Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells

"All hat, no cattle" Cowboy Trump

No jobs, no wall, no good medical insurance, continuation of foreign wars, pandering to Israel, buffoonery, and  incompetence.  Trump did not capped the deficit, re-instated Glass-Steagall, controlled the cost of prescription drugs, nor pushed legislation for the modernization of the infrastructure of the country.

If the orangutan starts a war with Iran, he needs to be impeached. I say this as someone who held my nose and voted for the orangutan.

Janwaar Bibi,  Comment in the American Conservative, April 9, 2019

News US Presidential Elections of 2020 Recommended Links Trump as America’s First Zionist President Jared Kushner Israel lobby "Trump is insane" meme Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Trump foreign policy is the continuation of the neocon foreign policy
Trump tax cut for the rich Trumpcare scam and staggering incompetence of Trump administration Trump as rabid militarist Syria civil war Iran saber-rattling Korea saber-rattling Venezuella: another "bombs for oil" scenario after Libya? Reversal of planned detente with Russia Civil war in Ukraine
Trump2016 foreign policy platform Trump2016 immigration platform Trump2016 economic platform Assange and Wikileaks Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Steele dossier Strzokgate MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution
Hawks in Trump administration Mike "we killed 200 Russians" Pompeo John Bolton Elliott Abrams Nikki "Binomo" Haley -- yet another female neocon in best Madeleine Albright style Gina Haspel and dead ducks storyl Ivanka Trump -- Lady Macbeth of Trump administration Rosenstein key role in putsch against Trump: the appointment of the special prosecutor gambit Israeli support of headchoppers and air raids on Syria military infrastructure
Trump as a puppet of the Deep State War is Racket Trump version of gangster capitalism Complete surrender to neocons Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Anti Trump Hysteria Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few NeoMcCartyism Anti-Russian hysteria
The Deep State  Crisis of legitimacy of neoliberal elite National Security State Big Uncle is Watching You Media-Military-Industrial Complex Non-Interventionism  Two Party System as Polyarchy DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal
The Iron Law of Oligarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Corporatist Corruption Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism Nation under attack meme New American Militarism American Exceptionalism
Michael Wolff's "Fire and fury" revelations and slander of Trump administration Mistressgate: Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal affairs   MSM as attack dogs of color revolution FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump Politically Incorrect Humor Skeptic Quotations Humor

National neoliberalism

 
In 2016 Trump promised to drain the swamp. He drained a small patch of neocon swamp and put all those bottomfeeders from this patch in his cabinet.

It's increasingly hard to view Trump as an American president. I don't know exactly what the hell he is, but he obviously spends more time working for Israel and Saudi Arabia than he does doing what the American people hired him to do. Israel's Netanyahu and that Saudi Arabian prince who kills journalists seem to get everything they want from Trump, but America gets zilch.

No wall, no infrastructure, no America First foreign policy. The stuff he has delivered, we didn't want it: more immigrants, the biggest national debt in history, more Mideast wars.

Voted Trump in 2016. Never again. And not just "never again". I hope Mueller or some other competent law enforcement type gets him dead to rights and puts him and his corrupt associates in prison. A shame they can't put him in the same cell as Hillary Clinton.

Practical Matters, March 21, 2019 at 1:35 pm

...my thesis is not that the current American political system is an inspired replica of Nazi Germany’s or George W. Bush of Hitler. References to Hitler’s Germany are introduced to remind the reader of the benchmarks in a system of power that was invasive abroad, justified preemptive war as a matter of official doctrine, and repressed all opposition at home — a system that was cruel and racist in principle and practice, deeply ideological, and openly bent on world domination. Those benchmarks are introduced to illuminate tendencies in our own system of power that are opposed to the fundamental principles of constitutional democracy. Those tendencies are, I believe, “totalizing” in the sense that they are obsessed with control, expansion, superiority, and supremacy.

Sheldon Wolin


Abstract

Trump voters hoped that Trump will be like FDR "betrayer of his class". But he proved to be like Obama "betrayer-in-chief" of his voters

He got to the WH not on his own merits but as a middle finger to the neoliberal establishment from the working class (which abandoned neoliberal Dems) and lower middle class. Who experienced declining standard of living for 30 years now and only in 2016 decided to speak out (Clinton correctly calculated that "they have nowhere to go" and it works after he sold Dems to Wall Street for more then twenty years). So Trump was in essence a protest candidate and his strong/weak points did not matter much ("anybody but Hillary mentality"). Now the situation changed. 

With his wet kiss with Netanyahu and allowing Adelson's protégé Bolton and Pompeo to define foreign policy, Trump switched from MAGA to MIGA("Make Israel Great Again") : Trump is turning all of Israel’s “asks” into American foreign policy moves, doing things that previous presidents of both parties rejected or refused to do, in some cases because they put the security of the United States at risk.  

Trump dependence on Adelson's money for his re-election campaign and avid Zionist (and a member of shady orthodox Jewish sect, rumored to be connected with Mossad) Jared Kushner presence in WH (as well as Aldelson's protégé Bolton and Pompeo) adds insult to injury.

With complete betrayal of his voters he now looks like Republican Obama, like another master of "bait and switch" manuver. That means that at this elections we will have the category of "anybody but Trump" voters.

Obama won his reelection bid. Can Trump repeat the trick ?  In fact most US Presidents since Nixon (with the exception  of Carter and Bush Sr) were reelected. Often despite complete betrayal of voters (Clinton, Obama). One of the important factors is whether the USA slips into recession in  2020. If so Trump chances are considerably diminish.

Introduction

First of all, it is obvious that Donald trump will fully fulfill his current presidential term in the White house.  And most probably will be Presidential Candidate from the Republican Party in 2020 elections. Accordingly, the "tradition" of re-election of the current US presidents, which has been consistently maintained since Bill Clinton works in his favor.  But Trump sails into recession he is finished.

One factor in Trump favor is that  Democratic Party field now is really crowded and the apparent leader is older then Trump (Bernie Sanders is 77)

So there are many "known unknowns" in the current race. But as for the results of Trump two years in power most key facts are know. We can speak about

Some  of this items in Trump score card are covered below, but here is a pretty biting satire  that summarizes Trump 'achievements" much better that I ever could (from a comment at zerohedge.com, Apr 15, 2019)

Dear President Trump:

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

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

Good night, and good luck.

Trump betrayal

Trump surprise victory in 2016 has shown that back in November of 2016, the American people were so fed up with the neoliberal oligarchy  that they actually elected Donald Trump president, despite his obvious flaws, just to show middle finger to the neoliberal establishment. 

But the part of Trump voters that sincerely believed in his election rhetoric and  assumed that  Trump like FDR before him is the traitor of his class and will institute the necessary reforms to help blue-collar workers and lower middle class is up to a rude awakening. 

The part of Trump voters that sincerely believed in his election rhetoric and  assumed that  Trump like FDR before him is the traitor of his class and will institute the necessary reforms to help blue-collar workers and lower middle class is up to a rude awakening

He betrayed them both in domestic and foreign policy.  He did very little useful for the majority of his voters (blue color voters) -- outscoring of US jobs continued unabated. Trying to hide his fiasco, Trump tries to prop up the stock market and brags about low unemployment (U3 measure) but U3 measure is fake and U6 measure which is more realistic stands currently  at around 8% (Current U-6 Unemployment Rate ).  Gallup U6 unemployment  rate estimate is no longer available, but it used to be 1%-1.4%  higher then official figure, so it is reasonable to assume that in reality it is still hovering around 9-10%. Ten percent is a very scary figure which means "one out of ten."   Only during  Great Depression the US unemployment was over ten percent for several years (at this time they measured only U6, U3 was invented later to hide the real unemployment statistics):

 Unemployment Statistics during the Great Depression

Depression Era Unemployment Statistics
Year
Population
Labor
Force
Unemployed
Percentage of
Labor Force
1929
88,010,000
49,440,000
1,550,000
3.14
1930
89,550,000
50,080,000
4,340,000
8.67
1931
90,710,000
50,680,000
8,020,000
15.82
1932
91,810,000
51,250,000
12,060,000
23.53
1933
92,950,000
51,840,000
12,830,000
24.75
1934
94,190,000
52,490,000
11,340,000
21.60
1935
95,460,000
53,140,000
10,610,000
19.97
1936
96,700,000
53,740,000
9,030,000
16.80
1937
97,870,000
54,320,000
7,700,000
14.18
1938
99,120,000
54,950,000
10,390,000
18.91
1939
100,360,000
55,600,000
9,480,000
17.05
1940
101,560,000
56,180,000
8,120,000
14.45
1941
102,700,000
57,530,000
5,560,000
9.66

Official U-6 Unemployment was 10.1% in January 2017 when Trump term started, with a long term peak at 17.9% in February 2010.

The standard of living of lower 90% of the US population continued to drop (with large swats of US population living essentially in the third world conditions), good, well paying job are even more scarce, outsourcing and offshoring continues, and medical costs and the cost of education are higher then they were before.  So two years of Trump was a kind of "Trump university" training for Trump electorate.  In case of Trump university he took the money and run, in this  case he took votes and run ;-).

So far, Donald Trump has passed only one significant piece of legislation: the 2017 tax cut. Corporations and  rich were  principal beneficiaries. They already saved more than $150 billion, and over the course of a decade the Trump tax cut will probably increase the budget deficit by around $2 trillion.  It did little to nothing for key Trump voters. The tax cut was supposed to do more than just give stockholders more money. It was supposed increase economic growth, 3 percent or more at an annual rate. In reality, the expectation that the tax cut would work miracles were based on a specific story about what is holding the US economy back. And that story was all wrong. So it was a brief sugar high after which GDP growth started to decelerate.

Economics probably will work against the Trump re-election:  it is slowing  and in late 2019 or early 2020 might start slipping  into recession. While GDP is a questionable metric of economic  performance (especially in in economics with the large financial sector like the USA), the trend shown on the picture below is not favorable for Trump.

Some early sign of mental degradation

During Russiagate neoliberal MSM tried to present Trump as crazy. Throughout the campaign and Trump's first year in office, news articles, op-eds, and tweets critical of him have routinely used words such as "crazy," "insane," and "unstable" as epithets. But this is a typical war propagandaa tactics that implied demonization of the enemy, just extended to using mental health language in political battles?

Paradoxically like in case with Hillary we now are more concerted about Trump mental health because of his  narcissistic overt behaviour and the fact that he is over 70 and at this age many people already display early signs of mental degradation. Donald Trump at the time of his inauguration was older than half of the US deceased former presidents at the age when they died.

And persons over 70 usually have some mertal deseases at least at very eary stages Not necessary dementia or Alseyment (Trump father dies of Alseimer), but often mild signs of  Aphasia.  Aphasia is best thought of as a collection of different disorders, rather than a single problem. Each individual with aphasia will present with their own particular combination of language strengths and weaknesses. In a common form of Aphasia called Progressive Jargon Aphasia  speech is fluent and effortless with intact syntax and grammar, but the person has problems with the selection of some nouns. They just can't be retrieved from the memory. For example, they know that Forrester is produced by the Japanese company but can't name the company (Subaru) despite knowing it in the past, unless reminded. After that they use if effortlessly. They just can't retrieve the word from the memory.  People with jargon aphasia often invent substitutes for nouns that went "into the black hole"

Also at age over 70 the real physical and mental load of running the President Office might be neurologically destructive. At this age this level of stress and mental load greatly speed up development of any pre-existing mental conditions.  Most observer  note Trump's “psychological instability” and “unpredictable behavior.”  You can see on YouTube video how strangely he handle Melania Trump presence (he usually does pay any attention to her presence at all):

It is rumored that Trump in the past took stimulants (Adderall, a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine  which are used to treat ADHD) 

Adderall is a stimulant related to amphetamines. It’s commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, according to medical references. It is also used to enhance athletic performance and as a cognitive enhancer, aphrodisiac and euphoriant.

Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in people with heart conditions and/or high blood pressure. Of cause NYT alarmist article with the claim that high cholesterol necessarily entails additional risk should be discarded (it matter mostly for people with pre-existing heart conditions and/or procedures like cardiac stents or cardiac bypass), but for a man over 70 with not very healthy diet (Trump rumored to have unbalanced diet with way too much meat) and hectic lifestyle inherent for the President everything might matter.

While sign of mental degradation of Trump are less evident then in case of Hillary some on them are objectively present.

  1. On one documented occasion the President was unable to find his  way into the car which was standing exactly opposite the plane on  which he arrived. That happens for patients with Sundowning syndrome, a multitude of behavioral problems begin to occur in the evening or while the sun is setting.  One of observable symptoms is disorientation as natural light begins to fade and increased shadows appears. But it also happens with people who are tired, after sleepless night, or distracted by their own thoughts. Still look at the following video:

    Trump displays Sundowning - Dementia , tell tale signs #whitehouse #omg #sundowning - YouTube

  2. Trump appears to be experiencing  some signs of Aphasia (which is typical for people over 70) including declining ability to construct structured sentences and express his thoughts coherently. That does not mean that he did not think sharp. Other cognitive functions are mostly preserved, such as memory and personality This disorder effects only expressive part of the process. Aphasia is best thought of as a collection of different disorders, rather than a single problem. Each individual with aphasia will present with their own particular combination of language strengths and weaknesses. In case of Trump we can observe:

    Experts observed that Trump’s disrupted speech pattern, riddled with syntax anomalies, persistent repetitions, and constant shifts in train of thought, appears to be recent. According to the experts who have reviewed recordings of Trump’s speech in interviews from the 1980s and 1990s, he has not always suffered an apparent linguistic disability.

Here the goal is not to define the problem, but just to warn that he probably is not the person to vote for.

Trump 2016 platform

As comment in Economist's View stated  during election cycle of 2015-2016 "Trump has a four point platform that was anti-neoliberal in its essence":

  1. Non-interventionism. End the wars for the expansion of American neoliberal empire. Détente was Russia. Abolishing NATO and saving money on this. Let European defend themselves. 
  2. No to "neoliberal globalization." Abolishing of transnational treaties that favor large multinationals such as TPP, NAFTA, etc. Tariffs and other means of punishing corporations who move production overseas. Repatriation of foreign profits to the USA and closing of tax holes which allow to keep profits in tax heavens without paying a dime to the US government.  Sanctions of China for abusing  WTO.  Switch to bilateral treaties with countries instead, the move which allow more fully exploit the US dominant position in world economy (American imperialism reborn)
  3. No to neoliberal "transnational job market" -- free movement of labor including immigration (especially illegal immigration, rampant in the USA). Criminal prosecution and deportation of illegal immigrants. Cutting intake of refugees. Curtailing legal immigration, especially fake and abused programs like H1B. Making it more difficult for people from countries with substantial terrorist risk to enter the USA including temporary prohibition of issuing visas from certain (pretty populous) Muslim countries.  Building the "Trump Wall" against illegal immigration across Southern border with Mexico.
  4. No to the multiculturalism. Stress on "Christian past" and "white heritage" of American society and the role of whites in building the country. Rejection of advertising "special rights" of minorities such as black population, LGBT, woman, etc. Promotion them as "identity wedges" in elections was the trick so dear to DemoRats and, especially Hillary (gender) and Obama (race card)

Lost categories of voters

As he almost completely betrayed his 2016 election platform by his actual policies and he probably will lose certain  categories of voters. As Trumps was hypocritical on the illegal immigration issue  because he has an opportunity to do something his first year in office when Republican has the majority in the Congress but did absolutely nothing, mainly continuing his propaganda  campaign and implementing some superficial measure like  directed against arrival in the USA Muslim extremists (with the exception of Saudis of cause). Even more grave was his open and blatant betrayal of blue collar voters and lower middle class voters which can result in the defection of significant chunk of his dormer voters.  To add insult to injury he proved to be argent militarist and militarism is the most sure way to further impoverishment of the middle class.  Among them:

  1. Most of Alt-right. They are clearly betrayed. "Dump Trump" is the meme among this group. They probably go with Andrew Yang. 7 Reasons Why #YangGang Is More Than Just A Meme, by Anatoly Karlin - The Unz Review
  2. All anti-war independents. This is undeniable because of duplicity and militarism of his administration, which is dominated by Bush II style rabid neocons. Pompeo and Bolton would be perfect for Clinton administration after routine sex change operation.  Anti war voters if they have a chance, will vote for Tulsi Gabbard. Trump behaved like a mixture of a classic  neocon chickenhawk, and a school yard bully in the best style of Madeleine Albright. He almost completely betrayed this section of his former electorate and his election-time promises (withdrawal from Syria was too little too late, is incomplete and due to Trump tendency to reverse his decisions under pressure from neocons can easily be rolled back after yet another false flag)
  3. A large part of  blue collar votes.  Trump tax cut was a fake as most of what Trump did in domestic policy. It benefited manly rich and super rich such as Trump himself and his family. His revision of Obamacare essentially broke it (although he promised to improve it)  and hurts many and benefited only very few. It proved to be  enother travesty and affected voters will not forgive that Trump. There is not improvement in the standard of living of blue collar workers and lower middle class under Trump administration. Outsourcing and offshoring are continued (albeit at slower pace).  His  tax cut was joke for blue collar workers. It positively affects mostly the rich. But what is most important that he promises to bring back jobs proved to yet another Obama-style fake simply because he is completely incompetent and does not understand that this involves drastic measured,  which he will never  take.  Now I think a large part of former pro-Trump blue collar voters will support Andrew Yang:

    Many of those who energetically created pro-Trump memes in 2016 have since turned on their man. He has not built the wall, he is too attached to Israel, and it was more fun to support a rebel candidate than it has been to defend a sitting president. Depressed by the thought that even their supposedly radical outsider has become, in most substantive terms, a generic Republican, they have become more explicitly anti-political.

    Yang’s campaign was built on his concern that increasing automation will eliminate jobs and drive Americans out of their economic and social spheres of life. He fears that if unemployment and underemployment spread, people will degenerate into self-destructive and antisocial behaviors. You can see that in the surge of suicides among middle-aged Americans around the country that have brought down our country’s life expectancy over the last two years—and the fact that eight Americans are dying of opiates every hour.

    The Biggest Losers of Trump's Presidency: His Voters

    One of Yang’s proposals to avert these trends is a “Freedom Dividend”—or what is more commonly referred to as Universal Basic Income—of a guaranteed $1,000 a month to every American. This policy proposal is what has truly excited the phenomenon known as the “Yang Gang.” If America is destined to decline, they’ve concluded in a fit of cynical exuberance, they might as well at least get some money out of it. Some of them are a little more calculated, seeing the potential to take their thousand a month and spend more time on creative and social endeavors with less of a need to work. But most enjoy it as a funny, irreverent meme, raising a middle finger to the political establishment.

    Yang’s face soon began to blossom across Twitter: new, warm, innocent, and, yes, generous. In my first article on Yang, I wrote that his campaign would suffer because he is uncharismatic. It is this lack of charisma that has made #yanggang memes so entertaining. The idea of this mild-mannered software nerd dancing with stacks of hundred dollar bills on the “Yang Yacht” is so absurd that it is genuinely funny. As other Democratic hopefuls play up their love of rap or youthful fondness for marijuana in a desperate attempt to get some cool kid credibility, casting Yang as some sort of playboy works, consciously or otherwise, as a satire on modern electoral campaigning.

  4. A large part of white nationalist votes. They understand that  MAGA is not MIGA and so far Trump (and, especially his  family, especially Kushner) is more in MIGA camp than in MAGA camp.  And while they are ambivalent toward Zionism as an ideology none of them have warm feeling about Israel because of clear Israeli interference in the US politics via super-powerful and very rich Israeli lobby.  The theme of Israeli lobby undue influence  on Trump family (and especially personality of Jared Kushner) became promising  on such cite frequently visited by this category of voters as unz.com where Phillip Giraldi published several scalding article about Israeli lobby political influence. Such books as Kushner, Inc. Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump does not help Trump, iether. Here are telling quotes from Amazon reviews:

    gregory p blass

    graduate of Trumps School of ethics

    Kushner has absolutely no right to step foot into the White House, or Air Force one. He has no credentials other than a expert scammer......why the hell would he need security clearances. His background in NY real estate is suspect. He is in no way following Stephen Ross footprints. He is abusing his connections to the Oval Office which. hopefully, will surface in Mueller’s Report...

    Chef Jo March 19, 2019
    Perfect Timing. Can We Survive This?

    ...As Ivanka's father does things more out in the open, the Javanka duo flies under the radar wreaking havoc with our systems of checks and balances that have been in place for more than two centuries. The damages, the secret dealings, etc...

    Javanka may have been able to unsettle the "norms" that we have built with blood sweat and tears all in the name of the selfish almighty dollar.

    If you thought Kushner Inc.'s 666 Park Avenue was a boondoggle, we may all hopefully (thank you Robert Mueller et alia.) find out that we have all just been flimflammed like nothing before.

  5. Some ethnic voters.  That include all Arab voters (Tramp Pro-Israel stance)  and a large section of Muslim voters, a part of Asian  voters (Trump China policy). What is interesting is that  Trump was never attractive to Jewish voters as well, who tend to lean to Democratic Candidates (although Hillary was an abomination and as such an exception) 
  6. A part of Latin American voters who resent his attempt to stage a Venezuela color revolution and grab oil resources of the country.  
  7. A part of military voters as his promise to end foreign wars proved to be a fake and while Trump proved to be a dream candidate for military brass and Pentagon contractors, rank-and-file military disapprove Trump foreign policy (especially if Tulsi can be his opponent, or VP of Sanders).
  8. Some highly educated professionals votes who previously voted for him as "Not-Hillary" often crossing party lines (the author of this page belongs  to this category)
  9. Some parts of senior citizens voters as Trump policies bad effected seniors.

He probably gained in two categories of voters

He  can no  longer present himself as kind of political  "Tabula rasa" in newcomer, pristine candidate against corrupt Washington oligarchy into which one can project his/her own desires. Now he has political baggage and it is not pretty.  Looks like he is completely in pocket of neocons  and Israel lobby.  In this sense appearance of the books like Kushner Inc will do some damage among highly educated independents, who previously voted for Trump (not a major group, but still...) 

You might be surprised, but this page is the page written by former Trump supporter as is evident from the coverage of 2016 election campaign on this site.  

In one short sentence the net result of "two years of Trump" is "buffoonery."  Often very dangerous buffoonery which in foreign policy was intermixed with bulling and bizarre moves done without any consultation with key administration members, only of request of Kushner Inc.  I like how discredited by Iraq war fiasco neocons  like Max Boot or Robert Kagan derisively talk about authoritarians in foreign countries they do not like ;-)  Now we have the same problem at home, but those despicable MIC stooges will never  admit that.

In any case, this "very stable genius" proved to be impulsive and utterly incompetent, especially in foreign policy area. But usually the foreign policy of American presidents (and Trump in this case is no exception) does not have much influence on domestic political life.  An old joke about the average American voters is that "half of his brain is occupied by a hamburger, and the other half by American football" still applies. If this is true then for foreign policy there is simply no place. And for the majority of American voters, therefore, it does not matter much what the us President does outside the country and what foreign policy course he follows as long as it does not directly affect his well-being   or standard of living.

 In domestic policy Trump became a marionette of Goldman and Sachs propagating "National neoliberalism" (which includes Neoliberal Deregulation and continuation of outsourcing and offshoring with decimation of well-paying  US jobs and replacement them with McJobs and perma-temps).  His tax cut was a travesty and did not affect positively his votes, outsourcing continues, financial firms continue to loot the country, banks, monopolies like Amazon and Google and transnational companies have outsize political influence in Washington. In other words swap consumed Trump and his claim that he will drain the swamp is not a bad joke. He became a part of the swaps.

In foreign policy he became a marionette of neocons and Israel lobby and despite lesser weight of foreign policy in the US elections it definitly became Trump liability.  As Mueller investigation raised the question about foreign influence on the US elections and many understand that Russian influence is just a smoke screen hiding real Great Britain, Israeli and Saudi influence ( a well informed part of US voters think about Russiagate as  another instance of Iraq WDMs scare which brought the country into Iraq war ).

Israel lobby might  become a wedge issue in the incoming elections, and here Trump connection to Zionist donors and shady figures like Kushners might be liability. His appointment of Jared Kushner as Mid-East envoy is a classic example of both nepotism and incompetence. his cozy relations with Israel right wing Prime Minister Netanyahu also might slightly backfire depriving Trump of anti-war votes. Here is how Daniel Larison  the leading political analyst in highly respected The American Conservative magazine recently ( March 21, 2019 ) characterized Trump  attempt to ensure Benjamin Netanyahu victory in oncoming Israel elections by violating all existing international law norms and US resolutions and using the old principle "the might makes right"  (Trump Puts America Last  )

As usual, Trump made the announcement of recognizing Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights without any consultation with any of the relevant administration officials:

President Donald Trump’s tweet on Thursday recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory surprised members of his own Middle East peace team, the State Department, and Israeli officials.

U.S. diplomats and White House aides had believed the Golan Heights issue would be front and center at next week’s meetings between Trump and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. But they were unprepared for any presidential announcement this week.

No formal U.S. process or executive committees were initiated to review the policy before Trump’s decision, and the diplomats responsible for implementing the policy were left in the dark.

Even the Israelis, who have advocated for this move for years, were stunned at the timing of Trump’s message.

After more than two years of watching Trump’s impulsive and reckless “governing” style, it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning.

There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do. Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably why so many of his policy decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most of Trump’s foreign policy decisions was never likely to be good, but the lack of an organized policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than they would otherwise be.

On domestic front Trump also failed measurably to fulfill his election promises. he did not built the wall. He did not stem the flow of illegal immigrants (and  how can he is he is a "national neoliberalism" adherent; national neoliberalism approves slave labor). Moreover, Trump's key promise to voters was to raise the standard of living of the middle class and create meaningful jobs. That was a blatant deception on his part, as he did nothing to alleviate the plight of common Americans who suffer under neoliberalism "without jobs, without perspectives, being  treated as disposable napkins"

Trump's key promise to voters was to raise the standard of living of the middle class and create meaningful jobs. That was a blatant deception on his part, as he did nothing to alleviate the plight of common Americans who suffer under neoliberalism "without jobs, without perspectives, being  treated as disposable napkins."

Trump did introduced changes in the US neoliberal system, converting it into a new flavor of neoliberalism which can be called National neoliberalism.  As Sheldon Wolin observed about previous administration (and this process of conversion started under Bush II, not under Trump, this is slide toward "inverted totalitarism" form of governance, where population has no voice in determining iether domestic or foreign policy:

..my thesis is not that the current American political system is an inspired replica of Nazi Germany’s or George W. Bush of Hitler. References to Hitler’s Germany are introduced to remind the reader of the benchmarks in a system of power that was invasive abroad, justified preemptive war as a matter of official doctrine, and repressed all opposition at home — a system that was cruel and racist in principle and practice, deeply ideological, and openly bent on world domination. Those benchmarks are introduced to illuminate tendencies in our own system of power that are opposed to the fundamental principles of constitutional democracy. Those tendencies are, I believe, “totalizing” in the sense that they are obsessed with control, expansion, superiority, and supremacy.

In this sense Trump is a very dangerous development, despite his buffoonery.  Like in Germany in  1920-1930th  immiseration of blue collar and lower middle class create a favorable conditions  for rise of ultra right.  And the remaining most staunch supporters of Trump are from the ultra-right segment of population.

The damage that the re-imposition of US sanctions is doing a great damage to Iran’s economy, but inflicting pain for its own sake is pointless cruelty. The US gains nothing from this, and it imposes high costs on the Iranian people who bear most of the burden. Actually higher oil price damages the US economy too.  This is a typical MIGA policy and Trump pandering to Zionist lobby is one of the factor that will prevent many people voting for him in 2020.  The last thing the people od the USA need is a foreign lobby stooge in the White House.  Actually Russiagate should properly be  investigation about Israel and Great Britain interference in the the US election. Russian interference is just a smoke screen designed to hide those obvious two as well as Hillary political fiasco. 

National neoliberalism is neoliberalism without neoliberal globalization, or, more correctly, where globalization was replaced by colonization (if necessary by military means) and the direct dictate and bullying. Which makes is similar to national socialism, but without national socialist domestic social policy elements. If one looks at NSDAP program of 1920 paradoxically those social demands position national socialist of 1920th to the left of the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party, which is in the pocket of financial oligarchy and is ready to privatize Social Security and Medicare to please its Wall Street sponsors. To say nothing about Republican Party and Trump: 

The 25-point Program of the NSDAP
… … …
7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
11.Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13.We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
… … …
21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.
22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

All that means that national socialism became now like in 1920 attractive again and in sole form is present in resurgent far-right movement all over Europe, where in  several countries they are already in power.  The USA is late to the party but  is no exception.

In no way those changes favor the 'deplorables" -- bottom 90% of the US population, which brought Trump to victory. So it would be only fair if Trump loses 2020 election. But the US political system is more complex that this simplistic reasoning  and I would not predict the result of 2020 elections ;-)

During 2016 elections Trump, with all his buffoonery and clownish acts, at least is able to offer some hope to many disenfranchised US voters and has shredded the myth of invincibility of the establishment candidate, neocon warmonger Hillary. But after coming to power Trump behaved like Bush II trying to bully its way toward world hegemony. In a way Trumpism emerged from the Pandora's box of Bush policies that destabilized the Middle East and  his "you are iether with us or against us dilemma." In the process he lost a large part of his votes, including anti-war independents. Logically, his incompetence and incoherence almost guarantees that he'll be a one-term president, but again the US political system is pretty unique and often behave illogically (there are some analists who try to promote hypothesis that Trump is playing more complex game that it appears, some kind of 4 dimensional chess, but this hypothesis does not stand Occam razor test)

President Donald Trump is completely captured by neocons.  And one of prime cause of that isolation is his wet kiss with neocons, especially the appointment of John Bolton.  Since taking over as National Security Advisor to the President in April 2018, Bolton has purged the old staff and replaced them with sycophants whose primary qualifications are decades of collaboration with Bolton.

