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Democratic Party Neoliberals Monday morning quarterbacking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morning After To-Do List:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Salon.com

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

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

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

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

1.     Superdelegates

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

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

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

2.     The Debate Schedule

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

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

3.     Campaign finance

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

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

4.     Refusal to Address Claims of Election Fraud

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

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

5.     The Democratic Party Platform

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

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

6.     Documented Attempts to Discredit / Dismiss Sanders

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

7.     DNC Collusion with Media

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

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

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

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

8.     False Claims of Neutrality

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

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

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


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[Apr 22, 2019] Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday called for lawmakers to start impeachment proceedings against President Trump, saying he obstructed Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election

That's a third Warren blunder after reparations blunder and Indian heritage blunder. She might be out of the race soon...
Does not she understand that impeachment of Trump means President Pence? What is idiotic statement. She is definitely no diplomat and as such does not belong to WH.
Apr 22, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 20, 2019 at 09:23 AM

Elizabeth Warren calls for impeachment
proceedings against President Trump
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/04/19/elizabeth-warren-calls-for-impeachment-proceedings-against-president-trump/yWVMo0TSkBeuYDSSeBuP5L/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Danny McDonald - April 19, 2019

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Friday called for lawmakers to start impeachment proceedings against President Trump, saying he obstructed Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Warren became the first of the Democratic presidential candidates to unambiguously call for impeachment proceedings. Most senior Democrats in Congress have stopped far short of it following the delivery of Mueller's 448-page report.

"The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty,'' the Massachusetts Democrat said on Twitter. "That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States."

Also Friday, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena for an unredacted version of Mueller's report as Congress escalates its investigation. Trump and other Republicans dismissed the report's findings.

The redacted version of Mueller's report details multiple efforts Trump made to curtail a Russia probe he feared would cripple his administration. While Mueller declined to recommend that Trump be prosecuted for obstruction of justice, he did not exonerate the president, all but leaving the question to Congress.

The report stated, "If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she doesn't support impeachment without bipartisan backing because it would be too divisive for the nation She signaled she wanted the House to continue to fulfill its constitutional oversight role.

''We believe that the first article -- Article 1, the legislative branch -- has the responsibility of oversight of our democracy, and we will exercise that,'' she said in Belfast on Friday.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said, ''It now falls to Congress to determine the full scope of that alleged misconduct and to decide what steps we must take going forward.'' He expects the Justice Department to comply by May 1.

On Twitter Friday, Warren said the report "lays out facts showing that a hostile foreign government attacked our 2016 election to help Donald Trump and Donald Trump welcomed that help. Once elected, Donald Trump obstructed the investigation into that attack."

She said Mueller "put the next step in the hands of Congress," adding in another tweet that "[t]o ignore a President's repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country, and it would suggest that both the current and future Presidents would be free to abuse their power in similar ways."

According to a Warren aide, the senator started to read the Mueller report Thursday during a plane ride back to Boston following campaign stops in Colorado and Utah.

Warren, according to the aide, felt it was her duty to say what she thought after reading the report but does not plan to emphasize impeachment on the campaign trail.

Mary Anne Marsh, a Boston-based Democratic strategist who is not connected to any presidential campaign, said Warren has been the first Democratic candidate to stake out numerous policy stances during the campaign. Her impeachment statement will force everyone else running for president to take a position, Marsh said.

"More often than not the field is reacting to her positions," she said.

Warren's call for impeachment proceedings, Marsh said, "shows she's willing to lead."

"She's willing to make the hard calls," Marsh said.

After the Mueller report's release, Trump pronounced it ''a good day'' and tweeted ''Game Over.'' Top Republicans in Congress saw vindication in the report as well. On Friday, Trump was even more blunt, referring to some statements about him in the report as "total bullshit."

House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said it was time to move on and said Democrats were attempting to ''vilify a political opponent.'' The California lawmaker said the report failed to deliver the ''imaginary evidence'' incriminating Trump that Democrats had sought. ...

Now, liberals are pressing the House to begin impeachment hearings, and the issue is cropping up on the presidential campaign trail.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a Democrat who is running for president, was asked Friday if Trump should be impeached as he made an appearance at a Stop & Shop union picket line in Malden .

"I think that Congress needs to make that decision," he said. "I think he may well deserve it, but my focus, since I'm not part of Congress, but I am part of 2020, is to give him a decisive defeat at the ballot box, if he is the Republican nominee in 2020."

On Friday, Julián Castro, a former housing secretary running for the Democratic nomination, said he thought "it would be perfectly reasonable'' for Congress to open impeachment proceedings.

Senator Kamala Harris, a California Democrat who is running for president, told MSNBC on Thursday that she also thinks Mueller should testify. When asked about impeachment proceedings, she told that outlet, "I think that there's definitely a conversation to be had on that subject, but first I want to hear from Bob Mueller."

Cory Booker, the New Jersey senator running for president, was asked about impeachment during a campaign trip to Nevada. Specifically in regard to impeachment, he said, ''There's a lot more investigation that should go on before Congress comes to any conclusions like that.''

In the House, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is now signed on to an impeachment resolution from fellow Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

But senior leaders remain cool to the idea.

Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the number two in the House Democratic leadership, told CNN on Thursday, "Based on what we have seen to date, going forward on impeachment is not worthwhile at this point." However, Hoyer quickly revised his comments, saying "all options are on the table."

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , April 20, 2019 at 11:11 AM
Let the impeachment circus begin.

We need to get to the bottom of a special counsel calling the president a "criminal" having gotten no indictments!

Let each topic be examined and witnesses deposed in the house live on C-SPAN! With questions from both sides.

There will be only take one vote in the senate to fail, but we need to get to the bottom of Mueller's untoward remarks in the report.

From the little I read it seems the report, in tone at least, despises fact and is politically motivated.

[Apr 21, 2019] Has Elizabeth Warren pushed the anti Russian crap? That would bother me as we have been the aggressor with Russia and that is really dangerous.

Apr 21, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

FincaInTheMountains April 20, 2019 at 10:17 am #

Elizabeth Warren is beginning the calls impeachment. Time to clean the Augean stables

Elizabeth Warren managed to fail a DNA test, for crying out loud. How one could possibly do that?

James Hansen April 20, 2019 at 10:47 am #

She did not fail a DNA test, she was told that she was part American Indian by her family which turned out to be not true. Big fucking deal!

She created the Consumer Protection Agency which is a great accomplishment for the American people.

Can you name one thing the Republicans have done for the middle class that comes close to what she did?

elysianfield April 20, 2019 at 11:17 am #

"Can you name one thing the Republicans have done for the middle class that comes close to what she did?"

James,
Uhhhh, War on Drugs comes to mind. Might have kept the barbarians from the gates for a few decades and provided for a lot of living wage jobs.

malthuss April 20, 2019 at 11:41 am #

Big fucking deal! yes it is a big deal, dummy.

a real big deal.

The horrors of AA (Affirmative Action) compounded by cheating.

James Hansen April 20, 2019 at 1:51 pm #

I think the ancestry scandal is about as important as wearing white pants after Labor day.

You are far too partisan, you ignore the creation of the CPA and all the benefits it give the public when Republicans at this very moment are looking to loosen the Pay Day Loan lending rules.

I guess a 1400% interest rate is just not enough, do you support the loan sharks and rip off banks? Yes or No.

What does Alcoholics Anonymous have to do with Elizabeth Warren?

hmuller April 21, 2019 at 11:39 am #

By AA he meant Affirmative Action, not Alcoholics Anonymous. Although people with lots of Native American DNA often have drinking problems. prudence would dictate "don't sell whiskey and guns to Elizabeth Warren."

benr April 20, 2019 at 12:24 pm #

Look at the spin machine in action. She used the benefits of lying about her American Indian ancestry to further her career and derive perks. We all know it. AA is a joke and utter reverse racism in action.

Janos Skorenzy April 20, 2019 at 12:39 pm #

No, she kept pushing it even to the point of claiming that her genetic result of 1/1024 Indian proved her claim. The lack of judgement -- both technical and political -- is simply astounding. Then she apologized to the Cherokee for pretending to be one of them since she doesn't meet the tribal criterion. To my knowledge she has never back off her claim beyond that -- and never apologized to Whites for trying to get out of OUR Tribe, the one she was born into.

James Hansen April 20, 2019 at 2:08 pm #

I always try to look at the big picture, the whole episode was foolish but she harmed no one and gained nothing.

Has she pushed the anti Russian crap? That would bother me as we have been the aggressor with Russia and that is really dangerous.

As we speak nuclear armed bombers are flying daily close the the Russian borders and Russia has to scramble jets to ward them off. One pissed off Russian fighter pilot and there goes the world!

Janos Skorenzy April 20, 2019 at 2:16 pm #

She is pushing for criminalizing White Nationalism -- as if We aren't persecuted enough already. Foolishness to the nth degree. Whites have been amazing passive as their Nation has been stolen from them. And those who make peaceful change impossible ..

Dude, she's a monster. Another Hillary Clinton.

James Hansen April 20, 2019 at 5:40 pm #

Now you are exaggerating, nobody is as disgusting as Hillary.

hmuller April 21, 2019 at 11:42 am #

James Hansen, at last you said something I can fully agree with:

"nobody is as disgusting as Hillary."

[Apr 21, 2019] NYT The Tables Have Turned -- Time To Investigate The FBI, Steele And The Rest Of The Witch Hunters

The country was divided before Mueller Report. Now it is even more divided.
Notable quotes:
"... We wouldn't know that a Clinton-linked operative, Joseph Mifsud, seeded Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos with the rumor that Russia had 'Dirt' on Hillary Clinton - which would later be coaxed out of Papadopoulos by a Clinton-linked Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, and that this apparent 'setup' would be the genesis of the FBI's " operation crossfire hurricane " operation against the Trump campaign. ..."
"... We wouldn't know about the role of Fusion GPS - the opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign to commission the Steele dossier. Fusion is also linked to the infamous Trump Tower meeting , and hired Nellie Ohr - the CIA-linked wife of the DOJ's then-#4 employee, Bruce Ohr. Nellie fed her husband Bruce intelligence she had gathered against Trump while working for Fusion , according to transcripts of her closed-door Congressional testimony. ..."
"... Now the dossier -- financed by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee , and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele -- is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries . - NYT ..."
"... The report was debunked after internet sleuths traced the IP address to a marketing server located outside Philadelphia, leading Alfa Bank executives to file a lawsuit against Fusion GPS in October 2017, claiming their reputations were harmed by the Steele Dossier. ..."
"... And who placed the Trump-Alfa theory with various media outlets? None other than former FBI counterintelligence officer and Dianne Feinstein aide Dan Jones - who is currently working with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue their Trump-Russia investigation funded in part by George Soros . ..."
"... Of course, when one stops painting with broad brush strokes, it's clear that the dossier was fabricated bullshit. ..."
"... after a nearly two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and roughly 40 FBI agents and other specialists, no evidence was found to support the dossier's wild claims of "DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners, or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trading ," as the Times puts it. ..."
"... As there was spying, there must necessarily also have been channels to get the information thus gathered back to its original buyer - the Clinton campaign. Who passed the information back to Clinton, and what got passed? ..."
"... the NYTt prints all the news a scumbag would. remember Judith Miller, the Zionazi reporter the NYT ..."
"... There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve. ..."
"... Seth Rich had the means and the motive. So did Imran Awan, but it would make no sense for Awan to turn anything over to wikileaks . . .he would have kept them as insurance. ..."
"... Until the real criminals are processed and the media can be restored you don't have a United States. This corruption is beyond comprehension. You had the (((media)) providing kickbacks to the FBI for leaked information. These bribes are how CNN was on site during Roger Stones invasion. ..."
"... So now the narrative is, "We were wrong about Russian collusion, and that's Russia's fault"?! ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As we now shift from the "witch hunt" against Trump to 'investigating the investigators' who spied on him - remember this; Donald Trump was supposed to lose the 2016 election by almost all accounts. And had Hillary won, as expected, none of this would have seen the light of day .

We wouldn't know that a hyper-partisan FBI had spied on the Trump campaign , as Attorney General William Barr put it during his April 10 Congressional testimony .

We wouldn't know that a Clinton-linked operative, Joseph Mifsud, seeded Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos with the rumor that Russia had 'Dirt' on Hillary Clinton - which would later be coaxed out of Papadopoulos by a Clinton-linked Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, and that this apparent 'setup' would be the genesis of the FBI's " operation crossfire hurricane " operation against the Trump campaign.

We wouldn't know about the role of Fusion GPS - the opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign to commission the Steele dossier. Fusion is also linked to the infamous Trump Tower meeting , and hired Nellie Ohr - the CIA-linked wife of the DOJ's then-#4 employee, Bruce Ohr. Nellie fed her husband Bruce intelligence she had gathered against Trump while working for Fusion , according to transcripts of her closed-door Congressional testimony.

And if not for reporting by the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross and others, we wouldn't know that the FBI sent a longtime spook, Stefan Halper, to infiltrate and spy on the Trump campaign - after the Obama DOJ paid him over $400,000 right before the 2016 US election (out of more than $1 million he received while Obama was president).

According to the New York Times , the tables are turning, starting with the Steele Dossier.

[T]he release on Thursday of the report by the special counsel , Robert S. Mueller III, underscored what had grown clearer for months -- that while many Trump aides had welcomed contacts with the Russians, some of the most sensational claims in the dossier appeared to be false, and others were impossible to prove . Mr. Mueller's report contained over a dozen passing references to the document's claims but no overall assessment of why so much did not check out.

Now the dossier -- financed by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee , and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele -- is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries . - NYT

While Congressional Republicans have vowed to investigate, the DOJ's Inspector General is considering whether the FBI improperly relied on the dossier when they used it to apply for a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The IG also wants to know about Steele's sources and whether the FBI disclosed any doubts as to the veracity of the dossier .

Attorney General Barr, meanwhile, said he will review the FBI's conduct in the Russia investigation after saying the agency spied on the Trump campaign .

Doubts over the dossier

The FBI's scramble to vet the dossier's claims are well known. According to an April, 2017 NYT report , the FBI agreed to pay Steele $50,000 for "solid corroboration" of his claims . Steele was apparently unable to produce satisfactory evidence - and was ultimately not paid for his efforts:

Mr. Steele met his F.B.I. contact in Rome in early October, bringing a stack of new intelligence reports. One, dated Sept. 14, said that Mr. Putin was facing "fallout" over his apparent involvement in the D.N.C. hack and was receiving "conflicting advice" on what to do.

The agent said that if Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts, according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid . - NYT

Still, the FBI used the dossier to obtain the FISA warrant on Page - while the document itself was heavily shopped around to various media outlets . The late Sen. John McCain provided a copy to Former FBI Director James Comey, who already had a version, and briefed President Trump on the salacious document. Comey's briefing to Trump was then used by CNN and BuzzFeed to justify reporting on and publishing the dossier following the election.

Let's not forget that in October, 2016, both Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta promoted the conspiracy theory that a secret Russian server was communicating with Trump Tower.

The report was debunked after internet sleuths traced the IP address to a marketing server located outside Philadelphia, leading Alfa Bank executives to file a lawsuit against Fusion GPS in October 2017, claiming their reputations were harmed by the Steele Dossier.

And who placed the Trump-Alfa theory with various media outlets? None other than former FBI counterintelligence officer and Dianne Feinstein aide Dan Jones - who is currently working with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue their Trump-Russia investigation funded in part by George Soros .

Dan Jones, George Soros, Glenn Simpson

Russian tricks? The Times notes that Steele "has not ruled out" that he may have been fed Russian disinformation while assembling his dossier.

That would mean that in addition to carrying out an effective attack on the Clinton campaign, Russian spymasters hedged their bets and placed a few land mines under Mr. Trump's presidency as well.

Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. "Russia has huge experience in spreading false information," he said. - NYT

In short, Steele is being given an 'out' with this admission.

A lawyer for Fusion GPS, Joshua Levy, says that the Mueller report substantiated the "core reporting" in the Steele memos - namely that "Trump campaign figures were secretly meeting Kremlin figures," and that Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, had directed "a covert operation to elect Donald J. Trump."

Of course, when one stops painting with broad brush strokes, it's clear that the dossier was fabricated bullshit.

The dossier tantalized Mr. Trump's opponents with a worst-case account of the president's conduct. And for those trying to make sense of the Trump-Russia saga, the dossier infused the quest for understanding with urgency.

In blunt prose, it suggested that a foreign power had fully compromised the man who would become the next president of the United States.

The Russians, it asserted, had tried winning over Mr. Trump with real estate deals in Moscow -- which he had not taken up -- and set him up with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013, filming the proceedings for future exploitation. A handful of aides were described as conspiring with the Russians at every turn.

Mr. Trump, it said, had moles inside the D.N.C. The memos claimed that he and the Kremlin had been exchanging intelligence for eight years and were using Romanian hackers against the Democrats , and that Russian pensioners in the United States were running a covert communications network . - NYT

And after a nearly two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and roughly 40 FBI agents and other specialists, no evidence was found to support the dossier's wild claims of "DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners, or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trading ," as the Times puts it.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, and key Democrats backing away from talks of impeachment, let's see if lady justice will follow the rest of us down the rabbit hole.


Yippie21 , 2 minutes ago link

This is why the whole FISA court is a joke. What is their remedy if their power is abused? What happens. Well,... the FISA courts was lied to and found out about it in the early 2000's. Mueller was FBI chief. So they got a strongly worded dressing-down, a mark in their permanent record from high school, and NO ONE was fired... no one was sanctioned, no agent was transferred to Alaska.

Fast forward 10 or 12 years and the FBI is doing this **** again. Lying to the court... you know the court where there are no Democrat judges or Republican judges.. they are all super awesome.... and what is the remedy when the FISA court is told they've been lied to by the FBI and used in a intel operation with MI6, inserting assets, into a freaking domestic Presidential campaign!!! and then they WON. Good god.

And what do we hear from our court? Nadda. Do we hear of some Federal Judges hauling FBI and DOJ folks in front of them and throwing them in jail? Nope. It appears from here... that our Federal Justices are corrupt and have no problem letting illegal police-state actions go on with ZERO accountability or recourse. They could care less evidently. It's all secret you know... trust us they say.. Why aren't these judges publicly making loud noises about how the judiciary is complicit , with the press, in wholesale spying and leaking for political reasons AND a coup attempt when the wrong guy won.???

Where is awesome Justice Roberts? Why isn't he throwing down some truth on just how compromised the rule of law in his courts clearly are in the last 10 years? The FISA court is his baby. It does no good for them to assure us they are concerned too, and they've taken action and sent strongly worded letters. Pisses me off. ? Right? heck of rant...

San Pedro , 2 minutes ago link

When did Russians interfere in our elections?? 2016. Who was president when Russians interfered with elections?? oobama. Who was head of the CIA?? Brennan. Who was National Intelligence director?? Clapper. Who was head of the FBI when the Russians interfered in our elections?? Comey. The pattern is obvious. When Trump was a private citizen the oobama and all his cabinet appointees and Intel Managers had their hands on all the levers and instruments of Government..and did nothing . Your oobama is guilty of treason and failing his Oath Of Office...everybody knows this.

Scipio Africanuz , 4 minutes ago link

This article is still a roundabout gambit to blame Russia.

Fair enough, where's Bill Browder? In England. Browder's allegations were utilized to try and damage Russia, even though Russia (not the USSR), is about the most reliable friend America has.

Russia helped Lincoln, and were it not for that crucial help, there'd be no America to sanction Russia today. The Tsar paid for that help with his dynasty, when Nicholas II was murdered, and dethroned.

Americans are truly ungrateful brutes..

Now, sanctions, opprobrium, and hatred are heaped on Russia, most cogently by chauvinistic racists, who look down their noses at Rus (Russ) and yet, cannot sacrifice 25 millions of their own people, for the sake of others.

Russians are considered subhuman, and yet, the divine spark of humanity resides solely in their breasts. The zionists claim a false figure of 6 million for a faux holocaust, and yet, nobody pays attention to the true holocaust of 25 millions, or the many millions before that disastrous instigated war.

That the Russians are childlike, believing others to be like them, loyal, self sacrificing, and generous, has now brought the world to the brink of armageddon, and still, they bear the burden of proof, though their accusers, who ought provide the evidence, are bereft of any..

Thomas Jefferson it was, who observing whatever he observed, exclaimed in cogent agitation, that "I fear for my countrymen, when I remember that God is Just, and His Justice does not repose forever".

Investigate Jared and Ivanka Kushner, along with Charles Kushner, and much ought be clear, no cheers...

King of Ruperts Land , 5 minutes ago link

I don't buy that "Few bad apples at the top", "Good rank and file" Argument. I have never seen one. We should assume everyone from the top to the bottom of FBI, DOJ, and State, just to get started, probably every other three better agency is bad. At least incompotent, at worst treasonous.

Sanity Bear , 15 minutes ago link

As there was spying, there must necessarily also have been channels to get the information thus gathered back to its original buyer - the Clinton campaign. Who passed the information back to Clinton, and what got passed?

besnook , 20 minutes ago link

the NYTt prints all the news a scumbag would. remember Judith Miller, the Zionazi reporter the NYT used to push the Iraq war with all sorts of ********? after the war was determined to be started under a false premise and became common knowledge there were no wmds in iraq the nyt came forward and reported the war was ******** as if they were reporting breaking news.

they have done the same thing here. they pushed the russiagate story with both barrels even though the informed populace knew it was ******** before trump was sworn in as potus. now that the all the holes in the story are readily apparent the nyt comes forward with breaking revelation that something is wrong with the story.

ClickNLook , 23 minutes ago link

Now we will have another 2 years of investigation and another expensive and meaningless report. WWE Soup Opera continues. Plot sickens.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link

There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link

There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve.

His name is Seth Rich.

DaBard51 , 24 minutes ago link

The Seth Rich investigation; where is it now? Murder of a campaign staffer; tampering with or influencing an election, is it not? Hmmm... When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

ClickNLook , 19 minutes ago link

Once upon a time there was a Bernie supporter. And his name was Seth Rich. Then there was a "botched robbery", which evidence that was concluded on, I have no idea. Do you? Anyhow, The End.

Amy G. Dala , 22 minutes ago link

Seth Rich had the means and the motive. So did Imran Awan, but it would make no sense for Awan to turn anything over to wikileaks . . .he would have kept them as insurance.

Why wouldn't Assange name the source for the DNC emails? Is this a future bargaining chip? And what if he did name Seth Rich? He would have to prove it. Could he?

ComeAndTakeIt , 10 minutes ago link

They've got Assange now...Maybe they should ask him if it was Seth Rich who gave him the emails?

Maybe even do it under oath and on national television. I don't think it's still considered "burning a source" if your source has already been murdered....

Bricker , 32 minutes ago link

Until the real criminals are processed and the media can be restored you don't have a United States. This corruption is beyond comprehension. You had the (((media)) providing kickbacks to the FBI for leaked information. These bribes are how CNN was on site during Roger Stones invasion.

Treason and Sedition is rampant in America and all SPY roads lead to Clapper, Brennan and Obama...This needs attention.

The media is abusive and narrating attacks on a dully elected president

Mike Rotsch , 35 minutes ago link

Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. "Russia has huge experience in spreading false information," he said. - NYT

You have got to be ******* kidding me. So now the narrative is, "We were wrong about Russian collusion, and that's Russia's fault"?!

[Apr 21, 2019] John Brennan's Police State USA

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers. ..."
"... Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer. ..."
"... The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway. ..."
"... No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way ..."
"... " ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people." ..."
"... All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests. ..."
"... A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops. ..."
"... The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter. ..."
"... "The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result " ..."
"... But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world. ..."
"... I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter! ..."
"... Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them. ..."
"... The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself. ..."
"... Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. ..."
"... That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era. ..."
"... The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it. ..."
"... [The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank. ..."
"... Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran. ..."
"... Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington. ..."
"... Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say. ..."
"... Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse. ..."
"... Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.) ..."
"... Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress? ..."
"... Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies. ..."
Oct 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Fran Macadam , October 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

A credible reading of the diverse facts, Mike.
Kirk Elarbee , October 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm GMT
Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/10/everyone-hacked-everyone-hacked-everyone-spy-spin-fuels-anti-kaspersky-campaign.html

utu , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:18 am GMT
Again Mike Whitney does not get it. Though in the first part of the article I thought he would. He was almost getting there. The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope.

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer.

Pamela Geller: Thank You, Larry David

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/10/19/pamela-geller-thank-larry-david/

anon , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:54 am GMT
OK.

The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway.

No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way

The one thing I am not positive about. If the elite really believe that Russia is a threat, then Americans have done psych ops on themselves.

The US was only interested in Ukraine because it was there. Next in line on a map. The rather shocking disinterest in investing money -- on both sides -- is inexplicable if it was really important. Most of it would be a waste -- but still. The US stupidly spent $5 billion on something -- getting duped by politicians and got theoretical regime change, but it was hell to pry even $1 billion for real economic aid.

ThereisaGod , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:37 am GMT
" ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people."

All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests.

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT
I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA, 1492 to the Present. A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops.
Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

You should be aware that Zinn's book is not, IMO, an honest attempt at writing history. It is conscious propaganda intended to make Americans believe exactly what you are taking from it.

DESERT FOX , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT
The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter.

Until that fact changes Americans will continue to fight and die for Israel.

TG , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:03 pm GMT
"The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result "

But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world.

I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter!

Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them.

Anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm GMT
Whitney is another author who declares the "Russians did it" narrative a psyop. He then devotes entire columns to the psyop, "naww Russia didn't do it". There could be plenty to write about – recent laws that do undercut liberty, but no, the Washington Post needs fake opposition to its fake news so you have guys like Whitney in the less-mainstream fake news media.

So Brennan wanted revenge? Well that's simple enough to understand, without being too stupid. But Whitney's whopper of a lie is what you're supposed to unquestionably believe. The US has "rival political parties". Did you miss it?

Jake , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT
The US is doing nothing more than acting as the British Empire 2.0. WASP culture was born of a Judaizing heresy: Anglo-Saxon Puritanism. That meant that the WASP Elites of every are pro-Jewish, especially in order to wage war, physical and/or cultural, against the vast majority of white Christians they rule.

By the early 19th century, The Brit Empire's Elites also had a strong, and growing, dose of pro-Arabic/pro-Islamic philoSemitism. Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

So, by the time of Victoria's high reign, the Brit WASP Elites were a strange brew of hardcoree pro-Jewish and hardcore pro-Arabic/islamic. The US foreign policy of today is an attempt to put those two together and force it on everyone and make it work.

The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself.

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

Fair enough. I didn't know that about the foreword. If accurate, that's a reasonable approach for a book.

Here's the problem.

Back when O. Cromwell was the dictator of England, he retained an artist to paint him. The custom of the time was for artists to "clean up" their subjects, in a primitive form of photoshopping.

OC being a religious fanatic, he informed the artist he wished to be portrayed as God had made him, "warts and all." (Ollie had a bunch of unattractive facial warts.) Or the artist wouldn't be paid.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/nov/08/cromwell-portraitist-samuel-cooper-exhibition

Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so.

All I am asking is that American (and other) history be written "warts and all." The triumphalist version is true, largely, and so is the Zinn version. Gone With the Wind and Roots both portray certain aspects of the pre-war south fairly accurately..

America has been, and is, both evil and good. As is/was true of every human institution and government in history. Personally, I believe America, net/net, has been one of the greatest forces for human good ever. But nobody will realize that if only the negative side of American history is taught.

Wally , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Hasbarist 'Kenny', you said:

"There must be something really dirty in Russigate that hasn't yet come out to generate this level of panic."

You continue to claim what you cannot prove.

But then you are a Jews First Zionist.

Russia-Gate Jumps the Shark
Russia-gate has jumped the shark with laughable new claims about a tiny number of "Russia-linked" social media ads, but the US mainstream media is determined to keep a straight face

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/10/robert-parry/jumping-the-shark/

Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

+ review of other frauds

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT
@Jake

Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

Thanks for the laugh. During the 19th century, the Sauds were toothless, dirt-poor hicks from the deep desert of zero importance on the world stage.

The Brits were not Saudi proponents, in fact promoting the Husseins of Hejaz, the guys Lawrence of Arabia worked with. The Husseins, the Sharifs of Mecca and rulers of Hejaz, were the hereditary enemies of the Sauds of Nejd.

After WWI, the Brits installed Husseins as rulers of both Transjordan and Iraq, which with the Hejaz meant the Sauds were pretty much surrounded. The Sauds conquered the Hejaz in 1924, despite lukewarm British support for the Hejaz.

Nobody in the world cared much about the Saudis one way or another until massive oil fields were discovered, by Americans not Brits, starting in 1938. There was no reason they should. Prior to that Saudi prominence in world affairs was about equal to that of Chad today, and for much the same reason. Chad (and Saudi Arabia) had nothing anybody else wanted.

Grandpa Charlie , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

'Putin stopped talking about the "Lisbon to Vladivostok" free trade area long ago" -- Michael Kenney

Putin was simply trying to sell Russia's application for EU membership with the catch-phrase "Lisbon to Vladivostok". He continued that until the issue was triply mooted (1) by implosion of EU growth and boosterism, (2) by NATO's aggressive stance, in effect taken by NATO in Ukraine events and in the Baltics, and, (3) Russia's alliance with China.

It is surely still true that Russians think of themselves, categorically, as Europeans. OTOH, we can easily imagine that Russians in Vladivostok look at things differently than do Russians in St. Petersburg. Then again, Vladivostok only goes back about a century and a half.

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:39 pm GMT
@utu

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration.

I generally agree with your comment, but that part strikes me as a bit of an exaggeration. While relations with Russia certainly haven't improved, how have they really worsened? The second round of sanctions that Trump reluctantly approved have yet to be implemented by Europe, which was the goal. And apart from that, what of substance has changed?

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:45 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era.

Ludwig Watzal , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT
It's not surprising that 57 percent of the American people believe in Russian meddling. Didn't two-thirds of the same crowd believe that Saddam was behind 9/11, too? The American public is being brainwashed 24 hours a day all year long.

The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it.

This disinformation campaign might be the prelude to an upcoming war.
Right now, the US is run by jerks and idiots. Watch the video.

anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT
Only dumb people does not know that TRUMP IS NETANYAHU'S PUPPET.

The fifth column zionist jews are running the albino stooge and foreign policy in the Middle East to expand Israel's interest against American interest that is TREASON. One of these FIFTH COLUMNISTS is Jared Kushner. He should be arrested.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/donald-trumps-likudist-campaign-against-iran/5614264

[The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank.

Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran.

Bolton spoke with Trump by phone on Thursday about the paragraph in the deal that vowed it would be "terminated" if there was any renegotiation, according to Politico. He was calling Trump from Las Vegas, where he'd been meeting with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the third major figure behind Trump's shift towards Israeli issues. Adelson is a Likud supporter who has long been a close friend of Netanyahu's and has used his Israeli tabloid newspaper Israel Hayomto support Netanyahu's campaigns. He was Trump's main campaign contributor in 2016, donating $100 million. Adelson's real interest has been in supporting Israel's interests in Washington -- especially with regard to Iran.]

Miro23 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm GMT
A great article with some excellent points:

Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington.

American dominance is very much tied to the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency, and the rest of the world no longer want to fund this bankrupt, warlike state – particularly the Chinese.

First, it confirms that the US did not want to see the jihadist extremists defeated by Russia. These mainly-Sunni militias served as Washington's proxy-army conducting an ambitious regime change operation which coincided with US strategic ambitions.

The CIA run US/Israeli/ISIS alliance.

Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say.

They are given the political line and they broadcast it.

The loosening of rules governing the dissemination of domestic propaganda coupled with the extraordinary advances in surveillance technology, create the perfect conditions for the full implementation of an American police state. But what is more concerning, is that the primary levers of state power are no longer controlled by elected officials but by factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people. That can only lead to trouble.

At some point Americans are going to get a "War on Domestic Terror" cheered along by the media. More or less the arrest and incarceration of any opposition following the Soviet Bolshevik model.

CanSpeccy , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT
@utu

On the plus side, everyone now knows that the Anglo-US media from the NY Times to the Economist, from WaPo to the Gruniard, and from the BBC to CNN, the CBC and Weinstein's Hollywood are a worthless bunch of depraved lying bastards.

Thales the Milesian , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm GMT
Brennan did this, CIA did that .

So what are you going to do about all this?

Continue to whine?

Continue to keep your head stuck in your ass?

So then continue with your blah, blah, blah, and eat sh*t.

You, disgusting self-elected democratic people/institutions!!!

AB_Anonymous , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm GMT
Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse.

The thing is, no matter how thick the mental cages are, and how carefully they are maintained by the daily massive injections of "certified" truth (via MSM), along with neutralizing or compromising of "troublemakers", the presence of multiple alternative sources in the age of Internet makes people to slip out of these cages one by one, and as the last events show – with acceleration.

It means that there's a fast approaching tipping point after which it'd be impossible for those in power both to keep a nice "civilized" face and to control the "cage-free" population. So, no matter how the next war will be called, it will be the war against the free Internet and free people. That's probably why N. Korean leader has no fear to start one.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT
An aside:

All government secrecy is a curse on mankind. Trump is releasing the JFK murder files to the public. Kudos! Let us hope he will follow up with a full 9/11 investigation.

Think Peace -- Art

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm GMT
@utu

The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Good point. That was probably one of the objectives (and from the point of view of the deep-state, perhaps the most important objective) of the "Russia hacked our democracy" narrative, in addition to the general deligitimization of the Trump administration.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:11 pm GMT
And, keep in mind, Washington's Sunni proxies were not a division of the Pentagon; they were entirely a CIA confection: CIA recruited, CIA-armed, CIA-funded and CIA-trained.

Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.)

Are committees of six congressman and six senators, who meet in secret, just avoiding the grave constitutional questions of war? We the People cannot even interrogate these politicians. (These politicians make big money in the secrecy swamp when they leave office.)

Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress?

Spying is one thing – covert action is another – covert is wrong – it goes against world order. Every year after 9/11 they say things are worse – give them more money more power and they will make things safe. That is BS!

9/11 has opened the flood gates to the US government attacking at will, the various peoples of this Earth. That is NOT our prerogative.

We are being exceptionally arrogant.

Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies.

Think Peace -- Art

Rurik , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:12 pm GMT
@Ben10

right at 1:47

when he says 'we can't move on as a country'

his butt hurt is so ruefully obvious, that I couldn't help notice a wry smile on my face

that bitch spent millions on the war sow, and now all that mullah won't even wipe his butt hurt

when I see ((guys)) like this raging their inner crybaby angst, I feel really, really good about President Trump

MAGA bitches!

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:15 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA

A Peoples History of the USA? Which Peoples?

Tradecraft46 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT
I am SAIS 70 so know the drill and the article is on point.

Here is the dealio. Most reporters are dim and have no experience, and it is real easy to lead them by the nose with promises of better in the future.

[Apr 19, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard: People get into a lot of conversations about political strategies I might get in trouble for saying this, but what does it matter if we beat Donald Trump, if we end up with someone who will perpetuate the very same crony capitalist policies, corporate policies, and waging more of these costly wars?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "This is not a joke. This is not about me. This about all of us. This is about our future. About making sure we have one." ..."
Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Al Pinto , April 18, 2019 at 13:25

Thank you Max, it's a great summary of what is wrong with the foreign policy and why racism is so rampant.

There are candidates for 2020, who understand and probably share your views. Take for example Tulsi Gabbard in her recent twonhall meeting video:

https://www.reddit.com/r/tulsi/comments/bbsg8q/reupload_tulsis_most_inspiring_and_controversial/

Quote from her replies

"People get into a lot of conversations about political strategies I might get in trouble for saying this, but what does it matter if we beat Donald Trump, if we end up with someone who will perpetuate the very same crony capitalist policies, corporate policies, and waging more of these costly wars?"

And just to drive home this point, quote:

"This is not a joke. This is not about me. This about all of us. This is about our future. About making sure we have one."

Tulsi did get in to trouble. A day after the video posted on Twitter, it had been deleted by Twitter without explanation

Mark Dierking , April 18, 2019 at 15:53

Thanks to you any everyone that has responded for the thoughtful comments. If you are able to edit yours, a more accessible link for the Safari browser is:

https://www.reddit.com/r/tulsi/comments/bbsg8q/reupload_tulsis_most_inspiring_and_controversial/

[Apr 19, 2019] Trump DID commit obstruction of justice... he refused to force HIS Dept of Justice to indict Hillary, Comey, Brennan and Clapper

Apr 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

loveyajimbo , 3 hours ago link

Trump DID commit obstruction of justice... he refused to force HIS Dept of Justice to indict Hillary, Comey, Brennan and Clapper for their obvious major felonies.

And YES... he could have.

[Apr 18, 2019] Were FBI honchos on drugs when they went to such an extent to entrap Trump and smear him as Putin's bitch?

Apr 18, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

He's turned out to be a ziocon and Bibi's bitch instead. He's surrounded himself with neocons. And he's also Wall St's bitch as his primary concern is stock prices. He wants the Fed to lower already low rates and grow its multi-trillion dollar "emergency" balance sheet even more. The federal government will add a trillion dollars to the national debt each year of his term. Isn't this exactly what the establishment of both parties want?

In any case, the hammer needs to come down hard on the putschists, so that law enforcement & the intelligence agencies don't become an extra-constitutional 4th branch of government accountable only to themselves. We'll see how far the Trump administration will go in holding these seditionists to account?

[Apr 16, 2019] Fake Russiagate vs real Ziogate

Apr 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [391] Disclaimer , says: April 16, 2019 at 1:25 pm GMT

We had been inflicted with "Russogate" ad nauseam for the better part of two years and nothing, absolutely nothing, came of it. But no mention of the Zio-gate where the dog and its tail reciprocally meddle in each others' election(s) overwhelmingly in favor of Zio-tail interests. The silence of this issue in the MSM is deafening.

