May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous
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
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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…
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
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
The Clinton Campaign Notices Sanders
There's been an attempt to downplay the Sanders candidacy since the beginning, to sink his campaign
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.
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
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.
First, when you expose yourself to any of the "liberal" U.S. outlets (as opposed to, say,
The Guardian) be aware that because they are owned by establishment corporations they're
already pro-Clinton. Subtly, not blatantly, but certainly.
That sounds like prejudice, so
let me explain. For one thing, neither the outlets nor their owning corporation can afford not
to prepare their seat at the Clinton White House table. It's just a fact. Media want access and
corporations want government to smile on their profit schemes. At this point, currying favor with
Sanders is on no one's mind, and the Clintons are known to "have long memories … they punish their
enemies and help their friends" (quoted
here). The incentives are all aligned.
But also, mainstream insider corporations are completely aligned with the insider game for
the obvious reason - they're part of it. No one inside the game wants to see it damaged. Hayes
and Maddow, as people, may or may not prefer Sanders over Clinton, but MSNBC has a clear favorite
and if you listen carefully and consistently, it shows. Their owners, and all of the other big
media owners, can't afford (literally afford, as in, there's major money at stake) to play this
one straight. You may find some unskewed reporting, but not a lot of it.
In the present instance, for example, I read the story above (click through for
all of it) as being pro-Clinton, and in fact, most stories like these will be painted that
way, with a light brush or a heavy one, for some time to come. If you don't spot this bias where
present, you're not reading the story as written.
In the same way that every New York Times story I read in the last two months, literally
every one, used the inaccurate and propagandistic phrase "pro-trade Democrats" to describe Ron
Wyden, Earl Blumenauer and the small handful of other Dems who defied their voters to support
the White House and the wealthy - in that same way you'll have a hard time finding mainstream
Sanders or Clinton coverage that doesn't in some way sell Clinton. If that's not a fact, I'll
be eager to be proven wrong.
Second, be aware that much so-called reporting is the result of "placement," a term
from advertising. Ad placement is when you buy space in a publication or media program into which
you can put your message. Campaigns, among other entities, frequently do the same with reporters.
The reporter offers space, a container, into which the campaign can put its message. (The reward
is usually "access.")
It's certainly true that many reporters and writers openly advocate;
I'm often one of them and I'm not alone. But no one suspects open advocates of trickery. It's
much more subtle, and dangerous for readers, when the advocacy is hidden, as it is in supposed
"straight news" articles.
In cases like these - certainly not all cases of reporting, but far too many - the reporter
doesn't "get" the news. The news "gets" the reporter. A campaign's messenger comes to the reporter,
offers the message, and the reporter builds a genuine and frequently interesting news story around
it, including research from other sources, but always starting with the seed provided by the campaign
or public official.
In the present instance, the article above, you should therefore ask:
Is it really true that the Clinton campaign just now discovered Sanders' popularity and
that he may be a threat?
Or could the following be true? That the Clinton campaign always knew a Warren-like opponent
could gain ground but were publicly ignoring it; now, however, it's time to appear to be noticing,
so they approached a reporter with their take on the Sanders surge.
In other words, is the bolded part of the first sentence of the article its seed? Who approached
whom? That first sentence again:
The ample crowds and unexpectedly strong showing by Senator Bernie Sanders are setting off
worry among advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton …
I don't have an answer to the bulleted questions above. Either could be correct. I'm a little
suspicious though. First, by the obvious but subtle bias in the story - similar to the constant
bias in all of the Times Fast Track reporting. Second, by the plurals above: "among
advisers and allies of Hillary Rodham Clinton." This isn't one person speaking, but
a coordinated effort by staffers and surrogates ("allies") to say a coordinated single thing to
the Times reporters.
Third, I'm made suspicious by this, a little further down:
"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's obvious messaging, especially in the last part of the paragraph. But look at the bolded
part. Of those in the campaign, the only ones quoted in the article by name are Clinton herself
and Jennifer Palmieri, who spoke, not to the reporters, but to "Morning Joe." Everyone else is
off the record, speaking to these reporters "on the condition of anonymity to candidly
share views about the race."
"Candidly" implies leaking, not messaging or spin, and here's where the deception seems more
clear. Have these reporters really found a minor army of leakers? If these are truly leakers,
expect them to be fired soon.
So, scenario one: Sanders is surging, the Clinton campaign is caught by surprise, and
two Times reporters find a bunch of anonymous campaign leakers who say (paraphrasing),
"Sure, Sanders caught us by surprise. We're aiming for one type of Democrat and he's getting the
other type. It's too early to change strategy - the man could trip and fall - but yes, there's
(Did you notice that part about two kinds of Democrat? The actual quote says: "We underestimated
that Sanders would quickly attract so many Democrats in Iowa who weren't likely to support Hillary."
I think the campaign knows exactly what kind of Democrat they were ignoring, and if you think
about it carefully, you will too.)
Or, scenario two: The Clinton campaign is ignoring the Warren wing, giving them nothing
but platitudes and (as in the case of Fast Track) avoidance. Now the "Sanders surge" is in the
news and the campaign has to respond. They get their message together - "Yes, we're surprised,
and we have to admit that out loud. But it's early days, and if we keep getting reporters to say
'socialist' and 'anathema,' we won't have to counter his specifics with our specifics. So let's
round up some reporters and get 'Morning Joe' on the phone."
Did the reference to "socialist" and "anathema" surprise you? Read on.
Finally, because of the two points above, you'll find that in many cases the story supports
the campaign, while justifying itself as "reporting." Both bolded pieces are important.
Let's look at each element above. First, "the story supports the campaign":
Those who see Mrs. Clinton as being at risk in Iowa say she is still far better positioned
to win the nomination than Mr. Sanders, who lags by double digits in Iowa polling. He also
has far less money than she does, and his socialist leanings are anathema to many
In the first sentence the campaign is being subtly and indirectly quoted. But the bolded phrases
above are pretty strong language in a sentence that isn't necessarily an indirect quote, and echoes
open Clinton surrogates like Claire McCaskill. Even "leanings" lends an unsavory color, since
it echoes the phrase "communist leanings."
(The alternative to the last sentence above, by the way, and much more honestly sourced, would
be something like this: "The anonymous campaign adviser also said, 'Frankly, we think if we just
keep saying 'socialist' whenever we can, we won't have to change our strategy of being vague on
the economic issues. At least we're sticking with that for now.'" I would buy that as excellent
Second, "justifying itself as reporting": Once you present the core message as provided by
the messengers, the reporter can then call around for other, non-Clinton-sourced comment. Thus
the quotes, much further down from Joe Trippi, Carter Eskew and the Sanders campaign.
Add in a little of the reporters' own analysis, much of it good:
"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
and you have the makings of a news story friendly to Clinton built around a news hook and potentially
"placed" elements. The hook, the "placed" elements (if they were placed), and some original analysis
go at the top, and the rest of the story is built to follow that.
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?
In the post by By Les Leopold, the director of the Labor Institute in New York
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).
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.
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.
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."
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.
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
Bernie does indeed expect society to feed the poor. And so should we.
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
-Paul broke with his party by voting against the PATRIOT Act in 2001
-Paul has spoken against the domestic surveillance program conducted by the National Security
Agency on American citizens
-cut the Department of Defense budget by total 15%; eliminate all foreign war funding
-Paul contends that prohibition of drugs is ineffective and advocates ending the War on
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
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.'
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.
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
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:
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
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
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?
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!
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
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.
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
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
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
"... 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. ..."
"... "The absence of effective state, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power," he explained. "The prime need to is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare that they should hold or exercise." ..."
"... Roosevelt was, however, conscious of the threats posed to the American experiment by the rapid consolidation wealth and power. And he knew that progressive taxation could be used to address those threats. ..."
"... The Democrats who seek to dislodge Donald Trump in 2020 will all need to make tax policy a priority. Republicans have for so long practiced reverse Robin Hood politics -- take from the poor and give to the rich -- that the promised Democrats make will be unobtainable without the infusion of revenues that comes from taxing the wealthy. Changing tax policy also infuses governing with democracy, as it dials down the influence of specially interested billionaires (such as the Koch brothers) and their corporations. ..."
"... Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America ..."
"... People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy ..."
What a Midwestern Presidential Candidate Learned From Marxist Intellectuals | The Nation
The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well
as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes."
That's what Teddy Roosevelt proposed in his agenda-setting
"New Nationalism" speech from
1910 , when he prodded the United States toward a fuller embrace of progressive reform. As a former president who was preparing
to again bid for the position, Roosevelt opened a conversation about tax policy in order to frame a broader debate about at least
some of the values that should guide American progress.
At the heart of Roosevelt's agenda was a specific form of taxation. While progressive taxation in a general sense was desirable
and necessary, Roosevelt was particularly enthusiastic about "another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective
-- a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size
of the estate."
Teddy Roosevelt, it should be noted, was a Republican who possessed considerable wealth of his own. He was a flawed figure who
let down the progressive cause at many turns and never matched the courageous domestic and foreign policy vision advanced by his
rival for leadership of the progressive movement, Wisconsin Senator Robert M. La Follette. But Roosevelt recognized that taxing inherited
wealth not merely to collect revenues but to preserve and extend democracy.
"One of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege." -- Teddy Roosevelt, 1910
"The absence of effective state, and, especially, national, restraint upon unfair money-getting has tended to create a small
class of enormously wealthy and economically powerful men, whose chief object is to hold and increase their power," he explained.
"The prime need to is to change the conditions which enable these men to accumulate power which it is not for the general welfare
that they should hold or exercise."
Roosevelt's critics may have characterized him as a radical, but he was never as radical (or as right) as La Follette. Roosevelt
was, however, conscious of the threats posed to the American experiment by the rapid consolidation wealth and power. And he knew
that progressive taxation could be used to address those threats.
Bernie Sanders knows this, as well. That's why Sanders is proposing a progressive estate tax on the fortunes of the top 0.2 percent
of Americans. The senator from Vermont's newly introduced "For the 99.8% Act" would collect $2.2 trillion from 588 billionaires.
"At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, when the three richest Americans own more wealth than 160 million Americans,
it is literally beyond belief that the Republican leadership wants to provide hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to
the top 0.2 percent," argues Sanders. "Our bill does what the American people want by substantially increasing the estate tax
on the wealthiest families in this country and dramatically reducing wealth inequality. From a moral, economic, and political
perspective our nation will not thrive when so few have so much and so many have so little."
Sanders is widely expected to bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. If he does so, Sanders will not be the only
contender with a bold plan to tax the rich.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren , for instance, has a plan to levy a 2 percent tax on the assets of wealthy Americans
with more than $50 million. From those with over $1 billion, she'd demand an additional 1 percent.
The Democrats who seek to dislodge Donald Trump in 2020 will all need to make tax policy a priority. Republicans have for so long
practiced reverse Robin Hood politics -- take from the poor and give to the rich -- that the promised Democrats make will be unobtainable
without the infusion of revenues that comes from taxing the wealthy. Changing tax policy also infuses governing with democracy, as
it dials down the influence of specially interested billionaires (such as the Koch brothers) and their corporations.
What is notable about the Sanders plan is that, with his proposal to establish a 77 percent tax on the value of an estate above
$1 billion, the senator is merely seeking "a return to the top rate from 1941 through 1976."
Sanders is proposing an approach that renews American values, as notes University of California–Berkeley economics professor Emmanuel
Saez. "The estate tax was a key pillar of the progressive tax revolution that the United States ushered one century ago. It prevented
self-made wealth from turning into inherited wealth and helped make America more equal," explains Saez. "However, the estate tax
is dying of neglect, as tax avoidance schemes are multiplying and left unchallenged. As wealth concentration is surging in the United
States, it is high time to revive the estate tax, plug the loopholes, and make it more progressive. Senator Sanders' bill is a bold
and welcome leap forward in this direction."
Teddy Roosevelt understood this economic calculus, and this democratic imperative.
"In every wise struggle for human betterment one of the main objects, and often the only object, has been to achieve in large
measure equality of opportunity. In the struggle for this great end, nations rise from barbarism to civilization, and through it
people press forward from one stage of enlightenment to the next," the Republican president
explained in 1910. "One
of the chief factors in progress is the destruction of special privilege. The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always
been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity,
which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive
The inimitable CN commenting system just ate my detailed reply to your question of who
else besides Gabbard has spoken up, and won't let me repost it. But the short version is that
Rep. Ilhan Omar came out with a decent statement, like
Rep. Ro Khanna hedged his bets by insulting Maduro while criticizing the coup attempt.
Saint Bernie came out with something that was two-thirds State Department talking points
followed by limp disapproval of U.S. sponsored coups in general. Classic Sanders.
Saint Alexandria doesn't want to talk about it.
As far as I know, everybody else is on board the regime-change express, enjoying the bar
Summary: Tulsi rocks.
KiwiAntz, February 12, 2019 at 7:04 am
Trump & his corrupt Administration with the Troika of morons such as Pompeo, Bolton & Abrams, are the most dangerous bunch
of idiots ever to be in power?
Hopelessly inept & out of his depth, Trump doesn't have a clue about Foreign Policy & his stupid Regime change
antics are going to blow up in his & his meddling Nations face!
This buffoonish Clown is really accelerating America's downfall & declining Hegemonic power & turning the World away from
the corrupt US Dollar, Petrodollar system with other Countries, actively moving away from this tyranny?
"... Much the same could have been said about the last days of the USSR, or for that matter the last phase of the 30 Years War or the Napoleonic Wars. As back then, so now: The old elite and new authoritarians actively crushing the new group, well, they are are actively crushing _themselves_ at an even greater rate than they are crushing the new group. ..."
"... Example: Decay of Democratic leadership -- which is now, apparently, two old crazy people, one of which has active dementia. Waiting in the wings we see various groups that hate each other and propose what is pretty clearly a loot and burn approach to governing the US. They vary only in whom they will loot and what they will burn. ..."
"... Example: Decay of the media, which now knows it is as ineffective as Russian propaganda towards the USSR's end, and apparently either doesn't care or is unable to change. ..."
"... If resource scarcity prompts armed response, well, humanity has enough shiny new weapons _and untried weapons technologies_ to produce destruction as surprising in its extent as WW I and WW II were for their times  (or as the self supporting tercio was during the 30 Years War). ..."
The third trend is the only place where hope can reside. This trend – what I have
previously ascribed to a group I call the "dissenters" – understands that radical new
thinking is required. But given that this group is being actively crushed by the old
liberal elite and the new authoritarians, it has little public and political space to
explore its ideas, to experiment, to collaborate, as it urgently needs to.
Much the same could have been said about the last days of the USSR, or for that matter
the last phase of the 30 Years War or the Napoleonic Wars. As back then, so now: The old
elite and new authoritarians actively crushing the new group, well, they are are actively
crushing _themselves_ at an even greater rate than they are crushing the new group.
Example: Decay of Democratic leadership -- which is now, apparently, two old crazy
people, one of which has active dementia. Waiting in the wings we see various groups that
hate each other and propose what is pretty clearly a loot and burn approach to governing the
US. They vary only in whom they will loot and what they will burn.
Example: Decay of the media, which now knows it is as ineffective as Russian
propaganda towards the USSR's end, and apparently either doesn't care or is unable to
Example: Reaction to yellow vests in France, which drew the reactions described in Cook's
article (at the root of this comment thread). "Back to your kennels, curs!" isn't effective
in situations like this, but it seems to be the only reply the EU has.
New groups take over when the old group has rotted away. At some point, Cook's third
alternative will be all that is left. The real question is what will be happening world wide
at that point. If resource scarcity prompts armed response, well, humanity has enough
shiny new weapons _and untried weapons technologies_ to produce destruction as surprising in
its extent as WW I and WW II were for their times  (or as the self supporting tercio was
during the 30 Years War).
1] To understand contemporary effect of WW I on survivors, think of a the survivors of a
group playing paintball who accidentally got hold of grenade launchers but somehow didn't
realize that until the game was over. WW II was actually worse -- people worldwide really
expected another industrialized war within 20 years (by AD 1965), this one fought with
"An aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly told insurance executives in
private not to worry about Democrats' push for "Medicare for All." (The Intercept)"
Ryan Grim...February 5 2019...6:00 a.m.
"Less than a month after Democrats -- many of them running on "Medicare for All" -- won
back control of the House of Representatives in November, the top health policy aide to
then-prospective House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Blue Cross Blue Shield executives and
assured them that party leadership had strong reservations about single-payer health care and
was more focused on lowering drug prices, according to sources familiar with the meeting.
Pelosi adviser Wendell Primus detailed five objections to Medicare for All and said that
Democrats would be allies to the insurance industry in the fight against single-payer health
care. Primus pitched the insurers on supporting Democrats on efforts to shrink drug prices,
specifically by backing a number of measures that the pharmaceutical lobby is opposing.
Primus, in a slide presentation obtained by The Intercept, criticized single payer on the
basis of cost ("Monies are needed for other priorities"), opposition ("Stakeholders are
against; Creates winners and losers"), and "implementation challenges." We have recreated the
slides for source protection purposes.
Democrats, Primus said, are united around the concept of universal coverage, but see
strengthening the Affordable Care Act as the means to that end. He made his presentation to
the Blue Cross executives on December 4..."...
Personally, I am aghast. The Congress critters are in bed with the medical monopolies. One
example, among many:
The congressional endorsement of the ban on the importation of less expensive drugs,
claimed as a matter of safety, is a travesty. In the last several months, I have had two of
the drugs I take daily, recalled because the Chinese manufacturers shipped the drugs with a
measurable concentration of a known carcinogen in them. Safety, my aching ......
Democrats in action on health care include Max Baucus,Tom Daschle, and most infamously, Billy
"Two months before resigning as chair of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce,
which oversees the drug industry, Tauzin had played a key role in shepherding through
Congress the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill. Democrats said that the bill was "a give-away
to the drugmakers" because it prohibited the government from negotiating lower drug prices
and bans the importation of identical, cheaper, drugs from Canada and elsewhere. The Veterans
Affairs agency, which can negotiate drug prices, pays much less than Medicare does. The bill
was passed in an unusual congressional session at 3 a.m. under heavy pressure from the drug
As head of PhRMA, Tauzin was a key player in 2009 health care reform negotiations that
produced pharmaceutical industry support for White House and Senate efforts.
Tauzin received $11.6 million from PhRMA in 2010, making him the highest-paid health-law
lobbyist. Tauzin now is on the Board of Directors at Louisiana Healthcare Group. "
"Advocate groups attended a Senate Finance Committee meeting in May 2009 to protest their
exclusion as well as statements by Baucus that "single payer was not an option on the table."
Baucus later had eight protesters removed by police who arrested them for disrupting the
hearing. Many of the single-payer advocates said it was a "pay to play" event. A
representative of the Business Roundtable, which includes 35 memberships of health
maintenance organizations, health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, admitted that other
countries, with lower health costs, and higher quality of care, such as those with
single-payer systems, have a competitive advantage over the United States with its private
At the next meeting on health care reform of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus had five
more doctors and nurses removed and arrested. Baucus admitted a few weeks later
in June 2009 that it was a mistake to rule out a single payer plan because doing so
alienated a large, vocal constituency and left President Barack Obama's proposal of a public
health plan to compete with private insurers as the most liberal position.
Baucus has used the term "uniquely American solution" to describe the end point of current
health reform and has said that he believes America is not ready yet for any form of single
payer health care. This is the same term the insurance trade association, America's Health
Insurance Plans (AHIP), is using. AHIP has launched the Campaign for an American Solution,
which argues for the use of private health insurance instead of a government backed
"Daschle co-wrote the 2008 book Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis ISBN
9780312383015. He and his co-authors point out that "most of the world's highest-ranking
health-care systems employ some kind of 'single-payer' strategy - that is, the government,
directly or through insurers, is responsible for paying doctors, hospitals, and other
health-care providers." They argue that a single-payer approach is simple, equitable,
provides everyone with the same benefits, and saves billions of dollars through economies of
scale and simplified administration. They concede that implementing a single-payer system in
the United States would be "politically problematic" even though some polls show more
satisfaction with the single-payer Medicare system than private insurance."
Health care giant Aetna will be the first official client for the former Democratic
leader, who's now running his own consulting shop within the law firm Baker Donelson. Daschle
will lobby for the health insurer on Obamacare implementation and Medicare and Medicaid rule
changes, according to a filing with the Senate Secretary.
"For fifteen years, Tauzin was one of the more Conservative Democrats in the United States
House of Representatives. Even though he eventually rose to become an assistant majority
whip, he felt shut out by some of his more liberal colleagues and sometimes had to ask the
Republicans for floor time. When the Democrats lost control of the House after the 1994
elections, Tauzin was one of the cofounders of the House Blue Dog Coalition, a group of
However, on August 8, 1995, Tauzin himself became a Republican"
"... Voters by the millions dislike our cozying up to Wall Street, our hopelessly out-of-touch elitism, our support for never-ending military entanglements, our blindness to the plight of rural communities decimated by globalization, and our failure to expand opportunities for American workers. So what are we going to do about it? Well, after taking all this into account, after taking a good hard look at ourselves and doing some serious soul-searching, I'm pleased to announce that .... Democrats will continue to run on the same set of platitudes we've been trotting out since at least the 1990s. ..."
If last year's election showed us anything, it's that anger and resentment are on the rise.
I hear it from small business owners and working-class families, from millennials and retirees.
There's a sense that we've lost our way, and that the blame rests squarely on our nation's
leadership. Simply put, Americans are sick of being patronized and sick of the same old ideas
that we, as Democrats, are going to keep offering them over and over and over again.
The frustration is palpable. People are fed up with the status quo. Citizens from all walks
of life are sitting around their dinner tables, talking about how they've had it with all the
usual proposals that, once more, we will be repackaging and spoon-feeding to them in a way
that's entirely transparent and frankly condescending.
That's something every American can count on.
It's no wonder voters are furious. Politics-as-usual has failed them, and they desperately
want change that the Democratic Party has no plan to bring about in any meaningful way. But let
me assure you, when our constituents tell us they've had enough broken promises, when they say
our actions haven't addressed their needs, we listen. We hear your concerns -- hear them loud
and clear -- then immediately discard them and revert back to the exact same ineffectual
strategies we've been rallying behind for years.
It doesn't take a genius to see what the polls are telling us. Voters by the millions
dislike our cozying up to Wall Street, our hopelessly out-of-touch elitism, our support for
never-ending military entanglements, our blindness to the plight of rural communities decimated
by globalization, and our failure to expand opportunities for American workers. So what are we
going to do about it? Well, after taking all this into account, after taking a good hard look
at ourselves and doing some serious soul-searching, I'm pleased to announce that .... Democrats
will continue to run on the same set of platitudes we've been trotting out since at least the
If Trump runs of the defense of neoliberalism platform he will lose. But Trump proved to be a bad, superficial politician,
Republican Obama so to speak, so he may take this advice from his entourage. Trump proved to be a puppet of MIC and
Israel, his tax cuts had shown that he is a regular "trickle down" neoliberal. So he attraction to voters is down
Polling is unambiguous here. If you define the "center" as a position
somewhere between those of the two parties, when it comes to economic issues the public is overwhelmingly left of center; if anything,
it's to the left of the Democrats. Tax cuts for the rich are the G.O.P.'s defining policy, but two-thirds of voters believe that taxes
on the rich are actually too low, while only 7 percent believe that they're too high. Voters support Elizabeth Warren's proposed tax
on large fortunes by a three-to-one majority. Only a small minority want to see cuts in Medicaid, even though such cuts have been central
to every G.O.P. health care proposal in recent years.
"... Insiders have suggested that Trump plans to explicitly run against socialism in 2020. In fact, in playing up the dangers of socialism, he may be positioning himself to run against Bernie Sanders in 2020. ..."
"... Sanders's rebuttal to Trump's address gave us a preview of how he plans to respond to the mounting attacks on socialism from the Right. President Trump said tonight, quote, "We are born free, and we will stay free," end of quote. Well I say to President Trump, people are not truly free when they can't afford to go to the doctor when they are sick. People are not truly free when they cannot afford to buy the prescription drugs they desperately need. People are not truly free when they are unable to retire with dignity. People are not truly free when they are exhausted because they are working longer and longer hours for lower wages. People are not truly free when they cannot afford a decent place in which to live. People certainly are not free when they cannot afford to feed their families. ..."
"... As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said in 1968, and I quote, "This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor." What Dr. King said then was true, and it is true today, and it remains absolutely unacceptable. ..."
"... In essence what we're seeing here is Bernie Sanders challenging the popular equation of capitalism with democracy and freedom. This is the same point Bernie has been making for decades. "People have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech," he said in 1976. This Cold War dogma swept the pervasive reality of capitalist unfreedom - from the bondage of poverty to the perversions of formal democracy under the pressure of a dominant economic class - under the rug. In a 1986 interview, Bernie elaborated: ..."
"... All that socialism means to me, to be very frank with you, is democracy with a small "d." I believe in democracy, and by democracy I mean that, to as great an extent as possible, human beings have the right to control their own lives. And that means that you cannot separate the political structure from the economic structure. One has to be an idiot to believe that the average working person who's making $10,000 or $12,000 a year is equal in political power to somebody who is the head of a large bank or corporation. So, if you believe in political democracy, if you believe in equality, you have to believe in economic democracy as well. ..."
"... The rise of neoliberalism and the fall of the Soviet Union relieved the capitalist state's elite of the need to keep shoring up the equation between capitalism and freedom. Capitalists and their ideology had triumphed, hegemony was theirs, and socialism was no real threat, a foggy memory of a distant era. But forty years of stagnating wages, rising living costs, and intermittent chaos caused by capitalist economic crisis remade the world - slowly, and then all at once. When Bernie Sanders finally took socialist class politics to the national stage three years ago, people were willing to listen. ..."
Trump Is Right to Be Afraid of Socialism
BY MEAGAN DAY
... I think he's scared," said Ocasio-Cortez of Trump's socialism remarks. "He sees that everything is closing in on him. And
he knows he's losing the battle of public opinion when it comes to the actual substantive proposals that we're advancing to the
public." Given the remarkable popularity of proposals like Bernie's Medicare for All and tuition-free college and Ocasio-Cortez's
70 percent top marginal tax rate, she's probably onto something.
Insiders have suggested that Trump plans to explicitly
run against socialism in 2020. In fact, in playing up the dangers of socialism, he may be positioning himself to run against Bernie
Sanders in 2020. That would be a smart move, since Bernie is the most popular politician in America and could very well be
Trump's direct contender in the general election, if he can successfully dodge attacks from the establishment wing of the Democratic
Party in the primary.
Sanders's rebuttal to Trump's address gave us a preview of how he plans to respond to the mounting attacks on socialism
from the Right. President Trump said tonight, quote, "We are born free, and we will stay free," end of quote. Well I say to President
Trump, people are not truly free when they can't afford to go to the doctor when they are sick. People are not truly free when
they cannot afford to buy the prescription drugs they desperately need. People are not truly free when they are unable to retire
with dignity. People are not truly free when they are exhausted because they are working longer and longer hours for lower wages.
People are not truly free when they cannot afford a decent place in which to live. People certainly are not free when they cannot
afford to feed their families.
As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said in 1968, and I quote, "This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism
for the poor." What Dr. King said then was true, and it is true today, and it remains absolutely unacceptable.
In essence what we're seeing here is Bernie Sanders challenging the popular equation of capitalism with democracy and freedom.
This is the same point Bernie has been making for decades. "People have been brainwashed into thinking socialism automatically
means slave-labor camps, dictatorship and lack of freedom of speech," he said in 1976. This Cold War dogma swept the pervasive
reality of capitalist unfreedom - from the bondage of poverty to the perversions of formal democracy under the pressure of a dominant
economic class - under the rug. In a 1986 interview, Bernie elaborated:
All that socialism means to me, to be very frank with you, is democracy with a small "d." I believe in democracy, and by
democracy I mean that, to as great an extent as possible, human beings have the right to control their own lives. And that means
that you cannot separate the political structure from the economic structure. One has to be an idiot to believe that the average
working person who's making $10,000 or $12,000 a year is equal in political power to somebody who is the head of a large bank
or corporation. So, if you believe in political democracy, if you believe in equality, you have to believe in economic democracy
For more than four decades, Bernie made these points to relatively small audiences. In 2016, everything changed, and he now
makes them to an audience of millions.
