communities, where people have been stripped of all of their rights and can be shot with impunity; in fact over three are killed a day. The state shoots and locks up poor people of color as a form of social control. They are quite willing to employ the same form of social control on any other segment of the population that becomes restive.

The Democratic Party, in particular, is driving this whole Russia witch-hunt. It cannot face its complicity in the destruction of our civil liberties -- and remember, Barack Obama's assault on civil liberties was worse than those carried out by George W. Bush -- and the destruction of our economy and our democratic institutions.

Politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi and Schumer are creations of Wall Street. That is why they are so virulent about pushing back against the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Without Wall Street money, they would not hold political power. The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out. They are props in the sterile political theater.

These party elites, consumed by greed, myopia and a deep cynicism, have a death grip on the political process. They're not going to let it go, even if it all implodes.

DN: Chris, you worked for the New York Times . When was that, exactly?

CH: From 1990 to 2005.

DN: Since you have some experience with that institution, what changes do you see? We've stressed that it has cultivated a constituency among the affluent upper-middle class.

CH: The New York Times consciously targets 30 million upper-middle class and affluent Americans. It is a national newspaper; only about 11 percent of its readership is in New York. It is very easy to see who the Times seeks to reach by looking at its special sections on Home, Style, Business or Travel. Here, articles explain the difficulty of maintaining, for example, a second house in the Hamptons. It can do good investigative work, although not often. It covers foreign affairs. But it reflects the thinking of the elites. I read the Times every day, maybe to balance it out with your web site.

DN: Well, I hope more than balance it.

CH: Yes, more than balance it. The Times was always an elitist publication, but it wholly embraced the ideology of neo-conservatism and neoliberalism at a time of financial distress, when Abe Rosenthal was editor. He was the one who instituted the special sections that catered to the elite. And he imposed a de facto censorship to shut out critics of unfettered capitalism and imperialism, such as Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn. He hounded out reporters like Sydney Schanberg, who challenged the real estate developers in New York, or Raymond Bonner, who reported the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador.

He had lunch every week, along with his publisher, with William F. Buckley. This pivot into the arms of the most retrograde forces of corporate capitalism and proponents of American imperialism, for a time, made the paper very profitable. Eventually, of course, the rise of the internet, the loss of classified ads, which accounted for about 40 percent of all newspaper revenue, crippled the Times as it has crippled all newspapers. Newsprint has lost the monopoly that once connected sellers with buyers. Newspapers are trapped in an old system of information they call "objectivity" and "balance," formulae designed to cater to the powerful and the wealthy and obscure the truth. But like all Byzantine courts, the Times will go down clinging to its holy grail.

The intellectual gravitas of the paper -- in particular the Book Review and the Week in Review -- was obliterated by Bill Keller, himself a neocon, who, as a columnist, had been a cheerleader for the war in Iraq. He brought in figures like Sam Tanenhaus. At that point the paper embraced, without any dissent, the utopian ideology of neoliberalism and the primacy of corporate power as an inevitable form of human progress. The Times , along with business schools, economics departments at universities, and the pundits promoted by the corporate state, propagated the absurd idea that we would all be better off if we prostrated every sector of society before the dictates of the marketplace. It takes a unique kind of stupidity to believe this. You had students at Harvard Business School doing case studies of Enron and its brilliant business model, that is, until Enron collapsed and was exposed as a gigantic scam. This was never, really, in the end, about ideas. It was about unadulterated greed. It was pushed by the supposedly best educated among us, like Larry Summers, which exposes the lie that somehow our decline is due to deficient levels of education. It was due to a bankrupt and amoral elite, and the criminal financial institutions that make them rich.

Critical thinking on the op-ed page, the Week in Review or the Book Review, never very strong to begin with, evaporated under Keller. Globalization was beyond questioning. Since the Times , like all elite institutions, is a hermetically sealed echo chamber, they do not realize how irrelevant they are becoming, or how ridiculous they look. Thomas Friedman and David Brooks might as well write for the Onion .

I worked overseas. I wasn't in the newsroom very much, but the paper is a very anxiety-ridden place. The rules aren't written on the walls, but everyone knows, even if they do not articulate it, the paper's unofficial motto: Do not significantly alienate those upon whom we depend for money and access! You can push against them some of the time. But if you are a serious reporter, like Charlie Leduff, or Sydney Schanberg, who wants to give a voice to people who don't have a voice, to address issues of race, class, capitalist exploitation or the crimes of empire, you very swiftly become a management problem and get pushed out. Those who rise in the organization and hold power are consummate careerists. Their loyalty is to their advancement and the stature and profitability of the institution, which is why the hierarchy of the paper is filled with such mediocrities. Careerism is the paper's biggest Achilles heel. It does not lack for talent. But it does lack for intellectual independence and moral courage. It reminds me of Harvard.

DN: Let's come back to this question of the Russian hacking news story. You raised the ability to generate a story, which has absolutely no factual foundation, nothing but assertions by various intelligence agencies, presented as an assessment that is beyond question. What is your evaluation of this?

CH: The commercial broadcast networks, and that includes CNN and MSNBC, are not in the business of journalism. They hardly do any. Their celebrity correspondents are courtiers to the elite. They speculate about and amplify court gossip, which is all the accusations about Russia, and they repeat what they are told to repeat. They sacrifice journalism and truth for ratings and profit. These cable news shows are one of many revenue streams in a corporate structure. They compete against other revenue streams. The head of CNN, Jeff Zucker, who helped create the fictional persona of Donald Trump on "Celebrity Apprentice," has turned politics on CNN into a 24-hour reality show. All nuance, ambiguity, meaning and depth, along with verifiable fact, are sacrificed for salacious entertainment. Lying, racism, bigotry and conspiracy theories are given platforms and considered newsworthy, often espoused by people whose sole quality is that they are unhinged. It is news as burlesque.

I was on the investigative team at the New York Times during the lead-up to the Iraq War. I was based in Paris and covered Al Qaeda in Europe and the Middle East. Lewis Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and maybe somebody in an intelligence agency, would confirm whatever story the administration was attempting to pitch. Journalistic rules at the Times say you can't go with a one-source story. But if you have three or four supposedly independent sources confirming the same narrative, then you can go with it, which is how they did it. The paper did not break any rules taught at Columbia journalism school, but everything they wrote was a lie.

The whole exercise was farcical. The White House would leak some bogus story to Judy Miller or Michael Gordon, and then go on the talk shows to say, 'as the Times reported .' It gave these lies the veneer of independence and reputable journalism. This was a massive institutional failing, and one the paper has never faced.

DN: The CIA pitches the story, and then the Times gets the verification from those who pitch it to them.

CH: It's not always pitched. And not much of this came from the CIA. The CIA wasn't buying the "weapons of mass destruction" hysteria.

DN: It goes the other way too?

CH: Sure. Because if you're trying to have access to a senior official, you'll constantly be putting in requests, and those officials will decide when they want to see you. And when they want to see you, it's usually because they have something to sell you.

DN: The media's anti-Russia narrative has been embraced by large portions of what presents itself as the "left."

CH: Well, don't get me started on the American left. First of all, there is no American left -- not a left that has any kind of seriousness, that understands political or revolutionary theories, that's steeped in economic study, that understands how systems of power work, especially corporate and imperial power. The left is caught up in the same kind of cults of personality that plague the rest of society. It focuses on Trump, as if Trump is the central problem. Trump is a product, a symptom of a failed system and dysfunctional democracy, not the disease.

If you attempt to debate most of those on the supposedly left, they reduce discussion to this cartoonish vision of politics.

The serious left in this country was decimated. It started with the suppression of radical movements under Woodrow Wilson, then the "Red Scares" in the 1920s, when they virtually destroyed our labor movement and our radical press, and then all of the purges in the 1950s. For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace -- so that Cold War "liberals" equated capitalism with democracy, and imperialism with freedom and liberty. I lived in Switzerland and France. There are still residues of a militant left in Europe, which gives Europeans something to build upon. But here we almost have to begin from scratch.

I've battled continuously with Antifa and the Black Bloc. I think they're kind of poster children for what I would consider phenomenal political immaturity. Resistance is not a form of personal catharsis. We are not fighting the rise of fascism in the 1930s. The corporate elites we have to overthrow already hold power. And unless we build a broad, popular resistance movement, which takes a lot of patient organizing among working men and women, we are going to be steadily ground down.

So Trump's not the problem. But just that sentence alone is going to kill most discussions with people who consider themselves part of the left.

The corporate state has made it very hard to make a living if you hold fast to this radical critique. You will never get tenure. You probably won't get academic appointments. You won't win prizes. You won't get grants. The New York Times , if they review your book, will turn it over to a dutiful mandarin like George Packer to trash it -- as he did with my last book. The elite schools, and I have taught as a visiting professor at a few of them, such as Princeton and Columbia, replicate the structure and goals of corporations. If you want to even get through a doctoral committee, much less a tenure committee, you must play it really, really safe. You must not challenge the corporate-friendly stance that permeates the institution and is imposed through corporate donations and the dictates of wealthy alumni. Half of the members of most of these trustee boards should be in prison!

Speculation in the 17th century in Britain was a crime. Speculators were hanged. And today they run the economy and the country. They have used the capturing of wealth to destroy the intellectual, cultural and artistic life in the country and snuff out our democracy. There is a word for these people: traitors.

DN: What about the impact that you've seen of identity politics in America?

CH: Well, identity politics defines the immaturity of the left. The corporate state embraced identity politics. We saw where identity politics got us with Barack Obama, which is worse than nowhere. He was, as Cornel West said, a black mascot for Wall Street, and now he is going around to collect his fees for selling us out.

My favorite kind of anecdotal story about identity politics: Cornel West and I, along with others, led a march of homeless people on the Democratic National Convention session in Philadelphia. There was an event that night. It was packed with hundreds of people, mostly angry Bernie Sanders supporters. I had been asked to come speak. And in the back room, there was a group of younger activists, one who said, "We're not letting the white guy go first." Then he got up and gave a speech about how everybody now had to vote for Hillary Clinton. That's kind of where identity politics gets you. There is a big difference between shills for corporate capitalism and imperialism, like Corey Booker and Van Jones, and true radicals like Glen Ford and Ajamu Baraka. The corporate state carefully selects and promotes women, or people of color, to be masks for its cruelty and exploitation.

It is extremely important, obviously, that those voices are heard, but not those voices that have sold out to the power elite. The feminist movement is a perfect example of this. The old feminism, which I admire, the Andrea Dworkin kind of feminism, was about empowering oppressed women. This form of feminism did not try to justify prostitution as sex work. It knew that it is just as wrong to abuse a woman in a sweatshop as it is in the sex trade. The new form of feminism is an example of the poison of neoliberalism. It is about having a woman CEO or woman president, who will, like Hillary Clinton, serve the systems of oppression. It posits that prostitution is about choice. What woman, given a stable income and security, would choose to be raped for a living? Identity politics is anti-politics.

DN: I believe you spoke at a Socialist Convergence conference where you criticized Obama and Sanders, and you were shouted down.

CH: Yes, I don't even remember. I've been shouted down criticizing Obama in many places, including Berkeley. I have had to endure this for a long time as a supporter and speech writer for Ralph Nader. People don't want the illusion of their manufactured personalities, their political saviors, shattered; personalities created by public relations industries. They don't want to do the hard work of truly understanding how power works and organizing to bring it down.

DN: You mentioned that you have been reading the World Socialist Web Site for some time. You know we are quite outside of that framework.

CH: I'm not a Marxist. I'm not a Trotskyist. But I like the site. You report on important issues seriously and in a way a lot of other sites don't. You care about things that are important to me -- mass incarceration, the rights and struggles of the working class and the crimes of empire. I have read the site for a long time.

DN: Much of what claims to be left -- that is, the pseudo-left -- reflects the interests of the affluent middle class.

CH: Precisely. When everybody was, you know, pushing for multiculturalism in lead institutions, it really meant filtering a few people of color or women into university departments or newsrooms, while carrying out this savage economic assault against the working poor and, in particular, poor people of color in deindustrialized pockets of the United States. Very few of these multiculturalists even noticed. I am all for diversity, but not when it is devoid of economic justice. Cornel West has been one of the great champions, not only of the black prophetic tradition, the most important intellectual tradition in our history, but the clarion call for justice in all its forms. There is no racial justice without economic justice. And while these elite institutions sprinkled a few token faces into their hierarchy, they savaged the working class and the poor, especially poor people of color.

Much of the left was fooled by the identity politics trick. It was a boutique activism. It kept the corporate system, the one we must destroy, intact. It gave it a friendly face.

DN: The World Socialist Web Site has made the issue of inequality a central focus of its coverage.

CH: That's why I read it and like it.

DN: Returning to the Russia issue, where do you see this going? How seriously do you see this assault on democratic rights? We call this the new McCarthyism. Is that, in your view, a legitimate analogy?

CH: Yes, of course it's the new McCarthyism. But let's acknowledge how almost irrelevant our voices are.

DN: I don't agree with you on that.

CH: Well, irrelevant in the sense that we're not heard within the mainstream. When I go to Canada I am on the CBC on prime time. The same is true in France. That never happens here. PBS and NPR are never going to do that. Nor are they going to do that for any other serious critic of capitalism or imperialism.

If there is a debate about attacking Syria, for example, it comes down to bombing Syria or bombing Syria and sending in troops, as if these are the only two options. Same with health care. Do we have Obamacare, a creation of the Heritage Foundation and the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, or no care? Universal health care for all is not discussed. So we are on the margins. But that does not mean we are not dangerous. Neoliberalism and globalization are zombie ideologies. They have no credibility left. The scam has been found out. The global oligarchs are hated and reviled. The elite has no counterargument to our critique. So they can't afford to have us around. As the power elite becomes more frightened, they're going to use harsher forms of control, including the blunt instrument of censorship and violence.

DN: I think it can be a big mistake to be focused on the sense of isolation or marginalization. I'll make a prediction. You will have, probably sooner than you think, more requests for interviews and television time. We are in a period of colossal political breakdown. We are going to see, more and more, the emergence of the working class as a powerful political force.

CH: That's why we are a target. With the bankruptcy of the ruling ideology, and the bankruptcy of the American liberal class and the American left, those who hold fast to intellectual depth and an examination of systems of power, including economics, culture and politics, have to be silenced. (Republished from World Socialist Web Site by permission of author or representative)


JackOH , October 9, 2017 at 11:08 am GMT

I'm a moderate admirer of Chris Hedges, but he is really cooking in this interview. Too much to praise here, but his thinking that corporations, the mainstream media, and the academy can and do successfully "game" dissent by suppression, divide and conquer, co-optation, and so on, is spot on.
Albertde , October 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT
Good but not great interview with Chris Hodges: he manages to talk about an amorphous elite without identifying any of them and not a word about Israel. So pseudo-good roally
alexander , October 9, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT
I think this was an excellent discussion, and I would like to thank you both for having it, and sharing it.

Among the crises effecting the United States, the one effecting us most profoundly is the absence of any accountability for the crimes committed by our oligarchic class.

Addressing this issue is ground zero for any meaningful change.

If there is no accountability for their crimes , there will be no change.

Certainly the greatest among these crimes was(is) defrauding the nation into " a war of aggression". which, being the supreme international crime, should be met with harsh prison sentences for all who promoted it.

It is important for everyone to recognize just how much damage these policies have done to the country, not just in terms of our collective morale or our constitutional mandates,not just in terms of our international standing on universal principles of legality and justice, but our long term economic solvency as a nation.

The "exceptionalism" of our "war of aggression" elites has completely devastated our nation's balance sheet.

Since 9-11, our national debt has grown by a mind numbing "fourteen and a half trillion dollars".. nearly quadrupling since 1999.

This unconscionable level of "overspending" is unprecedented in human history.

Not one lawmaker, not one primetime pundit, nor one editorialist (of any major newspaper), has a CLUE how to deal with it.

Aside from the root atrocity in visiting mass murder on millions of innocents who never attacked us (and never intended to) which is a horrible crime in and of itself,

There is the profound crisis , in situ , of potentially demanding that 320 million Americans PAY FOR THE WARS OUR ELITES LIED US INTO .

This is where the rubber meets the road for our "war of aggression-ists ", gentlemen.

This is the "unanimous space" of our entire country's population on the issue of "no taxation without representation".

WHOSE assets should be made forfeit to pay for these wars .The DECEIVERS or the DECEIVED ?

Ask "The People" ..and you will find your answer .very fast.

No wonder our "elites" are terrified to discuss this .

Absolutely terrified.

exiled off mainstreet , October 10, 2017 at 1:27 am GMT
I agree with the general tenor of this article and would further state that in addition to the Iraq thing which was a war crime and eliminated any shreds of legitimacy retained by the yankee regime that the Libya overthrow and destruction, a war crime of historic proportions, and the use of that overthrow to provide major support to the barbaric element in Syria expose the yankee regime as an enemy of civilization with all that entails, including questions of whether, absent any legitimacy, the regime's continued existence itself does not constitute a major threat.
The elements in the article discussing and exposing the New York Times and its role as an integral part of the power structure should be read and remembered by all.
Grandpa Charlie , October 10, 2017 at 6:10 am GMT

How do you interpret the fixation on Russia and the entire interpretation of the election within the framework of Putin's manipulation?

Chris Hedges: It's as ridiculous as Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. It is an absolutely unproven allegation that is used to perpetuate a very frightening accusation -- critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism are foreign agents for Russia.

With all due respect for Chris Hedges, who is doubtless a courageous journalist and an intelligent commentator, I would suggest that what is also and most ridiculous is the thought that it is only agents of Israel that have suborned the neocon faction within USA's government and 'Deep State' (controllers of MSM). Or is this OT? I don't think so, because if we are to discuss the anti-Russia campaign realistically, as baseless in fact, and as contrived for an effect and to further/protect some particular interests, we can hardly avoid the question: Who or what interest is served by the anti-Russia campaign?

Who or what interest is served by anti-Russia propaganda other than, or in addition to, just the usual MIC suspects, profiteering corporations who want to keep a supposed need for nuclear weapons front and center in the minds of Congress? Cui bono?

To be clear: I suggest that neocon office-holders within USA's government or within the Deep State (controllers of MSM) are foreign agents for at least three nations: the People's Republic of China,the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel.

(I would compare USA now with Imperial China in its declining years when it was being sold piecemeal to all the great powers of Europe.)

Who benefits from this situation and how do they benefit? All three of these countries are deeply involved in suborning members of Congress and others within the government of the USA, yet none of the three is mentioned in such a connection by the MSM or by officials of the Executive. Thus, it is beneficial to them to have suspicion thrown onto Russia and thus investigative attention deflected from themselves. A few public figures (e.g., Philip Giraldi) have made such allegations respecting Israel, more public figures have made such suggestions respecting Saudi Arabia, but very few have made the allegations in the case of the PRC.

Let's think about this in the context of history, beginning with the Vietnam War. When USA got involved in Vietnam -- which involvement began during the days of Eisenhower/Dulles -- probably the primary interest groups that swayed USA global/foreign policy were the Vatican and the China Lobby. The interests of these two lobbies converged in Vietnam. From the RC side, consider an historical event that is unknown practically to any Americans under the age of 60 or 70, namely, Operation Passage to Freedom, 1954-55.

"The period was marked by a CIA-backed propaganda campaign on behalf of South Vietnam's Roman Catholic Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem. The campaign exhorted Catholics to flee impending religious persecution under communism, and around 60% of the north's 1 million Catholics obliged." (Wikipedia: Operation Passage to Freedom )

From the side of the China Lobby – avoiding the matter of JFK's planning to dump USA involvement in Vietnam after the 1964 election – what we saw in the early years of USA's involvement, 1965-1969, was a period in which the China Lobby could push an agenda that included widening the Vietnam campaign into southern China, particularly to include the tungsten mining operations supposedly owned by K.C. Wu. Tungsten at that time was considered as having tremendous strategic value, centering on, but not limited to, its essential use in the filaments of incandescent light-bulbs. It became clear after the Tet Offensive that the entire strategy of reopening the Chinese civil war, capturing the tungsten, etc, could make sense only if Chang Kai Shek's KMT would commit its troops in huge numbers, virtually all of its troops, on the ground in Vietnam (which would have brought in huge numbers of PRC troops on the other side) -- it became, to borrow one of Nixon's favorite phrases, "perfectly clear" that expansion into southern China and capture of the tungsten operations there were not in the cards. When Kissinger talked up his 'realpolitik', what he really meant was the politics of surrendering to Beijing. So, Nixon in July 1969, recognizing that there was nothing to be gained by the loss of life and expenditure of every form of capital, ordered first of many troop withdrawals from Vietnam. It was all a done deal as of Kissinger taking over as National Security Adviser, January 1969 -- everything but the tears.

Now, patience, dear reader, this is all leading up to a certain crucial event that took place in 1971 -- namely, Kissinger's secret trip to Beijing in July (1971) to arrange for everything regarding what amounted to a surrender to the PRC, except the end of the Vietnam War. The documents are still unavailable as classified Top Secret or whatever, but clearly, China had no interest in seeing an end to the Vietnam War, because both parties – Vietnam and USA – were adversaries of China. (Let them knock each other out!) Most likely, Zhou talked Henry into doing what he could to prolong USA's involvement in the Vietnam War, not to shorten it. See, including between the lines, National Security Archives:

http://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB66/

As noted, this stuff is mostly unavailable to us, the public, but it is clear that USA's 'leaders' (Nixon and Kissinger) wanted to make kissy-kissy with Zhou Enlai, and it was all arranged including George H. W. Bush's appointment as USA's first 'Ambassador' (in all but name) to Beijing, and including giving China's permanent seat on the UNSC to Beijing and otherwise selling out the old China Lobby. I call it the 'old China Lobby' because part of what was arranged was that the old China Lobby would be taken over by the New China lobby, complete with all the payola channels into Congress and the Deep State.

Now, I think, we arrive at today, 2017, and the failure of Trump to act on his campaign promises to oppose China in any way. Maybe he thought about it for a minute, but he was surrounded by neocons, who were already on the payroll of the PRC -- if not taking direct orders from the Standing Committee of the CCP, then at least promised to avoid offending the interests of the PRC -- on pain of losing regular paychecks from Beijing into their secret Grand Cayman accounts.

What I would like to say to Hedges. and others like him, is just this:

THEY say that you are foreign agents for Russia? Time to use a little judo on them: time for YOU to speak truth that THEY are foreign agents for the People's Republic of China.

And don't forget this potent phrase: YET NONE DARE CALL IT TREASON!

AB_Anonymous , October 11, 2017 at 5:24 am GMT

"The elite has no counterargument to our critique. So they can't afford to have us around. As the power elite becomes more frightened, they're going to use harsher forms of control, including the blunt instrument of censorship and violence."

Precisely! What makes it even worse, they will be pushing this new pretexts for control sloppy (as in Vegas) and in a hurry. Which will make them look even more ridiculous and due to the lack of time will force to act even more stupid, resulting in an exponential curve of censorship, oppression and insanity. And that's there the maniacal dreams of certain forces to start a really big war in the Middle East (with or without attacking North Korea first) may come true.

Anonymous Disclaimer , October 11, 2017 at 6:03 am GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

"avoiding the matter of JFK's planning to dump USA involvement in Vietnam after the 1964 election – "

Now that's a lie. This part is a lie. Or it is carefully crafted ex post hoc mythology a la Camelot, the Kennedy Mystique.

FACT: JFK was a Cold War Hawk and during his administration increased nuclear arms higher than Ike and until Reagan.

JFK during his administration increased the number of "advisers" to a higher number than Ike.

William F. Buckley pointedly asked Senator Robert Kennedy in the mid. '60′s "So, was there any thought of the White House pulling out [of Vietnam]?

RFK: No. There never was.

If anything, had he lived to see a second term, most likely US involvement in Vietnam would have escalated as much as under LBJ, perhaps with the same disastrous results, perhaps not. But JFK was no peacenik dove.

Mr. Hedges comes across as a total whackjob, and makes Bill Moyers appear to be a gentle moderate in comparison. That he thinks so highly of race man BLM supporter Cornell West speaks volumes of naivety to the nth degree. A total cuck without even knowing it, nay, totally appreciative of being a cuck and it appears to be his hope that one day his cardinal sin of being white will be purged by peoples of color, who are his true moral and intellectual betters in every step of the way.

OilcanFloyd , October 11, 2017 at 10:45 am GMT
I agree that the Russia fixation is garbage, but explaining the populist revolt without touching on the major issue of forced demographic and cultural change through legal and illegal immigration is dishonest. Almost everyone who isn't an immigrant or the descendant or relative of a post-65 immigrant is pissed off beyond words about this! How did you miss the popular response to Trump's promises to "deport them all," end birthright citizenship and chain migration, build a wall etc.? Without those promises, he wouldn't have made it to the debates.

I'm also not sure how welfare has been stripped. What programs aren't available?

I'm not sure how to lower black incarceration rates. Having taught in inner-city schools and worked in the same environment in other jobs, I know that crime and dysfunction are through the roof. I can only imagine what those communities would be like if the predators and crooks that are incarcerated were allowed to roam free.

Greg Bacon , Website October 11, 2017 at 11:13 am GMT

Chris Hedges: It's as ridiculous as Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. It is an absolutely unproven allegation that is used to perpetuate a very frightening accusation -- critics of corporate capitalism and imperialism are foreign agents for Russia.

Is this the same Chris Hedges that wrote those articles in November 2001 that Saddam and al Qaeda were in cahoots, which led to the illegal 2003 invasion?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newswar/part1/wmd.html

Tell me Chris, did you know about the CIA pollution then or just find out lately? And correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you also write NYT articles in the Fall of 2002 saying that Saddam had WMD's?

Again, getting your tips from the CIA? Ever hear of 'Operation Mockingbird?"

jacques sheete , October 11, 2017 at 11:20 am GMT

It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy.

That's cringe-worthy.

Transformation into an oligarchy? Transformation ??? I like Hedges' work, but such fundamental errors really taint what he sez.

The country was never transformed into an oligarchy; it began as one.

In fact, it was organized and functioned as a pluto-oligarchy right out of the box. In case anyone has the dimness to argue with me about it, all that shows is that you don't know JS about how the cornstitution was foisted on the rest of us by the plutoligarchs.

"An elective despotism was not the government we fought for "

-Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XIII, 1782 . ME 2:163

The Elites "Have No Credibility Left"

Guess what, boys and girls Why did they have any to begin with?

Where do people get their faith? WakeTF up, already!! (Yes, I'm losing it. Because even a duumbshit goy like myself can see it. Where are all you bright bulb know-it-alls with all the flippin answers???)

jacques sheete , October 11, 2017 at 11:35 am GMT

Newspapers are trapped in an old system of information they call "objectivity" and "balance," formulae designed to cater to the powerful and the wealthy and obscure the truth.

It's amazing that here we are, self-anointed geniuses and dumbos alike, puttering around in the 21st century, and someone feels the necessity to point that out. And he's right; it needs to be pointed out. Drummed into our skulls in fact.

Arrrgggghhhh!!! Jefferson again.:

Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.

Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 14 June 1807

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_speechs29.html

More deja vu all over again and again. Note the date.:

"This is a story of a powerful and wealthy newspaper having enormous influence And never a day out of more than ten thousand days that this newspaper has not subtly and cunningly distort the news of the world in the interest of special privilege. "

Upton Sinclair, "The crimes of the "Times" : a test of newspaper decency," pamphlet, 1921

https://archive.org/stream/crimesofthetimes00sincrich/crimesofthetimes00sincrich_djvu.txt

Stephen Paul Foster , Website October 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm GMT
"The serious left in this country was decimated. It started with the suppression of radical movements under Woodrow Wilson, then the "Red Scares" in the 1920s, when they virtually destroyed our labor movement and our radical press, and then all of the purges in the 1950s. For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace."

Look what they did to Henry Wallace -- Are you kidding me? Wallace was a Stalinist stooge, too treasonous even for his boss, FDR, although the bird brain Eleanor loved him. The guy was so out of touch with reality that after the Potemkin tour of the Gulag that Stalin gave him during WWII he came back raving about how swell it was for the lunch-bucket gang in Siberia. He also encouraged FDR to sell out the Poles to Stalin

jacques sheete , October 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm GMT
I find it most fascinating that none of what Hedges says is news, but even UR readers probably think it is. Here's an antidote to that idea.

The following quote is from Eugene Kelly who's excoriating government press releases but the criticism applies as well to the resulting press reports. I found the whole article striking.:

Any boob can deduce, a priori, what type of "news" is contained in this rubbish.

-Eugene A. Kelly, Distorting the News, The American Mercury, March 1935 , pp. 307-318

http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury/

I'd like good evidence that the situation has improved since then. Good luck.

polistra , Website October 11, 2017 at 1:29 pm GMT
Hedges doesn't seem to understand that the "Resistance" is openly and obviously working FOR Deepstate. They do not resist wars and globalism and monopolistic corporations. They resist everyone who questions the war. They resist nationalism and localism.

Nothing mysterious or hidden about this, no ulterior motive or bankshot. It's explicitly stated in every poster and shout and beating.

[Jul 31, 2018] GOP and Corporate Dems Gain When Democrats Run Against Putin by Norman Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... This week, under the headline " It's Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned U.S. War in Yemen ," journalist Adam Johnson reported for the media watchdog group FAIR about the collapse of journalistic decency at MSNBC, under the weight of the network's Russia Russia Russia obsession. Johnson's article asks a big-type question: "Why is the No. 1 outlet of alleged anti-Trump #resistance completely ignoring his most devastating war?" ..."
"... It would be easy for news watchers to see that the Democratic Party is much more committed to a hard line against Russia than a hard line against the corporate forces imposing extreme economic inequality here at home. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more." That, of course, is the purpose and intent. Just like hobbling the 'left' with absurd identity politics. ..."
"... It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth. ..."
"... I'm surprised that some of those folks, notably Thom Hartmann, choose not to practice what they preach -- you know, the platitudes about studying the facts and coming to your own conclusions rather than following the herd. They rightly condemn acting on prejudice, out of pure self-interest, without verifiable facts (indeed at odds with empirical fact) and using group intimidation, as per McCarthyist tactics, and then they go ahead and embrace those vices to their own ends. ..."
Jul 26, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Hammering on Russia is a losing strategy for progressives as most Americans care about economic issues and it is the Republicans and corporate Democrats who stand to gain, argues Norman Solomon.