[Apr 16, 2019] Sanders Takes the Campaign Against CAP to Eleven

Apr 16, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Thomas Neuberger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

One of my biggest concerns about the 2016 Sanders campaign was that, at least at the beginning, it was too easily forced to apologize for attacks on supposed "allies of progressives" in the Democratic ecosystem -- because "unity."

The prime example of that occurred when Sanders accused the Planned Parenthood Action Fund -- not Planned Parenthood the health care organization, Planned Parenthood AF, the highly Clintonist political action committee, which had early-endorsed Clinton despite Sanders' excellent record on women's issues -- of being "part of the establishment."

He was immediately accused by the rest of the establishment, falsely, of attacking Planned Parenthood clinics. And he backed down, unwisely in my view. (For more on that episode, read the first few paragraphs of this piece .)

Well, the highly Clintonist, highly corporate establishment is at it again, in the form of the corrupt Center for American Progress (CAP) and its online publication ThinkProgress . (For more on their corruption, see also here and here .) ThinkProgress published a video critical of Sanders, as Lee Fang (who also delves into their corruption) explains here:

In response to that video Sanders sent CAP a letter , saying in part:

Center for American Progress leader Neera Tanden repeatedly calls for unity while simultaneously maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas. I worry that the corporate money CAP is receiving is inordinately and inappropriately influencing the role it is playing in the progressive movement . (emphasis mine)

Team Sanders then went a whole lot further than that in a public fundraising letter, parts of which are reproduced below. Note the expansion of the "corporate money" point from the CAP letter, and also the directness (emphasis mine throughout):

"We are under attack"

Sisters, Brothers, and Friends –

Just like that, our campaign is under attack from the corporate establishment .

This week, an organization that is the epitome of the political establishment -- the Center for American Progress (CAP) -- unleashed and promoted an online attack video against Bernie.

And behind the scenes on the day Bernie introduced his Medicare for All bill, they held a conference call with reporters attacking the bill.

That is the Center for American Progress' real goal. Trying to stop Medicare for All and our progressive agenda .

CAP's leadership has been pretty upfront about their disdain for Bernie -- and for all of us. They see our political revolution as a threat to their privilege and influence .

The Center for American Progress is an organization whose massive annual budget is bankrolled by billionaires and corporate executives that profit from finance, pharmaceutical companies, fossil fuels, and sending American jobs overseas.

Last year alone, they took funding from financial giants like Bank of America and Blackstone, whose CEO was chair of Trump's business council and is a leading Republican donor.

Before that, they cashed checks from companies like BlueCross Blue Shield, Pfizer, WalMart , and defense contractors like General Dynamics and BAE Systems .

They also took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the fossil fuel pumping United Arab Emirates while the country was bombing innocent civilians in Yemen – a war Bernie has led the fight to end.

The Center for American Progress has deep connections to the economic and political elites who have done so much damage to working families in every zip code. And what we must do today is send a message that we are prepared to fight back against those who are working day and night to defeat our movement .

In solidarity,

Team Bernie

That's powerful stuff, no-holds-barred truth-telling. Note the many bells it rings:

"corporate establishment" "epitome of the political establishment" "real goal stop Medicare for All and our progressive agenda" "threat to their privilege and influence" "massive annual budget is bankrolled by billionaires" "deep connections to the economic and political elites who have done so much damage to working families" "working day and night to defeat our movement"

The letter also names a few of the companies and countries that bankroll CAP -- Walmart, Bank of America, Blue Cross, Blackstone, the UAE. He could have listed a great many more. There are countless stories emerging from former ThinkProgress writers about CAP leadership squelching aggressive reporting because their reports were negatively affecting CAP fundraising. Read this twitter thread by former ThinkProgress reporter Zaid Jilani to see some of those. There are others as well .

Bernie Sanders is not backing down this time. Unlike 2016, this will be a battle with the enemy named out loud and its deeds detailed. Looks like the fight, the one our country has been avoiding for years, is finally on.


Lee , , April 16, 2019 at 11:01 am

This over at Daily Kos:

Fox crowd roars in approval as Bernie explains how M4A is more stable than private insurance
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/04/16/1850603/-Fox-crowd-roars-in-approval-as-Bernie-explains-how-M4A-is-more-stable-than-private-insurance

And, FWIW, Bernie keeps kicking butt in their semi-monthly straw polls over there. There is a whole lot of anti-progressive, push-back but the Sanders Swarm is gathering strength on that centrist platform.
https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/4/15/1850407/-Daily-Kos-Democratic-Primary-Straw-Poll-Tax-Day

ambrit , , April 16, 2019 at 3:23 am

I commented about this on another thread to the effect that this is the beginning of a "Night of the Long Knives" quality power struggle in the Democrat Party.
Glad to see the Sanders campaign being proactive about the dirty dealing that is being used to try and stop them.
Now for Sanders to start framing the struggle as being between "Their" Democrat Party and "Our" Democrat Party. Sanders really needs to pull off what Trump managed to do in the Republican Party; a hostile takeover.

Brooklin Bridge , , April 16, 2019 at 3:45 am

Well Put. But regardless, this is still vastly better than 2016.

Left in Wisconsin , , April 16, 2019 at 11:32 am

Exactly right. Unlike Trump, however, Bernie will have to do it with the entire corporate and political establishments against him. And not even a "left" Fox News in his corner. It will truly be us against (all of) them.

Carolinian , , April 16, 2019 at 1:34 pm

Did Trump take over the Republican party or did the Republican party take over him? Winning the presidency is only part of the battle.

rob , , April 16, 2019 at 6:55 am

If any democrat wants to be real, they have to attack other democrats, because the democrats suck.
As a political party, they are so pathetic, they lost to donald trump.
The republicans are vile , and mornic.that is how they appeal to their base ..
So if anything is to be done to try and break the stalemate, it must be the debate of ideas. Not the battle of personalities , we have now.
The republicans have no real ideas, just worn out tropes. The democratic leadership, go around "saying", they are progressives ( pelosi interview),but really they are as tired in their way of thinking as the republicans .
Both groups are not worth a thing.
when pelosi pointed out AOC had a group of five she was being dismissive saying she was steering a bigger ship democrats of all stripes. even the republicans who won seats as democrats . but really her and her band of good for nothing democrats, doesn't count for anything near the five new democrats who are out spoken, and have the good character to be on the right side of history..
I for one, would vote for anyone who battles the democratic blob of a machine. and anyone who doesn't have a problem with the democratic party, is un-electable.

Pelosi needs to go.
So sanders should fight the democratic corporatists in the senate, if he is trying to be real. It is about time he needs that "audacity of hope" thingy.

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antidlc , , April 16, 2019 at 8:59 am

"Mr. Sanders's team remains convinced that the Democratic establishment worked behind the scenes to deprive him of the party's nomination in 2016.."

Well, yeah, it;s true.

Reply

Ashburn , , April 16, 2019 at 9:04 am

Bernie is definitely in it to win this time. Last night he crushed it on Fox News. He had the Fox Town Hall audience cheering and applauding. Yes, Fox News.

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/16/backfired-watch-bernie-sanders-counter-right-wing-talking-point-make-case-medicare

I don't know of any announced candidate that could pull this off, or that would have the guts to go on Fox.

Reply

ChrisAtRU , , April 16, 2019 at 12:27 pm

It's exactly what both sides of the broken political duopoly feared. Trump's tweet on the subject bears testament to the latter . The pre #BernieFoxTownHall agita from pearl-clutching Dem cultists online serves as evidence of the former .

Bernie's in it to win it.

Reply

ChrisAtRU , , April 16, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Ooops meant to add "(Dem & GOP)" after duopoly – qualifies former and latter .

Reply

Michael C. , , April 16, 2019 at 9:54 am

Sanders is staying away from some issues, such as Assange arrest and Venezuela, which has caused some complaints from the Left. Personally, I think he is being tactical and smart in that he is attempting to reach the largest portion of the electorate. I doubt that he or his staff is ignorant on these type issues, but he is set on a goal and does not want to let issues that might divert his direction toward that goal. Or am I being unduly naïve? I am pretty skeptical of all politicians, but his consistent history gives me some confidence that he will be straight on these issues if elected/.

Reply

Spring Texan , , April 16, 2019 at 10:47 am

I agree. And he HAS to be tactical and smart to win.

Reply

Joe Well , , April 16, 2019 at 12:46 pm

We said the same about Obama in 08.

Reply

Grant , , April 16, 2019 at 1:19 pm

Saying something about two radically different people doesn't logically lead to the same thing. Obama was great at giving speeches, was a historic candidate and did try to (in a vague way) make it sound as if he wanted to change the system. He didn't. He pretended to want to re-negotiate NAFTA, but when the Canadians freaked a bit, his campaign assured them that it was just talk, cause it was. It was obvious before he took office, to anyone paying attention, that Obama was a neoliberal that wouldn't change much of anything. But Obama in 2008 is not Bernie then or now. Obama in 2008 is Beto or mayor Pete now. Empty platitudes, totally cut off from the struggles of working people, paid to not structurally change what needs to structurally change by people that benefit from the system as is. Obama was just much better at being that empty slate than the 2020 version of him. I can almost smell the mayor Pete book deal though, and I am sure he can too.

Reply

Carey , , April 16, 2019 at 1:50 pm

Thanks for this comment. I tried to read yesterday's New York piece
on the Democrats' Folksiest Heartland Hope, but between that
mcPhoto at the top, and the conversational, we're-all-in-this
together tone of the writer, stopped after a couple of paras.
The #resistance are all so tired; do they not realize that?

Regarding Mister Obama's speeches, to me they reeked of
hollowness. He had the gestures and cadences down, though.

Reply

deplorado , , April 16, 2019 at 1:15 pm

I think you are not being unduly naive. Watch some of Bernie's videos from the 80ies. He is very clear eyed about what he's dealing with – and has always said the same thing. He is being realistic, tactical and smart – raising powerful issues where there is clear daily pain for the common person that can bring a powerful response – is anyone really surprised about the Fox audience reaction? (Im only surprised they didnt stack the room with fakes who would boo him ).

The foreign policy issues are not so clear cut for the common working class person (please understand that!) and would muddle the message. He finally sees an opening and he is going for it. He knows what he's doing.

Reply

jrs , , April 16, 2019 at 1:36 pm

it's likely tactical, but he may govern with the exact same tactical concerns

Reply

John , , April 16, 2019 at 10:07 am

The other thing about Fox is that the owner Murdochs are amoral and apolitical. They go where the money is. Totally neoliberal. That is all they care about. They know the money train is coming to a very complex junction and are setting up to go with the money, whether corporate or little people's.

Reply

voteforno6 , , April 16, 2019 at 10:16 am

I think this touches on what could be the most important aspect of a Sanders presidency – it's not so much the policies (they are important), but the people that would be brought into government. This letter is an indication that the usual suspects will not be running the show. In that regard, it could be similar to Reagan's time in office, except way, way better.

Reply

Arizona Slim , , April 16, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Just got another email from Bernie's campaign. Here it is:

Subject: A serious threat to our campaign

The New York Times has an article today with the headline "'Stop Sanders' Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum."

"From canapé-filled fund-raisers on the coasts to the cloakrooms of Washington, mainstream Democrats are increasingly worried " the article begins.

"The Bernie question comes up in every fundraising meeting I do," said one fundraiser.

"It has gone from being a low hum to a rumble," said an operative.

"He did us a disservice in the last election," said another.

"You can see him reading the headlines now," Mr. [David] Brock mused: "'Rich people don't like me.'"

Mr. Brock -- who smeared Anita Hill and who led an effort to stop our political revolution four years ago -- is almost correct. They don't just hate Bernie Sanders. They hate everything our political revolution embodies. They hate Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, breaking up big banks, free public college for all.

That is why, in the next 48 hours, we are launching a fundraising drive that I hope will send an unmistakable message to the political establishment about the strength of our political revolution.

That's why I'm asking you today:

[Link to donation site] Make a $27 contribution to our campaign as part of our emergency 48-hour fundraising drive to fight back against the "anti-Sanders" campaign being hatched by the financial elite of this country. [End link]

They may have "canapé-filled fundraisers." We have each other.

In solidarity,

Faiz Shakir
Campaign Manager

Reply

Jen , , April 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm

Well, just moments after reading the NYT article in question, which is quite a doozy, this popped up in my in box:

"The New York Times has an article today with the headline "'Stop Sanders' Democrats Are Agonizing Over His Momentum."
"From canapé-filled fund-raisers on the coasts to the cloakrooms of Washington, mainstream Democrats are increasingly worried " the article begins.
"The Bernie question comes up in every fundraising meeting I do," said one fundraiser.
"It has gone from being a low hum to a rumble," said an operative.
"He did us a disservice in the last election," said another.
"You can see him reading the headlines now," Mr. [David] Brock mused: "'Rich people don't like me.'"
Mr. Brock -- who smeared Anita Hill and who led an effort to stop our political revolution four years ago -- is almost correct. They don't just hate Bernie Sanders. They hate everything our political revolution embodies. They hate Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, breaking up big banks, free public college for all.
That is why, in the next 48 hours, we are launching a fundraising drive that I hope will send an unmistakable message to the political establishment about the strength of our political revolution.
That's why I'm asking you today:
Make a contribution to our campaign as part of our emergency 48-hour fundraising drive to fight back against the "anti-Sanders" campaign being hatched by the financial elite of this country.

They may have "canapé-filled fundraisers." We have each other.
In solidarity,
Faiz Shakir
Campaign Manager

Forgetting nothing, learning nothing. One of the true, primal joys of Bernie's 2016 campaign was hitting the donate button every time the dollar dems dumped on him.

Reply

Chuck T. , , April 16, 2019 at 2:03 pm

Likewise. I'm giving every time they dump on him, and again every time he hits back. At this pace, $27 may get to be too expensive. A good problem to have I'd say.

Reply

[Apr 15, 2019] A letter to the> President Trump from former voter

Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Dude-dude , 20 minutes ago link

Dear President Trump:

Tears came to my eyes - happy tears - when you were elected! A seemingly impossible feat was accomplished that day in November.

I understood when you faced tremendous resistance in your first 200 days from Demorats. It seemed you were unphased and determined - all was good.

  • You called the stock market a bubble when you were campaigning, but just a few months after you won the election you called the stock market a great accomplishment of your administration. What changed? I got confused. Worse, you cursed when the Fed raised interest rates to 2.5% and the market started to crash. That doesn't sound like an awesome economy. It sounds like a highly manipulated one by central actors.

  • You lobbed some Tomahawks into Syrian sand - that worried me.

  • Then you lobbed a hundred or so more after a couple of Wahhabists wearing white hats, funded by Britain and the CIA, staged a fakenews chemical attack and put it on social media. Dear Donald, were these missiles close to their expiry date? Were you playing 4D chess? Some of those failed missiles flew near a major Russian base, were you at all concerned that one or two of them might malfunction and accidentally bomb the Russians? I guess not. The Russians however were concerned -- which is why they prepared to attack your fleet, along with the French and Canadian boats - just in case. But I guess it was just another day at the Oval Office.

  • You said Hillary should be in jail. It is nearly three years since you said that. She's not in jail. Instead, several patriots were dragged through the mud by Mueller and/or the Democrats - all you've had to say is that it was terrible! You can't even seem to properly handle retarded people like Maxine and Nancy.

  • You claimed you were winning, but you lost the lower House to the Dems in the midterms.

  • You said America is leaving Syria for others to deal with -- which probably was a reference to Saudi Wahhabists and Israeli Zionists. Why are you still there protecting Al Q'aida?

  • You seem to be eager to wreak havoc against Iran - was that part of the deal to bring home our troops?

  • You brought NK and the rest of the world to the brink of nuclear war. Luckily NK started packing-up their nuke program. It wont be for long though. You've done nothing since, except appoint John Bolton. If I were the leader of NK I wouldn't really trust you.

  • You campaigned on bringing home troops from all the useless wars. Now you're thinking of attacking Venezuela. What gives? I'm more confused.

  • You said working with Russia would be a good thing - you've hit Russia fairly hard with sanctions and diplomatic retribution. Maybe we can blame the fakenews MSM and the Dems and forgive you for playing into their whims.

  • You offered tax credits for corporations, they fraudulently bought back their own stocks. You offered tax credits to the people, they used most of it to pay down their overdue credit cards. Some apparently used the money as a down-payment on a new pickup that they'll either have to sell soon or risk repo - nothing changed in the long-run.

  • You promised a wall paid for by Mexico....
  • Why does the American military require three-quarters of a trillion dollars per year? Yet you're willing to pay even more.

  • Most of all, you kept referring to Wikileaks, and its publication of the HRC emails, as proof of a corrupt DNC. Two years later, you jailed its editor. It doesn't end there. It really does look like you want to drag this Australian/Ecuadorian to America to imprison, torture, and possibly execute, someone who hasn't committed any crime (except skipping bail on a highly questionable extradition to Sweden in response to a 'she said / he said' accusation that the complainants and the Swedish prosecutors dropped, much like those lobbed at your SCOTUS pick that you vehemently and rightly criticized).

  • Mr. President, if that's how you treat your allies and friends, I'd rather be your enemy. At least your enemies so far seem to get away with everything and anything. your friends on the other hand get fired or jailed or both.

  • Mr. President, sir if you are a populist, you sure don't act like one surrounding yourself with the Deep State...

  • I withdraw my vote...
  • ... ... ...

Good night, and good luck.

Good night, and good luck.

[Apr 14, 2019] Warren is been behind some of the major legislation that enacted the things that Bernie Sanders talks about. And Wall Street is scared crapless of her -- why do you think they're going after her so hard?

Apr 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

popgoesthepop , 12 Apr 2019 10:26

Four more years of Trump is in the works.

The fact that she lied about her ethnicity in the past in hopes of gaining a leg up will backfire spectacularly if she's the DNC nominee for POTUS. Conservatives will beat this point over and over and over.

Is the Left secretly trying to put Trump in the WH for another term? It sure looks like it.

jae426 -> gunnison , 12 Apr 2019 10:26

the chances that Dems supporting a candidate who does not win the primary would boycott the election and put Trump back in the White House are vanishingly small this time around

They were warned that that would happen last time, and they still let it happen. The "Bernie bros" are back out in force, and not only have they not learnt their lesson, they feel validated by Clinton's defeat to the extent where they are even more determined that their old man should be the candidate and nobody else. These are people who abandoned the Democrats for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who managed to make Sarah Palin look intelligent. They will do it again because they are largely white, male and think just because they read liberal newspapers that means they don't have a sense of entitlement.

Both Michigan and Pennsylvania would have gone to Clinton if only 20% of Green voters hadn't lodged protest votes. These people don't want Elizabeth Warren, they don't want Kamala Harris, they don't want Beto O'Rourke, they don't want Pete Buttigieg. They want Bernie. If Bernie isn't the Democrat, they won't vote Democrat.

You can dismiss this as much as you like, but I placed a bet on Trump winning the Republican nomination when he was the joke candidate and when he won the nomination I bet on him winning the presidency. I think that would be an even safer bet this time round.

Thomas1178 -> Sheldon Hodges , 12 Apr 2019 10:25
That's just funny. She's been behind some of the major legislation that enacted the things that Bernie Sanders talks about. And Wall Street is scared crapless of her -- why do you think they're going after her so hard?
popgoesthepop -> WishesandHorses , 12 Apr 2019 10:23
She lies about her ethnicity to get ahead in life? That may have something to do with it.
Sheldon Hodges , 12 Apr 2019 10:22
This conjecture is entirely fiction at best but centrist neo libeberal bollocks as a certainty. Warren was and is a republican. She is a corporate bootlicker, a thrall of Hillary and has no serious attachment to truth. I regret to admit that I am a US citizen, 68 years of age. I have wittnessed Warren's shameless plagirising of Bernie Sanders' arguments and am sickened to see her lionized by people who, if honest, should know better.
Thomas1178 , 12 Apr 2019 10:21
The columnist is right about Warren's intellectual stature and influence, and anyone who's looked at what she's accomplished for Massachusetts (or for that matter watched her takedown of the sleazy head of Wells Fargo during the Senate hearings) knows she's tough. She also has a *workable* vision of what the Democrats could offer Americans. From affordable childcare to making college tuition affordable again to helping out working-class people like the fisherman in Massachusetts, while reigning in the banks and making sure we don't have another crash – it's the blueprint.

There's something hysterically funny about all the people who have signed in here, clearly skipped the article, just to yell "squirrel!" – or in this case -- "oh no she filled out the optional ethnicity box and it turns out her family stories were mistaken!"

What they're missing, what Warren is laying out and the article is pointing out, is what the GOP will really be up against in the future.

Patrician1985 , 12 Apr 2019 10:21
I don't like this argument: she may not win the primary, but it's her ideas that will dominate the conversation.

It worked for Bernie supporters to console themselves.

If we elect someone, it needs to be the person who will be passionate about that idea (as opposed to lukewarm like Pelosi is on Green New Deal). We need someone who knows what it will take to get it done. What will get in the way. How to get around it.

Warren not only had the idea for CFPB. She actually set it up. Then Obama lacked the moral courage and political spine to have her lead the agency - just because Wall Street had pressured the Democrats against it.

Warren is the right candidate for the right time. She has ideas to fix the country and doesn't just rail against people. That's why even Steve Bannon is scared of her policy positions that they could be theirs.

Democrats need to stop playing pundits and go with their heart. If they vote for someone they like less but because he (why is it always a 'he' who is electable?) can win - we will end up with a candidate no one really cares about and how is that a winning strategy?

SolentBound , 12 Apr 2019 10:21
Democrat primary voters need to recognise that defeating Trump is going to be very difficult.

Since WW II, only Jimmy Carter and George Bush Sr. have failed to win re-election, in both cases to superb campaigners who captured the public's imagination and, critically, swing voters.

Which of the potential Democrat challengers is a Ronald Reagan or a Bill Clinton? Or, indeed, a Barack Obama?

For a dose of reality, Democrats could do worse than read Mike Bloomberg's piece on his decision to stay out of the race: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-05/our-highest-office-my-deepest-obligation

JayThomas -> Rio de Janeiro , 12 Apr 2019 10:20
And because nobody expects a politician to keep a promise, they have to find some other way to be convincing.
BenjaminW , 12 Apr 2019 10:19
Warren rules -- her policy ideas are creative, intelligent and moral, and the world would be an indescribably better place if people like her were ever allowed into positions of authority. That anyone on the planet would prefer to be represented by someone like Biden, never mind Trump, is utterly depressing.
charlieblue , 12 Apr 2019 10:16
Sadly, FOX News has already issued their proscribed talking points on Sen.Warren. You will find them listed and repeated anywhere Elizabeth's Warren's candidacy is discussed (including here). Most of it will be lies or exaggerations, claims that she received jobs and promotions based on her claims of Native American ancestry, claims that she received scholarships or some kind of preferential treatment by calling herself an "Indian". They will insist that this is an obvious character flaw, that she's a liar and some sort of cultural thief.

Sadly, too many American's still imagine FOX News and it's ilk are purveyors of fact. They imagine the propaganda they are being fed about Elizabeth Warren is a truth the "mainstream media" won't mention. We saw all of this with Hillary Clinton. 30% of Republican voters still think Sec. Clinton ran a pedophile ring out of a DC pizza parlor.

If Sen.Warren, or any other rational candidate has a fair chance at running for President, if all the lies and propaganda of the right-wing media establishment are to be countered, the left and the center of US politics needs an effective counter to right-wing narrative.

Rio de Janeiro , 12 Apr 2019 10:13
A presidential campaign is not about specific, detailed policy proposals. It's about a vision for the country. A vision that must be consistent with voters' feelings and expectations; and must be communicated in a clear, energetic way by an effective messenger. That's the way Reagan, Clinton, Obama and Trump won.

Does anybody remember Trump's healthcare policy?

People don't vote for policy manifestos. People vote for candidates that inspire and convince.

outkast1213 -> newageblues , 12 Apr 2019 10:13
The same Liz that stated as a Senator she had a better chance to effect change than as POTUS in 2016 now is a genius?
GeorgeC , 12 Apr 2019 10:12
If Warren is the 'intellectual powerhouse' of the Democratic party, then god help them. Not a word about 1 trillion dollar budget deficits and rising (under Trump)-but remember Obama was little better; in 15 years time the US state pension system will be bankrupt, various other states' pension schemes are also effectively bankrupt (see Illinois, Tennessee) as are various cities (Chicago), and all Warren and Trump can think of is more debt, and nor will MMT help (we know this is just deficit spending on steroids). None of these people are 'progressive' - by not tacking the key problem of runaway debt it just robs everyone by forcing a default - not an 'honest' one, but rather the route taken by all politicians, namely rapid devaluation of the currency; something that robs all people, and destroys savings. Instead all we get are jam today, and bankruptcy tomorrow.
needaname100 -> Thomas1178 , 12 Apr 2019 10:11
She changed her ethnicity from white to Native American at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Also, a large majority of Americans have Native American DNA....and EW has less than the average American (which is 5%)...she has 0.20. She abused a privilege and got called out.
Thomas1178 -> mwesqcpa , 12 Apr 2019 10:05
She's too damn smart, is the problem. Along with all her qualifications she has also a lot of very solid wins that she brought home for the people of Massachusetts as a senator, from helping fisherman to low-income students suffering from college debt -- emphasizing that she's actually helped working class people and people in student debt should be a no brainer. And yet she seems not to have a savvy political operator advising her – she sure as hell hasn't gotten out ahead of the Native American thing, and I don't know why no one is doing that for her.
LydiaLysette , 12 Apr 2019 10:03
"Elizabeth Warren is the intellectual powerhouse of the Democratic party"

Then they really are in trouble.....

Just take 1 point....

"She has called for abolishing the electoral college, the unfair institution the US used to elect executives "

Well that requires a constitutional amendment, that requires a two thirds majority in both houses and then ratification by three quarters of the States. The ERA was proposed in 1923 didn't get through Congress until 1972 and is still short of the 38 State ratifications to adopt it. That's an issue of direct concern to at least half the population. The idea that a procedural change to the constitution for partisan benefit is getting through the process is blatantly laughable. Particularly as there appear to be about 27 states that have enhanced importance under the current system ( http://theconversation.com/whose-votes-count-the-least-in-the-electoral-college-74280 ) and only 13 are needed to kill it.

[Apr 14, 2019] Warren has the same foreign policy as all the others, invade, sanction, destroy. Steal oil, gold and assets. The US has become a deluded neurotic police state rife with addiction and so addled it is no longer a force for good in any sphere.

Apr 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com
HARPhilby -> HARPhilby , 12 Apr 2019 08:55
ABT-Anybody But Trump
moderate_rebel_rebel , 12 Apr 2019 08:55
Warren has the same foreign policy as all the others, invade, sanction, destroy. Steal oil, gold and assets. The US has become a deluded neurotic police state rife with addiction and so addled it is no longer a force for good in any sphere.

In short it is now a part of the problem and no longer a part of any workable solution. Who becomes POTUS is therefore irrelevant.

Warren is flawed ideologically and personally, US citizens need to wake up and recognise that the POTUS is an irrelevant position with no authority and that until you tackle the neocon ridden nature of US politics nothing will ever change.

There is no hope in systems, only hope in people. Politics has become irrelevant in the face of our impending extinction.

[Apr 14, 2019] Elizabeth Warren is the intellectual powerhouse of the Democratic party by Moira Donegan

Notable quotes:
"... Posturing as a would-be American native and supporting racial retributions is as far from qualifying as an intellectual powerhouse as it gets. She would be better than Trump, obviously, but then anybody would. ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

It may well not be Warren who wins the Democratic nomination, but whoever does will be campaigning on her ideas

since her initial announcement in December, Warren's campaign has rolled out a series of detailed policy proposals in quick succession, outlining structural changes to major industries, government functions, and regulatory procedures that would facilitate more equitable representation in the federal government and overhaul the economy in favor of the working class. These policy proposals have made Warren the Democratic party's new intellectual center of gravity, a formidable influence who is steadily pushing the presidential primary field to the left and forcing all of her primary challengers to define their political positions against hers.

Warren has become the Democratic party's new intellectual center of gravity

Warren herself is an anti-trust nerd, having come to the Senate from a career as an academic studying corporate and banking law. On the stump, she's most detailed in the same areas where she is most passionate, like when she talks about about breaking up huge tech companies such as Amazon and Google, and implementing a 21st-century -- version of the Glass-Steagall act that would separate commercial and investment banking (she has also called for prosecuting and jailing bank executives who break the law). But her policy agenda is broader than that, taking on pocketbook issues that have resonance with working families.

Warren outlined a huge overhaul of the childcare system that would revolutionize the quality, cost and curriculum of early childhood education, with subsidies for families and a living wage for caregivers. It's a proposal that she talks about in the context of her own career when, as a young mother and fledgling legal mind, she almost had to give up a job as a law professor because childcare for her young son was too expensive.

Warren has also proposed a housing plan that would limit huge investors' abilities to buy up homes, give incentives for localities to adopt renters' protections, and build new public housing. Crucially, and uniquely, her housing plan would also provide home ownership grants to buyers in minority communities that have historically been "redlined", a term for the racist federal housing policies that denied federally backed mortgages to black families. The provision, aimed to help black and brown families buy their first homes, is a crucial step toward amending the racial wealth gap, and it has helped sparked a broader conversation within the party about the need to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves -- a concept that Warren has also endorsed.

Taking her cues from pro-democracy and voting rights advocates such as Stacey Abrams, Warren has also taken on anti-majoritarian constitutional provisions, aiming to make American democracy more representative and less structurally hostile to a progressive agenda. She has called for abolishing the electoral college , the unfair institution the US uses to elect chief executives that makes a vote in New York count less than a vote in Wyoming, and which has resulted in two disastrous Republican presidencies in the past two decades. She has advocated eliminating the filibuster , an archaic procedural quirk of the Senate that would keep the Democrats from ever passing their agenda if they were to regain control of that body. And she has signaled a willingness to pack the courts , another move that will be necessary to implement leftist policies such as Medicare for All -- because even if the next Democratic president can pass her agenda through Congress, she will not be able to protect it from the malfeasance of a federal bench filled with conservative Trump appointees eager to strike it down.

When other candidates campaign, Warren's strong policy positions force them to define themselves against her

Warren has been the first to propose all of these policies, and it is not difficult to see other candidates falling in line behind her, issuing belated and imitative policy proposals, or being forced to position themselves to her right. Warren has promised not to go negative against other Democrats , but her campaign's intellectual project also serves a political purpose: when other candidates campaign, her strong policy positions force them to define themselves against her.

After Warren announced her childcare overhaul, senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris rolled out plans similarly designed to combat gendered economic injustice, calling for guaranteed family leave and better teacher pay , respectively. After Warren rolled out her pro-democracy agenda of eliminating the electoral college, abolishing the filibuster and packing the courts, her ideological rival Bernie Sanders was forced to come out against both eliminating the filibuster and packing the courts , damaging his reputation with a party base who knew that without these interventions, a progressive agenda will probably never be enacted. The pressure eventually forced Sanders to cave to Warren's vision and concede that he would be open to eliminating the filibuster in order to pass Medicare for All.

There's still a long time before the first contests, and it's possible that Warren will succumb to the flaws that her critics see in her campaign. In particular, she might not be able to raise enough money. She's decided not to take any Pac money and not to fundraise with wealthy donors, a position that may be as much practical as it is principled: the super-rich are not likely to donate to Warren anyway, since she has such a detailed plan, called the Ultra Millionaire Tax , to redistribute their money. She may fall victim to the seemingly unshakable controversy over her old claims of Native American ancestry, and she seems doomed to be smeared and underestimated for her sex, called cold and unlikable for her intellect and then, as with other female candidates, derided as pandering when she tries to seem more relatable.

But it would be a mistake to write Warren off as a virtuous also-ran, the kind of candidate whose intellectual and moral commitments doom her in a race dominated by the deep divisions in the electorate and the craven demagoguery of the incumbent. Elizabeth Warren does not seem to be running for president to make a point, or to position herself for a different job. Instead, she is making bold interventions in the political imagination of the party. It may well not be Warren who wins the Democratic nomination, but whoever does will be campaigning on her ideas.

Moira Donegan is a Guardian US columnist



CharlesLittle -> Ken Kutner , 12 Apr 2019 11:00

Thanks Ken and Thomas. I couldn't have said it better myself. Are we going to pare down the list of Democratic candidates on the basis of one or two stupid missteps? Looking through the Bible, I note that Jesus lost his temper at the money-changers and put down the hard-working Martha. So, he's out too.
geejay123 -> Beaufort100 , 12 Apr 2019 10:58
Ex Veteran Tulsi Gabbard has a very good chance of taking votes from Trump's base imo.
All round the best democratic candidate to declare so far.
Ranger69 , 12 Apr 2019 10:57
Im just glad Gabbard made it to the debate stage. More progressives the better.
SoonToBeDead -> T0nyN , 12 Apr 2019 10:57
Not only the USA, with everyone becoming wealthier, the need for education has declined, across the western world, being liberal or educated has become a swear word. Social media and lazy journalists are doing the rest, its all propaganda now, and permanent contradictory stories means only simple messages cut through the noise, hatred, immigrants, islamophobia, anti-semitism, etc. are classic messages that get through and stir people's emotions. Intellect doesn't win elections with a gullible electorate
BaronVonAmericano -> CharlesLittle , 12 Apr 2019 10:54
She really is thin in all areas but financial regulation and consumer protection.

An excellent Commerce/Treasury secretary, or VP. But she lacks the cohesive vision that Sanders articulates.

zagrebZ -> alex13 , 12 Apr 2019 10:54
Trump IS dumb... Or do you want me to Google a few thousand references for you?

'Moron'; 'Child-like'; 'Idiot'; 'Can barely read'...

Sound familiar? Words about Trump from his own staff.

FolkSpirit -> OliversTravels , 12 Apr 2019 10:48
It was a mistake and it was self-interested and it was unethical. And it was a different time before tribal groups in the US developed and enforced laws regarding membership status. Had Trump not shown disdain for her and all native Americans by calling her Pocahontas as though it were a racial slur, few would have made a big deal from this mistake.

Warren did confess without need to do so that she had purchased distressed mortgages to turn a profit as a young lawyer like so many of her ethically misguided law colleagues.

If you are or intimately know more than two attorneys you know this was and in some towns and cities still is common practice for building wealth among lawyers who have first notice when these “deals” are posted at the local Court House. Find me a “clean” lawyer anywhere if you can and I doubt you can — they write law and protect themselves and wealthy constituents mightily in doing so.

If you can help remove most of them from political office and replace them with people working professions of greater merit I stand with you. Congress needs intellectual strength and diversity of backgrounds.

Shakespeare: “First, we kill the lawyers”.

Excession77 -> HarryFlashman , 12 Apr 2019 10:42
Tulsi Gabbard or don't bother.

Unfortunately she opposes wars of choice from the position of an impressive service record in Iraq so she gets ignored in favour of the ridiculous Elizabeth Warren here and in other places. Warren's window was last time anyway when she was coming off the back of viral public speeches about inequality.

garlicbreakfast , 12 Apr 2019 10:41
Posturing as a would-be American native and supporting racial retributions is as far from qualifying as an intellectual powerhouse as it gets. She would be better than Trump, obviously, but then anybody would.
BaronVonAmericano , 12 Apr 2019 10:41
While I'd prefer the genders reversed, I think she would be an ideal running mate for the front-runner among the declared candidates.

Sanders has much more assiduously defined the moral center that any candidate for president must have: unapologetic confrontation with the oligarchy. Warren is the intellectual weapon such an administration could deploy on the specifics of banking and anti-trust.

This is all the more practical given that Warren has failed to tie race, social justice and criminal justice issues all together in her values-based worldview -- certainly not to the extent that Sanders has, his being well beyond any other candidate's efforts.

Sheldon Hodges -> Londonsage , 12 Apr 2019 10:41
Because Obama was a canny corporate move to place someone that offered such qualities as intelligence and grammar in sharp relief to GW Bush while remaining closely controlled by the oligarchy.
BigDave47 , 12 Apr 2019 10:30
Intellectual powerhouse?

Do you include her fraudulent and offensive claims to Native American heritage in that? As CNN has reported, as far back as 1986 she was falsely claiming "American Indian" heritage on official documents. Despite repeated calls by the leaders of the Tribal Nations, she has still failed to apologise. That's some intellectual powerhouse..

[Apr 14, 2019] Elizabeth Warren is timely candidate: The era of US companies offering pensions is coming to a close.

Apr 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

BMW ends pensions for workers

The era of US companies offering pensions is coming to a close.

The latest evidence: after freezing it's two UK pension plans in 2017, BMW will do the same for its remaining US plans.

Since 2011 new workers have not been offered a pension, but rather a defined contribution plan.

Workers who formerly had a pension will keep what they have accrued, but not accrue more. Current retirees receiving a pension will not be affected.

[Apr 13, 2019] Attorney General William Barr said on Wednesday he would look into whether US agencies illegally spied on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign

Notable quotes:
"... "IDF's chief rabbi-to-be permits raping women in wartime." Just how does that differ from Daesh's behavior? Or was it the IDF that told Deash such behavior was okay? I'm pretty certain that rabbi is afoul of fundamental Mosaic Law and thus shouldn't be a rabbi. ..."
Apr 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Apr 10, 2019 11:47:32 PM | link

When did Reuters ever call the Trump/Russia Collusion nonsense a "conspiracy theory" as they should have?

Never (big surprise)

But Reuters is quick to call the investigation into the FBI election manipulation a conspiracy theory.

