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

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

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

 

Before

After

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

Introduction

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

Lester Smithson, Guardian, Jul 11, 2016

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

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

The choice is simple.

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

Anjeska , Guardian comment, Jul 12, 2016

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

Puro, guardian comment

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

thebuzzinsider

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adapted from Wikipedia

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

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

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

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

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

Dirty MSM games and tricks with election polls

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

3.14e-9

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

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

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

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

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

Taking Apart the Insider Game

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

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

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

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

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

The Clinton Campaign Notices Sanders

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What to Look at When the Times Reports on Clinton

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

Bottom Line

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

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

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

My guess is few or none.

An interesting discussion on Naked Capitalism about Sanders candidacy

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

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

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

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

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

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

average_income_of_top_1_percent

2. Wall Street/CEO Greed

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

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

wage_gap-top_100_ceos_vs_average_workers

3. The Biggest Banks are Getting Bigger.

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

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

percentage_of_all_banking_assets

4. Students are Crippled with Debt.

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

student_loans_1

5. We lead the developed world in child poverty

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

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

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

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

percentage_of_children_living_in_poverty

6. You can't live on the minimum wage

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

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

rise_and_fall_of_minimum_wage

7. The tax system favors the rich

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

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

rich_pay_lower_state_tax_rates

8. The Rich Buy the Political System

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

Sanders wants Super PACS outlawed and Citizens United overturned.

9. "The American Dream" is Fading Away

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

But we're getting a wake up call.

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

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

odds_youll_be_stuck_in_same_class_as_your_parents

10. The Largest Police State in the World

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

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

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

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

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

number_of_federal_and_state_prisoners

Taking Them On

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

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

Let's hope he's right.

tim s

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He only wrote a book about it:

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

Perhaps you don't agree with his conclusions.

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

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

Nigelk, November 13, 2015 at 1:53 pm

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

jrs, November 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm

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

Jagger, November 13, 2015 at 2:04 pm

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

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

bob

Is this a different Ron Paul?

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

washunate

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

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

You didn't answer Jagger's question.

washunate, November 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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


TarheelDem, November 13, 2015 at 9:00 am

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


wbgonne, November 13, 2015 at 10:21 am

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

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

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

Jagger, November 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm

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

WindyCity, November 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm

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

Eric Patton

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

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

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

cwaltz, November 13, 2015 at 7:03 am

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

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

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

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

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

Vatch , November 13, 2015 at 11:06 am

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

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

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

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

WindyCity, November 13, 2015 at 3:42 pm

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

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

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

Vatch, November 13, 2015 at 12:37 pm

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

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

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

Meant as a reply to Linda J.

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

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

Lonely fight against neoliberalism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Feb 17, 2019] Carlson is saying Trump's not "capable" of sustained focus on the sausage-making of right-wing policy

Notable quotes:
"... Carlson is saying Trump's not "capable" of sustained focus on the sausage-making of right-wing policy ..."
Dec 09, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

kees_popinga , December 8, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Tucker Carlson: "Trump is not capable" Weltwoche (Anita)

Carlson is saying Trump's not "capable" of sustained focus on the sausage-making of right-wing policy.

The clickbait (out of context) headline makes it sound like a more general diss. I'm not supporting Trump here [standard disclaimer], but these gotcha headlines are tiresome.

[Feb 17, 2019] Was Trump was a deep state man from day one, just like Obama, Bush, Clinton and all the rest?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Trump just appointed John Bolton ! Trump has betrayed us ! How did they turned him ? Blah blah blah .. Forchrissake ! ..."
Mar 23, 2018 | www.unz.com

denk , March 23, 2018 at 4:44 am GMT

Trump just appointed John Bolton ! Trump has betrayed us ! How did they turned him ? Blah blah blah .. Forchrissake !

Trump was a deep state man from day one, just like Obama, Bush, Clinton and all the rest,.

It boggles the mind that even at this stage, so many peoples are still bamboozled by this duopoly dog and pony show , aka the mukkan election !

hehehehhe

[Feb 13, 2019] What a Midwestern Presidential Candidate Learned From Marxist Intellectuals

Notable quotes:
"... "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 ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | www.thenation.com

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 for now."

John Nichols is The Nation 's national-affairs correspondent. He is the author of Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America , from Nation Books, and co-author, with Robert W. McChesney, of People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy .

[Feb 13, 2019] Tulsi rocks

Notable quotes:
"... Trump doesn't have a clue about Foreign Policy ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

David G , February 12, 2019 at 11:26 am

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

As far as I know, everybody else is on board the regime-change express, enjoying the bar car.

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?

... ... ...

[Feb 11, 2019] Noticeble decay of Democratic leadership -- which is now, apparently, two old crazy people, one of which has active dementia creates preconditions for a loot and burn approach to governing the US.

Notable quotes:
"... 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 [1] (or as the self supporting tercio was during the 30 Years War). ..."
Feb 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Counterinsurgency , says: February 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm GMT

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 change.

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 [1] (or as the self supporting tercio was during the 30 Years War).

Counterinsurgency

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 nuclear weapons.

[Feb 09, 2019] 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.

Feb 09, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc , February 06, 2019 at 05:22 PM

Oops, Speaker Pelosi caught paving over Medicare For All

https://theintercept.com/2019/02/05/nancy-pelosi-medicare-for-all/

"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..."...