Progressives should figure it out. Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more. Echoing the racket of blaming Russia for the USA's severe shortages of democracy plays into the hands of Republicans and corporate Democrats eager to block progressive momentum.

When riding on the "Russiagate" bandwagon, progressives unwittingly aid political forces that are eager to sideline progressive messages. And with the midterm elections now scarcely 100 days away, the torrents of hyperbolic and hypocritical claims about Russia keep diverting attention from why it's so important to defeat Republicans.

As a practical matter, devoting massive amounts of time and resources to focusing on Russia has reduced capacities to effectively challenge the domestic forces that are assaulting democratic possibilities at home -- with such tactics as state voter ID laws, purging of voter rolls, and numerous barriers to suppress turnout by people of color.

Instead of keeping eyes on the prize, some of the Democratic base has been watching and trusting media outlets like MSNBC. An extreme Russia obsession at the network has left precious little airtime to expose and challenge the vast quantity of terrible domestic-policy measures being advanced by the Trump administration every day.

Likewise with the U.S. government's militarism. While some Democrats and Republicans in Congress have put forward legislation to end the active U.S. role in Saudi Arabia's mass-murderous war on Yemen, those efforts face a steeper uphill climb because of MSNBC.

This week, under the headline " It's Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned U.S. War in Yemen ," journalist Adam Johnson reported for the media watchdog group FAIR about the collapse of journalistic decency at MSNBC, under the weight of the network's Russia Russia Russia obsession. Johnson's article asks a big-type question: "Why is the No. 1 outlet of alleged anti-Trump #resistance completely ignoring his most devastating war?"

Maddow: Most Americans don't care for her obsession.

The FAIR report says: "What seems most likely is MSNBC has found that attacking Russia from the right on matters of foreign policy is the most elegant way to preserve its 'progressive' image while still serving traditional centers of power -- namely, the Democratic Party establishment, corporate sponsors, and their own revolving door of ex-spook and military contractor-funded talking heads."

Russia Doesn't Concern Americans

Corporate media have been exerting enormous pressure on Democratic officeholders and candidates to follow a thin blue party line on Russia. Yet polling shows that few Americans see Russia as a threat to their well-being; they're far more concerned about such matters as healthcare, education, housing and overall economic security.

The gap between most Americans and media elites is clear in a nationwide poll taken after the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, which was fiercely condemned by the punditocracy. As The Hill newspaper reported this week under the headline "Most Americans Back Trump's Call for Follow-Up Summit With Putin," 54 percent of respondents favored plans for a second summit. "The survey also found that 61 percent of Americans say better relations with Russia are in the best interest of the United States."

Yet most Democratic Party leaders have very different priorities. After investing so much political capital in portraying Putin's government as an implacable enemy of the United States, top Democrats on Capitol Hill are hardly inclined to help thaw relations between the world's two nuclear superpowers.

It would be easy for news watchers to see that the Democratic Party is much more committed to a hard line against Russia than a hard line against the corporate forces imposing extreme economic inequality here at home.

National polling underscores just how out of whack and out of touch the party's top dogs are. Last month, the Gallup organization asked: "What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?" The results were telling. "Situation with Russia" came in at below one-half of 1 percent.

The day after the Helsinki summit, The Washington Post reported: "Citing polls and focus groups that have put Trump and Russia far down the list of voter priorities, Democratic strategists have counseled candidates and party leaders for months to discuss 'kitchen table' issues. Now, after a remarkable 46-minute news conference on foreign soil where Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent to praise his 'strong' denials of election interference and criticize the FBI, those strategists believe the ground may have shifted."

Prominent corporate Democrats who want to beat back the current progressive groundswell inside their party are leading the charge. Jim Kessler, a senior vice president at the "centrist" Third Way organization, was quick to proclaim after the summit: "It got simple real fast. I've talked to a lot of Democrats that are running in purple and red states and districts who have said that Russia rarely comes up back home, and I think that has now changed."

The Democratic National Committee and other official arms of the party keep sending out Russia-bashing emails to millions of people on a nearly daily basis. At times the goals seem to involve generating and exploiting manic panic.

At the end of last week, as soon as the White House announced plans (later postponed) for Vladimir Putin to meet with President Trump in Washington this fall, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fired off a mass email -- from "RUSSIA ALERT (via DCCC)" -- declaring that the Russian president "must NOT be allowed to set foot in our country." The email strained to conflate a summit with Russian interference in U.S. elections. "We cannot overstate how dangerous this is," the DCCC gravely warned. And: "We need to stop him at all costs."

For Democrats who move in elite circles, running against Putin might seem like a smart election move. But for voters worried about economic insecurity and many other social ills, a political party obsessed with Russia is likely to seem aloof and irrelevant to their lives.

Norman Solomon is the national coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."


Nop , July 31, 2018 at 10:38 am

"Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more." That, of course, is the purpose and intent. Just like hobbling the 'left' with absurd identity politics.

Bill Goldman , July 30, 2018 at 6:44 pm

If the Democrats don't turn primaries into housecleaning out establishment Dems, they will gain no seats in the midterm election and Trump will retain his Republican majority in both chambers. Putin is an heroic figure to the global electorates. They admire and respect him and even wish he were running on their tickets. Most Americans want nothing to do with mainstream media be it the NYT, WSJ, Fox, Financial Times, Guardian, MSNBC, or CNN. They are mostly viewed as extreme liars and propagandists of the Goebbels variety. The real action is in the alternative media who realize capitalist wars are military-industrial rackets. The play is at RT, Sputnik International, Consortium, The Saker, New Eastern Outlook, and Greenville Post, among others.

Taras77 , July 30, 2018 at 11:42 am

Not sure where this link would fit but here it is:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/putin-wanted-to-interrogate-me-trump-called-it-an-incredible-offer-why/2018/07/26/7bb11552-90d2-11e8-b769-e3fff17f0689_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a8100ef8e8fd

Article is strong on self-pity and whine-evidently this neocon had a serious case of the vapors when putin made an "offer" to interview him.

It remains to be seen as to the extent of Mcfaul's cooperation with Browder, who he describes simply as a british businessman.

Skip Scott , July 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Tony Cartalucci has the straight dope on McFaul.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/anti-russia-hysteria-putin-proposed-interrogating-u-s-officials-interfering-in-russian-affairs/5648966

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:27 am

It was ok when Hillary said we need a "strong" Russia:
"We want very much to have a strong Russia because a strong, competent, prosperous, stable Russia is , we think, in the interests of the world," Clinton said as Obama's secretary of state in her 2010 interview with the partially Russian government-owned First Channel Television.

Russia is not the USSR, although PMSNBC wants the ignorant to "stay ignorant, my friend.."
Thedems are their own worst enemy.

Lois Gagnon , July 29, 2018 at 11:41 pm

Rachel Maddow is unfortunately a cult hero in my neck of the Western Mass woods as she makes her permanent home here. It's impossible to penetrate the total brainwashing she has managed to accomplish among the pink hat wearing crowd. It's very dispiriting.

This is a great interview with Russian scholar Prof. Stephen Cohen on the Real News. Maybe it will at least cause a few second thoughts among the not completely zombified.
https://therealnews.com/stories/debunking-the-putin-panic-with-stephen-f-cohen

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

Here is part one of the Cohen interview: https://therealnews.com/stories/the-russia-national-security-crisis-is-a-u-s-creation

Antiwar7 , July 30, 2018 at 3:18 pm

It's sad when someone like Rachel Maddow uses their social gifts to advance tribalism. In this case, one could say the Russia bashing amounts to racism.

H Beazley , July 29, 2018 at 9:55 pm

I have a foolproof method for proving which journalists are controlled by the C.I.A. The agency always advocates for war and always claims that JFK was killed by a "lone nut." Rachel Maddow always goes along with war propaganda and supports the Warren Commission every November 22. Therefore, she is a tool for the C.I.A. and cannot be trusted.

H Beazley , July 29, 2018 at 10:24 pm

https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/rachel-maddow-jfk-and-easy-money

Reference for above statement. Jim DiEugenio is a real source for the truth of the JFK assassination, not Phil Shenon.

glitch , July 31, 2018 at 7:23 am

JFK is their most blatant "tell". Some can't even say his name without spitting it out.

CitizenOne , July 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

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

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

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

It is a sham.

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

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

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

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

Cassandra , July 29, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Hell hath no fury like a Clinton scorned. The Goldwater Girl just can't over her loss to El Chumpo. It had to be the Russians, not the thoroughly disgusted American people who voted with their feet by not going to the polls at all.

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

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

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

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

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

rosemerry , July 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm

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

SteveK9 , July 28, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Incredible as it seems, the re-election of Donald Trump (assuming he is not deposed or killed before then) is not essential to preserve our democracy. If they bring him down (whatever you may think of him), then we might just as well have a 'Star Chamber' of the Military/Industrial/Intelligence complex choose the President, not that it would matter who that might be.

Jessika , July 28, 2018 at 9:35 am

It really is peculiar what's happened to these dimwit Dems. I used to listen to Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow when they were on Air America, and their main political positions were for working people. Now, all they do is partisan politics which they don't seem to understand benefits only the Deep State war party.

Incidentally, State of the Nation website, http://www.sott.net , has an article by Alex Krainer, who wrote the book about Bill Browder's crooked dealings in Russia. His book, which was suppressed by Browder first, i think is "Grand Deception", now available from Red Pill Press for $25 (and must be selling well because it's being reprinted). I wrote this hastily but you'll see it on sott.net. Russia's resurgence under Putin is nothing short of astounding.

Also, there is a video on Youtube, "The Rise of Putin and the Fall of the Russian Jewish Oligarchs", 2 parts. I only saw the beginning showing how the Russian people were given state vouchers that led to the oligarchs buying them up for their own profit and plunging Russians into shock therapy disaster instigated by IMF and other US led monetary agencies including Harvard. This is why it is so incredible how Americans receive political "perception control" when the truth is exactly opposite of what they are being told. At least more people are realizing the lies being told about Russia and Putin.

Drew Hunkins , July 27, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Maddow, Corn and the rest of them are playing a dangerous game. This weekend there's a guy over at Counterpunch ("The curious case of pro-Trump leftism") who's essentially saying that any progressives or liberal minded folks who concede that Trump's on the righteous path in pursuing a detente of sorts with the Kremlin is a naive fool and isn't to be taken seriously (Thom Hartmann also had a recent piece saying similar things). He sets up a Manichean world in which you either see Trump as the sole embodiment of evil or you're a dupe playing into rightwing hands. I for one, and most others at CN, have been highly critical of 90% of Trump's platform and policies but we're also not dunderheaded dolts, we know when to give the man a modicum of credit for going against the military industrial media complex on at least this one particular issue.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

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

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

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

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

Dogmatic party-line Democrats, Republicans, Communists, Islamists, Rastafarians, Bokononites and all the rest suffer from the same malady of checking their minds at the door when it comes to movement politics. They will never do the unthinkable and cooperate with the opposition even if they happen to agree on an issue. This is a manifestation of the Manichean approach you mentioned, Drew. Admit that the opposition is right about anything and you open the door to the possibility that they are right about more, AND that you may (heaven forbid!) be wrong more often than absolutely never. The main exception, at least in America, seems to be warfare, which both main factions and a lot of the marginal ones agree enthusiastically upon and engage with relish.

[Jul 31, 2018] The whole corrupt, crazy political process is a distraction from our real problems, and an endless maze of futility.

Notable quotes:
"... The whole corrupt, crazy political process is a distraction from our real problems, and an endless maze of futility. The illusion of democracy is collapsing all around us, and safety lies in abandoning it. ..."
"... Agreed. Our entire national political debate is a theater of smoke and mirrors. The facts most obvious and degrading to the national interest are ignored at all costs, e.g., an out of control military-industrial-intelligence complex that now swallows up an obscene $1 trillion annually (including "defense related expenditures"). ..."
"... My plans for the upcoming Democratic primary in Florida: I will write "none of these clowns" at the top of the ballot. ..."
"... I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the Soviets, but we just haven't figured it that out yet. ..."
"... Most of the human race has been speeding towards the cliff at 100 mph like Thelma and Louise. Certainly America has been. It's getting ever closer. We will get there. Don't expect Zeno's paradox to save us. ..."
"... I share your setiment about the Democrats but voting for Republicans just because is equally foolish. Why support banning labor unions, corporate very expensive health care, greatly reducing and eventually eliminating social security and Medicare, privitzing all public infrastructure and bailing out wall Street at all cost. I could go on but you get the idea. Vote for candidates that stand for the American people and have the guts to stand up to the elites. If no such candidates exist in a particular election don't vote simple as that. ..."
"... tealing a "none of the above" write-in requires the ballot be destroyed, so it can provide a paper trail and/or a potential theft exposure point. ..."
"... I am a registered Democrat; I will NOT be voting for them this fall. They no longer have any credibility with me. Rachel helped them shoot themselves in the foot as far as I'm concerned. How are they any different from neocons??? I'm grateful WikiLeaks pulled off their mask. I'm a historian and know a lot of both CIA and Russian history and am not buying Russiagate or Democrats. ..."
"... I like that, the "Demented-crats"! They are so completely clueless, in their overpaid bubbles, nothing to say about the Race-to-the-Bottom, Hunger Games society they have helped create. ..."
"... The loyal shrills to Clinton? Those aren't progressives. ..."
"... As Jimmy Dore keeps telling us: the Democratic leadership, which is totally corporatist and neocon, would rather lose to the GOP candidate than to see a progressive or liberal Democrat win the office. The Dems have no independent policies of their own and are merely enablers to make sure that the hard right agenda always prevails. ..."
"... And I see Bernie Sanders was spewing this neo-McCarthyite crap on a Sunday morning talk show earlier this week. He really should know better. ..."
"... Isaac Christiansen observes that "As Democrats seek to shift blame away from the discontent with our economic system, their party and their chosen Neoliberal candidate, we are told that Trump came to power almost solely due to Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election." ..."
"... Remember how the entire anti-Russian theme began? The Clinton team used Russia as their excuse for losing 2016. It didn't get much attention at first because the party/candidate that loses inevitably blames someone or something other than the candidate/party. But the Democrats ran with it from there, using much of the media marketed to liberals to build the Russian Tale. The most insane thing about the claims that Russia hacked voting machines for Trump, etc.: In spite of much Dem voter opposition to the Clinton right wing, H. Clinton got the most votes. (Did Russia do that, and if so, why?) Trump is president because of our antiquated electoral college process. Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China. ..."
"... Everything gets conspicuously twisted by a biased media, yet no one (of consequence) says anything about that. Even as Trump gets bashed, he gets cheered whenever he does something dangerous and stupid, such as launching missiles in the aftermath of an obvious false flag incident. We see the matrix being blatantly and clumsily spun right before our eyes and nobody says a word about the emperor's nakedness. ..."
"... It is time for the progressives to flee the Democratic party en masse and go their own way. ..."
"... "One quarter of all the Democratic challengers in competitive House districts have military-intelligence, State Department or NSC backgrounds. This is by far the largest subcategory of Democratic candidates." ..."
"... We haven't seen any progressives in years. Progressive politics isn't a new invention. In the US, it goes back at least to the early 1900s. It's about building a better nation from the bottom up -- legit aid for the poor at one end, firm restraints in the rich at the other end.We have nothing like that today. This isn't about "political purity," but about not calling an apple an armadillo. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

mike k , July 27, 2018 at 8:39 am

The whole corrupt, crazy political process is a distraction from our real problems, and an endless maze of futility. The illusion of democracy is collapsing all around us, and safety lies in abandoning it. We need a new way of thinking and acting that clearly and directly sees our problems and deals with them. Politics as now understood is a dead end.

Heather S. , July 28, 2018 at 10:36 am

Agreed. Our entire national political debate is a theater of smoke and mirrors. The facts most obvious and degrading to the national interest are ignored at all costs, e.g., an out of control military-industrial-intelligence complex that now swallows up an obscene $1 trillion annually (including "defense related expenditures"). Even the fact that we no longer live in a democracy but an oligarchy, according to objective studies and noted commentators, including former president Carter, is never commented upon by the miscreant pundits posing as reporters (Hayes, Maddow, Anderson, Cuomo, et al).

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 6:33 am

My plans for the upcoming Democratic primary in Florida: I will write "none of these clowns" at the top of the ballot. Under that I will write "Stop the warmongering and phony Russia-bashing. Stop the obstructionism just to damage Trump and exonerate Hillary for losing a poorly-run campaign. I cannot vote for my party this November, and never again until you stop trying to run to the right of the Republicans." Maybe someone reading the ballot will pass the message on to the party leadership and adjustments will at least be considered.

If not, eff 'em. We will be better off sweeping corrupt corporatist cronies of Hillary, like Wasserman-Schultz, out of congress. Then there will be no doubt that the GOP needs to go too, after they use their mandate to totally wreck all before them, and maybe, after a few election cycles, some third party representing the interests of the people rather than Wall Street and the MIC can emerge. Maybe the Greens and the Libertarians can become at least equal players with the corporatist Dems and GOPers.

Somebody new is going to have to preside over the coming economic and societal collapse, and do we want that to be the military, the police and the spooks? That is who will seize power (not just covertly but overtly) if the usually mercenary politicians cannot effect some workable changes.

Broompilot , July 27, 2018 at 7:01 pm

Like the Eastern Roman Empire, we could wax and wane for 1000 years with the power we possess. Or, like the Soviet Union, we could suffer an economic collapse over a decade throwing a large percentage of us into poverty.

I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the Soviets, but we just haven't figured it that out yet.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:48 pm

"I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the soviets, but we just haven't figured that out yet."

Because we prefer to blow off science and empirically-supported concepts like the first law of thermodynamics which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, just transferred or changed in form.

We choose to believe that we can endlessly create money, which is a token representing access to available stored energy, out of nothing by issuing debt. Even if the tokens are infinite, on a finite planet the available energy is certainly not.

Most of the human race has been speeding towards the cliff at 100 mph like Thelma and Louise. Certainly America has been. It's getting ever closer. We will get there. Don't expect Zeno's paradox to save us.

Ma Laoshi , July 27, 2018 at 5:37 am

We are long past the point that this extreme Russophobia has revealed itself to be plain old race hatred. These bouts of hysteria have always been part of the American DNA, and it has been most instructive how fast and seamless the switch has been from Muslims to Russians as the hated. Other. Progressives have solemnly declared themselves to be the good guys without much introspection, so one would expect them to be more susceptible to this bigotry, not less; a more astute observer might have asked "When will the machine turn on me next?", as is of course already happening to Sanders and others.

Yes RussiaGating is a losing strategy, but most of the evidence is that progressives ARE losers. So there's no surprise that they're falling for it, and little to indicate that they deserve any better.

Mike , July 26, 2018 at 11:43 pm

Never voted for Republican congressmen in the past. Never. This time I will. Democrats are the party of open borders and war. Now they want conflict with Russia over this ginned up fake investigation. They don't represent working people any more. I don't even think they put AMERICANS over illegal immigrants. Why is it wrong that people should be forced to obey immigration law? The laws for citizens are enforced. Never thought I'd vote Republican.

Torture This , July 27, 2018 at 9:18 am

I can't think of any reason to vote for 99.9% of the Democrats. The more everyone including the media lies about Russia, the more I empathize with them.

I'd guess the business owners that rely on illegals vote for Republicans because they're business owners. We need to eat and they need to make more money than they deserve so neither party is going to stand in the way of it as long as they bribe their politicians and anybody else that feels entitled to free stuff. Democrats won't get rid of ICE soon, if ever.

Nearly all people coming from the South are escaping conditions we've created and are granted asylum when allowed to make their case in court.

I think treating defenseless people terribly to show how mean we can be is wrong.

Freedomlover , July 28, 2018 at 8:05 am

Mike,

I share your setiment about the Democrats but voting for Republicans just because is equally foolish. Why support banning labor unions, corporate very expensive health care, greatly reducing and eventually eliminating social security and Medicare, privitzing all public infrastructure and bailing out wall Street at all cost. I could go on but you get the idea. Vote for candidates that stand for the American people and have the guts to stand up to the elites. If no such candidates exist in a particular election don't vote simple as that.

glitch , July 28, 2018 at 11:28 am

If you can't vote third party write in none of the above on a paper ballot. If those aren't options spoil your ballot but turn it in. Not voting doesn't register your disdain, it's easier for them to ignore as apathy. And non votes can be spoofed (stolen). S tealing a "none of the above" write-in requires the ballot be destroyed, so it can provide a paper trail and/or a potential theft exposure point.

Diana Lee , July 26, 2018 at 10:20 pm

I am a registered Democrat; I will NOT be voting for them this fall. They no longer have any credibility with me. Rachel helped them shoot themselves in the foot as far as I'm concerned. How are they any different from neocons??? I'm grateful WikiLeaks pulled off their mask. I'm a historian and know a lot of both CIA and Russian history and am not buying Russiagate or Democrats.

Jessika , July 26, 2018 at 9:33 pm

I like that, the "Demented-crats"! They are so completely clueless, in their overpaid bubbles, nothing to say about the Race-to-the-Bottom, Hunger Games society they have helped create.

Meanwhile, over in Russia, the government with leadership of Vladimir Putin has increased the Russians' standard of living, much as was done for Americans under FDR and the New Deal. (Never a word about the 80+ governments the USA/CIA has destabilized or directly overthrown, including Russia's -- oh no! We're exceptional, didn't you know?)

William , July 26, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Yea, I don't get it. Who the hell do you consider to be the progressives!?! Most people I know who consider themselves to be progressives aren't all wrapped up in the Russian narrative. The loyal shrills to Clinton? Those aren't progressives. Clinton herself pretty much backed away from that stamp during the election cycle. Pelosi has quite obviously made it clear she can't even see that side of the fence. Or will she allow it the light of day. In case you missed it, there's a war on progressives going on. And we aren't allowed in that club over there. I follow a hand full of Green Party sites on face hack, and they aren't having the Russia did it by any means. Only those loyal to the liberal democrats have the ignorance to bellow out the talking points and support for Sanders. Yea, those people that wouldn't give him the light of day during that same election cycle when we thought he was a progressive. Easy Bob! Just a hic cup. I hope! Rest peacefully!

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 6:46 am

As Jimmy Dore keeps telling us: the Democratic leadership, which is totally corporatist and neocon, would rather lose to the GOP candidate than to see a progressive or liberal Democrat win the office. The Dems have no independent policies of their own and are merely enablers to make sure that the hard right agenda always prevails. They are a sham party. Enough "blue dogs" and GOP-light types always win as Democrats to ensure that no progressive legislation will ever be enacted even when "the party" has 60% majorities in both houses -- as they did in Obama's first term. This is by design. Even the putative Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama functioned as center-right Republicans. Obama said as much. Clinton didn't have to as his policies were all reactionary and brought us to the impending economic collapse.

Zim , July 26, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Looks like the Inauthentic Opposition Party is gearing up for another ass whooping at the polls. The hypocrisy, the cluelessness is astounding.

JMG , July 26, 2018 at 5:33 pm

From this excellent Norman Solomon's article:

"As The Hill newspaper reported this week under the headline "Most Americans Back Trump's Call for Follow-Up Summit With Putin," 54 percent of respondents favored plans for a second summit. "The survey also found that 61 percent of Americans say better relations with Russia are in the best interest of the United States.""

This is very important.

Poll: Most Americans back Trump's call for follow-up summit with Putin | TheHill
http://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/398370-majority-of-americans-support-follow-up-summit-with-putin-poll

Jay , July 26, 2018 at 5:24 pm

And I see Bernie Sanders was spewing this neo-McCarthyite crap on a Sunday morning talk show earlier this week. He really should know better.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 7:01 am

He's been co-opted. He's been told that the blame will be his when the Democratic Party collapses unless he works like hell to keep his sheep in the fold. He's following orders from the DNC which believes that the party's last best hope for a comeback, indeed to stave off annihilation, is to keep bashing Putin and Trump because they have no policies, no credibility and no candidates that the people eagerly want to get behind. They think that lies and war are the winning combination. How did that work out for LBJ, Bushdaddy, and Dubya's organisation?

mrtmbrnmn , July 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Ever since the Bonnie & Clyde Clinton years, the sclerotic Establishment Dementedcrats have essentially despised their base. They only speak AT them. Never FOR them. Or else they SCOLD them or simply IGNORE them. I hope now they are beginning to FEAR them.

jose , July 26, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Personally speaking, I am yet to see any serious evidence against allege Russia meddling in US elections. And I am not alone in this regard; For instance, according to counterpunch news, " The decision to blame Russian meddling for Hillary Clinton's electoral loss was made in the immediate aftermath of the election by her senior campaign staff." According to Mike Whitney, "So far, no single piece of evidence has been made public proving that the Trump campaign joined with Russia to steal the US presidency."

Isaac Christiansen observes that "As Democrats seek to shift blame away from the discontent with our economic system, their party and their chosen Neoliberal candidate, we are told that Trump came to power almost solely due to Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election." I reckon that any rational person should believe any Russian interference in US electoral system only when presented with real iron-clad prove. Otherwise, it would be foolhardy to accept at face value speculations and innuendo of a foreign interference that purportedly put Trump in the White House.

DH Fabian , July 26, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Well, a couple of issues here. Liberals have not been about economic justice, but about protecting the advantages of the middle class (with an occasional pat on the head to min. wage workers). They've forgotten that we're over 20 years into one hell of a war on the poor. Not everyone can work, and there aren't jobs for all. The US began shipping out jobs in the '80s, ended actual welfare aid in the '90s -- lost over 6 million manufacturing jobs alone since 2000. What is" justice" for today's jobless poor?

Remember how the entire anti-Russian theme began? The Clinton team used Russia as their excuse for losing 2016. It didn't get much attention at first because the party/candidate that loses inevitably blames someone or something other than the candidate/party. But the Democrats ran with it from there, using much of the media marketed to liberals to build the Russian Tale. The most insane thing about the claims that Russia hacked voting machines for Trump, etc.: In spite of much Dem voter opposition to the Clinton right wing, H. Clinton got the most votes. (Did Russia do that, and if so, why?) Trump is president because of our antiquated electoral college process. Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 7:09 am

"Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China."

So very right. Everything gets conspicuously twisted by a biased media, yet no one (of consequence) says anything about that. Even as Trump gets bashed, he gets cheered whenever he does something dangerous and stupid, such as launching missiles in the aftermath of an obvious false flag incident. We see the matrix being blatantly and clumsily spun right before our eyes and nobody says a word about the emperor's nakedness.

Skip Scott , July 26, 2018 at 2:27 pm

It is time for the progressives to flee the Democratic party en masse and go their own way. If they haven't learned anything from the 2016 election, they are doomed. The DNC has a stranglehold on the Progressive movement, and sheep dog Bernie will once again herd them over to the corporate sponsored candidate in the end. For the midterms, this is what the Democrats have planned:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/07/dems-m07.html

"One quarter of all the Democratic challengers in competitive House districts have military-intelligence, State Department or NSC backgrounds. This is by far the largest subcategory of Democratic candidates."

The Green Party has a truly Progressive platform on Domestic and Foreign policy, and are our only hope at this point. They just need the right standard bearers to break through the MSM censorship. If they could get a charismatic candidate for President in 2020 and break the 15% threshold for the debates, the American people would finally see that they really do have a choice for a better future.

DH Fabian , July 26, 2018 at 3:36 pm

We haven't seen any progressives in years. Progressive politics isn't a new invention. In the US, it goes back at least to the early 1900s. It's about building a better nation from the bottom up -- legit aid for the poor at one end, firm restraints in the rich at the other end.We have nothing like that today. This isn't about "political purity," but about not calling an apple an armadillo.

It's true that the Green Party platform does include legitimatrely addressing poverty, but perhaps understandably, this fact was swept under the carpet during their 2016 campaign.

will , July 26, 2018 at 8:32 pm

"We haven't seen any progressives in years" Apparently you don't get out much.

hetro , July 26, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Skip, let's hope we don't have the "hold your nose and vote Democrat" arguments again, with Greens as a vote for Trump (or Putin?). Interestingly, the following poll from FOX news indicates the strum und feces hysteria of the current Democratic machine may not be working out all that well, as 7 in 10 respondents here indicate the political atmosphere in the US at this time is "overheated."

Well, a good deal of that overheat is coming from the "them Russians them Russians" meme continually pushed -- and way over the top for most American people trying to "have a great day!" This poll does indicate Dems are ahead at this point, and in the past several election cycles there has been a regular switch every two years in congressional domination.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/12/fox-news-poll-democrats-ahead-in-election-enthusiasm-interest-and-vote.html

Miranda Keefe , July 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm

"The Green Party has a truly Progressive platform on Domestic and Foreign policy, and are our only hope at this point."

The Green Party is a Capitalist party, just the kindest and gentlest Capitalism of any of the Capitalist parties with the most stringent leash on the mad killer dog that is Capitalism and the best safety net for those chased off the cliff by that mad killer dog.

For those of us who see that Capitalism is the problem, that makes voting Green actually a lesser evil choice. If we're going to vote lesser evil, we might as well vote for the most progressive Democrats, or even centrist ones when they're running against fire breathing Randian Republicans who combine that with a Fundamentalist Christian Theocratic agenda (a combination that makes no sense, but who said the GOP makes sense?)

There are few viable Socialist parties in the US anymore. The biggest jettisoned Socialism nearly 50 years ago when it also jettisoned actually being a political party and decided to just be a lobby group within the Democratic Party. The only political heir of Eugene V. Debs, the Socialist Party USA, is now a fringe group whose national conventions are more like a picnic gathering of a few friends. The other organizations that seem more viable are actually Trotskyite groups, and Trotsky was not non-violent at all, which I am.

I am really at a lost what to do as far as the less important task of voting (which is less important than ongoing activism.) I just did my primary ballot. We've got this terrible top two primary, a system that basically kills movement building.

I could have voted for Gigi Ferguson, the independent, who was endorsed by the Green Party, running for senate against NeoLiberal phony environmentalist Maria Cantwell and not the poser, who said he was Green, (parties have no say in candidates' statements of which party they prefer,) but is for privatizing Social Security. But I instead voted for Steve Hoffman, the only avowed Socialist on the ballot in any race, even though his Freedom Socialist Party is Troskyite.