U.S. attorney general's 'spying' remarks anger Democrats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attorney General William Barr said on Wednesday he would look into whether U.S. agencies illegally spied on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, sparking criticism from Democrats who accused him of promoting a conspiracy theory.

Barr, who was appointed by Trump, is already facing criticism by congressional Democrats for how he has handled the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and his comments about surveillance brought more derision from Democratic senators.

His testimony echoed longstanding allegations by Trump and Republican allies that seeks to cast doubt on the early days of the federal investigation in an apparent attempt to discredit Mueller, law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Zachary Smith , Apr 10, 2019 11:49:22 PM | link

@ Jackrabbit #67
IMO the notion that a few senior Intelligence officials (mostly FBI) tried to overthrow Trump is silly to the point of being laughable.

Not to all of us, it isn't. The part I don't understand is the Why of their effort. Did they have some scheme to get rid of Pence too? Or was it all mindless blind hatred because he took down their Goddess Hillary?

ben , Apr 10, 2019 11:56:00 PM | link
ZS @ 68 said in part;"assuming the Corporate Democrats don't force one of their candidates Big Corporations want on the ballot. Which is, of course, most of them."

I assume what you speculated on above, will happen.

Jackrabbit , Apr 11, 2019 12:02:16 AM | link
Zachary Smith @68: ... Corporate Democrats ... domestic policies ...

The democratic party is irredeemable as it operates as one arm of the duopoly. I don't see any meaningful distinction between "Corporate Democrats" and progressive Democrats except this: progressive Democrats give the Democratic Party cover to support the establishment.

IMO domestic policy can no longer be considered separately from Empire. "Progressive Democrats" are forced encouraged by their Party to support the military and ignore foreign policy.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

IMO the only grouping that is currently viable/strong alternative is the libertarians. If they could bring conservatives and (real) progressives together, then we could see a real challenge to the "radical center" (which actually rules as center-right).

But conservatives, (real) progressives, and libertarians are underfunded and constantly get played.

librul , Apr 11, 2019 12:06:23 AM | link
@ Zachary Smith | Apr 10, 2019 11:49:22 PM | 71

RussiaGate: 'Why Did This Ever Start In The First Place?'

Jackrabbit , Apr 11, 2019 12:08:56 AM | link
Zachary Smith @71:
Not to all of us, it isn't. The part I don't understand is the Why of their effort.

Well of course the WHY baffles you, because the only WHY that makes sense is what I described and that will never be allowed to come out publicly because then people will see that their democracy is a sham.

The "managed democracy" that we have in USA subverts the will of the people to the Empire.

ben , Apr 11, 2019 12:34:51 AM | link
@ 74: Why did Russiagate start in the first place? The short answer is IMO, diversion.

Another answer could be, that DJT stood on a stage, and asked another country to find his opponents e-mails.

Zachary Smith , Apr 11, 2019 12:52:57 AM | link
@ librul #74

Though I hadn't seen that before, the general theme is in agreement with what I believe is the truth. Even ignorant and thuggish goons like Trump can be victims of a crime, and I believe that's what happened here.

Grieved , Apr 11, 2019 12:53:10 AM | link
I find it piquant that the vice president of the US attacks a Venezuelan ambassador at the UN and then ramps up his aggression...by retreating.

Pence is so certain that the other guy doesn't belong, that he himself walks away. Every schoolyard would see this behavior for exactly what it is. Animals would understand it clearly also, in terms of pecking order.

How perfect this action is in matching precisely what we've been watching the US do in several military theaters for some time now. The louder and the ruder the bluster, the more certain we can be that it covers pure emptiness. And that the US is tangibly retreating under cover of the smoke.

The cowardice is becoming palpable.

Jackrabbit , Apr 11, 2019 1:01:14 AM | link
ben

Well, why did "America First" Trump ask Russia to do that? (And later ask Wikileaks to release the DNC emails!)

And why did "America First" Trump hire Manafort who had extensive Russian contacts and pro-Russian activities that drew the ire of US officials?

These (and more) played into Russiagate hysteria that followed the election and were not in keeping with Trump's "America First" rhetoric.

Now, long after the election, we see additional strangeness like Roger Stone's claims of a contact at Wikileaks.

John Smith , Apr 11, 2019 1:02:54 AM | link
Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 10, 2019 6:42:57 PM | 38

"IDF's chief rabbi-to-be permits raping women in wartime." Just how does that differ from Daesh's behavior? Or was it the IDF that told Deash such behavior was okay? I'm pretty certain that rabbi is afoul of fundamental Mosaic Law and thus shouldn't be a rabbi.
----------------------

"The Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition," Ketubot 11b, vol. 7 (NY: Random House, 1991), p. 145:

"If a grown man has intercourse with a little girl less than three years old, all agree that it is not a significant sexual act "

"Koren Talmud Bavli," Sanhedrin 54b, vol. 30 (Jerusalem, 2017), p. 41:

"If a man engages in homosexual intercourse with a minor who is under the age of nine, whether actively or passively, he is exempt as with regard to ritual law..."
Zachary Smith , Apr 11, 2019 1:08:09 AM | link
@ Jackrabbit #75

I"m not sure we disagree very much, for I also believe our "democracy" is thoroughly managed, and "sham" is quite a good word for it. The part I don't understand is why you seem to object to pointing out efforts by the 'managers' to correct the error of a slam dunk election going bad. Hillary was supposed to be in the White House. More than one nation had been making advance payments to the Clinton Foundation to purchase her goodwill. She was the dream for Big Banking, the apartheid Jewish state, and probably a lot more folks. That didn't happen, and some people became unhinged.

Jackrabbit , Apr 11, 2019 1:21:14 AM | link
Zachary Smith @78:
Though I hadn't seen that before, the general theme is in agreement with what I believe is the truth.
I think that you're not thinking this through.

You're question of WHY, is still unanswered.

> WHY did the hold back on Russian-influence allegations during the election?
Hillary was suppose to win, sure. But why not ENSURE that win?

> WHY did they continue with Russiagate after the election?
They engaged in Treasonous behavior because Hillary was butthurt?
She supposedly got 3 million more votes than Trump; how badly could her ego be bruised?

> WHY did the establishment hate Trump so much?
He's delivered all they could want and more.

> Why did Russiagate force Trump to bend to Deep State wishes?
Ha! It didn't! Trump has always maintained that there was no Russia collusion. And now the Mueller Report confirms this. Trump's Cold War policy continues the Deep State's same policy - because Trump is part of the team.

This is not meant to be exhaustive. There are many other questions that you could ask because there's a lot that doesn't add up - unless Russiagate was a Deep State psyop with bi-partisan support (as I've described).
Jackrabbit , Apr 11, 2019 1:29:31 AM | link
Zachary Smith @85: efforts by the 'managers' to correct the error

Because it makes no sense. If they got their wish and "corrected" the error by overthrowing Trump, there would be a civil war. Which is counter-productive in the extreme.

But they don't need to take such drastic action 'cause Trump does that the Deep States wants anyway! So what are they trying to "correct"?!?

Jackrabbit , Apr 11, 2019 1:30:30 AM | link
correction: ... what the Deep State wants ...
EtTuBrute , Apr 11, 2019 5:08:30 AM | link
Alleged ongoing Military Coup in Sudan today, another just happened in Algeria... Haftar making moves in Libya, could all just be a coincidence, then again, maybe not? Anyone got anything? Wondering what Mr B. thinks..
jared , Apr 11, 2019 8:28:18 AM | link
Is Russia a failed state -
https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/424511-managing-russias-dissolution

Or is U.S. (actually the entire Globalist empire) maxing out it's credit card?

And speaking of failed states -
https://southfront.org/us-southcom-head-says-venezuela-military-intervention-might-be-necessary-by-end-of-2019/

[Apr 12, 2019] Senator Warren On New Corporate Tax Plan Markets Without Rules Are Theft

Apr 12, 2019 | www.youtube.com

At least 60 companies reported an effective federal tax rate of zero, meaning they owe nothing in federal taxes for 2018, and that tax burden then falls on the rest of us. Senator Elizabeth Warren has a plan to fix that. She joins Stephanie Ruhle in her first interview since unveiling her proposal.


Patti Granros , 6 hours ago

Love Liz Warren. No BS. Policy-driven campaign! She's for the regular people, who keep this country going.

Some Person , 8 hours ago

60 years ago every job offered health insurance, retirement plans, paid vacation, and all sorts of other benefits. It's time to have them pay a share of our societies costs, they use the same roads, breathe the same air, and drink the same water...

Kamikapse , 7 hours ago

Warren has consistently amazed me with her proposals... I hope she will make it to the debates, since everyone's fawning over Bernie and Beto for their fundraising capabilities, I hope they are not trying to sink her...

Greg Miller , 9 hours ago

Warren Buffet, who saved 28 or so million on his, himself said trumps tax deal was foolish..but he also said he wouldn't turn it down, which i don't blame him on that..

Kip Landingham , 6 hours ago

Senator Warren makes some excellent points (as usual): "market" implies a competitive environment, so when huge corps squeeze out competitors, it's no longer a "market". Corporations/rich individuals always say they made their profits themselves (independently of others or of any social structure systems). Really? If you were living/doing business on a mountaintop, disconnected from everyone else and any infrastructure support, you would have done just as well? That's a load of crap, and if they had any responsibility at all (as opposed to just pure greed), they'd be willing to give back a bit and contribute to the system(s) they build their wealth on.

Google User , 1 hour ago

Elizabeth Warren you've got my attention.

Tessmage Tessera , 7 hours ago

The fact is that the wealthy all over the world do not want their position of privilege to be challenged. This is why Bernie Sanders has been saying (for several DECADES) that the only way to move our society forward is to build from the bottom up... not the top down. And he is 100% correct.

[Apr 11, 2019] Warren Unveils Plan For $1 Trillion In New Taxes On Big Corporations by Cameron Joseph

The main way big corporations corrupt the movement is by lobbing for tax preferential regime. Neoliberalism included "voodoo" supply side economics thory that speculates that lower taxes increase employment, while in reality they mostly increase the wealth of capital owners. This theory is brainwashed itno people minds by relentless neoliberal propaganda machine -- all major MSM are controlled by neoliberals. Common people have no say in this gbig game.
But tax regime is the battlefield were big capital fights labor and big capital since 1970 won all major battles.
Notable quotes:
"... "Because of relentless lobbying, our corporate income tax rules are filled with so many loopholes and exemptions and deductions that even companies that tell shareholders they have made more than a billion dollars in profits can end up paying no corporate income taxes," Warren wrote in a Medium post unveiling the plan. "Let's bring in the revenue we need to invest in opportunity for all Americans. And let's make this year the last year any company with massive profits pays zero federal taxes." ..."
"... Warren's plan is aimed at large corporations -- ones that have generally paid lower tax rates than smaller companies in recent years. The GOP tax cut law nearly doubled the number of publicly held companies that paid no federal taxes from 30 to 60 in the last year alone, according to a recent study from the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. ..."
"... This is the latest significant tax proposal the Massachusetts senator has unveiled as part of her campaign platform, which also includes a two percent surtax on people with more than $50 million in assets and a three percent surtax on those who have $1 billion. ..."
Apr 11, 2019 | talkingpointsmemo.com
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) unveiled a major plank in her platform to tax the rich on Thursday, introducing plans for a new tax on all corporations that clear $100 million in annual profits.

Warren's "real corporate profits tax" is aimed at large corporations like Amazon that have generated huge profits in recent years while almost entirely avoiding federal taxes through a series of loopholes and credits.

"Because of relentless lobbying, our corporate income tax rules are filled with so many loopholes and exemptions and deductions that even companies that tell shareholders they have made more than a billion dollars in profits can end up paying no corporate income taxes," Warren wrote in a Medium post unveiling the plan. "Let's bring in the revenue we need to invest in opportunity for all Americans. And let's make this year the last year any company with massive profits pays zero federal taxes."

The plan would institute a seven percent tax on profits over $100 million in addition to current taxes. An economic analysis released by Warren's campaign estimated that at least 1,200 companies would be forced to pay new taxes under the plan, generating a net revenue boost of at least $1 trillion for the government.

Warren's plan is aimed at large corporations -- ones that have generally paid lower tax rates than smaller companies in recent years. The GOP tax cut law nearly doubled the number of publicly held companies that paid no federal taxes from 30 to 60 in the last year alone, according to a recent study from the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

This is the latest significant tax proposal the Massachusetts senator has unveiled as part of her campaign platform, which also includes a two percent surtax on people with more than $50 million in assets and a three percent surtax on those who have $1 billion.

The plans have earned her plaudits on the left and drawn concern from some more business-friendly moderate Democrats.

But so far, they haven't proven a game-changer in the presidential race. Warren continues to struggle to siphon off a significant chunk of voters who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) last election, her natural base of support. She's regularly polled in the mid- to upper-single digits in recent state and national polls, in the second tier of candidates.

And she raised just $6 million in her first quarter in the campaign, her team announced yesterday. That's not a terrible haul in a crowded field, especially since she's sworn off big donors, but it's nothing compared to the huge sums she pulled in as a Senate candidate -- and trailed even upstart South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D).

She also spent almost all of that money, having built out a large staff in the early primary states with a high payroll.

And Sanders isn't giving her much room on her left: He reintroduced a sweeping Medicare for all plan on Wednesday, which she cosponsored, a move that puts pressure on Warren and other Democrats to keep up as they try to woo the progressive wing of the party base.

[Apr 10, 2019] A demoralized white working and middle class was willing to believe in anything, deluding themselves into reading between the barren eruptions of his blowzy proclamations. They elevated him to messianic heights, ironically fashioning him into that which he publicly claims to despise: an Obama, a Barry in negative image, hope and change for the OxyContin and Breitbart set

Highly recommended!
Trump betrayed white workers because he knows he can get away with it. For the last thirty years of the 20th century millions of white families were wrenched out of the middle class without a squeak out of any major news outlet or national level politician. Trump himself stiffed his workers in those days and got away with it.
Notable quotes:
"... “In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider. ..."
"... A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won’t fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics.” ..."
"... Yes, it would have been worse with the Cackling Hyena, but what does that tell ya? ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: April 10, 2019 at 8:55 am GMT

I'm not sure why the author of this article seems to be surprised by the actions of Trump and his administration. The collective image of him as a blood-thirsty racist whose hatred of all peoples queer 'n' colored runs marrow and generations-deep -- think of a cross between a street corner John Galt and Ian Smith, daubed with vague overtones of Archie Bunker mingling with Clint Eastwood -- is purely an invention of the media, the left as well as that of the right.

Why or how he became the impromptu pope of white nationalism escapes me. Anyone with ears to listen and eyes to see could find for themselves that he never so much as intimated even muted sympathy for that movement, not during his campaign and certainly not as head of state, media accusations of "dog whistles" and the like notwithstanding.

But a demoralized white working and middle class were willing to believe in anything, deluding themselves into reading between the barren eruptions of his blowzy proclamations. They elevated him to messianic heights, ironically fashioning him into that which he publicly claims to despise: an Obama, a Barry in negative image, "hope and change" for the OxyContin and Breitbart set. Like his predecessor, Trump never really says anything at all. There are grand pronouncements, bilious screeds targeting perceived enemies, glib generalities, but rarely are any concrete, definitive ideas and policies ever articulated. Trump, like Obama, is merely a cipher, an empty suit upon which the dreams (or nightmares) of the beholder can effortlessly be projected, a polarizing figurehead who wields mostly ceremonial powers while others ostensibly beneath him busy themselves with the actual running of the republic.

To observe this requires no great research or expenditure of effort -- he lays it all out there for anybody to hear or read. Unfortunately, the near totality of this country's populace is effectively illiterate and poorly equipped to think critically and independently, preferring to accept the verdicts of their oleaginous talking heads at face value without ever troubling themselves to examine why. (The dubious products of the glorified diploma mills we call "higher education" are often the most gullible and dim-witted.) Trump is the dark magus of racism and bigotry -- boo! Trump is the man of sorrows who will carry aloft Western Civilization resurgent -- yay!

Just as the hysterical left was quickly shattered by the mediocrity that was Barack Obama, so too does the hysterical right now ululate the sting of Donald Trump's supposed betrayal. As with their ideological antipodes, they got what they deserved. Pity that the rest of us have to be carted along for the ride.

Amerimutt Golem , says: April 10, 2019 at 9:39 am GMT

Trump is just a golem -- a creature made by you know who to destroy their enemies like Iran etc, no different from GW or FDR.
anonymous [340] • Disclaimer , says: April 10, 2019 at 10:01 am GMT
Politics, at least at the national level, is a puppet show to channel and periodically blow off dissent.

“In 2008, Obama was touted as a political outsider who will hose away all of the rot and bloody criminality of the Bush years. He turned out to be a deft move by our ruling class. Though fools still refuse to see it, Obama is a perfect servant of our military banking complex. Now, Trump is being trumpeted as another political outsider.

A Trump presidency will temporarily appease restless, lower class whites, while serving as a magnet for liberal anger. This will buy our ruling class time as they continue to wage war abroad while impoverishing Americans back home. Like Obama, Trump won’t fulfill any of his election promises, and this, too, will be blamed on bipartisan politics.”

Linh Dinh, “Orlando Shooting Means Trump for President,” published at The Unz Review, June 12, 2016.

jacques sheete , says: April 10, 2019 at 10:12 am GMT

@Hank

We were “Trumped”. Hard to believe.

What’s so hard to believe? Many of us predicted as much.

PS: It would be more accurate to admit that his supporters have been t Rumped . He stuck it to ya and you enjoyed it. Believe it and remember it.

Yes, it would have been worse with the Cackling Hyena, but what does that tell ya?

[Apr 08, 2019] Senator Elizabeth Warren lobbed another policy grenade into the Democratic primary Friday, announcing she supports drastically changing the Senate by eliminating its legendary filibuster to give her party a better chance of implementing its ambitious agenda.

Apr 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , April 07, 2019 at 06:00 AM

(Liz swerves left!)

Here's how Elizabeth Warren is trying to outmaneuver Bernie Sanders
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/04/05/warren-call-for-end-senate-filibuster/S3saQJayxQNZBPTXQ85x1O/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

Liz Goodwin - April 5, 2019

NEW YORK -- Senator Elizabeth Warren lobbed another policy grenade into the Democratic primary Friday, announcing she supports drastically changing the Senate by eliminating its legendary filibuster to give her party a better chance of implementing its ambitious agenda.

The move puts her campaign rivals on the spot to explain how they would pass their own ambitious legislative priorities if the Senate keeps its rule in place requiring a 60-vote supermajority to advance most bills.

Warren's announcement allows her to swerve to the left of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in a meaningful way at a time when she's straggling far behind him in early polls and grass-roots fund-raising.

Sanders, who popularized proposals like free college and Medicare for All among Democrats during his 2016 run for president, has been reluctant to support scrapping the filibuster. That raises questions about how he would be able to pass his sweeping proposals into law should he become president, given Democrats are extremely unlikely to have 60 seats in the Senate.

"I'm not running for president just to talk about making real, structural change," Warren told a group of activists at a conference organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton, where she announced her opposition to the filibuster. "I'm serious about getting it done. And part of getting it done means waking up to the reality of the United States Senate."

The appearance in New York caps off a three-week run that has seen Warren call for making it easier to send executives to jail for corporate crimes, unveil a proposal to break up farm monopolies, endorse forming a commission to study reparations for the descendants of slaves, and say she would like to abolish the Electoral College so presidents are elected by popular vote.

"Bernie Sanders, nobody's to his left on policy, but there's lots of running room on his left on procedural changes that would be necessary to enact those policies," said Brian Fallon, a former top Hillary Clinton aide and the founder of the liberal advocacy group Demand Justice.

Sanders said he's not "crazy about" the idea of getting rid of the filibuster in an interview in February, but said in a later statement that he is open to reform.

Getting rid of the Senate filibuster, which has been around since the mid-1800s, was once seen as a radical proposal that would undermine the chamber's ability to take a deliberative approach to major issues. But Democratic and Republican majorities have chipped away at it in recent years, jettisoning filibusters for Cabinet and Supreme Court nominees.

Just this week, Senate Republicans infuriated Democrats by unilaterally reducing the amount of debate time for other executive branch and judicial nominees before a filibuster could be ended.

The move to ditch the filibuster has gained currency among liberals frustrated that the Senate is more Republican than the general public because of liberals clustering on the coasts and the constitutional requirement that all states get two senators regardless of population.

President Trump and Barack Obama have complained about the filibuster, with Obama saying last year that it made it "almost impossible" to govern.

Though probably too wonky a proposal to reach the average voter, the debate over the Senate filibuster animates the Democratic activists who are watching the primary the most closely and whose support the candidates are vying to win. Those activists are unmoved by candidates who say they'll be able to persuade Republicans to sign onto their ambitious liberal legislation.

"The idea that you can win people over by inviting them over for drinks on the Truman Balcony -- that is completely out of vogue," Fallon said.

Other candidates have also called for getting rid of the filibuster, including Governor J*a*y Inslee of Washington and Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who is pondering a run. However, Warren is the first sitting senator in the race to do so. Senator Kamala Harris of California, who signed a letter in 2017 affirming the filibuster, now says she's conflicted about it.

The filibuster's defenders say it protects the rights of the minority party, and forces the majority to compromise. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who also signed the 2017 letter, has said he is concerned that getting rid of the filibuster would mean Republicans would be able to more easily pass legislation in the future over Democrats' objections.

In her speech to the National Action Network's activists, a largely black crowd, Warren framed the filibuster as a tool of "racists" who used it for decades to block civil rights legislation, including a bill to make lynching a federal crime that was first introduced in the early 1900s. The legislation finally passed this year.

"We can't sit around for 100 years while climate change destroys our planet, while corruption pervades every nook and cranny of Washington, and while too much of a child's fate in life still rests on the color of their skin," she said.

After her speech, Warren told reporters that she is concerned about the bills Republicans would be able to pass without the filibuster, but that getting rid of it is worth it for Democrats. "Of course I'm worried. But I'm also worried about a minority that blocks real change that we need to make in this country," she said.

The calls to eliminate the filibuster are part of a larger debate among Democrats about reforming US democracy after they lost the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections despite winning the popular vote. Warren, along with several other Democrats, has also called to abolish the Electoral College. Warren, Harris, and former representative Beto O'Rourke of Texas are also open to the idea of the next president expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court to offset its conservative majority.

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who pushes a host of liberal policies, has been more conservative on these proposals than many of his presidential campaign rivals. He is against expanding the court, arguing it would be a slippery slope that Republicans could also take advantage of, and is still on the fence about ditching the filibuster and abolishing the Electoral College.

Warren declined to call out her Senate colleagues when asked whether she was surprised they had not endorsed the idea of ending the filibuster. "All I can do is keep running the campaign I'm running and talking about these ideas," she said.

[Apr 08, 2019] "FullOf Schiff" Russiagater behave like typical members of doomsday cult, when the prophecy was not fulfilled. They just became more fanatical

Apr 08, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

kurt -> Christopher H.... , March 26, 2019 at 03:28 PM

Barr says Mueller didn't find an "Direct" coordination with "Russian Government officials." That leaves all sorts of room for indirect (through wiki, through Kislyck, through the NRA... etc.). This is wildly different than what you claim here - and your claim is not something you know. I suppose it could be true, but you are believing the guy that covered up the Iran Contra affair and got Oliver North off for his numerous, admitted crimes.

IF what you say is true, please explain -
1. Why did Trump, his family and his closest associates lie 100's of times about over 100 contacts with known assets of the GRU?
2. If Mueller "completely and totally exonerated" Trump, why are Trump's lawyers and McConnell keeping the report from the public.
3. How is it possible that Barr thoroughly read and absorbed the report and it's evidence in reportedly only 9 hours including the time it took him to draft his heavily hedged 4 page memo?
4. Why did Mueller go out of his way to nail Manafort for lying about Russian contacts if it was immaterial - he was going to jail for the rest of his life regardless?
5. Why do you discount the publicly available evidence that Trump obstructed justice? Is it okay with you that Trump did it just because it was in the open?
6. Do you care that Russia clearly attempted to influence (and likely did) the 2016 election?

JohnH -> kurt... , March 26, 2019 at 05:06 PM
kurt is grasping at straws...
JohnH -> JohnH... , March 26, 2019 at 05:44 PM
If there was a 'there' there, it would have been leaked weeks or months ago. Democrats are desperate...
kurt -> JohnH... , March 27, 2019 at 10:06 AM
Leaked by whom? And when when the report is only a few days off.
JohnH -> kurt... , March 27, 2019 at 12:14 PM
Leaked by someone with inside knowledge and thinks that justice has not been served...happens all the time.

Exactly what is kurt think Trump is guilty of?

Books have written about Trump criminality, but for some strange reason, Democrats have not been interested in pursuing those crimes. They were only interested in Hillary's preposterous allegation that Trump colluded with Putin.

Perhaps because Trump's other crimes are similar to Democratic corruption...and he may have the goods on folks like Schumer? Mutual assured destruction to pursue crimes that committed over the past 50 years?

kurt -> JohnH... , March 27, 2019 at 10:09 AM
can't answer a single question. par for the course.
Christopher H. said in reply to kurt... , March 27, 2019 at 08:25 AM
"but you are believing the guy that covered up the Iran Contra affair and got Oliver North off for his numerous, admitted crimes."

I'm believing Mueller who worked on this for 20 months with his team after Comey worked on in from 2016 until he was fired.

Thought you placed your faith in Mueller? Sorry for your loss.

Of course it won't stop you from accusing everyone with being Russian bots.

kurt -> Christopher H.... , March 27, 2019 at 10:07 AM
You have no idea what Mueller said. Only Barr's summary. Which is full of hedge language - which indicates cover up. If it exonerates Trump, why is McConnell blocking the release and back to "but her emails" and Steele Dossier?
JohnH -> kurt... , March 27, 2019 at 05:51 PM
Among kurt's questions, he carefully avoids the central question: Did Trump conspire with the Russian government to subvert and American election and help Trump win? Hillary thought so. kurt assured us repeatedly that Trump's guilt was a proven fact, a slam dunk prosecution. Democrats and their media talked about it incessantly for three years, crowding out interest in domestic corruption and other avenues of prosecution...and allowing Democrats flog that issue and avoid developing a coherent message and a popular program to address major problems.

They were all wrong about the central charge that Trump conspired with Putin to subvert the election. Mueller did not find enough evidence to indict or prosecute. That was...repeat, that was Mueller's charge. And he answered that central question, embarrassing and humiliating Democrats and the media that flogged that fake news for three years.

Sure, Trump has not been exonerated on everything. Sure, investigations should continue, focusing on those that have a high probability of finding corruption and criminality...something that Democrats have avoided for years, despite books being written on the subject.

The key question is: why have Democrats avoided investigating Trump on all those areas that could yield prosecution for domestic corruption and criminality and instead focus almost exclusively on a wild goose chase?

Julio -> JohnH... , March 28, 2019 at 07:24 PM
Not quite: Democrats have not "avoided" investigating Trump. They had no power to subpoena until now.

But they definitely talked a lot about Muller, when in fact they should have been talking about corruption and nepotism.

JohnH -> Julio ... , March 29, 2019 at 07:47 AM
It's true. Democrats had had no subpoena power, but there is always the court of public opinion. Books have been written about Trump's corruption, his sleazy and likely criminal business behavior. Hillary refused to raise the issue much if at all. Pelosi and Schumer avoided anything but Putin...probably because Trump has the goods on them. They needed to fabricate a preposterous charge that wouldn't blow back against them.
kurt -> JohnH... , April 03, 2019 at 10:05 AM
Read the one and only footnote on Barr's "report." Then get back to me. It is doing all the work and it is obviously a coverup. If you define collusion as only tacit agreement between only government actors, then every spy that has ever been jailed or executed is not guilty.
Plp -> kurt... , March 27, 2019 at 07:17 AM
Some one ought subvert uncle's global hegemonic power

If not the patriotic but humanitarian majority domestic electorate

It will have to be who or what ?

foreign strategic rivals

[Apr 08, 2019] Is there no end to the perversity of "FullOf Schiff" people?

Russiagate is dead. Long live the Russiagate !
Apr 08, 2019 | consortiumnews.com
Russia-gate's Successor Gambit – Consortiumnews By James Howard Kunstler
Clusterfuck Nation

Having disgraced themselves with full immersion in the barren Russia-gate "narrative," the Resistance is now tripling down on Russia-gate's successor gambit: obstruction of justice where there was no crime in the first place. What exactly was that bit of mischief Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller inserted in his final report, saying that " while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him?"

It's this simple: prosecutors are charged with finding crimes. If there is insufficient evidence to bring a case, then that is the end of the matter. Prosecutors, special or otherwise, are not authorized to offer hypothetical accounts where they can't bring a criminal case. But Mueller produced a brief of arguments pro-and-con about obstruction for others to decide upon. In doing that, he was out of order, and maliciously so.

Trump and Barr on Feb. 14, 2019. (Wikimedia Commons)

Of course, Attorney General William Barr took up the offer and declared the case closed, as he properly should where the prosecutor could not conclude that a crime was committed. One hopes that the AG also instructed Mueller and his staff to shut the f up vis-à-vis further ex post facto "anonymous source" speculation in the news media. But, of course, the Mueller staff -- which inexplicably included lawyers who worked for the Clinton Foundation and the Democratic National Committee -- at once started insinuating to New York Times reporters that the full report would contain an arsenal of bombshells reigniting enough suspicion to fuel several congressional committee investigations.

The objective apparently is to keep President Donald Trump burdened, hobbled, and disabled for the remainder of his term, and especially in preparation for the 2020 election against whomever emerges from the crowd of lightweights and geriatric cases now roistering through the primary states. It also leaves the door open for the Resistance to prosecute an impeachment case, since that is a political matter, not a law enforcement action.

Setting up the AG

This blog is not associated with any court other than public opinion, and I am free to hypothesize on the meaning of Mueller's curious gambit, so here goes: Barr, long before being considered for his current job, published his opinion that there was no case for obstruction of justice in the Russia-gate affair. By punting the decision to Barr, Mueller sets up the AG for being accused of prejudice in the matter -- and, more to the point, has managed to generate a new brushfire in the press.

Barr could see this coming from a thousand miles away. I suspect he's pissed off about being set up like this. I suspect further that he knows this brushfire is intended to produce a smokescreen to obscure the rash of grand jury referrals coming down in the weeks and months ahead against the many government employees who concocted the Russia-gate scandal. Personally, I think Mueller himself deserves to be in that roundup for destroying evidence (the Strzok / Page cell phones) and for malicious prosecution against General Michael Flynn , among other things.

The reason Mueller did not bring an obstruction-of-justice charge against Trump is that the evidence didn't support it. He didn't have a case. In a trial -- say, after Trump was impeached or left office -- the discovery process could bring to light evidence that might embarrass and even incriminate Mueller and his staff, and cast further opprobrium on the federal justice agencies. For instance: why did Mueller drag out his inquiry for two years when he must have known by at least the summer of 2017 that the Steele dossier was a fraud perpetrated by the Clinton campaign?

Now the propaganda crusade has been initiated to defame Barr. The idiots running the budding new congressional inquiries are going to pile on him, with the help of the news media. Though he is said to be an "old friend" of Robert Mueller's, I believe they have become adversaries, perhaps even enemies. Mueller is not in a position of strength in this battle. He has now officially exited the stage as his mandate expires, so he has no standing to oppose further consequences in the aftermath of Russia-gate. What remains is a dastardly and seditious hoax as yet un-adjudicated and an evidence trail a mile wide, and no amount of jumping up and down crying "woo woo woo" by Democratic lawmakers Jerrold Nadler, Maxine Waters, and Adam Schiff is going to derail that choo-choo train a'chuggin' down the tracks.

James Howard Kunstler is author of "The Geography of Nowhere," which he says he wrote "Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work." He has written several other works of nonfiction and fiction. Read more about him here . This article first appeared on his blog, ClusterfuckNation .

.


KiwiAntz , April 8, 2019 at 18:00

If at first you don't succeed, "try, try, try again? The Resistance, unlike Neo in the Matrix, fails to take the red pill to wake up too real life, in the present & continues to swallow the blue pill to stay in the dreamworld of fake realities & Hoax conspiracies? So the Kabuki theatre must continue, the too big to fail lie of Russiagate can't be allowed to die? The damage this fake conspiracy, collusion delusion is having on the US can't be quantified? The fools who continue to promote this narrative are now tripling down in a state of denial that defies belief! The Mainstream Media is now totally dead & buried, no one believes their lies anymore & people are heading to alt media in droves! Politicians & Politics, especially left wing, are objects of derision & contempt, & although Trump may be innocent, the fact remains that he is a terrible President & a dangerous idiot?? You only need to look at his staff with warmongering imbeciles like Pompeo, Bolton & their kind who are leading America to War, in which their win ratio is zero? The lunatic Russiagate narrative has served & achieved part of its goals & purposes? To hamstrung Trump & paralyse his administration & get him impeached via a coup d'état then to destroy & poison Russian detente,civility & relations? It failed on one level to obtain Trumps removal but succeeded in destroying Russian relations, the most dangerous gambit ever, to taut & ridicule a Nuclear Superpower? But that's the actions of a dying US Empire in decline, arrogance, ignorance, hubris & self delusion, all aptly supported by a corrupt propagandist fourth estate, the American Fakestream Media?

JonnyJames , April 8, 2019 at 17:06

Once again, we see this is all a rather ridiculous charade to distract the public. As Bill Binney & the VIPS pointed out on this website & others: if there was any evidence of "Russian collusion" the NSA would have had it immediately. After two wasted years of distractions & nonsense, of course there is NO evidence.

The irrational reactions of partisan hypocrites are truly bizarre, we need to have a social psychologist explain the madness of crowd mentality here. What's more, so many people STILL fail to acknowledge (or are paid not to) that there is NO evidence. They say wait and see (We're still waiting for Saddam's WMD etc) Tragically humorous

You want REAL collusion and high crimes?: The Trump regime virtually takes orders verbatim on foreign policy from Benjamin Nuttyahoo. However, Israeli diktats enjoy the overwhelming support of both "parties" in Congress and the servile media cartel. Pointing out these extremely obvious & highly problematic facts is not allowed. One cannot talk about Israeli lobby groups not having to register as foreign agents. One cannot talk about indisputable facts with a mountain of evidence in plain sight.

In the words of Rod Serling: "You have entered the Twilight Zone"

Jeff Harrison , April 8, 2019 at 13:20

I believe that the term prosecutor should officially be retired and the more accurate term persecutor should be substituted in its place. The frequency of persecutorial misconduct at all levels of the judicial system makes a mockery of the concept of justice.

JonnyJames , April 8, 2019 at 17:17

Yes indeed.

Justice and "the rule of law" is made a mockery of every day: Dick Cheney/Bush Jr.. Tony Blair & other war criminals walk free. Instead of being in prison for life, they are lavished with praise from media personalities & make big money.
After committing "the largest financial crimes in history, by orders of magnitude", (prof. William K. Black) NOT ONE senior banker has been indicted, let alone prosecuted. Jamie Dimon, for example, is in the media regularly and depicted as a brilliant & great man.

Congress & the Exec. routinely ignore & violate the law, including the US constitution & Bill of Rights. At this point when any politician says the words "democracy" & "the rule of law" I sneer & laugh with contempt

Skip Scott , April 8, 2019 at 12:55

It will be interesting to see if the DoJ really does follow up on the RussiaGate scam and attempt to indict the people who created it. Would they really dare to prosecute members of our so-called "intelligence" community? What about Schumer's "six ways from Sunday"?

mike k , April 8, 2019 at 15:26

Schumer is just a little Mafia toady.

JDC , April 8, 2019 at 12:38

The discovery process in any trial of Trump would have also perhaps brought to light that Mueller's conclusion, as relayed by Barr's summary, that Russia hacked the DNC and delivered the documents to Wikileaks has no basis in fact, given what Bill Binney and the other VIPS have shown.

hetro , April 8, 2019 at 12:31

I think what needs clarifying here is the difference between "does not conclude the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him" and the more specific "obstruction of justice" accusation. For me, at least, this is confusing. Trump may well have committed a crime by ordering Cohen to pay off Stormy Daniels, or in other ways similar to the financial sleaze revealed with his associates–but is this not separate from "obstruction of justice"? Further, it would seem to most ordinary mortals Mueller would be embarrassed after more than two years to come up with . . . nothing? So he gives us not guilty of "collusion" and hints at something else, taking the heat off himself (or attempting to)?

Blessthebeasts , April 8, 2019 at 12:23

Is there no end to the perversity of these people?

[Apr 07, 2019] Nunes The Russian Collusion Hoax Meets An Unbelievbable End

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Nice group shot of the three stooges. The most dishonest, disloyal, dipshitted psychopaths a country should never have to endure. ..."
"... The likelihood of anyone being convicted let alone indicted is rather slim. Why? These people know where too many dead bodies are buried. ..."
"... There is an understanding in their circles that certain individuals on both sides of the spectrum are bulletproof. You can't run such a large criminal enterprise without it being this way. Why else would Mueller not talk to Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Steele, the heads of Fusion GPS, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., the promoter who set that up, etc., etc. ..."
"... This whole ordeal was meant to die an uneventful death. It's unlikely Barr will act on any recommendations from Nunes becuase it would start a partisan war that would snare GOP never Trumpers too. It's how Washington works. Like Carlin says - it's a great big club and you ain't in it. They are, and they don't do time. ..."
Apr 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Rep. Devin Nunes, op-ed via The Washington Examiner,

As the Russia collusion hoax hurtles toward its demise, it's important to consider how this destructive information operation rampaged through vital American institutions for more than two years , and what can be done to stop such a damaging episode from recurring.