The rise of neoliberalism and the fall of the Soviet Union relieved the capitalist state's elite of the need to keep shoring
up the equation between capitalism and freedom. Capitalists and their ideology had triumphed, hegemony was theirs, and socialism
was no real threat, a foggy memory of a distant era. But forty years of stagnating wages, rising living costs, and intermittent
chaos caused by capitalist economic crisis remade the world - slowly, and then all at once. When Bernie Sanders finally took socialist
class politics to the national stage three years ago, people were willing to listen.
Bernie has been so successful at changing the conversation that the President now feels obligated to regurgitate Cold War nostrums
about socialism and unfreedom to a new generation.
Good, let him. Each apocalyptic admonition is an opportunity for Bernie, and the rest of us socialists, to articulate a different
perspective, one in which freedom and democracy are elusive at present but achievable through a society-wide commitment to economic
and social equality. We will only escape "coercion, domination, and control" when we structure society to prioritize the well-being
of the many over the desires of the greedy few.
Mr. Bill said in reply to anne... February 06, 2019 at 03:29 PM
A lot of the opinion part of what Paul Krugman says, in this article, maybe, doesn't ring quite true, although I don't dispute
Poll after poll show that 75% of us agree on 80% of the issues, regardless of which political tribe we identify with.
I tend to think that the real problem is that neither the GOP, which represents the top 1% of the economically comfortable, nor the
Democrats who represent the top 10%, are representative of the majority of Americans.
Frantically trying to slice and dice the electorate into questionably accurate tranches, ignores the elephant in the room, Paul.
By the patrician men and women administrators, posturing as soldiers like the WW2 army, lie
for self profit. Why does anyone believe them ? Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, each an economic
decision, rather than a security issue.
Capitalists need their options regulated and their markets ripped from their control by the
state. Profits must be subject to use it to a social purpose or heavily taxed. Dividends
executive comp and interest payments included
Well done! Much clearer than your usual. There are several distinct motivations for taxes. We
have been far enough from fairness to workers, for so long, that we need to use the tax
system to redistribute the accumulated wealth of the plutocrats.
So I would say high marginal rates are a priority, which matches both objectives. Wealth
tax is needed until we reverse the massive inequality supported by the policies of the last
Carbon tax and the like are a different thing, use of the tax code to promote a particular
policy and reduce damage to the commons.
"...we need to use the tax system to redistribute the accumulated wealth of the plutocrats.
So I would say high marginal rates are a priority..."
Forgive me, but high marginal rates (which I hugely favor) don't "redistribute the
accumulated wealth" of the plutocrats. If such high marginal rates are ever enacted, they'll
apply only to the current income of such plutocrats.
Didn't mean to misinterpret what you were saying, sorry. High rates are not only "a
prerequisite to prevent the reaccumulation of obscene wealth," they are also a reimposition
of fair taxation on current income (if it ever happens, of course).
Wealth tax is needed until we reverse the massive inequality supported by the policies of the
last 40 years. Carbon tax and the like are a different thing, use of the tax code to promote
a particular policy and reduce damage to the commons.
more wisdom as usual!
Although wealth tax will be unlikely, it could be a stopgap; could also be a guideline to
other taxes as well. for example, Elizabeth points out that billionaires pay about 3% of
their net worth into their annual tax bill whereas workers pay about 7% of their net worth
into their annual tax bill. Do you see how that works?
it doesn't? this Warren argument gives us a guideline. it shows us where other taxes
should be adjusted to even out this percentage of net worth that people are taxed for. Ceu,
during the last meltdown 10 years or so ago, We were collecting more tax from the payroll
than we were from the income tax. this phenomenon was a heavy burden on those of low net
worth. All this needs be resorted. we've got to sort this out.
and the carbon tax? may never be; but it indicates to us what needs to be done to make
this country more efficient. for example some folks, are spending half a million dollars on
the Maybach automobile, about the same amount on a Ferrari or a Alfa Romeo Julia
quadrifoglio, but the roads are built for a mere 40 miles an hour, full of potholes.
What good is it to own a fast car like that when you can't drive but 40 -- 50 miles an
hour? and full of traffic jams. something is wrong with taxation incentives. we need to get a
better grid-work of roads that will get people there faster.
Meanwhile most of those sports cars just sitting in the garage. we need a comprehensive
integrated grid-work of one way streets, roads, highways, and interstates with no traffic
lights, no stop signs; merely freeflow ramp-off overpass interchanges.
Jesus Christ said, in so many words, that a man's worth will be judged by his generosity and
" 24And the disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children,
how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to pass through the
eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 26They were even more
astonished and said to one another, "Who then can be saved?"
"People on the left that identify as Democratic socialist, the left that supports Sanders or
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for them, Bernie got robbed in 2016," said Michael Kazin, the
Georgetown University historian and co-editor of Dissent. "They think the
Establishment is always looking for someone to go against Bernie -- to run against progressives
in the party and stop them from being ascendant. I think they are suspicious of Beto because he
has taken oil and gas money, he's becoming the darling of big donors, and Obama likes him."
Being liked by Obama, who won two presidential elections and left office with an 90
percent favorable rating among Democrats, might not seem like a disadvantage in a
Democratic primary. But to many on the left, Obama's sins are plentiful: he bailed out Wall
Street, half-assed the stimulus package and health-care reform, deported more undocumented
immigrants than any president, and prosecuted drone warfare that left piles of civilian
casualties across the Middle East. What especially chafes Sanders-style progressives is that
Obama cloaked a centrist neoliberal agenda in a soaring, feel-good rhetoric that charmed voters
and made them forget about all the bad stuff.
Obama was cool. So is O'Rourke. The lines, then, are quickly being drawn: Beto is just a
Davos Democrat on a skateboard.
"I'm not sure we need another Obama, or another of any Democrat we've had recently,"
Elizabeth Bruenig recently
wrote in The Washington Post, urging caution before Democrats rush to O'Rourke's
corner. "I think the times both call for and allow for a left-populist candidate with
uncompromising progressive principles. I don't see that in O'Rourke." She labeled O'Rourke
"progressive-ish," pointing to his "thin" statements on energy regulation and his membership in
the New Democrat Coalition, "a centrist caucus with Clintonian views on health care, education,
Taming of financial oligarchy and restoration of the job market at the expense of outsourcing and offshoring is required in the
USA and gradually getting support. At least a return to key elements of the New Deal should be in the cards. But Clinton wing of Dems
is beong redemption. They are Wall Street puddles. all of the them.
Issues like Medicare for All, Free College, Restoring Glass Steagall, Ending Citizen's United/Campaign finance reform, federal jobs
guarantee, criminal justice reform, all poll extremely well among the american populace
If even such a neoliberal pro globalization, corporations controlled media source as Guardian views centrist neoliberal Democrats
like Booker unelectable, the situation in the next elections might be interesting.
"... Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin ..."
"... 2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy. ..."
In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic
party. Booker ,
Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of Medicare for All and universal childcare.
Gillibrand, long considered a moderate, has even gone as far as to endorse abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice)
and, along with Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders' single-payer healthcare bill. Harris has also backed universal healthcare and free college
tuition for most Americans.
But outward appearances aren't everything. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand have been making a very different pitch of late -- on
Wall Street. According to
CNBC , all three potential candidates have been reaching out to financial executives lately, including Blackstone's Jonathan
Gray, Robert Wolf from 32 Advisors and the Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly.
Wall Street, after all, played an important role getting the senators where they are today. During his 2014 Senate run, in which
just 7% of his contributions came from small donors, Booker raised $2.2m from the securities and investment industry. Harris and
Gillibrand weren't far behind in 2018, and even the progressive Democrat Sherrod Brown has solicited donations from Gallogly and
other powerful executives.
When CNBC's story about
Gillibrand personally working the phones to woo Wall Street executives came out, her team responded defensively, noting her support
for financial regulation and promising that if she did run she would take "no corporate Pac money". But what's most telling isn't
that Gillibrand and others want Wall Street's money, it's that they want the blessings of financial CEOs. Even if she doesn't take
their contributions, she's signaling that she's just playing politics with populist rhetoric. That will allow capitalists to focus
their attention on candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who have shown a real willingness to abandon the traditional
coziness of the Democratic party with the finance, insurance and real estate industries.
Gillibrand and others are behaving perfectly rationally. The last presidential election cost $6.6bn -- advertising, staff and
conventions are expensive. But even more important than that, they know that while leftwing stances might help win Democratic primaries,
the path of least resistance in the general election is capitulation to the big forces of capital that run this country. Those elites
might allow some progressive tinkering on the margins, but nothing that challenges the inequities that keep them wealthy and their
Big business is likely to bet heavily on the Democratic party in 2020, maybe even more so than it did in 2016. In normal circumstances,
the Democratic party is the second-favorite party of capital; with an erratic Trump around, it is often the first.
The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections. We don't have a labor-backed social democratic party that could
create barriers to avoid capture by monied interests. It's telling that when asked about the former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper's
recent chats with Wall Street political financiers, a staff member told CNBC: "We meet with a wide range of donors with shared values
Plenty of Democratic leaders believe in the neoliberal growth model. Many have gotten personally wealthy off of it. Others think
there is no alternative to allying with finance and then trying to create progressive social policy on the margins. But with sentiments
like that, it doesn't take fake news to convince working-class Americans that
Democrats don't really have their interests at heart.
Of course, the Democratic party isn't a monolith. But the insurgency waged by newly elected representatives such as the democratic
socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and others is still in its infancy. At this stage, it isn't going to
scare capital away from the Democratic party, it's going to make Wall Street invest more heavily to maintain its stake in it.
Men like Mark Gallogly know who their real enemy is: more than anyone else, the establishment is wary of
Bernie Sanders . It seems likely that he will run
for president, but he's been dismissed as a 2020 frontrunner despite his high favorability rates, name recognition, small-donor fundraising
ability, appeal to independent voters, and his team's experience running a competitive national campaign. As 2019 goes on, that dismissal
will morph into all-out war.
Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats gaining power. It's afraid of the Democrats who will take them on -- and those,
unfortunately, are few and far between.
Bhaskar Sunkara is a Guardian US columnist and the founding editor of Jacobin
Just like universal health care, let's give up, it's too hard, we're not winners, we're not number one or problem solvers
and besides, someone at some time for some reason might get something that someone else might not get regardless if that someone
else needs it. Let's go with the Berners who seem to believe there will never be none so pure enough to become president.
The corporate state does not cast the votes. The public does.
Leaning farther to the left on issues like universal healthcare and foreign wars would be agreeing with the public. Not only
the progressive public, but the GENERAL public. The big money donors are the ONLY force against the Democrats resisting these
2016 has shown that the Democratic party is beyond redemption. When it comes down to the choice of either win with a platform
that may impact the wealth and power of their owners, or losing, they will always choose the latter, and continue as useful (and
well paid) idiots in the charade presented as US democracy.
Bernie's challenge will "morph into all-out war". "Wall Street isn't afraid of corporate Democrats", blah, blah, blah. But we're
going to continue to play along? Why? Oh yeah, Bhaskar Sunkara will have us believe "There is no alternative". Remember TINA?
Give it up, man, just give it up.
One dollar, one vote.
If you want Change, keep it in your pocket.
We can't turn this sinking ship around unless we know what direction it's going. So far, that direction is just delivering money
to private islands.
Democrats have a lot of talk, but they still want to drive the nice cars and sell the same crapft that the Republicans are.
Taxing the rich only works when you worship the rich in the first place.
Election financing is the single root cause for our democracy's failure. Period.
I really don't care too much about the mouthing of progressive platitudes from any 2020 Dem Prez candidate. The only ones that
will be worth voting for are the ones that sign onto Sanders' (or similar) legislation that calls for a Constitutional amendment
that allows federal and state governments to limit campaign contributions.
And past committee votes to prevent amendment legislation from getting to a floor vote - as well as missed co-sponsorship opportunities
- should be interesting history for all the candidates to explain.
Campaign financing is what keeps scum entrenched (because primary challengers can't overcome the streams of bribes from those
wonderful people exercising their 'free speech' "rights" to keep their puppet in govt) and prevents any challenges to the corporate
establishment who serve the same rich masters.
Lol, Social Security, Medicare, unemployement protections, so many of the things you mentioned, and so much more, were from the
PROGRESSIVE New Deal, which managed to implement this slew of changes in 5 years! 5 years! You can't criticize "progressives"
in one sentence and then use their accomplishments to support your argument. Today, the New Deal would be considered too far left
by most so called "pragmatic liberals." I assume you are getting fully behind the proposed "Green New Deal" then, right?
Nobody is going to get elected on a far left platform. Not in the USA and not anywhere. That's just a fact. And everybody
is going to need $$$ in the campaign. Of course candidates are going to suck up to Wall street and business in general.
And we would have been a thousand percent better off with HRC in the white house than we are now with the Trumpostor.
We don't need a candidate with far-left platform, we need one that is left-leaning at all. HRC and her next generation of clones
are mild Republicans.
Those who want to push the Democrats to the left in order to win perhaps need to stop talking to each other and talk to
people who live outside of LA and NY. If you stay within your bubble it seems the whole world thinks like you.
How old will Sanders be in 2020?
The people (outside the coasts) lean to the left some big issues. Medicare for all. Foreign wars. etc.
A sane person might ask why in the hell the left-side party is leaning farther to the right than the general public.
Sanders is a dinosaur. If there is a reason for Wall Street to be wary of him then it is that the mentally challenged orange
guy may win another term if the Democrats run with Sanders.
Hopefully, Sanders will understand what many of his supporters do not want to see: At some time age becomes a problem. If
the Democrats decide to move to the left rather than pursuing a pragmatic centrist approach, Ocasio-Cortez might be an option.
If they opt for the centrist alternative, it might be Harris or Gillibrand. Or, in both cases, a surprise candidate. But Sanders'
time is over, just as Biden's Bloomberg's.
It's true, but Trump is such a clusterfuck that an 80yo president is still be a better situation. Many countries have had rulers
in their 80s at one time or another.
Trump is clearly showing early-stage dementia now. Compare footage of him 10+ years ago to anything within the last 6-12 months
and it's obvious. The stress levels of being the POTUS + blackmailed by Putin + investigations bearing down on him . . . it's
wearing him down fast.
Anti-trust would be a very good place to start with.
Universal healthcare is a lot harder than you seem to think. I'd love it, but getting there means putting so many people out
of work, it'll be a massive political challenge, even if corporations have no influence. Progressives might be better off focusing
on how to ensure the existing system works better and Medicaid can slowly expand to fill the universal roll in the future.
Where has offering candidates who actually have a chance to win gotten us? Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the ADA, Title
9, Social Security, and more. None of these exist without constant changes. All took years to pass against heavy opposition. None
went far enough. All were improvements.
The list of wrongheaded things that were also passed is longer but thinking nothing changes because it takes time is faulty
Nancy Pelosi is worth several hundred million dollars. I don't think she's a Marxist in
the classical sense. Although she would fit the classic Soviet politburo member with their
private dachas on the Black Sea. I would argue she and her ilk across both parties have
enabled massive market concentration across many many sectors just in the past 4 decades.
They're elitists who back an oligarchy of their fellow elitists. They are the basis for the
symbiotic relationship between Big Business and Big Government. As Steve Bannon calls them,
they're the Party of Davos. IMO, the only difference between the two parties are their
rhetoric. Both of course engage in identity politics with the Democrats focused on the SJW
virtue signaling while the Republicans have for decades channeled the evangelicals.
Trump is an outsider. They consider him to be an uncouth nouveau riche. And are appalled
that his media savvy upended their Borg candidates. Nancy believes she is now the
opposition leader with the mandate from the Party of Davos to ensure the defeat of
Trump. This brouhaha over SOTU is just the first skirmish. I wouldn't underestimate
Trump in these media centered battles. While the corporate media who as Bannon calls the
opposition party creates the perception of a Trump administration in chaos, the Deplorables
are still backing him. His approval rating at this midway point in his presidency is no worse
than Obama and even GOP megagod Reagan. It's the reaction of the people from the heartland
when he served the Clemson team Big Macs and fries compared to the derisive commentary of the
McConnell is also a card carrying member of the Party of Davos or else he would have
jumped to invite Trump to speak from the Senate. But Trump's shtick is the people's leader.
So he should speak from a heartland location. Your suggestion is a good one. Another could be
a cornfield in Iowa, the first primary state where all the Democrats presidential contenders
will be camping out soon.
"... Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason. ..."
Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play
up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the
Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage
Bernie Sanders is widely considered by many to be one of the most popular American
politicians, more than Trump and certainly more popular than Hillary. I think an interesting
phenomenon to notice is the lengths the GOP, in particular, will go to in order to convince
the average voter that anything that cuts taxes is inherently good for the 'little guy,'
while anything that raises taxes is bad.
Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of
the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the
deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that
many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason.
As usual, the pledge ultimately never changes, New jobs and No increase in taxes. Americans
love tag lines even though our infrastructure, poor education et al is the result of fear of
taxation. Both parties use the same tag line, we certainly get what we pay for.
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic
conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.
The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.
The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big
factor in our 2016 loss. Even voters too ignorant to see Trump for what he really was -
voters that are misinformed to the point that they unwittingly and continually vote against
their own best interests - realized how much the Dems have sold out to Wall Street.
HRC would have been nominated in '08 if she had kissed more Wall Street you-know-what.
That's why they anointed Obama who then proceeded to squander eight years of opportunity to
remove big money from politics and enact progressive reforms to health care, the environment,
Bernie is a bit long in the tooth, so I am all in for Liz Warren. She's the only one with
both the courage and the intelligence to take on the big money that controls our
Therefore, you can expect the Russian trolls to be coming for her in force. If you read
anything negative about Warren in the coming months, check the source and don't trust the
The party has circled its wagons.
They insist that the Evil Vlad stole the last election.
Therefore, no need to examine Obama's centrist/neoliberal policies and the socio-economic
conditions that fueled the rejection of Hillary.
We're doomed to repeat our errors.
The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo.
This is the realistic perspective we have to adopt in the US: the Democratic establishment
is part of the neoliberal machinery that has generated Bush's wars, Obama's bank bailouts,
deportations, and drone executions, and now Trump's anti-democratic populism.
"... Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly stayed on-message. ..."
In regards to the Hillary v Bernie question, it also didn't help that the primary vote was
wildly skewed by so-called 'superdelegates,' who don't actually commit their votes until the
DNC convention, but were being counted by the media as having already voted for Hillary,
which made it appear to many of the uninformed that Bernie didn't have any chance of winning,
which may have been intended to keep Bernie supporters home on primary day under the
assumption that Hillary was unbeatable.
Didn't help that the ostensibly neutral DNC was sending emails saying that they should play
up Bernie Sanders' Jewish faith (among other attack strategies), fed debate questions to the
Clinton campaign or tried to limit opportunities for Bernie and Hillary to share a stage
Bernie Sanders is widely considered by many to be one of the most popular American
politicians, more than Trump and certainly more popular than Hillary. I think an interesting
phenomenon to notice is the lengths the GOP, in particular, will go to in order to convince
the average voter that anything that cuts taxes is inherently good for the 'little guy,'
while anything that raises taxes is bad. Trump's recent tax cuts are a good example. Most of
the actual cuts go toward the corporations and ultra-wealthy, which just increases the
deficit while shifting the proportion of taxes paid onto the middle class. It's a con that
many Americans are inexplicably susceptible to believing, for some reason.
Bernie's bid was crushed by Clinton's superdelegates. No amount of throwing money against him
in the direct sense was doing any good. He took popular positions on issues and stubbornly
If he can only succeed in a positive environment then there's not much hope for him, he needs to be able to fight and prove
he's got what it takes. As it is I'm not sure he's got it.
That's not what I said at all and you know it.
Last time, the only stories that the NYTimes and (mostly) the Guardian could manage to run were Bernie-negative
stories. The NYTimes has already begun the exact same campaign for the 2020 cycle. By comparison, the Guardian
has been providing balanced Bernie coverage.
Do not count on the mainstream media to support him. They're already hard at work smearing him and he hasn't even announced yet.
Half the time they dont even mention him as being a likely contender. It's Biden all day, all night. Might as well be Hillary
Expect 2020 to be quite contentious, possibly even more than 2016. That just means as a supporter of Bernie you'll have to
work twice, maybe three times as hard. The corporate media is going to suppress and challenge him as much as possible. They don't
even mask it anymore.
Surely, many will comment that Democrats have no choice but to take the money in order to be
competitive. I have one truism for such folks to ponder: Why would you trust your allegiance
to those who don't care if you win?
Basic logic: rich people win the general election either way, so long as the
primary-winning Democrat is in their pocket (the GOP is always on their side). So this
monetary affection is certainly more about fixing an no-lose general than it is about ousting
Trump, or any Republican.
"As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More
Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans" [Glenn Greenwald, T
he Intercept ].
'But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support
for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents
overwhelming favor their removal.
The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support
withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support
withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent."
Those of you who followed my midterms worksheets will recall that the liberal Democrat
establishment packed the ballot with MILOs (candidates with Military, Intelligence, and Law
enforcement backgrounds, or Other things, like being a DA), preparing the way for further
militarization of the Party, and ultimately for war.
Voters around the world revolt against leaders who won't improve their lives.
Newly-elected Utah senator Mitt Romney kicked off 2019 with an op-ed in the Washington Post
that savaged Donald Trump's character and leadership. Romney's attack and Trump's response
Wednesday morning on Twitter are the latest salvos in a longstanding personal feud between the
two men. It's even possible that Romney is planning to challenge Trump for the Republican
nomination in 2020. We'll see.
But for now, Romney's piece is fascinating on its own terms. It's well-worth reading. It's a
window into how the people in charge, in both parties, see our country.
Romney's main complaint in the piece is that Donald Trump is a mercurial and divisive
leader. That's true, of course. But beneath the personal slights, Romney has a policy critique
of Trump. He seems genuinely angry that Trump might pull American troops out of the Syrian
civil war. Romney doesn't explain how staying in Syria would benefit America. He doesn't appear
to consider that a relevant question. More policing in the Middle East is always better. We
know that. Virtually everyone in Washington agrees.
Corporate tax cuts are also popular in Washington, and Romney is strongly on board with
those, too. His piece throws a rare compliment to Trump for cutting the corporate rate a year
That's not surprising. Romney spent the bulk of his business career at a firm called Bain
Capital. Bain Capital all but invented what is now a familiar business strategy: Take over an
existing company for a short period of time, cut costs by firing employees, run up the debt,
extract the wealth, and move on, sometimes leaving retirees without their earned pensions.
Romney became fantastically rich doing this.
Meanwhile, a remarkable number of the companies are now bankrupt or extinct. This is the
private equity model. Our ruling class sees nothing wrong with it. It's how they run the
Mitt Romney refers to unwavering support for a finance-based economy and an internationalist
foreign policy as the "mainstream Republican" view. And he's right about that. For generations,
Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while
simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars. Modern Democrats generally support those
There are signs, however, that most people do not support this, and not just in America. In
countries around the world -- France, Brazil, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany, and many others
-- voters are suddenly backing candidates and ideas that would have been unimaginable just a
decade ago. These are not isolated events. What you're watching is entire populations revolting
against leaders who refuse to improve their lives.
Something like this has been in happening in our country for three years. Donald Trump rode
a surge of popular discontent all the way to the White House. Does he understand the political
revolution that he harnessed? Can he reverse the economic and cultural trends that are
destroying America? Those are open questions.
But they're less relevant than we think. At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest
of us will be gone, too. The country will remain. What kind of country will be it be then? How
do we want our grandchildren to live? These are the only questions that matter.
The answer used to be obvious. The overriding goal for America is more prosperity, meaning
cheaper consumer goods. But is that still true? Does anyone still believe that cheaper iPhones,
or more Amazon deliveries of plastic garbage from China are going to make us happy? They
haven't so far. A lot of Americans are drowning in stuff. And yet drug addiction and suicide
are depopulating large parts of the country. Anyone who thinks the health of a nation can be
summed up in GDP is an idiot.
The goal for America is both simpler and more elusive than mere prosperity. It's happiness.
There are a lot of ingredients in being happy: Dignity. Purpose. Self-control. Independence.
Above all, deep relationships with other people. Those are the things that you want for your
children. They're what our leaders should want for us, and would want if they cared.
But our leaders don't care. We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to
the people they rule. They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through.
They have no skin in this game, and it shows. They can't solve our problems. They don't even
bother to understand our problems.
One of the biggest lies our leaders tell us that you can separate economics from everything
else that matters. Economics is a topic for public debate. Family and faith and culture,
meanwhile, those are personal matters. Both parties believe this.
Members of our educated upper-middle-classes are now the backbone of the Democratic Party
who usually describe themselves as fiscally responsible and socially moderate. In other words,
functionally libertarian. They don't care how you live, as long as the bills are paid and the
markets function. Somehow, they don't see a connection between people's personal lives and the
health of our economy, or for that matter, the country's ability to pay its bills. As far as
they're concerned, these are two totally separate categories.
Social conservatives, meanwhile, come to the debate from the opposite perspective, and yet
reach a strikingly similar conclusion. The real problem, you'll hear them say, is that the
American family is collapsing. Nothing can be fixed before we fix that. Yet, like the
libertarians they claim to oppose, many social conservatives also consider markets sacrosanct.
The idea that families are being crushed by market forces seems never to occur to them. They
refuse to consider it. Questioning markets feels like apostasy.
Both sides miss the obvious point: Culture and economics are inseparably intertwined.
Certain economic systems allow families to thrive. Thriving families make market economies
possible. You can't separate the two. It used to be possible to deny this. Not anymore. The
evidence is now overwhelming. How do we know? Consider the inner cities.
Thirty years ago, conservatives looked at Detroit or Newark and many other places and were
horrified by what they saw. Conventional families had all but disappeared in poor
neighborhoods. The majority of children were born out of wedlock. Single mothers were the rule.
Crime and drugs and disorder became universal.
What caused this nightmare? Liberals didn't even want to acknowledge the question. They were
benefiting from the disaster, in the form of reliable votes. Conservatives, though, had a ready
explanation for inner-city dysfunction and it made sense: big government. Decades of
badly-designed social programs had driven fathers from the home and created what conservatives
called a "culture of poverty" that trapped people in generational decline.
There was truth in this. But it wasn't the whole story. How do we know? Because virtually
the same thing has happened decades later to an entirely different population. In many ways,
rural America now looks a lot like Detroit.
This is striking because rural Americans wouldn't seem to have much in common with anyone
from the inner city. These groups have different cultures, different traditions and political
beliefs. Usually they have different skin colors. Rural people are white conservatives,
Yet, the pathologies of modern rural America are familiar to anyone who visited downtown
Baltimore in the 1980s: Stunning out of wedlock birthrates. High male unemployment. A
terrifying drug epidemic. Two different worlds. Similar outcomes. How did this happen? You'd
think our ruling class would be interested in knowing the answer. But mostly they're not. They
don't have to be interested. It's easier to import foreign labor to take the place of
native-born Americans who are slipping behind.
But Republicans now represent rural voters. They ought to be interested. Here's a big part
of the answer: male wages declined. Manufacturing, a male-dominated industry, all but
disappeared over the course of a generation. All that remained in many places were the schools
and the hospitals, both traditional employers of women. In many places, women suddenly made
more than men.
Now, before you applaud this as a victory for feminism, consider the effects. Study after
study has shown that when men make less than women, women generally don't want to marry them.
Maybe they should want to marry them, but they don't. Over big populations, this causes a drop
in marriage, a spike in out-of-wedlock births, and all the familiar disasters that inevitably
follow -- more drug and alcohol abuse, higher incarceration rates, fewer families formed in the
This isn't speculation. This is not propaganda from the evangelicals. It's social science.
We know it's true. Rich people know it best of all. That's why they get married before they
have kids. That model works. But increasingly, marriage is a luxury only the affluent in
America can afford.
And yet, and here's the bewildering and infuriating part, those very same affluent married
people, the ones making virtually all the decisions in our society, are doing pretty much
nothing to help the people below them get and stay married. Rich people are happy to fight
malaria in Congo. But working to raise men's wages in Dayton or Detroit? That's crazy.
This is negligence on a massive scale. Both parties ignore the crisis in marriage. Our
mindless cultural leaders act like it's still 1961, and the biggest problem American families
face is that sexism is preventing millions of housewives from becoming investment bankers or
For our ruling class, more investment banking is always the answer. They teach us it's more
virtuous to devote your life to some soulless corporation than it is to raise your own
Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook wrote an entire book about this. Sandberg explained that our
first duty is to shareholders, above our own children. No surprise there. Sandberg herself is
one of America's biggest shareholders. Propaganda like this has made her rich.