I voted for Stoney Bird, a real Green, running against TPP loving and indefinite detention loving and NeoLiberal anti-Single Payer Rick Larsen for Congress.

My state legislation had two positions. In one I voted for Alex Ramel, an ecological activist, over the preferred establishment choice of Identity Politics candidate (tribal,) Debra Lekanoff. In the other the incumbent, Jeff Morris, another establishment Democrat, ran unopposed. I wrote in "None." (Morris having the same family name as my mother's maiden name didn't affect me at all.)

But it was all an exercise in futility, voting for my conscience as much as possible. I have little doubt that none of my choices, except maybe Ramel, will make it to the top two. Cantwell and Larsen are shoo-ins and they'll surely face the establishment GOP candidate. Thus cutting out all other options in the Fall.

I'll have to write in my choices then. Oh well.

maryam , July 27, 2018 at 4:54 am

Over here in Europe (not UK) and faced with the similar problem of inapt candidates, we sometimes need to vote creatively: so we vote, of course, but choose to make the ballot sheet invalid. this way our voice is noted and we show that we care about the electoral process, while it also makes clear that we do not care much about the cabdidate(s). "we" will vote, but "they" are not very trustworthy.

MBeaver , July 27, 2018 at 8:12 am

Yep. We in Germany had that lesson already. The Green party was one of the most corrupt one when they finally got elected into the government. They also harmed the social systems massively and supported the first offensive war with German support since WW2. Even as opposition they show all the time how much they lie about their true intentions.
They are not an option, because they are hypocrites.

ronnie mitchell , July 27, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Interesting comment with some good information that I appreciate.\ I live in Bellingham and have filled out my vote for Stony Bird over Rick Larsen whom I truly despise. In fact in previous election cycles I voted for Mike Lapointe instead but he quit running more than a few years ago so the last time I just left it blank and the same goes for the general election vote for Congress.
With the TPP issue Rick Larsen had a townhall meeting at City hall building which was packed and he starts off by saying he hasn't read any of the text of the TPP yet so he was free from answering most questions however he would be checking it out BUT no there would be no further meeting before the voting. In other words he was giving us NOTHING.
I had been part of the protesters outside his fundraising gathering (private and by invitation only) and have been to his local office many times (it's two blocks from where I live) and when myself and a small group were in opposition to building the largest coal terminal in north America at Cherry Point. He would never say he was against it or for it but his fundraisers were backers of the terminal and as each of our group stepped forward to give a statement to his office workers on the issue (Rick was in DC,aka District of Corruption at the time) they just politely listened but neither recorded nor wrote down ANYTHING we said.
The list is long regarding issues on which he is on the opposite side of his constituents wishes and at one gathering was smugly dismissive of requests to represent the votes of the people and not use his super delegate status(not Democratic) to endorse Hillary Clinton because votes in Caucuses were overwhelmingly for Sen. Sanders.
I could go on but it would be too long of a comment but you've given me some good ideas for other choices on the ballot which I needed in particular with Maria Cantwell whom (like fellow neoliberal Patty Murray) I have refused to support in the last two elections.For one of many examples of why, one big one was their stand against importing cheaper medicines from Canada which was word for word straight out of the Big PHarma handbook of talking points, but they DID get quite a lot of flak for it.

I'll look into some of your other suggestions as well before I turn in this ballot, thanks for your comment.

TS , July 27, 2018 at 4:06 am

> Skip Scott

> If they could get a charismatic candidate for President in 2020 and break the 15% threshold for the debates,

And what makes you think the people who decide wouldn't simply shift the goalposts?

Skip Scott , July 27, 2018 at 2:48 pm

I'm sure that would be attempted, but with a strong candidate hopefully there'd be enough of a fuss made to get them to back off. I'd also like to dream that some of the more progressive Democrats in congress would see the writing on the wall, and declare themselves Greens. That'd give us a toehold in two branches of government. I know I'm being overly optimistic, but it keeps me away from the whiskey bottle.

Piotr Berman , July 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm

I have some misgivings to "eco politics", I am not sure to what extend they apply to Greens, and I am sorry to say, liberals have a knack to pick the worst parts of any progressive idea.

Any goal has to consider trade-off. If we think that emitting carbon to the atmosphere is a major problem, solutions must follow economic calculus. Instead, there was two much stress on "aesthetic solutions" and sometimes scientifically unsound solutions. For example, aesthetic solution is electric vehicles, but hybrid vehicles offer a much smaller cost per amount of carbon that is saved, only when majority of vehicles already gain from regenerative braking and having engines work only in fuel optimal conditions (battery absorbing surplus or augmenting the engine power when the amount of needed power is outside parameters optimal for the internal combustion engine) you may get better cost from electric engines.

Or excluding nuclear power from the "approved solutions". One of my many objections on "Republicans on energy" that they promised a few times to be "rational" but they never delivered.

Philosophically, there should be a fat carbon tax and social policies and subsidies to avoid poor people to loose.

"Hyperrational" progressive approach would be to make a balance: as a society, where do we waste, and where do we spent too little.

1. Military/foreign policy. In aggregate, spendings are huge and nobody is overly proud from the results. An open question if this category of spending should be decreased by 50% or 75%, if we proceed in stages we can reach satisfactory point. Mind you, the largest ticket items are improving nuclear weapons or conventional weapon systems that are needed against very few most sophisticated adversaries who also waste resources. USA, Russia, China, the rest of NATO etc. could agree to some disarmament, Russia and China actually accelerated weapon development in response to "Let America dominate forever" policies, bad news are they they do it for less money.

2. Medical robbery complex. Private insurance and lack of costs control leads to spending on medical care around 18% of GDP rather than 10%. This waste is actually larger than all spending on defense.

3. Infrastructure (large public role) and other capital investments (small public role but essential fiscal policies and "thoughtful protectionism"), we spent too little, can be covered by a part of 1 and 2.

I could continue with "hyperrational progressive manifesto" but I will give one example. Enforcing labor standards may eliminate 90% of illegal employment without walls, concentration camps for aliens etc. Some industries cannot make it without cheap illegal aliens, if they REALLY cannot, workers should work legally in their home countries and resulting imports should be encouraged. If picking carrots is too expensive in USA, we may get them from other countries in Western Hemisphere. On that note, lately there are enough jobs in USA, but native born citizens do not flock to carrot picking, they would rather have jobs that required large capital investments and there are too few of those.

Hyperrational rhetoric can borrow from libertarians: if our allies do not feel secure when they spend X times more than their regional adversaries (especially if we add our own regional expenditures), that says that money alone cannot cure their "secure feeling" deficit and we and they are already spending too much. We do not need to hate or demean anyone to reach such conclusions.

Skip Scott , July 29, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Piotr-

I am all in favor of rational solutions to our environmental problems. The problem is the entrenched power of the existing exploitive industries. An incredible amount of progress could be made through on-site power generation and energy efficient building design.

I'm am not in favor of current nuclear power plants, but I am not opposed to research, and I've heard good things about recent designs, especially thorium nukes. I am no engineer, but if we had safe nukes, we could go with hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles. There are plenty of other creative ideas as well for things such as localized food production.

If we find common purpose with the Libertarians to stop the war machine, the amount of energy and resources and creative potential to bring humanity forward would be tremendous. First we have to stop the war machine, and then we can argue about the extent of the role of government in a free society.

[Jul 31, 2018] GOP and Corporate Dems Gain When Democrats Run Against Putin by Norman Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... This week, under the headline " It's Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned U.S. War in Yemen ," journalist Adam Johnson reported for the media watchdog group FAIR about the collapse of journalistic decency at MSNBC, under the weight of the network's Russia Russia Russia obsession. Johnson's article asks a big-type question: "Why is the No. 1 outlet of alleged anti-Trump #resistance completely ignoring his most devastating war?" ..."
"... It would be easy for news watchers to see that the Democratic Party is much more committed to a hard line against Russia than a hard line against the corporate forces imposing extreme economic inequality here at home. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more." That, of course, is the purpose and intent. Just like hobbling the 'left' with absurd identity politics. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

GOP and Corporate Dems Gain When Democrats Run Against Putin July 26, 2018 • 79 Comments

Hammering on Russia is a losing strategy for progressives as most Americans care about economic issues and it is the Republicans and corporate Democrats who stand to gain, argues Norman Solomon.

Progressives should figure it out. Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more. Echoing the racket of blaming Russia for the USA's severe shortages of democracy plays into the hands of Republicans and corporate Democrats eager to block progressive momentum.

When riding on the "Russiagate" bandwagon, progressives unwittingly aid political forces that are eager to sideline progressive messages. And with the midterm elections now scarcely 100 days away, the torrents of hyperbolic and hypocritical claims about Russia keep diverting attention from why it's so important to defeat Republicans.

As a practical matter, devoting massive amounts of time and resources to focusing on Russia has reduced capacities to effectively challenge the domestic forces that are assaulting democratic possibilities at home -- with such tactics as state voter ID laws, purging of voter rolls, and numerous barriers to suppress turnout by people of color.

Instead of keeping eyes on the prize, some of the Democratic base has been watching and trusting media outlets like MSNBC. An extreme Russia obsession at the network has left precious little airtime to expose and challenge the vast quantity of terrible domestic-policy measures being advanced by the Trump administration every day.

Likewise with the U.S. government's militarism. While some Democrats and Republicans in Congress have put forward legislation to end the active U.S. role in Saudi Arabia's mass-murderous war on Yemen, those efforts face a steeper uphill climb because of MSNBC.

This week, under the headline " It's Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned U.S. War in Yemen ," journalist Adam Johnson reported for the media watchdog group FAIR about the collapse of journalistic decency at MSNBC, under the weight of the network's Russia Russia Russia obsession. Johnson's article asks a big-type question: "Why is the No. 1 outlet of alleged anti-Trump #resistance completely ignoring his most devastating war?"

Maddow: Most Americans don't care for her obsession.

The FAIR report says: "What seems most likely is MSNBC has found that attacking Russia from the right on matters of foreign policy is the most elegant way to preserve its 'progressive' image while still serving traditional centers of power -- namely, the Democratic Party establishment, corporate sponsors, and their own revolving door of ex-spook and military contractor-funded talking heads."

Russia Doesn't Concern Americans

Corporate media have been exerting enormous pressure on Democratic officeholders and candidates to follow a thin blue party line on Russia. Yet polling shows that few Americans see Russia as a threat to their well-being; they're far more concerned about such matters as healthcare, education, housing and overall economic security.

The gap between most Americans and media elites is clear in a nationwide poll taken after the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki, which was fiercely condemned by the punditocracy. As The Hill newspaper reported this week under the headline "Most Americans Back Trump's Call for Follow-Up Summit With Putin," 54 percent of respondents favored plans for a second summit. "The survey also found that 61 percent of Americans say better relations with Russia are in the best interest of the United States."

Yet most Democratic Party leaders have very different priorities. After investing so much political capital in portraying Putin's government as an implacable enemy of the United States, top Democrats on Capitol Hill are hardly inclined to help thaw relations between the world's two nuclear superpowers.

It would be easy for news watchers to see that the Democratic Party is much more committed to a hard line against Russia than a hard line against the corporate forces imposing extreme economic inequality here at home.

National polling underscores just how out of whack and out of touch the party's top dogs are. Last month, the Gallup organization asked: "What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?" The results were telling. "Situation with Russia" came in at below one-half of 1 percent.

The day after the Helsinki summit, The Washington Post reported: "Citing polls and focus groups that have put Trump and Russia far down the list of voter priorities, Democratic strategists have counseled candidates and party leaders for months to discuss 'kitchen table' issues. Now, after a remarkable 46-minute news conference on foreign soil where Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent to praise his 'strong' denials of election interference and criticize the FBI, those strategists believe the ground may have shifted."

Prominent corporate Democrats who want to beat back the current progressive groundswell inside their party are leading the charge. Jim Kessler, a senior vice president at the "centrist" Third Way organization, was quick to proclaim after the summit: "It got simple real fast. I've talked to a lot of Democrats that are running in purple and red states and districts who have said that Russia rarely comes up back home, and I think that has now changed."

The Democratic National Committee and other official arms of the party keep sending out Russia-bashing emails to millions of people on a nearly daily basis. At times the goals seem to involve generating and exploiting manic panic.

At the end of last week, as soon as the White House announced plans (later postponed) for Vladimir Putin to meet with President Trump in Washington this fall, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fired off a mass email -- from "RUSSIA ALERT (via DCCC)" -- declaring that the Russian president "must NOT be allowed to set foot in our country." The email strained to conflate a summit with Russian interference in U.S. elections. "We cannot overstate how dangerous this is," the DCCC gravely warned. And: "We need to stop him at all costs."

For Democrats who move in elite circles, running against Putin might seem like a smart election move. But for voters worried about economic insecurity and many other social ills, a political party obsessed with Russia is likely to seem aloof and irrelevant to their lives.

Norman Solomon is the national coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death."


Nop , July 31, 2018 at 10:38 am

"Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more." That, of course, is the purpose and intent. Just like hobbling the 'left' with absurd identity politics.

Bill Goldman , July 30, 2018 at 6:44 pm

If the Democrats don't turn primaries into housecleaning out establishment Dems, they will gain no seats in the midterm election and Trump will retain his Republican majority in both chambers. Putin is an heroic figure to the global electorates. They admire and respect him and even wish he were running on their tickets. Most Americans want nothing to do with mainstream media be it the NYT, WSJ, Fox, Financial Times, Guardian, MSNBC, or CNN. They are mostly viewed as extreme liars and propagandists of the Goebbels variety. The real action is in the alternative media who realize capitalist wars are military-industrial rackets. The play is at RT, Sputnik International, Consortium, The Saker, New Eastern Outlook, and Greenville Post, among others.

Taras77 , July 30, 2018 at 11:42 am

Not sure where this link would fit but here it is:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/putin-wanted-to-interrogate-me-trump-called-it-an-incredible-offer-why/2018/07/26/7bb11552-90d2-11e8-b769-e3fff17f0689_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a8100ef8e8fd

Article is strong on self-pity and whine-evidently this neocon had a serious case of the vapors when putin made an "offer" to interview him.

It remains to be seen as to the extent of Mcfaul's cooperation with Browder, who he describes simply as a british businessman.

Skip Scott , July 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Tony Cartalucci has the straight dope on McFaul.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/anti-russia-hysteria-putin-proposed-interrogating-u-s-officials-interfering-in-russian-affairs/5648966

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:27 am

It was ok when Hillary said we need a "strong" Russia:
"We want very much to have a strong Russia because a strong, competent, prosperous, stable Russia is , we think, in the interests of the world," Clinton said as Obama's secretary of state in her 2010 interview with the partially Russian government-owned First Channel Television.

Russia is not the USSR, although PMSNBC wants the ignorant to "stay ignorant, my friend.."
Thedems are their own worst enemy.

Lois Gagnon , July 29, 2018 at 11:41 pm

Rachel Maddow is unfortunately a cult hero in my neck of the Western Mass woods as she makes her permanent home here. It's impossible to penetrate the total brainwashing she has managed to accomplish among the pink hat wearing crowd. It's very dispiriting.

This is a great interview with Russian scholar Prof. Stephen Cohen on the Real News. Maybe it will at least cause a few second thoughts among the not completely zombified.
https://therealnews.com/stories/debunking-the-putin-panic-with-stephen-f-cohen

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

Here is part one of the Cohen interview:

https://therealnews.com/stories/the-russia-national-security-crisis-is-a-u-s-creation

Antiwar7 , July 30, 2018 at 3:18 pm

It's sad when someone like Rachel Maddow uses their social gifts to advance tribalism. In this case, one could say the Russia bashing amounts to racism.

H Beazley , July 29, 2018 at 9:55 pm

I have a foolproof method for proving which journalists are controlled by the C.I.A. The agency always advocates for war and always claims that JFK was killed by a "lone nut." Rachel Maddow always goes along with war propaganda and supports the Warren Commission every November 22. Therefore, she is a tool for the C.I.A. and cannot be trusted.

H Beazley , July 29, 2018 at 10:24 pm

https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/rachel-maddow-jfk-and-easy-money

Reference for above statement. Jim DiEugenio is a real source for the truth of the JFK assassination, not Phil Shenon.

glitch , July 31, 2018 at 7:23 am

JFK is their most blatant "tell". Some can't even say his name without spitting it out.

CitizenOne , July 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

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

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

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

It is a sham.

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

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

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

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

Cassandra , July 29, 2018 at 8:43 pm

Hell hath no fury like a Clinton scorned. The Goldwater Girl just can't over her loss to El Chumpo. It had to be the Russians, not the thoroughly disgusted American people who voted with their feet by not going to the polls at all.

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

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

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

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

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

rosemerry , July 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm

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

SteveK9 , July 28, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Incredible as it seems, the re-election of Donald Trump (assuming he is not deposed or killed before then) is not essential to preserve our democracy. If they bring him down (whatever you may think of him), then we might just as well have a 'Star Chamber' of the Military/Industrial/Intelligence complex choose the President, not that it would matter who that might be.

SteveK9 , July 28, 2018 at 3:57 pm

now essential sorry. I wish there were a way to edit comments.

Jessika , July 28, 2018 at 9:35 am

It really is peculiar what's happened to these dimwit Dems. I used to listen to Thom Hartmann and Rachel Maddow when they were on Air America, and their main political positions were for working people. Now, all they do is partisan politics which they don't seem to understand benefits only the Deep State war party.

Incidentally, State of the Nation website, http://www.sott.net , has an article by Alex Krainer, who wrote the book about Bill Browder's crooked dealings in Russia. His book, which was suppressed by Browder first, i think is "Grand Deception", now available from Red Pill Press for $25 (and must be selling well because it's being reprinted). I wrote this hastily but you'll see it on sott.net. Russia's resurgence under Putin is nothing short of astounding.

Also, there is a video on Youtube, "The Rise of Putin and the Fall of the Russian Jewish Oligarchs", 2 parts. I only saw the beginning showing how the Russian people were given state vouchers that led to the oligarchs buying them up for their own profit and plunging Russians into shock therapy disaster instigated by IMF and other US led monetary agencies including Harvard. This is why it is so incredible how Americans receive political "perception control" when the truth is exactly opposite of what they are being told. At least more people are realizing the lies being told about Russia and Putin.

Drew Hunkins , July 27, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Maddow, Corn and the rest of them are playing a dangerous game. This weekend there's a guy over at Counterpunch ("The curious case of pro-Trump leftism") who's essentially saying that any progressives or liberal minded folks who concede that Trump's on the righteous path in pursuing a detente of sorts with the Kremlin is a naive fool and isn't to be taken seriously (Thom Hartmann also had a recent piece saying similar things). He sets up a Manichean world in which you either see Trump as the sole embodiment of evil or you're a dupe playing into rightwing hands. I for one, and most others at CN, have been highly critical of 90% of Trump's platform and policies but we're also not dunderheaded dolts, we know when to give the man a modicum of credit for going against the military industrial media complex on at least this one particular issue.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

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

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

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

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

Dogmatic party-line Democrats, Republicans, Communists, Islamists, Rastafarians, Bokononites and all the rest suffer from the same malady of checking their minds at the door when it comes to movement politics. They will never do the unthinkable and cooperate with the opposition even if they happen to agree on an issue. This is a manifestation of the Manichean approach you mentioned, Drew. Admit that the opposition is right about anything and you open the door to the possibility that they are right about more, AND that you may (heaven forbid!) be wrong more often than absolutely never. The main exception, at least in America, seems to be warfare, which both main factions and a lot of the marginal ones agree enthusiastically upon and engage with relish.

marcyincny , July 29, 2018 at 10:40 am

I have no idea who Hartmann is so I did a search and found him described as: "Thomas Carl Hartmann is an American radio personality, author, former psychotherapist, businessman, and progressive political commentator." That's a of hats! Jack of all trades, master of none?

Eddie , July 27, 2018 at 11:26 pm

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

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

Eddie , July 27, 2018 at 11:29 pm

Correction: last sentence, the "set aside" should've been "use".

michael , July 28, 2018 at 11:47 am

Nixon opened the door to China but the Clintons gave China, a communist country, permanent favored nation status, relaxed technology restrictions, and set up the path to offshoring jobs. These things in combination helped build up China's economy to what it is today, a great return on the illegal $366,000 given by Communist China to the DNC, which (after the Election) was paid back. Russiagate is probably modeled on Chinagate, except there were no consequences for the Clintons.
https://spectator.org/chinagate-and-the-clintons/

Eddie , July 28, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Yes, that's what finally (after being shocked by his Balkans bombings) turned me away from the POTUS Dems was when Bill Clinton signed NAFTA and similar agreements like the one you mentioned, for his short-term political gain. (ie; many middle class consumers could buy cheap goods, which distracted from the shuttering of major industries that couldn't compete with a Chinese wage of $3.57/hr and no pollution laws, etc). Nowadays, for instance,TRY to find a normally-priced shoe or shirt made in the USA (sure, you might find an exotic, botique-made version, but no high-volume/mass-produced versions for the middle-class).

Drew Hunkins , July 28, 2018 at 4:31 pm

"Trump's policy of detente w/Russia, is -- like the proverbial 'blind squirrel who occasionally finds a nut' -- probably random chance or perhaps a way to penetrate a relatively untapped market with his hucksterism. But so what?? For something as IMPORTANT as NOT having a nuclear war, I'm all for any honest, significant efforts in that direction."

Excellent!

rosemerry , July 28, 2018 at 6:47 pm

Nixon, by the way, helped bring in many of the important environmental laws Ralph Nader did so much to bring to prominence and Trump is successfully destroying.

Skip Scott , July 28, 2018 at 6:11 am

et tu, Thom Hartmann? God help us.

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:10 am

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

Dario Zuddu , July 27, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Nothing new by now about ultra-corrupted MSM serving the interests of the war establishment.
Yet, the article falls back to usual sociological errors while overlooking important subtleties.
True, Russia certainly does not top Americans' priorities – how could it in the current situation? – but these much trumpeted surveys are hardly the compelling evidence of their views on US relations with Moscow (and how Trump plays in it) that the piece, and other equally imprudent media coverage, would have you believe.
Recent history should teach us extreme caution about surveys' reliability, but let the facts speak.
The cited "nationwide poll" actually interviewed a very modest sample of 1,001 citizens, which might not be small by surveys' standards, but, well, that only strengthens the point that surveys must be taken cum grano salis.
Look at American readers' approving, vitriolic comments on much of the same MSM Russo-phobic coverage : they number in the thousands, day by day, and far exceed the sample of the survey. Of course they probably mostly represent the view of Democrats, but you should remember that in terms of registered voters, democrats have frequently outweighed republicans.
In any event, the popular base of the mentioned national poll is way too negligible to draw the very meaningful conclusion of the article.
This is a structural limit of sociological analysis that we must take an effort to regard as definitive.
But the claim that so many Americans would have markedly different view from the establishment on Russia-Trump issues is also very dubious, to say the least, in another respect.
It does not take into account the possibility, quite palpable if you scratch the surface, that many liberal democrats still hope that the so called Russiagate might bring Trump down – through a possible impeachment or compelled resignation.
Now, that is not only unlikely, but it would also be a very wrong way to go for any future viable and stable political success of the Democratic Party. Such an outcome would only reinforce the view of Trump voters that the political establishment in D.C. does not respect the popular will and would do anything to undermine it.
Trump needs to be beaten at the voting polls.
Yet, plenty of liberal democrat voters still seem to think otherwise.

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

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

Can someone explain to me what the hell "foreign soil" has to do with the price of tea in China? Trump has given plenty of pressers "on foreign soil" but that phrase nor anything like it is ever mentioned. Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent Talk about a lack of respect and blatant bias. He stood side by side with the democratically elected President of the Russian Federation who, by the way, won his election by a clear majority of the vote unlike Mr. Trump who would have lost the election had it been held in Russia. One wonders what would have happened had WaPo and the NYT said something like Russian President Gorbachev stood side by side with the former head of the KGB I mean CIA without ever saying President Bush?

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

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

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

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

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

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:13 am

"Progressives, particularly those few taken tokens the Democrats allow for, should have realised long ago that MSNBC is all in on the corporatist controlled economy and leans heavily forward in the quest for War and Profits."
Oh, they do. Look how pro-war and pro-CIA the so-called progressives had become overnight. It is the size of a paycheck that makes the "progressives" so articulate. Maddow is an example numero One.

David H. , July 27, 2018 at 9:33 am

Yes, but author neglects to mention that "Russiagate" is a lie, i.e., it is not true.

Maybe that matters too?

mike k , July 27, 2018 at 8:39 am

The whole corrupt, crazy political process is a distraction from our real problems, and an endless maze of futility. The illusion of democracy is collapsing all around us, and safety lies in abandoning it. We need a new way of thinking and acting that clearly and directly sees our problems and deals with them. Politics as now understood is a dead end.

Heather S. , July 28, 2018 at 10:36 am

Agreed. Our entire national political debate is a theater of smoke and mirrors. The facts most obvious and degrading to the national interest are ignored at all costs, e.g., an out of control military-industrial-intelligence complex that now swallows up an obscene $1 trillion annually (including "defense related expenditures"). Even the fact that we no longer live in a democracy but an oligarchy, according to objective studies and noted commentators, including former president Carter, is never commented upon by the miscreant pundits posing as reporters (Hayes, Maddow, Anderson, Cuomo, et al).

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 6:33 am

My plans for the upcoming Democratic primary in Florida: I will write "none of these clowns" at the top of the ballot. Under that I will write "Stop the warmongering and phony Russia-bashing. Stop the obstructionism just to damage Trump and exonerate Hillary for losing a poorly-run campaign. I cannot vote for my party this November, and never again until you stop trying to run to the right of the Republicans." Maybe someone reading the ballot will pass the message on to the party leadership and adjustments will at least be considered.

If not, eff 'em. We will be better off sweeping corrupt corporatist cronies of Hillary, like Wasserman-Schultz, out of congress. Then there will be no doubt that the GOP needs to go too, after they use their mandate to totally wreck all before them, and maybe, after a few election cycles, some third party representing the interests of the people rather than Wall Street and the MIC can emerge. Maybe the Greens and the Libertarians can become at least equal players with the corporatist Dems and GOPers.

Somebody new is going to have to preside over the coming economic and societal collapse, and do we want that to be the military, the police and the spooks? That is who will seize power (not just covertly but overtly) if the usually mercenary politicians cannot effect some workable changes.

Torture This , July 27, 2018 at 8:52 am

Right on except "Maybe adjustments will at least be considered."

Not a chance but you might feel better.

If you took it to your local DNC office, told them in person and put out a video of it I'm pretty sure you'd feel a hundred times better. I'd have to get drunk first and it would be a totally different video.

Broompilot , July 27, 2018 at 7:01 pm

Like the Eastern Roman Empire, we could wax and wane for 1000 years with the power we possess. Or, like the Soviet Union, we could suffer an economic collapse over a decade throwing a large percentage of us into poverty. I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the soviets, but we just haven't figured it that out yet.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:48 pm

"I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the soviets, but we just haven't figured that out yet."

Because we prefer to blow off science and empirically-supported concepts like the first law of thermodynamics which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, just transferred or changed in form.

We choose to believe that we can endlessly create money, which is a token representing access to available stored energy, out of nothing by issuing debt. Even if the tokens are infinite, on a finite planet the available energy is certainly not.

Most of the human race has been speeding towards the cliff at 100 mph like Thelma and Louise. Certainly America has been. It's getting ever closer. We will get there. Don't expect Zeno's paradox to save us.

Broompilot , July 28, 2018 at 5:35 am

dayum – I was counting on Zeno. – lol

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:22 am

Is not the Awan affair a grave insult to the US "Intelligence Community?" http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/what-are-the-democrats-hiding-by-publius-tacitus.html
For several years, a family of foreign nationals (and not only Wassermannn-Schultz) has been surfing the congressional computers while having no security clearance.
Then there was a criminal negligence by H. Clinton who made her emails, filled with the highest-level classified information, available to Chinese (not the Russians). http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/07/httpstruepunditcomfbi-lisa-page-dimes-out-top-fbi-officials-during-classified-house-testimony-bureau-bos.html
Both Debbie and Hillary should be in federal prison already. Clinton used to be fond of droning Assange for divulging the criminal and illegal activities of the state. What Debbie and Hillary did has been much more dangerous to the US national security.

Ma Laoshi , July 27, 2018 at 5:37 am

We are long past the point that this extreme Russophobia has revealed itself to be plain old race hatred. These bouts of hysteria have always been part of the American DNA, and it has been most instructive how fast and seamless the switch has been from Muslims to Russians as the hated Other. Progressives have solemnly declared themselves to be the good guys without much introspection, so one would expect them to be more susceptible to this bigotry, not less; a more astute observer might have asked "When will the machine turn on me next?", as is of course already happening to Sanders and others.

Yes RussiaGating is a losing strategy, but most of the evidence is that progressives ARE losers. So there's no surprise that they're falling for it, and little to indicate that they deserve any better.

Mike , July 26, 2018 at 11:43 pm

Never voted for Republican congressmen in the past. Never. This time I will. Democrats are the party of open borders and war. Now they want conflict with Russia over this ginned up fake investigation. They don't represent working people any more. I don't even think they put AMERICANS over illegal immigrants. Why is it wrong that people should be forced to obey immigration law? The laws for citizens are enforced. Never thought I'd vote Republican.

Torture This , July 27, 2018 at 9:18 am

I can't think of any reason to vote for 99.9% of the Democrats. The more everyone including the media lies about Russia, the more I empathize with them.

I'd guess the business owners that rely on illegals vote for Republicans because they're business owners. We need to eat and they need to make more money than they deserve so neither party is going to stand in the way of it as long as they bribe their politicians and anybody else that feels entitled to free stuff. Democrats won't get rid of ICE soon, if ever.

Nearly all people coming from the South are escaping conditions we've created and are granted asylum when allowed to make their case in court.

I think treating defenseless people terribly to show how mean we can be is wrong.