While the hoax was fueled by a wide array of false accusations, misleading leaks of ostensibly classified information, and bad-faith investigative actions by government officials, one vital element was indispensable to the overall operation: the Steele dossier.

<

Funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee, which hid their payments from disclosure by funneling them through the law firm Perkins Coie, the dossier was a collection of false and often absurd accusations of collusion between Trump associates and Russian officials. These allegations, which relied heavily on Russian sources cultivated by Christopher Steele, were spoon-fed to Trump opponents in the U.S. government, including officials in law enforcement and intelligence.

The efforts to feed the dossier's allegations into top levels of the U.S. government, particularly intelligence agencies, were championed by Steele, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, and various intermediaries. These allegations were given directly to the FBI and Justice Department, while similar allegations were fed into the State Department by long-time Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal.

Their efforts were remarkably effective. Officials within the FBI and DOJ, whether knowingly or unintentionally, provided essential support to the hoax conspirators, bypassing normal procedures and steering the information away from those who would view it critically. The dossier soon metastasized within the government, was cloaked in secrecy, and evaded serious scrutiny.

High-ranking officials such as then-FBI general counsel James Baker and then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr were among those whose actions advanced the hoax. Ohr, one of the most senior officials within the DOJ, took the unprecedented step of providing to Steele a back door into the FBI investigation. This enabled the former British spy to continue to feed information to investigators, even though he had been terminated by the FBI for leaking to the press and was no longer a valid source. Even worse, Ohr directly briefed Andrew Weissmann and Zainab Ahmad, two DOJ officials who were later assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. In short, the investigation was marked by glaring irregularities that would normally be deemed intolerable.

According to Ohr's congressional testimony, he told top-level FBI officials as early as August or September 2016 that Steele was biased against Trump, that Steele's work was connected to the Clinton campaign, and that Steele's material was of questionable reliability. Steele himself confirmed that last point in a British court case in which he acknowledged his allegations included unverified information. Yet even after this revelation, intelligence leaders continued to cite the Steele dossier in applications to renew the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

It is astonishing that intelligence leaders did not immediately recognize they were being manipulated in an information operation or understand the danger that the dossier could contain deliberate disinformation from Steele's Russian sources . In fact, it is impossible to believe in light of everything we now know about the FBI's conduct of this investigation, including the astounding level of anti-Trump animus shown by high-level FBI figures like Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, as well as the inspector general's discovery of a shocking number of leaks by FBI officials.

It's now clear that top intelligence officials were perfectly well aware of the dubiousness of the dossier, but they embraced it anyway because it justified actions they wanted to take - turning the full force of our intelligence agencies first against a political candidate and then against a sitting president.

The hoax itself was a gift to our nation's adversaries, most notably Russia. The abuse of intelligence for political purposes is insidious in any democracy. It undermines trust in democratic institutions, and it damages the reputation of the brave men and women who are working to keep us safe. This unethical conduct has had major repercussions on America's body politic, creating a yearslong political crisis whose full effects remain to be seen.

Having extensively investigated this abuse, House Intelligence Committee Republicans will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in these matters.

These people must be held to account to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future. The men and women of our intelligence community perform an essential service defending American national security, and their ability to carry out their mission cannot be compromised by biased actors who seek to transform the intelligence agencies into weapons of political warfare.


-320 for Money , 2 hours ago link

Nice group shot of the three stooges. The most dishonest, disloyal, dipshitted psychopaths a country should never have to endure.

I certainly do not know the cure for all the nations ills, but these 3 ***** could do more by dying than they ever did by living.

Fall on your swords swine, save a smidgen of face, you are a disgrace.

Real Estate Guru , 2 hours ago link

All 3 of them have been confirmed to by lying through their teeth by their own people. They are all going down. We just need the Mueller report to come out to get the ball rolling. Can't do it before the report comes out as they would call it obstruction. So we wait another 9 days, or less, according to AG Barr.

Jackprong , 4 hours ago link

Could be, PapaGeorge. Maybe this time it's different because it could be argued that the TPTB don't want Trump pulling the same thing on the DNC--and get away with it like the Usual Suspects just did. In legal terms, a bar has been set. BARR? Get it? Buwhahahahahahahahahha!!!

The likelihood of anyone being convicted let alone indicted is rather slim. Why? These people know where too many dead bodies are buried. There is an understanding in their circles that certain individuals on both sides of the spectrum are bulletproof. You can't run such a large criminal enterprise without it being this way. Why else would Mueller not talk to Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Steele, the heads of Fusion GPS, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., the promoter who set that up, etc., etc.

This whole ordeal was meant to die an uneventful death. It's unlikely Barr will act on any recommendations from Nunes becuase it would start a partisan war that would snare GOP never Trumpers too. It's how Washington works. Like Carlin says - it's a great big club and you ain't in it. They are, and they don't do time

papageorgeo , 5 hours ago link

The likelihood of anyone being convicted let alone indicted is rather slim. Why? These people know where too many dead bodies are buried.

There is an understanding in their circles that certain individuals on both sides of the spectrum are bulletproof. You can't run such a large criminal enterprise without it being this way. Why else would Mueller not talk to Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Steele, the heads of Fusion GPS, the Russian lawyer who met with Trump Jr., the promoter who set that up, etc., etc.

This whole ordeal was meant to die an uneventful death. It's unlikely Barr will act on any recommendations from Nunes becuase it would start a partisan war that would snare GOP never Trumpers too. It's how Washington works. Like Carlin says - it's a great big club and you ain't in it. They are, and they don't do time.

Fred box , 5 hours ago link

<<<House Intelligence Committee Republicans will soon be submitting criminal referrals on numerous individuals involved in these matters<<< We shall see now, won't we? I won't believe this, till I see It!

[Apr 07, 2019] Muellergate The Discreet Lies Of The Bourgeoisie

Apr 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Muellergate & The Discreet Lies Of The Bourgeoisie

by Tyler Durden Sat, 04/06/2019 - 19:00 152 SHARES Via CraigMurray.co.uk,

This cartoon seems to me very apposite...

The capacity of the mainstream media repeatedly to promote the myth that Russia caused Clinton's defeat, while never mentioning what the information was that had been so damaging to Hillary, should be alarming to anybody under the illusion that we have a working "free media".

There are literally hundreds of thousands of mainstream media articles and broadcasts, from every single one of the very biggest names in the Western media, which were predicated on the complete nonsense that Russia had conspired to install Donald Trump as President of the United States.

I genuinely have never quite understood whether the journalists who wrote this guff believed it, whether they were cynically pumping out propaganda and taking their pay cheque, or whether they just did their "job" and chose to avoid asking themselves whether they were producing truth or lies.

I suspect the answer varies from journalist to journalist. At the Guardian, for example, I get the impression that Carole Cadwalladr is sufficiently divorced from reality to believe all that she writes. Having done a very good job in investigating the nasty right wing British Establishment tool that was Cambridge Analytica, Cadwalladr became deluded by her own fame and self-importance and decided that her discovery was the key to understanding all of world politics. In her head it explained all the disappointments of Clintonites and Blairites everywhere. She is not so high-minded however as to have refused the blandishments of the Integrity Initiative.

Luke Harding is in a different category. Harding has become so malleable a tool of the security services it is impossible to believe he is not willingly being used. It would be embarrassing to have written a bestseller called "Collusion", the entire premiss for which has now been disproven, had Harding not made so much money out of it.

Harding's interview with Aaron Mate of The Real News was a truly enlightening moment. The august elite of the mainstream media virtually never meet anybody who subjects their narrative to critical intellectual scrutiny. Harding's utter inability to deal with unanticipated scepticism descends from hilarious to toe-curlingly embarrassing.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zvwcPOn5Iws

In general, since the Mueller report confirmed that $50 million worth of investigation had been unable to uncover any evidence of Russiagate collusion, the media has been astonishingly unrepentant about the absolute rubbish they have been churning out for years.

Harding and the Guardian's story about Manafort repeatedly calling on Assange in the Ecuador Embassy is one of the most blatant and malicious fabrications in modern media history. It has been widely ridiculed, no evidence of any kind has ever been produced to substantiate it, and the story has been repeatedly edited on the Guardian website to introduce further qualifications and acknowledgements of dubious attribution, not present as originally published. But still neither Editor Katherine Viner nor author Luke Harding has either retracted or apologised, something which calls the fundamental honesty of both into question.

Manafort is now in prison, because as with many others interviewed, the Mueller investigation found he had been involved in several incidences of wrongdoing. Right up until Mueller finalised his report, media articles and broadcasts repeatedly, again and again and again every single day, presented these convictions as proving that there had been collusion with Russia. The media very seldom pointed out that none of the convictions related to collusion. In fact for the most part they related to totally extraneous events, like unrelated tax frauds or Trump's hush-money to (very All-American) prostitutes. The "Russians" that Manafort was convicted of lobbying for without declaration, were Ukrainian and the offences occurred ten years ago and had no connection to Trump of any kind. Rather similarly the lies of which Roger Stone stands accused relate to his invention, for personal gain, of a non-existent relationship with Wikileaks.

The truth is that, if proper and detailed investigation were done into any group of wealthy politicos in Washington, numerous crimes would be uncovered, especially in the fields of tax and lobbying. Rich political operatives are very sleazy. This is hardly news, and if those around Clinton had been investigated there would be just as many convictions and of similar kinds. it is a pity there is not more of this type of work, all the time. But the Russophobic motive behind the Mueller Inquiry was not forwarded by any of the evidence obtained.

My analysis of the Steele dossier, written before I was aware that Sergei Skripal probably had a hand in it, has stood the test of time very well. It is a confection of fantasy concocted for money by a charlatan.

We should not forget at this stage to mention the unfortunate political prisoner Maria Butina, whose offence is to be Russian and very marginally involved in American politics at the moment when there was a massive witchhunt for Russian spies in progress, that makes The Crucible look like a study in calm rationality. Ms Butina was attempting to make her way in the US political world, no doubt, and she had at least one patron in Moscow who was assisting her with a view to increasing their own political influence. But nothing Butina did was covert or sinister. Her efforts to win favour within the NRA were notable chiefly because of the irony that the NRA has been historically responsible for many more American deaths than Russia.

Any narrative of which the Establishment does not approve is decried as conspiracy theory. Yet the "Russiagate" conspiracy theory – which truly is Fake News – has been promoted massively by the entire weight of western corporate and state media. "Russiagate", a breathtaking plot in which Russia and a high profile US TV personality collude together to take control of the most militarily powerful country in the world, knocks "The Manchurian Candidate" into a cocked hat. A Google "news search" restricts results to mainstream media outlets. Such a search for the term "Russiagate" brings 230,000 results. That is almost a quarter of a million incidents of the mainstream media not only reporting the fake "Russiagate" story, but specifically using that term to describe it.

Compare that with a story which is not an outlandish fake conspiracy theory, but a very real conspiracy.

If, by contrast, you do a Google "news search" for the term "Integrity Initiative", the UK government's covert multi million pound programme to pay senior mainstream media journalists to pump out anti-Russian propaganda worldwide, you only get one eighth of the results you get for "Russiagate". Because the mainstream media have been enthusiastically promoting the fake conspiracy story, and deliberately suppressing the very real conspiracy in which many of their own luminaries are personally implicated.

[Apr 06, 2019] Elizabeth Warren's Watered-Down Populism

Apr 06, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Too often caught between Randian individualism on one hand and big-government collectivism on the other, America's working-class parents need a champion.

They might well have had one in Elizabeth Warren, whose 2003 book, The Two-Income Trap , co-authored with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi, was unafraid to skewer sacred cows. Long a samizdat favorite among socially conservative writers, the book recently got a new dose of attention after being spotlighted on the Right by Fox News's Tucker Carlson and on the Left by Vox's Matthew Yglesias .

The book's main takeaway was that two-earner families in the early 2000s seemed to be less, rather than more, financially stable than one-earner families in the 1970s. Whereas stay-at-home moms used to provide families with an implicit safety net, able to enter the workforce if circumstances required, the dramatic rise of the two-earner family had effectively bid up the cost of everyday life. Rather than the additional income giving families more breathing room, they argue, "Mom's paycheck has been pumped directly into the basic costs of keeping the children in the middle class."

Warren and Warren Tyagi report that as recently as the late 1970s, a married mother was roughly twice as likely to stay at home with her children than work full-time. But by 2000, those figures had almost reversed. Both parents had been pressed into the workforce to maintain adequate standards of living for their families -- the "two-income trap" of the book's title.

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What caused the trap to be sprung? Cornell University economist Francine Blau has helpfully drawn a picture of women's changing responsiveness to labor market wages during the 20th century. In her work with Laurence Kahn, Blau found that women's wage elasticities -- how responsive their work decisions were to changes in their potential wages -- used to be far more heavily driven by their husband's earning potential or lack thereof (what economists call cross-wage elasticity). Over time, Blau and Kahn found, women's responsiveness to wages -- their own or their husbands -- began to fall, and their labor force participation choices began to more closely resemble men's, providing empirical backing to the story Warren and Warren Tyagi tell.

Increasing opportunity and education were certainly one driver of this trend. In 1960, just 5.8 percent of all women over age 25 had a bachelor's degree or higher. Today, 41.7 percent of mothers aged 25 and over have a college degree. Many of these women entered careers in which they found fulfillment and meaning, and the opportunity costs, both financially and professionally, of staying home might have been quite high.

But what about the plurality of middle- and working-class moms who weren't necessarily looking for a career with a path up the corporate ladder? What was pushing them into full-time work for pay, despite consistently telling pollsters they wished they could work less?

The essential point, stressed by Warren and Warren Tyagi, was the extent to which this massive shift was driven by a desire to provide for one's children. The American Dream has as many interpretations as it does adherents, but a baseline definition would surely include giving your children a better life. Many women in America's working and middle classes entered the labor force purely to provide the best possible option for their families.

The Student Loan Trap Up From Consumerism

In the search for good neighborhoods and good schools, a bidding war quickly became an arms race. There were "two words so powerful the families would pursue them to the brink of bankruptcy: safety and education ." The authors underplay the extent to which policy had explicitly sought to preserve home values, driven by their use as investment vehicles and retirement accounts, a dynamic covered expertly by William Fischel's The Homevoter Hypothesis . But their broader point is accurate -- rising house prices, aided and abetted by policy choices around land use, have made it harder for families to afford the cost of living in 21st-century America.

Another factor in the springing of the trap? Divorce. In her 2000 book about how feminism had failed women, Danielle Crittenden writes about how fear of dependency, especially in an era of no-fault divorce, had caused women to rank financial independence highly.

These two factors, along with others Warren and Warren Tyagi explore, made it difficult for families to unilaterally disarm without losing their place in the middle class. "Today's middle-class mother is trapped," they write. "She can't afford to work, and she can't afford to quit."

A quiet armistice may have been declared in the so-called "mommy wars," but the underlying pressures haven't gone away since The Two-Income Trap was published. If anything, they've gotten worse.

Warren and Warren Tyagi propose severing the link between housing and school districts through a "well-designed voucher program," calling the public education system "the heart of the problem." They correctly note that "schools in middle-class neighborhoods may be labeled 'public,'" but that parents effectively pay tuition by purchasing a home within a carefully selected school district. Breaking the cartel that ties educational outcomes to zip codes would increase choices for families and open the door to further educational pluralism.

Warren and Warren Tyagi are also unafraid to tell unpopular truths about the futility of additional funding for colleges (identifying "faith in the power of higher education [as] the new secular religion"), housing affordability ("direct subsidies are likely to add more ammunition to the already ruinous bidding wars, ultimately driving home prices even higher"), universal child care (which "would create yet another comparative disadvantage for single-income families trying to compete in the marketplace"), and usurious credit (Warren's long work on bankruptcy requires deeper treatment than this space allows, but their questioning of our over-reliance on consumer debt deserves a fuller hearing).

Warren's presidential campaign contains elements of this attempt to make life easier for families, but the shades of her vision of a pro-family economic policy seem paler than they were a decade and a half ago.

Her universal child care plan , for example, seemingly contradicts her prior stated worries about disadvantaging stay-at-home parents. While she explicitly -- and wisely -- steers clear of a subsidy-based approach, her attempt to "create a network of child care options" does less to directly support families who aren't looking for formal care. In a sense, Warren would replicate the public school experience for the under-five crowd -- if you don't want to participate, that's fine, but you'll bear the cost on your own. A true pro-family populism would seek to increase the choice set for all families, regardless of their work-life situations.

Warren's housing plan has similarly good intentions, seeking to increase the supply of affordable housing rather than simply trying to subsidize demand. Her competitive education grant would reward municipalities for relaxing restrictive zoning requirements. But while her campaign has yet to release a plan on education, it seems unlikely we'll see the kind of bold approach to educational choice she espoused in 2003. Populist sympathizers of all ideological stripes should hope I'm proven wrong.

Warren's attempt at pro-family progressive populism seems honest. If not for certain infamous biographical missteps, her personal story would be one of how America is still a land of opportunity -- the daughter of a Oklahoma department store salesman who worked her way to a law degree, a professorship, and a Senate seat. There's a congruence in her positioning of economic security as a family values issue and the resurgent interest in a pro-worker, pro-family conservative agenda. And unlike so many politicians, her personal experience seems to have instilled an understanding of why so many dual-earner families see work as a means to the end of providing a better life for their children rather than an end in itself.

A politician willing to question the sacred cows of double-income families, more money for schools, and easy credit is the kind of politician this populist moment requires. A candidate willing to call into question an economic model that prioritizes GDP growth over all else would boldly position himself or herself as being on the side of families whose vision of the American Dream involves a better life for their children, yet who are exhausted and hemmed in by costs.

How Warren needs to position her platform to navigate the vicissitudes of a Democratic Party primary will likely not be the best way to address the needs of the modern American family. But in a crowded field, an uncompromising vision of increased choice for families across all dimensions -- not just within the public school system, for example, but among all options of education -- would be an impressive accomplishment and a way of distinguishing herself from the pack. An explicit defense of parenthood as a social good would be unconventional but welcome.

Still, a marker of how far the conversation around families has shifted from the early 2000s is the extent to which Warren's and Warren Tyagi's view of parenthood as something more than an individual "lifestyle choice" would now be viewed as radical, particularly on the Left. "That may be true from the perspective of an individual choosing whether or not to have a child," they write, "but it isn't true for society at large. What happens to a nation that rewards the childless and penalizes the parents?"

What indeed. Paging the Elizabeth Warren of 2003 -- your country needs you.

Patrick T. Brown ( @PTBwrites ) is a master's of public affairs student at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.


JonF April 4, 2019 at 6:22 am

Doe anyone think the middle and especially upper middle class would be in favor of a school choice plan that would cause their housing values to take hit? And there's another big roadblock with a school choice program: the need for transportation. Two years ago my next door neighbors who were able to place their young son in a good school across town sold their house and moved to be closer to the school since the daily cross-town commute at rush hour was just too much.
grin without a cat , says: April 4, 2019 at 7:44 am
They might well have had one in Elizabeth Warren, whose 2003 book, The Two-Income Trap, co-authored with her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi, was unafraid to skewer sacred cows.

It's more recent than that. The first edition was 2003, but a second edition came out in 2016, by which time Mom probably knew she might be running for president. It's got a new introduction by the authors, so obviously it was done with their cooperation.

I haven't read either edition, so I don't know what's been changed in the new one.

Chris Atwood , says: April 4, 2019 at 9:38 am
Great essay.

I am struck again and again, by the unbelievable power of the forces in the political arena pushing everyone who is a Democrat because they are fiscally liberal* to ALSO become socially liberal,* and everyone who is a Republican because they are socially conservative* to ALSO become fiscally conservative.*

The net result of the laws of motion seem to systematically take the ideological space of "socially conservative, fiscally liberal" (the old New Deal) and push everyone in it either out to the usual left "fiscally liberal, socially liberal" or the usual right "socially conservative, fiscally conservative" quadrants.

This article shows how it's happening with Elizabeth Warren in one direction, and it's happened constantly with socially conservative Republicans who get yanked back to the proper quadrant anytime they try to move to a direction of economic policy that doesn't involve tax cuts for the rich and actually help their constituents.

Roy Fassel , says: April 4, 2019 at 10:30 am
One can have all the opinions on better ways to do things for the good of society, but if those ideas are not politically viable, it creates a change in directions. Warren probably by now .realizes how complicated all of these policy issues are and the unintended consequence of these policies are always a factor and a risk. Elizabeth Warren seems to have a good grasp of complicated issues, but that never get her the support she would need to prevail in this campaign. We currently live in the age of "Fantasyland" spewed by both the Trump RINOs and the Lunatic Left. Warren is a thinker. That is not helpful these days.
Sid Finster , says: April 4, 2019 at 10:55 am
What happened is that Warren wants the Team D nomination, and Team D, like Team R, could not care less about the 99.9% of Americans who are not non-campaign bundlers or big contributors.

In fact, Team D (again, just like Team R) is actively hostile to any proposal that might take money out of the pockets of the .1%, or otherwise affect the way the the economic pie is sliced.

Chris in Appalachia , says: April 4, 2019 at 11:46 am
If this was the 1970s Warren would probably have supported busing. Pocahontas – leave my safe neighborhood, my children's schools, and my home equity alone. Because these well meaning social engineering schemes seldom work out as planned. As a middle class American I will probably get the short end of the stick.

Funny that policy makers never want to help families by taking a little chunk out of hedge funds and shareholders and vulture capitalists and sharing it with American workers. Talk about "the heart of the problem."

BradleyD , says: April 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm
My wife and I did a sort of calculation. In our state child care would be about 11,000 per child per year. Also, you can't drop them off if they are sick, so you have to use your sick days for them. Oh, and if you don't use the child care if you're on vacation, you still need to pay to hold the slot. With two kids and taxes, she has to clear well over 30k per year to about break even.

Add in the fact you'll be missing out on their childhood, spending maybe three or so hours per day with them, is it really worth it?

The more I see the 'big tech' developments, they are basically things your pay for to let you work so you can afford to work. TaskRabbit, Fivrer, DoorDash, etc basically give you free time so you can work more.

EliteCommInc. , says: April 4, 2019 at 1:00 pm
"What happens to a nation that rewards the childless and penalizes the parents?"

Laughing.

They become liberals, democrats, anarchists, socialists, communists . . . supporters of murdering children in the womb, efficiency advocates by way of eugenics . . . and other assorted malcontents against ordered society.

EliteCommInc. , says: April 4, 2019 at 1:13 pm
This may be unfair as I have not read the book.

But in my view, what has damaged economic sociology has been the shift in practice without any assessment what it would do to the traditional family dynamic between husbands and wives in family construction. That simply demanding that space be made for women and millions of women would seriously tighten the job market for all and disrupt the pillars upon which our nation was built, despite its problems.

Power dynamic, chivalry outran practical realities and that remains the case in increasingly stratifying civil demands.

And while I sympathetic to the complaint about bussing, that had a very little impact on the employment numbers which government and businesses and edication raced to fill the discrimination expectations with women, and primarily white women.

tired comment, but accurate nonetheless, so instead of hiring men in response to discrimination, those men were instead replaced by women, most of whom already had access via the cultural dynamics of the majority.

rps , says: April 4, 2019 at 3:22 pm
Warren and Warren Tyagi propose severing the link between housing and school districts through a "well-designed voucher program," calling the public education system "the heart of the problem." [ ]

In my opinion, Warner's education voucher proposal by guaranteeing voucher dollar enrollment in the affluent zip codes ignores the heart of the education problem. Affluent zip codes do not ensure a child's academic success via 'better' teachers and educational materials. Public schools in the big cities are filled with teachers who have their masters and Ph.D's along with continuing education requirements.

Student success is fundamentally based upon parental commitment and community involvement. Are the parents committed to their children's academic success? Does the parent(s) provide a conducive and safe home environment? Does the child have a quiet space to study, do their homework and prepare for school? Does the parent(s) sit down and teach? Review the child's homework? Do the parents volunteer at the school? Are they involved with school events? Is education a top priority? Or is school a babysitting service to drop off and pick up?

Those affluent zip codes are more than a number. For the most part, they are a supportive community of families.

A child's academic success is assuredly tethered to the parental guiding hands. Simply, a child's success begins at home with parents who care about their children's future.

Fran Macadam , says: April 4, 2019 at 4:34 pm
She Woke up.

Careerism trumps sanity. In the age of #MeToo, it's got to be all about me.

Robert K U , says: April 4, 2019 at 6:47 pm
Probably, every conservative will agree, that the basic flaw is materialism. Thus, with materialism, personal values that cannot be sold or bought for money, are neglected in favour of the gross domestic product per capita philosophy. Such personal values are, for instance, family values, that is, children need both a mother, especially when they are below teenage, and a father, especially when they are teenagers, and perhaps most important, a father and a mother need one another. All this family thing does, however, not enter into the money economy of big government. Whence, on the side of families, those need to take quite brave choices, to choose morals above money. And on the side of the government, this needs to tax the rich and help the poor. In fact, according to the World Bank, economic growth is stimulated best, if governments help the poor directly, rather than with obscure subsidies to the economic system. However, there is also the difficulty with difficult access to regular jobs. By no doubt, abortion genosuicide decreases demand on the most simple of goods and services, causing unemployment for the poor, and driving up costs of raising children. Society then goes into socialism, with genosuicide instead of economic growth, while the money flows into pension funds of the upper middle class. Governments must simply help the poor. Humankind has always been able to produce twice the amount of good food that it needs, but bureaucratic governments keep the poor enslaved, to fill them with lie.
Tim , says: April 4, 2019 at 7:19 pm
Warren's academic work and cheeky refusal to fold under pressure when her nomination as Obama's consumer ('home ec.'?) finance czar was stymied by the GOP are worthy of respect. I'd like to see her make a strong run at the dem nomination, but am put off by her recent tendency to adopt silly far-left talking points and sentiments (her Native DNA, advocating for reparations, etc.). Nice try, Liz, but I'm still leaning Bernie's direction.

As far as the details of the economic analysis related above, though, I am unqualified to make any judgment – haven't read the book. But one enormously significant economic development in the early 70s wasn't mentioned at all, so I assume she and her daughter passed it over as well. In his first term R. Milhouse Nixon untethered, once & for all, the value of the dollar from traditional hard currency. The economy has been coming along nicely ever since, except for one problematic aspect: with a floating currency we are all now living in an economic environment dominated by the vicissitudes of supplies and demands, are we not? It took awhile to effect the housing market, but signs of the difference it made began to emerge fairly quickly, and accelerated sharply when the tides of globalism washed lots of third world lucre up on our western shores. Now, as clearly implied by both Warren and the author of this article, young Americans whose parents may not have even been born back then – the early 70s – are probably permanently priced out of the housing market in places that used to have only a marginally higher cost of entry – i.e. urban California, where I have lived and worked for most of my nearly 60 years. In places like this even a 3-earner income may not suffice! Maybe we should bring back the gold standard, because it seems to me that as long as unfettered competition coupled to supply/demand and (EZ credit $) is the underlying dynamic of the American economy we're headed for the New Feudalism. Of course, nothing could be more conservative than that, right? What say you, TAColytes?

EliteCommInc. , says: April 4, 2019 at 10:57 pm
"Maybe we should bring back the gold standard, because it seems to me that as long as unfettered competition coupled to supply/demand and (EZ credit $) is the underlying dynamic of the American economy we're headed for the New Feudalism."

I take it you think the old one has departed.

It was in the area of how businesses and government were reciprocating unhealthy and unfair business practices is where I think her advocacy was most accurate. But she has abandoned all of that.

K squared , says: April 5, 2019 at 7:05 am
"Funny that policy makers never want to help families by taking a little chunk out of hedge funds and shareholders and vulture capitalists and sharing it with American workers."

Funny that Warren HAS brought up raising taxes on the rich.

[Apr 05, 2019] 'Enough With That' Warren Backs Killing Filibuster to Push Through Progressive Reforms by Julia Conley, staff writer

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm not running for president just to talk about making real, structural change. I'm serious about getting it done," the speech reads. "And part of getting it done means waking up to the reality of the United States Senate." ..."
"... Advocates including Warren also say the end of the filibuster would make it easier for the Senate to pass meaningful legislation to combat the climate crisis and to further other progressive causes. ..."
"... "We can't sit around for 100 years while the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful and everyone else falls further and further behind," Warren's speech reads. "We can't sit around for 100 years while climate change destroys our planet, while corruption pervades every nook and cranny of Washington, and while too much of a child's fate in life still rests on the color of their skin. Enough with that." ..."
Apr 05, 2019 | www.commondreams.org

"We can't sit around for 100 years while the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful and everyone else falls further and further behind."

The 2020 presidential candidate is expected to endorse the proposal in a speech at the National Action Network Convention in New York Friday morning.

"When Democrats next have power, we should be bold and clear: We're done with two sets of rules -- one for the Republicans and one for the Democrats," Warren is expected to say. "And that means when Democrats have the White House again, if Mitch McConnell tries to do what he did to President Obama and puts small-minded partisanship ahead of solving the massive problems facing this country, then we should get rid of the filibuster."

"I'm not running for president just to talk about making real, structural change. I'm serious about getting it done," the speech reads. "And part of getting it done means waking up to the reality of the United States Senate."

Getting rid of the filibuster -- the Senate procedure which allows a minority party to delay a vote by drawing out debate and block legislation from passing by requiring a "supermajority" of 60 senators to approve it -- would be a key step toward passing progressive measures, advocates say.

At the NAN Convention, Warren is expected to note that the filibuster has stopped the Senate from passing radical justice legislation for decades, including an anti-lynching bill which was first introduced a century ago but didn't pass until December 2018.

"It nearly became the law back then. It passed the House in 1922. But it got killed in the Senate -- by a filibuster. And then it got killed again. And again. And again," Warren plans to say. "More than 200 times. An entire century of obstruction because a small group of racists stopped the entire nation from doing what was right."

Advocates including Warren also say the end of the filibuster would make it easier for the Senate to pass meaningful legislation to combat the climate crisis and to further other progressive causes.

"We can't sit around for 100 years while the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful and everyone else falls further and further behind," Warren's speech reads. "We can't sit around for 100 years while climate change destroys our planet, while corruption pervades every nook and cranny of Washington, and while too much of a child's fate in life still rests on the color of their skin. Enough with that."

Warren joins fellow 2020 Democratic hopefuls Pete Buttigieg and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in endorsing the end of the filibuster. Her speech Friday will represent her latest push for "structural change" that she says would have far-reaching positive effects on the lives of working Americans. Since announcing her candidacy in January she has called for a tax on the wealth of the richest Americans to combat economic inequality and fund progressive programs, a universal childcare plan, and a breakup of powerful tech giants , among other proposals.

[Apr 05, 2019] How does one fight in an Internet-infested, money-dominated political system?

Apr 05, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

span y arendt on Tue, 04/02/2019 - 7:31pm The old politics is dead. Citizens United granted unlimited, anonymous political bribery to the transnational billionaire class. The legacy media has been conglomerated down to six companies, while the platform media companies (Google, Facebook, Twitter) have instituted censorship and banning. Sock puppets, trolls, doxers, and other slime have demolished the promise of honest intellectual internet debate.

[Apr 04, 2019] Nine Reasons Why You Should Support Joe Biden For President by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Apr 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Former Vice President Joe Biden has released a video statement telling the American people that the accusations he is now facing of touching women in inappropriate ways without their consent is the product of changing "social norms", assuring everyone that he will indeed be adjusting to those changes.

And thank goodness. For a minute there, I was worried Biden might cave under the pressure of a looming scandal and decline to run for president on the grounds that it could cripple his campaign and leave America facing another four years of Donald Trump. Here are nine good reasons why I hope Joe Biden runs for president, and why you should support him too:

1. It's his turn.

It's Biden's turn to be president. He's spent years playing second fiddle while other leading Democrats hogged all the limelight, and that's not fair. He's been waiting very patiently. Come on.

2. Most Qualified Candidate Ever.

If Joe Biden secures the Democratic Party nomination for president, he would be the Most Qualified Candidate Ever to run for office. His service as a US Senator and a Vice President has given him unparalleled experience priming him for the most powerful elected office in the world. Everything Biden has done throughout his entire career proves that he'd make a great Commander-in-Chief.

3. He's closely associated with a popular Democratic president.

You think Biden, you think Obama. You think Obama, you think greatness. You can't spend that much time with a great Democratic president without absorbing his greatness yourself. It's called osmosis.

4. You liked Obama, didn't you?

Biden was part of the Obama administration. Remember the Obama administration? It was magical, right? If you want more of that, vote Biden.

5. But Trump!

Do you want Trump to win the next election? You know he'll shatter all our norms and literally end the world if he does, right? You should be terrified of the possibility of Trump winning in 2020, and if you are, you should want him running against Joe Biden. What's the alternative? Nominating some crazy unelectable socialist like Bernie Sanders? Might as well just hand Trump the victory now, then. Anyone who wants to beat Trump must fall in line behind the Most Qualified Candidate Ever.

6. Iraq wasn't so bad.

Okay, maybe some of his past foreign policy positions look bad in hindsight, but come on. Pushing for the Iraq war was what everyone was doing back in those days. It was all the rage. We all made it through, right? I mean, most of us?

7. This is happening whether you like it or not.

We're doing this. We're going to push Joe Biden through whether you like it or not, and we can do it the easy way or the hard way. Just relax, take deep breaths, and think about a nice place far away from here. Don't struggle. This will be over before you know it. We'll use plenty of lube.

8. Just vote for him.

Just vote for him, you insolent little shits. Who the fuck do you think you are, anyway? You think you're entitled to a bunch of ponies and unicorns like healthcare and drinkable water? You only think that because you're a bunch of racist, sexist homophobes. You will vote for who we tell you to or we'll spend the next four years calling you all Russian agents and screaming about Susan Sarandon.

9. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Honestly, what could possibly go wrong? It's not like the Most Qualified Candidate Ever could manage to lose an election to some oafish reality TV star. Hell, Biden could beat Trump in his sleep. He could even skip campaigning in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and still win by a landslide, because those states are in the bag. There's no way he could fail, barring some unprecedented and completely unforeseeable freak occurrences from way out of left field that nobody could possibly have anticipated.

[Apr 03, 2019] There is no democracy in US. There is just a civil war between two dysfunctional and corrupt to the core parties

Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats are so fricking crazy, so far in outer space that any attempt at working with them is pure futility. ..."
Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: February 7, 2019 at 4:53 am GMT

@Cassander There is no democracy in US. There is civil war between two dysfunctional parties. How come you did not notice? Or you just came from enchanted kingdom?
Authenticjazzman , says: February 7, 2019 at 5:42 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova " There is civil war between two dysfunctional parties"

Wrong again. There is in fact war between the cowardly, appeasing, Republicans, and the insane blue-haired democrats.

The Democrats are so fricking crazy, so far in outer space that any attempt at working with them is pure futility.

AJM

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: February 8, 2019 at 7:40 pm GMT
@Authenticjazzman You are absolutely correct. I just did not wanted to go into such a details. It is not my stile.

[Apr 03, 2019] Democrats are now the party of war

Apr 03, 2019 | www.facebook.com

Radio Sputnik's Loud and Clear spoke with Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books, "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup" and "America's Undeclared War," about what we can expect from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation in 2019, its third year of operation.

"A House committee can keep the ball rolling indefinitely," Lazare noted. "Nothing solid has turned up about collusion in the Russiagate story. Yet, the story keeps going and going, a new tidbit is put out every week, and so the scandal keeps somehow perpetuating itself. And even though there's less and less of substance coming out, so I expect that'll be the pattern for the next few months, and I expect that the Democrats will revv this whole process up to make it sort of seem as if there really is an avalanche of information crashing down on Trump when there really isn't."

investigation, noting it had produced little to nothing of substance in support of the thesis justifying its existence: that Russia either colluded with the Trump campaign or conspired to interfere in the US election to tilt it in Trump's favor.

Indeed, report after report on the data that has been provided to Congress by tech giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google show an underwhelming performance by any would-be Russian actors. In contrast to the apocalyptic claims by Democrats and the mainstream media about the massive disinformation offensive waged by Russian actors, the websites, social media accounts, post reach and ad money associated with "Russians" is always dwarfed by the equivalent actions of the Trump campaign and the campaign of its rival in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, along with their throngs of supporters across the US corporate world, both of whom sunk hundreds of millions into winning the social media game.

Among the chief motivations for Democrats going into 2019 is that "Democrats are now the party of war," Lazare said, noting that Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump's prospective withdrawal from Syria a "Christmas gift to ISIS [Daesh]."

"This is the raison d'etre for Russiagate: they're trying to maneuver Trump into hostilities with Russia, China, North Korea, etc. I mean, this is foreign policy by subterfuge it's about keeping 2,000 troops in Syria as well, and getting Americans' heads blown off in Afghanistan, all of which the Democrats want to do. The whole thing is backroom government of the worst kind."

[Apr 02, 2019] The abuse of power of the special counsel is a deadly cancer on American democracy.

Notable quotes:
"... Originally from: ..."
"... Among the scope memo's few unredacted lines are allegations regarding Paul Manafort's "colluding with Russian government officials to interfere with the 2016 elections." The only known source for those allegations is the Steele dossier. What that strongly suggests is that under those redactions are other fabricated allegations that were also drawn from the Clinton-funded smear campaign -- a dirty-tricks operation that was led by Fusion GPS founder and conspiracy theorist Glenn Simpson. ..."
"... Saturday Night Live ..."
"... While the length of Mueller's investigative process may have protected the FBI from the president's immediate rage, the release of the report has exposed the deep corruption and personal narcissism of the press and its professional networks of "experts" and "sources." ..."
"... Russiagate was an information operation from the beginning, in which dozens of individual reporters and institutions actively partnered with paid political operatives like Glenn Simpson and corrupt law enforcement and intelligence officials like former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr to smear Trump and his circle, and then to topple him. None of what went on the last two years would have been possible without the press, an indispensable partner in the biggest political scandal in a generation. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Mar 27, 2019 | www.tabletmag.com

Originally from: System Fail – Tablet Magazine by Lee Smith

It will take weeks for the elite pundit class to unravel all the possible implications and subtexts embedded in Robert Mueller's final report on the charge that Donald Trump and his team colluded with Russia to fix the 2016 election. The right claims that the report exonerates Trump fully, while the left contends there are lots of nuggets in the full text of the final report that may point to obstruction of justice, if not collusion.