We are ruled by mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule.
They're day traders. Substitute teachers. They're just passing through. They have no skin in
this game, and it shows.
What's remarkable is how the rest of us responded to it. We didn't question why Sandberg was
saying this. We didn't laugh in her face at the pure absurdity of it. Our corporate media
celebrated Sandberg as the leader of a liberation movement. Her book became a bestseller: "Lean
In." As if putting a corporation first is empowerment. It is not. It is bondage. Republicans
should say so.
They should also speak out against the ugliest parts of our financial system. Not all
commerce is good. Why is it defensible to loan people money they can't possibly repay? Or
charge them interest that impoverishes them? Payday loan outlets in poor neighborhoods collect
400 percent annual interest.
We're OK with that? We shouldn't be. Libertarians tell us that's how markets work --
consenting adults making voluntary decisions about how to live their lives. OK. But it's also
disgusting. If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans,
whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street.
And by the way, if you really loved your fellow Americans, as our leaders should, if it
would break your heart to see them high all the time. Which they are. A huge number of our
kids, especially our boys, are smoking weed constantly. You may not realize that, because new
technology has made it odorless. But it's everywhere.
And that's not an accident. Once our leaders understood they could get rich from marijuana,
marijuana became ubiquitous. In many places, tax-hungry politicians have legalized or
decriminalized it. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner now lobbies for the marijuana
industry. His fellow Republicans seem fine with that. "Oh, but it's better for you than
alcohol," they tell us.
Maybe. Who cares? Talk about missing the point. Try having dinner with a 19-year-old who's
been smoking weed. The life is gone. Passive, flat, trapped in their own heads. Do you want
that for your kids? Of course not. Then why are our leaders pushing it on us? You know the
reason. Because they don't care about us.
When you care about people, you do your best to treat them fairly. Our leaders don't even
try. They hand out jobs and contracts and scholarships and slots at prestigious universities
based purely on how we look. There's nothing less fair than that, though our tax code comes
Under our current system, an American who works for a salary pays about twice the tax rate
as someone who's living off inherited money and doesn't work at all. We tax capital at half of
what we tax labor. It's a sweet deal if you work in finance, as many of our rich people do.
In 2010, for example, Mitt Romney made about $22 million dollars in investment income. He
paid an effective federal tax rate of 14 percent. For normal upper-middle-class wage earners,
the federal tax rate is nearly 40 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But
for everyone else, it's infuriating.
Our leaders rarely mention any of this. They tell us our multi-tiered tax code is based on
the principles of the free market. Please. It's based on laws that the Congress passed, laws
that companies lobbied for in order to increase their economic advantage. It worked well for
those people. They did increase their economic advantage. But for everyone else, it came at a
big cost. Unfairness is profoundly divisive. When you favor one child over another, your kids
don't hate you. They hate each other.
That happens in countries, too. It's happening in ours, probably by design. Divided
countries are easier to rule. And nothing divides us like the perception that some people are
getting special treatment. In our country, some people definitely are getting special
treatment. Republicans should oppose that with everything they have.
What kind of country do you want to live in? A fair country. A decent country. A cohesive
country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own
profit and amusement. A country you might recognize when you're old.
A country that listens to young people who don't live in Brooklyn. A country where you can
make a solid living outside of the big cities. A country where Lewiston, Maine seems almost as
important as the west side of Los Angeles. A country where environmentalism means getting
outside and picking up the trash. A clean, orderly, stable country that respects itself. And
above all, a country where normal people with an average education who grew up in no place
special can get married, and have happy kids, and repeat unto the generations. A country that
actually cares about families, the building block of everything.
What will it take a get a country like that? Leaders who want it. For now, those leaders will
have to be Republicans. There's no option at this point.
But first, Republican leaders will have to acknowledge that market capitalism is not a
religion. Market capitalism is a tool, like a staple gun or a toaster. You'd have to be a fool
to worship it. Our system was created by human beings for the benefit of human beings. We do
not exist to serve markets. Just the opposite. Any economic system that weakens and destroys
families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society.
Internalizing all this will not be easy for Republican leaders. They'll have to unlearn
decades of bumper sticker-talking points and corporate propaganda. They'll likely lose donors
in the process. They'll be criticized. Libertarians are sure to call any deviation from market
fundamentalism a form of socialism.
That's a lie. Socialism is a disaster. It doesn't work. It's what we should be working
desperately to avoid. But socialism is exactly what we're going to get, and very soon unless a
group of responsible people in our political system reforms the American economy in a way that
protects normal people.
If you want to put America first, you've got to put its families first.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2,
"... America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society." ..."
"... He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement." ..."
"... The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher wrote of Carlson's monologue, "A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president. ..."
"... The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke ..."
"... Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites -- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people." ..."
"... "What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?" ..."
"... Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald Trump, whose populist-lite presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it." ..."
"... Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative, thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment. ..."
"... Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax. ..."
"... "I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not." ..."
"... Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed." ..."
"... But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left. ..."
"... Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin. ..."
"... Hillbilly Elegy ..."
"... Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a function or raw nature." ..."
"All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God."
Last Wednesday, the conservative talk show host Tucker Carlson started a fire on the right after airing a prolonged
monologue on his show that was, in essence, an indictment of American capitalism.
America's "ruling class," Carlson says, are the "mercenaries" behind the failures of the middle class -- including sinking
marriage rates -- and "the ugliest parts of our financial system." He went on: "Any economic system that weakens and destroys families
is not worth having. A system like that is the enemy of a healthy society."
He concluded with a demand for "a fair country. A decent country. A cohesive country. A country whose leaders don't accelerate
the forces of change purely for their own profit and amusement."
The monologue was stunning in itself, an incredible moment in which a Fox News host stated that for generations, "Republicans
have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars." More
broadly, though, Carlson's position and the ensuing controversy reveals an ongoing and nearly unsolvable tension in conservative
politics about the meaning of populism, a political ideology that Trump campaigned on but Carlson argues he may not truly understand.
Moreover, in Carlson's words: "At some point, Donald Trump will be gone. The rest of us will be gone too. The country will remain.
What kind of country will be it be then?"
The monologue and its sweeping anti-elitism drove a wedge between conservative writers. The American Conservative's Rod Dreher
wrote of Carlson's monologue,
"A man or woman who can talk like that with conviction could become president. Voting for a conservative candidate like that would
be the first affirmative vote I've ever cast for president." Other conservative commentators scoffed. Ben Shapiro wrote in
National Review that Carlson's monologue sounded far more like Sens. Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren than, say, Ronald Reagan.
I spoke with Carlson by phone this week to discuss his monologue and its economic -- and cultural -- meaning. He agreed that his
monologue was reminiscent of Warren, referencing her 2003
bookThe Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Growing Broke . "There were parts of the book that I disagree
with, of course," he told me. "But there are parts of it that are really important and true. And nobody wanted to have that conversation."
Carlson wanted to be clear: He's just asking questions. "I'm not an economic adviser or a politician. I'm not a think tank
fellow. I'm just a talk show host," he said, telling me that all he wants is to ask "the basic questions you would ask about any
policy." But he wants to ask those questions about what he calls the "religious faith" of market capitalism, one he believes elites
-- "mercenaries who feel no long-term obligation to the people they rule" -- have put ahead of "normal people."
But whether or not he likes it, Carlson is an important voice in conservative politics. His show is among the
most-watched television programs in America. And his raising questions about market capitalism and the free market matters.
"What does [free market capitalism] get us?" he said in our call. "What kind of country do you want to live in? If you put
these policies into effect, what will you have in 10 years?"
Populism on the right is gaining, again
Carlson is hardly the first right-leaning figure to make a pitch for populism, even tangentially, in the third year of Donald
Trump, whose populist-lite
presidential candidacy and presidency Carlson told me he views as "the smoke alarm ... telling you the building is on fire, and unless
you figure out how to put the flames out, it will consume it."
Populism is a rhetorical approach that separates "the people" from elites. In the
words of Cas
Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, it divides the country into "two homogenous and antagonistic groups: the pure people
on the one end and the corrupt elite on the other." Populist rhetoric has a long history in American politics, serving as the focal
point of numerous presidential campaigns and powering William Jennings Bryan to the Democratic nomination for president in 1896.
Trump borrowed some of that approach for his 2016 campaign but in office has governed as a fairly orthodox economic conservative,
thus demonstrating the demand for populism on the right without really providing the supply and creating conditions for further ferment.
When right-leaning pundit Ann Coulter
spoke with Breitbart Radio about Trump's Tuesday evening Oval Office address to the nation regarding border wall funding, she
said she wanted to hear him say something like, "You know, you say a lot of wild things on the campaign trail. I'm speaking to big
rallies. But I want to talk to America about a serious problem that is affecting the least among us, the working-class blue-collar
Coulter urged Trump to bring up overdose deaths from heroin in order to speak to the "working class" and to blame the fact
that working-class wages have stalled, if not fallen, in the last 20 years on immigration. She encouraged Trump to declare, "This
is a national emergency for the people who don't have lobbyists in Washington."
Ocasio-Cortez wants a 70-80% income tax on the rich. I agree! Start with the Koch Bros. -- and also make it WEALTH tax.
These sentiments have even pitted popular Fox News hosts against each other.
Sean Hannity warned his audience that New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's economic policies would mean that "the rich people
won't be buying boats that they like recreationally, they're not going to be taking expensive vacations anymore." But Carlson agreed
when I said his monologue was somewhat reminiscent of Ocasio-Cortez's
past comments on the economy , and how even a strong economy was still leaving working-class Americans behind.
"I'm just saying as a matter of fact," he told me, "a country where a shrinking percentage of the population is taking home
an ever-expanding proportion of the money is not a recipe for a stable society. It's not."
Carlson told me he wanted to be clear: He is not a populist. But he believes some version of populism is necessary to prevent
a full-scale political revolt or the onset of socialism. Using Theodore Roosevelt as an example of a president who recognized that
labor needs economic power, he told me, "Unless you want something really extreme to happen, you need to take this seriously and
figure out how to protect average people from these remarkably powerful forces that have been unleashed."
"I think populism is potentially really disruptive. What I'm saying is that populism is a symptom of something being wrong," he
told me. "Again, populism is a smoke alarm; do not ignore it."
But Carlson's brand of populism, and the populist sentiments sweeping the American right, aren't just focused on the current
state of income inequality in America. Carlson tackled a bigger idea: that market capitalism and the "elites" whom he argues are
its major drivers aren't working. The free market isn't working for families, or individuals, or kids. In his monologue, Carlson
railed against libertarian economics and even payday loans, saying, "If you care about America, you ought to oppose the exploitation
of Americans, whether it's happening in the inner city or on Wall Street" -- sounding very much like Sanders or Warren on the left.
Carlson's argument that "market capitalism is not a religion" is of course old hat on the left, but it's also been bubbling on
the right for years now. When National Review writer Kevin Williamson
a 2016 op-ed about how rural whites "failed themselves," he faced a massive backlash in the Trumpier quarters of the right. And
these sentiments are becoming increasingly potent at a time when Americans can see both a booming stock market and perhaps their
own family members struggling to get by.
Capitalism/liberalism destroys the extended family by requiring people to move apart for work and destroying any sense
of unchosen obligations one might have towards one's kin.
At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing
wrote of Carlson's
monologue, and a
to it by National Review columnist David French:
Our society is less French's America, the idea, and more Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth" (involving a very different
French). The lowest are stripped of even social dignity and deemed
unworthy of life . In Real America, wages are stagnant, life expectancy is crashing, people are fleeing the workforce, families
are crumbling, and trust in the institutions on top are at all-time lows. To French, holding any leaders of those institutions
responsible for their errors is "victimhood populism" ... The Right must do better if it seeks to govern a real America that exists
outside of its fantasies.
J.D. Vance, author of
, wrote that the [neoliberal] economy's victories -- and praise for those wins from conservatives -- were largely meaningless
to white working-class Americans living in Ohio and Kentucky: "Yes, they live in a country with a higher GDP than a generation ago,
and they're undoubtedly able to buy cheaper consumer goods, but to paraphrase Reagan: Are they better off than they were 20 years
ago? Many would say, unequivocally, 'no.'"
Carlson's populism holds, in his view, bipartisan possibilities. In a follow-up email, I asked him why his monologue was aimed
at Republicans when many Democrats had long espoused the same criticisms of free market economics. "Fair question," he responded.
"I hope it's not just Republicans. But any response to the country's systemic problems will have to give priority to the concerns
of American citizens over the concerns of everyone else, just as you'd protect your own kids before the neighbor's kids."
Who is "they"?
And that's the point where Carlson and a host of others on the right who have begun to challenge the conservative movement's orthodoxy
on free markets -- people ranging from occasionally mendacious bomb-throwers like Coulter to writers like
Michael Brendan Dougherty -- separate
themselves from many of those making those exact same arguments on the left.
When Carlson talks about the "normal people" he wants to save from nefarious elites, he is talking, usually, about a specific
group of "normal people" -- white working-class Americans who are the "real" victims of capitalism, or marijuana legalization, or
In this telling, white working-class Americans who once relied on a manufacturing economy that doesn't look the way it did in
1955 are the unwilling pawns of elites. It's not their fault that, in Carlson's view, marriage is inaccessible to them, or that marijuana
legalization means more teens are smoking weed (
this probably isn't true ). Someone,
or something, did this to them. In Carlson's view, it's the responsibility of politicians: Our economic situation, and the plight
of the white working class, is "the product of a series of conscious decisions that the Congress made."
The criticism of Carlson's monologue has largely focused on how he deviates from the free market capitalism that conservatives
believe is the solution to poverty, not the creator of poverty. To orthodox conservatives, poverty is the result of poor decision
making or a
lack of virtue that can't be solved by government programs or an anti-elite political platform -- and they say Carlson's argument
that elites are in some way responsible for dwindling marriage rates
doesn't make sense .
But in French's response to Carlson, he goes deeper, writing that to embrace Carlson's brand of populism is to support "victimhood
populism," one that makes white working-class Americans into the victims of an undefined "they:
Carlson is advancing a form of victim-politics populism that takes a series of tectonic cultural changes -- civil rights, women's
rights, a technological revolution as significant as the industrial revolution, the mass-scale loss of religious faith, the sexual
revolution, etc. -- and turns the negative or challenging aspects of those changes into an angry tale of what they are
doing to you .
And that was my biggest question about Carlson's monologue, and the flurry of responses to it, and support for it: When other
groups (say, black Americans) have pointed to systemic inequities within the economic system that have resulted in poverty and family
dysfunction, the response from many on the right has been, shall we say,
Really, it comes down to when black people have problems, it's personal responsibility, but when white people have the same
problems, the system is messed up. Funny how that works!!
Yet white working-class poverty receives, from Carlson and others, far more sympathy. And conservatives are far more likely to
identify with a criticism of "elites" when they believe those elites are responsible for the
expansion of trans
rights or creeping secularism
than the wealthy and powerful people who are investing in
private prisons or an expansion
militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market
capitalism and efforts to
I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by "
." He said that for decades, "conservatives just wrote [black economic struggles] off as a culture of poverty," a line he
includes in his monologue .
He added that regarding black poverty, "it's pretty easy when you've got 12 percent of the population going through something
to feel like, 'Well, there must be ... there's something wrong with that culture.' Which is actually a tricky thing to say because
it's in part true, but what you're missing, what I missed, what I think a lot of people missed, was that the economic system you're
living under affects your culture."
Carlson said that growing up in Washington, DC, and spending time in rural Maine, he didn't realize until recently that the same
poverty and decay he observed in the Washington of the 1980s was also taking place in rural (and majority-white) Maine. "I was thinking,
'Wait a second ... maybe when the jobs go away the culture changes,'" he told me, "And the reason I didn't think of it before was
because I was so blinded by this libertarian economic propaganda that I couldn't get past my own assumptions about economics." (For
the record, libertarians have
monologue as well.)
Carlson told me that beyond changing our tax code, he has no major policies in mind. "I'm not even making the case for an
economic system in particular," he told me. "All I'm saying is don't act like the way things are is somehow ordained by God or a
function or raw nature."
And clearly, our market economy isn't driven by God or nature, as the stock market soars and unemployment dips and yet even those
on the right are noticing lengthy periods of wage stagnation and dying little towns across the country. But what to do about those
dying little towns, and which dying towns we care about and which we don't, and, most importantly, whose fault it is that those towns
are dying in the first place -- those are all questions Carlson leaves to the viewer to answer.
Did Krugman just issue a veiled warning to Pelosi, Schumer, and Clinton Democrats? Did he see
this as a teaching moment for them? Has he turned from unabashed megaphone for establishment
Democrats to an honest broker, willing to explain economics to Demcoratic Big Money
parasites? Could be... If so, this might be a turning point for Krugman from partisan hack to
As always, Robert Reich pulls fewer punches: "Do not ever underestimate the influence of
Wall Street Democrats, corporate Democrats, and the Democrats' biggest funders. I know. I've
In the 2018 midterms, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, big
business made more contributions to Democrats than to Republicans. The shift was particularly
noticeable on Wall Street. Not since 2008 have donors in the securities and investment
industry given a higher percentage to Democratic candidates and committees than to
The moneyed interests in the Democratic party are in favor of helping America's poor and
of reversing climate change – two positions that sharply distinguish them from the
moneyed interests in the Republican party.
There is no reason to think that mainstream liberals would not just go along with whatever
direction the liberal establishment takes. OTOH, there is a major difference in the context
between the rank and file of mainstream liberals and the actual liberal establishment itself.
Mainstream liberals just want to fit in and win elections. They are concerned with
electability and the constraints of legislative process. There is nothing wrong with that. It
is the role of the rank and file.
However, AOC is correct. It is radicals that bring about all significant change.
Mainstream radical is an oxymoron. After radicals cause change then it is no longer radical,
but it becomes mainstream instead.
In contrast, the liberal establishment is also concerned with electability because that is
what they do for a living, either get elected or ride along on the coattails of the elected,
but they are elites and elitists not to be separated from the status quo economic
establishment without considerable consternation. However, the elitists' trepidation over
being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be greatly reduced by severe limits
on private campaign financing. Still, it would be a rare elected official that would rather
eat in a soup kitchen than a five-star restaurant both for the good food and for the good
company. In both regards though that depends upon what your definition of "good" is.
"Mainstream liberals just want to fit in and win elections..." And they are precisely they
kind of "go-along to get along types" who let bad things happen...and then pretend to not
understand what went wrong...Vietnam, Iraq, GWOT, Glass-Steagall repeal, trade
liberalization/offshoring profits, banksters who go Scot free after bringing the economy
down. The list goes on.
There are leaders, followers, and radicals. One can choose to be any one or two or those they
want, but no more than two. It is not very rewarding to be a radical from the back of the
line unless there is also a radical to follow at the front of the line. Leaders that are also
followers inherit the status quo and guard it like it was their own because it is. Radical
leaders rarely succeed, but often die young.
Trump is a bad example of a leader, but he follows his nose at least rather than just the
status quo. Trump has a nose for trouble and he cannot resist its stench any more than a
jackal or hyena can resist rotting carrion. Fortunate for Trump the US has a long history of
stockpiling trouble for future consumption that reaches all the way back to colonial times.
Trump likes to think that orange is the new black, but the old black, brown, and red are
still around and neither yellow nor orange can take their place.
The majority of people are just plain old followers. If people think that there is chaos
in the world already, just imagine what it would be like if most people were not just plain
old followers. The status quo always has the advantage of the natural force of inertia.
"...banksters who go Scot free after bringing the economy down. The list goes on."
Because you believe in government as done by Putin, Maduro, Saddam, Saudi Arabia, etc:
jail, torture, kill enemies by the people in power being the law.
You reject the US Constitution where voters are allowed to elect Republicans who legalize
fraud and theft by deception based on voters wanting the free lunch of easy credit requiring
bankers have no liability for the bad loans from easy credit. You reject the US Constitution
prohibition on retroactive laws criminalizzing legal actions.
Only if you were leading protests in the 90s in opposition to laws making credit easy for
below $80,000 workers whether buying houses or trucks/SUV.
Only if you were picketing real estate agents and car dealers from 2001 to 2005 to keep
out customers, you were not doing enough to stop easy credit.
The GOP was only dellivering what voters wanted, stuff they could not afford paid for by
workers saving for their retirement.
Elections have consequences.
The elections from 1994 to 2004 were votes for free lunch economics. The GOP promised and
delivered free lunch economic policies.
In 2005, voters on the margins realized tanstaafl, and in 2006 elected Pelosi to power,
and Pelosi, representing California knows economies are zero sum, so she increased costs to
increase general welfare. One of the costs was reccognizing the costs, and benefits, of the
In 2008, she did not try to criminalize past action, and when she could not get the votes
to punish the bankers who bankrupted the institutions they ran by prohibiting bonuses in the
future,, she insread delivered the best deal possible for the US Constitutional general
I think Bernie wanted all voters who voted GOP to lose their jobs, or maybe he simply
believes in free lunch economist claims that welfare payments in Ohio and Michigan are higher
than union worker incomes.
Maybe he thinks bankruptcy court nationalize businesses, not liquidate them.
Or maybe he figured the solution was a 21st Century Great Depression which would elect a
socialist instead of a capitalist FDR, and he would get to run all the automakers, all the
food industry, and employ all the workers deciding what they can buy?
I can never figure out how the economy would work if Bernie were running it. He talks
about Europe, but never advocates the cost of EU economy that is part of EU law: the VAT. All
EU members must have a VAT that is a significant cost to every person in the EU.
Free lunch economics is when you promise increased benefits with no costs, or lower
Free lunch Trump and free lunch Bernie differ only in their winners, but their losers are
always the same.
When progressives argue for unlimited increases in debt just like Reagan, they are
rejecting the pokicies of FDR, Keynes, the US when the general welfare increased most by
increasing assets faster than debt.
"'elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be
greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing." Which is why so many liberal
establishment politicians...per Reich...pay only lip service to real campaign finance reform.
Being parasites, they feed off of their hosts and dare not disrupt the gravy train.
"elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be
greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing."
So, the wealthy liberal elites who pay no taxes by cleverly paying all revenue to workers
need to be punished because they pay too much to too many workers?
Warrren Buffett has never paid much in taxes even when tax rates on corporations were over
50% and individuals reached over 70%. Money paid to workers, directly or indirectly, was and
still is the number one tax dodge.
Unless you go to a sales tax aka VAT which taxes all revenue, expecially business income
paid to workers.
VAT is an income tax with zero tax dodges aka loopholes aka deductions.
""'elitists' trepidation over being separated from their wealthy elite supporters would be
greatly reduced by severe limits on private campaign financing." Which is why so many liberal
establishment politicians...per Reich...pay only lip service to real campaign finance reform.
Being parasites, they feed off of their hosts and dare not disrupt the gravy train."
In your view, its the poor who create high paying jobs?
It's wrong to listen to people who convince rich people to give their money to people
paying US workers to build factories, wind farms, solar farms battery factories,
transportation systems, vehicles, computer systems in the US?
Instead Democrats should listen to people who have never created long term paying jobs,
but only pay elites who run campaigns using mostly unpaid workers, or workers paid only a few
months every few years? Like Bernie does?
When it comes to how to run a "Green New Deal", I want the policy crafted by someone who
listens to Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and the CEOs of California energy corporations,
tech companies, who are commited to consuming more and more energy that requires no fossil
fuels. Listening to Home Depot and Walmart building managers and retail sales managers should
be a priority. All these guys both focus on paying more workers, and selling more to workers
AOC and Bernie seem to listen to the Lamperts who are destroying the value of companies
like Sears by "taxing" both the customers, workers, and owners, by giving money to people who
don't work to produce anything.
I make going to RealClearPolicy, Politics, etc a daily practice to see how bad
progressives are at selling their policies, making it easy for find all sorts of costs,
without any benefits to anyone.
The New Deal was not about taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor. The New
Deal was about paying workers more.
In 1930, half the population still lived on farms. (They might work off the farm, but they
were farmworkers first.) The problem for farmers is Europe had recovered from the war and was
no longer sending gold to the US to secure loans to buy food, but instead repaying the loans
by shipping high value food to the US, wine, cheese, etc, and that meant too much food drove
prices down, which meant farmworkers earned less and less.
One of the first laws set minimum prices for food, enforced by destroying crops, or
government overpaying for food like milk, cheese, bread, which the government gave away to
the poor who could never buy this food. It was not about giving food away, but about paying
workers, the farmers, ranchers, etc. Giving the food to the poor who could not afford to buy
food was simply to avoid the attacks on FDR for destroying good food to drive up farmer pay.
Which was the truth.
FDR talked about creating a healthy workforce to make America great, then about building a
healthy soldier. Ike in the 50s and JFK in the 60s campaigned on creating healthy soldiers.
And smart, educated soldiers and workers.
The policies of liberals was about better workers, richer workers.
Conservatives since Reagan has been about cutting the costs of workers. Sold based on
consumers benefiting from lower cost workers, because consumees are never workers, workers
never consumers, because if workers equal consumers, economics must be zero sum.
By attracting the intense ire of the GOP, AOC activates the negative polarization of lib
pundits and makes them look for ways to defend left policy items they'd attack in any other
scenario. It's very effective at pushing the discourse forward.
"But the Democrats' moneyed interests don't want more powerful labor unions. They are not in
favor of stronger antitrust enforcement against large corporations."
So, you think beef at $10 plus per pound, salad greens at $5 plus per pound, a fast food
meal at $10 plus, is a winning issue for Democrats?
Or by powerful labor unions, you mean for only white male blue collar factory workers,
long haul white truckers, white construction workers?
Making all work pay enough to reach middle class status at the low end will not happen by
unions because many parts of the US, and workers, and jobs, will oppose unions. Instead,
labor laws and enforcement to lift wages and working conditions rapidly in conservative
regions are required.
Better to get the minimum wage in Indiana and Kansas to $10 than in California to $15.
More important to get farm workers fully covered by Federal law like factory workers, with
exemptions only for farmer family members.
Raising incomes in low living cost regions will not raise prices much nationally, but
increase living standards among the most disadvantaged who feel "left behind".
Automatic increases annually of 10% for 7 years, then indexed by cpi.
Constantly emphasizing this minimum is way below what the low wage is in SF, NYC, LA, but
the goods produced will be bought and thus wages paid mostly by high income liberal elites.
Conservatives sticking it to liberals!
"In that case, however, why do we care how hard the rich work? If a rich man works an extra
hour, adding $1000 to the economy, but gets paid $1000 for his efforts, the combined income
of everyone else doesn't change, does it? Ah, but it does – because he pays taxes on
that extra $1000. So the social benefit from getting high-income individuals to work a bit
harder is the tax revenue generated by that extra effort – and conversely the cost of
their working less is the reduction in the taxes they pay."
This is not right. Heck, it's not even wrong.
Say the $1000 is for a surgery. The social benefit is the tax they pay on it? The surgery
itself is irrelevant?
Krugman confuses the flow of money, which supports and correlates with production, with
the actual production, the real "social benefit".
If you invent a widget that everyone on earth is willing to pay $1 over cost to get,
congratulations, you just earned $7 billion.
Now, does that mean you get to consume $7 billion worth of stuff other people produce? I
Or, does it mean you get to trap the world in $7 billion of debt servitude from which it
is impossible for them to escape, because you are hoarding, and then charging interest on,
the $7 billion they need to pay back their debts.
The key is to understand that money is created via debt. Money has value because people
with debt need to get it to repay their debts.
If we all decide BitCoin is worthless, then BitCoin is worthless. It has no fundamental
If we all decide money is worthless, then a bunch of people with debt will gladly take it
off our hands so that they can repay their debt. Heck, they may even trade us stuff to get
the debt... which is why money is NOT worthless.
"If $1 per day make everyone live better with no added climate change, PLUS paid an extra $7
billion per day to production workers, service workers, that would be good, or bad?"
Obviously, good. Which is what I say in my post.
"Money is merely work in the past or future."
Money is other peoples' debt. They have borrowed money into existence and then spent it
into the economy, AND they have pledged to do work in the future, to get the money back so
they can repay the debt.
That "doing work in the future to get the money back" is only possible if the people with
the money actually spend it back into the economy.
