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Bernie Sanders: A turncoat socialist who endorsed neocon warmonger Hillary without fight for nomination on the convention

Looks like FBI pushed Sanders under the bus by swiping dirt about Hillary private email server under the carpet and then fueling Russiagate of fake allegations that it was Russians who hacked DNC server not the internal lead (for which Seth Rich might paid with his life)  

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

 

Before

After

News US Presidential Elections of 2016 Recommended Links FBI Mayberry Machiavellians James Comey role in preventing Sanders from leading the Democratic ticket Strzok-gate Andrew McCabe role
Understanding Hillary Clinton email scandal Questions about Huma Abedin email forwarding Clinton Cash: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry Brennan elections machinations Steele dossier Hillary as a pathological liar Do the US intelligence agencies influence the US Presidential elections?
DNC emails leak: switfboating Bernie Sanders and blaming Vladimir Putin Is Hillary Clinton a toxic manager? Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Hillary role in Libya disaster Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary the warmonger Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump
Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Female Sociopaths NIST Guidelines on Electronic Mail Security (dated February 2007) Beyond your cable modem - How not to do DOCSIS networks NIST Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers Skeptic Quotations Humor

Introduction

As much as I want to vote for HRC, the stench of neocon corporatism is too much, the thin layer of accumulated grime from years of ethical expediency too toxic, the opaque lack of transparency too dangerous, and the shifting sands of her amorphous policy too treacherous.

Lester Smithson, Guardian, Jul 11, 2016

Trump has spoken against globalism. Trump has spoken against neocon wars. Trump wants to uphold our laws.

Hillary is a globalist shill. Hillary is a warmongerer. Hillary thinks laws are for little people.

The choice is simple.

Bernie just lost all the respect he has built over the last 12 months. Endorsing the warmongering neocon. What was he talking about in his campaign. Apparently nothing.

Anjeska , Guardian comment, Jul 12, 2016

You fooled me once, but now after what you have just done, feel my afterbern - Trump for President!

Puro, guardian comment

First the neoliberal press demolished his candidacy. With NYT and WaPo as two the most rabid pro-Hillary dogs. Despite neoliberal presstitutes efforts to sink his candidacy, Sanders managed to stay competitive almost all the way to the California primary in June.

In December 2017 we leaned than it was FBI who actually pushed Bernie under the bus by swiping under the carpet changed against Hilary connected with her abuse of private email server. See Strzok-gate

But next this old fogey turned out to be a sellout. The US masses have no leader to represent their interests. I can now imagine a feelings of Bernie's supporters who will feel duped (M of A , Jun 13, 2016)

Bernie Sanders folded. This without gaining any significant concession from Hillary Clinton on programmatic or personal grounds. (At least as far as we know.) He endorsed Clinton as presidential candidate even as she gave no ground for his voters' opinions. This disenfranchises the people who supported him.

... ... ...

I expect the "Not Hillary" protest vote to be very strong in the November election. There is still more significant dirt to be dug up about her and her family foundation. Trumps current lows in the polls will recover when the media return to the "close race" mantra that makes them money. He still has a decent chance to win.

June 12, 2016 was a sad day when Bernie finds himself endorsing someone who is the complete opposite to the politics he claims to champion. What was his BS campaign and all that rhetoric for? A disgusting spectacle ( Democracy And The Future Of The United States - ICH):

Bernie is a fake. He was and I guess, still is a test case for the system. Lucifer wants to see how far he can go – and what is it that the people want to hear. Accordingly, will be adjusted the discourse of the two candidates. Sanders has a (Senate) voting record which does not portray what he pledges to stand for.

... ... ...

Sanders, early on has said that if he should not succeed, he would support Killary. Hello! what message does that convey? – That he would support a warmonger par excellence? – Europeans like many Americans have been fooled by Bernie's charm and rebellious appearance. All fake!

thebuzzinsider

Tuesday morning Bernie Sanders united the Democrat party by announcing his endorsement of Hillary Clinton, but not everyone is happy, with some of his supporters calling him a sell-out.

Beginning his speech by giving thanks to the 13 million Americans who voted for him during the primaries, Sanders announced that he would be endorsing Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nominee and intends to do everything he can to ensure that she will become the "next president of the United States."

"[T]his campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders or any other candidate who sought the presidency," Sanders said in the rally. "This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crises that we face."

Sanders began to compare Clinton with Republican nominee, Donald Trump, explaining the differences between the two and using these differences as his reasons for endorsing her. Sanders admitted during the rally that he and Clinton do disagree on a number of issues but he also claimed that on Sunday, July 10, during the Democratic Platform Committee the two campaigns were able to come together significantly.

"Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here today," Sanders said at the end of the rally.

This proclamation is a far cry from how his stance was a couple months ago, when he claimed that Clinton wasn't qualified for the presidency.

"I don't believe that she is qualified," Sanders said in a Philadelphia rally back in April, as reported by thinkprogress.org. "[I]f she is, through her super PAC, taking tens of millions of dollars in special interest funds. I don't think that you are qualified if you get $15 million from Wall Street through your super PAC."

Trump was one of the first to call Sanders a sell-out on Twitter, comparing his endorsement of "Crooked Hillary Clinton" to Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs.

"I am somewhat surprised that Bernie Sanders was not true to himself and his supporters," Trump tweeted. "They are not happy that he is selling out!"

While some Democrats are happy that the party has seemed to have finally united, like the Communications Workers of America who have now changed their endorsement from Sanders to Clinton, other supporters share Trumps sentiments, feeling outraged and disappointed at Bernie's sudden change of heart.

"A Sanders endorsement of Clinton would be the ultimate betrayal of his supporters, especially those of us that poured money into his campaign."

"Bernie, if you endorse Hillary Clinton, after is NOW A PROVEN FACT she lied to the American people, then you sir are a FRAUD."

"Bernie, endorsing Clinton destroys every point you made and everything you stood for in the race. You are letting the people who supported you down. You made a promise to fight in the end, but instead you are conceding. You are not the elected leader you lead us to believe in. Shame on you."

These are just some of the comments people have been leaving on Sander's Facebook page, as reported on the Forward Progressives website.

Other supporters have asked him to wait for the Democrats Party convention, to run in a third-party or to join Jill Stein in the Green Party ticket.

Now that Sanders has endorsed Clinton, Clinton's campaign will most likely focus on convincing his supporters to join them in their fight for the presidency.

Some priminet left wing thinkers suchg as Chris Hedges view US Senator Sanders as a corporate sellout from the very beginning (Chris Hedges on Bernie Sanders and the Corporate Democrats):

Nader: "Bernie Sanders wants to break up the New York banks, he wants to impose a Wall Street transaction tax, he wants to regulate drug prices, he's for full Medicare for all - everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital - he wants to get rid of these corporate tax havens, he's pushing for a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, he wants to stronger labor unions. What's not to like?"

Hedges: "Because he [Bernie Sanders] did it within the Democratic establishment. . . .He's lending credibility to a party that is completely corporatized. He has agreed that he will endorse the candidate, which, unless there is some miracle, will probably be Hillary Clinton. So what he does is he takes all of that energy, he raises all of these legitimate issues and he funnels it back into a dead political system. . .

"That was the role of Van Jones in the last election," Hedges said. "He was running around, using the language of Occupy - Occupy the Vote - and that is what Bernie has done. I don't understand. He fought the Democratic establishment in Vermont his entire career. Now he has sold out to it."

"Bernie has also not confronted the military industrial complex at all," Hedges said. "On a personal level, having spent seven years in the Middle East, I'm just not willing to forgive him for abandoning the Palestinians and giving carte blanche to Israel. He was one of 100 Senators who stood up like AIPAC wind up dolls and approved Israel's 51-day slaughter last summer of Palestinians in Gaza - the Palestinians who have no army, no navy, artillery, mechanized units, command and control."

Adapted from Wikipedia

Bernard "Bernie" Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician. He is the junior United States Senator from Vermont and has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election. As a presidential candidate he is the candidate without a party, as Democratic Party established is controlled by financial oligarchy after Bill Clinton sold his party to Wall street ("Third Way betrayal", similar to the trick Tony Blair performed in the UK).

An independent politician since 1979, Sanders described himself as a democratic socialist (and probably with his political views might fit Social Democratic Party of Germany). He favors the creation of employee-owned cooperative enterprises and has praised Scandinavian-style social democracy. He caucuses with the Democratic Party and is counted as a Democrat for purposes of committee assignments. Since January 2015, Sanders has been the ranking Democratic member on the Senate Budget Committee. He is also associated with the Vermont Progressive Party and was a member of the Liberty Union Party from 1971 to 1979.

After several unsuccessful runs for office, Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont's largest city, in 1981. He was reelected to three more two-year mayoral terms before being elected to represent Vermont's at-large congressional district in the United States House of Representatives in 1990. He served as a congressman for 16 years before being elected to succeed the retiring Republican-turned-independent Jim Jeffords in the U.S. Senate in 2006. In 2012 he was reelected by a landslide. Sanders was the only independent member of the House during most of his service and is the longest-serving independent in U.S. congressional history.

Since his election to the Senate, Sanders has emerged as a leading progressive voice on the issues of income inequality, climate change, and campaign finance reform. He rose to national prominence on the heels of his 2010 filibuster of the proposed extension of the Bush-era tax rates for the wealthy. In response to the speech, hundreds of people signed online petitions urging Sanders to run in the 2012 presidential election and pollsters began measuring his support in key primary states. As a supporter of President Obama, Sanders declined to run in 2012, but began expressing an interest in a 2016 presidential run in December of 2013.

Sanders announced his intentions to seek the Democratic Party's nomination for President on April 30, 2015, in an address on the Capitol lawn. His campaign was officially launched on May 26 with an event in Burlington, Vermont.

Dirty MSM games and tricks with election polls

It is well known that the key idea of polls is to influence electorate. Not to inform but influence. So int he USA they are a very dirty game. Desirable result that conditions those who did not yet decided to vote "for the winner" can be achieved in a very subtle way. For example if electorate of one candidate is younger, you can run poll using landline phones. How subgroup is selected is also important:

3.14e-9

Yes, how they ask the questions is important, and it's also important to note which subgroups were asked the questions. Some questions were limited to respondents who had voted in a previous Democratic primary. That means the results don't include Independents and Republicans who might cross party lines. Also, those who voted in a past primary are far more likely to be familiar with HRC than Sanders.

Lastly, confidence in Bernie rose for some questions. Interestingly enough, there was an increase in the number of people who thought he could competently handle a foreign crisis. Sargent's bias is pretty clear. Entire poll here:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/12/us/politics/document-poll.html

Of course this election cycle much depends on how angry people really are with the establishment. I think many viscerally dislike Clinton and Jeb! for that reason. I think not many understand that Dem and Repug are actually one neoliberal party representing its soft and hard wings, correspondingly. And both intend to harm or even destroy the country with their neoliberal policies to serve interests on top 0.01%. And that the case with Dems since Bill Clinton sold the part to Wall Street. The vast body of american people wants change (and not Obama's fake "change we can believe in") but they don't have a place at the table…

Gaius Publius provide a good analysis of now MSM sell establishment candidate to lemmings in his July 10, 2015 post in Naked capitalism blog (The Clinton Campaign Notices the Sanders Campaign, or How to Read the Media)

Taking Apart the Insider Game

The most important thing to consider when thinking about the Sanders campaign is this. Everyone else who's running, on both sides, is an insider playing within - and supporting - the "insider game," the one that keeps insiders wealthy and outsiders struggling, the one where the wealthy and their retainers operate government for their benefit only. What sets Sanders apart is his determination to dismantle that game, to take it apart and send its players home (back to the private sector) or to jail.

Two examples should make this clear. One is Fast Track and the "trade" agreements being forced upon us. The pressure to pass these agreements is coming equally from mainstream Democrats like Barack Obama, a "liberal," and from mainstream Republicans, supposed "conservatives." They may differ on "rights" policy, like abortion rights, but not on money matters. Trade agreements are wealth-serving policies promoted by people in both parties who serve wealth, which means most of them. People like Sanders, Warren and others, by contrast, would neuter these agreement as job-killing profit protection schemes and turn them into something else.

A second example involves Wall Street banks, in particular, a policy of breaking them up, reinstating Glass-Steagall, and prosecuting Wall Street fraud. Can you imagine any announced candidate doing any of these things, save Bernie Sanders?

In both of these cases, Sanders would aggressively challenge the insider profit-protection racket, not just give lip service to challenging it. Which tells you why he is so popular. Many of us in the bleachers have noticed the insider game - after all, it's been happening in front of us for decades- and most of us are done with it. Ask any Tea Party Republican voter, for example, what she thinks of the bank bailout of 2008-09. She'll tell you she hated it, whether she explains it in our terms or not.

And that's why Sanders, like Warren before him, draws such enthusiastic crowds. The pendulum has swung so far in the direction of wealth that the nation may well change permanently, and people know it. People are ready, just as they were in 2008, prior to eight years of betrayal. People have been discouraged about the chance for change lately, but they're ready for the real thing if they see it.

The Clinton Campaign Notices Sanders

There's been an attempt to downplay the Sanders candidacy since the beginning, to sink his campaign beneath a wave of silence. That ended a bit ago, and the press has begun to take notice, if snippily. Now the Clinton campaign is noticing, if the New York Times is to be believed. I found the following fascinating, for a number of reasons.

The piece first along with some news, then a little exegesis (my emphasis):

Hillary Clinton's Team Is Wary as Bernie Sanders Finds Footing in Iowa

The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton, who believe the Vermont senator could overtake her in Iowa polls by the fall and even defeat her in the nation's first nominating contest there.

The enthusiasm that Mr. Sanders has generated - including a rally attended by 2,500 people in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Friday - has called into question Mrs. Clinton's early strategy of focusing on a listening tour of small group gatherings and wooing big donors in private settings. In May, Mrs. Clinton led with 60 percent support to Mr. Sanders' 15 percent in a Quinnipiac poll. Last week the same poll showed Mrs. Clinton at 52 percent to Mr. Sanders's 33 percent.

"We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don't think that will diminish," Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign's communications director, said Monday in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Some of Mrs. Clinton's advisers acknowledged that they were surprised by Mr. Sanders' momentum and said there were enough liberal voters in Iowa, including many who supported Barack Obama or John Edwards in 2008, to create problems for her there.

"I think we underestimated that Sanders would quickly attract so many Democrats in Iowa who weren't likely to support Hillary," said one Clinton adviser, who like several others spoke on the condition of anonymity to candidly share views about the race. "It's too early to change strategy because no one knows if Sanders will be able to hold on to these voters in the months ahead. We're working hard to win them over, but yeah, it's a real competition there."

I don't want to quote the whole thing (well, I do, but I can't). So I encourage you to read it. There's much there worth noticing.

What to Look at When the Times Reports on Clinton

Now, some exegesis, meta-reading of the media, especially corporate media like the Times. My three main points are bulleted below.

Bottom Line

If you like this exercise in reading behind the media, please read the article again with the above thoughts in mind. Is this original reporting (i.e., reporters starting a conversation), or did the campaign make the first approach? Does the article carry Clinton water, subtly support the campaign? Are any opposing viewpoints featured at the top, or are they buried below the point where most people stop reading?

This Times story may be a completely honest exercise in independent journalism. There certainly is a Sanders phenomenon, and it's detailed honestly and factually, so there's value in reading it. But there's an obvious bias toward Clinton messaging in the reporters' own prose, so I'm suspicious, and you should be as well.

I'll also say that most stories about campaigns operate this way, as do many other news stories involving public figures. What will make reporting the Sanders campaign different is what I wrote above - Sanders wants to take apart the insider game. What major media outlet will help Sanders do that, will shut the door to corporate favors, media access and other prizes from a future Clinton administration, in order to be even-handed?

My guess is few or none.

An interesting discussion on Naked Capitalism about Sanders candidacy

In the post by By Les Leopold, the director of the Labor Institute in New York 10 Economic Facts that Power the Sanders Insurgency (naked capitalism, Nov 13, 2015) and subsequent readers discussion contains so far the most interesting discussion of Sanders and his (pretty lonely) current position in the presidential race. Being a an anti-establishment candidate is a difficult job as economic and political power belong to the establishment by definition. BTW that's why you should not believe blindly the US polls -- they are designed to sway electorate, not to inform it).

Here are 10 crucial economic facts that provide the glue for the Sanders message. (The charts are taken from Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice.)

1. The Rich are Getting Richer, The Rest of Us are Not.

There always has been a significant gap between the top 1 percent and the rest of America. But that gap was kept under control largely through governmental tax, banking and labor policies.

You could make a lot of money in this country, but after the New Deal, unions made sure you paid a decent wage to your workers, and government made sure the wealthy provided ample tax revenues. This allowed working people also to enjoy a rising standard of living.

But as the chart below shows the bond has been broken. After 1980, the incomes of the top 1% exploded while the wages of the bottom 90% stagnated….and not by accident.

average_income_of_top_1_percent

2. Wall Street/CEO Greed

Most of us haven't had a real raise (after inflation) for more than a decade. Meanwhile we see our CEOs and their Wall Street partners rake in astronomical sums. The data backs up what we see and sense. As this chart shows, the gap between the pay of the top CEOs and the average worker has jumped from 45 to 1 in 1970 to an astounding 829 to one today.

The game is rigged and Sanders is calling them on it.

wage_gap-top_100_ceos_vs_average_workers

3. The Biggest Banks are Getting Bigger.

One of the most outrageous economics facts of life is the engorgement of too-big-to-fail banks. We are told that they now are under control. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The top four banks have grown even larger since the Great Recession. No wonder crowds roar when Bernie says "If a bank is too big to fail, I think it's too big to exist."

percentage_of_all_banking_assets

4. Students are Crippled with Debt.

Sanders wants to tax Wall Street speculation and use the money to fund free higher education. And for good reason. Debt peonage is hitting college students as banks load them up with onerous loans. Sanders believes it's time for us to catch up with many other developed nations that already provide free higher education.

student_loans_1

5. We lead the developed world in child poverty

Nothing more clearly reflects the values of a country than how it treats its children. And nothing is more painful and inexcusable than children living in poverty.

The countries of northern Europe – Iceland, Finland, Nether­lands, Norway, Denmark and Sweden – have nearly eradicated childhood poverty. These also are the countries that have the lowest levels of inequality. They have made a conscious choice: less inequality, less child­hood poverty.

But in a country like ours so engulfed by runaway inequal­ity, child poverty becomes the responsibility of the poor. In other words, if your kids are poor it's your fault. Don't expect society to feed them.

Bernie does indeed expect society to feed the poor. And so should we.

percentage_of_children_living_in_poverty

6. You can't live on the minimum wage

America is the only country in the developed world in which you can work full time and still live in poverty. That's because our federal minimum wage is a disgrace. As the chart below shows, the real buying power of the minimum wage, after taking into account of inflation, has been on the decline since its peak in the 1960s. That's why one of Sanders' biggest applause lines is

"A minimum wage of $7 an hour is a starvation wage. I applaud those cities-Seattle, Los Angeles and others-that have raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour. And that is exactly what we will do at the federal level."

rise_and_fall_of_minimum_wage

7. The tax system favors the rich

We all know that the rich are not paying their fair share of taxes. They hire the best lawyers to help make their incomes vanish on IRS papers. They shift money abroad. They use their influence to create and abuse loopholes. And they sell us the lie that decreasing taxes on the rich make all boats rise.

The chart below shows the result on the state and local levels. The sad truth is that the poorer you are, the more you pay as a percent of your income.

rich_pay_lower_state_tax_rates

8. The Rich Buy the Political System

As our economy fractures under the weight of runaway inequality, so does our entire democracy. Money is pouring into politics, especially since the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. As the chart below makes clear, corporations and financial institutions are taking full advantage as they flood the political process through Super PACS.

Sanders wants Super PACS outlawed and Citizens United overturned.

9. "The American Dream" is Fading Away

Many Americans still believe in the American Dream - the idea of genuine upward mobility. We cherish the idea that our children will do as well or better than we have done.

But we're getting a wake up call.

The chart below shows that the odds of rising above your father's economic position in the U.S. is about 50/50. In Denmark, you have about a seven to one chance of doing better.

No wonder Bernie wants us to learn a thing or two from the Danes

odds_youll_be_stuck_in_same_class_as_your_parents

10. The Largest Police State in the World

Freedom pays the price for runaway inequality. Because we refuse to use government to provide decent paying work for all those who are willing and able to work, we leave vast tracks of our cities mired in poverty.

We allow institutional racist practices (especially in housing, education and criminal justice) to trap more people of color on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.

Instead of using government to create jobs, we use government to fund prisons.

Instead of a War on Poverty we have declared war on the poor.

As a result, we now have more prisoners both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the population than any country in the world. And if you compare the chart below with the first chart in this article, you'll find that the incarceration surge started with the onset of runway inequality.

number_of_federal_and_state_prisoners

Taking Them On

Perhaps Bernie's biggest applause line is the one that sets us on our course. His campaign cannot succeed in one election. We need to connect with our neighbors and colleagues and help organize and mobilize for change.

"This campaign is sending a message to the billionaire class: Yes, we have the guts to take you on."

Let's hope he's right.

tim s

There is much more to a candidates platform than simply economics, which readers of NC know to be as much pseudo-science as anything, and the Fed, which fails to live up to ideals for the common good, and actually preserves the status quo which is such a problem these days.

RP is a mixed bag for certain, but you get a sense that he is at least honest, which is a radical change in itself, and there is much for readers of this blog to latch onto. For instance:

To be sure, many of his positions are headscratchers, for sure, such as his belief in privatization and "free markets". These are very idealistic, and as you probably focus on, the readers of NC will call BS on very quickly.

Still, when having to choose between the internally conflicted and the pathological liar, it is no surprise that many will choose the internally conflicted.

fresno dan, November 13, 2015 at 3:28 pm

I agree.
And one other point: Paul, and every one else elected, so far at least, is not a Napoleon or Caesar, so most platforms are 99.9% baloney. (well, more accurately, most platforms are the same as it ever was – the candidates just say a lot of words to make it appear they are going to do something different – yesterday's LINKS about how Obama didn't REALLY oppose Bush's policies, just that they didn't go through a process to make them legal)

At least with Paul, there was some evidence that he would TRY to dial back all the war mongering….

Jim Haygood, November 13, 2015 at 9:57 am

'Ron Paul knows nothing about the Fed and Economics for which he claims to be an expert.'

He only wrote a book about it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_the_Fed

Perhaps you don't agree with his conclusions.

Lambert Strether, November 13, 2015 at 2:58 pm

To be fair, plenty of people write books on topics of which they know nothing, or worse/less than nothing. All neo-liberal economists, for example.

Nigelk, November 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm

Ron Paul? Seriously? Did I drive through a wormhole this morning and arrive in Fall 2007?

jrs, November 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm

That's what they'll be saying about Sanders in 4 years. I don't mind Sanders as the best choice there is perhaps. But come on folks, none of this stuff has any hope really. A revolution? Well I don't hope for one either, but at least movement building might work. Other than that it's 5 minutes in the voting booth and get on with your life.

Jagger, November 13, 2015 at 2:04 pm

I would be curious how anybody who reads this blog could possibly be for Ron Paul, let alone have voted for him.

Ron Paul is anti-war. Who else is anti-war amongst the Repub/Dem tickets? Maybe Sanders. He did vote against the Iraqi invasion but wouldn't condemn Israel over the last air war on Gaza. Jury is still out on him.

bob

Is this a different Ron Paul?

https://web.archive.org/web/20021212201652/http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2001/tst100801.htm

washunate

We should remember that the image of the United Nations as a benevolent peacemaker is a myth, as evidenced by the sad history of its military actions over the past 30 years. In virtually every instance its so-called "peacekeeping missions" have done nothing but intensify regional conflicts. Kosovo and Somalia are poignant examples of UN policy gone bad, creating lasting resentment and instability rather than peace.

Uh, that sounds like pretty classic Ron Paul. Are you saying that acting as the world's police force bombing civilian infrastructure in Serbia was a good idea and that things are hunky dory in Somalia today? Do you support the current effort to wage war on the Assad government in Syria?

You didn't answer Jagger's question.

washunate, November 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Maybe we don't need experts. Maybe the God of Authority is a False God. Maybe instead of trying to fight war better, we should stop trying.

That's the thing about the three biggest things Paul stood for (end the Fed, end the drug war, end the Iraq war): they were ends. Not new programs that require advanced degrees and subject matter expertise, but rather, stopping horrible programs run by horrible people for horrible purposes.

Now maybe you disagree that they're horrible, and that's fine. Personally, I vehemently oppose the drug war and the US empire, but I'm not opposed to the Fed. To me, it just does what politicians tell it to do. But the point is, that's a matter of personal opinion, not expertise.

I wonder only half-jokingly if your comment is satire, too. I assume it was unintentional, but it sounds exactly like the whiny Democratic pundit enforcers complaining about Alan Grayson and FDL working with evil Republicans like Grover Norquist on Audit the Fed legislation. The era in which people can be intimidated via guilt by association is over. There are far more independents than Democrats today.

If you don't understand how a 2008 Ron Paul supporter could be interested in fearless commentary on finance, economics, politics, and power, then all I can surmise is that you don't want to understand. If you are genuinely curious, this link might be a particularly useful refresher on the tone of the day to day politics of the time:

https://shadowproof.com/2010/05/06/video-transcript-ron-paul-says-sanders-switched-and-watered-down-audit-the-fed/


TarheelDem, November 13, 2015 at 9:00 am

The rhetoric Occupy Wall Street was not usurped by the Democratic Party until it was crushed completed in an orchestrated multi-city police state take-down by Democratic and Republican mayors. I see no candidates talking about the right of free speech and assembly to petition government for the redress of grievances. I did not see that sort of repression happen with the Tea Party, which was receiving massive financing from the start. The two movements are not equivalent in how they have been received by the two parties.


wbgonne, November 13, 2015 at 10:21 am

Given that OWS and the Tea Party have been usurped by the respective national parties, and both movements are anti-status quo, my opinion is they should join forces. Also, considering there is little difference at the end of the day, between the republican and democrat parties, that they play both sides against the middle, if Trump and Sanders had an ounce of humility between them, they would both quit their party and run on a split ticket.

A couple of quibbles. First, OWS was not usurped by the Democrats: it was opposed, undermined and ultimately crushed by the Democratic Establishment, starting at the top with the Obama Administration all the way down to the mayors, many of whom were Democrats too. The Tea Party began as a populist movement but was largely hijacked by the GOP corporatists. That said, there is clearly a lot of populist energy on both the Right and the Left. Sanders carries the ball forward almost without misstep. Trump, however, is a decidedly mixed bag: while he is anti-TPP - a huge plus - he also opposes wage increases and probably holds many other anti-populist views that just haven't surfaced yet.

But the biggest problem with the merger you propose, however, is the one that has bedeviled populism since the 70s: identity politics issues. While I generally try not to over-emphasize such issues, they should not be discounted either. They should certainly not be disparaged. Let me put it this way: no self-respecting progressive could collaborate with someone who wishes Operation Wetback were our national immigration policy. Overt racism, sexism and homophobia cannot be accepted but political correctness should be rejected too as the antagonizing and divisive factor it is. In order for the merger you posit to occur - which would be a wonderful development - both the Left and the Right must downplay identity politics issues because those are the wedges that keep the two ends of economic populism from joining.

Jagger, November 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Identity politics is in the DNA of the Democratic party. Abandoning identity politics is simply not going to happen for a few generations at best.