Freedomlover , July 28, 2018 at 8:05 am

Mike,
I share your setiment about the Democrats but voting for Republicans just because is equally foolish. Why support banning labor unions, corporate very expensive health care, greatly reducing and eventually eliminating social security and Medicare, privitzing all public infrastructure and bailing out wall Street at all cost. I could go on but you get the idea. Vote for candidates that stand for the American people and have the guts to stand up to the elites. If no such candidates exist in a particular election don't vote simple as that.

glitch , July 28, 2018 at 11:28 am

If you can't vote third party write in none of the above on a paper ballot. If those aren't options spoil your ballot but turn it in.
Not voting doesn't register your disdain, it's easier for them to ignore as apathy.
And non votes can be spoofed (stolen).
Stealing a "none of the above" write-in requires the ballot be destroyed, so it can provide a paper trail and/or a potential theft exposure point.

Diana Lee , July 26, 2018 at 10:20 pm

I am a registered Democrat; I will NOT be voting for them this fall. They no longer have any credibility with me. Rachel helped them shoot themselves in the foot as far as I'm concerned. How are they any different from neocons??? I'm grateful WikiLeaks pulled off their mask. I'm a historian and know a lot of both CIA and Russian history and am not buying Russiagate or Democrats.

Jessika , July 26, 2018 at 9:33 pm

I like that, the "Demented-crats"! They are so completely clueless, in their overpaid bubbles, nothing to say about the Race-to-the-Bottom, Hunger Games society they have helped create. Meanwhile, over in Russia, the government with leadership of Vladimir Putin has increased the Russians' standard of living, much as was done for Americans under FDR and the New Deal. (Never a word about the 80+ governments the USA/CIA has destabilized or directly overthrown, including Russia's -- oh no! We're exceptional, didn't you know?)

will , July 26, 2018 at 8:28 pm

32: 17,Putin admits to collusion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwxqOoIyWm0&feature=youtu.be&t=32m17s

William , July 26, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Yea, I don't get it. Who the hell do you consider to be the progressives!?! Most people I know who consider themselves to be progressives aren't all wrapped up in the Russian narrative. The loyal shrills to Clinton? Those aren't progressives. Clinton herself pretty much backed away from that stamp during the election cycle. Pelosi has quite obviously made it clear she can't even see that side of the fence. Or will she allow it the light of day. In case you missed it, there's a war on progressives going on. And we aren't allowed in that club over there. I follow a hand full of Green Party sites on face hack, and they aren't having the Russia did it by any means. Only those loyal to the liberal democrats have the ignorance to bellow out the talking points and support for Sanders. Yea, those people that wouldn't give him the light of day during that same election cycle when we thought he was a progressive. Easy Bob! Just a hic cup. I hope! Rest peacefully!

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 6:46 am

As Jimmy Dore keeps telling us: the Democratic leadership, which is totally corporatist and neocon, would rather lose to the GOP candidate than to see a progressive or liberal Democrat win the office. The Dems have no independent policies of their own and are merely enablers to make sure that the hard right agenda always prevails. They are a sham party. Enough "blue dogs" and GOP-light types always win as Democrats to ensure that no progressive legislation will ever be enacted even when "the party" has 60% majorities in both houses–as they did in Obama's first term. This is by design. Even the putative Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama functioned as center-right Republicans. Obama said as much. Clinton didn't have to as his policies were all reactionary and brought us to the impending economic collapse.

Zim , July 26, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Looks like the Inauthentic Opposition Party is gearing up for another ass whooping at the polls. The hypocrisy, the cluelessness is astounding.

JMG , July 26, 2018 at 5:33 pm

From this excellent Norman Solomon's article:

"As The Hill newspaper reported this week under the headline "Most Americans Back Trump's Call for Follow-Up Summit With Putin," 54 percent of respondents favored plans for a second summit. "The survey also found that 61 percent of Americans say better relations with Russia are in the best interest of the United States.""

This is very important.

A , July 26, 2018 at 10:59 pm

the survey also concluded 91% of the us population believes in in UFOs

JMG , July 27, 2018 at 1:31 am

This is the poll (nothing about UFOs, of course):

Poll: Most Americans back Trump's call for follow-up summit with Putin | TheHill
http://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/398370-majority-of-americans-support-follow-up-summit-with-putin-poll

Jay , July 26, 2018 at 5:24 pm

And I see Bernie Sanders was spewing this neo-McCarthyite crap on a Sunday morning talk show earlier this week.

He really should know better.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 7:01 am

He's been co-opted. He's been told that the blame will be his when the Democratic Party collapses unless he works like hell to keep his sheep in the fold. He's following orders from the DNC which believes that the party's last best hope for a comeback, indeed to stave off annihilation, is to keep bashing Putin and Trump because they have no policies, no credibility and no candidates that the people eagerly want to get behind. They think that lies and war are the winning combination. How did that work out for LBJ, Bushdaddy, and Dubya's organisation?

mrtmbrnmn , July 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Ever since the Bonnie & Clyde Clinton years, the sclerotic Establishment Dementedcrats have essentially despised their base. They only speak AT them. Never FOR them. Or else they SCOLD them or simply IGNORE them. I hope now they are beginning to FEAR them.

mike , July 26, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Putin isn't running

jose , July 26, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Personally speaking, I am yet to see any serious evidence against allege Russia meddling in US elections. And I am not alone in this regard; For instance, according to counterpunch news, " The decision to blame Russian meddling for Hillary Clinton's electoral loss was made in the immediate aftermath of the election by her senior campaign staff." According to Mike Whitney, "So far, no single piece of evidence has been made public proving that the Trump campaign joined with Russia to steal the US presidency." Isaac Christiansen observes that "As Democrats seek to shift blame away from the discontent with our economic system, their party and their chosen Neoliberal candidate, we are told that Trump came to power almost solely due to Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election." I reckon that any rational person should believe any Russian interference in US electoral system only when presented with real iron-clad prove. Otherwise, it would be foolhardy to accept at face value speculations and innuendo of a foreign interference that purportedly put Trump in the White House.

DH Fabian , July 26, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Well, a couple of issues here. Liberals have not been about economic justice, but about protecting the advantages of the middle class (with an occasional pat on the head to min. wage workers).They've forgotten that we're over 20 years into one hell of a war on the poor. Not everyone can work, and there aren't jobs for all. The US began shipping out jobs in the '80s, ended actual welfare aid in the '90s -- lost over 6 million manufacturing jobs alone since 2000. What is" justice" for today's jobless poor?

Remember how the entire anti-Russian theme began? The Clinton team used Russia as their excuse for losing 2016. It didn't get much attention at first because the party/candidate that loses inevitably blames someone or something other than the candidate/party. But the Democrats ran with it from there, using much of the media marketed to liberals to build the Russian Tale. The most insane thing about the claims that Russia hacked voting machines for Trump, etc.: In spite of much Dem voter opposition to the Clinton right wing, H. Clinton got the most votes. (Did Russia do that, and if so, why?) Trump is president because of our antiquated electoral college process. Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 7:09 am

"Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China."

So very right. Everything gets conspicuously twisted by a biased media, yet no one (of consequence) says anything about that. Even as Trump gets bashed, he gets cheered whenever he does something dangerous and stupid, such as launching missiles in the aftermath of an obvious false flag incident. We see the matrix being blatantly and clumsily spun right before our eyes and nobody says a word about the emperor's nakedness.

Pablo Diablo , July 26, 2018 at 3:16 pm

BE AFRAID. BE REAL AFRAID. THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING.

JMG , July 26, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Boo

A , July 26, 2018 at 11:06 pm

the right wing people are already here. we do not need fear Russians. We have enough of our own home grown people. I do not fear them unless they have their guns in their pockets.

Al Pinto , July 27, 2018 at 10:43 pm

For argument sake, let's say they are coming and will arrive soon

Maybe we can finally have government provided health care, housing, eduction for everyone, like they have now in Russia. Maybe we can retire at age 55 (women), or 60 (men) with government pension. Sounds a lot better than the current circumstances in the US

What are you afraid of?

Skip Scott , July 26, 2018 at 2:27 pm

It is time for the progressives to flee the Democratic party en masse and go their own way. If they haven't learned anything from the 2016 election, they are doomed. The DNC has a stranglehold on the Progressive movement, and sheep dog Bernie will once again herd them over to the corporate sponsored candidate in the end.

For the midterms, this is what the Democrats have planned:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/07/dems-m07.html

"One quarter of all the Democratic challengers in competitive House districts have military-intelligence, State Department or NSC backgrounds. This is by far the largest subcategory of Democratic candidates."

The Green Party has a truly Progressive platform on Domestic and Foreign policy, and are our only hope at this point. They just need the right standard bearers to break through the MSM censorship. If they could get a charismatic candidate for President in 2020 and break the 15% threshold for the debates, the American people would finally see that they really do have a choice for a better future.

DH Fabian , July 26, 2018 at 3:36 pm

We haven't seen any progressives in years. Progressive politics isn't a new invention. In the US, it goes back at least to the early 1900s. It's about building a better nation from the bottom up -- legit aid for the poor at one end, firm restraints in the rich at the other end.We have nothing like that today. This isn't about "political purity," but about not calling an apple an armadillo.

It's true that the Green Party platform does include legitimatrely addressing poverty, but perhaps understandably, this fact was swept under the carpet during their 2016 campaign.

will , July 26, 2018 at 8:32 pm

"We haven't seen any progressives in years" Apparently you don't get out much.

hetro , July 26, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Skip, let's hope we don't have the "hold your nose and vote Democrat" arguments again, with Greens as a vote for Trump (or Putin?). Interestingly, the following poll from FOX news indicates the strum und feces hysteria of the current Democratic machine may not be working out all that well, as 7 in 10 respondents here indicate the political atmosphere in the US at this time is "overheated."

Well, a good deal of that overheat is coming from the "them Russians them Russians" meme continually pushed–and way over the top for most American people trying to "have a great day!" This poll does indicate Dems are ahead at this point, and in the past several election cycles there has been a regular switch every two years in congressional domination.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/12/fox-news-poll-democrats-ahead-in-election-enthusiasm-interest-and-vote.html

Miranda Keefe , July 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm

"The Green Party has a truly Progressive platform on Domestic and Foreign policy, and are our only hope at this point."

The Green Party is a Capitalist party, just the kindest and gentlest Capitalism of any of the Capitalist parties with the most stringent leash on the mad killer dog that is Capitalism and the best safety net for those chased off the cliff by that mad killer dog.

For those of us who see that Capitalism is the problem, that makes voting Green actually a lesser evil choice. If we're going to vote lesser evil, we might as well vote for the most progressive Democrats, or even centrist ones when they're running against fire breathing Randian Republicans who combine that with a Fundamentalist Christian Theocratic agenda (a combination that makes no sense, but who said the GOP makes sense?)

There are few viable Socialist parties in the US anymore. The biggest jettisoned Socialism nearly 50 years ago when it also jettisoned actually being a political party and decided to just be a lobby group within the Democratic Party. The only political heir of Eugene V. Debs, the Socialist Party USA, is now a fringe group whose national conventions are more like a picnic gathering of a few friends. The other organizations that seem more viable are actually Trotskyite groups, and Trotsky was not non-violent at all, which I am.

I am really at a lost what to do as far as the less important task of voting (which is less important than ongoing activism.) I just did my primary ballot. We've got this terrible top two primary, a system that basically kills movement building.

I could have voted for Gigi Ferguson, the independent, who was endorsed by the Green Party, running for senate against NeoLiberal phony environmentalist Maria Cantwell and not the poser, who said he was Green, (parties have no say in candidates' statements of which party they prefer,) but is for privatizing Social Security. But I instead voted for Steve Hoffman, the only avowed Socialist on the ballot in any race, even though his Freedom Socialist Party is Troskyite.

I voted for Stoney Bird, a real Green, running against TPP loving and indefinite detention loving and NeoLiberal anti-Single Payer Rick Larsen for Congress.

My state legislation had two positions. In one I voted for Alex Ramel, an ecological activist, over the preferred establishment choice of Identity Politics candidate (tribal,) Debra Lekanoff. In the other the incumbent, Jeff Morris, another establishment Democrat, ran unopposed. I wrote in "None." (Morris having the same family name as my mother's maiden name didn't affect me at all.)

But it was all an exercise in futility, voting for my conscience as much as possible. I have little doubt that none of my choices, except maybe Ramel, will make it to the top two. Cantwell and Larsen are shoo-ins and they'll surely face the establishment GOP candidate. Thus cutting out all other options in the Fall.

I'll have to write in my choices then. Oh well.

maryam , July 27, 2018 at 4:54 am

Over here in Europe (not UK) and faced with the similar problem of inapt candidates, we sometimes need to vote creatively: so we vote, of course, but choose to make the ballot sheet invalid. this way our voice is noted and we show that we care about the electoral process, while it also makes clear that we do not care much about the cabdidate(s). "we" will vote, but "they" are not very trustworthy.

MBeaver , July 27, 2018 at 8:12 am

Yep. We in Germany had that lesson already. The Green party was one of the most corrupt one when they finally got elected into the government.
They also harmed the social systems massively and supported the first offensive war with German support since WW2.
Even as opposition they show all the time how much they lie about their true intentions.
They are not an option, because they are hypocrites.

ronnie mitchell , July 27, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Interesting comment with some good information that I appreciate.\ I live in Bellingham and have filled out my vote for Stony Bird over Rick Larsen whom I truly despise. In fact in previous election cycles I voted for Mike Lapointe instead but he quit running more than a few years ago so the last time I just left it blank and the same goes for the general election vote for Congress.
With the TPP issue Rick Larsen had a townhall meeting at City hall building which was packed and he starts off by saying he hasn't read any of the text of the TPP yet so he was free from answering most questions however he would be checking it out BUT no there would be no further meeting before the voting. In other words he was giving us NOTHING.
I had been part of the protesters outside his fundraising gathering (private and by invitation only) and have been to his local office many times (it's two blocks from where I live) and when myself and a small group were in opposition to building the largest coal terminal in north America at Cherry Point. He would never say he was against it or for it but his fundraisers were backers of the terminal and as each of our group stepped forward to give a statement to his office workers on the issue (Rick was in DC,aka District of Corruption at the time) they just politely listened but neither recorded nor wrote down ANYTHING we said.
The list is long regarding issues on which he is on the opposite side of his constituents wishes and at one gathering was smugly dismissive of requests to represent the votes of the people and not use his super delegate status(not Democratic) to endorse Hillary Clinton because votes in Caucuses were overwhelmingly for Sen. Sanders.
I could go on but it would be too long of a comment but you've given me some good ideas for other choices on the ballot which I needed in particular with Maria Cantwell whom (like fellow neoliberal Patty Murray) I have refused to support in the last two elections.For one of many examples of why, one big one was their stand against importing cheaper medicines from Canada which was word for word straight out of the Big PHarma handbook of talking points, but they DID get quite a lot of flak for it.

I'll look into some of your other suggestions as well before I turn in this ballot, thanks for your comment.

TS , July 27, 2018 at 4:06 am

> Skip Scott

> If they could get a charismatic candidate for President in 2020 and break the 15% threshold for the debates,

And what makes you think the people who decide wouldn't simply shift the goalposts?

Skip Scott , July 27, 2018 at 2:48 pm

I'm sure that would be attempted, but with a strong candidate hopefully there'd be enough of a fuss made to get them to back off. I'd also like to dream that some of the more progressive Democrats in congress would see the writing on the wall, and declare themselves Greens. That'd give us a toehold in two branches of government. I know I'm being overly optimistic, but it keeps me away from the whiskey bottle.

Piotr Berman , July 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm

I have some misgivings to "eco politics", I am not sure to what extend they apply to Greens, and I am sorry to say, liberals have a knack to pick the worst parts of any progressive idea.

Any goal has to consider trade-off. If we think that emitting carbon to the atmosphere is a major problem, solutions must follow economic calculus. Instead, there was two much stress on "aesthetic solutions" and sometimes scientifically unsound solutions. For example, aesthetic solution is electric vehicles, but hybrid vehicles offer a much smaller cost per amount of carbon that is saved, only when majority of vehicles already gain from regenerative braking and having engines work only in fuel optimal conditions (battery absorbing surplus or augmenting the engine power when the amount of needed power is outside parameters optimal for the internal combustion engine) you may get better cost from electric engines.

Or excluding nuclear power from the "approved solutions". One of my many objections on "Republicans on energy" that they promised a few times to be "rational" but they never delivered.

Philosophically, there should be a fat carbon tax and social policies and subsidies to avoid poor people to loose.

"Hyperrational" progressive approach would be to make a balance: as a society, where do we waste, and where do we spent too little.

1. Military/foreign policy. In aggregate, spendings are huge and nobody is overly proud from the results. An open question if this category of spending should be decreased by 50% or 75%, if we proceed in stages we can reach satisfactory point. Mind you, the largest ticket items are improving nuclear weapons or conventional weapon systems that are needed against very few most sophisticated adversaries who also waste resources. USA, Russia, China, the rest of NATO etc. could agree to some disarmament, Russia and China actually accelerated weapon development in response to "Let America dominate forever" policies, bad news are they they do it for less money.

2. Medical robbery complex. Private insurance and lack of costs control leads to spending on medical care around 18% of GDP rather than 10%. This waste is actually larger than all spending on defense.

3. Infrastructure (large public role) and other capital investments (small public role but essential fiscal policies and "thoughtful protectionism"), we spent too little, can be covered by a part of 1 and 2.

I could continue with "hyperrational progressive manifesto" but I will give one example. Enforcing labor standards may eliminate 90% of illegal employment without walls, concentration camps for aliens etc. Some industries cannot make it without cheap illegal aliens, if they REALLY cannot, workers should work legally in their home countries and resulting imports should be encouraged. If picking carrots is too expensive in USA, we may get them from other countries in Western Hemisphere. On that note, lately there are enough jobs in USA, but native born citizens do not flock to carrot picking, they would rather have jobs that required large capital investments and there are too few of those.

Hyperrational rhetoric can borrow from libertarians: if our allies do not feel secure when they spend X times more than their regional adversaries (especially if we add our own regional expenditures), that says that money alone cannot cure their "secure feeling" deficit and we and they are already spending too much. We do not need to hate or demean anyone to reach such conclusions.

Skip Scott , July 29, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Piotr-

I am all in favor of rational solutions to our environmental problems. The problem is the entrenched power of the existing exploitive industries. An incredible amount of progress could be made through on-site power generation and energy efficient building design.

I'm am not in favor of current nuclear power plants, but I am not opposed to research, and I've heard good things about recent designs, especially thorium nukes. I am no engineer, but if we had safe nukes, we could go with hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles. There are plenty of other creative ideas as well for things such as localized food production.

If we find common purpose with the Libertarians to stop the war machine, the amount of energy and resources and creative potential to bring humanity forward would be tremendous. First we have to stop the war machine, and then we can argue about the extent of the role of government in a free society.

[Jul 30, 2018] Jeff Bezos Paper Tells You Not To Worry About Those Billionaires

Looks like a lot of people now have doubts about the legitimacy of neoliberal social system.
Jul 30, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

buzzsaw99 Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:04 Permalink

The fact that Mark Zuckerberg is so rich is annoying, and his separateness from Main Street may not be a great thing socially, but in an economic sense, his fortune did not "come from" the paychecks of ordinary workers...

It damn sure did. It came straight out of their pension funds. Thousands of pension funds across the world bought faang stocks and those workers will be getting fucked in the end while while zuck heads back to hawaii with their money. look at elon, his company hasn't made dime one in profit but he is a billionaire. amzn, with a p/e of 228. they didn't get that p/e without millions of ordinary folk buying their overpriced stock. it is pure ponzi-nomics with fascist overtones and the maggots are cashing out big time.

divingengineer -> buzzsaw99 Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:14 Permalink

The greatest fortunes in history have been built in the last 10 years with 0% interest rates. You were spot on about pensions, they were the casualties, almost every private pension in the country bankrupted by 0% rates so that these fucks could amass unimaginable wealth.

Now the filthy commoner scum have the audacity to suggest that they should pay taxes on it. Where will the madness end?

cankles' server -> divingengineer Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:24 Permalink

Very soon.

A big reveal of corruption is happening before the end of the month.

The didn't do a half billion dollar renovation on Gitmo for nothing. It's for the treasonous scum that will be on trial in military tribunals.

same2u -> divingengineer Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:35 Permalink

All my friends Jews knew this was going to happen. They were buying stocks like crazy when I was telling them to buy gold and get ready for a big reset that never happened. Ten years later they are all multimillionaires and I lost half of my money buying gold...

buzzsaw99 -> divingengineer Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:42 Permalink

institutions bought their shares with real earned money. bezos did not. as far as i'm concerned being a ceo is a license to steal. bezos damn sure didn't earn that money because he is smarter or works harder than anyone else. look at how he treats his workers. what an asshole.

james diamond squid -> buzzsaw99 Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:48 Permalink

everyone wants to have an IPO or be in on an IPO, so they can dump their shares on a patsy at a later date

Zorba's idea -> divingengineer Sun, 07/29/2018 - 14:09 Permalink

True! The Elites have rigged the system...natural for them to rape our ASSets.

SocratesSolutions -> buzzsaw99 Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:43 Permalink

It's even worse than that. So much worse. Facebook was stolen by the Satanic Judaic Zionist crowd. Research it. Another gentleman invented it. The Jews stole it, like they've stolen pretty much everything else. No wonder Napoleon said that "The Jews are the master robbers of the modern age". And beyond the criminal vile theft, you have what they are using it for. And that is?

Using it for the 911'd cows in America. And that is you. The Satanic Jews are murdering you and robbing you blind. They 911'd you physically with the Twin Towers. Now they're doing it mentally and financially with Facebook, a control system grid -- a gate to herd cattle which they view you as. They are herding you. You'll be 911'd again in larger and larger numbers until the Satanic Judaic is removed from the World Stage.

Here is the real creator of Facebook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ4KRts8RFc

Zuckerberg is a planted punk Zionist spook. You're going to have to clear the world of all of these Satanic Judaic ladies and gentlemen. First the idea needs to come in to show how and why. This is underway.

divingengineer Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:08 Permalink

Sickening wealth and sickening poverty, all on display only feet apart on the West Coast.

I don't know the answer, neither do they, but they better figure something out and quick if they know what's good for them.

FORCE Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

Amerikan pauper-proles;let them eat cake-apps

same2u Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:12 Permalink

Ever since the housing crisis I been waiting for the world to become a better place. I see now that I been fooling myself into believing that we live in a civilized and honest world. Nobody gives a shit about anyone nor anything, people only care about themselves...

divingengineer -> same2u Sun, 07/29/2018 - 13:17 Permalink

How do we turn these viscous billionaire dogs on each other rather than on us?

We need to figure out how to play the game like they play it on us.

[Jul 28, 2018] #Walkaway: The immolation of both neoliberal media and Clintonized Democratic Party is occurring simultaneously. Looks like we also have seen Peak Facebook

Jul 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Justapleb -> BlackChicken Sat, 07/28/2018 - 01:02 Permalink

Yeah, it's amazing to watch. With Trump in 2016 they went with "Racist, Sexist, Homophobe, insane person", etc. and now they're going with "Russia" and censorship.

Labor was such a longtime stronghold for the Democrats and they've lost it. Labor doesn't give a shit about Russia. Everyone though, is sick of the corruption. #Walkaway. The whole "Russia" hoax is designed to blow a huge smoke screen into the felony crimes committed principally by Clinton allies and the deep state.

The immolation of both the legacy media and the democratic party is occurring simultaneously. We have seen Peak Facebook.

We have some real giants out there like Stefan Molyneux. A whole galaxy of them helped bring Trump into the White House and as legacy platforms censor, new ones arise.

I am afraid that historically we better be prepared for what the left does when it doesn't get its way and that is violence. Look at how the media is openly inciting violence. They've made heros out of thugs who rob, out of violent shit-and-piss hurling hooligans, and democratic local bosses have stood down as law-abiding citizens assembled for peaceful speech.

So the wholesale insanity is going to be more than screaming at the sky.

[Jul 24, 2018] Bernie Sanders embraces the anti-Russia campaign by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders's support for the anti-Russia and anti-Wikileaks campaign is all the more telling because he was himself the victim of efforts by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party leadership to block his 2016 campaign. In June and July 2016, Wikileaks published internal Democratic emails in which officials ridiculed the Sanders campaign, forcing the DNC to issue a public apology: "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email." ..."
"... In the aftermath of his election campaign, Sanders was elevated into a top-level position in the Democratic Party caucus in the US Senate. His first response to the inauguration of Trump was to declare his willingness to "work with" the president, closely tracking remarks of Obama that the election of Trump was part of an "intramural scrimmage" in which all sides were on the same team. As the campaign of the military-intelligence agencies intensifies, however, Sanders is toeing the line. ..."
"... The Sanders campaign did not push the Democrats to the left, but rather the state apparatus of the ruling class brought Sanders in to give a "left" veneer to a thoroughly right-wing party. ..."
"... There is no contradiction between the influx of military-intelligence candidates into the Democratic Party and the Democrats' making use of the services of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to give the party a "left" cover. Both the CIA Democrats and their pseudo-left "comrades" agree on the most important questions: the defense of the global interests of American imperialism and a more aggressive intervention in the Syrian civil war and other areas where Washington and Moscow are in conflict. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appeared on the CBS interview program "Face the Nation" Sunday and fully embraced the anti-Russia campaign of the US military-intelligence apparatus, backed by the Democratic Party and much of the media.

In response to a question from CBS host Margaret Brennan, Sanders unleashed a torrent of denunciations of Trump's meeting and press conference in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A preliminary transcript reads:

SANDERS: "I will tell you that I was absolutely outraged by his behavior in Helsinki, where he really sold the American people out. And it makes me think that either Trump doesn't understand what Russia has done, not only to our elections, but through cyber attacks against all parts of our infrastructure, either he doesn't understand it, or perhaps he is being blackmailed by Russia, because they may have compromising information about him.

"Or perhaps also you have a president who really does have strong authoritarian tendencies. And maybe he admires the kind of government that Putin is running in Russia. And I think all of that is a disgrace and a disservice to the American people. And we have got to make sure that Russia does not interfere, not only in our elections, but in other aspects of our lives."

These comments, which echo remarks he gave at a rally in Kansas late last week, signal Sanders' full embrace of the right-wing campaign launched by the Democrats and backed by dominant sections of the military-intelligence apparatus. Their opposition to Trump is centered on issues of foreign policy, based on the concern that Trump, due to his own "America First" brand of imperialist strategy, has run afoul of geostrategic imperatives that are considered inviolable -- in particular, the conflict with Russia.

Sanders did not use his time on a national television program to condemn Trump's persecution of immigrants and the separation of children from their parents, or to denounce his naming of ultra-right jurist Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, or to attack the White House declaration last week that the "war on poverty" had ended victoriously -- in order to justify the destruction of social programs for impoverished working people. Nor did he seek to advance his supposedly left-wing program on domestic issues like health care, jobs and education.

Sanders' embrace of the anti-Russia campaign is not surprising, but it is instructive. This is, after all, an individual who presented himself as "left-wing," even a "socialist." During the 2016 election campaign, he won the support of millions of people attracted to his call for a "political revolution" against the "billionaire class." For Sanders, who has a long history of opportunist and pro-imperialist politics in the orbit of the Democratic Party, the aim of the campaign was always to direct social discontent into establishment channels, culminating in his endorsement of the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Sanders's support for the anti-Russia and anti-Wikileaks campaign is all the more telling because he was himself the victim of efforts by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party leadership to block his 2016 campaign. In June and July 2016, Wikileaks published internal Democratic emails in which officials ridiculed the Sanders campaign, forcing the DNC to issue a public apology: "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email."

In the aftermath of his election campaign, Sanders was elevated into a top-level position in the Democratic Party caucus in the US Senate. His first response to the inauguration of Trump was to declare his willingness to "work with" the president, closely tracking remarks of Obama that the election of Trump was part of an "intramural scrimmage" in which all sides were on the same team. As the campaign of the military-intelligence agencies intensifies, however, Sanders is toeing the line.

The experience is instructive not only in relation to Sanders, but to an entire social milieu and the political perspective with which it is associated. This is what it means to work within the Democratic Party. The Sanders campaign did not push the Democrats to the left, but rather the state apparatus of the ruling class brought Sanders in to give a "left" veneer to a thoroughly right-wing party.

New political figures, many associated with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are being brought in for the same purpose. As Sanders gave his anti-Russia rant, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sat next to him nodding her agreement. The 28-year-old member of the DSA last month won the Democratic nomination in New York's 14th Congressional District, unseating the Democratic incumbent, Joseph Crowley, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives.

Since then, Ocasio-Cortez has been given massive and largely uncritical publicity by the corporate media, summed up in an editorial puff piece by the New York Times that described her as "a bright light in the Democratic Party who has brought desperately needed energy back to New York politics "

Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders were jointly interviewed from Kansas, where the two appeared Friday at a campaign rally for James Thompson, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the US House of Representatives from the Fourth Congressional District, based in Wichita, in an August 7 primary election.

Thompson might appear to be an unusual ally for the "socialist" Sanders and the DSA member Ocasio-Cortez. His campaign celebrates his role as an Army veteran, and his website opens under the slogan "Join the Thompson Army," followed by pledges that the candidate will "Fight for America." In an interview with the Associated Press, Thompson indicated that despite his support for Sanders' call for "Medicare for all," and his own endorsement by the DSA, he was wary of any association with socialism. "I don't like the term socialist, because people do associate that with bad things in history," he said.

Such anticommunism fits right in with the anti-Russian campaign, which is the principal theme of the Democratic Party in the 2018 elections. As the World Socialist Web Site has pointed out for many months, the real thrust of the Democratic Party campaign is demonstrated by its recruitment as congressional candidates of dozens of former CIA and military intelligence agents, combat commanders from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and war planners from the Pentagon, State Department and White House.

There is no contradiction between the influx of military-intelligence candidates into the Democratic Party and the Democrats' making use of the services of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to give the party a "left" cover. Both the CIA Democrats and their pseudo-left "comrades" agree on the most important questions: the defense of the global interests of American imperialism and a more aggressive intervention in the Syrian civil war and other areas where Washington and Moscow are in conflict.