Christopher H. said in reply to im1dc... , February 06, 2019 at 07:14 PM
so how do you feel about that?
Mr. Bill -> Christopher H.... , February 06, 2019 at 09:52 PM
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 ......

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 09:55 PM
It was not the FDA that discovered the contamination, it was the EU.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:07 PM
Democrats in action on health care include Max Baucus,Tom Daschle, and most infamously, Billy Tauzin:

"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 companies.[4][5]

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.[6]

Tauzin received $11.6 million from PhRMA in 2010, making him the highest-paid health-law lobbyist.[7] Tauzin now is on the Board of Directors at Louisiana Healthcare Group. "

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:15 PM
Baucus in action :

"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.[44][45][46] 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 system.[47]

At the next meeting on health care reform of the Senate Finance Committee, Baucus had five more doctors and nurses removed and arrested.[48][49][50] Baucus admitted a few weeks later in June 2009 that it was a mistake to rule out a single payer plan[51] 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.[51]

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 program"

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:20 PM
Daschle:

"Daschle co-wrote the 2008 book Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis ISBN 9780312383015.[55] 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.[56]"

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.

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , February 06, 2019 at 10:38 PM
"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 moderate-to-conservative Democrats.

.......

However, on August 8, 1995, Tauzin himself became a Republican"

Republicans in action ..... ?

[Feb 09, 2019] Americans Are Tired Of The Same Old Pandering And Stale Ideas We're Going To Keep Offering Them

This is from October 2017. nothing changed...
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Oct 06, 2017 | www.theonion.com

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 1990s.

[Feb 09, 2019] 5 Things To Know About Cory Booker

Feb 09, 2019 | politics.theonion.com

1. WHY DOES BOOKER WANT TO BE PRESIDENT?

Hopes it could finally be his ticket out of New Jersey.

... ... ...

[Feb 07, 2019] Bernie arrived on the scene like a time traveler from an era before the unbreakable stranglehold of neoliberalism

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 substantially. Now
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.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Feb 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Christopher H. , February 06, 2019 at 01:36 PM

https://jacobinmag.com/2019/02/trump-state-of-union-socialism

02.06.2019

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 as well.

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 the facts.

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.

[Feb 05, 2019] 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

Feb 05, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:22 PM

Is anyone else tired of the longest, least productive waste of war in American history ? What have we achieved, where are we going with this ? More war.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:31 PM
We are being fed a fairy tale of war about what men, long dead, did. And the reason they did it. America is being strangled by the burden of belief that now is like then.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:46 PM
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.
Mr. Bill -> Mr. Bill... , January 31, 2019 at 08:48 PM
America is dying on the same sword as Rome, for the same reason.
Plp -> JF... , January 31, 2019 at 07:28 AM
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
Julio -> mulp ... , January 31, 2019 at 08:58 AM
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 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.

Gerald -> Julio ... , January 31, 2019 at 04:14 PM
"...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.

Julio -> Gerald... , January 31, 2019 at 06:22 PM
You merged paragraphs, and elided the next one. The way I see it, high rates are a prerequisite to prevent the reaccumulation of obscene wealth, and its diversion into financial gambling.

But yes that would be a very slow way to redistribute what has already accumulated.

Gerald -> Julio ... , February 01, 2019 at 04:48 AM
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).
Global Groundhog -> Julio ... , February 02, 2019 at 01:39 PM
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.

thanks, Julio! thanks
again
.!

JF -> Global Groundhog... , February 04, 2019 at 05:42 AM
Wonderful to see the discussion about public finance shifting to use net worth proportions as the focus and metric.

Wonderful. Let us see if press/media stories and opinion pieces use this same way of talking about the financing of self-government.

Mr. Bill -> anne... , February 03, 2019 at 08:15 PM
Jesus Christ said, in so many words, that a man's worth will be judged by his generosity and his avarice.

" 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?"

[Feb 02, 2019] "They Are Suspicious of Beto" Why Are Democrats Trying to Annihilate an O'Rourke Campaign Before It Has Even Started

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post, ..."
Feb 02, 2019 | www.vanityfair.com

"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, and trade."

[Jan 29, 2019] These 2020 hopefuls are courting Wall Street. Don t be fooled by their progressive veneer by Bhaskar Sunkara

Highly recommended!
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.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

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 victims weak.

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 across sectors."

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

memo10 -> Karen Maddening , 15 Jan 2019 14:05

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 things.

mp66 , 15 Jan 2019 13:38
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.
Pete Healey , 15 Jan 2019 13:31
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.
yayUSA , 15 Jan 2019 13:17
Tulsi entering is big news.
Danexmachina , 15 Jan 2019 12:31
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.
Tim Cahill , 15 Jan 2019 12:00
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.

Lenny Dirges -> Vintage59 , 15 Jan 2019 11:55
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?
memo10 -> L C , 15 Jan 2019 11:54

Vintage59 pointed out lots of things people have changed. Here's an exhaustive list of the legislation passed by people who didn't get elected but were more progressive than the people who did:

There is also a steadily growing list of Democrats who did worse in elections than a hypothetical Democratic candidate had been projected to do.