WindyCity, November 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm

There is discontent on the left and the right. That's what feeding the candidacies of Tea Party darlings like Trump and Carson and the Democratic Socialist Sanders. Working- and middle-class folks across the political spectrum have been hit hard with unemployment, bankruptcy, foreclosure, debt-slavery, and on and on. Those on the right blame immigration, Obama, and big government; those on the left blame corporate tyranny and capitalist greed. It's probably naive of me, but I do see an opening for a Sanders to draw support from the right. His message ought to resonate with the disaffected, disenfranchised, and disillusioned in all quarters. I've already heard reports of some Tea Baggers throwing in with him. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a significant movement.

Eric Patton

But as the chart below shows the bond has been broken.

I don't like the passive voice here. Who broke the bond? And why?

I recommend Noam Chomsky. Pay attention to Chomsky's comments about the dismantling of the Bretton Woods system in the early 70s. Also pay attention when Chomsky talks about the "crisis of democracy" and the very conscious destruction of the US educational system.

cwaltz, November 13, 2015 at 7:03 am

I have to laugh at anyone who argues they don't like redistribution because it's the equivalent of saying I don't like an economy. The reality is in capitalism you have redistribution. Businesses don't keep the money you give it for goods and services, they redistribute it. The problem is they redistribute it poorly. They put an inordinately large emphasis on rewarding the guy on the top of the totem pole regardless of his contributions(that's why you have CEOs walking away with multimillion dollar parachutes) while paying peanuts to what is often the face of their organization.

The Tea Party has a real critical thinking issue if it thinks any of this has anything to do with winners and losers. You can be a hard worker spending 17 years busting your backside only to find a CEO like Trump has decided that the business isn't profitable enough. Guess what? When he files for bankruptcy he'll get to keep his house, and be insulated from economic consequences that led to the bankruptcy. Meanwhile the same couldn't be said for that worker whose major "bad decision" was placing his lot in with the wrong company at the wrong time under the wrong leadership.

Paul Tioxon, November 13, 2015 at 10:06 am

A Million Student March yesterday was the national day of protest across the nation by university students marching for the cancellation of student debt and $15/hr wages for student jobs. Locally, in Philly, they tied up traffic marching from North to South down Broad St and from West To East across Market St converging at City Hall for a rally against debt, for the $15/hr wage and in solidarity with Mizzou and Yale against racism on campus. Helicopter coverage and on site reporters interviewed the students, allowing them to get their message across in their own words. A Google news search shows similar coverage from Pittsburgh, Reno, Oakland, Vanderbilt etc etc. The report linked below references Bernie Sanders remarks as an inspiration. One student in front of City Hall demanding student debt cancellation presented the case that since a college degree is a necessity, why are they forced into debt for something that society requires of them to live any kind of life worth living? Necessities of life should not require you to borrow money and go into debt. That is similar to buying you supplies from the mining company so you can go down to the mines and work. Candles and picks are required to mine, so why does your paycheck have to cover that cost? The students are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

http://6abc.com/news/philly-students-hit-the-streets-for-million-student-march/1081368/

Vatch , November 13, 2015 at 11:06 am

This is an excellent list of problems in the U.S. economy (some of them affect other parts of the world, too). Whether or not a person currently supports Senator Bernie Sanders, one should ask which candidates for public office are most likely to sincerely try to solve these problems. There are other non-economic issues, but the average person won't have a say in solving other problems unless most of the 10 problems in the list are, at the very least, partly solved.

3.14e-9, November 13, 2015 at 12:53 pm

This article won't convince anyone with half a brain of anything. It's a bunch of opinion, with weasel words such as "My strong impression is." That he cites Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank is all anyone needs to know. They've been hammering on the same opinion over and over with pretty much the same set of "facts," including inaccuracies such as Sanders's alleged support for the bombing of Gaza last summer. Sanders was one of a small minority of senators who actually didn't sign on to that resolution (S. Res. 498) and he didn't vote for it, because there is no vote on resolutions. They are approved by an arcane Senate rule called "unanimous consent," which is not what it sounds like, but it makes a great story for Chris Hedges and others who are just pissed off that Sanders chose to run as a Democrat.

Ultimately, this article is just more of the same ol' - which is ironic, given that that's what most of this crowd says about Sanders.

WindyCity, November 13, 2015 at 3:42 pm

Chris Hedges takes the same view. I am fully sympathetic with the harsh criticisms leveled at Sanders regarding his support for empire and his relative indifference to foreign policy. Also, he's clearly not a socialist (nor could he be, considering his support for US militaristic hegemony). He is a liberal social democratic in the FDR tradition, and what he advocates is the restitution and strengthening of New Deal restraints on capitalism aimed at reducing inequality. He does support worker self-directed enterprises (cooperative businesses owned and run by workers) and has introduced legislation to provide federal support for such endeavors. This does suggest he's mindful of what genuine socialism is about, though he hasn't highlighted these ideas in the campaign.

My own view is that Sanders could provide an impetus for more movement-led change, provided that the energy and hope that he has generated, especially among young people, be channeled into organizing efforts and civil disobedience after the election process has concluded. I have little doubt that Clinton will win the nomination, but if, instead of succumbing to depression and disillusionment after Sanders has been defeated, his enthusiastic supporters take their anger and commitment into movement-building, his campaign will have made an important contribution.

A big problem is that Sanders has pledged to support the Democratic candidate if it's not him. I don't see how he could really get behind the cynical, opportunistic neocon, neoliberal Clinton, but we'll see. It does look like he'll push the less worse argument on his supporters, and that would be unfortunate.

Vatch, November 13, 2015 at 12:37 pm

The article misrepresents some things. For example, these statements are false, or at the very least, exaggerations:

1) support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including President Obama's recent decision to maintain a troop presence; 2) blank-check support of Israel, including its savage bombing campaign in Gaza last year;

1 ) Sanders voted against the war in Iraq and against the Patriot Act. See this for links and this for the Iraq vote in the House.
2 ) Sanders has been very critical of Israel's behavior in Gaza. See this for more information and links.

Meant as a reply to Linda J.

Tom Stone, November 13, 2015 at 12:56 pm

Since reform is not going to happen we need to provide local police departments with more armored vehicles and finish doing away with the 2nd amendment.
The 1st and 4th are gone, it's time for sensible people to get with the program.
Wesley Clarke is calling for FEMA camps to be opened to hold "Extremists".
And he's considered a moderate…
The system is broken, get in line or get hurt.

Lonely fight against neoliberalism

Sanders is probably among very few US politicians who oppose both theory and practice of neoliberalism, which came to power in the USA with the election of Ronald Reagan. Now neoliberalism is 35 years old and already experienced one crisis (2008) which severely undermined its credibility. But it recovered and continue to exist in "zombie" (and really bloodthirsty) state: people understand that as a social system it is discredited, but have no viable alternative. What Sanders tried to propose is such an alternative in a form of resurrection of elements of New Deal. This is a tremendously difficult task. He does not enjoy support on financial oligarchy and thus face well organized and well fed Hillary campaign or discrediting him as a viable candidate. One positive thing about this duel that in rate face to face encounters Sanders might prevail over "not so bright" Hillary.

Neoliberalism is a new form of corporatism based on the ideology of market fundamentalism, dominance of finance in the economy (and restoration of the political power of financial oligarchy) and cult of the rich ("greed is good") instead of ideology based on racial or national superiority typical for classic corporatism. Like many religious doctrines it belongs to the class of Theological Voluntarism (with some pseudo mathematical voodoo attached as a justification; actually even this is not new. Iranian ayatollahs in the past needed to demonstrate proficiency in mathematics) , but unlike most philosophies and relations it does not try to suppress greed. On the contrary it pronounces it to be a virtue ("Greed is good"). All actions are covered under smokescreen of propaganda which is unprecedented in its cynicism, hypocrisy and contempt to the ordinary people. Probably exceeding cynicism of the USSR leadership which covered the same redistribution ( in case of the USSR mainly to military industrial complex and nomenklatura ) policies with Big Brother style slogans like "The Party cares for the wellbeing of the people". This is a tailor-made ideology for powerful interests, large international corporations who simply do want to have their way. They created a political system that is the very opposite of what our leadership, the mass media, opinion leaders, think tanks etc. proclaim as the world's foremost exemplary of democracy. The typical for corporatism union of corporate power and government was transformed by the US elite into a flavor of corporatism which Sheldon Wolin called "inverted totalitarianism" which is just another nickname for neoliberalism. Unlike traditional corporatism of Nazi Germany, and Italy the American neoliberal system is designed not to mobilize the populace, but to distract it, to encourage a sense of dependency (by cultivating fear, calling everything a "war", for example "war on terror") as well as encouraging political disengagement (as in Reagan quote: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." ) . Those dirty tricks allowed corporate elite to take full political power and kill remnants of unions political power while citizenry shows little interest or concern. In other words powerful corporate interests which were the key promoters of neoliberalism and the key beneficiaries of its spread. They ingeniously used the Cold War as a pretext of dismantling of the New Deal ( Pt 1-8 Hedges & Wolin Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist - YouTube):

HEDGES: And the Cold War. So the Cold War arises. And this becomes the kind of moment by which capital, and especially corporate capital, can dismantle the New Deal and free itself from any kind of regulation and constraint to deform and destroy American democracy. Can you talk about that process, what happened during that period?

WOLIN: Well, I think the first thing to be said about it is the success with which the governing groups manage to create a Cold War that was really so total in its spread that it was hard to mount a critical opposition or to take a more detached view of our relationship to the Soviet Union and just what kind of problem it created.

And it also had the effect, of course, of skewing the way we looked at domestic discontents, domestic inequalities, and so on, because it was always easy to tar them with the brush of communism, so that the communism was just more than a regime. It was also a kind of total depiction of what was the threat to -- and complete opposite to our own form of society, our old form of economy and government.

HEDGES: And in Politics and Vision, you talk about because of that ideological clash, therefore any restriction of capitalism which was defined in opposition to communism as a kind of democratic good, if you want to use that word, was lifted in the name of the battle against communism, that it became capitalism that was juxtaposed to communism rather than democracy, and therefore this empowered capital, in a very pernicious way, to dismantle democratic institutions in the name of the war on communism.

WOLIN: Oh, I think there's no question about that, the notion that you first had to, so to speak, unleash the great potential capitalism had for improving everybody's economical lot and the kind of constraints that had been developed not only by the New Deal, but by progressive movements throughout the 19th century and early 20th century in the United States, where it had been increasingly understood that while American economic institutions were a good thing, so to speak, and needed to be nurtured and developed, they also posed a threat.

They posed a threat because they tended to result in concentrations of power, concentrations of economic power that quickly translated themselves into political influence because of the inevitably porous nature of democratic representation and elections and rule, so that the difficulty's been there for a long time, been recognized for a long time, but we go through these periods of sleepwalking where we have to relearn lessons that have been known almost since the birth of the republic, or at least since the birth of Jeffersonian democracy, that capitalism has its virtues, but it has to be carefully, carefully watched, observed, and often controlled.

Later Wendy Brown, professor in Berkley advanced Professor Wolin ideas to a new level in her book Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (Zone Books, 2015). Notable quotes from her interview (What Exactly Is Neoliberalism):

"... I treat neoliberalism as a governing rationality through which everything is "economized" and in a very specific way: human beings become market actors and nothing but, every field of activity is seen as a market, and every entity (whether public or private, whether person, business, or state) is governed as a firm. Importantly, this is not simply a matter of extending commodification and monetization everywhere-that's the old Marxist depiction of capital's transformation of everyday life. Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices. Above all, it casts people as human capital who must constantly tend to their own present and future value. ..."

"... The most common criticisms of neoliberalism, regarded solely as economic policy rather than as the broader phenomenon of a governing rationality, are that it generates and legitimates extreme inequalities of wealth and life conditions; that it leads to increasingly precarious and disposable populations; that it produces an unprecedented intimacy between capital (especially finance capital) and states, and thus permits domination of political life by capital; that it generates crass and even unethical commercialization of things rightly protected from markets, for example, babies, human organs, or endangered species or wilderness; that it privatizes public goods and thus eliminates shared and egalitarian access to them; and that it subjects states, societies, and individuals to the volatility and havoc of unregulated financial markets. ..."

"... with the neoliberal revolution that homo politicus is finally vanquished as a fundamental feature of being human and of democracy. Democracy requires that citizens be modestly oriented toward self-rule, not simply value enhancement, and that we understand our freedom as resting in such self-rule, not simply in market conduct. When this dimension of being human is extinguished, it takes with it the necessary energies, practices, and culture of democracy, as well as its very intelligibility. ..."

"... For most Marxists, neoliberalism emerges in the 1970s in response to capitalism's falling rate of profit; the shift of global economic gravity to OPEC, Asia, and other sites outside the West; and the dilution of class power generated by unions, redistributive welfare states, large and lazy corporations, and the expectations generated by educated democracies. From this perspective, neoliberalism is simply capitalism on steroids: a state and IMF-backed consolidation of class power aimed at releasing capital from regulatory and national constraints, and defanging all forms of popular solidarities, especially labor. ..."

"... The grains of truth in this analysis don't get at the fundamental transformation of social, cultural, and individual life brought about by neoliberal reason. They don't get at the ways that public institutions and services have not merely been outsourced but thoroughly recast as private goods for individual investment or consumption. And they don't get at the wholesale remaking of workplaces, schools, social life, and individuals. For that story, one has to track the dissemination of neoliberal economization through neoliberalism as a governing form of reason, not just a power grab by capital. There are many vehicles of this dissemination -- law, culture, and above all, the novel political-administrative form we have come to call governance. It is through governance practices that business models and metrics come to irrigate every crevice of society, circulating from investment banks to schools, from corporations to universities, from public agencies to the individual. It is through the replacement of democratic terms of law, participation, and justice with idioms of benchmarks, objectives, and buy-ins that governance dismantles democratic life while appearing only to instill it with "best practices." ..."

"... Progressives generally disparage Citizens United for having flooded the American electoral process with corporate money on the basis of tortured First Amendment reasoning that treats corporations as persons. However, a careful reading of the majority decision also reveals precisely the thoroughgoing economization of the terms and practices of democracy we have been talking about. In the majority opinion, electoral campaigns are cast as "political marketplaces," just as ideas are cast as freely circulating in a market where the only potential interference arises from restrictions on producers and consumers of ideas-who may speak and who may listen or judge. Thus, Justice Kennedy's insistence on the fundamental neoliberal principle that these marketplaces should be unregulated paves the way for overturning a century of campaign finance law aimed at modestly restricting the power of money in politics. Moreover, in the decision, political speech itself is rendered as a kind of capital right, functioning largely to advance the position of its bearer, whether that bearer is human capital, corporate capital, or finance capital. This understanding of political speech replaces the idea of democratic political speech as a vital (if potentially monopolizable and corruptible) medium for public deliberation and persuasion. ..."

"... My point was that democracy is really reduced to a whisper in the Euro-Atlantic nations today. Even Alan Greenspan says that elections don't much matter much because, "thanks to globalization . . . the world is governed by market forces," not elected representatives. ..."


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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

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

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

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

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

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


JimH , August 2, 2018 9:59 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Denis Drew , August 2, 2018 10:22 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Not Hold Union Representation Elections on a Regular Schedule?

Andrew Strom -- November 1st, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Karl Kolchak , August 2, 2018 10:35 am

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

EMichael, August 2, 2018 11:11 am

KK,

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

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

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

There are 36 so far.

urban legend , August 3, 2018 3:47 pm

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

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

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

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

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

likbez , August 4, 2018 12:30 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As somebody noted here:

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

[Sep 12, 2018] Did Sanders' people challenge 'the Russians did it' propaganda line, demand the DNC servers be examined by forensic specialists and investigate Crowdstrike? No.

Sep 12, 2018 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: Next New Comment September 12, 2018 at 12:48 pm GMT

@KenH Trump is now becoming more "patriotic" by the day with his willingness to get us into another no-win, forever war in Syria for Israel. I say we air drop John Brennan into Idlib so he can fight and die like a real man. More on patriotism and loyalty. -- To what country?
https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/09/the-plot-against-trump-to-capture-the-white-house-netanyahus-design-part-iii/ by Ronald Thomas West.

"Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you" – Chuck Schumer. maybe Schumer's protective scare-mongering goes to a deeper matter; the matter of the most powerful intelligence agency operating in the USA is MOSSAD, an entity which has penetrated every aspect of American governance.
AIPAC is one of MOSSAD's favorite playgrounds

Did Sanders' people challenge 'the Russians did it' propaganda line, demand the DNC servers be examined by forensic specialists and investigate Crowdstrike? No.
no U.S. intelligence agency has performed its own forensic analysis on the [Clinton's] hacked servers. Instead, the bureau and other agencies have relied on analysis done by the third-party security firm CrowdStrike [Dm. Alperovitch, of the CrowdStrike fame, is a vicious Russophobe and loyal zionist fed and cared for by the ziocon Atlantic Council.] In actuality we know it was the assassinated Seth Rich took the DNC emails with a thumbdrive.

Vladimir Putin, the man standing in the way of Syria's breakup and working to keep the Iran agreement intact and avert a war, must be demonized to realize Bibi Netanyahu's goals. In fact, Israel's intelligence services focus has historically prioritized Russia, first, and the USA second "

– The Jewish Bolsheviks are in arms against Russia and the US because this is what the Jewish Bolsheviks are best for -- at the destruction of functioning human societies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TCF: [laughs merrily] I know.

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

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

JS: Well, what did Mark Twain say?

TCF: Mark Twain?

JS: There are lies, damned lies --

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

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

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

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

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

JS: Um, ok.

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

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

JS: Yes, I do.

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

JS: Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

JS: So how did this happen? Why?

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

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

* * *

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

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

[Sep 07, 2018] Bernie Sanders Introduces 'Stop BEZOS' Bill To Tax Amazon For Underpaying Workers

Notable quotes:
"... Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act ..."
Sep 07, 2018 | yro.slashdot.org

(theverge.com) Sanders' Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies Act (abbreviated "Stop BEZOS") -- along with Khanna's House of Representatives counterpart, the Corporate Responsibility and Taxpayer Protection Act -- would institute a 100 percent tax on government benefits that are granted to workers at large companies . The bill's text characterizes this as a "corporate welfare tax," and it would apply to corporations with 500 or more employees. If workers are receiving government aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), national school lunch and breakfast programs, Section 8 housing subsidies, or Medicaid, employers will be taxed for the total cost of those benefits. The bill applies to full-time and part-time employees, as well as independent contractors that are de facto company employees.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unfixable, and circling the drain.

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

"Center-right" and "business oriented?"

Try Oligarch-centric.

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

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

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

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

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

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

@anon

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 25, 2018 | therealnews.com

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

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

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

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

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

Here is what the strategists currently say:

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

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


Reuters/Ipsos poll - June/July 2018 - bigger

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

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

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

"We're going to try bold ideas."

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Now the D party is a champion of LGTBQ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think Marx call it "Dictatorship of the bourgeoisie"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Somewhere:

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

Anywhere:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

73% said YES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Trickle down!"

"Multi-culturalism"

"Globalism"

"Efficient Markets"

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

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

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

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

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

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

- overpriced healthcare;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Aug 18, 2018] Sanders behaviour during election is suspect, unless you assume he acted as sheep dog for hillary

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Why didn't Sanders complain about DNC-Hillary collusion (he knew about it well before she captured the nomination - MSM didn't publicize it until after she had won). ..."
"... Why didn't Sanders make a big deal of Hillary's winning 6 of 6 coin tosses during the Iowa primaries. Character was an issue from the start of the race. Trump would later lambast "crooked Hillary". ..."
Aug 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Aug 17, 2018 8:59:57 PM | 48

lysias @41

There were only two populists in the race: Trump and Sanders. One on Hillary's left (sheep-dogging voters to Hillary) and one on Hillary's right (Trump).

Why did any of the other 18 republicans turn populist? Why didn't they wait so long to complain about the coverage being provided to Trump?

Why were Republicans so adamantly against Trump after he won the nomination? Many said that they prefered Hillary - whom they had claimed to hate so much only months before? Answer: Trump had to be an outsider. That's what makes the populist so compelling. He has to be seen as taking on the establishment.

After such a contentious race, why did Trump quickly say that there would be no prosecution of Hillary? He has proven to be petty and vain yet he was so quick to forgive the Clintons?

Why did Trump wait so long to fire Comey? It's almost like it was timed for Comey to hand the baton to a special prosecutor.

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

Here's a few more questions (of many many other questions)

dumbass , Aug 17, 2018 9:41:12 PM | 53

>> Why did/didn't Sanders

Good questions. Asking them sequentially leads even a dumbass like me to conclude Sanders is a fraud.

Unfortunately, most Sanders supporters probably don't remember the issues long enough to reevaluate them collectively. Each issue appears to them during "the news cycle" as some one-off foible -- considered as misdemeanors and then forgotten before the next one occurs and thus never assembled mentally as evidence for a larger felony case.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

...[MSM] owners:

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

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

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

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

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

[Aug 14, 2018] The demise of another Bernie Sanders fraud - World Socialist Web Site

By Patrick Martin 9 August 2018
Notable quotes:
"... Thus ends another episode in the seemingly interminable serial, "Bernie Sanders Tries, and Fails, to Put a Progressive Coat of Paint on the Democratic Party." Since he rocketed to political prominence in 2016 in his challenge to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Sanders has played this role again and again. ..."
"... First, he appeals to the idealism of young people and the economic grievances of working people, claiming to represent a genuine alternative to the domination of American politics by the oligarchy of "millionaires and billionaires." Then he diverts those who have responded to his campaign back into the existing political framework, endorsing whatever right-wing hack emerges from the Democratic wing of the corporate-controlled two-party system. ..."
"... In the 2018 campaign, where he is not a candidate except for reelection in Vermont, Sanders has endorsed and campaigned for a number of supposedly left-wing candidates in the Democratic primaries, always based on the same pretense, that the Democratic Party can be reformed and pushed to the left, that this party of corporate America can be transformed into an instrument of social reform and popular politics. ..."
"... The requirements for receiving Sanders' support and that of "Our Revolution," the political operation formed by many of his 2016 campaign staffers, are not very demanding. The self-proclaimed socialist does not demand that his favored candidates oppose capitalism or pay lip service to socialism -- and almost none of them do. ..."
"... In other words, Sanders uses the image of radicalism and opposition to the status quo that surrounded his 2016 campaign to lend support to very conventional, pro-capitalist candidates, whose policies are well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party -- a party whose leadership has embraced most of the measures cited above, secure in the knowledge that it will not keep a single one of these promises and can always blame the Republicans for blocking them. ..."
"... In Michigan, Sanders spoke at rallies for El-Sayed, and his supporters were quite active on college campuses and on social media, mobilizing support among young people. But as in 2016, there was little effort to reach the working class, particularly minority workers in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and other devastated industrial cities. ..."
"... Sanders and the supposedly "left" Democrats he promotes all fervently support the trade union bureaucracy, which is working overtime this year to prevent strikes by angry and militant workers -- as at United Parcel Service -- and to isolate, terminate and betray them where they break out -- as with the state-wide teachers' strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona earlier this year. ..."
"... Under these conditions, the Democratic Party is not a party that can or will can carry out social reforms in order to save capitalism, as in Roosevelt's day. It is a party that will carry out the dictates of the ruling class for war and austerity while using the services of "left" politicians like Sanders to confuse and disorient working people and youth. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Michigan gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed went down to a double-digit defeat Tuesday in the Democratic primary, overwhelmed by the near-unanimous support of the Democratic Party establishment for former state senator Gretchen Whitmer. The daughter of former Blue Cross/Blue Shield CEO Richard Whitmer won every county in the state and will go on to face Republican State Attorney General Bill Schuette in the November general election.

In a tweet to his supporters, El-Sayed declared: "The victory was not ours today, but the work continues. Congratulations to @gretchenwhitmer on her primary win. Tomorrow we continue the path toward justice, equity and sustainability."

When tomorrow came, however, that "path" led to a unity luncheon at which El-Sayed and the third candidate in the race, self-funding millionaire Shri Thanedar, pledged their full support to Whitmer. "Today we all retool and figure out how we make sure that Bill Schuette does not become governor. I'm super committed to that," El-Sayed said. "Never has it been more important to have a Democrat lead state government."

Thus ends another episode in the seemingly interminable serial, "Bernie Sanders Tries, and Fails, to Put a Progressive Coat of Paint on the Democratic Party." Since he rocketed to political prominence in 2016 in his challenge to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, Sanders has played this role again and again.

First, he appeals to the idealism of young people and the economic grievances of working people, claiming to represent a genuine alternative to the domination of American politics by the oligarchy of "millionaires and billionaires." Then he diverts those who have responded to his campaign back into the existing political framework, endorsing whatever right-wing hack emerges from the Democratic wing of the corporate-controlled two-party system.

In 2016, this involved appealing to his supporters to back Hillary Clinton, the candidate of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus. The Clinton campaign refused to make the slightest appeal to the working class in order to preserve its support within corporate America and, in the process, drove millions of desperate workers to stay home on Election Day or vote for Trump, allowing the billionaire demagogue to eke out an Electoral College victory.

In the 2018 campaign, where he is not a candidate except for reelection in Vermont, Sanders has endorsed and campaigned for a number of supposedly left-wing candidates in the Democratic primaries, always based on the same pretense, that the Democratic Party can be reformed and pushed to the left, that this party of corporate America can be transformed into an instrument of social reform and popular politics.

The requirements for receiving Sanders' support and that of "Our Revolution," the political operation formed by many of his 2016 campaign staffers, are not very demanding. The self-proclaimed socialist does not demand that his favored candidates oppose capitalism or pay lip service to socialism -- and almost none of them do.

Their platforms usually include such demands as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, implementing "Medicare for all," interpreted in various fashions, establishing free public college education for families earning less than $150,000 a year, and enacting universal pre-K education. They usually promise not to accept corporate money and to support campaign finance reform.

These Sanders-backed candidates, like Sanders himself in 2016, have very little to say about foreign policy and make no appeal whatsoever to the deep anti-war sentiment among American youth and workers. There is no discussion of Trump's threats of nuclear war. As for trade war, most, like Sanders himself, embrace the economic nationalism that is the foundation of Trump's trade policy.

In other words, Sanders uses the image of radicalism and opposition to the status quo that surrounded his 2016 campaign to lend support to very conventional, pro-capitalist candidates, whose policies are well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party -- a party whose leadership has embraced most of the measures cited above, secure in the knowledge that it will not keep a single one of these promises and can always blame the Republicans for blocking them.

In Michigan, Sanders spoke at rallies for El-Sayed, and his supporters were quite active on college campuses and on social media, mobilizing support among young people. But as in 2016, there was little effort to reach the working class, particularly minority workers in Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and other devastated industrial cities.

Sanders and the supposedly "left" Democrats he promotes all fervently support the trade union bureaucracy, which is working overtime this year to prevent strikes by angry and militant workers -- as at United Parcel Service -- and to isolate, terminate and betray them where they break out -- as with the state-wide teachers' strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona earlier this year.

The real attitude of Sanders and El-Sayed to genuine socialism was made clear when they sought to ban supporters of the Socialist Equality Party and SEP candidate for Congress Niles Niemuth from distributing leaflets and holding discussions outside campaign rallies for El-Sayed.

This year, Sanders has been campaigning with a sidekick, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who won the Democratic congressional nomination in the 12th District of New York, defeating incumbent Representative Joseph Crowley, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership in the House.

Ocasio-Cortez campaigned for El-Sayed in Michigan and also for several congressional candidates, including Brent Welder in Kansas and Cori Bush in Missouri, who also went down to defeat on August 7. Like Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez claims that the Democratic Party can be transformed into a genuinely progressive "party of the people" that will implement social reforms.