Since the December departures of John Kelly and James Mattis, Bolton has had near total control over the flow of policy recommendations into the President.  Better said:  The lack of flow

MAGA to MIGA transformation

("Effect of Adelson/Kushner")

 

Jim Lobe and Eli Clifton, writing in Lobelog, yesterday, argue that Sheldon Adelson was responsible for Trump's turnaround from populist anti-war candidate to pro-Israel hawk. In 2016, they write, Trump was mocking those, like Marco Rubio, who were seeking Adelson's support, meaning they were seeking his money. By the time of his inauguration, however, Trump had adopted Adelson's militant pro-Israel stance, including Adelson's demands to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and pursue a confrontationist approach to Iran, and Adelson occupied a prominent seat at the inauguration ceremony.

"Trump met Adelson in Las Vegas in early October 2017. One week later, Trump announced that he would no longer certify that Iran was complying with the Iran nuclear deal, even though the U.S. intelligence community and all of Washington's European allies, as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), had found no evidence that Tehran was cheating," Lobe and Clifton write.

"One month later, Adelson used his own newspaper, The Las Vegas Review Journal, to express his frustration with Trump's failure to quickly redeem his promise to move the embassy. Two months after that, Trump reversed a half century of U.S. policy by formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. According to Michael Wolff's book Fire and Fury, Steve Bannon credited Adelson for Trump's decision."

Adelson's big protégé, as I've reported previously, is John Bolton. According to Lobe and Clifton, it was Adelson who made the arrangements to get Bolton back into the White House, overcoming efforts by White House chief of staff John Kelly keep to keep him out. Adelson also reportedly orchestrating the firing of McMaster and of Tilleson and their replacements by Bolton and Pompeo. Ands Bolton, like Adelson, has long favored a "military solution" to the Iran nuclear problem. In 2013, Adelson posted an op-ed in his newspaper, the Las Vegas Review Journal, calling for the nuclear bombing of Iran, first in some uninhabited area of the country to send Iran's leaders "a message" and if that didn't work, a second bombing of Tehran itself (this of course, would be a war crime in the first degree). Bolton, himself, in an op-ed two years later, held up the Israeli bombing of Iraq's Osirak reactor as the model for what the US should (as was later documented by a Norwegian researcher who's name I don't recall, the bombing of Osirak did not end Saddam's Hussein's nuclear bomb program. Rather, it forced it underground and out of sight, as UN weapons inspectors discovered in the 1990's after Gulf War I).

Who Does John Bolton Actually Work For by Willy B. Apr 4, 2019

When he was running, Trump was sharp about Adelson's money’s influence. He said that he would make Marco Rubio into “his perfect little puppet.”  But badly Trump needed Abelson's money both for his election (his claim that his election campaign was financed only by  his money was a lie)  and to stem Democrats advanced during Midterm, where they have chance to win both Senate and the house. So who’s the puppet now?

Long with connection to Adelson. Trump connection of Kushner is another liability.  Jared is avoid Zionist, member of suspicious mystical religious cult (one of very few Orthodox cults that accept Israel and often accused of links to Mossad):

After April 2017 Trump became a typical neocon and promoted " the "will of the strong" approach to foreign policy essentially positioning the USA as a rogue state that  does not care one bit about international treaties and obligations. And about UN which still for some strange reason resides in NYC.  His policies were transactional in nature but coercion election built-in  "give me something and I will give you a little bit in return" approach. But give me now, or..."  He was captured by neocons soon after election mainly because he  did not really rely on his money during the elections --  he took around $100 million from Casino billionaire Adelson:

The fact is, the neo conservative "Never Trumpers" began moving in on Trump almost as soon as he won the election in order to ensure that their policy perspective prevailed. Greased by Adelson's money, it appears that they have succeeded to a considerable degree, particularly on Iran, but also on other aspects of national security policy as well, including, it appears, on Venezuela. And if US relations with Russia don't improve now that Russia-gate is dead, it'll be because of this crowd as well.

Bolton's history goes back to the Reagan Administration in the 1980's, and his perfidy during the runup to the Iraq invasion is well known to this readership. What I focus on here is the period from January of 2017 through mid-2018, around the time of his appointment to be Trump's national security advisor, plus a couple of months, during which period a number of interesting reports were posted on Trump's lobbying of the White House to get an administration position and his sponsorship by Adelson.

Adelson's only concern, by his own quoted words, is protecting Israel and, according to the reports below, has even advocated the nuclear bombing of Iran if it doesn't give up a nuclear weapons program that every reasonable intelligence assessment and the IAEA say it doesn't have. Adelson is also credited with facilitating the firing of both H.R. McMaster and Rex Tillerson and replacing them with Bolton and Mike Pompeo, another one of Adelson's boys.

That's why Trump appointed Haley who is close to Israel lobby and later arrived to his current version of foreign policy

In addition to Adelson, Jared Kushner moved Trump in the same direction ("Kushner effect"). That's why contrary to his election promises Trump continued all beneficial to Israel colonial wars (in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Ukraine) and is trying to launch a couple of  others (Iran, Korea, Venezuela).

He several times bombed Syrian air fields on false pretences of chemical attack (which in reality were false flag operation by the ISIS, performed with the exact goal to get the US to act as ISIS air force bombing Syria government targets).  His administration also tried to stage a coupe d'état in Turkey, which failed and strained relations between two countries. 

Netanyahu is well aware that for his policies and plans to destroy all geopolitical and regional competitors, another such chance as Donald Trump may never exist. And he wants to milk it to the fullest extent possible.  Trump, in turn, also proved that conventions, treaties, agreements, and just some established customs and traditions in international relations mean little to him.

The total score of Trump administration in both  foreign and domestic polices is negative - the standard of living for the majority of the USA population did not increased (but it did not decreased iether, remaining probably around the same as under Obama), jobs  continued to evaporate, outsourcing continues With the exception of outsourcing with China -- he did launched tariff war with China as he promised.

His policies toward Iran looks like pandering to Israel lobby, not  so much defending interests in of the USA in this region.  while existence of any theocratic regime is objectionable, the double standard of treating KSA and Iran differently is too obvious to get Trump administration any points in his desire to confront Iran.

The total US debt rose (due to increased military budget and tax cuts). Trump increased military spending to a vain attempt to appease MIC ( and by the way he increased American aid to Israel as if it is necessary). To add insult to injury, while campaigning  on the basis of interests of blue collar workers and middle class Americans, squeezed by neoliberal globalization and greed of the US corporations, he pushed tax cuts for the rich.

The fact that he cooperated in the Lubavitch (Chabad) sect  is generally a disgrace.  Why it was necessary for Trump to bring Kushner and  Ivanka )members of this sect) to the White House I do not understand. Especially in view of the criminal past of Kushner father (from whom he inherited his real estate empire)

 

Elections 2016 period and three month after inauguration can be be  called "MAGA stage" of his presidency. Here are several links from his 2018 campaign

Trump as a fake anti-war crusader who populated his administration with neocons

Like Obama before him, Trump proved to be a sad joke of a anti-neoliberal, anti-war crusader.  The same is true about his anti-globalization stance, it looks like he prefers the direct economic racket, open bullying of weaker trade partners to treaties (bullying does suggest a power imbalance).  He still wants to sustain and expand the US neoliberal empire, no matter what are the costs for the US people. Venezuela is a good example here.  Of course US oil companies want to return to this country.  On the tips on the bayonetts , if necessary. And Trump preaching "national neoliberalism" is very accommodative to such requests. 

US relations with Russia, which Trump promised to improve, have chilled to Cold War status. Essentially  Trump administration policies toward Russia of  does not differ one bit from the policies of Obama administration.  And do not much differ from what we would expect form Hillary. Part of this is connected the the President  no longer determines the foreign ploicy. Other forces do. That increases chances of WWIII, which might mean that perishing of the human civilization, as we know it.

Khrushchev's bon mot about the US nuclear superiority still apples, He said something like that: "Yes, the USA is much stronger, we just have the capability to destroy the USA one time, while they have the capability to destroy the USSR many times").  This saying is fully applicable to the Trump adoption  of the "supersized" military budget. 

It does not matter how many times you exceed your opponent military budget, because you can blow out the planet only once. As the result of care and feeding of MIC and Imperial Wars launched since 1980, the US national debt is now larger than the US economy. This is imperial overstretch. It is probably unsustainable "in a long  run". The only thing we do not know if the long run  means 10 years, 20, or 50. Much depends on the price oil oil dynamic. As soon as it exceeds $80-$100 per barrel the USA economy will slide in "perma-rececssion" (aka secular stagnation). 

His "Draining the swamp" slogan in reality turned to be as phony as "change we can believe is. "  he proved to be another Bush II, uneducated, inarticulate,  and incompetent President fully controlled by neocon lobby (which in its immense gratitude for services he provided wants to depose him and organized Mueller witch hunt). Add to this his impulsivity and narcissistic desire to be in the spotlight and you get a really toxic brew. The number of neocons in Trump administration is comparable with the number of neocons in Bush II  and Obama administrations.

Trump allowed to Washington foreign policy elite to conduct his foreign policy. The latter is arrogant (just look at Pompeo and Bolton), out of touch with reality and still stuck in the 1990s when the USA really rules the world (USSR collapsed, and China was far from its present  economic might). They believed in American exceptionalism and that the US had an almost divine right to run the world. American power at this time supposedly rivaled imperial Rome.

Clinton, Bush,  Obama and (as we discovered too late) Trump all shared similar foreign policy objectives. First of all they wanted to to spread the US-style neoliberalism.  Even if this needs to be accomplished on the tips of bayonets.  Any dissenters are branded as authoritarian dictators, sanctioned. any non nuclear players (and one small nuclear player -- North Korea) were threatened with force.  The Washington elite believes it is America’s destiny to lead the world forever, despite their own alarming level of degeneration and incompetence. 

Due to this neocons mindset, Government officials and media commentators who have promoted disastrous wars suffer no consequences and are welcomed back into circles of power. The cost of imperial wars since dissolution of the USSR runs at around 6 trillion. It is now clear that that large part of the defense budget would be better spent at home, upgrading the country's infrastructure.

Trump proved to be completely different politician then he was pretending to be during 2016 election.  In this sense he competes with Obama for the  title of Grandmaster of "bait and switch" game. His main accomplishment was "Trump tax cut for the rich". Similar to Bush II cut. In this sense he performed a deft "bait and switch" maneuver similar to one done by Obama and can be called "Republican Obama." Another classic turncoat US politician, who betrayed his voters three months after the elections. 

Thanks to Trump, the US is now in the Israeli situation - an increasing percentage of the population in many countries is beginning to hate him. A taught us the classics "ideas become a material force when they masses start believing in them"

Moreover, trump pushes himself into the situation of the former USSR, when the main production is the production of weapons. And except that the filing of the neo-cons will give countries a second Afghan in Iran (with the help of his great friend Netanyahu.)

Analogy with Obama reelection

Obama proves to be completely describable turncoat, but still he (and Bush II before him) managed to get reelected for the second term. That create some home for Trump as it is probably impossible to exceed Obama in  duplicity and mendacity (drone strikes, "Osama Bin Laden" killing with some signs of a false flag, Libya, Syria, Ukraine).  But truth be told foreign adventuturs does not mean much in the US Presidential election; the candidates mostly complete on domestic issues. Here Trump failed dismally -- there are not new jobs.   Jobs continued to be outsourced out of the USA.

That means that like Obama Trump now depends of the weakness otf Dem party candidate. Against any "decent" candidate he has almost no chances. Especially newcomer to politics without much political baggage into whom electorate can project their wishes like it did with Obama and Trump before.  In this case Trump can zero chances for reelection. He will be new Hillary in elections 2020: aging erratic warmonger (with Bolton as an albatross around his neck) with health problems. 

Although Trump, like Obama before him won mostly of the boldness of his election promises, now he need to complete on substance an truck record of his Administration. That's a tough task.  After two years in office Trump should be viewed like strange mixture of Bush II and Obama. It makes him more like Obama from the point of view of a  serial betrayer  of election promises.  Obama attacked a slate of very denigrating  nicknames (Obomber is one, "Teleprompter" is another ;-) .  And  Trump's nicknames gallery is even richer and includes:  Agent Orange, Very Stable Genius, Covfefe,  Vulgarian, von Clownstick, Trampolino, dRamp, and Pinocchio. Those nicknames for Trump are not accidental. Among anti-Trump Republicans, discontent is extremely high. When Ann Coulter Fires Back at Trump: ‘The Only National Emergency Is That Our President Is an Idiot’  it is easy to understand the President does have problem with his former base. Ann said that she didn’t need a Tarot card reader to know that Trump would “totally f-over his base.”

In 2016 election campaign  Trump had the freedom to position himself as anti-war, anti-establishment  candidate and some of his points resonated strong with the the US population. Now after he betrayed all of them, his options are much more narrow. The one he  already tried to position himself as "anti-socialist" and use Venezuela as a trial balloon for attracting this segment of voters.   Of course his posture is fake, but  some fish might swallow this  hook.  Although in the USA everything is possible. But it is clear not that he is a part of neoliberal establishment, "national neoliberalism" promoter so to speak.

His anti-war track record is non-existent (Syria bombings, Iran and Korean  saber-rattling, launching Venezuela color revolution, weapons supplies to Ukraine, support of Yemen war,  etc) and his anti-corruption and pro white-collar stance now is a sad, nasty joke (Javanka, "Trump university" scam, his appointments). He essentially did nothing for blue collar voters who secured his victory in 2015 presenting them "tax cut for rich" as a substitute. So most probably the lion share of those votes now are  going to Tulsi and Warren, respectively, not to Trump.  If remaining votes are enough to overcome the opposition, then God bless. 

The main issue in this election is that the Neoliberal Imperial Oligarchy has now taken off the mask. They have abandoned the pretense of "Coke Pepsi" two party competition to unite to defend the interests on neoliberal oligarchy, with WikiLeaks detailing the gory details of their corruption and malfeasance. Essentially they represent  a single party, the joint party of MIC and Wall Street. But they will fight furiously and might try to accomplish with Tulsi the same dirty trick as they accomplished with Sanders in 2016, using her as a sheepdog.

Is close connection to MIC improves Trump chances for re-election

I would say it does. In a sense Israel should be viewed as a part of MIC lobby. Trump inflated military spending, including nuclear weapons and military assistance to Israel. All this actions raise serious wuestion and Us infrastructure is in decay and standard of living of the bottom 80% of population continues to slide.

According to journalist URI Friedman, the United States has been fighting terrorism with a credit card for more than 15 years, naming this just a socialism for MIC. Perhaps the country might change the course only after the next financial collapse  ( a decade expired after the collapse of 2008, so it can happen anytime soon). If the collapse happens before elections then Trump is doomed.

MIGA instead of MAGA? Is close connection with  Israeli lobby an advantage in incoming elections ?

Pandering of Trump administration to Israel should be viewed in the context of Trump links to MIC, not as an isolated phenomena: Israel should be viewed as a part of MIC lobby.

The Trump administration’s recent steps in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should surely lay to rest any doubts about the enormous, and dangerous, power of the Israel lobby in Washington. Under Trump, the lobby has shown it can wield unprecedented influence – even by its usual standards – in flagrant disregard for all apparent US interests.

First, there was the move this month of the US embassy to Jerusalem, not quietly but on the 70th anniversary of the most sensitive day in the Palestinian calendar, Nakba Day. That is when Palestinians commemorate their mass expulsion from their homeland in 1948. By relocating the embassy, Trump gave official US blessing to tearing up the 25-year-old peace process – and in choosing Nakba Day for the move, he rubbed the noses of Palestinians, and by extension the Arab world, in their defeat. Then, the White House compounded the offence by lauding Israeli snipers who massacred dozens of unarmed Palestinians protesting at the perimeter fence around Gaza the same day. A series of statements issued by the White House could have been written by Israel’s far-right prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, himself.

At the United Nations, the US blocked a Security Council resolution calling for the massacre to be investigated, while Nikki Haley, Trump’s UN envoy, observed to fellow delegates: “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.”

None of these moves served any obvious US national interest, nor did Trump’s decision the previous week to tear up the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran that has long been reviled by the Israeli government. In fact, quite the contrary: These actions risk inflaming tensions to the point of a regional war that could quickly drag in the major powers, or provoke terror attacks on US soil.

All of these various lobbies have long wielded significant power in Washington, but remained largely separate. In recent years, their interests have come to overlap considerably, making Israel ever more unassailable in US politics.

Under Trump, their agendas have aligned so completely that this multi-headed lobby has as good as collectively captured the presidency on matters that concern it most.

That is not to say that the Israel lobby will not face future challenges. Other pressures are emerging in reaction to the unaccountable power of the Israel lobby, including progressive voices in US politics that are, for the first time, breaking with the long-standing bipartisan nature of the debate about Israel.

Bernie Sanders’s unexpected surge in the Democratic nomination race for the presidency, the rise of the international boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, the growing alienation of young US Jews from Israel, and the US public’s ever-greater exposure on social media to Israel’s crimes are signs of trends it will be difficult for Israel to counter or reverse.

But Israel is getting its way at the moment. But hubris is a fault we have been warned about since the time of the ancient Greeks. Israel may yet come to learn a little humility – the hard way.

Will color revolution launched  by the Deep State against Trump help him to win 2020 elections

  Assuming something is cobbled together worth opening impeachment hearings over, the Republican majority in the Senate is still unlikely to convict. Trump will run for reelection in 2020. Will public opinion, empathy, following impeachment proceedings, help him as it did Bill Clinton? How many voters will see through this politicization of the constitutional process? How many Democrats who wanted real progress on health care and immigration will see this all as just a waste of time, their midterm votes squandered on a circus?

Peter Van Buren March 11, 2019

This will be the first elections in the USA history which are run after unsuccessful color revolution against sitting President (aka Russiagate), and unprecedented McCarthyism-style  witch  hunt unleashed against him.

Successfully played against  Trump the Special Prosecutor gambit (with Rosenstein as the Trojan horse and Comey as sacrificial pawn) might be viewed  the first color revolution against sitting President in the history of the USA  that did not yet resulted in removal of the President from his position (if we do not view JFK assassination and Nixon Watergate as two previous color revolutions; Bush senior was involved in both). And as such  Russiagate will got to history books along with Kennedy assassination, Nixon impeachment and 9/11 as a watershed event for the county.

The witch hunt against Trump, the game which he was not supposed to win, unmasked the level of politicization and corruption within higher echelons of FBI, pernicious connection of its counterterrorism division to CIA and  blatant disregard of the law.  for that we should be  grateful to Trump, but only for that.

Still, in a way Trump is an anomaly which defied the concerted rigging of election by neoliberals including Wall Street money and the mainstream media  presstitutes.

Recently Trump tried to position himself as a fighter against socialism. How successful is this phony positioning (with his tax cuts he proved to be an advocate of corporate socialism) remain to be seen. He remain a shallow. inexperienced, somewhat impulsive politician, who betrayed his voters.

Despite all Trump faults and  his unpreparedness to the  position of the President of the USA, the color revolution against Trump launched by Deep State  is still deeply wrong and deeply troubling. Especially the role FBI, CIA, and especially MI6 (Steele dossier),  played in it. But to defend Trump now would be just the defense of the constitution, not the particular person.  In this sense, and only in this sense  he still deserves our  sympathy and  support.

Russiagate has shown to all thinking people in the USA and all people of the world that the real rulers of the USA. And  it is not sitting President and his administration, but intelligence agencies, MIC (which includes Israel lobby) and Wall Street (so called the Deep State)

Will sympathy to Trump as a victim of vicious witch hunt overweight resentment from his betrayal of his voters in the same way as Obama faced in 2010 against Romney is difficult to say. But now I see the point when Trump is called "Republican Obama". 

Obama managed to win his second term despite blatant betrayal of his voters because he  faced much  weaker candidate. Who will be Trump opponent in 2020 election remains to be seen, but neither Liz Warren, nor Tulsi Gabbard will give him the same advantages as running against universally hated neocon warmonger Hillary.   Also Obama was a "CIA-democrat" who  enjoyed unconditional support of intelligence agencies both in the USA and UK. Which is not true for Trump.

The other important legacy of 2016 election is the role of British intelligence serves and surviving Obama faction in CIA and FBI (which is essentially the same of neocon faction). in 2016 intelligence  agencies emerged as kingmakers, throwing Sanders under the bus and allowing neocon warmonger Hillary (who has suffered at least five fainting spells on public ) to run against Trump -- which led to surprising Trump victory.

New faces on the election field might well be  result of Trump policies

Elections 2020 might be the fist when the USA might have anti-war candidate -- Tulsi Gabbard.  But neoliberals and neocons are like new generation of Bolsheviks -- dishonest, Machiavellian and power hungry to the extreme and  will do everything to push her under the bus. Add to this oversize role of intelligence agencies which like a new Praetorian Guard pretend for the role of kingmakers.   

I think Trump already lost most of independent voters, who voted for him in 2016, and lion share of anti-war votes (if he invades Venezuela he will lost all of them).

He also will not enjoy the huge privilege of running against Hillary, and as such is not longer  entitled to "anybody but Hillary" vote, which probably was at least 10% of all votes for him and, in fact, propelled him to the Presidency.

Because "Trump University" story was enough for anybody with IQ above 100 to understand some negative trait of this person.

Which strata of US voters Trump already irrevocably lost?

The fact the Democratic field is highly fractured and more then a dozen candidates compete in 2002 elections  can help, but  not by much as only three main candidates have any chances to get finish line.

With the help of "DemoRats" (Clinton neoliberal democrats faction of the Democratic Party)  as well US and British intelligence agencies a new scapegoat for Hillary fiasco in election, a new  American enemy  that might help to unite divided bation  has been manufactured in the form of the Russian Federation and its President, Vladimir Putin, who drew the ire of the Washington for resisting  the  US hegemony. This reached a crescendo in 2018 when DemoRats won the Congress. The dubious accusations of election interference made by the same intelligence agencies that sold the pack of lies that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction are not new.

But alarmingly they become "Official US Truth" (OUT) in Washington propaganda NewSpeak and  challenging any of them can cost a candidate a lot. Tulsi already feels the wrath on neocon -- those greedy and unscrupulous lobbyists for MIC. BTW the most rabid neocons from the US establishment has even likened the alleged intrusion by Moscow to 9/11 forgetting that this analogy holds if and only if we view both as false flag operations, conducted by CIA with the help of Mossad, MI6 and other "fiends".

Warren  will also soon find  herself under fire from Wall Street. That's for sure.  And that can help Trump.

Trump lost anti-war right -- the part of electorate that probably ensured his victory in 2016

Sometimes it hard to tell who’s in charge in the Trump administration. He hired several  neocons,  who not only do not support his agenda butopenly defy him.  From unz.com (the site that well represents anti-war right) comments

follyofwar March 5, 2019 at 2:19 am GMT

Neocons Pompeo and Bolton are the two most warlike consiglieres I have witnessed in my lifetime. It certainly appears that, one way or the other, they will get their war against someone, anyone. They may be concerned that time is running out, since their boss has less than a 50% chance of re-election. Let’s see, will it be Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, China, or Russia – or all of them at once?

... ... ...

I take that back. I forgot about Queen Hillary and her delight over Colonel Gadhafi’s gruesome death by bayonet up the anus.

Realist March 5, 2019 at 12:35 pm GMT
@follyofwar

Neocons Pompeo and Bolton are the two most warlike consiglieres I have witnessed in my lifetime.

These two d*ckheads were hand picked by Trump….but his base is too stupid to see Trump is a part of the Deep State. 

And he lost them after the first three month of his presidency. Probably he did not value them much.  In this sense Trump is treasonous tritor (and forget this silly and extremely dangerous neo-McCarthyism Russiagate theater of corrupt, completely in pocket of Wall Street, DemoRats (aka Clinton wing of Democratic party)  and intelligence agencies careerists  like Brennan and Clapper. 

libezkova -> sanjait... , April 10, 2017 at 04:17 PM
"Trump and Putin are both Kabuki theater specialists who use foreign military adventurism to stoke nationalism and distract from other issues."

It was Obama and Hillary who were Kabuki theater specialists. The first was Nobel Price winner, my God. Real Kabuki Theater.

But especially Hillary. Remember Libya theater and poor Colonel Gaddafi, sodomized with the bayonet. We came, we saw. he died.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

Trump campaigned on non-interventionism platform. Almost paleo--conservative platform. And on April 6 he lost "anti-war right". And even some part of anti-war left ( Sanders supporters who really hated Hillary for her jingoism and corruption ) who supported him holding the nose. Probably forever.

That might have consequences for him because he lost support from politically active and important segment of his electorate. Which to certain extent protected him from impeachment as the last thing DemoRats want are fierce protests up to armed clashes with alt-right afterward.

If his calculation was that DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats) are now also a War party, so it does not matter, he probably badly miscalculated.

He now needs to worry what Russians might have on him because Wikileaks or other similar sites might get some interesting materials. Of course Pence would be even more horrible POTUS, and revenge is a dish that better serve cold, but still he probably did not sleep well after this "Monica" show of strength.

He also probably can forget about any compromises of the style "something for nothing" (as previous presidents enjoyed from Russia in a wane hope of improving relations between two countries) from Russians for a while.

Only things prepaid with yuans from now on ;-).

The whole move smells with "Monica" and Iraq WDM: "Shoot first ask questions later".

Now he really can be impeached by DemoRats with impunity and there will be little on no protests. But now, when he surrendered to neocons, why DemoRats take trouble to impeach him?

In other words, from April 6 "Agent Orange" is walking in his new clothing like naked king from Andersen tale.

Trump lost part of blue collar votes, as his administration like Obama  administration did nothing for them

Trump tax cut was an an insult.  He cut  taxes for his  family and friends, not for his voters.

How Trump won The revenge of working-class whites - The Washington Post

he won using thiser votes and then betrayed him with the same ease as OPbama did

For the past 40 years, America's economy has raked blue-collar white men over the coals. It whittled their paychecks. It devalued the type of work they did best. It shuttered factories and mines and shops in their communities. New industries sprouted in cities where they didn't live, powered by workers with college degrees they didn't hold.

They were not the only ones who felt abandoned by a rapidly globalizing economy, but they developed a distinctly strong pessimism in its face.

On Tuesday, their frustrations helped elect Donald Trump, the first major-party nominee of the modern era to speak directly and relentlessly to their economic and cultural fears. It was a “Brexit” moment in America, a revolt of working-class whites who felt stung by globalization and uneasy in a diversifying country where their political power had seemed to be diminishing

It was a rejection of the business-friendly policies favored at various points by elites in both parties, which deepened trade relationships with foreign countries and favored allowing more immigrants in. And it was a raw outburst at the trends of rising inequality and economic dislocation that defined America's economy thus far this century.

Whites without a college degree — men and women — made up a third of the 2016 electorate. Trump won them by 39 percentage points, according to exit polls, far surpassing 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney's 25 percent margin. They were the foundation of his victories across the Rust Belt, including a blowout win in Ohio and stunning upsets in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In polling, these voters have expressed deep racial and cultural anxieties. In exit polls they were more likely than the country as a whole to say that illegal immigrants should be deported. But those polls also suggested economic concerns and hostility toward leaders in Washington were much more important factors driving them to Trump.

[Markets plunge worldwide as Trump surges to White House]

Half of these voters said the economy was the most important issue in their vote, compared to 14 percent for immigration. A majority said international trade takes away American jobs. Three-quarters said the economy is “not good” or “poor” and nearly 8 in 10 said their personal financial situation was the same or worse than it was four years ago. Two-thirds said they preferred Trump to handle the economy instead of Democrat Hillary Clinton, compared with less than half of the electorate overall.

Trump loss of of a part of military votes

Trump attempt to privatize Veteran Administration hospitals and health care faces stiff resistance of veterans ( “Doubling Down” With Private Care Push, Trump’s VA — ProPublica, Jan 30, 2019 )

When Congress passed a bill last year to transform the Department of Veterans Affairs, lawmakers said they were getting rid of arbitrary rules for when the government would pay for veterans to see private doctors.

Under the old program, veterans could go to the private sector if they would have to wait 30 days or travel 40 miles for care in the VA. Lawmakers and veterans groups, including conservatives, criticized those rules as arbitrary. The new law, known as the Mission Act, was supposed to let doctors and patients decide whether to use private sector based on individualized health needs.

On Wednesday, the Trump administration proposed new rules, known as access standards, to automatically make veterans eligible for private care. Instead of 30 days, it’s 20 days for primary care or 28 days for specialty care. Instead of 40 miles, it’s a 30-minute drive for primary care or a 60-minute drive for specialty care.

The announcement appeared to do little to settle the debate over whether the VA’s rules are arbitrary.

“Twenty days is just as arbitrary as 30 days,” Bob Wallace, the executive director of Veterans of Foreign Wars, one of the largest veterans service organizations, said in a statement.

What is clear about the new rules is that they are dramatically more permissive. The new drive-time standard alone will make 20 percent of veterans eligible for private primary care and 31 percent eligible for private specialty care, up from 8 percent for both kinds of care under the old program, according to a briefing document circulated on Capitol Hill.

“This is doubling down on the administrative rules such as drive times and wait times,” said David Shulkin, the former VA secretary who was fired last year by President Donald Trump, in part over disagreements about this bill. “I was in favor of a system that was clinically based, that put veterans’ needs first and allowed the right match of services. This is just changing and loosening the administrative rules.”

VA spokeswoman Susan Carter declined to comment.

Last month, a ProPublica investigation of the private-care program that the administration is now expanding found overhead costs that were much higher than industry standards and comparable government programs. In response to the article, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie acknowledged that the agency was “taken advantage of” with these overhead costs and vowed to improve.

On the campaign trail, Trump presented himself as a champion for veterans, and as president he frequently boasts about what his administration has done for former service members. But at the same time, he has enthusiastically supported shifting more veterans to private medical care, over the objection of major veterans groups that want to preserve the VA’s health system. He has also plunged the VA into chaos by upending his own leadership team at the agency and handing vast influence to three men nicknamed the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd” because they meet at the president’s resort in Florida.

The new access standards are the most important step toward reshaping the VA in line with Trump’s vision of enlarging the private sector’s role.

“None of this should be a surprise to anybody: President Trump has made it clear from pretty much the moment he started running he wanted full choice,” said Dan Caldwell, the executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, a political group that advocates for more private care and that is backed by the Koch brothers, the industrialists who have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative causes. “This does get us closer to full choice. That’s the model we want to get to.”

The VA is planning to continue widening the access standards, dropping the wait time for primary care to 14 days in 2020, according the agency’s briefing materials.