The party can either continue being GOP-Lite or it can start winning elections. It can't do both.

memo10 -> 2miners , 15 Jan 2019 11:49

Forget it Bernie and Co. -with the women haters in his ranks and his apparent tepid support from African Americans he's way off the pace

Way off the pace compared to who? Trump?

memo10 -> IamDolf , 15 Jan 2019 11:44

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.

memo10 -> xxxaaaxxx , 15 Jan 2019 11:40

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.

memo10 -> Peter Krall , 15 Jan 2019 11:17

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.

L C -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 11:15
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.

Vintage59 -> BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 11:05
Wall Street is a casino. The House never loses.
Vintage59 -> Lenny Dirges , 15 Jan 2019 11:02
Everything changes constantly.

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 logic.

ytram -> ChesBay , 15 Jan 2019 10:30
Our capitalist predators are still alive and well. The finance, insurance, and real estate
organizations are the worst predators in the USA.
They will eat your babies if you let them.

[Jan 24, 2019] Nancy Pelosi fits the classic Soviet politburo member with their private dachas on the Black Sea. Nancy believes she is now the opposition leader with the mandate from the Party of Davos to ensure the defeat of Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Nancy believes she is now the opposition leader with the mandate from the Party of Davos to ensure the defeat of Trump. ..."
Jan 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jack , a day ago

Sir

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 urban/suburban crowd.

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.

[Jan 22, 2019] 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 together

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cagnusdei -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 10:50

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 together.

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.

[Jan 22, 2019] Neoliberal Dems circled wagons and used Russiagate to avoid the necessary changes: they are now doomed

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

ravioliollie -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 08:55

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.
TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47
Yep,
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.

[Jan 22, 2019] The neoliberalism of the Democratic Party elite (and most of the rank and file) is one big factor in our 2016 loss.

Jan 22, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Art Glick

, 15 Jan 2019 09:44
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, etc.

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 politics.

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 accuracy.

[Jan 22, 2019] Mounting a campaign against plutocracy makes as much sense to the typical Washington liberal as would circulating a petition against gravity.

Jan 22, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

"Mounting a campaign against [financial] plutocracy makes as much sense to the typical Washington liberal as would circulating a petition against gravity.

What our modernized liberal leaders offer is not confrontation but a kind of therapy for those flattened by the free-market hurricane: they counsel us to accept the inevitability of the situation."

Thomas Frank, Rendezvous With Oblivion

[Jan 17, 2019] The farcical DNC leadership echoes the days of Brezhnev's intransigent politburo

Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

TempsdesRoses , 15 Jan 2019 08:47

Yep,
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.

Brassic , 15 Jan 2019 08:21
Excellent article. Thank you.

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.

[Jan 17, 2019] 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

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Jan 17, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cagnusdei -> cagnusdei , 15 Jan 2019 10:53

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.
ehmaybe -> HobbesianWorlds , 15 Jan 2019 10:52
As sensible as your suggestions may be, what you're calling for would require at least three constitutional amendments to be practical - including scrapping the first amendment.

Maybe we should strive towards attainable goals instead?

cagnusdei -> lullu616 , 15 Jan 2019 10:50
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 together.

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.

ConBrio -> cnzewi , 15 Jan 2019 10:45

Progressive believe in inclusion and if that is "moralistic rhetoric" then so be it.

The litany goes "round and round.

Hillary Clinton:

" you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it!

"Barack Obama:

"Referring to working-class voters in old industrial towns decimated by job losses, the presidential hopeful said: "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion "

There's liberal "inclusion" for you!

memo10 -> GRBnative , 15 Jan 2019 10:34
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.

[Jan 16, 2019] Neoliberal media will try to deral Sanders like they did in 2016

Notable quotes:
"... The NYTimes has already begun the exact same campaign for the 2020 cycle. ..."
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Atlant -> partoftheproblem , 15 Jan 2019 09:55

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.

Matthew Hartman -> Atlant , 15 Jan 2019 08:00
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 again.

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.

[Jan 16, 2019] The travesty of the US elections

These corporate-Dem candidates are not being forced to sell out to win elections. Quite the opposite in fact. They are risking losing their elections for the sake of selling out.
Jan 16, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

BaronVonAmericano , 15 Jan 2019 07:54

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.

[Jan 14, 2019] As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, the Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic and Pro-War Than Republicans

Jan 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"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.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson Mitt Romney supports the status quo. But for everyone else, it's infuriating Fox News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on January 2, 2019. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.foxnews.com
Tucker: America's goal is happiness, but leaders show no obligation to voters

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 ago.

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 country.

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 goals enthusiastically.

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, mostly.

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 next generation.

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 Facebook executives.

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 kids.

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 close.

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.

Video

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, 2019.

[Jan 12, 2019] Tucker Carlson has sparked the most interesting debate in conservative politics by Jane Coaston

Highly recommended!
Tucker Carlson sounds much more convincing then Trump: See Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters and Tucker The American dream is dying
Notable quotes:
"... 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." ..."
Jan 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

"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 book The 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 workers":

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.

-- Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 4, 2019

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 wrote 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.

-- Jeremy McLallan (@JeremyMcLellan) January 8, 2019

At the Federalist, writer Kirk Jing wrote of Carlson's monologue, and a response 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 Hillbilly Elegy , 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 immigration policies.