But at age 28, Ocasio-Cortez has less practice in performing the song-and-dance of pretending to be independent of the Democratic Party establishment while working to give it a left cover and prop it up. She was clumsier in her execution, attracting notice as she walked back a campaign demand to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and sought to downplay her previous criticism of Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.

After her campaign swing through the Midwest, Ocasio-Cortez traveled to the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans, an annual assemblage of the left flank of the Democratic Party. She told her adoring audience that her policies were not radical at all, but firmly in the Democratic mainstream. "It's time for us to remember that universal college education, trade school, a federal jobs guarantee, a universal basic income were not all proposed in 2016," she said. "They were proposed in 1940, by the Democratic president of the United States."

The reference to Franklin D. Roosevelt was inadvertently revealing. Roosevelt adopted reform policies, including many of those suggested by the social democrats of his day such as Norman Thomas. He was no socialist, but rather a clever and conscious bourgeois politician who enacted limited reforms in a deliberate effort to save the capitalist system.

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez likewise seek to save the capitalist system, but under conditions where no such reforms are possible. The American ruling class no longer dominates the world economy, but is beset by powerful rivals in both Europe and Asia. It is pouring resources into the military to prepare for world war. And at home, even the most modest measures run up against the intransigent opposition of the super-rich, who control both parties and demand even greater wealth for themselves at the expense of working people.

Under these conditions, the Democratic Party is not a party that can or will can carry out social reforms in order to save capitalism, as in Roosevelt's day. It is a party that will carry out the dictates of the ruling class for war and austerity while using the services of "left" politicians like Sanders to confuse and disorient working people and youth.

Thus, at Netroots Nation, the assembled "left" Democrats gave a loud ovation to Ocasio-Cortez, but also to Gina Ortiz Jones, the Democratic nominee in the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, also young, nonwhite and female. Ortiz Jones has another characteristic, however. She is a career Air Force intelligence officer who was deployed to Iraq, South Sudan and Libya -- all the scenes of US-instigated bloodbaths.

Ortiz Jones is one of nearly three dozen such candidates chosen to represent the Democratic Party in contested congressional districts around the country. Another such candidate is Elissa Slotkin, who won the Democratic nomination Tuesday in Michigan's Eighth Congressional District. Slotkin served three tours with the CIA in Baghdad before being promoted to high-level positions in the Pentagon and the Obama-era National Security Council.

The fake leftism of Bernie Sanders in alliance with the CIA: That is the formula for the Democratic Party in 2018.

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

Aug 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Technocrats rule the world, East and West alike.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

NotTimothyGeithner , August 7, 2018 at 8:29 pm

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

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

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

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

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

NotTimothyGeithner , August 7, 2018 at 10:27 pm

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

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

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

DonCoyote , August 7, 2018 at 2:22 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

flora , August 7, 2018 at 7:39 pm

"I have a simple question: Why vote?"

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

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

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

Altandmain , August 7, 2018 at 8:46 pm

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

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

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

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

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

That's the really brutal reality.

NotTimothyGeithner , August 7, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Probably none.

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

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

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

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

It's a signal about where to send money.

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

Aug 07, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Summer , August 3, 2018 at 4:09 pm

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

Wash.Rinse.Repeat.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 3, 2018 at 5:12 pm

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

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

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

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , August 3, 2018 at 5:20 pm

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

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

JBird , August 6, 2018 at 2:14 pm

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

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

Summer , August 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Aug 05, 2018] Bernie Sanders did everything he was told he should do. He supported the Democratic establishment candidate, and now he believes the Russiagate story.

Notable quotes:
"... While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than " a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. ..."
"... So you plan to continue this McCarthy Russian BS? You didn't speak out when you got cheated in the primaries, and you didn't seem to care that Hillary was using her own paid troll army. Integrity matters Bernie and you are losing yours. ..."
"... You stopped speaking for me and millions of others when you caved to crooked HRC. No it was NOT clear that Russia was "deeply involved in the election. What is CLEAR is your betrayal of your followers and cover up of the election fraud perpetrated by DNC! Everybody knows... ..."
"... Bernie, that's MIC propaganda. Stop helping it. There are millions of reasons Trump should not be president. We don't need a hyped up corporate fairytale to make that point https://t.co/7FAwb47LtB ..."
"... Democratic party jingoism in 2020 will be extra-ordinary with candidates each trying to out do each other how they will fuck over Putin and the Russian nation. There will be a shit load of public loyalty testing against any third party candidate by the democrats. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

It has been clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russia was deeply involved in the 2016 election and intends to be involved in 2018. It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs.

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 16, 2018

However, Sanders had already committed the unforgivable sin of criticizing the Democratic establishment candidate from the left. There is simply no way of coming back from that treason.

Despite his stance, Sanders has also been constantly presented as another Russian agent, with the Washington Post (11/12/17) asking its readers, "When Russia interferes with the 2020 election on behalf of Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders, how will liberals respond?" The message is clear: The progressive wave rising across America is and will be a consequence of Russia, not of the failures of the system, nor of the Democrats.

It isn't just progressive politicians that are all traitors. Movements like Black Lives Matter are also traitors for Russia.

Slate: Russian Trolls Were Obsessed With Black Lives Matter
CNN: Her son was killed -- then came the Russian trolls
NY Times: The Propaganda Tools Used by Russians to Influence the 2016 Election

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:32pm
Bernie's tweet is hysterical
It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs.

Hey, Bernie. The American people were the ones who should have decided who won the primary, not Hillary, the DNC and the delegates. That you are blaming Her loss on Russia instead of admitting that the American people rejected her makes you nothing more than a democratic puppet. How embarrassing for you.

Every Black voter should abandon the DP until they apologize for their disrespect for the BLM and saying that they only started protesting cops killing Blacks because Russia manipulated them into doing so.

Eichenwald thinks that our intelligence agencies are patriots who have spent their lives working on keeping us safe does he? I agree with Dmitry Orlov's take on them.

US Intelligence Community is Tearing the Country Apart from the

The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on.

....

the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself.

While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than " a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. "

And let's not forget how many coups and false flag events they had a hand in creating that have cost so much misery and death.

One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips.

It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

The real puppets are the ones who believe in this silly story that Russia is pulling Trump's strings and that the GOP are also Russian puppets. Good grief!

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:55pm
The first tweet shows how people twist events

The others show that there are others out there that have seen through this propaganda crap. I'd like to see the breakdown of Hillary supporters that believe Russia Gate and the Bernie supporters that don't. Most of the Trump supporters think it's phony so what made Hillary's believe in something that everyone should be laughing at?

You deserve a lot of credit. Russia interfered in your favor, yet you are man enough to admit that they interfered. Thank you Bernie!

-- Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) February 16, 2018

So you plan to continue this McCarthy Russian BS? You didn't speak out when you got cheated in the primaries, and you didn't seem to care that Hillary was using her own paid troll army. Integrity matters Bernie and you are losing yours.

-- Underdawg47 (@Underdawg47) February 17, 2018

You stopped speaking for me and millions of others when you caved to crooked HRC. No it was NOT clear that Russia was "deeply involved in the election. What is CLEAR is your betrayal of your followers and cover up of the election fraud perpetrated by DNC! Everybody knows...

-- Logan (@KOMBUCHABABY) February 17, 2018

Bernie, that's MIC propaganda. Stop helping it. There are millions of reasons Trump should not be president. We don't need a hyped up corporate fairytale to make that point https://t.co/7FAwb47LtB

-- SanBernieDingDong (@noreallyhowcome) February 17, 2018

MrWebster on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 7:19pm
2020 dem candidates will try to out do each other on Russia

Democratic party jingoism in 2020 will be extra-ordinary with candidates each trying to out do each other how they will fuck over Putin and the Russian nation. There will be a shit load of public loyalty testing against any third party candidate by the democrats.

The democrats (and media cohorts) have become an apocolyptic death cult. The language that comes from them is infused with the language of conspiracies, violence, treason, aggression and demonization.

And here is the thing, Bernie to survive electorally will have to become a cult member. Effectively he will have to be pro-war with Russia. He will be giving from the the Left supposed support for aggressive action andmilitarism toward Russia.

I fear that if a democrat becomes president in 2020 (it won't be Bernie), is elected president that in the year of the midterms in 2022, the US will start a real war with Russia which has a highly likehood of going nuclear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russia Doesn't Concern Americans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Nop , July 31, 2018 at 10:38 am

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

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

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

Taras77 , July 30, 2018 at 11:42 am

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

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

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

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

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

Tony Cartalucci has the straight dope on McFaul.

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

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:27 am

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

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

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

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

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

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

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

Antiwar7 , July 30, 2018 at 3:18 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

glitch , July 31, 2018 at 7:23 am

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

CitizenOne , July 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

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

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

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

It is a sham.

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

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

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

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

Cassandra , July 29, 2018 at 8:43 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

rosemerry , July 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm

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

SteveK9 , July 28, 2018 at 3:57 pm

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

Jessika , July 28, 2018 at 9:35 am

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

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

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

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

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

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

All those loons you mentioned are effectively practicing a religion, in which there is a dogma everyone must believe to be virtuous and a set of commandments every believer must live by to gain salvation. Don't toe the line on every bit of it and you are rejected as an apostate.

I'm surprised that some of those folks, notably Thom Hartmann, choose not to practice what they preach -- you know, the platitudes about studying the facts and coming to your own conclusions rather than following the herd. They rightly condemn acting on prejudice, out of pure self-interest, without verifiable facts (indeed at odds with empirical fact) and using group intimidation, as per McCarthyist tactics, and then they go ahead and embrace those vices to their own ends.

It is my process on everything in this life to learn as much as I can on my own, without being brainwashed by any group or movement, and only backing a cause if it is congruent with my own conclusions. Unfortunately, most people do the opposite: they are joiners first and analysts only if their biases are not threatened.

I feel entirely justified in agreeing with movements on some things and not others. I doubt that human beings have arrived at definitive answers about most phenomena in the real world or that any single organised group of us has it all down accurate and pat on everything. Listen to any casual debate on the questions big and small in science: the give and take, back and forth, can go on as long as the participants have the interest and energy. I never give my interlocutors any respite, because there is always one more thing to be considered or one more way of looking at a problem. I'm sure I would have been burned at the stake in many previous lives and so would a lot of the readers here.

Dogmatic party-line Democrats, Republicans, Communists, Islamists, Rastafarians, Bokononites and all the rest suffer from the same malady of checking their minds at the door when it comes to movement politics. They will never do the unthinkable and cooperate with the opposition even if they happen to agree on an issue. This is a manifestation of the Manichean approach you mentioned, Drew. Admit that the opposition is right about anything and you open the door to the possibility that they are right about more, AND that you may (heaven forbid!) be wrong more often than absolutely never. The main exception, at least in America, seems to be warfare, which both main factions and a lot of the marginal ones agree enthusiastically upon and engage with relish.

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

Notable quotes:
"... This week, under the headline " It's Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned U.S. War in Yemen ," journalist Adam Johnson reported for the media watchdog group FAIR about the collapse of journalistic decency at MSNBC, under the weight of the network's Russia Russia Russia obsession. Johnson's article asks a big-type question: "Why is the No. 1 outlet of alleged anti-Trump #resistance completely ignoring his most devastating war?" ..."
"... It would be easy for news watchers to see that the Democratic Party is much more committed to a hard line against Russia than a hard line against the corporate forces imposing extreme economic inequality here at home. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "Amplifying the anti-Russia din helps to drown out the left's core messages for economic fairness, equal rights, environmental protection, diplomacy and so much more." That, of course, is the purpose and intent. Just like hobbling the 'left' with absurd identity politics. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

GOP and Corporate Dems Gain When Democrats Run Against Putin July 26, 2018 • 79 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russia Doesn't Concern Americans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Nop , July 31, 2018 at 10:38 am

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

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

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

Taras77 , July 30, 2018 at 11:42 am

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

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

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

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

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

Tony Cartalucci has the straight dope on McFaul.

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

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:27 am

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

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

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

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

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

Furtive , July 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

Here is part one of the Cohen interview:

https://therealnews.com/stories/the-russia-national-security-crisis-is-a-u-s-creation

Antiwar7 , July 30, 2018 at 3:18 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

glitch , July 31, 2018 at 7:23 am

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

CitizenOne , July 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

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

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

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

It is a sham.

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

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

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

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

Cassandra , July 29, 2018 at 8:43 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

rosemerry , July 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm

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

SteveK9 , July 28, 2018 at 3:57 pm

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

SteveK9 , July 28, 2018 at 3:57 pm

now essential sorry. I wish there were a way to edit comments.

Jessika , July 28, 2018 at 9:35 am

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

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

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

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

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

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

All those loons you mentioned are effectively practicing a religion, in which there is a dogma everyone must believe to be virtuous and a set of commandments every believer must live by to gain salvation. Don't toe the line on every bit of it and you are rejected as an apostate.

I'm surprised that some of those folks, notably Thom Hartmann, choose not to practice what they preach–you know, the platitudes about studying the facts and coming to your own conclusions rather than following the herd. They rightly condemn acting on prejudice, out of pure self-interest, without verifiable facts (indeed at odds with empirical fact) and using group intimidation, as per McCarthyist tactics, and then they go ahead and embrace those vices to their own ends.

It is my process on everything in this life to learn as much as I can on my own, without being brainwashed by any group or movement, and only backing a cause if it is congruent with my own conclusions. Unfortunately, most people do the opposite: they are joiners first and analysts only if their biases are not threatened.

I feel entirely justified in agreeing with movements on some things and not others. I doubt that human beings have arrived at definitive answers about most phenomena in the real world or that any single organised group of us has it all down accurate and pat on everything. Listen to any casual debate on the questions big and small in science: the give and take, back and forth, can go on as long as the participants have the interest and energy. I never give my interlocutors any respite, because there is always one more thing to be considered or one more way of looking at a problem. I'm sure I would have been burned at the stake in many previous lives and so would a lot of the readers here.

Dogmatic party-line Democrats, Republicans, Communists, Islamists, Rastafarians, Bokononites and all the rest suffer from the same malady of checking their minds at the door when it comes to movement politics. They will never do the unthinkable and cooperate with the opposition even if they happen to agree on an issue. This is a manifestation of the Manichean approach you mentioned, Drew. Admit that the opposition is right about anything and you open the door to the possibility that they are right about more, AND that you may (heaven forbid!) be wrong more often than absolutely never. The main exception, at least in America, seems to be warfare, which both main factions and a lot of the marginal ones agree enthusiastically upon and engage with relish.

marcyincny , July 29, 2018 at 10:40 am

I have no idea who Hartmann is so I did a search and found him described as: "Thomas Carl Hartmann is an American radio personality, author, former psychotherapist, businessman, and progressive political commentator." That's a of hats! Jack of all trades, master of none?

Eddie , July 27, 2018 at 11:26 pm

Yes, good points Drew. I view Maddow as a liberal Rush Limbaugh, trying to win a Leni Riefenstahl award from the DNC, and having to be satisfied with her purported $9M/yr salary (which definitely DOES buy a LOT of co-opting).

In support of your argument, I would add that ultimately we should be voting for a candidate based on his/her POLICIES, as evidenced by their prior political voting record and whatever political actions they've taken, NOT based on what they SAY they believe -- that's 1st period high school civics as I recall. It's too easy for candidates to say this or that during a campaign. Trump's policy of detente w/Russia, is -- like the proverbial 'blind squirrel who occasionally finds a nut' -- probably random chance or perhaps a way to penetrate a relatively untapped market with his hucksterism. But so what?? For something as IMPORTANT as NOT having a nuclear war, I'm all for any honest, significant efforts in that direction. Even Nixon, whose presidency I disliked greatly, did a good thing by 'going to China' -- I don't recall anybody on the liberal side at that time saying he was Mao's dupe or foolishness like that. Did Nixon do it as a cynical ploy to draw attention away from other political problems, and did he previously help aggravate/perpetuate a lot of the conflict w/China? Sure, but the act of rapprochement w/China was in-and-of-itself desirable and laudable in that it moved the world a major step AWAY from possible nuclear war. And full-scale nuclear war trumps (no pun intended) virtually all other problems, with the possible exception of climate change, so a POTUS should devote extra energy to that task. Ideally, they should be ramping down the militarism and nationalism, but unfortunately those are campaign tactics that are too easy for either major party to set aside (with 1/2 the fault lying in the electorate who too often endorses those 'isms).

Eddie , July 27, 2018 at 11:29 pm

Correction: last sentence, the "set aside" should've been "use".

michael , July 28, 2018 at 11:47 am

Nixon opened the door to China but the Clintons gave China, a communist country, permanent favored nation status, relaxed technology restrictions, and set up the path to offshoring jobs. These things in combination helped build up China's economy to what it is today, a great return on the illegal $366,000 given by Communist China to the DNC, which (after the Election) was paid back. Russiagate is probably modeled on Chinagate, except there were no consequences for the Clintons.
https://spectator.org/chinagate-and-the-clintons/

Eddie , July 28, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Yes, that's what finally (after being shocked by his Balkans bombings) turned me away from the POTUS Dems was when Bill Clinton signed NAFTA and similar agreements like the one you mentioned, for his short-term political gain. (ie; many middle class consumers could buy cheap goods, which distracted from the shuttering of major industries that couldn't compete with a Chinese wage of $3.57/hr and no pollution laws, etc). Nowadays, for instance,TRY to find a normally-priced shoe or shirt made in the USA (sure, you might find an exotic, botique-made version, but no high-volume/mass-produced versions for the middle-class).

Drew Hunkins , July 28, 2018 at 4:31 pm

"Trump's policy of detente w/Russia, is -- like the proverbial 'blind squirrel who occasionally finds a nut' -- probably random chance or perhaps a way to penetrate a relatively untapped market with his hucksterism. But so what?? For something as IMPORTANT as NOT having a nuclear war, I'm all for any honest, significant efforts in that direction."

Excellent!

rosemerry , July 28, 2018 at 6:47 pm

Nixon, by the way, helped bring in many of the important environmental laws Ralph Nader did so much to bring to prominence and Trump is successfully destroying.

Skip Scott , July 28, 2018 at 6:11 am

et tu, Thom Hartmann? God help us.

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:10 am

Is not Maddow well compensated for her anti-Russian stance that is so valued by the Military-Industrial Complex? She is a profiteer.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-27/paul-craig-roberts-exposes-all-pervasive-military-security-complex

Dario Zuddu , July 27, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Nothing new by now about ultra-corrupted MSM serving the interests of the war establishment.
Yet, the article falls back to usual sociological errors while overlooking important subtleties.
True, Russia certainly does not top Americans' priorities – how could it in the current situation? – but these much trumpeted surveys are hardly the compelling evidence of their views on US relations with Moscow (and how Trump plays in it) that the piece, and other equally imprudent media coverage, would have you believe.
Recent history should teach us extreme caution about surveys' reliability, but let the facts speak.
The cited "nationwide poll" actually interviewed a very modest sample of 1,001 citizens, which might not be small by surveys' standards, but, well, that only strengthens the point that surveys must be taken cum grano salis.
Look at American readers' approving, vitriolic comments on much of the same MSM Russo-phobic coverage : they number in the thousands, day by day, and far exceed the sample of the survey. Of course they probably mostly represent the view of Democrats, but you should remember that in terms of registered voters, democrats have frequently outweighed republicans.
In any event, the popular base of the mentioned national poll is way too negligible to draw the very meaningful conclusion of the article.
This is a structural limit of sociological analysis that we must take an effort to regard as definitive.
But the claim that so many Americans would have markedly different view from the establishment on Russia-Trump issues is also very dubious, to say the least, in another respect.
It does not take into account the possibility, quite palpable if you scratch the surface, that many liberal democrats still hope that the so called Russiagate might bring Trump down – through a possible impeachment or compelled resignation.
Now, that is not only unlikely, but it would also be a very wrong way to go for any future viable and stable political success of the Democratic Party. Such an outcome would only reinforce the view of Trump voters that the political establishment in D.C. does not respect the popular will and would do anything to undermine it.
Trump needs to be beaten at the voting polls.
Yet, plenty of liberal democrat voters still seem to think otherwise.

Jeff Harrison , July 27, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Re-reading this today for some reason really popped a few things up for me. The first one right in my face was: "Now, after a remarkable 46-minute news conference on foreign soil where Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent to praise his 'strong' denials of election interference and criticize the FBI, those strategists believe the ground may have shifted."

Can someone explain to me what the hell "foreign soil" has to do with the price of tea in China? Trump has given plenty of pressers "on foreign soil" but that phrase nor anything like it is ever mentioned. Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent Talk about a lack of respect and blatant bias. He stood side by side with the democratically elected President of the Russian Federation who, by the way, won his election by a clear majority of the vote unlike Mr. Trump who would have lost the election had it been held in Russia. One wonders what would have happened had WaPo and the NYT said something like Russian President Gorbachev stood side by side with the former head of the KGB I mean CIA without ever saying President Bush?

It's also blindingly obvious how screwed we are. We really only have one political party in the US – the US Corporate Party. There is, indeed, very little reason to vote as a recent survey pointed out Congressional votes correspond to the people's preferences as determined by polling only about 5% of the time.

Gregory Herr , July 27, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Progressives, particularly those few taken tokens the Democrats allow for, should have realised long ago that MSNBC is all in on the corporatist controlled economy and leans heavily forward in the quest for War and Profits.

FAIR is correct to point to the "traditional centers of power" that MSNBC services, but the farcical "coverage" of Russiagate inanity certainly doesn't "preserve" a "progressive image" and is not "elegant" in any way.

The war on Yemen and the weapons contracting with the Saudi terrorist regime was already "steroidal" during Obama's Administration. In October 2016, warplanes bombed a community hall in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, where mourners had gathered for a funeral, killing at least 140 people and wounding hundreds. We should note that the U.S. provided intelligence assistance in identifying targets and mid-air refueling for Saudi aircraft and helped blockade the ports of Yemen during Obama's tenure.

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:13 am

"Progressives, particularly those few taken tokens the Democrats allow for, should have realised long ago that MSNBC is all in on the corporatist controlled economy and leans heavily forward in the quest for War and Profits."
Oh, they do. Look how pro-war and pro-CIA the so-called progressives had become overnight. It is the size of a paycheck that makes the "progressives" so articulate. Maddow is an example numero One.

David H. , July 27, 2018 at 9:33 am

Yes, but author neglects to mention that "Russiagate" is a lie, i.e., it is not true.

Maybe that matters too?

mike k , July 27, 2018 at 8:39 am

The whole corrupt, crazy political process is a distraction from our real problems, and an endless maze of futility. The illusion of democracy is collapsing all around us, and safety lies in abandoning it. We need a new way of thinking and acting that clearly and directly sees our problems and deals with them. Politics as now understood is a dead end.

Heather S. , July 28, 2018 at 10:36 am

Agreed. Our entire national political debate is a theater of smoke and mirrors. The facts most obvious and degrading to the national interest are ignored at all costs, e.g., an out of control military-industrial-intelligence complex that now swallows up an obscene $1 trillion annually (including "defense related expenditures"). Even the fact that we no longer live in a democracy but an oligarchy, according to objective studies and noted commentators, including former president Carter, is never commented upon by the miscreant pundits posing as reporters (Hayes, Maddow, Anderson, Cuomo, et al).

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 6:33 am

My plans for the upcoming Democratic primary in Florida: I will write "none of these clowns" at the top of the ballot. Under that I will write "Stop the warmongering and phony Russia-bashing. Stop the obstructionism just to damage Trump and exonerate Hillary for losing a poorly-run campaign. I cannot vote for my party this November, and never again until you stop trying to run to the right of the Republicans." Maybe someone reading the ballot will pass the message on to the party leadership and adjustments will at least be considered.

If not, eff 'em. We will be better off sweeping corrupt corporatist cronies of Hillary, like Wasserman-Schultz, out of congress. Then there will be no doubt that the GOP needs to go too, after they use their mandate to totally wreck all before them, and maybe, after a few election cycles, some third party representing the interests of the people rather than Wall Street and the MIC can emerge. Maybe the Greens and the Libertarians can become at least equal players with the corporatist Dems and GOPers.

Somebody new is going to have to preside over the coming economic and societal collapse, and do we want that to be the military, the police and the spooks? That is who will seize power (not just covertly but overtly) if the usually mercenary politicians cannot effect some workable changes.

Torture This , July 27, 2018 at 8:52 am

Right on except "Maybe adjustments will at least be considered."

Not a chance but you might feel better.

If you took it to your local DNC office, told them in person and put out a video of it I'm pretty sure you'd feel a hundred times better. I'd have to get drunk first and it would be a totally different video.

Broompilot , July 27, 2018 at 7:01 pm

Like the Eastern Roman Empire, we could wax and wane for 1000 years with the power we possess. Or, like the Soviet Union, we could suffer an economic collapse over a decade throwing a large percentage of us into poverty. I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the soviets, but we just haven't figured it that out yet.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:48 pm

"I tend to think that the Cold War bankrupted us as well as the soviets, but we just haven't figured that out yet."

Because we prefer to blow off science and empirically-supported concepts like the first law of thermodynamics which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, just transferred or changed in form.

We choose to believe that we can endlessly create money, which is a token representing access to available stored energy, out of nothing by issuing debt. Even if the tokens are infinite, on a finite planet the available energy is certainly not.

Most of the human race has been speeding towards the cliff at 100 mph like Thelma and Louise. Certainly America has been. It's getting ever closer. We will get there. Don't expect Zeno's paradox to save us.

Broompilot , July 28, 2018 at 5:35 am

dayum – I was counting on Zeno. – lol

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:22 am

Is not the Awan affair a grave insult to the US "Intelligence Community?" http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/what-are-the-democrats-hiding-by-publius-tacitus.html
For several years, a family of foreign nationals (and not only Wassermannn-Schultz) has been surfing the congressional computers while having no security clearance.
Then there was a criminal negligence by H. Clinton who made her emails, filled with the highest-level classified information, available to Chinese (not the Russians). http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/07/httpstruepunditcomfbi-lisa-page-dimes-out-top-fbi-officials-during-classified-house-testimony-bureau-bos.html
Both Debbie and Hillary should be in federal prison already. Clinton used to be fond of droning Assange for divulging the criminal and illegal activities of the state. What Debbie and Hillary did has been much more dangerous to the US national security.

Ma Laoshi , July 27, 2018 at 5:37 am

We are long past the point that this extreme Russophobia has revealed itself to be plain old race hatred. These bouts of hysteria have always been part of the American DNA, and it has been most instructive how fast and seamless the switch has been from Muslims to Russians as the hated Other. Progressives have solemnly declared themselves to be the good guys without much introspection, so one would expect them to be more susceptible to this bigotry, not less; a more astute observer might have asked "When will the machine turn on me next?", as is of course already happening to Sanders and others.

Yes RussiaGating is a losing strategy, but most of the evidence is that progressives ARE losers. So there's no surprise that they're falling for it, and little to indicate that they deserve any better.

Mike , July 26, 2018 at 11:43 pm

Never voted for Republican congressmen in the past. Never. This time I will. Democrats are the party of open borders and war. Now they want conflict with Russia over this ginned up fake investigation. They don't represent working people any more. I don't even think they put AMERICANS over illegal immigrants. Why is it wrong that people should be forced to obey immigration law? The laws for citizens are enforced. Never thought I'd vote Republican.

Torture This , July 27, 2018 at 9:18 am

I can't think of any reason to vote for 99.9% of the Democrats. The more everyone including the media lies about Russia, the more I empathize with them.

I'd guess the business owners that rely on illegals vote for Republicans because they're business owners. We need to eat and they need to make more money than they deserve so neither party is going to stand in the way of it as long as they bribe their politicians and anybody else that feels entitled to free stuff. Democrats won't get rid of ICE soon, if ever.

