Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)

Sustained anti-Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM

The main issue in this election is that the Neoliberal Imperial Oligarchy has now taken off the mask, they have abandoned the pretense of "Coke Pepsi" two party competition to unite behind the defender of status quo interests, with WikiLeaks detailing the gory details of their corruption and malfeasance

"Terrible things we expect from Donald Trump, we’ve actually already seen from Hillary Clinton" Jill Stein

The neoliberal MSM are completely dedicated to defeating Trump and do not even pretend to be objective anymore. "Dishonest and corrupt" neoliberal media is actually much worse. They are a part of Clinton campaign apparatus. They fan out anti-Russian hysteria and demonization of Trump as two key Hillary election strategies, because she can't offer anything to voters, being a "kick the can down the road" type of candidate -- a dyed in the wool neoliberal and warmonger

As Ian Welsh noted the story of the Trump meltdown is actually the story of “a stab-in-the-back” neoliberal elites, trying to stealing the election.  They are afraid of repeating of Brexit vote

Version 2.1 (June 10, 2017)

Is the curse of the TIME magazine cover about to help Trump (and hinder Hillary)?

The neoliberals have the ultimate Super PAC: It’s called the mainstream media.

News Donald Trump -- an unusual fighter against excesses of neoliberal globalization Recommended Links Purple revolution against Trump Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Color revolutions Foreign Agents Registration Act Predator state Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Trump economic platform Trump foreign policy platform Trump on immigration Presidential debate trap staged by neoliberal media Trump GroupingGate Swiftboating: Khan gambit against Trump at Democratic Convention
Obama: a yet another Neocon Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS  Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary role in Libya disaster  New American Militarism Media-Military-Industrial Complex American Exceptionalism  Blowback against neoliberal globalization
Neocons The Deep State Predator state Election Fraud Populism Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Protestant church on danger of neoliberalism
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Myth about intelligent voter   Libertarian Philosophy Nation under attack meme Pluralism as a myth Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters
  Corporatist Corruption   Myth about intelligent voter Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Corporatism National Security State Non-Interventionism
Libertarian Philosophy The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neoliberalism US Presidential Elections of 2012 Paleoconservatism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
"There is one political party in this country, and that is the party of money. It has two branches, the Republicans and the Democrats, the chief difference between which is that the Democrats are better at concealing their scorn for the average man."

-- Gore Vidal

“The Democrats are the foxes, and the Republicans are the wolves – and they both want to devour you.” So what does that make Libertarians? Avian flu viruses?”

-- Leonard Pinkney

The race is no contest when you own both horses. That is why no matter which political party is in power nothing really changes other than the packaging. The puppets who drink at the champagne fountains of the powerful do the bidding of their masters. The people are superfluous to the process.

-- Daniel Estulin

In the “democracy” that America has evolved to, money counts more than people. In past elections, the votes were counted, now they are going to start weighing them.

America The Counter-Revolution - Salem-News.Com

(T)he rich elites of (the USA) have far more in common with their counterparts in London, Paris, and Tokyo than with their fellow American citizens … the rich disconnect themselves from the civic life of the nation and from any concern about its well being except as a place to extract loot. Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it.”

-- Mike Lofgren


Introduction

"Terrible things we expect from Donald Trump, we’ve actually already seen from Hillary Clinton,"
Jill Stein

Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

Joseph Welch’s famous confrontation with Joe McCarthy

Looks like the US elite is now split, with a smaller, weaker paleoconservative faction (that enjoys popular support) promoting Trump, and a larger stronger neoliberal faction staging anti-Trump hysteria in controlled MSM and trying to push Hillary, despite her failing health. So the USA now have its own version of competing oligarchs clans (and their own version of Yeltsin with his failing health, if you wish), like in post-Soviet Russia.  That's why we have anti-Trump hysteria from "anti-Trump brigade"

Being Trotskyism for the rich, neoliberalism not only reuses all Soviet propaganda tricks on a new technological level, it also inevitably creates a new aristocracy ("masters of the universe" or top 0.1%), similar to Soviet nomenklatura, which controls more a half of national wealth (redistribution of wealth up is the goal of neoliberalism). Which in turn leads to the gradual corruption and degeneration of the political elite.

And Hillary campaign bears a striking resemblance not only to dynastic succession, but also to the election of the General Secretary of CPSU (actually even age and health are appropriate) with its typical stabbing in the back attacks: 

Ian Welsh notes that the story of the Trump meltdown is also a ready-made story of “a stab-in-the-back” by elites stealing the election. Trump is the past Teflon Master on these kinds of gotcha fests, but if the Media pivots away from playing gotcha with Trump saying hateful and alarming things about immigration and race to Trump saying arguably true things about foreign policy or economic policy that are kept in an undisguised box by the perverted norms of conventional wisdom, that might be enough of a broadening pivot. Unlikely, but maybe.

The other similar tendency is that the neoliberal propaganda is losing the grip on hearts and minds of the US population. You simply can't hide disappearance of good jobs any more.  After more then 36 years dominance (with bipartisan support) Soviet-style brainwashing of population by the neoliberal MSM and TV by-and-large lost its effectiveness. Availability of alternative media (aka New Samizdat) is one factor. Like Voice of America and BBC for Soviet citizens, it provides information that makes possible to create a mental framework which allow one to understand what is really happening and why. That does not mean that they are 100% believable, but they provide a good starting point for critical thinking.  

This election are characterized the higher then usual level of hate of the neoliberal establishment. For multiple sins, such as the destruction of the middle class and, especially, for destruction of "full-time" good paying jobs with benefits in the USA. All this happened due to neoliberal globalization, which includes offshoring of manufacturing, elimination of full time jobs and replacement then with contractor jobs, outsourcing  of IT and "white collar" specialties.

Crystallization of the protest around such candidates as Sanders and Trump and the resulting split within Democratic and Republican party between rank-and-file members and party leadership,  are just signs of a more general tendency of rejecting neoliberal rationality and neoliberal ideology by the majority of US population. Ideology, which paradoxically is very close to Soviet ideology as neoliberalism is just Trotskyism for rich and includes the same dream of global (neoliberal instead of communist) empire, the same false promises of well-being for middle and lower classes, the same wars for neoliberal expansion in which US solders get into meat grinder to provide transnational corporations with another market.

This process of decline of neoliberal ideology started only recently (say, after 2008) and neoliberals are still very strong.  That's why Democratic Party brass managed to squash the revolt eliminating and then co-opting Sanders (sheepdog tactics). Paradoxically Trump manage to became the Presidential candidate from the Republican Party despite all attempt of the republican establishment to derail his candidacy.

It is quite clear the Trump election might mean difficulties for the US neoliberal elite in continuation of  permanent wars for the expansion of neoliberal empire ("neoliberal globalization"), dismantling of New Deal protections for working class (elimination of Social Security and weakening of labor laws), increasing financial deregulation and implementing policies that have systematically gutted the middle class, screwed and jailed the poor (especially poor blacks), increased inequality to the level above the level that existed during the Gilded Age, outsourced manufacturing out of the USA, and made neoliberal politicians like Hillary Clinton filthy rich. So it is natural that they fight Trump like crazy and neoliberal MSM is just of the perfect tools to achieve their goal of derailing his candidacy.  That's why Obama administration swiped under the carpet the dirt connected with Hillary private email server, the scandal, which would derail any other politician. Instead FBI was forced to invent false premise of "not sufficient evidence of criminal intent" bogeyman to let Hillary walk free.  In realty the criminal intent was written all over this sordid "bathroom server" saga, especially if you connect the dots with Clinton Cash scandal (the reason of using a private email server  was to hide activities connected with Clinton Foundation fundraising and other shady deals; as Trump said that's RICO staff) on one hand and DNC email hacks scandal on the other (if DNC email was so easily hacked, why would one assumes that Hillary server was not? The most reasonable assumption in such cases is that is was and all sensitive emails were exposed)   

The current situation in Democratic Party, which became a wing of a single "the Neoliberal Party of the USA" (much like the Communist Party in the USSR) is completely absurd. There is nothing even remotely Democratic in its platform. This is a pure neoliberal party.  Since Bill Clinton administration the elite game plan as for trade unions and democratic working-class voters was: "they have nowhere to go, so let's f*ck them hard".  And this game plan was executed perfectly fine for 25 years or so (since Bill Clinton presidency). No more.  enter Donald Trump, the first challenger of neoliberal status quo. Now voting against Clintons became middle class version of showing middle finger to official Washington or  a good practical joke on a sick neoliberalism-dominated political system. In other word, the dominant vote in November 2008 election will be the protest vote.  The vote against, not for.  They do want to show the middle finger to neoliberal establishment. That means voting against Hillary.  That's the main distinction between 2008 and 2016 elections. Obama was still able to fool the voters with his "change we can believe in" crap and sell the middle class down the river to neoliberals the day after elections.  But as unforgettable George W Bush uttered: "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." 

That's why Hillary now is struggling to be elected on the same "let's kick the can down the road" plus "identity" (as if electing using gender as the main criteria makes more sense the election based on platform the candidate is trying to implement), making an attempt to became an Obama II.

different clue , August 21, 2016 at 2:15 am

The Clintonites are selling First Woman President as an Identity-Progressive goal and achievement. Just as the Obamazoids sold First Black President as an Identity-Progressive goal and achievement.

Her failing health and semi-criminal past does not help iether. The key message of Hillary to US "peasants" is that same as Marie Antoinette ("let them eat cake" -- all is good in this, the most blessed, nation on the Earth, just let the elite to rule as they wish). For obvious reasons it does not resonate too well. The emergence of Trump with his anti "neoliberal globalization' stance and promising to stop outsourcing of the US jobs,  reflects the level of discontent with such policies. See also Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA, Secular Stagnation under Neoliberalism, and  Over 50 and unemployed

So it is natural that emergence of Trump created a real hysteria in neoliberal MSM which again (you can get neoliberal out of Trotskyite cell, but you can never get Trotskyism ideology from neoliberalism) repeats achievements of Soviet propaganda is silencing the dissent and blackmailing anybody who stray from the official Party line.  Soviet propagandists would approvingly nod at the efforts of ABC, CNN, MSNBC to blackmail Trump.  This is a clear case when a student outperformed the teacher.  Not that Us propagandists were not sufficiently "sophisticated" (let's put is this way ;-) during the Cold War, but at least during this period they were fighting for the right cause. Now they changes sides with Soviet propagandists and try to defend indefensible using all the spectrum of dirty tricks in their disposal: to defend the interests of tiny percentage of population (0.1%) against the interests of common people. 

Reading this page might help US voters get over the fear of voting for Trump instilled by neoliberal MSM. Maybe the US voters should consider the possibility that they have nothing to fear but fear itself. That warmonger Hillary is like absolute zero in temperature  --  the point after which politically you just can't be more evil.  By Nierenberg court standards, no less. 

But after so many years of blatant Soviet-style deception about "shared prosperity" via "trickle down economy" people now start to understand that they were taken for a ride and resist neoliberal propaganda. Emergence of Web pages like this is a clear sign that people are fed up. That the middle class is fed up. Majority of Americans now clearly understand that nothing is going to change for the poor and for the middle class if Hillary is elected. There will be deeper involvement in Syria and possibly a confrontation with Putin. Wall Street will be happy with her, no matter what she says now.

That's why paleoconservative (and this page represents paleoconservatives views), who were written off from the mainstream of the USA politics long ago, are again in vogue. They are against the wars of imperial expansion, while neoliberal are neocons in foreign policy (see Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA), are hell-bent on what Professor Bacevich called the "new American militarism", and want expansion of the USA global neoliberal empire at all costs to the US middle class and poor, essentially promoting hardship and impoverishment of the US citizens in order to enrich themselves. For neoliberals the USA is just a host, a squirrel carcass, on which this colony of bacteria parasite. They are cosmopolitans by definition, and have no real affinity to the USA (look how many of the are "Israel first" crowd), and try to hide that with fake patriotism, jingoism, military adventurism in Middle East and Eastern Europe, and keeping the population content with their policies by exaggerating and misdirecting the treat of Islamic terrorism (it is Saudi Arabia and other Gulf monarchies that is the main promoter and financer of this politician movement; they are also major contributors to Clinton foundation)

Like communists before them, neoliberals are not loyal to people or anything once they lost its usefulness, and definitely not to the nation state or the flag.

Thomas Frank in one of this books described the scene where the Bill Clinton figure tells a bunch of laid-off workers that now they need to buckle down and get an education so that they can get better jobs (as if they exist). this scene tremendously helps to recognize what neoliberalism is about: redistribution of wealth up. Everything else is just a lie.

In this circumstances, the only chance for Hillary to win election is to completely demonize Trump, to make him unacceptable for the most of the US population. Sometimes pack of neoliberal MSM which are essentially Hillary cheerleaders reminds me a pack of rats attacking a cat. They want to crown her, despite her criminal record, bloodthirsty jingoism, character flaws, initial stage of Parkinson disease and her other health problems, as well as Bill Clinton criminal past including possible sexual abuse of teenage girls. And to achieve this goal they resort to the campaign of demonization on Trump (such as Khan gambit), which sometimes borders on a real character assassination. Constant use of epithets like "crazy, reckless, ignorant, unqualified, unhinged lunatic, nuclear weapons trigger happy, narcissist, xenophobe, anti-Muslim, racist, misogynist, buffoon" are the most benign forms of this character assassination. Just guess how many of those epithets are applicable to Hillary and you understand the difference in neoliberal MSM coverage of two candidates. There are other, more sinister, parts of this neoliberal MSM demonization process...

What we now call "Khan Gambit" to be a part of a larger  campaign of demonization of Trump.  Other parts of this neoliberal MSM demonization process include:

  1. The "revolt of diplomats" gambit. On March 3, 2016  neocons staged 40 "national security leaders" (read dyed-in-the-wool neocons) open letter against Trump. Trump is ‘fundamentally dishonest,’ say GOP national security leaders in open letter - The Washington Post. This panic at neocons Jurassic park is pretty telling. Among 40 neocons who signed the letter we see only few diplomats. The list mostly composed of second rate "security establishment/foreign policy" players. There are some exceptions -- recognizable names -- such as Robert B. Zoellick (the eleventh president of the World Bank), Ken_Adelman (former deputy U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations),  Robert Kagan  (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Hillary Clinton, co-founder of PNAC), Eliot A. Cohen (Counselor of the State Department appointed by Rice), Daniel Pipes (famous Israeli lobbyist) Michael Chertoff (the second United States Secretary of Homeland Security under Presidents George W. Bush, co-author of the USA PATRIOT Act), and Dov S. Zakheim (Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Planning and Resources from 1985 to 1987).  The major neocon players in George W Bush administration such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Elliott Abrams are not in the list. "The letter comes just days after Michael Hayden, the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, said the U.S. military might disobey orders if Trump becomes president. "

    We know that such letters are a standard part of "color revolutions" (including but not limited to Libya, Ukraine(The Revolt of diplomats) and Syria ), but in this case this trick was used preemptively against a leading candidate from Republican party. It was followed by Khan gambit.

    "Revolt of diplomats" from the perspective of propaganda is a very powerful weapon in the Arsenal of "soft coups". It can, if you want to ask Leonid Kuchma, that could confirm "the  Colonel Kaddafi", and Mr. Yanukovich. But in order for bomb to explode more powerfully you need that the revolt of diplomats  was (as in the era of Orange Revolution, in Libya and in Syria) is involve the diplomats of the highest rank, preferably the level of acting heads of diplomatic missions. In this case it produces an avalanche style affect de-legitimizing the current government. and then can serve as a starting point for the further de-legitimization.

     Looks like US neocons now use the color revolution playbook against Trump.  This is a technique of "soft coup".
     

  2. "Waving the flag attacks".  Typically they are switfboat style attacks. This is what this page is about.  Khan gambit opened Trump military record to investigation and blackmailing by neoliberal MSM.  It also facilitated the attacks design to put a verge between Trump and military voters.
  3. Creating a false image of Trump as a fascist authoritarian (with the goal of blocking voting for Trump of Sanders supporters after Sanders betrayal of his political platform)
     
  4. Fanning anti-Russian hysteria and accusing Trump of connections to Putin (Putin stooge gambit). This is a typical cold war trick that works very well because of demonization of Putin in neoliberal MSM.  Neocons, as former Trotskyites, were the propagandist warriors of Cold War and are very skilled in below the belt blows of this kind (searching for  "communists under each bed"). As such this can be viewed as a variation of  McCarthy-style attacks -- a witch hunt for Putin supporters within Trump close cycle of advisors. Anti-Russian and pro-Israel stance is a part of neoconservative ideology (and is shared by a large part of Washington elite), so for neocons (and neoliberal MSM) this type of attacks are as a natural as breathing. McCarthyism  painted liberals as soft on Communism, now neocon paint opponents of Warmonger Hillary,  as soft on Putin.  When in reality the main danger is not softness, but the danger of nuclear confrontation with Russia. Neocon demagogues, such as Robert Kagan managed simultaneously accuse Trump of being Putin stooge and a fascist.  It is well known that chickenhawks are rabidly jingoistic, so this theme also is played as a part of "waving the flag attacks" such as Swiftboating Trump: Khan gambit against Trump at the Democratic Convention
     
  5. Projecting on Trump accusations of racism ( a variant of Gaslighting) with the goal of eliminating Trump voters among minorities. In reality Bill Clinton, as a staunch neoliberal,  initiated the largest program of incarceration of black men in history.  He also substantially cut federal support to poor families.

     Indiscriminate killing of brown people (including many woman and children) supported (and in case of Libya pressed) by Hillary is not considered racist by neoliberal MSM, but Trump suggestion (note suggestion) to limit Muslim and Mexican immigration to the USA is the crime of the century, because such a measure limits inflow of cheap labor for transnational corporations. What is interesting in this "identity politics" attack deployed by Hillary camp is that often they misdiagnose the problems pretending that nothing, but racism matters and that this is automatically thee root cause. For example for excessive police violence against blacks. Sometime the root cause is different: it can be stereotyping, or that people are frightened, they can behave stupid, or they are evil. No, all such cases are automatically classified as racists. Police misconduct is not a problem solely about race and racism. Here’s a thoughtful blogpost about the problem of police misconduct in certain kinds of fatal shooting incidents and what can be done about it, both politically and in terms of reforming police training and administration: http://sociological-eye.blogspot.com/2016/07/can-war-between-cops-and-blacks-be-de.html
     

  6. Creating an image of Trump as an unstable maniac who can't be trusted with important assignments, such as control of nuclear button (and forgetting that Obama is a former cocaine addict and marijuana user, who might not completely abandon this habit in the White house) . An Bruce Wilder ( Crooked timber, Aug 13, 2016) aptly noted: "People, who argue Trump might start a nuclear war out of personal pique because he insults people on teevee might want to examine Clinton’s bellicose foreign policy record and positions on, say, Israel, Iran, Ukraine, NATO expansion or the South China Sea. ". Or, as Ian Welsh pointed out, her position on Syria is nothing but reckless. She seems to have advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria, which would presumably means shooting down Russian warplanes.
      
  7. Denigration Trump personality by constant using in neoliberal MSM coverage of Trump such epithets as "crazy, reckless, ignorant, ignoramus, unqualified, unhinged lunatic, nuclear weapons trigger happy, narcissist, xenophobe, anti-Muslim, misogynist, buffoon, chimpanzee-level " 
  8. Distorting his views, despite some of them have strong connection to reality. Please read 6 Problems With Media's Reaction To Trump's ISIS Comments by Mollie Hemingway. This is a very important article and I strongly recommend to read it in full to understand how neoliberal propaganda works. This is a nice example of how difficult is for an ordinary person to cut through media lies and get to the truth. So some level of brainwashing is inevitable unless you use only alternative media. Neoliberal MSM are disgusting and are lying all the time, but they are called "mainstream media" not accidentally. Unless you use WWW and foreign sources (like people in the USSR did -- substitute radio for WWW, as it did not existed yet) you will be brainwashed. Like Margaret Thatcher used to say "there is no alternative". They did the same dirty tricks with Bernie Sanders to derail his candidacy.

Here is one example. Please note that Trump foreign policy stance is more realistic then bloodthirsty warmonger "We came, we saw, he died" Hillary; it just goes against neocons military adventurism (Salon.com)

Take, for example, the comments by GOP strategist Mike Murphy on MSNBC earlier this week:

I think he is a stunning ignoramus on foreign policy issues and national security, which are the issues I care most about. And he’s said one stupid, reckless thing after another, and he’s shown absolutely no temperament to try to learn the things that he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t know just about everything. …The guy has a chimpanzee-level understanding of national security policy.

In reality the situation in quite opposite and Trump foreign platform can be viewed as the last, desperate attempt to save the USA from facing consequences of uncontrolled built-up of global, led by the USA neoliberal empire, which exhausted the country resources and impoverished its people, Here is one insightful comment from Crooked Timber discussion (Crooked timber, Aug 04, 2016):

Lupita 08.04.16 at 4:23 am 167

I think Trump is afraid the imperial global order presided by the US is about to crash and thinks he will be able to steer the country into a soft landing by accepting that other world powers have interests, by disengaging from costly and humiliating military interventions, by re-negotiating trade deals, and by stopping the mass immigration of poor people. Plus a few well-placed bombs .

Much has been written about the internet revolution, about the impact of people having access to much more information than before. The elite does not recognize this and is still organizing political and media campaigns as if it were 1990, relying on elder statesmen like Blair, Bush, Mitterrand, Clinton, and Obama to influence public opinion. They are failing miserably, to the point of being counterproductive.

I don't think something as parochial as racism is sustaining Trump, but rather the fear of the loss of empire by a population with several orders of magnitude more information and communication than in 2008, even 2012.

Negative information repeated many times by MSM sticks in viewer minds and creates doubts in the candidate attacked. If the race is close, that's enough to sing the particular candidate. Swiftboating Kerry proved that such attacks produce the necessary effect even if later is discovered that they are completely false. At this point, it's just too late to undo the damage. Essentially the control over the major MSM is close to controlling the results of the elections. Like in movie Matrix the majority of the US voters live by-and-large in artificial reality created by MSM coverage, which they are unable to check.

The control over the major [neoliberal] MSM is close to controlling the results of the elections. Like in movie Matrix the majority of the US voters live by-and-large in artificial reality created by MSM coverage, which they are unable to check.

As neoliberalism is the hallmark of both parties, some Republican Senators also take part in this witch hunt (you can guesses the list; it includes all neocon hawks):

Corey Robin 08.09.16 at 1:51 am

So this is another example of what drives me crazy. Susan Collins, Republican Senator from Maine, is coming out with an oped in tomorrow’s Washington Post saying she can’t vote for Trump. Because he “lacks the temperament, self-discipline, and judgment” blah blah blah. She could vote for a madman like McCain and a charlatan like Palin, but, fine, whatever. What truly kills me is that Jonathan Alter, liberal journalist, tweets Collins’s piece and says, “How can any decent, respectful Republican disagree?”

As neocons are neoliberals with the gun, the same is true about most prominent neocon talking heads, who dominate the US foreign policy discourse. A relevant example here is one of the founders of PNAC (which promoted the idea of global neoliberal empire led by the USA and the use of 9/11 style event as vital for converting the USA into national security state) and cheerleader of Iraq war Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was instrumental in bringing into power neo-Nazis in Ukraine). In his recent WaPo column he (forgetting about his own track record and the track record of his wife) openly accused Trump of fascist tendencies while being unable to use the words "neocons wars" and "neoliberal globalization" in the whole article even once (This is how fascism comes to America - The Washington Post, May 18, 2016):

But of course the entire Trump phenomenon has nothing to do with policy or ideology. It has nothing to do with the Republican Party, either, except in its historic role as incubator of this singular threat to our democracy. Trump has transcended the party that produced him. His growing army of supporters no longer cares about the party. Because it did not immediately and fully embrace Trump, because a dwindling number of its political and intellectual leaders still resist him, the party is regarded with suspicion and even hostility by his followers. Their allegiance is to him and him alone.

And the source of allegiance? We’re supposed to believe that Trump’s support stems from economic stagnation or dislocation. Maybe some of it does. But what Trump offers his followers are not economic remedies — his proposals change daily. What he off ers is an attitude, an aura of crude strength and machismo, a boasting disrespect for the niceties of the democratic culture that he claims, and his followers believe, has produced national weakness and incompetence. His incoherent and contradictory utterances have one thing in common: They provoke and play on feelings of resentment and disdain, intermingled with bits of fear, hatred and anger. His public discourse consists of attacking or ridiculing a wide range of “others” — Muslims, Hispanics, women, Chinese, Mexicans, Europeans, Arabs, immigrants, refugees — whom he depicts either as threats or as objects of derision. His program, such as it is, consists chiefly of promises to get tough with foreigners and people of nonwhite complexion. He will deport them, bar them, get them to knuckle under, make them pay up or make them shut up.

... ... ...

This phenomenon has arisen in other democratic and quasi-democratic countries over the past century, and it has generally been called “fascism.” Fascist movements, too, had no coherent ideology, no clear set of prescriptions for what ailed society. “National socialism” was a bundle of contradictions, united chiefly by what, and who, it opposed; fascism in Italy was anti-liberal, anti-democratic, anti-Marxist, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical. Successful fascism was not about policies but about the strongman, the leader (Il Duce, Der Führer), in whom could be entrusted the fate of the nation. Whatever the problem, he could fix it. Whatever the threat, internal or external, he could vanquish it, and it was unnecessary for him to explain how. Today, there is Putinism, which also has nothing to do with belief or policy but is about the tough man who single-handedly defends his people against all threats, foreign and domestic.

Of course readers instantly noticed the hypocrisy of this dyed-in-the-wool neocon warmonger (who BTW became a staunch Hillary supporter -- tell me who your friends are...) :

Richard Elkind, 6/1/2016 4:06 PM EDT

Trump is a negotiator. A fascist is a dictator. They have absolutely nothing in common. The neocon who wrote this propaganda is far more a fascist than Trump could ever be...demonstrated right here with his utilizing his media platform to spread propagandist lies...which is what Hitler did.

Faustfaust, 6/1/2016 3:57 PM EDT

Kagan,

A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. Excerpts:

“Rather than pursuing a comprehensive peace with the entire Arab world, Israel should work jointly with Jordan and Turkey to contain, destabilize, and roll-back those entities that are threats to all three”.

"Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambition"

“Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite”.

"Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by Israeli proxy forces".

Who are those proxy forces? ISIS? It seems so. These statements put you and your ilk in the pot as corroborators for what has happened in the Middle East since it was written, and foremost for Syria and its fallout.

On issues relating to continuation of wars of neoliberal expansion, maintaining the global neoliberal empire and immigration all neoliberal MSM behave in lockstep which would make Soviet press handlers proud. Lie and distortion of Trump behaviour, create "much ado about nothing" by picking his phrase and presenting it as a is treat to world peace, dirty insinuation about impossibility to trust Trump is some critical security areas such as nuclear codes (as if person under influence of a drug can be a better choice; just look about history of cocaine abuse by previous presidents). You name it. But what can you expect from administration puppets. Actually constitutional scholar also behaved very dirty allowing himself to bash Trump in Singapore which is a clear violation of diplomatic etiquette:

"I don't doubt their sincerity. I don't doubt they were outraged by some of the statements that Mr. Trump and his supporters made about the Khan family," Obama said, speaking of Republican leaders, a number of whom spoke out against Trump's remarks about the Khan family. "But there has to come a point in which you say, 'Somebody who makes those kinds of statements doesn't have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding to occupy the most powerful position in the world.'"

As now we know that Khan gambit was a designed by DNC trap, this is a direct propaganda attack on behave of Hillary Clinton (and, as such, represents an abuse of his position). Also this is like throwing stones in a glass house (Obama is a self-confessed former cocaine addict who might well be on high during Benghazi incident and during his Olympics' interview). Americans did elect a former cocaine addict in 2008 and then in 2012. Talk about the best preparation to the position of POTUS (Obama's Cocaine Confessional Won't 'Blow' His Chances - ABC News):

At the moment, Republican strategists and Clinton loyalists share a common dream, an identical yearning and an increasingly forlorn hope: wishing with prayerful fervor for some revelation or scandal or personal weakness that will block Barack Obama's candidacy for president.

In that context, The Washington Post raises the pre-emptive question of the senator's direct confession (in his intimate memoir, "Dreams of My Father") that he used cocaine and marijuana in high school and college.

Much to the disappointment of his rivals in both parties, these disclosures stand no chance of derailing his potential campaign and may end up adding to Obama's unconventional appeal.

First of all, Obama is hardly the first prominent politician to acknowledge youthful indiscretions involving illegal drugs. Fourteen years ago, Bill Clinton easily survived his discussions of smoking marijuana, and drew far more criticism for his dodgy, weasel-words regarding his experience ("I smoked, but I didn't inhale") than for his one-time exposure to the demon weed.

Al Gore also admitted to dope indulgence (and reportedly became a heavy user at Harvard, which may help explain the spectacularly weird workings of his mind) as did Newt Gingrich and John Kerry. George W. Bush refused to share specifics of his own drug experience beyond a general acknowledgment of a rowdy youth ("when I was young and stupid, I was young and stupid"). Still, he did little to contradict ubiquitous reports of his consumption of booze, marijuana and even cocaine.

On her own Hillary, as an establishment candidate representing Wall Street interests, has no or little chances. So neoliberal MSM, which are essentially a part of Hillary team, are using against Trump a pretty polished demonization process that they so successfully used against foreign leaders whom the USA establishment does not like. So you need to withstand a series of more and more nasty attacks by a pack of media wolfs, who are eager to devour the candidate. That requires courage. Going against establishment always requires courage, but going against neoliberal establishment with it Trotskyite instincts (and Pravda style demonization of opponents) requires double of that. But people are fed up with neoliberal globalization and no matter how neoliberal MSM try to demonize Trump, most of such attempts will fall on the deaf ears:

bruce wilder 08.03.16 at 4:41 pm

A vote for Trump is a middle-finger vote. A Trump voter does not have to believe that Trump will do anything for him, only that Trump breaking the system won’t be worse for the voter than for the system.