The problem is that the people in debt also agreed to pay interest, and the people with
the money want to keep collecting the interest... so keep holding the money... making it
absolutely impossible for those with debt to pay it back.
I'm saying is that there is obligation on both sides. There is obligation on the part of
people with debt to produce goods and services and sell them for money to repay their debts,
AND for that to be possible, there is obligation on those with money to actually spend the
Contrary to CONservative opinion, money is not created by work, it is earned by selling,
and that means for the economy to function, there has to be spending.
We need a tax code with very high top rates, but deductions for spending and capital
investing... not to take from the rich, but rather to force them to spend and invest to get
Clinton Democrats (DemoRats) are so close to neocons that the current re-alliance is only natural and only partially caused by
Trump. Under Obama some of leading figures of his administration were undistinguishable from neocons (Samantha Power is a good
example here -- she was as crazy as Niki Haley, if not more). There is only one "war party in the USA which
continently consists of two wings: Repugs and DemoRats.
"... Both GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham , one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary Clinton , who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror jargon. ..."
"... That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's way" ..."
"... But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in 2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent. ..."
"... This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all troops from Afghanistan ..."
"... While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining ..."
"... At the same time, Democratic policy elites in Washington are once again formally aligning with neoconservatives , even to the point of creating joint foreign policy advocacy groups (a reunion that predated Trump ). The leading Democratic Party think tank, the Center for American Progress, donated $200,000 to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute and has multilevel alliances with warmongering institutions. ..."
"... By far the most influential [neo]liberal media outlet, MSNBC, is stuffed full of former Bush-Cheney officials, security state operatives, and agents , while even the liberal stars are notably hawkish (a decade ago, long before she went as far down the pro-war and Cold Warrior rabbit hole that she now occupies, Rachel Maddow heralded herself as a "national security liberal" who was "all about counterterrorism"). ..."
"... All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation -- which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way. ..."
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP'S December 18 announcement that he intends to withdraw all U.S.
troops from Syria produced some isolated support in the
anti-war wings of bothparties , but largely provoked
bipartisan outrage among in Washington's reflexively pro-war establishment.
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the country's most reliable war supporters, and Hillary
Clinton, who repeatedly criticized former President Barack Obama for insufficient
hawkishness, condemned Trump's decision in very similar terms, invoking standard war on terror
But while official Washington united in opposition, new polling data from
Morning Consult/Politico shows that a large plurality of Americans support Trump's Syria
withdrawal announcement: 49 percent support to 33 percent opposition.
That's not surprising given that Americans by a similarly large plurality agree with the
proposition that "the U.S. has been engaged in too many military conflicts in places such as
Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan for too long and should prioritize getting Americans out of harm's
way" far more than they agree with the pro-war view that "the U.S. needs to keep troops in
places such as Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to help support our allies fight terrorism and
maintain our foreign policy interests in the region."
But what is remarkable about the new polling data on Syria is that the vast bulk of support
for keeping troops there comes from Democratic Party voters, while Republicans and independents
overwhelming favor their removal. The numbers are stark: Of people who voted for Clinton in
2016, only 26 percent support withdrawing troops from Syria, while 59 percent oppose it. Trump
voters overwhelmingly support withdraw by 76 percent to 14 percent.
A similar gap is seen among those who voted Democrat in the 2018 midterm elections (28
percent support withdrawal while 54 percent oppose it), as opposed to the widespread support
for withdrawal among 2018 GOP voters: 74 percent to 18 percent.
Identical trends can be seen on the question of Trump's announced intention to withdraw half
of the U.S. troops currently in Afghanistan, where Democrats are far more supportive of keeping
troops there than Republicans and independents.
This case is even more stark since Obama ran in 2008 on a pledge to end the war in
Afghanistan and bring all troops home. Throughout the Obama years, polling data
consistently showed that huge majorities of Democrats favored a withdrawal of all
troops from Afghanistan:
With Trump rather than Obama now advocating troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, all of this
has changed. The new polling data shows far more support for troop withdrawal among Republicans
and independents, while Democrats are now split or even opposed . Among 2016 Trump voters,
there is massive support for withdrawal: 81 percent to 11 percent; Clinton voters, however,
oppose the removal of troops from Afghanistan by a margin of 37 percent in favor and 47 percent
This latest poll is far from aberrational. As the Huffington Post's Ariel Edwards-Levy
documented early this week , separate polling shows a similar reversal by Democrats on
questions of war and militarism in the Trump era.
While Democrats were more or less evenly divided early last year on whether the U.S. should
continue to intervene in Syria, all that changed once Trump announced his intention to
withdraw, which provoked a huge surge in Democratic support for remaining. "Those who voted for
Democrat Clinton now said by a 42-point margin that the U.S. had a responsibility to do
something about the fighting in Syria involving ISIS," Edwards-Levy wrote, "while Trump voters
said by a 16-point margin that the nation had no such responsibility." (Similar trends can be
seen among GOP voters, whose support for intervention in Syria has steadily declined as Trump
has moved away from his posture of the last two years --
escalating bombings in both Syria and Iraq and killing far more civilians , as he
repeatedly vowed to do during the campaign -- to his return to his other campaign pledge to
remove troops from the region.)
This is, of course, not the first time that Democratic voters have wildly shifted their
"beliefs" based on the party affiliation of the person occupying the Oval Office. The party's
base spent the Bush-Cheney years denouncing war on terror policies, such as assassinations,
drones, and Guantánamo as moral atrocities and war crimes, only to suddenly support those
policies once they
became hallmarks of the Obama presidency .
But what's happening here is far more insidious. A core ethos of the anti-Trump #Resistance
has become militarism, jingoism, and neoconservatism. Trump is frequently attacked by Democrats
using longstanding Cold War scripts wielded for decades against them by the far right: Trump is
insufficiently belligerent with U.S. enemies; he's willing to allow the Bad Countries to take
over by bringing home U.S. soldiers; his efforts to establish less hostile relations with
adversary countries is indicative of weakness or even treason.
All of this has resulted in a new generation of Democrats, politically engaged for the first
time as a result of fears over Trump, being inculcated with values of militarism and
imperialism, trained to view once-discredited, war-loving neocons such as Bill Kristol, Max
Boot, and David Frum, and former CIA and FBI leaders as noble experts and trusted voices of
conscience. It's inevitable that all of these trends would produce a party that is increasingly
pro-war and militaristic, and polling data now leaves little doubt that this transformation --
which will endure long after Trump is gone -- is well under way.
"... Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble, which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible without 2008 events. ..."
Barkley insists on a left-right split for his analysis of political parties and their attachment to vague policy tendencies
and that insistence makes a mess of the central issue: why the rise of right-wing populism in a "successful" economy?
Naomi Klein's book is about how and why centrist neoliberals got control of policy. The rise of right-wing populism is often
supposed (see Mark Blyth) to be about the dissatisfaction bred by the long-term shortcomings of or blowback from neoliberal policy.
Barkley Rosser treats neoliberal policy as implicitly successful and, therefore, the reaction from the populist right appears
mysterious, something to investigate. His thesis regarding neoliberal success in Poland is predicated on policy being less severe,
In his left-right division of Polish politics, the centrist neoliberals -- in the 21st century, Civic Platform -- seem to disappear
into the background even though I think they are still the second largest Party in Parliament, though some seem to think they
will sink in elections this year.
Electoral participation is another factor that receives little attention in this analysis. Politics is shaped in part by the
people who do NOT show up. And, in Poland that has sometimes been a lot of people, indeed.
Finally, there's the matter of the neoliberal straitjacket -- the flip-side of the shock in the one-two punch of "there's no
alternative". What the policy options for a Party representing the interests of the angry and dissatisfied? If you make policy
impossible for a party of the left, of course that breeds parties of the right. duh.
Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming. I would consider the current situation in the USA as the starting point of this
"slow-motion collapse of the neoliberal garbage truck against the wall." Neoliberalism like Bolshevism in 1945 has no future,
only the past. That does not mean that it will not limp forward in zombie (and pretty bloodthirsty ) stage for another 50 years.
But it is doomed, notwithstanding recently staged revenge in countries like Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil.
Excessive financialization is the Achilles' heel of neoliberalism. It inevitably distorts everything, blows the asset bubble,
which then pops. With each pop, the level of political support of neoliberalism shrinks. Hillary defeat would have been impossible
without 2008 events.
At least half of Americans now hate soft neoliberals of Democratic Party (Clinton wing of Bought by Wall Street technocrats),
as well as hard neoliberal of Republican Party, which created the " crisis of confidence" toward governing neoliberal elite in
countries like the USA, GB, and France. And that probably why the intelligence agencies became the prominent political players
and staged the color revolution against Trump (aka Russiagate ) in the USA.
The situation with the support of neoliberalism now is very different than in 1994 when Bill Clinton came to power. Of course,
as Otto von Bismarck once quipped "God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America." and another
turn of the technological spiral might well save the USA. But the danger of never-ending secular stagnation is substantial and
growing. This fact was admitted even by such dyed- in-the-wool neoliberals as Summers.
This illusion that advances in statistics gave neoliberal access to such fine-grained and timely economic data, that now it
is possible to regulate economy indirectly, by strictly monetary means is pure religious hubris. Milton Friedman would now be
laughed out the room if he tried to repeat his monetarist junk science now. Actually he himself discarded his monetarist illusions
before he died.
We probably need to the return of strong direct investments in the economy by the state and nationalization of some assets,
if we want to survive and compete with China. Australian politicians are already openly discussing this, we still are lagging
because of "walking dead" neoliberals in Congress like Pelosi, Schumer, and company.
But we have another huge problem, which Australia and other countries (other than GB) do not have: neoliberalism in the USA
is the state religion which completely displaced Christianity (and is hostile to Christianity), so it might be that the lemming
will go off the cliff. I hope not.
The only thing that still keeps neoliberalism from being thrown out to the garbage bin of history is that it is unclear what
would the alternative. And that means that like in 1920th far-right nationalism and fascism have a fighting chance against decadent
Previously financial oligarchy was in many minds associated with Jewish bankers. Now people are more educated and probably
can hang from the lampposts Anglo-Saxon and bankers of other nationalities as well ;-)
I think that in some countries neoliberal oligarchs might soon feel very uncomfortable, much like Soros in Hungary.
As far as I understood the level of animosity and suppressed anger toward financial oligarchy and their stooges including some
professors in economics departments of the major universities might soon be approaching the level which existed in the Weimar
Republic. And as Lenin noted, " the ideas could become a material force if they got mass support." This is true about anger as
Bernie Sanders said he on Wednesday, "felt compelled to address Russian interference
during the US election. Sunday.... he was not aware and believes Russian bot promoting
him and went as far to said WikiLeaks published Hillary's email stolen by the
Can you really trust that lying bastard? I'm probably one of the few MoA refused to
believe and trust Bernie Sanders and the fuckup Democrats .
Politically Obama was a "despicable coward", or worse, a marionette.
"... A 50 state strategy, or no 50 state strategy, it really doesn't matter. Democrats were going to take losses. The key is, making sure the party is unified enough to run public policy courses. ..."
"... Your points make little sense in the face of what people wanted in 2016 that Obama could have delivered without interference from the Republicans. Things like anti-trust enforcement, SEC enforcement aka jailing the banksters, not going into Syria, not supporting the war in Yemen (remember he did both of those on his own without Congress), not making the Bush tax cuts permanent, not staying silent on union issues and actually wearing those oft mentioned comfortable shoes while walking a picket line, the list of what could have been done and that people supported goes on and on. None of which required approval from Congress. ..."
"... And speaking of the ACA, we know that Obama and others did whatever they could to kill single payer and replace it with Romneycare 1.5. The language in the bill and the controversy surrounding it show that no one thought this would give them a short term political advantage. If anything, the run up to the vote finally made enough citizens realize that they didn't hate government insurance, they just hated insurance. And here were the Democrats and Obama, forcing people to buy expensive insurance. ..."
"... He had a mandate for change. He had a majorities in both houses. He had the perfect bully pulpit. He chose not to use any of it. He and others killed the support for local parties. The Democrats needed the JFA with Hillary because Obama had pretty much bankrupted the party in 2012. A commitment to all 50 states would have been huge and would have helped Hillary get on the ground where she needed to shore up support by a few thousand votes. ..."
"... Obama and the Democrats took losses from 2008 on because they promised to do what their constituents voted them in to do and then decided not to do it. ..."
"... People don't have Republican fatigue. They don't have Democrat fatigue. They simply don't see the point in voting for people who won't do what they're voted in to do. ..."
"... The citizens of this country want change. They want higher wages and lower prices. They want less war. They want less government interference. They want their kids to grow up with more opportunities than they did. ..."
"Democratic left playing a long game to get 'Medicare for All'" [Bloomberg Law]. "'We don't have the support that we need,'
said Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, who will co-chair the Progressive Caucus. She said that she'd favor modest expansions
of Medicare or Medicaid eligibility as a step toward Medicare for All. 'I am a big bold thinker; I'm also a good practical
strategist,' Jayapal said.
'It's why the Medicare for All Caucus was started, because we want to get information to our members so people feel
comfortable talking about the attacks we know are going to come.'" • So many Democrat McClellans; so few Democrat Grants.
"Progressives set to push their agenda in Congress and on the campaign trail. The GOP can't wait." [NBC]. "While the party
has moved left on health care, many Democrats seem more comfortable offering an option to buy into Medicare or a similar public
plan rather than creating one single-payer plan that replaces private insurance and covers everyone. Progressives, led by Rep.
Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and her Medicare For All PAC, plan to whip up support for the maximalist version and advance
legislation in 2019." • The "maximalist version" is exactly what Jayapal herself, quoted by Bloomberg, says she will not seek.
Not sure whether this is Democrat cynicism, sloppy Democrat messaging, or poor reporting. Or all three!
The problem is unlike 1933 large sections of the electorate just wanted more Republican
economics to "deal" with the aftermath. That is the difference between a moderate
recession(historically) and a collapse like the early 1930's had when the British Empire and
the de Rothschild dynasty finally collapsed.
40% didn't want anything the Obama Administration came up with succeed. 40% wanted more
than they could possible politically come up with and that left 20% to actually get something
done. You see why the Democrats had to take losses.
Even if Health Care, which was controversial in the party was nixed for more "stimulus",
Democrats look weak. Politically, Stimulus wasn't that popular and "fiscal deficit" whiners were going to whine
and there are a lot of them.
Naked Capitalism ignores this reality instead, looking for esoteric fantasy. I would argue
Democrats in 2009-10 looked for short term political gain by going with Health Care reform
instead of slowly explaining the advantage of building public assets via stimulus, because
the party was to split on Health Care to create a package that would satisfy enough
Similar the Republican party, since Reagan had done the opposite, took short term
political gain in 2016, which was a mistake, due to their Clinton hatred.
Which is now backfiring and the business cycle is not in a kind spot going forward, which
we knew was likely in 2016.
So not only does "Republican fatigue" hurt in 2018, your on the political defensive for
the next cycle. Short-termism in politics is death.
A 50 state strategy, or no 50 state strategy, it really doesn't matter. Democrats were
going to take losses. The key is, making sure the party is unified enough to run public
I truly don't understand your point of view. I also don't understand your claim that NC
deals in fantasy.
Your points make little sense in the face of what people wanted in 2016 that Obama could
have delivered without interference from the Republicans. Things like anti-trust enforcement,
SEC enforcement aka jailing the banksters, not going into Syria, not supporting the war in
Yemen (remember he did both of those on his own without Congress), not making the Bush tax
cuts permanent, not staying silent on union issues and actually wearing those oft mentioned
comfortable shoes while walking a picket line, the list of what could have been done and that
people supported goes on and on. None of which required approval from Congress.
There's even the bland procedural tactic of delaying the release of the Obamacare exchange
premium price increases until after the election in 2016. He could have delayed that notice
several months and saved Hillary a world of hurt at the polls. But he chose not to use the
administrative tools at his disposal in that case. He also could have seen the writing on the
wall with the multiple shut down threats and gotten ahead of it by asking Congress that if
you are deemed an essential employee you will continue to be paid regardless of whether your
department is funded during a shutdown. With 80% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck
that would have been a huge deal.
And speaking of the ACA, we know that Obama and others did whatever they could to kill
single payer and replace it with Romneycare 1.5. The language in the bill and the controversy
surrounding it show that no one thought this would give them a short term political
advantage. If anything, the run up to the vote finally made enough citizens realize that they
didn't hate government insurance, they just hated insurance. And here were the Democrats and
Obama, forcing people to buy expensive insurance.
Obama took a huge organization that could have helped him barnstorm the country (OFA) just
like what Bernie is doing now and killed it early in his first term. He had a mandate for
change. He had a majorities in both houses. He had the perfect bully pulpit. He chose not to
use any of it. He and others killed the support for local parties. The Democrats needed the JFA with Hillary because Obama had pretty much bankrupted the party in 2012. A commitment to
all 50 states would have been huge and would have helped Hillary get on the ground where she
needed to shore up support by a few thousand votes.
Obama and the Democrats took losses from 2008 on because they promised to do what their
constituents voted them in to do and then decided not to do it. By the time 2016 rolled
around, there were estimates which placed 90% of the counties in the US as not having
recovered from the disaster in 2007. Hillary ran on radical incrementalism aka the status
quo. Who in their right mind could have supported the status quo in 2016?
The Democrats lost seats at all levels of government because of their own incompetence,
because of their cowardice, because of their lazy assumptions that people had nowhere else to
go. So when record numbers of people didn't vote they lost by slim margins in states long
considered True Blue. There is nothing cyclical about any of that.
People don't have Republican fatigue. They don't have Democrat fatigue. They simply don't
see the point in voting for people who won't do what they're voted in to do.
The citizens of
this country want change. They want higher wages and lower prices. They want less war. They
want less government interference. They want their kids to grow up with more opportunities
than they did.
Obama and Hillary and all the rest of the Democrats stalking MSM cameras could
have delivered on some of that but chose not to. And here we are. With President Trump. And
even his broken clock gets something right twice a day, whereas Team Blue has a 50/50 chance
of making the right decision and chooses wrong everytime.
Please provide better examples of your points if you truly want to defend your
And, that often mentioned reason for voting for Democrats, the Supreme Court. Neither
Obama nor the Democrats fought for their opportunity to put their person on the Supreme
Court. Because of norms I guess. Which actually makes some sense because it broke norms.
Because they simply don't care
This is complete and utter nonsense. Your calling depicting NC as "fantasy" is a textbook
example of projection on your part.
The country was terrified and demoralized when Obama took office. Go read the press in
December 2008 and January 2009, since your memory is poor. He not only had window of
opportunity to do an updated 100 days, the country would have welcomed. But he ignored it and
the moment passed.
Obama pushed heath care because that was what he had campaigned on and had a personal
interest in it. He had no interest in banking and finance and was happy to let Geither run
As for stimulus, bullshit. Trump increased deficit spending with his tax cuts and no one
cares much if at all. The concern re deficit spending was due to the fact that the Obama
economic team was the Clinton (as in Bob Rubin) economics team, which fetishized balanced
budgets or even worse, surpluses. We have explained long form that that stance was directly
responsible for the rapid increase in unproductive household debt, most of all mortgage debt,
which produced the crisis.
"... Senate Democrats have once again selected Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) as their minority leader without so much as a whisper of a debate or contest. This is galling. The man is incompetent, has abysmal politics, and as we were reminded in a huge New York Times investigation into Facebook, is extremely corrupt. ..."
"... Schumer definitely succeeded in the latter objective. In keeping with his long career as a Wall Street stooge (and in sharp contrast with his predecessor Harry Reid ), he quietly shepherded financial deregulation through. And because he has an almost neoconservative foreign policy, he largely stood aside as Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal for no reason. He also attacked Trump from the right for not being belligerent enough towards North Korea. ..."
"... Where does Schumer come in? Well, in 2017, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) opened an investigation into Facebook over Russiagate and misinformation generally. (Far from being some fire-breathing populist, Warner is among the most milquetoast, business-friendly Democrats who has ever held high office.) But Schumer has raised more money from Facebook than any other member of Congress, his daughter works there , and he helped get his former staffer appointed to the Federal Trade Commission (which oversees Facebook). In concert with Facebook brass, he told Warner to lay off the company, reported the Times : "Mr. Warner should be looking for ways to work with Facebook, Mr. Schumer advised, not harm it." ..."
"... So when it comes to sellout Democrats voting to make another financial crisis more likely, Schumer wrings his hands and hectors progressives not to criticize them too much (after which most of the sellouts lose anyway). But when those same sellouts start criticizing one of his favored sources of campaign cash, suddenly he discovers a knack for backroom arm-twisting and hardball tactics. ..."
Senate Democrats have once again selected Sen. Chuck
Schumer (D-N.Y.) as their minority leader without so much as a whisper of a debate or contest. This is galling. The man is incompetent, has abysmal politics, and as we were reminded in a
York Times investigation into Facebook, is extremely corrupt.
In his first two years as Senate minority leader, Schumer had two main priorities. First,
preserve his vulnerable moderates running in deeply Trumpy states, like Claire McCaskill in
Missouri, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly in Indiana. Second, use the Trump
presidency to sneak through some odious stuff that most liberals hate.
And how about that first goal? Schumer failed spectacularly in preserving most of these
seats. Nearly all of his moderates -- to whom he had granted significant leeway to vote for
President Trump's judicial nominees and bills -- lost. Only Joe Manchin in West Virginia
managed to hang on. The Democratic Senate margin is being somewhat bolstered only by other
candidates knocking off Republican senators in Arizona and Nevada, which Schumer had little to
do with. (Indeed, Harry Reid, who is still helping run a well-oiled
labor turnout machine in Nevada, was the key figure behind the Nevada win.)
This brings me to Facebook. Sheera Frenkel, Nicholas Confessore, Cecilia Kang, Matthew
Rosenberg, and Jack Nicas wrote a jaw-dropping
piece of reporting for the Times about Facebook's lobbying operation. They focused
on how the company has defended itself from evidence that Russian intelligence used the
platform to help Trump win in 2016, and that political extremists have been using the platform
atrocities , including
Basically, the strategy conducted by Facebook's top executives, including CEO Mark
Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, was the filthiest sludge out of the bottom of the lobbying
barrel. (Facebook has defended itself and calls the report "grossly unfair.") The story is very
long, but probably the most explosive revelation was that Facebook hired a soulless Republican
propaganda shop to attack its critics -- notably the Open Markets Institute , which Anne-Marie Slaughter
shoved out of the New America Foundation on
instructions from her Google paymasters -- with anti-Semitic smears, casting it as the tool
of wealthy Jewish philanthropist George Soros. Remarkably, at the very same time they
convinced the Anti-Defamation League to cast criticism of Facebook as anti-Semitic, as both
Zuckerberg and Sandberg are Jewish.
It's worth stopping for a moment to take this in. Just a couple weeks ago a right-wing
terrorist hopped up on anti-Soros propaganda massacred 11 Jews at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Another sent a mail bomb to Soros' home. A third person in D.C. was
recently arrested on suspicion of plotting another synagogue shooting.
Where does Schumer come in? Well, in 2017, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) opened an investigation
into Facebook over Russiagate and misinformation generally. (Far from being some fire-breathing
populist, Warner is among the most milquetoast, business-friendly Democrats who has ever held
high office.) But Schumer has
raised more money from Facebook than any other member of Congress, his
daughter works there , and he helped get his former staffer appointed to
the Federal Trade Commission (which oversees Facebook). In concert with Facebook brass, he told
Warner to lay off the company, reported the Times : "Mr. Warner should be looking for
ways to work with Facebook, Mr. Schumer advised, not harm it."
So when it comes to sellout Democrats voting to make another financial crisis more likely,
Schumer wrings his hands and
hectors progressives not to criticize them too much (after which most of the sellouts lose
anyway). But when those same sellouts start criticizing one of his favored sources of campaign
cash, suddenly he discovers a knack for backroom arm-twisting and hardball tactics.
Craig Murray is right that "As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies
the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier."
Collapse of neoliberal ideology and rise of tentions in neoliberal sociarties resulted in unprecedented increase of covert and false
flag operations by British intelligence services, especially against Russia, which had been chosen as a convenient scapegoat.
With Steele dossier and Skripal affair as two most well known.
New Lady Macbeth (Theresa May) Russophobia is so extreme that her cabinet derailed the election of a Russian to head
Looks like neoliberalism cannot be defeated by and faction of the existing elite. Only when shepp oil end mant people will
have a chance. The US , GB and EU are part of the wider hegemonic neoliberal system. In fact rejection of neoliberal
globalization probably will lead to "national neoliberals" regime which would be a flavor of neo-fascism, no more no less.
"... The British state can maintain its spies' cover stories for centuries. ..."
"... I learnt how highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane just happened to be on holiday in the United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign. ..."
"... It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, "Corbyn and Sanders supporting" Bracey-Lane is hosting a very right wing event, "Cold War Then and Now", for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely unbalanced panel of British military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia. ..."
"... the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in "clusters of influence" around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute's internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative's thus exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and others like Dan Kaszeta the US "novichok expert", have cheerfully admitted it. ..."
"... By sleuthing the company records of this "Scottish charity", and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building . It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London. ..."
"... Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence. ..."
"... I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers' money. Please note in the interim I am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills. ..."
"... I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information. ..."
"... one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media, it would be the biggest story of the day ..."
"... As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier. ..."
"... You can bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply "the enemy". ..."
The British state can maintain its spies' cover stories for centuries. Look up Eldred Pottinger, who for 180 years appears
in scores of British history books – right up to and including William Dalrymple's Return of the King – as a British officer who
chanced to be passing Herat on holiday when it came under siege from a partly Russian-officered Persian army, and helped to organise
the defences. In researching
Sikunder Burnes, I discovered and published from the British Library incontrovertible and detailed documentary evidence that
Pottinger's entire journey was under the direct instructions of, and reporting to, British spymaster Alexander Burnes. The first
historian to publish the untrue "holiday" cover story, Sir John Kaye, knew both Burnes and Pottinger and undoubtedly knew he was
publishing lying propaganda. Every other British historian of the First Afghan War (except me and latterly
Farrukh Husain) has just followed Kaye's official propaganda.
Some things don't change. I was irresistibly reminded of Eldred Pottinger just passing Herat on holiday, when I learnt how
highly improbable left wing firebrand Simon Bracey-Lane
just happened to be on holiday in the
United States with available cash to fund himself, when he stumbled into the Bernie Sanders campaign.
Recent university graduate Simon Bracey-Lane took it even further. Originally from Wimbledon in London, he was inspired to
rejoin the Labour party in September when Corbyn was elected leader. But by that point, he was already in the US on holiday. So
he joined the Sanders campaign, and never left.
"I had two weeks left and some money left, so I thought, Fuck it, I'll make some calls for Bernie Sanders," he explains. "I just
sort of knew Des Moines was the place, so I just turned up at their HQ, started making phone calls, and then became a fully fledged
It is, to say the least, very interesting indeed that just a year later the left wing, "Corbyn and Sanders supporting" Bracey-Lane
is hosting a very right wing event, "Cold War Then and Now", for the shadowy neo-con Institute for Statecraft, at which an entirely
unbalanced panel of British
military, NATO and Ukrainian nationalists extolled the virtues of re-arming against Russia.
Nor would it seem likely that Bracey-Lane would be involved with the Integrity Initiative. Even the mainstream media has been
forced to give a few paragraphs to the outrageous Integrity Initiative, under which the MOD-sponsored Institute for Statecraft
has been given millions of pounds of taxpayers' money by the FCO to spread covert disinformation and propaganda, particularly against
Russia and the anti-war movement. Activities include twitter and facebook trolling and secretly paying journalists in "clusters of
influence" around Europe. Anonymous helpfully leaked the Institute's internal documents. Some of the Integrity Initiative's thus
exposed alleged covert agents, like David Aaronovitch, have denied any involvement despite their appearance in the documents, and
others like Dan Kaszeta the US "novichok expert", have cheerfully admitted it.
The mainstream media have
the HQ of the "Institute for Statecraft" to a derelict mill near Auchtermuchty. It is owned by one of the company directors, Daniel
Lafayeedney, formerly of D Squadron 23rd SAS Regiment and later of Military Intelligence (and incidentally born the rather more prosaic
By sleuthing the company records of this "Scottish charity", and a couple of phone calls, I discovered that the actual location
of the Institute for Statecraft is the basement of 2 Temple Place, London. This is not just any basement – it is the basement of
the former London mansion of William Waldorf Astor, an astonishing building.