Nearly all people coming from the South are escaping conditions we've created and are granted asylum when allowed to make their case in court.

I think treating defenseless people terribly to show how mean we can be is wrong.

Freedomlover , July 28, 2018 at 8:05 am

Mike,
I share your setiment about the Democrats but voting for Republicans just because is equally foolish. Why support banning labor unions, corporate very expensive health care, greatly reducing and eventually eliminating social security and Medicare, privitzing all public infrastructure and bailing out wall Street at all cost. I could go on but you get the idea. Vote for candidates that stand for the American people and have the guts to stand up to the elites. If no such candidates exist in a particular election don't vote simple as that.

glitch , July 28, 2018 at 11:28 am

If you can't vote third party write in none of the above on a paper ballot. If those aren't options spoil your ballot but turn it in.
Not voting doesn't register your disdain, it's easier for them to ignore as apathy.
And non votes can be spoofed (stolen).
Stealing a "none of the above" write-in requires the ballot be destroyed, so it can provide a paper trail and/or a potential theft exposure point.

Diana Lee , July 26, 2018 at 10:20 pm

I am a registered Democrat; I will NOT be voting for them this fall. They no longer have any credibility with me. Rachel helped them shoot themselves in the foot as far as I'm concerned. How are they any different from neocons??? I'm grateful WikiLeaks pulled off their mask. I'm a historian and know a lot of both CIA and Russian history and am not buying Russiagate or Democrats.

Jessika , July 26, 2018 at 9:33 pm

I like that, the "Demented-crats"! They are so completely clueless, in their overpaid bubbles, nothing to say about the Race-to-the-Bottom, Hunger Games society they have helped create. Meanwhile, over in Russia, the government with leadership of Vladimir Putin has increased the Russians' standard of living, much as was done for Americans under FDR and the New Deal. (Never a word about the 80+ governments the USA/CIA has destabilized or directly overthrown, including Russia's -- oh no! We're exceptional, didn't you know?)

will , July 26, 2018 at 8:28 pm

32: 17,Putin admits to collusion https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwxqOoIyWm0&feature=youtu.be&t=32m17s

William , July 26, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Yea, I don't get it. Who the hell do you consider to be the progressives!?! Most people I know who consider themselves to be progressives aren't all wrapped up in the Russian narrative. The loyal shrills to Clinton? Those aren't progressives. Clinton herself pretty much backed away from that stamp during the election cycle. Pelosi has quite obviously made it clear she can't even see that side of the fence. Or will she allow it the light of day. In case you missed it, there's a war on progressives going on. And we aren't allowed in that club over there. I follow a hand full of Green Party sites on face hack, and they aren't having the Russia did it by any means. Only those loyal to the liberal democrats have the ignorance to bellow out the talking points and support for Sanders. Yea, those people that wouldn't give him the light of day during that same election cycle when we thought he was a progressive. Easy Bob! Just a hic cup. I hope! Rest peacefully!

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 6:46 am

As Jimmy Dore keeps telling us: the Democratic leadership, which is totally corporatist and neocon, would rather lose to the GOP candidate than to see a progressive or liberal Democrat win the office. The Dems have no independent policies of their own and are merely enablers to make sure that the hard right agenda always prevails. They are a sham party. Enough "blue dogs" and GOP-light types always win as Democrats to ensure that no progressive legislation will ever be enacted even when "the party" has 60% majorities in both houses–as they did in Obama's first term. This is by design. Even the putative Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama functioned as center-right Republicans. Obama said as much. Clinton didn't have to as his policies were all reactionary and brought us to the impending economic collapse.

Zim , July 26, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Looks like the Inauthentic Opposition Party is gearing up for another ass whooping at the polls. The hypocrisy, the cluelessness is astounding.

JMG , July 26, 2018 at 5:33 pm

From this excellent Norman Solomon's article:

"As The Hill newspaper reported this week under the headline "Most Americans Back Trump's Call for Follow-Up Summit With Putin," 54 percent of respondents favored plans for a second summit. "The survey also found that 61 percent of Americans say better relations with Russia are in the best interest of the United States.""

This is very important.

A , July 26, 2018 at 10:59 pm

the survey also concluded 91% of the us population believes in in UFOs

JMG , July 27, 2018 at 1:31 am

This is the poll (nothing about UFOs, of course):

Poll: Most Americans back Trump's call for follow-up summit with Putin | TheHill
http://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/398370-majority-of-americans-support-follow-up-summit-with-putin-poll

Jay , July 26, 2018 at 5:24 pm

And I see Bernie Sanders was spewing this neo-McCarthyite crap on a Sunday morning talk show earlier this week.

He really should know better.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 7:01 am

He's been co-opted. He's been told that the blame will be his when the Democratic Party collapses unless he works like hell to keep his sheep in the fold. He's following orders from the DNC which believes that the party's last best hope for a comeback, indeed to stave off annihilation, is to keep bashing Putin and Trump because they have no policies, no credibility and no candidates that the people eagerly want to get behind. They think that lies and war are the winning combination. How did that work out for LBJ, Bushdaddy, and Dubya's organisation?

mrtmbrnmn , July 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Ever since the Bonnie & Clyde Clinton years, the sclerotic Establishment Dementedcrats have essentially despised their base. They only speak AT them. Never FOR them. Or else they SCOLD them or simply IGNORE them. I hope now they are beginning to FEAR them.

mike , July 26, 2018 at 4:47 pm

Putin isn't running

jose , July 26, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Personally speaking, I am yet to see any serious evidence against allege Russia meddling in US elections. And I am not alone in this regard; For instance, according to counterpunch news, " The decision to blame Russian meddling for Hillary Clinton's electoral loss was made in the immediate aftermath of the election by her senior campaign staff." According to Mike Whitney, "So far, no single piece of evidence has been made public proving that the Trump campaign joined with Russia to steal the US presidency." Isaac Christiansen observes that "As Democrats seek to shift blame away from the discontent with our economic system, their party and their chosen Neoliberal candidate, we are told that Trump came to power almost solely due to Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election." I reckon that any rational person should believe any Russian interference in US electoral system only when presented with real iron-clad prove. Otherwise, it would be foolhardy to accept at face value speculations and innuendo of a foreign interference that purportedly put Trump in the White House.

DH Fabian , July 26, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Well, a couple of issues here. Liberals have not been about economic justice, but about protecting the advantages of the middle class (with an occasional pat on the head to min. wage workers).They've forgotten that we're over 20 years into one hell of a war on the poor. Not everyone can work, and there aren't jobs for all. The US began shipping out jobs in the '80s, ended actual welfare aid in the '90s -- lost over 6 million manufacturing jobs alone since 2000. What is" justice" for today's jobless poor?

Remember how the entire anti-Russian theme began? The Clinton team used Russia as their excuse for losing 2016. It didn't get much attention at first because the party/candidate that loses inevitably blames someone or something other than the candidate/party. But the Democrats ran with it from there, using much of the media marketed to liberals to build the Russian Tale. The most insane thing about the claims that Russia hacked voting machines for Trump, etc.: In spite of much Dem voter opposition to the Clinton right wing, H. Clinton got the most votes. (Did Russia do that, and if so, why?) Trump is president because of our antiquated electoral college process. Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 7:09 am

"Meanwhile, while Dems ramble on about a Putin/Trump bromance, the sane world has watched as Trump set the stage for our final war, US vs. Russia and China."

So very right. Everything gets conspicuously twisted by a biased media, yet no one (of consequence) says anything about that. Even as Trump gets bashed, he gets cheered whenever he does something dangerous and stupid, such as launching missiles in the aftermath of an obvious false flag incident. We see the matrix being blatantly and clumsily spun right before our eyes and nobody says a word about the emperor's nakedness.

Pablo Diablo , July 26, 2018 at 3:16 pm

BE AFRAID. BE REAL AFRAID. THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING.

JMG , July 26, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Boo

A , July 26, 2018 at 11:06 pm

the right wing people are already here. we do not need fear Russians. We have enough of our own home grown people. I do not fear them unless they have their guns in their pockets.

Al Pinto , July 27, 2018 at 10:43 pm

For argument sake, let's say they are coming and will arrive soon

Maybe we can finally have government provided health care, housing, eduction for everyone, like they have now in Russia. Maybe we can retire at age 55 (women), or 60 (men) with government pension. Sounds a lot better than the current circumstances in the US

What are you afraid of?

Skip Scott , July 26, 2018 at 2:27 pm

It is time for the progressives to flee the Democratic party en masse and go their own way. If they haven't learned anything from the 2016 election, they are doomed. The DNC has a stranglehold on the Progressive movement, and sheep dog Bernie will once again herd them over to the corporate sponsored candidate in the end.

For the midterms, this is what the Democrats have planned:

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/07/dems-m07.html

"One quarter of all the Democratic challengers in competitive House districts have military-intelligence, State Department or NSC backgrounds. This is by far the largest subcategory of Democratic candidates."

The Green Party has a truly Progressive platform on Domestic and Foreign policy, and are our only hope at this point. They just need the right standard bearers to break through the MSM censorship. If they could get a charismatic candidate for President in 2020 and break the 15% threshold for the debates, the American people would finally see that they really do have a choice for a better future.

DH Fabian , July 26, 2018 at 3:36 pm

We haven't seen any progressives in years. Progressive politics isn't a new invention. In the US, it goes back at least to the early 1900s. It's about building a better nation from the bottom up -- legit aid for the poor at one end, firm restraints in the rich at the other end.We have nothing like that today. This isn't about "political purity," but about not calling an apple an armadillo.

It's true that the Green Party platform does include legitimatrely addressing poverty, but perhaps understandably, this fact was swept under the carpet during their 2016 campaign.

will , July 26, 2018 at 8:32 pm

"We haven't seen any progressives in years" Apparently you don't get out much.

hetro , July 26, 2018 at 4:14 pm

Skip, let's hope we don't have the "hold your nose and vote Democrat" arguments again, with Greens as a vote for Trump (or Putin?). Interestingly, the following poll from FOX news indicates the strum und feces hysteria of the current Democratic machine may not be working out all that well, as 7 in 10 respondents here indicate the political atmosphere in the US at this time is "overheated."

Well, a good deal of that overheat is coming from the "them Russians them Russians" meme continually pushed–and way over the top for most American people trying to "have a great day!" This poll does indicate Dems are ahead at this point, and in the past several election cycles there has been a regular switch every two years in congressional domination.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/07/12/fox-news-poll-democrats-ahead-in-election-enthusiasm-interest-and-vote.html

Miranda Keefe , July 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm

"The Green Party has a truly Progressive platform on Domestic and Foreign policy, and are our only hope at this point."

The Green Party is a Capitalist party, just the kindest and gentlest Capitalism of any of the Capitalist parties with the most stringent leash on the mad killer dog that is Capitalism and the best safety net for those chased off the cliff by that mad killer dog.

For those of us who see that Capitalism is the problem, that makes voting Green actually a lesser evil choice. If we're going to vote lesser evil, we might as well vote for the most progressive Democrats, or even centrist ones when they're running against fire breathing Randian Republicans who combine that with a Fundamentalist Christian Theocratic agenda (a combination that makes no sense, but who said the GOP makes sense?)

There are few viable Socialist parties in the US anymore. The biggest jettisoned Socialism nearly 50 years ago when it also jettisoned actually being a political party and decided to just be a lobby group within the Democratic Party. The only political heir of Eugene V. Debs, the Socialist Party USA, is now a fringe group whose national conventions are more like a picnic gathering of a few friends. The other organizations that seem more viable are actually Trotskyite groups, and Trotsky was not non-violent at all, which I am.

I am really at a lost what to do as far as the less important task of voting (which is less important than ongoing activism.) I just did my primary ballot. We've got this terrible top two primary, a system that basically kills movement building.

I could have voted for Gigi Ferguson, the independent, who was endorsed by the Green Party, running for senate against NeoLiberal phony environmentalist Maria Cantwell and not the poser, who said he was Green, (parties have no say in candidates' statements of which party they prefer,) but is for privatizing Social Security. But I instead voted for Steve Hoffman, the only avowed Socialist on the ballot in any race, even though his Freedom Socialist Party is Troskyite.

I voted for Stoney Bird, a real Green, running against TPP loving and indefinite detention loving and NeoLiberal anti-Single Payer Rick Larsen for Congress.

My state legislation had two positions. In one I voted for Alex Ramel, an ecological activist, over the preferred establishment choice of Identity Politics candidate (tribal,) Debra Lekanoff. In the other the incumbent, Jeff Morris, another establishment Democrat, ran unopposed. I wrote in "None." (Morris having the same family name as my mother's maiden name didn't affect me at all.)

But it was all an exercise in futility, voting for my conscience as much as possible. I have little doubt that none of my choices, except maybe Ramel, will make it to the top two. Cantwell and Larsen are shoo-ins and they'll surely face the establishment GOP candidate. Thus cutting out all other options in the Fall.

I'll have to write in my choices then. Oh well.

maryam , July 27, 2018 at 4:54 am

Over here in Europe (not UK) and faced with the similar problem of inapt candidates, we sometimes need to vote creatively: so we vote, of course, but choose to make the ballot sheet invalid. this way our voice is noted and we show that we care about the electoral process, while it also makes clear that we do not care much about the cabdidate(s). "we" will vote, but "they" are not very trustworthy.

MBeaver , July 27, 2018 at 8:12 am

Yep. We in Germany had that lesson already. The Green party was one of the most corrupt one when they finally got elected into the government.
They also harmed the social systems massively and supported the first offensive war with German support since WW2.
Even as opposition they show all the time how much they lie about their true intentions.
They are not an option, because they are hypocrites.

ronnie mitchell , July 27, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Interesting comment with some good information that I appreciate.\ I live in Bellingham and have filled out my vote for Stony Bird over Rick Larsen whom I truly despise. In fact in previous election cycles I voted for Mike Lapointe instead but he quit running more than a few years ago so the last time I just left it blank and the same goes for the general election vote for Congress.
With the TPP issue Rick Larsen had a townhall meeting at City hall building which was packed and he starts off by saying he hasn't read any of the text of the TPP yet so he was free from answering most questions however he would be checking it out BUT no there would be no further meeting before the voting. In other words he was giving us NOTHING.
I had been part of the protesters outside his fundraising gathering (private and by invitation only) and have been to his local office many times (it's two blocks from where I live) and when myself and a small group were in opposition to building the largest coal terminal in north America at Cherry Point. He would never say he was against it or for it but his fundraisers were backers of the terminal and as each of our group stepped forward to give a statement to his office workers on the issue (Rick was in DC,aka District of Corruption at the time) they just politely listened but neither recorded nor wrote down ANYTHING we said.
The list is long regarding issues on which he is on the opposite side of his constituents wishes and at one gathering was smugly dismissive of requests to represent the votes of the people and not use his super delegate status(not Democratic) to endorse Hillary Clinton because votes in Caucuses were overwhelmingly for Sen. Sanders.
I could go on but it would be too long of a comment but you've given me some good ideas for other choices on the ballot which I needed in particular with Maria Cantwell whom (like fellow neoliberal Patty Murray) I have refused to support in the last two elections.For one of many examples of why, one big one was their stand against importing cheaper medicines from Canada which was word for word straight out of the Big PHarma handbook of talking points, but they DID get quite a lot of flak for it.

I'll look into some of your other suggestions as well before I turn in this ballot, thanks for your comment.

TS , July 27, 2018 at 4:06 am

> Skip Scott

> If they could get a charismatic candidate for President in 2020 and break the 15% threshold for the debates,

And what makes you think the people who decide wouldn't simply shift the goalposts?

Skip Scott , July 27, 2018 at 2:48 pm

I'm sure that would be attempted, but with a strong candidate hopefully there'd be enough of a fuss made to get them to back off. I'd also like to dream that some of the more progressive Democrats in congress would see the writing on the wall, and declare themselves Greens. That'd give us a toehold in two branches of government. I know I'm being overly optimistic, but it keeps me away from the whiskey bottle.

Piotr Berman , July 28, 2018 at 3:06 pm

I have some misgivings to "eco politics", I am not sure to what extend they apply to Greens, and I am sorry to say, liberals have a knack to pick the worst parts of any progressive idea.

Any goal has to consider trade-off. If we think that emitting carbon to the atmosphere is a major problem, solutions must follow economic calculus. Instead, there was two much stress on "aesthetic solutions" and sometimes scientifically unsound solutions. For example, aesthetic solution is electric vehicles, but hybrid vehicles offer a much smaller cost per amount of carbon that is saved, only when majority of vehicles already gain from regenerative braking and having engines work only in fuel optimal conditions (battery absorbing surplus or augmenting the engine power when the amount of needed power is outside parameters optimal for the internal combustion engine) you may get better cost from electric engines.

Or excluding nuclear power from the "approved solutions". One of my many objections on "Republicans on energy" that they promised a few times to be "rational" but they never delivered.

Philosophically, there should be a fat carbon tax and social policies and subsidies to avoid poor people to loose.

"Hyperrational" progressive approach would be to make a balance: as a society, where do we waste, and where do we spent too little.

1. Military/foreign policy. In aggregate, spendings are huge and nobody is overly proud from the results. An open question if this category of spending should be decreased by 50% or 75%, if we proceed in stages we can reach satisfactory point. Mind you, the largest ticket items are improving nuclear weapons or conventional weapon systems that are needed against very few most sophisticated adversaries who also waste resources. USA, Russia, China, the rest of NATO etc. could agree to some disarmament, Russia and China actually accelerated weapon development in response to "Let America dominate forever" policies, bad news are they they do it for less money.

2. Medical robbery complex. Private insurance and lack of costs control leads to spending on medical care around 18% of GDP rather than 10%. This waste is actually larger than all spending on defense.

3. Infrastructure (large public role) and other capital investments (small public role but essential fiscal policies and "thoughtful protectionism"), we spent too little, can be covered by a part of 1 and 2.

I could continue with "hyperrational progressive manifesto" but I will give one example. Enforcing labor standards may eliminate 90% of illegal employment without walls, concentration camps for aliens etc. Some industries cannot make it without cheap illegal aliens, if they REALLY cannot, workers should work legally in their home countries and resulting imports should be encouraged. If picking carrots is too expensive in USA, we may get them from other countries in Western Hemisphere. On that note, lately there are enough jobs in USA, but native born citizens do not flock to carrot picking, they would rather have jobs that required large capital investments and there are too few of those.

Hyperrational rhetoric can borrow from libertarians: if our allies do not feel secure when they spend X times more than their regional adversaries (especially if we add our own regional expenditures), that says that money alone cannot cure their "secure feeling" deficit and we and they are already spending too much. We do not need to hate or demean anyone to reach such conclusions.

Skip Scott , July 29, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Piotr-

I am all in favor of rational solutions to our environmental problems. The problem is the entrenched power of the existing exploitive industries. An incredible amount of progress could be made through on-site power generation and energy efficient building design.

I'm am not in favor of current nuclear power plants, but I am not opposed to research, and I've heard good things about recent designs, especially thorium nukes. I am no engineer, but if we had safe nukes, we could go with hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles. There are plenty of other creative ideas as well for things such as localized food production.

If we find common purpose with the Libertarians to stop the war machine, the amount of energy and resources and creative potential to bring humanity forward would be tremendous. First we have to stop the war machine, and then we can argue about the extent of the role of government in a free society.

[Jul 28, 2018] #Walkaway: The immolation of both neoliberal media and Clintonized Democratic Party is occurring simultaneously. Looks like we also have seen Peak Facebook

Jul 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Justapleb -> BlackChicken Sat, 07/28/2018 - 01:02 Permalink

Yeah, it's amazing to watch. With Trump in 2016 they went with "Racist, Sexist, Homophobe, insane person", etc. and now they're going with "Russia" and censorship.

Labor was such a longtime stronghold for the Democrats and they've lost it. Labor doesn't give a shit about Russia. Everyone though, is sick of the corruption. #Walkaway. The whole "Russia" hoax is designed to blow a huge smoke screen into the felony crimes committed principally by Clinton allies and the deep state.

The immolation of both the legacy media and the democratic party is occurring simultaneously. We have seen Peak Facebook.

We have some real giants out there like Stefan Molyneux. A whole galaxy of them helped bring Trump into the White House and as legacy platforms censor, new ones arise.

I am afraid that historically we better be prepared for what the left does when it doesn't get its way and that is violence. Look at how the media is openly inciting violence. They've made heros out of thugs who rob, out of violent shit-and-piss hurling hooligans, and democratic local bosses have stood down as law-abiding citizens assembled for peaceful speech.

So the wholesale insanity is going to be more than screaming at the sky.

[Jul 24, 2018] Bernie Sanders embraces the anti-Russia campaign by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... Sanders's support for the anti-Russia and anti-Wikileaks campaign is all the more telling because he was himself the victim of efforts by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party leadership to block his 2016 campaign. In June and July 2016, Wikileaks published internal Democratic emails in which officials ridiculed the Sanders campaign, forcing the DNC to issue a public apology: "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email." ..."
"... In the aftermath of his election campaign, Sanders was elevated into a top-level position in the Democratic Party caucus in the US Senate. His first response to the inauguration of Trump was to declare his willingness to "work with" the president, closely tracking remarks of Obama that the election of Trump was part of an "intramural scrimmage" in which all sides were on the same team. As the campaign of the military-intelligence agencies intensifies, however, Sanders is toeing the line. ..."
"... The Sanders campaign did not push the Democrats to the left, but rather the state apparatus of the ruling class brought Sanders in to give a "left" veneer to a thoroughly right-wing party. ..."
"... There is no contradiction between the influx of military-intelligence candidates into the Democratic Party and the Democrats' making use of the services of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to give the party a "left" cover. Both the CIA Democrats and their pseudo-left "comrades" agree on the most important questions: the defense of the global interests of American imperialism and a more aggressive intervention in the Syrian civil war and other areas where Washington and Moscow are in conflict. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders appeared on the CBS interview program "Face the Nation" Sunday and fully embraced the anti-Russia campaign of the US military-intelligence apparatus, backed by the Democratic Party and much of the media.

In response to a question from CBS host Margaret Brennan, Sanders unleashed a torrent of denunciations of Trump's meeting and press conference in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A preliminary transcript reads:

SANDERS: "I will tell you that I was absolutely outraged by his behavior in Helsinki, where he really sold the American people out. And it makes me think that either Trump doesn't understand what Russia has done, not only to our elections, but through cyber attacks against all parts of our infrastructure, either he doesn't understand it, or perhaps he is being blackmailed by Russia, because they may have compromising information about him.

"Or perhaps also you have a president who really does have strong authoritarian tendencies. And maybe he admires the kind of government that Putin is running in Russia. And I think all of that is a disgrace and a disservice to the American people. And we have got to make sure that Russia does not interfere, not only in our elections, but in other aspects of our lives."

These comments, which echo remarks he gave at a rally in Kansas late last week, signal Sanders' full embrace of the right-wing campaign launched by the Democrats and backed by dominant sections of the military-intelligence apparatus. Their opposition to Trump is centered on issues of foreign policy, based on the concern that Trump, due to his own "America First" brand of imperialist strategy, has run afoul of geostrategic imperatives that are considered inviolable -- in particular, the conflict with Russia.

Sanders did not use his time on a national television program to condemn Trump's persecution of immigrants and the separation of children from their parents, or to denounce his naming of ultra-right jurist Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, or to attack the White House declaration last week that the "war on poverty" had ended victoriously -- in order to justify the destruction of social programs for impoverished working people. Nor did he seek to advance his supposedly left-wing program on domestic issues like health care, jobs and education.

Sanders' embrace of the anti-Russia campaign is not surprising, but it is instructive. This is, after all, an individual who presented himself as "left-wing," even a "socialist." During the 2016 election campaign, he won the support of millions of people attracted to his call for a "political revolution" against the "billionaire class." For Sanders, who has a long history of opportunist and pro-imperialist politics in the orbit of the Democratic Party, the aim of the campaign was always to direct social discontent into establishment channels, culminating in his endorsement of the campaign of Hillary Clinton.

Sanders's support for the anti-Russia and anti-Wikileaks campaign is all the more telling because he was himself the victim of efforts by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party leadership to block his 2016 campaign. In June and July 2016, Wikileaks published internal Democratic emails in which officials ridiculed the Sanders campaign, forcing the DNC to issue a public apology: "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email."

In the aftermath of his election campaign, Sanders was elevated into a top-level position in the Democratic Party caucus in the US Senate. His first response to the inauguration of Trump was to declare his willingness to "work with" the president, closely tracking remarks of Obama that the election of Trump was part of an "intramural scrimmage" in which all sides were on the same team. As the campaign of the military-intelligence agencies intensifies, however, Sanders is toeing the line.

The experience is instructive not only in relation to Sanders, but to an entire social milieu and the political perspective with which it is associated. This is what it means to work within the Democratic Party. The Sanders campaign did not push the Democrats to the left, but rather the state apparatus of the ruling class brought Sanders in to give a "left" veneer to a thoroughly right-wing party.

New political figures, many associated with the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) are being brought in for the same purpose. As Sanders gave his anti-Russia rant, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sat next to him nodding her agreement. The 28-year-old member of the DSA last month won the Democratic nomination in New York's 14th Congressional District, unseating the Democratic incumbent, Joseph Crowley, the fourth-ranking member of the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives.

Since then, Ocasio-Cortez has been given massive and largely uncritical publicity by the corporate media, summed up in an editorial puff piece by the New York Times that described her as "a bright light in the Democratic Party who has brought desperately needed energy back to New York politics "

Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders were jointly interviewed from Kansas, where the two appeared Friday at a campaign rally for James Thompson, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the US House of Representatives from the Fourth Congressional District, based in Wichita, in an August 7 primary election.

Thompson might appear to be an unusual ally for the "socialist" Sanders and the DSA member Ocasio-Cortez. His campaign celebrates his role as an Army veteran, and his website opens under the slogan "Join the Thompson Army," followed by pledges that the candidate will "Fight for America." In an interview with the Associated Press, Thompson indicated that despite his support for Sanders' call for "Medicare for all," and his own endorsement by the DSA, he was wary of any association with socialism. "I don't like the term socialist, because people do associate that with bad things in history," he said.

Such anticommunism fits right in with the anti-Russian campaign, which is the principal theme of the Democratic Party in the 2018 elections. As the World Socialist Web Site has pointed out for many months, the real thrust of the Democratic Party campaign is demonstrated by its recruitment as congressional candidates of dozens of former CIA and military intelligence agents, combat commanders from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and war planners from the Pentagon, State Department and White House.

There is no contradiction between the influx of military-intelligence candidates into the Democratic Party and the Democrats' making use of the services of Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez to give the party a "left" cover. Both the CIA Democrats and their pseudo-left "comrades" agree on the most important questions: the defense of the global interests of American imperialism and a more aggressive intervention in the Syrian civil war and other areas where Washington and Moscow are in conflict.

[Jul 24, 2018] The real face of Bernie Sanders

Notable quotes:
"... Rand Paul blocks Sanders's Russia resolution, calls it 'crazy hatred' against Trump ..."
Jul 24, 2018 | thehill.com

Rand Paul blocks Sanders's Russia resolution, calls it 'crazy hatred' against Trump By Jordain Carney

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday blocked a resolution from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that backed the intelligence community's assessment of Russian election interference and demanded President Trump speak with special counsel Robert Mueller .

Sanders asked for unanimous consent to try to pass his resolution, saying senators "must act" if they are "serious about preserving American democracy."

"The Congress must make it clear that we accept the assessment of our intelligence community with regard to Russian election interfering in our country and in other democracies," Sanders said during a Senate floor speech.

Under Senate rules, any one senator could block his request. "The hatred for the president is so intense that partisans would rather risk war than give diplomacy a chance," he said.