But here's all you need to know about the special counsel probe:

First, after nearly two years, the special counsel found no credible evidence of collusion. It found no credible evidence of a plot to obstruct justice, to hide evidence of collusion. The entire collusion theory, which has formed the center of elite political discourse for over two years now, has been publicly and definitely proclaimed to be a hoax by the very person on whom news organizations and their chosen "experts" and "high-level sources" had so loudly and insistently pinned their daily, even hourly, hopes of redemption.

Mueller should have filed his report on May 18, 2017 -- the day after the special counsel started and he learned the FBI had opened an investigation on the sitting president of the United States because senior officials at the world's premier law enforcement agency thought Trump was a Russian spy. Based on what evidence? A dossier compiled by a former British spy, relying on second- and third-hand sources, paid for by the Clinton campaign .

Instead, the special counsel lasted 674 days, during which millions of people who believed Mueller was going to turn up conclusive evidence of Trump's devious conspiracies with the Kremlin have become wrapped up in a collective hallucination that has destroyed the remaining credibility of the American press and the D.C. expert class whose authority they promote.

Mueller knew that he wasn't ever going to find "collusion" or anything like it because all the intercepts were right there on his desk. As it turned out, two of his prosecutors, including Mueller's so-called "pit bull," Andrew Weissman, had been briefed on the Steele dossier prior to the 2016 election and were told that it came from the Clintons, and was likely a biased political document.

Weissman left, or was pushed out of, his employment with the special counsel a few weeks ago, after the arrival of a new attorney general, William Barr, who had deep experience in government, including stints at the Justice Department and the CIA. Knowing what we know now, here's what seems most likely to have just happened: Barr looked at the underlying documents on which Mueller's investigation was based. First, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's May 17, 2017, memo appointing the former FBI director to take supervision of the FBI's investigation of Trump. And more importantly, the Aug. 2, 2017, memo from Rosenstein outlining the scope of the investigation.

Among the scope memo's few unredacted lines are allegations regarding Paul Manafort's "colluding with Russian government officials to interfere with the 2016 elections." The only known source for those allegations is the Steele dossier. What that strongly suggests is that under those redactions are other fabricated allegations that were also drawn from the Clinton-funded smear campaign -- a dirty-tricks operation that was led by Fusion GPS founder and conspiracy theorist Glenn Simpson.

And now, after all the Saturday Night Live skits, the obscenity-riddled Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert routines, the half a million news stories and tens of millions of tweets all foretelling the end of Trump, the comedians and the adult authority figures are exposed as hoaxsters, or worse, based on evidence that was always transparently phony.

The Mueller report is in. But the abuse of power that the special counsel embodied is a deadly cancer on American democracy. Two years of investigations have left families in ruins, stripping them of their savings, their homes, threatening their liberty, and dragging their names through the mud. The investigation of the century was partly based on the possibility that Michael Flynn, a combat veteran who served his country for more than three decades, might be a Russian spy -- because of a dinner he once attended in Moscow, and because as incoming national security adviser he spoke to the Russian ambassador to Washington. What rot.

While the length of Mueller's investigative process may have protected the FBI from the president's immediate rage, the release of the report has exposed the deep corruption and personal narcissism of the press and its professional networks of "experts" and "sources." Instead of providing medicine, the press chose instead to spread the disease through a body that was already badly weakened by the advent of "free" digital media . Only, it wasn't free .

* * *

The media criticism of the media's performance covering Russiagate is misleadingly anodyne -- OK, sure the press did a bad job, but to be fair there really was a lot of suspicious stuff going on and now let's all get back to doing our important work. But two years of false and misleading Russiagate coverage was not a mistake, or a symptom of lax fact-checking.

Russiagate was an information operation from the beginning, in which dozens of individual reporters and institutions actively partnered with paid political operatives like Glenn Simpson and corrupt law enforcement and intelligence officials like former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr to smear Trump and his circle, and then to topple him. None of what went on the last two years would have been possible without the press, an indispensable partner in the biggest political scandal in a generation.

The campaign was waged not in hidden corners of the internet, but rather by the country's most prestigious news organizations -- including, but not only, The New York Times , the Washington Post , CNN, and MSNBC. The farce that has passed for public discourse the last two years was fueled by a concerted effort of the media and the pundit class to obscure gaping holes in logic as well as law. And yet, they all appeared to be credible because the institutions sustaining them are credible .

... ... ...

Americans still want and need accurate information on which to base their decisions about their own lives and the path that the country should take. But neither the legacy media nor the expert class it sustains is likely to survive the post-dossier era in any recognizable form . For them, Russiagate is an extinction level event.

Lee Smith is the author of The Consequences of Syria .

[Apr 01, 2019] No Reds Under Our Beds After All by Eric Margolis

Apr 01, 2019 | www.unz.com

Not since the witchcraft hysteria of the Middle Ages have we seen such a display of human idiocy, credulity and absurdist behavior. I refer, of course, to the two-year witch hunt directed against President Donald Trump which hopefully just concluded last week – provided that the Hillaryites, Democratic dopes and secret staters who fueled this mania don't manage to keep the pot boiling.

This column has said from Day 1 that claims Trump was somehow a Russian agent were absurd in the extreme. So too charges that Moscow had somehow rigged US elections. Nonsense. We know it's the US that helps rig elections around the globe, not those bumbling Russians who can't afford the big bribes such nefarious activity requires.

What Muller found after he turned over the big rock was a bevy of slithering, slimy creatures, shyster lawyers, and sleazes that are normally part of New York's land development industry. No surprise at all that they surrounded developer Trump. Son-in-law Jared Kushner hails from this same milieu. The Kushners are pajama-party buddies with Israel's leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Now that the Muller investigation found no collusion between the Trump camp and the Kremlin, we Americans owe a great big apology to Vladimir Putin for all the slander he has suffered. Too bad he can't sue the legions of liars and propagandists who heaped abuse on him and, incidentally, pushed the US and Russia to the edge of war.

People who swallowed these absurdist claims really should question their own grasp of reality. Those who believed that the evil Kremlin was manipulating votes in Alabama or Missouri would make good candidates for Scientology or the John Birch Society.

They were the simple fools. Worse, were the propagandists who promoted the disgusting Steele dossier, a farrago of lies concocted by British intelligence and apparently promoted by the late John McCain and Trump-hating TV networks. One senses Hillary Clinton's hand in all this. Hell indeed hath no fury like a woman scorned.

It's so laughably ironic that while the witch hunt sought a non-existent Kremlin master manipulator, the real foreign string-puller was sitting in the White House Oval office chortling away: Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, behind him, the moneybags patron of Trump and Netanyahu, American billionaire gambling mogul, Sheldon Adelson, the godfather of Greater Israel.

The three amigos had just pulled off one of the most outrageous violations of international law by blessing Israel's annexation of the highly strategic Golan Heights that Israel had seized in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. This usurpation was so egregious that all 14 members of the UN Security Council condemned it. Even usually wimpy Canada blasted the US.

Giving Golan to Israel means it has permanently secured new water sources from the Mount Hermon range, artillery and electronic intelligence positions overlooking Damascus, and the launching pad for new Israeli land expansion into Lebanon and Syria. Israel is said to be preparing for a new war against Lebanon, Syria and Gaza.

In contrast to this cynical business over Golan, the Trump administration is still hitting Russia with heavy sanctions over Moscow's re-occupation of Crimea, a strategic peninsula that was Russian for over 300 years. So Israel can grab Golan but Russia must vacate Crimea. The logic of sleazy politics.

We also learned last week that according to State Secretary Mike Pompeo, Trump might have been sent by us by God, like ancient Israel's Queen Esther, to defend Israel from the wicked Persians. Up to a quarter of Americans, and particularly Bible Belt voters, believe such crazy nonsense. For them, Trump is a heroic Crusading Christian warrior.

This is as nutty as Trump being a Commie Manchurian candidate. We seem to be living in an era of absurdity and medieval superstition. No wonder so many nations around the globe fear us. We too often look like militant Scientologists with nuclear weapons.

Fortunately, the cool, calm, collected Vladimir Putin remains in charge of the other side in spite of our best efforts to overthrow or provoke him.

[Mar 31, 2019] Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving the neoliberal elite for its complicity in fiasco of 2016, and inability to see the mass revolt against neoliberalism coming

Notable quotes:
"... Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ." ..."
"... I can see is that the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian, link

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

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

The take away quote

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

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

[Mar 31, 2019] Because of the immediate arrival of the Russia collusion theory, neither MSM honchos nor any US politician ever had to look into the camera and say, I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

The take away quote

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

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

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

[Mar 31, 2019] Taibbi On Russiagate America s Refusal To Face Why Trump Won

Yes, "Trump was selling himself as a traitor to a corrupt class, someone who knew how soulless and greedy the ruling elite was because he was one of them. " But he turned to be a fake, a marionette who is controlled by neocons like hapless Bush II.
Notable quotes:
"... Last weekend, I published a book chapter criticizing the Russiagate narrative, claiming it was a years-long press error on the scale of the WMD affair heading into the Iraq war. ..."
"... The overwhelming theme of that race, long before anyone even thought about Russia, was voter rage at the entire political system. ..."
"... The anger wasn't just on the Republican side, where Trump humiliated the Republicans' chosen $150 million contender , Jeb Bush (who got three delegates, or $50 million per delegate ). It was also evident on the Democratic side, where a self-proclaimed "Democratic Socialist" with little money and close to no institutional support became a surprise contender . ..."
"... Trump was gunning for votes in both parties. The core story he told on the stump was one of system-wide corruption, in which there was little difference between Republicans and Democrats. ..."
"... Perhaps just by luck, Trump was tuned in to the fact that the triumvirate of ruling political powers in America – the two parties, the big donors and the press – were so unpopular with large parts of the population that he could win in the long haul by attracting their ire, even if he was losing battles on the way. ..."
"... The subtext was always: I may be crude, but these people are phonies, pretending to be upset when they're making money off my bullshit . ..."
"... Trump was selling himself as a traitor to a corrupt class, someone who knew how soulless and greedy the ruling elite was because he was one of them. ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Taibbi: On Russiagate & America's Refusal To Face Why Trump Won

by Tyler Durden Sat, 03/30/2019 - 15:30 261 SHARES Authored by Matt Taibbi via RollingStone.com,

Faulty coverage of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign later made foreign espionage a more plausible explanation for his ascent to power

Last weekend, I published a book chapter criticizing the Russiagate narrative, claiming it was a years-long press error on the scale of the WMD affair heading into the Iraq war.

Obviously (and I said this in detail), the WMD fiasco had a far greater real-world impact, with hundreds of thousands of lives lost and trillions in treasure wasted. Still, I thought Russiagate would do more to damage the reputation of the national news media in the end.

A day after publishing that excerpt, a Attorney General William Barr sent his summary of the report to Congress, containing a quote filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller : "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

Suddenly, news articles appeared arguing people like myself and Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept were rushing to judgment , calling us bullies whose writings were intended to leave reporters "cowed" and likely to " back down from aggressive coverage of Trump ."

This was baffling. One of the most common criticisms of people like Greenwald, Michael Tracey, Aaron Mate, Rania Khalek, Max Blumenthal, Jordan Chariton and many others is that Russiagate "skeptics" - I hate that term, because it implies skepticism isn't normal and healthy in this job - were really secret Trump partisans, part of a "horseshoe" pact between far left and far right to focus attention on the minor foibles of the center instead of Trump's more serious misdeeds. Even I received this label, and I once wrote a book about Trump called Insane Clown President .

A typical social media complaint:

@mtaibbi and all his deplorable followers. The truth will come out and your premature celebrations are embarrassing.

It's irritating that I even have to address this, because my personal political views shouldn't have anything to do with how I cover anything. But just to get it out of the way: I'm no fan of Donald Trump .

I had a well-developed opinion about him long before the 2016 race started. I once interned for Trump's nemesis-biographer, the late, great muckraker Wayne Barrett . The birther campaign of 2011 was all I ever needed to make a voting decision about the man.

I started covering the last presidential race in 2015 just as I was finishing up a book about the death of Eric Garner called I Can't Breathe . Noting that a birther campaign started by "peripheral political curiosity and reality TV star Donald Trump" led to 41 percent of respondents in one poll believing Barack Obama was "not even American," I wrote:

If anyone could communicate the frustration black Americans felt over Stop-and-Frisk and other neo-vagrancy laws that made black people feel like they could be arrested anywhere, it should have been Barack Obama. He'd made it all the way to the White House and was still considered to be literally trespassing by a huge plurality of the population.

So I had no illusions about Trump. The Russia story bothered me for other reasons, mostly having to do with a general sense of the public being misled, and not even about Russia.

The problem lay with the precursor tale to Russiagate, i.e. how Trump even got to be president in the first place.

The 2016 campaign season brought to the surface awesome levels of political discontent. After the election, instead of wondering where that anger came from, most of the press quickly pivoted to a new tale about a Russian plot to attack our Democracy. This conveyed the impression that the election season we'd just lived through had been an aberration, thrown off the rails by an extraordinary espionage conspiracy between Trump and a cabal of evil foreigners.

This narrative contradicted everything I'd seen traveling across America in my two years of covering the campaign. The overwhelming theme of that race, long before anyone even thought about Russia, was voter rage at the entire political system.

The anger wasn't just on the Republican side, where Trump humiliated the Republicans' chosen $150 million contender , Jeb Bush (who got three delegates, or $50 million per delegate ). It was also evident on the Democratic side, where a self-proclaimed "Democratic Socialist" with little money and close to no institutional support became a surprise contender .

Because of a series of press misdiagnoses before the Russiagate stories even began, much of the American public was unprepared for news of a Trump win. A cloak-and-dagger election-fixing conspiracy therefore seemed more likely than it might have otherwise to large parts of the domestic news audience, because they hadn't been prepared for anything else that would make sense.

This was particularly true of upscale, urban, blue-leaning news consumers, who were not told to take the possibility of a Trump White House seriously.

Priority number-one of the political class after a vulgar, out-of-work game-show host conquered the White House should have been a long period of ruthless self-examination. This story delayed that for at least two years.

It wasn't even clear Trump whether or not wanted to win. Watching him on the trail, Trump at times went beyond seeming disinterested. There were periods where it looked like South Park's " Did I offend you? " thesis was true, and he was actively trying to lose, only the polls just wouldn't let him.

Forget about the gift the end of Russiagate might give Trump by allowing him to spend 2020 peeing from a great height on the national press corps. The more serious issue has to be the failure to face the reality of why he won last time, because we still haven't done that.

... ... ...

Trump, the billionaire, denounced us as the elitists in the room. He'd call us "bloodsuckers," "dishonest," and in one line that produced laughs considering who was saying it, " highly-paid ."

He also did something that I immediately recognized as brilliant (or diabolical, depending on how you look at it). He dared cameramen to turn their cameras to show the size of his crowds.

They usually wouldn't – hey, we don't work for the guy – which thrilled Trump, who would then say something to the effect of, "See! They're very dishonest people ." Audiences would turn toward us, and boo and hiss, and even throw little bits of paper and other things our way. This was unpleasant, but it was hard not to see its effectiveness: he'd re-imagined the lifeless, poll-tested format of the stump speech, turning it into menacing, personal, WWE-style theater.

Trump was gunning for votes in both parties. The core story he told on the stump was one of system-wide corruption, in which there was little difference between Republicans and Democrats.

...

Perhaps just by luck, Trump was tuned in to the fact that the triumvirate of ruling political powers in America – the two parties, the big donors and the press – were so unpopular with large parts of the population that he could win in the long haul by attracting their ire, even if he was losing battles on the way.

...

The subtext was always: I may be crude, but these people are phonies, pretending to be upset when they're making money off my bullshit .

I thought this was all nuts and couldn't believe it was happening in a real presidential campaign. But, a job is a job. My first feature on candidate Trump was called " How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable ." The key section read:

In person, you can't miss it: The same way Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, Donald on the stump can see his future. The pundits don't want to admit it, but it's sitting there in plain view, 12 moves ahead, like a chess game already won:

President Donald Trump

It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.

And Trump is no half-bright con man, either. He's way better than average.

Traditional Democratic audiences appeared thrilled by the piece and shared it widely. I was invited on scads of cable shows to discuss ad nauseum the "con man" line. This made me nervous, because it probably meant these people hadn't read the piece, which among other things posited the failures of America's current ruling class meant Trump's insane tactics could actually work.

Trump was selling himself as a traitor to a corrupt class, someone who knew how soulless and greedy the ruling elite was because he was one of them.

...

The only reason most blue-state media audiences had been given for Trump's poll numbers all along was racism, which was surely part of the story but not the whole picture. A lack of any other explanation meant Democratic audiences, after the shock of election night, were ready to reach for any other data point that might better explain what just happened.

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

Post-election, Russiagate made it all worse. People could turn on their TVs at any hour of the day and see anyone from Rachel Maddow to Chris Cuomo openly reveling in Trump's troubles. This is what Fox looks like to liberal audiences.

Worse, the "walls are closing in" theme -- two years old now -- was just a continuation of the campaign mistake, reporters confusing what they wanted to happen with what was happening . The story was always more complicated than was being represented.

[Mar 31, 2019] The Media Gaslighting of 2020's Most Likable Candidate

Mar 31, 2019 | medium.com

At CNN's town hall event on Monday, the American people saw something we'd been told was impossible: Elizabeth Warren winning over a crowd.

The Massachusetts senator took aim at a variety of subjects: the Electoral College, Mississippi's racist state flag, the rise of white nationalism . Always, she was met with thunderous applause. Even a simple Bible verse -- from Matthew 25:35–40, about moral obligation to the poor and hungry -- prompted cheers so loud and prolonged that Warren had to pause and repeat herself in order to make her voice heard over the noise. Yet this was the same woman the media routinely frames as too wonky, too nerdy, too socially stunted. But then, Warren has always been an exceptionally charismatic candidate. We just forget that fact when she's campaigning -- due, in large part, to our deep and lingering distrust for female intelligence.

Warren is bursting with what we might call "charisma" in male candidates: She has the folksy demeanor of Joe Biden, the ferocious conviction of Bernie Sanders, the deep intelligence of fellow law professor Barack Obama. But Warren is not a man, and so those traits are framed as liabilities, rather than strengths. According to the media, Warren is an uptight schoolmarm, a " wonky professor ," a scold, a wimpy Dukakis, a wooden John Kerry, or (worse) a nerdier Al Gore.

The criticism has hit her from the left and right. The far-right Daily Caller accused her of looking weird when she drank beer ; on social media, conservatives spread vicious (and viciously ableist) rumors that Warren took antipsychotic drugs that treated "irritability caused by autism ." On the other end of the spectrum, Amber A'Lee Frost, the lone female co-host of the socialist podcast Chapo Trap House , wrote for The Baffler (and, when The Baffler retracted her article, for Jacobin) that Warren was " weak " and " not charismatic ." Frost deplored the "Type-A Tracy Flicks" who dared support "this Lisa Simpson of a dark-horse candidate."

Casting Warren as a sheltered, Ivory Tower type is odd, given that her politics and diction are not exactly elitist. Yet none of this is new; the same stereotypes were levied against Warren in 2011, during her Senate campaign.

Strangely, the first nerdification of Warren was a purely local phenomenon -- one which happened even as national media was falling in love with her. Jon Stewart publicly adored her , and her ingenuity in proposing the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a few years prior earned her respect among the rising populist wing of the party. Her fame was further catapulted when a speech -- a video of Warren speaking, seemingly off-the-cuff , in a constituent's living room -- went viral. "Nobody in this country got rich on his own, nobody," Warren proclaimed, pointing up the ways entrepreneurs benefit from publicly funded services like roads and schools and fire departments.

"First-time candidates don't usually articulate a progressive economic message quite this well," the Washington Monthly declared . The New Yorker called it " the most important political speech of this campaign season. " That enthusiasm continued throughout Warren's first Senate bid. Writing for the New York Times , Rebecca Traister noted that "the early devotion to Warren recalls the ardor once felt by many for Obama." (Obama himself famously echoed Warren's message -- "you didn't build that" -- on the 2012 campaign trail.)

Locally, Warren prompted a much different discussion, with scores of Massachusetts analysts describing her as stiff and unlikable. Boston-based Democratic analyst Dan Payne bemoaned her "know-it-all style" and wished aloud she would " be more authentic I want her to just sound like a human being, not read the script that makes her sound like some angry, hectoring schoolmarm." In a long profile for Boston magazine, reporter Janelle Nanos quoted Thomas Whalen, a political historian at Boston University, who called Warren a "flawed candidate," someone who was " desperately trying to find a message that's going to resonate. " In that same article, Nanos asked Warren point-blank about her "likability problem." Warren's response seemed to stem from deep frustration: "People tell me everywhere I go why they care that I got in this race," she said. "I can't answer the question because I literally haven't experienced what you're talking about."

By demanding that Warren disguise her exceptional talents, we are asking her to lose. Thankfully, she's not listening.

There's an element of gaslighting here: It only takes a reporter a few sources -- and an op-ed columnist a single, fleeting judgment -- to declare a candidate "unlikable." After that label has been applied, any effort the candidate makes to win people over can be cast as "inauthentic." Likability is in this way a self-reinforcing accusation, one which is amplified every time the candidate tries to tackle it. (Recall Hillary Clinton, who was asked about her "likability" at seemingly every debate or town hall for eight straight years -- then furiously accused of pandering every time she made an effort to seem more "approachable.")

It's significant that the " I hate you; please respond" line of political sabotage only ever seems to be aimed at women. It's also revealing that, when all these men talked about how Warren could win them over, their "campaign" advice sounded suspiciously close to makeover tips. In his article, Payne advised Warren to "lose the granny glasses," "soften the hair," and employ a professional voice coach to "deepen her voice, which grates on some." Payne seemed to suggest that Elizabeth Warren look like a model and sound like a man -- anything to disguise the grisly reality of a smart woman making her case.

Warren won her Senate race, and the "schoolmarm" stereotype largely vanished as her national profile grew. By 2014, grassroots activists were begging her to run for president; by mid-2016, CNN had named her " Donald Trump's chief antagonist ." She's since given a stream of incendiary interviews and handed the contemporary women's movement its most popular meme . All this should be enough to prove any candidate's "charisma." Yet, now that she's thrown her hat into the presidential ring, the firebrand has become a Poindexter once again.

The digs at Warren's "professorial" style hurt her because, on some level, they're true. Warren really is an intellectual, a scholar; moreover, she really is running an exceptionally ideas-focused campaign, regularly turning out detailed and exhaustive policy proposals at a point when most of the other candidates don't even have policy sections on their websites. What's galling is the suggestion that this is a bad thing.

Yes, male candidates have suffered from being too smart -- just ask Gore, who ran on climate change 20 years before it was trendy. But just as often, their intelligence helps them. Obama's sophistication and public reading lists endeared him to liberals. And just a few days ago, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was widely praised for learning Norwegian in order to read an author's untranslated works. Yet, Warren is dorky, a teacher's pet, a try-hard Tracy Flick, or Lisa Simpson. A "know-it-all."

The "schoolmarm" stereotype now applied to Warren has always been used to demean educated women. In the Victorian era, we called them "bluestockings" -- unmarried, unattractive women who had dared to prioritize intellectual development over finding a man. They are, in the words of one contemporary writer, " frumpy and frowly in the extreme, with no social talents ." Educators say that 21st century girls are still afraid to talk in class because of "sexist bullying" which sends the message that smart girls are unfeminine: "For girls, peers tell them 'if you are swotty and clever and answer too many questions, you are not attractive ,'" claims Mary Bousted, joint general-secretary of the U.K.'s National Education Union. Female academics still report being made to feel " unsexual, unattractive, unwomanly, and unnatural. " We can deplore all this as antiquated thinking, but even now, grown men are still demanding that Warren ditch her glasses or "soften" her hair -- to work on being prettier so as to make her intelligence less threatening.

Warren is cast as a bloodless intellectual when she focuses on policy, a scolding lecturer when she leans into her skills as a rabble-rouser; either way, her intelligence is always too much and out of place. Her eloquence is framed, not as inspiring, but as "angry" and "hectoring." Being an effective orator makes her "strident." It's not solely confined to the media, but reporters seem anxious to signal-boost anyone who complains: Anonymous male colleagues call her "irritating," telling Vanity Fair that "she projects a 'holier than thou' attitude" and that " she has a moralizing to her. " That same quality in male candidates is hailed as moral clarity.

Warren is accused, in plain language, of being uppity -- a woman who has the bad grace to be smarter than the men around her, without downplaying it to assuage their egos. But running in a presidential race is all about proving that you are smarter than the other guy. By demanding that Warren disguise her exceptional talents, we are asking her to lose. Thankfully, she's not listening. She is a smart woman, after all.

[Mar 31, 2019] A Reprise of the Iraq-WMD Fiasco by James W Carden

Highly recommended!
This was a brilliant article, far ahead of its time...
Feb 03, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

A Reprise of the Iraq-WMD Fiasco? February 3, 2017 • 39 Comments

Exclusive: Official Washington's new "group think" – accepting evidence-free charges that Russia "hacked the U.S. election" – has troubling parallels to the Iraq-WMD certainty, often from the same people, writes James W Carden.

The controversy over Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election shows no sign of letting up. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators recently introduced legislation that would impose sanctions on Russia in retaliation for its acts of "cyber intrusions."At a press event in Washington on Tuesday, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, called Election Day 2016 "a day that will live in cyber infamy." Previously, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, called the Russian hacks of the Democratic National Committee "an act of war," while Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, has claimed that there is near unanimity among senators regarding Russia's culpability.

Despite all this, the question of who exactly is responsible for the providing WikiLeaks with the emails of high Democratic Party officials does not lend itself to easy answers. And yet, for months, despite the lack of publicly disclosed evidence, the media, like these senators, have been as one: Vladimir Putin's Russia is responsible.

Interestingly, the same neoconservative/center-left alliance which endorsed George W. Bush's case for war with Iraq is pretty much the same neoconservative/center-left alliance that is now, all these years later, braying for confrontation with Russia. It's largely the same cast of characters reading from the Iraq-war era playbook.

It's worth recalling Tony Judt's observation in September 2006 that "those centrist voices that bayed most insistently for blood in the prelude to the Iraq war are today the most confident when asserting their monopoly of insight into world affairs."

While that was true then, it is perhaps even more so the case today.

The prevailing sentiment of the media establishment during the months prior to the disastrous March 2003 invasion of Iraq was that of certainty: George Tenet's now infamous assurance to President Bush, that the case against Iraq was a "slam drunk," was essentially what major newspapers and television news outlets were telling the American people at the time. Iraq posed a threat to "the homeland," therefore Saddam "must go."

The Bush administration, in a move equal parts cynical and clever, engaged in what we would today call a "disinformation" campaign against its own citizens by planting false stories abroad, safe in the knowledge that these stories would "bleed over" and be picked up by the American press.

WMD 'Fake News'

The administration was able to launder what were essentially "fake news" stories, such as the aluminum tubes fabrication , by leaking to Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller of The New York Times. In September 2002, without an ounce of skepticism, Gordon and Miller regurgitated the claims of unnamed U.S. intelligence officials that Iraq "has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium." Gordon and Miller faithfully relayed "the intelligence agencies' unanimous view that the type of tubes that Iraq has been seeking are used to make centrifuges."

By 2002, no one had any right to be surprised by what Bush and Cheney were up to; since at least 1898 (when the U.S. declared war on Spain under the pretense of the fabricated Hearst battle cry "Remember the Maine!") American governments have repeatedly lied in order to promote their agenda abroad. And in 2002-3, the media walked in lock step with yet another administration in pushing for an unnecessary and costly war.

Like The New York Times, The Washington Post also relentlessly pushed the administration's case for war with Iraq. According to the journalist Greg Mitchell , "By the Post 's own admission, in the months before the war, it ran more than 140 stories on its front page promoting the war." All this, while its editorial page assured readers that the evidence Colin Powell presented to the United Nations on Iraq's WMD program was "irrefutable." According to the Post, it would be "hard to imagine" how anyone could doubt the administration's case.

But the Post was hardly alone in its enthusiasm for Bush's war. Among the most prominent proponents of the Iraq war was The New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg , who, a full year prior to the invasion, set out to link Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Writing for The New Yorker in March 2002, Goldberg retailed former CIA Director James Woolsey's opinion that "It would be a real shame if the C.I.A.'s substantial institutional hostility to Iraqi democratic resistance groups was keeping it from learning about Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda in northern Iraq."

Indeed, according to Goldberg , "The possibility that Saddam could supply weapons of mass destruction to anti-American terror groups is a powerful argument among advocates of regime change," while Saddam's "record of support for terrorist organizations, and the cruelty of his regime make him a threat that reaches far beyond the citizens of Iraq."

Writing in Slate in October 2002, Goldberg was of the opinion that "In five years . . . I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality."

Likewise, The New Republic's Andrew Sullivan was certain that "we would find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I have no doubt about that." Slate's Jacob Weisberg supported the invasion because he thought Saddam Hussein had WMD and he "thought there was a strong chance he'd use them against the United States."

Even after it was becoming clear that the war was a debacle, the neoconservative pundit Charles Krauthammer declared that the inability to find WMDs was "troubling" but "only because it means that the weapons remain unaccounted for and might be in the wrong hands. The idea that our inability to thus far find the weapons proves that the threat was phony and hyped is simply false."

Smearing Skeptics

Opponents of the war were regularly accused of unpatriotic disloyalty. Writing in National Review, the neoconservative writer David Frum accused anti-intervention conservatives of going "far, far beyond the advocacy of alternative strategies." According to Frum, "They deny and excuse terror. They espouse a potentially self-fulfilling defeatism. They publicize wild conspiracy theories. And some of them explicitly yearn for the victory of their nation's enemies."

Similarly, The New Republic's Jonathan Chait castigated anti-war liberals for turning against Bush. "Have Bush haters lost their minds?" asked Chait . "Certainly some have. Antipathy to Bush has, for example, led many liberals not only to believe the costs of the Iraq war outweigh the benefits but to refuse to acknowledge any benefits at all."

Yet of course we now know, thanks, in part, to a new book by former CIA analyst John Nixon, that everything the U.S. government thought it knew about Saddam Hussein was indeed wrong. Nixon, the CIA analyst who interrogated Hussein after his capture in December 2003, asks "Was Saddam worth removing from power?" "The answer," says Nixon, "must be no. Saddam was busy writing novels in 2003. He was no longer running the government."

It turns out that the skeptics were correct after all. And so the principal lesson the promoters of Bush and Cheney's war of choice should have learned is that blind certainty is the enemy of fair inquiry and nuance. The hubris that many in the mainstream media displayed in marginalizing liberal and conservative anti-war voices was to come back to haunt them. But not, alas, for too long.

A Dangerous Replay?

Today something eerily similar to the pre-war debate over Iraq is taking place regarding the allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. Assurances from the intelligence community and from anonymous Obama administration "senior officials" about the existence of evidence is being treated as, well, actual evidence.

State Department spokesman John Kirby told CNN that he is "100% certain" of the role that Russia played in U.S. election. The administration's expressions of certainty are then uncritically echoed by the mainstream media. Skeptics are likewise written off, slandered as " Kremlin cheerleaders " or worse.

Unsurprisingly, The Washington Post is reviving its Bush-era role as principal publicist for the government's case. Yet in its haste to do the government's bidding, the Post has published two widely debunked stories relating to Russia (one on the scourge of Russian inspired "fake news", the other on a non-existent Russian hack of a Vermont electric utility) onto which the paper has had to append "editor's notes" to correct the original stories.

Yet, those misguided stories have not deterred the Post's opinion page from being equally aggressive in its depiction of Russian malfeasance. In late December, the Post published an op-ed by Rep. Adam Schiff and former Rep. Jane Harmon claiming "Russia's theft and strategic leaking of emails and documents from the Democratic Party and other officials present a challenge to the U.S. political system unlike anything we've experienced."

On Dec. 30, the Post editorial board chastised President-elect Trump for seeming to dismiss "a brazen and unprecedented attempt by a hostile power to covertly sway the outcome of a U.S. presidential election." The Post described Russia's actions as a "cyber-Pearl Harbor."

On Jan. 1, the neoconservative columnist Josh Rogin told readers that the recent announcement of sanctions against Russia "brought home a shocking realization that Russia is using hybrid warfare in an aggressive attempt to disrupt and undermine our democracy."

Meanwhile, many of the same voices who were among the loudest cheerleaders for the war in Iraq have also been reprising their Bush-era roles in vouching for the solidity of the government's case.

Jonathan Chait, now a columnist for New York magazine, is clearly convinced by what the government has thus far provided. "That Russia wanted Trump to win has been obvious for months," writes Chait.

"Of course it all came from the Russians, I'm sure it's all there in the intel," Charles Krauthammer told Fox News on Jan. 2. Krauthammer is certain.

And Andrew Sullivan is certain as to the motive. "Trump and Putin's bromance," Sullivan told MSNBC's Chris Matthews on Jan. 2, "has one goal this year: to destroy the European Union and to undermine democracy in Western Europe."

David Frum, writing in The Atlantic , believes Trump "owes his office in considerable part to illegal clandestine activities in his favor conducted by a hostile, foreign spy service."

Jacob Weisberg agrees, tweeting: "Russian covert action threw the election to Donald Trump. It's that simple." Back in 2008, Weisberg wrote that "the first thing I hope I've learned from this experience of being wrong about Iraq is to be less trusting of expert opinion and received wisdom." So much for that.

Foreign Special Interests

Another, equally remarkable similarity to the period of 2002-3 is the role foreign lobbyists have played in helping to whip up a war fever. As readers will no doubt recall, Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress, which served, in effect as an Iraqi government-in-exile, worked hand in hand with the Washington lobbying firm Black, Kelly, Scruggs & Healey (BKSH) to sell Bush's war on television and on the op-ed pages of major American newspapers.

Chalabi was also a trusted source of Judy Miller of the Times, which, in an apology to its readers on May 26, 2004, wrote : "The most prominent of the anti-Saddam campaigners, Ahmad Chalabi, has been named as an occasional source in Times articles since at least 1991, and has introduced reporters to other exiles. He became a favorite of hard-liners within the Bush administration and a paid broker of information from Iraqi exiles." The pro-war lobbying of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has also been exhaustively documented .

Though we do not know how widespread the practice has been as of yet, something similar is taking place today. Articles calling for confrontation with Russia over its alleged "hybrid war" with the West are appearing with increasing regularity . Perhaps the most egregious example of this newly popular genre appeared on Jan. 1 in Politico magazine. That essay, which claims, among many other things, that "we're in a war" with Russia comes courtesy of one Molly McKew.

McKew is seemingly qualified to make such a pronouncement because she, according to her bio on the Politico website, served as an "adviser to Georgian President Saakashvili's government from 2009-2013, and to former Moldovan Prime Minister Filat in 2014-2015." Seems reasonable enough. That is until one discovers that McKew is actually registered with the Department of Justice as a lobbyist for two anti-Russian political parties, Georgia's UMN and Moldova's PLDM.

Records show her work for the consulting firm Fianna Strategies frequently takes her to Capitol Hill to lobby U.S. Senate and Congressional staffers, as well as prominent U.S. journalists at The Washington Post and The New York Times, on behalf of her Georgian and Moldovan clients.

"The truth," writes McKew, "is that fighting a new Cold War would be in America's interest. Russia teaches us a very important lesson: losing an ideological war without a fight will ruin you as a nation. The fight is the American way." Or, put another way: the truth is that fighting a new Cold War would be in McKew's interest – but perhaps not America's.

While you wouldn't know it from the media coverage (or from reading deeply disingenuous pieces like McKew's) as things now stand, the case against Russia is far from certain. New developments are emerging almost daily. One of the latest is a report from the cyber-engineering company Wordfence, which concluded that "The IP addresses that DHS [Department of Homeland Security] provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don't appear to provide any association with Russia."

Indeed, according to Wordfence, "The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website."

On Jan. 4, BuzzFeed reported that, according to the DNC, the FBI never carried out a forensic examination on the email servers that were allegedly hacked by the Russian government. "The FBI," said DNC spokesman Eric Walker, "never requested access to the DNC's computer servers."

What the agency did do was rely on the findings of a private-sector, third-party vendor that was brought in by the DNC after the initial hack was discovered. In May, the company, Crowdstrike, determined that the hack was the work of the Russians. As one unnamed intelligence official told BuzzFeed, "CrowdStrike is pretty good. There's no reason to believe that anything that they have concluded is not accurate."

Perhaps not. Yet Crowdstrike is hardly a disinterested party when it comes to Russia. Crowdstrike's founder and chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovitch , is also a senior fellow at the Washington think tank, The Atlantic Council, which has been at the forefront of escalating tensions with Russia.

As I reported in The Nation in early January , the connection between Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council is highly relevant given that the Atlantic Council is funded in part by the State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk. In recent years, it has emerged as a leading voice calling for a new Cold War with Russia.