I would stress it again that you need to be a very courageous person to withstand demonization by neoliberal media. and this put tremendous stress on you and your family. This pack of well-paid neoliberal rabid dogs knows no mercy. This is like modern McCarthy-style witch hunt (remember famous phrase perfectly applicable to neoliberal MSM such CNN, MSNBC, etc ("You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?") The DemoRats are reenacting the worst excesses of “McCarthyism” with hysterical displays of Russophobia and swift boat style attacks: anybody to oppose neoliberal dogma is Mr. Putin sympathizer:

Joe McCarthy had been running wild for four years, wreaking havoc first on the Democrats, then the Republicans, and finally on the security establishment itself. For many people—Welch’s syntax shows, almost unselfconsciously—June 9 marked the moment when McCarthy finally revealed that he had no decency, as opposed to only a very little decency, the moment when he showed that he had no redeeming qualities at all.

Neoliberal MSM dominate the media landscape and they still sets the agenda of any debate in the USA, still sets the parameters of discourse. They can amplify or suppress any news as they like. Hackers can easily break into DNC server and steal emails, but can't steal email from Hillary "bathroom" server. It does not matter then you open CNN or other MSM website, you will always find news about some new Trump blunder, instead discussion of serious issue facing the country (I'm Sick of The So-Called “News )

It’s a very powerful, well financed, determines, highly qualified and very nasty propagandists.

You need to be a very courageous person to go against neoliberal media. They can amplify or suppress any news as they like.

Those frightened at the prospect of Donald Trump being elected need to explain precisely where they were when Clinton sold the party to Wall Street converting them to DemoRats (former Democrats, or Clinton democrats) and launched their three-decade-long class war on the side on neoliberals against the great majority of the American people. Voting for a war criminal by standard Nierenberg trials in not what a reasonable person would do.

Trump did not (yet) start any wars of neoliberal conquest (under smoke screen of spreading the democracy) so far. So whatever you ca call him, he is not a war criminal. And that's a big, decisive different. In fact, his views on foreign policy are more of less isolationists and are close to Paleoconservatives such as Patrick J. Buchanan. As Michael Hudson observed:

The platform Hillary’s running on is “I’m not Trump. I’m the lesser evil.”

She elaborates that by saying that Trump is Putin’s ploy. When the Democratic National Committee (someone within it, or without) leaked the information to Wikileaks, the Democrats and Hillary asked, “Who benefits from this”? Ah-ha. Because Trump opposes the neocon line toward Russia, and because he criticizes NATO, Russia benefits. Therefore Putin must have stolen the leaks and put them out, to make America weaker, not stronger, by helping the Trump campaign by showing the DNC’s dirty tricks toward Bernie’s followers.

Then Assange did an Internet interview and implied that it was not a cyberwar attack but a leak – indicating that it came from an insider inn the DNC. If this is true, then the Democrats are simply trying to blame it all on Trump – diverting attention from what the leaks’ actual content!

But contrary to DNC efforts, same level of anger as drove Brexit vote now is developing in regard Hillary Clinton candidacy as the establishment choice. That means that for many people voting for Trump is just an opportunity to lob a hand grenade into establishment. And you can't underestimate the number of people who would greatly enjoy this act of defiance. So in a way it is impossible for Hillary to attract large chunk of population to anti-Trump platform as Trump is automatically by people choice is running as anti-Hillary candidate.

Moreover Hillary Clinton is a war criminal, if we apply to her the standards of Nuremberg trials, so voting for her is also a crime. Yet neoliberal media tries to shove Hillary down the US voters throats, demonizing him using all dirty tricks they know. Patrick J. Buchanan put it best "This was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille."(Yes, the System Is Rigged The American Conservative):

“I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged,” Donald Trump told voters in Ohio and Sean Hannity on Fox News. And that hit a nerve. “Dangerous,” “toxic,” came the recoil from the media. Trump is threatening to “delegitimize” the election results of 2016.

Well, if that is what Trump is trying to do, he has no small point. For consider what 2016 promised and what it appears about to deliver. This longest of election cycles has rightly been called the Year of the Outsider. It was a year that saw a mighty surge of economic populism and patriotism, a year when a 74-year-old Socialist senator set primaries ablaze with mammoth crowds that dwarfed those of Hillary Clinton. It was the year that a non-politician, Donald Trump, swept Republican primaries in an historic turnout, with his nearest rival an ostracized maverick in his own Republican caucus, Senator Ted Cruz. More than a dozen Republican rivals, described as the strongest GOP field since 1980, were sent packing. This was the year Americans rose up to pull down the establishment in a peaceful storming of the American Bastille.

... ... ...

Instructions are going out to Republican leaders that either they dump Trump, or they will cease to be seen as morally fit partners in power.

It testifies to the character of Republican elites that some are seeking ways to carry out these instructions, though this would mean invalidating and aborting the democratic process that produced Trump. But what is a repudiated establishment doing issuing orders to anyone?

Why is it not Middle America issuing the demands, rather than the other way around? Specifically, the Republican electorate should tell its discredited and rejected ruling class: If we cannot get rid of you at the ballot box, then tell us how, peacefully and democratically, we can be rid of you?

You want Trump out? How do we get you out? The Czechs had their Prague Spring. The Tunisians and Egyptians their Arab Spring. When do we have our American Spring?

The Brits had their “Brexit,” and declared independence of an arrogant superstate in Brussels. How do we liberate ourselves from a Beltway superstate that is more powerful and resistant to democratic change? Our CIA, NGOs and National Endowment for Democracy all beaver away for “regime change” in faraway lands whose rulers displease us. How do we effect “regime change” here at home?

Donald Trump’s success, despite the near-universal hostility of the media, even much of the conservative media, was due in large part to the public’s response to the issues he raised.

Would this really be what a majority of Americans voted for in this most exciting of presidential races? “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable,” said John F. Kennedy. The 1960s and early 1970s were a time of social revolution in America, and President Nixon, by ending the draft and ending the Vietnam war, presided over what one columnist called the “cooling of America.”

Below the belt attacks on Trump by neoliberal MSM

You need to be a very courageous person to fight against neocons. They already launched several below the belt attacks on Trump. More to follow. some were pretty damaging:

The utter hysteria about Trump in neoliberal MSM like NYT is very illuminating. They really feel the danger to neoliberal globalization from Trump and as the result the neoliberal  media is outperforming anything envisioned by Orwell. It brazenly lies, censors the truth and spins every fact, still pretending to be objective, independent and balanced.

At the same part population, who was (successfully) fed with neoliberal lies about shared prosperity and that brazen enrichment of the top 0.1% lifts all boats for the last 35 years is  no longer receptive to neoliberal propaganda. Many Americans outside top 10% have allergic reaction to neoliberal globalization and loss connected with it loss of jobs, which destroys or at lest undermines attempts to brainwash them by neoliberal MSM.

That's why neoliberal media's engage in constant paranoid exaggeration of Trump speeches, words and twits. Nice example was hysterias about Trump  request (probably make to provoke the MSM) to Putin to provide deleted by Hillary emails. Looks like neoliberal presstitutes are getting desperate as the realization sets in: Trump 2016!

And that's why they are pushing "Crooked Hillary" (by apt definition of Trump ;-) as the only viable candidate. As if without her there is no tomorrow for them and their cushy jobs can be threatened, much like job of ordinary Americans.  If you read NYT the impression is that Trump is madman, a dyed-in-the-wool nationalist (and racist), danger of whom is equal or exceed the danger of Mussolini, or even Hitler. In reality Hillary can be considered to be a war criminal, the lowest possible type of politicians. So much like in case of absolute zero, there can't be more evil politician even in principle.

But reading NYT you will not often see combination of words a "neocon" and Hillary. She will be presented via rose grasses and her ugly personality traits (which led to multiple suggestions that she might be a female sociopath) will be carefully hidden. Any demonstration of recklessness and somewhat psychopathic personality, her pathological jingoism, will be described as an admirable attributes indicative of a strong leader the same way the psychopathic personalities of her male counterparts are described as the attribute of "masters of statecraft" (the term which under neoliberalism became synonymous with bombing small helpless nations, who happen to have natural resources, valuable for transactionals, and bailing out transnational banks, when they overpay their hand with derivatives).

Sometimes I catch myself on the thought that neoliberal MSM outdid MSM of the USSR in their ability to distort the reality and conduct vicious propaganda campaigns directed on elimination of anybody threatening status quo. With generally better success in brainwashing the population.

In foreign policy Hillary Clinton is no different than your garden variety Republican, including Senator McCain or any of prominent neocons such as Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan and his wife. In other words she is another died in the wool neocon. Probably to the right of Jeb "I like Wolfowitz Doctrine" Bush, who as one of the signers of PNAC key document is difficult to match. So, in a way, Cold War II is guaranteed if she wins, because the elite needs an external threat to keep the nation united despite economic troubles connected with the sunset of neoliberalism as well as it hallmark -- ruthless looting of the nation by financial oligarchy, who is out of control and owns the government via "deep state" structures.

Again MSM in the USA tend to personalize the most important political issues (identity politics). That gives them opportunity to hide real issues facing the nation under smoke screen of personal invectives. The real issue during this election is a referendum of neoliberal globalization. that's what MSM try to bury in the smokescreen of identity politics, Look how "Back life matters" movement was played.

Increase use of misinformation and dirty tricks as the cornerstone of neoliberal candidates campaign strategy in a post-factual world (virtual reality) created by neoliberal MSM is not new. This is how in 2004 corrupt MSM got rid of Howard Dean in Democratic Party primaries (see Howard Dean's Scream - YouTube). Directed microphones were used to amplify the scream to make it outrageous (and then neoliberal MSM pitched the hysteria to ensure the necessary effect).

But the same disinformation campaign and dirty tricks did now work recently in the Brexit vote. And those neoliberal presstitutes were really dirty --  just look at Guardian campaign against Brexit. The power of neoliberalism (like previously the power of communism) is in total monination of media space. So in case of Brexit neoliberals have betted on the power of fantasy over fact. They failed.

Now all neoliberal guns are pointed at Trump. And some of those presstitutes are pretty talented. Just look also how Stephen Colbert tried to eliminate Trump as the candidate in  Best moments from presidential debates - YouTube. If you do not understand that this is pretty similar to promoting Kerry over Dean, listen again. When propaganda is close to what you feel whatever you feel is true, you are easily deceived. and it is very difficult for anyone to tell the difference between what is true and what is not -- media creates artificial reality in which we live. They can amplify whatever they wish and present for us as facts, while they are not. That will be found much later, when it will be too late.

the hysteria with Melania speech plagiarism of a couple of sentences from Michelle Obama speech is also pretty illuminating. In both cases speeches were written by somebody else so this all the content is plagiarism -- not just two sentences. But this artificial outrage was wiped up to cosmic proportion. How they dare to take a couple of sentences from such a deep thinker as Michelle Obama and put it in their own speech (in fact those sentences reflected Melania experience pretty well - - that's why they were taken ;-)

But no, thousand of reporters from neoliberal MSM like a pack of rabid dogs started to pursue this triviality with a single goal to damage Trump campaign for President.  None of them demonstrated an equal zeal in coverage of Hillary bathroom serverClinton Cash scandals -- a much more worthwhile themes. Hillary deteriorating health is also not very interesting topic for them. Even recent sexual adventures of Bill Clinton, which would attack them like flied to honey, if this would be Trump, did not interested them much.  As Scott McConnell aptly noted (The American Conservative, July 20, 2016):

Much of the morning of the second day of the Republican Convention was taken up by the Melania speech flap. It’s an odd world. One can understand how it was news: there are thousands of reporters chasing any news, especially news embarrassing to Trump. One can imagine that if Jackie Kennedy inadvertently mouthed some earnest and eloquent platitudes that another speechwriter had previously prepared for a different celebrity, few would have noticed, and certainly few would have made a case of it. It might have been mentioned in an aside in a column.

Melania’s reading of secondhand words is not entirely insignificant. Of course the “plagiarism” case was the result of poor staff work, and it’s not unreasonable to wonder if it’s symptomatic of a more general confusion at the heart of the Trump campaign. If they can’t get Melania’s speech right, and they didn’t, who is going be in charge of implementing the Iran deal, or dealing with the Turkish coup aftermath, or trying to be a good friend to a Europe undergoing worse crises than we are? You can look at the Donald Trump operation and not come away with obviously reassuring answers.

You can see that in hunt for anti-Trump sensation MSM amplified the real but rather small problem with Melanie speech. "Lifting" a couple of sentences from somebody else speech is not a big crime. Of cause this is an immoral act, but let's see with whom we compare Melania -- with Hillary, who is a compulsive liar. Melania with all her transgressions is not. Now you see the problem. They use two difficult standard, because if we apply "Melania standard" to Hillary, MSM should bury her alive. There were a couple of sentences that closely resemble each other (so what; she is not an elected official and does not pretend on any official post; if we views this as a type of lie -- pretending that those words are your own what they actually are not -- compare with the amount of lie of Hillary Clinton. But the content of the speeches is vastly different. Still charge of plagiarism stuck. Unapt denial of Trump reps helped to amplify the issue further and exaggerations of this tiny, unimportant fact. And this hysteria was amplified by neoliberal MSM very skillfully -- this minor episode was on front pages for two days in the raw. As if there no other problems with DNC. What a despicable presstitutes --

They try to hide the danger that yet another globalist war for opening natural resources and labor resources of other countries for transnationals which will be unleashed by Hillary. Who already managed to vote of Iraq war, and royally rape Ukraine , Libya and Syria. This is real issues facing the USA, and it trivial facts about the personalities involved, that neoliberal MSM triy to present as the essence of campaign.  It is about existence of two different factions of the US elite: globalist part that now dominant and smaller weaker nationalist part what is now on the upswing and enjoys the support of the majority of the population.

Another dirty trick is bombardment of voters with the results of polls. 24 x7. It is well known that the key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform, but to influence. In the USA, like in the USSR, MSM are fully engaged in this dirty game.

The psychological mechanism behind this dirty game is based on deeply rooted human tendency to side with the (presumptive) winner. MSM fake the desirable for the elite result (or at least distort actually picture) and that automatically conditions those who is still undecided to vote for "presumptive winner", or not to vote. The latter in the spirit of inverted totalitarism is preferable for elite result -- making each elite voter (who always vote, as this is about their power) more valuable. Please note half of the US population does not vote. But anger might brings them out. John Pilger gave a good picture of behaviour of MSM in his recent article The Brexit Rejection of Neoliberal Tyranny ( Consortiumnews, ).

To this end neoliberal MSM been lying about Trump and consistently misrepresenting his statements to present them in the worst possible light.

Neoliberal MSM been lying about Trump and consistently misrepresenting his statements to present them in the worst possible light

MSM also try to co-opt Trump voters:

On the eve of the convention, Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam—respected, young, mainstream conservative intellectuals—published an essay in the New York Times that was largely Trumpian in its prescriptions, calling for less immigration, less foreign military intervention, more tax policy favoring the middle and working classes. Designed to appeal to the real interests of Trump voters.

Yet the two cast their piece as “anti-Trump,” calling Trump a demagogue, and assuming that he couldn’t possibly implement their agenda. It’s a loss to Trump that he hasn’t won over people who so largely agree with him, but a sign too of the remaining power of the Republican establishment, which can make even people who mostly agree with Trump unable—so far—to see themselves as potential Trump backers.

CNN went as far as to hire Corey Lewandowski, former manager of Trump political campaign (CNN's Revolving Door of Political Hackery)

Widespread outrage erupted in late June over CNN's hiring of Corey Lewandowski, just four days after he was fired as Donald Trump's chief of staff. Lewandowski is a controversial figure, and not merely because he was heading up a campaign fueled by bigotry and fear. In March he was charged with simple battery for making physical contact with a reporter (though these charges were later dropped). Moreover, his utility as a CNN contributor is clearly limited -- if not worthless -- since he is reported to have signed a non-disclosure agreement that bars him from saying anything disparaging about Trump or discussing anything he did during the campaign.

CNN staffers were said to be enraged -- but within a week, CNN's newest contributor was on television using his soapbox to explain away another one of Trump's very public and obvious appeals to bigotry. That CNN felt it needed to hire an election commentator who can't say anything critical about Trump may seem strange, but it corresponds with CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker's stated desire to push CNN to the right. Even Fox News has taken the moral "high ground" in this situation: It has blasted CNN and the decision at least twice.

But hiring Lewandowski is not an anomaly -- it is business as usual for CNN and other cable news networks. When covering elections, CNN and its competitors rely largely on former political hacks as paid contributors. They also commonly employ active lobbyists with inherent conflicts of interest that are rarely disclosed.

What we are dealing with is a Revolving Door of Political Hackery between campaigns, the media and lobbyists. As we enter the final stretch of the 2016 election season, this revolving door has been spinning rapidly, especially with GOP staffers heading to CNN. This reliance on beltway insiders and industry surrogates is among the many reasons why campaign coverage is so often woefully lacking in substance.

At the same time the fact that some Sanders voters are inclined to vote for Trump is undeniable. And that does not excites neoliberal MSM such as rabidly pro-Clinton Wapo (which now is owned by Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos). It does not even pretend to being objective. Just look at some headlines: 

MSM ravings about Trump supporters being ‘white nationalists’ is a grotesque affront to everyone, especially the 23% of Hispanics happen to support Trump, as well as some percent of black vote and other minorities. In neoliberal MSM narrow universe the millions of American Trump supports are all either bigots, or blind, and that evidently includes a number of Americans in the US military who also support Trump. The US airman who punched out the Trump protestor wearing a KKK costume at a Trump rally happened to be African-American. Do you think he was happy being portrayed as a KKK supporter by people like you and the clown in the costume?

Khan gambit at the Democratic convention

If you look closer at what’s being said by the Democratic camp, including by no less than Obama himself, they seem to be using Kahn gambit -- a prepared, scripted swift boating of Trump -- playing a collective Joseph McCarthy at the moment. The next stage was accusing Trump of collusion with Putin and telling amusing lies along the way ( I wonder when they will discover the connection of Melannia and Putin). A prominent neoliberal Krugman has summarily denounced the whole white Christian “tribe” is unpatriotic.

I would take Khizr Khan’s speech at the DNC more seriously if he had also taken the courageous stance of calling out Hillary Clinton as a bloodthirsty neoliberal warmonger in the manner of Cindy Sheehan. Hillary’s vote for the Iraqi invasion is more relevant her in a sense of the direct cause-and-effect line of his son’s death than any actions by Trump. To chastise one candidate on trump-up charges omitting real and undeniable sins of the other candidate (Hillary) is lacking any trace of nobility or decency. This was swift boating -- a preplanned trap instantly amplified into national tragedy proportion by neoliberal presstitutes in major MSM. this was it became just another act of the campaign of demonization of Trump. Obama behavior in Singapore was especially disgusting. He allowed himself to bash Trump in Singapore on trumped up charges which is a clear violation of diplomatic etiquette:

"I don't doubt their sincerity. I don't doubt they were outraged by some of the statements that Mr. Trump and his supporters made about the Khan family," Obama said, speaking of Republican leaders, a number of whom spoke out against Trump's remarks about the Khan family. "But there has to come a point in which you say, 'Somebody who makes those kinds of statements doesn't have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding to occupy the most powerful position in the world.'"

The most humiliating aspect of "Khan gambit" is how easily Trump was lured into this trap (essentially Swiftboating): looks like he organically is unable not to reply on false accusations, no matter how unfounded they are. At the same time understanding that Trump was lured into a trap should not be used for promoting xenophobia.

The idea of swiftboating is very simple: negative information repeated many times by MSM stick and create doubts in the candidate attacked. They produce the necessary effect even if later is discovered that they are completely false. From Wikipedia

The term swiftboating (also swift-boating or swift boating) is a pejorative American neologism used to describe an unfair or untrue political attack. The term is derived from the name of the organization "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" (SBVT, later the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth) because of their widely publicized—and later discredited—campaign against 2004 U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry.[1][2][3][4]

Since the political smear campaign[2][5][6][7][8] that the group conducted against Kerry, the term has come into common use to refer to a harsh attack by a political opponent that is dishonest, personal, and unfair.[9][10] The Swift Boat Veterans and media pundits objected to this use of the term to define a smear campaign.[11][12]

Now we can tell with almost 100% certainty that Khan gambit was pre-planned by DNC as two stage swift boating style attack on Trump, similar to one of Kerry:

The subsequent neoliberal MSM witch hunt was an important part of the Khan gambit and should be viewed exclusively in general context of the efforts to demonize and discredit Trump. It was clear this swift boating attack was performed on behave of Hillary Clinton handlers (Hillary Clinton in her current health state is just a figurehead, a patsy of the forces that defend neoliberal globalization, which include Bill Clinton and Wall Street banks). They even used Obama, who forgot about the danger of throwing stones in a glass house (Obama is a self-confessed former cocaine addict who might well be on high during Benghazi incident and during his Olympics' interview). Americans did elect a former cocaine addict in 2008 and then in 2012. So why not Trump? Still Obama risked opening this can of worms by blabbing about the preparation to the position of POTUS. In reality former addict is never the best choice but look how skillfully this issue (trusting the former cocaine addict a nuclear button) was hashed by neoliberal press (Obama's Cocaine Confessional Won't 'Blow' His Chances - ABC News):

At the moment, Republican strategists and Clinton loyalists share a common dream, an identical yearning and an increasingly forlorn hope: wishing with prayerful fervor for some revelation or scandal or personal weakness that will block Barack Obama's candidacy for president.

In that context, The Washington Post raises the pre-emptive question of the senator's direct confession (in his intimate memoir, "Dreams of My Father") that he used cocaine and marijuana in high school and college.

Much to the disappointment of his rivals in both parties, these disclosures stand no chance of derailing his potential campaign and may end up adding to Obama's unconventional appeal.

First of all, Obama is hardly the first prominent politician to acknowledge youthful indiscretions involving illegal drugs. Fourteen years ago, Bill Clinton easily survived his discussions of smoking marijuana, and drew far more criticism for his dodgy, weasel-words regarding his experience ("I smoked, but I didn't inhale") than for his one-time exposure to the demon weed.

Al Gore also admitted to dope indulgence (and reportedly became a heavy user at Harvard, which may help explain the spectacularly weird workings of his mind) as did Newt Gingrich and John Kerry. George W. Bush refused to share specifics of his own drug experience beyond a general acknowledgment of a rowdy youth ("when I was young and stupid, I was young and stupid"). Still, he did little to contradict ubiquitous reports of his consumption of booze, marijuana and even cocaine.

The utter hysteria about Trump in neoliberal MSM like NYT is very illuminating. From comments in discussion of Crooked Timber:

kidneystones, 08.08.16 at 11:36 pm

The NYT argues that some truths needed to be sacrificed for the greater good of keeping the candidate ‘we’ don’t like out of office.

... ... ...

Democrats waving the bloody shirt and suddenly discovering the purity of gold-star families is very much on-topic. As is the bias of the press. Romney was deemed entirely unfit to be president in precisely the same way as the current candidate is. Romney’s great crime? Laughing about killing people? Nope. Invading nations, or abusing national security? Uh-uh. Strapping the family dog to the roof of his car.

Because when weighing the big issues in American presidential elections: Pets Lives Matter!!

kidneystones, 08.08.16 at 11:42 pm

Lanny Davis, longtime Clinton ally and DNC hack, explaining in great detail ( on Fox no less) why the Romney dog story makes the Republican candidate (is a Mormon the same as an atheist, Debbie?) unfit for the office of the President. foxnews.com

Rich 08.14.16 at 6:14 pm 855

...I have said that I could never vote for her because of Iraq. It was a political calculation for her. Never bought the bullshit about ‘if I knew then…’ Yeah sure bitch. Then, I was swayed by the lesser evil argument telling me not be an idealist asshole. Buy, now comes the Kissinger wet kiss, and the Negroponte handjob, now the Clinton campaign is seen in the hacked emails she wants to go easy on down ballot republicans. Letting them off the hook for creating the conditions for Trump to emerge. This is the last straw for me. Fuck her, I will not vote for her.

For those of you so afraid of Trump that you will hold your nose at the polls, I have only one thing to say.

Y’all a bunch a sniveling fearful pussies. We survived a bloody civil war. We survived WW2. We survived the Soviets. Was it over when the Japan bombed Pearl Harbor? No. And it ain’t over now. Yes it will be a bad 4 years. It will be an embarrassment. But Trump is a childish half-educated buffoon. Do you really think the JCS will hand him the nuke codes and launch on his order? I don’t.

So suck it up and get rid of Clinton and her destructive new democrats for good.

They are organically unable to turning a critical lens on the presidential candidate who supported the war that killed Khan's son. They really feel the danger to neoliberal globalization from Trump and at this point "gloves comes off" -- the neoliberal media is outperforming anything envisioned by Orwell. It brazenly lies, censors the truth and spins every fact, still pretending to be objective, independent and balanced. "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. -1984". And the "permanent war for permanent peace" that Hillary and other neoliberal interventionists advocate is the only viable path forward fro the nation. Bacevich discussed this issue of dominance of "New American Militarism" at length in his books, articles and speeches. See also in depth analysis of this issue by Ted Rall in his brilliant (simply brilliant !) article Khizr Khan and The Triumph of Democratic Militarism(UNZ Review, Aug 2, 2016). Here are some relevant quotes:

"... A week ago corporate media gatekeepers managed to transform the Democratic National Committee internal emails released by WikiLeaks from what it really was – scandalous proof that Bernie Sanders and his supporters were right when they said the Democratic leadership was biased and had rigged the primaries against them ..."
"... Hillary's vote for an illegal war of choice that was sold with lies, was a major contributing factor to the death of Captain Khan, thousands of his comrades, and over a million Iraqis. Iraq should be a major issue in this campaign - against her. ..."
"... Instead, it's being used by his parents and the Democratic Party to bait Donald Trump into a retro-post-9/11 "Support Our Troops" militaristic trap. Khan, you see, was " defending his country ." ..."
"... (How anyone can say U.S. soldiers in Iraq, part of an invasion force thousands of miles away where no one threatens the United States, are "defending" the U.S. remains a long-running linguistic mystery.) ..."
"... "Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son 'the best of America,'" Khizr Khan told the convention. Unfortunately, the moniker can't apply to once-and-possible-future-first-daughter Chelsea Clinton, who never considered a military career before collecting $600,000 a year from NBC News for essentially a no-show job. But anyway… ..."
"... "If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America," Khizr Khan continued. The cognitive dissonance makes my head spin. ..."
"... "Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution?" asked Khizr, who is originally from Pakistan ..."
"... A good question. While we're at it, however, where does it say in the U.S. Constitution that the president can send troops overseas for years at a time without a formal congressional declaration of war? Where does it say that the United States can attack foreign countries that have done it no harm and have never threatened it? ..."
"... As you'd expect Trump, he of little impulse control, has handled this about as poorly as possible. Asked about Khizr Khan's remark that Trump hasn't made any sacrifices, he idiotically attempted to compare his business dealings with the death of a son. Still, you have to grudgingly admire Trump for fighting back against a guy you are officially not allowed to say anything mean about. ..."
"... Democrats have successfully appropriated images of patriotism and "optimism" – scare quotes because this is not the kind of actual optimism in which you think things are going to actually get better, but the bizarro variety in which you accept that things will really never get better so you'd might as well accept the status quo – from the Republicans. This is part of Hillary Clinton's strategy of taking liberal Democrats for granted while trying to seduce Republicans away from Trump. ..."
"... The Khan episode marks a high water mark for post-9/11 knee-jerk militarism. Even the "liberal" party whose sitting incumbent two-term president captured the White House by running against the Iraq war demands that everyone fall to their knees in order to pay homage to the "good" Muslims - those willing to go to the Middle East to kill bad ones. ..."
"... Next time you see a panel of experts discussing a foreign crisis, pay attention: does anyone argue against intervention? No. The debate is always between going in light and going in hard: bombs, or "boots on the ground." Not getting involved is never an option. As long as this militaristic approach to the world continues, the United States will never have enough money to take care of its problems here at home, and it will always be hated around the world. ..."
"... Most Americans believe the Iraq war was a mistake . Who speaks for us? No one in the media. And no one in mainstream politics. ..."
"... Trump's proposal to ban Muslims can't possibly be racist because Muslims are not a race. If the US were to ban European devotees of a white supremacist pagan cult - such cults do exist, and the US has every right to ban its devotees if it so chooses - nobody would bat an eye. ..."
"... The vote to authorize the war in Iraq was in 2002. Khan's DNC speech was 14 years later (and 12 years after his son was killed), not 8 years later. ..."
"... "The rest of us who makes heroes of our dead…" "Perpetuate war by exalting sacrifice…" watch-v=reUstMn4bM8 ..."
"... "Most Americans believe the Iraq war was a mistake. Who speaks for us? No one in the media. And no one in mainstream politics." The last sentence is incorrect. Donald Trump repeatedly said the war was a mistake, even at times when it could have landed him in serious trouble. ..."

At the same time the mood of the majority of the US population and its attitude toward neoliberal globalization changed. People no longer trust the neoliberal elite and neoliberal media. Obama was probably the last "wolf is sheep cloth" who managed to "bait and switch" the US electorate. Now the slogan as for TPP should be the same as in Spanish civil war: "¡No Pasarán!". Even on this particular topic a talk about ABC, CNN, MSNBC objectivity already invoke sardonic laugher from most people. They are all despicable presstitutes, serving to their corporate masters, devoid of any trace of objectivity in their desperate attempts to push Hillary into White House, by whatever means possible.

And this new, more critical mood of the 90% of US population means that it is more difficult to achieve a lasting effect via Khan gambit as well as to continue to sell neoliberal globalization to regular Americans despite all efforts by neoliberal propaganda honchos. Because all Khan gambit is designed fpr is to put Hillary in White House and preserve NAFTA, TPP, revocation of Glass-Steagall and other cornerstones of neoliberal globalization.