Paul questioned why senators would not want to have relations with Russia. "We should stand firm and say 'Stay the hell out of our elections,' but we should not stick our head in the ground and say we're not going to talk to them," he said.

But Sanders fired back that Paul's objection was unrelated to his resolution, which he noted doesn't push for cutting off talks with the Russians.

"What the senator said is totally irrelevant to what is in this resolution," Sanders said. The resolution comes as Congress is weighing how to push back against Russia after Trump sparked bipartisan backlash during his meeting with Putin on Monday in Helsinki, Finland.

Trump refused to condemn Russia for interfering in the 2016 presidential election during a joint press conference on Monday. He then tried to walk back his comments on Tuesday, saying he accepted the intelligence community's findings but added that "other people" could have been involved too.

[Jul 23, 2018] The Democratic Party's Pitch to Billionaires by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... The wing of the Democratic Party that looks for the dollars instead of the votes is called "The Third Way" and it presents itself as representing the supposedly vast political center, nothing "extremist" or "marginal." But didn't liberal Republicanism go out when Nelson Rockefeller did? Conservative Democrats are like liberal Republicans -- they attract flies and billionaires, but not many votes. And didn't the Rockefeller drug laws fill our prisons with millions of pathetic drug-users and small drug-dealers but not with the kingpins in either the narcotics business or the bankster rackets (such as had crashed the economy in 2008 -- and the Third Way Democrat who had been the exceptional politician and liar that was so slick he actually did attract many votes, President Barack Obama, told the banksters privately, on 27 March 2009, "I'm not out there to go after you. I'm protecting you." And, he did keep his promise to them, though not to his voters .) ..."
"... They want another Barack Obama. There aren't any more of those (unless, perhaps, Michelle Obama enters the contest). But, even if there were: How many Democrats would fall for that scam, yet again -- after the disaster of 2016? ..."
"... Maybe the Third Way is right, and there's a sucker born every minute. But if that's what the Democratic Party is going to rely upon, then America's stunningly low voter-participation rate is set to plunge even lower, because even more voters than before will either be leaving the Presidential line blank, or even perhaps voting for the Republican candidate (as some felt driven to do in 2016). ..."
"... Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity . He is a frequent contributor to Global Research. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

The wing of the Democratic Party that looks for the dollars instead of the votes is called "The Third Way" and it presents itself as representing the supposedly vast political center, nothing "extremist" or "marginal." But didn't liberal Republicanism go out when Nelson Rockefeller did? Conservative Democrats are like liberal Republicans -- they attract flies and billionaires, but not many votes. And didn't the Rockefeller drug laws fill our prisons with millions of pathetic drug-users and small drug-dealers but not with the kingpins in either the narcotics business or the bankster rackets (such as had crashed the economy in 2008 -- and the Third Way Democrat who had been the exceptional politician and liar that was so slick he actually did attract many votes, President Barack Obama, told the banksters privately, on 27 March 2009, "I'm not out there to go after you. I'm protecting you." And, he did keep his promise to them, though not to his voters .)

They're at it, yet again. On July 22nd, NBC News's Alex Seitz-Wald headlined "Sanders' wing of the party terrifies moderate Dems. Here's how they plan to stop it." And he described what was publicly available from the 3-day private meeting in Columbus Ohio of The Third Way, July 18-20, the planning conference between the Party's chiefs and its billionaires. Evidently, they hate Bernie Sanders and are already scheming and spending in order to block him, now a second time, from obtaining the Party's Presidential nomination. "Anxiety has largely been kept to a whisper among the party's moderates and big donors, with some of the major fundraisers pressing operatives on what can be done to stop the Vermonter if he runs for the White House again." This passage in Seitz-Wald's article was especially striking to me:

The gathering here was an effort to offer an attractive alternative to the rising Sanders-style populist left in the upcoming presidential race. Where progressives see a rare opportunity to capitalize on an energized Democratic base, moderates see a better chance to win over Republicans turned off by Trump.

The fact that a billionaire real estate developer, Winston Fisher, cohosted the event and addressed attendees twice, underscored that this group is not interested in the class warfare vilifying the "millionaires and billionaires" found in Sanders' stump speech.

"You're not going to make me hate somebody just because they're rich. I want to be rich!" Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, a potential presidential candidate, said Friday to laughs.

I would reply to congressman Ryan's remark: If you want to be rich, then get the hell out of politics! Don't run for President! I don't want you there! And that's no joke!

Anyone who doesn't recognize that an inevitable trade-off exists between serving the public and serving oneself, is a libertarian -- an Ayn Rander, in fact -- and there aren't many of those in the Democratic Party, but plenty of them are in the Republican Party.

Just as a clergyman in some faiths is supposed to take a vow of chastity, and in some faiths also to take a vow of poverty, in order to serve "the calling" instead of oneself, anyone who enters 'public service' and who aspires to "be rich" is inevitably inviting corruption -- not prepared to do war against it . That kind of politician is a Manchurian candidate, like Obama perhaps, but certainly not what this or any country needs, in any case. Voters like that can be won only by means of deceit, which is the way that politicians like that do win.

No decent political leader enters or stays in politics in order to "be rich," because no political leader can be decent who isn't in it as a calling, to public service, and as a repudiation, of any self-service in politics.

Republican Party voters invite corrupt government, because their Party's ideology is committed to it ("Freedom [for the rich]!"); but the only Democratic Party voters who at all tolerate corrupt politicians (such as Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York State) are actually Republican Democrats -- people who are confused enough so as not really to care much about what they believe; whatever their garbage happens to be, they believe in it and don't want to know differently than it.

The Third Way is hoping that there are enough of such 'Democrats' so that they can, yet again, end up with a Third Way Democrat being offered to that Party's voters in 2020, just like happened in 2016. They want another Barack Obama. There aren't any more of those (unless, perhaps, Michelle Obama enters the contest). But, even if there were: How many Democrats would fall for that scam, yet again -- after the disaster of 2016?

Maybe the Third Way is right, and there's a sucker born every minute. But if that's what the Democratic Party is going to rely upon, then America's stunningly low voter-participation rate is set to plunge even lower, because even more voters than before will either be leaving the Presidential line blank, or even perhaps voting for the Republican candidate (as some felt driven to do in 2016).

The Third Way is the way to the death of democracy, if it's not already dead . It is no answer to anything, except to the desires of billionaires -- both Republican and Democratic.

The center of American politics isn't the center of America's aristocracy. The goal of groups such as The Third Way is to fool the American public to equate the two. The result of such groups is the contempt that America's public have for America's Government . But, pushed too far, mass disillusionment becomes revolution. Is that what America's billionaires are willing to risk? They might get it.

*

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity . He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

[Jul 23, 2018] Did Bernie Sanders break down doors for new US socialist movement by Dave Lindorff

Notable quotes:
"... "democratic socialist," ..."
"... Dave Lindorff is an award-winning US journalist, former Asia correspondent for Business Week, and founder of the collectively-owned journalists' news site ThisCantBeHappening.net. ..."
Jul 23, 2018 | www.rt.com

Socialism as a political force has never had an easy time in the US, a country that mythologizes the go-it-alone entrepreneur and the iconoclastic loner. For a brief time in the period between the two world wars, socialism was popular enough among US workers that American Socialist Party leader Eugene Debs was able to win almost a million votes for president in 1912 (about 6 percent of the popular vote at that time). But after two brutal government anti-red campaigns in the '20s and '50s that included Debs' arrest, the blacklisting of many actors, teachers and journalists in the 1950s on charges of being Communists, and finally decades of government and media propaganda equating socialism with Communism, Bolshevism and Maoism, socialism has had few adherents and little public acceptance among most Americans.

Until now, that is.

Things started to change in late 2015 and the spring of 2016 when the independent US Senator Bernie Sanders, who has long called himself a "democratic socialist," surprised everyone by running a popular grass-roots primary campaign that nearly defeated Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. (Many believe hidden favoritism and sabotage by the leadership of the Democratic Party may have stolen that primary from Sanders.)

Now, in part because the Sanders campaign has made socialist ideas like national healthcare and free college education – once not on any Democratic candidate's campaign agenda – suddenly acceptable topics for political discourse, his millions of enthusiastic youthful supporters from that campaign are openly considering socialism as a possible answer to the economic problems they face.

Read more Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives for a signing of her new book 'What happened' at Barnes & Noble bookstore at Union Square in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., September 12, 2017. © Andrew Kelly Clinton's new book removes all doubt. She still has no idea why she lost

And as those young people, and older folks too, look for answers, more and more candidates are willing to espouse them. And like Ocasio-Cortez and the four socialists who won primaries in Pennsylvania, they are showing that proposing or supporting socialist programs, and even calling oneself a socialist, can be a winning strategy.

One sign that this sudden popularity of socialist politics and ideas is not just a short-time phenomenon is that it's showing up most among younger people, many of whom hadn't shown much interest in politics before. A Harvard University study published in April for example, found that 51 percent of those between the ages of 18-29 disliked capitalism, with a majority preferring socialism as a political system. A year earlier, the conservative magazine National Review wrote with alarm that in the wake of the Sanders campaign, a poll by the conservative American Culture and Faith Institute had found 40 percent of Americans saying they favored socialism over capitalism.

... ./.. ...

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Dave Lindorff is an award-winning US journalist, former Asia correspondent for Business Week, and founder of the collectively-owned journalists' news site ThisCantBeHappening.net.

[Jul 18, 2018] Bernie Town Hall Tonight Changing The Narrative Again By Using His Platform To Give People s Stories A Chance to Be Heard Wher

Notable quotes:
"... living in their cars. ..."
"... not hearing these stories ..."
"... @Mark from Queens ..."
"... @k9disc ..."
"... @k9disc ..."
"... @Pricknick ..."
"... @SancheLlewellyn ..."
"... @SancheLlewellyn ..."
"... @lizzyh7 ..."
"... @SancheLlewellyn ..."
"... @karl pearson ..."
Jul 18, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Bernie Town Hall Tonight: Changing The Narrative Again By Using His Platform To Give People's Stories A Chance to Be Heard Where Corporate Media Utterly Fails


Mark from Queens on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 9:18pm This is gonna be quick. I just remembered that Bernie Sanders is holding another one of his excellent town halls tonight. This one is called "CEO's vs. Workers."

Before the negativity comes in, let me say clearly that this isn't a Bernie is our savior bit or arguing for electoral salvation or whatever. It's simply a recognition of someone with a platform putting in the time to make sure these stories are seen and documented for posterity, despite whatever limitations inherent in the broadcast's reach. I see this as highly commendable - and potent.

The story here that made me turn on the computer and hit "new essay" was from a young woman working for Disneyland in Anaheim, who tells of how brutal it is trying to survive on $12 an hour, having to cram roommates in to barely make the rent.

Then she mentions that some of her co-workers are living in their cars. Many have lost their homes and/or living in motels. There's also a Tent City, which extends to a larger Orange County problem, where more Disney co-workers are living. One of here co-workers was so ashamed of her situation that she told nobody that she was living in her car - and went missing and later found dead in it. She then admits a great fear of losing her home, saying there are no resources to be found if you're in that position. (Her story begins around the 18min mark).

Quite frankly, it's fucking heartbreaking and angering to listen to these people humbly tell their stories to the public without shame.

People in this country are not hearing these stories . And because of it, are easily kept distracted by corporate media manufactured controversy and divide and conquer by partisan ideologues. They're not having their own realities reflected back to them; are instead bred to be in a constant state of fear about things that don't effect their everyday lives and led to believe relatively inconsequential things are more important than fundamental ones that do effect their daily lives.

Every one of these Bernie townhalls (I've seen two others) have been riveting. This guy is single-handedly trying to give a platform to marginalized and dispossessed voices. Nothing like this ever gets on tv. Anytime there's a corporate attempt to do something similar it's a highly controlled, stilted affair. His are the opposite.

To me this is an example of how to change the narrative, which is the linchpin to everything. Why can't we get more people at a quicker pace to align themselves in solidarity to what we think and espouse here? Because there isn't a forum for the downtrodden, the castaways, the ripped off, the overworked and underpaid, the isolated, to tell their stories on a large scale. When people here stories firsthand there is a much better chance of building the kid of empathy and compassion at the heart of forming coalitions and/or support for those outside of one's life's station or class.

Of course it's all relative. And Bernie, despite being the most popular politician by far, doesn't have the reach of CNN. But it is something. And if this could inspire more of these types of panel discussion that dignify the working class it could revolutionize how narratives
get built.

This is the difference between people reading about this stuff and moving on, and having to look into the eyes of the afflicted and being moved to act.

If this can't work on the American public to rile up indignation and compassion we're completely hopeless.

Hey folks. These really are something amazing

Simply put, firsthand stories are so potent. He's really onto something with these townhalls giving folks the opportunity to speak their truth. No pundits, annoying talking heads, slick stage set.

No matter what you think of him, there's nobody in politics who comes close to what he's done to change the narrative. He continues to impact and expand it to include the real issues of people's lives (lack of healthcare, joblessness, being underpaid and overworked, etc.) that are completely ignored by the MSM.

Change The Narrative. Propaganda. What is the public corralled into talking about next? Almost always something to distract from how bad things really are.

k9disc on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 10:55pm
Co-Opt the Narrative.

I'm still having problems with Bernie.

I do believe in the personal stories angle. It is powerful stuff.

I'm afraid that anything but heels dug-in pushback on the Russia angle is going to be the death of the Republic.

@Mark from Queens

Simply put, firsthand stories are so potent. He's really onto something with these townhalls giving folks the opportunity to speak their truth. No pundits, annoying talking heads, slick stage set.

No matter what you think of him, there's nobody in politics who comes close to what he's done to change the narrative. He continues to impact and expand it to include the real issues of people's lives (lack of healthcare, joblessness, being underpaid and overworked, etc.) that are completely ignored by the MSM.

Change The Narrative. Propaganda. What is the public corralled into talking about next? Almost always something to distract from how bad things really are.

dfarrah on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 9:04pm
Diss him all you wish,

@k9disc but the bottom line is that he freed the American people from the notion that only candidates with boatloads of money from TPTB can win.

That notion has had a stranglehold on politics for decades.

Now we all know that a candidate can be funded by smaller donations.

I'm still having problems with Bernie.

I do believe in the personal stories angle. It is powerful stuff.

I'm afraid that anything but heels dug-in pushback on the Russia angle is going to be the death of the Republic.

#1

dfarrah on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:07pm
Diss him all you wish,

@k9disc but the bottom line is that he freed the American people from the notion that only candidates with boatloads of money from TPTB can win.

That notion has had a stranglehold on politics for decades.

I'm still having problems with Bernie.

I do believe in the personal stories angle. It is powerful stuff.

I'm afraid that anything but heels dug-in pushback on the Russia angle is going to be the death of the Republic.

#1

Pricknick on Mon, 07/16/2018 - 10:43pm
I'm done with Russia, Russia, Russia.

But Burnme is not.
Once again he refuses to broadcast the spectacle of american political corruption while laying the blame on russia.

Rather than make clear that interference in our elections is unacceptable, Trump instead accepted Putin's denials and cast doubt on the conclusions of our intelligence community. This is not normal.

I will never link anything on twitter so read if you must.
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/16/white-house-declares-summit...

SancheLlewellyn on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 8:50am
My only quibble with your blockquote

@Pricknick is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

But Burnme is not.
Once again he refuses to broadcast the spectacle of american political corruption while laying the blame on russia.

Rather than make clear that interference in our elections is unacceptable, Trump instead accepted Putin's denials and cast doubt on the conclusions of our intelligence community. This is not normal.

I will never link anything on twitter so read if you must.
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/16/white-house-declares-summit...

The Voice In th... on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 9:31am
A suggestion

@SancheLlewellyn
And PLEASE don't misunderstand me, I'm NOT dismissing their plight. I'm glad that someone is showing the desperation of people whose problems are NOT from their life choices i.e. prison, drugs, dropping out of High School.

Move to the Midwest. Housing is expensive here too, but $750,000 is a mansion. In my Chicago Suburb there are still houses under $150,000, usually small (1200-1500 sq ft) 1950's tract houses. There are 20 houses right now for sale between $250,000 and $300,000, quite nice houses built in the last thirty years. There are even 14 houses between $400,000 and $500,000 that look so upscale I can only dream about them (and dream of affording them). Illinois minimum wage is only $8.25 but even McDonald's is paying $12.
Taxes are regressive and horrendous. And the Weather sucks big time. But it's better than trying to live on $12 an hour in California.

The coasts are now only for the elite and their servants.

The weather is better in the South, but society and politics are extremely conservative.

#2 is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

lizzyh7 on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 12:37pm
Russian asset?

@SancheLlewellyn I'm sorry but come on now. As for this being normal you'd be correct but it surely wasn't only Trump that normalized this, it's been normalized for a long damned time but most simply don't look at it, especially when it's a "Democrat" at the helm with a pretty smiling face assuring us that everything will be fine as long as we play along with them.

Hell is already here but buying into that Russia crapola is a cop out - Russia didn't cut high end taxes repeatedly while the rest of the country went to shit. Russia didn't bail out the banks at taxpayer expense and tell the taxpayers to pound sand and STFU. Russia is not fighting wars for global domination all over the planet and it does not have almost 1000 foreign bases all over the world.

Can Bernie save us? He'd best get off that Russia crap as even he knows good and damned well that our continued "defense" budgets cannot continue alongside Medicare for All, etc, etc, etc. THAT is the elephant in the room that apparently even Bernie is simply not willing to address.

#2 is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

The Voice In th... on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 6:37pm
" Russia is not fighting wars for global domination"

@lizzyh7
That part is disputable but the rest is absolutely correct.

Remember, in politics, whether local or global, there doesn't have to be a good guy and a bad guy. Most often there are two (or more) bad guys.

#2.1 I'm sorry but come on now. As for this being normal you'd be correct but it surely wasn't only Trump that normalized this, it's been normalized for a long damned time but most simply don't look at it, especially when it's a "Democrat" at the helm with a pretty smiling face assuring us that everything will be fine as long as we play along with them.

Hell is already here but buying into that Russia crapola is a cop out - Russia didn't cut high end taxes repeatedly while the rest of the country went to shit. Russia didn't bail out the banks at taxpayer expense and tell the taxpayers to pound sand and STFU. Russia is not fighting wars for global domination all over the planet and it does not have almost 1000 foreign bases all over the world.

Can Bernie save us? He'd best get off that Russia crap as even he knows good and damned well that our continued "defense" budgets cannot continue alongside Medicare for All, etc, etc, etc. THAT is the elephant in the room that apparently even Bernie is simply not willing to address.

dfarrah on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 8:57pm
Kidnapping and

@SancheLlewellyn torturing?

Gestapo?

This comment is just another example of the trump hysteria that has taken over.

#2 is the phrase "This is not normal." We are a fascist state, and it IS normal, just as the kidnapping and torturing small children by Trump's Gestapo is normal. (We might want to do something about it?)

Ditto Trump's obsequious ass kissing of Putin in Helsinki, proving he is a Russian asset the same way Frank Burns (on MASH) was a North Korean asset.

Bernie, however, points out the obvious (or what would be obvious if anyone cared to look), that even "blue states" hide an economic hellscape. Obama's bailout of the banks and reinflation of the housing bubble enriched the One Percent but left everyone else behind. Those who can't afford $750,000 crap shacks either end up homeless or get stuck with hours-long commutes to reach their jobs. Here in Portland we have so many tent cities you would think you stepped back into the 1930s.

Welcome to Hell. Maybe Bernie and others can show us the way out. If only we listen this time.

Raggedy Ann on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 8:59am
Thanks, Mark, for eloquently

expressing what I also believe is Bernie's intent. The deep state might be able to keep him from being president, but they have not yet silenced him. They ensure the msm doesn't cover his town halls, but they are found and spread far and wide anyway.

When I was a manager, I would tell my employees that if I didn't know something was broken, I couldn't fix it. Bernie continues to publicize what is broken.

It is up to we, the people, to fix it through revolution. It's the only way.

karl pearson on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:26am
Working Poor

I'm glad you posted this. Bernie is one of a handful of D.C. politicians that addresses the plight of the working poor. Most Democrats talk about the difficulties of the middle class since that's a "safe" topic.

The Voice In th... on Tue, 07/17/2018 - 6:43pm
Hi, Karl!

@karl pearson
Most of the working poor think they are lower middle class and not at all like welfare people. Often, they are the most conservative. It's easy to have that outlook when things are always going against you. Most haven't caught on that the Democrats are no longer their friends and haven't been for around half a century. Some realize that the Republicans never have been. Others think if one side (D) has a black hat the other (R) must have a white hat. They actually think that Trump is their friend. "If he's Hillary's enemy, he must be my friend."

[Jul 18, 2018] I think Bernie was more authentic than the two evils, Hillary and Trump, and although his Zionist roots are always a concern; he was run out precisely because he was a rogue Jew and Zionists couldn't trust him. He wasn't in the pocket of Zionist financiers although he was running with the Democrats

Jul 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Circe , Jul 17, 2018 8:39:28 PM | 159

@149

The problem is everyone is stuck in the "lesser over greater evil" construct and that's what makes the American Zionist-influenced duopoly so powerful. Trump is part of that failed system that Americans are so dependent on and that always leads to the same place. People should fight this lesser vs greater evil construct, even if Americans are too stupid at this time to get out of it. It means they'd have to choose outside the box, outside the media's choices example Fox and other Rightist outlets for Trump. CNN, MSNBC - Hillary, but the media is all Zionist run and specializes in the brainwash on both sides. It's all part of the same sham. The duopoly.

It starts with primaries for representatives and choosing a candidate that demonstrates independence and integrity; especially those that the media wants to ignore; that's not beholden to special interests or financed by Zionists.

Most importantly when America goes wrong and it's royally f...cked up right now, the rest of the world, the web has to push back against their ignorance and their stupid choices, because those choices hurt others as much as they hurt them only they're still too brainwashed to see it. Americans had the right idea to turn on the establishment, but Trump was the perfect Zionist anti-establishment decoy, a fraud, a pretender just like Obama was for the Left.

In the past election, the only viable contender was Bernie who got railroaded by Democratic Zionists like Wasserman and Podesta. I think Bernie was more authentic than the two evils, Hillary and Trump, and although his Zionist roots are always a concern; he was run out precisely because he was a rogue Jew and Zionists couldn't trust him. He wasn't in the pocket of Zionist financiers although he was running with the Democrats, but in the current status quo he had no choice but to use the Democratic Party as a means to an end and they did him in. If Hillary were not on the ticket who knows what could have been. He was a start in the right direction away from the Zionist financed duopoly.

[Jul 14, 2018] Sanders is controlled opposition. An empty suit.

Jul 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jul 13, 2018 7:23:55 PM | 33

Yes, this was certainly for the domestic audience as we have Sanders jumping on the wagon declaring the indictment a guilty verdict:

""We must speak with one voice in making clear to Vladimir Putin: 'We will not allow you to interfere in our democratic processes or those of our allies,'" Sanders wrote in a tweet on Friday."

Gee, I seem to recall the HRC Campaign and the DNC doing far more proven damage to the electoral process than anything Russia's allegedly done. Where was Sanders denouncement of HRC and the DNC then?! Clearly, even more than in 2016, Bernie Sanders is a gigantic fraud every bit as disgusting as HRC, perhaps even more so given the number of people deluded by his actions. People like him a big part of the problem and have no part in the solution.

Perimetr , Jul 13, 2018 7:32:56 PM | 34
agree with karlofi @33, Sanders is a just a tool for the MIC
Jackrabbit , Jul 13, 2018 7:38:25 PM | 35
karlof1 and Perimeter

Yup! He is controlled opposition. An empty suit. A tool.

[Jul 13, 2018] Democratic National Committee Votes to Roll Back Power of Superdelegates

Notable quotes:
"... Here's a more apt headline: "Petulant elites throwing tantrum at prospect of their votes not being 10,000x more powerful than regular peasant votes." ..."
Jun 28, 2018 | truthout.org

In the face of fervent opposition from Democratic elites who " think their vote is more important " than the will of the party's base , the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) Rules and Bylaws arm cleared a major hurdle in the fight to curtail the power of superdelegates on Wednesday by approving a plan that would end their ability to cast votes for the presidential candidate on the first ballot at the party's convention.

"The activists that have been concerned that superdelegates will overturn the will of the voters should feel good about this," DNC member Elaine Kamarck said in a statement .

While the plan to gut the influence of superdelegates -- who have been free since 1984 to put their weight behind any candidate no matter how the public voted -- has received broad support from Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as an important first step toward making the party's process more " open and transparent ," establishment figures who stand to lose power if the plan is implemented are staging a last-minute " revolt " to block the rule change.

As investigative reporter Alex Kotch noted in a Twitter thread on Wednesday, at least two of the Democratic insiders who are clinging desperately to their undue influence as superdelegates happen to be corporate lobbyists -- a fact that Politico neglected to mention in its reporting on the party elites' "longshot bid to block the measure."

"They don't realize it but they're proving the point of Sanders and everyone else who's opposed to superdelegates," Kotch writes. "Many prioritize corporate interests over those of everyday people and thus automatically support the less progressive candidate."

Two of the three superdelegates who are opposed to the Sanders plan:

One is a health care lobbyist
Another is a former lobbyist

(Politico neglects to include this info) https://t.co/uVobZfIUFe

-- Alex Kotch 🔥 (@alexkotch) July 11, 2018

As lobbyists, they somehow think their vote is more important than other people's votes.

LOL: pic.twitter.com/lq51raARqV

-- Alex Kotch 🔥 (@alexkotch) July 11, 2018

The U.S. Rep quoted in the article who's opposed to the change, Gerry Connolly (Va.), accepts a bunch of corporate PAC money from good corporate citizens like Northrup Grummon and AT&T. https://t.co/s7KWJGWEGq

Here are his assets: https://t.co/zSAIX3IyxJ pic.twitter.com/ETmjX0H2Qo

-- Alex Kotch 🔥 (@alexkotch) July 11, 2018

Responding to Politico's story on the superdelegates' last-ditch attempt to undermine the push to curtail their power, The Humanist Report offered an alternative headline:

Here's a more apt headline: "Petulant elites throwing tantrum at prospect of their votes not being 10,000x more powerful than regular peasant votes." https://t.co/oUlaXY9jLt

-- The Humanist Report (@HumanistReport) July 11, 2018

Wednesday's vote in favor of the plan to ensure superdelegates cannot overturn the will of voters on the first ballot of the presidential nomination process was the final step before the proposal heads to a vote before the full DNC next month. "Any attempt to derail the rules changes at the summer convention is thought to be a long-shot," concluded Astead Herndon of the New York Times.

[Jul 06, 2018] A Democrat Party composed of moderate Republicans and democratic socialists will be divided against itself and will not stand

Notable quotes:
"... I believe the US is a right of center country (with a growing right and far right segment) and has been for most of it's history. ..."
"... The identity of the "Democratic Party" has also been stolen. They are not the FDR-JFK Democratic Party of my childhood. but rather, Neo-Toxoplasma Gondii-ists, the "Mind Invaders". ..."
"... Back in the early 1980s, the NZ Labour Party (of Mickey Savage and Norman Kirk) was taken over by Neo-liberal, Roger Douglas and his henchmen/women. ..."
Jul 06, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

JerryB , July 5, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Lambert- Excellent point:

"A Democrat Party composed of moderate Republicans and democratic socialists will be divided against itself and will not stand."

I believe the US is a right of center country (with a growing right and far right segment) and has been for most of it's history. If some of the right of center move to left of center that may look good as far as "not Republican" but as Lambert points out does nothing for the progressive movement. I read an article where Noam Chomsky mentioned that people in the USA who call themselves liberals are more moderates and are not the same as liberals in Europe. If I remember my reading of Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal, his expose' of segments of the liberal class was to show that calling yourself liberal does not mean much if your actions say otherwise, i.e Obama and Hillary.