It is, in short, possibly the most expensive basement in London.
Which is interesting because the accounts of the Institute for Statecraft claim it has no permanent staff and show nothing
for rent, utilities or office expenses. In fact, I understand the rent is paid by the Ministry of Defence.
Having been told where the Institute for Statecraft skulk, I tipped off journalist Kit Klarenberg of Sputnik Radio to go and physically
check it out. Kit did so and was
ejected by that well-known Corbyn and Sanders supporter, Simon Bracey-Lane. It does seem somewhat strange that our left wing
hero is deeply embedded in an organisation that
launches troll attacks on Jeremy Corbyn.
I have a great deal more to tell you about Mr Edney and his organisation next week, and the extraordinary covert disinformation
war the British government wages online, attacking British citizens using British taxpayers' money. Please note in the interim I
am not even a smidgeon suicidal, and going to be very, very careful crossing the road and am not intending any walks in the hills.
I am not alleging Mr Bracey-Lane is an intelligence service operative who previously infiltrated the Labour Party and the
Sanders campaign. He may just be a young man of unusually heterodox and vacillating political opinions. He may be an undercover reporter
for the Canary infiltrating the Institute for Statecraft. All these things are possible, and I have no firm information.
But one of the activities the Integrity Initiative sponsors happens to be the use of online trolls to ridicule the idea that the
British security services ever carry out any kind of infiltration, false flag or agent provocateur operations, despite the fact that
we even have repeated court judgements against undercover infiltration officers getting female activists pregnant. The Integrity
Initiative offers us a glimpse into the very dirty world of surveillance and official disinformation. If we actually had a free media,
it would be the biggest story of the day.
As the Establishment feels its grip slipping, as people wake up to the appalling economic exploitation by the few that underlies
the very foundations of modern western society, expect the methods used by the security services to become even dirtier.
bank on continued ramping up of Russophobia to supply "the enemy".
As both Scottish Independence and Jeremy Corbyn are viewed as
real threats by the British Establishment, you can anticipate every possible kind of dirty trick in the next couple of years, with
increasing frequency and audacity
After Democratic party was co-opted by neoliberals there is no way back. And since Obama the trend of Democratic Party is
toward strengthening the wing of CIA-democratic notthe wing of the party friendly to workers. Bought by Wall Street leadership is
uncable of intruting any change that undermine thier current neoliberal platform. that's why they criminally derailed Sanders.
"... When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism, would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism. ..."
"... To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!" ..."
"... "Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad." ..."
"... "It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent upon the Democratic Party." ..."
"... "And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting the Democrats ..."
"... It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of their class. ..."
"... First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious! ..."
"... from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/... ..."
they literally ripped this out of the 2016 Green Party platform. Jill Stein spoke repeatedly
about the same exact kind of Green New Deal, a full-employment, transition-to-100%-renewables
program that would supposedly solve all the world's problems.
When you think about the issue of how exactly a clean-energy jobs program would address
the elephant in the room of private accumulation and how such a program, under capitalism,
would be able to pay living wages to the people put to work under it, it exposes how non
threatening these Green New Deals actually are to capitalism.
In 2016, when the Greens made
this their central economic policy proposal, the Democrats responded by calling that platform
irresponsible and dangerous ("even if it's a good idea, you can't actually vote for a
non-two-party candidate!"). Why would they suddenly find a green new deal appealing now
except for its true purpose: left cover for the very system destroying the planet.
Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!"
"Any serious measures to stop global warming, let alone assure a job and livable wage to
everyone, would require a massive redistribution of wealth and the reallocation of trillions
currently spent on US imperialism's neo-colonial wars abroad."
Their political position not only lacks seriousness, unserious is their political
"It includes various left-sounding rhetoric, but is entirely directed to and dependent
upon the Democratic Party."
For subjective-idealists, what you want to believe, think and feel is just so much more
convincing than objective reality. Especially when it covers over single-minded class
interests at play.
"And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical
policy is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and
exploiting you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth
face today -- falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of
world war." - New York Times tries to shame "disillusioned young voters" into supporting
It is an illusion that technical innovation within the capitalist system will magically
fundamentally resolve the material problems produced by capitalism. But the inconvenient
facts are entirely ignored by the corporate shills in the DSA and the whole lot of
establishment politicians, who prefer to indulge their addiction to wealth and power with
delusions of grandeur, technological utopianism, and other figments that serve the needs of
First it was Obama with his phoney "hope and change" that lured young voters to the
Dumbicrats and now it's Ocacia Cortez promising a "green deal" in order to herd them back
into the Democratic party--a total fraud of course--totally obvious!
Only an International Socialist program led by Workers can truly lead a "green revolution" by
expropriating the billionaire oil barons of their capital and redirecting that wealth into
the socialist reconstruction of the entire economy.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal" is a nice laugh. Really, it sure is funny hearing
these lies given any credence at all. This showmanship belongs in a fantasy book, not in real
life. The Democratic Party as a force for good social change Now that's a laugh!
Lies, empty promises, meaningless tautologies and morality plays, qualified and conditional
declarations to be backpedalled pending appropriate political expediencies, devoid any
practical content that is what AOC, card carrying member of DSA, and in fact young energetic
political apparatchik of calcified political body of Dems establishment, duty engulfs. And
working for socialist revolution is no one of them.
What kind of socialist would reject socialist revolution, class struggle and class
emancipation and choose, as a suppose socialist path, accommodation with oligarchic ruling
elite via political, not revolutionary process that would have necessarily overthrown ruling
What socialist would acquiesce to legalized exploitation of people for profit, legalized
greed and inequality and would negotiate away fundamental principle of egalitarianism and
working people self rule?
Only National Socialist would; and that is exactly what AOC campaign turned out to be all
National Socialism with imperial flavor is her affiliation and what her praises for
Pelosi, wife of a billionaire and dead warmonger McCain proved.
Now she is peddling magical thinking about global change and plunge herself into falacy of
entrepreneurship, Market solution to the very problem that the market solutions were designed
to create and aggravate namely horrific inequality that is robbing people from their own
opportunities to mitigate devastating effects of global change.
The insidiousness of phony socialists expresses itself in the fact that they lie that any
social problem can be fixed by current of future technical means, namely via so called
technological revolution instead by socialist revolution they deem unnecessary or
The technical means for achieving socialism has existed since the late 19th century, with the
telegraph, the coal-powered factory, and modern fertilizer. The improvements since then have
only made socialism even more streamlined and efficient, if such technologies could only be
liberated from capital! The idea that "we need a new technological revolution just to achieve
socialism" reflects the indoctrination in capitalism by many "socialist" theorists because it
is only in capitalism where "technological growth" is essential simply to maintain the
system. It is only in capitalism (especially America, the most advanced capitalist nation,
and thus, the one where capitalism is actually closest towards total crisis) where the dogma
of a technological savior is most entrenched because America cannot offer any other kind of
palliative to the more literate and productive sections of its population. Religion will not
convince most and any attempt at a sociological or economic understanding would inevitably
prove the truth of socialism.
In the wake of the sending of bomb-like devices of uncertain capability to prominent critics
of US President Donald Trump and of a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue (
both Trump's fault , of course) – plus a migrant invasion approaching the US through
Mexico – there have been widespread calls for toning down harsh and "divisive" political
rhetoric. Of course given the nature of the American media and other establishment voices,
these demands predictably have been aimed almost entirely against Trump and
his Deplorable supporters , almost never against the same establishment that unceasingly
vilifies Trump and
Middle American radicals as literally Hitler , all backed up by the evil
Russian President Vladimir Putin .
When Trump calls the establishment media the enemies of the people, that's because they
– together with their
passive NPC drones and active Antifa enforcers – are enemies, if by "the people" we
mean the historic American nation. Trump's sin is that he calls them out for what they are.
Trump didn't cause today's polarization, he only exacerbates it because he punches back.
Good, may he continue to do so. Pining for a more well-mannered time in a country that belongs
to another, long-gone era is futile.
American politics is no longer about a narrow range of governing styles or competing
economic interests. It is tribal. Today's "tribes" are defined in terms of affinity for or
hostility to the founding American ethnos characterized by European, overwhelming
British origin (a/k/a, "white"); Christian, mainly Protestant; and English-speaking, as
augmented by members of other groups who have totally or partially assimilated to that
ethnos or who at least identify with it (think of
Mr. Hamadura in The Camp of the Saints ).
(Unfortunately we don't have a specific word for this core American ethnic identity to
distinguish it from general references to the United States in a civic or geographic sense.
(Russian, by contrast, makes a distinction between ethnic
русский (russkiy) and civic/geographical
Maybe we could adapt Frank Lloyd Wright's " Usonian "? "Or Americaner," comparable to Afrikaner?
In most of the above categories there are variations that can increase the intensity of
oppressor or victim status. For example, certified victimhood in a recognized category confers
extra points, like Black Lives Matter for race (it is racist to suggest that " all
lives matter ") or a defined religious group marginalized by "hate" (mainly anti-Jewish or
anti-Muslim , but not something like anti-Buddhist, anti-Rastafarian, or even anti-atheist
or anti-Satanist because no one bothers about them; anti-Christian victimhood is an oxymoron
because "Christian" is inherently an oppressive category). In addition, meeting the criteria
for more than one category confers enhanced victimhood under a principle called "
In the same way, there are aggravating factors in oppressor categories, such as being a
policeman (an enforcer of the structure of oppression regardless of the officer's personal
victim attributes, but worse if straight, white, Christian, etc.) or a member of a "hate"
subculture (a Southerner who's not vocally self-loathing
is a presumed Klan sympathizer ; thus, a diabetic, unemployed, opioid-addicted Georgia cracker is an
oppressor as the beneficiary of his "white privilege" and "toxic masculinity," notwithstanding
his socio-economic and health status). Like being Southern, living
while genetically Russian is also an aggravating factor.
Creatively shuffling these descriptors suggests an entertaining game like Mad Libs , or perhaps an endless series of
jokes for which you could be fired if you told them at work:
Two people walk into a bar.
One is a Baptist, straight, male Virginia state trooper whose ancestors arrived at
To attain victory the forces of victimhood championed by the Democratic Party need to
reclaim part of the apparatus of power they lost in Trump's unexpected 2016 win. (Actually,
much of the apparatus in the Executive Branch remains in Democratic hands but is only of
limited utility as a "resistance" under the superficial Trumpian occupation.) As this
commentary appears it is expected that on November 6 the GOP will retain control of the US
Senate but the House of Representatives will flip to the Democrats.
First, on the domestic political front, while Democrats and their MSM echo chamber have
cooled down talk of impeaching Trump, it will return with a vengeance on November 7
October Socialist Revolution Day ) if the House changes hands. In contrast to the GOP's
dithering in the area of investigations and hearings relevant to the
US-UK Deep State conspiracy to overturn the 2016 election (which will be buried forever),
the Democrats will be utterly ruthless in using their power with the single-minded purpose of
getting Trump out of office before 2020. They won't waste much time on the phony Russian
"collusion" story (Robert Mueller's report will be an obscenely expensive dud), they'll focus
like a laser on getting Trump's tax returns and dredging up anything they can from his long
involvement in the sharp-elbowed, dog-eat-dog world of New York property development and
construction, confident they can find something that qualifies as a high crime or
misdemeanor. ( Some racist
language couldn't hurt, either.) The model will be Richard Nixon's Vice
President Spiro Agnew , who was forced out of office on charges relating to his time in
Maryland politics years earlier. Even the GOP's retention of the Senate would be far from a
guarantee that Trump won't be removed. It's easily foreseeable that a dozen-plus Republican
Senators would be thrilled to get rid of Trump and restore the party's status quo ante with
Mike Pence in the Oval Office. As with Nixon, Republicans will panic at whatever dirt the
Democrats dig up and demand Trump resign for the "good of the country and the party," as
opposed to the way Democrats formed a protective phalanx around Bill Clinton. Unlike Nixon,
Trump might choose to fight it out in the Senate and might even prevail. In any case, a
change in control of just one chamber means an extended political crisis that will keep Trump
boxed in and perpetually on the defensive.
Third and most ominously, chances of a major war could increase exponentially. If Trump
is fighting for his life, chances of purging his
terrible, horrible, no good, very bad national security team will go from slim to none.
Any hope of a
national interest-based policy along the lines Trump promised in 2016 – and which
still seems to be his personal preference – will be gone. Thankfully, South Korea's
President Moon Jae-in has run with the ball through last year's opening and hopefully
the momentum for peace in Northeast Asia will be self-sustaining. With any luck, the
imbroglio between Washington and Riyadh will lead to America's " downplaying and
eventually abandoning the anti-Iranian obsession that has so far overshadowed our
regional policy" and to an end the carnage in Yemen, even as the Syria war
lurches toward resolution . Still, the US remains addicted to
ever-increasing sanctions , and despite warnings from both Russia and China that they are
prepared for war – warnings virtually ignored by the US media and political class
– the US keeps pressing on all fronts: outer space, the Arctic, Europe (withdrawal from
the INF treaty),
Ukraine , the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait,
Xinjiang , and elsewhere. Trump is expected to meet with Putin and Chinese President Xi
Jinping following the US election, but they may have to conclude that he is not capable of
restraining the war machine nominally under his command and will plan accordingly.
In Homage to
Catalonia (1938), his memoir of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell describes how his
wife was rudely woken by a police-raid on the hotel room she was occupying in Barcelona:
In the small hours of the morning there was a pounding on the door, and six men marched
in, switched on the light, and immediately took up various positions about the room,
obviously agreed upon beforehand. They then searched both rooms (there was a bathroom
attached) with inconceivable thoroughness. They sounded the walls, took up the mats, examined
the floor, felt the curtains, probed under the bath and the radiator, emptied every drawer
and suitcase and felt every garment and held it up to the light. ( Homage to Catalonia , ch.
The police conducted this search "in the recognized OGPU [then the Russian
communist secret-police] or Gestapo style for nearly two hours," Orwell says. He then notes
that in "all this time they never searched the bed." His wife was still in it, you see, and
although the police "were probably Communist Party members they were also Spaniards, and to
turn a woman out of bed was a little too much for them. This part of the job was silently
dropped, making the whole search meaningless."
Orwell's story suggests a new word to me: typhlophthalmism , meaning "the practice
of turning a blind eye to essential but inconvenient facts" (from Greek typhlos
, "blind," + ophthalmos
, "eye"). But it's a long word, so let's call it typhlism for short. Shorter is
better, because the term could be used so often today. Orwell's story is an allegory of modern
Western politics and social commentary, where so many essential but inconvenient facts are
"silently dropped" from analysis.
Through his own humorous style, comedian Lee Camp pointed out something quite
serious. As he explained, Facebook's founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, fulfilled all the
conditions necessary to run for president of the United States.
One key condition is certain and obvious: tons of money.
Another one, is to pretend to be religious. And this condition is, of course, particularly
important in the America of Donald Trump. Indeed, as Camp says, the former Atheist Mark
Zuckerberg has suddenly found religion.
And the most recent fulfilled condition by Facebook's boss, was to secure the alliance with the
US deep state.
Indeed , on October 11, Facebook announced the removal of 559 pages and 251
accounts from its service, accusing the account holders of " spam and coordinated
inauthentic behavior. " The primary thread connecting victims of the purge seems to be that
they are critics and/or opponents of the American political "mainstream" or
Also, as Ben Norton of the Real
News points out, Facebook has done this multiple times now. We've seen numerous
pages that have been removed. We've also seen the scare of so-called fake news. And what's
troubling about this is that some of the partners Facebook has in its crackdown on so-called
fake news, vetting pages like these that have been removed, one of the partners is the
Atlantic Council . The Atlantic Council is essentially a kind of unofficial NATO,
funded by the United States government and the European Union along with NATO. Among the other
fact-checkers that have partnered with Facebook to screen so-called fake news is the Weekly
Standard . The Weekly Standard is a neo-conservative website that itself published
false information in the lead-up to the Iraq war, which it strongly supported.
And what about Jeff Bezos? He invested on the mainstream media propaganda power by buying "
one of the leading daily American newspapers, along with The New York Times, the Los Angeles
Times, and The Wall Street Journal. The Post has distinguished itself through its political
reporting on the workings of the White House, Congress, and other aspects of the U.S.
government. " Quite influential on the US political developments.
Right after this key move, Alternet immediately identified the conflicts of interest since the Washington Post would never
reveal the fact that Bezos signed a $600 million contract with the CIA.
It seems that another multi-billionaire rushed to proceed in the necessary actions that could
build a bridge towards the US presidency.
And recently, Jeff Bezos attempted to fix his image by raising minimum wage to $15 an hour for
Amazon workers. The move came out from the pressure exercised by Bernie Sanders and the
progressive movement. Yet, it seems to be another neoliberal-style trick
All these indications point to the fact that the liberal plutocracy is determined to 'fire' its
faithful political puppets in the Democratic party, who are rapidly losing popularity and have
become 'inefficient' to serve its interests.
Besides, the progressive movement has already marked some significant victories in the
ideological battlefield. For example, big money and wealthy donors become more and more
repulsive in the eyes of progressive voters and younger generations. And this has become clear
in practice, with the unprecedented victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives
who beat establishment Democrats without the help of the big money.
As the liberal plutocrats understand that it is now pointless to spend money for buying
politicians, they will attempt to take over the Democratic party by themselves. Otherwise, the
party will fall in the hands of the progressives and they will be left without political power.
The liberal plutocrats will use the power of the corporate media to sell themselves as the sole
antidote to Donald Trump.
It is highly unlikely to see this in the 2020 presidential election. The liberal plutocrats
probably prepare the ground to take over the Democratic party in 2024. We may see Mark
Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos fighting in the Democratic primaries and then, fighting for the
presidency against someone from the Trump 'school', like Nikki
The anti-globalist part of the big capital that supported Trump will prefer this development
instead of an uncontrollable progressive movement that will hold political power. Then,
plutocrats of all sides will do what the big capital always does. They will clear up things
between them. In one thing they are unquestionably united: crushing the resistance of the
ordinary people from below.
The Democrats are politically responsible for the rise of Trump.
"... As Obama said following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout), pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man." ..."
"... This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to exploit discontent among impoverished social layers. ..."
Pelosi's deputy in the House, Steny Hoyer, sums up the right-wing policies of the Democrats,
declaring: "His [Trump's] objectives are objectives that we share. If he really means that,
then there is an opening for us to work together."
So much for the moral imperative of voting for the Democrats to stop Trump! As Obama said
following Trump's election, the Democrats and Republicans are "on the same team" and their
differences amount to an "intramural scrimmage." They are on the team of, and owned lock stock
and barrel by, the American corporate-financial oligarchy, personified by Trump.
The Democrats are, moreover, politically responsible for the rise of Trump. The Obama
administration paved the way for Trump by implementing the pro-corporate (Wall Street bailout),
pro-war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, drone killings) and anti-democratic (mass
surveillance, persecution of Snowden, Assange, Manning) policies that Trump is continuing and
intensifying. And by breaking all his election promises and carrying out austerity policies
against the working class, Obama enabled the billionaire gangster Trump to make an appeal to
sections of workers devastated by deindustrialization, presenting himself as the
anti-establishment spokesman for the "forgotten man."
This was compounded by the right-wing Clinton candidacy, which exuded contempt for the
working class and appealed for support to the military and CIA and wealthy middle-class layers
obsessed with identity politics. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton gave Trump an open field to
exploit discontent among impoverished social layers.
The same process is taking place internationally. While strikes and other expressions of
working class opposition are growing and broad masses are moving to the left, the right-wing
policies of supposedly "left" establishment parties are enabling far-right and neo-fascist
forces to gain influence and power in countries ranging from Germany, Italy, Hungary and Poland
As for Gay's injunction to vote "pragmatically," this is a crude promotion of the bankrupt
politics that are brought forward in every election to keep workers tied to the capitalist
two-party system. "You have only two choices. That is the reality, whether you like it or not."
And again and again, in the name of "practicality," the most unrealistic and impractical policy
is promoted -- supporting a party that represents the class that is oppressing and exploiting
you! The result is precisely the disastrous situation working people and youth face today --
falling wages, no job security, growing repression and the mounting threat of world war.
The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation "graveyard of social protest
movements," and for good reason. From the Populist movement of the late 19th century, to the
semi-insurrectional industrial union movement of the 1930s, to the civil rights movement of the
1950s and 1960s, to the mass anti-war protest movements of the 1960s and the eruption of
international protests against the Iraq War in the early 2000s -- every movement against the
depredations of American capitalism has been aborted and strangled by being channeled behind
the Democratic Party.
"... Donald Trump has been transforming American society not by legislation but by using his executive powers to put people in charge of government agencies who are inimical to their stated goals. It is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse ..."
"... By contrast, Trump is imposing a regime that was incubated long ago by people such as Grover "Starve the Beast" Norquist and every other libertarian think-tank funded by the Koch Brothers et al. The big bourgeoisie might not like the bad taste, racism and thuggish behavior of the Trump administration but they couldn't be happier with the results. This is an elected government that has fulfilled its deepest policy aspirations and that shows a willingness to push the Democrats back on their heels, so much so that someone like Mikie Sherrill lacks the courage to defend policies that might win elections down the road. After all, if she is unseated, she can always go back to a job as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey. What happens to someone working in Walmart's is not her business, after all. ..."
Ever since the Democratic Party abandoned its New Deal legacy and adopted the neoliberal
centrism associated with the Carter presidency and then cast in stone by the Democratic
Leadership Council in 1985, each election loss has generated a chorus of remonstrations in the
left-liberal press about the need to run "progressive" candidates if the party wants to win.
The latest instance of this was a post to the Jacobin FB page that stated: "By running
to the right, Democrats insist on losing twice: at the polls and in constructing an inspiring
agenda. Bold left-wing politics are our only hope for long-term, substantive victory."
The question of why Democrats are so okay with losing has to be examined closely. In some
countries, elections have huge consequences, especially in Latin America where a job as an
elected official might be not only a source of income for a socialist parliamentarian but a
trigger for a civil war or coup as occurred in Costa Rica in 1948 and in Chile in 1973
In the 2010 midterm elections, there was a massive loss of seats in the House of
Representatives for the Democrats. In this month's midterm elections, the Democrats hoped that
a "Blue Wave" would do for them what the 2010 midterms did for the Republicans -- put them in
the driver's seat. It turned out to be more of a "Blue Spray", not to speak of the toothless
response of House leader Nancy Pelosi who spoke immediately about how the Democrats can reach
across the aisle to the knuckle-dragging racists of the Republican Party.
Out of curiosity, I went to Wikipedia to follow up on what happened to the "losers" in 2010.
Did they have to go on unemployment? Like Republicans who got voted out this go-round,
Democrats had no trouble lining up jobs as lobbyists. Allen Boyd from Florida sent a letter to
Obama after the BP oil spill in 2010 asking him to back up BP's claim that seafood in the Gulf
of Mexico was okay to eat. After being voted out of office, he joined the Twenty-First Century
Group, a lobbying firm founded by a former Republican Congressman from Texas named Jack Fields.
A 1980 article on Fields describes him as a protégé of ultraright leader Paul
Glenn Nye, who lost his job as a Virginia congressman, his considerable CV that included
working for the Agency for International Development (AID) and serving in various capacities
during the occupation of Iraq to land a nice gig as Senior Political Advisor for the Hanover
John Spratt from South Carolina was described by Dow Jones News as "one of the staunchest
fiscal conservatives among House Democrats." That was enough for him to land a job with Barack
Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that was supposed to come up
with a strategy to reduce the deficit. Just the sort of thing that was calculated to lift the
American economy out of the worst slump since the 1930s. Not.
Pennsylvania's Chris Carney was a helluva Democrat. From 2002 to 2004, he was a
counterterrorism analyst for the Bush administration. He not only reported to Douglas Feith in
the Office of Special Plans and at the Defense Intelligence Agency, researching links between
al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, but served as an interrogator in Guantanamo. These qualifications
landed him a job as director of homeland security and policy strategy for BAE Systems when the
House of Representatives gig ended. A British security and munitions powerhouse, BAE won a
contract worth £4.4bn to supply the Saudis with 72 fighter jets – some of which
were used to bomb Red Cross and Physician Without Borders hospitals in Yemen.
With such crumb-bums losing in 2010, you'd think that the Democrats would be convinced that
their best bet for winning elections would be to disavow candidates that had ties to the
national security apparatus and anything that smacked of the DLC's assault on the welfare
state. Not exactly. When the candidates are female, that might work in the party's favor like
sugar-coating a bitter pill.
In Virginia, former CIA officer Abigail Spanberger and retired Navy Commander Elaine Luria
defeated Republican incumbents. Air Force veteran Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, former CIA
analyst Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, and former Navy pilot Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey also
helped the Democrats regain the House. Sherill calculated that moving to the center would serve
her own and the party's interests. She told MSNBC: "As a Navy helicopter pilot I never flew
Republican missions or Democratic missions, I would have had a very short career. This is
something I do think vets bring to the table, this willingness to work with everyone."
For Sherrill, a newcomer to politics, the 11th has proved to be a tricky terrain. She is
seen as a progressive, but appears wary of carrying the "Trump resistance" banner into the
fray. At Wednesday's debate, Sherrill was determined to show she is more Morris Plains than
There were no heated vows to fight Trump, even though being "appalled" by the president
was what motivated her to run in the first place. The Nov. 6 midterms loom as a referendum on
Trump's presidency, but you would never have guessed that watching Wednesday's contest.
Sherrill repeatedly promised to be bipartisan -- a far cry from the combative,
confrontational tone that many in the party's grass roots are demanding.
On tax policy she sounded more centrist Republican than mainstream liberal Democrat, and
she refused to endorse issues like free community college tuition, which has become a popular
talking point for Democrats and was launched by Gov. Phil Murphy this summer.
"Without understanding how that would be paid for, I haven't supported it because it
sounds like it would raise taxes on our families,'" she said.
The moderate tone puzzled some of her ardent "resistance" activists who mobilized around
For Eric Fritsch, 32, a Teamster for the film and television industry from West Orange, it
was jarring to hear Sherrill oppose Democratic Party wish-list items like free community
college tuition or "Medicare-for-all" coverage out of fear that it may raise taxes. She used
the same excuse to sidestep supporting a "carbon tax" to reduce global warming.
"By going on the defensive about taxes she is accepting a Republican framing that we don't
want to be responsible with taxes in the first place,'" said Fritsch, who insisted that he
remains a "very enthusiastic" Sherrill supporter.
It should be abundantly clear by now that the Democratic Party leadership will be selecting
a candidate in 2020 in all ways identical to Hillary Clinton but perhaps with a less tawdry
past and less of an appetite for Goldman-Sachs speaking fees. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Joe
Biden, Andrew Cuomo, et al have no intention of allowing upstarts like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
to spoil their plans, even if it means a second term for Donald Trump.
No matter. Jacobin editor Bhaskar Sunkara urges his readers and DSA comrades to plunge ahead
trying to consolidate a "socialist" caucus in the Democratic Party. From his perspective,
working in the Democratic Party seems to be the "most promising place for advancing left
politics, at least in the short term." Keep in mind that Sherrill raised $1.9 million for her
campaign and my old boss from Salomon Brothers Michael Bloomberg ponied up another $1.8 million
just for her TV ads. Does anybody really think that "socialist" backed candidates will be able
to compete with people like Sherrill in the primaries? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was able to
defeat the hack Joe Crowley on a shoestring but that was something of a fluke. Until there is a
massive shake-up in American society that finally reveals the Democratic Party to be the
capitalist tool it has been since Andrew Jackson's presidency, it is likely that a combination
of big money and political inertia will keep the Democratic Party an agent of reaction.
Furthermore, the takeover of the House might turn out to be a hollow victory in the light of
how Trump rules. His strategy hasn't been to push through legislation except for the tax cut.
Remember the blather about investing in infrastructure? His minions in Congress have no
intention of proposing a trillion or so dollars in highway or bridge repair, etc. With Nancy
Pelosi fecklessly talking about how the two parties can collaborate on infrastructure, you can
only wonder whether she has been asleep for the past two years.