Many US citizens already developed strong allergic reaction to neoliberal MSM, much like the population of the USSR developed allergy to communist propaganda. Declining standard of living destroys attempts of neoliberal media to brainwash the population about the benefits of globalization outside top 10% of population that really benefits form it. That's why neoliberal media was forced on the "war trail" and is engaging in constant paranoid exaggeration of Trump speeches, words and twits. It is also amplifying any attacks on Trump, as is the case with Khan speech. This is a textbook example about how the demonization of the opponent works. But Hillary herself is living in a glass house funded by Goldman Sachs and should be throwing no stones.

Nice example was hysterias about Melania Trump plagiarism and about Trump request (probably made to provoke the MSM) to Putin to provide deleted by Hillary from her private "bathroom" mail server emails. But those demolishing Trump pieces have little or no effect. And neoliberal presstitutes are getting desperate as the realization sets in: Trump 2016!

The only chance for Hillary (with her mounting health issues) to win election is to completely demonize Trump. On her own she has little or no chances, as most of Americans are tied of dynasties (with Bush II being a real disaster, that got us into Iraq war). So neoliberal MSM are using standard demonization process template that is so successfully was against foreign leaders (see Demonization of Putin) that the USA neoliberal establishment does not like. This is the root of Khan gambit designed and implemented by DNC. the same DNC that stole nomination from Bernie Sanders by using all kind of dirty tricks and illegal media alliances. Now the are trying to do the same with Trump. In this sense Khan is just a pawn, used and thrown out. As Khan, who was brought to the podium by DNC strategists, he should remember this famous quote: “The Moor has done his duty the Moor can go”. (The Moors were a Muslim people who established a civilization in North Africa and Spain between the 8th and the 15th century A.D.) Like in case with DNC leaks, the Democratic nomenklatura is always evasive when it comes to answering uncomfortable questions and will throw him under the bus if uncomfortable emails surface. Clinton has never been sentimental with its allies and in the absence of vital interests or mere presence of danger were dumping them from the chess board as unnecessary figures.

You need to be a very courageous person to fight against neocons. They already launched several below the belt attacks on Trump. But his last was probably the most successful, if you can call swift boarding a success.

MSM anti-Russian hysteria as a smoke screen to mask the divisions within Democratic Party

When GOP "dirt diggers" questioned Obama academic record, his birth certificate, his strange past, and claimed that Obama was a secret Manchurian candidate injected into US political stream by CIA "very important people" in MSM guffawed and had a good laugh accusing those who hold this view of paranoia. When Dem neoliberals and their EU (especially British) pals claim that Trump is a secret Manchurian candidate eager to execute orders of Putin the same "very important people" in MSM nod approvingly and loudly worry that Americans might elect a pawn of Putin. (dailymail.co.uk)

In his post Is Russia our enemy? Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) aptly stated:
The Democratic Party convention and the media are full of the assumption that Russia is the enemy of the United States. What is the basis for that assumption?

The Obama Administration is apparently committed to a pre-emptive assertion that Russia is a world class committed enemy of the United States. The Borgist media fully support that.

We should all sober up.

The Russian theme has become one of the most important in Hillary presidential campaign and she unsurprisingly is engaged in full-scale anti-Russian hysteria.
Hillary joined ranks with neocons, military-industrial complex and plain-vanilla Russophobes (katehon.com, Jul 28. 2016):

Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Trump called on Russia to hand over the 30,000 emails "missing" from the Hillary Clinton's email server in the US. Their absence is a clear sign that Clinton destroyed evidence proving that she used her personal e-mail server to send sensitive information. Democrats immediately accused Trump of pandering to Russian hackers, although in reality the multi-billionaire rhetorically hinted that the data that Clinton hid from the American investigation is in the hands of foreign intelligence services. So, Clinton is a possible target for blackmail.

Trump's statement that he is ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the removal of anti-Russian sanctions caused even more noise. This view is not accepted either in the Democrat or in the Republican mainstream. Trump also said that Vladimir Putin does not respect Clinton and Obama, while Trump himself hopes to find a common language with him. Trump appreciates Putin's leadership and believes that the US must work together with Russia to deal with common threats, particularly against Islamic extremism.
Hide The establishment's tantrum

Both Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at Trump. The vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, made threats to Russia. The head of the Republican majority in Congress, Paul Ryan, became somewhat hysterical. He said that Putin is "a thug and should stay out of these elections."

It is Putin personally, and the Russian security services, who are accused of leaking correspondences of top employees of the National Committee of the Democratic Party. This unverified story united part of the Republicans and all of the Democrats, including the Clinton and Barack Obama themselves. Trump supporters note that the Russian threat is used to divert attention from the content of these letters. And these show the fraud carried out during the primaries which favored Hillary Clinton.
Hide The pro-American candidate

The "Russian scandal" demonstrates that on the one hand the thesis of the normalization of relations with Russia, despite the propaganda, is becoming popular in US society. It is unlikely that Donald Trump has made campaign statements that are not designed to gain the support of the public in this election. On the other hand - Trump - a hard realist, like Putin, is not pro-Russian, but a pro-American politician, and therefore the improvement of relations with Russia in his eyes corresponds to the US's national interests. Trump has never to date done anything that would not be to his advantage. Sometimes he even said he would order US fighter jets to engage with Russian ones, and declared he would have a hard stance in relations with Russia.

Another thing is that his understanding of US national interests is fundamentally different from the dominant American globalist elite consensus. For Trump, the US should not be the source of a global liberal remaking of the world, but a national power, which optimizes its position just as efficiently as any commercial project. And in terms of optimizing the position of the United States, he says there should be a normal American interaction with Putin and Russia in the field of combating terrorism and preventing the sliding of the two countries into a global war. He claims this is to be the priority instead of issues relating to the promotion of democracy and the so-called fight against "authoritarian regimes".

Bullsh**t that the US MSM are now propagating is essentially a variation of the old theme "The Russians are Coming". Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics. These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?

MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word. What do you mean by that?

Putin: You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent. It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear. It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC. That was diversion one right out of the gate.

DNC and Clinton are going to push the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc. Technical analysis provided is some idiotic, entry level nonsense. And it should ne complete dulsh*t as those cases are very complex and can used smokescreen -- deflecting attention from a read source (for example Israel) to Russians (Israel has large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in security services of the country).

When the USA opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a blowback. Now it start coming: it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary. Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history. And technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They became a part of their workbook. And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as completely corrupt DNC with semi-competent IT staff using pathetic Microsoft Exchange based email system: (naked capitalism):

However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

And :

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!

JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.

NOTES

[1] More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"

[2] This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.

–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr

Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.

Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

"… all these could be spoofed by another party."

Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?

Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.

But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.

Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail. And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ )

As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak??

As life exceeds satire, one can imagine that within a week Wikileaks will produce those "missing e-mails". And later Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the next appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't fold when a Mafioso clan liked, and when caught red handed. that's why they instantly tried to change the subject deflecting attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, and focusing on possible links between email hack and Russiainstead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

atopic

I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.

Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.


Chanze Jennings -> atopic

The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

"Hillary as lesser evil" attack on Trump

Shills for Democratic Party try to present Hillary as lesser evil then Trump. But Hillary is a war criminal of a type that in the recent past went to Nuremberg tribunal and as such she represents absolute zero (much like Kelvin scale absolute zero in temperatures) of evilness of politicians. You just can't be more evil. She was instrumental in destroying three countries (Ukraine, Libya and Syria) and killing hundreds of thousand civilians by unleashing civil wars in those countries. Aggressive wars are simply, as Jackson said at Nurnberg, the supreme international crime. You can't go lower then this. The President does have primacy in foreign policy matter and from this point Hillary Clinton should scare an average US voter. But this is not the case because an average US voter sees the US aggressive wars as defensive. Is it fair to consider such US citizens as delusional? Or if they were merely massively and comprehensively brainwashed? Is the Trump Campaign smart enough to wage a 6 months campaign of counter-disinformation warfare? Is he and his team smart enough to "beat Hillary's teeth out of her mouth" on this topic? This is a very interesting question (sic_semper_tyrannis, July 29, 2016).

Jack said in reply to Old Microbiologist...

OM,

"delusional citizens in the US see our aggression as defensive".

This is what happens when citizens have been propagandized for so long. And folks are inherently lazy. They'll buy into whatever whoever they trust say. Do you recall the majority of Americans believed that Saddam had WMD and was in cahoots with AQ and supported the invasion where we would be treated as liberators?

The first time in the recent past there is any dissonance in public discourse has been with Trump.

This time it looks like this time the working class voters vowed to take their revenge at the polls. They now understand that they were taken for a ride by neocons and will never see promised by neoliberal propagandists "prosperity for all", only redistribution of wealth up at their expense. They were disgusted with the neoliberal transformation of the country during previous three administrations and, especially the most dishonest of them -- the king of "bait and switch", neoliberal in democrat cloth Obama, who betrays people who elected him twice in best Bill Clinton traditions. Who now wants to became a venture capitalist himself. Such a "change we can believe in" ;-).

If you did not see Trump Ad Hillary Clinton Crooked Warmonger (Youtube) I recommend you to watch it. It catches the main point: Stakes are too high to elect warmonger like Hillary Clinton

Attempt to court Jewish voters and thus Florida for Hillary

Hysteria about "Star of David" was probably one the most obnoxious demonstration of this trend. This start is commonly used on advertisements. So the ad just imitate advertisements. But they decide to make this about anti-Semitism. For example Trump deletes anti-Clinton corruption ad with Star of David The Times of Israel

Superimposed over piles of cash, presumptive GOP nominee uses Jewish star to attack his Democratic rival, scraps it after backlash

Leveling corruption accusations against rival presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted, then swiftly deleted, an image depicting the Democratic nominee next to a Star of David superimposed over piles of money.

Trump’s image of Clinton surrounded by $100 bills read: “Most corrupt Candidate Ever!” on a six pointed star, a common Jewish and Israeli symbol.

Hillary Clinton’s AIPAC speech was a symphony of craven, delusional pandering.

Here is the entirety of Clinton’s remarks about settlements: “Everyone has to do their part by avoiding damaging actions, including with respect to settlements. Now, America has an important role to play in supporting peace efforts. And as president, I would continue the pursuit of direct negotiations. And let me be clear—I would vigorously oppose any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the U.N. Security Council.”

She spent significantly more time railing against the “alarming” Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, which is gaining traction on college campuses nationwide. Pledging to “take our alliance to the next level,” Clinton said that one of the first things she’d do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister to the White House. That was a barely veiled rebuke to Obama, who never treated Benjamin Netanyahu with the deference the prime minister felt entitled to. Before the speech, some had hoped that Clinton might offer a word of solidarity or encouragement to beleaguered progressives in Israel. She gave them nothing.

It’s understandable that Clinton would want to widen the gulf between AIPAC and Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee. “We need steady hands, not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything is negotiable,” she said to applause, out-hawking the man who is running on a platform of Middle Eastern war crimes. In doing so, she offered a bridge to #NeverTrump neoconservatives like Max Boot and Robert Kagan, who has already written that, should Trump be the nominee, “the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”

Anti-Trump neoconservatives, however, are a minuscule group of people. And in seeking their approval, Clinton has further alienated left-wing voters, particularly young ones. Polls show that Americans under 30 are far more critical of Israel than are older voters. Liberal Democrats sympathize more with the Palestinians than they do with Israel. There is already deep suspicion of Clinton’s foreign-policy instincts among Bernie Sanders’ supporters; Clinton doesn’t need to give them new reasons to distrust her.

Foreign Phrase On Bill Clinton's Lapel Pin Sparks Speculation

Former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday was subject to inquiries about his pin shortly after he arrived to watch Vice President Joe Biden’s address. The Forward’s Nathan Guttman shared a Twitter photo of the blue and white pin, which sparked some discussion regarding its potential significance.

“I know it’s Hebrew,” one commenter wrote, “but I can’t make out the letters. Tovah?”

A short time later, a representative of the National Jewish Democratic Council offered some clarity. Steve Rabinowitz explained both he and NJDC Chairman Marc Stanley gave Clinton one of the pins prior to Wednesday evening’s scheduled events. The lapel embellishment reads “Hillary” in Hebrew.

“He said he’d wear it,” Rabinowitz recalled of his encounter with the former president, “but I didn’t know whether or not to believe him and certainly didn’t think he’d do it tonight.”

Bogus "war on woman" and misogyny accusations

If Trump is misogynic, Bill Clinton should be in jail. Now -- But neoliberal MSM would raise any false accusation to hurt candidate who competes with their beloved warmonger -- Hillary Clinton. Who happens to be a woman. So misogyny is a good attack tool against Trump and it is used to the fullest extent possible:

Trump Shushes Aggressive NBC Reporter Katy Tur, Media Flips Lid, Crying 'Sexism'

Every slight is sexist, racist, homophobic, you name it, in the eyes of liberals. Case in point, the media’s overblown response to Donald Trump shushing NBC reporter Katy Tur during Wednesday morning’s press conference. Journalists on Twitter were aghast that Trump dared to interrupt a relentless reporter, while MSNBC’s Tamron Hall likened the exchange to overt sexism, in the age of the first female presidential nominee.

During a press conference this morning, NBC’s Katy Tur, who had been asking multiple questions throughout, was shushed by Donald Trump at one point for continuing to press her question after he briefly answered it then shifted the focus to Hillary Clinton.

”Be quiet” he said mid-sentence to Tur as she kept repeating her question while he was still answering it. Social media blew up at this rather insignificant slight of an aggressive reporter and MSNBC’s Tamron Hall was no different, who got Tur on camera immediately at the press conference’s end on The Place for Poltiics.

Hall led by informing Tur of the “stunning” outrage on Twitter to Trump telling her to “be quiet” and insinuated this was a sign of sexism:

HALL: [B]ut on the day after we saw 102-year-old woman on the floor applaud the first female nominated to a major party, there you are being told to 'be quiet' by the nominee.

“I’m not asking you to make this personal,” Hall insisted repeatedly, (but isn’t that exactly why she brought Tur on?) before she asked her to comment on the question she asked Trump.

... ... ...

What always fails to get brought up is that Trump is universally brusque to reporters regardless of gender and for MSNBC to make this about gender is intellectually dishonest but proof that the “war on women” card is clearly still being utilized in this election.

Previous attack was atchificially inflaced and misrepresenrted remark about Megyn Kelly. Here is a pretty typical attack from POLITICO

Donald Trump cannot remember the last time he apologized.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday, Trump reiterated that he has no regrets about comments he has made early in his campaign that have generated significant backlash. From calling some immigrants coming into the country rapists, to saying Arizona Sen. John McCain was “ a war hero because he was captured,” to his unfinished remark that Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly had blood “coming out of her wherever,” Trump does not think he has anything for which he has to be sorry.

“People say, ‘He won’t apologize for anything’ — well, I was right on illegal immigration. McCain blew it because he’s done a poor job of taking care of the veterans. And then the third element so far, you had Megyn Kelly, and I think you’ve seen what happened with that,” Trump said. “I feel quite confident in my position.”

“At the same time,” he qualified, “I believe in apologizing. But to apologize for me is very difficult. I definitely would apologize if I were wrong on something.”

Asked to recall the last thing he apologized for, Trump said that “it was too many years ago to remember,” adding that he has “one of the great memories of all time, but it was too long ago.”

Trump domestic platform

Trump domestic platform is concentrated on creating jobs. The only other two areas were he has defined position is immigration and healthcare reform. In this sense Trump movement is somewhat similar to Peronism: hatred of elites combined with direct appeals to “the forgotten man,” “the silent majority” and “the moral majority”. Among them is Trump uncanny ability to bring broad sectors of US society into his political movement, using for uniting them anger against neoliberal globalization. He advocates restoration of social well being of the US middle class severely damaged during 40 years of neoliberal globalization.

Moreover Trump understands that the people of the USA are tired to pay the costs for maintaining the Global Neoliberal Empire:

It has some nationalist overtones ("Let's make America great again") but, contrary to MSM attempts to paint him black, without any racism, or nationalist bigotry (MSM now try to promote the idea that Trump is an anti-Semite, but this is clear baloney). Proposed by Trump restrictions on immigration are highly pragmatic and temporary in nature. Restriction again Muslim are partially dictated by the level of hate the current US foreign policy generates in Muslim world, so this is purely defensive measure.

Like Peron before him Trump stands far from religious fundamentalist. Peronism was based on three principles: social justice, political sovereignty and economic independence. You see the analogy. And they are actually deeper that just a fight against oligarchic financial capital (What is Peronism):

"... It was under Peron that a version of nationalized state capitalism, and an elimination of foreign investors was initiated in Argentina. He used nationalism, unlike his European counterparts, as a weapon of anti-imperialism. Peronism under Peron was Bonapartist in its manipulation of the social classes on behalf of industrializing an underdeveloped country and challenging dominant American imperialism. His style of leadership was one of a leader who took power in a power vacuum when no single class is in the position do so, and using reformist measures to win the radical support of the more populous class. ..."

"... Peron and Peronism also has to be viewed as a stage in the battle of Latin America for economic independence which is still yet to be achieved with at home the oligarchical structures still intact, and foreign manipulation in the country. ..."

Fight against illegal immigration as new abolitionism

One of the core parts of the Trump platform is restricting illegal (note the word "illegal" immigration. This is similar to fight against slavery (abolitionsm) in the past:

The movement gained new momentum in the early 19th century as many critics of slavery hardened their views and rejected their previous advocacy of gradualism (the slow and steady progress towards the goal of freedom for slaves) and colonization (finding land in Africa for former slaves). As the movement grew and became more formally organized, it sparked opposition in both the North and the South; Northern mill owhttp://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/11/19/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/ners depended upon slave-produced cotton every bit as much as the Southern plantation owners.

Similar any attempt to limit illegal immigration creates the same reaction of modern neoliberal "South" plantation owners -- economic insentive of using illegal immigrants labor are just too great. The current population of illegal immigrants is around 11 million in the USA or around 3.5% of population; Six states alone account for 60% of unauthorized immigrants — California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. Unauthorized immigrants make up 5.1% of the U.S. labor force. About 7% of K-12 students had at least one unauthorized immigrant parent in 2012 (pewresearch.org )

That's why neoliberal politicians talk about “immigration reform” they mean three things: amnesty, cheap labor and open borders. For example, the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill was nothing more than a giveaway to the corporate patrons who run both parties. And Trump caught some important features of this situation in his statement of the subject:

Real immigration reform puts the needs of working people first – not wealthy globetrotting donors. We are the only country in the world whose immigration system puts the needs of other nations ahead of our own. That must change. Here are the three core principles of real immigration reform:

  1. A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border.
  2. A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced.
  3. A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans.

Financial transfers from illegal immigrants abroad

His position on Mexico is concentrated on illegal immigration:

Compelling Mexico to Pay for the Wall

Introduction: The provision of the Patriot Act, Section 326 - the "know your customer" provision, compelling financial institutions to demand identity documents before opening accounts or conducting financial transactions is a fundamental element of the outline below. That section authorized the executive branch to issue detailed regulations on the subject, found at 31 CFR 130.120-121. It's an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year. There are several ways to compel Mexico to pay for the wall including the following:

Conclusion: Mexico has taken advantage of us in another way as well: gangs, drug traffickers and cartels have freely exploited our open borders and committed vast numbers of crimes inside the United States. The United States has borne the extraordinary daily cost of this criminal activity, including the cost of trials and incarcerations. Not to mention the even greater human cost. We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage. It is time we use it in order to Make America Great Again.

Healthcare reform

Trump position of healthcare report is based on increasing the role of states instead of federal goverment in providing the citizens with adequate healthcare protection. In other word decentralizing the healthcare to the state level:

Healthcare Reform to Make America Great Again

Since March of 2010, the American people have had to suffer under the incredible economic burden of the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare. This legislation, passed by totally partisan votes in the House and Senate and signed into law by the most divisive and partisan President in American history, has tragically but predictably resulted in runaway costs, websites that don’t work, greater rationing of care, higher premiums, less competition and fewer choices. Obamacare has raised the economic uncertainty of every single person residing in this country. As it appears Obamacare is certain to collapse of its own weight, the damage done by the Democrats and President Obama, and abetted by the Supreme Court, will be difficult to repair unless the next President and a Republican congress lead the effort to bring much-needed free market reforms to the healthcare industry.

But none of these positive reforms can be accomplished without Obamacare repeal. On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.

However, it is not enough to simply repeal this terrible legislation. We will work with Congress to make sure we have a series of reforms ready for implementation that follow free market principles and that will restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country. By following free market principles and working together to create sound public policy that will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans.

Any reform effort must begin with Congress. Since Obamacare became law, conservative Republicans have been offering reforms that can be delivered individually or as part of more comprehensive reform efforts. In the remaining sections of this policy paper, several reforms will be offered that should be considered by Congress so that on the first day of the Trump Administration, we can start the process of restoring faith in government and economic liberty to the people.

Congress must act. Our elected representatives in the House and Senate must:

  1. Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.
  2. Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.
  3. Allow individuals to fully deduct health insurance premium payments from their tax returns under the current tax system. Businesses are allowed to take these deductions so why wouldn’t Congress allow individuals the same exemptions? As we allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, we must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance. We must review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.
  4. Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate. These accounts would become part of the estate of the individual and could be passed on to heirs without fear of any death penalty. These plans should be particularly attractive to young people who are healthy and can afford high-deductible insurance plans. These funds can be used by any member of a family without penalty. The flexibility and security provided by HSAs will be of great benefit to all who participate.
  5. Require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and healthcare organizations like clinics and hospitals. Individuals should be able to shop to find the best prices for procedures, exams or any other medical-related procedure.
  6. Block-grant Medicaid to the states. Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure. The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead. States will have the incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources.
  7. Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America. Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.

The reforms outlined above will lower healthcare costs for all Americans. They are simply a place to start. There are other reforms that might be considered if they serve to lower costs, remove uncertainty and provide financial security for all Americans. And we must also take actions in other policy areas to lower healthcare costs and burdens. Enforcing immigration laws, eliminating fraud and waste and energizing the ecoomy will relieve the economic pressures felt by every American. It is the moral responsibility of a nation’s government to do what is best for the people and what is in the interest of securing the future of the nation.

Providing healthcare to illegal immigrants costs us some $11 billion annually. If we were to simply enforce the current immigration laws and restrict the unbridled granting of visas to this country, we could relieve healthcare cost pressures on state and local governments.

To reduce the number of individuals needing access to programs like Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program we will need to install programs that grow the economy and bring capital and jobs back to America. The best social program has always been a job – and taking care of our economy will go a long way towards reducing our dependence on public health programs.

Finally, we need to reform our mental health programs and institutions in this country. Families, without the ability to get the information needed to help those who are ailing, are too often not given the tools to help their loved ones. There are promising reforms being developed in Congress that should receive bi-partisan support.

To reform healthcare in America, we need a President who has the leadership skills, will and courage to engage the American people and convince Congress to do what is best for the country. These straightforward reforms, along with many others I have proposed throughout my campaign, will ensure that together we will Make America Great Again.

Here devil is in derails: while general premise about decentralization is a valid one, federal government have far larger negotiating power with pharmaceuticals and medical providers. which pay play states, especially small one, as they wish.

Tax reform

Donald Trump tax reform is impossible without dramatic cut of military expenditures. It also closes several loopholes for large corporations. As for elimination of death tax (which is a bad move) we need to remember that this tax is successfully bypassed by very rich right now via blind trusts and other schemes. Essentially only upper middle class is paying death tax now.

Too few Americans are working, too many jobs have been shipped overseas, and too many middle class families cannot make ends meet. This tax plan directly meets these challenges with four simple goals:

  1. Tax relief for middle class Americans: In order to achieve the American dream, let people keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages.
  2. Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and let everyone keep more of their money.
  3. Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
  4. Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.

The Trump Tax Plan Achieves These Goals

  1. If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000, you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% – from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, “I win,” those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.
  2. All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets – 0%, 10%, 20% and 25% – instead of the current seven. This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II.
  3. No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world.
  4. No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family, not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.

The Trump Tax Plan Is Revenue Neutral

The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

  1. Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.
  2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted 10% tax rate, followed by an end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.
  3. Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business interest expenses

Trump foreign policy platform

Trump rejects neocon platform of forcefully converting all states into neoliberal protectorates using color revolutions and brute military force. With the exception of Iran, which for some reason he hates so much, that he can risk a war with it, he speaks more like a paleoconservative. His focus in relations with China, while also hawkish in more about trade balance and "bringing jobs home" issues, not so much on military adventures (U.S.-China Trade Reform Donald J Trump for President):

How We Got Here: Washington Politicians Let China Off The Hook

In January 2000, President Bill Clinton boldly promised China’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization (WTO) “is a good deal for America. Our products will gain better access to China’s market, and every sector from agriculture, to telecommunications, to automobiles. But China gains no new market access to the United States.” None of what President Clinton promised came true. Since China joined the WTO, Americans have witnessed the closure of more than 50,000 factories and the loss of tens of millions of jobs. It was not a good deal for America then and it’s a bad deal now. It is a typical example of how politicians in Washington have failed our country.

The most important component of our China policy is leadership and strength at the negotiating table. We have been too afraid to protect and advance American interests and to challenge China to live up to its obligations. We need smart negotiators who will serve the interests of American workers – not Wall Street insiders that want to move U.S. manufacturing and investment offshore.

The Goal Of The Trump Plan: Fighting For American Businesses And Workers

America has always been a trading nation. Under the Trump administration trade will flourish. However, for free trade to bring prosperity to America, it must also be fair trade. Our goal is not protectionism but accountability. America fully opened its markets to China but China has not reciprocated. Its Great Wall of Protectionism uses unlawful tariff and non-tariff barriers to keep American companies out of China and to tilt the playing field in their favor.

If you give American workers a level playing field, they will win. At its heart, this plan is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China. The results will be huge for American businesses and workers. Jobs and factories will stop moving offshore and instead stay here at home. The economy will boom. The steps outlined in this plan will make that a reality.

When Donald J. Trump is president, China will be on notice that America is back in the global leadership business and that their days of currency manipulation and cheating are over. We will cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete.

The Trump Plan Will Achieve The Following Goals:

  1. Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.
  2. Protect American ingenuity and investment by forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors as a condition of entry to China’s market.
  3. Reclaim millions of American jobs and reviving American manufacturing by putting an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards. No more sweatshops or pollution havens stealing jobs from American workers.
  4. Strengthen our negotiating position by lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home, attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.

Details of Donald J. Trump’s US China Trade Plan:

Declare China A Currency Manipulator

We need a president who will not succumb to the financial blackmail of a Communist dictatorship. President Obama’s Treasury Department has repeatedly refused to brand China a currency manipulator – a move that would force China to stop these unfair practices or face tough countervailing duties that level the playing field.

Economists estimate the Chinese yuan is undervalued by anywhere from 15% to 40%. This grossly undervalued yuan gives Chinese exporters a huge advantage while imposing the equivalent of a heavy tariff on U.S. exports to China. Such currency manipulation, in concert with China’s other unfair practices, has resulted in chronic U.S. trade deficits, a severe weakening of the U.S. manufacturing base and the loss of tens of millions of American jobs.

In a system of truly free trade and floating exchange rates like a Trump administration would support, America's massive trade deficit with China would not persist. On day one of the Trump administration the U.S. Treasury Department will designate China as a currency manipulator. This will begin a process that imposes appropriate countervailing duties on artificially cheap Chinese products, defends U.S. manufacturers and workers, and revitalizes job growth in America. We must stand up to China’s blackmail and reject corporate America’s manipulation of our politicians. The U.S. Treasury’s designation of China as a currency manipulator will force China to the negotiating table and open the door to a fair – and far better – trading relationship.

End China’s Intellectual Property Violations

China’s ongoing theft of intellectual property may be the greatest transfer of wealth in history. This theft costs the U.S. over $300 billion and millions of jobs each year. China’s government ignores this rampant cybercrime and, in other cases, actively encourages or even sponsors it –without any real consequences. China’s cyber lawlessness threatens our prosperity, privacy and national security. We will enforce stronger protections against Chinese hackers and counterfeit goods and our responses to Chinese theft will be swift, robust, and unequivocal.

The Chinese government also forces American companies like Boeing, GE, and Intel to transfer proprietary technologies to Chinese competitors as a condition of entry into the Chinese market. Such de facto intellectual property theft represents a brazen violation of WTO and international rules. China’s forced technology transfer policy is absolutely ridiculous. Going forward, we will adopt a zero tolerance policy on intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. If China wants to trade with America, they must agree to stop stealing and to play by the rules.

Eliminate China’s Illegal Export Subsidies And Other Unfair Advantages

Chinese manufacturers and other exporters receive numerous illegal export subsidies from the Chinese government. These include - in direct contradiction to WTO rules - free or nearly free rent, utilities, raw materials, and many other services. China’s state-run banks routinely extend loans these enterprises at below market rates or without the expectation they will be repaid. China even offers them illegal tax breaks or rebates as well as cash bonuses to stimulate exports.

China’s illegal export subsidies intentionally distorts international trade and damages other countries’ exports by giving Chinese companies an unfair advantage. From textile and steel mills in the Carolinas to the Gulf Coast’s shrimp and fish industries to the Midwest manufacturing belt and California’s agribusiness, China’s disregard for WTO rules hurt every corner of America.

The U.S. Trade Representative recently filed yet another complaint with the WTO accusing China of cheating on our trade agreements by subsidizing its exports. The Trump administration will not wait for an international body to tell us what we already know. To gain negotiating leverage, we will pursue the WTO case and aggressively highlight and expose these subsidies.

China’s woeful lack of reasonable environmental and labor standards represent yet another form of unacceptable export subsidy. How can American manufacturers, who must meet very high standards, possibly compete with Chinese companies that care nothing about their workers or the environment? We will challenge China to join the 21 st Century when it comes to such standards.