Time to Rethink the 'Group Think'

And given the rather thin nature of the declassified evidence provided by the Obama administration, might it be time to consider an alternative theory of the case? William Binney, a 36-year veteran of the National Security Agency and the man responsible for creating many of its collection systems, thinks so. Binney believes that the DNC emails were leaked, not hacked, writing that "it is puzzling why NSA cannot produce hard evidence implicating the Russian government and WikiLeaks. Unless we are dealing with a leak from an insider, not a hack."

None of this is to say, of course, that Russia did not and could not have attempted to influence the U.S. presidential election. The intelligence community may have intercepted damning evidence of the Russian government's culpability. The government's hesitation to provide the public with more convincing evidence may stem from an understandable and wholly appropriate desire to protect the intelligence community's sources and methods. But as it now stands the publicly available evidence is open to question.

But meanwhile the steady drumbeat of "blame Russia" is having an effect. According to a recent you.gov/Economist poll, 58 percent of Americans view Russia as "unfriendly/enemy" while also finding that 52 percent of Democrats believed Russia "tampered with vote tallies."

With Congress back in session, Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain is set to hold a series of hearings focusing on Russian malfeasance, and the steady drip-drip-drip of allegations regarding Trump and Putin is only serving to box in the new President when it comes to pursuing a much-needed detente with Russia.

It also does not appear that a congressional inquiry will start from scratch and critically examine the evidence. On Friday, two senators – Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse – announced a Senate Judiciary subcommittee investigation into Russian interference in elections in the U.S. and elsewhere. But they already seemed to have made up their minds about the conclusion: "Our goal is simple," the senators said in a joint statement "To the fullest extent possible we want to shine a light on Russian activities to undermine democracy."

So, before the next round of Cold War posturing commences, now might be the time to stop, take a deep breath and ask: Could the rush into a new Cold War with Russia be as disastrous and consequential – if not more so – as was the rush to war with Iraq nearly 15 years ago? We may, unfortunately, find out.

James W Carden is a contributing writer for The Nation and editor of The American Committee for East-West Accord's eastwestaccord.com. He previously served as an advisor on Russia to the Special Representative for Global Inter-governmental Affairs at the US State Department.

[Mar 31, 2019] Taibbi On Russiagate America s Refusal To Face Why Trump Won

Yes, "Trump was selling himself as a traitor to a corrupt class, someone who knew how soulless and greedy the ruling elite was because he was one of them. " But he turned to be a fake, a marionette who is controlled by neocons like hapless Bush II.
Notable quotes:
"... Last weekend, I published a book chapter criticizing the Russiagate narrative, claiming it was a years-long press error on the scale of the WMD affair heading into the Iraq war. ..."
"... The overwhelming theme of that race, long before anyone even thought about Russia, was voter rage at the entire political system. ..."
"... The anger wasn't just on the Republican side, where Trump humiliated the Republicans' chosen $150 million contender , Jeb Bush (who got three delegates, or $50 million per delegate ). It was also evident on the Democratic side, where a self-proclaimed "Democratic Socialist" with little money and close to no institutional support became a surprise contender . ..."
"... Trump was gunning for votes in both parties. The core story he told on the stump was one of system-wide corruption, in which there was little difference between Republicans and Democrats. ..."
"... Perhaps just by luck, Trump was tuned in to the fact that the triumvirate of ruling political powers in America – the two parties, the big donors and the press – were so unpopular with large parts of the population that he could win in the long haul by attracting their ire, even if he was losing battles on the way. ..."
"... The subtext was always: I may be crude, but these people are phonies, pretending to be upset when they're making money off my bullshit . ..."
"... Trump was selling himself as a traitor to a corrupt class, someone who knew how soulless and greedy the ruling elite was because he was one of them. ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Taibbi: On Russiagate & America's Refusal To Face Why Trump Won

by Tyler Durden Sat, 03/30/2019 - 15:30 261 SHARES Authored by Matt Taibbi via RollingStone.com,

Faulty coverage of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign later made foreign espionage a more plausible explanation for his ascent to power

Last weekend, I published a book chapter criticizing the Russiagate narrative, claiming it was a years-long press error on the scale of the WMD affair heading into the Iraq war.

Obviously (and I said this in detail), the WMD fiasco had a far greater real-world impact, with hundreds of thousands of lives lost and trillions in treasure wasted. Still, I thought Russiagate would do more to damage the reputation of the national news media in the end.

A day after publishing that excerpt, a Attorney General William Barr sent his summary of the report to Congress, containing a quote filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller : "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

Suddenly, news articles appeared arguing people like myself and Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept were rushing to judgment , calling us bullies whose writings were intended to leave reporters "cowed" and likely to " back down from aggressive coverage of Trump ."

This was baffling. One of the most common criticisms of people like Greenwald, Michael Tracey, Aaron Mate, Rania Khalek, Max Blumenthal, Jordan Chariton and many others is that Russiagate "skeptics" - I hate that term, because it implies skepticism isn't normal and healthy in this job - were really secret Trump partisans, part of a "horseshoe" pact between far left and far right to focus attention on the minor foibles of the center instead of Trump's more serious misdeeds. Even I received this label, and I once wrote a book about Trump called Insane Clown President .

A typical social media complaint:

@mtaibbi and all his deplorable followers. The truth will come out and your premature celebrations are embarrassing.

It's irritating that I even have to address this, because my personal political views shouldn't have anything to do with how I cover anything. But just to get it out of the way: I'm no fan of Donald Trump .

I had a well-developed opinion about him long before the 2016 race started. I once interned for Trump's nemesis-biographer, the late, great muckraker Wayne Barrett . The birther campaign of 2011 was all I ever needed to make a voting decision about the man.

I started covering the last presidential race in 2015 just as I was finishing up a book about the death of Eric Garner called I Can't Breathe . Noting that a birther campaign started by "peripheral political curiosity and reality TV star Donald Trump" led to 41 percent of respondents in one poll believing Barack Obama was "not even American," I wrote:

If anyone could communicate the frustration black Americans felt over Stop-and-Frisk and other neo-vagrancy laws that made black people feel like they could be arrested anywhere, it should have been Barack Obama. He'd made it all the way to the White House and was still considered to be literally trespassing by a huge plurality of the population.

So I had no illusions about Trump. The Russia story bothered me for other reasons, mostly having to do with a general sense of the public being misled, and not even about Russia.

The problem lay with the precursor tale to Russiagate, i.e. how Trump even got to be president in the first place.

The 2016 campaign season brought to the surface awesome levels of political discontent. After the election, instead of wondering where that anger came from, most of the press quickly pivoted to a new tale about a Russian plot to attack our Democracy. This conveyed the impression that the election season we'd just lived through had been an aberration, thrown off the rails by an extraordinary espionage conspiracy between Trump and a cabal of evil foreigners.

This narrative contradicted everything I'd seen traveling across America in my two years of covering the campaign. The overwhelming theme of that race, long before anyone even thought about Russia, was voter rage at the entire political system.

The anger wasn't just on the Republican side, where Trump humiliated the Republicans' chosen $150 million contender , Jeb Bush (who got three delegates, or $50 million per delegate ). It was also evident on the Democratic side, where a self-proclaimed "Democratic Socialist" with little money and close to no institutional support became a surprise contender .

Because of a series of press misdiagnoses before the Russiagate stories even began, much of the American public was unprepared for news of a Trump win. A cloak-and-dagger election-fixing conspiracy therefore seemed more likely than it might have otherwise to large parts of the domestic news audience, because they hadn't been prepared for anything else that would make sense.

This was particularly true of upscale, urban, blue-leaning news consumers, who were not told to take the possibility of a Trump White House seriously.

Priority number-one of the political class after a vulgar, out-of-work game-show host conquered the White House should have been a long period of ruthless self-examination. This story delayed that for at least two years.

It wasn't even clear Trump whether or not wanted to win. Watching him on the trail, Trump at times went beyond seeming disinterested. There were periods where it looked like South Park's " Did I offend you? " thesis was true, and he was actively trying to lose, only the polls just wouldn't let him.

Forget about the gift the end of Russiagate might give Trump by allowing him to spend 2020 peeing from a great height on the national press corps. The more serious issue has to be the failure to face the reality of why he won last time, because we still haven't done that.

... ... ...

Trump, the billionaire, denounced us as the elitists in the room. He'd call us "bloodsuckers," "dishonest," and in one line that produced laughs considering who was saying it, " highly-paid ."

He also did something that I immediately recognized as brilliant (or diabolical, depending on how you look at it). He dared cameramen to turn their cameras to show the size of his crowds.

They usually wouldn't – hey, we don't work for the guy – which thrilled Trump, who would then say something to the effect of, "See! They're very dishonest people ." Audiences would turn toward us, and boo and hiss, and even throw little bits of paper and other things our way. This was unpleasant, but it was hard not to see its effectiveness: he'd re-imagined the lifeless, poll-tested format of the stump speech, turning it into menacing, personal, WWE-style theater.

Trump was gunning for votes in both parties. The core story he told on the stump was one of system-wide corruption, in which there was little difference between Republicans and Democrats.

...

Perhaps just by luck, Trump was tuned in to the fact that the triumvirate of ruling political powers in America – the two parties, the big donors and the press – were so unpopular with large parts of the population that he could win in the long haul by attracting their ire, even if he was losing battles on the way.

...

The subtext was always: I may be crude, but these people are phonies, pretending to be upset when they're making money off my bullshit .

I thought this was all nuts and couldn't believe it was happening in a real presidential campaign. But, a job is a job. My first feature on candidate Trump was called " How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable ." The key section read:

In person, you can't miss it: The same way Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, Donald on the stump can see his future. The pundits don't want to admit it, but it's sitting there in plain view, 12 moves ahead, like a chess game already won:

President Donald Trump

It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.

And Trump is no half-bright con man, either. He's way better than average.

Traditional Democratic audiences appeared thrilled by the piece and shared it widely. I was invited on scads of cable shows to discuss ad nauseum the "con man" line. This made me nervous, because it probably meant these people hadn't read the piece, which among other things posited the failures of America's current ruling class meant Trump's insane tactics could actually work.

Trump was selling himself as a traitor to a corrupt class, someone who knew how soulless and greedy the ruling elite was because he was one of them.

...

The only reason most blue-state media audiences had been given for Trump's poll numbers all along was racism, which was surely part of the story but not the whole picture. A lack of any other explanation meant Democratic audiences, after the shock of election night, were ready to reach for any other data point that might better explain what just happened.

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

Post-election, Russiagate made it all worse. People could turn on their TVs at any hour of the day and see anyone from Rachel Maddow to Chris Cuomo openly reveling in Trump's troubles. This is what Fox looks like to liberal audiences.

Worse, the "walls are closing in" theme -- two years old now -- was just a continuation of the campaign mistake, reporters confusing what they wanted to happen with what was happening . The story was always more complicated than was being represented.

[Mar 31, 2019] Final Mueller Report won't soothe a paranoid frenzy to undo the 2016 election

Notable quotes:
"... Paul Krugman. In " Donald Trump, the Siberian Candidate ," in July 2016, he suggested that "there's something very strange and disturbing going on here, and it should not be ignored." ..."
"... With Trump's election, this argument only intensified. The Intercept found that in a six-week period starting in late February of 2017, shortly after Trump's inauguration, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow homed in on "The Russia Connection," as she called it, with Russia-related fare accounting for more than half of her broadcasts. "If the American presidency right now is the product of collusion between the Russian intelligence services and an American campaign, I mean that is so profoundly big," Maddow declared. Time rendered the thought balloon as a cover illustration, showing the red walls of the Kremlin and the candy-striped domes of St. Basil's Cathedral sprouting from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. ..."
"... The apex of such coverage was attained by Jonathan Chait, in his July 2018 New York opus , on the eve of a meeting between "Prump" and "Tutin" in Helsinki. The headline: "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart -- Or His Handler? A plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion." The mind-boggling part was Chait's hypothesis that Trump possibly became a Kremlin asset back in 1987, when the real-estate mogul had visited Moscow. ..."
"... After all, contrary evidence, before the Mueller Report was submitted, was not hard to find. In April 2018, Trump met with German chancellor Angela Merkel in the White House, and gave her a difficult time, according to a story that later ran on the front page of the Wall Street Journal , about her backing of a pipeline to ship natural gas from Russia to Germany. "Angela," Trump said, according to the Journal, "you've got to stop buying gas from Putin." Do those sound like the words of a Kremlin agent? ..."
"... The paranoid style, which can include an inability to live with complexity and ambiguity and an intolerance for adverse outcomes, is characteristic for its resilience. ..."
"... In any event, Democrats in Congress are apt to pursue ongoing investigations into the "Russia connection" with even more intensity, in hopes of uncovering some nugget that eluded Mueller. The goal, as Hofstadter might have described it, is to repossess the country -- and that can't be achieved until Donald Trump leaves the White House. ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.city-journal.org

The idea of irascible Donald Trump as a compliant tool of the Kremlin in Moscow -- some sort of clandestine agent or asset, in spy parlance -- has always seemed off-center. Who has ever been able to control him, this volcano of a man? Does Trump seem capable of keeping secrets, following orders, or maintaining the strict discipline required of a double agent? So, to sober minds, it should come as no surprise that the final report of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III supports no such conclusion. The report, as summarized by Attorney General William P. Barr in a letter to congressional leaders on Sunday, found no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to fix the 2016 election in Trump's favor. And that's exactly what Trump has been saying, in his mantra of "no collusion," from the start of this nearly two-year-old investigation.

Surely, then, it's time for a reckoning -- starting with, say, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. In " Donald Trump, the Siberian Candidate ," in July 2016, he suggested that "there's something very strange and disturbing going on here, and it should not be ignored." On Twitter, Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum chimed in that Trump was "the real-life Manchurian candidate." The Krugman-Applebaum references were to Richard Condon's classic Cold War novel, published in 1959, and the subsequent film, The Manchurian Candidate , about an American prisoner of war brainwashed into becoming a Communist sleeper agent. That, America was told, was Donald Trump.

With Trump's election, this argument only intensified. The Intercept found that in a six-week period starting in late February of 2017, shortly after Trump's inauguration, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow homed in on "The Russia Connection," as she called it, with Russia-related fare accounting for more than half of her broadcasts. "If the American presidency right now is the product of collusion between the Russian intelligence services and an American campaign, I mean that is so profoundly big," Maddow declared. Time rendered the thought balloon as a cover illustration, showing the red walls of the Kremlin and the candy-striped domes of St. Basil's Cathedral sprouting from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The apex of such coverage was attained by Jonathan Chait, in his July 2018 New York opus , on the eve of a meeting between "Prump" and "Tutin" in Helsinki. The headline: "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart -- Or His Handler? A plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion." The mind-boggling part was Chait's hypothesis that Trump possibly became a Kremlin asset back in 1987, when the real-estate mogul had visited Moscow.

These are just samples of the Trump-as-Putin's-tool theory, now discredited by Mueller's report. The idea was advanced not only by liberal media types but also by anti-Trump conservatives, and it became a talking point in Democratic Party and U.S. foreign-policy establishment circles. John Brennan, Barack Obama's former CIA director, all but called Trump a traitor to America, for being in Putin's pocket. Of course, not all Trump opponents swallowed this improbable if seductive line -- but many did.

Partisan politics are one factor at work in efforts to show Trump as being in cahoots with the Russians. But mere partisanship seems insufficient to explain an abiding belief in Trump as Moscow's pawn. After all, contrary evidence, before the Mueller Report was submitted, was not hard to find. In April 2018, Trump met with German chancellor Angela Merkel in the White House, and gave her a difficult time, according to a story that later ran on the front page of the Wall Street Journal , about her backing of a pipeline to ship natural gas from Russia to Germany. "Angela," Trump said, according to the Journal, "you've got to stop buying gas from Putin." Do those sound like the words of a Kremlin agent?

The root explanation for the belief in a compromised Trump lies elsewhere than partisan politics, and a good place to look is the classic essay by historian Richard Hofstadter, " The Paranoid Style in American Politics ," published in the November 1964 issue of Harper's. Hofstadter was speaking, in the first instance, of the "Radical Right" of his day and its cherished conviction that Communists had infiltrated the highest echelons of the U.S. government. But the main point of his essay was to identify a recurrent pattern in our political life, going back to the republic's early days. "I believe there is a style of mind that is far from new and that is not necessarily right-wing," he wrote in his opening paragraph. "I call it the paranoid style," he explained, "simply because no other word adequately evokes the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy that I have in mind." In using this expression, he took pains to say, he was not speaking in a clinical sense of "men with profoundly disturbed minds." Rather, it was "the use of paranoid modes of expression by more or less normal people that makes the phenomenon significant." Red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s was one example; another was leaders of the Populist Party in the 1890s believing in "secret cabals" of "gold gamblers" to ruin America.

"Trump as Kremlin man" now can be added to these dubious annals. Hofstadter, who died in 1970, surely would be surprised. Though he did not see the "paranoid style" as the sole province of the Right, he tended to view most exhibitors of this style as figures and movements closer to the margins of American politics than to its center. A New York Times columnist, say, was not the sort of person he had in mind. Yet his insight into the "modern right wing" as feeling "dispossessed," as living in an America that "has been largely taken away from them and their kind," and therefore liable to the paranoid style, also applies in the current instance. For at least some of his critics, Trump's election was so perplexing and disorienting that it was as if they were living in a foreign country. How could this be happening in "their" America?

They still feel this way. The paranoid style, which can include an inability to live with complexity and ambiguity and an intolerance for adverse outcomes, is characteristic for its resilience. Mueller, the decorated former Marine and former FBI director, is apt to be attacked, in some disbelieving quarters, as a sellout: What isn't he telling us? Even the publication of his full report -- as many Americans, rightly, are demanding -- will not satisfy critics, who will insist that the absence of evidence of collusion is simply an element of the vast conspiracy to cover it up.

A vindicated Trump, for his part, can be expected only to heighten the conspiratorial mood of our times. An irony of this episode is that he, too, is the sort of person apt to believe in intrigues, only in his view of the matter, the dark plot is a scheme by the "Deep State" to keep him from getting elected and, once elected, to stay in power. He may well be loathed by more than a few Washington bureaucrats, but that idea looks like another rabbit hole.

In any event, Democrats in Congress are apt to pursue ongoing investigations into the "Russia connection" with even more intensity, in hopes of uncovering some nugget that eluded Mueller. The goal, as Hofstadter might have described it, is to repossess the country -- and that can't be achieved until Donald Trump leaves the White House.

Paul Starobin , a former Moscow bureau chief of Business Week , is working on a book on the Alaska gold rush of 1900.

[Mar 31, 2019] With Mueller Done, Now is the Time for Better Relations With Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Anyway, Trump is neutered. His appointments and policies are indistinguishable from a meaner, more reckless and more dysfunctional version of Dubya, even down to the Bush-era retreads. ..."
"... The anti-Russia fear-mongering from the Pentagon's Combatant Commandeers is thick with ominous warnings. (All requiring huge new spends for their War Toys of course.) ..."
"... New incoming Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mike Milley has already demonstrated his Nut-Job sensibilities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLfkJODepcI ..."
"... Front of the mind or back of the mind, the politics of Russia post-Mueller have already been baked into Washington with the huge bills for the poisonous pathological cake being delivered to the deluded and hapless taxpayers. ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Sid Finster March 28, 2019 at 2:27 pm

You're right, but it never will happen.

Anyway, Trump is neutered. His appointments and policies are indistinguishable from a meaner, more reckless and more dysfunctional version of Dubya, even down to the Bush-era retreads.

SteveM , says: March 28, 2019 at 2:35 pm
I've stated before that the Pentagon now controls foreign policy. Along with the sanctified Generals, Lunatic Bolton, Fat Pompeo, Nitwit Pence and other civilians are completely wired into the Warfare State architecture parasitically dependent on a Russia = Soviet Union 2.0 model.

The anti-Russia fear-mongering from the Pentagon's Combatant Commandeers is thick with ominous warnings. (All requiring huge new spends for their War Toys of course.)

New incoming Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mike Milley has already demonstrated his Nut-Job sensibilities: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLfkJODepcI

The anti-Russia froth spilling out of a sclerotic Congress suffused with Idiots who want to throw even more Billions at the 5-Sided Pleasure Palace is thick and heavy.

While Trump has proven himself to be a stupid, impotent fop against that war-mongering menagerie.

Re: "Politics in Washington can often guide policy. The question post-Mueller is whether policy will now be front of mind."

Front of the mind or back of the mind, the politics of Russia post-Mueller have already been baked into Washington with the huge bills for the poisonous pathological cake being delivered to the deluded and hapless taxpayers.

Ken Zaretzke , says: March 28, 2019 at 3:22 pm
No one gets it like Stephen F. Cohen gets it.

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-real-costs-of-russiagate/

[Mar 31, 2019] Russiagate Hoax Is WMD, Times A Million

Mar 31, 2019 | freerepublic.com

citizenfreepress.com ^ | 3/25/19 | Matt Taibbi

Posted on ‎3‎/‎25‎/‎2019‎ ‎6‎:‎01‎:‎13‎ ‎AM by a little elbow grease

Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.

As has long been rumored, the former FBI chief's independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no "presidency-wrecking" conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman's definition of "collusion" with Russia.

The New York Times:

A senior Justice Department official said that Mr. Mueller would not recommend new indictments. The Times tried to soften the emotional blow for the millions of Americans trained in these years to place hopes for the overturn of the Trump presidency in Mueller. Nobody even pretended it was supposed to be a fact-finding mission, instead of an act of faith.

The Special Prosecutor literally became a religious figure during the last few years, with votive candles sold in his image and Saturday Night Live cast members singing "All I Want for Christmas is You" to him featuring the rhymey line: "Mueller please come through, because the only option is a coup."

The Times story today tried to preserve Santa Mueller's reputation, noting Trump's Attorney General William Barr's reaction was an "endorsement" of the fineness of Mueller's work:

In an apparent endorsement of an investigation that Mr. Trump has relentlessly attacked as a "witch hunt," Mr. Barr said Justice Department officials never had to intervene to keep Mr. Mueller from taking an inappropriate or unwarranted step.

Mueller, in other words, never stepped out of the bounds of his job description. But could the same be said for the news media?

(Excerpt) Read more at citizenfreepress.com ...

[Mar 31, 2019] Russiagate and Mutual Assured Derangement – Arc Digital

Mar 31, 2019 | arcdigital.media

It's a brutal week for anyone who expected special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election to be the end of Donald Trump. Per Attorney General William Barr's summary of Mueller's report, there is no evidence to prove that Trump or his campaign conspired with Russian agents to influence the election; while Mueller left the door open to obstruction of justice charges, Barr has decided there are no grounds for those, either. Maybe the "Mueller time" merchandise can now be marketed to Trump fans.

This outcome has left a lot of "Resistance" types distraught and discredited, and it's an entirely self-made disaster. Trump/Russia hype and hysteria on the left have been wildly over the top. It wasn't just fringe conspiracy theorists like British journalist Louise Mensch who claimed Trump was knowingly working for the Kremlin; Jonathan Chait and Max Boot floated the same idea in New York Magazine and The Washington Post , respectively, as did Bill Maher on HBO's Real Time . Pundits, ex-intelligence officials, and some congressional Democrats (notably California's Adam Schiff) repeatedly asserted that the Mueller probe was all but certain to end with major indictments. It seemed like every week, a new " bombshell " signaled "the beginning of the end" for Trump.

But now, the triumphant pro-Trump Republicans and left-wing Trump/Russia skeptics (two groups currently enjoying a bizarre love-in) are engaging in just as much hype and overreach -- and it may end badly for them, too.

For the record: From the start, I have been mostly a Trump/Russia agnostic. In my first piece on the subject in July 2016, for the now-defunct AllThink blog, I wrote:

I don't think anyone is actually claiming that Trump is literally a [Vladimir] Putin agent. It's more that Putin would much prefer to see Trump rather than [Hillary] Clinton in the White House; that Trump is not at all averse to having Putin in his corner; and that top Trump staffers, campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Russia adviser Carter Page, have tangible ties to the Kremlin regime and to Putin's cronies. And that Putin may be using KGB-style dirty tricks to help elect Trump  --  such as putting out what the Russians call kompromat on Clinton.

(I think this aligns pretty closely with the Mueller report as summarized by Barr.)

Later, I was highly skeptical of the more extreme Trump/Russia claims, including " pee tape " blackmail. In a December 2017 Newsday column, I warned about the damage from biased and sloppy media coverage of the story. In July 2018 , I condemned Trump's conduct when he stood next to Putin at the Helsinki summit and badmouthed the Mueller probe while endorsing Putin's denial of election meddling; I also stressed that "[c]ollusion with the Kremlin is certainly not the only way to explain Trump's actions."

In other words, I am not a Russiagate peddler refusing to concede error and bitterly clinging to my discredited position.

I simply believe that, on the facts, the extreme "Russia Hoax" position (there was never anything to the Trump/Russia story except a conspiracy theory intended to take down Trump) is as untenable as the extreme "Russiagate" position (Trump is Putin's bitch).

I think it's a bit galling for Trump defenders to crow vindication when, only recently, the same people  --  including Trump himself  --  were viciously attacking Mueller and slamming his investigation as a baseless witch-hunt cooked up by Trump haters and "Deep State" malefactors. And yes, in some cases, it's literally the same people, not just people from the same political camp. For instance, Federalist writer Sean Davis, who has been gleefully flogging the media for their coverage of the scandal, had this to say last October when some Trump zealots attempted to frame Mueller for sexual harassment:

(Davis apparently deleted the tweet later, but it's definitely real, as demonstrated by an embed appearing on RedState .)

Indeed, Fox News Opinion was attacking Mueller on the eve of the release of his findings, in an article that now looks deliciously ironic:

Fast-forward a few days, and anyone who has the temerity to suggest that the Barr summary of Mueller's findings may not be the absolute last word on Trump/Russia is promptly accused of being pathetic and desperate.

https://arcdigital.media/media/f5e062a16f7cbea36b2ab706b354b1f7?postId=c23ee28d3bda

We'll know more soon when the full Mueller report is out. But pending its release, here's a quick look at some of the post-Mueller "Russia hoax" myths.

Myth: The Mueller findings prove there was never anything to Trump/Russia. It's simply an anti-Trump conspiracy theory spawned by the Christopher Steele dossier  --  a discredited piece of Clinton opposition research  --  and fanned by the Trump-hating media.

This is sheer nonsense.

First of all: Discussions of Trump's, and his campaign's, Russian connections began before anyone had heard of the dossier and before the FBI opened its investigation into the matter. The Washington Post ran a piece on the Trump-Putin "bromance" and Trump's extensive financial ties to Russia on June 17, 2016, when Steele, a former British intelligence agent, was just starting to compile his Trump-Russia dossier. An article by Franklin Foer titled " Putin's Puppet " appeared in Slate on July 4, still nearly a month before the FBI started its investigation into Russian election interference and some three months before FBI agents first met with Steele.

Foer discussed Trump's "odes to Putin," the Kremlin-controlled media's vocal support for Trump, the hacking of Democratic National Committee servers by Russian intelligence, Trump's financial connections to Russia, and the fact that "Trump's inner circle is populated with advisers and operatives who have long careers advancing the interests of the Kremlin." At Talking Points Memo in late July , Josh Marshall also highlighted the fact that the one foreign policy issue where Trump's team pushed for change in the Republican Party platform was to tone down language calling for more American assistance to Ukraine in its border conflict with Russia.

Trump's infamous " Russia, if you're listening " remark on July 27 of that year, responding to questions about the DNC hacking by jocularly inviting Russia to find Clinton's missing emails, raised the story to a new level. Unlike many people, I believe he was making a tacky joke, not actually signaling the Kremlin. Even so, it's not difficult to understand why this conduct would be considered suspicious. At best, a presidential candidate was responding to reports that his opponent had been targeted for cyberattacks by an adversarial foreign power by jokingly cheering for the hackers.

Russia Didn't Hack the DNC! (Or Did They ?)
Right- and left-wing conspiracy theories, and why they're wrong arcdigital.media

There are plenty of others times Trump behaved in ways that fed the story.

There was his statement to NBC's Lester Holt in May 2017 that he fired James Comey because of the "Russia thing." (Whether we now find Comey an obnoxiously self-important grandstander is totally irrelevant.)

There was, even more shockingly, the revelation that Trump bragged about the firing in a White House meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak, calling Comey "a real nut job" and saying that the pressure he had faced over the Russia story was now "taken off." (Is there any way such behavior by the President of the United States would not raise disturbing questions?)

There was his behavior at the Helsinki summit, and numerous instances in which he took a remarkably mild attitude toward apparent criminal activity by the Kremlin. Just last October, in a 60 Minutes interview on CBS, Trump conceded that Putin had probably orchestrated the attempted poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England  --  but brushed it off with "it's not in our country." (This is an incident in which Russian intelligence agents tried to kill two Russians on the soil of one of our top allies, in the process accidentally killing one of that country's nationals and injuring two more. As they say: Let that sink in.) In the same interview, Trump also downplayed 2016 Russian election meddling by claiming, with no evidence, that "China meddled too" and "is a bigger problem."

Aside from that, there really were extensive interactions between the Trump campaign and Russians with Kremlin or intelligence ties. There really was  --  as the Barr letter on Mueller's findings explicitly states  --  a Russian effort to influence the election and undermine Clinton. (Was the intent to damage the generally expected Clinton presidency, or to help elect Trump? It's likely this was viewed as a win-win scenario.) Mueller indicted 13 Russians over that operation. Remember, Mueller's mandate was to investigate all Russian interference in the 2016 election (including the possible role of people inside the Trump campaign in aiding such interference). So to dismiss the Mueller probe as a "conspiracy theory" and/or a waste of money is to show a rather shocking lack of regard for the integrity of our elections.

How To Talk (And Not To Talk) About Violence On "Both Sides"
Neither equivalence nor exculpation will do arcdigital.media

It's true that not one American citizen has been indicted for "collusion" (or, to be more accurate, conspiracy; there is no such crime as "collusion"). The prosecutions of Trump associates have been over other, only tangentially related things: Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, for financial crimes connected to consulting work for pro-Russian Ukrainians; Roger Stone (who still faces trial in November) for lying to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks, the "whistleblower" organization that published the hacked documents; former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and campaign staffer George Papadopoulos, for lying to the FBI about Russian contacts. Mueller has found  --  there's no reason to doubt the accuracy of the Barr letter on this  --  that none of the contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives amounted to conspiracy, defined as an agreement to influence the election.

But: first of all, this doesn't mean that the issue wasn't worth investigating. There was very real evidence of suspicious and sleazy contacts. It didn't rise to the level of criminal and treasonous conspiracy. So far, so good.

Secondly, this doesn't mean that anything short of conspiracy is fine. We didn't need Mueller to tell us that Trump welcomed the WikiLeaks disclosures of hacked documents from the DNC and the Clinton campaign; Trump repeatedly said so on the campaign trail in 2016. The Mueller probe did uncover contacts between WikiLeaks and at least two people close to Trump: Stone and Donald Trump Jr. (We don't know whether such contacts at any level would amount to conspiracy under the Mueller report's definition, since WikiLeaks is not definitively classified as a Russian asset.)

The Stone indictment charges that late in the summer of 2016, after news of the DNC hacking  --  which U.S. and allied intelligence agencies, along with multiple private cybersecurity firms, identified as the work of Russian operatives  --  a senior Trump campaign official asked Stone to find out from WikiLeaks what was in the hacked emails and when they would be made public.

Bloomberg News columnist Eli Lake argues , in his commentary on the Mueller probe conclusion, that this fact actually undercuts the collusion scenario: "If the [Trump] campaign was coordinating with Russia's influence campaign, why would Stone have needed to go to WikiLeaks?" But surely collusion is not limited to full-time coordination. If the unnamed official knew that WikiLeaks was acting as an intermediary for the Russians and directed Stone to find out more about their plans to disclose illegally obtained material damaging to the Clinton campaign, that sounds pretty damning to me  --  even if doesn't amount to conspiracy with Kremlin agents.

And that's aside from the Trump Tower meeting. It's a fact that Don Jr. received an email saying that a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer wanted to meet and offer dirt on Clinton as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump." It's a fact that he responded, "I love it." (As it turned out, the lawyer had no information and used the meeting to talk about ending sanctions against Russia.) The Barr summary notes that there is no evidence any Trump associate was involved in coordination or conspiracy with the Russian government, "despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign." Yet at least in the case of the Trump Tower meeting, it seems clear that the offer was not rejected; it was enthusiastically welcomed but turned out to be bogus. (Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen claims Don Jr. told his father about this meeting, but there is no solid proof of this.)

Why Is Michael Cohen Doing The Right Thing?
Mueller has charged several Americans with crimes. But only Michael Cohen wants to be seen as making a principled stand arcdigital.media

If Trump supporters think this is a vindication, or that this proves the Mueller probe was a pointless conspiracy theory I suppose they're entitled to that view. It seems to me that any reasonable person would conclude that these facts warranted a full investigation to find out whether they amounted to criminal conspiracy.

Myth: The Trump/Russia story was made up as an excuse for Clinton's defeat so that the Democrats could avoid facing the fact that (a) they ran a terrible candidate and (b) a lot of Americans were sufficiently fed up with the political establishment that they voted for Trump.

Did the collusion story serve that purpose for some Democrats? Sure. But again, the Trump/Russia issue first became a story several months before the election, when pretty much everyone expected Clinton to win. Indeed, in his " Putin's Puppet " story in July 2016, Foer wrote, "We shouldn't overstate Putin's efforts, which will hardly determine the outcome of the election." (Famous last words!)

Myth: We know for a fact that Russian interference did not help Trump win.

For some reason, suggesting that Russian meddling may have affected the outcome of the election is often taken as tantamount to saying that Americans did not really elect Donald Trump. But that doesn't follow at all.

No credible person suggests that Russia tampered with the voting tallies (though it's a measure of current levels of political derangement that two-thirds of Democrats believe such tampering "definitely" or "probably" happened). However, Trump won several states by extremely small margins; surely some of those results could have been tipped by the WikiLeaks disclosures, falsely spun as "the DNC fixed the primaries to rob Bernie Sanders and hand the nomination to Hillary." Let's not forget that WikiLeaks began it's second dump of compromising material hours after the disclosure of the "Access Hollywood" audio in which Trump was heard bragging that his star status allows him to "do anything" to women, even "grab 'em by the pussy."

Of course this does not absolve Clinton of running a bad campaign. A good candidate would have been ahead of Trump by a wide enough margin that WikiLeaks would not have made a difference. A good candidate would not have had personal baggage that made it difficult for her to hit Trump on the sexual misconduct allegations. There were numerous factors that contributed to Trump's win. But I don't see how anyone can say with certainty that the Russia/WikiLeaks project wasn't one of them  --  especially since Trump exploited those disclosures to the hilt on the campaign trail.

Myth: The mainstream media as a group are utterly discredited because they fell for Trump/Russia hype, while once-derided Trump/Russia skeptics have been vindicated.

This claim is being made not only by conservative Trump supporters like Davis, but by leftists like Michael Tracey, Glenn Greenwald, and Matt Taibbi , whose indictment of the media's Russiagate fail has been widely praised.

There is a lot to criticize. Rachel Maddow should be embarrassed. So should Chait, who once suggested that Trump might be meeting "his handler" in Helsinki.

Why Are Internet Radicals Helping Putin's Russia?
Glenn Greenwald, Caitlin Johnstone, and anti-American myopia arcdigital.media

But the critics are wrongly (and, I suspect, intentionally) lumping together several extremely different things: outlandish Trump/Russia conspiracy theories a la Mensch; sloppy "bombshell" reporting that ended up being quickly debunked and retracted (such as the ABC News " scoop " that Trump had directed Flynn to contact Russian officials during the campaign, not after the election); opinions that were always presented as opinions; and factual reporting on the Trump/Russia investigation.

For instance, after I tweeted that Taibbi vastly overstates the media consensus on the "Trump is a Russian asset" narrative, someone tweeted a collage of Washington Post headlines at me in rebuttal.

https://arcdigital.media/media/76c7ac32d9f6808a3556058d6848b0d5?postId=c23ee28d3bda

However, none of those headlines refer to Trump being a Russian asset. The closest is one that says, "Why the FBI might've thought Trump could be working for Russia." But the FBI did briefly investigate that possibility in 2017 before Mueller took over the Russia probe! What's more, the article , by Aaron Blake, is the farthest thing from irresponsible hype. It offers a measured assessment of the facts, pointing out that such claims are "highly speculative," that the brief FBI inquiry "may not mean a whole lot," and that there are other explanations for the behavior that made the FBI suspicious.

And other headlines are simply factual: for instance, "Trump misrepresents judge in Manafort trial as he claims 'no collusion' with Russia." He did .

Or: "Russia's support for Trump's election is no longer disputable." Yes, the Barr letter confirms that too.

Some of Taibbi's criticism is fair (for instance, he makes a strong case that Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News vastly overhyped the Steele dossier before backtracking and suggesting that it's mostly inaccurate; he also rightly spanks Chait for the "What if Trump is a longtime Russian agent" New York Magazine cover story). Some is more dubious. Thus, Taibbi writes:

" Trump Campaign Aides had repeated contacts with Russian Intelligence ," published by the Times on Valentine's Day, 2017, was an important, narrative-driving "bombshell" that looked dicey from the start. The piece didn't say whether the contact was witting or unwitting, whether the discussions were about business or politics, or what the contacts supposedly were at all.

In fact, the article explicitly acknowledges these unknowns. It states that the law enforcement officials who had provided the information "did not say to what extent the contacts might have been about business" and whether they had anything to do with Trump. It also notes that several Trump associates (including Manafort, the only person named in the article) had done business in Russia and that "it is not unusual for American businessmen to come in contact with foreign intelligence officials, sometimes unwittingly, in countries like Russia and Ukraine, where the spy services are deeply embedded in society." Finally, it states that the officials interviewed "said that, so far, they had seen no evidence" of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign to influence the election.