[Jul 23, 2018] The Democratic Party's Pitch to Billionaires by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... The wing of the Democratic Party that looks for the dollars instead of the votes is called "The Third Way" and it presents itself as representing the supposedly vast political center, nothing "extremist" or "marginal." But didn't liberal Republicanism go out when Nelson Rockefeller did? Conservative Democrats are like liberal Republicans -- they attract flies and billionaires, but not many votes. And didn't the Rockefeller drug laws fill our prisons with millions of pathetic drug-users and small drug-dealers but not with the kingpins in either the narcotics business or the bankster rackets (such as had crashed the economy in 2008 -- and the Third Way Democrat who had been the exceptional politician and liar that was so slick he actually did attract many votes, President Barack Obama, told the banksters privately, on 27 March 2009, "I'm not out there to go after you. I'm protecting you." And, he did keep his promise to them, though not to his voters .) ..."
"... They want another Barack Obama. There aren't any more of those (unless, perhaps, Michelle Obama enters the contest). But, even if there were: How many Democrats would fall for that scam, yet again -- after the disaster of 2016? ..."
"... Maybe the Third Way is right, and there's a sucker born every minute. But if that's what the Democratic Party is going to rely upon, then America's stunningly low voter-participation rate is set to plunge even lower, because even more voters than before will either be leaving the Presidential line blank, or even perhaps voting for the Republican candidate (as some felt driven to do in 2016). ..."
"... Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity . He is a frequent contributor to Global Research. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

The wing of the Democratic Party that looks for the dollars instead of the votes is called "The Third Way" and it presents itself as representing the supposedly vast political center, nothing "extremist" or "marginal." But didn't liberal Republicanism go out when Nelson Rockefeller did? Conservative Democrats are like liberal Republicans -- they attract flies and billionaires, but not many votes. And didn't the Rockefeller drug laws fill our prisons with millions of pathetic drug-users and small drug-dealers but not with the kingpins in either the narcotics business or the bankster rackets (such as had crashed the economy in 2008 -- and the Third Way Democrat who had been the exceptional politician and liar that was so slick he actually did attract many votes, President Barack Obama, told the banksters privately, on 27 March 2009, "I'm not out there to go after you. I'm protecting you." And, he did keep his promise to them, though not to his voters .)

They're at it, yet again. On July 22nd, NBC News's Alex Seitz-Wald headlined "Sanders' wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems. Here's how they plan to stop it." And he described what was publicly available from the 3-day private meeting in Columbus Ohio of The Third Way, July 18-20, the planning conference between the Party's chiefs and its billionaires. Evidently, they hate Bernie Sanders and are already scheming and spending in order to block him, now a second time, from obtaining the Party's Presidential nomination. "Anxiety has largely been kept to a whisper among the party's moderates and big donors, with some of the major fundraisers pressing operatives on what can be done to stop the Vermonter if he runs for the White House again." This passage in Seitz-Wald's article was especially striking to me:

The gathering here was an effort to offer an attractive alternative to the rising Sanders-style populist left in the upcoming presidential race. Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump.

The fact that a billionaire real estate developer, Winston Fisher, cohosted the event and addressed attendees twice, underscored that this group is not interested in the class warfare vilifying the "millionaires and billionaires" found in Sanders' stump speech.

"You're not going to make me hate somebody just because they're rich. I want to be rich!" Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, a potential presidential candidate, said Friday to laughs.

I would reply to congressman Ryan's remark: If you want to be rich, then get the hell out of politics! Don't run for President! I don't want you there! And that's no joke!

Anyone who doesn't recognize that an inevitable trade-off exists between serving the public and serving oneself, is a libertarian -- an Ayn Rander, in fact -- and there aren't many of those in the Democratic Party, but plenty of them are in the Republican Party.

Just as a clergyman in some faiths is supposed to take a vow of chastity, and in some faiths also to take a vow of poverty, in order to serve "the calling" instead of oneself, anyone who enters 'public service' and who aspires to "be rich" is inevitably inviting corruption -- not prepared to do war against it . That kind of politician is a Manchurian candidate, like Obama perhaps, but certainly not what this or any country needs, in any case. Voters like that can be won only by means of deceit, which is the way that politicians like that do win.

No decent political leader enters or stays in politics in order to "be rich," because no political leader can be decent who isn't in it as a calling, to public service, and as a repudiation, of any self-service in politics.

Republican Party voters invite corrupt government, because their Party's ideology is committed to it ("Freedom [for the rich]!"); but the only Democratic Party voters who at all tolerate corrupt politicians (such as Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York State) are actually Republican Democrats -- people who are confused enough so as not really to care much about what they believe; whatever their garbage happens to be, they believe in it and don't want to know differently than it.

The Third Way is hoping that there are enough of such 'Democrats' so that they can, yet again, end up with a Third Way Democrat being offered to that Party's voters in 2020, just like happened in 2016. They want another Barack Obama. There aren't any more of those (unless, perhaps, Michelle Obama enters the contest). But, even if there were: How many Democrats would fall for that scam, yet again -- after the disaster of 2016?

Maybe the Third Way is right, and there's a sucker born every minute. But if that's what the Democratic Party is going to rely upon, then America's stunningly low voter-participation rate is set to plunge even lower, because even more voters than before will either be leaving the Presidential line blank, or even perhaps voting for the Republican candidate (as some felt driven to do in 2016).

The Third Way is the way to the death of democracy, if it's not already dead . It is no answer to anything, except to the desires of billionaires -- both Republican and Democratic.

The center of American politics isn't the center of America's aristocracy. The goal of groups such as The Third Way is to fool the American public to equate the two. The result of such groups is the contempt that America's public have for America's Government . But, pushed too far, mass disillusionment becomes revolution. Is that what America's billionaires are willing to risk? They might get it.

*

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity . He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

[Jul 18, 2018] The US public has been fed up with the corruption and disastrous policies of the US government for quite a while. I mean, 10 years ago we elected a black(ish) man with a Muslim name for criizzacks! How desperate were we to do that in the middle of the "Clash of Civilizations" Global War OF Terror?

Jul 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Daniel , Jul 17, 2018 10:45:37 PM | 176

Activist Potato @164, well Obama was on record saying that they stood by and watched ISIS grown, and take ever more territory and expected it would weaken the Syrian government, leading to "Mission Accomplished." Even if he did want to prevent Trump from being (s)elected, that would be a hard hill to fight for.


The US public has been fed up with the corruption and disastrous policies of the US government for quite a while. I mean, 10 years ago we elected a black(ish) man with a Muslim name for criizzacks! How desperate were we to do that in the middle of the "Clash of Civilizations" Global War OF Terror?

By the time they were planning out the 2016 (s)election, it should have been clear to anyone that the US was going to vote for real change. It turns out that a good number were so desperate that they said they'd vote for the New York City conman, knowing he was horrible, simply because they thought they were throwing a monkey wrench into "the system."

So, what did they give us? A woman who was not only the most hated and mistrusted candidate in history (until The Donald), but also the very symbol of "more of the same." Then, some how, "leaked" or "hacked" documents came out showing she was even more criminal and corrupt that most had thought. And they came out at just the right time to make a good number of those who were willing to hold their noses and vote for her to refuse to.

Meanwhile, the MSM filled the airwaves with everything Trump such that they sucked the oxygen out of the room for anyone else. And the MSM insisted Trump was "an outsider," and showed us every way possible that "the Establishment" didn't want to let him "win."

I came to see the whole operation as a brilliant psyop about the time of the Party Conventions. I was so sucked into the drama of the DNC stealing the nomination from Sanders that I allowed myself to be sucked right along (as I believe I was meant to be).


But after a year and a half of watching the only changes in US policy have been to escalate the worst of them, and rape the 99% with even greater fury, it takes a special kind of faith to still believe that Trump was ever an "outsider" and that the "establishment" is anything except thrilled with how it's going. Hell, even failed "news" organizations like the NY Times and MSDNC are in boon times again!

And the brilliant irony of it all is that they're making bank on telling us how much they hate what's making them rich! LOL!

Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 17, 2018 10:21:56 PM | 173
As for Trump, the same case is true. He represents the part of America which is realizing it is loosing its sole superpower status. Had Hillary Clinton won in 2016 (which could have happened -- Trump only won because of American system's technicalities) , the cauldron that is today's USA social fabric would've only gathered even more pressure, triggering an even deeper crisis in 2020.
Posted by: vk | Jul 17, 2018 2:09:39 PM | 80

That's the sort of fuzzy logic I was whingeing about in the comment to which this codswallop is purporting to be a response. Team Trump was fully aware of the 'technicalities' and ran a campaign designed to capitalise on them. Not only did they figure out how to maximise the potential advantage of focusing on the Electoral College, Trump campaigned his arse off 7 days a week.

Hillary the "consummate professional insider", on the other hand ran a lazy lacklustre campaign. The over-arching feature of Her public gatherings was that they were little more than an invitation to bask in Hillary's reflected Radiance. So not only did Trump win the race, his victory was enhanced by Hillary's stupidity and chronic self-absorption.

Circe , Jul 17, 2018 8:39:28 PM | 163
@149

The problem is everyone is stuck in the "lesser over greater evil" construct and that's what makes the American Zionist-influenced duopoly so powerful. Trump is part of that failed system that Americans are so dependent on and that always leads to the same place. People should fight this lesser vs greater evil construct, even if Americans are too stupid at this time to get out of it. It means they'd have to choose outside the box, outside the media's choices example Fox and other Rightist outlets for Trump. CNN, MSNBC - Hillary, but the media is all Zionist run and specializes in the brainwash on both sides. It's all part of the same sham. The duopoly.

It starts with primaries for representatives and choosing a candidate that demonstrates independence and integrity; especially those that the media wants to ignore; that's not beholden to special interests or financed by Zionists.

Most importantly when America goes wrong and it's royally f...cked up right now, the rest of the world, the web has to push back against their ignorance and their stupid choices, because those choices hurt others as much as they hurt them only they're still too brainwashed to see it. Americans had the right idea to turn on the establishment, but Trump was the perfect Zionist anti-establishment decoy, a fraud, a pretender just like Obama was for the Left.

In the past election, the only viable contender was Bernie who got railroaded by Democratic Zionists like Wasserman and Podesta. I think Bernie was more authentic than the two evils, Hillary and Trump, and although his Zionist roots are always a concern; he was run out precisely because he was a rogue Jew and Zionists couldn't trust him. He wasn't in the pocket of Zionist financiers although he was running with the Democrats, but in the current status quo he had no choice but to use the Democratic Party as a means to an end and they did him in. If Hillary were not on the ticket who knows what could have been. He was a start in the right direction away from the Zionist financed duopoly.

[Jul 17, 2018] Mass hysteria is exactly what it is, because it threatens their gravy train that comes from money taken by force from taxpayers. the citizens voted against the establishment, and the establishment is fighting back along with their MSM cronies.

Jul 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

MoreFreedom -> 847328_3527 Tue, 07/17/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

... that is a much harder conversation to have about why the Democrats have lost elections than just blaming a foreign villain and saying it's because Vladimir Putin ran some fake Facebook ads and did some phishing emails ... the conversation we need to be having [about lies/corruption from the deep state and powerful actors acting against US citizens interests, and decline of institutions that support US citizens' freedom], but we're not having, because we're evading it by blaming everything on Vladimir Putin.

I agree with Mish on all this, including " Nearly every political action that generates this much complete nonsense and hysteria from the Left and Right is worthy of immense praise" though he doesn't qualify/define "Left and Right" as the Left and Right establishment aka. the Uniparty. The statement wouldn't have applied to say the Left and Right establishment that existed when our founders created the country and were united to create a government that defends our lives, liberties and pursuit of happiness with an extremely limited (by today's standards) government. You don't see the Freedom Caucus getting hysterical about Trump's meeting Putin.

Mass hysteria is exactly what it is, because it threatens their gravy train that comes from money taken by force from taxpayers. the citizens voted against the establishment, and the establishment is fighting back along with their MSM cronies.

Farqued Up -> 847328_3527 Tue, 07/17/2018 - 15:12 Permalink

I've never been enthralled with Neil Cavuto due to considering him inferior as a host on things financial. Today he just crapped in his mess kit with me. He has to be dirty, the way he was defending the wonderful intelligence "community" of the USA, and was hinting that treason may not be a strong assessment of Trump with Putin. He is a real POS along with girly-man Shepard Smith. Not one criticism of any Cabalist about graft and corruption, and especially no mention of the uranium to Russia by Obama's and Hillary's REAL treason.

I repeat, all of you goofy imbeciles, Trump is sucking you down into the depths of embarrassment once the hammer drops. I expected the fruity Smith but must admit the Cavuto stupidity is a bit of a surprise. Someone has pics of that dumb fuck in a compromising situation.

[Jul 13, 2018] Democratic National Committee Votes to Roll Back Power of Superdelegates

Notable quotes:
"... Here's a more apt headline: "Petulant elites throwing tantrum at prospect of their votes not being 10,000x more powerful than regular peasant votes." ..."
Jun 28, 2018 | truthout.org

In the face of fervent opposition from Democratic elites who " think their vote is more important " than the will of the party's base , the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) Rules and Bylaws arm cleared a major hurdle in the fight to curtail the power of superdelegates on Wednesday by approving a plan that would end their ability to cast votes for the presidential candidate on the first ballot at the party's convention.

"The activists that have been concerned that superdelegates will overturn the will of the voters should feel good about this," DNC member Elaine Kamarck said in a statement .

While the plan to gut the influence of superdelegates -- who have been free since 1984 to put their weight behind any candidate no matter how the public voted -- has received broad support from Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as an important first step toward making the party's process more " open and transparent ," establishment figures who stand to lose power if the plan is implemented are staging a last-minute " revolt " to block the rule change.

As investigative reporter Alex Kotch noted in a Twitter thread on Wednesday, at least two of the Democratic insiders who are clinging desperately to their undue influence as superdelegates happen to be corporate lobbyists -- a fact that Politico neglected to mention in its reporting on the party elites' "longshot bid to block the measure."

"They don't realize it but they're proving the point of Sanders and everyone else who's opposed to superdelegates," Kotch writes. "Many prioritize corporate interests over those of everyday people and thus automatically support the less progressive candidate."

Two of the three superdelegates who are opposed to the Sanders plan:

One is a health care lobbyist
Another is a former lobbyist

(Politico neglects to include this info) https://t.co/uVobZfIUFe

-- Alex Kotch 🔥 (@alexkotch) July 11, 2018

As lobbyists, they somehow think their vote is more important than other people's votes.

LOL: pic.twitter.com/lq51raARqV

-- Alex Kotch 🔥 (@alexkotch) July 11, 2018

The U.S. Rep quoted in the article who's opposed to the change, Gerry Connolly (Va.), accepts a bunch of corporate PAC money from good corporate citizens like Northrup Grummon and AT&T. https://t.co/s7KWJGWEGq

Here are his assets: https://t.co/zSAIX3IyxJ pic.twitter.com/ETmjX0H2Qo

-- Alex Kotch 🔥 (@alexkotch) July 11, 2018

Responding to Politico's story on the superdelegates' last-ditch attempt to undermine the push to curtail their power, The Humanist Report offered an alternative headline:

Here's a more apt headline: "Petulant elites throwing tantrum at prospect of their votes not being 10,000x more powerful than regular peasant votes." https://t.co/oUlaXY9jLt

-- The Humanist Report (@HumanistReport) July 11, 2018

Wednesday's vote in favor of the plan to ensure superdelegates cannot overturn the will of voters on the first ballot of the presidential nomination process was the final step before the proposal heads to a vote before the full DNC next month. "Any attempt to derail the rules changes at the summer convention is thought to be a long-shot," concluded Astead Herndon of the New York Times.

[Jul 06, 2018] A Democrat Party composed of moderate Republicans and democratic socialists will be divided against itself and will not stand

Notable quotes:
"... I believe the US is a right of center country (with a growing right and far right segment) and has been for most of it's history. ..."
"... The identity of the "Democratic Party" has also been stolen. They are not the FDR-JFK Democratic Party of my childhood. but rather, Neo-Toxoplasma Gondii-ists, the "Mind Invaders". ..."
"... Back in the early 1980s, the NZ Labour Party (of Mickey Savage and Norman Kirk) was taken over by Neo-liberal, Roger Douglas and his henchmen/women. ..."
Jul 06, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

JerryB , July 5, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Lambert- Excellent point:

"A Democrat Party composed of moderate Republicans and democratic socialists will be divided against itself and will not stand."

I believe the US is a right of center country (with a growing right and far right segment) and has been for most of it's history. If some of the right of center move to left of center that may look good as far as "not Republican" but as Lambert points out does nothing for the progressive movement. I read an article where Noam Chomsky mentioned that people in the USA who call themselves liberals are more moderates and are not the same as liberals in Europe. If I remember my reading of Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal, his expose' of segments of the liberal class was to show that calling yourself liberal does not mean much if your actions say otherwise, i.e Obama and Hillary.

The sluggish business investment chart just supports what Yves wrote in 2005 about the Incredible Shrinking Corporation. One thing that jumps out is the increasing size of the booms and busts since 1980 i.e. the Neoliberal Era compared to 1950-1980. In the late 1980's I worked at a large medical device company. In 1990 I was laid off as part of a restructuring after an Merger/Acquisition . I remember when the layoffs were announced the director of our group said he feared the US was becoming "a short term quarter to quarter economy". Hence booms and busts or casino capitalism. As we're finding out booms followed by busts, i.e. instability, leads to severe social consequences: inequality, job loss, breakdown of the family and communities etc.

skippy , July 5, 2018 at 4:28 pm

I'm reminded of an old acquaintance that headed a forward M&A team. Once told of an experience in an elevator where some lady asked if he was the same guy that came around at her last employer. He responded yes. She then tentatively asked if she should start looking for new employment. His answer was again yes.

This was in little more space than 6 months for the middle aged lady.

This also coincides with the great Calif M&A episode during the late 80s and early 90s. Huge wave of wage earners selling houses and migrating to states on eastern boarders due to RE affordability and cost of living. Experienced this in the Denver – Boulder CO. corridor at the time, storage tech et al. Funny thing, took less than 10 years before everything reverted to the state of affairs which drove them to leave Calif. Which then promoted me to move to Oz after marrying native wife.

clarky90 , July 5, 2018 at 4:42 pm

Years ago I got an email from an acquaintance; " . I am deathly sick in a hospital in East Africa. .please help by ." His identity had been stolen by con artists.

The identity of the "Democratic Party" has also been stolen. They are not the FDR-JFK Democratic Party of my childhood. but rather, Neo-Toxoplasma Gondii-ists, the "Mind Invaders".

Back in the early 1980s, the NZ Labour Party (of Mickey Savage and Norman Kirk) was taken over by Neo-liberal, Roger Douglas and his henchmen/women.

" the New Zealand dollar was floated, corporate practices were introduced to state services, state assets were sold off, and a swathe of regulations and subsidies were removed. Douglas's economic policies were regarded as a betrayal of Labour's left-wing policy platform, and were deeply unpopular "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Douglas

Our NZ Labour Party is finally back to it's old self, after about 35 years.

NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern is Labour as it used to be. The Big Political Tent with room for all.

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/watch-worlds-media-reacted-news-jacinda-ardern-s-baby

I believe that the actual political spectrum is an Axis (coalition) of the Neo-Liberals with the Neo-Conservatives .

Who are (in a perfect World) opposed by The Alliance of Everybody Else.

The Axis (a puny minority) are able to exist because they sow constant discord among the The Alliance. (What is the definition of "abortion" or "healthcare" or "security" or "love" ..???? Let's scream at each other! That will help!)

In New Zealand, we have a coalition Government of (1) Labour (Unions), (2) NZ First (populist) and (3) The Greens.

The out-of-power, NZ National Party (Neo-Con/Lib Axis) spend their time trying to conflate and invent "disagreements" within our Labour Coalition Government.

But, it is like a healthy, extended family. You agree to disagree and ENJOY the lively discussions. Parties compromise and life goes on.

Wukchumni , July 5, 2018 at 8:42 pm

I was in NZ after Rogernomics made the Kiwi $ plunge to about 35 cents US in the 1980's, and everything was so cheap, dinners were like US $4, motel rooms US $15, homes in Auckland US $25k.

I dread seeing the prices now, when we visit next year

drumlin woodchuckles , July 5, 2018 at 8:53 pm

If a Democratic Party composed of Romneyfeller Republicans and Democratic Socialists will not stand, then eventually the two separated fighting halves will fight to the death over which half gets to keep the name "Democratic Party".

Meanwhile, the Woodrow Wilson quote above gives some evidence as to why some people have long called Wilson "America's most evil President". His bringing official Jim Crow to the Federal Workforce in Washington DC might be another piece of evidence. His unleashing of a vicious and bigoted campaign of anti-germanitic cultural and social pogroms all over America might be another piece of evidence. The fact that he did this as part of his World War I program, after having worked with Great Britain to lie and manipulate America into World War I ( some would say on the wrong side . . . ) is another piece of evidence. His political "extermination" campaign against the American Left ( Debs in prison, etc) thereby reducing the Left toward its tiny size of today is another such piece of evidence.

The actions of America's most evil President ( Woodrow Wilson) may help explain why America is a center-right country today.

[Jul 05, 2018] America Celebrates Lateral Move From Monarchy To Corporate Rule by Caitlin Johnstone

That's all right and indignation is well deserved, but what is the alternative? Is Sanders program a real alternative or he just served as a sheepdog for Hillary.
The Iron law of oligarchy is a serious constrain that suggest that the socialist system degenerate to oligarchical system really quick and as such is not a viable option.
The USSR experience tells us a lot about how the process of degeneration of "revolutionary elite" once started logically leads to neoliberalism
Notable quotes:
"... The elite class secured its stance as British Rule 2.0 by throwing their money behind politicians who they knew would advance their interests, whether those interests are in ensuring that the arms and munitions they manufacture get used frequently, the expansion of predatory trade policies, keeping tax loopholes open and keeping taxes on the wealthiest of the wealthy very low, deregulating corporations and banks, or enabling underhanded Wall Street practices which hurt the many for the benefit of the few. ..."
"... Buckley v. Valeo ..."
"... First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti ..."
"... Citizens United v. FEC ..."
"... So if you've ever wondered why seemingly common sense matters like a living wage and healthcare as a right consistently get shot down by your government, this is why. In order to rule you as King George ruled you, the oligarchs need to make sure most of America is toiling just to keep its head above water. Progressives were able to mount an intimidating insurgency using tiny 27-dollar donations on 2016; imagine what they could do if ordinary working Americans were being paid their fair share of the U.S. economy? ..."
"... The oligarchs can keep that from happening by continually escalating income inequality. They use their massive political power to repress the minimum wage, to undermine the power of unions ..."
"... America is a corporatist oligarchy dressed in drag doing a bad impression of a bipartisan democracy. Sometimes it doesn't even keep its wig on; a recent party at the Hamptons saw Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway and Charles Koch mixing it up with Chuck Schumer and George Soros. ..."
"... When they're not dining on champagne and rare fillet together, these people pretend to be locked in a vicious partisan battle that is "tearing the nation apart," but at Lally Weymouth's annual Southampton summer party the act stops and the oligarchs frolic together like children. ..."
"... This commentary was originally published on ..."
"... The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were NOT inclusive documents. Both of these papers were written by, and for rich landowners. Slavers, in short. The writers did not believe that 'the people' were intelligent enough to contribute to government. The 'Founding Fathers' comprised the original oligarchy. ..."
"... America was formed/founded by White men seeking fame, fortune and power outside the existing European political power structure. From its' beginning, it has been a nation of migrants seeking this kind of fortune ..."
"... You can talk all you want about political systems, which is better or how to corral the oligarchs who rule America, but what I've described is America and the world will never have peace or prosperity until the American Empire ends and the whole world can then celebrate American Independence Day – the Day when the rest of the world is Independent from the Evil Empire. ..."
"... Hard to have a Fourth of July celebration when your Bill of Rights and Constitution have been Trashed. ..."
"... Marxists (and much of the broader. "Left") have always maintained that the capitalist mode of production – and the bourgeois-democratic political superstructure it necessitates – represented an immense revolutionary achievement in the course of human development. ..."
"... Casting aside the last vestiges of the feudal system, particularly hereditary monarchy and titles of nobility, was critical to the eventual move toward a more equitable system of political economy. ..."
"... The reactionary system of corporate rule that we see today is a result of the bourgeoisie and capitalist system having (long) outlived their historically progressive role. However, that does not minimize the fact that in relation to the prior system (I.e. feudalism and monarchy), the US capitalist bourgeois-democratic form of political economy was a great achievement. ..."
"... "Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents." Major General Smedley Butler ..."
"... I can't disagree with this articles premise that capitalism has it's flaws but I also contend that socialism has just as sordid a track record with it's own set of oligarchs. ..."
"... The United States did not win independence from George III. Since 1689 the UK/Great Britain has been a CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY. (Now go look that up to see what it means.) That means that Parliament does not answer to the monarch. Period. ..."
"... George III was America's eighteenth century Putin. Someone they blame for all their problems, but who is not actually responsible for any of them. Americans, like their precious Second Amendment will not grow up and move on. ..."
"... The establishment of the Central Bank in City-of-London in 1694 or thereabouts, when William of Orange crossed the English Chanel, along with his retinue of immigrant Venetian banksters from the Netherlands, is the one pertinent fact worth remembering. ..."
"... Whether one envisages the traditional concept of royalty with precious stones-studded crowns and all the "royal" trapping, pomp and circumstance or multi-billionaire corporate tax-evading mega-moguls, the groups are essentially the same. Wealth inequality on Earth, ironically and sadly, has grown while so-called "royalty" as a visible phenomenon has slowly diminished. The problems associated with record concentration of wealth on Earth have grown in equal proportion, to the point where people are starting to consider newer, potentially more beneficial economic thought and viable alternative systems. ..."
Jul 05, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Americans celebrate their independence 242 years ago today from Britain with little thought it seems about who rules them now, comments Caitlin Johnstone.

Today America celebrates its liberation from the shackles of the British Crown and the beginning of its transition into corporatist oligarchy, which is a lot like celebrating your lateral promotion from housekeeping to laundry staff. Fireworks will be set off, hot dogs will be consumed, and a strange yellow concoction known as Mountain Dew will be imbibed by patriotic high-fiving Yankees eager to celebrate their hard-fought freedom to funnel their taxes into corporate welfare instead of to the King.

Spark up a bottle rocket for me, America! In trouncing King George's red-coated goon squad, you made it possible for the donor class to slowly buy up more and more control of your shiny new government, allowing for a system of rule determined not by royal bloodlines, but by wealth bloodlines. Now instead of your national affairs being determined by some gilded schmuck across the pond, they are determined by the billionaire owners of multinational corporations and banks. These oligarchs have shored up their rule to such an extent that congressional candidates who outspend their opponents are almost certain to win , and a 2014 Princeton study found that ordinary Americans have no influence whatsoever over the behavior of their government while the will of the wealthy has a direct influence on US policy and legislation.

The elite class secured its stance as British Rule 2.0 by throwing their money behind politicians who they knew would advance their interests, whether those interests are in ensuring that the arms and munitions they manufacture get used frequently, the expansion of predatory trade policies, keeping tax loopholes open and keeping taxes on the wealthiest of the wealthy very low, deregulating corporations and banks, or enabling underhanded Wall Street practices which hurt the many for the benefit of the few. The existence of legalized bribery and corporate lobbying as illustrated in the video above have enabled the plutocrats to buy up the Legislative and Executive branches of the US government, and with these in their pockets they were eventually able to get the Judicial branch as well since justices are appointed and approved by the other two. Now having secured all three branches in a system of checks and balances theoretically designed to prevent totalitarian rule, the billionaire class has successfully secured totalitarian rule.

By tilting the elections of congressmen and presidents in such a way as to install a corporatist Supreme Court bench, the oligarchs successfully got legislation passed which further secured and expanded their rule with decisions like 1976's Buckley v. Valeo , 1978's First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti , and 2010's Citizens United v. FEC . This has had the effect of creating a nation wherein money equals power, which has in turn had the effect of creating a system wherein the ruling class is, in a very real way, incentivized to try and keep everyone else poor in order to maintain its rule.

George III: Like today's rulers of America, he didn't give up without a fight. (National Portrait Gallery, London.)

Just as King George didn't give up rule of the New World colonies without a knock-down, drag-out fight, King George 2.0 has no intention of relinquishing its rule either. The oligarchs have been fighting to keep their power, and, in the money-equals-power system that they have built for themselves, this necessarily means keeping you from having money. Just as King George's kingship would have meant nothing if everybody was King, the oligarchs won't be oligarchs anymore if ordinary Americans are ever able to secure enough money for themselves to begin influencing their government within its current money-equals-power paradigm.

So if you've ever wondered why seemingly common sense matters like a living wage and healthcare as a right consistently get shot down by your government, this is why. In order to rule you as King George ruled you, the oligarchs need to make sure most of America is toiling just to keep its head above water. Progressives were able to mount an intimidating insurgency using tiny 27-dollar donations on 2016; imagine what they could do if ordinary working Americans were being paid their fair share of the U.S. economy?

The oligarchs can keep that from happening by continually escalating income inequality. They use their massive political power to repress the minimum wage, to undermine the power of unions , and to continually pull more and more energy away from socialist programs and toward the corporate deregulation of neoliberalism. If you don't depend on running the rat race for some corporate boss in order for your family to have health insurance, you're suddenly free to innovate, create, and become an economically powerful entrepreneur yourself.

America is a corporatist oligarchy dressed in drag doing a bad impression of a bipartisan democracy. Sometimes it doesn't even keep its wig on; a recent party at the Hamptons saw Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway and Charles Koch mixing it up with Chuck Schumer and George Soros.

When they're not dining on champagne and rare fillet together, these people pretend to be locked in a vicious partisan battle that is "tearing the nation apart," but at Lally Weymouth's annual Southampton summer party the act stops and the oligarchs frolic together like children.

1776 turned out to be nothing other than a transition from one form of exploitative rule to another, but who knows? Maybe a year in the not-too-distant future will see America celebrating a real Independence Day.

This commentary was originally published on Medium.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website . She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . This article was re-published with permission.


Al Pinto , July 5, 2018 at 12:06 pm

@Jean

"Just a reminder; Sanders would have won if not for the hated Hillary"

Even if he did, it would not have made a difference; the POTUS does not make laws, Congress does, at least on paper

Just remember, Bernie did endorse RHC at the DNC. That probably had been the play all along during the primary. Sanders to woo in all of the "dissenters" and then turn them over to RHC, under the "unity" umbrella against Trump.