Donald Trump has been transforming American society not by legislation but by using his
executive powers to put people in charge of government agencies who are inimical to their
stated goals. It is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse as Malcolm X once put
it. Two days ago, the NY Times wrote about how the "Trump Administration Spares Corporate
Wrongdoers Billions in Penalties". It did not need legislation to help big banks rip off the
public. All it took was naming former head of BankOne Joseph Otting comptroller of the
currency. Senator Sherrod Brown, one of the few Democrats with a spine, called Trump out: "The
president's choice for watchdog of America's largest banks is someone who signed a consent
order -- over shady foreclosure practices -- with the very agency he's been selected to
For all of the dozens of articles about how Trump is creating a fascist regime, hardly any
deal with the difference between Trump and Adolf Hitler. Hitler created a massive bureaucracy
that ran a quasi-planned economy with generous social benefits that put considerable restraints
on the bourgeoisie. Like FDR, he was taking measures to save capitalism. Perhaps if the USA had
a social and economic crisis as deep as Germany's and left parties as massive as those in
Germany, FDR might have embarked on a much more ambitious concentration camp program, one that
would have interred trade unionists as well as Japanese-Americans. Maybe even Jews if they
complained too much.
By contrast, Trump is imposing a regime that was incubated long ago by people such as
Grover "Starve the Beast" Norquist and every other libertarian think-tank funded by the Koch
Brothers et al. The big bourgeoisie might not like the bad taste, racism and thuggish behavior
of the Trump administration but they couldn't be happier with the results. This is an elected
government that has fulfilled its deepest policy aspirations and that shows a willingness to
push the Democrats back on their heels, so much so that someone like Mikie Sherrill lacks the
courage to defend policies that might win elections down the road. After all, if she is
unseated, she can always go back to a job as a federal prosecutor in New Jersey. What happens
to someone working in Walmart's is not her business, after all.
"... There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9? ..."
"... So the Democrat faction of the Corporate One-Party took back control of the House from the Republican faction. (It's one hard-right party, of course; only liars and those ignorant of history call the Dems "centrist". By any objective or historical standard they're a right-wing party.) ..."
"... I made no prediction on what would happen in this election, but I've long predicted that if/when the Democrats win control of either house they'll do nothing with that control. Jack squat. Status quo all the way, embellished with more retarded Russia-Derangement stuff and similar nonsense. ..."
"... If there really were a difference between these corporate factions, here's the chance for the House to obstruct all Senate-passed legislation. ..."
"... They claim there's a difference between the two parties? ..."
"... But I predict this House won't lift a finger vs. the Senate, and that it'll strive to work with the Senate on legislation, and that it'll fully concur with the Senate on war budgets, police state measures, anything and everything demanded by Wall Street, Big Ag, the fossil fuel extractors, and of course the corporate welfare state in general. ..."
"... Nothing I've talked about here is anything but what is possible, what is always implicitly or explicitly promised by Dembots, and what it would seem is the minimum necessary given what Dembots claim is the scope of the crisis and what is at stake. ..."
It's not even decent theatre. Drama is much lacking, character development zilch. The outcome that dems take congress,& rethugs
improve in senate is exactly as was predicted months ago.
The dems reveal once again exactly how mendacious and uncaring of
the population they are. Nothing matters other than screwing more cash outta anyone who wants anything done so that the DC trough
stays full with the usual crew of 4th & 5th generation wannabe dem pols guzzling hard at the corporate funded 'dem aligned' think
tanks which generate much hot air yet never deliver. Hardly suprising given that actually doing something to show they give a
sh1t about the citizenry would annoy the donor who would give em all the boot, making all these no-hopers have to take up a gig
actually practising law.
These are people whose presence at the best law schools in the country prevented many who wanted to be y'know lawyers from
entering Harvard, Cornell etc law school. "one doesn't go to law school to become a lawyer It too hard to even pull down a mil
a year as a brief, nah, I studied the law to learn how to make laws that actually do the opposite of what they seem to. That is
where the real dough is."
Those who think that is being too hard on the dem slugs, should remember that the rethugs they have been indoctrinated to detest
act pretty much as printed on the side of the can. They advertise a service of licking rich arseholes and that is exactly what
they do. As venal and sociopathic as they are, at least they don't pretend to be something else; so while there is no way one
could vote for anyone spouting republican nonsense at least they don't hide their greed & corruption under a veneer of pseudo-humanist
nonsense. Dems cry for the plight of the poverty stricken then they slash welfare.
Or dems sob about the hard row african americans must hoe, then go off to the house of reps to pass laws to keep impoverished
african americans slotted up in an over crowded prison for the rest of his/her life.
Not only deceitful and vicious, 100% pointless since any Joe/Jo that votes on the basis of wanting to see more blackfellas
incarcerated is always gonna tick the rethug box anyhow.
Yeah- yeah we know all this so what?
This is what - the dems broke their arses getting tens of millions of young first time voters out to "exercise their democratic
prerogative" for the first time. Dems did this knowing full well that there would be no effective opposition to rethug demands
for more domestic oppression, that in fact it is practically guaranteed that should the trump and the rethug senate require it,
in order to ensure something particularly nasty gets passed, that sufficient dem congress people will 'cross the floor' to make
certain the bill does get up.
Of course the dems in question will allude to 'folks back home demanding' that the dem slug does vote with the nasties, but
that is the excuse, the reality is far too many dem pols are as bigoted greedy and elitist as the worst rethugs.
Anyway the upshot of persuading so many kids to get out and vote, so the kids do but the dems are content to just do more of
the same, will be another entire generation lost to elections forever.
If the DNC had been less greedy and more strategic they would have kept their powder dry and hung off press-ganging the kids
until getting such a turnout could have resulted in genuine change, prez 2020' or whenever, would be actual success for pols and
But they didn't and wouldn't ever, since for a dem pol, hundreds of thousands of fellow citizens living on the street isn't
nearly as problematic for them, as the dem wannabe pol paying off the mortgage on his/her DC townhouse by 2020, something that
would have been impossible if they hadn't taken congress as all the 'patrons' would have jerked back their cash figuring there
is no gain giving dosh to losers who couldn't win a bar raffle.
As for that Sharice Davids - a total miss she needed to be either a midget or missing an arm or leg to qualify as the classic
ID dem pol. Being a native american lezzo just doesn't tick enough boxes. I predict a not in the least illustrious career since
she cannot even qualify as the punchline in a circa 1980's joke.
As you said, nothing will get out of the House, Pelosi can't lead. They can easily swing 3 Democrats, then Mike Pence puts
the hammer down. If anything manages to crawl through, it won't even be brought to a vote in the Republican Senate. Trump can
still us his bully pulpit to circle the White wagons, fly in even more than his current 1,125,000 H-visa aliens, and No Taxes
for the Rich is now engraved in stone for the Pharoahs.
The imminent $1,500B Omnibus Deficit Bill Three will be lauded as a 'bipartisan solution' by both houses, and 2020 looks to
be a $27,000B illegal, onerous, odious National Debt open Civil War.
There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich,
the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats.
It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas
are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9?
Smart money is moving toward the exits. This shyte is gonna blow. Let's move to Australia, before it becomes part of Xi's PRC
String of Girls.
Reading most of the comments explaining how the D's won/lost,,, the R's won/lost,,, Trump and company won/lost,,, but couldn't
find one post about how America is losing due to the two suffocating party's and a greedy, disunited, selfish, electorate that
wants it all free.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the Majority discovers it can vote itself
largess out of the public treasury,,,,,,, After that the Majority always votes for the candidate 'promising the most' ,,,,,,,
So the Democrat faction of the Corporate One-Party took back control of the House from the Republican faction. (It's one hard-right
party, of course; only liars and those ignorant of history call the Dems "centrist". By any objective or historical standard they're
a right-wing party.)
It's no big surprise. Last two years it's been the normally self-assured Republicans who, because of their ambivalence about Trump,
have uncharacteristically taken on the usual Democrat role of existential confusion and doubt. Meanwhile the Democrats, in a berserk
batsh$t-insane way, have been more motivated and focused.
So what are these Democrats going to do with this control now that they have it?
I made no prediction on what would happen in this election, but I've long predicted that if/when the Democrats win control of
either house they'll do nothing with that control. Jack squat. Status quo all the way, embellished with more retarded Russia-Derangement
stuff and similar nonsense.
If there really were a difference between these corporate factions, here's the chance for the House to obstruct all Senate-passed
legislation. And as for things which are technically only in the power of the Senate such as confirming appointments, here's the
chance for the House to put public moral pressure on Democrats in the Senate. And there's plenty of back-door ways an activist
House can influence Senate business. Only morbid pedantry, so typical of liberal Dembots, babbles about what the technical powers
of this or that body are. The real world doesn't work that way. To the extent I pay attention at all to Senate affairs it'll be
to see what the House is doing about it.
They claim there's a difference between the two parties? And they claim Trump is an incipient fascist dictator? In that case there's
a lot at stake, and extreme action is called for. Let's see what kind of action we get from their "different" party in control
of the House.
But I predict this House won't lift a finger vs. the Senate, and that it'll strive to work with the Senate on legislation, and
that it'll fully concur with the Senate on war budgets, police state measures, anything and everything demanded by Wall Street,
Big Ag, the fossil fuel extractors, and of course the corporate welfare state in general.
Nor will any of these new-fangled fake "socialist" types take any action to change things one iota. Within the House Democrats,
they could take action, form any and every kind of coalition, to obstruct the corporate-Pelosi leadership faction. They will not
do so. This "new" progressive bloc will be just as fake as the old one.
Nothing I've talked about here is anything but what is possible, what is always implicitly or explicitly promised by Dembots,
and what it would seem is the minimum necessary given what Dembots claim is the scope of the crisis and what is at stake.
"... There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9? ..."
Anton Worter , Nov 7, 2018 11:13:25 AM |
As you said, nothing will get out of the House, Pelosi can't lead. They can easily swing 3
Democrats, then Mike Pence puts the hammer down. If anything manages to crawl through, it
won't even be brought to a vote in the Republican Senate. Trump can still us his bully pulpit
to circle the White wagons, fly in even more than his current 1,125,000 H-visa aliens, and No
Taxes for the Rich is now engraved in stone for the Pharoahs.
The imminent $1,500B Omnibus Deficit Bill Three will be lauded as a 'bipartisan solution'
by both houses, and 2020 looks to be a $27,000B illegal, onerous, odious National Debt open
There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water,
lights out, bow down hard. The Rich, the Corporate Profiteers and the Military-Political
Establishment have pulled away in their fur and jewel-encrusted life boats. It's one minute
after midnight on the Doomsday Clock, the hands have fallen off the Debt Clock, the skies are
burning and seas are rising (they say), and we are in WW3 in 8 nations. Or is it 9?
Smart money is moving toward the exits. This shyte is gonna blow. Let's move to Australia,
before it becomes part of Xi's PRC String of Girls.
It's true that progressives lost a bunch of very close races in deep-red districts, but many
of the biggest losses of the night were center-right Democrats. Senator Joe Donnelly of
Indiana, Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota were
just some of those so-called "moderate" losers.
I say good riddance.
should not spend their time "investigating" Trump. Leave that to real journalists (there
are still some around).
If they play it right, the Dems could triple Trump's anxiety and paranoia levels by
keeping relative silence over his corruption, rather than starting a war of words with him.
He wins if they let him weasel his way out of things. Besides that, the Dems will do a
lousy job of trying to go after Trump. They need to spend their time going after Trump's
up 13 users have voted. --
Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.
The corporate Dems have no policies that represent the people who elected them. However,
they are no longer completely surrounded by like thinkers. While the number of progressives
may still be smaller than the numbers of establishment Dems, those progressives DO have an
agenda and the people who want progress MUST support them and let the old guard know that
they will not support obstruction of progressive policies.
Start by telling your congress critter to vote no on Pelosi.
The Democrats should be doing everything they can to build up themselves by aggressively
pursuing policies that benefit the people. The Democrats need to stand FOR something.
Otherwise they are just like the old guy shaking his fist at the sky. They can investigate
Trump all they want, but it is waste of time, money, and there will be no impeachment hearing
in the Senate. Besides many of them have so big skeletons in their closets too.
should not spend their time "investigating" Trump. Leave that to real journalists
(there are still some around).
If they play it right, the Dems could triple Trump's anxiety and paranoia levels by
keeping relative silence over his corruption, rather than starting a war of words with
him. He wins if they let him weasel his way out of things. Besides that, the Dems will do
a lousy job of trying to go after Trump. They need to spend their time going after
Trump's policies period.
Investigating Trump for the rest of his tenure will keep them from having to do their jobs
for Americans. The republicans came out with their balls on fire and rescinded and passed
legislation right and left and now that the democrats have the house they're going to look at
Trump's tax returns. For gawd's sake why? Okay.. they find that he did something wrong on
them. Then what? Do they think that if they show he cheated on them then he'll be kicked out
of office? Nope
Look at how many people who Obama tried to appoint were guilty of not paying theirs.
Daschle who came from a medical lobbying firm was supposed to be his secretary of health, but
he hadn't paid his taxes for a decade. Did he go to prison over it? Why no he didn't. Why?
Two Americas. Only little people go to prison for doing .... fill in the blank.
Pelosi is also spouting bipartisanship. Gack! WTF again Nancy? Don't forget pay as you
Democrats should be doing everything they can to build up themselves by aggressively
pursuing policies that benefit the people. The Democrats need to stand FOR something.
Otherwise they are just like the old guy shaking his fist at the sky. They can
investigate Trump all they want, but it is waste of time, money, and there will be no
impeachment hearing in the Senate. Besides many of them have so big skeletons in their
Like really? They're going to spend millions of dollars and better yet, millions of hours
babbling on and on about Taxes and Trump. But they'll only go so far as that mess effects all
of them and they good and well know it. But it keeps the divide going and the utter fallacy
of someday sticking it to Trump. They'll come up with nothing and stone wall anything that
threatens their status quo. With Sessions now out they're already screaming again about
Rosenstein and Mueller for Gods sake. And they'll keep that up right until Nov 2020.
destroying the departments they're in charge of. If squeezed, will they sing
like canaries? Cry like babies? Youth wants to know.
If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at
the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all
of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can
play that game!
He did not "win," not by a long shot. Neither did the corporate Dems. It was never really
expected (except maybe by some totally unrealistic people) that the Dems would take the
Senate. The seats that were up for grabs were too limited and in some very, very red areas.
However, we need to pay attention to just how close many of those races were. Some major
dents were put into Rep armor and have left some wounds.
I too was very happy to see McCaskill and Heitcamp defeated. They were both totally
worthless. This could be viewed as the start to cleaning out the "bad" Dems, even if we have
to put up with a few Republicans to do so.
Suppression played a huge role in the results (especially governorships), and that must
not be forgotten. In fact needs to be a focal point for the next two years along with getting
corporate money out of the election system.
Another issue that needs to be dealt with is stopping Trump from dominating the news
cycle. Anyone else notice just how many non-news stories popped up regarding Kavanaugh in the
last week? The public does not need to see Dems foaming at the mouth in response to or in
imitation of Trump. If they do, let the culprit from your voting district know how displeased
you are with their actions (get a few friends to also comment).
In many cases, the people have won. The fresh blood going into the House in particular and some new governorships are
more important than people realize yet. For diversity alone, there were huge strides made yesterday. Seeing so many
progressives take a seat in the House will encourage others for 2020 who will have a lot better chance now to remove some of
There are now over 100 women in the House -- a first. This means that we are still less than
half way to parity. This needs to be worked on for 2020 along with more progressives. (No,
not all women are equal--I remember Phyllis Shaffly only too well, and there is still HRC to
silence, but overall, women and certainly progressive women have different priorities most of
which align with what people really want and need.) Message to all...less time writing and
contemplating and more time taking action.
In short, I see this as a victory--albeit not as large as we would like--for
I hope the dems stand firm on protecting both programs plus not raising the retirement
age. But with Pelosi who knows. I would like to think that she would get major push back if
she tries an Obama grand bargain bullshit. But she lives in a such a bubble though.
This is why people don't vote for the Democratic Party and why the big blue wave of cash
won't win the 2018 midterm elections for them:
In December of 2016 – right after Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democratic
candidates lost big to Trump, the worst presidential candidate of all time – what
happened? Their leader, Nancy Pelosi was asked directly what the Democratic Party was going
to do to change this heinous defeat.
Know what she said? Do you remember? I do.
She said the Democratic Party wasn't going to change anything. Keep the same policies
they lost the 2016 elections on. Know what they were going to change?
Their marketing. Change the marketing so people "get the message."
Same shit. Different wrapper.
Nancy Pelosi: Democrats Don't Want a New Direction
"... Dems are fucking bonkers with the caravans. It's as if these fools didn't know Europe does exist and had the same thing happen, on a far bigger magnitude, or didn't learn the lesson - as if Brexit, Le Pen, Lega, Orban and others didn't really exist in their strictly America-centered world. ..."
IMO b is
right. The image works for Trump, not against, on two issues; the border and the ME.
Yes the US Constitution prevents US Troops being used within the country for military
purpose. But the troops are only providing support at the Border.
The reality is the people on the march to the US border all refused an offer from Mexico to
settle in two southern (Mexican) states and receive jobs, free housing, free food, free
education and free healthcare. So much for the PR story of this group as economic
immigrants and sanctuary seekers. They are seen as being in search of the Free Lunch.
These people are being paid (not sure how much) from what I have read and the march is to
create a story of poor souls prevented (by Trump) from obtaining the supposed American
For voters in the US southwest especially this group is seen as a bunch of scroungers and
Trump as the guy who will keep them out.
I am not aware of anyone who thinks the US belongs in the ME. Yes, Israel is all for it,
but in the US no one wants troops there. We have lost country after country after country
and some military head just said that after 17 years we are not "winning" in Afghanistan.
These wars are a financial scam in the eyes of many and are for Israel's benefit in the
eyes of many others. I doubt if any troops in recent years have signed up to fight in the
ME so that statement itself is one the NYT will choke on.
But it is the Times, and they play to their now somewhat limited audience who must be told
that the lies they believe are true. If Trump paid for this cartoon, he could probably not be more pleased.
"It's not really possible to excuse the pretense that a band of beggars who plan to ask
for asylum constitute an invasion."
I suppose that is what Assad and the Syrian government thought when the CIA death squads
started trickling into their country under the pretense that they were refugees from the
violence in Libya.
The CIA built lots of death squads in Latin America.
While most of the the "band of beggars" are harmless useful idiots recruited for
the optics, there is a very real possibility that the CIA's death squads from Honduras and
possibly Mexico (have to get out now that AMLO is cracking down) are mingling amongst them.
Why? Page borrowed from the textbook CIA/State Department manual on regime change:
1) Bring protesters into conflict with authorities. 2) Death squads embedded among the protesters kill both protesters and law enforcement
officers. 3) Riots ensue. 5) Complicit corporate mass media winds up the echo chamber forcing the meme that the
violence was the authorities' fault. 6) Profit!
Anywho, it is tough to take serious any accusations of slander against a population that
has been heavily brainwashed since birth. As with a pair of bluejeans that have been washed
several times per day since they were manufactured, over-laundered minds get limp, floppy
and full of holes. Americans' minds are so frayed from daily reprogramming that they cannot
remember what they believed yesterday, much less why they would have believed it.
The possee commitatus law which prohibited federal troops from engaging in domestic law
enforcement has been repealed.
Also, you are aware that Israel is a rogue state in that it does not have a
constitution, it has never defined its borders, it has repeatedly attacked its neighbors,
it is an apartheid state, it has 200-400 illegal nuclear warheads, it engages in mass
punishment of 6 million Arabs the are the dominant peoples of Palestine, and it has pulled
strings to lure the US into wars with Iraq, Syria, Lybia, and Iran.
For these reasons it is perfectly reasonable and accurate and truthful to label such a
rogue state a 'Zionist regime.'
(Now you are informed. Now you should apologize to b.)
One wonders why the NYT is willingly playing into his hands with this.
Because the NYT (and mainstream media in general) have been such psychopathic warmongers
for so long that by now they're really incapable of understanding that there could be any
alternative idea or action. In many states they'd meet the legal definition of
Of course Trump is just as insane. He merely wants to do both/and rather than either/or,
as the NYT would have it.
Given that the only characters with speaking parts in the cartoon are hi-profile
non-combatant pro-"Israel" warmongers masquerading as brain-washed grunts, the message it
sends is so mixed that it means whatever the consumer wants it to mean. An attempt at reverse psychology?
Posted by: morongobill | Nov 5, 2018 8:48:58 AM | 5 "I'm a deplorable and proud of it and I believe that this nation needs to make it
crystal clear that the borders mean something."
I don't reckon native americans would agree, particularly since most of those arriving
are indigenous to america. amerika the abortion, has never considered the property rights,
cultures or ethos of other humans anywhere on this old rock. Not in the ME, Asia or more
recently Africa, much less those concerns as they relate to native americans be they those
indigenous to the area that comprises amerika or those who are indigenous to other portions
of the american continents, so I reckon that using this nonsense now to justify racism is
just hypocritical, That it is about as low as it is possible to go. That is compounded to
the n th degree when one considers that the failed states which most of the caravan
peoples originate from suffered failure because amerika the abortion of a place,
deliberately engineered the failures to make amerika's theft of all resources in latin
america, easier and less expensive. Run along and study exactly how amerika has deliberately destroyed Guatemala and Honduras
then come back here and try to justify the attacks on a few hundred thousand of those
people fleeing lawlessness and corruption that the amerikan government has caused in your
Not that it matters - trump or any of his ilk have no chance of preventing the Latin
American influx. Once again if you study history you will discover that over the millennia numerous other
populations have attempted to prevent needs driven migration into what they have
arbitrarily decided are 'their' lands and have used exactly the same techniques the trump
scumbags propose. They inevitably fail. Mass migrations are relentless they cannot be
'blocked' the only viable strategy has been to remove the attraction by ensuring economic
improvement in the areas that migrants come from.
If amerikans actually want to stop the migration, which is debatable since the rich who
control amerika believe increasing the population to be an excellent way to go since they
profit from more humans and increased population density, but let's pretend that ordinary
citizens actually have a say in what happens in amerika, then amerikans need to fix that
which they f**ked. Central amerikans have endured decades of corrupt amerikan installed
'governments' which regarded their primary mission (after trousering all funds in their
purview) to be confiscating all land from the people who have lived on it going back at
least a few thousand years, then selling that stolen land to amerikan corporations, hedge
funds, retirement schemes, AKA any & all of Wall St's scams.
None of the migr Everybody in amerika has been aware of this even tho they pretend they are ignorant of
their culture's rapacious thefts it is impossible for anyone with half a brain not to see 2
+ 2 = 4. So quit whining and either assist the new arrivals or, get yer arse into gear & ensure
your mendacious leadership sets about making amends for the damage done in your name.
nobody remembers anglo persian oil that was ares those iranian gypsy stole it the gas
fields 2. it was not fare fair they kicked are shar out 2 trumped is doing molechs work here hare here. it is vital that latest push on these yemeni ports is a success with a strong tail wind
victory is at hand. a redrawing of the maps is needed and an exodus of musslamics and arab and children of
christ into scotland wales,detroit noray denmark and lovely sweden germany france a big idea may need a new marshall plan trillions of dollars in bonds must be made like
lend lease in great britain it may take 50 years to pay off the debts for this final
solution maybe 100 years or more. never again the man said we must protect the innocent khazar ashkanazi from brutal
goyim. lets do this as paul greengrass said lets roll
Should several thousand knuckle heads attempt to force entry into the United States,... The news story should read as such,... 'Today, a couple thousand knuckleheads attacked our border. We shot them.'
Dems are fucking bonkers with the caravans. It's as if these fools didn't know Europe
does exist and had the same thing happen, on a far bigger magnitude, or didn't learn the
lesson - as if Brexit, Le Pen, Lega, Orban and others didn't really exist in their strictly
As a matter of fact, any deliberately illegal entry of anyone into a foreign country
represents per se an invasion. it's just that it's minimal when it's a couple of people,
and not all invasions are armed gangs of conquistadores ready to loot the gold from the
temples, or Mongols on rampage. Not all invasions require military will kill on sight
orders, though. Some measure is required.
Now, where Dems are bloody idiots is that only a part of the progressive wing will see
the caravans as nice people to be welcome. Part of the uber-capitalist wing will see them
as a great opportunity as well, but for very different reasons. The thing is, the inner
subconscious of a majority of Westerners will basically have 2 very different
interpretations of a vast column of people walking towards their border.
One, which is quite recent, occurs if it's a large group of unarmed civilians and
families from a neighbouring country, fleeing it under direct threat of closeby invading
and advancing enemy armies; in this case, the obvious reference in Western psyche,
specially European one, will be WW II and the hosts of panicked civilians fleeing before
the enemy onslaught.
The other reference from the collective psyche, which obviously is the one that lurks in
the mind of most Westerners who saw the vids and pictures of the huge crowds of migrants
back in 2015/16 - and which will likely occur for some Americans as well, with the caravans
-, is obviously the far older picture of the Barbarian Invasions. The ones ironically
called nowadays as "Migration period" by revisionist history in German and Anglo-Saxon
areas, for obvious reasons (they didn't want to tarnish their ancestors by reflecting they
were bloody savages that nearly wiped out civilization, by fear that it would reflect badly
on them); karmic justice puts them now in a bad spot since they're quite forced to consider
the current wave as mere "migration" and no big deal at all, just like in 406.
Of course, there's also karmic justice in having the US tear itself apart and being
slowly invaded by those whose countries it has wrecked beyond recognition for the last
century. But we must be absolutely honest about it. Allowing masses of migrants into the US
isn't about Central Americans deserving a better life in the US, it's about punishing the
US by wrecking it and by pushing it's ever-polarizing political sides towards civil
Section 1076 of the 2006 John Warner National Defense Authorization titled "Use of the
Armed Forces in major public emergencies," provides that "The President may employ the
armed forces... to... restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when,
as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency,
terrorist attack or incident, or other condition... the President determines that...
domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the
State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order... or [to] suppress, in a
State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such...
a condition... so hinders the execution of the laws... that any part or class of its people
is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and
secured by law... or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or
impedes the course of justice under those laws."
So then the Possee Comitatus Act is repealed by the John Warner Act. The federal
government may send troops to the border to kill any American (Central) that throws a rock.
Killing rock-throwers = MAGA.
In answer to your question, IMHO we are witnessing a very choreographed effort at
political theater on the part of both establishment R's and D's to generate interest in the
election. The ultimate point is to divide the country, which from my perspective, as a
lefty who lives and thrives among R's is not that divided as evidenced by the 2016
election. The game is divide and rule.
The elites of the US are very perturbed that Senator Sanders had such a following in the
last go around with 75% popularity while both running establishment candidates had
negatives ratings greater than their positive ones.
Looking at polling in the US it has been reported that a great majority of people in the
country want Single Payer Health Care, including ~50% R's. Additionally, some 80% of the
population agree that climate change is a major issue and want the government to do
something about it. This cuts across both parties. Meanwhile, neither party is actively
pushing Single Payer, while some Democrats show support, while the establishment is
campaigning to save the insurance and pharmaceutical industies' bonanza of ObamaCare.
IMO we have the makings of a united insurrection on our hands and it is a requirement to
keep Americans at war with each other, rather than them realizing they have been fooled by
the media and sociopathic politicians.
Also interestingly, the biggest fear people have in the US, according to the following
poll is corrupt politicians. How do you campaign against that when you have your fingers in
Additionally, according to this poll the biggest fears other than crooked politicians,
are primarily related to the environment. Neither party is attempting to address this
Hell is empty and all the devils are here. ~William Shakespeare
"... Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother? ..."
"... One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department. Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats. ..."
"... "In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs. ..."
There is perhaps no better illustration of the deep decay of the American political system than the Senate race in New Jersey.
Sen. Bob Menendez, running for re-election, was censured by the Senate Ethics Committee for accepting bribes from the Florida businessman
Salomon Melgen, who was convicted in 2017 of defrauding Medicare of $73 million. The senator had flown to the Dominican Republic
with Melgen on the physician's private jet and stayed in his private villa, where the men cavorted with young Dominican women who
allegedly were prostitutes. Menendez performed numerous political favors for Melgen, including helping some of the Dominican women
acquire visas to the United States. Menendez was indicted in a federal corruption trial but escaped sentencing because of a hung
Menendez has a voting record as sordid as most Democrats'. He supported the $716 billion military spending bill, along with 85
percent of his fellow Senate Democrats. He signed
a letter , along with other Democratic leaders, calling for steps to extradite
Julian Assange to
stand trial in the United States. The senator, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, is owned by the lobby for Israel
-- a country that routinely and massively interferes in our elections -- and supported moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He helped
cause the 2008 global financial crisis by voting to revoke
, the Depression-era law enacted to create a firewall between commercial and investment banks.