The sluggish business investment chart just supports what Yves wrote in 2005 about the Incredible Shrinking Corporation. One thing that jumps out is the increasing size of the booms and busts since 1980 i.e. the Neoliberal Era compared to 1950-1980. In the late 1980's I worked at a large medical device company. In 1990 I was laid off as part of a restructuring after an Merger/Acquisition . I remember when the layoffs were announced the director of our group said he feared the US was becoming "a short term quarter to quarter economy". Hence booms and busts or casino capitalism. As we're finding out booms followed by busts, i.e. instability, leads to severe social consequences: inequality, job loss, breakdown of the family and communities etc.

skippy , July 5, 2018 at 4:28 pm

I'm reminded of an old acquaintance that headed a forward M&A team. Once told of an experience in an elevator where some lady asked if he was the same guy that came around at her last employer. He responded yes. She then tentatively asked if she should start looking for new employment. His answer was again yes.

This was in little more space than 6 months for the middle aged lady.

This also coincides with the great Calif M&A episode during the late 80s and early 90s. Huge wave of wage earners selling houses and migrating to states on eastern boarders due to RE affordability and cost of living. Experienced this in the Denver – Boulder CO. corridor at the time, storage tech et al. Funny thing, took less than 10 years before everything reverted to the state of affairs which drove them to leave Calif. Which then promoted me to move to Oz after marrying native wife.

clarky90 , July 5, 2018 at 4:42 pm

Years ago I got an email from an acquaintance; " . I am deathly sick in a hospital in East Africa. .please help by ." His identity had been stolen by con artists.

The identity of the "Democratic Party" has also been stolen. They are not the FDR-JFK Democratic Party of my childhood. but rather, Neo-Toxoplasma Gondii-ists, the "Mind Invaders".

Back in the early 1980s, the NZ Labour Party (of Mickey Savage and Norman Kirk) was taken over by Neo-liberal, Roger Douglas and his henchmen/women.

" the New Zealand dollar was floated, corporate practices were introduced to state services, state assets were sold off, and a swathe of regulations and subsidies were removed. Douglas's economic policies were regarded as a betrayal of Labour's left-wing policy platform, and were deeply unpopular "

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Douglas

Our NZ Labour Party is finally back to it's old self, after about 35 years.

NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern is Labour as it used to be. The Big Political Tent with room for all.

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/watch-worlds-media-reacted-news-jacinda-ardern-s-baby

I believe that the actual political spectrum is an Axis (coalition) of the Neo-Liberals with the Neo-Conservatives .

Who are (in a perfect World) opposed by The Alliance of Everybody Else.

The Axis (a puny minority) are able to exist because they sow constant discord among the The Alliance. (What is the definition of "abortion" or "healthcare" or "security" or "love" ..???? Let's scream at each other! That will help!)

In New Zealand, we have a coalition Government of (1) Labour (Unions), (2) NZ First (populist) and (3) The Greens.

The out-of-power, NZ National Party (Neo-Con/Lib Axis) spend their time trying to conflate and invent "disagreements" within our Labour Coalition Government.

But, it is like a healthy, extended family. You agree to disagree and ENJOY the lively discussions. Parties compromise and life goes on.

Wukchumni , July 5, 2018 at 8:42 pm

I was in NZ after Rogernomics made the Kiwi $ plunge to about 35 cents US in the 1980's, and everything was so cheap, dinners were like US $4, motel rooms US $15, homes in Auckland US $25k.

I dread seeing the prices now, when we visit next year

drumlin woodchuckles , July 5, 2018 at 8:53 pm

If a Democratic Party composed of Romneyfeller Republicans and Democratic Socialists will not stand, then eventually the two separated fighting halves will fight to the death over which half gets to keep the name "Democratic Party".

Meanwhile, the Woodrow Wilson quote above gives some evidence as to why some people have long called Wilson "America's most evil President". His bringing official Jim Crow to the Federal Workforce in Washington DC might be another piece of evidence. His unleashing of a vicious and bigoted campaign of anti-germanitic cultural and social pogroms all over America might be another piece of evidence. The fact that he did this as part of his World War I program, after having worked with Great Britain to lie and manipulate America into World War I ( some would say on the wrong side . . . ) is another piece of evidence. His political "extermination" campaign against the American Left ( Debs in prison, etc) thereby reducing the Left toward its tiny size of today is another such piece of evidence.

The actions of America's most evil President ( Woodrow Wilson) may help explain why America is a center-right country today.

[Jul 03, 2018] Donald Trump has been business partners with George Soros in at least $6 Billion in properties for more than a decade before his candidacy. They were even codefendants in a RICO suit (organized crime, as in the Jewish Mafia).

Jul 03, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

integer @35. Not a fan of George Soros? Ready to peak into the rabbit hole?

Donald Trump has been business partners with George Soros in at least $6 Billion in properties for more than a decade before his candidacy. They were even codefendants in a RICO suit (organized crime, as in the Jewish Mafia).

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-10-28/news/0410280265_1_donald-trump-soros-fund-management-blackacre-institutional-capital-management

http://www.pionline.com/article/20081009/ONLINE/810099993/developer-sues-soros-fortress-cerberus

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/18/realestate/commercial/the-kushner-companies-deal-for-666-fifth-avenue-avoids-foreclosure.html

After spending 17 years at Goldman Sachs, Trump's new Treasure Secretary, Steven Mnuchin ran OneWest Bank in CA. Guess who he worked for? George frigging Soros.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanvardi/2014/07/22/john-paulson-and-george-soros-score-big-selling-onewest-bank-for-3-4-billion/#32e7ee635ab0

So, Trump is partners with infamous globalist atheist George Soros, Orthodox Jews, Islamic Extremists, Goldman Sachs and GHW Bush's Carlyle Group.

And one more morsel to ponder. The CEO of CNN (portrayed as rabidly anti-Trump) is one of a long list of Globalist Zionists who have been Trump supporters for decades.

http://nojeveje.net/2017/01/23/trumps-jewish-elite-mafia-5-dancing-israelis/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RplnqsLas0g

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 2, 2018 4:05:48 PM | 55

[Jun 27, 2018] Pelosi Pissed As Liberal Media Loves Socialist Millennial Who Beat Democratic Leader

Jun 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

wee-weed up -> DiotheDog Wed, 06/27/2018 - 15:52 Permalink

Pe-lousy is pissed because the unknown little socialist beat her hand-picked successor (Crowley) for after she retires, whenever that is.

Handful of Dust -> DaBard51 Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:03 Permalink

Here be Maxine Waters running away from voters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mHz83wnXDg

techpriest -> Scanderbeg Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:54 Permalink

The Asians are starting to shift away from the DNC, from what I can see. They built up some actual wealth, and at this point they no longer receive the same minority protections as other groups. The minute you are the target of theft, you stop hanging around the thieves.

Aside from this, I was recently listening to an Asian libertarian who goes by "Pholosopher" on Youtube, and she explained that as a "normie" she just thought of government programs as "society helping the little guy." IMO, 80% of Democrats are in this very naive space. Her mind changed in part because some of her family members were victims of the Khmer Rouge, and this led to some actual thought about what would possess people to do the things they did.

https://tomwoods.com/ep-1185-her-family-fled-three-communist-countries-

IMO, the crazier this gets, the more obvious it is that it is time to re-dedicate our lives to rebuilding a sound culture, otherwise we will not see any culture rebuilt until we go through another multi-century Dark Age.

venturen -> IridiumRebel Wed, 06/27/2018 - 15:55 Permalink

lots of experience....waitree...bartending...."educator"...she is like a bad joke

Ocasio-Cortez graduated from Boston University in 2011, where she majored in economics and international relations. After college, she moved back to the Bronx and supported her mother by bartending at Flats Fix taqueria in Union Square, Manhattan, and working as a waitress. She also got a job as an educator in the nonprofit National Hispanic Institute . [11] [12]

She worked as an organizer for Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential campaign . [13]

GunnerySgtHartman -> junction Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:14 Permalink

Obama (and dozens of members of Congress) set the "standard" for that ...

DosZap -> GunnerySgtHartman Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

28 yr old radical, her SURE TO WIN incumbent outspent her 20-1, she went door to door.

skinwalker Wed, 06/27/2018 - 15:49 Permalink

Pelosi has full blown Alzheimer's. She's the poster child for term limits on Congress creatures.

Chief Joesph Wed, 06/27/2018 - 15:57 Permalink

At least she is far cuter than her competition... Democrats need new blood anyway. Its a party that seems to be going nowhere, has the Clinton mafia running it, and hasn't done anyone any good since the time Jimmy Carter was president.

Schooey Wed, 06/27/2018 - 16:07 Permalink

Bernie might have done better than Hillary against Trump. Will the kids get out and vote for a Joe Biden? NO The Dems are going to have to go way way left on a hale mary. But Trump is much much stronger now than in 2016. They lose. They got nothing and their divisions are getting worse. We should support and encourage them to move further and further to the left. We can drive them there.

If you live in an area that is Democrat controlled and your own preference is safe, then register Democrat and vote for people like her.

gimme-gimme-gimme Wed, 06/27/2018 - 17:25 Permalink

If you simply divert all the money from the following socialist programs:

1) ZIRP

2) QE

3) Bank bailouts

4) Farming subsidies

5) Defense contract subsidies

6) Big pharma subsidies

Problem is Americans are too easily fooled that stuff which is to their benefits are something they should not vote for and vise versa. Like all money channeled to MIC.

[Jun 27, 2018] Earthquake in the Bronx Ocasio-Cortez Beat 14 Term Establishment Dem Crowley in Primary naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... The democratic machine in NYC does absolutely everything it can to suppress turnout to protect incumbents so I was happy to see it blow up in their face today. But still pretty grim to see only 25,000 people voting. ..."
"... The interesting question is how the Democrats will react to this. They may try to sabotage her in some other way. The other is the top 10%ers and other upper middle class voters. I would not be surprised if many Establishment Democrats vote for the GOP over a Berniecrat. ..."
Jun 27, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Posted on June 26, 2018 by Yves Smith ... ... ...

Needless to say, neoliberal Vox had to tut-tut her policy positions while effectively conceding that they are winners:

But here is the bigger implication, again from Vox:

Ocasio-Cortez's victory is a story of the complacent establishment taking voters for granted. It's the story of how the Democratic Party is getting pulled to the left. It's also about how it's not just progressive policies that are reshaping the party, but also people of color.

Ocasio-Cortez ran decidedly to the left of Crowley, but she also shook up how Democrats go about getting elected. Until now, Democrats have seen big money in politics as simply a deal with the devil that had to be made. Democrats are so often outspent by Republican mega-donors that they viewed courting big-dollar donors and corporations as part of creating a level playing field.

But if one of Democrats' top fundraisers and likely successor to Nancy Pelosi can be toppled, perhaps Democrats need to rethink that deal.

What was most exciting for progressives is the degree to which Ocasio-Cortez ran to Crowley's left. As a member of the DSA, her website is a laundry list of every blue-sky progressive policy: Medicare-for-all, housing and jobs guarantees, gun control, ending private prisons, abolishing ICE, and investment in post-hurricane Puerto Rico.

Crowley also had the endorsement of Governor Andrew Cuomo. 'Nuff said. AstoriaBlowin , June 26, 2018 at 11:10 pm

The democratic machine in NYC does absolutely everything it can to suppress turnout to protect incumbents so I was happy to see it blow up in their face today. But still pretty grim to see only 25,000 people voting.

I voted against Crowley cause he came out against installing protected bike lanes in Sunnyside which was none of his business anyway as a federal official. I wrote to him expressing my disappointment and he actually called me to talk about it! We had a nice conversation but still once you choose parking over people's lives it's over.

Ocasio has some good talking points but she also comes across as a NIMBY which is not a good look in a city with a serious housing affordability and availability crisis.

Altandmain , June 26, 2018 at 11:18 pm

It is certainly a major step forward and will hopefully be the first of many victories. Ultimately, what we desperately need are politicians that will truly fight for the common citizen to get into office and in enough numbers as to fundamentally alter the direction of government from an institution that is co-opted by the rich to one that is for the people.

The interesting question is how the Democrats will react to this. They may try to sabotage her in some other way. The other is the top 10%ers and other upper middle class voters. I would not be surprised if many Establishment Democrats vote for the GOP over a Berniecrat.

Bottom line – this is a step forward, but we are not out of the woods yet. There is a lot of work to do and while we should celebrate, the Establishment will fight back. There also remains the question of how this person will actually govern. The fact that the Establishment was against her though is very encouraging.

[Jun 26, 2018] Identity politics has always served as a diversion for elites to pursue stealth neoliberal policies like decreasing public spending. Fake austerity is necessary for pursuing neoliberal privatization of public enterprises

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In a mature society, it would not matter if someone was black, white, gay, Jewish, young, old, whatever but what policies they bring to the party. This article, going out of its way to label Nixon as LGBT and Sanders as Jewish, really only means that they are letting the other side set the rules and that is never a winning position. Unfortunately we do not live in a mature society. ..."
"... Not until people are done with identity politics will it be really possible to bring a new order into focus. Support Kamala Harris, for example, because she is not white and a woman? Not unless she has policies that the bulk of Americans want and is not just the old party in a new guise. I suspect that this use of the term 'progressive' is just a term to describe what the majority of Americans want out of their governments. People like Clinton, Pelosi, Waters and Albright can not and will not do this so time for them to be pushed aside. I think that the US Presidential election of 2020 will be very telling of how things play out as the results of the 2018 mid-terms are absorbed. ..."
"... I think identity politics has always served as a diversion for elites to play within the neoliberal bandwidth of decreasing public spending. Fake austerity and an unwillingness to use conjured money for public QE are necessary for pursuing neoliberal privatization of public enterprises. Therefore Bernie and his MMT infrastructure are anathema to corporate democrats and their Wall St. benefactors. ..."
"... Moral Monday represents what I deem as people over profit. I would rather be a spoiler than enable corporate sociopaths to.expand mass incarceration, end welfare as we know it, consider the killing of a half-million Iraqi children an acceptable cost, or oversee the first inverted debt jubilee in 2008 to forgive the liabilities of fraudsters by pauperizing debtors. ..."
"... Once you abandon class-based politics, and all parties accept the neoliberal consensus, you still have the problem of attracting support. You can only do that by turning to the politics of identity, as practised in Africa or the Balkans, where you seek to corral entire groups to vote for you, based on ethnicity, skin colour etc. ..."
"... Modern parties of the "Left" have taken over the methods, if not the ideology, of the old Communist parties, which is to say they present themselves as natural leaders, whom the membership should follow and vote for. ..."
"... Readers should examine the recent book Asymmetric Politics. The key point is that the Democratic Party is as described by David in some fair part an identity-based party, so it is supported by, e.g., many African-Americans. The Republican Party, unusual in the Western World, is not an identity based party; it is an idea-based party. It may not be very good at putting its ideas into effect, but it is an idea-based party that anyone can support. ..."
"... The Republicans are an "ideas-based" party? Well, I guess if you consider the interest-motivated "product" of Overclass-funded think tanks to be "idea-based," then OK. Me, I've haven't seen the Republicans as anything other than a class and (white) race-based party since I was a youth half a century ago. ..."
"... As for the cynicism of how the Democrats use identity politics: granted. Nevertheless, African-Americans have some tangible and valid reasons for voting for them, awful as they are. ..."
"... George Phillies didn't say the Republicans had "good" ideas. He just noted that the Republicans have "ideas". A "bad" idea is still an "idea". ..."
"... So Pelosi's final bequest to the public is a corrupt successor? What a world! ..."
"... Pelosi's been quoted a number of times saying, "we lead with our values". You certainly do, Mrs. Speaker! Thanks for making it clear! ..."
"... Come on, folks. By now you should have learned that what politicians say doesn't mean a damn thing -- it's what they do. The establishment is only interested in perpetuating the establishment. ..."
"... As far as I've seen, they trot out identity politics only when it suits their aims and it has nothing to do with what the voters actually want. ..."
"... Identity politics are to Democrats what religious politics are to Republicans: A pious high ground they use whenever they want to denounce anyone opposed to them as corrupt and immoral, but immediately gets shelved the moment it interferes with the money and power. ..."
"... To me, it's a dishonest policy erasure tactic for favoring establishment candidates. If you're against Hillary Clinton, it's must be ..."
"... Of course the most important identity is that of the worker, the person who must sell their labor power in the marketplace to survive. But you will rarely hear the Democrats discuss that identity. You might hear about "working families" and the "middle class" but it really means nothing. The Republicans use the same language and they are just as mendacious. ..."
"... Working families: Groups of people related genetically or by choice, all of whom, regardless of age, have to work to ensure they have food, clothing, and shelter. ..."
"... I can think of a couple of identity-words to offer to see if anyone identifies with them. Ex-middle class. Nouveau poor. ..."
"... Western Democrats focus too much on a minority which has barely any impact on the economy at the expense of the majority which actually dictates the general economic trend and therefore also creates the byproduct welfare/life quality of all the meme minorities to whom it trickles down. That's the issue here. The difference between normal people and minorities is that normal people know they don't matter in the larger picture, while minorities think they matter while at the same time asking to be treated as part of the normal people even though their very mentality is a paradox towards being normal. ..."
"... The West is simply too bankrupt on things that matter in the bigger picture and too involved in things that don't, a complete lack of prioritization. ..."
Jun 26, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

sgt_doom , June 26, 2018 at 2:07 pm

Eric Holder: Please declare for the US presidency

Eric Holder, former attorney general of the USA under President Obama, has publicly announced that he is considering a run for the White House in 2020. (Thanks to that WikiLeaked email awhile back, we know that Citigroup directed a newly elected President Obama to appoint him to the position of A.G.)

I fervently pray that Eric Holder, of Covington & Burling, declares himself a candidate!

Only then will the opportunity again present itself to expose Eric Holder -- and Covington & Burling -- in their involvement with the creation and operation of MERS (Mortgage Electronic Reporting System) and its connection to the global economic meltdown (2007 -- 2009), the greatest illegal wealth transfer and insurance swindle in human history!

How we would welcome such transparency of evil, how BlackRock profited from that economic meltdown, then oversaw the disbursement of those TARP bailout funds.

Exposure of the network of BlackRock and Vanguard and State Street and Fidelity; exposure of their major investors. Further exposure of the Blackstone Group and Carlyle Group and other such PE/LBO giants!

How the InterContinental Exchange (ICE) was involved in nefarious commodity price rigging, etc., manipulated derivatives dealing and how today they oversee LIBOR rates!

The further exposure of the influence and perfidy of the Group of Thirty (www.group30.org) and the Bretton Woods Committee (www.brettonwoods.org) -- oh how we'd love to see such exposure!

Please declare for the presidency, Mr. Holder!

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Holder for President? Oh boy Mr. Peabody! That's great!

If a critical difference-making margin of non-voting Black non-voters in Milwaukee were willing to non-vote between Clinton and Trump even at the price of letting Trump take Wisconsin, that could mean that the Race Card is wearing thin. Who exactly would Mr. Holder be able to fool in Milwaukee? He would do well in Hyde Park though . . . getting the Guilty White Privilege Expiation vote. Will that be enough? Will the Madison vote be enough to make up for the Milwaukee non-vote?

You know who would be a perfect pair? Holder and Harris. Or Holder and Booker. Or some such. Seriously, if the DemParty nominates Holder, I will vote for Trump all over again. And at the Senate or Representative level, I would vote for an old legacy New Deal Democrat if there is one. But if they run a Clintonite, some protest Third Party looks very attractive by comparison.

The Rev Kev , June 26, 2018 at 1:54 am

In a mature society, it would not matter if someone was black, white, gay, Jewish, young, old, whatever but what policies they bring to the party. This article, going out of its way to label Nixon as LGBT and Sanders as Jewish, really only means that they are letting the other side set the rules and that is never a winning position. Unfortunately we do not live in a mature society.

If push came to shove you would have to describe both the Republican and Democrat parties as bastions of neoliberalism and both parties play games with identity politics as it fractures those who would oppose them and encourages internecine warfare. Like a kaleidoscope shifting focus, the 2008 crash has started off a shift in how politics is done and the success of Trump in the US, Brexit in the UK as well as other leaders is this shift in its first efforts of readjusting.

Not until people are done with identity politics will it be really possible to bring a new order into focus. Support Kamala Harris, for example, because she is not white and a woman? Not unless she has policies that the bulk of Americans want and is not just the old party in a new guise. I suspect that this use of the term 'progressive' is just a term to describe what the majority of Americans want out of their governments. People like Clinton, Pelosi, Waters and Albright can not and will not do this so time for them to be pushed aside. I think that the US Presidential election of 2020 will be very telling of how things play out as the results of the 2018 mid-terms are absorbed.

Larry Coffield , June 26, 2018 at 5:27 am

I think identity politics has always served as a diversion for elites to play within the neoliberal bandwidth of decreasing public spending. Fake austerity and an unwillingness to use conjured money for public QE are necessary for pursuing neoliberal privatization of public enterprises. Therefore Bernie and his MMT infrastructure are anathema to corporate democrats and their Wall St. benefactors.

Moral Monday represents what I deem as people over profit. I would rather be a spoiler than enable corporate sociopaths to.expand mass incarceration, end welfare as we know it, consider the killing of a half-million Iraqi children an acceptable cost, or oversee the first inverted debt jubilee in 2008 to forgive the liabilities of fraudsters by pauperizing debtors.

David , June 26, 2018 at 5:47 am

The obvious answer is "very" and this applies pretty much to every major allegedly leftist party in the western world.

The fact is that if you want to form a political party and take power, or even make good careers, you have to find supporters and get them to vote for you. Historically, after the growth of modern political parties, they differentiated themselves by reference to social and economic groups. In most countries there was a traditionalist party, often rural, with links to church and aristocracy and the socially conservative, a middle-class professional/small business party and a mass working class party often under middle-class leadership. Depending on the country, this could, in practice, be more than three or less than three distinct parties.

Once you abandon class-based politics, and all parties accept the neoliberal consensus, you still have the problem of attracting support. You can only do that by turning to the politics of identity, as practised in Africa or the Balkans, where you seek to corral entire groups to vote for you, based on ethnicity, skin colour etc. The problem is that whilst the old political distinctions were objective, the new ones are much more subjective, overlapping and sometimes in conflict with each other. After all, you are objectively employed or unemployed, a shareholder or landowner or not, an employee or an employer, you have debt or savings, you earn enough to live on or you don't. It's therefore easier to construct political parties on that basis than on the basis of ascriptive, overlapping and conflicting subjective identities.

Modern parties of the "Left" have taken over the methods, if not the ideology, of the old Communist parties, which is to say they present themselves as natural leaders, whom the membership should follow and vote for. This worked well enough when the markers were economic, much less well when they are identity based. Trying to herd together middle-class professional socially-liberal voters, and immigrants from a socially conservative background afraid of losing their jobs backfired disastrously for the Socialist party in the 2017 elections in France, and effectively destroyed the party. People don't like being instructed who it is their duty to vote for.

The other very clarifying moment of that election was the complete absence, up and down the western world, of voices supporting Marine Le Pen for President. Not a single voice was raised in her support, although her victory would have been epoch-making in terms of French politics, and certainly not Albright's.

That tells you everything you need to know, really.

George Phillies , June 26, 2018 at 11:31 am

Readers should examine the recent book Asymmetric Politics. The key point is that the Democratic Party is as described by David in some fair part an identity-based party, so it is supported by, e.g., many African-Americans. The Republican Party, unusual in the Western World, is not an identity based party; it is an idea-based party. It may not be very good at putting its ideas into effect, but it is an idea-based party that anyone can support.

Note that many Democrats are totally terrified by the idea that the Republican Party would become an identity-based party, namely the white people's party, because if the white vote supported the Republicans nationally the way it already does in the south the Democrats would, in the immortal words of Donald Trump, be schlonged.

Indeed, that support is now advancing up through the Appalachians into central Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York. West Virginia was once heavily Democratic.

And while some Democrats propose that America is becoming a majority-minority country, others have worked out that, e.g., persons of Hispanic or Chinese ancestry may over several generations follow the Irish and the Italians and the Hungarians and the Jews, none of whom were originally viewed* as being white, by being reclassified in the popular mind as being part of the white majority.

*Some readers will recall that quaint phrase "the colored races of Europe". At the time, a century and then a fair amount ago, it was meant literally. Anglo-Saxons were a race. Irishmen were a distinct race.

Michael Fiorillo , June 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm

The Republicans are an "ideas-based" party? Well, I guess if you consider the interest-motivated "product" of Overclass-funded think tanks to be "idea-based," then OK. Me, I've haven't seen the Republicans as anything other than a class and (white) race-based party since I was a youth half a century ago.

That Republicans will distract, misdirect and dissemble to mask their class and race-based identity doesn't change the reality of it.

As for the cynicism of how the Democrats use identity politics: granted. Nevertheless, African-Americans have some tangible and valid reasons for voting for them, awful as they are.

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:36 pm

George Phillies didn't say the Republicans had "good" ideas. He just noted that the Republicans have "ideas". A "bad" idea is still an "idea".

blennylips , June 26, 2018 at 7:25 am

Stephen Fry is back, taking another idea out for a walk in the latest Munk Debate:

Political Correctness
Be it resolved, what you call political correctness, I call progress
MAY 18, 2018
https://www.munkdebates.com/The-Debates/Political-Correctness

On the Con side: Stephen Fry, Jordan Peterson
On the Pro side: Michael Dyson, Michelle Goldberg

Stephen and Jordan complained at the end that it ended up about identity politics rather than the PC debate they'd rather have had.

IguanaBowtie , June 26, 2018 at 10:19 am

Dyson neatly derailed the whole thing with his 'mean white man' line. Could have just been Fry vs Goldberg too, Peterson talked past the others yhe whole time. Whole thing deserves a do-over.

blennylips , June 26, 2018 at 11:14 am

I agree IguanaB, Dyson was as awful as Mr. Fry was magnificent – but I could be as deluded as the next guy of course.

I loved how Fry gritted his teeth at being on the same side as Jordan, but considered the issues too important for a personal tantrum.

johnnygl , June 26, 2018 at 8:08 am

I'm really worried about a repeat of 2016 with a heavy dose of voter purges and reregistrations. Ocasio-Cortez will need a strong GOTV ground game to pull off the upset.

DJG , June 26, 2018 at 9:07 am

Cuomo may be part of a political dynasty, but I recall that when Mario Cuomo was sending out feelers about running for president, there was plenty of "Who's the furriner?" I can't find the quote, but some Southern politician opined that there weren't many Marios and fewer Cuomos in the South. (And when Geraldine Ferraro was on the ticket with Mondale, journalists and columnists "miraculously" discovered that her husband was a mafioso.) So there's white and there's white.

Not that I'd vote for Cuomo. And I certainly agree with Glenn Greenwald. But ethnic politics cut all different ways.

DJG , June 26, 2018 at 9:09 am

From the quotes above: 'Maybe we need to run Bland White Guy 2020 to appease the fake socialists and jackass mansplainers.'"

Just in case you wanted to have the National Conversation on the Deep Insights that Rebecca Solnit Has Bestowed on Us with Her Term "Mansplaining."

Carolinian , June 26, 2018 at 9:15 am

So Pelosi's final bequest to the public is a corrupt successor? What a world!