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, less than enthusiastic .

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!!

-- Judah Maccabeets (@AdamSerwer) January 9, 2019

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 of the militarization of police . Carlson's network, Fox News, and Carlson himself have frequently blasted leftist critics of market capitalism and efforts to fight inequality .

I asked Carlson about this, as his show is frequently centered on the turmoils caused by " demographic change ." 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 critiqued Carlson's 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.

[Jan 12, 2019] Democratic Party became the party of corrupt, sclerotic, corporate Democrats

Jan 12, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Monday, January 07, 2019 at 03:17 PM


-> anne... , January 10, 2019 at 07:06 AM

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 honest broker!

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 been there.
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 Republicans.

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.

But the Democrats' moneyed interests don't want more powerful labor unions. They are not in favor of stronger antitrust enforcement against large corporations. They resist firmer regulation of Wall Street. They are unlikely to want to repeal the Trump-Republican tax cut for big corporations and the wealthy."
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/06/house-democrats-donald-trump-subpoena-tax-return-impeachment

And maybe, just maybe, Krugman, in a veiled warning to Democrats enamored with Trump's tax cuts, has decided to trump partisan loyalty with economic reality...as any decent economist should do.

EMichael and kurt will be disappointed, very disappointed that Krugman sided with AOC over corrupt, sclerotic, corporate Democrats...

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to JohnH... , January 08, 2019 at 07:27 AM
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.

JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 08:48 AM
"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.
RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to JohnH... , January 08, 2019 at 09:24 AM
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.

mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 10, 2019 at 02:14 PM
"...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 US Constitution.

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 welfare.

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 costs.


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.

JohnH -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 08:53 AM
"'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.
mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 09, 2019 at 05:04 AM
"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.

mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 10, 2019 at 03:04 PM
""'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 paid more.

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.

Christopher H. said in reply to RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , January 08, 2019 at 09:20 AM
Well said. It is fascinating to witness how the liberal establishment is rallying around democratic socialists AOC and Rashida Tlaib.


https://twitter.com/MattBruenig/status/1082287736550293504

Matt Bruenig‏
@MattBruenig

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.

6:47 AM - 7 Jan 2019

RC AKA Darryl, Ron said in reply to Christopher H.... , January 08, 2019 at 09:25 AM
Sweet. THANKS!
mulp said in reply to JohnH... , January 09, 2019 at 04:55 AM
"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!

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to mulp ... , January 09, 2019 at 09:26 AM
"you think beef at $10 plus per pound,"

Wow... you need to do a lot better at shopping sales. I wait for sales and then buy burger at $2.50, crud cuts at $3-4, and can frequently get t-bone and ribeye for under $5.

BUT, on the larger scale, what is the difference if I pay $1 a pound for burger and earn $20K a year, or I pay $3 for burger and earn $60K a year?

Inflation punishes savers? Really? What is the difference if I earn 3% at 2% inflation or 1% at 0% inflation? The answer is, none.

Julio -> anne... , January 08, 2019 at 09:47 AM
"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".

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to Julio ... , January 08, 2019 at 04:17 PM
A point I try to make.

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 think so.

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 usefulness.

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.

mulp said in reply to Darrell in Phoenix... , January 09, 2019 at 05:15 AM
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?

Say, the $7 billion in wages was to sing and dance so no matter where in the world he was, he was entertained by song and dance?

Economies are zero sum. Every cost has an equal benefit aka income or consumption. Work can't exist without consumption, consumption without work.

Money is merely work in the past or future.

Darrell in Phoenix said in reply to mulp ... , January 09, 2019 at 08:06 AM
"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 money...

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 deductions.

[Jan 11, 2019] As Democratic Elites Reunite With Neocons, The Party's Voters Are Becoming Far More Militaristic And Pro-War Than Republicans by Glenn Greenwald

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.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept

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 both parties , but largely provoked bipartisan outrage among in Washington's reflexively pro-war establishment.

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.

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 opposed.

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.

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.

[Jan 11, 2019] Blowback from the neoliberal policy is coming

Highly recommended!
Seeing Tucker Leaders show no obligation to American voters suggest that the collapse of neoliberalism is coming...
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

bruce wilder, January 11, 2019 at 2:17 pm

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, less "shocky".

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.

Likbez,

Bruce,

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 neoliberal oligarchy.

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 well.

[Jan 02, 2019] Sanders as a lying bastard

Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

OJS , Feb 21, 2018 8:27:10 PM | link

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-21/they-had-more-information-us-sanders-blames-clinton-not-exposing-russian-meddling

"They Had More Information Than Us" - Sanders Blames Clinton For Not Exposing Russian Meddling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=WRnBPKFcAKo

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 Russia....."

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 .

[Dec 29, 2018] The problem is in 2008 unlike 1933 large sections of the electorate just wanted more Republican economics to "deal" with the aftermath

Politically Obama was a "despicable coward", or worse, a marionette.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Health Care

"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!


Nick Stokes , December 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm

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 people.

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 policy courses.

Chris , December 27, 2018 at 7:13 pm

Mr. Stokes (or David Brock I presume?),

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 argument.