Already, according to the document, almost half of the VA’s primary care sites (69 out of 141) have wait times longer than 20 days, meaning their patients could get private care. In gastroenterology, 81 out of 128 sites have waits longer than 28 days. But, the document cautioned, “This data is not reliable.”

According to people present for briefings on Wednesday, congressional staff and veterans groups had a long list of questions that largely went unanswered by VA officials. Among them:

“They just didn’t provide a whole lot of answers to questions about the impact,” said Carl Blake, Paralyzed Veterans of America’s executive director. “The fact is it’s going to open up eligibility. It’s debatable whether there are adequate resources to do so. What won’t be acceptable is for them to take money from other programs in the VA to pay for it.”

The unanswered questions could dramatically change the program’s cost. The official notice for the new rules on the website for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs says the “Anticipated Costs and Benefits” are “TBD.” In Wednesday’s briefings, officials said the new access standards will increase the agency’s expenses by $2.7 billion to $3.1 billion next year and by $19 billion to $20 billion over five years, the people present said.

Lawmakers have cast doubt on the VA’s cost projections. In a letter to Wilkie on Monday, 28 Democratic senators noted that officials had provided “widely varying and potentially contradictory” figures depending on the day.

“I don’t know why they’re not using the resources we used to model this,” said Nancy Schlichting, the former CEO of the Henry Ford Health System who led a congressionally chartered commission that in 2016 issued a report on the VA’s future. The commission estimated that paying for veterans to see private doctors without a referral from the VA could increase costs by $96 billion to $179 billion a year.

“It’s very, very unsophisticated, frankly,” Schlichting said of the administration’s proposal.

When debating the Mission Act, lawmakers relied on a projection by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that assumed the rate of veterans using the private sector would stay about the same. That assumption has now been blown up by the way the administration is implementing the law.

“Today’s announcement hastily rolling out new access standards places core VA services and vital research programs at risk by shifting money towards care outside VA,” House veterans committee chairman Mark Takano said in a statement on Wednesday, vowing to hold a hearing. “Today’s announcement places VA on a pathway to privatization and leads Congress to assume the worst.”

Wilkie had moved to pre-empt such criticism. “Some will claim falsely and predictably that they represent a first step toward privatizing the department,” he said in a lengthy statement on Monday, two days before the news access standards were announced.

As evidence, Wilkie said appointments in the VA’s health system have increased by 3.4 million since 2014 to more than 58 million in 2018. But his statement did not mention how much the VA’s private-sector appointments have grown: more than four times as much. According to agency data provided to ProPublica, the VA’s private-care appointments increased by 14.9 million since 2014 to 33.2 million in 2017. Private care accounted for 37 percent of the VA’s total outpatient appointments in 2017, up from 25 percent in 2014, the data shows.

In developing these access standards, Wilkie relied extensively on Darin Selnick, who previously worked for Concerned Veterans for America, the organization supported by the Koch brothers. Selnick signed onto an infamous 2016 proposal to dismantle the VA’s government-run health system. Selnick also worked closely with the trio of unofficial advisers known as the “Mar-a-Lago Crowd.”

Selnick sat on the “executive steering committee” in charge of implementing the Mission Act and reported directly to Wilkie as a senior adviser, according to an organization chart obtained by ProPublica. However, when the VA presented a version of the same chart to Congress at a December hearing, Selnick’s name was not there.

Lawmakers voted for the Mission Act with the understanding that access standards would automatically trigger private care for only a few kinds of services, such as lab tests, X-rays and urgent care, the 28 Senate Democrats said. But now the administration is making the access standards apply to everything, a plan that ProPublica first revealed in November.

“This proposal risks needlessly siphoning away VA resources to private providers, which could irresponsibly starve excellent existing VA clinics and hospitals,” Senate veterans committee member Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said in a statement on Wednesday.

Lawmakers and the public may not get more information about the how the program will be funded until the White House releases its budget for 2020. But officials have indicated they won’t submit the president’s budget to Congress on time, blaming the 35-day partial government shutdown. The shutdown did not affect the VA, but it did furlough staff in the Office of Management and Budget, putting the VA at risk of being late on the Mission Act regulations that are due in June, according to an agency report obtained by ProPublica.

The VA recently chose Optum, a division of UnitedHealth Group, to take over administering the new private-care program in most of the country. However, because the agency was late in awarding the contracts, Optum won’t be ready to start when the new program is supposed to take effect in June.

In the interim, program will be run by TriWest Healthcare Alliance, the old vendor that charged unusually high fees. TriWest has also filed a formal protest challenging the VA’s decision to hire Optum. The dispute will be adjudicated by the Government Accountability Office.

Help us investigate: Do you know what’s going on at the VA? Are you a VA employee or a veteran who receives VA benefits and services? Contact Isaac Arnsdorf at 917-512-0256 or [email protected] Here’s how to send tips and documents to ProPublica securely.

Correction, Feb. 5, 2019: This story, relying on incorrect calculations from the Department of Veterans Affairs, originally misstated the proportion of total VA outpatient appointments in the private sector. It was 37 percent in 2017, up from 25 percent in 2014; not 58 percent in 2017, up from 33 percent in 2014.

Danger from anticorruption crusader Elizabeth Warren

As Clinton wing launched a color revolution against Trump, the USA now is not a newcomer to using color revolutions mechanisms as a political tool. I do not see why this some Gene Sharp recommendation can't be implemented by Eliabeth Warren in 2020 race against Trump -- who is a perfect opponent for any anti-corruption crusader.

A fearsome the anti-corruption campaign can be launched against Trump administration too member of which has had its share of transgressions and scandals.  In a way Trump is an ideal political sparring partner for an anti-corruption candidate, who can be send into knockdown with relatively modest effort.  Just the story of Trump university ( a classic "bait and switch" scheme) if properly revived  can so a real damage (hint -- he settled the NY lawsuit for 25 millions).  And Warren is a more formidable opponent for Trump in this area that those two weaklings of 2016 Presidential race: Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz (The Sad Story of Trump 'University' ):

I don't know anything about starting a university, and that was a fake university," Rubio said as Trump repeatedly tried to interrupt him. "There are people who borrowed $36,000 to go to Trump University, and they're suing now. $36,000 to go to a university that's a fake school. And you know what they got? They got to take a picture with a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump."

"I've won most of the lawsuits," Trump protested.

Cruz also got in on the act. "You know, Marco made reference earlier to the litigation against Trump University. It's a fraud case. His lawyers have scheduled the trial for July," he said. "I want you to think about, if this man is the nominee, having the Republican nominee on the stand in court, being cross-examined about whether he committed fraud. You don't think the mainstream media will go crazy on that?"

Friday morning on NBC's Today, Rubio kept the heat on Trump for his "fake school." "You have a guy who is being sued right now for fraud for Trump University," said Rubio. "I've had stories written about my driving record."
 

Warren really has teeth in this area and Trump will feel very very uncomfortable in any debate that raises this topic.

Javanka problem: the curious case of Jared Kushner and the Israel lobby

Kushner crossed the line from using his First Amendment right to speak freely about government policy into subverting official US foreign policy in favor of Israel very early, even before his father-in-law inauguration.  He attampted via Flynn to inflice vote of Russia on UN anti-Israel resolution. It did not work well (actually if fuled Russiagate histeria) and got Flynn into hot water. He was deliberatly ambushed by Muller and caught in lied to FBI.  So Flynn was the  first victim of Kushner machinations.

Later Donald Trump had appointed Jared Kushner to be his point-person on US relations with the Middle East. The latter was specifically charged with forging an Israel-Palestine peace plan, which Trump, in typical flamboyant fashion, called "the ultimate deal".

Both Israeli elite and leaders throughout the region were stunned that the US had charged a real estate speculator with resolving one of the world’s most difficult diplomatic problem. Moreover Kushner has made significant donations to Israeli settlements, was already known to be heavily pro-Israel in his approach. For some reason  he determined that the Saudis were the key to unlock the Arab part of the equation.  So he’s made three visits to the Saudi kingdom in the past year. He brought his father-in-law on the latter’s first foreign trip as president to visit King Salman and the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. This was an astonishing turn in US relations. Cultivate the Saudi royals, expecting them to “bring along” the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world towards that "ultimate" peace deal was a bold and risky gable to forge Israel-Saudi alliance.  It was also very risky step with a lot of diplomatic fallout. among them possibility of creating the alliance of Turkey, Iran and Qatart opposing fledging Isreal-Saudi alliance pushed by Kushner.   Due to his close association with Israel Kushner is placing US Middle East policy in lock-step with Israel. That certainly leaves the Palestinians, among others, out in the cold.

Due to his  continuing business deal in forign countries Kushner also has problem obtaining the security clearances. Trump overruled FBI experts which were reluctant to grant this clearance. Brennan recently described this is some detail ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1BSmwJb6gs ) Kushner also has albatross about his neck  in a form of  skyscraper called 333 Fifth  Avenue (  Kushner, Inc Vicky Ward on How Jared and Ivanka’s Greed & Ambition Compromise U.S. Foreign Policy - YouTube ). Loan 1.4 billon was coming due and no America lender with touch it. So he badly needed a foreign investor.  The Trump-Kushner “pivot” toward Saudi Arabia accords along with a similar Israeli embrace of the House of Saud also was directed against Trump arch-enemy -- Iran. He eventually got money from Qatar -- on unimaginably favorite conditions (99 year lease for 1.3 billion)

Kushner and Ivanka were also instrumental is ushing out of Trump administration several key people, such as Bannon and 

Violating the Logan Act

 

The Wall Street Journal reported a new development in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation: did Jared Kushner violate the Logan Act whenr he lobbied UN Security Council members to sabotage a resolution denouncing Israeli settlements. The act dates back to the earliest days of the republic when the USA was much weaker then European powers. Who were eager to interfere with the domestic and foreign affairs of weaker states. For that reason, American legislators passed the Logan Act which prohibited private citizens from becoming agents of foreign states in trying to influence US foreign policy. The curious case of Jared Kushner and the Israel lobby Middle East Eye

The Act, as it was implemented, became something of a double-edged sword as it enabled the political party in power to target anyone in the opposition who exercised his right to lobby for a particular policy regarding various foreign states.

Eventually, virtually everyone realised that a weapon you used against an opponent could be wielded against you once you were out of power. So the Act fell into limbo. Only one individual was ever charged with violating it and he was never prosecuted.

But news that Kushner was under suspicion of violating the Act raised interesting issues. Though many US politicians have been accused of being shills for Israel and the Israel lobby holds sway over an enormous number of legislators, and though numerous Americans have been convicted of spying on Israel's behalf, no one has ever been convicted of harming the interests of the US for Israel's sake.

In fact, the rallying cry of the lobby is that there is no difference between Israeli and US interests. In other words, when you work on behalf of Israel's interests, you're also advancing America's. Of course, this is utter nonsense. It turns both countries into awkwardly conjoined Siamese twins.

Kushner is placing US Middle East policy in lock-step with Israel. That certainly leaves the Palestinians, among others, out in the cold

That's certainly what Kushner did in this case: Netanyahu, who initiated the request for Trump's intervention in the UN affair, wanted to fend off the resolution at all costs. It was originally put forward by Egypt.

As Vicky Ward, the author of  Kushner, Inc. Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump told Democracy Now the joke is Bebi Netanyahu was the US Secretary of State the last two years.  Here is a counple comments from Youtube that refect prevalent sentiments of the audience

 

The decline of neoliberalism continues, and Trump attempt to revive it by converting to "national neoliberalism" by-and-large failed

If Trump did something useful in dismantling  neoliberalism in the USA it would be  his discreditation of the neoliberal MSM, such as CNN, MSNBC, NYT and WaPo.

Here Trump, surprisingly, did play a rare positive role, sometimes helping to unmask those "rascals of the pen", the presstitutes of financial oligarchy which rules the country.  thanks  to Trump, CNN now is now called "Clinton News Channel",  NYT -- "the CIA bulletin", and  WaPo -- "Bezos' blog". 

Neoliberalism is now in decline, and with it is in decline the  international influence and significance of the USA. Many people in the USA started to understand that neoliberalism destroyed their well-being and continue to do so.  That's why they, after "serial betrayer" Obama "bait and switch" maneuver, Trump managed to lob a hand grenade into the Capitol and White House blowing out Hillary chances.

That means that in 2020 Trump can't position himself in the same way as in 2016 as now he has considerable and controversial political baggage as a defender of the US neoliberal empire. Most of the items in this part of his baggage are pretty disappointing.

Trump administration policies vs election promises

Trump administration looks like Bush III administration and is infected with neocons and representatives of financial oligarchy.  As "Personnel is policy" you can easily guess what policies they pursued and Trump did nothing to stimulate employment in the USA and to stop migration of jobs  from the USA oversees.  And he was elected on the promises to stop outsourcing and offshoring of US jobs.

Tim Swift in his article Trump v Republican elite - the split explained  outlined several election-time difference. The net result after two years of Trump administration are close to zero. Trump stance on NATO changed.  Trump stance on Russia became undistinguishable from Obama polices.

www.bbc.com

Mr Trump describes himself as a "commonsense conservative" and the fact that his message has earned him millions of Republican votes suggests a fracture between the grassroots and leadership.

Here are five key issues upon which the billionaire businessman diverges from Republican orthodoxy as represented by leaders like Mr Ryan and presidents of the past.

Trump adopted a typical neocons  foreign policy, not that different from Bush II administration

Despite his campaign rhetoric (“our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster”; “we’re rebuilding other countries while weakening our own”), Trump used the playbook of the neocon foreign-policy. He practiced typical gagster capitalism, well know from previous administration which unleashed wars in Iraq and Libya. he continued the war in Syria, but as elections  2020 became close decided to withdraw  some troops, still leaving small contingent in the country; effectively relocation  them across the border to Iraq.  He decided to withdraw from the  Intermediate Missiles Treaty with Russia, the treaty that  was tremendously beneficial to The USA.  He continue the war in Afghanistan. In short, Trump policy is really undistinguishable from the Policies that Hillary might pursue, strengthening the assertion that Presidents perform mainly ceremonial duties legitimizing the regime in the eyes of voters. And the real foreign policy decisions are done by the Deep State. Which make the USA radically different from what we understand as a democratic country. It is a typical "inverted  totalitarism" regime with gif leaf of election covering like the smoke screen the brutal and directed against the interests of people of the USA policies of financial oligarchy and MIC (neocons are just lobbyists for MIC)

The  withdrawal from tremendously beneficial to the USA  INF treaty with Russia is another nail into Trump political coffin. Most experts view it as both reckless and stupid move (as most Trump  moves in  foreign policy), which advances interests of MIC and its despicable lobbyists like Boot, Kristol and Kagan. But not the security and well-being of American people.

The USA foreign policy after 1991 can be compared with Third Reich  polices. It has the slogan "America Uber Alles", which can he  tattooed on the foreheads of Bolton and Pompeo. In essence after collapse of the USSR on 1991 the Washington elite tried to position the USA as the  "ruler of Earth", which drained the country resources and impoverished the majority of population while enriching MIC and financial oligarchy (all wars are bankers wars).

Trump definitely is not a diplomat. His methods are taken from the playbook of organized crime, and he himself looks more and more like NYC racketeer.   He essentially operated more like a gangster selling his protection racket, than as a mature politician and skillful diplomat (remember the quip attributed to Al Capone  "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word.").

His foreign policy was a typical neocon foreign policy. With the only positive step so far of Syria withdrawal after bombing the Assad air force three time, the air force which is fighting against the USA supported Islamic State fighters , essentially serving  as ISIS air force (which in reality means movement of forces over the border to Iraq).  And even this withdrawal is incomplete (around  500 troops are left in the county; left illegally). This withdrawal is a bone thrown to his former anti-war voters, it too little too late and is offset by his saber-rattling with  Venezuela.  He betrayed Kurds and strained relations with Turkey -- a unique diplomatic achievement.

That means that in 2020 he can't count on anti-war voters, which was significant  fraction of independents who votes for him despite all his faults

While neocons are now very happy with his foreign policies, most of them (for example Max Boot, Kagan and  Kristol ) defected to Democratic Party and will try to damage his reelection bid.  Association with neocons and bringing several of them into administration (which as infested with neocons as Bush II administration) is a self-defeating policy and might further diminish his chances for reelection.

Even some members of establishment  started to realize that Trump neocons such as Pompeo and Bolton are dangerous for the country (better late, then never ;-). See for example Stephen Walt’s The Hell of Good Intentions.  Here is one Amazon comment

C. Overgaard

A Powerful Critique of US Foreign Policy November 4, 2018

This is a well written, well researched, and well reasoned criticism of Liberal Hegemony (“LH”). LH rests on the belief that the United States is uniquely positioned to spread democracy and shape the international system to promote international peace and prosperity. LH has led to the invasion of Iraq, military efforts in Afghanistan, and counterterrorism operations in Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Syria. The results, according to Walt, are not favorable:
  • Our military operations have been costly in both dollars and lives but have had scant success;
  • The number of violent extremists and the number of places where they are active is greater now then when Al Qaeda first emerged;
  • Our military efforts have created resentment because of civilian casualties;
  • Our foreign activities have taken time, attention and resources away from pressing domestic concerns; and
  • Efforts to promote democracy and human rights have gone into reverse with a decline in many countries of political rights and civil liberties.

In spite of this, LH continues to be advocated almost universally in the media and by political and foreign policy commentators. People who criticize its exercise are ostracized. Nevertheless, Walt names proponent’s names and few well known political and military spokesmen are spared.

Walt reviews Trump’s foreign policy and military efforts and concludes he has made matters worse.

Walt presents a very persuasive alternative strategy that he calls Offshore Balancing. It would entail a continued strong military but much less active military involvement in other countries and more use of diplomacy. This is truly a book well worth reading.

Trump immigration stance

The only area where Trump was more or less consistent with his election promises was the immigration. But even here his record is not that satisfactory as he missed his changes to build the Wall and retracted on many important issues like H1B visa, etc.  In this sense he might be helped by continuing crisis of Democratic Party (aka Demexit) and its inability to get rid off the corrupt to the core Clinton wing of Dems.

Forget Russiagate, Trump revealed himself as the agent of Israeli lobby

Hs stance toward Israel is controversial and led to a sarcastic rewording of his slogan MAGA into MIGA. His behavior in Syria might signify his complete political dependence on Israel lobby,  which now is viewed suspiciously by most US voters.   So while Russiagate witch hunt tries to find connection between Trump and Russia (although connections between Trump and Russian mobsters might really exists) the real scandal is the level of subservience of Trump toward Israel.

Trump is neocons hostage and does not control the USA foreign policy. In this circumstances China needs to get tough on casino modul Adelson to get her message heard by Bolton and other neocons

Dec 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

In his recent article "Averting World Conflict with China" Ron Unz has come up with an intriguing suggestion for the Chinese government to turn the tables on the December 1 st arrest of Meng Wanzhou in Canada. Canada detained Mrs. Meng, CFO of the world's largest telecoms equipment manufacturer Huawei, at the request of the United States so she could be extradited to New York to face charges that she and her company had violated U.S. sanctions on Iran. The sanctions in question had been imposed unilaterally by Washington and it is widely believed that the Trump Administration is sending a signal that when the ban on purchasing oil from Iran comes into full effect in May there will be no excuses accepted from any country that is unwilling to comply with the U.S. government's demands. Washington will exercise universal jurisdiction over those who violate its sanctions, meaning that foreign officials and heads of corporations that continue to deal with Iran can be arrested when traveling internationally and will be extradited to be tried in American courts.

There is, of course, a considerable downside to arresting a top executive of a leading foreign corporation from a country that is a major U.S. trading partner and which also, inter alia, holds a considerable portion of the U.S. national debt. Ron Unz has correctly noted the " extraordinary gravity of this international incident and its potential for altering the course of world history." One might add that Washington's demands that other nations adhere to its sanctions on third countries opens up a Pandora's box whereby no traveling executives will be considered safe from legal consequences when they do not adhere to policies being promoted by the United States. Unz cites Columbia's Jeffrey Sachs as describing it as "almost a U.S. declaration of war on China's business community." If seizing and extraditing businessmen becomes the new normal those countries most affected will inevitably retaliate in kind. China has already detained two traveling Canadians to pressure Ottawa to release Mrs. Meng. Beijing is also contemplating some immediate retaliatory steps against Washington to include American companies operating in China if she is extradited to the U.S.

Ron Unz has suggested that Beijing might just want to execute a quid pro quo by pulling the licenses of Sheldon Adelson's casinos operating in Macau, China and shutting them down, thereby eliminating a major source of his revenue. Why go after an Israeli-American casino operator rather than taking steps directly against the U.S. government? The answer is simple. Pressuring Washington is complicated as there are many players involved and unlikely to produce any positive results while Adelson is the prime mover on much of the Trump foreign policy, though one hesitates to refer to it as a policy at all.

Adelson is the world's leading diaspora Israel-firster and he has the ear of the president of the United States, who reportedly speaks and meets with him regularly. And Adelson uses his considerable financial resources to back up his words of wisdom. He is the fifteenth wealthiest man in America with a reported fortune of $33 billion. He is the number one contributor to the GOP having given $81 million in the last cycle. Admittedly that is chump change to him, but it is more than enough to buy the money hungry and easily corruptible Republicans.

In a certain sense, Adelson has obtained control of the foreign policy of the political party that now controls both the White House and the Senate, and his mission in life is to advance Israeli interests. Among those interests is the continuous punishment of Iran, which does not threaten the United States in any way, through employment of increasingly savage sanctions and threats of violence, which brings us around to the arrest of Meng and the complicity of Adelson in that process. Adelson's wholly owned talking head National Security Adviser John Bolton reportedly had prior knowledge of the Canadian plans and may have actually been complicit in their formulation. Adelson has also been the major force behind moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, has also convinced the Administration to stop its criticism of the illegal Israeli settlements on Arab land and has been instrumental in cutting off all humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. He prefers tough love when dealing with the Iranians, advocating dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran as a warning to the Mullahs of what more might be coming if they don't comply with all the American and Israeli demands.

Trump tax cuts for the  rich

His tax cuts benefitted mainly the rich -- clear betrayal of his 2016 platform, which emphasized creation of jobs for middle class and improving the condition of workers.  He adopted monstrous military budget which clearly is stealing funds from his voters.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2018 2017 2016 2015

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

[Apr 22, 2019] C>urrent Neo-McCarthyism hysteria as a smoke screen of the UK and the USA intent to dominate European geopolitics and weaken Russia and Germany

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... North Stream is a problem as the goal is to economically weaken Russia, tie the EU to the USA via energy supplies and support our new client state -- Ukraine. ..."
"... But this is also related to attempts to prevent/weaken the alliance of Russia and China. As geopolitical consequences of this alliance for the USA-led neoliberal empire are very bad ..."
Jul 24, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , July 24, 2018 12:23 am

@run75441 July 23, 2018 2:02 pm

Best bet is for Russia to want to trade with the US and Europe. The gas pipeline will not be enough leverage on Germany as it provides 9% of their needs.

Yes. And that's against the USA interests (or more correctly the US-led neoliberal empire interests). North Stream is a problem as the goal is to economically weaken Russia, tie the EU to the USA via energy supplies and support our new client state -- Ukraine.

As you know, nothing was proven yet in Russiagate (and DNC hacks looks more and more like a false flag operation, especially this Guccifer 2.0 personality ), but sanctions were already imposed. And when the US government speaks "Russia" in most cases they mean "China+Russia" ;-). Russia is just a weaker link in this alliance and, as such, it is attacked first. Russiagate is just yet another pretext after MH17, Magnitsky and such.

To me the current Anti-Russian hysteria is mainly a smokescreen to hide attempt to cement cracks in the façade of the USA neoliberal society that Trump election revealed (including apparent legitimization of ruling neoliberal elite represented by Hillary).

And a desperate attempt to unite the society using (false) war propaganda which requires demonization of the "enemy of the people" and neo-McCarthyism.

But this is also related to attempts to prevent/weaken the alliance of Russia and China. As geopolitical consequences of this alliance for the USA-led neoliberal empire are very bad (for example, military alliance means the end of the USA global military domination; energy alliance means that is now impossible to impose a blockade on China energy supplies from Middle East even if Iran is occupied)

In this sense the recent descent into a prolonged fit of vintage Cold War jingoistic paranoia is quite understandable. While, at the same time, totally abhorrent. My feeling is that unless Russia folds, which is unlikely, the side effects/externalities of this posture can be very bad for the USA. In any case, the alliance of Russia and China which Obama administration policies forged spells troubles to the global neoliberal empire dominated by the USA.

Trump rejection of existing forms of neoliberal globalization is one sign that this process already started and some politicians already are trying to catch the wind and adapt to a "new brave world" by using preemptive adjustments.

Which is why all this Trump-Putin summit hysteria is about.

Neither hard, nor soft neoliberals want any adjustments. They are ready to fight for the US-led neoliberal empire till the last American (excluding, of course, themselves and their families)

[Apr 22, 2019] Trump's tone on Mueller report changes after initial upbeat view

Apr 22, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , April 20, 2019 at 09:11 AM

Trump's tone on Mueller report changes after initial upbeat view
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2019/04/20/trump-tone-mueller-report-changes-after-initial-upbeat-view/s77V84hJjYGdc4WTS6F5kJ/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

JILL COLVIN - Associated Press - April 20, 2019

WASHINGTON ( -- President Donald Trump is lashing out at current and former aides who cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, insisting the deeply unflattering picture they painted of him and the White House was ''total bullshit.''

In a series of angry tweets from Palm Beach, Florida, Trump laced into those who, under oath, had shared with Mueller their accounts of how Trump tried numerous times to squash or influence the investigation and portrayed the White House as infected by a culture of lies, deceit and deception.

''Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue,'' Trump wrote Friday, adding that some were ''total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad).''

The attacks were a dramatic departure from the upbeat public face the White House had put on it just 24 hours earlier, when Trump celebrated the report's findings as full exoneration and his counselor Kellyanne Conway called it ''the best day'' for Trump's team since his election. While the president, according to people close to him, did feel vindicated by the report, he also felt betrayed by those who had painted him in an unflattering light -- even though they were speaking under oath and had been directed by the White House to cooperate fully with Mueller's team.

The reaction was not entirely surprising and had been something staffers feared in the days ahead of the report's release as they wondered how Mueller might portray their testimony and whether the report might damage their relationships with Trump.
... ... ...

In one particularly vivid passage, Mueller recounts how Trump called McGahn twice at home and directed him to set in motion Mueller's firing. McGahn recoiled, packed up his office and threatened to resign, fearing the move would trigger a potential crisis akin to the Saturday Night Massacre of firings during the Watergate era.

In another section, Mueller details how Trump questioned McGahn's note-taking, telling the White House counsel that, ''Lawyers don 't take notes'' and that he'd ''never had a lawyer who took notes.''

''Watch out for people that take so-called ''notes,'' when the notes never existed until needed,'' Trump said in one of his tweets Friday. Others whose contemporaneous notes were referenced in the report include former staff secretary Rob Porter and Reince Priebus, Trump's first chief of staff.

Trump ended his tweet with the word, ''a...'' suggesting more was coming. More than eight hours later, he finally completed his thought, calling the probe a ''big, fat, waste of time, energy and money'' and threatening investigators by saying, ''It is now finally time to turn the tables and bring justice to some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even Spying or Treason.'' There is no evidence of either.

... ... ...

[Apr 22, 2019] T>wisting the tools of justice and state to slander

Apr 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Mueller's inclusion of information on obstruction of justice that portrays unbecoming conduct by the president that nonetheless doesn't rise to the level of indictable crime allows Democrats to decide where to take this next. Mueller has not tossed the ball to a Democratic Congress to play out its check and balance role so much as handed dirt to Democratic politicians to use as they see fit. It's an odd end for the righteous Robert Mueller, twisting the tools of justice and state to slander.

And as with collusion, we already know the ending on obstruction. Mueller did not indict because the evidence did not support it. Attorney General Bob Barr and his deputy Rod Rosenstein, by law the actual intended recipients of the report, agreed with Mueller. Trump's actions were lawful. Though some of them were troublesome and even immoral, they were not criminal. Most significantly, Mueller could not indict on obstruction because it was not possible to determine that Trump had showed the legally required corrupt intent. All of that precedes any consideration given to Department of Justice and Office of Legal Counsel advice that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

If Mueller had an obstruction case, he would have made it. He could have specifically recommended indictment and made explicit that the complex legal issues around presidential obstruction meant a decision was beyond his and the attorney general's constitutional roles and must be addressed by Congress via impeachment. He could have indicted any number of people in Trump's inner circle, or issued a sealed indictment against post-White House Trump himself. He could have said that he couldn't indict solely because of DOJ/OLC rules and therefore explicitly created a road map for impeachment to guide the next step.

None of that happened. Mueller had no reason to speak in riddles, show restraint, send signals, embed hidden messages , or hint at things that others should do. He could have swung in any number of ways but instead found reason to leave the bat on his shoulder. Volume II should have ended there.

But it seems obvious from reading the report that stories alleging that members of Mueller's team saw evidence of obstruction that they found "alarming and significant" were true. Barr did a great disservice in omitting at least mention of this from his summary, as it forms the bulk of Volume II and will fuel nearly everything that happens next.

Despite no indictment, the report outlines 10 instances containing elements of obstructed justice by Trump, with a suggestion (volume II, page 8) that someone may want to look again. Apparently not everyone on Mueller's team agreed with the boss's conclusion that the evidence was insufficient, and Mueller chose to allow what is essentially dissent Talmudically contradicting his major Volume II conclusion to be baked into his own work.

Mueller was tasked with making an unambiguous decision: either to prosecute or not. He made it, and then included pages of reasons suggesting he might be wrong even as he also found space to say that the dissent might also be missing the key element of corrupt intent. There is no explanation for this confusing, ambiguous, and jumbled departure from traditional prosecutorial judgment. The final line (volume II, page 182) reads like a Twilight Zone script: "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

One focus of the dissent is on Trump firing former FBI director James Comey. For this to be obstruction, Trump would have had to have fired Comey with the corrupt intent to impede the investigation. The Mueller report is clear that this was not what happened. Despite the public messaging, the firing was related to Comey's mishandling of the Clinton email case. The report shows that the president was angry at Comey for telling him privately that he was not under investigation but refusing to say so publicly, as Comey had done (once) for Hillary Clinton. Volume II, page 75: "Substantial evidence indicates that the catalyst for the president's decision to fire Comey was Comey's unwillingness to publicly state that the president was not personally under investigation." That's not obstruction of justice; it's presidential rage.