JohnnyGL , June 26, 2018 at 11:06 am

Pelosi's been quoted a number of times saying, "we lead with our values". You certainly do, Mrs. Speaker! Thanks for making it clear!

sharonsj , June 26, 2018 at 10:55 am

Come on, folks. By now you should have learned that what politicians say doesn't mean a damn thing -- it's what they do. The establishment is only interested in perpetuating the establishment.

Here in Pennsylvania, Republican senator Pat Toomey has stayed in office only because the Dem establishment here has refused to back Joe Sestak, a terrific but rebellious candidate, for years. Last time around, it endorsed a woman over Sestak and another fantastic male candidate–but she was as crappy as they come. As far as I've seen, they trot out identity politics only when it suits their aims and it has nothing to do with what the voters actually want.

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:41 pm

If Sestak and his supporters started a little Third Party just for Pennsylvania, how many votes would he get? If he and his supporters called it the Revenge Against Betrayal Party, how many votes would he get?

Big Tap , June 26, 2018 at 4:56 pm

Exactly

PKMKII , June 26, 2018 at 11:10 am

Identity politics are to Democrats what religious politics are to Republicans: A pious high ground they use whenever they want to denounce anyone opposed to them as corrupt and immoral, but immediately gets shelved the moment it interferes with the money and power.

Jeff W , June 26, 2018 at 6:05 pm

To me, it's a dishonest policy erasure tactic for favoring establishment candidates. If you're against Hillary Clinton, it's must be because she's a woman, not because she's, say, a neoliberal, corporatist warmonger -- it deliberately supplants legitimate policy differences with identity. Not only is it breathtakingly dopey as a psychological theory -- because it's pretty obvious that someone could oppose a person based on those policy differences -- it's also obnoxiously presumptuous: "I'm going to substitute my statements as to motivation for yours." None of that matters, of course, as long as the work of erasing policy from the discourse is done.

Lee , June 26, 2018 at 11:38 am

And while it surely matters who is in congress and who sits in the oval office, possibly we should all become more focused and engaged with system change rather than just individuals running for office. (although damn am I impressed with Alexandria's keen appreciation of democracy), To that end I offer ideas from the brain of Gar Alperovitz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1-Ss5h9F9k

HotFlash , June 26, 2018 at 2:14 pm

Thank you, Lee. About a quarter of the way through Gar's talk and may need to take a little rest to let my soul catch up. For me, in my community which is being hard hit by gentrification and rents are, for many long-time residents, becoming unaffordable, this might be the exactly the right ideas at the right time. Tomorrow I will be going to the last meeting of our neighbourhood food co-op as it dissolves, after 10 years, and I can't decide whether I am more angry or sad. It was well-intentioned, but just couldn't make it work. Perhaps a bad plan, or maybe no systematic plan at all. Anyway. I never really expected to see my $1000 again when I bought that bond 10 years ago.

Meantime, I will listen to Gar finish his talk, and pro'ly get his book from the library.

So here is Gar talking about the Evergreen Co-ops of Cleveland: "That is a community-building, wealth-democratizing, decentralized, combination of community and worker ownership, supported by quasi-public procurement, through a planning system using quasi-public moneys. That is a planning system. {It} begins with a vision of community which starts by democratizing as far as you can from the ground up, building capacity at the national level or the regional level, to purchase and thereby stabilize the system in a form of economic planning. Now think about those things. Those are ideas in a fragmentary developmental process as the pain of the system grows and there are no other solutions. "

It is strong stuff, but reading it seems dense and dull, but Gar makes it all make sense on first hearing. So, in anyone interested in community economic action, do check it out.

Synoia , June 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Which means, if you take this view, that their vocal support for the underlying principles of "identity politics" is both cynical and insincere.

There, removed the superfluous words.

Left in Wisconsin , June 26, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Also noticing that Emily's List has failed to endorse either Nixon or Ocasio-Cortez. Why am I not shocked.

Livius Drusus , June 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm

Of course the most important identity is that of the worker, the person who must sell their labor power in the marketplace to survive. But you will rarely hear the Democrats discuss that identity. You might hear about "working families" and the "middle class" but it really means nothing. The Republicans use the same language and they are just as mendacious.

I wouldn't mind the slogans and euphemisms if there was some substance behind them. I get that Americans generally like to think of themselves as "middle class" whether they are making minimum wage or millions of dollars but at least put some substance behind your rhetoric.

Both parties are using identity politics to win elections while avoiding the economic issues that every poll indicates Americans care about the most. The result is an increasingly disillusioned and depressed population that hates the entire political system. Almost half of the eligible electorate stays home during election years. Non-voters tend to be poorer while the political junkies who are increasingly shrill, angry and unreasonable tend to be wealthier. These are the people who form the base for identity politics because they have the luxury to worry about such nonsense.

Elizabeth Burton , June 26, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Working families: Groups of people related genetically or by choice, all of whom, regardless of age, have to work to ensure they have food, clothing, and shelter.

drumlin woodchuckles , June 26, 2018 at 4:44 pm

I can think of a couple of identity-words to offer to see if anyone identifies with them. Ex-middle class. Nouveau poor.

Jean , June 26, 2018 at 6:20 pm

"It's about the children " Madeline Albright, when asked about 500,000+ dead Iraqi children caused by the sanctions she promoted said "We think the price was worth it " When will this nauseating hag slink off the public stage? https://fair.org/extra/we-think-the-price-is-worth-it/

Somebody , June 26, 2018 at 6:35 pm

An average person with their limited lifespan can barely manage a quota of about a dozen people to truly care about and about 70 to be acquainted with. Chances of any of those belonging to some of those special category people are low to the point of it being irrelevant and worthless to get acquainted with the categories themselves and their cultures/language, unless they live in a few congregation capitals on this planet like San Francisco, capitals which can be numbered on both my hands.

Unless the average person decides for themselves to care, trying to convince them to care about special identity is tantamount to attempting to rob them of their precious lifespan, over what? Superficial identities. There are religions which worship the supernatural. Now there's a religion which worships the superficial called Identity Politics or Social Justice Evangelism as i like to call it (as usual it has about as much to do with social justice as Christianity had to do with world peace, and all to do with identity masturbation), arisen jointly as a result of inflated and growing narcissism and unwarranted sense of self-importance personality disorders influenced by spending too much time on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Bah. Western Democrats focus too much on a minority which has barely any impact on the economy at the expense of the majority which actually dictates the general economic trend and therefore also creates the byproduct welfare/life quality of all the meme minorities to whom it trickles down. That's the issue here. The difference between normal people and minorities is that normal people know they don't matter in the larger picture, while minorities think they matter while at the same time asking to be treated as part of the normal people even though their very mentality is a paradox towards being normal.

The West is simply too bankrupt on things that matter in the bigger picture and too involved in things that don't, a complete lack of prioritization.

[Jun 15, 2018] Tulsi Gabbard might be a viable candidate

Notable quotes:
"... Clinton turned the Democratic party into a Mafia organization ..."
Jun 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

trillion_dolla Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:22 Permalink

They do have someone and her name is Tulsi Gabbard. But, shes not a raving neoliberal. So, the base ignores her.

hooligan2009 -> trillion_dolla Fri, 06/15/2018 - 16:59 Permalink

agreed - classy, smart lady.

if she ever goes "stateswoman like" by not bitching at opponents and just beingalways positive she would attract a lot of votes.

one of the few demoNrats i would enjoy having dinner or a drink with.

Chief Joesph Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:10 Permalink

Democrats can lament all they want, but they did have a very good candidate that they allowed to be thrown under the bus. That was Bernie Sanders. Despite his "socialist" leanings, (for you conservatives), he was really fresh blood to the Democratic party. And even though Jimmy Carter is old, he has a very good working mind, better than all that are currently in the Democratic party. Clinton turned the Democratic party into a Mafia organization, taking orders from her, paving the way for her, knocking off anyone that looked like potential trouble, like Seth Rich, John Ashe, Joe Montano, Victor Thorn, and Shawn Lucas. All five of these guys died within 6 weeks of each other. Strange? Not if you are operating an old style mafia organization. Democrats need to resign the party, and form something new, that has fresh ideas, and people who are not there for self-coronations. The most honest democrat you have left is Jimmy Carter. Democrats are not honest today.

kudocast -> Chief Joesph Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:31 Permalink

I would add Howard Dean and Elizabeth Warren to Jimmy Carter.

kudocast Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:29 Permalink

They need to purge the leadership of the DNC - Perez, Clinton and the gang, they are the ones that shoved Hillary Clinton down Democrats throats instead letting Bernie Sanders, the real nominee, win the nomination. The DNC fucked over themselves, no one else is to blame.

Howard Dean is the one that got Obama elected the first time. From 2005 to 2009, he headed the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and successfully implemented the 50 State Strategy, which aimed for Democrats to be competitive in places considered Republican-dominated territory. As a result, during the midterms in 2006, Democrats won the House back and gained seats in the Senate. In 2008 Barack Obama also used the same strategy to win his presidential bid.

Just like the DNC and Democratic bourgeoise fucked over Bernie, they fucked over Howard Dean. Obama didn't select Howard Dean for his cabinet for Secretary of Health and Human Services - even though he was a successful governor, is a medical doctor, and was one of the main reasons Obama won in 2008.

Howard Dean should run as an Independent in 2020.

PrivetHedge Fri, 06/15/2018 - 17:46 Permalink

Funny, I thought they had a red-hot candidate called - err - Bernie Sanders.

Shame they sabotaged him and his political future, oh well.

bwdiii Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:14 Permalink

Is that a $65,000 Chicago foot long the ex pres is busy with? Or just a hotdog?

3-fingered_chemist Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

Obama has always been about himself. I mean who publishes a memoir about yourself when you're just a nobody? Even Obama knows a loser when he sees one...the Democratic Party. He did more for the Republican Party than any Republican could ever do. One of the Greatest Presidents in my lifetime for the conservative movement.

NuYawkFrankie Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

DNC DOA

3-fingered_chemist Fri, 06/15/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

The Dems are caught between a rock and a hard place. The result of losing 1000s of seats nationwide since 2010 means you've got no farm system to develop politicians/leaders. It's no different than any sports franchise. The successful ones have a deep bench and prospects to knock off old, overpaid, underachieving veterans. If the Dems trot out Obama, he will be a death sentence for the Dems' chances in November. Guy is hated by almost everyone. Don't believe the approval ratings from CNN. He got more popular towards the end when people realized he was finally leaving.

ZazzOne Fri, 06/15/2018 - 20:26 Permalink

Obama and the Clinton's have DESTROYED the Democrat party!!! Leaders of the current Democratic party apparatchik, Schumer, Pelosi, Schiff, et al , are fucking idiots!!! I see a Red tsunami wave for the mid-term election!

[Jun 09, 2018] Still Waiting for Evidence of a Russian Hack by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say. ..."
"... The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack. ..."
"... "No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.] ..."
"... "Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since . ..."
"... "More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi." ..."
"... The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ] ..."
"... Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers. ..."
"... The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. ..."
"... I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply." ..."
"... There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths. ..."
"... Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another ..."
"... (FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed. ..."
"... Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden. ..."
"... Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they'd "hand picked" a special team to run their "investigation," and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked "evidence" to make a claim. Let's invade Iraq again. ..."
"... Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can't handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller's activities are a complete sham. ..."
"... Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams. ..."
"... Your disclaimer is hilarious: "We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." ..."
"... For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy. ..."
"... Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known. ..."
"... There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings. ..."
"... Don't forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016: Podesta: "I'm definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it." https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH- ..."
"... Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face? ..."
"... If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars. ..."
"... My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary's many emails? After all wasn't this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary's correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn't. So what's up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody? ..."
Jun 09, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny . It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity -- including two "alumni" who were former National Security Agency technical directors -- have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the "emails related to Hillary Clinton" via a "hack" by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device -- probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.

On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the "conclusions" of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were "inconclusive." Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA "Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections" of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement. That did not prevent the "handpicked" authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing "high confidence" that Russian intelligence "relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee to WikiLeaks." Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.

Never mind. The FBI/CIA/NSA "assessment" became bible truth for partisans like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who was among the first off the blocks to blame Russia for interfering to help Trump. It simply could not have been that Hillary Clinton was quite capable of snatching defeat out of victory all by herself. No, it had to have been the Russians.

Five days into the Trump presidency, I had a chance to challenge Schiff personally on the gaping disconnect between the Russians and WikiLeaks. Schiff still "can't share the evidence" with me or with anyone else, because it does not exist.

WikiLeaks

It was on June 12, 2016, just six weeks before the Democratic National Convention, that Assange announced the pending publication of "emails related to Hillary Clinton," throwing the Clinton campaign into panic mode, since the emails would document strong bias in favor of Clinton and successful attempts to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders. When the emails were published on July 22, just three days before the convention began, the campaign decided to create what I call a Magnificent Diversion, drawing attention away from the substance of the emails by blaming Russia for their release.

Clinton's PR chief Jennifer Palmieri later admitted that she golf-carted around to various media outlets at the convention with instructions "to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton." The diversion worked like a charm. Mainstream media kept shouting "The Russians did it," and gave little, if any, play to the DNC skullduggery revealed in the emails themselves. And like Brer' Fox, Bernie didn't say nothin'.

Meanwhile, highly sophisticated technical experts, were hard at work fabricating "forensic facts" to "prove" the Russians did it. Here's how it played out:

June 12, 2016: Assange announces that WikiLeaks is about to publish "emails related to Hillary Clinton."

June 14, 2016: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

June 15, 2016: "Guccifer 2.0" affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the "hack;" claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with "Russian fingerprints."

The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to "show" that it came from a Russian hack.

Enter Independent Investigators

A year ago independent cyber-investigators completed the kind of forensic work that, for reasons best known to then-FBI Director James Comey, neither he nor the "handpicked analysts" who wrote the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment bothered to do. The independent investigators found verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of an alleged Russian hack of July 5, 2016 showing that the "hack" that day of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else.

Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider -- the same process used by the DNC insider/leaker before June 12, 2016 for an altogether different purpose. (Once the metadata was found and the "fluid dynamics" principle of physics applied, this was not difficult to disprove the validity of the claim that Russia was responsible.)

One of these independent investigators publishing under the name of The Forensicator on May 31 published new evidence that the Guccifer 2.0 persona uploaded a document from the West Coast of the United States, and not from Russia.

In our July 24, 2017 Memorandum to President Donald Trump we stated , "We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI."

Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled 'Vault 7.' WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.

"No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA's Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.]

Marbled

"Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the "Marble Framework" program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as 'news fit to print' and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since .

"The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima, it seems, 'did not get the memo' in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: 'WikiLeaks' latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.'

"The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use 'obfuscation,' and that Marble source code includes a "de-obfuscator" to reverse CIA text obfuscation.

"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report , Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."

A few weeks later William Binney, a former NSA technical, and I commented on Vault 7 Marble, and were able to get a shortened op-ed version published in The Baltimore Sun

The CIA's reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates "demons," and insisting; "It's time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia."Our July 24 Memorandum continued: "Mr. President, we do not know if CIA's Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review. [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this. Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ]

We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today's technology enables hacking to be 'masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin' [of the hack] And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.

"'Hackers may be anywhere,' he said. 'There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? I can.'

New attention has been drawn to these issues after I discussed them in a widely published 16-minute interview last Friday.

In view of the highly politicized environment surrounding these issues, I believe I must append here the same notice that VIPS felt compelled to add to our key Memorandum of July 24, 2017:

"Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

"We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental." The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer before serving as a CIA analyst for 27 years. His duties included preparing, and briefing one-on-one, the President's Daily Brief.


ThomasGilroy , June 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

"More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a 'forensic attribution double game' or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi."

Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the "rebels" by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to "his" people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn't reveal he was the "real" source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers.

The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. It must be the Gulf of Tonkin all over again. While Crowdstrike might have a "dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest", their results were also confirmed by several other cyber-security firms (Wikipedia):

cybersecurity experts and firms, including CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Mandiant, SecureWorks, ThreatConnect, and the editor for Ars Technica, have rejected the claims of "Guccifer 2.0" and have determined, on the basis of substantial evidence, that the cyberattacks were committed by two Russian state-sponsored groups (Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear).

Then there was Papadopoulas who coincidentally was given the information that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Obviously, they were illegally obtained (unless this was another CIA false flag operation). This was before the release of the emails by WikiLeaks. This was followed by the Trump Tower meeting with Russians with connections to the Russian government and the release of the emails by WikiLeaks shortly thereafter. Additionally, Russia had the motive to defeat HRC and elect Trump. Yesterday, Trump pushed for the reinstatement of Russia at the G-7 summit. What a shock! All known evidence and motive points the finger directly at Russia.

Calling everything a false flag operation is really the easy way out, but ultimately, it lets the responsible culprits off of the hook.

anon , June 9, 2018 at 11:28 am

I don't seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don't like is merely "tossed out" propaganda. One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not. No evidence that the Syria CW attacks "had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply."

CitizenOne , June 8, 2018 at 11:40 pm

There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths.

In pre computer technology days there were also many false flags which were set up to create real world scenarios which suited the geopolitical agenda. Even today, there are many examples of tactical false flag operations either organized and orchestrated or utilized by the intelligence agencies to create the narrative which supports geopolitical objectives.

Examples:

The US loaded munitions in broad daylight visible to German spies onto the passenger ship Lusitania despite German warnings that they would torpedo any vessels suspected of carrying munitions. The Lusitania then proceeded to loiter unaccompanied by escorts in an area off the Ireland coast treading over the same waters until it was spotted by a German U-Boat and was torpedoed. This was not exactly a false flag since the German U-Boat pulled the trigger but it was required to gain public support for the entrance of the US into WWI. It worked.

There is evidence that the US was deliberately caught "off guard" in the Pearl Harbor Attack. Numerous coded communication intercepts were made but somehow the advanced warning radar on the island of Hawaii was mysteriously turned off in the hours before and during the Japanese attack which guaranteed that the attack would be successful and also guaranteed that our population would instantly sign on to the war against Japan. It worked.

There is evidence that the US deliberately ignored the intelligence reports that UBL was planning to conduct an attack on the US using planes as bombs. The terrorists who carried out the attacks on the twin towers were "allowed" to conduct them. The result was the war in Iraq which was sold based on a pack of lies about WMDs and which we used to go to war with Iraq.

The Tonkin Gulf incident which historians doubt actually happened or believe if it did was greatly exaggerated by intelligence and military sources was used to justify the war in Vietnam.

The Spanish American War was ginned up by William Randolph Hearst and his yellow journalism empire to justify attacking Cuba, Panama and the Philippines. The facts revealed by forensic analysis of the exploded USS Maine have shown that the cataclysm was caused by a boiler explosion not an enemy mine. At the time this was also widely believed to not be caused by a Spanish mine in the harbor but the news sold the story of Spanish treachery and war was waged.

In each case of physical false flags created on purpose, or allowed to happen or just made up by fictions based on useful information that could be manipulated and distorted the US was led to war. Some of these wars were just wars and others were wars of choice but in every case a false flag was needed to bring the nation into a state where we believed we were under attack and under the circumstances flocked to war. I will not be the judge of history or justice here since each of these events had both negative and positive consequences for our nation. What I will state is that it is obvious that the willingness to allow or create or just capitalize on the events which have led to war are an essential ingredient. Without a publicly perceived and publicly supported cause for war there can be no widespread support for war. I can also say our leaders have always known this.

Enter the age of technology and the computer age with the electronic contraptions which enable global communication and commerce.

Is it such a stretch to imagine that the governments desire to shape world events based on military actions would result in a plan to use these modern technologies to once again create in our minds a cyber scenario in which we are once again as a result of the "cyber" false flag prepared for us to go to war? Would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that the government would use the new electronic frontier just as it used the old physical world events to justify military action?

Again, I will not go on to condemn any action by our military but will focus on how did we get there and how did we arrive at a place where a majority favored war.

Whether created by physical or cyberspace methods we can conclude that such false flags will happen for better or worse in any medium available.

susan sunflower , June 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm

I'd like "evidence" and I'd also like "context" since apparently international electoral "highjinks" and monkey-wrenching and rat-f*cking have a long tradition and history (before anyone draws a weapon, kills a candidate or sicc's death squads on the citizenry.

The DNC e-mail publication "theft" I suspect represents very small small potatoes for so many reasons As Dixon at Black Agenda Report put it . Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are "linked" to alleged "Russian funding"on one and and Soros funding on another

https://www.blackagendareport.com/russia-gate-and-crisis-american-exceptionalism

(FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich "liberals" can quietly fund marches on Washington and "grassroots" networking making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 "free" signs or t-shirts -- impecccably designed and printed.

Gary Weglarz , June 8, 2018 at 11:08 am

Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden.

Skip Scott , June 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

I can't think of any single piece of evidence that our MSM is under the very strict control of our so-called intelligence agencies than how fast and completely the Vault 7 releases got flushed down the memory hole. "Nothing to see here folks, move along."

Realist , June 9, 2018 at 1:36 am

http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/dems-put-finishing-touches-on-one-party-surveillance-superstate/

Skip Scott , June 9, 2018 at 7:05 am

Mbob-

I don't think anyone can predict whether or not Sanders would have won as a 3rd party candidate. He ran a remarkable campaign, but when he caved to the Clinton machine he lost a lot of supporters, including me. If he had stood up at the convention and talked of the DNC skullduggery exposed by Wikileaks, and said "either I run as a democrat, or I run as a Green, but I'm running", he would have at least gotten 15 pct to make the TV debates, and who knows what could have happened after that. 40 pct of registered voters didn't vote. That alone tells you it is possible he might have won.

Instead he expected us to follow him like he was the f'ing Pied Piper to elect another Wall St. loving warmonger. That's why he gets no "pass" from me. He (and the Queen of Chaos) gave us Trump. BTW, Obama doesn't get a "pass" either.

willow , June 8, 2018 at 9:24 pm

It's all about the money. A big motive for the DNC to conjure up Russia-gate was to keep donors from abandoning any future
Good Ship Hillary or other Blue Dog Democrat campaigns: "Our brand/platform wasn't flawed. It was the Rooskies."

Vivian O'Blivion , June 8, 2018 at 8:22 am

An earlier time line.

March 14th. Popadopoulos has first encounter with Mifsud.
April 26th. Mifsud tells Popadopoulos that Russians have "dirt" on Clinton, including "thousands of e-mails".
May 4th. Trump last man standing in Republican primary.
May 10th. Popadopoulos gets drunk with London based Australian diplomat and talks about "dirt" but not specifically e-mails.
June 9th. Don. Jr meets in Trump tower with Russians promising "dirt" but not specifically in form of e-mails.

It all comes down to who Mifsud is, who he is working for and why he has been "off grid" to journalists (but not presumably Intelligence services) for > 6 months.

Specific points.
On March 14th Popadopoulos knew he was transferring from team Carson to team Trump but this was not announced to the (presumably underwhelmed) world 'till March 21st. Whoever put Mifsud onto Popadopoulos was very quick on their feet.
The Australian diplomat broke chain of command by reporting the drunken conversation to the State Department as opposed to his domestic Intelligence service. If Mifsud was a western asset, Australian Intelligence would likely be aware of his status.
If Mifsud was a Russian asset why would demonstrably genuine Russians be trying to dish up the dirt on Clinton in June?

There are missing pieces to this jigsaw puzzle but it's starting to look like a deep state operation to dirty Trump in the unlikely event that he went on to win.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Ms. Clinton was personally trying to tar Trump with allusions to "Russia" and being "Putin's puppet" long before he won the presidency, in fact, quite conspicuously during the two conventions and most pointedly during the debates. She was willing to use that ruse long before her defeat at the ballot box. It was the straw that she clung to and was willing to use as a pretext for overturning the election after the unthinkable happened. But, you are right, smearing Trump through association with Russia was part of her long game going back to the early primaries, especially since her forces (both in politics and in the media) were trying mightily to get him the nomination under the assumption that he would be the easiest (more like the only) Republican candidate that she could defeat come November.

Wcb , June 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Steven Halper?

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:33 am

I might add to this informative article that the reason why Julian Assange has been ostracized and isolated from any public appearance, denied a cell phone, internet and visitors is that he tells the truth, and TPTB don't want him to say yet again that the emails were leaked from the DNC. I've heard him say it several times. H. Clinton was so shocked and angry that she didn't become president as she so confidently expected that her, almost knee-jerk, reaction was to find a reason that was outside of herself on which to blame her defeat. It's always surprised me that no one talks about what was in those emails which covered her plans for Iran and Russia (disgusting).
Trump is a sociopath, but the Russians had nothing to do with him becoming elected. I was please to read here that he or perhaps just Pompeo? met with Binney. That's a good thing, though Pompeo, too, is unstable and war hungry to follow Israel into bombing yet another innocent sovereign country. Thank, Mr. McGovern for another excellent coverage of this story.

MLS , June 7, 2018 at 9:59 pm

"no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team"

Do tell, Ray: How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?

strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:14 am

MLS: Thank you! No one stands up for what is right any more. We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen. And just last week the Republicans Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel and Trey Gowdy (who I detest) said the FBI and CIA and NSA were just doing there jobs the way ALL AMERICANS woudl want them to. And even Adam Schiff, do you think he will tell any reporter what evidence he does have? #1 It is probably classified and #2 he is probably saving it for the inpeachment. We did not find out about the Nixon missing 18 minutes until the end anyways. All of these articles sound like the writer just copied Sean Hannity and wrote everything down he said, and yesterday he told all suspects in the Mueller investigation to Smash and Bleach there mobile devices, witch is OBSTRUCTION of justice and witness TAMPERING. A great American there!

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:48 am

strgr-tgther:

Sean Hannity??? Ha, ha, ha.

As Mr. McGoven wrote .."any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."

John , June 8, 2018 at 5:48 am

Sorry I had to come back and point out the ultimate irony of ANYONE who supports the Butcher of Libya complaining about having an election stolen from them (after the blatant rigging of the primary that caused her to take the nomination away from the ONE PERSON who was polling ahead of Trump beyond the margin of error of the polls.)

It is people like you who gave us Trump. The Pied Piper Candidate promoted by the DNC machine (as the emails that were LEAKED, not "hacked", as the metadata proves conclusively, show.)

incontinent reader , June 8, 2018 at 7:14 am

What is this baloney? Seventeen Intelligence agencies DID NOT conclude what you are alleging, And in fact, Brennan and his cabal avoided using a National intelligence Estimate, which would have shot down his cherry-picked 'assessment' before it got off the ground – and it would have been published for all to read.

The NSA has everything on everybody, yet has never released anything remotely indicating Russian collusion. Do you think the NSA Director, who, as you may recall, did not give a strong endorsement to the Brennan-Comey assessment, would have held back from the Congress such information, if it had existed, when he was questioned? Furthermore, former technical directors of the NSA, Binney, Wiebe and Loomis- the very best of the best- have proven through forensics that the Wikileaks disclosures were not obtained by hacking the DNC computers, but by a leak, most likely to a thumb drive on the East Coast of the U.S. How many times does it have to be laid out for you before you are willing and able to absorb the facts?

As for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, (and Trey Gowdy, who was quite skilled on the Benghazi and the Clinton private email server investigations- investigations during which Schiff ran interference for Clinton- but has seemed unwilling to digest the Strozk, Page, McCabe, et al emails and demand a Bureau housecleaning), who cares what they think or say, what matters is the evidence.

I suggest you familiarize yourself with the facts- and start by rereading Ray's articles, and the piece by Joe diGenova posted on Ray's website.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 4:12 pm

The guy's got Schiff for brains. Everyone who cares about the truth has known since before Mueller started his charade that the "17 intelligence agency" claim was entirely a ruse, bald-faced confected propaganda to anger the public to support the coup attempted by Ms. Clinton and her zombie followers. People are NOT going to support the Democratic party now or in the future when its tactics include subverting our public institutions, including the electoral process under the constitution–whether you like the results or not! If the Democratic party is to be saved, those honest people still in it should endeavor to drain the septic tank that has become their party before we can all drain the swamp that is the federal government and its ex-officio manipulators (otherwise known as the "deep state") in Washington.