Carey , December 27, 2018 at 8:45 pm

What an outstandingly comprehensive recent history of
Our dismal-by-design Democrats.

My hat is off to you, Sir.

Expat2uruguay , December 28, 2018 at 7:44 am

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

WJ , December 28, 2018 at 11:37 am

+100000

Chris , December 27, 2018 at 7:21 pm

I truly don't understand why you think any of that. Most mystifying is your claim that anyone thought ACA would provide short term political benefit?

You know how Obamacare could have given Hillary a short term political gain? If Obama had directed HHS to delay releasing any premium increase notices until after the election.

Otherwise, you'd have to support your argument a lot better. NC has the least fantastical commentary base of any website I've seen.

Yves Smith , December 27, 2018 at 8:09 pm

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 that show.

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.

We discussed it long form in 2010:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/03/the-empire-continues-to-strike-back-team-obama-propaganda-campaign-reaches-fever-pitch.html

Better trolls, please.

[Dec 24, 2018] Chuck Schumer, feckless hack

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Dec 24, 2018 | theweek.com
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.

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.

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.

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 to organize atrocities , including genocide .

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.

[Dec 22, 2018] British Security Service Infiltration, the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft by Craig Murray

Highly recommended!
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 Interpol.
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.
Notable quotes:
"... 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". ..."
Dec 13, 2018 | craigmurray.org.uk

in Uncategorized by craig

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 field organiser."

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 tracked down 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 Daniel Edney).

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 aggressively 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.

You can 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

[Nov 27, 2018] The political fraud of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal"

Highly recommended!
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.
Notable quotes:
"... 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/... ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Raymond Colison4 days ago

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.

To quote Trotsky, "These people are capable of and ready for anything!"

Greg4 days ago
"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 position.

"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 the Democrats

Penny Smith4 days ago
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.
Jim Bergren4 days ago
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.

Master Oroko4 days ago
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!
Vivek Jain4 days ago
from Greenwald: The Democratic Party's deceitful game https://www.salon.com/2010/...
лидия5 days ago
"Greenwashing" of capitalism (and also of Zionist apartheid colony in Palestine) is but one of dirty tricks by Dems and their "left" backers.
Kalen5 days ago
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 elite.

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 about.

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 detrimental.

Me at home Kalen4 days ago
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.

[Nov 27, 2018] American Politics Is Now Just Civil War by Other Means by James George JATRAS

Notable quotes:
"... The Camp of the Saints ..."
"... русский ..."
"... российский ..."
"... Two people walk into a bar. ..."
"... One is a Baptist, straight, male Virginia state trooper whose ancestors arrived at Jamestown . ..."
"... The other is a one-legged, genderqueer , Somali Dervish WIC recipient illegally in the US on an expired student visa. ..."
"... So the bartender says ..."
Nov 03, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

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 White-Nationalist-in-Chief, Russian President Vladimir Putin .

Those appealing for more civility and a return to polite discourse can save their breath. It's much, much too late for that .

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 российский (rossiiskiy).) Maybe we could adapt Frank Lloyd Wright's " Usonian "? "Or Americaner," comparable to Afrikaner? "Or Anglo-American "?)

Since the Left gave up on its original focus on industrial workers as the revolutionary class, the old bourgeois/proletarian dichotomy is out. Tribes now line up according to categories in a plural Cultural Marxist schematic of oppressor and victim pairings , with the latter claiming unlimited redress from the former. As the late Joe Sobran said, it takes a lot of clout to be a victim in America these days. The following is a helpful guide to who's who under the new dispensation:

Category

Oppressor

Victim

Sex

Male

Female

Race

White

"Person of Color" (POC)

Language

English

Non-English

Religion

Christian

Non-Christian

Sexual Orientation

"Cis"/" Straight "

LGBTQQIAPP+

Sovereign allegiance

US citizen

Non-US citizen

Legal status

Citizen/legal resident

Illegal/"Undocumented"

Criminality

Law-abiding

Offender

Origin

Native

( Im)migrant

Physical condition

Able

Disabled

Economic

Self-supporting

Dependent

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 " intersectionality ."

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 Jamestown .

The other is a one-legged, genderqueer , Somali Dervish WIC recipient illegally in the US on an expired student visa.

So the bartender says [insert your own punch line here] .

While Patrick Buchanan is right that the level of domestic violence today is not up to what the US experienced in 1968, the depth of the existential divide is much greater. This is why it's perfectly acceptable for a homosexual, black MSM news anchor to describe " white men" collectively as a "terror threat ," but when a straight white, female counterpart makes a clumsy but mild observation about ethnic role-playing it's a firing offense. (Note that while "female" is an assigned victim category, white females can be " gender traitors" if they are seen as putting their "racial privilege ahead of their second-class gender status "; to remain victims in good standing and an "allies" of higher-caste victim groups they need to learn to just " shut the f**k up " when POC sisters with superior oppressed status are holding forth.)

The victim side accuses its opponents of a litany of sins such as racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc., for which the solution is demographic and ideological replacement – even while denying that the replacement is going on or intended. This is no longer ordinary political competition but (in an inversion of von Clausewitz attributed to Michel Foucault) politics " as the continuation of war by other means ." In its immediate application this war is a second American civil war, but it can have immense consequences for war on the international stage as well.