Fellkirk , says: April 19, 2019 at 2:33 pm

So no Russia conspiracy after all. After all that.

One can't help wondering how it might have gone had Israel rather than Russia been the foreign target of the investigation. After all, the FBI tells us that Israeli spying against America is as intense as Russian and Chinese spying. The Israelis are more advanced in some ways. There is no Russia-America Political Action Committee, for example. No Russian Sheldon Adelson either.

After the Mueller fracas dies down, we can expect Russia and China to develop methods and mechanisms that parallel those Israel uses to meddle in our elections and threaten our politicians. It's safer, and far more effective.

Donald , says: April 19, 2019 at 2:41 pm

This lefty tends to agree with you. There are so many issues where Trump can legitimately be described as awful and on a personal level he is awful. On some of the issues (and on his personality), some of the TAC conservatives around here would agree with me. Larison rips into Trump almost every day.

So what do our wonderful Democratic progressive leaders and journalists (with rare exceptions) do? They zero in on a McCarthyite conspiracy theory where Trump is innocent.

Freaking geniuses.

Still, Trump is a sleaze and I leave it to the lawyers to determine if the "obstruction" charge will go anywhere.

JR , says: April 20, 2019 at 2:25 pm

Mueller's performs malpractice as a prosecutor by stating:
"While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

WorkingClass , says: April 21, 2019 at 6:51 am

Mueller could not give the Democrats and the deep state the president's head. But he did encourage them to continue the quest. The chances of Trump's reelection are thereby greatly enhanced. The left won't have anything better to do than impeach the president for another six years.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) , says: April 20, 2019 at 5:31 am

the report very specifically and literally does not exonerate the president for all his conduct covered in the report

The report DOES NOT exonerate Trump; it says explicitly that "If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts, that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment."

I agree that's not an indictment, but it's decidedly not an exoneration either. So it seems like *Boland is disgracing herself,* trying to spin the Mueller Report into something favorable to the president.

Have you looked at the report? It explicitly

"While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Seriously, folks, stop grasping at straws. It looks pathetic. Ever heard of "innocent unless proven guilty"? One of the basic legal principles – ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat – if y'all haven't. If something assumed to be an evidence or a testimony cannot indict, it *automatically* exonerates. Grow up and face it. And start actually campaigning if you wanna have even the smallest chance in 2020. I can assure you that your collusion delusion is among the last things voters of any social, racial, ethnic, religious or regional backgrounds care about.

Groucho , says: April 21, 2019 at 4:04 pm

Reading the comments here it is clear that Trump derangement syndrome is alive and well at TAC.

There are two possible outcomes in a legal inquiry, indictment and exoneration. The fact that Mueller could not indict on collusion means Trump was exonerated. Mueller punted on the issue of obstruction of justice because he could not prove that either and for him to imply otherwise is dishonest and borders and prosecutorial misconduct.

A trace of common sense would lead one to ask why Trump would obstruct an investigation into a crime that he surely knew he did not commit?

One doesn't have to be a Trump fan to marvel at the mendacity and stupidity that liberal elite's have displayed in refusing to face reality.

[Apr 22, 2019] Ken Starr's effort cost 120 million and was just as stupid as this one

Apr 22, 2019 | kunstler.com

James Hansen April 19, 2019 at 1:01 pm #

Ken Starr's effort cost 120 million and was just as stupid as this one. So the Republicans got a taste of their own medicine, the really bad thing to come out of this is the possibility of nuclear war with Russia.

FincaInTheMountains April 19, 2019 at 1:11 pm #

Another adept of the Hanlon's Razor who is forgetting that the Republicans started all kinds of investigations against the Clintons not because Bill screwed somebody in the Oval Office, but because Hillary cheated in 1992 presidential elections by using a spoiler Ross Perot, which violated all gentlemen's agreements of the American elite.

James Hansen April 19, 2019 at 1:31 pm #

They appointed Ken Starr to be the most powerful prosecutor in the U.S. with unlimited money, manpower and time based on not even speculation. They had nothing, if it were not for Linda Tripp's backstabbing of her friend Monica Lewinsky the whole thing would of ended much earlier.

Ken Starr threatened Monica and everyone within 100 miles of her with long prison sentences if she did not reveal every detail, which he leaked to the press on a daily basis. It was dirty politics at its finest.

100th Avatar April 19, 2019 at 3:35 pm #

Of course. Because a serial philanderer, womanizer, and/or rapist getting oral sex from a very young intern in a government office and then lying about is is not serious. A me-too moment. Now imagine if Trump did that.

100th Avatar April 21, 2019 at 12:19 pm #

There are people that are willfully ignorant. You are willfully stupid, but you're intensely partisan, which perhaps explains your conundrum.

There are severe grounds for punishment in the federal workplace for having sex with your subordinate. In your office. On government time.

Even more severe if found lying about it during the course of an investigation/review.

You can blame a vast rightwing conspiracy, a witch-hunt, or your melodramatic claim of "coup", but it is a settled conclusion that Bill Clinton is a womanizer, serial philander, and accused rapist.

But he is a D, which is all that matters for the useful voting idiots.

[Apr 22, 2019] The Mueller report and the campaign against Russia by Joseph Kishore

Notable quotes:
"... "Russia's interference in the campaign was the core issue that Mr. Mueller was appointed to investigate," the Times writes, "and if he stopped short of accusing the Trump campaign of overtly cooperating with the Russians -- the report mercifully rejects speaking of 'collusion,' a term that has no meaning in American law -- he was unequivocal on Russia's culpability: 'First, the Office determined that Russia's two principal interference operations in the 2016 US presidential election -- the social media campaign and the hacking-and-dumping operations -- violated US criminal law." ..."
"... In the key passage, the Times complains that Trump has failed to take this supposed interference in American politics seriously. "Culpable or not," the editors write, "he must be made to understand that a foreign power that interferes in American elections is, in fact, trying to distort American foreign policy and national security." ..."
"... "Distort foreign policy " By this is meant the CIA-backed imperialist operations in Syria and the campaign against Russia itself. ..."
"... In addition to the conflicts over foreign policy, the anti-Russia campaign has been aimed at criminalizing domestic opposition and justifying an unprecedented attack on free speech, including the censorship of the internet, utilizing Google, Facebook, and other social media companies, under the absurd pretext that the online operations of Russia are responsible for social conflict within the United States. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.wsws.org

The release of the report by special counsel Robert Mueller on allegations of Russian interference in the US election and alleged collusion with the Trump administration has reignited the ferocious factional warfare within the American ruling class.

An editorial published Friday evening by the New York Times very clearly reveals, after two years, what this conflict was all about. As the World Socialist Web Site has repeatedly insisted, dominant factions of the military-intelligence apparatus, whose demands have been channeled by the Democratic Party and the media, will not accept any retreat from an intensification of the conflict with Russia.

The editorial board statement is published under the headline, "The Mueller Report and the Danger Facing American Democracy," with the subhead, "A perceived victory for Russian interference poses a serious risk for the United States."

It begins, "The report of the special counsel Robert Mueller leaves considerable space for partisan warfare over the role of President Trump and his political campaign in Russia's interference in the 2016 election. But one conclusion is categorical: 'The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.'"

This statement is a backhanded acknowledgement that the Mueller report fails to substantiate many of the wild claims, promoted by the media including the Times , of collusion or direct coordination between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian government. However, what the Times is more concerned with is the underlying -- and no less unfounded -- claim, that Russia has attacked "American democracy" and that an aggressive response is necessary.

"Russia's interference in the campaign was the core issue that Mr. Mueller was appointed to investigate," the Times writes, "and if he stopped short of accusing the Trump campaign of overtly cooperating with the Russians -- the report mercifully rejects speaking of 'collusion,' a term that has no meaning in American law -- he was unequivocal on Russia's culpability: 'First, the Office determined that Russia's two principal interference operations in the 2016 US presidential election -- the social media campaign and the hacking-and-dumping operations -- violated US criminal law."

In the key passage, the Times complains that Trump has failed to take this supposed interference in American politics seriously. "Culpable or not," the editors write, "he must be made to understand that a foreign power that interferes in American elections is, in fact, trying to distort American foreign policy and national security."

"Distort foreign policy " By this is meant the CIA-backed imperialist operations in Syria and the campaign against Russia itself.

In addition to the conflicts over foreign policy, the anti-Russia campaign has been aimed at criminalizing domestic opposition and justifying an unprecedented attack on free speech, including the censorship of the internet, utilizing Google, Facebook, and other social media companies, under the absurd pretext that the online operations of Russia are responsible for social conflict within the United States.

Regurgitating the unsubstantiated assertions of the intelligence agencies, which the Mueller report also accepts, the Times denounces "a social media campaign [by Russia] intended to fan rifts in the United States." Significantly, this same assertion was accepted by Trump's attorney general, William Barr, who proclaimed upon releasing the report Thursday that it proved that Russia had engaged in a systematic campaign to "sow social discord among American voters."

As if the growing wave of social unrest in the United States, propelled by unprecedented levels of social inequality, is the product of the nefarious intervention of Vladimir Putin! This is simply the resurrection of hysterical McCarthyite red-baiting, with capitalist Russia assuming the place of the Soviet Union.

A particularly noxious expression of the attack on democratic rights is the agreement, across all factions of the US ruling elite, to target WikiLeaks. The Mueller report was issued only days after British police seized WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the US government revealed that it was seeking his extradition, to face indefinite detention or worse.

The Times editorial repeats the allegation -- again, never substantiated, but asserted by the Mueller report -- that the Russian government was involved in hacking "the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee and releasing reams of damaging materials through the front groups DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, and later through WikiLeaks."

"The real danger that the Mueller report reveals," the Times repeats, "is not of a president who knowingly or unknowingly let a hostile power do dirty tricks on his behalf, but of a president who refuses to see that he has been used to damage American democracy and national security."

It adds, "A perceived victory for Russian interference poses a serious danger to the United States. Already, several American agencies are working, in partnership with the tech industry, to prevent election interference going forward." That is, Google and Facebook have already instituted far-reaching measures to censor the internet. "But the Kremlin is not the only hostile government mucking around in America's cyberspace -- China and North Korea are two others honing their cyber-arsenals, and they, too, could be tempted to manipulate partisan strife for their ends." That is, further measures are needed.

Here we have combined the twin and interrelated aims of all factions of the ruling class -- to intensify war, not only against Russia, but also against China, and suppress social opposition.

The Times ends with an olive branch to Trump and the Republicans. "The two parties may not agree on Mr. Trump's culpability," the editors write, "but they have already found a measure of common ground with the sanctions they have imposed on Russia over its interference in the campaign. Now they could justify the considerable time and expense of the special counsel investigation, and at the same time demonstrate that the fissure in American politics is not terminal, by jointly making clear to Russia and other hostile forces that the democratic process, in the United States and its allies, is strictly off limits to foreign clandestine manipulation, and that anyone who tries will pay a heavy price."

Thus we have it, as they say, straight from the horse's mouth. The opposition of the Democrats and their affiliated media outlets to the Trump administration was never about its right-wing and fascistic policies, its illegal and unconstitutional agenda, or its authoritarian methods of rule, but over concerns that he has undermined what are considered key geostrategic interests of American imperialism.

As far as the ruling class is concerned -- and here we speak of both the Democrats and the Trump administration -- the "heavy price" is to be borne not only by the foreign policy rivals of the American ruling class abroad, but also by the working class at home.

[Apr 22, 2019] What is "collosion" ?

Notable quotes:
"... Federal law also prohibits candidates from cooperating or consulting with a foreign national who is spending money to influence a U.S. election. These "coordinated expenditures" are treated as contributions under campaign finance law and thus run afoul of the law's ban on contributions from foreign nationals in U.S. elections. ..."
"... There are laws against specific actions Obama employees used to get the "evidence" on the Trump campaign. We need the Impeachment on C-SPAN to get to the bottom of Obama targeting the Trump campaign and how it was politically motivated with no more to do with protecting national security than Hillary's abuses of sensitive information, and losing e-mails. ..."
"... If Trump were to be impeached by the House, then either he would be convicted by a Republican majority Senate or he would be exonerated or he would resign instead. Which of those possible outcomes would fix US politics or even make a difference? The Democratic Party cannot become a winner with the policies of loser liberalism. This they have proven for fifty years. It is an immutable reality that laughs in the face of supposed evidence-based policy making. ..."
"... US President Trump says he is completely exonerated after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report concluded he "did not conspire" with Russia during the 2016 election campaign. ... ..."
Apr 22, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 20, 2019 at 01:47 PM

https://www.commoncause.org/democracy-wire/what-is-collusion/

Defining Democracy: Collusion

07.24.2017 / By Lauran Pauley

Defining Democracy: Collusion

What is collusion? Is collusion a crime?

Part of an occasional series looking at language dominating the news and influencing how Americans learn about the way our government works.

The media are filled with speculation about whether each twist and turn of the Russia-Trump investigation will "prove collusion." A recent Vanity Fair headline read "Does Trump's Tangled Russia Web Constitute Collusion?" and a Vox headline asserted that "Trump administration: There's no evidence of collusion."

What is collusion? Is collusion a crime?

The dictionary definition of "collusion" is a "secret agreement or cooperation, especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose." But when it comes to the unfolding story of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, the word is being used as a catch-all term for illegal acts such as conspiracy, espionage, campaign finance violations, bribery, or fraud. There is no federal law making collusion a crime.

While "collusion" has proven to be a useful word for journalists and the general public, it also serves as a useful straw man for defenders of President Trump; they argue that collusion is not a crime and that the Trump campaign's activities did not constitute collusion, so there's no reason for further investigation.

However, the fact that there's no law prohibiting "collusion" doesn't mean there's no statute prohibiting some of the specific activities that the Trump campaign engaged in, or may have engaged in.

For example, federal law bars the solicitation or receipt of a contribution from a foreign national. Last week, Common Cause filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and Department of Justice alleging that the Trump campaign violated this prohibition when Donald Trump Jr. asked for a meeting with a Russian to receive what he believed would be valuable opposition research on Hillary Clinton.

Federal law also prohibits candidates from cooperating or consulting with a foreign national who is spending money to influence a U.S. election. These "coordinated expenditures" are treated as contributions under campaign finance law and thus run afoul of the law's ban on contributions from foreign nationals in U.S. elections.

Finally, federal law prohibits two or more persons from conspiring to commit a crime -- an offense known as "criminal conspiracy."

As evidence of Trump campaign interactions with Russian nationals connected to Putin's government continues to mount, investigation by the Department of Justice, the Federal Election Commission and Congressional Committees is necessary. And though "collusion" is a convenient word for describing these potential violations, our justice system rightly demands precision when it comes to defining violations of the law. In the coming weeks and months, we'll explain the legal meaning of important terms like "coordination" and "conspiracy." So stay tuned!

ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , April 20, 2019 at 07:14 PM
I am with MCs Tlaib and AOC! I like the impeachment gig!

There are laws against specific actions Obama employees used to get the "evidence" on the Trump campaign. We need the Impeachment on C-SPAN to get to the bottom of Obama targeting the Trump campaign and how it was politically motivated with no more to do with protecting national security than Hillary's abuses of sensitive information, and losing e-mails.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , April 21, 2019 at 06:34 AM
In a world where words have fallen prey to misuse then the tree of truth cannot be seen in the forest of gibberish. It is not like the zealots are engaging in discussion and seeking clarity, but rather they just choose their language like bludgeons and pitchforks with little attention to usage and meaning.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , April 21, 2019 at 06:53 AM
If Trump were to be impeached by the House, then either he would be convicted by a Republican majority Senate or he would be exonerated or he would resign instead. Which of those possible outcomes would fix US politics or even make a difference? The Democratic Party cannot become a winner with the policies of loser liberalism. This they have proven for fifty years. It is an immutable reality that laughs in the face of supposed evidence-based policy making.
Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , April 21, 2019 at 06:51 AM
I understand that 'collusion' is a crime only under the Federal RICO laws. That must be where Trump heard about it.

It is arguably only a 'happy coincidence' that both the Russians and Trump did not want Hillary to be prez.

Also, that they were willing to do something about it, and who was Trump to interfere?

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 21, 2019 at 07:02 AM
Prosecuting the occasional thief caught stealing iPhones from unlocked cars solves nothing. Either lock your car or don't leave your iPhone in it.

Beating professional con-men at their own game is always a long shot and a lot of time and energy is wasted in the attempt.

US politics has a long history of abuse. Most voting age citizens have divorced themselves from the reality of it rather than seek counseling.

As long as things are good enough then the electorate will just go along with the system and not organize itself to demand constitutional reform. So, then the only solution is for things to get bad enough. It is good to be too old to live to see that day.

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , April 21, 2019 at 07:46 AM
'who was Trump to interfere?'

Of course (?), it is illegal to accept assistance in a political campaign from foreign parties, I understand, but what if Trump did not know this? Is he to be persecuted for such ignorance?

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 21, 2019 at 08:05 AM
Legal definitions almost always have technical requirements for some positive action. In Trump's case being a passive actor probably was not a crime. The term "accept" is like "collusion" vague in colloquial use perhaps, but much more confined in law. I don't know the details and don't care enough to read the report for myself along with then reading the law to make sure that I understand it all. It is easy to see that Trump's ignorance was not a singular occurrence.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 21, 2019 at 07:07 AM
Thanks for the "collusion" explained under RICO.
Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , April 21, 2019 at 11:13 AM
RICO sounds so much nicer than 'Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act'
Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 21, 2019 at 10:47 AM
"There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians," said Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump's lawyer.

https://nyti.ms/2veNrXw

NYT - Emily Cochrane and Catie Edmondson - April 21

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, insisted on Sunday that it was acceptable for a political campaign to use hacked information about its opponent obtained from a foreign adversary -- though he personally would have advised against it.

"There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians," Mr. Giuliani said on CNN's "State of the Union," adding that he would have argued against using it, "out of excess of caution."

"It depends on where it came from," he said, adding on NBC's "Meet the Press" that a political campaign's decision to use stolen information from foreign adversaries "depends on the stolen material."

Mr. Giuliani's assertion, which built on similar previous remarks that he had later backed away from, was offered partly as a rebuttal to questioning about a meeting at Trump Tower in 2016 in which Trump campaign aides met with Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton. It also underscored another aspect of the special counsel's report, released last week by the Justice Department, that the president has largely avoided addressing: that Russia secretly influenced the 2016 presidential election.

"They shouldn't have stolen it, but the American people were just given more information," Mr. Giuliani said on "Meet the Press."

The interviews by Mr. Giuliani were part of the parallel interpretations of the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, that played out on national television on Sunday, as Trump allies and Democrats battled for control over the narrative of the report's conclusions. Mr. Giuliani and other Trump aides claimed vindication and offered a vociferous defense of the president, even as senior congressional Democrats vowed further investigation.

Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said on "Meet the Press" that he would call Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel and one of the administration aides who cooperated extensively with the investigation, to testify.

Mr. Nadler said some of the president's actions detailed in the Mueller report, if proved, might warrant impeachment. But asked about beginning an impeachment inquiry, he said that "we may get to that, we may not," adding that his committee's task at hand was "to go through all the evidence, all the information and to go where the evidence leads us."

His conditional response showed how House Democrats as a whole were grappling with how to answer the impeachment question. ...

And even as the president and his allies trumpeted their vindication -- "I have never been happier or more content," Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning -- they also lashed out at their perceived enemies.

"The Trump Haters and Angry Democrats who wrote the Mueller Report were devastated by the No Collusion finding!" Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, less than two hours after wishing the country a happy Easter. "Nothing but a total 'hit job' which should never have been allowed to start in the first place!"

They also singled out the testimony of certain aides who testified before Mr. Mueller's team and conservative lawmakers who criticized Mr. Trump's behavior as outlined in the report.

Late Saturday night, Mr. Trump, ostensibly in response to a scathing statement from Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, shared a video mocking Mr. Romney's unsuccessful presidential run in 2012.

Mr. Giuliani added to the criticism of the Utah senator, calling Mr. Romney a "hypocrite" for his statement. Mr. Romney had said he was "sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection" from administration officials, "including the president."

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 21, 2019 at 11:10 AM
"There's nothing wrong with taking information from Russians," said Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump's lawyer.

Depends on the meaning of 'taking'.

If they (or someone else) 'stole' that information, which of course the Trump Team would totally *not* do, and then conveyed it to the campaign, would
that be So Wrong? Fuhgeddaboudit!

RG probably meant to say that information was 'accepted'.

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , April 20, 2019 at 09:21 PM
(Previously...)

Mueller report a 'complete exoneration' - Donald Trump

US President Trump says he is completely exonerated after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report concluded he "did not conspire" with Russia during the 2016 election campaign. ...

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-47687956/mueller-report-a-complete-exoneration-donald-trump

BBC News - March 24

[Apr 21, 2019] It is stunning that the entirety of federal law enforcement, intelligence, and State department embraced and fortified Russian misinformation in their jihad against Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Nevertheless, while it appeared to the Clinton partisans in the Obama White House, in the DoJ, the CIA, the FBI and overseas in the UK, that the e-mail case had been quashed sufficiently to preserve the likelihood of Clinton's accession, they had enough reservations to exploit a garbage pail of political dirt to take out an "insurance policy." ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock , 21 April 2019 at 12:15 PM

Who is taking the over/under on whether Barr will actually investigate the origins of the attempted entrapment of Trump in Russia collusion and the roles played by key players in US law enforcement and intelligence agencies as well as the Brits & Aussie government agencies therein?

I'm willing to bet that it will all be swept under the rug and that Clapper, Brennan, Comey, Lynch & Rice will not be testifying to any grand jury. Barr has received multiple criminal & conspiracy referrals from Rep. Devin Nunes. However, Trump himself disregarded Nunes recommendation to declassify several documents & communications including the FISA application on Carter Page. The question is does Trump want to get to the bottom of the conspiracy? So far all he's done is tweet. IMO, Barr is the epitome of a Swamp Rat.

Tom22ndState -> blue peacock... , 21 April 2019 at 05:43 PM
"Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt." – Sun Tzu

I have a feeling that President Trump will declassify and release the relevant documents in a manner that they will have maximum effect. It is stunning that the entirety of federal law enforcement, intelligence, and State department embraced and fortified Russian misinformation in their jihad against Trump.

This must never happen again. At least the operation was run by political hacks, former analysts who fancied themselves as operators. Their ham- fisted prints are over this shit storm. Thank you God for Comey, Brennan, and Clapper -- the three stooges of espionage.

Mad Max_22 , 21 April 2019 at 06:17 PM
I suppose that it's possible that AG Barr's DoJ will mount a serious investigation into the many tentacles ongoing governmental debacle that began with the Lynch DoJ providing political direction and cover for Comey's FBI to lie down on the Clinton e-mail investigation. Which came first, the cover up, or the capitulation, is not completely clear. Perhaps it was a hand in glove affair. Suffice it to say that by any standard of competence, it was a faux effort.

In my opinion, what was not done should constitute the elements of an obstruction violation. It would be a difficult charge to argue before a jury. Was the level of incompetence such that a reasonable person could not believe that it could not exist in the FBI, that there had to be malicious intent?

Nevertheless, while it appeared to the Clinton partisans in the Obama White House, in the DoJ, the CIA, the FBI and overseas in the UK, that the e-mail case had been quashed sufficiently to preserve the likelihood of Clinton's accession, they had enough reservations to exploit a garbage pail of political dirt to take out an "insurance policy."

Once again the question, could they possibly have been so incompetent. "What the heck" appears to have been the launching pad; Clinton's going to win anyway, Trump will be crushed under the unmaskings, leaks, and innuendo; and no one will ever find out.

But Trump wins, and the unwholesome political cabal is now stuck with an investigation of an incoming President whom they had tried to frag on the skimpiest evidentiary grounds imaginable. And worse, he appears to be sensing there is something rotten in the state of Denmark, and Cardinal Jim Comey is a shitty liar, and now he's out, and what is going to happen to this garbage scow they've launched, now with Comey gone. How do they kill this thing? Worse, how do they kill the political riot this thing has caused. They can't; they double down; they take out another insurance policy - Jim Comey's good bud, Bob Mueller with a posse of partisan attorneys, many vets of the Obama DoJ, a couple of squads of FBI Agents, including two who were prominent in the e mail case and the Steele inquiry, and a set up akin to a shadow DoJ. What could go wrong? They would hound the bastard out of office.

Which returns us to the question of whether Barr will mount a serious investigation into the political scandal of the last 100 years, at least. I suppose it is possible, but right now I'm not optimistic. For one thing Barr appeared at the big press conference with Rod Rosenstein. Rod Rosenstein is at minimum a critical witness. There is every reason to suspect that Comey, McCabe, Mueller, and Rosenstein conferred before Comey's leak to the NYT via a lawyer friend in furtherance of Mueller's appointment.

Going side by side with Rosenstein at this juncture doesn't augur well.

On the other hand, the continuing lunatic behavior of the demented left may give Barr no other choice but to sort the mess out once and for all for the good of the country. We'll see.

jdledell , 21 April 2019 at 06:28 PM
The biggest take I got out of the Mueller report is that Trump is a sleazy character and that is not what I want from the president, the Face of America to the rest of the world. Whether the Deep State went after Trump in an organized fashion is just noise in my ears. To me that is just normal political infighting the same as Trump and other Republicans went after Obama for being an illegitimate President as a non-citizen.
turcopolier , 21 April 2019 at 06:28 PM
Sorry, but it IS NOT "normal political infighting" for the cabal to have sought and still to seek the overthrow of of the legitimate head of state and government.

[Apr 21, 2019] Even if we got a candidate against the War Party the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump betayal his voters, surrounded himself with neocons, continues to do Bibi's bidding, and ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down?

Highly recommended!
Here we need to look at the candidate political history, their actions before the election. "Trump scam" like "Obama scam" was based on the fact that they do not have political history, they were what Romans called "Tabula rasa". A "clean state" politician into which voters can project their wishes about domestic and foreign policy. That was a dirty. but very effective trick.
But the most important factor in Trump win was the he was competing against despicable warmonger Hillary Clinton, the establishment candidate who wanted to kick the neoliberal globalization can down the road. So the "lesser evilism" card was also in play consciously or unconscionably as well. So with Hillary as the opposition candidate it was a kind of implementation of the USSR style elections on a new level. but with the same with zero choice. Effectively the US electorate was disenfranchised when FBI has thrown Sander under the bus by exonerating Hillary. In a way FBI was the kingmaker in 2016 elections.
And please note that the Deep State launched a color revolution against Trump to keep him in check. Only later it became evident that he from the very beginning was a pro-Israel neoconservative, probably fully controlled by pro-Israel forces. That Trump electorate bought MIGA instead of MAGA from the day one.
Notable quotes:
"... The question is even if we got a candidate against the War Party & the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump, the candidate who campaigned on the wasteful expenditures in our endless wars has surrounded himself with neocons and continues to do Bibi's bidding ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down? ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

blue peacock -> turcopolier ... , 21 April 2019 at 12:36 PM

Col. Lang,

In a recent call from Trump requesting his opinion on China, Jimmy Carter noted that China has not spent a dime on war since 1979, whereas we've spent trillions & continue to spend even more.

China invested trillions in their infrastructure while ours crumbles. They've invested in building the world's manufacturing capacity while we dismantled ours. We spend twice per capita on healthcare compared to any other western country, yet chronic diseases like diabetes keeps growing. We spend more on our military than the next 10 countries combined yet how superior is our weaponry compared to the Russians who spend one-tenth of what we spend? We've financialized our economy and socialized speculative losses of Wall St mavens but when some politicians talk about spending on the commons then socialism is labeled bad.

https://www.epsilontheory.com/this-is-water/

The question is even if we got a candidate against the War Party & the Party of Davos, would it matter? Trump, the candidate who campaigned on the wasteful expenditures in our endless wars has surrounded himself with neocons and continues to do Bibi's bidding ratcheting up tensions in Latin America, Middle East and with Russia. What's changed even with a candidate that the Swamp disliked and attempted to take down?

[Apr 21, 2019] Are only candidates with enough compromising material in the hands of intelligence agencies allowed to be elected

Notable quotes:
"... Corrupt, centrist Democrats will demand that voters choose whatever turkeys the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC choose to run in 2020. And Republicans will back Trump. ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , April 21, 2019 11:15 pm

Pgl,

Fist of all Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. So his great advantage is that he really knows the "kitchen"

What about you ? What are your credentials to discuss this Byzantium issue and use "ad hominem" attack ?

AND Likbez favorably cites a comment from JohnH – the village idiot who loves to writes all sorts of stupid stuff at Mark Thoma's place!

The idea that in democratic societies the intelligence agencies tend to escape the control of executive branch and abuse their capabilities (" the tail start wagging the dog") is not new.

So the variation of this pretty established idea raised in JohnH post is not something to complain about. It is an interesting hypothesis that might or might not be true but definitely deserve consideration. In short it can be refined to the following statement: "only candidates with enough compromising material in the hands of intelligence agencies are allowed to be elected."

I do not subscribe to it and believe other considerations were at the core of launching of the color revolution against Trump. But the whole Pike commission was about abuse of power by CIA. And remember that none of the US presidents was able to remove J. Edgar Hoover, who dies in this position, so such methods were used in the past.

In this sense the love of Mueller demonstrated by many commenters in this blog looks slightly misplaced and can be justified only on the grounds "the end justifies the means" Which is a pretty slippery slope.

Currently both CIA and FBI are definitely over-politicized with FBI assuming the role of "kingmaker" in 2016 elections, pushing Sanders under the bus by exonerating Hillary. If you do not know or do not understand this established and pretty much undisputable historical fact that I can't help. FBI elected Trump. As simple as that.

As for JohnH, do you mean comments like this one?

JohnH -> kurt, April 19, 2019 at 07:13 AM

Funny! kurt has no idea what the Mueller Report says but Glenn Greenwald has dissected it:

"The key fact is this: Mueller – contrary to weeks of false media claims – did not merely issue a narrow, cramped, legalistic finding that there was insufficient evidence to indict Trump associates for conspiring with Russia and then proving their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That would have been devastating enough to those who spent the last two years or more misleading people to believe that conspiracy convictions of Trump's closest aides and family members were inevitable. But his mandate was much broader than that: to state what did or did not happen.