His Republican rival in the Senate race that will be decided Tuesday is
Bob Hugin , whose reported net worth is at least $84 million. With Hugin as its CEO, the pharmaceutical firm Celgene made $200
million by conspiring to keep generic cancer drugs off the market, according to its critics. Celgene, a model of everything that
is wrong with our for-profit health care system, paid $280 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a whistleblower who accused the firm
of improperly marketing two drugs to treat several forms of cancer without getting Federal Drug Administration approval, thereby
defrauding Medicare. Celgene, over seven years, also doubled the price of
the cancer drug Revlimid to some $20,000
for a supply of 28 pills.
The Senate campaign in New Jersey has seen no discussion of substantive issues. It is dominated by both candidates' nonstop personal
attacks and negative ads, part of the typical burlesque of American politics.
Scum versus scum. That sums up this election season. Is it any wonder that 100 million Americans don't bother to vote? When all
you are offered is Bob One or Bob Two, why bother?
One-fourth of Democratic challengers in competitive
House districts in this week's elections have backgrounds in the CIA, the military, the National Security Council or the State Department.
Nearly all candidates on the ballots in House races are corporate-sponsored, with a few lonely exceptions such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
and Rashida Tlaib, members of the Democratic Socialists of America who are running as Democrats.
The securities and finance industry
has backed Democratic congressional candidates 63 percent to 37 percent over Republicans, according to data collected by the
Center for Responsive Politics . Democratic candidates and political action committees have received $56.8 million, compared
with Republicans' $33.4 million, the center reported. The broader sector of finance, insurance and real estate, it found, has given
$174 million to Democratic candidates, against $157 million to Republicans. And
, weighing his own presidential run, has pledged $100 million to elect a Democratic Congress.
"In interviews with two dozen Wall Street executives, fund-raisers, donors and those who raise money from them, Democrats described
an extraordinary level of investment and excitement from the finance sector ," The New York Times reported about current campaign
contributions to the Democrats from the corporate oligarchs.
Our system of legalized bribery is an equal-opportunity employer.
Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But should the Democrats take control of
the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed,
as we saw with the pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic politicians and
critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain control of the House and the Senate, violence will
still be the favored instrument of political control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are
in for it.
Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham. Only the rich like his tax cuts, his
refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not
to say that, if only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of the war industry and
the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic
control of the House will do very little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis brewing
on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.
The Democrats, who refuse to address the social inequality they helped orchestrate and that has given rise to Trump, are the party
of racial and ethnic inclusivity, identity politics, Wall Street and the military. Their core battle cry is: We are not Trump!
This is ultimately a losing formula. It was adopted by Hillary Clinton, who is apparently weighing another run for the presidency
after we thought we had thrust a stake through her political heart. It is the agenda of the well-heeled East Coast and West Coast
elites who want to instill corporate fascism with a friendly face.
"... Opposition to the unending and expanding wars of American imperialism has been completely excluded from the election campaigns of both the Democrats and Republicans. ..."
"... The Democrats represent a political alliance of Wall Street and privileged sections of the middle class. Over the past two years, their central focus, in addition to the anti-Russia campaign, has been the promotion of the politics of race and gender, particularly through the #MeToo campaign. ..."
"... The aim has been to divide the working class while advancing the interests of factions within the top 10 percent that are competing over positions of power, money and privilege. ..."
"... Trump is himself the product of a protracted decay of democratic forms of rule. Nodal points in this process were the Clinton impeachment in 1998, the theft of the 2000 election, the launching of the "war on terror" after the 9/11 attacks, accompanied by the erection of a massive apparatus of domestic spying, and the Obama administration's policy of drone assassination, including of US citizens. ..."
Whatever the rhetoric, and however the seats of the Senate and House of Representatives are
allocated, the basic factors that drive American politics will persist. These are:
1. The determination of the ruling class to maintain the global position of American
capitalism through military force, including world war:
This central strategy has dominated American policy for decades. Seventeen years of the "war
on terror," including wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, have devastated entire
countries and left more than one million people dead. The Trump administration has officially
announced the end of the "war on terror" and ordered the military to begin preparing for "great
power conflict" with Russia or China.
In the weeks leading up to the elections, the administration withdrew from a key Cold
War-era nuclear arms agreement (the INF Treaty) and threatened to launch preemptive strikes
against Russia. At the same time, it effectively declared a new "cold war" against China. With
no public discussion and on a bipartisan basis, the administration has initiated the largest
military buildup since the end of the Cold War.
Opposition to the unending and expanding wars of American imperialism has been
completely excluded from the election campaigns of both the Democrats and Republicans.
The Democrats fully support the strategic aim of the American ruling class to maintain its
global supremacy through military force. From the beginning of the Trump administration, the
Democrats, channeling powerful sections of the military and intelligence apparatus, have
centered their opposition to Trump on the concern that he was pulling back from war in the
Middle East and confrontation with Russia.
2. The staggering levels of social inequality, which cannot be changed by any election, and
which infect every institution of the capitalist state:
Ten years after the 2008 financial crisis, social inequality is at historic highs. Three
individuals now possess more wealth than the bottom half of the population, and just three
families have a combined fortune of $348.7 billion, four million times the median family
wealth. The vast majority of the population confronts the many manifestations of social crisis
-- declining wages, soaring health care costs, a drug overdose epidemic and decaying social
These conditions are the product of the policies of the Obama administration, which
supported and oversaw the bailout of the banks following the financial meltdown in 2008. Since
Trump's election, the Democrats have collaborated in the implementation of massive tax cuts for
the rich, which they have no intention of rolling back whatever the outcome of the
The Democrats represent a political alliance of Wall Street and privileged sections of
the middle class. Over the past two years, their central focus, in addition to the anti-Russia
campaign, has been the promotion of the politics of race and gender, particularly through the
The aim has been to divide the working class while advancing the interests of factions
within the top 10 percent that are competing over positions of power, money and
3. The crisis of democratic forms of rule and the turn to authoritarianism:
The crisis of American democracy, of which the Trump administration is an extreme
expression, expresses the alignment of political forms with the oligarchical character of
While Trump pursues his strategy of developing an authoritarian movement, the Democrats
likewise support the destruction of democratic rights, but in a different way. They have
focused on demands that social media companies censor the internet, under the guise of
combating "fake news" and blocking organizations that "sow discontent." In the course of their
conflict with Trump, they have hailed such enemies of democratic rights as former CIA Director
John Brennan, responsible for torture and domestic spying.
Trump is himself the product of a protracted decay of democratic forms of rule. Nodal
points in this process were the Clinton impeachment in 1998, the theft of the 2000 election,
the launching of the "war on terror" after the 9/11 attacks, accompanied by the erection of a
massive apparatus of domestic spying, and the Obama administration's policy of drone
assassination, including of US citizens.
span y gjohnsit on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 1:47pm By "win" I mean "Democrats take over the
Here's my humble opinion:
1) For the Democratic establishment it won't mean much. If the drubbings in 2010, 2014, and
2016 can't cause a leadership change, or even an autopsy, then nothing will.
If anything they will blame progressives and embrace a neoliberal center-right agenda even
2) For the Democratic base, OTOH, it'll be devastating. Democratic activists will lose heart
and it will begin the real start of America being a one-party state. The reason I think this is
after you call the other guy a traitor and fascist, and that still isn't enough to defeat him,
what else can you do to motivate your voters?
Expect progressive voter activism to plummet in 2020. The Green Party will probably grow,
but not as fast as the Democrats shrink.
The party is the neoliberal/neoconservative party.
The Democrats do not deserve to win. As a party, they have no policy positions and have
based their entire campaign on the we're not as bad. That does not put food on the table,
create health care security, or create living income jobs. The Democrats showed their true
colors when they voted along with the Republicans to increase the DoD budget beyond what
Trump requested and expanded the powers of surveillance under the President that they
Most people do not want to see a phony impeachment hearing which does nothing but drain
all resources away from helping the people. If the Democrats truly wanted to win, they would
be proposing an ambitious platform aimed at helping the American people.
One more thing, would this country be better off with President Pence instead of Trump? As
bad as Trump is, I think Pence would be espousing similar hatred and therefore, would far
worse with his theocratic ideas.
Their voting base will believe the lies over the evidence before their own eyes.
I agree with most points, but disagree with this:
Expect progressive voter activism to plummet in 2020.
Given the option to just let the country turn into a full-fledged Fascist state, the
logical thing to do would be for the progressives to fight even harder. Bernie Sanders is an
example of turning a loss into more action on behalf of the people. (For those who constantly
disparage Sanders because he is not perfect, get over it...no one is and no one will ever be.
Amazon screwed their workers, not Sanders.).
Getting more and more progressives in down ballot positions will be extremely important,
no matter their label.
if the Democrats win . There are other possibilities if the corruptocrats lose -
more likely is that the true left could finally be forced to admit that the theory that the
corporatist fifth column can be reformed was always a pollyannish delusion and (for example)
Bernie will run as a Green. Without a fascist Democratic Party sabotaging him he will win
easily. (Ironically a fascist Dem, in a 3 way race, would only win NY and CA, but draw off
enough votes from Bernie so that he could lose the popular vote but would win the Electoral
College. Trump would only win AZ, TX, MS, ID, AL and SC. the final: Bernie 379, Hillscum 84,
Trump 77) On the other hand, what If 60 million people turn out and vote Democratic, and then
the corruptocrats stab them in the back again? You worry about disillusionment?
Actually it might depend on how the Democrats win or lose. I would rather see 100 Dems but 75
of them Berniecrats rather than 225 "Democrats".
Or maybe you're afraid of a racist/theocratic right coup? That is a very legitimate fear. We
have backed them up against a wall, but we don't know if they're a rat or a tiger. But they
have had 50 years to show us which, and the tiger is still hasn't eaten us. Identity politics
however, (unless you count anti-porn feminism) is less than a decade old and has already
achieved more than racism could hope for. I fear the PC SMERSH more than the racist
1. For current Democratic incumbents who lose, it will mean a job change with a higher
For a while, we wondered how Democrats could be so stupid as to engage in behaviors that
might cause their constituents to primary them or vote against them in the general.
Eventually, it became clear: to ensure obedience from officeholders, their owners had been
giving officeholders unemployment insurance in the form of cushy, prestigious, well-paying
jobs to be awarded to officeholders who lost their elected slots. This insulated
officeholders very nicely from the need to cater to pain-in-the-neck constituents.
Take for example, the post-Senate career move of Senator Dodd:
Motion Picture Association of America
In February 2011, despite "repeatedly and categorically insisting that he would not work
as a lobbyist," Dodd replaced Dan Glickman as chairman of and chief lobbyist for
the Motion Picture Association of America.
On January 17, 2012, Dodd released a statement criticizing "the so-called 'Blackout Day'
protesting anti-piracy legislation." Referring to the websites participating in the
blackout, Dodd said, "It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely
on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power... when the
platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite
their users in order to further their corporate interests." In further comments, Dodd
threatened to cut off campaign contributions to politicians who did not support the
Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property
Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act, legislation supported by the Motion Picture Association
Whatever do you suppose qualified Dodd to head the Motion Picture Association?
As an aside, I wonder how Dodd views censorship and/or skewing by the likes of google,
which long since started doing evil, its motto to the contrary; facebook; and twitter
For all other Democratic pols, all over the country, it will mean another two years in
which they make a public show of attacking Trump while just enough of them in D.C. vote for
his budgets, judges, etc. to give him and their corporate sponsors what they want.
2. For the Democratic base, those who eagerly vote blue, no matter who, it will mean--Oh,
screw it. Let's be candid. No one, including the Democratic Party, cares.
3. For Republicans, it would mean a minimum of two more years to be in control of the Oval
Office, both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court, which is better than a demotion to a
mere trifecta. Continued control typically means larger donations to the controlling party
and its incumbents.
While some may vacillate publicly as to whether or not Trump is good for the Party (*gives
Senator Graham and his ilk the side eye fish eye*), they will, in private, be giddy with glee
about both the money and power, thereby having it both ways, the wet dream
scenario of US politicians.
span y Not Henry Kissinger on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 5:05pm
Hillary drops out of the 2020 race and spends the next two years lawyering up.
Meanwhile the Democratic party implodes in an angry round of fingerprinting that
eventually leads to all out street fight between Bernie supporting Progressives and
Establishment Liberals in the run up to the 2020 primary.
Obama tries to play mediator and runs his own slate of phony change agents, but
Berniecrats and lost Hillbots are both hip to the con and aren't having it.
Bernie decides on another run from within, fighting a green tide of corporate payola and
corrupt machine Dems that ends up in a brokered convention.
I hate it when someone only picks out one point of my argument to respond to. Don't
Meanwhile, I suddenly had a picture in my head of HRC running around with a bottle of ink,
a pad to pour it onto, a roller to saturate it with and some unwilling soul grasped by the
wrist and forced to spread their fingers for said fingerprinting.
Crystal ball haze suddenly lifts, and we see the Emerald City in the distance. (Monkeys?
Hillary drops out of the 2020 race and spends the next two years lawyering up.
Meanwhile the Democratic party implodes in an angry round of fingerprinting that
eventually leads to all out street fight between Bernie supporting Progressives and
Establishment Liberals in the run up to the 2020 primary.
Obama tries to play mediator and runs his own slate of phony change agents, but
Berniecrats and lost Hillbots are both hip to the con and aren't having it.
Bernie decides on another run from within, fighting a green tide of corporate payola
and corrupt machine Dems that ends up in a brokered convention.
the rich will continue to get richer, the poor more poor, the middle class will continue
to shrink, the war and U.S. imperialism will continue, the deficit and debt will keep going
up, we won't get a nationalized health care system, climate change will continue unabated,
and we still won't live in a democracy. Then the ruling class and it's corporate media will
prepare the sheeple for another election in less than two years.
Of course, we are all supposed to vote Democratic to halt the tide of Trump fascism. But
should the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, hate speech and violence as
a tool for intimidation and control will increase, with much of it directed, as we saw with the
pipe bombs intended to decapitate the Democratic Party leadership, toward prominent Democratic
politicians and critics of Donald Trump. Should the white man's party of the president retain
control of the House and the Senate, violence will still be the favored instrument of political
control as the last of democratic protections are stripped from us. Either way we are in for
Trump is a clownish and embarrassing tool of the kleptocrats. His faux populism is a sham.
Only the rich like his tax cuts, his refusal to raise the minimum wage and his effort to
destroy Obamacare. All he has left is hate. And he will use it. Which is not to say that, if
only to throw up some obstacle to Trump, you shouldn't vote for the Democratic scum, tools of
the war industry and the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, Wall Street and the fossil fuel
industry, as opposed to the Republican scum. But Democratic control of the House will do very
little to halt our descent into corporate tyranny, especially with another economic crisis
brewing on Wall Street. The rot inside the American political system is deep and terminal.
The Democrats, who refuse to address the social inequality they helped orchestrate and that
has given rise to Trump, are the party of racial and ethnic inclusivity, identity politics,
Wall Street and the military. Their core battle cry is: We are not Trump! This is
ultimately a losing formula. It was adopted by Hillary Clinton, who is apparently weighing
another run for the presidency after we thought we had thrust a stake through her political
heart. It is the agenda of the well-heeled East Coast and West Coast elites who want to instill
corporate fascism with a friendly face.
Gross (1912-1997) in "Friendly Fascism: The New Face of American Power" warned us that
fascism always has two looks. One is paternal, benevolent, entertaining and kind. The other is
embodied in the executioner's sadistic leer. Janus-like, fascism seeks to present itself to a
captive public as a force for good and moral renewal. It promises protection against enemies
real and invented. But denounce its ideology, challenge its power, demand freedom from
fascism's iron grip, and you are mercilessly crushed. Gross knew that if the United States'
form of fascism, expressed through corporate tyranny, was able to effectively mask its true
intentions behind its "friendly" face we would be stripped of power, shorn of our most
cherished rights and impoverished. He has been proved correct.
"Looking at the present, I see a more probable future: a new despotism creeping slowly
across America," Gross wrote. "Faceless oligarchs sit at command posts of a
corporate-government complex that has been slowly evolving over many decades. In efforts to
enlarge their own powers and privileges, they are willing to have others suffer the intended or
unintended consequences of their institutional or personal greed. For Americans, these
consequences include chronic inflation, recurring recession, open and hidden unemployment, the
poisoning of air, water, soil and bodies, and more important, the subversion of our
constitution. More broadly, consequences include widespread intervention in international
politics through economic manipulation, covert action, or military invasion."
No totalitarian state has mastered propaganda better than the corporate state. Our press has
replaced journalism with trivia, feel-good stories, jingoism and celebrity gossip. The banal
and the absurd, delivered by cheery corporate courtiers, saturate the airwaves. Our emotions
are skillfully manipulated around manufactured personalities and manufactured events. We are,
at the same time, offered elaborate diversionary spectacles including sporting events, reality
television and absurdist political campaigns. Trump is a master of this form of entertainment.
Our emotional and intellectual energy is swallowed up by the modern equivalent of the Roman
arena. Choreographed political vaudeville, which costs corporations billions of dollars, is
called free elections. Cliché-ridden slogans, which assure us that the freedoms we
cherish remain sacrosanct, dominate our national discourse as these freedoms are stripped from
us by judicial and legislative fiat. It is a vast con game.
You cannot use the word "liberty" when your government, as ours does, watches you 24 hours a
day and stores all of your personal information in government computers in perpetuity. You
cannot use the word "liberty" when you are the most photographed and monitored population in
human history. You cannot use the word "liberty" when it is impossible to vote against the
interests of Goldman Sachs or General Dynamics. You cannot use the word "liberty" when the
state empowers militarized police to use indiscriminate lethal force against unarmed citizens
in the streets of American cities. You cannot use the word "liberty" when 2.3 million citizens,
mostly poor people of color, are held in the largest prison system on earth. This is the
relationship between a master and a slave. The choice is between whom we want to clamp on our
chains -- a jailer who mouths politically correct bromides or a racist, Christian fascist.
Either way we are shackled.
Gross understood that unchecked corporate power would inevitably lead to corporate fascism.
It is the natural consequence of the ruling ideology of neoliberalism that consolidates power
and wealth into the hands of a tiny group of oligarchs. The political philosopher Sheldon
Wolin , refining Gross' thesis, would later characterize this corporate tyranny or friendly
fascism as "inverted totalitarianism." It was, as Gross and Wolin pointed out, characterized by
anonymity. It purported to pay fealty to electoral politics, the Constitution and the
iconography and symbols of American patriotism but internally had seized all of the levers of
power to render the citizen impotent. Gross warned that we were being shackled incrementally.
Most would not notice until they were in total bondage. He wrote that "a friendly fascist power
structure in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, or today's Japan would be far more
sophisticated than the 'caesarism' of fascist Germany, Italy, and Japan. It would need no
charismatic dictator nor even a titular head it would require no one-party rule, no mass
fascist party, no glorification of the State, no dissolution of legislatures, no denial of
reason. Rather, it would come slowly as an outgrowth of present trends in the
Gross foresaw that technological advances in the hands of corporations would be used to trap
the public in what he called "cultural ghettoization" so that "almost every individual would
get a personalized sequence of information injections at any time of the day -- or night." This
is what, of course, television, our electronic devices and the internet have done. He warned
that we would be mesmerized by the entertaining shadows on the wall of the Platonic cave as we
Gross knew that the most destructive force against the body politic would be the war
profiteers and the militarists. He saw how they would siphon off the resources of the state to
wage endless war, a sum that now accounts for half of all discretionary spending. And he
grasped that warfare is the natural extension of corporatism. He wrote:
Under the militarism of German, Italian, and Japanese fascism violence was openly
glorified. It was applied regionally -- by the Germans in Europe and England, the Italians in
the Mediterranean, the Japanese in Asia. In battle, it was administered by professional
militarists who, despite many conflicts with politicians, were guided by old-fashioned
standards of duty, honor, country, and willingness to risk their own lives.
The emerging militarism of friendly fascism is somewhat different. It is global in scope.
It involves weapons of doomsday proportions, something that Hitler could dream of but never
achieve. It is based on an integration between industry, science, and the military that the
old-fashioned fascists could never even barely approximate. It points toward equally close
integration among military, paramilitary, and civilian elements. Many of the civilian leaders
-- such as Zbigniew Brzezinski or Paul Nitze -- tend to be much more bloodthirsty than any
top brass. In turn, the new-style military professionals tend to become corporate-style
entrepreneurs who tend to operate -- as Major Richard A. Gabriel and Lieutenant Colonel Paul
L. Savage have disclosed -- in accordance with the ethics of the marketplace. The old
buzzwords of duty, honor, and patriotism are mainly used to justify officer subservience to
the interests of transnational corporations and the continuing presentation of threats to
some corporate investments as threats to the interest of the American people as a whole.
Above all, in sharp contrast with classic fascism's glorification of violence, the friendly
fascist orientation is to sanitize, even hide, the greater violence of modern warfare behind
such "value-free" terms as "nuclear exchange," "counterforce" and "flexible response," behind
the huge geographical distances between the senders and receivers of destruction through
missiles or even on the "automated battlefield," and the even greater psychological distances
between the First World elites and the ordinary people who might be consigned to quick or
We no longer live in a functioning democracy. Self-styled liberals and progressives, as they
do in every election cycle, are urging us to vote for the Democrats, although the Democratic
Party in Europe would be classified as a right-wing party, and tell us to begin to build
progressive movements the day after the election. Only no one ever builds these movements. The
Democratic Party knows there is no price to pay for selling us out and its abject service to
corporations. It knows the left and liberals become supplicants in every election cycle. And
this is why the Democratic Party drifts further and further to the right and we become more and
more irrelevant. If you stand for something, you have to be willing to fight for it. But there
is no fight in us.
The elites, Republican and Democrat, belong to the same club. We are not in it. Take a look
at the flight roster of the billionaire
Jeffrey Epstein , who was accused of prostituting dozens of underage girls and ended up
spending 13 months in prison on a single count. He flew political insiders from both parties
and the business world to his secluded Caribbean island, known as "Orgy Island," on his jet,
which the press nicknamed "the Lolita Express." Some of the names on his flight
roster, which usually included unidentified women, were Bill Clinton, who took dozens of trips,
Dershowitz , former Treasury Secretary and former Harvard President Larry Summers, the
Steven Pinker ,
whose fairy dust ensures we are getting better and better, and Britain's Prince Andrew. Epstein
was also a friend of Trump, whom he visited at Mar-a-Lago.
We live on the precipice, the eve of the deluge. Past civilizations have crumbled in the
same way, although as Hegel understood, the only thing we learn from history is "that people
and governments never have learned anything from history." We will not arrest the decline if
the Democrats regain control of the House. At best we will briefly slow it. The corporate
engines of pillage, oppression, ecocide and endless war are untouchable. Corporate power will
do its dirty work regardless of which face -- the friendly fascist face of the Democrats or the
demented visage of the Trump Republicans -- is pushed out front. If you want real change,
change that means something, then mobilize, mobilize, mobilize, not for one of the two
political parties but to rise up and destroy the corporate structures that ensure our doom.
"... The Democratic Party split into a four-headed monster comprised of Wall Street patrons seeking favors, war hawks and their corporate allies looking for new global rumbles, the permanent bureaucracy looking to always expand itself, and the various ethnic and sexual minorities whose needs and grievances are serviced by that bureaucracy. It's the last group that has become the party's most public face while the party's other activities – many of them sinister -- remain at least partially concealed. ..."
"... the Republicans are being forced to engage on some real issues, such as the need for a coherent and effective immigration policy and the need to redefine formal trade relations. (Other issues like the insane system of medical racketeering and the deadly racket of the college loan industry just skate along on thin ice. And then, of course, there's the national debt and all its grotesque outgrowths.) ..."
"... Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has become the party of bad ideas and bad faith, starting with the position that "diversity and inclusion" means shutting down free speech, an unforgivable transgression against common sense and common decency. It's a party that lies even more systematically than Mr. Trump, and does so knowingly (as when Google execs say they "Do no Evil"). Its dirty secret is that it relishes coercion, it likes pushing people around, telling them what to think and how to act. Its idea of "social justice" is a campus kangaroo court, where due process of law is suspended. And it is deeply corrupt, with good old-fashioned grift, new-fashioned gross political misconduct in federal law enforcement, and utter intellectual depravity in higher education. ..."
"... I hope that the party is shoved into an existential crisis and is forced to confront its astounding dishonesty. I hope that the process prompts them to purge their leadership across the board. ..."
Back in the last century, when this was a different country, the Democrats were the "smart"
party and the Republicans were the "stupid" party.
How did that work?
Well, back then the Democrats represented a broad middle class, with a base of factory
workers, many of them unionized, and the party had to be smart, especially in the courts, to
overcome the natural advantages of the owner class.
In contrast, the Republicans looked like a claque of country club drunks who staggered
home at night to sleep on their moneybags. Bad optics, as we say nowadays.
The Democrats also occupied the moral high ground as the champion of the little guy. If not
for the Dems, factory workers would be laboring twelve hours a day and children would still be
maimed in the machinery. Once the relationship between business and labor was settled in the
1950s, the party moved on to a new crusade on even loftier moral high ground: civil rights,
aiming to correct arrant and long-lived injustices against downtrodden black Americans. That
was a natural move, considering America's self-proclaimed post-war status as the world's Beacon
of Liberty. It had to be done and a political consensus that included Republicans got it done.
Consensus was still possible.
The Dems built their fortress on that high ground and fifty years later they find themselves
prisoners in it. The factory jobs all vamoosed overseas. The middle class has been pounded into
penury and addiction.
The Democratic Party split into a four-headed monster comprised of Wall Street patrons
seeking favors, war hawks and their corporate allies looking for new global rumbles, the
permanent bureaucracy looking to always expand itself, and the various ethnic and sexual
minorities whose needs and grievances are serviced by that bureaucracy. It's the last group
that has become the party's most public face while the party's other activities – many of
them sinister -- remain at least partially concealed.
The Republican Party has, at least, sobered up some after getting blindsided by Trump and
Trumpism. Like a drunk out of rehab, it's attempting to get a life. Two years in, the party
marvels at Mr. Trump's audacity, despite his obvious lack of savoir faire. And despite a
longstanding lack of political will to face the country's problems,the Republicans are being
forced to engage on some real issues, such as the need for a coherent and effective immigration
policy and the need to redefine formal trade relations. (Other issues like the insane system of
medical racketeering and the deadly racket of the college loan industry just skate along on
thin ice. And then, of course, there's the national debt and all its grotesque outgrowths.)
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has become the party of bad ideas and bad faith, starting
with the position that "diversity and inclusion" means shutting down free speech, an
unforgivable transgression against common sense and common decency. It's a party that lies even
more systematically than Mr. Trump, and does so knowingly (as when Google execs say they "Do no
Evil"). Its dirty secret is that it relishes coercion, it likes pushing people around, telling
them what to think and how to act. Its idea of "social justice" is a campus kangaroo court,
where due process of law is suspended. And it is deeply corrupt, with good old-fashioned grift,
new-fashioned gross political misconduct in federal law enforcement, and utter intellectual
depravity in higher education.
I hope that Democrats lose as many congressional and senate seats as possible.I hope that
the party is shoved into an existential crisis and is forced to confront its astounding
dishonesty. I hope that the process prompts them to purge their leadership across the board. If
there is anything to salvage in this organization, I hope it discovers aims and principles that
are unrecognizable from its current agenda of perpetual hysteria. But if the party actually
blows up and disappears, as the Whigs did a hundred and fifty years ago, I will be content. Out
of the terrible turbulence, maybe something better will be born.
Or, there's the possibility that the dregs of a defeated Democratic Party will just go
batshit crazy and use the last of its mojo to incite actual sedition. Of course, there's also a
distinct possibility that the Dems will take over congress, in which case they'll ramp up an
even more horrific three-ring-circus of political hysteria and persecution that will make the
Spanish Inquisition look like a backyard barbeque. That will happen as the US enters the most
punishing financial train wreck in our history, an interesting recipe for epic political
Not sure the Trump "guns instead of butter" policy is so widely supported. He proved to be a
regular neocon marionette and as such might pay the price during midterm elections, although, of
course, domestics issues dominate.