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.

That's what's "supposed" to happen, just as Hillary Clinton was "supposed" to win the White House two years ago. How things will actually play out though is anybody's guess .

But for the sake of discussion, if the expected scenario comes to pass the last chance Trump's election afforded to save what is left of the American nation is likely to come to an end . We can anticipate three results:

Tags: Civil War

[Nov 26, 2018] 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.

Notable quotes:
"... Homage to Catalonia ..."
"... Homage to Catalonia ..."
"... typhlophthalmism ..."
Nov 26, 2018 | www.unz.com

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. 14)

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.

[Nov 25, 2018] Neoliberal plutocrats preparing ground to wipe out progressives and directly take over the Democratic party in US

The problem with the title is that neoliberals plutocrats took Dem Party during Bill Clinton years. so this goal was accomplished long ago.
Nov 25, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com
October 23, 2018 globinfo freexchange
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 "establishment."
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.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/UiBKj1RTS30


https://www.youtube.com/embed/-nIxZXxeVQY


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 Haley .
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.

[Nov 23, 2018] Millionaires Running Democratic Party Meet In Secret

Nov 23, 2018 | youtu.be

A big club is meeting to discuss "progressive" causes. Reporters aren't allowed. Here are the details Jimmy Dore gets it.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 23, 2018 11:03:50 AM | 81

[Nov 12, 2018] The Democratic Party long ago earned the designation graveyard of social protest movements, and for good reason

Highly recommended!
The Democrats are politically responsible for the rise of Trump.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

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 to Brazil.

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.

[Nov 12, 2018] Why Democrats Are So Okay With Losing by Louis Proyect

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Nov 09, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

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 respectively.

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 Weyrich.

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 Investment Group.

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."

An article titled "' Montclair Mikie' Sherrill recast as 'Moderate Mikie' as Webber attacks in NJ House race " described her Road to Damascus conversion to DLC principles:

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 Montclair.

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 her candidacy.

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 run."

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.

[Nov 07, 2018] There is only the Deep Purple Mil.Gov UniParty. The Titanic is dead in the water, lights out, bow down hard.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Debsisdead | Nov 7, 2018 6:19:36 AM | 9

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 voters.

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.

Anton Worter , Nov 7, 2018 11:13:25 AM | link

@9

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.

ken | Nov 7, 2018 12:44:13 PM | 69

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' ,,,,,,,
Alex Fraser.

The US, and West in general, is proof positive.

Russ | Nov 7, 2018 7:48:10 AM | 17

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.

[Nov 07, 2018] Republicans can easily swing 3 Democrats, then Mike Pence puts the hammer down

Notable quotes:
"... 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? ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anton Worter , Nov 7, 2018 11:13:25 AM | 57 ">link

@9

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.

[Nov 07, 2018] The biggest losses of the night were center-right Democrats.

Nov 07, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

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.

[Nov 07, 2018] The corporate Dems have no policies that represent the people who elected them. However, they are no longer supported by working class and lower middle class

Notable quotes:
"... @WindDancer13 ..."
"... @WindDancer13 ..."
"... Investigating Trump for the rest of his tenure will keep them from having to do their jobs for Americans. ..."
"... They're going to spend millions of dollars and better yet, millions of hours babbling on and on about Taxes and Trump. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... There are now over 100 women in the House -- a first. ..."
"... I hope the dems stand firm on protecting both programs plus not raising the retirement age. But with Pelosi who knows. ..."
"... Nancy Pelosi: Democrats Don't Want a New Direction ..."
Nov 07, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Losing strategy. @WindDancer13

They need to spend their time going after Trump's policies period.

They have no policies of their own. Will they just continue saying that they're not as bad as trump?

#3

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.

up 13 users have voted. --

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.


WindDancer13 on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 2:51pm

Yes and no

@Pricknick

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.

#3.2

They need to spend their time going after Trump's policies period.

They have no policies of their own. Will they just continue saying that they're not as bad as trump?

gulfgal98 on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 3:43pm
It's fool's folly

@WindDancer13 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.

#3

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.

snoopydawg on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 4:35pm
And that's why they are doing it

@gulfgal98

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 go.

#3.2 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.

lizzyh7 on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 5:53pm
Same reaction from me here.

@snoopydawg 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.

The Voice In th... on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 5:39pm
Neither does Clinton, Pekosi, DWS, Schumer ...

@gjohnsit

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!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2018

WindDancer13 on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 2:31pm
Trump's victory dance is off beat.

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 the riffraff.

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 progressives.

MrWebster on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 3:59pm
Hopefully winner is social security and medicare survival

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.

snoopydawg on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 4:45pm
Speaking of Nancy and her agenda

@MrWebster

Listen to her about legislating and stuff. I wanted to reach into the video and wipe that silly grin off her face. Gah. Her eyes.

Learn to Swim: This is Why People Don't Vote for the Democratic Party

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

//www.youtube.com/embed/NP4-2bItxY8?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

WindDancer13 on Wed, 11/07/2018 - 5:33pm
Social security and medicare will hopefully be protected, but even Obama put it on the table. So who knows?

@MrWebster

Pelosi is not yet a done deal. People need to write, email, call their reps and tell them NO!