That's precisely what he did: Mueller, in addition to concluding that evidence was insufficient to charge any American with crimes relating to Russian election interference, also stated emphatically in numerous instances that there was no evidence – not merely that there was insufficient evidence to obtain a criminal conviction – that key prongs of this three-year-old conspiracy theory actually happened. As Mueller himself put it: "in some instances, the report points out the absence of evidence or conflicts in the evidence about a particular fact or event."

https://theintercept.com/2019/04/18/robert-mueller-did-not-merely-reject-the-trumprussia-conspiracy-theories-he-obliterated-them/

Enough of the sour grapes. Hillary lost. Time for Democrats to adopt a positive agenda to cure what ails the country if they're even capable of anything beyond blaming Republicans for their incompetence.

And the following

JohnH -> Christopher H . April 18, 2019 at 03:56 PM

After the Trump-Putin conspiracy cratered, Democrats fixed on Barr–why won't he release the report? They were livid, because supposedly Barr was hiding something.

Now that the report has been released, Democrats will have new ammunition, which they will ingeniously distort to conflate with the discredited Trump-Putin conspiracy:

"See, we were right!!!" they will howl until election day "it's all Republicans' fault!!!" Not that anyone cares.

Of course, Trump has his own conspiracy now who put Trump-Putin in to motion, and did they violate the law. No matter, Trump will bask in his victimhood and probably win in 2020, since Trump-Putin exposed Democrats as being even less credible than Trump, the serial liar.

And of course, nothing will get done. Pelosi will get miniscule changes done to Obamacare and crow, "See? We can do it!" Of course, the Senate will have nothing of it, so Pelosi's vast accomplishments will go for naught, which she counted on, since the miniscule changes were nothing more than electioneering voter bait. No one will care.

Corrupt, centrist Democrats will demand that voters choose whatever turkeys the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC choose to run in 2020. And Republicans will back Trump.

Plenty of 'entertainment' for the next 18 months, nothing of substance will happen unless Democrats jump on the bandwagon for a Trump war

I think it is pretty legitimate level of discussion and it does not look like he is a rabid Trumpster. Please note "Trump-Putin exposed Democrats as being even less credible than Trump, the serial liar."

[Apr 21, 2019] Muller report implicates Obama administration in total and utter incompetence, if not pandering to the foreign intervention into the USA elections. The latter is called criminal negligence in legal speak.

Highly recommended!
Apr 21, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , April 20, 2019 2:30 am

"Within approximately five hours of Trump's statement, GRU officers targeted for the first time Clinton's personal office. "
The report shows that Russia coordinated with Trump even if he was unaware of it.

Do you understand that you implicate Obama administration in total and utter incompetence, if not pandering to the foreign intervention into the USA elections. The latter is called criminal negligence in legal speak.

So all our three letter agencies with their enormous budgets and staff including NSA which intercepts all incoming/outgoing communications (and probably most internal communications) can't protect the USA elections from interference that they knew about ? Why they did not warn Trump?

Or NSA assumed that it was yet another CIA "training exercise" imposing as Russian hackers?

It not clear why Russia need such a crude methods as, for example, hacking Podesta email via spearfishing (NSA has all the recodings in this case), as you can buy, say a couple of Google engineers for less then a million dollars (many Google engineers hate Google with its cult of performance reviews and know that they are getting much less then their Facebook counterparts, so this might well be not that difficult) and get all you want without extra noise.

Historically Soviet and, especially, East German intelligence were real experts in utilizing "humint". With the crash of neoliberal ideology that probably is easier for Russians now then it was for Soviets or East Germans in 60th-80th.

For example, from my admittedly nonprofessional point of view, the most logical assumption about DNC hack is that it was a mixture of the internal leak (download of the files to the UCB drive) and Crowdstrike false flag operation (cover up operation which included implanting Russian (or Ukrainian) malware from Vault 7 to blame Russians.

And that Gussifer 2.0 was most probably a fake personality created specifically to increase credibility of this false flag operation (see for example http://g-2.space/ and https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/guccifer-2-clinton-foundation-hack-leak/ )

likbez , April 20, 2019 1:12 pm

Arne,

April 20, 2019 11:15 am

"Do you understand that you implicate Obama administration"

They did screw up.

Wrong. The fact that they did not warn/brief Trump suggests that this was an a deliberate and pre-planned attempt to entrap him by initiating Russian contacts by FBI/CIA/MI6 moles

We have some cursory evidence of at least four attempts to link Trump to Russians supposedly conducted by intelligence services ( https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/russiagate/ ):

  1. Moscow Trump Tower set up (via FBI mole Felix Saters), https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/04/the-fbi-tried-and-failed-to-entrap-trump-by-larry-c-johnson.html
  2. DNC email setup (via CIA and FBI contractor Crowdstrike ) https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/04/test-it-yourself-the-2-second-rounding-fact-pattern-in-the-dnc-emails-by-william-binney-and-larry-jo.html
  3. Veselnitskaya Trump tower meeting set up (via MI6 mole Rob Goldstone). https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/04/httpstruepunditcomexclusive-six-u-s-agencies-conspired-to-illegally-wiretap-trump-british-intel-used-as-fr.html
  4. Papadopoulos set up ( via Josef Misfud (MI6) and Stefan Halper (CIA) ). At the time Halper probably was reporting to the current CIA director Gina Haspel who was at this time CIA station chief in GB. She is a Brennan protégé, of recent Skripals dead ducks hoax fame.

Surveillance was specifically established to collect compromising material on Trump and his associates with high level official in Obama administration (and probably Obama himself) playing coordinating role.

Colonel Lang's blog is a good source of information on those issues with posts by former intelligence specialists.

And please note that I am not a Trump supporter. I resent him and his policies.

[Apr 21, 2019] An Empire of Bullshit - Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... The political reality is that Dems don't have nearly enough votes for impeachment, and they don't have a collusion conspiracy to garner more votes. All they have is the detritus of a failed soft coup -- a stink of fecklessness, mendacity, and vulnerability heading into the 2020 election season. ..."
"... "Expectation that Mueller was going to deliver any sort of impeachment evidence was non-existent. We all knew that the Deep State was going to deliver resounding support for the second term candidacy of the sitting incumbent buffoon even if he embarrasses whole nations including that of the USA." ..."
"... The evidence is overwhelming that Trump is a disgusting con-artist and bully who was inserted into office by the Koch brothers and similar moneyed nitwits to transfer yet more wealth and advance their schoolboy Randian agenda. Elizabeth Warren is beginning the calls impeachment. Time to clean the Augean stables. ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | kunstler.com

FincaInTheMountains April 19, 2019 at 10:09 am #

That was far from stupid, that was a formidable attempt of toppling the constitutionally elected US Government.

And it almost succeeded.

P.S. Are Americans so used to attributing ANYTHING to common stupidity?! Hanlon's razor again!!

Ol' Scratch April 19, 2019 at 10:28 am #

That said, one shouldn't discount stupidity either. It seems to be uncommonly common in the empire these days.

TiredOfTheTreadmill April 19, 2019 at 10:49 am #

I like the use of the words "constitutionally elected" to add serious power to the whole affair. In our current world of voter antics by both parties, heavily gerrymandered districts, corporations being considered people, corporate owned politicians who's main concern is their corporate buddies, electronic voting machines with proprietary code nobody can see, Israel's influence completely overlooked as people focus on Russia, etc it seems that stupid covers a lot of ground these days.

But please, take this political moment super seriously until the next political theater grabs everyone's attention. It's sure to make as much of an impact on the average person's life as Reagan's pre-election antics, Clinton's blowjob, etc On to the next thing in ADD nation is the most likely outcome. We will see, I may be wrong.

venuspluto67 April 19, 2019 at 10:26 am #

Oh yes, absolutely. The Russians never would have succeeded in their endeavor had it not been for the DNC's ham-fisted attempt to force the terminally unpopular Clintons down the country's throat for a non-contiguous third term. It was such an epic bungle that of course they're going to want to cast all the blame on the Russians so that they don't look like the freaking idiots they are.

Exscotticus April 19, 2019 at 12:03 pm #

>>> their only beef with him has to be his mannerisms and pedigree

That's easily 50%.

Recall that Obama was the "deporter in chief" long before Trump. Obama was the progenitor of the kids-in-cages deterrent. And nary a peep from his base or the MSM at that time. What little coverage existed was graciously overlooked and forgotten, beguiled as the Dems were by Obama's double-dealing dulcet promises of DACA and amnesty.

Obama was very good at telling people what they wanted to hear, and shielding them from the harsh realities of life. To paraphrase Colbert, "We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to tell us. Those were good times, as far as we knew." Obama was the perfect leader for a nation of adult children obsessed with their mental issues and genitalia.

venuspluto67 April 20, 2019 at 7:18 am #

Obama was a very smooth and genteel agent of empire, where Trump is as a rule very rude and coarse, which is what I believe turned mainstream voters in suburbs and medium-sized cities against him in the last election. But both never hesitated to give the one-percenters most of what these elites wanted, and in the final analysis, that's the only thing that really matters.

Walter B April 19, 2019 at 10:18 am #

"Understand that the Mueller Report itself was the mendacious conclusion to a deceitful investigation, the purpose of which was to conceal the criminal conduct of US government officials meddling in the 2016 election, in collusion with the Hillary Clinton campaign, to derail Mr. Trump's campaign, and then disable him when he managed to win the election. Mr. Mueller was theoretically trying to save the FBI's reputation, but he may have only succeeded in injuring it more gravely."

Yes indeed James, you know this, I know this, and many who post here know this. You always present it all so well, thank you. We will, however, never cease to be plagued by those rabid few that will not and cannot accept it and move on. They will continue to deny and fabricate their own demented unrealities. Facts no longer exist for them for they have been replaced by those delusions that are created by their own, tiny minds. Or planted there by those manipulators that take full advantage of their lack of ability to think for themselves.

The loonies of today do not need facts, nor do they care to do mathematics, work with budgets, or allow themselves to be forced to face any reality that bites them in the ass due to their denial of consequences for their bad choices. Make it up as you go along is the rule of the day and yes Jim, an Empire of Bullshit! Thank you.

montsegur April 20, 2019 at 4:31 am #

The loonies of today do not need facts, -- Walter B

It is (again) that cult-like belief, Walter. When, in early 1945, captured German soldiers brayed their confidence in the ultimate victory of the Third Reich (to howls of GI laughter, I might add) those Germans were displaying a similar cult-like belief. It all fell apart the moment their chosen demigod blew his brains out in preference to being taken prisoner by the Soviet Union.

I wonder at what point will be the "moment it all falls apart" for the radical Left. I don't think they ever considered that the arc of the moral universe might bend around far enough to deal them a profound blow.

Cheers

K-Dog April 19, 2019 at 11:03 am #

The state does not like to be embarrassed so the state now assaults democracy. An Empire of Bullshit is a nice title and this empire is certainly No Place for a Cat .

That is my title.

K-Dog April 19, 2019 at 11:12 am #

The second link is to my webpage but the first is an interview with John Pilger about JA. I have never tried 'record UEL at current time before but lets try it out. It should start out with Lets go to Vault 7

Because what they can do with phones is amazing.

K-Dog April 19, 2019 at 11:18 am #

It worked but I screwed up.. Only this part should have been green Lets go to Vault 7

Because truth be told, if you get on their radar they do a lot more than blow smoke up your ass. They will try and fuck you up.

Janos Skorenzy April 19, 2019 at 9:40 pm #

Using humor to avoid Truth is an American specialty, but common to all dying cultures it would seem. So carry on until you are carried by six and ferried across the Styx. A silver coin should be left in your mouth to pay the boatman, Charon.

Exscotticus April 19, 2019 at 11:18 am #

CNN is desperately trying to be the tail that wags the dog. The political reality is that Dems don't have nearly enough votes for impeachment, and they don't have a collusion conspiracy to garner more votes. All they have is the detritus of a failed soft coup -- a stink of fecklessness, mendacity, and vulnerability heading into the 2020 election season.

benr April 19, 2019 at 11:26 am #

In short after years of telling white people how evil and entitled we are they have suddenly realized they are going down like the Titanic if they don't change course or their narrative and plank platform.

The DNC is the party of old crotchety people pretending to care about the unwashed masses but they are every bit the 1% they disparage so much. Could they finally be understanding they needed the white middle class or will they double down on class warfare and screams of everyone is racists but the DNC supporters?

This deplorable has a huge tub of popcorn and will enjoy watching the DEMS speed up the cycle of eating their own. They discounted the Trumpster and he has been two steps ahead the entire time. It will be funny if he manages to destroy the DNC and they become the next wig or bull moose party in other words a foot note in history. If so good riddance.

venuspluto67 April 19, 2019 at 11:32 am #

The long-and-short of it is that they don't have enough votes in the Senate to impeach Trump, so it's just not going to happen. The Democrats need to focus their efforts on trying not to force another turkey sandwich down the country's throat in 2020. {/cue Joe "Boundary Issues" Biden sniffing and fondling everybody within arm's reach}

Farmer McGregor April 19, 2019 at 11:24 am #

Reading today's post again: " demonstrating what a grievous injury was done to this republic by its own vested authorities." brought something to mind.

Recently watched the first episode of Netflix's "Roman Empire" about how Marcus Aurelius' wife Faustina, when she thought he had died, scampered off to Egypt to schtupp his next-in-charge general in an effort to consolidate her power and keep the empire in family hands. This inspired the general to raise his legions to take Rome. When hubby Marcus turns out to be alive and well she off-ed herself, and Marcus had the general shanked.

Nothing new under the sun.

Ludwig Beck April 19, 2019 at 11:28 am #

The only question I have is who Jim is going to vote for in 2020.

Is Trump really screwing things up worse than say all the previous Presidents going back to Eisenhower? So what if half the country thinks he's a clown.

Walter B April 21, 2019 at 10:07 am #

Yes indeed he did come out and say that and I believe that he also told us who he voted for in 2016 as well. It takes a real man to admit that you voted for an incompetent, though I am certain that we have all done it in our time.

Janos Skorenzy April 20, 2019 at 12:46 pm #

Obviously I should stop saying obviously. Just like all Cretans are liars when they say "I am lying".

Soloview April 19, 2019 at 11:50 am #

I love your petards, Jim Kunstler, but I am not in any way convinced of a grand Trump counter-offensive following the release of the Inspector General's report. Nothing of substance will happen. You are dreaming in Technicolor. The dirty tricks, the brazen scheming to undermine the electoral process, the swindles and collusion between Obamite (as in "termite") WH and the Clintonchiks (as in "apparatchik") will be drowned in the howls and hysterics of the non-Fox media and the justice machinery's grasp of long-term self-interest, that is, past MAGA, which it knows is plain ol' OTBR (Orange Toupee Bullshit Revolution).

If anyone gets indicted, rest assured, it will be second-rate bit players, whose names the public will not even recognize (perhaps with the exception of Andy McCabe or Peter Strzok). In other words, it will not be carnage, and it will not reach the heights of Loretta Lynch, or Allah forbid, Barack Obama. That level political rot will be protected by the standard teflon: "acted legally, and in good faith, on the information available". And that will be that. The Republic will continue to be dismantled at the speed of God's windmills.

100th Avatar April 19, 2019 at 12:05 pm #

"Let congress put on a carnival of its own now. It will be greeted like a TV commercial for a hemorrhoid remedy while the real national psychodrama plays out in grand juries and courtrooms, demonstrating what a grievous injury was done to this republic by its own vested authorities."

Just another banana republic, but instead of military juntas and generals and police forces we have parties and lawyers and media. Same sad spectacle. Different actors. Exceptionalism indeed.

venuspluto67 April 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm #

John Michael Greer does as decent job of discussing the hyper-subjectivity fueling, among other things, the Russia hysteria among urban establishment-liberals in his blog-post this week .

EvelynV April 19, 2019 at 1:15 pm #

I guess I'm kind of an ends justifies the means kind of person. Whatever it takes to dampen the effects of or rid ourselves of the human wreckage occupying the white house and all the other places he has installed his corrupt and incompetent stooges is the lesser evil.

If you don't think Trump's initial response to learning he was going to be investigated was glaring evidence he knew he'd been guilty of more than we'll ever know then you are devoid of any perspicacity whatsoever.

James Hansen April 19, 2019 at 2:31 pm #

Six terms of massively incompetent presidents will sink the U.S. Trump is increasing the national debt more than Obama and when we default because the interest is too high, bad things will happen.

China will come over here and buy everything it wants like it is a yard sale. We will turn into Greece where everything of value was sold off to the highest bidder.

James Hansen April 19, 2019 at 4:18 pm #

I am not talking about the small stuff, I am talking about buying Central Park or the electric grid for the whole East Coast. Or a few National Parks, thats what happened in Greece and it could happen here also.

The caliber of our politicians gives me confidence this will come about.

EvelynV April 19, 2019 at 2:33 pm #

You shouldn't get your hopes up about Trump winning in 2020. Only half the eligible-to-vote millennials voted in 2016. My guess is a substantial percentage of the ones who didn't were disgusted rightfully disgusted by Hillary. They will be older and wiser now and something tells me the mid-terms were a foreshadowing of what's to come. Of the millennials who did vote 2/3 voted for Hillary.

Meanwhile I'm guessing a fair number of white fat asses who voted for trump are or will be taking their dirt naps next time around. Thx for the compliment.

James Hansen April 19, 2019 at 11:42 pm #

Contrary to what you might think I have a very low opinion of Obama. He put the future of this country in great danger by increasing the national debt by a staggering 10 Trillion dollars. He passed and expanded the Patriot Act , he signed the NDAA and Felony Riot right before he left office.

He condoned all the war crimes and black torture sites of the Bush administration and he gave a pass to all the corruption that lead to that banking and housing collapse.

He is also a war criminal by expanding and continuing the wars and adding several more to the list.

Since 2000 the U.S. has been going downhill because of the shitty Neo Conservative and Neo Liberal administrations. I do not see it getting better and if you think Trump will leave us better off than when he started you are kidding yourself.

RB April 19, 2019 at 3:45 pm #

As long as we have a federal judiciary that has power far beyond its role in government, then Trump is not safe nor any conservative in particular. When a federal judge in HI can make a ruling that affects the entire body politic, then we are ruled by unelected men and women who respond to their own moods and philosophies and political bent.

There must be a new special counsel now who will pursue the lawless who in fact attempted a soft coup. However, with the various judges who fit the bill above, nothing will come of it. I cannot imagine Trump running for a second term and if he does, it will be a fiasco counting the votes around the nation.

benr April 20, 2019 at 12:18 pm #

Yes actually I have.
How you can say it does not affect people in a negative manner is why you are SO out of touch with reality.

BuckP April 19, 2019 at 4:44 pm #

Rome burns while Nero fiddles!
America disintegrates while Trump tweets!

While we are constantly bombardeded, 24-hours a day, with Russigate hysteria like a long-running boring, TV soap opera that has gotten stale, predictable and uninteresting, the world teeters on a precipice.The world's fiat dollar standard monetary system and the corresponding petrodollar are on borrowed time. This system no longer works for the rest of the world and they have grown weary of us, the USA, claiming to be the world's richest and most prosperous nation due to our ability to endlessly print currency without corresponding hyperinflation.

The new international monetary standard will include gold along with other commodities. Whether all this can be done peacefully is anyone's guess. With the world's largest most expensive,military, I doubt, we the USA, will cede our top perch without a fight. Soon,the rich little kiddies won't have to cheat to get into elite colleges because all the youg'ns will be drafted into the military.

"Be the first one on your block to have your boy (girl) come home in a box " -- - Country Joe and the Fish. Fighting for oligarchs and their ill-begotten dollars is such a noble cause. Sure???$700 insulin?? Because they care about you! What a laugh!

"War is a racket." -- General Smedly Butler. BTW, Trump vetoed the Congressional withdrawl of support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen because they have us by the balls due to the petrodollar. Ouch!

tucsonspur April 19, 2019 at 5:27 pm #

"Let congress put on a carnival of its own now. It will be greeted like a TV commercial for a hemorrhoid remedy while the real national psychodrama plays out in grand juries and courtrooms, demonstrating what a grievous injury was done to this republic by its own vested authorities."

The question is how many of the almost 66 million Hillary voters will see it that way. And they are still after Trump, like dissolute children deprived of a wills' fortune, seeking vengeance on the rightful recipients.

We need convictions of those involved in the attempted coup. The daily disclosure of the subterfuge used by these perpetraitors may just drive home the point to enough of the former Hillary voters that the Democratic party is one of deceit and delusion, making them defect. Timing is essential.

Slick jig Obama must also pay for his collusion. That Harvard slickster, that Hillary tripster, that hoopin' hipster.

Trump currently peaks on the durometer. Tough guy. Dishes it out but also takes it.

MAGA (jail the perpetraitors) not MAKA

No, don't remember ever seeing it. A spur original? Or did some other genius already think of it?

Farmer Joe April 19, 2019 at 6:32 pm #

I just had a thought I'd like to get feedback on. What if the Russia collusion hysteria is symptomatic of peak oil. A thesis of JHKs Long Emergency is that things organized at the mass scale will fail. Are we first seeing the failure of dysfunctional mass scales endeavors? Are these the last desperate gasps of an ideology which has failed to survive the hardships of life? The dysfunctional policies emanating from it are certainly losing support here in Washington, or at least that's the vibe I get. I wonder how others are experiencing this. In summary, is the failure of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory and the obvious failure of policy regarding homelessness and economics the flushing out of detritus made necessary by a lowered EROI?

montsegur April 20, 2019 at 4:19 am #

Hello Farmer Joe,

Good thought. I'm not sure if is "symptomatic of peak oil", but my take is that it is a form of mass delusion brought on by a profound disconnection from reality.

You've probably heard of the KISS Principle. Could it be that the dysfunction we're witnessing is the going-off-the-rails of the overly complex, too large ( mass scale ) systems that have been built up since the mid-20th century or so? KISS was not adhered to, thus we now get to experience what the "Stupid" in that acronym implied. Murphy's Law could also be invoked, especially as increasing the complexity of anything is a great way of seeing Murphy in action.

I can well imagine that people in rural environments will be the first to recognize the dysfunction and adapt their behavior in order to survive. Particularly as a talent for agitated fantasizing does not get one far in conditions of rough terrain or inclement weather conditions familiar to rural dwellers.

Cheers

Robert White April 19, 2019 at 7:34 pm #

Praetorian guards like Mueller, Comey, et al. always conveniently screw up any & all investigations into White House executive so that the purpose of the executive branches of government is always to serve the office of the president even if the actual president is a first class boor & confidence man at face value.

Jerome Powell knows enough to stop talking about interest rate rises whilst the conman in office wants to keep inflating assets for the wealthy as he goes into election for the second term. Rarely do we ever evidence an incumbent president lose to an opposition upstart. Republican Party voters would riot in the streets if their incumbent president was ever indicted on any sort of evidence that the majority voter would not accept as fact or truth/common knowledge. Praetorian guards are not paid to undermine the administrative side of the legislative branch as they are merely footmen for the government de jour.

Expectation that Mueller was going to deliver any sort of impeachment evidence was non-existent. We all knew that the Deep State was going to deliver resounding support for the second term candidacy of the sitting incumbent buffoon even if he embarrasses whole nations including that of the USA.

Orange Jesus is and always will be a complete bonehead no matter what endorsements he receives from the prosecutorial branches of governance. Will equally dumb ass Americans vote him in for a second round of international lunacy -- we don't know quite yet but I, for one, am expecting that the Democrats will knuckle under and run with another candidate or two that cannot seem to get traction with a potential second majority Republican win for 2020. Bernie Sanders is the frontrunner and AOC is the running antagonist that will be played off of The Duck for the vote drain.

Republicans have their work cut out for them this upcoming election, methinks. It's not quite the cakewalk that everyone thinks it's going to be, eh. The Democrats have to come out swinging violently for this election. They will be in a kick ass mood for sure. The Duck will not paddle smoothly across the pond to election this time round as the Democrats will look pretty lame if they don't throw up roadblocks of some sort aside from that which the even lamer Praetorian guard throws up.

Mueller knows how to cash a government paycheque too, eh. Comey did not care about his government paycheque as much as Mueller cares about his.

RW

tucsonspur April 19, 2019 at 8:18 pm #

"Expectation that Mueller was going to deliver any sort of impeachment evidence was non-existent. We all knew that the Deep State was going to deliver resounding support for the second term candidacy of the sitting incumbent buffoon even if he embarrasses whole nations including that of the USA."

I think I get it. The Deep State all along wanted Trump in, while just pretending to want him out while staging a phony two year investigation. Jeez, they sure fooled me.

venuspluto67 April 20, 2019 at 5:21 am #

I think this is mostly accurate. "The Duck" is giving the One-Percenters whatever they want, and that's the only thing that really matters in the final analysis. I think the Democrats will lose 2020 because they will insist yet again on putting up the guy least likely to win (in this case, Joe "Mr. Handsy" Biden), and even though the superdelegate system has been changed so that the DNC poobahs aren't guaranteed to get the candidate they want, they can still rig primaries the way they did for Madame Hillary.

JohnAZ April 20, 2019 at 10:47 am #

The Dems will lose because they are totally based on a lie and are the most corrupt political entity that this country has had to endure. Liberalism is a methodology for the 1%to exert control over the rest of us. "We are smarter and better than you and you need us to make your decisions for you in a socialistic basis. The DNC is the most un-American organization that this country has ever experienced. The fact that they do not even let their own folks compete fairly for nomination shows how manipulative their entire agenda is.

The idea that Trump is an agent of the Deep State is ludicrous, as stupid as that he is an agent of Russia. My God, people, a group of 18 Democrats could not find an indication of collusion by him. Trump wants to destroy the Deep State to free up the nation from the imprisonment of this growing web of corruption and financial manipulation. It kills me to see these nickel and dime Democrats state that two years of investigation by an anti-Trump coalition is bogus and that the DOJ doesn't know what it is talking about. The fact that this is getting press coverage as being true points to how stupidified this country has become. Listening to Elizabeth Warren, a proven liar and fraud agent can dictate that the Mueller report is wrong, shows how horrendous the political problem has become.

The entire agenda of the Left is built on falsehoods and lies. As more and more of it comes to light, and the last two years has been one example after another of lies by the party and the press. Compared to the DNC, Trump is an Honest Abe.

montsegur April 20, 2019 at 4:01 am #

What a circus of perfidious freakery!

Jim,

Good wrap-up of this odious waste of time, focus, and millions of dollars.

I have become rather amazed by the notion of the "media" as some sort of watchdog the fabled "Fourth Estate".

A fable it is, and a dangerous one in which to believe.

The media: a group of corporations which are politically invested in various directions, although the biggest of these corporations seem overwhelmingly affiliated with the political left at the moment.

Now -- we don't expect much in the way of socially responsible behavior from other corporations, do we? So why the Hell is there this notion that the corporate media is going to somehow, magically, be socially responsible, when that has nothing to do with the driving force of corporate actions -- their bottom line ?

Just like the old fables that banks, hospitals, and universities were somehow above the money-grubbing fray they were special somehow, not really like those nasty corporations. Except they weren't above the fray. We gave them, in older days, unwonted trust because we were nudged by authorities to think of them as deserving of said trust. Executive summary: they weren't.

Is it really any wonder that so many people are skeptics and cynics these days? Too much of The Establishment has proven to be a con, or, if once reputable, has been corrupted.

In conscious echo of the title you gave this blog, Jim our weary nation casts its eyes about, but we see only shit, bullshit, and more shit, in an apparently vain hope that something of value may yet be seen.

Cheers

RIB April 20, 2019 at 4:46 am #

Meanwhile Rachel Maddow had the balls to confab in prime time with disgraced former FBI mandarin Andy McCabe, officially identified as a liar by his own colleagues at the agency.

Correction: Rachel Maddow has balls: TWO OF THEM.

DEFCON1 April 20, 2019 at 6:46 am #

Hard to believe this is the same Jim Kunstler I first became aware of in Curtis White's book 'The Middle Mind' He has become a sad shill and champion gas-lighter for this horrendous mistake of a president. Worse yet, he surrounds himself with this sad echo chamber of a forum – God only knows where all these Trump apologists come from.

The evidence is overwhelming that Trump is a disgusting con-artist and bully who was inserted into office by the Koch brothers and similar moneyed nitwits to transfer yet more wealth and advance their schoolboy Randian agenda. Elizabeth Warren is beginning the calls impeachment. Time to clean the Augean stables.

Ol' Scratch April 20, 2019 at 8:47 am #

Doubly sad, because although all that might be true, the alternative at the time was even worse . No telling what we'll get next. Impeachment might feel good, but it ain't going to heal what ails us.

VCS April 21, 2019 at 11:28 am #

Defcon and Scratch comments – taken together – summarize it all accurately.

MrMangoOnMyShoulder April 20, 2019 at 10:57 am #

What a colossal waste of time. Talk about obstruction. The game has gotten so bad that they're now making it official party policy to unendingly investigate on the grounds that they "may find something impeachable", all the while proclaiming it to be an undeniable surety. Incredibly sad and annoying.

That said, the beleagured Repubs would have done the same (and most definitely will again when it's their turn). Certainly can't just let government operate for a while. Must block, accuse and speculate at every turn.

Naturally, at the federal level they're all self-serving, hypocritical crooks anyway just saying this clown show is the new normal and it pisses me off.

SoftStarLight April 20, 2019 at 12:17 pm #

But it isn't surprising really. The hypocritical crooks will be able to do their dirty work without much interference. And they are very open about it. They know that tattletales and whistleblowers will be buried under jails so they do what they want.

BackRowHeckler April 20, 2019 at 1:25 pm #

Let them vote for impeachment, I hope they do. While the Dems are flubbing around with impeachment for the rest of the year they won't be passing laws designed to F-k over white people. And good luck for those dissemblers to get more than 1 or 2 Republican Senators to vote their way, which will be cancelled out by a few Dems who vote no.

Brh

BackRowHeckler April 20, 2019 at 1:36 pm #

Senators Joe Manchin and John Tester 2 Dems who most likely will vote against impeachment.

Impeachment will ba a colossal waste of time and a big CNN-MSNBC-DNC-US Congress circle jerk.

Brh

MrMangoOnMyShoulder April 20, 2019 at 3:13 pm #

Love it. They should just rename Congress the Houses of Circle Jerk.

volodya April 20, 2019 at 11:10 am #

It could be that the media will be whipped like dogs.