One can criticize The New York Times for hyping the "bombshell" in the headline only to admit in the body of the text that it may amount to nothing much. (Did it amount to anything? We don't know; the charges against Manafort are partly related to giving U.S. polling data to an intelligence-linked Russian business associate, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, as part of these contacts.) But Taibbi's failure to note that the article does acknowledge facts contrary to the "narrative" also skews his account.

And here's an even more egregious example:

After writing, " Confessions of a Russiagate Skeptic ," poor Blake Hounsell of Politico took such a beating on social media, he ended up denouncing himself a year later.
"What I meant to write is, I wasn't skeptical," he said.

Leaving aside the sloppiness (it's "Hounshell," and the second article was published six months later, not a year later), Taibbi's account here is way off. Yes, Hounshell got a mostly negative reaction to his piece on Twitter, though it was no pitchfork-wielding mob. But there's no indication his reversal had anything to do with social-media sniping: Hounshell's second piece was a reaction to Trump's odd behavior at the Helsinki summit and his attacks on NATO. ("What I meant " was, of course, a joke.)

Taibbi also makes no mention of instances in which mainstream media did shoot down or push back against false Russiagate narratives. Vox published a piece by Zack Beauchamp in May 2017 cautioning Democrats against falling for Trump/Russia conspiracy theories peddled by the likes of Mensch, attorney Seth Abramson, and national security expert John Schindler. The New York Times ran a piece days before the election headlined, "Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia." Foer's October 31, 2016 Slate article claiming that there was a secret electronic communication channel between the Trump campaign and a Russian bank was debunked the next day by The Washington Post .

Finally, Taibbi's critique rests on a false binary. He writes, "There was never real gray area here. Either Trump is a compromised foreign agent, or he isn't. If he isn't, news outlets once again swallowed a massive disinformation campaign." But in fact, there are plenty of gray areas and many different versions of what "Trump/Russia" means  --  from "Trump is a foreign agent" to "Trump was fine with accepting election help from Putin." Plenty of news outlets gave credence to the second scenario, not the first.

The Trump-Russia Investigation is Dead! Long Live The Trump-Russia Investigation!
Mueller's investigation may or may not be about to end, but Trump's Russia woes will continue arcdigital.media

It would be good to see a fair and comprehensive analysis of media coverage of Russiagate. But it's not going to come from Davis, Taibbi, or Greenwald. Media groupthink and malpractice should be criticized, but this can be done without lumping all of the "mainstream media" together in a mass indictment of "fake news."

As for the left-wing Russiagate skeptics being vindicated: most of them have staunchly insisted that there is no evidence the Kremlin engaged in an effort to undermine our election. And Glenn Greenwald's position seems to be that even if it did, America was asking for it because we meddle, too. In this scheme of things, then-Secretary of State Clinton expressing sympathy with the Russians who took to the streets in 2011–2012 to protest a rigged election is morally equivalent to Russian agents stealing the private communications of American political organizations.

Myth: The fact that the Trump administration is tough on Russia disproves the Trump/Russia story.

For the record: I don't believe Trump is a "Russian tool." It's clear that he has taken a number of positions that are at odds with Russia's interests, including on Venezuela (from which he said the other day that "Russia has to get out"). His administration includes a number of Russia hawks, from National Security Advisor John Bolton to high-level official Fiona Hill .

On the other hand, it's hard to say how much of Washington's current Russia policy happens in spite of Trump. The White House has repeatedly tried to weaken and spike Russia sanctions, despite a rare bipartisan consensus in Congress for tough policies. He was reportedly highly reluctant to agree to the sale of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, which he now cites as evidence that he's tougher on Russia than Obama. And he has made some definite Russia-friendly moves  --  such as calling for Russia to be readmitted into the Group of 7 when he attended the G7 summit in Quebec last summer.

But, once again, the truth of Russiagate can be quite bad for Trump without Trump being a knowing Putin pawn. If Trump knowingly went along with a Kremlin-directed effort to help his campaign  --  even with no quid pro quo  --  that may not be criminal conspiracy, but surely it is a betrayal of the American people. (And no, it's not remotely comparable to using opposition research collected in part from intelligence sources within the Russian establishment; to equate the two , as some Trump partisans have done, is tantamount to suggesting that there's no difference between intelligence-gathering and spying for a foreign power.)

In the past two years, there has been a lot of wild, and sometimes outright deranged, speculation on Trump/Russia. A lot of Russiagate zealots got carried away, buoyed by the seeming victories of mounting Trump/Russia revelations ("BOOM"!). Now, they're paying the price.

Right now, the shoe is on the other foot. The anti-Russiagate crowd, dizzy from its apparent triumph, is getting way ahead of the evidence in declaring Russiagate a "hoax" and proclaiming that Trump has been both legally and morally vindicated. It seems a bit foolhardy when, among other things, there are legal proceedings still underway, including Stone trial and a still-active grand jury .

Am I expecting a new "bombshell" that will finally spell the end for Trump? No  --  and, for the record, I do not want impeachment. But I do think that after the past three years, one lesson we should all have learned is that no one can predict what twists are coming in the crazy plots of The Trumpman Show .

[Mar 31, 2019] Russiagate The Great Tragic Comedy of Modern Journalism

Mar 31, 2019 | blog.usejournal.com

And then Stephen Cohen of The Nation , another voice of reason, sent me a copy of his book, " War With Russia? " It's a collection of his heretical writings about our new, unnecessary Cold War, and the opening essay , adapted from a talk he gave in Washington D.C., made me ashamed of my silence.

"Some people who privately share our concerns  --  again, in Congress, the media, universities and think tanks  --  do not speak out at all. For whatever reason  --  concern about being stigmatized, about their career, personal disposition  --  they are silent. But in our democracy, where the cost of dissent is relatively low, silence is no longer a patriotic option," Cohen wrote, adding, "We should exempt from this imperative young people, who have more to lose. A few have sought my guidance, and I always advise, 'Even petty penalties for dissent in regard to Russia could adversely affect your career. At this stage of life, your first obligation is to your family and thus to your future prospects. Your time to fight lies ahead'."

Well, what was my excuse?

Special Prosecutor Robert S. Mueller has now turned in his findings, and there's not much there. For weeks beforehand, mainstream media warned about this  --  exhorting readers against succumbing to feeling "disappointed".

Disappointed? I guess, as my friend Taibbi has noted , it would have been an immense relief had the U.S. president been found to be a high-level traitor. We could have all brought picnic lunches to his execution.

Right before the species-ending war with Russia.

In their fanatic loyalty to the narrative, what used to be my favorite media have stridently reminded us that, Mueller aside, "it's not over!" The "focus of the investigation" will move now to the New York prosecutors, to House committees. The American intelligentsia will continue to dream up wild theories  --  they'll be Scotch-taped on every vertical surface, connected by bits of yarn and magic marker scribbles and hyperverbal mania.

The question now is, has the Mueller report finally freed up the rest of us to challenge the more insane flights of fantasy? Or is it instead so close to the 2020 presidential elections  --  and so legally dangerous for some of the intelligence insiders who have tried to bring down the president  --  that skeptical journalists more than ever will be bullied to keep silent?

Rootless Whataboutism

As a test case  --  a first step on the road to journalistic recovery  --  can I suggest we at least retire the insane, Orwellian term "whataboutism?"

Whataboutism really deserves consideration as a "Word of the Year", and not in a good way. There have been multiple non-ironic media reports about this odious concept, on NPR , in the Huffington Post , in The Washington Post , you name it.

"His campaign may or may not have conspired with Moscow," The Washington Post told us awhile back, "but President Trump has routinely employed a durable old Soviet propaganda tactic 'whataboutism,' the practice of short-circuiting an argument by asserting moral equivalency between two things that aren't necessarily comparable."

NPR's version also claims that whataboutism is a Soviet-tainted practice. "It's not exactly a complicated tactic  --  any grade-schooler can master the 'yeah-well-you-suck-too-so-there' defense," NPR says. "But it came to be associated with the USSR because of the Soviet Union's heavy reliance upon whataboutism throughout the Cold War and afterward, as Russia."

Yet in my experience, it's not so much a Soviet tactic as an American one  --  specifically, it's a way of demanding a loyalty oath to the anti-Trump resistance.

I have occasionally dared express skepticism about the entire overblown story that Russia was involved in our 2016 elections at all. That's right. I don't buy it. I am not entirely convinced that "Russian bots and trolls" infected anyone's mind by, say, taking positions both for and against gun control after the Parkland high school mass shooting, or by setting up anti-masturbation hotlines , or by giving bad reviews to "Star Wars: the Last Jedi."

I am also not entirely convinced that the Russians, having supposedly decided at the highest levels of their government to try to sink Hilary Clinton's candidacy, couldn't think of anything more clever than to spear-phish campaign manager John Podesta's G-mail.

Nor do I share the concerns of The Times of London that the Russian animated cartoon "Masha and the Bear" is part of a soft propaganda drive to weaken the minds of Estonian children ahead of their eventual annexation by Red Army tanks.

Yet before I can even offer any subtler qualification of all this  --  sure, there is Russian-government, let's say, "illicit computer and social media activity" out there, mixed with a lot of other noise signals (click-bait farms, which explains at least some of the infamous Internet Research Agency's activities; ordinary Russians with pro-Kremlin positions and personal Facebook accounts; and yes, people sitting on their beds who weigh 400 pounds), but it has to be weighed against  --  I'll be cut off.

"That's whataboutism ," I've been told flatly.

It's actually not   --  that doesn't even meet the absurd quasi-official definitions of this new Kafkaesque term  --  but that's the whole point. Disagreement is by its very nature whataboutist . Every skeptical question, after all, could technically begin, "But what about ?"

Of course, it's far, far worse if I truly commit a whataboutism and  --   God forbid! God forbid! – I express curiosity about The New York Times reporting about millions flowing to the Clintons and associated with the Russian purchase of American uranium mines.

Whataboutism! It's so comparable to the old Soviet thought crimes  --  Trotskyite, wrecker, cosmopolitan, rootless cosmopolitanism Every time I hear someone flag a statement as guilty of whataboutism, I mentally add " rootless whataboutism."

People tell me Mueller missed the point. It's about Russian oligarch and Kremlin money, invested in Trump real estate  --  it's not over! All hail the Southern District prosecutors! OK, let's see it, I'm open to that possibility. But if all Russian money is tainted just because it's "oligarchical"  --  good luck defining that !  --  then is it O.K. for the spouse of then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to take $500,000 for a single hour's work, a speech in Moscow, for one of the most famous "oligarch" banks?

"That's whataboutism! NPR and The Washington Post say that's a Soviet-favored tactic! Your loyalty is thus suspect two-fold. Have you had contact with any Russian nationals?"

Communists and Crickets

"EVIDENCE POINTS TO RUSSIA AS MAIN SUSPECT IN BRAIN INJURY ATTACKS ON DOZENS OF U.S. DIPLOMATS" was the report by MSNBC in September 2017, and they flogged that big scoop for months, and have never really apologized for it.

Two dozen American diplomats in Cuba suffered headaches, dizziness and other vague symptoms they blamed on strange sounds  --  sounds some of them tape-recorded and supplied to journalists, doctors and the government. "It sounds sort of like a mass of crickets," was the opening line of the Associated Press report about the recordings (which you can listen to yourself here ).

But no. Not crickets. As MSNBC reported, our intelligence services had intercepted Russian communications (!) revealing the sounds were "some kind of microwave weapon," one so sophisticated that our top government minds were at a loss.

We might not know how it works, MSNBC reported, but we did know it was a weapon, and "now Russia is the leading suspect."

"This is not an accident," reported anchorwoman Andrea Mitchell then. "This is not a microwave listening device gone bad. This is an attack  --  against American diplomats and intelligence officers, and this was targeting."

What an amazing allegation. The Russian government was beaming a mysterious, high-tech weapon at our citizens ; we had intercepted communications that made this clear.

For more than a year, I and colleagues with Russia-reporting experience would be grilled about this, and would just have to shrug apologetically. We just didn't know what to say. It didn't make a lot of face-value sense  --  why exactly would Russian agents, amid all this rabid anti-Russia hysteria, beam a secret brain-frying weapon at two-dozen random American diplomats and their family members in Cuba, for weeks apparently? What would be the logic behind giving these random-seeming people headaches and making them dizzy and even causing "brain injuries similar to concussions"?

As a physician, I also shared the s kepticism of colleagues published about this in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Playing odds, I agreed with those critics that I would have assumed either a mass psychogenic illness or a viral infection more likely etiologies than a secret Siberian death ray. I also read "brain injuries similar to concussions" as, "brain injuries that don't show up on objective testing." (Of course, I've not examined any of these patients or reviewed their cases so it's not for me to say.)

But in our fevered Russophobic environment, no one wanted to entertain alternative scenarios  --  after all, we don't even understand this sophisticated weapon, which our intelligence agencies assure us (anonymously) they have intercepted Russian communications bragging about, so how dare we debate the logic behind its use? (Maybe this is how they control the president!)

Then three months ago, American scientists published in a peer-review journal their analysis of the dastardly recordings and identified the sounds : Crickets. Caribbean crickets.

Specifically, the echoing call of the male, short-tailed indies. During mating season.

But did MSNBC apologize, or retract?

Crickets.

Instead, during a historically cold week this winter, MSNBC star Rachel Maddow used the excuse of a government panel about energy security to go on a Jack D. Ripper about Russia someday deciding to freeze middle America to death.

"It is like negative 50 degrees in the Dakotas right now. What would happen if Russia killed the power in Fargo today? What would happen if all the natural gas lines that service Sioux Falls just 'poofed', on the coldest day in recent memories, and it wasn't in our power whether or not to turn them back on?" Maddow asked . "What would you do if you lost heat indefinitely  --  as the act of a foreign power!  --  on the same day the temperature in your front yard matched the temperature in Antarctica? I mean, what would you and your family do?"

Gee, I don't know Rachel. What would my family and I do if Russia launched a nuclear weapon at my front yard? I guess we'd all die. I guess I don't know who to trust anymore, I feel exhausted by the news, sick of it all, I just want to stop caring, and you seem to feel the same, and omigosh Rachel, we've been infected by the red virus!

'They Hate our Freedoms'

James Comey, the former FBI director, testified before the Senate after his firing that the Russians are "coming after America," because, "They think that this great experiment of ours is a threat to them, and so they're going to try to run it down and dirty it up as much as possible."

Right. It's because "they hate our freedoms."

Where have I heard that before?

People had been waiting breathlessly for Mueller's report, but in reality, everything we needed to know was right there in the first report  --  the January 6, 2017, grand announcement, the big reveal by our Intelligence Community  --  the consensus of CIA, FBI and NSA  --  "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections."

I remember finishing that report at the time and thinking: Holy Cow, they have nothing.

Nothing!

Of the 15 pages with any meat to them in that report, seven were a long, bizarre complaint about the existence and activities of RT (formerly Russia Today ), the Kremlin-sponsored English-language news channel.

Our intelligence agencies reported that RT has become "the most-watched foreign news channel in the UK," had more YouTube viewers than the BBC or CNN , and was surpassing al-Jazeera in New York and Washington D.C. ( Voice of America , which is the U.S. government version of RT , has no sense of humor or passion and so no viewers anywhere outside of Foggy Bottom.)

RT's success was, per the intelligence report, thanks to a combination of lavish Kremlin funding and an alluring editorial slant. The intelligence report quoted RT's editor as saying her station got lots of new viewers after offering sympathetic coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The intelligence report continued:

In an effort to highlight the alleged "lack of democracy" in the United States, RT broadcast, hosted, and advertised third-party candidate debates and ran reporting supportive of the political agenda of these candidates. The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a "sham." RT's reports often characterize the United States as a "surveillance state" and allege widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use RT has also focused on criticism of the US economic system, US currency policy, alleged Wall Street greed, and the US national debt. Some of RT's hosts have compared the United States to Imperial Rome and have predicted that government corruption and "corporate greed" will lead to US financial collapse RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health

This was hilarious of course  --  a public snit by our intel communities about Russians racking up big numbers among American viewers in Washington and New York , just by offering mildly critical takes on drone killings and fracking and "alleged Wall Street greed" ("alleged"? Really ?). We were promised a major assessment of any improper Russian influences on our 2016 electoral process and we got  --  this? A formal complaint that Russian TV gave Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein too much air time?

All this bitching and moaning about RT   --  which, remember, is not some secret plot, but just a public TV station you can go watch on YouTube or not watch   --  takes up well more than half of that grand intelligence community assessment. It really speaks volumes about what was on their minds. And again, my conclusion reading it two years ago was: So, they've got nothing.

The one caveat, though, was that there was a classified appendix. There's always a classified appendix. So, who knew what was in that ? After all, immediately and in the two years since, intelligence officials have occasionally been cited  --  always anonymously!  --   in The Guardian , The New Yorker , and The New York Times   --  as claiming to have intercepted communications between the Trump team and the Russian government.

Well, by now, we should realize the appendix is a myth.

First, we now know that at least part of it   --  and, I would guess, probably all of it  --  was nothing more than the Steele report, the infamous document first posted on BuzzFeed , that collection of anti-Trump opposition research paid for by the Hilary Clinton campaign. (You know  --  the pee tape stuff.)

And we now also know, courtesy of Robert Mueller's report, that there are no "intercepted communications" between Russians and the Trump campaign teams. Just like there are no Russian intercepts about secret Siberian brain-frying rays in Cuba, because that, again, was the mating call of a short-tailed Caribbean cricket.

I don't know what's funnier about all of this  --  and it is damned funny, really  --  the fact that all of this has actually happened , or the fact that I feel the need to come out of journalistic retirement to help point it out.

A President With a Traitor's Heart  --  for Six More Years

And that's the way it is, and has been, all along for these past two years. There have been non-stop media allegations that, one way or another, our narcissistic, loud-mouthed, overtly racist U.S. president has a traitor's heart. Any errors or inaccuracies  --  and there have been a shocking number of retracted "scoops," as well as screwups like the Caribbean crickets that have just been ignored  --  are excused in service of this larger truth: Our president has a traitor's heart.

But I already knew that! We all did!

We knew it the moment he said , "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you'll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing"  --  referencing some official e-mails of Hilary Clinton's that were improperly handled and got deleted. (Among the onion layers of irony to this political season is that Trump pioneered the 21st century witch hunt. There has never been any evidence that Clinton's deleted emails represent anything at all  --  yet Trump hammered away at this as if it mattered, until one day it did. And he didn't even suggest investigations, he skipped straight to "lock her up!").

Being racist, or stupid, or sexist, or a bully, or a New York real estate developer  --  all of these are deep character flaws. They are not always crimes. (Sexually assaulting someone is always a crime, however, even if you are a TV star and remember your breath mints.)

And yet, again, we already knew all of this. Remember this transcript from The New York Times ?

Trump : I did try and fuck her. She was married and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, "I'll show you where they have some nice furniture." I took her out furniture  --  I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn't get there.
Trump : Yeah, that's her [peeking out a trailer window at a different target, an approaching actress] . I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful  --  I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Billy Bush [a fawning minor TV personality] : Whatever you want.
Trump : Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything.

Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.

I share your pain. And I have no doubt he'd trade his own son for majority ownership of a moderately nice golf course. But I'm also, frankly, no longer very interested in him. I'm much more interested in us  --  the rest of us.

What happened to us?

Well, I'll amend that slightly. I am of course quite interested in seeing Donald Trump leave office. I suspect, however, that these two-plus years of journalistic malpractice  --  a politically-motivated Red Scare at a time when we don't even have any Reds anymore, just Russians  --  has locked in his second term. (What's that? Impeachment you say? Oh please. He'd set up a government-in-exile in Mar-a-Lago and then he'd be around for twenty more years instead of six. And he'd have half the nation with him the entire time.) So thank you for that, MSNBC and NPR and New York Times.

# # #

[Mar 31, 2019] Wokester's Nightmare The Burning Platform

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Mueller himself should be summoned to a grand jury to answer for his deceitful inquisition, his abuse of FISA warrants, and the malicious prosecutions of General Michael Flynn and Trump campaign supernumerary George Papadopoulos. This story is far from over and it is now moving in the opposite direction. Former CIA Director John Brennan is going down for chaperoning the Steele Dossier through congress, the FBI, and the news media. And many others will follow. It will go very hard on the claque of lunatics like Rep. Adam Schiff and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow as the painful consequences unspool. The Democratic presidential hopefuls will have to run shrieking from this giant hairball, but it will roll over them anyway and possibly even flatten their party. ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.theburningplatform.com

The tides are shifting. Something's in the wind. And it's not just the fecund vapors of spring. The political soap opera of RussiaGate ended like a fart in a windstorm last weekend, leaving Mr. Mueller's cheerleaders de-witched, bothered, and bewildered. And then a crude attempt was made to cram the Jussie Smollett case down Chicago's memory hole. These two unrelated hoaxes emanating out of Wokester Land may signal something momentous: the end of the era when anything goes and nothing matters .

Welcome to the new era of consequences! All of a sudden, a whole lot of people who have been punking the public-at-large will have to answer for their behavior. Despite the fog of misdirection blowing out of The New York Times , The WashPo , CNN, and MSNBC, it's become obvious that the RussiaGate hoax was kicked off by Hillary Clinton's campaign and a cabal of Obama appointees in several executive agencies. The evidence is public, fully documented, and overwhelming that the so-called Steele Dossier was the sole animating instrument in both the 2016 pre-election effort to incriminate the Golden Golem of Greatness, and the Mueller Investigation launched post-election to cover-up those same political misdeeds of the Clinton campaign, the FBI, the Department of Justice, the CIA, NSA, and State Department.

It's also very likely that Robert Mueller learned that the Steele Dossier was a fraud in the summer of 2017, if not shortly after his appointment in May of that year, and yet he dragged out his investigation for almost two years in order to defame and antagonize Mr. Trump -- and deflect attention from the ugly truth of the matter. It is certain Mr. Mueller knew that the Steele Dossier was purchased by Glenn Simpson's Fusion GPS political "research" company, which was simultaneously in the paid employ of Mrs. Clinton and the Russian political lobbying agency Prevezon (as reported by Sean Davis in The Federalist ). If the FBI brass did not bring that to Mr. Mueller's attention right away, then either their incompetence is epic or they are criminally liable for concealing the hoax.

There is your essential collusion , and a lot of participants are going down because of it. Mr. Mueller himself should be summoned to a grand jury to answer for his deceitful inquisition, his abuse of FISA warrants, and the malicious prosecutions of General Michael Flynn and Trump campaign supernumerary George Papadopoulos. This story is far from over and it is now moving in the opposite direction. Former CIA Director John Brennan is going down for chaperoning the Steele Dossier through congress, the FBI, and the news media. And many others will follow. It will go very hard on the claque of lunatics like Rep. Adam Schiff and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow as the painful consequences unspool. The Democratic presidential hopefuls will have to run shrieking from this giant hairball, but it will roll over them anyway and possibly even flatten their party.

In another instance of justice miscarried, charges in the Jussie Smollett racial attack hoax were dismissed in a hasty, unannounced motion by the assistant to Cook County Prosecutor Kim Foxx, who had pretended to recuse herself from the case, but actually did not follow the proper procedure for doing it. Ms. Foxx has apparently been consorting with members of Jussie Smollett's family and with Michele Obama's former chief of staff, Tina Tchen, a Chicago political operator. It's easy to imagine what they were bargaining about: the fear that Mr. Smollett would have a very hard time serving any sort of prison sentence, given his celebrity status, his sexual orientation, and the laughable idiocy of his crime. It was probably a reasonable fear -- but not a viable excuse for summarily dropping the case. The further excuse that he had already paid the price by hanging out in Jessie Jackson's Operation Push headquarters for two days is also a joke, of course.

The Chicago police chief and mayor objected loudly, as did the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association, which declared the move was "abnormal and unfamiliar to those who practice law in criminal courthouses across the State." An understatement for sure. What's next for Jussie? The City of Chicago will tote up the cost of investigating his stupid prank and haul him into civil court to compel him to pay for it.

Further and greater consequences will emanate from the Smollett hoax. Despite former Vice-president Joe Biden's recent lamentations over the wickedness of "white man's culture," many American's will show a renewed interest in that hoary old system devised by white folks called Anglo-American law, which includes such niceties as due process. The Jussie Smollett scam may be the end of many intersectional culture heroes getting a free pass on their bad behavior. Won't that be refreshing?

[Mar 31, 2019] Trump and GOP Allies Want Investigation of Mueller Probe s Roots

Notable quotes:
"... Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, tweeted: "Time to investigate the Obama officials who concocted and spread the Russian conspiracy hoax!" Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said "underlying documents" supporting what became Mueller's probe should be released to the public. ..."
"... A McCain associate, David Kramer, acknowledged in a deposition in a libel case that he spread word of the dossier to several news organizations. ..."
Mar 25, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

President Donald Trump and a key ally, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, said Monday that after Robert Mueller closed his Russia probe, they want an investigation of the investigators.

Graham said at a news conference that Attorney General William Barr should appoint a new special counsel to examine why the U.S. government, under President Barack Obama, decided to open an investigation into Russian election interference in 2016, and whether it was an excuse to spy on Trump's campaign.

"Was it a ruse to get into the Trump campaign?" Graham said at the news conference. "I don't know but I'm going to try to find out."

Trump told reporters at the White House that unspecified "people" behind the Russia probe would "be looked at."

The remarks show that Trump and some of his allies have retribution and score-settling on their minds after Mueller found no evidence that the president or his campaign colluded with the Kremlin's election interference. It's unclear whom Trump wants investigated, but possibilities include former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired in May 2017; Obama's CIA Director John Brennan, whom Trump stripped of his security clearance last year; and other former intelligence and Justice Department officials who have vocally criticized the president.

The stage is also set for dueling and contradictory congressional investigations. In the House, controlled by Democrats, several committees have opened investigations into the president's financial and business affairs, and Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Sunday he wants Barr to testify soon on his finding that Mueller didn't produce sufficient evidence that Trump obstructed justice by interfering in the Russia inquiry.

The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, on Monday blocked a vote on a measure by the Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, calling for Mueller's report to be made public. McConnell said Barr should have time to consider which portions of the report can be publicly released given concerns about classified information, ongoing investigations and other information protected by law.

Republican Allies

Several other Republicans backed Graham and Trump on Monday. Senate Oversight Committee Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said he'd like to work with Graham "to get those answers for the American public."

"We need to find out what happened," he said in an interview.

Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, tweeted: "Time to investigate the Obama officials who concocted and spread the Russian conspiracy hoax!" Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said "underlying documents" supporting what became Mueller's probe should be released to the public.

"Let them decide for themselves whether this investigation was warranted -- or whether it was a two-year long episode of political targeting, driven by FBI and DOJ executives who wanted to retaliate against a legitimately elected president," Meadows said in an interview.

Graham said his committee would also look into the FBI's handling of the inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, saying that Comey's actions in that investigation "did affect" the 2016 election. Comey held a news conference in July 2016 to announce that Clinton wouldn't be charged with a crime, and then announced less than two weeks before the election that the investigation had been re-opened after additional emails were discovered.

'Evil Things'

Trump's indication that unnamed people responsible for the probe would be investigated was vague. He didn't name anyone, and after he made similar remarks on Sunday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters that Barr hadn't been directed to open any investigations of Democrats.

"People that have done such harm to our country," Trump complained on Monday. "We've gone through a period of really bad things happening. Those people will certainly be looked at. I've been looking at them for a long time and I'm saying, why haven't they been looked at. They lied to Congress. Many of them. You know who they are. They've done so many evil things."

Trump added that he hasn't considered pardoning anyone convicted in connection to Mueller's probe.

Graham said he planned to talk with Barr on Monday and hoped to hold a public hearing with the attorney general to explain his findings in the Mueller probe. Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress on Sunday summarizing Mueller's findings, which have not been publicly released.

"I'm asking him to lay it all out," Graham said.

Both Trump and Graham said they support Barr publicly releasing as much of Mueller's report as possible. The investigation turned out "100 percent" as it should have, Trump told reporters.

Dossier Distribution

Trump has previously singled out individuals over their role in the probe, calling for an investigation into the " other side " of the investigation. He's mentioned Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and Justice Department attorney Bruce Ohr.

Graham also said he advised his friend and Senate colleague John McCain to give the FBI the so-called Steele dossier on Trump, rebutting the president's accusations that McCain tried to hinder his 2016 election.

Graham told reporters that McCain, an Arizona Republican who died last year, had shown him the unverified collection of intelligence reports on Trump's links to Russia that was put together by a former British spy, Christopher Steele. Steele was commissioned to compile the information by an opposition research firm hired by Democrats.

McCain put the dossier in his safe and handed it over to the FBI the next day, Graham said.

A McCain associate, David Kramer, acknowledged in a deposition in a libel case that he spread word of the dossier to several news organizations.

-- With assistance by Billy House

( Updates with McConnell blocking Schumer measure in seventh paragraph. ) Published on ‎March‎ ‎25‎, ‎2019‎ ‎12‎:‎37‎ ‎PM
Updated on ‎March‎ ‎25‎, ‎2019‎ ‎5‎:‎58‎ ‎PM

[Mar 30, 2019] My suggestion is that Cambridge Analytica and others backing Trump and the Yankee imperial machine have been taking measurements of USA citizens opinions and are staggered by the results. They are panicked!

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I suspect that the cool aid is not working effectively these days and that far too many people see through the charades and lies. An interesting story lurks behind this and the entire 'hate Russia' and 'monkey Mueller' episode. ..."
"... The attitudes of the masses are spinning out of the manipulative hands of the deep state and the oligarchs ..."
"... Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. ..."
"... Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump ..."
"... the elite seem to be fighting amongst themselves or (IMO) providing cover for ongoing elite power/control efforts. It might not be about private/public finance in a bigger picture but I can't see anything else that makes sense ..."
"... Most of those reporters were going to slant their stories the way their bosses wanted. Their jobs are just too nice to do otherwise. Getting Trump as Hillary's opponent had to have been a goal for the majority of them. He was the patsy who would become squished roadkill in the treads of The Most Experienced Presidential Candidate In History. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton is a knowledgeable, well-prepared, reasonable, experienced, even-tempered, hardworking candidate, while her opponent is a stubbornly uninformed demagogue who has been proven again and again to be a liar on matters big and small. There is no objective basis on which to equate Hillary Clinton to her opponent. ..."
"... The author had it half right. Turns out the voters knew quite a bit about Trump, and still preferred him to the Butcher of Libya. ..."
Mar 30, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Mar 30, 2019 5:07:46 PM | link

Thaks b, now that is a delightful question to pose on the eve of April fool's day.
My suggestion is that Cambridge Analytica and others backing Trump and the yankee imperial machine have been taking measurements of USA citizens opinions and are staggered by the results. They are panicked!

I suspect that the cool aid is not working effectively these days and that far too many people see through the charades and lies. An interesting story lurks behind this and the entire 'hate Russia' and 'monkey Mueller' episode.

The attitudes of the masses are spinning out of the manipulative hands of the deep state and the oligarchs. Do any of our comrades have a handle on this type of research and the implication for voter attitudes?

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

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

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

The take away quote

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

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

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

Zachary Smith , Mar 30, 2019 10:07:37 PM | link
@ psychohistorian #43

Thanks for the Taibbi link. I hadn't seen it, and found him to be in good form. I do think he ought to have spoken more about how bad Trump's Primary opponents were.

Most of those reporters were going to slant their stories the way their bosses wanted. Their jobs are just too nice to do otherwise. Getting Trump as Hillary's opponent had to have been a goal for the majority of them. He was the patsy who would become squished roadkill in the treads of The Most Experienced Presidential Candidate In History. More on that for people with strong stomachs:

What Hillary Clinton's Fans Love About Her 11/03/2016

Sample:

Hillary Clinton is a knowledgeable, well-prepared, reasonable, experienced, even-tempered, hardworking candidate, while her opponent is a stubbornly uninformed demagogue who has been proven again and again to be a liar on matters big and small. There is no objective basis on which to equate Hillary Clinton to her opponent.
The author had it half right. Turns out the voters knew quite a bit about Trump, and still preferred him to the Butcher of Libya.

[Mar 29, 2019] Elizabeth Warren, Trumpian of the Left by Bret Stephens

Warren supported Hillary that the;s a huge black spot on her credentials. She also king of a hawk in forign policy diligitly repeated stupid Depart of State talking points and making herself a fool. I especially like here blabbing about authoritarian regimes. From former Harvard professor we should expect better that this.
To a certain extent he message about rigged system is authentic as She drive this horse for a long time. But that does not means that she can't betray here electorate like Trump or Obama. She perfectly can. And is quite possible. Several details of her biography suggest that she is a female careerist -- using dirty tricks to be promoted and paying her gender as an offensive weapon (looks also at her use of Cherokee heritage claim)
But there is no ideal people and among establishment candidates she is the most electable despite all flows of her foreign policy positions.
Notable quotes:
"... Comparing Elizabeth Warren to Trump is disingenuous. Trump is just ranting and defensive, without any evidence to back up his claims. What Elizabeth Warren is saying is just a matter of paying attention. ..."
"... This analysis completely ignores the outrageous, overarching influence of money and financial privilege over American politics. Equating Bill Clinton's dalliance with Trump's disrespect for all norms of decency and the truth? Please. Warren is right. Just look at the legislative obscenity of the recent tax bill and then try and equivocate they left and the right. I am not buying this false equivalency. ..."
"... Please, Elizabeth Warren is nothing like Trump. She's a brilliant, honest, tireless fighter for ordinary Americans. She wants a fair shake for them, just as FDR wanted a fair shake -- a "New Deal" -- for our Country. ..."
"... The so-called "left" in America (moderates anywhere else on the globe) have never varied from saying that money = power. They still say that today, and raise money like crazy for candidates thereby proving their own point. ..."
"... Conservatives in America (far-right extremists anywhere else on the globe) are much quieter about the influence of dough, but raise money like crazy for candidates thereby proving the "left's" point. ..."
Dec 20, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

The president and the senator both want you to know that our system is "rigged."

... ... ...

For decades, the left sought to dethrone the idea of truth. Truth was not an absolute. It was a matter of power. Of perspective. Of narrative. "Truth is a thing of this world," wrote Michel Foucault. "Each society has its regime of truth, its 'general politics' of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true."

Then Kellyanne Conway gave us "alternative facts" and Rudy Giuliani said, " Truth isn't truth" -- and progressives rushed to defend the inviolability of facts and truth.

For decades, the left sought to dethrone reverence for the Constitution. "The Constitution," wrote progressive historian Howard Zinn, "serves the interests of a wealthy elite" and enables "the elite to keep control with a minimum of coercion, a maximum of law -- all made palatable by the fanfare of patriotism and unity."

Then Donald Trump attacked freedom of the press and birthright citizenship, and flouted the emoluments clause, and assailed the impartiality of the judiciary. And progressives rediscovered the treasure that is our Constitutional inheritance.

... ... ...

To an audience of nearly 500 new graduates and their families at the historically black college, the Massachusetts senator laid out a bleak vision of America. "The rules are rigged because the rich and powerful have bought and paid for too many politicians," she said. "The rich and powerful want us pointing fingers at each other so we won't notice they are getting richer and more powerful," she said. "Two sets of rules: one for the wealthy and the well-connected. And one for everybody else," she said.

"That's how a rigged system works," she said.

It was a curious vision coming from a person whose life story, like that of tens millions of Americans who have risen far above their small beginnings, refutes her own thesis. It was curious, also, coming from someone who presumably believes that various forms of rigging are required to un-rig past rigging. Affirmative action in college admissions and aggressive minority recruitment in corporations are also forms of "rigging."

But however one feels about various types of rigging, the echo of Trump was unmistakable. "It's being proven we have a rigged system," the president said at one of his rallies last year . "Doesn't happen so easy. But this system -- gonna be a lot of changes. This is a rigged system."

Trump's claim that the system is rigged represents yet another instance of his ideological pickpocketing of progressives. From C. Wright Mills ("The Power Elite") to Noam Chomsky ("Manufacturing Consent"), the animating belief of the far left has been, as Tom Hayden put it, that we live in a "false democracy," controlled by an unaccountable, deceitful and shadowy elite. Trump has names for it: the globalists; the deep state; the fake news. Orange, it turns out, is the new red.

Of course, Warren and Trump have very different ideas as to just who the malefactors of great wealth really are. Is it Sheldon Adelson or George Soros? The Koch brothers or the Ford Foundation? Posterity will be forgiven if it loses track of which alleged conspiracy to rig the system was of the far-right and which was of the far left.

What it will remember is that here was another era in which a president and one of his leading opponents abandoned the prouder traditions of American politics in favor of paranoid ones. Compare Warren's grim message to Bill Clinton's sunny one from his first inaugural: "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America."

At some point, it will be worth asking Senator Warren: Rigged compared to when? A generation ago a black president would have been unthinkable. Two generations ago, a woman on the Supreme Court. And rigged compared to what? Electoral politics in Japan, which have been dominated by a single party for decades? The class system in Brazil, dominated by a single race for centuries?

Bret L. Stephens has been an Opinion columnist with The Times since April 2017. He won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary at The Wall Street Journal in 2013 and was previously editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post.

Larry Bennett Cooperstown NY Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Warren is saying the system is rigged to suppress the middle class and poor in favor of the wealthy, which is easy to substantiate. Trump is saying the system is rigged to suppress the white right, which is easy to refute. One statement is an economic fact, the other is a racist trope. There is no equivalence here. ScottW Chapel Hill, NC Dec. 20, 2018

Sen. Warren supports Medicare for All, meaningful banking/financial regulations, regulations that benefit consumers, a living wage, etc. Trump supports none of these policies--not a one. Trying to equate Trump with Warren is just stupid.