What are the chances that the mid-term elections in the United States, one week from now,
will change the majority in the House or Senate?
need to pick up 23 seats in the House to gain a majority. Of the 48 seats that are in
play only 16 seem likely to change in their favor. In the Senate they need to take gain two
seats to become a majority, but at least one of the Democrats' current seats is endangered
and polls for the other 9 seats that potentially might change show a tossup.
My personal hunch is that the Republicans will keep both houses and may even gain a few
The U.S. economy is doing relatively well. The recent drop in share prices points to a
more mixed outlook from here on, but so far everything held up.
The Democrats have neither a program nor a leadership that incites to vote fro them.
They wasted two years with hyping a
non-existent Russiagate that no one but Washington insiders and the media cares about.
Did they actually oppose anything Trump did? They tried a #metoo stunt around a Supreme
Court nomination but how effective was that? On Clinton: the more she squawks the more
republicans vote and the less democrats vote. That is my theory. This loser takes the fire
out of everyone that counts other than her dimishing blind adherents. I think sometimes
that Trump should lock her up for the greatest national security breach of all time but
having her come out now blatantly proposing a rerun for president is such good luck for
She should be tried for her email breach of security just the same. And Trump and
company tried for being hucksters and shaking down investors. Bad luck USA you have been
mugged for the past 6 decades or whatever. Can't see much chance for change either with
your totally kaput election system. Losers!
The Blue Wave seems to be receding. The reason; Democrats rule for the Elite 10%. They are
globalists rich from transnational world trade. They expect to cycle back into power.
However, there is no bull pen. They work against policies that would mitigate the neoliberal
winner takes all society and preserve the middle class. The Cold War restarted. Republican
Corporatists, nationalists or not, are no alternative.
The Western political-economic system, with no feedback corrections from democracy, is
tearing itself into pieces. Even though, corporate media continues to say how great things
"... Third party candidates appear to have popped up in important KS races where far-right candidates might not get enough R votes, but where a 3rd party candidate could draw off moderate R votes that might otherwise to go the D candidate. ..."
"... Since getting the nomination, it seems that they caved to the establishment and diluted their platforms to tripe - Eastman did it within days of winning her primary. Same is true in solid Democrat districts that were never part of this series - I can't even view the change in MA-07 as much of a win, since on policy at least, Presley appears to have defeated Capuano from the right, not the left. I'm not at all surprised that this process leaves only 2 genuine leftists remaining, plus AOC. ..."
I sure hope the Dems take over the House. After McConnel said out loud on teevee that he
plans to Gut Social Security and Medicare to fix the deficit (created by the Trump taxcuts
for the Rich), Repubs have become a frightening breed. And what else will they attack? The
Trump presidency has turned from awful to Nightmarish. I'm not even a fan of the corporate
Dems but Congressional gridlock is our only hope.
If I'm completely honest with myself, I think it would be better for Rs to keep the house.
The D/R charade just gives hope to leftists while preventing meaningful institutional reform.
IMO things need to get worse before they can get better, and having a split Congress will
delay that. I think it'll take 3-4 terms of solid R rule before the left has a chance to make
Here's a thought experiment: suppose the Dems had solid control of both houses: what would
they do? If you aren't excited about that outcome, why vote for it?
I have had similar thoughts in wondering what would be best. Maybe a complete humiliation
for the Ds in the House, like the GOP gaining 10 seats, but then a flip of the Senate, which
doesn't seem likely. It would have to be by several seats to counter Manchin, etc. I voted
straight D. It's all just speculation on my part; damned if I even know anymore what would be
Historically, "the worse the better" hasn't worked out, unless you're hoping for
Otherwise, most people are pretty unprincipled at the end of the show -- they'll run to
join the crowd.
And the "revolutionary solution" is really, really bad historically. Really bad.
What you really want is the Dems to kick-ass, even if they're total sell-outs, to create
space on the left. But if they lose? You get a whole lot of people becoming radical right
wingers to be on the side of the winners.
flora, October 25, 2018 at 12:19 pm
KS-02 Paul Davis (D) vs Steve Watkins (R) (Jenkins is retiring, not running again.) with a libertarian candidate thrown in
as a 3rd party.
Trump was in town to rally with Watkins a short while ago. Lot of moderate Rs won't vote for far-right* Watkins, even
though this is an R district. Should be an interesting election.
Third party candidates appear to have popped up in important KS races where far-right candidates might not get enough
R votes, but where a 3rd party candidate could draw off moderate R votes that might otherwise to go the D candidate. Who
is funding these 3rd party candidates remains a mystery.
*on the same spectrum as Kris Kobach, imo.
Big River Bandido, October 25, 2018 at 12:20 pm
I think your approach of filtering out who the real candidates are from the left is correct. Dana Balter and Kara Eastman
have been particularly disheartening as general-election candidates; Eastman, especially, talked a great game on health care
back in the primary. Since getting the nomination, it seems that they caved to the establishment and diluted their
platforms to tripe - Eastman did it within days of winning her primary. Same is true in solid Democrat districts that were
never part of this series - I can't even view the change in MA-07 as much of a win, since on policy at least, Presley appears
to have defeated Capuano from the right, not the left. I'm not at all surprised that this process leaves only 2 genuine
leftists remaining, plus AOC.
Changing the rules, talks of changing the constitution, and the status of the SC because
Dems can't find a positive message, or a positive candidate, or persuade the candidate to
recognize and reach out to voters the Democratic party abandoned, reeks of defeatism and
Clinton neoliberals (aka soft neoliberals) still control the Democratic Party but no longer
can attract working-class voters. That's why they try "identity wedge" strategy trying to
compensate their loss with the rag tag minority groups.
Their imperial jingoism only makes the situation worse. Large swaths of the USA population,
including lower middle class are tired of foreign wars and sliding standard of living. They see
exorbitant military expenses as one of the causes of their troubles.
That's why Hillary got a middle finger from several social groups which previously supported
Democrats. And that's why midterm might be interesting to watch as there is no political party
that represents working class and lower middle class in the USA.
"Lesser evil" mantra stops working when people are really angry at the ruling neoliberal
control of the Senate, a relentlessly undemocratic institution
likbez 10.08.18 at 6:24 am (no link)
I think the US society is entering a deep, sustained political crisis and it is unclear what
can bring us back from it other then the collapse, USSR-style. The USA slide into corporate
socialism (which might be viewed as a flavor of neofascism) can't be disputed.
Looks like all democracies are unstable and prone to self-destruction. In modern America,
the elite do not care about lower 80% of the population, and is over-engaged in cynical
identity politics, race and gender-mongering. Anything to win votes.
MSM is still cheering on military misadventures that kill thousands of Americans,
impoverish millions, and cost trillions. Congress looks even worse. Republican House leader
Paul Ryan looks like 100% pure bought-and-paid-for tool of multinational corporations
The scary thing for me is that the USA national problems are somewhat similar to the ones
that the USSR experienced before the collapse. At least the level of degeneration of
political elite of both parties (which in reality is a single party) is.
The only positive things is that there is viable alternative to neoliberalism on the
horizon. But that does not mean that we can't experience 1930th on a new level again. Now
several European countries such as Poland and Ukraine are already ruled by far right
nationalist parties. Brazil is probably the next. So this or military rule in the USA is not
out of question.
Some other factors are also in play: one is that a country with 320 million population
can't be governed by the same methods as a country of 76 million (1900). End of cheap oil is
near and probably will occur within the next 50 years or so. Which means the end of
neoliberalism as we know it.
Tucker states that the USA's neoliberal elite acquired control of a massive chunk of the
country's wealth. And then successfully insulated themselves from the hoi polloi. They send
their children to the Ivy League universities, live in enclosed compounds with security
guards, travel in helicopters, etc. Kind of like French aristocracy on a new level ("Let them
eat cakes"). "There's nothing more infuriating to a ruling class than contrary opinions.
They're inconvenient and annoying. They're evidence of an ungrateful population Above all,
they constitute a threat to your authority." (insert sarcasm)
Donald Trump was in many ways an unappealing figure. He never hid that. Voters knew it.
They just concluded that the options were worse -- and not just Hillary Clinton and the
Democratic Party, but the Bush family and their donors and the entire Republican
leadership, along with the hedge fund managers and media luminaries and corporate
executives and Hollywood tastemakers and think tank geniuses and everyone else who created
the world as it was in the fall of 2016: the people in charge. Trump might be vulgar and
ignorant, but he wasn't responsible for the many disasters America's leaders created .
There was also the possibility that Trump might listen. At times he seemed interested in
what voters thought. The people in charge demonstrably weren't. Virtually none of their
core beliefs had majority support from the population they governed .Beginning on election
night, they explained away their loss with theories as pat and implausible as a summer
action movie: Trump won because fake news tricked simple minded voters. Trump won because
Russian agents "hacked" the election. Trump won because mouth-breathers in the provinces
were mesmerized by his gold jet and shiny cuff links.
From a reader review:
The New Elite speaks: "The Middle Class are losers and they have made bad choices, they
haven't worked as hard as the New Elite have, they haven't gone to SAT Prep or LSAT prep so
they lose, we win. We are the Elite and we know better than you because we got high SAT
Do we have experience? Uh .well no, few of us have been in the military, pulled KP, shot
an M-16 . because we are better than that. Like they say only the losers go in the
military. We in the New Elite have little empirical knowledge but we can recognize patterns
Just look at Haley behavior in the UN and Trump trade wars and many things became more
clear. the bet is on destruction of existing international institutions in order to save the
USA elite. A the same time Trump trade wars threaten the neoliberal order so this might well
be a path to the USA self-destruction.
On Capital hill rancor, a lack of civility and derisive descriptions are everywhere.
Respect has gone out the window. Left and right wings of a single neoliberal party (much like
CPSU was in the USSR) behave like drunk schoolchildren. Level of pettiness is simply
The fundamental rule of democratic electoral politics is this: tribes don't win elections,
coalitions do. Trump's appeal is strongly tribal, and he has spent two years consolidating
his appeal to that tribe rather than reaching out. But he won in 2016 (or 'won') not on the
strength of that tribal appeal, but because of a coalition between core Trumpists and more
respectable conservatives and evangelicals, including a lot of people who find Trump himself
vulgar and repellent, but who are prepared to hold their noses. The cause
célèbre (or cause de l'infâme) that Kavanaugh's appointment became
ended-up uniting these two groups; the Trumpists on the one hand ('so the Libs are saying we
can't even enjoy a beer now, are they?') and the old-school religious Conservatives,
for whom abortion is a matter of conscience.
Given the weird topographies of US democratic process, the Democrats need to build a
bigger counter-coalition than the coalition they are opposing. Metropolitan liberals are in
the bag, so that means reconnecting with the working class, and galvanising the black and
youth votes, which have a poor record of converting social media anger into actual ballot-box
votes. But it also means reaching out to moderate religious conservatives, and the Dems don't
seem to me to have a strategy for this last approach at all. Which is odd, because it would
surely, at least in some ways, be easier than persuading young people to vote at the levels
old people vote. At the moment abortion (the elephant in the Kavanaugh-confirmation room) is
handled by the Left as a simple matter of structural misogyny, the desire to oppress and
control female bodies. I see why it is treated that way; there are good reasons for that
critique. But it's electorally dumb. Come at it another way instead, accept that many
religious people oppose abortion because they see it as killing children; then lead the
campaign on the fact that the GOP is literally putting thousands upon thousands of
children in concentration camps . Shout about that fact. Determine how many kids
literally die each year because their parents can't access free healthcare and put that stat
front and centre. Confront enough voters with the false consciousness of only caring about
abortion and not these other monstrosities and some will reconsider their position.
And one more thing that I have never understood about the Dems (speaking as an outsider),
given how large a political force Christianity is in your country: make more of Jimmy Carter.
He's a man of extraordinary conscience as well as a man of faith; the contrast with how he
has lived his post-Presidential life and the present occupier of the White House could
hardly, from a Christian perspective, be greater. If the Dems can make a love-thy-neighbour
social justice Christianity part of their brand, leaving Mammon to the GOP, then they'd be in
power for a generation.
"Jessica Morse, a former State Department and AID official in Iraq, running in the Fourth
District of California, blasts the Trump administration for "giving away global leadership to
powers like China and Russia. Our security and our economy will both suffer if those
countries are left to re-write the international rules."
Former FBI agent Christopher Hunter, running in the 12th District of Florida, declares,
"Russia is a clear and present danger to the United States. We emerged victorious over the
Soviet Union in the Cold War. We must resolve anew to secure an uncompromising victory over
Russia and its tyrannical regime."
Elissa Slotkin, the former CIA agent and Pentagon official running in Michigan's Eighth
Congressional District, cites her 14 years of experience "working on some of our country's
most critical national security matters, including U.S.-Russia relations, the counter-ISIS
campaign, and the U.S. relationship with NATO." She argues that "the United States must make
investments in its military, intelligence, and diplomatic power" in order to maintain "a
unique and vital role in the world."
Max Rose, a combat commander in Afghanistan now running in New York's 11th Congressional
District (Staten Island and Brooklyn), calls for "recognizing Russia as a hostile foreign
power and holding the Kremlin accountable for its attempts to undermine the sovereignty and
democratic values of other nations." Rose is still in the military reserves, and took two
weeks off from his campaign in August to participate in small-unit drills.
Joseph Kopser, running in the 21st District of Texas, is another anti-Russian firebrand,
writing on his website, "As a retired Army Ranger, I know first hand the importance of
standing strong with your allies. Given Russia's march toward a totalitarian state showing
aggression around the region, as well as their extensive cyber and information warfare
campaign directed at the U.S., England, and others, our Article 5 [NATO] commitment to our
European allies and partners is more important than ever." He concludes, "Since the
mid-twentieth century, the United States has been a principal world leader -- a standard that
should never be changed."
Four national-security candidates add North Korea and Iran to China and Russia as specific
targets of American military and diplomatic attack.
Josh Welle, a former naval officer who was deployed to Afghanistan, now running in the
Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey, writes, "We have to stand together in the face
of threats from countries like North Korea and Iran. The human rights violations and nuclear
capabilities of these countries pose a direct threat to the stability of this world and
therefore need to be met with strong military presence and a robust defense program to
Tom Malinowski, former assistant secretary of state for human rights, running in New
Jersey's Seventh District, calls for maintaining economic sanctions on Russia "until it stops
its aggression in Ukraine and interference in our democracy," effusively endorses the state
of Israel (whose government actually interferes in US elections more than any other), and
calls for stepped up sanctions against North Korea.
Mikie Sherill, a former Navy pilot and Russian policy officer, running in New Jersey's
11th District, writes, "I have sat across the table from the Russians, and know that we need
our government to take the threat they pose seriously." She adds to this a warning about
"threats posed by North Korea and Iran," the two most immediate targets of
military-diplomatic blackmail by the Trump administration. She concludes, referring to North
Korea's nuclear program, "For that reason I support a robust military presence in the region
and a comprehensive missile defense program to defend America, our allies, and our troops
Dan McCready, an Iraq war unit commander who claims to have been born again when he was
baptized in water from the Euphrates River, calls for war to be waged only "with overwhelming
firepower," not "sporadically, with no strategy or end in sight, while our enemies like Iran,
North Korea, Russia, and the terrorists outsmart and outlast us." He is running in North
Carolina's Ninth Congressional District, adjacent to the huge military complex at Fort
One military-intelligence candidate cites immigration as a national-security issue,
echoing the position of the Trump administration, which constantly peddles scare stories that
terrorists are infiltrating the United States disguised as immigrants and refugees. That is
Richard Ojeda, running in the Third Congressional District of West Virginia, who publicly
boasts of having voted for Trump in 2016, in the same election in which he won a seat in the
West Virginia state senate running as a Democrat.
Ojeda writes on his web site, "We must also ensure that terrorists do not reach American
soil by abusing our immigration process. We must keep an up to date terror watch list but
provide better vetting for those that go onto the watch list."
A career Army Airborne officer, Ojeda voices the full-blown militarism of this social
layer. "If there is one thing I am confident in, it is the ability of our nation's military,"
he declares. "The best way to keep Americans safe is to let our military do their job without
muddying up their responsibilities with our political agendas."
He openly rejects control of the military by civilian policy-makers. "War is not a social
experiment and I refuse to let politics play a role in my decision making when it comes to
keeping you and your family safe," he continues. "I will not take my marching orders from
anyone else concerning national security."
Only one of the 30 candidates, Ken Harbaugh, a retired Air Force pilot running in the
Seventh Congressional District of Ohio, centered on the industrial city of Canton,
acknowledges being part of this larger group. He notes, "In 2018, more vets are running for
office than at any moment in my lifetime. Because of the growing inability of Washington to
deal responsibly with the threats facing our nation, veterans from both sides of the aisle
are stepping into the breach."
Referring to the mounting prospect of war, he writes, "Today, we face our gravest
geopolitical challenge since 9/11. Our country remains at war in Afghanistan, we have troops
engaged in North Africa, Iraq and Syria, and Russia continues to bully our allies. Meanwhile,
North Korea has the ability to directly threaten the American mainland with nuclear
missiles." He concludes, "we need leaders with the moral authority to speak on these issues,
leaders who have themselves been on the front lines of these challenges."
These statements, taken cumulatively, present a picture of unbridled militarism and
aggression as the program of the supposed "opposition" to the Trump administration's own
saber-rattling and threats of "fire and fury like the world has never seen."
Perhaps even more remarkable is that the remaining 17 national-security candidates say
nothing at all about foreign policy (in 11 cases) or limit themselves to anodyne observations
about the necessity to provide adequate health care and other benefits to veterans (two
cases), or vague generalities about the need to combine a strong military with diplomatic
efforts (four cases). They give no specifics whatsoever.
In other words, while these candidates tout their own records as part of the
national-security apparatus as their principal credential for election to Congress, they
decline to tell the voters what they would do if they were in charge of American foreign
Given that these 17 include intelligence agents (Abigail Spanberger and Gina Ortiz Jones),
a National Security Council Iraq war planner (Andy Kim), and numerous other high-level State
Department and military commanders, the silence can have only the most ominous
These CIA Democrats don't want to tell voters about their plans for foreign policy and
military intervention because they know these measures are deeply unpopular. They aim to gain
office as stealth candidates, unveiling their program of militarism and war only after they
take their seats, when they may very well exercise decisive influence in the next
I don't see the republicans being the Nazis. The US war party is composed of both Democraps
and Rethuglicans. The Republican base has values closer in line with paleocons and not the
The values of the Democraps are pure imperialist, exceptionalist and totalitarian in the
name of PC. Obummer was neocon tool like W. Bush.
Thus it is the Democraps that are the proper heirs of the Nazis and their 4th Reich global
domination project. Paleocons are isolationist nationalists that actually believe in the
constitutional values that the USA claims to espouse. The Democraps are all about lust for
power and dirty tricks to enable the seizing of power.
Obummer weaponized the FBI and CIA into partisan instruments giving us the Russia meddling
inquisition. Truman was a foaming at the mouth racist cold warrior.
Eisenhower at least warned about the creeping influence of the MIC. Clinton was a
slimeball that continued the Reich agenda in the Balkans. And so on.
"... Why should a robed, unelected politician be redefining marriage? ..."
"... Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and is no different than either professional football or wrestling. The public cheer on their teams and engage in meaningless battle while the controllers pilfer everything of value. ..."
"... Peter Hitchens has remarked that demonstrations are actually indicators of weakness rather than power or authority (something that seems to have eluded Flake and Murkowski), however shrill and enraged that they may be. ..."
"... I'm an aging New Deal Democrat. I have not changed but my former party changed with the tenure of the immoral and ethically challenged rapist, Bill Clinton and his enabler wife. In their previous lives, both were Goldwater Republicans. They switched to the Democrat Party to win elections but they never strayed too far from teats of the the Bushes and their destructive political roots. I"m willing to bet thousands of dollars that if given a fair chance at a quiz about the Clintons, most of the young SJW's, rabid homo's and the poor suckers who follow them know very little about the real Clintons. ..."
"... The Democrat party today is less a party than it is a mob of homosexuals and rabid social justice warriors duped into believing they are oppressed by the extremist college courses in Social Justice. Yet, what they have offer the world is not justice. They offer chaos and anarchy as we saw with the mob of racists black and stupid white kids attacking a man who looked lost and confused, and as it turns out, rightfully frightened by the crowd of social justice terrorists from the Alt-Left. ..."
"... The Democrat Party is gonzo, the same as Hillary and Bill Clinton's speaking tour is destined to be. ..."
Mr. Buchanan, you forgot the "treacherous" work of porn lawyer Michael Avenatti who offered
the straw that broke the camel's back by presenting such an abysmal "witness" such as Julie
Swetnick. Ms. Ramirez' alleged allegations also came down to nothing. Even the so-called Me
too movement suffered a big blow. They turned a fundamental democratic principle upside down:
The accused is innocent until proven guilty. They insisted instead that the accuser is right
because she is a woman!
I watched the whole confirmation circus on CNN. When Dr. Ford started talking my first
thought was; this entire testimony is a charade initiated by the Dems. As a journalist, I was
appalled by the CNN "colleagues." During the recesses, they held tribunals that were 95
percent staffed by anti-Trumpets. Fairness looks different.
For me, the Democratic Party and the Me too movement lost much of its credibility. To
regain it, they have to get rid of the demons of the Clinton's and their ilk. Anyone who is
acquainted with the history of the Clinton's knows that they belong to the most politically
corrupt politicians in the US.
You're thinking of Justice Kennedy, another Republican choice for whom young Mr. Kavanaugh
clerked before helping President Cheney with the Patriot Act to earn his first robe on the
Swampville Circuit. Chief Justice Roberts was the one who nailed down Big Sickness for the
pharmaceutical and insurance industries.
Like the "federal" elections held every November in even-numbered years and the 5-4
decrees of the Court, these nailbiting confirmation hearings are another part of the show
that keeps people gulled into accepting that so many things in life are to be run by people
in Washington. Mr. Buchanan for years has been proclaiming each The Most Important Ever.
I'm still inclined to the notion that the Constitution was intended, at least by some of
its authors and supporters, to create a limited national government. But even by the time of
Marbury, those entrusted with the powers have arrogated the authority to redefine them. In my
lifetime, the Court exists to deal with hot potato social issues in lieu of the invertebrate
Congress, to forebear (along with the invertebrate Congress) the warmongering and other
"foreign policy" waged under auspices of the President, and to dignify the Establishment's
shepherding and fleecing of the people.
Why should a robed, unelected politician be redefining marriage? Entrusted to
enforce the Constitutional limitations on the others? Sure, questions like these are posed
from time to time in a dissenting Justice's opinion, but that ends the discussion other than
in the context of replacing old Justice X with middle-aged Justice Y, as exemplified in this
cliche' column from Mr. Buchanan. Those of us outside the Beltway are told to tune in and
root Red. And there are pom pom shakers and color commentators just like him for Team
Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and
is no different than either professional football or wrestling. The public cheer on their
teams and engage in meaningless battle while the controllers pilfer everything of value.
Buchanan knows this but is too afraid to tell "the other half of the story."
It was a costly victory, but not a Pyrrhic one. The Left will no doubt raise the decibel
and octave levels, but if they incur a richly-deserved defeat a month from now, they won't
even make it to the peanut gallery for at least the next two years.
Peter Hitchens has remarked that demonstrations are actually indicators of weakness
rather than power or authority (something that seems to have eluded Flake and Murkowski),
however shrill and enraged that they may be. Should the Left choose to up the ante, to
REALLY take it to the streets well as the English ditty goes: We have the Maxim Gun/And they
Pat, you are one of the few thinkers with real common sense.
I'm an aging New Deal Democrat. I have not changed but my former party changed with
the tenure of the immoral and ethically challenged rapist, Bill Clinton and his enabler wife.
In their previous lives, both were Goldwater Republicans. They switched to the Democrat Party
to win elections but they never strayed too far from teats of the the Bushes and their
destructive political roots. I"m willing to bet thousands of dollars that if given a fair
chance at a quiz about the Clintons, most of the young SJW's, rabid homo's and the poor
suckers who follow them know very little about the real Clintons.
The Democrat party today is less a party than it is a mob of homosexuals and rabid
social justice warriors duped into believing they are oppressed by the extremist college
courses in Social Justice. Yet, what they have offer the world is not justice. They offer
chaos and anarchy as we saw with the mob of racists black and stupid white kids attacking a
man who looked lost and confused, and as it turns out, rightfully frightened by the crowd of
social justice terrorists from the Alt-Left.
They all slept through the Obama disaster thinking the globalist open borders would make
the world Shang Ri La instead of crime ridden, diseased, and under attack from Muslims and
their twisted ides about God and Sharia Law. Look at the Imam who proclaimed yesterday they
Sharia is the law of Britain and that Muslims are at war with the British government. Yet,
Tommy Robinson gets jailed for pointing out their sated intentions. Messed up. We cannot let
this happen in America.
They ignore the fact that the emasculated Obama failed to fight to pick a Supreme Court
Justice. Even though he was going to choose Neil Gorsuch, not a leftist, the Alt-Left no
doubt would have remained silent if he had. Why? Because Obama was black. But the Alt-Left is
shallow and they could not see that the oreo president was black on the outside but rich and
creamy white on the inside. No doubt, Obama was more like a 1980′s Republican than he
was a Democrat as I understood them to be for decades.
The Democrat Party is gonzo, the same as Hillary and Bill Clinton's speaking tour is
destined to be.
Watzal Vis-a-vis #PayAttentionToMeToo, it really was a win-win. Rightists successfully
defended the firewall and kept it contained to the left. Perfect. As far as leftists are
concerned, it's still perfectly legitimate – the leftist circular firing squads will
Many people here still don't get it. This fake left vs right paradigm is just a show and
is no different than either professional football or wrestling.
Well I get it and have been saying so. Trump knows damn well that the people he has
surrounded himself with are Deep Staters Trump is a part of the Deep State. Trump has done
nothing of significance for the 99%. Trump hasn't prosecuted anyone for criminal activity
'against' his campaign or administration. Trump hasn't built a wall (he won't either).
Instead of reducing conflict and war Trump has been belligerent in his actions toward Russia,
China, Syria and Iran .risking all out war. All these things are being done to increase the
wealth and power of the Deep State. For the past ten years Republican House members have been
promising investigations and prosecutions of Democrats for criminal activities .not one god
damn thing changed. Kabuki theater is the name of the game. With such inane bullshit as
Dancing With The Stars on TV and the fake Republicans v Democrats game, it is all meant to
keep the proles from knowing how they are being screwed .a rather easy task at that.
Same sex marriage is basically irrelevant. Less than 10% of homosexuals co-habitate with a
partner. Perhaps 10% of the general population is openly homosexual (and that's definitely an
This means that if all homosexuals that cohabitate with a partner are married, it's less
than 1% of the population we're talking about.
This is a "who really cares?" situation. There's more important things to worry about when
the nation has been at war for 16 years straight, started over a bunch of lies starting with
George W. Bush and continuing with Barak Obama. We have lost the moral high ground because of
those two, identical in any important way, scumbags.
Democrats are enraged and have seen the GOP for the white supremacist evil institution
that it is
This from a group of people that have been endlessly complaining that the Butcher of
Libya, who voted for the Authorization to Use Force in Iraq (what you know as the 2nd Iraq
War) wasn't elected president just because she was running a fraudulent charity, was storing
classified information on an unsecured and compromised server illegally, and is telling you
absolutely morally bankrupt and unprincipled individuals that you have the moral high ground
because she's a woman after all, not just another war criminal like George W. Bush is, and
Caligula's horse would have beaten Hillary Clinton, if the voter base had any sense.
Clinton was the worst possible candidate ever. Anybody, and I mean anybody, that voted for
the Iraq War should be in prison, not in government. They are all traitors.
Agree Big money interets have broguht us Trump not only for the tax cuts but to destroy
America's hemegomony. to start the final leg of the shift from west to east. A traitor of the
highest order Pat Buchanan has led the grievence brigade of angry white men for decades
distracted and deluded over the social issues meanwhile the Everyman/woman has lost ground
economically or stayed static no improvement.
Baptist You can just about guarantee that the losers in the false 'Right' versus 'Left'
circus will be We The People.
Big Government/Big Insider Corporations/Big Banks feed parasitically off the population.
The role of the lawyers wearing black dresses on the SC, is to help hide the theft. They use
legal mumbo jumbo. The economists at the Fed use economics & mathematical mumbo
Much of current Western society is made up of bullsh*t.