Yet Judy Woodruff and company seem not to have gotten the memo. On PBS Newshour, it was all gleeful breathlessness at the "roadmap" that Mueller provided congress for action of its own, impeachment I suppose, though I don't know how that's gonna come about given that the senate is Republican controlled. It's not only PBS, other msm were talking the same talk.

How does congress make any headway given that Mueller's 2 year campaign of investigation and intimidation came up goose-eggs? The whole intent was to unseat Trump. They failed.

The 2016 campaign was useful in that it catapulted the Republican Party and its agenda onto the garbage heap of failed arrangements. The question now is what takes its place. After Trump's departure, it could happen that the Jeff Flakes and the Mitt Romneys and Paul Ryans try to make a comeback. I mean, there's work to do, a lot of it, there's pension funds to plunder, social security to privatize or, better still, eliminate. You know what they'll say, they need to slay the deficit. And they need to eliminate growth killing taxes. They'll say that companies and the wealthy are too highly taxed, and they'll have the usual shills from the academic world to mouth the right words. You might hope that the Republican Party's dying gasp was their massive corporate tax cut. We can only pray.

Democrats have a shot in 2020 to do what Republican voters already did. The question is will they grab the bull by the horns. If they focus on the material interests of the American worker with a credible agenda they have got a chance but early indications are not encouraging, it looks like a lot more screaming and shouting about Trump, and more tedium of trannies, gays and migrants. So if 2020 is a do-over with a lot of deploring the Deplorables, identity politics shout-outs, while catering to elite business interests, then Democrats just dig the grave deeper.

MrMangoOnMyShoulder April 20, 2019 at 3:23 pm #

Yes, but no one was indicted on charges related to the subject of the investigation. They were either unrelated/tangential financial crimes or lying to the FBI during said investigation (which would not be hard for any of us to eventually do over an investigation of years+ duration. They have their ways. Have you ever spent hours in a room with a lawyer grilling you?).

They weren't indicted for the crimes that the investigation was commissioned to search for. Still indictments, yes. And they have to take their punishment accordingly. But it makes a difference to me.

Mueller Indictments

volodya April 20, 2019 at 12:34 pm #

That's my view also, that a few dozen outlandishly wealthy men (the Donor Class or the Davos Class, take your pick) call the shots and it's all in service of their own fortunes.

The degradation of not only the US but of much of the Western world didn't come about by accident, nor in secret. It all unfolded in public, right under our noses.

As a result French Yellow Vests are still out in the streets, Ford Nation not only won an election in Ontario (population 14.5 million), but now also in Alberta (population 4.3 million) with the land-slide win by Jason Kenney, the Brits voted Brexit, the Italians did what they weren't supposed to and voted in the populist Northern League or Lega Nord or whatever it is they call themselves nowadays.

I would urge – cough – "progressives" to smell the coffee but I know they won't. They'll insist it's racism and stupidity behind it all. That's the stock answer and they won't change.

Misdiagnosis can be as calamitous in the political realm as it is in the medical realm. But if they insist on misdiagnosis, then so be it.

[Apr 21, 2019] Mueller went out of his way to leave the obstruction sword hanging over Trump`s head so the political infighting does not end.

Apr 21, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Alves , 21 April 2019 at 04:00 AM

The most farcical thing in the Mueller report is that he did not fill obstruction charges or even recommend that it should be filled, but yet he did not "exonerate" Trump.

In other words, Mueller did not think that he had enough to make an obstruction case in the courts of justice, and keep in mind that an indictment requires only "probable cause", not the "beyond a reasonable doubt" required for a criminal conviction, but nevertheless he went out of his way to leave the obstruction sword hanging over Trump`s head so the political infighting does not end.

IMO, that is the biggest evidence that the whole thing was an attempt at facilitating a political power grab instead of a serious criminal investigation.

[Apr 21, 2019] Man Cited As Trump's Russian Link Actually Works For The FBI Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... Meanwhile, Sater is still working for the FBI , according to two current FBI agents. Moreover, he has relationships with at least six members of Robert Mueller's team, "some going back more than 10 years." ..."
Mar 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Felix Sater, the man at the center of a controversial email "tying" President Trump to Russia while trying to work a business deal, has come forward in a comprehensive BuzzFeed News Exposé, which if Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Anthony Cormier and co-author Jason Leopold hadn't verified - nobody would believe.

Sater went from a "Wall Street wunderkind" working at Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, to getting barred from the securities industry over a barroom brawl which led to a year in prison, to facilitating a $40 million pump-and-dump stock scheme for the New York mafia, to working telecom deals in Russia - where the FBI and CIA tapped him as an undercover intelligence asset who was told by his handler " I want you to understand: If you're caught, the USA is going to disavow you and, at best, you get a bullet in the head ."

... ... ...

Meanwhile, Sater is still working for the FBI , according to two current FBI agents. Moreover, he has relationships with at least six members of Robert Mueller's team, "some going back more than 10 years."

To this day, Sater continues to cooperate with the FBI and Justice Department, he said in his statement to the House Intelligence Committee. He wouldn't disclose additional details, except to say that he works on "international matters." Two US officials confirmed Sater continues to be a reliable asset.

As for his regular life, when he relocated back to the US in 2010, he recalled, "Donald said, 'Where have you been?'" Sater said Trump asked him to join the Trump Organization. "That's when I became senior advisor to him," he said. The Trump Organization and the White House declined to comment. - BuzzFeed

In effect, Sater - at least according to BuzzFeed , is more or less a rockstar opportunist spy with a shady past, who redeemed himself as an asset for the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI. During the course of his work for the agencies, all unpaid, BuzzFeed confirmed the following exploits:

[Apr 21, 2019] Bernie Steals the 'No More Wars' Issue From Trump by Patrick J. Buchanan

Notable quotes:
"... Much like Brexit, an antiwar/anit interventionist in the USA has nowhere to go. Both parties have substantial hawkish wings. Any move to peace/antiintervention by the party in power is immediately attacked by the party out of power. MSDNC is practically howling for war with Russia. ..."
"... Of course Trump wants to take the war side. Saudi wants war. Israel wants war. Nothing else counts. ..."
"... Tulsi won't surrender. But she obviously won't win the nomination either. ..."
"... Trump may have said 'no more wars' but he never acted on it. So, someone else came along and picked up the discarded slogan. It's not stealing ..."
"... I wish Tulsi could get more traction. I voted trump believing his anti war statements. Hate his veto of Yemen resolution ..."
"... don't underestimate the perpetual war power's grip on the Democrat party. Pro war liberals like the NYtimes aren't going away in fact they are getting louder. ..."
"... It is remarkable that neither Buchanan nor Khanna would ever consider the necessity to impeach Presidents like Bush, Obama, and Trump for their unconstitutional and criminal acts of aggressive war – or the responsibility of The People to replace the Congress of incumbents with representatives that have not already repeatedly and persistently broken their oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution. ..."
"... Instead, Buchanan delivers yet another installment of the Incompetence Dodge: if only the Czar wasn't a sociopathic criminal! If only he listened to us, his loyal supporters! ..."
"... Sanders never "stole" anything, Buchanan. What you're (slowly, dimly) realizing is that your boy Trump never cared a speck for a more sane, less bellicose U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... I will never understand why Trump cultists ever believed he did. A clown who's big complaint about the Iraq war is that "we didn't take the oil" is an unlikely peace advocate. But to be a member of the Trump cult you have to engage in massive psychological projection, daily. ..."
Apr 19, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
"The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars . I agree with that," Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday's town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Then, turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added: "Mister President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country." Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress. But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a "dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities." With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump's veto, that should have been the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the "no-more-wars" theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia. Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president? Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing "Trump's endless wars" in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq. In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost. Yet in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq war and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia's Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars. Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020 -- Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O'Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker -- not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become. Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and reimposed severe sanctions.

He declared Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, to which Tehran has responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization. Ominously, the IRGC and its trained Shiite militias in Iraq are in close proximity to U.S. troops.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, moved the U.S. embassy there, closed the consulate that dealt with Palestinian affairs, cut off aid to the Palestinians, recognized Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967, and gone silent on Bibi Netanyahu's threat to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the "right-wing" Netanyahu regime. Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there. Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan's 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles. When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Venezuela -- ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts -- Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to "get out."

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel, and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party and by Sanders, who voted "no" on the Iraq war that Biden supported. The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting towards the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing. And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

Prediction: by the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the "no more wars" political high ground that candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.


Adriana , says: April 18, 2019 at 9:04 pm

By the way, Pat, do you know that Jimmy Carter did NOT get the US into any war, nor any "intervention"? Have you showed him any appretiation for it? Or it was a time when you were all for it as long as it was against Commies?
treehugger , says: April 18, 2019 at 9:21 pm
Prediction: by the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the "no more wars" political high ground that candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

Agree. But don't worry. On the second ballot, the super delegates will override the obvious preference of voters for a "no more wars" candidate and give it to Biden. Who will lose.

john , says: April 18, 2019 at 10:18 pm
Much like Brexit, an antiwar/anit interventionist in the USA has nowhere to go. Both parties have substantial hawkish wings. Any move to peace/antiintervention by the party in power is immediately attacked by the party out of power. MSDNC is practically howling for war with Russia.
SteveK9 , says: April 18, 2019 at 10:35 pm
No one to blame but himself. The anti-Russia insanity made it hard for him to stick to that part of his program, but there is a lot more he could have done, starting by not surrounding himself with war-mongering idiots like Pompeo and Bolton.
Jim Smith , says: April 19, 2019 at 2:57 am
I mean, can we actually be honest here? The Neocons simply do not see Sanders as a genuine threat. He has an unfair advantage. He can, for instance, criticize American foreign policy without being accused of anti-semitism.

Those who wish Trump had maintained a more maverick stance of foreign policy should ask themselves if they supported him energetically enough. He's a survivor first and foremost. If you aren't working to offer him a legit life preserver, this is all on you.

polistra , says: April 19, 2019 at 3:57 am
Of course Trump wants to take the war side. Saudi wants war. Israel wants war. Nothing else counts.

The question is whether Bernie can stick with the anti-war side, given his surrender to Hillary in 2016.

Tulsi won't surrender. But she obviously won't win the nomination either.

Kent , says: April 19, 2019 at 6:53 am
Mr. Buchanan nailed this one.
Christian J Chuba , says: April 19, 2019 at 8:03 am
>>When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Venezuela<<<

And this is why Trump is going to win on the 'national security' issue. As long as U.S. troops don't actually fight and die in foreign countries the voters love U.S. 'being tough with its enemies'.
As long as Trump confines his actions to tormenting 3rd world countries, like Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Syria, and Yemen with sanctions and military assistance to other belligerents any opposition will be portrayed as 'hating or apologizing for America the force for good'.

Being objective, what is more provocative, sending a small number of specialists to prevent cyber sabotage for the standing govt, or trying to install a new President, seizing their assets and preventing their oil trade. We are the bullies and the day when we finally squander our wealth we will find out that we have no friends despite being an alleged force for good.

Scott in MD , says: April 19, 2019 at 9:05 am
I thought that we determined a long time ago that taking something out of another persons trash can was not stealing. Trump may have said 'no more wars' but he never acted on it. So, someone else came along and picked up the discarded slogan. It's not stealing
Patrick Constantine , says: April 19, 2019 at 10:34 am
I wish Tulsi could get more traction. I voted trump believing his anti war statements. Hate his veto of Yemen resolution. I still defend trump from unfair attacks but am not a supporter any more.

Pat – good analysis. But don't underestimate the perpetual war power's grip on the Democrat party. Pro war liberals like the NYtimes aren't going away in fact they are getting louder.

cka2nd , says: April 19, 2019 at 10:43 am
Adriana "By the way, Pat, do you know that Jimmy Carter did NOT get the US into any war, nor any 'intervention'? Have you showed him any appretiation [sic] for it? Or it was a time when you were all for it as long as it was against Commies?"

No, but he did initiate funding for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan BEFORE the Soviet "invasion," specifically to incite the Soviets to invade and get caught in their own Vietnam War-like quagmire. President Carter succeeded in that effort, but the world has suffered the unintended consequences of US funding for jihadist militants ever since.

Oh, and the Carter Administration also continued to recognize the Khmer Rouge as the "legitimate" government of Cambodia after the Vietnamese Stalinists drove them from power in 1978. I'm sure this was partly done with Cold War calculations in mind – US ally Communist China was an enemy to both the Soviet Union and its Vietnamese client state, and the Khmer Rouge were clients of China – but I do not doubt that sticking it to the Vietnamese who had so recently embarrassed the US played a part in that policy decision, too.

The Reagan Administration maintained both policies, by the way, by continuing to fund the Mujahideen and to uphold the fiction that the Khmer Rouge was still Cambodia's legitimate government (kind of like the fiction that Juan Guaidó is Venezuela's "legitimate" president).

baldy , says: April 19, 2019 at 2:04 pm
@Jim Smith

You are right, if I had just more energetically supported Trump he wouldn't be giving Israel and Saudi Arabia everything they want and trying to start a war with Iran. That poor guy. Would just saying nice things about him have been enough or should I have completely drank the koolade, MAGA hat and all?

Regarding Pat's argument as usual there is some truth here, but he keeps acting like this is a complete surprise and that Trump has "become" a hawk. Yes some of the campaign promises mentioned are accurate but he was talking about blowing up Iranian ships and tearing up the nuclear agreement on the campaign trail. He was never an anti-war candidate, he was just anti-whatever the previous presidents did candidate. Besides one statement about being even-handed there was every indication he was going to be at least as reflexively pro-Israel as any previous president and unsurprisingly he is more. Paul was the only anti-interventionist candidate and anyone who thinks otherwise was either willfully ignorant or not paying attention.

bgone , says: April 19, 2019 at 2:32 pm
"Trump's veto is an unconstitutional act." https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/04/americas-war-in-yemen-is-plainly-unconstitutional/

"We must override his veto." https://twitter.com/RoKhanna/status/1118307049891344384

It is remarkable that Buchanan considers Trump's veto to be constitutional, but then, so does Khanna. It is remarkable that neither Buchanan nor Khanna would ever consider the necessity to impeach Presidents like Bush, Obama, and Trump for their unconstitutional and criminal acts of aggressive war – or the responsibility of The People to replace the Congress of incumbents with representatives that have not already repeatedly and persistently broken their oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution.

Instead, Buchanan delivers yet another installment of the Incompetence Dodge: if only the Czar wasn't a sociopathic criminal! If only he listened to us, his loyal supporters!

It is difficult to decide which kind of unprincipled opportunist is worse – the kind that successfully profits from Trump, like McConnell, or the kind that hopes in vain for their paleolithic cause to benefit.

Francis Flynn , says: April 19, 2019 at 3:13 pm
Besides breaking his "no more wars" campaign promises, Trump has not built a wall, jailed Hillary, capped the deficit, re-instated Glass-Steagall, overturned Obamacare, controlled the cost of prescription drugs, de-funded Planned Parenthood, nor pushed legislation for the infrastructure of the country. The potential "peace president" in 2016 is nothing more than another "perpetual war president".
sglover , says: April 19, 2019 at 3:19 pm
Sanders never "stole" anything, Buchanan. What you're (slowly, dimly) realizing is that your boy Trump never cared a speck for a more sane, less bellicose U.S. foreign policy.

I will never understand why Trump cultists ever believed he did. A clown who's big complaint about the Iraq war is that "we didn't take the oil" is an unlikely peace advocate. But to be a member of the Trump cult you have to engage in massive psychological projection, daily.

Of course in Buchanan's case there's another excuse: He's been so dazzled by Trump's relentless bigotry that everything else, every lie, every cheat, is simply a second- or third-tier concern, something to explain away. How many pathetic exercises in blame-shifting has The American Con published under Buchanan's byline since 2016? And all signs are that they'll keep right on with it until the happy day when Trump is finally gone.

[Apr 21, 2019] As a journalist, I find it quite amazing that there's no question raised with Pelosi, with Schumer, with any of the leading Democrats. What is going on? You attack Trump for everything. How come you don't attack him for giving Netanyahu a blank check to do what he wants?

Apr 21, 2019 | www.truthdig.com

So, you have a very odd circumstance where we have a lot of discussion about Russia's influence here. They have got nothing. They have sanctions, nothing. As a journalist, I find it quite amazing that there's no question raised with Pelosi, with Schumer, with any of the leading Democrats. What is going on? You attack Trump for everything. How come you don't attack him for giving Netanyahu a blank check to do what he wants? It must be frustrating to an observer like yourself, no?

[Apr 21, 2019] Mueller--Disingenuous and Dishonest by Larry C Johnson

Apr 21, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

turcopolier , 20 April 2019 at 10:44 PM

IMO the FBI leadership, Clapper, Brennan and his flunkies were working with the Brits at some senior level of their IO apparat to screw Trump. Mueller's testimony before the Congress should be revalatory of his true position.
falcemartello , 20 April 2019 at 11:28 PM
Don't hold your breath .The so called deep state which in reality are our plutocratic oligarchical class that win. Look at the new boss same as the old boss.
It was obvious from way back in June 2016 when most of the fabricated /novella known as the Steele Dossier was floating around and the role Fusion GPS played in the Clinton POTUS machine. There is a lot out there but as per usual smokey mirrors and deception.

I live you with this one thought.

Look at all the hair triggers that have been laid out with the TRUMP regime since he bacame POTUS with regards to the ME and the Russian Federation . THe IRGC being labelled a terrorist organization and further more both Dems and Repub are trying to introduce a bill that labels the Russian Federation as a sponsor of terrorism.
You just can't make this stuff up. Least we forget replacing the meme of ASSAD HAS TO GO TO MADURRO HAS TO GO.

War is a racket and as per usual we the sheeple just fall for it.

Ret. Col Wilkerson lays all out at last years Israeli influence conference.

Mahmood Saadi said in reply to falcemartello ... , 21 April 2019 at 07:53 AM
Indeed, dishonesty seems somewhat institutionalized at this height..

https://twitter.com/JonathanLalon12/status/1119251603716894720

Trump is not free from illegal use of US institutions against political "opponents", see the last by Wayne Madsen.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/04/21/trump-attempt-weaponize-nsa-against-his-enemies.html

Rick Merlotti , 20 April 2019 at 11:51 PM
The Special Relationship is hopefully entering the divorce stage. None too soon. Great work, Mr. Johnson.
English Outsider -> Rick Merlotti ... , 21 April 2019 at 09:32 AM
Special Relationship? All it's possible for the outsider to see in that are questions.

The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with the US in repelling the Russian threat. Also, along with France, helps with any R2P that needs doing. That's a consistent if by now bedraggled story.

But Europe, including the UK, is now going hell for leather at the "European Army" project. How long will it be before that becomes a respectable independent force? A decade?

https://www.dw.com/en/limited-number-of-weapons-in-german-military-ready-for-action-report/a-42752070

In the meantime all recognise that the US is the only significant European defence force. It's not just the money. The US ties the European components of NATO together and provides the big reserves of men and equipment. Even Mr Blair accepts that reality. I've been listening to his talk at the Munich Security Conference.

So the US is to hold the fort in Europe while the Europeans prepare to supplant NATO? Do the Europeans plan to be a military superpower themselves eventually?

And where does Trump fit in? Trumpphobia is as strong as Russophobia in the UK and stronger than Russophobia in continental Europe. So Trump is supposed to sit there placidly defending Europe until the Europeans are strong enough to dispense with the American alliance, and that while the Europeans, including the UK, throw mud at him?

Neither in neocon terms nor in terms of sensible defence are these various stories compatible. Is there any sort of coherent defence policy in this respect on either side of the Atlantic? Or are they all just winging it and ignoring the inconsistencies?

likbez , 21 April 2019 at 12:24 AM
Bravo ! One word "Bravo!!!"

This is a very good, probably the best so far in depth analysis of Mueller's final report.

And your phase "disingenuous and dishonest" is like a stamp on Mueller's hatchet job:

A careful reading of the report reveals that Mueller has issued findings that are both disingenuous and dishonest. The report is a failed hatchet job.

Part of the failure can be attributed to the amount of material that Attorney General Barr allowed to be released.

It appears that Bill Barr's light editing may have been intended to expose the bias and sloppiness of Mueller and his team.


JohnH , 21 April 2019 at 12:38 AM
Makes me wonder if this started out as a standard operation by the FBI to gain leverage over a presidential contender. That would explain Sater's early attempts at apparent entrapment. Since that didn't work, a different strategy had to be devised to deny the presidency to someone over whom the intelligence services lacked sufficient leverage.

Hillary gladly cooperated and raised the specter of collusion with Russia, which she trumpeted in the debates, downplaying other issues that could have resonated more with voters. Since she thought she was a slam dunk, she thought she could afford to cooperate. It could only help ingratiate her with the borg.

On the other hand, Brennan and others in the borg used their allies in the media to promote and propagate the story, which mushroomed when Trump defied the odds and won. Hillary was eager to play the victim as a way to excuse her failure. And the borg began hyping the story to cripple Trump unless he heeled. Initially Trump resisted, firing Comey. But with Bolton now ensconced as the National Security Advisor, it is clear that the borg has won, and the lack of any conspiracy could now be revealed.

Such a scenario would explain why Sater, Mufid, Steele and apparent attempts at entrapment got buried. And, with obstruction still hanging over Trump's head, the borg's leverage is still there if needed.

Alves , 21 April 2019 at 04:00 AM
The most farcical thing in the Mueller report is that he did not fill obstruction charges or even recommend that it should be filled, but yet he did not "exonerate" Trump.

In other words, Mueller did not think that he had enough to make an obstruction case in the courts of justice, and keep in mind that an indictment requires only "probable cause", not the "beyond a reasonable doubt" required for a criminal conviction, but nevertheless he went out of his way to leave the obstruction sword hanging over Trump`s head so the political infighting does not end.

IMO, that is the biggest evidence that the whole thing was an attempt at facilitating a political power grab instead of a serious criminal investigation.

turcopolier , 21 April 2019 at 09:22 AM
Mahmoud Saadi

I will allow you to post this kind of thing one time because you appear to be new here and unfamiliar with our standards, but in the future if you do not provide your own argumentation and merely provide links I will disapprove your offerings.

turcopolier , 21 April 2019 at 09:28 AM
falce, etc. So, who is your candidate for 2020?

[Apr 21, 2019] That One Sentence by Sandwichman

Notable quotes:
"... The foreign country that worked feverishly to meddle in the 2016 Presidential election and the subsequent rule of Donald Trump is the United Kingdom. Russia is the patsy. ..."
"... Makes me wonder if this started out as a standard operation by the FBI to gain leverage over a presidential contender. That would explain Sater's early attempts at apparent entrapment. Since that didn't work, a different strategy had to be devised to deny the presidency to someone over whom the intelligence services lacked sufficient leverage. ..."
"... Such a scenario would explain why Sater, Mufid, Steele and apparent attempts at entrapment got buried. And, with obstruction still hanging over Trump's head, the borg's leverage is still there, if needed. ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

On March 25, Matt Taibbi wrote in Rolling Stone :

On Sunday, Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to Congress, summarizing the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. The most telling section, quoted directly from Mueller's report, read:

" [T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities. "

That one sentence should end a roughly 33-month national ordeal (the first Russiagate stories date back to July 2016) in which the public was encouraged, both by officials and the press, to believe Donald Trump was a compromised foreign agent.

"That one sentence" unexpurgated:

Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through the Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.


likbez , April 21, 2019 11:40 am

Here is a very interesting and highly qualified analysis of Mueller final report

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/04/special-counsel-mueller-disingenuous-and-dishonest-by-larry-c-johnson.html

Key conclusion

The foreign country that worked feverishly to meddle in the 2016 Presidential election and the subsequent rule of Donald Trump is the United Kingdom. Russia is the patsy.

Summary

A careful reading of the report reveals that Mueller has issued findings that are both disingenuous and dishonest. The report is a failed hatchet job.

Part of the failure can be attributed to the amount of material that Attorney General Barr allowed to be released.

It appears that Bill Barr's light editing may have been intended to expose the bias and sloppiness of Mueller and his team.

One interesting comment:

JohnH , 21 April 2019 at 12:38 AM

Makes me wonder if this started out as a standard operation by the FBI to gain leverage over a presidential contender. That would explain Sater's early attempts at apparent entrapment. Since that didn't work, a different strategy had to be devised to deny the presidency to someone over whom the intelligence services lacked sufficient leverage.

Hillary gladly cooperated and raised the specter of collusion with Russia, which she trumpeted in the debates, downplaying other issues that could have resonated more with voters. Since she thought she was a slam dunk, she thought she could afford to cooperate. It could only help ingratiate her with the borg.

On the other hand, Brennan and others in the borg used their allies in the media to promote and propagate the story, which mushroomed when Trump defied the odds and won. Hillary was eager to play the victim as a way to excuse her failure. And the borg began hyping the story to cripple Trump unless he heeled.

Initially Trump resisted, firing Comey.

But with Bolton now ensconced as the National Security Advisor, it is clear that the borg has won, and the lack of any conspiracy could now be revealed.

Such a scenario would explain why Sater, Mufid, Steele and apparent attempts at entrapment got buried. And, with obstruction still hanging over Trump's head, the borg's leverage is still there, if needed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doubts over the dossier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan Jones, George Soros, Glenn Simpson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Yippie21 , 2 minutes ago link

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

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

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

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

San Pedro , 2 minutes ago link

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

Scipio Africanuz , 4 minutes ago link

This article is still a roundabout gambit to blame Russia.

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

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

Americans are truly ungrateful brutes..

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

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

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

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

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

King of Ruperts Land , 5 minutes ago link

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

Sanity Bear , 15 minutes ago link

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

besnook , 20 minutes ago link

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

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

ClickNLook , 23 minutes ago link

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

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link

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

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link

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

His name is Seth Rich.

DaBard51 , 24 minutes ago link

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

ClickNLook , 19 minutes ago link

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

Amy G. Dala , 22 minutes ago link

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

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

ComeAndTakeIt , 10 minutes ago link

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

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

Bricker , 32 minutes ago link

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

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

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

Mike Rotsch , 35 minutes ago link

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

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

[Apr 21, 2019] Escobar The Deep State Vs. WikiLeaks by Pepe Escobar

Notable quotes:
"... John Pilger, among few others, has already stressed how a plan to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was laid out as far back as 2008 – at the tail end of the Cheney regime – concocted by the Pentagon's shady Cyber Counter-Intelligence Assessments Branch. ..."
"... But it was only in 2017, in the Trump era, that the Deep State went totally ballistic; that's when WikiLeaks published the Vault 7 files – detailing the CIA's vast hacking/cyber espionage repertoire. ..."
"... This was the CIA as a Naked Emperor like never before – including the dodgy overseeing ops of the Center for Cyber Intelligence, an ultra-secret NSA counterpart. ..."
"... The monolithic narrative by the Deep State faction aligned with the Clinton machine was that "the Russians" hacked the DNC servers. Assange was always adamant; that was not the work of a state actor – and he could prove it technically. ..."
"... The DoJ wanted a deal – and they did make an offer to WikiLeaks. But then FBI director James Comey killed it. The question is why. ..."
"... Some theoretically sound reconstructions of Comey's move are available. But the key fact is Comey already knew – via his close connections to the top of the DNC – that this was not a hack; it was a leak. ..."
"... Ambassador Craig Murray has stressed, over and over again (see here ) how the DNC/Podesta files published by WikiLeaks came from two different US sources; one from within the DNC and the other from within US intel. ..."
"... he release by WikiLeaks in April 2017 of the malware mechanisms inbuilt in "Grasshopper" and the "Marble Framework" were indeed a bombshell. This is how the CIA inserts foreign language strings in source code to disguise them as originating from Russia, from Iran, or from China. The inestimable Ray McGovern, a VIPS member, stressed how Marble Framework "destroys this story about Russian hacking." ..."
"... No wonder then CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a "non-state hostile intelligence agency" ..."
"... Joshua Schulte, the alleged leaker of Vault 7, has not faced a US court yet. There's no question he will be offered a deal by the USG if he aggress to testify against Julian Assange. ..."
"... George Galloway has a guest who explains it all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvPFMyPvHM&t=8s ..."
"... Escobar is brain dead if he can't figure out that Trumpenstein is totally on board with destroying Assange. As if bringing on pukes like PompAss, BoltON, and Abrams doesn't scream it. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The Made-by-FBI indictment of Julian Assange does look like a dead man walking. No evidence. No documents. No surefire testimony. Just a crossfire of conditionals...

But never underestimate the legalese contortionism of US government (USG) functionaries. As much as Assange may not be characterized as a journalist and publisher, the thrust of the affidavit is to accuse him of conspiring to commit espionage.

In fact the charge is not even that Assange hacked a USG computer and obtained classified information; it's that he may have discussed it with Chelsea Manning and may have had the intention to go for a hack. Orwellian-style thought crime charges don't get any better than that. Now the only thing missing is an AI software to detect them.

https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/456414-assange-wkileaks-asylum-london/video/5cb1c797dda4c822558b463f

Assange legal adviser Geoffrey Robertson – who also happens to represent another stellar political prisoner, Brazil's Lula – cut straight to the chase (at 19:22 minutes);

"The justice he is facing is justice, or injustice, in America I would hope the British judges would have enough belief in freedom of information to throw out the extradition request."

That's far from a done deal. Thus the inevitable consequence; Assange's legal team is getting ready to prove, no holds barred, in a British court, that this USG indictment for conspiracy to commit computer hacking is just an hors d'oeuvre for subsequent espionage charges, in case Assange is extradited to US soil.

All about Vault 7

John Pilger, among few others, has already stressed how a plan to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was laid out as far back as 2008 – at the tail end of the Cheney regime – concocted by the Pentagon's shady Cyber Counter-Intelligence Assessments Branch.

It was all about criminalizing WikiLeaks and personally smearing Assange, using "shock troops enlisted in the media -- those who are meant to keep the record straight and tell us the truth."

This plan remains more than active – considering how Assange's arrest has been covered by the bulk of US/UK mainstream media.

By 2012, already in the Obama era, WikiLeaks detailed the astonishing "scale of the US Grand Jury Investigation" of itself. The USG always denied such a grand jury existed.