I still "Feel the Burn", the burn of the rigged system, don't you?

rgl , July 5, 2018 at 12:52 pm

The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were NOT inclusive documents. Both of these papers were written by, and for rich landowners. Slavers, in short. The writers did not believe that 'the people' were intelligent enough to contribute to government. The 'Founding Fathers' comprised the original oligarchy.

Money (land and slaves) was the basis of political power in the 17th century. Funny that. The more things change the more they stay the same.

Ergo Sum , July 5, 2018 at 7:32 am

@Jean

Just a reminder; Sanders would have won if not for the hated Hillary"

It would not have made any difference, even if he did. The POTUS does not make laws, Congress does.

You should not forget that Sanders endorsed RHC at the DNC. His purpose during the primary has been to channel all of democrats with social, economic and political dissatisfaction to Hillary at the end. "Feel The Burn", the burn of the rigged system. It is another example of how the rigged system allows minor uprising to flourish for a while, and then crush it at the end by the perceived front-runner of the movement. The movement is dead, voters are further disillusioned that enforces the viewpoint of there's nothing that peaceful action can do to change the system. This results in even less people showing up at the voting booth to cast their votes, that the rigged system loves; it does not need to disenfranchise voters and easier to predetermine the outcome any of the upcoming elections.

Happy Birthday America, the home of the free and the brave You are free to rig the system, if you are brave enough

Tom , July 5, 2018 at 5:58 am

America was formed/founded by White men seeking fame, fortune and power outside the existing European political power structure. From its' beginning, it has been a nation of migrants seeking this kind of fortune – bugger those damn savages that get in the way of this greed and desire to take land, resources and culture away from America's native inhabitants. And so it began this way and has continued unabated for more than the life of the nation which began in 1776 – more than 240 years of expansionism, colonization and subjugation of those less powerful – too take away the land and resources of not just the native American Indians, but later the peoples of Cuba, Philippines, Japan, China and on to the World Wars, late 20th century wars in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and on and on an on – continuous warfare and expansionism of the American Empire to take away land, resources and power of the native inhabitants of every nation the US targets for regime change or conquest.

You can talk all you want about political systems, which is better or how to corral the oligarchs who rule America, but what I've described is America and the world will never have peace or prosperity until the American Empire ends and the whole world can then celebrate American Independence Day – the Day when the rest of the world is Independent from the Evil Empire.

GMC , July 5, 2018 at 5:17 am

Hard to have a Fourth of July celebration when your Bill of Rights and Constitution have been Trashed.

Anonymous , July 5, 2018 at 3:43 am

Marxists (and much of the broader. "Left") have always maintained that the capitalist mode of production – and the bourgeois-democratic political superstructure it necessitates – represented an immense revolutionary achievement in the course of human development.

Anonymous , July 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Casting aside the last vestiges of the feudal system, particularly hereditary monarchy and titles of nobility, was critical to the eventual move toward a more equitable system of political economy.

The reactionary system of corporate rule that we see today is a result of the bourgeoisie and capitalist system having (long) outlived their historically progressive role. However, that does not minimize the fact that in relation to the prior system (I.e. feudalism and monarchy), the US capitalist bourgeois-democratic form of political economy was a great achievement.

Mukadi , July 4, 2018 at 10:24 pm

July 4 Is Matrix Reinforcement Day

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/07/03/tomorrow-is-matrix-reinforcement-day/

Joe Tedesky , July 5, 2018 at 12:02 am

"Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents." Major General Smedley Butler

Good on you Mukadi for posting this link. PCR did a great analogy of our American war culture. Joe

Jessika , July 4, 2018 at 9:49 pm

It's a knee-jerk celebration, anyway, for the most part. The citizens are told to celebrate, so they celebrate. Just like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, the Fourth of July is a day to generate money. The firecrackers are popping right now, a worship of the warship that the US has become.

Susan Lee Schwartz , July 4, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Caitlin, I just finished reading an article that I think you would love. "The Birth of Predatory Capitalism "at Eudaimonia and Co: https://eand.co/how-predatory-capitalism-imploded-the-future-6a6396b8f2fc

Herman , July 4, 2018 at 8:37 pm

Much of my time is spent reading commentary that I agree with and articles I agree with. Something to consider for the website, descriptive articles yes but more prescriptive ones. For example, articles by people who have ideas for change, addressing important policy questions like taxation, health insurance, technology stuff like robotics and how to spread its benefits. and of course, reform of the process of selecting and electing our leaders. Just a thought.

Kenny , July 4, 2018 at 5:43 pm

I can't disagree with this articles premise that capitalism has it's flaws but I also contend that socialism has just as sordid a track record with it's own set of oligarchs.

Jerry Alatalo , July 4, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Horrendous global economic conditions require new economic thinking that improves the health and well-being of the most number of people. Economist and author Henry George (1839-1897) nailed it decades ago in his multi-million copy, bestselling 1879 book "Progress and Poverty" – the "single tax" or land value tax.

Consortium News would do humanity a great service by bringing the writings of Henry George economic philosophy advocates to readers and CN's massive group of supporters around the world. For example, an excellent guest writer suggestion is Henry George expert, confirmed enthusiast, and author of many books on the subject, Mr. Fred Harrison.

System-wide implementation of Henry George economic principles addresses the real concerns raised by Caitlin Johnstone and so many others in this time of unprecedented wealth inequality, faulty economics, the new royals called corporate oligarchs, seeming endless war, and the great societal problems manifested as a consequence.

Peace.

Drew Hunkins , July 4, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Jefferson was very old when he first saw the fledgling stages of early corporate power, they called them "moneyed incorporations" or something like that. Jefferson warned that these new "moneyed incorporations" had the potential power to undermine everything the revolution accomplished.

John2o2o , July 4, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Sigh. I know I'm probably wasting my time saying this as Caitlin's groupies will not tolerate criticism of their anointed one.

The United States did not win independence from George III. Since 1689 the UK/Great Britain has been a CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY. (Now go look that up to see what it means.) That means that Parliament does not answer to the monarch. Period.

"In the Kingdom of England, the Glorious Revolution of 1688 led to a constitutional monarchy restricted by laws such as the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Act of Settlement 1701, although limits on the power of the monarch ('a limited monarchy') are much older than that (see Magna Carta). At the same time, in Scotland the Convention of Estates enacted the Claim of Right Act 1689, which placed similar limits on the Scottish monarchy." wikipedia.

George III was America's eighteenth century Putin. Someone they blame for all their problems, but who is not actually responsible for any of them. Americans, like their precious Second Amendment will not grow up and move on.

I know it suits some of you to believe that somehow the royals are super powerful, but they are not. They don't call the shots and haven't done so now for over 300 years.

Joe Lauria , July 4, 2018 at 4:43 pm

"War began in 1775 and was prolonged in 1779, *at the king's insistence,* to prevent copycat protests elsewhere. The British defeat in 1781 prompted North to resign. In 1783, North and the prominent Whig politician Fox formed a coalition government. Their plans to reform the East India Company gave George the chance to regain popularity. He *forced the bill's defeat* in Parliament, and the two resigned. In their place George *appointed* William Pitt the Younger."

George blocked legislation and he appointed the first minister, i.e. he had power over parliament.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/george_iii_king.shtml

cal , July 4, 2018 at 6:17 pm

The Continental Congress was primarily frustrated with Parliament, a resent that had been brewing since the conclusion of the Seven Years War. But, at the same time, royalist enthusiasm had been budding, with an increasing obsession within the colonies of being faithful servants of the crown. Thus, the Congress styled their petitions to the monarch, hoping he would quash his evil ministers, with George III being the hoped for "patriot king". When George attacked the colonies, and began efforts to crackdown on political unrest, the otherwise unpopular and extreme option of independence became feasible. George was not an absolute monarch or a tyrant, but he did have significant power, and he could, if he played parliamentary politics well enough, get his way. The Glorious Revolution did not disempower the monarchy or firmly establish parliamentary power, both of these phenomena began both before and after the events of 1688.

Brad Owen , July 5, 2018 at 4:20 am

The establishment of the Central Bank in City-of-London in 1694 or thereabouts, when William of Orange crossed the English Chanel, along with his retinue of immigrant Venetian banksters from the Netherlands, is the one pertinent fact worth remembering.

THIS is what the Founders actually declared their independence from, establishing the National Bank in the process (which was shut down relatively quickly thereafter, by agents loyal to City-of-London Central Bank). Independence has been a farce from the beginning and we never had our Republic, let alone keeping it, as Benjamin Franklin had warned us would be the problem.

We've had a phony Republic based on the model supplied by Venice (and established by Venetian "Dutch Masters" in The Netherlands in the 17th century) throughout the Medieval/Renaissance eras. It is the same old, ongoing, Citizens' Republic vs Oligarchs' Empire fight that Western Civilzation inherited from Roman times.

Jerry Alatalo , July 4, 2018 at 4:04 pm

Whether one envisages the traditional concept of royalty with precious stones-studded crowns and all the "royal" trapping, pomp and circumstance or multi-billionaire corporate tax-evading mega-moguls, the groups are essentially the same. Wealth inequality on Earth, ironically and sadly, has grown while so-called "royalty" as a visible phenomenon has slowly diminished. The problems associated with record concentration of wealth on Earth have grown in equal proportion, to the point where people are starting to consider newer, potentially more beneficial economic thought and viable alternative systems.

The ideas of economist and author of "Progress and Poverty" – HENRY GEORGE (1839-1897) "Single tax" proponent (or "land value tax") – are both disappointingly under-discussed and under-appreciated, while offering precisely the economic alternative for effectively dealing with today's orthodox economy-centric global, societal problems. People might take the time in researching Henry George's ideas when they understand (only one of many benefits) that implementation of Georgist economic principles means no more income tax taken out of their paychecks

Consortium News (CN) is the perfect platform for support of Henry George economic thought and raising awareness of an idea whose time may just have arrived. We might suggest Consortium News publish the writings of Henry George expert and author of many books on the subject Mr. Fred Harrison, who would likely happily provide his impressive writings for free.

We might also suggest the many millions of men and women from all regions of the Earth reading Consortium News consider finding out more on Henry George economic thought, do the researching, then understand the economic philosophy's virtually immeasurable, positive and transforming potential.

Source information search suggestion: Henry George School of Social Science.

Peace.

[Jun 27, 2018] Pelosi Pissed As Liberal Media Loves Socialist Millennial Who Beat Democratic Leader

Jun 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

wee-weed up -> DiotheDog Wed, 06/27/2018 - 15:52 Permalink

Pe-lousy is pissed because the unknown little socialist beat her hand-picked successor (Crowley) for after she retires, whenever that is.

Handful of Dust -> DaBard51 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:03 Permalink

Here be Maxine Waters running away from voters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mHz83wnXDg

techpriest -> Scanderbeg Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:54 Permalink

The Asians are starting to shift away from the DNC, from what I can see. They built up some actual wealth, and at this point they no longer receive the same minority protections as other groups. The minute you are the target of theft, you stop hanging around the thieves.

Aside from this, I was recently listening to an Asian libertarian who goes by "Pholosopher" on Youtube, and she explained that as a "normie" she just thought of government programs as "society helping the little guy." IMO, 80% of Democrats are in this very naive space. Her mind changed in part because some of her family members were victims of the Khmer Rouge, and this led to some actual thought about what would possess people to do the things they did.

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1185-her-family-fled-three-communist-countries-

IMO, the crazier this gets, the more obvious it is that it is time to re-dedicate our lives to rebuilding a sound culture, otherwise we will not see any culture rebuilt until we go through another multi-century Dark Age.

venturen -> IridiumRebel Wed, 06/27/2018 - 15:55 Permalink

lots of experience....waitree...bartending...."educator"...she is like a bad joke

Ocasio-Cortez graduated from Boston University in 2011, where she majored in economics and international relations. After college, she moved back to the Bronx and supported her mother by bartending at Flats Fix taqueria in Union Square, Manhattan, and working as a waitress. She also got a job as an educator in the nonprofit National Hispanic Institute . [11] [12]

She worked as an organizer for Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential campaign . [13]

GunnerySgtHartman -> junction Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:14 Permalink

Obama (and dozens of members of Congress) set the "standard" for that ...

DosZap -> GunnerySgtHartman Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

28 yr old radical, her SURE TO WIN incumbent outspent her 20-1, she went door to door.

skinwalker Wed, 06/27/2018 - 15:49 Permalink

Pelosi has full blown Alzheimer's. She's the poster child for term limits on Congress creatures.

Chief Joesph Wed, 06/27/2018 - 15:57 Permalink

At least she is far cuter than her competition... Democrats need new blood anyway. Its a party that seems to be going nowhere, has the Clinton mafia running it, and hasn't done anyone any good since the time Jimmy Carter was president.

Schooey Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:07 Permalink

Bernie might have done better than Hillary against Trump. Will the kids get out and vote for a Joe Biden? NO The Dems are going to have to go way way left on a hale mary. But Trump is much much stronger now than in 2016. They lose. They got nothing and their divisions are getting worse. We should support and encourage them to move further and further to the left. We can drive them there.

If you live in an area that is Democrat controlled and your own preference is safe, then register Democrat and vote for people like her.

gimme-gimme-gimme Wed, 06/27/2018 - 17:25 Permalink

If you simply divert all the money from the following socialist programs:

1) ZIRP

2) QE

3) Bank bailouts

4) Farming subsidies

5) Defense contract subsidies

6) Big pharma subsidies

Problem is Americans are too easily fooled that stuff which is to their benefits are something they should not vote for and vise versa. Like all money channeled to MIC.

[Jun 27, 2018] Earthquake in the Bronx Ocasio-Cortez Beat 14 Term Establishment Dem Crowley in Primary naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... The democratic machine in NYC does absolutely everything it can to suppress turnout to protect incumbents so I was happy to see it blow up in their face today. But still pretty grim to see only 25,000 people voting. ..."
"... The interesting question is how the Democrats will react to this. They may try to sabotage her in some other way. The other is the top 10%ers and other upper middle class voters. I would not be surprised if many Establishment Democrats vote for the GOP over a Berniecrat. ..."
Jun 27, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on June 26, 2018 by Yves Smith ... ... ...

Needless to say, neoliberal Vox had to tut-tut her policy positions while effectively conceding that they are winners:

But here is the bigger implication, again from Vox:

Ocasio-Cortez's victory is a story of the complacent establishment taking voters for granted. It's the story of how the Democratic Party is getting pulled to the left. It's also about how it's not just progressive policies that are reshaping the party, but also people of color.

Ocasio-Cortez ran decidedly to the left of Crowley, but she also shook up how Democrats go about getting elected. Until now, Democrats have seen big money in politics as simply a deal with the devil that had to be made. Democrats are so often outspent by Republican mega-donors that they viewed courting big-dollar donors and corporations as part of creating a level playing field.

But if one of Democrats' top fundraisers and likely successor to Nancy Pelosi can be toppled, perhaps Democrats need to rethink that deal.

What was most exciting for progressives is the degree to which Ocasio-Cortez ran to Crowley's left. As a member of the DSA, her website is a laundry list of every blue-sky progressive policy: Medicare-for-all, housing and jobs guarantees, gun control, ending private prisons, abolishing ICE, and investment in post-hurricane Puerto Rico.

Crowley also had the endorsement of Governor Andrew Cuomo. 'Nuff said. AstoriaBlowin , June 26, 2018 at 11:10 pm

The democratic machine in NYC does absolutely everything it can to suppress turnout to protect incumbents so I was happy to see it blow up in their face today. But still pretty grim to see only 25,000 people voting.

I voted against Crowley cause he came out against installing protected bike lanes in Sunnyside which was none of his business anyway as a federal official. I wrote to him expressing my disappointment and he actually called me to talk about it! We had a nice conversation but still once you choose parking over people's lives it's over.

Ocasio has some good talking points but she also comes across as a NIMBY which is not a good look in a city with a serious housing affordability and availability crisis.

Altandmain , June 26, 2018 at 11:18 pm

It is certainly a major step forward and will hopefully be the first of many victories. Ultimately, what we desperately need are politicians that will truly fight for the common citizen to get into office and in enough numbers as to fundamentally alter the direction of government from an institution that is co-opted by the rich to one that is for the people.

The interesting question is how the Democrats will react to this. They may try to sabotage her in some other way. The other is the top 10%ers and other upper middle class voters. I would not be surprised if many Establishment Democrats vote for the GOP over a Berniecrat.

Bottom line – this is a step forward, but we are not out of the woods yet. There is a lot of work to do and while we should celebrate, the Establishment will fight back. There also remains the question of how this person will actually govern. The fact that the Establishment was against her though is very encouraging.

[Jun 26, 2018] Identity politics has always served as a diversion for elites to pursue stealth neoliberal policies like decreasing public spending. Fake austerity is necessary for pursuing neoliberal privatization of public enterprises

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In a mature society, it would not matter if someone was black, white, gay, Jewish, young, old, whatever but what policies they bring to the party. This article, going out of its way to label Nixon as LGBT and Sanders as Jewish, really only means that they are letting the other side set the rules and that is never a winning position. Unfortunately we do not live in a mature society. ..."
"... Not until people are done with identity politics will it be really possible to bring a new order into focus. Support Kamala Harris, for example, because she is not white and a woman? Not unless she has policies that the bulk of Americans want and is not just the old party in a new guise. I suspect that this use of the term 'progressive' is just a term to describe what the majority of Americans want out of their governments. People like Clinton, Pelosi, Waters and Albright can not and will not do this so time for them to be pushed aside. I think that the US Presidential election of 2020 will be very telling of how things play out as the results of the 2018 mid-terms are absorbed. ..."
"... I think identity politics has always served as a diversion for elites to play within the neoliberal bandwidth of decreasing public spending. Fake austerity and an unwillingness to use conjured money for public QE are necessary for pursuing neoliberal privatization of public enterprises. Therefore Bernie and his MMT infrastructure are anathema to corporate democrats and their Wall St. benefactors. ..."
"... Moral Monday represents what I deem as people over profit. I would rather be a spoiler than enable corporate sociopaths to.expand mass incarceration, end welfare as we know it, consider the killing of a half-million Iraqi children an acceptable cost, or oversee the first inverted debt jubilee in 2008 to forgive the liabilities of fraudsters by pauperizing debtors. ..."
"... Once you abandon class-based politics, and all parties accept the neoliberal consensus, you still have the problem of attracting support. You can only do that by turning to the politics of identity, as practised in Africa or the Balkans, where you seek to corral entire groups to vote for you, based on ethnicity, skin colour etc. ..."
"... Modern parties of the "Left" have taken over the methods, if not the ideology, of the old Communist parties, which is to say they present themselves as natural leaders, whom the membership should follow and vote for. ..."
"... Readers should examine the recent book Asymmetric Politics. The key point is that the Democratic Party is as described by David in some fair part an identity-based party, so it is supported by, e.g., many African-Americans. The Republican Party, unusual in the Western World, is not an identity based party; it is an idea-based party. It may not be very good at putting its ideas into effect, but it is an idea-based party that anyone can support. ..."
"... The Republicans are an "ideas-based" party? Well, I guess if you consider the interest-motivated "product" of Overclass-funded think tanks to be "idea-based," then OK. Me, I've haven't seen the Republicans as anything other than a class and (white) race-based party since I was a youth half a century ago. ..."
"... As for the cynicism of how the Democrats use identity politics: granted. Nevertheless, African-Americans have some tangible and valid reasons for voting for them, awful as they are. ..."
"... George Phillies didn't say the Republicans had "good" ideas. He just noted that the Republicans have "ideas". A "bad" idea is still an "idea". ..."
"... So Pelosi's final bequest to the public is a corrupt successor? What a world! ..."
"... Pelosi's been quoted a number of times saying, "we lead with our values". You certainly do, Mrs. Speaker! Thanks for making it clear! ..."
"... Come on, folks. By now you should have learned that what politicians say doesn't mean a damn thing -- it's what they do. The establishment is only interested in perpetuating the establishment. ..."
"... As far as I've seen, they trot out identity politics only when it suits their aims and it has nothing to do with what the voters actually want. ..."
"... Identity politics are to Democrats what religious politics are to Republicans: A pious high ground they use whenever they want to denounce anyone opposed to them as corrupt and immoral, but immediately gets shelved the moment it interferes with the money and power. ..."
"... To me, it's a dishonest policy erasure tactic for favoring establishment candidates. If you're against Hillary Clinton, it's must be ..."
"... Of course the most important identity is that of the worker, the person who must sell their labor power in the marketplace to survive. But you will rarely hear the Democrats discuss that identity. You might hear about "working families" and the "middle class" but it really means nothing. The Republicans use the same language and they are just as mendacious. ..."
"... Working families: Groups of people related genetically or by choice, all of whom, regardless of age, have to work to ensure they have food, clothing, and shelter. ..."
"... I can think of a couple of identity-words to offer to see if anyone identifies with them. Ex-middle class. Nouveau poor. ..."
"... Western Democrats focus too much on a minority which has barely any impact on the economy at the expense of the majority which actually dictates the general economic trend and therefore also creates the byproduct welfare/life quality of all the meme minorities to whom it trickles down. That's the issue here. The difference between normal people and minorities is that normal people know they don't matter in the larger picture, while minorities think they matter while at the same time asking to be treated as part of the normal people even though their very mentality is a paradox towards being normal. ..."
"... The West is simply too bankrupt on things that matter in the bigger picture and too involved in things that don't, a complete lack of prioritization. ..."
Jun 26, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

sgt_doom , June 26, 2018 at 2:07 pm

Eric Holder: Please declare for the US presidency

Eric Holder, former attorney general of the USA under President Obama, has publicly announced that he is considering a run for the White House in 2020. (Thanks to that WikiLeaked email awhile back, we know that Citigroup directed a newly elected President Obama to appoint him to the position of A.G.)

I fervently pray that Eric Holder, of Covington & Burling, declares himself a candidate!

Only then will the opportunity again present itself to expose Eric Holder -- and Covington & Burling -- in their involvement with the creation and operation of MERS (Mortgage Electronic Reporting System) and its connection to the global economic meltdown (2007 -- 2009), the greatest illegal wealth transfer and insurance swindle in human history!

How we would welcome such transparency of evil, how BlackRock profited from that economic meltdown, then oversaw the disbursement of those TARP bailout funds.

Exposure of the network of BlackRock and Vanguard and State Street and Fidelity; exposure of their major investors. Further exposure of the Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group and other such PE/LBO giants!

How the InterContinental Exchange (ICE) was involved in nefarious commodity price rigging, etc., manipulated derivatives dealing and how today they oversee LIBOR rates!

The further exposure of the influence and perfidy of the Group of Thirty (www.group30.org) and the Bretton Woods Committee (www.brettonwoods.org) -- oh how we'd love to see such exposure!

Please declare for the presidency, Mr. Holder!

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Holder for President? Oh boy Mr. Peabody! That's great!

If a critical difference-making margin of non-voting Black non-voters in Milwaukee were willing to non-vote between Clinton and Trump even at the price of letting Trump take Wisconsin, that could mean that the Race Card is wearing thin. Who exactly would Mr. Holder be able to fool in Milwaukee? He would do well in Hyde Park though . . . getting the Guilty White Privilege Expiation vote. Will that be enough? Will the Madison vote be enough to make up for the Milwaukee non-vote?

You know who would be a perfect pair? Holder and Harris. Or Holder and Booker. Or some such. Seriously, if the DemParty nominates Holder, I will vote for Trump all over again. And at the Senate or Representative level, I would vote for an old legacy New Deal Democrat if there is one. But if they run a Clintonite, some protest Third Party looks very attractive by comparison.

The Rev Kev , June 26, 2018 at 1:54 am

In a mature society, it would not matter if someone was black, white, gay, Jewish, young, old, whatever but what policies they bring to the party. This article, going out of its way to label Nixon as LGBT and Sanders as Jewish, really only means that they are letting the other side set the rules and that is never a winning position. Unfortunately we do not live in a mature society.

If push came to shove you would have to describe both the Republican and Democrat parties as bastions of neoliberalism and both parties play games with identity politics as it fractures those who would oppose them and encourages internecine warfare. Like a kaleidoscope shifting focus, the 2008 crash has started off a shift in how politics is done and the success of Trump in the US, Brexit in the UK as well as other leaders is this shift in its first efforts of readjusting.

Not until people are done with identity politics will it be really possible to bring a new order into focus. Support Kamala Harris, for example, because she is not white and a woman? Not unless she has policies that the bulk of Americans want and is not just the old party in a new guise. I suspect that this use of the term 'progressive' is just a term to describe what the majority of Americans want out of their governments. People like Clinton, Pelosi, Waters and Albright can not and will not do this so time for them to be pushed aside. I think that the US Presidential election of 2020 will be very telling of how things play out as the results of the 2018 mid-terms are absorbed.

Larry Coffield , June 26, 2018 at 5:27 am

I think identity politics has always served as a diversion for elites to play within the neoliberal bandwidth of decreasing public spending. Fake austerity and an unwillingness to use conjured money for public QE are necessary for pursuing neoliberal privatization of public enterprises. Therefore Bernie and his MMT infrastructure are anathema to corporate democrats and their Wall St. benefactors.

Moral Monday represents what I deem as people over profit. I would rather be a spoiler than enable corporate sociopaths to.expand mass incarceration, end welfare as we know it, consider the killing of a half-million Iraqi children an acceptable cost, or oversee the first inverted debt jubilee in 2008 to forgive the liabilities of fraudsters by pauperizing debtors.

David , June 26, 2018 at 5:47 am

The obvious answer is "very" and this applies pretty much to every major allegedly leftist party in the western world.

The fact is that if you want to form a political party and take power, or even make good careers, you have to find supporters and get them to vote for you. Historically, after the growth of modern political parties, they differentiated themselves by reference to social and economic groups. In most countries there was a traditionalist party, often rural, with links to church and aristocracy and the socially conservative, a middle-class professional/small business party and a mass working class party often under middle-class leadership. Depending on the country, this could, in practice, be more than three or less than three distinct parties.

Once you abandon class-based politics, and all parties accept the neoliberal consensus, you still have the problem of attracting support. You can only do that by turning to the politics of identity, as practised in Africa or the Balkans, where you seek to corral entire groups to vote for you, based on ethnicity, skin colour etc. The problem is that whilst the old political distinctions were objective, the new ones are much more subjective, overlapping and sometimes in conflict with each other. After all, you are objectively employed or unemployed, a shareholder or landowner or not, an employee or an employer, you have debt or savings, you earn enough to live on or you don't. It's therefore easier to construct political parties on that basis than on the basis of ascriptive, overlapping and conflicting subjective identities.

Modern parties of the "Left" have taken over the methods, if not the ideology, of the old Communist parties, which is to say they present themselves as natural leaders, whom the membership should follow and vote for. This worked well enough when the markers were economic, much less well when they are identity based. Trying to herd together middle-class professional socially-liberal voters, and immigrants from a socially conservative background afraid of losing their jobs backfired disastrously for the Socialist party in the 2017 elections in France, and effectively destroyed the party. People don't like being instructed who it is their duty to vote for.

The other very clarifying moment of that election was the complete absence, up and down the western world, of voices supporting Marine Le Pen for President. Not a single voice was raised in her support, although her victory would have been epoch-making in terms of French politics, and certainly not Albright's.

That tells you everything you need to know, really.

George Phillies , June 26, 2018 at 11:31 am

Readers should examine the recent book Asymmetric Politics. The key point is that the Democratic Party is as described by David in some fair part an identity-based party, so it is supported by, e.g., many African-Americans. The Republican Party, unusual in the Western World, is not an identity based party; it is an idea-based party. It may not be very good at putting its ideas into effect, but it is an idea-based party that anyone can support.

Note that many Democrats are totally terrified by the idea that the Republican Party would become an identity-based party, namely the white people's party, because if the white vote supported the Republicans nationally the way it already does in the south the Democrats would, in the immortal words of Donald Trump, be schlonged.

Indeed, that support is now advancing up through the Appalachians into central Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York. West Virginia was once heavily Democratic.

And while some Democrats propose that America is becoming a majority-minority country, others have worked out that, e.g., persons of Hispanic or Chinese ancestry may over several generations follow the Irish and the Italians and the Hungarians and the Jews, none of whom were originally viewed* as being white, by being reclassified in the popular mind as being part of the white majority.

*Some readers will recall that quaint phrase "the colored races of Europe". At the time, a century and then a fair amount ago, it was meant literally. Anglo-Saxons were a race. Irishmen were a distinct race.

Michael Fiorillo , June 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm

The Republicans are an "ideas-based" party? Well, I guess if you consider the interest-motivated "product" of Overclass-funded think tanks to be "idea-based," then OK. Me, I've haven't seen the Republicans as anything other than a class and (white) race-based party since I was a youth half a century ago.

That Republicans will distract, misdirect and dissemble to mask their class and race-based identity doesn't change the reality of it.

As for the cynicism of how the Democrats use identity politics: granted. Nevertheless, African-Americans have some tangible and valid reasons for voting for them, awful as they are.

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:36 pm

George Phillies didn't say the Republicans had "good" ideas. He just noted that the Republicans have "ideas". A "bad" idea is still an "idea".

blennylips , June 26, 2018 at 7:25 am

Stephen Fry is back, taking another idea out for a walk in the latest Munk Debate:

Political Correctness
Be it resolved, what you call political correctness, I call progress
MAY 18, 2018
https://www.munkdebates.com/The-Debates/Political-Correctness

On the Con side: Stephen Fry, Jordan Peterson
On the Pro side: Michael Dyson, Michelle Goldberg

Stephen and Jordan complained at the end that it ended up about identity politics rather than the PC debate they'd rather have had.

IguanaBowtie , June 26, 2018 at 10:19 am

Dyson neatly derailed the whole thing with his 'mean white man' line. Could have just been Fry vs Goldberg too, Peterson talked past the others yhe whole time. Whole thing deserves a do-over.

blennylips , June 26, 2018 at 11:14 am

I agree IguanaB, Dyson was as awful as Mr. Fry was magnificent – but I could be as deluded as the next guy of course.