The Trump Plan Will Strengthen Our Negotiating Position

As the world’s most important economy and consumer of goods, America must always negotiate trade agreements from strength. Branding China as a currency manipulator and exposing their unfair trade practices is not enough. In order to further strengthen our negotiating leverage, the Trump plan will:

  1. Lower the corporate tax rate to 15% to unleash American ingenuity here at home and make us more globally competitive. This tax cut puts our rate 10 percentage points below China and 20 points below our current burdensome rate that pushes companies and jobs offshore.
  2. Attack our debt and deficit by vigorously eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in the Federal government, ending redundant government programs, and growing the economy to increase tax revenues. Closing the deficit and reducing our debt will mean China cannot blackmail us with our own Treasury bonds.
  3. Strengthen the U.S. military and deploying it appropriately in the East and South China Seas. These actions will discourage Chinese adventurism that imperils American interests in Asia and shows our strength as we begin renegotiating our trading relationship with China. A strong military presence will be a clear signal to China and other nations in Asia and around the world that America is back in the global leadership business.

Here are some additional details from Russophobic Guardian presstitute Shawn Walker (The Guardian, July 7, 2016):

Page, an investment banker who previously worked in Russia, insisted he was in Russia on a private visit, although he is likely to meet Russian officials when he gives the commencement speech at the New Economic School in Moscow on Friday. He refused to comment on whether he had any meetings with officials planned.

... ... ...

Trump himself has has often praised the Russian leader during the campaign, saying in a December interview “he’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country”.

The presumptive Republican nominee has expressed his confidence that he would build a good relationship with the Russian president telling reporters last year: “I think I would get along very well with Vladimir Putin.”

He also defended the Russian leader against accusations that Putin has ordered the killing of journalists, telling ABC News “In all fairness to Putin, you’re saying he killed people. I haven’t seen that. I don’t know that he has. Have you been able to prove that? Do you know the names of the reporters that he’s killed? Because I’ve been – you know, you’ve been hearing this, but I haven’t seen the names,”

The announced topic of Page’s discussion was “the evolution of the world economy”, but much of it involved semi-coherent analysis of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

In passing, Page castigated the US for interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and pursuing "regime change" in former Soviet countries. He said Russia and the US could have better relations in future, but this would be “contingent upon US’s refocus toward resolution of domestic challenges”. However, when pressed on details he was evasive.

In March, Page told Bloomberg that his experience on the ground doing deals in Russia and Central Asia would make him better placed to give advice than “people from afar, sitting in the comfort of their think tanks in Washington”. It is unclear how close he is to Trump and how much weight his advice holds with the presidential candidate.

Page repeatedly emphasised that he was in Russia as a private citizen rather than as an emissary of Trump. However, it is connections with the presidential candidate which prompted the New Economic School to invite him to give their keynote annual speech. In previous years, the commencement speeches at the university have been given by high-profile figures, including Barack Obama in 2009.

In December, Putin referred to Trump as a “colourful” person who was the “absolute leader” of the US presidential race, comments which prompted Trump to respond in turn that he was flattered by the praise. “When people call you brilliant, it’s always good, especially when the person heads up Russia,” Trump said, adding incorrectly that Putin had called him a “genius”.

Last month, Putin clarified the comments, saying he had not endorsed Trump, but welcomed his stance on relations with Russia.

“Here’s where I will pay close attention, and where I exactly welcome and where on the contrary I don’t see anything bad: Mr Trump has declared that he’s ready for the full restoration of Russian-American relations. Is there anything bad there? We all welcome this, don’t you?”

Trump on free trade and victims of globalization

From Gaius Publius When Trump Talks Trade, Voters Listen naked capitalism

Before you read, though, take a moment to watch less than two minutes of Donald Trump above, from his victory speech after winning in Michigan and Mississippi. I’ve cued it up to start at the remarks I want to highlight, Trump discussing our trade deficit.

Now Thomas Frank, writing in The Guardian. He starts by noting the utter invisibility of real working Americans to our elite class, including our media elites, and especially our liberal media elites (my emphasis throughout):

Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here’s why

When he isn’t spewing insults, the Republican frontrunner is hammering home a powerful message about free trade and its victims

Let us now address the greatest American mystery at the moment: what motivates the supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump?

I call it a “mystery” because the working-class white people who make up the bulk of Trump’s fan base show up in amazing numbers for the candidate, filling stadiums and airport hangars, but their views, by and large, do not appear in our prestige newspapers. On their opinion pages, these publications take care to represent demographic categories of nearly every kind, but “blue-collar” is one they persistently overlook. The views of working-class people are so foreign to that universe that when New York Times columnist Nick Kristof wanted to “engage” a Trump supporter last week, he made one up, along with this imaginary person’s responses to his questions.

When members of the professional class wish to understand the working-class Other, they traditionally consult experts on the subject. And when these authorities are asked to explain the Trump movement, they always seem to zero in on one main accusation: bigotry. Only racism, they tell us, is capable of powering a movement like Trump’s, which is blowing through the inherited structure of the Republican party like a tornado through a cluster of McMansions.

The conclusion of these writers is this:

The Trump movement is a one-note phenomenon, a vast surge of race-hate. Its partisans are not only incomprehensible, they are not really worth comprehending.

And yet…

A lot of people are racists, including those not supporting Trump. But people have other concerns as well, especially working people. They are dying faster than they used to, from drugs and despair, and they fear for their jobs and their families, for very good reasons. This economy is failing them.

They also hate — and understand — “free trade.”

Trump Also Talks Trade

Donald Trump talks about more than just race and immigration. He talks about trade and the trade deficit, an issue that powered Bernie Sanders to his Michigan victory as well. From the New York Times:

Trade and Jobs Key to Victory for Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate had campaigned in Traverse City, Mich., in decades until Senator Bernie Sanders pulled up to the concert hall near the Sears store on Friday. Some 2,000 people mobbed him when he arrived, roaring in approval as he called the country’s trade policies, and Hillary Clinton’s support for them, “disastrous.”

“If the people of Michigan want to make a decision about which candidate stood with workers against corporate America and against these disastrous trade agreements, that candidate is Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Sanders said in Traverse City, about 250 miles north of Detroit.

Mr. Sanders pulled off a startling upset in Michigan on Tuesday by traveling to communities far from Detroit and by hammering Mrs. Clinton on an issue that resonated in this still-struggling state: her past support for trade deals that workers here believe robbed them of manufacturing jobs. Almost three-fifths of voters said that trade with other countries was more likely to take away jobs, according to exit polls by Edison Research, and those voters favored Mr. Sanders by a margin of more than 10 points.

There is no question — America’s billionaire-friendly, job-destroying trade policy is toxic — again, literally. That’s why Obama and his bipartisan “free trade” enablers in Congress have to pass TPP, if they can, in post-election lame duck session. TPP is also toxic to political careers, and only lame ducks and the recently-elected can vote for it.

Frank again on Trump:

Last week, I decided to watch several hours of Trump speeches for myself. I saw the man ramble and boast and threaten and even seem to gloat when protesters were ejected from the arenas in which he spoke. I was disgusted by these things, as I have been disgusted by Trump for 20 years. But I also noticed something surprising. In each of the speeches I watched, Trump spent a good part of his time talking about an entirely legitimate issue, one that could even be called left-wing.

Yes, Donald Trump talked about trade. In fact, to judge by how much time he spent talking about it, trade may be his single biggest concern – not white supremacy. Not even his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border, the issue that first won him political fame. He did it again during the debate on 3 March: asked about his political excommunication by Mitt Romney, he chose to pivot and talk about … trade.

It seems to obsess him: the destructive free-trade deals our leaders have made, the many companies that have moved their production facilities to other lands, the phone calls he will make to those companies’ CEOs in order to threaten them with steep tariffs unless they move back to the US.

On the subject more generally, Frank adds:

Trade is an issue that polarizes Americans by socio-economic status. To the professional class, which encompasses the vast majority of our media figures, economists, Washington officials and Democratic power brokers, what they call “free trade” is something so obviously good and noble it doesn’t require explanation or inquiry or even thought. Republican and Democratic leaders alike agree on this, and no amount of facts can move them from their Econ 101 dream.

To the remaining 80 or 90% of America, trade means something very different. There’s a video going around on the internet these days that shows a room full of workers at a Carrier air conditioning plant in Indiana being told by an officer of the company that the factory is being moved to Monterrey, Mexico and that they’re all going to lose their jobs.

As I watched it, I thought of all the arguments over trade that we’ve had in this country since the early 1990s, all the sweet words from our economists about the scientifically proven benevolence of free trade, all the ways in which our newspapers mock people who say that treaties like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement allow companies to move jobs to Mexico.

Well, here is a video of a company moving its jobs to Mexico, courtesy of Nafta. This is what it looks like. The Carrier executive talks in that familiar and highly professional HR language about the need to “stay competitive” and “the extremely price-sensitive marketplace.” A worker shouts “Fuck you!” at the executive. The executive asks people to please be quiet so he can “share” his “information”. His information about all of them losing their jobs.

Frank goes to greater length, and again, please click through. But you get the idea. This is what Trump is speaking to, whether he means what he says or not, and this is what his voters are responding to, whether they like his racism or not. After all, haven’t you, at least once, voted for someone with qualities you dislike because of policies you do like?

Whose Fault Is This? Both Parties, But Especially the Democratic Elites

One final point. Frank takes on the issue of responsibility:

Trump’s words articulate the populist backlash against liberalism that has been building slowly for decades … Yet still we cannot bring ourselves to look the thing in the eyes. We cannot admit that we liberals bear some [or most] of the blame for its emergence, for the frustration of the working-class millions, for their blighted cities and their downward spiraling lives. So much easier to scold them for their twisted racist souls, to close our eyes to the obvious reality of which Trump_vs_deep_state is just a crude and ugly expression: that neoliberalism has well and truly failed.

I am certain, if this comes up in a general election debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, she could very likely get her clock cleaned; not certainly, but certainly very likely. First, she can only equivocate, and Trump will have none of it. (Trump: “Let me understand. You were for this before you were against it? So … will you be for it again next year? I’m just trying to understand.”)

Second, this is a change election, Trump is one of only two change candidates in the race, and Clinton is not the other one.

Here’s that Carrier Air Conditioning “we’re moving to Mexico” video that Frank mentioned above. Take a look, but prepare to feel some pain as you watch:

Trump and Republican Establishment

All republican establishment candidates were neocons and die-in-the-wool neoliberals (neoconservative is just a neoliberal with the gun :-). This time this did not play well with Republican voters, who rejected them in favor of Trump. Hillary Clinton is now viewed as successor of Obama, who is the king of "bait and switch" hated by many. Both are closet "moderate Republicans", both are neocons. Actually Hillary is a staunch neocon. There is no war she did not like. May be this is an attempt of overcompensation for being a female, but this is a provable fact.

Especially humiliating was the defeat of Jeb Bush who represented old party establishment. After that the GOP establishment, confronted by an electorate that rejected its platform of interventionalist wars, neoliberal globalization and austerity was forced to bet of Ted Cruz, a man with grassroots strength in key early primary states (via his Tea Party links) but few friends in Washington. A man that they hated. That did not play well iether.

Trump chances vs Hillary Clinton

Trump really has chances against Hillary Clinton ( much less against less jingoistic candidate), because Democratic Party switched from New Deal ideology to neoliberalism under Bill Clinton and betrayed working class and large swat of working class (and probably more then 50% of members of unions) and even part of professional class squeezed by globalization. Democrat do no understand that they essentially pushed the voters to support Trump, making his victory to certain extent inevitable. They created Trump. Obama made a word "hope" a cruel joke and that means that people who have nowhere to go in Democratic Party suddenly looked at Trump and decided -- "f*ck" Obama and his successor Hillary. F*ck Democratic Party. I am voting against those bastards -- I'm voting for Trump. Union brass can't control how union members vote. The fact is that blue color workers are increasingly rejecting Democratic Party who became the party of upper professionals and financial oligarchy. They will voting for Trump. Also Obama proved to be weak, decietful president, which futher diminishes Hillary chances. After his very questionable second perm, during which he managed top betray his electorate several times (TPP was the last) to win election for Democrats is uphill battle. That gives Trump a chance. Professor Helmut Norpoth put thisa line of reasoning best in his article My model shows Donald Trump has an 87 percent chance of beating Hillary ClintonNewsday

My advice: Beware of pollsters bearing forecasts, especially anyone trying to peek into the future, especially those with money to bet.

Some 20 years ago, I constructed a formula, The Primary Model, that has predicted the winner of the popular vote in all five presidential elections since it was introduced. It is based on elections dating to 1912. The formula was wrong only once: The 1960 election. That one hurt because John F. Kennedy was my preferred candidate.

The Primary Model consists of two ingredients: The swing of the electoral pendulum, and the outcomes of primaries.

You can see the pendulum work with the naked eye. After two terms in office, the presidential party in power loses more often than not. In fact, over the past 65 years, it managed to win a third term only once. In 1988, President George H.W. Bush extended Ronald Reagan’s presidency by one more term. Reagan made this possible by winning re-election by a bigger margin than when he first got elected. That spells continuity, a desire for more of the same.

President Barack Obama has not left such a legacy for a Democratic successor. He did worse in his re-election victory over Mitt Romney in 2012 than when he beat John McCain in 2008. That spells, “It’s Time for a Change!” The pendulum points to the GOP in 2016, no matter whether the candidate was named Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich or whoever.

Now add the outcomes of presidential primaries. Although some experts claim primary votes have no bearing on general elections, the fact is that primaries prove uncanny in forecasting the winner in November. Take the first election with a significant number of primaries, in 1912. In November that year, Woodrow Wilson, the winner in Democratic primaries, defeated William Howard Taft, the loser in Republican primaries; Taft was renominated since most states then did not use primaries. In general, the party with the stronger primary candidate wins the general election.

This year, Trump has wound up as the stronger of the two presidential nominees. He won many more primaries than did Clinton. In fact, this was apparent as early as early March. Trump handily won the first two primaries, New Hampshire and South Carolina, while Clinton badly lost New Hampshire to Sen. Bernie Sanders before beating him in South Carolina.

The Primary Model predicts that Trump will defeat Clinton with 87 percent certainty. He is the candidate of change. When voters demand change, they are willing to overlook many foibles of the change candidate. At the same time, the candidate who touts experience will get more intense scrutiny for any missteps and suspicions of misconduct of the record of experience.

Trump may be lucky to have picked an election in which change trumps experience and experience may prove to be a mixed blessing.

Helmut Norpoth is the director of undergraduate studies and political science professor at Stony Brook University.

At the same time neoliberals and neocons are still strong. And they have a lot to lose. There is a very powerful neocon strata in Washington DC -- the people who are essentially unregistered lobbyists for military industrial complex. They totally control DNC. So they can resort to dirty tricks.

So they have a position to put a good fight. Moreover, for Hillary personally, losing might well mean getting prison term. And for Obama this turn does not look too promising as well. He has some skeletons in the closet that Hillary will not touch but Trump might. And fear is a powerful motivating factor.

In any case election politics in America is a dirty business. The winners are the ones who play the rigged game best, who have the biggest financial backers, who are willing to do the bidding for those corporate masters. Hillary Clinton is not the peace president. She’s a militarist and hawk and never met a war she didn’t like. So she has full support of militry industrila complex (neocons are just salesmen of this complex; poor reformed Trotskyites losr any decency). Neocons are pushing the memo that Donald Trump is unqualified, Donald Trump is scary, Donald Trump is unstable, Donald Trump is crazy narrative hard. Despite the long list of Donald defects, the American electorate still likes what Trump is selling. The way that the Russia-Trump storyline has been pounded into our consciousness by the media and the Democratic Party, including at the convention in prime time, is a calculated effort to take our eye off the ball and is a classic “shoot the messenger” tactic.

This time there are issues with Hillary Clinton as a prototypical Democratic establishment candidate. She is quintessential neoliberal, like in case of Bill clinton neoliberalism in her veins. She can't change this, even if she want. She is totally brainwashed with neoliberalism, much like some bolshevisks in the past were brainwashed with Communist ideology. Since Bill Clinton such candidates attract Democratic voters because they have nobody else to vote for. Actually this was an idea of sell-out of Democratic Party to Wall Street accomplished by Bill Clinton. But this time is different. Probably half of votes for Sanders in primaries would never vote for Hillary. All she can count on are Republican votes who oppose Trump. But with her emailgate scandal she is losing them. If she lose her security clearness, or worse will face criminal changes for perjury, that will be a knockdown .

Now most Democratic voters understand that she will betrays them like Obama so successfully did during his two terms in the office. And that will happen during the first minute she is in office. So they are more inclined to vote for the third party candidate, such as Jill Stein, or can "write-in" Sanders. There are also three scandals that hurt her chances in November (although MSM tries to downplay them):

And the level of hate toward Hillary Clinton reflects the understanding of voters that she, as the establishment candidate, who symbolizes the neoliberal status quo. It's really funny that neoliberal MSM can't play the "corruption" card against Trump: it is extremely difficult to match Clintons in corruption.

Another problem for neoliberal MSM is the Dems elite corruption is much larger than just Clinton, or Debbie Wasserman Schultz. At the heart of the matter is a political party that is undemocratic and corrupt to the core – one that answers only to Wall Street, not middle class or God forbid, working people as any real Democrats should do. It's the second most pro-neoliberal party in the world, after the Republican Party. For all practical purposes is a moderate faction of the Republican Party.

Hillary Clinton stands to the right of Eisenhower Republicans in all major policy areas. Bill Clinton was a staunch neoliberal who "triangulated" (read sold) his presidency to Wall Street and deregulated the economy, empowering the financial oligarchy. He had demolished Aid to Families With Dependent Children and bought into the bash-the-poor rhetoric of the right wing. He had passed a crime bill that targeted people of color; he had destroyed FDR's New Deal legacy, notably by abolishing the Glass-Steagall Act. And he was so "tough on crime" that during the 1992 presidential campaign season, he had gone back to his home state of Arkansas to witness the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, who was "mentally deficient." Bill Clinton might not have inhaled marijuana, but he certainly had inhaled the neoliberal ideology. Hillary is the same, but in addition is a notable, pathological war hawk. Which strangely enough is a feature of all three last female Secretaries of State stating from Madeleine Albright. It would be a huge challenge to find more jingoistic women then this troika. Talk about "unnatural selection" here :-).

In comparison with her Donald Trump looks like a real statesman, who understands that "war is a racket and always was". Obomber bombed 7 countries during his presidency so those who are afraid of Trump as a president should understand that is difficult to match Obomber record. As Jill Stain said

"Trump says very scary things—deporting immigrants, massive militarism and, you know, ignoring the climate," Stein explained on Democracy Now. "Well, Hillary, unfortunately, has a track record for doing all of those things. Hillary has supported the deportations of immigrants, opposed the refugees—women and children coming from Honduras, whose refugee crisis she was very much responsible for by giving a thumbs-up to this corporate coup in Honduras that has created the violence from which those refugees are fleeing. She basically said, 'No, bar the gates, send them back.' You know, so we see these draconian things that Donald Trump is talking about, we actually see Hillary Clinton doing."

Stein also brought up Clinton's militarism. "And it's not only the militarism that Trump talks about, it's Hillary's massive record of militarism," she continued. Obama made the mistake of intervening in Libya, but in a recent interview with The Atlantic, he admitted, "It didn't work," and "Libya is a mess." Clinton, however, has never expressed second thoughts. (Why Is Hillary Clinton Still a Hawk - Reason.com )

During his recent visit to Chicago, I asked Landler about her ability to confront the possibility she was wrong.

"I don't find the same evidence of a learning curve with her," he said. "I would have liked to see a little more introspection from her on that, because I think that's the key case where she led the charge, it didn't go the way they hoped it would and there are some really important lessons to be drawn."

In that instance, she apparently didn't learn from our failed military intervention. If she becomes president, I'm guessing, she'll get another chance.

We should try our best not be victims of neoliberal MSM propaganda campaign aimed to discourage voting for Trump and for the third party.

No matter how Democratic Party loyalists try to spin it, the blame for a Trump win will fall on the corrupt Democratic Party establishment. It is no accident that the vast majority of Super-delegates have steadfastly stood by Hillary, warts and all.

Trump meme "Crooked Hillary" -- a powerful play on general distrust of Hillary Clinton Candidacy

American voters don’t trust Hillary Clinton. Trump meme "crooked Hillary is a powerul mem that suggest that Clinton is unelectable. 53.8% of all American voters have an “unfavorable” view of Hillary Clinton. 67% of American voters find Hillary Clinton “not honest and not trustworthy,” compared with 59% for Donald Trump. Yes, more people trust Donald Trump.

After all, it’s difficult to trust a politician who completely fabricated a story about being fired upon by snipers. Like POLITIFACT states, “it’s hard to understand how she could err on something so significant as whether she did or didn’t dodge sniper bullets.”

Attempts to lure Sanders supporters71% of men and 64% of women find Clinton “not honest and trustworthy.”

Trump attempts to lure Sanders supporters

Most Sanders supporters approve foreign policy program of Donald Trump (non interventionism) and agree of some issues of domestic policy (job creation, the necessity to limit transnationals corporation and treaties like TPP that Obama pushes so hard). On other issue they are not close. Still they are united by their rejection of establishment and the establishment candidate Hillary Clinton.

Trump brilliantly played the betrayal of Bernie Sunders of his supporters with just a single Tweet, which is worth a dozen of prime time commercials: Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs

Bernie Sanders endorsing Crooked Hillary Clinton is like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs -- Donald Trump

Trump also tried to lure former Sanders backers during his address to the GOP convention, emphasizing his anti-establishment stance and his questioning of free trade deals. that can sure some Democrats who are unhappy with Clinton and, especially, Kaine, a staunch supporter of neoliberal globalization who is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

"The Bernie Sanders supporters are furious with the choice of Tim Kaine, who represents the opposite of what Bernie stands for," Trump tweeted. "Tim Kaine is, and always has been, owned by the banks," he wrote, taunting, "Philly fight?"


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Apr 22, 2018] The Final Nail in the Russian Collusion Conspiracy Theory Coffin Comes at a Price by by Nathan McDonald

In no way MSM will drop "Russiagate" theme. They are way too invested in it. Douma attack changes nothing at all, contary to the author claims.
Notable quotes:
"... the Russian Conspiracy Theory -- rammed down the throats of everyone around the globe since Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States -- has finally been laid to rest. ..."
"... Russia may or may not act, but it is rather unlikely that they will -- at least in the short term -- as the full combined might of the West is still an overwhelming force that no one nation can contend with. Russia knows this, and they are not stupid. But this is not to say that things cannot, nor will not, change in the future. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the chatter of Russian collusion, via the corrupt and dying MSM has petered out, as even those suffering from an extreme case of brainwashing find it hard to comprehend how a puppet can so easily slap its master across the face and get away with it. ..."
"... If President Trump was truly a puppet of Vladimir Putin -- or at least once was -- then parties in the know would have promptly released the evidence, destroying Trump in the process. The reason why it hasn't happened is simply because the evidence doesn't exist. ..."
"... Hilariously, it is the MSM who cry wolf about fake news and conspiracy theories, while at the same time, pushing their own half-truths, fake news and conspiracy theories. ..."
"... It is sad to see how far the "guardians of the truth" have fallen and how decadent the MSM has become. They are so greedy and corrupt that they have pushed us towards a path that places the West on the precipice of war with a global, nuclear power. ..."
"... The Demorats need impeachment to fire up their base and get their cash. They filed a lawsuit to generate propaganda points for the MSM to wallow in. ..."
"... The Main Stain Media are still pushing the Russia Narrative every chance they get, as a side show now, a little jab here a little jab there not really attached to anything. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Written by Nathan McDonald, Sprott Money News

Well, it came at a risk. It came at a gamble.

But the Russian Conspiracy Theory -- rammed down the throats of everyone around the globe since Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States -- has finally been laid to rest.

With a resounding boom as the missiles landed in Syria, the hopes and dreams of the MSM proving that President Trump is simply a Russian puppet were shattered in one swift tactical strike.These strikes came at a great risk, as they hit key Syrian assets -- assets that President Putin and his Russian forces vowed to protect. Acting together with its joint allies , Britain and France, the United States struck out against Syria for what the Western Intelligence community claims were chemical attacks against the Syrian civilian population, orchestrated by its own government.

Whether or not these claims are true is debatable (and highly suspect) but regardless, the chips have fallen, and we are now in a precarious position as the West once again plunges itself, ham-fisted, back into the cold war era.

Russian leaders have vowed that there will be consequences for these acts against an ally they have sworn to protect. Yet to this date, no retaliation has seemed to occur.

Russia may or may not act, but it is rather unlikely that they will -- at least in the short term -- as the full combined might of the West is still an overwhelming force that no one nation can contend with. Russia knows this, and they are not stupid. But this is not to say that things cannot, nor will not, change in the future.

Still, this has come at a cost. Russia has once again been forced into further isolation, as its Western peers condemn their actions and threaten them with even more trade sanctions. Pushed to the point of desperation, who knows what actions they will take in the coming years?

Meanwhile, the chatter of Russian collusion, via the corrupt and dying MSM has petered out, as even those suffering from an extreme case of brainwashing find it hard to comprehend how a puppet can so easily slap its master across the face and get away with it.

If President Trump was truly a puppet of Vladimir Putin -- or at least once was -- then parties in the know would have promptly released the evidence, destroying Trump in the process. The reason why it hasn't happened is simply because the evidence doesn't exist.

Hilariously, it is the MSM who cry wolf about fake news and conspiracy theories, while at the same time, pushing their own half-truths, fake news and conspiracy theories.

It is sad to see how far the "guardians of the truth" have fallen and how decadent the MSM has become. They are so greedy and corrupt that they have pushed us towards a path that places the West on the precipice of war with a global, nuclear power.

The final nail in the Russian collusion coffin has been put in place, but at what cost?

Only time will tell.

Itinerant -> New_Meat • Sat, 04/21/2018 - 18:51 Permalink

A dumb article: The Russians have not vowed anything. As Lavrov has stated publicly, "there will be consequences" is a factual observation, not a vow to revenge anything. Revenge does not help. It is not the way Putin thinks -- Putin thinks in terms of interests and the trade off between risks/costs and benefits.

Arctic Frost -> Frilton Miedman • Sun, 04/22/2018 - 11:28 Permalink

"With 4 indictments, 2 guilty pleas, not sure how anyone thinks it's over. AS for the Syria attack. . . "

Four indictments that have NOTHING to do with Trump colluding with Russia and are SOLEY upon the people indicted. Two guilty pleas for "lying" which your side is advocating that lying is no longer an issue we should care about.

AS FOR SYRIA: Interesting you put the Syria strike on Putin when it was obviously led by Britain and France or are we now to believe they along with Trump are Putin puppets too? However, you do seem to be FINALLY admitting your "NGO"'s are nothing but state sponsored shams intent on manipulating the world wide masses to believe their propaganda. After all it was YOUR people who claimed there was a supposed chemical attack and demanded retaliation.

Keep spinning in circles, as the dog who chases his tail is in a world all of his own making.

Reaper • Sat, 04/21/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

BS. The neo-cons know the strike was deliberately ineffective. The Demorats need impeachment to fire up their base and get their cash. They filed a lawsuit to generate propaganda points for the MSM to wallow in.

JailBanksters • Sat, 04/21/2018 - 09:59 Permalink

The Main Stain Media are still pushing the Russia Narrative every chance they get, as a side show now, a little jab here a little jab there not really attached to anything.

We haven't seen anything like this since the Russians were accused of hacking the Federal Election, over to you Bob.

Well that's right Jim, and now for something completely different.

Written by Nathan McDonald, Sprott Money News

[Apr 06, 2018] It is now beyond any reasonable doubt that the claims of the Conservative government of Theresa May charging Russia with responsibility for the poisoning of the Skripals are fabrications

After the Skripal affair, is any more proof required that nothingin neoliberal MSM can be taken at face value? Looks like their motto is "if at first you don't succeed, lie, lie again."
Notable quotes:
"... So politically devastating is the exposure of Britain's lies that yesterday the Foreign Office deleted a text it sent out on March 22 declaring that the "analysis by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down made clear that this was a military-grade novichok nerve agent produced in Russia." ..."
"... The emergency session of the OPCW called at Russia's request received no answers to the serious questions Moscow insisted Britain had to address. Instead, the UK's representative said Russia could not take part in a joint investigation with Britain into the Skripal affair, as it was "a likely perpetrator." This was given unqualified backing by an EU spokesperson, who demanded that Russia respond to the UK's "legitimate questions" about its alleged continued production of novichoks. ..."
"... No less implicated in this criminal affair is the corporate media, especially the New York Times, which has spent the past month disseminating the raw propaganda issued by London and Washington and baying for Moscow's punishment. At no point did the Times raise a single question about the reliability of the claims of the May government. And now its response to the refutation of the lies is to ignore and bury Aitkenhead's statement. The role of the corporate media in the Skripal provocation confirms the political purpose of the hysterical campaign it has been leading against "fake news," and its insistence that social media be regulated, restricted and monitored. ..."
Apr 05, 2018 | www.wsws.org
The lies of the imperialist powers over the Skripal affair unravel by Robert Stevens

... ... ...

On Tuesday, Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the UK's chemical weapons facility, the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, told Sky News that scientists had "not verified the precise source" of the material used in the attack in Salisbury on March 4. Aitkenhead's statement came on the eve of the convening at Moscow's request of the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) at The Hague, which would have exposed the UK government's case. But this resort to damage control only underscores the monstrous hoax perpetrated by the British and American governments and their European allies.

May told parliament on March 12 that Porton Down was "absolutely categorical" that the "nerve agent" used on the Skripals had come from Russia. "Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at Porton Down," she said, "the government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible" for an "attempted murder" on British soil.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle on March 20 that "the people from Porton Down" were "absolutely categorical" that the source of the nerve agent used against the Skripals was Russia. "I asked the guy myself," he said, "and he said 'there's no doubt.'"