"The US Government has stood up and coordinated a joint interagency criminal investigation of Wikileaks comprised of a partnership between the Department of Defense (DOD) including: CENTCOM; SOUTHCOM; the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA); Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA); US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for USFI (US Forces Iraq) and 1st Armored Division (AD); US Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit (CCIU); 2nd Army (US Army Cyber Command); Within that or in addition, three military intelligence investigations were conducted. Department of Justice (DOJ) Grand Jury and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of State (DOS) and Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). In addition, Wikileaks has been investigated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Office of the National CounterIntelligence Executive (ONCIX), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); the House Oversight Committee; the National Security Staff Interagency Committee, and the PIAB (President's Intelligence Advisory Board)."

But it was only in 2017, in the Trump era, that the Deep State went totally ballistic; that's when WikiLeaks published the Vault 7 files – detailing the CIA's vast hacking/cyber espionage repertoire.

This was the CIA as a Naked Emperor like never before – including the dodgy overseeing ops of the Center for Cyber Intelligence, an ultra-secret NSA counterpart.

WikiLeaks got Vault 7 in early 2017. At the time WikiLeaks had already published the DNC files – which the unimpeachable Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) systematically proved was a leak, not a hack.

The monolithic narrative by the Deep State faction aligned with the Clinton machine was that "the Russians" hacked the DNC servers. Assange was always adamant; that was not the work of a state actor – and he could prove it technically.

There was some movement towards a deal, brokered by one of Assange's lawyers; WikiLeaks would not publish the most damning Vault 7 information in exchange for Assange's safe passage to be interviewed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The DoJ wanted a deal – and they did make an offer to WikiLeaks. But then FBI director James Comey killed it. The question is why.

It's a leak, not a hack

Some theoretically sound reconstructions of Comey's move are available. But the key fact is Comey already knew – via his close connections to the top of the DNC – that this was not a hack; it was a leak.

Ambassador Craig Murray has stressed, over and over again (see here ) how the DNC/Podesta files published by WikiLeaks came from two different US sources; one from within the DNC and the other from within US intel.

There was nothing for Comey to "investigate". Or there would have, if Comey had ordered the FBI to examine the DNC servers. So why talk to Julian Assange?

T he release by WikiLeaks in April 2017 of the malware mechanisms inbuilt in "Grasshopper" and the "Marble Framework" were indeed a bombshell. This is how the CIA inserts foreign language strings in source code to disguise them as originating from Russia, from Iran, or from China. The inestimable Ray McGovern, a VIPS member, stressed how Marble Framework "destroys this story about Russian hacking."

No wonder then CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a "non-state hostile intelligence agency", usually manipulated by Russia.

Joshua Schulte, the alleged leaker of Vault 7, has not faced a US court yet. There's no question he will be offered a deal by the USG if he aggress to testify against Julian Assange.

It's a long and winding road, to be traversed in at least two years, if Julian Assange is ever to be extradited to the US. Two things for the moment are already crystal clear. The USG is obsessed to shut down WikiLeaks once and for all. And because of that, Julian Assange will never get a fair trial in the "so-called 'Espionage Court'" of the Eastern District of Virginia, as detailed by former CIA counterterrorism officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou.

Meanwhile, the non-stop demonization of Julian Assange will proceed unabated, faithful to guidelines established over a decade ago. Assange is even accused of being a US intel op, and WikiLeaks a splinter Deep State deep cover op.

Maybe President Trump will maneuver the hegemonic Deep State into having Assange testify against the corruption of the DNC; or maybe Trump caved in completely to "hostile intelligence agency" Pompeo and his CIA gang baying for blood. It's all ultra-high-stakes shadow play – and the show has not even begun.


JailBanksters , 40 minutes ago link

Not to mention the Pentagram has silenced 100,000 whistleblower complaints by Intimidation, threats, money or accidents over 5 years . A Whistleblower only does this when know there is something seriously wrong. Just Imagine how many knew something was wrong but looked the other way.

ExPat2018 , 47 minutes ago link

George Galloway has a guest who explains it all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvPFMyPvHM&t=8s

Betrayed , 2 hours ago link

Maybe President Trump will maneuver the hegemonic Deep State into having Assange testify against the corruption of the DNC; or maybe Trump caved in completely to "hostile intelligence agency" Pompeo and his CIA gang baying for blood.

Escobar is brain dead if he can't figure out that Trumpenstein is totally on board with destroying Assange. As if bringing on pukes like PompAss, BoltON, and Abrams doesn't scream it.

besnook , 2 hours ago link

assange and wikileaks are the real criminals despite being crimeless. the **** is a sanctioned criminal, allowed to be criminal with the system because the rest of the sanctioned criminals would be exposed if she was investigated.

this is not the rule of laws. this is the law of rulers.

_triplesix_ , 2 hours ago link

Anyone seen Imran Awan lately?

Four chan , 34 minutes ago link

yeah those ***** go free because they got everything on the stupid dems and they are muslim.

assange exposes the podesta dws and clinton fraud against bernie voters+++ and hes the bad guy. yeah right

hillary clinton murdered seth rich sure as **** too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pamela Geller: Thank You, Larry David

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's the problem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hasbarist 'Kenny', you said:

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

You continue to claim what you cannot prove.

But then you are a Jews First Zionist.

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

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

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

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

+ review of other frauds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The CIA run US/Israeli/ISIS alliance.

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

They are given the political line and they broadcast it.

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

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

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

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

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

So what are you going to do about all this?

Continue to whine?

Continue to keep your head stuck in your ass?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think Peace -- Art

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are being exceptionally arrogant.

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

Think Peace -- Art

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

right at 1:47

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

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

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

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

MAGA bitches!

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

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

A Peoples History of the USA? Which Peoples?

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

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

[Apr 21, 2019] Deciphering Trumps Foreign Policy by Oscar Silva-Valladares

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. ..."
"... The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player. ..."
"... Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance. ..."
"... Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline. ..."
"... Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. ..."
"... A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions ..."
"... Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination. ..."
Oct 28, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Donald Trump's presidency, like preceding ones, is trapped by the interests of the power elite that has ruled America since World War II. The constraints imposed on domestic policy by this elite inevitably have a direct impact on America's foreign policy. Alternative social forces, like the ones behind Trump's presidential triumph, only have a limited impact on domestic and ultimately on foreign policy. A conceptual detour and a brief on history and on Trump's domestic setting when he was elected will help clarifying these theses.

Beyond the different costumes that it wears (dealing with ideology, international law, and even religion), foreign policy follows domestic policy. The domestic policy actors are the social forces at work at a given point of time, mainly the economic agents and their ambitions (in their multiple expressions), including the ruling power elite. Society's aspirations not only relate to material welfare, but also to ideological priorities that population segments may have at a given point of time.

From America's initial days until the mid 1800s, there seems to have been a broad alignment of US foreign policy with the wishes of its power elite and other social forces. America's expansionism, a fundamental bulwark of its foreign policy from early days, reflected the need to fulfill its growing population's ambitions for land and, later on, the need to find foreign markets for its excess production, initially agricultural and later on manufacturing. It can be said that American foreign policy was broadly populist at that time. The power elite was more or less aligned in achieving these expansionist goals and was able to provide convenient ideological justification through the writings of Jefferson and Madison, among others.

As the country expanded, diverging interests became stronger and ultimately differing social forces caused a significant fracture in society. The American Civil War was the climax of the conflicted interests between agricultural and manufacturing led societies. Fifty years later, a revealing manifestation of this divergence (which survived the Civil War), as it relates to foreign policy, is found during the early days of the Russian Revolution when, beyond the ideological revulsion of Bolshevism, the US was paralyzed between the agricultural and farming businesses seeking exports to Russia and the domestic extractive industries interested in stopping exports of natural resources from this country.

The growing misalignment between government policies and people's yearnings coincides with the ascent of the military establishment within the power elite that rules America. Despite the country's aggressive expansionism, America's power elite was initially driven mainly by political and economic forces and much less by its growing military strength. It is fair to say that the military establishment, as an influential component of the American power elite, only appeared in the context of World War II. Nowadays, it is a dominant player.

Today's power elite in America is fundamentally the same as the one that emerged after World War II and which was accurately described by C. Wright Mills in the 1950s. Consequently, the main forces shaping US domestic and foreign policies have not changed since then. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War did not make irrelevant the existing power elite at that time. The elite only became more vocal in its efforts to justify itself and this explains today's existence of NATO, for instance.

Despite its economic and entrepreneurial might, the US distilled version of capitalism is unable to attain the needs of a growing number of its population, as the Great Recession of 2008 has shown. Within the OECD, arguably the club with the highest levels of economic and social development in the world, US rankings are abysmal, for instance concerning education and health, as it lays at the bottom in learning metrics and on critical health measures such as obesity. The wealth gap has widened and the social fabric is broken. American economic decline is evident and growing social conflict across economic, social and geographic lines is just a reaction to this decline.

Trump won his presidency because he was able to get support from the country's growing frustrated white population. His main social themes (bringing jobs to America by stopping the decline of its manufacturing industry, preventing further US consumer dependence on foreign imports and halting immigration) fitted well with the electors' anger. Traditional populist themes linked to foreign policy (like Russophobia) did not play a big role in the last election. But whether or not the Trump administration can align with the ruling power elite in a manner that addresses the key social and economic needs of the American people is still to be seen.

Back to foreign policy, we need to distinguish between Trump's style of government and his administration's actions. At least until now, focusing excessively on Trump's style has dangerously distracted from his true intentions. One example is the confusion about his initial stance on NATO which was simplistically seen as highly critical to the very existence of this organization. On NATO, all that Trump really cared was to achieve a "fair" sharing of expenditures with other members and to press them to honor their funding commitments.

From immigration to defense spending, there is nothing irrational about Trump's foreign policy initiatives, as they just reflect a different reading on the American people's aspirations and, consequently, they attempt to rely on supporting points within the power elite which are different from the ones used in the past.

Concerning China, Trump is learning about the limits of his ability to successfully challenge it economically. It seems virtually impossible to reverse China's momentum which, if it continues, will consolidate its economic domination. A far-reaching lesson, although still being ignored, is that China's economic might is showing that capitalism as understood in the West is not winning, much less in its American format. It also shows that democracy may not be that relevant, as it is not necessarily a corollary or a condition for economic development. Perhaps it even shows the superiority of China's economic model, but this is a different matter.

As Trump becomes more aware about his limitations, he has naturally reversed to the basic imprints of America's traditional foreign policy, particularly concerning defense. His emphasis on a further increase in defense spending is not done for prestigious or national security reasons, but as an attempt to preserve a job generating infrastructure without considering the catastrophic consequences that it may cause.

On Iran, Obama's initiative to seek normalization was an attempt to walk a fine line (and to find a less conflictive path) between supporting the US traditional Middle East allies (mainly the odd combination of Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) and recognizing Iran's growing aspirations. Deep down, Obama was trying to acknowledge Iran's historical viability as a country and a society that will not disappear from the map, while Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, may not be around in a few years. Trump's Iran policy until now only represents a different weighing of priorities, although it is having far reaching consequences on America's credibility as a reliable contractual party in international affairs.

In the case of Afghanistan, Trump's decision to increase boots on the ground does not break the inertia of US past administrations. Aside from temporary containment, an increasing military presence or a change in tactics will not alter fundamentally this reality.

Concerning Russia, and regardless of what Trump has said, actions speak more than words. A continuous deterioration of relations seems inevitable.

Trump will also learn, if he has not done so already, about the growth of multipolar forces in world's events. Russia has mastered this reality for several years and is quite skillful at using it as a basic tool of its own foreign goals. Our multipolar world will expand, and Trump may even inadvertently exacerbate it through its actions (for instance in connection with the different stands taken by the US and its European allies concerning Iran).

While fulfilling the aspirations of the American people seems more difficult within the existing capitalist framework, there are also growing apprehensions coming from America's power elite as it becomes more frustrated due to its incapacity of being more effective at the world level. America's relative adolescence in world's history will become more and more apparent in the coming years.

A fundamental weakness of American foreign policy is its inability to understand war in all its different dimensions. The US has never suffered the consequences of an international conflict in its own backyard. The American Civil War, despite all the suffering that it caused, was primarily a domestic event with no foreign intervention (contrary to the wishes of the Confederation). The deep social and psychological damage caused by war is not part of America's consciousness as it is, for instance in Germany, Russia or Japan. America is insensitive to the lessons of history because it has a very short history itself.

Despite the need to see through Trump's true intentions beyond his pomp and circumstance, there is an important warning to be made. Trump's eventual inability to fulfill his promises, combined with his bravado and America's incapacity to take a more sobering approach to world events is a dangerous combination.

Oscar Silva-Valladares is a former investment banker that has lived and worked in North and Latin America, Western & Eastern Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the Philippines and Western Africa. He currently chairs Davos International Advisory, an advisory firm focused on strategic consulting across emerging markets.


Related

[Apr 21, 2019] Special Counsel Mueller -- Disingenuous and Dishonest by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... As I noted in my previous piece-- The FBI Tried and Failed to Entrap Trump --Sater was an active FBI undercover informant. ..."
"... An honest prosecutor would have and should have disclosed this fact. He, Sater, was the one encouraging the Trump team to cozy up to Russia. Mueller does not disclose one single instance of Trump or Cohen or any of the Trump kids calling Sater on the carpet and chewing his ass for not bringing them deals and not opening doors in Russia. Omitting this key fact goes beyond simple disingenuity. It is a conscious lie. ..."
"... The circumstantial evidence indicates that Sater was doing this at the behest of FBI handlers. We do not yet know who they are. ..."
"... We also have the case of Michael Caputo and Roger Stone being approached by a Russian gangster named Henry Greenberg. ..."
"... How does a guy like Vorkretsov/Greenberg, with an extensive criminal record and circumstantial ties to the Russian mob gain entrance into the United States? Very simple answer. He too was an FBI informant : ..."
"... Please take time to read the full dossier at democrat dossier . This is more than an odd coincidence. This is a pattern. The FBI was targeting the Trump campaign and personnel in a deliberate effort to implicate them in wanting to work with Russians. ..."
"... Once again, the Mueller team treats the provocateur -- -i.e., Joseph Mifsud -- -as some simple guy with ties to Russia's political elites. Another egregious lie. Mifsud was not working on behalf of Russia. He was deployed by MI-6. Disobedient Media has been on the forefront of exposing Mifsud's ties to western intelligence in general and the Brits in particular . ..."
"... A number of Twitter users recently observed that Joseph Mifsud had been photographed standing next to Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee at Mifsud’s LINK campus in Rome. Newsmax and Buzzfeed later reported that the professor’s name and biography had been removed from the campus’ website, writing that the mysterious removal took place after Mifsud had served the institution for “years.” ..."
"... WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange likewise noted the connection between Mifsud and Smith in a Twitter thread, additionally pointing out his connections with Saudi intelligence: “[Mifsud] and Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee and eight-year member of the UK Security Vetting panel both trained Italian security services at the Link University in Rome and appear to both be present in this [photo].” ..."
"... This is not a mere matter of Mueller and his team "failing" to disclose some important facts. If they were operating honestly they should have investigated Mifsud, Greenberg and Sater. But they did not. Two of the three--Sater and Greenber--alleged Russian stooges have ties to the FBI. And Mifsud has been living and working in the belly of the intelligence community. ..."
"... Don't hold your breath .The so called deep state which in reality are our plutocratic oligarchical class that win. Look at the new boss same as the old boss. ..."
"... Look at all the hair triggers that have been laid out with the TRUMP regime since he became POTUS with regards to the ME and the Russian Federation . THe IRGC being labelled a terrorist organization and further more both Dems and Repub are trying to introduce a bill that labels the Russian Federation as a sponsor of terrorism. ..."
"... You just can't make this stuff up. Least we forget replacing the meme of ASSAD HAS TO GO TO MADURRO HAS TO GO. War is a racket and as per usual we the sheeple just fall for it. Ret. Col Wilkerson lays all out at last years Israeli influence conference. ..."
"... The Special Relationship is hopefully entering the divorce stage. None too soon. Great work, Mr. Johnson. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

While President Trump is correct to celebrate the Mueller Report’s conclusion that no one on Trump’s side of the ledger attempted to or succeeded in collaborating or colluding with the Russian Government or Russian spies, there remains a dark cloud behind the silver lining. And I am not referring to the claims of alleged obstruction of justice. A careful reading of the report reveals that Mueller has issued findings that are both disingenuous and dishonest. The report is a failed hatchet job. Part of the failure can be attributed to the amount of material that Attorney General Barr allowed to be released. It appears that Bill Barr's light editing may have been intended to expose the bias and sloppiness of Mueller and his team.

Let us start with the case of trying to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. If you were to believe that the Steele Dossier accurately reported Vladimir Putin's attitude towards Trump, then a Trump real estate deal in Moscow was a slam dunk. According to one of Steele's breathless reports:
The Kremlin's cultivation operation on TRUMP also had comprised offering him various lucrative real estate development business deals in Russia, especially in relation to the ongoing 2018 World Cup soccer tournament. How ever, so far, for reasons unknown, TRUMP had not taken up any of these.
Then there is reality. The impetus, the encouragement for the Moscow project came from one man--Felix Sater.
In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov.J07 Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City.30S Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).
To reiterate--if the Steele Dossier was based on truthful intelligence then the Trump organization only had to sit back, stretch out their hands and seize the moment. Instead, little Felix Sater keeps coming back to the well. In January 2016, according to the Mueller report,
Sater then sent a draft invitation for Cohen to visit Moscow to discuss the Trump Moscow project,along with a note to "[t]ell me if the letter is good as amended by me or make whatever changes you want and send it back to me."

After a further round of edits, on January 25, 2016, Sater sent Cohen an invitation -- signed by Andrey Ryabinskiy of the company MHJ -- to travel to "Moscow for a working visit" about the "prospects of development and the construction business in Russia," "the various land plots available suited for construction of this enormous Tower," and "the opportunity to co-ordinate a follow up visit to Moscow by Mr. Donald Trump..

This produced nothing. No deal, no trip. But Sater persisted:

Beginning in late 2015, Sater repeatedly tried to arrange for Cohen and candidate Trump, as representatives of the Trump Organization, to travel to Russia to meet with Russian government officials and possible financing partners. . . .

Into the spring of 2016, Sater and Cohen continued to discuss a trip to Moscow in connection with the Trump Moscow project. On April 20, 2016, Sater wrote Cohen, " [t)he People wanted to know when you are coming?,,

On May 4, 2016, Sater followed up:

“I had a chat with Moscow. ASSUMING the trip does happen the question is before or after the convention. I said I believe, but don't know for sure, that's it's probably after the convention. Obviously the pre-meeting trip (you only) can happen anytime you want but he 2 big guys where [sic) the question. I said I would confirm and revert.”

On May 5, 2016, Sater wrote to Cohen:

“Peskov would like to invite you as his guest to the St. Petersburg Forum which is Russia's Davos it's June 16-19. He wants to meet there with you and possibly introduce you to either Putin or Medvedev, as they are not sure if 1 or both will be there. This is perfect. The entire business class of Russia will be there as well.”

On June 14, 2016, Cohen met Sater in the lobby of the Trump Tower in New York and informed him that he would not be traveling at that time.

Why was Felix Sater the one repeatedly identified pushing to arrange deals with the Russians and yet did not face any subsequent charges by the Mueller team? Sater had been working as part of the Trump team since 2003. Why is it that the proposed deals and travel to Moscow came predominantly from Felix Sater?

As I noted in my previous piece--The FBI Tried and Failed to Entrap Trump--Sater was an active FBI undercover informant. He had been working with the FBI since 1998. When he agreed to start working as an undercover informant aka cooperator in December 1998 guess who signed off on the deal? Andrew Weissman. You can see the deal here. It was signed 10 December 1998.

An honest prosecutor would have and should have disclosed this fact. He, Sater, was the one encouraging the Trump team to cozy up to Russia. Mueller does not disclose one single instance of Trump or Cohen or any of the Trump kids calling Sater on the carpet and chewing his ass for not bringing them deals and not opening doors in Russia. Omitting this key fact goes beyond simple disingenuity. It is a conscious lie.

The circumstantial evidence indicates that Sater was doing this at the behest of FBI handlers. We do not yet know who they are.

But Sater's behavior and status as an FBI Informant was not an isolated incident. We also have the case of Michael Caputo and Roger Stone being approached by a Russian gangster named Henry Greenberg. According to democratdossier.com:

Greenberg's birth name is Gennady Vasilievich Vostretsov, the son of Yekatrina Vostretsova and Vasliy Vostretsov. He later adopted new names twice as a result of two different marriages and became Gennady V. Arzhanik and later Henry Oknyansky. Henry Greenberg is not a legal alias, but he uses it quite commonly in recent years.
But you would not know this from reading the Mueller report. Mr. Disingenuous strikes again:
In the spring of 2016, Trump Campaign advisor Michael Caputo learned through a Florida-based Russian business partner that another Florida-based Russian, Henry Oknyansky (who also went by the name Henry Greenberg), claimed to have information pertaining to Hillary Clinton . Caputo notified Roger Stone and brokered communication between Stone and Oknyansky.

Oknyansky and Stone set up a May 2016 in-person meeting. 260 Oknyansky was accompanied to the meeting by Alexei Rasin, a Ukrainian associate involved in Florida real estate. At the meeting, Rasin offered to sell Stone derogatory information on Clinton that Rasin claimed to have obtained while working for Clinton. Rasin claimed to possess financial statements demonstrating Clinton's involvement in money laundering with Rasin's companies. According to Oknyansky, Stone asked if the amounts in question totaled millions of dollars but was told it was closer to hundreds of thousands. Stone refused the offer, stating that Trump would not pay for opposition research.

How does a guy like Vorkretsov/Greenberg, with an extensive criminal record and circumstantial ties to the Russian mob gain entrance into the United States? Very simple answer. He too was an FBI informant:

In an affidavit, Vostretsov explained to an immigration judge he worked for the FBI for 17 years throughout the world, including in the US, Iran and North Korea. He explained in the same paperwork the FBI granted him several temporary visas to visit the US in exchange for information about criminal activities.

Please take time to read the full dossier at democrat dossier. This is more than an odd coincidence. This is a pattern. The FBI was targeting the Trump campaign and personnel in a deliberate effort to implicate them in wanting to work with Russians.

And there is more. George Papodopoulus was entrapped by individuals linked to British MI-6 and the CIA with offers to provide meetings with Russians and Putin. The Mueller account is a lie:

In late April 2016, Papadopoulos was told by London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, immediately after Mifsud 's return from a trip to Moscow, that the Russian government had obtained "dirt" on candidate Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. One week later, on May 6, 2016, Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to candidate Clinton.

Papadopoulos shared information about Russian "dirt " with people outside of the Campaign, and the Office investigated whether he also provided it to a Campaign official. Papadopoulos and the Campaign officials with whom he interacted told the Office that they did · not recall that Papadopoulos passed them the information. Throughout the relevant period of time and for several months thereafter, Papadopoulos worked with Mifsud and two Russian nationals to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government. That meeting never came to pass.

Once again, the Mueller team treats the provocateur -- -i.e., Joseph Mifsud -- -as some simple guy with ties to Russia's political elites. Another egregious lie. Mifsud was not working on behalf of Russia. He was deployed by MI-6. Disobedient Media has been on the forefront of exposing Mifsud's ties to western intelligence in general and the Brits in particular.

Mifsud’s alleged links to Russian intelligence are summarily debunked by his close working relationship with Claire Smith, a major figure in the upper echelons of British intelligence. A number of Twitter users recently observed that Joseph Mifsud had been photographed standing next to Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee at Mifsud’s LINK campus in Rome. Newsmax and Buzzfeed later reported that the professor’s name and biography had been removed from the campus’ website, writing that the mysterious removal took place after Mifsud had served the institution for “years.”

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange likewise noted the connection between Mifsud and Smith in a Twitter thread, additionally pointing out his connections with Saudi intelligence: “[Mifsud] and Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee and eight-year member of the UK Security Vetting panel both trained Italian security services at the Link University in Rome and appear to both be present in this [photo].”

The photograph in question originated on Geodiplomatics.com, where it specified that Joseph Mifsud is indeed standing next to Claire Smith, who was attending a: “…Training program on International Security which was organised by Link Campus University and London Academy of Diplomacy.” The event is listed as taking place in October, 2012. This is highly significant for a number of reasons.

This is not a mere matter of Mueller and his team "failing" to disclose some important facts. If they were operating honestly they should have investigated Mifsud, Greenberg and Sater. But they did not. Two of the three--Sater and Greenber--alleged Russian stooges have ties to the FBI. And Mifsud has been living and working in the belly of the intelligence community.

When you put these facts together it is clear that there is real meat on the bone for Barr's upcoming investigation of the "spying" that was being done on the Trump campaign by law enforcement and intelligence. These facts must become a part of the public consciousness. The foreign country that worked feverishly to meddle in the 2016 Presidential election and the subsequent rule of Donald Trump is the United Kingdom. Russia is the patsy.

turcopolier, 20 April 2019 at 10:44 PM

IMO the FBI leadership, Clapper, Brennan and his flunkies were working with the Brits at some senior level of their IO apparatus to screw Trump. Mueller's testimony before the Congress should be revelatory of his true position.

falcemartello, 20 April 2019 at 11:28 PM

Don't hold your breath .The so called deep state which in reality are our plutocratic oligarchical class that win. Look at the new boss same as the old boss.

It was obvious from way back in June 2016 when most of the fabricated /novella known as the Steele Dossier was floating around and the role Fusion GPS played in the Clinton POTUS machine. There is a lot out there but as per usual smokey mirrors and deception.

I live you with this one thought.

Look at all the hair triggers that have been laid out with the TRUMP regime since he became POTUS with regards to the ME and the Russian Federation . THe IRGC being labelled a terrorist organization and further more both Dems and Repub are trying to introduce a bill that labels the Russian Federation as a sponsor of terrorism.

You just can't make this stuff up. Least we forget replacing the meme of ASSAD HAS TO GO TO MADURRO HAS TO GO. War is a racket and as per usual we the sheeple just fall for it. Ret. Col Wilkerson lays all out at last years Israeli influence conference.

Rick Merlotti

The Special Relationship is hopefully entering the divorce stage. None too soon. Great work, Mr. Johnson.

[Apr 21, 2019] George Papodopoulus was entrapped by individuals linked to British MI-6 and the CIA with offers to provide meetings with Russians and Putin. The Mueller account is a lie

Highly recommended!
Apr 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

And there is more. George Papodopoulus was entrapped by individuals linked to British MI-6 and the CIA with offers to provide meetings with Russians and Putin. The Mueller account is a lie:

In late April 2016, Papadopoulos was told by London-based professor Joseph Mifsud, immediately after Mifsud 's return from a trip to Moscow, that the Russian government had obtained "dirt" on candidate Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. One week later, on May 6, 2016, Papadopoulos suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to candidate Clinton.

Papadopoulos shared information about Russian "dirt " with people outside of the Campaign, and the Office investigated whether he also provided it to a Campaign official. Papadopoulos and the Campaign officials with whom he interacted told the Office that they did · not recall that Papadopoulos passed them the information. Throughout the relevant period of time and for several months thereafter, Papadopoulos worked with Mifsud and two Russian nationals to arrange a meeting between the Campaign and the Russian government. That meeting never came to pass.

Once again, the Mueller team treats the provocateur -- -i.e., Joseph Mifsud -- -as some simple guy with ties to Russia's political elites. Another egregious lie. Mifsud was not working on behalf of Russia. He was deployed by MI-6. Disobedient Media has been on the forefront of exposing Mifsud's ties to western intelligence in general and the Brits in particular .

Mifsud’s alleged links to Russian intelligence are summarily debunked by his close working relationship with Claire Smith, a major figure in the upper echelons of British intelligence. A number of Twitter users recently observed that Joseph Mifsud had been photographed standing next to Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee at Mifsud’s LINK campus in Rome. Newsmax and Buzzfeed later reported that the professor’s name and biography had been removed from the campus’ website, writing that the mysterious removal took place after Mifsud had served the institution for “years.”

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange likewise noted the connection between Mifsud and Smith in a Twitter thread, additionally pointing out his connections with Saudi intelligence: “[Mifsud] and Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee and eight-year member of the UK Security Vetting panel both trained Italian security services at the Link University in Rome and appear to both be present in this [photo].”

The photograph in question originated on Geodiplomatics.com, where it specified that Joseph Mifsud is indeed standing next to Claire Smith, who was attending a: “…Training program on International Security which was organised by Link Campus University and London Academy of Diplomacy.” The event is listed as taking place in October, 2012. This is highly significant for a number of reasons.

This is not a mere matter of Mueller and his team "failing" to disclose some important facts. If they were operating honestly they should have investigated Mifsud, Greenberg and Sater. But they did not. Two of the three -- Sater and Greenber -- alleged Russian stooges have ties to the FBI. And Mifsud has been living and working in the belly of the intelligence community.

[Apr 21, 2019] CNN Disgraces Itself as the Mueller Report Shatters Media Dreams

Money quote: ' One can't help wondering how it might have gone had Israel rather than Russia been the foreign target of the investigation. After all, the FBI tells us that Israeli spying against America is as intense as Russian and Chinese spying. The Israelis are more advanced in some ways. There is no Russia-America Political Action Committee, for example. No Russian Sheldon Adelson either.'
Notable quotes:
"... It's a pity really. The media so accurately represents modern day America: ignorant and corrupt. They'll bring down the nation if it will put a couple of extra bucks in their pockets. The inglorious end of Reaganism. ..."
"... I'm waiting Bash and Tapper to define what Hillary and the DNC did as collusion in the truest sense of the word. In that case, actual cash changed hands with foreigners for dirt on Trump, in order to influence the election. ..."
"... One can't help wondering how it might have gone had Israel rather than Russia been the foreign target of the investigation. After all, the FBI tells us that Israeli spying against America is as intense as Russian and Chinese spying. The Israelis are more advanced in some ways. There is no Russia-America Political Action Committee, for example. No Russian Sheldon Adelson either. ..."
"... So what do our wonderful Democratic progressive leaders and journalists (with rare exceptions) do? They zero in on a McCarthyite conspiracy theory where Trump is innocent. Freaking geniuses. Still, Trump is a sleaze and I leave it to the lawyers to determine if the "obstruction" charge will go anywhere. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

After two years of nonstop Russiagate coverage, the Mueller report landed with a thud. While the special counsel did find things that are damaging and embarrassing to the Trump campaign, there's no evidence of criminal conspiracy with Russia -- in fact, there's no evidence of conspiracy at all. Judging from the funereal faces over on cable news, the utter implosion of the Russiagate narrative came like a death in the family. The meltdown was so complete that analysts were left insinuating that Democrats should reprise the Clinton impeachment proceedings.