I loved how Fry gritted his teeth at being on the same side as Jordan, but considered the issues too important for a personal tantrum.

johnnygl , June 26, 2018 at 8:08 am

I'm really worried about a repeat of 2016 with a heavy dose of voter purges and reregistrations. Ocasio-Cortez will need a strong GOTV ground game to pull off the upset.

DJG , June 26, 2018 at 9:07 am

Cuomo may be part of a political dynasty, but I recall that when Mario Cuomo was sending out feelers about running for president, there was plenty of "Who's the furriner?" I can't find the quote, but some Southern politician opined that there weren't many Marios and fewer Cuomos in the South. (And when Geraldine Ferraro was on the ticket with Mondale, journalists and columnists "miraculously" discovered that her husband was a mafioso.) So there's white and there's white.

Not that I'd vote for Cuomo. And I certainly agree with Glenn Greenwald. But ethnic politics cut all different ways.

DJG , June 26, 2018 at 9:09 am

From the quotes above: 'Maybe we need to run Bland White Guy 2020 to appease the fake socialists and jackass mansplainers.'"

Just in case you wanted to have the National Conversation on the Deep Insights that Rebecca Solnit Has Bestowed on Us with Her Term "Mansplaining."

Carolinian , June 26, 2018 at 9:15 am

So Pelosi's final bequest to the public is a corrupt successor? What a world!

JohnnyGL , June 26, 2018 at 11:06 am

Pelosi's been quoted a number of times saying, "we lead with our values". You certainly do, Mrs. Speaker! Thanks for making it clear!

sharonsj , June 26, 2018 at 10:55 am

Come on, folks. By now you should have learned that what politicians say doesn't mean a damn thing -- it's what they do. The establishment is only interested in perpetuating the establishment.

Here in Pennsylvania, Republican senator Pat Toomey has stayed in office only because the Dem establishment here has refused to back Joe Sestak, a terrific but rebellious candidate, for years. Last time around, it endorsed a woman over Sestak and another fantastic male candidate–but she was as crappy as they come. As far as I've seen, they trot out identity politics only when it suits their aims and it has nothing to do with what the voters actually want.

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:41 pm

If Sestak and his supporters started a little Third Party just for Pennsylvania, how many votes would he get? If he and his supporters called it the Revenge Against Betrayal Party, how many votes would he get?

Big Tap , June 26, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Exactly

PKMKII , June 26, 2018 at 11:10 am

Identity politics are to Democrats what religious politics are to Republicans: A pious high ground they use whenever they want to denounce anyone opposed to them as corrupt and immoral, but immediately gets shelved the moment it interferes with the money and power.

Jeff W , June 26, 2018 at 6:05 pm

To me, it's a dishonest policy erasure tactic for favoring establishment candidates. If you're against Hillary Clinton, it's must be because she's a woman, not because she's, say, a neoliberal, corporatist warmonger -- it deliberately supplants legitimate policy differences with identity. Not only is it breathtakingly dopey as a psychological theory -- because it's pretty obvious that someone could oppose a person based on those policy differences -- it's also obnoxiously presumptuous: "I'm going to substitute my statements as to motivation for yours." None of that matters, of course, as long as the work of erasing policy from the discourse is done.

Lee , June 26, 2018 at 11:38 am

And while it surely matters who is in congress and who sits in the oval office, possibly we should all become more focused and engaged with system change rather than just individuals running for office. (although damn am I impressed with Alexandria's keen appreciation of democracy), To that end I offer ideas from the brain of Gar Alperovitz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1-Ss5h9F9k

HotFlash , June 26, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Thank you, Lee. About a quarter of the way through Gar's talk and may need to take a little rest to let my soul catch up. For me, in my community which is being hard hit by gentrification and rents are, for many long-time residents, becoming unaffordable, this might be the exactly the right ideas at the right time. Tomorrow I will be going to the last meeting of our neighbourhood food co-op as it dissolves, after 10 years, and I can't decide whether I am more angry or sad. It was well-intentioned, but just couldn't make it work. Perhaps a bad plan, or maybe no systematic plan at all. Anyway. I never really expected to see my $1000 again when I bought that bond 10 years ago.

Meantime, I will listen to Gar finish his talk, and pro'ly get his book from the library.

So here is Gar talking about the Evergreen Co-ops of Cleveland: "That is a community-building, wealth-democratizing, decentralized, combination of community and worker ownership, supported by quasi-public procurement, through a planning system using quasi-public moneys. That is a planning system. {It} begins with a vision of community which starts by democratizing as far as you can from the ground up, building capacity at the national level or the regional level, to purchase and thereby stabilize the system in a form of economic planning. Now think about those things. Those are ideas in a fragmentary developmental process as the pain of the system grows and there are no other solutions. "

It is strong stuff, but reading it seems dense and dull, but Gar makes it all make sense on first hearing. So, in anyone interested in community economic action, do check it out.

Synoia , June 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Which means, if you take this view, that their vocal support for the underlying principles of "identity politics" is both cynical and insincere.

There, removed the superfluous words.

Left in Wisconsin , June 26, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Also noticing that Emily's List has failed to endorse either Nixon or Ocasio-Cortez. Why am I not shocked.

Livius Drusus , June 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Of course the most important identity is that of the worker, the person who must sell their labor power in the marketplace to survive. But you will rarely hear the Democrats discuss that identity. You might hear about "working families" and the "middle class" but it really means nothing. The Republicans use the same language and they are just as mendacious.

I wouldn't mind the slogans and euphemisms if there was some substance behind them. I get that Americans generally like to think of themselves as "middle class" whether they are making minimum wage or millions of dollars but at least put some substance behind your rhetoric.

Both parties are using identity politics to win elections while avoiding the economic issues that every poll indicates Americans care about the most. The result is an increasingly disillusioned and depressed population that hates the entire political system. Almost half of the eligible electorate stays home during election years. Non-voters tend to be poorer while the political junkies who are increasingly shrill, angry and unreasonable tend to be wealthier. These are the people who form the base for identity politics because they have the luxury to worry about such nonsense.

Elizabeth Burton , June 26, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Working families: Groups of people related genetically or by choice, all of whom, regardless of age, have to work to ensure they have food, clothing, and shelter.

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:44 pm

I can think of a couple of identity-words to offer to see if anyone identifies with them. Ex-middle class. Nouveau poor.

Jean , June 26, 2018 at 6:20 pm

"It's about the children " Madeline Albright, when asked about 500,000+ dead Iraqi children caused by the sanctions she promoted said "We think the price was worth it " When will this nauseating hag slink off the public stage? https://fair.org/extra/we-think-the-price-is-worth-it/

Somebody , June 26, 2018 at 6:35 pm

An average person with their limited lifespan can barely manage a quota of about a dozen people to truly care about and about 70 to be acquainted with. Chances of any of those belonging to some of those special category people are low to the point of it being irrelevant and worthless to get acquainted with the categories themselves and their cultures/language, unless they live in a few congregation capitals on this planet like San Francisco, capitals which can be numbered on both my hands.

Unless the average person decides for themselves to care, trying to convince them to care about special identity is tantamount to attempting to rob them of their precious lifespan, over what? Superficial identities. There are religions which worship the supernatural. Now there's a religion which worships the superficial called Identity Politics or Social Justice Evangelism as i like to call it (as usual it has about as much to do with social justice as Christianity had to do with world peace, and all to do with identity masturbation), arisen jointly as a result of inflated and growing narcissism and unwarranted sense of self-importance personality disorders influenced by spending too much time on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Bah. Western Democrats focus too much on a minority which has barely any impact on the economy at the expense of the majority which actually dictates the general economic trend and therefore also creates the byproduct welfare/life quality of all the meme minorities to whom it trickles down. That's the issue here. The difference between normal people and minorities is that normal people know they don't matter in the larger picture, while minorities think they matter while at the same time asking to be treated as part of the normal people even though their very mentality is a paradox towards being normal.

The West is simply too bankrupt on things that matter in the bigger picture and too involved in things that don't, a complete lack of prioritization.

[Jun 16, 2018] There's Fking No One Else; DNC Strategist Laments Over Broken Party; Bill Clinton Toxic, Carter Too Old Zero Hedge

Jun 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Following a Monday report that President Obama is "secretly" meeting with top Democratic contenders for the 2020 election, The Hill notes that desperate Democrats beset with Clinton fatigue are freaking out over the fact that the much "blue wave" appears to be crashing on the rocks , and there's nobody around to salvage the party ahead of midterms and the 2020 election.

" There's f---ing no one else ," one frustrated Democratic strategist said. " Bill Clinton is toxic, [former President] Carter is too old, and there's no one else around for miles ." - The Hill

In the hopes of reinvigorating the DNC (of which up to 40 state chapters stand accused of funneling up to $84 million to the Clinton campaign), downtrodden dems are hoping that Obama will get off the sidelines and help rally support.

" He's been way too quiet ," said one longtime Obama bundler who rarely criticizes the former president, according to The Hill . " There are a lot of people who think he's played too little a role or almost no role in endorsing or fundraising and he's done jack shit in getting people to donate to the party. "

After the GOP made sweeping gains in the 2016 election, the DNC was left in disarray - and anyone who might be able to lead the party, be it Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren, may run in 2020. Bernie Sanders is of course out because he may run and he's not a Democrat.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was among five possible contenders for the Democratic crown attending the "We the People" conference in Washington on Wednesday. He received the loudest applause and heard chants of "Bernie."

But he can't play the elder role for the party, both because he may run for president and because he's not a Democrat.

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), two other possibilities, have mass followings but also may join the 2020 race. - The Hill

That leaves the spotlight squarely on Barrack Hussein Obama - whose lack of endorsements during the primary season and general absence has frustrated Democrats.

Bill Clinton, who is more radioactive than ever after making ill-advised comments over "what you can do to somebody against their will," has endorsed several candidates since leaving office, yet Obama has declined to do the same thus far.

"You have all these people running for office, some of them against other Democrats, and his strategy has been to not endorse anyone and that's what's been so f---ing ridiculous because not only are you not helping them, you're hurting them ," said the bundler.

Former aides and Democratic strategists said Obama has sought to maintain a lower profile not only for his party to find new life, but also to avoid playing a foil to President Trump and Republicans.

A source close to Obama said the former president is looking forward to hitting the campaign trail, fundraising and issuing more endorsements closer to the midterms. But the source added that injecting himself into day-to-day politics would do the Democratic Party a disservice by making it more difficult for other Democratic voices to rise to prominence. - The Hill

Others say that Obama has remained the unofficial leader of the Democratic Party since leaving office.

"He always wanted to help, without a doubt. He cares tremendously about our country and our party. But I think he always intended to be a little more on the sidelines than he's been," said one former Obama aide. "I think he realizes he is needed and needed badly."

Former Obama aides say that the ex-President is unsettled by policies flowing from the Trump administration, along with the "tone and tenor" of the White House (but not enough to aggressively help active Democrats fight, apparently).

According to Democratic strategist David Wade: " It's certainly not the post-presidency he might've preferred. "

Maybe Obama is just having a good time hanging out?

Tags Politics

Comments
Vote up! 26 Vote down! 1

JimmyJones -> BandGap Fri, 06/15/2018 - 15:29 Permalink

The Neo-cons, excuse me Democrats better get moving. (its so hard to tell them apart these days) The clock is ticking, November is coming and more reports showing criminal behavior are on the way.

$60,000 dollars worth of "Succulent Hot dogs"

Theosebes Goodfellow -> TeamDepends Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:36 Permalink

~"Many of you impatient homos are whining about no arrests or indictments have been made yet. When will it happen? I'll tell you: Early October."~

Bingo.

The dems have another problem and appear too stupid to focus on it. They apparently much rather worry about having a figurehead to lead them, but their real problem is much, much larger. Simply put, they have no message, save "Hate Trump!!!" What exactly do they promise voters these days? Trump impeachment as an economic program?

Also curious is the fact they want no part of Hillary. Do they admit she's as tainted as a leper?

crazzziecanuck -> TeamDepends Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:46 Permalink

The problem with that will be people will see through it as cheap, partisan electioneering. The result will be an EASIER time to motivate Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts.

There's as much chance of an implosion of Democrats in 2018 as there were back in 2006 when the GOP was nearly blasted out of existence then too. Remember how all the predictions about the imminent doom of the GOP were front and centre?

Journalists are so lazy, they're just using Liquid Paper to erase "Republican" to "Democrat" and change the date from stuff they wrote back in 2006.

Doesn't matter if Republicans or Democrats win. In the end, everyone else simply loses. How much you lose is proportional to the distance from the party elite you actually are.

07564111 -> JimmyJones Fri, 06/15/2018 - 15:38 Permalink

Interesting shit. The world should now conclude that there are no qualified people left in the USA.

Is it that all are corrupt or none are corrupt enough. ??

[Jun 15, 2018] Tulsi Gabbard might be a viable candidate

Notable quotes:
"... Clinton turned the Democratic party into a Mafia organization ..."
Jun 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

trillion_dolla Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:22 Permalink

They do have someone and her name is Tulsi Gabbard. But, shes not a raving neoliberal. So, the base ignores her.

hooligan2009 -> trillion_dolla Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:59 Permalink

agreed - classy, smart lady.

if she ever goes "stateswoman like" by not bitching at opponents and just beingalways positive she would attract a lot of votes.

one of the few demoNrats i would enjoy having dinner or a drink with.

Chief Joesph Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:10 Permalink

Democrats can lament all they want, but they did have a very good candidate that they allowed to be thrown under the bus. That was Bernie Sanders. Despite his "socialist" leanings, (for you conservatives), he was really fresh blood to the Democratic party. And even though Jimmy Carter is old, he has a very good working mind, better than all that are currently in the Democratic party. Clinton turned the Democratic party into a Mafia organization, taking orders from her, paving the way for her, knocking off anyone that looked like potential trouble, like Seth Rich, John Ashe, Joe Montano, Victor Thorn, and Shawn Lucas. All five of these guys died within 6 weeks of each other. Strange? Not if you are operating an old style mafia organization. Democrats need to resign the party, and form something new, that has fresh ideas, and people who are not there for self-coronations. The most honest democrat you have left is Jimmy Carter. Democrats are not honest today.

kudocast -> Chief Joesph Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:31 Permalink

I would add Howard Dean and Elizabeth Warren to Jimmy Carter.

kudocast Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:29 Permalink

They need to purge the leadership of the DNC - Perez, Clinton and the gang, they are the ones that shoved Hillary Clinton down Democrats throats instead letting Bernie Sanders, the real nominee, win the nomination. The DNC fucked over themselves, no one else is to blame.

Howard Dean is the one that got Obama elected the first time. From 2005 to 2009, he headed the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and successfully implemented the 50 State Strategy, which aimed for Democrats to be competitive in places considered Republican-dominated territory. As a result, during the midterms in 2006, Democrats won the House back and gained seats in the Senate. In 2008 Barack Obama also used the same strategy to win his presidential bid.

Just like the DNC and Democratic bourgeoise fucked over Bernie, they fucked over Howard Dean. Obama didn't select Howard Dean for his cabinet for Secretary of Health and Human Services - even though he was a successful governor, is a medical doctor, and was one of the main reasons Obama won in 2008.

Howard Dean should run as an Independent in 2020.

PrivetHedge Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:46 Permalink

Funny, I thought they had a red-hot candidate called - err - Bernie Sanders.

Shame they sabotaged him and his political future, oh well.

bwdiii Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:14 Permalink

Is that a $65,000 Chicago foot long the ex pres is busy with? Or just a hotdog?

3-fingered_chemist Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

Obama has always been about himself. I mean who publishes a memoir about yourself when you're just a nobody? Even Obama knows a loser when he sees one...the Democratic Party. He did more for the Republican Party than any Republican could ever do. One of the Greatest Presidents in my lifetime for the conservative movement.

NuYawkFrankie Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

DNC DOA

3-fingered_chemist Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

The Dems are caught between a rock and a hard place. The result of losing 1000s of seats nationwide since 2010 means you've got no farm system to develop politicians/leaders. It's no different than any sports franchise. The successful ones have a deep bench and prospects to knock off old, overpaid, underachieving veterans. If the Dems trot out Obama, he will be a death sentence for the Dems' chances in November. Guy is hated by almost everyone. Don't believe the approval ratings from CNN. He got more popular towards the end when people realized he was finally leaving.

ZazzOne Fri, 06/15/2018 - 20:26 Permalink

Obama and the Clinton's have DESTROYED the Democrat party!!! Leaders of the current Democratic party apparatchik, Schumer, Pelosi, Schiff, et al , are fucking idiots!!! I see a Red tsunami wave for the mid-term election!

[Jun 09, 2018] Rotten to the Heart: Authoritarian Chickens Roosting at Home by Paul Street

Notable quotes:
"... insult to common human decency ..."
"... They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy ..."
"... going so far to the left ..."
"... climate crisi ..."
"... New York Timesapprovingly explains ..."
"... the two major political parties, in which we don't count ..."
"... inauthentic opposition ..."
"... our government's support for Saudi Arabia and Egypt are not exceptions to the rule at all. They are the rule ..."
"... In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power , ..."
"... Help Street keep writing at https://www.paulstreet.org/subscribe/ ..."
Jun 08, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Yes, He's Awful

Much of what liberals say about Donald Trump and the chilling political moment the Trump presidency represents is true enough.

Trump really is the arch-authoritarian malignant narcissist that liberals say he is. Trump thinks he deserves to rule the nation like an absolute monarch or some ridiculous Banana Republic dictator. He believes he's above all the law, consistent with Louis XIV's dictum L'etat, C'est Moi ("the state is me"). The notion that Trump can pardon himself from any crime really is the height of imperial arrogance.

Trump really does value nothing but the advancement of his own wealth and image. There is no person, no principle, no higher loyalty he is not willing to sacrifice on the altar of self.

Trump really is the almost perfect embodiment of venal malevolence that liberals say he is. The idiotic military parade Trump has scheduled for the next Veterans Day is an exercise in proto-fascistic, Mussolini-like imperial-presidential self-adulation.

This racist and sexist beast befouls the nation and world with his ghastly, eco-cidal presence. The sooner he draws his last undeserved breath, the better for all living things (or maybe not: Mike Pence could be worse).

The Authoritarian and Inauthentic Opposition

Fine, but why does this despicable, orange-tinted insult to common human decency occupy the White House? He holds the most powerful office in the world because the Democratic Party has long been and remains what the late liberal-left Princeton political scientist Sheldon Wolin called the Inauthentic Opposition. "Should Democrats somehow be elected," Wolin prophesied in early 2008, they would do nothing to "alter significantly the direction of society" or "substantially revers[e] the drift rightwards. The timidity of a Democratic Party mesmerized by centrist precepts," Wolin wrote, "points to the crucial fact that for the poor, minorities, the working class and anti-corporatists there is no opposition party working on their behalf." The corporatist Democrats would work to "marginalize any possible threat to the corporate allies of the Republicans."

Wolin called it. A nominal Democrat was elected president along with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress in 2008. What followed under Barack Obama (as under his Democratic presidential predecessor Bill Clinton ) – a different and possibly more dangerous kind of malignant narcissist – was the standard "elite" neoliberal manipulation of campaign populism and identity politics in service to the reigning big-money bankrollers and their global empire. Wall Street's control of Washington and the related imperial agenda of the "Pentagon System" were advanced more effectively by the nation's first Black president than they could have been by stiff and wealthy white Republicans like John McCain or Mitt Romney. The reigning U.S. system of corporate and imperial "inverted totalitarianism" (Wolin) was given a deadly, fake-democratic re-branding. The underlying "rightward drift" sharpened, fed by a widespread and easily Republican-exploited sense of popular abandonment and betrayal, as the Democrats depressed and demobilized their own purported popular base.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did nothing to correct that problem. Quite the opposite. With a colossal campaign finance war-chest fed not just by the usual Wall Street and Silicon Valley suspects but also by many traditionally Republican big money donors who were repelled by Trump's faux "populism," the transparently corporate establishmentarian candidate Clinton could barely deign to pretend to be a progressive. She ran almost completely on the argument that Trump was too terrible and unqualified to be president. Making candidate character and qualities her sole selling point was a critical and historic mistake given the angry and anti-establishment mood of the electorate and her own epic unpopularity. So was calling Trump's flyover county supporters a "basket of" racist and sexist " deplorables " in a sneering comment (one that accurately reflected her aristocratic "progressive"-neoliberal world view) to rich Manhattan campaign donors.

Authoritarianism? Single-Payer national health insurance had long been supported by most U.S.-Americans when Obama ascended to the White House. Who cared? Not the "radical socialist" Barack Obama. Like the Clintons before him, Obama coldly froze Single Payer advocates out of the health insurance policy debate. He worked with the leading drug and insurance corporations and their Wall Street backers to craft a richly corporatist "reform" that preserved those companies' power to write their super-profits into the obscenely exaggerated cost of American medical care.

As our greatest intellectual Noam Chomsky noted two years ago, Obama "punished more whistle-blowers than all previous presidents combined." The Obama administration repeatedly defended George W. Bush's position on behalf of indefinite detention, maintaining that prisoners (US-Americans included) in the US global "war on [of] terror" were not entitled to habeas corpus or protection from torture or execution. Obama carried overseas assassination (by drone and Special Forces) – execution (even of U.S. citizens) without trial or even formal charge – to new levels. Regarding Obama's drone assassination program, Chomsky wrote acidly about how "the [Obama] Justice Department explained that the constitutional guarantee of due process, tracing to Magna Carta, is now satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch alone. The constitutional lawyer in the White House agreed. King John (1199-1216) might have nodded with satisfaction."

Hillary Clinton's 2016 Vice Presidential ticket partner, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), is currently a leading sponsor of the " Forever AUMF 2018" (SJRes 59 ) (Authority for the Use of Military Force). As the ACLU's Renee Parsons explains , the measure would " eliminate Congress' sole, inviolate Constitutional authority 'to declare war.'" It "would remove Congress from its statutory authority as it transfers 'uninterrupted' authority on 'the use of all necessary and appropriate force' to one individual." That would garner another thumbs-up from King John.

Such examples are just tips of the richly bipartisan "deep state" iceberg of authoritarian class and imperial rule that lurks beneath the visible-state surface dramas of "our" so-called and oxymoronic "capitalist democracy." (See my book They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy for a more comprehensive account, just one of many studies [here's a recent one ] that document the eclipse of anything like democracy in New Gilded Age America)

The Democrats: Corrupt, not Feckless

The Democrats could well have won the 2016 election by running Bernie Sanders. Bernie would have tapped popular anger from the center-left, advancing a policy agenda and anti-plutocratic sentiments consistent with longstanding majority-progressive public opinion in the U.S. But so what? The Democratic nomination process was rigged against Sanders for some very good ruling-class reasons. As William Kaufman told Barbara Ehrenreich on Facebook last year, "The Democrats aren't feckless, inept, or stupid, unable to 'learn' what it takes to win. They are corrupt. They do not want to win with an authentically progressive program because it would threaten the economic interests of their main corporate donor base The Democrats know exactly what they're doing. They have a business model: sub-serving the interests of the corporate elite."

The reigning corporate Democrats would rather lose to the right, even to a proto-fascistic white nationalist and eco-exterminist right, than lose to the left, even to a mildly progressive social democratic left within their own party.

Among other things, Russiagate is the Inauthentic Opposition, following its business model, doing its job, working to cover its tracks by throwing the debacle of its corporatist politics down Orwell's memory hole and attributing its self-made defeat to Russia's allegedly powerful interference in our supposed democracy. Russiagate is meant to provide corporate Democrats cover not only for 2016 but also for 2018 and 2020. It advances a narrative that lets the Democrats continue nominating business-friendly neoliberal shills and imperialists who pretend to be progressive while they are owned by the nation's homegrown oligarchs. This year's crop of Democratic Congressional candidates is loaded with military and intelligence veterans, a reflection of the Democrats' determination to run as the true party of empire.

"Some Discipline and Pragmatism to the Oval Office"

Under the cover of Russiagate, the pinstripe politicos atop the nation's not-so leftmost major party seem to have the Sanders wing under control. Clintonite Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Tom Perez purged progressive, Sanders Democrats from leading positions in the DNC last fall. Bernie-endorsed candidates have flailed in the Democrats' 2018 Congressional primaries . The not-so "socialist" Sanders' not-so revolutionary "political [though not social] revolution" seems largely spent, skewered on the fork of a major party electoral-industrial-complex it falsely promised to transform from within. In the Iowa Democratic gubernatorial primary last Tuesday, the progressive Democrat union member and "Our Revolution" candidate Cathy Glasson was trounced by the vapid and centrist but super-wealthy businessman Fred Hubbell, who self-financed his campaign with millions of dollars.

I recently watched a "liberal" morning CNN talking head salivate over the prospect of the Democrats running a billionaire business mogul who "shares the party's world view" – someone like the just-retired Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. The latte and cappuccino mogul recently and absurdly ripped the Democratic Party for " going so far to the left ." Sounding like a once-traditional Republican, Schultz elaborated :

"I say to myself, 'How are we going to pay for these things,' in terms of things like single payer [and] people espousing the fact that the government is going to give everyone a job. I don't think that's realistic. I think we got to get away from these falsehoods and start talking about the truth and not false promises I think the greatest threat domestically to the country is this $21 trillion debt hanging over the cloud of America and future generations. The only way we're going to get out of that is we've got to grow the economy, in my view, 4 percent or greater. And then we have to go after entitlements."

How to pay for progressive policies long but irrelevantly supported by most U.S.-Americans ? With (to mention some other measures that have long been quaintly and trivially preferred by most U.S. citizens) seriously progressive taxation including a financial transaction tax and with a long-overdue transfer of taxpayer dollars from the bloated and monumentally mass-murderous Pentagon budget. There's nothing remotely mysterious about how we could fund Single Payer and green jobs programs that would help save the nation and (oh, by the way) the human race from the actual "greatest threat to the country" (and to the world): environmental catastrophe , fed by toxic capitalist "growth" (let's hit "4 percent of higher"!) and with the climate crisi s ("climate change" does not begin to capture to the gravity of the problem) in the lead.

Here's the accurate translation for "go after entitlements": (1) slash Social Security and Medicare further; (2) use the fiscal crisis created by arch-plutocratic tax cuts for the already absurdly rich and by the persistently gargantuan "defense" (empire) budget as an excuse to decimate further the already weak U.S. social safety net and to (in what promises to be an epic windfall for Wall Street) privatize the nation's old age insurance system. The real entitlement that matters most – the inherited oligarchic class rule and despotism of capital over workers, citizens, and ever more poisoned commons – remains untouched and is indeed expanded in coffee baron Schultz's glorious "liberal" agenda,

All of which is fairly consistent with the Wall Street- and corporate-friendly records and agenda of the Democratic Party during and between the ugly "neoliberal" years when a Georgia peanut farmer (deregulation leader Jimmy Carter) and two silver-tongued Ivy League law school graduates (NAFTA champion and public assistance-wrecker Bill Clinton and big bank bailout champion and Trans Pacific Partnership advocate Barack Obama) occupied the White House. I expect the dismal Democrats to nominate the longtime centrist politician Joe "Regular Guy" Biden (who claims he would have kicked Trump's ass in high school ) or the newly hatched faux-progressive Senator and former longtime prosecutor Kamala "Obama 2.0" Harris (D-CA), but, hey, why not go full corporate monty and try to put an actual full-on corporate CEO in the White House in the name of the Democratic Party's "liberal world view"? As the "liberal" New York Timesapprovingly explains :

"The election of Mr. Trump, a real estate developer and reality television personality, certainly opened that door of opportunity, making it clear that American voters were willing to elect a president with no prior government experience .American companies -- including Starbucks -- have become more political in recent years, wading into issues like immigration, gun rights and climate policy And at a moment when many voters say they are frustrated with partisan gridlock and ineffective government programs, some believe that an efficiency-minded business executive might bring some discipline and pragmatism to the Oval Office."

Besides Schultz, other corporate CEOs I've heard and read self-described liberals discuss as potentially desirable presidential candidates include Oprah Winfrey, Mark Cuban, Disney CEO Bob Iger, Facebook's spooky cult-leader Mark Zuckerberg, and even the JP Morgan Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. What the Hell: why not drop the pretense of independence from the nation's corporate and financial dictatorship and run an actual corporate or financial chieftain for president?

That would be an act of oligarchic honesty on the part of the dismal dollar Dems. "I like the idea of Dimon," one left correspondent writes me: "maybe with him as a candidate people would finally wake up to the fact that the Democrats are the real problem." Don't hold your breath. "Because," another comrade tells me, "being a ruthless plutocrat is their world view."

"Trump is Terrible, So Let's Give Him More Spying and Killing Powers!"

What is the Democrats' leading cry? That the terrible Trump is truly terrible – and a tool of Russia. And, of course, the "terrible" part is all too terribly true – the Russia part not so much. But after you've bemoaned the terribleness of Trump for the ten thousandth time, are you ready to get serious about the systemic and richly bipartisan, oligarchic context within which Trump has emerged? "The Trump administration ," Chris Hedges reminded us on Truthdig two weeks ago, "did not rise like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy . The problem is not Trump," writes Hedges. "It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don't count " (emphasis added).

And if Trump is as much of a dangerous and authoritarian monster as liberal Democrats say he is (and he is), then why, pray tell, have most Democrats in Congress been willing to grant him record levels of military funding along with re-authorized and expanded warrantless surveillance and spying powers ? Why are Tim Kaine and other top Democrats ready to grant him (and his successors) a freaking "Forever AUMF"? Hello? What does that say about the not-so leftmost of the two reigning corporate parties? The glaring schizophrenia ("Trump is a monster, let's give him more war and spying powers!") is yet more proof that the Democrats are indeed an inauthentic opposition , committed to the same imperial and police state Trump heads today. They are merely waiting to put one of their ruling-class own atop the same exact and in fact richly bipartisan structures.

What Goes Around: "Trampling on the Helpless Abroad" Comes Home

A final matter concerns the problem of imperial chickens coming home to roost. Liberals don't like to hear it, but the ugly, richly documented historical fact of the matter is that their party of binary and tribal choice has long joined Republicans in backing and indeed crafting a U.S. foreign policy that has imposed authoritarian regimes (and profoundly undemocratic interventions including invasions and occupations) the world over . The roster of authoritarian and often-mass murderous governments the U.S. military and CIA and allied transnational business interests have backed, sometimes even helped create, with richly bipartisan support, is long indeed.