[Nov 06, 2018] One wonders why the NYT is willingly playing into Trump hands with the cartoon like this

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Nov 06, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

frances , Nov 5, 2018 9:07:22 AM | link

IMO b is right. The image works for Trump, not against, on two issues; the border and the ME.

Border

The ME

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.

William Gruff , Nov 5, 2018 9:08:09 AM | link

"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.

A. Person , Nov 5, 2018 9:16:48 AM | link
@J. 3, 4.

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.)

Russ , Nov 5, 2018 9:30:28 AM | link
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 insanity.

Of course Trump is just as insane. He merely wants to do both/and rather than either/or, as the NYT would have it.

Hoarsewhisperer , Nov 5, 2018 9:32:17 AM | link
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?
Debsisdead , Nov 5, 2018 9:37:24 AM | link
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 name.

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.

andy mcnub , Nov 5, 2018 9:44:25 AM | link

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


who set up israelia and saudi barbaria


https://themillenniumreport.com/2015/12/the-house-of-saud-its-jewish-origin-and-installation-by-the-british-crown/

Josh , Nov 5, 2018 9:48:51 AM | link
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.'
Tom Welsh , Nov 5, 2018 9:52:37 AM | link
"Morally flawed"????? Morally flawed like Attila, Temuchin, Pol Pot...

I think this cartoon represents my feelings about HRC in the Oval Office.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/11/this-nyt-cartoon-helps-trump-to-win.html

VK , Nov 5, 2018 10:02:39 AM | link
I don't think the NYT readership is that big and that diverse to the point one cartoon can tip any midterm elections.

@Posted by: morongobill | Nov 5, 2018 8:48:58 AM | 5

The hole is much deeper than that.

First things first: since 2008, the USA depends on vegetative growth to show high GDP growths . That's why Japan is considering, slowly but surely, opening up its borders .

Second: this mass immigration from Latin America is fruit of inumerous American backed regime changes, aimed at stifling industrialization of the region, thus empoverishing its peoples. This is true even for the Monroe Doctrine poster boy, Mexico .

Clueless Joe , Nov 5, 2018 10:13:32 AM | link
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.

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 war.

A. Person , Nov 5, 2018 11:22:48 AM | link
Schooling Jay:

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.

AriusArmenian , Nov 5, 2018 12:03:51 PM | link
Who came up with the idea of an immigrant march to the US southern border just before the mid-term elections and who is funding it?

If they are anti-Trump then they must be the stupidest morons in history.

Michael , Nov 5, 2018 12:09:44 PM | link
B.

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 the till?

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 issue.


https://blogs.chapman.edu/wilkinson/2018/10/16/americas-top-fears-2018/

[Nov 05, 2018] Scum vs. Scum by Chris Hedge

Hell is empty and all the devils are here. ~William Shakespeare
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

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 jury.

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 Glass-Steagall , 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 Michael Bloomberg , 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.

... ... ...

[Nov 05, 2018] On the eve of the US midterm elections

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | www.wsws.org

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 infrastructure.

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 elections.

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.

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 American society.

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.

[Nov 05, 2018] What if the Democrats don't win caucus99percent

Notable quotes:
"... if the Democrats win ..."
"... @Not Henry Kissinger ..."
Nov 05, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

What if the Democrats don't win?


span y gjohnsit on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 1:47pm By "win" I mean "Democrats take over the house".

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 more.

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.

... ... ...

IMO, we are already a one party country

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 loathe.

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.

span y WindDancer13 on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 2:34pm
This is already true:

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.

span y doh1304 on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 3:30pm
I firmly believe that your scenario will happen

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 Gestapo.

span y MrWebster on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 4:27pm
Things will get worse for sure.

Just random stuff.

span y HenryAWallace on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 4:56pm
What this someone else thinks.

1. For current Democratic incumbents who lose, it will mean a job change with a higher salary.

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,"[23][24] Dodd replaced Dan Glickman as chairman of and chief lobbyist for the Motion Picture Association of America.[25][26]

On January 17, 2012, Dodd released a statement criticizing "the so-called 'Blackout Day' protesting anti-piracy legislation."[27] 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."[27] 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 of America.[28]

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

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
If the Dems don't win.

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.

And that's where the crystal ball goes cloudy.

span y WindDancer13 on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 7:41pm
Fingerprinting?

@Not Henry Kissinger

Have the Dems gone full Fascists?

I hate it when someone only picks out one point of my argument to respond to. Don't you?

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? What 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.

And that's where the crystal ball goes cloudy.

span y Big Al on Mon, 11/05/2018 - 5:12pm
Same things that will happen if they win,

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.

[Nov 05, 2018] Bertram 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

Highly recommended!
Nov 05, 2018 | www.truthdig.com

Extracted from Scum vs. Scum by Chris Hedge

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.

Bertram 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 Establishment."

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 were enslaved.

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 slow death.

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, Alan Dershowitz , former Treasury Secretary and former Harvard President Larry Summers, the Candide -like 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.

[Nov 03, 2018] Kunstler The Midterm Endgame Democrats' Perpetual Hysteria

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Nov 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kunstler: The Midterm Endgame & Democrats' "Perpetual Hysteria"

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/02/2018 - 17:05 44 SHARES Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

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 upheaval.