So politically devastating is the exposure of Britain's lies that yesterday the Foreign Office deleted a text it sent out on March 22 declaring that the "analysis by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down made clear that this was a military-grade novichok nerve agent produced in Russia."

... ... ...

The emergency session of the OPCW called at Russia's request received no answers to the serious questions Moscow insisted Britain had to address. Instead, the UK's representative said Russia could not take part in a joint investigation with Britain into the Skripal affair, as it was "a likely perpetrator." This was given unqualified backing by an EU spokesperson, who demanded that Russia respond to the UK's "legitimate questions" about its alleged continued production of novichoks.

No less implicated in this criminal affair is the corporate media, especially the New York Times, which has spent the past month disseminating the raw propaganda issued by London and Washington and baying for Moscow's punishment. At no point did the Times raise a single question about the reliability of the claims of the May government. And now its response to the refutation of the lies is to ignore and bury Aitkenhead's statement. The role of the corporate media in the Skripal provocation confirms the political purpose of the hysterical campaign it has been leading against "fake news," and its insistence that social media be regulated, restricted and monitored.

... ... ...

[Apr 04, 2018] Russia Denied Request To Join OPCW Investigation Into Skripal Poisoning

Looks like projection but in reality this is a false flag. Projection implies an unawareness of one's own self. They know they did it.
The UK government has effectively repudiated the OPCW treaty by refusing to follow the reporting and investigation procedures set out in the treaty.
Apr 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Fifteen countries voted against Russia's bid, while six voted for it and 17 abstained.

"Unfortunately, we haven't been able to have two-thirds of the votes in support of that decision. A qualified majority was needed," Russian ambassador Alexander Shulgin told reporters, adding " Russia as well as other states that are members of the Executive Committee have been pushed aside from this investigation ."

UK's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson brushed aside Russia's request, calling it a "ludicrous proposal" designed to "undermine" the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) investigation.

"Russia has had one goal in mind since the attempted murders on UK soil through the use of a military-grade chemical weapon - to obscure the truth and confuse the public," Johnson said. " The international community has yet again seen through these tactics and robustly defeated Russia's attempts today to derail the proper international process ." Johnson also said that "none of us have forgotten" about the "barbaric" chemical weapons attack in Syria a year ago.

"After the OPCW-UN investigation found that the Syrian regime was responsible, Russia blocked that body from doing any more work," he said.

Russia wants to discuss a letter sent by UK Prime Minister Theresa May to the UN Security Council which says it's "highly likely" that Moscow was behind last month's nerve agent attack.

Meanwhile , as we reported yesterday , the chief scientist from the UK's Porton Down military laboratory facility, Gary Aitkenhead, told Sky News that they had been unable to prove that the novichok nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal came from Russia.

"We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify that it was military-grade nerve agent," Aitkenhead said. " We have not identified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific info to government who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions you have come to. "

**PAGING COLIN POWELL. IS THERE A MR. POWELL IN THE BUILDING?**

The Porton Down chief scientist said that establishing the Novichok's origin required "other inputs," some of which are intelligence based and which only the government has access to.

Aitkenhead added: " It is our job to provide the scientific evidence of what this particular nerve agent is, we identified that it is from this particular family and that it is a military grade, but it is not our job to say where it was manufactured ."

So whose job is it to determine where the Novichok was manufactured?

That said, it was also noted that the nerve agent involved required "extremely sophisticated methods to create, something only in the capabilities of a state actor," and that there is no known antidote to Novichok - nor was any administered to either of the Skripals.

Aitkenhead would not say whether the Porton Down facility had manufactured or maintained stocks of Novichok - long rumored to be the case.

" There is no way anything like that could have come from us or left the four walls of our facility ," said the chief.

Boris Johnson has come under fire since the Porton Down chief's statement, as Johnson lied, saying in an interview two weeks ago that Porton Down officials told him there was "no doubt" that the nerge agent came from Russia .

The Foreign Office told Sky News that Johnson "misspoke," which is apparently UK officialspeak for "he totally lied, but nobody will hold him accountable for it."

Perhaps Johnson "misspoke" in his rush to locate a hairbrush?


Sy Kloine Bee Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:02 Permalink

Nobody believes them anymore, and they know it. They just lie because they have to tell you something.

Got The Wrong No -> Sy Kloine Bee Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:07 Permalink

The British version of the Mueller investigation

Lost in translation -> Got The Wrong No Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:09 Permalink

Russia should wash its hands of OPCW - quit and never return.

Slack Jack -> Pol Pot Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:31 Permalink

The evil people, Theresa May, Stoltenberg, Trump and the rest, are damming Russia with obvious lies.

The Novichok nerve agents probably don't even exist.

HERE IS THE PROOF:

The Novichok nerve agents are supposedly much more toxic than the nerve gases VX or Sarin.

Mirzayanov's book, published in 2008, contains the formulas he alleges can be used to create Novichoks. In 1995, he explained that "the chemical components or precursors" of Novichok are "ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides."

https://www.amazon.com/State-Secrets-Insiders-Chronicle-Chemical/dp/143

Basically, Mirzayanov claims that it is relatively easy to make the Novichok nerve agents.

So, some enterprising Arabs could buy a few chemists to make a few tons of it and then spray it all over the little Satan.

Do you really think that the Jews who run the United States would allow the publication of information that could lead to thousands of deaths in Israel?

Do you really think they would protect the publisher of such information by giving him residence in the United States?

Remember, Mirzayanov was given residence in the United States after he was kicked out of Russia.

There are also a number of "people who should know" that have stated that there is zero solid evidence for the existence of the Novichok nerve agents. For example: Robin Black in Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents (2016):

"In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, 'Novichoks' (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the 'Foliant' programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published."

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/the-novichok-story-is-i

And, Alexander Shulgin, Russia's representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (2018):

"There has never been a 'Novichok' research project conducted in Russia,... But in the West, some countries carried out such research, which they called 'Novichok,' for some reason."

CONCLUSION: The Novichok nerve agents don't even exist.

philipat -> EuroPox Wed, 04/04/2018 - 19:45 Permalink

The use of the "projection" technique (essentially accusing your opponents of doing the very things you yourself are doing) in official circles has become widespread. It's biggest proponent is, of course, Shitlery who, as an example, recently accused Trump of using his position to enrich himself and his family (Um....?). Now BoJo has the chutzpah to accuse Russia of obfuscation and lies. Same technique. Specifically:

" Russia has had one goal in mind since the attempted murders on UK soil through the use of a military-grade chemical weapon - to obscure the truth and confuse the public," Johnson said. " The international community has yet again seen through these tactics and robustly defeated Russia's attempts today to derail the proper international process ."

And, of course, psychopaths actually believe their projections which allows them to speak with a straight face. And the MSM, naturally, just blindly "reports" what they say. The internet is the only source of real information and the true investigative journalism of any integrity. Which is, of course, why they are trying so hard to censor and close the sources of truth.

Killdo -> philipat Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:22 Permalink

you can see here their modus operandi - one of the first NSA leaks by Snowden/Greenwald. There is a slide there called the Gambits For Deception - all the tricks are there - how to never admit when caught lying, how to cover the small move by the big one - basically all the BS this fat ugly clown is using are there:

https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

scroll down and look for slides from 5 Eye meetings

JohnFrodo -> philipat Wed, 04/04/2018 - 20:24 Permalink

projection is everything. America banned the Huwawie Chinese cell phone because they thought it was a threat. What are all those Apples in China? Not even to speak about domestic use.

[Mar 27, 2018] The Stormy Daniels scandal Political warfare in Washington hits a new low by Patrick Martin

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Celebrity Apprentice ..."
"... National Enquirer ..."
Mar 27, 2018 | www.wsws.org

The "60 Minutes" broadcast on Sunday night, devoted to rehashing allegations of sexual impropriety and bullying against Donald Trump, marked a new level of degradation for the US political system. For nearly half an hour, an audience of 23 million people tuned in to a discussion of a brief sexual encounter between Trump and adult film star Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) in 2006.

Trump was then a near-bankrupt real estate and casino mogul, best known for reinventing himself as a television personality. By her account, the proffer of a possible guest appearance on Celebrity Apprentice was the only attraction the 60-year-old Trump had for Daniels, then 27. Trump made promises, but as usual did not deliver.

Earlier in the week, the same interviewer, Anderson Cooper, appearing on CNN instead of CBS, held an hour-long discussion with Karen McDougal, a former Playboy magazine centerfold, who described a year-long relationship with Trump, also in 2006, the year after his marriage to Melania Knauss.

White House officials flatly denied both accounts, but Trump himself has been conspicuously and unusually silent, even on Twitter. His lawyers filed papers with a Los Angeles court, in advance of the "60 Minutes" broadcast, claiming that Daniels was in violation of a confidentiality agreement and could be liable for damages of up to $20 million.

Last Tuesday, a New York state judge turned down a motion by lawyers acting for Trump and refused to dismiss the lawsuit for defamation brought against him by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on another Trump "reality" show, The Apprentice . One of nearly a dozen women who made public charges of sexual harassment against Trump during the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, Zervos alone has sued Trump over his repeated public claims that the women were all liars.

There is little doubt that the accounts by Zervos, McDougal and Daniels are substantially true. Trump has already demonstrated this by attempting to suppress their stories, either through legal action or by purchasing their silence, directly or indirectly. A Trump ally, David Pecker, owner of the National Enquirer tabloid, bought the rights to McDougal's account of her relationship with Trump in 2016 for $150,000, in order not to publish it. Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, admitted last month that he had paid $130,000 to Daniels in October 2016, only weeks before the election, to guarantee her silence.

The bullying tactics of Cohen and other Trump allies add credibility to the claim by Daniels, during her "60 Minutes" interview, that a thug, presumably sent by Cohen, had threatened her with violence in 2011, when she first sought to sell her story about Trump to the media. Daniels offered no evidence to back her claim, but her attorney Michael Avenatti dropped broad hints that Daniels would be able to corroborate much of her account.

Cohen may himself face some legal jeopardy due to his public declaration that he paid Daniels out of his own funds. Given the proximity of the payment to the election, this could well be construed as a cash contribution to the Trump campaign far beyond the $3,500 legal limit for an individual.

The Zervos suit, however, may present the most immediate legal threat, since the next step, after New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer G. Schecter rejected Trump's claim that he has presidential immunity, is to take discovery. In other words, Trump and his closest aides could be required to give sworn depositions about his actions in relation to Zervos and many of the other women.

Justice Schecter cited the precedent of the Paula Jones case against President Bill Clinton, in which the US Supreme Court held that a US president had no immunity from lawsuits over his private actions. While cloaked in democratic rhetoric at the time ("No one is above the law"), that decision actually gave a green light to an anti-democratic conspiracy by ultra-right forces who used the Jones lawsuit to trap Clinton into lying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

Unlike the 1998-1999 conflict over impeachment, there is no issue of democratic rights involved in the sexual allegations against Trump. Some of the same legal tactics (using sworn depositions to set a perjury trap), are being employed as weapons in an increasingly bitter conflict within the US ruling elite, in which both factions are equally reactionary.

Trump is a representative of the underworld of real estate, casino gambling and reality television, elevated to the presidency because he had the good fortune to run against a deeply unpopular and reactionary shill for Wall Street and the military-intelligence agencies, Hillary Clinton. Under conditions of mounting discontent among working people with the Democratic Party, after eight years of the Obama administration, Trump was able to eke out a narrow victory in the Electoral College.

The Democratic "opposition" to Trump is focused not on his vicious attacks on immigrants, his promotion of racist and neo-fascist elements, his deregulation of business and passage of the biggest tax cut for the wealthy in decades, or his increasingly violent and unhinged foreign policy pronouncements. The Democrats have sought to attack Trump from the right, particularly on the question of US-Russian relations, making use of the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections, headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Trump has sought to mollify his critics within the US national security establishment with measures such as a more aggressive US intervention in Syria, the elevation of Gina Haspel, the CIA's chief torturer, to head the agency, and, most recently, the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats as part a NATO-wide campaign aimed at whipping up a war fever against Moscow.

As Trump has made concessions on foreign policy, his opponents have shifted their ground, attacking his behavior towards women. They have sought to link these exposures with the broader #MeToo campaign, which is aimed at creating a witch-hunt atmosphere in Hollywood, the US political system, and more generally throughout American society, in which gender issues are brought forward to conceal and suppress more fundamental class questions.

In both the Russia investigation and now the allegations of sexual misconduct, the Democrats have sought to hide their real political agenda, which is just as reactionary and dangerous as that of Trump and the Republicans. While Trump is pushing towards war with North Korea or Iran, and behind them China, the Democrats and their allies in the national security apparatus seek to maintain the focus on Russia that was developed during the second term of the Obama administration, particularly in Syria, Ukraine and Eastern Europe as a whole, posing the danger of a war between the world's two main nuclear powers.

Beyond the immediate foreign policy issues, the whipping up of sexual scandals is invariably a hallmark of reactionary politics. Such methods appeal to social backwardness, Puritanical prejudices or prurient interest. They contribute nothing to the political education of working people and youth, who must come to understand the fundamental class forces underlying all political phenomena. The political basis for a struggle against Trump is not in designating him as a sexual predator, but in understanding his class role as a front man for the American financial oligarchy, which treats the entire working class, including the female half, as objects of exploitation.

[Mar 26, 2018] US expulsion of Russian diplomats is declaration of war by George Galloway

Notable quotes:
"... "vassal states," ..."
"... made a fairly desultory expulsion of a diplomat or two or three, but the United States' act is a kind of declaration of war, all the more surprising given that according to the deep state, and the liberal confluence in the United States, President Trump is Russia's man ..."
"... "precursor to a very sharp deterioration of relations" ..."
"... deep state opponents" ..."
"... "If it were me who was making the decision, I certainly wouldn't proceed on the assumption that being soft will in any way satiate the ravenous beasts that are baying for Russia's blood at this point in time," ..."
"... "As far as I can see there is no investigation, ..."
"... "The verdict was declared before the investigation began and I think there's no investigation because the results of any serious scientific analytical investigation would show that the allegations against Russia are baseless." ..."
"... "I don't believe that Russia is responsible for this act. And the good news is that most of the British public tend to agree," ..."
Mar 26, 2018 | www.rt.com

British politician, broadcaster, and writer George Galloway has slammed Donald Trump's decision to expel 60 Russian diplomats and close the Russian consulate in Seattle. Galloway regards it as tantamount to a "declaration of war." Galloway contrasted the US' actions with those of EU member states. Those EU countries who rushed to follow the lead of Britain and the US in response to the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal are simply acting as "vassal states," doing what they are told.

European states have " made a fairly desultory expulsion of a diplomat or two or three, but the United States' act is a kind of declaration of war, all the more surprising given that according to the deep state, and the liberal confluence in the United States, President Trump is Russia's man ," Galloway told RT.

The former British MP said the decision to leave just 40 Russian diplomats to do their jobs in the US was either a "precursor to a very sharp deterioration of relations" -- or alternatively a "charade " designed to make Trump's " deep state opponents" lay off him over not being tough enough on Russia.

Galloway said Russia should not assume that being soft in response to Trump's action will have any desirable effect.

"If it were me who was making the decision, I certainly wouldn't proceed on the assumption that being soft will in any way satiate the ravenous beasts that are baying for Russia's blood at this point in time," he said.

According to Galloway, the UK has not conducted a serious and unbiased investigation into the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter.

"As far as I can see there is no investigation, " he said. "The verdict was declared before the investigation began and I think there's no investigation because the results of any serious scientific analytical investigation would show that the allegations against Russia are baseless."

Galloway said there are still many questions which have been left unanswered in the Skripal case.

"I don't believe that Russia is responsible for this act. And the good news is that most of the British public tend to agree," he said.

[Mar 26, 2018] Brexit: UK Capitulates

Notable quotes:
"... The UK is clearly past the point where it could undo Brexit . There was pretty much no way to back out of Brexit, given the ferocious support for it in the tabloids versus the widespread view that a second referendum that showed that opinion had changed was a political necessity for a reversal. Pundits and politicians were cautious about even voicing the idea. ..."
"... The UK still faces high odds of significant dislocations as of Brexit date . All sorts of agreements to which the UK is a party via the EU cease to be operative once the UK become a "third country". These other countries have every reason to take advantage of the UK's week and administratively overextended position. Moreover, these countries can't entertain even discussing interim trade arrangements (new trade deals take years) until they have at least a high concept idea of what the "future relationship" with the EU will look like. Even though it looks likely to be a Canada-type deal, no one wants to waste time negotiating until that is firmed up. ..."
"... On the World Service this morning, the BBC reported from the "cultural front line against Putin". A playwright (perhaps a member of playwrights against Putin) was given half an hour from 5 am to witter on. This is half an hour more than what Brexit will get on the airwaves today. ..."
"... I think the key thing that is driving the politics for the moment is that May has shown an absolute determination to hold on to power at any cost, and she realises that having a transition agreement is central to this. ..."
"... I think you are right that the main political priority now in London is preserving May in her position. ..."
"... -- and I mean no -- ..."
Mar 26, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

A reader was kind enough to ask for a Brexit update. I hadn't provided one because truth be told, the UK press has gone quiet as the Government knuckled under in the last round of negotiations.

It is a mystery as to why the hard core Brexit faction and the true power brokers, the press barons, have gone quiet after having made such a spectacle of their incompetence and refusal to compromise. Do they not understand what is happening? Has someone done a whip count and realized they didn't have the votes if they tried forcing a crisis, and that the result would probably be a Labour government, a fate they feared far more than a disorderly Brexit?

As we've pointed out repeatedly, the EU has the vastly stronger negotiating position. The UK could stomp and huff and keep demanding its super special cherry picked special cake all it wanted to. That was a fast track to a crash-out Brexit. But it seems out of character for the Glorious Brexit true believers to sober up suddenly.

Some observations:

The transition deal is the much-decried "vassal state ". As we and others pointed out, the only transition arrangement feasible was a standstill with respect to the UK's legal arrangements with the EU, save at most some comparatively minor concessions on pet issues. The UK will remain subject to the authority of the ECJ. The UK will continue to pay into the EU budget. As we'd predicted, the transition period will go only until the end of 2020.

The UK couldn't even get a break on the Common Fisheries Policy. From the Guardian :

For [fisherman Tony] Delahunty's entire career, a lopsided system of quotas has granted up to 84% of the rights to fish some local species, such as English Channel cod, to the French, and left as little as 9% to British boats. Add on a new system that bans fishermen from throwing away unwanted catch and it becomes almost impossible to haul in a net of mixed fish without quickly exhausting more limited quotas of "choke" species such as cod .

Leaving the EU was meant to change all that .Instead, growing numbers of British fishermen feel they have been part of a bait-and-switch exercise – a shiny lure used to help reel in a gullible public. Despite only recently promising full fisheries independence as soon as Brexit day on 29 March 2019, the UK government this week capitulated to Brussels' demand for it to remain part of the common fisheries system until at least 2021, when a transition phase is due to end. Industry lobbyists fear that further cave-ins are now inevitable in the long run as the EU insists on continued access to British waters as the price of a wider post-Brexit trade deal.

The one place where the UK did get a win of sorts was on citizen's rights, where the transition deal did not make commitments, much to the consternation of both EU27 and UK nationals. Curiously, the draft approved by the EU27 last week dropped the section that had discussed citizens' rights. From the Express :

Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Angelino Alfano, demands EU citizens' rights be protected after Brexit .

The comments from Italy's foreign minister come after the draft Brexit agreement struck between Britain and the EU on Monday was missing "Article 32", which in previous drafts regulated the free movement of British citizens living in Europe after Brexit.

The entire article was missing from the document, which goes straight from Article 31 to Article 33.

MEPs from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru have written to Brexit Secretary David Davis for clarification about the missing article, while citizens' group British in Europe said the document failed to provide them with "legal certainty".

A copy of the letter sent to Mr Davis seen by the Independent said: "As UK MEPs we are deeply worried about what will happen to British citizens living in EU27 member states once we leave the EU.

This issue has apparently been pushed back to the April round of talks. I have not focused on the possible points of contention here. However, bear in mind that EU citizens could sue if they deem the eventual deal to be too unfavorable. Recall that during the 2015 Greece-Troika negotiations, some parties were advocating that Greece leave the Eurozone. A counterargument was that Greek citizens would be able to sue the Greek government for their loss of EU rights.

The UK is backing into having to accept a sea border as the solution for Ireland. As many have pointed out, there's no other remedy to the various commitments the UK has already made with respect to Ireland, as unpalatable as that solution is to the Unionists and hard core Brexiters. The UK has not put any solutions on the table as the EU keeps working on the "default" option, which was included in the Joint Agreement of December. The DUP sabre-rattled then but was not willing to blow up the negotiations then. It will be even harder for them to derail a deal now when the result would be a chaotic Brexit.

The UK is still trying to escape what appears to be the inevitable outcome. The press of the last 24 hours reports that the UK won't swallow the "backstop" plan that the EU has been refining, even though it accepts the proposition that the agreement needs to have that feature . The UK is back to trying to revive one of its barmy ideas that managed to find its way into the Joint Agreement, that of a new super special customs arrangement.

Politico gives an outline below. This is a non-starter simply because the EU will never accept any arrangement where goods can get into the EU without there being full compliance with EU rules, and that includes having them subject to the jurisdiction of the ECJ and the various relevant Brussels supervisory bodies. Without even hearing further details, the UK's barmy "alignment" notions means that the UK would somehow have a say in these legal and regulatory processes. This cheeky plan would give the UK better rights than any EU27 member. From Politico :

The key issues for debate, according to one senior U.K. official, is how the two sides can deliver "full alignment" and what the territorial scope of that commitment will be -- the U.K. or Northern Ireland.

The starting point of the U.K.'s position will be that "full alignment" should apply to goods and a limited number of services sectors, one U.K. official said.

On the customs issue, the proposal that Northern Ireland is subsumed into the EU's customs territory is a non-starter with London

The alternative would be based on one of the two customs arrangements set out by the government in August last year and reaffirmed by May in her Mansion House speech. They are either a customs partnership -- known as the "hybrid" model internally -- or the "highly streamlined customs arrangement" known by officials as "max-fac" or maximum facilitation.

The hybrid model would mean the U.K. continuing to police its border as if it were the EU's customs border, but then tracking imports to apply different tariffs depending on which market they end up in -- U.K. or EU. Under this scenario, because Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would share an external EU customs border, as they do now, it would remove the need for checks on the land border between the two.

The complexity and unprecedented nature of this solution has led to accusations from the Brussels side that it amounts to "magical thinking."

The "max-fac" model is simpler conceptually but would represent a huge logistical effort for U.K. customs authorities. It would involve the use of technological and legal measures such as electronic pre-notification of goods crossing the border and a "trusted trader" status for exporters and importers, to make customs checks as efficient as possible.

While the U.K. will present both customs arrangements as possible ways of solving this aspect of the Irish border problem, one senior official said that the "hybrid" model was emerging as the preferred option in London.

The UK is already having trouble getting its customs IT upgrade done on time, which happens to be right before Brexit. As we wrote early on, even if the new programs are in place, they won't be able to handle the increased transactions volume resulting from of being outside the EU, and I haven't seen good figures as to what the impact would be of the UK becoming a third country but having its transition deal in place. In other words, even if the "mac-fac" scheme were acceptable to the EU (unlikely), the UK looks unable to pull off getting the needed infrastructure in place. Even for competent shops, large IT projects have a high failure rate. And customs isn't looking like a high capability IT player right now.

So the play for the EU is to let the UK continue to flail about and deliver Ireland "solutions" that are dead on arrival because they violate clearly and consistently stated EU red lines. The UK will then in say September be faced with a Brexit deal that is done save Ireland, and it then have to choose between capitulating (it's hard to come up with any way to improve the optics, but we do have a few months for creative ideas) or plunging into a chaotic Brexit.

The EU27 reaffirmed the EU's red lines in the most unambiguous language possible . F rom their "Guidelines" published March 23 :

6.The approach outlined below reflects the level of rights and obligations compatible with the positions stated by the UK

7. In this context, the European Council reiterates in particular that any agreement with the United Kingdom will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations, and ensure a level playing field. A non-member of the Union, that does not live up to the same obligations as a member, cannot have the same rights and enjoy the same benefits as a member.

The European Council recalls that the four freedoms are indivisible and that there can be no "cherry picking" through participation in the Single Market based on a sector-by-sector approach, which would undermine the integrity and proper functioning of the Single Market.

The European Council further reiterates that the Union will preserve its autonomy as regards its decision-making, which excludes participation of the United Kingdom as a third-country in the Union Institutions and participation in the decision-making of the Union bodies, offices and agencies. The role of the Court of Justice of the European Union will also be fully respected.

8. As regards the core of the economic relationship, the European Council confirms its readiness to initiate work towards a balanced, ambitious and wide-ranging free trade agreement (FTA) insofar as there are sufficient guarantees for a level playing field. This agreement will be finalised and concluded once the UK is no longer a Member State.

The EU also reaffirmed the obvious, "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed."

The EU nevertheless has relented in its negotiating tactics . The EU's initial approach was to put the most contentious issues up front: the exit tab, Ireland, freedom of movement. You will notice it has achieved closure only only one of those issues where the EU's initial position had been that they had to be concluded before the two sides would discuss "the future relationship," as in trade. This is the opposite of the approach that professional negotiators use, that of starting with the least contentious issues first to establish a working relationship between both sides and create a sense of momentum, and then tackling the difficult questions later. The EU has now allowed the UK to defer resolving the messy issue of Ireland twice, and it is not clear if any progress has been made on the citizens' rights matter.

The UK is clearly past the point where it could undo Brexit . There was pretty much no way to back out of Brexit, given the ferocious support for it in the tabloids versus the widespread view that a second referendum that showed that opinion had changed was a political necessity for a reversal. Pundits and politicians were cautious about even voicing the idea.

As we've pointed out, coming up with the wording of the referendum question took six months. In the snap elections last year, the Lib Dems set forth the most compact timeline possible for a Brexit referendum redo which presupposed that the phrasing had been settled. That was eight months. And you'd have to have a Parliamentary approval process before and a vote afterwards (Parliament is sovereign; a referendum in and of itself is not sufficient to change course).

Spain has been making noises about Gibraltar but they aren't likely to mean much . I could be proven wrong, but I don't see Spain as able to block a Brexit deal. Article 50 says that only a "qualified majority" vote is required to approve a Brexit agreement. Spain as a lone holdout couldn't keep a deal from being approved. And I don't see who would join Spain over the issue of Gibraltar. In keeping, Spain joined with the rest of the EU27 in approving the latest set of texts.

The UK still faces high odds of significant dislocations as of Brexit date . All sorts of agreements to which the UK is a party via the EU cease to be operative once the UK become a "third country". These other countries have every reason to take advantage of the UK's week and administratively overextended position. Moreover, these countries can't entertain even discussing interim trade arrangements (new trade deals take years) until they have at least a high concept idea of what the "future relationship" with the EU will look like. Even though it looks likely to be a Canada-type deal, no one wants to waste time negotiating until that is firmed up.

Like it or not, May is the ultimate survivor . Politico described the method in her seeming madness :

May has lasted in office longer than many pundits predicted she would because, weak as her grip on power may have been since she lost her parliamentary majority last year, she has timed her surrenders cleverly.

It looks chaotic and undignified, but the prime minister has hunkered down and let pro- and anti-Brexit factions in her party shout the odds in the media day and night, squabble publicly about acceptable terms for a deal, leak against each other and publish Sunday newspaper columns challenging her authority.

Then in the few days before a European summit deadline for the next phase of a deal, she has rammed the only position acceptable to Brussels through her Cabinet and effectively called the hard Brexiteers' bluff.

But what kind of leader marches her country into at worst an abyss and at best a future of lower prosperity, less clout, and no meaningful increase in autonomy? Like it or not, the UK is a small open economy, and its leaders, drunk on Imperial nostalgia, still can's stomach the idea that the UK did better by flexing its muscle within the EU that it can ever do solo.


Which is worse - bankers or terrorists , March 26, 2018 at 5:55 am

I'm curious as to the ramifications of the Northern Ireland sea border. Is reunification possible with the ROI, given that the Unionists have been completely castrated?

I'm a Californian so am not one that is tuned into the history.

PlutoniumKun , March 26, 2018 at 6:29 am

Theoretically, there is no fundamental problem with a NI sea border and NI remaining within the UK. Northern Ireland already has its own Assembly and its own laws (the Assembly is suspended at the moment), so it can, if the EU agreed, stay within the EU (albeit without a separate vote or voice at the table). There are precedents for this, such as the dependant territories of France . It would be constitutionally messy, but if authorized by Parliament in London and in the EU itself, it would likely be legally watertight so far as I am aware.

Hardline Unionists oppose this partly because they are ideologically opposed to the EU anyway (although its highly likely many of their constituents don't agree), but also because they see this as a 'thin end of the wedge' leading to a United Ireland. More thoughtful Unionists realise that a sort of 'foot in both camps' approach might actually be an economic boon to Northern Ireland – it could attract a lot of investment from companies wishing easy access to both the internal UK market and Europe.

Colonel Smithers , March 26, 2018 at 6:26 am

Thank you, Yves.

"The UK press has gone quiet as the Government knuckled under in the last round of negotiations." The MSM, corporate or government (BBC and Channel 4), are under orders to go quiet. In any case, it's easier and more fun to cover the anti-semites and anti-transgender whatever in the Labour Party, Trump's extra-marital goings-on and whatever dastardly plot Putin has come up with.

On my 'phone's news feed yesterday and today, the Corbyn's anti-Semitism is not shifting from the top line. The only change is from where the latest article is sourced.

On the World Service this morning, the BBC reported from the "cultural front line against Putin". A playwright (perhaps a member of playwrights against Putin) was given half an hour from 5 am to witter on. This is half an hour more than what Brexit will get on the airwaves today.