Terry Gilbert, AZ Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Comparing Elizabeth Warren to Trump is disingenuous. Trump is just ranting and defensive, without any evidence to back up his claims. What Elizabeth Warren is saying is just a matter of paying attention. I don't need to list all the ways in which money buys everything in politics. It's always a matter of following the money. Bret Stephens conveniently avoids looking at economics. His supposed counterexamples are at best irrelevant to the issue: We've had a black President. We have women on the Supreme Court. How are those examples proof that the system isn't rigged in favor of the wealthy and corporations? No doubt he thinks Plutocracy is part of the natural order of things. He should go back to the Wall Street Journal where his myopia is more appropriate. MarnS Nevada Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Unfortunately Bret there are no "optimists" in the GOP, including yourself being one who has bounced back and forth in your positions regarding the Trump presidency. Though you have found your way on CNN or MSNBC spouting your disappointments about the state of the nation, the fact remains is that your a hardened, right wing opinion writer who may have less of an ideal when it comes to America being a democratic nation. No, you can conveniently ignore the actions of your conservative party in there gerrymandering, in their changing the rules for governors of the Democrat persuasion, or gross deliberate voter suppression that has placed your party in power positions by, in effect, stealing elections. You are a writer with a forked tongue trying, at times in a passive manner, to separate yourself from Trump, and the evilness of the current GOP Party without understanding that the definition of "conservative" has changed to the radical. And that is documented by your writings in the WSJ. Yet, you cannot even dream about truly being on the left side of an argument other than beating your breast with the fact that the GOP has disappeared, as we have known it, in the hands of radicalism (which prior to Trump you participated in the escalation of radical conservatism), and your party can never be revived as it once was...and we all pray it never will be so.

JPM Hays, KS Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

This analysis completely ignores the outrageous, overarching influence of money and financial privilege over American politics. Equating Bill Clinton's dalliance with Trump's disrespect for all norms of decency and the truth? Please. Warren is right. Just look at the legislative obscenity of the recent tax bill and then try and equivocate they left and the right. I am not buying this false equivalency.

Patrick Schenectady Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

FYI, Foucault was offering critiques of "regimes of truth," not of truth itself. That's very different. Like most historians, he spent an impressive amount of time in archives where he collected evidence in order to write books that give truthful accounts of the past. You make a caricature of Foucault, and then of the entire left.

Rich Casagrande Slingerlands, NY Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Please, Elizabeth Warren is nothing like Trump. She's a brilliant, honest, tireless fighter for ordinary Americans. She wants a fair shake for them, just as FDR wanted a fair shake -- a "New Deal" -- for our Country. While much of the rest of the world was turning to communism or fascism, FDR saved American capitalism by shaking it up. Oh how we could use a large dose of that today.

WDP Long Island Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Whoa! Line by line, Mr Stephens offers statements that are way off base and should be refuted. Are you saying you disagree with Warren? Do you think the "system" in America for the last 400 years has not been generally "rigged" against African-Americans? But the gist of his column, and the main argument of conservatives these days, is that the left and the right are equally out of line; that what the right says and does may be bad, but the left does the same sort of thing and is just as bad. This is not true Bret, and you know it. The left desperately tries to find the high road, and anyone who supports Trump these days or believes in most of his policies is either someone who has abandoned morality or is a fool. And that is the truth, Bret.

Hannacroix Cambridge, MA Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

Calling out our system as "rigged" is nothing new for Sen. Warren. She's been stating that publicly since being a regular Bill Moyer's guest on his PBS program 20 years ago -- and clearly already on a "prep for national politics" stump. What undercuts her own integrity regarding "rigged" is that she chose, after much wait & anticipation, to throw her support to Hillary Clinton in the summer of 2016. Not Bernie Sanders. She knew HRC had little integrity. And it's highly likely she knew the DNC primary was rigged in favor of Clinton -- as it's widely been proven.

My point here highlights one of several reasons why Sen. Warren is unelectable in the 2020 presidential general election. This is not to compare her in any way to Trump -- he's a venal, disturbed & dangerous traitor to our country. However, if winning the WH in 2020 is the goal, Elizabeth Warren ain't got the goods to get the necessary votes across our Republic.

Longestaffe Pickering Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

There's a good case to be made that the far left exists in two separate dimensions. I offer myself in evidence. Among the policies and social changes I advocate: Medicare for all Aggressively progressive taxation.

I don't recognize any freedom to corner as much wealth as one can while other people must labor at two or three jobs just to feed their families on peanut butter.

I do think there's a bit of rigging afoot. Restrictions on the ownership of firearms comparable to those in Japan.

A society free from all forms of identity discrimination or prejudice. I'm bitterly opposed to racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, homophobia; any example you care to give, including those without short handles, such as prejudice against Muslims or transgender people.

Yes, I know I have this in common with decent conservatives, but I'm thinking of partisan realities in the US today. I should add that I don't mind the prospect of WASPS like me becoming just another minority.

But-- I can't picture myself as a socialist -- hair combed straight back, and all that.

The rigorously progressive personality type rubs me the wrong way. Leftist cant grates on every fiber of my being. Che Guevara T-shirts make the lip curl. When my knee jerks, it jerks against things like that old leftist conceit that truth is what you make it. I look at the far-left agenda and see a lot to like. I look at the far-left milieu and see didactic arrogance, frigidity, and pat attitudes. I'm a Democrat in disarray.

John Wilson Maine Dec. 20, 2018 Times Pick

The so-called "left" in America (moderates anywhere else on the globe) have never varied from saying that money = power. They still say that today, and raise money like crazy for candidates thereby proving their own point.

Conservatives in America (far-right extremists anywhere else on the globe) are much quieter about the influence of dough, but raise money like crazy for candidates thereby proving the "left's" point.

Reality? Money in America is everything. Period. Just try to run for office, influence policy, and/or change the direction of the country as a sole, intelligent, concerned poor person and see how far you get.

[Mar 26, 2019] PATRICK LAWRENCE Why the Dust Won't Settle After Mueller's Report

Mar 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

DH Fabian , March 19, 2019 at 13:34

What people notice, they often forget unless media work to remind them. The end of the Democrats began as far back as the 1980s, with the Reagan Dems -- a handful of conservative Democrats who represented "sensible politics." These merged with the Clinton right wing, which successfully took over the Democratic Party in the 1990s. Just as the Reagan administration obtained significant "influence" over the MSM, the Clinton administration obtained significant "influence" over the new (online/cable) media marketed to middle class liberals. Media shapes broad public opinion. Robert Reich has been a valued player (effective propagandist) on the Clinton wing since the '90s.

Trump will come through this mess just fine. My impression is that the role of media during this administration is to keep public focus off of what's actually happening in DC by amplifying the Russian Tale and every delicious scandal that can even vaguely e connected to it. It keeps the public preoccupied, chasing ghosts, so that those who are in power can do what they're doing without interruption.

Eddie S , March 19, 2019 at 21:19

While Reich often writes-about & supports liberal/progressive issues, I still recall how he effectively caved to Bill Clinton and his 'Republican-lite' programs, notably 'free-trade/globalization', which undercuts Reich's stated support for unions. I lost most of my modest respect for him at that point -- he apparently felt it was more important to be 'an insider' in a presidential administration than to stand up for his reputed viewpoints.

[Mar 25, 2019] The Mass Psychology of Trumpism by Eli Zaretsky

Highly recommended!
But sophistication of intelligence agencies now reached very high level. Russiage was pretty dirty but pretty slick operation. British thre letter againces were even more devious, if we view Skripals poisoning as MI5/Mi6 "witness protection" operation due to possible Skripal role in creating Steele dossier. So let's keep wanting the evnet. The election 2020 might be event more interesting the Elections of 2016. Who would suggest in 2015 that he/she elects man candidate from Israel lobby instead of a woman candidate from the same lobby?
Notable quotes:
"... The consistent derogation of Trump in the New York Times or on MSNBC may be helpful in keeping the resistance fired up, but it is counterproductive when it comes to breaking down the Trump coalition. His followers take every attack on their leader as an attack on them. ..."
"... Adorno also observed that demagoguery of this sort is a profession, a livelihood with well-tested methods. Trump is a far more familiar figure than may at first appear. The demagogue's appeals, Adorno wrote, 'have been standardised, similarly to the advertising slogans which proved to be most valuable in the promotion of business'. Trump's background in salesmanship and reality TV prepared him perfectly for his present role. ..."
"... the leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without inhibitions what is latent in them, rather than by any intrinsic superiority. ..."
"... The leaders are generally oral character types, with a compulsion to speak incessantly and to befool the others. The famous spell they exercise over their followers seems largely to depend on their orality: language itself, devoid of its rational significance, functions in a magical way and furthers those archaic regressions which reduce individuals to members of crowds. ..."
"... Since uninhibited associative speech presupposes at least a temporary lack of ego control, it can indicate weakness as well as strength. The agitators' boasting is frequently accompanied by hints of weakness, often merged with claims of strength. This was particularly striking, Adorno wrote, when the agitator begged for monetary contributions. ..."
"... Since 8 November 2016, many people have concluded that what they understandably view as a catastrophe was the result of the neglect by neoliberal elites of the white working class, simply put. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, they believe that the Democratic Party has to reorient its politics from the idea that 'a few get rich first' to protection for the least advantaged. ..."
"... Of those providing his roughly 40 per cent approval ratings, half say they 'strongly approve' and are probably lost to the Democrats. ..."
Sep 18, 2018 | lrb.co.uk
One might object that Trump, a billionaire TV star, does not resemble his followers. But this misses the powerful intimacy that he establishes with them, at rallies, on TV and on Twitter. Part of his malicious genius lies in his ability to forge a bond with people who are otherwise excluded from the world to which he belongs. Even as he cast Hillary Clinton as the tool of international finance, he said:

I do deals – big deals – all the time. I know and work with all the toughest operators in the world of high-stakes global finance. These are hard-driving, vicious cut-throat financial killers, the kind of people who leave blood all over the boardroom table and fight to the bitter end to gain maximum advantage.

With these words he brought his followers into the boardroom with him and encouraged them to take part in a shared, cynical exposure of the soiled motives and practices that lie behind wealth. His role in the Birther movement, the prelude to his successful presidential campaign, was not only racist, but also showed that he was at home with the most ignorant, benighted, prejudiced people in America. Who else but a complete loser would engage in Birtherism, so far from the Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Harvard aura that elevated Obama, but also distanced him from the masses?

The consistent derogation of Trump in the New York Times or on MSNBC may be helpful in keeping the resistance fired up, but it is counterproductive when it comes to breaking down the Trump coalition. His followers take every attack on their leader as an attack on them. 'The fascist leader's startling symptoms of inferiority', Adorno wrote, 'his resemblance to ham actors and asocial psychopaths', facilitates the identification, which is the basis of the ideal. On the Access Hollywood tape, which was widely assumed would finish him, Trump was giving voice to a common enough daydream, but with 'greater force' and greater 'freedom of libido' than his followers allow themselves. And he was bolstering the narcissism of the women who support him, too, by describing himself as helpless in the grip of his desires for them.

Adorno also observed that demagoguery of this sort is a profession, a livelihood with well-tested methods. Trump is a far more familiar figure than may at first appear. The demagogue's appeals, Adorno wrote, 'have been standardised, similarly to the advertising slogans which proved to be most valuable in the promotion of business'. Trump's background in salesmanship and reality TV prepared him perfectly for his present role. According to Adorno,

the leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without inhibitions what is latent in them, rather than by any intrinsic superiority.

To meet the unconscious wishes of his audience, the leader

simply turns his own unconscious outward Experience has taught him consciously to exploit this faculty, to make rational use of his irrationality, similarly to the actor, or a certain type of journalist who knows how to sell their sensitivity.

All he has to do in order to make the sale, to get his TV audience to click, or to arouse a campaign rally, is exploit his own psychology.

Using old-fashioned but still illuminating language, Adorno continued:

The leaders are generally oral character types, with a compulsion to speak incessantly and to befool the others. The famous spell they exercise over their followers seems largely to depend on their orality: language itself, devoid of its rational significance, functions in a magical way and furthers those archaic regressions which reduce individuals to members of crowds.

Since uninhibited associative speech presupposes at least a temporary lack of ego control, it can indicate weakness as well as strength. The agitators' boasting is frequently accompanied by hints of weakness, often merged with claims of strength. This was particularly striking, Adorno wrote, when the agitator begged for monetary contributions. As with the Birther movement or Access Hollywood, Trump's self-debasement – pretending to sell steaks on the campaign trail – forges a bond that secures his idealised status.

Since 8 November 2016, many people have concluded that what they understandably view as a catastrophe was the result of the neglect by neoliberal elites of the white working class, simply put. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, they believe that the Democratic Party has to reorient its politics from the idea that 'a few get rich first' to protection for the least advantaged.

Yet no one who lived through the civil rights and feminist rebellions of recent decades can believe that an economic programme per se is a sufficient basis for a Democratic-led politics.

This holds as well when it comes to trying to reach out to Trump's supporters. Of those providing his roughly 40 per cent approval ratings, half say they 'strongly approve' and are probably lost to the Democrats. But if we understand the personal level at which pro-Trump strivings operate, we may better appeal to the other half, and in that way forestall the coming emergency.

[Mar 25, 2019] The Narrative Is Dead! Long Live The Narrative!

Mar 25, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

What actually happened with RussiaGate? A cabal of government officials colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign to interfere in the 2016 election and, failing to achieve their desired outcome, engineered a two-years-plus formal inquisition to deflect attention from their own misconduct and attempt to overthrow the election result.

The Cable News characters, quite a few of them lawyers, were litigating the living shit out of the story on Sunday night in their usual spirit of obdurate rank dishonesty. For instance, Jeffrey Toobin, who plays Attorney General on CNN, went off on the infamous 2016 Trump Tower Meeting in which the president's son, Donald, Jr., met with Russian lawyer Natalia V. Veselnitskaya. Toobin omitted to mention that Ms. Veselnitskaya was, at that very time, on the payroll of Fusion GPS, Hillary Clinton's "oppo" research contractor. In other words, Trump Junior was set up.

That was characteristic of the collusion that actually occurred between the Hillary campaign, the FBI, the DOJ, the CIA, the NSA, the UK's MI6 intel agency, and the Obama White House, striving to prevent the election of a TV reality show star, and to disable him afterwards -- also of the news media's role in the whole interminable scam of RussiaGate. Their fury and despair were as vivid the night of March 24, 2019, as on November 8, 2016. And now they will attempt to spark off a sequel.

Rachel Maddow, for instance, struggling to maintain her dignity after two years playing Madame DeFarge on MSNBC, tried to console her fans with the prospect of Mr. Trump getting raked over the coals by the DOJ's Southern District of NY prosecutors for crimes as yet unpredicted -- really, whatever they might find if they turn over enough rocks in Manhattan. Perhaps she doesn't know how the justice system actually works in this country: we prosecute crimes not persons. In places like Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany, you first choose a person to eliminate and then fit them to a crime. If no crime can be found, one is easily manufactured. In the USA, a predicate crime is required before you can launch a prosecution. Perhaps the actual Attorney General, Mr. Barr, will advise the avid staff of the Southern District of NY how this works.

There remains also, the rather sweeping panorama of misconduct and probable crime among the government (and former government) players in the agencies mentioned above. Does the full Mueller Report mention, for instance, that the animating document claiming that Trump colluded with Russia was manufactured by Mrs. Clinton's employees? And that this document was used time and again improperly and illegally to prolong the inquisition? How could Mr. Mueller not acknowledge that? And if not, what sort of investigation was this?

You are forced to ask: did Mr. Mueller play an honorable role in this epic, multilayered scandal? And is Mr. Mueller himself an honorable character, or something less than that? I believe we'll find out. The other team is coming to bat now -- and just in time for MLB's opening day, too. The Mueller report has been a shocking disappointment to the so-called "resistance," but what about the as-yet-unreleased DOJ Inspector General's report on these very matters ? Or the parallel investigation of federal prosecutor John Huber, who is charged specifically with looking into the malfeasance of the RussiaGate investigators? Or whatever action the Attorney General himself launches in the wake of all this? Or whether Mr. Trump finally declassifies the mountains of documents behind the simple failure to find him guilty of any crime? My favorite college professor and mentor, David Hamilton, once put a curious question to us when we were vexing him for some reason now forgotten: "Why," he asked, "Did Achilles drag Hector around the city of Troy three times?"

We twiddled our cigarettes and pulled our chins.

"Because he was just that pissed," he said.


Groundround , 1 minute ago link

So, If they would trample Trump's constitutional rights by abusing this bogus fisa warrant system, shouldn't we assume they are 10 times as likely to abuse it to spy on average americans, who have no chance of protecting themselves from the police state they have built since 9-11? Revoke the patriot act. It is unconstitutional anyway, though Trump rewarded the man who helped write it with the Supreme court position. We have a small window to claw back the rights they stripped from us. If we don't do it now, when these programs are called into question, these deep state turds will do whatever they can to consolidate their hold on the US. I'm not too hopeful, myself. Seeing the blatant piracy they are attempting in Venezuela, even after the failures in Iraq and Syria, doesn't do much to console me as to America's future. My relatives came here from England and Germany with little more than the clothes on their backs. It may be time to look for greener pastures if we are going to be a proxy of Israel, and a deep state, stripped of our inherent rights bit by bit until we aren't allowed to leave.

ComeAndTakeIt , 55 minutes ago link

These shitbags attempted a coup and failed.

Now they're either in complete denial that the coup failed, or are arrogantly attempting to continue it by other means.

I don't think there's a historical precedent anywhere in the world for this level of ridiculous.

VonSteever , 1 hour ago link

The real scandal here is two fold.

First is the multipart crime committed by Hillary Clinton and her cabal of deep state co-conspirators to rig a primary, which they did against Bernie Sanders, then attempt to steal an election by using various intelligence connections in the FBI and CIA to dig up dirt on candidate Trump in the form of a fake Russia dossier, then petition the DOJ with only parts of it, to get a warrant to spy on him and ultimately discredit him. Then in the event he won, use that dossier to concoct a fake Trump/Russia collusion scandal in order to delegitimize and hopefully reverse the Trump Presidential victory. This was treasonous and seditious to its core and those conspirators should be investigated as thoroughly as Mueller investigated Trump and all of his acquaintances.

The second was the Mainstream media's part in all of this mess. They so eagerly bought into the false narrative and went out of their way, like good little bolsheviks, and disseminated unproven and unsubstantiated "fake news" that was fed to them each morning by democrat operatives and consultants, 24/7/365 . Every mainstream media reporter (and I use that term loosely), and every late night talk host on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, NY Times, Washington Post, and others, as well as every guest pundit opined without proof, and pounded the table to every lemming who would listen, that Trump had to be guilty and was in fact guilty because, well, they didn't like him. These reporters and pundits spread rumors, called him names such as racist and nazi, etc, etc, with no basis in fact, which was an historically new low, even for state based propaganda. (FOX news, to their credit, did not). This agenda driven media overstepped the boundaries of good reporting and journalistic ethical standards and set the news business back 250 years. What American journalists, reporters and pundits did in the name of the first amendment "free press" was a national and global disgrace.

elctro static , 48 minutes ago link

Well said. You forget to mention, as did the article, Mueller's seditious criminal past. Worst of all - Madcow and the rest of the MSM did a serious smear job on the Russian government, at a time of already heightened propaganda against a country that could reduce the USA to ashes. Also - there is the collusion of the UK government and the equally ridiculous Skripal affair.

It is profoundly sad none of the ringleaders and real provocateurs will be prosecuted, and things will continue to deteriorate until there is a nuclear war. Because the entire system is rotten to the core and the citizens don't care about truth or justice.

VonSteever , 35 minutes ago link

Thanks for your additional comments. While I'm hopeful Hillary and her co-conspirators will be investigated, indicted, tried and found guilty of sedition and treason in breaking laws of at least 6 different acts, I don't believe Republicans have the spine or intestinal fortitude to make their case, even if they have proof beyond any reasonable doubt to the extent a first year law student could argue and win the case open and shut.

Also, I do not believe, even for one Milli-second, that public verbal sparring of political leaders or their hyperbole in the midst of tough negotiations, will ever lead civilized nations of the world to a nuclear war. it is done purely for effect and political strategy in their home nations.

That said, you are correct that the media's continuously negative anti-Trump, anti-America tone for two straight years, did not help trade negotiations or international relations, and in fact, put the US at a distinct disadvantage. It's a small wonder President Trump has achieved all the successes he has in spite of this. He deserves great credit.

Fuster-cluck , 10 minutes ago link

Since this will be military tribunals, there does not need to be much political spine. Just one order from, say, CINC...

artistant , 1 hour ago link

That's the ONLY THING Trump has to show for.

Meanwhile,

as America 's economy crumbles,

Trump is busy giving Israhell stolen land

and carte blanche to go on with CRIMES vs Humanity .

M.A.G.A. is out

K.A.K.A. is in (Keep America Kabalah Again)

http://cufpa.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/trumps-jewish-agenda/

duo , 1 hour ago link

Mueller knew this was all lies and BS within weeks of taking the job and put on this charade for 2 YEARS and ruined the lives of innocent people. Mueller is not the good guy here at all.

buzzsaw99 , 1 hour ago link

That was characteristic of the collusion that actually occurred between the Hillary campaign, the FBI, the DOJ, the CIA, the NSA, the UK's MI6 intel agency, and the Obama White House...

awesome!

fanbeav , 1 hour ago link

After the IG report is released in April, we need to start real investigations. Congressional and Senate hearings are kabuki! President Trump needs to hire outside lawyers as a special counsel to get to the bottom of this treason! I don't trust anyone in DOJ to do that!

Ribeye , 1 hour ago link

It's on..Trump just made an extremely strong statement about "this must NEVER happen to ANY President EVER again" in response to a question from a journo..

It's go time...the counterattack is live..

Q just confirmed it..

It's Hammer Time...

fuglysheepleco , 1 hour ago link

This implies they have any concept of decency or shame to begin with.

They've been planning the SpecialCounsel-Russiagate to Congressional-Obstruction pivot since 2017... as continued albatross around Trump & MAGA's neck.

Trump better get voter fraud under control to win 2020.

[Mar 25, 2019] Sic Semper Tyrannis Thoughts on the Mueller-Barr report.

Mar 25, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

3. IMO a great opportunity has been lost for improving relations with the Russian thermonuclear power. Only hyper-nationalist madmen like Brennan and Clapper and ignorant Jingos like Bolton and Pompeo can imagine that an improvement in relations with a country which can destroy you was not a good idea. Trump hoped for that and the Russiagate hoax blocked any possibility for improvement. The Russian government unsuccessfully sought to tinker with our election? Yes, and they will again. That is part of the Game of Nations. Grow up, Americans! It is our responsibility to foil such attempts. We have done similar things since we first emerged on the world stage. We can make a list of those events if you like.

... ... ...

5. Nadler, Schiff and Elijah Cummings wish to continue the farcical pursuit of Trump on all sides of earth until he "spouts black blood and roll fin out." As has been said, the House committees headed by these people lack the funds, personnel and authorities to dig up the masses of data which Mueller's office possessed. It is for this reason that they want all the Mueller data. They hope to sift through it to find things that they can claim constitute grounds for a plausible bill of impeachment. Well pilgrims, Barr would be wise to remember that the Mueller report AND all its supporting documents are Executive Branch assets, not assets of the Congress. There is no reason to give the Congress anything that is classified (secret), Grand Jury testimony or information that should be concealed to allow for the functioning of the presidency (Executive Privilege). So, don't give it to them! Let them sue you. Let the Supreme Court decide.

[Mar 25, 2019] Bread and Circuses - No Meaningful Financial or Political Reform

Notable quotes:
"... The criminal investigations will be conducted by the Southern District of New York. And those are underway. Anyone who has followed Donald's career knows how deep into the seamier side of NYC real estate development he has been, with all that this implies. ..."
Mar 25, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"Some time ago I suggested that this implausible and histrionic Russia-gate investigation fomented by the Clintonistas appears to be a thinly-veiled fishing expedition. The target is not any significant 'collusion' to throw the election, but much more likely [to be] obstruction of justice, coming off dodgy private real estate deals and assorted financial arrangements involving money laundering..."

Jesse, 11 January 2018

Russiagate was a diversion and a distraction from the real work to be done, that of reforming the political and financial systems and putting an end to this predatory economy and its damaging bubbles. No one in the public was a winner in this.

The criminal investigations will be conducted by the Southern District of New York. And those are underway. Anyone who has followed Donald's career knows how deep into the seamier side of NYC real estate development he has been, with all that this implies.

The Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustainable recovery.

[Mar 23, 2019] MoveOn on Twitter the list of 2020 presidential candidates who have made the decision to #SkipAIPAC continues to grow

Mar 23, 2019 | twitter.com

MoveOn ‏ 1:32 PM - 21 Mar 2019

& the list of 2020 presidential candidates who have made the decision to # SkipAIPAC continues to grow. Thank you for your leadership here @ PeteButtigieg , @ ewarren , @ BernieSanders , @ KamalaHarris , @ JulianCastro , @ BetoORourke , @ JayInslee ... who is next?

[Mar 22, 2019] Mobsters have better morale that the Democratic establishment

But Clintons are mobsters in disguise, so what's the difference. Jared Kushner father is as close to a mobster as one can get (hiring a prostitute to compromise relative is one of his tricks)
Notable quotes:
"... Don't ever think the Democratic establishment is your friend. They want you to die in foreign wars and your children to work in starvation-wage service jobs until they're 70 so that the top 0.1% can buy their kids' way into Yale ..."
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com

Mike Gravel ‏ 9:37 AM - 22 Mar 2019

Don't ever think the Democratic establishment is your friend. They want you to die in foreign wars and your children to work in starvation-wage service jobs until they're 70 so that the top 0.1% can buy their kids' way into Yale

Navi ‏ 9:50 AM - 22 Mar 2019

"It's already happening" while the DCCC is trying their best to stop primary challenges is a little shortsighted no? If you don't call out what is wrong what are you really 'fixing'? We can walk and chew gum at the same time!

[Mar 09, 2019] Zabinski Point for democrats

Mar 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Summer , March 6, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Re: Loyalty Oath

That's the Democrats for ya! When they don't have any useful ideas they go and grab the Republican's old, bad ones out of the trash.

Carey , March 6, 2019 at 3:47 pm

"Loyalty Oath"? We are in what country, in what year?

*Why* did he sign on with the Dems? Could've had ballot access with the Greens, and
everything else from the Dem association is a net-negative, IMO.

Lucy/Football2020

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , March 6, 2019 at 3:59 pm

I want to say this is the Zabinski Point (apparently the lowest dry point in the geographic US) in the D party's recent history, but I fear it could get lower still.

Wukchumni , March 6, 2019 at 4:06 pm

Nope, the name of the lowest point is even more appropriate for the donkey show

Badwater

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , March 6, 2019 at 4:20 pm

I guess I was misinformed by that moive, Zabriskie Point.

Wukchumni , March 6, 2019 at 5:12 pm

The actual lowest point in the state might be at the bottom of the artificially created lake-the Salton Sea, as at the surface it's -236 feet, and the claim is the bottom is 5 feet higher than Badwater, but who knows.

It was created in 1905, when a diversion of the Colorado River went out of control for 2 years, until they were able to stop the flow.

ambrit , March 6, 2019 at 5:22 pm

"Zabriskie Point." A truly apt metaphor for the modern political landscape.
My favourite foreign movie metaphor for the Democrat Party would be Bertolucci's "The Conformist."

[Mar 09, 2019] According to the text of the application Dems candidates swear to be "faithful" to the "interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party," but not to its principles. That's because there aren't any.

Mar 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Note that the candidate swears to be "faithful" to the "interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party," but not to its principles. That's because there aren't any.

Readers may enjoy picking through the bafflegab, because I think you could drive a whole fleet of trucks through the loopholes. Here, for example, is Benjamin Studebaker's view : "A Second Term for Trump is Better Than Beto."

Nobody, after all, said that success had to be immediate ; perhaps a short term failure improves the ultimate welfare and prospects for success for the party.

In a way, this McCarthy-ite armraising is a kludge, another symptom of a fraying system: Exactly as we can no longer, apparently, trust voters to pick a President, and so must give veto power to the intelligence community, so we can no longer trust primary voters to pick a candidate, and the "National Chairperson" must step in if they somehow get the wrong answer. Pesky voters!

[Mar 06, 2019] The faces of US elite: The marasmic McCain, marasmic Pelosi, and hysterical Max Boot, the openly lying Clapper and the hate-filled profiteer Brennan

Notable quotes:
"... The next two weeks will show whether Trump is the real deal, or just another schlub. ..."
Jul 27, 2017 | www.unz.com

annamaria > , July 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig

His greatest accomplishment may well be that he has caused Washington's Swamp Dwellers to rise from the ooze and expose themselves for all the world to see. That's weakened them immeasurably, perhaps fatally. To be sure, that's no small thing, and the next Trump to come along is now on full alert as to who & what to bring with him.
You nailed it. Even if they do eventually succeed in foiling Trump, things will never be the same again. The whole world is watching the circus in Washington, and so Washington's brand ('democracy') is now shot. 2016 was indeed an annus mirabilis! " things will never be the same again. The whole world is watching the circus in Washington.."

It looks and sounds like dementia – as if a sick person behaving inappropriately, showing unprovoked aggression (like some Alzheimer patients), using silly or senseless phrasing, and having the unreasonable demands and uncontrolled fits of rage like a spoiled child. The marasmic McCain, marasmic Pelosi, and hysterical Max Boot, the openly lying Clapper and the hate-filled profiteer Brennan.

What a panopticon.

Here is an outline of the current state of "western values" by Patrick Armstrong: http://turcopolier.typepad.com

Jeff Davis > , July 27, 2017 at 8:54 pm GMT

As I have written here and elsewhere, President Swamp Drainer needs to get control of the DoJ. He got rid of Comey, which was good, but got Rosenstein and Mueller in response. Meanwhile Jeff Sessions is twiddling his thumbs re the Russia witch hunt. Perhaps his recusal was appropriate, but he's not doing anything whatsoever regarding Swamp Draining. So it feels like he's a disingenuous old guard GOPer, who wants to obstruct any real progress, while dragging his feet with do-nothingness obscured behind a facade of law enforcement community boosterism. By this tactic the GOP attempts to stall until 2020, when it can then point at Trump's failures (failures they have enabled by their stalling, wink wink) and then campaign to take "their" party back. In short, Sessions may just be an anti-Trump "mole" planted in the single most important position with regard to swamp draining, in order to ***prevent*** any swamp draining.

Let me be clear: in the last 24 years the DC political class has gone almost entirely criminal, with the last 13 years dedicated to serial war crimes. In this sort of situation the DoJ, AG, and FBI head, becomes corrupted, and turns away from the rule of law to become a shield for the DC criminal despotism.

So watch closely what happens next. Just today rumors have come out -- though I've been speaking of this for several weeks now -- that there is talk in the White House about ***recess appointments*** . We have reached the crucial moment, and I for one am surprised that, as important as this is, it has not been prominent in public discussion until now. The "August" was scheduled to begin at the end of business tomorrow, July 28th. Because of the health care business, McConnell has postponed it for two weeks, so let's call it for close of business Friday, August 11th. That's fifteen days from now.

When Congress goes home fifteen days from now, this country and the world may very well change forever. Go to Wikipedia and look up "recess appointment". Here's what you will find:

" a recess appointment is an appointment by the President of a federal official while the U.S. Senate is in recess.

Recess appointments are authorized by Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which states:

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session .

If Trump is the fighter I think he is, then this is what he has been waiting for, ever so patiently these last six months. Notice that the Congress cannot countermand recess appointments. Recess appointments end by expiration, and then only at the end of the following Congressional session. Other than impeachment, Congress cannot stop Trump from doing this .

So Trump dumps Sessions, purges the anti-Trump prosecutors from previous administrations, and appoints a new FBI head and dozens of fire-breathing swamp-draining prosecutors who immediately start doling out orange jumpsuits. He could -- not saying that he would execute this "nuclear option" -- but he could lock up virtually the entire Congress on war crimes charges; Neocons for conspiracy to commit war crimes; Cheney, Addington, Yoo, and Bybee to the Hague for torture; Hillary and Obama for Libya.

Control of the DoJ is the key.

The next two weeks will show whether Trump is the real deal, or just another schlub.

[Mar 05, 2019] David Cay Johnston on the Crony Capitalism, and Part 2 on Plans for Funding For Your Old Age

Mar 05, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

David Cay Johnston on the Crony Capitalism, and Part 2 on Plans for Funding For Your Old Age

"A pension is not a 'gratuity.' A pension is wages you could have taken in cash, but prudently and conservatively set aside for your old age. It's your money. If your employer, for every pay period, does not set aside and designate it to go into a pension plan, your employer is stealing from you. The way to get this is to require pay stubs to itemize the amount of money that has been contributed to your pension plan."

David Cay Johnston

"Capitalism is at risk of failing today not because we are running out of innovations, or because markets are failing to inspire private actions, but because we've lost sight of the operational failings of unfettered gluttony. We are neglecting a torrent of market failures in infrastructure, finance, and the environment. We are turning our backs on a grotesque worsening of income inequality and willfully continuing to slash social benefits. We are destroying the Earth as if we are indeed the last generation."

Jeffrey Sachs

"We are coming apart as a society, and inequality is right at the core of that. When the 90 percent are getting worse off and they're trying to figure out what happened, they're not people like me who get to spend four or five hours a day studying these things and then writing about them -- they're people who have to make a living and get through life. And they're going to be swayed by demagogues and filled with fear about the other, rather than bringing us together.

President Theodore Roosevelt said we shall all rise together or we shall all fall together, and we need to have an appreciation of that.

I think it would be easy for someone to arrive in the near future and really create forces that would lead to trouble in this country. And you see people who, they're not the leaders to pull it off, but we have suggestions that the president should be killed, that he's not an American, that Texas can secede, that states can ignore federal law, and these are things that don't lack for antecedents in America history but they're clearly on the rise.

In addition to that, we have this large, very well-funded news organization that is premised on misconstruing facts and telling lies, Faux News that is creating, in a large segment of the population -- somewhere around one-fifth and one-fourth of it -- belief in all sorts of things that are detrimental to our well-being.

So, no, I don't see this happening tomorrow, but I have said for many years that if we don't get a handle on this then one of these days our descendants are going to sit down in high-school history class and open a textbook that begins with the words: The United States of America was and then it will dissect how our experiment in self-governance came apart."

David Cay Johnston, May 2014

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zaKYPn0zJKc

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sZbqr2AzoOo

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[Mar 05, 2019] Democratic senator to introduce tax on trading [Video]

Mar 05, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

CNBC Videos

Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) is expected to introduce a new tax bill today. The senator says his bill would tax the sale of stocks, bonds and derivatives at a 0.1 rate. It would apply to any transaction in the United States. The senator says his proposal would clamp down on speculation and some high frequency trading that artificially creates more market volatility.

[Mar 04, 2019] Trump calls for 21st century Glass-Steagall banking law

Notable quotes:
"... As Sen. Elizabeth Warren has famously said with respect to cabinet and other political appointments, "Personnel Is Policy." You can see the outline of the Trump administration's real policies being shaped before our eyes via his proposed cabinet appointees, covered by Politico and other sites. ..."
"... Sanders, Warren and others should hold Trump's feet to the fire on the truly populist things he said and offer to work with him on that stuff. Like preserving Social Security and Medicare and getting out of wars. ..."
Nov 11, 2016 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
allan November 10, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Trump calls for '21st century' Glass-Steagall banking law [Reuters, Oct. 26]

Financial Services [Trump Transition Site, Nov. 10]

Oddly, no mention of Glass-Steagall, only dismantling Dodd-Frank. Who could have predicted?

File under Even Victims Can Be Fools.

Chauncey Gardiner November 10, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Not surprised at all. The election is over, the voters are now moot. As Sen. Elizabeth Warren has famously said with respect to cabinet and other political appointments, "Personnel Is Policy." You can see the outline of the Trump administration's real policies being shaped before our eyes via his proposed cabinet appointees, covered by Politico and other sites.

Dr. Roberts November 10, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Also no mention of NAFTA or renegotiating trade deals in the new transition agenda. Instead there's just a bunch of vague Chamber of Commercesque language about making America attractive to investors. I think our hopes for a disruptive Trump presidency are quickly being dashed.

Steve C November 10, 2016 at 4:18 pm

Sanders, Warren and others should hold Trump's feet to the fire on the truly populist things he said and offer to work with him on that stuff. Like preserving Social Security and Medicare and getting out of wars.

As to the last point, appointing Bolton or Corker Secretary of State would be a clear indication he was just talking. A clear violation of campaign promises that would make Obama look like a choirboy. Trump may be W on steroids.

pretzelattack November 10, 2016 at 5:17 pm

sure he may be almost as bad as Clinton on foreign policy. so far he hasn't been rattling a saber at Russia.

Steve C November 10, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Newland also is pernicious, but as with many things Trump, not as gaudy as Bolton.

anti-social socialist November 10, 2016 at 4:23 pm

Yathink?
https://www.ft.com/content/aed37de0-a767-11e6-8898-79a99e2a4de6

Katniss Everdeen November 10, 2016 at 5:38 pm

I can't imagine how he's neglected to update his transition plan regarding nafta. After all, he's already been president-elect for, what, 36 hours now? And he only talked about it umpteen times during the campaign. I'm sure he'll renege.

Hell, it took Clinton 8 hours to give her concession speech.

On the bright side, he managed to kill TPP just by getting elected. Was that quick enough for you?