Farmer Pete , June 8, 2018 at 7:30 am

"We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen."

You opened up with a talking point that is factually incorrect. The team of hand-picked spooks that slapped the "high confidence" report together came from 3 agencies. I know, 17 sounds like a lot and very convincing to us peasants. Regardless, it's important to practice a few ounces of skepticism when it comes to institutions with a long rap sheet of crime and deception. Taking their word for it as a substitute for actual observable evidence is naive to say the least. The rest of your hollow argument is filled with "probably(s)". If I were you, I'd turn off my TV and stop looking for scapegoats for an epically horrible presidential campaign and candidate.

strgr-tgther , June 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm

/horrible presidential campaign and candidate/ Say you. But we all went to sleep comfortable the night before the election where 97% of all poles said Clinton was going to be are next President. And that did not happen! So Robert Mueller is going to find out EXACTLY why. Stay tuned!!!

irina , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Not 'all'. I knew she was toast after reading that she had cancelled her election night fireworks
celebration, early on the morning of Election Day. She must have known it also, too.

And she was toast in my mind after seeing the ridiculous scene of her virtual image
'breaking the glass ceiling' during the Democratic Convention. So expensively stupid.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Mueller is simply orchestrating a dramatic charade to distract you from the obvious reason why she lost: Trump garnered more electoral votes, even after the popular votes were counted and recounted. Any evidence of ballot box stuffing in the key states pointed to the Democrats, so they gave that up. She and her supporters like you have never stopped trying to hoodwink the public either before or after the election. Too many voters were on to you, that's why she lost.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Indeed, stop the nonsense which can't be changed short of a coup d'etat, and start focusing on opposing the bad policy which this administration has been pursuing. I don't see the Dems doing that even in their incipient campaigns leading up to the November elections. Fact is, they are not inclined to change the policies, which are the same ones that got them "shellacked" at the ballot box in 2016. (I think Obama must own lots of stock in the shellack trade.)

Curious , June 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Ignorance of th facts keep showing up in your posts for some unknown reason. Sentence two: "we have 17 intelligency (sic) agencies that say ". this statement was debunked a long time ago.

Have you learned nothing yet regarding the hand-picked people out of three agencies after all this time? Given that set of lies it makes your post impossible to read.
I would suggest a review of what really happened before you perpetuate more myths and this will benefit all.

Also, a good reading of the Snowden Docs and vault 7 should scare you out of your shell since our "intelligeny" community can pretend to be Chinese, Russian, Iranian just for starters, and the blame game can start after hours instead of the needed weeks and/or months to determine the veracity of a hack and/or leak.

It's past trying to win you over with the actual 'time lines' and truths. Mr McGovern has re-emphasized in this article the very things you should be reading.
Start with Mr Binney and his technical evaluation of the forensics in the DNC docs and build out from there This is just a suggestion.

What never ceases to amaze me in your posts is the 'issue' that many of the docs were bought and paid for by the Clinton team, and yet amnesia has taken over those aspects as well. Shouldn't you start with the Clintons paying for this dirt before it was ever attributed to Trump?

Daniel , June 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm

Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they'd "hand picked" a special team to run their "investigation," and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked "evidence" to make a claim. Let's invade Iraq again.

More than 1/2 of their report was about RT, and even though that was all easily viewable public record, they got huge claims wrong. Basically, the best they had was that RT covered Occupy Wall Street and the NO DAPL and BLM protests, and horror of horrors, aired third party debates! In a democracy! How dare they?

Why didn't FBI subpoena DNC's servers so they could run their own forensics on them? Why did they just accept the claims of a private company founded by an Atlantic Council board member? Did you know that CrowdStrike had to backpedal on the exact same claim they made about the DNC server when Ukraine showed they were completely wrong regarding Ukie artillery?

Joe Lauria , June 8, 2018 at 2:12 am

Until he went incommunicado Assange stated on several occasions that he was never questioned by Muellers team. Craig Murray has said the same. And Kim Dotcom has written to Mueller offering evidence about the source and he says they have never replied to him.

Realist , June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can't handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller's activities are a complete sham.

Miranda Keefe , June 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm

MLS wrote, "How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor's investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?"

Robert Mueller is NOT a Special Prosecutor appointed by the Congress. He is a special counsel appointed by the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, and is part of the Department of Justice.

I know no one who dislikes Trumps wants to hear it. But all Mueller's authority and power to act is derived from Donald J. Trump's executive authority because he won the 2016 presidential election. Mueller is down the chain of command in the Executive Department.

That's why this is all nonsense. What we basically have is Trump investigating himself. The framers of the Constitution never intended this. They intended Congress to investigate the Executive and that's why they gave Congress the power to remove him or her via impeachment.

As long as we continue with this folly of expecting the Justice Department to somehow investigate and prosecute a president we end up with two terrible possibilities. Either a corrupt president will exercise his legitimate authority to end the investigation like Nixon did -or- we have a Deep State beyond the reach of the elected president that can effectively investigate and prosecute a corrupt president, but also then has other powers with no democratic control.

The solution to this dilemma? An empowered Congress elected by the People operating as the Constitution intended.

As to the rest of your post? It is an example of the "will to believe." Me? I'll not act as if there is evidence of Russian interference until I'm shown evidence, not act as if it must be true, because I want to believe that, until it's fully proven that it didn't happen.

F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm

There must be some Trump-Russia ties.
Or so claim those CIA spies-
McCabe wants a deal, or else he won't squeal,
He'll dissemble when he testifies!

No one knows what's on Huma's computer.
There's no jury and no prosecutor.
Poor Adam Schiff hopes McCabe takes the fifth,
Special council might someday recruit her!

Assange is still embassy bound.
Mueller's case hasn't quite come unwound.
Wayne Madsen implies that there might be some ties,
To Israelis they haven't yet found!

Halper and Mifsud are players.
John Brennan used cutouts in layers.
If the scheme falls apart and the bureau is smart,
They'll go after them all as betrayers!

They needed historical fiction.
A dossier with salacious depiction!
Some urinous whores could get down on all fours,
They'd accomplish some bed sheet emiction!

Pablo Miller and Skripal were cited.
Sidney Blumenthal might have been slighted.
Christopher Steele offered Sidney a deal,
But the dossier's not copyrighted!

That story about Novichok,
Smells a lot like a very large crock.
But they can't be deposed or the story disclosed,
The Skripals have toxic brain block!

Papadopolis shot off his yap.
He told Downer, that affable chap-
There was dirt to report on the Clinton cohort,
Mifsud hooked him with that honey trap!

She was blond and a bombshell to boot.
Papadopolis thought she was cute.
She worked for Mifsud, a mysterious dude,
Now poor Paps is in grave disrepute!

But the trick was to tie it to Russians.
The Clinton team had some discussions.
Their big email scandal was easy to handle,
They'd blame Vlad for the bad repercussions!

There must have been Russian collusion.
That explained all the vote count confusion.
Guccifer Two made the Trump team come through,
If he won, it was just an illusion!

Lisa Page and Pete Strzok were disgusted
They schemed and they plotted and lusted.
If bald-headed Clapper appealed to Jake Tapper,
Brennan's Tweets might get Donald Trump busted!

There had to be cyber subversion.
It would serve as the perfect perversion.
They would claim it was missed if it didn't exist,
It's a logically perfect diversion!

Ray McGovern , June 8, 2018 at 1:03 am

BRAVO, F.G. and thanks.
Ray

Rob Roy , June 8, 2018 at 1:41 am

F.G., you've done it again, and I might add, topped even yourself! Thanks.

KiwiAntz , June 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm

What a joke, America, the most dishonest Country on Earth, has meddled, murdered & committed coups to overturn other Govts & interfered & continues to do so in just about every Country on Earth by using Trade sanctions, arming Terrorists & illegal invasions, has the barefaced cheek to puff out its chest & hypocritcally blame Russia for something that it does on a daily basis?? And the point with Mueller's investigation is not to find any Russian collusion evidence, who needs evidence when you can just make it up? The point is provide the US with a list of unfounded lies & excuses, FIRSTLY to slander & demonise RUSSIA for something they clearly didn't do! SECONDLY, was to provide a excuse for the Democrats dismal election loss result to the DONALD & his Trump Party which just happens to contain some Republicans? THIRDLY, to conduct a soft Coup by trying to get Trump impeached on "TRUMPED UP CHARGES OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION"? And FOURTLY to divert attention away from scrutiny & cover up Obama & Hillary Clinton's illegal, money grubbing activities & her treasonous behaviour with her private email server?? After two years of Russiagate nonsense with NOTHING to show for it, I think it's about time America owes Russia a public apology & compensation for its blatant lying & slander of a innocent Country for a crime they never committed?

Sam F , June 7, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA's Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams.

I am sure that they manipulate the digital voting machines directly and indirectly. True elections are now impossible.

Your disclaimer is hilarious: "We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental."

Antiwar7 , June 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Expecting the evil people running the show to respond to reason is futile, of course. All of these reports are really addressed to the peanut gallery, where true power lies, if only they could realize it.

Thanks, Ray and VIPS, for keeping up the good fight.

mike k , June 7, 2018 at 5:55 pm

For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy.

And BTW people have become shy about using the word conspiracy, for fear it will automatically brand one as a hoaxer. On the contrary, conspiracies are extremely common, the higher one climbs in the power hierarchy. Like monopolies, conspiracies are central to the way the oligarchs do business.

John , June 8, 2018 at 5:42 am

Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known.

There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings.

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:44 am

Don't forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016: Podesta: "I'm definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it." https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH-

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 10:47 am

" whether or not"?!! Wow. That's an imperialistic statement.

Drew Hunkins , June 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm

Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he's left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin "hacking" the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d'etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller's crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face?

So sickening to see the manner in which many DNC sycophants obsequiously genuflect to their godlike Mueller. A damn prosecutor who was arguably in bed with the Winter Hill Gang!

jose , June 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm

If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars.

Jeff , June 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

Thanx, Ray. The sad news is that everybody now believes that Russia tried to "meddle" in our election and, since it's a belief, neither facts nor reality will dislodge it. Your disclaimer should also probably carry the warning – never believe a word a government official says especially if they are in the CIA, NSA, or FBI unless they provide proof. If they tell you that it's classified, that they can't divulge it, or anything of that sort, you know they are lying.

john wilson , June 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm

I suspect the real reason no evidence has been produced is because there isn't any. I know this is stating the obvious, but if you think about it, as long as the non extent evidence is supposedly being "investigated" the story remains alive. They know they aren't going to find anything even remotely plausible that would stand up to any kind of scrutiny, but as long as they are looking, it has the appearance that there might be something.

Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm

I first want to thank Ray and the VIPS for their continuing to follow through on this Russia-Gate story. And it is a story.

My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary's many emails? After all wasn't this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary's correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn't. So what's up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody?

Now we have Sean Hannity making a strong case against the Clinton's and the FBI's careful handling of their crimes. What seems out of place, since this should be big news, is that CNN nor MSNBC seems to be covering this story in the same way Hannity is. I mean isn't this news, meant to be reported as news? Why avoid reporting on Hillary in such a manner? This must be that 'fake news' they all talk about boy am I smart.

In the end I have decided to be merely an observer, because there are no good guys or gals in our nation's capital worth believing. In the end even Hannity's version of what took place leads back to a guilty Russia. So, the way I see it, the swamp is being drained only to make more room for more, and new swamp creatures to emerge. Talk about spinning our wheels. When will good people arrive to finally once and for all drain this freaking swamp, once and for all?

Realist , June 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Ha, ha! Don't you enjoy the magic show being put on by the insiders desperately trying to hang onto their power even after being voted out of office? Their attempt to distract your attention from reality whilst feeding you their false illusions is worthy of Penn & Teller, or David Copperfield (the magician). Who ya gonna believe? Them or your lying eyes?

Joe Tedesky , June 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm

Realist, You can bet they will investigate everything but what needs investigated, as our Politico class devolves into survivalist in fighting, the mechanism of war goes uninterrupted. Joe

F. G. Sanford , June 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Joe, speaking of draining the swamp, check out my comment under Ray's June 1 article about Freddy Fleitz!

Sam F , June 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm

That is just what I was reminded of; here is an antiseptic but less emphatic last line:
"Swamp draining progresses apace.
It's being accomplished with grace:
They're taking great pains to clean out the drains,"
New swamp creatures will need all that space!

Unfettered Fire , June 8, 2018 at 11:00 am

We must realize that to them, "the Swamp" refers to those in office who still abide by New Deal policy. Despite the thoroughly discredited neoliberal economic policy, the radical right are driving the world in the libertarian direction of privatization, austerity, private bank control of money creation, dismantling the nation-state, contempt for the Constitution, etc.

[Jun 09, 2018] Spooks Spooking Themselves by Daniel Lazare

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block " Siberian candidate " Trump. ..."
"... The template was provided by ex-MI6 Director Richard Dearlove , Halper's friend and business partner. Sitting in winged chairs in London's venerable Garrick Club, according to The Washington Post , Dearlove told fellow MI6 veteran Christopher Steele, author of the famous "golden showers" opposition research dossier, that Trump "reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted US authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin." ..."
"... Apparently, one word from the Brits was enough to make the candidate in question step down. When that didn't work with Trump, Dearlove and his colleagues ratcheted up the pressure to make him see the light. A major scandal was thus born – or, rather, a very questionable scandal. Besides Dearlove, Steele, and Halper, a bon-vivant known as "The Walrus" for his impressive girth , other participants include: Robert Hannigan, former director Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, UK equivalent of the NSA. Alexander Downer, top Australian diplomat. Andrew Wood, ex-British ambassador to Moscow. Joseph Mifsud, Maltese academic. James Clapper, ex-US Director of National Intelligence. John Brennan, former CIA Director (and now NBC News analyst). ..."
"... Dearlove and Halper are now partners in a private venture calling itself "The Cambridge Security Initiative." Both are connected to another London-based intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co. Halper is also connected via two books he wrote with Hakluyt representative Jonathan Clarke and Dearlove has a close personal friendship with Hakluyt founder Mike Reynolds, yet another MI6 vet. Alexander Downer served a half-dozen years on Hakluyt's international advisory board, while Andrew Wood is linked to Steele via Orbis Business Intelligence, the private research firm that Steele helped found, and which produced the anti-Trump dossier, and where Wood now serves as an unpaid advisor . ..."
"... Everyone, in short, seems to know everyone else. But another thing that stands out about this group is its incompetence. Dearlove and Halper appear to be old-school paranoids for whom every Russian is a Boris Badenov or a Natasha Fatale . In February 2014, Halper notified US intelligence that Mike Flynn, Trump's future national security adviser, had grown overly chummy with an Anglo-Russian scholar named Svetlana Lokhova whom Halper suspected of being a spy – suspicions that Lokhova convincingly argues are absurd. ..."
"... As head of Britain's foreign Secret Intelligence Service, as MI6 is formally known, Dearlove played a major role in drumming up support for the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq even while confessing at a secret Downing Street meeting that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the [regime-change] policy." When the search for weapons of mass destruction turned up dry, Clapper, as then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, argued that the Iraqi military must have smuggled them into neighboring Syria, a charge with absolutely no basis in fact but which helped pave the way for US regime-change efforts in that country too. ..."
"... Brennan was meanwhile a high-level CIA official when the agency was fabricating evidence against Saddam Hussein and covering up Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11. Wood not only continues to defend the Iraqi invasion, but dismisses fears of a rising fascist tide in the Ukraine as nothing more than "a crude political insult" hurled by Vladimir Putin for his own political benefit. Such views now seem distressingly misguided in view of the alt-right torchlight parades and spiraling anti-Semitism that are now a regular feature of life in the Ukraine. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... describes Mifsud as "an enthusiastic promoter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia" and "a regular at meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, that Mr. Putin attends," which tried to suggest that he is a Kremlin agent of some sort. ..."
"... But WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange later tweeted photos of Mifsud with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and a high-ranking British intelligence official named Claire Smith at a training session for Italian security agents in Rome. Since it's unlikely that British intelligence would rely on a Russian agent in such circumstances, Mifsud's intelligence ties are more likely with the UK. ..."
"... Stefan Halper then infiltrated the Trump campaign on behalf of the FBI as an informant in early July, weeks before the FBI launched its investigation. Halper had 36 years earlier infiltrated the Carter re-election campaign in 1980 using CIA agents to turn information over to the Reagan campaign. Now Halper began to court both Page and Papadopoulous, independently of each other. ..."
"... The rightwing Federalist website speculates that Halper was working with Steele to flesh out a Sept. 14 memo claiming that "Russians do have further 'kompromat' on CLINTON (e-mails) and [are] considering disseminating it." Clovis believes that Halper was trying "to create an audit trail back to those [Clinton] emails from someone in the campaign so they could develop a stronger case for probable cause to continue to issue warrants and to further an investigation." Reports that Halper apparently sought a permanent post in the new administration suggest that the effort was meant to continue after inauguration. ..."
"... Notwithstanding Clovis's nutty rightwing politics , his description of what Halper may have been up to makes sense as does his observation that Halper was trying " to build something that did not exist ." Despite countless hyper-ventilating headlines about mysterious Trump Tower meetings and the like, the sad truth is that Russiagate after all these months is shaping up as even more of a "nothing-burger" than Obama administration veteran Van Jones said it was back in mid-2017. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has indicted Papadopoulos and others on procedural grounds, he has indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for corruption, and he has charged a St. Petersburg company known as the Internet Research Agency with violating US election laws. ..."
"... As The Washington Post noted in an oddly, cool-headed Dec. 2 article , 2, 700 suspected Russian-linked accounts generated just 202,000 tweets in a six-year period ending in August 2017, a drop in a bucket compared to the one billion election-related tweets sent out during the fourteen months leading up to Election Day. ..."
"... Opposition research is intended to mix truths and fiction, to dig up plausible dirt to throw at your opponent, not to produce an intelligence assessment at taxpayer's expense to "protect" the country. And Steele was paid for it by the Democrats, not his government. ..."
"... Although Kramer denies it, The New Yorker ..."
"... But how could Trump think otherwise? As Consortium News founding editor Robert Parry observed a few days later, the maneuver "resembles a tactic out of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's playbook on government-style blackmail: I have some very derogatory information about you that I'd sure hate to see end up in the press." ..."
"... It sounds more like CIA paranoia raised to the nth degree. But that's what the intelligence agencies are for, i.e. to spread fear and propaganda in order to stampede the public into supporting their imperial agenda. In this case, their efforts are so effective that they've gotten lost in a fog of their own making. If the corporate press fails to point this out, it's because reporters are too befogged themselves to notice. ..."
"... "Russiagate" continues to attract mounting blowback at Clinton, Obama and the Dems. Might well be they who end up charged with lawbreaking, though I'd be surprised if anyone in authority is ever really punished. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-02/fbi-spying-trump-started-london-earlier-thought-new-texts-implicate-obama-white ..."
"... I've always thought that the great animus between Obama and Trump stemmed from Trump's persistent birtherist attacks on Obama followed by Obama's public ridicule of Trump at the White House Correspondants' Dinner. Without the latter, Trump probably would not have been motivated to run for the presidency. Without the former, Obama would probably not have gotten into the gutter to defeat and embarrass Trump at all costs. Clinton and Obama probably never recruit British spooks to sabotage and provide a pretense for spying on the campaigns of Jeb, Ted or Little Marco. Since these were all warmongers like Hillary and Obama, the issues would have been different, Russia would not have been a factor, and Putin would have had no alleged "puppet." ..."
"... The irony is that Clinton and Obama wanted Trump as her opponent. They cultivated his candidacy via liberal media bias throughout the primaries. (MSNBC and Rachel Maddow were always cutting away to another full length Trump victory speech and rally, including lots of jibber jabber with the faithful supporters.) Why? Because they thought he was the easiest to beat. The polls actually had Hillary losing against the other GOP candidates. The Dems beat themselves with their own choice of candidate and all the intrigue, false narratives and other questionable practices they employed in both the primaries and the general. That's what really happened. ..."
"... I agree that Hillary wanted Trump as an opponent, thought she could easily win. I've underestimated idiot opponents before, always to my detriment. Why is it that they are always the most formidable? The "insiders" are so used to voters rolling over, taking it on the chin. They gave away their jobs, replaced them with the service industry, killed their sons and daughters in wars abroad, and still the American people cast their ballots in their favor. This time was different. The insiders just did not see the sea change, not like Trump did. ..."
"... Long-time CIA asset named as FBI's spy on Trump campaign By Bill Van Auken https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/21/poli-m21.html ..."
"... What the MSM really needed was a bait which they could use to lure more dollars just like a horse race where the track owners needed a fast underdog horse to clean up. I believe the term is to be "hustled". The con men of the media hustlers decided they needed a way to cause all of the candidates to squirm uneasily and to then react to the news that Donald Trump was "in the lead". ..."
"... Those clever media folks. What a gift the Supreme Court handed them. But there was one little (or big) problem. The problem was the result of the scam put Trump in the White House. Something that no conservative republican would ever sign onto. Trump had spent years as a democrat, hobnobbed with the Clinton's and was an avowed agnostic who favored the liberal ideology for the most part. ..."
"... The new guy in the White House with his crazy ideas of making friends with Vladimir Putin horrified a national arms industry funded with hundreds of billions of our tax dollars every year propped up by all the neocons with their paranoid beliefs and plans to make America the hegemon of the World. Our foreign allies who use the USA to fight their perceived enemies and entice our government to sell them weapons and who urge us to orchestrate the overthrow of governments were all alarmed by the "not a real republican" peace-nick occupying the White House. ..."
"... It is probable that the casino and hotel owner in the White House posed an very threatening alternate strategy of forming economic ties with former enemies which scared the hell out of the arms industry which built its economy on scaring all of us and justifying its existence based on foreign enemies. ..."
"... So the MSM and the MIC created a new cold war with their friends at the New York Times and the Washington Post which published endless stories about the new Russian threat we faced. It had nothing to do with the 0.02% Twitter and Facebook "influence" that Russia actually had in the election. It was billed as the crime of the century. The real crime was that they committed the crime of the century that they mightily profited from by putting Trump in the White House in the first place with a plan to grab all the election cash they could grab. ..."
May 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

As the role of a well-connected group of British and U.S. intelligence agents begins to emerge, new suspicions are growing about what hand they may have had in weaving the Russia-gate story, as Daniel Lazare explains.

Special to Consortium News

With the news that a Cambridge academic-cum-spy named Stefan Halper infiltrated the Trump campaign, the role of the intelligence agencies in shaping the great Russiagate saga is at last coming into focus.

It's looking more and more massive. The intelligence agencies initiated reports that Donald Trump was colluding with Russia, they nurtured them and helped them grow, and then they spread the word to the press and key government officials. Reportedly, they even tried to use these reports to force Trump to step down prior to his inauguration. Although the corporate press accuses Trump of conspiring with Russia to stop Hillary Clinton, the reverse now seems to be the case: the Obama administration intelligence agencies worked with Clinton to block " Siberian candidate " Trump.

The template was provided by ex-MI6 Director Richard Dearlove , Halper's friend and business partner. Sitting in winged chairs in London's venerable Garrick Club, according to The Washington Post , Dearlove told fellow MI6 veteran Christopher Steele, author of the famous "golden showers" opposition research dossier, that Trump "reminded him of a predicament he had faced years earlier, when he was chief of station for British intelligence in Washington and alerted US authorities to British information that a vice presidential hopeful had once been in communication with the Kremlin."

Apparently, one word from the Brits was enough to make the candidate in question step down. When that didn't work with Trump, Dearlove and his colleagues ratcheted up the pressure to make him see the light. A major scandal was thus born – or, rather, a very questionable scandal. Besides Dearlove, Steele, and Halper, a bon-vivant known as "The Walrus" for his impressive girth , other participants include: Robert Hannigan, former director Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, UK equivalent of the NSA. Alexander Downer, top Australian diplomat. Andrew Wood, ex-British ambassador to Moscow. Joseph Mifsud, Maltese academic. James Clapper, ex-US Director of National Intelligence. John Brennan, former CIA Director (and now NBC News analyst).

In-Bred

A few things stand out about this august group. One is its in-bred quality. After helping to run an annual confab known as the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar, Dearlove and Halper are now partners in a private venture calling itself "The Cambridge Security Initiative." Both are connected to another London-based intelligence firm known as Hakluyt & Co. Halper is also connected via two books he wrote with Hakluyt representative Jonathan Clarke and Dearlove has a close personal friendship with Hakluyt founder Mike Reynolds, yet another MI6 vet. Alexander Downer served a half-dozen years on Hakluyt's international advisory board, while Andrew Wood is linked to Steele via Orbis Business Intelligence, the private research firm that Steele helped found, and which produced the anti-Trump dossier, and where Wood now serves as an unpaid advisor .

Everyone, in short, seems to know everyone else. But another thing that stands out about this group is its incompetence. Dearlove and Halper appear to be old-school paranoids for whom every Russian is a Boris Badenov or a Natasha Fatale . In February 2014, Halper notified US intelligence that Mike Flynn, Trump's future national security adviser, had grown overly chummy with an Anglo-Russian scholar named Svetlana Lokhova whom Halper suspected of being a spy – suspicions that Lokhova convincingly argues are absurd.

Halper: Infiltrated Trump campaign

In December 2016, Halper and Dearlove both resigned from the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar because they suspected that a company footing some of the costs was tied up with Russian intelligence – suspicions that Christopher Andrew, former chairman of the Cambridge history department and the seminar's founder, regards as " absurd " as well.

As head of Britain's foreign Secret Intelligence Service, as MI6 is formally known, Dearlove played a major role in drumming up support for the 2003 Anglo-American invasion of Iraq even while confessing at a secret Downing Street meeting that "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the [regime-change] policy." When the search for weapons of mass destruction turned up dry, Clapper, as then head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, argued that the Iraqi military must have smuggled them into neighboring Syria, a charge with absolutely no basis in fact but which helped pave the way for US regime-change efforts in that country too.

Brennan was meanwhile a high-level CIA official when the agency was fabricating evidence against Saddam Hussein and covering up Saudi Arabia's role in 9/11. Wood not only continues to defend the Iraqi invasion, but dismisses fears of a rising fascist tide in the Ukraine as nothing more than "a crude political insult" hurled by Vladimir Putin for his own political benefit. Such views now seem distressingly misguided in view of the alt-right torchlight parades and spiraling anti-Semitism that are now a regular feature of life in the Ukraine.

The result is a diplo-espionage gang that is very bad at the facts but very good at public manipulation – and which therefore decided to use its skill set out to create a public furor over alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

It Started Late 2015

The effort began in late 2015 when GCHQ, along with intelligence agencies in Poland, Estonia, and Germany, began monitoring what they said were " suspicious 'interactions' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents."

Since Trump was surging ahead in the polls and scaring the pants off the foreign-policy establishment by calling for a rapprochement with Moscow, the agencies figured that Russia was somehow behind it. The pace accelerated in March 2016 when a 30-year-old policy consultant named George Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign as a foreign-policy adviser. Traveling in Italy a week later, he ran into Mifsud, the London-based Maltese academic, who reportedly set about cultivating him after learning of his position with Trump. Mifsud claimed to have "substantial connections with Russian government officials," according to prosecutors. Over breakfast at a London hotel, he told Papadopoulos that he had just returned from Moscow where he had learned that the Russians had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails."

This was the remark that supposedly triggered an FBI investigation. The New York Times describes</