How are things playing out locally, Buckinghamshire in my case? The economy is slowing down. More shops are closing. Some IT contractors report contracts not being renewed and having to look for business outside the UK. East Europeans working in farming, care and social services have been replaced in many, but not all, cases by immigrants from south Asia. An cabbie and restaurateur report the worst festive season and first quarter of the year for many, many years.

At Doncaster races last Saturday, the opening day of the flat season, some bookies were offering odds of Tory victory in 2022, if not an earlier khaki one. It seems that May is a survivor and Corbyn's Labour has peaked. All very depressing.

PlutoniumKun , March 26, 2018 at 6:41 am

I think the key thing that is driving the politics for the moment is that May has shown an absolute determination to hold on to power at any cost, and she realises that having a transition agreement is central to this. I've also been puzzling over the relative acquiescence of the hard Brexiteers – I think they've been told by their paymasters that accepting a lousy transitional deal is the key to a 'clean' and firm Brexit. I believe the phrase Gove was reported as using was that they should 'keep their eye on the prize'. I think, as Yves says, the Tory establishment fears a move against May will precipitate a Corbyn government, so they see it as a strategic necessity to keep her in position, and postpone the main Brexit fallout for later.

Of lesser importance, but also I think a relevant consideration given the strong support given by Merkel, Barnier and Tusk to the Irish PM, Varadkar, is that he is rumoured to be planning a snap election in the autumn. His stance on Brexit has proven popular and he sees the time as ripe to go for an overall majority (he is currently leading a minority government). He is very much an EU establishment favourite, so I don't doubt that some of the motivation is to help his domestic politics by giving him what are perceived as 'wins' over Brexit.

If this is the case, then barring an unexpected event, I think there will be a strong political push on both sides to sign off a transition deal which would be both a complete surrender by the UK, but with sufficient spin by a supportively dim witted UK press will allow her to push the whole Brexit issue politically to one side for a year or two. The Tories will be hoping that this can be sold to the public as a success for long enough for them to work out how to stop Corbyn.

David , March 26, 2018 at 8:22 am

I'm taking the liberty of re-posting a comment I made yesterday on one of the links – a Richard North piece – to which none of the usual Brexit scholars responded (Sunday .). It bears very much on this discussion and echoes a number of points made above.

"Richard North's Brexit article is well informed as one would expect, but I think that, like a lot of other commentators, he's missing something. May is a post-modern politician, ie there is no particular link between what she says and does, and her understanding of its impact on the real world. Only her words and actions actually count, and, whether it's threatening Russia or threatening Brussels, real-world consequences don't form part of the calculation, insofar as they actually exist. Her only concern (and in this she is indeed post-modernist) is with how she is perceived by voters and the media, and as a consequence whether she can hang onto her job. I think May has decided that she will have an agreement at any cost, no matter if she has to surrender on every single issue, and throw Northern Ireland to the wolves. She wants to be seen as the Prime Minister who got us "out of Europe," just as Ted Heath got us in. The content of the final deal is secondary: not that she wouldn't prefer to please the City and the Brexit ultras if she could, but if there's a choice she will sacrifice them for a picture of her shaking hands with Barnier and waving the Union Jack with the other hand. The resulting chaos can then be blamed on a treacherous Europe. Indeed, if May can stick it out until next year, I think she'll keep her job. What a thought." I think many of the hardline Brexiters have the same idea – the political prize is exiting the EU: the damage is a secondary consideration. Any deal, no matter how humiliating, can be spun in the end as a triumph because we will have broken the shackles of Brussels.

I'd add that the EU's emphasis on the priority to give to NI was an each-way bet, as I argued at the time. Either the Tory government collapsed, and something more reasonable took its place, or May gave way on everything else, in the hope of surviving and somehow finding a NI solution later. This has indeed proved to be the case.

Finally, I wouldn't put too much store by the imperial nostalgia argument, not least because few Brexiters were even alive then. The real nostalgia is for an independent Britain capable of playing a role on the world stage, perhaps at the head of a coalition of likeminded nations. The idea of a Commonwealth Free Trade area, for example, was raised in the 1975 EU referendum debate, and has its ultimate origins in the ideas of Mill and others in the 19th century for a kind of British superstate, incorporating Australia, New Zealand, Canada and perhaps South Africa. Its ghost still walks.

Finally, let's not get too carried away with the small size of the British economy. It's the fifth or sixth largest economy in the world, depending on how you calculate it, ahead of Russia, India, Italy and Spain.

PlutoniumKun , March 26, 2018 at 9:12 am

Thanks for that, David.

I think you are right that the main political priority now in London is preserving May in her position. Whether or not she does a good deal (or any other good policy work) has become irrelevant. Its all about survival, and keeping Corbyn at bay.

Michael KILLIAN , March 26, 2018 at 9:30 am

Who are the 'wolves' to whom NI may be thrown? More interesting, who are the strange Tory Brexiteers, not exactly in sync with the needs and expectations of the City of London, big business in Britain, etc? The people for whom an imperial past is still a ghost that walks? A possible answer here:
https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n05/william-davies/what-are-they-after

templar555510 , March 26, 2018 at 9:33 am

Thank you David. I agree with your definition of the present Brexit set-up and May herself as post-modernist . The same could be said even more so about Trump . They have in their very different ways taken politics to a place beyond policies and even identities ( it's most recent iteration ) to this very new place where the public ( translation : American people ) simply roll over and get out of bed the next day to whatever is new and move on whether it be bombing in Syria, or Trump and a prostitute . I think the technology of the smart phone and everything that emanates from it is the handmaiden to this change . The speed of daily life as orchestrated by the smart phone has brought us all , whether we like it or not, to this post-modern , everything is a cultural construct , position which is possibly the most terrifying reality the West has ever had to face and yet it barely registers .

vlade , March 26, 2018 at 9:45 am

On your last point – it used to be larger. It would have been inconcievable even 50 years ago that the UK's economy could be compared with Spain's.

The point being that the correlation of physical closeness and trade is about as close as you get in economics to a natural law. The UK is now spurning (wilfully limiting its access to) the closest and the richest markets it has. That will have impact – and no amount of Brexiter's wishful thinking will replace it – if for nothing else, the likelyhood of the UK SMEs suddenly wanting to export to China/India/NZ/whatever is not going to grow with Brexit. Those who wanted and could, already do. The other don't want and are unlikely to want to in a new world.

Olivier , March 26, 2018 at 3:52 pm

Vlade, 50 years ago Africa still started at the Pyrenées, as the saying was in France. It is not that the UK has shrunk so much as that Spain has dramatically improved its position. So, unhelpful comparison. How the UK fared over those 50 years relative to, say, France and Germany or even Italy, would be more instructive.

Marlin , March 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm

In relation to France it stayed roughly the same. But actually the share of British GDP to world GDP is much smaller and international specialisation and globalisation is much increased. For the question if the UK can act as a "big" economy in relation to economic policy the latter is more important.

The Rev Kev , March 26, 2018 at 9:39 am

You watch. About the same time that the British wake to find that the elites have sold them down the river through devastating incompetence and sheer bloodymindedness, they will find that in the transition to Brexit that the government would have voted themselves all sorts of laws that will give them authoritarian powers. And then it will be too late.
It won't matter how bad May is at that point and she might just resign and let somebody else deal with all the fallout over the new regulations at which time she will be kicked upstairs to the House of Lords. Isn't the way that it works in practice? Don't make any preparations, tell the people that they have got it all organized, then when it all hits they start pumping out emergency orders and the like.

Anonymous2 , March 26, 2018 at 10:44 am

It all seems quite curious does it not (curiouser and curiouser?). I wonder if I smell a rat? Forgive me; I have a suspicious nature. I was thinking partly of the role of Gove, which prompted some idle musings.

Gove is reportedly telling people who support Brexit to keep their eyes on the prize, by which he is said to mean letting the clock run down to 29 March 2019 at which time the UK is officially out of the EU. When I read Gove, I tend to think Murdoch, who pulls Gove's strings. Yves quite rightly asks what the press barons are about; that is generally worth knowing when it comes to UK politics. Is Murdoch playing a longer game?

The argument goes that once the UK is out of the EU it will be much harder to get support for it to go back in again as the UK would only be allowed back in without the special privileges it had negotiated for itself over the decades : opt out from Euro, Schengen, various justice issues, the budget rebate. Is this determining Murdoch's approach at the moment – ensure that the UK is outside the EU at almost any cost before proceeding to the next stage, when Ministers will be largely unable to call Brussels in to help them against him and his allies?

Why might Murdoch want to do that? There is talk that May will be ditched once she does a deal. If it is seen as a bad deal then she becomes the scapegoat (and Gove steps in to her shoes?). Post March 2019, it might then be the plan to seek to undercut the effect of any deal struck now by, for example, pulling out of the Good Friday Agreement if that proves to be an obstacle to the trade deals Fox is so keen to sign (is he expecting kickbacks?). At that point the UK might declare that with the demise of the GFA it was no longer constrained by the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement with regards to the Irish Border and with one leap the UK would be free. I have seen cynics suggest that the men of violence in Northern Ireland might be encouraged to go on a bit if a spree to justify claims that the GFA had failed.

I hope I am wrong but as I said I have a suspicious nature and, having watched more of Murdoch's machinations than I have ever wished, know that he is very capable of playing a long game.

PlutoniumKun , March 26, 2018 at 11:06 am

I'm loath to indulge in conspiracy theorising, but when it comes to Brexit (and Northern Ireland) conspiracies are legion and real.

I'm sure in any spiders web Murdoch will be found in the middle of it, and there is certainly something up, thats the only explanation for the low key response of the hard Brexiters. It wouldn't surprise me if he has realised that a tanking UK economy isn't exactly good for his investments (its also worth noting that it seems to have belatedly been realised by the UK media economy that many of them will have to up sticks to Europe if they are to keep broadcasting rights).

My guess is that they 'have a plan' which will involve Gove playing middle man, but actually working for a decisive Brexit doing his duty for the country at some stage to step into Mays shoes. All sorts of behind the scenes promises (mostly jobs, no doubt) have probably been made. I suspect a centre piece of it would be a dramatic repudiation of any deal, supposedly on the UK's terms.

As for Northern Ireland, anything is possible. Several of the Loyalist terrorist groups have been shown over the years to be little more than puppets of the security forces, they will do what they are told. And there have long been rumours that at least one of the fringe Republican groups is so completely infiltrated that they are similarly under control. There have been nearly 50 years of shady assassinations and bombings in NI and the Republic which have the fingerprints of intelligence services, so quite literally, I could believe almost anything could happen if it was in their interest. People who c ould maintain a boys home as the centre of a paedophile ring for political purposes are capable of almost anything.

Clive , March 26, 2018 at 11:56 am

Oh yes, this is a big part of the history of "the troubles". So much of what went on in that conflict was beneficial to the U.K. government. Budget, manpower, little oversight, draconian powers and a lot more besides was enabled merely because of the paramilitary activities. It's not hard to look for well documented examples -- such as the mass warrantless surveillance of all U.K.- Republic telecommunications http://www.lamont.me.uk/capenhurst/original.html by the U.K. security services.

And virtually everyone in the dissident republican movement was under constant monitoring which was put down to "luck" https://www.independent.co.uk/news/how-ira-plotted-to-switch-off-london-1266533.html when schemes were foiled. And even then, there was so much self licking ice creams going on with the RUC effectively knowing about and even setting up IRA hits which were carried out by informants https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_McGartland .

And, there's more, a lot of provisional activity was just your common or garden organised crime -- protection rackets, kidnapping and bribery.

To say that the troubles were merely to do with republicanism and unionism is like saying US Civil War was only about racism and ignoring the politics and the economics.

David , March 26, 2018 at 12:37 pm

I think that we should remember how much the anti-EU fraternity in politics and the media have had a symbiotic, if not downright parasitic, relationship with the EU itself. Much of their commerce depended on us being members, and so being able to strike poses and make cheap cracks about Europe and Brussels. I have a feeling that reality is starting to dawn, and they are standing to understand that politics will be a great deal more complicated, and probably nastier, after Brexit than even it is now.They'll have to find something else to complain about for easy applause instead of just bashing Brussels.
As for conspiracy theories, well I have the same skepticism about them of most people who've worked in government, and I happen to have been reasonably close to a number of people who had to deal with these issues in the 1970s and 1980s. There was certainly complicity in some cases, and some of the actors involved broke the rules badly , but it's a stretch from that to talk of conspiracies. With what objective? And what objective would such conspiracies have today, and how could they be implemented? The universal refrain among everyone I knew involved in the security forces at the time was Get Us Out of Here.

Anonymous2 , March 26, 2018 at 12:56 pm

To avoid confusion, I was not so much thinking conspiracy as trying to get inside Murdoch's head.

What might his objectives be? Well, the first of course is more power and wealth for himself, but he is not above making mischief.

Clive , March 26, 2018 at 1:02 pm

It'll put a cat amongst the pigeons and no mistake. If I may put in a word from the deplorables who voted Brexit, there's a lot which -- for both the UK and the EU -- was made a whole lot easier because a problem issue could simply be labelled as the British complaining and not understanding The Project.

Take energy. It was probably energy supply as much as Greece and the Ukraine which tipped me over into Brexit. At the behest of the U.K., the European energy industry became, at least in theory, a pan-continental endeavour free from national restrictive practices. Well, a fat lot of good that turned out to be. As exemplified by the recent cold weather snap, UK wholesalers when faced with a shortfall in natural gas supplies spiked the offer price into the stratosphere http://mip-prod-web.azurewebsites.net/PrevailingViewGraph/ViewReport?prevailingViewGraph=ActualPriceGraph&gasDate=2018-03-26 . No -- and I mean no -- EU suppliers made any bids. Now, it's either a Single Market or it isn't. It either looks and acts like it's subject to market forces or it doesn't. The rules are either enforced properly amongst all participants or they aren't. Irony's of irony's, when the U.K. needed an augmented natural gas input to match system demand, the only country to answer their doorbell was Russia. That, and some U.K. big capacity users releasing stocks from storage.

Now, the smell of the nationalist pulling up the drawbridge in energy supply is causing the Commission to try to document how in fact the Single Market sometimes isn't a market at all but just a token gesture and is working on the usual eurofudge http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2018.032.01.0052.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2018:032:TOC (the contortions of which did genuinely have me laughing out loud). There's going to be a lot more of this to come once the U.K. can't be the donkey this kind of tail is routinely pinned on.

And it'll be the same in the U.K. of course. Without the EU ready to play it's role of perpetual bogeyman, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves. And I still cannot, in all honesty, say anything other than bring it on.

(ask me in 5 years if I still think the same..!)

Ape , March 26, 2018 at 1:44 pm

People have avoided the difficulty of reciprocal citizen's rights. How can the UK reciprocate with all the EU countries? Simultaneously? Where UK non-citizen residents can relocate for 30 years to an EU country then relocate back in the same way that a Brit in France can move to Germany for 30 years and then move back under current rules? It's even worse if you consider reciprocity to include the rights of all people outside their citizenship country's right to relocate.

The only obvious solution is to reduce Brits to the same status of any immigrant to a EU country. That means not being able to shift your permanent residency without applying for immigration.

Unless you are blue card eligible that's non-trivial.

[Mar 25, 2018] Cambridge Analytica Scandal Rockets to Watergate Proportions and Beyond by Adam Garrie

Highly recommended!
Mar 25, 2018 | www.eurasiafuture.com

Manipulating democracy -- brainwashing the public for a large fee

Cambridge Analytica, the data harvesting firm that worked for the Trump campaign, is in the midst of a scandal that should make everyone who cares about a clean political process demand major investigations of anyone who has procured the services of the company, major prosecutions of those who have violated laws across multiple nations and a wholesale revitalisation of electoral laws to prevent politicians from ever again procuring the services of unethical companies like Cambridge Analytica.

Days ago, whistleblower Christopher Wylie went public about his time working for Cambridge Analytica and specifically about how the firm illegally obtained the public and private data, including the private messages of 50 million Facebook users. He also exposed how Cambridge Analytica used this data to run highly scientific social manipulation campaigns in order to effectively brainwash the public in various countries to support a certain political candidate or faction.

Cambridge Analytica's dubious methods were used to meddle in the US election after the Trump campaign paid Cambridge Analytica substantial sums of money for their services. The firm also meddled in the last two Kenyan Presidential elections, elections in Nigeria, elections in Czech Republic, elections in Argentina, elections in India, the Brexit campaign, UK Premier Theresa May's recently election and now stands accused of working with the disgraced former Pakistani Premier Nawaz Sharif in an attempt to reverse his judicial ban on holding public office, while helping his PML-N party win the forthcoming general election.

Beyond the scandalous use of personal data from Facebook users and the illegal access to people's private messages, Cambridge Analytica has now been exposed as a company that, by the hidden-camera admission of its CEO Alexander Nix, engages in nefarious, illegal and outrageous activities across the globe.

The UK Broadcaster Channel 4 just released a video of Cambridge Analytica's CEO and Managing DIrector Mark Turnbull in a conversation with an undercover reporter posing as a Sri Lankan businessman interested in meddling in domestic elections. During the conversation Nix boasted of Cambridge Analytica's history of using entrapment, bribery and intimidation against the political opponents of its wealthy clients. Furthermore, Nix boasted about his firm's ability to procure Ukrainian prostitutes as a means to entrap adversaries while also procuring the services of "Israeli spies" as part of dirty smear operations.

The activities that Nix boasted of using in the past and then offered to a prospective client are illegal in virtually every country in the world. But for Nix and his world of ultra-rich clients, acting as though one is above the law is the rule rather than the exception. Thus far, Cambridge Analaytica has been able to escape justice throughout the world both for its election meddling, data harvesting, data theft and attempts to slander politicians through calculated bribery and entrapment schemes.

One person who refused to be tempted by Cambridge Analytica was Julian Assange. Alexander Nix personally wrote to Julian Assange asking for direct access to information possessed by Wikileaks and Assange refused. This is a clear example of journalistic ethics and personal integrity on the part of Assange. Justice must be done

Cambridge Analytica stands accused of doing everything and more that the Russian state was accused of doing in respect of meddling in the 2016 US Presidential election. While meetings and conversations that Trump campaign officials, including Steve Bannon had with Cambridge Analyatica big wigs were not recorded, any information as to what was said during these exchanges should be thoroughly investigated by law enforcement and eventually made public for the sake of restoring transparency to politics.

Just as the Hillary Clinton campaign openly conspired to deprive Bernie Sanders of the Democratic Party's nomination, so too did Donald Trump's campaign pay Cambridge Analytica to conspire against the American voters using a calculated psychological manipulation campaign that was made possible through the use of unethically obtained and stolen data.

While Facebook claims it was itself misled and consequently victimised by Cambridge Analytica and has subsequently banned the firm from its platform, many, including Edward Snowden have alleged that Facebook knew full well what Cambridge Analytica was doing with the data retrieved from its Facebook apps. Already, the markets have reacted to the news and the verdict is not favourble in terms of the public perception of Facebook as an ethical company. Facebook's share prices are down over 7% on the S&P 500. This represents the biggest tumble in the price of Facebook share prices since 2014. Moreover, the plunge has knocked Facebook out of the coveted big five companies atop the S&P 500. Furthermore, Alex Stamos, Facebook's security director has announced that he will soon leave the company.

The Trump myth and Russia myth exposed

Donald Trump has frequently boasted of his expert campaigning skills as being the reason he won an election that few thought he could have ever won. While Trump was a far more charismatic and exciting platform speaker than his rival Hillary Clinton, it seems that for the Trump campaign, Trump ultimately needed to rely on the expensive and nefarious services of Cambridge Analytica in order to manipulate the minds of American voters and ultimately trick them into voting for him. It is impossible to say whether Trump would have still won his election without Cambridge Analaytica's services, but the fact they were used, should immediately raise the issue of Trump's suitability for office.

Ultimately, the Trump campaign did conspire to meddle in the election, only it was not with Russia or Russians with whom the campaign conspired, it was with the British firm Cambridge Analytica. Thus one sees that both the narrative about Trump the electoral "genius" and the narrative about Trump the Kremlin puppet are both false. The entire time, the issue of Trump campaign election meddling was one between a group of American millionaires and billionaires and a sleaze infested British firm.

Worse than Watergate

In 1972, US President Richard Nixon conspired to cover-up a beak-in at the offices of his political opponents at the Watergate Complex. The scandal ultimately led to Nixon's resignation in 1974. What the Trump campaign did with Cambridge Analytica is far more scandalous than the Watergate break-in and cover-up. Where Nixon's cronies broke into offices to steal information from the Democratic party, Trump's paid cyber-thugs at Cambridge Analytica broke in to the private data of 50 million people, the vast majority of whom were US citizens.

Richard Nixon, like Donald Trump, was ultimately driven by a love of power throughout his life. Just as Trump considered running for President for decades, so too did Nixon try to run in 1960 and lost to John Fitzgerald Kennedy, while he also failed to become governor of California in 1962 election. By 1968 he finally got into the White House at the height of the Vietnam War. When time came for his re-election, Nixon's team weren't going to take any chances and hence the Watergate break-in was orchestrated to dig up dirt on Nixon's opponent. As it turned out Nixon won the 1972 by a comfortable margin, meaning that the Watergate break-in was probably largely in vain.

Likewise, Trump may well have won in 2016 even without Cambridge Analytica, but in his quest for power, Trump has resorted to dealing with a company whose practices have done far more damage to the American people than the Watergate break-in.

New laws are needed

While existing laws will likely be sufficient to bring the fiends at Cambridge Analytica to justice, while also determining the role that Trump campaign officials, up to and including Trump played in the scandal, new laws must be enshrined across the globe in order to put the likes of Cambridge Analytica out of business for good.

The following proposals must be debated widely and ideally implemented at the soonest possible date:

-- A total ban on all forms of data mining/harvesting for political purposes.

-- A total ban on the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence in any political campaign or for any political purpose.

-- A mandatory seizing of the assets of any company involved in data mining/harvesting for political purposes, after which point such a company would be forcibly shut down permanently.

-- A mandatory seizing of the assets of any company involved in the use of artificial intelligence or algorithms in the course of a public political campaign.

-- A total ban on the use of internet based platforms, including social media by political candidates and their direct associates for anything that could reasonably be classified as a misinformation and/or manipulation scheme.

-- A total ban on politicians using third party data firms or advertising firms during elections. All such advertising and analysis must be devised by advisers employed directly by or volunteering for an individual candidate or his or her party political organisation.

-- A total ban on any individual working for a political campaign, who derives at least half of his or her income from employment, ownership and/or shares in a company whose primary purpose is to deliver news and analysis.

-- A total ban on anyone paid by a political candidate to promote his or her election from an ownership or major share holding role in any company whose primary purpose is to deliver news and analysis until 2 years after the said election.

If all of these laws were implemented along with thorough campaign finance reform initiatives, only then can anything remotely resembling fair elections take place.

The elites eat their own

While many of the media outlets who have helped to publish the revelations of whistleblower Christopher Wylie continue to defame Russia without any evidence about Russian linkage to the 2016 US election (or any other western vote for that matter), these outlets are nevertheless exposing the true meddling scandal surrounding the Trump campaign which has the effect of destroying the Russia narrative.

In this sense, a divided elite are turning against themselves. While the billionaire property tycoon Donald Trump can hardly be described as anything but a privileged figure who moved in elite public circles for most of his life, his personal style, rhetoric and attitude towards fellow elites has served to alienate Trump from many. Thus, there is a desire on the part of the mainstream media to expose a scandal surrounding Trump in a manner that would be unthinkable in respect of exposing a cause less popular among western elites, for example the brutal treatment of Palestine by the Zionist regime.

In this sense, Trump's own unwillingness or lack of desire to endear himself to fellow elites and instead present himself as a 'man of the people', might be his penultimate undoing. His rich former friends are now his rich present day enemies and many ordinary voters will be completely aghast at his involvement with Cambridge Analytica, just as many Republicans who voted for Nixon, became converts to the anti-Nixon movement once the misdeeds and dishonesty of Richard Nixon were made public. Many might well leave the 'Trump train' and get on board the 'political ethics express'.

Conclusion

This scandal ultimately has nothing to do with one's opinion on Trump or his policies, let alone any of the other politicians who have hired Cambridge Analytica. The issue is that a company engaged in the most nefarious, dangerous, sleazy and wicked behaviour in the world, is profiting from their destruction of political institutions that ought to be based on open policy debates rather than public manipulation, brainwashing and artificial intelligence.

The issue is also one of privacy. 50 million people have been exploited by an unethical company and what's more is that the money from the Trump campaign helped to empower this unethical company. This is therefore as unfair to non-voters as it is to voters. Cambridge Analytica must be shut down and all companies like it must restrict the scope of their operations or else face the same consequence.

[Mar 25, 2018] Cambridge Analytica was always anti Russia. Involved in operations in most of the ex soviet countries to create a hatred of ethnic Russians and I think will work with non nationalist types who are very anti Russia.

Mar 25, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Peter AU 1 , Mar 25, 2018 1:23:38 PM | 4
James 1

I ran onto something about that when researching SCL/Cambridge Analytica

The Mercer/Cambridge Analytica US wing of SCL put a lot of funding into the leave campaign which was undeclared. Like a political campaign, donations above a threshold have to be declared.

Threshold for declaring donations I think was around 3 to 7000 and CA put in over 300 000.

Peter AU 1 , Mar 25, 2018 2:31:01 PM | 10
james 6

I have been researching SCL the last few days now. It is starting to look as though, rather than being political mercenary's working for whoever pays, they seem to back nationalist leaning groups or individuals. They have a political or geo-political agenda but not sure what at the moment. Always anti Russia. Involved in operations in most of the ex soviet countries to create a hatred of ethnic Russians and I think will work with non nationalist types who are very anti Russia.

[Mar 25, 2018] Ex-Playboy Model Suing To Break Silence On Affair With Trump

Mar 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
A former Playboy model who says she had an affair with President Trump is suing the National Enquirer's parent company, American Media, so that she can be released from a legal agreement barring her from discussing the relationship.

Karen McDougal filed the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to the New York Times , after she claims the Enquirer paid her $150,000 for the story of her nine-month-long affair between 2006 and 2007, but did not publish it when she gave the account in August 2016, several months before the 2016 U.S. election.

McDougal says that Trump's personal attorney, Michael D. Cohen, was secretly involved in her negotiations with A.M.I., and that both the media company and her lawyer at the time misled her about the arrangement. After speaking with The New Yorker last month after it obtained notes she kept on her alleged affair, McDougal said she was warned by A.M.I. that " any further disclosures would breach Karen's contract," and "cause considerable monetary damages ."

Cohen reportedly paid another Trump accuser, adult film actress Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels), $130,000 in exchange for signing an NDA barring her from discussing her experiences with Trump.

Trump joined a legal effort last week suing Clifford for $20 million over what they claim is a breach of her NDA. Meanwhile, both women's claims against Trump are being construed by federal watchdog group Common Cause as illegal campaign contributions - arguing that they could constitute in-kind contributions to the Trump campaign.

Ms. Clifford and Ms. McDougal tell strikingly similar stories about their experiences with Mr. Trump, which included alleged trysts at the same Lake Tahoe golf tournament in 2006, dates at the same Beverly Hills hotel and promises of apartments as gifts.

Their stories first surfaced in the The Wall Street Journal four days before the election , but got little traction in the swirl of news that followed Mr. Trump's victory. The women even shared the same Los Angeles lawyer, Keith Davidson, who has long worked for clients who sell their stories to the tabloids . - NYT

"The lawsuit filed today aims to restore her right to her own voice," McDougal's attorney, Peter K Stris told the Times . "We intend to invalidate the so-called contract that American Media Inc. imposed on Karen so she can move forward with the private life she deserves ."

As the Wall Street Journal reported in November, 2016;

The tabloid-newspaper publisher reached an agreement in early August with Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year. American Media Inc., which owns the Enquirer, hasn't published anything about what she has told friends was a consensual romantic relationship she had with Mr. Trump in 2006. At the time, Mr. Trump was married to his current wife, Melania.

Quashing stories that way is known in the tabloid world as "catch and kill." - WSJ

In a written statement, American Media Inc. claims it wasn't buying McDougal's story for $150,000 - rather, they were buying two years' worth of her fitness columns, magazine covers and exclusive life rights to any relationship she has had with a then-married man. "AMI has not paid people to kill damaging stories about Mr. Trump," reads the statement.

American Media Inc. CEO David J. Pecker is a long-standing friend of President Trump.

[Mar 25, 2018] The West's Guilty Until Proven Innocent Mantra Is Wrecking Lives International Relations Zero Hedge

Mar 25, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

In other words, neither men nor women have gained anything from this otherwise-well-intended campaign against sexual improprieties. However, this is not the first time the West has allowed raw emotions to knock the train of progress right off the tracks. History books are replete with examples of Western campaigns rising out of sheer mass hysteria. But at least in those wild times there was still some semblance of justice, complete with trials and investigations. Now compare that with our 'modern' times, when all it took for the United States to win approval for an illicit attack on Iraq was for Colin Powell to shake a vial of faux anthrax in front of the UN General Assembly.

With these historical hiccups in mind, it is possible to argue that the West has truly forgotten the lessons of history because they are certainly repeating them today.

By way of example, consider where the great bulk of US troops are encamped today – in and around the Middle East – and then ask yourself how they got there.

The answer is by hook and by crook, and not a little public manipulation and chicanery. That is because, in our insatiable desire to defend victims – the good guys, we are told – we are allowing ourselves to ignore crucial evidence while placing blind faith in what we are being told is the truth. Clearly that has not been the case to date.

From the accusations that Iraq was harboring weapons of mass destruction to launch against innocent people, to the current claims that the Syrian government of Bashar Assad is using chemical weapons against his own people, the West is gambling that claims based on zero evidence will always work to fulfill ulterior motives. So far, the ploy seems to be working with the gullible public, but sooner or later truth will catch up, indeed, as truth usually does.