Of all the disgraces to journalism on Thursday, the most glaring were on CNN. Within minutes of the release of the Mueller report, anchor Jake Tapper was getting reaction from reporters on what was inside the 448-page document. Journalists were literally giving split-second legal opinions on the contents of something they hadn't yet read, let alone had time to digest.

Sometimes journalists can ably analyze something just after it's been released because they have advance copies. But we know that wasn't the case here, because the report was released to the media and the public at the same time. Still, there wasn't a hint of shame from CNN as its talking heads proffered instant opinions on a document they couldn't have possibly understood.

CNN host Dana Bash was almost incoherent as she declared on live TV that there was "evidence of collusion" even after Attorney General William Barr had said otherwise. When Jake Tapper gently nudged her by claiming that collusion is "not a legal term," she offered up a crazy word salad. Trump might not have done anything "criminal," she said, but the report still showed "collusion in the truest definition of the word":

BASH: There was no conspiracy, but it turns out, maybe I'm answering my own question, that -- I'm sorry, but there was collusion when you look at the actual definition of that term. There wasn't conspiracy

TAPPER: Not a legal term, however.

BASH: It's not a legal term. That's exactly right. There wasn't conspiracy, there was no crime committed, according to the special counsel, but on page after page after page, instance after instance, you see people within the Trump campaign and the Russians talking to, coordinating with, one another. Starting with what you said at the beginning when we first got this, Don Jr., to other instances, the Trump Tower meeting, with WikiLeaks. It goes on and on and on. Not criminal, but collusion in the truest definition of the word.

It Was All a Lie Mueller's Investigation is Missing One Thing: A Crime

Bash seemed to move through every one of the seven stages of grief on live television as she wondered aloud whether Democrats would "have even more pressure than they had before, intense pressure" to impeach Trump "because of how bad" things in the Mueller report are. At the same time, she admitted that nothing in the report constituted a crime.

I never thought a day would come when CNN would speak positively of the Clinton impeachment proceedings. But Trump Derangement Syndrome has hit the network so hard that legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin did just that.

"A lot of people had no problem with the investigation of Bill Clinton for the very serious matter of lying and obstruction of justice when [there was no] underlying event that was a crime [there] either," Toobin declared.

The fake news was hardly limited to just CNN. An MSN article, titled " Analysis: Report is a Brutal Indictment for Trump," was another great case in point. How can a report that exonerates the president be an "indictment"? When it comes to Trump, the media is forever inventing pseudo-legal-speak. Indictment is a word that holds legal weight. But you wouldn't know it from the way the insta-experts are talking.

The media has long held contradictory beliefs on Russiagate. On the one hand, they think that Trump is an imbecile. On the other, they believe his campaign was capable of the most intricate and serpentine of conspiracies. This contradiction was bound to unravel, but it is still shocking to see journalists still so publicly botching this story.

Barbara Boland is the former weekend editor of the Washington Examiner. Her work has been featured on Fox News, the Drudge Report, HotAir.com, RealClearDefense, RealClearPolitics, and elsewhere. She's the author of Patton Uncovered, a book about General Patton in World War II. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .



Kent April 19, 2019 at 1:53 pm

It's a pity really. The media so accurately represents modern day America: ignorant and corrupt. They'll bring down the nation if it will put a couple of extra bucks in their pockets. The inglorious end of Reaganism.
MM , , April 19, 2019 at 2:07 pm
"Not criminal, but collusion in the truest definition of the word."

I'm waiting Bash and Tapper to define what Hillary and the DNC did as collusion in the truest sense of the word. In that case, actual cash changed hands with foreigners for dirt on Trump, in order to influence the election.

Bash also through out the word "coordination" despite Mueller's report literally stating that there was none.

No actual journalists to be found on that network, just opinion commentators

Fellkirk , , April 19, 2019 at 2:33 pm
So no Russia conspiracy after all. After all that.

One can't help wondering how it might have gone had Israel rather than Russia been the foreign target of the investigation. After all, the FBI tells us that Israeli spying against America is as intense as Russian and Chinese spying. The Israelis are more advanced in some ways. There is no Russia-America Political Action Committee, for example. No Russian Sheldon Adelson either.

After the Mueller fracas dies down, we can expect Russia and China to develop methods and mechanisms that parallel those Israel uses to meddle in our elections and threaten our politicians. It's safer, and far more effective.

Donald , , April 19, 2019 at 2:41 pm
This lefty tends to agree with you. There are so many issues where Trump can legitimately be described as awful and on a personal level he is awful. On some of the issues (and on his personality), some of the TAC conservatives around here would agree with me. Larison rips into Trump almost every day.

So what do our wonderful Democratic progressive leaders and journalists (with rare exceptions) do? They zero in on a McCarthyite conspiracy theory where Trump is innocent. Freaking geniuses. Still, Trump is a sleaze and I leave it to the lawyers to determine if the "obstruction" charge will go anywhere.

[Apr 21, 2019] Mueller Report A Battle Over Maintaining 'Imperial Hegemony' (Pt 1-2)

Apr 21, 2019 | therealnews.com

GERALD HORNE: Well, in terms of the big picture I think you need to realize that in 2016 there was a battle royale within the U.S. elite as to how to maintain U.S. imperialist hegemony. Senator Clinton has suggested that Russia should be confronted first, is that the so-called allies, led by Germany and the European Union and Canada, should be enlisted in that regard. Trump and the Republicans took a different tack; that is to say that they are obviously targeting the People's Republic of China, and would like to neutralize Russia, which is a major threat. In terms of the election in November 2016, in terms the Electoral College, Mr. Trump won the argument. But there is such a heavy investment in the pro-Moscow psychosis that it was inevitable that there would be a very severe backlash, not least from the national security establishment led by John Brennan, now an MSNBC commentator, and Jim Clapper, now a CNN commentator. And that has led to the Mueller report.

But as a historian, before I make a final determination about the Mueller report, I would also like to read the completed finished report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz of the U.S. Department of Justice, who now is investigating the investigators. And that might give us a fuller picture of what has been at stake.

.... .... ...

GERALD HORNE: Well, first of all, I think it's a bit rich, is it not, that Washington is complaining about interference in their so-called sacrosanct elections when Washington has made a habit, a habit indeed, of interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign states all across the globe. Right now it's seeking to destabilize Venezuela. It's heightening tensions with Cuba. I could go on indefinitely. Secondly, it's interesting as well that Mr. Trump and his cohorts were lying repeatedly during the course of this investigation. That raises the ancillary question as to what can we trust them with? I mean, can we believe anything that's coming out of their mouth? As the defense lawyer often asked a lying witness, are you lying now, or were you lying then?

I think we also need to wait for more evidence with regard to foreign alleged interference in the internal affairs of the United States of America. The report mentions that George Papadopoulos, you might recall was a Trump comrade, was not necessarily an agent of Russia, although he may have been an agent, according to the report, of Israel. We also know that the Congresswoman from Los Angeles Maxine Waters has issued a subpoena to Deutsche Bank, the German bank which has been a major funder and financier of Mr. Trump. We should wait on those documents, because that might shed light on why Mr. Trump has been so harsh personally towards Chancellor Merkel of Germany, in particular. We all know about Saudi interference in the internal affairs of the United States of America. So I think that this Mueller report, accidentally or not, is raising as many questions as it is answering.

GREG WILPERT: Yeah, I think that's a very important point, is that of course Mueller was not tasked with looking at Saudi Arabian and Israeli involvement in the U.S. presidential election. But what do you think, Kamau? What does this mean to you, this issue of Russian interference?

[Apr 21, 2019] Using the Steele dossier to get a FISA warrant to fish for "Russian influence" should be prosecuted - Mueller could've made such a recommendation, but didn't

Instead of investigating ties of Trump campaign with Israel and Mossad (via Kushner and Hassidic mafia) as well the role of Great Gritain in the 2016 US Presidential elections Mueller spend millions of dollars trying to prove completely fake allegations or present claer false flag operations as the proof of Trump connections to Russia.
Notable quotes:
"... it is entirely possible (as I've proposed numerous times) that the new McCarthyism is a Deep-State psyop as part of a response to the Russia-China Alliance that threatens AZ Empire's NWO. ..."
"... The meeting at Trump tower seem clearly to have been a set-up. ..."
"... whether Manafort had/has Russian ties or not, his work in Ukraine is easily spun. And that makes Trump's elevation of Manafort to campaign manager very strange. ..."
"... Trump's actions after taking office have not unduly benefited Russia. In fact, Trump's charm offensive has been accompanied by actions that cause Russia much consternation and concern. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Apr 20, 2019 4:42:32 PM | link

Jackrabbit , Apr 20, 2019 4:04:08 PM | link

Since b's analysis on Mueller Report is delayed, I'll reposting mine from the previous thread:

1. Trump's interactions with Russia are deemed suspicious whereas even greater interactions with allies and frenemies like Israel are not.

2. Many of the Russian "influence operations" that Mueller details are minor (a few facebook ads) or ordinary course of business (meeting with Russian ambassador).

3. Fails to note the problems raised with regard to supposed "Russian hacking" (no reliable connection to Russia) and the failure of the Mueller team to interview Assange and other knowledgeable sources.

4. The clear exonerations (there are many) are the strongest aspect of the Mueller Report and demonstrate that Russiagate concerns were exaggerated and hyped by media.

5. Neither "Steele" or "FISA" can be found in this summary , probably because they are not in the Mueller Report itself (which I haven't read in detail). Using the Steele dossier to get a FISA warrant to fish for "Russian influence" should be prosecuted - Mueller could've made such a recommendation, but didn't.

6. There are surprisingly few actors in this drama . This is important because it is entirely possible (as I've proposed numerous times) that the new McCarthyism is a Deep-State psyop as part of a response to the Russia-China Alliance that threatens AZ Empire's NWO.

The meeting at Trump tower seem clearly to have been a set-up.

Mueller determined that Manafort had Russian ties

Note: whether Manafort had/has Russian ties or not, his work in Ukraine is easily spun. And that makes Trump's elevation of Manafort to campaign manager very strange.

7. Mueller highlights "intent" but FAILS to note that:

- a Presidential candidate can legitimately want improved relations with another country;

- Trump's actions after taking office have not unduly benefited Russia. In fact, Trump's charm offensive has been accompanied by actions that cause Russia much consternation and concern.

john @12

Well, as I mentioned in my comment @9, I haven't read the report in detail . My analysis is based off a detailed analysis done by the lawfareblog.com which can be found here: What Mueller Found on Russia and on Obstruction: A First Analysis (Note: I included that link in my original comment ) .

If you've followed my previous comments, you know that I think the Mueller Report is part of an overall effort to initiate a new McCarthyism. That makes the Mueller Report more propaganda than investigation.

[Apr 21, 2019] The Internet Research Agency only spent, according to the report itself, only spent $100,000, actually, on their activity in terms of buying advertising in Facebook and Twitter

Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

GREG WILPERT: Yeah. I mean, I think it's also important to note that the Internet Research Agency only spent, according to the report itself, only spent $100,000, actually, on their activity in terms of buying advertising in Facebook and Twitter.

And that's really absolutely nothing compared to what the campaigns more generally spend in those areas in terms of advertising.

And so the idea that they somehow influence the election just based on social media seems mind boggling to believe...

[Apr 21, 2019] The remarkable susceptibility of the American people to propaganda has to do with the philosophical tradition of pragmatism: What is true is that what is useful in our lives

Notable quotes:
"... Alex Carey explains is his excellent book "Taking the Risk out of Democracy" that the remarkable susceptibility of the American people to propaganda has to do with the philosophical tradition of pragmatism. Famous scholars like William James and John Dewey said things like: "What is true is that what is useful in our lives" and "Believing something helps to make that thing become true". So you want to believe because you think it serves your purposes. ..."
"... This whole Russiagate is a sort of orgy of pragmatism. This could not happen in any other country, I'm sure. The only bright lining is that apparently large parts of the US population do not care one whit about Russiagate. The thing only has traction among the educated classes. But still! Amazing to see how so many evidently smart people mislead themselves into believing this shoddy story or at least taking it way too serious. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

Paul Janssen 11 hours ago ,

My God you Americans are so strange! (I'm from the Netherlands)

Alex Carey explains is his excellent book "Taking the Risk out of Democracy" that the remarkable susceptibility of the American people to propaganda has to do with the philosophical tradition of pragmatism. Famous scholars like William James and John Dewey said things like: "What is true is that what is useful in our lives" and "Believing something helps to make that thing become true". So you want to believe because you think it serves your purposes.

Betrand Russell considered this attitude to represent a kind of madness. Truth is the objective correspondence to the facts, was his position.

This whole Russiagate is a sort of orgy of pragmatism. This could not happen in any other country, I'm sure. The only bright lining is that apparently large parts of the US population do not care one whit about Russiagate. The thing only has traction among the educated classes. But still! Amazing to see how so many evidently smart people mislead themselves into believing this shoddy story or at least taking it way too serious.

As to the title you gave these two items: "Will the Mueller Report Help Defeat Trump in 2020?" Of course not ! TO THE CONTRARY!

Sad that the Real News also has gone under in this intellectual morass. You really should have kept on Aaron Maté.

[Apr 20, 2019] It wasn't just Mifsud and Halper, it was everyone -- the head of the London law firm where Papadopoulos was working, as well as his immediate boss at the firm -- everyone was working to set George Papadopoulos up as "Trump's liason with the Russians".

Notable quotes:
"... It wasn't just Mifsud and Halper, it was everyone -- the head of the London law firm where Papadopoulos was working, as well as his immediate boss at the firm -- everyone was working to set him up as "Trump's liason with the Russians". ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

S , Apr 20, 2019 5:40:42 PM | link

Michael Tracey's interview with George Papadopoulos is also available on YouTube (for those who have difficulty playing it on Patreon). It's two hours long, but if you have any interest in the Russiagate, you should listen to it.

It wasn't just Mifsud and Halper, it was everyone -- the head of the London law firm where Papadopoulos was working, as well as his immediate boss at the firm -- everyone was working to set him up as "Trump's liason with the Russians".

[Apr 20, 2019] Joe Biden deals with Ukraine and his sons kickbacks are being questioned

Apr 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

TJ , Apr 20, 2019 4:44:34 PM | link

A different Russian collusion story debunked.

EU finds no 'evidence' Kaspersky Lab software spies for Russia, despite claims by US

Meanwhile Joe Biden deals with Ukraine and his sons kickbacks are being questioned.

Joe Biden's 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived

[Apr 20, 2019] Sure, blame those guys over there for Hillary fiasco and hire Mueller to get the goods . That s the ultimate the dog ate my homework excuse.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It is quite distressing that in may so called “progessive” or “left liberal” – self designated of course – circles in the USA and the UK such a statement will lead to your being labelled a Russian Troll or the suggestion you are being on Putin’s payrol ..."
"... “…In the era of weapons of mass destruction, not only nuclear, but primarily nuclear, ever more sophisticated, the Russians now have a new generation of nuclear weapons -- Putin announced them on March 1, they were dismissed here, but they’re real -- that can elude any missile defense. .. ..."
"... Russia has now thwarted us; they now have missile defense-evading nuclear weapons from submarines, to aircraft, to missiles. And Putin has said, ‘It’s time to negotiate an end to this new arms race,’ and he’s 100 percent right. ..."
"... So when I heard Trump say, in 2016, we have to cooperate with Russia, I had already become convinced… ..."
"... When I see the right-of-center DNC supporters saying, “Our democracy has been attacked,” I an reminded of the interview Hermann Goering gave while he was waiting to be executed. ..."
"... Perhaps the assumption of Russia meddling in our election is a simple case of projection. As has been documented, the USA has frequently meddled in other countries’ elections or election outcomes (Iran, Russia, Chile, Central America). ..."
"... To paraphrase the late Leona Helmsley, “Democracy is for little people”, not for the meddling-in-foreign-democracies policymakers of the Boston-Washington corridor. ..."
"... We live in a multi-polar world and if Washington can’t get used to it, we are the ones who may pay for their willful stubborn blindness, their inability to come to terms with a perfectly obvious developing reality. ..."
"... The neocons have not had a new idea in 30 years. I continue to be baffled by their obsession with Iran. Iran is a fact; the enmity goes back to our support for the overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953 and only made worse by our support of the Shah as our-guy-in-Tehran. ..."
"... The USA is in disarray internally and in its approach to the rest of the world. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

flora , , April 19, 2019 at 10:38 am

The DNC had the biggest influence on the 2016 outcome; they insisted on running a disliked candidate who was a terrible campaigner so disliked the DNC cleared the field for her ahead of time (got Biden and others to not declare in 2016) and had to club dissenters in their own party to make sure she got the nomination. imo. But sure, blame "those guys over there". That's the ultimate "the dog ate my homework" excuse. meh.

Susan the other` , April 19, 2019 at 10:43 am

Good analysis. This even makes the insanity of “Russiagate” seem strategic. (But as overwrought as saying ‘give us liberty or give us death’. The solution to everything is somewhere in the middle.) We know that such dedicated souls as the very fatuous Mr. Brennan cooked it all up and pretended it was because Trump was “treasonous”.

Brennan in his dotage might actually be thinking that.

I’ve always thought that Putin, like Yeltsin, was pro West. Possibly an atlanticist. Tho’ being as chauvinistic as an atlanticist today is a little offensive to the rest of the world. Cohen’s statement that Putin is pro Russian-anti communism might be a simplification. Russia is certainly positioning itself to be safe from our aggression. I think there are remnants of good social management that the commies learned over the years that Russia/Putin still employs.

It’s too simplistic to say Putin is anti-communist. He’s just a realist. And he’s a nationalist. Being a nationalist-protectionist is the worst sin against neoliberal advancement. That’s another propaganda bullet point – you never hear a rational discussion of nationalism – it’s all trash, “Marine LePen is a fascist” exaggeration.

Peter , April 19, 2019 at 11:04 am

It is quite distressing to see the Mueller report take up as if it were settled fact the idea that Russia influenced the 2016 Presidential election, particularly since his investigation didn’t provide any information that supported this theory.

It is quite distressing that in may so called “progessive” or “left liberal” – self designated of course – circles in the USA and the UK such a statement will lead to your being labelled a Russian Troll or the suggestion you are being on Putin’s payroll. That is the level of rational discussion in many those circles today when it comes to the discussion about the west's relationship to Russia.

This of course led in Russia to the conclusion that to engage with the west at present in an attempt to ease the tensions is futile and rather counterproductive.

juliania , April 19, 2019 at 11:15 am

I think Professor Cohen has a real point in the following statements:

“…In the era of weapons of mass destruction, not only nuclear, but primarily nuclear, ever more sophisticated, the Russians now have a new generation of nuclear weapons -- Putin announced them on March 1, they were dismissed here, but they’re real -- that can elude any missile defense. ..

Russia has now thwarted us; they now have missile defense-evading nuclear weapons from submarines, to aircraft, to missiles. And Putin has said, ‘It’s time to negotiate an end to this new arms race,’ and he’s 100 percent right.

So when I heard Trump say, in 2016, we have to cooperate with Russia, I had already become convinced…

So I began to speak positively about Trump at that moment–that would have been probably around the summer of 2016–just on this one point, because none of the other candidates were advocating cooperation with Russia…”

Then, when he goes on to elaborate on China’s weaponry and posit including them in the next round of draw-down negotiations, as far off as that may look – that to me is what Trump can use for his re-election. I do believe his attitude towards Russia won him his first term.

Those Russia-gate kooks need to focus on the American people, not on Trump. Well, maybe they did, and still do. It’s really about us, not him.

Procopius , April 19, 2019 at 7:56 pm

When I see the right-of-center DNC supporters saying, “Our democracy has been attacked,” I an reminded of the interview Hermann Goering gave while he was waiting to be executed.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

John Wright , April 19, 2019 at 11:20 am

Perhaps the assumption of Russia meddling in our election is a simple case of projection. As has been documented, the USA has frequently meddled in other countries’ elections or election outcomes (Iran, Russia, Chile, Central America).

One recent Democratic presidential candidate was taped asserting “we should not have held the election unless we could determine the outcome” in another foreign country.

If Russia did not meddle significantly in the US election, the political class may have had to ponder that possibly the Russians believed that the decline of the US in the world stage did not merit the effort.

To paraphrase the late Leona Helmsley, “Democracy is for little people”, not for the meddling-in-foreign-democracies policymakers of the Boston-Washington corridor.

John , April 19, 2019 at 11:45 am

The thrust of Cohen’s position is correct. Quibble all you wish with the details. We live in a multi-polar world and if Washington can’t get used to it, we are the ones who may pay for their willful stubborn blindness, their inability to come to terms with a perfectly obvious developing reality.

The neocons have not had a new idea in 30 years. I continue to be baffled by their obsession with Iran. Iran is a fact; the enmity goes back to our support for the overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953 and only made worse by our support of the Shah as our-guy-in-Tehran.

The Russians really do have a new generation of weapons. The Chinese are re-assuming a leading position in the world that has been theirs most of the time for two thousand years.

Europe is not a rising power.

The USA is in disarray internally and in its approach to the rest of the world. I do not consider these to be opinions but objective statements. I am not prepared to suffer for illusions and vanity among the “elite.”

[Apr 20, 2019] Did Assange lied about Seth Rich?

Assange actually undermined the key pre-condition of the Deep state existence -- secrecy.
Notable quotes:
"... Robert Mueller, who helped the Bush administration deceive the world about WMD in Iraq, has claimed that the GRU was the source of WikiLeaks' 2016 drops, and claimed in his report that WikiLeaks deceived its audience by implying that its source was the murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich. ..."
"... The smear is that Assange knew his source was actually the Russian government, and he implied it was Seth Rich to throw people off the scent. Mueller asserted that something happened, and it's interpreted as hard fact instead of assertion. There's no evidence for any of this, and there's no reason to go believing the WMD guy on faith about a narrative which incriminates yet another government which refuses to obey the dictates of the US empire. ..."
"... HItchen's Razor: "what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

I'm just going to toss this one here at the end because I'm seeing it go around a lot in the wake of the Mueller report.

Robert Mueller, who helped the Bush administration deceive the world about WMD in Iraq, has claimed that the GRU was the source of WikiLeaks' 2016 drops, and claimed in his report that WikiLeaks deceived its audience by implying that its source was the murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich.

This claim is unsubstantiated because, as we discussed in Smear 4, the public has not seen a shred of evidence proving who was or was not WikiLeaks' source, so there's no way to know there was any deception happening there. We've never seen any hard proof, nor indeed anything besides official narrative, connecting the Russian government to Guccifer 2.0 and Guccifer 2.0 to WikiLeaks, and Daniel Lazare for Consortium News documents that there are in fact some major plot holes in Mueller's timeline. Longtime Assange friend and WikiLeaks ally Craig Murray maintains that he knows the source of the DNC Leaks and Podesta Emails were two different Americans, not Russians, and hints that one of them was a DNC insider. There is exactly as much publicly available evidence for Murray's claim as there is for Mueller's.

Mainstream media has been blaring day after day for years that it is an absolute known fact that the Russian government was WikiLeaks' source, and the only reason people scoff and roll their eyes at anyone who makes the indisputably factual claim that we've seen no evidence for this is because the illusory truth effect causes the human brain to mistake repetition for fact.

The smear is that Assange knew his source was actually the Russian government, and he implied it was Seth Rich to throw people off the scent. Mueller asserted that something happened, and it's interpreted as hard fact instead of assertion. There's no evidence for any of this, and there's no reason to go believing the WMD guy on faith about a narrative which incriminates yet another government which refuses to obey the dictates of the US empire.

And I guess that's it for now. Again, this article is an ongoing project, so I'll be updating it and adding to it regularly as new information comes in and new smears need refutation. If I missed something or got something wrong, or even if you spotted a typo, please email me at admin@caitlinjohnstone.com and let me know. I'm trying to create the best possible tool for people to refute Assange smears, so I'll keep sharpening this baby to make sure it cuts like a razor. Thanks for reading, and thanks to everyone who helped! Phew! That was long.


motherjones , 52 minutes ago link

We don't have to like Julian Assange, but the release of the "Collateral Damage" video alone is enough to justify defending Assange and the freedom of the press.

Ozymandiasssss , 1 hour ago link

She really didn't debunk the thing about Seth Rich very well. Basically just said that whatever Mueller said wasn't true, which doesn't go very far for me. He definitely did imply that he got at least some of his info from Rich so if there is some sort of proof of that, it needs to be supplied; otherwise Mueller's story is the only one.

bh2 , 1 hour ago link

HItchen's Razor: "what can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

beemasters , 2 hours ago link

I have recently seen a political cartoon with Dotard then saying: "I love Wikileaks" + " I will throw her in jail" and now saying: "I know nothing about Wikileaks" + "I will throw him in jail"

It summed up perfectly that swine's lack of integrity.

Downtoolong , 2 hours ago link

It's so simple. Assange and Wikileaks exposed Hillary, Podesta, and the entire DNC to be lying, deceiving, hypocritical, disingenuous, elitist bastards. His crimes are miniscule compared to that, and all who attempt to condemn Assange only show us that they are members of that foul group.

beemasters , 1 hour ago link

Yet Dotard didn't push hard at all to get Killary, Podesta & friends charged...not even tweets calling for it since he got elected.

TotalMachineFail , 3 hours ago link

Excellent thorough content. And Kim Schmitz pointed out they'll drag things on for as long as possible and try to add additional things as they go. Such a bunch of sad, pathetic control freaks. Covering up their own failures, crimes and short comings with a highly publicized distraction putting the screws to a single journalist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBs1dgYL-7w

When the next world leader is Kashoggied nobody is going to care.

freedommusic , 3 hours ago link

“ Ty Clevenger has FOIAed information from NSA asking for any data that involved both Seth Rich and also Julian Assange .

And they responded by saying we’ve got 15 files , 32 pages , but they’re all classified in accordance with executive order 13526 covering classification, and therefore you can’t have them.

That says that NSA has records of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange. I mean, that’s the only business that NSA is in — copying communications between people and devices.”

—Bill Binney (NSA 30 year vet)

( source )

RussianSniper , 3 hours ago link

Long story!

Important topic!!

Assange and Snowden are freedom fighters, exposing the duplicitous, corrupt, and criminals to the entire world.

The hundreds of millions of mindless zombies are so brainwashed by the fake news industry, that if Assange and Snowden are not spies, they are criminal in some capacity.

I have liberal, conservative, and libertarian leaning friends, and virtually every one of them believe Assange and Snowden are traitors to America, got innocent people killed, are rapists, or too cowardly to stand trial in the USA.

What has happened to common sense and some necessary cynicism?

Dugald , 2 hours ago link

The trouble with Common Sense is it's not all that common.....

LetThemEatRand , 3 hours ago link

Why even bother arguing with these people. Assange gave up his liberty to reveal the truth, and the American public said in essence "so what." No one except the leakers and whistle-blowers faced any punishment, and I can't think of a single national politician who even talks about doing anything about the misconduct that was revealed. Yeah, a small percentage of the population is outraged at what was revealed, but the vast majority literally don't give a ****.

fezline , 3 hours ago link

Hehe... I guess you will find out how wrong you are in 2020 :-) His release of Hillary's emails gave Trump 2016... and him turning his back on Assange took away his chances in 2020

chunga , 3 hours ago link

Most regular readers on ZH know but this is an echo chamber for "Always Trumpers" so there won't be many commenters on this article. Rather than defend his DOJ's extradition attempts with implausible theories they'll be chattering back and forth about the Mueller Report.

/winning

LetThemEatRand , 2 hours ago link

Agreed. It's amazing to me that people who claim to be believers of the MAGA message don't see the harm associated with the arrest of Assange, and all of the other uniparty **** Trump is perpetuating. A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.

ZENDOG , 3 hours ago link

Whole lot of yadda yadda yadda about someone 99.9% of Americans don't know.

And even less who give a ****.

Hillary dead yet?

fezline , 3 hours ago link

Yeah and yet.... everyone seemed to credit Hillary's loss to the release of her emails on wikileaks... Hmm that narrative that seems to be trying to minimize the impact on Trumps chances in 2020 really breaks down in the face of that fact doesn't it?? Trump has no hope... just stop... get behind a republican that has a chance... Trump doesn't... he lost half of his base... get over it...

[Apr 20, 2019] Brennan should be investigated for unleashing neo-McCarthysim compaign and put of trial

Notable quotes:
"... My reasoning starts with a desire to counter Russian and Chinese assertiveness as proposed by Kissinger in an WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 in which Kissinger expressed a desire for a strengthened USA - very much aligned with what one might expect a MAGA nationalist President to achieve. ..."
"... Kissinger is considered to be the "dean" of US FP establishment and his opinions are respected by 'Deep State' leaders that I mentioned. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Apr 20, 2019 5:02:40 PM | link

Brennan on trial

Did he order the new McCarthyism (aka "Code Red") which included electing Trump as President, setting up Wikileaks to be smeared as a foreign agent, and settling scores with Michael Flynn?

Acting on 'Deep State' approval from the likes of Clinton, McCain, Mueller, Bush Sr., et al.

Jackrabbit , Apr 20, 2019 6:34:16 PM | link

Just to be clear regarding my comment @16

"Brennan on trial" is an imagined future occurrence based on informed speculation that I've previously described.

My reasoning starts with a desire to counter Russian and Chinese assertiveness as proposed by Kissinger in an WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 in which Kissinger expressed a desire for a strengthened USA - very much aligned with what one might expect a MAGA nationalist President to achieve.

Kissinger is considered to be the "dean" of US FP establishment and his opinions are respected by 'Deep State' leaders that I mentioned.

[Apr 20, 2019] $1 Million Trump Campaign Sees Donations Spike After Mueller Report Released

Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Following the highly anticipated public release of the ( 10% redacted ) Mueller report, donations to President Trump's 2020 reelection campaign spiked by over $1 million, according to Trump campaign COO Michael Glassner.

... ... ...

It's clear the Trump camp is in celebration mode as it now turns to "investigating the investigators."