Last fall, Illinois Green Party leader Mike Whitney ran some fascinating numbers on the 49 nation-states that the right-wing "human rights" organization Freedom House identified as "dictatorships" in 2016. Leaving aside Freedom House's problematic inclusion of Russia, Cuba, and Iran on its list, the most remarkable thing about Whitney's research was his finding that the U.S. offered military assistance to 76 percent of these governments. (The only exceptions were Belarus, China, Central African Republic, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Russia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Syria.). "Most politically aware people," Whitney wrote:

"know of some of the more highly publicized instances examples of [U.S. support for foreign dictatorships], such as the tens of billions of dollars' worth of US military assistance provided to the beheading capital of the world, the misogynistic monarchy of Saudi Arabia, and the repressive military dictatorship now in power in Egypt apologists for our nation's imperialistic foreign policy try to rationalize such support, arguing that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are exceptions to the rule. But my survey demonstrates that our government's support for Saudi Arabia and Egypt are not exceptions to the rule at all. They are the rule ."

The Pentagon and State Department data Whitney used came from Fiscal Year 2015. It dated from the next-to-last year of the Obama administration, for which so many liberals recall with misplaced nostalgia. Freedom House's list should have included Honduras, ruled by a vicious right-wing government that Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped install in a June 2009 military coup .

The problem here isn't just liberal hypocrisy and double standards. The deeper issue is that, as the great American iconoclast Mark Twain knew, you cannot maintain democracy at home while conducting an authoritarian empire abroad. During the United States' blood-soaked invasion and occupation of the Philippines, Twain penned an imaginary history of the twentieth-century United States. "It was impossible," Twain wrote, "to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home."

"Just a decade after Twain wrote those prophetic words," the historian Alfred W. McCoy has observed , "colonial police methods came home to serve as a template for the creation of an American internal security apparatus in wartime." The nation's first Red Scare, which crushed left and labor movements during and after World War One, drew heavily on the lessons and practices of colonial suppression in the Philippines and Cuba. As McCoy shows in his latest book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power , the same basic process – internal U.S. repression informed and shaped by authoritarian and imperial practices abroad and justified by alleged external threats to the "homeland" – has recurred ever since. Today, the rise of an unprecedented global surveillance state overseen by the National Security Agency has cost the US the trust of many of its top global allies (under Bush43 and Obama44, not just under Trump45) while undermining civil liberties and democracy within as beyond the U.S.

"The fetters imposed on liberty at home," James Madison wrote in 1799 , "have ever been forged out of the weapons provided for defense against real, pretended, or imaginary dangers abroad." Those are wise words well worth revisiting amidst the current endless Russiagate madness, calculated among other things to tell us that the FBI, the CIA, and the rest of the nation's vast and ever more ubiquitous intelligence and surveillance state are on our side.

Help Street keep writing at https://www.paulstreet.org/subscribe/

[Jun 06, 2018] Are Democrats too invested in New Deal history?

Jun 06, 2018 | newrepublic.com

Writing in The Week on Monday, Ryan Cooper argued that the Democrats have betrayed their New Deal heritage for a mess of neoliberalism. "Up through about the early 1970s, it had been a fairly straightforward working-class party, but after a generation of reform, under Bill Clinton it stood for a muddle of capitalism worship leavened with means-tested welfare programs," Cooper contended. "At bottom, it was a left-inflected version of the same neoliberalism that comprises Republican Party doctrine."

Cooper's column provoked a lively Twitter canoe where some of the most prominent voices in left of center journalism weighed in:

Well, it was a working class party in 1936. Then the Southern Dems figured out that the black people were in the working class too and also wanted to join unions.

-- Richard Yeselson (@yeselson) June 4, 2018

your argument that there has been no neoliberal turn among Democrats is still absolutely ludicrous

-- ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) June 4, 2018

The problem of being on the side of the neoliberal sellouts is that they'll sell you out

-- Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) June 4, 2018

[May 25, 2018] The Simulation of Democracy, by C.J. Hopkins - The Unz Review

Notable quotes:
"... C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org . ..."
May 25, 2018 | www.unz.com

One of the most complicated and frustrating aspects of operating a global capitalist empire is maintaining the fiction that it doesn't exist. Virtually every action you take has to be carefully recontextualized or otherwise spun for public consumption. Every time you want to bomb or invade some country to further your interests, you have to mount a whole PR campaign. You can't even appoint a sadistic torture freak to run your own coup-fomenting agency, or shoot a few thousand unarmed people you've imprisoned in a de facto ghetto, without having to do a big song and dance about "defending democracy" and "democratic values."

Naked despotism is so much simpler, not to mention more emotionally gratifying. Ruling an empire as a godlike dictator means never having to say you're sorry. You can torture and kill anyone you want, and conquer and exploit whichever countries you want, without having to explain yourself to anyone. Also, you get to have your humongous likeness muraled onto the walls of buildings, make people swear allegiance to you, and all that other cool dictator stuff.

Global capitalists do not have this luxury. Generating the simulation of democracy that most Western consumers desperately need in order to be able to pretend to believe that they are not just smoothly-functioning cogs in the machinery of a murderous global empire managed by a class of obscenely wealthy and powerful international elites to whom their lives mean exactly nothing, although extremely expensive and time-consuming, is essential to maintaining their monopoly on power. Having conditioned most Westerners into believing they are "free," and not just glorified peasants with gadgets, the global capitalist ruling classes have no choice but to keep up this fiction. Without it, their empire would fall apart at the seams.

This is the devil's bargain modern capitalism made back in the 18th Century. In order to wrest power from the feudal aristocracies that had dominated the West throughout the Middle Ages, the bourgeoisie needed to sell the concept of "democracy" to the unwashed masses, who they needed both to staff their factories and, in some cases, to fight revolutionary wars, or depose and publicly guillotine monarchs. All that gobbledegook about taxes, tariffs, and the unwieldy structure of the feudal system was not the easiest sell to the peasantry. "Liberty" and "equality" went over much better. So "democracy" became their rallying cry, and, eventually, the official narrative of capitalism. The global capitalist ruling classes have been stuck with "democracy" ever since, or, more accurately, with the simulation of democracy.

The purpose of this simulation of democracy is not to generate fake democracy and pass it off as real democracy. Its purpose is to generate the concept of democracy , the only form in which democracy exists. It does this by casting a magic spell (which I'll do my best to demystify in a moment) that deceives us into perceiving the capitalist marketplace we Westerners inhabit, not as a market, but as a society. An essentially democratic society. Not a fully fledged democratic society, but a society progressing toward "democracy" which it is, and simultaneously isn't.

Obviously, life under global capitalism is more democratic than under feudal despotism, not to mention more comfortable and entertaining. Capitalism isn't "evil" or "bad." It's a machine. Its fundamental function is to eliminate any and all despotic values and replace them with a single value, i.e., exchange value, determined by the market. This despotic-value-decoding machine is what freed us from the tyranny of kings and priests, which it did by subjecting us to the tyranny of capitalists and the meaningless value of the so-called free market, wherein everything is just another commodity toothpaste, cell phones, healthcare, food, education, cosmetics, et cetera. Despite that, only an idiot would argue that capitalism is not preferable to despotism, or that it hasn't increased our measure of freedom. So, yes, we have evolved toward democracy, if we're comparing modern capitalism to medieval feudalism.

The problem is that capitalism is never going to lead to actual democracy (i.e., government by and for the people). This is never going to happen. In fact, capitalism has already reached the limits of the freedom it can safely offer us. This freedom grants us the ability to make an ever-expanding variety of choices none of which have much to do with democracy. For example, Western consumers are free to work for whatever corporation they want, and to buy whatever products they want, and to assume as much debt as the market will allow to purchase a home wherever they want, and to worship whichever gods they want (as long as they conform their behavior to the values of capitalism and not their religion), and men can transform themselves into women, and white people can deem themselves African Americans, or Native Americans, or whatever they want, and anyone can mock or insult the President or the Queen of England on Facebook and Twitter, none of which freedoms were even imaginable, much less possible, under feudal despotism.

But this is as far as our "freedom" goes. The global capitalist ruling classes are never going to allow us to govern ourselves, not in any meaningful way. In fact, since the mid-1970s, they've been systematically dismantling the framework of social democracy throughout the West, and otherwise relentlessly privatizing everything. They've been doing this more slowly in Europe, where social democracy is more entrenched, but, make no mistake, American "society" is the model for our dystopian future. The ruling classes and their debt-enslaved servants, protected from the desperate masses by squads of hyper-militarized police, medicated in their sanitized enclaves, watching Westworld on Amazon Prime as their shares in private prisons rise and the forces of democracy defend their freedom by slaughtering men, women, and children in some faraway country they can't find on a map, and would never visit on vacation anyway this is where the USA already is, and where the rest of the West is headed.

Which is why it is absolutely crucial to maintain the simulation of democracy, and the fiction that we're still living in a world where major geopolitical events are determined by sovereign nations and their leaders, rather than by global corporations and a class of supranational elites whose primary allegiance is to global capitalism, rather than to any specific nation, much less to the actual people who live there. The global capitalist ruling classes need the masses in the West to believe that they live in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and so on, and not in a global marketplace. Because, if it's all one global marketplace, with one big global labor force (which global corporations can exploit with impunity), and if it's one big global financial system (where the economies of supposed adversaries like China and the United States, or the European Union and Russia, are almost totally interdependent), then there is no United States of America, no United Kingdom, no France, no Germany or not as we're conditioned to perceive them. There is only the global capitalist empire, divided into "national" market territories, each performing slightly different administrative functions within the empire and those territories that have not yet surrendered their sovereignty and been absorbed into it. I think you know which those territories are.

But getting back to the simulation of democracy (the purpose of which is to prevent us from perceiving the world as I just suggested above), how that works is, we are all conditioned to believe we are living in these imperfect democracies, which are inexorably evolving toward "real" democracy but just haven't managed to get there quite yet. "Real" being the key word here, because there is no such thing as real democracy. There never has been, except among relatively small and homogenous groups of people. Like Baudrillard's Disneyland, "Western democracy" is presented to us as "imperfect" or "unfinished" (in other words, as a replica of "real democracy") in order to convince us that there exists such a thing as "real democracy," which we will achieve someday.

This is how simulations work. The replica does not exist to deceive us into believing it is the "real" thing. It exists to convince us that there is a "real" thing . In essence, it invokes the "real" thing by pretending to be a copy of it. Just as the images of God in church invoke the "god" of which they are copies (if only in the minds of the faithful), our imperfect replica of democracy invokes the concept of "real democracy" (which does not exist, and has never existed, beyond the level of tribes and bands).

This is, of course, ceremonial magic but then so is everything else, really. Take out a twenty dollar bill, or a twenty Euro note, or your driver's license. They are utterly valueless, except as symbols, but no less powerful for being just symbols. Or look at some supposedly solid object under an electron microscope. Try this with a tablespoon. As that bald kid in The Matrix put it, you will "realize that there is no spoon" or, rather, that there is only the spoon we've created by believing that there is a spoon.

Look, I don't mean to get all spooky. What that kid (among various others throughout history) was trying to get us to understand is that we create reality, collectively, with symbols or we allow reality to be created for us. Our collective reality is also our religion, in that we live our lives and raise our children according to its precepts and values, regardless of whatever other rituals we may or may not engage in on the weekend. Western consumers, no matter whether nominally Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, or of any other faith, live their lives and raise their children according to the values and rules of capitalism. Capitalism is our religion. Like every religion, it has a cosmology.

In the cosmology of global capitalism, "democracy" is capitalist heaven. We hear it preached about throughout our lives, we're surrounded by graven images of it, but we don't get to see it until we're dead. Attempting to storm its pearly gates, or to create the Kingdom of Democracy on Earth, is heresy, and is punishable by death. Denying its existence is blasphemy, for which the punishment is excommunication, and consignment to the City of Dis, where the lost souls shout back and forth at each other across the lower depths of the Internet, their infernal voices unheard by the faithful but, hey, don't take the word of an apostate like me. Go ahead, try it, and see what happens.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .


animalogic , May 23, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMT

Really good, amusing article.
Our replica of democracy is not to deceive us, but to convince us that there really IS an(unattainable) democracy. The promised land is always just beyond the horizon
SunBakedSuburb , May 23, 2018 at 5:26 pm GMT
"It does this by casting a magic spell that deceives us into perceiving the capitalist marketplace we Westerners inhabit, not as a market, but as a society."

Yes. Consumer capitalism requires illusion and MK-ULTRA programs to function.

"We create reality, collectively, with symbols "

And those symbols, often repurposed from earlier iterations like the swastika, stem from ancient sources. Maybe the structure of our reality was designed years ago.

"This is, of course, ceremonial magic but then so is everything else, really."

Yep. The narrow-focused rationalists who have degraded science into a religion will never accept that there is a sliver of magic and sorcery, originating from Kabbalistic practices, that operate as a higher level science, the mechanics of which non-initiates can't quantify.

Excellent, thought-provoking article.

Per/Norway , May 23, 2018 at 8:08 pm GMT
well written.
Speak Truth To Power , May 24, 2018 at 4:55 am GMT
I agree with much of what this columnist wrote. However this entire globalist criminal enterprise is rapidly crumbling. This is shown in the rise of patriotic/loyalist and Marxist parties in Europe and the Far Right and Far Left in the U.S. The globalist elite 0.001% empire of the banksters, crapitalists and fingerciers and their lackeys, knaves and varlets, along with their political prostitute puppets, is built on sand. These worthless cretins have loaded down every nation on earth, and especially in the West, with massive, crushing debt. Ditto for individuals and businesses. It is not sustainable. In addition they have off shored much of Western industry into Third World nations and flooded Western nations with Third World proles to hold down wages and depress living conditions. Reaction among the native Whites is building stronger by the day. At some point this volcano is going to blow. When it does all bets are off as to how much destruction will happen.

At this point the super rich and their banks and trans-national corporations can either gradually give way to democratic change and re-industrialize the West, discount all these debts, and stop this Third World invasion and begin swift repatriation of these interlopers and save much of their wealth and power or they will soon face armed revolution and civil/class/racial war in the streets. These worthless elites have fouled their own nests since they have left virtually no Western nation untouched by these triple evils of debt, immigration and de-industrialization. They either never learned the lessons of the French and Russian revolutions or believe it could not happen in the 21st Century to them. Either way it makes no difference. Globalism is crumbling and going the way of other evil isms: Fascism, Communism, Nazism, Imperialism, Colonialism, etc. Its days are numbered and the writing is on the wall. Meanwhile those nations not controlled by the Western White Collar Mafia, namely Russia and China, along with Iran and a few other Asian and Middle Eastern nations, are building up their economies and militaries and increasingly challenging the Western tyrants. We are definitely in for troubled times ahead. Always remember: Those who make peaceful change impossible, make violent change inevitable. Globalism has had its evil day and its black sun is setting. The only questions now are will it go peacefully and quietly or loudly and violently and what will replace it. I hope and pray something good and true.A new world order built that that is God and Christ and not man based with peace, prosperity, and justice for all in a natural order of things.

jilles dykstra , May 24, 2018 at 6:41 am GMT
Free movement of capital, in Europe since 1997, took away power from politicians.
The German Lafontaine made it clear.
He stated that when in Basel a German spoke to the bankers assembled there, blaming them, they clapped their hands.
One sees it in the terminology used, what in the good old days was called protectionism, a word suggesting something positive, now is trade war, definitely something bad.
It for me is the same as with privatisation of universal services, water, electricity, etc., neither privatising anything is good, also a state economy is not good, as the USSR made clear.
In the good old days in W European countries we had mixed exonomies, commercial enterprises for cars and jeans, state enterprise for electricity and public transport.
In my opinion a mixed world economy also is the best option, this means regulation of capital movement, to mention one thing.
gsjackson , May 24, 2018 at 6:43 am GMT
A little snapshot to illustrate the point. Standing in the passport control line at Newark Airport -- interminably, because of about 24 stations for checking people back in to the motherland, maybe five were manned. This was in mid-afternoon on a weekday, a time when many international flights were arriving. The wait was about an hour and a half.

While waiting, you get a superb view through the window of the Manhattan skyline, and might have occasion to think about all the swells in the financial sector whose ever-growing prosperity has sucked money not only out of the real economy of goods and services, but out of government as well, a point Michael Hudson often makes. E.g., cap those property taxes in California, but drive housing prices in California and interest rates sky high to transfer wealth out of the hands of home owners and governments, and into finance capital.

You can work yourself up into a pretty good lather thinking about this while you wait your turn at an under-funded passport control station.

renfro , May 24, 2018 at 7:37 am GMT
I would recommend this book to unz readers. I read it years ago and its basic premise becomes more observably true every year .and pertains to the US as well, something Chu didn't mention.

World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability

By Amy Chua
Category: World Politics | Economics | Management

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/27643/world-on-fire-by-amy-chua/9780385721868/

"Chua shows how in non-Western countries around the globe, free markets have concentrated starkly disproportionate wealth in the hands of a resented ethnic minority. These "market-dominant minorities" – Chinese in Southeast Asia, Croatians in the former Yugoslavia, whites in Latin America and South Africa, Indians in East Africa, Lebanese in West Africa, Jews in post-communist Russia – become objects of violent hatred.
At the same time, democracy empowers the impoverished majority, unleashing ethnic demagoguery, confiscation, and sometimes genocidal revenge."

So maybe revolutions will be the new way of managing the world,

llloyd , Website May 24, 2018 at 9:51 am GMT
@Speak Truth To Power

An ex furniture salesman, now the Prime Minister of Israel would not agree. He thinks history has ended. Jerusalem is soon to be or already is the capital of the globalist world. Hate speech laws replace the sanctity of the Monarchs and Churches with the sanctity of Israel and identity politics. His lackeys have even taken away the freedom to shop via the criminalisation of BDS. Talpiot program has turned everything into a video game. He is either a genius or a complete fool. But I hope you are right and he is wrong. Another point. Democracy real and simulated only became fashionable a hundred years ago.

Daniil Adamov , May 24, 2018 at 11:05 am GMT
That's the first I've heard of "progressing towards democracy" as a major feature of the modern Western worldview (a la USSR progressing towards communism, I suppose). No, I've encountered such ideas before among pundits, but I don't think most people in America, say, believe that they currently don't live in a democracy but will later live in a "true" democracy. That seems like a rather exotic notion outside of very narrow intellectual circles.

Also, "as long as they conform their behavior to the values of capitalism and not their religion". But people are free to conform their behaviour to the values of their religion to a large extent. They're not free to violate the laws of what you'd call capitalist society. But that is not the same as being forced to conform to its values.

Jake , May 24, 2018 at 11:14 am GMT
Another CJ Hopkins must-read.

So how long before he is imprisoned alongside Julian Assange? Truth-telling is not allowed in Globalist Democracy.

Miro23 , May 24, 2018 at 11:26 am GMT

Which is why it is absolutely crucial to maintain the simulation of democracy, and the fiction that we're still living in a world where major geopolitical events are determined by sovereign nations and their leaders, rather than by global corporations and a class of supranational elites whose primary allegiance is to global capitalism, rather than to any specific nation, much less to the actual people who live there.

But it can go wrong. The simulation was supposed to make Hillary Clinton President – but, in the event, it veered over to real Democracy and produced Trump.

Equally the Brexit vote was planned to fail – but that also turned in a real Democratic result with a majority for Brexit.

Simulated Democracy is a difficult process and it's probably due for more failures given the difficulty of controlling the modern flow of information.

Borsalino , May 24, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
Damn, Hopkins, you nailed it!
ScientistInHiding , May 24, 2018 at 11:49 am GMT
I suppose we are all going to spend the rest of our lives listening to bitter millenials rant about the evils of capitalism. After all, they could move out of their parent's basement if the government would force the banks to forgive all their student loans.

It should be obvious by now that all forms of government eventually morph into what we see all around us today. But let's not confuse free market capitalism (which has never existed) with the aristocratic fascisms that we call "Communism" or "Democracy."

The only way to really solve the problem of government is make government irrelevant.

Ronald Thomas West , Website May 24, 2018 at 12:32 pm GMT
Well, CJ, If I were your political science professor, I'd fail your sorry ass for 'communist jargon' and 'Marxist jingoism' maybe that works fine if you're into looking for strokes when singing to the choir but it won't build alliances that accomplish anything. But maybe that's not your point, and the substance of your butt-hurt whining is about "I'm CJ Hopkins!" kinda like "I'm Rick James!"

Look dude, if you want to get down and dirty with your enemies, hit below the belt, and do it like this:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2015/11/29/whereas-the-enemy-of-your-friend-is-your-favorite-fk/

If you want to entertain, you do it like this:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2015/04/01/merge/

And like this:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2014/10/09/liberals/

^

DESERT FOX , May 24, 2018 at 12:44 pm GMT
The worlds elites have us mind controlled and financially controlled via the Zionist Fed that creates money out of thin air and then loans this money to our gov and we goyim and charge interest on this ether created money and there in lies the control for by their control over the money they control every thing.

In addition the Zionists fastened the IRS on we goyims and this IRS is a off shoot of the FED and so our money is sent to the Zionist bankers who own the FED to make sure we pay for the wars that the Zionists have arranged for we Americans and so this is a trap that has been laid by the central bankers which insures their dominance for ever and ever.

This system of control has been in existence since 1913 when the zionist bankers fastened the FED and the IRS on to the American people and the author of this article is exactly right, we are in a financial prison a prison without bars but a prison none the less.

In regards to voting as Stalin said ie it is not who votes that counts but who counts the votes.

Seamus Padraig , May 24, 2018 at 1:52 pm GMT

there is no such thing as real democracy. There never has been, except among relatively small and homogenous groups of people.

Yeah, like Sweden in the 50s.

ancient archer , May 24, 2018 at 2:05 pm GMT
Best article I have read in a long long time.
Keep it up
manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 2:16 pm GMT
@Speak Truth To Power

These worthless cretins have loaded down every nation on earth, and especially in the West, with massive, crushing debt. Ditto for individuals and businesses. It is not sustainable.

Any given iteration of the capitalism model is unsustainable by its very nature, of course. Any capitalist instantiation is self-exhausting, as capitalism eventually transfers all wealth (or some very large fraction) to the wealthy. ALL. At that point, that instance collapses at some rate determined by its state of monetization.

But not all wealth evaporates. After a financial collapse, a new zero-point establishes at or near "true value". The capitalism model reasserts, and continues. It may be inherent to the nature of Man.

manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 2:18 pm GMT
@Ronald Thomas West

Gee, Ron, usually you write something with some trace of substance.

TG , May 24, 2018 at 2:19 pm GMT
Well said!

'Democracy' is a scam that privatizes power, while socializing responsibility.

Reminds me of Oswald Spengler, though he is better read about than read, IMHO. From wikipedia: "Spengler asserts that democracy is simply the political weapon of money, and the media are the means through which money operates a democratic political system."

But one minor quibble: yes, for now, in the West, fake democracy is certainly better than old-style feudalism. But it doesn't have to be, and it doesn't have to stay that way. In many nominally capitalist and 'democratic' countries – like India, Bangladesh, etc. – half the population is chronically malnourished, the physical standard of living well below that of late medieval europe (!). Now that communism has been vanquished, capitalism has no need of a bargain of power for a decent standard of living, and the rich are moving towards dragging the entire world towards the Indian model of cheap-labor serfdom. Yes it can happen here.

redmudhooch , May 24, 2018 at 2:22 pm GMT
Citizens United isn't helping, brought to you by the corrupt Supreme Court. They're starting to push putting Ted Cruz in SCOTUS, that would be a huge mistake.

"Democracy" is a sham, the candidates are carefully pre-selected and promoted by the corrupt media, if that fails, the unelected delegates and super delegates can always void your vote.

This is why we only get Mitt Romneys, Clintons, Bushes, the same ol dirtbags out of millions of people.
Americans clearly want the homicidal wars to end, are the wars/occupations ending?
More Americans clearly are turning away from supporting Israel, does it matter?
Most Americans want mass immigration and illegal immigration stopped, is it stopping?

There is a petition to End the Federal Reserve scam, do any of the petitions go anywhere? Go sign it, lets find out .

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/petition-president-congress-remove-privately-owned-federal-reserve-our-central-bank

manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 2:24 pm GMT
@Jake

So how long before he is imprisoned alongside Julian Assange? Truth-telling is not allowed in Globalist Democracy.

Long time. He circumspects skillfully. Besides, he uses a level of abstraction that few Inet denizens will understand.

Dagon Shield , May 24, 2018 at 2:37 pm GMT
The Mexican maid is the answer to our collective misery. What do I mean? Well! The white boys have given up on rebelling against the Empire (1% + 10% Jews and Whites with a small sprinkling of non-white goys) and da coloreds (Indians and Chinese) are too wrapped up in trying to prove their worth to the lost crackas while the niggas (Blacks et al) are simply too stupid to understand, let alone do anything about improving their lot. Alas, fear not! The unwelcome army of latinas from Central America, employed as caretakers will prove their worth by simply poisoning the whole perfidious lot, slowly. So, welcome to America, Guadalupe!
Justwondering , May 24, 2018 at 3:09 pm GMT
The suffocating hold that propaganda has on an uncritical public must rank as an historic coup for the ages. It is the modern version of the allegory of the cave. Simpletons are willing to die for their puppeteers in wars that serve no other purpose than to enrich their owners. But die for their masters they will. Yet there is a glaring contradiction in foreign wars and America's favorite pastime, regime change. The chances of "real" democracy, for instance, taking root in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, Egypt are virtually non-existent. Worse still, they are simply not allowed. And any other countries that steer an independent course from American hegemony will suffer consequences -- regime change, economic sanctions or direct military action. Yet it is the public sold on its exceptionalism, living in a "real" democracy (confused with rampant consumerism and hedonism) that has so utterly failed to see -- and act, on these contradictions. Although the notion of "inching" toward "real" democracy may serve to pacify the public, with the ever growing militarization of the deep police state, true democracy will simply not be allowed to flourish. It is the only credible threat to rampant capitalism. What is significant is that the lumpen proletariat firmly believe that they live in a democracy. So change is rendered redundant in such a scenario.
m___ , May 24, 2018 at 3:20 pm GMT
Best expression of capitalism, religion, democracy as a Weltanschauung.

To fuse the totalitarian, univeral concept that paires so well to 98% of the world population we suggest consumerism.

Do not take for granted that our de facto global elites, and the mercenary middle-classes have a clear understandig where they are heading. There is cognitive dissonance in idea, method and projection of their in-group opportunism. Ethics being nothing more then superior opportunism. Smart, but ailing and failing a religion. In fact the theory proves the cognitive capacity of the authors.

Wally , May 24, 2018 at 3:51 pm GMT
@Per/Norway

said:
"well written"

Seriously?

The usual Marxist strawmen in play here by Hopkins.

What Hopkins describes is not "capitalism", yet he tries to excoriate capitalism.

Wally , May 24, 2018 at 4:02 pm GMT
@llloyd

said:
"Hate speech laws "

The ongoing debunking of the sacred yet impossible '6M Jews' is what is really driving so called "hate speech laws". What your told is merely the pretext.

Below is where free speech on the impossible 'holocaust' storyline is illegal, violators go to prison for Thought Crimes.
An obvious admission that the storyline doesn't stand up to scientific, logical, & rational scrutiny.
And coming to your neighborhood.

discussion: https://forum.codoh.com/download/file.php?id=1858

Why is this happening you ask:

The 'holocaust' storyline is one of the most easily debunked narratives ever contrived. That is why those who question it are arrested and persecuted. That is why violent, racist, & privileged Jewish supremacists demand censorship. What sort of truth is it that denies free speech and the freedom to seek the truth? Truth needs no protection from scrutiny.

Only liars demand censorship.

http://www.codoh.com

manorchurch , May 24, 2018 at 4:04 pm GMT
@Wally

What Hopkins describes is not "capitalism", yet he tries to excoriate capitalism.

True, but that's what the elites call it.

Stop complaining about terminology. You are so whiny.

densa , May 24, 2018 at 4:11 pm GMT
This is an elegant fleshing out of fashionable despair. Yes, self-rule is a myth. What does Hopkins recommend to replace it with? Is the aspiration of a democratic republic the problem, or is it money, media, and the subversion of power?

As flawed as our belief in democracy is, I haven't heard the better alternative. Just as some say we must go to Mars because we are destroying earth, I think we should take care of this earth as repairing and caring for it might be within our means. Instead of throwing democracy out, we should try and make it work.

For example, been reading about the rise of antibiotic resistant germs and industrial farming. The problem was long known, but there was no political will to do anything about it because the industry could lobby and also control regulators. In theory, the government worked for the greater good of all the people, but in practice it auctions us all to special interest.

Capitalists defend the current system by saying it's not really capitalism. Well, whatever it is, it came about because democracy was not actual but rather an ongoing auction of national interest to special interest.

It's a good article and makes a good case, but you will have to wait just a bit longer until us believers die off as you will not pry this democracy, our heritage and our best chance, from my cold hands.

bjondo , May 24, 2018 at 5:24 pm GMT
@gsjackson

similar experience coming through Atlanta.
Want to create jobs? Coulda created 50 there. At least. And prevented missed flight connections. Obama time.

Wally , May 24, 2018 at 6:02 pm GMT
@manorchurch

Oh yeah, you're another whining Zionist who has been demolished by my 'holocaust' debunking information. Hurts don't it?

Your projection is noted. LOL

"If you can't say what you mean, then you can't mean what you say".

http://www.codoh.com

AaronB , May 24, 2018 at 6:11 pm GMT
I shall proudly call myself an idiot then, as I believe capitalism and democracy are both bad.

The only system capable of inspiring passion and loyalty is some form of feudalism – personal loyalty to a lord is a beautiful thing, noblesse oblige a beautiful thing, sacred kingship is a beautiful thing, the tradition of beautiful craftsmanship that arises when economic considerations are not uppermost is a beautiful thing, the standards of excellence that are natural to a system that recognizes hierarchy and inequality is a beautiful thing.

I also think personal freedom, and tolerance for eccentricity is far greater when the social system is firmly grounded. In a democracy where nothing is secure conf