Just this month, for example, an assassination attempt was made against Sergei Skripal – a former double agent who had moved to Salisbury, England following a spy-swap in 2010. Any guesses as to who the British authorities have ruled – without a trial, evidence or motivating factor – is the main culprit? Yes, Russia. Yet, even the usually loyal British press has started expressing reservations over the dubious claims.

This should come as no surprise since the UK, a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), has staunchly refused to provide samples of the alleged nerve agent to Russia for analysis. Why would it do that? Would anyone be surprised if this investigation goes the same way it did for all those Russian athletes who were, unjustly, banned from the Winter Olympic Games this year?

Or perhaps the same way it went following the 2016 US presidential elections, when Russia was accused of meddling on behalf of Donald Trump – zero evidence to back up the slanderous accusations , which are responsible for putting US-Russia relations into a free fall.

In conclusion, the unsightly spectacle of Western capitals backtracking on legal precedent – from domestic cases to international – makes it all the more clear why it is so anxious to win back the media mountaintops – it has no evidence whatsoever to support the reasons behind its increasingly illicit behavior. It is therefore incumbent upon them to own the narrative, as well as the justice system. How long this democratic charade can last is anybody's guess.

[Mar 23, 2018] Megyn Kelly behaves like a rabid dog attacking Putin. Did not work well.

What is interesting that as there are 3.4K dislikes and only 1.2K likes. Looks like people start to decipher the NBC propaganda machine and neoliberal propaganda machine in general (NBC is not an outlier in this respect; this is run of mill neoliberal outlet)
Looks like Putin really has steel nerves. Megyn Kelly was really disgusting pushing her talking points like there is not tomorrow. Such a shill... . She also was organically able to listen. she has her prejudices can't shake them and actually does not want to shake them (may be this is connected with her job security ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... Confronting? The job of a real journalist is to ask questions, not to confront. Want to see the actual interview go watch Russian Insider is there in its totality. ..."
"... the moment i heard "American Democracy Under Attack" i stopped watching the video. ..."
"... Wtf NBC, this is ridiculously badly edited to fit an agenda. This is not journalism. ..."
"... It's not a debate if she keeps interrupting him, very disappointed in the way NBC took this golden opportunity to have a proper conversation with one of the super powers of the world and wasted it in "I tell you, you did this" and childish reaction from Megyn part. ..."
"... I am American and I am fully of aware how evil and deceptive this country is. I understand Putin is trying to do the right thing. But it seems as if almost 90-95% of people in this country still don't get it. ..."
"... How many governments in the world have been overthrown by the American CIA? How often does evil USA interfere in other states' elections? The USA government is pure evil. ..."
"... "American democracy, under attack".... by putting $46,000 worth of ads on Facebook, most of which were posted AFTER the election. Come on people, don't be foolish. ..."
"... "You believe that America meddled in your elections?" No Megyn Kelly, that's a historical fact, look up the "Harvard Boys" sponsored by USAID, look at the cover of the July 15, 1996 issue of Time Magazine entitled "Yanks to the Rescue", celebrating America's role in hijacking the Russian political system. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | www.youtube.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1pPkAOZI50


rayochapin , 1 week ago

Confronting? The job of a real journalist is to ask questions, not to confront. Want to see the actual interview go watch Russian Insider is there in its totality.

Sa yan , 1 week ago

the moment i heard "American Democracy Under Attack" i stopped watching the video.

Rumata , 1 week ago

Mr. Putin, did you intervene in the US elections? No But did you intervene? No And when you intervened, did you intervene? No Have you intervened with the oligarchs? No Did you help them intervene? No And in the US say you intervened you did it? No But you did not interfere, huh? Yes Interfered? No

spasev , 1 week ago (edited)

Where is the full interview? I had to go to a Russian government TV channel so I can watch the full interview. And you label the Russian media as state propaganda. Shame on you.

Games4us , 1 week ago

FYI, this interview is 1,5 hour long in original. here it is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mhi_AyQAyw&t=977s

Mr. Ben , 1 week ago

"Cut and paste" the interview with an agenda of bashing Russia, using "some people say" or "some American experts say" as the sources without any solid proof and evidence is shameful.

namodicha , 1 week ago

Please, please, please, any US citizen who is watching this, go watch the full interview, just in order to get an idea of what your media is worth. Listen to the words, also pay attention to how it is filmed and presented.You really need to know how much you are bullshitted to.

Linera Y , 1 week ago (edited)

When he talked about principles, why didn't she believe? Please, know that there are many people in the world with principles, who are not necessarily running and dying for capitalist money, brands, silly talentless pointless half-naked pop-stars, yachts or florida-like beaches, etc. There are many people who are fine to live without all these but with principles and other values , which are not that bad even they don't run around money!

John A , 1 week ago

Her first and fatal mistake was underestimating his intelligence, thinking she could trip him up with her aggressive tone. Putin has forgotten more about politics than Kelly has yet to learn. It's easy to see why NBC hacked the interview to pieces - she was pathetic and out of her league, just another brainwashed, deluded American shill.

Johnny Bucknell , 1 week ago

Putin is my hero!! Love Putin from New Zealand, NBC is part of fake news!!

James Medina , 1 week ago

What a fake news BS story... Still desperately trying to find an excuse as to why Crooked Hillary lost.

Mark Hauser , 1 week ago

After listening to the whole interview. This short clip looks like fake news!!!! How the cut the phrase and questions, out of context. Looks pathetic

dimirsen , 1 week ago

why did you decide to create this Frankenstein interview consisting of small snippets? Will the next interview be in a format of a 10 sec coub?

somfplease , 1 week ago

I watched the FULL unedited version of this before hand. Holyshit the editing is dishonest.

Kyle Witcher , 1 week ago

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2MtKS1O8Ds THIS IS THE TRUE INTERVIEW, UNEDITED AND TRANSLATED Please share the TRUE interview. Megyn Kelly got destroyed.

Toye Adeniran , 1 week ago

Wtf NBC, this is ridiculously badly edited to fit an agenda. This is not journalism. I wasn't a fan of Russia before this, but you might be changing my mind by showing this edited crap. You're making things between the US and Russia worse not better by showing this edited crap.

Вован , 1 week ago

Wow, i am a Russian and i have to say you guys went too far with your propaganda. This is cut and edited beyond reason. Why you do this? Stop making our president look like the ultimate villain. Honestly, it was such a pleasure to listen to Vladimir Putin's reasonable approach. WTF NBC?

Zavier Brewer , 1 week ago

It's not a debate if she keeps interrupting him, very disappointed in the way NBC took this golden opportunity to have a proper conversation with one of the super powers of the world and wasted it in "I tell you, you did this" and childish reaction from Megyn part.

Che , 1 week ago

In America, Our political & Media Elite managed to collude Our foreign policy with Democracy promotion.We use Democracy promotion to achieved our foreign policy agenda.. In Libya we Used democracy promotion to achieve our foreign policy goal of getting ride of Gadhafi, following the fall of Gadhafi we abandon Libya on moved on to OUR NEXT TARGET, SYRIA.... IN SYRIA, we formed an alliance with non Democratic ARAB REGIMES to Overthrow A Circular government of ASSAD. when RUSSIA & IRAN INTERVEIN @ THE REQUEST OF THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT, we have an issue with that.. OUR FOREIGN POLICY is INCONSISTENT AND UNDERMINES OUR NATIONAL INTEREST/Democracy. & Corporate Media is a SCAM... HAD WE HAD alternative NEWS SOURCE LIKE(social media) WE DO TODAY, WE WOULDN'T HAVE INVADED IRAQ ON FAKE EVIDENCE /INTELLIGENCE God Bless America

somtitious , 1 week ago

National Bias Corporation (NBC) I have watched the full interview and as usual, he flawed the beautiful but empty headed Kelly!

Joey Yared , 1 week ago

NBC is the reason why the US and Russia will never be allies. They seem to want war. Putin is probably laughing at the hysteria of the US media. Make no mistake, the MEDIA is getting in the way of peace with Russia. Putin is no saint, but keep in mind they have more nuclear weapons than us. Wouldn't hurt to mend the relationship...

Shantanu Nair , 1 week ago

This is American propaganda in its purest most undiluted form. The interpreter is putting words into Putin's mouth making him sound arrogant and brash. Its is Megyn Kelly who is the arrogant one just like the rest of the American mainstream media. I admire Putin for his patience, one must have the mental stability of a yogi to tolerate the half literate moronic deluge that radiates from Megyn's mouth. She was going too far, by interrupting Putin at every turn while Putin still has the decency to politely respond. If she is so democratic, I would advise her to pay a visit to her government's Saudi "allies.

Abe Jackson , 4 days ago

Putin is too smart for Megyn. Do you really think he's gonna tell you what you think when an American journalist asks you such questions? I don't like Putin either but he's got balls. I bet he knows English too but he knows that speaking a foreign language will put him at an disadvantage. Smart move by hiring an interpreter. By the way the US government throughout has done things far worse than rigging election.

DJKLY242 , 1 week ago (edited)

This isnt an interview more less the ' pressing' of 'false allegations & speculation'. Every response Putin gives is reasonable. Putin didnt have to agree with doing this. She sounds like a failed lawyer & wanna be politician. America is not Perfect, Russia is not perfect, I wish she would sit down with people in her own country & do the same but she doesnt. She acts as if she is asking these questions on behalf of Americans when really it is based on 'her' own views and for the sake of 'her' interview. This interview is flawed.

Big Money , 1 week ago

a new film about Putin, very interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RK2xmLVkDI

Pete Daltry , 1 week ago

Fake news

DazzaWebb , 1 week ago

America = The greatest threat to humanity since Nazi Germany.

Abz , 1 week ago

Don't spread lies NBC news. People should not believe this fake news! Glad to see there's more dislikes than likes, people are starting to know the truth.

Derek Robert , 1 week ago

NBC shilling for war as usual.

London England , 1 week ago (edited)

How disingenuous can NBC get? Actual quote from the interview: "Maybe, although they were Russian, they work for some American company. Maybe one of them worked with one of the candidates. I have no idea about this. These are not my problems" And in the headlines: "Putin on alleged US election interference: I don't care".

Henri Alanko , 1 week ago

It's been over a year and you've managed to find 13 Russian Twitter trolls. What a horrifying conspiracy. Worse than Pearl Harbor!

HeliOs AsclepiUs , 1 week ago

American Democracy is run by plutocrats Itching for war against Russia and China and Iran.. USA is a warmonger doing the bidding for Israel.. As if Russia had Trump elected.. What a joke.. American mainstream media is trying to manufacture consent from its people to go to war.. Watch and see..

VendPrekmurec , 1 week ago

A very russophobic primitive propaganda

zonkus culture , 1 week ago (edited)

United state have been interfering in African election forcing us to there evil democracy, killing Gaddafi for no reason. Look at what you guys did in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries that don't want to do your evil democracy. After lying to the shameless United nations security council about Saddam's building of weapons of mass destruction, Who fight you about that?.

Love Animals-6 , 1 week ago

This is quite possibly the WORST interview ever conducted. This one is NOT a journalist. If you want to be a respectable broadcaster, fire this moron immediately. Horrendously non-factual, terribly edited - this interview is America in a nutshell. The world has awoken in this age and won't stand still.

Tony Stark , 1 week ago

This is the full 90 mins unedited version with English Subs, see the truth for yourselves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mhi_AyQAyw

ImperialLion , 1 week ago

Remember that United States interferes in the affairs of other nations ALL THE TIME. The U.S. attempted to influence the elections of foreign countries as many as 81 times between 1946 and 2000. Since 2000, the U.S. has attempted to sway elections in Ukraine, Kenya, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.

Adam Koester , 1 week ago

I am American and I am fully of aware how evil and deceptive this country is. I understand Putin is trying to do the right thing. But it seems as if almost 90-95% of people in this country still don't get it. They actually are repulsed and angry by the idea that we could be the bad guys. It has turned my family and friends against me. I am all alone...

FahadMHassan , 1 week ago

Megyn Kelly? Pressure Putin? Should I cry or laugh! It's like watching Ahmedinajad destroying King! Even your questions has no concrete clue to any Russian government connection! None!!!!! Are you really a journalist? Guys seriously if you wanna do tv then do it right! You can't pressure Putin by saying they are Russians if you don't have any any any any clues on government connection! You should really consider your questions next time!

Patanjali Kumar.P , 1 week ago

Certain Americans are just pompous arrogant idiots and letting them represent America makes the world look at all Americans as that pompous person.

Korven Griffin , 1 week ago

What an absolute farce. Megan is nothing but a sassy mouthed fool. Funny as f##@

Janihoy Berhan , 1 week ago (edited)

There's no "Russian Connection". This is a lie. This whole "Russian interference in US elections" is a political sham invented by the corrupt American system infiltrated by Zionists and Anti-Christian lobbyists.

Bulat Nurmukhanov , 5 days ago

Poor work by the journalist. She is supposed to have a dialogue, she is supposed to listen to the interviewee. Instead, it was just a bunch of questions and it looked quite awkward.

Richard Mulder , 1 week ago

How many governments in the world have been overthrown by the American CIA? How often does evil USA interfere in other states' elections? The USA government is pure evil.

Richard Rider , 1 week ago

God, is President Putin PATIENT to put up with her...Why does he put up with her?

paul david , 1 week ago

"American democracy, under attack".... by putting $46,000 worth of ads on Facebook, most of which were posted AFTER the election. Come on people, don't be foolish.

Wavanova , 1 week ago

"You believe that America meddled in your elections?" No Megyn Kelly, that's a historical fact, look up the "Harvard Boys" sponsored by USAID, look at the cover of the July 15, 1996 issue of Time Magazine entitled "Yanks to the Rescue", celebrating America's role in hijacking the Russian political system.

[Mar 23, 2018] Russiagate Comes to England by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... persona non grata ..."
"... May, who referred to a "Russian mafia state," has blamed Moscow for the attack even though she made plain in her first speech that the investigation was still underway. ..."
"... She did not consider that Vladimir Putin's government would have no good reason to carry out an assassination that surely would be attributed to it, particularly as it was on the verge of national elections and also, more important, because it will be hosting the World Cup later this year and will be highly sensitive to threats of boycott. ..."
"... when Theresa May says that the alleged agent used against the Skripals as being "of a type" associated with a reported Russian-developed chemical weapon called Novichok that was produced in the 1970s and 1980s, she is actually conceding that her own chemical weapons laboratories at Porton Down are, to a certain, extent, guessing at the provenance and characteristics of the actual agent that might or might not have been used in Salisbury. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from Unz.co ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

I don't know what happened in Salisbury England on March 4th, but it appears that the British government doesn't know either. Prime Minister Theresa May's speech before Parliament last Monday was essentially political, reflecting demands that she should "do something" in response to the mounting hysteria over the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. After May's presentation there were demands from Parliamentarians for harsh measures against Russia, reminiscent of the calls for action emanating from the U.S. Congress over the allegations relating to what has been called Russiagate.

This demand to take action led to a second Parliamentary address by May on Wednesday in which she detailed the British response to the incident, which included cutting off all high-level contacts between Moscow and London and the " persona non grata " (PNG) expulsion of 23 "spies" and intelligence officers working out of the Russian Federation Embassy. The expulsions will no doubt produce a tit-for-tat PNG from Moscow, ironically crippling or even eliminating the MI-6 presence and considerably reducing Britain's own ability to understand what it going on in the Kremlin.

May, who referred to a "Russian mafia state," has blamed Moscow for the attack even though she made plain in her first speech that the investigation was still underway. In both her presentations, she addressed the issue of motive by citing her belief that the attempted assassination conforms with an established pattern of Russian behavior. She did not consider that Vladimir Putin's government would have no good reason to carry out an assassination that surely would be attributed to it, particularly as it was on the verge of national elections and also, more important, because it will be hosting the World Cup later this year and will be highly sensitive to threats of boycott. And it must be observed that Skripal posed no active threat to the Russian government. He has been living quietly in Britain for eight years, leading to wild tabloid press speculation that the Kremlin's motive must have been to warn potential traitors that there are always consequences, even years later and in a far-off land.

To provide additional buttressing of what is a questionable thesis, the case of the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 has been repeatedly cited by the media on both sides of the Atlantic as evidence of Russian turpitude, but the backstory is not the same. Litvinenko was an FSB officer who fled to the United Kingdom to avoid prosecution in Russia. In Britain, he became a whistleblower and author, exposing numerous alleged Russian government misdeeds. Would the Kremlin have been motivated to kill him? He was seen as a traitor and a continuing threat through his books and speeches, so it is certainly possible. The story of Skripal was, however, completely different. He was a double agent working for Britain who was arrested and imprisoned in 2006. He was released and traveled to the UK after a 2010 spy swap was arranged by Washington and his daughter has been able to travel freely from Moscow to visit him. If the Russian government had wanted to kill him, they could have easily done so while he was in prison, or they could have punished him by taking steps against his daughter.

There are a number of problems with the accepted narrative as presented by May and the media. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a nerve agent as "usually odorless organophosphate (such as sarin, tabun, or VX) that disrupts the transmission of nerve impulses by inhibiting cholinesterase and especially acetylcholinesterase and is used as a chemical weapon in gaseous or liquid form," while Wikipedia explains that it is "a class of organic chemicals that disrupt the mechanisms by which nerves transfer messages to organs." A little more research online reveals that most so-called nerve agents are chemically related. So when Theresa May says that the alleged agent used against the Skripals as being "of a type" associated with a reported Russian-developed chemical weapon called Novichok that was produced in the 1970s and 1980s, she is actually conceding that her own chemical weapons laboratories at Porton Down are, to a certain, extent, guessing at the provenance and characteristics of the actual agent that might or might not have been used in Salisbury.

Beyond that, a military strength nerve agent is, by definition, a highly concentrated and easily dispersed form of a chemical weapon. It is intended to kill or incapacitate hundreds or even thousands of soldiers. If it truly had been used in Salisbury, even in a small dose, it would have killed Skripal and his daughter as well as others nearby. First responders who showed up without protective clothing, clearly seen in the initial videos and photos taken near the site, would also be dead. After her first speech, May summoned the Russian Ambassador and demanded that he address the allegations, but Moscow reasonably enough demanded a sample of the alleged nerve agent for testing by relevant international bodies like the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons before it could even respond to the British accusations. It was a valid point even supported in Parliament questioning by opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, but May and her government decided to act anyway.

May's language also conveys uncertainty. She used "it appears" and also said it was "highly likely" that Moscow was behind the poisoning of Skripal but provided no actual evidence that that was the case, presumably only assuming that it had to be Russia. And her government has told the public that there is "little risk" remaining over the incident and that those who were possibly exposed merely have to wash themselves and their clothes, hardly likely if it were a military grade toxin, which gains it lethality from being persistent on and around a target. She made clear her lack of corroboration for her claim by offering an "either-or" analysis: either Russia's government did it or it had "lost control" of its nerve agent.

As noted above, May's argument is, to a certain extent, based on character assassination of Russians – she even offered up the alleged "annexation" of Crimea as corroboration of her view that Moscow is not inclined to play by the rules that others observe. It is a narrative that is based on the presumption that "this is the sort of thing the Russian government headed by Vladimir Putin does." The British media has responded enthusiastically, running stories about numerous assassinations and poisonings that ought to be attributed to Russia, while ignoring the fact that the world leaders in political assassinations are actually the United States and Israel.

There are a number of other considerations that the May government has ignored in its rush to expand the crisis. She mentioned that Russia might be somewhat exonerated if it has lost control of its chemical weapons, but did not fully explain what that might mean. It could be plausible to consider that states hostile to Russia like Ukraine and Georgia that were once part of the Soviet Union could have had , and might still retain, stocks of the Novichok nerve agent. That in turn suggests a false flag, with someone having an interest in promoting a crisis between Russia and Britain. If that someone were a country having a sophisticated arms industry possessing its own chemical weapons capability, like the United States or Israel, it would be quite easy to copy the characteristics of the Russian nerve agent, particularly as its formula has been known since it was published in 1992. The agent could then be used to create an incident that would inevitably be blamed on Moscow. Why would Israel and the United States want to do that? To put pressure on Russia to embarrass it and put it on the defensive so I would be forced eventually to abandon its support for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Removing al-Assad is the often-expressed agenda of the Israeli and American governments, both of which have pledged to take "independent action" in Syria no matter what the United Nations or any other international body says. The redoubtable Nikki Haley is already using the incident to fearmonger over Moscow's intentions at the U.N., warning that a Russian chemical attack on New York City could be coming.

And to throw out a really wild possibility, one might observe that no one in Britain had a stronger motive to generate a major confrontation with a well-defined enemy than Theresa May, who has been under fire by the media and pressured to resign by many in her own Conservative Party. Once upon a time suggesting that a democratically elected government might assassinate someone for political reasons would have been unthinkable, but the 2016 election in the United States has demonstrated that nothing is impossible, particularly if one is considering the possibility that a secret intelligence service might be collaborating with a government to help it stay in power. An incident in which no one was actually killed that can be used to spark an international crisis mandating "strong leadership" would be just the ticket.

Reprinted with permission from Unz.co

[Mar 23, 2018] Manipulative media monopoly Kremlin spokesman says US UK press has ruled world for decades by Simon Belcher

Notable quotes:
"... Media outlets based in the US and Britain have long enjoyed dominance in the global news market and have abused their position to manipulate audiences ..."
"... "People are naked against these media wars. They are victims of these media wars," ..."
"... "They are being driven into a certain way of emotions without even understanding that." ..."
"... "Anglo-Saxon media" ..."
"... "They are the most powerful, the most influential, and they have the widest possible reach globally," ..."
"... And, of course, this feeling of monopoly brings a will to manipulate this monopoly. ..."
"... You can use this monopoly as a tool of delivering your point of view, whether it's right or wrong, it doesn't matter, you can adjust it in accordance with the situation -- to simply manipulate the [minds] of people throughout the world." ..."
Mar 23, 2018 | www.rt.com

Media outlets based in the US and Britain have long enjoyed dominance in the global news market and have abused their position to manipulate audiences , a Kremlin spokesman told RT in an exclusive interview. Russia is currently being targeted by an unprecedented campaign in the West, aimed at undermining its resurgence, Dmitry Peskov told RT's Sophie Shevardnadze. The media are playing a major part in it, as they are selling an anti-Russian narrative to the people of Western nations. But what those outlets do is a disservice to their audiences, he argued.

"People are naked against these media wars. They are victims of these media wars," he said. "They are being driven into a certain way of emotions without even understanding that."

Peskov said that for decades "Anglo-Saxon media" enjoyed a virtual global monopoly on delivering news about economy and politics.

"They are the most powerful, the most influential, and they have the widest possible reach globally," he said. " And, of course, this feeling of monopoly brings a will to manipulate this monopoly.

You can use this monopoly as a tool of delivering your point of view, whether it's right or wrong, it doesn't matter, you can adjust it in accordance with the situation -- to simply manipulate the [minds] of people throughout the world."

He added that outlets like RT challenge this "huge machine" with alternative narratives and facts that don't fit into how the Western media wants the world to see things. A good example of this is coverage of events in Syria and Iraq, Peskov said.

Western media were all too eager to highlight civilian casualties of the operation in Aleppo, which they blame solely on Russian and Syrian forces, but failed to extend this kind of reporting to similar operations in Mosul and Raqqa, where the US-led coalition was in charge.

[Mar 21, 2018] An insane anti-Putin propaganda campaign in the West helped Russian people to learn their lesson: another Yeltsin or Gorbachev in Russia are now highly unlikely. In fact, the West will regret the day Putin is gone.

Mar 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

yurivku , Next New Comment March 21, 2018 at 12:53 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

" As far as we all know now are quite hard times to Russia and to the world as a whole. "

Why do we have these hard times ?
Could it be globalisation, western greed, and western aggression ?

Well, probably it can be more clear for those who are attacking and humiliating Russia in all directions? The West-ZUS-UK

But I think it's just an agony of Empire seeing the world order is about to change. And yes it's "western greed" which have a "western aggression" as a consequence.

The "globalisation" actually IS that world order which the West trying to establish. Russia in all times in all its internal structure was a subject of annexation and submission. But we never agreed and never will do it, until alive. The West is too stupid to get that simple thing to know and leave us to live as we are about to.

[Mar 21, 2018] RT Chief, Margarita Simonyan: Why We Don't Respect the West Anymore

Notable quotes:
"... We don't want to live like you live, anymore. For fifty years, secretly and openly, we wanted to live like you, but not any longer. We have no more respect for you, and for those amongst us that you support, and for all those people who support you. That's how this 5% came to be. ..."
"... For that you only have yourself to blame. And also your Western politicians and analysts, newsmakers and scouts. Our people are capable to forgive a lot. But we don't forgive arrogance, and no normal nation would. Your only remaining Empire would be wise to learn history of its allies, all of them are former empires. To learn the ways they lost their empires. Only because of their arrogance. ..."
"... (in English in the original text -- trans. ..."
"... Neo-Liberalism is the worst because under this pseudo science they consider all things including the land, the air, the water, the human beings and the same life (all nature) as their rightful commodities. ..."
"... Unfortunately in this case Karl Rove is only making reference to what has been decided in political circles in Washington at that time. This habit of "defining new realities" is what all MSM and most Western politicians work after today. At any time at any case the MSM and the West system can change one reality perception to another without being held responsible for the factual truth. ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | russia-insider.com

And that's your fault, my Western friends. It was you who pushed us into "Russians never surrender" mode.

I've been telling you for a long time to find normal advisers on Russia. Sack all those parasites. With their short-sighted sanctions, heartless humiliation of our athletes (including athletes with disabilities ), with their "skripals" and ostentatious disregard of the most basic liberal values, like a presumption of innocence, that they manage to hypocritically combined with forcible imposition of ultra-liberal ideas in their own countries, their epileptic mass hysteria, causing in a healthy person a sigh of relief that he lives in Russia, and not in Hollywood, with their post-electoral mess in the United States, in Germany, and in the Brexit-zone;

with their attacks on RT, which they cannot forgive for taking advantage of the freedom of speech and showing to the world how to use it, and it turned out that the freedom of speech never was intended to be used for good, but was invented as an object of beauty, like some sort of crystal mop that shines from afar, but is not suitable to clean your stables, with all your injustice and cruelty, inquisitorial hypocrisy and lies you forced us to stop respecting you. You and your so called "values."

We don't want to live like you live, anymore. For fifty years, secretly and openly, we wanted to live like you, but not any longer. We have no more respect for you, and for those amongst us that you support, and for all those people who support you. That's how this 5% came to be.

For that you only have yourself to blame. And also your Western politicians and analysts, newsmakers and scouts. Our people are capable to forgive a lot. But we don't forgive arrogance, and no normal nation would. Your only remaining Empire would be wise to learn history of its allies, all of them are former empires. To learn the ways they lost their empires. Only because of their arrogance.

(in English in the original text -- trans. )

But the only Empire, you have left, ignores history, it doesn't teach it and refuses to learn it, meaning that it all will end the way it always does, in such cases.

In meantime, you've pushed us to rally around your enemy. Immediately, after you declared him an enemy, we united around him.

Before, he was just our President, who could be reelected. Now, he has become our Leader. We won't let you change this. And it was you, who created this situation.

It was you who imposed an opposition between patriotism and liberalism. Although, they shouldn't be mutually exclusive notions. This false dilemma, created by you, made us to chose patriotism.

Even though, many of us are really liberals, myself included.

Get cleaned up, now. You don't have much time left.


Muriel Kuri 13 hours ago ,

I agree with you, Margarita, and I am American! I remember as a child, being taught about that horrid USSR - to be so feared, ready at any moment to bomb us into oblivion! I remember the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. - not knowing the full details, but being told that Kennedy saved us all from WWIII. As time went on, we'd watch humorous shows detailing the large percentage of Russians in USSR wanting to AND defecting to America. We were shown Russians lined up around city blocks to buy toilet paper, shoes (any size, any color would do). Russians naivety was always made fun of, casting the majority of you as either clowns or criminals capable of all heinous crimes. Then came the 90s. I watched Yeltsin tottering around drunk, watched in horror as the USSR collapsed, wondering what had happened to you. Then came Putin - this young man being handed the reins of your collapsed, ruined country. Suddenly it seemed, we saw more and more of him. I remember watching his face when he had to explain to the tearful, waiting parents and friends of the mariners from the Kursk. His remark that if he could go down there himself and rescue them he would! I knew then, that this was a man to be watched, because I admired him at that moment. Over the years, after one successful term after another, I saw Russia rising like a Phoenix from the ashes of the USSR. I saw the pride returning to the Russian faces, saw smiles returning to their faces, watched you regaining your honor, your sovereignty as we started losing ours. Watching and listening, in horror and fear as more and more of our rights were taken away after 9/11. Discovering that it was a false flag (one of many, it seems), that took the lives of ordinary Americans and used their deaths to start killing more people in Iraq, which had nothing to do with the attack. More time going by, more rights taken away here, yet for you, rising ever more to greater economy, more business friendly environments in Russia, more world trade with an increasing number of trading partners.

Then started the demonization again - not of USSR, but of Russia - same story, different name. Putin - guilty of all crimes of mankind, blamed for everything under the sun, capable and willing to kill people around the globe with impunity, using chemicals and all other nefarious things! I watched the crimes committed in Ukraine, which deposed the legally elected president, and that tried to kill him after a coup that put Nazis in his place. I watched Crimea hold it's referendum, saw the fireworks display afterwards with all the happy faces. Russia was demonized even more and sanctioned greatly for that. Now to 2017 - I prayed that Putin would run again - (he waited a long time before stating he would run.) I knew that Russia sorely needed him to remain at the reins, guiding Russia (and the world, it seems) around the icebergs of hate, crimes against humanity, local wars, demise of any empathetic feelings towards others as we are all dragged along to the next, last war. Putin has been the one who has prevented it from happening in several situations, where it could have been started. But the demonization continues - little wonder America has lost it's appeal to most of you!