[Oct 31, 2018] How Trump Is Winning The Midterm Elections

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.
Oct 31, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , Oct 30, 2018 4:53:14 PM | link
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?

The Democrats 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 seats.

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 Trump.

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!

[Oct 25, 2018] CIA Democrats might not help: 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.

Oct 25, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

VietnamVet , October 23, 2018 at 9:12 pm

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 are.

[Oct 25, 2018] Dems in 2018 are sold out Republicans light

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Oct 25, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Llewelyn Moss , October 25, 2018 at 10:01 am

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.

Other JL , October 25, 2018 at 12:04 pm

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 meaningful change.

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?

Prairie Bear , October 25, 2018 at 1:00 pm

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 best.

ape , October 25, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Historically, "the worse the better" hasn't worked out, unless you're hoping for revolutionary conditions.

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.

... ... ...

[Oct 13, 2018] To paraphrase Stalin: They are both worse.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... literally putting thousands upon thousands of children in concentration camps ..."
Oct 13, 2018 | crookedtimber.org

nikbez 10.07.18 at 3:22 am ( 10 )

ph 10.07.18 at 1:20 am (5)

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 worse.

Exactly.

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 elite.

As Slavoj Žižek aptly said " To paraphrase Stalin: They are both worse." ( http://inthesetimes.com/features/zizek_clinton_trump_lesser_evil.html _


bob mcmanus 10.07.18 at 2:27 pm ( 25 ) ( 25 )

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.

Ship of Fools is what the US empire and the US society looks like now. And that's not funny. Look at "Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class Is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution" by Tucker Carlson hits the mark when he says that the career politicians and other elites in this country have put the USA on a path of self-destruction.

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 scores.

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 very quickly."

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 amazing.

Adam Roberts 10.08.18 at 8:14 am ( 39 )
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.

[Oct 12, 2018] CIA Democrats on the upswing

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star October 5, 2018 at 12:41 pm

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/10/03/ciad-o03.html

Murican leaders:

"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 protect ourselves."

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 abroad."

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 Bragg.

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 policy.

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 interpretation.

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 Congress."

[Oct 12, 2018] I don't see the republicans being the Nazis. Republican base has values closer in line with paleocons and not the neocons. The values of the Democraps are pure imperialist, exceptionalist and totalitarian in the name of PC

Oct 12, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

kirill October 5, 2018 at 10:54 am

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 neocons.

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.

[Oct 10, 2018] Casualty Lists From the Kavanaugh Battle by Pat Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
Oct 10, 2018 | www.unz.com

Ludwig Watzal , says: Website October 9, 2018 at 7:27 am GMT

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.

Realist , says: October 9, 2018 at 10:21 am GMT

So where are we going now?

This country is on a shit slide to hell. No turning back ..to many god damn idiots in this country.

What people in this country better understand is Trump is part of the Deep State and he means harm to all non elites.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: October 9, 2018 at 11:19 am GMT
@utu 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 Blue.

Puppet show.

Jon Baptist , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:38 pm GMT
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."
36 ulster , says: October 9, 2018 at 12:57 pm GMT
@verylongaccountname

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 have not.

prefer anon , says: October 9, 2018 at 1:13 pm GMT
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.


Si1ver1ock , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:17 pm GMT

@prefer anon I agree. These parties get hijacked by the worst sort. The Neocons are still riding high in the Republican party.
SolontoCroesus , says: October 9, 2018 at 2:44 pm GMT
@Tiny Duck

You wanted a fight? You are going to get one and just like the Nazis and confederates we will thrash you

Hold up a sec, pal.

Your lot has painted a target on Russia, claiming Russians collusioned with Trump. Right?

But it was Russians who "thrashed" the Nazis.

Goes without saying you hate the Nazis and extend that epithet to include Germans. Right?

But German mercenaries provided a great deal of the fighting force that "thrashed" the confederates.

Looks like you've made enemies of most of the fighting force you are counting on to thrash the GOP, pal.

Ooops.

Svigor , says: October 9, 2018 at 3:22 pm GMT
@Ludwig 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 continue.
Realist , says: October 9, 2018 at 7:09 pm GMT
@Jon Baptist

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.

prefer anon , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:10 pm GMT
@Si1ver1ock @S1ver1ock

They are in the Democrat party too. In fact, their only allegiance is to Israel. The

Neocons are anti-USA – same as the communists in antifa and the mobs of idiots in the Damnedcrat party.

Richard Wicks , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:21 pm GMT
@utu 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 over-estimation.).

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.

Richard Wicks , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:31 pm GMT
@Tiny Duck

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 Obama is.

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.

Hyperion , says: October 9, 2018 at 9:45 pm GMT
@Realist 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.
SamAdams , says: October 10, 2018 at 2:20 am GMT
@Jon 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 jumbo.

Much of current Western society is made up of bullsh*t.

[Oct 08, 2018] CIA Democrats call for aggression against Russia, run pro-war campaigns in 2018 congressional races by Patrick Martin

In other words CIA Democrats actually are running on classic Republican foreign policy platform with some neo-McCarthyism flavor added for appetite. . Such a convergence of two parities.
Notable quotes:
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
Oct 03, 2018 | southfront.org

The Democratic Party is widely favored to win control of th