The deep state has us in thrall - (no Kennedy here now to protect us). I pray daily that all of us will survive to realize our hopes - yours and ours, but feel on a deep level that this time it won't happen. It seems that some people here truly want a war - feel they could survive the strike and retaliate to ruin your country, but that ours would remain mainly untouched. They think their bunkers will protect them - their expansive underground cities built for the richest and 'best' of America, while the rest of us are collateral damage. I am not rich - have no real savings, so am definitely not one of those to be saved - like so others around me. I'm sure many of you are in the same position, have the same fears and dreams as I do. I offer all of you my best wishes for a happy, healthy, free and safe world. Maybe your Putin actually does have a rabbit in his hat, or that silver bullet - the magic needed to save us all! I truly hope so.

wdg Muriel Kuri 5 hours ago ,

As a Canadian, thank you for your excellent summary of what I have concluded for some time. Sadly, the US is no longer a Constitutional Republic as established by the founders; it is not even a representative democracy. What the US has become is an Evil American Empire that is the greatest threat to peace and prosperity in the US and throughout the entire world. The good news is that a growing number of people in the US and the Western World realize this and are working very hard to return America to its founding ideals. The first stage in this process is the exposure of powerful members of the Deep State who have infiltrated and corrupted the essential institutions of government, freedom and justice.

TiredOfBsToo 13 hours ago ,

I used to be liberal before liberalism became a symbol of stupidity, war mongering and affiliated with the Deep State and it's rush to rule the world by destroying every society whose people chose to live life as they saw fit. The translation mechanism for understanding US leadership is projection. If the mouthpieces ramble on about their values, the meaning is that they are stating the values of their opponent or target country. If they're accusing a country of terrorism, they're talking about their own support for terrorism for geopolitical gains. If they're accusing a country of using chemical weapons, they're really talking about their own use of chemical weapons to launch another war and destroy yet another country's society. So one can easily see the true meaning of these psychopaths rantings and rhetoric by merely using the simple mechanism of projection to determine the truth.

Maria Angelica Brunell Solar Gerry Hiles 8 hours ago ,

Many times I am completely confused by the use that Americans make of traditional political or economic terms. "Socialism", for example, applied to Democrats? Calling "Liberals" those who like to defy society's traditional customs? "Marxism" is no longer a theory about the conflict of classes, or a dialectical understanding of society! Many political discussions are due to the different interpretations that people give to the same words. The US political science vocabulary is in chaos- along with many other US things!

tomo stojanovic Maria Angelica Brunell Solar an hour ago ,

Americans are keen on Orwellian renaming

wdg Maria Angelica Brunell Solar 5 hours ago ,

Seventy years ago, George Orwell wrote the prophetic essay, "Politics
and the English Language," in which he noted that politicians,
journalists and academics were increasingly using meaningless words and
euphemisms to make "lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and...
give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." Source: https://www.alternet.org/el...

Rafael Gerry Hiles 6 hours ago ,

Totally agree. Fundamental or Philosophical Liberalism has to be with the human being and his liberties and rights.
Economic Liberalism has to be with the commodities trade and physical money, financial money, and their privileges put over the human beings, of course this is a euphemism because whom are really self conceded such privileges are the owners of those goods i.e. International Usurers.
Economic Liberalism morphed into the worst; into Neo-(Economic)-Liberalism (They call it only "liberalism" in order to confuse their enemies, all the people).
Neo-Liberalism is the worst because under this pseudo science they consider all things including the land, the air, the water, the human beings and the same life (all nature) as their rightful commodities.

Tommy Jensen TiredOfBsToo 13 hours ago ,

Double speak, double thinking, defining realities, part of the same s..t.

TiredOfBsToo Tommy Jensen 13 hours ago ,

You're absolutely correct! We've had the worst of the worst running and influencing those that run the country and this man was a psycho, but we have more, too many!

Gerry Hiles Tommy Jensen 12 hours ago ,

And Dubya called him "Turd Blossom". Apt. Perhaps relating to mutual dehumanisation in Skull & Bones?

Peter Jennings Tommy Jensen 5 hours ago ,

The arrogance of the man. I do hope he lives long enough to see the fruits of his labor whilst the economy collapses around him. I guess when that happens he and his other hapless miscreants will keep their heads down and rely on security to protect them from the karma hurtling towards them.

Nothing this man has done has benefited the American people.

Tommy Jensen Peter Jennings 3 hours ago ,

Unfortunately in this case Karl Rove is only making reference to what has been decided in political circles in Washington at that time. This habit of "defining new realities" is what all MSM and most Western politicians work after today. At any time at any case the MSM and the West system can change one reality perception to another without being held responsible for the factual truth.

[Mar 21, 2018] Whataboutism Is A Nonsensical Propaganda Term Used To Defend The Failed Status Quo by Mike Krieger

Highly recommended!
The classic question " Who is judging the judges"
Western journalists, with a very small exception (real outliers), are experts at presenting one-sided arguments, whatever the facts and evidence. Look at Meagan Kelly interviews for the inspiration. They know how to wear down any dissident who does not buy into government talking points
Mar 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

If you spend any time on Twitter, you'll probably be familiar with the latest pathetic attempt to defend and insulate the U.S. status quo from criticism. It centers around the usage of an infantile and meaningless term, "whataboutism."

Let's begin with one particularly absurd accusation of "whataboutism" promoted by NPR last year:

When O'Reilly countered that "Putin is a killer," Trump responded, "There are a lot of killers. You got a lot of killers. What, you think our country is so innocent?"

This particular brand of changing the subject is called "whataboutism" -- a simple rhetorical tactic heavily used by the Soviet Union and, later, Russia. And its use in Russia helps illustrate how it could be such a useful tool now, in America. As Russian political experts told NPR, it's an attractive tactic for populists in particular, allowing them to be vague but appear straight-talking at the same time.

The idea behind whataboutism is simple: Party A accuses Party B of doing something bad. Party B responds by changing the subject and pointing out one of Party A's faults -- "Yeah? Well what about that bad thing you did?" (Hence the name.)

It's not exactly a complicated tactic -- any grade-schooler can master the "yeah-well-you-suck-too-so-there" defense. 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.

This is a really embarrassing take by NPR .

First, the author tries to associate a tactic that's been around since humans first wandered into caves -- deflecting attention away from yourself by pointing out the flaws in others -- into some uniquely nefarious Russian propaganda tool. Second, that's not even what Trump did in this example.

In his response to O'Reilly, Trump wasn't using "whataboutism" to deflect away from his own sins. Rather, he offered a rare moment of self-reflection about the true role played by the U.S. government around the world. This isn't "whataboutism," it's questioning the hypocrisy and abuse of power of one's own government. It's an attempt to take responsibility for stuff he might actually be able to change as President. It's the most ethical and honest response to that question in light of the amount of violence the U.S. government engages in abroad. If our leaders did this more often, we might stop repeatedly jumping from one insane and destructive war to the next.

Had O'Reilly's question been about the U.S. government's ongoing support of Saudi Arabia's war crimes in Yemen and Trump shifted the conversation to Russian atrocities, he could then be fairly accused of changing the subject to avoid accountability. In that case, you could condemn Trump for "whataboutism" because he intentionally deflected attention away from his own government's sins to the sins of another. This sort of thing is indeed very dangerous, especially when done by someone in a position of power.

But here's the thing. You don't need some catchy, infantile term like "whataboutism" to point out that someone in power's deflecting attention from their own transgressions. I agree wholeheartedly with Adam Johnson when he states:

He's absolutely right. One should never rely on the lazy use of a cutesy, catchy term like "whataboutism" as a retort to someone who points out a glaring contradiction. If you do, you're either a propagandist with no counterargument or a fool who mindlessly adopts the jingoistic cues of others. Responding to someone by saying "that's just whataboutism" isn't an argument, it's an assault on one's logical faculties. It's attempt to provide people with a way to shut down debate and conversation by simply blurting out a clever sounding fake-word. Here's an example of how I've seen it used on Twitter.

One U.S. citizen (likely a card carrying member of "the resistance") will regurgitate some standard intel agency line on Syria or Russia. Another U.S. citizen will then draw attention to the fact that their own government plays an active role in egregious war crimes in Yemen on behalf of the Saudis. This person will proceed to advocate for skepticism with regard to U.S. government and intelligence agency war promotion considering how badly the public was deceived in the run up to the Iraq war. For this offense, they'll be accused of "whataboutism."

The problem with this accusation is that this person isn't switching the subject to bring up another's transgression to deflect from scrutiny of his or her behavior. In contrast, the person is putting the conversation in its rightful place, which is to question the behavior of one's own country. When it comes to issues such as nation-state violence, the primary duty of a citizen is not to obsess all day about the violence perpetrated by foreign governments, but to hold one's own government accountable. This is as true for an American citizen in American as it is for a Russian citizen in Russia.

NPR explained how the Russian government used "whataboutism" to deflect away from it's own crimes, but Trump actually did the opposite in his interview with O'Reilly. He wasn't deflecting away from his own country's crimes, he was pointing out that they exist. That's precisely what you're supposed to do as a citizen.

The problem arises when governments deflect attention away from their own crimes for which they are actually responsible, by pointing out the crimes of a foreign government. This is indeed propaganda and an evasion of responsibility. Calling out your own government's hypocrisy in matters of state sanctioned murder abroad is the exact opposite sort of thing.

Noam Chomsky put it better than I ever could. Here's what he said in a 2003 interview :

QUESTION: When you talk about the role of intellectuals, you say that the first duty is to concentrate on your own country. Could you explain this assertion?

CHOMSKY: One of the most elementary moral truisms is that you are responsible for the anticipated consequences of your own actions. It is fine to talk about the crimes of Genghis Khan, but there isn't much that you can do about them. If Soviet intellectuals chose to devote their energies to crimes of the U.S., which they could do nothing about, that is their business. We honor those who recognized that the first duty is to concentrate on your own country. And it is interesting that no one ever asks for an explanation, because in the case of official enemies, truisms are indeed truisms. It is when truisms are applied to ourselves that they become contentious, or even outrageous. But they remain truisms. In fact, the truisms hold far more for us than they did for Soviet dissidents, for the simple reason that we are in free societies, do not face repression, and can have a substantial influence on government policy. So if we adopt truisms, that is where we will focus most of our energy and commitment. The explanation is even more obvious than in the case of official enemies.

Naturally, truisms are hated when applied to oneself. You can see it dramatically in the case of terrorism. In fact one of the reasons why I am considered "public enemy number one" among a large sector of intellectuals in the U.S. is that I mention that the U.S. is one of the major terrorist states in the world and this assertion, though plainly true, is unacceptable for many intellectuals, including left-liberal intellectuals, because if we faced such truths we could do something about the terrorist acts for which we are responsible, accepting elementary moral responsibilities instead of lauding ourselves for denouncing the crimes official enemies, about which we can often do very little.

Elementary honesty is often uncomfortable, in personal life as well, and there are people who make great efforts to evade it. For intellectuals, throughout history, it has often come close to being their vocation. Intellectuals are commonly integrated into dominant institutions. Their privilege and prestige derives from adapting to the interests of power concentrations, often taking a critical look but in very limited ways. For example, one may criticize the war in Vietnam as a "mistake" that began with "benign intentions". But it goes too far to say that the war is not "a mistake" but was "fundamentally wrong and immoral". the position of about 70 percent of the public by the late 1960s, persisting until today, but of only a margin of intellectuals. The same is true of terrorism. In acceptable discourse, as can easily be demonstrated, the term is used to refer to terrorist acts that THEY carry out against US, not those that WE carry out against THEM. That is probably close to a historical universal. And there are innumerable other examples.

For saying the above, Noam Chomsky would surely be labeled the godfather of "whataboutism" by Twitter's resistance army, but he's actually advocating the most ethical, logical and courageous path of citizenship. U.S. taxpayers aren't paying for Russia's military operations, but they are paying for the U.S. government's. The idea that U.S. citizens emphasizing U.S. violence are committing the thought-crime of "whataboutism" when it comes to foreign policy is absurd. Our primary responsibility as citizens is our own aggressive and violent foreign policy, not that of other countries.

Naturally, this isn't how neocon/neoliberal and intelligence agency imperialists want you to think. Proponents of the American empire need the public to ignore the atrocities of the U.S. government and its allies for obvious reasons, while constantly obsessing over the atrocities of the empire's official enemies. This is the only way to continue to exert force abroad without domestic pushback, and it's critical in order to keep the imperial gravy train going for those it benefits so significantly. How do you shut down vibrant foreign policy debate on social media that exposes imperial hypocrisy? Accuse people of "whataboutism."

That's what I see going on. I see the weaponization of a cutesy, catchy term on social media in order to prevent people from questioning their own government. It's completely logical and ethical for U.S. citizens to push back against those arguing for more regime change wars by pointing out the evils of our own foreign policy.

In fact, the unethical position is the one espoused by those who claim the U.S. can do no wrong, but when an adversary country does what we permit ourselves to do, they must be bombed into oblivion. These people know they have no argument, so they run around condemning those trying to hold their own government accountable of "whataboutism." It's a nonsensical term with no real meaning or purpose other than to defend imperial talking points.

Accusations of "whataboutism" amount to a cynical, sleazy attempt to stifle debate without actually engaging in argument. It's also the sort of desperate and childish propaganda tactic you'd expect during late-stage imperial decline.

* * *

If you liked this article and enjoy my work, consider becoming a monthly Patron , or visit our Support Page to show your appreciation for independent content creators.

[Mar 20, 2018] The Ends Don't Justify The Means! by James Howard Kunstler

Mar 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Various readers, fans, blog commenters, Facebook trolls, and auditors twanged on me all last week about my continuing interest in the RussiaRussiaRussia hysteria, though there is no particular consensus of complaint among them -- except for a general "shut up, already" motif. For the record, I'm far more interested in the hysteria itself than the Russia-meddled-in the-election case, which I consider to be hardly any case at all beyond 13 Russian Facebook trolls.

The hysteria, on the other hand, ought to be a matter of grave concern, because it appears more and more to have been engineered by America's own intel community, its handmaidens in the Dept of Justice, and the twilight's last gleamings of the Obama White House, and now it has shoved this country in the direction of war at a time when civilian authority over the US military looks sketchy at best. This country faces manifold other problems that are certain to reduce the national standard of living and disrupt the operations of an excessively complex and dishonest economy, and the last thing America needs is a national war-dance over trumped-up grievances with Russia.

The RussiaRussiaRussia narrative has unspooled since Christmas and is blowing back badly through the FBI, now with the firing (for cause) of Deputy Director Andrew McCabe hours short of his official retirement (and inches from the golden ring of his pension). He was axed on the recommendation of his own colleagues in the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility, and they may have been influenced by the as-yet-unreleased report of the FBI Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, due out shortly.

The record of misbehavior and "collusion" between the highest ranks of the FBI, the Democratic Party, the Clinton campaign, several top political law firms, and a shady cast of international blackmail-peddlars is a six-lane Beltway-scale evidence trail compared to the muddy mule track of Trump "collusion" with Russia.

It will be amazing if a big wad of criminal cases are not dealt out of it, even as The New York Times sticks its fingers in its ears and goes, "La-la-la-la-la ."

It now appears that Mr. McCabe's statements post-firing tend to incriminate his former boss, FBI Director James Comey -- who is about to embark, embarrassingly perhaps, on a tour for his self-exculpating book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership .

A great aura of sanctimony surrounds the FBI these days. Even the news pundits seem to have forgotten the long, twisted reign of J. Edgar Hoover (1924 – 1972), a dangerous rogue who excelled at political blackmail. And why, these days, would any sane American take pronouncements from the CIA and NSA at face value? What seems to have gone on in the RussiaRussiaRussia matter is that various parts of the executive branch in the last months under Mr. Obama gave each other tacit permission, wink-wink, to do anything necessary to stuff HRC into the White House and, failing that, to derail her opponent, the Golden Golem of Greatness.

The obvious lesson in all this huggermugger is that the ends don't justify the means.

I suspect there are basically two routes through this mess .

Personally, I'd rather see the US government clean house than blow up the world over an engineered hallucination. Tags Politics Semiconductors - NEC

Comments Vote up! 17 Vote down! 3

Brazen Heist Mon, 03/19/2018 - 16:43 Permalink

A nation run by donkeys and elephants.

Have donkeys and elephants ever copulated in nature? I'm guessing it wasn't a success story.

"Bi-partisan" in this case means double the anal pain.

[Mar 17, 2018] Acceptable Bigotry and Scapegoating of Russia by Natylie Baldwin

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
turcopolier.typepad.com

The first time I realized how low things would likely get was when Ruth Marcus, deputy editor of the Washington Post , sent out the following tweet in March of 2017, squealing with delight at the thought of a new Cold War with the world's other nuclear superpower: "So excited to be watching The Americans, throwback to a simpler time when everyone considered Russia the enemy. Even the president."

Not only did Marcus's comment imply that it was great for the U.S. to have an enemy, but it specifically implied that there was something particularly great about that enemy being Russia.

Since then, the public discourse has only gotten nastier. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – who notoriously perjured himself before Congress about warrantless spying on Americans – stated on Meet the Press last May that Russians were uniquely and "genetically" predisposed toward manipulative political activities. If Clapper or anyone else in the public eye had made such a statement about Muslims, Arabs, Iranians, Jews, Israelis, Chinese or just about any other group, there would have been some push-back about the prejudice that it reflected and how it didn't correspond with enlightened liberal values. But Clapper's comment passed with hardly a peep of protest.

More recently, John Sipher , a retired CIA station chief who reportedly spent years in Russia – although at what point in time is unclear – was interviewed in Jane Mayer's recent New Yorker piece trying to spin the Steele Dossier as somehow legitimate. On March 6, Sipher took to Twitter with the following comment : "How can one not be a Russophobe? Russia soft power is political warfare. Hard power is invading neighbors, hiding the death of civilians with chemical weapons and threatening with doomsday nuclear weapons. And they kill the opposition at home. Name something positive."

In fairness to Sipher, he did backpedal somewhat after being challenged; however, the fact that his unfiltered blabbering reveals such a deep antipathy toward Russians ("How can one not be a Russophobe?") and an initial assumption that he could get away with saying it publicly is troubling.

Glenn Greenwald re-tweeted with a comment asking if Russians would soon acceptably be referred to as "rats and roaches." Another person replied with: "Because they are rats and roaches. What's the problem?"

This is just a small sampling of the anti-Russian comments and attitudes that pass, largely unremarked upon, in our media landscape.

There are, of course, the larger institutional influencers of culture doing their part to push anti-Russian bigotry in this already contentious atmosphere. Red Sparrow , both the book and the movie , detail the escapades of a female Russian spy. The story propagates the continued fetishization of Russian women based on the stereotype that they're all hot and frisky. Furthermore, all those who work in Russian intelligence are evil and backwards rather than possibly being motivated by some kind of patriotism, while all the American intel agents are paragons of virtue and seem like they just stepped out of an ad for Nick at Nite's How to be Swell .

The recent Academy Awards continued their politically motivated trend of awarding Oscars for best documentary to films on topics that just happen to coalesce nicely with Washington's latest adversarial policy. Last year it was the White Helmets film to support the regime change meme in Syria. This year it's Icarus about the doping scandal in Russia.

[Mar 17, 2018] Aaron Mat on Year 1 of Russiagate and its consequences

Mar 17, 2018 | scotthorton.org

Aaron Maté of The Real News joins Scott to discuss two of his latest pieces for The Nation, " Hyping the Mueller Indictment " and " What We've Learned in Year 1 of Russiagate ." Maté explains why he thinks the Trump-Russia collusion case is much ado about nothing and how Trump's pre-election attempts to de-escalate tensions with Russia have been misconstrued as collusion. Scott and Maté then discuss how the centrist left, with the help of Facebook and corporate media, is using the Russiagate conspiracy to double down on the Hillary Clinton wing of the Democratic party.

[Mar 16, 2018] Corbyn Calls for Evidence in Escalating Poison Row

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... For requesting evidence of Russian culpability in the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has been denounced by PM Theresa May and even members of his own party. ..."
"... he British government demanded that Russia offer an explanation, but then rejected a Russian request to share a sample of the nerve agent that was used in the poisoning. ..."
"... JEREMY CORBYN: Our response must be both decisive and proportionate, and based on clear evidence. If the government believes that it is still a possibility that Russia negligently lost control of a military grade nerve agent, what action is being taken through the OPCW with our allies? I welcome the fact the police are working with the OPCW, and has the prime minister taken the necessary steps under the Chemical Weapons Convention to make a formal request for evidence from the Russian government under Article 9.2? How has she responded to the Russian government's request for a sample of the agent used in the Salisbury attack to run its own tests? Has high resolution trace analysis been run on a sample of the nerve agent? And has that revealed any evidence as to the location of its production or the identity of its perpetrators? ..."
"... My first reaction having listened to the clip you played by Jeremy Corbyn is that's one very courageous man. It's not clear even his own Labour Party supports what he said. ..."
"... So, I kind of quarrel with your opening sentence that relations are as bad as they've been since the end of the Cold War. I say, no they're worse than they were during the Cold War. I jotted down just a few reasons. Let me just rattle them off and then we'll get to this, any other event you want to talk about. The reason this new Cold War is more dangerous is we already have three fronts that are fraught with hot war. That's where the NATO buildup in the North Baltic and the Black Sea, Ukraine, and Syria. Remember in Syria, it appears to be the case that American proxies have already killed Russian citizens. So, we don't know what's going to come next. ..."
"... Secondly, two of these fronts are directly on Russia's borders, not in Berlin as was the case during the preceding Cold War, right on Russia's borders in the Baltic region and in Ukraine. Thirdly, there has been such demonization of the Kremlin leader, Putin, unlike anything that was the case during the old Cold War with Kremlin communist leaders, and along with it a kind of a Russophobic attack on Russia itself the old Cold War was about communism. This one seems to be about Russia just in general. And then you get this lightning speed of news as with this nerve agent, with people weighing in without any authority or any knowledge, very very quickly, and it's spreading before anybody has a time has time to reflect, and think, an actual expert opinion come to the fore. ..."
"... Theresa May is, perhaps, among the weakest prime ministers in modern history. She's holding on for dear life. Jeremy Corbyn is an extraordinary figure. His party, his Labour Party, which is not very good on Russia related issues either, didn't approve of what he said. But he said the right thing. He said, "There's no evidence. While we search for evidence, we need to continue a robust dialogue with Russia." That's exactly right. ..."
"... And whether he'll prevail or not, I don't know, but it is interesting, isn't it, that unlike in the United States, the leader of the opposition, which is what Corbyn is, and potentially a prime minister, is setting himself against this reckless Cold War behavior on the part of the British government. All I can say is I wish we had such a person in American high politics. ..."
"... The latest in a continuing campaign of fear and violence, staged for a hapless public, designed to lend legitimacy to authoritarianism and fascism foisted upon our domestic population; brought to you by the same Fear Inc. that capitalized on the Charlie Hebdo massacre ..."
"... With such careless rush to judgement, circumventing due process, as has been demonstrated time and again by a class of corrupt and covetous warmongers posing as public officials and their equally corrupt mainstream propaganda machine, literally everything uttered by the likes of Teresa May and her cohort of psychopathic political charlatans must be viewed with incredulity. ..."
Mar 16, 2018 | therealnews.com

For requesting evidence of Russian culpability in the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has been denounced by PM Theresa May and even members of his own party. We discuss the case with Stephen F. Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies at New York University and Princeton

http://www.youtube.com/embed/jY9-c4M7UhA?rel=0&autoplay=0&showinfo=0

AARON MATÉ: It's The Real News. I'm Aaron Maté. Ties between Russia and the West are at their lowest point since The Cold War, and a new spat over a poisoning in Britain has sunk them even lower. The British government is blaming Russia for the poisoning of former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British town of Salisbury.

The two remain in critical condition after ingesting what the British government says is a military-grade nerve agent made by Russia. The British government demanded that Russia offer an explanation, but then rejected a Russian request to share a sample of the nerve agent that was used in the poisoning. Speaking today in parliament, British Prime Minister Theresa May said Russia's response so far proves their culpability.

THERESA MAY: There is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr. Skripal and his daughter. And for threatening the lives of other British citizens in Salisbury, including Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey. This represents an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom. And as I set out on Monday, it has taken place against the backdrop of a well established pattern of Russian state aggression across Europe and beyond. It must therefore, be met with a full and robust response, beyond the actions we have already taken since the murder of Mr. Litvinenko and to counter this pattern of Russian aggression elsewhere.

AARON MATÉ: As part of the measures against Russia, May announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, the single biggest such expulsion in three decades. That drew a response from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who pressed May to hand over evidence.

JEREMY CORBYN: Our response must be both decisive and proportionate, and based on clear evidence. If the government believes that it is still a possibility that Russia negligently lost control of a military grade nerve agent, what action is being taken through the OPCW with our allies? I welcome the fact the police are working with the OPCW, and has the prime minister taken the necessary steps under the Chemical Weapons Convention to make a formal request for evidence from the Russian government under Article 9.2? How has she responded to the Russian government's request for a sample of the agent used in the Salisbury attack to run its own tests? Has high resolution trace analysis been run on a sample of the nerve agent? And has that revealed any evidence as to the location of its production or the identity of its perpetrators?

AARON MATÉ: The dispute over the poisoning has gotten so serious, that there has been speculation of NATO invoking Article 5, which bounds member states to defend others in the event of an attack. So far, Downing Street has tamped down talk of Article 5, but Theresa May has been summoning support from key allies, including the US

Joining me is professor Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at New York University and Princeton. Welcome, Professor Cohen.

You have been warning for a long time that we are in the midst of a new Cold War. What are your thoughts today as you see now tensions escalating between Britain and Russia, with now Britain ordering the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats following the expulsions that have happened in the US to Russian diplomats as a result of the Russiagate controversy?

STEPHEN COHEN: My first reaction having listened to the clip you played by Jeremy Corbyn is that's one very courageous man. It's not clear even his own Labour Party supports what he said. In the essence of what he said is Theresa May has no evidence, and yet she's prepared to ratchet up already a bad relationship with Russia based on this. They haven't produced any evidence. Let's put it like that. This alarms me because, I've said this before on your broadcast, but it's almost never said in the mainstream and it's hard to get an American discussion of it, is that whether we call our relationship with Russia a new cold war or not, it certainly is. The point is it's so much more dangerous than the preceding Cold War. I could even argue that the situation today is in some ways more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis.

So, I kind of quarrel with your opening sentence that relations are as bad as they've been since the end of the Cold War. I say, no they're worse than they were during the Cold War. I jotted down just a few reasons. Let me just rattle them off and then we'll get to this, any other event you want to talk about. The reason this new Cold War is more dangerous is we already have three fronts that are fraught with hot war. That's where the NATO buildup in the North Baltic and the Black Sea, Ukraine, and Syria. Remember in Syria, it appears to be the case that American proxies have already killed Russian citizens. So, we don't know what's going to come next.

Secondly, two of these fronts are directly on Russia's borders, not in Berlin as was the case during the preceding Cold War, right on Russia's borders in the Baltic region and in Ukraine. Thirdly, there has been such demonization of the Kremlin leader, Putin, unlike anything that was the case during the old Cold War with Kremlin communist leaders, and along with it a kind of a Russophobic attack on Russia itself the old Cold War was about communism. This one seems to be about Russia just in general. And then you get this lightning speed of news as with this nerve agent, with people weighing in without any authority or any knowledge, very very quickly, and it's spreading before anybody has a time has time to reflect, and think, an actual expert opinion come to the fore.

AARON MATÉ: One person who has been pillared in the media today is Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader who we heard from before. And I wanna play more of his speech of his comments today, to the British parliament.

JEREMY CORBYN: And while suspending planned high level contact, does the prime minister agree that it is essential to maintain a robust dialogue with Russia in the interest of our own and wider international security?

AARON MATÉ: That's Jeremy Corbyn speaking today, calling today for. "a robust dialogue with Russia." So, Professor Cohen, for saying that, Corbyn was widely mocked, including by members of his own party. I'm wondering if you can comment on that, the import of that, not just for this specific case, but overall, this attitude towards having dialogue, calling for dialogue with Russia being somehow worthy of scorn and contempt.

... ... ...

STEPHEN COHEN: But I've heard some of these people saying privately that we need this, but I don't hear them saying it publicly. Look, I did live in England and get educated there partly many, many years ago, and I followed British politics. So, I don't have great authority, but two things come to mind. Theresa May is, perhaps, among the weakest prime ministers in modern history. She's holding on for dear life. Jeremy Corbyn is an extraordinary figure. His party, his Labour Party, which is not very good on Russia related issues either, didn't approve of what he said. But he said the right thing. He said, "There's no evidence. While we search for evidence, we need to continue a robust dialogue with Russia." That's exactly right.

And whether he'll prevail or not, I don't know, but it is interesting, isn't it, that unlike in the United States, the leader of the opposition, which is what Corbyn is, and potentially a prime minister, is setting himself against this reckless Cold War behavior on the part of the British government. All I can say is I wish we had such a person in American high politics.

AARON MATÉ: Well, that's a good segue to the next part of our discussion where we're gonna talk more about the role right now of Russiagate in US politics. Professor Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University, thank you.

And thank you for joining us on The Real News.

Stephen F. Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian studies, history, and politics at New York University and Princeton University.


p.munkey 2 hours ago ,

The latest in a continuing campaign of fear and violence, staged for a hapless public, designed to lend legitimacy to authoritarianism and fascism foisted upon our domestic population; brought to you by the same Fear Inc. that capitalized on the Charlie Hebdo massacre (See Youtube | StormCloudsGathering | 02m:43s " Charlie Hebdo Shootings - Censored Video " [ https://youtu.be/yJEvlKKm6og ])

With such careless rush to judgement, circumventing due process, as has been demonstrated time and again by a class of corrupt and covetous warmongers posing as public officials and their equally corrupt mainstream prop